Chapter 2 – Then All of a Sudden, Everything Was Abnormal!
Hao Ren stared at the piece of paper in front of him, on which the address of a remote place was written, and he could not be more familiar to this address: Wasn’t it his own home address!? “Why do you want to go to this place?” Hao Ren didn’t know why a girl, whom he met for the first time, was holding his own home address, and to be honest, he was really a little bit excited at this moment. However, he still had some wisdom inside him; he knew that all of his romantic encounters had been exhausted when he was in the third year of primary school, when he shared the same table with the girls. As such, he still appeared indifferent, only showing a slight curious look at the pretty girl in front of him.
Great stature and beautiful appearance; although she was a little short, her lively and cheerful characteristic could outweigh her height …
“I’m looking for a house to live in!” The pretty girl replied very quickly, “I have been looking for the address for a whole day, and I can’t really find it, so I just decided to look for someone to ask. However, there seems to be no one else in this park who can answer my question.”
Hao Ren felt that this girl was too quick with her intimacies, but his attention was attracted by “finding a house” the girl mentioned. His dizzy head became slightly sober, then it abruptly occurred to him that he was a landlord, and two days before, he had just put up an advertisement on rental in the city tabloid. Was the girl seeking for a rental house? After idling the apartment for such a long time, he could finally receive some rent!
Hao Ren folded the piece of paper and returned it to the girl, “Of course I know this place, I will take you there.”
The pretty girl had a gleeful look as she immediately inserted the paper into her bag. While patting her bag, she said, “Thank you! I have really been looking for a long time…”
Hao Ren stood up and stretched himself. He was going to step outside the park, when it suddenly occurred to him that there was something wrong. “Wait! You said you have been searching for this address in the downtown area for the whole day?!”
The pretty girl nodded hard, showing a sign of honesty and straightforwardness, “Yeah, that’s true! This place is pretty hard to find. “
“Of course it is hard to find!” Hao Ren almost failed to control his voice, and he suddenly began to doubt whether this girl knew him and she had some grudges, so was dedicating this day to fool him. “Haven’t you read that the address written was the southern suburb?! Southern suburb! And you said you have been searching for a suburban address in the city for a whole day? “
“But it says Whitestone Building,” the girl pointed her finger in some direction, and Hao Ren knew that it was the position of a commercial building in downtown center, “Whitestone Building is in the city, isn’t it?”
Hao Ren was suddenly shocked, and then he reacted, “It’s the Whitestone Road in the Southern Suburb, and it is not downtown Whitestone Building!” In fact, he also swallowed a word: Did the girl only read the first two characters when she was looking for a place?
“Aha,” the girl quickly recalled for a moment, and then she showed a sign of awkwardness, “I forgot that. I’m quite sloppy in my daily life. So do you know where the Whitestone Road of the Southern Suburb is, right? Can you take me there? “
Hao Ren still felt that there was something wrong about this girl, but he was too lazy to think of the details. Furthermore, she was just a tenant who would rent house, and after being a landlord for two years, he had learnt to leave the tenants alone, so he simply pointed to the park entrance while raising his hand, “Well, we have to take a bus, as the Southern Suburb is far from here. Once we arrive there, it would already be dark. Oh yeah, by the way, I’m the landlord you are looking for, the house you are looking for is mine. “
The pretty girl suddenly showed a surprised look; she was apparently startled as she asked, “Oh!? Are you serious? “
Hao Ren raucously nodded his head as the girl almost jumped up with excitement, “Oh, what a coincidence! How can there be such a coincidence in the world. Does it mean that we’re destined to meet, landlord?! “
Hao Ren rubbed his forehead as he began to feel some signs of disjoint from the girls’ words. This time, he couldn’t hold his words back anymore, “Are you not afraid to get… Abducted? What if I was lying to you?”
He thought that he was being too euphemistic, in fact, he really thought that the girl was a little soft-headed… no, he should say especially soft-headed! Not to mention the girl had been looking for a suburban address for a whole day, she was even convinced by a stranger with simply two or three sentences, and she was even comfortable with a stranger leading the way. Readily allowing strangers to lead the way for her… what if she was being lead to some deserted place? Just why are the girls these days so vulnerable? Should Hao Ren say that she was in good luck? Or should he say that the human traffickers have been slacking recently? It was truly fortunate that this girl hasn’t been abducted yet.
