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AQ Chapter 42

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Chapter 42: Hehe — Dividing them up over ten years, one per year

Ye Zhen Zhen left behind her actual phone number and then walked over to sit down across from Zhou Wen.

“Are those your friends?” Zhou Wen asked, a bit surprised. They all dressed like university students, so they should be her classmates. She had never seen anyone be that close to Ye Zhen Zhen before though. Thinking of this, Zhou Wen frowned in annoyance. It seemed that she still considered the person in front of her to be Ye Zhen Zhen.

“They’re students from the finance and economics department at university.” Ye Zhen Zhen gave only a simple introduction before handing over the designs. “These are my new drawings; take a look.”

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“Alright.” Seeing as she was unwilling to speak more, Zhou Wen didn’t press further and simply took the offered drafts to look over. It had not even been a month since the last time Ye Zhen Zhen had given Zhou Wen sketches, yet her work showed clear improvement.”

“These are beautiful.”

Regardless of the pattern or color coordination, all of them were significantly better than the designs from last time. All the small details of the designs would cause others to be impressed. Ye Zhen Zhen’s past self had merely drawn from her intuition, whereas the current clothing designs were clearly drawn with deliberation.

“Your progress is great, truly amazing” Zhou Wen was not stingy with her praise at all. She looked at the designs in her hand and gave a somewhat ambiguous smile. “Could this be the power of love?”

Ye Zhen Zhen felt her ears burn. She assumed Zhou Wen saw it as well and contemplated on what to say. “I have recently joined a design team.” Although she had only attended three classes, she had learned a lot of things.

She would not be unworthy of Dr. Ji’s tuition.

Zhou Wen stared at her blankly. When she realized that Ye Zhen Zhen was explaining her own recent progress, she couldn’t help but laugh. “Masters can lead one to learn the basics, but cultivation is solely up to the individual, especially in a creative industry like this. You can learn the techniques, but you can’t learn inspiration.” For an artwork to be good, it needed creativity first. Ye Zhen Zhen’s talent was evident in her designs, and it was not something that could be acquired through studying.

This probably was what they meant when they say the patriarch bestowed food to eat.1

“I want all of these designs; name your price.”

Ye Zhen Zhen was surprised. She thought the price would be according to the ¥500 set last time, so how come Zhou Wen wanted a new price quote? Zhou Wen saw that she remained silent and pondered for a moment before saying, “Will you accept ¥1000 for each design?”

Ye Zhen Zhen was stunned speechless again. Were her designs really that valuable?

“If you think that’s too low…”

“No, no! I just didn’t expect for you to offer such a high price…”

Zhou Wen laughed. “Actually, I’m profiting from you. These clothes will sell really well, but I’m not giving you commission.”

Ye Zhen Zhen pursed her lips and didn’t say anything.

Once Zhou Wen accepted the designs, she again paid Ye Zhen Zhen directly in cash like last time, all ¥4000. “Oh right, each quarter, we pick out the best-selling clothing and give an extra bonus of ¥1000 to the designer. Although you cannot receive a commission from your clothing designs, you will still be eligible for this quarterly vote.”

“Really?” Ye Zhen Zhen seemed to see a large fan made of countless feathers beckoning her forward.

“Mn, this is the written contract; take a look. If there are no problems, you can sign it immediately.” Zhou Wen handed over the part-time job contract, which Ye Zhen Zhen read through and felt there to be no issues. When she was about to sign it, however, she felt embarrassed.

What name should she sign?!?! Must she sign it as Li Gou Dan?!

This name had already placed her on top of the pillar of disgrace! Every few days, Dr. Ji would whip her with it!

Zhou Wen also realized the issue and bowed her head in thought. She said, “If you can trust me, we can make an oral agreement. Everything according to the contract will be carried out; the business contract just won’t be signed for the time being.”

“Mn, no problem.” Ye Zhen Zhen nodded. She originally just wanted a part-time job, so the only added benefit stated on the contract was the best-selling design bonus Zhou Wen had mentioned. Even if this wasn’t given to her, she wouldn’t suffer that great a loss.

