Qi Shan suddenly came to Y City. Early in the morning, she called Qu Di, and the two of them arranged to meet at a bubble tea shop in the center of Y City. Qi Shan liked bubble tea very much and had a fondness for beautiful cakes, which could be considered her only somewhat Omega-like hobby.
When Qu Di entered, she stood up. They exchanged smiles, and as he approached, Qi Shan gave him a big hug.
Qu Di sat down and remarked, “It’s been a long time since we last met.”
Qi Shan pushed a cup of kumquat lemon tea that she had ordered towards him, saying, “Here, it’s for you.”
He took a sip and indeed, it was from a popular shop with a great taste.
“Do you still remember that I like this one?”
“Of course, I remember. Every time I took you to the little food street behind the university to have bubble tea, no matter how cold it was, you insisted on having it, and even cold.”
Qu Di also enjoyed the taste of kumquat lemon tea, which had a fresh and refreshing flavor. Throughout their four years in college, this was her favorite.
Qi Shan stirred her signature pearl milk tea and got straight to the point, “I came this time not only to see you and relax but also to talk to you about something.”
With a smile, she continued, “You see, I used to work in an entertainment production crew. Later, my dad introduced me to a director who had appeared on our show. We had a meal together, and then… I showed him your previous works from college.”
“Guess what happened?”
Qi Shan didn’t say anything, but by her expression, Qu Di could tell it was good news. He had some guesses about what it might be from what Qi Shan had said.
“I don’t even need to guess, your face says it all.”
Qi Shan playfully nudged him, “Not fun at all. So, when will you work on a new script? I’d like to show it to him. If it really works out, it’s an opportunity, isn’t it?”
Qu Di shook his head, “Thank you, but I’ve already found someone to help me. Right now, I’m focused on writing a script for a stage play. Once it’s done, he’ll help me submit it. I already promised them over there. Sorry for not telling you earlier. As for your side… well, I’ll just have to thank you in advance if I’m not able to find another way.”
Qi Shan didn’t feel disappointed that her good intentions were declined. There was no need for her and Qu Di to discuss these matters. She thought it was best if Qu Di could find his own path.
“Why are we even talking about this? If you need my help later, just ask. That director is quite good, and if he needs my assistance, feel free to let me know. I can talk to him.”
“What about you? How have you been lately?” Both of them had gotten busy after starting their jobs, and except for the incident with Yang Ji that made the news, Qi Shan had only called him the next day, so their communication had been scarce.
Qi Shan chuckled, “Just about the same. It’s common for fresh graduates to be mistreated and bullied. Initially, I used to get upset, but now I’ve come to terms with it. I plan to apply for a transfer once this show is over.”
Qu Di rarely saw Qi Shan so dejected. She looked tired, and even though she had just celebrated her 22nd birthday, she spoke as if she was already thinking about retirement.
Qi Shan used to be one of the more active students in their school, and although not one of the top few, she was enthusiastic about participating in various activities. She used to lead the group in class gatherings and activities, always looking lively and full of energy, as if she didn’t even know the word “tired.”
Suddenly, he realized how lucky he was. He got a job at Tang Yi, a big company, right after graduating. Although being an assistant involved early mornings and late nights, at least Tang Xiyan was a reasonable artist. She was picky but didn’t intentionally make things difficult for him. After that, he met Shu Yi, and he always felt that he had to do better to prove that Shu Yi made the right choice.
He had always been concerned about the opinions of the outside world. Living in his stepfather’s house, he always felt like a dependent. Even if they didn’t pay much attention to him, he still tried to do his best with everything.
Qu Di noticed that Qi Shan didn’t want to talk about these matters, so he didn’t ask further questions. Qi Shan was returning to work the next day, so Qu Di took her to some famous tourist spots. Since Shu Yi had work and wouldn’t be coming home for dinner that night, they decided to go to a well-known Cantonese restaurant in Y City together.
Qu Di hadn’t reserved a private room, so they got a table by the window in the main dining area.
When it came to ordering, Qi Shan was the expert in the duo, so she took on the task. Qu Di didn’t protest.
“White-cut chicken, steamed fresh fish, sweet and sour pork, roasted squab, stir-fried vegetables…”
Qi Shan was about to order more, but Qu Di quickly stopped her. It wasn’t about the cost; it was just that she used to order a lot when they ate out, and it was wasteful for just the two of them.
“Enough, why do you still have this bad habit? Don’t order so much; we can’t finish it all.”
“Ah, I rarely come to Y City, and I don’t know when we’ll meet again…” She gradually adopted a melancholic look and sighed, using her usual trick, which always worked on Qu Di.
“Alright, you can order. If we can’t finish it, I’ll take the leftovers home.”
Hearing the answer she wanted, she smiled brightly, “Hehe, I told you, Little Di, you’re the best. Let’s have some preserved pork with preserved vegetables and a lotus root and spare rib soup as well. That’s it.”
Tang Chaobai had been having a headache recently because his silly little brother had suddenly become sentimental. He constantly talked about relationship problems but refused to disclose any details. He just sighed all the time, looking completely dispirited, and even mentioned wanting to take a leave to go on a trip.
Of course, Tang Chaobai couldn’t agree to that. He considered it a temporary emotional outbreak and insisted on making him continue with his work. Luckily, Tang Xiyan had a good sense of priorities, and his work had been going well, so today, Tang Chaobai planned to take him to a Cantonese restaurant he liked.
Tang Chaobai had been waiting at the entrance for almost an hour when Tang Xiyan, who had just finished a magazine photoshoot, finally arrived. He was bundled up tightly.
Tang Chaobai got out of the car. “Hurry inside; don’t let anyone see you.”
