Mao Lu felt his heart thudding in his chest violently. "How horny am I?" he screamed in his head.
"All he did was smile at me, that's all he freaking did. There was nothing more to it than that", yet Mao Lu felt himself melting a bit. He hadn't reacted in such a dramatic way since he was 13 and first realised he had a major crush on Zhao Detong.
But he wasn't some 13 year old teenager, he was a flipping 24 year old man. Sure this Chàng Bo had a lovely smile, but he hardly knew the guy, his heart shouldn't be reacting in such a way. It hadn't acted like this when they first met, but it was now. "Was it because I looked after him for two weeks. Have I become attached to him."
Mao Lu swore he wasn't this easy normally.
"I must be sexually frustrated... maybe I should go on the internet later and search for some porn...it's been awhile." Mao Lu thought to himself.
Gates was confused by Mao Lu's reactions. "Why is his temperature rising, his blood pressure increasing, and his heart rate speeding up? Don't tell me he's attracted to that lowly practitioner." Gates grew increasingly horrified as it observed Mao Lu.
After a while of getting to know Mao Lu and listening in on his conversations, Gates now understood Mao Lu's sexual orientation. It realised why Mao Lu had laughed when It told him about the third rule, the only way Mao Lu would ever reproduce with a woman was if he was forced to.
Gates wanted to tell Mao Lu that this practitioner was far beneath him and not worth even a glance from him, but it stopped itself. After Mao Lu had told Gates how controlling and heartless it was earlier, it took the time to contemplate on this. Gates realised Mao Lu was correct. It had in fact been very controlling, it's guidance over time had been dominating and it restricted the free will of its Gatekeepers. It shouldn't have done that, it wasn't its role to do that.
Mao Lu was the one in control and it should only give him advice when necessary and relevant. And telling Mao Lu that he shouldn't bother to stare lustfully at a lowly practitioner, was neither necessary or relevant. That's why Gates hesitated to comment.
Also Gates had been getting a better understanding of Mao Lu over the few weeks. Mao Lu had principles he'd set for himself. He believed that every person should be treated equally regardless of the difference in their status, gender, race, wealth or sexual orientation.
So if Gates told him that this Chàng Bo was far too much of a peasant for him, It knew that Mao Lu would be angered by such a statement.
So instead Gates just gently reminded Mao Lu, "Don't feel too much attachment for this Chàng Bo, even if he is telling the truth about how he attained the key, that doesn't make him a trustworthy person. Many practitioners are always trying to get into the good graces of a Gatekeeper, and they become bold and arrogant. He could possibly become a threat to you. So do not let your guard down around him. Be careful."
Mao Lu listened to Gates words, he closed his eyes briefly and calmed himself.
He understood what Gates meant. A Gatekeeper was not just someone with power but someone with many secrets and many people trying to get into his good graces. Over the past two weeks he'd had many visitors coming to see him to build up a relationship. Even those from other planets. Aliens that he would never have imagined existing before, all bowed towards him trying to show their loyalty. Yet their eyes burned with ambition and in their hearts they plotted against him like wolf in sheep's clothing.
He didn't know this Chàng Bo enough, and he was a new Gatekeeper who had yet to properly establish his reputation. Around someone like Chàng Bo he needed to be careful and show that he was not just benevolent, but he was also strong if he needed to be.
"I understand Gates, thank you for the reminder." he internally replied as he opened his eyes and stood up.
"Your room will be the one you had in the East. Other than the East building and this Main North building you are forbidden from going anywhere else. Do you understand?" Mao Lu said as he headed towards the door.
"I understand!" Chàng Bo also stood up, "I thank you so much for your kindness Gatekeeper Lu."
Mao Lu just nodded towards him as he walked away, entered the west building, and closed the door. He sat on his bed and sighed.
"You should take the time to practice for today now." Gates advised.
"I know." Mao Lu sat up, crossing his legs on his bed and closed his eyes.
He was standing next to the river of information.
It was so big now that rather than a river he would have to call it an Ocean.
As he gazed into it he could see the trillions upon trillions of countless lives that existed in this galaxy. Only one galaxy was this much big and felt so impossibly infinite. There were more than 400 billion galaxies out there. Mao Lu was already amazed that his brain could keep up with the current information of one galaxy, let alone 400 billion times that amount.
