Assistant Architect - Chapter 198

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Assistant Architect by Xi He Qing Ling


Chapter 198: Thoughts


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Afterdinner that night, Zhang Siyi began to pack his belongings for his business trip.


While ZhangSiyi was packing, Gu Yu also brought out his black backpack he used for businesstrips. Since he wasn\'t staying for the entire trip, Gu Yu had much less to packand therefore, finished packing in no time.


Havingcompleted his task, Gu Yu zipped up his bag, sat on the bed and watched ZhangSiyi unhappily packing his own suitcase: "What\'s wrong? Why don\'t you want togo?"


In fact, ZhangSiyi\'s unhappy attitude wasn\'t unknown to Gu Yu. All day, he noticed Zhang Siyi\'squiet and gloomy behavior.


After ZhangSiyi grumbled a bit, Gu Yu paused then explained his reasons for sending him onthe business trip: “Now that many areas of the country have been overdeveloped in the last few years, the government has suspended many projects inan effort to rectify the situation. Even though you have been in the companyfor over a year, this is the first time you have met Professor Cui. Since hehas come to announce the project, it is clear that the government is attachingimportance to the renovation of the ancient city in X Province and thus, the implementationof the restoration is likely. This type of opportunity is rare. If you are ableto experience the whole process from the initial stages of survey to the final restoration,the project will have a great impact on you as an architectural designer."


Zhang Siyi wasintimately familiar with how well Gu Yu treats him. Normally, when a unique chanceto participate in a project such as the renovation came up, he would be veryexcited and eager. However, traveling for two weeks means 14 days of endlesswork. It seems, his birthday will be even worse than last years!


Gu Yu added:"In addition, Bai Rui\'s recent influence has been a major distraction. It woulddo you good to be apart for a while and leave on a business trip."


Zhang Siyi:“…”


WatchingZhang Siyi closely, Gu Yu thought he was still angry. He continued to gently coaxhim: "Have you been to X City before? It is China\'s historical and culturalcity. Although the city\'s economic condition can\'t be compared to Haicheng,there are many local places that are interesting. Since the project is in oneof China\'s top ten ancient cities, the picturesque landscape is evident. Inaddition, Zhuge Liang’s ** former residence, and the story, Three Visits to thecottage**, originated from there."


While listeningto Gu Yu\'s gentle tone, Zhang Siyi couldn’t help but laugh at the difference oftreatment between now and in the past. A year ago, all he ever heard was Gu Yu\'spoisonous tongue and experienced Gu Yu\'s black belly nature. Since when has GuYu been so concerned with his happiness?


Zhang Siyi wasreminded of the time when they last fought over his request about his friend, SuYuan. Gu Yu was helplessly sitting on the stairs waiting for Zhang Siyi. Oncehe saw how vulnerable Gu Yu was in reality, Zhang Siyi\'s anger was instantlygone. He didn\'t know if he either simply misunderstood Gu Yu in the past or hehad in fact, changed Gu Yu.


Snappingthe cover of the suitcase together and zipping it up, Zhang Siyi finishedpacking. He put his luggage on the floor then walked over to Gu Yu and sat nextto him onto the bed. He looked at him then said: "It seems like I have somefree time now."


Gu Yu:“…”


Zhang Siyi heldGu Yu tightly. Especially because it was his birthday and wanted to spend itwith Gu Yu, he wanted to shout: “I just can’t bear to be separated fromyou!!” However, of course, hecouldn\'t say something so emotional. It was too embarrassing!


He turnedto look at Gu Yu\'s handsome face and sighed. For the moment, in order to becomea better man for Gu Yu, he decided he needed to set aside his birthday wish andstop being so childish.


“Howlong will you be there for?” Zhang Siyi asked.


Under ZhangSiyi\'s petulant gaze, Gu Yu smiled and kissed him on his head then replied: "Itdepends on the situation but it won\'t be more than three days."


Inwardly,Zhang Siyi was stunned. Since it was his birthday in four days and Gu Yu wasleaving by the third day, Zhang Siyi took a hit through his heart and wanted tocough up a mouthful of blood. Was he really going to forget his birthday?


Early thenext morning, the group of six set out for X City. While Gu Yu would return ina few days, the rest would remain in the city. Since the project isn\'tcommissioned, expenses at the early stages of planning are paid by themselvesand hence, failure to win the bid would result in the loss of their own money. Asa result, Professor Cui took this fact into consideration and arranged foreveryone to stay at a local budget hotel near the ancient city. While the teamleaders stayed in two separate rooms, the girls occupied a third room and theboys stayed in another.


