Editor(s): Mariabel, fujoshisarah, GlitteryPanda
A few days later, Jiang Zijian tidied up his Taobao explosive clothes: white striped polo shirt, earthy yellow trousers, and a pair of sixty-yuan sneakers. Holding a copy of Youth Digest in his hand as a prop, he sat down in Starbucks and rummaged through his wallet, specifically prepared for him by his assistant for the blind date. In it were a bunch of dazzling cards that he didn’t know what he should do with. It doesn't matter. It’s just the back collar of this shirt that made him uncomfortable.
“Hi!” Jiang Zijian raised his hand.
A boy, who looked like a college student and was wearing a plaid cotton shirt with sleeves rolled up, peas shoes, and a silver necklace around his neck, enthusiastically replied, “Hello!”
Smiling brightly, Jiang Zijian asked, “Did you just get off work?”
“Yes, yes, it’s time to get off.” Tong Kai saw Jiang Zijian and his eyes suddenly brightened, and asked, “Brother is resting today?”
“Yes, just until 8:00 pm. I have to work a night shift. What would you like to drink?” Jiang Zijian said, “I’ll buy you a drink! I'll just have a cup of coffee, otherwise I won’t feel refreshed at night.”
Tong Kai hurriedly said, “Let’s go, I’ll pay.”
“I’ll do it, I’ll do it.” Jiang Zijian insisted. “I just received a tip of 200 yuan today.”
Tong Kai hurriedly followed Zijian as he went to the cashier and ordered drinks. He said, “Two large cups of vanilla latte...”
Tong Kai, “A medium is fine, I don’t drink much. Don’t waste your money.”
Cashier, “We have three types of cups. The large cup you want is medium here. The medium cup is actually a small cup. The largest cup is this type. Is the large cup that Sir mentioned the medium cup or the largest cup?”
Jiang Zijian was confused by this coffee shop and thought whether this cashier was purposely playing with him? Hmn. He then replied, “Then any cup...let’s have the medium.”
“The medium cup is the small cup.”
“I mean the large cup...”
“The large cup is actually a medium cup, or do you want to order an extra large cup?”
Jiang Zijian, “Dear, are you exercising my tongue twister?”
“This cup type.” Tong Kai accurately understood Jiang Zijian’s needs. He pointed to what looked like a large cup but was actually the medium cup.
“Would you like to upgrade to an extra large cup? Just five yuan...”
Jiang Zijian finally got rid of the curse of medium, large, extra large and said to Tong Kai, “You’re welcome, Brother.”
Tong Kai had just celebrated his 29th birthday. When his assistant helped him chat and hook up with someone online, he reported to be 23 years old一just one year younger than Jiang Zijian. When he first heard the name, he felt it was somewhat unfamiliar. He replied to Jiang Zijian, “Don’t waste it.”
“It’s only five yuan.” Jiang Zijian said smilingly. “It doesn’t matter.”
“Five yuan is also money,” Tong Kai heartily said and went over to wait for the coffee.
“Please enter your credit card password.”
Jiang Zijian, “......”
Jiang Zijian, “How much was it? Forget it. Wait, let me ask...no no no, just brush this one.” He pulled out a black card from his trouser pocket and said. “This one doesn’t need a password. Hurry up, thank you.”
After the cashier swiped it, Jiang Zijian quickly put away the card. Tong Kai fortunately didn’t see it.
The two took their coffees and sat in front of the window glass wall. Jiang Zijian glanced around the shop with the eyes of an upper class and said, “When I’m on holidays, I like to come here to order a cup of vanilla latte. I sit in the store all afternoon, read books, and spend leisure time.”
Tong Kai, “I also like to come here. There are many good things here that I didn’t see in my hometown.”
Jiang Zijian, “You came to work hard in a big city alone, do you miss home?”
Tong Kai thought for a while and said, “It’s not bad, just a little homesick. My parents are in He, He… Henan.”
“Ah, people from the Central Plains are tall and handsome. My ancestral home is in the northwest.” Jiang Zijian mentioned.
“I especially bought the book that you recommended to me!” Tong Kai earnestly said.
Book? Jiang Zijian didn’t remember anything about this, he may have missed it. Tong Kai then took out a copy of Amitabha Buddha, and revealed, “It was very cheap in the night market. It costs only eight yuan per catty.”
Jiang Zijian was a bit puzzled. He guessed that the manager’s younger brother must have recommended it to the other party, then replied, “Yes, yes! This book is my favorite.”
The coffees were placed on the table, yet neither of them drank. After a brief silence, Jiang Zijian smiled and looked at Tong Kai.
