Xu Luoyang was warming up by the lake in a white cap and baggy gym shorts. As a single dog, he took himself for a serious walk every morning, so he ate two boiled eggs and headed out for his morning jog with great enthusiasm.
But Qi Chang’an also followed him in high spirits, which was a bit unplanned.
He had already had a scare three days ago when he suddenly became the only person to follow on his Weibo account, so this time Xu Luoyang kept his composure.
Carefully glancing at Qi Chang’an again – well, why was he caught right in the middle of it!
“Is something wrong?” Qi Chang’an had rested for a few days, and his voice had improved to a new level.
“Nothing, just checking up on you.” Xu Luoyang smiled openly at Qi Chang’an and immediately received a friendly smile.
Damn it! This smile — ‘no, no matter how many beauties in the world, they are all blue and dry bones’, seriously reciting this sentence in his heart a dozen or twenty times, Xu Luoyang was able to stabilize his bouncing heart, but the rest of the jogging was a bit difficult to concentrate on.
He had been mentally prepared from the beginning to keep the harmony of ‘You are good, I’m good, everyone is good’ for the next few months and to shoot well, so that he could leave after his work. However, looking at Qi Chang’an’s serious jogging appearance a few steps away from him, Xu Luoyang doubted his judgment…
Was it possible that Qi Chang’an was really going to build a strong friendship bridge with him, the nice kind?
He was… A bit of a coward! No, very much so!
Especially when the thin jacket Qi Chang’an wore today was embroidered with a lifelike one-legged bird demon with big, fierce eyes facing his direction, Xu Luoyang became even more of a coward.
He knew that there was a legend called a demon streamer, and the demon that was taken in would become the embroidery on the streamer. So most likely, a one-legged bird demon was taken into the demon streamer, and then the streamer was used by Qi Chang’an to make clothes…
What a domineering and wild aura!
The two of them ran harmoniously for half an hour without attracting much attention from the group of grandparents playing Taijiquan1Taijiquan or more commonly known as taichi, is a type of Chinese martial arts. Its now more commonly practiced by old people as a form of exercise. You can commonly see elderly people doing taichi exercises on parks during early mornings in China., the sun was already up and the sun was shining.
He took off the cap he had been wearing, stood by the lake, tilted his head and shook out his sweaty hair in what he thought was a very dashing manner. He was so proud of himself that he couldn’t help but shout ‘ah-ha-‘ at the lake.
After shouting, he reached up and smoothed out his bangs, revealing his clean forehead, and smiled at Qi Chang’an, who was looking at him with his standard ‘eight teeth’ 2apparently the ‘eight teeth’ smile is considered as the ‘perfect smile’ in China and Taiwan smile.
Qi Chang’an was wiping his sweat with a towel. After half an hour of running, his face was still pale and when he saw Xu Luoyang smiling at him, he also subconsciously wanted to smile with him, but suddenly found that the expression of the person opposite him had changed dramatically.
“Fuck! Don’t come over!”
Qi Chang’an’s hand squeezed the towel tightly.
Five seconds later, a husky brushed past Qi Chang’an’s leg like an arrow and jumped straight at Xu Luoyang, very excited. Xu Luoyang’s eyes widened in fear and his face turned white, obviously frightened, and he turned and ran. The husky was even more energised and ran after him. An old woman in a peach-coloured sports coat shouted after it, “A-ha… A-ha! Don’t run away! Come back!”
Qi Chang’an stood still for a few seconds, but when he heard Xu Luoyang’s howling, he sighed, threw his towel around his neck and followed him.
On the path around the lake in the park, Xu Luoyang ran in the morning breeze against the rising sun, while looking back cautiously, right into the blue eyes of the husky with a fierce glint. With chills running down his back and bad memories popping up in his head, he picked up speed and ran even faster, not forgetting to pant and communicate with the dog lord who was in hot pursuit behind him,
“Ahhhhh why are you still chasing me! I’m not funny or cute, really!”
The husky gave a short ‘woof’ but didn’t slow down a bit.
At that moment, a little girl of one or two years old came from the side, right in the middle of Xu Luoyang’s ‘runway’. He closed his eyes, turned his right foot and drifted to the left to avoid the girl.
But the lake was wet and slippery, and when he braked so sharply, he couldn’t stand still and fell into the lake with a loud splash.
