ABBR - Chapter 5

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Xu Chuanchuan opened her browser while chatting with Ange. She wanted to use this free time to reply to some reader comments. However, when she logged into her author's account, she found that she had received a Deep Water Torpedo.

The "Overlord Ticket" was a kind of contribution system used by jjwxc. The smallest denominator was a one yuan Landmine, while the largest was a 100 yuan Deep-water Torpedo.

Squinting her eyes, Xu Chuanchuan was stunned when she saw the ID of the contributor.

Passerby?

"Passerby" was an automatic ID generated for all new users of jjwxc's platform, so Xu Chuanchuan wasn't too surprised to see someone with this ID. However, as a Passerby had come up with her conversation with Ange just a few seconds ago, she couldn't help but wonder to herself, Don't tell me they're the same person?

Visiting this Passerby's profile, Xu Chuanchuan discovered that this person had never purchased any of her works. The person's reading record showed that they had only ever read a 600,000-word novel written by Ange. Scrolling down further, Xu Chuanchuan inspected the person's comment history, and her eyes widened immediately. 

This Passerby was the same Passerby who had given Fragrant Citrus a point reduction…

Why would this person give me a Deep-water?

Confused, Xu Chuanchuan took a screenshot, sent it to Ange, and explained her discovery.

Ange: "Why would this person read my novel, give a point reduction to Citrus, and send a Deep-water to you? Is she one of Citrus's anti-fans?"

Xu Chuanchuan: "How would I know?"

Ange: "What a willful reader."

After wracking her mind and failing to see through this unknown reader's thoughts, Xu Chuanchuan decided to give up altogether.

At 9 PM sharp, the platform published the last two chapters of her novel as scheduled. Shortly afterward, her readers bombarded her with a bunch of explosives. Looking through the list of contributions she received, she found five Deep-water Torpedoes mixed among them, giving her a pleasant surprise.

In response to the wonderful reception, Xu Chuanchuan sent many red packets[1] and replied to messages in her reader group. 

Now that I've concluded this book, what should I write for the next one?

Xu Chuanchuan felt a headache momentarily. However, when she thought about how she could finally stop torturing herself to write drafts every night, she couldn't help but feel happy again.

Xu Chuanchua hummed a tune with her tone-deaf voice, tormenting the mosquitoes that the mosquito-repellent incense had poisoned while she grabbed herself a change of clothes and headed to the bath.

Twenty minutes later, Xu Chuanchuan got out of the bath and immediately heard her phone ringing. Walking over to take a look, she found that Xu Xiangxiang was sending her a video call invite.

"Sis—" Xu Xiangxiang's weak voice came through the phone.

Looking at Xu Xiangxiang's flushed face and foggy eyes, it appeared that she had just cried. Startled by this, Xu Chuanchuan asked, "What's the matter?"

Sniffling, Xu Xiangxiang whimpered, "I have a fever. It feels so uncomfortable."

Surprised once again, Xu Chuanchuan asked, "How is your temperature? Have you taken medicine?"

Xu Xiangxiang answered, "It's 38.5 degrees. I've visited the school doctor and just took my medicine."

Her tone softening, Xu Chuanchuan said, "Go to bed earlier if you're sick. I'll visit you tomorrow."

Xu Xiangxiang responded obediently, "Mhm."

Because of her worry for her sick younger sister, Xu Chuanchua wasn't even in the mood to celebrate her book's conclusion anymore. After experiencing a sleepless night, she left home early in the morning. On the road, she contacted her department chief to ask for leave. She then switched to taking the bus and the subway before arriving at Xu Xiangxiang's university an hour later.

Xu Xiangxiang was currently lying in her dormitory alone. Her fever had settled now, but she still didn't look too well.

Moving forward, Xu Chuanchuan touched her little sister's forehead and asked, "Have you had breakfast?"

Xu Xiangxiang shook her head. Her nose picking up something sweet, she asked, "Did you bring me something good to eat?"

"Egg tarts. Do you want them now?"

A gleam appearing in her eyes, Xu Xiangxiang nodded repeatedly.

