Chapter 4 – A Date
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 is 26 years old this year.
Although he is only 26 years old, Yao Jinxi feels like he has the mentality of a 62-year-old. However, he thinks that living like this is also good. He has no ambitions and no worries. Every day, he brews a pot of his favourite tea, surfs the internet, chats with people, and waits for guests to come by. Occasionally, he can even sell some tea from his frustrating online Taobao shop to surprise himself.
Just fooling around. After all, in this world, though it’s not easy to become rich, it’s also not easy to starve. He has always been living leisurely with such an indifferent att.i.tude.
However, these past two days, Xia Ruonan has been urging him. If he doesn’t go out with Wu Yang again, Wu Yang will probably ask her to go out again. Yao Jinxi snorts, “If you don’t want to go, just refuse.”
Although the words are said like this, Xia Ruonan’s reputation as an eternal do-gooder isn’t for nothing. To reject someone so pitifully reliant on him for company, she ended up agreeing. And then it’ll go around in circles.
As Buddha said; if I don’t go to h.e.l.l, who will?
So Yao Jinxi had to disrupt his own rhythm of life and proactively contacted Wu Yang.
“h.e.l.lo, I’m Wu Yang. May I ask who you are?”
Yao Jinxi was taken aback by this serious opening. He then suddenly burst into laughter. “It’s me, Yao Jinxi. Didn’t you save my number?”
“Ah, sorry. I accidentally pressed the answer b.u.t.ton without looking at the screen,” came a slightly apologetic voice mixed with faint background noise, which soon quieted down. The gentle male voice sounded again, “Is there something you need?”
Yao Jinxi thought for a moment. “Not much, really. Didn’t we talk about having a meal together last time? Are you free this weekend?”
Wu Yang seemed a bit surprised, “Oh?”
Yao Jinxi shook his head from side to side, “You and the others have your off days, right? So, any plans?”
Wu Yang responded, “Not really. Shall we go together with Ruonan?”
“With her? Let her have some quality time with her boyfriend, just the two of them. It’s just us,” Yao Jinxi decisively excluded Xia Ruonan and tried to sound sincere, “Let’s go. Anyway, the group discount only has two spots… Ah…”
Oh my, that was too direct! Why did I blurt that out?
Yao Jinxi facepalmed for a moment. He didn’t have Xia Ruonan’s spirit of sacrifice. He had always been a regular person. If he spent too much money on Wu Yang, he would definitely feel heartache. It’s better to go with the group discount. While it was embarra.s.sing to say this, he couldn’t take back his words after they were already spoken. He decided to introduce the idea, “Although it’s a group discount, it’s not much different from their regular offerings. Shrimp fis.h.i.+ng can be quite interesting.”
“Shrimp fis.h.i.+ng?” Wu Yang didn’t seem to notice the term ‘group discount’ at all. His tone remained unchanged, “Alright, this weekend then.”
-Weekend, in front of the shrimp fis.h.i.+ng restaurant.-
Yao Jinxi arrived a bit earlier. But Wu Yang wasn’t late either. He was right on time. He was dressed in sportswear. When he approached Yao Jinxi, the latter smiled, “Are you going to play basketball or something?”
Looking at Yao Jinxi, who was still in casual attire, Wu Yang tilted his head slightly, “Sorry, I’ve never been shrimp fis.h.i.+ng before… Is it similar to normal fis.h.i.+ng?”
“It’s quite similar. Just much easier,” Yao Jinxi said, gesturing for Wu Yang to walk with him. “I heard from Ruonan that you were in Shanghai before. How long have you been in City C?”
Wu Yang smiled, “About six months.”
Yao Jinxi hadn’t heard this from Xia Ruonan. Considering that he had only been at Xia Ruonan’s company for three months, he wondered where Wu Yang had been before. Changing jobs so quickly was a bit surprising. Plus, it had been six months already. With his demeanour and way of handling things, he wouldn’t come across as someone without friends to accompany…
Yao Jinxi walked with Wu Yang all the way to the front desk and collected fis.h.i.+ng gear and bait. Then, they walked a short distance to the shrimp fis.h.i.+ng area.
