After Ming Luchuan left, Xia Wennan returned to his room to wash up before changing into a casual tee and shorts from his wardrobe.
Truth be told, he wasn’t all that pleased with the clothes in his closet.
Those clothes seemed a little mature to him, someone whose mindset had reverted to that of a university student.

He walked out of his room and paused at the doorway, taking in his surroundings as he contemplated purchasing several new outfits on Taobao.
Afterwards, he proceeded to the kitchen and dining area. 

Aside from the bedrooms, the rest of the apartment was designed with an open plan.
The kitchen and dining area were combined into one space, which featured a neat row of kitchenware hanging from above.
Even though they were spotless, it didn’t appear that no one was using them.
When Xia Wennan opened the kitchen’s large built-in refrigerator, it was full of food.
There were even his childhood brand of cookies and chips.

He took out the milk and cookies and sat down at the dining table. 

The table was next to the floor-to-ceiling east-facing window.
The early morning sun cast its rays on him and warmed his entire body, causing him to relax automatically.

Xia Wennan took out his brand new phone and tried to retrieve his backup data while munching on a cookie, but nothing changed and all he got were his contacts.
He scanned through them, eyes catching on the first name—a single capital M.
For a brief period, his gaze was drawn to that letter as he thought, could this be Ming Luchuan? He paused for a beat before dialing the number.
In the next second, a man picked up the phone, and sure enough, it was none other than Ming Luchuan. 

Upon hearing Ming Luchuan’s voice, Xia Wennan hung up decisively. 

He then installed WeChat and attempted to login with his phone number.
Despite the fact that his chat logs were gone, he still had many university classmates in his friends list, so he looked for his old roommate and best buddy and shot him a message. 

His roommate didn’t reply to him right away. 

Xia Wennan put his phone away and emptied the entire milk carton in one breath, then stood up and got ready to go out. 

Ming Luchuan’s house—or, more accurately perhaps, his and Ming Luchuan’s house—was located in the heart of the city.   

When Xia Wennan stepped out of the apartment complex, the immediate surroundings were very quiet.
He didn’t see many shops along the way, and there were very few people on the streets.
A car would occasionally speed past him on the level and smooth road.
In such a busy part of town, such a street should be uncommon.

However, after only twenty minutes of walking and making a turn at two intersections, the streetscape unfolded before his eyes as he stepped right into the hustle and bustle of the city.

Xia Wennan stood in place for a few moments, suddenly a little disoriented.
It was as if he’d abruptly stepped into another universe. 

The sweltering summer heat, combined with a cacophony of smells, rushed at him head-on.
Although it was still early in the morning, the city was already fully awake, with pedestrians and vehicles flooding the streets and spreading out from the city centre in all directions. 

Xia Wennan wasn’t a big fan of crowded places.
It wasn’t that he didn’t like people, he just didn’t like all the various scents that came with a thronging crowd.

In this world, though Alphas and Omegas were in the minority, you would inevitably come across them in such a bustling commercial district.
At such times, one’s senses would be assaulted by a slew of pheromones containing various emotions—and even desires.

Xia Wennan was a beta.
He was never meant to be able to smell these scents in the first place.  

Only one type of pheromone could affect Betas in this world, and that was an Alpha’s deterrent pheromones.
This resulted in Alphas assuming an innate position of power in society.
It meant that gender inequality was inevitable, but it was something that couldn’t be helped. 

Additionally, Betas weren’t able to smell pheromones nor perceive the emotions they conveyed. 

But Xia Wennan was an exception. 

Xia Wennan was born a Beta, but he was able to smell pheromones.
He could not only smell them, he could also perceive the emotions they carried.
For instance, when an Omega in his class had gone into heat, he and the Alphas in the class could practically tell at the same time.
Unlike them though, the pheromones had no effect on him, so when that Omega went into heat, he could calmly sit in a corner of the class, smelling the thick burst of Alpha pheromones in the air. 

There wasn’t anything normal about that.

Xia Wennan had no idea he was different from the rest of his peers when he was a child.
He’d assumed that everyone had their own distinct scent, the particularly beautiful boys and girls especially.
As he grew older, he discovered that other Betas couldn’t smell pheromones at all, and that he was the only Beta in the world with such an acute sense of smell.

His grandpa had taken him to the doctor.
The doctor told him that it might’ve been the result of genetically caused heterozygous differentiation when he was an embryo.
Some classified it as a disorder.
Some didn’t.
But it had no impacts on his life and health, and it didn’t need to be treated. 

It may not have affected his health, but it undoubtedly affected Xia Wennan’s life.
This sense of smell had always made him extremely uncomfortable—it was as if he was forced to pry into other people’s private affairs, becoming an invisible soul in the AO world he didn’t belong to.  

Like this particular moment—as Xia Wennan walked down the busiest, most flourishing street in town, watching people pass by, he’d smell the sweet scent of an Omega’s pheromones every now and then, poke his nose into their moods.
It left him disoriented.
It felt both familiar and foreign to him. 

As he continued down the street, a thin young man brushed past him, and a clear and sweet fragrance wafted through the air.
This scent made him stop in his tracks and turn his head to get a good look at the youth’s back. 

Although the youth was thin, his build was not petite, and Xia Wennan had also caught a glimpse of his face as he’d passed him just now.
He was certain that the young man was a Beta, and yet his body reeked of Omega pheromones.

This wasn’t too strange.
After all, one’s gender isn’t always determined by outward appearances.
What Xia Wennan found odd.
though, was that the scent of that youth’s pheromones was exactly the same as the girl he’d smelled at the fast food restaurant in his hometown the night before. 

Xia Wennan was more sensitive to smells than the average person.
Though he hadn’t encountered that many Alphas and Omegas, he was under the impression that no two individuals would smell exactly the same.

These two people proved otherwise.

Xia Wennan was able to conclude that these two people’s pheromones were indistinguishable from one another.
It was as if the same perfume had been poured into two different bottles.
Furthermore, both of them appeared to be Betas. 

Perfume? Pheromones? Xia Wennan whirled around and continued onwards. 

It was impossible to extract pheromones and turn them into bottled perfumes.
Perfumes could only imitate a pheromone’s scent; there was no way to extract the actual biological information they contained.
Alphas and Omegas were able to communicate their emotions through pheromones, including their fears, happiness, anger, and even love.
Perfumes, on the other hand, were just a scent.
It couldn’t convey anything, and the meanings they represented were usually imposed by the people selling them for no other reason than to increase sales. 

While he was thinking about this, Xia Wennan’s attention was suddenly drawn to a large display screen on the wall of the trade building on the street corner in front of him. 

The screen appeared to be showing a commercial: a beautiful young woman wearing a pure white gown walked through the crowd, attracting the attention of a tall Alpha, an ambiguous air between them.
The commercial didn’t feature a single product, and it wasn’t until the end that two words appeared on the screen—Ming Yan.

Xia Wennan felt that he’d seen those words somewhere before, then immediately recalled the work ID he’d found in his room the night before—“Ming Yan Fragrance Technology Co., LTD.” Department Manager of Product Research and Development—Xia Wennan.

☆ ☆ ☆

t/n — i changed the title slightly as i think ‘passage’ is better suited to the original word than ‘access’ in the story’s context, but as i’m not a native speaker and am generally just bad with titles so i can’t really say vouch for its accuracy.
does anyone know how to change novel titles on novelupdates though? T__T

点击屏幕以使用高级工具 提示:您可以使用左右键盘键在章节之间浏览。

You'll Also Like