Panda Cub – Chapter 27.3

Living together

She watched for a long time, but the cub, with its eyes closed, buried half its head into the pillow seemingly oblivious to her gaze.

He Ying: “…Think carefully now, I can’t sleep on that sofa, so if you’re going to stay in the bed, later on, you’ll have to sleep with me.”

Jing Dan ignored her, even attempting to hog all the blanket for herself. However, given her tiny stature in comparison to the large duvet, it was most likely she would end up wrapped up in the middle like a filling.

He Ying angrily laughed. Gritting her teeth, she grabbed hold of her silly hair and warned, “You’re in my house now, so you better behave yourself. If I end up beating you, there won’t be anyone to save you.”

“Do you want to get spanked?”

Upon hearing the word “spanked,” Jing Dan froze.

“Isn’t it better to be honest earlier?” He Ying rolled her eyes, lay down on the bed, and pulled a corner of the blanket from Jing Dan. She watched as Jing Dan rolled around twice in the blanket, her eyes filled with even more amusement. After helping her tuck in the blanket again, He Ying raised her hand and turned off the light.

The room instantly fell into darkness.

Feeling the familiar faint scent between the pillow and blanket, along with the presence of the person next to her, Jing Dan felt somewhat uneasy. Aside from her mother and aunt, she hadn’t shared a bed with anyone else before!

“Stop moving around. Tomorrow’s shooting won’t be so easy, so make the most of now and get some good rest,” He Ying admonished.

Jing Dan stopped fidgeting.

After both of them quieted down, it was unclear when they drifted off to sleep, their breathing eventually even syncing up.


Early the next morning, He Ying woke up feeling like she could barely breathe smoothly.

Just awakened, she felt as if there was a heavy object on her abdomen, making it difficult to breathe properly.

Opening her eyes, she looked at the ceiling in a daze before her gaze slowly moved down to the bulging blanket on her belly. The bulging part of the blanket was exactly where her abdomen was.

With an expressionless face, He Ying observed the situation. To the uninformed, it might seem as if she were several months pregnant.

She turned her head to look at the pillow beside her, and surely enough, the fuzzy black and white head that was there had now vanished.

Lifting the blanket, He Ying looked indifferently at the little cub sprawled across her abdomen, sleeping soundly. With each breath, the little body heaved up and down like a ball of Q-elastic jelly.

She felt a mix of amusement and annoyance. How in the world does this fellow sleep? Was its sleeping posture really this awful? How did it even move from the pillow to her body? And of all places, it had to lie on her abdomen with no shame at all!

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With this sticky lump pressing on her, it was utterly inconvenient for her to get up. The moment she tried sitting up, the little cub would surely roll off.

Seeing it sleeping so soundly, so utterly defenseless, He Ying didn’t know whether she should feel comforted by its trust in her—sleeping so carelessly in front of a spirit.

She lifted her hand to brush aside its stubborn tuft of hair that stuck out even in sleep, and a slight smile played on her lips. Deciding to let it be, she stretched her arm to grab her mobile phone from the bedside table, glanced at the time, and saw that it was already seven o’clock.

She tapped on Jing Dan’s chat window and sent a message to inquire, not sure whether this person’s stomach was feeling any better.

After sending the message, she exhaled, feeling a bit silly. For a moment, she had actually considered whether she should make some mild, nutritious congee and take it to Jing Dan if her stomach was upset. But then she quickly realized, with Jing Dan’s aunt around, she probably wouldn’t be needed. And truly, there was no real reason for her to butt in. Besides, she was about to get up and prepare to take the little cub to the recording studio; she really didn’t have the time.

However, her message seemed to drop into a void, receiving no response for a long time. She suspected that Jing Dan was still lounging in bed.

At that moment, the cub lying on her abdomen – Jing Dan – struggled to turn over, ending up on its back, revealing its soft belly that rose and fell with each of her breaths.

He Ying was amused by this action; with its four little paws stretched out in different directions, it slept without a care in the world.

She had a mischievous thought and lifted her hand to rub the soft belly of the cub beneath it. The sensation was incredibly pleasant, and she quickly transitioned from rubbing to scratching, as if tickling it. She had thought that this little rascal might wake up from the scratching, but to her surprise, it seemed to enjoy it, purring twice and its front paws instinctively reaching out to embrace He Ying’s hand.

He Ying: “…”

Still not waking up after all this?

