180 Shameless and Shamelesser
For Ye Shuang, the most important thing during new year was to maintain her female body. Other than that, she needed to deal with many miscellaneous tasks that came with being an agent. For example, sending greeting cards to all the talents in San Lin City and checking their physical test results.
Han Chu once reminded her that the case files for the talents needed to be refreshed every three months and that included a new physical check-up report. For example, for a high-stress job like a rider or boxer, he might be completely healthy when he signed up, but what if he developed high-blood pressure during the job? Would she still send him on cases‽
If he fainted while coming home, that was not much of an issue; delaying the job or causing it to fail would be a bigger problem. Other than managing these talents, she needed to send out greeting cards to ex and potential clients. After all, without constant communication, they might forget about her presence. For example, the group of wives that asked for her mistress-search service or Celebrity Bai, who employed Anthony and the young lady from Jing Hu city.
The remaining group consisted of her personal acquaintances, like the elders at the chess association, Luo Mingxin, Han Chu, Fang Mo, Yao Zhixing, Mo Xiao Xia, and her family. Now that she thought about it, Ye Shuang realized her social connections had broadened spectacularly in the past year. If this was before, the most she would have needed to contact were her university mates and colleagues. Basically, she had only a limited social circle, but now…
"God!" Anthony leaned over to look with a piece of meat that Mother Ye just fried dangling on his lips. He was curious what Ye Shuang was busy with in the living room. His eyes scanned the screen, and the list of addresses startled the golden retriever. The piece of meat almost fell from his jaw. "Why are there so many addresses‽"
"These are all clients." Ye Shuang was tired, too. Now she understood why Han Chu warned her about taking low-quality cases. The list was long, and it was a chore to greet them all during holidays. If not for her photographic memory, reconstructing the list would have required a whole day.
"How about I write a program for you?" Anthony sat beside her with his hands on his cheeks. He blinked his pair of large blue eyes cutely. "Hmm… if you give me a kiss, I'll write you some code. It'll help you repeat the well wishes template for many holidays, and when your computer opens, it'll send them out automatically, searching for targets that needed to be wished that day."
Ye Shuang smiled faintly. Taking a break from typing, she picked a peanut from the fruit plate and made a shot without looking. Target hit…
The next second, one could hear the groaning of the golden retriever. Then the cute doggie ran into the kitchen to plead for help. "Auntie! Someone hit me…"
Father Ye, who had been sitting to the side, folded the newspaper without a change in his expression. He sighed as he took off his glasses to wipe them. "Don't toss stuff at home."
Other people tossing a peanut might not be painful, but in Ye Shuang's hands, it was nothing less painful than a throwing star.
Father Ye had gotten used to Anthony's personality; the man would subconsciously act cute with Mother Ye when he tried to sneak the food before they were served. Sometimes, he might even give a kiss on the cheek. Even though Anthony was his junior and this was a foreign habit, even Father Ye sometimes had the urge to smack the man.
Little Brother Ye came over to say, "Sis, Tony has been wearing that cap for about a month already, and I keep feeling it looks so familiar…"
Ye Shuang ignored Little Brother Ye and turned to ask Father Ye, "It's just a peanut, so he'll be fine, but is Tony really staying for the New Year celebration‽"
"Yes, after all, he has nowhere else to go, and it's sad leaving him alone at his place." Father Ye put his glasses away and sipped the tea slowly. "After all, after tomorrow's firecrackers celebration, we're going to visit our friends and relatives. And aren't you going to visit the elders at the chess association on the second day of New Year‽ They might have some children with them…"
Gotta go steal kisses from innocent children again. I wonder if there are kids under three.
Father Ye thought about it. "If that doesn't work out, you still have your little brother."
Little Brother Ye's face instantly froze in fear. He took in a deep breath, and the cap that had been stuck in his mind for the past month went out of his mind instantly. At the same time, Ye Shuang turned her head around. She met her brother's terror-filled eyes for three seconds before turning away.
She could work with kids under five, but she really could not make herself kiss that dumb face of Little Brother Ye.
Even though Ye Shuang was quite a good cook, after she was chased out of the kitchen by Mother Ye, there was nothing she could do but wait. When Anthony managed to win a pork rib from the kitchen, he was instantly pulled over by Ye Shuang to help her write the program. Then she keyed in the client's information and the template as well as the well wishes that had been popular for the past few years.
