Chapter 12: Salad — Do you want an odd or even number?
Seven o’clock in the evening was when Tian Xia Restaurant was the most packed. As he drove through the parking lot, Fang Cheng Ran looked all over for a parking spot.
Ahead of him, a man and woman were exiting their car. When he drove past them, his gaze was subconsciously drawn to them.
The man was quite tall; he had a white shirt on, and his unusually long black hair had a slight natural curl to it.
The woman next to him… who was she? She had a slim figure, and was wearing a black hat and a pair of sunglasses. Her curled flaxen hair was very similar to Yang Wei. It felt like he’d seen her somewhere before… Song Jin?
“What’s up? Do you recognize them?” Papa Fang asked from the back seat.
Fang Cheng Ran withdrew his gaze and turned into an empty spot. “No. I thought it was a friend of mine, but it seems that I was mistaken.”
Papa Fang snorted coldly. “I thought it was your girlfriend.”
Fang Cheng Ran laughed dryly. “Father, I feel like I’m nothing more than a frivolous playboy in your eyes.”
Papa Fang asked, astonished, “Don’t tell me you aren’t?”
Fang Cheng Ran fell silent. He’d gone through great trouble to invite them out for dinner tonight, so he didn’t want to turn the night into a drama on family ethics.
While Fang Cheng Ran and company exited the car, Qi Xiao Yan and Song Jin were on the elevator headed to the seventh floor. When the elevator doors opened, the tall hostess inquired about their private room reservation, before personally leading them inside.
Song Jin had already had her assistant order dishes in advance, so they didn’t have to wait long after they’d been seated before a waitress dressed in a qipao came in with their food. The sight of the bright red side dishes made her grimace slightly; she’d forgotten to tell her assistant not to order any particularly spicy dishes. She recalled that Qi Xiao Yan didn’t like to eat spicy things.
After the waitress left, Song Jin looked at Qi Xiao Yan across from her with a somewhat apologetic expression. “I’m sorry. I had my assistant help me order, but she didn’t know that you can’t handle spicy food.”
Qi Xiao Yan eyed the salad in front of him and said, “It’s fine. In fact, I’ve actually eaten this chili pepper salad before.”
Song Jin’s eyes widened in surprise. “Chili pepper salad?” Which dish was this?
Qi Xiao Yan smirked slightly but remained silent.
He remembered that day, with its moderate wind, beautiful sun, and cloudless sky. He’d just finished writing a thesis, so he’d been in a very good mood. As a result, he’d sought out Yang Wei in order to talk with her about the venerable Goldbach. Aftwards, Yang Wei had server him a plate of chili pepper salad for dinner.
Qi Xiao Yan had glanced at the fiery chili peppers and pursed his lips. “What is this?”
Yang Wei had replied in a deadpan manner, “It’s chili pepper salad; are you not going to eat it?”
Qi Xiao Yan had remained silent for a full three seconds before lifting his head to look at her. “What do you ordinarily use to make salad?”
“This chili pepper salad is…?”
“Normally I use twice as much chili pepper.” Yang Wei had promptly answered, as if it was both normal and expected.
Qi Xiao Yan: “…”
He’d unexpectedly felt unable to refute her words.
Yang Wei had carefully examined his grave expression as he gazed at the plate of chili peppers in front of him, before finally handing him a carrot as if it was an act of great mercy. “This is for you. Slice it and add it to your plate.”
Qi Xiao Yan had taken the carrot and stood up from his, but after taking a few steps toward the kitchen, he’d turned his back to ask Yang Wei, “Do you want an odd or even number?”
Yang Wei: “…”
She’d gripped her chopsticks tightly andgritted out, one word at a time, “I. Want. A. Rational. Number.”
Qi Xiao Yan had then turned back around and entered the kitchen. When he returned, the carrot slices had been arranged into the shape of π.
He recalled that this had occurred not too long before Yang Wei’s divorce suggestion. Could it have been because the π symbol he’d arranged hadn’t beautifully expressed the concept of pi?
