HOW TO DEAL WITH A TSUNDERE GONG
Chapter 10 – You’re Free
Everyone had the impression that Xu Bai Chuan loved to smile, but didn’t like joking around. On the contrary, he minded his every word and action and never squandered the privileges of his own weight in other’s hearts.
A few words are easy to say, yet words held enormous weight.
The low air pressure was in any case still circulating. Yet, at that moment the atmosphere became even more stagnant.
Song Yi Yu confusedly looked back and forth between Xu Bai Chuan and Tang Jin. The former was smiling gently while the latter was like a coming storm in the mountains. His heart trembled and he took a look at Cheng Xu. It just so happens that he captured the sight of Earth’s companion 1 who always lived life happily being startled. While seated upright facing the table, Cheng Xu used the corner of his eye to cast a glance at Xu Bai Chuan, as the raised corner of his lips slowly lowered.
[T/N: 1 A lyric from a song meaning to live freely and being unconstrained]
The atmosphere changed so abruptly that his intuition felt amiss.
Whether it was Xu Bai Chuan’s frank attitude, Tang Jin’s expression which was on the verge of fury or his friend’s abnormal expression, nothing matched his expectations.
The three people formed a circle that excluded him. It was like there was a matter that he was in the dark about.
After realizing this, Song Yi Yu couldn’t sit still so he tried to break the ice. “I just got off the plane and I’m really hungry. We—”
At this moment, Tang Jin spoke up. This time his line of sight wasn’t evasive, rather he stared fixedly at Xu Bai Chuan and said, “My place isn’t one where you could come and go as you please. You may resign. After resigning, don’t return.”
Liking a person was like contracting a sickness. The sickness comes like a landslide but leaves slowly like spinning silk 2. It was one thing to make up your mind, yet another thing to revoke all your feelings for someone. Feelings of shame, melancholy, the want to evade a confrontation with Song Yi Yu and the pervading inferiority made Xu Bai Chuan extremely uncomfortable. Frankly, he wished there were dishes on the table so he could smash it on someone. It should not only be him that was in a difficult situation so far in this scene of carnage.
[T/N: 2 Idiom – Sickness is contracted suddenly but the recuperation takes a long time.]
The heavens were uncooperative for there were no dishes on the table. Even if there were, it was just a thought he had. After all, it wasn’t easy for this Evil Dragon to have grown this big. It was better to stay alive.
He wanted to put on his unconquerable mask. He tried once, then again before finally putting on a nonchalant smile and said, “Okay.”
Tang Jin fixedly looked at him as if to search for any clues on his face, but Xu Bai Chuan had already developed his acting skills to the point of perfection over the years. Leaning backward, he relaxedly continued. “I already completed the handover to Xiao Wang half a month ago. We didn’t have any official employment contract so there is no need for me to write up any resignation letter on paper. I’ve verbally applied and you’ve verbally agreed. We’ll take it as the process being completed.” He took a glimpse at Song Yi Yu and spoke again, “I’ve already brought away the things I need. You can do as you wish with whatever is leftover.”
Tang Jin’s complexion became darker and darker. After listening, he clicked his tongue and swallowed everything he wanted to say. Turning his head away, he grabbed the menu on the table and said in a muffled voice, “Let’s eat first.”
Sitting up straight, Xu Bai Chuan moved over to look at the menu while saying, “Right, let’s eat before talking.”
Tang Jin’s hand which was pinching the menu halted and he quickly took a glance at Xu Bai Chuan. He pressed the bell beside him to call the waiter and order dishes.
Fortunes rise and fall. This time, it was the turn of the other three to have complicated thoughts. In contrast, Xu Bai Chuan was delighted beyond compare, he forgot all about being courteous and ordered a few of his favorite dishes.
As Tang Jin watched on as Xu Bai Chuan placed bright red hot peppers into his mouth one after the other, his brows twitched and he couldn’t help but ask, “Don’t you dislike spicy food?”
Xu Bai Chuan gently chuckled. “President Tang attends to hundreds of matters daily. You must have remembered it wrong.”
The bamboo chopsticks in Tang Jin’s hands produced a slight rubbing sound. He let out a breath of air and didn’t respond.
Cheng Xu extended his hand and picked up a small piece of hot pepper from a dish in front of Xu Bai Chuan. He unhurriedly chewed on it while watching the bustle and pointed at Tang Jin. “People like you who don’t eat spicy foods wouldn’t understand the deliciousness of spice.”
Xu Bai Chuan really missed Tang Jin after not seeing him for a month and didn’t want to fight with him. Although the future is uncertain, this ought to be the last meal that both of them will have for the next couple of years. There was no need to part on bad terms. Regardless of whether it was sincere or phony, he was an expert at dealing with people. Afterward, he livened up the atmosphere by conversing with Song Yi Yu.
