Chapter 53: How Undercover Agents Are Trained (Part Three)
Jian Ningxuan woke up on the hotel’s big bed and, upon opening his eyes, saw a large bouquet of vibrant roses on the bedside table, with a card tucked in between.
【Dear, touchy-touchy~~ I’ve gone for a morning run, no need to wait for me. See you at home.】
After reading the message on the card, Jian Ningxuan sighed helplessly. An Bu was always so full of energy, making him wonder if he wasn’t putting in enough effort at night. Even according to international standards, his endurance was above average, so why did she still have the strength to go for a run!
Jian Ningxuan got up and walked towards the bathroom. While brushing his teeth, he noticed a lipstick mark on his collarbone—bright, distinct, and obviously applied later. Involuntarily, an image flashed in his mind of a woman taking advantage of his sleep, using lipstick to draw on him. A slight smile curled at the corners of his mouth, warmth filling his eyes.
An Bu left the hotel at 4 a.m., jogging along the streets while listening to music. By 8 a.m., she happened upon a flower shop. Thinking about her cat master left at the hotel, she bought a bouquet of roses, slipped back to the hotel, placed the roses on Jian Ningxuan’s pillow, and then quietly left. Despite being intimately connected, they rarely slept together until dawn. Even at home, after doing what they enjoyed, they would each retire to their separate rooms.
An Bu typically only slept for a little over two hours. The rest of the time had to be spent maintaining vitality; otherwise, her body and mind would gradually stiffen. She didn’t want Jian Ningxuan to wake up one day and find a zombie lying next to him, unable to even climb out of bed.
Around 10 a.m., while wandering the streets, An Bu decided to buy some ingredients at the market and then return home to feed her cat master.
At that moment, a red sports car suddenly stopped in front of her. The window revealed a familiar face, smiling and greeting, “What a coincidence, Miss An.”
“Mr. Tong?” An Bu recognized the man in the car as Tong Jun, whom she had met at the antique appraisal event yesterday.
Tong Jun, not concealing his fondness for An Bu, warmly invited, “Miss An, you haven’t had lunch yet? I wonder if I have the honor of inviting you for lunch?”
An Bu calmly sized him up. She noticed that the yin energy on him was even thicker than before. She wondered if he had gone to a cemetery disco last night; the rate at which his yin energy increased was faster than her own death energy.
An Bu playfully joked, “Mr. Tong, where do you plan to take me for lunch? If it’s just an ordinary place, I’m afraid I won’t go.”
“Hahaha.” Tong Jun laughed heartily and said, “Alright, to win the favor of a beauty, I’ve decided to contribute my private restaurant.”
He got out of the car, opened the door for An Bu, and made an inviting gesture, confidently saying, “I guarantee you’ll be satisfied.”
An Bu bent down to get in the car, a smile always on her face, but her eyes remained calm.
The car drove for more than thirty minutes before stopping at the entrance of an alley. This place was far from the city center, with a tranquil environment, crisscrossing alleys that made it easy for outsiders to get lost.
Tong Jun led An Bu through a series of twists and turns, finally entering a courtyard. In the courtyard, two men were sitting at the stone table, one around sixty with white hair, squinting as if calculating something. The other, around forty, had half of his face covered by semi-long hair, with a cold and eerie expression.
Seeing Tong Jun enter, the two men, who had initially thought of greeting him, stopped when they saw An Bu behind him, their eyes filled with suspicion.
Ignoring them, Tong Jun, pretending not to know them, confidently led An Bu into the inner room, calling out, “Chef Qiao, I have a guest today. Make a few of your signature dishes for me.”
A burly chef peered over, took a glance in their direction, and then promptly retreated back to the kitchen without a word.
“Miss An, please don’t mind,” Tong Jun poured tea for An Bu while explaining, “The chefs and guests here are quite peculiar, but the taste of the food is really good.”
An Bu timely displayed a bit of restraint, appearing like an innocent flower, curiously looking around. However, in her heart, she was secretly surprised. This courtyard had a history of at least three hundred years. Despite multiple renovations, the profound sense of weightiness couldn’t deceive people. It must have received guidance from a skilled practitioner in the past, who brought protective spirits. Unfortunately, over time, the effectiveness of the protective spirits had dwindled, and the originally suppressed Yin energy started to spread, gradually affecting everyone who entered and exited the house.
Observing the Yin energy on Tong Jun and the two diners outside, it was likely that they had a deep connection with this house. They frequently dealt with ominous objects; otherwise, they wouldn’t possess such rich Yin energy.
The heavier the Yin energy, the lower the vitality, and the higher the likelihood of encountering calamities involving bloodshed.
An Bu accepted Tong Jun’s invitation to investigate his background. Ominous objects often consisted of burial items or sacrificial offerings from ancient times. Officer Sun wanted to find the stolen artifacts, and Tong Jun could undoubtedly be the prime suspect. Even if the artifacts he dealt with weren’t the stolen ones, he must have been involved in other illegal transactions.
An Bu, being a dead person, had nothing to fear. Openly and straightforwardly, she followed him into this den of thieves.
Before long, Chef Qiao served the prepared dishes on the table and then silently retreated back to the kitchen.
“Miss An, please try it. See if it suits your taste?” Tong Jun smiled, inviting An Bu to taste the dishes.
An Bu tasted the delicacies with restraint, nodding in approval and saying, “Very delicious.”
In reality, it was like chewing on wax, tasteless. The only advantage was that it was clean and hygienic, not increasing her death energy. Achieving this was already quite good.
