Chapter 36: Struggling in a Foreign Land
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
It’s a known fact that if a person questionable credibility tells you to leave everything to him or her, you shouldn’t expect much of the outcome, it was already a bit too late when Hao Ren learnt this. He was stunned and realized how unprepared he was for this trip when Vivian started speaking in the ancient Anglo-Saxon English.
A dizzy landlord, a gullible werewolf who was asleep as if half-dead, and a seemingly dependable vampire who turned out to be quite useless, found themselves lost in a foreign land with no means of communication. As they had not thought of the possibility of encountering a language barrier, they didn’t care to look up the directions on the web. Had he foreseen this, he would have asked the airport staffs for assistance. The least they could do, even with the language barrier, was point him to the nearest embassy. Unfortunately, this matter had not cross the minds of this trio.
Vivian, with her ancient accent was trying to communicate with an old local chap. Hao Ren, confused by her accent, could only look on with pity as the old man, a native English speaker, struggled to converse with her as she bombarded him with series of "What?".
"Give him a break, Vivian" Hao Ren gave Vivian a nudge. "The English that you are speaking is a very ancient form of the language. Do you know that it is totally different from the English we converse in these days?"
Vivian looked distraught "How could the language change so much? I was just using the older form of the language. Now, even the pronunciation had changed so drastically?"
Hao Ren took a long sigh "When you were born, humans were still living in caves and grunting in their conversations. How silly can you be, seriously?"
"I'm not that OLD alright?" Vivian glared at Hao Ren. "Those people were part of the Jurassic era!"
Upon seeing them arguing, the aged gentleman stepped in to stop the squabble. He maintained his composure even after all the trouble Vivian put him through, a real gentleman. He grabbed Hao Ren's arm and went. "Chinese? Are you Chinese?"
Hao Ren blinked and thanked the heavens that he still remembered some of the English from his school days and quickly nodded.
The old gentleman smiled and pointed towards a young lad in uniform. Hao Ren and Vivian instantly understood his intention.
Hao Ren and Vivian sheepishly looked at each other and thanked the old gentleman and quickly dragged along Lily, who was still asleep standing, to the service counter. The staff was a good lad dressed in a smart uniform. The moment Vivian got to him, she started going. "%￥@@%￥#￥#%￥@?"
Hao Ren quickly pushed Vivian aside and smiled at the young man and spoke in mandarin, "Uhh, sorry my man, do you know about...." He stopped half way through as realized that the young man might not be able to catch what he was saying with his native slang and switched to a more standard form of Mandarin. "Good day, I can't speak English. I need to go somewhere. May I know who can I seek help from?"
As he listened to Hao Ren, the boy frowned a little as he tried to construct a sentence in Mandarin in his mind. He then quickly smiled as he reverted back to his professional facade and pointed towards the car park. "There... there are a few Chinese among those taxi drivers... go... go ask if they can help you." Said the boy as he struggled to pronounce the last few words of the sentence with a weird intonation.
Hao Ren happily thanked him and headed quickly for the car park. He never thought that the vampire who could outargue Arthur Pendragon was pretty much useless when she was needed the most. Her crowning accomplishment was to puzzle a poor old Briton and in the end it was Hao Ren who had to ask for directions in Madarin…
Life was definitely much more interesting compared to novels as it is not reasonable at all for most of the time!
"You can continue sleeping once we get to the hotel, hang in there." Hao Ren said as he tapped Lily on the shoulder. All he heard was a light snore. This dumb werewolf really didn’t let her surroundings disrupt her biological clock. The wee hours in London was about the same time as Lily's naptime back at home. She was so sleepy that she couldn't even open her eyes. At that point, she was pretty much following Hao Ren around with her eyes closed while putting her acute sense of smell to good use as she stayed right behind him, much to his surprise.
Not before long the trio arrived at the carpark looking for the Chinese taxi drivers. While they sure look the part, most of them were actually British born Chinese, and spoke only a little Mandarin. They were clueless when they saw the address that Hao Ren wrote in Mandarin.
Lucky for him, one of them can converse in Mandarin at a decent level. He was exhausted from all the inconveniences of being in a foreign country. The glee of suckering Raven 12345 into giving him a huge sum of money for the trip had faded by now. He quickly realized that this is one hell of a mission, one that would drain the life out of you. It seems that Raven was dead serious when she said she would put her employee’s capability to the test!
It won't be surprising if Raven12345 had actually thought of the part where Hao Ren, after getting that huge sum of money, would lose his head and go travelling without much planning.
There was another possibility that Raven12345 thought it would be a good time for Hao Ren to get used to the two bungling numbskulls by his side.
Though they were rather ill-prepared for the trip, Hao Ren still remembered to book a hotel beforehand. As he was given huge sum for this trip, he booked a suite at this rather high class hotel which, on their homepage, advertised their multilingual staffs who are supposedly proficient in Mandarin, ensuring the quality of service even to Chinese tourists. At this point, Hao Ren no longer give a toss about the quality of service, he just hoped that the staff could show him to his room without much hassle. After which he would contact Raven12345 for any pointers for the mission.
After an hour plus ride in the taxi with the taxi driver with a decent command in Mandarin, the trio finally arrived at the hotel in Central London. After they got out of the cab and paid the fare (Hao Ren wasn't sure if he got ripped off or not, he couldn't care less at this point.) Vivian looked up to the bright sky and went, "So many years had passed huh, back then there weren’t that many houses around."
"Didn't you say that humans were still living on trees when you first came to Europe?" Hao Ren spat at Vivian as he held Lily who could barely stand straight. "You've lived so long. How did you missed the difference between the lifespan of a vampire and that of a human? We are in so much trouble today because I put too much hope in you."
Vivian frowned sternly. "I have a good temper, but I still have the pride and dignity of a vampire noble, your constant mockery towards my nobility is..."
"Pay up next month's rent then."
"... You can say whatever you want, as a noble I won’t be calculative with you."
Hao Ren was speechless.
It was his first encounter with a noble who was pushed to desperation by her monthly rentals.
"As planned, let’s rest a day or two, to get rid of the jetlag, reorganize and collate information we have. After that I'll be reporting in to Raven12345. Hao Ren took a deep breath and sighed, "Based on the address provided by Raven 12345, finding it will not be a walk in the park."
Walking towards the hotel entrance, the trio was unaware of the brief, yet intent gaze of a shadowy figure at one of the windows on the sixth floor of the hotel as it quickly drew the curtains back, just as quickly as he pulled them back for a peek.