After her chat with Fan Chen, Mi Wan returned to a night of fitful dreams. One moment she dreamt about demons massacring humans, and in another she witnessed mountain ranges collapsing around her. One moment she was trying to stop demons from killing people, and in another, she was trying to stop the landslides around her. This restless sleep, coupled with a lack of spiritual energy needed to prevent yesterday’s chill, caused Mi Wan to wake up with a glorious cold.
“I told you to take two cold prevention tablets yesterday, but you won’t listen.” Auntie Zhang nagged as she prepared Mi Wan’s cold medicine.
“It’s not a big deal, I’ll be fine after a nap.” Mi Wan replied casually.
“Young Lady, do you hear the sounds you’re making? I think it’s better to get Physician Zhao to give you a couple of injections.”
“He knows how to cure illnesses even though he’s an addiction specialist?” Mi Wan was shocked by Dr. Zhang’s limitless capabilities.
“He can cure the basic cold.” Butler Ye walked in with a cage, and without missing a beat, grabbed the little squirrel that was gnawing on pine nuts on the breakfast table and locked it up.
“Keke~~” The suddenly jailed squirrel frightfully gripped the bars of the metal cage, so traumatized that it couldn’t care less about its precious pine nuts.
“Uncle Ye, what are you doing?” Mi Wan asked.
“Didn’t Young Miss want to raise it? This is the house I prepared for it so it won’t run away.” As a qualified butler, he went online late last night to purchase a squirrel cage when the young miss returned home with a squirrel she claimed to want to keep as a pet.
“Keke~~” The little squirrel shook its head in panic and made high-pitched lively sounds like a wild rodent.
“Pff…” Mi Wan suppressed her laughter and said, “Uncle Ye, don’t lock it up in a cage. Nutty is quite obedient, it won’t run off.” Mi Wan decided to name the little squirrel “Nutty”, given its love for pine nuts.
“But…” Butler Ye was naturally unconvinced that a squirrel could be THAT obedient, but as a qualified butler, satisfying his Young Miss’s requests was his highest priority, so he unlocked the cage on the spot.
Once the door opened, the squirrel immediately bolted out and hid on Mi Wan’s shoulder with an indignant squeak.
“Then I’ll go and prepare a tree house for Nutty.” Butler Ye folded the cage back up, with the intent to return it back to the manufacturer since it had a 7-day no obligation return policy. (Being a good butler who is both diligent and thrifty, he would never waste a single cent of his Master’s money.)
“Nutty, hurry up and thank Uncle Ye.” Mi Wan poked Nutty by the tail.
“Keke~~” The little squirrel shook its head vehemently, refusing to thank an old geezer that wanted to lock it up.
“That little thing knows how to hold a grudge.” Butler Ye chuckled, finding the little squirrel quite clever when it reacted like it was able to understand their conversation.
After breakfast, Butler Ye came over with a brand new cell phone, “Young Miss, here’s your new phone. The SIM card hasn’t been installed yet, so bring your I.D. when you go register for one at the mobile store later.”
Mi Wan accepted the phone and immediately connected to the WIFI to download the WeChat app when Butler Ye abruptly asked, “By the way Young Miss, where did you and your classmates conduct your research?”
“Ah… Why the question?”
“Yesterday afternoon, Mount Gu Yuan that’s just outside the city suddenly collapsed, but luckily, there were no casualties. There was more detailed news this morning that said it was a couple of university students that saw the initial erosions while conducting soil science research. They guessed the possibility of the landslide, and it was because of their advanced warnings that bought the villagers enough time to evacuate. It reminded me that the Young Miss was also out with her classmates doing research, so I was wondering where you were?” Butler Ye said.
“Oh yeah, I saw that news article too. Soil erosion right? It was lucky they discovered it early, or that village would have been buried. Who knows how many people would have died.” Auntie Zhang added knowingly.
“I…why would I be at such a dangerous place. My classmates and I were at a nearby park.” Mi Wan answered guiltily.
“Good to hear.” Although Mi Wan is safely sitting in front of him, Butler Ye felt reassured knowing that Mi Wan was not at Mount Gu Yuan yesterday.
Seeing that she was able to successfully fool them, Mi Wan hugged the little squirrel and secretly let out a sigh of relief.
When she returned back to school, the moment Mi Wan stepped into the lecture hall, she was greeted with everyone’s passionate gazes. Since she lost her phone, she was unaware that her fiasco in Mount Gu Yuan yesterday was spread repeatedly by Han Xiao and the boys on WeChat. Compared to the previous Mi Wan who was an invisible body in class, the present Mi Wan was a legend who saved several hundred lives, who also had the miraculous ability to hear the voices of tree deities.
“Miss Mi Wan, did you really hear the tree deity’s voice?”
“What’s the tree deity’s voice like? Is it male or female?”
“What’s his demeanor like? Was it very anxious?”
“Why did the tree deity only talk to you?”
“Did the tree deity really die?”
Mi Wan’s 130Kg self was trapped in a corner by the crowd like a deer in the headlights. Luckily Han Xiao and Jin Mingxuan just happened to also enter the lecture hall, and quickly help shield her from the crowd and their persistent questions.
“Actually I was really dizzy back then, so I can’t remember much of what happened, like I was hypnotized.” With the entire class enamored with gossip, Mi Wan felt that if she didn’t say something, this incident would probably not blow over.
