He Confessed in the Backlight

Chapter 57

In the end, the chubby cat became the newest member of the household.

The house wasn’t large, and Ruan Nianchu wandered around the house with the cat in her arms, assessing and muttering to herself, “The balcony is a bit unsafe, so let’s let it stay in the living room.” Afterward, she pointed to the pile of cat supplies by the door, “Like this. The cat bed and food bowl can go by the TV wall, and then the litter box can go in the corner.”

Naturally, this kind of manual labor was done by Li Teng.

His expression was very neutral as he walked to the door, bent down, and picked up those things, returning to the living room to arrange them according to her instructions.

“Um… that’s fine, but the cat bed can be moved further in.” Ruan Nianchu ruffled the chubby cat’s fur, directing, “Kittens can catch a cold from the wind… Yeah, that’s it. Put the litter box there.”


Li Teng tossed the litter box into the corner again and kicked it with his foot.

Ruan Nianchu glanced over, “Then pour that bag of stuff into it.”

Li Teng gritted his teeth and glanced at her, “Is it ever going to end?”

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“Gzxspv, yzxspv.” Swyd Lkydnbw pxkzle pollvzu yde zlydle shla vs ryv bkp pbswzela okvb sdl byde, vlypkdt, “Zsw’al osajkdt byae, kv’p yd bsdsa.”

Nk Mldt alxykdle pkzldv, vbld qsanlqwzzu vsal srld vbl cyt, kdpvydvzu yppywzvle cu y pvaydtl pxlzz. Tl oakdjzle bkp caso, rwzzle vbl cyt srld y qlo kdnblp, pbsokdt ekpeykd, “Ebyv awcckpb kp vbkp?”

Fbl pxkzle kd alprsdpl, “Uyv zkvvla. Rv tslp kd vbl nyv vskzlv.”

Tl pvyule pkzldv qsa y qlo plnsdep, vbld zkqvle bkp yax yde rswale vbl ldvkal cyt sq nyv zkvvla kdvs vbl csm.

Swyd Lkydnbw vbld piwyvvle esod okvb vbl nbwccu nyv kd bla yaxp, ryvvkdt kvp blye psqvzu, bla hsknl tldvzl, “Gzaktbv, qasx dso sd, vbkp kp uswa bsxl. El’zz vyjl tsse nyal sq usw, R rasxkpl.”

Nk Mldt zlydle ytykdpv vbl oyzz, bkp lulp pzktbvzu dyaasole, yde pnsqqle yv bla osaep, zktbvzu pyukdt, “Psd’v nswdv xl kd.”

Mbl nbwccu nyv, okvb kvp aswde lulp, pyv sd vbl taswde, tzydnkdt clvolld bkx yde bla, zssjkdt hlau nsdqwple okvb y “xlso.”

Swyd Lkydnbw rswvle, zlydkdt nzspla vs kv yde xwaxwakdt, “Usxl blal, nbwccu nyv, zlv xl kdvasewnl usw. Mbkp kp Nk Mldt, swa cspp. Psd’v cl qsszle cu bso ckt bl kp,” pbl rywple, rkdnbkdt bla vbwxc yde qsalqkdtla vstlvbla vs kdeknyvl y vkdu yxswdv, “bl byp y blyav sdzu vbkp pxyzz.”

He squinted from the smoke, “What did you just say?”


“I didn’t say anything, just introducing you to it. Complimenting how handsome you are,” Ruan Nianchu teased, not blinking as she smiled, her gaze still fixed on the chubby cat in front of her, feeling a bit troubled, “But calling you chubby cat all the time won’t do. You need a name.”

“Meow?” The chubby cat wagged its tail.

Ruan Nianchu lowered her head, pondering for a moment but coming up empty, then looked up at Li Teng, “Hey, what’s a good name for our cat?”

His expression remained neutral, “My things have to share my surname. Everything else is up to you.”

“Surname Li… what Li should it be?” Ruan Nianchu seriously pondered for a moment, then after a few seconds, had a flash of inspiration and exclaimed joyfully, “Oh, I’ve got it.”

Li Teng glanced at her, “What?”

“Li Xiaojiu.” With a cheerful mood, Ruan Nianchu was practically applauding herself for her wisdom.

Li Teng’s face darkened at her words, speaking softly, “No.”

“Why can’t such a good name work?” She chuckled, holding Li Xiaojiu’s two small front paws and lifting it up gently, swaying it lightly from side to side, making a pun as she spoke, “Our Li Xiaojiu is so cute.”

