ABBR - Chapter 27-Pt.1

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After Xu Chuanchuan grabbed a carton of cultured milk from the fridge, she returned to see her reader group exploding into activity.

—Lord got dumped, lololol.

—It's okay, Lord! Even if Darling Shi doesn't want you, I want you!

—How is Lord dumb? She's clearly very cute! Lord, I love you! [Flying kiss]

—Anyway, do you have a girlfriend already, Darling Shi?

Confused, Xu Chuanchuan scrolled up to check the chat history and found that the cause of this commotion was because of a message from Passerby Shi.

When Xu Chuanchuan read Passerby Shi's message, she very nearly spat out the cultured milk in her mouth. This tycoon dissed her on the first message she sent after joining the group!

What does she mean dumb and stupid?! Everyone I know has complimented me for being cute and adorable, alright?! As for being a glutton…that's because I use a lot of energy! Not only do I have to work from nine to five every day, but I also have to come home and write every night!

This is too much! This won't do! I must fight back!

…But how should I counter her? She's given me so many Deep-waters already, and all of that is money…

Ugh, forget it. She's my bread and butter; I better not offend her. I'll just treat this as her unique way of showing love.

While drinking her cultured milk through a straw, Xu Chuanchuan rested her hands on her keyboard. However, before she started typing, her smile gradually froze up.

How does she know I eat a lot?

When bringing up the topic of eating, the first thing Xu Chuanchuan thought of was the meal she shared with Murong Shi a few hours ago. And the more she thought about the matter, the more she found it to be fishy.

There were plenty of good places to eat on that street, so why did Murong Shi decide on the malatang restaurant? Could it really be due to Xu Xiangxiang's words?

During the meal, it was also evident Murong Shi found the food to be unpalatable as she stopped eating after taking a few bites. She then forced Xu Chuanchuan to finish everything. Wasn't this the perfect evidence to prove that Xu Chuanchuan was capable of eating a lot of food?

Also, before Passerby Shi had joined the reader group, she had told Xu Chuanchuan in their private conversation that she had been inactive the past few days because she was on a business trip. As it so happened, Xu Chuanchuan also failed to see Murong Shi in the office the past few days. Could this be a mere coincidence?

There Exists No Poem in a Girl's Feelings[1], Passerby Shi, and Murong Shi. All three names contained the word "Shi."

After including all these suspicious points with her previous conjectures, Xu Chuanchuan started growing suspicious of Passerby Shi's identity again.

While Xu Chuanchuan was immersed in her thoughts, her group chat was still blazing with activity. Many people in the group also tagged her. However, Xu Chuanchuan wasn't in the mood to joke around with everyone. While agonizing over her thoughts, she sucked up the remaining cultured milk in the carton. When the cool and slippery liquid flowed down her throat and into her esophagus, it calmed her mind a little.

Grabbing her mouse, Xu Chuanchuan tapped into Passerby Shi's QQ profile card. However, when she read the information that appeared, she couldn't help but be stunned.

Female, Age 16, Sagittarius, H City.

This… Apart from the gender, everything else is incorrect… 

Xu Chuanchuan knew the information was fake at a glance. However, this was an understandable outcome as many people were reluctant to reveal their personal information on the internet. Even Xu Chuanchuan herself had written a bunch of nonsense on her profile card.

For the moment, the only thing Xu Chuanchuan was certain of was that Passerby Shi wasn't 16 years old. Someone at this age should still be in high school. How could someone without any independent economic capacity possibly have the spare money to send so many Deep-water Torpedoes?

Not to mention, if she is underage, wouldn't that mean I've committed a big crime? Sending explicit content to an underage girl… Just the thought of it scares me.

Xu Chuanchuan refused to give up here. Seeing as she couldn't count on the profile card's information, she decided to check if Passerby Shi's personal space hid any secrets. However, when she clicked on the yellow star icon on Passerby Shi's profile card…

She got stopped…

The other party prohibited strangers from viewing her personal space…

However, could this little problem stump her? Not a chance! Xu Chuanchuan was an indomitable Taurus. Taking a deep breath, she moved her cursor to Passerby Shi's name, right-clicked it, and added the other party as a friend.

Verification question: "Why are you adding me?"

Feeling no shame whatsoever, Xu Chuanchuan cheekily typed: "Because I like you~"

Several seconds later.

To Xu Chuanchuan's surprise, her request got rejected…

Why is she protecting her information so strictly? Doesn't this mean she has something to hide? Xu Chuanchuan grew even more suspicious now.

