Chapter 1: Pet Love
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A laptop, a bag of chips, a woman wearing an oversized T-shirt, and a dusky summer night.
The screen read:
[Weiwan-sama, that chapter you released last night almost gave me a heart attack!]
[So, where did Su Jian fall after she saw that black silhouette? Author, can you stop cliffing us so much?]
[You just gotta get used to it. As a veteran reader, I’ve long grown used to the author stopping exactly where they shouldn’t.]
[This is so good! I’m so excited! An obscure and bloody mystery novel! It’s my favorite style!]
[This new little fan wants to ask, is the author a guy or a girl?]
[Heh, what a mind-blowing story. Do you think it’s a man or woman who’s capable of writing it?]
Yu Wan scrolled through her readers’ comments with a mouse with one hand while the other hand casually reached in the bag and picked up a potato chip. She threw it in her mouth, and a crisp crack sounded in the air as she chewed.
*TL-note: Yu Wan is the protagonist, and Weiwan is her online username.
When she was done, she wiped her hand on a napkin and started to write a response.
[Eh? It’s getting late, I need to walk my dog. Majesty’s still waiting for me. Mm… I promise I won’t cliff anywhere important tomorrow.]
After she clicked send, the comments started to pour in. [You say that every single day, you liar…]
Yu Wan didn’t see their messages, because she had already closed her laptop and put it on the sofa when she finished typing. She stood up and stretched, then called out to a random corner in the living room. “Majesty, if you want to go outside, you’d better hurry up with eating dinner. I won’t take you if you don’t.”
“Awoo.” Yu Diandian* got to its feet and trotted reluctantly to its special dining area. It started to munch on its dinner.
*TL-note: Yu Diandian is the dog’s name. Majesty is its nickname.
Yu Wan nodded in satisfaction, and went to her closet to change her clothes.
She took off her baggy T-shirt that she wore at home and replaced it with a short summer dress and a light jacket on top. Then, she tied her hair into a ponytail in front of her makeup mirror.
“Majesty, you done eating?”
Yu Diandian scampered to Yu Wan when it saw her walk out. It woofed twice to show how well-behaved it was, and Yu Wan patted its head. She took her phone and keys while walking out the door.
If she didn’t take Yu Diandian out for a walk at this time of day, Yu Diandian would get really cranky.
Yu Wan locked the door behind her and walked to the elevator. Right when she clicked the button, a group of people walked out of the doors. They seemed to be deliverymen from a furniture company, and they carried a single sofa chair complete with large armrests and a wide back. The sofa took up most of the space in the elevator. Upon closer inspection, Yu Wan deduced that it was really comfortable but also extremely expensive.
The deliverymen hoisted the chair up, carrying it towards the door opposite hers. Yu Wan raised an eyebrow- it seemed that her new neighbor was the extravagant sort.
Without looking back, Yu Wan walked into the elevator with Yu Diandian.
Yu Wan’s neighborhood was rather high-class. Its had superb landscaping, convenient shops and malls nearby, and to top it off, it was very safe. However, real-estate prices in the neighbourhood were also terrifyingly expensive.
The upscale apartment she lived in wasn’t hers. It belonged to her worldly yet secretive older brother, and she moved into it after leaving her hometown.
Yu Wan didn’t need to go out to work. Besides going on vacation trips on a whim, she spent her days at home. She didn’t have many friends, and the closest to her was Yu Diandian. Because of that, she cared a lot about the dog and was very lenient towards it other than having to toughen up about meals.
By the lake in the neighborhood, Yu Wan plugged in her headphones to listen to music. She gazed at Yu Diandian, who was cheerfully racing ahead. “Majesty, could you slow down a bit?”
Yu Diandian dumbly charged back when it heard its name, then sped off merrily into the distance again.
Yu Wan shook her head. Her eyes glinted as they fell upon a Samoyed dog that was running about. It was bigger than Yu Diandian and looked very beautiful with lush, sleek fur. Tch, it was obvious that its owner was taking better care of it than she was to Diandian.
Because the dog was the same breed as Yu Diandian, Yu Wan was a bit curious. Who had such refined taste like she did?
The Samoyed didn’t try to hide its interest towards Diandian at all. Yu Diandian didn’t return the favor, looking aloof yet proud. Yu Wan chuckled and started to walk towards them. However, after two steps, Yu Wan was immediately stricken by a rapid turn of events.
Why did that Samoyed suddenly… jump on Yu Diandian’s back?! Isn’t that position, that, that thing?!
Because the dog was rather large, Yu Diandian didn’t look like she was able to resist!
Ach, Yu Wan had assumed right away that it couldn’t resist at all. As for whether Yu Diandian really had the ability to do so or was just not making an effort… Those possibilities completely flew over Yu Wan’s mind.
Her heart thumped heavily, and she rushed towards them without another word. “Majesty! Majesty! You can’t do that!”
The nearby residents who were taking a stroll stared confusedly at her sprinting figure. Huh? Is someone filming a historical drama?
Yu Wan angrily ran to a few paces away from the ongoing crime scene. She wanted to stop them, but she didn’t even know where to start! Too dirty, it was too dirty for her eyes.
“Majesty…” Yu Wan felt like she was going to collapse. How could her beloved Majesty, who was like a treasure in her hands, be, be… No, her head was about to explode.
“Red Bean?” A clear, brisk voice rang out. The voice sounded very pleasing to her ears, but Yu Wan didn’t pay attention to that at all. A presence close to hers was like a straw for her to grab onto: “Sir! My Majesty is being rap… you know! Would you please help me pull away this Samoyed!”
She grabbed onto the sleeve of that person, but he didn’t seem to react to her. She lifted her head and saw that the man’s expression was stiff, and that he also seemed… stunned at the display.
