Chapter 18: The hypocrisy of men

Bai Qingqing immediately got up, left Xiao Yang, and went downstairs.
Fu Chen was standing at the bottom of the stairs and reached out to her to help her jump down.
“Brother, what happened? Is there something wrong?”
Fu Chen took her to the first floor: “We will stop in a bit.”
Bai Qingqing let him lead her downstairs.
They were only halfway to their next destination and would most likely be able to reach it tomorrow afternoon.
In the meantime, the modified car stopped by the river on the side of the road.
Dinner wasn’t ready yet and Bai Qingqing proposed a barbecue.
The team members had rarely eaten ordinary meals since the end of the world, and after more than half a year without grilled meat, they had forgotten the taste.
Bai Qingqing took out outdoor tools, picnic stoves, tables and chairs, barbecue grills, a bucket of purified water, and various frozen goods and vegetables from her space.
Everybody watched her take out so many fancy things and couldn’t help but take a look at Fu Chen; the captain had taken his baby sister to stock up on food and she had grabbed many strange supplies on the way.
But Fu Chen was also wondering how and when she had collected outdoor items.

After Bai Qingqing was done emptying her space, she said: “Brother, I took those things because I thought they would be useful.
You won’t blame me, will you?”
Nobody would but no one had expected her to think of collecting trivial items like those.
They had left the food hoarding to Bai Tiantian and what everybody needed the most outside of it was common daily necessities.
No one ever thought of getting outdoor equipment and even if they did, nobody dared to leave outside for fear of being bitten in a sudden attack.
Fu Chen looked at the items Bai Qingqing had taken out one by one.
The environment in the last days would only become more and more difficult.
Without clean water, food would become even more scarce and people would start to eat anything.
Humankind was facing extinction and while scientists would later develop nutrient solutions good enough to sustain life, this kind of food would taste bad and would never fill the stomach.
Even if leaders of bases had better lives than ordinary civilians, they still couldn’t enjoy it as they did before the apocalypse.
This kind of trivial thing like sitting down to rest and grill meat, Fu Chen never thought about it; he shouldered the responsibility to do everything possible to give mankind a better future and chance of survival.
Bai Qingqing also looked at her items and smiled at everyone: “Let’s cook?”
Bai Tiantian looked at the men timidly.
She and her sister had no fighting ability and could only depend on the Thunder Squad; she had to wait for their instructions before acting.
They didn’t know if there were many zombies in this area, were they certain they wanted to start a barbecue here?

They had stayed in Zhou village these past few days and not only they had needed to find a way out of here, but they had also been put to work by the villagers and had not had any time to rest.
Hearing Bai Qingqing’s proposal, they weren’t against it.

Liang Zhiyu pushed the gold-rimmed glasses on the bridge of his nose, rolled up his sleeve gracefully, and said: “I will be the chef.”
Bai Qingqing immediately replied: “I’ll help!”
The others also divided the work, washing and cutting the vegetables.
Only Fu Chen sat in the chair and did not move.
He was the prince of the Beijing base, he had not worked since he was born and could only sit and wait until the food was ready.

Liang Zhiyu skillfully cooked the chicken wings and pork while Bai Qingqing stood beside him, occasionally helping him to turn over the food.
“Doctor Liang,” She sincerely praised, “You are really amazing, I feel there is nothing you can’t do.”
Liang Zhiyu smiled lightly: “There is.”
“Like what?” Bai Qingqing looked at him curiously.
Her intrigued eyes were bright and beautiful, making people want to tease her.
Liang Zhiyu pondered for half a second before opening his mouth to say: “Guess.”
“…” Guess, yeah, right!
Bai Qingqing suppressed her irritation at being teased.
She blinked and smiled: “How can I know?”
Liang Zhiyu looked very happy: “If you cannot guess, it’s fine.”
Xiao Yang joined them with two pieces of corn and asked with a puzzled expression: “Guess what?”
The two looked at him and answered in unison: “Nothing.”
Xiao Yang felt a little depressed and squeezed himself between Liang Zhiyu and Bai Qingqing before saying: “The vegetables are all washed and cut.
Let me help.”
The grill was not wide and Bai Qingqing was pushed aside.
Xiao Yang handed her some corn: “Qingqing, this is for you.
What else do you like, I will get it for you?”
“Thank you.” Bai Qingqing was embarrassed, “No need, I can get it myself.”
Xiao Yang held a small brush and brushed the corn with oil: “Do you want to do it or should I help you?”
“I can do it.” Bai Qingqing took the brush from him.

Liang Zhiyu watched Xiao Yang try to please the girl; his fox eyes narrowed slightly and the smile on his lips faded a little.

