Chapter 41: Team — So, your team’s name is Fruit Ninja?
“Designer?” Ye Zhen Zhen repeated this word uncertainly as she looked at Xi Cao gege with her doe eyes full of confusion.
“Mn!” Xi Cao gege nodded firmly, a look of extreme joy on his face. “Oh, that’s right, I should introduce you to a few people.” As if he recalled something, he tugged Ye Zhen Zhen into the cafe. Ye Zhen Zhen seized the opportunity to look around the store. Zhou Wen had yet to arrive, so she allowed him to pull her toward a window seat.
There were two others sitting at the table, a guy and a girl—neither of whom Ye Zhen Zhen recognized. The girl was single-mindedly devoted to eating her ice cream. Her hair was braided into two plaits that were pinned together with a cute rhinestone hair clip that dazzled and shone brightly in the sunlight. The guy was resting his chin in his palm and staring out the window, but as if sensing someone approach, he turned his head to look at them. He wore black-framed glasses and looked bored, yet upon seeing Ye Zhen Zhen, a puzzled look crossed his face.
“Let me introduce you guys. This is a designer I found, Ye Zhen Zhen.” Xi Cao gege tugged Ye Zhen Zhen up, a look of pride on his face.
The guy expressionlessly looked at him, while the girl excitedly stood up upon seeing Ye Zhen Zhen. “Wow, you’re so cute!”
Cute…Ye Zhen Zhen pursed her lips. If they were talking about being cute, then this girl with the plaited hair before her was really cute, like a doll. Ye Zhen Zhen suspected that even her eyes were fake.
Later on, she learned that this girl was wearing cosmetic contacts.
Ye Zhen Zhen withdrew her arm from Xi Cao gege’s grip and smiled as she said, “I’m sorry, but can you please explain?” She was not really familiar with him and didn’t even know his name.
“Ah, sorry, I’m really just too excited.” Xi Cao gege smiled embarrassedly and pulled out his remaining earbud. “The province is holding a model competition. These two are students at our university’s art institute; they signed up to compete as well. However, we are lacking a designer.”
Ye Zhen Zhen heard the word ‘art institute’ and felt like cursing. Up until now, she had never understood why a university specializing in finance and economics had such an outlandish art institute. She once visited their facility in curiosity. The students inside there…could only be said to have a very different style compared to the rest of the university’s students.
“I just saw your designs and really like them, so I want to invite you to come be our designer.” Xi Cao blinked his large eyes expectantly at her, making her want to reach out and pat his hair.
She restrained herself, however. “I’m sorry, but I might not be able to help you.” Anyway, how was this related to Xi Cao gege? He was not an art institute student.
After Xi Cao heard her refusal, his metaphysical tail immediately drooped. Nevertheless, he persevered in trying to convince her. “This competition not only votes on the most outstanding model, it also votes on the most outstanding design. If you win the award in the province, you can earn 1.5 course credit!”
Ye Zhen Zhen’s eyes flashed. If it had been her past self, 1.5 course credit would have been a very attractive reward, but now…
“I’m sorry, I’m really busy and can’t help.”
Ye Zhen Zhen turned to leave after she said this, but Xi Cao anxiously stared at her back and added in another bargaining chip. “First place also wins ten thousand yuan in prize money!”
Ye Zhen Zhen twirled around. “Let’s talk specifics about the competition rules.”
Xi Cao: “…”
Was Ye Zhen Zhen currently short of money or something? He hadn’t mentioned about how the ten thousand yuan was given to the entire team… At worst, he would just give her his share!
The next minute, Xi Cao outlined the competition to her concisely and comprehensively. The competition organized by the province had altogether seven universities in A City participating in it, with their university simply being one of them. The preliminaries were held individually for each university, with the victorious team representing the entire university in the competition. The city-level competition would then submit two winners to enter the province-level competition.
The ten thousand yuan prize money was the first place reward for the province-level competition.
Ye Zhen Zhen immediately deflated a bit. Winning that ten thousand yuan prize money was going to be more difficult than the journey to the west.