Li Xiaojiu meowed as if echoing her words.

Outside the window, the sun was setting, and the figures of the girl and the cat were enveloped in the hazy twilight. She looked pleased with herself, a playful triumph in her expression, her lips curved in a smile, her snow-white teeth and pink lips especially alluring. Li Teng stared at her soft and gentle profile.

In an instant, he extinguished his cigarette, went over, and encircled her from behind. His chin nestled into the nape of her neck, his arms wrapping tightly around her from both sides, fingers interlocked at her waist.


“Not mad at me anymore?” Li Teng’s voice was low and husky, his face nuzzling against her soft cheek.

Ruan Nianchu wanted to roll her eyes a bit, placing her hand on his large hand and pinching it, “Dealing with an old sourpuss like you, if I actually kept count, wouldn’t I be fuming with anger? Forget it.”

Li Xiaojiu regained its freedom, meowing as it ran back to its own bed, only poking its little head out to look at the two of them, timidly.

Li Teng lowered his gaze, feeling a bit intoxicated by the warm fragrance emanating from her body. He didn’t say anything.

She tilted her head slightly, gently tugging his nose, “With your bad temper, being able to find such an understanding and generous girlfriend like me, you’re practically burning incense. Isn’t that right?”

“Right,” he nudged her earlobe with his nose, “My wife is the best.”

“Will you still get mad at me next time?”

“Don’t dare.”

“What do you not dare?” Ruan Nianchu said softly, somewhat resigned, “Seeing a cat and thinking there’s something between me and Lain, being overly suspicious. How many times have I told you, Lain is just a kid in my heart, I’ve always treated him like a little brother. Chief, you really don’t have to be so sensitive.”

At his words, Li Teng sneered, his tone neither cold nor warm, “Miss, you really shouldn’t be so naive.”

“How am I naive?”

“You treat people as little brothers, but who said people treat you as a big sister?”


She frowned, gently pushing away from him to face him, asking, “What do you mean by that? If Lain doesn’t treat me as a big sister, then what does he treat me as?”

Li Teng lowered his gaze, looking down at her, “Lain likes you.”

Ruan Nianchu wanted to roll her eyes massively, “Why are you saying this again? Can you stop being so suspicious all the time?”

He remained extremely calm, “Who said I’m ‘suspicious’?”

As soon as the words fell, the entire room fell into silence.

Ruan Nianchu looked at Li Teng with surprise, and Li Teng, expressionless, looked back at her, the air seeming to freeze. Only the cat named Li Xiaojiu, squinting its eyes, curled up in its soft bed, meowed twice.

Things were about to go back to the beginning.

The “Operation Hidden Dragon” of the Chinese military, which lasted for four and a half years, fundamentally changed the fate of a large number of child soldiers. Tori, now known as Lain, was a typical example.

With Li Teng’s help, he had foster parents, a home, the opportunity to go to school, and a brand new life.

At that time, everyone, including Li Teng, thought that this child, fundamentally good-natured, returning to the sunshine, should quickly overcome the dark past and grow up.

Li Teng entrusted Tori to a Cambodian couple and then returned to the country.

When he saw Tori again, it had been five years since the end of “Operation Hidden Dragon.”


That day happened to be Tori’s eighteenth birthday.

Li Teng had contacted Tori’s foster parents in advance, saying he was in Phnom Penh for business and would visit Tori. The foster parents agreed with smiles. But after agreeing, it seemed like they wanted to say something to Li Teng but hesitated.

Li Teng pressed for an answer.

Only then did the foster parents tell him the truth.

As it turned out, Tori was an orphan and had been a child soldier under Tuwa since he could remember. What outsiders saw as a den of demons was his only home and family. Seven years ago, his most trusted Lee transformed into an undercover agent for the Chinese military. He witnessed his most trusted person leading several special forces to destroy his home and kill his family and friends.

All of this caused immense trauma to Tori’s young mind.

As Tori grew older, this trauma evolved into psychological illness.

Upon learning of this, Li Teng flew to Phnom Penh immediately and had Tori admitted to the best hospital in the city for treatment. During this time, Li Teng stayed by Tori’s side, covering medical expenses and taking care of him.

Upon hearing this, Ruan Nianchu was very surprised, “So the child had autism? Was he cured later?”

Li Teng replied coldly, “If he hadn’t been cured, would you be playing games with him all day?”

“…Yeah,” she nodded, “Then how did you realize he liked me?”

