Fanatical

Fangirling Chinese Novels

Easily Set Aflame (轻易放火) — Chapter 6.1

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Oh, goodness, this chapter is just so sweet, in a subtle way. Thoughtfully ordering dishes she likes. Exchanging looks that only they understand. Half an hour on the phone. ❤

Chapter 6.1 — Development Period While Staying in Shanghai (1)

This story was translated with the express permission of the author for hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com only. All forms of reproduction, redistribution, or re-posting are not authorized. If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, the copy is unauthorized and has been taken without consent of the translator.

Twenty minutes later, Jia He arrived at a place near Xujiahui[1].

This was a prime area, and all the outdoor parking spots had long since been taken. She therefore could only roll down her window and ask the doorway which communities nearby had places that allowed people to park. The handsome boy took a glimpse at her license plate, then all of a sudden, with a rather furtive manner, cast a couple of extra glances at her and inquired whether her name was Jia He.

Puzzled, Jia He nodded in response.

That person at once said, “Miss Jia He, come out of the vehicle, please. I will help you look for a spot.”

Only after, when she had stepped into that private room and A-Qing had explained with a smile that this place was relatively safer, did she learn that Yi Wenze owned shares in this luxury club.

She had previously been here two or three times. Those were several years ago, when she was still a financial columnist, and the opportunities had only come about because she had come here to interview several real estate tycoons. She recalled how the people who wrote the food column had salivated countless times over this restaurant but had been powerless because, from a membership perspective, this place had no need at all for them to do any articles on it for public relations and promotional purposes. As a result, that group whose taste buds had always been blessed could only envy Jia He, someone who worked on the finance side.

“Screenwriter,” A-Qing said, holding up the menu, “if there’s anything you want to eat, no need to be polite. Treat it like it’s your own home.”

Because she knew that Jia He was from Beijing, on the final word, she had purposely turned her tone up to add the “r” sound of erhuayin[2]to the end of it. So crazily adorable.

Unfortunately for A-Qing, though, immediately after making this statement, her fated affinity with this dinner was cut off. Despite their being extremely careful, some reporters had still found out that Yi Wenze had come to Shanghai. The good thing was, this was his own turf, but to prevent any disturbance to the customers here, A-Qing still had the tough work of performing a little act of “luring the tigers away from the mountain[3].”

It had been one month since Jia He had last seen him. Now, facing him again, she returned once more to the state of mind she had had when she first met him, nervous and only drinking her tea.

As before, he was dressed simply, a light-gray button-up shirt paired with silver cufflinks and a black watch, which, beneath the lights, reflected a haloed glow off of it—no matter how you looked, everything was just right.

He handed the menu to her. “What would you like to eat?”

She thought for a moment. “You’re the boss here. Any recommendations?”

He smiled. “I actually haven’t been here even a few times and might be even less familiar with the place than you are.”

Seeing that Jia He was drinking quickly, he helped her refill her tea.

Cradling the teacup between her hands, Jia He sighed with a smile, “Back then, I only got the chance to come in here for a look because I happened to be interviewing a few real estate developers.” She counted the times up carefully. “Just three times or so, and those times were always ‘interview first,’ so I didn’t even know what I actually ate.”

She could still remember, during her first time here, that real estate developer, assuming a solemn, dignified air, had said that just the interior decorating of this place alone had cost several hundred million [RMB]. The subtext of that: this place was very upscale and posh. At the time, she had merely retorted in her mind, “Gaudy!” Later, when she had seen and experienced more, she understood that just the words “by membership only” alone required this type of capital-intensive basis. In those few years as a financial columnist, she had always been following wealthy people to the many places they went, and so she truly was now immune to all delectable foods. However, once she thought about the fact that this was a restaurant that her idol had invested in, she felt that she had truly committed a terrible sin back then by not having a proper taste of the food here.

He took a drink of iced water. “In the future, when you come, you can just use my name. If you don’t feel comfortable about that, you can call A-Qing and have her reserve the table for you.”

Jia He shook her head. “I don’t need to do any sort of business entertaining or stuff like that, so it won’t be necessary.”

