Elder Han’s invited guests were all his comrades or orphans. They came from all walks of life with varying days of success. Elder Han treated them all as his own children and would invite all of them for dinner on his birthday.
Before the party, Professor Han and his wife also rushed back to celebrate their father’s birthday. Professor Han was a cheerful and funny person in his fifties. At the party, he and his eldest son Han Muzhen, held his father’s hand to cut the cake together.
The picture was warm and harmonious.
“Mister, how much cake would you like?” The little girl walked over to Su Xing.
He could also get some? Su Xing was happy but not greedy. “One piece.” The sweets-loving young man stared intently at the knife that cut next to a strawberry.
“Mister, this is yours.”
Su Xing felt like a winner by receiving cake with a strawberry. “Thank you.”
Every year, Yu Feng had never taken part in eating cake. But this time, seeing that person, he opened his mouth. “One piece.”
Half a minute later, he was given a piece of cake dotted with blueberries. As a man who did not like sweets, he already felt tired looking at it and did not want to finish it.
Su Xing next to him ate while thinking, the house owner doesn’t like blueberries? His standards are really high. Three bites later, Su Xing finished his slice of cake.
“Here you go.” Yu Feng used a finger and pushed the plate of cake over.
Su Xing tilted his head. “You don’t want it?”
“Don’t want to eat.” Yu Feng was uncomfortable with the smell of cream in the air.
Su Xing noticed that Yu Feng was staring daggers at the sweets. He blinked a few times and ate up the second slice of cake.
Yu Feng resisted the impulse to ask if he wanted any more and instead asked someone to clear up the plates.
After eating cake, Su Xing started on a large caramel pudding. That was also something that Yu Feng refused to eat. Su Xing soon finished the dessert.
The sweets-hater looked over and mused, “Is it delicious?”
Su Xing nodded. “Yes it’s delicious.” Then he felt confused, was the owner feeling regret and also wanted to taste some pudding?
Yu Feng did not like to eat soft pudding, this kind of thing with a strange taste and texture. He tilted his head and spoke with a nearby helper and grabbed someone else’s pudding.
Su Xing in front was silent. “…” If he was not wrong, the gentleman next to the house owner seemed to be looking for something.
“Mr. Feng, you should quickly return it.” Su Xing put the pudding back while not knowing whether to laugh or cry. He also tried to avoid a repeat event. “Don’t take other people’s things. Even if you take it, I won’t eat it.”
Yu Feng thought that he would not believe it someone else’s so he sent it back. When a helper passed by, he opened his mouth. “An order of pudding.”
Seeing Su Xing’s wooden chicken expression, Yu Feng continued speaking. “I also did not expect a thirty to a forty-year-old man actually wanting to eat pudding.”
Su Xing pondered a moment, before understanding what had been said. Those sorts of words…The house owner’s character was really something, loving to pick fights, unafraid of death, and regardless of right or wrong.
Only taking into account friends. Wait, when did he consider himself in the owner’s camp?
By the end of the feast, Mr. Feng had not stolen any more food from the next table. After the birthday banquet, it was time for Su Xing to head home. Han Muzhen was too busy and specific guests were hard to find.
“You’re going back?” Han Muzhen also wanted Su Xing to stay for dinner. After all, people were busy during the day and he specially invited Su Xing.
“Mr. Han thank you. I had a great time today.” Su Xing was sincere with a serious expression. Different from others who liked parties with only young people, he liked today’s event with a variety of ages.
“I’ll ask someone to give you a ride.” Han Muzhen said. While looking at Su Xing, he felt that the young man exuded a sense of distance.
“Eh? No need, I called a cab.” Su Xing shook his phone, rejecting Han Muzhen’s offer for the second time.
Han Muzhen patted his head with a bitter smile. “Why are you so polite?” He could not get close if the other did not want to.
“Um…” Su Xing wanted to say something but someone waved at Han Muzhen. “Since you’re busy, I’ll see you next time. After the man left, Su Xing put away his smile.
It wasn’t until he saw the little girl who had played with him that Su Xing smiled and shared some words. As for the narcissistic house owner, he disappeared like a shadow, so Su Xing had no chance to say goodbye.
On the way back, Su Xing received a call from Han Muzhen, who told him to be careful on the road. “I’ll be busy for the next two days, so I will contact you when I’m free.”
Su Xing thought a bit while speaking on the phone. “Okay, Mr. Han.” After all, he had delivered the mushroom to the Han family.
Su Xing wondered whether to stay in Beijing for two days in order to bring back some things home. But in truth, Su Xing dared not buy because his finances were visibly in danger. Although not in a hurry, things were not currently sustainable in the long run.
