“Guo Chunfeng, lead researcher in the Data Monitoring Center of the Storm Research Institute of the Bureau of Meteorology?”
The old policeman studied the information on the registration notebook time and time again and glanced at the middle-aged man suspiciously, wondering how the weatherman from an unpowerful agency could pull the strings to make them set the girl free so quickly.
The middle-aged man was wearing creased, gray casual clothes. His sleeves were extremely thin because of long-time work on the desk, and he was reeking of the smell of cigarettes that was typical for those who often worked overnight. His hair was so greasy that it must have remained unwashed for quite a few days. His face was plain. His eyebrows were like a mop, and his eyes were red and swollen, suggesting that he seriously lacked sleep and energy. He reminded the old policeman of a fat cat that spent all day napping.
The guy seemed to be adapted to the police station. Awkwardly, he was rubbing the plastic bag. On the plastic bag was the name of a supermarket, and in the plastic bag were a glass cup and an egg pie with two dough sticks.
“Workers of the Bureau of Meteorology are government officials, too. You must know the situation we are in.”
The old policeman frowned and said, “The fuss your daughter made is both unimportant and serious. Young people are hot-blooded. They are demonstrating and demanding for an expedition to the Blood Demon Sector. It’s totally understandable. Some of the young officers in this station go to the street after work, too.
“I’ve got nothing to say about the normal demonstrations, even if the police have to maintain the order for the crowd. We are all patriots here, but why did she have to toss rotten eggs at a professor in the middle of her demonstration? Not only did she toss rotten eggs, she even walked up front and punched the professor right in the eye. That’s highly inappropriate, wasn’t it?”
“Yes, of course.” Guo Chunfeng apologized pitifully. “You are right, sir. We will make apologies for Professor Xue. Decent apologies!”
“You should.” The old policeman nodded. “Thankfully, Professor Xue was not seriously hurt, and he was broad-minded enough to let your daughter go. Otherwise, this would not have been settled so easily! Tell you what, Old Guo, after you take your daughter back home, try to discipline her with your wife. This time, she didn’t cause much trouble, but what about next time? A young girl less than twenty years old doesn’t know what she’s doing in a fight. What if she does injure someone? Do we arrest her or not?”
“Wise words, sir. We will certainly discipline her, discipline her well!” Guo Chunfeng almost lowered his head into his pants.
“Alright. Sign your name here and off you go!”
The old policeman waved his hand and walked away, revealing a cool girl who had a head of colorful short hair, a nose piercing, and a tattoo of the Rising Dragon of the Nine Stars pattern right below her left eye.
Guo Chunfeng was dumbfounded when he saw her. He extended his hand to the tattoo on his daughter. “Whatwhat’s with your face?”
“Don’t touch it. It’s new. Still hurts!” Guo Xiaohe blocked her father’s hand rudely and stormed out.
Guo Chunfeng hurried to apologize to the old policeman again and finished the rest of the procedures. When he went out to the parking lot, he found that his daughter was snatching the door knob of his supermarket shuttle so hard that it was almost pulled away.
Guo Chunfeng was more than infuriated by his disobedient daughter, but he failed to come up with any reprimand after breathing heavily for a long time. Figuring that his daughter must have suffered in the police cell for a whole night, he gave the egg pie to his daughter and handed over his tea cup after uncovering it.
“Have some food.”
Guo Xiaohe pushed away the teacup that was full of dirt in disgust, but she took over the egg pie and buried her mouth into it like a wolf.
Guo Chunfeng activated the shuttle. The shuttle had been in service for quite a few years. The power rune arrays were rather worn. It did not take off and leave for their home after quite a few fulminations.
Seeing that his daughter’s face was red again after having more than half of the egg pie, Guo Chunfeng was quite relieved. Frowning, he said, “I’ll let you pass even if you skived and went out to demonstrate with other people, but why did you beat a professor of East Sea University?”
“That damn professor needed some beating!” Guo Xiaohe sat cross-legged on the seat, chewing yet another mouthful of the egg pie as if she were venting her anger on the food. She replied with her mouth full, “What’s the situation now? The Blood Demon Sector has marched into our capital city! That’s an unprecedented humiliation in our five-hundred-year history!
“We must seek revenge! We must make the wretched demons answer blood with blood! We must march into the Blood Demon Sector and demolish the dens of the pests to the ground!
“But the cowards such as Professor Xuan are propagandizing bullsh*t that we have to be prudent and tread lightly in the media every day. Even Speaker Jiang has been bewildered by them!
“Those spineless cowards are traitors of the federation. How could I let him go when I ran into him? Mama already showed mercy on him when I didn’t deform his face!”
“Watch your mouth! How old are you? And you are a mama now?” Guo Chunfeng glared at her. “It’s of national importance whether to attack in a hurry or to attack slowly. Even the government officials such as myself do not dare make any judgement without more inside information. What does a middle-school student such as yourself know? Stop horsing around. I’ll help you ask for leave today. Take a good rest and go back to school tomorrow!”
“Tsk. You are just a researcher in the Bureau of Meteorology. Of course you don’t know the inside information.
“Everybody on the forum says that now is our best opportunity to march into the Blood Demon Sector. If we miss it out, we will have to wait several more decades to conquer the Blood Demon Sector completely!
“I’m not going to school. I am joining the army and participating in the glorious expedition!”
“Say what?” Guo Chunfeng was dumbfounded. “II beg your pardon?”
“I can tell you ten times if you can’t hear me.” Guo Xiaohe was particularly happy to see her father’s shock. Holding her head high, she declared, “Along with Si Mao, Da Ming, and a few other people, I filed my application online and passed the preliminary filtering the other day. We will have interviews in the recruitment office soon!”
