The sounds of cicadas chirping rippled through the steamy woods as the sun blazed down on us. It felt like someone had set fire to the air as this Indian summer caused sweat to course down the backs of everyone in town. The market, however, was still bustling in spite of the scorching heat. I led He Yi, Murong Mingyue and Beiming Xue inside.
The Lamborghini’s car horn made a sharp sound as we drove toward the market. As I stared at the crest on the front of the car and the stalls in front of me, I couldn’t help but say, “Driving something like this to the market. Just stepping on the gas probably costs as much as what these stall owners make in one day. Ah, this world is truly unjust…”
He Yi giggled and stared out the window. “You know, sometimes I envy these stall owners. They harvest their own crops and sell it here and they go home once they’re done. What simple and peaceful lives they must live…”
A thought crossed my mind and made me laugh. “Well, you can give it a shot. But in two days, you’ll be as tanned as a little girl from Africa. I bet you didn’t think of that, huh…”
He Yi smiled and smacked her fist into my shoulder. “You’re a little girl from Africa!”
I slowly brought the car to a halt. As a limited, four-seater Lamborghini, this car was really eye-catching. It attracted countless gazes the moment we came to a halt. Of course, when the three girls disembarked from the ride, they attracted even more gazes. In fact, when a bunch of middle-school kids, who obviously decided to skip school today, walked out of an internet cafe and saw them, they started talking about them in excitement.
“Woah, that car looks awesome!”
“That’s right! And the three girls that walked out of the car were all drop-dead gorgeous! Tsk, I have to say though, the one who came out of the front passenger seat was the best. But the other two who came out of the back weren’t too far off…”
“Yeah! Oh, but that driver was a little ugly though!”
I was left speechless.
Fucking hell, I had suddenly become their driver! And an ugly one at that! Life was really too hard on me sometimes.
He Yi giggled at me before she turned to grab my arm. “What sort of groceries should we buy?”
I thought about it for a moment and then answered her question, “Let’s get some fish, chicken, eggs, and some other meat to go with the wine that dad and third uncle are drinking. We’ll get some cold dishes while we’re at it too. We’ll be fine with just those.”
All three girls were dressed rather fashionably, so all of them stood out in the market of this small town. People kept shooting glances toward them and it was clear that our group was swiftly becoming a hot topic in this market.
We arrived at a small fish stall. It seemed as if they had just gotten some freshly-caught fish which were still happily swimming around in the bucket. I bent down to look at the fish before asking, “Boss, how much do your fish cost?”
The fishmonger looked at me and replied, “We just fished these up from Dongda Lake. It’s wild, not farmed, so its taste is guaranteed! Mandarin fish goes for a hundred yuan a kilo, yellowhead catfish goes for forty yuan a kilo, carp goes for thirty yuan a kilo, and crucian carp goes for twenty yuan a kilo. We’re also selling prawns for forty yuan a kilo. Which ones do you want?”
He Yi gasped when she heard those prices. “Wah! The fish you’re selling is so cheap. If I buy crucian carp in Suzhou, it’ll cost me at least forty yuan a kilo!”
I laughed as I nodded my head. “You’re kidding right? If we were to send the fish here all the way to Suzhou, we’d get gauged by all the toll booths waiting for us along the two hundred kilometers of highway. It would be weird if it wasn’t that expensive!”
Murong Mingyue pouted. “These damnable toll booths. Just travelling to this town already cost us more than one hundred bucks.”
Beiming Xue smiled. “Alright, stop complaining guys! Even buying some groceries will get you talking about our country’s GDP. What am I going to do with all of you…”
I couldn’t help but chuckle as well before I pointed at the fish swimming around in the bucket and said, “Give me two kilograms of prawns. I want live ones, and give me two mandarin fish.”
The fishmonger began happily weighing his fish. He soon passed me a plastic bag bulging with seafood and Murong Mingyue quickly paid for it before we left to explore the other stalls.