Seeing her little sister's greedy look, Xu Chuanchuan found it both aggravating and amusing. "Get out of bed, then."

Immediately, Xu Xiangxiang tossed aside her blanket and hopped out of her bed with great enthusiasm. The spirited look she showed currently making it seem as if the person crying and moaning in agony last night was a completely different person.

After accompanying Xu Xiangxiang for breakfast, Xu Chuanchua chatted with her endlessly. Eventually, she got up and said, "There's a box left. There are also some fruits in the bag. Share them with your three roommates when they come back."

Drinking her milk with a smile, Xu Xiangxiang said, "Sis, you're the best."

"Don't give me that." After packing up her things, Xu Chuanchuan said, "I only took half a day of leave. Take a good rest on your own. If there's nothing else, I'll be leaving now."

Wiping the milk stains off her mouth, Xu Xiangxiang said, "Mom came to visit me last time. She brought this for you."

"What is it?"

"She bought some medicinal patches for you. It's from that old traditional doctor. She says it works very well," Xu Xiangxiang said as she rummaged through her messy cabinet. After a short moment, she picked up a box with no labels and handed it to her elder sister.

Accepting the box, Xu Chuanchuan gave it a sniff. Immediately, a pungent medicinal smell assaulted her nose, irritating it. This was a very familiar smell. Whenever her grandfather's back was acting up, he would stick a patch and become fully refreshed the next day.

Xu Chuanchuan had been suffering from severe back pain recently, so these medicinal patches were a lifesaver. After closing the box, she stored it in her shoulder bag. 

However, just as Xu Chuanchuan was about to leave, she noticed Xu Xiangxiang staring at her with eager eyes.

Understanding what her little sister was aiming at, Xu Chuanchuan took out 500 yuan from her wallet and gave it to her little sister.

"Thank you, Sis!" Xu Xiangxiang unceremoniously grabbed the notes. A moment later, however, she bit her lower lip and asked, "Sis, can you lend me some money?"

Astonished, Xu Chuanchuan asked, "Is 500 still not enough?"

Xu Xiangxiang's sickly complexion went from red to white in intervals. After struggling for a long time, she said, "I want to buy an iPhone. Can you lend me 6,000? I'll pay you back once I start working part-time in the summer."

"Don't you have an iPhone already?"

In an aggrieved tone, Xu Xiangxiang said, "That one's outdated. I want to get a new one..."

Xu Chuanchuan's complexion darkening, she said in a displeased tone, "I'm not lending it to you. I bought that phone for you just last year, yet you're already looking to buy a new one? Do you think money grows on trees?"

"I'll pay you back once I start working!" Xu Xiangxiang said anxiously.

Removing the hand that was grabbing at her arm, Xu Chuanchuan said uncompromisingly, "Since you can work and make money, wait until then to buy a new phone. The phone won't run away, in any case."

Xu Chuanchuan had spoiled her little sister rotten since young, and she couldn't help but worry for her little sister's future. While she wasn't tight on money, she didn't wish to condone Xu Xiangxiang's materialistic behavior.

Seeing her elder sister's uncompromising attitude, Xu Xiangxiang felt aggrieved, and her eyes reddened.

Her heart mellowing, Xu Chuanchuan said, "Fine, fine, fine. I surrender."

Xu Xiangxiang's face immediately brightened up.

"I'll give you another hundred."

"..." Xu Xiangxiang thought to weep as she looked at the additional 100 yuan bill in her hand.

Xu Chuanchuan returned to her company in a hurry. When she arrived back in her cubicle, before she could turn on her computer and write a leave note, the engineering department's chief walked over and said to her, "Little Xu, you came just in time. Go find Miss Murong this afternoon and help take pictures for her."

Xu Chuanchuan began sweating bullets, her brain stalling for a second. Looking at her superior in a daze, she asked, "Which Miss Murong? The boss's daughter?"

"Otherwise, who else could it be? Oh, right, I forgot you took the morning off. We'll be working under her from now on. Her assistant is absent today, and she wants to look around the company. She also needs someone to help her take pictures, so you follow after her."

