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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助理建筑师 羲和清零 191

Assistant Architect by Xi He Qing Ling

Chapter 191: Sister

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Zhang Siyi wasn’t sure why he came out to Bai Rui on impulse as he wasn’t close enough to even be considered a friend. Little by little, Bai Rui narrative softened Zhang Siyi’s resolve. In fact, learning about Bai Rui heartache and suffering, made him think that Bai Rui must be very lonely as he didn’t have someone to confide in. Maybe, he really just wanted to be friends.

Like Lu Qiao, who talked to a tree in desperation and Su Yuan, who was exhausted by reality, sometimes an encouraging sympathetic voice of another can help pull someone from despair.

Since homosexuality is a minority, it less common to meet others who are also gay. When encountering someone of the same orientation, unlike the common person who might be malicious, Zhang Siyi would naturally reach out to help otherwise he would feel regretful. Since his deceit went on long enough, Zhang Siyi started feeling bad about it and as a result he explained everything.

He simply expressed himself: “About that day I spoke with Su Yuan, I don’t think I said anything special. I’m just a normal person. Actually, a lot of what I spoke about with her was knowledge that my boyfriend taught me. Without his help and guidance, I might have ended up like Su Yuan.”

Bai Rui: “…”

Zhang Siyi continued: “Also, the person who guessed your sexuality wasn’t me. I just thought you were a annoying for wanting the money from a few cups of coffee. Your antics made me quite angry. When I told my boyfriend, he saw your avatar and identified the painting by a known gay artist.

Bai Rui: “His name is Francis Bacon.”

Zhang Siyi: “Right; and your WeChat nickname. Putting two and two together, he thought you might be gay and therefore, at the time, I assumed you were knowingly deceiving Ren Mengyu. It is something a jerk would do.”

Bai Rui: “…”

Bai Rui: “When I chatted with you, you always seemed so elusive and different.”

Zhang Siyi: “In the afternoon, didn’t he inform you of all of this?” ╮(╯_╰)╭

Bai Rui: “…I thought you were joking.”

Bai Rui: “But I have to say, your boyfriend is very possessive. I haven’t even done anything and he shields you.” [Smiles]

Even though Zhang Siyi knew Gu Yu watched him like a hawk, hearing another person talk about how much Gu Yu watched over him made his heart swell.

Bai Rui: “It’s extraordinary that he recognized Francis Bacon’s painting.”

Zhang Siyi gladly boasted about Gu Yu: “He minored in the history of Western art and easily identified the painting with one glance!”

Bai Rui: “Pass me his WeChat ID so I can friend him.”

Zhang Siyi was alert: “What? Why?”

Bai Rui: “He sounds like a very interesting person and I want be friends with him too.”

Feeling threatened, Zhang Siyi blew up in a flash: “Fuck off!”  What the hell! Is Bai Rui now targeting Gu Yu?

Bai Rui: “Why are you so fierce. I’m not going to hit on your boyfriend.”

Bai Rui: “Believe me. It is simply to discuss some art topics.”  [Smiles]

Zhang Siyi: “…”

Bai Rui: “Actually, don’t tell me. I can probably guess. Since he had your mobile phone with him during work, he must be someone at your company. Was it one of the guys I met the first time I went to your office?”

Zhang Siyi: “…” Shit! What kind of pit did he dig for himself?

Bai Rui: “The long hair, beautiful one, or your director?”

Panicking, Zhang Siyi was at a loss. He clicked on Bai Rui’s avatar and click -> contact deleted.

Very good, the world is better once again. (=_=)

…… Damn it! I should have done this before!

As Zhang Siyi finished up, the train pulled into the subway station that he needed to get off at in order to pick up Gu Yao. Walking up onto ground level, he rounded a corner and saw Gu Yao being stopped by a man in a suit.

In a hurry, Zhang Siyi rushed over to her and stopping in front of her, he blocked the man: “What are you doing?”

The man was startled by Zhang Siyi arrival and involuntarily took a step backwards.

Zhang Siyi inspected the man in from of him. Wearing a well-tailored suit, he had small eyes, sharp eyebrows and large nostrils. Presumably, he was the man that was stalking Gu Yao.

When Gu Yao saw him arrive, she was surprised and exclaimed: “Second Brother!”

With Gu Yao behind him, Zhang Siyi guarded her and asked: “Why did he stop you?”

Gu Yao whispered: “He asked me if I received his gifts and why I hadn’t returned his messages.”

Zhang Siyi knows, by no means is the word ‘indifferent’ too much to describe Gu Yao’s feelings towards the man. In private she wanted nothing to do with him, but the problem is that the man has the potential to use his business accounts to hinder the company. As a result, on the surface Gu Yao has to remain courteous and polite. Since her boss told the front desk to refuse his gifts, the man is probably feeling irritated.

“Ah, so this is second Gu brother.” With a condescending smile, the man pulled out a packet of cigarettes from the inside of his suit and handed one to him.

Zhang Siyi scowled: “I don’t smoke.”

The man reclaimed the cigarette then reached for a business card from within his pocket and handed it to Zhang Siyi. It read: Jiang Zhanpeng CEO, IC investment company.

Inspecting the card, his title was quite impressive, however because of his recent behavior, especially now that he was physically coming in contact with her, Zhang Siyi didn’t respect him at all.

While handing Zhang Siyi the card, Jian Zhanpeng asked: “Where is Elder brother Gu? It is too crowded here to talk. Let us find a quiet place to sit and chat.”

Zhang Siyi didn’t come to chat and refused directly: “No. I’m here to pick up my sister so we can go home to eat dinner together.”

Jiang Zhanpeng squinted and said: “I noticed you haven’t been picking her up these last few days. Yesterday was Gu Yao’s elder brother? You are also very handsome. It is no wonder that Gu Yao doesn’t notice me.”