He did not say any more and only motioned to her to continue looking at the menu.

The pendant light above the table hung very low, and enclosed in a deep-red paper lampshade, the light it emitted was incredibly soft.

Casually, she looked through the menu, starting with the dish of crab meat and bamboo shoots, moving to foie gras poached in sake, and continuing onwards. With each, she needed to consider whether the dish would make her look unsightly when she ate it, and at the same time she also needed to take into account what Yi Wenze’s tastes were. Hence, when she reached the very end of the menu, she still had not suggested a single dish. In the end, she could only turn back to the first page and continue with this “homework.” The entire time, Yi Wenze was quietly leaning back in his chair, a cigarette arbitrarily pinched between two fingers, but left unlit.

“What’s wrong?” She examined that cigarette but was unable to find anything unusual.

He smiled. “Nothing. This is a non-smoking area.”

Jia He found these words rather strange. This place was structured into individual private rooms. Why would there even be the idea of having non-smoking areas? However, since he had said so, it would not be right for her to keep pressing about it, so she could only bow her head and resume poring over the menu.

Observing Jia He’s indecision, he asked, “There’s nothing that you want to eat?”

She was disheartened. “It’s actually because there are so many things that I’m going dizzy just looking at them. Everything I see, I want to eat.”

Ordering food is an art, especially when you are with your idol of more than ten years and there are just too many things that you need to take into consideration, so it actually becomes a burden.

Eventually, he was the one who selected a few specialty dishes, all of them ones suited to Jia He’s tastes. In between, he had even specifically inquired with her whether she was very fond of eating roast duck. Not knowing whether she should cry or laugh at the question, Jia He explained the misconception, saying that while roast duck was a specialty of Beijing[4], this did not mean that every Beijinger loved eating it. For herself, since she spent a lot of time inland, she preferred seafood a bit more.

She had not expected that, to their dinner menu that had already been set, a dish of shrimp dewdrops on rose blossoms would immediately be added.

Deep crimson roses cupped exquisite, little, pale-pink shrimp. She carefully picked up a shrimp with her chopsticks and bit into it. The fragrant taste of roses permeated everywhere through her mouth.

<>This translation’s actual site of posting is hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. Please support the translation by reading it there instead. Thank you.

When they were just about finished eating, Yi Wenze took a phone call.

Jia He listened to him speak a few sentences. It seemed the person on the other end of the call was a friend who was presently heading over here. At once, she set down her chopsticks. However, right when she was about to say that she would not hold him up from seeing his friend, the door was already being pushed open with a whoosh. The person who strode in was still holding his mobile phone in his left hand, and offhandedly he took a seat beside Yi Wenze. “I’ve been waiting for you for half an hour already.” He finished saying this, then turned to Jia He and gave a nod. “Hello, I’m A-Ze’s friend, Wu Zhilun.”

For a moment, as Jia He looked into this sunny, handsome face and listened to him introduce himself, she wanted to laugh.

Just in the lineup of movies released for the Valentine’s Day period alone, there were two in which this person was the lead actor. This person who, when simply walking down the street, would get mobbed and surrounded to the point that it would be difficult to even take a single step, was now giving this self-introduction in a serious tone. She really wondered if this was because of his personality or he was actually joking around with her.

Finally, unable to restrain herself, she let out a laugh. “Hello, I’m Jia He.”

With an “oh,” Wu Zhilun asked, “Jia he wan shi xing[5] [A harmonious family prospers in all things]?”

Jia He felt a headache coming on, and she began explaining in detail how her name should be written. Alas, due to the language difference between them, even after she and Wu Zhilun had discussed these two simple characters for two minutes, he still seemed only to half-understand. In the end, even Jia He herself felt too awkward to keep explaining and decided simply to give up. “Just treat it like it’s the jia he in ‘a harmonious family prospers in all things.’”

Yi Wenze had been watching with a smile as the two of them tried to communicate, and only when Jia He had thrown in her towel did he leisurely explain to Wu Zhilun, “She’s a Beijinger. She doesn’t really understand Cantonese and cannot speak it either.”

