Quality Check: Kai
First Published on Chaleuria
Chapter One Hundred and Twenty-Eight: Twists and Turns II
In the end, the class gathering was indeed held in S City. Although everyone had parted ways after graduation, the majority of them were still in S City or in the neighboring cities not too far away. In fact, quite a few of them had stayed in S City to further their studies.
The specific location that was chosen was a hotel that did not have a chain in the city center, so it was reasonably priced. After all, they had only graduated from university for a few years and their average salary was not high at all. Unlike the outlier Xiao Yu, most of them were still studying for their master’s degree and did not even have an income yet.
To provide convenience for the transport arrangements of their classmates who were situated in cities further away, the gathering was set to be held on Saturday, three days later.
This time round, all of the majors in their university would be attending the gathering. It could be said that it was a large-scale event. As a senior of several years ahead of Xiao Yu, Lin Zhou should not have attended their year’s gathering. However, during his university days, Lin Zhou had participated in various activity clubs and held a position in them. He had a great interpersonal relationship with everyone, so the design school had specifically invited him.
As Xiao Yu’s vehicle had been scrapped in the accident, he was forced to periodically check the directions on his mobile while he worried about what Faye was doing.
He didn’t know if it was because Faye had been abandoned before, but that troublesome yet sticky cat had been clinging onto Xiao Yu twenty-four hours a day aside from the time she was eating, sleeping, or bathing. If he chased her away, she would use those big, watery eyes to look at him pitifully, turning back to look with every step she took. It was simply too hard for Xiao Yu to chase her away cold-heartedly.
Which was why to Faye, it was extremely difficult to be left alone when it came to such gathering that would most likely end late at night.
… But yes, Xiao Yu did end up deciding to attend the gathering.
Ever since he had thrown a hard punch at Lin Zhou at SI, Xiao Yu thought that he would not have any contact with that senior anymore for the rest of his life. Regardless of what had happened in the past, their friendship had come to an end. Even if they were to meet again, they would be strangers and no longer friends.
After the dismissal, Xiao Yu had been thrown into a huge mess of problems, andhe did not have any spare effort to think about Lin Zhou. He had simply forgotten to delete that person from his QQ friends’ list. Of course, Xiao Yu did not expect him to have the audacity to contact him either.
At the beginning, Xiao Yu had decided that he would not give in, no matter what Lin Zhou had to say. However, out of all the possibilities, he had never expected Lin Zhou to use the truth of the accident as a condition.
That accident was like a thorn in Xiao Yu’s heart, making him bleed every time he thought about it.
Yet, at that moment, Lin Zhou actually told him that the accident was indeed not a mishap.
Xiao Yu’s lack of imagination prevented him from understanding what Lin Zhou was trying to say, no matter how he tried to infer it.
Hence, he had no choice but to accept Lin Zhou’s invitation.
The weather was great on that Saturday with a comfortable warm temperature, moderate wind and a beautiful sun.
The hotel was booked by a person from the business school. The unique point of the hotel was that every private room had its own name, and they were named after Chinese idioms. For example there was, 双喜临门 (Shuang Xi Lin Men), 步步高升 (Bu Bu Gao Sheng) and 招财进宝 (Zhao Cai Jin Bao) ¹. There was no private room with the same name.
The commerce school which Xiao Yu was from, was in a private room called 柳暗花明 (Liu An Hua Ming). Xiao Yu took a quick glance across the room and found no one that he knew. He did not enter the room at all, and went directly towards the private room, 峰回路转 (Feng Hui Lu Zhuan), where the design school graduates were at.
“Hey, you’re Xiao Yu, right?”
Before he even reached the doors, Xiao Yu was called out by someone.
That person was smoking at the door and immediately recognized Xiao Yu.
“You are?” Xiao Yu stopped in his tracks as he studied the other person.
“It’s me, it’s me.” He said with his cigarette between his lips, as he lifted his overly-long fringe at the side of his face.
There was an obvious scar on his forehead.
“Ah, Rex.” Xiao Yu could not recognize who he was, but he remembered that scar.
