Book 2: Chapter 23 - What Surprise?

Raffles blushed hard at Sis Cannon’s teasing. Angrily, he dashed into my room, taking my quilt with him. He didn’t like people calling him a mascot, because he knew that ‘mascot’ was just a nicer way for them to call him a girl. 

I looked at Sis Cannon. “Don’t make fun of Raffles.”

“I like to see him blush,” Sis Cannon said playfully.

I felt that Sis Cannon and Raffles should exchange their genders.

“I’m heading out for some fun now. You can just flash your communicator at the sensor on the door, it works as your key.” Sis Cannon patted my back and said, “We will wait for you at Sis Meizi’s place.”

“She can’t go!” Raffles suddenly popped out and said huffily.

Sis Cannon crossed her arms before her chest and tilted her chin up at Raffles. “Raffles, what is your problem? Are you trying to monopolize Luo Bing for yourself? Take a number, there are still many men in line before you. Besides, aren’t you William’s little cutie pie! Hahaha…”

Raffles glared at Sis Cannon, his cheeks flushed with anger. “It’s Uncle Mason’s command that Luo Bing rests early tonight! Tomorrow morning she has to -!” He suddenly cut himself off, as though there was something he couldn’t say before me.

“She has to what?” Sis Cannon grabbed Raffles and asked closely. Suddenly, she seemed to realize something and her face turned surprised. “Could it be that?”

“Mm.” Raffles nodded without looking at Sis Cannon. “Go ahead and have your fun. Don’t disturb Luo Bing.”

I was confused. Sis Cannon seemed to know what would happen tomorrow as well, and became mysterious like Raffles.

“I understand now. Take care of Luo Bing, mascot. Oh no, it’s a little cutie pie!” Sis Cannon didn’t forget to make fun of Raffles with a mischievous smile. Raffles looked away angrily but didn’t argue with Sis Cannon. Whenever people teased him, he would only respond like that: either he would stay angry by himself, or he would just walk away. It was what made him fun to bully.

Sis Cannon grinned at me. “Congratulations, Luo Bing!”

Congratulate me for what? I didn’t give birth to any children.

Sis Cannon then left cheekily.

Raffles humphed softly, then entered the house again. I touched the sensor with my communicator. There was a *beep* as the sensor recorded the code, so that I would be able to open my room door with my communicator from then on.

Entering my room, I saw that the layout was the same as Harry’s room. It was about five square meters big, comparable to the size of my toilet back home.

Against the left wall, there was a steel bed, where Raffles was spreading my quilt for me. By the bed, there was a small wardrobe, which looked much sturdier than the board supported with two nails I’d used in Harry’s room.

On the other side of the door, there was a set of table and chairs. The table was bare except for my daily necessities. Each floor had a shared toilet, so I would be using the one on my floor. 

I watched Raffles spread my quilt. “ Raffles, are you hiding something from me? What did Uncle Mason say exactly?”

Raffles smiled as he worked. “It’s something good.” He smoothed out the quilt, turned around and said with a smile, “Stop asking. Isn’t it nice to have a surprise tomorrow?”

“Surprise?” I smiled too. “I like surprises. I shall not ask then.” Casually, I dropped my bag on the bedside table, taking out my two sets of clean clothing. One was the black battle uniform for training, and the other one was casual wear for rest days in Noah City, specifically the linen long dress and long pants I’d first received. I also had a pair of new shoes, made personally for me by Arsenal. Her short and neat stitches were beautiful.

I put my bag aside and pulled open the side zip; I’d stored some souvenirs in the side compartment. I took out a sandalwood bead bracelet and held it out to Raffles. “Here, this is thanks for taking care of me all this while."

Raffles looked at the sandalwood bracelet in my hand, stunned. Actually, my dad had bought it as a gift for someone.

“For me?” He said in disbelief.

“Mm.” I nodded, then held his hand up to slide the bracelet around his wrist. “This is a sandalwood bracelet blessed by God. It will give you protection. So, Raffles, we are still best friends!” I held his hand firmly. 

He was stunned as he stared at the bracelet on his wrist. He held my hand tightly. “This is the best present I’ve ever received. Thank you, Luo Bing!” He looked down, blushing as he smiled bashfully.

I let go of his hand, and Raffles immediately raised the bracelet for a sniff. He looked at me in surprise. “It smells good!” He studied the bracelet carefully, “I’ve only read in books that sandalwood smells good, turns out it’s true! Oh, right,” he turned towards me, “Will you be able to sleep without hearing me talk? Tomorrow is an important day, so you have to rest well tonight. Ah! Why not I stay here to talk to you tonight?”

Stunned, I was tempted by his offer. To be frank, it had become a habit for me to fall asleep to his talking. It was just like my grandma who could only sleep when she listened to the radio.

Not only do I have to sleep in a strange bed, I also won’t be able to hear Raffles babbling next to me. I really might have trouble falling asleep.

“It’s okay, I can keep you company. I don’t have to work in the warehouse tonight.” Saying that, Raffles took out his booklet from the sling pouch that he always carried on him. Opening it, he took out an ugly pen.

Raffles sat on the chair near the door and started writing on the booklet with his back to me. “Go ahead and sleep. I’ll leave after you fall asleep.”

Looking at his back for a while, I then quietly lay down on the bed. Even through the layer of soft quilt, I could still feel the firm steel plate of the bed frame. The pile of wire rod felt better.

I pulled my blanket up, and slowly closed my eyes as I watched Raffles’ back. I could hear him muttering softly, “The flying corpse’s gene mutation…”

*Bzzt!* It was the vibration from Raffles’ communicator.

“Shh! Noah, what’s the matter? Luo Bing is sleeping.”

“Oh, I have something to report to you.”

“Okay, what?”

I fell asleep while vaguely listening to Raffles and Noah’s conversation. What surprise would there be tomorrow?

Before the sky had brightened, someone woke me up. Not that I could tell the color of the sky from within Noah City. I could only hear someone calling, “Luo Bing! Luo Bing! Wake up!” Someone pushed me. Just as I was about to wake up, someone suddenly shook me by the shoulders vigorously, “Luo Bing! Wake up! Tell me! Why is Raffles sleeping in your room?!”

I opened my eyes and saw Harry’s accusatory expression as though he’d caught adulterers in the act. In the dimly lit room, his amber eyes were as shiny as the black jaguar’s at night.

I startled awake and instinctively threw a punch!

*Bang!* I punched him square in the face. Stumbling, he let go of my shoulders and held his face, standing dumbfounded by my bed.

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