Li Zhao was aware that Yan Ting’s eyes were somewhat blurred like he couldn’t find his focus. He heard that sometimes people living a life of high pressure couldn’t distinguish dreams from reality. Was Yan Ting in this state?
Thinking of this, he didn’t dare shout at Yan Ting. He carefully held the staircase, trying to prevent Yan Ting from falling down before dragging him back.
“I’m fine.” Yan Ting’s voice was hoarse and clearness gradually returned to his eyes.
Li Zhao looked at the place where Yan Ting had been looking. There was nothing but he felt that Yan Ting’s eyes… contained some sadness.
“You stand here and don’t move.” Li Zhao turned back to get a pair of slippers. “Put on your shoes.”
Yan Ting put on his shoes and saw Li Zhao running downstairs to grab a glass of water.
“The water temperature is just fine. Take a sip.” Li Zhao saw Yan Ting take the cup and drink the water. Only then did he completely put down his worries. “Rest early. Tomorrow we will buy the new year’s goods.”
The warm water warmed his heart. Yan Ting looked at Li Zhao’s messy hair and nodded slightly. He thought Li Zhao would continue to ask but Li Zhao didn’t say anything. He swirled the cup in his hand and the water shook slightly. “Good night.”
“Good night.” Li Zhao had a thought. “Your work pressure is good. Although it is normal for people to work hard when they’re young, you have two buildings. Nothing is more important than your body.”
After saying this, he found that Yan Ting’s eyes became deeper and Li Zhao scratched his head in a somewhat uncomfortable manner.
“Thank you, I know.” Yan Ting took another sip of the water.
“Thank you.” Li Zhao hit Yan Ting’s chest with his elbow and yawned. “I’ll go get a cup of water before going to sleep.”
Last night he had eaten a bit too much. He woke up in the middle of the night and hadn’t expected to find Yan Ting standing in the middle of the corridor in a dazed manner. After drinking water, Li Zhao went back to his room, wrapped the quilt around his body and fell asleep.
The water in the cup gradually cooled down and Yan Ting placed the cup at the head of his bed.
“Sir.” A bodyguard stood in front of Yan Ting. “Mr Li came by accident and didn’t see anything.”
There was a dead silence in the room.
After a long time.
“I know.” Yan Ting closed his eyes. “All of you go out.”
He liked the quiet and hated people around him to make any noise. The bodyguards had long been used to his hobby and left the room.
There wasn’t the slightest bit of drowsiness. Yan Ting opened his eyes, his eyes clear. He had no sleepiness at all.
The night was still long. He sat quietly on the sofa and didn’t change his sitting position for ages. It wasn’t until the sky was light and morning light entered through the gap in the window that Yan Ting slowly stood up. He opened the door and the corridor outside was quiet. Li Zhao’s door was closed and it was unknown how sweetly the person inside was sleeping.
“Sir.” The housekeeper woke Yan Ting up. He bowed slightly to Yan Ting and handed over the ironed newspaper. Yan Ting took the newspaper, glanced at it and saw that in a corner, there was an advertisement for Rising Storm. It starred Liu Fen and Zhao Yingnan.
Li Zhao was a guest character in this movie.
“Sir?” The housekeeper brought over a cup of coffee. Yan Ting was raising the coffee to his lips when he remembered Li Zhao nagging him not to drink coffee. He put the cup down on the table. “Take it away.”
“Is the coffee not to your taste?”
Yan Ting didn’t have time to speak when there was the sound of footsteps from the corridor. Li Zhao had woken up. He glanced at Li Zhao, who was looking at the coffee on the table.
“Ting Ting.” Li Zhao frowned. “You just got up. How can you drink coffee?”
The housekeeper noticed the boss’ hands trembling slightly as he held the newspaper. Looking at Mr Li’s frown, the housekeeper understood why the boss didn’t drink coffee. Finally, this cup of pure handmade coffee was brought back to the kitchen. Instead, it was a cup of hot milk with almonds and raisins.
Li Zhao saw cross-legged on the sofa and read the entertainment circle news. The hot topics were about the Spring Festival’s evening programs. Fans were cheering their artists and there was nothing negative for the time being.
It seemed that major brokerage companies were distressed about the media. They didn’t want any big news that would burst to harm them in the new year.
