Before getting to know Ji Yao, Jiang Heng had never actively pursued anyone.

He was good-looking, had a good personality, came from a well-off family, and was generous in his actions.
He was admired wherever he went.
Moreover, in a circle where there were more wolves and people with questionable intentions, someone like Jiang Heng who knew how to care for people and never messed around was even rarer.

At their age and with their sexual orientation, most of them lived for the moment and got drunk.
In comparison, Jiang Heng’s “shelf life” was a bit shorter, but it wasn’t a significant flaw.
Many people didn’t care.

Jiang Heng had never lacked companions.
Before meeting Ji Yao, he was always given the “pre-packaged meal” that was delivered to his door.

He would pick out strangers who seemed pleasing and interesting, then naturally accept their affection and develop a sweet relationship, only to separate when the interest faded.

Pursuing someone was a strange experience for Jiang Heng.
Fortunately, Ji Yao wasn’t hard to pursue, although it wasn’t entirely simple either.

Jiang Heng had a keen sense of emotional perception.
As long as he wanted to, he could subtly understand a stranger’s likes and dislikes, and find the most comfortable way to get along with them in the span of an afternoon tea.

Compared to Jiang Heng, Ji Yao seemed more resolute.
His attitude and personality were consistent regardless of who he was facing.
He acted according to his own preferences.

Those who didn’t accept his ways thought Ji Yao was proud, while those who did couldn’t necessarily understand his personality.
As a result, Ji Yao’s reputation in the circle of friends was mixed, with both positive and negative opinions.

But for Jiang Heng, as long as he followed Ji Yao’s comfortable approach, the other person was easy to get along with.

—Moreover, he had external assistance.

Ge Xing was a seasoned matchmaker.
He felt fine being single himself, yet he was eager to set up all his friends.


After the welcoming party, Ge Xing keenly noticed that his old friend seemed to have a new target as soon as he arrived.
So, like a busy bee, he enthusiastically navigated through his network of contacts centered around his friend circle, and in less than a week, he had gathered a bunch of information about Ji Yao.

Jiang Heng looked at the PDF on his phone, somewhat speechless.

“A high-achieving student who completed a combined bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral program at Concordia University.” Ge Xing leaned on the table across from him, pointing and tapping the screen of his phone, teasingly saying, “He’s a year younger than you, but started school a year later.
He’s still in the middle of his studies.”

“Thanks,” Jiang Heng replied sincerely, “but I’m planning to pursue him, not apply for him as a research student.
I don’t need to know his personal resume.”

“Know your enemy and you can fight a hundred battles better.” Ge Xing disagreed, saying, “He comes from an academic family.
His parents are university professors.
His dad works at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and his mom teaches history.
They’re all intellectuals—so you should cater to his interests.”

Jiang Heng wasn’t very interested in this kind of background check, so he bypassed Ge Xing and walked to the filing cabinet to refile an old file.
He casually said, “Sure, sure, got it.
What else?”

“Also, according to my information, he hasn’t had as many ex-boyfriends as you.” Ge Xing turned around and sat on his desk, shaking his head as he spoke, “It seems he’s been in only two or three relationships—though none of them lasted long.
He probably doesn’t have any lingering issues, so you can approach him without worries.”

Jiang Heng: “…”


He hadn’t realized that Ge Xing had the potential to be a private detective.

“But your reputations are quite similar,” Ge Xing sighed, “And someone asked me to remind you not to get too serious with him, that it’s better not to develop real feelings.”

“Why?” Jiang Heng asked casually.

“He’s never in a relationship for long.
The reasons for his breakups are always mysterious, and no one knows when he might suddenly change his mind.” Ge Xing grinned mischievously, .
“I thought that’s perfect, you two can use the same tactics against each other, sort of like a tit-for-tat situation.”

Jiang Heng chuckled and said, “Do you see me as some sort of dangerous criminal?”

“I don’t feel threatened by you.
Our preferences in partners are different anyway,” Ge Xing waved his hand casually, saying, “I believe in polyamory, and that doesn’t conflict with you.”

“Alright, alright.” Jiang Heng said, “Polyamorous Detective Ge, do you need a fee for your investigation?”

