Chapter 5: Discussing the Big Plan
Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
The living room was bright.
Wen Yu wore a T-shirt. He usually wore a high necked sweater, but it was quite warm in here which made him sweat, so he changed to a clean T-shirt directly. “Uncle Zhao, let’s play a game of checkers,” he said with a smile.
Zhao Zheng looked over at Wen Yu’s face and nodded when he saw the bright smile.
The checker pieces used were the simplest glass beads. We Yu couldn’t play international checkers. He arranged the chessboard, saw Zhao Zheng looking at him, pointed to the marbles, and said, “You pick a color, and whoever jumps into the other side’s camp first wins.”
Zhao Zheng nodded, picked a black one, and put it on the board.
In the first set, Wen Yu won the first two marbles, shook his head, and said, “Uncle Zhao, you lost.”
“Try again.” Zhao Zheng looked at the smiling and proud Wen Yu and put the marbles in his hands.
The butler came over with hot tea, changed the teapot, bowed, and asked, “Sir, do you want a midnight snack to be prepared?”
Zhao Zheng looked at Wen Yu. Wen Yu was putting the marbles on the board. He looked up at Zhao Zheng, who was looking at him. He was confused, “What’s the matter?”
“Let’s have some rice dumplings.” Zhao Zheng said. Wen Yu understood that he was talking about a midnight snack. He wanted to say that he was not hungry, but when he heard that they would have tangyuan 1, he couldn’t help laughing and thanking him. He lowered his head and moved the marbles in his hand. Since nothing happened, he asked, “Uncle Zhao, why are you so good to me?”
Zhao Zheng did not reply for a long time, but looked up and was hit by a pair of deep eyes, like a pool of deep water that would attract people.
It took a long time for Zhao Zheng to open his mouth. His voice was a little low. He said, “I used to have a son, but later he didn’t survive.”
“I’m sorry.” Wen Yu didn’t think it was the right answer. He looked at Zhao Zheng. He was handsome and in his early thirties. He didn’t think he had experienced the pain of losing his son. No wonder there was no other owner in this villa.
Zhao Zheng, with regret on his face, pointed to the board and said, “It’s your turn.”
The second set didn’t go as well as the first one. Wen Yu found that he walked smoothly several times, but then the road was blocked, or he bridged Zhao Zheng. As a result, Zhao Zheng had three more marbles in the second set.
He was biting his lips, his face was strange and unbelievable, “How could it be?! Another round.”
The third set soon ended. Naturally, Zhao Zheng won. Wen Yu looked at Zhao Zheng with admiration. At the beginning, Zhao Zheng didn’t play with his full strength.
“Uncle Zhao, you are so smart.”
At this time, the butler had cooked the midnight snack, and it was the small dumplings. Since Zhao Zheng didn’t like sweet food, the butler had prepared three delicacies and small wontons, and a small and exquisite bowl had been prepared for each person. Wen Yu tasted a wonton. The shrimp meat and shepherd’s purse were mixed together. The mixture was fresh and juicy, with thin skin, and it was full of fragrance.
The small tangyuan were filled with bean paste and rose petals. They were not very sweet or greasy but fragrant from the rose. The bean paste was soft and waxy, and each dumpling was the size of a fingernail. The skin was not sticky either.
Eating until his stomach was comfortable did not take much. The two people sat in the living room watching TV, then they went back to their own rooms to rest.
Wen Yu took a bath and lay down on the bed. He looked sideways. The floor to ceiling window only had a layer of white curtain. Outside was the view of the back garden and the lights in the yard had been turned off. The moonlight shone dimly among the trees. The room fell into silence. He turned over and fell asleep quickly.
This sleep was the best one for him. He would always have dreams but this night, he didn’t dream. It was past ten o’clock when he awoke.
As a guest, Wen Yu even slept late. After washing, he went to the living room with wet curly hair. When he saw Zhao Zheng, he was embarrassed to say, “Uncle Zhao, I overslept.”
