Chapter 5: I didn’t lose


Xu Tangzhou saw Ling Che and froze: “……”


As a former model who walked on the runway, Xu Tangzhou was relatively tall among the Omegas, reaching 1.8 meters*.
However, Ling Che was much taller than him.

(TN: 5ft 11in)


Before when he sat on the sofa, Ling Che had an arrogant attitude.
Now when he stood in front of Xu Tangzhou, Xu Tangzhou realized that Ling Che was taller than him by more than half a head.
According to the textbooks, the difference in build was an inborn advantage of grown Alphas.
When needed, the Alphas would clamp on their partner’s nape and use an overbearing and dominating posture to ruthlessly and fully mark their partner.

Xu Tangzhou didn’t know why his thoughts wandered in that direction, and he quickly dispelled his wayward thoughts.


He was a little abashed: “Sorry for bothering.
May I borrow the phone in your room?”


Ling Che stood there, still wearing the clothes from earlier.

He didn't seem like he would let Xu Tangzhou into the room as his expression became colder and colder.


Xu Tangzhou had no choice but to point to the opposite door to clarify the truth: “I live in the opposite room.
I just left to help my friend get hangover medicine and forgot to bring the room card.
When I came back, I found out the door was locked.
He drank alcohol and I couldn't wake him up, so I wanted to borrow a phone to call the front desk.
I didn’t expect that you were in this room.”

If he knew earlier, Xu Tangzhou would’ve definitely never knocked on this door.

Ling Che arrogantly looked down at this person.
He was thinking: how someone could act so naturally when meeting their ex after breaking up.

So, didn’t this mean that he was the only one who still cared?


“Forget it.
Sorry for bothering you.” Xu Tangzhou was embarrassed to death.
He took a step book and with a front of indifference said, “I’ll find someone else who will help.”


Who would’ve thought that after he took a few steps, Ling Che’s voice sounded from behind him.

“Come in.”


Xu Tangzhou looked back in surprise, not believing his ears.


Ling Che coldly said: “Dressing up like this, who else do you want to disturb this late?”

After speaking, he took the lead and entered the room without minding Xu Tangzhou’s reaction.

Xu Tangzhou almost forgot that he was still wearing a bathrobe.
When he looked down, his face instantly had a light blush.
This type of appearance truly was a bit unprofessional.
It wouldn’t have been good if he was misunderstood by others.

Luckily, Ling Che originally didn’t like him.
Xu Tangzhou, who didn’t think that he could look any worse in front of him, only quietly tightened the neckline of the bathrobe before entering the room.

Now it should be fine!


Ling Che’s room layout was exactly the same as his.

However, only the bed lamp was on.
The warm tone of the light looked very tranquil, and Ling Che’s pheromone scent made the room seem like an invasion of warmth.

Once Xu Tangzhou entered the room, he felt as if he stepped into a predator’s territory.

S-rank Alpha, as expected.
They’re powerful creatures like the rumors claimed.


Ling Che’s tall figure walked up to the tea-table with a lit laptop placed on top.

He seemed to value privacy, promptly closing the laptop and speaking in a lukewarm tone: “I unplugged the phone line.
Plug it back and make the call.”


“Thank you.” Xu Tangzhou swiftly replied, “I’ll be quick.”


The phone on the nightstand was unplugged.
After Xu Tangzhou half-knelt on the carpet, he found the outlet to plug the phone line underneath the nightstand.

During this process, Xu Tangzhou suddenly understood why Ling Che did this.
It was probably because he was too annoyed from being bothered.
He once heard that some reporters would invade the private lives of artists at any cost.
The more popular the person, the less freedom they had.


The phone line was plugged in.

Xu Tangzhou didn’t dare to delay, finding the room service number from the phone book.


Within these four years, Ling Che never would’ve thought that Xu Tangzhou would here, appear in his room, appear within reach as if he could be touched with just another step.

He thought that he’d never see Xu Tangzhou ever again.

After Xu Tangzhou broke up with him.


From his perspective, he could only see Xu Tangzhou’s back.

Xu Tangzhou already took off his choker, but that white nape was tightly covered by the bathrobe.
One was unable to catch the slightest glimpse of that gland.
Ling Che suddenly felt a little regret.
He shouldn’t have reminded this person to properly put on his clothes, otherwise, he could see the mark on the glands left by this person’s Alpha.

It definitely wouldn’t have looked as good as the one he made.

If it were him, he would definitely give that gland the most perfect bite mark in the world.


“It won’t go through.”

Suddenly, Xu Tangzhou looked behind him and spoke.


Ling Che naturally glanced up from his phone screen, as if he had never peeked at the other person: “What?”


Xu Tangzhou was still half-kneeling on the carpet, holding the receiver.
The light making his eyelashes cast a shadow over his eyes: “The line is always busy.
I called several times and it wouldn’t go through.
Are there any other lines not plugged in?”