Gu Yao: “…”

Jiang Zhanpeng pointed to the car parked not far away and offered: “My car is parked over there. Where do you live? I will drive you home. Since you must be busy with your job, do you even have the extra time outside of work to get your sister? You and your brother don’t have to go out of your way after work anymore. Instead, I can make sure she gets home safe and sound every day.”

Zhang Siyi’s eyes are twitching. Does this person really not know that they came to pick up her up just to prevent him? ……I know of stalkers, but I’ve never seen someone so obsessed before! No wonder Gu Yao is bothered by his behavior so much.

Taking a deep breath Zhang Siyi bluntly commented: “Jiang Zhanpeng, I’ve heard my sister mention you. She has already made it very clear to you what her intentions are. Why are you continuing to bother her?”

Jiang Zhanpeng face changed. He smirked and asked Zhang Siyi: “There is one thing that I’m not sure of and I want to ask second Gu brother to clarify. Does Gu Yao have a boyfriend?”

Zhang Siyi hesitated then replied: “No.”

Jiang Zhanpeng pointed to her then pointed to himself: “We live in a modern society now with free love. I don’t have a girlfriend and she doesn’t have a boyfriend, so why can’t I pursue her?”

Zhang Siyi: “…”  

Jiang Zhanpeng continued: “I guess there must be a misunderstanding between us. I just wanted to ask your sister out to dinner. Is that so terrible?”

Clutching Zhang Siyi arm tightly, Gu Yao was already panicking. Afraid he would move, she squeezed Zhang Siyi’s arm even tighter.

Frowning Zhang Siyi had to think of something quick. Gu Yao already refused him clearly. He was there to support her, but now it has turned upside down because he has made Zhang Siyi out to be the evil ‘parent’ blocking free love.

Thinking about how to refute him, Zhang Siyi felt like he was having heart palpitations. He suddenly heard his name being called not far away – “Sisi!”

Looking in the direction from which his name was called, he saw a silver-gray Lamborghini sports car parked on the side of the road. A familiar figure was coming towards him.

Zhang Siyi: “…… He Chengtian?”

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助理建筑师 羲和清零 190

Assistant Architect by Xi He Qing Ling

Chapter 190: Honesty

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The reason why it was so easy to identify Zhang Siyi’s phone was because his phone case was rather unique; Luffy from One Piece.

Yuan Zhicheng didn’t react much: “Maybe he dropped it here?”

Bi Lele’s mind was churning. She didn’t think that was possible because a persons’ phone was very private. If Zhang Siyi had dropped it, Gu Yu would be the first to give it back. Bi Lele wasn’t one-hundred percent sure. It was possible they used the same case. However, thinking about it further, Bi Lele thought it was even more unlikely because that would mean they had a matching case, like couples do.

Bi Lele shook her head to snap out of her imagination and placed the file back over the phone. For a while, the phone continued to buzz. After five-minutes, Gu Yu stepped back into his office. Bi Lele spoke up: “Boss, your phone just rang.”

Glancing in the direction of Zhang Siyi’s phone, Gu Yu made a ‘hmm’ sound and didn’t reach for it. His calm response made Bi Lele feel embarrassed.

After talking about the project, the two of them left Gu Yu’s office. Just as Bi Lele was about to close the door, she suddenly remembered something and turned back. She caught a glimpse of Gu Yu’s movement that seemed strange. He had taken the phone buried underneath the file, opened his desk drawer, and threw the phone into it.

Without change, Gu Yu calmly asked: “Was there something else?”

“Before the Design Institute’s involvement, the client had other designs. Do we want to find out more about the preliminary plans?” Bi Lele asked.

Gu Yu replied: “No need. They are seeking a different solution. If you look at other’s design ideas, they might inadvertently affect your own ideas. It is better to start fresh.”

Bi Lele: “Ok then. I understand.”

Bi Lele returned to her desk and thought about what she had just witnessed. The likelihood of Zhang Siyi’s phone ‘falling’ in Gu Yu’s office seemed impossible. She turned to look at Zhang Siyi who was head down, concentrating on his work. She couldn’t stop herself from imagining different scenarios……

From the drawer, Gu Yu reached for Zhang Siyi again. There was a strange number listed on the caller ID with an earlier time-stamp. At the same time, there were two recent messages sent in WeChat.

Bai Rui: “You can’t fool me.”

Bai Rui: “What two people? Why didn’t you pick up when I called you?”

Laughing and snorting, Gu Yu immediately turned off the phone and put it back in the drawer.

When the work day ended, Gu Yu took out Zhang Siyi’s phone and scrolled through the log. During the afternoon, Bai Rui attempted to make one phone call, sent one text message, and three messages on social media.

Bai Rui: “Are you ignoring me?”

Bai Rui: “I’ll come to your office to find you.”

Bai Rui: “What time do you get off work?”

Alarmed, Gu Yu raised his brow. The directedness with which Bai Rui pursued Zhang Siyi, was surprising. Was Bai Rui that anxious to meet Zhang Siyi when they hardly know each other? It was a vast contrast to his own pursuit of Zhang Siyi.

Gu Yu quickly replied: “I don’t have time to go out to eat dinner and don’t come to my office. I hardly know you and it would be inappropriate for you to come meet me at work.”

Bai Rui: “…”

As usual, Gu Yu met Zhang Siyi at their usual meeting place in the subway station. At the area near the twelve-car door, it was farthest from the stairwell. The chances of colliding with colleagues was slim. At peak times, even the last section of the car was crowded.

Looking out for Gu Yu like a hawk, when Zhang Siyi saw him, he excitedly rushed through the crowd to catch up to him. He put his hand out: “Mobile phone.”

After Gu Yu returned his phone, Zhang Siyi read through the chat record. He started to panic: “He called!?”

Gu Yu: “Well, I didn’t answer. Today, Bi Lele almost saw your phone on my desk so you should keep it with you now.”

Zhang Siyi: “What should I do if I get another message from Bai Rui?”

