Chapter 19 — The body is an asset of overtime work. How will you have a healthy body to work overtime if you don’t exercise?
The next morning at 6:30AM, Jian Yan got out of bed to begin making breakfast. Because she had been sharing food with He Xiu these past few days, she placed greater thought into her dishes than she had done formerly. She paid attention to his tastes and guaranteed that each day’s dishes were not the same.
All sorts of vegetables and meat were stacked neatly in her refrigerator, many of which had been brought over by Lin Zhen yesterday. Jian Yan thought for a moment before taking out the steak. She intended to grill it for herself to consume.
What else should she make? She stood in front of the refrigerator, pondering. Celtuce, lotus root, sweet potato, tomato, chicken wings that Lin Zhen had given her yesterday as well…
There wasn’t enough time to stew soup, so she may as well stew some ginkgo nuts and sweet potato sweet soup and then make coke chicken wings.
Deciding on the lunch menu, she grabbed every ingredient that she needed. Sweet soup needed to be stewed for approximately one hour, so if she started now, she should barely finish in time. Her lips curled into a smile as she tied her hair back and began to shell the ginkgo nuts.
While Jian Yan bustled in her kitchen, He Xiu was also preparing lunch in his kitchen. The strong fragrance of daikon and braised meat made the housekeeper come scuttling into the kitchen to take a look.
“Eldest Young Master, you are getting up this early to cook?” The housekeeper was somewhat surprised. The day before yesterday, he had also stayed up late into the night to cook pork soup, and yet he still woke up today at dawn to braise meat?
He Xiu looked at the heat control on the stove and then tilted his head to smile at the housekeeper. “Mn, these past few days, I have been cooking my own food to bring to eat at work.”
The housekeeper said, “If you aren’t used to eating the dining hall’s food at work, then tell me what you want to eat, and I’ll make it for you. Look at you, waking up so early, shouldn’t you rest some more?”
He Xiu said, “No need. I am only making one dish, and it doesn’t take up a lot of time. You can do your own things.”
The housekeeper glanced at the pot with the braised meat again and nodded, saying, “Then if you need anything, call for me.”
At noon, Jian Yan carried her lunchbox to eat in the dining hall. As expected, she caught sight of He Xiu sitting at their usual seat. She walked up and greeted him naturally. “Good afternoon, Director He.”
He Xiu raised his head slightly and smiled at her. “Good afternoon.”
Jian Yan, as a manhua artist, habitually studied a person’s face thoroughly. Perhaps because the angle was too good, her heart unexpectedly began to beat faster.
Just like how sometimes the handsome male lead she drew would do the same.
She coughed, then sat down. “You made daikon and braised meat today?”
“Mn, this is my signature dish.” After he said this, he paused and added two more words. “One of.”
Jian Yan laughed and opened her own lunchbox. “Today you haven’t made soup, but it just so happened that I made sweet soup with ginkgo and sweet potato.”
Steam wafted up from the sweet soup when she opened the lid, permeating the air with pure sweetness.
“It seems like the mark of a very alluring favored concubine.”1
Jian Yan said, “I also guarantee that the flavor is pretty good. After all, this is also a signature dish of mine, one of.”
The corners of He Xiu’s mouth unconsciously lifted, making people feel that he was sweeter than the bowl of sweet soup.
Jian Yan seamlessly shifted her gaze away as she opened another box. “This is coke chicken wing. This was something my friend grabbed with great difficulty from the supermarket here yesterday.”
She arranged the lunchbox in the middle of the table, subconsciously thinking, He Xiu only made one dish, whereas I made two. Then, is today considered to be my victory?
No. Wait a minute, Jian Yan. Why are you really under the impression that the two of you are in a culinary skills competition!?
Jian Yan somewhat wanted to support her forehead with her hand——this was all Lin Zhen’s fault.
He Xiu saw that something was seemingly amiss from her complexion and asked, “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing.” Jian Yan shook her head. “Let’s eat. Dishes cool down quickly in winter.”
Many of the colleagues eating in the dining hall enviously stared at their table’s….dishes. For a while, they only looked on, but a good while later, there was finally a bold individual who carried her meal tray and walked up to them. “Director He, Jian Yan Yan, may I be bestowed a bit of your feast?”
