Assistant Architect - Chapter 176

[Updated at: 2021-01-11 20:50:44]
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Assistant Architectby Xi He Qing Ling


Chapter 176: French Fries


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Since theambient temperature inside the restaurant was warm, Bai Rui took off his coatand hung it on the back of his chair. The silk shirt that wrapped around his torsoaccentuated his wide shoulders and broad chest. With his well-muscled physique,he looked both elegant and masculine.


Now thatZhang Siyi has met him in real life, it wasn\'t surprising how obsessive RenMengyu was behaving. Regardless of his temperament and appearance, his presencewas above all others. Bai Rui lived outside ordinary people and like Gu Yu, somepeople were born to shine above everyone else.


Tian Yujingbegan to stare at him unabashedly. Although she already had Jiang Hai sitting besideher, it didn\'t stop her from appreciating an exceedingly handsome man.


Among them,only Su Yuan has seen Bai Rui before. When she saw Ren Mengyu with her boyfriendagain, she couldn\'t stop herself from feeling envious.


PresumablyRen Mengyu was out with Bai Rui. Withsomeone as high status as Bai Rui, she felt overjoyed at being able to flaunther perfect boyfriend. Since she easily attracted the stares of onlookers, who wouldn\'twant to be the center of attention and show off?


Fortunately,as Zhang Siyi was with Gu Yu every day, he was immune to Bai Rui\'s charms andremained completely calm.


The group sattogether around a small rectangular table. While the couples sat two by two onthe long side of the table, Su Yuan and Zhang Siyi sat on the narrow ends ofthe table opposite each other. Bai Rui happen to sit to the left of Zhang Siyi.


Aftereveryone introduced themselves, Ren Mengyu asked: “Did you already order?"


Jiang Haismiled: “We were waiting for the gold master! Come now, pick out the food!"


Ren Mengyuopened the menu and leaned towards Bai Rui affectionately. She said: "Hmm, whatdo you want to eat?"


Bai Ruilook at her and politely said: "Don\'t worry about me. You are here to enjoyyour time with friends. Let them pick out the food."


Attitude;full marks, etiquette; full marks, intonation; full marks…… simplyimpeccable!


Holding herface, Tian Yujing admired Ren Mengyu: "Your boyfriend is so handsome!"


Jiang Hai\'smouth twitched: “Hey, I am still sitting here.”


As thecrowd laughed, the previous tense atmosphere was broken. Even though Bai Ruialso smiled and looked very gentle, Zhang Siyi felt that he was detached from thegroup. Just as Gu Yu said, he can’t control other people\'s affairs. He hadnothing to do with Bai Rui and was simply present to at the restaurant to reminisceand visit old classmates. After eating, he planned on meeting Gu Yu at thelecture.


Su Yuanresponded: "Well, unlike the typical family style way that Chinese cuisine isserved, this is an English restaurant so we should order our own plates. Thereare a lot of hand-held foods in western cuisine."


Havingdecided to order separately, the group readily opened the menu.


Britishcuisine is rather heavy and rich. They chose this restaurant, not for the joyof the food, but to remember the good times in the UK during University.


Since theowner of the restaurant is a Londoner, the English cuisine here is fairlyauthentic. The raw materials for all ingredients are imported from abroad. Theyalso serve other western styled dished like steak and pasta. However, when therestaurant opened in China, the boss had to do as the Romans do….. Britishcuisine is definitely not attracting Chinese customers.


The girlswere afraid of all the calories typically associated with British food, so theyordered something simple; skinless chicken breasts. Jiang Hai and Bai Ruiordered a steak.


Zhang Siyi wasused to eating western food that was Italian and was pickier about the qualityand freshness of steak. Ironically, he had no problems eating fish and chipsfrom British street vendors.


Although thereputation of the restaurant was very good, in the eyes of Chinese, fish andchips was considered a snack food and not something to order for dinner. Today,they were Ren Mengyu\'s invited guests so naturally, Bai Rui felt responsiblefor summing up the order. When he saw Zhang Siyi only ordering fish and chips,he couldn\'t help but ask: "Nothing else?"


