Chapter 26.1 – His Gift
Until after the meal, Lu Tinghan didn’t figure out why Shi Yuan was wilting.
Lu Tinghan said, “I will be more free these days.”
“Really?” Shi Yuan raised his head in surprise. “Then you can stay with me!”
This is like the usual Shi Yuan.
Lu Tinghan sketched while listening to Shi Yuan’s story.
Shi Yuan has only been in the city for a few months, and everything he sees is still very novel. He has a special desire to share, and he can chat with Lu Tinghan for a long time about the day.
Shi Yuan said: “Today’s meal is scrambled eggs with loofah and lotus root soup. I have never eaten either of these. I tasted them at mealtime and they were delicious.”
The tip of Lu Tinghan’s pen rustled: “Lotus root soup is rare. I only drank it three or four times during my years in military school.”
Shi Yuan said: “I met several people in the shelter and added their contact information. A boy named Zhou Ping’an taught me how to play cards, and asked me yesterday if I wanted to come out to play.”
Lu Tinghan asked: “Do you like playing cards?”
Shi Yuan replied: “It’s okay, it’s quite interesting. It’s just that I haven’t won a game.”
Lu Tinghan: “…”
Shi Yuan said: “There are a lot of people on the nearby construction site, and a very big robot came to help – it’s very tall, four or five stories high, and it has a lot of hands. When I saw it, I thought it was a monster.”
Lu Tinghan: “Construction robot T0-218, the most common general-purpose robot in the Alliance.”
Shi Yuan’s eyes widened: “But why have I never seen it before?”
Lu Tinghan’s pen didn’t stop: “We can’t produce its chips anymore. Those factories have been destroyed, and now we use robots that were preserved decades ago.”
“Oh.” Shi Yuan said, “You know a lot. I also saw a smaller robot with 8 hands and suction cups on it.”
“Service robot R9,” Lu Tinghan said. “It’s famous for its small size and flexibility.”
Shi Yuan: “I said hello to them, but they ignored me.”
Lu Tinghan: “The program settings are like this, they don’t interact with people when they work.”
Shi Yuan thought for a while: “But when I work, I will definitely pay attention to you.”
“Shi Yuan, you have to concentrate on your work,” Lu Tinghan emphasized again.
Shi Yuan’s tail bent, not sure if he listened or not.
Then, Shi Yuan talked a lot.
When he mentioned that a man who often eats there recognized him and added his contact information, Lu Tinghan’s pen finally stopped.
He raised his eyebrows.
Shi Yuan asked, “What’s wrong?”
“It’s nothing,” Lu Tinghan said. “Keep talking.”
When Shi Yuan finished speaking, Lu Tinghan also finished drawing.
He drew a brilliant sunrise, and the boundless wasteland, the weeds were sparse, unknown monsters had not yet awakened, the earth was haloed with orange and red, and it seemed that the wild wind could be heard – this was the magnificent scene he saw when he came to the front line one early morning during the war, when once upon a time, a large part of the world outside the city belonged to humans.
Shi Yuan took a closer look for a while and said, “You draw so well.”
“I often drew when I was a watcher.” Lu Tinghan patted his head. “Speaking of which, half a month has passed, where is my gift?”
Shi Yuan didn’t expect him to remember this.
He said, “I won’t give it anymore…”
Lu Tinghan looked at him: “Why? Didn’t buy it?”
“The gift is still there.” Shi Yuan curled up the tip of his tail sadly. “I said I won’t send it, so I won’t send it. Wait for next time.”
Lu Tinghan’s eyes darkened, and he called, “Shi Yuan.”
Shi Yuan looked sideways at him, and there was a “Pa!” sound, his forehead was flicked.
Shi Yuan: “Ah!” He covered his head. “I’m already not smart, don’t flick me.”
—Shi Yuan thought that after suffering such a blow, the matter about the gift would be over.
As a dignified general, does he still lack anything? He will not obsess over a small gift.
