Aerial Rain
Translating Web Novel

TGCF Ch 14 Part 2 – The Zhang Family’s One Man Show (II)

As they entered the compound’s gate, Xia Mian cheerfully said to Xiao Feng, “We’re almost home!”

Then, she spotted a bunch of super obvious teenagers(?) over there, chilling at the fork to building 18. They were all striking the same pose: one hand in their pocket, leaning on one leg, the other leg shaking like crazy. They acted all cool, but were totally going sneaky and watching the crowd pass by.

Passersby mostly kept their distance, but Xia Mian and Ning Shaobai couldn’t avoid them; that was the only way to building number 18. However, even if she could avoid them, Xia Mian wouldn’t. Having seen top-level boxing championships, where fighters enter the ring with a do-or-die attitude, these small-time thugs didn’t phase her at all.

Nevertheless, Xia Mian still quickened her pace to hide behind Monk Tang.

Ning Shaobai glanced at her and chuckled mockingly, “Aren’t you a tough girl?” He paused for a moment, “I thought you weren’t even afraid of the King of Heaven.”

Xia Mian gave him a sideways glance and said discontentedly, “I’ve told you, that was youthful ignorance. My true nature is that of a sweet and lovely angel. I’m the least fond of fighting.”

Ning Shaobai couldn’t help but chuckle in amusement because he realized that the girl was actually serious.

Xia Mian rolled her eyes, ignoring him.

However, she still attracted a whistle. The group had been standing there bored out of their minds for quite a while, with no one coming to confront them, so they got bold. The leader, sporting a chestnut-colored rooster hairstyle, whistled, and his minions followed suit. When Xia Mian looked over, the rooster-headed leader lifted his chin, shook his leg, and smirked, “Hey there, little sister, how about a chat with us brothers? Know Xia Mian?”

Xia Mian was just curious at first, as such behavior in her era could easily warrant a police report for sexual harassment. But when she heard the last question, she stopped in her tracks.

Before she could speak, Ning Shaobai interrupted. He looked at the rooster’s head and asked coldly, “Who are you? What do you want with Xia Mian?”

The thugs, for some reason, didn’t dare to act rashly anymore. Their legs stopped shaking, and they instinctively straightened up, saying, “Nothing, just friends hanging out.”

“Heh…” Xia Mian couldn’t help but sneer, “Thugs like you?” Do they really think they’re good enough to be her friends?

Seeing that Xia Mian had reacted, Ning Shaobai didn’t intervene further. However, the thugs were stunned, not sure what the beautiful girl meant.

Xia Mian’s gaze swept over them just like they had been eyeing the girls and young wives. Her face was filled with disgust as if she was looking at a pile of wet trash.

The rooster’s head frowned, feeling offended. He straightened up and stepped forward, looking like he was about to start a fight, “What do you mean?”

Xia Mian scoffed at his bravado, “No meaning. Just looking at you, how many times have you gotten free nights at the police station?”

The rooster’s head’s expression changed, “What do you want?”

Xia Mian continued, “Or should I ask, how many times have you been involved in fights? Can you use a machete? Ever killed anyone? Crippled a few people? Are you part of any gang?”

The girl bombarded them with rapid-fire questions, causing the rooster’s head and his group to look at each other dumbfoundedly, unsure of how to respond. It seemed humiliating if they answered her obediently, yet not answering didn’t seem any better.

Xia Mian then loudly tsks, “As expected – you are just younglings who haven’t experienced anything, yet pretending to be thugs and hooligans. Even being a thug requires qualifications, you know?” She said in utter disdain, “Or at least be somewhat attractive,” pointing at Ning Shaobai beside her, “like him, at least pleasing to the eye. You guys have neither the looks nor the ability, oh, and poor health to boot.”

Ning Shaobai, who was unexpectedly called out, looked a bit bewildered. Hearing the girl suddenly mention something about poor health, he wondered where her thoughts were headed.

Perhaps because their puzzled expressions were too obvious, Xia Mian graciously enlightened the group. She glanced at a certain part of their bodies and explained with all seriousness, “According to medical research, whistling too much is bad for the prostate. Blowing the whistle for so long without stopping is certainly a serious issue; better pay attention to that. Even though you aren’t serious gangsters, you still want to be complete men, don’t you?”

Ning Shaobai rolled his eyes as the thugs’ expressions changed, almost laughing out loud at the girl’s ability to bluff.