“I know! It must be because among the 4, Mi Wan was the only girl. Since girls have a weaker constitution, and the tree deity was also weakened because it was nearing death, its frequency was only compatible with Mi Wan’s brain waves!” A kind and “woke” classmate came up with this conjecture.
“Yes, yes, yes. No wonder I was feeling dizzy back then. It’s because I’m physically weak.” Mi Wan agreed vehemently and sent that classmate a complimentary look.
With the crowd’s curiosity sated, the lecture hall returned back into a peaceful atmosphere, but there are still some who threw the occasional look of envy in Mi Wan’s direction. Even if it was due to her weak constitution, Mi Wan was still the person who conversed with “god.”
When class finally came to an end, Mi Wan followed Han Xiao and Jin Mingxuan to get lunch. It was only when they arrived at the cafeteria did the little squirrel peak out of Mi Wan’s winter coat and show itself. It was quite worried that it was about to be squashed flat by a bunch of excited humans just now.
“You plan to keep it?” Han Xiao asked.
“Yeah, it’s my savior squirrel. It’s name is Nutty.” Mi Wan smiled and gave the squirrel a nut.
“Squirrels like nuts, right? I have a large bag of them in my dorm. I can bring it over for Nutty.” Jin Mingxuan seemed to have taken a liking to the little squirrel.
“Keke~~” Nutty was instantly happy and called out in Jin Mingxuans’ direction.
“Ay, it understood me?” Jin Mingxuan was surprised.
“Maybe.” Mi Wan replied offhandedly before asking about Liu Gu, “Oh yeah, what happened to Liu Gu’s home? When is he coming back to school?”
“Liu Gu said his village decided to commemorate the tree deity, and he would return after the memorial ceremony.” Han Xiao explained.
“Oh~~” Mi Wan nodded vaguely. If they had commemorated the tree deity before it died, this last landslide could have been prevented. Now that the tree deity is dead, no amount of offerings or spiritual belief would bring it back.
“Oh yeah, if you really want to keep it, it’s best to take it to the vet for a checkup, and then give it a bath. Look, it’s still covered in mud.” Jin Mingxuan stared at the grayish-black coat on the little squirrel.
“Sure, I’ll bring it over once I replace my SIM card.”
After lunch, Mi Wan went to the mobile store to replace the SIM card on her phone, and then strolled leisurely to the animal clinic by the north entrance of the school. It’s been less than a month since she brought the little cat demon to that pet hospital, but the pet hospital had become a lot more run down. The display shelves that used to hold various toys and medicines were mostly vacant, the animals in the cages were clearly strays, and the rest of the store was empty.
“I’m sorry, we no longer accept stray animals.” The lady boss of the pet hospital walked out, thinking it was another college student bringing in random strays from the campus. When she took a good look at the guest, she could not help but be pleasantly surprised, “Oh Miss, it’s you.”
The cat that Mi Wan brought in was her only decent income this month!
“Boss Lady, why is your business so empty?” Mi Wan was shocked.
“Didn’t I tell you, we are selling our business.” The boss lady smiled, “Why are you here?”
“I’m here to have it given a bath and for a health checkup.” Mi Wan pulled out the little squirrel that was gnawing on nuts from her pocket.
“This should be…a Forrest’s rock squirrel.” The boss lady took a good look at the squirrel before discerning the white pattern on the side of its gray coat, “Where did you find it? Why is it so dirty?”
“I dug it out from the mud.” Mi Wan joked.
“Sure, let me give it a bath.” The boss lady said, “Once Xu Zhuang returns, I’ll have him give your squirrel a checkup.” Xu Zhuang was the pet clinic’s owner.
“He’s not here?” Mi Wan asked.
“We’re closing shop, remember?” The lady boss prepared the bath water as she explained, “The stray animals in this store have nowhere to go, Xu Zhuang could not bear to put them back out in the parks, so he often asks people if they are willing to adopt these animals. Once there’s someone who’s interested, he would personally bring the animal over. This morning he was delivering a small poodle to the North City, so it might take a while to get back.”
“So you’ve sold your business?” Mi Wan asked.
“Nope. Couldn’t find a buyer.” On the topic of the clinic, the boss lady looked dejected.
“Being evicted.” The lady boss smiled bitterly, “If we’re able to sell this business, then the store’s medical instruments and medicines can still fetch us a bit of money, but now we can only sell everything at a low price. Once our rent is up, anything that can’t be sold would just have to be given away for free.”
Mi Wan pondered silently for some time before asking, “Then are you both going to work for other vet clinics?”
“Yup.” The boss lady replied, “I know it looks bad since we both bankrupted a pet hospital, but that’s because Xu Zhuang kept accepting stray animals, slashing prices, and giving stuff away. A vet’s salary is actually pretty high. We plan on working hard for the next two years to save up for a downpayment for a house and then get married.”
“How much does an animal doctor make?” Mi Wan asked
“Not much since we graduated not too long ago, but that’s still roughly 10,000 yuan a month.” The boss lady replied.
“Have you both found a job?”
“I did, but not Xu Zhuang.”
“Boss Lady, let me buy your store. How much would it be?” Mi Wan suddenly said.
“What?” The boss lady was stunned.
“I’ll buy your pet store, and you don’t have to give away the animals in it. But on one condition. Your boyfriend must remain here and work for me. I’ll pay him 20,000 yuan a month.” Mi Wan smiled, “Is that okay?”
Sasha: Even this ED feels the unfairness of the cliff hanger.
Goes off to find TL jie jie to butter her up.