Shen Chuchu still had not figured out the situation as she sat in Han Xingyan’s car. She shifted her gaze to Han Xingyan, only to see him start the car without saying anything.
Shen Chuchu thought to herself. Perhaps this man…was also not in a good mood? Did she go out today and forgot to look over the Almanac?* How come she keeps bumping into moody men? The two stayed silent throughout the journey. When it was almost time to reach home, Shen Chuchu’s stomach cried out inconveniently.
*TL-note: Almanac is a book or table listing nautical, astronomical, astrological or other events for the year.
Only then did Han Xingyan slow down the speed of the car and changed the direction of the car.
Shen Chuchu clutched her stomach in embarrassment and was caught off guard that Han Xingyan had changed the direction of the car. She curiously asked, “Why are we not going home?”
Han Xingyan seemed to have calmed down a little and asked, “What do you want to eat?”
Shen Chuchu responded honestly when she heard Han Xingyan’s serious question, “Hotpot.” However, not only did her mouth secrete saliva as she spoke but her stomach also screamed out in an inappropriate manner. Shen Chuchu secretly glanced at Han Xingyan but he did not look at her so she clutched her stomach and sat upright. Han Xingyan’s smile gradually appeared from the shadows when she turned her head.
Ten minutes later, they arrived in front of a hotpot restaurant.
Shen Chuchu debated whether she should be indulgent for the sake of eating hotpot as she looked around the busy hotpot restaurant. However this time she was accompanied by Han Xingyan. She would surely be scolded to death by Chen Xili tomorrow if she happened to be photographed.
To be honest, just based on the chance to taste cow tripe*, she would not hesitate a second if she had been alone. So what if she gets photographed. Can an actress not eat?
*TL-note: Tripe is a type of edible lining from the stomachs of various farm animals. Most tripe is from cattle, pigs and sheep.
At this thought, Shen Chuchu gave Han Xingyan a puzzled look.
Han Xingyan was perplexed as to why Shen Chuchu, who was starving, had no reaction when they arrived at the location. He followed Shen Chuchu’s gaze outside and realised why Shen Chuchu was conflicted so he refastened his seat belt and started the car again.
Shen Chuchu swallowed down her saliva and reluctantly looked at the fading hot pot restaurant.
However, they seemed to have gone in a circle and arrived somewhere.
“This is?” Shen Chuchu curiously asked. It did not look like a place to eat.
Han Xingyan briefly replied, “Backdoor of the hotpot restaurant.”
Shen Chuchu looked at Han Xingyan suspiciously and asked, “How did you know there was a backdoor?”
“I’ve been here before.”
Shen Chuchu followed Han Xingyan from the back door to the box room on the second level of the hot pot restaurant after parking the car. With the menu in hand, Shen Chuchu made a number of orders without reserve. After placing her orders, she turned to face the person on the other side who had been drinking water and had not placed an order for any food and asked, “Mr Han, what do you want to eat? Do you need any help?”
Han Xingyan looked up and glanced at Shen Chuchu then replied, “It’s okay, you can decide.”
Very soon, the dishes arrived. At this time, Shen Chuchu did not care about Han Xingyan’s mood. She was starving after dealing with Dong Ziyuan, who had consumed a large number of her brain cells. She no longer had the energy to deal with Han Xingyan at the moment. She should fill up her belly first.
Han Xingyan did not believe he was hungry at first but as the heat got to him and seeing that Shen Chuchu was having a good time, he also gradually ate a lot.
Han Xingyan could not help but inquire when Shen Chuchu picked up the chopsticks again and picked up a couple of pieces of mutton rolls, “Have you finished shooting your last drama?” He remembered the director telling her not to eat too much the last time he ate with her.
After hearing this, Shen Chuchu paused her chopsticks for a second but quickly moved them again. She put it in her own pot and rinsed them then happily said, “No need, I already started dating so the director allowed me to gain three pounds.”
Han Xingyan’s face immediately darkened. He heavily put down his chopsticks and coldly asked, “You started dating? With whom?”
With a thud, the mutton that Shen Chuchu was going to eat fell onto the table. Her heart shuddered as she raised her head and gazed at the man across from her who was emitting cold air like an air conditioner. She explained, “Don’t misunderstand. It’s in the drama. Naturally, it was arranged by the screenwriter.”
Han Xingyan exhaled a sigh of relief and his face returned to normal after hearing this. Shen Chuchu felt mentally exhausted upon seeing this. How can a man’s temperament change faster than that of a woman’s? They are all the same.
After eating and drinking to her heart’s content, Shen Chuchu remembered what happened previously and asked curiously, “Mr Han, was that person also your blind date? I always seem to see you on a blind date. I wonder how many this is? Have you not found anyone suitable? Your expectations are really high.”