The shrimp fis.h.i.+ng area was like a swimming pool, with a tiled bottom that looked quite clean. Benches and stands were placed at equal intervals along the edge of the pool.
“Relax, this is quite easy,” Yao Jinxi enjoyed eating shrimp and had come here a few times with Xia Ruonan. He was definitely an expert in front of Wu Yang. “Look. Just wind the line around here like this.”
Yao Jinxi helped Wu Yang attach the bait to the hook. As he had said, it was indeed simple and easy to understand. Two tall men sat side by side on small stools, both with handsome faces. The seats around them were quickly taken by girls. But they seemed completely oblivious to the attention and chatted while shrimp fis.h.i.+ng.
Suddenly, Wu Yang asked, “By the way, I asked He Qi and heard that you haven’t contacted him yet?”
Yao Jinxi couldn’t remember who He Qi was for a moment. Did he need to contact this person? He laughed awkwardly, “Oh, not yet. I’ve been a bit busy lately.”
“I see. You know, the Qingming Festival is approaching. His company wants to give gifts to the employees during holidays. It’s easy to appease the lower-level staff, but for the upper management, they need to pick something good,” Wu Yang stared at the water’s surface. When he saw a shrimp caught on the hook, he calmly picked up the fis.h.i.+ng rod and continued, “This time, they want to choose some high-quality Mingqian tea. If you’re free these days, maybe you could contact him?”
With his reminder, Yao Jinxi finally remembered who He Qi was. Wasn’t he the head of the logistics department?
Yao Jinxi had truly forgotten about this matter. He initially treated business talk in social situations casually. However, he hadn’t expected Wu Yang to take it seriously. Especially with the mention of high-quality Mingqian tea – that sounded like a substantial order.
Yao Jinxi pondered for a moment. “Well, listening to you, I might not be able to take on this deal.”
Wu Yang was slightly surprised. Why would he reject business opportunities? “Why?”
Yao Jinxi shrugged, shaking the fis.h.i.+ng rod a bit. “My tea shop is small. I’m not afraid to admit it. High-end teas usually don’t sell well and I feel bad drinking them myself. So, I haven’t stocked such teas. We do have newly acquired Mingqian tea. But the packaging wouldn’t pa.s.s. The customers who buy from me are true tea enthusiasts. They don’t care about the packaging. It’s not suitable for formal gift-giving.”
After listening to Yao Jinxi’s explanation, Wu Yang contemplated for a moment. “While I haven’t been in the tea business, I think it might be worth trying to acquire some now.”
Yao Jinxi had just set down his rod and stretched when he heard Wu Yang’s words. He turned his head slightly while still lying back. His eyes curving with a hint of contrast between black and white. “It’s possible. You could source from other tea shops as well. But…”
He frowned, carefully considering his words, then nodded to himself. “Yeah. I’m just too lazy to bother.”
Wu Yang: “…”
“Ah.” Yao Jinxi pointed at his rod. “We’ve got a bite.”
Wu Yang still had a subtle expression on his face as he threw another unfortunate shrimp that got hooked into the net dangling partially in the water. “Sorry, I wanted to ask. How long have you had this shop?”
Shrimp were getting caught quickly. Yao Jinxi was busy pulling them out and re-baiting the hook. “A few years. By the way…”
He chuckled, “We’ve only met twice. And you’ve apologised a few times?”
“Ah? Sorry…” Wu Yang stopped speaking as soon as he realised what he was doing, finding it a bit amusing. Apologising was, after all, a polite and conventional gesture. He had gotten used to saying it too frequently, “Does it make people feel uncomfortable?”
Yao Jinxi shrugged nonchalantly, “Not really. It depends on personal habits. If you feel more comfortable and relaxed saying it, then go ahead. I’m just telling you this out of habit.”
Wu Yang looked at his profile with interest, “Thank you.”
In reality, everyone has their own personality and lifestyle habits. Many people liked to take the initiative and quickly build rapport with others, telling them not to be polite and to drop formalities. They forcefully tried to make others change their behaviour, thinking that this was being friendly. However, they often overlooked whether this made others uncomfortable.
