Chapter 4: Shopping
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In the evening, Yu Wan edited “Underworld of Wolves” while video chatting with Jian Yunong, her best friend since childhood but living far away overseas.
“Yu Wan, I’m telling you, if you see any big movie stars that I like when filming starts, you gotta get me some autographs.” Jian Yunong’s voice was muffled through her instant noodles.
Yu Wan rolled her eyes at her. “Hey, I’m there to work, not fangirl. It’ll be embarrassing if I ask for an autograph.”
“Heh, you’re starting to be cheeky, just like me.”
“If you want an autograph, just go find my brother. I’m just a little screenwriter, okay?”
Jian Yunong, “Your brother is so busy all the time, he’ll never get a chance to do something as small as this.”
“Yeah, yeah, screw off.”
Jian Yunong finally finished her noodles and let out a loud burp. Yu Wan glanced at her. She felt as if the smell of sauerkraut was seeping through her screen.
*TL-note: Sauerkraut is a very popular flavor of instant noodles in China.
“This is the last bowl of sauerkraut noodles I brought. Yu Wan, remember to mail me another crate of them.” Jian Yunong groaned.
Yu Wan, “… Why haven’t you died from them yet.”
“Oh yeah, weren’t you talking about a new neighbor last time? How are they, is it a guy or girl, are they friendly, are they rich? It’s super expensive to live in that building of yours.” Jian Yunong’s turned up her nose, clearly as a show of contempt towards the wealthy.
Yu Wan’s fingers paused on her keyboard. Shen Qingzhou’s cold expression flitted across her mind. “Mm, it’s a guy. He’s really hot.”
“Really hot?! How hot? Compared to your brother?” Jian Yunong was hyped.
Yu Wan laughed. “He’s not the same type as my brother. Though, in my opinion, I like my neighbor’s looks more. After all, I’ve been looking at my brother for twenty years. I’ve grown sick of it.”
“If he heard that, he’ll beat you up.”
“He wouldn’t be able to bring himself to do that.”
“Just keep on talking trash about your brother, then.” Jian Yunong tsk’ed as she shook her head. “But Yu Wan, it seems like you really like your neighbor. It’s rare for such a super homebody* like you to approve of someone. Hey, then what about him? Do you guys get along well? Has he given you like a welcome gift or something?”
*The raw says something more like “super otaku girl”, but I refuse to give up my dignity as a translator. The Weiwan-sama business already had me uncomfortable, but it wasn’t that bad since the setting was on the Internet.
“Get along?” Yu Wan’s brows twitched and she muttered, “It’ll be a miracle if I don’t freeze to death…”
Jian Yunong didn’t hear her and kept talking, “So not only is your neighbor really hot, he also has a load of money. Sigh, you got some real good luck right there, you little turd. Tell me as soon as possible when you guys hook up, okay?”
Jian Yunong paused. She wasn’t really being serious, so she wasn’t expecting Yu Wan, who had always lived in the world of literature, to be. “Are you for real?”
Yu Wan brooded, “When I first saw him, I thought he was really handsome in a mysterious way. He’s similar to the male protagonist in my novel.”
Jian Yunong gaped in shock. “Uh, Yu Wan, don’t tell me that it was a cliché like ‘love at first sight’?”
“Love at first sight? Does this count?” Yu Wan thought about it. “If it does, then it is.”
“…” Could you not be so casual about this?
After Yu Wan finished video calling with Jian Yunong, Yu Wan spent many hours on the drama script and held a video call meeting with the other two screenwriters. When she was finally done, Yu Wan’s eyelids couldn’t keep themselves open. She threw her laptop aside, slumped on her bed, and began snoring immediately.
By the time she woke up, it was already bright outside.
Sunlight streamed through the French windows of her bedroom, and Yu Wan sluggishly sat up. She gazed at her laptop and suddenly felt as if there was something that was missing…
After a long pause, her mind shook upon a realization. It seemed that she had forgotten to update “The Last Tick of Time” yesterday. A drop of cold sweat trickled down the side of Yu Wan’s head, and she clumsily grabbed her computer. When she opened her admin page, she found a bunch of comments in the last chapter she updated.
[Where did you go? Why did you stop today?]
[You promised that you would update daily. You’re such a big liar, 5555*]
*TL-note: 5555 is Chinese online slang for crying.
[I kicked over my dinner bowl because of this. Come out, Weiwan, I promise I’ll beat you up!]
[I was so scared when you stopped two days ago, all I’ve been thinking of is today’s update!!!]
[Author-kun, are you alright? Did you get kidnapped? Hah?]
The drums of enraged readers were way too loud. Yesterday night, Yu Wan had completely forgotten about the novel since she was so busy with the script. Yu Wan rested her palm on her chin and thought about how she would deal with this horde of hungry children.
She ran to the living room and found Yu Diandian, who was still sleeping peacefully. She woke up her, “Majesty, pitiful. Make a pitiful expression.”
Yu Diandian woke up with tears of moisture still in its eyes. Yu Wan quickly snapped a photo…
Five minutes later, the readers all saw Weiwan’s post on Weibo*.
*Weibo is basically Chinese Twitter.
The post’s photo was of Weiwan’s beloved pet Yu Diandian, but today’s pic looked “incredibly sad”.
They saw the text: I was busy yesterday and forgot to update. As compensation, I’ll release two today. Attached is a photo of poor Majesty…
With Yu Diandian, the horde finally managed to dissipate. Yu Wan let out a breath of relief, and she started to type furiously on her keyboard.
Since she remembered that she had agreed to make food for Red Bean, she began preparing ingredients in the kitchen right on the clock. However, it wasn’t until she opened her fridge when she realized that she didn’t have enough at all.
