助理建筑师 羲和清零 198

Assistant Architect by Xi He Qing Ling

Chapter 198: Thoughts

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After dinner that night, Zhang Siyi began to pack his belongings for his business trip.

While Zhang Siyi was packing, Gu Yu also brought out his black backpack he used for business trips. Since he wasn’t staying for the entire trip, Gu Yu had much less to pack and therefore, finished packing in no time.

Having completed his task, Gu Yu zipped up his bag, sat on the bed and watched Zhang Siyi unhappily packing his own suitcase: “What’s wrong? Why don’t you want to go?”

In fact, Zhang Siyi’s unhappy attitude wasn’t unknown to Gu Yu. All day, he noticed Zhang Siyi’s quiet and gloomy behavior.

After Zhang Siyi grumbled a bit, Gu Yu paused then explained his reasons for sending him on the business trip: “Now that many areas of the country have been over developed in the last few years, the government has suspended many projects in an effort to rectify the situation. Even though you have been in the company for over a year, this is the first time you have met Professor Cui. Since he has come to announce the project, it is clear that the government is attaching importance to the renovation of the ancient city in X Province and thus, the implementation of the restoration is likely. This type of opportunity is rare. If you are able to experience the whole process from the initial stages of survey to the final restoration, the project will have a great impact on you as an architectural designer.”

Zhang Siyi was intimately familiar with how well Gu Yu treats him. Normally, when a unique chance to participate in a project such as the renovation came up, he would be very excited and eager. However, traveling for two weeks means 14 days of endless work. It seems, his birthday will be even worse than last years!

Gu Yu added: “In addition, Bai Rui’s recent influence has been a major distraction. It would do you good to be apart for a while and leave on a business trip.”

Zhang Siyi: “…”

Watching Zhang Siyi closely, Gu Yu thought he was still angry. He continued to gently coax him: “Have you been to X City before? It is China’s historical and cultural city. Although the city’s economic condition can’t be compared to Haicheng, there are many local places that are interesting. Since the project is in one of China’s top ten ancient cities, the picturesque landscape is evident. In addition, Zhuge Liang’s ** former residence, and the story, Three Visits to the cottage**, originated from there.”

While listening to Gu Yu’s gentle tone, Zhang Siyi couldn’t help but laugh at the difference of treatment between now and in the past. A year ago, all he ever heard was Gu Yu’s poisonous tongue and experienced Gu Yu’s black belly nature. Since when has Gu Yu been so concerned with his happiness?

Zhang Siyi was reminded of the time when they last fought over his request about his friend, Su Yuan. Gu Yu was helplessly sitting on the stairs waiting for Zhang Siyi. Once he saw how vulnerable Gu Yu was in reality, Zhang Siyi’s anger was instantly gone. He didn’t know if he either simply misunderstood Gu Yu in the past or he had in fact, changed Gu Yu.

Snapping the cover of the suitcase together and zipping it up, Zhang Siyi finished packing. He put his luggage on the floor then walked over to Gu Yu and sat next to him onto the bed. He looked at him then said: “It seems like I have some free time now.”

Gu Yu: “…”

Zhang Siyi held Gu Yu tightly. Especially because it was his birthday and wanted to spend it with Gu Yu, he wanted to shout: “I just can’t bear to be separated from you!!”  However, of course, he couldn’t say something so emotional. It was too embarrassing!

He turned to look at Gu Yu’s handsome face and sighed. For the moment, in order to become a better man for Gu Yu, he decided he needed to set aside his birthday wish and stop being so childish.

“How long will you be there for?” Zhang Siyi asked.

Under Zhang Siyi’s petulant gaze, Gu Yu smiled and kissed him on his head then replied: “It depends on the situation but it won’t be more than three days.”

Inwardly, Zhang Siyi was stunned. Since it was his birthday in four days and Gu Yu was leaving by the third day, Zhang Siyi took a hit through his heart and wanted to cough up a mouthful of blood. Was he really going to forget his birthday?

Early the next morning, the group of six set out for X City. While Gu Yu would return in a few days, the rest would remain in the city. Since the project isn’t commissioned, expenses at the early stages of planning are paid by themselves and hence, failure to win the bid would result in the loss of their own money. As a result, Professor Cui took this fact into consideration and arranged for everyone to stay at a local budget hotel near the ancient city. While the team leaders stayed in two separate rooms, the girls occupied a third room and the boys stayed in another.

Unlike Zhang Siyi, it didn’t take long for the girls to get to know each other and act like they have been long time friends. He tried to make conversation with his roommate, Liao Jun, without success. Since Liao Jun was being rather cold and indifferent towards Zhang Siyi, he worried about whether or not the time spent together will be awkward for the rest of the trip.

After lunch, everyone went to inspect one of the areas that needed renovation. It was about two hectares of land in the eastern part of the ancient city that involved two main streets and three alleys. Once they arrived, Zhang Siyi set aside the worries of the day to the back of his mind and focused on Professor Cui’s insights. Everyone was paying particular attention to the Professor’s guidance and suggestions. Zhang Siyi listened closely while taking pictures of important details and his surroundings.

Having an on-site lecture by the professor who specialized in ancient architecture made the learning experience exceptional. With relish, Zhang Siyi listened attentively and as a result, he forgot to take pictures. He wished he could write down notes about the history and details that Professor Cui patiently explained. After a lap of walking around the area, it was evening and the Professor let everyone go back to rest. Tomorrow, they would officially start working.

When Zhang Siyi arrived at the hotel after dinner, he received a text message from Gu Yu.

Gu Yu: “Meet me downstairs.”

Grabbing his mobile phone quickly, Zhang Siyi eagerly went downstairs. As a result, he arrived earlier then Gu Yu and ended up waiting a few minutes for him at the hotel’s entrance. Seeing Gu Yu, Zhang Siyi smiled and approached: “What’s going on?”

Gu Yu: “Let’s take a walk.”

In fact, Zhang Siyi also wanted to look for Gu Yu and take a walk. At home, they were accustomed to walking the dog every day after dinner. Now that it wasn’t necessary, it felt rather odd, like something was missing.

As he walked, Gu Yu tucked his hands in his coat pockets and asked: “What do you think?”

Zhang Siyi: “What do you mean, what do I think?”

Gu Yu: “What did you think about when we visited the Ancient City? Did you feel anything in particular?”

Immediately, Zhang Siyi rambled on about the historical information he heard today and architectural ideas; which streets were superfluous and which weren’t; which parts needed renovation and which could be removed entirely…..

Gu Yu listened for a long time then asked: “And what are your ideas?”

Zhang Siyi: “Eh?”