“It’s good that you slept longer.” Zhao Zheng closed the folder he was looking at. “Eat breakfast first.”
It was almost eleven o’clock. There were small steamed dumplings and congee on the table. It seemed that Uncle Zhao was already used to it. After eating a small bowl of congee with the dumpling, the butler withdrew the breakfast dishes and respectfully said, “Young master, lunch will be ready soon. It’s not suitable to eat too much.”
“I forgot. Don’t call me young master. Call me by my name.” He didn’t know the name of the butler. As soon as Wen Yu finished speaking, he saw the butler’s face suddenly change. His face was full of fear, and his knees went soft as if he was going to kneel down. Wen Yu was frightened and quickly helped the butler up, “What’s the matter?”
“No, it’s nothing.” The butler took back his gaze and said with a smile, “Don’t break me, young master.”
From behind came Zhao Zheng’s cold voice, “Wen Yu, let him do as he wants.”
Wen Yu looked back at Uncle Zhao. He thought of his previous words saying that the butler had an old world view. Turning around, he saw the butler looking at him. He could only nod his head and saw that the butler instantly smiled and thanked him.
After lunch, Wen Yu thought of his tutoring class. When he talked about leaving, he suddenly felt the temperature in the room turn cold. Looking over, Uncle Zhao’s face remained unchanged, as if he had thought more about it.
“Let the driver see you off.” Zhao Zheng coldly muttered.
Wen Yu didn’t even have a chance to say goodbye. He got in the car at one o’clock in the afternoon.
The driver was a strong man, not too burly, but very polite. After getting in the car, the villa behind him grew further and further away. Looking through the glass, the villa seemed to be forgotten by the world. Wen Yu finally realized why he slept so well. It was so quiet there.
Uncle Zhao was all alone.
“Here you are, young master.” The driver had opened his door.
Wen Yu was stunned and blurted out, “So fast?”
The driver’s voice was smooth and said, “Shortcut.”
Wen Yu got out of the car and looked at his cell phone. It had only been twenty minutes. What was this shortcut?
After teaching his student, Wen Yu arrived at his small apartment. He didn’t come back for a night, but he felt like it had been a long time.
In the evening, Gao Yang called.
“…Did you break your cell phone? I called you several times! Where did you go?” And quickly rattled off an address, “This is a new store, my treat, come to discuss the plan quickly!”
Wen Yu was amused by the last sentence. Gao Yang wanted to eat meat and also wanted to discuss the general plan.
The barbecue shop was not far from their school. Wen Yu wandered over since he had nothing to do. When he arrived, the other three people in the dormitory were also there. Gao Yang saw him and waved, “Over here!”
The shop was a do-it-yourself charcoal barbecue with skewers. There were many people in the shop which had newly opened.
Gao Yang came early to sit on the inside half-round sofa. The four young people took off their heavy coats, put skewers on the fire, and talked while it cooked.
“What’s the matter with your mobile phone? I wanted to ask you over on Saturday.”
Wen Yu took out his mobile phone and showed it to Gao Yang. “There were no missed calls. I was at my Uncle’s house on Saturday. Maybe it was a little bit off. There was no signal.”
“Where were you to have no signal? The corner of the world?” Gao Yang didn’t believe it, but he still had business to discuss. He put the roasted chicken wings on Wen Yu’s plate and flattered him as he said, “Brother, you eat first.”
Next to him, the eldest brother and the second brother had already started laughing. Obviously, they knew what Gao Yang was thinking. Wen Yu put down his wings, “If you don’t say anything, I won’t dare to eat it.”
“Ah, us brothers are more intimate than real brothers.” Gao Yang said with a smile, “It’s just a small thing.”
“He wants to organize a mountain climbing activity,” said the eldest brother, cooking a kebab.
Wen Yu nodded. “Sounds good.”
The second brother smiled and said, “This guy wants to ask Ji Tiantian to come out and play using your name.”
