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    In the past, Lin Shuicheng enjoyed nibbling on him in bed, especially when he was at his peak and approaching climax.

    This gentle bite on his fingertip left behind a faint ache that soon dissipated, replaced by a tingling sweetness – a sensation he hadn't experienced in a long time.

    Fu Luoyin paused for a moment, his fingers tracing Lin Shuicheng's lips. He straightened his back, holding him close as he allowed him to continue sleeping soundly in his embrace.

    In this instant, he felt like a child who had found a lost treasure, unsure whether to cry, laugh, or even if what he was seeing was real.

    He couldn't read Lin Shuicheng's thoughts, but for now, he was sleeping by his side – that was enough.

    It was raining at Star University. Utterly exhausted, Lin Shuicheng went straight to bed without a word, too tired even to remove his shoes.

    Following him inside, Fu Luoyin noticed four glittering little light bulb-like eyes in the darkness. Switching on the light revealed the Chief's emerald gaze fixed upon him, along with a small gray cat staring back with golden eyes.

    Fu Luoyin felt somewhat wary of this little gray cat – any new presence that had emerged during Lin Shuicheng's absence stirred a sense of threat within him. As such, he approached and forcefully stroked the Chief's head, ignoring the gray kitten.

    Afterward, he entered the bedroom and saw Lin Shuicheng curled up in bed.

    He helped remove Lin Shuicheng's shoes, socks, and coat before tucking him into the blankets, finally sighing in relief.

    The room was cold, so Fu Luoyin searched for the air conditioner remote control and turned it on. However, Lin Shuicheng's air conditioner seemed to be malfunctioning – after a long while, the temperature didn't rise, and instead, water dripped from the corner of the wall.

    After inspecting the situation, he called Zhou Heng.

    Lin Shuicheng continued his recent pattern of poor sleep, but he no longer struggled with insomnia.

    He woke up after a short while, finding himself wrapped in blankets with the room lights off. Fu Luoyin was standing on a stool, flashlight in hand, tinkering with something. Watching him for a moment, Lin Shuicheng wanted to say something but was too exhausted and empty to utter a word. He drifted back into sleep.

    Awakening and dozing off several times, he heard the soft clinking sounds of Fu Luoyin's careful movements. Eventually, the air conditioner hummed into proper operation.

    When he woke up for the third time, Fu Luoyin was nowhere to be seen.

    Struggling against drowsiness, Lin Shuicheng got up slowly and turned on the light to look around.

    The bedroom door opened directly to the living room where a small lamp was still on. Fu Luoyin lay awkwardly on the narrow sofa, his arm across his eyes as he slept.

    The Chief was sprawled at the head of the sofa like a flat pancake, while the little gray cat had found a new source of warmth, snuggled up against Fu Luoyin's shoulder, purring softly in its sleep.

    A small, warm glow of yellow light illuminated the darkness, evoking a profound sense of tranquility and peace.

    The heater's warm air whistled softly, filling the entire room with a comforting warmth.

    Only then did Lin Shuicheng remember to check his coat. Crawling over, he discovered the external hard drive in its pocket, finally easing his lingering concern.

    Underneath two blankets, Lin Shuicheng struggled to remove the top one before settling back down, holding the hard drive as he nestled into the covers.

    In the darkness, he closed his eyes but his breaths were not the deep, slow ones of sleep. He lay there quietly, sighing softly after a long while.

    The next morning, Fu Luoyin noticed Lin Shuicheng was awake and asked, "Are you still in pain or feeling unwell? How do you feel?"

    Lin Shuicheng replied, "I'm fine."

    After a moment, he added, "The stitches hurt a bit."

    His half-awake, slightly dazed and adorable confusion made Fu Luoyin suppress a smile.

    "I bought some painkillers for you earlier. You should take them after breakfast," Fu Luoyin said.

    Lin Shuicheng glanced at the dining table but didn't see any breakfast.

    Fu Luoyin felt a bit awkward. "I haven't made anything yet. Would you like me to cook some noodles for you?"

    Lin Shuicheng nodded. After some thought, he still didn't know what to say and simply said, "Thank you."

    "Don't thank me. If you really want to thank me, why not offer yourself to me?" Fu Luoyin suggested.

    He maintained his composure and tossed out that remark before turning to head into the kitchen—he was afraid of Lin Shuicheng's immediate response.

    The commander jumped onto the bed and nestled in Lin Shuicheng's arms. The little gray cat crouched by the entrance to the kitchen, eyeing Fu Luoyin.