Gu Yu looked at him and said: “What you describe are the facts that Professor Cui talked about this afternoon.”

Unresponsive, Zhang Siyi was momentarily stunned. Thinking carefully back to Professor Cui pointers, he realized he really did repeat what the Professor had said. He scratched his head and said: “I feel the same way.”

Gu Yu pointed to the night market street not far away and asked: “What would you do if you were to renovate this area?”

Zhang Siyi quickly evaluated the surroundings. The night market occupied one side of the street while on the other side, the wall of the ancient city stood. However, because of the street vendors, refuse was strewn all over the place which polluted the ancient structure.

He thought for a while then answered: “In order to maintain both the night market and ancient structures, start by cleaning up the city wall and either place a fence or greenery around it. Then, convert these residential buildings into a commercial district which would also alleviate the noise pollution of the residential area.”

Gu Yu nodded and said: “Yes, but for preservation, you can also extend the city wall and build a commercial building disguised as an ancient wall on the original open space and then move the vendors to the interior space. Between the residential building and night markets, establish a green belt to help separate the zones.”

Zhang Siyi was surprised at how different his approach was. The method of renovation can be very diverse so there was more than one solution to consider to solve a problem.

Gu Yu seriously said: “Instilled thought is a common problem for educators. Indeed, Teacher Cui is a very knowledgeable about ancient architecture but you must remember that you are an independent architect. Although you are still learning, you must not be led around by a noose and instead, you must have your own perspective. If you just listen, then you will lose your ability to think independently. Since people are lazy, if someone tells you how to do it, then you won’t think about it again.”

Zhang Siyi was thoughtful. It was true that Gu Yu lead his business trip differently than Professor Cui. When Zhang Siyi went to Z-City with him, Gu Yu mainly kept to himself and occasionally instructed Zhang Siyi to take photos. Gu Yu rarely expressed his opinions and views. If Zhang Siyi hadn’t paid close attention and thought about what Gu Yu was doing at every stop, maybe he would also just be a puppet.

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T/N: Zhuge Liang: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zhuge_Liang

Three Visits to the Cottage: http://chinese-story-collection.blogspot.com/2016/09/three-visits-to-cottage-san-gu-mao-lu.html

Although not named, I believe the author is using the Hanzhong Temple as reference: https://www.travelchinaguide.com/cityguides/shaanxi/hanzhong/wuhou-temple.htm

助理建筑师 羲和清零 197

Assistant Architect by Xi He Qing Ling

Chapter 197: Renovation

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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?

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助理建筑师 羲和清零 196

Assistant Architect by Xi He Qing Ling

Chapter 196: Discovery

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Before tasting the chocolate, Zhang Siyi felt the tip of Gu Yu tongue against his own and as a result, his heart quickened. Too late to chew, in the warmth of his mouth, the chocolate lay beside his gums slowly melting.

Tentatively at first Gu Yu probed Zhang Siyi mouth with his tongue but soon, as their tongue entwined, their kissing intensified. Gu Yu held Zhang Siyi close their passionate kisses became one with the melted sweet taste of chocolate. A strong taste of alcohol spread between their lips and teeth, intoxicating the heart.

Until the chocolate was melted completely, like the pairing of the chocolate and liquor, the two were intertwined; you have me and I have you. Gu Yu withdrew his lips and not forgetting the last drop of chocolate, he licked Zhang Siyi’s lips clean.

Completely forgetting about his worries, now hot and bothered, Zhang Siyi stared at Gu Yu expectedly.

Gu Yu placed his forehead against Zhang Siyi’s forehead and whispered: “The taste is very good…”

Helpless in the hands of Gu Yu, Zhang Siyi forgot he was eating chocolate and as a result, the sweetness of the chocolate was instead the sweet taste of Gu Yu. Unconsciously, as if the end of the treat was unsatisfactory, Zhang Siyi licked his lips.

Although Zhang Siyi dazed action ignited Gu Yu’s desire, he looked at him in the eye and after Gu Yu sucked on Zhang Siyi’s lower lip one last time, he said: “It’s just a painting. What are you so worried about?”

Looking away, Zhang Siyi turned slightly: “From the start, you didn’t seem to care about his presence.”

Not letting him hide, Gu Yu held his face: “I do not care about him. I only care about you.”

Zhang Siyi: “…”

Gu Yu sighed and said: “You are too easily influenced by others. Bai Rui teases you and you get angry. Then, with one emotional story of his, you break-down and talk to him frankly. Why do you care? On the other hand, including everything Bai Rui is doing now, no matter how much he prods, it doesn’t affect me. In my opinion, it’s just another one of his schemes to affect you.”

Thinking about it more carefully, Zhang Siyi was tongue-tied. Indeed, it seemed to be the case.

“If you are his goal, I can help you out. But, if I’m the goal, what can I do? I can’t make him disappear.” Feeling helpless, Gu Yu sighed softly. “He is very persistent and has found your weaknesses. Not only will he test me, he will also test Tao Fei.”

With Gu Yu admission, Zhang Siyi was surprised at Gu Yu insights. Now remembering what transpired in the elevator, was Bai Rui testing Tao Fei or who was he really concerned with?

Gu Yu pinched his nose and asked: “Now do you know what to do?”

“Yeah!” Zhang Siyi eyes flashed bright. He raised his pointer finger and exclaimed: “I’ll show some concern over that Fat Peach!”

Gu Yu: “…”

Even though Gu Yu gave him some food for thought, Zhang Siyi decided the answer was to pay attention to Tao Fei. Gu Yu’s mouth twitched a bit. He flicked Zhang Siyi’s forehead.

Zhang Siyi guarded his forehead with his hands: “Why are you hitting me!”

Stroking his ear, Gu Yu was both angry and cheerful: “Just as I only have you in my eyes, I hope you only look at me. Be yourself and try to ignore him. In this way, no matter what Bai Rui does, it won’t be a problem.”

Hearing the phrase ‘I only have you in my eyes’, with a warm heart, the blood rushed to his face and Zhang Siyi instantly became flush.  Sure enough, a thousand words can’t match the truth spoken by a lover! He looked up at Gu Yu with adoration and said: “Ok.”

Just as he was going to say something else to Zhang Siyi, he suddenly saw the shadow of a person standing outside the frosted glass door of his office.

He immediately retracted his smile and whispered: “You should go back to your desk.”

After turning the knob to open the door, Zhang Siyi saw Be Lele standing outside holding a stack of printed paper with her hand raised as if she was about to knock on the door. In a good mood, Zhang Siyi faintly smiled at her then left.

When Bi Lele entered the office, she felt the lingering sweet emotions between the two in the environment… Yes. She heard it.

