Xiao Chen didn’t try evading it another time. Although there wasn’t a lot of money, as the saying goes, even if a grasshopper was smaller, it’s still meat1. The third auxiliary medicine had already been settled, but the fourth auxiliary medicine wasn’t even a work-in-progress! Xiao Chen discovered how bitter his own life was, needing to calculate how to manage money every day, an auxiliary medicine could only last for three days; it felt too frugal.
After arriving to the classroom, Tang Tang handed over a bag with deep-fried breadstick to Zheng Xiaokun and gave the remainder to Cheng Mengying and Jin Beibei.
Cheng Mengying originally didn’t want to accept, but Jin Beibei was actually impolite about it. She directly pulled one out and stuffed it into her mouth: “Deep-fried breadstick is delicious, cousin Mengying, you should eat too!”
“I’m not eating, you eat by yourself!” Cheng Mengying was slightly speechless. The more she looked at Jin Beibei and Xiao Chen, the more she felt herself to be correct; they were two gluttons who only knew how to eat.
But after watching for a while, she discovered that Jin Beibei was eating with great relish and couldn’t help but also tear a little piece. She placed it into her mouth to chew and sure enough, it was very delicious and was a refreshing tastiness.
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“Mengying, you’re eating deep-fried breadstick? It just so happens that I also haven’t eaten anything in the morning, how about giving me a bit to eat?” Lou Zhenming was just about to come over and worm his way into being friends with Cheng Mengying. Smelling the fragrance of deep-fried breadsticks, he consequently reached out to take one and put it into his mouth.
Cheng Mengying gave him a glance and didn’t say anything.
“If you eat deep-fried breadstick, then you have to pay cash.” Jin Beibei opened her mouth to say.
“You’re……demanding payment?” Lou Zhenming stared blankly: “Did I not treat you guys to a meal at Jade Sea Sky Palace?”
“Was that your money? Or was it Yue Shaoqun’s?” Jin Beibei counter-asked.
“This……then how much money, I’ll buy it.” Lou Zhenming had no other choice to say this; he’d already eaten the deep-fried breadstick and couldn’t exactly just spit it out. Besides, if he did do so, wouldn’t that be acting shamelessly? He’d lost quite a lot of impression points in front of Cheng Mengying recently, so he was currently striving to redeem himself.
“1,000 RMB for one.” Jin Beibei said.
“Geh!” Lou Zhenming nearly spit out the half of the deep-fried breadstick he was chewing on. But he was just thinking that the deep-fried breadstick was extremely expensive and didn’t really throw it onto the ground: “Am I not hearing wrongly? Is this deep-fried breadstick a gold bar?”
“That’s right, Jin Beibei’s deep-fried breadstick, otherwise known as ‘Gold Bar’2.” Jin Beibei replied: “Bring out the cash.”
“Uh, okay, I’ll give it in a little bit.” Lou Zhenming didn’t want to bicker with Jin Beibei; the longer it went on, the more he would suffer losses. It would be better to just buy some relief. In any case, it was only 1,000 RMB. For an average person, it would be a sky-high price, but for him, Lou Zhenming, it was just some change.
And to be honest, this deep-fried breadstick is really delicious! It was more delicious than any deep-fried breadstick that he’d eaten before and this was his only comfort; 1,000 for a deep-fried breadstick only showed how much it stood out from the rest of its kind.
“Mengying, this deep-fried breadstick is quite delicious, where did you buy it? Maybe someday I can buy you some?” The more Lou Zhenming ate, the more he felt that it was delicious and before he knew it, he had unconsciously eaten seven.
“Xiao Chen made them at the morning market street.” Cheng Mengying lightly responded.
“Oh, morning market street……” Lou Zhenming felt a little unwell when he heard that Xiao Chen made them; were they for courting Cheng Mengying’s favor? But after recalling that Xiao Chen would either die or become disabled tonight, he immediately felt better.
Seeing Cheng Mengying not speak any further, Lou Zhenming got up and prepared to leave, but was stopped by Jin Beibei’s call: “Hey, are you leaving without paying?”
“Ah?” Lou Zhenming stood in place for a moment, then recalled that he still had to give money. Helplessly fishing out his wallet, he took out 7,000 RMB and prepared to give it to Jin Beibei.
