Arc 6: Interstellar Art Soldiers Chapter 12
In the evening, Tao Yuan carried a paper bag and went to Zuo Lei’s room, then headed straight to the bathroom to take a shower. Zuo Lei sat outside waiting for him.
Half an hour later, Tao Yuan finally came out.
Zuo Lei immediately looked up, and this glance made his blood rush to his brain, making him feel hot all over his body.
Tao Yuan was dressed in a lace little red dress, wearing black thigh-high stockings on his feet, with his wig and makeup all done. He leaned against the wall, smiling at Zuo Lei. His sexy and seductive appearance made him look like an enchanting fairy.
“What are you up to?” Zuo Lei swallowed hard, his eyes scanning Tao Yuan up and down.
Tao Yuan took steps closer to him and said, “I prepared a special performance just for you. This is a treatment that only you can enjoy. Don’t you want to see it?”
“You, you stop right there, don’t come any closer.” Zuo Lei stepped back, keeping a wary eye on him.
“What’s the matter?” Tao Yuan looked at him with innocent and pitiful eyes. “Why are you so afraid? Is there something wrong with the way I look? Am I ugly?”
Zuo Lei took a deep breath, thinking to himself that it was precisely because Tao Yuan looked so good, good to the point of being not just tempting but also attracting people to commit crime.
“Anyway, don’t come any closer for now, or the consequences will be severe,” Zuo Lei averted his gaze, afraid that he wouldn’t be able to control his impulses. He had already wanted to lock Tao Yuan away, away from anyone’s sight, but now, with his current appearance, the impulse became even stronger.
“We’ve done everything we should do, why are you pretending to be innocent now?” Tao Yuan said discontentedly. “I rarely want to treat you to something special, if you miss this chance, there won’t be another one.”
“Luo Xi, go change out of this outfit first, I need to talk to you,” Zuo Lei really wanted to see, he was trying hard to control his gaze and not look over, or else he wouldn’t be able to control himself.
“Fine, I’ll change it, but you better not regret it,” Tao Yuan said, putting his hand behind him. “But before I change out of this outfit, I have something good to show you. You have to keep your eyes wide open and see it clearly.”
Zuo Lei looked at the hand behind him and asked, “What is it?”
“Take a good look,” Tao Yuan quickly lifted his skirt, then asked, “Do you like it?”
Zuo Lei widened his eyes, and the last strand of restraint in his mind broke. He quickly walked over, picked up Tao Yuan, and laid him on the bed, passionately kissing him.
“Mmm…” Tao Yuan tried to speak, but his mouth was blocked. After waiting for a while, when Zuo Lei started kissing down, he was finally able to speak, “Didn’t you ask me to change out of this outfit? Why are you holding me down?”
“Wait until we’re done, then you can change,” Zuo Lei continued.
“Weren’t you going to tell me something?” Tao Yuan continued to ask.
“Wait until we’re done,” Zuo Lei’s actions became more and more intense.
The lace shorts that Tao Yuan was wearing were discarded on the floor, and the skirt was torn by Zuo Lei. The two of them were now soaking in the bathtub in the bathroom.
Tao Yuan had already removed his makeup and was comfortably leaning on Zuo Lei’s body, completely relaxing and enjoying the moment.
“What do you want to tell me?” Tao Yuan asked with his eyes closed.
“If I make our relationship public, would you agree?” Zuo Lei asked.
“For now, I don’t mind either way. Anyway, not making it public is just temporary. It’s a matter of time before we go public. Haven’t you already let your mother prepare for our wedding? Once the wedding takes place, even if we wanted to hide it, we couldn’t,” Tao Yuan replied.
“You’re right, let’s just go with the flow,” Zuo Lei sighed.
“What’s the matter?” Tao Yuan raised his head back, touching his face, and asked, “Why do you suddenly want to make it public?”
“Because many soldiers are already preparing to pursue you. I want them to know that you are already mine,” Zuo Lei said.
