Based on what I’ve read so far, I am concluding that “close friends” is indeed referring to “close gay friends”. I will still be using the term “close friends” but just note that 基友 (Ji You) in this novel is specific to “close gay friends” or “friends within the gay community”. So yes, we have confirmed He Ruge’s sexuality. Thanks! I WAS WRONG. LOL
Note: Mentions of alcohol in this chapter.
With one bottle of beer downed, He Ruge was already thoroughly drunk. He dazedly put down the bottle of alcohol and reached up to touch his burning red face.
He Ruge talked to himself: “I… I’ve been roast cooked…”
His nonsense was interrupted by his drunken hiccups and touched his stomach in confusion, while looking hesitantly at his unopened bento box.
So strange. The meal hasn’t been eaten yet, but he already burped? Could he be full on happiness??
He Ruge giggled a little. After laughing, he opened his still-hot bento lunch box. Regardless if he was hungry or not, the lunch box must be eaten. He specially bought the most expensive bento. If he wasted it, his conscience would hurt.
He finished the bento box bite by bite in concentration. When He Ruge stood up, he was completely disoriented and couldn’t stand straight.
This really isa very weird. Why is the room shaking, is there an earthquake? He Ruge walked blankly along the wall and staggered to the computer. He saw a bunch of unread messages on Penguin from close friends.
Emotionless Coding Machine: “Congratulations on entering V!”
Emotionless Coding Machine: “Have you prepared the liver exploding (stressful) update for after you enter V? Don’t forget that you said that after entering V, you would do 10,000 a day!”
In the silent room under the noonday sun, a heart soaked in wine somehow became sentimental.
Ruge: “Ji Ji, thank you for always monitoring me, helping me watch over my draft box, and helping me find errors in the text.”
All the bits and pieces of the past reappeared in his mind and He Ruge clickclack  typed: “Without you there wouldn’t be today’s me. Good friend, let us walk together, one life, one incarnation.”
Emotionless Coding Machine: “…… Damn, what Ji Ji. Who’s a Ji Ji, Are you that stimulated (from shock of entering V) or are you drunk?”
Ruge: “Ji Ji, I……”
Emotionless Coding Machine: “Don’t call me Ji Ji!”
Ruge: “Ji Ji, I am not drunk. I only drank a little bit of beer.”
Emotionless Coding Machine: “Ah——all drunks say they are not drunk. Listen up, go to bed and take a nap right now.”
Ruge: “But Ji Ji, I want to play the game for a bit.”
Emotionless Coding Machine: “Ancestor, you are already drunk to this extent, yet still want to play games ah.”
Ruge: “No one fed my Little White Tiger any milk, he will starve.”
Emotionless Coding Machine: “…… fine, you win. I allow you to play for half an hour. After half an hour, you must go to bed and take a nap. Otherwise, I will make fermented wine pigeon for your readers.”
He Ruge, who had received approval, was very happy. Being drunk to this extent, he had forgotten to adjust the game’s time .He supported his groggy head with one hand, and used the other hand to click on the mouse and feed milk to the cubs.
Now, there was only 5 cubs left and he very quickly ended up feeding Little White Tiger.
The door to room No.20 opened. When his blurred drunken vision saw Little White Tiger, his eyes immediately widened. He Ruge looked closely at the little white tiger, and the tip of his nose was almost about to hit the screen. He smiled softly and said: “Sweetheart, you are so cute.”
The little white tiger sitting in the cotton nest trembled a bit and looked at He Ruge in shock.
He Ruge didn’t click on the intimate interaction option. He rubbed his throbbing temples, feeling that the glasses frame on his nose bridge was too heavy so he removed his glasses.
Why are there two little white tigers on the screen?
He Ruge rubbed his eyes and looked at it again in concentration. Still two little white tigers. Both little white tigers had the same “Well, fuck” expression, dumbfounded and shocked. Blue eyes flickered and little paws trotted around anxiously.
He Ruge was menged into laughter. Two Little White Tigers, double the cuteness, ah. He likes this.
“Two little tigers, Two little tigers~ Running fast~Running fast~”
The little white tiger sitting in the cotton nest shook his head like a rattle, seemingly looking to see where there was an extra tiger.
A fingertip lightly tapped on Little White Tiger’s ear, “One without ears~”
The bud-like tiger ears drooped down, and blue eyes looked innocently in confusion towards the person in front of him.
“One without a tail~”
Slender fingers softly tapped on the tail and conveniently poked a round little butt. Little White Tiger’s fur instantly exploded up, staring at He Ruge with both shyness and annoyance.
He Ruge smiled lowly, “Really strange~Really strange~”
He really was extremely drunk, and after persisting in finishing the song, he laid his head down on the table and fell asleep.
Since the last time in the bathing room, Xi Guican found that the number of surviving subjects was very small. This time, he had listened to He Ruge feeding the other experimental subjects. Not including him, there were only four experimental subjects left.
