Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
Qiao Nan was shocked by Zhai Sheng’s sudden appearance. On the contrary, Zhai Sheng behaved as if he was entering his own kitchen. He immersed the used bowl into the water and finished washing it in a couple of swift actions. Thereafter, he helped Qiao Nan place the bowl away properly. “Brother Zhai, what is the matter? Tell me. I’m listening.”
“I have an uncle who is old and his eyesight is not good. Nevertheless, he has some original documents on hand that need to be translated. Can you help? Of course, we will not let you work for nothing in return.”
“There is no need to pay me.” Hearing that it was Zhai Sheng’s relative, Qiao Nan immediately rejected any sort of monetary benefit. “It is just a favor. If I have the capability, then it should not be an issue. However… Brother Zhai, you know that I am still young and will be attending senior high school. Is your uncle willing to let me handle such an important task?”
There were probably very few people in this world that would task a sixteen-year-old girl with translation work. Furthermore, she was not an overseas Chinese, and neither did she grow up in America or other western countries.
“You do not need to be nervous. This uncle of mine already intended to find someone to help him. If you are not the one, there will be others. The money will be given to someone eventually, so you do not need to decline. Take it if you deserve it.” At the smell of the fragrant fish soup, Zhai Sheng felt thirsty and a little hungry despite having just finished a bowl of soup earlier.
Admittedly, although Qiao Nan was very young, her cooking skills were quite good.
Qiao Nan hesitated for a while. She was really in need of money. After consideration, she nodded her head. “That is fine. Of course, if my translated work is not good, most likely Brother Zhai will also lose face. If that happens, I will not accept any money.”
Regardless of the language, there was no better way than practicing to become more familiar with it.
For the past year since Qiao Nan ‘came back’, the English knowledge that she often used was of the junior high school standard. She was worried that her initial standard might have regressed over the past year.
“There is no such good thing as being paid for not doing the job properly. You think too much.” Zhai Sheng glanced at Qiao Nan expressionlessly. If that was the case, he might as well give the money directly to Qiao Nan.
“That is good.” Qiao Nan heaved a sigh of relief. She was really quite concerned about whether this was Zhai Sheng’s excuse to ‘gift’ her money.
“I will be sending the documents over tomorrow. There is something that you must pay attention to. As these documents have been sitting there for too long, you will have to complete it as soon as possible.”
“Is it so urgent?” Qiao Nan was a little shock. “Sure, my dad has my mom and sister to take care of him. I have quite a lot of time.”
Since the other party was in such a hurry, then wouldn’t she not only be able to help the uncle but also do Brother Zhai a favor at the same time by quickly finishing up the translation?
At the thought of this, Qiao Nan was motivated. “Brother Zhai, why don’t you send over the documents today? The fish soup is almost done. I will send it over to my dad and should be back by one o’clock. Anyway, I have nothing to do now. It is better to have it earlier by half a day. Isn’t your uncle anxious about it?”
“Sure,” Zhai Sheng agreed after thinking for a while.
When Zhai Sheng brought home the pot of fish soup, Zhai Hua, who rarely rested at home, closed her eyes and extended her neck as she got up to follow the fragrance. Her sense of smell was as acute as that of a dog’s.
“Brush your teeth. Otherwise, you won’t get to drink!” At the sight of Zhai Hua’s sloppy look, Zhai Sheng pursed his lips. Qiao Nan was still the best. She looked so clean and fresh at all times. Sometimes, when he looked at Zhai Hua’s behaving like this, Zhai Sheng could not figure out whether he had an elder sister or an elder brother.
“Hmph!” Zhai Hua gave a snort and cleaned herself up with lightning speed. She then scooped a bowl of fish soup and sat on the sofa to drink it. “This soup is so tasty. It is fragrant and light. Most importantly, there is no fishy smell. Zhai Sheng, you have yet to tell me which nearby hotel in the quad has hired this veteran chef. The culinary skills are superb.”
Zhai Hua was not yet sick of the shredded chicken porridge she had for the past two days. Today, Zhai Hua was mesmerized by the fresh fish soup.
After downing two bowls of fish soup, Zhai Hua comfortably leaned on the sofa and said, “It would have been better if this veteran chef was hired a few years earlier. Then, I didn’t need to cook for you when the two of us were at home. We could do takeaway. It is so convenient.”
Zhai Hua had never thought of herself as a woman. In the army, she was more motivated than any other men.
However, every time she was home, Zhai Hua could not discard her obligation as Zhai Sheng’s elder sister. She had to roll up her sleeves and cook soup for Zhai Sheng.
It was not easy being an elder sister.
It could be said that Zhai Hua’s culinary skills and experience were accumulated all because of this younger brother.
“Certainly, it would be much better if it was a few years earlier.” It was rare that Zhai Sheng was singing the same tune as Zhai Hua.
“What do you mean?” Zhai Hua slammed the table and jumped like a tigress. “Do you disdain me and my culinary skills? Don’t forget that I was the one who kind of raised you up!”
Mother Zhai had a very good relationship with Father Zhai. She was very dependent on Father Zhai.
Due to the job nature of Father Zhai, he was not able to stay at home for long periods. Mother Zhai would always follow Father Zhai wherever he went. The Zhai’s residence would then be left with the two children: Zhai Hua and Zhai Sheng.
Since Zhai Hua was the elder sister, she naturally had to take better care of Zhai Sheng. Hence, it was not exaggerated to say that Zhai Sheng was brought up by Zhai Hua.
Zhai Sheng gave Zhai Hua a glance. “It has been hard on my tummy to be tortured for so many years.”
“Scram!” Zhai Hua’s face was red with embarrassment as she kicked toward Zhai Sheng. Zhai Sheng turned his body away at the speed of lightning; his movements were as agile as a leopard. Zhai Hua did not even manage to brush the collar of his shirt.
Seeing that Zhai Sheng’s physical agility had improved, Zhai Hua snorted unhappily. When they were still a child, she was still able to suppress Zhai Sheng with physical force. Now, she could no longer do so. This wretched child had progressed too quickly!
Knowing that she was no match for Zhai Sheng, Zhai Hua stopped kicking a fuss. Each time the sister and brother exchanged fighting moves, it was always only for a brief moment. “When are you going back to the camp?”
“Another few more days.” Zhai Sheng’s slight smile disappeared and his expression became stiff.
“Hey, it is rare.” Zhai Hua raised her eyebrows. “Zhai Sheng, tell me honestly. Is there something happening?”
“What is happening?”
“Don’t play dumb in front of me. Count with your fingers. Why do I feel that the number of days you have been coming back and staying at home for the past one year is more than the total number of days you have been back for the past five years?”
“Is that true?”
“Yes!” Zhai Hua sat beside Zhai Sheng. “Why is it? Do you have something you want to chat with me about?”
No matter how she interrogated, Zhai Sheng’s expression remained composed and nonchalant, making Zhai Hua feel very helpless. “I heard that you brought Uncle Lim’s documents back home. You hardly have a chance to rest, so why do you want to get involved in this? You know the situation of the Lim family. There are a lot of people watching them.”