Chapter 1: New Beginning — She always felt that he didn’t particularly like her.
A sunny and cloudless Saturday.
Sunlight illuminated the waking city as endless streams of cars filled the spacious streets and the noisy crowd bustled with activity.
In a certain luxury residential building, a tall male figure stood in front of a dress mirror as he meticulously tied his necktie. On the table, his phone began playing a familiar ringtone as he finally adjusted his necktie into place. He walked up to accept the call. “Good morning, sister-in-law.”
“Zhi Zhou, don’t forget you made an appointment to meet Miss Fang today.” On the other end, his sister-in-law didn’t even say a conventional greeting of some kind and directly cut to the chase.
Jian Zhi Zhou replied, “I didn’t forget. I’m already preparing to leave.”
His sister-in-law was quite surprised. “Didn’t you agree to meet up at 10:00AM? You’re leaving so early??”
“Mn, afraid that the road will have a traffic jam.”
His sister-in-law nodded approvingly. “It is always better if the male party arrives earlier.” After she said this, she once again changed the topic of discussion. “Although, don’t ask someone you just met if they ever had a boyfriend; if you proceed to that step, any girl that is asked this will be displeased.”
Jian Zhi Zhou said, “I know this isn’t very polite, but I believe I am fully aware of my own problem. If I don’t ask in advance for clarity, then I am being even more irresponsible to the other party.”
“How can this be such an absolute matter on this earth? If, by chance, you and the woman get along very well and like each other a lot, then won’t you ultimately not care about this issue?”
“I previously also had this kind of wishful thinking, but I was ultimately proven wrong.”
“…Forget about it. You always have reasoning. That said, in this current decade, all senior high school students have had boyfriends, let alone a twenty-five to twenty-six year old woman?”
Jiang Zhi Zhou let out an inaudible sigh. “Sister-in-law, I understand these things you’re saying, but I have no solution. I had even gone to see a psychiatrist.”
Hearing him speak like this, his sister-in-law hurriedly consoled him. “It’s okay, it’s okay. This time, this Miss Fang, I had intentionally questioned. She has never dated before. Furthermore, she’s beautiful and generous. You need to get along well with her.”
“Then sister-in-law won’t disturb you anymore. Perform well today.”
After Jiang Zhi Zhou hung up the phone, he put on his coat. Only after he looked at himself in the mirror again did he leave.
He waited on the eighteenth floor for the elevator to come down from upstairs and stop at his floor. Inside, there was only a woman with mid-length, curly light brown hair standing there. She was wearing a long, light tan overcoat. Jian Zhi Zhou glanced at her and then pressed 「-1」before moving to stand at the other end of the elevator.
Once the elevator doors closed, it continued its descent. Xiao Wei glanced at the other man standing in the elevator and mentally rolled her eyes.
She had constantly seen this individual in the neighborhood. He lived a floor below her, but the two of them had never spoken. She also didn’t know his name, only hearing others call him ‘Mr. Jiang.’
It was reasonable to say that the two of them had never had any interaction with each other, but she didn’t know when she had offended this ‘Mr. Jiang,’ as she always felt that he didn’t particularly like her.
Like just now——when she stood on one end of the elevator, he would stand on the other end, as if her body had some infectious disease.
Xia Wei twirled her hair behind her ear. He didn’t like her, so she didn’t like him.
When she twirled her hair, Jiang Zhi Zhou inadvertently caught glimpse of her pastel pink nails. He didn’t know what she had stuck on it that caused it to flash slightly.
After the elevator stopped on the first floor, Xia Wei stepped forward with her high-heeled boots, her head not turning around as she walked out. With that ‘Mr. Jiang’ left behind her, she suddenly felt as though the air had become significantly fresher.
Today’s weather was very nice, the ponds in the neighborhood gardens sparkling from the reflection casted by the sunlight. As she walked, all kinds of flowers would bloom more vibrantly than they had been in the past.
After leaving the neighborhood, she took a left and walked down the street and entered the subway station. In taking the subway, Xia Wei only took ten minutes or so to arrive at the nail salon that she had opened.
