The family gets to “meet” He Zhi Zhou. And He Zhi Zhou gives Shen Xi a surprise. 🙂
Chapter 10.5 — To Like Two People (5)
Inside the photograph, Shen Xi was lying in tub of white bubbles, her long, slender neck and beautiful collarbones showing above the water and her hair wrapped in a towel. Her forehead was bright and clean like jade, and her complexion was fair like cream. Her eyes were limpid, dancing with glimmering light, and had curved into two little crescent moons as she smiled. Some bubbles were on her cheeks, which were stained with a rosy glow from the steamy heat… As He Zhi Zhou’s eyes stared fixedly at the photograph in his mobile phone, his palms began to itch a little. He wanted to reach his hand out to wipe away those bubbles and then pull her out from the bathtub.
He really wanted to pull her out from there…
Why would he want to pull her out? And what would he do after he pulled her out?
Shen Xi had sent the photograph over to He Zhi Zhou purely because she wanted to prove that “she was this type of bathing, not that type of bathing.” It was only when He Zhi Zhou did not reply to her for a long while that she vaguely perceived that something was not quite right. Resting her upper body on the edge of the tub, she stared blankly for a long time. Gradually, a tinge of red rose up into her face. Would He Zhi Zhou think that she was a really easy and loose type of girl?
This was so annoying…<>This is an UNAUTHORIZED copy, taken from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com
So, with the fastest speed possible, she photoshopped that picture from just a moment ago, sticking a giant carrot over the entire bathtub part. Then, she sent it over again and even included an innocent, purposely cute-sounding caption:
Haha. I sent that one off a little too quickly and forgot to photoshop it. Big Brother He, look at this one.<>Please read this at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com
Big Brother He, look at this one… He Zhi Zhou stared at the new photograph that Shen Xi had sent over. In his gaze, all that was left was a giant carrot… With quivering fingers, he simply deleted it straightaway.
A man’s way of thinking is different from a woman’s. Gathering and getting control of his ridiculous and chaotic thoughts, he sent back a “Good girl” to Shen Xi to end the conversation and then slipped his phone into his pants pocket.
Hee hee. Inside the bathtub, Shen Xi was feeling sweet and sugary in her heart for half an hour because of this “Good girl.” Sure enough, once she photoshopped that picture, she had immediately become pure and innocent again in He Zhi Zhou’s eyes.<>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.
For dinner, He Zhi Zhou went to the dining hall to eat. When he was ordering his dishes, he realized that he was utterly unable to look at that dish of stir-fried carrots and meat. After getting his food, he went over to eat with Monkey and Brawny, but seeing the stir-fried carrots and meat on Brawny’s tray, he moved to a different table.
Brawny asked Monkey, “Is Leader joking around with us?”
Monkey answered, “He saw you, and that affected his appetite.”
Giving an “oh,” Brawny murmured to himself, “Then it must be because I’m just too good-looking, so when Leader sees me, he doesn’t want to eat.”
Monkey could not handle listening any further to this, and picking up his own tray, he moved far, far away from Brawny.
Monkey and He Zhi Zhou began chatting about their summer plans. Monkey’s older brother had a technology company in S City, so he knew some inside news. He asked, “Leader, I heard that your name is on the list for S&N’s Bolin project. Is it true?”
He Zhi Zhou nodded. “I agreed to join them.”
Sighing regretfully, Monkey said, “My older brother’s been wanting to poach you. The pay and benefits would definitely be better than S&N’s. And plus, we have such a close relationship…”
He Zhi Zhou cut off Monkey’s words. “Monkey, us is us, your brother is your brother. There is no need to link the two together. I have my own thoughts and reasons for choosing S&N.”
Monkey understood what He Zhi Zhou was trying to say. Sincerely mulling things over from He Zhi Zhou’s perspective, he commented, “Leader, I feel, though, that it’s quite a shame that you’re not going to the U.S. That’s such a great opportunity, and the future it can provide isn’t even on the same level that the ones here can compare to. If you stay in the country and don’t utilize the connections that Elder He has, it’ll be quite hard and a lot of work.”
