Assistant Architect by Xi He Qing Ling
Chapter 175: Nightclub
Just as Zhang Siyi mentioned his ‘single’ status, Fu Xinhui suddenly messaged the group: “Here I thought this group of corpses were already dead! I was away from my phone for a little while and now I see hundreds of messages! What are you guys talking about?”
Catching him off guard, Zhang Siyi’s heart jumped into his throat. Quickly, he sent Fu Xinhui a private text letting him know he didn’t want his relationship broadcasted.
Fu Xinhui: “I know…… but when I think of you and this matter… for better or worse….” [Sweating]
Zhang Siyi: “….”
The flow of messages sped up as the group enthusiastically greeted Fu Xinhui and asked him about his current situation. Fu Xinhui kept a low profile and didn’t divulge any information about his family’s experience. Instead, he brought the conversation back to the present and expressed great interest in the group’s get together on the weekend.
Fu Xinhui: “Let me sync my phone so I can join you guys live with video!”
Ren Mengyu: “Of course! How can we let you miss out?!”
Fu Xinhui: “Although I’m not there, my heart is with you guys! [Heart]”
After the date and time were set, Zhang Siyi informed Gu Yu of his plans to meet with his classmates.
“This Saturday?” As Gu Yu confirmed the weekend plans, he frowned. “The visiting architect, Ishihara, was giving a lecture that afternoon.”
Ishihara is a young Japanese architect that Gu Yu and Zhang Siyi have recently taken note of. They have increasingly liked his work. A few weeks ago, they found out about his lecture, but at that time, there wasn’t a specific date scheduled for his presentation.
Feeling distraught over the conflict, Zhang Siyi quickly responded: “Ack! What should I do?”
Gu Yu put down his pen down and looked up at Zhang Siyi and calmly stated: “Don’t worry about it. Go meet your friends.”
Afraid Gu Yu wasn’t happy about it, Zhang Siyi asked: “Should I see if I can meet them on Sunday instead?”
Gu Yu smiled at him with affection: “Why go out of your way to change the time when you looked so happy to meet them? You haven’t seen them for a long time. It’s alright. I’ll go to the lecture alone and can tell you about the details afterwards.”
Zhang Siyi pounced on Gu Yu: “When I’m done eating, I’ll come meet you.”
During the week leading up to their get-together, the group of friends continued to chat and catch up with one another. As it turned out, Ren Mengyu met Bai Rui in a nightclub.
Jiang Hai was surprised: “Really?!”
All of her friends are well aware that Ren Mengyu loved to go clubbing. What was surprising was the fact that she met her boyfriend at a nightclub. It seemed like a strange place to meet the perfect rich guy.
Along with his close friend, Fu Xinhui, Zhang Siyi didn’t like to go to nightclubs. Of course, Zhang Siyi wasn’t considered a rich hottie like his friend. He assumed Gu Yu didn’t like them either. Wanting to confirm his thought, he looked at Gu Yu and asked: “Hey, have you ever been to a nightclub?”
Gu Yu frowned: “Why are you going to a nightclub?”
Zhang Siyi: “Just tell me if you have been to one or not.”
Gu Yu: “No.”
Proof is in the flesh! Why would the perfect rich guy go to a nightclub! ╮(╯_╰)╭
Ren Mengyu explained in the group: “It was his first time going clubbing. He said his friends dragged him there. When I saw him, he stuck out like a sore thumb. Normally, men go clubbing to ogle at girls, but he was just sitting alone in the corner drinking silently. Many girls tried to talk to him, but he brushed them off with indifference.”
He ignored the girls? A flash a doubt crossed Zhang Siyi’s mind. Wouldn’t that mean this man was gay?
As if to shake off his ridiculous conjecture, Zhang Siyi quickly shook his head, no. He shouldn’t assume someone was gay just because he himself was with a man. Besides, how could the person be gay if he was dating Ren Mengyu?
His plans to continue gossiping with his friends was suddenly interrupted by Gu Yu’s question: “Have you been to a nightclub?”
Zhang Siyi hesitated for a moment then replied: “Ah…. No.”
Gu Yu put away his iPad, gathered Zhang Siyi into his arms and put his hands-on Zhang Siyi’s waist: “Is that so?”
Having his sides kneaded, Zhang Siyi trembled. Under Gu Yu’s tickle-torture, Zhang Siyi twisted and turned. It didn’t take long from him to surrender: “Ok, ok. I confess. I have been there once with Fu Xinhui while I was in the UK!”
Gu Yu raised his eyebrows: “What were you doing there? Hunting for girls?”
