Chapter 26 — I couldn’t bear you leaving to another city.
Before, the address that Jian Yan had filled on her CV had actually been her old address. Due to He Xiu’s highly retentive memory of CVs, she let herself be sent back to her mom’s place.
After they had driven into the old district, He Xiu took note of these surroundings. “This road is hard to walk through. Furthermore, the streetlights are relatively sparse. Returning by yourself late at night is too dangerous.”
Jian Yan said, “This place still has many people at night, and the snack street still has people even past midnight.”
He Xiu nodded slightly. “But you still need to be aware of your safety.”
“Mn.” Jian Yan made a sound of agreement and then continued to give him directions. “We’ll be there after turning right at the intersection up ahead. You can drop me off at the intersection after if it’s difficult to make a U-turn.”
“It’s alright.” He Xiu drove through the intersection and soon caught sight of the neighborhood. “Is this the place?”
“Mhmm. You can stop at the gate.”
He Xiu found a spot and parked his car. Jian Yan lifted the leftover strawberries and opened the car door to exit. “Thank you, Director He. Be careful on the road home.”
He Xiu curved his lips into a smile and hummed in agreement.
Jian Yan waited for him to turn his car around and drive away before walking inside. She had yet to walk to the unit’s entrance when she heard her mom call out, “Yan Yan, how come you came over?”
Jian Yan turned her head and saw her mom walking over from the large gate. “Oh, I went to Strawberry Gardens with Lin Zhen today to pick strawberries. I just thought I’d drop by to give you some.”
“The food market here also sells strawberries, yet you still came over specifically to give me some?”
“Eh…this is different. Each of these I personally picked!”
Jian Yan’s mom walked up to her and looked at the strawberries she was carrying. “Your strawberries are worth ¥60-80 per kilogram.”
“More or less.”
“Our market here sells for ¥30.”
Jian Yan: “…”
“We were experiencing the joy of picking strawberries!” Jian Yan strived to persuade herself.
Her mom laughed and once again asked her with seriousness, “I just saw the car that sent you here. Who drove the car?”
Jian Yan blanked out for a moment. “Oh! That was our director. Today, we went to pick strawberries together, and he sent me home along the way.”
“Your director?” Jian Yan’s mom frown slightly. “I saw that the one driving was a man, so how did you…?”
“I don’t know either.” Jian Yan laughed dismissively. “Last time, Dr. Zeng said that my condition might have taken a turn for the better.”
“Is that so…?” Jian Yan’s mom wrinkled her brow, seemingly pondering over something. After a moment passed, she raised her head to look at Jian Yan. “Your director is very handsome.”
Jian Yan: “…”
“Hahaha, mom, why are you downstairs?” Jian Yan, embarrassed and diffident, asked her mother, having been forced to change the subject.
Jian Yan’s mom said, “Originally, I had gone down to play mahjong for a while, but in the end, I hadn’t even sat down yet when I saw you come over.”
“…Hehe. Mom, your eyes are still really sharp.”
“My daughter still hasn’t realized this yet?”
The two of them chatted as they entered the building. Jian Yan was afraid that her mom would continue to interrogate her regarding Director He, so she didn’t stay for long, using the excuse that she had to draw in order to leave early.
After returning home, she opened QQ and discovered that Nan Si had sent her a reply.
Nan Si: 「I apologize. I’ve been quite busy these past two days. What matter did Teacher have? ^_^」
Tang Zhi: 「It’s alright now~ ^_^」
Just as she sent this reply, her two assistants arrived. Jian Yan glanced outside and very quickly typed up a new message. 「I need to begin drawing, will chat again later on.」
Nan Si: 「Okay. Teacher, jia you :)」1
Jian Yan laughed and exited QQ before opening up her drawing software.
The next day was a workday, and Jian Yan had the early shift. During the early morning routine, He Xiu specially came over to Fantasy Wardrobe to explain to them about the Christmas campaign. “From the 23rd to 25th, the department store will have a Christmas promotional sale. For these three days, Fantasy Wardrobe will also have a Christmas themed event. To speak of it simply, it’s to help clients match together Christmas outfits. I have already given Hui Hui the specifics for the plan. If there is anything you don’t understand, you can ask her directly. In addition, on Christmas Day, the department store will extend business hours. You’ll only be able to get off work after 11:00PM.”
Perhaps because they had already become numb to working overtime at the end of the year, nobody had any reaction to hearing that they would be working overtime on Christmas.
“That’s all for now. I still have a meeting after this; everyone should read over the Christmas themed event plans. I hope you all can provide clients a perfect experience.”
After He Xiu finished speaking, he quickly left. The site manager, holding the plans he had spoken of in her hands, said to everyone, “Then I will summarize the Christmas themed event. Firstly, the clothes on all of Fantasy Wardrobe’s mannequins need to be re-outfitted to project the Christmas theme. In addition, the store will be rearranged such that all the apparel will be sorted into five sections based on the colors, white, pink, red, yellow, and green. All the leftover colors will be set aside in a Christmas miscellaneous section…”
Once the site manager had finished explaining the Christmas themed campaign, all the employees looked green. Needless to say, the next several days would be falling into the rhythm of working overtime because they needed to arrange a completely new store…
The only one who was relatively excited was probably Jian Yan. Formerly during the Christmas season, she had always been rushing to get through a manuscript. This year, spending it at Starlight General Merchandise could be considered a very novel experience to her. Moreover, she had always taken pleasure in arranging rooms.
Once He Xiu finished having a meeting with each department, he had his secretary call Hui Hui into his office. He handed over the just-printed plans to her. “I had previously stayed in C City’s Starlight General Merchandise for nearly a month, and every aspect is going on track. The turnover is also steadily rising, so I plan to also establish a Fantasy Wardrobe there.”