“Don’t you still owe me 93,000 RMB from last time? How about giving it to me together?” Jin Beibei directly snatched Lou Zhenming’s wallet and poured out all the money inside. After counting it, she couldn’t help but curl her lips after realizing that it was a bit more than 10,000 RMB: “Broke ass, this sum can be regarded as interest. 7,000 plus 93,000 happens to be 100,000; you should return it to me as soon as possible!”
Lou Zhenming felt the world spinning as he felt anger rise up from his anus. He nearly went berserk on the spot, but remembering that Jin Beibei wasn’t one to be offended and Cheng Mengying was by the side, and that offending her would also bring no profit: “Okay……I’ll give it to you as soon as possible……”
“En, move quickly or else the interest will hike sharply.” Jin Beibei held out her hand as a meaningless gesture.
Lou Zhenming nearly fell down after stumbling away. He’d only eaten several deep-fried breadsticks, but before he even paid for them, it became a staggering 100,000 with a high interest.
Zheng Xiaokun unceasingly praised the deep-fried breadstick he was eating: “Tang Tang, your craftsmanship has gotten better; it wasn’t so delicious in the past, but now it’s still so soft and crisp after cooling down!”
“Xiao Chen’s the one who made it.” Tang Tang shrugged: “Originally there was some soy milk, but it was spilled by someone who bumped it, I’ll bring you some next time.”
“Aight, Xiao Chen, you’re the pupil that surpasses his teacher, the disciple that surpasses his master!” Zheng Xiaokun didn’t question him and brushed it off as common for someone to be good at something after doing it once, not considering how much of a conflict it had with what happened before.
“It’s not bad, you should pass by someday in the early morning to eat it fresh out of the boiler.” Xiao Chen said.
“OK! If there’s time, I’ll come lend a hand, but you should know of my family situation. My dad calls me for morning exercise every day until I can’t run any longer!” Zheng Xiaokun felt a little depressed: “Oh right, I say, Xiao Chen, there’s still a matter I haven’t cashed in with you; I feel bitter with you hiding the truth from me! You were actually Xiao Clan’s young master Xiao?”
Xiao Chen paused for a moment then looked at Tang Tang.
“I told him yesterday night. In any case, Lou Zhenming knew it, so this piece of news will spread out in the aristocratic clan junior circle sooner or later.” Tang Tang explained.
Xiao Chen thought about it and realized it really would be like this. Within the aristocratic clan circle, there were no secrets that could be kept. Since Lou Zhenming knew of it, then Zheng Xiaokun would probably know it soon enough, so he couldn’t help but bitterly smile: “Can I not try to be low-key? I’m already this miserable, there’s no reason for me to make it public.”
“True enough.” Zheng Xiaokun nodded: “I didn’t think that we were people of the same level before, but your and Tang Tang’s life experience is so similar; a withdrawn engagement and being driven away from your clans; no wonder you guys have so much in common to speak of……”
Speaking up until here, Zheng Xiaokun felt a little sad. From what he could see now, it seemed like Xiao Chen and Tang Tang getting closer was more and more correct and with his3 position, it was even easier for Xiao Chen to pursue Tang Tang.
The status of an aristocratic clan junior was radiant, but sometimes it was also a shackle.
“Actually, it doesn’t matter whether or not I’m from Xiao Clan; if you respect me, we can be good brothers.” Xiao Chen spoke with a smile.
“That’s right!” Zheng Xiaokun nodded: “I used to really admire Tang Tang, but facing you now, I can’t help but say I’m convinced that your mental adaptability is truly too formidable.”
Formidable? Xiao Chen forced a smile. If he didn’t disguise himself in the past and didn’t meet Tian Lao, then would he have truly jumped off the cliff to commit suicide? Perhaps not, but he definitely wouldn’t have such self-confidence.
With the ring of the exam preparation bell, Xiao Chen shut off his cell phone to avoid Lou Zhenming trying some other dirty trick.
On the other hand, Lou Zhenming placed all his hopes onto tonight’s underground boxing match and didn’t have any thoughts for anything else.
The morning exam passed by in the flash of an eye with Lou Zhenming not trying any petty actions.
After handing over the paper, Xiao Chen prepared to leave to eat something with Tang Tang and Zheng Xiaokun since no one was treating lunch today, but just as they walked to the school entrance, Xiao Chen’s cell phone rang out not long after it started up.
