WHEN AN ALPHA IS MARKED BY ONE OF HIS OWN KIND

Chapter 71

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Seeing that Lu Zhe had no intention of saying anything, Shen Qiao reminded him of a certain line he'd used. In a relatively patient tone, Shen Qiao recited, "'I once loved a man like this…'"

Lu Zhe pinched the bridge of his nose. The corners of his lips twitched with a helpless smile. He lowered his voice and whispered, "That… about that. I can explain."

Across the table, Lu Qianshuang silently turned her teacup in her hands. She looked at her brother. Then she looked at Shen Qiao. And then she leaned back in her seat with a delighted sort of look on her face, preparing to witness some glorious misfortune.

Although she didn't know exactly what was happening, she could tell right away that her brother was about to get very unfortunate. And when unfortunate things happened to Lu Zhe, Lu Qianshuang always felt like she could order an extra bowl of rice and just sit back with her snack to watch.

This drama was so juicy!

Hearing Lu Zhe's typical starter to a long-winded story, Shen Qiao smiled a little wider. He placed his cell phone face down on a clean spot on the table, then tapped the back with one finger.

"The explanation can wait," he said slowly, with a smile in his tone. "I just want to ask… exactly how many alt accounts, that I don't know about, does Captain Lu have?"

Lu Zhe gave it some careful thought. A little hesitantly, he answered, "There's… probably no more, I think?"

Shen Qiao narrowed his eyes. "Probably? You think?"

Lu Zhe wanted to say something else, but he glimpsed Lu Qianshuang eagerly watching on with a barely-contained smile. Right before Lu Zhe continued, he swallowed back the words he'd meant to say and changed his target.

"Weren't you going back to the hotel after you finished eating?" he asked his sister.

Translation: Why are you still here?

Lu Qianshuang blinked innocently.

Translation: Is there something wrong with a drama connoisseur like me enjoying a good show?

Lu Qianshuang puffed out her cheeks in displeasure, but ultimately sighed and grabbed her bag. She stood up and looked over at Shen Qiao, preparing to say goodbye.

But that was when Shen Qiao said, "Aren't you going to take her back?"

Lu Zhe nearly choked. He pressed the tip of his tongue to the roof of his mouth for a moment, smiling slightly as he answered, "Of course. How could I not?"

Lu Qianshuang could tell, based on Lu Zhe's tone, that he didn't want to send her back to the hotel at all. He wanted to send her to the afterlife to reunite with all their ancestors. A stroke of inspiration struck her, and she quickly claimed, "I… I have a friend who just suddenly said we're going to see a movie! So I won't be going back to the hotel for a while, actually. Good night, gege! Good night, Qiaoqiao-gege!"

With that, she clutched her bag tighter and scurried out of the restaurant, like a fleeing rabbit.

……

After Lu Qianshuang took off, Shen Qiao flipped his cell phone over again and checked the time. "Let's go, we should head back. It's almost time for evening training."

Lu Zhe stood up with him.

When the three of them arrived at the restaurant earlier, it had been late in the afternoon, before the dinner rush. There hadn't been a lot of people in the shop, and they'd taken a seat at a table near the back. Plus, the lighting in the restaurant wasn't very bright. Most patrons had been too focused on their own grilled fish to notice them.

However, by the time Lu Zhe and Shen Qiao started making their way out, the restaurant was already packed. There were people at every table, and two young men—both over 1.8 meters in height—inadvertently attracted a lot of attention.

"Those two little gege are so… are too handsome, aren't they?"

"They're alphas! I can smell their pheromones! This is a mint scent, right? The other one, ah… the scent is a bit heavy, but quite manly."

"Oh, those two? They're with the esports team that's based around here, right? I heard about that team from my friends. Something about a whole team of alphas, with such good faces that they could debut right away if they went into the entertainment industry."

"Captain Lu! Wolf Cub! Look over here!" Someone took out a phone, trying to snap a photo of the two of them.

