Chapter 22 — Escaping is shameful yet useful.
Xia Wei was not a pure-hearted little girl with no experience in romance. On the contrary, she was actually very easily moved by the opposite gender, but while she had been moved in the past, it was only ever a sweet feeling—she never felt something this bitter before.
Recalling that not long ago, she had passionately expounded on what it felt to like someone to Jiang Zhi Zhou, Xia Wei couldn’t help but mock herself. Love had a thousand types of flavors. She had only tasted one or two, yet she liked to lecture others on it.
Her phone screen flashed again. Glancing at it, Xia Wei saw that it was not Jiang Zhi Zhou this time.
Tao Yu: 「Next week is the anniversary of the school’s founding. Are you coming to visit?」
Anniversary of the school’s founding…? Xia Wei became a bit lost in thought. Returning to visit would be fantastic. Anyway, mama complained about how I only stayed for two days last Lunar New Year. How about I take this opportunity to return and rest. Let’s just say that I’m relieving my boredom.
Xia Wei: 「Considering it. I’ll need to arrange things for my salon before I can return『thumbs-up』」
Tao Yu: 「Okay. I’ll take you on a tour of the school when you come back『laughs up sleeve』」
Xia Wei: 「The school is so small; is there anywhere to visit『picks nose』」
Tao Yu: 「It changed a lot since we studied here. The knowledge pavilion’s stray cats have changed leaders」
Xia Wei: 「Hahahahahaha, okay, I’ll contact you when I’m back」
Reminiscing about past school days, Xia Wei’s mental state finally calmed somewhat. She then went to the best friends chat and asked if anyone was planning to return back home for the anniversary of the school’s founding.
Invincible Little Sweetie: 「Aaaahhhh I really want to go QAQ」
Eight Treasures Congee Female Hero: 「Help me tell our alma mater that I am in the middle of carrying bricks for the greater good of the republic『smile』」
Not Losing 5kg Not Changing Name: 「You’re not afraid about running into the teachers?」
Xia Wei: “…”
She was afraid.
Eight Treasures Congee Female Hero: 「Hahahaha I still remember Xia Wei being terrified of Old Zhao back then」
Asking For Suicide At Eighteen This Year: 「You’re talking as if you weren’t『smile』」
Not Losing 5kg Not Changing Name: 「That day, people will once again recall Old Zhao’s terrifying domination. Say, back then, Old Zhao was only gentle and soft on Tao Yu out of the entire class, no?」
Invincible Little Sweetie: 「Naturally. Tao Yu majors in physics. Old Zhao loves this disciple」
Eight Treasures Congee Female Hero: 「If you scored first in the exams, Old Zhao would also be gentle and soft on you」
Not Losing 5kg Not Changing Name: 「…Forget about it. Old Zhao’s gentleness and softness cannot be enjoyed by just anyone」
Not Losing 5kg Not Changing Name: 「Yi! I remember; didn’t Xia Wei use to like Tao Yu?」
Eight Treasures Congee Female Hero: 「yooooooooooooooooo~!」
Asking For Suicide At Eighteen This Year: 「…」
Eight Treasures Congee Female Hero: 「This Mr. Jiang matter from earlier hasn’t even been cleared up, yet you want to go make up with your first love! Scary woman!」
Asking For Suicide At Eighteen This Year: 「… there are no feelings of affection, okay? Since none of you are going, then I will go to sleep early『smile』」
Eight Treasures Congee Female Hero: 「Sleeping so early? Primary school students are still playing games right now」
Asking For Suicide At Eighteen This Year: 「Who told me to not spend money on eye cream. Good night!『smile』」
By returning to her hometown, maybe she would forget about Jiang Zhi Zhou.
The next day, Xia Wei began to arrange the shifts at her salon. She intended to stay at her hometown for a week, so the two other employees would definitely be quite busy. Therefore, she decided to shorten the business hours, giving her staff a bit of a vacation as well.
Once the arrangements for the salon was done, she immediately bought a train ticket to D City. A nonstop bullet train route from A City to D City opened up last year, cutting down the journey in half with its high speed. Once it opened up, her mother had even more grounds for complaining about how she didn’t visit home—previously, she disliked taking the plane because of how expensive flight tickets were and taking the train because of how long it took. Now with the highly convenient bullet train, she was too lazy to escape.