Amidst her daze, the avatar located on the lower right corner of the messenger started flashing. Xu Chuanchuan quickly retracted her thoughts and clicked on the avatar, only to be stunned once again.

A certain someone had sent her a private message through the reader group.

Passerby Shi: "What do you want?"

Xu Chuanchuan suddenly had the feeling as if she had just been caught red-handed while committing a crime. Deliberately typing slowly, she replied: "I wanted to add you as a friend so that we can have an easier time chatting in the future…"

Passerby Shi: "Why are you peeking into my personal space?"

Holding back her shame, Xu Chuanchuan replied: "I was curious. I wanted to see if there were any pictures of a beauty. [Shy]"

Passerby Shi: "Even if there are, they're not for your eyes."

She's hiding something. She's definitely hiding something!

I Love Malatang: "Why?"

Passerby Shi: "Why must I let you see my private space? My girlfriend will kill me if she finds out."

Xu Chuanchuan was dumbfounded. Could she have guessed wrongly? The whole company knew that Murong Shi had a boyfriend. Moreover, Xu Chuanchuan had personally seen the boyfriend in question as well. Yet, Passerby Shi was clearly a lesbian.

Could she be tricking me?

Xu Chuanchuan's thoughts fell into a tangled state for a moment. However, she still couldn't be at ease.

I Love Malatang: "Why do you know I'm a glutton?" Passerby Shi might be able to fake other information, but this was one thing that she couldn't make up.

Passerby Shi: "Anyone will know after taking a look at your Weibo."

I Love Malatang: "...Which Weibo post?"

Passerby Shi: "You ordered ten chicken wings, a packet of fries, and a large cup of coke. You call this not being a glutton?"

Xu Chuanchuan: "..."

Xu Chuanchuan was thoroughly at a loss for words this time. She had indeed made such a post before. The day she made that post was also the day she met Murong Shi for the first time. On that day, she had visited a nearby KFC by herself. And as soon as she bought her food and found herself a seat, the first thing she did was take a picture of her order and upload it to Weibo.

Passerby Shi had practically overturned all of Xu Chuanchuan's doubts with this one reasoning. However, Xu Chuanchuan still couldn't help but feel that something was amiss.

Xu Chuanchuan also couldn't bring herself to ask the other party for a selfie. And even if the other party agreed, there was no guarantee that the person in the photo would be Passerby Shi herself or some random person.

With her ideas meeting a dead-end, Xu Chuanchuan placed her hands on her cheeks and sighed as she stared at her conversation log with Passerby Shi.

Xu Chuanchuan's low IQ was her Achilles' heel, and it would seem that being a detective didn't suit her.

After pondering for a long time, Xu Chuanchuan typed out another question.

I Love Malatang: "Since you have a girlfriend, wouldn't she grow jealous if you send me so many Deep-waters?"

Passerby Shi: "Why should she be jealous?"

Uh… Realizing that she worded her question strangely, Xu Chuanchuan quickly corrected herself.

"What I mean is that since you've given me so many Deep-waters, wouldn't she mis—" Before Xu Chuanchuan could finish typing out her sentence, another message popped up on her screen.

Passerby Shi: "It's not like I like you, so why should she be jealous?"

I Love Malatang: "You don't like me? Why did you give me so many Deep-waters, then? [Shocked]"

Xu Chuanchuan sent her message without giving it a second thought. However, she quickly realized the ambiguity in her sentence, and she thought to add clarification.

Passerby Shi: "I have too much money and nowhere to spend it."

Xu Chuanchuan: "..." Xu Chuanchuan felt personally attacked, and she couldn't be bothered to clarify herself anymore.

Passerby Shi: "This is your second time checking my account now. What are you aiming at?"

Xu Chuanchuan: "..." Xu Chuanchuan bit down on her straw with a guilty conscience.

Passerby Shi: "Isn't it disingenuous of you to flirt with your own reader?"

Xu Chuanchuan: "..."

How did the conversation change to her flirting with her reader?!?!?!

Xu Chuanchuan's fingers quickly danced on the keyboard, and she made multiple typos in her haste. After deleting and correcting her words, again and again, she eventually replaced those dispensable explanations with three concise words.

I Love Malatang: "I did not!!!"

Passerby Shi no longer replied to her.

Xu Chuanchuan dared not harass the other party again for fear of getting pinned with the crime of "flirting with her reader."

Xu Chuanchuan felt suffocated, and she wanted to do nothing but cry right now. However, she suddenly felt a cramping pain coming from her stomach, and she quickly dismissed her thoughts as she ran for the bathroom while holding her stomach.

