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2 Onii-chan and Xiaotong-chan!

 The light above them was dazzling whilst thunderous applause pounded their eardrums.

'Where am I?'

Liu Zilang raised his hand to cover his forehead and squinted his eyes. Through the falling confetti, he spotted a black-haired teenager donning a black mask seated on the left side of the stage. The teenager was hunched in front of a computer screen whereby his shoulders would continuously twitch suddenly.

There were also four seats beside him where a group of older-looking teens sat, their faces as equally expressionless as his.

The only way to describe the atmosphere there was desolate, as if everything there was dead or forgotten. Compared to the chaos of the rest of the Nuo Grand Stadium, this seemed rather out of place.

As he looked at the boy seated in front of the computer, Liu Zilang felt a strange sense of familiarity.

He subconsciously wanted to get closer to get a better look.

However, at that very moment, a horde of reporters armed to the teeth rushed to the front of the stage. The reporters were rather trigger-happy with their cameras as they mercilessly swarmed the area beside the stage.

Several blonde teenagers could vaguely be seen standing in the contest area on the other end of the stage. They smiled as they waved at the cameras and fans below.

The second this happened, the audience roared to life as they cheered enthusiastically. As they did this, they also got up to leave their seats and charged toward the stage in chaos.

Liu Zilang's lost his balance as he was shoved about by the tidal wave of people. In a panic, he lifted his head and looked toward the stage once more.

At this point, the young man in the black mask who was earlier leaning over his computer had just raised his head.

It was then that their eyes met. His eyes turned red as tears began to streak down his face.

Liu Zilang froze. The reason why he felt a sense of familiarity in those eyes was because he would normally see them several times each day.

They were his eyes.

...

'My skin is still burning from your touch!'

'Oh, I just can't get enough!'

The phone beside his bed suddenly rang, jolting Liu Zilang awake.

He looked around him to see a white room and a spotless bed. The blinds by the bed billowed gently in the wind, making a soft rustling noise as they did so.

Lights, cameras, banners, and the most dazzling FPS (TL Note: First-person shooter) in history - Clash of the Titans...

All of a sudden, everything that had happened seemed to be distant.

"Another f*cking dream." Liu Zilang rubbed his forehead and chuckled. He turned his head to face the ringing phone on the nightstand and saw a caller-ID flashing on its screen - 'Xiaotong-chan'.

'She forgot her keys again?'

Liu Zilang stroked his chin and groaned inwardly as picked up the phone to answer the call.

"Hey, what's up?"

...

Silence...

...

There seemed to be no one on the other end of the call, but he could still make out a faint breathing sound on the other end of the line.

He said 'hello' a few more times and waited about ten seconds for a response from the other party. Nothing.

As he was not a patient person, Liu Zilang got fed up and barked, "I'm going to hang up if you don't speak up."

"No, don't!" A soft, crisp voice cried out on the other end of the call.

"This girl." Liu Zilang mumbled. "Finally willing to talk, huh? What's up?"

More silence.

Just as Liu Zilang was about to hang up, he heard a stuttering voice. "O... open the door."

'She really has forgotten her keys again!'

Liu Zilang was speechless when he heard this. However, at that instant, he smirked.

He struggled to suppress his laughter as he spoke slyly, "Hmm... I could open the door, but you need to ask nicely. Call me... bro. Onii-chan would do too."

The phone went silent again. A moment later, he heard the call disconnect. She had hung up on him.

"Hey!"

'This little brat! Is it so hard for her to call me 'brother'?'

Liu Zilang rubbed his face and thought about whether or not he was really that unlikeable.

'When I first entered college not long ago, there were a group of female seniors arguing over who would get to help me move. But now...' He frowned. 'Could it be that my face works wonders on onee-sans but is ineffective on lolis?

'Pfft! A good-looking guy like me should be able to attract anybody, regardless of age. That brat just has no taste. Yeah, that must be it!'

...

'If you don't refer to me as brother, then you can sleep outside!' Liu Zilang thought maliciously as he flopped back down on his bed.

Of course, these thoughts were just fantasies - he wouldn't actually dare do such a thing.

Besides, he couldn't imagine what his stepmother's reaction would be if he really did lock the brat out. He would no doubt receive a swift kick to the fact if his father were to hear of this.

Liu Zilang's father was always dressed in a well-fitted suit and a crisp, neat tie. He wore a pair of gold-framed glasses and seemed very much like your run-off-the-mill successful businessman.

However, when triggered, he would turn into a real Mr. Hyde.

...

After angrily rummaging through the bed, he found the baggy trousers that he had thrown aside last night, as well as a random T-shirt to wear. With a head of messy hair akin to a bird's nest, Liu Zilang went to the door to begrudgingly open it.

Before opening the door, he got a bright idea and took a look through the peephole.

At the entrance stood two girls who looked about twelve or thirteen. They were both carrying school bags.