Xia We had opened this nail salon for over a year. It wasn’t very large, but it was in a good location. It was near Starlight Plaza, so there was high pedestrian traffic. The nail salon had, including her, two nail artists and a recently recruited young apprentice. Today was the weekend, so there were more customers than usual. Xia Wei became busy not long after getting to the salon.
The little bell hanging above the salon door rang. Xia Wei raised her head to take a glance. It was the young girl who recently came often to get a manicure. Behind her was the same person as always, a very tall and handsome man who was reportedly her older brother.
Catching sight of that man, Xia Wei’s heart fluttered twice. “Accompanying your younger sister again as she gets her nails done?”
The man seemed to be more nervous than she was as he simply hummed in agreement rather reservedly. “Mn.”
The salon was busy at the moment, so Xia Wei smiled at them and said, “Sit for awhile first. I’m almost done with this.”
“Okay.” The girl sat on the sofa and then deliberately teased her older brother, “Look at you, accompanying me every time I come here. How about this time, you conveniently have the shop owner also do your nails?”
“…” The man frowned for a moment. Standing next to her, he said, “Make less trouble.”
“I’m making trouble? How come I feel that every time you come with me, your wine-lover’s heart is not in the cup?”1
Xia Wei didn’t look at them, but when she heard those words, her heartbeat began to beat quickly.
After finishing her current customer’s nails, she washed her hands before calling for the girl to sit down across from her. “What design do you want this time?”
“Mn…” The girl pondered for a moment before finally pointing at Xia Wei’s hands as she said, “Make it like yours. I think it’s pretty.”
Not knowing if it was Xia Wei’s mistaken feeling or not, she always felt that the man opposite was staring continuously at her. Although her head was lowered, she felt his gaze. Her heartbeat quietly accelerated as the girl in front of her suddenly giggled happily. Hee hee. “Brother, can you be a bit reserved and not keep staring at others? If my nails are ruined, I will seek you out to settle the bill.”
“…” The man withdrew his gaze with lightning speed and awkwardly coughed. He picked up a fashion magazine from the sofa and gazed steadily at its contents.
Xia Wei very skillfully did the girl’s nails. Despite the girl picking a relatively complicated flower design, she only took about thirty minutes. “Take a look. How is it?”
“Very pretty!” The girl extended her hand for her older brother to look, happy and excited. “Beautiful, right?”
The male smiled faintly and said, “You can stare at it all evening once again tonight.”
After paying the bill, the man stood in front of Xia Wei. She deliberately didn’t pay attention to him as she pushed the number keypad over to the girl. “Enter your pin number.”
“Okay.” The girl quickly pressed the six-digit pin and hit enter. She placed her phone back into her bag and looked at her older brother, who was still standing motionlessly to the side. “Not leaving?”
The man pursed his lips, his jaw taut. He looked at Xia Wei, and with an expression as if he was facing death with equanimity, he asked her, “I wonder if I can treat you to lunch?”
In the coffee shop inside Starlight General Merchandise, a tall woman smiled warmly. “Hello, Mr. Jiang. I am Fang Wan.”
Fang Wan was very pleased with her blind date this time. This Mr. Jiang was even more handsome in person than in his photo.
Jiang Zhi Zhou also raised his eyes to look at her. She was wearing a pastel pink dress, the color reminding him of that woman’s nail colour in the elevator this morning. He stood up and politely said to Fang Wan, “Hello, Miss Fang. I am Jiang Zhi Zhou.”
Fang Wan sat down across from him, her every movement fully displaying the temperament of a girl from a wealthy family. “I apologize for making Mr. Jiang wait for a long time.”
“It’s alright. It was I who had come early.” Jiang Zhi Zhou sat down again. Although his sister-in-law had reminded him this morning about how he shouldn’t ask someone he just met about her past relationships, he knew himself. It was better if this issue was clarified at the very beginning. “Miss Fang, I might be quite bold in asking like this, but I heard my sister-in-law say that you previously never had a boyfriend, right?”
Pertaining to Mr. Jiang’s mysophobia, Fang Wan had previously heard of this from the matchmaker. His question at the moment didn’t particularly surprise her either. She smiled, still magnanimous as she replied, “I have not.”
