Chapter 53 – My girl, Su Yi
After he had hung up, Su Yi asked, “What’s it?”
“Gathering,” Chu Ying said. “The people you’ve met before.”
Su Yi hurriedly stood up. “Then I need to go put on my make-up.”
Chu Ying caught her waist. “What’s there to put on?”
“I’m meeting your friends, I have to dress up properly.” As if suddenly recalling something, she asked, “Last time when I met you guys at the restaurant, did I have make-up on?”
Chu Ying said lightly, “Yeah.”
She had makeup on and had been wearing super-short shorts as well as a tight-fitting short white T. She had been really eye-catching, just like one of those lady thugs who could get a street full of people to answer her call with just a wave of her hand.
“That’s good.” She let out a sigh of relief.
“Don’t.” Chu Ying stopped her. “You look good like this.”
Su Yi shook her head. If she had known that she would run into Yang Ruolin today, she wouldn’t have taken off her makeup. Even thinking about it now, she regretted it!
Sitting on the sofa to the side, she randomly put on some faint makeup and put her hair down before asking the guy still reading the documents, “Do I look pretty?”
Chu Ying said, “Yes.”
Su Yi said, “You didn’t even look at me!”
Chu Ying held back his laughter and tilted his head, carefully examining her for a few minutes. “Very pretty.”
Su Yi was thus satisfied and kept everything away. She’d say it’s make-up, but she really only darkened her eyebrows and put on her lipstick. She’s fair to start with though, so she looked like she’d done a full make-up.
The place they’d settled on was a little out of the way, a farmhouse. It would take more than an hour to get there from here, so before the staff got off the two left the office.
Also, thanks to the few employees who had just left, rumours of what had happened not so long ago were already making rounds in the entire office.
Chu Ying realised that today, the number of employees that came up to greet him was a lot more than usual. The female staff had always been more, but today even the males were very enthusiastic. Every one of them could find a way to come and show their face in front of him from all over the building.
Thinking about that, yet another male employee came up.
“Hello, Director Chu.”
Though he was greeting him, his gaze kept wandering to the Su Yi beside him.
Su Yi had her head down, looking at Chen Yang’s message, and didn’t notice the person in front.
Chu Ying recognised the worker in front of him. He side-eyed the other and said calmly, “You’re quite at leisure? Draw up two more corporate plans, submit them tomorrow.”
The guy paused. “Ah—”
“My patience is limited. You’ve spoken back twice – things won’t happen more than three times, treasure this opportunity.”
After saying this, Chu Ying encircled the person beside him and left the company in big strides.
On the way there, Su Yi napped. She had hurried back to Beijing immediately after she was done filming. Because she was too excited she didn’t sleep much on the plane, but now that she was next to the guy all the fatigue was catching up with her.
At the red light, Chu Ying reached out to push her little head up. Finding it insufficient, he took off her seatbelt and adjusted her chair into a lying-down position.
He was done helping her re-buckle the seatbelt when the woman woke a little blearily. Her eyes were all watery as she ran her gaze around, before leaning forward a little to kiss the guy’s cheek then laid back down.
When they reached, there were already quite a few cars outside the family farm.
Feeling the car stop, Su Yi rubbed her eyes. “Reached?”
“Yeah.” Chu Ying reached over to take the bag she had set aside. “If you’re tired we’ll go back earlier later.”
“Not tired.” Su Yi sat up, stretching. “You can go talk about your past together, there’s no need to worry about me.”
In the farmhouse, a few big guys were sitting in a row fishing. It was already autumn, but the few were wearing very little.
One of them tsked and said, “Ay, the fishes here aren’t fat at all – just looking at it it’s easy to tell that it won’t taste as good as that time.”
“How can farmed fish compare with wild fishes?”
“I remember that Captain Ying’s was the biggest.”
“What was the biggest?”
A guy’s cold voice sounded from behind them.
Everyone looked back in unison. They saw their Captain Ying in a suit, his expression as coldly handsome as usual, only… there was a furry white sling bag on his shoulder.
This sling bag wasn’t even as big as their fists.
To Captain Ying’s side was a woman. Her soft hair smoothly sat on her shoulder, and she was wearing a simple undershirt with a small café-brown jacket over it; the look was completed with a pair of fitted jeans.
Her immune system was too horrible. Su Yi dare not get naughty, covering herself up thoroughly every day.
She lifted the corner of her lips and greeted them. “Hi everyone, we meet again.”
