Assistant Architect by Xi He Qing Ling
Chapter 227: Let’s Go
The chat group lit on fire:
“Aunt Four, which school are you going to?”
Zhang Siyi tried hard to suppress his inner joy so he calmly said: “Big A University.”
“Wow! The same school as Tao Fei! How many years are you going to go?”
Zhang Siyi: “Two years.”
“Will you come back to Borderless after graduation?”
Zhang Siyi scratched his head: “I don’t know. I’ll have to check it out later …”
“There’s no way! Don’t you think he will be out of our league after graduation?”
Zhang Siyi: “… What? No….” He didn’t know what to tell them. It really depended on Gu Yu. For good or bad, where ever Gu Yu went, he would follow.
Without fear, Bi Lele proclaimed: “As long as our boss is still in the company, Auntie will definitely come back!”
Being the one most informed over the company’s gossip, she was rather surprised to learn of Zhang Siyi’s departure. Or rather, the fact that Gu Yu would let him go. Then again, men and women were different. Men often pursued academics and focused their attention on their careers instead of love. In this regard, she understood it a little.
An uninformed girl laughed and joked: “That’s right! You two are the Borderless couple!”
Zhang Siyi was very embarrassed. If they knew Gu Yu was going with him, the group of girls would probably throw him out of a ten-story building. In order to avoid problems, Gu Yu explicitly told him in private that their departure shouldn’t be made public early. He didn’t want to cause a disruption within Borderless.
To his colleagues on the internal instant-message, Zhang Siyi replied: “Whether I return or not, I won’t forget you guys. Also, don’t forget about our Borderless chat group. We can keep in touch anywhere at any time!”
On the chat group or in their department, although everyone was being cheerful, it was obvious their hearts weren’t into it. As the newbie entering the company, Zhang Siyi never imagined he would receive such star-studded treatment. He was touched.
It wasn’t easy pacifying his colleagues. At noon for lunch, he was roughly caught by Tao Fei. Shaking Zhang Siyi, he said: “Shit. Why so sudden? You’re doing a good job of keeping it a secret! Going abroad isn’t uncommon, why didn’t you tell me!”
Since Tao Fei was tall and thin, he appeared weak, but don’t be deceived. He was the president of the karate society at University. His hands were like iron vice grips and Zhang Siyi couldn’t break free from his grasp.
“Dead, Fat Peach …” Feeling dizzy, Zhang Siyi head was shaken: “It’s not that I didn’t tell you. For a long time, I have neither seen you during the day nor after hours at night. How am I supposed to tell you?!”
Tao Fei let go of him, looking a little unnatural: “I’ve been hanging out with stupid Bai Rui upstairs this whole time.”
Zhang Siyi turned a blind eye. Spending so much time together, is he not afraid of assimilation?
Tao Fei asked him: “What are you going to do about my Brother? Are you going to have a long-distance relationship?”
Zhang Siyi almost blurted out, ‘he’s going with me,’ but the thought of Gu Yu instructions halted him. He calmly responded: “You can ask him yourself.”
Although the two of them were planning to go abroad together, due to logistics and concerns, they couldn’t leave the company together. As a result, they decided Zhang Siyi would leave first and then Gu Yu would later follow. It wasn’t yet time to tell Tao Fei the truth.
Pursing his lips, Tao Fei squinted at Zhang Siyi like he was inspecting him for clues: “What’s with the cloak and dagger? Is something going on?”
Looking sympathetically at Tao Fei, Zhang Siyi silently lowered his head and began to eat.
Already, Gu Yu has made preparations for Tao Fei to take over the position of leader in Group A. In the last six months, he has been gradually handing over most of the jobs to Tao Fei. Since he doesn’t have a sufficient work experience and a license, Tao Fei was unqualified to serve as a design director. In advanced and in private, Gu Yu arranged for Tong Heyi, the leader of Group B, to take over that position.
A week later, Gu Yu organized a farewell party for Zhang Siyi. They went to the same restaurant where they held his welcome party and as before, everyone toasted him many times over.
After seven or eight rounds, Zhang Siyi rummaged through his bag and took out his “Assistant Architect” business cards. A little tipsy, he started handing them to each of his colleagues. He loudly announced: “Wait until I come back! Let’s work together to construct the motherland! My number will never change!”
As his colleagues took a business card one-by-one, they were starting to feel emotional and laughed: “Don’t forget to come back yourself! We’ll be waiting for our mascot!”
When he came to the last person in the circle, there was only one business card left. Suddenly Zhang Siyi was reluctant to give it away. He could keep one for himself as a memento, right?
Looking up, Zhang Siyi saw Gu Yu standing there with his out stretched hand. Zhang Siyi withdrew his hand and said: “You gave this to me so I’m not giving it back.”
