助理建筑师 羲和清零 149

Assistant Architect by Xi He Qing Ling

Chapter 149: Object

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T/N: I wanted to let the people following the book know that my postings will be scarce in the following couple of weeks due to schedule changes. I have vacation coming up and at that time, I’ll be able to devote the hours it takes to translate the remaining chapters. I’ll hopefully be done by the end of the summer. I’ll probably take a short break then start another project. If people have requests for a future a project, feel free to comment, send me a direct email at 4snowynotes@gmail or txt my line ID Snowynotes.

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Father Zhang snorted and interrupted her: “You are acting like the country folk who moved the whole family into the big city. You didn’t need to bring the kitchen-sink.”

Mother Zhang glared at Father Zhang then glanced in Gu Yu direction, expecting him to say something.

Rarely in his Father’s defense, this time Zhang Siyi spoke up: “Mom, Haicheng is not without lychees. Every time you see me, you give me so many things. I am very happy knowing you have good food to eat so there is no need to give it all away. If I need something, I’ll buy it here.”

Zhang Siyi’s mother smiled and scolded him: “How can a family member say there is no need? Did your rabbit brain break? When did you learn to talk that way to your family?”

In all honestly, Zhang Siyi didn’t know why he talked back to his parents. Probably the reason was the result of being with Gu Yu. He was actually very nervous and feeling guilty. He knew that his parents may never approve and be satisfied with his life’s decision and as a result, Zhang Siyi felt a sense of worry and loss.

When they arrived at Yuanshan Garden, Gu Yu first dropped them off out front to unpack the car and then he drove around to the parking lot. When Zhang Siyi’s Mother stepped out of the car, she said: “This is a really nice area to live in.”

Proudly, Zhang Siyi introduced his parents to his home: “This area is the old city and the nearby buildings are protected.” Through the portcullis and across the courtyard, he took his parents to his home. When he opened the door, Townhouse was there wagging his tail to greet them.

Ms. Zhang was surprised: “Hey, there is a dog!”

Zhang Siyi Said: “Well, you needn’t be afraid. He is very docile and doesn’t usually bark. “

When his mother heard Zhang Siyi say ‘you needn’t be afraid’ she chuckled and smiled. She felt like for the first time, the tone her son emulated was a little bit like an adult.

Changing his shoes, Father Zhang asked: “You and Gu Yu have to go to work, but also have time to take care of a dog?”

Zhang Siyi: “There isn’t much more time needed to take care of him. After eating, we take the dog out for a walk. It’s not a hassle.”

Father Zhang continued: “Your mother also mentioned various business trips and you are expected to be going abroad soon. How will you take care of the dog when you leave?”

Zhang Siyi: “The pet shop has foster care facilities you can register your dog with.”

Looking at the golden retriever, mother Zhang suddenly remembered: “Isn’t this the same dog your friend bought and posted pictures on your social media page? What was it…? The son of Heartless Han?”

Puzzled, his Father asked: “Who is the son of Heartless Han?”

Zhang Siyi’s mother answered: “His original roommate that he rented an apartment with. The one that had the accident at home and now is abroad.”

Zhang Siyi smiled and said: “Ha-ha, you even remembered that.”

Mother Zhang quipped: “I am your mother. What is there that I do not know? I have gathered all information and read every message on your social media pages. You used to post frequently about what you did everyday including your meals. Now that you are at work, you post so much less. Are you too busy at the company?”

By the warmth of his mother statement, Zhang Siyi heart was moved. It was as Gu Yu said earlier. Only a mother would care about the details of what he ate and did every day.

After putting away the packages, Zhang Siyi went to show his parents the house. Previously, when he was a roommate with his friends, he didn’t feel the need to show his parents the apartment. Afterall, it was only one room he rented with two other friends, but now there is a difference. With his relationship with Gu Yu, this house is not only his place of residence, but his home as well.

Like a small master, Zhang Siyi proudly showed his parents his room and the living spaces both upstairs and downstairs.

The downstairs living room is mainly used for receiving and entertaining guests. The upstairs terrace is more of an intimate setting where they can relax at night. It is a good place to read books or play a game of chess at the small table on the platform. If the weather is good, the sliding glass door can be opened to let the fresh air come inside.

Mother Zhang looked around and sighed: “It really is a good environment. Old Zhang, you see this place that these two live in. Studying architecture in the end was good for your son. Its more beautiful then the places on TV.”

Walking around with his hands clasped behind his back, Zhang Siyi’s father was very satisfied. The collection of books and elegant atmosphere in the home was the perfect residence for a scholar.

Scratching his head Zhang Siyi said: ”Hey now, this is Gu Yu’s work. I just sit back and enjoy it.” Zhang Siyi smiled and wanted to brag about Gu Yu to his parents for them to understand — This wonderful man is your son’s boyfriend!

His Father lectured him: “Know that you are enjoying another’s achievements. Living together is no better then living at home. There is no babysitter to cook and do your laundry. Don’t be lazy and take advantage of it. Although Gu Yu is older than you, there is no good reason for him to take care of you to this extent.”

Hearing his father’s lecture, Zhang Siyi wasn’t as resentful towards him as he had been in the past. He was happy to explain his living conditions: “I know. The division of labor is very clear. He cooks and I wash the dishes. On odd days I clean, and on even days he does. On the weekends we have time to do laundry and finish chores together.”

In fact, although the rules were clearly stipulated, Zhang Siyi was very lazy sometimes and would forget. As a result, Gu Yu would still clean-up for him. Listening to his dad, Zhang Siyi only reacted and realized that he hasn’t received a bonus from Gu Yu in a long time. It seems, Zhang Siyi really does need to listen to his father and earn some bonus points in the future.

Mother Zhang smiled: “No wonder the home is very clean. My friend always complained about the pet hair getting all over the place, but I don’t see any here. It’s a very tidy.”

In the past two months, Gu Yu was adamant about brushing the dog properly and keeping the family clean. He was more dedicated then the dog’s original father.

As they were talking, Gu Yu came back and the three of them went downstairs to decide on a place to eat.

Gu Yu: “You have had a long trip and it’s not too early anymore. How about we get a quick bite to eat downstairs?”

Ms. Zhang was very polite: “We brought a lot of dishes and can eat the dumplings once they are cooked.”

Gu Yu looked at the time: “I’m afraid you are hungry now, and cooking the food will take some time. There is a small place that is inexpensive down the street that makes very good dumplings. We can eat a little now and prepare a nice dinner together for later.”

After listening to Gu Yu, Zhang father nodded: “Zhang Siyi should have arranged it so he would take us out to dinner. And by the way, I am pleased to have you join us. Now, you are going to be the host. Isn’t that too much of a bother?”

Gu Yu smiled briefly and said: “Uncle, you are polite. You rarely come visit. It’s only proper for me to be the one making the invitations for dinner.”

The more mother Zhang heard Gu Yu and witness his actions, the more she liked him. While they were walking to the restaurant, she held Zhang Siyi back a little and asked: “Gu Yu is thirty. Does he have a girlfriend? You are living with him now. Does your presence affect his personal life?”

Feeling guilty, Zhang Siyi heart was tight and pretended to not know: “Not that I know of.”

His mother had heard Zhang Siyi’s explanation for moving and living with Gu Yu. She commented: “He was originally living alone. In order to help you, he has sacrificed his personal life. You need to pay attention to the consequences of your actions. Hurry and move out. Don’t bother people and cause unnecessary trouble. You know?”

Zhang Siyi: “Oh…”  Hey, in fact, he is the “object” of Gu Yu! ╭(╯_╰)╮

The small restaurant was indeed very close. When its late, Zhang Siyi and Gu Yu often go there to eat since the price is moderate and the food is good.

After lunch, the four people went shopping nearby. Zhang Siyi told his parents about the origins of the distant mountain villa. He pointed out the various architectural styles and characteristics of the nearby old buildings.

However, because the expert is present, where Zhang Siyi was wrong, Gu Yu still pointed out his mistakes and corrected him.

