Assistant Architect by Xi He Qing Ling
Chapter 197: Renovation
After returning the painting, no other correspondence between the two companies happened. However, no matter how much Zhang Siyi wanted to forget about Bai Rui, his colleagues wouldn’t let him.
After they recognized him as the man that came to find Zhang Siyi, they constantly approached Zhang Siyi and asked him who the handsome guy was. Over and over, he had to explain to his colleagues that the man was an ex-boyfriend of a friend and he had nothing to do with him. What else could he say?
As much as he wanted to ignore Bai Rui, it was just too difficult. Now that they work in the same building, the possibility of meeting in the elevator was high. In addition, he admitted to having a boyfriend with someone from work. Privately, Zhang Siyi sighed once again and regretted his soft heart that lead him to impulsively divulge his secret.
Although Bai Rui hadn’t yet shown an obvious purpose, Zhang Siyi wasn’t inclined to take Bai Rui lightly, much less engage with him. Who knows what he would do!?
In a few days, it will be Zhang Siyi’s 24th birthday.
As he wondered what it will be like with Gu Yu, he began to look forward to it early. Although his tape measure ultimately moved him, thinking back to the poor feelings he harbored that day, Zhang Siyi clenched his jaw. His circumstance wasn’t the same as last year. Now, his boyfriend was Gu Yu and unlike last year, he thought he will be treated quite differently this time.
Much to his chagrin, an urgent bidding project fell from the sky!
One morning, Gu Yu left for work earlier than usual due to a meeting. At noon, Zhang Siyi saw several strangers coming to the company. Gu Yu came from his office and called Zhang Siyi together with Yuan Zhicheng, Bi Lele, and Zhu Hongzhen into the conference room.
Once he entered the room, Zhang Siyi noticed the same stranger he saw earlier siting with them. He was a middle-aged man who was between forty to fifty years old. Everyone called him Professor Cui.
The man nodded to them with a smile and looked at Zhang Siyi: “Is this little classmate new?”
Being called ‘Little Classmate’, Zhang Siyi didn’t know what to say.
Zhu Hongzhen quickly introduced him: “This is Professor Cui of the C group.”
Upon hearing the man’s name, Zhang Siyi remembered hearing about a design group C when he first joined the company. Later Zhu Hongzhen had explained to him that C-Group was a private design studio under Borderless and the leader was a professor from J University. The group specialized in ancient architectural design and was utilized when a project became available.
The person in front of Zhang Siyi was the legendary Professor! Immediately, Zhang Siyi stepped forward to shake his hand and introduce himself.
Professor Cui smiled and addressed everyone in the conference room: “Please sit.” He gestured and introduced the two young people standing next to him: “These two are my graduate students, Liao and Ye.”
Both students were around Zhang Siyi age. While Liao was a tall boy, very pale, with a pair of black framed glasses, and a serious expression, Ye was a plump girl with a very friendly demeanor. They took the opportunity to introduce themselves.
As soon as the introduction was complete, Gu Yu arrived with his notebook. He closed the door of the conference room behind him then looked to Professor Cui with respect: “Professor Cui, let’s get started.”
Professor Cui give him a nod and smiled: “You can start.”
After connecting the computer to the projector, Gu Yu gave a brief introduction of the situation: “The Company received a project for the renovation and restoration of the ancient city in X Province. Due to our limited staff, we have asked Professor Cui to join us on this project.”
Gu Yu paused and watching everyone nod in acknowledgement, he continued to elaborate on the specific details pertaining to the project and the bid. The time frame for the bid caused a bit of an uproar since it was in mid-January; only six weeks away.
Having worked for a year, Zhang Siyi was familiar with the time required for large and small projects. At this moment, knowing how much overtime he will inevitably have to do, his face was very tense.
GU Yu continued: “Since the project includes multiple buildings, it will be necessary to visit the location and survey the area. We need to decide whether or not there was any value in restoring the buildings. This part of the work will be handled by Professor Cui. Due to the large amount of work, two additional people will go with him for two weeks, without replacements, to help with the surveys.”
Zhang Siyi was stunned. ……Gu Yu wasn’t going? That means, if I go, then I won’t be with him for two weeks?
Unlike his unabashed enthusiasm of the past, since Zhang Siyi had experienced designing both his own projects as well as being part of a team for land development, he wasn’t so eager to volunteer.
Weighing the pros and cons, he first considered the economic conditions of X-City. In terms of economic similarities, the renovation of the ancient city couldn’t be compared with the luxury hotel project in Yunnan Provence. The main purpose of going to X City was to survey the site. Thinking along these lines, the expenses for food and accommodations would be limited. Watching the weather become colder day, by day, the prospect of a ‘fun’ trip was very slim.
Zhang Siyi glanced around the room and saw similar expressions across everyone’s face. Like a turtle, he wanted to shrink his neck and hide in his shell.
What’s more, Gu Yu mentioned Professor Cui was leading the team. As a borderless director, Gu Yu wouldn’t be able to leave the company for two weeks and thus, he would be separated from him. Certainly, Gu Yu wouldn’t be so cold-hearted, would he?
In hopes his subordinates would volunteer, Gu Yu waited a few minutes, but no one spoke up. The passing silence was broken as Gu Yu said: “Zhang Siyi, you count as one.”
Zhang Siyi: “………” Fuck! ! !
Turning his head to look at each of them in the eye, Gu Yu asked: “Field survey is physical work. Anyone have special circumstances that would inhibit their duties?”
Yuan Zhicheng and Zhu Hongzhen looked at each other and finally Yuan Zhicheng took the initiative to raise his hand: “I’ll go.”
Nodding with agreement, Gu Yu said: “I’ll go with you for a few days to assess the situation.”
Upon hearing Gu Yu statement, Bi Lele suddenly exclaimed: “Boss, I want to go!”
Gu Yu: “Are you sure?”
Bi Lele explained her reasons: “I have never been to X City before and I haven’t had the chance to take part in an ancient city renovation. It will be a good learning opportunity.”
Professor Cui approved: “Very good. You two girls can be roommates.”
Thinking he was free of the responsibility, Zhang Siyi momentarily felt a surge of joy. Bi Lele and Yuan Zhicheng were enough.
Gu Yu’s final words echoed in his head: “Ok then. Zhang Siyi and Bi Lele, both of you go back home to pack and prepare for tomorrow’s journey. Make sure you listen attentively to Professor Cui’s tasks during the next two weeks. Yuan Zhicheng and Zhu Hongzhen will stay in the company to do the prep-work on the project.”
Zhang Siyi felt like the carpet was ripped out from underneath his feet. Why wasn’t his boyfriend, on his side?