Ten minutes later.

Xu Chuanchuan dragged her two numb legs out of the bathroom. Paying no more attention to the buzz in her reader group, she turned off her computer and threw herself onto the bed. Almost at the same time as her body made contact with the bed, she received a message from Ange.

Ange: "Is this Passerby Shi that Passerby? [Image]"

The content of the screenshot Ange sent was the dissing message Passerby Shi sent after joining the reader group. Seeing this message again, Xu Chuanchuan felt her stomach hurt even more. Bundling her blanket in her arms, she rolled around on the bed in agony for a moment before sending a reply. 

Xu Chuanchuan: "Mhm."

Ange: "Tch, she speaks even more arrogantly than I do."

Xu Chuanchuan wanted to say that Passerby Shi had sent even more arrogant messages.

Xu Chuanchuan: "Are you done writing?"

Ange: "Just finished."

Xu Chuanchuan: "Take a look at this. [Image]"

What Xu Chuanchuan just sent was her private conversation with Passerby Shi. When Ange was done going through the conversation log, she had a similar reaction as Passerby Shi: "I don't get what you're trying to do."

After switching to a more comfortable sitting posture and enduring her rumbling stomach, Xu Chuanchuan told Ange about the dinner incident she had with Murong Shi.

Ange: "So, you suspect that this Passerby Shi is your boss's daughter?"

Xu Chuanchuan: "Don't you think there are a lot of suspicious points? There are also so many coincidences."

Ange: "I think you're overthinking things."

Xu Chuanchuan: "..."

When Xu Chuanchuan first started to suspect Murong Shi, she, too, found her thoughts to be ridiculous. Moreover, with her conjectures overturned time and time again, she also started to feel that she was overthinking the matter. However, her instincts kept telling her that Passerby Shi seemed to be someone who knew her in real life.

Of course, Xu Chuanchuan also knew that she couldn't use her intuition as the basis of her assumptions.

Ange: "Looking at the content of your conversation, if I were in Passerby Shi's shoes, I would think that you are plotting something untowardly as well."

Xu Chuanchuan fell silent. She had indeed tried to pry into Passerby Shi's personal information, and this was a fact she couldn't weasel her way out of. However, she never thought that Passerby Shi would misunderstand and think that she was trying to flirt with her.

Ange: "This person is right, Tang'er. You better not mess around like Fragrant Citrus."

Xu Chuanchuan: "What do you mean?"

Ange: "Sleeping with your readers!"

Xu Chuanchuan: "...Oh please, I'm straight."

Ange: "You've been a single dog[1] for the past 25 years. Are you sure about that?"

Xu Chuanchuan: "..."

Ange: "Be honest with me. You've constantly been bringing up your boss's daughter in front of me recently. If I didn't know any better, it seems that you are eagerly hoping for this Passerby Shi to be your boss's daughter. Don't tell me you've fallen for her?"

Xu Chuanchuan: "Fallen for who?"

Ange: "Your boss's daughter."

Xu Chuanchuan: "Impossible! I'm straight!"

Ange: "Alright, alright, no need to emphasize it. In any case, make sure to remember your promise to me. Even if you become bent, you must come to me first!"

Xu Chuanchuan: "..."

On this romantic day, Xu Chuanchuan browsed her social media through her phone, looking at her friends showing off their love with their respective partners, all the while having her stomach churning and filled with grievances.

At one point, Xu Chuanchuan held up her phone and took a selfie of her miserable state. After censoring the photo, she shared it onto her author's Weibo account accompanied by the words: "No matter how good malatang is, you mustn't overeat. Otherwise, you'll die from diarrhea. [Cry]"

Fortunately, her readers were a bunch of little angels, and everyone left her positive comments. Some of them even gave her donations. And apart from Passerby Shi, one other reader had given her a Deep-water Torpedo.

Reader nickname: I Love Hotpot

Donation comment: Tang'er, I love you! Be my girlfriend!

Xu Chuanchuan immediately knew that this was Ange's sub-account, and she couldn't help but feel helpless about it.

TL Notes:

[1]There Exists No Poem in a Girl's Feelings: As a recap, "poem" is 诗(Shī) in Chinese. Meanwhile, Murong Shi's and Passerby Shi's "Shi" is also 诗(Shī).

[2]single dog: This is a common term used in China to refer to single people. When single people/single dogs get shown situations such as couples are flirting with each other, it is also referred to as being fed "dog food."

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Translated by Hellscythe. Edited by Grammarly.