Gu Yu: “…”
On his last day at Borderless, Zhang Siyi packed up his desk, deleted the personal information stored on his computer and officially left the first workplace in his life. As he walked past the landscaping wall with his belongings, Zhang Siyi saw his cactus. He asked reception if he could bring it with him.
The girl at the front desk was a bit bewildered: “Plants are considered company property. Employees can only adopt and take care of them during their employment. They cannot be taken away.”
Zhang Siyi asked at the last minute and wasn’t expecting much. He didn’t expect the receptionist to come over and whisper to him: “Well, it is company policy, but if you take it away secretly, I wouldn’t be able to stop you…..”
Zhang Siyi smiled and shook his head: “It’s okay, keep it for the next person.”
Actually, his generosity wasn’t so generous. In fact, he already had the ‘real’ cactus at home. Ha-ha!
Now that he left his work, he was biding his time until he left the country. Enjoying his leisurely life, he slept in, read books, and ate when he felt like it. Sometimes, he prepared dinner while waiting for Gu Yu to come home in the evenings.
By mid-August, Gu Yu also left Borderless. When Gu Yu came back from work in the evening, Zhang Siyi jumped up to greet him: “Well, how was it?”
Stooping over to change his shoes, Gu Yu replied: ”Tao Fei blew up.”
Zhang Siyi: “Hah! Well, what did he do? As the new group leader, didn’t he say something encouraging?”
Gu Yu raised an eyebrow and said: “He was just angry so he made a scene. He has to figure it out on his own or he won’t learn. Tao Fei just needs experience. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I haven’t asked him to thank me yet.”
Zhang Siyi: “He may be angry with you because you didn’t tell him earlier.”
Gu Yu chuckled: “I had to hide it from him otherwise he would run away in anger and then, who would I find to be my successor?”
Snickering, Zhang Siyi mourned for Tao Fei for a moment. He asked: “What was the rest of the group’s reaction?”
Gu Yu shrugged: “It’s Tao Fei’s business now. I have nothing to do with it, but I believe Tao Fei will make it work.”
Zhang Siyi: “…” He gave full marks for his ability to pass the buck!
However, despite Gu Yu’s claims, Tao Fei called him almost three times a day. He relentlessly pestered him with questions; how to do this, how to do that and all the while, Gu Yu answered him with patience.
No one knew who it was that let the cat out of the bag, but when the news about Gu Yu and Zhang Siyi going to study at the same place was revealed, the Borderless WeChat group roared:
“Four aunts! Give us back our boss!”
“Wow! Our mascot has taken the boss away!”
“Where does he live? Let’s kill him together !! “
For several days, Zhang Siyi was too scared to appear in the chat group. Fortunately, the news didn’t spread while he was at work, otherwise he probably would have been hanged!
No matter how much fuss everyone made, over time harmony was restored.
In the last week before going abroad, Gu Yu telephoned his friend who owned Yuanshan Garden Villa. He inquired about the future of the villa and if his friend wanted to use it. If that was the case, they would have to spend time reorganizing and moving furniture around.
Since his friend’s career was much grander than it was when they first met, the villa wasn’t something he was concerned with. When he heard that Gu Yu was leaving to study abroad, he asked: ”Will you return to China?”
Gu Yu replied: “Of course. In three to five years, I will be back to develop my own business when I return to Haicheng.”
The man boldly said: “Since the villa was renovated as a personal favor, its yours. Keep living there so you will have a home to come back to.”
His friend reassurances made Gu Yu and Zhang Siyi feel relieved. The amount of work needed to move their belonging wasn’t small. Gu Yu had so many books and collections to pack. Plus, there was the furniture to deal with. There simply wasn’t room in Ningcheng for it.
Thinking about the topic of houses, Zhang Siyi asked: “Since you are so rich, why not buy a bigger house for your parents in Ningcheng?”
Initially, Zhang Siyi didn’t understand it at all, but he quickly grasped the reason when Gu Yu explained. Only then did he realize that some spiritual things couldn’t be brought about by material upgrading. Their old house was full of the memories of family and that was the most important part worth preserving for their parents.
In a blink of an eye, it was time to leave. The two packed up their luggage and entrusted both Yuanshan Garden and Townhouse to Gu Yao’s care. Since their parents weren’t retired yet, they didn’t want them to have to take off from work to send them off. Instead, they returned to Ningcheng to specifically bid the Zhang’s and Gu’s farewell.
On the day of departure, their brother-in-law, He Chengtian, drove them to the airport. In order to drop them off, Gu Yao specially asked for a personal day off from work. When Gu Yu reluctantly said goodbye to his sister, Gu Yao burst into tears.
When her tears fell, the three big men panicked. Especially, He Chengtian. Calling Gu Yao by her nickname, he didn’t know what to say.
Watching He Chengtian’s distressed and helpless demeanor, Gu Yu suddenly pushed Gu Yao in his direction and chuckled at him: ”He Chengtian, my sister will be in your care.”
