Chapter 18: “You do not have a false heart Zhou Zui? Do you also want to make friends? Do you have that kind of life?”
Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
The man said he was looking for Zhou Zui, but Lu Xiaobei sneered and said, “You want to find Zhou Zui? You can’t find Zhou Zui without an appointment, come and I’ll line up a slot for you.”
The man’s voice sounded really uncomfortable so Xiao Ke frowned before he heard him say, “I don’t want to look for him, but someone told me to deliver a message through a dream. Get out of the way, brother, or do you think you can stop me?”
“You’d better get lost.” Lu Xiaobei said, “Whoever wants the message sent can visit him themselves. He can not send a WeChat? Don’t directly bother my big brother.”
The man laughed in an exaggerated manner, as if he was about to die from laughter. After laughing and coughing, he said, “You think he wouldn’t if he could? You think that your poor brother really can message him?”
Xiao Ke subconsciously looked at Zhou Zui. Zhou Zui was still putting his head down while coloring with steady hands, and his movements were not at all different. He also said to the man in front of him, “Hold still, the line is thin and I’m afraid of shaking.”
The strong man in front of him was quite cooperative and laid still as he kept hissing and inhaling as he asked, “How long has it been?”
Zhou Zui said, “More than three hours.”
“Then let’s take a break.” There was a layer of sweat on the strong man’s head. He took a piece of tissue and slowly raised his arm to wipe his forehead. “My butt is numb.”
“Okay, wait for me to finish this part.” Zhou Zui replied.
Outside, Lu Xiaobei was still shooing the man away. Zhou Zui seemed deaf as his facial expression did not change.
“Long time no see, Zhou Zui,” The voice sounded from the living room downstairs, but Zhou Zui still didn’t turn his head to look. Xiao Ke did look over, and then was very surprised since he thought that the person’s face would probably be ugly by the sound of the voice. However, it was not as it was a very passable face.
WIth this cold-eyed glance, the man was quite handsome and estimated to be more than thirty.
“I love watching you tattoo.” The man said with a smile while looking for a chair to move over and sit down on. He tilted his head to look up, “Especially good-looking.”
The only response to him was the hum of the tattoo machine.
His words made Xiao Ke feel a sense of crisis. Someone with an ordinary relationship should not talk like this. He looked carefully again to see that the man’s eyes remained on Zhou Zui, but his eyes did not turn. His eyes make Xiao Ke unconsciously want to frown as he was not sure how to describe it, but in short, watching them was very difficult and uncomfortable.
No one spoke in the entire space of time. Another tattoo artist downstairs also left after sending away customers. Before he left, he hadn’t said goodbye, because the atmosphere at this time was too subdued which would make anything that was said seem very abrupt.
Zhou Zui had been finishing the last half of the wings when he stopped and took off his gloves before he patted the arm of the person in front of him, “Take a break.”
“Yeah, I’ll take a break. You also hurry up to deal with your business, brother Zhou. This is quite lively.” This person immediately stood up. He had been in the same position for a long time and his waist felt a bit unbearable so he went to the toilet with one arm holding his waist. Having held it for a while, he really can’t stand it if he doesn’t go.
Zhou Zui also stood up but he did not hold his waist, and instead raised his hand to squeeze his neck while slightly tilting his head.
Xiao Ke said, “Do you need a massage?”
“No, it’s fine.” Zhou Zui shook off his arm and said calmly. “I’m used to it.”
“Who’s this guy?” The man downstairs had a sullen face as he stared dead straight at Xiao Ke. His peach blossom eyes were supposed to be very attractive, but they turned out to be a bit fierce since his eyes were too gloomy.
Xiao Ke looked at him and raised his hand. “Hello, I’m Xiao Ke. What’s your name?”
“Who are you?” The man did not answer his question, but his eyes fell on his body, and Xiao Ke felt like they were about to burn two holes into him.
Xiao Ke hooked up the corner of his mouth. “Didn’t I tell you? Xiao Ke.”
“What is your relationship with Zhou Zui?” The man’s eyes darted between Xiao Ke and Zhou Zui’s faces before they finally settled on Zhou Zui’s face while he pressed him in his gruff voice, “Who is he?”
Xiao Ke was just about to speak again when Zhou Zui touched his arm from behind, and Xiao Ke gave a start when Zhou Zui spoke up and said nothing else but a low, “Professor Xiao.”
Xiao Ke then swallowed what he was going to say.
The one downstairs had already come up the concrete stairs as he headed straight for them. When he was about to get close, Zhou Zui kicked the stool which knocked him on the leg, and it was only then that he stood still.
“Stand there.” Zhou Zui said indifferently.
“You’re dating?” His eyes were bloodshot which were more frightening when viewed up close.
Lu Xiaobei came in from the front room with the takeout Xiao Ke had ordered. It was a large box full of food. Lu Xiaobei shouted from below, “You haven’t finished passing on the message? We’re going to eat.” He finished and waved at Xiao Ke, “Brother Xiao, eat!”
“Oh, it’s here.” Xiao Ke answered and walked around the chair to go downstairs. He had no intention of getting involved with Zhou Zui and this man as he wasn’t in a position to do so nor was he in a position to participate.
“…I said he gave me a message in my dream.” The man’s eyes were bloodshot, and he grabbed Xiao Ke, who was walking past him. He grabbed Xiao Ke’s arm so hard that it hurt a little.
Zhou Zui immediately said, “Let go.”
