Assistant Architect by Xi He Qing Ling
Chapter 160: Panic
Feeling self-conscience, Zhang Siyi brought his hand up to the back of his neck and said: “Actually, when I started speaking to the group of tourists, I started remembering a little about what my professor said…. I guess some details stayed in my subconscious so they weren’t all my own thoughts.”
Gu Yu smiled gently and accompanied him around the periphery of the church. While walking slowly he said: ”This is very normal. As our predecessors have guided us and told us what is right, what is wrong, what is beautiful, what is ugly, etc… Like Newton’s phrase ‘If I have seen further it is only by standing on the shoulders of giants,’ not all of our ideas come from thin air. Greek mathematicians from ancient times discovered the golden ratio which is still used today. Since humans have their own minds and ideas, we aren’t machines that rigidly recall information exactly as it was inputted. We refine our thoughts and use our own judgement to extract ideas and express ourselves. If you simply reiterated the ideas that were presented in a book, I would not compliment you. Just because your ideas reflect something said by your professor, it doesn’t mean they weren’t your own. It is proof that the ideas Tadao Ando wanted to express through his Church of Light are being received.”
Gu Yu’s continued compliments caused Zhang Siyi heart to flutter. He was very excited to hear Gu Yu talk positively about him because in contrast, Zhang Siyi remembered how it was when they first met. At that time, Gu Yu only seemed to hurt and severely criticized him. However, look at him now! Gu Yu praised Zhang Siyi non-stop! – Is it true that I am better, or is it because Gu Yu is blinded by love?
In his heart, Zhang Siyi snickered a bit. Regardless, he gladly received the good words.
Today, the weather was perfect. A cool summer breeze kept the temperature comfortable for everyone. Inside, afraid of disturbing God’s house, only whispers could be heard.
Zhang Siyi and Gu Yu finally wandered back to the entrance of the Church. Once inside, they sat in the back row. As they watched the sun light project a cross on the wall in front of them, they felt time slowly pass.
Gu Yu’s mellifluous tone broke the silence: “When I got my job with X Firm, the company won a bid for a project in Xi’an. Several of the designers went to inspect the project site. Since we were nearby, we went to Lintong and visited the Tomb of the Terracotta Army**.
Zhang Siyi marveled: “Wow, isn’t that one of the eight wonders of the world!? I’ve only seen it on TV. How was it?”
Gu Yu chuckled: “The viewing area wasn’t extravagant. It simply was a large pit full of soldiers and horses. Standing on the viewing platform looking down into it, visually the scene was very shocking. Even though you understood the history a little bit in the recesses of your mind, being there in person made it difficult to comprehend. It was an indescribable feeling. At the time, there were also some foreign tourists. I remember them saying that because the Terracotta Army was incredibly famous, they thought it would be exceedingly special, but in reality, they thought it wasn’t interesting at all.
Zhang Siyi: “…”
Gu Yu paused and continued: “At that time, a group of about six young people came up behind us that was led by an old man. All of the members of the group expressed a moment of shock before changing to sadness. With solemn faces, some members of the group wiped tears from their eyes. The old man eyes were red as well and his voice trembled. Since we thought he was probably an Archeology professor with some graduate students, our design group quickly followed them to listen to what the old man had to say as they moved on. The Terracotta Army represented the history of two thousand years ago. One can imagine the eight thousand statues in the army and all of the people who were enslaved to them. The craftsmen who were buried, the servants, horses, carriages… Everyone’s perception of what they saw will have a completely different meaning because of their own knowledge and understanding. In the eyes of an architect, a house isn’t just a home, but a work of art. It is also a craft that lasts through time and bears human civilization and history. The deeper your knowledge, the more you will understand and the more you will love it.”
Extraordinarily calm, the passage was said as if Gu Yu was talking to himself. However, Zhang Siyi knew Gu Yu was talking to him instead. Listening to his calm voice, Zhang Siyi could feel the deep love that Gu Yu had for his profession.
“It’s great to be an architect…” Zhang Siyi said sincerely.
“Yeah.” Gu Yu smiled, a simple conversation. The two seem to have the same heart and mind. It was not only Zhang Siyi that heard Gu Yu’s speech. Lu Qiao and Tao Fei were nearby as well.
While taking photos outside, Tao Fei spotted Gu Yu and Zhang Siyi going back inside the Church. He followed them quietly and sat in the pews not far from where the two were sitting, listening.
Since peaking at Zhang Siyi’s sketchbook last night, Lu Qiao had been caught up in an extremely complex mood.
He was very fond of Zhang Siyi, especially when he learned how hard-working Zhang Siyi was despite coming from a well-off family. Since Lu Qiao thought Zhang Siyi was different from a spoiled second-generation rich kid, he believed Zhang Siyi was worthy of being a friend.
Lu Qiao ideology was very deeply rooted. He involuntarily ranked people based on their social and economical status and used that as a basis to determine who his friends could be. There was a sparkle that Tao Fei and Gu Yu exuded that Lu Qiao greatly admired. He thought Zhang Siyi had it too, but contrary to the seniors’ ability, in Lu Qiao’s mind, he and Zhang Siyi were at the same level.
Family background aside, Lu Qiao was proud of his accomplishments. After all, his starting point was vastly different and despite the gap, he was currently working and socializing with the same wealthy people. To some extent, it proved his own determination and work ethic.
Since he saw how useful Zhang Siyi was during the C-City project and because they got along well during their business trip, he requested Zhang Siyi to be his roommate for the company’s trip to Japan. Because he thought that Zhang Siyi had similar ethics and hobbies, he felt it would be easy to chat with him.
But in two days, Lu Qiao found that the balance he had in his life was broken. In every respect, Zhang Siyi wasn’t acting in the way the Lu Qiao imagined he would. When he was playing with his mobile phone, Zhang Siyi was sketching. While he wandered aimlessly, Zhang Siyi and Gu Yu were talking about philosophy and life. Suddenly, Lu Qiao realized he misjudged his own position.
Zhang Siyi, Gu Yu and Tao Fei were people of the world. As a result of being Zhang Siyi roommate and Tao Fei’s game partner, he was always besides them. In comparison to these bright and glamorous people, he was very humble and felt pathetic.
Feeling inferior and anxious, he sought to vent his frustrations. At that time, he saw Zhang Siyi’s sketch book and uncovered a huge secret. Panicked, his discovery made him feel even more confused and began to doubt the world.
In these past two days, his original understanding of Zhang Siyi has been completely overturned. In addition, his working relationship with is boss was destabilized. Over the course of working with Gu Yu this past year and a half, he really admired his work ethics and thought he was a perfect boss, but it turns out….
His favorite colleague and most respected boss…… They’re gay!
T/N: Terracotta Army: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terracotta_Army