Helpless and noting that it wasn’t early anymore, she decided to pick up the little cub from her stomach and casually place it on the bed. She then grabbed a corner of the blanket to cover it before she herself got up to wash up and make breakfast.

The shoot was scheduled for ten o’clock, giving her plenty of time—no need to rush. She still had time to prepare some delicious breakfast.

He Ying was halfway through cooking in the kitchen when she suddenly heard a noise coming from the bedroom. Turning to look, she saw the bedroom door being pushed open. Looking down, the little rascal that had pried the door open was now awake, wobbling towards her.

He Ying: “…”

Watching its little nose quiver, she had reason to suspect it had been woken by the smell of the food.

Jing Dan made her way to He Ying’s feet, looked up, and realized she couldn’t see the top of the stove. In an instant, a flash of white light, and the next thing she knew, Jing Dan was perched on top of the refrigerator, looking down imperiously at the pot in front of He Ying.

He Ying was resigned to the situation. Yet, while resigned, she felt a hint of relief; it was good that the little rascal knew to climb onto the fridge. If she had jumped onto the stove, that would have been truly worrisome. However…

“Did you brush your teeth?” He Ying asked in a ghostly tone.

Jing Dan: “…”

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She had woken up in a daze to the delicious aroma and then got out of bed to follow it. How could she possibly have brushed her teeth? And in her current state, she couldn’t even if she wanted to!

Jing Dan, forced into a non-human form, was extremely frustrated.

He Ying took a lid to cover the pot, then lifted her hand to pick up the little rascal from the top of the fridge, carrying her towards the washroom.

Perhaps it was because she had been held so many times, but Jing Dan no longer felt any aversion to being in He Ying’s arms. Instead, she naturally settled into a comfortable position, silent and unprotesting.

He Ying carried her into the washroom and, just like the previous night, took out a toothbrush intending to help her brush her teeth. Fearing that Jing Dan might struggle as she had the night before, she began to coax her, “Be good, and afterwards, you’ll get two bottles of milk.”

Jing Dan, initially reluctant, instantly stilled. Her four paws stood erect, oddly giving off an impression as if she were standing at attention.

He Ying smiled with satisfaction, carefully helped her clean her teeth, then carried her back to the living room and placed her on the sofa. She went into the kitchen to prepare a bottle of milk for Jing Dan to drink slowly on her own before busying herself in the kitchen again.

Cradling the milk bottle, Jing Dan sipped slowly, her eyes occasionally darting towards the kitchen, tasting the slightly sweet taste of the milk in her mouth. In her heart, she quietly awarded He Ying another point.

Now it’s precisely seven points.

He Ying brought out breakfast and looked at the little cub on the sofa with some surprise. This time, it was behaving rather gracefully.

There was still half a bottle of milk in the bottle in its embrace. She leaned closer, still feeling somewhat incredulous. Last night, the way it drank milk was far from this elegant. Could it be that this morning’s milk was not as tasty as last night’s? That shouldn’t be; she prepared the milk in the same way.

“Doesn’t taste good?” He Ying inquired.

Jing Dan gave her a silent glance, not understanding why she would ask such a question, and took another slightly bigger sip. She was just worried that if she drank too fast, He Ying might be too busy to help her prepare more milk.

Seeing her like this, He Ying couldn’t help but chuckle. She was just about to say something when the doorbell rang.

Hmm?

Several questions popped into her mind as she walked to the door and peered through the peephole, only to see several unfamiliar people, carrying some large items, all wearing smiles on their faces.

He Ying: “…”

Recognizing the items they were carrying and the work badges displayed on their chests, she realized who they were.

The production team.

She opened the door, and until that moment, she still didn’t understand why the production teamwould show up at her house. Wasn’t the official filming supposed to take place at the recording site?

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“Teacher He, this is a surprise shoot by the production team, intended to capture some behind-the-scenes footage for the viewers…” Before the person could finish speaking, the director’s words suddenly got stuck in his throat as he stared, eyes widened, at the panda cub lying on the sofa, drinking from a milk bottle.

It wasn’t just her; the other team members were also stunned.

Everyone: “…”

They had known since last night that a panda cub had been invited to the production team as a mascot, but they always thought it would be brought over by someone specially when the show started filming, not realizing that this lucky mascot was already at He Ying’s home!

And looking at that tiny one, clutching a milk bottle printed with a panda pattern almost identical to itself, was simply an emotional strike!

So adorable they wanted to scream!