Zhang Siyi rarely had the opportunity to showcase his knowledge in front of his parents. Since Gu Yu kept correcting him, the result wasn’t what he wanted. Feeling annoyed, they bickered with one another. However, even if the words expressed sounded like they were fighting, their gestures and mannerisms suggested something more akin to flirting.

Even though Zhang Siyi’s father didn’t think much of the scene before him, Zhang Siyi mother had been exposed to those-kinds-of-stories. Although she knows she shouldn’t, she couldn’t help her mind from wandering…… In fact, her son and Gu Yu are also a good match.

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助理建筑师 羲和清零 148

Assistant Architect by Xi He Qing Ling

Chapter 148: Visit

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Regrettably, Zhang Siyi missed the rare expression on Gu Yu’s face because he was completely immersed in his own complaints…. What, “wife”! He doesn’t call himself that!

Zhang Siyi leisurely returned Gu Yu’s phone. He couldn’t stop himself from foolishly laughing: “I didn’t cook the dinner. I only helped!”

Even though lying isn’t a commendable thing, Gu Yu’s deliberate misdirection made Zhang Siyi feel loved. Gu Yu’s action was really cute!

Returning to normal, Gu Yu calmly said: “Enlightenment is good. Remember wife, you owe me a dinner.”

Zhang Siyi: “…”

After dinner, they went outside to walk the dog. Once they returned and hung up their coats, they went upstairs and sat down at the chess table. Gu Yu was going to teach Zhang Siyi how to play.

Gu Yu explained the movements of each chess piece and by playing two games with him, Gu Yu guided Zhang Siyi step-by-step. In the early stages, it didn’t matter who won or lost the game.

Having quickly learned the movements of the pieces and the rules of the game, Zhang Siyi thought chess was simple and smugly said: “What’s so hard about chess? It seems pretty easy. Come on, let’s see your skills!”

Lifting his eye site to look at Zhang Siyi momentarily, Gu Yu grinned widely: “You asked for it.”

After setting up the chessboard, with great enthusiasm, Zhang Siyi moved his first piece. Being under the care of Gu Yu, Zhang Siyi thought he would always show him mercy.

During the game, Zhang Siyi encountered danger twice. Since he was able to counter the moves and escape, he further believed Gu Yu was going easy on him. In contrast to Gu Yu’s attitude towards the girl during the day, Zhang Siyi’s heart swelled and felt intoxicated by sweet feelings.

Gradually, he realized something wasn’t quite right. Several times he had to make sacrifices to protect his pieces but it wasn’t enough. Calmly and methodical, move-by-move, Gu Yu had taken each of his own pieces.

Playing rashly, Zhang Siyi was left with a few pieces to protect his king. In chess, the queen’s power was almost omnipotent while the king can only walk one small step at a time. Zhang Siyi used his queen to protect his king for if he moved his queen farther from the king’s side, Zhang Siyi thought he would be easily taken.

Unbeknown to Zhang Siyi, Gu Yu deliberately let Zhang Siyi feel hopeful by letting him keep his queen. Gu Yu wanted to play a slow game with Zhang Siyi. Feeling pressured, Zhang Siyi realized it wasn’t easy to play both an offensive and defensive chess match.

After thirty minutes, Zhang Siyi panicked as his queen finally fell. Left with only his king, he noticed the section of the grid that was safe to move in was very small. His heart was grey.

Even now, Gu Yu wasn’t in a hurry to overtake him. Gu Yu systematically used his eight remaining pieces to slowly force Zhang Siyi’s king to move until he was completely surrounded.

Zhang Siyi desperate attempts slowly turned into despair. When he decided to admit defeat, he looked up and saw Gu Yu smiling at him with an expression that the outcome of the game was clearly expected written on his face.

Feeling a twinge of annoyance, Zhang Siyi almost didn’t resign, but finally, he knocked over the pieces and said: “I admit to defeat!”

Gu Yu smiled at him then looked at the board and said: “But I haven’t killed you yet.”

Zhang Siyi: “…” Ah, you go to hell! (╯‵皿’)╯(┻━┻

Gu Yu muffled his laughter and reset the board for another round: “Ready for another round?”

With bulging cheeks, Zhang Siyi squinting his eyes and said: “I’m not playing anymore!” Zhang Siyi thought Gu Yu’s slow pace was merciful, but in fact he had be toying with him the whole time!

Gu Yu laughed out and asked: “Are you angry?”

Zhang Siyi: “…”

Gu Yu continued to tease him: “How are my chess skills?”

Zhang Siyi stood up and jumped over the table to push Gu Yu and directly overwhelmed him. Since Gu Yu blocked his mouth, Zhang Siyi bit him instead. He is a man and wants to determine the outcome in a man’s way! …… Hey, wait, what are you doing!

The gentlemanly discussion did not begin.

“Ah, mmn…..”

A minute later, Gu Yu countered Zhang Siyi bold advances.

Five minutes later, with pleasurable sighs and moans, anyone listening would feel their heart race and face turn red.

Ten minutes later, Gu quipped in a hoarse voice: “What are you going to call me?”

Zhang Siyi: “You…” (o////o)

Gu Yu: “Well? Let me hear it.”

Zhang Siyi: “fuck off….!”

Zhang Siyi: “Mm, Ha… Ah, ah…”

Another minute later, Zhang Siyi collapsed and cried out: “Gege! Gege!”

Gu Yu smiled in satisfaction and whispered softly in Zhang Siyi ear: “Next time, call me husband.”

Zhang Siyi: “…… Get out!!!”

Monday at work, Zhang Siyi saw the director smiling at him warmly and waited for the young man to greet him as courteous and politely as before…. Unexpectedly, the director witnessed Zhang Siyi turn his head the other direction and walk right by him.

Chief Director: “???”

Zhang Siyi: – Hey I’m going to ignore you. (ˋ_ˊ)

The cousin who had access to Gu Yu WeChat hadn’t made contact again. When the Chief implicitly asked Gu Yu about his situation a second time, he finally had the chance to refuse outright. Gu Yu tactfully expressed his intentions for someone else. Elders also understand the larger issue at hand and since both children had no further intentions on this matter, there was no need to continue trying to put them together.

After Gu Yu told Zhang Siyi about it, Zhang Siyi felt completely relieved. He sincerely hoped that there will be no more random people setting up blind dates in the future!

In a flash, the week went by and in order to prepare for Zhang Siyi parents, the two men paid special attention to their home and carefully cleaned it. Zhang Siyi didn’t want anything left out that would cause his parents to misunderstand.

In reality, the two innocent boys have been relatively conservative so far. Apart from the lubricant, and the more intense times with Gu Yu in his room, there was nothing else. At this time, Zhang Siyi was really glad to have his own room. Half of the time, he was sleeping separately in his own bed.

At noon on Saturday, Zhang’s parents arrived in Haicheng. Gu Yu and Zhang Siyi drove to the high-speed rail station to pick them up. When Zhang Siyi met them, his parents seemed happy and warmly greeted him. Even though he felt moved, Zhang Siyi also felt tense.

As he had when Zhang Siyi returned home from Haicheng, his parents had a bunch of large packages and bags with them. If Gu Yu hadn’t brought his car, Zhang Siyi did not know how they would have been able to bring them all home on the subway.

Since they hadn’t seen each other for a few months, Ms. Zhang felt as excited to see her son as she did during the New Year’s Festival. She ignored any onlookers and tenderly touched her son’s face: “This time, your complexion is really good and you have slimmed down.” She took a moment to pat and feel his waist.

 “Have I? I’ve been working a lot of overtime.” Zhang Siyi smiled and twisted away. His waist had become very sensitive now that Gu Yu touches and holds it every day.

 When it comes to his improved complexion, Gu Yu should take credit. Since living together, they have been cooking a healthy breakfast and dinner regularly.

Zhang Siyi’s father saw the antics of mother and son and couldn’t stop himself from interrupting. With a rigid tone he said: “Ok. Ok. There is time to talk. Don’t let others wait.” Father Zhang was as serious as ever. Only the slight upturn in the corner of his eye betrayed his happy mood. In response, Zhang Siyi’s mother went to greet Gu Yu.

