For several minutes, Shen Wei remained silent, and Zhao Yunlan didn’t rush him. They sat motionless in the corner, and the ward was extremely quiet. One could almost hear the ticking of a watch.

After a while, Shen Wei suddenly sighed. With a wave of his hand, his hospital gown fell to the ground, and in the blink of an eye, he sat in a massive black robe. The Soul-Slashing Blade appeared out of thin air in his hand, and Shen Wei fastened the seemingly ancient weapon around his waist… This time, he didn’t cover his face.

“How did you know?” Shen Wei asked quietly.

Zhao Yunlan looked at him, uncertain of his thoughts. After a long pause, he finally spoke, “Actually, I wasn’t sure. I was just bluffing earlier.”

Shen Wei’s expression was indescribable.

Zhao Yunlan smiled and continued, “It wasn’t entirely a bluff. There were some clues. I entered the Han Ga tribe’s cave a moment ago, and your message-carrying puppet arrived shortly after. When I mentioned the Lantern Shadow, I didn’t say what it was for, but you immediately mentioned ‘Ferryman of the Hundred Souls.’ That reminded me of the ghost messenger who bowed twice to the front of the car before leaving. When I returned to the cabin and asked about your whereabouts, Zhu Hong seemed bewildered for a moment. It was as if she ‘remembered’ the existence of a person only when you appeared. I suppose you, as a higher-ranking official, must have reached ’that place’ faster than me. Also…”

Zhao Yunlan swallowed back the rest of his words about the gaze he saw in the cottage. Although that was the initial reason he started doubting Shen Wei, it wasn’t suitable to mention it in front of the “Soul-Slashing Envoy.” He paused for a moment before swallowing those words.

“And when your breathing and heartbeat suddenly stopped, I got curious. I investigated your origin on the Book of Life and Death, and it told me that ‘Shen Wei’ is a soulless being from an unspeakable place.” Zhao Yunlan lightly tapped his knee with his fingers. “So, it seems you’ve exposed quite a few flaws.”

The Soul-Slashing Envoy remained silent. He probably didn’t know what to say.

In fact, Zhao Yunlan felt a bit awkward. He regretted blabbering everything so straightforwardly. The good intentions he had toward “Shen Wei” before were something he wished he could forget now.

Zhao Yunlan pressed his temple, feeling like his IQ had probably shut down tonight. Everything he did was stupid.

The two of them remained in a silent confrontation for quite a while. Zhao Yunlan finally mustered the courage to face his embarrassing past and cleared his throat. “I never imagined Teacher Shen was… Ahem, capable of such absurd things. Your Excellency, I can’t compare with you.”

Shen Wei silently shook his head.

Although Zhao Yunlan’s doubts didn’t decrease, they actually multiplied. Unfortunately, when he saw Shen Wei’s somewhat confused and helpless expression, he couldn’t bring himself to ask anything else.

So, he went out to rinse a cup and lay on the small wire bed prepared for companions in the ward. The single bed was narrow and short, forcing Zhao Yunlan to curl up slightly, making him look a bit cramped.

As he lay there, feeling so cramped, he didn’t forget to casually instruct, “It’s late, so rest. If there’s anything, call me.”

As soon as he finished speaking, Zhao Yunlan remembered that the other person wasn’t actually a “patient.” He realized that he had been saying one wrong thing after another today.

Never before had Zhao Yunlan been so deeply and soberly aware of the miserable fact that he was an idiot. Determined to shut up, he turned to the side, closed his eyes, and pretended to sleep.

But it was a night when probably no one could sleep.

In the following days, Zhu Hong was the first to notice that Zhao Yunlan had become “obedient.”

Specifically, he no longer went out to have fun with that chubby guy, Lang-ge. He stopped babbling nonsense and making up stories. He even refrained from teasing Professor Shen for no reason!

Even when they applied for an expense allowance to visit the local night market, Zhao Yunlan casually waved it off, neither scolding them nor suggesting joining the fun.

During Shen Wei’s “reexamination” process, Zhao Yunlan would sit on the small single bed in the hospital room every day, holding a small tablet, surfing the internet or reading some peculiar information… The only unusual thing was that Zhu Hong overheard Zhao Yunlan secretly instructing Guo Changcheng to fetch his luggage left at the hotel and bring over a few changes of clothes.

Considering all these signs, Zhu Hong looked at Zhao Yunlan meaningfully, suspecting that something had happened between him and Shen Wei when he was drunk. Did it result in Shen Wei being brought to the hospital for rescue in the middle of the night?

Zhu Hong still had some doubts about this. Firstly, Zhao Yunlan had a high alcohol tolerance, and it was actually Shen Wei who got drunk that day. From her understanding of Zhao Yunlan, their state at the time was at most “a bit tipsy,” and definitely not to the point of losing control. Secondly, Zhao Yunlan had a good reputation when it came to relationships. Everyone who had been with him admitted that he was willing to spend money and not casually fool around. His relationships with his exes always ended amicably. She had never heard of any bad habits or incidents of him forcing anyone.

Could it be that Professor Shen’s charm was so great that it made Zhao Yunlan fall head over heels, leading to a passionate but non-consensual encounter?

Zhu Hong’s mind raced to find an explanation but couldn’t come up with one. She couldn’t help but feel sour and thought, “Is that Shen guy really that great?”

That night, Zhao Yunlan vaguely mentioned to Shen Wei to “cooperate” with the hospital. She didn’t know how Shen Wei cooperated, but after two days, the diagnosis came out, stating that his heart paralysis was caused by alcohol allergy.