“There’s no big difference,” He Zhi Zhou remarked. He did not give too much of an explanation. There were some decisions where there was no need to provide too much explanation.
Monkey took the reason for Leader’s decision not to go to the United States and thought about it in regards to Shen Xi. Yes, it was a shame, but it was also very understandable. Grinning, he said, “Leader, regardless, I’m wishing for you that you reap a harvest in both love and career.”
He Zhi Zhou: “Thank you.”<>Please read this at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com
Lin Yu Tang was the last to arrive for dinner. He was very busy of late with examinations and also needing to contact the company of his internship. However, no matter how busy he was, he still called Shen Xi and asked her how things were in her home and family.
Shen Xi gave a truthful report to him. Sitting cross-legged on the sofa, she babbled on about a lot of things. Their two families’ homes were close, so after reporting about her own family, she gave a report on Uncle and Auntie Lin, too.
Lin Yu Tang had made the call right in front of He Zhi Zhou. When he hung up the phone, He Zhi Zhou asked him straight up, “I’m going to H City tomorrow. Need me to bring anything back for you?”
As Lin Yu Tang held his mobile phone, it was quite some time before he tossed back two words: “No thanks.”<>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.
He Zhi Zhou contacted the person who was in charge over at S&N and told him that he would be starting there three days later. His contact agreed to this but still asked for a reason.
The different faculties in S University all had different examination schedules. Many of the faculties had finished their exams and were on break already. All along the campus pathways, there were the sounds of the rolling wheels of suitcases.
Pulling back his gaze, He Zhi Zhou answered, “I need to make a trip to H City.”
At the very least, before he got busy, he wanted to see her one time.<>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 contrast to He Zhi Zhou’s busyness, Shen Xi was bored senseless at home. Xiao Yue had a boyfriend and was hiding away in the garden having telephone marathons. She, though, was worried that she would disturb He Zhi Zhou and would rather be bored than call him.
But Granddad and Wu Ling were urging her the whole time to hurry up and have the video call. From one in the afternoon all the way to seven in the evening, they kept pressing her. She searched for a reason. “He’s really busy. He’s a top student in S University, and he has two exams tomorrow.”
Her voice carried a tone of pride in it that unconsciously awed Granddad and Wu Ling. Only Shen Jian Guo was still very disdainful. “You’re saying it like we’ve never had exams before.”
What was up with this guy? Rolling her eyes, Shen Xi was already beginning to side with the “outsider.” “What type of marks did you get when you took your exams? How is he even the same as you? He’s one of those students who rules in his studies, like a godly student, you know?!”
Shen Jian Guo: “I used to rule in my studies, too. I was a little overlord who ruled over all the students who were studying.”
Shen Xi: “……”<>This is an UNAUTHORIZED copy, taken from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com
Wu Ling tended to favour boys who were good in their studies, and though this was still a headache, she still asked, “When compared to Tang Tang, who’s better?”
“Humph—” Shen Jian Guo let out another scoffing sneer.
Shen Xi threw a glare at him.<>Please read this at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com
Shen Jian Guo rose to his feet. Worried that the rest of his family would get brainwashed by Shen Xi, he opened his mouth and bitterly and lamentingly began to speak. “Don’t listen to her nonsense talk. He’s not that good at all! If he really was that good, do you think he’d fall for our daughter? Otherwise Tang Tang would have long agreed to be with our A’Xi already. Those who have smart brains want to find someone else who is smart, or else there will be difficulties just communicating. If you ask me, that guy is just one of those young dudes who likes pretty girls. A top student at S University my foot! I’m not lying to you. I met that guy once. He seems like he’s in the same college as A’Xi and is majoring in preschool education!”
Majoring in preschool education?! Shen Xi was flabbergasted. Was there anything more insulting to a man? She glowered fiercely at Shen Jian Guo. “You’re deliberately making stuff up to make him look bad!” Tossing out this one sentence, she tramped furiously upstairs to her room.
