Chapter 10: “Professor Xiao. Forget about the flowers.”
Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Xiao Ke promised to send flowers for a month, and it was really a month later. For two weeks in a row, there were flowers every day. The young girl in the front office or Lu Xiaobei picked them up at first, but the flower delivery boy refused later on and said that the customer had asked for them to be received by Mr. Zhou himself. Thus, Zhou Zui indifferently signed for a small bouquet of flowers everyday before he then expressionlessly dismantled and inserted them into the bucket.
Xu Lin secretly took a short video of Zhou Zui throwing the flowers into the bucket and sent it to Xiao Ke.
Xiao Ke did not hesitate to send the girl a red packet of 88 yuan. In return, Xu Lin sent two more short videos.
Xiao Ke didn’t go over there for some days since he knew that he would be stopped from sending flowers once he met Zhou Zui so it was a rare two weekends where he didn’t go to the shop. The school gave out some bonuses for the project which wasn’t much this time since there were many people involved so the share was less than 20,000 yuan. Xiao Ke looked at the text message alert and stated that ‘he had worked so hard on the project for so long, but he only got 20,000 yuan.’
This 20,000 was not enough to pay for a complex arm tattoo from his favorite artist, Mr. Zhou.
Xiao Ke had originally felt quite well-off as he had a car, a house, and some savings, but it depended on who he was compared with, as he seemed a little poor when compared with Zhou Zui.. However, Xiao Ke could be quite open-minded as his pursuit of Zhou Zui was not about the money, and was more about his poor but sincere heart.
“Shame on you.” Xiao Ke smiled at the mirror and scolded himself.
Xiao Ke was bored while lying in bed so he went through Zhou Zui’s circle of friends which was very monotonous as either a random picture or a tattoo picture was sent every two or three months. Xiao Ke stopped himself from sending a teasing message, but he did not expect the chat interface to suddenly pop up with a message.
–It’s better to forget about flowers.
There were two in a row, and Xiao Ke wanted to laugh after he read them.
Xiao Ke narrowed his eyes and replied, [That can not be forgotten, I ordered a month of it, Teacher Zhou.]
He waited for Zhou Zui’s reply, and kept staring at the screen. The top of the screen showed “Zhou Zui” for a while and then “Typing…” Xiao Ke thought it was funny, and he laughed out loud when Zhou Zui’s message finally came through..
Suddenly, he felt that Boss Zhou was especially cute.
Xiao Ke wasn’t polite at all, and sent a large series of “hahahahas” over which were divided into several lines. The next message was followed by another message, [It’s okay, you’re welcome.]
Zhou Zui finally ignored him as he probably did not know what to say to him.
Xiao Ke was very optimistic as he found that after so long though Zhou Zui did not respond to his pursuit, he also did not seriously reject him. It was probably that since they were both adults, it wasn’t good enough to be that direct, but Xiao Ke didn’t care about that since he felt satisfied with Zhou Zui’s current nonchalant attitude.
Xiao Ke had only enrolled in two classes so if he was allowed to take all of them, it would end up being six periods a week, which would take a lot of time.
He expected that he would not have that much time next semester, because he usually had to help Director Guo with his dissertation in the spring, and he had been working on his master’s thesis for the past few years which was why he would always send two students to help Xiao Ke with the revision who would then bring it to him afterwards. Therefore, he planned to give himself more time next semester.
He also had to pursue someone, and although there was still some time to go, he still had to set aside time in case he didn’t make it by then so he had to keep trying.
The director looked at the intentions sheet that he had submitted and felt somewhat displeased. “You’re only applying for two? This semester, you applied for four and only got two. If you only apply for two, they’ll probably only save one for you. And what if the academic affairs office suddenly goes crazy and doesn’t schedule you for any at all?”
Xiao Ke smiled and said, “It’s okay, why don’t you save one for me? Besides, if it’s vacant, it’s vacant, or some of the teachers in my group would feel emotional, so if it’s vacant, then we can talk about it in the fall.”
“You are quite open-minded.” The director glared at him, probably thinking that he was not seeking advancement.
Xiao Ke poured a glass of water for the director and put it into his hand. He knew that the director was actually looking out for him. Since he had joined the school, the director had been taking care of him both explicitly and implicitly so Xiao Ke said, “The faculty will reserve one for me for your sake.”
The director looked back at him, and pointed at him before saying, “Wait until I get back to Professor Xiao to complain about you.”
Xiao Ke smiled, “Professor Xiao still wants you to come home for dinner.”
The director was so kind to Xiao Ke that he was able to lead the class when no one else could. The reason why was that Xiao Ke had known Director Zhang since he was a child, which was when he was the class president of Father Xiao’s class so he had eaten at Xiao Ke’s house a lot during that time.
Xiao Ke came out of the director’s office and received another video from Xu Lin. The video showed Zhou Zui wearing a T-shirt and sweatpants while bending over with a pair of scissors to remove the flower wrappers from the garbage can.
Every time he saw a video of Zhou Zui fiddling with the roses, he felt quite emotional with his heart becoming loose and soft as if Zhou Zui was not fiddling with the flowers, but instead was fiddling with his heart.
However, Zhou Zui’s fiddling was quite simple, that is, the wrapping paper was removed every day and the flowers were inserted into a bucket of water. According to Xu Lin, the boss thought that it was disrespectful to just throw them away.
