Assistant Architect - Chapter 95

[Updated at: 2021-01-11 20:50:14]
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Assistant Architect by Xi He Qing Ling

Chapter 95: Old Chiang


Feeling rathergiddy from the wine, the five of them were relaxing haphazardly on the large couchafter the meal. Sitting next to each other close and laughing, He Xueying andGu Yao were watching a variety show on the phone. Although there was frictionbetween them in the beginning, now they acted like best friends. No one wouldhave guessed that they met for the first time earlier that day.

He Chengtianspoke with Old Chiang. He was curious about his experiences and reasoning foropening the restaurant.

Sincehearing that Gu Yu and Old Chiang were dorm-mates, Zhang Siyi also wanted tohear more from Old Chiang. When Zhang Siyi learned that Old Chiang and Gu Yuwere the same in that they both were the provincial college entrance examinationchampions, his eyes bulged and his jaw dropped in shock. Having the constructionindustry loose such a valuable talent made Zhang Siyi feel regretful and felt disappointedthat he was hiding in the corner of this uninviting city and was no longer inthe construction industry.

Explaining thehistory of the restaurant, Old Chiang spoke: "It may be from those days as achild growing up with martial art movies and novels. Like being part of asecret society, what child didn\'t want to open a tea house for the masters and heroes?"

Laughing, HeChengtian nodded and agreed. The struggling hero was always the most fascinating.But, as he grew up and matured, those ridiculous ideas slowly disappeared andinstead pursued fame and fortune.

HeChengtian believed that without money, one could not achieve their dream. He wouldalways ridicule those people with dreams by saying one could not achieveanything without money. With money, a person can be the top dog and could handleany matter and do what they wanted.

One may thinkthat they have reached the desired status that money can bring, however therewill always be people with more money. Moving forward in perpetual motion, HeChengtian didn\'t know where the end was.

By the reinforcedideals of Zhang Siyi, Gu Yu and Old Chiang, at this time, He Chengtian finallybecame confused. He couldn’t help asking Old Chiang: “If you don’t makemoney by opening this restaurant, where does your main income come from?"

Unlike GuYu, Old Chiang was more modest and leisurely explained. He and Gu Yu graduated withan architectural license the same year. After the exam, Gu Yu went further inthe industry to become a director at Borderless while Old Chiang wanted to stepback from the industry and opened this restaurant.

In the earlieryears of the domestic construction industry, in order to get the qualificationsfor a project, an unlicensed person could borrow a license from an architect fora fee. Even if an architect does not have active building projects, one could earntens of millions from just the fees alone. However, in recent years, there weretwo forces that have led to the decline of borrowed licenses. One, because of theincreased number of graduates and licensed architects active in the field. Two,because industry standards have changed and many have banned the use ofbarrowed licenses.

Zhang Siyihad heard of borrowing licenses before and immediately asked: “How much canyou earn from the fees now?"

Old Chiang lookedat Zhang Siyi with interest. He heard Gu Yu\'s intimate tone when introducingZhang Siyi as his "little apprentice" in the company. During dinner, he saw GuYu watching Zhang Siyi from time to time and as the evening progressed, he feltGu Yu\'s behavior was unusual. When has the arrogant Old Four ever been soconcerned about a person?

Old Chiangthought to himself: Since Zhang Siyi isGu Yu\'s apprentice and because I was his classmate, then doesn\'t that make meZhang Siyi\'s uncle? Ha-ha!

Amused byhis own thoughts, Old Chiang said to Zhang Siyi: "It\'s not as good as it usedto be. The average is between seventy to eighty thousand a year. For the timebeing, I rely on this income only." Old Chiang waved his hand to dissuade himand said: "But don\'t use my lazy methods as your role model. Everyday, I justsleep and eat and as time passes day after day there is no future. Make sureyou follow your director. He is more promising then I.

Zhang Siyi:“…”

Nearby, GuYu was listening while sipping his wine and said: "So you admit to your lazybusiness. I wish the restaurant had closed earlier so you could come out and getdown to business." Angry, Old Chiang picked up a peanut and threw it at Gu Yu. Ashe put up his hand to catch it, Gu Yu smiled and said: "But with your cookingskills, to be an architect is also a real pity."

Listeningto Gu Yu speak, Zhang Siyi picked up on some of the nuances in his speech and secretlythought: He admires Old Chiang\'s freedom,but regrets his talents are wasted.

Since hewasn\'t on the same wave-length as them, He Chengtian remained confused andasked: "Is seventy to eighty thousand a year enough income to run the restaurant?”"

Whileeating peanuts, Old Chiang continued to peel them and toss the shells at Gu Yu:“Not always."

He Chengtianwas surprised: “Did Gu Yu invest in this restaurant?”

Old Chiang grumbled:"Even with good interest, how can this cheapskate invest in me?"

