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Old Time Tea had just turned on the television. It was lying on the electric blanket with its forepaws tucked into the sleeves of its vest, watching the morning news as usual.
Zhang Zian put the certificates of immunization of Famous into the cashier's drawer, planning to visit the local police station today. Since it was snowy today, few people might go there, so he wouldn’t have to wait in any lines.
Fina jumped from the cat tree, yawning. Instead of landing on the ground, she patted the pad on a tier with her paw and stared at Zhang Zian unhappily, "Where is the heating pad?"
"Here." Zhang Zian really hated Guo Dongyue for adding this design. He put a heating pad into the mezzanine.
"Zian." Old Time Tea greeted him.
"What's going on, Grandpa Tea? I will immediately boil tea for you." He walked quickly and thought Old Time Tea was thirsty.
"There’s no hurry to prepare tea. There is something you have to look at." Old Time Tea gestured to the television screen.
Zhang Zian had no interest in television news, which was nothing more than people who held meetings yesterday, traveled to some places today, and would listen to the feelings of the local people tomorrow. But since it was Old Time Tea who told him to look at the news, he patiently crouched down.
The television set was placed on a low table, almost parallel with the sight of Old Time Tea, making it easy for Old Time Tea to watch, but was strenuous for Zhang Zian, so he needed to squat down.
Old Time Tea was watching the local news channel, where the anchors looked less attractive than the anchors on CCTV, but the news she was announcing had attracted Zhang Zian's attention.
"News from this local news channel. After receiving reports from enthusiastic residents, the commercial, urban management, taxation, consumer a.s.sociation, public security and other departments conducted a joint law enforcement against the dog market in Nancheng District in our city yesterday, focusing on the rectification of undoc.u.mented businesses and eliminating prevailing phenomena like frauds and fights. Each member unit dispatched five law enforcement officers, totaling over 20 people, and were divided into two groups to enter from the north and south entrance to the dog market. They conducted a thorough remediation to the chaos that has existed in the dog market for a long time. Please watch the detailed coverage."
The picture on the screen switched from the hostess to the dog market.
A group of officers dressed in uniforms of different departments got out of vehicles labeled "Joint Enforcement" and were directed by a person who seemed to be in the highest position. They blocked the north and south entrances to the dog market, set up warning lines, and ordinary customers could only exit the market. After entering the dog market, the two groups of officers did not run like headless flies — apparently, they had prepared for this mission, for they seized the vendor who sold dyed chicklings and his vehicle near the entrance in no time.
There were numerous undoc.u.mented businesses in the dog market, and many vendors were operating without licenses.
The panic-stricken vendors in the dog market reacted differently. The smart ones just left their belongings behind and pretended they were ordinary consumers and escaped… while some unlucky others were caught by the law enforcement officers.
The video footage had probably been edited. Soon, the detained vendors bowed their heads down and lined up in front of a large van, while their electric tricycles were hung on a trailer. Larger vehicles that could not be taken away were locked temporarily. The iron cages that shut the pets were moved into a truck.
Zhang Zian recognized a few of the vendors, including Red Dragon, Black Mole, Lao San, and Liu XX in the queue that he had beaten up.
Finally, the accompanying reporters interviewed the person in charge of the enforcement action, an official from the Consumer a.s.sociation. He was asked whether this operation had reached the scheduled goal.
The person in charge said that this operation was only just the beginning of a process that would last a whole week. All departments would further strengthen the management of the dog market in the coming days and carry out random inspections from time to time so as to clean up the blind angles. All departments would practically eradicate the chaos in the dog market, and safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of the people.
The picture switched back to the hostess again. She smiled and said,
"In response to residents’ reports, various departments conducted long-term preparations for the joint law enforcement, and the officers had been investigating the dog market in civilian clothes, taking a large amount of evidence through unannounced visits. Eventually, they struck with heavy blows yesterday and finally ended the long-lasting chaos in the dog market! During the operation, eight sets of tricycles and two large vehicles were confiscated, and the vendors were fined a total of over 20,000 Yuan... "
At the same time as her broadcast, the small screen behind her was playing videos of the so-called "unannounced visits by officers."
In order to not interfere with the hostess’s speaking, or for some other unknown reason, the video was silent.
Zhang Zian had found this video familiar, and he actually found himself in it. He thought he looked magnificent… and occasionally there were one or two comments left by audience members that hadn’t been wiped off.
The hostess quickly moved onto the next news story.
"Next up: last night, it snowed in the city. At six o’clock this morning, the Munic.i.p.al Meteorological Bureau issued an icy road yellow alert. According to the emergency snow removal plan, more than 1,500 sanitation workers and all large-scale snow removal equipment on standby was fully put into removing the snow on the roads... "
Famous was watching the news side by side with him.
Zhang Zian felt embarra.s.sed, unsure how to explain this situation to it, so he simply said nothing.
He would like to know who the "enthusiastic residents" were and whether they received any bonuses from reporting to the news channel. If there was any bonus, he might have missed his chance to become rich, for he didn’t report these clues to the news station.
They went to the dog market yesterday morning and left at noon. Obviously, these law enforcement officers went in the afternoon. Regarding the usual efficiency of government agencies, this speed was remarkable!
He remembered Lin Qi — that guy seemed to be an heir to a rich family and had promised that he would follow through with the matter before leaving. Was it true that Lin Qi’s family was so powerful that they could influence the government?
In any case, this was a good thing after all. In the foreseeable days to come, the profiteers in the dog market probably would have rough times, and customers like Deng Jie and Wei Ping wouldn’t be deceived as easily. Most importantly — no sale, no harm, and those innocent pets would suffer less. This trip to the dog market had been worth it.
"Zian, you did a good job," Old Time Tea praised him.
"I just did some insignificant work that isn’t worth mentioning. Grandpa Tea, wait here and I will go boil some water for your tea." Zhang Zian smiled, stood up, and went to the kitchen upstairs to boil tea.
Yesterday had pa.s.sed, and he should live in the moment.
Famous turned to look at his back.
Instead of looking at the television picture, it had been staring at Zhang Zian’s face and reading his body language from his pupil contractions and changes in facial muscles.
During the news broadcast, his heart had flashed with many emotions one by one, such as surprise, mockery, confusion, and relief. The one that was incomprehensible to it was the relief at the end.
Why, after all his efforts and credit had been claimed by others, was he still able to demonstrate such relief?
It couldn’t understand.
Old Time Tea pressed the remote control and turned off the TV. It stretched and said to itself, "When you don’t care about what others think, you will see who you really are. When you abandon obsession, your true self will be revealed."
Famous seemed to have been moved by the words of Old Time Tea. Ever since it appeared in the wax museum, it had forgotten who it was and was deeply troubled by this matter. It had the vague feeling that its true ident.i.ty was covered by heavy things, that in front of it was endless blankness, just like the pile of snow shoved together by Zhang Zian.
It stared at the shovel in the snow pile, hoping to have one such shovel clear the mystery in its heart.