The Long Chase for the President’s Spouse – Chapter 99: Surprise
Quality Checker: Tezuka
“‘Seven years later, I met you again. You might have been surprised at how easily you found a job as a president’s personal assistant, despite being fresh out of university… I confess that it was a premeditated move on my part. You might never have guessed that I had been following the path of Qu Yuan1 all this time…’”
Gu Zhun broke into uncontrollable laughter. “Are you referring to that famous line in Lisao: ‘On the road yonder, long and without end, I shall seek in all directions from the heavens to the earth’2? What a sloppy way to hide the fact that you can’t quote from memory! Hahaha…”
“Stop laughing! Just… pay attention! What I’m going to say next is what I truly want to tell you…” Zhang Heng’s voice boomed loudly and surely from the speakers, replacing the voice of the previous speaker. “Gu Zhun, I know that I am not perfect. I’m attention-seeking and can never seem to leave you alone, and I am still immature in many ways… but you are the only one who will ever see these sides of me. Because I love and trust you, I want you to see me for who and what I am. Therefore…”
Suddenly, as if on cue, the chorus of voices on the square increased its volume as the crowd surrounding Gu Zhun parted to form a path, at the end of which stood a figure that Gu Zhun recognized instantly: Zhang Heng.
“… Therefore, I have nothing to fear as long as you accept me for all my flaws… and as long as… as long as you stay by my side!” Like Gu Zhun, his eyes welled up with tears as a quiver crept audibly into his voice. “As long as I have you by my side, I will fear nothing. Because of you and your presence, I will remain standing even if the sky comes crashing down!”
Through the shower of sakura petals, Zhang Heng walked down the path and stopped before Gu Zhun.
Hora, anata ni totte, daiji na hito hodo sugu soba ni iru no
(Look, the person who means so much to you is right by your side)
“I… I’m so touched that I don’t know what to do!” Ye RuiXi exclaimed between drying his eyes, blowing his nose, and tossing the sakura petals. “I want hugs and kisses right now!”
Wen YiHong looked on speechlessly. Despite his usual proud, overbearing persona in the office, Ye RuiXi was always coquettish in private and in bed. Having no words for Ye RuiXi’s antics, Wen YiHong complied readily with his lover’s request, leaning in to peck Ye RuiXi lightly on the lips. But just as Ye RuiXi began to think that Wen YiHong would go no further, he suddenly felt Wen YiHong’s tongue push past his unguarded teeth to take a long sensual swipe of his mouth before pulling away. Light-headed and embarrassed from the brief moment of intimacy, Ye RuiXi hastily refocused his attention on the task at hand. He fixed his eyes on the scene before him as he continued tossing flowers vigorously in an attempt to still his quickened heart. As Ye RuiXi worked hard to pretend nothing had happened, WenYiHong could not help but grumble quietly under his breath, “Acting dumb, huh? So much for my compliance…”
However, Wen YiHong was not the only one who had cause for complaint. Standing in the crowd right behind the two of them, Gu Li and her husband had no choice but to witness their public display of affection in close proximity. “Well, I suppose they aren’t the only show-offs in this crowd…” Gu Li muttered as she gave a sidelong glance at Ma ShangQian and Xu YaLe, each holding a baby in their arms.
When Xu YaLe married Ma ShangQian a year ago, she was already three months into her pregnancy. All of her routine check-ups in the past year had shown that she was pregnant with one healthy baby. Therefore, Xu YaLe was just as surprised as everyone else when she found out about the existence of her second baby. At the time, she had just delivered her firstborn and was about to collapse in relief when her doctor suddenly exclaimed, “Wait! There’s another one coming along!” In retrospect, it was truly a miracle that she did not suck the baby back into her body from surprise. In the end, she delivered a pair of twins – a boy and a girl.
Presently, Ma ShangQian whispered to his sleeping daughter, “Did you see that, darling? The two big brothers in the middle are Papa’s friends. There will probably be a wedding soon~”
“Papa, stop muttering to yourself,” Xu YaLe quipped as she played with their energetic son. “Don’t you see that our baby girl is already sound asleep?”
Batting her eyes expectantly, Gu Li turned to her husband and asked, “Why don’t we try making one of our own?”
“We can get to work tonight if you want,” he answered smilingly as he put his arm around. In response, Gu Li began to giggle…
Meanwhile, back in the heart of the square, things were starting to become a little awkward.
“Therefore… therefore…” Contrary to how gutsy he usually was with his confessions, Zhang Heng seemed to have gotten cold feet now.
Picking up on his loss of confidence, the crowd stopped singing and began chanting loudly in unison, “Be a man! Just do it!”
“Gu Zhun, will you marry me?”
“Marry him! Marry him! Marry him!” the crowd echoed at the top of their lungs.
Gu Zhun felt his mind go blank. Was this what Zhang Heng had been busy with all these weeks?
Without any hesitation, Gu Zhun took a step forward and embraced Zhang Heng as he replied, “Yes I will.”
Zhang Heng’s face froze, but his heart was bursting with emotion. “Finally! Gu Zhun said yes! He finally said yes!”
Naturally, it was a must to have a proper wedding. But it was equally necessary to have a proper honeymoon. Hence, after making a brief appearance at their wedding, Zhang Heng and Gu Zhun promptly abandoned their family and friends to a night of entertainment by the performers hired by Zhang Heng. “Is this really a wedding and not the New Year’s Gala3?” Gu Li asked in bewilderment as she watched the cross-talk performance onstage with her baby boy in her arms. Zhang Heng’s grandfather, on the other hand, was entirely engrossed in the performance and enjoyed himself immensely.
After all, one could hardly blame the newlyweds after Zhang Heng explained in a hurry before disappearing, “I messed up the timing when I booked our tickets. We will miss the flight if we don’t leave now!”
But Gu Zhun knew better. Seated on the plane, he looked speechlessly at the silly grin on Zhang Heng’s face. He was sure that Zhang Heng was lying through his teeth when he apologized to their guests. He knew that Zhang Heng had definitely messed up the timing on purpose so that they could scoot off on their own as soon as possible to a place where no one would recognize them. It would be the perfect honeymoon, where they could truly enjoy each other’s company without any disturbance.
“Why don’t we try it out tonight?”
“What is it…?”
“Going at it seven times in one night.”
1.Qu Yuan (屈原): One of the greatest ancient Chinese poets and a minister from the Chu state during the Warring States period. He was a well-respected patriot who was banished from court as a result of political intrigue. He eventually drowned himself in despair in the Miluo River. The people’s attempt to search for his body eventually evolved into what is known today as the Dragon-boat Festival, and their offerings to fishes in the river (so that they would not feed on his body) were the origins of the rice dumpling.
2.Lisao (离骚): Also known as On Encountering Sorrow. The most famous of Qu Yuan’s poetic works, it is a long melancholic poem through which he expresses his critique of politics in his state, personal ideals and values, and his lamentation of his state’s decline. It is also the reference poem for subsequent poems in Chuci (Songs of Chu / Lyrical Verses from Chu), one of the two main anthologies of classical Chinese poetry.
3.New Year’s Gala: This is a reference to the annual Central China Television (CCTV) New Year’s Gala / Spring Festival Gala, one of the premier television programmes in China. It is an iconic variety show with eminent performers, and millions of Chinese viewership every year.