Gu Yu smiled and gestured: “Uncle and Aunt. If you please, step into the car. We will eat lunch at home.”

Zhang’s mother opened her eyes and smiled. She had always looked at her son in the best of light, but now, looking at Gu Yu in comparison, it seems like her son was tossed to the other side of the train tracks.

As they drove home, Zhang Siyi complained: “There are so many bags and boxes! What else did you bring besides crab paste and fish?”

Ms. Zhang explained: “’I’ve come to visit so naturally, there will be more. Isn’t this the Dragon Boat Festival? We also brought some dumplings that you loved when you were a child. Your grandmother gave you a bag of glutinous rice for the two of you. Oh yes, there are also plump, sweet lychees that your uncle brought over…….”

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助理建筑师 羲和清零 147

Assistant Architect by Xi He Qing Ling

Chapter 147: Chess

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Why is it complicated? Is she the daughter of the mayor!? Waiting for his explanation, Zhang Siyi stared at Gu Yu intently.

After walking into the kitchen, Gu Yu opened the refrigerator and rummage through the shelves for ingredients for dinner. As he removed them from the refrigerator, Gu Yu explained: “The Chief’s wife’s brother is Yanyan’s cousin’s father. He is one of the Chief Directors from X Firm and he is one of the major shareholders of Borderless.

Zhang Siyi dumbly said: “So her father’s status is higher than our Chief Director?”

Tearing a head of cabbage, Gu Yu plainly stated: “Yes”

The Chief Director in a company is either elected or appointed by the board of directors. As the design director, Gu Yu is only the head of the design department. The hierarchy in the food chain is very obvious. Yanyan’s cousin’s father has the power to decide which candidates to appoint and thus, the career path of Gu Yu.

Yes, it would be the way to secure his professional future. Academic, professional, and work experience are earned on their own, but positions do not necessarily rise as their abilities improve.

In China’s environment, in addition to the academic qualifications in the construction industry, titles are given based on the depth of seniority by the number of years working in the industry. Even if a person has a higher academic background and is talented, there is a limit to the position they could obtain based on the number of years worked.

Although Gu Yu’s qualifications are sufficient, it is extremely rare to be able to sit in the position of a design director at his age. Therefore, his connections are the leading factor for Gu Yu current position.

As the title design director is the limit for a technical worker, Gu Yu has already reached the top. The privilege that Yanyan’s cousin’s father could give Gu Yu is limitless. He could pave the way for Gu Yu to directly break through the limitations of his degree and move into the direction of management which would lead him towards a higher social status.

Obviously, the appearance of Yanyan’s cousin provides an opportunity for Gu Yu to move forward.

So, why is there trouble? Was Gu Yu aiming for a future in management? Does he find the opportunity too tempting to reject? Or, is there a swing in his heart?

Zhang Siyi asked awkwardly: “What do you think?”

Finishing with the cabbage preparations, Gu Yu grabbed a slab of pork and chucked: “I am neither interested in her or in a position of management. What is there to think about?”

Zhang Siyi breathed a sigh of relief and said: “Then, what “trouble” were you talking about earlier?”

After cutting up the meat, Gu Yu was slicing a large onion and gave Zhang Siyi garlic to peel when he replied: “I can tell the director wanted to introduce me as a marriageable prospect. In the past, I might have gone to his home for a casual family dinner. When I saw the extended family present, I knew it was something more as outsiders aren’t normally present for family banquets. It was clear that the Chief wanted me to get acquainted with Yanyan’s cousin. There is no way I was invited there to befriend the chairman, right? I said it was troublesome because I could have refused outright if the invitation was given in the name of a blind date, but he used the guise of a family dinner to go to his house. Although his intentions were clear, nothing was said.”

Gu Yu frowned when he spoke. In addition, even if the opportunity was presented to him and he rashly refused, there was nothing he could show or prove outwardly that he was already in a relationship. As a result, it would have been very embarrassing for both himself and the Chief. Gu Yu felt really depressed.

Listening to Gu Yu, Zhang Siyi was also feeling depressed. He wasn’t displeased with Gu Yu’s honesty and in fact, he was rather relieved by his frankness. It was because his lover was so blatantly coveted by other people!

….. Damn it! If he bumps into the Chief, he isn’t going to greet him anymore!

Zhang Siyi handed the peeled garlic to Gu, and asked: “What did you do this afternoon?”

Thinking how uninteresting the afternoon was, Gu Yu plainly stated what he did: “Drink tea, watch financial news, and play chess.”

Zhang Siyi: “……” Why does it sound like an afternoon activity plan for the elderly?” (=_=)

Zhang Siyi: “Who were you with? Yanyan’s cousin?”

Thinking outloud, Gu Yu voiced a ‘hmm’ then proceeded to put oil in the pan. After he explained: “The elders left to play cards in the afternoon so myself and the two girls remained. We made some small-talk for a little while. Since Yanyan was an art major, there were some common points and professional things to talk about. Later, her boyfriend called to have a video chat so she left the room leaving me alone with her cousin.”

As he poured the sliced pork and cabbage into the hot pan, a loud ‘sizzle’ could be heard. Gu Yu immediately started mixing the food in the pan and when the sound was a little less noisy, he continued: “The girl was very quiet. For most of the day she remained silent.”

Recalling the afternoon scene, Gu Yu scowled. The girl didn’t speak and in fear of giving her false impressions, he couldn’t find any suitable topics to discuss. Given the situation, he didn’t want her to misunderstand his intentions.  As a result, they sat in the living room together watching the financial news while drinking tea in silence.

Fortunately, the chess board on the table helped break the ice. She asked him if he would like to play.

Gu Yu looked down at the pan: “I played with her while listening to the financial news for a few hours. She never won.” Since he was too distressed about the situation he was placed in, he didn’t give her an inch. In one game, he beat her in less than ten moves.

As he heard Gu Yu speak, Zhang Siyi saw a flash of pleasure at being able to bully her. Zhang Siyi laughed at Gu Yu’s childish expression and the moment was no longer uncomfortable: “So, you must be good at playing chess.”

Gu Yu put on the lid on the pan to make the cabbage steam and said: “Clearly, her level is too low.”

Zhang Siyi saw the chess board that was upstairs but he never saw Gu Yu play. “When did you learn how to play chess?”

Gu Yu: “When I was in college, I learned from Lao Jiang. He can really play chess, both speed chess and regular chess. When he was in elementary school, he won many amateur stages and developed an Elo score which is equivalent to the first stage of going Pro. The real child prodigy.”

Zhang Siyi: “I only play backgammon……” Why is the gap between people so large?

Gu Yu: “Do you want to learn? I can teach you.”

At the prospect of learning with Gu Yu, Zhang Siyi joyously responded: “Ok!”

Watching Gu Yu gently pour the cooked pork and cabbage into a serving dish, he asked: “What’s next? Will the Chief Director ask you to go to dinner again?”

Gu Yu grinned knowingly and said: “Yanyan’s cousin added my WeChat and what photo did I post there? When she sees it, she will understand the difficulty and retreat.”

Zhang Siyi was finally happy. When the girl saw the photo, she definitely wouldn’t continue dwelling on Gu Yu. Suddenly feeling nervous over whom might be looking at the photo, he asked: “Hey, did you add my parents to WeChat?”

Gu Yu: “No, why?”

Zhang Siyi sighed with relief: “Nothing. If you had, they will see that photo. Even though my mother isn’t the sharpest tack, I’m afraid if she saw the photo, she would guess the truth.”

In fact, Zhang Siyi feelings about the matter are somewhat contradictory. In the end, is he hoping his mother finds out or not? With her hobby of reading those-kinds-of-books, Zhang Siyi felt that she would more or less pick up on the facts, but his mother’s attitude towards Gu Yu was completely out of his expectations. From a practical standpoint, maybe all mothers do not think about the possibility that they have a gay son.

After Gu Yu took out the eggs from the fridge and handed them to Zhang Siyi to crack open, he grabbed a few more ingredients to make another dish. He continued: “Well, we will keep it hidden for now and  when things stabilize, we can slowly open up. By the way, what do you think is the reason they are coming to visit for?”

