完美关系 羲和清零 033

The Perfect Relationship by Xi He Qing Ling

Chapter 33: Afternoon Tea

Jia Siqi exclaimed in disbelief, “Wang Chen, the winner of Absolute Idol!” He stared at the icon that tracks new followers and commented, “Oh my God! I feel like I’ve become a superstar!”

He was so excited last night that he didn’t sleep at all. Throughout the night, he was constantly grabbing his phone and looking at his social media page. He watched as his fans went from more than 900,000 to a million-overnight. His fanbase hasn’t risen for several months.

Now that Wang Chen had taken notice of him, Jia Siqi felt like the gods had descended upon him, ready to escort him to a greater plane of existence in the heavens above.

“Brother Xiaozhi, this time we really have become superstars!” Jia Siqi said daydreaming.

“Don’t be stupid. Do you really think you are like them?” After one night, Bai Xiaozhi had already recovered his senses. “To put it bluntly, we are just a fad. Don’t mind the increase in fans. Those people are paying attention to us not because they really like us, but only because their idols friended us. That’s just how much influence their idols actually have.”

Moreover, what happened last night made Bai Xiaozhi see clearly the real gap between himself and Yin Chang, a true idol.  

– New Fan A commented: “I came from Chang Chang’s Weibo and throughout the night, I didn’t even get to finish looking through all of the jokes. What a treasured boy this is that I followed! Ahhhh!”

However, Jia Siqi is still immersed in his own dream, turning a deaf ear to Bai Xiaozhi’s logic. As a result, he continues to relay funny messages to him from time to time.

Jia Siqi: “We’re supposed to be friends, why are you exaggerating?!”

Bai Xiaozhi: “Rest assured, they’ll be gone when they finish reading.”

Jia Siqi: “……”

– New Fan B: “Bai Xiaozhi, Jia Siqi’s friend, is also very handsome. Together they make a  great duo. I’m a fan of this couple!”

Jia Siqi: “Look! Some people say we are just like a couple!”

Bai Xiaozhi: “Every day, I train with you and we sleep in the same room. When I wake up, the first thing I see is your face. You tweet and post pictures ten times a day. Do I have a choice? If it’s Yin Chang in the dormitory with you, would your fans still claim the same thing?”

Jai Siqi: “Oh, so should we end our duo?”

Bai Xiaozhi replied: “That’s not what I’m saying!”

– New Fan C said: “I have decided. When I can’t post about my idol on Weibo, I’ll just stay here for my enjoyment! Little brother, post more jokes, ha-ha!”

Jia Siqi: “Uh, look at this… So in their eyes, are we just concubines in a harem? Yin Chang is a queen concubine and you and I are the new concubines…”

Finally, Bai Xiaozhi had enough. He forcefully threw a pillow over at Jia Siqi: “Go be the concubine! Don’t involve me!”

If he stayed, he felt like he was to be dragged down by Jia Siqi’s IQ. As a result, Bai Xiaozhi got out of bed quickly and headed for the training room.

With a month and a half to go before the festival, he assumed that ‘Idol face-to-face’ was the best opportunity for him to promote himself that his agent was able to secure in the short term.

If Bai Xiaozhi failed to get recognized as an A-List star, he would not return after the Chinese New Year. Alas, his days of singing and dancing in the training room were not long. Finally, he could cherish the moment.

When Jia Siqi saw him getting ready to leave after washing up, he followed suit: “Bai Xiaozhi, wait for me!”

Bai Xiaozhi: “……”

On his way to the training room, Jia Siqi continued to talk about social media. He babbled on: “However, Yin Chang’s page really doesn’t have many posts. It’s only one per month on average. They are just announcements and retweets by officials and has very few likes ….He’s so cold. Why would he friend us?”

With a look of long time understanding, Bai Xiaozhi squinted at him and commented in exasperation: “Do you really think he would do such a small thing as posting to Weibo? Of course, his agent is in charge! Maybe last night’s friend request and likes were all orchestrated by his agent.”

Feeling disappointed, Jia Siqi commented: “Oh, so it’s like that. It’s not so exciting when I think about it.”

However, his look of disappointment vanished as fast as it came. Suddenly, Jia Siqi excitedly said: “What about Wang Chen? Should I post on Weibo thanking him for following my social media?”

Bai Xiaozhi raised his voice and nearly burst: “Will you calm down for a minute! You aren’t his fan!”

Jia Siqi: “But he’s very popular.”

Bai Xiaozhi scoffed: “Popular my ass. Half of his fans are purchased!”

