Chapter 10 – Someone You Like
Novel t.i.tle: 一生之计在于春 (Spring is the Plan of Life)
Author：御小凡 (Yu Xiaofan)
Translator: K (@kin0monogatari)
Protagonists: 姚锦夕 (Yao Jinxi -MC), 吴洋 (Wu Yang -ML)
*Please read at knoxt.s.p.a.ce, the original site of translation. TQ*
Yao Jinxi noticed that Wu Yang was gazing at him without saying anything. So he asked with curiosity, “What’s the matter?”
Wu Yang closed his mouth and shook his head, offering a gentle smile. “You’re back.”
Why did this feel so delicate? As if they were a family.
Shaking off that strange notion, Yao Jinxi put down his bag and took his seat. “How about some Pu’er tea?”
Although he asked, Yao Jinxi understood that Wu Yang wasn’t particular about his tea choices. He brewed whatever he wanted and drank it without waiting for a response.
As expected, Wu Yang didn’t show any objection.
While Yao Jinxi brewed the tea, he habitually explained, “Pu’er tea helps to cut through the greasiness. Since we just had hotpot, it’s good to drink this afterward.”
Watching Wu Yang finish his cup of tea, Yao Jinxi suddenly remembered something. “He Qi has already paid.”
“That’s good. He said he’d transfer the money to you within the week.” Wu Yang smiled, placing his tea cup down and heaving a sigh of relief. “Fortunately, things worked out. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have been able to explain it to you.”
He sounded too modest. Thanks to Wu Yang’s introductions and connections, the business went really smoothly. The other party’s demands were reasonable and the pricing was fair. Yao Jinxi effortlessly made a substantial profit.
Yao Jinxi joked, “Well, if he doesn’t buy it, I’ll have to sell all the tea I brought back to you.”
Wu Yang nodded seriously, “Of course.”
Yao Jinxi: “…Uh, okay, I was just kidding. Let’s have some tea.”
For a moment, it was hard to know what to say. Yao Jinxi quietly brewed another pot of tea. Wu Yang was indeed capable. Yao Jinxi had no doubt that as long as this person wanted to, he could live a better life than he currently did—be it in work or in life.
Watching Wu Yang calmly enjoy a not-so-expensive pu’er tea in his little tea shop, Yao Jinxi frowned in puzzlement. Though his curiosity might not match that of a woman’s gossip-driven interest, as a human, he was naturally a bit curious. Moreover, he and Wu Yang had become quite acquainted. So there were some topics that could still be broached. “I’m very curious.”
Wu Yang asked, “About what?”
Yao Jinxi made a thoughtful sound and after a moment decided to speak, “Don’t take offence. I heard from Ruonan that you were pursuing a girl in your company?”
“Ah…” Wu Yang suddenly realised. Without embarra.s.sment, he replied, “Yes, there was something like that before.”
This word contained at least two pieces of information. One, there was indeed such a thing. And two, it had already become a thing of the past.
Just these two points were enough for various speculations. But Yao Jinxi wasn’t a girl. So he didn’t have that kind of interest in digging deep into gossip. “This sounds like a sad story. Let’s continue with drinking tea…”
But Wu Yang wasn’t willing to stop, “It’s nothing. She already has a boyfriend. They met during university, studying different majors. This September marks their fifth anniversary.”
This situation sounded a bit peculiar. Yao Jinxi couldn’t help but ask, “You didn’t know about this before?”
This could also be explained since Wu Yang had joined the company not long ago. So it was possible he didn’t know.
Wu Yang replied, “Yeah. She didn’t tell me.”
Yao Jinxi: “…”
This explanation was strange. Yao Jinxi was bewildered for a few seconds. He then widened his eyes slightly, “She didn’t tell you? But she accepted your pursuit?!”
Wasn’t this essentially trying to have the best of both worlds? This was getting messy. This girl was taking quite the risk. And this guy had a way with words. The girl didn’t seem afraid of capsizing.
“While she didn’t officially agree to be with me, she’s probably just hesitating. The final outcome is uncertain. Maybe she’s also hesitating about her boyfriend,” Wu Yang pursued the girl with such conditions and methods that it was difficult for her not to be swayed. He seemed to understand this as well.
There was no emotion in his tone when he said this. He a.n.a.lysed, just as he usually did, “Actually, n.o.body in the company knows she has a boyfriend. So she probably thought she could keep it hidden from me.”
Yao Jinxi asked a rather obvious question, “Then how did you find out?”
“I hired a private detective to investigate,” Wu Yang casually mentioned, “It’s easy to find out if she has a boyfriend. I found out on the night of the concert.”
Yao Jinxi was taken aback, instantly understanding Wu Yang’s unusual behaviour that night. Still, he found it a bit hard to believe, “You hired a private detective? Isn’t that a bit excessive? It’s illegal.”
Wu Yang didn’t refute at all and just agreed, “Yeah. It might have been a bit too much. I won’t do it again next time.”
Yao Jinxi: “…”
Wu Yang’s att.i.tude didn’t seem like that of someone who had lost a beloved to another. His rationality was like discussing someone else’s business. Yao Jinxi observed Wu Yang’s expression closely but couldn’t detect any hint of forced emotion. “Don’t you like her?”
Wu Yang countered, “In what sense are you asking?”
“What other sense could there be?” Yao Jinxi was surprised. “Then why did you want to pursue her before?”
After a moment of consideration, Wu Yang replied, “She often brought her own lunch to the company.”
That was truly an unexpected response. Yao Jinxi was puzzled, “Just that? Have you tried her cooking? Is she skilled at it? Does it reflect her ability to manage a household? I remember your company provides meals, right?”
