Happy 6th-year Anniversary ExR!
Chapter 6: “Seriously, I’m interested.”
Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
On Friday evening, Fang Qimao sent a location to Xiao Ke’s phone which was the location of Zhou Zui’s studio. Xiao Ke looked at it and noticed that it wasn’t too far from him.
Fang Qimao said through an audio message, “I’ll drive there tomorrow and call you so you can come over to meet me.”
Xiao Ke replied to him, [OK.]
Fang Qimao’s tone still sounded cheeky, “You’re about to meet for the second time, are you nervous, Master Xiao?”
Xiao Ke replied, [Nervous, my ass.]
Fang Qimao sent two cheeky-looking emojis, and Xiao Ke ignored him. In fact, he really could not say that he was nervous since it was someone he had only met once by chance, but to say that he was calm without any ripples was impossible. After all, that person genuinely suited Xiao Ke’s aesthetic taste, and his heart was more or less thinking about looking at him two times more.
The next day, they had lunch before they headed over. Xiao Ke wore a pair of washed jeans and a simple black hoodie which made him look young and energetic closer to the appearance of a student. Fang Qimao said that he was pretending to be pure by deliberately pretending to be young.
Xiao Ke squinted his eyes at him then hooked up one side of his mouth to smile. “I’m not pretending, I really am young.”
Fang Qimao snickered for a long time before he said, “Sure, Professor Xiao with thirty-one flowers, tender enough to squeeze out water.”
When they arrived, there was only one little girl in the store who looked like she was in her twenties, and she was drawing something on her nails with the other hand. When she saw them, she said, “Good afternoon.”
“Hi, pretty girl.” Fang Qimao was always positive during these times. “We’re in the right place, right? Is this a tattoo parlor or a nail salon?”
The girl smiled and pointed towards the side of the door, “Tattoo parlor. But the tattoos are in there, I’m just a shopkeeper. If you want a manicure, I can also do it for you. No charge.”
“Who are you talking to?” A bald boy came out of the door with an upside-down duck-tongue cap and a pen in his mouth.
“Second brother.” The girl turned back to him and said, “Two handsome guys.”
“Hello.” The bald boy greeted them.
Fang Qimao said, “Hi, handsome boy, I’ve contacted you on WeChat before.”
“Oh, you wanted a dog head, right?” The bald guy took out the pen he was holding in his mouth and looked at Fang Qimao. “Which one of you wants it?”
“Me.” Fang Qimao raised his hand. “Here I am.”
“Well, come in and wait a while.” He tilted his chin at Xiao Ke and Fang Qimao before telling the young girl, “Make two cups of coffee.” He then went in first.
The girl said to them, “You guys go in and wait. I guess I’ll be free later on, is coffee okay?”
Xiao Ke nodded, “Yes, please.”
Once they made it inside through the door, there was a bright hall that was very spacious with two large floor-to-ceiling windows that let in a lot of light. In the middle, there was a set of sofas, and opposite to that was a wall of lattice cabinets with some books while the rest of the stuff were models and ornaments. A long table was connected to the floor underneath, and there were two computers sitting side-by-side alongside gaming equipment that looked quite professional. The hall was also connected to three doors along with the chairs and shelves, as well as a variety of tattoo equipment.
The concrete staircase led to the second floor, and Xiao Ke looked up but could not see what was up there.
The young girl came in bringing two cups of coffee before she told them both to sit on the sofa and wait. She then simply knocked on the adjacent door without saying anything.
Xiao Ke sat on the couch while he just kept on staring at a metal ornament in the cabinet. He couldn’t tell how it was shaped as it was made with two pieces of metal that were paradoxically torqued together in a twisted yet smooth arc.
Xiao Ke didn’t react when the voice sounded behind him, and it was only when Fang Qimao elbowed him that he reacted. Fang Qimao said, “He’s talking to you.”
Xiao Ke looked behind and saw Zhou Zui.
Zhou Zui was leaning against a door, and he was so tall that his head nearly hit the door frame. He was still in the same attire of black short-sleeves that were taut on his body which left the muscles on his arms extremely exposed. He was still wearing gloves, he said after meeting Xiao Ke’s eyes, “Wait for me. Half an hour.”
Xiao Ke hurriedly nodded and said, “It’s okay, there’s no rush.”
