Picked up by the Protagonist of a Tormented! MC Novel - Chapter 75
Zeno heard Xiao Wu, but he did not have the spare time to pay attention to her. He was truly frightened that Xi Wei had met with a mishap, and those feelings overwhelmed his entire frame of mind. Thus, he disregarded all else and went directly to look for Belle.
Belle didn’t make him wait long before the door squeaked open, and Zeno stood there with his fists clenched as he tried to restrain his emotions. He asked, “Towards Xi Wei, what did you say? Where did he go?”
He glared angrily, his lips were tightly pursed, and it was evident that he found himself extremely uneasy and indignant. Belle narrowed her eyes and replied in a disdainful and cold tone, “Am I supposed to be that boy’s nanny? Such a big guy with hands and feet of his own, would he need to inform me of wherever he goes? You ran all the way to a completely unrelated woman in the middle of the night to ask after another man! How stupid!”
The hot-headed Zeno calmed down a little. He knew that Belle was right. Xi Wei had left on his own. He had not been kidnapped by Belle, so Zeno was obviously making trouble without reason. However, he had felt since the beginning that Xi Wei had only left after speaking with her, so Belle should know something. At the very least, Zeno needed to know the content of their interaction.
Consequently, he still stubbornly inquired, “Belle, I know that you have bad intentions. Certainly whatever you said to Xi Wei caused him to disappear.”
Belle just looked towards him and sneered, “That’s right! It’s what I said, so if you want to know, then beg me!”
Xiao Wu finally woke up. She gathered together her messy long hair, then tried to pull Zeno back, but he shook her off. She could only stare blankly at Belle.
Belle’s mannerisms and behaviours had become extremely different. Although she was also arrogant in the past, it was the kind of arrogance and conceit displayed by a noble and virtuous young girl. Her current ruthless cold-bloodedness gave off an evil quality that differed greatly from her previous self.
Xiao Wu pursed her lips, but in her heart she became increasingly sympathetic. It must have been that the plague demon had tortured Belle in every possible way, causing huge changes to her temperament.
For a moment, she did not know the proper action that should be taken.
The scene sunk down into a concerning state, and Zeno and Belle continued looked at each other face-to-face. Neither seemed willing to concede to the other. Belle maintained a disdainful expression, leaning against the door frame to watch things play out. She enjoyed seeing the struggle of this young Shadow Race member. It was clear that he desired revenge, but he forcefully restrained himself.
At last, Zeno finally hung his head low, “Please.”
Belle laughed neurotically, and with a wave of her hand, she reached out and broke a piece of wood off of the door frame. She pressed the splintered edge of the wooden chunk forcefully against Zeno’s chin. Her movements were crude, and a red bead of blood emerged from the spot where his delicate skin was punctured. “Did you think uttering just one word would be enough?”
Looking at Belle’s eyes that were filled with repressed emotions and madness, Zeno took a deep breath and slowly descended into a kneeling position, “Miss Belle, please tell me.”
Xiao Wu was completely shocked. This student named Zeno, why was he going so far?
Weren’t they, weren’t they nothing more than classmates?
Regarding their degree of familiarity, Zeno, whom she had just just been acquainted with not long ago, naturally could not compare with Belle-jie. Even the favourable impression Xiao Wu currently had of him had originated from the little girl with same name from her childhood. Owing to the regret and tenderness Xiao Wu felt towards that little girl, another shred of goodwill had been passed on to the present-day Zeno. Watching as Zeno’s straight figure kneeled, an old memory rose to the surface of her mind.
That was when she was ten years old. That filthy little beggar was kneeling in similar fashion in front of her door, beseeching her to save a little girl. She did not expect that, after so many years, that memory remained as clear as if it was yesterday. Even the ice-cold drops of rain that splashed onto her cheeks when she opened the door and the discoloured wounds under Xi Wei’s tattered clothing were all vivid in her mind.
The images of Xi Wei and Zeno subtly overlapped in her mind. Xiao Wu absent-mindedly thought that, if the little girl from that time was still around, would she go to the same level as Zeno, or would she put even more of her heart into it?
Even so, Belle was dissatisfied. Instead, she became more and more angry. Having such deep and unchanging feelings being displayed in front of her was like a knife stabbing into her heart.
Since it was my beloved that died, why are you making such a public display of infection?
Zeno did not think so much about it. For Xi Wei to have disappeared after talking about a transaction, if it was not 100% then if must be at least 90% related to that transaction. It was impossible to turn a blind eye to and just obediently wait for Xi Wei to take who-knows-what risk before coming back. At the very least, he had to beg until he found out what was going on.
Belle was filled with anger, and in her hatred she placed her foot against Zeno’s shoulder and kicked him to the ground. She felt that it was still not enough to express her resentment, so she discarded the chunk of wood, and began to choke him with that same hand that had just been lacerated by wood splinters. He was firmly held down on the ground. She had dually cultivated her magic as well as her strength. Zeno was not her opponent just on the basis of strength alone, so he could only glare up at Belle in silence with unyielding eyes.
You’re willing to die for him, is that it? Then go to hell! Who cares if you’re some royal family or demon catalyst or whatever!
