Author: 长洱 / Chang’er
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
The weather during the change of seasons was always strange.
For example, when he left home in the morning, the sky was still clear, but it started pouring on the way home. This kind of thing was common.
In front of the long convoy blocking the city, Xing Conglian knocked on the window next to the driver’s seat with irritability. The window was covered with fog, and there was an endless electronic sound of a mobile game playing in his ears. The rain was still falling, and there was no sign of it stopping.
“Can’t you stop for a while?” Xing Conglian turned his head and spoke impatiently to the teenager sitting in the front passenger seat.
“Can’t you smoke less?” Wang Chao only raised his eyes and glanced at the cigarette in Xing Conglian’s hand, then responded back disdainfully.
Xing Conglian was about to explode, but he tried his best to tell himself not to care about the words of a rebellious teenager.
He took a deep breath and followed the self-regulation method Lin Chen had taught him.
Then he smacked Wang Chao’s head.
“Ow! Child abuse!”
The teenager’s scream was mixed with the electronic sounds coming from his mobile game, echoing in the car.
On the way home from work, everything was irritating without Lin Chen…
Xing Conglian pressed the car radio, and gentle piano music flowed out. He unbuttoned his collar, rolled up the cuffs of his shirt, and lowered the car window a little, ready to let the music soothe his irritable emotions.
But soon, specifically at the moment when the red light in front turned green, the soft piano sound suddenly turned into raging rock music. The drums and roars were deafening, startling Xing Conglian. A feeling of hot steam rushed up the back of his neck to the top of his head. He hurriedly glanced at the car audio. Fortunately, the audio didn’t explode. He studied the broadcast and the control panel and found there were no issues. Just when he wanted to summon Wang Chao to check out the problem, he found that Wang Chao’s phone had been plugged into the car audio at some point, and the initiator himself, at this moment, was bouncing up and down to the grungy music at high volume.
Xing Conglian took a deep breath again…
Then he silently unplugged the cable.
Wang Chao suddenly settled down and continued to stare at him with a look that said, “Bro, what the hell are you doing?”
Xing Conglian didn’t want to use violence too often, so as an adult, he could only look away.
Naturally, the tastes in music of an older man and a teenager were usually vastly different, but usually this kind of contradiction could be reconciled. For example, Lin Chen would choose songs that suited Xing Conglian’s taste from the cloud song list. Sometimes it was light music, and sometimes it was Cantonese. Lin Chen’s taste was always good, so Xing Conglian naturally didn’t have any objections.
If Wang Chao got impatient after listening for a while and started to make noise, at that time, Lin Chen would plug in the audio cable on Wang Chao’s phone, turn down the volume, and then accompany Xing Conglian to talk.
Xing Conglian discovered that, in the end, the reason for his irritability now was that no one was talking to him while he was driving.
Should he propose that Lin Chen take fewer days of sick leave…?
He thought this silently, and from the corner of his eyes, he saw Wang Chao’s hand still secretly reaching for the connection wire.
Then there was a crisp sound.
In the next second, the bold brat finally shrank back to his seat with his hands covering his head and began to whine until his heart felt a bit better.
“Mr. Xing, do you know doing this makes it look like you’re having a manic episode?!” Wang Chao hid in the corner as he yelled at Xing Conglian.
“Your brother A’Chen should know best whether I’m manic or not.”
“Is that how you’re addressing him now?”
“What’s wrong with that?”
“Not only can I call him A’Chen, I can also call him Chen. Can you?”
“Chen, Chen, Chen, Chen, Chen, Chen!”
“Wang Chao, how old are you? So childish. Do you have the guts to go to your brother A’Chen and call him that?”
“Xing Conglian, I’m 18 this year and past the age where I would be so violently brain-dead!”
“Then why haven’t you passed the age of rubbing against your guardian’s car every day?”
“Because the word guardian is already past tense. I’m rubbing against my boss’ car. Do you have any comments?”
“As a democratic and considerate boss, I don’t have any complaints about dropping off my subordinate on the way home, but I also hope that my subordinates will be conscious of being a passenger in my car and don’t always provoke their boss.”
“But we’re all in this car. Why should we listen to songs that only you want to hear?”
“Because this is laozi’s car. If you don’t want to sit in this car, go and walk.”
In the end, any quarrel between him and Wang Chao would always come down to who had the money and who was the boss.
Tsk. It’s not bad to be rich. After all, you can buy a car.
Xing Conglian turned the steering wheel and finally saw the parking lot outside of Yanjia Lane.
“Captain, you sure have a shitty car. Did you remember to bring an umbrella?”
Suddenly, the annoying kid sitting in the front passenger seat began to make noise again.
Xing Conglian recalled for a while. It seemed that, because of the rain yesterday, they took out the umbrellas with them when he got out of the car. It looked sunny this morning, and Lin Chen was still sleeping, so no one reminded them to bring an umbrella.
In the end, it was because Lin Chen didn’t remind him that they forgot to bring their umbrellas.
“Why didn’t you remember to bring it?” Xing Conglian questioned.