Jia Siqi was surprised: “…Really? How did you know?”

Bai Xiaozhi explained: “ You can’t see it? Both the number of retweets and likes are inflated while the number of comments is stagnant. They aren’t nearly as much as Yin Chang’s……”

While chatting, the phone rang and Bai Xiaozhi answered the call. It was from their agent, Yuan Qian.

“Is Siqi with you?” Yuan Qian asked.

“Yes, we are on our way to the training studio.” Since they were always inseparable and Bai Xiaozhi was more level-headed, in general, their agent informed him of news first so that he could pass it along to Jia Siqi.

Yuan Qian got straight to the point: “I heard that Yin Chang and Wang Chen both have followed your social media, right? Not only will you probably get more fans in the next couple of days, you will also get more comments and opinions expressed. I’m sure you can guess why. Remind Siqi not to get too excited. Do not tweet and post during this time so there isn’t any backlash. And, don’t ever get down on your knees and kiss people’s feet!”

It seems, Yuan Qian is very familiar with the personalities of her artists. She knows exactly the type of thing Jia Siqi might stupidly do.

“Well, I’ll remind him…” Bai Xiaozhi glanced at Jia Siqi sideways and motioned him not to act rashly.

Yuan Qian continued: “Since they are following you, you must think of yourself in the same class as them. The entertainment industry is a fickle and turbulent place. No one can predict who will be the most popular in the future. Keep that in mind, ok?”

“I know.” Bai Xiaozhi replied and although he said it, he thought to himself, is that even possible without an established background and strong financial support? Even though Jai Siqi came from a wealthy family, he hasn’t risen to the top. How can either of them compare to Wang Chen and Yin Chang?

When he saw how quickly Mi Xiu become a celebrity, he had his own dreams of becoming famous. However, after he experienced it himself, he knew just how naïve his dreams were. The kind of luck a person needed was a mere one in a million.

“Also,” Yuan Qian paused and said, “Yin Chang would like to set up a time to have afternoon tea today.”

Since Bai Xiaozhi was still ruminating about his own bad luck, he didn’t react immediately. “…Huh?”

Yuan Qian explained: “His manager just called me. Yin Chang wanted to know if you and Siqi were free this afternoon. I canceled your classes after 2 o’clock on your behalf so you could meet him. I reserved the company’s conference room number 3 for you to meet.”

Bai Xiaozhi was surprised: “Why would he invite us to have afternoon tea?”

Yuan Qian: “Didn’t he friend you?”

Bai Xiaozhi: “Wait, wait, wait — was he really serious?”

Yuan Qian: “Is that a problem?”

Bai Xiaozhi: “…”

Yuan Qian: “Two o’clock in the afternoon. Don’t forget.”

After explaining the situation, Yuan Qian hung up the phone. In disbelief, Bai Xiaozhi was staring off in space. Seeing such a rare expression, Jia Siqi couldn’t stop himself from poking Bai Xiaozhi on the side with his fingers and ask: “What did Yuan say?” What did Yuan say!? ”

He flatly stated: “She said Yin Chang invited us to have tea this afternoon.”

When Jia Siqi heard him, his jaw dropped. Jia Siqi was rendered speechless.


At half past one in the afternoon, after washing and changing from their morning training, Bai Xiaozhi and Jia Siqi arrived at the designated conference room

Ten minutes later, Yuan Qian walked into the room. She was a little worried about Jia Siqi and thus, reminded him again about behaving properly. Then she said: “You do know that Yin Chang is now part owner of Nova Entertainment, right?”

Bai Xiaozhi and Jia Siqi faced each other dumbfounded, and both shook their heads.

Before Yin Chang arrived, Yuan Qian said in a low voice: “Nova Entertainment was established by his father and Director Yao Manhuai as a partnership. Since his father is no longer with us, half of the company’s shares have been transferred to his son.”

Bai Xiaozhi & Jia Siqi: “……!!!”

“Now that you know the situation, what type of relationship you have with him depends on you. The point being, you don’t have resources. Understand?” Yuan Qian patted his shoulder. She knew of the kids’ talent, but things haven’t been working in thier favor. Lately, they have been under a tremendous amount of pressure.  In order to ease thier burden, she always wanted to help them in some way.

While sitting in the conference room waiting for Yin Chang, Bai Xiaozhi and Jia Siqi had a different mindset.

Jia Siqi: Fuck! Yin Chang is their boss! What bullshit is she spewing?