“What? No!” Zhang Siyi shouted honestly. “We just wanted to know what it was like.”
Gu Yu: ”So, how was it?”
Zhang Siyi crumpled his face: “It felt like one large group dance. I didn’t care for the experience.”
Gu Yu: “So why did you just ask me about it?”
Zhang Siyi quickly told Gu Yu about Ren Mengyu’s boyfriend. In order to help with the analysis of her boyfriend, he showed the chat history to Gu Yu.
For some time, they continued to chat steadily. Fu Xinhui asked: ”So…. how did you get to know him?”
Ren Mengyu: “When my friend and I passed by the bar, we saw him leaning on the door looking unstable. Since his friends weren’t with him, I approached him and asked if he needed help. He asked me to call a cab and to take him home….. Do you know where he lives? The famous district in area A where the average price for an apartment is one-hundred thousand per square meter! He said there are movie stars that live in the same building!”
Jiang Hai: “You just followed a stranger back home? Are you stupid?”
Ren Mengyu: “When I asked him if he needed help, I thought he was quite a gentleman. Although he was a little drunk and confused, I didn’t think he was pretending.”
Fu Xinhui: “You really don’t understand men!”
Ren Mengyu: “What do you mean?”
Fu Xinhui: “I’ll be blunt. The real purpose men go clubbing is very clear. A night of stimulation; a one-night stand. When your boyfriend decided to go to a nightclub, he was already psychologically prepared to find a girl. If there really was an opportunity, what man would refuse a girl’s advances?
Zhang Siyi: “…..” Brother, are you are trying to kill me!
Gu Yu narrowed his eyes and looked directly at Zhang Siyi: “So….. you also went to find stimulation?”
Zhang Siyi: “I, I… I did not!”
Pressing him to the bed, Gu Yu took disciplinary action and kissed him deeply. After biting his lip, he released him: “I don’t care about your past, but I’ll be careful to spank you later.”
Zhang Siyi: “…..”
Returning to his phone to look at the chat group, Ren Mengyu had sent a very straightforward message: “Well duh! I also went to find someone to play with for a night. Who goes to a nightclub to find a boyfriend!?”
Fu Xinhui: “Well, well. I didn’t say it!”
Once again, Gu Yu looked at Zhang Siyi in the eye and commented: “Your classmates are really open, huh.”
With silent tears, Zhang Siyi covered his eyes: “They have always been more relaxed than I…”
Ren Mengyu continued: “When he asked me to take him home, I was thinking one thing, but instead he sent me back. How could I have imagined what a gentleman he was? At the time, it was rather irksome!”
….. What? Are you kidding me? Zhang Siyi thought the incident was a little odd. Ren Mengyu obviously expressed an interest in Bai Rui and was kind enough to comply with his request but then, he sent her back home?
Su Yuan added: “For the following week, Ren Mengyu was cursing him every day, until Bai Rui had called her and asked her out for dinner.”
Zhang Siyi: “…”
Jiang Hai asked: “How did he know your phone number?”
Ren Mengyu: “He must have gotten it from the time we rode home in the taxi. Since the battery on his phone was dead, he asked me to borrow my phone so he could call his friend. I was surprised he called me a week later and even more surprising was hearing him ask me to be his girlfriend. I was a little afraid so told him I would consider it.”
Su Yuan: “You considered nothing. That was the night this idiot girl fell and perhaps there will be a price to pay.”
Ren Mengyu: “You think he really is playing me, but I don’t see it. We have been together for a month and during this time he has been very romantic. Bai Rui takes me out to dinner and goes to the movies with me. We go shopping and take walks together. Except for the fact that we haven’t slept together yet, he is like a prince from a fairy-tale; a perfect boyfriend. Although our relationship is very pure, I don’t actually know that much about him. What do you think?”
Fu Xinhui: ”Bai Rui’s level is too great. This young master doesn’t understand. Please ask another! [Laugh][Cry]
Ren Mengyu: “…”
Zhang Siyi turned to Gu Yu and asked: “What do you think? Can you understand Bai Rui’s behavior?”
“As your classmates have explained, since they went to a nightclub, their real purpose should be very clear. Since society is less restrictive now, people are free to see others without the constraints of marriage prospects. Even if they had gotten together for sex, it wasn’t a formal pursuit. Therefore, if he confesses to her afterwards, how can she know what he wants and take it seriously?” Gu Yu turned to look at Zhang Siyi. He continued: “I don’t know about anyone else, but if it was me, once I confess, I will definitely say what I want and won’t make my lover question my behavior. Your classmate was upset because the man wasn’t completely honest with her.”