“Okay.” Zhou Zui looked at both him and Fang Qimao next to him before turning around to go back in, only this time he didn’t close the door.
Fang Qimao, who was playing a handheld game, didn’t look up as he whispered, “Not bad.”
Xiao Ke ignored him as he could hear the buzzing of the tattoo machine which was occasionally interspersed with a few words of human communication. Something that Xiao Ke could hear more clearly was Zhou Zui saying, “If the pain is unbearable, then we can take a break.”
The customer should be a girl from the sound of the voice, but she rarely spoke.
For some reason, Xiao Ke felt like his heart had been gently knocked by something while listening to Zhou Zui’s words, and he felt that his tone was particularly…What was so special about it? He couldn’t tell. Anyway, it sped up his heart.
The bald guy was the first to come out from another room where he had been giving someone else a fancy English tattoo, and Fang Qimao looked up towards him from his phone before asking, “Are you done, handsome?”
“Yeah, you can wait. My big brother is probably close to finishing. He will do it for you, your little figure will be done in a few hours, no need to rush.” He lit a cigarette and squatted on the chair to poke at his phone a few times.
“Then how about you give me the tattoo, ah?” Fang Qimao looked at him, “Anyway, my figure is simple, it’ll be the same whoever does it.”
“I’m not giving you a tattoo, I’m done for the day. This is my brother’s drawing. He does not want to be paid, that is his business.” He didn’t even look up at Fang Qimao as he continued, “I don’t do my brother’s drawings, and I don’t do him any favors.”
Fang Qimao laughed out loud and said, “I don’t intend to not pay, I don’t know your brother either. There is no favor. If you do the tattoo, I’ll pay you.”
The little brother shook his head, “No.”
“Three thousand?” Fang Qimao asked him.
“No.” The boy continued to smoke.
“Five thousand?” Fang Qimao put down his phone and continued, “Actually, I’m really uncomfortable letting your big brother touch my ass, after all, he knows my friend, not me. I want you to do it, and whatever you normally charge, I’ll double it for you.”
The younger brother looked at him before looking at Xiao Ke who nodded and said, “They don’t know each other.”
Fang Qimao said, “Eight thousand.”
The younger brother removed the cigarette from his hand and pressed it into the ashtray, “Pay up.”
Fang Qimao was happy with what was said so he directly took out his mobile phone to send him eight thousand through WeChat transfer. The little brother received the money before he beckoned Fang Qimao, “Come in.”
Fang Qimao’s phone and jacket were thrown to Xiao Ke since he didn’t want to go with him as he wasn’t interested in seeing someone else draw on his ass. He heard the younger brother say after a while, “I’ll give you a simple sketch so you see what it looks like, and the tattoo will roughly look like this.”
Fang Qimao said, “No need to draw, you can just follow the expression bag dog head, bitchy.”
The little brother’s voice was a little impatient, “We never follow the picture here, it’s all original. If you can accept that, I’ll draw it for you, if not, forget it.”
“OK, you draw,” Fang Qimao said.
Xiao Ke later heard the little brother ask him again, “Is this ok?”
Fang Qimao sounded very satisfied, “Yes, it’s very good.”
The younger brother made a hmm sound before he said, “Take off your pants. Don’t you know where you want to get tattooed? Will I tattoo on your pants?”
Fang Qimao asked him, “Does it hurt to tattoo your ass?”
“It’s okay, there’s a lot of flesh.”
The little brother finally said, “I don’t like to talk when I’m working, so shut up.”
Fang Qimao agreed, “Ok.”
Xiao Ke sat on the sofa while continuing to stare at the metal ornaments on the shelves for a long time before he began to feel a bit drowsy.
It was only when Zhou Zui and a short-haired girl came out of the tattoo room that Xiao Ke woke up slightly. The girl had a white crane tattooed on her neck which appeared lifelike. The crane was covered with a layer of plastic film, and was presumably quite painful since the girl used her hand to fan the wind around her neck.
Zhou Zui said to her, “Don’t get it wet until tomorrow.”
“Okay, thank you, Mr. Zhou.” The girl smiled at him.
Zhou Zui said, “You’re welcome.”
He didn’t seem to have much of an expression on his face, and he seemed a bit cold.
After the girl left, Xiao Ke pointed at the next room and said, “My friend had that little guy give him a tattoo.”
