Assistant Architect - Chapter 73

[Updated at: 2021-01-11 20:50:06]
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Assistant Architect by Xi He Qing Ling

Chapter 73: Red Envelope


The disdain in Gu Yu\'s eyes surprised Zhang Siyi. He felt irritated and wishedhe could grow cat claws and scratch Gu Yu\'s face! Gu Yu also raised his chinand gave his sister attitude: "How can you sit here idle when we have a guest?Go help set the table."

Gu Yao mumbled: "How am I idle? I\'m with your \'little apprentice\'chatting!" She felt upset because their conversation was interrupted. Shequickly gave Zhang Siyi \'a-look\' and he, looking at Gu Yao, immediately graspedthe situation; yes… talk more later.

From the kitchen, a very appetizing aroma waftedinto the living room. Through a frosted glass door, he saw the busy backs of GuYu\'s parents in the kitchen. Like a rabbit, Gu Yao quickly jumped in, chattedlively with them and energetically started working.

This is a very happy and affectionate family fullof laughter.

Although their house isn\'t luxurious, they chooseto stay in this old apartment despite the fact that they have the money to moveto a better living environment.

Zhang Siyi remembered, at his Grandfather\'s houseas a child, there was a wooden TV cabinet, bookshelf and storage platform inthe living room. He knew that it was hand-built by carpenters who painstakinglysawed, nailed, sanded, and varnished the wood. In order to maintain the wood,the furniture needed to be wiped down with wood oil once a year. Over time, thefurnishing acquired a soft, glossy finish, as if it absorbed the spirit of thefamily living in the environment and then, itself becoming a living thing witha soul. As the years pass, it too will grow old and become obsolete.

Gu Yu\'s home is like a piece of lustrous oldfurniture properly placed in its true environment. There are architecturalrelated objects visible all around the room in a seemingly haphazard manor;triangles, T-square, atlas, piles of books, models… all are completelyintegrated into the room and integrated into the family.

Zhang Siyi looked at all this and couldn’t helpbut sigh. It turned out that this is the type of house Gu Yu grew up in. As heimagined, these older architects never touted themselves with fashion and modernitybut were mostly stereotype-nostalgic.

Just like the “inheritance” that Gusenior mentioned, it needs to be passed down, not just objects, furniture, andthe like, but also family, and spirit.

Growing up in such an environment, it isn\'tsurprising that Gu Yu will want to become an architect. Even in Gu Yu\'s villa,Zhang Siyi could feel the warmth and tranquility of the environment. It turnsout that the origin of this feeling came from here.

Not more than a minute passed when Gu Yu\'s wordsbroke Zhang Siyi reverie: "Your salary isn\'t low and I remember sending you aquarter bonus in January, so why don\'t you have money?"

In front of his family, Zhang Siyi kept up theillusion of being self-reliant, but when Gu Yu asked him about it, he had anexcuse to vent some bitter feelings: "Half of my income goes towards rent andthe other half I originally saved, but with the New Year, the remaining halfwent to family members\' red envelopes. Now it\'s completely gone!"

In order to try an elicit sympathy, Zhang Siyideliberately sounded pathetic in hopes that Gu Yu would give him a pay raise.Instead, Gu Yu only asked calmly: "How many total red envelopes did you give toyour extended family?"

Calculating in his mind, Zhang Siyi added themup: Grandmother was 1600 and six cousins at 500 each so 4600. He rounded up andtold Gu Yu 5000. Even though he felt all the red envelopes for his cousins wascoerced, Zhang Siyi felt a sense of pride at being able to show his family hissuccessful career.

Gu Yu listened then asked: “How much is yourrent?”

Zhang Siyi: “4,100 per month."

After listening to him, Gu Yu quickly assessedhis current financial situation: "After taxes, your monthly salary is 7,000.With meal rebates, the Halloween and love-my-job bonuses you have an additionalincome. Plus 3000 for the annual event award, but ok that hasn\'t been issuedyet, so we can disregard it. However, I saw you earn no less than six other redenvelops at the annual meeting. Figuring in the project bonus, your salary forthe last six months would be about 66000. If we deduct rent at 24000 and 5000worth of red envelops there is still about 30000 left."

Gu Yu looked at him incredulously: “Onaverage, you spend six thousand per month on pure living expenses?”

Zhang Siyi was surprised: “What!? How canthere be so much!?”

"Then you count it yourself and see if I havemiscalculated.” Gu Yu said, then kindly took out a calculator from underthe coffee table and threw it to him."

Zhang Siyi took the calculator and worked throughthe numbers again. As he verified Gu Yu\'s account, cold swear formed on hishead. It really was six-thousand a month! Then why does he never have enoughmoney? Where does it all go?

Remembering, Zhang Siyi suddenly said: “Ispent over 10000 on winter clothes in December."

Gu Yu looked him up and down and said, “Ifigured this is where you have spent your money. More than 10000 for someclothes, ok, but what about the rest?"

Zhang Siyi: “……”

For the life of him, Zhang Siyi could notremember having any additional special expenses. Maybe a dinner party? Butgoing a few times wouldn\'t add up to all of it, does it? Jesus Christ, wherethe hell did his money go?

