Chapter 14: Gold Medal Hunter — Is there anyone interested in catching stray cats with me?
Xia Wei intended to search the web for that cooking competition Sweetie mentioned, but only after opening it did she realize that she didn’t know the full name of that Mr. Jiang from downstairs.
She thought for a while before typing in 「Tian Xia Restaurant Boss, cooking competition」. Very few search results popped up. Furthermore, the majority of the links had no relation to what she wanted to find. She patiently clicked through several pages while changing the keywords several times. At last, she found a short video.
The video had been played several hundred times, titled「Young Genius Jiang’s Great Kitchen」.
Xia Wei: “…”
The video resolution was so low that even magnifying it by a little bit made it appear mosaic. Xia Wei could only watch the tiny screen. The contents of the video must have been edited as it jumped quite a few times. Moreover, there was no opening scenes; it just began with a young boy dressed in a chef uniform, cooking.
The boy on the screen was very young. His adult chef uniform was unable to hide his student aura. Despite his underdeveloped facial features, Xia Wei recognized that the boy truly was Mr. Jiang from downstairs.
This program’s theme seemed to be seafood as his main ingredients were shrimp and fish. Xia Wei watched as he skillfully peeled the shrimps’ shells off and minced the meat before molding them into small, identical meatballs. He wasn’t frenetic at all during the whole process.
That young boy was calm like a head surgeon standing in front of an operating table and strategic like a military counselor on a battlefield yet capable of planning victory from a thousand miles away.
For the first time, Xia Wei realized that a man could actually be very attractive while in the midst of cooking.
The finished product was breathtaking and just as exquisite as a dish from the current Tian Xia Restaurant. The video didn’t include the select judges eating this dish and commenting on it, but Xia Wei felt that it wasn’t necessary.
Because right now, she was already very hungry looking at it.
She left her room to find something to eat, only to discover Xia Ming Ming standing in front of the refrigerator and rummaging through it. Xia Ming Ming adopted a ‘misery loves company’ look upon seeing Xia Wei. “Jie, are you hungry too? The size of Tian Xia Restaurant’s dishes was too small. You simply cannot eat your fill!”
“…” Xia Wei nodded to express agreement. “Their boss really is very miserly.”
In the end, the two siblings settled in the living room with instant hotpot bowls.
The next day, Xia Wei received a brief message from property management that read, 「 On Sunday at 9 o’clock, people will be going to catch stray cats. If you wish to participate, reply “1.”」
After Xia Wei replied with a 「1」, she planned to drag in a few people as manual labor.
Asking For Suicide At Eighteen This Year: 「Tomorrow, our neighborhood wants to bring the stray cats to get spayed. Is anyone interested in joining me?」
Invincible Little Sweetie: 「Is that your neighborhood?」
Asking For Suicide At Eighteen This Year: 「Mn, they breed too quickly. If they’re not spayed, our neighborhood will be taken over by stray cats.」
Invincible Little Sweetie: 「I want to go, but I need to work overtime『facepalm』」
Asking For Suicide At Eighteen This Year: 「Your company is openly violating labor laws.」
Invincible Little Sweetie: 「There’s nothing to be done.『facepalm』The Head of Administration Dept. is the boss’ relative. What she doesn’t do, the rest of the administration workers and I do.『facepalm』」
Asking For Suicide At Eighteen This Year: 「…Really want to send Xia Ming Ming over and have him learn that the world is filled with this darkness.」
Eight Treasures Congee Female Hero: 「『smile』」
Eight Treasures Congee Female Hero: 「I originally said that I could rest for a few days, but it turns out the project manager is making me return today to work overtime『smile』wtf, today is Saturday!」
Asking For Suicide At Eighteen This Year: 「 ……Life is hard」
Eight Treasures Congee Female Hero: 「The point is, he is making me go deliver money to the auditor. As it turns out, the auditor is really upright and plainspoken, not greedy at all. Simply too unfair 『goodbye』」
Not Losing 5kg Not Changing Name: 「Isn’t auditing equivalent to inspecting the bills?」
Eight Treasures Congee Female Hero: 「Mn, precisely my natural enemy. Hearing the word ‘audit’ makes me shiver.『smile』」
Eight Treasures Congee Female Hero: 「But that upright and plainspoken auditor looks so handsome. I plan to go again tomorrow to deliver him money :)」
Asking For Suicide At Eighteen this Year: 「…」
Asking For Suicide At Eighteen This Year: 「Therefore, you both can’t come catch stray cats tomorrow? Okay ╮(╯_╰)╭」
Apparently, she could only drag Xia Ming Ming into go with her.
On the day they had to catch cats, a lot of residents had gathered early on with all kinds of cat-catching tools. Xia Wei had also bought a trap basket at the last moment, hoping it would help her smoothly catch those stray cats.