Gu Yu: “It is better if you don’t reply to him at all. The more you care about him, the more influence he has on you and the more you get swept away by his rhythm. If you don’t care, he becomes nonessential. I took your cell phone away before to prevent you from being distracted at work.  Your emotions are too susceptible to suggestions and your mood is easily stimulated by others.”

Gu Yu’s lecture was right! Opening and closing his fist, Zhang Siyi felt like he was being led around by Bai Rui by his nose. However, when he looks at the dialog between Gu Yu and Bai Rui, Gu Yu is the one with the upper hand.

Gu Yu clapped Zhang Siyi on the back with his hand, laughing: “In short, learn to control it.”

Zhang Siyi clenched his fist and said: “Teach me!”

Since it was Zhang Siyi’s turn to pick up Gu Yao today, he parted ways with Gu Yu after two subway stops. Gu Yu continued on the train to go home and make dinner. Just as he left, Zhang Siyi felt his phone vibrate.

Bai Rui: “What is wrong with having dinner together?”

Zhang Siyi: “…” Ignore him…. hold back.

Bai Rui: “I’m confused. Are you afraid of me?” [Smiles]

The veins on Zhang Siyi’s forehead are popping out …. Endure!

Bai Rui: ” Are you afraid that I will poison you? Or, are you afraid that I will eat you?” [Smiles]

Zhang Siyi: “…” Don’t reply! Hold back!

………… Aah, aah! I can’t help it!  (╯‵□’)╯(┻━┻

Zhang Siyi: “Who is afraid of you!!!”

Now that he broke his resolve, Zhang Siyi began to regret his impulsiveness.

As Zhang Siyi was scratching his head, Bai Rui sent a long message: “Zhang Siyi, I really think you are a very interesting person. I sincerely want to become friends with you. I don’t have ulterior motives. I’ve tried to reach out many times, but you just ignored me, which make me feel frustrated. If you aren’t afraid of me, do you hate me?”

Staring at the phone, Zhang Siyi tried to convince himself to simply ignore him, but putting his thoughts into action proved more difficult. He couldn’t control his own nature especially when he saw how sincere Bai Rui was being.

After an inward struggle, Zhang Siyi finally gave in and frankly replied: “You are annoying.”

Bai Rui: “Why? Because of the two hundred dollars of coffee?”

Although his original ordeal with the coffee was irritating, Zhang Siyi certainly didn’t mean to admit that.

Bai Rui: “Do you think I was deceiving Ren Mengyu’s feelings?”

When Zhang Siyi saw his text, he immediately was filled with righteous indignation: “You knew it was cheating!?”

Bai Rui: “So, that’s the reason.”

Zhang Siyi: “…..”  Since he ran to Zhang Siyi for a hook up while dating Ren Mengyu…… isn’t that proof that Bai Rui was a jerk?”

Bai Rui: “I didn’t intend to deceive her in the beginning. I really wanted to try dating her seriously.”

Zhang Siyi was a little confused. Can he really be with Ren Mengyu if he was gay?”

Bai Rui: “Before I met Ren Mengyu, I’ve dated one woman and two men.”

Zhang Siyi: “…… ” The criminal record exposed! (=_=)

Bai Rui: “The first girlfriend made me realize that I am not purely heterosexual and my first boyfriend helped me understand homosexuality correctly. The third relationship…. Well, I thought we would be together for a lifetime, but not long ago he left me to get married ans soon afterwards I met Ren Mengyu. I was earnestly trying to start a new relationship with her to get back on the straight path.”

Reading Bai Rui heartfelt words, Zhang Siyi knew he wasn’t really a bad person. Zhang Siyi sighed. The defensive barrier he kept up dropped instantly and he lowered his guard.

Bai Rui continued: “During this time, I’ve tried my best to cater to all her needs. I’ll admit that I used her to get over my previous relationship, but I also knew she was using me. She liked the image of a good boyfriend I created for her. I’ve tried to share my hobbies with her, but she didn’t seem to care. Our interests didn’t really match so I couldn’t devote myself into the relationship, but most of all, I still couldn’t forget about my ex until now.”

Thinking about being in Bai Rui’s situation, Zhang Siyi can’t imagine how devastated he would feel if Gu Yu left him to marry a woman, or vice versa. Even thinking about it made his heart ache. He started feeling a little sympathetic towards Bai Rui.

Bai Rui: “It was just happenstance that I went to your friend’s reunion, because I was still hesitant with Ren Mengyu at the time and was thinking of breaking up. It was your talk to Su Yuan that let me reflect on my own cowardice.”

“Ah? Why?” Zhang Siyi was somewhat confused. He gave some advice about architecture so Su Yuan wouldn’t give up. What does it have to do with Bai Rui’s relationship problems?

Bai Rui: “Although you were talking about the pursuit of her career, I saw your determination to move forward despite any obstacles and your wholehearted attitude in everything. You said ‘we can’t change the world, but we can stay on our own path.’ I know this all too well and you persuaded Su Yuan with such passion that is was very touching.

Zhang Siyi: “…”

Bai Rui: “I didn’t think I would be schooled by the youngest person at the time, ha-ha.”

Zhang Siyi was a little embarrassed again. Wouldn’t it have been better if Bai Rui talked about these things sooner? Then Zhang Siyi wouldn’t have let his thoughts run wild.

Bai Rui: “I have already made it clear with Ren Mengyu yesterday. Although she is heartbroken now, we didn’t date for long so she will be able to get over it quickly. If she wants to later, we can remain friends.”

Sighing in relief, the weight Zhang Siyi felt on his shoulders was lifted.

Bai Rui: “When I added you in WeChat, I wanted to get your attention. I admit that I was thinking about teasing you because I am very curious about what kind of person you are.” [Smiles]

After listening to Bai Rui’s explanation, his ‘smiles’ doesn’t seem so annoying anymore.

Bai Rui: “However, after talking to you for a few days, I found that you were different. Any time I tried to chat with you, you were too clever and redirected my attempts at getting to know you. It was upsetting.”

