Chapter 100 – Everyone is given a chance
Lu Shifeng stood still, not moving.
The farmer couple was still debating whether to return the found child when, just as they were about to dispose of him, there was a muffled thunderclap in the sky.
The wind started to blow harshly.
The thunder could wake a soundly sleeping child, and the crying of the child shattered the tranquility of the small road. The child cried pitifully, and even those with hearts of stone would likely not remain indifferent.
Indeed, the farmer sighed first: “It’s going to rain heavily. If we leave him here, this child won’t survive.”
“What’s it to us?” the woman said. “We are not the ones who abandoned him.”
The farmer said, “This is bad karma. Our child is growing up too. Let’s consider this as accumulating virtue for our child. It’ll be good for us too.”
The woman was originally reluctant, but when he mentioned accumulating virtue and doing good deeds, she hesitated. Finally, she gritted her teeth and said, “Alright, let’s call him Jian Luo. He can’t eat for free. When he grows up, he can help with the work.”
The farmer held the child. “Let’s go home, our sheep just had a lamb. We can feed him some sheep’s milk. Look at him crying; he’s probably hungry.”
The woman sneered. “If you want to do it then go ahead.”
The two of them passed by Lu Shifeng without a word. As they walked by, the child who had been crying seemed to have caught sight of the Marshal standing on the muddy road. He stared at him with wide, round eyes, unblinking.
Lu Shifeng watched him quietly.
The sky was densely covered with dark clouds, and it was about to rain, but he stood on this rural road, completely unaffected, not even the hem of his clothes was moved by the wind.
Lu Shifeng watched the departing figures of the couple and quietly murmured, “Jian Luo.”
The crying of the child could still be heard from the farmer’s yard, accompanied by the scolding of the farmer’s wife.
This noise didn’t stop until late at night, and the whole family was basically asleep. On a small earthen bed, Jian Luo was placed at the edge. The child’s face was pale and tender, still a bit chubby, but somewhat dirty, indicating that he hadn’t been properly cleaned.
Jian Luo, who had been soundly asleep, seemed to sense that someone was looking at him. He suddenly opened his dark eyes.
Lu Shifeng stood by the bed, and their gazes met. For a moment, he actually had expectations of how such a young child would react to his presence.
There was a moment of silence in the air.
After a while…
The quiet of the night was shattered by a cry of “Wawawa.”
Lu Shifeng stood still, a great Marshal dealing with a tiny infant, but for the first time, he felt at a loss. He reached out his hand, tentatively trying to touch the child’s face.
A teacup fell from the side of the bed. “Why are you crying so much? It’s so annoying. This damn child won’t let anyone sleep!” The voice, full of anger, echoed in the room, harmonizing with the thunder outside the window.
Lu Shifeng turned around, squinting. His blood-red eyes seemed to be filled with a dangerous aura. This time, he harbored murderous intent towards the fragile human.
Early next morning.
Jian Luo bounced up from the bed. “Ah, I’m awake!”
Normally, Lu Shifeng would have already been up at this time, but unexpectedly, the Marshal, who had just awakened, seemed to be slow to react.
Lu Shifeng opened his eyes, sat up, and remained silent for a while, not saying a word.
Jian Luo, who was stretching beside him, noticed that something was amiss. After spending so much time together, he had developed the ability to read between the lines, so he asked, “What’s wrong? Did you not sleep well last night?”
Lu Shifeng’s eyes twitched, and he glanced at him. “Did you sleep well?”
Jian Luo scratched his head. “It was alright.”
It wasn’t exactly alright. The bizarre dreams he had last night, not only about his childhood but also about the dragon race, and even a group of little dragons he had never seen before, were unusual. But he couldn’t bring himself to discuss it in front of the great Marshal. So, he decided to praise the bed instead, “This bed is really comfortable. It adds a touch of excitement. I didn’t wake up much last night. In the past, I would have had cramps by now.”
Lu Shifeng withdrew his gaze and said softly, “Hmm.”
