Is it because of the company of a small living being with a beating heart beside me that my sleep is so peaceful?


Twenty years of loneliness and confusion, swaying in the ocean of life, at this moment, it feels like seeing a small island to dock.


“If only you could always be by my side…”


At eight o'clock in the morning, the early spring sunlight had already shone through the blinds and fell on the clean white bed, warm and soft.


He Yanlu propped up his upper body with his elbow, leaning on the pillow, and squinted his long and narrow eyes to look at the black cat sleeping beside him.
It was actually lying on its back…
because of breathing, the furry abdomen rose and fell, one front paw was raised upward, and the other was pressed against the side of the body and facing downward, with its tail curled next to its hind paw.


Such a human-like sleeping posture made the corners of He Yanlu's mouth slightly rise.
As soon as he woke up, he saw this scene that seemed to make all the nerve cells instantly soften, feeling surprisingly comfortable.


He reached out and gently touched the black cat's ear.
It seemed to feel itchy, so it shook its small pointed ears and then stretched out its paw to scratch.
Then it tilted its head and hid its ears between the pillow and the mattress.


He Yanlu didn't want to disturb the sleeping cat, so he got up quietly and went over to the wall where the class schedule was posted.
It was a summary of ancient Chinese literature from 9 to 11 on Friday, and there was an elective class on comparative literature and world literature at noon.
By the time the classes were over, it would be 2 o'clock in the afternoon.
Would Xiao Hei be hungry or lonely at home by itself? But the cat should be able to find something to do at home by itself, and it could also play with Da Bai…


He Yanlu opened the wardrobe, which was full of clothes of the same style and color.
He seemed to prefer white and purple.
He picked a long-sleeved cotton shirt in a light purple color, put it on, and went downstairs.
He took a few hangers from the pile of clothes on the sofa and took out the clothes he had washed in the washing machine last night.
He opened the glass door between the living room and the balcony and hung them in the sun.


He tilted his head back and took a few deep breaths of fresh air, then went back to his room and locked the sliding door carefully.
He thought that if Xiao Hei woke up and accidentally went to the balcony, it would be dangerous if it fell off.


He opened the fridge, which only had sweets and dairy drinks.
He frowned, wondering if cats eat sweets.
So he took his own bowl with a small bear pattern, poured some milk into it, and put it on the floor.
When it woke up, it would see the milk and go downstairs to look for food.
Hmm, he would go to the supermarket and buy some cat food and fish snacks when he finished his classes later.


Then he went back to the sofa and picked up the pile of clothes to take them upstairs.
Xiao Hei seemed to like sleeping with him, so he wouldn't have to buy a special cat bed.
He had originally planned to let it sleep with Da Bai last night, but it had looked clearly disdainful at the time, and it looked very satisfied and content when it slept with him.


Thinking of this, He Yanlu suddenly laughed out loud.
It seemed that Xiao Hei really liked him.


He packed up his clothes, hanging them up one by one in the wardrobe.
He did this because he was afraid that his pet might chew on or soil them while he was away.
“Oh no, Xiao Hei needs to use the litter box too!” he realized, thinking he would need to make a trip to the pet store to buy some cat litter.


Since it was his own space, he tended to be quite casual about where he placed his belongings.
He rarely organized his things, not because he was lazy, but because he wasn't good at it.
Every time he tidied up, he would end up losing his keys or books that he had put in their usual spot.
Eventually, he just gave up on organizing altogether.


The thought of Xiao Hei possibly chewing on things made him feel a headache coming on, but he knew that having a pet was both a hassle and a pleasure.
Life should be more interesting with it around.


He grabbed his class books and a novel from the bookshelf, and looked back at Xiao Hei who was still asleep on the bed.
He whispered something to the cat before heading downstairs and out the door.


As he closed the door behind him, Xiao Hei suddenly woke up, as if it had heard someone say, “Dad will be back soon.”


(= =) Ye Yixing's first thought was that it wasn't a dream – he was still a cat and had become He Yanlu's son.
His second thought was that he was locked inside the house…


As the sun rose again, a wave of problems came crashing in.