When hespoke to Zhang Siyi, he attracted the attention of Ren Mengyu. She smiled andsaid: “How can you still order this type of food that children eat?"


Jiang Hai followedup: "You should eat less junk food. The online review said the steak is verygood."


Su Yuan: “Yes, French fries are very highin calories.”


Zhang Siyiisn\'t afraid of high calories. He insisted: “I want to eat them. I haven\'thad English food for a very long time." It is precisely because he eats very healthyat home every day with Gu Yu that he wants to indulge today. In addition, themenu had both nutritional information and photographs of the available dishes. Themeal would certainly be large enough for an adult to eat.


Zhang Siyithought that they really didn\'t understand the joys of eating junk food while chatting.One of life\'s simple pleasures is snacking on French fries while gossiping!


When thedishes were served, Zhang Siyi\'s plate was really huge. The golden French frieswere on a wooden cutting board with fried potato skins, bacon pieces, and roastedtomatoes. The unique color and delicious aroma of Zhang Siyi\'s plateimmediately made the food the focus of everyone\'s attention.


Zhang Siyi sprinkleda bit of salt and pepper on the fries then picked up his favorite condiment andsqueezed it on top. The English style fries were cut thick and fat. Zhang Siyi spearedone with a fork and bit down on one end. The outside was crisp and the insidewas soft and delicious.


“Ah, LittleYi, those look really delicious….”


“Letme try one.” Jiang Hai was close to him and directly used his fork to speara fry from Zhang Siyi\'s plate. Everyone witnessed his casual attitude so everyoneelse at the table followed suit.


Zhang Siyididn\'t mind sharing a few with his friends, but he didn\'t have an inexhaustiblesupply on his plate. Seeing that the fries on his plate were being reduced at avisible speed, Zhang Siyi was starting to panic. He quickly blocked his platewith his hands: “Hey! That\'s enough! This is my food!"


Ren Mengyu laughed:"Don’t be so stingy. Ha-ha-ha, you can just order more!"


Su Yuan:“You heard the boss! Don\'t worry about saving the gold master\'s money."


Zhang Siyi:“……." Whatever happened to the concern of junk food and high calories!?


Bai Rui sataside quietly and smiled at the group of friends. He was older than all of themand although he came as Ren Mengyu\'s boyfriend, he always treated them as youngsters.He never intended to fit in with the group.


WatchingZhang Siyi\'s anxious expressions over his fries spurred Bai Rui on. He couldn\'thelp but want to tease him. As a result, like the others, Bai Rui impulsively speareda fry directly from Zhang Siyi\'s plate.


Since ZhangSiyi had already been a bit irritated at watching his cherished french fries disappear,his line of site followed the latest fry into Bai Rui\'s mouth. Zhang Siyistared at him for a moment. Having food casually stolen from your plate byfriends was one thing, but having it taken away by a stranger was another. BaiRui was somewhat embarrassed at his action and ducked out of sight.


Bai Rui’smove also surprised Ren Mengyu. He always did what a boyfriend was supposed todo; he brought her out to eat fancy dinners, they watched movies together, wentshopping; lavish gifts weren\'t uncommon. Although Bai Rui was gentle and very consideratetowards her, his attitude was always rather remote. It was as though he wassimply following a list of routine chores to finish. As a result, there were neitherheartfelt moments nor mood fluctuations between them. Since the beginning of theirrelationship, her “perfect boyfriend” has always maintained a safedistance from her.


Even thoughRen Mengyu posted many photos on dates with him to her social media pages, sheknew deep down, she was just deluding herself. She pretended that they had aclose, sweet relationship, but on the contrary, their relationship wasn\'t sweetand was at an impass.


Some saythat woman have a natural and very accurate \'sixth-sense\' and Ren Mengyu is nodifferent. Subconsciously, she felt that her interactions with Bai Rui were justa game and rather absurd. Since she felt that something wasn\'t quite right, inorder to maintain her self-deception, she repeatedly asked the people around herfor their opinions.


Even so,Ren Mengyu wasn\'t able to pull herself out of her own fantasy of love becauseshe was too self-absorbed with the image that Bai Rui brought her when she wentout with him.


