Easily Set Aflame Chapter 12 Part2

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This is Fanatical's 1000th post! Woohoo! Thank you, everyone, for all your support over these years.

Her friends are protecting her in the way they can. Little did they know that he is more than capable of protecting her. ? Part of the secret is revealed! And hehehe… love the “first love.”

Chapter 12.2 — Insuppressible Pounding of the Heart (2)

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.

She was famished, and on top of that her mood was low.

They did end up driving to have instant-boiled mutton hot pot. As it was a weekday, there were not many people at the restaurant during lunchtime. The two decided simply to get a private room, and then without even really looking at the menu, Xiao Yu just one by one placed a checkmark beside each food item. Watching her, Jia He felt as if hundreds of hands were clawing at her heart, while the server in contrast could not even contain her wide grin. When eventually the entire table was laden and could not even fit everything, Jia He, not knowing whether to be irritated or find this funny, asked, "Just How many meals did you order for?"

涮羊肉 Instant-boiled mutton hot pot (Image credit: "Old Beijing Hotpot" by Nan Jiang, original posted in , image used under CC BY-SA 2.0)

Xiao Yu picked up some meat with her chopsticks, tossed it into the boiling water in the copper hot pot, and stirred a couple of times. "Lunch plus dinner."

"You sure feel no need to be polite…"

Xiao Yu lifted her arm and looked at her watch. "From twelve noon all the way to twelve midnight—I'll give this period to you for free. Based on my pay as an accounts director, with a daily fee of 833 a day, I should be able to have two meals of this type, right?"

Those things that could be seen continuously running through that pair of eyes—they were definitely red bills of money…

In truth, Jia He understood that Xiao Yu merely wanted to keep her company.

As the two each buried their heads and ate, there was a persistent feeling in Jia He that she had forgotten something, and it was not until her belly was absurdly stuffed that she remembered: today was the press conference for Tune of Yong'an. Qiao Qiao and Yi Wenze had both mentioned it previously, but she had been so upset by the news that she had forgotten. She had even arranged with Yi Wenze to have dinner with him after it was over… The start time was three o'clock, and right now it was already two-thirty. Hastily, she yanked out a napkin and wiped her mouth. "I forgot, there's the press conference this afternoon."

"You're neither a director nor an actress. What are you all anxious about? I remember that screenwriters don't need to go to this sort of event."

Jia He discovered that, without a doubt, Xiao Yu had done this on purpose, and so she decided to simply be frank and lay it straight with her. "I want to go see Yi Wenze."

And then? She still hadn't thought through that part yet. Neither did she know what plans he had after he got back.

"I knew it." Xiao Yu gave a wag of her phone. "Qiao Qiao called me this morning. Today's news was just too explosive; there will definitely be people asking about it at the press conference. Qiao Qiao said to not let you go join in on the excitement.”

Ah, so this was a planned confinement? Jia He at last understood.

She could do nothing except put on a token show of continuing to eat. After quite some time, she finally murmured, "It's not like I've never heard romantic rumours before. You guys don't need to freak out and treat it like every tree or blade of gra.s.s is an enemy soldier, you know."

"Whatever." Xiao Yu laughed. "Qiao Qiao is just doing it for your own good. There's still a big difference between listening to it live and hearing about it after the fact. Just look at those people who have had a third party b.u.t.ting into their relations.h.i.+ps. When they were only spectating other people in such situations, they were able to logically lay things out like one, two, three, but once it happened to them, they turned hysterical."

Jia He was unable to outdebate her on this, but she felt even worse from hearing Xiao Yu's words. "Hey, who has a third party b.u.t.ting into the relations.h.i.+p here? …"

"Your situation here is even worse. Have you ever used a magnifying gla.s.s to play with fire?" Xiao Yu dropped some tripe into Jia He's bowl. "If there's ample sunlight, once the magnifying gla.s.s focuses it, you'll immediately get a fire going. It's the same principle here. Any little thing, once it becomes the focus of the ma.s.ses, will immediately ignite. You saw Yi Wenze unexpectedly clarify things about him and Liao Jing, and you think he's doing it for your good, right? But if I were an entertainment reporter, I would write, 'Just look at how in these last ten-plus years he has never talked about anything related to his love relations.h.i.+ps, but yet for this starlet he's deliberately trying to clarify things. There's definitely something fishy here.'"

