Chapter 17 – Folded-ear Cat
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“Aww, it’s a kitten!” The two little dumplings came around, staring brightly at the folded-ear cat on Xi Baichen’s shoulder.
Xi Baichen broke through their encirclement with a single stride and walked straight into the kitchen.
The little dumplings hurriedly followed and earnestly entreated, “Uncle, let us take care of the kitten for you while you cook!”
“No.” He was taking good care of it. Why were these two little devils butting in?
The little dumplings pouted and stared at Xi Baichen’s back resentfully.
Xi Baichen seemed to sense it and suddenly turned his head. With an indifferent face, he asked “Do you still want to eat?”
The little dumplings immediately slumped. He was their bread and butter; they couldn’t afford to offend him.
[ Don’t be sad, I will play with you after the meal. ] Mi Li comforted the two little dumplings with her meows.
Xi Baichen turned a deaf ear to her words. He turned on the faucet and washed his hands. Then, he washed the rice to cook it, and took the ingredients out of the refrigerator.
Mi Li entered teaching mode again and started commanding him enthusiastically. The small paws flickered from time to time, and the meows came without pause.
“Why does the kitten keep calling?” Xi Keran asked her brother in a low voice.
“Because the demon king imprisoned it and restricted its freedom.” Xi Nuoqi replied indignantly.
“The kitten is so pitiful. Why don’t we give it something delicious later?”
“Ok, I can save a piece of meat for it!”
An hour later, steaming dishes were served one by one. They were mostly the little dumplings’ orders, while two dishes specially prepared for Xi Baichen were added.
Mi Li jumped off Xi Baichen’s shoulders and squatted on a chair, watching the family of three dine happily.
“Is the kitten hungry? I will give you my tofu.” Xie Keran put a piece of tofu on the plate.
Xi Nuoqi hesitated for a moment, but reluctantly proffered his braised pork: “This is for you too.”
“Don’t feed it randomly, the kitten can’t eat it.” Xi Baichen pushed the plate back. He filled a bowl with unsalted minced meat and rice and set it in front of Mi Li.
Mi Li stared at the food in front of them for a while, then lowered her head to taste it. The flavor turned out to be good. Now that she had the taste of a cat, she did not discriminate against this kind of bland food.
“Uncle, why is this kitten’s ears hanging down?” Xi Nuoqi asked curiously as he ate rice.
Xi Baichen was actually a little puzzled as well. He had been raising cats for more than ten years and knew all kinds of cat breeds, but he had never seen such a cat with drooping ears.
[ Have you never seen a folded-ear cat? ] Mi Li asked in response.
“Folded-ear cat?” Xi Baichen picked up his phone and prepared to search.
Mi Li jumped lightly, crawled under his arm, sat on his lap, and watched him type the words “Folded-ear cat” into the phone. The search results were shown, but there was nothing related to folded-ear cats.
Mi Li was secretly surprised. There is no folded-ear cat in this world?
Folded-ear cats were genetic mutations. This mutation was actually a kind of disease. All kittens with folded-ear genes were born with bone diseases. Once they had an onset, they would suffer from pain throughout their lives. So nowadays the number of folded-ear cats was decreasing, and many people did not support continued breeding. Because this genetic disease could not be eradicated, the only difference from it lay in the probability of disease onset.
It was also a good thing that cats in this world did not have folded-ear genes to avoid the continuation of this genetic disease.
Mi Li stretched her legs. Fortunately her folded-ear cat was fine for the time being.
At this moment, a click sound suddenly entered her ear, interrupting Mi Li’s thoughts. She looked back and faced the phone camera, her befuddled expression photographed.
Xi Baichen put the phone away and ate while petting Mi Li’s back.
Mi Li was petted very comfortably by him, and soon gave up the dignity of being a human being. She lied on his lap and enjoyed it with peace of mind.
After eating, Xi Baichen sat on the sofa and watched TV with Mi Li in his arms. He drove off the little dumplings to wash the dishes.
The TV was broadcasting the midday news, exposing a five-year business scam. A company called “Jinzheng” defrauded up to 8 billion in investment funds in the name of being listed on the stock exchange. Now the owner had fled, and the funds were missing.
Xi Baichen sneered suddenly, and a cold gleam of light flashed in his eyes.