Xia Ming Ming stared at the battle-ready crowd outside and sighed. “Wasn’t it said that all rich people are cold-hearted? This neighborhood’s residents are all so enthusiastic.” He had seen a plethora of stray cats in the neighborhood’s gardens. On days with nice weather, they would even lie down on the benches to bask in the sun’s rays. These cats weren’t particularly afraid of humans. They also were rather plump, demonstrating the kindness of the neighborhood’s residents quite well.
It now seemed that there were more than enough volunteers, perhaps a bit too much… He felt that his help simply wasn’t needed.
Property management had also sent the female receptionist to act as their representative. Since there were enough people, everyone was divided into teams of two to three.
Xia Wei and Xia Ming Ming and…Mr. Jiang from downstairs were in one team, to Xia Wei’s befuddlement. Later, to the side, she heard an auntie very candidly proclaim, “This seems like we are going out on a spring excursion, hahahahaha.”
Xia Wei: “…”
A young girl walked by and gave them leather gloves. “Put on these gloves to avoid being scratched by the cats. I didn’t expect there to be so many people though, so I haven’t prepared enough gloves.”
“Ah, thanks.” Xia Wei accepted the gloves and voiced her thanks.
The girl smiled and said, “No problem. Everyone’s here in order to help the stray cats.”
She moved on to give out more gloves after giving Xia Wei a pair. Xia Wei glanced at Mr. Jiang, who was standing to the side and carrying a bedsheet. She walked over to give him the gloves. “There’s only one pair of gloves; you take it.”
Jiang Zhi Zhou seemed surprised that she offered them but still declined. “I don’t need them.”
“Don’t be unreasonable. You are a chef. Yours and a surgeon’s hands are as precious as gold. You’ll be done for if a cat scratches them.”
“…” Jiang Zhi Zhou thought for a moment before he finally spoke wryly, “Being scratched by a cat isn’t very serious.”
“Who knows what would happen if it gets infected? What if you get tetanus? With no other option but amputation?”
Jiang Zhi Zhou: “…”
He silently accepted the gloves.
Once all the preparations were done, everyone scattered to catch cats. Today’s weather was wonderful. The benches would usually be full of resting stray cats by now, but because they might have sensed danger today, not a single cat was lying on the long wooden benches in the neighborhood. Luckily, those that came to catch cats today were frequent cat feeders and knew where the stray cats roamed like the back of their hands.
“The shrubbery over there is a very good hiding spot. Let’s take a look there.”
Jiang Zhi Zhou walked forward, hugging the bedsheet.
Xia Wei followed behind him with the trap basket, asking, “What do you plan to do with the bedsheet?”
“Use it to hide the basket.” He pointed at an open space after he responded. “Place your basket here.”
“Oh.” Xia Wei set down the basket, and Jiang Zhi Zhou placed the cat food tin that he carried on his person in it, using it as bait.
Xia Ming Ming had gotten hold of newspaper from somewhere and said to them, “Someone recently told me to use a newspaper to hide the trigger; otherwise, the cat wouldn’t be fooled.”
Xia Wei heard his words and sighed at how proficient cats were nowadays, her thoughts lingering on how Tangeriney had ended up being captured by two little devils… They should have been invited to today’s cat catching; they were both old hands at this, hehe.
Once the trap was set, the three of them hid to the side to guard a tree-stump and wait for rabbits.2 Although there was a hint of danger in the air, Jiang Zhi Zhou had placed a tin of cat food in the trap basket—the most expensive cat food tin. Soon, a white cat couldn’t help but walk over.
It was wary, constantly scanning its surroundings and sniffing the food not too far away. In the end, it succumbed and stepped directly onto the trigger.
The white cat immediately became extremely agitated after finding itself trapped and struggled with all its might. Xia Wei was afraid it would bruise itself and stepped forward to placate it, which only led to the hysterical cat swiping out with its claws.
Si— Xia Wei sucked in the pain, blood already welling up on her hand not a moment later. Jiang Zhi Zhou dashed forward and used the bedsheet to cover the basket. In the dark environment, the white cat gradually calmed down.
“How’s your hand?” He turned to look at Xia Wei. The white cat’s claws had left deep scratches, blood trickling from all of them.
Xia Wei wrinkled her brows and replied, “It’s nothing. I only need to bandage the wound when we return.”
Jiang Zhi Zhou disagreed, “It’s better to go to the hospital to get it binded up.”
“…No need to go to such an extreme, okay? It’s just cat scratches.”
Jiang Zhi Zhou stared at her and stated, “Who knows what would happen if it gets infected? What if you get tetanus? With no other option but amputation?”
Xia Wei: “…”
Fellow students, the author had gone on a trip to Chongqing City for the Qingming Festival (Pure Brightness Festival | Tomb Sweeping Day); stockpile is limited. 『smile-cry』 There won’t be an update tomorrow, but updates will resume the day after tomorrow. 『smile-cry』