Hao Ren muttered quite a lot in his mind, but that was just one or two seconds of effort, and it seemed that the other party had just come to a realization as she warily observed Hao Ren, “Abduction? So, you are a human trafficker? Do you intend to abduct me? “
Hao Ren, “…Of course not!” He had a feeling that he should stay away from this girl, if it was not for her “client” role, he would certainly not communicate with such a silly girl for so long!
The girl nodded with satisfaction, “That’s a relief! I’m really terrified of being cheated. Then, shall we go? “
Hao Ren sighed feebly; he felt as though his footsteps were exceptionally heavy when leaving the park.
Soon they took a bus towards the Southern Suburb, and during the journey, Hao Ren discovered that he couldn’t feel boredom at all. Hao Ren discovered that the new tenant was not only too straightforward, no brain to mouth filter, a little bit too brash, but also a talkaholic! Along the trip Hao Ren, just listened to her happy chatter, from the status of second-tier stars at home and abroad, to the housing price of second-tier cities; there was substantially nothing she did not mention. Hao Ren did not know where these topics started, and whenever the other was too embarrassed to continue, as long as he nodded a little bit, the girl would eventually continue with great enthusiasm, and continue, and continue some more blabla… This was not a big problem though. By listening to her, he could divert himself, but Hao Ren also wanted to take this opportunity to learn more about his new tenant’s situation, since this was a required procedure. It was important to roughly know the tenant’s situation in the shortest possible time in order to prevent some very troublesome things.
The girl’s surname was Liu, she called herself Liu Lili, and she was very generous to let Hao Ren directly call her “Lily. She claimed herself to be a traveling veterinarian and a part-time writer. She just moved here from another city, and she intended to reside here. She said that she was not picky about the place to live, as long as the shelter was clean and convenient, because her work was quite unstrained…
According to this information, Hao Ren judged that the new tenant was a very aggressive woman with no stable job at the moment, but she was still unwilling to cause himself trouble, so Hao Ren was quite satisfied about this. Anyway, for such a little girl,it seemed that her ability to cause trouble was limited, though she seemed to be a little soft-headed… but that was her own problem, wasn’t it? Hao Ren just needed to act his duty as a landlord.
And just as expected, when the tedious journey ended and the bus stopped beside a stop board in the Southern Suburb, it was almost completely dark outside.
Hao Ren led Lily outside the bus, and he could hardly breathe when Lily yelled, “So this is Whitestone Road?”
“The sign said that this is the Southern Suburb station! Whitestone Street is an old road, and so we have to take the path on foot. when have you seen a bus driving into a Hutong ⦏1. Hutongs (Simplified Chinese: 胡同) are a type of narrow streets or alleys, commonly associated with northern Chinese cities, most prominently Beijing. In Beijing, hutongs are alleys formed by lines of siheyuan, traditional courtyard residences. Many neighbourhoods were formed by joining one siheyuan to another to form a hutong, and then joining one hutong to another. The word hutong is also used to refer to such neighbourhoods. Since the mid-20t…(excerpt from Wikipedia)⦐?”
“Oh… ha ha, I tend to make mistakes. Landlord, you have to excuse me,” Lily hollowly laughed. Along the road, she still kept on talking endlessly; she seemed to be more familiar with Hao Ren unilaterally. When she turned to look at the surroundings, her brows wrinkled as she muttered, “So quiet and desolate.”
The bus station was located beside a slightly outdated road, and all the buildings around had styles which was popular twenty or thirty years ago: potholed roads, shop which had been closed, and the old, five-story buildings behind the shop. It would not be hard to imagine how desolate this place was, and this street was already the only “urban area” of the Southern Suburb. Sometimes, Hao Ren himself would suspect that this zone had already been completely forgotten by the modern society, but at the end of each month, he would again be confident about the society. No panic, Water Supply Authority would not forget you, Power Supply Bureau would never forget you, the gas company would not forget you, even the China Unicom and those selling insurances would not forget you. Why would you still be unhappy when there are so many people worried about you, a citizen in the suburb…?