Su Xing scratched his head, his mind filled with thoughts on how to make and save money. Two days later, Su Xing boarded the train back home and went to Uncle Niu to pick up the dogs. It was eight or nine at night, the mountain temperature was cool and the sky was dark.
The dogs heard Su Xing’s footsteps and started barking madly. From time to time, there was a jingling noise from the dog chain. The house was dimly lit and Uncle Niu heard movement so he came out to check.
“Uncle Niu!” Su Xing tiredly smiled. “I’m back, did you have dinner?”
Uncle Niu was surprised then rushed over to help carry things. “You returned and brought back so many things…Come on, uncle will help you.”
“No need.” Su Xing put the things on the tricycle, untied the dogs, and went inside the house to drink some water.
Uncle Niu rambled along. “The meal is almost done but I didn’t know when you would be back. I made some scrambled eggs.”
“All right, I’ll leave it to you.” Su Xing was tired so he rested his feet in a bamboo chair. He eventually got up to help set up and clean the table. While Su Xing was gone, Uncle Niu had evidently had done a lot of things for him.
Su Xing sniffed the air and smelled the eggs in the kitchen. He felt that it was nice to be back.
After dinner, Su Xing asked Uncle Niu. “Is that desk for me?”
Uncle Niu looked up with a smile while smoking. “Do you like it?”
Of course, Su Xing liked it. “Yes, I do. I brought something back for you.” He rushed out to his tricycle and grabbed the packages especially for Uncle Niu before returning into the house.
There was tobacco, a new wood planer, some white wine and so on. Uncle Niu liked to smoke and drink once in a while, so there was no problem.
Uncle Niu’s body was still relatively healthy, so Su Xing did not try to persuade the old man to quit. After all, the old man only had these two hobbies, quitting them both would make life less fun.
“You…” Uncle Niu wanted to refuse but could not bear it. He knew that the youth was hurt, drifting without any parents, seeking out the trust of family. He thought to himself, one was missing parents and he did not have any children, maybe it was destiny.
“Your old pipe is moldy, I’ll switch in some new ones.” Su Xing untied the bag of tobacco and helped swap in a new batch.
“Okay.” Uncle Niu watched him in a good mood.
After the dogs finished their dinner, they came to kiss their owner. “Go away..” Su Xing was loading tobacco and could not play now. “Okay.” He took out a new lighter and handed it over. At the same time, he also checked the smoke to make sure he had not been cheated.
Unfortunately, Su Xing was not a connoisseur so he had to ask Uncle Niu. “Is this fresh tobacco?”
Uncle Niu took a drag and tasted the smoke before nodding. “It is fresh.” He then laughed. “It tastes good.”
Su Xing smiled with confidence. “Uncle Niu, I’ll take the dogs back.”
Uncle Niu waved his pipe. “It’s so late, why don’t you stay the night at uncle’s?” He did not feel at ease letting Su Xing drive on the mountain road at night.
Su Xing shook his head. The boy was honest and shy.
Uncle Niu knew that he did not want to stay so he just said, “Make sure to rest when you get back home. Don’t overthink things, happily grow vegetables, and raise dogs. Uncle will be with you.”
Su Xing nodded his head and took a few steps before turning around. He brightly brought out his phone from his pocket. “Almost forget about this thing!” So he sat down and carefully taught Uncle Niu how to answer the phone.
It was all very simple because there was only one number on the phone and one could dial with a single click. Uncle Niu came over with his phone and asked, “How much was this?”
Su Xing rubbed his chin. “I bought the phone in the second-hand market for a handful of ten-dollar bills.” The sim card was worth more than that but Su Xing kept that from Uncle Niu.
Uncle Niu nodded, he could afford the phone but did not have people to talk with. Therefore he had not used this sort of thing before. But things were different now. He held the phone as the night became darker.
Uncle Niu urged Su Xing to hurry back home, otherwise wild mountain animals might appear in the night. Su Xing patted his thigh and said. “No worries, I have a pair of dogs.”
Uncle Niu looked at the two milk puppies that only knew how to eat and sleep before coughing. Su Xing returned to his yard and looked around, he felt he should buy a generator.
He placed the things he brought back from Beijing on the first floor. There were some clothes, sheets and other things. Su Xing packed up some clothes and went upstairs to take a bath.
He opened the door to find the house owner drinking and playing the computer in the living room. It startled Su Xing since he saw the other a few days in Beijing and now the house owner appeared in front of him. It was rather mysterious.
In addition, drinking without any food could hurt your stomach. When Su Xing left, he gave the spare food in the fridge to Uncle Niu. Now he opened to find some fish and eggs.
He took out the eggs and grabbed flour from the cabinet in order to make some egg pancakes…Which is to say mixing beaten egg and flour then frying it. In twenty minutes, the dish was ready, but the taste might not be very rich due to limited ingredients.
