Chapter 34: Taking Action — Dr. Ji, I have money!
The curtains on the balcony swayed slightly, warm sunlight shining through and falling onto the two people kneeling on the floor.
Ji Zhe Yan’s bangs lightly brushed against his forehead. His head was bowed, hiding the storm of emotions visible in his eyes.
Ye Zhen Zhen’s smile gradually faded away. Although she had once again taken liberties with Dr. Ji, she felt…that it did not seem very proper for some reason.
When Ji Zhe Yan raised his head, his gaze was, once again, as clear and bright as usual. He looked at Ye Zhen Zhen and said noncommittally, “In this case, it seems that the planned lunch consisting of sweet and sour pork ribs, pork knuckles, boiled beef, and crispy fried fish does not need to be made today.”
Although his deep voice sounded beautiful to her ears, Ye Zhen Zhen heard a bantering laugh within his tone from the slight joy of revenge.
She watched him get up and turn to leave. Ye Zhen Zhen hurriedly scrambled off the floor and wrapped her arms firmly around his waist. “Dr. Ji, I’m wrong! I will no longer dare to take liberties with you in the future!”
Even if his back was to her, Ye Zhen Zhen could visualize him slightly raising his brow at this.
“No, no, no! I mean that I will no longer dare to joke around in the future!” Although she called it a joke, she was actually sincere about it.
Ji Zhe Yan ignored the language pitfall in her words and simply tried to struggle free of her arms wrapped around his waist. “Let go.”
“Then today’s lunch…” Although he could not see her, Ye Zhen Zhen’s miserable expression was very on point.
“If you do not let go, how can I cook?”
Ye Zhen Zhen relaxed her grip and wound around him to beam at his face. “Dr. Ji, I’ll help you.”
Ji Zhe Yan reached out and firmly ruffled her hair, watching as her supple hair became a bird’s nest. Satisfied, he withdrew his hand. “You haven’t finished cleaning up.”
Ye Zhen Zhen flattened her lips and began straightening out her hair. She went to wipe down the living room table, which concluded today’s big cleaning spree. She hovered at the kitchen doorway to glance at Ji Zhe Yan bustling within and then returned to curl up on the living room sofa.
Although Dr. Ji was currently offering her shelter, she could not stay here her entire life, freeloading, if she could not remember her identity. Moreover, Dr. Ji did not want her to devote her life to him. She felt that she should obtain some financial resources.
What could she do though? She had no diploma, no working experience…apart from drawing, she could do nothing else.
With this in mind, she walked to her room and took out the drawings that Zhou Wen had given her. She had already done some alterations back at Ye Mansion earlier, but she did not know if her changes would be approved by Zhou Wen. Subconsciously, she scanned the table for her phone, only to remember that she placed it in the living room yesterday to charge.
She returned to the living room and glanced at it. The battery was completely full. After starting it up, she took out the list of phone numbers she copied over from her old phone and carefully began inputting them into the new one.
She stared at Zhou Wen’s number for a long time before eventually summoning enough courage to begin typing a message. 「Hello, I am Ye Zhen Zhen…」
She deleted ‘Ye Zhen Zhen’ and stopped at ‘I am…’ for two full minutes, not knowing how she should introduce herself.
Who am I?
Ye Zhen Zhen felt somewhat disheartened.
In her mind, she rearranged her planned message again before beginning to type out a brief message. 「Hello, Miss Zhou. I altered the designs you gave me last time. Are you interested in viewing them?」
She skipped over introducing herself. If the other party remembered this matter, then surely she could guess who sent the message?
A few seconds later, she received a reply from Zhou When. 「You are…Ye Zhen Zhen?」
Ye Zhen Zhen pursed her lips and formulated a reply. 「I was the last time we met」
This time, a reply came slower than the previous one, but the details still made Ye Zhen Zhen relax. 「I have time the day after tomorrow. Can you do half past two o’clock in the afternoon at Starlight Plaza?」
「I can, thank you.”」
「Don’t mention it.」
Ye Zhen Zhen collapsed against the sofa, exhaling loudly. The first step was always unusually difficult, but as long as this step did not lead to defeat, the road in the future could become relatively smooth.
She glanced at the designs in her hand; there were still many areas that needed to be altered. She would need to rush and finish it before the agreed meeting time.
“You can go eat.” Ji Zhe Yan’s voice pulled Ye Zhen Zhen’s attention away from her thoughts. She hummed in acknowledgement and set down the designs, making her way to the dining room. This was not the first time she tasted Ji Zhe Yan’s craftsmanship, but every time, it gave her a nice surprise. If she could stay at Dr. Ji’s place as a happy millet worm, she would.
“What’s wrong; something on your mind?” Ji Zhe Yan placed a pork rib into Ye Zhen Zhen’s bowl; it seemed as if this question of his was unintentional.
Ye Zhen Zhen’s hands, which were stirring the rice, paused. She raised her head from her bowl. “Is it that obvious?”
Ji Zhe Yan withdrew his chopsticks and neatly returned them to his own bowl. “You are normally quite chatty during meals.”
Ye Zhen Zhen bit down on her chopsticks as she recalled with a heavy heart why she would not be chatty. In fact, she felt in her heart that she had always possessed the ladylike traits of not speaking while eating or while sleeping.
“Dr. Ji, I need to leave to do something the day after tomorrow.” Ye Zhen Zhen looked like a student requesting the homeroom teacher to approve her vacation plans.
“What for?” If if was just something normal, she would not mention it so formally.
Ye Zhen Zhen bowed her head, not daring to look at Ji Zhe Yan in the eye. “Oh, I have some designs that I want to show a friend.”