“Come quickly,” Hao Ren told Lily to keep up, “The city’s public security is quite good, but after all, this place is quite remote, and you may encounter a drunkard swinging outside. We should concentrate on settling down first. By the way, I should remind against walking around at night. If you keep yourself safe, then I will be saved of the trouble.”
It stood to reason that these words should not be said. As a landlord, saying this made it easy for tenants to be scared away, but Hao Ren had always been an outspoken person, and although he was afraid of trouble, he was more reluctant to lie or take advantage of people. Because of that, he would always explain all the stuff from the beginning. This was also the reason why no one rented his house: thank goodness, two people came to see the house, but both were scared away.
However, Lily, with her petite stature, didn’t seem to take it seriously, “Landlord, you don’t need to worry, I am good at fighting.”
Today, Hao Ren absolutely felt that he had encountered a peculiar person. “I’m not supposed to be saying this… But hey, maybe I should make it clear, why aren’t you afraid of encountering bad guys?”
Meeting a stranger whom he has only known for half a day, Hao Ren knew that he should not be too officious, but this was the first time in his life that he encountered such a strange girl who was so defenseless against others. As a good man, he really couldn’t help himself.
But again, Lily just smiled as she swung her arms carelessly, “Landlord, you’re really a good man, but I am not afraid of villains. My strength is particularly enormous, and I am good at fighting. All the bad guys I met before were all defeated by me.”
Hao Ren could not help but think to himself, “You have really encountered some bad guys before? So the reason you are so careless and defenseless is because you have beaten off all the bad guys”
Lily noticed that Hao Ren didn’t intend to speak. She just wore a smile while pulling her large suitcase by herself. She wanted to follow Hao Ren, but she suddenly heard “GECKO, GECKO” sounds, and after which, two rubber wheels on the suitcase suddenly fell off, quickly rolling away.
“Ah ha ha, it seems my stuff is a little heavy.” Lily scratched her hair embarrassedly.
“Well, the road is a little bumpy…” Hao Ren worriedly said. Watching the potholed, broken road, he could not help but sigh; as a man, he felt that he should do something, “Here, let me help you… eh, what the hell did you put inside it?! “
He was just about to lift the suitcase when he felt that the case was unbelievably heavy; its weight was so great that it seemed to contain an equal volume of cement. He could not even lift it by a single inch!
Lily didn’t notice the strange look on Hao Ren’s face at all, she just grabbed the suitcase with one hand, then she placed it on her shoulders with a laugh. The whole process was like as easy as grasping a bale of cotton to her.
With his mouth wide opened, Hao Ren watched the petite little girl shouldering a case that should be at least fifty kilos while walking fast. He almost began to suspect whether there was something wrong with his worldview. He failed to react until Lily, who was already in front of him, urged him to lead the way. Lily walked ahead, muttering, “I was just born with such great strength, why are you so aghast? It’s as if you had never seen such scenarios on TV shows…”
The two people just walked together, one still murmuring, while the other still deep in thought. Soon, they had left the main road which was fairly wide, and arrive into a darkened path. If they walk to the end of the path, they would reach the “Whitestone Road”, and Hao Ren’s house was just located there.
The sky was dark, and one of the two street lights was broken. Surrounded by the old, dilapidated house, if it were not for the nearly-full, shining moon, it would have become more eerie. Even for Hao Ren who was quite familiar with the environment, walking outside was still scary. He could not help but look at Lily with a glance. The girl followed by his side, still defenseless, and she even seemed to be in a good mood.
The darkened night, lonesome road, unfamiliar environment, plus an unknown man, any of which above was enough to make a normal girl wary, but this “Liu Lili” was showing no sense of nervousness at all… Was she truly soft-headed or what?
Just as Hao Ren was fussing over Lily’s personal safety, a burst of weird, flapping sound suddenly came from the sky.
As the surroundings were really quiet, the burst of sound certainly startled him. He immediately tracked the sound, only to see nothing but a strange shadow across both sides of the walls into the night sky.
That shadow was like a bat, but the size… did not seem to be right?
“Oh… Quite weird.” Hao Ren certainly didn’t want to show his embarrassment in front of a girl, so he just shouted something deliberately, as if saying he was not frightened at all. When he looked up at Lily, he thought that he would see the former being frightened, but…
At that moment, he saw that on Lily’s head, as if out of nowhere, there was a pair of wolf ears!