Strange Life of a Cat - LightNovelOnl.com
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After dinner, Wei Ling came to pick up Zheng Tan to go to the Night Tower. He always took Zheng Tan with him when he wasn't heading over for business so he wouldn't be bored. The Night Tower, after all, was not a place he could take his buddies from the army.
Wei Ling brought news with him this time.
Ye Hao's son had named the large cat Duke. Ye Hao opposed, but it was him against his son and his father-in-law, so he relented. The cat seemed to have accepted the name as well.
Zheng Tan was jealous.
Pets around him were named General, Prince, Li Yuanba and now Duke. Why did his name have to be Charcoal?
How messed up was that?!
On the way to the Night Tower, Wei Ling told him about the large cat. Duke stayed at the villa, but Tang Qi Ye had borrowed him for a fight with Shijiu Uncle's super cat.
That was the fight that earned him the name 'Duke'. Wei Ling didn't know the details, but apparently, Duke had a landslide victory. He overwhelmed the super cat.
Tang Qi Ye was very pleased. His parrots were in better shape too. They got along well with Duke, who didn't bite even when they fluttered around him.
Tang Qi Ye had called Ye Hao and demanded that the cat would stay.
There was nothing Ye Hao could do.
Tang Qi Ye had people make up certifications that showed the cat being an imported super cat with a birth date and everything.
No matter what, the large cat now had a home. He could live under the sun, without the fear of being caught. Maybe this had been his plan all along when he saved Ye Hao.
Li Yuanba had found a home, now he had one too. Ye Hao's son even took him to visit his lady friend. They didn't have to sneak around anymore.
Zheng Tan paid A Jin a visit when they arrived at the Night Tower. A Jin's band did not have a shift tonight, so Wei Ling took him to their apartment. Zheng Tan saw the dog with the bad leg there. It looked healthier than last time. Its fur had a shine now. The dog barked when it heard people approaching, but returned to A Jin when it saw Wei Ling and Zheng Tan.
A Jin and the band members had learned a lot at the Night Tower. They were quickly learning how to survive in the world of music. Every industry had its rules. Only by knowing the rules could one truly succeed.
After months of waiting, the band was finally getting a chance to go on stage in September. They would be performing in the North district for a very short stage time, but it was a good start. The members valued the opportunity and were practicing whenever they had time.
A Jin had named the band "New Boy". Zheng Tan thought it was a cool name.
Not only did the band now have a name, they had a badge the shape of a black cat. A Jin felt they had made it this far all thanks to the cat and his members all agreed.
After visiting A Jin, Wei Ling and Zheng Tan went up to Wei Ling's reserved room. Wei Ling had invited the boys. This time Zheng Tan kept his musical talents to himself and watched the performance downstairs quietly.
A famous foreign band was performing tonight. Sometimes the best music could be found in places like this. Zheng Tan didn't know much about music, but the performance shocked him nonetheless.
A Jin and his band only had a chance to watch the performance in the East district when Wei Ling brought Zheng Tan over. However, whenever Zheng Tan came here, Long Qi was nowhere to be found. The man now had an aversion to cats. After meeting Zheng Tan and Duke, he was now set on the belief that all cats were abnormal. Baozi mocked him relentlessly for this.
The performance in the East quarters lasted until midnight. Zheng Tan didn't go home that night. He slept on the sofa which he refused to share with anyone. Wei Ling had tried to sleep on it but was kicked off by the cat.
The next morning, Wei Ling took him home after breakfast. Like before, Wei Ling dropped him off downstairs in order to avoid facing the Jiao family's contempt. He drove into the quarters, then opened the window to let the cat out.
Back at home, Zheng Tan saw they had visitors.
Two strangers were sitting on the sofa, one middle-aged and the other young. Both were dressed in plain clothing. The middle-aged man was talking to Papa Jiao while the young man remained quiet, only opening his mouth when Papa Jiao asked him a question. Papa Jiao was talking to them in dialect to make them feel more at ease.
Mama Jiao served some grapes in a bowl, then told Jiao Yuan to go back to his room to do his English homework. Many kids in his year were taking English lessons in the summer, but Jiao Yuan had Mama Jiao and Youzi to help him. He had spent the first half of the summer playing, now he was being confined at home studying English and practicing his conversational skills with Youzi.
Jiao Wei, who had been staring at his nails thinking, picked up a grape. Before he could pop it into his mouth, he caught sight of a black cat staring at him.
Papa Jiao followed his gaze and said, "Oh, Charcoal. You're back."
Zheng Tan strolled into Youzi's room. If there were grapes here, there must be some in Youzi's room as well.
"This is our cat Charcoal. Someone took him out last night and he just got back."
Zheng Tan eavesdropped on the conversation outside while eating grapes in Youzi's room. Because of their dialect, he had a hard time understanding everything but was able to grasp the general idea.
The two visitors were from Papa Jiao's hometown. They had the last name "Jiao" as well. Most of the people living in that village had the same last name. The middle age man was a childhood friend of Papa Jiao's and only a couple of years older than him. He dropped out after middle school and got married fairly early. Naturally, his son, the young man, was five or six years older than Jiao Yuan.
Zheng Tan would never have believed the man was only a few years Papa Jiao's senior. He looked almost fifty with his hair all grey. Who knew he was only forty?
The young man, Jiao Wei, was the kid Papa and Mama Jiao talked about that got into Chuhua University. The town awarded the kid twenty thousand yuan so he wouldn't need to take out a loan.
Judging by the conversation outside, the kid wasn't why they were here.
The middle age man planned to open a small family restaurant near Chuhua University. He and his wife had been running a small restaurant back home ever since their child got into high school. They wanted to be close to take care of their only child, which was why they wanted to move their restaurant to Chuhua now that the boy was in university. The man felt that most businesses near the school were doing quite well and it would be hard to lease a space. He had come to ask for Papa Jiao's advice since he knew the area well.
Papa Jiao agreed to ask around for them.
The father and son left after lunch. They rented a place near the side gate near the place Zheng Tan had gone with Nougat. It wasn't a safe place but it would do as long as they stayed home at night. After all, the rent was cheap.
They were lucky. If they had waited a week, hordes of people dropping off their kids at university would fill up all the hotels and apartments. The rent would skyrocket.
After they left, Papa Jiao exclaimed how time had aged them all.
"Jiao Wei has grey hair already. I know 12th grade is tough but is it that tough?" Mama Jiao asked.
"He said it's genetics. Who knows? The kid was a little rascal up until 11th grade. Then something happened, no one knows what, and he changed. He became quiet and started studying hard. He helped out in his family restaurant as well. His mom wouldn't let him. She still believed the kitchen was no place for a man. Unlike his father, who didn't have a choice, he shouldn't be cooking. The kid was stubborn though. He helped out whenever he could, working at the noodle stand or buying supplies for his dad during the summer," Papa Jiao said.
"Well, that's children alright. When they don't behave they can anger you so much, but when they suddenly grow up it's heartbreaking. However, it's good for young people to endure some hardship."
Jiao Yuan, who was learning vocabulary in his room, felt a chill run down his spine.
"You're willing to do that to your son?" Papa Jiao laughed.
"Why wouldn't I be?"
So they said, but both knew they wouldn't be able to watch their kid suffer. Neither could Jiao Wei's parents, but Jiao Wei was so stubborn there was nothing they could do.
"Let's help if we can."