Xiao Ke knew that Zhou Zui’s heart was not as cold as his face, and sometimes his heart was quite soft. This made it even more fascinating. Anyway, in the eyes of a fanboy, Zhou Zui was perfect so there was no need to say anything more.
On that weekend, Xiao Ke still could not resist going to the store. Zhou Zui happened to be in. Xu Lin waved her hand happily, and Xiao Ke said “hello” to her before he went inside. Lu Xiaobei was squatting on a chair while playing a game, and he whistled when he saw Xiao Ke, “Long time no see, God of Flowers.”
Xiao Ke flicked his head. “Where’s your big brother?”
Lu Xiaobei tilted his head back, and pointed to the room behind him. “Talking with friends.”
Xiao Ke nodded and sat down on the chair next to Lu Xiaobei. Zhou Zui was definitely not in there talking to people, but he was used to it anyway so he took a book off the shelf and flipped through it.
Lu Xiaobei’s eyes were still on the screen, and only his mouth moved to talk to him. “You can see the flowers you sent later.”
“Sure,” Xiao Ke laughed. “I was wondering why I didn’t see them.”
“Three buckets. We used all the buckets here, and I went out to buy one.” Lu Xiaobei exaggerated with joy, and this child’s laugh sounded like a donkey’s cry sometimes. He finished laughing and said, “Yesterday I finished working and gave my client a handful of flowers, about ten, do you mind?”
Xiao Ke said, “No, whatever.”
“Really?” Lu Xiaobei took the time to look at him then turned back and said, “My brother has refused several requests for flowers from young girls, saying it’s not polite to give them away. I can tell him later then, ah, my brother Xiao actually does not mind.”
Xiao Ke picked up the book in his hand and knocked Lu Xiaobei on the shoulder. “Damaged children shouldn’t speak.”
Lu Xiaobei again laughed out a donkey’s cry while he squinted at him. “You feel super smug, don’t you?”
Xiao Ke shrugged his shoulders. “Just a bit.”
The door of that room opened as the person inside heard the sound and came out to ask Lu Xiaobei, “Little Beibei, what are you laughing about?”
“I’m talking, are you done talking?” Lu Xiaobei asked him.
The man looked at Xiao Ke and asked, “What are we talking about? It’s all just a blind conversation. Who’s this?”
Lu Xiaobei just finished the game so he took off the headset around his neck before he stood up to stretch and said while stretching, “This is Xiao Ke, my big brother’s friend.”
“Hey, coincidentally, I’m also your big brother’s friend, so aren’t we all friends?” The man smiled and extended his hand so Xiao Ke went over to shake it while saying, “Xiao Ke.”
The man said, “Fang Xi.”
Zhou Zui came out of the room, Xiao Ke raised his eyebrows at him as a greeting, and Zhou Zui nodded at him before he sat down on the sofa.
Fang Xi asked him, “I just told you to hurry up and decide on that thing, I’ll see if we drive one car or two cars after you decide.”
Zhou Zui replied with a “hmm.”
Xiao Ke asked, “Where are you going?”
Fang Xi answered him, “We have a friend who wants to go to the mountains for fun. Want to join us, new friend?”
Xiao Ke looked at Zhou Zui and asked him, “Are you going, Boss Zhou?”
Zhou Zui nodded, “May go, depends on if I have time.”
“Hey, you have to bring my brother Xiao,” Lu Xiaobei jumped down from the chair, and quietly patted Xiao Ke’s back with the intention of being a godsend. “My brother Xiao is a great person and will give you people a boost to your education level.”
Fang Xi smiled and looked over. “Highly educated?”
“He already graduated with a PhD. Isn’t that high to you?” Lu Xiaobei lit a cigarette and held it in his mouth. “My Brother Xiao is a university teacher. Out of you lot, only my big brother graduated from university, right?”
“Yo, then we have to go together.” Fang Xi liked to make jokes and was naturally friendly. He sat next to Xiao Ke and asked, “Do you have the time? We’ll probably leave Friday morning and get back Sunday evening. If you can get a day off, we could go Friday also.”
Xiao Ke definitely had time as he didn’t have a fixed schedule. As long as he got another teacher to substitute for him and told the director, everything would be fine. However, Xiao Ke didn’t instantly agree. Instead, he looked at Zhou Zui and asked, “Is it okay if I go? Boss Zhou?”
The expression in Xiao Ke’s eyes were quite straightforward, his face looked simple, and his thoughts weren’t disguised on his face. A human being like Fang Xi knew what was going on at first glance. To be honest, he was quite surprised that Zhou Zui’s side had been empty for many years.
Zhou Zui looked back at Xiao Ke, and the child’s eyes were beautiful with the ends of his eyes very wide. He often liked to stare at him and Zhou Zui, and being as old as he was, it was sometimes uncomfortable letting him stare.
Fang Xi was watching with an ambiguous look on the side.
Xiao Ke was still waiting for his reply.
Zhou Zui averted his eyes, and said with a sigh, “You can go. What’s so inconvenient about it? We’re all men.”
Xiao Ke bit his lower lip before smiling like a little gangster, and then winked at Lu Xiaobei.
‘Good Little Beibei, my brother did not cherish you for nothing.’
Lu Xiaobei gripped a cigarette and also gave him a wink.
‘Brother Xiao, go! I can only help you up until this point. In the middle of nowhere, opportunities must be taken.’