A silence permeated the dim bedroom.
With the bed up against the wall, Xue Meng slept on the inside with a thin blanket covering him. Jiang Lan had cast a spell to let him fall into a deep and peaceful slumber. Unfurled blankets dropped by Xue Meng’s side indicated someone had slept here before.
Ying Qiao watched Xue Meng in silence. He remembered him as Jiang Lan’s colleague, whom he had met during the day.
The little monster appeared to be good with people. He can talk and laugh with whomever he chooses. Ying Qiao had seen him laughing with a young monster in the Monster Bureau ground reception hall and with this young human sleeping on his bed.
For a human, sharing a bed with a friend or colleague was not a big deal.
But for a monster, the home was a sacred place; you don’t invite anyone to your home easily. Ying Qiao thought that perhaps Jiang Lan was too young to know this. Because he was older than Jiang Lan, and he was Jiang Lan’s boyfriend, even though in name only, he felt obliged to remind him of this.
Ying Qiao felt relieved by this thought.
Then he noticed the bracelet on that human’s wrist was missing. Jiang Lan wasn’t at home in the middle of the night, so he must have known something was wrong with the bracelet.
“Where is your brother?” Ying Qiao asked Suan Ni.
The tiny cub appeared to be very uncomfortable. He was trying to cling to Ying Qiao’s clothes.
Ying Qiao looked at him for a few seconds and then hesitantly held him in his arms.
He had never held such a tiny cub. His movement seemed to be a little stiff.
Suan Ni gave him an annoyed look. But remembering him as his brother’s date, he answered in a soft voice.” The fifth brother went to the Monster Bureau.”
Ying Qiao was relieved. Jiang Lan must have detected something unusual in the bracelet and went to the Bureau to seek help.
After the trip to the Bureau, Jiang Lan came back to find the door open. Even though he was alarmed, he didn’t rush into home recklessly. Instead, he sneaked into his home and approached his bedroom without making a sound.
Meanwhile, Ying Qiao went out of the bedroom holding Suan Ni, planning to look for Jiang Lan.
They ran into each other in the dim living room in great surprise.
Jiang Lan immediately retracted his claws hidden behind his back. He asked with a confused look.” Why did you come here?”
Ying Qiao didn’t conceal his surprise. Although he was momentarily distracted before they ran into each other, it was remarkable that Jiang Lan was able to sneak into the flat without him detecting his presence until the last moment.
This little monster wasn’t as weak as he thought to be.
With admiring looks in his eyes, Ying Qiao said slowly.” My boss was investigating a case, having something to do with a jewelry shop. I recalled seeing the bracelet of that jewelry shop on your wrist when we met. I was a little worried, so I came to have a look.”
Jiang Lan was surprised.” It’s your boss who has the case?”
When he arrived at the Monster Bureau, the clerk receiving him told him someone had already taken charge of the case. Jiang Lan was a little disappointed for not getting the case.
“Have you caught the monster?”
Ying Qiao shook his head.” He escaped.”
Then he asked.” I smelled that strange fragrance in your room. Did you meet him?”
Feeling a little guilty, Jiang Lan darted his eyes from side to side.” What? Oh, yes, I met him.”
Under Ying Qiao’s gaze, Jiang Lan made up his story in a halting manner.” I didn’t meet the real monster; what I saw was perhaps a duplicate. I met it in a dream …”
“en.” Ying Qiao waited with great patience. He mistook Jiang Lan’s stammering as signs of his fear. After a little hesitating, he extended his hand to pat his head, trying to comfort him.” Don’t be afraid; he can’t hurt you now.”
Ying Qiao seemed to be taken in by his story, so Jiang Lan took a breath of relief.
He simply couldn’t bring himself to tell the truth that his hunger had driven him to eat the monster. Feigning helplessness, he briefly described his dream.”…… in the end, he left suddenly, and I woke up from the dream.”
He probed Ying Qiao cautiously.” What is that thing?”
Ying Qiao didn’t see the point of withholding the truth from him.” He is a Tai Su with human intelligence. His cultivation is not powerful enough. But the tricky thing is that he has unusual luck and can hide his trace from heaven and move with stealth. He was hard to track down.”
Jiang Lan widened his eyes, suddenly remembering what that familiar taste was.
No wonder he found the taste familiar. Once upon a time, he ate a Taisu! At that time, his oldest brother hadn’t found him yet. While wandering alone, he had caught a Tai Su by chance. That Tai Su had tricked and killed many people. He followed that Tai Su and caught him.
That Tai Su’s fresh was very delicious, and the best part was that Tai Su had an infinite supply of it. So he locked the Tai Su up and fed on the Tai Su for a long time. But in the end, his prisoner managed to escape, which forced him to go out looking for food again. At that time, he was depressed over the loss of his food supply, and that memory was still fresh in his mind.
He never thought he would encounter this Tai Su again. It’s a pity that the case was taken over by Ying Qiao’s boss. Otherwise, he might have the opportunity to fill his tummy again.
He was depressed by the thought.
Ying Qiao took his frozen look to mean he was frightened. He grabbed Jiang Lan’s phone and dialed his number.” Next time you meet him, call me.”
Jiang Lan almost blurted out his thought: If I call you when I meet him, I will lose my food again!
But he stopped himself from saying these, realizing that he was supposed to be a weak and helpless monster in front of Ying Qiao. He nodded.” Ok.”
But what Ying Qiao said reminded him of something. He widened his eyes in curiosity.” You said you work in a private company? How come you and your boss take charge of the Monster Bureau’s case?”
At this point, Ying Qiao became quite good at making up stories. He didn’t blink his eyes while saying this.” We worked these cases to expand revenueTL’s note: Ying Qiao’s made-up company was possibly a security company, and the Monster Bureau contracted them to hunt miscreant monsters. Otherwise, how can I make ends meet?