Not long after, we came to a butcher stall selling poultry. There was a chicken with mottled feathers flapping around in one of the big cages. It didn’t look like most ordinary chicken.
He Yi bent down and pointed at the rather “eye-catching” chicken before asking, “Boss, this doesn’t seem to be your regular chicken, right?”
The butcher was a middle-aged uncle and he was staring lustily at He Yi. He had probably never seen such a beautiful girl in his entire life. He was practically drooling at this point. “This little lady really has an eye for things. This isn’t some farm-bred chicken. My second son actually caught this out in the wild. It weighs four kilograms and we just caught it last night. How about it, do you want it?”
He Yi smiled very sweetly at the butcher before asking, “Uncle, how much a kilogram?”
The butcher raised up all ten fingers in the air before replying, “Two hundred yuan a kilo!”
“Wah, so expensive…” He Yi’s mouth dropped open in surprise as shock filled her eyes. “Two hundred yuan a kilogram is a little too rich for my blood. How about sixty yuan a kilogram, uncle?”
He Yi was bending over to look at the wild pheasant; the open collar of her uniform-like blouse revealed a breathtaking flash of snowy white. The butcher’s eyes immediately glazed over and it seemed as if his lust had overheated his brain.
I could totally understand his predicament though. I mean, who could really keep their cool when talking to a stunning and elegant beauty? He swiftly nodded his head, “Oh fine! Sixty yuan it is! You can have this chicken if you pay me two hundred and forty yuan!”
This wild pheasant was bound tightly by a hemp rope and the butcher told us that it had quite a temper, so I decided to be the one to take it out of its cage. I grabbed both its neck and feet at the same time, causing the wild pheasant to struggle against my grip. I struggled to keep my grip and sweat soon dotted my face. My reddened face and huffing gasps made the girls burst into unrestrained laughter.
We went around the market for a while, buying some beef, pork, vegetables, and the like. After that, we drove back to my place.
It was already 4 pm by the time we returned back home. Third uncle helped us kill the mandarin fish, which were still bouncing around vigorously. Meanwhile He Yi wore an excited expression on her face as she volunteered to help me slaughter the chicken.
I grabbed a cleaver and brought the chicken to a little forested area to the south of my house. The three girls followed along behind me and as the autumn breeze brushed our faces, I saw their lips curl up into happy smiles.
I really had no idea what they were so happy about. I mean, we just bought some groceries. Were they really that sheltered?
As I raised the cleaver in the air, I asked, “Who wants to kill this chicken?”
“Me! Me!” He Yi said as she bounced up and down.
“Have you killed one before?”
I sighed helplessly. I put the pheasant on the ground and I showed He Yi the exact spot on its neck to cut. I showed her a practice swing and said, “Cut its neck at this point and jump back after that. We’ll need to wait for all the blood to spurt out before we can move on to the next step…”
He Yi nodded her head, but her tiny hand trembled when she took the knife from me. She looked like she could explode from nervousness at any point.
“Do you really want to kill it?”
When I saw that she was about to beat a quick retreat, I hurriedly shook my head and said, “Okay, it’s like this. Just raise your cleaver up in the air and separate this chicken’s head from its neck with a swift chop. Just think of it as killing those chickens in the Floating Ice City’s Wild Pheasant Ridge. That’s really all there is to it…”
He Yi gave me a rather dumbfounded look as she retorted, “Then does that mean that I can hit this chicken with a Green Wave Slash…”
“Do as you will…”
He Yi smiled and took a long look at the chicken. She closed her eyes and raised her cleaver in the air, quietly saying, “Little Chicken, I really don’t want to kill you, but the uncles need to have something to go along with their wine, so I’ll have to do you wrong here! I hope that you’ll be a human in your next life! I hope that you’ll be the son of a rich man like Li Gang…”
The cleaver fell and bit into the neck of the chicken with a dull thud. My eyes widened with shock. He Yi didn’t chop down hard enough to sever the chicken’s neck, but she managed to successfully cut the ropes binding it. In the next instant, the half-decapitated chicken leapt into the air and started flopping around frantically.