Tang Xiyan seemed to have caught a cold, his voice slightly hoarse. “There’s no one following us on the way here,” he said as he sniffled.
“You’ve had a cold for a week
now; why isn’t it getting better?”
Tang Xiyan adjusted his collar and suppressed the urge to cough. He didn’t want to hear his brother nagging. “I’ve been busy lately, five shoots in a day. I don’t have time to see a doctor. Colds get better on their own.”
He certainly didn’t want to see Yu Zhiyuan, that fish-faced doctor.
Tang Chaobai, of course, knew what kind of person Yu Zhiyuan was. Tang Xiyan was simply too lazy to go to the hospital. “Don’t make excuses. It’s just laziness. Can’t you postpone your shoots for a day? How much time would it take to treat a cold? I’ll have Yu Zhiyuan come over tonight.”
Tang Xiyan sneaked a glance at him and didn’t dare to argue. He only spoke softly, so only he could hear, “Why don’t you respect my opinions? I’m an adult…”
Tang Chaobai suddenly stopped and said in a condescending tone, “The day you don’t cause trouble and don’t need me to solve it is the day you can talk to me about respecting your opinions.”
Is there no humanity left…?
The two of them had reserved a room, and the dishes had been ordered in advance. They had frequently dined here in the past, so Tang Chaobai knew what his little brother liked to eat.
The server handed Tang Xiyan a pre-written menu, and Tang Xiyan briefly glanced at it before handing it back, saying, “Just these.”
Then he stood up and told Tang Chaobai, “I’m going to the restroom.”
While the Tang brothers had just sat down, on the other side, Qu Di had finished most of his meal and found there were still plenty of leftovers. He planned to take them home for dinner and supper the next day since Shu Yi hadn’t been coming home lately. It was a way to make do, and it saved him from having to buy groceries.
He requested a few takeaway containers, stood up to pack the leftovers, and that’s when a child ran past, bumping into him and causing him to spill soy sauce from a steamed fish dish all over his clothes. Unfortunately, he was wearing a white T-shirt today, and the spill left a stain and the scent of soy sauce and green onions.
The child immediately disappeared, not even looking back. Qi Shan wanted to chase after and see which child was so inattentive, but Qu Di stopped her.
“Don’t go, kids will be kids. It’s not a big deal.”
Compared to the mild-mannered Qu Di, Qi Shan couldn’t stand such children. It was indeed a minor incident, and an apology would suffice, but these kids who didn’t even look back made her wish she could give them a stern lesson in manners and make them kneel down to apologize.
She frowned and handed him a couple of napkins, saying, “Why do you put up with this? It’s clearly his fault. And your clothes, I don’t know if they can be cleaned.”
Some soy sauce had splashed onto his pants, and he felt his thighs were damp, as if the liquid had run down to his ankles. He quickly headed to the restroom to clean up.
Tang Xiyan sat inside the private room, staring at his phone absentmindedly. The last message left by Qu Di was still the farewell message, and he had read it countless times but still couldn’t muster the courage to contact him first.
He put away his phone and opened the door slowly. To his surprise, he saw a familiar figure, and if it weren’t for the reflection in the mirror, he would have thought he was seeing things. Everyone seemed like Qu Di compared to him.
Qu Di hadn’t noticed the person behind him; he was focused on trying to clean his soiled clothes. He rolled up his pant legs and found that the stains couldn’t be removed, so he intended to go back to the private room to deal with it.
As he turned around, he met Tang Xiyan’s eyes. Tang Xiyan was eating out secretly, like he used to do before. He was wearing layers of clothing, a hat, and had taken off his sunglasses.
Tang Xiyan had been holding back for quite some time, and finally, he managed to say, “Long time no see.”
Qu Di, only then realizing, smiled and asked, “Are you eating out?”
“Yeah.” Tang Xiyan instinctively tugged at his clothes, wondering if he looked okay today… if his hair was too messy.
Thinking like this, Qu Di suddenly approached, reached out to touch his head, and Tang Xiyan’s heart raced. He was almost holding his breath, but Qu Di just lightly patted his hair and withdrew his hand.
“You’ve got some white dust here.”
Tang Xiyan embarrassedly raised his head and patted the spot where Qu Di had touched. “It might be from the photoshoot… There was dust on the set.”
“Last time I went to see you, you weren’t at home. I was planning to treat you to dinner. Thanks for taking care of me during that time.”
Tang Xiyan’s voice was low, “Yeah… I was out, and I got your message later.” In fact, he was at home, hiding and watching Qu Di come and go. He didn’t want to say goodbye to him.
“Why didn’t you reply to me? I thought you were mad at me.”
He was indeed angry, so angry that he couldn’t sleep for several nights, so angry that even a milk tea with whipped cream on top couldn’t cheer him up, and he was always distracted at work.
“I wasn’t. I’m not that petty. It’s just that I was busy with work. The new assistant I hired is doing well, more careful than you, and she handles things properly.”
But I still want to drink the herbal tea and sweet soup you make for me, and the potato chips you locked away in the cabinet, which I didn’t dare eat later, as well as your disciplined daily routine and diet.
Tang Xiyan tried to act like an old friend and said, “Why don’t we meet up another day…”
Tang Chaobai had waited for a long time, and all the food had been served, but Tang Xiyan still hadn’t returned. He was worried that his brother had been stopped by fans or reporters. He went out to look for him but found Tang Xiyan standing near the restroom and talking to someone.
T/N: Hey there! There is plenty more where that came from, so stay tuned! And stay healthy! Straighten your posture, so some stretches and drink some water before continuing hehe~
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