Little specks of chili peppers clung to the white tripe. But when Jia He tossed it into her mouth, it tasted like wax.

"I only said a few sentences and you're already unable to take it? If at the press conference site there are a heap of people asking about this and you're watching him skirt around the issue, you think your heart's not going to shatter into little pieces?" Xiao Yu reached for her handbag and fished out a package of cigarettes, but then, seeming as if she thought of something, she tossed it back into her bag again. "I forgot. You have chronic sore throats."

<>This translation's actual site of posting is hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com only. The translator would sincerely appreciate it if you would support the translation by only reading it from there. Thank you.

The time ticked past three o'clock. Then four o'clock. And then five o'clock…

The entire room was warm and steamy and infused with the aroma of mutton. The two had long become so stuffed that they could not move, so now, their chins propped on their hands, they were simply chatting. Jia He was obviously preoccupied with her own thoughts as she poked at the television remote control and continually changed the channel. She felt as if she had not watched television for an entire lifetime already, for she actually discovered that playing on every channel was a drama that she did not understand; the crying was completely without rhyme or reason and the laughing looked so fake and exaggerated.

All of a sudden, an entertainment news report flashed onto the screen. When she was about to change the channel, a picture of Yi Wenze being interviewed was already flas.h.i.+ng past.

Her heart thudded. She listened as the hosts, a man and a woman, talked about the gossip news and quickly recapped the story that Jia He had read at midday. Then they switched the direction of their discussion over to today's press conference. Usually, unless there is big news, such television drama press conferences do not make it onto this type of entertainment program. As she thought of this point, there was a slight urge in her to change channels.

Nevertheless, she retrained herself. Just watch it, just watch it. There's nothing to be scared of. It's just a romantic rumour, right?

Jia He took a bite of a small shaobing, a baked, unleavened flatbread, thinking, And besides, I'm the one who first wanted to keep him hidden away underground. No matter how you work it out, I'm not getting the short end of any stick.

The editing had been done very well. The whole press conference was utterly a mere backdrop and the clip cut straight into the true topic of interest.

Numerous people surrounded him, firing questions at him and relentlessly mentioning Liao Jing's name. Sure enough, just like Xiao Yu had described, someone asked him whether this time, given that he had been tightlipped for so many years, he was actually purposely protecting Liao Jing… Yi Wenze turned a glance on that reporter.

His pause was only for one second but it felt as if it was stretched out infinitely…

The door was suddenly pushed open and a restaurant server walked in, speedily collecting their plates. On the television, Yi Wenze was already speaking. "I do not like to take marriage and make it into news, and I also do not like to joke about my relations.h.i.+p." He gave a very placid smile. "I have indeed met that very important person in my life."

The server let out a quiet cry of "Ah!" Xiao Yu dropped her chopsticks.

Our female lead, though, had already completely lost her soul. Her eyes rapt on the screen, she was utterly unable to believe her ears.

From inside to out, she began, layer by layer, to burn up. Even her eyes felt a little hot.

"She is an ordinary person." Yi Wenze was very calm as he swiftly made his concluding statement. "For me to have been able to come upon her in the vast mult.i.tudes of people very much so was not an easy thing. But for me to lose her will be a very easy thing. So, I hope that all of you will not continue asking about this anymore. Hopefully the next announcement will be one of happy news[1]." After saying these words, he lowered his head and spoke no more, his figure gradually disappearing out of that throng of people.

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

The picture on the screen cut again very quickly, jumping to a clip showing what he had said this morning when he was interviewed in Hong Kong. The female host began making the concluding remarks for this story, even closing her hand into a fist and joking, "It would seem that this matter has been confirmed—my love rival has made her appearance."

