Ying Qiao didn’t expect this emotional reaction from Jiang Lan. He stared at Jiang Lan in surprise.
Jiang Lan belatedly realized he had overreacted. As a little monster, he should have nothing to do with the Dragon Palace or Ya Zi.
What’s more, Ying Qiao couldn’t know what the brothers of the Dragon Palace were really like. Considering that he had come here out of his worry for him, Jiang Lan thought he had been too harsh on Ying Qiao.
Under Ying Qiao’s surprised gaze, Jiang Lan apologized to him.” Sorry, I shouldn’t talk to you like this.”
Then he added.” I am just very angry.”
He offered a seemingly plausible explanation.” Do you know many people like to idolize celebrities? Ya Zi and Tao Tie are actually my idols. I have been their fan for many years. To understand them better, I have read many documents about them. It turned out that the world at large has many misunderstandings about them. That’s why I was so angry at the mention of those rumors.”
“My anger is not targeted at you.”
He gazed at Ying Qiao cautiously like a misbehaving child asking for forgiveness.
Any anger Ying Qiao might have would have melted at this look. Not to mention he was not really angry.
He was just a little jealous.
He even suspected that Tao Tie and Ya Zi were not the Little Monster’s only idols. He might have other idols.
This suspicion brought to mind the Dragon Palace. He knew what human fandom was like. Those fanboys and fangirls worship not only individual celebrities but also a dazzling array of girl groups or boy bands.
In a sense, the Dragon Palace was a kind of boy group which attracted a loyal following among monsters who admired the glamorous Dragon Palace.
Ying Qiao wanted to ask: Do you also idolize the whole Dragon Palace?’
But he thought better of it and didn’t ask.
If Jiang Lan admitted it, this piece of information served no purpose except to disturb his peace of mind.
Ying Qiao thought sometimes it was better not to know.
Under the uneasy gaze of Jiang Lan, Ying Qiao raised his hand to stroke his head and took out a milk candy. Peeling off the wrapping paper, he offered it to Jiang Lan.” I am not angry.”
As a parent, he shouldn’t get mad over his cub’s worship of unworthy idols.
He should seek to influence his cub subtly. Opposition and confrontation would only lead to his cub’s outright rebellion.
With candy in his mouth, Jiang Lan smiled and said sincerely.” You are so good to me.”
This heartfelt comment melted Ying Qiao’s heart. He thought he was perhaps the most enlightened parent in the whole world.
This brief storm quieted down.
Since it was still early in the evening, they decided to stay awhile longer. Ying Qiao joined them to crack nuts. After they finished off a bag of nuts, Jiang Lan proposed a stroll in the woods before returning home.
Jiang Lan loved the vibes of this place. If this Plaza was near his home, he would love to take a stroll here every day after work.
They strolled shoulder to shoulder among the trees. Jiang Lan held Jiao Tu in his arms, and Ying Qiao had Suan Ni sit on his shoulder.
They rarely spoke, content to remain silent in each other’s company.
Once in a while, a few people would give them a curious glance.
On one occasion, several girls stared at them as they walked past them.
Sensing their stare, Jiang Lan checked his clothing and turned to speak with Ying Qiao.” Why are they looking at us like that? Anything wrong?”
Ying Qiao glanced at them and said coldly.” Perhaps they are bored, don’t pay them much mind.”
Following Ying Qiao, Jiang Lan ignored them and resumed their stroll.
They stayed there until nine o’clock.
The moment they walked out of the wood, Jiang Lan saw Jiu Feng was looking around, seeming to look for someone. But when he was about to greet her, Ying Qiao stopped him.
He led the Little Monster away calmly while telling him.” Jiu Feng was there, we can exit this Plaza through this way to stay away from her.”
Jiang Lan was surprised.” How do you know she is Jiu Feng?”
Ying Qiao didn’t expect this question, but he soon found an explanation.” Oh, I just watched the video clip you sent me and recognized her clothing.”
“Oh.” Jiang Lan believed him.
Ying Qiao said.” Remember what I told you. Stay away from her.”
Jiang Lan touched his forehead, thinking he really needed to stay away from her in case she might recognize him and want to renew their ancient feud. That would cause him no end of trouble.
So they took another route out of the Plaza.
Sensing Jiang Lan’s surprised look when they walked to the car, Ying Qiao explained calmly.” Before I came here, I was working extra hours in the company. So I borrowed my boss’s car.”
Jiang Lan felt a little guilty.” I am sorry to trouble you.”
Ying Qiao let out a chuckle and fastened the seatbelt for him.” No trouble at all. I am older than you. So it is my responsibility to take care of you.”
This reinforced Jiang Lan’s sense of guilt. Jiang Lan thought worriedly.” How can I confess to you after this?”
Picturing the scene of his future confession, when Ying Qiao learned he was not a little monster, but an ancient high monster who had lived a few thousand years and was probably older than any of Ying Qiao’s ancestors, Jiang Lan wondered whether Ying Qiao would end their friendship on the spot.
