Chapter 7 A bug in the program
By the time Mu Chongyan had returned home, it was already six o’clock in the afternoon. Bai Rong rubbed his stomach pitifully, salivating over the cold lobster sitting on the living room table.
When he heard the door opening, Bai Rong immediately ran back to the crystal glass case, leaping over the bushes, entering the villa, and slamming the door shut.
Mu Chongyan, who had just coincidentally walked into the living room and saw Bai Rong’s little figure entering the door.: “…” felt even more discomfited.
After taking out the swarm of star pet toys and star pet snacks from the spatial button, Mu Chongyan stared at the pile that had formed in the center of the living room. Out of the corner of his eyes, he cast a glance at the little star pet who had glued his head to the small window with glittering eyes, seeing this, he felt a strange inexplicable breath of relief in his heart.
Bai Rong glued close to the window, staring at the pile of stuffed buns, dumplings, beef jerky, potato chips, prawn strip crackers, and ham sausage that were about his size, settled in the middle of the living room… and his saliva started to pool in his mouth.
Despite his feet insisting on going out, once Bai Rong looked at the man standing on the side, he quickly snapped his legs and feet awake from being controlled by his stomach. He stood at the doorway, sticking only his head out.
At one point, a battle between man and heaven had begun in Bai Rong ’s heart. Mu Chongyan looked at the small star pet who was standing by the door waiting impatiently, but seeing that he did not come out, he felt angry and peeved. He was about to go over and grab the little star pet to clarify what was going on when the contact terminal on his optical computer suddenly lit up.
“Father.” Looking at the serious man in the military uniform standing opposite to him, Mu Chongyan greeted him respectfully.
“Did you move out?”
“Yes, I’m already an adult, so I thought it would have been reasonable to have moved out half a year ago.”
“You … (sigh) …” The man exhaled: “Are you still blaming your mother?”
“No, I merely thought that it was time for me to move out and live alone now that I have become an adult.”
“Chongyan, the war is not as simple as you think it is. Your mother was only acting with good intentions. It is much safer to be a student than a soldier.” The man said while shaking his head, “Forget it. That’s all I have to say. Since I have a rare day off today, I want you to come home, Chongyan, so we can all have a meal together.”
“Chongyan, father can only have one rest day a month.”
“…Alright.” Mu Chongyan hung his eyes and responded, “I’ll go back.”
After turning the optical computer off, Mu Chongyan pinched a small packet of fast food steak and bread, and placed it on the table in front of the villa. He cast one final glance at Bai Rong who was still clinging onto the door, before leaving the house.
Bai Rong took one look at the food on the table and another look at the back figure of the leaving man. A feeling of guilt suddenly overwhelmed him.
His heart felt stuffy yet happy at the same time. Bai Rong walked out of the house with complicated feelings and picked up the steak and bread. Then, he returned to the kitchen to heat them up.
Bai Rong rubbed his face and sighed while eating the nice and warm steak and bread.
It’ll be alright. Soon, when the data of the experiment has been generated, he will start treating the man better.
After finishing his meal, Bai Rong sat in a small pavilion in front of the villa. He contemplated about the future while waiting for the man to return, but when the clock struck at ten o’clock in the evening, the man’s shadow was nowhere to be seen.
Bai Rong walked back to the villa unhappily, and quickly washed himself up, laying on the bed soon after.
It was already half past ten and he hadn’t come home. Hmph, what an… irresponsible and fickle man!
At this time, Mu Chongyan was on his way home. He did not expect that he would encounter Fen Ya after having just eaten half of his meal. This had caused his mood to sour even further.
He was not ignorant of his mother’s intentions. He had clearly expressed his explicit refusal yet his wishes were still ignored and his mother continued to scheme together with Fen Ya to the point where he really couldn’t tolerate it any longer.
By the time he had arrived home, it was already 11:20. Mu Chongyan’s cold face softened slightly when he glanced at the crystal glass case that had its lights already turned off in the corner of the living room. He then took a bath towel to wash himself up in the bathroom.
Bai Rong, who was unaware that the man had returned 30 minutes after he had fell into slumber, was currently dreaming about gaining the upper hand over the man. He exposed a silly smile on his face as he murmured and rubbed against the little pillow in his sleep.
…At eight thirty in the next day, Bai Rong woke up in a daze. When he saw the dazzling rays of the sunshine spilling inside his room, he immediately opened his eyes widely.
Fishing out the physical examination device at an impossibly fast speed, Bai Rong pressed the scan button with unkempt and disheveled hair.
Bai Rong stared excitedly and nervously at the screen. His heart thumping hard.
… 8.3 …… 6?!!!!
