All of Ou Shaowen’s good mood instantly dissipated at this moment. He lowered his head, his fists unconsciously clenched, “Has your heart started to hurt again recently? When are you going to have the surgery, I’m ready to cooperate at any time.”
Here we go again, this stupid kid started again.
“No, I’m fine, I’ve never been able to go to such occasions.” Ou Renjin said perfunctorily, “As for the surgery, it will be arranged within three to five years.”
“Okay.” Ou Shaowen relaxed a little. Yes, he could still stay outside for five years. Ou Renjin was afraid that he would be in pain and wanted to delay the surgery a little longer. When Ou Shaowen was thinking about it like this, although there was still a little bit of vague worry in his heart, he was mainly tasting sweetness.
“I’ve seen your straight shot, very handsome!” Ou Renjin complimented him. He seemed to have learned how to look at the camera with the most seductive eyes. “The kind of handsome that makes one want to hold your sweaty face and kiss it.”
Ou Shaowen pursed his lips, feeling that there was a little man in his mind who jumped up with joy, but his tone was still very calm, “That’s because I was looking at you at the time. You said you would watch the show. I looked around under the stage and didn’t find you, so I just looked at the camera.”
Ou Renjin paused, “…the emotion you were trying to express was felt by all the audience along with me.”
After all, his eyes were hailed by the audience as the eyes of someone “you won’t last 10 seconds before you want to sleep with him.” Now he said carelessly that he was looking at him. Was it a roundabout way to seduce him?
“By the way, your fans sent a lot of gifts to the company, saying they were for you.”
“Uh-huh. Gifts, flowers, letters. Even though the company has issued a statement saying it will not accept gifts over 200 yuan, there are still lots and lots of them, piled halfway up in the storage room. When you get back, you can sit there and take your time opening them, enough to keep you busy for days.”
“Really? Are you sure they all are for me? Why would they give me gifts when they don’t even know me?” Ou Shaowen was happy and confused; he didn’t quite comprehend the mood of the so-called fans towards their idols, not quite understanding this kind of unexplained and unrequited liking.
“Because you’re attractive enough. You don’t know them, but they already know you.”
In this dark corner of the stairs, Ou Shaowen chatted with Ou Renjin in a low voice for almost half an hour before hanging up.
His empty heart was easily filled with a few words, and he still felt content as he stuffed the phone under his pillow and fell asleep.
With the aura of being a natural idol after just three months of dance lessons, enough footage on the show and the special status of Ou Renjin’s boyfriend, Ou Shaowen won first place in the first ranking with an almost overwhelming avalanche of votes.
Smooth sailing, and well-deserved so.
After recording the show for so long and everyone’s nerves on edge, before the second stage performance, the programme team specially gave them time to unwind. They generously booked a whole hot pot restaurant for them to eat, drink and have fun. After putting a small camera at each table, the crew also went to the second floor to eat, and everyone completely relaxed, the noise becoming louder.
Song Yijiu ranked 19th this time. If it weren’t for the fact that he followed Ou Shaowen for a lot of shots and attracted the attention of a small group of cp fans, maybe he wouldn’t be able to take this position. It was already a very satisfactory ranking for him. He good-naturedly served food to everyone there, and half a plate of beef was quietly thrown into Ou Shaowen’s bowl by him.
Ou Shaowen was the least comfortable with this kind of noisy occasion where everyone was talking. He lowered his head to concentrate on eating, and when he raised his head occasionally, his gaze was wandering over countless heads, only to fall on the most conspicuous TV screen in the hall.
At the moment, the daily evening news was broadcast on TV, regarded as a boring background sound by more than sixty vigorous young men, with no one paying attention.
In the awkward interval between quickly solving the ingredients on the table and waiting for the food to be served, Ou Shaowen stared intently at the TV screen for a while before his eyes slowly widened and his brow furrowed, his whole face revealing a look of incomprehensible, overwhelming trepidation.
“What’s wrong?” His expression was somewhat bizarre, and Song Yijiu turned his head and looked at him in some panic. He followed Ou Shaowen’s gaze but did not see any horrifying scene. The dignified and elegant female presenter on TV was solemnly telling about the failed experiment in the country’s medical field, which was not really special news either.
“At present, researchers have yet to determine the cause why the artificial heart suddenly stopped. The patient’s family members are in a stable mood and have expressed their willingness to donate the patient’s remains for follow-up research. This is the third artificial heart transplant attempted in our country that has successfully extended the operational time of the artificial heart from twenty-three days to one year and five months. Perhaps figuring out why the artificial heart suddenly short-circuited and stopped beating is the key for the great medical researchers to extend the operational time of the artificial heart from one year and five months to three, five years, or even longer.”
“Hey, you’re looking too serious here.” Zhang Houyue raised an eyebrow at Ou Shaowen’s indescribable expression, “Nowadays, medicine is getting more and more advanced, maybe one day, all the organs of a person’s whole body can be artificially made, and which one is broken can be replaced, and everyone can live to be a hundred years old, how nice.”
Ou Shaowen was still stunned, as if he had lost his soul.
