Editor(s): Amalea, FistFullOfDollars, Juurensha
Always support our Chicken Lord by buying the original work whenever you can! Link for each platform's guide to purchase the raws can be seen on our FAQs.
At 8pm, Situ Ye ordered pizza. Four of them sat at a desk, opened up a bottle of coke, and had a department dinner.
“Alright.” Lin Ze said, “From today onwards, we’ll be a formal investigation team. Let’s re-introduce ourselves.”
The four of them introduced themselves. Jin Weicheng asked, “Where are the other two young editor ladies?”
Lin Ze said, “One went off to get married, while the other got a postgrad position atBeiwai . Yu Hao will have to suffer a little more in the beginning; you’ll have to do the interviews, transcribe the manuscripts, and edit the photos a little. Xiao Ye will slowly start recruiting more people again.”
Yu Hao quickly said ‘okay, okay’. While he helped Jin Weicheng transcribe his manuscripts, he could learn from it at the same time. But there’s only one desk in this office. Where am I supposed to help you transcribe your manuscript?
Situ Ye could see Yu Hao’s doubts and answered, “I’ll go to IKEA tomorrow to buy some furniture and bookshelves.
“We aren’t much of a bureaucracy.” Lin Ze said, “And there are no distinctions between superiors and subordinates either, so you can just say what’s on your mind.”
Yu Hao said, “I was just wondering why this table seemed so important.”
Lin Ze answered, “Because according to the tradition of Qinghua Times, every desk represents an independent post, and it also symbolises how much say we have in this newspaper office. Yang Laoshi promised to give me this desk, which was why I was reluctantly willing to leave my hometown to come over here and start up this department. Also, this desk we took over is exclusive for reporters. You’ll sit behind this desk to come up with the manuscripts, which means that you’ll have your own special place in this office.”
“Look at the editors in the three-shift system,” Situ Ye said, “They all use the same desk. That’s considered a sort of ritual for them ba.”
Yu Hao understood now and nodded. Lin Ze had taken the table by force, which meant that the articles published by their investigation team would have their own independent post within this newspaper office.
Jin Weicheng said, “This office isn’t bad either.”
Lin Ze said, “I’ve never drank so much alcohol in my life. God damn it, I can still feel the acid sloshing around in my stomach from all those drinks.”
Yu Hao looked around him. This office was both dark and humid; the lights were dim too, so it was difficult to see what was good about the place.
“Wen Yiduo used this office before ba.” Jin Weicheng said, “I heard some reporters say that today.”
“Yes.” Lin Ze nodded, “Apparently Wen Yiduo used to work here for two years.”
Yu Hao, “Wen Yiduo?! The Wen Yiduo in our Chinese textbooks?!”
Situ Ye, “Yes.”
Jin Weicheng said, “Hopefully, our articles won’t bring shame to this office.”
“Of course they won’t.” Lin Ze said, “What I’m most worried about now isn’t the quality of our articles, but the criteria for censors. From what I’ve seen yesterday, it doesn’t seem too optimistic, and there’s a certain discrepancy with what the office had promised us.”
Jin Weicheng said, “Let’s play it by ear. I’m going out for an interview.”
Then you……” Situ Ye looked at Yu Hao.
Yu Hao really didn’t want to go do an interview now, it was already past 9pm, and he just wanted to go back and sleep. But if he was required to work overtime, then even if he couldn’t do it, he’d still have to force himself to, so he forced himself to keep his spirits up and said, “Okay, I’ll cooperate at any time.”
“Don’t go first.” Jin Weicheng said, “It’s hot at night, transcribe the manuscript first.”
Lin Ze said, “Before the new furniture arrives, priority for using the desk will be given to Yu Hao. He has a laptop.”
After everyone had a short discussion, Yu Hao remembered that he hadn’t, rented, a, place, yet! Okay then, he’d just have to stay in the hotel for another day.
“Where will Jin Laoshi stay?” Situ Ye asked, “I’ll help you find a place first?”
“I’ll stay with Xiao Yu for another two days.” Jin Weicheng said as if it were natural. So Situ Ye could only toss Yu Hao a glance that said ‘although I sympathise with you, I can’t help you’, and asked him to think of a way to send Jin Weicheng away himself. Yu Hao nodded and sent Situ Ye a WeChat message, asking him to feel rest assured that he would be able to handle his relationship with his teacher.