Li Teng said, “On the first day he was admitted to the hospital, I went to his house to help him get books and stationery. I accidentally found many sketchbooks.”



“What did he draw?”

“A woman.” Li Teng glanced at her, his gaze fixed on her face. “Ruan.”

“…” Ruan Nianchu’s eyes widened in surprise.

Li Teng held her chin lightly and said in a slow, deep voice, “He filled five whole sketchbooks, all of you.”

Later, the psychologist found a breakthrough from Tori’s strange drawings and treated the teenager with hypnotherapy. After a four-month course of treatment, Tori gradually recovered, and his social disorders and psychological shadows were basically eliminated.

Li Teng remembered the day he completed Tori’s discharge procedures and sent the young man back to his foster parents. Coincidentally, it was October, and the capital of Cambodia was sunny, with no clouds for miles.

Tori’s foster parents were very polite to him, serving tea and treating him as an esteemed guest. Their words were nothing more than polite expressions of gratitude.

As he drank from his cup, Li Teng glanced up and saw the young man sitting under the window sill in the bedroom, flipping through those sketchbooks filled with drawings of Ruan. He seemed calm, almost obsessed.

Li Teng got up and went into the bedroom, closing the door behind him. He took another look at those drawings. Since the boy was an amateur, his drawings were abstract, making it difficult to discern the true likeness of the person in the drawings.

But Li Teng knew who the “Ruan” in the boy’s drawings was.

Neither he nor the boy spoke, and the room fell silent.

After some time, the boy smiled gently and said in Khmer, “You like Ruan, don’t you.”

Li Teng remained silent.

The boy raised his gaze to look at him, his eyes as clear as they were in childhood. “After so many years, have you ever tried to find Ruan?”

Li Teng replied, “No.”

“Lee, do you remember, you used to say I was like your little brother.” The boy’s tone was even naive when he said this, “In the past, you would share all your spoils with me, knives, guns, and even wine stolen from the French. You were generous, never stingy.”

Li Teng looked at him, his eyes darkening. “What do you want to say?”

“You can find her,” Tori smiled faintly, “Once you find her, she’ll be ours. Right?”

“Tori,” he remained calm, “Don’t make me regret saving you.”

“Lee, you’ve really changed… No, you were never Lee. I am Lee’s brother, but just a pawn of Li Teng’s. You acted so well, I admire that.” He switched to broken Chinese, slowly reciting the nightmare in his memory, “Chinese Airborne Falcons Special Forces, Li Teng.”

Before Tori could finish, Li Teng turned and walked away.

They never saw each other again.

The complete story of the young Tori was thus revealed, with Li Teng omitting only the conversation they had during their final meeting, and told everything to Ruan Nianchu.

After listening, she felt depressed and couldn’t calm down for a long time.

Seven years ago, in the jungles of Cambodia, Li Teng was single-mindedly completing his mission while she was single-mindedly heading home. What they did was considered righteous or correct by themselves. In their eyes, destroying Tuwa’s main camp and dealing with the stubborn rebels on the spot, even if it resulted in bloodshed and casualties, was necessary to uphold justice.

But “justice” was always relative.

The rebels they saw as irredeemable criminals were seen as brothers and friends by another group of people. What they saw as good became evil in the eyes of another group.

Tori almost became a victim of this contradiction.

After a while, Ruan Nianchu took a deep breath and said, “Fortunately, everything is over now. As for those portraits… I think I should have a good talk with Lain.”

Li Teng replied coldly, “There’s no need.”


“A person’s thoughts cannot be controlled by others, and emotions cannot be controlled by reason. If human emotions were so easy to change or eliminate, where would the countless sorrows and sufferings in the world come from?”

Li Teng said this casually, but to Ruan Nianchu’s ears, it made her slightly widen her eyes and mutter, “Wow, your style suddenly changed. How come you’re suddenly talking so eloquently?”

Li Teng sneered, hooked her chin with his index finger, and said, “Even if your man is not good enough, he graduated from Polytechnic University and ranked first every year. Do you really think I’m uncultured?”

“…” Ruan Nianchu was silent for a few seconds before nodding and saying, “No wonder you don’t like him. No wonder you’re so angry.”

As admirers, Li Teng’s attitude towards Lain was no different from her attitude towards Ji Xiaoxuan. But compared to Li Teng’s attitude towards Ji Xiaoxuan, her attitude towards Lain… well, it was indeed worthy of criticism.

