The Taming of the Yandere

 

V2 Chapter 20: What It Takes to Please a Man

 

….

The ice cream shop.

Savoring the shop’s air-conditioner, my sweating body slowly cooled down. I suddenly felt so pleasant, so cheerful.

How did people in the past hide from the heat without AC?

The wealthy would go to summer homes in the mountains, since temperature drops with the rise of sea level.

Then, what about lowly villagers? They probably could only furiously wave their palm-leaf fans and gulp down bowls of cheap cold tea. Or they’ll soak themselves in large tubs of water until their skin turned pale and not feel any cooler, because everything, including the water, was uncomfortably hot.

Thank the heavens I was born in the modern age.

As an everyday citizen, I can now sit in a room with technology the wealthy of the past could never imagine, and eat ice cream that they would have never dreamed of.

The girl in front of me saw me slacking off and not focusing. She stopped her pen, and glanced suspiciously at me.

“Lu Fan, has something been on your mind lately?”

“Oh, no. I’ve just been a little annoyed.” I lightly smiled.

After that first time, Mo Shiyu seemed to have grown to enjoy this shop’s ice cream.

Every day after cram school, she’ll ask to come here and study. First, she paid the bill, then I did. It became a routine; she paid one time, I paid one time.

“Are you uncomfortable talking about it?”

It seems that Mo Shiyu still cares about me.

What other issues could I have? The only obstacle in front of me is Jiang Muqing, Jiang Muqing, Jiang Muqing.

Recommending her to play video games was originally to divert her attention away from me, and it did seem to tug at her interest. But after she picked the Thief character that was equally dark and cruel as her, seeing the girl intently stab enemies with a dagger made me uneasy.

If someday Jiang Muqing were to lose sense between reality and virtual gaming and really pick up a dagger to start stabbing people, things could get very ugly.

In the possibility of this situation, I gave up on teaching her computer games, and surrendered my afternoon nap time. Instead, I suggested to go shopping for clothes.

Women always love to go shopping. Men have to make some sacrifices, like keeping at their side for the whole trip and buying every crazy thing they set their mind to. If you say: “It’s great, it fits you perfectly, you look so beautiful in it.”, everything will be fine. Then, you’ll bring out your wallet and pay the bill while acting compliant and willing.

“Buying clothes?”

Jiang Muqing didn’t respond very quickly, but she stopped clacking on the keyboard.

Could the suggestion of shopping for clothes, which should invoke a killer response from all women, be invalid against Jiang Muqing?

“Have you never been shopping at the mall?”

I didn’t quite understand.

“Nope, all of my clothes are bought online.”

The girl’s unwavering pupils proved that she wasn’t lying.

Jiang Muqing’s physique was very standard.

Finding the right size while shopping online probably wasn’t hard for her. What’s more, three years of high school don’t really require more than two sets of uniforms and a couple spare clothes. It wasn’t strange for Jiang Muqing to become used to online shopping.

“Does Fan want to go shopping with little Qing?!”

In the next room, Mom yelled out after hearing our conversation.

She leaped out of bed, and scurried to our room.

“Uh…”

I didn’t know how to explain to Mom.

Normally, when she wanted to go shopping, I would always refuse to go with her with the excuse of devastating amounts of homework. Now that I brought up the issue first, she’s definitely interested.

As for why I always turned down to go shopping with her, there’s a reason for that.

Think about it.

An old woman walks in front, looking left and right to no end in a clothing shop shaped like a maze. And you could only carry bag after bag, never knowing what she’ll buy next.

Women who normally seem like peaceful streams become raging rivers, never knowing to stop or take a break. And men shrink from mountains to hills, the paper bills in their pockets shaved away by the torrent.

When women buy clothes, they have many different standards, such as texture, style, and price. But the most important part was still the unreasonable urge of shopping.

“I will buy it!”

The moment that thought appears in a woman’s mind, the object will definitely be put into and stay inside the shopping cart. All terms and conditions agreed beforehand melt away.

Shopping with a girl will only bring exasperation to the heart, because it’s all a pointless and mindless waste of time.

“Ohh, little Fan has never wanted to go shopping with his mother, why are you mentioning it to little Qing today?”

Mom pinched my face mischievously.

“I haven’t gone out for a long time, I want to bring her along.”

I unhappily slapped away Mom’s hand.

Mom, I want to go on a date, are you really not seeing that? Go back to sleep, don’t be a lightbulb. *

*In China, “being a lightbulb” is the equivalent of the “third wheel”. Urban Dictionary puts it as:  One who deters the socialization of a couple, perhaps when being invited out of pity or through a feeling of duty.

“What a coincidence, your old mother also wants to go shopping. Why don’t we bite the bullet?”

Mom stretched lazily.

I’m not really against her going, since I wasn’t that familiar with the mall’s environment. On the other hand, Mom went there frequently with her friends.

Having Mom to take Jiang Muqing wasn’t a bad idea. At least, it’ll be better than me fumbling around like a headless gnat.

“Then I’ll bite the bullet too, and come along.”

I laughed dryly.

“Qing, do you want to go too?”

Mom reminded Jiang Muqing, who was blanked out the whole time.

“I….”

Jiang Muqing looked at the computer, then at me. She seemed a little reluctant to abandon the game that she just started to get good at.

She didn’t look very interested in shopping, but was rather more attracted to the video game. A hard choice.

“You can play games anytime you want, but there aren’t many chances to buy clothes with Fan and try them on in front of him.”

Mom used me to bait Jiang Muqing.

The shoujo lowered her head to look at her T-shirt and shorts, then looked at me. She seemed to steel her decision, and bit her lip.

“I want to go! I want to buy clothes that Fan likes.”

Eh, to be honest, my goal was simple. I just wanted to take her mind off the game and go out for a stroll; as for whether we were going to buy anything was another matter. But after Mom’s brainwashing words, Jiang Muqing’s mind immediately veered off in a different direction.

“It’s supposed to be buying clothes that you like, not me!”

I glanced at her in exasperation.