The game time should have been adjusted forward. Xi Guican calmly conjectured.
The ice project had lasted for three months. If the time was not fast forwarded, he would have to spend three months being forced to experience his past as an experimental subject. Even if He Ruge was there, he would still suffocate anxiously.
Presumably, the previously encountered bug was also an error resulting from the time acceleration.
A set of slightly trailing footstep sounds stopped, and the iron door was slowly pushed open to reveal a… brightly flushed face?
The layer of thin red on his face didn’t fade. It wasn’t the redness caused by heat after exercising, nor from a blush caused by shyness.
It was a difficult to describe color.
His white skin was dyed pink, the color of peach blossoms in March. His neck was a light pink and the shallow pink bloomed upwards, as if overlaid with a halo dye- from his lips to the tip of his nose, and then to his cheeks, as if they’d flown into a brilliant red glow, eye-catchingly gorgeous.
Xi Guican has always known that He Ruge is good-looking, a beauty that was unable to be tainted, transparently beautiful, and seeming as though a single touch would stain that pure white.
But at this moment, the person in front of him gave off quite a different feeling.
It was a juice-dipped red.
Other than white…… red also unexpectedly suited him.
The red-stained body was soft and mushy, and he was having difficulties walking. When he walked into Xi Guican’s field of view, all of his movements played out in a slow-motion fashion. However, when He Ruge was able to stand steadily, his action of leaning over was shockingly fast.
Carrying the scent of alcohol, He Ruge bent down and approached Xi Guican without warning. The moment that flushed face instantly zoomed in, Xi Guican felt a bit helpless. Like a frightened little animal, his whole body turned stiff, and the fur on the back puffed up along with his nerves.
Close enough that he was unexpectedly sucked into that pair of dark black eyes. Those gleaming moist eyes seemed to have become a type of wine, a sweet and irresistible liquor.
A warm breath from the nose hit Xi Guican’s face. It smelled of alcohol but was different from the ordinary alcoholic smell. It was mixed with a subtle fragrance of humidity. In the middle of the pervading fragrance, Xi Guican saw his red lips purse together and convey frivolous words with inexplicable excitement: “Sweetheart, you are so cute.”:
Because he was drunk, the words were somewhat slurred, but the word “sweetheart” was said clearly.
Xi Guican seemed to hear a loud explosion in his mind, sweetness crashing against the mountains.
Those bright red once once again opened and closed; ethereal and moving words flowed out briskly like alluring wine being poured into a crystal glass. When the sound of singing flowed into his ears, the voice contained a type of peaceful and inclusive energy, gentle like the wind, and embracing like the sea. It poured into Xi Guican’s spiritual consciousness little by little.
His shattered spiritual sea of consciousness shook. All the pain was suddenly swept away, and the damaged areas were gently repaired. Xi Guican never before felt this serene and comfortable.
It seemed as though he had really become very, very small, like a little white tiger who could not even stand steadily as he laid in a gently rocking cradle. Someone was humming an unknown song while pushing the cradle.
A finger touched his ear, and Xi Guican’s touched ear instantly burned red. He was a little angry but couldn’t bring himself to stay angry because the singing voice beside his ears was so beautiful. The feeling of his spiritual sea of consciousness being immersed in this moving singing voice was far too comfortable.
He had almost forgotten all the troubles in the world…
However, that finger once again poked at his butt.
Xi Guican finally glared at the person who got an inch and asked for a mile. The youth laughed, his wet eyelashes drooping downwards like a butterfly struggling in the net of sleep. He Ruge blinked slowly, and his blinking speed became slower and slower until, finally, his closed eyes no longer trembled. He fell asleep like he had run out of power.
The singing also stopped abruptly.
If his spiritual sea of consciousness hadn’t received a long-lost sense of comfort and peace, then everything that happened just then would have seemed like a dream.
In the dim room, the deep yet shallow aroma of wine still hovered in the air and there was a fine layer of dust rising and falling in the silted light.
The young man was lying on his side on the ground, sleeping deeply. Xi Guican saw that the thin red on the other person’s skin had not faded completely. A transparent white carrying tinges of red. It was a warm and soft white that also carried an ambiguous sweet fragrance.
Long, curly eyelashes contrasted against lips that were a brighter red than usual.
The little white tiger was drawn in by the lure of temptation and walked over to him, using his paws to gently pat the young man’s cheeks. It’s warm …… The little paw, as if struck by electricity, immediately shrank back.
But after a moment, the little white tiger carefully lowered his head again. He held his breath, and as if he were possessed ——
Kissed those lips.
It was sweet.
Sweeter than fruit candy and could make one drunk.
Carrying the not yet dissipated taste of alcohol, it was intoxicating.
The author has something to say:
The little white tiger stole a bit of alcohol infused chocolates. Ya, tastes really good. Wants to eat more.