When Lu Zhe heard that voice, he turned sideways and used his body to block the camera lens. He looked over calmly, only showing his own face to the camera. The friendliness he usually showed cameras on stage was absent from his gaze now.

Once they got out of the restaurant, Shen Qiao muttered, "Does LoL really have this many fans?"

Although Shen Qiao had been aware that people liked his face back in school, and although he'd been approached numerous times by such people, this was his first time being treated like some sort of celebrity. This hadn't happened even when he was with BLX.

After all, esports was an industry where skill was what truly mattered. If you were a shitty player, your fans wouldn't be able to hold their heads up high even if you were as pretty as a flower.

Shen Qiao could feel everyone's eyes on him now. Part of that must have been because DG was an extremely well-known team. Another part of it must have been because of his recent relationship with Lu Zhe. And another part… was probably because Shen Qiao had really managed to show his stuff in games as of late.

Upon hearing Shen Qiao mutter that question, Lu Zhe seemed to melt. The cold ice in his eyes dissipated right away. "Our fans wouldn't have known to gather here to eat tonight. A lot of that attention is because you're handsome."

Perhaps Shen Qiao didn't realize it, but Lu Zhe knew it better than anyone—

Originally, Shen Qiao had been shrouded in an aura that made him extremely unapproachable. He had a sort of demeanor that made people think they needed to stay away. His neutral expression was gloomy and especially fierce, like he wasn't someone to be messed with. Even his fans didn't dare approach him, and when they did, they were on their best behavior.

But now, perhaps because he had well and truly shed his past, Shen Qiao seemed more and more like the person Lu Zhe remembered fondly from their days in school. More and more, Shen Qiao was becoming a little golden sun once again.

Shen Qiao's gloom was receding. He was starting to glow, like sunlight. He'd locked himself up in a high and lofty place for so long, but he was finally stepping past the threshold now. He was ready to leave behind the small world he'd isolated himself in and return to the big, outside world.

Shen Qiao heard Lu Zhe's obvious flattery, but didn't react to it one bit. His eyebrows didn't even twitch. He slid one hand into his pocket and tipped his head back to look at Lu Zhe. "Whether I'm handsome or not isn't important. The important thing is… let's talk about the man you once loved."

Lu Zhe furrowed his brow. He suddenly pressed his hand to his injured arm and sucked in a sharp breath. "It seems to have started hurting again…"

Shen Qiao stared.

He stopped walking and couldn't help but laugh as he admonished, "Lu Zhe, do you have any shame at all? What kind of alpha likes to play the part of the weak, pitiful creature as much as you do?"

Lu Zhe released his arm. Some pride and arrogance returned to his expression. "I don't. I only show this side of me to you, so you should cherish it."

"Ew," Shen Qiao deadpanned.

Lu Zhe could see that there was a smile hidden in Shen Qiao's eyes. He couldn't help but smile as well. He adopted a more serious expression and earnestly said, "Alright, I'll tell you about the man I once loved. But I should correct you first. He's the man I once loved, the man I love now, and the man I'll love in the future."

Shen Qiao didn't expect him to suddenly throw around the word 'love' so seriously. His eyes darted to the side. Just as he was about to tell Lu Zhe to stop there, Lu Zhe continued—

"He's the first ray of light that ever fell upon my life. He's the little sun that I captured, the little sun that belongs to me."

As he listened, Shen Qiao felt the nape of his neck heating up. He quickly lifted a hand and clapped it over Lu Zhe's mouth. "Okay. That's enough. This question is over."

Lu Zhe saw that Shen Qiao was shy and embarrassed, but he didn't stop. Instead, he took it a step further.

In the next instant—

Shen Qiao yanked back his hand like he'd been shocked by electricity. A slightly moist feeling stained his palm. When he thought of what Lu Zhe had just done, he quickly looked around and held in his reaction for a few seconds, before finally stating, "Captain Lu. For once, be a normal person."

Lu Zhe shook his head earnestly. "Didn't we agree a long time ago that I would be your dog?"

Shen Qiao was shocked to the core by Lu Zhe's self-righteous shamelessness.