Wu Zhilun flicked him a look, seeming to blame him for not taking the initiative to introduce the two of them himself and thus making things awkward for Wu Zhilun.

Jia He hastily explained that she could understand seventy to eighty percent, and it was no big deal. She did not expect that this would draw a teasing question from him. “Oh, seventy to eighty percent, eh? So when you guys interact, is it in Mandarin or Cantonese?”

It was a very simple sentence, but his tone made it seem extremely suggestive of other things.

Jia He answered, “Mandarin,” and then bowed her head and began to slowly suck at her slush drink through her straw, trying hard to make herself turn into air. Before long, someone opened a bottle of wine and brought it in. As she stared at that bottle in the server’s hand, she suddenly remembered that Yi Wenze was still in his recovery period and it would not be good for him to consume alcohol. However, it was not fitting for her to say anything in front of Wu Zhilun either. As a result, she could only secretly steal a glance at the person opposite her. To her surprise, her gaze intersected with his.

He pulled his eyes back, saying to Wu Zhilun, “I can’t drink alcohol for the time being.”

“That’s a pity. I specially brought it here with me.” Wu Zhilun obviously had not noticed that he had completely become just a piece of the background, and swirling his wine glass, he remarked offhandedly, “I was just saying earlier, the viewership and reception for this television drama of yours are probably going to be pretty good. Congratulations, you very well might be completely getting out of the market of television dramas.”

Jia He could understand the words within his words. Television serials are very exhausting to film, the pay is not high, and any fame from it is limited to within the country. Consequently, most actors or actresses will only do them when their popularity is declining or when they are first starting out and want their face to become familiar to the general populace. But even though she understood that to be the meaning of his statement, she still could not help getting a slight internal injury from it…

Yi Wenze did not really seem to care. “Being in television dramas is quite good, too.”

Wu Zhilun laughed. “Oh, whatever, you. This time it was an old friend’s production company; otherwise I would have advised you to not touch television dramas.”

The two seemed to have a very good relationship, talking and laughing the whole time. Simply listening to them felt to Jia He like she was watching a modern-setting television drama; there was eye candy, and it was interesting and amusing.

When it was nearly ten o’clock, Yi Wenze glanced at his watch. “Do you live far from here?”

Jia He worked it out in her mind. “Not bad. There’s about a one-hour drive and then I’ll be home.”

Listening to them up to this point, Wu Zhilun at last understood that Yi Wenze was letting Jia He leave first. Straightaway, he expressed his displeasure at that. “It’s seldom that I’m here. We can’t just go to your house and watch DVDs again, right?” He looked at Jia He. “Let’s go to A-Ze’s house together. He’s a workaholic. You and me plus the two assistants will be just enough to form a mahjong table.”

Put in a hard spot with this, Jia He looked at him and declined, “I don’t know how to play Hong Kong mahjong.

It was apparent that Wu Zhilun’s enthusiasm was soaring. “No problem. I can teach you.”

Yi Wenze did not seem to really consider his feelings and only carried on asking, “Should I arrange for a car to take you home?”

Jia He took a quick glimpse at Wu Zhilun, then decided that Idol still took precedence. “There’s no need, thanks. I drove over here myself.”

And so, that sunny, handsome man’s invitiation to play mahjong, just like that, was ignored…

<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. Translated with the express permission of the author for hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com only

Jia He was stepping out the front doors before she realized that rain was already hammering down. She could not help sighing over how Shanghai’s rain was so abundant during the season of plum rains[6] that it made people gawk. Simply by observing the strength of the downpour, she knew the extent to which the traffic on the elevated roadways would be congested, so she decided that she might as well, driving her little MINI Cooper, just inch and squeeze her way into the sea of cars on Huaihai Road[7].

In boredom, she was looking down and adjusting the radio when her car lurched. Her body instantly slammed into her steering wheel.

In the pouring rain, on bustling West Huaihai Road, tragedy had befallen her: her car was rear-ended.

Heavy rain, traffic jam, and a car accident.

