There were only two people eating in the evening. Tang Ci prepared four dishes and one soup and soon served them on the table. Lu Jiuchuan tasted them unceremoniously and praised him. “I didn’t expect Xiao Tang to have such good cooking skills. It was really hidden!”
Tang Ci’s expression was serious. “I made it according to the recipe. It was written to add a few grams of salt and a few grams of sugar.”
Lu Jiuchuan almost choked. “You didn’t use an electronic scale to weigh it, did you?”
Tang Ci nodded seriously. “Yes.”
Lu Jiuchuan, “……”
If others cooked according to the recipe, at most they would follow it roughly. Meanwhile, Tang Ci had to be accurate to the grams of the seasoning. He was truly a researcher of intelligent robots. He was so meticulous even in life.
Lu Jiuchuan sometimes felt that Tang Ci was like a person without feelings. No matter what situation he faced in the Card World, he maintained a calm expression and it was rare to see him sad or smiling…
It really wasn’t known if he could accommodate anything else in his mind aside from a large amount of data.
Lu Jiuchuan gave Tang Ci some food with his chopsticks and smiled. “Eat more. Can I temporarily stay here tonight?”
Tang Ci’s hand froze and he looked up. “Isn’t your home in Jiangzhou? You aren’t going back?”
Lu Jiuchuan shrugged helplessly. “My hometown might be in Jiangzhou but my parents have been in the military area recently and no one is home. It would be boring for me to go back alone so I might as well stay here and be your companion.” In order to avoid Tang Ci’s refusal, Lu Jiuchuan followed up with the words. “Also, we can discuss the trip of Inner Mongolia by the way.”
Tang Ci thought about it for a few seconds before agreeing. “Okay.”
Lu Jiuchuan was about to say, ‘I don’t mind sleeping with you’ when Tang Ci solemnly pointed to the room next to him. “You can stay in the guest room.”
Lu Jiuchuan, “……”
The plan didn’t succeed and Lu Jiuchuan had to pretend to be happy. “Great!”
Why did the single Tang Ci have to prepare a guest room at home?
After the meal, Lu Jiuchuan took a closer look around Tang Ci’s apartment. Tang Ci lived in a popular loft apartment with a two storey structure. The lower floor was the dining room, kitchen, bathroom and guest bedroom. The second floor was a spacious large suite, including the master bedroom, a small study and a separate dressing room.
Lu Jiuchuan looked at his room and asked doubtfully, “You live in such a big place alone?”
Tang Ci explained, “It is close to the company and the price wasn’t expensive when it opened so I bought a set.”
Lu Jiuchuan walked to the study on the second floor. “Let me borrow your computer to use later. I will check the strategy for the self-driving tour.” His mouth said he was checking the strategy but his eyes couldn’t help drifting to Tang Ci’s bedroom.
This man looked cold and serious on the surface but the bedding in his room was actually made of furry velvet and the color was beige. It was very soft and comfortable at first glance…
He didn’t know what type of expression Tang Ci would make lying in such a bed after taking a shower?
Would he still be as serious as usual?
Lu Jiuchuan heard the footsteps behind him and immediately looked away from the bedroom. He walked to the study and sat down, showing a serious attitude of checking the strategy. “Help me turn on the computer.”
Tang Ci leaned over and unlocked the computer with his fingerprint. “You check it first. I’ll go wash the dishes.”
Lu Jiuchuan asked, “Is there anything private on your computer? Let me know in advance if there is anything I shouldn’t look at.”
“There is nothing. You can’t read the files I have encrypted anyway.”
Lu Jiuchuan, “……”
This was the truth. Lu Jiuchuan couldn’t understand the intelligent AI programming written by Tang Ci.
Tang Ci left and Lu Jiuchuan opened the webpage to check the information carefully. He couldn’t be vague about the route of the road trip, the accommodation along the way and the scenery that needed to be visited.