Su Xing that the vegetarian dish would wrong the house owner after he spent a few days in Beijing. “Just eat it, for now, wait until tomorrow I’ll go buy groceries and make you a big meal.” The youth muttered to himself as he delivered the plate.
When the egg pancake appeared on the table, Yu Feng’s concentration was broken. He looked and sniffed the air to discover the smell of food. This made the wine in his stomach feel even more uncomfortable. The man who had not eaten or slept well these past few days, slammed the computer closed in anger.
Two minutes later, he held a shallow, bamboo-woven basket containing a few pale yellow pancakes. It looked very simple, there wasn’t any meat or any onions.
“After a few days only to let me eat this?” He sneered at the basket, somewhat angry with the cook. But his stomach was protesting so he grabbed one and took a bite.
The light salty taste of the chewy pancake was just right. He carefully chewed, then noticed the faint sweetness unique to starch. Yu Feng did not stop, in one sitting he finished Su Xing’s pancake. After eating, Yu Feng felt his stomach was in pain, very uncomfortable.
Su Xing grabbed his blanket and went downstairs after taking a bath. Now that his furniture was ready on the first floor, it was not appropriate to sleep on the house owner’s sofa.
Su Xing had run around for a day and felt tired to his bones. He should have slept until dawn, but at two o’clock in the morning, his biological clock kicked in. “Oh yeah…” Su Xing remembered that the house owner frequently had nightmares, who knew how the man was faring?
Su Xing was a little worried so he grabbed his slippers and opened the door. “Woof..” The dogs were eager to follow along, Su Xing had no choice but to bring them as well.
He used his phone’s flashlight and hurried up the stairs to find the owner’s bedroom. The house owner was indeed having a nightmare. But in addition, something was off, he was curled inward holding his stomach.
Su Xing frowned in worry. He felt that a hot towel would not help in this situation. But what could he do? He could not wake up the other party, so it would be better to call an ambulance. Su Xing immediately picked up the owner’s phone to make a call.
But there was a problem. He did not know the owner’s address and house number. Su Xing felt like tearing out his hair, he should have gathered that sort of information earlier.
“Can only do this.” Su Xing opened the contacts, trying to find the right information. However, he only found a number for a secretary. He dialed the number.
Secretary Pei received a call from his boss in the middle of the night. He was not surprised at all, since his boss was an infamous night owl, often forgoing sleep entirely.
“Hello, boss?” Secretary Pei’s voice was stiff.
His brain suddenly sobered, the voice coming from the phone…was a teenager. Boss’s phone was picked up!
The other side anxiously asked, “Are you Mr. Feng’s secretary?”
He started, “Yes, who are you? Why do you have Mr. Feng’s cell phone?”
“He’s not feeling well right now. He has a stomachache and may need to call an ambulance but I don’t have the address. Could you please call emergency services and explain the situation?” Su Xing explained the situation at once.
The secretary’s heart grumbled. “Boss’s stomach problems? You’re at his house now?”
Su Xing answered, “Um..yes.”
Secretary Pei sighed, the boss took someone home and then went straight to business. “Okay, you take care of him first, I’ll immediately call an ambulance to stop by.”
Su Xing breathed a sigh of relief. “Thank you.” After the phone call, he felt a thin layer of sweat on his back from the tension.
Before the ambulance arrived, Su Xing helped dispel the owner’s nightmare like before. The house owner only had to contend with stomach pains, better than suffering in both body and mind.
As the nightmare retreated, Yu Feng awoke to stomach pains. He gritted his teeth and cursed in discomfort while contemplating calling an ambulance. Usually, he could take a few pills to relieve a stomach ache.
But tonight was particularly serious, he had taken twice the usual amount of medicine but he still woke up in pain. At this moment, Yu Feng actually heard someone ring his doorbell…Who was that?
Yu Feng was done with whoever was outside the door. He staggered over and opened the door to find a group of angelic paramedics in white.
The person in white looked pale and winded. “Sir, do you need 120?”
He received a call from the secretary while laying in the ambulance. “Hello, how’s my boss? Has the ambulance arrived?”
“Who are you talking to?” Yu Feng asked in bewilderment.
“Huh? Wait..who was that?” Secretary Pei had been too anxious, he did not ask the other’s name and only knew that the voice was nice to listen to.
“Who?” Yu Feng was still in pain and did not have the patience to talk. “You helped call the ambulance?”
“Yes.” The secretary answered.
He hung up the phone after getting the answer he wanted. The boy that the boss had taken home became a secret rotting in the secretary’s stomach. After all, the boss’s attitude was such that he could not ask.
The secretary only dared to rage in his heart and wondered when his boss’s tastes became vegetarian.
Yu Feng’s stomach pain was soothed after treatment in the hospital. But the hospital bed was not comfortable, so sleep was impossible.