“With so many regulations in the fleet, it’s difficult for them to get close to me. How can they pursue me?”
“As long as they want to, they will naturally find a way.”
“Then let them be. Anyway, I’ll just reject them all,” Tao Yuan said.
Zuo Lei lowered his head and kissed his cheek, saying, “I really want to lock you up, so that no one except me can look at you.”
“If you lock me up, you won’t be able to see me whenever you want,” Tao Yuan said. “You should focus on your promotion. After I retire as a literary officer, I will also work hard to pass the assessment and become a clerical officer, so that I can be with you all the time.”
“I thought the same,” Zuo Lei kissed him again, then hugged him and walked outside.
Three days passed, and Erman asked to meet with Ke Ning every day, but Ke Ning always found various excuses to avoid meeting. Erman knew very well that, on the spaceship, Ke Ning had nothing else to do except for the daily physical training with the soldiers. Even if he was truly busy, it was impossible for him not to have time to meet with him, especially when they were on the same spaceship.
Erman had a bad feeling about it, and just when he hesitated to invite Ke Ning, Ke Ning took the initiative to meet him.
After sitting down at the small table, Erman ordered a cup of coffee and waited for Ke Ning to appear.
Ke Ning opened the door to the booth and locked eyes with Erman before sitting down.
Erman stirred his coffee, feeling even more uneasy because of Ke Ning’s expression.
“Erman, I…” Ke Ning had already decided to clear things up with him before coming, but when the words were at his lips, he couldn’t say them.
“Say what you want to say. I am mentally prepared,” Erman said. He felt that it was better to let Ke Ning speak his mind rather than keeping him on edge like this.
“Let’s break up,” Ke Ning finally said the most important thing he wanted to say today.
Erman closed his eyes. Even though he had mentally prepared himself, his heart still throbbed with pain.
“If that’s the case, why did you break up with Luo Xi in the first place and then got together with me?”
“I’m sorry. I made a hasty decision.”
“Was I one of your hasty decisions?” Erman’s heart ached even more. He worked so hard to win this person over, thinking that he would love him even more, but little did he know that after just two performances, Ke Ning had already taken back all his love for him.
Erman had already guessed that Ke Ning must have gone to see Luo Xi’s performance. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have reacted this way. He had tried to stop Ke Ning from attending the performance because he wasn’t confident enough in their love and was afraid of this happening, but it seemed that fate had its way.
“I’ve been seriously thinking about it these days, deep inside my heart, I still love Luo Xi. If I continue to force myself to be with you, it wouldn’t be fair to you. So, we should part ways, it’s better for both of us.”
Tears streamed down Erman’s face. “Have you really thought it through? Even if you love him more than me, even if you break up with me, are you sure he will come back to you?”
“I will do my best to make up for the mistakes I made before and win back his heart. But before that, I need to end things with you. I’m truly sorry, but I can’t deceive my own heart. Continuing to be with you would only bring both of us pain.”
“He won’t come back to you, even if you continue to pursue him, because he is already in a relationship with someone else, and that person is much better than you. You can’t compare to him.”
“Luo Xi is in a relationship with someone else?” Ke Ning asked in surprise. “Do you know who that person is?”
“I…” Erman put his hand on his thigh, clenched his fist tightly. He felt conflicted because he thought that if he revealed who Luo Xi was dating, Ke Ning might give up on the idea of winning him back. After hesitating for a while, he decided not to disclose the information. “I don’t know exactly who it is. I just overheard that he is dating someone, and that person is quite impressive and very powerful.”
“I have made up my mind to win him back. No matter who he is dating, nothing can stop me.”
“Since that’s the case… then let’s break up.” Erman said with pain in his heart, but he pretended not to care and appeared very composed.
“I’m sorry, Erman, truly sorry,” Ke Ning looked at him with guilt and apology.
“It’s okay,” Erman pretended to be magnanimous and unaffected, saying, “Who hasn’t had a failed relationship? It’s better to end it early than to continue making mistakes. Go and pursue the person you truly love, I’ll bless you both. You must be together, so my withdrawal won’t be in vain.”
