On a flight.
Ying Qiao was seething with anger. During the past week, he had attended five conferences, big and small. Usually, one meeting lasted a whole day. Listening to the attendees’ outrageous and utterly stupid proposals, Ying Qiao had a hard time suppressing his urges to just overturn the table and leave.
He had never attended the conferences like these before, content to leave such mundane tasks to Tai Feng or other people in the Bureau. But to burnish the Ying Dragon’s image, he volunteered to take on these jobs that allow him to make public appearances.
No wonder Tai Feng was delighted on hearing his offer and escorted him personally to the airport.
Ying Qiao massaged between his eyebrows and said coldly.” When we turned in the report to the Bureau, we ask Tai Feng to compensate us for the psychological traumas we had suffered during these conferences.”
Pausing, Cheng Hua reminded him.” You forget? Tai Feng is very stingy. Even the cost of this trip has to come from our own pocket. No chance he would compensate us. It is better to beat him to vent our anger.”
Ying Qiao agreed.” You are right, when will this flight arrive?”
Checking the time, Cheng Hua answered.” Around four o’clock.”
Ying Qiao then closed his eyes to rest.
Suddenly he heard the little passenger behind him say.” Mama, today is Children’s day. I want a Nintendo Switch as my gift, ok?”
It was a boy’s voice. Ying Qiao remembered seeing a mother and her son took the seat behind him.
This boy continued.” I haven’t received your gift for Children’s Day.”
Ying Qiao opened his eyes and asked Cheng Hua.” Today is Children’s day?”
This was beyond the scope of knowledge of a thousand years old high monster. After a search on Baiduthe Chinese equivalent of Google., Cheng Hua got the answer.” Yes, it is a holiday for human children. Now it has become quite popular among the younger generation.”
“Does the Monster Race celebrate this holiday?” Ying Qiao asked.
Cheng Hua wasn’t sure.” Perhaps?”
After a thought, Ying Qiao instructed.” When we arrived at the airport, you hail a taxi back. I need to use the car.”
Ying Qiao rarely bothered to explain his decision. But seeing the grumpy look on Cheng Hua’s face, he added.” The Little Monster will get off work soon. I need to be with him to celebrate this holiday.”
The Little Monster was just a cub.
Cheng Hua was speechless. Finally, he said reluctantly.” Ok….”
Jiang Lan’s group first went to Jiao Chong’s Honey Jar, one of the many amusement park attractions.
Here the amusement park cleverly designed a queue with themed environments and an adorably arranged background story wall that set the stage for the amusement ride. Many park employees dressed in Jiao Chong monster costumes were here to attend to the needs of tourists.
According to Hua Nation mythology, Jiao Chong was a Deity dwelt in Ping Feng Mountain. He had the human body but was born with two heads. As the chieftain of all shi insectsAll the bees, wasp and hornets., he was the ultimate authority of all the bees, wasps and hornets.
On the background story wall, a story was inscribed: Jiao Chong was originally twins born with one body and two heads. His parents abandoned this severely deformed infant in the mountains. But a group of shi insects chose to raise him, and he was later endowed with the power to rule all the shi insects after he came of age. Because he had stopped Shi Insects from ravaging the villages at the foot of the mountain, the villagers there elected to worship him as the Ping Feng Mountain God and offered roosters as sacrifices to him yearly.
Jiao Chong’s favourite food is honey; consequently, the seats of this amusement ride were designed in the shape of honey jars. Every honey jar seat was accompanied by a sculpture of Jiao Chong. Despite its twin heads, the sculptures were designed to be adorable, not to frighten people.
When it was their turn, the three of them sat in a bright yellow honey jar intended to fit three adults. Zhang Tianxing held Suan Ni in his arms, his tail kept wagging merrily.
After all the tourists took their seats, the honey jars started to rotate slowly while moving along a track. The rotate speed was moderate, didn’t provide much thrill and stimulation.
But Jiao Tu and Suan Ni, who had never experienced amusement rides like this before, were looking around in amazement. Around them, a dozen big honey jars were spinning to the tourists’ happy cheers.
When the ride came to an end, and the honey jar stopped spinning, Jiao Tu and Suan Ni felt they didn’t have enough of it.
Jiao Tu actually felt a little dizzy. He rarely asked for anything, but today he said with flushed cheeks and in a soft voice.” Fifth brother, I want to try it again.”
He acted like a cub first taste the sweetness of candy and ask for more.
Jiang Lan naturally granted his wish. And they waited in the line again. Their passes entitled them to wait in a queue reserved for fast pass holders, but because now it was peak season, their line was still very long.
The moment they came to the end of the line, a girl suddenly darted towards an employee in charge of keeping orders.
“Ah Jiao! I finally found you!”
This employee was startled. Dressed in heavy costume, he adeptly took a few steps backward to dodge the young girl.
“I, I don’t know you.”
Even though he claimed he didn’t know the girl, his wavering voice and body gestures told a different story.
The curiosity of the queuing tourists was aroused.
They always welcome any scene of interest to relieve the boredom of waiting.
After Ah Jiao dodged her, the girl appeared sad. With red-rimmed eyes, she stared at the man incredulously.” So you regret your decision? I have been waiting for many years and now you suddenly decide you don’t want to marry me?”
Looking around, she suddenly covered her face and started weeping.” The whole village knew I would marry you. If you change your mind, I have no choice but to die in shame.”