After Bai Rui’s deluge of honesty, he didn’t have the heart to deceive him further and felt obligated to return the favor. He sighed and replied: “I’ll tell you the truth. It’s not just me you are chatting with. I have a boyfriend and sometimes he is talking to you.”

Bai Rui: “………”

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助理建筑师 羲和清零 189

Assistant Architect by Xi He Qing Ling

Chapter 189: Break Up

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After returning home, Gu Yu went to his Sister’s room and knocked on her door. For over an hour, the two siblings were in discussion. When Gu Yu came back to his own room, Zhang Siyi was waiting for him. Since he was in a good mood, he assumed Gu Yu had resolved the misunderstanding he had with his sister.

Before Zhang Siyi had time to ask, Gu Yu moved him to the bed and pressed him down affectionately. Their lovemaking was slow and tender. Afterwards he held Zhang Siyi cherished face and gently kissed him. The devotion that was reflected in Gu Yu’s eyes would make anyone’s heart melt.

Zhang Siyi muffled a laugh: “What are you doing? You are being weird today…”

Gu Yu buried his face in Zhang Siyi’s shoulders and gently sucked and kissed his neck.

“Uh…” Zhang Siyi shrunk his neck to ward him off: “Don’t. It tickles.”

Pressing his body close, Gu Yu wrapped Zhang Siyi in his arms in a tight embrace. For a while, he gave Zhang Siyi gentle kisses and caressed him tenderly before whispering in his ear: “I spoke with my friend today regarding Su Yuan’s matter. You can inform her of the open position.”

In Gu Yu’s arms, with the sudden change of topic, it took a moment for Zhang Siyi to register what Gu Yu said. Finally, he reacted and propped himself up on his elbow and said: “Really!? What company?”

Gu Yu reached out to knead his ear and replied: “Well, you already know who the man is.”

Zhang Siyi raised his voice in surprised: “I have? Who is it?”

Gu Yu: “Last year at the annual meeting, he is from the company that was hosting their party next door.”

Since they went to KTV together, Zhang Siyi memory of him was clearer: “Liang from GB-Firm?”

Gu Yu: “Yes, his name is Liang Xueying. We worked together in the X-Firm.”

Zhang Siyi wondered: “Does GB-Firm specialize in small-scale architectural design? If my memory serves me right, I thought GB-Firm was similar to Borderless?”

Gu Yu: “In the past two years, the market has steadily declined and the once copious amounts of large-scale land development projects have significantly decreased. With his own resources, he left GB this past May to start his own company that specializes in small scale building and design. The type of work his company does and the type of clients who seek his help, don’t conflict with GB’s interests.

Zhang Siyi: “Ah! That’s how it turned out.”

Gu Yu: “You’ll have to explain to her ahead of time that her salary won’t be as high as Borderless. Your classmate would be treated with the same standard as a new student. Monthly wages are six thousand with additional bonuses based on the projects she worked on. Every day, the office closes at 5:30 and thus there is no overtime work. Since the firm is very small with a total of ten employees, the overall atmosphere in the workplace is relatively relaxed and there are often organized activities.”

Zhang Siyi didn’t think the lower wage would be a problem. The last time he spoke with Su Yuan, she told him that her salary contract was seven thousand, but the actual amount paid was less then five thousand. At least, a consistent six thousand a month salary was a little better. Without overtime, Su Yuan could utilize the time to write architectural reviews per Gu Yu’s suggestion for additional income.

Most importantly, Zhang Siyi’s impression of Liang Xueying was very good. At KTV, he was very social and easy to get along with. Certainly, working for a boss like that was better than Su Yuan’s current situation.

The next day at lunch, Zhang Siyi called Su Yuan and informed her of the great news. She was very grateful and exclaimed: “I don’t know how to thank you!”

Zhang Siyi smiled and said: “You’re welcome! It is the least I can do for my friend, but to be honest, I didn’t find the job for you. The director helped me and recommended it.”

Su Yuan: “Your director? The same harsh and strict boss you mentioned before?”

Zhang Siyi: “Well, that’s him……”  Not having said more about Gu Yu recently, of course her impression of him will be stuck at the time when he just started working and complained! (=_=)

Zhang Siyi was eager to overwrite the old impression she had of Gu Yu and quickly said: “In fact, he is actually a good boss to work for. Also, it turned out he is my High School alumni. Now we are close, that is, he is a good friend.”

Su Yuan: “I will have to thank him as well. When you have time, I’ll take you both out to eat.”

Zhang Siyi politely refused: “No. It’s alright and not needed.”

Su Yuan smiled: “Why not? Your director went out of his way on your behalf to help. What kind of person would I be If I don’t give thanks where a thanks is due? I also don’t want to make things difficult for you. In any case, my gratitude must be expressed so, if you don’t have time to come out for dinner, I will prepare a thank you gift instead.”

Zhang Siyi was in a tough situation, but he had to answer her: “Well, gifts aren’t necessary. I will let him know and we can go out for a simple meal.”

Su Yuan: “Even though it’s best to express gratitude in person, I won’t be available this week. I’m not sure when because Ren Mengyu broke up with her boyfriend and I expect I’ll have to lend a shoulder for her to cry on for a little while.”

This new information shocked Zhang Siyi: “What? She broke up? When?”

Su Yuan sighed: “Just last night.”

Zhang Siyi: “She didn’t say anything in the group chat did she?”

Su Yuan: “It is hard for her to admit she got dumped. After all, it wasn’t so long ago that she wanted to show off her relationship to Bai Rui with you and our friends.”

Zhang Siyi broke into a cold sweat. How can this be! Bai Rui can’t really believe his sexual orientation was discovered so he broke up out of guilt, can he?

“You know, I thought this was going to happen. From the beginning, I didn’t think their relationship would last, but at the time I didn’t say anything to her because I didn’t want to hurt her feelings. She was enamored with him and the attention.” Su Yuan sighed deeply. “I don’t want her to get mad at me for telling you.”