Momentum was an important point for bluffing. Once momentum broken, it was like a dam bursting, shattered to pieces and impossible to restore. The group of thugs, owing to their low levels of education, couldn’t maintain their ruffian demeanor in the face of Xia Mian’s confident ‘medical knowledge,’ and were left speechless and dejected.

Xia Mian rolled her eyes. She was in a hurry to get Xiao Feng back home to sleep and had no time to deal with these small-time thugs-wannabes any longer. In any case, she would come back to deal with them later.

As it was nearing the end of the workday, more and more people were returning home. Since Xia Mian was walking back with Ning Shaobai, she got a lot of attention. From afar, Aunt Liu asked Teacher Mi with a hint of excitement, “Hey, isn’t that your grandson Xiao Bai? Who’s the girl walking with him?”

“Where?” Teacher Mi also stretched her neck eagerly. Because her grandson was very picky, it was rare for anyone to catch his eye. At twenty-three, not even talking about dating, he was indifferent to any girls, including colleagues. Now, seeing someone with him was indeed rare.

Teacher Mi couldn’t see clearly; having taught all her life, her eyesight wasn’t great. She became anxious and tapped Aunt Liu, “Quick, tell me, what does the girl look like?”

“Well, she’s really pretty. Big eyes, high nose bridge, small face, white skin, even whiter than your Xiao Bai. They look quite matched,” Aunt Liu observed keenly, “Just looks a bit young, like fifteen or sixteen.”

“Some people just look young, but why is she holding a child?” Teacher Mi commented cheerfully.

“Maybe someone’s asking your Xiao Bai for a medical consultation? That girl doesn’t look like she has a child… Wait a minute…” Aunt Liu took a closer look, “Isn’t that Xiao Feng?”

As they talked, Ning Shaobai and Xia Mian approached. Xia Mian cheerfully greeted, “Aunt Liu, Teacher Mi.” She then lowered her head and taught Xiao Feng, “Say hello.”

Xiao Feng looked up at Xia Mian, then sweetly said to Aunt Liu and Teacher Mi, “Aunt Liu, Grandma Mi.”

“Alas, alas.” Aunt Liu responded in surprise, followed by astonishment, “Xia Mian?!”

Xia Mian scratched her head sheepishly, “Well, it’s me.” Then she recycled the same excuse she had used on Ning Shaobai, “I’ve never been to the city before and felt a bit nervous. Hearing that city students are quite trendy, I hurriedly tried to fit in, but it was really uncomfortable, so I changed back.”

Everyone was momentarily distracted by Xia Mian’s transformed image that they forgot about the group of thugs who had come for her.

Teacher Mi habitually praised, “Very good, very good, students should indeed be like this.” Although she was disappointed her grandson wasn’t taking home a girlfriend, she still had a fondness for well-behaved children, “The city is just like your town. When you are a student, the correct way is to focus on your studies.”

Aunt Liu also came around, exclaiming, “Exactly, Xia Mian looks truly beautiful like this. Now that I look at it, Xiao Feng does resemble your Xia family.”

“Ah, Xia Mian, what’s with those thugs?” someone still remembered to ask about this.

A middle-aged woman with permed wool curls, full of disdain, chimed in and said loudly, “They were looking for you. They have been standing there for quite a while, harassing any young women passing by. How do you know those thugs?”

Seeing the angry looks from many people, Xia Mian roughly understood the situation and glanced at Monk Tang, thinking it was a good thing he reacted quickly.

“I don’t know them. I’ve only been in the city for less than two weeks, I don’t know anyone besides my neighbors.”

“Those people said they were looking for you,” the middle-aged woman frowned, “Little girl, how can you lie like this? Could it be the matter of the Zhang family was also one of your lies?”

Xia Mian widened her eyes in surprise.

Ning Shaobai, who hadn’t left but remained silent until now, finally spoke up: “When we just passed by there, those people clearly didn’t recognize Xia Mian.”

As soon as Ning Shaobai spoke, the woman’s attitude softened instantly, “Really? Then what happened?”

The others quickly reacted, “Right, Dr. Ning and Xia Mian came from that direction together. If she knew those thugs, wouldn’t they have followed?”

Ning Shaobai looked up towards the second floor and asked, “Is the Zhang family not at home?”

Aunt Liu responded, “No one’s home. Xiao Huang took Xuanxuan and hid away, saying he was afraid of the thugs Xia Mian supposedly called for revenge.”

Ning Shaobai scoffed disdainfully, “Sounds like they staged the whole thing themselves.”

 

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