From the time when she saw Zhang Siyi’s cell phone in Gu Yu’s office a few days ago, she consciously began to pay attention to the movements of the two men.

One night, she covertly followed Zhang Siyi on a whim and found him meeting Gu Yu at the subway station. Watching them meet each other, she almost screamed excitedly. Unexpectedly, after two stops, Zhang Siyi got off without Gu Yu. At that time, she wondered if she was over thinking things.

In the next few days, since nothing happened between them out of the ordinary, Bi Lele started to doubt her instincts. However, today she confirmed her suspicion. After printing the documents for the new project, she needed to Gu Yu to look them over.

Gu Yu’s office, which was separated by frosted glass, doesn’t have good soundproofing. In addition, there was a visible gap between the glass door and wall which allowed one to see inside if they looked closely. When she went to his office, she vaguely saw someone else inside. She was about to leave and come back later but the voice she heard made her pause: ‘….why are you hitting me….’

She snuck a peak and saw Zhang Siyi’s back. In the next moment, she saw Gu Yu hold him in his arms. Witnessing the scene before her, Bi Lele froze momentarily. Her heart jumped wildly and couldn’t stop herself from peeking. The soft voice fluttered through the crack in the door: ‘I only have you in my eyes…’

She couldn’t hear anything else, but Gu Yu’s actions were enough to explain everything!

Is it normal for a male boss to hold his same-sex subordinates in his arms ???

Sitting in front of Gu Yu, pretending nothing happened, Bi Lele calmly handed over the documents to Gu Yu: “Boss, this is the final design for the Elementary School. Take a look.”

Looking at her sharply, Gu Yu watched her hand him the papers. She remained quiet as Gu Yu flipped through the documents. Returning to his normal calm tone, he spoke to her firmly with constructive feedback on a few details that needed revision. In the face of Zhang Siyi, he was like a different person.

Not able to look directly at Gu Yu, in response, Bi Lele kept her line of sight down at her notepad while she wrote the necessary memos for accurate changes.

After reporting, Bi Lele stood up and prepared to leave his office when Gu Yu suddenly called her: “Wait.”

Sweating, Bi Lele became nervous: “Yes?”

Gu Yu handed her another document and said: “Bring this to Ji Feiyu and tell him there weren’t any problems.”

Feeling relieved, she took the added folder and left.

…… Oh, my God! Such a rigid boss… Is he really in love with Zhang Siyi!? Ahhh…..!

Watching Bi Lele leave the office, Gu Yu also sighed with relief and let out a long breath.

Since she wasn’t acting any differently, he didn’t say anything about it. Gu Yu hoped she didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary. Gu Yu hadn’t been impulsive at work in a very long time. When he noticed how anxious Zhang Siyi was with a hesitant expression on his face, Gu Yu couldn’t help himself. He wanted to hold him, kiss him, comfort him….. Hey, it’s really difficult to do nothing!

Drinking his tea, Gu Yu ruefully pressed his temples, then began to focus on his work.

Sometime later on one afternoon, feeling very motivated, Zhang Siyi was absorbed with his work. He reached up and took a moment to stretch. Looking up, he noticed Bi Lele across the room staring at him with a grin. He asked her: “Do you need something?”

Bi Lele: “Oh, nothing…”

Zhang Siyi: “…”

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助理建筑师 羲和清零 195

Assistant Architect by Xi He Qing Ling

Chapter 195: Painting

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While Tao Fei’s idea was intriguing and could be utilize as a last resort, Zhang Siyi really didn’t want any contact with Bai Rui because the guy gave Zhang Siyi the creeps.

However, contrary to his wish, when the two went back to the office, they saw Bai Rui in the lobby of the building holding a rose. Narrowing his eyes into small slits, Zhang Siyi walked over to the elevator with a cold expression.

Originally, Bai Rui’s back was facing them. When he heard people approaching, he glanced behind him. Startled, he widens his eyes in surprise as he saw Zhang Siyi walk towards him with another person. Bai Rui turned to face them and smiled in greeting then asked: “Back from lunch?”

Astute as always, with an outstretched arm, Tao Fei grinned and hooked it around Zhang Siyi’s neck, letting his arm drape over his shoulder. Half hanging on Zhang Siyi, Tao Fei leaned on him provocatively then said: “Hey handsome, who’s this rose for?”

Bai Rui looked down at the rose in his hand then extended his arm to Tai Fei. He smiled and asked: “Would you like it?”

Zhang Siyi: “…”

In contrast to how Tai Fei dealt with Bai Rui, with his hair standing on end, Zhang Siyi felt like a threatened hedgehog. Shit! This man is really dangerous! Fortunately, he wasn’t here alone !!!

Glancing at Zhang Siyi’s reaction, Tao Fei nearly broke his act. He waved his hand in rejection: “No Thanks.”

Unconcerned, Bai Rui retracted his arm and walked into the open elevator.

Feeling even more anxious, Zhang Siyi worried whether or not Bai Rui realized Gu Yu was his boyfriend and not Tao Fei. Was he bringing the flower to Gu Yu instead?

“Hey, what are….”  Zhang Siyi didn’t even get three words out before he saw Bai Rui reach over and press the button for floor 17; one floor higher than Borderless’s offices.

After watching Tao Fei press the button for floor 16, Bai Rui quietly asked Zhang Siyi: “Did you say something?”

Zhang Siyi: “Oh, nothing…” ….Strange, wasn’t Bai Rui looking for him? Does he have other acquaintances in the building?

Soon, the elevator opened at the floor where the offices of Borderless were located. Tao Fei first stepped out of the elevator and as Zhang Siyi followed closely behind, Bai Rui smiled and waved at them.

Feeling confused, Zhang Siyi looked at Tao Fei in a daze. With even less understanding of the situation, Tao Fei just shrugged. As they walked back to their department, they passed the front desk and saw a box and a large covered rectangular object leaning against the receptionist’s desk.

“Ah, wait a minute…” The young girl at the front desk called the two of them over. She pointed at the box and explained: “The new company upstairs gave us these chocolates liquors. Take some if you want.”

Zhang Siyi’s jaw dropped in surprise. Thinking Bai Rui was simply at the building to meet himself, Zhang Siyi felt very embarrassed.

Tao Fei was also very surprised. When he came over and looked closer, he noticed a stack of business cards next to the box of chocolates. The name of the company was printed on the top: Feng Qi Modern Art Curator and Auction Consultants.

Zhang Siyi was shocked. Bai Rui had moved his company to the office above Borderless!

“What is this? A painting?” Tao Fei glanced at the rectangular object with bubble-wrap wrapped around it protectively.