Zhang Siyi nodded and felt the truth of what Gu Yu said. He wanted to relay his thoughts to the chat group, but Gu Yu grabbed his phone.
Gu Yu: “The heart is unpredictable. Who can really say what someone was thinking and feeling at the time? No one can guarantee who was right or wrong in that situation.”
Zhang Siyi: “But…”
As he was trying to talk, Gu Yu reached for Zhang Siyi and brought him close to kissed him on the lips. He turned Zhang Siyi over and pressed him down onto the bed: “Why are you so concerned? Take care of yourself first. Come on, it’s time for some stimulation.”
Zhang Siyi: “……..”
On Saturday, excited to see his old classmates, Zhang Siyi got up early in the morning to rummage through his closet to find something suitable to wear for dinner.
Not long ago, Gu Yu took him out to go shopping. Now that they have been living together, Zhang Siyi style had subconsciously begun to resemble Gu Yu’s.
While putting on his pants, Zhang Siyi shouted: “Gu Yu, help me find the jacket I bought a few days ago!” As he tightened his belt, Zhang Siyi widened his eyes in shock.
Gu Yu walked over to him and handed him his jacket. He watched Zhang Siyi look down and balk at himself: “What’s the matter?”
“Did I lose weight?” Zhang Siyi tightened his belt and found the usual hole is used to buckle wasn’t tight enough.
“Hmm….” Gu Yu knew best whether or not Zhang Siyi was too thin. Every night, he has held all of Zhang Siyi’s parts closely.
As a natural thin person, Zhang Siyi grew up not worrying about his weight: “It’s your fault!”
Yes, it’s all because of him! Gu Yu was so desperate for him every night and during the day, Zhang Siyi was given so much work!
Cuddling Zhang Siyi, Gu Yu put his chin on Zhang Siyi’s shoulder and wrapped his arms around him. Gu Yu smiled and said: “Blame me. That’s why we haven’t done it as much lately.”
Zhang Siyi: “…” Fuck! The frequency fell not because Gu Yu had found a conscience! Zhang Siyi was tired of doing it!
Even so, after losing excess weight, his muscles became more defined and as a whole, his slender physique looked quite good. He was wearing a pair of grey pants with a dark grey knit sweater and white sneakers. His light-colored jacket topped off his refined, yet casual look.
Looking rather handsome, Zhang Siyi checked himself in the mirror one last time before leaving. Gu Yu caught him, and planted a deep kiss on his lips. Zhang Siyi felt a little reluctant to leave….
His group of friends agreed to meet at a distinctive British restaurant to have afternoon tea and dinner.
When Zhang Siyi arrived, Jiang Hai and his girlfriend, Tian Yujing, were already there. They could hardly recognize him.
Compared with the youth from a year ago, with calm and tidy gestures, Zhang Siyi had a mature appearance. Perhaps, it was due to his experience at work.
Tian Yujing opened her eyes in surprise and exclaimed: “Wow, you have changed a lot!”
“What? Where have I changed?” Now that he is in a relationship with a man, Zhang Siyi is always a little nervous about exposing his gay temperament.
Tian Yujing smiled and said: “You have become so handsome!”
Feeling elated, these are the words Zhang Siyi loves to hear.
He smiled and told Tian Yujing she was being silly.
When Zhang Siyi laughed, he exuded an inviting warmth and his even temperament was revealed. It was like an old piece of fine jade that has been polished; beautiful and charming.
Normally, one doesn’t associate a fine piece of polished jade for a man, but there is no sense of violation. Zhang Siyi clearly isn’t feminine, but he looks a little sweet.
Zhang Siyi asked: “Has Su Yuan and Ren Mengyu arrived yet?”
Jiang Hai: “Follow me. “
Su Yuan was talking to the waiter at their table. Looking at her, Zhang Siyi noticed she was still wearing the same clothing as last year. There was a time when the clothing looked dazzling on her, but now they looked drab. Su Yuan’s light makeup couldn’t hide her haggard face and the dark circles under her eyes.
“Hey, I worked overtime until 10 o’clock last night. I am at my limit in this industry…” Sure enough, as they sat down, Su Yuan was full of negativity and began to complain about her work from trivial matters, to more broader complaints.
Jiang Hai and Zhang Siyi still remembered the bright person she was from her college days. The transformation was a little surprising. Thinking that she was too hard on herself, Jiang Hai advised: “Don’t put so much pressure on yourself.”