Ji Zhe Yan rapidly realized what she meant from just these few words.
He wrinkled his brows, a faint trace of discontent brewing in his heart, but he could not pinpoint where this discontent originated from. He was aware, however, that Ye Zhen Zhen was a third-year university student. Even if she was not the true Ye Zhen Zhen, she should still be studying in school at her age.
However, she had no choice but to throw herself into society early on and begin to plan out her future.
Ji Zhe Yan seemed to grasp the source of his discontent—rather than her going to work, he really preferred that she received the education she deserved.
“You don’t need to worry so much.” He looked at Ye Zhen Zhen, brows still wrinkled and his voice somewhat strained.
Ye Zhen Zhen pursed her lips and finally raised her head to look straight at Ji Zhe Yan. “I know, but…what if I can never recover my memories?” She knew better than anyone that she could not live a life like this.
Ji Zhe Yan’s brows furrowed tightly. Although he did not mind supporting her for the rest of her life, he knew that this was not feasible.
“Alright,” Ji Zhe Yan conceded, but he then continued to add in a condition, “however, you cannot give up your studies.”
Ye Zhen Zhen quirked her lips. Even if she returned to class at the moment, wouldn’t she be chased out by the teacher?
“At your age, you must have been studying in school. After you recover your memories, wouldn’t you want to graduate?” Seeing Ji Zhe Yan’s relaxed brows begin to furrow again, Ye Zhen Zhen agreed hurriedly.
“Your English tutoring will continue then.”
Ye Zhen Zhen’s face collapsed.
Ji Zhe Yan’s face also collapsed.
Ye Zhen Zhen promptly grinned from ear to ear.
Ji Zhe Yan pondered for a moment, making sure he did not overlook something. He glanced carelessly at the designs on the sofa, and his mind stilled. He could find an opportunity for her to formally study design.
The next day, Ye Zhen Zhen stayed cooped up in the apartment, altering the designs as much as possible until they met her satisfaction. Because this was her first time conducting business, Ye Zhen Zhen attached special importance to her work. She drew until midnight, at which Dr. Ji ordered her to go to sleep. Unwillingly, she climbed into bed.
When she woke up the next day, Ji Zhe Yan had already left for work. In the kitchen, a pot of congee with minced pork and preserved eggs was boiling, and there was a plate of fried dumplings too. Ye Zhen Zhen warmed it up as she sent Ji Zhe Yan a text. 「Dr. Ji, thank you for breakfast. It’s very delicious ^_^」Although Ji Zhe Yan had gone to work these past two days, he would make her breakfast before he left and prepare lunch the evening before. Ye Zhen Zhen felt that she really needed to develop cooking skills.
Starlight Plaza was not very far from Ji Zhe Yan’s apartment, but she still left an hour early. When Zhou Wen arrived, Ye Zhen Zhen was sitting on a bench with proper posture in the plaza, the sketches in her hands. Ye Zhen Zhen promptly stood up upon seeing her. Zhou Wen was a bit stunned but smiled and walked over. “I apologize, but…it’s truly too inconceivable. You two honestly look extremely similar.”
Ye Zhen Zhen hadn’t expected this to be the opening topic and had no response prepared for it. For a short while, she was somewhat speechless. Zhou Wen also realized this subject was not a very good one and promptly led her to a cafe.
“Mn, you’re pretty creative. I like these designs a lot.”
Ye Zhen Zhen heard Zhou Wen’s commentary and finally relaxed a bit. She bowed her head to drink her cup of coffee.
“How much do you want to sell these for?” Zhou Wen set down the sketches and looked at the person across from her.
Ye Zhen Zhen blanked out a bit and felt somewhat awkward as she said, “I do not have a high understanding about this…”
Zhou Wen thought for a moment and rattled off, “How about this: ¥500 per design; so for these five sketches altogether, that’ll be ¥2500. Does that sound good to you?”1
Although Ye Zhen Zhen said she did not have a clear understanding, she had previously researched information about this. A design could go for a couple hundred to a couple thousand, so she could probably sell them for more—but there might not be anyone else who would buy them. In deciding the worth of a design, apart from the quality of the design itself, it primarily depended on who the designer was.
With her, an unknown designer, Zhou Wen priced it at ¥500—which Ye Zhen Zhen felt was quite respectful of her, so she had nothing against the price. “That’s fine. I’m already quite happy that you want to buy it.”
“Don’t be so polite.” Zhou Wen laughed and placed a sugar cube into her coffee. “I have walked this path as well; it really is difficult at first when starting out. Luckily at that time, I had Old Mister Ye providing me financial aid.”
Ye Zhen Zhen’s eyes flashed. “Wha…Old Mister Ye?”
“Mn, when I started out, he gave me funds; otherwise, how could I, a newly graduated university student, have so much start-up capital.”
“Oh.” Ye Zhen Zhen nodded pensively and did not speak any more about the topic.
The two of them chatted for a while longer before Zhou Wen called a waiter over for the bill. Before she left, she paid Ye Zhen Zhen ¥2500 in cash directly. Feeling excellent now that she had money, Ye Zhen Zhen felt confident about claiming Dr. Ji, fish pond style.
She left the cafe and sent Ji Zhe Yan a text. 「Dr. Ji, I have money! What do you want to eat tonight? I’ll pay for you. ^_^」
Today, I originally intended to write Dr. Ji’s love confession, but I didn’t end up writing it QAQ
Tomorrow, little apple’s deep feelings will be declared~
Tomorrow will also be a double update; the first should be in the afternoon, the second at night. Muah~!
- ¥500 = 79 USD; ¥2500 = 396 USD (approx) ↩