Unexpectedly, Lu Tinghan was extremely persistent.
It was Shi Yuan’s day off the next day, and Lu Tinghan stayed at home for the first time.
At noon, Shi Yuan said that after more than half a month of work, he had already learned to cook, so Lu Tinghan asked him to give it a try.
The most common dish at the food distribution was scrambled eggs with tomatoes, and that was the only one Shi Yuan learned. He cut the tomatoes into pieces and put them together with the scrambled eggs, stirring them somewhat clumsily.
Lu Tinghan stood next to him, with a rare lazy appearance. He was wearing short-sleeved loungewear, he took a glass of ice water, and the lines on his arms were tight and smooth. He leaned back on the countertop and looked at Shi Yuan. He asked leisurely: “Apart from scrambled eggs with tomatoes, what other dishes are there in the distribution office?”
“A lot ah.” Shi Yuan said while scrambling eggs. “Bean seedling soup, roasted eggplant, stir-fried shredded potatoes and soy sauce vegetables, and occasionally canned pork.”
Lu Tinghan asked again: “What is being built on the construction site next to it?” He seemed happy to ask questions today.
“It seems that a new hospital is being built,” Shi Yuan replied. “I don’t know much. There are many people on the construction site every day.”
“Many people recognize you?”
“Not a lot, just a few a day.”
“How much do you get paid per hour?”
“Does the job include lunch?”
“What did you eat yesterday?”
“Smacked cucumber and bean sprout soup.”
“What’s my gift?”
“Your gift is a…” Shi Yuan was halfway through speaking, his eyes widened and he stopped talking abruptly.
Lu Tinghan raised his eyebrows: “You actually reacted.”
“I’m just not smart, but I’m not really stupid!” Shi Yuan protested. “How can you deceive me? I just wondered, you knew these things a long time ago, so why do you have to ask me again! So you were ready to set me up from the beginning!”
Lu Tinghan reminded: “It’s going to be mushy.”
Shi Yuan quickly buried his head and continued to stir-fry the eggs.
The scrambled eggs with tomatoes he made were not bad, they could be eaten, but they were not very delicious.
Other dishes were made by Broken Copper, which was much more delicious.
“Anyway, it’s the first step from scratch.” Lu Tinghan put down his chopsticks. “Everything is difficult at the beginning.”
Shi Yuan promised: “I will learn again.”
In the afternoon, Lu Tinghan read a book.
Shi Yuan checked the Internet beside him, “How do you make tomato scrambled eggs delicious?” At the end of the search, he said: “I still don’t understand, which comes first, the chicken or the egg?”
Lu Tinghan didn’t even lift his eyes, turned over a page of the book with his slender fingers: “The gift came first.”
Shi Yuan: ?
In the evening, Shi Yuan lay down in front of the window to watch the blazing clouds, and said, “Lu Tinghan, what do you think that cloud looks like?”
Lu Tinghan: “A gift.”
Shi Yuan: ??
As night approached, Lu Tinghan had a round of phone calls with the military department. When he came down to the living room, Shi Yuan was staring at the large bouquet of flowers.
It was this flower that made Shi Yuan wilt last night.
Lu Tinghan walked behind Shi Yuan: “…is my gift related to flowers?”
He asked straightforwardly, Shi Yuan was so frightened by him that he flew up, and the scales on his tail exploded.
“It’s not related!” Shi Yuan emphasized, “Absolutely not related at all.”
Lu Tinghan perfunctorily “believed” him: “Is that so?”
When the curfew bell rang in the evening, Lu Tinghan put down the sketchbook in his hand and looked at Shi Yuan again.
Shi Yuan was immediately alert: “Are you going to ask about the gift again?”
“No,” Lu Tinghan said. “Don’t mention it if you don’t want to, it’s okay.” He touched Shi Yuan’s head and smiled. “Good night.”
Lu Tinghan gave up the gift thing.
But Shi Yuan didn’t feel happy.