In fact,Ren Mengyu devised a little test for her boyfriend. When he met Su Yuan for thefirst time, Ren Mengyu wanted to know if he would treat her any differently. Aswith Ren Mengyu, he maintained a similar polite distance with Su Yuan. SinceBai Rui didn\'t make any ambiguous actions towards Su Yuan, Ren Mengyu felt satisfied.


Inaddition, she used other meetings with her colleagues to check out Bai Rui\'s behavior.Tonight, Ren Mengyu brought Bai Rui with her to meet her classmates in order toverify his feelings and her status.


However,watching Bai Rui so easily stick his fork onto Zhang Siyi\'s plate to grab a frymade Ren Mengyu think deeper. Out of all the times Bai Rui has dined with RenMengyu, there was never a time when he touched her plate. His action tonightwas particularly unexpected.


Even in theface of an anomaly, Ren Mengyu wasn\'t surprised. After all, everyone in thegroup was eating french fries from Zhang Siyi\'s plate. She thought Bai Ruicould be affected by the cheerful and happy atmosphere.


Zhang Siyiwas totally robbed. Looking at his empty plate, he sighed, helpless. Instead,he ordered an egg benedict.


Whileeveryone was enjoying their meal, they continued to talk about the currenttrends in the construction industry. Since Su Yuan didn\'t want to talk abouther bleak status with outsiders, Zhang Siyi didn\'t get the chance to furtherencourage her. After telling each other about the projects they have worked on,it turned out that the person with the most enriched work experienced was ZhangSiyi.


If he waslike himself a year ago, he would want to brag about his current position, butnow that he had been part of the industry for a year, he was well aware of hisown shortcomings. It was especially so because his role model, Gu Yu, was withhim every day. He served to remind Zhang Siyi just how limited his current abilitiesas an architect were.


Theincident in Japan with Lu Qiao also made Zhang Siyi realize the importance of beingmodest and low-key. The last thing he wanted was unwanted attention both forprivate matters and for the sake of his friends who were struggling. Despite trying his best, when Zhang Siyimentioned a couple of things, his friends were rather envious.


Ren Mengyu:“Oh my God! Your company can afford a business trip abroad!?"


Zhang Siyiscratched his head: “They go every few years. I was luckily enough to havestarted working at a time that permitted me to go on the company\'s trip.


Jiang Hai:“It’s better than nothing!” “


Su Yuan:“Hey, when I first started working, the company also mentioned a businesstrip, but now they can\'t even afford to pay their employees, let alone travel!"


Ren Mengyu:“Yes, if we want to travel we have to spend our own money!”


Zhang Siyisaid: “Well, the company didn\'t pay for the whole trip and we weren\'tthere for fun. It was primarily for educational purposes and we had a strictschedule to visit architectural sites."


Afraid of beinghated by his friends due to his good situation, Zhang Siyi hastened to changethe subject: “Has anyone been in contact with our other classmates?" Both YuRui and Xue Wenhan had stayed in England to earn a Master\'s degree. Zhang Siyisurmised they probably finished their studies by now. "How have they been doing?"


Ren Mengyu:"Actually, the other day I saw something about Yu Rui online !"


Su Yuaninterest was piqued and was eager to ask: "How was she?"


Ren Mengyu:“She has an internship with The Firm!”


Su Yuan’sface changed: “The Firm?”


The Firmwas a very famous architectural design company in the UK located in London. Ithas always been the gilded company that British architectural students yearnfor. With the state of the construction market, a job in China wasn\'t easy tofind, let alone in the UK. It was practically impossible to get a positionwithin the most prestigious Firm in England.


Ren Mengyuhad always felt that Yu Rui used alternate methods to succeed. Ren Mengyu neverwould have guessed she also used the same methods to climb up the corporateladder instead of using her own abilities.


Withemotion, Ren Mengyu continued: "Yes. In school she had poor grades and reliedon boyfriends to help with projects. How can she get a job like that withoutbeing the boss\'s secret mistress? With just luck?"


Hearing the news, Su Yuan was hit hard mentally and began to doubt herself.


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