Moreover, she believed Zhou Wen was a collaboration partner that she could trust.

Zhou Wen seemed to be very busy today, as she left hurriedly once the contract discussion was over. Ye Zhen Zhen finished the rest of her cup of coffee and glanced at the window seat. The Fruit Ninja table was empty now, the team having already left.

Ye Zhen Zhen paid her bill and then tucked away the ¥4000, feeling excited.

“Ye Zhen Zhen.”

Just as she left the cafe, she heard someone call her from behind. Ye Zhen Zhen subconsciously pulled her bag closer to her. When she turned her head around, she saw that it was Xi Cao gege, which made her exhale slightly in relief. “You still haven’t left?”

“Eh, mn…” Xi Cao gege’s eyes flickered. He walked up to her. “Do you have anything to do later?”

“I’m heading home.” As she had ¥4000 cash on hand, she did not feel safe. It seemed that she should ask Dr. Ji to help her set up a bank account sometime.

“Oh.” Xi Cao gege’s tone held a bit of disappointment. He walked around so that he was in front of her. “Why didn’t you come to take the end of semester exams?”

Having such a wound be prodded at, Ye Zhen Zhen only wanted to convey her response via ellipsis.

Although the police had dug up Ye Zhen Zhen’s corpse, they still hadn’t declared her dead to the public; only those related to the case knew. Ye Zhen Zhen didn’t want to mention this and instead asked, “How come you have so much free time when it’s exam season?”

Xi Cao was startled. “Exams are already over. Summer vacation officially began yesterday.”

Ye Zhen Zhen: “…”

So it seemed that she had completely missed this term’s exams.

“Oh, that’s right. We have a studio on campus, so we’ll be preparing for the competition there. Remember to come,” Xi Cao gege reminded her.

Ye Zhen Zhen nodded and replied, “Got it. Are you all planning to stay instead of returning home for summer vacation?”

“Ah, apart from Mei Li, we are all locals. Mei Li, he…probably can’t find his way home.” He had an especially hard time voicing that last line.

Ye Zhen Zhen’s lips quirked. This guy had already surpassed being someone with a poor sense of direction and ascended to the philosophy category.

She was still ridiculing the guy in her mind when Xi Cao’s phone rang. He fished the phone out of his pants’ pocket, his brows furrowing after seeing the caller. “What’s the matter with you?”

The person on the other end said something she could not hear, to which Xi Cao’s brows furrowed even more. “I don’t like eating tofu, so from now on, don’t call me past midnight, at three o’clock, yelling at me to buy stinky tofu with you!”

He practically snarled those last few words.

Ye Zhen Zhen swallowed silently. That voice she heard on the other end sounded like Pei Cui Cui.

She watched as Xi Cao hung up, furious, and suddenly felt herself well up with sympathy for him. “I’m sorry…” She really hadn’t expected Pei Cui Cui to call the guy at three in the morning to buy stinky tofu.

Xi Cao’s expression shifted. He lowered his head and asked her, “At that time, why did you give me Pei Cui Cui’s number?”

I…simply wanted to learn to be Lei Feng.2

Ye Zhen Zhen silently swallowed this thought of hers completely.

“Has she been calling you often?” Once again shifting the topic, Ye Zhen Zhen asked this while looking at the large dog in front of her.

At this, Xi Cao became a bit agitated. “At the very beginning, it was okay, but her face thickened even more later on. If I don’t accept her calls, she’ll rush over to the dormitory to call me out personally!”

Ye Zhen Zhen: “…”

Pei Cui Cui actually…alright.

“I truly have made things difficult for you.” Ye Zhen Zhen wiped the corner of her eye. “I’ll leave then. Goodbye.”

Xi Cao gege didn’t respond and simply watched Ye Zhen Zhen climb onto the bus, leaving him in the dust.

……

There definitely was something strange about this.

Before Ye Zhen Zhen returned home, she went to the supermarket to buy a lot of ingredients, as she wanted to cook a banquet tonight.

She only intended to make two plates of spaghetti though.