Bai Xiaozhi: What does Yuan Qian mean by a relationship? Why does that sound fishy? I’ve heard rumors about the special favors that artists do for corporate board-members. Are we going to experience this unspoken favor?

Full of ideas, amid their speculation, Yin Chang arrived.

As she guided Yin change inside the room, she smiled and greeted Yuan Qian. “You’re here so early.”

Although Yin Chang often came to the company to take classes, he practiced in the exclusive VIP training rooms that Yao Manhuai arranged for him. Since the floors and passages were separated, there wasn’t any intersection with the other trainees and company artists. As a result, this was the first time that Bai Xiaozhi and Jia Siqi met Yin Chang.

When Yin Chang’s gaze fell on them, Jia Siqi felt like he was severely electrocuted. The young man’s gray-blue eyes were like jewels, making it difficult for people to look away.

“H-, Hello.” Jia Siqi said, face turning red.

Words got caught in Bai Xiaozhi throat. He is… Damn!  Too handsome! If Yin Chang is the guy who he needs to perform special favors for,  he….. He thinks he could be okay with it.

Yin Chang nodded to them and smiled slightly: “Hello.”

A hundred flowers blossomed in Jia Siqi’s mind for an instant. Even though his smile was only a small polite one, it made one feel like they were bathed in spring light. It felt comforting.

Lu Lingxuan asked: “Have you all eaten lunch?”

Yuan Qian: “Wouldn’t we have starved to death if we hadn’t yet?”

Lu Lingxuan laughed: “Then I will take them to a café for afternoon tea.”

Not only was Yuan Qian Jia Siqi’s and Bo Xiaozhi’s agent, she also had other artists to think about. She excused herself and left.

Lu Lingxuan greeted the two handsome men then said: “Let’s go.”

Yin Chang personally drove the car over to the English teahouse that Lu Lingxuan specially found for them.

Bai Xiaozhi and Jia Siqi were sitting in the back seat. Seeing that they were too nervous to speak, Yin Chang took the initiative to break the ice: “Jia Siqi, I saw your Social Media page last night. Your car is quite nice.”

Jia Siqi felt a little flattered and awkwardly said: “Oh, that car? It’s a coming-of-age gift from my mom.”

He chuckled uncomfortably. Because of what Yuan Qian had said, he felt anxious and as a result, conversation became difficult.

Unexpectedly, Yin Chang glanced at him through the rearview mirror and asked: “Do you have a driver’s license?”

Bai Xiaozhi: “……!!!” He really read Jia Siqi’s Social Media page! He noticed my own jab!

Jia Siqi blushed and said, “I, I…I haven’t passed the second part yet.”

Yin Chang said: “I see.”

Now that Yin Chang started the conversation, Jia Siqi felt more at ease. He was talkative by nature. Once he relaxed, Jia Siqi asked endless questions about Yin Chang driving experience, what cars he liked and so on. The mood in the car lightened up quite a bit.

By the time they arrived at the teahouse, Jia Siqi was completely free from any stress. He chatted, unreserved. “Yin Chang, thank you last night!”

Yin Chang: “Thank me for what?”

Jia Siqi excitedly said: “Because you have followed me, I have more than one million fans now. I’m able to brag to others that I am a star with millions of fans!”

Yin Chang smiled: “Oh, I just hit like because I thought you were funny.”

Jia Siqi listened fervently and winked at Bai Xiaozhi nearby: Did you see it? I conquered the man in front of me with my personal charm!

Bai Xiaozhi gave a light cough and hesitated. He asked: “Why do you… why do you want to buy us drinks?”

Leaning against the back of the chair, with his hands in his pockets, Yin Chang thoughtfully explained: “Aren’t we going to be on the show together soon? It’s the first time I will be on a TV show. Except for Wang Chen, I don’t know any of you. I’m afraid something embarrassing will happen so I wanted to get acquainted with you guys beforehand.”

Lu Lingxuan recommended Yin Chang try to imagine them as friends. But, Yin Chang felt imagining friendship was too troublesome. Since they were all in the same company, why not be friends beforehand? That way on stage, wouldn’t it be easier?

Since being in the company conference rooms were so formal, they would inevitably be too conscience and guarded. To ease the awkwardness between them, he set up this rendezvous point outside of the company.

Yin Chang added: “Since I’ve only read your Social Media page, I don’t know anything more private. If we can get to know each other in advance, when the host asks us questions, we can help each other out. If you have something you want to say in front of the camera, just let me know in advance and I’ll look for an opportunity for you to express yourself.”