“What are you smiling at?” Tong Kai thought this person was quite interesting. Jiang Zijian had chatted with his assistant and made her laugh, that’s how he attracted Tong Kai’s attention. Tong Kai looked at the photos and specifically sought his assistant’s advice. He changed his attire and came out to meet the online friend.
“Smiling at your handsome appearance, you’re like a star.” Jiang Zijian was such an implicit character, as long as he liked it, he can boast of flowers.
This time, Tong Kai made up his mind that he must never let the other party know he has wealth. He also didn’t want to repeat his last failed love experience. He thought he should try to see how it plays out first then try again. However, he never expected that the first person he tried it this way actually made him feel agitated.
Jiang Zijian was also surprised. He originally was just going to try it out and see how it goes first. He didn’t expect that the other party was so high in quality, it wasn’t like working at a foot bath center at all.
“It’s hard work, isn’t it?” Jiang Zijian asked.
Tong Kai was asked by a man who was five years younger than himself and worked as a doorman in a hotel. He wanted to laugh. After struggling to hold back, he replied, “It’s not bad. I will be promoted to a senior foot bath employee soon.”
“That’s great!” Jiang Zijian thought this man was very motivated.
“I’m so tired, I often work overtime.” Tong Kai added.
“There’s no way to survive without doing anything.” Jiang Zijian replied.
“After getting promoted to a higher level, one foot can get three yuan more commission.” Tong Kai said sincerely.
“Very good!” Jiang Zijian nodded repeatedly and asked, “When will you stop massaging feet then?”
Tong Kai replied, “What’s the matter? I like this job. It’s good.”
“I’m afraid you’ll get tired.” Jiang Zijuan responded immediately.
Tong Kai eased up a little and said, “After regrouping, I hope to transfer to a medicine bath center next year. It’ll make the guests feel better by massaging their shoulders.”
Jiang Zijian suddenly thought of this little man massaging guests. Would it be possible for him to... He immediately got worried that his expression changed. Tong Kai read his inner thoughts and quickly clarified, “Nothing like that has ever happened in our store.”
“What kind of thing?” Jiang Zijian asked smilingly.
“That kind of thing you just thought of.” Tong Kai almost didn’t hide his forward nature and quickly covered it up with a smile.
“I didn’t think anything.” Jiang Zijan replied.
Tong Kai smiled and said nothing more. Jiang Zijian thought about it and added, “There’s no such thing in our hotel either.”
Both of them laughed.
Tong Kai, “Brother, you’re really interesting.”
“Alright,” Jiang Zijian took out his broken mobile phone, looked at it, and said, “It’s time for dinner. Let’s have a meal and continue there.”
“I’ll treat you!” Tong Kai offered. “You already bought me coffee. I just got paid, you must let me treat you. I know a western restaurant here.”
Jiang Zijian said brightly, “Okay, then I won’t insist.”
Tong Kai, “Don’t forget the coffee.”
Tong Kai took Jiang Zijian to a self-service steakhouse. After taking a seat, Tong Kai went to the front desk to pay the bill. Even after half a day’s operation, it was still useless. He told the cashier manager at the front desk to “forget it, swipe this card.” He pulled out a black card and casually said, “Your lipstick’s color is nice.”
“Thank you.” The cashier manager laughed and said, “I’ll give you a fruit plate.”
“How would you like your steak, please?” The waiter came to order.
“Eight.” Tong Kai acted according to the script.
“I want eight parts too.” Jiang Zijian added, “Don’t fry too much.”
After the waiter wrote down their order, the two began to talk about each other. Jiang Zijian asked Tong Kai what he usually liked to do. Tong Kai’s answer was vibrato. Tong Kai asked Zijian where he lived. Zijian told him that the hotel provided eight hostels and he just returned to his hometown in the city on weekends to see his parents.
“I haven’t been to your workplace yet.” Tong Kai said. “Is it beautifully decorated?”
Jiang Zijian replied, “It’s boring. A glass of water costs 60 yuan, it’s too expensive. Fools go there to spend. What’s wrong with their money?”
“Right.” Tong Kai saw Jiang Zijian’s wallet dangling back and forth in his hand and admiringly complimented, “This is LV! Is it from a friend?”
“A birthday present from Taobao, but it’s just an LV imitation. Do you like it? I’ll buy you one another day.” Jiang Zijian said.
Tong Kai, “Imitations nowadays are becoming more and more real.” At the same time, he thought that this person was very honest. Honesty is the best character of a person. However, he suddenly felt something was amiss. According to the current situation, how can he know whether it is true or not?
Jiang Zijian didn’t think too much and casually said, “Yes, many people like to buy famous brands that aren’t worth it.”