Fearing Wen Yu’s refusal, Gao Yang quickly added, “I know you don’t like Ji TianTian. If you say you don’t like her, you don’t like her. Believe me, brother, Ji TianTian isn’t right for you! I also worry about our dormitory. We are all single dogs. Ji TianTian’s dorm girls need to have a good face and a good talent. As eldest and second brother say, ‘don’t you want to know a beautiful girl?’”
The two sat there, leaning against the wall, watching the fire, and looked at Wen Yu in silence.
“It’s the first time I’ve seen someone wearing a green hat, but who would like Gao Yang?” The second joked.
Gao Yang shoved a chicken paw 2 into second brother’s mouth, and pitifully looked at Wen Yu. “Your brother’s happiness depends on you.”
“I know you have a big heart, but I didn’t expect you to be so big.” Wen Yu didn’t know what to say. He said, “It should be fine to climb the mountain. If you don’t make it clear to her, don’t make a fuss.”
Gao Yang raised his hand to promise with a smile.
After revealing the ‘big event’ and eating barbecue, Gao Yang thought of Wen Yu’s topic just now, “When did you have an uncle in Beijing?”
“I didn’t know that either.” Wen Yu thought of Zhao Zheng and said with a smile, “Uncle Zhao is very nice.”
Soon, it was Saturday in a twinkling of an eye. Wen Yu asked his tutor’s mother for leave in advance. The ‘big event’ was tomorrow.
In the early morning of that day, there was a cold wind within the haze. Wen Yu didn’t want to go out. Gao Yang called and urged him to get up and meet him at the south gate. When he got to the south gate, there was no one there. Gao Yang had not arrived yet.
He stood and waited for ten minutes, and called Gao Yang, who said he was downstairs.
“Wait, the girls are cleaning up.”
Ten minutes later, before they arrived, Wen Yu’s face ached with cold and he trembled when his cell phone rang.
“Uncle Zhao, I can’t go today. I have an appointment with my friend to climb Xiangshan. Tomorrow? I also have to tutor…” After that, Wen Yu held his cell phone tightly. He felt that Zhao Zheng on the other end of the phone was angry, but his voice was no different from usual.
After hanging up, Wen Yu thought of Zhao Zheng saying that he was bored by himself last time. He regretted agreeing to go mountain climbing.
Compared with his younger brother who was trying to get together with a girl, he saw the figure of the lonely man in his mind.
It was not until eight-forty am that all the people finally arrived, and they were forty minutes late.
Wen Yu’s face was cold when Ji TianTian saw him. She was embarrassed as she said, “Have you been waiting for a long time? I’m really sorry. We delayed too much.”
The other side apologized, so it would be bad for Wen Yu to pursue the issue. He nodded his head, still feeling a little uncomfortable, and said, “Let’s go first.”
Their school was not far away from Xiangshan, and there were direct buses there. But a lot of people would take the bus on Saturday and even after waiting for two buses, they were all full. Xu Weiwei said, “Let’s take a taxi. With so many people, we will be crowded to death.”
“Okay.” Gao Yang looked at Ji TianTian.
Wen Yu had been standing in the blowing cold wind all morning. Now he was hungry and cold. He took the lead in fighting for a taxi, sat in the front passenger seat, then the eldest brother and second brother, and another sister got in the car.
Looking at Ji TianTian, Gao Yang gave his elder brother a thumbs up and said, “Let’s wait for the next one.”
Ji TianTian looked at the car’s shadow from afar, biting her lips, unhappiness surfaced in her eyes.
Sulo has something to say:
JI TIANTIAN, I DON’T LIKE YOU AT ALL!
Addis has something to say:
Happy belated birthday Sulo!
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- Tangyuan is made of a glutinous rice wrapper covering fillings. The method is like making dumplings, and it is kneaded into a round ball.
- Chicken paws are similar to chicken feet except they do not contain part of the lower leg. They literally are only the foot (aka paw) of the chicken. In China, they are often served as a beer snack, cold dish, soup or main dish.