Easily Set Aflame Chapter 3 Part2

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Do you agree with Qiao Qiao? Is it special treatment that Jia He is getting? ? And you guys, too, have a guess at what Qiao Qiao saw. ? Lastly, is the end of this chapter considered a cliffhanger? Hehehe.

Chapter 3.2 — Please, as a Friend (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.

When she awoke again, Jia He found that she had been sleeping inside the ma.s.sage room, a comforter covering her.

Feeling rather awkward and unsure, she sat up and, gazing out onto the snowy-white world outside, began trying with all her might to recollect how she had fallen asleep last night and also how she had gotten from  the ma.s.sage table to the large bed. But, it was to no avail.

She had faint inklings of a speculation. Those three ma.s.sage therapists were all blind, so they certainly would not have been able to pick her up and carry her onto the bed. Could it have been… She gave a forceful slap to her head, silently rebuking herself for letting her smitten mind take over her imagination.

And so, she stayed for a while in a daze like this until at last, getting off the bed, she stepped out in her slippers into the outer sitting area of the suite.

The three ma.s.sage tables were vacant. The ma.s.sage therapists had all gone back to their own rooms to sleep, and work had not started yet for them at this hour. She was alone in this room, which felt large and empty. She glanced at her mobile phone. It was not even eight o'clock. While she was wondering what time Yi Wenze had left, the door behind her unexpectedly opened. Turning, she saw Yi Wenze closing the door behind him.

"Good morning." Yi Wenze gave this simple greeting.

"Good morning…" Jia He gaped at him. "You don't have any scenes to film today?"

These were rather ordinary words of greeting, but at this time of day, in this particular place, it felt a little bit too much like a fantasy…

Yi Wenze set the room key card on the bar-height counter. "Because I came back a earlier than originally planned. You can say I managed to s.n.a.t.c.h a day of leisure."

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

Jia He smiled. She did not know what she said afterwards, but somehow, she ended up going back to her room, changing into some warm clothes, and then sitting into the empty vehicle that the production team had left behind. Yi Wenze's driving skills were excellent and he was also very familiar with Hengdian, so soon, he had brought her to a Hong Kong-style cha chaan teng[1] ["tea restaurant"]. The restaurant was on a street that was currently undergoing repairs, and the vehicle was unable to drive in and could only be parked by the nearby intersection. Following him out of the car, Jia He stepped over the light layer of snow, carefully trying to avoid puddles, but, alas, she still ended up dirtying her shoes.

When they arrived at the door, she deliberately rubbed the bottom of her shoes repeatedly on the doormat, very worried that the slushy mud on her feet would make the floors dirty.

Only after her shoes were completely clean did she push open the door and step inside. Yi Wenze was chatting in Cantonese with the restaurant owner. When he, a smile on his face, saw Jia He walk in, he gave a nod to the owner and then led Jia He to the innermost table, where they took a seat. At this time, only a spa.r.s.e few other tables were occupied. Yi Wenze was dressed ordinarily and also wearing a brimmed cap and hence did not attract too much attention.

"Cart noodles[2]?" Yi Wenze asked.

"Sure." She was starving, and it was also a snowy day; a bowl of cart noodles would be perfect.

"Char siu [Chinese barbecue pork] noodles." Yi Wenze ordered first. Smiling, the owner took down his order while laughing at him that he sure was loyal in his affections, never changing which noodles he ordered.

Why… was his taste preference the same as hers? Jia He was stuck on what to do. Char siu had always been her taste of choice, but if she were to order the same thing as him, would it seem too deliberate? She began furiously looking over the menu, for the first time discovering that there were disadvantages to getting close to one's idol, that even eating a breakfast could be so much like walking on thin ice.

Char siu, Chinese barbecue pork. (Image credit: "Char Siu" by Lewi Hirvela, original posted in , image used under )

"The char siu noodles here are pretty good." Looking at her, Yi Wenze offered a suggestion. "You can give it a try."

Jia He hastily nodded her head, relieved.

"What would you like to drink?"

"Coffee. Espresso." She jumped in to speak first.

"It seems you really are very sleepy." Yi Wenze looked down at his own menu. "It's not good on the stomach to drink that so early in the morning. People who drink espresso probably think breves and mochas are too light. Con panna is more fitting."

That's just too thoughtful…

Tears nearly rained down Jia He's cheeks.

Just as their noodles were being brought out, her mobile phone suddenly began ringing. The caller ID showed that it was Qiao Qiao. Her heart dropped, for she only now remembered her instructions to Qiao Qiao last night. She hurriedly answered the call. On the other end, Qiao Qiao's yawns came ceaselessly. "I'll say, where have you and Yi Wenze gone off to?"

"I'm having breakfast. I'll talk to you about the character outline and descriptions when I'm back at the hotel." Jia He put on this little act.

Qiao Qiao laughed. "Stop pretending. You guys even drove the car away."

Making a couple sounds of "mm," Jia He took her chopsticks and stirred her noodles while stealing a glance at Yi Wenze.

He had just picked up his gla.s.s of lemon tea and was taking a sip.

