Chapter 14: Restless Heart — But right now, He Xiu had unexpectedly grabbed her hand.
Eh, contact details?
“I didn’t mean that.” Jian Yan was even more embarrassed. He spoke as if she had deliberately wanted his phone number.
He Xiu actually took out his phone and inputted in a phone number. Jian Yan’s cell phone began ringing, and when she went to take a look, she saw that it was an unfamiliar number.
“This is my number.” He Xiu hung up and returned his phone to his coat pocket. “You should save it.”
Jian Yan stared at the numbers on her screen, seemingly unconvinced. “How did you know my number?”
“It was on your CV. All of Fantasy Wardrobe’s staff were personally selected by me, and I have recorded all of their phone numbers as well.”
“So it’s like this.” Jian Yan suddenly nodded. She had indeed included her phone number on her CV. Recalling that he had even treated all Fantasy Wardrobe staff to a meal, Jian Yan half-deliberately, half-seriously asked, “Does all of the staff also have your phone number?”
He Xiu smiled and replied, “Yes.” He glanced at the time on his wristwatch. He said to her, “If we keep chatting, we won’t have any time to eat.”
Jian Yan: “…”
Because time was truly pressing, He Xiu took her to a nearby Japanese restaurant in the shopping mall to eat sushi.
“I apologize, this meal is a bit lackluster.” He Xiu really was somewhat embarrassed.
“No, no, no.” Jian Yan repeatedly waved her hand. This sushi bar was actually very expensive. In addition, everything they had ordered was meat.
He Xiu chuckled and said, “Next time when there’s an opportunity, I’ll treat you to another meal.”
“You really don’t need to be so polite.” Jian Yan drank the cup of tea in front of her, seemingly reserved. He Xiu put a bit of wasabi into his saucer and asked her, “Do you want some wasabi?”
“I can serve myself.” Jian Yan rapidly took the wasabi from his hand and squeezed out a strip into her own saucer.
He Xiu looked at her, an eyebrow raised. “Your taste in food is rather heavy.”
“Haha, a little. A dash of wasabi is very stimulating.”
He Xiu was silent for a moment before he chuckled softly. Jian Yan ate a piece of tuna sushi. The presence of wasabi was very quickly apparent. She drank a mouthful of tea to stave off the wave of spiciness and grabbed a napkin to wipe her mouth. “Right, I heard a friend say that she ran into Mr. Tang Zheng.”
He Xiu nodded and said, “Mhmm, I also heard him say this.”
“Then…” Jian Yan seemed to want to say something but then hesitated. “I heard he is the person in charge of VOICE?”
“Oh, so it’s like this.” Jian Yan dipped another piece of sushi into her saucer before asking nearly a second later, “Then do you know Nan Si?”
He Xiu was slightly stunned. It seemed like he had not expected her to ask this question. He pondered for a moment before replying, “I heard Tang Zheng say that your friend is Chief Lin of Zhen Guo Studio?”
“Then do you know Tang Zhi?”
Jian Yan: “…”
This move was very good. She suspected that He Xiu was proficient at chess-like games.
“Haha, my friend says that Tang Zhi shuts herself at home everyday to draw. It’s very difficult to see her.”
He Xiu nodded slightly and didn’t say anything else.
Jian Yan released a slight breath of relief and lowered her head to eat her sushi silently. She decided not to talk superfluously anymore.
The sushi was rapidly consumed, and they were full quickly. The two of them had only used twenty minutes to eat before paying the bill and leaving. Jian Yan was afraid that her colleagues had been waiting for too long, so she walked comparatively fast on the way back.
“Be careful.” Seeing a small car drive right in front of Jian Yan, He Xiu pulled her back. “Even if you’re in a hurry, you still have to watch the road.”
At this moment, Jian Yan was no longer focused on whether she was on the road or not. She could only stare blankly at the hand He Xiu used to pull her back.
Back in middle high school 1, a boy had deliberately pulled her plait, so she had grabbed a large dictionary off the table and smashed it over his head. The boy had cried immediately, and the cut on his head had bled incessantly. This matter had alarmed both of their guardians. Her mother had continuously apologized to his family and even paid for his medical expenses. From start to finish, however, she hadn’t ever used a single word to scold her.
After that incident, her mother decided to send her to an all-girls school. Jian Yan also cut off her hair, becoming even more cautious about keeping a distance from the male sex.
For so many years, she had been doing this very well, but at this moment, He Xiu had unexpectedly grabbed her hand.
Even though his coat and her wool sweater separated them…
She abruptly drew her hand away. Without saying a word, she escaped directly back to the department store.
“Jian Yan, you finally returned!” A colleague who had been waiting to eat lunch saw her return and welcomed her back as if she were a close relative. “I nearly starved to death on the job!”
Jian Yan seemed to not have heard her and walked over to the sales counter, muddleheaded. Her colleague saw that her complexion was slightly unwell, so she walked up to ask, “What happened to you? Are you feeling unwell anywhere?”
Jian Yan took a deep breath and gave a forced smile. “I’m fine. You should quickly go to lunch.”
“Oh, okay.” Her colleague glanced at her again before leaving the store.
At this time, He Xiu had also returned to the store and was sitting in his office, pondering life.
Earlier, after he had pulled Jian Yan back, her complexion had immediately changed. She hadn’t said a word and had instead run away. Frankly speaking, his heart had been slightly wounded.
What he was more concerned about, however, was why Jian Yan had this type of reaction. He could tell that she was more or less a little opposed to the male sex, but he hadn’t expected that she would be opposed to this extent.
Or, was it opposed to just him?
This conjecture caused He Xiu to furrow his brows even deeper. He really wanted to seek out Jian Yan and ask for clarification, but remembering her reaction just now, he dismissed this idea.
