Chapter 2 An Errand
Chapter 2 An Errand
“Not again.” I was a little annoyed. “You talk about that as if it is important. I didn’t come here to listen to your theories.”
Besides, the most important thing was that I never won these arguments. Wen Jiubo might be the most talented orator on Earth. Sometimes, even though I had logical reasoning, he was still able to find a way to tear apart my arguments.
“Ah – Since you mentioned that,” Wen Jiubo intentionally enunciated each word slowly. “Of course, you didn’t come here to listen to me talk. You are here to work for me.”
I had a bad feeling because I knew that once Wen Jiubo had that expression on his face, nothing good would come out of it.
“So that you won’t be idle anymore, I need you to do something for me.” Wen Jiubo turned around and searched the drawer for a while before taking out a sealed envelope and gave it to me. “I’m sending you out on an errand.”
“ –Ah?” I let out a painful groan. I thought about the freezing weather outside and immediately tried to refuse. “An errand? Isn’t that usually done by Bai?”
“That drunk ferret must be hiding somewhere. So I have to send you out.” Wen Jiubo smiled like a manipulative employer. I reluctantly took the envelope. After all, it was my fault for saying the wrong thing.
“Em, where should I go?”
Wen Jiubo asked, “Do you know where Jinhua street is?”
I nodded. This street was pretty close to my school, approximately a ten-minute walk away. Sometimes during the evening once we were done studying, my roommates and I would go there for a walk. There were many street food stores on Jinhua street, and you could always find some surprisingly delicious food.
“You walk along Jinhua street, and at the end of the street, you should see a remote alley with grey concrete walls and muddy grounds overgrown with moss,” Wen Jiubo said. “Once you enter the alley, you will see an old noodle restaurant. Give the envelope to the owner. Well… as long as it’s you, you should be able to find it.”
I was puzzled by what he said, what did he mean by ‘as long as it’s me’? Is the noodle restaurant hidden in a very secret place?
But anyway, I had been to Jinhua street many times… Was there a small alley at the end of the street?
“Okay, please hurry up.” Wen Jiubo didn’t give me time to ask more questions, he gently prompted me by pushing my shoulder while saying, “Oh, right. Don’t forget to mention my name. If he doesn’t believe you, just show him the fan. Did you bring the fan with you?”
I nodded. I had put the green fan Wen Jiubo gave to me in my backpack. Though I didn’t know how to use the fan, I kept it with me in case something happened.
“You should leave now. When you are back, there will be chicken stew for you,” Wen Jiubo patted my shoulder and said.
His words cheered me up. “Really?”
“When have I ever lied to you?”
With the temptation of chicken stew, the cold wind outside didn’t look like a problem to me anymore. I put the envelope in my backpack and left the house.
It was about four in the afternoon when I left, but when I arrived at Jinhua street, it was already five o’ clock. With the afternoon classes over, many students were flooding onto the street, it was like rush hour. I bypassed the crowds and food carts and walked towards the end of the street as Wen Jiubo told me to. When nightfall was starting and the sun began to disappear from the horizon, I finally stood at the end of the street.
It indeed was an out-of-the-way place with no pedestrians here at all. However, I didn’t see any alley.
There was a wall at the end of the street. Though the wall was grey, the place was blocked with a concrete wall and there was no such alley with moss growing as Wen Jiubo described.
I took out the envelope. Did Wen Jiubo make a mistake? But I followed the route Wen Jiubo gave me and so far he was right.
When I took out my handphone and was going to call Wen Jiubo to ask him what was going on, I suddenly felt a wind blowing from behind me.
But… behind me was a concrete wall, where did the wind come from?
I lowered the handphone in my hand and turned around.
Suddenly, magic happened. What was a concrete wall a minute ago became a winding path paved with grey stone bricks, and the pavement had green moss growing on it, exactly like Wen Jiubo described.
“Impossible…” I muttered as I started to unhesitatingly follow the path.
The alley was so narrow that it only allowed an average adult man to pass through and it had no branches. After walking for a short while, I saw a shabby old noodle restaurant.
I thought it was flattering to call it a restaurant. Because, from what I saw, it was more like a temporary shed covered by a grey rain shade and thin wood board as its walls. Through the window at the center of a wall, I could see a man working inside.
“Ah, a guest. Please hold on, what do you want to eat today?”
When he saw me arrive, the owner hurriedly wiped his hands and came out.
The instant we could clearly see each other, we were startled and simultaneously screamed.
I screamed because… the owner of this restaurant wasn’t human.
A cat face with brown fur, long whiskers, cat paws, and two tails, he was a human-sized big cat. But he wore clothes like humans. The apron on him suggested that he just came out of the kitchen.
“What…what are you?!” I stepped back and shouted without controlling my voice.
“Wait…That’s the question I should ask you, right?” Mr. Cat was clearly startled by me. He frowned before getting closer to look at me. “Ah, is this guest a real human?”
What did you mean by ‘a real human’! My face turned red due to anger. He said that as if I was some endangered animal.
“Uh, please forgive me.” Mr. Cat suddenly realized his inappropriate behavior and hurriedly apologized to me. “It’s quite uncommon. It has been years since a human customer visited our restaurant. Please forgive me.”