This was his first trip with Tang Ci and the strategy had to be done well.
By the time Tang Ci finished cleaning up the kitchen and came up to the second floor, Lu Jiuchuan had already compiled a very detailed strategy. He smiled and waved to Tang Ci. “Xiao Tang, come here and see if there are any problems with this route.”
Tang Ci answered, “I’ve never traveled by car with anyone. You can decide the route.”
Lu Jiuchuan said happily, “Then it is decided. Tomorrow I will go and buy some things for the road. You should ask for leave from your unit. If it goes well, we will leave next Monday.”
Tang Ci nodded. “Okay. It is late. Go to bed.”
There was a bath on the second floor and the first floor of the apartment. Lu Jiuchuan was arranged by Tang Ci to stay in the guest bedroom on the first floor so he had to go to the first floor to take a shower.
Tang Ci was already sleeping when he got out of the shower. There was a message on his WeChat: Good night, Brother Jiu.
Lu Jiuchuan had to reply with a ‘good night’ and obediently slept on the guest bed.
He tossed and turned on the bed, a bit hesitant in his heart. He always felt that Tang Ci was too serious and calm and wouldn’t be able to accept him. If he confessed rashly and Tang Ci said something like ‘I have analyzed it and the probability of us being together is 0%’, wouldn’t it be too embarrassing?
However, Lu Jiuchuan really couldn’t let go after remembering what they had experienced in the Card World.
He had sworn to protect Tang Ci. In this life, there was no one who could make him worry like Tang Ci. During the time when Tang Ci was in a wheelchair, Lu Jiuchuan’s heart felt like it was pierced by a knife every day. The day that Tang Ci’s legs were healed, Lu Jiuchuan was so happy that he almost burst into tears.
He wouldn’t have survived at all without Tang Ci.
Now they had finally returned to the real world and could live a normal life…
How could he be willing to let go of Tang Ci’s hand?
Lu Jiuchuan took a deep breath, closed his eyes and clenched his fists tightly under the covers.
It was like he was holding onto someone he wanted to protect for the rest of his life.
The next morning, Tang Ci left breakfast for Lu Jiuchuan as well as a note: Brother Jiu, remember to have breakfast. I will go to the company first and will contact you at noon.
There was milk, bread and golden fried eggs on the table. Lu Jiuchuan saw the proper handwriting on the note and slightly smiled before taking a big mouthful.
After breakfast, he went to the supermarket to buy what he needed for a road trip.
Umbrellas, tents for camping, chocolates, various snacks, dried fruits, self-heating rice…
He was almost as well prepared as if they were entering a survival instance in the Card World.
After shopping, he went home and grabbed a car. It was a high chassis, four-wheel off-road vehicle that was full of power. It could drive over mountains and there was no need to worry about the car getting stuck on a muddy road on a rainy day.
Lu Jiuchuan filled up the car with fuel and drove to Tang Ci’s residence.
Lu Jiuchuan saw that Tang Ci had already returned home and asked casually, “Did asking for leave go well?”
“It went very well. I took 15 days of annual leave.”
Lu Jiuchuan walked over with a smile and gently hugged him. “Very good. This time, I will take you out to play for a while!”
Tang Ci’s ears were slightly red but the expression on his face remained calm. “What do I need to prepare?”
Lu Jiuchuan waved his hand proudly. “I’ve prepared everything. You just need to bring some clothes and a thick coat.”
The team decided not to see Gui Yuanzhang just yet so the two of them set off for the prairie on Monday as originally planned.
It took around 10 hours to drive from Jiangzhou to Inner Mongolia. Fortunately, it was a highway all the way and the road conditions were particularly good. Lu Jiuchuan only rested for a while in the service area halfway before driving to the destination in one go.
On the first night, he had booked a local hotel with decent conditions. Lu Jiuchuan booked a standard room with two beds and Tang Ci had no objections. It was very late when they arrived so the two of them rested at the hotel before setting off the next morning.