From his records room, he found Jian Yan’s CV and browsed through it again.
「 Lilac Girls Middle School 」…
If he went to this place, would he learn something?
As soon as this thought popped up, He Xiu lightly wrinkled his brow. Since when did he become so fond of making discreet inquiries about another’s secrets?
He Xiu placed back Jian Yan’s CV and sighed. He left his records room.
That afternoon, Jian Yan was somewhat absent-minded. It wasn’t often that she got off her shift at exactly 3:30PM. When she returned home, she also wasn’t in the mood to draw either. She headed directly to her bed and lay down, staring blankly at the ceiling.
He Xiu could be considered as the most outstanding man she had ever known. He was handsome, had a pleasant, velvety voice, and was business savvy. He was also the heir to the He family… Could it be that because of these factors, she wasn’t so disgusted by him?
No, she didn’t believe that she was such a shallow person.
Then why? Could it be because…he was bent?
Jian Yan shook her head quickly, wanting to shake these unreasonable thoughts out of her head.
She picked up her phone and updated a new status mood onto QQ. —— 「:-(」
Not even a short while later, two rings suddenly sounded from QQ. She grabbed her cell phone and glanced at it. It was an audio message from Nan Si.
Her soul lifted a bit. She put on headphones and opened that audio message.
“What’s up? Did something happen that made you sad?”
Jian Yan thought for a moment. She felt that he had probably seen the mood status she had just uploaded.
Tang Zhi: 「No」
Nan Si: 「Then why did you upload this, :-(」
Tang Zhi: 「There’s just some things that I’m unable to think through :-(」
Nan Si: 「What is it about?」
Tang Zhi: 「Mn…related to new job.」
Sitting in his office, He Xiu stared at the screen of his phone, thinking. He had earlier thought that he could explore her intentions as ‘Nan Si,’ but it seemed that this was still no good.
He pondered for a moment before he found a song file on his phone. He sent it to Jian Yan.
Nan Si: 「《 Satisfactory 》’s theme song was finished earlier, same title as the manhua. I’m sending it to you so you can listen to it first. I hope you can find inspiration. :)」
Tang Zhi: 「Okay, thanks (^o^)/~」
Jian Yan opened the audio file. This song was different from the time Nan Si sang 《 She Loves Me Not 》at the concert. This song was very fashionable, similar to a fashion show song played on the runway. Even with a song like this, Nan Si was able to sing it with considerable ease.
His voice was still very magnetic. Jian Yan suddenly recalled what Lin Zhen had told her. If he didn’t look especially ugly, then he would look especially handsome.
She was willing to believe that he looked especially handsome.
Tang Zhi: 「Finished listening. Super euphonious!」
Nan Si: 「Thanks ^_^」
Nan Si: 「Do you feel a bit happier now? ^_^」
Tang Zhi: 「Mhmm ^_^」
Tang Zhi: 「I need to continue to draw, cannot be lazy.」
Nan Si: 「Okay. Good luck.」
Jian Yan got up from bed and walked to her work room. She continued the Christmas Celebration picture she hadn’t finished.
As she drew, she threw her restless heart to the back of her mind for the time being. As if she was pinching mealtimes, Lin Zhen called her when it was nearly 6:00PM.
“I have already sent the draft you gave me yesterday to Starlight General Merchandise. They said it doesn’t need to be revised and accepted the draft. The author’s remuneration will be sent over as soon as possible to you.”
“There’s also one more thing.” Lin Zhen opened a document on her computer. “Last time, didn’t I mention to you that on the magazine side, they wanted to print a compiled collection of 《 Satisfactory 》?”
“Mhmm, what did they say?”
“The book edition collection will consist of ten manhua volumes. And then you need to draw a new large poster to announce it. They also want to put together a daily life book, set tentatively at ten pages. You can draw yonkoma scenes.2 Furthermore, you have unpublished works, right? You can choose three of your them to use as postcards, and then give another three Q-version drawings of the main characters to make into key rings.”
Jian Yan heard her say all this in a single breath and couldn’t help but sigh. “This luxurious?”
“Mn, the set price is also relatively high. I estimate that it will be over two hundred, limited published stock of a hundred thousand sets, and the ten-volume manhua collection will hit the market at the same time. Because you just won an award and also caught up with the end of the manhua, they want to strike while the iron is hot. Therefore, they hope you can hand them the drafts before Lunar New Year.”
“But after I begin this new manhua, time is relatively tight…”
Jian Yan thought for a moment before saying, “I had asked you to help me recruit an assistant; did you recruit them yet?”
Lin Zhen: “…”
“Do you plan to draw the manuscript in a hurry like last time? You are overdrafting your life, you know that?”
Jian Yan curled her lips into a frown. Just when she was about to speak, Lin Zhen quickly spoke up again. “Start your new project after the Lunar New Year; let’s do it like this.”
After she finished speaking, she hung up. Jian Yan stared blankly at her cell phone for a moment before scrolling through her contacts.
One name that she had not contacted in a long period suddenly popped out in front of her eyes. She pondered for a while. In the end, she dialed the number.
A familiar voice echoed in her ear. Jian Yan made a noise of agreement and said, “Doctor Zeng, do you have time early tomorrow morning?”
Doctor Zeng remained silent for a while before commenting, “You haven’t contacted me recently. Did something happen?”
“Mn… a male colleague touched me today.”
“And after that? Did you beat him up?”
“It’s because I didn’t beat him up that I’m contacting you…I feel as if I’m not very disgusted by this contact.”
- Moonclipse’s comment: To clarify things, she means in year 8/9, because different countries have different terms for this ↩
- Yonkoma manga, 4-koma, or “four cell manga” is a gag comic strip within four panels of equal size from top to bottom. ↩