The origin of the scar was an interesting story that everyone discussed about enthusiastically. It was said that this gentleman once got restless after an hour and half of engraving class. He smacked his head habitually and forgot that he was holding a sculpting knife. Later, he rejected the help of his teacher and classmates and went to the school’s infirmary alone and bloodied. In the end, he happily rested in his room for an entire week.
And the roommate of this gentleman, who rather die than to attend class, was Xiao Yu. Rex was forced by his family to enroll in the design school. But, he became close brothers with the ambitious Xiao Yu. Back then, he even went to send Xiao Yu off at the airport when the latter went overseas. It could be said that they were very close with each other.
“Who the hell is Rex? That’s so disgusting. It’s like a thing from ages ago. Call me by my name. You do remember that I’m Liu Chengxin, right?”
“Of course I remember. Long time no see, Chengxin.” Xiao Yu silently breathe a sigh of relief. Thankfully, this good friend of his was a frank and outspoken yet insensitive person.
“Well, it’s been like seven years already. How are you doing?” Liu Chengxin took two steps forward to grab Xiao Yu’s shoulder like two close brothers.
“I’m doing okay…” Xiao Yu brushed off vaguely: “Aren’t you going in?”
“There’s no one I’m close with. Boring. I came out to take a puff. Speaking of which, when you left me back then, life was so hard to endure for me. I can’t find anyone to attend classes for me anymore.”
Liu Chengxin lightly shoved Xiao Yu as if he was very annoyed. Then, at the next moment, he was grinning from ear to ear. “Thankfully yours truly is quick-witted enough to change my major in year two. Hahaha.”
“Oh, your family agreed to it?”
“That’s a long story. Come on, let’s go in and chat.” Liu Chengxin dragged Xiao Yu towards the private room.
Xiao Yu was feeling great after seeing his good friend whom he had not met for years. He went along to walk back into the room. Never had he expect to hear someone calling him from behind: “Xiao Yu.”
That familiar voice froze the moment instantly. Xiao Yu stopped in his tracks as he turned around rigidly and saw a face that he was very familiar with.
“Nice to see you, senior. Haven’t seen you in a long time. Let’s head in together.” Liu Chengxin saw Lin Zhou as well and greeted him politely.
“No thank you. I have something to say to Xiao Yu.”
Lin Zhou presented an appropriate smile, just like the senior whom everyone had respected deeply seven years ago.
“Oh, you guys have a prior arrangement? Go ahead then. I’m done with my cigarette. I’ll head inside first.”
Xiao Yu waited till his friend had left before he said coldly, “What do you have to say? Spill it.”
“It’s not convenient here. There’s a bar in the basement. We’ll talk there.”
There were people moving around them. Xiao Yu did not think much of it as he went to the basement with Lin Zhou.
“One glass of Vodka please.”
Lin Zhou took a step towards the bar first before he turned to look at Xiao Yu. “What do you want to drink? My treat.”
“I’m not drinking. Give me a glass of water.”
“There’s no plain water here. A glass of liquor won’t get you drunk.”
Xiao Yu hesitated for a moment before replying, “Then give me a glass of Blue Hawaii.”
He was not afraid of getting drunk, but he could transform if he had too much liquor. Thankfully, he had done that experiment before and could prevent it from happening so long as he controlled his alcohol intake. Plus, as long as he did not get so drunk that he would pass out, he would notice the signs before the transformation happened, hide at a place with nobody there like the toilet beforehand, and wait for the time to pass.
Xiao Yu knew that it was hard to explain if he did not have a drink at this place, so he had a countermeasure for dealing with such a situation accordingly.
“That’s a lady’s drink,” Lin Zhou mocked. “You were not like this in the past.”
“….. What do you have to say exactly?”
For a moment, Xiao Yu was in a trance. Perhaps it was the room with flickering lights that made it seemed unreal. It was as if they were still close friends who told each other everything and called themselves brothers.
Too bad, things were not the same anymore.
Lin Zhou took a sip of his vodka and suddenly said, “I have always hated you.”
“I have always hated you,” Lin Zhou repeated. It was not considered to be an insult, but it was a switch that opened their past.
“I noticed you the year you entered the school. It was obvious that you weren’t from our major, yet you always attended our classes. Forget about the year one classes, you even attended year four classes. I did reflect it to the lecturers, but for some reason, that inflexible and solemn professor who was stern to everyone was full of praises when it comes to you. In the end, it was also him who introduced you to that guru. Hah. There were so many students who wanted to be a student of that guru. But, it just had to be you, the person who knows nothing, the person who didn’t even know what it meant to be a student of that guru.”