UnlikeZhang Siyi, it didn\'t take long for the girls to get to know each other and actlike they have been long time friends. He tried to make conversation with his roommate,Liao Jun, without success. Since Liao Jun was being rather cold and indifferenttowards Zhang Siyi, he worried about whether or not the time spent togetherwill be awkward for the rest of the trip.


After lunch,everyone went to inspect one of the areas that needed renovation. It was about twohectares of land in the eastern part of the ancient city that involved two mainstreets and three alleys. Once they arrived, Zhang Siyi set aside the worries ofthe day to the back of his mind and focused on Professor Cui\'s insights.Everyone was paying particular attention to the Professor\'s guidance andsuggestions. Zhang Siyi listened closely while taking pictures of important detailsand his surroundings.


Having anon-site lecture by the professor who specialized in ancient architecture madethe learning experience exceptional. With relish, Zhang Siyi listenedattentively and as a result, he forgot to take pictures. He wished he couldwrite down notes about the history and details that Professor Cui patientlyexplained. After a lap of walking around the area, it was evening and the Professorlet everyone go back to rest. Tomorrow, they would officially start working.


When ZhangSiyi arrived at the hotel after dinner, he received a text message from Gu Yu.


Gu Yu: "Meetme downstairs."


Grabbinghis mobile phone quickly, Zhang Siyi eagerly went downstairs. As a result, he arrivedearlier then Gu Yu and ended up waiting a few minutes for him at the hotel\'s entrance.Seeing Gu Yu, Zhang Siyi smiled and approached: "What\'s going on?"


Gu Yu: "Let\'stake a walk."


In fact,Zhang Siyi also wanted to look for Gu Yu and take a walk. At home, they wereaccustomed to walking the dog every day after dinner. Now that it wasn\'t necessary,it felt rather odd, like something was missing.


As hewalked, Gu Yu tucked his hands in his coat pockets and asked: "What do youthink?"


Zhang Siyi:“What do you mean, what do I think?"


Gu Yu:“What did you think about when we visited the Ancient City? Did you feelanything in particular?"


Immediately,Zhang Siyi rambled on about the historical information he heard today andarchitectural ideas; which streets were superfluous and which weren\'t; whichparts needed renovation and which could be removed entirely…..


Gu Yulistened for a long time then asked: "And what are your ideas?”


Zhang Siyi:“Eh?”


Gu Yulooked at him and said: “What you describe are the facts that ProfessorCui talked about this afternoon."


Unresponsive,Zhang Siyi was momentarily stunned. Thinking carefully back to Professor Cui pointers,he realized he really did repeat what the Professor had said. He scratched hishead and said: “I feel the same way.”


Gu Yupointed to the night market street not far away and asked: “What would youdo if you were to renovate this area?”


Zhang Siyi quicklyevaluated the surroundings. The night market occupied one side of the streetwhile on the other side, the wall of the ancient city stood. However, becauseof the street vendors, refuse was strewn all over the place which polluted theancient structure.


He thoughtfor a while then answered: “In order to maintain both the night market andancient structures, start by cleaning up the city wall and either place a fenceor greenery around it. Then, convert these residential buildings into a commercialdistrict which would also alleviate the noise pollution of the residentialarea."


Gu Yunodded and said: “Yes, but for preservation, you can also extend the citywall and build a commercial building disguised as an ancient wall on theoriginal open space and then move the vendors to the interior space. Between theresidential building and night markets, establish a green belt to help separatethe zones.”


Zhang Siyiwas surprised at how different his approach was. The method of renovation canbe very diverse so there was more than one solution to consider to solve aproblem.


Gu Yuseriously said: “Instilled thought is a common problem for educators. Indeed,Teacher Cui is a very knowledgeable about ancient architecture but you mustremember that you are an independent architect. Although you are stilllearning, you must not be led around by a noose and instead, you must have yourown perspective. If you just listen, then you will lose your ability to think independently.Since people are lazy, if someone tells you how to do it, then you won\'t thinkabout it again."


Zhang Siyi was thoughtful. It was true that Gu Yu lead his business trip differently than Professor Cui. When Zhang Siyi went to Z-City with him, Gu Yu mainly kept to himself and occasionally instructed Zhang Siyi to take photos. Gu Yu rarely expressed his opinions and views. If Zhang Siyi hadn\'t paid close attention and thought about what Gu Yu was doing at every stop, maybe he would also just be a puppet.


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T/N: Zhuge Liang: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zhuge_Liang


Three Visitsto the Cottage:


Although not named, I believe the author is using the Hanzhong Temple as reference:


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