On impulse, Zhang Siyi almost blurted out the truth about Bai Rui’s recent behavior, but upon listening to Su Yuan finish her narrative, he clamped his mouth shut. He didn’t want to add any more reasons for Ren Mengyu to feel bad. As they say, a person in love can become irrational and he didn’t want to be the recipient of misplaced feelings.

After a few exchanges of pleasantries with Su Yuan, Zhang Siyi hung up phone in a panic. He quickly revisited the chat record with Bai Rui and Gu Yu and noticed it had been a few days since contact. He was inwardly relieved. Regardless, whatever is going on with Bai Rui, he had nothing to do with it.

Right as he was reviewing the chat log, unexpectedly, a new message popped up in the dialog box: “Are you free tonight? I’ll take you out to dinner.”

“…… ” Zhang Siyi’s eye’s widened in surprised. The shock almost caused him to drop his phone!

He stared at the screen. Unbelievable! Bai Rui texted right when he finished talking to Su Yuan. Was he telepathic? Fuck, this is too much of a coincidence!

Freaked out, Zhang Siyi forgot about Gu Yu’s instructions and asked him directly: “Did you break up with Ren Mengyu?”

Bai Rui: “Yeah.”

Zhang Siyi: “Why?”

Bai Rui: “Can’t you guess? [Smiles]”

Zhang Siyi: “…” Fuck! Shit! Fuck! Shit! Guess? Can he pretend not to know?

Unable to think of something witty to reply with, Zhang Siyi finally thought of Gu Yu. Taking advantage of his lunch break, he immediately went to Gu Yu’s office, gave the phone to him and quickly explained the circumstances.

Gu Yu raised his eyebrows: “He broke up with her? That guy had a little bit of conscience after all.”

Zhang Siyi felt troubled: “Why do you think he broke up with my friend? Is it because of me?”

Gu Yu calmly said: “If he is really gay, it is a good thing he broke it off with your friend early. You don’t need to feel guilty.”

Zhang Siyi: “…” That said, he just broke up with Ren Mengyu and has already contact me. In the end, doesn’t it really have everything to do with me? o(╯□╰)o

Gu Yu looked down and scrolled through the chat record. While talking to Zhang Siyi, Bai Rui had sent another message: “The fact is, when I met you, I wanted to becomes friends. I wanted to make you happy by giving you a cake, but unfortunately, you didn’t like it. Please, can I just take you out to dinner so we can talk?”

From behind, Zhang Siyi was looking over Gu Yu’s shoulder while he was reading the message. He said: “Quickly, reject him!”

Perhaps, because of the delay in a text response, Bai Rui had sent another message: “You know, I felt that the you in WeChat and the you in the real world are different.

Gu Yu typed in a question on Zhang Siyi’s phone: “Oh? What’s the difference?”

Bai Rui: “Well, I can’t say for sure, but the feeling you give in WeChat isn’t the same in reality. You feel like a different person.”

Hair standing on end, Zhang Siyi got goosebumps. Oh God, could Bai Rui really see through us?

Gu Yu didn’t care. He smiled mischievously and replied: “You are not wrong.”

Bai Rui: “What do you mean?”

Gu Yu: “Indeed, we are two people.” [Smiles]

Bai Rui: “…”

Not wanting to hurt Gu Yu’s ear, Zhang Siyi turned his face away and laughed out loud. From anxiety, to fear, to laughter; it only took a few seconds. He tried to suppress his laughter, pointed at Gu Yu and said: “You really told him! I bet his soul is shattered hahahahahaha!”

Noticing the time on the clock on the wall, Gu Yu looked at Zhang Siyi and became serious: “Ok now. Lunch is over.”

Zhang Siyi was reluctant to leave because he wanted to see how Gu Yu was going to bully Bai Rui. Why are things so different when Bai Rui is left in Gu Yu’s hands?

Watching Zhang Siyi’s eyes full of love and adoration, Gu Yu laughed: “It won’t be solved so quickly and I don’t have free time to play with him. I’ll show you the chat records later. Now, get back to work.”

Zhang Siyi wrinkled his nose in protest before turning around and leaving Gu Yu’s office.

Less than three minutes later, Bai Rui messaged again: “You aren’t Zhang Siyi?””

Gu Yu: “[smiles]”

Bai Rui: “…”

This time, the phone remained silent for longer than three minutes. Busy with work, Gu Yu set Zhang Siyi’s phone aside. He he had no reason to continue talking with Bai Rui.

In the late afternoon, Bi Lele and Yuan Zhicheng went to Gu Yu’s office to report on a new project. Making them wait, Gu Yu left his office momentarily to get information about it.

After Gu Yu left, they heard the buzzing of a phone on silent mode that was covered by some documents.

Bi Lele and Yuan Zhicheng looked at each other: “Did Boss forgot to bring his phone?”

Moving the folder aside to reveal the phone, Bi Lele questioned: “Isn’t this Zhang Siyi’s phone?”

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助理建筑师 羲和清零 188

Assistant Architect by Xi He Qing Ling

Chapter 188: Sister-In-Law

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Zhang Siyi glanced at the chat history between Gu Yao and the man seeking her attention. Other then business related issues, she ignored any additional messages. Her attitude mirrored the way Gu Yu dealt with Bai Rui.

“Are you going to reply?” Zhang Siyi asked.

Gu Yao took her phone from Zhang Siyi’s hand and put it in her pocket: “I’m too lazy.”

Zhang Siyi: “…” To some extent, certain aspects of the two’s personalities were similar.

When they returned to their house in the evening, Gu Yu had dinner waiting for them. He requested an update on the day’s events. His suggestion to speak with the manager was quite effective.

On the following day, it was Gu Yu’s turn to drop off and pick up Gu Yao. When her colleagues saw a different, yet more handsome man with her, it triggered a round of gossip within the department and once again, the women went into a frenzy.

That night at meal time, Gu Yao excitedly relayed the days gossip: “Today, when my brother dropped me off at work, my colleagues were all excited. They wanted to know who he was, where he worked, and if he had a girlfriend…..”