Zhou Zui said, “I heard that.”
Xiao Ke made a hmm sound and nodded before settling into the couch as he didn’t know what to say.
Zhou Zui sat on the single chair next to him and asked, “Boyfriend?”
Xiao Ke said, “No, I’m single.”
He said this in a somewhat deliberate manner, but it didn’t matter since Xiao Ke had meant it.
Zhou Zui nodded his head. In fact, Xiao Ke knew that Zhou Zui was not a man of many words, since he didn’t hear Zhou Zui say more than a few words the last time the two of them drank at the same table. The atmosphere felt somewhat awkward as Xiao Ke did not drink nor talk much.
Zhou Zui asked him, “Last time you said you were a teacher. High school?”
“University.” Xiao Ke’s hand was still in his pocket that was in front of his stomach, and he asked with a smile, “Do I not look like it?”
Zhou Zui replied with a “no,” and asked him how old he was.
Xiao Ke said that he had already finished his PhD and his 30th birthday had just passed.
Zhou Zui said again, “No, obviously younger.”
The two of them were close to each other which was about the same distance as last time when they had a drink, except the light was very dim last time while the light was on right now which allowed Xiao Ke to see Zhou Zui more clearly, and he saw a scar on the side of his face near his ear.
It may be some years old because it wasn’t too obvious, and he could only see it when he was close.
It wasn’t ugly, but rather…very sexy.
Xiao Ke had a brain fart and suddenly asked Zhou Zui, “Are you single?”
Zhou Zui briefly froze, then smiled lightly while making a hmm sound. ” Single, I am used to this.”
Xiao Ke also did not continue with what was said, and just nodded before digressing to talk about something else. They were adults so his meaning gave way and Zhou Zui’s meaning also returned.
Fang Qimao said that the small figure was easy, but it still nearly took two hours so when he came out, he asked Xiao Ke, “Do you want to see it, Professor Xiao?”
“No, you go home and enjoy looking at yourself in the mirror.” Xiao Ke stood up to hand over his clothes and phone.
Zhou Zui also followed and Xiao Ke took a step towards him. The two of them suddenly became a little closer.
Xiao Ke rubbed the tip of his nose and looked at Zhou Zui. Professor Xiao’s face looked great whether it was from a distance or up close, and he had always been handsome since he was a child.
Zhou Zui paused before he smiled and nodded.
“You’ll have to find time to pay me back.” Xiao Ke said.
Zhou Zui replied quickly, “Okay, just do it.”
Xiao Ke’s voice wasn’t too loud, but Fang Qimao heard all of it. After the two of them came out of the store, Fang Qimao threw the car keys at Xiao Ke before looking at him with a smile, “Professor Xiao can do it.”
Xiao Ke sat in the driver’s seat as Fang Qimao’s ass right now should not be able to drive the car.
“But what did you mean?” Fang Qimiao was pretty surprised. He had rarely seen Xiao Ke act like this. “Are you serious? You’re interested?”
Xiao Ke didn’t try denying anything anymore. He nodded. “Seriously, I’m interested.”
After their meeting last time, the other matched his type perfectly. He kept thinking of him. Now that he saw him again, this fixation had increased rather than lessened.
Xiao Ke was your average single young man. It was normal for him to be interested in someone. He had been single for a while which made him almost forget what it felt like to be in a relationship.
He looked at Fang Qimiao before suddenly laughing. It sounded like pretty delighted laughter too. He switched gears to back out his car to maneuver the car from the parking spot onto the road. Xiao Ke said, “I want to try.”
Really enjoying this book. I like that the characters are feeling out each other slowly. I believe it will make for a beautiful relationship ❤️ sometimes fate will give you a second chance and this is Xiao Ke’s ❤️ Thank you for translating 😊
The little brother is pretty abrupt!
Enjoying this very much. Thanks for translating and editing.
Happy Aniversary, Iam so glad that. you chose this novel to give us as a present , I love the wey it develops,I’ve read it before and I’m so happy to read it again. Thankyou for your trnslations and edits that makes us so happy, Congratulations again for your 6th Aniversary, hope comes many more🎈🎈🎈💐💐💐🍷🍷🍷👏👏👏❤️❤️❤️❤️
XK has found his way. After a year, it’s time to try again. Both are definitely interested.