Life is so cruel, and sleeping doesn't make problems go away.
If you can't adjust your mood and continue moving forward before you wake up again, then even sleeping is just a way of avoiding the problem.


But of course, our little black cat, Ye Yixing, is a tough cookie.


He jumped off the bed, ran up to He Yanlu's desk, and opened his laptop–


He needed to enter a password…


He Yanlu, you pig! Do you really have so little security that you need to set a password on your own computer at home?


Ye Yixing started to type on the keyboard to try and crack the password in DOS system.


Since he was young, he had won all kinds of computer competition awards.
If it weren't for the fact that he stumbled upon Zhìyán online in his sophomore year of high school and began to pursue him relentlessly, he would have probably majored in computer science or financial management.
Although studying Chinese was boring, he didn't understand why he had been so obsessed with getting close to Zhìyán at the time, as if it was pure worship, even though he could never admit it.


Someone brought over a rubber and pressed it down on one of the keys because they had only two fingers like a cat's paw and found some commands difficult to operate.
They figured that passwords, like those of He Yanlu, would be set to something like their own birthday or the birthday of an important person.


Ye Yixing thought to himself, feeling a bit warm inside.
The scenes from yesterday that had subverted He Yanlu's image were still fresh in his memory.
Although some of the measures taken made him laugh and cry, he didn't expect that person to be so adorable.
So this is the real Zhiyan — Da Bai, Xiao Hei, younger brother, older sister, and father.
Ha ha, is he a person who lives in a fairy tale? Although every protagonist in his novels is portrayed as mature and charming, and usually unintentionally emits some profound philosophical insights and life truths, making readers think that the author is a profound and knowledgeable person, just like his appearance…


But who would have thought that the real person would be so childish?


Now, “Black Cat” knows.


Keyboard operation is difficult for Black Cat, but Ye Yixing easily cracked the password.
When he saw a string of numbers jump out on the screen, Ye Yixing was speechless –


[1 2 3 4 5 6]


…So childish! Idiot! Fool! Stupid!


This person's IQ is definitely not on the same level as his! Absolutely, absolutely! He can't believe he lost to someone like that!


Ye Yixing entered the system with hatred and saw someone's laptop desktop background – two cartoon rabbits smiling stupidly at him.


Really…speechless to the heavens!


The black cat continued to console itself: “Ye Yixing, calm down! You already knew what kind of person He Yanlu is after last night!”


After carefully examining He Yanlu's class schedule posted on the wall, Ye Yixing deduced that Yang Qu and He Yanlu were in the same year but different classes, so they would have the same major courses but not necessarily the same electives.
Yang Qu often invited Ye Yixing to play basketball or visit bookstores on Friday afternoons, which meant that Yang Qu likely didn't have classes in the afternoon.


Knowing that the other person's phone would notify them of receiving an email, Ye Yixing logged into their own email without leaving a trace and sent an email to Yang Qu, saying that they would come to see him in the afternoon.


Yang Qu immediately replied: “[Where are you? What happened last night? Your phone is still at my place!]” Ye Yixing's face twitched as they replied, “[It's a long story, let's talk when we meet this afternoon.]” I appeared in front of you yesterday! I'll come challenge your intelligence later…


Yang Qu replied: “[I finish class at 11 a.m.
You can come to my place at noon.]” After settling things with Yang Qu, Ye Yixing closed the browser and began to sneak a peek at the contents of He Yanlu's computer.
They were familiar with computers since childhood, and their cat paws were already quite skilled at manipulating the mouse, as long as they didn't have to type on the keyboard.


Opening someone's hard drive, the messy folders inside left Ye Yixing at a loss of where to start.
Just then, they caught sight of a folder named “A,” and their heart skipped a beat.
Most guys' computers contained porn…
Could He Yanlu be one of those hypocritical people?


