Shangguan Yu stared at the bag in his hand, not quite sure what to make of this. "Ah Xin … I really don’t think this is a good idea."
His sister frowned, obviously not happy with his words. "What are you even saying? Xiao Yu, it’s already been four years. How much longer do you want to wait?"
Shangguan Yu also furrowed his brows but he was rather trying to get behind what his sister was saying. "Are we talking about the same thing here?"
Shangguan Xin groaned and then turned the child in her arms around, leaning down to look at his face. "Little pumpkin, what is your uncle?"
Shangguan Xin nodded slowly as if this was the wisest thing she had heard all day. "You’re exactly right. Your uncle is an idiot."
Her husband turned the page of the newspaper, slightly shaking his head. "Continue telling him such things and he’ll go around and bully others when he’s older."
Shangguan Xin clicked her tongue. "What are you even saying? Our son knows that he can only bully those that are older than him. Anyway, Xiao Yu is family. He wouldn’t mind."
Her brother grimaced but didn’t feel like arguing with her and just looked at the set of clothes in the bag again. "I know you said that you wanted us to get engaged but I just don’t see how this and that have anything to do with each other. Wouldn’t it be easier to just get a ring and ask myself?"
Shangguan Xin once again clicked her tongue. "What are you even saying? Why do you have to be the one to take the first step all the time? You were already the one who asked him to go on the first date. You were also the one who asked to move in together. Do you really also want to be the one who asks him to get married?"
Shangguan Yu looked up, his expression suggesting that he didn’t think that was a problem. "Does it really matter? I mean as long as we love each other, it shouldn’t play a role who asks, right? Anyway, I’m not even a woman."
Yu Lan couldn’t help but pipe up at that. "Even if you were a woman, it wouldn’t be a problem to ask either. We’re living in the twenty-first century. People will get over it if a woman proposes."
Shangguan Xin reached over and slapped his arm. "You’re not helping!"
Yu Lan lowered the newspaper and looked at his wife, slowly raising his brows. "How so? Is what I said wrong?"
"Of course, it is! It might not matter what people say but it’s just not romantic. As a man, shouldn’t you want to do something romantic for your future wife?"
Yu Lan just blinked, not seeming convinced at all. "If I remember correctly, then I proposed to you after you were throwing a fit and telling me that you would leave me if I didn’t get my shit together and finally proposed. I don’t think there was anything romantic and that.
"And anyway, Xiao Yu isn’t a woman. What’s so bad about him proposing instead? If Ao Jing doesn’t have the guts to do it, then do you want him to wait another ten years? If Xiao Yu is willing to give it a try himself, just let him. What’s with this dressing up? Don’t you think he’d be even more embarrassed if he does that?"
Shangguan Xin pursed her lips. "If it helps get the proposal, I don’t see what’s wrong with it."
Yu Lan raised his newspaper again, shaking his head. "I bet you just want to see your brother cosplay."
Shangguan Xin harrumphed and then turned back to their son. "Your daddy is also an idiot."
The child laughed and then happily clapped his hands. "You too, mommy!"
Before she could say anything, Yu Lan already piped up from the side. "Looks like we’re a family of idiots. Anyway, Xiao Yu, since your sister already admitted to it, why don’t you change into that? Just let her see you in that one time and then she will drop it."
Shangguan Yu still didn’t seem like he was convinced. Anyway, it really would be embarrassing to put that on in real life. Still, his sister wasn’t about to let go of this matter and he didn’t want to be bugged for the whole vacation. Also, right now, Ao Jing was outside doing the grocery shopping so it was probably best to do it now when he wouldn’t see it. "I guess I’ll go change then?" He gave the two of them a doubtful look but Yu Lan just nodded, waving for him to go.
"Yes, yes, just go do your thing. Your sister will take a look as soon as you finish. Just sent her a message."
Shangguan Yu nodded and then trudged upstairs, taking out the things in the bag and putting them on his bed. Looking at it, he couldn’t help but be a little surprised. It really looked just like the real deal. This was the kind of robe that his character was wearing in the game in the exact same color and even with a faint embroidery visible on the sleeves. The white wig was also a pretty good one which would likely look pretty real when put on.
He squirmed a bit on the spot but thinking of how his sister had been nagging him about this as soon as Ao Jing left the room, he finally sighed and then started to change his clothes. Putting on the robe, he couldn’t help but raise his brows. It didn’t just look good, it was even comfortable to wear. He couldn’t help but wonder a bit if it had been like this for ancient people as well. Well, probably not.
Tying the belt close and adding the accessories, he finally stepped in front of the mirror with the wig in hand.
His lips curled in embarrassment and he couldn’t help but wince. This was really crazy. His character in the game actually looked quite a bit like him so it wasn’t too strange to see it but without the wig, it really looked like somebody just putting on a strange costume.
He shook his head, sighed, and then tried his hand at putting on the wig. As soon as it was in place, he felt that he looked a lot less awkward. He still felt odd but at least he looked quite a lot closer to his character and not so much like himself, making him feel that it wasn’t as awkward.
He turned around in front of the mirror, taking a look from all sides, and then took out his phone, taking a photo as a memory. Then, he opened WeChat and messaged his sister.
It didn’t even take a moment before he got a response back: [Then go wait in the garden. I’ll get my camera. I want a nice photo under the tree!]
