Chapter 35 — I like you.
He Xiu said it in such a matter-of-fact way that for a moment, Jian Yan felt that she was the crazy one. She smiled at the shop assistant and said, “Excuse me.” She then dragged He Xiu to the side to softly say, “Do you know how many people in this world can wear these kinds of clothes like everyday wear? For the overwhelming majority, they can only wear these high priced clothes once.”
He Xiu’s eyelashes fluttered. He looked at her and said, “And so?”
“…So why are you buying it!” Jian Yan lowered her voice even further. “Like those celebrities who frequently attend red carpet events——if they bought a new expensive outfit every time, then no matter how much money they had, it still wouldn’t be enough to pay for it. That’s why everyone normally goes to borrow from brand names. At first, I also was going to have Lin Zhen help me borrow clothes from Bunny.”
He Xiu laughed softly and asked her, “Do you know what will happen if you wear borrowed clothes to attend Xu Ying’s engagement reception? Those rich wives are not celebrities. They have always disdained female stars borrowing clothes. Either you don’t wear high priced clothes, or if you do, it must have been bought.”
“…Then I’ll wear a common evening gown.” If worst came to worst, she would end up being ridiculed by Xu Ying for a while, which she had no fear of.
He Xiu stated, “Unfortunately, I already bought this dress.”
Jian Yan: “…”
He Xiu saw her face become deathly ashen and couldn’t help laughing lightly. “This dress you’re wearing, the chest piece is handsewn with so many sequins and pearls, and the hemline required a generous amount of embroidery as well. 800 hours of labor were used to finish this dress. Do you think that if I had only bought it now, there would be time to finish it?”
“Then this is a sample dress?”
“It was customized according to my mom’s measurements.” He Xiu explained, “I had noticed it with a single glance at a fashion show and found this evening gown to my liking, so I looked for Lewis at that time and discussed having this custom-made.”
“Your mother?” Jian Yan was completely shocked. He shouldn’t have intended…to burn it to give to his mother?1 That’s too grand…
As if he could see what she was thinking, He Xiu laughed and elaborated, “My mother had a wardrobe with very many beautiful clothes inside, but she practically never opened it again after giving birth to me because she had to go to work wearing those ugly work clothes.” When He Xiu said this point, his eyes darkened. “My mom didn’t even get the chance to wear a wedding dress. I felt that this dress might, to some extent, make up for her regrets.”
To make up for his regrets as well.
He looked at Jian Yan, his gaze softening as they focused solely on her. “Do you still remember what I had previously said to you, about how my greatest desire was to buy many beautiful clothes for my mom after I grew up? Although I now don’t have a way to buy her many beautiful clothes for her, I can buy you many beautiful clothes.”
A faint light flashed through Jian Yan’s eyes. At this moment, after getting to know He Xiu, her deathly grey heart appeared to be fanatically and distinctly throbbing for the first time.
He Xiu continued, “So a few days ago, I contacted Lewis and said that the clothes are going to be worn by someone else instead and might require size alterations. You know what type of designer that Lewis is; they must know whoever wears a clothing item of theirs. After I gave him your information, he very straightforwardly agreed. Your relationship with him seems to be pretty good?”
“Eh…it’s okay? I go to fashion shows and have chatted with him several times. If he was a woman, our relationship might be even better.”
Pfff. He Xiu laughed. “I can tell that he admires you very much. He even said that he was very much looking forward to you wearing the clothes he designed. Speaking of this, I go to fashion shows at least twice a year, yet I unexpectedly have never run into you.”
Jian Yan also felt that this matter was somewhat mysterious. “I also go to all the fashion shows. Maybe your gaze is always attracted by the supermodels on stage.”
He Xiu chuckled and then heard Jian Yan say, “But this dress was originally bought for you to send to your mother, but now you’re giving it to me. Won’t that not be so good?”
“Not at all.” He Xiu looked at her attired in the evening gown and softly curved his lips. “If this dress ends up being worn by you, my mom will definitely be very happy.”
He Xiu’s words made Jian Yan shy, causing him to smile and ask, “Does it need to be altered anywhere?”