Hui Hui was reading through the plans he had given her and nodded. He Xiu continued, “You have been here since I established Fantasy Wardrobe and have stayed as its staff since then and are very familiar with Fantasy Wardrobe’s operations and management, so I intend to transfer you over there to be in charge of managing Fantasy Wardrobe.”
Hui Hui was somewhat dumbfounded. At the moment, she was merely a site manager. This transfer was a significant promotion.
“Today, the reason why I wanted you to come was precisely to ask you whether you are willing to go to C City.”
Hui Hui nodded and said, “I wasn’t a resident of A City originally, so as far as I am concerned, A City and C City are more or less the same.”
He Xiu chuckled. “Be at ease. I won’t make you go there immediately. After you have groomed someone to take over, I will transfer you over to the store there.”
“Thank you, Director He. I will do my best.”
“Mn, there is also one other matter. After you leave, there will no longer be a site manager here. You and the staff have spent a lot of time together, so who do you think is the most fitting?”
Hui Hui thought for a moment and responded, “Solely on work capability, I actually support Jian Yan highly. Although she has been here the shortest, her understanding of clothing and brands is deeper than anyone else’s. Not only that, she has her own collection of ideas. She is also quite patient when dealing with clients and is intelligent. Her sales figure this month is the highest… except her experience is lacking, and she could be unsteady.” 2
He Xiu smiled and said, “Indeed, you don’t have to consider her.”
“If considering another person, Qing Qing should be a good choice.”
“Your thoughts are more or less along the lines of mine. Since it’s like this, when you leave, help me call Qing Qing over.”
Since He Xiu had summoned two senior-level Fantasy Wardrobe employees in one morning, everyone surmised what Director He needed done. Jian Yan was also somewhat curious, but Hui Hui and Qing Qing would not say much. Jian Yan didn’t ask much either.
At noon, she carried her lunchbox to the dining hall. She was still a bit nervous at first, but upon catching sight of He Xiu sitting in their spot, her heart immediately settled down.
“Good afternoon, Director He.” Jian Yan smiled at him before sitting in the empty seat across from him.
“Good afternoon.” He Xiu examined her lunchbox, his lips curving into a smile as he said, “I was a little worried that your lunch today would, perhaps, be made entirely of strawberries or not.”
Jian Yan: “…”
“You’re overthinking, how can there still be strawberries leftover until today?” Jian Yan asked.
He Xiu: “…”
“Eating too many strawberries at once causes diarrhea,” he admonished.
Jian Yan shrugged and countered, “My mom used to frequently say that my stomach would even be able to eat stone and turn it into water.”
He Xiu: “…”
Jian Yan ate a few bites of food before she was unable to restrain herself from asking He Xiu, “Director He, I heard that our site manager might be transferred. Is this true?”
He Xiu hummed, not concealing the truth at all. “I intend to establish a Fantasy Wardrobe at C City’s Starlight General Merchandise as well with her in charge.”
Jian Yan had a flash of understanding. “Oh, that’s a good thing!”
He Xiu smiled. “But since there will no longer be a site manager here, I plan to have Qing Qing take over the responsibility.”
“Mn, Qin Qing is a steady character, good choice.”
He Xiu looked at her and added, “Hui Hui had actually recommended you first.”
Ke—ke— Jian Yan choked. She stared at him in disbelief. “Me?”
“Mn.” He Xiu smiled at her. “But I vetoed her recommendation.”
Jian Yan: “…”
“Yes, I was hired on a trial period originally and have not passed it yet, and I’m not an official employee…” Although Jian Yan spoke these words, she was still very offended in her heart. “Where do you think I am no good?”
She finally asked this question.
He Xiu looked at her, seemingly in contemplation. “You…nothing is no good about you. I’m just afraid that you’re too outstanding and one day, I may have to transfer to you another city.” After he said this, he deliberately paused for a moment, the corner of his lips slightly rising. “I couldn’t bear you leaving to another city.” 3
Jian Yan felt embarrassed, not knowing how she should respond. Her heart beated incessantly. Pu-tong. Pu-tong. He Xiu caught sight of the faint pink blush gracing her ears and chuckled softly.
Jian Yan packed up her lunchbox and hastily said to He Xiu, “That, Director He, the store is very busy today. I need to leave first. Enjoy your meal!”
He Xiu watched her almost-fleeing departing figure. The smile in his eyes deepened even more.
After Jian Yan returned to the store, she still had not caught her breath and her chest still beat violently. Although she had never spoken of romantic love before, she drew shōjo manhua. She knew all too well that this strange feeling was…a tempted heart? 4
“Yi, isn’t that Xu Ying?”
“Yes, it’s her. Why is she here again?”
Hearing two colleagues mutter this beneath their breaths, Jian Yan raised her head to gaze into the distance. Sure enough, she caught sight of Xu Ying, the fiancée of Director He’s younger brother.
Merry Christmas, everyone! Did you receive Christmas gifts?!
Today, I posted even later, hahahaha _(:з」∠)_
Expressing thanks to sponsors
- 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 ↩
- Moonclipse’s comment: ‘unsteady’ as in the fact that she may not stay in Fantasy Wardrobe ↩
- Moonclipse’s comment: For those who read the screenshots, this was the bit i was fangirling over qq; 舍不得 has is like, I cant bear it, I dont want you to go, I’m reluctant, I’ll be lonely and miss you, all rolled in one. SEE??? Adorbs <3 *wallows in fluff* ↩
- Moonclipse’s comment: KYAAAAAAAAAAAAA ↩