Su Yuan brought the palm of her hand to her forehead. In clear distress, she said: “What pressure am I giving myself!? It is the reality of the industry that stresses me out. I don’t understand why I pursued this industry to begin with. Traveling to business meetings all over and working overtime every day; I work like a dog. I don’t have time to go out shopping or let alone date. I don’t even have time to sleep. Working overseas might sound thrilling, but the wages were actually lower than migrant workers. Since the market wasn’t good last year, we never received our year-end bonuses. Additionally, no one got a pay raise. The situation this year is even more severe because five of the original eight members of my team left. All the work has fallen into my lap.”
Listening attentively to Su Yuan’s story, Zhang Siyi felt that things weren’t quite right. He calmly asked: “Su Yuan, what is your salary now?”
Su Yuan sighed then said: “Last year it was seven thousand, but this year it was only five thousand. The company told us the market was dry. Since the company hadn’t received any projects for three months, there was nothing to be done. What can you do without money? Everyone started panicking.”
Since the only work experience Zhang Siyi had was with Borderless, he had little contact with outside companies and their dealings with the industry. He couldn’t help but be shocked by Su Yuan’s story. Is the situation really that serious? So why was she working so endlessly?
In September of this year, Gu Yu gave him a salary raise from the original 8,000 to nine thousand. In addition, he earns a bonus from the large and small projects that he contributes towards when the company wins the contract. Zhang Siyi hasn’t had a problem saving money for a long time.
Su Yuan continued to elaborate: “Also, I have to rent an apartment myself. This year, my landlord has raised the rent. I heard that several mangers from the company stopped getting payed. At least they have had years of savings to fall back on. Unlike Ren Mengyu, I don’t have my family’s financial support. I’m just a newly graduated student! What am I supposed to do?”
The vicious economic cycle; Zhang Siyi understood it very well. Before he moved in with Gu Yu, he also felt the pressure from financial constraints.
The former Su Yuan from University was full of positive energy. When everyone else was struggling, she was there to motivate others to work hard and continue moving forward. In stark contrast, now fatigued, Su Yuan’s light was snuffed out by the harsh faces of reality.
Hey, it’s no wonder that her clothing and accessories have not changed. It seems like she has been forced into a desperate situation.
Jiang Hai asked her: “Can you leave the company and find another job?”
Su Yuan was annoyed: “If there are layoffs in the same industry, where will there be a place to jump to!”
Hearing Su Yuan, Zhang Siyi suddenly wanted to help her. He thought of Gu Yu and Borderless. Since Su Yuan’s grades were better than his, her ability couldn’t be any less then his own. Certainly, she would be qualified to work at Borderless.
As a matter of course, Jiang Hai stated: “Then quit and work in a different industry.”
Zhang Siyi was in shock. Quit? How could Jiang Hai audaciously suggest such a thing to Su Yuan. She was the one who vowed to become a female architect!
However, Su Yuan didn’t seem to have much of a reaction. There was a void of emotion in her voice. Calmly she admitted: “I’ve thought about it, but I am afraid to walk away because I might never come back to the construction industry. After studying for so many years, I have invested so much. I am really reluctant to leave.”
Jiang Hai sighed: “One has to eat.”
After hearing Su Yuan’s woes, Zhang Siyi felt uncomfortable. Although he wanted to help her, he had to talk to Gu Yu first. Because he didn’t want to give her false hope, he offered her some encouragement: ”Don’t give up so easily. My senior said that after the winter, the market will get better in the spring. I remember you said you wanted to go back and study for Part2… What will you do if you quit?”
Su Yuan smiled bitterly: “I’ve already abandoned that idea six months ago. This road is too long and I can’t afford it.”
Zhang Siyi opened his mouth as if to say something encouraging, but silence followed. Even though he wanted to convince her that her efforts weren’t in vain, he didn’t know what to say to help her. As he was about to continue, Ren Mengyu and her boyfriend walked in.
Su Yuan immediately replaced her bleak expression with a smile for the newly arrived couple. Unlike his friend, Zhang Siyi wasn’t able to set aside his emotions so quickly. He felt that Su Yuan smile was somewhat far-fetched.
“Hey! The person with a big game to play has finally arrived!” Su Yuan joked.
Zhang Siyi turned his head to look at the topic of conversation of their group chat these past few days. He was dressed in a black overcoat and hanging around his neck was a grey Hermes scarf. The person in the flesh looked even more handsome than the photograph. His temperament seemed better too.
In a low melodic voice, like the distant melancholy of a cello, Zhang Siyi heard Bai Rui address everyone at the table: “Hello.”