After breakfast, Li Zhao put on a hat and mask and dragged himself to the supermarket.
The streets were covered with ‘Happy New Year’ and ‘Congratulations on getting rich’. Red lanterns hung on both sides of the street. Beijing, which was crowded at ordinary times, was desert during the new year.
Too many people came to this city looking for dreams. It was only in the new year that they could barely sigh with relief.
The supermarkets were doing a variety of Spring Festival big price reduction sales. The aunties were carefully selecting goods and whispering from time to time. It seemed they weren’t very satisfied with the price.
Li Zhao’s hometown didn’t have the custom of making dumplings for the Spring Festival but the New Year’s Eve table must have chicken, duck and fish to show there would be a surplus in the coming year.
“Do you have chicken, duck and fish at home?” Li Zhao wandered around the raw meats area and asked Yan Ting behind him.
“Then let’s buy some snacks.” The Spring Festival was coming and it would be boring if they went back without buying anything.
“What flavour of chips do you like?”
“Well, you can never go wrong with the original flavour and cucumber flavour.”
During his poorest time, Li Zhao used to fantasize about buying whatever he wanted at the supermarket. It turned out that being able to buy what he wanted… made him really happy. The two people walked around the supermarket for a long time. Once it was time to pay, Li Zhao read the total and felt some pain in his heart.
He was used to being poor and wanted to buy a lot of things, but he would always feel distressed over spending money when buying. Once they came out, it had started to snow. Li Zhao looked at Yan Ting’s jacket that had no hood.
“Wait a minute.” Li Zhao put the shopping bag on the ground and placed his scarf around Yan Ting’s neck.
“Ting Ting, have you ever seen the guerrilla band?” He smiled as he helped put the scarf in place. Then he put his hat on Yan Ting’s head and raised the hood of his jacket. “Let’s take a walk.”
Yan Ting told him, “There will be snow outside.”
“It is the first snow of the year. If we don’t walk in the snow then why come out?” Li Zhao spoke. “Quickly, the car has stopped over there and we can run over.”
After saying this, he carried his shopping bag and ran. He hadn’t run far when he stepped on the slippery ground and fell.
“Li Zhao!” Yan Ting ran to his side and pulled him up from the ground. “You aren’t hurt?”
Li Zhao covered his head and giggled. “There is no pain. My clothes are thick.”
“You really…” Yan Ting wanted to ask how he could be so childish. Then he remembered this person had just turned 20 years old and it was the energetic age. He had to bring out a handkerchief to help Li Zhao wipe the mud off his clothes. “Walk carefully.”
“Sir, Mr Li.” The driver ran over nervously, bending over to pick up something that had fallen to the ground. “Are you okay?”
“I’m fine.” Li Zhao shook his head.
“Don’t shake.” Yan Ting gently held his head and kept him from moving.
“The wind is so strong. I’m afraid the water in your head will fly out.”
Li Zhao, “???”
‘Now Ting Ting, you weren’t like this before. When exactly did you learn to taunt me?’
“Excuse me, these three gentlemen. Do you mind if I interrupt you?” A woman with a microphone came over followed by a cameraman.
“We are a Spring Festival program group. Do you have time for a brief interview?”
The driver took a step back and glanced at Li Zhao by Yan Ting’s side.
The female host subconsciously handed the microphone to Li Zhao. “I want to ask, are you happy today?”
“Happy, I’m especially happy.” Li Zhao’s eyes were burning as he looked at the national TV station’s logo on the microphone. He was actually being interviewed by a national TV reporter.
He brought honour to his ancestors!
“What do you expect for the new year after the Spring Festival?”
“Peace and prosperity. It should become more prosperous with every passing day.” In front of the national stage, Li Zhao felt that his desire should be higher.
“Thank you.” The female host was amused by Li Zhao. “Happy New Year to you.”
“Happy New Year!”
Once the female host went away, Li Zhao was so excited that his face was red. “Ting Ting, do you think we’ll be on TV?”
Yan Ting reached for his arm. “Don’t jump.”
Or else he might fall again.
In the car, Li Zhao couldn’t wait to pull out his phone and share the good news with his friends.