Jiang Zhi Zhou didn’t continue asking her questions. On the other hand, Fang Wan was slightly curious. “I wonder, did Mr. Jiang previously have a girlfriend?”
“I have not.” Jiang Zhi Zhou’s tone was self-mocking. “Because of my own issue, blind dates have never been successful.”
Fang Wan stopped smiling at his words. “You haven’t even while at school?”
“Apart from attending class back then, I would be spending time learning to cook from my father. I simply didn’t have any free time.”
Fang Wan nodded in understanding. She smiled at him and said, “Honestly speaking, Mr. Jiang has changed my impression of Chinese cuisine chefs. I had always thought that Chinese cuisine chefs all have oily faces, but you look more like a Western-style restaurant chef.”
Jiang Zhi Zhou replied, “Chinese cuisine can also be very delicate as well, even more so than Western-style food.”
Fang Wan said, “Indeed, each of the dishes at Tian Xia Restaurant are works of art.”
As these two chatted, Xia Wei was sending off the brother-sister pair. She very quickly grabbed her phone from her bag and opened up the chat she made with her best friends.
Asking for Suicide at Eighteen This Year: 「Remember that handsome guy I told you all about before? He asked me out for lunch today!!」
Invincible Little Sweetie: 「That handsome guy who accompanies his younger sister to get her nails done?」
Asking for Suicide at Eighteen This Year: 「『nod』『nod』」
Eight Treasure Congee Female Hero: 「See! I had said long ago that he harbored evil intentions! Did you agree?!」
Asking for Suicide at Eighteen This Year: 「Agreed with a shaky voice!」
Eight Treasure Congee Female Hero: 「…promising『picks nose』」
Asking for Suicide at Eighteen This Year: 「You don’t know, but I saw his heartbeat racing! I once again found love!」
Invincible Little Sweetie: 「『jia you』」 2
Not Losing 5kg Not Changing Name: 「As long as you don’t fall ill again midway『rolls eyes』」
Asking for Suicide at Eighteen This Year: 「『wronged』『wronged』Feel that this time will be successful!」
Not Losing 5kg Not Changing Name: 「You have this kind of feeling every time, but in the end, the one to throw away the person is still you, big sis 『rolls eyes』But a woman like you, God always sends handsome guys to be by your side. The heavens are unfair!」
Eight Treasure Congee Female Hero: 「Heavens are unfair +1」
Asking for Suicide at Eighteen This Year: 「I know you all are jealous of me 『rolls eyes』」
Not Losing 5kg Not Changing Name: 「Jealous that you’re still a virgin?」
Asking for Suicide at Eighteen This Year: 「……『goodbye』」
Invincible Little Sweetie: 「Do you know what that handsome guy’s name is?」
Asking for Suicide at Eighteen This Year: 「Just found out. He’s called Ye Kai 『shy』」
Hello, everyone! I dug a new pit! Could everyone reading this novel please remember to read the ◤Reading Guide◢ to avoid tears!
In addition, concerning Ye Kai and Fang Wan, they have very little scenes. In order for the male and female leads to have this torturous soul-searching ‘I-seem-unsuited-for-dating’ existence, everyone must not delve too deeply!
Finally, the advance sale for 《Just Blame Me for Being Blind in the Beginning》’s published book began. Name changed when published to 《Just Because I Caught a Glimpse of You at the Dining Table in the Beginning》 . Mei Li Guan Fang Tian Mao Dian’s (魅丽官方天猫店) advance sale is giving out signed postcards! I would like it if small fairies don’t miss this!
Expressing thanks to sponsors
- “Wine-lover’s heart is not in the cup” is an idiom meaning “having an ulterior motive” or “accomplishing something besides what one set out to do” ↩
- Jia you (加油) is a phrase of encouragement with too many meanings to fully encompass when translating into English. The general meaning at this point is like go, good luck, you can do it, etc. Various definitions → to add oil / to top up with gas / to refuel / to accelerate / to step on the gas / (fig.) to make an extra effort / to cheer sb on ↩