[ What’s wrong? ] Mi Li raised her head. What did this penetrating expression mean?
“It’s nothing.” Xi Baichen blunted his sharp edge and returned to his usual bored-to-death appearance.
[ The current scams are really hard to guard against. ] Mi Li sighed, [ Look at these victims being cheated to the point of bankruptcy and ruining their families. They are very pitiful. ]
“Ho, that’s right.” Xi Baichen set aside his tea cup, eyes moving to his vibrating phone. The name “He Yingjie” displayed on the screen. He clicked it casually and directly set it to speaker mode.
[ Brother, you must save me this time! ] He Yingjie’s anxious voice came from the phone.
“What’s the matter?” Xi Baichen slowly took a sip of tea.
[ Have you seen the news about Jinzheng? I’m in real trouble this time. For this investment, all my family’s money was used and I even took out all sorts of loans. ]
Jinzheng? Mi Li moved her ears and listened attentively.
“How do you want me to help you?”
[ Lend me another million, I want to go hide abroad for a while. ]
A cold light appeared in Xi Baichen’s eyes, and he said lightly, “You should know that I have left the Xi family and relied on writing to sustain myself all these years. I have lent more than three million to you already, and I really can’t get any more money.”
[ Please, Brother Xi, can you help me figure out a solution? When this younger brother gets through this difficult situation, I will repay you double in the future. ]
“He Yingjie, I’ve helped all I could. I can’t do anything else. Your father should have many friends, let him worry about this kind of thing. Even if you lost money, it’s only a few million. Just take a few orders and earn it back.”
[ Not a few million. ] He Yingjie’s voice was crying, [ The family invested several hundred million, and I also mortgaged all my assets. ]
Xi Baichen adjusted his posture, demeanor quite relaxed, but his tone displayed a somewhat lukewarm surprise. “You actually invested so much? As a matter of fact, I’ve also been short of money recently but now I guess it’s not that bad. You can handle your own affairs first, and we will talk about the money you owe me later.”
He Yingjie: [ Thank you for your understanding, let’s do that first. ] Motherf*cker, understanding my *ss, he was here to borrow money!!!
After the two finished talking, Mi Li asked: [ This person is the one who borrowed 800,000 last time? ]
“Yeah.” Xi Baichen stroked the cat without pause.
[ I remember you said last time that your relationship is not good. You lending him money was in fact to scheme against him. ] Mi Li was very scared. [ The Jinzheng scam reported in the news was not planned by you, right? ]
“What are you thinking about?” Xi Baichen looked askance at her, “I won’t commit crimes.”
[ That’s good. ] Mi Li patted her chest with her small paws, [ But what is your grudge against him? ]
“Nothing much.” Xi Baichen flatly said, “I was 18 years old when I left my family. I started a business while studying, and back then my business partner was He Yingjie. He was responsible for accounting and finance; I was responsible for sales and services. After four years of hard work, the company was gradually on the right track. I began to think about changing focus and planned to invest in the emerging data analysis industry. But before changing focus, He Yingjie quietly pushed our customers to his relatives, which seriously affected the company’s development and reputation. In the end, we had no choice but to part ways. He doesn’t know that I’m aware of what he did. The reason I haven’t revealed it is just because I don’t want to speak nonsense with him.”
Xi Baichen had always been sincere and trustworthy to his friends, without any second thoughts, but the trust between people had always been fragile. He didn’t want to continue dealing with people because he was too tired and it was too troublesome, so he gave up starting a business and chose to be a writer instead of dealing with the complicated human heart.
He did not resent the world nor was it an escape. He just felt that there was no point.
[ That’s why you dug a pit for him to fall in? ] Mi Li figured out the cause and effect, and felt relieved, [ Good pit! This is how you should deal with such a villain! ]
Xi Baichen knew that the listing of the Jinzheng was a scam but said nothing and deliberately lent money to He Yingjie. Although the money he lent was not much, it magnified He Yingjie’s desire to invest. Cheating He Yingjie, no one the wiser, he was such a black-bellied schemer.
“Don’t you think I’m insidious?” Xi Baichen looked down at the kitten on his lap.
[ Insidious, very insidious! ]
Xi Baichen’s eyes dimmed, but he heard Mi Li say:
[ But I like it! ]
Like a drop of water falling into his heart’s lake, ripples started and did not disappear for a long time…