It wasn’t a surprise, though. She hadn’t been to the supermarket in a long time, and the snacks at home were pretty much gone. Upon this thought, Yu Wan changed her clothes, picked up her handbag, and walked to the nearby store in the neighborhood.
Along the way, Yu Wan made a phone call to Shen Qingzhou to remind him that she would send food at night that day.
“Hello?” His low tone was bliss to her eardrums…
Yu Wan said, “Mr. Shen, are you at home?”
“No, I’m at the supermarket.”
“Supermarket?” Yu Wan asked in surprise. “The one in our neighborhood?”
“Perfect, I’m headed there right now. There aren’t enough ingredients at home, so I’m going to buy some right now. I was about to tell you that Red Bean would have to eat a bit later today.”
There was a pause on the other end. “Sure.”
“Then please wait for me, I’ll be there in a minute.” When she finished talking, she quickly hung up the phone without waiting for Shen Qingzhou’s response.
Shen Qingzhou stood at the frozen foods section with his brows furrowed. Wait for what?
Yu Wan arrived at the supermarket and took out her phone again to call Shen Qingzhou.
“Mr. Shen, where are you?”
“Do you need anything?”
“Yeah, aren’t we going to buy ingredients together?”
“… When did I ever say that?” Shen Qingzhou’s tone dropped.
Yu Wan scanned left and right for him, noting the hint of unfriendliness in his voice. She asked, “Are you sure you’re not going to see what Red Bean’s eating?”
He paused. “Beverage section.”
“Okay.” Yu Wan hung up her phone with a smile on her face.
She saw Shen Qingzhou from afar. His figure was upright and stately, like someone straight out of a poster.
“Mr. Shen.” Yu Wan walked over and glanced at his shopping cart. Imported spring water, imported milk, imported staple foods… They were all top of the line. The supermarket was stocked especially for the neighborhood’s residents. Though there weren’t a whole lot of customers, it had a balance of everything and a lot of foreign snacks.
Yu Wan looked away. “Is that all you’re going to buy?”
Yu Wan nodded. She couldn’t understand people who didn’t buy any snacks at supermarkets. *
“Where are you buying Red Bean’s food?”
“Wait, I’ll take you there, but do you mind if I buy some of my own stuff first?” Yu Wan glanced at him with a slight turn of her head. Shen Qingzhou’s stare didn’t budge. “Fine.”
Yu Wan smiled and took a few boxes of Yakult and banana milk from the fridge. She stopped at the dairy brand that Shen Qingzhou had picked.
“Is this milk good?”
Shen Qingzhou never had a lot of patience in the first place. If it weren’t for Red Bean, he would never be following someone around, shopping in a supermarket. He grunted with a hint of annoyance.
Yu Wan, “Then I’ll try it.”
The box was larger than she expected and Yu Wan couldn’t hold them all, so she decided to dump some of the boxes into Shen Qingzhou’s cart.
Shen Qingzhou’s gaze stopped for a moment on her indifferent expression and looked as if he was going to say something, but he still silently dragged away his stare.
The two walked in the snacks section. Yu Wan stuffed her cart full of cookies, marshmallow pie, and milk candies. Shen Qingzhou pushed his cart, unable to understand Yu Wan’s actions. He couldn’t fathom how people could eat these junk foods with such a happy face.
“Hey, hey, look.”
“He’s so hot, and even more so up close…”
“Why is he here, does he live nearby?”
“I dare you to go ask for his autograph.”
“Nah, I don’t have the guts… I’ve heard that he doesn’t like to be bothered in private, why don’t you go?”
“I’m just as scared.”
Just as Yu Wan threw a bag of chips in her cart, she turned her head and caught the whispers of two girls. Their glances all brushed against Shen Qingzhou, and Yu Wan looked back at him. She muttered, “Are all hot guys admired like that whenever they go out?”
Just as they were about to leave the section, the two girls finally managed to stumble over.
“Mr, Mr. Shen, could I get an autograph…”
Yu Wan stared at them in surprise. An autograph? Could they not be so extra, you think he’s so handsome that you want an autograph?
Wait… Why did they know his surname?
Yu Wan looked at the two blushing girls and the cold Shen Qingzhou. She felt incredibly confused.
“Sorry, I don’t have a pen.”
“No worries, we brought one.” One of the girls hurriedly took out a piece of paper and a pen and shakily gave them to Shen Qingzhou.
He reached out and took them, then quickly scribbled his signature on the paper and returned it to the girl.
He lifted his chin slightly and walked out of the snacks section. After a few steps, he turned around to Yu Wan. “Push the cart over.”
“Oh.” It took Yu Wan a moment to register his words. As she followed him, she turned back to look at the two girls. They looked so excited over the slip of paper, she wouldn’t be surprised if they didn’t recognize their own parents at that instant.
When their silhouettes faded in the distance, Yu Wan asked with her brows furrowed, “Mr. Shen, who are you?”
Yu Wan knew that her question seemed strange, but it was her own fault for living under a rock. Other than her brother, she knew and paid attention to virtually no celebrities.
Shen Qingzhou didn’t reply and briefly glanced at her. His smoky eyes were unflinching. “Red Bean’s food, hurry.”
Yu Wan pursed his lips. Since he didn’t look like he was about to answer her, she didn’t press the question. She hurried to buy the ingredients with Shen Qingzhou.
When they were done, Shen Qingzhou pushed his cart to the cashier. Since their stuff was mixed together, it would take a while to sort it all out.
Shen Qingzhou interrupted her directly. “I’ll pay for it. It’ll be your salary for the day.”
Then, he gestured to the cashier for the bill. Yu Wan obediently stood aside, thinking, you got the dough, you make the decisions.