Smiling, the girl nodded affirmatively and said: “Yes, but this painting is for Director Gu.”

Zhang Siyi: “…”

“What is for me?” a voice asked. Gu Yu coincidentally was passing by when he heard his name. Since Zhang Siyi was with Tao Fei, he came straight over to see what’s going on.

The receptionist quickly explained the situation to Gu Yu.

Gu Yu glanced at the company’s business card and asked: “Why give this to me?”

Since he didn’t run into Bai Rui, he might not realize it was Bai Rui’s company upstairs. Zhang Siyi pointed to ‘Feng Qi’ on the business card. Translating from Chinese to English, it can be translated as Vini.

Narrowing his brow slightly, Gu Yu frowned. He bent down to pick up the picture frame and asked: “What did the representative say exactly?”

The girl replied: “He said: ‘For your director’.”

Gu Yu carefully opened the work. As the wrap fell to the ground, the painting’s image became clearer. When unveiled, the solid-color geometric watercolor image jumped out and shined brightly.

Zhang Siyi couldn’t see what the painting was, however, the mystery was answered when Tao Fei spoke: “Isn’t this a watercolor painting by Steven Holl?”

Gu Yu looked at the signature at the bottom carefully and said: “Yes.”

Zhang Siyi had never heard of the name. He eagerly asked: “Who’s that?” “

Tao Fei explained: “An American architect. He designed the Sifang Art Museum in Jiangsu province. His watercolors are very famous. I remember seeing this painting from a collection on the internet. Hmm, what’s it called….”

Gu Yu answered: “Edge of the City.”

“That’s it!”  Looking at the painting, Tao Fei touched his chin in thought.  He sighed: “Wow, if that’s the original… I thought Steven Holl’s paintings where still on display at the Walker Center for the arts in Minneapolis.”

As Gu Yu spoke with Tao Fei about the artist, he rewrapped the painting.

Even though Tao Fei and Gu Yu know Bai Rui through Zhang Siyi, he immediately felt angry and wanted to prevent Gu Yu from accepting the painting. Knowing how much the painting caused him to feel completely jealous, Zhang Siyi felt even more like a child throwing a tantrum. As a result, instead of speaking up, he retrained himself and remained quiet.

 As Zhang Siyi feelings of inferiority grew, his sour mood also grew. It reminded him of the time when Tao Fei first came to the company and that feeling was terrible!

Gu Yu looked at Zhang Siyi and handed the painting back to the receptionist. “I’ll have to trouble you to help with giving the painting back. I won’t accept it.”

Surprised, Tao Fei loudly and excitedly exclaimed: “What? It was given to the company so give it to me!”

Gu Yu chuckled and ignored him. Before returning to his office, Gu Yu casually grabbed two chocolates from the box and turned to speak to Zhang Siyi: “Zhang Siyi, follow me.”

Zhang Siyi: “…”

Now that they were inside Gu Yu’s office, like Tao Fei mentioned, Zhang Siyi also asked: “Since he sent it in the name of his company, why didn’t you accept it?”

“What would be the point? He might have sent the painting in the name of his company today, but tomorrow I will have to find something of the same value to give back.” Gu Yu poured himself a glass of water then asked: “Are you sure that company upstairs is Bai Rui’s?”

“Well, I met him at noon while I was with Tao Fei.” Zhang Siyi looked downwards as he spoke. He could tell, Gu Yu liked the painting a lot.

Before, when Gu Yu had glanced at him, did Zhang Siyi’s expression give away his feelings? If Gu Yu hadn’t walked by at that moment and instead, spoke with the receptionist at a time when Zhang Siyi wasn’t present, would he have accepted the painting?

With Zhang Siyi’s grave thoughts, he suddenly felt depressed. He isn’t rich like Bai Rui and isn’t clever like Tao Fei. …… What could he possibly do for Gu Yu?

Silently watching Zhang Siyi intently, Gu Yu peeled both chocolates. He put one into his own mouth then placed the other into Zhang Siyi’s mouth.

Lost in his own thoughts, he was caught off guard as Gu Yu placed the chocolate in his mouth then quickly followed it with his lips.

Holding the back of his head firmly, Gu Yu kissed Zhang Siyi deeply.

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助理建筑师 羲和清零 194

Assistant Architect by Xi He Qing Ling

Chapter 194: Sister Control

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The moment of excitement started to waiver. Shit! Why does his emotional baggage continue to control him? Will Gu Yu’s shadow influence him for the rest of his life. Focusing his mind and inspiring his fighting spirit, even if it was detrimental to his immediate psyche, He Chengtian abandon his reservation and decided to chase Gu Yao.

When she was the one that initiated contact, even if she was Gu Yu’s sister, no matter what her brother could do, she was her own person. If Gu Yu tried to interfere, he could still say “screw you!”

As they settled into the living room, her small hand had made contact with his briefly. He Chengtian thought she was flirting with him. Keeping that in mind, he pushed down his painful past and continued to calmly eat and drink.

During dinner, the two old classmates spoke about their respective work situation. Unlike the last time they spoke to one another, Gu Yu didn’t offer any retaliatory remarks. In fact, He Chengtian thought he was rather polite.

Now satiated, Gu Yu went to get the pot of tea to help with digestion.

He Chengtian collapsed on the sofa and sighed with satisfaction. He watched Gu Yao sitting cross-legged on the carpet, stroking the big Dog. Zhang Siyi was rummaged through a bag of nuts. The comfortable environment around him made him relax and a pleasant sense of fatigue washed over him. Gu Yu wasn’t annoying at all.

Sipping his cup of tea in hand, He Chengtian understood why Zhang Siyi choose to follow Gu Yu instead of himself. Gu Yu’s presence was a calming force and as long as he was around, one couldn’t help but feel at peace. It was the temperament of a true leader.

As his thoughts drifted, He Chengtain wondered why he hated Gu Yu in the first place. Was it because he was young and competitive? If he had simply admitted his defeat, rather than clinging to an imaginary foe, would they have become good friends? … However, it wasn’t important to pursue the answer anymore. Now, they we able sit together for a meal and talk about each other’s lives like friends.

Since He Chengtian drank two glasses of wine, he couldn’t drive home. Instead, he paid for overnight parking and hailed a taxi. In any case, it wasn’t a problem because he would have to come back tomorrow to bring Gu Yao to work.

After He Chengtian left, Gu Yu and Zhang Siyi went out to walk to dog. Gu Yu asked: “Has Bai Rui contacted you?”

Having forgotten about it, Zhang Siyi was momentarily startled. Then he began to tell Gu Yu about his conversation he had with Bai Rui on the subway.