"All right, all right." Qiao Qiao jokingly mocked her. "What are you nervous about? I was going to tell you to bring back a hot drink for me. Just look at how panicked you are. Forget it. I'll just make myself some Nescafé." With those words, she very shrewdly chose to hang up the phone.

Jia He set her mobile phone on the table and began to eat her noodles. Observing that Yi Wenze, his head slightly lowered to look at his mobile phone, seemed in no rush to go back, she did not dare eat too quickly. When she at last set down her chopsticks, there were only two or three customers left in the restaurant.

Less than half remained of her cup of coffee. Yi Wenze's eyes were still on his mobile phone. From her position, she had a clear view of his eyelashes. The sunlight beyond the window, coupled with this very suitable angle, caused the image of this person before her to actually seem to exude a poster-like texture, and it made her want to abandon herself and sink into it. She sighed feelingly. But then, she realized that she had been too brazen, and hurriedly she bowed her head and stirred her now-cold coffee.

"My apologies. I have a new script that was waiting on feedback." When Yi Wenze lifted his head, he noticed that Jia He was still stirring her coffee, so he beckoned to the restaurant owner and asked for another cup. Pus.h.i.+ng the fresh cup of coffee in front of her, he motioned to her that she should switch to drink this new one.

Minute by minute, second by second. This way of interaction was more torturous than actual acting. Yet, she did not dare be the first to say that they should go back.

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

While she was muttering silently to herself, her mobile phone rang once again. At first she thought it must be Qiao Qiao, but it turned out to be another devil who wanted to s.n.a.t.c.h her life from her early. The instant she answered the call, Xiao Yu's languid voice echoed out from the other end of the line. "No way. I just thought I'd give it a try and call. You're actually picking up the phone at this time of the day—"

Jia He sullenly stated, "I'm eating breakfast."

"It's snowing in Beijing. Is there snow in Shanghai?"

The surliness that was stifled in Jia He's chest grew worse. "I'm in Hengdian, on filming site for production."

"For whose drama?"

Jia He glanced with guilty self-consciousness at Yi Wenze. She did not dare give his name and only stated the name of the female lead.

"The gorgeous girl who's been hooking up with your ex?" Xiao Yu was also in the middle of eating breakfast, and her speech was a little m.u.f.fled. "Is she good-looking in real life?"

Lovely. The gossip had travelled 1,400 kilometres already.

Jia He sighed. "Yes, good-looking. Very good-looking. Cut to the chase. Why are you calling me?"

"Fine, fine, O great screenwriter." On that side, Xiao Yu let out a little chuckle. "I've just picked up a client in cosmetics, and I want to find an list female celebrity to be the endorser of the line. But guess what. I asked countless agencies. Let's not even talk about list female celebrities. There aren't even any C-list ones. As long as she's a female celebrity, she's already completely signed from neck up, regardless of whether it's makeup or skincare."

Clamping her phone between her shoulder and ear, Jia He began pouring milk and adding sugar to her coffee. "And so?"

"And so I'm finding you to see if you know of any faces of beautiful maidens that still have vacancy that I can use. For example, you can inquire around about whose contract is expiring soon and I can hurry and sign her."

"You should find Qiao Qiao for stuff like this. There's no use asking me. She's a producer; she knows a lot of celebrities."

"She told me to come find you." The person on the other end was immediately able to separate herself  from one topic and jump into another. "I just hung up with her. She said you've struck up a thing with Yi Wenze lately, so this sort of request is basically child's play for you. Whoa, hey, if we hadn't mentioned it, I would have almost forgotten. How'd you hook up with your idol? This sounds just like a Taiwanese romance novel…"

On that end, the heartfelt sighs were pouring out like floodwaters, but on Jia He's face, the expressions were like a motley of colours. Flicking a quick look in Yi Wenze's direction, she could not help letting out a few coughs. "Hold it there. If there's anything, we can talk about it when I get back." With that, she straightaway hung up the call and then decisively shut off her phone in order to get some peace and quiet.

While her heart was still churning, Yi Wenze had already lifted his eyes to look at her. "What's the matter?"

Jia He blurted, "A friend of mine wants to find a female celebrity to be the spokesperson of a cosmetics line, but she wasn't able to find anyone who doesn't currently have an endors.e.m.e.nt contract."

She had originally said this simply as a casual sentence of chitchat, but to her surprise, the person opposite her actually picked up his mobile phone and called his management agency. The general gist of his instructions was to look into whether there were any artistes in the company whose contract was expiring soon and then let him know.

He held his black iPhone, gently tapping his middle finger against its body, producing a light, rhythmic sound.

Her head held low, Jia He took two consecutive sips of her coffee. Gradually, her heart followed the light rhythm coming from his finger and began to beat slowly and with strength. Looking down, she read the menu that was laid out on the table. The gla.s.s top covering it had some faint scuff marks on it, but it was very clean. Silently she recited each of the dish names, but in reality her brain was blank. She wanted to say, "Forget it. You don't need to take it so seriously," but she simply was unable to produce any sound from her lips.