He Xiu tilted his head, looking at her lifted meal tray. He said, “There is no such thing as eating lunch for free in this world. If you want to eat, you need to bring a dish to exchange.”
“…” The colleague looked at him with disappointment. A short moment later, she asked,“Is the dining hall’s taro roast chicken okay?”
“Pfff.” Jian Yan couldn’t help but snicker. Finally, she gave this colleague a piece of coke chicken wing. She didn’t expect that this colleague would actually give her a piece of taro roast chicken in exchange. She was torn between whether she should laugh or cry.
Jian Yan calculated the time and finished eating this delightful lunch. As she packed up her lunchbox, she said to He Xiu, “Thank you, Director He, for your company.”
“I am also thankful for your company.” He Xiu’s lips raised, smiling at her.
Jian Yan: “…”
Why was her attention today always focused on Director He’s face?
She felt that she must be yearning to draw the male lead, so she’ll draw him when she returned home today.
She didn’t have her wish fulfilled, however, because Lin Zhen had scheduled a dinner party for the studio members that evening.
At present, Zhen Guo Studio had five manhua artists who had all developed rather well, so many newcomers came to the studio on account of its reputation. This time, Lin Zhen had ordered everyone to come to a dinner party precisely because she wanted to welcome two fresh talents.
“You don’t know how much those two little sisters like you. When they heard that you were eating with them tonight, they were so excited that they nearly swooned.” Lin Zhen drove the car as she spoke to Jian Yan, who was sitting in the passenger seat.
Jian Yan’s lips turned downward. “Aren’t you exaggerating a little too much…”
“I haven’t. After all, others have read your manhua as they grew up.”
“…I have only been drawing manhua for five years. I dare not accept this rare honor. It is Chief Lin that is powerful, practicing the trade for ten years and having excavated many fresh talents.”
Lin Zhen: “…”
She was not an excavator! Plus, ten years!
She drove Jian Yan to the private room reserved for their dinner party. Almost everyone else was waiting. The two little sisters, because they were newcomers, had arrived the earliest and had been waiting in the private room for some time. Upon seeing Chief Lin and a pretty young lady come in, the two of them stared blankly. One of them uncertainly asked, “This couldn’t happen to be…Teacher Tang Zhi, right?”
Jian Yan nodded to them and said hello. “Hello, you two. I am Tang Zhi.”
“Aaaaaahhhhhh!!!!!! It really is Teacher Tang Zhi! Extremely beautiful lady!”
“Teacher, can you give us your autograph? We love your manhua!”
“Yes, yes, yes. I super-liked your 《 Magical Garden of Eden 》 while I was in senior high school!”
Jian Yan: “…”
Fine, she now accepted that Lin Zhen’s words were true. 🙂
After she gave the two young fangirls her autograph, Lin Zhen introduced her to these two fresh talents. “They are fourth year university students this year, both majoring in the fine arts. During school, they draw a few short works and are fixed partners.”
“So it’s like this.” Jian Yan nodded. Manhua artists like her tended to work alone, but there were also artists that worked in partnership. If there were more people, a team could be formed.
“Teacher Tang Zhi, please give us a lot of advice or comments later on!”
“I want to work with Teacher Tang Zhi in the future, very excited!”
Lin Zhen calmly poured a spoonful of cold water over them. “Teacher Tang Zhi is currently working alone, so I have permitted her to draw from her own home. You two have to stay in the studio.”
“…” The two female students stiffened simultaneously.
Jian Yan said, “Although I am not staying in the studio, You You and the others are. You can still learn a lot from them.”
“Right, right.” The two female students nodded simultaneously. “Not only is the studio’s environment good, we also see how upright our Chief Lin is. She even reserved a private room for the dinner party at Tian Xia Restaurant!”
Jian Yan said, “Oh, that’s because You You and the others revealed their photos on Weibo. Being recognized is not good.”
Even if it was like this, Chief Lin was still magnanimous!
After everyone had arrived, Lin Zhen called the waiter to begin serving the dishes. You You had recently been hurrying to finish her draft, so she arrived the latest and was penalized with a cup of alcohol.
The group of manhua artists sat together. Naturally, they chatted like a heavenly steed soaring across the skies, unrestrained. The private room’s ambiance was continually joyous and harmonious.