Gu Yu smiled and mocked him: “I am confused.With such a strong sense of self-reliance, it turned out you are a financialidiot. At the rate you are going you will earn more and die poor.

Zhang Siyi: “…” How can you say thatabout me!

Gu Yu glanced at him and asked seriously: “Ifyou don\'t have money, why don\'t you let your parents help?"

Zhang Siyi mourned his loss: “I had anagreement with my Father. When I started working, I wouldn\'t spend family money."

Gu Yu nodded and expressed approval, but hewondered: “Since you are almost out of money, why do you continue to giveso many red envelopes to your cousins?”

Zhang Siyi: “I only planned to give one tomy cousin, but my Mother said I had to treat all my younger cousins fairly, soI gave it to them all.”

Gu Yu: “Your mother doesn’t know that you arerunning out of money?”

Zhang Siyi: “Hmm …”

Gu Yu smirked: “To save your pride you haveto suffer."

Zhang Siyi: "……" Gu Yu, this big bastard! Notonly did he not praise him or comfort him or sympathize with him, he took out adagger and stabbed him over and over again!

After a moment of silence, Gu Yu sighed softlythan took out a red envelope from his pocket……

Wide eyed, Zhang Siyi stared at the actions of GuYu and knowingly asked: "What is that?"

Gu Yu did not answer and did not immediately givehim the red envelope. Instead, he pulled out his wallet from his pocket andopened it. Zhang Siyi saw the bulging wallet, thick with cash inside. ZhangSiyi eyes nearly popped out of his head. Gu Yu counted 10 bills from the insideand stuffed them into the red envelope. He slowly moistened the envelope withhis mouth than folded it. Watching Gu Yu\'s actions, Zhang Siyi heart is in histhroat. Is Gu Yu giving him a red envelope? What should he do? Should he acceptit? He should probably refuse… but he really wants it!

Instead of passing along the envelope, Gu Yuextended his hand to Zhang Siyi: "Give me your phone."

Zhang Siyi: “……” What do you need myphone for?

Although puzzled, Zhang Siyi\'s vision is now fullof the red envelope so he quietly unlocked the phone and handed it over.

Gu Yu downloaded a bookkeeping app for himsaying: “Every time you spend money, remember to make a record here. Afterthree months, you will know where your money is going.”

Schooled, Zhang Siyi nodded again and again:“Mmm-Hmm.”

Gu Yu placed the red envelope together with hismobile phone: “Here, take it.”

Blushing, Zhang Siyi is slightly embarrassed. Hewants to refuse but also welcomed it: “How can you give me a red envelope?”

Gu Yu smiled and looked at him: “You havecome to visit and celebrate New Year\'s with me. How can I not give you a redenvelope?"

Zhang Siyi: “……” Why does he make itsound like I deliberately came over for a red envelope?

Gu Yu patted his back gently and said, “Allright, take it. Don’t say that Boss doesn’t love you in the future.”

Zhang Siyi: “………” (=////=)

Zhang Siyi pinched the red envelope to feel itsthickness and he thought it\'s not less than two thousand dollars inside.Knowing he lacks funds, Gu Yu put in an additional thousand.

Even though Gu Yu actions and words made ZhangSiyi feel like he was being molested, he gave up his integrity and accepted theenvelope. After all, he was facing his own economic crisis.

Then, Gu Yu showed him how to use the bookkeepingapp. On the side, he watched Zhang Siyi enter the data. Zhang Siyi turned overthe phone and entered: “-15871.00”

Gu Yu was surprised: “What is this? Youstill owe someone else money?”

Ashamed, Zhang Siyi shyly said: "I, I…. I use acredit card."

Speechless, Gu Yu stared at him in disbelief. Itseemed to Zhang Siyi that Gu Yu wanted at this moment, to beat him to death.

The meal was almost ready. Gu Yao set the tableand took the cooked food from the kitchen and placed it on the table. She wasgoing to call to eat, but she stopped herself from saying anything. She saw herbrother and Zhang Siyi sitting close on the sofa with their heads together. Shesaw them whispering from time to time and heard her brother\'s laughter fromtime to time. She is trying to understand what she is watching.

Mybrother\'s hand is on his knee and the other hand is loosely looped behind ZhangSiyi waist. It was a very intimate gesture that was neither appropriate for aBoss to a subordinate, nor something one would do to a friend. Her brotherlooked at Zhang Siyi with a kind of indescribable tenderness, but Gu Yao hasseen it! Before, when her brother was watching his mobile phone, his face wouldreveal the same expression.

Her heart-rate sped up and Gu Yao felt like there was something wrong, but couldn\'t tell what it was……… Not wanting to bother them, she put down the cup lightly and returned to the kitchen silently.

The kitchen is also very quiet. With cooperation,her father and mother have a tactical understanding on how to prepare the lastbowl of orange sweet soup for lunch.

They never talk because Mom does not speak, butas long as they are together, a warm, loving atmosphere will appear aroundthem.

Yes. Although slightly different from her parents, Gu Yao feels the same sweetness emanating from the pair sitting in the living room.