He fell silent for a few seconds, reflecting on this exchange. Lu Zhe had the almost preternatural ability to come up with a clever retort for anything that put him in a tough spot. So wouldn't it have been better to just drop this whole subject?

Shen Qiao lamented over his own mistakes in engaging Lu Zhe in this topic at all. He immediately made up his mind to not acknowledge anything else Lu Zhe said on the matter. He turned and started walking away immediately, walking so swiftly that he was nearly flying through the air, all for the sake of creating some distance between himself and this pervert.

But Lu Zhe was about the same height as him, so no matter how fast Shen Qiao walked, Lu Zhe could keep right up.

Not only did Lu Zhe keep up, he also asked, "If you're done with your question, I have one for you—about this man I love. Does he love me back?"

"Oh, sure. Shout it out. Go ahead, be louder," Shen Qiao said. "Tomorrow, your shameless pursuit will be the top headline of the esports industry."

"Okay," Lu Zhe said cheerfully. "Then when people ask me who I've been scorned by, I can personally leave a comment that says it was you—you ruthless traitor to your beloved."

Shen Qiao was left speechless once more.

……

When they got back to the HQ, Lu Zhe still hadn't received an answer to his question, and he still hadn't given up. He continued to pester Shen Qiao as they walked.

"Qiaoqiao, you drain people of all their love and then don't want to take responsibility. Think of the child! Even if I can accept this, the child won't—"

Shen Qiao gave him an expressionless look. "Are you done?"

Lu Zhe coughed and saw that they were about to head up the stairs to the second floor. He restrained his smile and decided to compose himself for now. But once they rounded the corner on the stairs, they came face to face with the few dumbstruck members of their team who were standing outside the door to the training room.

Er-Hua and the others, who'd just returned to the training room after grabbing dinner at the cafeteria, were all stunned into silence.

They all dropped their gazes to Lu Zhe's stomach.

Old Wo was the first to blurt out, "Wow, Captain. Really, just… wow. Only you would be capable of getting pregnant as an alpha. Amazing! It's a miracle of science!"

Qian Bao thought for a moment, then asked, "Should we give you a round of applause?"

Zhao Yue and Zheng Zhizhuo instinctively went with the flow and started to clap. Er-Hua mulled it over for a while longer before he told Shen Qiao, "I hear pregnancy makes people more sensitive, emotionally. You should be more attentive."

Shen Qiao was silent.

He was completely calm inside. After quietly considering his options for a moment, he played along with his teammates and turned to flash an insincere smile at Lu Zhe's abdomen. "Tell me, then. How many months left?"

"That depends on the situation," Lu Zhe said cryptically.

"How can it depend on the situation?" Old Wo asked. "Are you pregnant with Nezha?"

When he said that, Qian Bao and Er-Hua couldn't help but burst out laughing. Zhao Yue was quiet for a few seconds before he whispered to Zheng Zhizhuo, "What's going on? Is he actually pregnant or not?"

Zheng Zhizhuo looked at him with genuine shock. "You really believe anything Captain Lu says?"

Zhao Yue fell silent.

He often felt like he couldn't get on the same wavelength as his own idol because he just wasn't perverted enough.

After noticing that his little friend had gone quiet, Zheng Zhizhuo suddenly remembered a conversation from earlier. He plainly, straightforwardly asked, "So, Wolfy-ge really is the top?"

Shen Qiao's eyes filled up with mirth. He looked at Lu Zhe, then he looked at June. "Yes, that's right. The top is the one that can make people pregnant, after all."

Lu Zhe said nothing.

He gave the two nice kids a look, then let his own eyes fill up with a loving gaze as he confirmed, "That's right, Qiaoqiao is the top."

There was still some time before the end of the summer tournament—

Lu Zhe figured there was no harm in letting Shen Qiao and his little fans be happy for now.

 

Author's Notes:

The pregnancy in this chapter is just a joke, there's no theme like that in this book. No babies here, alphas don't have that capability! Don't take it seriously!

As always, you can't trust what Dog Lu says!

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