Nervously, they opened the A folder and widened their cat eyes.
“City of Ink,” “Ling Guang”…
Wait, isn't this He Yanlu's novel? Is this where he stores his electronic manuscripts? Apart from the novels that Ye Yixing had already seen, what is this “Green Pepper Prince”? And what about the subfolder “Unruly Children”? What is this “B”?


Ye Yixing first opened the document in the Green Pepper Prince folder and read the first few paragraphs, feeling a chill…
Isn't this his “White Realm” series? The protagonist in the story liked to eat green peppers (= =) and was even called the Green Pepper Prince! He Yanlu's self-entertainment ability truly made Ye Yixing both laugh and cry…


“The Uncontrollable Child” contains over ten documents, and Ye Yixing browsed through a few of them.
Some were story outlines or fragment descriptions, while others were short stories of tens of thousands of words.
He was curious about why some of them were so short.
According to Zhiyan's style, he could easily stretch out a story with many details.


Ye Yixing scrolled down to the end of a few documents and realized they were unfinished.
Could it be that these were all written by He Yanlu? Why was the folder named “The Uncontrollable Child”? Could it be that every story he wrote was like his child? Does the name “uncontrollable” mean…
the characters' personalities go out of control?


This possibility cannot be ruled out.
Indeed, if the author's writing skills are not high or the background setting is inconsistent, the characters' personalities are easily shattered, making it impossible for the plot to develop according to the setup.


Ye Yixing himself experienced this during his early creative process, so he knows that the story structure is very important.
The structure often requires rigorous logic and careful suspense setting, one ring tightly connected to another.
If one arrangement is improper, it can easily lead to the characters' personalities contradicting each other.
If it is severe enough, if you insist on writing it, you can only use personality split or fickleness to explain it.
This may also result in the article ending abruptly.


For Ye Yixing, who has a good brain, the novel structure is not difficult.
What is difficult is having a breakthrough plot and imagination, how to interpret the positive and negative aspects of various characters, and how to slowly shape vivid characters through the story, and so on…


In high school, Ye Yixing read some of Zhiyan's early works.
As a science-oriented thinker, he often felt that there were some problems with the author's logic in some places, and the transitions and connections were somewhat stiff, making it difficult for readers to immediately reflect on the story's direction or some parts were inexplicable.
However, the author's creative skills and imagination were so high that they covered up the shortcomings he possessed, and several popular novels were created with excellent protagonists, ups and downs in the plot, and unexpected developments.
Although those were just practice works of someone on the internet, it can be said that the “unexpected” plot was Zhiyan's characteristic, and his talent in writing was indeed unparalleled.


All along, Ye Yixing's evaluation and guesses of Zhiyan were “this guy is very clever.” It was not until he accidentally learned that He Yanlu was Zhiyan himself that he realized the guy's aloofness and deep appearance did not exceed Ye Yixing's understanding and conjecture range, until yesterday evening!


(=皿=) This kind of imagination is definitely not because he is clever! It is because this guy's way of thinking does not follow the normal rules!


While sighing about the other party's strength and today's achievements, which were originally built on so many failed works, Ye Yixing opened the last folder “B,” thinking that it was probably other novels written by He Yanlu.
Then, he was surprised by a bunch of file names that were marked as already published.


Just why are those titles so…


Ye Yixing tremblingly opened one of the “Laughing Bear's Honey-flavored Lollipops,” and inside the folder was a cover image of the book, with childish cartoon animals and the bright red “Suitable for children under eight years old to read” font! Children's Intellectual Development Publishing House? What is this creepy “rough color”! The author is Da Bai's father.






At this moment, the convulsing black cat learned another secret related to He Yanlu – He Yanlu, writing fairy tales…
and writing intelligence enlightenment stories for children before they start elementary school, using “Da Bai's father” as a pen name!


And Ye Yixing, he couldn't even beat a network writer who writes children's stories!


In an instant, Ye Yixing's self-esteem shattered to the ground like a crashing wave.


Only he…
only He Yanlu always made him taste this kind of failure!