“Because it’s like this. The clothes I’m wearing are waterproof, and I wear hats so I can just rush home in three minutes without fear of rain,” Wang Chao said as he pulled out a cap from his backpack and put it on. He then pointed to his backpack and said, “The backpack is also waterproof. It’s quite high-end, no? Unlike some people who have to live in a house deep in an old alley. What’s the use of having a garden when you can’t even drive the car to the door…”
Xing Conglian continued taking deep breaths. After all, beating a child wasn’t an honorable thing. He had to restrain himself…
He controlled his hand, patiently followed the queue of cars forward, and finally drove into the parking lot. When the railing of the car was raised, he suddenly saw someone waiting under the willow tree by the parking lot.
Lin Chen was wearing home clothes and had a simple coat on, holding a black umbrella while waiting for them in the rain.
This was a very strange feeling, but the moment he saw Lin Chen, he suddenly felt as if there was a sudden wind in the air or someone had breathed into his heart, and all the irritability in it had suddenly disappeared.
Even Wang Chao suddenly stopped talking.
He pulled the car up to the parking space as Lin Chen walked towards them with an umbrella.
Before Xing Conglian could stop the car, the annoying kid sitting in the front passenger seat unbuckled his seatbelt, opened the door, and rushed out.
“A’Chen, A’Chen, A’Chen, why are you here? Have you been waiting for a long time? I have already scolded the captain for you. Who made him drive so slowly? Older men are so useless!”
The teenager’s voice was loud and clear, and it echoed through the parking lot. Xing Conglian had just lowered the car window and was about to greet Lin Chen.
Lin Chen patted the boy’s black hair and moved the umbrella over, then glanced up at Xing Conglian and said, “Don’t just say all older men are useless.”
Tsk. As expected of Lin Chen. He’s really good at educating children.
Hearing this, Xing Conglian pulled the handbrake with satisfaction, opened the door, and got out of the car.
“How long have you been waiting? Why didn’t you call me?”
Xing Conglian stretched out his hand and took the umbrella that Lin Chen handed over, then opened it.
“Not long. I checked the traffic conditions in advance and calculated the time you would get here.”
Because of his hand injury, Lin Chen could only walk on the outermost side, while Wang Chao held the umbrella for him while blocking the middle.
“A’Chen, you’re so smart, unlike the Captain!”
After hearing what Lin Chen said, that brat Wang Chao quickly and doggedly flattered him and stole his lines.
Xing Conglian held the handle of the umbrella and walked a little further away from them, then looked back at Lin Chen.
However, Lin Chen didn’t continue the conversation and instead glanced at him curiously, then asked Wang Chao, “What happened on the way?”
“Nothing much. It’s just that the Captain kept hitting me and threatened to kick me out of the car and walk!”
“Hey, are you the villain who sues his victim first*?”
*(恶人先告状) Proverb referring to a bad person being the first to tell or distort the facts.
“I’m young. Don’t you think I should be?”
“Wang Chao, although you grew up abroad, the traditional virtue of Chinese culture is to respect your elders and cherish the young. Let me emphasize, you need to respect your elders!”
“So you’re finally admitting that you’re old!”
Why were children like this nowadays? It made it impossible for him not to beat them!
Xing Conglian curled his fingers and was about to smack Wang Chao in the head, but suddenly realized that the person walking beside him had changed to Lin Chen, or that he had subconsciously walked to Lin Chen’s side and held his umbrella for him at some point.
“Proper quarrels help cultivate feelings.” Lin Chen raised his brows and said, “It’s quite interesting watching you two. You guys continue. Don’t mind me.”
Obviously, he didn’t intend to stop them, but after Lin Chen finished speaking, Wang Chao shut up. He glanced at Lin Chen cautiously, and his eyes flickered.
The surrounding area became quiet in an instant, with only the sound of raindrops splashing on the umbrella. The alley became tranquil, giving off a calm vibe as if there were a sweet aroma.
Xing Conglian didn’t want to talk anymore.
“A’Chen, what are we having for dinner?”
Finally, Wang Chao seemed to have thought about something for a long time and then suddenly found something to talk about and spoke up.
Xing Conglian finally caught the opportunity and smacked him. “Can’t you cook? Your brother A’Chen still has a cast on his hand. Do you still want him to cook for you? How useful you are!”
“Aren’t you the same?” Wang Chao retorted.
Lin Chen sighed almost inaudibly and asked, “What about Chen Ji fried noodles?”
“No good.” Wang Chao and Xing Conglian spoke in unison this time.
“Or Auntie Zhou’s wontons?”
“If I eat Auntie Zhou’s takeout again, it’ll be the 117th time I’ve eaten at Auntie Zhou!” Wang Chao moaned.
“What about Master Kang’s braised beef noodles? That’s a classic.”
“I finished the last bag last night.” Xing Conglian silently raised his hands.
“Then what to do?”
“A new shopping mall has opened in the CBD. A’Chen, shall we go there and get something to eat?” When Wang Chao said this, his eyes lit up. “Captain, swipe your card!”
“Per capita can’t exceed 100. I took a few days off this month, so my salary is a bit low,” Xing Conglian said bitterly.
“Okay,” Lin Chen agreed.
Happy New Year.
<<< || Table of Contents || >>>