Qin Mu slowly blinked his eyes and looked blankly at the ceiling, it had been a long time since he had dreamt of Xie Ge.
It has now been ten years since Xie Ge left Anping Village.
Guo Guo met his biological parents during those ten years. The human traffickers who kidnapped him were imprisoned, and the impoverished and run-down Anping Village has also been transformed.
Guo Guo has a brilliant mind. The Anping Village teachers are hopelessly outdated, yet he recently passed the college entrance exam on his own merits, becoming the first person from Anping Village to enroll in college, while Qin Mu dropped by two points. Although Grandma Qin was disappointed, she was aware that Qin Mu had tried. She had no objections when Qin Mu recommended going out to work. Since Qin Mu was still young, she thought it would be preferable for him to go than to live in the village his entire life.
This is how, after ten years since Guo Guo’s kidnapping, Qin Mu and Guo Guo finally left Anping Village.
It is hard to extract a college student from Anping Village. The village chief and the villagers worked together to save Guo Guo’s four-year university tuition, just about enough of this money to cover the tuition fee. His adoptive parents had limited income, and they had previously spent all of their savings on buying Guo Guo from traffickers. Guo Guo only had enough money left over after deductions to buy pickles and buns for lunch at school.
Qin Mu considered Guo Guo as his younger brother, so he naturally bore the brunt of Guo Guo’s education.
He has experience working as a mechanic, a waiter, and even a construction worker for some time.
This sort of situation merely persisted for a short time.
Guo Guo had a particular talent for business, was sharp and diligent, had a reserved personality, and was highly regarded by his teachers. He rented a good storefront from the school leader and utilized the money donated by the villagers to start a milk tea snack bar.
As a result of Guo Guo’s widespread popularity, there is no limit to the number of students who frequent Guo Guo’s shop because the snacks there are both cheap and tasty. They also offer free delivery to the dormitory, and the store is doing well.
Since Qin Mu is a familiar face around campus, he is regularly tasked with delivering takeout orders. When he was younger and still living in Anping Village, Qin Mu didn’t give much thought to his appearance; he smiled in response to the elders’ compliments on his excellent looks but paid them little mind. He didn’t realize how popular he was until every delivery was observed by countless male and female students.
His good looks proved that he would be highly sought after, and it wasn’t long before Qin Mu received his first love letter. Once Guo Guo found out, he couldn’t sit still and never again allowed Qin Mu to deliver the meals; instead, he hired a delivery guy. Given that the additional salary required to recruit one extra worker would be enough to cover a villager in Anping Village’s expenses for an entire year, where exactly did Qin Mu get a compromise with Guo Guo’s decision? A fight broke out between the two people because of this.
For the first time, Guo Guo became outraged; he got so fired up by arguing with Qin Mu that his face flushed with anger. There was no sign of gentleness or calmness like before, and Guo Guo left the fight by slamming the door.
Qin Mu’s anger was momentary, and it didn’t take long for it to dissipate, but he had no courage to seek peace, so he spent his days holed up in his rented house.
After three days, Guo Guo showed up at the door with a solemn expression on his face, saying that he had something important to tell him.
Qin Mu was worried that something serious had happened, so he asked him urgently what was wrong.
It took quite some time for Guo Guo to stop hiding his feelings and boldly declare, “Qin Mu, I like you.”
The news brought a smile to Qin Mu’s face, and he exhaled a sigh of relief before he continued, “I thought it was a big deal, I also like you.”
“No, I mean romantic attraction between men and women,” he said.
Qin Mu was astounded and stutter-spoke, “But… but I’m a man.”
“I know.” With unwavering determination, Guo Guo said to Qin Mu, “I want to be with you forever.”
Since the beginning, Qin Mu has treated Guo Guo to be his brother. He has never thought about being with him, so when Guo Guo confessed, he turned it down. Due to this, the two separated for a month, and during that time, Qin Mu’s heart became entwined since he had gotten used to Guo Guo’s presence around him.
Things quickly took a turn for the worse:
Guo Guo suffered a broken left leg after being hit by a car.
Qin Mu visited Guo Guo in the hospital. A heavy plaster cast covered Guo Guo’s left leg as he lay on the bed, his neck twisted so that the back of his head was facing Qin Mu. Qin Mu decided to show weakness and apologize to Guo Guo because he was three years older than Guo Guo, and it was appropriate to give in to him.
Laying still on the bed, Guo Guo did not respond in the slightest. He looked like a statue.