Clearly, Yao Jinxi was not one of those people.
Wu Yang turned his head back and suddenly found today’s interaction quite interesting.
Shrimp fis.h.i.+ng was divided into time slots. Shrimp caught during a specific time period could be taken home without additional cost. Or they can be cooked by the kitchen staff for a small fee and then enjoyed on-site.
Since Yao Jinxi intended to treat Wu Yang to a meal, naturally he chose the latter option. Four hours of effort would yield a considerable result.
The chef prepared shrimp congee without sh.e.l.ls, spicy dry pot shrimp, and added an egg drop soup and oyster sauce lettuce for an extra charge. The table was filled with the flavours of home-cooked dishes.
“The chef’s skills here aren’t exceptionally good. But the ingredients are fresh. Plus, you caught these shrimps yourself. So don’t hold back.” Yao Jinxi never bothered with pleasantries. With a hearty appet.i.te, he first served Wu Yang a bowl of congee and a plate of rice with shrimp. The portions were just right. “Do you like cilantro?”
“I’m not a picky eater…” Wu Yang watched as Yao Jinxi skillfully added an appropriate amount of cilantro to his bowl and then placed it in front of him.
“Let it cool down a bit.” Yao Jinxi moved on without further attention to it, rolling up his sleeves and starting to eat. While eating, he introduced, “The spicy dry pot shrimp is their signature dish. Have some.”
Wu Yang agreed and placed a shrimp in an empty bowl. However, he ate more of the lettuce, leaving the lonely shrimp lying in the bowl. It was as if he was merely going through the motions.
Yao Jinxi was quick to notice this. “Uh-oh, I forgot to ask if you eat spicy food or not.”
Wu Yang was surprised, “No, I don’t have any particular aversion to spicy food.”
He then picked up some lotus root slices from the dry pot to prove the authenticity of his words. He noticed that Yao Jinxi was still looking at the shrimp in his bowl. So, Wu Yang picked up a large shrimp and put it in his mouth. He then clumsily spat out the sh.e.l.l. Unfortunately, he wasted about half of the shrimp meat in the process.
Yao Jinxi: “…”
He said, “I’m sorry. I didn’t know you didn’t like eating shrimp.”
“Not exactly,” Wu Yang’s expression was a bit awkward. It was as if he was trying to find the right words. “I just…don’t like peeling shrimp. It’s quite bothersome.”
Well, that was unexpected.
“Oh, I see.” Yao Jinxi suddenly realised, placing the peeled shrimp he had prepared into Wu Yang’s bowl. “You should have said earlier. I can peel shrimp quickly. Let me do it for you.”
This time, Wu Yang was genuinely surprised.
Yao Jinxi wasn’t deliberately trying to please him. He didn’t even realise that this was a noteworthy matter. He naturally peeled the shrimp, placing them into both bowls. “It’s a good thing the shrimp in the congee are already peeled.”
Wu Yang stared at the increasing pile of shrimp in his bowl. He heard Yao Jinxi’s suggestion, “Eat while they’re hot.”
Suddenly, he mused, “You’re quite good at taking care of others.”
“Huh?” Yao Jinxi reacted as his hands paused for a moment. “Are you talking about this?”
His gaze fell on the shrimp meat in the bowl. His eyes seemed momentarily lost, as if invaded by a memory. But he quickly regained clarity, calmly saying, “Blame it on a guy from my past who also loved eating shrimp. But, like you, disliked peeling them. I got used to being his servant.”
Wu Yang nodded. “No wonder you and Ruonan are such good friends.”
Yao Jinxi looked at him and smiled, asking, “Are you saying that Ruonan and I are birds of a feather?”
“It’s not about being birds of a feather. It’s about having similar habits,” Wu Yang put a piece of shrimp meat in his mouth, squinting slightly as he savoured the simple delight. He sighed softly, “You both are good people.”
*Translator’s Note: Aaaaaa they’re so cute. I just wanna scream. Don’t mind me. -K
Next update: 2023.09.19