Chapter 24: Meeting one paranoid person is enough fucking shitty luck for a lifetime.
Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
After staying together for a long time, Xiao Ke found that Zhou Zui was actually a very powerful person. Previously, he felt that this person was very easygoing and lived a chill life of wanting to come and go. The more contact he had with him, he found that he was not that easygoing, and rather that he was very tired and hardworking.
Although he only took one customer per day, Zhou Zui didn’t have too many small drawings in his hand, and sometimes a full back took more than half a month to do. He also had to design the drawings and teach Lu Xiaobei. He also had to have Xiao Lin keep in touch with the customers so if they were not satisfied, they had to come to the store, and Zhou Zui would personally talk to people to fix the drawings.
He also practiced his painting, and the brush could not be thrown away all the time. He also had to design some additional drawings without an appointment to fill his collector flash for the customers who came without ideas in mind and needed to choose ready-made ones from the flash designs. He also had to find time to work out so it was not for nothing that he was in good shape. Even if he didn’t go to the gym, he had to exercise every night before going to bed. Sometimes Xiao Ke would call him just in time to catch him exercising. His talking and panting sounded very sexy in the dead of night.
The shop was very busy during the New Year period. In addition to Zhou Zui, several tattoo artists were scheduled from morning to night which included Lu Xiaobei, who had no time to draw. Since many people only had time during this period of the New Year, and the two tattoo artists even rushed back from abroad, they had to work overtime to catch up.
Xiao Ke brought his notebook in so he could check the data and write his paper, and sometimes they couldn’t say a word all afternoon.
Zhou Zui came down from upstairs as Xiao Ke was about to get into the computer so he didn’t see him.
Zhou Zui poured a glass of water and put it in Xiao Ke’s hand before he touched his head and said, “Stand up and move around. Rest your eyes.”
Xiao Ke was so concentrated that he was surprised to hear Zhou Zui suddenly speak. He looked up and saw that Zhou Zui was leaning over his desk looking at him.
“Thank you, Mr. Zhou.” Xiao Ke smiled and took a sip of water. This was Zhou Zui’s cup, now Xiao Ke could use it without pressure. “Are you done with your customer?”
Zhou Zui laughed. “No, the little girl couldn’t stand the pain anymore, so she won’t get it finished today.”
“Then you have another appointment with another client today?” Xiao Ke asked him.
“One more.” Zhou Zui looked at him. “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing. I thought you seemed tired lately.” Xiao Ke held the cup in his hand, which was slightly hot, and he gently tapped the mouth of the cup.
Zhou Zui was indifferent and shook his head as he said, “I’m used to it. It’s always been like this since years ago.”
“Tsk.” Lu Xiaobei, who was on the other side of the tattoo room, heard their conversation. “I am more tired, ah. Brother Xiao, do you not feel sorry for me?”
“Who are you? I feel sorry for you?” Xiao Ke laughed. “Can’t figure out your own position?”
He said this when he looked at Zhou Zui, and Zhou Zui just leaned against the table without a response, but his expression was very relaxed while even his lifted eyebrows showed that he was in a good mood.
“I feel it clearly. So fucking clearly.” Lu Xiaobei wore a mask and laughed twice before he said, “When you need me, it’s Beibei this, Beibei that. But now that you’ve caught your man, you don’t need me.”
Xiao Ke said a few words to him while just fooling around. Zhou Zui stood next to Lu Xiaobei and looked at his drawing for a while before he pointed to the shoulder lines and said, “The line here does not need to be that light, you have to lay a large area of color later, or the sense of light can not come out. A shallow line will be suppressed and blurred.”
Lu Xiaobei pondered and pointed to that part, “But I’m afraid that if the line is too heavy, it’ll appear abrupt, and the color will not stand out.”
The most fearful thing about tattooing was that the lines were too thick and too heavy, and very eye-catching. Lu Xiaobei seldom practiced the thickness and strength of the lines when doing tattoos in the early days but was now very experienced.
Zhou Zui gently shook his head and told him, “The gradient of color is important, but you can’t just look at it. You can’t squeeze the line since you’ve outlined it, or you can simply not lead the line. Later on, trace again, thicken it by 0.2 times, and once you see the difference yourself, compare them.”
Lu Xiaobei looked at the drawing and thought about it before he nodded and said, “OK, I’ll try.”
Zhou Zui finished looking at Lu Xiaobei’s work and went to the other two tattoo artists to briefly say a few words to them. The other two tattooists and Lu Xiaobei’s identity were different. They were independent tattooists who used Zhou Zui’s building and were not considered Zhou Zui’s disciples, so each time Zhou Zui gave them a few sentences, they were very attentive and humbly listened.
