Getting Outsmarted By The CEO - Chapter 88
Chapter 23.1 (TL: Bara Chou)
In the quiet of the night, the phone speaker seemed extra clear. Gu Ming sat on the bed, reflecting on that whole exchange.
Even now, he was still disoriented. Usually, Gu Jue only ever went on video calls for meeting conferences and the like. Since when did he video-call other people of his own volition?
So, the whole point of this late-night call was the band-aid? … No, no, no. Not the f̲u̲c̲k̲i̲n̲g̲ band-aid.
Gu Ming denied that conclusion as soon as it popped up.
Then, he realized, the emphasis was on Gu Jue’s last line.
What did he say…?
“It was my girlfriend. She got so worried and insisted on the band-aid… in fear of infection.”
“!!!” Realization washed over Gu Ming like a bottle of mint extract, overstimulating him. His eyes widened, “f̲u̲c̲k̲i̲n̲g̲ ̲h̲e̲l̲l̲! I didn’t mishear that right? Girlfriend???”
Gu Jue nodded while keeping the same expression— wearing a faint smile and a little pink flower.
There was a hint of disdain in his expression as well, “Is your memory really that bad? Didn’t I post a picture in the group chat just this weekend?”
“But Dad said you Photoshopped that!” Gu Ming defended himself, “he said that it’s your excuse to not meet the girl from the Lin family. Well, either you photoshopped it, or you asked a random girl to help you with those shots.”
“…” Gu Jue didn’t want to respond. Looks like he cried wolf too much in the past 20 years, that no one would believe him even though the “wolf” was real this time.
Especially the one who helped him cry wolf.
He felt faint, unable to prove Ruan An’an’s existence with her person right now. So, he could only put on the most sincere and honest expression. “Brother, it’s really real this time. I’ve been pursuing her for over a month now.”
Gu Ming was dumbfounded.
“It’s really real…” He accidentally let his true thoughts slip out, “ you know, I’ve always thought that you’d pick an auspicious day, and…”
Gu Jue continued his sentence with a smile, “slap a marriage certificate in our parents’ faces?”
“No,” Gu Ming shook his head, “I thought you were gonna come out of the closet.”
Gu Jue: …
Gu Ming was telling the truth.
When he was young, Gu Ming had wondered why Gu Jue was so popular with girls even with a nasty personality. Then, as he grew older, he realized it was all thanks to Gu Jue’s beautiful face.
Gu Ming practically watched him grow up. When Gu Jue was little, he had big eyes and a small face. People often commented on how he was prettier than a girl. Later, when his growth spurt hit and his soft features slowly gained the sharpness of a young man, it marked the start of puberty which was filled with other people’s hormones.
No matter who went after him, or how they went after him, Gu Ming had never seen his younger brother pay anyone any attention. Gu Ming had found some of the suitors quite pretty, and asked about them out of curiosity, only to find that Gu Jue hadn’t even bothered to remember their names.
This type of mega hottie, who never dated at the age of twenty-some… who wouldn’t get the wrong idea?
But with what happened tonight…
Gu Ming decided to trust “Gu Jue got as girlfriend” as a fact. Following this logic, which meant, Gu Jue called him tonight…
To show off.
Gu Ming couldn’t believe how insufferable his brother was being.
Had entering a relationship stripped away all his sense of shame?
“I forgot about the time difference just now,” Gu Jue’s voice pulled Gu Ming out of his thoughts. Gu Jue continued at a leisurely pace, “I feel bad about interrupting your precious 4 hours of sleep. How about this, I’ll take care of a part of the files that you don’t finish looking over tomorrow.”
Gu Jue was visibly happier, “that’s more like it.”
Gu Jue nodded, “I’ll end the call, then. You can go back to sleep. Next time, I’ll make sure it’s daytime for you.”
Gu Ming wanted to say something, but the screen was already showing “the call has ended”.
Recalling Gu Jue’s last words, his smile froze.
There’s a next time?????
After a whole series of similar conversations, Gu Jue predicted that he was about to get blocked by a lot of people. He also received plenty of cusses. A thing named Xue Zhao was still hurling insults at him in their group chat even after so long.
However, he didn’t mind any of it. Au contraire, seeing these sad and lonely souls get angry made him feel refreshed.
He finally fed the orange cat after being satisfied with all the calls he made.
He looked at the dumbly cute face of the cat and suddenly felt the urge to tease him.
“Dummy,” he scratched the cat’s chin. The cat closed his eyes in comfort. Gu Jue quietly asked, “do you know who put this band-aid on?”
“…” The orange cat remained silent.
Gu Jue put the food bowl in front of Dummy to lure him close, only to raise the fish-shaped bowl high before the cat could reach.
He asked again, using the food as a bribe, “once more, the band-aid on my face, who put it on?”
Dummy widened his eyes and meowed loudly in frustration.
“That’s right, it’s mommy. Good boy.”
The next morning, when Qiu Yan and co. arrived at the classroom, only Gu Jue was in the last row where their group often sat.
He had a black jacket on and was looking down at his phone. They were too far away to make out his expression.
Chen Song walked up first. “Morning, Gu God—” His tone suddenly took a turn. “Oh my god! What happened to your face?”
Qiu Yan and Lian Hao heard the commotion and rushed over.
Lian Hao spat out a “F̲u̲c̲k̲!”. Qiu Yan, on the hand, wasn’t that shocked. On the contrary, the moment she saw Gu Jue’s face, all she could think of was how cute the flower was, sitting on the face of a dream guy who exuded alpha energy.