To defeat him, to surpass him, no matter what means or methods he used, he wanted to firmly keep the other person within his controllable range so that he wouldn't feel so annoyed and irritable…
why he felt this way, Ye Yixing didn't want to think about it.
He only knew that at this moment, he was gradually being swallowed up by his burning competitiveness and possessiveness…


No, no! Ye Yixing, regain your calm and wisdom! If you're a man, you should face the challenge head-on! Or rather, silently surpass him! Then stand in front of him! Look down on him!


Although it's a bit hypocritical and cunning…


Okay, it's pretty hypocritical…


Damn it! Who cares! I just want face!


Shaking off the thoughts that were bothering him, Ye Yixing couldn't help but continue to sneak a peek at He Yanlu's other folders.
His paw trembled slightly, and he felt ashamed of his own behavior.
He felt like a pervert with voyeuristic tendencies…


(=皿=) But knowing oneself and the enemy, a hundred battles will never be in vain(?), right?


(Haven't you lost every battle so far?)


Most of the other folders contained writing materials, some music, and cute pictures.
In addition, the black cat discovered a pile of Disney animations (= =), which He Yanlu seemed to be just as powerless to resist as a girl.


Ye Yixing smiled helplessly in his heart.
The two of them really had completely different interests!


Suddenly noticing the time in the bottom right corner of the desktop, he realized that it was already past eleven o'clock.
Reluctantly closing He Yanlu's computer, Ye Yixing thought to himself that there was no need to rush, as he would have plenty of opportunities to continue exploring “his dad's” secrets in the future! So he prepared to go out to find Yang Qu.


Going downstairs, he was surprised to find his sister sitting alone on the sofa, without the pile of clothes and books scattered around like the night before.
In the bright sunlight, the decor of the room still couldn't quite match the sophistication of a handsome guy known as the “first beauty of the literature department.”


In the early morning, he vaguely heard some rustling sounds, which turned out to be He Yanlu tidying up…
Wait, does he actually think that Ye Yixing will crawl on his stuff and make a mess?!


At this moment, as a black cat with intelligence beyond that of an average human, Ye Yixing felt a bit annoyed.
He secretly gritted his teeth, and decided to let his “dad” witness the wisdom of his “black son” in the future!


Stepping lightly around the sofa, Ye Yixing suddenly caught a whiff of a faint milk scent coming from the kitchen.
He spotted a bowl of milk on the floor next to the fridge – was this prepared for him by He Yanlu? Unable to resist the hunger pangs, and with the milk smelling so delicious, Ye Yixing couldn't help but stick out his tongue and lick at the milk, almost submerging half of his head into the bowl.
Someone was having a hard time adjusting to this new body…


“Do taste buds change when you become a cat?” Ye Yixing wondered to himself, surprised at how much he enjoyed the milk, which he didn't particularly care for as a human.
He drank almost the entire bowl, happily licking the milk off his whiskers and the fur around his mouth.
However, he was a bit worried about his eating habits, even as a cat, because he didn't want He Yanlu to see him like this and make fun of him.
But then again, he did look pretty cute when he laughed, and Ye Yixing comforted himself with the thought that He Yanlu didn't even know who he really was.


After exploring the apartment for a bit, Ye Yixing realized that he couldn't leave through the main door – for one, the doorknob was too high for him to reach, and even if he could, his paws weren't dexterous enough to open it.
The balcony door was locked as well, which meant that the only way out was through the kitchen window onto the balcony, and from there he could climb down to the garden.


Living on the second floor of a duplex apartment meant that Ye Yixing had to jump quite a distance to reach the ground.
If he were still human, he would probably break a bone, but as a cat, he had some “cat-like” wall-climbing abilities.
He leaped from the balcony onto the eaves of the first-floor kitchen window, then jumped onto the grass in the garden below, rolling around happily on the grass after a successful landing.


“What a feeling of lightness!” Ye Yixing thought to himself, enjoying the agility and flexibility of his feline form.
He shook himself all over to get rid of any loose fur, relishing the feeling of being able to shake off water droplets without any trouble.
Then, taking a deep breath, the black cat set off towards Yang Qu's house!

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