However, she had asked with the intention of extracting gossip. As a result, the more questions she asked, the angrier she became. Even the fragrant enoki mushrooms* now seemed unappetising.
*TL-note: Enoki, also known as velvet shank, is a species of edible mushroom in the family Physalacriaceae. It is well known for its role in Japanese cuisine, which is also known as enokitake.
Han XIngyan looked at her as she fought with the enoki mushrooms and replied, “No, I’ve only been on one. It was the one you saw last time. Today is a classmate from junior high. Plus the reason I went to the restaurant was to look for you.”
Shen Chuchu finally let go of the enoki mushrooms and swallowed them down with her eyes closed. When she opened her eyes again, she heard Han Xingyan’s last words.
“For me? Why?” Shen Chuchu asked in disbelief.
Han Xingyan could not say it was Secretary Wang who spotted Shen Chuchu eating with a man in the restaurant and so informed him. After a moment’s thought, he replied, “To take you home.”
Shen Chuchu was taken aback for a moment by this sentence. The lights in the hot pot restaurant’s box are dim, just like the atmosphere which was slightly ambiguous.
Truthfully, Han Xingyan was perplexed after saying that. He grumbled to himself at the thought of his cousin’s fussing in his ear today about the secret recipe in chasing ladies. Soon after, he suppressed his thoughts and looked at Shen Chuchu’s bewildered expression then looked down at the soup pot on the table and muttered, “Do you want the waiter to add some more soup?”
Shen Chuchu regained her composure, glanced down at the empty soup pot, shook her head, and said, “No need, I’m full already.”
“Yes, it’s getting late now. Let’s go home.”
On the way back, Shen Chuchu felt the atmosphere had become more awkward. The kind of discomfort that was even more uncomfortable than being in front of Dong Ziyuan in the afternoon.
The two of them entered their community in silence. Then silently got on the elevator to their floor.
Shen Chuchu awkwardly said farewell and walked to her home. When she was about to open the door, Han Xingyan said, “Miss Shen, I don’t know what your answer is?”
Answer? Shen Chuchu turned to look at Han Xingyan with a confused look. She thought to herself, did he ask her something?
Han Xingyan took a step forward as he looked at Shen Chuchu’s puzzled expression.
“What…what answer?” Shen Chuchu nervously asked.
Han Xingyan stood in front of Shen Chuchu and said, “Miss Shen, I’ve always been pursuing you. Have you not noticed?”
This was the first time Han Xingyan had ever pursued a girl and had never witnessed anyone else pursuing a girl. So he thought it was normal to have neither a close nor distant relationship after pursuing her for almost half a year. However, after hearing what Zhang Teng said yesterday, he began to reflect. Perhaps his way of pursuing someone was wrong and the other party was not moved? Or rather…the other party did not receive his signals?
Shen Chuchu’s eyes widened as she stared in disbelief at Han Xingyan. When did he start pursuing her? Despite the fact that she has always known that Han Xingyan has a positive view of her when it comes to pursuing, it seems… not so obvious, right?
Can she answer that she really did not know?
Han Xingyan’s face suddenly turned ugly when he saw Shen Chuchu’s expression. It was no surprise that he pursued for half a year and had no response from the other party. He had chosen the incorrect method and was far too subtle. Since he had been too subtle before, it would be better to be more straightforward in the future. Just as Zhang Teng said, he should be more thick-skinned. At this thought, he took another step forward.
Han Xingyan watched as Shen Chuchu stuck closer to the wall behind her. He lowered his eyes and gently asked, “Chuchu, what do you think?”
Shen Chuchu listened to the soft voice and turned to face the extremely handsome face in front of her. Her heart raced and a wave of heat rushed up from her back to her head. She did not know where to place her hands or feet. She bit down her lips lightly with her teeth and tried to open her mouth but could not say anything. She could only feel her heart throbbing in her throat.
Han Xingyan could not help but lean closer to Shen Chuchu’s lips and kissed her when he saw how she looked. After all, this was not the first time so Han Xingyan did not hesitate. He softly rubbed and sucked her lips a few more times then imitated her by lightly biting her lower lip as punishment when he saw that she did not react.
Han Xingyan had hardly done anything yet but Shen Chuchu already sensed her entire body did not feel right. Her body felt like it had been electrocuted all over, she was stiff, and an electric current ran straight from the soles of her feet to the top of her head. Her entire scalp seemed numb as if there were fireworks exploding inside.
Han Xingyan was delighted when he saw Shen Chuchu’s dumb appearance. He stroked her hair and whispered in her ear, “The flavour remains the same.”
Shen Chuchu gave Han Xingyan a blank stare and murmured something robotic and inappropriate, “What is it, hotpot flavour?”