Gu Yu was surprised: “You admitted that you have a boyfriend?” “

”Yeah. I thought it would be like a slap in the face if I told him directly.“ Zhang Siyi pulled on the leash and said: “He even wanted to know your number!”

Gu Yu suddenly laughed.

Watching Gu Yu laugh so happily, Zhang Siyi felt a little dumbfounded. Soon he started to feel irritated and questioned: “What are you laughing at!”

Gu Yu looked at him in the eye: “Just because Bai Rui said he wanted to meet me, why are you so nervous?”

“What can I do? Let him be a good friend?” Zhang Siyi couldn’t stand other men thinking about Gu Yu.

Gu Yu: “Whatever he has to say to me, you will see it too, right?”

Zhang Siyi smacked his own forehead. Right, how can he be so stupid? Previously, Gu Yu had used Zhang Siyi’s phone to reply to Bai Rui. There was no reason Zhang Siyi couldn’t do the same and use Gu Yu’s phone.

Smiling, Gu Yu raised his hand to rub Zhang Siyi’s head. “In any case, deleting him has saved you from over thinking about such trivial matters.”

That night, Gu Yu put into practice the promise of the evening and punished Zhang Siyi for ‘selling’ his sister.

At first, Zhang Siyi also quite enjoyed it, but after a long time, he began to call out ‘don’t and ‘that’s enough’. Unbeknownst to Zhang Siyi, showing his weak side only excited Gu Yu more. Not only was he ‘punishing’ Zhang Siyi for his sister’s sake, he was also excited because of Zhang Siyi’s jealousy. Gu Yu was so incredibly happy that he couldn’t control his raging heart.

Zhang Siyi didn’t know the real reason. He only thought it was because of Gu Yao.

Afterward, Zhang Siyi was lying motionless aside Gu Yu. While listening to his complaints, Gu Yu helped wipe his thighs and butt with a warm towel. Zhang Siyi grumbled: “Why are you so controlling? You wanted your sister to find love and I found a candidate and yet, you used me to vent your anger. I should have just changed jobs when He Chengtian offered and made lots of money…. AH!”

Gu Yu smacked him hard on the ass. Eyeing Gu Yu intensely, Zhang Siyi moved to protect his rear.

Gu Yu got up and hung the towel on the side of the chair. Playful, Gu Yu asked: “Gu Yao is going to marry out and you are going to marry in. What is there to be jealous about?”

Zhang Siyi’s face quickly heated up: “Who, who is marrying in?!”

Pinching his chin, Gu Yu covered him with his body then whispered: “You. Gu Siyi. You haven’t recognized it yet?”

Zhang Siyi: “Don’t talk about … Mmn, mm.”

His protest was quickly stifled by Gu Yu mouth and the sound of his voice quickly turned into a series of ambiguous sucking noises.

A few days later, at noon one day after Tao Fei finished up a project, he invited Zhang Siyi out to eat lunch. The two took the elevator downstairs and were discussing which restaurant to go to. In his peripheral vision,  Zhang Siyi caught a glimpse of a silver-white sports car on the road near the company. He turned to look at the car more clearly.

Tao Fei was also a fan. As he turned to take another look, he quickly called out the model of the car: “Wow! A Porsche 911!”

The car….. where has Zhang Siyi heard of it before?

As he was lost in thought, the driver’s side window lowered and Zhang Siyi was able to see who was inside. It was Bai Rui! Now that he saw Bai Rui get out of the car, he remembered Su Yuan mentioning in the group chat that Bai Rui drove a Porsche 911.

With Tao Fei standing next to him, Zhang Siyi saw Bai Rui looking in his direction, smiling.

Zhang Siyi was shocked. He thought the business between them was finished and didn’t think Bai Rui would continue to look for him.

“What’s the matter?” Tao Fei squinted his eyes and asked: “Is that the same guy who gave you a cake?”

Feeling irritated, Zhang Siyi turned to leave and grabbed Tao Fei then said: “Don’t look at him!”

Tao Fei turned his head to wink at Bai Rui then turned back around and hooked his arm with Zhang Siyi’s. He asked: “ Hey, who is that? Brother’s rival? Tell me honestly.”

Zhang Siyi: “…..” This dead fat peach is really too observant! Feeling a little afraid of Tao Fei’s insightful intuition, avoiding a possible misunderstanding, he quickly started explaining the situation.

Over lunch, Tao Fei listened and laughed: “Haha! So, the guy still doesn’t know who really is your boyfriend.”

Zhang Siyi: “Well….”

Tao Fei: “And then you deleted his contact in a hurry?”

Looking downward at his food, Zhang Siyi said: “Yeah…”

Tao Fei touched his chin: “Do you think he came back today to find you?”

Zhang Siyi looked up: “Don’t scare me!”

Tao Fei narrowed his eyes and grinned mischievously: “If you don’t want to say anything specific, I’ll help you toy with him.”

Zhang Siyi: “…”

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助理建筑师 羲和清零 193

Assistant Architect by Xi He Qing Ling

Chapter 193: Inside

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Without thought of his ulterior motives being noticed, He Chengtian’s mouth widened in a wolfish smile. Fortunately, Gu Yao was sitting in the back and wasn’t able to see his greedy expression.

Along the way home, Zhang Siyi and He Chengtian caught up on current events in their lives. First, Zhang Siyi wanted to know more about the price and performance of the Lamborghini. When they came to a full stop at the traffic light, the passengers in the full bus next to them turned and stared at them through the glass.

Since it was the first time Zhang Siyi experienced so many onlookers staring at him in this way, his ego was stroked and felt like a superior young master. In life, sometimes self-conceit encroaches on your moral compass and material things become more important.

Zhang Siyi asked He Chengtian: “How is your sister doing? I haven’t heard from her in a long time. Is she okay?”

He Chengtian replied: “She went to Australia recently.”

Zhang Siyi: “What is she doing in Australia? Did she go back to University?”

“University my ass. She went to find a friend.” He Chengtian grumbled then continued: “Anyway, since she is working for herself, there is less pressure so she goes where she wants. She left me everything at the company to take care of so I’m the only one who suffers!”

Zhang Siyi cast a sympathetic look, and asked: “How are you doing now?”

He Chengtian sighed: “Actually, it hasn’t  been very good recently. The stock market is low, the housing market slowed down, and many financial platforms have problems. Hey, it’s been difficult!”

Listening to the tone of his speech, Zhang Siyi glanced at him. Now, he noticed the fatigue on his friends’ features and concluded that things weren’t going so smoothly as what appears.

