Chapter 345 Happy Chinese New Year Eve
“Mei Nan, school is over?”
The girl called Mei Nan showed Zhang Heng a threatening look, warning him not to laugh at her name. She whispered, “Don’t talk during dinner later. Although you say you’re my classmate, you don’t know my school well. You also don’t know much about my high school as well. Talk less, and my mother won’t be suspicious.”
As soon as she was done talking, the door opened.
The woman standing at the door smiled. “Give me your schoolbag, take off your shoes, and eat first,” she said warmly. She was stunned, though, when she saw Zhang Heng.
“He is my classmate. About that… His parents are doing something important, and he can’t go home for now. There’s nowhere for him to go, which is why I brought him home first.”
Mei Nan quickly explained the situation before Zhang Heng could say anything.
“Oh, oh, oh, welcome, welcome! It just so happened that I cooked a lot. Let’s eat together.”
“Thank you, auntie,” Zhang Heng replied as he followed the two of them into the house.
There were only two rooms and a living room in the entire house. Cramped and looking in dire need of a revamp, the ceiling was so low that Zhang Heng hit his head on the incandescent lamp when he entered the house.
Mei Nan’s mother immediately apologized, “I’m sorry… I’m sorry! Are you all right?”
“It’s okay. His head is made of iron. You should worry about the light instead,” Mei Nan jibed.
Through the aisle, Zhang Heng could see the kitchen. Some kind of meat was stewing in the iron pot above the gas stove, its fragrant aroma instantly hitting him in the nose. He also saw a little boy who looked only about three or four years of age, lying on the dinner table doing his homework.
The little boy shouted immediately when he saw Zhang Heng, “Mom, sister’s got herself a boyfriend from school!”
“You little bastard! Do you want more homework or are you looking for a good beating?” Mei Nan growled and rewarded the little boy with a punch at the back of his head. “My brother… he is a fool,” she sneered.
The little boy then cried while clutching his head, “Mom!!! Sister’s talking too much, and she beat me as well!”
Mei Nan’s mother brought the food out of the kitchen and reprimanded them, “Stop messing around! Mei Nan, come help me scoop the rice.”
After that, she turned around and enthusiastically spoke to Zhang Heng. “Why are you still standing there? This place is a mess! I hope you don’t mind.” “Nope, it’s all good here.” Zhang Heng grabbed a stool beside the table and sat down. At the same time, Mei Nan’s younger brother pretended to do his homework, but his eyes were curiously eyeing the stranger.
Seeing that his sister and mother were in the kitchen, he leaned over and asked in a low tone, “Big brother, my sister is ugly and bad-tempered. Why do you like her?”
Zhang Heng then informed the boy, “Your sister is standing behind you now.” The little boy was shocked when he heard this. “You are going to lose your brother-in-law, big brother…”
“…you know what? I’m not going to wait until the end of the world. I think I might just kill him now!” Mei Nan threw her bowl in front of the little boy and said to Zhang Heng, “There are no chopsticks here. You can’t use them in your current state anyway. Just use your hand to eat later.”
Zhang Heng nodded.
Mei Nan’s mother still seemed a little curious about Zhang Heng. However, she was very polite, where all she did was to ask his name and where he lived. She even kept making him eat more, worried that the food she cooked didn’t suit Zhang Heng’s taste. Only when she saw her guest heartily finishing two bowls of rice did she put on a smile.
Mei Nan was still helping Zhang Heng to cover his story, but gradually, her attention shifted to her mother and younger brother. Zhang Heng was soon ignored by her. A while later, after finishing the food, Zhang Heng got up. “Thank you for the dinner. The food was delicious. My parents should be home now, and I think I should make a move,” he said.
“Let me send you off.” Mei Nan put down the rice bowl in her hand and stood up. The two then walked downstairs. Mei Nan’s younger brother was peeping from the window upstairs, prompting a slitting-throat gesture from his sister and a flash of gritted teeth. Her little brother was so startled he almost fell off the stool.
“Thank you for coming back with me. I didn’t expect a family reunion on New Year’s Eve even though it’s not New Year’s Eve in this quest.”
“What happened?” Zhang Heng asked, “Why haven’t you been home for such a long time?” “Well, because I needed to send you off and guide you to a nearby hotel?”
“I’m talking about the real world. What happened to your parents or your brother?” Zhang Heng asked as he looked into Mei Nan’s eyes.
“Oh, they are all okay. Actually, I’m the problem…” Mei Nan said, but she appeared uncomfortable and didn’t want to elaborte. “Don’t worry. The problem will be solved soon. By that time, I will be able to reunite with them. I know there several good hotels nearby. You can stay there for two days, or you can stroll around the city. Other than Canto Tower, you can go in any direction you wish. I will find you when the world is destroyed…”
“See you at the end,” Zhang Heng interrupted Mei Nan. “You should go home and accompany your family. I can take care of myself.”
“Okay,” Mei Nan nodded.
“Happy New Year’s Eve.” Zhang Heng said.
“Happy New Year’s Eve.”
Zhang Heng waved and walked back to the alley they passed. After bidding farewell to Mei Nan, he decided to look for a place to stay. This quest wouldn’t last too long. After converting three days in the quest to real-world time, it was only 9 minutes. Since it would be many hours till midnight arrived, it meant Zhang Heng wouldn’t get to use his extra 24 hours. Besides, the quest’s mechanism allowed players to leave anytime they wanted. In fact, he could have returned to the real world right after accompanying Mei Nan home if he wanted to.
But then again, it was a rare opportunity to live in a world built entirely out of LEGO. Just like what Mei Nan had told him, he could consider this trip as a vacation. Zhang Heng enquired a few ladies nearby who were square dancing, and they directed him to a hotel with relatively convenient transportation.
Just as he walked in, he saw the bald man who was reading Harry Potter at Starbucks that afternoon. This time, he was holding a copy of Yangcheng Evening Newspaper in his hand, pretending to read it.
Sitting on the sofa in the lobby with an automatic piano in front of him, he seemed to be waiting for Zhang Heng to approach. Instead, the boy went straight to the front desk.
“Can I have a business suite?” Zhang Heng asked the receptionist.
“Of course, sir. Please wait a moment.”
The bald man’s plan to wait for Zhang Heng failed. He had to get up from the sofa. As he cleared his throat, he walked toward Zhang Heng, consciously attempting to maintain his calm and composed demeneour. Before he could get to him, Zhang Heng had already gotten his room card and was walking to the elevator.
The bald man finally got a little anxious when he saw this. He quickly ran to the elevator and squeezed himself in before the doors closed.
“Are you following us?” Zhang Heng raised his eyebrows.
“Give me 15 minutes to explain everything.” The bald man looked gravely serious.
“Because the world will be destroyed in three days?”
“How did you know this?!” The bald man was shocked, but continued, “You are the chosen one, so come and save the world with me!”