Some photos just should not be sent via text. 😉
Chapter 10.4 — To Like Two People (4)
Shen Xi got He Zhi Zhou’s text. It was very simple, very down-to-earth, and with nothing unusual at all in its content. But a woman’s rich imagination was able to forcibly derive many touching, yearning messages from it. Outside, the rain was misty. As she leaned herself against the window, she felt that she and He Zhi Zhou were two mandarin ducks so worthy of pity, and the one who was trying to break up these ducks—this couple—was the one driving the car, Shen Jian Guo.
In order to express her sadness and powerlessness, Shen Xi’s reply to He Zhi Zhou was this:
If you think about it, we are a couple of in-love little mandarin ducks with such a hard lot… Big Brother He, don’t you think so?<>Please read this at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com
In the library, when He Zhi Zhou saw this message, he massaged his throbbing temple. Little mandarin ducks? And he was one of those little mandarin ducks? He Zhi Zhou also felt powerless. Should he reply yes or no to that? In the end, he quickly wrote back,
Be good when you’re at home.<>Please read this at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com
Very soon, Shen Xi sent back her reply to his message. It was a long string of hearts.<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, this translation was taken without consent of the translator.
In S City, there was one roast duck restaurant that was especially famous. Prior to driving onto the expressway, Shen Jian Guo deliberately went out of the way, halfway around the city, to drive by this roast duck restaurant. Stopping the car, he instructed Shen Xi, “Get out and buy a roast duck to bring home.”
Shen Xi set her mobile phone down in the car. Before she stepped out of the vehicle, she extended her hand out at Shen Jian Guo. Shen Jian Guo simply set his wallet directly into her palm, a look of contempt on his face. “I don’t know at all when you’ll know to show some filial piety by treating me.”
“Don’t be rushed. Wait until I’ve graduated.” Patting Shen Jian Guo’s head, Shen Xi fished out an umbrella from her bag, and then holding that wallet, she stepped off the car.
Shen Jian Guo first shook his head, then began chuckling. Finally, his gaze landed on the mobile phone that Shen Xi had left in the car. Throwing a quick glance at his daughter outside, he swiftly picked up the phone and turned it on. The screen was stopped on a dialogue box.
Shen Xi had been chatting with “Islet in the River.” Shen Jian Guo’s blood pressure soared up, up, up from reading that short conversation. In the end, putting the phone back in its original spot, he drew in a deep breath. Such a pair of “little mandarin ducks” with a hard lot!
Calming himself, Shen Jian Guo pondered on this. His daughter was in a relationship, but the other party was not Tang Tang and was actually that silly “Islet in the River”?! Even though he had put “Islet in the River” on his blacklist, he would still visit that boy’s Weibo every day. The result, though, was that the more he saw and read, the more that boy seemed silly and senseless.
There was a pig that wanted to nibble on his household’s sweet little white cabbage [internet slang for someone innocent]. He had been guarding against this and defending against that, but he had actually missed that silly idiot, that “Islet in the River”!<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, this translation was taken without consent of the translator.
At noon, He Zhi Zhou, Monkey, and Brawny went together to the dining centre to have lunch. The “Power Electronics” exam that had originally been scheduled for tomorrow morning was changed last minute to two o’clock this afternoon. Monkey and Brawny were complaining nonstop about this. Not seeing Shen Xi, they asked, “Where’s Xi Xi?”
Without any ripple of emotion on his face, He Zhi Zhou answered, “She went home with her dad to H City. I’m guessing she’s probably on the expressway by now.”
Concernedly, Monkey asked, “Wha? Then that means you two will need to be apart for two months?”
He Zhi Zhou did not speak.<>This is an UNAUTHORIZED copy, taken from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com
Brawny jumped in with a practical sentence. “Leader, a lot of couples break up during the holidays. When I was in my last year of high school, I dated someone and we were really close, but before we were in university, we had already broken up. And the thing is, my home and her home are only a one-hour drive apart.”
He Zhi Zhou was pretty much done eating. Setting down his chopsticks, he stood. “You guys take your time and eat. I’m going to head out first.”
Monkey threw a displeased glower at Brawny. “Will you die if you don’t say anything that spoils people’s mood?!”
Brawny could not understand. “I… Here I am, still wrong, even though I dug up my blood and tear-stained past so that Leader could learn a lesson from it?!”
Monkey: “……”<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, this translation was taken without consent of the translator.
From S City to H City, if you drove a little faster, it would take a little more than one hour. In between, they had detoured to buy a roast duck, so when Shen Xi arrived at home, it was already past noon. Neither she nor Shen Jian Guo had eaten lunch, so in the car, they had each ripped a duck leg off and devoured it there.
By the time the roast duck was in Wu Ling’s hands, it was already a legless duck. Annoyed and amused at the same time, she finally just poked her daughter’s forehead with a finger. “What’s up with this?”
Shen Xi pointed at Shen Jian Guo. “He was the one who ate it first.” And then, she swiftly darted away into the house and went to find her granddad.