It was some time later before Yi Wenze finally said thank you and hung up. "Tian Chu's contract is about to expire. If your friend is interested, you can have her agent come discuss."

Jia He nearly dropped her spoon. She had actually forgotten that Yi Wenze and Tian Chu belonged to the same agency.

"But there are several parties already in the midst of discussions. Her image tends towards the relatively higher-end, luxury side. If your friend's cosmetic brand is an international one, it'll be better. If it's a domestic one, then she can only rely on the endors.e.m.e.nt fee offered to beat out everyone." Yi Wenze calmly stated all of this. From his expressions to his voice, not even a trace of abnormality could be detected.

Jia He gave a few "mm-hmms," a slight sense of tightness in her voice. "All right. I'll ask her."

"Done eating?" Yi Wenze put away his mobile phone.

Nodding her head, Jia He speedily set down her cup and put on a look that showed she could leave at any time.

Yi Wenze's smile gradually deepened a little. When he rose and went to the counter to pay, two young people sitting near the door recognized him. After the two brought their heads down and exchanged a few words, the girl immediately stood and, in exhilaration, asked him to take a photograph with them. However, to their surprise, he smiled and turned down their request, explaining as he pulled out some bills that he was here having breakfast with a friend and it was not a good time for him to take pictures with other people. As he said this, Jia He happened to walk up to his side, and the woman at once fixed a burning gaze on Jia He for a full three seconds.

<>Please show your support for this translation by reading it at its actual site of posting, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, instead. Thank you.

When Jia He arrived back at the hotel, Qiao Qiao was still swaddled in the comforter and slumbering away. Seeing her with her face completely covered caused a fire to flare up in Jia He, and lifting up a corner of the comforter, she, with a whoosh, gave it a big shake. All the warmth that had been contained within instantly flew out. The person on the bed gave a s.h.i.+ver and jumped to her feet. "You crazy?! Today, I actually for once got a chance to sleep in, aaaah!"

"The funny business that you guys, the loud-mouthed duo, pulled on me put me in a such a wretched state, and here you're still sleeping?" Gone was the reserved manner of this morning, and all that remained was a Jia He who was half pushed over the edge.

"That was to create an opportunity for you." s.n.a.t.c.hing the comforter back from her, Qiao Qiao swiftly coc.o.o.ned herself in it. "So, how'd it go? Did he help you?"

"Tian Chu," Jia He snapped through clenched teeth. "Tian Chu's endors.e.m.e.nt contract is expiring soon."

Qiao Qiao was startled for a moment, then muttered, "Tian Chu? You're not mistaken, are you?"

"You heard it, and now just forget it. Don't tell Xiao Yu." Jia He tossed her down coat onto the bed and, squis.h.i.+ng in next to her, also slipped herself under the covers.

"Are you daft? Of course we need to tell her, and what's more, we have to do everything we can to get the deal to go through." Qiao Qiao gave her a sideways look. "It's a situation of 'you're willing and so am I,' so what are you worried about? Yi Wenze's willingness to talk about Tian Chu because of you is absolutely a type of special treatment. But if you then keep your silence and be a mute when it should be time to say something, what would that be? This is your idol we're talking about!"

Jia He closed her eyes to go to sleep, not even bother to pay attention to her.

Only now did Qiao Qao's mind catch up a bit, and immediately she yanked down the comforter that covered Jia He's head. "It was just one night, but now, for you, he's willing to find Tian Chu to do advertising shoots. So tell me, what did you two do?"

"I fell asleep in the ma.s.sage room—all by myself!" Jia He's anger flared. She was nearly at her breaking point.

"Oh, whatever. I woke up in the middle of the night last night"—Qiao Qiao made a show of giving her a serious look—"and saw that you hadn't come back yet, so I went to find you. Have a guess at what I saw."

With these words of hers, an inexplicable sense of guilt, like she was afraid of being found out, rose in Jia He. While she was planning out her own words of reb.u.t.tal in her mind, intending on fighting back against all rumours and slander, her mobile phone once more rang.

Riled, she picked up her phone and said a "h.e.l.lo?" The other end of the line appeared to be very quiet. There was only a very familiar-sounding voice saying, "h.e.l.lo, this is Tian Chu."

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

[1] 港式茶餐厅. This literally means “Hong Kong style tea restaurant.” Cha chaan teng is the transliteration of the Cantonese p.r.o.nunciation of the characters 茶餐厅, which if translated literally, mean "tea restaurant." These can be thought of as Hong Kong-style diners, serving everyday Hong Kong food as well as Western food with a Hong Kong influence.

[2] 车仔面 "che zai mian." Cart noodle began as a street food in Hong Kong, often served in carts by the street side. Carts would contain various noodles and toppings and customers would select from them to build their own bowl of noodles, which would then be served up in soup. Nowadays, the noodles no longer are served from street-side carts, but cart noodles can still be found in restaurants or shops.

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.

1 of 1 Prologue
8 of 58 Chapter segments
0 of 4 Epilogues

Easily Set Aflame Chapter 3 Part2

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Easily Set Aflame Chapter 3 Part2 summary

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