No Money to Divorce
First Published on Chaleuria
Chapter 67: Show Off
Zhong Yan distributed the tableware to everyone. The dining set had all been switched out several days ago, and the four soup plates on the table were clearly two couple sets. Even the spoons came in pairs. When Zhong Yan saw that both his guest had their attention on the tableware, he explained, “We only have couple sets at home. You don’t mind, do you, Doctor?”
Wei Lan responded, “It’s fine.”
Fayn did not respond. He peered at his and Wei Lan’s dinner sets covertly and felt both secretly happy and guilty. When Adrian saw him remain silent, he taunted him deliberately, “What’s wrong? You don’t like sharing a couple set with the doctor? You haven’t started eating anyway. I’ll change sets with the doctor. You can use a pair with me.”
“Forget it then.”
Fayn and Zhong Yan spoke at the same time. Zhong Yan quickly realized his own overreaction and cleared his throat. “I mean…the soup is getting cold so you should drink it quickly while it’s still hot.”
“Heard that? I’m not the only one disagreeing. I’m a person with morals, I won’t step between a married couple, so give up. I won’t agree to it. It can’t happen between us.” When Fayn saw this scene, he was quick to add oil to the fire in joy.
Wei Lan hesitated for a moment. He knew himself well, and he knew that besides the surgical department, he was not very good in understanding with people. But he was still worried that his friend would “misunderstand” Adrian in that way, and that he would anger the couple opposite of them, so he still reminded him, “Adjutant Suster, I don’t think the Commander is interested in you in that way.”
Before Adrian could even say the word “scram”, he suddenly heard Wei Lan’s blow and couldn’t stop himself from laughing. Even Zhong Yan could not help but cover his mouth to hide his amusement, but it was still revealed in his eyes. On the other hand, Fayn was looking dazedly at Wei Lan, speechless.
“Did…I say something wrong again?” Wei Lan could not understand.
Fayn couldn’t bear seeing Wei Lan like this the most. He had completely forgotten how he had been defeated through and through by Adrian during one of their arguments that arose from a single sentence Wei Lan said. He glared at the two who were still laughing at the opposite side and quickly encouraged Wei Lan. “No, you’re right, you’re completely right. Like I said, you’ve really improved!”
Zhong Yan quickly stopped his laughter and nudged Adrian with his elbow, telling him to stop laughing. He said, “Let’s start eating. There wasn’t much time so I didn’t prepare a lot of food. I hope everyone can still enjoy themselves.”
The four men raised their glasses and clinked both their juice and their wine, emanating a sound of crisp bells.
After dinner, Wei Lan went with Zhong Yan to the room with his medical kit in hand. Adrian invited Fayn over. “Want to go out to the backyard to have a look? Sober up a little.”
“No need.” Fayn shook his head and checked himself. “I’m not that drunk.”
“I still think it’s better if we go out for a walk. You’ll feel more sober after getting some air.” Then, Adrian added, “The medical officer is my subordinate as well. I have to be responsible for him.”
“What are you talking about? Am I…that kind of guy when I’m drunk?” Fayn gave him a light slap on the back. Even though he said that he still followed Adrian out to the yard.
They walked through the sparse rows of trees, over to the wooden house on the open grassland that was just a little taller than a two-story building. Seeing such a large building all of a sudden, Fayn was sobered up a lot. “Damn, the hell is this thing out in your yard?”
“A rabbit nest,” Adrian said. “I made it myself. Look closer, over there, there’s a small one right next to it too.”
Fayn was speechless for a moment. Adrian actually raised rabbits at home and even made them nests with his own hands. It felt almost surreal. He could not help but suspect that perhaps he really had drank too much. He massaged his temples. “I’ve made up my mind. Marriage definitely changes people. Emperors of the olden days hide their young mistresses in their fancy houses, so what business do you have hiding rabbits out here?”
“Who’s hiding them? I’m openly raising rabbits.” Adrian was giddy as he said, “I bought that big one at the very last day of last year.”
But unfortunately, Fayn who could usually empathize with him very well was now a little drunk, and his mind was buzzing a little. Moreover, all he could think about right now was Wei Lan, so he did not hear the hidden proudness in his words and nodded. “Oh.”
He did not realize it, but Adrian was persistent in bragging. “I had to drive out two star systems over to buy it as a New Year’s Present for Zhong Yan. He liked it so much.”
Fayn paused. Then, he pounced over to him with his fists out. “You asshole! You’ve been showing off since we were having dinner earlier. Would it kill you to lay off a little?!”
“When did I show off during dinner?”
“The two of you were practically eating out the same plate! Is that even necessary?!”
“So what if I eat the things he doesn’t like to eat?”
Adrian easily intercepted Fayn’s punch. In the time it took for the two of them to joke with each other, they had already begun to spar. Even though Fayn didn’t drink much more than Adrian, he ended up revealing an opening in just a few moves. Adrian caught it in one fell swoop and grappled him.
“Do you submit?” Adrian asked. “Wanna continue?”
Fayn swiftly conceded. “No no, no more.”
The both of them let go of the same time. Fayn sighed. “Ah, time passes so quickly. I really miss those days when you used to pummel me to the ground when we just arrived here.”
