192 A Little Drink
Su Bai didn't ask what Seven was up to in Qinhuangdao. Seven had asked Su Bai for help but Su Bai turned him down. Even though Seven had been a good companion last night, Su Bai wouldn't bother asking what he was up to or whether he needed help, because Su Bai was well aware that Seven would only be a decent monk when they had no dispute about interest. Once benefits were involved, Seven would turn his back on any old associates even his own family.
Su Bai was not very interested in seafood. Besides, as it was a booming season for tourism in Qinhuangdao, many restaurants were too crowded with travelers. So he just ordered some noodles in a sidewalk snack booth and planned to take a CRH train back to Beijing or Tianjin after he had his meal. That little fellow was still in Shanghai. There was no need to worry because Lucky was looking after him, but Su Bai hadn't spent much time with him after leaving the last story world and was missing him a lot.
In fact, Su Bai had made up his mind that he wouldn't have his own baby if he had to live under the shadow of Dreadful Radio. This little fellow would be fine even if Su Bai died, but his biological children and the woman who gave birth to them?
That would be a big problem.
This little fellow was special. Su Bai brought him out of a story world and hoped he could live a normal life even if Su Bai was dead.
Maybe he was selfish. He didn't want his own child to become an orphan, like he used to be.
However, there was something urgent: this little guy needed a name for his residential record and adoption certificate. It was not difficult since Su Bai was from a powerful family that most authorities would turn a blind eye to such trifles. But Su Bai considered it as a serious rite to name the kid and would rather do it by himself than having someone do it over a phone call. After all, there wasn't much he could do for the little fellow.
His parents had left their son a great fortune that was still increasing day by day, unfortunately Su Bai couldn't live a happy carefree life. But luckily, he had found them a grandson to enjoy it.
Of course, the little fellow would inherit the family name "Su".
The noodle restaurant he chose was decorated lovely, but to his surprise the noodle was awful. He couldn't force himself to eat it up and had to pay the bill and leave for somewhere else to fill his empty stomach. He had travelled all the way to this costal city, of course he deserved a decent meal.
Just behind the noddle restaurants, there was a vegetarian restaurant like a temple. Su Bai walked in. The waiters were all young monks, and behind the cashier desk there sat a greasy middle-aged monk. It was hard to tell whether it was a theme restaurant or a property of the temple.
"Hey, mister, what kind of set meal do you prefer?" The middle-aged monk saw Su Bai and greeted enthusiastically.
On the wall there were many posters of set meals, all vegetarian dishes.
Su Bai ordered one of those and sat by an empty table.
Although the monk by the cashier looked a little snobbish, unlike Seven who was more like a true monk, the dishes offered were really good. Su Bai was very pleased, after all, he was only here for a meal, not to worship the Buddha or something.
Just then, there came in three men. One of them was fat but the other two were skinny and pale as if they had been keeping odd hours for quite a long time.
They all ordered the cheapest food. The monk by the cashier seemed to be a little unhappy because such a meal wouldn't make much money, but he still took their order.
Those three men sat across Su Bai.
Unexpectedly, they stretched out their fists together, one of them took out his cellphone and took a photo, and then they yelled in turns:
"A little drink!"
"A little fight!"
"As much money as you'd like!"
It was like some kind of heresy. Su Bai didn't pay much attention, maybe they were just bored and played a game. He finished his soup, put back his bowls and chopsticks and stood up to pay his bill.
A young monk came with the bill and saw the clean dishes, he was so pleased that he put his palms and said:
"You really cherish your luck."
Su Bai smiled. It was a rule of eating in a temple that one had better eat up everything in the dishes and bowls, otherwise he would be throwing away his own good luck. Real monks would cherish their good luck.
Su Bai's mother was a believer when he was a kid, she always took him to temples to pray and they would have vegetarian food there. Back then temples were less commercialized and monks were pretty strict about this rule, but now most temples wouldn't mind as long as the guests were paying.
The young monk was happy that Su Bai ate up all the food. That was so innocent and adorable. He deserved somewhere better than a restaurant. But unfortunately Su Bai was not a monk, and Seven wouldn't be in the right mood for accepting a student.
He paid off the bill, went out and was going to take a cab to the train station when he suddenly realized that he was being followed.
Three men stalking one single person in such a rough way, any ordinary man would notice that, let alone someone like Su Bai. That was interesting. Was he going to be robbed?
However, Su Bai walked closer to the motorway. He didn't want to deal with those stupid robbers.
A taxi came and stopped right in front of him. He got in.
He could see those man still standing by the road after the car started off. And they looked quite disappointed, apparently feeling sorry since a rich target had escaped. But they also looked kind of relieved. Apparently, they had never actually committed anything yet and were all nervous and scared.
"Those three men had got open frontal bones and narrow jaws, definitely not someone who can keep their wealth. And they looked pale and in bad luck. They'd end up in jail really soon. Must be gamblers who lost everything and planned to take the risk. But they really came after the wrong guy."
The cab driver teased while sounding the horn to urge some battery carts to move out of the way.
Su Bai took out his cigarettes and offered the driver one. The driver snapped the lighter with one hand so that Su Bai could lit his cigarette with the flame.
"Thanks." Su Bai let out a breath with smoke.
"Don't mention it. Actually, I didn't expect you to survive. You're the next traveler after Chen Yixin, right?" The driver held the wheel in one hand and the cigarette in the other.
"Yep." Su Bai answered.
"Lucky you. Chen Yixin was only one vote ahead of you, which was sort of a mistake, and you'd definitely be the one in the next round unless something big happened and changed everyone's mind."
"Because of your death, the story world had to arrange a death for you in the scene after Chen Yixin died, so according to the rule no one would be killed in that round. So I was lucky to survive another round though I got the most votes."
"Well, must be your lucky day." The driver hit the brake. The car stopped and waited for the traffic lights to change, "I couldn't say much, only a few obscure hints, otherwise the story would change what I said. I didn't expect you to understand.
"However, it was thanks to you that I could finish the job so easily. That Chen Yixin… She was a tough target to kill in the hotel or in any other scene, maybe she could kill me instead. Luckily she was voted to die, thanks to you. I felt odd back then, and I bet she was just as upset."
"You're honest." Su Bai smiled.
"Just returning the favor. You helped me and I helped you, we are even. So, I'll still charge you when you get to the station."
"I thought Qinhuangdao people were hospitable."
"A hospitable man's gotta eat anyway." The driver said, "We're almost there. Just around that corner. By the way, why did you come here? A trip right after a story world? You're in a good mood, aren't you?"
Su Bai approached him and patted him on the shoulder, "Making a living as a taxi driver right after a story world, you must be in a better mood, aren't you?"
Qin Yang sighed. "Life's more than just a radio game, there's still a future to plan for."