Bai Xiaozhi was shocked. He thought he and Jia Siqi were just there as accessories to Yin Chang. It was natural to think they had to have a low profile to give Yin Chang the spotlight. He didn’t expect Yin Chang’s willingness to accommodate them. As a result, Bai Xiaozhi was almost moved to tears.

Yin Chang thought about the other two people involved with the TV show and asked, “I want to call Wang Chen and Yu Ruize to invite them here as well, but I don’t have their contact information. Since it’s not through company channels, maybe it would be too sudden.”

Bai Xiaozhi was stunned, and took the initiative to say: “Wang Chen, I don’t know him, but Yu Ruize…I am very good friends with him.”

Yin Chang raised his eyes: “Really?”

Bai Xiaozhi: “Well, he has been resting these past two days. I also talked to him about the TV show last night. Do you want to get in touch? I can call him.”

Yin Chang cheerfully said: “Okay.”


next chapter >>

完美关系 羲和清零 001

The Perfect Relationship by Xi He Qing Ling

Chapter 001: Accident

….. “On the morning of the 17th local time, a Boeing passenger plane crashed in an accident shortly after takeoff, killing all 137 passengers and eight crew members from 22 countries…… There were seven Chinese passengers on board, including the well-known Chinese actor Yin Dong……”

….. “When the airplane crashed was reported, refusing to believe the famous actor died, fans of Yin Dong gathered at the airport collectively crying in grief…..”

….. “It is reported that they were on their way to a movie set in Kenya. While the rest of the film crew had taken a different flight to their destination, Yin Dong and his assistant departed from Shanghai on the 16th and took a connecting flight in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa.……”


….. “Oh my God! Did Yin Dong really die in a plane crash?”

….. “It’s a pity. I recently saw him star in the film, Thirty Years of the River. I never would have thought it was the last film he would be in!”

….. “It’s not April Fool’s day, is it? Yin Dong is my favorite movie star!”


At the airport, numerous people were holding their phones looking at the shocking news report. As the large flat screen TV that was broadcasting the latest news feeds came closer, a tall young man stopped outside the store and glanced at it. Like many others, he appeared to be shocked. Now confused and anxious, he continued along the concourse.

Upon arrival at the international customs desk, the youth took off his baseball cap and handed the man his passport. The security staff stared at him for a few seconds in question because, while they seemed to be able to tell who is was, the passport clearly had an unknown name on it.

Nearing the exit, the young man felt his phone vibrate in his pocket. When he answered, an urgent and loud voice was coming from the speaker: “Yin Chang, where are you? …The situation is a bit of an emergency. I don’t know who leaked your information back home. Now, numerous reporters are outside the airport and we are trying to arrange for a security escort….”

Since the signal came and went intermittently inside the airport building, Yin Chang didn’t hear much. He had stepped outside of the airport already.

Someone shouted, ‘there he is’, and with numerous flashing camera lights, the crowed rushed towards him, blocking his way.

“You are Yin Chang right?”

“Yin Dong’s plane has crashed. What are you feeling now?”

“Yin Dong has never disclosed your mother’s identity to the public. Are you his illegitimate son?”

“Did you come home overnight to settle his affairs? Did Yin Dong inform you of his properties and assets?”

“What do you think of your father’s sudden death at the height of his career? Will your quality of life decline in the future? Are you taking his place in his business and entering the entertainment industry?”  


The young man being questioned was the only son of the movie star who just died in the plane crash, Yin Chang.

On the way home, almost everyone was talking about the news of the plane crash in Mandarin, Cantonese, and English. Despite the different languages, one aspect was clearly repeated in his ear. The fact that his father, Yin Dong, was dead.

At this moment, facing the wolf-like reporter, Yin Chang didn’t know what he was feeling. They asked him things unceremoniously and without any reservation just to make a rise out of him: Indifference is heartless. Excessive anger is unacceptable. Grief is emotional collapse.

Since his response weren’t explosive enough, the reporters pressed him further and asked even more personal questions. Like a hungry locust swarm ravenously devouring all, the reporters were enjoying the feeding frenzy brought about by the death of Yin Dong.

Soon, Yin Cheng was surrounded by the flashing camera lights, not only by the reporters and their crew, but by regular people walking nearby. They also raised their phones to take part in the action and shoot photos.

Several female reporters stuck closely to him. Instinctively, Yin Chang wanted to protect himself from the crowd. When he was about to reach out to block them, a group of airport security came from behind and surrounded him all the while shouting at the reporters: “Back! Stand back! “

“Mr. Yin, there’s no way out from here. Please come with us…”

The chaos lasted for more than twenty minutes before the security guards were able to take Yin Chang away from the airport exit and bring him to an exclusive lounge inside.

