82: Temporary Drastic Personality Changes
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Waking up in Yan Mingqing’s arms... again, Lin Songmei let out a groggy yawn as she blinked her eyes open. 

Where was she? Who was she? What time was it?

The sun was still up, so that was a good sign. Though, it was weird how she kept waking up in Mingqing’s arms. Looking up at Mingqing’s amused expression, Songmei squinted a bit before asking, “What time is it?” 

“Around one, it’s not that late,” Mingqing chuckled, suppressing the urge to break out into more laughter while watching Songmei look around with pure bewilderment and fog in her eyes. “I was thinking about just eating light for lunch, do you have any thoughts? Or is it still too early?” 

“I’m not hungry, but I’ll eat some light snacks,” Songmei nodded, sitting up with a touch of reluctance. It was nice laying in Mingqing’s lap after all. “I’m in the mood for something a little more... savory.” 

“I mean... when are you not,” Mingqing shrugged, sitting up, closing her terminal and now-finished reading homework. “I’m the one with the sweet tooth, the sugar addict, and you’re the salt maniac.” 

“True, true, speaking truth as always,” Songmei murmured, reaching up and freezing just before rubbing her eyes. “Ah... shi... f... makeup.” 

Lowering her hand and sitting there in silence, Songmei pursed her lips, falling back onto the cushions and looking over at Mingqing. “What were you doing while I was sleeping?” 

“I was just reading and catching up on the reading you blazed through.” Mingqing confessed, sinking back onto the couch next to Songmei, only now having a few inches of separation so that conversation was possible. “Oh yeah, also, I got an invitation from Youhong and Wang Taigang inviting us out to dinner. I mean you probably got it too, but you were just asleep.” 

Raising her eyebrows, Songmei rolled over, grabbing her terminal off the table that she had plopped it on earlier. “Was it just a message? Or did they do it more formally?” 

“Just a message. I don’t think anyone could get Youhong to send a formal message, not even with a crate of lychee jelly,” Mingqing mused, sinking a little further into the soft cushions. “Maybe four crates would do it though...” 

“Honestly, probably three would be enough,” Songmei shook her head, pulling up the message. 

[Dear Lin Songmei and Yan Mingqing,]

[I’d like to formally invite you to a]

[Anyway, what’s up]

[Wang Taigang and I are going out for dinner. We made a reservation already, but the restaurant allows for reservation expansions]

“He really just gave up halfway through, didn’t he?” Songmei muttered, scrolling through Mingqing’s replies asking where, and also that she’d have to ask Songmei before she could give a definite answer. “Sure, I’m willing to go, sounds like it’ll be fun. Also I’m too lazy to order food, so I’m just gonna go get some snacks out of the cupboard right now, want something?” 

Looking up while typing out her reply to Youhong’s message, Mingqing pondered, “Just give me a back of gummies. I’m in the mood for those sour gummy worms.” 

“Okay~ One sec, one sec.” 

------------

Sunset.

Changed out of their casual clothes, Songmei and Mingqing were in slightly more formal wear, ready for dinner at the half-upscale restaurant.

With sloping roofs and warm lighting—the floating balls of fire could be thanked for that—the steak restaurant was in a quiet bustle of activity. Servers seemed to glide around, sweeping dirty plates off of the tables and replacing them with plates laden with delectable, mouth-watering dishes. 

Still in the Central district, this restaurant had a prime location. Its outside dining area, a patio in the back, gave a brilliant view over the edge of the floating island that was the Central district. Rushing waters, a mix between brown, blue, and green, flowed and created a constant curtain down below, dotted with small boats traveling from the North to the South. 

Along with the boats were a few long thin lines—bridges that spanned the wide river. Yet, along the coasts were the industrialized skylines of the North and South side. Soaring skyscrapers, flying vehicles, crowded alleys, dark corners, upscale stores, all dotted with bright lights, filled with the life that snaked through each corner of the city. 

Looking around, Songmei and Mingqing paused for a second. “Do you know where the other two are, Mingqing?” 

“Not a clue,” Mingqing answered, keeping her hand interlaced with Songmei’s, “I don’t know if we’re here too early or if they’ve already sat down. You want to message them real quick?” 

“Sure,” Nodded Songmei, unlacing her fingers with a faint frown creeping up on her face. “Where... are... you all. Sent.” 

Immediate reply. 

Flinching a bit from the immediate reply, Songmei shook her head and read it over once more, “Behind. What?” 

With a spin, Mingqing rotated on her heel, freezing as she suppressed a bout of laughter. What greeted her? 

Stacked on top of each other were Youhong and Wang Taigang—Youhong on top of Wang Taigang’s shoulders. Supporting Youhong, Wang Taigang a faint bead of sweat was visible on his forehead, along with a slight crease in the formal wear he had on. 

Youhong, on the other hand, looked like he had just come from a disco. With tacky hot pink plastic sun-glasses on, Youhong waved at the pair of them with one hand, a double XL lychee jelly in the other hand. 

“Is... is that just a bowl of lychee jelly?” Songmei coughed, in disbelief seeing Youhong’s... miraculous transition. “I’ve never seen him have this much energy before. Is... Is this the right person?” 

“WHATTTT IS UP?!” Youhong shouted, piercing the quiet atmosphere with an uncharacteristic outburst. “WHAT’S FIRE, WHAT’S POPPING?” 

Looking at each other, their eyebrows furrowed, Songmei and Mingqing couldn’t help but both let out whispers. 

“He’s got to have been replaced.” 

“What happened to our lovable lychee jelly addict who never had more emotion than a pile of bricks...” 

“Yeah...” 

“Also, you think they’re going to let us into the restaurant if he’s dressed and acting like that?” 

“Hopefully,” Mingqing sighed, waving the two of them over with an exasperated head shake 

Leaping off of Wang Taigang, Youhong jogged his way over, his formal clothes already looking a little disheveled as he came to a skidding stop. “How’s the outfit? Out of 10? What would you rate it?” 

“Probably a 0,” MIngqing retorted, with a shake of the head. Songmei had to agree... The pink sunglasses really didn’t work well with anything—especially with how much they flared off to each side. More than that, the watermelon-sized lychee jelly in Youhong’s hands was just, so comically large it ruined any grace the formal clothing might’ve provided. 

What the hell were Wang Taigang and Youhong even up to this past afternoon?

All Songmei did was eat (with Mingqing), nap (on Mingqing), or watch TV (with Mingqing). 

Had a continuity error in the last chapter... T~T
a reader pointed it out so i fixed it, not a biggie, just like.. wehre they were aiii
how am i so tired... wish i could be like... not tired yeah...

anyway, not much to say again, updated all the past chapters with my proof reader po's updates...

thanks for reading~!!
take care reader friends~!! <3<3

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