The next morning, Nie Chang was very lovingly kicked out of bed to make breakfast while a certain someone picked up his phone and started to read through the comments he had gotten since the previous evening.
Nie Chang listened in on his darling cheering when he saw a good comment and screaming bloody murder when he spotted a bad one. He shook his head indulgently and took out his own phone with one hand while he continued to make breakfast with the other. He clicked on the number and then waited for the other person to pick up.
“What’s the matter, boss? I haven’t overslept. It’s not time yet to open the store.”
Nie Chang smiled wryly. “Gone Gong, I need a favor.”
The person on the other side perked up. “A favor? You mean something like ‘open up the store for us and run things smoothly the whole day while we’re going on a date again’? That type of favor? Ah, it already sounds expensive.”
Nie Chang’s lips twitched. Was that the impression he gave his employees? He coughed and continued to stir the porridge. “Not quite like that.”
“Not quite? Then what is it? Don’t spare me, boss! I can take the PDA!”
Nie Chang almost dropped the spoon. “What PDA?! At least let me explain it! It’s nothing of the like. Su Yan wants a dog so we’re going to a dog shelter today to pick one out.”
Gong Gong gave a hum. “Yeah, sure, no PDA at all. You’re just going to pick out a fur baby with your darling. I really don’t know how I ever came up with the idea that this could be you showing your affection or something.”
Nie Chang grimaced. Alright, maybe this could be called PDA. “Well, let’s not get caught up in what to call it. The fact remains that Su Yan really wants to do this. I wouldn’t be a good boyfriend if I couldn’t even do him that small favor, would I? Help me out a bit. Just open the store on your own and take up the counter while we get the dog and some supplies, alright? We’ll probably get back after a few hours and then you can wrap up early, how does that sound?”
“Ah …” Gong Gong clicked his tongue. “I’m afraid my boss isn’t paying me to do that. How could I just do so because you say so? All that responsibility of sitting at the front desk … Ah, I’m afraid I’m not qualified enough.”
Nie Chang gritted his teeth. Who had ever heard of employees bargaining like this? “Just tell me what you want.”
Gong Gong pursed his lips. “This is a huge issue. You have to give me some minutes to think about it.”
Nie Chang sighed. “Don’t think about it for too long. Su Yan wants to eat breakfast in a bit. I need your answer before that.”
“Ah!” Gong Gong gave a yelp as if he had just hurt himself.
Nie Chang jumped. “What happened?!” Don’t tell him his employee had just had some kind of accident! Never mind the problem of what he should do about today, how was he supposed to finish all the work with just Lao Lao and him?
Gong Gong sighed. “I’m afraid there’s an elf living on top of my wardrobe. It has really bad aim. I think it wanted to shoot the cat but it somehow hit my chest. There’s an arrow stuck in there right now.”
Nie Chang’s expression darkened. This guy! “Can’t you stay serious? I really thought something had happened to you!”
Gong Gong just laughed. “That’s the accumulation of experience from many years of role-playing. I’m a very convincing actor. It’s your luck I’m more into electronics or else, I might have already made my way to Hollywood!”
“Yes, yes, you’re awesome. So what about today?”
“Well … I’ve thought about it and I feel like you owe us some time. Since you got your boyfriend to work with us, we hardly see you anymore. You should really put some hours a week aside to play with us. What do you say?”
Nie Chang sighed. Normally, he would agree immediately. After all, Gong Gong and Lao Lao were his friends of many years and playing some rounds with them would be fun. But unfortunately, his little darling demanded a lot of his attention. When would he take out the time to do this? Su Yan certainly wouldn’t be thrilled. He wanted to do everything together. If he could, he might even chain him to the desk so he would always sit next to him while he worked.
Gong Gong laughed again when he didn’t get a response. “You’re really a hen-pecked husband. Gosh, I want to post this on Weibo.” He laughed again but finally calmed down. “Well, I don’t mind if you bring him with you. It’s more fun if we’re four people anyway.”
“I’m not so sure if Su Yan would be interested in that.”
“Tch! Can’t you be a bit creative, boss? Just tell him it’s like training for one of his novels and he’ll be thrilled to join us.”
Nie Chang’s hand with the spoon stopped. Eh? Gong Gong might be right about that. This was like training another sort of storytelling so it wouldn’t be wrong to phrase it like that. And even if it didn’t count, he would still be trying something new with his boyfriend which would likely get him some experience points rewarded from the system. Looking at it this way … his darling would be thrilled to have this opportunity! After all, he had gotten very motivated to earn experience points after he found out just how many things he was able to exchange them for. According to Su Yan, that experience exchange point was even the most useful thing the system had given him.
“Alright, deal! We’ll come over in a few hours then.”
“Sure, sure, take your time, boss. But I still want to get off work earlier!”
Nie Chang sighed. “I never said you couldn’t. Now … I have to get back to making breakfast. Su Yan will be over here in a minute.” He ended the call and slipped his phone back into his pocket just in time before his darling rushed into the kitchen and looked at him with sparkling eyes.
“Have you finished yet? Can we eat? How about we take the food with us? I don’t mind eating in the car at all!”
Nie Chang sighed and took the bowls from the cupboard. “You might not mind but I need to drive. Is your boyfriend not allowed to eat breakfast?”
Su Yan pursed his lips. “Then you better eat fast, ah! We can’t let our dog wait for too long.”
Nie Chang nodded and carried the bowls over to the table, leaning over to his little darling and kissing his temple. “Sure. I would never let our dog get sad. After all, wouldn’t my little darling be sad if it looked at you with those pitiful eyes?”
“True!” Su Yan slipped onto his chair and started to wolf down his food. Obviously, he wasn’t willing to wait even a second longer than necessary before he went to see his dog.