Chapter 32: Mercury Chronicles (Part One)
In an instant, Xu Huaiming’s fist struck Li Zhao’s face.
After the sharp pain, Li Zhao fell to the ground in a daze. His back hit the stone pavement, and he felt like his body was about to shatter. In reality, he had only fallen.
Li Zhao remembered when he was a child and didn’t listen to his mother. Her palms were not as soft as he had imagined. Instead of comfort, they brought endless pain. He didn’t gain his father’s approval because he was disobedient. But Li Zhao didn’t become well-behaved. Even though he was in pain and his face was swollen, he developed a rebellious mentality. He wanted everyone to hate him. He wanted
to be the despised villain because only then would he be valued.
A metallic taste suddenly filled his mouth. Li Zhao touched his lips and realized that they were bleeding.
“Quite a punch.” Li Zhao glanced at Xu Huaiming, then turned and walked away gracefully toward the bridge by the lake. “Too bad you’re just a copy, destined to never receive love.”
Xu Huaiming watched Li Zhao’s figure gradually disappear on the bridge by the lake. There was a moment of confusion in his eyes, and then a surge of uneasiness welled up from deep within him.
He felt like Li Zhao was a madman. A moth fluttering in the midst of flames, seeing a companion, grasping a glimmer of hope, would trample over the other’s corpse to escape, even if one side of its wings had already been burned, even if it only had one breath left.
A few birds perched on the sycamore branches, their harsh chirping echoing in his ears. When they flapped their wings, a few dried leaves fell, swaying with the wind and landing at Xu Huaiming’s feet. He shifted his body and realized that he was shivering from the cold.
His phone in his pocket began to vibrate. Xu Huaiming only had Tan Xilu’s number saved, so he knew it was him calling. He took a deep breath and answered, trying to sound as steady as possible, “Hello.”
Tan Xilu asked when he would arrive at their meeting place.
Xu Huaiming forced a smile and replied, “I just finished work. I’ll be there soon.”
After the call ended, Xu Huaiming closed his eyes and looked up at the sky. He thought, “I hope the sun comes out soon.”
Unfortunately, Xu Huaiming and Tan Xilu couldn’t meet up. Just as Xu Huaiming had returned to the store and was getting ready to close for the day, Tan Xilu sent him a message on WeChat, saying that there was a sudden emergency at school.
Helplessly, Xu Huaiming had to put down his things and stay at the store.
The evening at the store was not as busy. Xu Huaiming sat at the bar, feeling somewhat relaxed. He casually made a strawberry juice, knowing that Tan Xilu liked this type of beverage. Xu Huaiming found it overly sweet, but he wrapped it up and planned to take it back for Tan Xilu.
Seeing how carefully he packaged it, Arlene, sitting on a barstool, seemed somewhat displeased and said, “Xu Ge, is it necessary? I can see that Professor Tan’s mind isn’t really on you. Is the person who came to see you today the same one from the last video?”
Xu Huaiming paused as he placed the strawberry juice in the bag. He looked at Arlene and replied, “You have a good memory. You actually remember that?”
“Of course,” Arlene propped up her chin, recalling Li Zhao, and sighed. “He’s quite famous for his dessert shop ‘Xicui,’ with chain stores all over the country. He’s considered successful, and I heard he has a strong background.”
“What’s this? Are you thinking of switching teams?” Xu Huaiming inserted a straw into the bag and teased.
“No way! Am I that kind of person?” Arlene pouted. “When it comes to desserts, it has to be Xu Ge. How else could you have captured my heart for seven years? I clearly fell in love with your culinary skills.”
Xu Huaiming listened to Arlene speak with lowered eyes and smiled from time to time. He wasn’t very good at socializing with people, unlike Arlene, who was lively and likable. Sometimes, he envied her or rather, envied humans in general. If he were human, he wouldn’t have so many concerns and wouldn’t be afraid of breaking up with Tan Xilu.
They would continue dating until they got married, perhaps even grow old together. But all these beautiful dreams were based on him being a normal person, which sadly wasn’t the case.
“Well, truth be told, I quite like Professor Tan,” Arlene looked at Xu Huaiming and continued, “I just feel that it’s not worth it for you, Xu Ge. When I think about the surprise proposal we prepared that day, all shattered because of one lie from Professor Tan, it makes me sad. Even though we’re dating, he lied for another man, which is just so annoying. Today, that person came to see you again. I hope he’s not here to assert his dominance. Xu Ge, you can’t lose to him, you’re the main contender.”
“You have quite an imagination. You should watch fewer palace dramas,” Xu Huaiming chuckled, then added, “No, he’s a friend of Ah Lu’s, someone he introduced to me some time ago. He just came to chat.”
“Really? Not a love rival?” Arlene clicked her tongue, seemingly a bit disappointed, believing her previous assumption. “I thought I might witness a battle between two top pastry chefs to win over a male professor.”
Xu Huaiming: “…”
A battle of that sort might not be necessary, but competing for the professor was a possibility.
T/N: Wishing you all a good September and welcome to Bad End month! 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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Also, check out the other series we have on HoH!
If you like cats, check out Revenge of the Garfield
What about the perfect, most non-toxic male lead ever? Laws of Love
How about MC nursing ML back to health? Forced into the Deep
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