Zhang Siyi quickly relayed what he said on the phone in the afternoon with his mother to Gu Yu.

Gu Yu: “You have been back to China for a year now. Haven’t they come to Haicheng to visit the city? Come on, I will take them around.”

Zhang Siyi: “You will show them around?”

Gu Yu: “Since you live with me now, I am sure to entertain them when they come over. What’s more, I’m your boyfriend and can’t pass up this opportunity to make a good, lasting impression for their future son-in-law.”

Zhang Siyi vomited: “My parents’ impression of you is already high enough. You don’t know it, but they are always boasting about you in front of me. When I think about, it seems like they rather have you as their own son!”

Zhang Siyi saw Gu Yu’s raised eyebrows and broad smile… feeling like he missed a detail.  Wait, he suddenly reacted: “Why are you the son-in-law?”

Gu Yu turned his head sideways to glance at him: “Are you not with my surname, Gu Siyi?”

Zhang Siyi: “……”

Gu Yu swayed his head: “Didn’t you agree to follow me and take my name? So, Gu Siyi, since you are married, I am your parent’s son-in-law. Am I not? Hmm? “

With another mouthful of ‘Gu Siyi’, Zhang Siyi anxiously jumped on his foot and shouted: “That doesn’t count!”

With the last dish fully cooked, Gu Yu finally stopped teasing Zhang Siyi. He tenderly rubbed his lower back and commanded: “Okay, don’t make trouble. Bring the chopsticks and let’s eat.”

Zhang Siyi: “……” I am waiting for you, sir, from today forward, we must practice eloquence!

Before eating, Gu Yu suddenly took out his cell phone: “Wait, I want to take a picture.”

Since today’s dishes were quite common, Zhang Siyi thought it was a little strange for Gu Yu to take photos. Not only did he take a few pictures, but he also uploaded them to his circle of friends.

When Gu Yu finished, Zhang Siyi eagerly opened his mobile phone to see them: “What did you post? Is my network broken? Why can’t I see the pictures you posted?”

Gu Yu: “They aren’t visible to you.”

Caught by surprised, Zhang Siyi suddenly felt anxious and his tone reflected his hurt feelings: “What? Why?” Does Gu Yu still have a private WeChat that he isn’t privy too!?

From one corner of Gu Yu’s mouth, he smirked: “It is visible to Yanyan’s cousin.”

Immediately putting down his chopsticks, Zhang Siyi reached over and said: “Let me see!”

It took a bit of pestering before Gu Yu would unlock his phone and hand it to Zhang Siyi.

Zhang Siyi only saw the last visible message that Gu Yu posted to another group: “The happiest moment of the day: Eating a meal prepared by my wife.”

“Pfft…….!” Zhang Siyi couldn’t hold back the rice in his mouth.

“Well, now you saw it. Give it back to me.” With an expression of connivance on Gu Yu face, Zhang Siyi watched him turn pink, revealing a trace of school-girl like shyness.

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助理建筑师 羲和清零 146

Assistant Architect by Xi He Qing Ling

Chapter 146: Situation

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“Hmm.” Gu Yu was watching him. Since Zhang Siyi assertive behavior was really loveable, he wanted to stay. Sighing, he held Zhang Siyi briefly, pecked him on the lips and said: “Remember to eat something and send me a message later.”

After Gu Yu left, Zhang Siyi read a book for a while and since it had been awhile, he practiced playing the violin. Feeling bored, he pondered what else he could do before going to sleep. He decided to call home.

When the phone connected, he said: “Hello? Mom?”

The last time he spoke with his mother over the phone was when he needed his driver’s license. More often than not, any communication between them was done through WeChat. Lately, Zhang Siyi was very with work that he didn’t have the chance to talk with her; not even to tell her that he moved. Although, in reality, he probably was avoiding the subject now that he was together with Gu Yu.

Mother Zhang immediately asked him about work and his recent comings and goings. She asked him if he was planning on returning home for the Dragon Boat Festival and visit relatives.

Zhang Siyi: “I won’t be able to come home for the Dragon Boat Festival. The company is taking us to Japan on June 20th for ten days to study architecture.”

Ms. Zhang had some regrets, but she was also happy for her son: “The company’s benefits are great! They are taking their employees overseas!”

Zhang Siyi: “I heard that the company sponsored trips are only every few years.”

Mother Zhang asked again: “When will you be free to come home? You haven’t come back since the New Year and your parents miss you.”

Zhang Siyi joked: “Maybe you do, but I don’t believe Dad does.”

Mother Zhang yelled at him: “What!? How can you say that!? He’s your father. Why wouldn’t he miss you? He’s been asking me about your work lately. If I wasn’t so busy at the hospital, I would have called you.”

Zhang Siyi vomited in his heart. If his dad wanted to talk to him, why couldn’t he call himself? Every time, it took his mother to pass the phone.

His Mother paused then asked: “Do you have time on the weekend before the Dragon Boat Festival?”

“What’s the matter?” Zhang Siyi voiced and then thought to himself: Isn’t that next weekend?

Although he and Tao Fei have to make a report before the Dragon Boat Festival, their steady progress has been faster then expected and thus, there shouldn’t be any need to work long overtime hours like they had before.

Mother Zhang said: “If you have time, next weekend, we will come visit you in Haicheng and bring you something delicious.”

Upon hearing his mother’s statement, Zhang Siyi immediately sat straight up from the couch. If they come, they will discover his relationship with Gu Yu!

His Mother explained: “Your father has a friend who recently sent us some fresh fish and we can’t eat it all. I thought I would have the housekeeper prepare your favorite fried fish dish and bring you some. You can eat it as a snack or when you want a quick dinner.”

Fried fish was one of Zhang Siyi’s favorite dishes and listening to his mother’s proposal made him feel greedy. However, he was still scared and said: “Or I will come home next weekend.” In fact, it would be quite convenient to travel home on the high-speed rail for one night and then come back the following day for his business trip.

When she listened to him, she decided that Zhang Siyi was free next weekend and told him: “I saw you hard at work staying up late in company as well as your business trip travels in WeChat. Mom is so distressed! Don’t bother coming back for only one night and a day. I’ll bring your father for a rare chance to spend the weekend with you. It’s a good excuse to get outside and walk around. It’s settled.”

Zhang Siyi: “……” It’s settled!?!?

His Mother continued: “Oh right, there are also crabs. We can’t eat them all in this hot weather so I’ll have the housekeeper make crab paste for you as well.”

Feeling a bit anxious, Zhang Siyi decided it was better to tell his mother about his move beforehand otherwise he might inadvertently reveal his real relationship with Gu Yu.

“Mom, I have to tell you something. I moved and now rent a room in Gu Yu’s house.” Zhang Siyi said placing special emphasis on the word ‘rent’.

Mother Zhang was momentarily silent: “Really? When did you move? Why didn’t you tell me?”

Feeling embarrassed, Zhang Siyi answered her: “Its been six weeks since I moved. Do you remember my college friend I mentioned who had an accident at home over New Years?”

Mother Zhang: “Yes. I remember. He was the one who rented an apartment with you.”

Zhang Siyi spoke briefly about Fu Xinhui’s affairs with his mother then said: “He went abroad afterwards. I wasn’t able to stay in the same apartment and since there was a room at Gu Yu’s I could rent, I moved.” Zhang Siyi was worried about how she would respond so he waited nervously for his mother to speak.

Ms. Zhang took a minute to respond: “Living together with Gu Yu is really good! You are both in the same industry and there is still a lot he can teach you. He is a very stable, mature person and you will do well to take after his habits and work ethics. It will be great for you!”

Upon hearing his mother’s enthusiasm, Zhang Siyi practically fainted. He was worried that his mother would question him more about his relationship with Gu Yu. It must have only been in his head. And besides, listening to the tone of his mother’s statement, why was she acting as though she was happily marring off a daughter?

…… This, this must be his delusion!

Mother Zhang continued: “I have to be honest with you. Your Father and I were very worried about you when you told us about your roommate’s situation, but now that you are staying with Gu Yu, our minds are at ease. Oh yes, I’ll tell the housekeeper to prepare a little extra fish and crab paste for young Gu.”