The more he thought about it, the more convinced he became about the hopelessness of their friendship.
Jiang Lan sighed deeply.
The next day was Friday. As usual, Jiang Lan went to his office. He pushed the door to see Jiu Feng sit in the reception hall.
She didn’t wear makeup today. Instead, she wore plain black gym clothes. But her beauty wasn’t dimmed by her simple clothing.
Xue Meng and Xiao Xiaoyu peeked at her from behind the window.
Xiao Xiaoyu.” She is so gorgeous, I like her. I am willing to exchange ten pounds fresh from my belly for half her beauty.”
Xue Meng sneered.” You are daydreaming.”
With a wireless headphone on, Jiu Feng didn’t hear their bickering.
She took off her headphones when Jiang Lan walked in.” You are finally here.”
Jiang Lan halted in alarm, suspecting that Jiu Feng had recognized him and came here to settle their accounts.
Luckily this was far from Jiu Feng’s mind. Blinking at Jiang Lan, she said.” You left early yesterday and I didn’t find you after the square dancing. So I came here to pay you a visit.”
Then she passed a card to Jiang Lan while saying proudly.” I am here to thank you.”
She had such a good time during last night’s square dancing that Jiu Feng had discarded her old prejudices against humans. With Auntie Xu’s help, she soon became a part of this dance group. She even agreed to join a few members’ morning exercises.
She was always quick to avenge the wrongs done to her, and she was equally swift to repay her debt. So after the morning exercise, she asked for the street administration office’s address from Auntie Xu and went to Jiang Lan’s office.
As a high monster who had nothing except money, Jiu Feng couldn’t think of a better way to express her thanks than offering money. What she was trying to give Jiang Lan was a bank card with a sum deposited into it.
Jiang Lan shook his hands, trying to turn it down.” No, no, no, as a government employee, I can’t accept any gifts.”
Jiu Feng was impatient.” Please, accept it!”
Jiang Lan.” We have a regulation against accepting monetary gifts.”
Jiu Feng became increasingly agitated.” Then what gift do you accept? Say it!”
Jiang Lan shook his head.” I don’t accept any gift. What I did last night is my duty. No need to thank me.”
“No way, I don’t like feeling indebted to someone.” Jiu Feng erupted in anger and pounded the marble counter with the bank card.” Accept it.”
Xiao Xiaoyu and Xue Meng were shocked to see cracks appear on the marble surface under the impact.
Hercules and a beautiful woman rolled into one. What an odd combination!
The two of them trembled like startled quails.
Jiang Lan was worried she might tear down the office building in a rage. A thought struck him.” If you really want to offer money, why not donate to the street administration office? I am a member of this office, making a donation to the office I am working for is the same as giving money to me.”
Jiu Feng thought this proposal was acceptable.” Ok.”
“Please wait, I will bring someone here to accept your donation.” Then Jiang Lan walked towards the accounting department in the back.
On hearing that a wealthy donor was here with a large sum of money, an accountant eagerly came out with Jiang Lan despite his halfway through his breakfast and invited Jiu Feng to their office to complete the donation procedure.
After they were done, the staff in the accounting department escorted Jiu Feng out in a very courteous manner.
Throwing Jiang Lan a side glance, Jiu Feng declared.” Now I don’t owe you anything.
Jiang Lan kept nodding.
I am more concerned about your coming here to repay our old debts.
“Did you report last night’s events?” Jiu Feng was still worried.
Jiang Lan reassured her.” Of course not. You can verify it with the Bureau.”
This seemed to put her mind at ease. Jiu Feng went away in a much better mood. Jiang Lan overheard her muttering to herself.” I might verify it if the Monster Bureau didn’t forbid me to enter their building ….”
After Jiu Feng was gone, Xue Meng and Xiao Xiaoyu came in.
Xue Meng asked with a frightened look.” Who is that beautiful woman?”
Xiao Xiaoyu pointed to the cracks on the marble counter.” She pounded the counter and the marble cracked.”
Jiang Lan said.” She just made a donation. I don’t think we need to ask her to pay for the damaged counter.”
Xiao Xiaoyu said.” That’s not what I mean! Have you seen anyone crack a marble counter with bare hands?”
Jiang Lan nodded without hesitation.” Yes, I have seen someone do that.”
Xiao Xiaoyu was surprised.???
Perhaps I was very ill-informed?
She regarded Jiang Lan with suspicion. But Jiang Lan’s confident look prompted her to drop this topic. She asked the same question as Xue Meng. ” Who is that beautiful woman? Why did she insist on giving you money?”
Jiang Lan.” Did you send me to mediate a dispute yesterday? She was the one Auntie Xu had a dispute with.”
Then he proceeded to describe briefly what happened.
Xiao Xiaoyu was surprised.” Do rich people love square dancing nowadays?”
Can square dancing make people more beautiful?
Then count me in!