Zhang Siyi came out of the kitchen and with curiosity he asked: “Did anyone gossiped about me?”

Smiling, Gu Yao replied: “Yes. Yesterday, I told them you were my second brother and today was my elder brother. They were very envious. Ha-ha-ha! Some people asked how it was possible to have two brothers.”

Zhang Siyi furrowed his brow in thought, Zhang Siyi also thought it was very strange. He turned to Gu Yu and asked: “How is it that your family has two children?”

Gu Yu grinned: “Didn’t I tell you she brought the food.”

Gu Yao shouted: “Hey!”

Zhang Siyi: “Don’t tease her. Seriously, family planning at the time only allowed for one child, so why does your family have two?”

Gu Yu glanced at him: “I don’t remember the details. Do you remember mentioning it to you once before? In order to have a second child, my family had to pay a fine of 20,000 yuan.”

Zhang Siyi: “I don’t remember. Only Twenty thousand? That’s all?”

Gu Yu laughed at Zhang Siyi lack of foresight: “That was years ago when the average monthly wage of urban workers was only thirty yuan. Thousands of yuan is equivalent to today’s millionaire.”

Zhang Siyi exclaimed: “Wow. Then how much is equal to twenty thousand now?”

Gu Yu: “Almost two million.”

Zhang Siyi stared at Gu Yao in shock, then joked: “Shit! An addition to a family turns out to be so expensive. What family can spend two million for grocery shopping?”

Gu Yao bowed her head silently. Although her family rarely mentioned it, she knew that her birth had brought a burden to her family and thinking about it, she felt sad. However, listening to Zhang Siyi teasing, she couldn’t help laughing out loud.

Touching his chin, Zhang Siyi turned to look at Gu Yu: “Since your family was able to pay the fine, you guys must have been rich!”

Gu Yu: “At the beginning, my family borrowed a lot of money. In order to pay off the debt, Dad went to Hainan for engineering work with the now chief of Borderless. During that time, construction was booming so he earned a lot of money and thus, the debt was paid off quickly.”

He turned to look at his sister and continued: “About the family joke… Dad mentioned it to me. He just didn’t want you to think you were a burden. Now listen to your elder brother, we love and treasure you. Although the Gu family isn’t rich, we weren’t short of money. We have watched you grow up into a fine, young women that knows real love from the heart. It is a relief to know that you won’t be easily seduced by shallow flirting.”

Feeling emotional, Gu Yao’s rapidly blinked her eyes to hold back tears: “Hey….”

Gu Yu added: “It’s time to find your own love and let me go. From a young age, you were always attached to me and I’m afraid being stuck to me has influenced you too much.”

Gu Yao muttered: “Who’s sticking to you?”

Gu Yu: “You aren’t stuck to me? There were three very good companies that recruited you and yet you chose the company close to here.”

Zhang Siyi was stunned. It turned out that Gu Yao moved in and lived with her brother not to save money, but to stay close to him!

Gu Yao face was red ear to ear: “So now I’m a hinderance to your life with second brother?”

Gu Yu snorted: “If I thought you were a hinderance; would I have let you live here? I say this to remind you; don’t be too dependent on us.”

Biting the chopsticks, Gu Yao remained silent. Her brother used to call Gu Yao a little sweet girl but now that he is with Zhang Siyi, it seems like, all her brother wanted to do was marry Gu Yao out in a hurry. Despicable brother!

Truth be told, Gu Yao worries aren’t without reason. Since her brother fell in love, she did have a strong sense of loss. Before, not only did he make sure his sister was well fed and happy, he also directed his jokes and teasing at her and as a result, Gu Yao felt like her brother belonged to her.

In contrast, Gu Yu gave 99% of his attention to Zhang Siyi and she was left with a measly one percent. She had to admit that she was jealous at first and there were some awkward feelings in private, but for the happiness of her brother, she had to accept reality. Slowly she realized that the absence of brotherly love she felt was compensated by Zhang Siyi. Overnight, she had two brothers and the feeling wasn’t so bad.

As a result of her self-introspection, the more time she spent with her brother and Zhang Siyi, the easier it was to use them as the standard to compare everyone else to. In the past, when her brother went out with friends, he often took her with him as a pretend girlfriend. She used to think that he caused the delay in finding someone to date. In reality, she discovered that there wasn’t anyone better than her brother. Even Zhang Siyi has taken second place in her mind as an excellent man.

Gu Yao sighed and forcefully said: “What about it? There are many people who don’t get married now!”

She turned to look at Zhang Siyi and joked: “How about I pretend marry Zhang Siyi. His parents like me anyway and If I marry him, I can cover for you for a lifetime.”

Zhang Siyi snorted and felt that her proposal was pretty good. If Gu Yao was willing, he and Gu Yu would be able to get through the difficulties of both parents in one go. Can the circumstance be better than that?

Unexpectedly, Gu Yu slammed his chopsticks on the table with a bang and forcefully shouted: “No!”

Startled, both Gu Yao and Zhang Siyi were shocked by Gu Yu’s reaction.

Gu Yu furrowed his brow and in an authoritative, serious tone he said: “I’m warning you now, do not think about it again. It is absolutely impossible.”

For a moment, Gu Yao sat on her seat stunned. The last thing she expected was her brother’s strong reaction. As her face drained of all color, tears fell from her beautiful eyes. In less then a minute, she felt both embarrassed and wronged. Placing her chopsticks down, she got up and ran upstairs.

Zhang Siyi dare not speak and the dinner table remained silent. It was the first time he witnessed Gu Yu fight with his sister.

Gu Yu remained at his seat stone-faced. He didn’t go comfort his sister and instead, continued to eat his meal.

Afterwards, it would have been Gu Yao’s turn to wash the dishes, but since she went upstairs, Zhang Siyi took it upon himself to take the responsibility of washing them. When he finished, he saw Gu Yu sitting quietly next to Townhouse, brushing him. Even the dog was motionless with his head bowed as if he felt the masters’ anger.

