Chapter 30 – Not as pretty as you

 

There were plenty of attractions in the Disney Theme Park, but it’s a pity that every one of them had a queue. They had barely tried a few before it was almost dinnertime.

For the last attraction before dinner, the two went to the Pirates of the Caribbean area.This attraction was one about riding a boat in an adventure. The lighting was not the brightest and when boarding, everyone was busy watching their feet – making it most convenient to do naughty things.

Su Yi and Chu Ying were the first pair to board. She picked the last row, sat down and clutched Chu Ying’s hand. The guy was silent for a moment before bending his arm, allowing her to have an easier time holding on.

The boat started soon. Sitting in front of them were two girls, who had been taking selfies non-stop since boarding the boat.

“Raise your hand higher,” said the girl on the left. “Get the handsome guy behind in the photo too!”

“My hand’s only this long, how about you raise your hand!” The girl to the side passed the phone to her.

The girl to the left moved her hand around a little. “It’s not working, I keep getting the girl beside him in the frame.”

The corner of Su Yi’s lips quirked.

You know he has someone beside him?

She took out her phone, raised it up, pulled her mask down and leant closer to Chu Ying’s face. “Handsome guy, fancy a photo?”

Chu Ying curved his lip and looked at the camera.

It was a little dark, so she raised her fingers intending to open the flash, but she had just pressed it when someone bumped into her lightly. It was accompanied by a shrill screech of a child. Chu Ying immediately reached out and hugged her around the waist tightly.

The impact was not strong, but the voice was not soft. Su Yi was caught off guard and she felt her hand suddenly becoming empty, before hearing a heavy splash.

Su Yi looked at her empty hands, not quite reacting yet.

The thirty-five, maybe forty kilograms spoilt child bumped into Chu Ying hard, bringing with it his own voice.

The brat’s mom immediately pulled him back, fiercely scolding him, “Apologise to them now!”

The brat was scolded into submission and obediently, tearily, said, “Sorry.”

Chu Ying didn’t reply. Seeing that the person beside was not reacting, he looked down and asked, “Did it hurt?”

“…” She turned around pitifully. “My phone dropped into the water…”

She looked completely lost, as if dazed.

She saw the smile on Chu Ying’s lips and was even more upset. “… and you’re still laughing!”

“Not laughing.” Chu Ying tightened the corners of his lips.

Su Yi leant back in her seat and was silent for a long while before suddenly saying, “You think the phone would be fished out in the future… at least I didn’t save anything I shouldn’t have on that phone.”

She had just finished speaking when the scenery around suddenly changed – the boat ‘sank’ to the bottom of the ocean, with the deep ocean complete with monsters of the deep, shipwreck and all sorts of treasures surrounding them.

Chu Ying was about to say something when the person beside suddenly leapt into his embrace.

Shivering.

He raised a brow and placed a hand on her head. “What is it?”

Her body was soft and a fragrance wafted off her. Even her voice was soft. “… I have a phobia of the deep sea.”

If she had known there was something like this she wouldn’t have come.

Beside them a huge octopus monster appeared. The whole ship was filled with screams, while Su Yi’s eyes were shut tight – a warmth enveloped her ears.

The guy had covered her ears for her.

The surrounding noise was suddenly much more silent. She could feel the warmth from Chu Ying’s palm and the heartbeat – one, two, three… thumping its way into the bottom of her heart.

By the end, the whole boat shook violently, but with Chu Ying’s arms holding her tight, she didn’t feel it too shaky.

It wasn’t until they were out of the place, that she came back to herself. She was feeling sad over her phone when someone pulled the corner of her shirt, causing her to reflexively look down. 

It was the spoilt brat on the boat, his face all meaty. “Sister, I ran into you just now, sorry.”

Su Yi dragged out a smile. “… it’s fine.”

“Mother said your phone seems to have fallen into the water.” He thought about it, then dug out two crumpled ten dollar bills. “Sister, I’ll buy you a new one.”

This time Su Yi really laughed. The child’s mother had come up too, apologising a few times and saying that she could help foot  part of the bill, Su Yi hastily made it clear she did not need that.

After the mother and son walked away, Chu Ying loosened the grip on her waist. “Feeling better?”

When the space on her waist emptied, Su Yi’s regret wrote itself on her face. “Yeah.”

She originally wanted to borrow Chu Ying’s phone and give Wu Xue a call to tell her about the thing with her phone, but since she didn’t remember Wu Xue’s number that was moot. She had never been good with numbers. Even her own number took her a long time to vaguely remember, and when she tried to recite it, she slurred along the way.

Chu Ying took out his phone, downloaded the Disney App and handed it to her. “Take a look, is there anywhere else you want to go.”

Su Yi thought about it and took his phone. “Let’s go find some princesses to take some photos before going for dinner.”

They had yet to find a princess, when they chanced upon a Mickey.

The people were crowding around looking to take a photo with Mickey, but Mickey came up to Su Yi, posed for a selfie and beckoned her to join!

Photographer Mr Chu and took a few photos on the phone.

Su Yi, who had yet to pose, was speechless.

When she went and looked, she had not even opened her eyes! She was so angry she almost laughed. “Couldn’t you at least wait for me to open my eyes?!”

When she was done with Mickey, Su Yi found Snow White. When she went back to look, the princess looked good while she had her eyes closed again!

“… are you really out for me,” she said. “She looks so good in the photograph, and I look so bad!”

Chu Ying glanced at the screen. “No.”