Zhang Siyi: “……“  It seems as though his mother was very happy that he lives with Gu Yu. But, how happy would she really be if she knew the truth? (=_=)

Zhang Siyi news was completely updated after a few more pleasantries. Saying goodbye, they hung up the phone. Zhang Siyi sat on the sofa for a while in a daze. Finally coming out of his reverie, he sent a WeChat to Gu Yu: “My parents are coming.”

Five minutes later, Gu Yu replied: “What!?!?” and sent a ‘Little-Fox-Shocked’ sticker then asked: “When?”

It was extremely rare for Gu Yu to express such a shocked and scared expression. Feeling happy about his response, Zhang Siyi explained: “They will visit next weekend.”

Gu Yu: “…”

Gu Yu: “Well, we can talk about it later at home.”

Zhang Siyi was a little irritated at the speed with which Gu Yu seemed to have calmed down. “How’s dinner going?” he asked. (→_→)

Gu Yu: “I just finished eating. I gave them the excuse of needing the restroom when I saw your message. I have to be brief. The situation is a bit troublesome.”

Zhang Siyi was surprised. “What troublesome situation? Was the Chief really trying to play matchmaker?”

Gu Yu: “Well, we can talk about it later. I have to go back to the living room now.”

Zhang Siyi: “……”  What’s this ‘talk about it later’? He wants to know now!

Although Zhang Siyi can understand that Gu Yu is a guest in another person’s home and chatting on the mobile phone isn’t polite, having heard about ‘trouble’ and then ‘talk later’, Gu Yu was making Zhang Siyi feel anxious!

Waiting in anticipation all afternoon, when Zhang Siyi heard someone at the door at six o’clock in the evening, Zhang Siyi rushed over to open it for Gu Yu and asked: “What’s the situation?”

Taking off his coat, Gu Yu let out a long sigh. He looked really tired and frowned: “The Chief Direction really did have a plan, but it wasn’t about his daughter. It was about Yanyan’s cousin and the situation with her isn’t so simple.”

Zhang Siyi: “……”

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助理建筑师 羲和清零 145

Assistant Architect by Xi He Qing Ling

Chapter 145: Chief Director

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Walking through the hall on his way back from the data area, the Chief Director spotted Zhang Siyi’s focused figure at his desk working diligently and felt relieved. He happened to bump into Gu Yu while in the restroom: “The young man you recruited last year looks very steady now.”

Hearing the Chief talk to him, Gu Yu was a little surprised. Thinking about the time spent with Zhang Siyi looking through his journal to discuss the various topics he wrote about at length made Gu Yu smile: “Well, he is very motivated now and has improved greatly.”

Director Gu: “I saw him present the landmark tower for the Yunnan hotel project. The ideas emboldened the spirit and the design was excellent. It seems he really has a natural gift. Gu Yu, you have a good eye.”

Gu Yu was quite taken back by the Chief’s comments. Most of the time, the Chief Director’s praise is at most ‘good’ or ‘very well’ and rarely admits to a design being excellent, let alone that a design could effect a persons’ spirit. It is the best compliment for a young designer with potential. After all, anyone can learn the process of architecture, but only those with inborn talent have the ability to design a building that touches the soul. Even though Gu Yu was feeling very happy for Zhang Siyi, he tried not to show it and relaxed his facial expression.

Washing his hands, the Chief looked at Gu Yu in the mirror and suddenly asked: “Young Gu, I remember that you don’t have a girlfriend, right?”

Gu Yu: “…… Hmm?”

Leaving his hands to rinse under the water, he continued: “At the beginning of X Firm, you worked for more then twelve hours a day. I heard that you studied and brought work home to do in the evenings. During the two years here at Borderless, you were always conscientious of the staff members needs and personally made yourself available during overtime if any problems rose but as a result, you were never home before nine at night. Even though your dedication is important year after year, you need to make plans for your own life. You are almost thirty years old without a family of your own.”

The truth of the matter can’t be revealed. If Zhang Siyi was a woman, Gu Yu could immediately tell the Chief Director that he was already seriously involved with someone so he need not concern himself over the matter of marriage.

Since relationships in the workplace are taboo, being an employee of Borderless was a problem and not only that, but a subordinate of a Director. If that wasn’t enough of an issue, the fact that Zhang Siyi is a man, was the real cause for silence. If he were to mentioned being gay, the more than fifty-year old Chief Director may not be able to accept this detail, so it isn’t a subject Gu Yu can openly speak about.

“Well, I understand.” Gu Yu politely evaded the issue and responded ambiguously.

The Chief dried his hands with a paper towel before smiling at Gu Yu: “We are having a party for Yanyan next weekend because she is coming home from abroad. When was the last time you visited your parents? If you have nothing else, come over for dinner.”

Slightly distracted and out of courtesy and respect, Gu Yu instinctively responded with: “Alright.”

After the Chief Director left, Gu Yu couldn’t help but wonder if the talk of a girlfriend coupled with visiting friends of the family were connected.

While he was eating with Zhang Siyi that night at home, Gu Yu discussed the issue in advance: “I may have to go to the Chief Director’s house for a luncheon next weekend.”

Surprised, Zhang Siyi asked: “You are going to the Chief’s house for lunch? Why?”

Taking a moment to think clearly, Gu Yu chewed slowly and explained the situation to him rationally: “The Chief Director and my father are old friends.”

Zhang Siyi was only aware of his position as the former vice president at X Firm. He didn’t know that the Chief Director Gu Senior were friends.

Gu Yu explained: “In the early years, Liu and my father worked together in infrastructure projects in Xi’an and later they went to Hainan to build.  They worked together for more than eight years. After my father went back to Ningcheng, Liu came to Haicheng where he was at X Firm for many years.

Zhang Siyi was surprised. He thought that Gu Yu’s father had always been an architect in Ningcheng.

Gu Yu smiled and said: “When I graduated from my master’s degree, Uncle Liu extended an olive branch and asked me to go to X Firm. It was the most famous design company in the eastern part of the country. I needed experience to test for my license and since Haicheng is also close to Ningcheng, it was convenient to live here and to travel as needed to visit relatives.”

Zhang Siyi: “Ah.”

Gu Yu: “When I first arrived in Haicheng, Yuanshan Garden villa renovations weren’t completed yet. The Director was very kind to me and politely invited me to his home for dinner for every holiday.

Teasing him, Zhang Siyi jokingly said: “Ah so you got your job through the back door!”

Gu Yu looked up at him arrogantly: “Do you really think I needed a back door?”

Grinning, Zhang Siyi immediately said: “There was no need. You only had to look towards your father for one. Hehe.”

Gu Yu: “…..”

On the surface, Gu Yu remained calm, however at heart, he wanted to die. He reached over and cut himself a piece of red meat from Zhang Siyi’s dinner plate. He coughed slightly and said: “The environment at Borderless is really good. If we were at a different company, we might not be so free.”

Since Gu Yu had a position at Borderless, he was thankful for the power that came with the office. That way, Gu Yu was able to approach Zhang Siyi and facilitate their relationship.

Squinting, Zhang Siyi questioned: “What festival is next weekend? Why did the director ask you over for dinner?”

Gu Yu joked: “I don’t know. Maybe he wants to introduce me to a marriageable girl.”

Zhang Siyi didn’t find it funny: “Really?”

Gu Yu smiled at Zhang Siyi and said: “Well, I am not sure. He asked me to consider my goals in life as I am near thirty and then invited me to dinner.”

Zhang Siyi: “……”

Gu Yu continued: “He has a daughter named Liu Yuyan who is one year younger than me. Her nickname is Yanyan. Ten years ago after high school, she went to France to study art and has since lived there to work.”

Hearing Gu Yu mention the Chief’s daughter, Zhang Siyi scrunched up his face and asked: “Have you seen her?”

Gu Yu: “We have met. I feel that she has a strong personality and is a very opinionated girl. The Chief mentioned today that she is returning to China and they are having a family luncheon for her and that I should come.”

Puffing up his cheeks, Zhang Siyi is ready to explode. Damn it!