Song Yi Yu was finally able to come back from his confused and embarrassed state, finding a subject matter to talk about. Jeering at Tang Jin, he said, “Yuan Yuan can’t eat hot peppers at all. When coming into the slightest bit of contact with them, his entire face would immediately become red. There was once on April Fools’ Day when I mixed some hot peppers in a cracker. He didn’t know, took a bite and ran to find water throughout the house!”
This was a memory shared between Cheng Xu, Song Yi Yu and Tang Jin. Both Cheng and Song had a knowing smile. Xu Bai Chuan also smiled politely. He was afraid that only Song Yi Yu could escape unscathed from bringing up this matter. Would Tang Jin have beaten any other person to death?
After eating without fully enjoying the food and being very awkward, he finished his meal. All the capabilities that Xu Bai Chuan had accumulated over the years were nearly exhausted. Just like after completing a marketing plan within a single night, his heart was all worn out. Tang Jin was probably no better than him. From the moment Xu Bai Chuan spoke out against him, no matter what subject others tossed at him, he didn’t respond at all and placed his chopsticks down early on. Waiting until Xu Bai Chuan raised his head, he immediately asked, “Have you finished eating?”
The more Tang Jin appeared to be impatient, the more Xu Bai Chuan felt like the efforts he put in their seven years were thoroughly defeated. Anyone would become unhappy when looking at the person they had liked for seven years itching to cast them aside right away.
He composedly placed the tableware down, wiped the corner of his mouth with a napkin and nodded his head while straightening his back. Tang Jin stood up and looking unbothered, he said, “Come back with me to the hotel.”
Tang Jin’s actions weren’t subtle. Song Yi Yu who was seated beside him hadn’t finished eating yet, and questioningly glanced at Cheng Xu but didn’t get any response. His expression was indecipherable as he placed down his chopsticks.
Xu Bai Chuan raised his eyes, “Forget about the hotel. Chatting here is fine.”
Tang Jin held his breath and slowly exhaled. His tone was as strong as before, “I didn’t want to talk about these things with you today.”
Xu Bai Chuan: “Then there is no need to go to the hotel.” Does he want to have breakup sex? He was certainly careless, wasn’t he afraid that the little angel would leave for another 8-10 years in fury.
Tang Jin’s face was unfathomable. He seethingly said, “Do you really need to go against me?”
“I’m not in the mood for that”. Xu Bai Chuan unfeelingly said, “I only want to convey everything clearly.”
One person was standing while the other was sitting. One was furious, one was calm. It was like they had returned to the past. For a moment, both of them suddenly had a realization. Each time there was a conflict during the first two years of living at the Tang household, Tang Jin would fly into a rage while Xu Bai Chuan remained firm and watched on until Tang Jin’s anger dulled. They originally thought that they would become more placid overtime when they interacted with each other more often. Yet, when suddenly facing each other today with equal harshness, they realize that they had circled back to the beginning after seven years.
At this moment, Cheng Xu stood up and said he was going out for a smoke. Before leaving, he sent a couple of meaningful glances towards Song Yi Yu. Having never seen Tang Jin act in this way before, Song Yi Yu slightly hesitated and bit his lip. He unwillingly got up and said he needed to go to the restroom.
Only two people remained within the room. Tang Jin vexedly sat down again, folded his arms and his finger incessantly tapped against his arm. Wearing an ever-changing facial expression, it seemed as if he had taken a huge step backward. He impatiently said, “Return to B city with me.”
Xu Bai Chuan’s heart followed along with Tang Jin’s tapping finger and beat faster and faster. It was like a roller coaster that after passing through the highest point as fast as lightning, its speed gradually slowed down. From the time that his heart was beating like a drum until it was tranquil, it took merely a couple of breaths. Many earth-shaking decisions were also made within this timeframe. He considered his words before saying, “I won’t go to the hotel with you and I won’t return to B city either. I just want to stay here…”
“So you’re angry that I didn’t accompany you here?” Tang Jin was clearly wearing a ‘How could you stir trouble like this?’ expression.
“I’m not angry. Besides, I don’t have the right to be angry,” Xu Bai Chuan seriously said, “I apologize for clinging onto you for the last seven years.”
He had intended to say more words and show more repentance, but could only stop because of the lump in his throat.
Tang Jin’s finger stopped tapping and he asked with uncertainty, “What do you mean by this?”
Xu Bai Chuan took a deep intake of breath and said, “It means that you’re free.”
His hands clenched into fists and his broad shoulders remained motionless for a long time. That dashing face darkened. There was an extended silence and his arched brows smoothed out like he had heard something extremely hilarious. Tang Jin hooked up the corner of his mouth in contempt. The word sounded, “Free?”
“Don’t regret it.”
The author has something to say:
[Before] President Tang: Say it. Say whatever you want. I’m not afraid.
[After] President Tang: About this…everyone should eat first and calm down.
[Before] President Tang: Don’t regret it!
[After] President Tang: I regret it. I said I regret it, alright!
Like my translations? Some caffeine to keep me going please. Thank you! ☆