“Right, I have not given you introductions.” Xi Cao apologetically smiled at Ye Zhen Zhen before pointing at the girl with the plaited hair, saying, “This is our model, Gan Tian. You can just call her Tian Tian.”
“Hello, cutie.” Gan Tian waved at Ye Zhen Zhen, her smile just as sweet as her name.
Xi Cao then pointed at the guy beside her. “This is Gan Tian’s older brother, Gan Zhe.”
Ye Zhen Zhen: “…”
She absolutely did not believe someone would actually name their son ‘sugarcane!’
Gan Zhe glanced at Xi Cao and then said to Ye Zhen Zhen, “I’m Gan Run Yang.”
“Hello.” Ye Zhen Zhen nodded at him. This attitude, neither cold nor indifferent, made her feel as if she was seeing Dr. Ji in his student days.
“Obviously, Gan Zhe suits you better.” Xi Cao flashed a smile at Ye Zhen Zhen. “You can just call him Gan Zhe, we all do. He is both our team’s leader and tailor, as well as a close childhood friend of mine.”
Ye Zhen Zhen nodded, smiling but remaining silent. Xi Cao gege’s face subtly reddened. “I don’t need to introduce myself.”
Ye Zhen Zhen earnestly said, “Please, you must give an introduction.” She couldn’t call him Xi Cao gege to his face, after all.
Across from them, Gan Tian snickered, while Xi Cao looked as if he suffered a blow. “I’m Ding Le Chen, though Gan Zhe calls me Cheng’zi.”1
Ye Zhen Zhen mused, “So your team’s name is Fruit Ninja?”
Pfft. Gan Tian laughed and glanced at Ye Zhen Zhen before eating her last spoonful of ice cream. Gan Run Yang continued staring out the window, lost in thought.
Ye Zhen Zhen touched her nose and asked Xi Cao, “What are you responsible for?”
“I’m in charge of…odd jobs…” Xi Cao’s voice grew increasingly faint, as if he simply felt ashamed and unable to show his face at this point.
Ye Zhen Zhen didn’t look down on him though. “So altogether, there’s four of us?”
Xi Cao shook his head. “No, there’s also the makeup artist, Mei Li. Yi? Where is Mei Li?”2
“He just sent a message saying he’s lost. You had originally left to go find him.” Gan Run Yang was still looking out the window as he spoke to Xi Cao with a voice as light as a feather.
“Aaahhh, I completely forgot!” Xi Cao stood up with a whoosh and dashed out of the cafe. Ye Zhen Zhen stared after his flustered figure, and thought that Mei Li must be a very beautiful girl.3
When Mei Li stood in front of her, however, she discovered that Mei Li was a very beautiful…guy.
His hair was a chaotic mess. He wore a white t-shirt as well, which—combined with his drowsy-eyed appearance—made him look as if he had just been scooped out of a blanket cocoon.
“Why do you always make us meet up at a different place every time? I can never find you guys.” Mei Li sat down next to Xi Cao and complained as he beat back a yawn.
Gan Run Yang glanced at him and said indifferently, “We meet at this cafe every single time, we’re even sitting at the same table.”
“Yi? Really?” Mei Li looked doubtfully around the cafe interior. “Did this place undergo renovations recently?”
Gan Run Yang didn’t turn his head around and just ignored him. Xi Cao sidled close to whisper into Ye Zhen Zhen’s ear, “Mei Li is really bad with directions, he’ll wander off if no one is paying attention. We’ve become used to it. Also, he dislikes others saying he is a person with a poor sense of directions; he turns berserk.”
Ye Zhen Zhen: “…”
Would she really be able to rank first with this team? Would they really be able to win the ten thousand yuan prize money?
Ye Zhen Zhen inwardly shed tears.
“Ah, right, cutie, let me see your designs.” Gan Tian winked at her and then fluttered her fake eyelashes exaggeratedly at her as if they were fans.
Gan Run Yang heard this and also turned to look at her. Ye Zhen Zhen hesitated before placing her four designs on the table.
“Wow, this skirt is so cute!” Gan Tian pointed at one of the skirt designs and excitedly looked at Gan Run Yang. “Brother, buy this for me, okay?”
