Chapter 32 — I am very grateful to her for bringing you into this world.
He Xiu suddenly speaking of such strangely sentimental words caused Jian Yan to not know how she should respond. Fortunately, He Xiu’s phone rang just then, dispelling her awkwardness.
The phone call was from Tang Zheng. The first call He Xiu would receive every year was practically all from Tang Zheng.
“Master He, Happy New Year!” The sounds coming from Tang Zheng’s end was very noisy. It seemed that he was out somewhere celebrating. “Praying that you’ll not be single earlier in this new year, thus blacklisting me less!”
He Xiu laughed and said, “Mn, praying that you’ll have less kill-worthy mistakes, so that I blacklist you less.”
Tang Zheng: “…”
He asked him unhappily, “Are you by yourself at the company?”
He Xiu glanced at Jian Yan standing in front of the window, and the corners of his mouth lightly quirked up. “I’m at the company, but I’m not alone.”
“Oh, I feel sorry for the colleague working overtime with you.”
He Xiu merely smiled and didn’t explain anything to him. “If you don’t have anything else, I shall continue working overtime.”
“Go overtime, overtime, wishing you will marry your work!” Tang Zheng immediately hung up after he said this.
He Xiu walked up to the window and said to Jian Yan, “You still have early shift tomorrow. You should go back first and rest.”
Jian Yan thought for a moment and said, “Mn, then I’ll leave first.”
He Xiu watched as she grabbed her bag and walked to the doorway before calling out for her to stop. “I’ll escort you downstairs.”
Jian Yan gazed at him and didn’t say anything. He Xiu laughed and took the initiative to explain. “I’m afraid that you’ll be scared of the dark when walking downstairs by yourself.”
Jian Yan: “…”
Mn. Although, she truly would be a little scared.
He Xiu escorted her all the way to the underground parking lot. At this time, Jian Yan was truly rejoicing the fact that He Xiu had come with her. Otherwise, she might have truly not dared to fetch her car. Opening the car door, Jian Yan was about to get in and sit down when she suddenly turned around and said to He Xiu, “During previous New Year’s Eves, I have also been hurriedly drawing drafts at home alone. This year, I also feel the same happiness.”
He Xiu watched as she drove away and then turned around to leave, a smile spread across his face.
He had previously urged Jian Yan to send him a message when she arrived home. Jian Yan sincerely obeyed Master He’s verbal order and had immediately informed him that she had arrived home safe and sound.
Tang Zhi: 「Already home safe and sound 『enthusiastic』」
Nan Si: 「That’s good then ^_^」
Nan Si: 「Remember to wait for me after you get off work」
Nan Si: 「 Oh, that’s right. It should be today :)」
Tang Zhi: 「『OK』Wishing that you’ll have a pleasant time working overtime. I’m going to go bathe and then sleep.」
He Xiu chuckled, sending his reply as a voice message.
Jian Yan curiously opened it. A sexy, tender male voice rang out through this dimly lit night. It could simply make a person die of intoxication. 【Good night, sweet dreams】
…Jian Yan felt that tonight, she might not sleep at all.
Despite her mental state being stirred into restlessness that night, she still got to her shift on time. When Jian Yan went to Starlight General Merchandise first thing in the morning, there was a line of people who had stayed out the entire night all ready to go, unable to take their eyes off the entrance of the department store.
…She simply hadn’t expected these people to stay in this bitterly cold plaza on a freezing night.
She entered through the staff entrance. Her colleagues inside looked as if they were facing a great enemy. Jian Yan had previously never seen the lucky bag war, only pictures that other people had posted on Weibo. They had called it crazy. Today, she had the fortune to be personally be on the scene and had certainly gained a lot of admiration.
Although lucky bags couldn’t be bought at Fantasy Wardrobe, after the doors to the department store opened, everyone would come in like a swarm of bees. In that very chaotic environment, in order to prevent accidents from occurring, they had to inflate their spirit by 120%. He Xiu also personally came downstairs with the intention of helping them keep the site orderly.