Jian Luo felt that something was off with him. After spending so much time together, he had developed the ability to read between the lines. So, he inquired, “What’s wrong? Did you not sleep well last night?”
Lu Shifeng got up briskly. “I slept very well.”
Jian Luo sat on the bed, watching the Marshal’s movements. He had changed into a military uniform that was both neat and strangely rigid. His handsome face rarely displayed a smile, his lips were tightly pursed, and his gaze never met Jian Luo’s eyes, giving off an air of aloofness.
It was quite peculiar.
After Lu Shifeng finished dressing, he glanced at Jian Luo. “Today, I have some free time, so I’ll leave the gold secretary here to keep you company.”
Jian Luo beamed with a bright smile. “Great!”
“You…” Lu Shifeng looked at Jian Luo’s innocent eyes and, for a moment, his gaze seemed to meet those dark eyes from last night. However, the child’s eyes were always filled with sadness and never stopped crying, as if they held unspoken grievances and suffering.
Unknowingly, Lu Shifeng spoke, “Do you find it boring? Maybe I should…”
Jian Luo promptly interrupted, “Not at all!”
The phrase “came back” was stuck in the great Marshal’s throat, unable to come out.
Jian Luo continued, oblivious to the strangeness, “You gave me three spirits, and I have plans with them today. Also, there’s the spirit fruit experiment I want to try today. Don’t worry; I won’t be bored.”
He was such a considerate angel! He never caused trouble or inconvenience! Aren’t you touched by his thoughtfulness, great Marshal?
Lu Shifeng forced a smile, “Have fun.”
Jian Luo had initially wanted to offer some praise but was surprised when Lu Shifeng simply glossed over it. Well, maybe he was in a bad mood. It wouldn’t do to argue with the boss, after all!
In the morning, Jian Luo personally cooked breakfast.
It had been a while since he had eaten buns, so he decided to steam some himself. Fortunately, making buns didn’t require too many ingredients, so there wouldn’t be much waste.
He decided to live-stream the process.
As the small round camera made a “beep” sound, Jian Luo greeted his viewers, “Hi, everyone! I’m Jian Luo, and today we’re making breakfast.”
There was a group of loyal viewers who never missed his broadcasts:
“Wow, streamer, your belly seems a bit bigger, doesn’t it?”
Since he had promised the little emperor to provide daily content, Jian Luo no longer avoided this topic and sometimes chatted about his pregnancy with others. He said, “Yes, I’ve grown a bit, probably over ten months now. Morning sickness has improved a lot, but the main issue is that I can’t move around easily, and I get leg cramps when I sleep.”
Jian Luo wasn’t afraid or shy about talking about his hardships; he didn’t pretend to be strong. He just spoke honestly.
The viewers sympathized, “Streamer, take good care of yourself!”
“There’s probably more than one, right?”
“Ah, hold on for a few more months; it’ll be over soon.”
“How many more months to go?”
The enthusiasm of the audience soared, and they almost forgot that Jian Luo was making buns. But he didn’t let them completely forget and refocused their attention on the cutting board.
The secretary was helping him chop the meat filling, while the three spirits nearby were preparing the fruit filling for spirit fruit preserves. They had once been famous dancers in the Spirit Realm, envied and respected by all. Since following Jian Luo, they had become tools for playing mahjong, kitchen assistants, and participants in endless feasts. Their happiness knew no bounds.
Jian Luo began teaching how to knead the dough, saying, “I’ve mentioned this many times; when kneading dough, you have to pay attention to the water content. This dough can be quite sticky, so be sure to wear gloves if you mind it.”
The viewers could almost feel the stickiness through the holographic projection:
“I failed the last time I tried to make it.”
“I’ll never be able to make pasta in this life.”
Jian Luo smiled and started kneading the dough skillfully with his hands, making it look effortless. Finally, there was just a lump of dough left. “Okay, let’s cover it and let the dough rise.”
The viewers were still engrossed in this acrobatic performance.