Moments later, a man and a woman came in. Wiping sweat from his brow, the man bowed and apologized: “I’m really sorry. We didn’t know what the situation was like at the airport. The arrangements weren’t made properly in advanced. You must be shocked and frightened!”

Indeed, Yin Chang was shocked. He had been out with his father in the past, but due to his father’s protection, he never had the experience of being besieged after being recognized by fans.

From near the doorway, the other woman stared at Yin Chang unabashedly. At the urging of the man, she pulled out a mask and sunglasses from a bag. Blushing, she handed them to him and said: “We can leave the airport out of the special exit in a few minutes. There might be a few reporters in the underground parking lot. To be safe, try not to get photographed.”

Yin Chang answered with a muddleheaded reply: “I know.”

In order to arm yourself against a paparazzi, Yin Chang had long been accustomed to this type of disguise. However, he did not expect that one day, he would become the main character.


Half an hour later, in the general manager’s office of Nova Entertainment, Yao Manhuai received an intercom call from the public relations department.

“Chief Yao, open social media and look at the news feed!”

Yao Manhuai refreshed the entertainment section and saw several articles related to Yin Chang in the hot topics.

….. “Yin Dong was killed and his son Yin Chang returned home overnight

….. “Yin Chang shows up at the Airport”

…..  “News Flash: Who is Yin Chang? Nine photos to show you: he is the only son of the famous movie actor.”


As it turned out, the turmoil that Yin Chang experienced at the airport was uploaded to major news platforms by those journalists at the scene.

Ms. Yao furrowed her brow and frowned. She was well aware of the type of public pressure in the entertainment industry. Not wanting him to experience unnecessary additional trauma from the reporters, she specially arranged help for Yin Chang to get safely and secretively away from the airport.

But, how long did it take from the moment he got off the plane to appear on social media? ‘Yin Chang at the airport’ was on the hot topic search list!

Yao Manhuai immediately contacted the airport crew to inquire about the status quo and learned he was safe. She pinched the bridge of her nose and exhaled. Picking up her phone, she dialed the number for the public relations department not only to inform them of the events today, but to tell them to keep a close eye on public opinion from social media.

After hanging up, she looked at a recent photo taken of Yin Chang from airport that was displayed on the computer screen. As Yin Dong’s business partner and agent for many years, Yao Manhuai had certainly met Yin Chang.

When she first met Yin Chang, he was only four years old. Under Yin Dong’s guidance, he obediently called her Aunt Yao. No one could resist his soft voice and sweet smile. He was simply loved.

A year later, when Yin Dong became famous, in order to create a comfortable learning environment for his son, he sent him away to study abroad.

Any time Yin Dong was out of the country for work, he would try to make time to see Yin Chang. As his agent, Yao Manhuai was also present. Once she jokingly asked Yin Dong whether or not he was interested in getting Yin Chang involved in the entertainment industry. She had absolute confidence that Yin Chang would become more famous than him. Yin Dong only smiled at her and said, since he’s too young, he would let Yin Chang choose when he grows up.

Later, Ms. Yao set up her own agency. As they became busier with their respective jobs, the time spent together was less. The last time she saw Yin Chang on the news was three years ago when his trip with his father was exposed by the entertainment circle.

That year, Yin Dong took Yin Chang to Norway for a holiday. In the image, the fifteen-year-old was wearing a tight ski suit that emphasized his maturing athletic body and good looks. The images taken in the past were far less clear than the airport photos from today, but even so, they caused a brief uproar online. Yin Dong had spoken with Yao Manhuai and requested the public relations department remove the photos from the internet to protect his son’s privacy.

Now three years later, in the photo, Yin Chang hadn’t changed much. While his face was remarkably unchanged, his overall presence had significantly improved. He was seen carrying a black shoulder bag and was wearing a Versace printed T-shirt with fitted jeans and ecco casual shoes. With one hand in his pocket, he was facing the camera in a slight scowl with formidable eyes.

Although Yin Chang hasn’t formally been a part of the entertainment world, he had the same aura and charisma as any other movie star.

Looking at the photo in deep thought, she heard a knock on her office door. “Please come in,” she said while turning her attention to the entrance.

“Chief Yao, Yin Chang is here……” The people who picked him up at the airport reported to Yao Manhuai.  Knowing that things went wrong at the airport, standing side-by-side the man and woman were quite self-conscious.

