Easily Set Aflame Chapter 6 Part3

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We were left on a bit of a cliffhanger last time. They were “a little too close.” And then what? Does anyone act on that?

Chapter 6.3 — Development Period While Staying in Shanghai (3)

This story was translated with the express permission of the author for hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com only. All forms of reproduction, redistribution, or re-posting are not authorized. If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, the copy is unauthorized and has been taken without consent of the translator.

Because he was going to take the teacup from her, he had moved forward slightly, and she, in the process of handing the tea to him, very naturally happened also to be leaning a little closer towards him… The two of them were thus separated by only the width of a teacup, gazing at each other.

She was wearing a round-necked sweats.h.i.+rt, and at such a distance, her delicate collarbone could be cleary seen.

Yi Wenze discreetly lifted his gaze. But whoos.h.!.+ Just this slight change was already enough to cause heat to rush into Jia He's face.

The scent of tobacco, intermixed with the aroma of lemon tea, invaded every inch of her awareness…

After a silence of several seconds, Jia He cleared her throat. "It might be a little hot…"

He took the teacup from her and had a small sip. "It does seem a little hot."

Her eyes were inquiring. "Would you like me to add some cool water?"

"No, it's okay."

Perhaps because they were so close, both their voices were rather light.

He took another sip, his motion very slow. His gaze, though, never left her.

That song finished playing and then automatically cycled back to the beginning, as if the singing of it would never come to an end. Downstairs, someone, she was unsure who, had won the game, and a din had arisen. Somebody seemed to be calling Jia He's name, but she could not really make it out.

Wavering for a long time, she finally faltered, "There might be someone calling me. I'll go downstairs and see."

He was quiet for a while before giving a light smile. "Go ahead."

The result, naturally, was that she fled from there. The rug beneath her feet too soft,  she nearly tripped over herself.

<>This is a copy and was taken from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. Please support the translation by reading it there instead. Thank you.

Once she arrived downstairs, she saw Qiao Qiao looking at her with wide eyes and waggling brows, appearing as if she had something to say. So, Jia He moved a chair over and sat down. With a mahjong tile pinched between her fingers, Qiao Qiao leaned her head to the side and whispered, "Your mobile rang just earlier. I took a look for you. It was Gu Yu."

Jia He's heart thunked in her chest. "You picked it up?"

Qiao Qiao looked sideways at her. "I couldn't be bothered to pick it up. I straight out shut off your phone for you."

Jia He was put in a little panic with that. "You shut it off?"

"You still want to answer his calls?"

"Not at all. People over on the Beijing side said that in these next two days they'll be setting the meeting time. I've been waiting this whole time for their call."

Qiao Qiao shrugged. "Then you turn on your phone. Just be careful that the Big Bad Wolf doesn't scoop you into his mouth and take you away."

Exasperated and amused at the same time, Jia He dug out her mobile phone from her bag and powered it back on. Five or six text messages all rushed in together, overwhelming her eyes. She tapped open each one. Many were just promotional messages from the bank or a shopping centre. Only one was from Gu Yu.

A single straightforward row of words: I'm downstairs of your home.

She stared at her phone, silent for a long while, vacillating over the simple question of whether she should reply or not. Qiao Qiao had already finished her round of drawing a tile and turned to look at her by the time she finally made up her mind, speedily typing off a line of words: I'm at Hongqiao Airport. Going to Beijing for a meeting.

Only ten seconds after she sent it out, he sent back a reply: May the wind be at your back the whole way.

Jia He still remembered, countless times in the past, she had complained, you cannot wish a person "wind at her back" when she is going on a plane, because it is very unlucky. He, though, had always laughed that off, making fun of her for being superst.i.tious.

She sniffled. Her nose seemed a little congested, likely a result of her getting soaked in the rain.

This time, it was Wu Zhilun's turn to look at her. "What's wrong? Did Ze pick on you?"

She had no words to respond to that. Standing, she asked, "Qing, sorry to bother you, but would I be able to trouble you to first bring me to a room that I can sleep in?"

Qing hurriedly left her tiles where they were and, amid the background noise of a bunch of people urging her to come back quickly, led Jia He into a guest room, telling her that though it was not often that people stayed here, the items in the room had all been changed right before they came here and were new and clean, so she could rest a.s.sured and sleep easy. Her words, though, made Jia He feel even more ill at ease, and hastily she explained that she was not that picky. Only after the room door had shut did Jia He breathe out in relief.

The style of décor here was very similar to upstairs, with light-coloured hardwood floors and furniture that was all black.

Spread beside the bed was an identical white area rug.

After a night of upheaval, now could she at last truly relax. Accompanied by the indistinct sounds of boisterous commotion coming from outside the room, she wrapped herself in the blanket and fell asleep. In the middle of the night, she woke from thirst and felt her way out to get some water to drink, discovering that everyone was asleep already. The door of that room upstairs was still half-open, and a faint glow of light seeped from it.