Grinning, the male host teased, "This new drama of Yi Wenze's is currently in the promotional phase. Do you need to go do some news gathering and an interview?"

The two's laughing banters and jests seemed to filter to Jia He through a layer of mist. She was no longer able to hear anything clearly.

The server sighed in a low voice, "So touching." Then, carrying the plates and dishes, she left the room.

Xiao Yu threw a look at Jia He. "I just basically invited condemnation on myself here, didn't I?"

Jia He was hugging her half a gla.s.s of cola, but her soul had long since drifted away somewhere beyond the heavens. Only after Xiao Yu had spoken these words did she snap back to awareness, and she rushed to rummage madly through her bag for her mobile phone. She had stood him up. They had originally agreed that she would have dinner with him… But when she pulled out her phone, she was once more torn. How could she explain why she had not been at the press conference? Just state the reason directly or find a suitable excuse?

Right as she was waffling back and forth, her phone began to vibrate, making a buzzing noise.

Yi Wenze's name flashed incessantly. There was a slight tremble in her fingers. Finally, under Xiao Yu's penetrating gaze, she answered the phone. "Things are done?"

On the other end of the call, there was only very light music. Yi Wenze first said a sentence to someone before answering her, "Done. Did you go to bed too late last night? You just got up now?"

Gazing out at the setting sun beyond the window, Jia He felt that his image of her must truly be very much like that of a piglet.

She gnawed on her lip, not daring to tell him that, due to that romance rumour, she had been placed into confinement to protect her. However, she was unable to find a good excuse either. He waited on his end for a while before asking again, "What's wrong?"

Finally, she managed to regain herself and, in a quiet voice, uttered a fib. "Something came up last minute. My friend just got broken up with, and she dragged me along to be her eating and drinking companion."

Xiao Yu rolled her eyes. Do you think I'm Qiao Qiao?

"Relations.h.i.+p breakups seem to happen very easily with all your friends," Yi Wenze summarized with a laugh.

Her conscience feeling a twinge of guilt, Jia He sighed, "They just keep meeting the wrong guys, I guess."

Xiao Yu picked up the half-full bottle of cola and brandished it. The meaning of that was very clear: Yo, chick! If you keep spouting nonsense, I'm going to bust your head.

After asking for the detailed address, Yi Wenze told her to take her time eating and that he would be there soon. No matter how Jia He stared at the tableful of leftovers and crumbs, she still felt this didn't look very good, so she pulled out her wallet to go pay. Xiao Yu had already risen to her feet first and patted her on the shoulder. "This meal's my treat. We'll treat it as the red-packet money[2] I'm giving you for your wedding." Jia He was both irked and amused by her words and was also too lazy to fight for the bill.

When they came out of the restaurant, she spotted Yi Wenze's car at once. It was stopped very far away. All around, there constantly were people backing their cars out, then driving away. Amid the s.h.i.+ne of the interlacing headlights, that black vehicle quietly remained parked in its spot. Only his silhouette could be seen through the front winds.h.i.+eld, but she was already unable to restrain her heart and wanted to immediately sprint over to him.

"There's no problem in letting me have a look and admire the big, famous celebrity, right?'

Her bag held tightly in her hands, Jia He gave a hesitant nod. It shouldn't be a problem, right?

<>Please support this translation by only reading it at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, its actual site of posting. Your support would be sincerely appreciated. Thank you.

As they walked down the steps, a car by chance drove past in front of them.

From inside the vehicle, Yi Wenze's field of view was very confined, like a very narrow shot of a scene, and on the dim filming set, a beam of light swept through. Jia He extended an arm in front of the woman beside her, seemingly to motion to her that she should be careful. The headlights had already moved far off into the distance before they carefully came over. On Jia He's back was a very large backpack. He knew there must be a computer inside—truly, such a workaholic.

The dress she wore was plainly very short, yet while she spoke with the person beside her, she would very carefully tug at the skirt.

More than ten years had pa.s.sed. She should have been simply a minor role in one specific little scene of his life.

