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Chapter 12 The Remote Village
Hao Ren put down the phone, lost in consternation. If it was the previous him, he would have most probably ignored the zero seconds of talk time and the weird call number, thinking of it as a problem of his own cell phone, and would never give it a second thought, but the recent events have made him very sensitive.
Looking at the two abnormal tenants sitting in the living room competing with each other and waiting to be fed, he realized that his life has completely gone haywire. The legends which he generally treated as dinner chats and urban legends might turn out to be true, some fairy tales might be true, and even some movies which until now was just a fanciful illusion … might also be true.
Hao Ren had become very sensitive, to the extent that even his own cat’s scream would be treated as some kind of omen. So, when he recalled the weirdness of the call he just received, his whole body felt a burst of aversion and cold, and even more so – when he realized he had never submitted any resumes to an Import and export trading company!
Yes, indeed, he had submitted a lot of resumes, applying for all kinds of jobs, including even male public relations practitioners and pet psychotherapist, but no Import and Export trading company! That was because Hao Ren was well aware of his qualifications and expertise, that he was the kind of miracle1 who needed a calculator even when buying the celery. How could he ever dare to join any trading companies…? Import and Export trading company? In Hao Ren’s mind, it was similar to the small supermarket in the district. From this, we could see that this man’s competence was very limited.
“Landlord? Landlord you are in a trance! ” Lily’s startling voice came from beside, which made him regain his consciousness, and Hao Ren nodded at the two abnormal creatures, “Oh, a company asked me to come for an interview in the afternoon.”
“Landlord don’t worry, I will guard the house for you!” Lily happily shook her paws, as if she looking forward to something really good, “I’m the best at housekeeping, and I promise you nothing will be stolen! ”
“Dog-like statement.” Vivian would never let go an opportunity to sneer at this old enemy, and each ridicule was particularly to the point, but Hao Ren had the urge to say: Could you not be so “ostentatious”2 when you were such a sorehead and so poor? You see, you are not even worthy of your being a descendant of the Blood Tribe!
Lily glared at Vivian, but then shook her head expressing that she did not care. The growling sound made by her stomach made her anger disappear quickly as if she was being debuffed contineously3, looking at Hao Ren, leaning by the table weakly, “Landlord you should go cook fast, after eating, I will have the strength to help you keep the house… ”
Hao Ren was still in a bit of a daze: were they two tenants or two little ancestors? After all these years of being a landlord, this was the first time he had encountered someone who could engage so naturally with people! But soon he attributed it all to the differences in culture and laughed. Anyways, they both were way beyond his range, and he had no way to deal with either one of them, so to ensure that his future would be stable, his priority now was to elevate their favorability rating 4 – so that whenever Lily and Vivian fought, he would have the confidence to roar at the two: using the identity of the landlord and owner.
When Hao Ren finally finished serving the two girls, he was able to confirm that Vivian did eat normal human food, which lifted a huge burden off his chest. Getting all these things done, he realized it was already past eleven, and apparently they could save the meal at noon, and allow the vampire and the werewolf to get some snacks for themselves till the evening. Of course, taking into account the situation that this unfortunate vampire was now penniless, and Lily would by no means share her food with Vivian, he went out and bought a box of biscuits. The poor girl was almost moved to tears when he threw it at her.
Due to vampires’ habits, Vivian had the need to sleep for a longer time during the day. Not long after having dinner, she went up to the second floor, cleaned her room and prepared to rest. On the contrary, Lily was most spirited during the daytime: she had decided to guard the door on the first floor. The difference in racial habits had finally separated both of them. And Hao Ren was finally able to breathe a sigh of relief without worrying that they might tear down the house. Taking advantage of this time, he could calmly go attend the “interview” offered by the mysterious woman.
At first, he had considered taking Lily with him, but ultimately he rejected the idea: First, it had only been two days since he met her, and the girl was also somewhat simple … well actually soft-headed. Being soft-headed was not a reason to bully her, and with that little bit of trust amongst them was not enough for him to justify asking Lily to be a Guard. Secondly, Hao Ren also had his masculine side, and simply because of what had happened recently, was he so nervous that he needed to ask a girl to accompany him as a bodyguard for an interview… How could he live with that?
So he decided to bite the bullet and investigate the situation himself.
Standing next to the bus stop waiting for the bus, Vivian and Lily’s “Alien” figure emerged in his mind again, and he grumbled to himself: “Was it really okay to leave those two at home?”
To tell the truth, Hao Ren had been in this business for several years, and he has encountered various types of tenants. And as a landlord, the most important thing was to correctly distinguish whether the tenant was reliable or not, whether they were dangerous or they were thieves – If the house was rented to a thief, then there was no doubt that he would suffer a big loss. Of course, he never considered the two superwomen as the latter, because he knew … they were much more dangerous than thieves!
Was it a mistake to leave them in the house so assuredly? Will his house be in ruins when he got back? Would he see more than two hundred heavily armed SWAT? Would he see the team from the National Academy of Science fill the whole southern suburbs? Would he see two Americans wearing black sunglasses in suit take out a mechanical pencil and press it in front of himself? 5
His head was full of such unrealistic illusions when he took the bus, where he was taken to another desolate place not far from the southern suburb.
The address given by the mysterious woman was a place Hao Ren had heard of before but never visited. It was very remote, far from the urban area, and it could be regarded as a small village outside the City. From the City there were no direct bus routes to the location, and even the southern suburbs only had a regular shuttle every hour.
This magical place was called “Wang Ba Tuo Zi”.6
Hao Ren took the ramshackled bus which seemed as if even the smallest obstacle could tear it apart, and along the way, there were no more than three passengers on the bus simultaneously. And he even suspected that, the driver’s cynical face was explicitly matched for the irritating condition of the trip and the bus. Nevertheless he was taken to the right place safely, and the place seemed no different from the wilderness they had passed.
The bus sped away, making banging sound with four – four rhythm. It was just like Hao Ren’s mood at the moment: he felt a sudden rush of emotions, and wanted to shout loudly at the sky — Apparently, he was deceived! Did the woman even draft anything before babbling all that nonsense over the phone?!
From the highway down along a trail was the Bastard Dune which was not far away, and Hao Ren could clearly see the pattern all over the place. It was an old village with primitive ecology and only a few dozen families, and almost half of the houses were still crumbling mud houses. The village’s buildings looked disorganized, and he had a feeling that they were decades old. Even the greatest looking building at the center of the village was made up of bricks and was as small as his own house…
An “Import and Export trading company”?
Probably even the dumbest guy in the world would not be deceived by this!?
But Hao Ren was still fooled here anyway.
- Literally translated from the Chinese word “奇葩”, which means that the behavior of the protagonist was really out of ritual that it may attract much attention, having a slightly sneering sense. ↩
- Translated from the Chinese word”拽”, which means to like be in the limelight so that she could show off, or present her temperament/clothing. ↩
- Game Terminology, equivalent to ”her fighting force was weakening” ↩
- JP Gal Game’s Terminology, to unlock further interaction with the female characters in the game, the gamer has to elevate her favorability rating to the set level. ↩
- Neta from the MIB. ↩
- We used Pinyin here as there were no counterparts in English. “Wang Ba” was a disparaging name for turtles and it could be used as swear words in Chinese. “Tuo Zi” described a dune, with no explicit meaning here. The two combined could describe a place’s name but was really inelegant. We may use” Bastard Dune” later. ↩