Yao Manhuai didn’t talk and instead, stared at Yin Chang dumbfounded. The photo only portrayed a fraction of Yin Chang natural beauty. The real person standing in front of her was exceptionally striking.

The eighteen-year-old Yin Chang wasn’t a little boy anymore. His Broad physique and tall height exuded sexiness. In close observation, his facial features were perfect and his skin was flawless. It was like the perfect work of art completed by the hand of God.

In fact, Yin Dong appearance wasn’t nearly as remarkable as his son. While Yin Dong wasn’t bad looking, his fame was due to his superb acting skills and good luck and not because of his looks.

A long time ago, Yao Manhuai remembered when Yin Dong began to live with his son, she asked him who his mother was. While he never answered her, she suspected, based on Yin Chang’s own features, the mother must have been an exceptional beauty.

Moreover, she hadn’t noticed it before, but at some angles, Yin Chang eyes looked dark-gray-blue. With his alabaster skin and chiseled features, one look from him and a person’s soul could easily be swept away….

He didn’t even do anything at the airport. With just this one occurrence, already there were countless fans. “Chief Yao?” The man interrupted Yao Manhuai’s thoughts.

Relaxing her expression, she collected her thoughts. While the timing was inappropriate, she couldn’t stop herself from thinking about Yin Chang transition to stardom.

She rose slowly and gestured to the two of them: “You may leave.”

If Yin Chang was destined to follow the path of his father, then tonight’s airport storm wasn’t a bad thing. In today’s era of social media, the person who generates the most traffic was king. All exposure on various media have a role to pay in their fame as movie stars. Yin Chang happenstance at the airport wasn’t negative and the resulting traffic that the net discussion generated for a newcomer was unheard of.

Having known him for several years, she addressed Yin Chang informally: “Chang, how many years has it been since I’ve seen you?” Yao Manhuai eyes softened and she addressed him with affection as a mother would: “I sill remember when I first met you. You were so little, but now look at you, you are so tall!”   

Although they hadn’t seen each other for many years, Yao Manhuai didn’t show her age and looked exactly like Yin Chang remembered.

Yao Manhuai sighed: “I am as deeply sorry for your father’s accident, but it has already happened and I can only give you my condolences.”

It wasn’t until this moment, when his hoarse voice called, Auntie Yao, that his emotions welled up suddenly. The loss of his father was truly heartbreaking.


next chapter >>

助理建筑师 羲和清零 010

Assistant Architect by Xi He Qing Ling

Chapter 10: Efficiency

Bi Lele explained: “The little cactus ball grew from the root of big one. It was later transplanted into a new pot, so the boss has been taking care of two plants since it was the product of the original one.”

Zhang Siyi: “…”

“And that’s not all….” Bi Lele craned her neck looking at the direction of the director’s office and then lowered her head, looked at Zhang Siyi, she lowered her voice and continued to explain: “About two months ago at the end of May there was an intern working with our group from T University.”

“Oh?” Zhang Siyi leaned in closer, eager to listen to the gossip with rapt attention.

Bi Lele pointed to Zhang Siyi’s desk, saying: “Like her, you both were assigned to the same desk and asked take care of the cactus.”

“Wait a minute,” Zhang Siyi interrupted. “Let me make it clear. I didn’t ask for the cactus. The boss gave it to me by his own accord.”

Bi Lele.:“……”

Zhang Siyi repeated the dialogue at that time, Bi Lele turned a blind eye: “When you admitted to liking the cactus, isn’t that just a roundabout way of asking him for it?”

Zhang Siyi mouth twitched. The plants were in different pots so naturally he didn’t know that the small one came from the bigger one. So, why was asking about it so weird….

Bi Lele continued: “In any case, the girl was nice and had a cheerful personality. Although she didn’t say it out loud, it was obvious that she liked the boss. When she was picking her plant, she directly asked Gu Yu for the small cactus. Rather than directly refusing her, instead he smiled and simply asked: “If I casually give my small cactus away to a girl, then what does our relationship mean?”

Zhang Siyi did not react: “eh?”

“How can you not understand! As the one taking care of the plant, Gu Yu was like the father and since the new growth needed to be transplanted, it’s like a brother. If he gives away a member of his family to some girl, then what does that make her… of course, his wife!” Talking about the director made Bi Lele look around anxiously.

Figuring out a piece of truth, Zhang Siyi was flush with embarrassment.