Qin Mu went around the bed’s head and peeked under the covers on the other side, where he saw Guo Guo’s eyes closed and the corner of the pillow moist with his quiet cries. It had been years since Guo Guo shed a tear, and his unflappable disposition in the face of adversity had led Qin Mu to nearly forget what Guo Guo was like at his most vulnerable.
As Qin Mu saw Guo Guo crying, he felt a moment of confusion and dread, and he reached out to wipe those clear tears.
“Does your leg hurt? Don’t worry, in a few months you’ll be back on your feet.”
The tears in his hand had the appearance of shattering the bank. Qin Mu was distraught and nervous, and his voice was a touch panicky as he said, “Hey, don’t cry. Our Guo Guo is the strongest.”
Guo Guo’s eyes shot wide and the flood of tears stopped as he heard this.
“Qin Mu, I am not your brother.” He suddenly stopped referring to Qin Mu as Little Brother, although he can’t recall when exactly that happened.
Qin Mu felt a brief tinge of sadness as he looked at the teenager’s crimson eyes and slightly wrinkled brow before replying, “I… I know.”
The teenage boy swallowed back his choking and added in a trembling voice, “If you don’t like me, then leave me alone and let me fend for myself.” He pressed his eyelids tightly together, and his voice had a note of emotion: “Anyway…. anyway, I was originally alone at first. If you go, you won’t have to worry about me bothering you again.”
Qin Mu had a limited understanding of emotions and had never developed feelings for anybody. He would have had no way of knowing the depth of Guo Guo’s affection for him if he hadn’t revealed it to him. He has an intense fondness for Guo Guo. From his first encounter with Guo Guo, he realized he was an adorable child. He was saddened by what had occurred to Guo Guo and embarrassed by his inability to prevent it.
Even though he did not bring out the crime himself, he is still a part of the Anping Village. There is no way for him to alter Anping Village’s depravity. The only way he can make up for his remorse and unease is to treat Guo Guo better. His small companions have all drifted away over the years, leaving him with just Guo Guo. Qin Mu had never thought about the potential that he and Guo Guo might become strangers.
“We…” Qin Mu made a sound like he was about to speak.
In silence, Guo Guo waited for Qin Mu’s conclusion.
With a drop of clear tear resting on his thick, long eyelashes, he carefully closed his eyes in case this didn’t work.
Then he overheard Qin Mu saying gently, “Then, let’s give it a try.”
The eyelids shook slightly, and the tears came streaming down. Guoguo’s eyes, baptized by tears, were dark and dazzling, drawing Qin Mu’s attention like a swamp. Guo Guo’s faint smile spread out from the corner of his lips, a smile of relief.
He gave Qin Mu a sincere look and said, “Thank you, Qin Mu.”
Qin Mu remained still. “Don’t thank me just yet; we are just testing the waters. If it doesn’t pan out, we can always revert to our previous relationship as brothers.”
The focus of Guo Guo’s gaze shifted to Qin Mu. A soft grin replaced the tears in his eyes.
Thus, this trial has been ongoing for years.
Another coincidence is that Guo Guo and his biological parents recognized each other. As he was in the hospital rehabilitating, Qin Mu would push him around in a wheelchair so he could get some fresh air. Then, one day, a well-dressed middle-aged lady joined their conversation and began politely talking with Guo Guo.
At that time, none of them were very concerned about this issue.
In just a few days, someone located Guo Guo and claimed that he was identified as the long-lost son of the Qi Group’s chairman via DNA testing. After meeting with Qi Zhenguo, Qin Mu had to believe that Guo Guo had really found his biological father because of the close resemblance between the two men’s eyebrows.
It’s safe to say that Guo Guo is one fortunate guy. Qi Zhenguo was recently taken to the hospital due to a health issue. The earlier lady was Guo Guo’s biological mother. She remembered in retrospect that Guo Guo resembled her young husband, so she sought and stole some of his hair, which in turn led to all these occurrences.
It was later discovered that Qi Zhenguo’s only son, who everyone called “Guo Guo,” officially went by the name Qi Heng. Throughout the course of those years, the couple never stopped searching for Guo Guo. Qin Mu was delighted for Guo Guo that the family, at last, had been reunited.
Guo Guo effortlessly identified his family lineage and visited their ancestral home. Besides that, the village chief and the traffickers responsible for kidnapping and trafficking women from Anping Village were held accountable, and the victims were released.
It seems like this is the best possible result.