After dinner, everyone got on the bus and prepared to go back to the dormitory. Song Yijiu saw Ou Shaowen still looking like he was immersed in his own world, and frowned worriedly, “What are you thinking about? You’ve been distracted since a while ago.”
Ou Shaowen’s thoughts seemed to finally be pulled back from the chaos, and he turned his neck somewhat stiffly, his voice sounding sharp and with a bit of uncertainty, “Did we… only have an artificial heart transplant for the third time?”
Song Yijiu laughed, dumbfounded, “You’ve been thinking about this for so long, you scared me to death, I thought something happened to you! The news said so, that must be it.”
“However, I clearly remember that the artificial heart technology has long been mature.” Although due to material limitations, even the most high-end biological material artificial heart could only maintain its function for three to five years, but the technology of secondary transplantation and replacement had long been developed, and those rich people who were really unable to match successfully usually used this method to extend their lives for six to ten years.
For heart patients, two transplants was the limit of what they could do. So, from what he had learned through the fragmentary conversations of the laboratory researchers, the question of how to break through the limits of the materials and make them last longer had been the subject of research all over the world.
As for the laboratory, they were also working on this, but on the other hand they did not want to see any breakthroughs in outside research. After all, for them, who owned the “organ petri dish”, a heart simulator that lasted two or three months was enough for Ou Shaowen to grow another heart and sell it again to the wealthy people who were still attracted in droves to the hidden “organ trade” because artificial hearts did not last long.
This, and this alone, he could not be mistaken about.
He had helped the lab experiment with countless “artificial hearts” bought from the outside world, in various styles and materials, and he could be sure that at least… at least, there was no way the technology could have been as paltry as only three experiments.
From the beginning to now, there had been many times when he felt strange and puzzled. Everyone he met seemed to prefer old-fashioned mobile phones; the equipment he had seen in the laboratory was never seen in the outside world and the names of medicines he was once familiar with were rarely heard of. He would have vague thoughts flashing through his mind but he felt unfamiliar with so many things, and the world he had seen was so small that he naturally had an inexplicable awe of everything in the outside world.
It was different because it was outside! The colourful world was certainly not the same as the bleak world of the laboratory.
The researchers also always boasted that some of the technologies in the lab were years more advanced than the ones the outside world had. But he had no idea how big a technological gap of a few years should be, and so had never seriously considered it until…
He saw the news. It was the area he was most familiar with, the thing he was most sure of, and now his cognition was shattered.
Song Yijiu shrugged, “I don’t understand such a high-end topic, but I guess you might have seen fake news. There is a lot of exaggerated fake news on the Internet nowadays, TV news broadcasts are more credible.”
Ou Shaowen shook his head with a strange expression.
When he got out of the bus, Song Yijiu struck up a conversation with the person next to him, and when he turned around again, Ou Shaowen was gone.
“Why is he so strange today!” He tilted his head and let out a “tsk”, ready to go up and catch him for a proper questioning.
Ou Shaowen was hiding in the bathroom, holding the phone that Ou Renjin had asked someone to give him secretly, searching for news about artificial hearts over and over again using various keywords, and the more he looked, the more different it was from everything he knew.
It was as if he had been running, his heart beating so fast that a fine layer of sweat broke out on his forehead. He took a deep breath and violently pressed the phone, back side up, onto his lap.
But why? Why did the facts existing in this world were completely different from his knowledge?
Was his memory faulty, or was… was he in a strange and completely different world?
Having finished yet another meeting full of disagreements and long-winded discussions, Ou Renjin returned to his office to finish half a cup of tea and suddenly realised that Ou Shaowen hadn’t called him for a long time.
The recording of the second stage evaluation was finished two days ago, and although there was still a long way to go before the episode was officially broadcast, the audience who had enjoyed the performance live was already full of repo, and according to them, Ou Shaowen’s performance for evaluation, which was chosen to be a dance, did not seem to get the highest number of likes in the dance group. The first place was taken by a popular idol with years of singing and dancing experience.
Before their public performance, Ou Renjin thought that Ou Shaowen must have trained hard, and after their public performance, he thought he might have needed time to calm down from his first defeat. But it had been two days and still there was no call.
He clicked on the fan-cut of Ou Shaowen’s personal footage from the latest episode to rewatch, and in just a few days the members of his group seemed to have drawn closer to him, all excitedly preparing a collective trick to scare Ou Shaowen and see his frightened look.
When Ou Shaowen passed through the dim hallway, the lights suddenly went out, and a group of people popped out wailing like ghosts. When the light came on again, Ou Shaowen’s whole body trembled violently, but he didn’t make a sound and didn’t back away, just standing still and staring at everyone in a daze.
Everyone laughed loudly, satisfied enough. Ou Shaowen stood still, and then slowly showed a faint smile.
It was as fresh as dewdrops in the early morning of spring.
Ou Renjin was silent for a while, shook his head and let out a soft “tsk”. It was the easiest time for young men in their twenties to develop friendships, so it looked like next time he wouldn’t have to go through all the twists and turns to ask the staff if Ou Shaowen had been bullied.
He let out a soft laugh and closed his computer.
“Go to the airport.” Getting in the car, Ou Renjin said to the driver and closed his eyes in silence.