“Both the housing market and the construction industry isn’t good. We are all in this together!” Moving his hands across the leather, Zhang Siyi touched the car seat enviously. “But, you still drive a super luxury car. Certainly, it isn’t that bad.”

 Zhang Siyi has been saving his money but it only amounts to thousands and nowhere near enough to buy a car. He wouldn’t even be able to afford one of the car’s tires.

“Just because I drive a luxury vehicle, doesn’t mean things are good. As a matter of fact, we are all just playing chess. What assets? Millions, billions…. Like a video game, it’s just a bunch of numbers on a screen and like gambling, you need to bear the risk, but also need the capital to play.”

As he turned into the next road, He Chengtian was tapping the steering wheel. He continued: “Do you think I bought this car for myself? In fact, it’s also a façade. It doesn’t matter whether or not there is money to support the purchase. I know the rules of the rich and I have to play the game.”

He Chengtian shook his head and smiled bitterly. He said: “I still had the guts to tell you your future with me would bring you riches, but now, it’s impossible to guarantee. The tides have changed too fast and the stock market crisis flattened the neighborhood. Hey, it is a good thing you still follow Gu Yu. By doing technical work, you are stable.”

Zhang Siyi was speechless. He didn’t think in six months, He Chengtian’s attitude would change so drastically. It seems, no matter how perfect a person appears on the outside, they also have to face the hardships of reality.

Half an hour later, the car arrived at Yuanshan Garden. He Chengtian was about to let them out of the car when Zhang Siyi suddenly spoke. He politely asked: “Chengtian brother, what are you going to do about dinner? Would you like to come up and eat together?”

Having lived with Gu Yu for so long, Zhang Siyi naturally regarded himself as a voice of authority when it came to issues of the home. He wanted to thank He Chengtian for his help with Gu Yao’s troubles so he took the opportunity to invite him upstairs for dinner.

Thinking about who else lived at the house, He Chengtian started getting a stomach ache.  When facing his rival, he couldn’t bare it. Before he had the chance to reject the offer Gu Yao echoed Zhang Siyi offer: “Yes. It isn’t very late so let’s eat together.”

He Chengtian turned to look at Gu Yao and saw her large eyes looking up at him, inviting. She added: “My brother also has a big dog!”

Hearing about a dog wasn’t the strange part. The key, as if she wanted to share her favorite things with him, was the pure smile, bright eyes, and tone of her voice that she used. In the world of He Chengtian, spring time has come!

“Okay!” He drove to a parking lot of a Western restaurant nearby to park his car then got out to follow Zhang Siyi and Gu Yao back to Yuanshan Garden. In a circle, He Chengtian looked around at the buildings and said: “This place is quite good. Did Gu Yu buy his own home?”

Zhang Siyi explained: “It’s his friend’s house. He is borrowing it.”

As the door was opened, Townhouse enthusiastically ran to the door. Unexpectedly, instead of greeting his owners, he pounced on He Chengtian, barking: “Woof-woof-woof!”

He Chengtian: “!!!”

In a hurry, Zhang Siyi put down his key and tried to stop the dog: “No Townhouse, down!”

Gu Yao also went over the dog to sooth him.

Zhang Siyi thought the dog’s behavior was a little strange then commented: “This dog is usually very docile. Since we renamed him, even when the maintenance people come, he doesn’t make a peep. Why is he acting do differently today?”

He Chengtian smirked: “Oh. it doesn’t seem like the dog likes me very much.”

As if to answer He Chengtian, Townhouse let out one loud “woof.”

He Chengtian’s mouth twitched. It really was Gu Yu’s dog!

At Gu Yao’s adorable action, He Chengtian was stunned. He watched her move to the dog and softly talk in the dog ear: “No Townhouse, down. He Chengtian is a good man.” Even though the dog on his hindlegs was almost the same height as Gu Yao and therefore could easily knock her over, the dog obediently got down on the ground at her command.

He Chengtian wiped his nosebleed. Shit! Why did he suddenly feel that the dog is happier than him? In fact, he can also provide one ear…….

Hearing the barking of the dog, Gu Yu came out of the kitchen to see what the commotion was about. A look of disbelief came over his face as he saw He Chengtian watching his sister with a wolfish smile. Immediately, he raised his brow and asked: “What’s he doing here?”

Trying to explain quickly, Zhang Siyi said: “Ah, we met him near Gu Yao’s company. He helped us a lot and also drove us home so I asked him to join us for dinner.”

Turning to look in the direction of his rival’s voice, He Chengtian saw Gu Yu wearing an apron with a spatula in hand. He couldn’t contain his laughter and snorted out: “Pfft… ha-ha-ha.” The former university tyrant was a domesticated man. The unimaginable contrast was extreme!

“Cough, cough… “He Chengtian smiled and asked: “Are you cooking? Is it edible? Ah-ha-ha.…”

With bulging veins and a furrowed brow, Gu Yu wanted to retort and throw the spatula, however one has to maintain the grace and dignity of the head of the house.

Pointing to the sofa with the spatula, Gu Yu said: “Zhang Siyi, you sit and entertain. Gu Yao, you come with me.”

He Chengtian: “…”

Zhang Siyi: “…”

Gu Yao obediently followed her brother into the kitchen then asked: “The food isn’t done yet?”

From out of the refrigerator, Gu Yu pulled out another half a head of cabbage and some. He replied: “Since you didn’t call in advance, with the addition of a guest, there wouldn’t be enough to eat so at least two more dished need to be prepared.”

Gu Yao stuck her tongue out and gave her brother a raspberry. She took the cabbage that Gu Yu handed over.

Gu Yu asked: “What’s the matter with helping me?”

Gu Yao knew her brother’s request wasn’t really to help him make dinner. Without delay, the interrogation began.

She dares not conceal any details and honestly relayed the afternoon events. When she told him about Zhang Siyi ploy about being He Chengtian’s fiancé, Gu Yao blushed deeply and lowered her head, almost to the sink.

Finally, she mentioned He Chengtian’s proposal to pick her up and drop her off and that she and Zhang Siyi already acquiesced. As a result, Zhang Siyi invited him home to eat.

After listening to her story, Gu Yan snorted and said: “No matter how timely He Chengtian’s appearance was, Zhang Siyi was too bold to marry you off.

This time, Gu Yao’s ears are bright red and she quietly said: “Don’t say that. Zhang Siyi didn’t mean it. Maybe He Chengtian just went with the flow to help second brother.”

Gu Yu hummed and didn’t talk.

As Gu Yao tore the cabbage she addressed her brother: “Second Brother said he is a reliable person. I think he can completely solve the problem so please let him drive me for a period of time. You are Zhang Siyi are so busy with work that I feel guilty having you drop me off and pick me up every day.”