Zhao Zhao Has Good Luck: Ahhhh, just now on the street, I was interviewed by a reporter of the national channel! I’m going to appear on the national stage!
Make a Billion First: Really?!
A Better Tomorrow: Did the reporter recognize you as a star?
Zhao Zhao Has Good Luck: I’m an 18th tier artist. How can people of the national station know me? Not to mention, I am wearing a mask and a scarf.
Make a Billion First: This is a good sign! Zhao Zhao, maybe it indicates that you will be on the stage of the National Spring Festival’s gala next year.
Zhao Zhao Has Good Luck: Then I will bring honour to my ancestors!
Zhao Zhao Has Good Luck: Although I don’t know where my ancestors are.
Make a Billion First: It’s fine. Your ancestors must know that you’re their family.
“Don’t play with your phone too long in the car.” Yan Ting calmly reminded Li Zhao, who was bowing his head and playing with the mobile phone.
“I’ll do I right now, right now. Just wait for me to finish showing off.” Li Zhao sent a long message to the group chat.
Zhao Zhao Has Good Luck: My buddy won’t let me play with my mobile phone in the car. It isn’t good for my eyes. I’ll withdraw first.
Make a Billion First: There is a new buddy so you’ve forgotten your old pals?
A Better Tomorrow: Finally, someone is taking care of you.
Back home, most of the domestic help had gone home for the near year and the house was a bit deserted.
After lunch and playing for a while, Li Zhao was bored and knocked on the door of Yan Ting’s study. “Yan Ting, you are in Beijing. Do you have the habit of eating dumplings for the new year here?”
Yan Ting put down the documents and looked at the head sticking out from behind the door. “What’s the matter?”
“Come out.” Li Zhao waved at him with a smile.
Yan Ting got up and walked out of the study. “What is it?”
“We will make our own dumplings.” Li Zhao dragged Yan Ting down the stairs. “It is the new year and you shouldn’t worry about work.”
“I just went to the kitchen to see. The noodles had been made and the filling is ready. They just haven’t been wrapped.” Li Zhao looked expectantly at Yan Ting. “Shall we make dumplings together?”
At the last Spring Festival, in order to make more money, he had spent a whole day in a doll’s outfit at the supermarket and there was no time to celebrate. In the evening, he went to Xiaoyuan’s house and saw the family sitting around the table making dumplings. He had felt a bit of envy.
The housekeeper helped them place all the things needed to make dumplings on the table. The two of them washed their hands, rolled up their sleeves and looked at each other.
“Can you make it?”
“Can you make it?”
A brief silence passed before Li Zhao pulled out his phone.” It’s fine, we can follow the online video.”
Wait, why could he roll out dumplings with the back of the knife? This wasn’t scientific! Why were the created dumplings so crystal clear? There must be a problem.
“Forget it.” Li Zhao put away his phone. “We can ask the auntie in the kitchen to teach us.”
The aunt in the kitchen heard that the boss wanted to make dumplings and looked at the housekeeper with disbelief. “Housekeeper Wang, don’t joke around so much for the Spring Festival.”
“Mr Li is waiting.” The housekeeper laughed. “What’s so strange about making dumplings for the new year?”
It wasn’t strange to make dumplings for the new year but it was strange if the person making dumplings was the boss.
The aunt went to the living room to see and saw his boss with rolled up sleeves, sweater smudged with flour. He was looking at the dough on the table as if he could turn them into dumpling skin with his eyes.
“Auntie.” Li Zhao saw her come out and opened his mouth with a smile. “Come and help.”
“Okay.” The auntie didn’t hesitate to agree. Watching such a beautiful young man smile at her, who could resist?
Meanwhile, the national TV station’s news department was cutting the news material. Today was New Year’s Eve and the news broadcast would edit a section of the people’s blessing for the Spring Festival content. Thus, they were urgently screening the content.
“This is good. This person wearing a mask has beautiful eyes and his blessing is good.”
“Peace and prosperity, it is very atmospheric.”
“Put in the section where he said ‘Peace and prosperity. It should become more prosperous with every passing day’.”
The author has something to say:
Baby Zhao Zhao: Ting Ting, come and play dumplings with me.
Baby Ting Ting: [Oh, as long as I’m lively enough, Zhao Zhao won’t feel bored.]