Quality Check: Tezuka
That rose-red garland roused the elderly man’s memories. It made his mind that had become chaotic and fuzzy, momentarily clear like the final radiance of the setting sun.
He promptly made plans for his own funeral arrangements, thwarting all the people who were planning to take advantage of him since a few years ago.
His life was nearing its end. The days of his remaining breaths tortured him to no end. But at this moment, all his wishes had finally come true. It was time to end everything.
That was why the elderly man did not offer any explanations for Lin Zhou’s objection.
No one was willing to expose the scars of their past in front of others. And this elderly man had already reached the point where he need not care about others and he could do whatever he liked.
His only regret was probably not being able to meet that designer.
The elderly man had the same thoughts as some of them, that Yan Jin was doing this for publicity and hence created this ‘mystery designer’ figure. But, never did he expect that Yan Jin would not spare him some face even until the last moment. It seemed like things were not as simple as he had thought.
He was getting old after all, and he could not even deny it anymore.
On the return flight, the elderly man stubbornly lit up a cigar despite Mr. Ji’s strong dissuasion.
In that blurry smoke, it was as if he once again saw the time when he was carefree and without worries.
The clear river flowed slowly as the rose bed was colored red like it was on fire. They held their hands together as they walked on the moonlit streets under the Milky Way.
In that serene and hidden alley, the lovers whispered. Under that beautiful wisteria flower rack, they exchanged their first kiss – it was sweeter than any sort of flower.
How are you, my Lucy?
Today, I met a young man who was just like me. I gave him the ring made for you back then. Would you be angry?
I’m sorry, that was the last time I entered the gambling house.
After I win that ring, I’ll stop.
I’m leaving this place, I’m sorry.
But I’ve fulfilled the promise I made back then and bought that rose bed that you loved.
… I’m coming to accompany you now.
As the cigar finished burning, the elderly man started coughing violently.
The surrounding clamors and screams suddenly disappeared. The only thing left was Heaven’s bell that echoed. Thung, thung, thung… The bell struck twelve times.
The angel who was wearing the garland reached out her hands towards him.
The platinum vine, the thorns that were embedded with diamonds, the rose petal that was made of overlapped rubies, all vividly detailed as if they were real. And on every vine, there were the words of love that he was not able to say.
This drawing went against the design concept of FISH’s work. It was flashy and unrealistic. It was so heavy that it was unsuitable for accessorization. Yet it became the grandest product that was produced in FISH’s entire life.
That elderly man who had lived his life in regret and remained as a bachelor throughout his life would hold this garland in his hands as he walked towards his own grave.
Xiao Yu squatted in front of the iPad in a daze.
The relaxed and powerless feeling after the event had ended enveloped him instantly, making Xiao Yu a little absent-minded. He felt as if he was still that chief designer who had worked his heart out.
Sigh, he did not expect that even after becoming a hamster, he would still be facing such matters.
To think that he only wanted to be a small little pet that did not need to work, squeak.
Now that the main event had ended, he still had to finish up some details.
First, Xiao Yu logged onto his QQ account and said his congratulations to Yan Jin. Then he went to poke Nannan.
[Fish and Hamster – You Can’t Have Both]: You around?
[Nannan]: Hey dear! The Double Seven Festival sales are completely sold out! We are restocking right now! For any enquiries, please contact our customer service hotline at xxxxxxx. Sobsob.jpg. The latest seasonal item…
[Fish and Hamster – You Can’t Have Both]: ……
[Nannan]: Guru, it’s you again! Are there any problems with the drawing?
[Fish and Hamster – You Can’t Have Both]: There were no problems. We won beautifully. I came here to thank you.
[Nannan]: What? We won? That’s great!
[Fish and Hamster – You Can’t Have Both]: Give me your bank account number, I’ll transfer the payout within two days.
[Fish and Hamster – You Can’t Have Both]: Ok, I’m going offline.
[Fish and Hamster – You Can’t Have Both]: Is there anything else?
[Nannan]: Right, I wanted to ask you a question. Are you really FISH?
[Fish and Hamster – You Can’t Have Both]: Yes. Remember to keep it a secret. And don’t have too much contact with me in real life. Even if you come to look for me, I’ll pretend that I don’t know you.
Inside S City’s Century Hotel.
Nan Wei looked at his childhood sweetheart who was beside him and whispered, “How was it?”
“I got his location, but…”
“What, what, tell me, quick!” Nan Wei anxiously asked.
“Hn… this iPad account belonged to Chu Ge and the location is at… the villa that Yan Jin is staying at in S City.”
Nan Wei: “Wait, what did you say? How is this related to Chu Ge?”
“I find it hard to believe as well, but it’s exactly because it’s someone we are familiar with, hence the search was done so quickly. Putting aside the location, the Apple ID can’t be changed. Do you want to give Yan Jin a phone call and confirm?”
Nan Wei shook his head like a rattle drum: “How can I ask this? Will I still be alive if I ask?”
“No matter what, Yan Jin won’t resort to killing anyone…”
Nan Wei digested the shocking information that he had just received. He let his mind run wild and imagined all kinds of dramatic storylines, and then silently wiped off his tears as a pathetic bachelor.
Cousin, cousin. It’s the same dating process as everyone else, but how could you make it into such a high-end relationship? You even wooed the chief designer of the opposing company, and now you’re hiding him inside your house?! Didn’t you say whoever leaves the bachelor gang is a dog?!