Staring after his daughter’s backside as it went upstairs, Shen Jian Guo was feeling a little anxious. He did not want his little girl to hate him, but nothing he said had been wrong! It wasn’t as if he had never seen that “Islet in the River.” His walk was all hoppy and skippy, his eyes would blink and blink, and his lips would pout up when he spoke while occasionally nibbling on his lip, too…
As he gave this description, Shen Jian Guo was imitating “Islet in the River” from that day, and with his head tilted to the side, he mimicked, “Hello, Shen Bo Bo…”[伯伯 bo bo means “uncle” and is how you would address someone older than your father. In Shen Jian Guo’s ears, this had implied that he was old.]
“No way, is that true?” Grandpa Shen and Wu Ling were once more given a fright and both wagged their hands vigorously. “That won’t do.”
Shen Jian Guo felt the victory was his. “Later when you guys see him in the video call, you’ll know. He’s absolutely a senseless, silly idiot.”
What a joke.<>This is an UNAUTHORIZED copy, taken from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com
Going back into her room, Shen XI went online. She saw that He Zhi Zhou was online, but she was too embarrassed to tell him that her whole family already believed he was majoring in preschool education.
She sent a smiley face over to him.
It was only after he had girlfriend that He Zhi Zhou had developed a habit of having QQ open whenever his computer was on. He sent back a question mark, then waited for the rest of the story from Shen Xi.
After hesitating for a long while, Shen Xi in the end decided that she was not going to let He Zhi Zhou know that her family wanted to see him. Shutting off her webcam, she sent over a string of words:
Big Brother He, may I see you?<>Please read this at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com
He Zhi Zhou simply sent a video call invitation directly over. When he discovered that there was something blocking the webcam over on Shen XI’s end, he did not ask anything, but in his heart, he already knew what was going on.
Seeing that He Zhi Zhou was so ready and willing, Shen Xi happily typed off a string of hearts to him. Then, she ran out of her room and called everyone in. Less than a minute later, the entire Shen family was gathered in her room to see this “Islet in the River” of legends, including Xiao Yue, the housekeeper.
Shen Jian Guo stood in the very centre and on either side of him were Wu Ling and Grandpa Shen. Xiao Yue, with great difficulty, managed to stick her head in between them. Panicked from being crowded out of the way, Grandpa Shen shoved Xiao Yue’s head back out. “Hey, Xiao Yue, what are you so concerned about?”
Xiao Yue expressed her dissent. “Xi Xi said he’s more handsome than Kris Wu [Wu Yifan], the guy I like. I don’t believe her.”
With all the commotion behind her, Shen Xi decided to simply shut off the microphone. Then, in the chat window, she typed,
Big Brother He, could you tilt your face up?<>Please read this at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com
Lifting his head higher, He Zhi Zhou smiled at the webcam. Oh my, honestly such an entrancing smile with the lift of his head!
From within the group of onlookers, there was the sound of a sharp inhale. It had come from Grandpa Shen. Realizing that he had forgotten himself, he hastily gave a couple of deep, stern coughs, and with very much the airs of an elder, he remarked, “His looks are quite good.”
Wu Ling agreed.<>This is an UNAUTHORIZED copy, taken from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com
Xiao Yue nodded. Even if she did not want to accept it, she still had to accept it.
This was the first time He Zhi Zhou had ever smiled for so long, his lips maintaining a perfect amount of upward curve to them. And then, typing, he asked about Shen Xi’s family:
Are Shen Shu Shu [叔叔shu shu also means “uncle,” but it is how you would address a man younger than your father] and Auntie Shen well?<>Please read this at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com
“Not bad!” Wu Ling glanced puzzledly at Shen Jian Guo. “He knows to ask about us and how we’re doing.”
“Shen Shu Shu [(younger) Uncle Shen] my foot. He was still calling me Shen Bo Bo [(older) Uncle Shen] last time.” An expression of an extreme loathing of evilness covered Shen Jian Guo’s face.
Shen Jian Guo sure holds grudges… Shen Xi hung her head remorsefully. “Shen Bo Bo” had come from her lips, but now He Zhi Zhou was taking all the blame for it.