Jiang Lan understood this instantly, for he was in a similar situation where he took on an additional job working for the Street Administration Office.
Now he looked at Ying Qiao with warmth as if he had found an ally. After all, he was a hard-working monster just like himself.
Ying Qiao felt the looks Jiang Lan gave him suddenly changed with eyes brightening up.
Jiang Lan was born with a charming face. His dreamy eyes were his most outstanding feature. With long and curled eyelashes, his eyes became sparkling when looking at people, melting their hearts.
Ying Qiao’s heart had long been hardened by the passage of time. But His heart was softened under Jiang Lan’s gaze.
He had never adopted and raised a cub before. But at this moment in his eyes, this fragile-looking little monster was like a cub who needed someone to take care of him.
Suddenly he felt he was all patience.
“You are still too young to know that life is hard in human society. If you need money, just ask me.”
What’s that supposed to mean? He wanted to adopt me? TL’s note: it might involve more than financial support, you know what I mean.
Jiang Lan widened his eyes in surprise, then shook his head firmly. Ying Qiao was the first monster, beside his oldest brother and the fourth brother, who were willing to support him.
But considering that Ying Qiao was working on a side job in the middle of the night, he was perhaps more desperate for money than him.
Jiang Lan firmly refused his offer.” I can make a living on my own. You have to save the money you earned.”
He added after a thought.” Don’t overspend.”
Finally, he said it. He had wanted to say this to Ying Qiao for a long time.
Ying Qiao didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. But he was not ready to confess now. He was still a penniless monster in Jiang Lan’s eyes.
Then his thoughts turned to Xue Meng in the bedroom. He talked to Jiang Lan in a tone commonly used when a senior lectures a junior.” Do you often bring your friend and colleague home for a sleepover?”
Jiang Lan thought for a moment.” Just Xue Meng this time. Today we had a party, and he got drunk.”
Ying Qiao blinked his eyes.” Human society is full of temptations. It’s easy to be influenced by their way of life when living among them. But our Monster race is different from them. Perseverance is the key to monster cultivation, which demands us to remain impervious to temptations. Otherwise, we might easily go astray.”
After he saw the uncomprehending look on Jiang Lans’s face, he switched to an easy-to-understand example to make his point.” Like this time, humans like to lose control when drunk. You rashly brought a human home and shared a bed with him. If you both couldn’t resist urges, your cultivation might suffer.”
Jiang Lan never thought something might happen between Xue Meng and him. He vaguely felt what Ying Qiao said was inappropriate. But he couldn’t find anything wrong with it. So he just nodded.” I know.”
A slight smile crossed his lips. Ying Qiao raised his hand without thinking, wanting to touch his head. The moment the hand was raised, he immediately dropped it nonchalantly. He said.” Humans have too short a lifespan. If you want to find a soul mate, look for them among our Monster race. Don’t follow the examples of those monsters who had humans for lovers.”
Jiang Lan yawned while nodding.
While they were talking, Suan Ni had fallen asleep in Ying Qiao’s arms.
Ying Qiao knew that Jiang Lan had to work in the morning. Unlike him, Jiang Lan probably wouldn’t have much energy left to deal with his workload without sleep, so Ying Qiao said.” It’s very late now, you need a rest. If you meet the Tai Su again, call me anytime.”
Jiang Lan was a little tired now. He nodded and took over Suan Ni from Ying Qiao’s arm and waved goodbye.
Ying Qiao walked out of the apartment complex to his car, parked a long way from Jiang Lan’s home.
When he got home, he saw the first floor of his villa was lit. On the sofa, Chenghua’s face was grim. When Ying Qiao entered the door, Cheng Hua gave him a nasty look.” Finally, Boss Ying was willing to come home.”
Ying Qiao said with a furrowed brow.” What are you doing here?”
Cheng Hua’s anger boiled up, and he started to accuse him in a bitter tone.” Why didn’t you ask me how I came back after you left me by the roadside?”
The Monster Bureau mandated that in human cities, except in an emergency, monsters have to file an application for the right to use airspace before each flight. In normal circumstances, they have to rely on human transportation.
That’s why Cheng Hua was so angry after Ying Qiao drove away alone, leaving him by the roadside.
“You don’t know how to hail a taxi?” Ying Qiao looked at him like watching a fool.” Don’t tell me you walked back.”
Then he changed the subject with a sly smile.” Let me guess where you went in the middle of the night. You were worried about that little monster and rushed away to protect him?”
He fully expected Ying Qiao to deny it or angrily kicked him out.
But Ying Qiao’s reaction was out of the ordinary. He smiled and said.” en.”
Cheng Hua was shocked, thinking to himself: the old sow can climb trees now. A Chinese saying means the most unexpected thing has happened.
Seeing his dirty look, Ying Qiao said.” Perish your dirty thoughts. Jiang Lan was too young.”
Cheng Hua said in a mocking tone.” Oh…. You like the game of raising a cub.” TL’s note: the original text is 养成, which could be literally translated as raise or bring up. Common terminology in Chinese novels. It refers to a kind of relationship in which one lover is … Continue reading
“Get out now!”
|↑1||TL’s note: Ying Qiao’s made-up company was possibly a security company, and the Monster Bureau contracted them to hunt miscreant monsters|
|↑2||TL’s note: it might involve more than financial support, you know what I mean.|
|↑3||A Chinese saying means the most unexpected thing has happened.|
|↑4||TL’s note: the original text is 养成, which could be literally translated as raise or bring up. Common terminology in Chinese novels. It refers to a kind of relationship in which one lover is much younger than the other.|