Why?!!!!!! Bai Rong stared frantically and disappointingly at the numbers in front of him. His fair little face wrinkled into a ball, looking exactly like one of the steamed stuff buns that were still unopened, sitting in the living room.
After listlessly finishing his shower, Bai Rong walked out of the villa worriedly, but soon, he was amazed to find the table filled with various toys and delicious food!
He turned his feet and glanced at the living room, realizing immediately that the pile of toy snacks comparable to the height of a small hill he had seen yesterday, had been put away. Instead, a delicate building, similar to an amusement park, was placed where the pile originally stood, and there were all kinds of entertaining materials that look very interesting inside.
Bai Rong’s dim eyes lit up instantly, and his heart became a little warm.
Actually … In reality, the man was quite good. He was not violent, and was even quite prudent. The tips of Bai Rong’s ears quietly turned red as he secretly clenched his hands——He decided that he was going to take responsibility for him. Even if he didn’t come home in the middle of the night, he would forgive him!
Bai Rong first picked out the toys and set it aside. Then, he counted the various food and snacks on the table before transporting it all back to the villa in satisfaction.
After moving the food, Bai Rong picked up a bag of small stuffed buns and a bottle of transparent liquid. He put the buns on a plate and placed them in a heating box to heat them up. Then he poured the liquid into a bowl and gave it a small taste.
Bai Rong unconsciously drank up all the liquid in a bowl, and burped not too long after.
……Because the water was too filling, Bai Rong who was already full, stared at the hot steamed buns, and felt at a loss whether to eat them or not.
He extended his index finger and jabbed the little bun. A small recess appeared in the soft white bun before it gradually bounced back. It looked very elastic. Bai Rong swallowed. After thinking about it, wouldn’t the texture of it be ruined if he heated it up again once it turned cold, so it … was probably better to eat it then.
After decisively grabbing the bun and taking a bite out of it. Bai Rong gave a low exhale and squinted in joy. Yup, fortunately, he made the right decision to eat it. Otherwise, such a lovely taste would have been wasted, and that would simply be too sinful!
After eating the buns, Bai Rong went back to the room and turned on the physical examination apparatus again, pressing scan.
—— [8.36 cm]
Bai Rong who was already mentally prepared for this result, apathetically turned the physical examination device off and threw himself onto the bed.
He couldn’t figure it out. He had clearly already grown 0.1 centimeters in the last three days, but now, two days had passed, and he still hadn’t grown even 0.1 millimeters at all. This didn’t make scientific sense at all!
Not to mention, he had eaten so much during these two days!
Recalling the inferential hypotheses he conjured in his head, Bai Rong turned his attention to the third hypothesis that had the lowest probability…
Could he possibly …have not grown tall because he hadn’t made contact with that man for a day and a half?!!
The more he thought about it, the more likely it seemed to be true. Although it sounded unscientific, the fact that he had shrunk was already beyond the bounds of science, so what other scientific explanation could he harp on about? Bai Rong determinedly got up from the bed, and ran to the closet, taking out the fluffy orange cat outfit.
He had heard that men were visual animals, so in order to touch him a few times, making a necessary sacrifice was inevitable.
Take off the small shirt and cropped trousers, Bai Rong put on the long johns that had been folded up before slowly donning the furry clothes.
The quality of this furry suit was not very good for it was a bit tight on the legs. Luckily, he had an almighty and magical Chinese object——introducing his long johns!
Bai Rong stood in front of the mirror and looked left and right, yet he still felt as if there was something missing. After thinking about it for a long time, he suddenly recalled the pair of cat ears he had thrown under the bed. He crouched down and hurriedly searched under the bed, finding that cat ears had been thrown to the innermost side.
He helplessly got up and found a relatively long flower stalk. Then, he laid down on the floor once again, and stuck his little butt out, puffing hard in an attempt to fish out the ears for a long time. In the end, he had successfully retrieved the cat ears. Bai Rong patted off the little bits of dust on it, and carefully wore the cat ears in front of the mirror. He then ended it by turning around for a back view, and rubbing the furry cat tail on his bottoms.
En, it still feels good to the touch.
Believing that he had finished making all the necessary preparations, Bai Rong was brimming with confidence and a little excitement. He ran out of the villa across the yard without stopping, and arrived outside the crystal case, waiting for the man to come back anxiously.
When Mu Chongyan finally returned home, he spotted the little star pet who avoided him as if he was the plague just yesterday. The instant the little star pet saw him, little flames of pleasant surprise lit up in his eyes. His fair little face was also dyed with a faint red flush as he quickly started running towards him with his short legs at the speed of lightning.
