Assistant Architect by Xi He Qing Ling
Chapter 156: Osaka Part II
After purchasing tickets at the airport, the group from Borderless rode the subway to their accommodation. The subway they were riding on was similar as compared to the one in Haicheng. While walking outside to get to the subway entrance, some thought there was a difference in the air quality between the two countries. In an attempt to make a distinction for themselves, some members of the group started to deeply inhale. Someone spoke up and joked: “Don’t breathe so deeply. There is a lot of radiation in Japan.”
The tsunami that hit Japan in 2011 caused an explosion at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant that resulted in the leakage of radioactive materials into the surroundings. This caused a collapse of tourism for a long time and there was a rumor that Japan’s nuclear radiation index exceeded the standard. Was the statistic fake news or not?
After listening to their colleagues’ opinion, they subconsciously held their breath. Radiation and breathing don’t mix. Shit, nothing ever comes for free. The guy who was spreading disinformation was scolded by his peers. Along the way, the lively group of people chatted and laughed cheerfully.
Since Lu Qiao wasn’t happy with Tao Fei’s antics on the plane, he kept a distance between them. As a result, Tao Fei hung out with Gu Yu and Zhang Siyi like a third wheel.
Zhang Siyi looked at him and squinted: “Why don’t you go with Lu Qiao?”
Tao Fei pulled on his ear: “Didn’t you say that the guy was very easy to get along with? I thought I was being patient, but it seems like he has a bad temper and angers easily. Without a common topic, I don’t know what to say to him.”
Since Zhang Siyi knew Lu Qiao for many months through work without any issues, he found Tao Fei statement puzzling. Looking back on his previous interactions, he remembered Lu Qiao fight with the taxi cab driver. Lu Qiao wasn’t so gentle and good-natured as he appeared.
“He doesn’t like being bullied or being lied to. Did you say something to offend him?” Zhang Siyi asked him.
Tao Fei rolled his eyes: “Eh? I asked him if it was the first time he was on a plane. He glared at me like I owed him five million. Was that so bad?”
Zhang Siyi’s face twitched: “You didn’t have to be so blunt. His family situation isn’t very good. Wouldn’t prodding his sore points hurt his self-respect?”
“It’s not my problem that his family is poor.” Tao Fei said unemotionally. “Hey, forget it. Let him go.”
Zhang Siyi: “……”
It was more crowded inside the subway car. With the sudden rush of people getting onto the car at the subway stop, Lu Qiao was pushed into Gu Yu’s back.
“Aah! Boss, I’m sorry. I’m sorry……”
Expressionless Gu Yu turned his head and flatly stated: “It’s all right.”
Exiting the subway, the group walked to hotel and paired up according to their room assignments. In order to give people enough time to find their rooms and unpack their luggage, Gu Yu informed everyone to meet in the lobby in fifteen minutes.
Lu Qiao took the initiative to find Zhang Siyi and his mood improved when he found him happily chatting with other colleagues. Overhearing Zhang Siyi conversation with Gu Yu at the airport, he asked: “Aunt Four, you’ve been to France?”
Zhang Siyi replied while smiling: “Well, when I graduated, I went to Europe with my classmate for a month and as a result I almost couldn’t find a job when I came home to China.”
“How much does it cost to travel in Europe for a month?” Lu Qiao envied him.
Zhang Siyi: “It took seventy-eighty thousand. It’s a little higher in the Nordic areas, but Western Europe is similar to the UK.”
Lu Qiao gasped. Seventy-eighty thousand was about a year’s annual salary! “Did your parents give you the money?”
Zhang Siyi plainly answered him: “It was the remainder of my living expenses.” Thinking a moment, Zhang Siyi realized that wasn’t really accurate: “Well, in fact, I guess it was. My living expenses were also provided by my parents. Ha-ha. At that time, I had no idea how hard it is to make money. Now that I am on my own, I understand.”
Becoming more and more jealous Lu Qiao asked: “How much did you spend abroad in total in the past few years?”
Zhang Siyi: “Little over a million.” (T/N: 1MYuan = ~130K Euro, ~145K USD)
“It costs that much money to travel abroad?” Lu Qiao joked: “Are you sure your Dad isn’t a corrupt official?”
In an instant, Zhang Siyi turned cold. He was surprised at Lu Qiao’s rudeness. This joke is not funny.
Even if his father is an official, he only had a salary. The Zhang family is not rich. With the help of his grandfather’s inheritance and a few decades of investments and savings, the assets of the Zhang family were invested in order to pay for Zhang Siyi’s education.