“Today I have been trying to think of a name for a martial arts school until my head was about to burst. It’s so hard to pick a name,” You You complained. Although she had given herself a very feminine pseudonym, she drew wuxia, a fired up tale of Jianghu that matched well with her distinctive, graceful drawing style. She had snared a large amount of fans because of this.
Lin Zhen heard her say this and took the initiative to give her a suggestion. “Isn’t 《I’m Fucking God School》 a good name? If that’s no good, 《I’m Fucking Cool Sect》.”2
Jian Yan: “…”
She looked at You You and said to her, “Ignore her. She played too many games and is delirious.”
Lin Zhen rolled her eyes at her. “Weren’t you the one who let me play games to fill the hollowness in my heart?”
Jian Yan: “…”
I didn’t expect the hollowness in your heart to be this large. I apologize!
You You said, “I’ve been rushing this draft these past few days and haven’t had time to go to the gym over there. We even applied for a card; otherwise, it’ll be a waste.”
One of the newcomer girls curiously looked at them. “Teachers normally go to the gym as well!? I always believed that you would spend everyday working overtime, overtime, overtime.”Jian Yan said, “Chief Lin has frequently educated us on how, ‘The body is an asset of overtime work. How will you have a healthy, working body to work overtime if you don’t exercise?’”
Two Girls: “…”
Lin Zhen: “…”
She had said it like that? How come she felt like she hadn’t?
The group of them chatted like this as they ate. When it was nearly 9:00PM, they left. Because almost everyone had drafts to finish, Lin Zhen forced those who had wanted to sing karaoke to return home.
“You recently haven’t had a draft to turn in. Come on, let’s go and sing karaoke.” She pulled Jian Yan along with the intention of heading to a KTV.
She didn’t expect Jian Yan to also refuse her. “I still have work tomorrow. You can go ahead.”
Lin Zhen: “…”
Although her heartbroken voice was louder than thunder, she still sent Jian Yan home. After returning home, Jian Yan first took a bath before turning on her computer to prepare to draw for a while.
She casually clicked open the small penguin and discovered that the production group chat had a notification for an @everyone.
Sesame Paste: 「 @everyone The demo for the first episode of 《 Satisfactory 》 has been released. I am sharing it with the group. Everyone, have a listen, and if you have any criticism, speak up and we will go over it. The second episode is also on the verge of coming fresh out of the oven ^_^」
This message had been sent at 6:00PM. Jian Yan downloaded the file shared in the group chat before sending a reply to the group chat. 「 I apologize for only just being able to see it. I’ll go listen to it right now ^_^」
Not very long after she sent the message, Nan Si poked her in private.
Nan Si: 「Good evening, Teacher :)」
Tang Zhi: 「Good evening ^_^」
Nan Si: 「Did Teacher just return home?」
Tang Zhi: 「Yes. Zhen Guo welcomed two newcomers today, so everyone came together for a dinner party.」
Nan Si: 「Oh, very nice」
Tang Zhi: 「It’s not that great 🙁 The two newcomers are fourth-year university students. They said that they read my manhua in senior high school. I suddenly feel that I am really old :(」
Nan Si: 「Hahahahahahahaha」
Tang Zhi: 「You’re even laughing :(」
Nan Si: 「My fans were also still in school when they began to listen to my songs. Those kids can now go buy soy sauce.3 If I say it like this, then I’m even older than you :(」
Tang Zhi: 「You saying this makes my heart feel much better :)」
Nan Si: 「…」
Nan Si: 「Actually, fans accompanying you for such a long time is also a happy matter. Later on, you will have someone to accompany you for a whole lifetime and grow old together, so there’s no need to worry. :)」
Thank you sponsors~
- “Seems like this is the mark of a future expert housewife, etc. ↩
- Let’s take a moment to worship at the altar of Chestnut for this amazing wordplay. (五) Five sounds like (我) I. (草) Grass is a homonym for (靠), which is fuck. So I’m Fucking God… //cracks up. 鸟 is often used to mean ‘penis,’ though in this case, it also means ‘fucking’ because of Jay Chou. 鸟 is often used as slang for ‘fucking cool’ or fucking outrageous,’ the former working the best because 飒 is used as an adjective with the meaning of ‘cool.’ ↩
- “Buy soy sauce” (slang) In China, for many generations, kids have been sent to pick up soy sauce from the local seller or store. To be or have a child old enough to help with this errand was thus used as rough marker of age. ↩