One was a petite and cute girl dressed in school attire whilst sporting a ponytail. She looked like a typical pre-teen schoolgirl.

The other was dressed in the same uniform but looked slightly older. She wore black-rimmed glasses and looked like a goody-two-shoes.

At that moment, the two girls stood before the door, chatting away.

The one with glasses would turn back from time to time to peer at the door. Occasionally, a fleeting expression of doubt would appear on her face.

As for the one with the ponytail, she seemed absolutely oblivious as to their current predicament. Evidently, she was not worried at all that the door would not open.

Liu Zilang could not help but clench his jaw and seethe. 'This brat is really taking advantage of me.'

...

"Click!"

Liu Zilang opened the door.

However, he did not step aside. Instead, he leaned against the doorframe and flashed a bright smile that made him seem like a kind boy-next-door.

Normally, he might have been able to pull off the 'nice guy' image, however, his unkempt appearance gave his act away. Aside from his messy hair, and big, baggy pants, the dried rheum in his eyes that had not yet been wiped away clearly exposed his true nature.

Outside the door.

Upon seeing Liu Zilang, it could be seen with the naked eye that the petite girl who was joking just moments ago had now stopped smiling.

Witnessing this, Liu Zilang's eye twitched angrily.

'This brat sure knows how to manipulate her expression!'

On the other hand, the goody-two-shoes in the glasses was rather pleased with Liu Zilang. She was very polite when she greeted him.

'Forget it, let's not bicker with this brat!'

Liu Zilang forced a smile as he tried to appear harmless. He smiled at the loli in the glasses and exclaimed, "Oh! You must be Xiaotong's classmate. Welcome, welcome, do come in."

When she heard him say this, the loli in glasses tried to speak up but was promptly shushed by the other girl. She had tugged at her sleeves, signaling for her not to respond before looking up at Liu Zilang indifferently.

They didn't exchange any words, but they knew what each other were thinking.

'Two words: step aside!'

'F*cker! You humiliated me in front of another lolita!'

Liu Zilang was angered. He raised his eyebrow and heaved quietly as his eyes stayed locked onto his opponent.

'Stand your ground. You must assert your superiority!'

Liu Zilang's heart trembled with rage!

The day had come for this little brat to learn that a brother's love was no different than a stern father's disciplining.

However, Liu Zilang's rage immediately subsided when he saw the girl in front of him slowly whip out her phone from her bag. Naturally, it was not to call the police. Liu Zilang knew that she was going to use it for something much worse.

"Cough cough... hehe... what's that?"

Liu Zilang coughed twice. Then, he stretched out his arms and laughed nervously. "I'm actually just warming up, getting ready to exercise you see? Hey, Xiaotong, what are you doing standing there? Hurry up and bring your classmate in."

He shifted his body while he said this, quietly stepping away from the door in the process.

Zhang Xiaotong shot a glance at Liu Zilang and snorted, then she led the glasses-wearing loli into the house.

As he stood aside, Liu Zilang glared angrily at their direction as the swaying motion of his arms gradually decreased.

Above their heads, the sun was shining and the sky was blue. However, at that moment, Liu Zilang's heart was shrouded in darkness. It was rainy and wet inside his mind.

'Depressing! How utterly depressing!'

Liu Zilang immediately recalled the way the little brat was first introduced to his house by his step-mother.

Two braids, stilted demeanor with a pair of deep, beady eyes that constantly darted about in an attempt to size up its surroundings.

There was curiosity in her eyes, and also turmoil.

Liu Zilang originally had a game with his friend that day, but he was forced to stay home to do his chores by his father and as such, was feeling very annoyed.

He looked impatiently at the door as it was slowly pushed open. Moments later, he was face-to-face with a slightly panicked young girl.

After the little brat recovered from being dumbstruck, she took out a bag of bear-shaped biscuits from the backpack she was carrying. Although she was a little unwilling, she handed them over.

"Bro...brother, have some biscuits."

How did she address him back then? Did she call him 'brother'?

The cute pupil had now become a blooming junior high school student. Her attitude towards him had also made a 180-degree turn.

'This feels freaking awful!'

Liu Zilang helplessly paused for a moment. He knew very well that he had chosen to selectively forget certain details from their first encounter.

On that day, he did not only refuse to accept her good intentions. He also forcefully pushed her out of the door and slammed it on her.

He did not know that her eyes had been red for half a day after being helplessly shoved out of the room and getting the door slammed on her.

Had he been aware, Liu Zilang would woe the day he learned the meaning of 'what goes around comes around'.

...

Just as Liu Zilang was sourly reminiscing at the entrance, the cell phone in the pocket of his baggy trousers rang once again.

Liu Zilang took out the cell phone and realized that it was a call from his university roommate that he had met not too long ago, Pu Taizhuang.

"Langzi, what are you up to?" As soon as he picked up the phone, he heard a heavy Northeastern accent.