….. The Chief really must be trying to set up his daughter with Gu Yu! Gu Yu is such good material as a son-in-law, who wouldn’t want to set him up with their own daughter!

….. Ahhhh, I hope Gu Yu won’t go! But I can’t say something so willful!

Observing Zhang Siyi facial expressions, Gu Yu was enjoying Zhang Siyi’s jealous behavior. Smiling he playfully asked: “Would you like to go with me?”

Zhang Siyi lost his appetite. Hearing Gu Yu ask, he felt nervous: “Ah?”

Gu Yu raised an eyebrow: ” I thought you would mind, so I will take you to meet Yanyan. When you see her family, I can introduce you properly to the Chief so he won’t have any strange ideas.”

Gu Yu was so candid and serious, Zhang Siyi was shocked senseless: “You, you… Are you crazy it!? I’m not going!!!”

Gu Yu raised his hand to block his stifled laugh and wide grin: “So jealous. I offered, but you dare not come. Are you afraid?”

Zhang Siyi: “……” If he really did go, would they still have a job afterwards?

Becoming serious, Gu Yu put away his smile and said: “Okay, ok… enough teasing. Actually, I wanted to explain the relationship between my father and the director and let you know that I have been to their home many times in the past and they have never suggested pairing Yanyan and myself. At the beginning of the year, I also heard the Chief complain about his daughter finding a foreigner boyfriend in France. She is probably already in a serious relationship.”

Feeling depressed, Zhang Siyi mechanically inserted a piece of meat into his mouth.

Gu Yu: “The good intention of elders is difficult to ignore. Since he didn’t say anything about it, I will wait and see what happens. I hope the invitation is simply out of concern.”

A few days later, Zhang Siyi was busy in the extreme that he felt like a never-ending spinning top and didn’t have time to ponder the issues revolving around Gu Yu’s dinner.

At the company during the day, Zhang Siyi was hard at work drawing for the hotel project. When he got home at night, he had to help Gu Yu make the itinerary for the company’s trip to Japan. They settled on going to Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto with spare time to explore the surrounding area of the city.

Upon completion, Gu Yu transferred twenty yuan saying that it was an extra bonus for helping him make the plans for the trip.

Incredulous, Zhang Siyi looked at him with a blank expression on his face. – For thirty minutes, I got five-hundred. I diligently worked for many days researching cities and making plans and for all of that effort, Gu Yu only gave me twenty bucks! Fuck! Are you trying to teach me to make money through that special kind of service?

Seemingly reading Zhang Siyi mind, Gu Yu explained as a matter of course: “The itinerary can be done by anyone, but only you can perform that kind of service.”

Zhang Siyi was speechless.

After ten days, the weekend Gu Yu was to go to the Chief Director’s home arrived. Since he was going to an elder’s home, Gu Yu couldn’t dress too casually. Looking over Gu Yu’s handsome appearance, Zhang Siyi took him into his arms, held him close and kissed him deeply than proclaimed his sovereignty: “Remember, you are mine.”

_______________________________

助理建筑师 羲和清零 144

Assistant Architect by Xi He Qing Ling

Chapter 144: The Fun

______________________

Thinking Gu Yu was angry, Zhang Siyi was surprised at Gu Yu’s heartfelt confession. Becoming emotional, Zhang Siyi didn’t know what to say. Instead, he reached out to touch Gu Yu’s heart. Although clothes separated them, Zhang Siyi could feel the steadfast heart of the man he loved. Not only could he feel his physical heartbeat, but the connection he had with his soul as well. Gazing into Gu Yu’s eyes. Zhang Siyi fell for him all over again.

Every day, his love grew stronger. From the beginning at the start of his confession in April, to the unexpected arrival in Lijiang, to the first big argument, and yesterday’s spat and reconciliation… It turns out that loving a person is unstoppable like the limitless graph of a positive quadratic function.

He will never be able to separate himself from Gu Yu during his life ever!

Reaching out and wrapping his arms around Gu Yu’s slightly larger body, Zhang Siyi pulled him into his embrace and held him close: “I know, I will learn to believe in you.”

The two men gazed into each other eyes for a moment before they kissed tenderly. Gu Yu reached out to caressed Zhang Siyi’s face and smiled: “Are you satisfied now? Do you have any more questions?”

 “No, I don’t. I believe in you.” Zhang Siyi gave Gu Yu a tight squeeze and then said: “I was a little curious about your past. That’s all.”

“I’ll tell you more about it later.” Gu Yu slid his finger to Zhang Siyi’s nose and bopped it: “Even though we are considered a pair as part of the game in the company, are you still getting jealous over Tao Fei and my Senior Sister? Are you unsatisfied?”

Suddenly, Zhang Siyi lifted his legs and wrapped them around Gu Yu’s waist, immobilizing him. Full of possessiveness, he said: “We are a pair! You are mine.”

Since Zhang Siyi’s ardor actions caught him by surprise, Gu Yu laid there stiffly. Gazing at him, desire grew and taking advantage of the situation he relaxed and used the weight of his head to place his lips onto Zhang Siyi’s lips and kissed him deeply.

With a racing heart and turning red, Zhang Siyi let out a “Mmm”. Before things went any further, he quickly released Gu Yu. He said: “We should finish making the plans,” and then Zhang Siyi pushed him away.

Leaning on his elbow and propping himself up, Gu Yu smirked and gave Zhang Siyi a funny look.

Sitting upright at the small table, Zhang Siyi was annoyed at himself. He wanted to know why, when Gu Yu made his desire clear, he acted like a young shy maiden every time. He is a man! Can’t he go back!? (ˋ_ˊ)

…… If I had known, I should have gossiped about the pumpkin. Then I might have seen his embarrassment instead!

As they continued researching destinations, they happily discussed their plans. The time flew by without them realizing it and it was time to wash and get some rest.

After lying down, Zhang Siyi checked his phone for social media updates and discovered a deposit of five-hundred yuan in his account. He clicked on the entry in his banking ledger for more information and found the money had been transferred by Gu Yu this morning.

“Hey, you gave me money? Why is it so much?” Zhang Siyi questioned strangely.

Gu Yu leaned over, embraced him and softly said: “Your behavior last night improved the quality of our lives so this is my reward.”

Zhang Siyi:“……” Ah! So good! More opportunities to make our quality of life better!

…… Wait a minute, Isn’t there something wrong with this way of thinking!? (=_=)

…… Shit! What is the difference between Gu Yu giving him money for yesterday’s activities and getting  paid for ‘that-kind-of-service’!?

……No, no, no. That can’t be true. Maybe Gu Yu didn’t mean it like that!

…… It shouldn’t feel so nice to get rewarded like this!

Feeling irritated, Zhang Siyi used his thumbs to quickly type on his mobile phone. After a moment, Gu Yu’s phone chimed.

Hearing the phone, Gu Yu let go of Zhang Siyi and reached over to the bedside table to pick it up. Seeing a notification from him he asked: “What’s this?” When he unlocked the phone and looked at the details, he saw that Zhang Siyi had sent him money; only fifty yuan.

Zhang Siyi smirked and said: “Your service payment.” Feeling generous, he added: “Keep the change.”

Ha-Ha! Zhang Siyi thought he had the perfect idea. Now that each had given money, they were even. He can’t be the only one feeling like a rent-boy! Unexpectedly, Gu Yu suddenly smiled and asked: “Is my service only worth fifty dollars?”

Zhang Siyi put his phone on the bedside table and shrunk into the bed: “Fifty bucks isn’t enough?” Zhang Siyi still felt like yesterday, he lost in a big way.

Gu Yu muffed his laughter and said: “It’s enough. According to your math, the price of thirty minutes is five hundred dollars and the price for three minutes is fifty. I have no objections to the price.”

Zhang Siyi: “……”

Gu Yu pulled Zhang Siyi into his arms and nibbled on his ear. He whispered softly for only Zhang Siyi to hear: “I hope you can let me give you a thousand dollars for next time.”