Even though Mao Lu couldn't see it he could feel a qualitative change in his body. He'd become much lighter, he felt like parts of his brain that he hadn't accessed before were all active. He felt like his spirit, although not a tangible object, had become much more stronger and durable.
His entire being was adapting to the large amounts of information he was consuming.
He could understand why no one else could be a Gatekeeper. To outsiders it appeared so simple. A gatekeeper could sense the entire realm, it must be some type of technique right? But actually this training was very hammering. And if it weren't for the guidance of Gates, Mao Lu felt that he would have died various times throughout this training.
Sensing a realm was nothing to joke about. It was so very big. Everyday he was stretching his mind muscle to see more of it and he felt like he was overflowing.
Without guidance from a Gates and without being bestowed with the Gatekeeper title, anyone else trying to embrace this path would mostly likely die an excruciating death.
Mao Lu's brownish black eyes filled with flashing stars as he pushed the boundary of the galaxy and attempted to sense the next. He gritted his teeth and he felt his muscles and bones ache. "I can do this. I am in control." He told himself.
A loud POP rang out in his ears as his consciousness expanded to the next galaxy. With some profound momentum he went through the 300 billion stars and solar systems of this next galaxy and his consciousness jumped into another. This happened again and again.
Loud POPs exploded from his body. He cried out in pain as he felt his joints pop, his bones crack, his lungs and throat felt like they were on fire and he was choking on his own blood. His ears leaked with mixture of white coloured pus, blood, and wax down the sides of his face.
The Ocean of information inside of him made a qualitative change. It went from a large ocean to a small seed. It suddenly compacted itself together into this blue seed that fell to the ground in Mao Lu's mind. It was so heavy that the ground cracked.
Mao Lu let out an excruciating blood curdling scream. The pain was beyond painful.
The seed then buried itself into the floor of Mao Lu's mind and sprouted a single leaf. The leaf was the colour silver, and seemed to be made of stardust.
Mao Lu began to froth at the mouth as his eyes were pushed open by Gates. "Enough! Well done. You far exceeded the progress I thought you'd make today. I apologise that I didn't stop you sooner, but I wanted to see your limit."
Mao Lu gasped, he tried to stand up but he fell off his bed. His skin had become semi translucent and he could see his sparkling white bones through them. His entire body ached, he felt like he was burning.
He threw up the heaps of blood that had been choking him onto the dark wooden floor boards.
"Congratulations Mao Lu, you are now able to sense 10 billion realms. To be able to do this in only two weeks. Your talent truly amazes me."
"10 billion...only 10 fucking billion out of the 400 plus…." Mao Lu weakly laughed, his bloody teeth showing. With his head caked in blood he made a rather horrific sight.
Mao Lu laughed hysterically a bit longer before his eyes rolled to the back of his head and he fainted.
Outside Mao Lu's door Chàng Bo hesitated. The sounds he'd heard from the west building had been horrific. The ground had shook, lightning had also struck. It was raining like a hurricane.
Chàng Bo wondered whether he should take the risk to enter but he knew Gatekeepers could be very tempermental. And extreme weather reflected their mood. It didn't seem like Mao Lu was happy and that scream had chilled Chàng Bo to the bone.
He remembered that he was forbidden from entering any other building than the main north one and his own. So in the end he just turned back to his room.
Mao Lu opened his eyes to the sun coming in through the cracks in the curtains. He sat up.
He was all clean and in a white robe, laying on his bed.
This was nothing knew to Mao Lu. After every very horrific training session, Gates would always clean him up and lay him to rest.
Mao Lu sighed and found his phone on the bedside table. He'd recently upgraded the shoddy flip phone he'd had for the last eight years, for a samsung galaxy S8. He admired the phone before switching the home screen on and gasping.
It was common for Mao Lu to miss days when he trained. He'd go unconscious and his body would be repairing itself and training even whilst he slept. But the most he'd ever missed was two days. But this time...it had been nearly an entire week. It went from Monday evening to Saturday afternoon.
It was now Saturday and it was 12:45 PM, and there was wechat message on his phone from Tanaka Kato saying, "See you at the Gay Cafe, Kiss 'n' Tell at 1pm. You're dead if you're late."
Mao Lu generally wanted to scream.
He ran out of bed and rushed to the bathroom. He then speedily brushed his teeth and had a shower in less than two minutes. He then took ten minutes deciding what to wear. In the end he chose a casual blue denim ripped jeans with a slight fade out, and a cute pink and white jumper on top with white vans for shoes.
