Translator: Henyee Translations Editor: Henyee Translations
Mag chose a brown cane chair with curved metal legs. It was five gold coins, and looked quite comfortable.
“The rocking chair will be ready in five minutes. Where do you want me to put it?” the system asked.
“Here, on this balcony. Tell me when it’s ready.” He didn’t want to miss the opportunity to do a magic trick before Amy.
It was a cool night in early autumn, with gentle breeze.
“Father, come here! We’re going to have a contest to see who can quack better. Will you be our judge?” asked Amy.
Mag was taken by surprise. Is she trying to make a cat quack like a duck? He gave a wry smile. “Amy, Ugly Duckling might not be a normal duck.”
“Meow! Meow!” The kitten nodded its agreement.
Amy also nodded. “I know.” Then she turned to face it. “You’re a very ugly duck.”
“Meow…” Ugly Duckling cried in dismay.
Mag gave a shake of his head and smiled. It seems she won’t accept that it’s actually a cat—at least not for a long time. “Why do you want to have this contest?”
“Because it doesn’t know how to quack. It won’t be able to communicate with other ducks. No duck will like it.” Amy gave a worried look at the kitten and lifted its head with her little hand. “Study harder! Or no food tomorrow!” she said seriously.
“Meow!” the kitten answered quickly, looking up at Amy.
“Quack, quack, quack…” Amy said. Actually, she was doing quite well.
“Meow, meow, meow…” said Ugly Duckling.
Amy stomped her foot. “No! Listen carefully! Quack, quack, quack!”
The kitten lowered its voice in fright. “Meow, meow, meow…”
“No, you stupid duck! It’s quack, quack, quack!”
“Meow, meow, meow…”
“I will give you one last time. You’d better do it right this time! Quack! Quack! Quack!”
“Meow, meow, Quaow…”
“That’s it. You’re done. No duck will like you.” She patted Ugly Duckling on the head. Then she looked up at Mag. “It’s so stupid, Father. I don’t think it will make it to adulthood. What about…”
“Don’t worry. We’ll make sure that it grows up,” Mag said as Amy swallowed. He knew very well what was on her mind. He stroked her head.
The competition was over before it even started.
“The rocking chair is ready. When do you want it?” the system asked.
“In 30 seconds. Put it here,” Mag said, pointing to the right. He smiled at Amy. “I’ll do a magic trick for you.”
Amy’s eyes lit up. “Is it magic?”
“No. But they’re quite alike in some ways.”
“Okay!” Amy clapped her hands and looked at Mag with expectation.
“We need a chair if we want to watch the stars here, right? And preferably a chair we can lie in.”
Amy nodded. “Yes.”
“Look at here and don’t blink,” he said, pointing to the right. “Ta-da!”
Amy was staring with wide eyes, but after three seconds, nothing happened.
Mag was still extending his arm, abashed. What the hell?! Where is that damn rocking chair?!
“Meow!” Ugly Duckling called out behind him suddenly. Amy turned to look. “Father, look! It’s a chair!” she exclaimed in delight.
Mag turned around and found the rocking chair sitting behind him, rocking. Ugly Duckling was trying to climb into it.
“Sorry about that,” the system said apologetically. “It’s heavy. But it won’t happen again.”
Mag was furious, but he had to smile. It did that on purpose, I’m sure. It struck back, huh?
Mag nodded. “Yes. My magic tricks are a little rusty these days.” He pushed the chair and it started rocking back and forth. It looked good.
The rocking shook the kitten off and sent it rolling on the floor. Finally, it stopped and looked around confused, not knowing what had just happened.
“You’re so amazing, Father! I want to be as powerful as you are!” Amy said, looking up at Mag with adoring eyes.
“You’ll be much more powerful than me after you master how to use magic.” Mag smiled and stroked her hair, contented.
“Come on. Let’s watch the stars.” Mag got in the chair and moved over for Amy.
Amy nodded. “Okay.” She climbed into the chair with effort and threw herself into Mag’s arms, giggling.
“They’re so beautiful,” Mag said, holding Amy, rocking the chair gently.
With no clouds and no flashing neon lights, the sky was so clear and deep. The stars were shining brightly. Mag couldn’t remember the last time he saw such a spectacular night sky.
“Do you know how to sing ‘twinkle, twinkle, little star’, Father?” Amy asked suddenly, looking up at Mag.