    Fu Luoyin had learned how to cook noodles from Lin Shuicheng.

    Back when he was in District Eight, his understanding of food was that it just needed to be cooked and edible. Occasionally, he'd make a quick meal for himself. A pot of plain white noodles with some seasoning sprinkled on top and two eggs poached in the broth— he didn't mind the resulting cloudy soup.

    It was after living with Lin Shuicheng that he realized Lin Shuicheng prepared his white noodles and broth separately. First, he simmered chicken stock, added spices, then cooked the noodles in a clean pot. He added greens, eggs, mushrooms, and sliced braised beef. Once everything was cooked, he transferred it all into the broth. This resulted in a refreshing and flavorful dish; the soup alone was so delicious that one could easily drink three bowls of it.

    He prepared a pot of chicken noodle soup and served it to Lin Shuicheng.

    Fu Luoyin watched as Lin Shuicheng took a bite of the noodles and sipped the broth. Unusually, he felt a touch of nervous anticipation. "How is it?"

    Lin Shuicheng nodded. "Delicious."

    Fu Luoyin chuckled softly and lowered his head to eat his own noodles.

    Sitting across from each other, the table in their rented room was somewhat cramped, bringing them close enough that their heads nearly touched.

    From the corner of his eye, Fu Luoyin could see Lin Shuicheng's lowered eyelashes, the red mole at the corner of his eye, and the wisps of hair on his forehead.

    The steam from the chicken noodle soup rose, enveloping their faces, finally adding a hint of rosiness to Lin Shuicheng's overly pale complexion, making him appear dewy, endearing, and cozy.

    Feeling his heart beat faster, Fu Luoyin whispered, "Come home with me, and I'll cook for you every day?"

    After speaking, he hastily slurped up a few more mouthfuls of noodles, then emptied his bowl. He refilled it from the pot and, using a strainer, scooped out tender, succulent pieces of chicken, adding them to Lin Shuicheng's bowl.

    He tried to divert the conversation with the excuse of "being busy," and whether Lin Shuicheng pretended ignorance or ignored him altogether, it was all tolerable.

    The Chief and the little gray cat attempted to jump onto the table but were shooed away by Lin Shuicheng.

    Fu Luoyin picked out a few pieces of chicken, soaked them in warm water to dilute the flavor, then fed them to the two kittens. As he bent down, he heard Lin Shuicheng whisper softly, "Fu Luoyin."

    Acknowledging his presence, Fu Luoyin replied with a soft "Mm."

    "I don't want to talk about emotional matters now. My current state isn't suitable for a relationship," Lin Shuicheng said. "So I was thinking..."

    "You owe me two favors, plus yesterday's, that makes three," Fu Luoyin retorted sternly.

    Lin Shuicheng was taken aback.

    Having already fed the chicken piece, Fu Luoyin maintained his slightly bowed posture with his fingers still motionless. Assuming there was more food, Chief the kitten pushed aside the little gray one and sniffed at Fu Luoyin's hand. After a while without finding anything, it swayed its head in confusion.

    "Can you... at least let me pursue you?" His voice softened. Avoiding Lin Shuicheng's gaze, Fu Luoyin pressed his lips together, his entire demeanor tense.

    Lin Shuicheng whispered gently, "I've never liked you."

    "I understand." Fu Luoyin gazed steadily at him.

    "I might not grow to like you either. I don't have the heart to develop feelings for anyone else."

    "I understand that too."

    Lin Shuicheng was taken aback once more, his actions pausing briefly before he continued eating his noodles in silence. His chopsticks tapped gently against the porcelain bowl, occasionally producing faint clinking sounds.

    Fu Luoyin added, "Considering all the recent incidents and your injury, you need someone to keep you company. So, I'll stay here with you for now."

    He searched through his pockets and pulled out a wallet. After opening it, he placed a card on the table and pushed it towards Lin Shuicheng. "I won't pay rent or utilities; this way, we're even, and you won't feel obligated to return the money to me."

    He maintained a forced smile. "There's nothing in this wallet now. The other day, I wanted to put a picture of you in it, but I couldn't find one. Then I thought, if I can't have yours, I'll settle for a hair from the Chief, but when I looked again, not a single cat hair remained in the house, Lin Shuicheng."

    The joke wasn't particularly funny, but he delivered it in a lighthearted tone, as if it could be dismissed with a casual wave of the hand.

    When Lin Shuicheng left, he didn't leave anything behind.

    During their time together, there were no traces left behind either.

    Lin Shuicheng watched him in silence.

