Ying Qiao drove Jiang Lan to his apartment complex.
After he had finally managed to get his belly full, Jiang Lan was a little sleepy. Squinting his eyes, he enjoyed the feeling of a full stomach he had been missing for so long.
While driving, Ying Qiao glanced at him from time to time. He was still thinking about the conversation he had overheard by the bank of Qing Yang Lake.
He wanted to tell Jiang Lan what he had heard from his friend was not the truth.
It was true he had attacked those high monsters’ homes. But it was just a strategy to force those high monsters to leave their caves. If not for him, those high monsters would have chosen to remain in their remote caves deep in the mountains, probably for the next few hundred years.
If he hadn’t forced them out and prevailed over them in a battle, there wouldn’t be a Special Service Branch in the Monster Bureau.
Even though there had been some minor accidents in carrying out the plan, on the whole, the situation was considered under control, and he had achieved its end.
This was supposed to be his glorious achievement. How come it was made out to be his black history?
Ying Qiao didn’t understand how things turned out this way. In the past, he could simply ask Tai Feng to forbid any rumors concerning him.
But now, even the Little Monster knew about this, which greatly upset him.
He tried to figure out how to explain this to the Little Monster.
After agonizing over this on the way, Ying Qiao finally spoke to Jiang Lan after he parked the car at the entrance.
He picked a tone he intended to be casual.” I have overheard you guys talking about the Ying Dragon by the lakeside.”
Jiang Lan was alarmed, thinking it was really bad luck that he had overheard it.
How come Ying Qiao heard it again?
He watched Ying Qiao with some trepidation, fearing he might demand an explanation for his idol.
It turned out that Ying Qiao didn’t overturn their friendship boat because Jiang Lan had slandered his idol. He only explained again what had actually happened from the beginning to the end in a calm manner. Then he looked at Jiang Lan expectantly.” You see, the Ying Dragon is not as foul-tempered as the rumors make it out to be.”
Jiang Lan thought to himself. I don’t know Ying Qiao has such blind faith in his idol. That Ying Dragon had attacked their homes and robbed them of their treasures. The Ying Dragon acted like a modern bandit. If this behavior couldn’t be described as foul-tempered, then what’s the standard of foul-tempered behaviors?
But Jiang Lan didn’t dare to contradict him. He just kept nodding.
“Yes, yes, you are right.”
He was trying so hard to stabilize their friendship boat.
But Ying Qiao felt the Little Monster was trying to get him off his back by going along with him. But when he saw the sincere looks in Jiang Lan’s eyes, he thought he might have overthought.
At last, he reluctantly stopped talking and waved him goodbye, while planning to bring this up again the next time, to inform the Little Monster of the Ying Dragon’s glorious past.
When Jiang Lan got home, Suan Ni and Jiao Tu had already woken up.
These two brothers were playing Gkart A game developed by Chinese tech firm Tencent on their iPad. Suan Ni’s paws weren’t suitable for playing a tablet game, so he stayed on Jiao Tu’s shoulder to direct his gameplay.
The moment Jiang Lan walked in the door, he heard their shouting.” Turn, turn, turn…..”
“Ahhh, how come you are dead again.”
Jiao Tu was persistent.”…….Let’s start over.”
They didn’t notice Jiang Lan.
Jiang Lan walked over and poked their head. Pointing to his watch, he said.” Do you know what time it is? Why didn’t you sleep?”
Suan Ni stopped his shouting and jumped from Jiao Tu’s shoulder to his shoulder. Rubbing his head against Jiang Lan, he said in a fawning tone.” Fifth Brother, we are waiting for you!”
Jiang Lan knew his little brother’s tricks well. He patted his head and admonished him.” I don’t want to see you stay up late with the little nine again.”
Then he touched Jiao Tu’s forehead.” Do you still feel dizzy?”
Jiao Tu shook his head.” No, I feel better after a sleep.”
Seeing that he didn’t have a hangover, Jiang Lan took the iPad away from him despite his pleading eyes.” Now is time for sleep. You can play it tomorrow.”
Jiao Tu had an unwilling look on his face, but he obeyed his brother and followed him to the bedroom.
They had a good night’s sleep.
The next day was Monday. Jiang Lan got up early to go to work.
Jiao Tu returned to his original form and stayed inside the backpack together with Suan Ni. Then, the three brothers went to the office.
When Jiang Lan arrived with his breakfast, he saw an unfamiliar young man sit in the office. He turned to look at Uncle Zhou, who was sipping tea and reading the newspaper in a corner. This sight confirmed that he was not in the wrong office.
The young man had a nice face but was expressionless. He wasn’t surprised by Jiang Lan’s appearance. Instead, he nodded to him.”Zhang Tianxing TL’s note: The original text is 天行, his first name, which means sky walking. Zhang is his last name.”