Xiao Yu did not know how to interrupt. Although this was not what he wanted to know, he still chose to continue listening.
Lin Zhou asked for another glass of liquor and continued speaking. “Then, I continued studying for my master’s degree. In the second year when I went for an overseas exchange, I met you.”
“I didn’t have any impression…”
“You guys were conducting a speech at S University in country M. Even the hall that could hold two hundred people could not contain all of us. There were even students standing along the corridors. I was late five minutes and could only find a spot outside the window to listen.” Lin Zhou ridiculed himself. “You were so dazzling, much more dazzling than your teacher whose health was declining rapidly. Everyone outside the hall were all discussing that young and handsome designer. The exchange student that came with me asked if you were that junior who was very close with me. I told him he got the wrong person.”
“My teacher was a specially invited professor for that university. He would always go there to make a speech every year. I just happened to be tagging along and simply helped him to put the slides on…”
“Which is why I hated you.” Lin Zhou slammed the glass onto the bar top. Under the influence of the alcohol, his eyes were bloodshot. “You have always been a person who had overwhelming talents, yet you never realized it. It was as if everyone owed it to you in this world and you could easily take away things that we were all fighting so badly for. Yet, you still think that you’re only a normal person who was more hardworking than others.”
Xiao Yu widened his mouth in shock, as he could not find his words.
“I initially planned to stay overseas for work and even got an offer. But, in the end, I still came back. Do you know why?” Lin Zhou laughed in a low voice: “Because I didn’t want to see you ever again. A place where there’s you, there will never be opportunities for others to shine themselves.”
“But, of all people, you came back. Of all places, you chose SI… I joined the company earlier than you and I have higher academic qualifications than you. I’ve brought in so many profits for the company, but it was useless. With a real talent around, the hard work of the mortals was just a useless struggle. Even if we struggled till the end, we could never succeed. We were like clowns dancing in front of a king, and we could never attract more attention than the dazzling sight of the crown. Clown and Crown. Diamond and Zircon. That’s probably what our relationship was like.”
Lin Zhou let out a long sigh. “I always thought that I was different from the rest. My teacher once told me that I was the most outstanding student he had ever taught. That was what I thought as well. Until I met you. Even if you were just a new student from the other school who attended our classes for free, I knew that you would be the wall that I could never overcome for the rest of my life.”
Xiao Yu looked at Lin Zhou as he spat his words. “Because of that bell I gave Yan Jin?’
Lin Zhou’s eyes widened in shock. “You knew, you already knew?”
“I only found out recently.” Xiao Yu gulped down the glass of drink in his hand and set it aside.
Lin Zhou let out a laugh that was hard to understand and finished his drink as well. “At first, I only wanted to snatch the title of chief designer from you. I couldn’t win against you openly, so I choose to steal your drafts. But too bad I failed. No matter what I did, I could not win against you, not even once!”
Lin Zhou suddenly turned aggressive and pushed all the glasses on the bar top onto the floor.
The glasses hit the floor and shattered into smithereens.
The bar was playing deafeningly loud music and created a perfect cover for the loud commotion at the corner. There were people still dancing on the floor, enjoying themselves. The bartender paused for a moment before he continued wiping the glass in his hand as if he had never noticed.
Xiao Yu was frightened by the sudden movement and subconsciously got up from his seat and moved away.
Lin Zhou got up as well and he spoke. This time, his voice was very soft, but his smile was almost deranged.
“That’s why I tampered with your car. It’s a miracle you came back alive.”
双喜临门 – Two simultaneous happy events in the family
步步高升 – To rise steadily
招财进宝 – Ushering in wealth and prosperity
柳暗花明 – The light at the end of the tunnel
峰回路转 – Twisting and turning (of a mountain road) or fig. An opportunity has come unexpectedly (The title of chapter 127-129 was also named ‘峰回路转’, which I translated as ‘Twists and Turns’.
P.s. We got a new assistant translator for RIAH! Hehe, you can expect more chapter release soon! -iamfeiiii