That was a bit excessive, but Xiao Wu has no way to do anything. Setting aside her magic skills, her fighting skills could not compare to Belle. No matter what she could not remove the slender white hand that choked Zeno. And if she wanted to use magic? That was impossible too. Xiao Wu had a pure light attribute which just so happened to be strong against Zeno’s dark magic physique. The two people in front of Xiao Wu were so close, it was impossible to separate them without hurting somebody.
The Light Saint had never encountered such a difficult situation. She could only shout loudly as she pried at Belle’s grip, “Belle-jie, let go first!”
Belle turned a deaf ear.
On the one hand, Zeno struggled, while on the other hand he locked eyes with Belle and stammered out, “Let…go…”
His desire to survive erupted, and Zeno condensed a fine needle of mental power and stabbed it towards Belle. His heartbeat was rapid, like the beat of a drum, as he tried to think about the things that Uncle Hill taught him. He focused his thoughts, and launched a ‘curse’. The Shadow Race’s innate ability was to control others with verbal spells, but Belle’s mental strength was powerful. He did not have much confidence in himself, not to mention that he was still quite young.
Fortunately, God still pitied him. The small wooden case of tarot cards worn on a chain against his chest amplified his mental strength. Belle was indeed affected, and the hand that had tightened around Zeno’s neck gradually loosened.
The malevolent expression of anger on her face slowly faded.
Zeno coughed harshly a few times. He had almost suffocated just a moment ago. As a member of the demon race that also possessed half human blood, he only inherited the magical gifts of the demons. His physical capabilities were no better than ordinary human magicians.
Now was not the time to dwell on such things. He took advantage of Belle’s spirit being invaded, and quickly posed the question he wanted to ask, “What deal did you make with Xi Wei?”
Belle looked somewhat dazed, but still instinctively replied, “I told him about the demon catalyst, and in exchange he will help me find the Stone of Destiny1.”
“Demon catalyst?” Zeno and Xiao Wu asked in unison. Zeno wanted to continue questioning, but Belle was already clear-headed. According to her mental strength, it was already a miracle that Zeno could control her, even for such a short period.
After Belle sobered up, she seemed a bit confused. She clearly remembered that she was squeezing Zeno’s neck just a second ago, but in an instant she had relinquished her grip and was standing back from him. She looked at Xiao Wu and then looked at Zeno again. In her head she knew that something wasn’t right, but she was unwilling to show weakness, so she yelled, “Get lost!”
She lifted her hand, and a “Dazzling Light Technique” shot towards Zeno’s face. Evidently, Xiao Wu had not anticipated that she’d become so capricious. Saying she’d attack, and she attacked. There was no time to recite any spells to defend with, and in that moment of peril, a pale, delicate hand grabbed Zeno’s shoulder and pulled him away from the magical attack range. Zeno was still somewhat frightened. He turned and wanted to say thank you, but his words stuck in his throat.
Tang Yu yawned and seemed to be very sleepy. “You don’t sleep at night, what are you playing at here? Even the magic has come out. If the palace of His Royal Highness Xia An was not so cold and empty of attendants, I’m sure they all would’ve come here by now. Then you’d be going as a prisoner to have a meeting with security. After all, this is still the imperial palace.”
Zeno felt very awkward after seeing it was him, not knowing if he should treat him as a man or a woman.
My cousin has a man’s body and a woman’s heart, it can’t get anymore confusing than this.
However, it was precisely because everyone took him for a girl that he would stay in the women’s courtyard, and so was able to promptly grab and save Zeno in time.
After a long time under Tang Yu’s silent glare, Belle finally calmed the beast that snarled in her heart. She cast a sinister glance at Zeno, and then slammed the door and shut everyone out.
At that time, Zeno felt a thin layer of cold sweat that had appeared on his back. Although the dazzling light technique was not a powerful magic spell, because of its light attribute, it was enough to cause Zeno serious harm.
Tang Yu’s arm was still wrapped around Zeno’s shoulder. Even if he understood that Tang Yu was genuinely of the male gender, the visual and sensory impact made Zeno bow his head in order to escape quickly from under his arm. He could only give an embarrassed thanks.
Conversely, Tang Yu did not seem to be particularly concerned. He probably thought that Zeno was concerned about male and female separation.
Tang Yu went back to his room to sleep, completely indifferent to the night’s abnormalities. Zeno could not help worrying, and he was very vigilant. Xiao Wu looked at Zeno solemnly, “What happened?”
Zeno was quite helpless. He knew no more than Xiao Wu except for the small detail that Belle was not a good person, but the source of his information was difficult to talk about.
He was forced to stammer out, “Xiao Wu-jie, you don’t think Miss Belle has become…has become strange?”
In the moment, he could only freely share what was on his mind.
Xiao Wu knit her brows and carefully pondered over the reunion with Belle. They first found her with the plague demon. Belle was riddled with scars from head to toe and her appearance was totally miserable. She had clearly been subjected to torture. After that, she personally had a hand in stabbing the plague demon, then went into coma, and disappeared again. She then returned again with great difficulty. Although her wounds had all disappeared without a trace and they could not see even the slightest abnormality, however, the discrepancy between the impressions she formerly and currently gave off was immeasurable.