He Ying, seeing their collective dumbfounded expressions, quickly understood why and turned to look at the little cub in the living room, who was also bewildered, with a rich smile in her eyes.

Jing Dan, who had been inundated with snapping cameras, was completely flabbergasted, staring blankly at the camera, the milk bottle in her arms almost dropped from fright.

The whole scene of herself clutching the milk bottle and drinking was captured and broadcasted?!

Seeing the cub’s milk bottle drop from fright, He Ying found the situation even funnier, quickly stepped forward to pick it up and placed it back in the cub’s arms, then looked up at the production team and asked, “What’s with the sudden intrusion, wasn’t there any notice?”

Caught by her question, the production team snapped back to reality. The director, who looked like a young girl fresh out of school who blushes when she talks, was in the middle of responding to He Ying but couldn’t help steal glances at the panda cub next to her. Struggling to control her excitement, she said, “There was a notice. Vice President Hu said she personally notified you, telling us to come on up and start filming, that she had given you a heads-up.”

He Ying: “…”

That scatterbrained Hu Tu wants to get herself killed!

She glanced down at her pajamas, at least she wasn’t wearing anything inappropriate—otherwise, if they had filmed that, she really would have dragged Hu Tu out immediately and given her a thrashing!

The director looked at one of the screens they had brought, then turned back to He Ying, biting her lip with a somewhat embarrassed expression and said, “Teacher He, the netizens are saying that Daidai’s milk was dropped just now, you should compensate her with another bottle.”

While saying this, she also used a very earnest tone, as if it wasn’t just the netizens’ suggestion but also her own.

The members of the production team around her all nodded in agreement.

He Ying: “…”

She was shocked: “You’re live streaming this?!”

The director nodded earnestly and said, “Vice President Hu said this could generate some buzz, so that when the show airs later on, more people will know about it.”

He Ying: “…”

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If she’s not mistaken, this is a romance show, right? It’s supposed to feature the people dating, not them, the love observers!

Love observers being observed?

Standing to the side, Jing Dan had already begun to grit her teeth slightly. Hu Tu, you’ve really outdone yourself!

However, at this moment, a flood of viewers poured into the live stream of the production team. The comments flew by in a flurry, the majority of which were about the panda, Daidai. Even the scene where Daidai had been startled and dropped its milk bottle upon the team’s arrival was captured and turned into a looping GIF that was being played repeatedly.

The director, watching the rapidly scrolling comments, smiled with satisfaction. Vice President Hu really hadn’t led her astray; this pre-shooting live stream had indeed generated huge buzz.

Meanwhile, Hu Tu was squatting in the live streaming room, where she could clearly see all previously filmed footage. Lying on her bed, she burst into laughter, even going online to save all the GIFs made by the netizens into her photo album. Another batch of black history for Jing Dan!

Looking at Jing Xiaodan still clutching the milk bottle in her arms, Hu Tu was laughing so hard her face was almost cramping up. Haha, who would have thought He Ying had such a wicked sense of humor! What’s with the milk bottle gimmick!

Moreover! The main point was! Jing Dan actually did drink milk from a baby bottle!

This live broadcast was totally worth it!

On He Ying’s side, after hearing the director’s words, she fell silent. She looked down at the baby bottle in the cub’s embrace and then silently gazed into its eyes, asking, “Are you still going to drink?”

Jing Dan: “…”

In front of this large crowd, how was she supposed to drink! Jing Dan still had her pride!

She got angry, somewhat annoyed, she threw the baby bottle away, jumped down from the sofa, and ran straight into the bedroom.

If she stayed any longer, she was afraid she wouldn’t be able to resist immediately slaughtering Hu Tu!

Once she ran off, everyone was taken aback, the production team showed faces of surprise, finding it incredible.

If they weren’t mistaken, did the panda cub just show anger? Was it really that conscious?

He Ying was first startled, then followed her into the bedroom, watching her pouting little butt burrowing into the blankets, and she couldn’t help but burst into laughter.

She stepped forward, gave her butt a pat, and asked again, “Are you still going to drink?”

The little rascal, with her head buried in the blanket, hummed dully in response.

He Ying understood.


The author has something to say:

Regarding the point about renting pandas, everyone can consider this a private setting within the story. According to our country’s laws, neither individuals nor enterprises are allowed to rent giant pandas, so some of the settings in this story shouldn’t be too strictly compared to reality—after all, we’ve got spirits in this story, isn’t that right? (honest_person.jpg)



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