As expected, banquets and such…it was better to wait for Dr. Ji to cook those.

Just as she sat down in a chair, she heard the door open. She ran over happily. “Dr. Ji, you’re back?”

“Mn…” Ji Zhe Yan strangely avoided her gaze, only to hand her a bouquet of pink roses. “This is for you.”

“Wow, such pretty flowers!” Ye Zhen Zhen threw herself forward at a slightly flushed Ji Zhe Yan, who promptly caught her.

“When I passed by the flower shop, I saw these and thought they were pretty, so I bought them.”

Ye Zhen Zhen blinked at the flowers in her hand before asking, “This doesn’t happen to be something a female patient gave you, right?”

Ji Zhe Yan was startled. He then pinched her tender, pink-tinted face. “What nonsense.”

Ye Zhen Zhen smiled. Only Dr. Ji would dismiss girls giving him flowers, but she liked that. She looped her arms around Ji Zhe Yan’s neck and kissed him. “Thank you, Dr. Ji.”

“Don’t mention it.” Ji Zhe Yan wrapped his arm around her waist and conveniently drew her deeper into a kiss.

During this time, Ye Zhen Zhen’s vital capacity had improved greatly, but she was never Dr. Ji’s match. She leaned into Ji Zhe Yan’s chest, gasping for breath as she said, “Dr. Ji, I think I need to practice this every day.”

Ji Zhe Yan’s chest rumbled slightly. Chuckling, he dropped a kiss onto her forehead. “Didn’t you say you’re making a banquet? Where is it?”

Ye Zhen Zhen: “…”

As they sat eating pasta at the table, Ye Zhen Zhen could see faint laughter in Ji Zhe Yan’s eyes. Alright, she also felt that her sliced tomatoes were a bit ugly, and her onions were sliced too big—but! But it wasn’t that laughable!

“Next time, I won’t cook for you!” Ye Zhen Zhen angrily twirled up pasta with her chopsticks and devoured them.

The laughter in Ji Zhe Yan’s eyes intensified. He looked at Ye Zhen Zhen and asked, “Then I’ll just cook for you, okay?”

“Then I want to eat ginger milk pudding, double skin milk, custard pudding, egg pudding, peach cake, matcha cake, sweet sago cream with coconut milk!” Ye Zhen Zhen recited a long list of items.

“How about adding a salad? It’s calorie count is not high, plus its fresh and cool.” Ji Zhe Yan smiled at her.

“So you’re saying you will make them all!”

“Mn, dividing them up over ten years, one per year.”

Ye Zhen Zhen: “..”

I’m ignoring you!

Not even a handful of minutes later, however, she couldn’t help but talk to Dr. Ji. “Dr. Ji, today, I ran into…some classmates. They’re participating in a huge fashion competition and invited me to design their clothes. It’s being held by the province, and first place wins ten thousand yuan in prize money!”

Ji Zhe Yan nodded after listening to her report. “Mn, nice; this is a pretty good opportunity to improve yourself.”

“I will do my best to seize that ten thousand yuan prize money!” Ye Zhen Zhen heroically shouted to the heavens.

Ji Zhe Yan stared at her and then shook his head, a smile on his face.

That night, after she cleaned the dishes, Ye Zhen Zhen immersed herself in drawing. If they had no designs, the team couldn’t carry out any of their preparations. Ji Zhe Yan poured a glass of milk and was about to deliver it to her when a phone on the table suddenly began vibrating, its screen brightening.

Naturally, Ye Zhen Zhen had forgotten her phone on the table. Ji Zhe Yan originally intended to deliver it to her, but when she caught sight of the caller’s name, he froze.

Xi Cao gege?

Why did this name sound familiar? He rifled through his memories for a moment, and then his lips quirked faintly.

Hehe.

Author’s Note:

Second update will be released around nine o’clock tonight!

《 Previous Chapter ♕ AQ ♕ Next Chapter 》

  1. Aka the heavens giving someone a natural gift for something
  2. Lei Feng (1940-1962), made into a model of altruism and dedication to the Party by propaganda from 1963 onwards
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