Remorse and sympathy occupied Xiao Wu’s heart. She said sincerely to Zeno, “Who knows how much torment she suffered in those years she was kidnapped and held captive by the plague demon. With the way she is now, my heart simply aches and aches for her. She just recently escaped, and hasn’t been able to adapt her mentality yet, so that’s why her character has become eccentric, and why she was a bit cruel to you. I apologize to you in her stead. I will carefully accompany her in the future to help her stabilize her mood, but you were too rude and impetuous today. Xi Wei is not a child. Even if he goes out in the middle of the night by himself, it doesn’t merit you making such a big fuss over such a small matter.” (T/N: Sen and I were both feeling very WTF over this lol…small matter)
Anyone who didn’t know Belle’s innate character would feel that he was making a fuss about nothing. Zeno had no choice but to suffer in silence, so without a better option he could only nod. Xiao Wu was such a kind-hearted girl, and would never guess that others could be so malicious. Therefore, because she was a noble young lady, she had even been eager to help the two little beggars. That quality was genuinely especially rare and precious.
Seeing his absent-mindedness, Xiao Wu inclined her head and raised her chin, resuming her energetic appearance. She patted his shoulders casually, “Rest assured. I knew that big bastard Xi Wei when I was young. He was the only one to continuously make others suffer losses. If others tried to push him around, they would not have an easy time of it.”
Zeno got the news he wanted, and didn’t speak. He returned outside the door of his room and glanced at the still open door of Xi Wei’s room. He thought about it and then stepped forward into Xi Wei’s room. It was cold and deserted, and it felt just like Xi Wei. He held the thin quilt, noting that Xi Wei’s scent still remained, and felt at ease.
With his mind set at rest, he arranged the clues he had obtained.
Belle had put forward a new term, ‘demon catalyst’, which was something that did not exist in the book. Even so, it was obviously very important. In the present, regarding the spring time around Xi Wei, due to the butterfly effect of Zeno’s transmigration, just about all the flowers had floated away. For the time being, it was hard to say if Xi Wei actually was bent. Belle was unable to deceive him with false affections as a means to locate the Stone of Destiny, so in the end she thought of using a transaction.
There was something on Xi Wei’s body that Belle had noticed and it was closely related to the Stone of Destiny.
However, in the original work, there was nothing other than the ring that, for the protagonist, would equate or exceed the value of the Stone of Destiny. Thus, Belle had not wanted to trade for it in the book, but had wanted to directly set a trap and easily reap the rewards.
Demon catalyst. The demon catalyst could not be a good thing. Why did Xi Wei care so much? Unfortunately, his “curse” was at an insufficient level, so he could not get any more information. At the present, he would just wait for Xi Wei to return. Although he acted impulsively and was fed a loss by Belle, at the least he did not end up empty-handed.
He turned it over and over in his mind, but Zeno realized he was muddle-headed. Surrounded by that familiar scent, he did not wish to snap out of it.
Xi Wei looked at the guy who suddenly ran from next door into his bed. He was silent for a moment, then softly and quietly lay down on the other side of the bed.
Zeno had something weighing on his mind, so he woke up a bit earlier than usual. As soon as he opened his eyes, he found a magnified, peacefully sleeping face.
Reaching across the empty space between them, he used his finger to trace Xi Wei’s outline, and there was a faint sense of satisfaction in his heart. Perhaps what he wanted to pursue was just this kind of happiness. Xi Wei’s fate was destined to be far more than mediocre. Zeno had done his utmost to prevent him from suffering from a few of the hardships while accompanying Xi Wei along his journey thus far. Even if it hadn’t been many, even if it really hadn’t been all that much, it was all worth it.
On account of falling asleep, Xi Wei’s outline seemed softer than usual. In fact, he was usually genuinely quite good-looking. There weren’t many unsightly male protagonists from XX-publisher novels. Otherwise, so many beautiful people would’ve had no reason to approach him in waves and waves, and the girls from school would not have named him a male god, although it was past tense.
It’s just that due to Xi Wei’s nature, he did not like to stay in the spotlight. He always hid himself intentionally or unintentionally, trying to reduce his presence. That was because he believed that whoever clamoured died sooner.
Looking at him, an indescribable feeling pervaded him and his heart started pounding. Zeno swallowed a mouthful of saliva, and inexplicably drew closer. As the dragonfly touches the water lightly he planted a kiss on the other’s lips, then withdrew like a thief. He stuck out his tongue and lightly ran it over his own lips while he contemplated. It was not the first time they had touched their lips together, but whether it was the first day they met and Xi Wei was feeding the baby by mouth, or later when Zeno fed him his own blood, there were no wicked desires involved. This was the first time. A certain adult-minded guy was secretly kissing the one before him with a “not pure” mind.
Zeno slowly took a deep breath and once again closed his eyes. He thought to himself as a smile played at the corners of his mouth. It doesn’t matter that you may not love me now, so long as I am the most important one to you, it is unlikely that someone could replace me. We have quite a long time together to come, so I will slowly teach you how to love me. All the love you never received, I will give it all to you.