“At that time, the girl was stunned and couldn’t speak. She didn’t stay for a long and after two months of internship, she left. But after that incident, everyone thought Gu Yu wouldn’t give away his cactus to anyone.” Bi Lele said, looking at Zhang Siyi with a sly look. “I didn’t expect him to give it away now.”

Heart beating faster, Zhang Siyi felt worried. In a flash he had a million thoughts about all that had happened the other day. Would he not think he was Gay? Gu Yu overheard all his ex-girlfriend grievances so if he gave him the cactus ball, was he treating Zhang Siyi differently? Was he trying to hint at something?

Zhu Hongzhen snorted: “Don’t listen to her nonsense. The girls here love to make up stories. The boss just told her that as a euphemism to express his uninterested feelings towards her. Besides, the ball grew out from the big one. It’s a brother, not a child!”

Bi Lele said: “The cactus comes from the same root. If you don’t cut it away, then it will stick together! The seeds that come from the blossoms are the offspring, you have no understanding!”

Zhu Hongzhen: “Forget the details. That’s one crazy theory.”

Although Bi Lele’s comments made a bit of sense, Zhang Siyi was more inclined believe Zhu Hongzhen’s rhetoric. He took a deep breath, consoling himself: It’s an office plant, not a gay thing. (=_=)

However, this story also made Zhang Siyi realize that he may not be as special to Gu Yu as he initially thought. Although they were from the same area and high school, it doesn’t really mean anything. Gu Yu wasn’t just an alumnus but also a graduate of T University with countless additional schoolmates, not to mention, all of his colleagues and additional acquaintances from the industry.

Thinking about it in this way, Zhang Siyi could not help but feel a little disappointed. He didn’t dwell on the subject further so he quickly recovered his mood.

Since there wasn’t a new task early in the morning, Zhang Siyi took the opportunity to take pictures of his work desk and post them to the circle of friends on social media. Note: “new job!”

All Zhang Siyi wanted to do was send one photo and put away the mobile phone, but quickly someone commented. The praises Zhang Siyi received made him feel great.

One of his friends, Xue Wenhan, who was still living in the UK as he was studying for a master’s degree in a related architectural field, wrote a note. Calculating the time difference, the time was two o’clock in the middle of the night. It seems that his friend was still staying up late, but whether it is because he is studying or playing, Zhang Siyi didn’t know.

Many “Congratulations!“ messages appeared as well as inquiries about the new job and how he was doing… Zhang Siyi had no time to reply to them one by one. He was seeking approval and wanted to quickly reply with a short response, but a familiar voice sounded from behind him: “You seem to have a lot of time on your hands.”

Zhang Siyi froze and almost dropped his phone.

Standing at the end of the desk, unbeknown to Zhang Siyi, Gu Yu appeared behind him. With a cup in his hand, he was looking at him with penetrating, sharp eyes and smiling. Without giving Zhang Siyi the chance to talk, he commanded, “Come.”

Perturbed, Zhang Siyi hurriedly shoved his phone into his trousers pocket and followed him.

Gu Yu put two chairs in front of the desk. When Zhang Siyi sat in one, a girl with long straight hair came, and asked softly: “Looking for me?”

Gu Yu said “hmm” and indicated with his hand the vacancy to the side of Zhang Siyi, so she can sit down.

Two people looked at each other and Zhang Siyi was first to introduce himself: “Hello, I am Zhang Siyi. I was just hired yesterday.”

The girl smiled shyly, shook hands with him and softly said: “I heard. I am Du Rui, Hello.”

When Gu Yu saw that they had finished introductions, he pushed two stacks of information in front of them. “This is a design summary of a single youth apartment in S City. It requires three sets of plans. Du Rui will do two sets and Zhang Siyi will do one set. We will meet again in the conference room at 1:30 this afternoon to discuss the preliminary design plans. The plans need to be refined before the end of the work day.”

When Du Rui replied with a simple ‘understood’ and stood up to leave the office, Zhang Siyi was still digesting what Gu Yu said.

“Hey, wait.” Out of the door, Zhang Siyi hurriedly asked her, “He only gave us one morning to work on our designs? With lunch break, that only leaves three hours….?”

Du Rui calmly said: “Yes.”

Zhang Siyi was shocked. When they were studying, they were given a week for each assignment. Now he must do it in three hours? This time he couldn’t ignore the project data.

Du Rui, who had more experience than him, remained calm. Can he do it?

Zhang Siyi stiffly returned to his seat and frantically opened the information about the project to start reading it. The pressure of Gu Yu’s assignment was making him distressed. Never mind what earlier praise he received; Zhang Siyi didn’t have time to think about anything! With such constraints, Zhang Siyi’s motivation accelerated and was determined to create a good plan on time.

