ICRAB – Chapter 7
Skynet East District Third Street.
In the corner of a remote path, the squatting fat man put a red cloth in front of him, and on the red cloth there was only an LCD screen with the words ‘sold out’.
Many people who came and went were walking towards him, but after seeing these three words, they returned in disappointment. But the fat man didn't close the stall and leave. He sat on the bluestone slab and looked around for a while, and then he stayed in a daze. He just sighed again when a pretty figure with a ponytail and a flaming red dress was rushing like an arrow on the stone road of East District Third Street, twisting and zigzagging, but somehow managed to not knock any passerby. She laughed, and rushed to the fat man in a blink of an eye.
"Fat brother, I'm here, give me the little best!"
The fat man didn't say a word, and pointed listlessly at the LCD screen in front of him.
"Sold out?" The red dress girl glared at once, "Fat brother, you seem to be teasing me? Where is the best thing you said you will leave for me today?"
The fat man stretched out his hand, patted his thigh heavily, and grinned in pain, "Where? She didn't come today."
"What are you talking about? Who hasn't come?" The pretty little beauty was confused.
The fat man pointed to the open space next to him. It was a small piece of virtual shop lot, probably less than two square meters, and it was empty at the moment. "I once found her, but she disappeared into the vast sea of people at this moment. My heart is dying." The fat man touched his chest with one hand, and there was real pain on his fat face. "Day and night, every second, I think about the taste, as if the tip of my tongue is about to melt. Ah! I have no intention of trading anymore. The world has such a delicious thing, but I can't taste it, so what’s the use of having so much money? I don’t want to sell any more, I don’t want to help people sell anymore!"
The little beauty in the red dress was very confused, she didn't understand at all, "What crooked poem are you reading?" She touched her ponytail, but when she heard the fat man’s last words, her eyes immediately burst into flames, "Stop selling? Fat brother, did you deliberately play with me? We made an appointment last week, and I am here today. Did you mean you won’t sell it for me?!" She almost grabbed the fat man's white t-shirt, shaking it violently. "You know, I had a hard time stealing the item! You said you would fetch me a good price, and you broke your promise! D*mn, no wonder you are getting fatter! You are fattening by breaking your promise, you fat man!"
The fat man was shaken by her so that his whole body was trembling from side to side. He thought to himself that the chicken-wing girl hadn't appeared for three days, so he was a little depressed, too lazy to fight, he let the girl shake him wildly.
This farce quickly attracted a lot of onlookers, and soon a middle-aged man walked to the open space next to the fat man. He actually took out a table from his space station and set it up. He took out some glass tanks with luminous little fishes, and it seemed that I was going to set up a stall here.
The stall rental fee here was the cheapest, with a monthly fee of 5,000 credits. Usually there were few people. But the fat man had set up his stall here these days and this helped accumulated a lot of popularity for this small place. Someone actually took a fancy to this stall.
The fat man was originally held by the girl in the red dress by the neckline and didn't resist, but he was anxious when he saw the fish stall. He slipped away from the girl's restraint as soon as he waved his hand, and hurried to hold the middle-aged man's hand. "Uncle, don't use this booth, you can go to other places."
The middle-aged man was stunned.
The fat man waved his hand, "You can pick wherever you want, and I will make up for the difference in rent."
When the middle-aged man heard this, he didn't believe it originally, but the fat man had already turned on his light brain and transferred him five thousand credits.
"Uncle, I'm busy now, I don't have time to explain to you. Anyway, you should withdraw the rent from this booth!"
The fat man was about to drive him away in a hurry, so the middle-aged man was even more cheap and afraid that the fat man would regret the transfer. The middle-aged man packed his things quickly, threw them into his space station, and left.
It's just that when he left, one ear of the fat man was screwed on. "Hiss! What are you doing, Qin Ruyi!"
"Fatty Li, are you kidding me?"
"F*ck you, I'm waiting for someone! Hiss... let go, or I'll call security!"
"Waiting for someone?" The girl in the red dress raised her eyebrows, but she loosened her hand.
The fat man immediately covered his ear, and took two steps back with a bitter face, "You are not like a lady of the Qin family at all."
"Waiting for someone? Why were you arrogantly not allowing others to set up a stall here?" The girl named Qin Ruyi was a little interested, "You are the stingiest fat guy, but you transferred some money away just to keep this stall empty for no reason. So generous now?"
The fat man was bleeding for the five thousand that just flew, but now his wound was exposed fiercely, so his chest was very tight. "What do you know? She was there last time..." He was halfway through his words when he stopped abruptly, his small, narrow eyes gleamed brilliantly, and he looked straight ahead with gluttony.
Qin Ruyi also turned her head and saw the corner that had just been vacated. There, suddenly a mass of air twisted together with light and shadow, and then a petite body appeared. She was using a school uniform, the bangs on her forehead were twisted behind with a black headband, and her black hair fell on her shoulders. Upon closer inspection, she was actually a girl with thin limbs and a slightly pale face.
When the fat man saw the girl coming, he felt that the drool in his mouth was secreting rapidly, and he leaped towards the girl. But he then screamed, Qin Ruyi had held his hand again.