Now that a week had gone by since their last meeting, Xu Chuanchuan had wholly forgotten about Murong Shi's existence. She never thought that such a huge event would occur during the few hours she was absent from the company. After feeling shocked for a while, Xu Chuanchuan wiped away the cold sweat about to run down her chin. "Okay. I understand. What time in the afternoon?"

The department chief responded, "You can call the general manager's internal number. Miss Murong will be using that office from now on."

Xu Chuanchuan nodded in a daze.

The department chief left after he was done assigning her work.

After letting the air conditioning cool her mind a little, Xu Chuanchuan tried to get a sip of water, only to find that her cup was empty. Wetting her lips with her tongue, she dialed the number of the general manager's office.

Shortly after, a lukewarm "hello" came from the other end of the phone. Xu Chuanchuan was distracted for a moment when she realized that it was Murong Shi's voice. Hurriedly, she said, "Hello, Miss Murong. I'm Xu Chuanchuan, the engineering department's assistant. May I ask what time we will be taking photos in the afternoon?"

Meanwhile, Murong Shi also paused for a moment on the other end of the phone. She then responded, "It's you."

She still remembers me? 

Xu Chuanchuan recalled the awkward meeting she had with Murong Shi in front of the general manager's office a week ago. Immediately, a hint of unnaturalness flashed across her face as she said, "Y-Yes, it's me."

Returning to Xu Chuanchuan's question, Murong Shi said, "I've been waiting all day. Let's do it now. Come over and meet me."

Knock, knock, knock—

"Come in."

The same voice entered Xu Chuanchuan's ears. However, hearing it being replicated by electric currents and hearing it through the door gave her two completely different feelings. Pushing open the door, Xu Chuanchuan immediately saw Murong Shi seated on an executive chair.

Murong Shi seemed to like tying her long hair into a high ponytail. She also combed it meticulously, showing her full forehead and excellent facial features. Combined with her light makeup, she gave others a feeling of being capable and confident.

In Xu Chuanchuan's opinion, the person in front of her seemingly came with her own beauty filter and looked perfect from all angles. The only problem was that Murong Shi's almond-shaped eyes held no warmth for others whatsoever.

Finding it difficult to look at Murong Shi's eyes calmly, Xu Chuanchuan lowered her gaze and said, "I'm ready on my side."

Hearing this, Murong Shi closed her mailbox and locked her computer. She then stood up and said, "Let's go, then."

Xu Chuanchuan hurriedly opened the door for Murong Shi, stood by the door respectfully, and made a welcoming gesture.

When Murong Shi walked past Xu Chuanchuan, her sensitive nose caught a whiff of a strange smell. She then asked nonchalantly, "Are you sick?"

If Xu Chuanchuan didn't know that she was the only other person present in the room, she would've thought that Murong Shi was talking to someone else. Looking up, she accidentally met with Murong Shi's eyes. After hurriedly turning away, Xu Chuanchuan said, "No."

Her nose twitching slightly, Murong Shi said, "You smell of medicine."

Is she talking about the traditional medicine smell? 

Xu Chuanchuan still hadn't used the medicinal patches she received from her mother. She had merely touched it once before letting it sit inside her shoulder bag. However, it was inevitable for the smell of medicine to overflow from the bag. As a result, the scent had smoked her throughout her entire journey back to the company.

Xu Chuanchuan didn't expect Murong Shi to have such a sharp nose. Afraid that this new leader of hers couldn't tolerate the smell and ask her to change her clothes, she hurriedly said, "Thank you for your concern, Miss Murong. I...I sprained my back some time ago."

She couldn't help but feel vexed as soon as she finished speaking. Why did she even bother saying all these things? It wasn't as if the other party truly cared about her.

TL Notes:

[1]red packets: a monetary gift that you can send to specific individuals or an entire QQ messenger group. The red packet(money) sent to a group can be set so that a certain number of members(or every member) of the group can claim a specific(or random) amount of money from it.

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  • Translated by Hellscythe. Edited by Grammarly.