Ling Che probably shouldn’t have unplugged any other lines?


Ling Che walked over, too lazy to respond.

He took the phone receiver from Xu Tangzhou’s hand and raised it to his ear while making the call.


Xu Tangzhou’s hand went soft*, he didn’t dare to breathe, let alone say anything in objection.
He could only obediently wait until the owner of the room confirmed it.

(*TN: comes from 吃人嘴短,拿人手软, literally ‘your mouth will be shorter if you eat people, and your hand will be softer if you take people’ which is a saying that means if you take something, you should reciprocate something kind back.
I used the literal translation, but just know it comes from this phrase)

It was the first time the two were this close after meeting.
He didn’t realize his body gave off a faint fragrance, as the scent thoughtlessly drifted directly to Ling Che’s nose.


“Did it go through?” Xu Tangzhou waited for a while.
Once he turned his head, his face flushed red, “……”

The two people were very close to each other, one standing and one kneeling as his face was also facing towards a certain location.
Their postures seemed a bit too weird!


Xu Tangzhou silently turned his head back around, pretending as if nothing had happened.


Ling Che didn’t take notice.
He confirmed that the call wasn’t able to connect and put the phone receiver back: “Maybe the spam calls by the paparazzi are holding up the line.
This group of people are so bored that they’re policing others.
What’s your agent’s number, I’ll call him.”


“I don’t know.” Xu Tangzhou stood up, “…
It was saved on my phone.”

The point was that he didn’t bring his phone.
If he had brought his phone, he wouldn’t need to ask Ling Che for help.

Xu Tangzhou’s heart crumbled to pieces.
This unlucky streak was really endless, and this year wasn’t even his birth year*.

*(TN: Remember from the last chapter that Mercury Retrograde = unlucky.
Also, it's a Chinese superstitious belief that you’ll have horrible luck in your birth year, which comes once every 12 years.
One of the ways to offset this bad luck is to wear red, which is why people wear red during their 12th, 24th, etc Chinese New Year celebrations)


Ling Che didn’t say anything, only walking back to the table, picking up his phone, and dialing his assistant Xiao An’s phone.
He said Xu Tangzhou’s room number and told Xiao An to go get a room card.
He took care of the situation cleanly and efficiently.


“Ten minutes.” Ling Che told Xu Tangzhou, “Xiao An will bring you the room card.”

“Thank you.” Xu Tangzhou thanked him sincerely.


Ling Che tossed his phone away and without any extra words, bluntly said: “When you go back, first memorize your agent’s number.
As an artist, you won’t always be able to find others for help.
If you meet unexpected situations, it’s best to let your agent or assistant take care of them.”


This time, Xu Tangzhou realized that Ling Che was kindly reminding him as a senior.
He felt flustered because they were complete strangers, yet he made the other person’s assistant run an errand for him as well as troubled the other person to personally teach him the basics.

Ling Che wasn’t as bad as he thought.


“Move aside.” Ling Che didn’t look at him again and flatly said, “You’re blocking the light.”

Xu Tangzhou stood in front of the bed light and quickly stepped aside after hearing his words: “My apologies.”


The two people didn’t say anything else, and there wasn’t anything else to be said.

Xu Tangzhou scratched his head: “Then… I won't bother you.
I’ll wait outside.”


“……” Ling paused for a moment, and indifferently said, “En.”

(TN: En, which I will keep in pinyin from here on, is a hum of agreement)

The empty sofa was right next to him, was this person blind?

If he didn’t sit, then fine.


Xu Tangzhou took a few steps, couldn’t rein in his curiosity, and stopped walking: “That, are the rumors real?” This question perplexed him the entire night.
Was the attitude Ling Che had towards him just like what the media claimed: because he discriminated against Omegas?


Ling Che understood this question: “What do you think?”

He didn't expect Xu Tangzhou to think like this.
Wasn’t Xu Tangzhou the clearest whether or not he discriminated against Omegas?


Xu Tangzhou thought for a while, and said sincerely: “Based on your music, I don't think so.”


Ling Che did not speak nor did he refute.

Xu Tangzhou left for real this time.
Before leaving, he thanked him again and closed the door gently.


Ling Che finally let out a sigh and pinched the bridge of his nose.
He almost blurted out the words “What are you doing, listening to my songs?”

There was still a trace of fragrance left by Xu Tangzhou lingering within the room.
Ling Che already confirmed that it was just the fragrance of the hotel shower gel.
He did not smell the scent of any other Alpha on Xu Tangzhou's body.


After a while, Ling Che flipped open the laptop that he shut before Xu Tangzhou entered the door.

He didn’t like being interrupted in what he was doing, even though he was just browsing Xu Tangzhou's Flow homepage.


Xu Tangzhou zzV: Happy New Year!