Shangguan Yu shook his head, sighing to himself. He should’ve known that he wouldn’t get off this easily. Maybe his brother-in-law had even teamed up with his sister and knowingly tricked him.
Still, since he was already in the costume, he might as well let her take that one photo. He could even share it with Ao Jing later on. Most likely, he’d appreciate it, and letting him see a photo of it was much less embarrassing than wearing the costume in front of him.
He went down and stood below the tree just as she had asked, looking up at the branches that were currently in full bloom, wondering how long she might need.
Finally, the back door sounded and he turned around with a smile, wanting to complain to her for being slow. When he did though, the person behind him wasn’t his sister at all.
Ao Jing stared at his boyfriend in a daze, feeling as if time was slowing down. He looked exactly like in the game. No, not exactly. He wore the same kind of robe with the same equipment from the boots peeking out between the hem to the bracelet on his left wrist, and even his hair was the same three thousand strands of white hair but the face was slightly different. That was the same face he had looked at for the past four years.
Seeing him like this, the anxiety of the last few days melted away, and Ao Jing couldn’t help but smile. "You look gorgeous."
Shangguan Yu had been embarrassed at being seen like this at first but seeing his boyfriend’s admiring expression, he actually felt quite happy. "You think so? Well, this outfit was originally made for me."
Ao Jing nodded and then came over, taking a closer look before his gaze returned to Shangguan Yu’s eyes. "My husband."
Shangguan Yu gave a cheeky grin. "I believe that at that time we were still strangers though."
"Huh." Ao Jing put a hand into his pocket, slightly narrowing his eyes. "We might have been strangers but I’d like to think that we were destined to become spouses."
"Oh? Then I guess it really was fate."
Ao Jing nodded, his gaze staying on Shangguan Yu’s face. "It was. Actually, I think we’ve only made true on that partly though."
Shangguan Yu raised his brows but before he could ask, Ao Jing already pulled out a small box, snapping it open at once.
"How about becoming my husband in real life?"
Shangguan Yu’s eyes widened, and he stared at the rings inside the box in a daze. The box might be one of those normal black ones for jewelry, but the rings inside were obviously custom pieces. They looked exactly like the ones in the game that they had gotten from Mo Ju An.
Even though Ao Jing had said back then that it was supposed to be a promise ring, he hadn’t taken it that seriously and had just thought that it was a promise of seeing each other again and staying together. Not … well, this kind of promise. He just didn’t know what to say.
Back inside the house, Shangguan Xin gnashed her teeth. "What is he thinking? Shouldn’t he say yes already?!"
Her son couldn’t help but pipe up. "Uncle is an idiot!"
Shangguan Xin nodded vehemently. "Sure he is! He’s a big idiot if he doesn’t answer soon."
Yu Lan glanced at the two of them and shook his head, feeling that they were worried for nothing. At the very least, Ao Jing had finally gotten over his hangups and really proposed. Obviously, he had been planning that for quite some time and it had really needed this kind of push to make him give it a try. But now that it happened, he was sure that these two would be able to make it work on their own.
Below the tree, Ao Jing slightly raised his brows. "Okay, this is awkward. I thought you would actually say yes immediately. If I remember correctly, this worked out better in the game."
Shangguan Yu looked up from the ring to his boyfriend’s face and then couldn’t help but laugh out loud. "Maybe I’ve been the one asking you for things so often, that I wasn’t expecting you to do this anymore. I was completely prepared to propose myself."
Ao Jing didn’t answer that and just waved the box with the rings. "So, do you want to be my husband?"
Shangguan Yu reached out his hand, grinning from ear to ear. "How can you ask? This outfit wouldn’t be complete without that ring. So … you should put it on already."
Ao Jing continued to look at him, slowly wondering what this meant. "Wait, does this mean you had a proposal prepared for today? Was that why your sister sent me grocery shopping and why you’re wearing this?!" His heart couldn’t help but beat madly. While he had planned to propose himself, the thought of Shangguan Yu planning the same was actually quite sweet.
Unfortunately for him, his boyfriend shook his head immediately. "I thought about it but I wasn’t actively planning yet. My sister asked me to put this on. So, are you going to put a ring on this hand now or not?"
Ao Jing stared at him but finally, his lips curved up into a smile. "I’d love to." He took the ring and carefully slid it on Shangguan Yu’s finger, holding his hand for a moment longer as if he could only believe that this was really happening if he made sure one more time. "This is the second time I’m putting a ring on your hand. Honestly, I could do this a hundred more times. I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of it."
Shangguan Yu laughed and picked up the other ring, waving for Ao Jing to give him his hand as well. Sliding the ring onto his finger and holding onto his hand as well, he looked up at him, and then pecked his lips. "If you really want to, then I’m sure we can work something out. How does a renewal of our promise each year sound? Didn’t you say it was a promise ring?"
Ao Jing laughed. "That does sound good. But … let’s get married for the first time in real life first, alright? After that, I’m all for that kind of tradition."
"It’s another promise then." Shangguan Yu tugged at his fiance’s hand and pulled him back to the house. Ah, for their first renewal, he would definitely get his sister to have a costume made for Ao Jing as well. There was no way he’d be the only one of them dressing up as his character.