Taking a few seconds to react, He Chengtian’s face turned red. Like he was swearing in at court, he raised his hand up and solemnly vowed: “Brother, I’ll see to it, guaranteed.”
Gu Yu smiled and waved at them then turned around and headed to the departure gate with Zhang Siyi.
After going through security, Zhang Siyi received a call from Fu Xinhui. He scrambled to pick it up on time. He answered and heard his friend’s voice: “Are you going abroad today?”
Zhang Siyi answered: “Yeah! I just went through the security check and I’m on my way to the departure gate to board the plane.”
Listening to him, Gu Yu interest was piqued. He quietly asked: “Who is it?”
Zhang Siyi quickly told him: “Heartless Han.”
Over the phone Fu Xinhui went on: “Oh, good. I haven’t missed it. It’s a pity I can’t send you off in person today. I’m only able to make this phone call. I wish you a safe and pleasant journey!”
Zhang Siyi: “You’re in Australia, of course you can’t send me off! The phone call is enough.”
Fu Xinhui: “I have been in Australia for a year and a half already. I’ll be able to go back to China in another year. Why didn’t you wait for me to return before leaving?”
Zhang Siyi: “What’s the difference? We’ll see each other when we get back or maybe I’ll go on vacation to visit you in Australia. Oh yeh, I asked Gu Yu’s sister to take care of your son. She’s lived with us so she knows the dog so you don’t have to worry about him.”
The walk to the depart gate was a long way from the security checkpoint. Following Gu Yu, Zhang Siyi kept his attention on the phone while talking to Fu Xinhui and only vaguely kept Gu Yu in sites ahead of him. Suddenly Gu Yu stopped and returned to him and said: “Give me your hand.”
On some level, Zhang Siyi thought it wouldn’t be a good idea to hold hands in public now, but his body reacted on its own. As he was focused on the phone, he didn’t give it much thought. Hesitating for only a moment, Zhang Siyi stretched out his hand.
Unexpectedly, Gu Yu grabbed his hand and from within his pocket, pulled out two rings. He placed one on his own ring finger and the other onto Zhang Siyi ring finger on his left hand. He whispered: “Well, let’s go.”
Zhang Siyi: “…”
Looking down at his hands….. Looking up at the back of Gu Yu walking away…. Zhang Siyi was stupefied.
As there was no answer on the phone, Fu Xinhui was urgently calling for Zhang Siyi’s response: “Hello? Hello, are you still there?”
He absentmindedly said: “…. later,” and hung up the phone.
Watching Gu Yu’s back, he chased after him and shouted: “Hey! What is this? What do you mean?”
What about his proposal? What about a romantic scene? “…..Y, you! Stop!”
Was that it? Walking through the airport and he got a ring?
As he heard Zhang Siyi’s insistent voice calling him, Gu Yu stopped and smiled at him. He knew Zhang Siyi was running to catch up to him. As he neared, Zhang Siyi brought a gust of wind and Gu Yu heard his breathless panting. Requesting Gu Yu to walk slower, he reached for his hand. Gu Yu seized it tightly on the spot and was never going to let him go.
Zhang Siyi: “…”
Feeling the strength of his hand, Zhang Siyi’s heart was fluttering. There wasn’t a need to say more. Suddenly, it was enough. There was no need for empty vows or exaggerated sweet talk. Hand-in-hand, they were together and didn’t care who was around staring at them.
As the sunlight shined through the tempered glass window of the south side of the airport, the light casted shadows of the window frame pattern of a grid onto the marble floor. Over time, the shapes that the casted shadows formed, slowly changed.
Zhang Siyi’s life was like this marble floor. Gu Yu’s shadow was deep in his bones. From his childhood acquaintance, to a high school reunion, to a beacon of light to guide him and his love. He couldn’t be replaced.
The road ahead was very long, but Zhang Siyi wouldn’t hesitate any longer because he wasn’t afraid anymore. Because, he had Gu Yu by his side, always.
[End of text]
(…extras to follow…)
A note from the translator:
I really love this book and I love Gu Yu and Zhang Siyi! There are so many great messages and feelings portrayed throughout the story. I hope you have enjoyed this work as much as I.
During my time translating, I was surprised to find how much I actually liked working on it. Of course, there were days it was really difficult and tedious, and I struggled to find the right words to use to express the authors story well. At other times, it wasn’t as hard and my task flowed well. Regardless, although it took longer then expected, I enjoyed the creative process and felt rewarded by the goal I set out to do.
I would like to make gallery of fan-art. Whether you would like to share your favorite part of the book, quote, or visual art, you can email it to me so I can upload it: firstname.lastname@example.org
PS. I have been asked to use my English as a basis for translating to other languages. My answer will always be no. While I cannot stop anyone from doing so, my translation of this novel is solely my own interpretation (see my guide to MTL). Always translate from original (in this case Chinese) -> to your native language.
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