After all the departments had finished their morning meeting, everyone stood at their posts, waiting for the department store to open its doors.
At exactly 9:00AM, the security guards opened the door as scheduled. This caused the crowd outside to become restless, the clamor increasing significantly in volume. The people at the very front of the line nearly rocketed inside the split second the doors were open.
In less than a minute, a large amount of customers rushed into the department store, a long line already set up outside the elevator. Some of the more quick-witted individuals had already surged up the stairs. The moment Jian Yan saw them come in, she had a feeling similar to a magnificent army of a thousand men and ten thousand horses attacking. This entire scene could simply be described as unstoppable.
“Frightening.” She couldn’t help but sigh with lament. “This is even more frightening than the aunts fighting over discounted merchandise at the supermarket.”
“Hahahaha.” To the side, a colleague laughed and said, “After they grow old, they will become those aunts who fight over discounted merchandise at the supermarket. Therefore, don’t blame yourself for being unable to snatch from those aunts. They had gained experience in their youth, ah.”
Jian Yan: “…”
That really made a lot of sense.
At lunch, she continually discussed the lucky bag war from the morning with He Xiu. Before he left, He Xiu once again reminded her to not forget to wait for him after she got off work. Jian Yan lightly raised her eyebrows, very curious. “Where exactly are you taking me?”
If it were not for the fact that He Xiu’s mom had already passing away and the He Family were like that, she would have harbored suspicions that he had intended to bring her home to meet his parents with how nervous he was.
He Xiu still refused to answer. “You’ll know when we get there. Don’t worry; I won’t sell you.”
Although Jian Yan hadn’t been able to find out the reason, she still obediently waited by the doorway after she got off work for He Xiu.
He Xiu drove his car from the parking lot and stopped in front of Jian Yan. Jian Yan recognized his car and climbed in. Afterwards, she couldn’t help but ask, “Exactly where are we going?”
This time, He Xiu didn’t keep her in suspense again. Instead, he smiled at her and said, “Today is my aunt’s birthday. I’m taking you to celebrate it with her.”
“Aunt’s birthday?” Jian Yan blinked, puzzled. Nevertheless, she didn’t investigate in detail. “Then you should have said so a bit earlier. I haven’t prepared a birthday gift.”
“It’s fine. I made all the preparations already. You eating with us is enough. My aunt’s culinary skills are only a bit lacking compared to mine.”
Jian Yan couldn’t help but laugh. “You’re so arrogant; does your aunt know?”
He Xiu said, “She was the one who taught me my cooking skills, but now I am the blue colour that came from indigo but is more vivid than indigo.1 She should feel gratified by this.”
“Oh, then it’s only right that you are the one to make this meal.”
He Xiu glanced at her and quirked his lips. “I’ll make it for you to eat next time.”
Jian Yan turned her head to look out the window, not saying another word. After a moment passed, He Xiu opened his mouth to ask, “Are you not curious about this aunt I spoke of?”
Jian Yan deliberated for a moment before honestly answering, “I am somewhat curious, but I don’t dare to randomly ask at present.”
He Xiu looked down slightly, chuckling softly. “Last time was my fault. Don’t take it to heart.”
Jian Yan’s cheeks puffed up as she remained silent. He Xiu continued, “This aunt I mentioned is not blood-related. She was my mom’s best friend.”
Jian Yan stared blankly. The mom he mentioned definitely wasn’t Zhao Ying Fang, but his biological mother.
“She and my mom were senior high school classmates. Their friendship had always been very good, so afterwards, when my mom had to raise me by herself, we were fortunate that she would frequently look after us.” He Xiu looked forward at the road, his tone steady as he narrated to Jian Yan, “At that time, my mom, regardless of her family’s opposition, was determined to give birth to me. Afterwards, she became estranged from her family. Possibly because she wasn’t taken care of very well when I was born, my birth left behind an illness. 2 Her health has always been fragile. In order to raise me, however, she would leave at dawn every day to go to work until dusk, working herself to exhaustion. I loved her dearly, but I was too young. I couldn’t help her with anything and could only help her by sharing the housework.”