Hearing OldChiang harsh words towards Gu Yu put He Chengtian in a good mood. In spite of GuYu, He Chengtian took out his business card and offered an olive branch: "Yourrestaurant is so good it would be a shame for it to close. If you havedifficulties in the future, you can find me and I will make an investment."

Old Chiangput down his peanuts and hurriedly accepted the business card: "Wow, Old Four.You are a high school classmate of this big boss!?"

Maintaininghis original posture holding a glass of wine, Gu Yu scoffed: "Yes. He is thelocal tyrant. Quickly, hold his thigh."

HeChengtian: “……”

ZhangSiyi\'s cheeks were red from the wine and curiously asked: "Why is Gu Yu called \'OldFour\'?" Zhang Siyi always felt that his own nickname \'Auntie Four\' strangely matched.Moreover, since Gu Yu also knows the nickname that his colleagues gave him,will if feel weird to hear the reason? Zhang Siyi discretely turned to look atGu Yu and found that Gu Yu was already watching him. Scared, he quickly turnedaway to avoid eye contact.

Chuckling,Old Chiang smiled at him: "There were four people in our dormitory room. Sincehe was one year younger, all of us called him Old Four."

Zhang Siyiwondered: "He is a younger than you?”"

“Well,according to the Gregorian calendar it is a small year.” This time HeChengtian answered. He looked at Gu Yu and said: "But I remember your birthdayis in January, right? According to the lunar calendar, it is the same."

Gu Yuraised his eyebrows in surprise and looked at him: “You must have been payingclose attention to me all those years ago if you remembered my birthday."

He Chengtian:"……" Shit! Every year you got more birthday love letters and gifts than me.How can I not know?

HeChengtian didn’t want to talk to Gu Yu, so he continued to talk with Old Chiangabout life. Under the influence of the very relaxed atmosphere, He Chengtianasked about his emotional life: "If you are here alone every day without makingmoney, aren\'t you worried about marriage?"

Taking his timeto respond, Old Chiang replied: “People who like my way of life willnaturally be attracted to my values and even if my three meals a day are light,they will choose to be with me. Whatwould it mean to be together if we only married for financial reasons and didn\'thold the same views? Yes, there are exceptions in the world, but I think feelingsare more important."

As a“secular” person, He Chengtian listened to this speech and silentlyburst into tears in his heart.

Relaxinguntil nine in the evening, Gu Yu proposed to leave. Since the atmosphere was ascomfortable and cozy as one\'s own home, everyone was reluctant to get up to leave.

Gu Yupulled out a stack of money to pay, but even though Old Chiang called Gu Yu a cheapskate,he unexpectedly refused: "Forget about it."

Gu Yu hesitatedfor a few minutes but finally relented: "Sooner or later, you will have toclose."

Old Chiang:“…..”

Gettingready to depart, they put on their coats, scarves and hats and said goodbye. Staggeringtogether out the door, the unanticipated chilly wind was an obvious contrast tothe warm and welcomed interior.

A hundredmeters away, Zhang Siyi turned his head to glanced back at the entrance. As ifthe time spent in the restaurant was only a dream, the sign and two lanternsthat welcomed them previously, were completely hidden in darkness. The satiatedfeeling in his stomach and the warmth he felt from the wine reminded Zhang Siyithat the evening wasn\'t just a mirage.

Walking backpassed the old buildings and residential area, the five of them returned to theworld. Afterwards, He Chengtian also had some thoughts. Shit, it was supposed to be Gu Yu treat, but in the end, Gu Yu spentnothing and he dug himself a huge investment pit! How is it possible!?

In theevening, Zhang Siyi took a shower and lay in bed and reflected on what happenedduring the day. Feeling a little uncomfortable about the day\'s \'date\', he privatelysent He Xueying a message of apology on WeChat. He also thanked her andpromised to take her out for dinner alone.

He Xueyingquickly replied: "You are welcome. It had been so long since we saw each otherand I had fun meeting new friends. I am very happy."

Seeminglylike an afterthought, she added: "I exchanged information with Gu Yao and invitedher over next week. Do you want to come too?"

Thinking ofher enthusiastic attitude when inviting him to practice driving, Zhang Siyi washesitant: "I\'m busy next week. Maybe some other time." After chatting with herfor a few more minutes he hung up and threw his phone to opposite side of hisbed then raised his hands to cover his face.

Aftertoday, Zhang Siyi discovered a terrible fact. His attempt to divert his attentionaway from same sex pairings by looking for a girlfriend by normal means, completelyfailed! He Xueying could never be in his heart. The instant he saw Gu Yudressed in his jacket, Zhang Siyi was only focused on him. His eyes feasted onGU Yu\'s handsome appearance. He indulged in the essence of Gu Yu\'s. Theyearning he felt from the warmth of Gu Yu\'s touch……

He neverthought he would get in so deep that he would feel like he could never comeback.

Sighing,Zhang Siyi heard the buzzing of the phone\'s vibration and sat up to reach forhis phone. He saw the new message —-

Gu Yu: “Are you free tomorrow? Let\'s go practice driving."