One guy stood up, rubbed harshly at his pants before extending his hand for a handshake, clearly having recognised her. “Hello, hello, I found you familiar last time, you really are the one from the TV… You’re really too pretty in person, girl.”
The others stood up too, everyone looking on in anticipation as if they’re participating in an idol handshake event.
“She’s your sister-in-law.”
One sentence and everyone’s passion was at once blown out. There wasn’t even a wisp of smoke left.
Su Yi was just about to extend a hand when the guy in front immediately retrieved his hand, laughing ‘hei-hei’ (in this context, the sound of a somewhat sheepish laugh) before he said, “Hello, sister-in-law!”
The few were very loud, using the volume they used to speak during training before. It woke Su Yi up at once …
She tried her best to push down the little joy bubbling up in her, forcing herself to appear calm. “You’re all fishing?”
Chu Ying said, “You want to try?”
“Yeah.” Su Yi looked around a little curiously. “I’ve never fished before.”
Chu Ying at once had someone find her a fishing rod.
The little pond in the Nongjiale was not like the rivers outside. The tiny pond was filled with fish, just for the enjoyment of the customers. Su Yi caught one without having to wait too long. It was fat and big and still flopping about on the ground.
Chu Ying was just about to go and help her remove the fish from the hook when he heard a familiar voice.
Su Yi looked towards the source of the sound. Not too far away, there stood a guy dressed simply. He was tall and huge, with one arm wrapped in white cloth and dangling loosely in front of his chest.
Chu Ying got up and said, “Captain Ming.”
Su Yi immediately put down the fishing rod, standing up too. “Hello.”
The guy called Captain Ming first nodded, then, upon seeing Su Yi, his brows furrowed. After a long time, he said, “Hello, you are—”
Chu Ying said simply, “My girl, Su Yi.”
Captain Ming looked surprised. “You’re really fast, I was afraid earlier that you’d not be able to get a wife.”
He looked over at the woman in front again. She looked good and had a good figure. “It’s quite good. I was the team leader when Chu Ying had just enlisted, Zhou Ming – you can call me Ming-ge, or you can call me Captain Ming like they do.”
Su Yi said politely, “I’ll call you Captain Ming like him.”
Zhou Ming smiled. “Sure.”
Chu Ying glanced at Zhou Ming’s hand but looked away very soon.
“Bosses!” A waiter came from where the kitchens were, and said, “Have you caught any fish, if you’ve got some we’ll go work on them.”
“We’re done.” A guy beside them carried a pail in one hand and Su Yi’s fish in the other, saying while he walked, “This one, this is the biggest one, do a good job with it! Our sister-in-law caught it!”
More than ten guys sat around a huge wooden table. The table was very large, and everyone was very loud.
“Captain Ming, I didn’t expect that you would retire so soon!”
“This is soon?” Zhou Ming was amused. “I’m over thirty, with sons and daughters – isn’t it normal for me to retire?”
“That’s true, your hand, it’s all right?”
“Nothing much.” Zhou Ming said so easily, “It’s a small wound.”
The guy beside said with shock, “Nonsense, what sort of small wound could cause you to retire immediately?”
That guy had just finished speaking when he was swatted over the head.
Zhou Ming laughed while he hit the other. “I said that I didn’t retire because of this, I’m back to stay with my wife and my children.”
That guy rubbed his head, saying smilingly, “I thought you were like Captain Ying.”
Su Yi’s eyelid ticked.
She hadn’t the time to think it through when she heard Zhou Ming ask, head turned around, “Ying-zi, are you better?”
Chu Ying looked like nothing mattered to him. “It’s long since it stopped being a problem.”
“So medicine nowadays really is good.” Zhou Ming continued. “If it were when I was still young, I’d have lost my life. You really got lucky.”
Su Yi’s heart sank as she tilted her head and stared at the person beside her.
What injury? Where was it? When did he get it? Why had she never seen it?
Noticing her emotional state, Chu Ying picked up the chopsticks and said calmly, “Yeah.”
Getting that the other didn’t want to continue down this line of conversation, Zhou Ming immediately smiled and said, “That time I went back, I ate here too. I didn’t expect that it would still be open. The food here’s pretty tasty, eat more guys.”
Very quickly, the food was ready. Su Yi’s fish, the biggest, was steamed, covered in a bunch of parsley leaves. Looking at it, she didn’t feel hungry at all.