“How dare you!” Guo Chunfeng almost could not tame his anger. “You are only eighteen years old, and you haven’t even graduated from senior high school yet. What army are you joining? Let’s see who dares let you in!”
“Eighteen years old is already an adult!” Guo Xiaohe placed her hand on her chest and raised her voice. “Also, in case you’ve forgotten, my spiritual root has already awakened, and I am now a culture-type Cultivator! I’ve been practicing the Nine Ring Song hard over the past summer holiday. I’m at level two right now. Now, as long as I sing the army anthem of the federation, the morale of the federal soldiers a hundred meters around me will be boosted, and the precision of their shooting will be improved by 5%!
“Why wouldn’t the federal army let me in given my technique?”
“Youyou don’t have the first clue what is going on in the Blood Demon Sector. First level of the Refinement Stage. You are as good as nothing!” Smoke was coming out of Guo Chunfeng’s nostrils in his fury. “I will not allow you to join the army, not while I am still alive!”
“I don’t need your permission. I am an adult. It’s my right to join the army!” Guo Xiaohe burst into fury, too. “I will never be like you. You stayed in a small weather station, spending your entire life studying goddamn storms like a loser, when you had the chance to be a success since you became a Cultivator at such a young age!
“The way I see it, you are no better than the gutless Professor Xue. You are both cowards!”
Guo Chunfeng was so agitated that his lungs were about to explode. Stammering, he demanded, “YouYouYou are becoming less and less disciplined every day. How did your mother teach you? Where is your mother?”
Guo Xiaohe glanced at him with a pitiful look and sneered. “I don’t know. In the law firm, perhaps.”
Guo Chunfeng was dazed. “What’s she doing in the law firm?”
“Consulting with an attorney about uncontested divorce.”
Guo Chunfeng almost drove the shuttle into a drain. “What!”
In a hurry, he dialed his wife’s spiritual messenger, but he was suddenly lost for words when he saw his wife’s emotionless face. Dazed for a long time, he asked drily, “Whywhy are you suddenly divorcing me?”
Yao Li looked at her husband peacefully and replied, “I am not suddenly divorcing you. On exactly the same day last year, I told you that something was wrong in our marriage, but you said that you were busy tracing a superstorm and you wanted to talk about it later.
“Half a year ago, I told you that I couldn’t handle living such a life any longer. You said okay and asked me to give you three months so that you could figure out the two tropic air masses before we had a proper talk.
“Three months ago, I discussed divorce with you. You said no, no, no, and asked me to wait until you came home at night. As it turns out, starting from that night, you haven’t been home for three months, a hundred days, in a row!
“Today, if it weren’t for our daughter, would you have crawled out of your wretched workplace? Would you? Would you!”
“Honey, I was wrong,” Guo Chunfeng said uneasily. “This is all my fault, but you know the nature of my work, too. II didn’t have a choice. I didn’t have a choice.”
Yao Li took a deep breath, and her eyes gradually turned red. She shook her head and said, “No. It’s not your fault but mine.
“I knew what your job was when we got married, but I was too young to realize what it meant to be the wife of a hero. I thought that I could make it.
“But now I have realized that I was wrong. Greatly wrong. I am unqualified, unable, and impossible to be your wife anymore! I cannot live a widow’s life in fear every day! I’m going mad! I will have to kill myself if we don’t divorce!”
“Honey, don’t!” Guo Chunfeng panicked.
“Mom!” Guo Xiaohe did not understand the ‘wife of a hero’ part, but she could tell that her mother was in a very unstable mental state. She glared at her mother.
“Honey, which law firm are you at now? I’m coming to pick you up right now! Today, no work, just the two of you!”
Guo Chunfeng’s throat was almost on fire, but Yao Li simply shook her head in a bitter smile and cut off the communication.
Guo Chunfeng bashed the steering wheel hard and looked at his daughter pitifully.
Guo Xiaohe bit her teeth hard and looked out of the window in anger.
“Xiaohe, I was wrong. I have really been too busy recently. The wormhole that appeared in the sky of the capital city caused the unsteadiness of the local climate. I’ve had to monitor every day to make sure that no new storms were generated. That was why I haven’t been home for three months!
“I promise that I will have a one-week holiday when the thing is over. I will spend the whole week with your mother and you. Okay?
“Just tell me already. If you don’t, your mom may do something stupid later if she’s alone!
“Let’s talk about the joining army thing later, okay? If you are determined to, I’ll pull some strings and help you find a better troop, alright?”
Guo Xiaohe’s heart was suddenly softened. She mumbled, “A weatherman in the Bureau of Meteorology has strings in the army? Next time, make a draft before you brag! Fine. Mom is at the Rainbow Law Firm.”
The supermarket shuttle immediately took a racing-level turn. Guo Chunfeng quickly typed in the new destination and put on a completely different face as he begged his daughter for mercy. “Please help me. Say something nice for me when we meet your mother later. The happiness of the rest of your dad’s life depends on”
Before he concluded his sentence, a line of crimson words popped up on the vehicle-mounted crystal processor of the supermarket shuttle.
“Attention, every one of the Bureau. The super large air mass ‘Vulture’ has passed the Giant Blade Mountain and upgraded into a superstorm. It is very likely to be moving toward the capital city. All workers, your holidays have been canceled. Report for duty immediately.”
Guo Chunfeng’s pupils constricted violently.
The supermarket shuttle stopped abruptly in the middle of the ever-running traffic.