Grandpa Shen was busily at work inside the kitchen. Also in the kitchen was Xiao Yue, who was trying to stop him from helping out. “Grandpa Shen, I’m begging you. Please just go out. I know how to stew this soup!”
With a couple of “humph, humphs,” Grandpa Shen retorted, “Xiao Yue, don’t try to trick the elderly. You obviously don’t know how, but you’re still saying you do. So not honest.”
Xiao Yue shook her head in agony. Then, when she turned her head, she let out a cry. “Ah! A’Xi, you’re home!”
A’Xi? Grandpa Shen spun around and nudged up the reading glasses on the bridge of his nose, the wrinkles on his face practically blooming like flowers from his smile.
Leaning against the door, Shen Xi kept her eyes on her own granddad as she asked Xiao Yue, “Xiao Yue, who’s this old, handsome fellow?”
Xiao Yue pulled out some food from the oven while answering, “I don’t know.”
Irked, Grandpa Shen also jabbed a finger into Shen Xi’s forehead. “What? You don’t even recognize Granddad?!”
“I do, I do! It’s our family’s Master Shen!” Slipping an arm through Grandpa Shen’s, she helped him out of the kitchen, all the while rattling off a bunch of words that were pleasing to the ears.
Grandpa Shen nodded in satisfaction.<>You should be reading this at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com
Shen Xi loved chatting with Grandpa Shen the most, and when they were back in the living room, she began beamingly and excitedly describing her college life.
Sitting off to the side, Shen Jian Guo was also listening. He felt that his daughter had become sly. She had talked about a whole bunch of things, but not once had she mentioned “Islet in the River.”
Shen Xi truly did not dare tell her family about He Zhi Zhou. She tried her best to speak about some happy, trivial things, as well as her idea to work part-time while she was studying and to have a summer job.
Grandpa Shen was pleased when he heard this. “Good, good, good. That’s our Shen family’s girl!”
It seemed like Granddad was going to agree! Shen Xi blinked. If Granddad agreed to let her go to S City to work a summer job, Shen Jian Guo and Wu Ling would lose their right to speak out about it. As a result, she ignored the cold stare coming from Shen Jian Guo and happily sat down beside Granddad. “My roomie found a good job in S City teaching kids to dance. It’s 50 yuan an hour.”
“Is that so, is that so?” Taking hold of Shen Xi’s hand, Grandpa Shen declared smugly, “I have an even better job right here.”
Shen Xi was doubtful. A bad feeling rose up in her heart. “What?”
Laughing loudly, Granddad looked at her. “Massage Granddad’s back. 100 yuan an hour. What do you think of this summer job?!”
Twitching her lips a couple of times, Shen Xi stood up. “I’m going to my room for a look.”<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, this translation was taken without consent of the translator.
Once Shen Xi had gone upstairs, Shen Jian Guo immediately moved in beside his ol’ dad, and in a solemn and serious voice, he said, “Shen Xi has a boyfriend. When we’re eating later, help me cross-examine her a bit. But don’t say that I was the one who told you, okay?”
With an “Ah!” Grandpa Shen nodded his head with the same solemnity and seriousness, agreeing to this plan.
Shen Xi had just arrived upstairs when she received He Zhi Zhou’s text message:
You’re home?<>This is an UNAUTHORIZED copy, taken from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com
Standing at the corner of the stairs, Shen Xi replied to his message. Her lips were curved upwards, and as she typed, she even made little sounds of “hee hee hee hee hee hee.”
Such an enchanting smile filled with sweetness.
Inside the living room, Shen Jian Guo’s gaze was like daggers. He caught sight of this scene, and even told his own dad to look at it with him. “Look. Just look.”
With his head tilted to one side, Grandpa Shen gave a sharp cough. Shen Xi turned her head toward them and then, baffled, went to her room.
Shen Xi had some sweet and lovey time with He Zhi Zhou via the method of text messaging for a while before Shen Jian Guo called her downstairs to eat. The entire table was laden with food. Some were made by Wu Ling, some by Xiao Yue, and there were even some of Granddad’s specialty, Hunan dishes.
Shen Xi was very supportive of everyone’s hard work, and she took a few bites from every dish that each person made. Then she declared, “It’s just so much better at home. Eating the food in the school dining centre has made me all skinny.”
“From what I see, you’re not any skinnier,” Wu Ling retorted mercilessly. Setting down her chopsticks, she asked, “I heard your dad say you weren’t happy about coming home?”
Shen Xi ate with her head down. “No. Don’t listen to him spout nonsense.”
Wu Ling was defeated and bowed out of the battle. Shen Jian Guo turned his gaze onto his own dad and blinked incessantly. Grandpa Shen received the signal but pretended to be oblivious. After another furious wave of blinking from Shen Jian Guo, Grandpa Shen finally said casually, “A’Xi, your dad told me you got a boyfriend while you were in college. Is it true?”
Shen Jian Guo vomited blood. Hadn’t they agreed to not reveal that he was the one who told them?
But regardless, Shen Xi was cross-examined.