Qi Chang’an ran to the place where Xu Luoyang had just stood, but he didn’t expect that he would not be on the shore after such a short time. Before he could even catch his breath, he saw the husky next to him dive into the water gallantly, followed by Xu Luoyang’s terrified howl to the sky!
“I’ve fallen into the water, why don’t you let me go, dog lord-“
Xu Luoyang was on the verge of tears, seeing the husky getting closer and closer to him, about to come after him and pounce on him. After wiping his face, Xu Luoyang couldn’t hold on any longer and broke down and asked for help from Qi Chang’an who was standing on the shore,
“Qi Chang’an! Brother Qi! Brother Chang’an! I’ll kneel down and beg for help! You can have all the instant noodles and seasoning packets from now on! You can eat the meat first too…”
Hearing Xu Luoyang’s voice, Qi Chang’an’s eyebrows twitched as he threw the towel onto the bench next to him and dived into the water with standard posture. He then swam a bit faster, reached out in the water, tugged on the leash that the husky was floating with, pulled it back and wrapped it around the stone pillar that was exposed to the water in a few seconds.
Xu Luoyang was howling with his eyes closed when he suddenly felt someone grab his flailing hand. He shuddered at the warmth of the person’s body.
“Okay, you can open your eyes now.”
Carefully opening the left eye, he first saw the hair with dripping water but radiant Qi Chang’an, then looking over his shoulders and seeing the husky passing, Xu Luoyang instantly hit the water cockily, “Hahahaha silly dog! But looking at it a few more times it’s a little cute!”
Forgetting that he had just been chased by the silly dog, he ran two laps around in the lake.
But happiness always brings sadness. When the husky heard Xu Luoyang’s voice, he barked excitedly again. Xu Luoyang’s body reacted faster than his mind. When he heard the dog barking, he jumped on top of Qi Chang’an, his legs clamped tightly around his waist, his hands around his neck, and his eyes closed tightly, “Ahhhhhh…!”
“Don’t be afraid, the dog can’t get through,” Qi Chang’an was a bit helpless, hesitantly raised his hand, patted Xu Luoyang’s tense back, “You go to shore first, I’ll go and untie the dog’s leash.”
Xu Luoyang was moved, “I will definitely repay you for saving my life!”
When Qi Chang’an swam to shore, he saw Xu Luoyang drenched in water, cowering behind a willow tree with his cap on, ignoring the dog’s owner’s shouts.
When he saw Qi Chang’an coming, he looked like he had seen a savior, and Xu Luoyang took a few steps to hide behind him, immediately gaining strength and anger,
“D*mn it! That grandmother even asked me to go and get acquainted with that stupid dog! I refuse, I refuse! Qi Chang’an, can you help me say, from now on, this dog and I, are enemies, it is better if we don’t see each other for the rest of my life!”
He thought about it, and his tone was particularly harsh, “If I see this dog again, I’ll pluck its hair! Take his toys!”
With the towel he had put on the bench, Qi Chang’an carefully dried the water on his face and arms. He looked tall and thin, but now his clothes were soaked through and stuck to his skin, and the lines of his pectoral muscles and abs were clearly visible.
With his posture in front of Xu Luoyang, Qi Chang’an tilted his head slightly to look at him, “Yes.” He paused, “But, change the name.”
“?” Xu Luoyang didn’t react. He met Qi Chang’an’s eyes, blinked twice and suddenly enlightened, “Brother Chang’an?”
“Yes.” Qi Chang’an handed the towel to Xu Luoyang, lifted his feet and walked towards the husky. Xu Luoyang was left standing in a daze with the towel in his hand – I… I think I just called out a very significant name!
But, modesty… Where’s my modesty?
Qi Chang’an was communicating with the dog’s owner, but Xu Luoyang was too intimidated by the husky to go there.
“That young man looks familiar, he looks like the Grand Prince in [The Mountain River Remains]!”
“Yes, yes, the Great Prince Ji… Ji Linghuan! That’s the name, my daughter loves him, he’s all over the computer screen. I watch him everyday, so I know him so well, he looks exactly the same, you know…”
“!!!” Xu Luoyang subconsciously squeezed his cap, and already made up tomorrow’s headline – [Shock! The popular actor was chased by a dog in a street park and jumped into a lake to kill himself.]
Xu Luoyang, with great courage, took a few steps, grabbed Qi Chang’an’s wrist, turned around and started to run. Qi Chang’an subconsciously tried to break free, but when he realized it was Xu Luoyang, he stopped and ran after him without asking any questions.