    Fu Luoyin didn't continue his sentence. Instead, he stood up and gathered the dishes to take them into the kitchen.

    In their previous homes, they had dishwashers, and there was always someone who would come to clean up without needing to be asked.

    This might be Fu Luoyin's first time washing dishes in his life. He wasn't aware that detergent needed to be diluted with water according to a certain ratio. Thus, he squeezed a generous amount into each bowl before scrubbing them clean one by one.

    After finishing this task, he proceeded to make the bed with great ease—it had been a long time since the guest room had been used, and Fu Luoyin intended to set up camp there.

    He took note of what was still lacking for Lin Shuicheng and promptly called Zhou Heng to have it delivered straight to the door. The greatest flaw of this house was its inadequate natural lighting, a problem Fu Luoyin addressed head-on by instructing his people to communicate with Xing University's administration. Plans were set in motion to remove the section of the greenbelt obstructing the light within a few days and replace it with a water channel.

    A place long devoid of activity suddenly teemed with new life, so much so that the cats no longer ventured out of their doors, instead crowding the living room to watch the two humans moving about.

    Here lies Fu Luoyin's overpowering and irrational nature - he always finds a way to act first and ask for permission later, leaving no room for Lin Shuicheng to react.

    He even arranged for soundproofing paint to be applied to the walls, harmless yet effective, because he noticed that Lin Shuicheng's sleep wasn't very sound, and the campus residential area happened to be the noisiest spot.

    Lin Shuicheng was gently but firmly sent off to sleep by him, Fu Luoyin, who even managed to catch two cats and tuck them into his bed before resuming his own busy affairs.

    With a few days left before his leave ended, Fu Luoyin had already rescheduled all the meetings for the following month to teleconferences and video projections, prepared to work overtime at Lin Shuicheng's place constantly.

    Depression patients require companionship, a soothing environment for rest, professional medical consultation, medication, and psychological counseling.

    Fu Luoyin was well aware of these facts. Now, he realized that he knew everything, but he had never considered being there for Chu Jingshu.

    This was his selfishness and stubbornness laid bare.

    If something wasn't wanted by him, he wouldn't take it either – this was a principle he had adhered to since childhood. He had a list of things he "didn't care" about.

    But what about Lin Shuicheng?

    Now he realizes that with these three words, his world had already crumbled into fragments, along with that seemingly "indifferent" piece of paper.

    "President Fu, we've traced the person who provided Tang Yang with Little Lin's contact information. It was Bai Yiyi, the youngest daughter of the Bai family," Zhou Heng reported from outside the door, flipping through files with a hint of hesitation on his face. "The Xia family... and Miss Fu Xue might also be involved."

    "Lin Shuicheng nearly lost his life yesterday," Fu Luoyin's eyes flashed with a hint of ferocity, "and the police informed me that they encountered a car accident on the mountain road. I couldn't care less about who these insignificant troublemakers are. From this day forward, wherever there is Fù's Military-Grade Technology, there will be no place for them to take refuge."

    "Understood, we'll attend to it immediately." Zhou Heng's expression was just as grave.

    Under the umbrella of Fu's Military Industry, there are but a few dozen holdings, numbering merely thirty-odd companies. However, an impressive twenty-nine of these entities are enterprises within the League's military sector, spanning domains that directly interface with communication, transportation, banking, aerospace technology, and cultural entertainment. These very corporations form the lifeblood of the League's citizenry, permeating every aspect of their daily existence.

    Within half a minute, the Bai family would be blacklisted by these systems. Tonight, they would find that all mobile communication providers had cut them off; they wouldn't be able to make calls nor receive messages. The maintenance for their helicopters, yachts, and electric sleds would cease, and all official channels for energy refills would be shut down to them. From now on, no bank would approve their loans, and no spacecraft or airline would accept them as passengers. The high-end restaurants that had greeted them with smiles the previous night would cancel their reservations the very next day.

    This was a societal death in the truest sense. Within half a minute, everyone in the league would learn that the Bai family had crossed the Fu family.

    The second young master of the Fu family, who had recently taken over the company, known as Little Fu and also Fu Luoyin - a figure recognized in the Alliance as an emerging power with boundless potential. Since he inherited the Fu family's legacy and assumed the position of Deputy Director of the Seventh Bureau, all who met him praised his composed demeanor and decisive actions. He was adept at concealing his emotions, always maintaining a professional and courteous demeanor, regardless of the situation.

    For this one night, everyone will come to realize: Fu Luoyin has been provoked.

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