Zhang Siyi walked over to Gu Yu and quietly said: “Let’s go and walk the dog together.”

Gu Yu led Townhouse to the foyer so the two of them could put on shoes. Outside, they walked quietly together for about a hundred meters before Zhang Siyi spoke. “Why were you so jealous?”

“I’m not jealous.” Gu Yu replied.

Zhang Siyi: “You’re not? With that reaction?”

Not answering him, Gu Yu remained silent.

Not knowing what to say, Zhang Siyi changed the topic: “If I had such a lovely sister, I would feel reluctant to let her get married.”

Gu Yu scoffed: ”Do you think I am pushing her away?”

Seeing Gu Yu finally relax somewhat, Zhang Siyi seized the opportunity and pushed him further: “Then why did you do that? I think she was just in a good mood and wanted to make a joke.”

Gu Yu hung his head and sighed softly. Another minute passed before he spoke: “I also contradict myself. I hope she finds someone to fall in love with, but I’m afraid her relationship won’t last and will make her unhappy. As her brother, I can protect her from being deceived, but I can’t offer her love like a man loves a woman for life.

Gu Yu: “Social values are still chaotic. Even now, that man regarded her as a thing and by sending her gifts, it was supposed to mean something? Is that all it takes to get someone to fall in love?”

Taking Zhang Siyi’s hand into his own, Gu Yu looked at Zhang Siyi and spoke: “You and I should know how beautiful love is. My parents are also deeply in love. She shouldn’t be running away from falling in love. If she can find true love, like we have, she will certainly be happier than now. Is it necessary to obliterate her possibility of finding happiness in order to not let her get hurt; let her sacrifice her own love for the sake of ours? Our existence doesn’t mean she should give up the burden of finding her own happiness….”

When he heard Gu Yu explain, Zhang Siyi realized it was for this reason that Gu Yu was angry. At the same time, he also felt guilty for his selfish moment. How could he let Gu Yao sacrifice her own happiness for his sake?

Gu Yu frowned and said: “Despite my worries and fears, she has to face the world herself. My sister is the one that has to experience life, fall down and pick herself up again. We can provide her a temporary respite from her emotional or physical troubles, but she can’t be dependent on us forever. Besides, we’re gay. Although I’ve always thought that love has nothing to do with gender. To be honest, I’ve been worried lately about the influence we have on her about her views of love. I didn’t think that our relationship is a good role model for her.”

Zhang Siyi: “If I hadn’t listened to your explanation, I would have continued to misunderstand you. I thought you were trying to get her out of the house and marry soon and since Gu Yao might have also interpreted things as I have, she probably felt abandoned. Then, she talked about a pretend marriage. I thought you were jealous.”

Gu Yu clutched Zhang Siyi’s hand. Of course, he will be jealous of anyone that wants to get close with Zhang Siyi. Zhang Siyi is his. Gu Yu was the only one allowed to marry him. He could never agree to a pretend marriage, even if it was done with good will.

Zhang Siyi continued: “Compared with the time you got angry at me for requesting help for Su Yuan, your attitude is much worse now. I bet your sister is very upset.”

Gu Yu is depressed: “I was?”

The corner of Zhang Siyi mouth twitched. Does Gu Yu not realize how fierce he can be?

He pulled at Gu Yu’s arm: “Let’s go back. You tell your sister what you just explained to me.”

Gu Yu snorted and resisted Zhang Siyi’s tugging.

Since Gu Yu was being difficult, Zhang Siyi pestered him more and said: “Come on! Now that I’m involved, you have to go explain it to her. What if you don’t? She is going to hate me later and we will have a sister-in-law problem!”

Zhang Siyi’s statement provoked Gu Yu into laughter. Gu Yu squeezed his hand reassuringly and said: “Alright, let’s go back.”

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T/N: The One Child Policy of China explained: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One-child_policy

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助理建筑师 羲和清零 187

Assistant Architect by Xi He Qing Ling

Chapter 187: Protection

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Early the next morning, Zhang Siyi was the first to ‘guard’ Gu Yao. Since the company Gu Yao works for was in the opposite direction as Borderless, they had to leave their house thirty minutes earlier than usual in order for Zhang Siyi to get to his job on time. As a result, Zhang Siyi sacrificed his sleep for the sake of his ‘little sister’.

Even at thirty minutes prior to rush hour, the subway was still jammed packed. Zhang Siyi did his best to block other people from pressing themselves against Gu Yao so that she had a little breathing room.

Gu Yao leaned closer to Zhang Siyi so he could hear her amongst all the noise and asked: “Is that guy still harassing you at work?”

In order to cover up his expression, Zhang Siyi moved his hand up and coughed lightly: “I’m a guy too so I have the ability to protect myself, unlike you. Rather than worrying about me, I am more worried about you.”

Gu Yao stuck her tongue and exhaled, giving him a raspberry: “Hey, isn’t my brother jealous?”

Zhang Siyi snorted and said: “There are many people who covet him and I’m still jealous.”

Gu Yao looked at Zhang Siyi with envy. Before, she always felt that two men in love wasn’t a sustainable relationship. Knowing her brother’s character, she used to fret about the time when Zhang Siyi wouldn’t be able to tolerate it anymore and ask to break up. However, now that she has lived with them for six months, she knew her fears were completely superfluous because she witnessed their display of love practically every day!

On average, the number of times a week she saw her brother and Zhang Siyi hugging or kissing each other was no less than four times; on the sofa, in the kitchen, near the bathroom, on the stairs…..

.….. If they were of similar height, why stand on the stairs creating a height different to kiss? Was there something special about the position?

…… Like last night after dinner, Zhang Siyi went to wash the dishes. At first, my brother stood behind him chatting. Suddenly his voice was gone and when I took a peek, sure enough, my brother was hugging Zhang Siyi from behind and kissing his neck.

She doesn’t want to be sneaking a peek on purpose, but watching them expressing their love was as addicting as a heart-throbbing scene in an idol drama.