Going crazy from being backed into a corner by everyone’s interrogation, the young lady stomped upstairs. “Fine, fine, fine! You’re not letting me date anyone, right? Then I’ll go break up right now! If I become a leftover old spinster in the future, you guys can’t blame me for it because you guys are the ones, right here, right now, who forced me into it!”
Such vicious words. Grandpa Shen chased after her a few steps. “When did we say you couldn’t date? We’re just showing concern for you. And also, there’s a teenie-weenie bit of curiosity, that’s all!”
Turning back around, Shen Xi said in compromise, “How about this? I’ll have a video call with him tonight, and I will allow you all to have a little look at him.”
“Sure, sure, sure.” Grandpa Shen and Wu Ling nodded. Only Shen Jian Guo turned his nose up at this. What was there to see about a senseless, silly idiot? Even if he was extremely good-looking, he was still a senseless, silly idiot.<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, this translation was taken without consent of the translator.
Slipping swiftly back into her room, Shen Xi, feeling in quite a good mood, lay down on her bed. She sent a text to He Zhi Zhou:
What are you doing?
Very quickly, her message received a response:
Taking an exam.<>This is an UNAUTHORIZED copy, taken from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com
Holy crap! He was in the middle of an exam and he could still reply to her text? Why was her boyfriend just so awesome? Shen Xi sent over another text message, tentatively asking,
You’re in an exam, and you’re not scared the examination teacher will see you?
Because I am the examination teacher. Your boyfriend’s mobile is in my hands right now.
Shen Xi quickly shot back a reply:
Bye, teacher.<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, this translation was taken without consent of the translator.
S University’s most bored examination teacher set down He Zhi Zhou’s mobile phone and shouted down at the students below the podium, “You people don’t work hard normally, and now you’re trying to slip some quick ones by me. If I catch even one more glance of it happening, it’s going to be a big, fat zero! And you, the student who’s kicking the chair, you’ve been kicking for half an hour already, and your fellow student in front of you has ignored you the whole time. Can you give up yet?”
Brawny bitterly pulled back his foot. That’s right. He was the one kicking the chair, and he had kicked for a full half an hour. Who knew Lin Yu Tang would be so heartless?!<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, this translation was taken without consent of the translator.
Shen Xi went downstairs to ask Shen Jian Guo for her new dress.
Shen Jian Guo did not want to give it to her. The reality that “a daughter’s heart doesn’t stay with the home” had left him in a state of great sorrow. Alas, Shen Xi was kneading and massaging his back for him, and so, with a wave of his hand, he sent her away, saying, “Your mom has already hung it up in your room.”
“Thank you, Papa-o.” Shen Xi was terribly touched. Racing back to her room, she yanked open her wardrobe. Sure enough, she saw that pretty dress that she had been longing after for a long time. As she reached out her hand and stroked that dress, her heart was filled with delight, and inwardly she cupped her fists. She needed to take a bath right away and then put it on.
Taking off her clothes, she went into the bathroom, but the instant she stepped foot inside, she turned around and went back out again. Grabbing her mobile phone that was on the bed, she brought it along with her. He Zhi Zhou for sure would be calling her after he finished his examination. She was worried that she would not be able to hear the phone when she was in the bath.
Some people say that when a woman is in a relationship, she turns into a nutcase. Now, she was a happy little nutcase.
Lying in the bathtub, she even began to wander through Weibo. Five minutes ago, “Lion in the Wind” had posted a Weibo that said this:
I brought my daughter back from school, but I didn’t bring her heart back. What should I do?<>This is an UNAUTHORIZED copy, taken from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com
With her alternate Weibo account, Shen Xi clicked “like” on this post and also replied in the comments.
I can see that your daughter is a good girl who has a passion for studying. I suggest that you send your daughter back to school so that her body can be reunited with her heart.<>Please read this at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com
Downstairs, Mr. Lion instantly became disgruntled. Who was this person? Blacklist him, blacklist him, blacklist him!
Shen Xi was mainly just waiting for He Zhi Zhou’s phone call, so as she waited, she did some leg kicks. When she was tired from kicking, she sprawled herself on the edge of the bathtub and pondered. They had only been apart for a few hours and she was already like this. How was she even going to last through these next two and more months.
Right at this moment, her phone rang. He Zhi Zhou was calling. Instantly, she picked it up, but then she first asked, “Is it you in person?”
He Zhi Zhou had been the first to step out of the examination room. “It is me in person.”
Shen Xi began making whining noises.<>Please read this at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com
He Zhi Zhou asked, “What are you doing?”
Lying in the tub, Shen Xi lifted a leg. “Bathing.”
Putting on a serious front, He Zhi Zhou said flatly, “Your phone’s waterproofing abilities are pretty good.”
Shen Xi knew that He Zhi Zhou had thought in the wrong direction, so to prove that the answer was true, she faced her phone and, with a click, took a photo and sent it over to him.
When He Zhi Zhou received the photo on his phone, he inhaled shaprly, feeling as well that there was no way he would be able to get through these two months.<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, this translation was taken without consent of the translator.
50 of 65 chapter segments
0 of 2 epilogues