Having brought no umbrella, Jia He had no choice but to hide out in her car for a while and then run out again for another while to cooperatively assist the traffic police with whatever they needed from her. By the time everything was dealt with, she was already totally drenched and in a horribly wretched state. She was a new driver in the first place, and after all this kerfuffle, even more so did she not dare get back on the road again. Pulling out her mobile phone, she planned on having someone come to pick her up so she could first change into some clean, dry clothes, and then worry about other things after that.

To her surprise, in just this short while, the display on her phone was already showing three missed calls.

Two were from Gu Yu and one from Yi Wenze.

Hesitating for a moment, in the end, she still decided to first resolve this predicament of hers. However, Qiao Qiao’s phone number was constantly returning a busy signal. After dialing it seven or eight times, she could do nothing except silently curse Qiao Qiao for putting loveship before friendship and then toss down her phone.

The front windshield wipers had come to a stop for a long time already. Rain continuously flowed down, encasing the car within a curtain of water, making the pedestrians outside appear blurry. The radio was giving traffic reports, stating that traffic was backed up at this location or a car accident had occurred at that location. Even more vexed from listening to all this, Jia He flipped through the radio, from love and relationship talk shows to song-request programs, changing channels several times but still not finding one that satisfied her. Therefore, she could only go back and continue listening to traffic reports.

It was quite some time later before she once again pulled up those missed calls and tapped Yi Wenze’s number to dial back.

On his end, the phone was answered very quickly. Even the sound of Wu Zhilun’s laughter could be heard.

“You’re home now?”

She replied, “No, I’m still on the road.”

After a slight silence, he unexpectedly asked, “Did something happen?”

Jia He paused briefly in surprise, not expecting that he would so easily deduce that this accident had occurred. “It’s raining hard outside. I was rear-ended just now. My home’s too far from here and I don’t dare drive back, so I can only wait for Qiao Qiao to come pick me up.” She did not dare tell him about her sorry plight of being completely sodden from head to toe. Honestly, such bad luck.

“About how long until she gets there?”

Jia He was uncertain whether she should cry or find this funny. “I don’t know yet. She’s been doing a marathon phone call this whole time. All I can do is pull over to the side of the road and wait for her.” When she finished saying this, she remembered that she still had not asked Yi Wenze what he had called her for. “Did you call me for something?”

Not answering her, Yi Wenze carried on asking, “Which intersection are you at?”

Jia He took a look out the window and stated a location.

Then she heard him speaking in Cantonese, but his words were not directed at her and rather were to Wu Zhilun beside him. In a laughing tone, Wu Zhilun berated him, saying something along the lines of, if he got photographed, she might become his rumoured girlfriend. Very soon, though, things became quiet again on that end of the call.

Only now did her mind catch up enough to react, and she hurriedly said, “You guys don’t need to go to the trouble. I’ll just wait for a bit. I’ll be fine.”

His tone was completely unbothered. “It’s no problem. He’s just chitchatting here anyway and doesn’t have any real, proper business.”

Jia He’s words were choked back into her throat. This was her first time discovering that her idol seemed very unreasonable…

<>Please support this translation by reading it at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, its actual site of posting. Thank you very much.

The radio continued prattling about the dreadful traffic. He appeared in no hurry to hang up the phone, and the two of them conversed idly about this and that and did not hang up until Wu Zhilun arrived.

Tossing his umbrella into the back seat, Wu Zhilun pulled up the hood of his hoodie and looked at her with a broad grin. “Let’s go. Where is your friend’s house?”

Jia He handed a box of tissues to him, motioning to him to first wipe the water off of himself. “Let me make a phone call first and ask.”

With such traffic, it would have taken at least half an hour to get here from Xujiahui. She had actually, just like that, chatted with Yi Wenze for half an hour and not even had a chance to call Qiao Qiao… Fortunately, the phone only rang a few times before Qiao Qiao answered it. The instant Qiao Qiao heard about her situation, she began firing question after question but did not give Jia He a chance at all to get a word in. While Jia He was feeling stifled with frustration, the person beside her had already taken her mobile phone out of her hand.

Squeezing the phone between his ear and shoulder, Wu Zhilun started the car. “Beautiful lady, how about you please tell us the address first? When we get there, you can keep asking.”