A few days passed. Yu Hao initially just felt like this job was physically exhausting, but it still seemed okay pressure-wise. But he gradually came to realise that learning was his most difficult task. He began experiencing Zhou Sheng’s feeling of wanting to fall apart at first —— that night, Yu Hao had heard Zhou Sheng and Fu Liqun complain to each other in the living room.
In these few days, Zhou Sheng was evidently very tired as well. He and Yu Hao met in a dream once, but for some reason, both of them tended to wake up easily. By the time he woke up, Yu Hao had a wet dream, and he was in a good mood all day, yet he didn’t feel very energetic.
“You’re under too much pressure.” When Zhou Sheng entered again, he realised that Yu Hao’s dream was overcast; the sun was still here, but it was as if a smog had encompassed the dream.
Yu Hao said, “I do feel a little tired every day. Need to make sure to get enough sleep.”
Zhou Sheng said, “Before work stabilises, your main focus should be on resting.”
Yu Hao couldn’t help it either. He had thought that meeting Zhou Sheng in the dream would be able to alleviate the yearning between the two of them, but every time he returned to reality after meeting him in the dream, he would just feel even more upset and empty. It was very difficult for him to walk out of his dreams at night. He would keep recalling it the whole day and wouldn’t be able to get into the mood for work.
Zhou Sheng was the same. In the end, he couldn’t help but want Yu Hao sleep a little more at noon as he wanted to see him through their dreamscapes. But as soon as Yu Hao was awakened, both of them would feel a little angry.
“I think I’m getting too addicted to dreaming.” Yu Hao said to Zhou Sheng, “Hurry and come over ba.”
Zhou Sheng was sleeping in a big office at noon. His colleagues discovered the Golden Crow Wheel when it was emitting light, so he had to find an excuse to cover it up and put it away first, so as not to attract attention to it.
“Okay.” Zhou Sheng said, “I’ll make my way there as soon as possible.”
Yu Hao forced himself to pick himself up and face his manuscripts.
There was a world of difference between professions. Yu Hao realised that his major hardly seemed to be of any use in the traditional media industry. Instead, what helped him the most was the part-time job that Chen Yekai had introduced to him during his freshman summer vacation, as well as what he had learned from Xiao Yujun during his second year.
Yu Hao said, “I really regret not transferring to a media major in college.”
“Whatever you’ve studied is in your soul.” Lin Ze said, “One day in the future, you’ll realise that the reason you managed to get further than reporters from a professional background is because of all your psychology knowledge that you deem useless now……come, let me see the manuscripts.”
“It’s like this,” Lin Ze said after roughly reading through the manuscripts Yu Hao sorted out, “Jin Laoshi’s text contains a little Korean grammar, it’s his habit. You’ll have to change it into interview statements for him; it’s not finished just by transcribing it word for word. I don’t want the manuscript to have too many loopholes when I hand them to the head office, otherwise they would use this as an excuse to stump us. We have to try our best to not let the editor-in-charge find fault with whatever’s handed in.”
“Okay.” Yu Hao thought that he wouldn’t even know how to find where the Korean grammar usages would be in the text in the first place. Does that mean he had to check through the manuscript again? But if it’s not circled, he wouldn’t be able to tell where the problems lay at all, aaahhhhhh!
Lin Ze pondered for a moment before saying, “For example this, this, this……and many more.”
Lin Ze circled a few places for Yu Hao, and Yu Hao was almost moved to tears. Lin Ze didn’t have the time to mark it all for Yu Hao one by one, so he had to return the manuscript to him for another review.
Yu Hao stayed busy in the office for the next two days until 2am before getting off work and had no time to find a place for rent at all. He thought that he would just go rent a place after finishing all the manuscripts for this week. Zhou Sheng had planned to come to Beijing, but when it came to the weekend again, Zhou Laichun took him to Shanghai for a meeting.
“Don’t fight, go ba.” Yu Hao checked a reference book, looked up several places and said to Zhou Sheng, “I don’t know what the fuck is wrong with this sentence……Have you ever played ‘Find It’ before?”
Zhou Sheng, “Let me see?”
Yu Hao turned on video mode and turned his phone to face the manuscript. When Zhou Sheng saw his surroundings, he was stunned. “What time is it? You’re still in your office? Go back and sleep! You don’t want to live anymore?”