A cup in her hand, she stood downstairs and took sip after sip, returning to her room only after she had drunk all her water.

<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. Translated with the express permission of the author for hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com only

When she awoke the next day, she picked up her mobile phone and took a glance. It was already one o'clock in the afternoon.

Taped to the bedside table was a white note, and after pulling it down and seeing the handwriting scrawled on it, she knew Qiao Qiao was the one who wrote it. I've taken your car to my parents' place to grab my house key. Be back in the evening to pick you up.

The evening? Her head feeling stuffed, Jia He sat up. Her throat hurt so much it felt like a fire had been lit in it. She reached a hand up and touched her forehead. It seemed really hot. Seriously, all the bad things had come together. She got dressed quickly. When she stepped out of the room, she saw that Wu Zhilun and Yi Wenze were sitting by the small bar counter, appearing to be discussing some matters, while outside, a housekeeper was tidying the yard and the sun shone brilliantly.

Hearing the noise, the two men simultaneously turned their eyes and looked at her.

Yi Wenze stubbed out his cigarette, his motions natural. "Sleep well?"

Taking a quick glimpse at Wu Zhilun, who was plainly displaying a knowing, suggestive look, Jia He struggled at length to get some words out from her throat and finally answered, "Quite well."

Wu Zhilun made an exaggerated show of looking at his watch. "They say that women don't sleep well in strange beds, but I guess… what's that saying?" He put on a musing look, though Jia He did not know whether he truly had forgotten or was simply saying this intentionally. "Oh, right, it's 'things vary from person to person.'"

She swore, the image this box office star had held in her mind was now completely crumbled… However, though she had grievances, she still remembered her purpose for coming out of the room. "Where's Qing?"

Getting drenched in rain and then having a fever were in fact not a big deal. She could very well drive herself to get some medication, then go home, throw her comforter over her head, and have a sleep, and everything would be fine. But now Qiao Qiao had taken her car, and this place was also in a villa community outside of the Outer Ring Road. What was even more woeful was that this was her idol's home; she did not want to trouble him too much. Hence, unable to come up with any other plan, she could do nothing except first ask Qing to secretly help her buy some medication.

"She went out with Qiao Qiao." Yi Wenze asked, "Do you have something that you're looking for her for?"

Pondering briefly, Jia He told him, "No, nothing." Her voice was already a little hoa.r.s.e. Afraid that the two might catch clues that something was amiss, she walked to the bar counter, picked up a gla.s.s, and went to get herself some water, thinking all the while that when she went back to her room, she would give Qiao Qiao a call. She should be able to last until the evening, when Qiao Qiao would buy the medication and bring it back for her. Wu Zhilun very judiciously did not tease her any further and resumed with the previous topic. Her back to them, the gla.s.s held between her hands, Jia He felt as if an entire century had pa.s.sed before the gla.s.s was filled.

Right as she was turning around, Yi Wenze addressed her. "Your complexion doesn't look very good. Are you sick?"

She tried hard to force a smile. "No. I'm guessing it's because I slept in too late."

When he was about to ask further, the housekeeper who had been sweeping the yard was already walking back in through the door, and she asked Yi Wenze whether she should prepare some lunch for this young lady. Yi Wenze gave a natural nod of his head, instructing her that it would be fine to make something simple. As Jia He stood beside him, listening to all this, she began to cry silently in anguish, the heavens and the earth seeming to spin dizzily around her. But at such an hour of the day, she had no excuse to decline and could only sit, wooden and dazed, beside the dining table.

The housekeeper's motions were very nimble. From the refrigerator, she pulled out some dumplings and fried them to a bright golden colour.

This was a very Northern style of cooking dumplings, and served with some vinegar, they were set on the gla.s.s dining table. "Mr. Yi said you're a Northerner. You probably like to eat foods made from wheat, right? It's been a long time since anyone has stayed here, and I didn't have any noodles on hand. This morning, I specially asked my husband to knead some dough to make these dumplings." The housekeeper was very conversational, and she carried on, saying that her husband was a Northerner as well and the dumplings that he wrapped were simply special, his wrap having a nice, chewy texture.

Scrumptious dumplings had always been Jia He's favourite, but currently, she felt that the air she was exhaling was fast becoming hotter than the heat emitted from the dumplings… She practically was counting each one as she stuffed it into her mouth. Due to the fever, she could not taste anything she ate. All she could think about in this moment was that she needed to hurry and call Qiao Qiao to have her come back. With such greasy food hitting her stomach, she felt even worse.

<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. Translated with the express permission of the author for hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com only

After she was done eating, she very diligently began to tidy up everything herself.

"Jia He."

Halting her motions, she looked at him, her hands still holding her bowl and chopsticks.

Without warning, he extended an arm over, touching the back of his hand to her forehead. It was a very polite action, simply to test her condition, but it caused her heart to race.

