Please READ disclaimer: My mandarin is absolutely terrible so this is mostly machine translated.
I will try my best to keep the story as close to the original text as possible.
If there are slight discrepancies, it is to make sense of the language gap and make it readable. This is by no means near sufficient compared to any translations taking place or is this meant to replace it. I simply really like this story and would like to share this.
I am not a writer so my apologies in advance if there are grammatical errors.
I’m a lone soldier here.
I chose the Chaoshan beef hot pot upstairs.
The table for two we sat at was a tad small.
We sat facing each other and our legs felt restricted under the table.
One didn’t have to hold back when ordering here.
I came here for their freshly cut beef.
At first glance, the price was very affordable and there were discounts.
Even if you boldly decided to order 7 or 8 items off the menu, it still wouldn’t exceed my budget.
He and I were using our mobile phones to scan the QR code to order, and he could see the pre-ordered dishes already made.
He commented, “Enough, don’t order too much since we can’t eat them all.”
I enthusiastically retorted, “How come? Neck, shoulder, liver, tendon, and so on! These are all necessary.
Let’s also start with beef ball, more tendons, and tripe!”
He smiled and said, “You are always so willful.”
“Huh? What do you mean by ‘always?’”
He was taken aback for a brief moment before recovering, “Aren’t you generally careless?”
I laughed and agreed, “That’s right.” I had not been a serious and reliable person ever since we first met.
A small sign was placed on the beef place to indicate the time needed to cook each plate of meat, such as 15 seconds for the tendon, 10 seconds for the shoulder, and 8 seconds for the neck.
In fact, I knew everything there was about “eating” and “cooking,” and I was considered someone of an expert.
However, I could only boast about it and not act upon it.
If I had to cook, I wouldn’t pay any attention to the time.
I wouldn’t count the seconds but would rather dump all the meat in and cook it casually.
After all, fresh beef boiled in beef bone soup could not turn out bad.
After messing around, I found that the brother sitting across from me was formal and proper.
He slowly spread out the meat evenly into a large spoon, soaked it into the boiling broth, soaked the meat evenly with his chopsticks, and then fished it out precisely in seconds.
He finally divided them into our bowls evenly.
“Brother, you are too serious with your cooking time.
It’s not an experiment.
Feel free to eat however you like.”
He placed his chopsticks down and looked at me, “Huh? Otherwise, how would you ensure that the meat is cooked enough?”
“I cook it as a I please.
Beef tastes good regardless of how you cook it.
If it’s tripe that’s chewy after cooking for a while, I’ll just set a timer.”
He smiled and replied, “I’m here.
I don’t need a timer since I’m more accurate than that.”
It was true that beef boiled with the correct amount of time tasted better.
I was originally the one to invite him to dinner, but it turned out that he ended up serving me, and so I felt embarrassed.
He was very generous and genuine in nature.
He was neither arrogant or overly attentive.
He was a gentlemen through and through.
It suddenly occurred to me, “By the way, how old are you this year?”
He was surprised by this abrupt question, but answered immediately, “21.”
Surprised, I said, “Hey, I’m one year older than you so I shouldn’t call you Big Brother.”
That was right.
Even if he retook the class for a year, he was still younger than me.
After all, I was on sick leave for 2 years.
He touched his face confusedly, “Do you think I’m older than you? Do I look old?”
I hurriedly refused, “No, no, you look very young!”
“It’s because you look mature by the way you conduct yourself.
It’s very different from the rest of us.”
He said, “Oh.”
“But it’s still inappropriate to call you Big Brother,” I thought, “After all, when it comes to calling people, it’s easy to say ‘you’re the younger brother’ and ‘younger brother’ but it’s like I’m cursing you.
Calling ‘Big Brother’ sounds more respectful.”
His pair of jet-black, straight eyebrows were raised, seemingly perplexed, “Really?”
Now I was more curious, “What? You didn’t know?”
He shook his head.
Regardless of what I said, he looked quite fashionable.
However, in some aspects, he was quite outdated.
He was silent for a while before saying, “I don’t mind, you can call me whatever you like.”
I clasped my hands together, “Then you will be my Big Brother forever.
Big Brother, bless me so I will not fail the exam at the end of the semester.”
I laughed along.
God, please ask this repeating student to bless me from failing this course.
Was this not the live-action version of the bodhisattva crossing the river, but unable to protect himself?
Our time spent on eating and chatting passed rather quickly.