“I will definitely win him back. Thank you, and I’m sorry,” Ke Ning felt even more guilty towards him. In Ke Ning’s heart, Erman was genuinely a good person, and if he hadn’t realized that he loved Luo Xi more, he might have continued with Erman until marriage.
In the past two or three days, Ke Ning hardly slept. Every time he closed his eyes, he could only think of Tao Yuan’s face, switching between charm and innocence, and his elegant figure as he danced. The regret of abandoning this person weighed heavily on his heart.
After careful consideration, he realized that the person he truly loved had always been Luo Xi, and his feelings for Erman were only guilt and novelty. He believed that if he forced himself to be with Erman, both of them would become more and more miserable. It was better to break up as soon as possible and let Erman find new happiness.
After Ke Ning left, Erman covered his face and cried in pain. Tears streamed down his face, but he didn’t make a sound. He just wanted to cry and mourn the love that had passed away in his heart but didn’t want anyone else to hear.
In Erman’s heart, he thought, just as his brother had said, love obtained through scheming and tactics from others is more likely to break. The more he loved Ke Ning, the more his heart ached now, but he didn’t regret the things he had done before. At least he had experienced it. They were both still very young, who could say what the future held?
After the entire ship’s performance, Tao Yuan truly became famous, just as Lin Ya had said. The live recording of his performance was uploaded to the website for literary soldiers’ performances. This is a site accessible only to soldiers. Once the video was uploaded, the views skyrocketed.
Tao Yuan suddenly received a message from Ke Ning asking to meet, giving him a sense of inevitability yet also surprise. He didn’t know why Ke Ning wanted to meet suddenly, nor did he care about the current situation between Ke Ning and Erman. He had no interest in knowing, so he simply blocked Ke Ning.
Seeing the notification of being blocked on the communication device, Ke Ning knew that Tao Yuan probably didn’t want to talk with him at the moment. But, he wouldn’t give up easily. He had already made up his mind to win Tao Yuan back.
In two days, the ship would arrive at the Border Constellations. After that, Tao Yuan will have more performances, and the time he spent with Zuo Lei would definitely be reduced. So, Ke Ning tried to make the most of the time they had together now. But, Tao Yuan couldn’t stay in Zuo Lei’s room for too long. They had to show up in the dorm area as well. Even when they were apart, they would chat through the communicator, as if they had endless things to talk about. They had already planned their future life together.
Tao Yuan and Lin Ya were sitting side by side on the sofa, one drinking red tea while looking at the communicator, and the other sipping iced coffee and doing the same. They didn’t speak to each other, each absorbed in their own world.
Suddenly, they heard the doorbell ring, and Lin Ya got up to answer the door.
“What are you doing here?” Lin Ya looked surprised at the person standing outside.
“I have something to tell Luo Xi.” Erman said.
Lin Ya glanced back at Tao Yuan.
Tao Yuan didn’t even lift his head and said directly, “I don’t want to listen to whatever you have to say. Just go away.”
Lin Ya turned to Erman again, “You heard him. Leave.”
“I came to apologize to you, and there’s something very important I need to tell you. If you don’t listen, you’ll regret it for sure.” Erman said urgently.
Tao Yuan smirked and said, “Something that I’ll regret if I don’t listen? Is it about your breakup with Ke Ning? No wonder he suddenly messaged me. Well, tell him that I’ve found a better partner now and I’m not interested in him anymore. As for who the better partner is, you know it well, so you can just tell him directly.”
“It’s not about that. I really have something important to tell you, just ten minutes, and I’ll leave immediately after that. Then, I won’t be bothering you anymore.” Erman pleaded.
Tao Yuan closed the communicator screen and told Lin Ya, “Let him in. You stay outside for ten minutes and then come back.”
Lin Ya nodded, stepped aside to let Erman in, and then left, closing the door behind him.
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