An acrid sauce was poured and spread over the sizzling hot steak on the iron plate that was set on the table. The vegetable salad was covered with something unknown and the cream soup was covered with a snot-like foam. They both tried hard not to look at it. Tong Kai ate a mouthful of salad while Jiang Zijian stirred the bowl of creamy mushroom soup with a spoon to create a warm atmosphere of satisfaction. Tong Kai asked which astrological sign he belonged to and opened another software to start speed matching. The speed matching degree was 95 percent.
In the noisy restaurant, the guests shouted loudly but it seemed to create a different kind of romantic atmosphere.
Jiang Zijian began to feel regret. If they really got together, they would celebrate anniversaries in the future. Would they come to this western restaurant every year? He thought about it and suddenly got an idea. He could buy this shop and come here again.
Tong Kai suddenly said, “It’s my life’s regret that I didn’t go to college.”
“It doesn’t matter,” Jiang Zijian comforted. “You can self-study, it’s the same. I’m preparing for the adult college entrance examination which I will take next year.”
Tong Kai, “How about we review together when we’re free? When I was in vocational high school, my teacher often praised me.”
“Alright.” Jiang Zijian said. “Let’s review the registration regulations and teaching materials. The next time we meet I will bring them!”
Tong Kai was immediately moved. At this time, he received a phone call from his assistant who said, “Chief Tong, the American side asked if it would be possible to hold a temporary meeting. It’ll only take 20 minutes. Mr. Hu hopes that you can come back as soon as possible.”
Tong Kai frowned. “I’m outside. I have no time, just let them wait.”
Jiang Zijian, “How can you make the guests wait? The guests ordered it, that just proves they recognize you.”
Tong Kai instantly recovered his senses and smiled. “Brother is right, I’ll go back.”
“Then I’ll let the driver pick you up?” The assistant said. “They’re already angry in the office.”
“I’ll go back myself.” Tong Kai was very careful this time and instructed, “Wait for half an hour, you first… that… Give Hu… some bear cakes to eat and let everyone watch TV.”
Assistant, “Um... Chief Tong, Mr. Hu and the bosses are all in the office with videos on. They are going crazy waiting for you. I don’t think they want to eat snacks and watch TV right now...”
“First hang up.” Tong Kai said.
“I’ll see you off.” Jiang Zijian didn’t want to eat either and got up quickly.
Tong Kai knew that there must have been a moth in Nuolin’s head office. He added to their trouble and said, “I’ll take the subway and get there in two stops.”
“I’ll send you… send you… ”
“You don’t have to, Brother. Continue to eat, don’t waste your food...”
“Ah, then don’t forget the coffee.”
“Yes, yes,” Tong Kai remembered. They took their coffee and left the restaurant.
Jiang Zijian swept up to the shared bicycle, pressed the handlebars, and said goodbye to Tong Kai at the intersection, and asked, “See you tomorrow?”
“How about the day after tomorrow?” Tong Kai countered. “I’ll take a rest day and then give you a call.”
“It’s a deal.”
Tong Kai left the subway station. He found the trash can and threw the coffee away. After passing the entrance, he came out from the exit and turned into the underground garage of a shopping mall. He then got in his car and drove away.
Jiang Zijian rode a shared bicycle, found the pole at the next intersection, and walked to the nearest Jiangman Wuzhou Hotel. The doorman was busy standing up straight. Jiang Zijian went downstairs then sat in his Aston Martin. He couldn’t stand wearing the shirt any longer and immediately changed his clothes while he sat in the driver’s seat.
“Mr. Jiang, have you had dinner?” The store manager stood by the sentry post and bowed. “There’s a new truffle today. Would you like to try it?”
Jiang Zijian was in a good mood today. He rolled down the window and said, “I’ll go to my friend’s house to eat. Help me throw this away. Thanks!”
Jiang Zijian handed her a large cup of vanilla latte, waved, and drove away.
Tianhe stayed locked up in his study for three days. When he finally came out, his hair was messy and his face was squinting. It just happened that Jiang Zijian was having lunch in the living room and was waiting for him to come out. Aunt Fang brought over some bird’s nest porridge and placed it on the table, saying, “You were too busy. Let’s relieve some dryness from your skin.”
“I want to tell you...” Jiang Zijian couldn’t wait to share his recent date with Tianhe.
Tianhe tidied himself up, blew his hair, and stretched his stiff neck. Jiang Zijian eloquently told him how he found true love through careful interpretation of their script.
Tianhe drank a bit of porridge. His taste buds have been numb after not paying attention to what he ate the last three days.
After listening to Jiang Zijian’s story, Tianhe simply commented, “There are many loopholes.”