Gan Run Yang ignored her directly and perused the designs on the table. He then asked Ye Zhen Zhen, “Who are you giving these designs to?”
“My friend, she runs an online clothing store.”
“Mn.” Gan Run Yang nodded and spoke no more.
Xi Cao moved closer to whisper into Ye Zhen Zhen’s ear once more, “His lack of words indicate that he approves of you. If he had any complaints, he would ruthlessly criticize you, making you feel worthless.”
Ye Zhen Zhen: “…”
“In regards to the competition, there’s still a small part that Cheng’zi hasn’t mentioned.” Gan Run Yang suddenly spoke up. “The organizers require the competing teams to have three designs that are all of the same theme. For example, if you submit a qipao for the preliminary competition, then the following two submissions for the competitions must also be a qipao design. Therefore, when you select the design theme, you have to be careful.”
Ye Zhen Zhen nodded. “Have you guys thought of what theme to use?”
Gan Run Yang said, “We have a few themes prepared. In fact, we gathered today in order to choose one.” He paused here and then continued, “However, after seeing your designs, I don’t think we need to talk it over.”
“Gan Zhe, you decided?” Not only was Xi Cao startled, so was the rest of them. They all stared at him in surprise.
Gan Run Yang nodded.
Gan Tian excitedly pressed further. “What is it?”
The table fell silent for a moment before Gan Tian began cheering. “Awesome! The wedding dress theme won!” She had wanted to wear a wedding dress for a very long time.
Xi Cao felt disappointed. “Tian Tian fits the lolita theme better.”
Mei Li smiled lazily. “After I help her with makeup, you won’t think that any longer.”
Gan Run Yang simply looked at Ye Zhen Zhen. “What do you think?”
Ye Zhen Zhen pursed her lips and didn’t say anything.
This person was too ferocious.
Because, she had actually drawn wedding dress designs on the sly.
Probably because of her romantic relationship with Dr. Ji, her feminine heart had been overflowing recently. Although she was too shy to talk about marriage and such, she really was earnestly thinking about it.
If she could wear a wedding dress of her own design when she and Dr. Ji marry, then that would be the most perfect wedding.
Therefore, when she was designing these clothes, she was unknowingly influenced by these thoughts and had even cleverly embedded some wedding dress elements to the designs. She hadn’t expected this guy to notice.
She sat there, hard-pressed. In his eyes, she probably looked like a love-struck fool.
“What do you think?” Gan Run Yan asked again, in the exact same tone as before.
“I think…that’s excellent.” Ye Zhen Zhen looked down upon feeling her face begin to burn.
“Yay!” Gan Tian cheered. “Cutie agrees too, so it passes with a unanimous vote!”
Xi Cao: “…”
Could it be that he didn’t have human rights?
The small bell above the doorway jingled. Ye Zhen Zhen turned to look; Zhou Wen had just arrived. She acknowledged her and then turned to say to the group, “I’m sorry, my friend is here. I need to go give her these designs to look over.”
Gan Run Yang nodded and tidied up the designs to give to her. Just as Ye Zhen Zhen stood up, Xi Cao called out for her to stop. “Wait a minute, leave your contact details!” Once he said this, he seemed to recall something and lowered his eyes. “This time, don’t leave the number of some hideously messy person.”
Ye Zhen Zhen: “…”
At this moment, far away in the her dormitory, Pei Cui Cui sneezed loudly.
I changed a name and then website claimed it, am feeling crushed QAQ
Therefore, I plan for Xi Cao to make Dr. Ji feel crushed 🙂
Especially expressing thanks to sponsors~
- Cheng’zi = Orange ↩
- These nicknames have me cracking up; to recap, Gan Tian = Sweet; Gan Zhe = Sugarcane; Cheng’zi = Orange; Mei Li = Beautiful ↩
- Note that pronouns in Chinese (He/She/It) all sound exactly the same, so even though the others are addressing Mei Li as male, Ye Zhen Zhen is interpreting their words as Mei Li being a girl, hehe. ↩