Gu Yu smiled at her: “Why do you feel guilty unless there is guilt? You’re not married yet, are you?”

Gu Yao: “…”

Gu Yu continued to ridicule her: “So it is better to trouble outsiders instead of family?”

Gu Yao was finally annoyed and stomped her foot: “Brother!”

Gu Yu: “Ok. Ok. Make sure you maintain your status.”

Gu Yao: “…I know.”

Gu Yao helped with the cabbage then walked out. When Zhang Siyi came in, he saw Gu Yu preparing the additional dish. “Wow, lots of food today! You worked hard!”

Squinting at him, Gu Yu said: “Did you sell my sister?”

Zhang Siyi quickly realized that it was useless to change the topic and pretended not to understand: “Ah? What? Sell what?”

Gu Yu stared at him in the eye: “Be prepared for your punishment!”

Zhang Siyi: “…..” Wasn’t it your own issue about your sister not finding love? I found you a diamond king and you are still fierce! Bastard!

Gu Yu said: “Bring the food to the table.  The warm wine will be ready soon.”

When the dishes arrived, they sat down around the table. He Chengtian tasted the dish and was very surprised at how skillful Gu Yu cooking was and exclaimed: “Ah! It’s delicious!”

Gu Yu personally poured a glass of wine to He Chengtian then said: “Gu Yao explained today’s events. Thank You.”

He Chengtian rarely saw Gu Yu act so kindly and felt somewhat flattered: “Well, it was nothing.”

After a gesture towards He Chengtian with the wine glass, Gu Yu drank it.

When He Chengtian finished his glass of wine, Gu Yu poured him another and said: “One more glass and you will have some difficulties for a while.”

With his nemesis toasting and pouring him two glasses of wine, he couldn’t believe it. Has He Chengtian ever had such treatment? For a moment, like a serf becoming the master, he relished the feeling…. Ah, this is how classmates should be.

He Chengtian was a little smug and thought perhaps, pursuing Gu Yao wasn’t so difficult as he had imagined.

However, after drinking this cup of wine, He Chengtian saw a faint smile form on Gu Yu face. It was clear that the smile was very natural, but behind the smile, He Chengtian felt something cold. He once again remembered how much he has been under Gu Yu’s shadow in the three years of high school.

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助理建筑师 羲和清零 192

Assistant Architect by Xi He Qing Ling

Chapter 192: Rescue

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As He Chengtian strutted towards them, he raised his arm in a suave movement to take off his sunglasses. His designer suit and exquisite platinum watch that was revealed on his wrist matched the cool silver-grey luxury car.

The perfect timing with which He Chengtian appeared made Zhang Siyi feel like he was watching a romantic drama unfold right before his eyes. A prince has come to the rescue…..

Zhang Siyi widened his eyes in surprise. Using the opportunity to his advantage, he immediately moved with Gu Yao towards He Chengtian…….

When He Chengtian saw them, he was a little taken back as Zhang Siyi was the last person he thought to bump into. More surprising, was watching Gu Yao’s tight hold on him. His expression became twisted. …….WTF!  Zhang Siyi said he had nothing to do with her! Who are you kidding!!  (ˋ皿ˊ)

Since the meeting in March, it has been nearly six months since they have seen each other. Once, his sister, He Xueying, invited Gu Yao to her house, but he was away on a business trip that weekend.

Indeed, at first sight, He Chengtian felt his heart move, but with her brother’s appearance, he had to put those feelings on hold. The thought of pursuing Gu Yu’s sister made him hesitant. For three years in high school, he was in Gu Yu’s shadow. If he chased her, wouldn’t he be in Gu Yu’s shadow for a lifetime? He wasn’t happy about the prospect!

Then again, with his current status, he could pursue any women he wanted however, Gu Yao was the only one that moved him. Why did he have to fall for someone as difficult as an SSS class boss-level encounter?

Back in March when they first met, he was involved with many business-related issues, and therefore he didn’t have a lot of time to spare. Coupled with his hesitation about dating a Gu family member, he pushed the thoughts of Gu Yao aside and slowly forgot about her.

Seeing her by chance across the way; her pure small face, beautiful eyes, slightly arched brows, slight frown, an expression of consternation and sadness that replaced her previous innocent smile, gave her a very different vibe. Once again, he was struck in the heart!

However, standing very close to her was non-other than Zhang Siyi. With their hands held tightly together, they were snuggled up close like two love birds in a nest. Watching them, He Chengtian could feel his ire rise and his stomach start to ache. Even this common, silly boy, Zhang Siyi, was with her! Fuck! Is Gu Yu destined to be the nemesis of his life? (t皿t)

Slamming the car door, He Chengtian got out of the car and walked steadily towards the couple. Clenching his jaw, he forced a smile: “Look at you two…. What are you doing here? I didn’t……”

Before He Chengtian could finish talking, Zhang Siyi abruptly interrupted him and pushed Gu Yao towards him: “Jiang Zhanpeng, my sister doesn’t have a boyfriend because this man is her fiancé.”

Gu Yao: “…..”

Jiang Zhanpeng: “…..”

He Chengtian: “…..” I can’t believe it. Happiness fell onto my lap! (o..o)

Standing in front of him slightly embarrassed, Gu Yao shyly looked up at He Chengtian’s eyes then quickly bowed her head without a word.

Although she knew Zhang Siyi was trying his best to help her, what is with this ‘fiance’ business? It made her feel shy and embarrassed. After all, they haven’t discussed it beforehand and how will He Chengtian react by their chance encounter?

No one could have predicted how well the farce worked. He Chengtian only glanced at them before he reached out to take Gu Yao into his arms. He quietly asked: “I was away in Shenzhen. What is going on?”

Zhang Siyi explained quietly: “Jian Zhanpeng has already been rejected very clearly, but he won’t give up.” He wanted to stay ‘fucking stalker’, but he was afraid he would be over heard. Anyway, the meaning is clear enough for He Chengtian to understand what is going on.

Hearing the surname, He, the man had his doubts about what Zhang Siyi was saying. However, when he approached them and saw the man clearly, he suddenly stopped. He may not know him, but he has certainly heard the name of He Chengtian before: “Greetings Mr. He. I didn’t expect to meet you here. Haicheng is really small!” Jiang Zhanpeng smiled

Chuckling, He Chengtian questioned him: “Do I know you?”

Nodding, Jiang Zhanpeng quickly took out his business card and introduced himself. He said: “At the last Haicheng New Youth Investment Elite Conference, I saw your presentation on stage…”

He Chengtian casually replied: “Oh, that.  I didn’t want to get up to talk, but the night before, my friends and I were playing cards and I lost the bet.”