The number of comments under this post has already gone over 10,000.


Ling Che clicked on it and looked at it.
Sure enough, there were a lot of comments wishing Xu Tangzhou a happy birthday.

There were also a lot of little asteroids who left comments there.

Ling Che did not open a social media account.
Those fans of his should’ve finally found a breakthrough point, frantically wanting to express their concerns.
After reading a few comments, Ling Che finally discovered a link to a recording left by someone.

This should be the replay from the live broadcast that made Xiao An laugh out loud in the car.


Opening up the video, Xu Tangzhou’s dazed and sleepy face appeared in the frame.
He was very natural and relaxed, almost as if looking from a lover’s perspective: “Happy New Year everyone, thank you for your blessings.”

Xu Tangzhou adjusted the camera while talking.
He was wearing loose-fitting pajamas, and his snow-white neck could be seen flickering in and out of the frame as the camera was moving.


Ling Che watched only these few seconds and closed the page.

This clip made Xu Tangzhou’s appearance, with an open neckline as he opened the door, flicker nonstop before his eyes.
It took him a long time before he could calm down his strong craving.


He wanted to bite.

Very much so.

Nearly out of control.


It was currently January 2nd, two minutes past midnight.

It was a full two minutes past Xu Tangzhou’s 22nd birthday.




Xiao An arrived with the room key within ten minutes.
Xu Tangzhou was so touched that he wanted to cry.
As soon as he walked in, Lu Jia was deeply asleep as expected.


Xiao An turned around and told Situ Ya, saying that Che ge went over the top.
He would toss such a lovely and fragile Omega outside to wait, not even letting him in.
He simply didn’t have any feelings for the opposite sex.


Situ Ya really felt as if she’d go bald because of this: Ling Che couldn’t be in late-stage straight A cancer yet?

(TN: play on “Straight man cancer” 直男癌, but this is “Straight Alpha cancer”.
To put it kindly, it’s derogatorily referring to someone who is stubbornly sexist.)


Wasn’t he just an ex-boyfriend after a breakup?


When Situ Ya went to Ling Che’s room in the morning, she didn’t pursue the topic and only asked with concern: “Should I mention your situation to Huang Qian?”

Ling Che replied: “Say what? Tell Huang Qian that I was the one who was dumped?”


Situ Ya: “……”

Ling Che: “What’s that expression?”

Situ Ya adjusted her shocked expression: “Why would he dump you, did Xu Tangzhou have poor eyesight?”

“Our fit was too low.” Ling Che’s expression remained the same, unable to detect any changes, “He met an Alpha with a higher fit after differentiating.
He was only marked.”


Situ Ya was suddenly surprised: “No wonder you…”

No wonder Ling Che had such a view on that matter.


“This is also something he can’t control.” After Situ Ya sighed, she wanted to quickly move on from the topic.
She thought of something else and said questioningly, “That’s not right, Xu Tangzhou was marked? But I saw his entry information for the company which said he is single now.”


Every Omega who has been completely marked will show their partner’s pheromones during the medical examination, but the medical examination form upon entering the company couldn’t be falsified.

Situ Ya thought of it: “I know why.
Unless he divorced and had a mark cleansing operation.”


The technology now is very advanced.
After the AO couples have fallen out of love and divorced, as long as they have money, Omegas could go to the hospital for an operation to remove their permanent mark.

That’s why Situ Ya made this guess.


Ling Che’s expression changed slightly.
No wonder he didn't smell any Alpha on Xu Tangzhou's body last night.


Situ Ya said: “Then you plan to–”

Ling Che interrupted her: “Former love.”

Situ Ya: “……”

“That's all.” Ling Che said, “No need to talk to Huang Qian.”

Situ Ya: “Very well.
If you don’t want me to mention it, then I won’t mention it.
I think Xu Tangzhou also doesn’t want to mention this, not even affected at the idea of working with you.


She finally moved on from the topic.


“This one is also not bad, but they aren’t a newcomer.
They are a little less fresh than that one, and their temperament also isn’t as good as that one.” Situ Ya pointed to the photo of the Omega on the screen.
She couldn’t resist comparing them to Xu Tangzhou, “Fortunately, he’s a cute type which means he already has his own image.
It could probably give the program group some ideas to play with.”


Situ Ya spoke for a long time until her mouth went dry.

The sky was dazzlingly bright as Ling Che held a cup of coffee thoughtfully.
No one knew if he was even listening.


Ling Che concluded: “This one isn’t good.”

“Not good again?” Situ Ya went crazy, “My goodness! Little gege, do you think this is a harem selection?”

(TN: gege will be kept in pinyin, it means “brother”, but it can be used for older males somewhat close in age who are close friends)


Ling Che tapped his finger on the cup: “There is a saying.
Didn’t it go ‘whoever cares more about reunion after a breakup, whoever loses?’”

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