Tilting his head back and leaning into the seat, he gazed out at her, there at the restaurant entrance. So many people. So many years. For him to have been able to come upon her again was, indeed, very much so not an easy thing.

Before his eyes right now, there were many pictures interweaving, superimposing. In the radiant suns.h.i.+ne, she, wearing a school uniform that was slightly too big and a little baggy, was laboredly treading forward,. She wore a very large backpack stuffed full with books, and protruding from one corner of the backpack was the top of a rolled-up poster.

Back then, as he watched her, he had not known how far her home was and only knew that in order to buy a poster of him, she had spent all of her money there at the Beijing Books Building. In the years that followed, whenever he thought back on this, he would always regret that he had not run out after her to give her the fare she would need to get home.

And then, also say a thank you to her. But when he truly did encounter her again, he had not wanted to just simply say "thank you" anymore.

<>It would be sincerely appreciated by the translator if you would read this translation at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, its actual site of translation, only. Thank you.

He did not lower the window until she had run over and reached the vehicle. Leaning in to look at him, Jia He quietly requested, "My friend wants to meet you."

He stepped out of the car, in pa.s.sing also opening the back door. "Since it's your friend, let's have dinner together."

Jia He felt too sheepish to tell him that they had been eating for an entire afternoon already. Xiao Yu was already flas.h.i.+ng a polite smile at Yi Wenze. "h.e.l.lo, I'm Xiao Yu."

Yi Wenze nodded in greeting. "h.e.l.lo."

Such normal opening salutations. However, the next second, Xiao Yu cleared her throat and brought her voice down. "Your words today were very manly. You've pa.s.sed the test on my end, so I am placing Jia He into your care from now on. She used to be the belle of her faculty; you're very lucky. But for the record, I'm just a commoner, so for the red packet[3] stuff , I can at most give five thousand."

Jia He was completely struck stupid. Oh no. How could she just say everything like that?…

Yi Wenze's smile was polite and respectful, his tone also solemn and proper. "It likely will be held in New Zealand. No need for a red packet. I'll also throw in round-trip plane tickets and three nights of accommodations, how about that?"

Xiao Yu first paused in surprise, and then a smile spread across her face. Patting Jia He on the shoulder, she said, "Little Red Riding Hood, go home now. I'm not going to join in on the fun."

Even when Jia He was sitting in the car, she still had not found a topic to talk about to dissolve what she thought to be a very awkward atmosphere.

After deliberating for a long time, she decided she should still break through the awkwardness by starting with some casual chitchat. "Is my friend pretty?"

"Not bad."

"She used to be the belle of the faculty." Jia He was very proud.

Yi Wenze was wryly amused. "How many girls were there in your faculty?"

Jia He was abashed. "She was the real-deal belle of the Faculty of Foreign Languages. My Faculty of Naval Architecture only had three girls, and my 'belle of the faculty' t.i.tle was purely tongue-in-cheek."

He seemed to be musing about something. "I think my first love was called the belle of her faculty, too."

Pretending to be not the least bit bothered, Jia He responded with an  "oh." Humph! First love. I hate first loves! All that stuff about "pure feelings" and how you "can't forget it"…

While she was hatefully grinding away at her teeth, Yi Wenze added, "I was six years old at the time. She would come over to teach me violin. I remember, a boy would always come to pick her up. I even got really angry and held onto her skirt and wouldn't let her leave."

Splas.h.!.+ A basin of ice-cold water came pouring down, completely extinguis.h.i.+ng that fire that had been roaring in her heart.

You call that first love? … Well then, I even had a crush on my primary school gym teacher…

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

[1]喜訊 literally means "happy news" or "joyous tidings." It is often used to describe news like announcements of engagement, wedding, or pregnancy.

[2]红包 "hong bao." The "red packets" or "red envelopes" refer to monetary gifts put in a red envelope.

[3]As mentioned above, red packets are monetary gifts given in red envelopes. They are very commonly given in weddings, and this is what Xiao Yu is implying here.

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.

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Easily Set Aflame Chapter 12 Part2

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Easily Set Aflame Chapter 12 Part2 summary

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