“That’s unnecessary,” Ge Xing said, “If you two really get together, just remember to give me a red envelope.”

Jiang Heng lightly smiled and took his suit jacket from the hanger, hung it over his arm, and grabbed his phone from the desk to check his new WeChat messages.

“I’m getting off work,” Jiang Heng casually said.


“Getting off work so early? Let’s go out and have fun.” Ge Xing bounced off his desk like an excited little bee.
“It’s the weekend, and the horse stable over at the Dam has been expanded.
Let’s go for a couple of days.”

“I’m not going.” Jiang Heng tapped and typed on his phone’s screen, replying to a new message, “I’ve made plans with Ji Yao.”

Ge Xing fell silent for a moment, then asked humbly, “So, you don’t actually need me to play matchmaker, do you?”

Jiang Heng pocketed his phone and turned to him, giving a friendly and pitying smile.

Ge Xing: “…”

Jiang Heng had arranged to meet Ji Yao for dinner, but at the last moment, Ji Yao stood him up at the school gate.
Ji Yao sent him a WeChat message, saying that he encountered a sudden issue and would probably have to cancel their plans for the evening.

Jiang Heng parked his car in a spot where he could see the school gate and called Ji Yao, only to have the call rejected.

This seemed like an unexpected act of standing someone up, and if it were Ge Xing, he’d most likely have turned the car around and gone back by now, all while complaining to his buddies.

However, Jiang Heng thought for a moment and decided to stay.
He turned off the engine, sat in the car, and looked at the internship materials he would need for the week.

He waited outside the school gate from 6:30 PM until almost 9:00 PM, finishing his entire work plan.
Ji Yao’s new message finally arrived after all this time.

“Sorry, my parents came over suddenly.
I didn’t know beforehand.”

Jiang Heng was momentarily taken aback, sensing a certain tension in Ji Yao’s words.
He sent a message back, asking, “Are you okay?”

There was no immediate reply, and it seemed like a message sent amidst a busy situation.

Jiang Heng considered for a moment, put his phone away, and waited a bit longer until he saw several figures coming out from the school.

Ji Yao followed behind a middle-aged couple.
The atmosphere between them seemed tense, and there was no communication throughout.
Ji Yao’s hands were in his pockets, his head slightly lowered.
He walked to the side of the road and hailed a taxi.


Before getting into the car, the woman turned back and seemed to say something to Ji Yao.
He nodded in silence, so the woman didn’t say anything more and followed the middle-aged man into the taxi.

Ji Yao watched the taxi leave the alleyway, then turned to go back.
Just then, his phone in his pocket vibrated twice and then hung up on its own.

Jiang Heng started the car, honked twice, and waited for Ji Yao to notice him.

Ji Yao didn’t recognize the car, and he had some guesses, but he thought it was unlikely.
He hesitated in place for a moment before pulling out his phone and hesitantly walking over.

When Ji Yao approached, Jiang Heng rolled down the passenger side window and turned to look at him with a smile.

“Do you have anything else to do?” Jiang Heng said, “If not, let’s go.
I’m starving.”

It seemed Ji Yao hadn’t expected Jiang Heng to still be there after several hours, and he paused for a moment before reaching for the car door and getting in.

“Why haven’t you left?” Ji Yao asked.

“You didn’t answer your phone.
I was worried something might have happened.” Jiang Heng brushed over this matter casually and handed him an unopened bottle of sparkling water, saying, “Judging by your expression, it seems like you’re not too happy?”

“My parents came to catch me in the act.” Ji Yao leaned back against the seat, emitting an exhausted sense of weariness, “I don’t know who’s been gossiping to my parents, making them suspect my sexual orientation—today, they came for a surprise inspection, wanting to see if I’m really involved with some male fox spirit.”

Jiang Heng was unfazed by this, speaking in a relaxed tone, knowingly asking, “So, did you get beaten up?”

“No.” Ji Yao took a sip of water, sarcastically smiling, “I think they didn’t fully believe it, just had some doubts.
They feel it’s better to believe than not.
They came and didn’t say it directly, but they implied it, saying they wanted to see if I’ve been studying well lately.
They went through my dorm room, looked at my phone, and found nothing, so they left.”

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