Glancing at the caller ID, it was unexpectedly Jin Beibei. Xiao Chen hurriedly answered the call: “Beibei, is there something wrong?”
“Brother-in-law, it’s bad, my car is gone!” Jin Beibei cried out in alarm from the other side of the call.
“What? Your car is gone?” Xiao Chen stared blankly for a second.
“Yea yea, that Nouveau Riche Jin Beibei car that was stopped at the school’s parking lot, but when cousin Mengying and I arrived at the parking lot and prepared to drive out for a meal, the car seemed disappeared!” Jin Beibei spoke anxiously: “Brother-in-law, do you think my car was abducted by aliens?”
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“……” Xiao Chen was a bit dumbfounded: “Wouldn’t it be that your car was too awesome that someone stole it?”
“Maybe, therefore I called you for help. Brother-in-law, you’re a Transformer so you can definitely help me find it, right?” Jin Beibei noted the matter of Xiao Chen helping Cheng Mengying find her bracelet.
“Okay, then wait for me.” Xiao Chen hung up and had no other choice but to apologetically look at Tang Tang and Zheng Xiaokun: “Jin Beibei’s car is gone; she called for me to come over and take a look.”
“Why is she calling you when it’s her car that’s gone?” Tang Tang knit her eyebrows, obviously a little unhappy: “They look for you whenever they have a problem, do they think you’re omnipotent?”
“Heh……” Xiao Chen indifferently laughed: “I’m just a servant.”
Zheng Xiaokun was actually shocked at this time: “What servant? Xiao Chen, what’s going on? How come Jin Beibei calls for you when losing her car?”
“Tang Tang, you didn’t tell him?” Xiao Chen was also shocked. Looking at Zheng Xiaokun’s appearance, it was obvious that he didn’t know the matter between him and Cheng Mengying.
“How would I dare to speak irresponsibly; the matter of you being young master Xiao will soon be spread out in the aristocratic clan circle, but it seems like the circumstance of you and Cheng Mengying living together is something that only a few people know?” Tang Tang innocently replied.
“Pff……wha?” Zheng Xiaokun’s eyes widened: “Xiao Chen, it can’t be? You and Cheng Mengying……living together?! Didn’t you guys……have your engagement broken? How……”
“Alright, let Tang Tang explain it to you, I’m going to leave first.” Xiao Chen shook his head then quickly walked towards the parking lot.
After Xiao Chen left, Tang Tang then spoke of the relationship between Xiao Chen and Cheng Mengying to Zheng Xiaokun. Zheng Xiaokun originally thought that Xiao Chen and Cheng Mengying were lovers and was quite happy because it meant that it was impossible for Xiao Chen and Tang Tang to be so, but now hearing it and discovering that Xiao Chen was only a manservant, he was a bit disappointed.
Naturally, Tang Tang also saw the change in Zheng Xiaokun’s mood, but she didn’t say anything.
Xiao Chen hurriedly arrived at the school’s parking lot and saw the empty-as-could-be spot that Jin Beibei parked at with Jin Beibei anxiously glancing here and there. When she saw Xiao Chen, she instantly acted like she was looking at her last life-saving straw. She quickly went over and wailed as she pulled on Xiao Chen’s arm and shook it back and forth: “Brother-in-law, quickly help me find the car, I feel so anxious that I could die!”
Perhaps it was because Jin Beibei was too worried that she didn’t have the slightest awareness that her chest was bigger than others. So when she shook, her chest rubbed back and forth on Xiao Chen’s arm, back and forth. The one being rubbed, Xiao Chen, felt a fire grow within him; is this temptation, enticement, or seduction?4
- TLN: This author has a grasshopper fetish, other authors have ‘mosquito meat is still meat’ fetish. Basically a little is better than none. ↩
- TLN: The pun is lost on English readers, but it goes like this: in Chinese, the phrase for “Jin Beibei’s deep-fried breadstick” is “金贝贝牌油条” with “金贝贝” being her name and “油条” as the food. Jin Beibei shortens the phrase to “金条”, her surname, which means gold, and the last character of the food, which can also be translated as bar/stick. Thus, ‘Gold Bar’. ↩
- TLN: Reference to himself, Zheng Xiaokun. ↩
- TLN: The same Chinese is used 3 times, but the same word in Chinese can mean different, but similar words in English. Thus, temptation, enticement, and seduction. ↩