Qiao Qiao was given a shock at this, and her address blurted from her mouth. And then… he hung up on her.

“Actually, I really shouldn’t have troubled you to come. If you get photographed by the media, it will definitely cause problems.” Jia He truly was overflowing with guilt.

“That’s true. I’m guessing that, in order to lose the reporters, my assistant is going to be stuck in traffic on the elevated freeway for an hour.” Wu Zhilun joked, “Since A-Ze is ordering me around like I’m his lackey, I should purposely let the media follow me. Think about it; if you and I get photographed together, he’ll still be the one with the most troubles.”

Jia He was speechless. This was truly the same Wu Zhilun who had always been reticent in front of the media?

Only when they were driving onto the main road did he finally show a more serious expression. “Actually, he just signed the divorce papers, so it’s better to be a little more careful.”

<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. Translated with the express permission of the author for hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com only

[1] 徐家汇. Xujiahui is a commercial area and business centre in Shanghai and is known as one of the shopping destinations of the city, with its several large, modern shopping malls. The area also contains many restaurants.

[2] 儿化音 Erhuayin refers to adding an 儿, spoken as an “-r” sound, to the end of certain words when speaking Mandarin. Erhuayin is particularly prominent in the Beijing dialect.

[3] 调虎离山. The idiom “luring the tiger away from the mountain/away from its lair” means to create a diversion and lure the enemy away.

[4] Often returned to as Peking duck or Peking roast duck.

[5] 家和万事兴. This saying translates to “a harmonious family prospers in all things.” In Mandarin, the first two characters, 家和 “jia he,” of the saying are homophonic with the characters of Jia He’s name, 佳禾. However, they are not the same. (Note: In Cantonese, Jia He’s name 佳禾is pronounced as “gaai wo” and is not quite homophonic with the saying’s first two characters, 家和, which in Cantonese are pronounced “gaa wo.” Only the second characters sound the same. Hence, if they had been speaking in Cantonese, Wu Zhilun would not be so confused.)

[6] 梅雨季节“mei yu ji jie.” This term literally translates as “plum rain season” and is also the term used in English to refer to the rainy season in China. It is so named because it occurs between late spring and early summer, which, in the areas south of the Yangtze River, is also the period when the plums ripen. This season is also called the 霉雨 “mould rain” season (梅 “plum” and 霉 “mould” are homophones), as the long period of moisture more easily induces mould.

[7] Huaihai Road is a major road in Shanghai. It is actually divided into West, Middle, and East Huahai Road. It is not an elevated roadway.

This story was translated with the express permission of the author for hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com only. All forms of reproduction, redistribution, or re-posting are not authorized. If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, the copy is unauthorized and has been taken without consent of the translator.

Completed:
1 of 1 Prologue
16 of 58 Chapter segments
0 of 4 Epilogues

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30 thoughts on “Easily Set Aflame (轻易放火) — Chapter 6.1

  1. 😱 you are right! Sweetness to the max 😍 especially the eyes gesture and they know what was on each other mind 😍 thank you so much for the lovely read 😘

  2. Many thanks Hoju. Because of this, I come to this site again frequently.

  3. Thanks Hoju
    It’s tiring involved with celebrities,always cautious act when wif them. Haha

    • Indeed. While most teenage girls fantasize about their idol falling in love with them, the reality of dating a celebrity is something that not many can handle. Your idol has to be really strong to protect you from all the scrutiny, especially someone with Jia He’s personality of hating to be the spotlight.

      Thanks for reading!

  4. Thanks for the chapter! ML is a free man yay… I’m too tired for enthusiasm of any sort, lol. That new friend is amusing.

    • Yes, someone noticed that! *nods furiously* I suspect that was also the reason that previously he was so subtle. He needed to wait until his status officially changed.