Since the project was to design a single apartment aimed at the young adult demographic, Zhang Siyi was more familiar with the work than he did with the bathrooms in the large office building. After all, he lived in a student apartment in the UK. In addition, he experienced many beautiful places when traveling abroad. He tried to draw from memory but changed it and instead used models. He would just have to wait until the meeting to explain his thoughts. Although it was a bit rough, Zhang Siyi was surprised at his efficiency. If he could have done this while studying, it would have been so easy!”

At lunch time, Zhang Siyi ordered a meal at the company and went to the dining area with his colleagues.

Du Rui sat two rows away from Zhang Siyi while Lu Qiao was between them. When she passed by, Zhang Siyi wanted to call out to her and ask her about the plan during lunch time, but Du Rui said: “You eat first. I haven’t finished my designs. I’ll eat later.”

Zhang Siyi thought about it too. She needed to draw two sets, and her workload was much greater than his. Curious, Zhang Siyi looked over at Du Rui to see what she was drawing. He was surprised as there were several already finished, beautifully drawn designs on the table.

“Oh my God! Are you drawing designs by hand?” Zhang Siyi said shocked.

Du Rui smiled and shook her head: “No, the designs have been drawn with a computer. I am making a few final touches now, so I can add some explanations afterwards.”

Zhang Siyi was stammered: “You, you are so good!”

Although the architecture department in the UK had related drawing courses, the department didn’t have a requirement for students to be very skilled at sketching and drawing by hand. Add the fact that computer design software was popular, Zhang Siyi rarely planned out his designs by hand. Without the years of practice at university, he absolutely couldn’t draw to the same professional level as Du Rui.

Du Rui humbly said: “Thanks, but I’m just ok. Take a look over at Yuan Zhicheng drawings. He graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts and his drawings are really great.”

Zhang Siyi didn’t want to say anything. He wanted to bury his own head in a basin of sand!

His relaxed state of mind from earlier quickly dissolved. Once he returned to his desk, he only had a half an hour left until the meeting and his mind was focused on the task. He used to laze around and check his social media accounts frequently, but now, it wasn’t something he was even considering.

He was looking over his design again when a message appeared at half passed one. Gu Yu had summoned him and Du Rui to meet.

In the discussion room, both he and Du Rui placed the designs out on the table for review. It felt like he was back in University having a weekly project critique and was waiting for his professor’s approval. Even knowing he had to plan out one apartment while she was assigned two, he was surprised at the volume of work Du Rui brought to the discussion room compared to his own. It made him feel wholly inadequate. On top of that, her renderings where so beautiful to look at! As a result, he broke out in a cold sweat.

Gu Yu quickly reviewed the work. He first acknowledged the volume of Du Rui work and then let Zhang Siyi look at the two designs. “What do you think?”

“Ah, uh, very good.” The quality of those hand drawn pictures has already blinded Zhang Siyi.

After careful examination, without any hesitation, Gu Yu was quick to point out several flaws in Du Rui’s scheme, one of which rendered it largely useless. She felt like crying.

On the side, Zhang Siyi was feeling apprehensive, only to find out that what he suffered last night was nothing. It was shocking. Gu Yu was a terrible person. He really was terrible! Even though Du Rui had worked so hard, he didn’t feel any pity at all!

When it was Zhang Siyi’s turn, he was prepared to hear the worst. Maybe there was a reason for Du Rui’s criticism, but he thought that if Gu Yu also found faults to his own work, Du Rui might feel a little better.

However, after looking over his design, Gu Yu just nodded and said two words: “It’s good.”

…… Good. that’s it?

Yes, there was nothing more to say.

For the next phase of the draft, the Director had Du Rui modify one of her plans, then combine them with Zhang Siyi efforts and finally said. “All the toilets are to be managed by Zhang Siyi.” He nodded at them, and then left.

Zhang Siyi: “…”

Zhang Siyi watched him nonchalantly leave the room. When he turned around, he saw Du Rui staring at his own drawings. Zhang SIyi wanted to ease the directors’ words in a small way but didn’t know what to say. Du Rui had worked at the office for a long time. He only just started, so how was he qualified to offer this senior a comforting word?

Embarrassed, he saw Du Rui wipe the corner of her eye and look up: “Zhang Siyi, can you talk to me about the thoughts behind your design?”

Zhang Siyi saw her firm tears and red eyes, but then the girl expression suddenly changed. A hint of stubbornness and determination was seen.


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