Without being aware of the time, more than an hour had passed.
The guests next to us already changed to new people, and yet, our table was still full of simmering beef without the intentions of stopping.
His mobile phone vibrated on the table.
He frowned, picking it up to take a look, “I’m so sorry.”
“I have something to do at 7:30.
The meal went longer than expected, but now I have to leave first.
I rushed to say, “It’s okay.
It’s already 7:15, so you hurry up!”
When he glanced at his watch this afternoon, his expression indicated that there were prior arrangements, and I fully understood.
It was all my fault for ordering too much meat.
I had a difficult time finishing after cooking all the meat.
He stood up in a hurry and wore his coat, pausing slightly before leaving.
He turned to me and said, “Thank you for the hospitality.
It was a pleasure to dine with you.”
I was thoroughly amused by mannerism; this guy was cute in an old fashioned type of way.
Staring at the back of him rushing, I was envious of his busyness.
For someone completely idle like me, time was seemed to be meaningless.
When I was about to pay the bill, it suddenly occurred to me that I still didn’t ask for his name, and he didn’t ask me in return.
There was an inexplicable tacit understanding between us.
We did not need to know each other’s names, and it didn’t matter.
It felt novel, and special.
It was different from my previous friendships with scoundrels who were all about wining and dining.
This friendship was just like him, fresh and genuine, without any muddiness to it.
I believed this was what the so-called friendship between gentlemen was probably like.
Exiting the restaurant, I felt that sky and streets were both brightly lit.
This location was in the business district center with streets full of bustling couples on dates, and relatives and friends walking together.
It was very likely.
Regardless, their excitement belonged to them and had nothing to do with me.
After wandering up and down the streets for a while, I decided it was time for me to head back home.
At least there were two middle-aged and elderly folks, Cheng Yichen and Lu Feng, watching TV at home.
They may also have a plate of fruit to eat at home.
However, when I opened the house door, it was pitch dark in front of me.
These two were not at home.
I turned on the lights and glanced around at the empty living room.
Earlier, I sent a message to Cheng Yichen that I would not be able to make it back home for dinner so that he would not have to cook my portion.
As a result, they probably went out on a date.
I also thought about it.
It was precisely because of me that Cheng Yichen had to rush home to cook daily, stayed at home, washed, and watched TV while Lu Feng silently accompanied him the entire time.
I hadn’t paid too much attention and didn’t want to take it for granted.
In fact, if it wasn’t for me, their 2-person world would not remain like this.
Perhaps, to them, their current life was like a prison.
I supposed they were a lot more happy and free before I came.
With Lu Feng’s personality, maybe they went out together to wine and dine daily.
The more I realized how much of a burden my existence came to be, the more dejected I became.
Thus, I laid on the living room’s sofa, playing with my mobile phone dully.
While I was browsing around, it became dark around me.
The two lights above were broken.
“Ugh…” Single dogs were only entitled to a single lamp! t-t …
I placed my phone down, closed my eyes, and let my imagination run wild before gradually falling to sleep.
Half-asleep and half-awake, I heard quiet rustling in the room before hearing Cheng Yichen’s lowered voice, “Shh, Xiao Jing fell asleep.
I felt someone nearing me before gently covering me with a blanket.
His movements were so soft and gentle that I found myself not wanting to open my eyes.
After a while, Cheng Yichen whispered, “This light is broken again.
Are there more light bulbs at home?”
Lu Feng responded, “Yes.”
Then Cheng Yichen ordered, “Then you may go and change the light bulb.”
I had seen President Lu’s destruction and him terrorizing the world, but I had never seen him change a light bulb.
It was more accurate to say I could never imagine him having this ability.
Asking Lu Feng to change the light bulb was akin to using the landing gear of the helicopter to unscrew a bottle in mid-air or asking a dragon to breathe fire to light up a candle.
I secretly kept one eye open to watch Lu Feng standing there, raising his hand to remove the lampshade.
The image of it all was quite right.
Because he was so tall, it was best to make use of his height.
There was nothing wrong with that.
After rotating 3-5 times, he changed the light bulb skillfully.
It didn’t seem like he learnt this in a day or two.
Cheng Yichen praised him, “Very good, very good.
This way, we can retire and still be capable.”
Lu Feng smiled and lowered his head, kissing Cheng Yichen on the lips like a domesticated dog seeking for a reward.
I refused to eat this unexpected dog food.
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