Qi Xiao Yan felt that this thought was somewhat reasonable. After all, Yang was an art student; her sense of aesthetics was quite high. Otherwise, she wouldn’t have even glanced at him.
“What’re you thinking about?” When Song Jin saw Qi Xiao Yan staring spellbound at the side dishes on the table with a nearly invisible hanging from his lips, she couldn’t help but ask.
Qi Xiao Yan was brought back to the present by her words and shook his head, saying, “Nothing.”
Song Jin stared at him for a moment before smiling. “Next time, I’ll invite you over to eat at my house. I can make dishes that won’t lose out to top-tier restaurants.”
Qi Xiao Yan lifted his head to meet her gaze, but didn’t decline or accept her invite.
That evening, Yang Wei stayed at her parents’ house. Even though she’d moved out a year ago, her room was still just the way she’d left it.
As she laid down on her bed and looked at the pictures of her university days all over her room, she suddenly felt like it had all happened a lifetime ago. Back then, in the dormitory, A’hua and her boyfriend had been together for four years before they finally broke up during graduation. Meanwhile, she—the one who had constantly remained single—had entered the palace of matrimony with Qi Xiao Yan.
That had been the greatest miracle of Dorm 603. Back then, her roommates had called it the spinster;s counterattack. And yet… how long had it lasted? Her road of marriage had reached its end barely a year later.
Two knocks suddenly came from her door. Yang Wei set down the photo frame and straightened up, still seated cross-legged on her bed. “Come in.”
Mama Yang opened the door, a plate of fruit in her hands. Yang Wei picked up an orange slice and popped it into her mouth. Looking at her mother, she asked, “Mom, what’s the matter?”
Mama Yang set down the plate of fruit and sat down on her bed beside her. “Nothing, your father just isn’t at ease with your situation. He had me come and talk with you.”
Yang Wei swallowed her orange, the slightly cool fruit juice making her shiver slightly. “I’m alright.”
“Mom, I’ve told you to stop calling me ‘baby!’” Yang Wei’s brows twitched at the nickname. Because she’d been born in the year of the sheep and her family name was Yang, her mother had chosen to call her by the pet name “Baby Sheep.” Even after she’d grown up, her mother had continued to call her it. Even the nickname Yang Miemie was easier to accept! 
Mama Yang rolled her eyes at her. “I’ve seen how happy you look when Qi Xiao Yan calls you Baby.”
Yang Wei’s lips quirked to the side. Mom, how could you and Qi Xiao Yan possibly be alike?! Whenever he gets passionate, he calls me his baby, his darling wife!
“Okay, okay, I won’t call you that. What’re you getting all red for.”
Yang Wei: “…”
Mama Yang grasped her hand and sighed. “Youngsters nowadays are too fickle and impatient. Whether its marriage or divorce, they’re both major events in one’s life. Yet, when I look at you, it’s like they’re both just trivial matters in your eyes.”
Yang Wei buried her head and didn’t reply, so Mama Yang continued, “Mama’s not forcing to get married again, but you’re still a girl living away from home, which really doesn’t put me at ease. There are daily reports on the news these days about female university students experiencing accidents. Furthermore, there are those burglaries too, along with women being kidnapped when they’re out on their own. I truly don’t wish to see my daughter on the news one day.”
Yang Wei replied, “I understand. Tomorrow, I’ll go on the blind dates.”
“Mama isn’t forcing you to find a boyfriend on these blind dates. I just want to give you as many opportunities as possible to become acquainted with boys, that’s all. What if one them catches your eye by chance? Didn’t you meet Qi Xiao Yan on a blind date?”
“Alright, alright, I won’t trouble you any longer. Go on, rest early.” Mama Yang left once she’d finished speaking. Afterwards, Yang Wei laid back down on her bed and stared blankly at the ceiling.
She didn’t remember exactly when she’d fallen asleep the night before, but she woke up at dawn the next morning to Mama Yang knocking on her door. “Baby, wake up! There are of lot of things to do today!”