Jian Luo began preparing noodle dumplings to go with the buns, and this process was faster. “Noodle dumpling dough doesn’t require much effort; just knead it lightly, and then tear it into small pieces to put in the pot.”
A pot of boiling water was on the stove.
Opening the pot released a wave of hot steam. Jian Luo liked to add some tomatoes to his noodles. After placing the noodles in the pot, he cracked an egg on top. If he could sprinkle some chopped green onions, it would be perfect, but he decided to skip the green onions due to the lack of ingredients.
The viewers were curious:
“Do you eat noodles like this?”
“It’s so strange, but it smells great!”
“Yes, it smells fantastic!”
Jian Luo had his own rhythm while cooking, multitasking as he cleaned the table and chatted with others. The conversations were quite ordinary but had a lively atmosphere.
He mentioned things like:
“The weather is getting colder; should we have hot pot for dinner? Let’s check the ingredients first.”
“I heard they’re offering a 50% discount on Moonlight’s Pastries lately. Should I stock up?”
“The frozen cake I had at noon seemed a bit salty. Should I make some more next time?”
“I heard it’s going to rain today. Should I wear something warmer?”
As an Epsilonian with a lack of emotional connection and rarely any family, conversations were generally work-related, and even at home, there were only cold robots. It was rare to have someone chattering in your ear.
Busy work often led to desensitization. In contrast, these little chats could bring unexpected results. It was precisely because Jian Luo was so unpretentious and had no ulterior motives or artifice that people could relax and enjoy the live stream as entertainment and leisure.
“It’s not just me who uses his live broadcast as background noise.”
“I do it too, even if I don’t watch the stream, I keep it on.”
“Yeah, it makes me feel less lonely.”
“I thought I was the only one!”
As people chatted among themselves, the noodle dumpling soup was also ready, its aroma filling the air. However, it was a bit too hot to eat right away.
At this moment, the dough had also risen enough, and Jian Luo demonstrated how to make buns. To increase efficiency, he had gathered the spirit beings and the secretary to learn together. “It’s quite simple. Just wrap the filling inside the dough skin and fold it like this.”
His technique was natural, making it look effortless.
The secretary said, “I understand.”
She tried to follow his example but ended up kneading the dough for a long time, resulting in deformed and overstretched buns.
Jian Luo couldn’t help but chuckle.
The two spirits beside her, on the other hand, quickly got the hang of it and shaped the buns skillfully. Although the spirits didn’t speak, their long, elegant hands and melodious voices made them exceptionally exquisite and beautiful.
“Wow, they’re so beautiful.”
“Streamer, where are you right now?”
Jian Luo didn’t respond to their questions about the spirits. It was only when he was making spirit fruit preserves that he mentioned, “These are a specialty of the Spirit Realm, very delicious, full of spiritual energy, and can even improve your mood.”
Before being steamed into fruit preserves, spirit fruit was sweet and sour, making it a tasty fruit. Jian Luo took a bite and said to the camera, “You should try it too.”
Many people watching in holographic projection also took a bite. The sweet and sour taste made them instantly alert, and after eating the fruit, they could feel a noticeable relaxation in their bodies. Their fatigue was greatly reduced, making them feel very comfortable.
“This fruit is amazing.”
“But the shelf life of spirit fruit is quite short.”
“Indeed, it’s almost unheard of in other star systems because it spoils easily and is difficult to store.”
After packing the fruit, Jian Luo said, “They have plenty of spirit fruit preserves. You can taste the flavor later. If you need them, I’ll consider providing some.”
Before negotiating with the boss, he wanted to present enough data to persuade Nie Yan. Just like participating in a bidding process, he needed enough data to support his argument. Otherwise, it was no different from outright theft.
Once the buns were nearly done, Jian Luo arranged to steam them. Steaming buns took some time, so he suggested, “Shall we play mahjong?”
The secretary agreed, “Sure!”
The three spirits had no objections either, and they all gathered around the table to start playing. They were soon deeply engrossed in the game.