Adrian had not adjusted himself as soon as he came here. When they had just arrived, there was a short time in his life when Adrian would fight all throughout the day, and numb himself with alcohol at night to sleep. One time, he was taking a bath after a bit too many drinks, and he was so drunk that he fell asleep in the bathtub. When Fayn found him the next day, half his body was still submerged in the cold water and he almost seemed dead. Fayn’s hands were shaking so much that he couldn’t find his pulse, and before the emergency doctor could arrive, Adrian had already been woken up by Fayn. Fayn had instantly went to beating him as he cried, and that may have been the only time in Adrian’s life that he just laid there to get beaten without fighting back.
Nobody mentioned this matter again in the years that followed. Fayn may seem happy-go-lucky, but there was a cautious side to him too, and he was a reliable person. He was also one of the top rankers in the Supreme Institution when they graduated, and he had even gotten higher marks than Adrian in one of the sections. The reason he was able to sit at one of the topmost positions, beneath only a single man in the Navi Military Command, was not because of his personal relationship with the Supreme Commander. Adrian was an impartial person after all.
Now, when their most difficult years were mentioned again, Adrian did not feel upset by it at all. Instead, he felt pleased. “Ain’t nothing you can do but miss it. After all, I already succeeded in proposing. I’m really lucky I kept that ring with me. If I’d known I would succeed, I would’ve told you to keep the flowers too. I’m even thinking about having a wedding when everything’s settled.”
As he said that, he raised his left hand to Fayn to show him the ring. The two of them had been as busy as dogs in Lebor these past few days, and they only talked about work any time they bumped into each other at work. They hadn’t had the time to have a private chat like this. This was the first time Fayn had seen Adrian’s ring in such close proximity. Even though he could not understand if those mysterious curves were an artistic thing, but Fayn was still deeply shocked when he saw the earth-shattering designs of the two names jutting out of the ring in a font that looked like their terminal’s default font.
“Brother, it may have been the right choice not to have proposed back then. If you had to propose to him while he was awake with this ring, I think the chances of him agreeing would be extremely low.” Fayn said sincerely. “What on earth is this out here? This is the first time I’ve seen someone…I mean, if you’re going to engrave the name, then just engrave it. Why is it outside? Even if it’s outside, you could have just engraved it…but why is it jutting out? But forget that, why did you use the terminal’s default font? Don’t people usually do it in cursive?”
Adrian took back his hand and dismissed it. “What do you know? Who’s gonna be able to see if it’s carved inside? And cursive is all squiggly and whatever. You can hardly read what’s written in it! This is how you gotta do it if you want people to see who this ring belongs to.”
“Yeah, I see it nice and clear. The virtual community’s been up these past two days trying to figure out what that thing is on your finger. They didn’t have a close up of your hand during Lebor’s conference, so next time remember to lift your hand to the live broadcast camera and let them take a real good look at the words on your ring,” Fayn complained.
“You’re just jealous,” Adrian said. “The designer’s from the same grade as us. He even gave me a 20% discount back then. I just saw him comment on my homepage that he’s opened his own store. Do you want to save his address? Might come in handy.”
While saying that, Adrian opened his terminal and was just going to find him the address, but Fayn quickly stopped him. “Please don’t. After seeing your ring, I don’t think it’s going to work out.”
But Adrian’s face suddenly went stiff after he opened his terminal. After looking for a while, his brows finally relaxed. “Let’s head back. They should be done.”
“Your man sent you a message?”
“No, he sent a message to the entire Federation.”
“Huh?” Fayn was stunned. Adrian moved his terminal over to him to show him. All he saw was the new post on Zhong Yan’s own personal homepage.
Zhong Yan (Verified Position: One of the Supreme Council’s Twelve Representative Members): This giant space rabbit kit has been legally procured from the Giant Space Rabbit Research Institution with personal funds (see Figure 1). Mr. Adrian Yate owns properties that meet the conditions for private rearing purposes (see Figure 2 for the evaluation certificate provided by the institution). I personally hold the Giant Space Rabbit Breeding License (see Figure 3), so no illegal actions have taken place. The burnt fur was caused by me using a hairdryer, not with fire. Thank you, everyone, for your time and concern.
Fayn clicked on all three of the pictures to see. The first one contained the transaction invoice that was only blurred out at the price section. The rest of the information could still be seen. Adrian had bought this lop-eared giant space rabbit kit on the very last day before New Year’s at noon. The third image was the transcript of Zhong Yan achieving full marks in every section of the Giant Space Rabbit Breeding License assessment.
“That’s…shocking,” Fayn said sullenly. “I’ve always wanted to ask every time I see the ranking boards, but does he have some kind of special talent for exams?”
“No, he just puts in the effort,” Adrian said. He was actually not the only person who noticed this. When the number of comments was still madly soaring up, most of the people were discussing the first two pictures or the matter in itself. However, one comment caught Adrian’s attention.
“As expected of a Representative Member. Can’t you use your brains even if you’re going to go through the back door? Passing the exams with a perfect score? You think we’re all stupid?”
Adrian who didn’t care at all about his tens of thousands of hate messages was instantly burning with rage. He turned off his anonymity software and responded to it with his real account. “@Federation’s Supreme Institution (Official Certification: Official Webpage of the Federation’s Supreme Institution) inviting all of Zhong Yan’s past teachers and lecturers, as well as students who have seen the ranking boards. Is it really abnormal for Zhong Yan to pass the assessment with full marks?”