“Don’t you feel any guilt, Zhou Zui?” The man squinted over and stared into Zhou Zui’s eyes, “You dare to start dating? You think you’re brave if you start dating? Do you think you’re allowed to move on?”
“You’re fucking spouting bullshit!” Lu Xiaobei cursed at the bottom. “Motherfucking bastard dick, don’t fucking rant here. If you have something to say, just say it and get the fuck out!”
Zhou Zui had been quite calm before, but now he had also changed expression. He kicked the stool which hit the man’s knee with a loud thud, and it sounded like it hurt. Zhou Zui’s voice was very cold. “I told you to let go.”
The man did not move so Zhou Zui kicked the chair away and came over to grab the man’s arm. Xiao Ke didn’t let him touch it and said “it’s okay” before he quickly raised his arm to squeeze the man’s shoulder. The man let go when he was in pain. Xiao Ke rubbed his arm and said, “He used a bit of strength.”
Xiao Ke smiled at Zhou Zui, then went straight downstairs to find Lu Xiaobei to eat. He was not interested in hearing more. To be honest, he wanted to know all the things related to Zhou Zui, but did not care to receive them in this way, as a messy bystander. He wanted to know what Zhou Zui had to tell him, otherwise he did not care to pry into his past.
Xiao Ke did not ask a single question during the meal, although Lu Xiaobei did not intend to say anything, but Xiao Ke did not ask which made Lu Xiaobei a little puzzled. Xiao Ke finished eating and left without saying goodbye since he did not see Zhou Zui when he looked upstairs.
Although this matter today had nothing to do with him, it was impossible for it not to affect his mood. The handsome man with the unpleasant voice and decent looks had an unknown relationship with Zhou Zui, and the few words he said had a lot of information which Xiao Ke could not understand. Anyway, there was no reason to think about it as there was no point. He was not necessarily right to think more about it.
That night, before going to bed, he received a rare message from Zhou Zui, and when he opened it, it said, [Professor Xiao, sorry for today.]
Xiao Ke quickly replied to him, [Why are you sorry? There is nothing wrong.]
It showed Zhou Zui typing for quite a while, and Xiao Ke kept waiting, but finally there was only one short sentence. [Get some rest.]
Xiao Ke pursed his lips and looked at the screen, then gave back a ‘good night’ emoji.
This matter seemed to have no effect. Xiao Ke did not really take it to heart, but in the end, it still affected the process of Xiao Ke pursuing him.
Xiao Ke did not go to the parlor for the next two weeks, and the flowers were still delivered as usual, but he did not go there.
“It’s over,” Lu Xiaobei said while drawing a design to add to his collector flash.1 “After much difficulty, a good person finally came, but he’s been forced to leave.”
Xiao Lin watched him draw on the side while sneaking a glance at Zhou Zui who was tattooing someone. She did not dare to answer.
“That idiot with a neurotic paranoid look, eyes glazed red, what good person wouldn’t run away?” Lu Xiaobei remembered this and got mad. “Like the star of death.”
Zhou Zui had that permanent look of indifference, as if he couldn’t hear him mutter.
Lu Xiaobei looked at Zhou Zui and asked, “Has your fanboy contacted you in the past few days?”
Zhou Zui still didn’t look up or make a sound, but he seemed to gently shake his head.
Xiao Lin’s eyes widened and both Lu Xiaobei and Xiao Lin looked at each other. She opened her mouth and expressed surprise at Zhou Zui’s response. Lu Xiaobei was more enraged as he frowned and said again, “This is really the end. Now I’m left with an old bachelor no one wants to take.”
The tattoo customer gave a snort and laughed. She was a very cheerful girl, and said with a smile, “Stop it, okay. If no one wants to grab him, would there be no one else but me who will take him?”
Lu Xiaobei said, “If no one else wants him, you can take him.”
The girl looked up at Zhou Zui and said, “Uncle, would you consider a loli?”
Zhou Zui did not give any expression and shook his head before he only gave a sentence, “Do not move your arm.”
“You see? There’s no way,” The girl said with a smile. “I guess my gender is not possible. I won’t move.”
Lu Xiaobei quickly finished three small drawings and took them over to Zhou Zui, who scanned them and said, “Generally, it’s too conventional. Don’t lose your personal style, it’s just a set.”
“Mn, I’ll change it later.” Lu Xiaobei never talked back in this area, and he was very humble. He had been with Zhou Zui for too many years, and his skills were taught by Zhou Zui, who had only one apprentice so he got along with him for more years than he should have.
Lu Xiaobei still thought about Xiao Ke’s matter and took out the phone to send a message, [Brother Xiao, if you do not come again, my big brother will be taken by others. When the time comes, don’t say Beibei didn’t tell you in advance.]
Lu Xiaobei waited half a day for a reply, and his heart was cold. “It’s over.”
Zhou Zui looked up at him, and Lu Xiaobei said, “No message back.”
Zhou Zui seemed to have no ripples in his heart, and lowered his head to finish his work. Lu Xiaobei said, “Old Zhou, you’re pretending. Fang Xi and the others always call you sexually frigid. Now, I think you deserve it. In fact, it’s too little.”
- I don’t know if this is the first time this has been mentioned or not, but pre-made tattoo designs are called flash tattoos and are a pre-made design you find on posters and inside books at the parlor. There are two types of flash tattoos: Market. Collector. Market Flash is a set of popular designs clients ask for, such as a heart, rose, or pop culture reference. These are what you see hanging on walls or kept in the lobby books. Collector flash is unique to tattoo artists. They are designs made specifically by the artist in their preferred style or of their own interests.