“I don’t know…” Wu Yang seemed to be struggling to understand it himself. His current state of mind was vastly different from back then. “At that time, I guess I felt a sense of home from her.”
Yao Jinxi was left speechless.
The reason sounded nonsensical and somewhat amusing. But on closer thought, he felt a trace of melancholy for Wu Yang.
Wu Yang smiled faintly, “I just wanted a home. For a long time now.”
If he had said this sentimentally or heavily, Yao Jinxi might have teased him for being melodramatic. Yet, Wu Yang’s tone remained unchanged. It even carried a slight hint of amus.e.m.e.nt. It was as if the desire he had long yearned for had become nothing more than a joke.
Without realising it, Wu Yang tapped the table twice and then continued, “I haven’t told Ruonan about this. So you probably don’t know. My parents’ relations.h.i.+p isn’t very good. I was actually adopted by them. So the care I received… was lacking.”
Perhaps ‘lacking’ was just a euphemism. Yao Jinxi pressed his lips together and didn’t interrupt him.
While recalling his past, Wu Yang continued, “I used to live with my aunt. She supported me through junior high school. She has her own children who are still in school. I didn’t want to burden her further. So I stopped going to school.”
Yao Jinxi poured a cup of tea, “And your parents?”
Wu Yang took a sip and calmly replied, “My dad got into a dispute with someone when I was in the second year of junior high. They were both drunk at the time so no one knows the exact details. The result was that he got killed by the other person.”
Yao Jinxi suddenly placed his hand on Wu Yang’s, feeling his hand grow cold. “If you don’t want to talk about it, you don’t have to.”
Wu Yang looked up at him for a while and shook his head. “I haven’t recalled these memories in a long time. The last time I did was in front of my psychologist. But somehow, it feels much better saying them to you.”
Yao Jinxi silently let go of his hand. All he could do was pour another cup of tea for Wu Yang.
Wu Yang continued, “After junior high, I couldn’t find a good job. I ended up working in a furniture factory, making a little over 400 a month and they would deduct 100. I had to sleep in a dormitory with a bunch of other people. I was still young then. Other than working, I put all my effort into doing nothing.”
Yao Jinxi couldn’t help interjecting, “I didn’t expect you to be such a crafty person.”
Wu Yang smiled faintly, “Really? Then how do you see me?”
That was a tough question. In Yao Jinxi’s eyes, Wu Yang was someone who appeared serious, polite, and tactful. He seemed like a refined person. However, he often did things that contradicted this impression.
In the end, Yao Jinxi summed it up, “You’re a strange person.”
Wu Yang chuckled, “Anyway, I continued living that way, getting along well with my coworkers. But one day, I suddenly couldn’t sleep. I started wondering if I was going to be a labourer for the rest of my life. Would I be marrying a migrant worker’s wife? Have a child with her? And make my child go through the same kind of life?”
His gaze lowered slightly, as if he was looking at his younger self from that time. “I began self-studying, attending night school, and taking adult education exams. Once I pa.s.sed, I attended library cla.s.ses while working at nightclubs to earn tuition. Something funny happened – I was originally just a waiter. But there was a woman who asked if I’d be willing to spend the night with her. She offered me a month’s worth of my salary.”
Yao Jinxi wondered, how old was Wu Yang back then? Was he even 18 yet?
The tea shop was silent for a long while.
The water in the kettle bubbled and boiled. Yao Jinxi switched the pu’er tea to Tie Guanyin. As soon as the water was poured, the aroma eagerly filled the air.
Wu Yang asked, “Can I have a cigarette?”
Yao Jinxi grabbed a handful of candies from the drawer. He peeled one and handed it to Wu Yang. “No. Have some sweets as a subst.i.tute.”
Wu Yang took it. But he didn’t put it in his mouth. He held it in his hand, lost in thought. Then he looked at Yao Jinxi. “I never agreed.”
Wu Yang closed his eyes. “Even if I didn’t agree, I hesitated…”
Yao Jinxi sighed inwardly. “You were still too young back then.”
“Yes, I wasn’t even 18 at that time. But no matter the age, some things…” Wu Yang paused, ultimately skimming over that part. “After that, I learned how to bartend. I became a bartender, working and studying at the same time. Whether it was was.h.i.+ng dishes or cleaning, I’d take on any job I could find in my spare time, sleeping for just 3 or 4 hours a day. By the time I graduated, I had saved up 50,000. With that money and a loan from the bar owner, I put down the down payment for my first house.”
“Have some tea,” Yao Jinxi noticed that Wu Yang’s tea had gone cold. So he poured him a fresh cup. “You’re quite capable.”
“Many people say that,” Wu Yang continued talking about himself without looking at Yao Jinxi. “It was a small house. I found a job that provided room and board so I rented the house out. I used the rent and my salary to repay the loan. But someone else was always living in that house. So, I still didn’t have my own home.”
And then later…
“I went to Shanghai for business. At first, I had no clients and ate instant noodles every day. But things improved later on. The people we did business with were successful individuals. Once I built connections with them, making money wasn’t just about earning commissions from their orders.”
Wu Yang took a deep breath, speaking even more lightly. “After making money, I bought several properties, both in City C and Shanghai. But I find it strange. Moving into those houses doesn’t give me a sense of home. I’d rather stay in a hotel since it’s more convenient.”
He chuckled with a touch of loneliness, “It’s really strange.”
*Author’s Note: [Strokes chin] Actually, considering the situations of other people, I think this story could also be called “I Want a Home” [whacks self]. -YXF
*Translator’s Note: Poor little boy… -K
Next update: 2023.10.01