At seven o'clock in the morning, Liu Weiwei glanced at the time and began to take out the ingredients and seasonings one by one.
In the past two days, she didn't have much results in learning, so she wanted to go online to make money. When she went offline last time, Skynet recorded her last position. This time she logged in and chose the same booth directly. Fortunately, no one robbed her of her old position. It's just a bit noisy.
She frowned and looked at the screaming fat man not far away. He seemed to be very interested in her. Next to him, a girl in red dress with delicate eyebrows quickly lowered her head. "Fatty Li, are you waiting for her?"
Liu Weiwei couldn't help but pause, but immediately focused back on cooking. She could only stay for one hour each time she logs in, so there was no time to waste. She didn't want to chat with people, but it didn't prevent others from chatting with her.
Soon a fat face squeezed onto her table without shame, and he almost started to drool when he looked at her chopping board. "Sigh... Beauty, give me a hundred chicken wings today! I also want the crepes! Give it all to me!" The fat man spoke with the sound of drooling.
Liu Weiwei stretched out her hand and wiped her face, "I won't sell those two items today."
"What?!" The fat man seemed to hear a bolt from the blue.
And Qin Ruyi, who was next to him, also leaned in and looked at Liu Weiwei, who was obviously malnourished and underdeveloped, "Chicken wings? Fat brother, if you want to chase people, don't use this method of suicide." In order to patronize the business of his sweetheart, he bought a hundred chicken wings. She felt that it would be fatal. The fishy smell of chickens, and a faint smell of sh*t... Even if it was sold virtually through Skynet, it would be murder!
"Go away!" The old fat man blushed, "What suicide?" He quickly turned to Liu Weiwei and looked at her hopefully, "If there are no one hundred chicken wings, fifty will do, ten will do!"
Liu Weiwei bent down and typed directly on the signboard in front of the booth. <Tofu pudding – 20 per serving. Small wontons – 50 per serving>
"Is there really no chicken wings?" The fat man was desperate when he saw the sign. He had dreamed of chewing chicken wings in the past two days. He spent a long time sucking the leftover bones that he had eaten that day until they were completely tasteless. They were kept in his room, locked in an incubator on his bedside table.
The beautiful taste, the moment the chicken juice exploded in his mouth, was like a dream. It made him feel so hungry every time he recalled it, so he was even reluctant to throw away the chicken bones. But now if he was hungry, even his favorite cocoa-flavored nutrient solution felt dull and tasteless. It was no longer able to bring up any appetite for him.
He came here every day to set up a stall just to wait for the delicious bite he had dreamed of, but he had not seen the chicken-wing girl. Yesterday he sold out all the goods he bought, but was reluctant to leave to buy more goods. Thinking what if the girl didn't come in the morning but in the afternoon? Then in the afternoon he still waited thinking what if she didn't come this afternoon but at night?
He waited and waited without daring to leave even a step. He even drove away several people who wanted to set up a stall here, and finally this little girl came. But, she didn’t f*cking sell chicken wings anymore?
"Tofu Pudding," The fat man took a look, and felt a little nauseous, "What kind of brain is this? What are you doing?!" (TN: Tofu pudding = 豆腐脑/Dòufu nǎo. 脑/nǎo literally means brain.)
Liu Weiwei was taken aback, and was about to refute, but then she heard Qin Ruyi's cheerful and interested voice beside her.
"I’ve never heard of a dish made of a beast’s brain. It’s from a level beast? Land or water beast? Twenty credits per serving is very cheap. Where did you get it? Did you hunt it yourself? Did you stab the skull with a knife? Or headshot with a gun? How to collect the brain? Was it sucked out with a carbon straw? What color is this brain pulp? I've only seen green, white, and grayish ones."
Liu Weiwei was about to reach out to scoop out the ingredients in the bucket, but she felt sour in her stomach by this sentence. Thinking of yesterday's video where the giant baboon was headshot by the silver mecha, the broken juice splashing around was indeed a bit green, she couldn't help but felt disgust. She reached out her hand to cover her mouth.
And the fat man who didn't give up, stretched out his hand to pick up the lid of the bucket while Liu Weiwei didn't look, and peeked into the bucket. He seemed to search for a glimmer of hope. However, he found no chicken in that bucket, not even bones. There was only a tuft of white soft things that seemed to tremble because of his movements.
"It's a brain, brain! D*mn it!" The fat man almost vomited all the nutrient solution he drank in the morning!
Only Qin Ruyi was so courageous that she even tried to reach out to touch the contents of the bucket, but fortunately she stopped sensibly in the end. But as soon as she turned around, she looked at Liu Weiwei who was still nauseously spitting acid water on the side with teary eyes.
"My dear, is this big bucket full of beast's brains? If its brain was big, you can get so many brains at once, right? Ha, this bucket doesn't seem to be stained by beast blood at all, nor is it scorched by gunshot, and they were still mostly solidified. They didn't completely splatter and turned into liquid. They looked very good! This big barrel only costs twenty? It's so cheap, I’ll buy it!"
Liu Weiwei couldn't help it anymore. She turned her head and vomited.