I immediately ran up and grabbed He Yi before running backwards. I was deathly afraid that some of that wildly-spurting blood would fly onto her. Beiming Xue and Murong Mingyue furiously backpedaled as well. As we ran for cover, Beiming Xue commented with a smile, “Waaah, the wild chicken event has ended in failure! Our party got wiped…”
He Yi giggled at those words. “I didn’t use enough strength.”
When I turned around, the chicken was still flopping on the ground. It was just refusing to die.
We had no choice but to wait for it to finish moving around, so we sat there and watched the dying chicken flop for nearly half an hour! Murong Mingyue was quite dumbstruck by how long this process was taking. She exclaimed, “If we don’t finish it soon, we can use this chicken to cook supper!”
I rushed forward, my cleaver flashing in the air. The wild chicken finally bade this cruel world goodbye.
I chopped off its head, plucked its feathers, and gutted it with a practiced ease. As a child who grew up in a farming village, I had seen and done such things many times. In fact, I could even slaughter a pig if I had to!
We returned home and tidied up the two guest rooms with air conditioners before we started cooking dinner. None of the girls really knew how to cook so we had no choice but to hand the ingredients to the third aunt and let her work her magic.
My courtyard was bustling with activity in the evening, and the smell of food and wine wafted in the air.
My father and third uncle had gotten as drunk as lords and we rolled them into bed before eleven.
I walked up the stairs to go to one of the guest rooms. When I stared at both the rooms, realization suddenly struck me. I turned around to look at the three freshly-bathed girls and said, “There are two guest rooms with air conditioning, but the beds aren’t very big. There’s no way that three of you are going to be able to share a bed. If that’s the case, how should we split the rooms?”
Murong Mingyue replied. “I’ll sleep together with Eve. I need to protect her from you, Lu Chen! You’ll eat her up if I’m not looking!”
“Why would I do that, damn…”
I looked at He Yi and Beiming Xue. “Fine then, I’ll share a room with Beiming. Beiming Xue will take the bed and I’ll just roll out a mattress and sleep on the floor.”
“Mmm, that works!”
The night was quiet and still and I could hear the crickets weaving their nocturnal song.
Beiming Xue turned to look at me as she said, “Have you fallen asleep yet?”
I turned to look at her, only to discover that this girl was only wearing an oversized pyjama shirt. She leaned over the side of the bed and the collar of her shirt hung loose, revealing the round borders of a pair of snowy mounds. She didn’t seem to realize this either and she continued to lean over the bed, her round, perky butt rising in the air slightly. She shot me a smile as she said, “I can’t sleep, what do I do…”
“Do try to go to sleep!”
“Oohh, how about you tell me a bedtime story, big bro?”
“Do you want to hear a lewd one?”
“I don’t know any other stories…’
In the end, Beiming Xue didn’t dare listen to my story. After all, we were both bachelors sharing a room and telling a lewd story in the middle of the night would be nothing less than throwing a match on some dry hay.
I finally heard the soft sound of Beiming Xue’s breathing after a long time had passed. The little girl had finally gone to bed. It was also at this time that I heard some footsteps coming from the balcony. I stood up and got dressed before opening the door. As the door swung open, the first thing I saw was He Yi’s exquisite face illuminated by the moonlight. It was a sight that stole my breath away. She gazed at the lamplights coming from the distant village and I couldn’t tell what was on her mind.
“Can’t sleep either?” I asked.
He Yi nodded her head and smiled. “Yeah, I can’t seem to fall asleep for some odd reason. In a few hours, Heavenblessed’s servers will be up again and the two major missions in Wind City and Vanished God City will be done as well. We definitely won’t be able to get the first few server rewards for promoting to our fifth class promotion if that’s the case.”
“That’s fine, the prizes aren’t great either…”
“Mmm, so are we going to go back home tomorrow morning?”
“Up to you.”
“Okay…”Previous Chapter Next Chapter