Zhang Siyi: “………” Go to hell! (╯‵皿’)╯(┻━┻

Sleeping soundly until dawn, Zhang Siyi got up and arrived at the company early. He could hear his colleagues happily talk about Japan as they each arrived at work and walked to their desks. Thinking about yesterday’s research, he couldn’t help but smile at himself. -Hey, I’m the master who has the power to organized your ultimate itinerary!

In the morning, Gu Yu sent an additional message to remind everyone to work hard. If anyone didn’t complete their work beforehand, they would have to cancel their trip.

In reality, even if someone delayed their work, they would have to wait for the visa to come through and thus not worry about missing the trip. However, Gu Yu’s news gave them a sense of urgency. The group members became a little nervous so they quieted down and diligently went back to work with a serious attitude.

Being used to traveling from time to time, Zhang Siyi didn’t feel as excited about the trip to Japan as the rest of his colleagues did. Even if he hadn’t already traveled to many places, he didn’t have the luxury to think about the trip at the moment as he and Tao Fei were drowning in work to complete for their resort project. They will have made a report on the project on the eve of the tour.

In the beginning, after only a few months on the job, Gu Yu allowed him to specialize in small floor plan design for a short period. Now, combined with his experience inside luxury hotels, Zhang Siyi easily grasped the internal dimensions of these residential spaces. He knew what the ergonomic basis and size limitations were when designing the hotel villas. In addition, using his experience drawing blueprints for his office design, putting together the villa designs was like a sixth grader going back to do homework from fourth grade.

Zhang Siyi started with a villa shape according to what he saw and heard in Yunnan. In order to add local features and details to highlight his drawings, he repeatedly looked at both his own photographs from his trip to Yunnan, as well as rummaging through all of the classic villa design case books and reference materials from the company’s library to supplement his information and find inspiration for his design.

Once he took the time to figured out one of the villas, the rest of them were draw effortlessly. Quickly, more than half of the drawing was completed.

This is the most difficult phase of the whole design process because there are rules to follow. Once they are mastered, with experience, one can easily create improvements in a design within the scope of the regulations.

If the goal is to achieve a unique exterior building, one can’t copy motifs and ideas from other buildings then mechanically and loosely patch them together. Only by thinking about what inspires them, can one follow through with their own ideas to create a new building with their own characteristics and thus cultivate their own design aesthetic.

During this busy time, Zhang Siyi once again thought of the words Gu Yu’s father said to him this year:  “You must constantly arm yourself with knowledge and skills and mature as fast as possible. When you get there, you will know the fun of doing architectural design.”

Yes, in the tenth month of employment, Zhang Siyi finally realized the truth of his statement. After some accumulation of knowledge and experience, he finally felt the fun of doing design.

Gu Yu told him before that designing is like playing a game that utilizes the permutations and combinations within a limited set of rules to find the most effective solution. But Zhang Siyi doesn’t feel this to be true anymore. The higher architectural designers should be equivalent to magicians. Not only can they figure out the most utilitarian plan, they can also transform any ugly building into something magnificent and beautiful.

Just as the meaning of the English word architecture was originally defined as ‘master builder’, with enough accumulated knowledge and experience, an architect can build the world!

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助理建筑师 羲和清零 143

Assistant Architect by Xi He Qing Ling

Chapter 143: Coupled

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When Zhang Siyi was pushed to the floor, he instinctively struggled and resisted, but once Gu Yu lips met his own, he relaxed then passionately kissed him back. As he intertwined his tongue with Gu Yu’s, Zhang Siyi desperately wanted more. As if their intimacy wasn’t enough, he wanted to become one with Gu Yu.

…… to become one?

When the idea popped into his mind, Zhang Siyi was startled. Strange. Yesterday, he felt ashamed and uncomfortable with their bathroom activities, but now, he was anxious to be connected with Gu Yu.

….. This feeling, born from love, let it be natural and heartfelt.

It was only a momentary thought and soon Zhang Siyi channeled his emotions into actions and expressed his desire.

With how detail-oriented Gu Yu is, whether he was thinking about work, his life or making his lover feel good, he made sure all aspects were thoroughly examined, thoughtfully processed, then put into action in the most beneficial way.

As if he was filling up a personal database, Gu Yu has patiently prodded all of Zhang Siyi sensitive spots and by paying close attention to his lover’s reactions, he could file away the most useful information to be used at a later date.

Zhang Siyi is different. Although Zhang Siyi was very enthusiastic about his sexual relations with Gu Yu now, perhaps it is as Tao Fei said; the influence of dopamine and hormones. No one knows what will happen when the effect passes. Will Zhang Siyi suddenly sober up and feel disgusted at his homosexual relationship?

Even after Gu Yu made a solemn declaration on the day of their confession, he gave Zhang Siyi the right to refuse. If Zhang Siyi hadn’t returned his feelings, he wouldn’t have forced Zhang Siyi. All Gu Yu can do is cherish every moment he had with Zhang Siyi and with the greatest patience, let Zhang Siyi deeply feel the enjoyment of being together.

Whether it is the muscles in the body or the brain, all of them have memory. In the future, Gu Yu wants Zhang Siyi to associate only the most pleasant memories through his body and spirit with their intimate time together. Gu Yu couldn’t tolerate any negative feelings, so he gradually and carefully exposed Zhang Siyi to male intimacy. Proceeding step by step, he took action and observed Zhang Siyi reactions to make sure there wasn’t a hint of revulsion.

Since Zhang Siyi was feeling so enthusiastic, he willingly surrendered himself and had no difficulties in repeating yesterday’s events on the floor with Gu Yu.

Afterwards, the two of them held each other for a long time, gently kissing and chatting. Zhang Siyi remembered the ‘real-fake-play’ that Tao Fei mentioned to him during the day and asked Gu Yu about it.

Gu Yu smiled and said: “He really knows me.”

Listening to Gu Yu, Zhang Siyi felt a tinge of jealousy: “He told me you two were considered a couple in college. Why?”

Gu Yu: “When I was at university the students would select the most handsome and beautiful person from the department in private as an idol couple. I don’t know how popular it was at your school.”

“Yes, in high school, but not abroad. It’s not popular in foreign countries.” Zhang Siyi caressed Gu Yu’s face and then pinched his cheek. Acting flirty, he was honest: “You are so handsome, you must have been the department’s idol.”

Smiling at him, Gu Yu grabbed Zhang Siyi’s restless hand and kissed him. He continued: “The most handsome and beautiful winners were often coupled together as a joke. When I first went to university, the department beauty was a senior. After she graduated, another girl took her place, but while she was kind and had a good personality, she couldn’t match the beauty of the previous senior. When she graduated, Tao Fei was in his first year. As you could have imagined, he was selected as the department’s most beautiful because he was more beautiful than the previous girl.

“Pfft…….” Tao Fei really has a face that allows men and women to regard him as an imaginary enemy!

Gu Yu continued to patiently tell Zhang Siyi about the time he spent with Tao Fei at school, including their experience in doing projects together. He also told Zhang Siyi about the many temper tantrums that Tao Fei threw.

With one casual question, Zhang Siyi wasn’t expecting such a lengthily and detailed explanation. He was really enjoying Gu Yu’s treatment. Laying next to each other on the floor, Zhang Siyi rolled onto his side to put his arm around Gu Yu and snuggled in closer to him.

The Gu Yu now was completely different from the Gu Yu who had played Truth or Dare with him. At that time in the past, Gu Yu often teased him and bullied him. Unlike before, it was so easy to ask questions and discuss various topics with him.

Like a kitten who poked his head into things, touching and scratching to confirm the safety of the environment, Zhang Siyi placed himself into Gu Yu’s secure world.

Thinking of Gu Yu’s abnormal tone when he first mentioned the Department’s most beautiful, laying on the floor Zhang Siyi asked:” Where you also a pair with the senior sister?”

After laughing out loud, Gu Yu turned his head to gaze at Zhang Siyi and said with a smile: “We were only friends. There was nothing more.”

Gu Yu gaze and smile made Zhang Siyi feel like Gu Yu read his thoughts. He knew that there was nothing, but since he didn’t know anything about Gu Yu’s previous 28 years, he couldn’t stop himself from asking about it. “Tao Fei also mentioned during your sophomore year, you participated in many competitions with your seniors…. Was that girl involved?”