The new year atmosphere in the city was much less obvious compared to small town, but it would be more exciting than normal. The whole family would sit around the table for the reunion dinner, watching movies, and so on. That was how the atmosphere was cultivated, making it a precious memory. After dinner, it was time to make dumplings. The show was still playing on the television, but they could not just watch TV on New Year's Eve until midnight, so Mother Ye brought out the ready dough and filling. She placed all the ingredients on the dining table and called for everyone to come help.
Normally, men were not included in this ceremony because they would only make things worse. Father Ye and Little Brother Ye could make do with their years of experience—they could help roll out the dough—but Anthony was a different case. He could not understand why they needed to pick out a small part of the dough before flattening it. Therefore, he turned the process on its head. He rolled out a large piece of dough first and used the bottom of a bowl to cut out a circular shape…
"Shoo, go away and go play with your stuff." Ye Shuang chased the man away rudely. "The skin needs to be thick in the center and thin at the edges. The way you're doing it… They'll open up when cooked."
The pitiable Anthony was thus kicked away from the dining table. He could only watch the others work and used his fingers to poke at the wrapped dumplings. "Xiao Shuang, doesn't your country have fireworks for New Year? How come I don't see or hear any‽"
"This kind of second-rate city, without an official organization, won't have a firework display. You might see private fireworks, but it won't be a big deal." Ye Shuang thought about it and realized it was the truth. After all, without support from an official organization, normal citizens would not be able to support the price of fireworks. Those great fireworks… were only viewable in large cities like Shanghai and Beijing.
Anthony's hope was dashed instantly. He lay on the sofa and mumbled with pity, "Then, what kind of other activity do you do here‽"
"…Eat dumplings‽" Ye Shuang was feeling confused, too. She was used to growing up in a small city, so she did not think too much of it. After all, that had been the tradition every year. However, for Anthony, who was brought to Beijing for New Year every year by Han Chu, compared to the capital, the celebration in San Lin City was indeed on a much smaller scale.
Just as they were feeling bored, Yao Zhixing's call came. Ye Shuang wiped her hands and answered the phone. She heard Yao Zhixing's voice come through the chaos in the background. "Xiao Ye? Xiao Shuang?"
"It's me." Ye Shuang coughed. She knew Yao Zhixing was confirming the identity of the listener, so she quickly said something.
"Oh, it's Xiao Shuang." Yao Zhixing cut to the point. "Do you have any activities tonight after welcoming in the new year?"
"Not really, we're planning to sleep after midnight." Ye Shuang was confused. "The show will be over by then, what else can we do‽"
"That's when the real event starts!" Yao Zhixing said happily. "What is so exciting about that boring show on the TV anyway… Never mind, that's not the point. We're going to Forest Spring to launch some fireworks after midnight, you coming or not?"
"Yes, yes, we're definitely coming!" Before Ye Shuang could answer, Anthony's excited voice chimed in. Ye Shuang turned to look, and the kid of course had his headphones on and was hacking into her conversation. She thought she did not need to bring the signal disruptor home for New Year, but obviously, she had underestimated this golden retriever…
Hearing the accent, Yao Zhixing understood everything instantly. "Tony didn't follow Xiao Han back to Beijing for new year?"
"No, he's at my parent's place." Ye Shuang sighed and told Yao Zhixing to wait while she wandered over to the table to ask her parents some stuff. Then, she continued the phone conversation, "You'll be returning in the morning, right‽ Is it okay if we leave after the fireworks?"
"We're all leaving after that, there's plenty to do tomorrow morning." Yao Zhixing prepared to hang up after he got the reply. "Then, I'll see you there later. Come over after your family falls asleep. We've already booked a private room. Just give the waiter my name when you arrive."
After the call was ended, Anthony, who had his wish fulfilled, had a second wind. He volunteered to help Mother Ye boil the water.
The bowls of hot dumplings were served. Knowing that the kids were going out later, Mother Ye ordered them to eat more than usual. After midnight and the countdown, it was time for red packets and new year wishes. After the firecrackers to wash away the bad luck of the previous year, the two elders retired to bed while Ye Shuang had to take the shameless Little Brother Ye and the even more shameless golden retriever to Forest Spring.