Assistant Architect by Xi He Qing Ling
Chapter 81: Anecdote
His Mother turned to look at him unsmiling. With the appearance of Gu Yao, a beautiful girl with a pedigree, of course she will think of her son’s future. Zhang Siyi sighed inwardly. The world isn’t like the novels he just read. Its only natural for his mother to curry favor towards a girl. It would never cross her mind to think of the other Gu family member present.
His Mother believes that making an impression on the girl is as good as if Zhang Siyi did it himself. She wants to promote Zhang Siyi value in Gu Yao eyes. When his Mother looks back at the siblings in her living room, she views her gift as a bargain investment compared to the value of the prize when the two families become one.
After looking at the expression on his Mother’s face, Zhang Siyi didn’t have to ask his Mother directly for an answer. He knew right away what she was thinking. Feeling anxious, he was articulate: “Don’t think about it for one second. I have nothing to do with his sister!”
His Mother glanced at him and frowned: “Maybe there is nothing now, but don’t you want to have something in the future?”
Zhang Siyi: “……” Sure enough. It’s just as he thought.
Leaning close to Zhang Siyi ear, his Mother whispered: “Since Gu Yu is so outstanding, his sister must not be far behind. I look at you two together and see a perfect match……”
Exasperated, Zhang Siyi scolded his Mother: “Mom ……!”
“Okay, okay. I know.” His Mother sighed and patted her son’s head. “It’s just a joke. I understand you can’t force these things so don’t feel pressured. I think the girl is cute and this brooch fits her style. Can’t I give it away if I want?”
Zhang Siyi had nothing to say to his mom. She shook her head helplessly and sighed bitterly. She gave Zhang Siyi a forced smile before heading over to entertain the guests.
Hanging his head, Zhang Siyi felt a little guilty. He wants his mother to be happy and if by giving away her own belongings makes her feel good, then why should he care? His strong reaction towards his mom surprised him. He doesn’t understand why it bothered him so much.
Looking at Gu Yao sitting on the sofa, she really is beautiful. With delicate facial features, and a calm outward appearance, she is absolutely the type to be liked by everyone. If Zhang Siyi had met her six months ago, he would have tried to pursue her. However, now with the thought of her being Gu Yu’s sister…… only one word comes to mind: impossible!
He didn’t want to be a brother-in-law… Isn’t his mother a rotten woman? Why doesn’t she indulge in fantasy at this time instead? No, no, no, no. Crazy thoughts! (=////=)
Wanting to go back and have time to clean his apartment, Zhang Siyi didn’t want to stay for too long. After chatting for about twenty minutes, Gu Yu suggested they head out.
Mother Zhang helped moved the luggage into the car. She pointed out which items were specially prepared for Zhang Siyi and which packages were for Gu Yu. Accepting the packages, Gu Yu unceremoniously expressed his gratitude and simply signaled to the two passengers, then drove away in silence. This time, Gu Yao had already taken the front seat so naturally Zhang Siyi went to the back seat.
Not having seen Gu Yu for a while, his defenses were down. Now that he has appeared in front of him, he can’t help but think about the expression ‘little-fox-kissing-small-kitten’. Imaging Gu Yu kissing the top of his head, he once again could feel the heat in his body rise. While staring at his mobile phone, Zhang Siyi tried to make himself shrink into the corner of the backseat of the car. Quietly, he listened to Gu Yao talk with her brother.
Gu Yao: “When do you think we will arrive?”
Gu Yu: “Probably around four or five.”
Gu Yao: “Did you leave enough cat food for little black and floret?”
Gu Yu: “Unless the two stupid cats brought the whole neighborhood with them to eat, the two big bags of food I left is more than enough to feed them.”
Gu Yao: “Ha-ha-ha! A New year’s dinner for the cats! It’s so funny! Hey, do you know if they had a baby yet?”
Gu Yu raised his eyebrows: “They are both male.”
Gu Yao: “What? Didn’t you say it was a couple last time?”
Gu Yu rhetorically replied: “Because two males cannot be one, right?”
Gu Yao: “……”
Zhang Siyi: “……”
Gu Yao changed the topic: “Are you going to cook at night?”
Gu Yu: “Well, now with so many dishes to bring back, you can just cook rice to go with them to eat.”
Gu Yao: “Yes. Brother Siyi’s Mother is very polite and gave us a lot of food stuffs. It’s probably enough to feed us for a week.”
Gu Yu: “Mmm, Hmm…”
Gu Yao: “Brother Siyi, do you want to eat with us tonight?”
Zhang Si Yi weakly rebuffed them: “No, thank you. I made arrangements with friends for later.”
Gu Yao took out the brooch his mother gave her and said: “You know, I’m so embarrassed. Even though I met your mother for the first time, she gave me such a beautiful thing. It really is special. I have a wool shawl I bought two years ago in Taobao that will match perfectly. Make sure you thank her again for me.”
Zhang Siyi was very polite: “It’s all right, don’t worry about it.”
Driving steadily on the road, they arrived at the entrance ramp onto the thruway without any issues. Shining brightly through the glass windows, the sun made the interior of the car feel warm and cozy. Gu Yao yawned and put the brooch on the palm of her hand to watch and play with the light that was reflecting and refracting from the crystals. She asked: “Brother, this is rather heavy. Do you think this is pure silver?”
Gu Yu only glanced at her and coldly replied: “What is it that you have to whine about? Shut your mouth and get some sleep.”