The two of them looked at each other, and burst out laughing, both of them panting.
Xu Luoyang propped himself up on his knees, “I’m tired. I’m exhausted! Why did you… Why did you run after me without even asking?”
Qi Chang’an adjusted his breathing, “I guessed it, you were recognized?”
“Yes, but I regretted it halfway through the run, even if I was recognized, I should have denied it, I could have said I was a doppelganger, specifically aiming to imitate Xu Luoyang!”
Qi Chang’an was amused, “Then I’ll say I’m an impersonator of Qi Chang’an.” He stood up straight, shook his right hand, saw Xu Luoyang look over, and explained, “The dog owner compensated you for the mental damage.”
Receiving it in, Xu Luoyang was stunned, and immediately smiled, “Great, great, you’re very good at this!”
Qi Chang’an raised his eyebrows and gave a meaningful ‘hmm’.
The two of them took turns to take a shower, and Xu Luoyang was wondering how to spend the three hundred yuan compensation fee to contribute to the national economy, when he saw Qi Chang’an come out in a change of clothes.
He immediately stood up from the sofa and sincerely cupped his fists, “Thank you for today, from now on, if I have a mouthful of noodles, you have a mouthful of soup!” After saying that, he felt that it was not right and immediately changed his words, “You should eat the noodles and I’ll have the soup!”
Qi Chang’an nodded and asked with a smile, “Are you afraid of dogs?”
“I’m scared, I’m super scared!” Xu Luoyang began reminiscing, “I wasn’t afraid before. My agent also has huskies, and occasionally they even stayed at my place but two years ago, I was chased by a large Mongolian sheepdog when I went to the grasslands with the crew to shoot [The Mountain River Remains].
After that, he laughed again, “But I’m better now, I’m trying to get over it! If a dog chases me in a couple of years, I’ll be chasing him back in no time!”
Looking at the smile in his eyes, Qi Chang’an suddenly felt that it was a beautiful day.
At this time, there was a knock on the door. Xu Luoyang went to the doorway to look, lowered his voice and asked Qi Chang’an, “There is no one outside, should I open or not open?”
“The last time they delivered a script, it was the same way.”
“Could it be that the script has been updated again?” Xu Luoyang opened the door carefully and saw a white card on the floor. He bent down to pick it up and smiled as soon as he read the handwriting, “It’s really Director Zhang.”
The card was neatly written, “Chang’an and Luoyang, in order for you to experience life better and understand your roles, I’ve contacted an old carpenter in Qinli Town, named Zhuang, for Chang’an, and the tuition has been paid, but accommodation and food are not included. For Luoyang, there’s an old retired detective in the town’s police station, surnamed Xiang, you can go with him to learn more.”
At the end of the card were the names and contact details, and the appointment was scheduled for two days later.
When Xu Luoyang finished reading it, his expression excited but when he tilted his head to look at Qi Chang’an, his smile slowly faded away and he hesitated, “Your neck… it’s red.” In fact, not only his neck, but also the exposed part of his arms were red in several places, and the skin of his collarbone and the back of the neck were also flushed.
“It’s nothing, it’s just an allergy, I’m going to apply medicine.” Qi Chang’an’s expression didn’t change, as if he had expected it.
Even a demon could be allergic? But now there was no time to analyze this complicated question. Xu Luoyang squeezed the card tightly and spoke seriously, “Are you allergic to dog hair… or to the lake water?”
The day after Qi Chang’an arrived, he realized that Qi Chang’an didn’t like physical contact with people and had some cleanliness issues, but now he realized that it didn’t seem to be that simple.
Seeing Qi Chang’an looking at him, Xu Luoyang thought for a moment, “Because since we left home, we haven’t eaten or touched anything, the only accidents were the dogs and the not-so-clean lake water.” And such a large area of allergy, was most likely caused by the lake water.
Sensing his partner’s guilt, Qi Chang’an was a little unsure of what to say at this point. Before jumping into the water, he knew there was a high chance he would be allergic, after all, he knew how bad his health was, but he didn’t hesitate at all.
— It was a consequence of his own decision, and he didn’t want Xu Luoyang to feel sorry or guilty.
After thinking about it, Qi Chang’an simply suggested, “Can you rub the medicine for me then? I can’t touch my back.”
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