Assistant Architect by Xi He Qing Ling
Chapter 161: Lie
….. Since when have they been together? Do the other people at work know? From Zhang Siyi’s sketchbook, it is clear that he likes the Boss. However, it can’t be one-sided since he willingly bought a heart lock together with Zhang Siyi. It proves he is also interested in him.
….. If they are dating, does that mean Zhang Siyi got special treatment? What about C-City? Zhang Siyi was given the opportunity to develop a plan for C-City…… but in the end, the project was terminated and the building wasn’t going to be built.
….. Since Zhang Siyi is usually with the Director, wouldn’t he receive more attention and guidance? Is that why Zhang Siyi had made so much progress so fast? That is understandable… but how did their professional relationship turn into something else? There is no excuse for that kind of behavior.
Deep in the recesses of his brain, looking for an excuse, Lu Qiao mulled over the issue. Why has Zhang Siyi’s progress exceeded his own? He really wanted to talk to someone, but he didn’t know who. He was a little afraid of telling others about Gu Yu’s and Zhang Siyi’s secret because of how well-liked they were in the company.
Just as Lu Qiao was thinking about them, both Gu Yu and Zhang Siyi stood up. Looking down at the floor, the idea of talking to others was quickly withdrawn.
Turning and noticing Lu Qiao, Gu Yu asked: “Why are you alone? Where is Tao Fei? Tell everyone to get ready to leave. We will meet at the exit.
Lu Qiao: “Oh……”
Leaving the Church of Light, the group returned to the city center and ate a light lunch. Afterwards, they visited the National Museum of International Art building** which was designed by Cesar Perri. In addition, they went to the Nampo Park complex** which was designed by the American group, Jerde Partnership.
As the day turned into evening, Gu Yu led them to a Japanese restaurant that served hot pot for dinner. While some members of the group felt tired and wanted to go back to the hotel to relax, there were others that wanted to stay out and continue shopping. Reminding them to stay safe, Gu Yu let the people decide for themselves what they wanted to do for their free time.
Taking advantage of the time spent in Japan, Zhang Siyi naturally wanted to stay out to look around and continue shopping. Since they had similar principles when visiting a foreign country, Tao Fei felt the same.
Lu Qiao felt indifferent. When he saw the three of them together, he felt an inexplicable sadness. As a result, he made up an excuse to leave and returned to the hotel with a few other colleagues.
In a good mood, Zhang Siyi was humming quietly when he returned to his room very late.
Lu Qiao asked: “Where have you been?”
Zhang Siyi: “We went to the Shinsaibashi shopping district and saw the Doutonbori canal. Oh yeh, there were many master works in the area. I also saw the Louis Vuitton building** by Kengo Kuma. The outer walls are made out of four millimeters thick onyx plates that were sandwiched between two pieces of glass. At night, with interior lighting, the walls become transparent and you can see the marble patterns in the stone. It’s super cool! It’s too bad you didn’t go!”
Listening to Zhang Siyi, Lu Qiao felt like he missed out and regretted his choice.
Zhang Siyi asked: “What about you?”
While Zhang Siyi was absent, Lu Qiao had laid down all evening lost in his thoughts. He couldn’t stop himself from conjuring up a variety of scenarios between Gu Yu and Zhang Siyi and as a result, it only upset him further. Feeling trapped by his own thoughts, with nothing to do and nowhere to go, he felt half-dead. Now that he heard the excitement from Zhang Siyi, he was becoming even more upset. Irritated, he was curt with him and replied. “There is nothing to do but sleep.”
His attitude surprised Zhang Siyi. Gawking, he replied: “Oh. I’ll go take a shower first.
Since Lu Qiao’s attempt to garner sympathy failed, he was furious. – Asshole! Now that you have a partner, you can’t spare the time for friends!
When Zhang Siyi came out of the bathroom, he saw Lu Qiao nearly covered up entirely by the blanket. He wasn’t sure if Lu Qiao was asleep. He casually asked: “Are you alright? Are you Jet-lagged?”
Lu Qiao stuck his head out from under the bedding: “What do you mean, Jet-lagged?”
Zhang Siyi smiled at him: “Well, you haven’t fallen asleep yet.”
Lu Qiao: “…”
Zhang Siyi leaned on the headboard of his bed and explained: “I noticed in these past two days that you seldom spoke and lacked energy. You didn’t seem like you wanted to go out with us at night so I thought maybe you were jet-lagged.”
As Zhang Siyi showed concern, Lu Qiao’s mood improved slightly. Still sullen he said: “It’s nothing. I don’t like to travel.”
Even though he knew from his experience during the business trip to C-City that Lu Qiao didn’t like to travel, he was curious and asked: “Why don’t you?”
Lu Qiao: “After work, I’m normally very tired. Since I can see everything on the internet, what is the point of going out?”
“Looking at a picture and being in the location feels different.” Zhang Siyi relayed a variety of ideas he learned from Tao Fei when they toured Yunnan.
Lu Qiao snorted at himself: “I don’t think like you. Anyway, I’m just a homebody. I rather stay at home and sleep. If the money given by the company for the trip could be converted into pay instead, I definitely wouldn’t come.”