Xiao Ke watched as Zhou Zui told them about the figure, about the intensity of the light, and about the adjustment of the gesture. Of course, in his eyes, Zhou Zui was charming most of the time, but it was heartwarming to see him speak so seriously and professionally about a field he knew well.
After he finished his lecture, Xiao Ke asked him, “Why aren’t you lecturing? I see Xiaobei’s microblog interacting with those studios and often giving lectures.”
Zhou Zui laughed lightly and shook his head before he said, “There’s nothing to talk about.”
“Him?” Lu Xiaobei sneered. “I have said it, but this big star, I thank God that he can even open this store. If he were to do lectures? Would he be able to pursue that?”
Xiao Ke looked at Zhou Zui, and Zhou Zui was helplessly looking at him. Lu Xiaobei trolling his big brother was a daily occurrence, and Zhou Zui had long been accustomed to these comments. Xiao Ke could not help but laugh so Lu Xiaobei continued, “He doesn’t have any aspirations at all. If not for the fact that he’s actually skilled, the two of us probably would’ve starved to death long ago. He doesn’t go to competitions and doesn’t go to discussions. When the association invites him to give lectures, our Teacher Zhou refuses to even show his face. Those of us at Zhou Zui Studio have no contact with the outside world.”
Lu Xiaobei stepped on the switch of the tattoo machine to turn off the motor machine in his hand and stood up to get a box of pigments on the table next to it but his mouth did not stop. He stole a glance at Zhou Zui before he said, “An immortal, simply an immortal. A master beyond this mundane world. Nowadays, all sorts of nobodies can step on him saying they have a few useless trophies, thinking they’re hot shit. That day you weren’t here, a dumbass brought a design by Feng Lei and said we were copying him. Fucking dick said we were copying. I was so close to slapping him across the face. I needed to let him know what copying is.”
Lu Xiaobei’s mouth was so vulgar that it didn’t end, and it was like a machine gun. Xiao Ke hurriedly made a gesture and said, “Okay, Brother Bei, calm down.”
“Too negative,” Lu Xiaobei sat back in his chair and turned on the machine before he went back to work while also continuing to say, “Our lives were too negative until we met Brother Xiao. Brother Xiao is our sunshine. Brother Xiao, quickly take his hand.”
Although Lu Xiaobei constantly dissed Zhou Zui, Zhou Zui still did not suffer and picked up a drawing. Who knows whose semi-completed design it was, but he took a pencil and made some changes to it. Xiao Ke winked at him before he pointed at Lu Xiaobei and said with his mouth, “Menstrual period?”
Zhou Zui laughed and tilted his head towards Xiao Ke before he came close to Xiao Ke’s ear and whispered, “He’s holding fire inside, let him talk.”
This distance was a little too close so Zhou Zui finished this sentence and Xiao Ke’s shoulders were burning. He unconsciously shrank his shoulders and rubbed his ears. Professor Xiao’s ears were very sensitive.
Zhou Zui looked at his reaction and took a step back before he softly said, “Sorry.”
“Shh.” Xiao Ke smiled and let out another “shhh”. He raised his hand and rubbed his ear again before he looked at Zhou Zui and said, “What’s wrong with being sorry? No need, I’ll just find a chance to return it myself.”
Zhou Zui just laughed and didn’t say anything so Xiao Ke didn’t tease him any more.
Lu Xiaobei still muttered from over there, “I don’t know why you can be so cheerful. You’re turning yourself into a monk. Meeting one paranoid person is enough fucking shitty luck for a lifetime. He died himself–”
“Xiaobei,” Zhou Zui suddenly interrupted him with a deep tone.
This was the first time Xiao Ke had heard Zhou Zui speak in this tone, and his heart thumped. He looked to Lu Xiaobei, and Lu Xiaobei also felt that it was not right to speak and did an “OK” gesture, and no longer spoke.
Xiao Ke also looked at Zhou Zui. He put down the drawing in his hand. He stood there for a while without meaning to talk, and then turned around to go upstairs.
Xiao Ke sat back in his chair to read the information, but he didn’t actually read a word of the latter.
Lu Xiaobei’s machine was still buzzing, and Xiao Ke suddenly remembered the handsome man he met here last time and how he looked at Zhou Zui with paranoid eyes. Zhou Zui had not mentioned anything about him.
Xiao Ke leaned back in his chair and let out a long breath while listening to half of the words. He was now interested, but no one continued so this feeling was really annoying.