The next morning, Tang Ci opened the window and couldn’t help being stunned.
The sky here was as blue as an oil canvas! White clouds of various shapes dotted it. In the distance, he could vaguely see the green grassland as well as the cattle and sheep who got up early to graze…
Tang Ci took a deep breath and his mood instantly became extremely relaxed.
The shock brought about by the beauty of nature made Tang Ci temporarily forget about other distractions. He was already very content just having a beautiful trip with Brother Jiu. By the time Lu Jiuchuan got up, he saw Tang Ci standing by the window and looking at the scenery. He walked over to Tang Ci and gently pressed a hand against his shoulder. “We are lucky. Today’s weather is very good.”
Tang Ci nodded. “Yes, the sky here is much bluer than in Jiangzhou and the distance seems very close.”
Lu Jiuchuan smiled proudly. “This is the place I brought you to. Isn’t it okay?”
Tang Ci saw his ‘asking for praise’ expression and forcibly controlled his suddenly accelerated heartbeat. He lowered his head and said softly, “It is very good. What are the plans for today?”
Lu Jiuchuan smiled and patted him on the shoulder. “Just follow me.”
Tang Ci went downstairs to eat breakfast with Lu Jiuchuan. Then they got into the SUV.
Lu Jiuchuan had prepared many materials and the trunk was full. Many snacks were brought by box and there was also a box of mineral water. Tang Ci couldn’t help wondering, “Have you been playing the Card World survival mode too much?”
Lu Jiuchuan laughed. “Maybe. I can’t help buying things by box.”
Tang Ci, “……”
The road was no longer boring. All types of snacks could be eaten.
Lu Jiuchuan was responsible for driving while Tang Ci was responsible for taking photos and eating snacks.
The two of them stopped in a small town for a while at noon and ate local specialties like hand-held mutton, blood sausage, milk tea…
Tang Ci rarely ate mutton because it always felt fat and greasy. However, the mutton raised on the grassland was not only delicious but also very chewy. It was marinated with special salt and pepper and was extremely delicious. The mutton soup wasn’t fishy either. It had chopped green onions sprinkled on it and was warm and fragrant. Tang Ci saw Lu Jiuchuan drinking three bowls and couldn’t help drinking a bowl as well.
He originally felt that Lu Jiuchuan’s choice of travel destination wasn’t very warm but now he felt that Brother Jiu was actually very thoughtful. Coming to such a purely natural and pollution-free place like the endless grasslands would indeed open up people’s minds.
Moreover, traveling by car would allow the two of them to stay together from beginning to end.
They traveled on the straight road that seemed to lead to the sky and moved forward all the way, listening to their favorite songs and looking at the oil painting-like beauty outside the window. It was as if there were only the two of them left between the sky and the earth.
Tang Ci hadn’t been so relaxed for a long time.
In the afternoon, Tang Ci unknowingly fell asleep in the car. By the time he woke up again, Lu Jiuchuan had parked the car on the side of the road.
It was almost dark. Tang Ci rubbed his eyes and got out of the car. He found that there was an endless grassland in the distance.
Lu Jiuchuan reached out and helped him straighten his hair that became messy from sleeping. Then Lu Jiuchuan said in a low voice, “This is the famous Hulunbuir Grassland. We will spend the night here.
Tang Ci asked curiously, “Camping?”
Lu Jiuchuan nodded. “Yes, I have prepared a warm tent. The top is transparent and you can still see the stars when you sleep.”
Tang Ci wanted to ask how many tents he had prepared when he saw Lu Jiuchuan take out a double tent from the trunk. Lu Jiuchuan asked with a smile, “Do you mind sleeping with me?”
Tang Ci, “……”
Tang Ci faced the man’s handsome, smiling face and almost blurted out, ‘I have been waiting for this day for a long time.’
Proofreader: Paranoid Kitten