Jian Yan shook her head. “No need, it’s very well-fitting.”
“That’s good then.”
While the two of them spoke private words to the side,2, the shop assistant had been patiently waiting. Now seeing that they had finished chatting, she once again led Jian Yan to change out of the evening gown.
Returning to the road, Jian Yan was still somewhat ill at ease. “Say, if I’m wearing such a precious dress at Xu Ying’s engagement reception, wouldn’t I be the voice of the guest overwhelming that of the host?”3
He Xiu quirked his lips and tilted his head to smile elusively at her. “Didn’t you say that you were originally seeking out Lin Zhen to help you borrow an expensive dress? Why are you anxious about this point now.”
Jian Yan: “…”
He Xiu chuckled and said to her, “You don’t need to care about them. It’s enough that we’re having a great time.”
…Since even Director He had said something like this, then she also simply wouldn’t be fearful again.
“What do you want to eat tonight?” He Xiu asked her.
Jian Yan said, “Let’s go home to put away the dress first. I don’t feel at ease carrying such expensive clothing.”
“Okay.” He Xiu smiled and drove in the direction of Jian Yan’s home.
This was the second time he had been to this villa-style apartment building. He Xiu parked the car and tilted his head to ask Jian Yan, “Are you not going to ask me to go up and take a seat?”
“Mn…” Jian Yan thought it over and then raised a brow at He Xiu. “Alright, you’re in charge of carrying the suitcase.”
Jian Yan’s dress was stowed away in a password-locked suitcase, which was very heavy. He Xiu carried the suitcase and followed her upstairs. Jian Yan normally delegated time to clean her home, so she wasn’t ashamed. This was the first time He Xiu entered her home, so he naturally was looking all over the place with curious eyes. “The apartment is very clean; you cleaned it yourself?”
“I normally do it myself. Every month, I also pay a cleaner to come over and clean.”
He Xiu nodded and asked, “This apartment of yours is decorated…with a frigidity style?”4
Jian Yan: “…”
She took the suitcase from his hand and walked upstairs. “I’ll go put away the dress. You can sit in the living room and wait.”
Although he was clearly being abandoned, He Xiu still shamelessly followed her upstairs. Jian Yan’s work room was the outermost room with a 「Working, Please Do Not Disturb」sticker plastered onto the door. He Xiu curiously asked, “Who is this notice for?”
Jian Yan answered, “Lin Zhen. At this place, apart from her, only my two assistants would come over.”
He Xiu seemed to be very interested in her work room. “Can I look around Teacher Tang Zhi’s work environment?”
“Please make yourself at home.”
He Xiu straightforwardly opened the door and looked around. The interior somewhat resembled an office building’s office. Altogether, there were three seats and a tabletop with all kinds of utensils spread over it, mixed yet not disorderly. Many posters were pinned on the wall, and a bookcase was overflowing with books.
He Xiu walked up to the bookcase and stopped to examine it. There were a great deal of technical books and fashion magazines, along with several manhuas. Not just what Jian Yan had drawn, but some works of other well-known manhua artists as well. There were also plenty of photo albums and photo books. What surprised He Xiu the most was that he unexpectedly found manhua manuscripts in the bookcase.
Jian Yan remarked, “When I just began, I drew a lot of manuscripts. Afterwards, I would scan them into the computer. Furthermore, there are some editors who only accept manuscripts.”
“These manuscripts are very precious.”
Jian Yan laughed and replied, “It’s okay. After I become a bit more famous, perhaps its value will be higher. Lin Zhen had previously proposed opening an art exhibit, but the amount is still a bit lacking. After I store a bit more, maybe I’ll really open an art exhibit.”
“When that happens, I’ll definitely go look.” He Xiu returned the rough sketches and began walking several paces forward. “This is your table?”
He Xiu studied Jian Yan’s table for a while with a rather high interest before picking up a rough sketch from the table to look at. These rough sketches were different from the manuscripts from just a moment ago, as they were all printed. He flipped it over and suddenly froze.
Jian Yan saw something seemingly amiss in his expression and knitted her brows. She went up to him and asked, “What’s the matter?”