“Who won in the last round?”
“I don’t think I’ll win in this round.”
“Wow, the game is almost over; who’s going to win?”
The four of them sat around the table, and Jian Luo watched and commented from the sidelines, occasionally giving advice.
Playing mahjong absorbed their attention so much that they almost forgot about the viewers.
At first, the audience didn’t know the rules and found it a bit strange, but after watching a few rounds, the clever ones figured it out:
“Wow, I want to join in too!”
“Aren’t you a food streamer? Why are you suddenly a game streamer?”
“The buns smell amazing!”
The buns were almost done, and their enticing aroma filled the room. Jian Luo took the buns out of the steamer and shared them with the secretary and the spirits. “Give them a try. Are they delicious?”
The secretary took a bite of the meat bun. The bun was soft, and the meat was savory and blended perfectly with the soft dough. Each bite was delicious, making you want to eat it all in one go.
Some couldn’t eat meat, so they tried the spirit fruit buns.
Jian Luo took two bites and, while enjoying them, he said, “I’ll prepare some pickled radishes for later. They should be ready now. They taste great with the soup.”
The viewers also joined in the eating experience:
“This soup is so good. I need to buy some noodles.”
“The buns are amazing!”
“These spirit fruit buns are delicious too. They haven’t lost their original flavor; instead, they’re even softer and sweeter.”
“Let’s try the fruit preserves!”
The entire livestream went very smoothly. Jian Luo considered his options and initiated a poll on his starnet page to get an approximate count of people interested in spirit fruit preserves. If the demand was high, he would consider this venture.
Since he had just finished his livestream, most people could access his profile and messages. Those who had tried the spirit fruit buns were quite enthusiastic and almost unanimously clicked “Agree.”
In the late afternoon, Jian Luo looked at the data and said, “There are approximately five million people who want the preserves.”
Not far away, on a couch, Lu Shifeng was reading a book.
Jian Luo sighed, “There are more than fifty million requests. If five million people want it, I’m afraid that even one shipment might not cover the cost. And there are post-purchase considerations as well. Maybe this spirit fruit preserve doesn’t have much of a market.”
Lu Shifeng, observing him, said thoughtfully, “Change your approach.”
“The effect hasn’t been maximized.”
Jian Luo was puzzled, “What…what do you mean?”
Lu Shifeng opened his information terminal and made a few taps on the screen. Then he said to Jian Luo, “Like this.”
In response, Jian Luo, who was a bit slow to catch on, also opened his starnet and saw the latest message: “Lu Shifeng has reposted your starnet post.”
As a small streamer, Jian Luo had almost 7.8 million followers, but he needed to livestream almost every day and host various activities to maintain such a following.
Lu Shifeng, on the other hand, was someone who rarely posted on starnet and had over 95 million followers. He even had a universal fan club.
Jian Luo was stunned. It seemed that Lu Shifeng’s reposting and Lu Shifeng’s reposting were two entirely different things. In just a few minutes, the number of likes had already exceeded a million, spreading like wildfire. The comments section had taken a weird turn:
“He hasn’t posted in ten years, and now he’s just posting to advertise something?”
“Is he his boyfriend or husband?”
“Husband, right? He’s even pregnant!”
Originally, no one paid much attention to this, but once someone asked, it naturally led to people digging deeper. It turned out that Jian Luo and Lu Shifeng were not officially married, and they hadn’t publicly acknowledged their relationship either. However, no one looked down on Jian Luo for that, as he had worked tirelessly and even bore the hope of their entire world.
But what intrigued everyone even more was the nature of their relationship.
“Aren’t they a couple?”
“That’s great! Do I have a chance?”
“Really? Once Jian Luo is done, I’ll try to pursue him too.”
“I really like him; he can cook and talk a lot. My ideal spouse!”
T/N: Hey there! There is plenty more where that came from, so stay tuned! And stay healthy! Straighten your posture, so some stretches and drink some water before continuing hehe~
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