Gu Yao: “……”
Zhang Siyi: “……”
The lasting silence and lull of the car made Zhang Siyi feel rather drowsy. Just as he started drifting off to sleep, the mobile phone vibrations in his pocket, startled him. He glanced at it and was surprised to see that Gu Yao sent him a text message.
Gu Yao: “Do you think my brother is angry?” [grievance]
Zhang Siyi: “……Hmm?”
Well, he did feel like the barometric pressure in the car was low, but Zhang Siyi thought it was due to his personal emotional conflict and not because of the brother and sister duo sitting in the front.
Gu Yao: “When we get to the service area soon, change positions with me.”
Zhang Siyi: “Why!? I don’t want to!”
Gu Yao: “→_→”
Zhang Siyi: “I sat next to him last time so now it’s your turn to sit next to him. One person at a time is fair.”
Gu Yao: “Do you want to hear about my brother’s childhood stories?” [Evil Grin]
….. Stories? There are anecdotes revolving around Gu Yu?
Zhang Siyi remembered the time months ago when his Mother initially talked with Gu Yu on the phone. She divulged many of Zhang Siyi childhood deeds and he always felt, by doing so, she inadvertently gave Gu Yu a bad impression of Zhang Siyi. Now, faced with prospect of hearing Gu Yu’s black history, his spirit rose. Maybe the stories would alleviate the pressure he feels when thinking about the perfect and unobtainable Gu Yu in his heart.
Zhang Siyi: “Yes! Pray tell! [Cackle with Glee]
Gu Yao: “If you want to hear it, you have to switch places with me!”
Zhang Siyi: “Ok, Ok. Deal.” This should be worth it.
Gu Yao: “Most of my brother’s anecdotes happened before I was born. Since he is so much older than me, I’ve only heard them from my father. The only early memories I have of him are of his attempts at bullying me, you know……” [Dripping sweat]
Zhang Siyi: “I understand……” [Dripping sweat]
Gu Yao: “Listen to my Dad’s story: When my brother was six, he went to my Grandma’s house and an old man in the village gave him a pumpkin.”
Zhang Siyi： “……”
Zhang Siyi: “Where is your grandmother’s house?”
Gu Yao: “In the countryside of Ningcheng. My grandfather was a carpenter and my grandmother was originally from the big city. For family reasons she fled her home to marry my Grandfather in the countryside. That is a long story for another time….”
“Hmm, ok. As you were saying about the pumpkin……” Zhang Siyi thought about his own pumpkin that Gu Yu preserved with nitrogen in the sealed box. Is this a coincidence? However, he thought about it further and he couldn’t believe a six-year-old would even understand what nitrogen is, let alone the idea of preserving a pumpkin at that age. He was very curious now: “What about it?”
Gu Yao: “Since the pumpkin grew to a more cylindrical shape with a hue more yellow gold then orange, it was unlike regular pumpkins. Also, when the sun shone on it, it reflected the light in an unusual way that made it seem like the skin glowed. As a result, the elder told the six-year-old Gu Yu that the pumpkin was special.”
Zhang Siyi can image the scene of Gu Yu spotting a unique pumpkin growing in the garden and asking about it, thinking it was treasure. It is like finding a piece of sea glass on the beach as a child. With its smooth edges and mysterious appearance, Zhang Siyi always thought of them as treasure sent by the gods. If Zhang Siyi saw such a distinctive pumpkin, he too would think it was treasure from the gods.
Gu Yao continued: “Moreover, the old man that gave it to him was a special resident of the town who had no wife nor children. Although he was in his forties, his hair both on his head and on his face was completely white. Because he was tall and thin with a long white beard and very white skin, he looked like a legendary elf character out of a story book.”
Being immersed in the story, Zhang Siyi imagined Gu Yu as the protagonist receiving the sacred pumpkin by the old master and thus his cultivation adventure begins.
Gu Yao: “When my brother brought it home, my father said he wouldn’t let anyone touch it. Every night he would sleep with it and every day he would carry it around with him.”
Zhang Siyi: “Heh.” The development in his imagination was completely different! (≧▽≦)
Gu Yao: “One day, my aunt came to our house and saw the pumpkin unattended. She didn’t know it was my brother’s baby, so she cooked it.”
Zhang Siyi stifled a laugh: “Ha-ha-ha-ha! And then what happened?”
Gu Yao: “When my Father learned of what happened, he discussed the issue with mom, and decided not to tell my brother. When he came home from Kindergarten, he looked everywhere for it, but could not find it so he sat on the couch forlorn. Mumbling out load about his worries, my father heard him say that the pumpkin must be out to play and will be back later.”
Zhang Siyi covered his mouth: “Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha ……” OMG even Gu Yu did something so stupid!
Gu Yao: “Even though he ate pumpkin that day, he didn’t react until a day later!”
Following the story Zhang Siyi asked: “And then what did he do?”
Gu Yao: “He asked Dad why they ate his son. My Father couldn’t help but make up a story so he told my brother that the pumpkin was now in his stomach and after a long time he will give birth. Then it will call him Father!”
Continuing his muffled laughter Zhang Siyi asked between breaths: “Ha-ha-ha-ha…… What did he say? Ha-ha-ha-ha……”
Gu Yao: “My brother really believed it! For a long time, he would rub his belly and ask Dad every day when his son would come out!”
In the backseat, with tears streaming down his cheeks and shoulders shaking, Zhang Siyi is desperately trying to prevent himself from laughing out loud.