A hint of indescribable joy and reconciliation arose in his heart yet Mu Chongyan turned his face away expressionlessly. He then started walking with his long legs towards the sofa that was the farthest away from the little star pet.
Bai Rong, who was running in struggle, turned sluggish at the sight of this. His heart beating hard for a little while. Sigh. It looks like he had really hurt someone’s feelings yesterday, and they were still angry with him, but it will soon be alright. He wouldn’t get discouraged from it. After all, what kind of man has never coaxed another person before.
Mu Chongyan watched the little star pet freeze for a short while before parting his legs wider to run farther. The cat ears on his head jolted as he ran, and when he arrived by his feet, he began panting for breath. His big eyes curved slightly as he raised his small head. Then, he gazed at him with a look that was overflowing with trust and admiration.
Mu Chongyan turned his head away and started fiddling with his perfectly tidy collar.
Seeing the man ignored him, Bai Rong sighed on the inside. He then reached out to tug on the hem of the man’s pants.
Don’t sulk anymore, It’s tiring to continue coaxing people. Besides, family harmony requires cooperation from both sides.
Seeing the little star pet stretched out his hand and tugged his pants in longing and aggrievement, Mu Chongyan’s action of fixing his neckline paused, and a moment later, he snorted to himself. He picked up the little star pet who was rubbing his face trying to sell meng(1), and placed him on the sofa.
(1) Selling meng means acting cute
Bai Rong opened his arms happily in response to seeing the man’s attitude softening. He quickly embraced the man’s finger that was about to retract and planted a smacking kiss on it.
Mu Chongyan’s entire hand immediately stiffened the moment he felt the belly of his finger being suddenly kissed. He stared as the little star pet pressed his soft and warm lips against his index finger and even started stroking it gently.
The soft feeling instantly rushed from the finger to the bottom of his heart, causing Mu Chongyan’s heart to jump abruptly. He then retracted his hand in a fluster. The expression on his face also became more rigid, but if one were to look closely, a trace of pink slowly creeping up the base of Mu Chongyan’s ears could be seen.
Because the finger he was hugging was suddenly pulled away, Bai Rong was knocked down from sudden pull and had fallen on the sofa. Fortunately, the sofa was soft enough, so he did not sustain any injuries.
Seeing the little star pet’s face flattening into a cat patty from the fall, Mu Chongyan felt guilty but also had an urge to laugh, however, all these emotions only manifested as two twitches at the corners of his mouth.
Bai Rong raised his arms and sat in place, looking up at the man in doubt.
Mu Chongyan stretched out his fingers, gently stroking the little star pet’s cat ears, and the white tender cheeks that still remained red from running.
Ah stop! Bai Rong hastily held the wandering finger, his small face blushing even deeper. How could he just casually touch his face and head without permission, this … This was developing too quickly.
Mu Chongyan pressed down the corners of her lips. A trace of mirth had appeared in his eyes, and a warm and soft feeling arose in his heart, lifting his spirits up by two points.
“This is too much …” Bai Rong muttered quietly and rubbed his slightly hot cheeks.
“Have you had lunch yet?” Mu Chongyan knew that the current model of star pets had the ability to communicate with humans without any obstacles, but he had not interacted much with this little guy after buying him from the auction.
“What?” Bai Rong heard the man mutter something incomprehensible to him, and was a little confused. When Mu Chongyan saw the little star pet’s blank look, he was also a bit surprised, thinking that the little star pet’s language program might contain a defect.
Bai Rong soon realized that his behavior just now could possibly reveal the cloven feet(1), so he churned his brain for a solution, and immediately ended up kissed Mu Chongyan’s finger. He even stretched his hand out to start pushing the optical computer on Mu Chongyan’s wrist away.
(1) Reveal the cloven feet: to unmask one’s true nature
“Don’t make trouble.” Mu Chongyan pinched the cat’s tail sticking out of the little star pet’s buttocks, and gently pulled him off his wrist. Then, he caressed the little star pet’s back and buttocks, before quickly turning the optical computer on, clicking on the contact terminal.
Bai Rong, whose face had exploded from having his bum touched: “!!!”
“Walter, I seem to have encountered an obstacle in interacting with the little star pet.”
“Huh?” Walter, who was on the other side of the call, was currently eating, so his voice rang out vaguely, “What obstacle?”
“He doesn’t seem to understand what I’m saying.” When Mu Chongyan saw that the little star pet was finally behaving, he casually picked him up in his hand.
“Ah? There’s probably a bug in the program. Go and contact that star pet company and send your little star pet back to them for repair.”
“Yeah.” Walter answered in a matter-of-fact tone: “Ask the company to dismantle your little star pet and reinstall the program.”