Lang-ge, who accompanied them to the airport, understood the situation and immediately showed frustration, grabbing Shen Wei’s hand. “Brother, I didn’t know you couldn’t drink. I won’t let you touch a drop anymore!”

Every time Zhao Yunlan heard the fat guy call himself someone’s “older brother,” his eyelid couldn’t help but twitch.

While Lang-ge was talking to Shen Wei, he surreptitiously glanced at Zhao Yunlan’s expression. When he saw that Zhao Yunlan looked upset, he immediately let go of Shen Wei. “Let’s meet up next time. Lang-ge owes you a treat. I’ll blow two jin of tea right in front of you, and I won’t disappoint. What do you think?”

Shen Wei didn’t understand why “blowing two jin” would be considered an apology. He could only nod politely.

Zhao Yunlan reached out and picked up both their luggage, reminding them, “Time to go through security.”

Shen Wei quickly turned back and said, “I’ll do it myself.”

Zhao Yunlan moved to the side, silently carrying their luggage inside.

The Special Investigations Department’s mischievous team, led by Lin Jing, witnessed this situation. They made ambiguous coughing sounds, unable to understand the inner struggle their leader was facing. They all exchanged suggestive looks, collectively teasing Zhao Yunlan.

Lin Jing turned her head affectionately and asked Chu Shuzhi, “Are you hungry?”

Chu Shuzhi covered half his face with his boarding pass, acting coy. “Mm, I’m fine.”

Lin Jing said, “Then wait for me. I’ll buy you something to eat.”

Chu Shuzhi continued to cover his face, as if he had a toothache, and said with a whine, “Oh, don’t bother. They have food on the plane.”

Lin Jing imitated Zhao Yunlan’s manner and waved her hand. “Is that food meant for humans? Even if it is, can I let you eat that?”

… And then, at Longcheng Airport, Zhao Yunlan bought them “food meant for humans,” as requested.

Recalling the scene where their leader acted foolishly, the two wretched men exchanged a glance and burst into sly laughter.

Zhu Hong nudged Guo Changcheng with her elbow. “Hey, Xiao Guo, do you have a significant other?”

Blushing, Guo Changcheng shook his head.

Zhu Hong looked meaningfully at Zhao Yunlan’s back and said, “If you want to have a partner in the future, you should learn more from our leader. Make sure you become the heartthrob of the new era. Well, of course, if you want a lasting relationship, you should be selective in learning. His behavior afterward is usually not worth emulating.”

In the midst of blushing, Guo Changcheng vaguely felt that Sister Zhu was openly cursing their leader in broad daylight.

Zhao Yunlan turned his head and glared at them, while Lin Jing and Chu Shuzhi led a new round of mockery, going crazy with laughter.

The leader, feeling embarrassed with a bunch of troublesome subordinates, couldn’t express his various awkward emotions. He felt his face, which seemed impenetrable, was starting to heat up.

When they arrived, Zhao Yunlan specifically asked the flight attendant to change seats, but he acted like a fly buzzing around Shen Wei, embarrassing himself.

On the way back, Zhao Yunlan really wasn’t in the mood. However, they were assigned seats that turned out to be a pair, thanks to Lin Jing, who was responsible for changing boarding passes, kindly keeping them away from the others and seating them together.

When Lin Jing helped him with the luggage, she whispered in Zhao Yunlan’s ear, “Leader, no need to thank me.”

Through gritted teeth, Zhao Yunlan replied, “I curse your ancestors for eight generations.”

And his idiotic teammate wouldn’t let him off easily. After enduring three hours, the plane landed. Lin Jing noticed that Shen Wei didn’t drive over because he had brought his students. They probably took the airport express train. So, like a matchmaker, she warmly said to Shen Wei, “Since Professor Shen doesn’t live far from Zhao Chu, let him give you a ride.”

Zhao Yunlan: “…”

Silently, he turned Lin Jing, the little troublemaker, into a hedgehog in his mind.

Lin Jing indeed fell victim to that grudge, turning her face and letting out a thunderous sneeze.

Shen Wei smiled and said, “No need, I’ll take a taxi myself…”

Zhao Yunlan forced a smile and helped him with his luggage. “Let me give you a ride. It’s late, and it would be safer if I…”

He actually wanted to say “safer,” but before the words could come out, he unfortunately recalled the incident where he fought off the thugs in the alley for Shen Wei. He fought and even deliberately showed off, acting like a stupid peacock proudly displaying its tail.

Zhao Yunlan struggled to maintain his smile.

It’s really… a past best left undisturbed under the moonlight.

“Zhao Yunlan,” he turned around and walked resolutely towards the parking lot, saying to himself, “How stupid can you be!”

Zhao Yunlan drove the car in silence, heading in the direction of his own home, and accurately stopped in front of Shen Wei’s building. “We’re here.”

Shen Wei looked up at the residential building, sitting in the car without moving, and asked, “How did you know this is the place?”

Zhao Yunlan had no words to reply, so he could only force a chuckle.

Shen Wei glanced at him and suddenly said, “Actually, there are many things the Envoy wants to ask me, right?”

Zhao Yunlan remained silent, and their gazes met in the rearview mirror.

After a moment, Shen Wei lowered his eyes gently and said, “Then why don’t you ask?”

Zhao Yunlan remained silent for a while before saying, “The Envoy, under this disguise, must have a more important reason for being in the mortal realm. Is there something else significant?”

“No,” Shen Wei said, “It’s just my personal desire, just… for one person.”

At this point, Zhao Yunlan no longer needed to ask who that person was.