Since their ideologies were so different, Zhang Siyi didn’t know what to say to Lu Qiao anymore. Instead of chatting, he took out his sketchbook, turned around and silently wrote in it.
Unexpectedly, Lu Qiao suddenly looked at him and asked: “Auntie Four, is your relationship with the Boss good?”
Zhang Siyi froze. Instinctively, he wanted to change the topic quickly. He gave a vague reply: “It’s alright.”
Lu Qiao remained silent for a moment. As if to insinuate something else, he sneered: “I saw you and the boss buy a heart lock that day.”
Internally, Zhang Siyi was panicking. He tried to relax his outward appearance and remain calm. He replied: “Just part of the game.”
Lu Qiao: “Oh……”
With ulterior motives in their hearts, there was nothing else to say.
The next day, under the leadership of Gu Yu, everyone went to Awaji Island in the southern part of Hyogo Prefecture.
Awaji Island is about two hours away from Osaka. There are a number of buildings designed by Tadao Ando located on the island such as Honpuku-ji, Awaji Yumebutai complex and the Botanical Gardens. It can be said that the island hosts Tadao Ando’s architectural collection.
Since Zhang Siyi was blindsided by Lu Qiao last night, he spoke to Gu Yu about what happened and they decided to deliberately avoid each other for fear of other colleagues noticing them.
The day was very busy with scheduled events. They left early in the morning at seven and didn’t return to the hotel until ten in the evening.
Feeling tired, Zhang Siyi wanted to get to sleep quickly so he changed his clothes then washed his face and brushed his teeth. Turning off the bedside light, he got into bed without saying a word to Lu Qiao.
Lu Qiao was feeling depressed. Even though he wanted to talk with Zhang Siyi, he neither found an opportunity to open a dialog with him nor did Zhang Siyi make an effort to chat.
On the fourth day of the trip, the group moved from Osaka to Kyoto. There, the main focus of the trip was to visit ancient Japanese architecture like the Imperial Palace** and Kiyomizu Temple**.
A surprise awaited the group when they arrived at the designated hotel as it was a traditional Japanese Inn. The rooms with tatami mats and futons accommodated four people. As a result, the group divided themselves into 3 groups of 4 with Zhang Siyi, Gu Yu, Tao Fei and Lu Qiao occupying one room. The four women and the remaining four men were each assigned a room.
Ji Feiyu joked: “Ha-ha. Since the men and women couples were separated, we now have four pairs of male lovers sleeping in the same room. Who is jealous!?”
Thinking of the true relationship between Zhang Siyi and Gu Yu, Lu Qiao immediately blurted out: “I’m not gay, don’t expect anything.”
As much as Gu Yu tried to remain indifferent, after hearing Lu Qiao announcement, he frowned slightly. The atmosphere became awkward for a moment and everyone was silent. The group turned to look towards Lu Qiao. Since Ji Feiyu thought he was making a joke, he didn’t expect Lu Qiao to take it so seriously.
Expressionless, Lu Qiao did not care how the rest of the group thought of him. He stiffly grabbed his bag and went into his room to place his luggage down into the corner then he walked out alone.
As the moment passed, people returned to their own thoughts and forgot about Lu Qiao. Chatting with their neighbors, they too collected their luggage and brought it to their assigned rooms. Moreover, Zhang Siyi and Gu Yu have realized they have overstepped the boundaries of a ‘game relationship’ and as a result, they have moderated their behavior in order to not attract further attention.
In the afternoon, the group visited the Imperial Palace and, in the evening, they returned to the inn to gather together for a sushi dinner.
With plentiful jokes and laughter, the atmosphere was lively and harmonious. As more sushi was eaten, more sake was passed around the table and the group became even more lively. Thus, Ji Feiyu became bold enough to suggest they play a game of Truth-or-Dare. Since everyone hooted and hollered at his proposition, it seemed like perhaps, everyone in the group already knew what his true intentions were towards Du Rui. They eagerly agreed to play the game.
Becoming sweaty, only Zhang Siyi was very nervous. Although he knew that Ji Feiyu’s goal wasn’t to expose him and Gu Yu, he was really afraid to play! Unexpectedly, Zhang Siyi felt Gu Yu grab his hand under the table suddenly.
Startled, Zhang Siyi remained still for a long time until he realized Gu Yu was writing something in the palm of his hand. It was an English word: Lie.
Lie? Is Gu’s asking him to lie? Doesn’t this mean to completely disregard the rules of the game?
Shit! Gu Yu is so despicable…… But he likes it! (=w=)
T/N: National Museum of Art Osaka: https://arcspace.com/wp-content/uploads/CropUp/-/media/209214/national_museum_of_art_1.jpg
Namba Park Complex: https://www.jerde.com/places/detail/namba-parks
Louis Vuitton Headquarters Japan: https://kkaa.co.jp/works/architecture/lvmh-osaka/
Kyoto Imperial Palace: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kyoto_Imperial_Palace
Kiyomizu Temple: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kiyomizu-dera