357 Happy Holiday

    On the afternoon of new year's eve, Cai Zixuan also returned to his hometown of Nan Ling's Guang Ting City. Once he landed, Chinese New Year song assaulted his senses. His face lit up with a smile. This was part of the Chinese New Year tradition. Similar to other departments, the Spell Department took holiday in shifts. While a batch of members returned home for celebration, the others had to stay to guard the base. Cai Zixuan's holiday was from New Year's Eve to the second day of New Year, he was lucky to be given such a wonderful shift.

    Of course, some of the other members volunteered to celebrate the New Year at the base. They included people like the monitor, Uncle Dan and Deng Ximei. Even though the recent months were peaceful, they should not let their guard down. In any case, should nothing happen, they would celebrate the new year at the base.

    It was noon when he reached home. Cai Zixuan just greeted his family when his phone vibrated non-stop. It was Tycoon Jun giving away gift cards! Tycoon Jun was Tycoon Jun for a reason. The total amount given away was up to several thousands. The timing though was extremely cunning. Tycoon Jun chose to release the gift cards around noon when most people were busy with lunch. So the biggest benefactor was Wu Siyu. 'They probably planned this together,' Cai Zixuan suspected. 'Ah, young love.'

    Uncle Dan, "Hey, give us some more! Also, Miss Wu, stop cheating!"

    Peacock, "Thank you Boss Gu, Happy New Year."

    Kathlyn, "Thank you Boss Gu, Happy New Year." The girls shared a body but they each had their own phone and social media account. Cai Zixuan had witnessed for himself how the girl managed to operate both phones simultaneously with one on each hand. Uncle Dan was only joking but the next wave of gift cards soon arrived. Instantly they were swept away, but the biggest winner was still Wu Siyu.

    Uncle Dan, "Now I'm not even sure you're spreading new year cheer or dogfood."

    Peacock, "Thank you Boss Gu, Happy New Year."

    Kathlyn, "Thank you Boss Gu, Happy New Year."

    Cai Zixuan sat on the couch, looking through the message while he chatted with his girlfriend, Jiang Banxia. Yes, he had a girlfriend. They were in a relationship for a year already. Currently, their relationship was long-distance. Jiang Banxia was still studying at Eastern State Medical University, her request to join the Spell Department was denied.

    "Friends, the game shall continue tonight!" Tycoon Jun announced. That bit of money was nothing for Tycoon Jun. Phecda members enjoyed lucrative salary, and for someone like Gu Jun, the bonus he received would be in the astronomical range. After a while, Lou Xiaoning suddenly appeared, "What's this?! I was absent for both times?! Encore, encore!"

    Cai Zixuan chuckled and shared some of the gift cards that he got from Tycoon Jun. "Happy New Year!" Instantly, they disappeared. This time, the fastest member was Uncle Dan, followed by Wu Siyu. Lou Xiaoning still got nothing.

    Uncle Dan, "@Wu Siyu @ Gu Jun, I see that Miss Wu is not the fastest this time. If this is not evidence of your wicked plot, I don't know what is."

    Peacock, "Thank you Zixuan, xoxo, happy new year."

    Kathlyn, "Thank you Zixuan, xoxo, happy new year."

    Lou Xiaoning, "Mother**er..." Cai Zixuan chatted with them a while longer before he was called for lunch. Their family tradition was to have tang yuan on New Year's Eve morning. When he was at school and at the base, Cai Zixuan was the designated cook. But at home, most of the time, he waited around for food. The tang yuan was handmade by his mother. There were different fillings. Some were vegetarian and others filled with seafood and pork.

    "They smell so delicious." Before starting the meal, like all young people these days, Cai Zixuan snapped a picture and sent it to his girlfriend and shared it among the chat group. He racked up plenty of likes.

    Gu Jun, "I am salivating. What I have here is merely a bowl of sunflower seeds..."

    Wu Siyu, "You should be thankful that I'm willing to share them with you. But while you taste sunflower seeds, I taste the tang yuan. The taste is salty, I like it a lot." Cai Zixuan knew about Siyu's synaesthesia. She could taste something by looking at them. His mother's tang yuan was of the Nan Ling kind which was famed for their slight saltiness.

    "Mom, many of my colleagues praised you for your scrumptious looking tang yuan." Cai Zixuan said. His mother laughed. The other family members joined in the laughs. Sitting there at the table, Cai Zixuan also tasted something. It was not saltiness but the taste of his childhood, the taste of togetherness. After what he had been through, Cai Zixuan gained a new appreciation of what he had. A family reunion sounded common enough but that was an impossible dream for some families this year. So he knew to appreciate a moment like this.

    "I'm going to watch the New Year Special tonight, anyone want to join me?" Cai Zixuan asked, "There will be a feature from Phecda." Their family did not have the tradition of tuning into the new year special. Due to the dialect difference, his grandparents did not understand most of the program so usually they would go out to see the fireworks. Cai Zixuan's personal reason for watching it this year was because there would be a program where Phecda members from different departments would take the stage to greet the audience a happy new year. Even though the Spell Department was still a secret, initially Gu Jun and Wu Siyu were part of the line up. But once the Public Relations Department got wind of Gu Jun's condition, naturally his attendance was no longer required. Since Gu Jun bowed out, it seemed inappropriate for the rest of his teammates to show up without him. But Phecda would assign a Special Mobile Force to monitor and observe this program. Lou Xiaoning was one of the guards.

    Secondly, the New Year Special would have a memorial segment where they would connect through live tv to places most affected by legionella pneumonia last year. This would be the first new year celebrated by San Hai City after they were hit by the tragedy. The city held many memorial events. After the lockdown loosened, many locals who moved away returned. At the same time, the government encouraged fresh blood to move into the city to help rebuild the place.

    "I will, I will!" His little sister was the first to raise her hands. His parents smiled and obliged. Cai Zixuan nodded happily. He'd explain the program to his grandparents if they did not understand it.

    They took a rest after lunch. Then they went to replace the spring couplets. The spring couplets posted on the door announced brightly, "Heaven adds time and people get older; spring fills the world and blessing fills the door."
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