Alongside the fish came a few bottles of Erguotou.
[T/L: Er guo tou, literally second pot head, or second distillation, a type of Chinese baijiu (white liquor)]
The guy sitting near the door took the alcohol and said with a smile, “Captain Ming, you wouldn’t know, it’s not the first time we’ve met Ying-sao*. Ying-sao’s ability to drink, that’s an A.” He gave him a big thumbs up.
[* So, you know earlier I’ve been putting in ‘sister-in-law’? Yeah, it’s read as ‘sao zi’, with the ‘zi’ much like the one you see in nick-names when they call Chu Ying Ying-zi or the other guy Hui-zi. The ‘sao’ refers to the sister in law. When you append it to someone’s name (in this case, ‘Ying’ from Chu Ying), it’s basically saying sister-in-law from that person, usually a brother or a sworn brother (or just a close guy friend). It’s typically more common in the northern part of China (so the colder Shenyang, Beijing etcetera), and to them, it is very friendly etcetera – it’s how they show affection too – and I guess in recent times due to the media it’s starting to gain some traction among the southerners, but it can be considered a bit crass still, and (at least among the people I’ve interacted with) you do address people more often by their names if they’re in your generation. Unless they’re more senior, in which case the titles vary based on a whole bunch of things I shall not bore you with. Just thought you might like to know ^-^ ]
Su Yi put on a smile and was just about to say something when the guy beside her spoke up first.
“This liquor is too strong, she’s not drinking.”
“I can,” Su Yi hurriedly said. “I’m pretty good. Since I’m eating with you guys, of course, I’ll be drinking some too.”
After speaking she pushed her cup forward. “Help me pour some, thanks.”
The guy was holding that bottle of Erguotou, looking very torn. He couldn’t pour it, but he couldn’t not pour it either.
In the end, Zhou Ming spoke. “Since Xiao Yi has spoken up, give her some, though not too much – this alcohol’s really strong.”
After some was poured into each glass, everyone got up and clinked it together. Su Yi finished doing so and drank it in one gulp, faster than the guys around her.
Zhou Ming praised her with a smile. “No wonder Ying-zi likes you, you’re unrestrained.”
Su Yi smiled, getting ready to get up and pour herself another cup when she was stopped by the person beside her.
Su Yi didn’t look at him, still wanting to take the Erguotou not too far away. “Just a little, it’s not going to be much trouble.”
Chu Ying’s frown was deep as he blocked her hand and, without second words, took the cup from her, exchanging it for a clean cup and filling it with plain water.
Su Yi sat there steadily, not saying anything more. She was feeling rather antsy, but she had no idea what for. The moment she heard that Chu Ying had almost died, half her soul had vanished.
Her expression right now must be very ugly.
Sitting across them, Zhou Ming clearly witnessed their interactions just then. And the answer became clearer in his heart. Suddenly, he whacked his thigh, attracting everyone’s gaze.
“Xiao Yi,” he asked, “you are from Ding County, right?”
Su Yi’s hands stilled, then she nodded and smiled. “Yeah.”
“Then I’m right.” Zhou Ming smiled too. “I was just thinking about why I find you so familiar.”
Chu Ying looked between them a few times, a little confused.
Seeing him like this, Zhou Ming asked, “Ying-zi, you can’t have forgotten?”
“The landslide at Ding County then, when we went to do search and rescue, wasn’t Xiao Yi in there?!”
When bringing up their past heroics, Zhou Ming got happier as he spoke. “She was still a little girl then, and you were only twenty-two or twenty-three? It’s normal that you cannot recall anything.
Everyone looked towards them in unison.
Su Yi and Chu Ying, however, remained silent, not saying anything.
“Oh, it’s a hero saving the beauty and our sister-in-law thus marrying herself to him as a repayment?” The guy beside him laughed. “How romantic!”
The person beside him bumped him and said softly, “What’s so romantic about it? Can’t you tell that Captain Ying doesn’t remember anything?”
“Then Captain Ming, why do you still remember?”
“The impression was too deep,” Zhou Ming said. “At that time, how could Xiao Yi have been this tall? She was tiny then, and Ying-zi had carried her on his shoulder. On the way back, Xiao Yi kept asking for his name, but he refused to speak at all, so she asked the whole way … She was the person who left the deepest impression on me in that rescue mission. Only grown up to be a lot prettier now, so I didn’t recognise her for a while now.”
happy new year ~ and this is edited by larkspur (: