No Money to Divorce
First Published on Chaleuria
Chapter 41: Mystery Forum
Since the blankets were for the giant space rabbit kit, naturally, they had to be the biggest ones.
Adrian brought Zhong Yan into the largest bedding shop. The sales assistant recognized him and quickly came to ask what he needed.
“What’s the biggest type of blanket you have here?” Adrian asked.
It was a strange question, but the sales assistant still answered to the best of her ability, “We only have a few varieties in the largest size. They are designed specifically for extended king-sized beds, but any beds below 2.3 meters would not require it. May I ask how large your bed is?”
…About 8 meters long and wide.
Adrian responded, “I just want your largest. Give me twenty.”
The sales assistant could not believe her ears. “Did you say…twenty?!”
“You don’t have the stock?”
“We…We do have the stock.” The sales assistant stuttered. “Should I show you the designs? Do you have any color preferences?”
“Any twenty will do. I’m not picky,” said Adrian. It’s just for a rabbit. What kind of fancy designs did it need?
Just as he said that, he heard a soft voice from behind him saying, “We have to choose, the colors have to be bright.”
Only then did the sales assistant notice that a shorter man was following right behind Adrian. That man was wearing a hood with his head slightly lowered. The sales assistant had initially thought it was one of Adrian’s army friends so she did not pay attention to him. But now, only when the man raised his head to speak did the sales assistant finally catch a glimpse of that shocking face.
The person who came with Adrian to buy blankets actually happened to be he-who-shall-not-be-named! She was even more shocked now than when she had heard Adrian asking for twenty blankets in one breath.
But the most shocking parts were still to come.
Adrian revealed an incomprehensible expression as he turned to ask Zhong Yan, “Why? Are the gi…are they picky with colors too?”
They? The sales assistant perked her ears. Were they buying these for someone else? What kind of person was worthy enough to have both the Chief Commander of the Navi Military Command and a Representative Councilor of the Supreme Council buying stuff for them?
Zhong Yan nodded resolutely. “Bright colors are more attractive to them.”
“How old do you think they are? You think they care about that?”
What? Turbulent waves were crashing in the sales assistant’s heart. How old did they think they were…Was it a child?
“It’s because they’re…still young.” Knowing that other people were around, Zhong Yan chose his words with caution, and vaguely said, “His character may change when he grows up a bit, but it’s just part of a newborn’s natural nature.”
A newborn baby! The walls were crashing down on the sales assistant’s heart.
Adrian looked doubtfully at Zhong Yan for a moment. Why are creatures living in the galaxy all year round attracted to bright colors by nature?
But Zhong Yan was the professional in this regard, so Adrian definitely did not want to be questioning him in his field. It is highly likely that he would be force-fed a scientific education on this subject for days to come. Even if he was not going to speak about it in public in front of everyone, he would definitely do so when they reached home. Adrian wisely chose to swallow down his response of “That makes no sense”, and turned back to the sales assistant. “Give me bright colors, in your biggest size. I want twenty. Do you have pillows? I need big ones.”
“Large bolsters and cushions are fine too,” Zhong Yan added on from the side.
The sales assistant was barely able to squeeze out a professional smile and led the two further inside. “Yes, we do have large pillows. What do you think about this one? There’s this type too. We have large cushions over here as well.”
Zhong Yan went over to pick out some pillows with the sales assistant. Meanwhile, after looking for a long time, Adrian picked up a big red pillow and gave it to Zhong Yan, asking, “What about this one? It’s bright.”
Zhong Yan reached out to squeeze the pillow and said without any hesitation, “This won’t do. This is buckwheat husk, isn’t it? It’s not soft.”
“Isn’t it quite soft?” It took so much effort for Adrian to pick one that he could not let this go. Frustrated, he squeezed it himself and said, “Let’s buy a few.”
“If I say it’s not soft enough then it’s not soft enough. Am I the expert here or are you?”
Adrian shut up. He tossed the big red pillow back with indignation and grumbled, “This is too damn troublesome. I’m going to be throwing him out anyway.”
Zhong Yan quickly turned around and said in a stern voice, “What are you saying? You were the one who…” brought it back “you have to take responsibility.”
“Should I still…note it down?” The sales assistant had the store’s customized electronic stock records in hand while she looked at the two men giddily.
“No.” Adrian spat, “Don’t ask me, ask him.”
A short while later, the sales assistant recorded down the few types of pillows Zhong Yan had picked out, while Adrian added on, “Give me ten of each of these.”
“Ten? Of each?!” The sales assistant asked, her voice nearly cracking.
“Don’t, that’s too much,” Zhong Yan quickly stopped him.
The sales assistant thought to herself: Yeah, even if you want to spoil a child you shouldn’t buy so much in one go—
“It won’t fit in the car,” Zhong Yan continued on. “Just buy a few for now, we can get more next time.”
Adrian pondered on it and found it reasonable, so he said to the sales assistant, “Keep a backup of this list. I’ll come back for it next time. I’ll pay for the blankets first. Get some people to move them to my car.”
Adrian wrote down his parking lot number and left after settling the bill. The sales assistant looked at the figures of their backs with a dazed face and was out of it for quite some time.
“Hey…hey!” A few of her other colleagues, who didn’t have anyone to tend to, came over and gave her a nudge. “What’s wrong?”
“What did Commander Yate buy just now?” A colleague asked.
The other began, “Was that the taboo councilor next to him earlier? I thought they didn’t get along. Why did they come out to shop together today?”
The sales assistant slowly came back to her senses and told her colleagues, “I…I think I just heard about something amazing from them…”
Once they returned home, Adrian temporarily passed Zhong Yan the authorization rights to the back door and threw the arrangement of the rabbit nest to him.
He was originally prepared to settle some of his official duties, but it was the first day of the New Year’s; it wasn’t just him, most of the people in the Federation were on vacation, so there really wasn’t much to do. At this time, he suddenly recalled the strange waitress he met during dinner, as well as her little discussion group.
Adrian pulled up an incognito software, the results of the research and development team. This software could create a virtual terminal address to cover up his real identity, so he could avoid being tracked by “Butterfly” for a short period. In recent years, this was the type of illegal technology used by those within “Specimen” to dish out anonymous leaks in the virtual community.
But this time, he was not using the virtual terminal for anything related to “Butterfly”. Silver eyes were a well-known physical feature of the Yate family, so Adrian felt that this group must have been formed against him. It was better to not risk using his account to investigate.
He set up his anonymous account, and typed in “Silver Eyes Giant Space Rabbit Discussion”. Thanks to the accuracy of the search phrase, he was able to find the entrance to the forum quite easily. Once he entered, a seemingly clean-looking forum appeared, and the introduction greeted him: The Silver Eyes Giant Space Rabbit Forum, founded seven years ago. A discussion group for the biotechnology enthusiasts amongst the people, discussing on how to cultivate silver-eyed giant space rabbits.
It sounded harmless enough, but something seemed off regardless of how he thought about it. Adrian casually opened up a tool to bring up webpage traffic data and typed in the forum’s name. What he found was that the user loyalty rating was shockingly high. Measuring the user loyalty levels of a forum with the tool’s algorithms would usually bring up results of about 10%, but this Silver Eyes Giant Space Rabbit forum had the staggering results of 72%
…Cultivating giant space rabbits with silver eyes…is that really such an attractive topic?
But to really look inside the forums posts, you would need to have membership rights. Adrian chose to register in the forum, and a long questionnaire popped out.
The top read: Due to the special circumstances of the forum, we adopt a strict membership system where new members are required to answer a set of questions before they are manually reviewed. As the largest forum in this circle, truly likeminded brothers and sisters should be able to understand our cautiousness. If you can’t understand the contents, this forum has nothing to do with you, so we wish you a good day before you leave.
Adrian, who could not understand yet was reluctant to leave, trudged onwards.
First question, short answer question. What is the most important article of the Code for the forum.
…No idea, skip.
Second question, essay question. Please explain in detail the meaning behind this forum name.
…Seems like the introduction on the front page was written for nothing.
Adrian gave up his idea of becoming a member and turned to use the keywords to search for that discussion group instead. As expected, he found a lot of relevant groups. In addition to the so-called “frontline squad” he saw that day, there were a lot of less private groups. He chose a random one out of them, but he still had to answer a verification question despite the lower privacy requirements: Please answer the family names of any of the main characters.
Adrian pondered on it for a moment. The group he saw earlier with the name “frontline” something had entries like “Navi Platoon” and “Capital Platoon”, so he could almost be certain that these groups were related to him and Zhong Yan. After all, it was no secret that Zhong Yan loved giant space rabbits, and knowledge of it was even more well known after he promoted the anti-hunting bill.
He thought about it, and typed in the answer “Zhong”.
Several people welcomed him for joining, but even more people were discussing heatedly about something in the group.
“I also want to see for myself how good the President looks! Ah, will I make it in time if I move to Navi now?”
“Did you take a good look at the post? The girl who leaked the news said their height difference was super cute! There probably haven’t been many people who’ve seen them standing together in real life.”
“I can only use holographic projections to image the height difference…”
“Are they that rare? Hasn’t everyone in the administration group of our forum seen it in the past? After all, they were part of the gossip board in the Supreme Institution.”
“Based on our forum’s standards, sitting and eating together is no different from getting married and having sex, huh?”
“No no, they weren’t eating alone, the informant said other people were there too.”
“Then they’re married, but haven’t done it yet.”
“It’s reasonable to say that the truth is not too far off, friends! They’re still in the state of wedding preparations! I don’t care, there’s only a few days left and they still haven’t paid the fines. They’re definitely not paying it.”
“They’ll get married! They won’t pay the fine! It will definitely happen if I keep lying to myself every day.”
“Wasn’t it one of the frontline girls in Navi who leaked the news that the Chief is super rich?”
Adrian looked at the scrolling chat on his screen, and was speechless for a moment; it felt like he was reliving the shock he felt from seeing the Twin Star tag on the school’s gossip forum for the first time ten years ago, but the shock he received today was clearly even greater. After all, everyone spoke very vaguely in the school’s forum. Nobody dared to say words like “having sex” and whatnot.
He mulled over it for a long time before he could finally type out something to try and figure out what this group of people were doing. “Sorry, I’m new here/ May I ask why you’re still calling Adrian Yate ‘Chief’ and Zhong Yan ‘President’? They’ve graduated for so many years. And also, who leaked that Yate was rich?”
His questions hit like a grenade, and the entire group was roaring.
“…Don’t mention the names!!! What’s with this newbie??? Where are the moderators?”
“First article of the Code! Don’t mention their real names!!! Do not ask about the identity of the informants!!!”
“The newbie sounds strange, did they join on accident?”
“Don’t mention their real names! Don’t ask about the informants! It’s a hard life trying to find a place to squeal over them! Are the moderators going to deal with this? This is a blatant violation of the Code.”
The group administrator soon appeared, “Checked the terminal address, not a forum member. Could be a mistake, should we kick them out?”
A line of agreements popped up below.
Before Adrian had any time to argue, his terminal screen popped out of the chat group.
“You have been kicked out of the group.”