He Xiu raised the rough sketch in his hand to show to her. “This, this is a drawing of me?”
Jian Yan: “……”
Fuck, this is the large portrait I previously drew of He Xiu. It accidentally got printed with the rest of the sketches!
She snatched the draft from his hands and hid it behind her body. “Maybe you looked wrong?”
He Xiu raised a brow and sent her a look, saying, “Oh? Then take it out again for me to have a better look.”
Jian Yan: “…”
“Okay, it might really be a drawing of you. I previously used you to practice drawing the head structure of a man.”
“Oh.” He Xiu well-deservedly asked meaningfully, “Then why are you blushing?”
“…Where am I blushing?”
“You clearly are.” He Xiu leaned in as he said this, seemingly wanting to examine her face for any clues.
This time, Jian Yan’s face really was red. With him leaning in so close, she could feel his breath brushing against her face. It was somewhat scorching.
“Look, your ears are red too.” He Xiu’s voice deepened, his gaze softening as well. He gazed at her like this for a moment before slowly pressing his lips to hers in a gentle kiss.
Jian Yan’s eyes widened slightly, her entire body stiff. But, this feeling wasn’t bad at all.
He Xiu’s lips lightly touched hers before drawing back. He was still leaned in close, but he didn’t say a word. His scorching breath fanned Jian Yan’s face as he breathed out, “Do you feel disgusted?”
The corners of Jian Yan’s lips curved slightly as she responded, “It’s okay.”
“Then what about this?” He Xiu lightly wrapped his arms around her waist, bringing her forward into his embrace. He placed a tender kiss onto her lips, only this time he didn’t let it go right away; instead, he bit on her bottom lip and nibbled it slightly. 5
Jian Yan’s heart nearly jumped out of her chest. She felt that He Xiu could definitely hear the echoes of her heart beating like a drum at the moment.
He Xiu, from beginning to end, only kissed her lightly, not taking any further action. He was afraid that she wouldn’t accept anything more intimate. Jian Yan breath came in light gasps within his embrace before raising her head to gaze up at him. “What do you mean by this?”
He Xiu asked, “Is it not clear enough?”
Jian Yan frowned faintly. “Not clear. Are you not supposed to confess first?”
He Xiu was unable to restrain himself from smiling, the corners of his lips quirking up. He deliberately used his Nan Si voice to say to her,
“I like you.”
Such a sexy and magnetic voice matched with such a handsome face, Jian Yan really couldn’t get a hold of herself.
She still gazed at him, however, deliberately making things difficult. “How much do you like me?”
With smiling eyes, He Xiu lowered his head to kiss her forehead. “I would rather be angry at you, quarrel with you, than to love someone else.”
He gou dan, you’re impossible! Others go to a girl’s home and look around her bedroom, so why are you looking around her work room!
He gou dan: …
He gou dan: Regardless of whether it’s her work room or bedroom, it’s enough to be able to seize it. 🙂
Expressing thanks to sponsors
- CN culture: People would burn items to send to loved ones after their death. If it hasn’t been buried with them, the only way for these items to reach the deceased would be for the item to have it’s own ‘death’ and thus become an ‘item of the dead’ which can then be received by the deceased. ↩
- Chestnut’s wordplay is too OP. (悄悄话) means whisperings/private words/confidences/sweet nothings. I was so tempted to use the latter translation. ↩
- the voice of the guest overwhelms that of the host (idiom) =. a minor player upstages the main attraction ↩
- “Frigidity style” is an extremely minimalistic style with a “less is more” ideology behind it. The style mainly uses black, white, grey, wood, and other natural colors. All furniture is simple, with no garish or sensational designs, stressing simple living rather than luxurious. ↩
- Moonclipse’s comment: Here lies Moonclipse, Kiseki’s best editor. May she Rest In Peace. PS. I really did die here; I just completely and utterly died. Kiseki’s comment: If you look at the SS teasers, it’s her becoming ‘broken’ where she even ended up shrieking at work (well, quietly). Her co-worker called her broken too. She just completely died at this part. ↩