During the meal, Tong Jun was very talkative, never letting the conversation lag. He treated An Bu as a pursuit target but didn’t seem abrupt. Naturally, he drew closer to her, subtly understanding each other from hobbies to entertainment, from life to career. Unfortunately, he was dealing with an old corpse, and whether it was age, experience, emotional intelligence, or IQ, there was a gap between them like the boundary of Yin and Yang.
The dinner lasted for more than an hour, and the host and guest enjoyed themselves. Tong Jun successfully obtained An Bu’s phone number and then gallantly offered to drive her home. However, An Bu only allowed him to drop her off at the square, fearing that her cat master might see them and create unnecessary misunderstandings.
After parting ways with Tong Jun, An Bu took out her phone and noticed that Jian Ningxuan hadn’t called or messaged her. She figured her cat master was being aloof again, waiting for her to explain when she got home.
An Bu knew that Jian Ningxuan could track her phone, so wherever she went, he would be well aware.
After some thought, An Bu dialed Jian Ningxuan’s number. “Mr. Jian, have you had dinner?”
“No,” came Jian Ningxuan’s reply.
“What would you like to eat?”
“I’ll buy the ingredients, and you can cook for me.”
“I… don’t really know how.”
“Whatever you know, just make that. I’m not picky.”
After the call, Jian Ningxuan’s first move was to search for recipes online.
An Bu thought to herself, her cat master’s first move must be to search for recipes online.
【Telepathic Communication Skill √】
On the other side, in Chef Qiao’s courtyard, Gong Jiu said to Wu Yong, “Tong Jun is too reckless. How could he bring an outsider here casually?”
Wu Yong replied coldly, “That girl is a bit strange.”
“What’s strange about her?” Gong Jiu puzzled, “I’ve been observing her secretly for a while. She seems like an inexperienced young girl.”
“The feeling she gives me…” Wu Yong’s expression stiffened as he answered, “It’s like a hundred-year-old corpse in an ancient tomb.”
“Hahaha.” Gong Jiu laughed, “She’s just a delicate young girl, how did you turn her into a hundred-year-old corpse?”
“In any case,” Wu Yong’s tone was stern, showing no emotion, “tell Tong Jun to keep his distance from her.”
An Bu returned home with two bags of ingredients, scattering them on the table. Jian Ningxuan felt a great deal of pressure.
He wasn’t entirely unfamiliar with cooking, but it had been a long time, making him a bit rusty. Moreover, he didn’t want An Bu to eat something unappetizing.
“Mr. Jian, what do you plan to make?” An Bu asked while organizing the ingredients.
Jian Ningxuan replied seriously, “Tomato soybean noodles.”
An Bu paused, apologizing, “Sorry, I didn’t buy noodles.”
Jian Ningxuan continued, “Fruit toast sandwich.”
“…I didn’t buy bread.”
Jian Ningxuan then suggested, “Creamy mushroom soup.”
“I don’t have mushrooms.”
Jian Ningxuan fell silent, scanning the ingredients on the table. Finally, he chose a dish with available ingredients, “Cheesy mashed potatoes!”
Looking at him with an expression of anticipation, Jian Ningxuan waited for An Bu to try it.
An Bu “affectionately” gave him a look, “I’m sorry, but we’re out of cheese.”
Jian Ningxuan instantly wore a look of despair.
Holding back her laughter, An Bu picked up a potato, consoling him, “If we can’t make cheesy mashed potatoes, we can make rustic mashed potatoes, bacon mashed potatoes, or mashed potato salad.”
Jian Ningxuan, with no words, picked up the necessary ingredients and went into the kitchen, ready to get to work.
Seeing his cat master cooking on an empty stomach, without a single complaint, An Bu generously contributed her favorite apron to him.
Forced to wear the cat-themed apron, Jian Ningxuan thought, this meal probably won’t taste good…
While Jian Ningxuan was busy cooking, An Bu suddenly received a call from Officer Sun.
“Miss An, do you have time this afternoon? Can we meet?”
“Yes, what time and where?”
“3 p.m., at the museum.”
“Alright, I’ll be there on time.” An Bu guessed that Officer Sun wanted to discuss the situation at the antique appraisal event. She planned to ask him to keep an eye on Tong Jun, whether he was related to the stolen artifacts or not, at least he was a lead.
After hanging up the phone, An Bu looked back at the kitchen and found that Jian Ningxuan was still engrossed in the culinary struggle.
Approaching the kitchen door, An Bu leaned in and asked, “Need any help?”
“No need,” Jian Ningxuan said without turning his head, “Go to the living room and lie down. Give me half an hour.”
Half an hour later, Jian Ningxuan triumphantly presented the finished dishes.
A large bowl of mashed potato salad, plus two servings of egg waffles.
“Give it a try.” Jian Ningxuan looked like a chef waiting for a food critic, his expression solemn.
An Bu took a spoonful of mashed potatoes, then bit into the waffle, praising, “Not bad!”
Jian Ningxuan’s eyebrows relaxed, he took off the apron, washed his hands, sat down next to An Bu, and began to enjoy the fruits of his labor.
Both dishes were not difficult to make, tasted good, and watching An Bu enjoy them, Jian Ningxuan suddenly got the joy of feeding.
No wonder she always liked to cook delicious food for herself. It really brought a sense of accomplishment…
An Bu’s taste buds were absent, and everything she ate had no flavor. However, looking at her cat master glowing, it was really appetizing…