Then he passed him a paper bag of cakes.” Local produce. TL’s note: it is a custom in China to give colleagues or friends a greeting gift of your home town’s local product..”
Now Jiang Lan knew who he was. He was the colleague who had been on a leave of absence before Jiang Lan started working here.
After accepting the gift, Jiang Lan thanked him. Then, he thought the new colleague might not know him.” I am Jiang Lan, the new colleague.”
Zhang Tianxing.” I knew. I am also in the WeChat group chat.”
Jiang Lan recalled that there were indeed four people in the group chat. But he had never noticed the fourth person in this group chat, where Xue Meng was always talking.
After introducing themselves, Jiang Lan thought this young man was a little silent but easy to talk to.
After receiving his local produce, Jiang Lan gave him an apple to return the favor.
Next, he returned to his seat and let his brothers out. Jiao Tu stayed on his desk, but Suan Ni jumped out and lied on the top of his nest and stared curiously at Zhang Tianxing.
Zhang Tianxing also saw Suan Ni. And his eyes seemed to be fixed on him.
Seeing this, Jiang Lan thought Zhang Tianxing might object to a pet’s presence in the workplace. But Zhang Tianxing brought out a sausage and waved to Suan Ni.
His looks were much warmer now than when he talked with Jiang Lan.
Tilting his head to watch him curiously, Suan Ni hesitated a little, and then he jumped down and walked over to him.
Suan Ni raised his head to watch Zhang Tianxing. After confirming that he was friendly, Suan Ni jumped to his lap.
Zhang Tianxing’s eyes suddenly brightened up as if a pair of light bulbs were turned on. With a soft look on his face, he touched Suan Ni’s fur head cautiously.
Jiang Lan heard him sign and mumbled to himself.” Now I know what it feels like to stroke a cat.”
While he was still confused by this, Xue Meng walked in and marveled.” Zhang Tianxing, you are finally back?”
Next, his eyes moved to Suan Ni on his lap and shouted like a screaming chicken.” Oh, my god, Nini let you stroke him. It’s unbelievable!”
Nini was the nickname he gave to Suan Ni, which no one used except for himself.
Xue Meng didn’t overreact, considering that Zhang Tianxing had perfectly demonstrated to them over the years how cats and dogs singled him out to hate him. But he happened to love fluffy animals, secretly coveting the touch of a cat or dog.
Xue Meng had already grown tired of making fun of him over this.
And he never expected to see a cat who hadn’t kept a safe distance from Zhang Tianxing in his lifetime.
Zhang Tianxing gave him a cold glance and turned to Suan Ni with warmth in his eyes. He gently stroked Suan Ni from head to tail with a look of pleasure.
He turned to Jiang Lan with a friendlier look.” What’s Nini’s favorite food?”
Now Xue Meng lost the exclusive use of this nickname Nini.
Jiang Lan laughed and thought this colleague was very funny.” He is not picky. But his favorite food is dried fish.”
Zhang Tianxing followed his pointed finger to look at a box beside Suan Ni’s nest, which contained different kinds of snacks. Most of them were contributed by the colleagues in the office and Ying Qiao. This box was Suan Ni’s treasure box.
After looking hard at a packet of dried fish, Zhang Tianxing tickled Suan Ni’s chin and said in a whisper.” Do you love Dried Wen Ray Fish? Of course, you are not an ordinary cat.”
Suan Ni meowed with a tilting head. His golden eyes were cute and innocent.
Jiang Lan’s seat was close to him, so he overheard it. He turned to ask.” Wen Ray Fish?”
Zhang Tianxing pointed to the packet of dried fish.” This.”
Then he turned to Suan Ni.” Do you love it? I will buy it for you.”
Jiang Lan looked at that packet of dried fish with a puzzled look in his eyes.
This dried fish was Ying Qiao’s gift. He thought it was just an ordinary dried fish.
Jiang Lan had tasted Wen Ray fish before. Wen Ray Fish lives in the East Sea and could fly. They appeared in herds and were very hard to catch. But its taste was very delicious, so its price was astronomical, and it rarely appeared in the market.
His big brothers had brought a few fresh Wen Ray fish for them to taste.
He didn’t expect that Ying Qiao’s simple gifts were Wen Ray Fish.
But his first question was not where Ying Qiao got that much money. He was just surprised at the way Ying Qiao spent his money.
After getting to know him for some days, Jiang Lan knew that despite Ying Qiao’s meager salary, he could get a sizable bonus following his boss working in the field. But the problem was his excessive spending habits.
Jiang Lan was in a similar situation before where his high income couldn’t afford his gigantic appetite.
But now, money was no longer a problem for him.
On the other hand, He guessed Ying Qiao’s sizable bonus probably had already run out, judging by how he spent his money.
Jiang Lan felt it necessary to talk with Ying Qiao about this, asking him not to fritter money away buying expensive snacks.