      • Being able to act with a clear conscience does make a big difference, lol. Though, because some like to throw ugliness around, a certain level of discretion is necessary, if they don’t want to be accused of a pre-divorce affair, it’s not good for that poor actor to be linked with any woman under 90…

        • He has been acting with discretion. At the press conference, they split up to leave the stairwell. The night Jia He brought hot pot to the cast and crew and he followed her, making sure she was safe as she went for a walk in the snowy night, he had her go back into the RV first, and then he came much later. Never had he given anyone any impression of anything more than a normal working relationship, at most friendship, even with that breakfast they had. Alas, the photo could cause problems, but he’s handling it. Only the people close to them, Wu Zhilun and Qiao Qiao, know he is behaving differently toward her. Tian Chu is picking up signals, probably because Yi Wenze pulling connections to get the endorsement contract seems atypical of him, and then the photo just added to that niggling.
          It’s not good for the poor guy, but I think Idol is also thinking, it’s not good for the poor girl. He already, through conversation, knows she doesn’t like spotlight. Being the subject of gossip would scare her off.

          • Yeah, he has been such a gentleman a genuine “good guy”! He is so far a great ML! A rare find amongst the arrogant, domineering MLs…
            I was referring more to the last sentence: “Actually, he just signed the divorce papers, so it’s better to be a little more careful.” Even after the artist is free, wild accusations tend to fly around if a suitable period of time doesn’t pass before being associated with someone new…

  5. Indeed a sweet chapter😃😃, thanks Hoju, made my day😁😁😁….sweetness overflow luv them..

  6. Thanks for this!

  7. Wu Zhilun cameo is gold! Hahaha! Thankyou for the update 🙂

  8. whom need a friend when you’re trying hard for your lady XD
    thank you

  9. Thank you Hoju, he’s so sweet 😍

  10. Thanks Hoju! I was browsing and trying to re-read a Favourite novel, I stumbled upon Aflame. Oh my…I binged read all the way 😆
    Looking forward to more updates 😍

  11. Thanks for the chapter!
    Another hiccup in their journey to get together.
    So did Yi Wenze deliberately chose to do the television drama because of an ‘old friend’s production company’ or because of Jia He?

    • I think they are progressing quite nicely. 🙂

      Aee you basing that question on a certain assumption? Yi Wenze accepted the role in Tune of Yong’an before he met Jia He at the press conference. He might have seen her name listed on the script, but that would be it. So unless he knew her name previously, I don’t see any other way he could have chosen to accept the role because of her.

      Thanks for reading!

  12. Mr. Idol seems to fall for her deeper and deeper but where and when was the started point???

    In my country, most of the celebrities here announce their relationship, so they will get more endorsement/advertisement and will act in the same drama over and over again. Once they break up, they’re gonna tell the whole country for a week or two. For some celebrities, bad publication is still a publication.

    Look at how Mr. IDOL avoided any rumor, i wish some celebrities in here can learn this. Lmao..

    Im waiting for a day where our Jia He calls Mr. Idol ‘A-Ze’ lol.

    Thanks hoju ^^

    • Good questions. Where and when? 😉

      That’s what Tian Chu is doing. She is milking the divorce and the press it is giving her. Then I bet if somehow she got back together with Yi Wenze, she would have milked the publicity of that, too.

      Teacher Yi is a true gentleman. It’s said that Yi Wenze does not like publicity from gossip and rumors, and he is demonstrating that to us.

      Haha, or how about sweetie, honey, darling, etc.?

  13. Idol is taking care of Jia He so well. Liking the slow and steady steps of Idol to befriend her and make her comfortable around him. Half an hour talk is definitely a good progress 😀.

    Thank you for the chapter, Hoju 🙂.

    • Idol is so considerate and sweet. He is progressing things with her, slowly but surely. The most remarkable part of that half an hour talk is, Jia He did not notice the time pass by. That means she lost her awkwardness and is feeling more comfortable. 🙂

      Thanks for reading!

  14. Their relationship is like watching honey dissolve into tea – slow and sweet. No wonder Yi Wenze can attract even quiet, sensible girls like Jia He. He is considerate and thoughtful, but definitely not a pushover. I bet he’s really scary whenever he is truly angry.

    I’m glad we got to see some of Yi Wenze’s friends too. Wu Zhilun is so much fun! He probably teases Yi Wenze a lot once Jia He leaves. Thanks for the helpful footnotes, and also the chapter!

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