Xia Wei did not feel that she was too lazy to escape… Well, she admitted that she was a bit lazy to escape, but she was even more afraid of returning home to her mother harping on about her not having a boyfriend. This point made Xia Wei feel extremely wronged. She actually did have boyfriends in the past, but…there hadn’t been time to introduce them to her mother, as they broke up by then.
Once she bought the ticket, she called her mother to inform her, without neglecting to inform Tao Yu as well. 「The early bullet train ride is on the day after tomorrow, arriving at 11:20AM『cheerful』」
Tao Yu was probably busy in class at the moment, as he only sent her a reply during lunch. 「Want me to go pick you up?」
Xia Wei: 「Haha no need. I’m not that directionally-challenged」
Tao Yu: 「Okay, then when you return, let’s meet up『laughs up sleeve』」
Xia Wei: 「『OK』」
With the decision to return home finalized, Xia Wei’s heart lightened considerably. She pondered for a moment, making sure she hadn’t overlooked anything. In her mind, an orange cat appeared, its large flat-bread face sullen.
“Ah, what will I say to Tangeriney?” Xia Wei felt distressed about this. She was leaving for a week, so it was reasonable that she should tell it about her plans. Since it was now being raised in Mr. Jiang’s apartment, she would unavoidably see him if…
Forget about it; she saw it looked very satisfied living at Mr. Jiang’s place. She would just bring it back local specialities from her trip.
The day she set off, Xia Wei intentionally dressed up a bit, even wearing a more serious style of makeup compared to usual. After being on the bullet train for two hours, she exited the carriage with a small suitcase in hand.
D City was completely different to A City. As a tourist city, its life pulsed significantly slower compared to A City. Walking on the streets, most pedestrians would stroll with phones in hand instead of rushing in a hurry, stopping to take photos at opportune tourist moments.
Although this place was small, fresh flowers and kitties could be seen everywhere. The sky was a somewhat brighter blue hue than the one seen in A City too. After taking the bus to the neighbourhood of her home, Xia Wei dragged her small suitcase behind her as she walked the rest of the way.
This road had changed a bit since the last time she had walked on it. The areas to the side of the road were empty, as if they were in the middle of demolition and construction. Xia Wei glanced around avidly and realized that a Formosan Mountain Dog was sitting in the ruins. After being driven away, it returned and stayed in the same spot.
The fur on its body was somewhat filthy. It must have been wandering outside for a while, but why on earth was it running around a construction site? She glanced at the Formosan again before turning the corner at the intersection ahead.
She returned home just in time for lunch. When she pushed open the door, Xia Wei was hit with the aroma of food. “Wow, mom, you made Sichuan fish in hot chili oil?”
Busy in the kitchen, Mama Xia turned to glance at her. “You’re back?”
Xia Wei caught sight of the sweet skin duck on the table and immediately wanted to reach out and grab a piece. Mama Xia asked, however, “Did you wash your hands?”
Xia Wei: “…”
So in some ways, Mr. Jiang and her mother were exactly the same.
Even the way they stopped her hand was precisely the same.
She curled her lips downward and put away her suitcase before going to wash her hands. She then grabbed several chunks of meat. “Mn, this homemade sweet skin duck is very delicious. Right, on my way over, I just saw that the nearby neighborhood had been torn down. What is being built there now?”
“I heard a department store is being built there. Afterwards, visiting the supermarket will be convenient.” Mama Xia turned her head around to look at Xia Wei. “Go and buy a bottle of soy sauce.”
Xia Wei: “…”
As soon as she came home, her mother began ordering her about.
Near her neighborhood was a small supermarket. Xia Wei stuffed some change into her pocket and headed out. When she passed by the demolished area, she discovered the Formosan still there.
It didn’t seem very old, but it also looked a bit afraid of humans. Whenever someone passed by, it would be on guard, but it continued to stay there, unwilling to leave. Xia Wei bought the soy sauce and conveniently bought some ham as well since she wanted to feed it. The dog saw someone approach and hid to the side. At a loss and unable to go closer, Xia Wei could only roll the ham over.
When the ham rolled into the dog’s side, it lowered its head to sniff at it before gobbling it down.