"Nothing, at home," Liu Zilang said while kicking the wall.

Having just been thoroughly humiliated by the brat, he was now thinking about what to do next.

Having heard the response, the other party on the call immediately exclaimed, "Damn! Come to school then! You know Aoxiang? We're all waiting for you!"

"Why are you waiting for me?" Liu Zilang asked hesitantly.

"To game, of course! We found a fun game that the entire internet cafe is playing."

After experiencing a past incident, Liu Zilang's passion toward games had dwindled. Thus, he was dismissive of their invitation. "No, I don't want to play LoL (TL Note: League of Legends). The last time I played, you and that bastard, Mantou almost got me killed."

"No! It's not LoL!" Someone shouted as Pu Taizhuang put him on loudspeaker.

He turned around to respond to that person then quickly returning to the call and hurriedly saying, "Just hurry up! We're short of one player. I'll see you in a bit."

The call went dead before Liu Zilang even managed to ask what game he was talking about. Thus, Liu Zilang was left staring blankly at the phone.

If he were to enter the house now, the brat would no doubt treat him horribly.

If there was no one else around then he would not have cared, but now there was a loli nearby. He had to protect his image, he could not let his reputation be destroyed.

He sighed aloud and did not reenter the house. Instead, he went out into the street and took a cab toward the school.

...

Zhang Xiaotong's room door cracked open not long after Liu Zilang left the house.

She took two bottles of fruit juice from the refrigerator in the living room and inadvertently glanced at Liu Zilang's half-opened bedroom door before walking back to her own room.

She took a few steps and suddenly stopped. Her ears perked up slightly as she listened in for any movements coming from Liu Zilang's room.

Dead silence.

Zhang Xiaotong hesitated at first, then she gave in and she tiptoed close to the entrance of the room. After this, she guiltily peeked into the room.

It was a messy room, with clothes strewn all over an unmade bed

Additionally, there was no one around.

"Hmph!"

Zhang Xiaotong snorted lightly and bit her lip.

At this moment, someone patted her shoulder from behind.

"Ahh!"

Zhang Xiaotong was shocked as she turned around to find her classmate staring back at her.

"What are you doing here, Xiaotong?" Loli curiously looked into the room Xiaotong was trying to peep into.

"N...Nothing." Zhang Xiaotong nervously waved her hand while pretending as if nothing had happened. She showed her friend the bottles of juice in her hand and said, "I came to get some drinks for you. Let's not stay here, let's go inside. We must finish recording the choreography and quickly upload it."

"Oh, right." Loli nodded blankly. Then, she suddenly turned and asked, "Oh right, Xiaotong, who was that person just now? Your brother?"

"No!" Zhang Xiaotong replied without hesitation.

She then turned to look at Liu Zilang's room and frowned. "He's a bad person. Let's not talk about him."

"Ah-choo!"

In the cab, Liu Zilang rubbed his nose.

'Were they cursing me?' He wondered. 'Will someone die later?'

He looked at the road stretching out in front of the car. The traffic during National Day was indeed congested, but at the moment it was actually quite bearable.

After greeting the cab driver, he laid back in the back seat and closed his eyes.

...

Liu Zilang was enrolled in the University of Jianghai and he would be considered by some to be a Jianghai native. The place he was living in at the moment was a piece of property purchased by his father before the property prices in the area skyrocketed.

Due to the fact that his house was within close proximity to the university, and also that his parents were constantly busy with business affairs and as such residing in another part of Jianghai, he lived alone with Zhang Xiaotong.

After an incident three years ago, Liu Zilang actually dropped out of school, even after he managed to enroll into the University of Jianghai. Naturally, his father was furious, and he fortunately managed to pull some strings and keep Liu Zilang enrolled with the official excuse for his absence being down to 'sickness'.

However, one should not judge Liu Zilang by his usual unbothered, derelict look.

In truth, he was known as a 'little prodigy' back in junior high.

There was good reason for this. Liu Zilang was not only head of the class academically in high school, but he was also three years younger than his classmates.

Although he could not fare against the true geniuses who entered the Chinese Academy of Sciences at the age of twelve to thirteen, the fact that Liu Zilang was accepted into the University of Jianghai at the tender age of fifteen still caused quite a stir among his family and friends.

Liu Zilang's father, Liu Yigang, was incredibly proud at the time. He hosted a banquet and gave Liu Zilang a generous red packet.

However, the next day when he woke up...

Liu Zilang was gone.

...

Liu Zilang slumped back in the car with his eyes shut as he thought about the past.

The cab slowed down after a while and finally came to a stop in front of the door of a swanky internet café.

Liu Zilang paid the cab driver and opened the door.

There were three people at the entrance with their arms hooked around each other's neck. Their eyes lit up the moment they saw Liu Zilang arrive and they immediately went up to him with a smile on their face.

...