Then, Yu Wan blinked, and a small voice spoke in her head. Why was this man’s face so handsome?
The first feature that came into her mind was his pale and elegant jaw. His thin, polished lips were next, and his chiseled nose followed. His eyes were the color of dark, savory tea, and the shine of his pupils were surprised yet also frighteningly chilly.
“Red Bean!” While Yu Wan was spacing out, the man called out a name. Yu Wan followed his gaze to the crime scene and saw that the Samoyed had quietly gotten off. It turned back to look at the man and whimpered, as if saddened.
Saddened?! What right did he have to show distress? My Majesty is the one who should be saddened, and she practically treated it like her own daughter!
“Sir? Is that your dog?” Yu Wan looked at the man, astonished.
The man peered at her, and his eyes flickered icily. “First, let go.”
“Mm?” Yu Wan paused and realized that she was still clenching onto his arm. She let go in embarrassment. “Sorry.”
Wait… Why was she sorry? He was the one who was supposed to be saying that. It’s his fault for not controlling his dog, wasn’t it?
Yu Wan walked morosely towards Yu Diandian, and it stared back at her dumbly. Yu Wan pursed her lips, and she felt like her heart was broken. “Majesty… Majesty, why did something like that have to happen to you? It’s all my fault for not protecting you from being violated. Majesty, you have to be strong. Don’t worry too much about it.”
The corners of Shen Qingzhou’s mouth twitched at the sight of her hugging her dog. It was then that he managed to utter, “Apologies.”
The apology seemed a bit strange.
Yu Wan looked back at him. “Mister, you gotta, gotta hold back your dog in the future. It can’t just… with any dog without permission…”
Shen Qingzhou’s eyebrow raised slightly, and his voice dropped a little. “It’s never done something like this before. This is the first time?”
Yu Wan didn’t really listen to him. She was focused on glaring bitterly at the Samoyed that was called Red Bean.
Shen Qingzhou glanced at Red Bean. It was in an obedient sitting position and barely moving, probably because it had detected the ominous anger that was radiating from its owner. Shen Qingzhou pursed his lips and took out his wallet. He flatly said, “How much do you want?”
Yu Wan paused, feeling insulted by his gesture.
“There’s no need for that.” Yu Wan stood up and mumbled, “What are you making of my Majesty…”
Though it was a whisper, Shen Qingzhou still heard her. It was the first time he had bumped into this kind of sticky trouble.
“I’ll take my Majesty home and comfort her. Sir, please remember to discipline your… Red Bean?” Yu Wan waved for Yu Diandian to follow and walked away.
When they reached the corner, Yu Wan looked back towards the other two. She saw the man stooped down at Red Bean with a critical expression, and the dog’s head drooped glumly. It was too far to tell what the man was saying, but it was clear that Red Bean was being lectured sternly.
Yu Wan couldn’t seem to tear her eyes away from the man. Her older brother was also quite good-looking himself, so logically she should be immune to pretty faces. However, her mind still fluttered at the sight of the man’s upright figure.
“Ah? What’s wrong, Majesty?” Yu Wan returned to her senses. Yu Diandian looked up to her, and its stare made Yu Wan feel embarrassed. “Mm… After something like that, I can’t just look at him that way. It’s my fault, I’m not gonna look anymore. Let’s go home.”
In the apartment, Yu Wan had a deep conversation with Yu Diandian. What happened today had totally gone off the rails…
“Majesty, I’ll make something good for you to eat tomorrow. Don’t be sad.” Yu Wan patted Yu Diandian’s head mournfully. Then, her phone rang.
*TL-note: Ge, or 哥, means “big brother”. I don’t want go 1984 on you guys, ahaha
“Mm, whatchu doin’?”
“Nothing much, I’m… hanging out with Majesty.”
“Oh. I called you because of your book. I did a check on the companies that contacted you, and there’s one that’d be really nice for you to work with, if you’d like. I’ll give you their number later.”
“Since you’ve already checked up on them, there’s no need for me to consider anything. I’ll just go for them directly.” Yu Wan said.
“Mm, then I’ll tell my assistant. They’ll contact you in a few days.”
“Kay, thanks ge.”
Yu Wan hung up and saw her dog playing with her toys without a hint of distress. Yu Wan was exasperated, “Yu Diandian! Say, don’t you feel like you were taken advantage of?”
After a moment of silence, Yu Wan asked suspiciously, “Could you have been willing to do that?”
The next day, Yu Wan slept until twelve at noon. Because she was busy last night with updating her chapters, she slept at two in the morning.
When she walked out of her room, she saw Yu Diandian waiting to be pampered as if it was a princess. Yu Wan rolled her eyes, “Oh, I promised you yesterday that I was going to make something nice for you today, right?”
Yu Wan huffed towards the kitchen with her phone in hand. “Hello, this is Apartment #7, room 701… Yes, just like always. Yep, make it spicy… Thanks.”
After ordering the takeout, she put on her apron and started to cook for Yu Diandian. Sigh, there probably wasn’t a better dog owner than herself around. She was going to eat takeout, while her dog was going to feast on a healthy, nutritious, and handmade meal…
*TL-note: The reason why I always use the “it” pronoun for the dogs is because that’s just the way Chinese works. You can use he and she, her and him in English for animals, but in Chinese, the pronouns for describing people are specified towards humans.
If you’re still curious why, here’s a little Chinese 101 lesson:
See the 亻in 他? 他 is the pronoun for men. That thingy on the left side symbolizes “humans”, because its original form is 人, which means “human”.
The pronoun for women is 她. See the 女 on the left? That means “woman”. Not female, but woman as in human woman.