Yang Wei rubbed her eyes before getting up and opening her door, exhaustion lining her entire face. “Mom, it’s a rare free weekend for me. You aren’t letting me sleep in, so can’t you at least treat it as a one?”
Mama Yang frowned. “You’ve slept enough! I arranged four blind dates for you today, so hurry and clean up!”
Yang Wei: “…”
Four? Mom, are you sure you’re not doing your best to marry me off…
Once Yang Wei had finished cleaning herself up, she walked into the living room to eat breakfast. In high spirits, Mama Yang carried over a stack of reports and sat down next to her. “These are the blind dates I’m introducing you to today! The first one is an archaeologist; he’s quite cultured!”
Yang Wei’s eye twitched. “Archaeologist?”
“Yes, don’t you like scholars? I specifically chose this type of date for you!”
Yang Wei’s eye began twitching even more. “When did I ever like scholars?”
Mama Yang replied, “Qi Xiao Yan is a scholar, right? A university professor no less, very cultured.”
Yang Wei: “…”
She didn’t like professors. Rather, Qi Xiao Yan just happened to be a professor, okay?! If she had to choose, she’d rather die than choose a mathematics professor as her husband!
“Hehe, the second person?”
“The second one! The second one is even more outstanding—a chairman! Don’t girls these days all like men like him?!”
Yang Wei: “…”
She didn’t want to hear about the last two now.
“Hey, don’t focus solely on eating your breakfast! I still haven’t introduced the other two candidates. This person is, from what I’ve heard, the richest man in A City. He’s rather handsome too; the most handsome boy at film school. He recently signed a contract with some big production…”
Yang Wei: “..”
It truly didn’t matter to her if they had such stellar achievements! Furthermore, wasn’t the richest person in A City Ye Zhen Zhen?! Didn’t she recently donate her money?!
“In order to not make you run all over the place, I arranged all of the dates at the same place, just at staggered times. Oh, by the way, I numbered them so that you won’t mix them up.”
Yang Wei: “…”
Mama deserves to call herself an expert at this.
She drained the rest of her milk in one gulp before stabbing the last piece of ham on her plate with her fork and consuming it. She’d finally finished her breakfast beneath the demonic-sounding torment of Mama Yang. Yang Wei didn’t even have time to breathe however, as Mama Yang immediately dragged her to get dressed.
Because none of Yang Wei’s clothes were at home, Mama Yang had intentionally gone out and bought her a red dress with elbow-length sleeves. Yang Wei’s temple ached slightly when she saw the layers of lace that the skirt was made of.
Once she finished helping Yang Wei change into the dress and do her hair, Mama Yang felt very satisfied with her daughter. “So beautiful. Qi Xiao Yan was blind to divorce you.”
Yang Wei pursed her lips but didn’t reply. Mama Yang circled around her before placing a necklace around her neck. According to Mama Yang’s plans, the blind dates would begin at one o’clock in the afternoon, with each lasting an hour. She hadn’t forgotten to set aside a twenty minute break between each date for Yang Wei, however.
As she was being dragged to the coffee shop, Yang Wei felt like a soldier being rushed toward the battlefield.
“Weiwei, I’ll sit over in that corner. Don’t be nervous, just take your time and talk to them.”
Yang Wei lacked the energy to retort and simply nodded half-heartedly.
At one o’clock sharp, a man dressed in a suit and wearing glasses entered the coffee shop. In a split-second, Yang Wei felt like the door to a whole new world was about to open.
You’ll witness a miracle next chapter 🙂
I need to talk with you guys about something. I won’t be able to update tomorrow, so the update will be the day after tomorrow 🙂
Why am I not seeing little angels bookmark my work qwq
Finally, especially expressing thanks to Jerair, who threw a rocket! Muah~! （づ￣3￣）づ╭?～
 Sheep (羊 Yáng) sounds the same as Yang (杨 Yáng). ‘Miemie’ is the sound of a bleating sheep. So she prefers being called Yang Miemie over Yang Baobao (Baby)
Well…I’ve had a busy month dealing with college transfer and packing. On vacation right now so updates will still be all over the place qwq
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