Thinking about it, Ruan Nianchu quickly admitted her mistake, “I’m sorry, I didn’t know before that Lain had such strange feelings for me. I’ll keep my distance from him in the future. But if I don’t talk to him, should I just let it go?”

Li Teng replied coldly, “If anyone should talk to him, it’ll be me.”

“…How do you plan to talk to him?”

“If I can use my hands, I won’t use my mouth.”

“…” Ruan Nianchu was taken aback for a moment before saying, “We’re all civilized people. This isn’t very appropriate.”

“Then what?”

“Otherwise… I’ll have a good chat with him,” Ruan Nianchu pondered, “and make him adjust his attitude in the future, treating me as a sister.”

Without hesitation, he said, “I’ll make you treat me as your brother in the future. Can you do that?”

She thought seriously for a moment, shook her head seriously, and said, “Where do I find such an old brother like you? Treating you as an uncle might work.”

Li Teng narrowed his eyes, pinched her slim waist maliciously, and said, “You’re bold. Say it again?”

She was ticklish, chuckled, dodged, and pushed him away, saying, “I was wrong, can’t I? Just joking with you, why so serious…” As she retreated, her foot caught on something, and she exclaimed, pulling him along, and they both fell onto the couch.


The chubby cat, Li Xiaojiu, was startled by the noise, shrinking its head back into its nest cautiously, “Meow.”

There was a person underneath carefully protecting her, so Ruan Nianchu didn’t feel any pain from the fall. She raised her head from Li Teng’s chest, blushing, her hair a bit messy, and smiled at him, “Captain Li, let’s consider our conversation today settled. From now on, you can’t get angry with me because of Lain.”

Li Teng frowned, “When did I get angry with you?”

She replied, “Just now.”

He got irritated at this and grumbled impatiently, “Who told you to bring that cat back?”

“I didn’t know what was on Tori’s mind,” Ruan Nianchu pinched his face, “You’re so taciturn, not saying anything, and blaming me.”

Li Teng caught her hand and kissed it, whispering, “Let’s agree on one thing, just this once. If it happens again, I’ll throw out whatever I see out the window. Don’t blame me for not warning you beforehand.”

“Um, it definitely won’t happen again.” She obediently nodded, hooked her finger around his, and pulled, “Hooked on each other, no changes for a hundred years.”

He smirked and straightened up, lifting her waist.

Ruan Nianchu instinctively hugged his neck and was startled, “What are you doing?”

“Early to bed, early to rise,” Li Teng said lightly, walking straight to the bedroom.

Ruan Nianchu’s lips twitched, “…It’s not even dark yet.”

He said seriously, “Who says you can’t sleep during the day?”

“We haven’t had dinner yet.”

“After we sleep, we’ll eat.”

“…” Ruan Nianchu was speechless. Besides this man, who could be so dedicated to the point of neglecting food and sleep for this matter?

Before entering the bedroom, Li Teng took a last look at the new chubby cat. It lazily yawned and closed its eyes to sleep.


At two in the morning, the house was silent. Li Teng sat alone in the living room smoking.

Soon, the phone on the table vibrated. The caller ID showed it was Yang Zhengfeng.

He answered, “Hello.”

Yang Zhengfeng’s voice came from the receiver, “Any progress?”


Playing with the lighter, he spoke casually, “Any news about Washa and Duan Kun recently?”

“Since you came back from the border town, these two have disappeared. They should have left the country. It’s been over a month now, and Da En hasn’t made any moves. He suddenly went silent.”

Li Teng chuckled, “Do you really think Da En can stay quiet?”

Yang Zhengfeng was suspicious, “What do you mean?”

“Send the brothers to keep an eye on someone.”


“Lain.” He flicked the cigarette ash and said lightly, “Keep a close watch on him, we should be able to dig up something.”

The call ended.

Outside the window, the night was quiet and deep, with a slight cool breeze blowing in. After a moment, Li Teng extinguished the cigarette butt in the ashtray and glanced at the fat cat by his feet.

In the darkness, its round eyes emitted a faint green light.

For a moment, Li Teng took out his phone expressionlessly and sent a message to Yang Zhengfeng: There’s a bug, Lain isn’t a ghost. Everything’s ready, initiate “interception” plan.

The moment he pressed the send button, for some reason, Li Teng suddenly smiled.

He probably knew the reason he liked Ruan Nianchu.

She was simple, and he was too complicated. With her, he could find the simplest happiness and satisfaction—after all, since the day he put on his military uniform, such things seemed to have been nonexistent.

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