Ah Jiao seemed very anxious. He stammered, attempting to explain.” But I didn’t …. I didn’t promise to marry you.”
The weeping girl’s shoulder trembled. She suddenly raised her head. With tears in her eyes, she watched the young man with painful looks. She fumbled out a necklace from her purse. It was a red string with two cute little bees attached to it.
“This is the token of our love. I can accept your change of mind. But how could you deny your own words?”
“….It is not like that.” Confronted with the girls’ question, Ah Jiao shook his head forcefully. He suddenly took off his head costume and wanted to grab that necklace.” It is mine. Please return it to me.”
But the girl moved it away from him. She said.” If you don’t marry me, I wouldn’t return the necklace to you. This is the love token you gifted me. If you want to retrieve it, you know where I live.”
But Ah Jiao took a step backward and shook his head firmly.” I won’t go.”
The girl was again on the edge of crying.” Why do you despise me like this? I have been waiting for your proposal for ten years. From the age of sixteen to twenty six.”
She appeared so pitiful. The nearby tourists now had the whole picture. A soft-hearted person tried to comfort her.” A good-looking girl like you would have no trouble finding a suitable young man. Don’t waste your time on him.”
Another person even accused Ah Jiao.” This girl has been waiting for you for the past ten years. How could you change your mind all of the sudden? You are really a scumbag.”
“There will be divine retribution waiting for him. The Buddha wouldn’t spare him.”
Ah Jiao stood here and opened his mouth, seeming to want to say something. But he had nothing to add and lowered his head in dismay.
But that girl wiped off her tears and smiled. She said.” Thank you! But I have no wish to let go of him. If I can’t marry him, I would rather die.”
Then she bowed deeply and left.
Ah Jiao was left to face the scrutiny and righteous accusations of the nearby tourists.
He didn’t say a word throughout. But in a flash of a second, his face grew grim.
Jiang Lan watched him intently. Then he whispered to Zhang Tianxing.” If I am not mistaken, he just showed two heads. Have you seen it?”
In the second when Ah Jiao’s face grew grim, on the right side of his neck, the vague shape of a head appeared briefly. Ordinary mortals didn’t have the eyesight to catch it. But Jiang Lan didn’t miss it.
This amusement ride was called”Jiao Chong’s Honey Jar,” and the employee who worked here had two heads. So it was easy to guess the identity of this Ah Jiao.
Zhang Tianxing nodded.” Yes, I have seen it.”
Jiang Lan waited for his comments. But seeing he had no intention to add anything, Jiang Lan asked.” Do you have any comments about it?”
Furrowing his brow, Zhang Tianxing was uncomprehending.” What comments?”
Jiang Lan awkwardly stopped here, thinking it was hard to begin a conversation with this cool guy.
He began to miss Ying Qiao, who was always eager to answer his questions and respond to his every word. With him, there was no such thing as an awkward silence.
It was a coincidence that the moment he thought about Ying Qiao, his call popped up on his phone screen. He called to ask Jiang Lan where he was.
With loud background noise, Jiang Lan shouted to the phone.” I brought my brothers to the Ocean and Mountain Amusement Park to celebrate Children’s Day. You came to my office?”
Ocean and Mountain Amusement Park?
Ying Qiao sent a message to Cheng Hua: [Do you remember the Ocean and Mountain Amusement Park?]
Cheng Hua quickly replied:[ Of course. Five years ago, Ping Feng Mountain God had sought investment from us. After the amusement park business took off and first turned a profit, Jiao Chong decided to give us 30% shares in this operation.]
He still remembered the company’s board of directors’ opposition to this investment. Even he didn’t approve it at that time.
A monster-themed amusement park hires real monsters as employees. The risk inherent in this enterprise was evident to everyone involved. If not for Ying Qiao’s wholehearted support, the Ocean and Mountain Amusement Park would most probably die in its infancy.
No one expected the buzz this park generated on the internet.
There was only one Ocean and Mountain Amusement Park in Jiang City without any franchise operations elsewhere. Because of that, it attracted many tourists from all over the country to travel to Jiang City. Hence, the tourism sector in the city reaped a rich dividend.
What they worried about most, a panic caused by the revelation of the real monsters in the Amusement Park, didn’t materialize.
Jiao Chong turned out to be a marketing genius. The “Panda Monster” incident was orchestrated by him, which attracted countless people to the park. Then he deployed other gimmicks to obscure the facts.
The legends about monsters in the Ocean and Mountain Amusement Parks were still the top trending topic on the internet. But except for a minority of people who firmly believe in the existence of Monsters, most of the people just read and talked about this for their amusement.
Cheng Hua didn’t know why Ying Qiao brought this up all of a sudden.
Perhaps he was in the mood for reminiscing about his past glorious achievements?
Should I humour him by praising his wise decision back then?
As a special assistant with a high salary, he needs to give an outstanding performance at work and make his boss feel comfortable in private life.
While he was racking his brain recalling Ying Qiao’s scarce glorious achievements, Ying Qiao sent another message.[ Get me a few skip-the-line VIP passes for this amusement park]
Cheng Hua was surprised.
A dragon interested in a trip to the amusement park?
Then it suddenly dawned on him:[ You wanted to take Jiang Lan to the amusement park?]
Ying Qiao was affirmative:[, Yes, Please deliver the passes to the entrance before five o’clock. Remember to drive my black Honda.]
Now you decided to take on the role of a daddy?