“Sunshine, why do you stay here? This place is really dangerous.” Xia Wei crouched down not too far from its body, offering her hand out to it.
Naturally, Sunshine paid her no attention, being too engrossed in its ham. Xia Wei still wanted to chat with it for a bit, but her phone suddenly rang. It was her mother calling.
“Xia Wei, I sent you to buy soy sauce; where did you go to buy it? I finished cooking all my dishes, but you still haven’t returned!”
Xia Wei: “…”
“Okay, okay, I’m almost home!” Xia Wei hung up with lightning speed and scampered off. Her mother had indeed finished cooking and was in the middle of arranging them on the table. “Your father isn’t returning home for lunch. I’m bringing him a lunch box, so you can eat first.”
“Okay.” Xia Wei remembered to wash her hands first before grabbing a bowl and a pair of chopsticks. “When I went to buy soy sauce, I saw a stray dog at that demolished area. It seemed really pitiful.”
“Oh, no one lived there? The dog was probably abandoned when they moved somewhere else.”
“…So tragic. Why has no one taken the dog away?”
“No one wants it. There are so many strays because of things like this, such tragedy! Stray cats are better off anyway; at least no one wants to eat cat meat. Heaven knows how many stray dogs have been captured by dog traffickers.”
Xia Wei: “…”
Because she was a bit worried about Sunshine, she visited it again that afternoon. Sure enough, it was still there. She bought a couple more hams at the supermarket and went over to feed it. “Sunshine, are you waiting here for your master to return? Don’t wait; your master won’t come back.”
Her words were somewhat cruel, but it needed to accept reality.
Bark! Sunshine woofed before carefully tugging the ham closer. Xia Wei watched its actions and couldn’t help but compare it to another stray animal. Tangeriney, the stray in their neighborhood, progressed at a fast pace. It swindled many into feeding it, whereas Sunshine ate the ham so cautiously… Moreover, what if the construction site workers suddenly wanted to eat dog meat one day…
“Sunshine, did you hear me? Don’t wait here. The outside world is very big.”
She saw that Sunshine did not respond and coaxed, “Sunshine…”
This time, just as its head rose up, her phone beeped with a new message. She withdrew her phone to take a peek. Unexpectedly, it was Mr. Jiang.
He had sent a photo, but Xia Wei did not know specifically what it was a photo of. She pursed her lips and pondered for a moment before opening the message. The image showed a floral skirt. It looked very enchanting… She didn’t have to ask; this was definitely him being worried about Sun Jiao Jiao’s birthday gift. 🙂
Xia Wei: 「What are you doing? :)」
Jiang Zhi Zhou: 「What do you think about this skirt?」
Xia Wei: 「Very enchanting, but the floral pattern is too much. It’ll make her look like an old auntie.」
Jiang Zhi Zhou: 「…」
Jiang Zhi Zhou: 「Do you have time today? Last time when you ate my sweet and sour pork and crispy fried fish, you didn’t propose any constructive ideas.」
Xia Wei: 「Oh, I’m sorry. I’m at my hometown right now.『smile』」
Jiang Zhi Zhou stared blankly at the screen. She returned to her roots? When she did she leave? How come she didn’t say anything? Jiang Zhi Zhou frowned lightly as he pondered this. It seemed like she truly did not find it necessary to tell him.
Jiang Zhi Zhou: 「How come you suddenly returned to your roots? When will you return?」
Xia Wei: 「Might not be back before you celebrate Sun Jiao Jiao’s birthday :)」
As Xia Wei sent this message, she felt as if she was being somewhat excessive. In any case, she had eaten this guy’s sweet and sour pork and crispy fried fish. According to the price level of Tian Xia Restaurant, she had earned a huge sum.
Xia Wei: 「You can still give her lipstick. This is relatively safe. Do you know the YSL Rouge Volupte Shine range of lipsticks?」
Xia Wei: 「You actually know of it? (⊙o⊙)」
Xia Wei: 「『image』」
Xia Wei: 「Then in your opinion, which color is the killer?」
Jiang Zhi Zhou stared at the image showing more than fifty colors and fell into a long silence.
Waiting a long time…for an update. Tomorrow I will strive to update earlier QAQ
Expressing thanks to sponsors