“Wu Shun helped you find another company. Maybe this time he can provide you with a guarantee. Go and meet him today.” Jiang Zijian said.
“Another day,” Tianhe said. “My schedule has already been arranged. I have to visit house to house today and recruit another assistant. I also have to visit the institution in a few days.”
“Wu Shun was quite enthusiastic. I really suggest you talk to him.”Jiang Zijian said. “There was no chance last time… Eh? Should I be your assistant?”
Tianhe, “No! If you treat someone else’s director that way again… I can’t explain it.”
Jiang Zijian, “The director from last time was very good. He’s young, promising and has a baby face.”
Tianhe, “Oh? I thought you changed your taste. Shouldn’t Wu Shun be good enough?”
Tianhe glanced skeptically at Jiang Zijian with a smile in his eyes. After years of tacit understanding, he didn’t need to ask Tianhe to understand. Jiang Zijian immediately said, “He’s not interested in me! We never discussed this topic either. I know what you want to say, and my guess is the same.”
“Mmm.” Tianhe replied. “This is the domestic environment, especially in civil service.”
“However, I can feel that he is very envious of me being able to come out with a swagger.” Jiang Zijian said.
“Your actors, male models, and young boys with internet fame.” Tianhe laughed. “Can we form a football team now? It’s impossible for your father to know.”
Jiang Zijian said, “This one is serious! For so many years, I have never seen Xiao Kai as I did when I saw him. In my eyes, I thought we were too suitable for each other... When I speak, he listens carefully. When he speaks, I also want to listen carefully.... and we seldom talked about money!”
Tianhe, “Don’t go too deep into playing this role. Think about it. What will you do once he finds out the truth?”
Jiang Zijian said, “Right! So, today I came to you to discuss countermeasures. Now I know in my heart that he likes me, even when I have nothing. Therefore, even if I need more later, I will always remember this wonderful encounter! Ah—!”
Jiang Zijian stretched himself and commented, “Besides, other people haven’t asked for it yet. Although, it’s not quite right...”
“Being suitable for one’s family means that lovers have the same pursuit.” Aunt Fang brought over some coffee, put it on the table, and said patiently, “Field of vision can be cultivated, but family conditions cannot keep up. You can slowly learn. No one is born understanding these qualities.”
Jiang Zijian laughed. “That’s right, what Aunt Fang said is right.”
“I don’t have any idea about the so-called ‘door-to-door pair.’ Might as well help the poor than be like Guan Yue.” Tianhe said.
Jiang Zijian laughed aloud while he took out his phone with the cracked screen. Aunt Fang glanced at it, wondering whether she should take it for repair when Tianhe explained, “He likes to use this one and played too much.”
Jiang Zijian’s face showed the shy smile of a big man who had fallen in love. He earnestly replied to Tong Kai on his phone with his two praying mantis fingers then said, “When I lay out my cards, I’ll give him a big surprise. Will you help me plan what I should do?”
Tianhe thought for a moment then said, “Take him to Paris.”
Jiang Zijian said, “Last time I asked my horoscope about his birthday, I wanted to let my uncle bring the helicopter over. Do you think he will get angry?”
“If it were me, I might. Zijian don’t joke like that.” Tianhe said sincerely.
“Uh,” Jiang Zijian also realized he had played a little too much. “How about I buy the foot bath center and give it to him as a gift?”
At this time, Tong Kai didn’t know he might receive a foot bath center as a confession gift. He happily shared with Guan Yue the details of what happened during the date. Guan Yue’s expression was calm as Tong Kai shared, “...I can’t imagine what his expression would look like if he knew that I’m actually five years older than him. Now, there are two questions. First, would he be angry? To be honest, he looked like a top.” He frowned and added, “Lastly, it won’t be one beat and two halves in the end, right?”
Guan Yue calmly finished reading today’s financial news and didn’t even raise his eyebrows.
“RMB has fallen too badly.” Tong Kai’s thinking jumped around. “After the trade war started, several Chinese companies received investigations in New York a few days ago. One of which was still one of our big customers. The big boss didn’t call you?”
“On the way.” Guan Yue replied.
Tong Kai, “What?” He then realized that the problem was a bit serious and asked, “Personally?”
Guan Yue said nothing. Tong Kai added, “The reception was busy enough for a while.”
The CFO knocked on the door. Tong Kai responded, “Come in, We’ll go now.”
The General Assistant entered behind him. He shook off the suit jacket and let Guan Yue put it on. Guan Yue glanced into the mirror and left the company with Tong Kai. Nearly ten executives followed, and six black Lincoln cars drove in a huge convoy towards the airport.
This chapter is migrated and/or formatted by our fellow chicken enthusiast(s), Cat, Joyce and Caro.