However, Zhang Siyi knew domestically, there were many people that believed in the sentiment: There is no such thing as a uncorrupt official.
Taking a breath, he calmly explained: “No. My mother originally had an apartment. At that time, the housing market was very good so they sold it to pay for my education in the UK.”
Lu Qiao: “Oh.”
Zhang Siyi didn’t like the awkward atmosphere, so he changed the topic: “The temperature in Osaka seems to be hotter than Haicheng. When the sun sets, do you think we will need a jacket? I don’t know if we are coming back to the hotel after dinner.”
Lu Qiao quickly went through his suitcase: “Hmm.”
As Zhang Siyi opened his luggage, a burst of fragrance permeated the air.
Lu Qiao was surprised again. Where has he smelled this odor before? His olfactory senses were very sensitive. Thinking back carefully, where was he…. When he was pushed into Gu Yu during the subway ride, Lu Qiao smelled the same fragrance.
In order to confirm his guess, when Zhang Siyi went to the toilet, Lu Qiao picked up his shirt hanging on the bed and sniffed it. It really was… and it wasn’t just pure detergent. There was also a unique woody fragrance mixed in.
Immediately, Lu Qiao thought of the scene he witnessed on the plane. Since Zhang Siyi was sitting relatively close with Gu Yu, would his fragrance transfer onto Zhang Siyi? Mulling it over, Lu Qiao ultimately decided that the origin of the smell couldn’t have been from light contact because the odor was much more intense.
Maybe they just use the same detergent and cologne? Lu Qiao thought…… Hey, these big boys, with perfume, tsk.
After Zhang Siyi came out of the restroom, he tied his lightweight jacket around his waist and walked downstairs with Lu Qiao.
Wearing sunglasses, Gu Yu was waiting for them downstairs expressionless. The moment he saw Zhang Siyi, a wide smile appeared. Zhang Siyi smiled happily in return.
Lu Qiao felt like he had been poisoned and couldn’t stop himself from watching them intently.
At nearly three in the afternoon, the first stop on the itinerary was the famous Umeda Sky Building. ** Built in 1993, the tower was the tallest building in the area of Osaka and had the best vantage point to see the city. It is said to be a sacred place for couples to show affection.
Since everyone decided they would rather visit the Umeda building at sunset, the group walked around the neighborhood for some time and happened upon a street lined with food stalls. Some people in the group felt that the meal on the plane was sufficient enough and thus were hungry at this time. The enticing smell of food made their hunger deepen.
In particular, Tao Fei was most eager to eat because he didn’t have his meal on the plane. Both of his eyes glazed over at the site of the delicious foodstuffs: “Brother! Let us eat something or we are going to starve to death!”
Since Gu Yu knew Tao Fei didn’t eat on the plane, he quipped: “Who was the one that caused his own starvation?”
Tao Fei touched his stomach: “But this is where the delicious food is!”
Since the company also paid for their meals, Gu Yu had to maintain a respectable budget. Hearing Tao Fei, people in the group nodded and increasingly stated their interest in having something to eat. Soon, everyone surrounded Gu Yu and collectively begged: “Boss, Pleeeeeease!”
Gu Yu checked the time. Although it wasn’t dinner time, it wasn’t so far off. Feeling helpless against the crowd, he relented: “You guys pick it out. This is not dinner so eat less.”
The crowd cheered: “Yeah!
Surveying the food stalls, many female colleagues ogled over the stall that was selling octopus balls. They were golden, round and juicy with more fat than usual. There were eight of them to a box and they were twice as big as the ones sold back home. Even though they were very enticing, the main reason the women wanted to purchase them was because the balls were sold in sets of eight. It was the perfect amount to split between two people and thus in-line with their company’s couples’ game.
Since there were many other people lined up to buy food at the same stall, it took twenty minutes to place the order for everyone.
As each received their box of octopus, the members of the group paired off and sat down to eat. Since the pairing were all male and female and because they were all wearing the company’s shirt, to an outsider, the group appeared to be some sort of tour for honeymooners. With that line of thought, the group exuded a sweet aura and many people passing by looked at them enviously.
Even though they knew it was all fake, the group’s happiness increased without them realizing it. This was exactly what they wanted to achieve!
However, there are two non-standard same-sex couples in the mix…… It’s an awkward situation.
T/N: Umeda Sky Building: http://cdn.star2.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/8A1BBA40E81E4D81B353F491F7C75291.jpg