[Fish and Hamster – You Can’t Have Both]: Oh right, it’s about time to prepare for the Autumn Release Conference. If you start now, there’ll be sufficient time to do it. I’ll send you the requests first, so that you can try to start drawing.
[You’ve deleted one message.]
[Nannan]: Okay, Guru. No problem, Guru.
That night, Yan Jin asked his close friends if they had time to eat dinner together.
Chu Ge: Are you mad? Today is the Double Seven Festival, who the hell wants a gathering with you filthy guys. I want to spend time with my girlfriend, okay?
Nan Wei: No. Scram. Ask again and I’ll delete you as a friend.
A certain childhood sweetheart: Catching up on my sleep.
Yan Jin who purposely postponed his company’s celebration dinner: What happened???
Not expecting that he would get rejected, Yan Jin ended up buying take-out for dinner and headed home.
Xiao Yu stood at the edge of the table as he carefully listened to the noises coming from the door. The moment Yan Jin opened the door, he started squeaking loudly.
“SQUEAKKKK!” Why are you not kneeling and thanking the great me!?
Yan Jin’s complicated gaze landed on Xiao Yu. He did not expect for only a hamster to accompany him for this year’s Double Seven Festival.
For the past few years around this time… he was usually forced to attend some arranged marriage meetings.
It did not seem too bad after all.
“Come on, we’ll get you some supper.”
The supposed supper was probably just an extra dish of nuts and dried fruit. Every time Yan Jin returned home late, if Xiao Yu was still awake, Yan Jin would always prepare something like that as a dessert for him.
Previously, Xiao Yu would always be elated about it. But this time round, Xiao Yu felt that it was not balanced with the amount of effort that he had put in.
After they took a clean shower, Xiao Yu was placed on the dining table in the living room.
Suddenly, he smelled something fragrant that belonged to food. It was not the bland fragrance of of nuts; instead, it smelled delicious – it belonged to human food!
Just then, Yan Jin stepped into the kitchen.
Xiao Yu widened his fiery eyes as he scanned through everything that was on the dining table, and then locked his gaze onto the squarish box that had Pizzaxxx printed on it.
Xiao Yu excitedly mobilized his four limbs as he dashed to the front of the carton box. Without much effort, he quickly opened the side of the box.
The delicious fragrance came gushing out of the box.
When Yan Jin came out from the kitchen with a glass of wine in his hand, he was shocked to find that Xiao Yu, who was supposedly munching on his nuts was no longer there, and he couldn’t be found on the table either.
His hand trembled and the glass fell onto the floor, spilling the wine all over the floor.
“Fishy, Fishy, where are you?”
After calling out a few times with no response, Yan Jin’s heart beated even faster. He mentally reminded himself to calm down as he carefully made his way towards the dining table.
The table had a flower vase, a bag that was filled with snacks, and an open box of pizza.
Wait, an open box of pizza?
Yan Jin went to the other side of the table and lifted the cover of the pizza box.
The hamster whose mouth was stuffed with cheese was shocked by the sudden brightness. His triangular little body turned a few rounds as if trying to confirm if he was caught red-handed.
Regretfully, he was.
Xiao Yu used both his paws to swiftly pull a big chunk of that pizza that he had bitten several dents out of and then ran towards Yan Jin.
This was a time to showcase his talent – acting cute.
Xiao Yu put the pizza aside and laid on his back, revealing that whitish stained stomach with his limbs spread out.
Originally, he had planned to raise his head and look at Yan Jin with his cute, sparkly eyes. But, he did not expect to have eaten that much, as his round stomach did not allow him to even flip over.
“Squeak!!” Xiao Yu screamed panickily.
Shit, he had too much, he felt like vomiting.
Just when he thought he was going to vomit, Yan Jin picked him up.
“You really gave me a bad scare. Don’t run around like that next time, understand?”
Xiao Yu laid on Yan Jin’s palm and nodded his head weakly.
Yan Jin laughed: “Sometimes, I really think that you can understand what I’m saying.”
The hamster on Yan Jin’s palm froze. Then he raised his head and looked at the man with his cute, sparkly eyes. Yan Jin instantly raised the white flag as he held Xiao Yu to his lips and gave a big kiss on that little chubby waist.
Xiao Yu was stunned.
Goddammit, Yan Jin kissed him! That Yan Jin who lived like a saint-like bachelor unexpectedly kissed him!
Although he knew that it was just a kiss to his pet for Yan Jin, it did not stop the agitation in Xiao Yu’s heart.
“You like to eat pizza?”
Yan Jin said in his deep voice as his hormones flooded the atmosphere like it was on free flow. It was such a pity that the only person who could enjoy such treatment was an unromantic man who was stuck in a hamster’s body.
Xiao Yu nodded his head violently as if trying to hide the blushing redness on his face.
“Then it’s all yours.”
The warm breath blew on his face, and the sudden increase in dopamine made Xiao Yu change from a little grey hamster into a little red hamster.
So, when Yan Jin put him down again, Xiao Yu immediately buried his head into that pizza.
Eat, eat, eat. Eat some more and I’ll forget about the embarrassing scene that just happened.
When it was two a.m. that night, Xiao Yu eventually paid a harsh price for his moment of stupidity.
Xiao Yu pressed his stomach as he painfully thought that he would unfriend Yan Jin for sure.
Unfriend for sure.
Okay, unfriend for one minute then.
Xiao Yu banged on the cage.
Not unfriending anymore, Yan Jin, help!!!!!
(In your typical Chinese aunty voice): NO PIZZA, HAMSTER NO EAT PIZZA.