Su Yi was still zooming in on the photo. “What?”

Chu Ying said, “Not as pretty as you.”

OK!

Su Yi was satisfied.

The restaurants in the park were not only expensive, but also filled with people. The few they looked at had nothing to their tastes. By the time it was dark, the two had yet to find a satisfactory restaurant.

After walking another while, they came across a tribe-themed restaurant, and there was a fragrant smell wafting in the air to greet them before they even got close. She turned around, ready to ask for Chu Ying’s opinion.

“Captain Ying?”

A stranger’s voice, with some uncertainty in it.

She looked towards the source of the voice. It was a guy in crew cut, wearing something simple and with really dark skin. He looked quite young.

Chu Ying raised an eyebrow almost imperceptibly.

“It really is you…” The guy smiled, as if he wanted to say something more, but he was scared off by Chu Ying’s look. He glanced at Su Yi and said, “It’s been a while, nice to meet you, goodbye.”

Su Yi watched him walking away, yet to catch onto what was happening. “Your friend?”

Chu Ying said, “Yes.”

Su Yi entered the restaurant and asked, “Why did he leave so fast?”

“He might have something on.” Chu Ying handed her the menu. “Order first, I’ll go to the washroom.”

Su Yi looked at Chu Ying’s back thoughtfully.

Below the tree, sat a guy on a bench, his voice thin. “Reporting here, Area B has no suspicious characters.”

“What are you doing here?”

When he saw Chu Ying walking over, the guy first paused before getting up, ready to salute him. His hand made it halfway there before Chu Ying stopped its progress.

Chu Ying said, “Answer me.”

“Yes.” The guy straightened up. “I have received a mission, saying that ‘Ilo [1]’ will carry out a drug transaction in Disney, the higher-ups ordered us to come help.”

Chu Ying remained expressionless. “Liu Yang.”

Liu Yang said, “Yes!”

“I’m no longer your captain. Even if I ask you, you cannot simply divulge the details of your mission. You’ve stayed in the army for so long, how can you not know this?”

Liu Yang was a little abashed. “You’re always Captain in my heart.”

“Stop fooling around,” Chu Ying said, as he sat on the bench. “Since there’s a mission why not disperse the crowd? Leaving the civilians here as hostages for them to pick?”

“We can’t do that, Captain,” Liu Yang said. “We received last minute news and this group only started coming around recently. They’re rather wicked; if we suddenly disperse the crowd, not only do they have the chance to run away, they might grab hostages and force us to retreat. In the end, we can’t guarantee the hostage’s safety either.”

From this, it was easy to deduce that something similar had already happened.

When he finished speaking, Liu Yang carefully asked, “Captain Ying, that girl just now, is she our sister-in-law?”

“Yeah,” Chu Ying said. “Ilo has any features to look out for?”

“No, just that she’s a foreigner.” Liu Yang answered reflexively before catching himself. “No, Captain Ying, why are you asking?”

Chu Ying did not reply, getting up and ready to go.

“Hey, hey, Captain Ying.” Liu Yang seemed to have understood something, hurriedly catching him. “Please don’t, that woman most likely has a gun, if you go now, what if something bad happens?”

“Do you know how many people there are in this area?” Chu Ying frowned, as if thinking about something. “You just said, Ilo is a foreigner?”

Liu Yang hurriedly nodded. “Yes.”

Chu Ying returned to his impassive self and spoke as he walked. “Tell them to gather at the ‘Fantasyland’ area.”

Liu Yang followed closely, not quite understanding. “Why?”

“It’s quite unlikely for them to pose as tourists, for if the park suddenly closes then the chances of escape are very low,” Chu Ying said. “It’s safest to pretend to be a staff.”

Liu Yang asked, “Then how are you certain that’s the area she’s in?”

“Which staff can go around the streets to gather information without needing to be remote controlled?”

Liu Yang was silent for a while before he understood. “Those princesses!!!”

He immediately reported it to his higher-ups, and there was a quick reply from them.

After listening to the orders, Liu Yang blocked Chu Ying’s way. “That, Captain Ying… the higher-ups said, you’re currently not a member of our group and  count as a civilian, so you can’t risk it, we need to ensure your safety.”

Chu Ying raised an eyebrow. “And?”

“Just… you can’t go with me.”

“Who’s going with you?” Chu Ying went around him. “I’m going to eat dinner, when it’s settled let me know.”

Su Yi saw him return and was a little surprised.

Chu Ying looked at the empty table and asked, “Why didn’t you order anything, aren’t you hungry?”

“I thought you’d come back later.” Su Yi curved her lips, called the waiter over and looked through the menu, asking, “Anything the problem?”

Chu Ying said, “No, it’s fine.”

Halfway through dinner, Chu Ying’s phone lit up.

“Captain Ying, everything is settled. None of the crowd is harmed, the people up top asked me to wish you a happy date.”

After seeing the message, he sneered and put the phone back into his pocket.

After dinner, the two took their luggage to the hotel.

The assistant had arranged a Disney hotel for them, inside the park. He walked to the front desk and furnished the details he made the booking with.

The staff at the front desk checked and immediately smiled. “Dear Mr. Chu, you have booked a Magician suite, please wait for a moment, I will arrange for someone to help you move your luggage.”

 

 

 

[notes]

[1] ilo, transliterated from Ai Lao where ‘lao’ can also be read as ‘boss’, or used to refer to someone who’s really good at something

edited by larkspur ~