Jian Yan knew that this experience was far from being as dull as he was describing. Not mentioning back then, even in this decade, it was difficult for a single mother raising her child. In addition, he hadn’t even spoken of how much criticism his mother had suffered from society.
Jian Yan merely said, however, “So your culinary talents came from this kind of practice?”
With this topic brought up, a hint of a smile was caught on He Xiu’s lips at last. “Actually, the most important thing was that the food my mom made was highly unpalatable. Honestly, I could only rely on myself.”
Jian Yan also smiled and said, “Don’t tell me that it’s even more unpalatable than Chief Lin’s cooked noodles?”
“Actually, I also am curious about how unpalatable Lin Zhen’s cooked noodles are.” He Xiu faintly laughed and then said, “Anyway, the moment I was able to hold a spatula, I refused to allow my mom to enter the kitchen. Every time I complained that whatever dish she made would be unpalatable, she would even say with a specially self-righteous and confident air, ‘The more beautiful a woman, the more unpalatable the food she makes,’ which convinced me that in the future, I must, by all means, not take a beautiful woman as a wife.”
“Haha, your mom is very cute.”
He Xiu said, “Because my mom really was very beautiful, I had, for a very long time, believed that what she had said was true.” He slightly tilted his head to glance at Jian Yan as he said this. “But after getting to know you, I can confirm that she was speaking nonsense.”
…The hidden attractiveness was the most fatal.
Jian Yan felt that He Xiu was an expert at all kinds of things.
Perhaps it was mainly because he looked handsome and his voice was pleasant to listen to.
“My mom is just like you. She especially loved to dress up, but…” He Xiu’s voice once again gradually softened. “In order to provide for me, she had no choice but to give up her beautiful clothes and accepted arduous jobs. I heard my aunt say that she used to love strolling through general merchandise department stores. Even if she didn’t buy anything, she wanted to try on the beautiful clothing. But in my memories, she had never once gone to a general merchandise department store. Even if she had to buy clothes, she would be going to buy them for me. Only once had she taken me to Starlight General Merchandise, yet she had merely stood at the doorway, ultimately not entering.”
Jian Yan’s eyes became slightly red. She drifted for a bit, waiting for her emotions to calm down a bit before saying to He Xiu, “Your mom is a mother worthy of the greatest admiration.”
“Mn. My greatest wish as a child was to give her many, many beautiful clothes after I grew up. But, she had no time to wait for me to grow up.”
Jian Yan had just calmed down her heart, when it began to flutter again from his words. She breathed in lightly through her nose, afraid that her tears would begin falling. Perhaps because He Xiu’s past and hers had a few similarities, she felt especially touched.
“Sometimes, I would think that if my mom had listened to her parents and aborted me, she wouldn’t have been so exhausted, right? She would still be alive right now and would have other children as well. She could have been very happy.”
Jian Yan blinked her reddened eyes. In the end, she tilted her head to look at him as she said, “Standing here from a woman’s perspective, I do support your mom in aborting her child, but I am very grateful to her for bringing you into this world.”
Aaahhh! Don’t know if I made it to post this before midnight or not!
Wishing everyone a happy new year! May your wishes come true in 2017!
The next few days after the celebrations, I might be updating quite late. I hope everyone can please forgive me!
He gou dan accompanies you all as we step into the new year!
- “The color blue is made out of indigo but is more vivid than indigo” (idiom) = the student surpasses the master ↩
- Moonclipse’s comment: In China, there is superstition that if the mother is not taken care of well after giving birth, she will contract illness that will stay with her for life and grow worse as she ages. Within the first 3 months after birth, mothers should not leave home and be in the wind, cold, rain, heat, etc. and should recover well. ↩