The circle of the rich always had a fascinating appeal for those whom desire money. Although they were of similar age, there was a wide financial disparity between them. Feeling both envious and unwilling to give up, Jiang Zhanpeng slightly scowled.

He Chengtian looked at him and jokingly asked: “Jiang Zhanpeng, are you interested in my fiance?”

The color of Jiang Zhanpeng’ face drained: “There is some kind of misunderstanding here. Certainly, I am confused. Ha-ha-ha, I really didn’t know Ms. Gu had this kind of relationship with you.”

He Chengtian nodded his head and effortlessly took out a cigarette from his pocket and gave it to him. Looking him straight in the eye, He Chengtian smiled and evenly stated: “It is a misunderstanding.”

Jiang Zhanpeng pretended to look at his watch and anxiously replied: “I see you are busy. I still have an appointment, so I will head out first.” In a blink of an eye, the man turn-tailed and swiftly walked away. The BMW was gone without a trace!

Watching him leave, Gu Yao felt completely relieved. She stood quietly for a minute before she turned to address He Chengtian: “Thank You.”

It was only after a moment that he realized the performance was over and his intimate contact with Gu Yao was over. Like a young boy thinking about love for the first time, his heart was a mess.

Zhang Siyi was also surprised at how quickly things got resolved. He gave his friend a thumbs-up and gratefully expressed his thanks: “That was awesome!”

He Chengtian: “Why are you both here?”

But Zhang Siyi already turned his head away and was approaching the luxury car in front of him. Excited, Zhang Siyi stated: “Look, it really is a Lamborghini!”

He Chengtian can’t laugh or cry: “Hey…”

Zhang Siyi circled around and asked, “Wait, I thought a Lamborghini sport cars have two seats. Why are there four seats?”

“This is the Estoque.**  It is a concept car that hasn’t been produced yet so there is only one in China.” As He Chengtian replied to Zhang Siyi, he opened the car door for them: “Where are you two going? I’ll give you a ride.”

In his excitement, Zhang Siyi unabashedly got into the front passenger seat and Gu Yao sat behind them. Examining and feeling all of the crevices and surfaces, he couldn’t stop himself from touching everything. “It’s so cool!”

He Chengtian started the car and the 8-cylinder engine roared to life: “Where are you going? Or would you like me to take you out for dinner?”

Zhang Siyi scratched his head: “Yuanshan Garden. Do you know the way?”

He Chengtian: “xxx Road?”

Zhang Siyi: “Yes!”

He Chengtian raised an eyebrow and asked Zhang Siyi: “Do you live together?”

Zhang Siyi: “Well, yes…”

Zhang Siyi: “And Gu Yu.”

He Chengtian’s face suddenly turned dark: “Why do the two of you live together with Gu Yu?”

Of course, Zhang Siyi can’t give him the real reason so he gave him a simple reply: “I work for Gu Yu and I pay him rent to stay there.”

He Chengtian felt scorned. Zhang Siyi rejected his original job invitation seemingly not because of Gu Yao, yet here they are, living in the same house! He Chengtian sneered.

The thrill of love and happiness was instantly lost! In his hand, he held it; those small hands, beautiful skin and petite body, like a soft rabbit that makes you want to hold and protect.… oh, ah, yes, yes….

…… Fuck! How can that bastard have such a lovely sister!

He Chengtian coughed once lightly then asked: “Before, what exactly is going on?“

Zhang Siyi thoroughly explained the matter to him.

At hearing his explanation, He Chengtian scoffed and let out a ‘tskt’. He gave a cold smile and said: “Why didn’t you call me earlier? I’ll tell you. I see a lot of those shameless idiots refusing to back down. Even if you refuse gifts, it won’t change anything. Rich people in business have thick skins and can’t accept a loss. You just need to find someone else with more money and power to exert pressure and let the person know its futile. Only then will they stop.”

Zhang Siyi listen to He Chengtian’s scolding and felt deflated: “It’s the first time I’ve encountered that type of person. That guy has accounts with Gu Yao’s company so I had to remain eloquent and try to reason with him, but he wouldn’t accept the facts at all!” Zhang Siyi sighed and continued: “Hey, if you hadn’t come today, I really don’t know what would have happened.”

He Chengtian said: “Now do you see the benefits of money and power?”

Zhang Siyi quipped: “Will you still accept my application?”

He Chengtian chuckled then frowned: “But, if Gu Yao was harassed, where is her brother? Why wasn’t he there?”

Zhang Siyi: “Gu Yu and I take turns to pick her up every day and it was my turn today. Gu Yu is cooking dinner at home.”

He Chengtian laughed: “Is he really everything to you?”

Zhang Siyi laughed meagerly and didn’t know how to answer.

Glancing at Gu Yao through the rearview mirror, He Chengtian said: “We were lucky today. Our casual bluff might not convince Jiang Zhanpeng for long. When he thinks carefully, he won’t believe you are my fiance so he will probably come back to harass you again. It isn’t easy to handle and does your brother really have the time bring her to and from work? I can help by driving her every day for a period of time. How does that sound?”

When Zhang Siyi heard his proposition, he was so happy because the matter between Jiang Zhanpeng and Yu Yao was maddening. He knew it was an inconvienace for He Chengtian, but Zhang Siyi also knew he was interested in her. Maybe, He Chengtian thought he should seize this rare opportunity and enjoy it.

Even if He Chengtian really pursued her, Zhang Siyi wasn’t opposed to it. In fact, he was extremely supportive. Due to their recent discusstion of the need for Gu Yao to fall in love normally, Zhang Siyi thought this was the perfect opportunity. Who could pass up such a rich and powerful diamond king?

Ah, but he can’t just push her in his direction. Zhang Siyi looked over his shoulder to the back seat and asked Gu Yao: “What do you think? He is reliable. Will you let him pick you up and drop you off at work for a while?”

Gu Yao remembered He Chengtian. Not only was he a friend of Zhang Siyi, but he was also her brother’s high school classmate. Although she didn’t refuse, he felt a bit uneasy: “In this car? Isn’t it too flashy?”

With a voice of reason, He Chengtian coaxed her: “In order to signal to outsiders that you aren’t willing to be with just anyone, it is necessary. You can’t have a toad in a BMW three-series lusting after the swan’s flesh, right?”

Gu Yao was amused by the tone of his joke. Although her family education didn’t teach her to be so pompous, being over the top occasionally was indeed quite cool: “Well, I’ll have to trouble you……”

**T/N: Lamborghini Estoque: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lamborghini_Estoque

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