Wu Ling carefully examined the face inside the video call window—really more handsome than even the male celebrities on television. His bearing and manner appeared to be the calm, humble type. What part of that boy was like the senseless, silly idiot Shen Jian Guo described?
Pointing at the He Zhi Zhou inside the video call, Shen Jian Guo declared, “Tell him to drink some water!” Last time, he had discovered that “Islet in the River” had the habit of lifting his fingers up gracefully. He absolutely had to force the silly idiot to reveal his true colours!
Unconsciously turning her fingers up gracefully as she typed on her keyboard, Shen Xi sent over the words,
Big Broher He, are you thirsty?<>Please read this at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com
He Zhi Zhou was not thirsty, but still he picked up his mug that was in front of his computer and took a sip before setting it back down again. His movements were elegant and natural and carried an innate noble air.
“This child’s family should be quite well off, right?” Wu Ling asked.
This question… Shen Xi had never specifically asked about He Zhi Zhou’s family situation, but just from thinking about it a little, it was not difficult to know that it could not be bad. “Should be better off than our family.”
Wu Ling nodded, but she was also worried now. “Then, what does he like about you?”
Shen Jian Guo grabbed on to this key point and immediately questioned as well, “Shen Xi, you go ask this He Zhi Zhou right now, what is it he likes about you?”
Shen Xi refused to ask.<>This is an UNAUTHORIZED copy, taken from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com
Shen Jian Guo ran his fingernails over her back. “Are you going to ask or not?!”
Petty little man! Sprawling herself in front of her computer, she swiftly typed off some words, but she switched to ask him in a different way.
He Zhi Zhou, what do you like most about me?<>Please read this at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com
He Zhi Zhou’s back was against his seatback. Truly feeling a little thirsty, he picked up his water and had a drink before directly inputting the words,
Hello, Uncle and Auntie.<>Please read this at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com
Ah, ah, ah, ah, aaaah! He actually knew! The entire Shen family exploded!
He Zhi Zhou typed again.
I know you still do not feel assured about the relationship between myself and Xi Xi, but I genuinely like Shen Xi and her sincerity and kindness. She is a wonderful girl.<>Please read this at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com
Sob sob sob. It seemed he did look quite sincere…
Wu Ling and Grandpa Shen were somewhat satisfied. Only Shen Jian Guo was staunchly persevering on with his beliefs. “An act, an act, an act! He’s definitely putting on an act! He must have known ahead of time that we’re watching him, right?”
Shen Xi’s two fingers shot up straight as she guaranteed, “I swear, I did not say a thing.”
Shen Jian Guo did not believe her, but while he was planning his next move, the mobile phone by the laptop began to ring. Shen Xi glanced at the phone’s screen—incoming call from He Zhi Zhou. The room was too noisy, so picking up the phone, Shen Xi turned around and said, “Can you guys be a bit quieter?”
The loudest one was Shen Jian Guo. Both Wu Ling and Grandpa Shen signaled with their eyes to him that he should settle down, and even Xiao Yue reminded him, “Uncle Shen, be quiet for a bit first!”
Shen Jian Guo refused to quiet down, though. Walking out to the balcony, Shen Xi answered the call and, in passing, pulled the glass balcony door closed, shutting out all the ruckus. Then, with her back against the railing, she asked nervously, “Big Brother He, you knew…”
It had been so obvious. How could he not have guessed? He Zhi Zhou asked her directly, “Shen Xi, will you be at home tomorrow?”
Smoothing her hair that was tousled from the wind, Shen Xi answered, “Yup, I’ll be there the whole time.”
He Zhi Zhou: “All right, then. See you tomorrow.”
“Huh?” Taking a couple seconds for her brain to catch up, Shen Xi finally realized what He Zhi Zhou meant. She was so excited her palms were sweaty. “He Zhi Zhou, what do you want to come over to do?”
“To visit.”<>This is an UNAUTHORIZED copy, taken from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com
The next day, holding a little lace parasol above her head, Shen Xi squatted outside Court Bay Villas and waited for her boyfriend.
Sob sob. Why was there a feeling that she was being tricked?<>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.
51 of 65 chapter segments
0 of 2 epilogues