Gu Jue thought back. Classes ended not long after he put on the band-aid, and he hadn’t seen the trio since. They probably didn’t know about the wound.
To keep the wound sanitary, Ruan An’an gave an extra band-aid after sticking one to his face. So, Gu Jue removed the old one after calling all his friends and stuck on the new one this morning.
Where in the world did his girlfriend get these cutesy band-aids? Yesterday’s flower was pink, and today’s was blue.
Earlier, the Sports Committee member had expressed his concern for Gu Jue’s face when he passed by to grab his books… and so, Gu Jue took the chance to explain the story to his fellow classmate.
Now, faced with three more single dogs, he felt obliged to explain the story again.
TL/N: being single is often considered sad and depressing, thus, single people are often referred to as “dogs”
Gu Jue put down his phone and put on a friendly smile.
Starting with “I didn’t put this on” and ending with “in fear of infection”, the story was exactly 30 seconds long.
After Chen Song and Lian Hao heard the story, everything seemed off about the little blue flower on Gu Jue’s face. They felt dizzy from the bedazzling aura.
However, Qiu Yan the Shipper remained unharmed. If anything, it felt like she just downed a whole bottle of sugar.
She opened the forums once she got to her seat and found the “new thread” button with ease. Before she started typing, she muttered excitedly.
“… RuanGu is real!”
Ruan An’an woke up 20 minutes late today, barely making it to class on time, as the instructor had already set up the projector when she arrived.
She greeted Gu Jue as she took her seat. She noticed the very eye-catching cute little flower Gu Jue’s face and let out a chuckle.
“It can’t be… your face still hasn’t healed?”
Gu Jue nodded with a misleading sincereness, “yeah, there’s still a red mark.”
Ruan An’an paused for a moment.
She thought Gu Jue only accepted her band-aid because he had no other choice. After all, it wasn’t very Gu Jue-like to walk around with a flower on his face.
But now… It seemed even more out of character for him to have a band-aid on for a red mark.
Had her understanding of him been wrong this whole time?
Could he be a sensitive-princess type instead of the self-empowered type of hot university student?
Of course, she only secretly considered that question to herself. Ruan An’an took out her notebook and pen while thinking of searching up how long it takes for a paper cut to heal.
Before she could unlock her phone, a strong fruity smell wafted to her nose.
She turned to look. Gu Jue was holding a lollipop to her mouth. “Here.”
Ruan An’an followed his words naturally and opened her mouth.
Today’s candy was apple flavored.
After a few seconds of savoring the candy, she asked what she had been wondering for a while, “I’ve been wanting to ask, why is it sometimes a lollipop and sometimes some other candy? How come it’s always different? Like, do you have a rule or something?”
“You haven’t noticed?” Gu Jue pulled out the lollipop from his mouth, “there is a rule, and the rule is that you get whatever I’m eating.”
“As the saying goes, the wife follows—”
Before Gu Jue could finish his sentence, Ruan An’an grabbed the lollipop he was holding and shoved it back into his mouth. “… right, right, I get it already.”
The more she acted that way, the more Gu Jue wanted to tease her.
So, he leaned even closer.
Ruan An’an watched as the little blue flower on a handsome face drew closer.
“You get bashful this easily?”
“Blushing over an idiom?”
“It was only an idiom this time, what if in the future—”
… F̲u̲c̲k̲, the things he’ll say!
Ruan An’an thought it was normal to be bashful, being in love for the first time and all.
Is that shamelessness of his normal?!
Ruan An’an was about to have a mental breakdown over the possibility of more unfiltered phrases coming out of his mouth. Once again, she repeated the same action from earlier to silence him.
“… Just eat your candy!”
With the candy in his mouth, Gu Jue looked at his girlfriend, whose eyes were glaring and ears blushed pink. Oh, how painful it was to hold back his chuckles.
But he knew any more teasing would just push her away, so he obediently muted himself.
Five minutes into the lecture, Ruan An’an noticed the two pens on her desk and realized she hadn’t passed one to a certain someone yet.
Unexpectedly, after she slid a pen over to his desk, Gu Jue refused it for the first time.
The “blackie” that had accompanied him through so many classes dropped on the desk with a “thud”. “No need, I don’t need to spin a pen today.”
The instructor was lecturing in the front while the pair chatted away at the back.
“Huh?” Ruan An’an was surprised and whispered, “didn’t you say, every time during class…”
“That was before.” Gu Jue interrupted her.
What’s different now?
Before she could ask, she felt something around her wrist, then, her hand was pulled towards him.
His hands completely enveloped hers. She could feel every inch of her hand being touched and squeezed. Sometimes soft and other times forceful, but not to the point of hurting.
Ruan An’an was stupefied.
Still making no moves, she watched as Gu Jue lifted her hand to his lips and swiftly landed a kiss.
The soft cool sensation lingered on the back of her hand.
After the kiss, Gu Jue hid their conjoined hands under the desk again, playing with her hand as if giving a massage.
He blinked at her, his light-color pupils shining. His lips curled up in a nice arc and his low-pitched voice exposed his amusement.
“… Why would I need a pen when I’ve got a girlfriend.”
And so, Ruan An’an’s hand stood in for the pen as a toy. It felt nice, for sure, but her hand was a bit weak after… it probably went numb from all the stimulation.
To be honest, though, even if universities were much more relaxed about what students do… stuff like holding hands during class still seemed extra thrilling.
Digital fixations are real. Someone get me a BF so I can play with his hand!!
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