Yu Hao saw that it was actually close to 2.30 am now and immediately said, “I’ll sleep now.”
Zhou Sheng, “No! You can’t keep up that job anymore! I’ll call your leader.”
Yu Hao was currently in a vexed mood because of the manuscripts. “Then I’ll call your father too? Don’t work anymore?”
“If you don’t sleep, I won’t go to work tomorrow!” Zhou Sheng threatened.
So Yu Hao could only say, “Okay okay, I’ll go back now.”
Yu Hao and Zhou Sheng quarrelled for a long time. By the time he got back to the hotel, Zhou Sheng finally quieted down on his side -- he had actually fallen asleep first from exhaustion halfway through their fight. Yu Hao found it both infuriating and amusing and said, “Love you.”
Zhou Sheng turned over and laid on his stomach, sleeping like a child with his head facing the video camera. Yu Hao threw him a kiss and turned off the video. He was too tired to even take a bath and went straight to bed.
On National Day, Beijing was crowded with people. Lin Ze had applied for a public number and began uploading all sorts of hot social topics, putting it under Qinghua Times’ public number as he tried to find ways to attract fans. Yu Hao finally handed in all the manuscripts to Lin Ze and managed to free up some time to look for places to rent. Zhou Sheng had to run around shops during National Day and couldn’t find time to come over.
“There are too many people in Beijing on National Day.” Zhou Sheng said, “I’ll go over after the holidays.”
Yu Hao was in a really good mood today, “I’ll rent a place first and wait for you to come over.”
Zhou Sheng, “Don’t try to scrimp on it, rent a place closer to your office, within a five-minute walking distance. You’ll get more sleep that way.”
Yu Hao was gradually getting used to the days without having Zhou Sheng by his side. It felt pretty good to communicate with each other through video and WeChat messages everyday too; knowing that the other party was working hard made their future seem hopeful.
“Visiting shops,” Zhou Sheng hung up and asked the manager, “What do I need to take note of?”
After National Day, Zhou Sheng would have worked for a full month. At the beginning of the month, he only got four hours of sleep everyday. Zhou Laichun noticed this and asked him to ensure that he got at least 7 hours of sleep a day to be able to cope with his work. After changing his daily routine, Zhou Sheng would want to have a video chat with Yu Hao every time he got home. He thought that Yu Hao would sleep at the same time as him, but he realised that sometimes after he slept, Yu Hao would still be revising manuscripts —— this made him feel even more uneasy, and he had to watch Yu Hao fall asleep every day before he could fall asleep.
As a result, Zhou Sheng was getting even less sleep, and it had been compressed to about three hours or less a day. Throughout the National Day holiday week, he slept less than 20 hours in total.
But fortunately, video chatting with Yu Hao everyday could effectively soothe Zhou Sheng’s mood. Every time he felt like he was on the verge of collapsing, it could pull him back, and he had no urges to throw everything aside to buy a ticket and fly straight to Beijing.
At last there was a break during the weekend. Zhou Sheng even took off all his clothes and turned on a video chat with Yu Hao, and the two of them flirted with each other through the video and released once.
But he was always lacking sleep, which made Zhou Sheng a little dumb now. When he heard that he had to go around visiting shops, he stared at the manager with a baffled expression.
“Familiarise yourself with the operations of the restaurants.” The manager said, “Listen to the store manager’s reports and chat with the employees who are the backbone of the chain, and listen to their feedback. I didn’t allocate this task to you, it’s the boss’ request……”
“Alright.” Zhou Sheng just said wearily, “Let’s go, let’s go.”
Zhou Sheng went to smoke a cigarette to refresh himself. He went back to sit down and wanted to find Yu Hao. After talking to him for a bit though, he couldn’t bear to leave and would always want to talk to Yu Hao a little more. As they talked and talked, time would fly by, and he wouldn’t get a single thing done in the afternoon.
Yu Hao started a video chat with him. Zhou Sheng read the report on his laptop while glancing at Yu Hao from time to time. Yu Hao was looking at houses. Zhou Sheng smoothed the hair off his forehead and laughed.
“Get a bigger bed.” Zhou Sheng reminded.
“I know.” Yu Hao said from the other end of the video, “There’s even heating too.”
Zhou Sheng, “If you don’t have enough money, you have to tell me!”
Yu Hao, “I have enough……”
This chapter is migrated and/or formatted by our fellow chicken enthusiast(s), kee.