Gu Yu looked at him funny. However, he answered him honestly “Yes.” Gu Yu didn’t feel he had any past deeds that he needed to hide from Zhang Siyi. Anyways, any information that Zhang Siyi tried to dig up, would be sincerely given.

Being possessive, Zhang Siyi said: “Oh? That school sister was very good and treated you so well!”

Gu Yu saw Zhang Siyi’s prostrate chin with a jealous expression on his face and couldn’t help but smile broadly at him. The jealous person eats vinegar, but the target of jealousy eats honey.

“Yes, she was very kind to me.” Gu Yu frankly and nonchalantly explained: “When I first entered school, she lent me her study notes. As we got closer, she shared all of her knowledge of architecture including design materials and books. We competed together in the first competition of my college career and it was from a party at her place, that I connected with people in the industry. When she graduated, she also sent me more than 300 very good professional books.”

Zhang Siyi: “……”  -Why is she so good to Gu Yu! Does she like him!

Gu Yu looked directly at Zhang Siyi and continuously praised her: “She is very smart and beautiful, warm and generous, knowledgeable, understanding and one of the best friends I know.”

Zhang Siyi: “!!” Unbelievable! He thought so deeply for her and summed up so many advantages! Gu Yu clearly said he didn’t have relations with any girls that were close to him, but was he deluding himself?

Gu Yu added: “She went to Yale after graduation and graduated the year before I did. She now works in a famous American architectural firm. Even after all his time, we are still friends and remain in contact with one another.”

Zhang Siyi: “!!!!” No! He’s losing his cool! He’s going to be jealous! He’s going to blow up!

Gu Yu smiled wickedly and suddenly pulled Zhang Siyi chin closer. He lowered his head and lightly pecked Zhang Siyi on the lips: “But I don’t like her. I only like you.”

Zhang Siyi: “………” (t////t) Toying with me! Too foul!

Wishing to see both Zhang Siyi’s angry pent-up expression as well as his eyes of devotion, Gu Yu teased him mercilessly. As he played around with Zhang Siyi’s emotions, Zhang Siyi expressions rapidly changed and Gu Yu was rewarded. With both hands on his own abdomen, Gu Yu laughed boisterously on the floor next to Zhang Siyi. When he calmed down, he propped himself up on his elbow and said: “Little fool, let me tell you a secret.”

Zhang Siyi:“…… Hmm?”

Gu Yu leaned down and said: “When we became a couple, I told her about our first time. She is happy for us and said she wants to meet you when she returns to China at Christmas.”

Blushing deeply, Zhang Siyi said: “She knows you are gay?”

Gu Yu: “Well, more than that. She is the first friend that I came out to.”

Zhang Siyi was a bit surprised: “Oh?”

Gu Yu: “I started to doubt my sexuality when I was in high school, but I didn’t confirm it at that time. I just deluded myself into thinking that I was simply a cold person with no genes for love. After going to college, there were many instances of desire that welled up from within me, but it was very confusing and painful at the time since I was only ever attracted to men. There was this one time I was talking with her and I ended up inadvertently confiding in this matter. She not only did not discriminate against me, but she also helped me evaluate and accept the truth about myself…… To be honest, to have met her at such a difficult period of my life was very fortunate.”

This was also the first time that Zhang Siyi had listened to Gu Yu explain the history of his sexual orientation.

Since Gu Yu was the highest ranked student in the school and with his handsome features, Zhang Siyi assumed there were many cultural expectations from his peers that were placed on his shoulders. Knowing Gu Yu’s personality, when he discovered his sexual abnormality, he probably went through a period of self-torment and denial. Zhang Siyi can’t imagine how difficult a period it must have been for him.

If Zhang Siyi hadn’t known Gu Yu was gay, if he didn’t learn that Gu Yu liked him, if Gu Yu never reached out his hand and held onto him, Zhang Siyi wouldn’t have considered a relationship with another man. Zhang Siyi grabbed hold of Gu Yu and clung to him dearly giving rise to a feeling of mutual salvation. From now on, Gu Yu is his and he will never let go.

Hugging each other silently, Zhang Siyi’s curiosity got the better of him and asked: ”When you were in college who was it that you lusted after?”

Gu Yu: “At our college the students needed to take a physical education elective so I chose a course in the International Standard of Ballroom Dancing. There was a boy in the class with a similar physique as yours. Every time he danced, his shirt wouldn’t stay tucked into his pants and as a result his flexible waist was exposed.” Gu Yu’s hand unconsciously moved to Zhang Siyi’s waist, caressed him and smiled.

Zhang Siyi: “…”

Dodging Gu Yu’s movement, Zhang Siyi hurriedly asked another question: “Why didn’t you go after the boy? “

“He wasn’t as handsome as you are.” Gu Yu finally said something that made Zhang Siyi feel happy, but he didn’t have more than a moment to think about it because Gu Yu examined Zhang Siyi from head to toe and then said: “I bet the twists you do will be more attractive than his.” He reached out a grabbed Zhang Siyi sides and tickled him.

Zhang Siyi: “…”  Shit, Gu Yu’s eyes are so intense. Zhang Siyi twisted and wriggled from his grasp then squinted at Gu Yu and imagined him doing those sultry dance moves……  Fuck, he is going to have a nosebleed!

Zhang Siyi adverted his gaze, and looked down at Gu Yu’s chin than changed the subject once again: “When you were still at the other Architectural Firm, I heard you were chased by a female designer that was eight years older than you.”

Gu Yu said: “You know all of this?”

Zhang Siyi let out a “humph” and said: “Who is the one that’s so famous.”

Gu Yu pinched his nose: “It seems that you secretly asked a lot about me.”

Zhang Siyi wrinkled his face: “Who asked? The information was passed along by colleagues in the company.”

Gu Yu suddenly propped up himself and raised his eyebrows : “Who is spreading gossip? Too much play time and not enough work. Is that it? I’ll have to find out who it is and severely punish them.”

Zhang Si Yi was shocked. He was afraid of involving Bi Lele and himself. He hurriedly replied: “I don’t remember.”

As soon as he gave it more thought, Zhang Siyi felt that there wasn’t something right. Gu Yu’s responded very normally and yet, asking this was a problem? There must be something fishy going on!

Zhang Siyi immediately bulged his face: “Is there something you are hiding?”

Gu Yu deliberately baited him and seeing how easily Zhang Siyi bit, he decided he needed to set him straight: “Are you so gullible that you would listen to gossip?”

Zhang Siyi is a little guilty: “I, I do not.”

Gu Yu paused and explained: “When I was in X Firm, there was indeed a female designer who was older than me and expressed interest in me. I also explicitly rejected her. The female designer is a very good person, but some rumors spread saying she couldn’t take the rejection, started stalking me and as a result, I had to leave the Firm and come to Borderless. It is just gossip. I don’t know which version you have heard, but I’m very disgusted with those rumors. I have zero-tolerance for such behavior and I expect my subordinates to do the same.”

Zhang Siyi not only felt guilty for his own behavior but also, he felt worried for Bi Lele. Indeed, Bi Lele’s understanding of Gu Yu is not as good as his so how can he use it to question Gu Yu?

Watching Zhang Siyi’s diminutive bow and expression, Gu Yu knew Zhang Siyi was sorry. Gu Yu grabbed his hand and pressed it on his heart and softly and tenderly spoke to him: “Zhang Siyi, listen, I can tell you the answer to any question you might have, but you have to learn to trust me. I’ve told you that I like you. Only you. I’ve said I didn’t like girls before. I really don’t. I’ve said that I want to be together with you for the rest of our lives. I really do. I’ve mentioned this before. Being together is a difficult path to take in life. The hardest part about it, isn’t us, but the pressure and ridicule from outsiders. A large part of the issue is the gossip and slander of others. If you are so easily influenced by others’ comments and views, then even I can’t protect you…. Which is why I sincerely hope that from this moment on, you can learn to strengthen yourself and put an end to all external factors that may affect your mood, and personally feel for yourself how much I love you.”

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