He then tied his hair up in a neat bun. He really needed to get it cut, it was such a hassle.
He looked at himself in the mirror.
One thing he was grateful for, was that ever since he became a Gatekeeper his skin had become flawless. There was no need for any BB cream or any other such nonsense. He was good to go.
He grabbed his car keys and rushed out the door.
In the courtyard he saw Chàng Bo, he was practicing some type of martial arts. He moved his body like rippling water and was nimble on his feet as he practiced. He looked up in surprise as he saw Mao Lu, and smiled at him, but Mao Lu was like the wind. He rushed past Chàng Bo without even a hello and got into his car.
Just as Mao Lu got in, started the engine, and began driving out onto the street his phone was ringing. Mao Lu pressed the bluetooth speaker on the car's screen.
"Mao Lu where the fuck are you? I said 1PM it is now 1:05 pm and Bei Lao and I are pissed."
"I'm not really pissed, it's only five minutes Tanaka calm down." came Bei Lao's voice through the speaker.
"Calm down, they only sell their rainbow special pride milkshakes between 1 to 1:30, and you can only get them if you come as a group. Lao you know how long I have been waiting for these goddamn milkshakes. Mao Lu if you're not here in ten minutes you're dead!" Tanaka hung up.
Mao Lu felt a cold sweat. Tanaka was a diva at the best of times but when he was mad it was chaos. Tanaka had been a delinquent back in his japanese high school. When he got mad it wasn't pretty. And Mao Lu really didn't want to deal with gangsta Tanaka today.
He may be small and cute but there was a lot of rage in Tanaka. The short ones are the most dangerous.
In less than ten minutes Mao Lu found a good parking spot and rushed to the Kiss 'n' Tell cafe. The Kiss 'n' Tell cafe was an underground cafe that was really popular amongst the LGBT in Beijing. Mao Lu had been there a few times. It had a nice friendly atmosphere, was really cute, and the stories went that only at Kiss 'n' Tell could you find both a sweet hookup and a serious partner.
Mao Lu ran up and saw a line outside. He knew that it must be busy now. Today was speed dating saturday at Kiss 'n' Tell. The event started at 2pm and would end at 6pm.
This was the reason Tanaka specifically invited him, because Tanaka was determined to get Mao Lu on a date.
Mao Lu quickly found Bei Lao and Tanaka loitering near the line. The moment Tanaka saw him. He grabbed him. "God we could have been in there by now. What is wrong with you?"
"I'm sorry I just overslept."
"You're lucky that Lao and I already pre bought tickets or you'd be waiting in that mess of a line over there."
Mao Lu looked at the line that snaked around two buildings.
"Thank you Tanaka-sama!" He bowed to him.
"Hmm" Tanaka harrumphed and then held onto Bei Lao's hand. "Come on let's go in."
Ben Zi sat at a table in Kiss 'n' Tell with his two lesbian friends Ray Xi and Qiu Ten. They were drinking the rainbow special pride milkshakes.
"I'm telling you, right before my eyes the guy vanished!" Ben Zi exclaimed.
"I know you don't take drugs Ben Zi, so maybe you've overworked yourself and your brain has fried. There is no way someone just fades away in the middle of the street." Ray Xi said.
"Yeah Ben Zi, maybe driving all those taxis at night are getting to you. Don't you get tired of saying the same story over and over again for the past near three weeks. I mean it was funny when you first talked about it but now it's seriously dull." Qiu Ten added as she snuggled into Ray's shoulder.
"But it really happened, honestly I know it sounds crazy and I didn't believe it at first myself, but it really happened." Ben Zi said it again but his friends ignored him.
Ben Zi sighed he knew that telling people would be no good. No one would believe something like that, that someone faded away into dust before his very eyes. That was the plot of some anime.
"I guess supernatural things really do exist and I was just one of those rare people that witnessed it. I'll take this knowledge to my grave I guess." He thought as he slurped more on his milkshake.
"I know University and your part time job is getting to you. That's why we came today. Just unwind, find a cute guy, and de-stress yourself" Ray Xi said.
Ben Zi nodded at her words, not really listening to her as his eyes zoned in on a trio ordering drinks at the bar. The tall guy with his hair tied up in a bun, with the cute face, and the brownish black eyes…..That was him. That was the man that faded away that night!!!!!
 You know what has been a while. He'll probably need some tissues with that porn hehehehe ( ͡° ل͜ ͡°)