Bai Qingqing carefully turned over the chicken, the pork, the beef, and so on.
As she waited, she raised her head to glance over at the table and met with a pair of dark eyes.
Fu Chen was sitting lazily on his chair but his expression was unreadable yet as cold as ice and he was staring at her.
Bai Qingqing was startled and put a gentle smile on her face in a hurry, hoping Fu Chen had not noticed her first expression.
Fu Chen was the strongest of the team and the most difficult to deal with.
His temperament was unpredictable and if he ever realized she was lying to him, she would die an ugly death.
If she was even just a little concerned about staying alive, she needed to act like a younger sister well.
Bai Qingqing retracted her gaze, picked up a cooked chicken wing, and walked quickly towards Fu Chen.
“Brother, I made this.” She bent down slightly with a soft and coquettish smile: “You taste it.”
Fu Chen looked at the girl in front of him, his face still dark: “I don’t like chicken wings.” (TL note: what a picky eater)
“Oh.” Bai Qingqing was surprised but didn’t want to give up, “brother, it’s a honey chicken wing.
It’s delicious, try it.”
Fu Chen looked at her begging expression and reluctantly accepted: “Give it to me.”
Bai Qingqing handed him the food.
She sat down in a chair next to him and picked up a cup of water before taking a sip.
Fu Chen looked over and she noticed he was staring at her again.
Bai Qingqing licked her lower lip, confused: “Is there something on my face?”
“This glass of water is mine.” Fu Chen answered.
Bai Qingqing: “…” 
She didn’t mean to make that mistake! The water hadn’t been touched and she was thirsty so she drank it.
Her eyes flickered, domineering yet cute, and she said: “Well it’s mine now.”
Fu Chen stayed silent and after taking two or three bites of the chicken wing, the girl next to him immediately handed him a new cup for him to take a sip of it.
Bai Qingqing looked at him anxiously: “Brother, how does it taste?”
“Not bad.”

Bai Qingqing looked devastated: “No, I cooked it for a long time, you should at least praise me with a few more words.”
A very quick smile flashed on Fu Chen’s face before he pursed his lips: “Not bad.”
Bai Qingqing: “…” He really cherished his words like gold.
“Qingqing!” Xiao Yang shouted, “Your corn is almost ready, come take a look!”
“Oh, coming!” Bai Qingqing ran over at once.

Shen Mingxuan and Bai Tiantian also went to take the cooked food and put it on the table.
As they placed the dishes, they looked over at Bai Qingqing who was chatting with Xiao Yang.
Bai Tiantian blurted out: “Xiao Yang seems to like my sister very much.”
Shen Mingxuan, Cheng Rui, and Fu Chen looked at them, staring at Xiao Yang who was grinning wildly like a fool, obviously trying to please the girl.
“Brother Fu, you should watch out for this woman and don’t let him be manipulated.” Shen Mingxuan sneered.
He really disliked the gorgeous Bai Qingqing and his intuition told him she was faking her memory loss.
Cheng Rui’s handsome and cold features didn’t move as he stared at the girl, wondering in his heart if she liked boys like Xiao Yang.
Bai Tiantian glanced at Fu Chen and asked: “Captain, what do you think?”
A few doubts flashed in his heart for a moment.
If Xiao Yang really liked Bai Qingqing, it meant he was at least immune to Bai Tiantian’s magnetic charm.
Moreover, Bai Qingqing and Xiao Yang were at the age they could fall in love, if the two of them really liked each other, he had no reason to stop them.
It was even working in his favor, wasn’t it?
Fu Chen answered: “Whether he likes her or not doesn’t matter, it will depend on what Bai Qingqing feels.”
The man was as indifferent as always and even if it was about his “sister”, there was no fluctuation in his emotions.
Bai Tiantian bit her lip, ignoring the alien emotion spreading in her heart.

The table was filled with colored and fragrant dishes and everyone sat around to start eating.
Xiao Yang kept chatting with Bai Qingqing and gave her food she liked from time to time.
“Xiao Yang.” Shen Mingxuan suddenly said, “Do you like Bai Qingqing?”

Xiao Yang glanced at the girl’s face first, then turned away with a guilty conscience.
His cheeks were slightly red and he stammered: “Brother Mingxuan! You..
What nonsense are you talking about!”
He looked at Bai Qingqing again, who was startled, and said with anger: “Brother Mingxuan, don’t joke around! You will cause trouble for Sister Qingqing!”
The group looked back and forth between him and Bai Qingqing silently.
Bai Qingqing bit her corn and mumbled: “Are you guys misunderstanding? You are all so much older than me, I am a little afraid to talk to you.” 
She lowered her eyelashes and added in a whisper: “Xiao Yang and I are almost the same age, it’s easier to get along.”
“…” The men were accidentally insulted.
If Xiao Yang was the youngest, Cheng Rui and Liang Zhiyu were the oldest, followed by Fu Chen and Shen Mingxuan who were both several years older than her1.
Bai Qingqing sat with her head down for a while, until she got up with her corn and left.
“Qingqing, where are you going?” Bai Tiantian asked anxiously.
“Just for a small walk by the river.” Bai Qingqing didn’t look back.
Bai Tiantian looked worried: “She walked so far already, I hope there won’t be any accidents.”
Shen Mingxuan replied with a tone as glacial as his face: “There are no zombies around but if she wants to die, let her.”
“Shen Mingxuan!” Xiao Yang glared at him, “Sister Qingqing has lost her memory, she is not the same as before! Stop aiming at her!”
“Do you really like her?”
“It’s none of your business!” Xiao Yang tried to suppress his anger and added: “Qingqing doesn’t take you seriously, is that why you always target her?”
Shen Mingxuan was irritated.
How could he care about that kind of woman? He liked Bai Tiantian’s warm and gentle personality.
He grabbed Xiao Yang by the collar, his face murderous: “I advise you to think twice about what you said!”
Xiao Yang was about to fight back when Liang Zhiyu’s indifferent voice was heard: “You two big men are arguing about such a little thing.
You are so noisy and you don’t even pay attention to your surroundings.”
Shen Mingxuan let go of Xiao Yang, glared at him disdainfully, and left.
Xiao Yang sat back down angrily, his face ugly, and he looked at Fu Chen: “Brother Fu, go find Qingqing.
I’m afraid she is in danger.”

If I remember well, Fu Chen is 23 and Qingqing is 18 or 19?

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