"You're running a fever." Swiftly drawing this conclusion, Yi Wenze looked at Wu Zhilun. "Go ask the housekeeper where the fever medication is." After stating this, he reached over and took the bowl and chopsticks from Jia He and set them to the side. "Go back to the room first and lie down. I'll be there shortly."

Jia He wanted to say that she was fine, but then her legs all of a sudden gave out beneath her, catching her off guard, and she nearly collapsed to the floor.

In the end, he managed to grab ahold of her first, but losing his own centre of gravity, he crashed into the bar counter.

Bang! The impact knocked the chopsticks to the floor. His arms, though, were propped on the bar counter's surface and had completely prevented her from colliding into anything.

The scare that Jia He received was significant, and she hurriedly struggled to pull herself upright. "Are you okay?"

With those words, she began to check him over, from his arms down to his legs. Only when she had confirmed that she had not b.u.mped into his injured leg did her chest loosen in relief. But she felt even guiltier, and her heart ached even more. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to do that…"

"It's okay," Yi Wenze soothed her. Turning his head, he addressed Wu Zhilun, who had only just risen to his feet and had not fully processed what had just happened. "Could you please help me support her into the room?"

Everything that followed became particularly like something out of a television drama. She was not sure whether it was because her nerves had loosened after being found out, but once she lay down on the bed, her fever burned with absurd ferocity, and every joint in her body ached terribly. All she saw was Wu Zhilun bringing in some water and medication while his young a.s.sistant was off to the side, utterly unable to provide any help. And Yi Wenze was by her bedside.

Every time she was patted awake, she would be able to see his face. The expression on it, however, was a blur in her gaze.

<>It would be greatly appreciated if you would show your support for the translation by reading it at its actual site of posting, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. Thank you.

By nighttime, her fever finally subsided somewhat. Only the two of them were left in the room. So that she could sleep, the table lamp had already been turned to the lowest brightness setting. He sat on a chair, a computer set on his lap, his face illuminated by the white light of the screen such that his facial features were very distinct. Jia He fixed her eyes on him for some time, her brain for a moment unable to catch up. After a lengthy while, she at last asked, "Did you b.u.mp into anything and get hurt?"

He lifted his head and looked at her, in pa.s.sing closing the lid of his laptop. "Hungry?"

Having eaten nothing for an entire day, she indeed was hungry.

At this instant, however, she unexpectedly received an incoming phone call, and rather embarra.s.sedly she looked at Yi Wenze. His manner, on the other hand, was very natural as he handed her mobile phone to her. She answered the call, which turned out to be from the director of her next television drama. "Jia He, it sure is hard to get through on your phone. So how about it? Will you be able to make it over here tomorrow?"

Jia He's voice was still a little feeble. "I'm sorry about that, Director Liu. Tomorrow… tomorrow should be okay for me."

She would sleep until tomorrow morning, and by then the fever should more or less have broken. Attending a meeting was not any sort of physical labour anyway; she should be able to handle it. The most important point was… she finally had an excuse to escape from here. It was not like she could keep staying here in Yi Wenze's home.

"That's good. We'll hurry up and finish the discussions, and then you can hurry up and make any revisions. I'm waiting for the scene divisions for the first and second episodes, and then we can line up the times." The person on the other end did not seem to have noticed that there was anything peculiar with Jia He's voice. "We want to rush to, in early May, set…"

Yi Wenze suddenly made a gesture, signaling to Jia He that she should give him the phone.

Jia He was taken aback, and even after she had handed it to him, she still did not understand his intent.

"Director Liu, h.e.l.lo." Yi Wenze took the phone. "This is Yi Wenze."

Jia He stared in confusion at him. It was only when she heard him say that she was ill and might need to postpone her arrival in Beijing by a little that she understood what exactly he was doing. Immediately, she was thoroughly stupefied. Only one thought went through her mind: Oh no, I'm done for. What is Director Liu going to think? …

The person on the other end of the call seemed to agree heartily to Yi Wenze's request, his keen friendliness at an extremely high level.

Yi Wenze listened for another little while before answering, "Sure. If there's a good script, I hope we do get a chance to work together."

<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. Translated with the express permission of the author for hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com only

一路顺风"yi lu shun feng." The literal translation is "May you have a tailwind the whole way," or "May the wind be at your back the whole way." This saying generally is used to mean, "Have a pleasant journey," "Have a good trip," "Safe travels," etc. The literal meaning was used in the body of the translation to fit with Jia He's thoughts that you should not wish a tailwind on someone who is taking a plane (because airplanes take off and land into the wind).

In general, in China, people in the south tend more to eat rice, while those in the north often eat more noodles and foods made from wheat.

This story was translated with the express permission of the author for hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com only. All forms of reproduction, redistribution, or re-posting are not authorized. If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, the copy is unauthorized and has been taken without consent of the translator.

Completed:
1 of 1 Prologue
18 of 58 Chapter segments
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Easily Set Aflame Chapter 6 Part3

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Easily Set Aflame Chapter 6 Part3 summary

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