What’s more, Gu Yu doesn’t even seem to care if she was present and thus, in reality, there wasn’t such a thing as ‘sneaking’. The two inadvertently exposed their desire and each other’s cute doting side all the time. ╮(╯_╰)╭

Gu Yao especially liked to listen to them bickering. Zhang Siyi rarely spoke back to her brother. The only time when he did was when Gu Yu riled him up into an angry mess and every time, her brother only needed to take Zhang Siyi into his embrace and kiss him to console him. When she witnessed this process each time, Gu Yao heart exploded. Of course, as much as her brother showed Zhang Siyi affection, Zhang Siyi also showed his love for her brother.

Living in such an environment infected with sweet love, Gu Yao’s resistance to flirting steadily rose. Being surround by true-love all the time, she could easily identify the real thing. Giving gifts was no way an expression of love. Really, she also wanted to fall in love, but she was afraid that it wouldn’t be as deep as her Brother and Zhang Siyi’s.

After arriving at their stop, they exited the subway and walked outside. Across the street, Zhang Siyi saw a street vendor selling breakfast sandwiches. Since they left so early, they didn’t get the chance to eat before leaving the house. Zhang Siyi asked her: “Would you like to eat one?”

Gu Yao enthusiastically replied: “Okay!”

Zhang Siyi walked over and waited in the queue. When it was their turn to order, he asked for two sandwiches with extra bacon. As Gu Yao rummaged for her wallet, Zhang Siyi stopped her: “I’m here. What are you paying for?”

Although it was only an eight-dollar breakfast sandwich, Gu Yao was moved by Zhang Siyi’s thoughtfulness. She really felt like she had another brother.

After picking up the hot sandwiches, the two moved to the side to eat. They looked at each other, smiled and took a bite. Zhang Siyi spoke up: “Let’s savor this moment as it isn’t something your brother would normally buy from a street vendor!”

“Yeah!” Gu Yao giggled and nodded.

Zhang Siyi walked with Gu Yao to the lobby of the company she worked at. Rubbing her head, Zhang Siyi smiled: “Go on in. If you need something, either call me or your brother. Although if it is urgent, I would probably be able to respond sooner since your brother is normally very busy.

“I know!” Gu Yao waved her hand to him and said: “Get to work too!”

After watching Zhang Siyi leave, Gu Yao turned around to go to her office. Two female colleagues approached her from behind and asked: “Hey Gu Yao, who was that handsome guy who dropped you off?”

Full of pride, Gu Yao’s face lit up: “My second brother.”

The girl’s eyes lit up: “Wow! It’s no wonder he is so handsome. Your family has good genes.”

Gu Yao: “…” In fact, Zhang Siyi has no blood relationship with her. Her brother was even better.

After pressing the elevator call signal, one of the women asked: “What does your second brother do? Why did he drop you off?”

Gu Yao only answered the first question: “He is an architect.”

Her colleague’s squealed in delight: “Wow! An architect? That’s amazing!

In the eyes of outsiders, the profession of architect always seems so grand. However, for Gu Yao, who has been watching her father and brother over the years, she knew it was a hard, unglamorous path to follow.

Gu Yao didn’t want to bother explaining the true aspects of architecture to her colleagues. For once, the girl’s attention was on something other than the client who pursued her. Gu Yao felt a bit relieved.

In the evening, Zhang Siyi went to Gu Yao’s office to pick her up and politely greeted her colleagues when he arrived. Like a rabbit, Gu Yao happily jumped to Zhang Siyi and grabbed his arm affectionately: “Brother, you came!”

Walking away, Zhang Siyi lowered his voice, leaned over and whispered: “Is that stalker here?”

Gu Yu held onto him and whispered back: “Well, over there sitting in that white BMW about a hundred meters away from us.”

Raising his brow in surprise, Zhang Siyi stopped walking: “Oh? Since I’m here, lets go over and tell him to stop harassing you!”

Gu Yao quickly nudged him forward to continue walking: “Don’t. He has accounts with our company and I don’t want to have a head-on confrontation with him.”

Zhang Siyi: “Is he there every day? What is he waiting for?”

Gu Yao was embarrassed to tell him: “He is waiting for me to join him for dinner.”

Zhang Siyi: “Didn’t you already say no? And, he’s still waiting for you? What’s wrong with this guy?”

Gu Yao depressingly said: “He told me he was going to wait because one day, I might change my mind….”

“…..” Zhang Siyi was curious what kind of person this guy could possibly be? He looked back at the BMW again to catch a glimpse of the guy. Zhang Siyi was a bit surprised at what he saw. When listening to Yu Yao complain about this jerk, he instinctively imagined the person to be a bald, fat bellied old uncle. However, at a brief glance, he could tell that the man was well dressed, had a full head of black hair, and wasn’t fat.

Dragging him along, Gu Yao energetically walked to the subway station: “Don’t look! I don’t want him to notice us.”

Zhang Siyi: “…”

After the train arrived at the station, they got on. As they found seats, Zhang Siyi asked: “How old is that man? What does he look like?”

“Thirty-something; small eyes; nose turned up like he thinks he is better than everyone….” Gu Yao made hand gestures as she described him: “Anyways, he is very ugly.”

Having grown up surrounded by the beauty of the Gu family, Zhang Siyi thought Gu Yao’s idea of ugly had been skewed.

He asked another question: “Have you talked to your manager about your troubles yet?”

Gu Yao replied: “Yes I did! Our manager said she would talk to him and will ask him to stop giving gifts to the staff members. Even if he doesn’t comply, the manager told the receptionist to collect all the items. She wanted to deal with them herself so they wouldn’t effect everyone’s work.”

Zhang Siyi nodded. In dealing with this problem, Gu Yao was more mature than he was.

As they were discussing the stalker, Gu Yao mobile phone buzzed with a new text message. She showed it to Zhang Siyi and said distressed: “Look, he really saw us!”

Zhang Siyi looked at the message —— “Who is that person with you?”

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