Chapter 11 The Pursuit Of Art

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Sometimes, one cannot avoid interactions with relatives related by blood or by marriage when you all are in the same social circle.

But Pei Yan was a different beast entirely, as he didn’t even like hanging out with his own peers of the same age.
Coupled with the fact that he thinks the business elites were too serious, and that they playboys were too frivolous for him to get along with them, there weren’t a lot of people left that he could socialize with. 

Yang Shao could be regarded as one of the few he calls ‘friend’, as their grandparents were cousins.
When he cheekily asked Pei Yan to bring an elderly embroiderer to their hometown, he agreed. 

People who pursued the perfection of their craft were people worthy of respect.

Having parked his car at the appointed meeting place, Pei Yan looked around before calling Yang Shao, “Tell me about this embroiderer of yours as the people here are like ants! How will I even find her?”

   “Add her WeChat?” Pei Yan frowned.
Listening to Yang Shao making various promises on the other end of the line, he grumpily sighed, “Okay, okay! For the sake of our grandma, I’ll help you with this.” 

Scanning the QR code Yang shao sent, Pei Yan found that the embroiderer’s avatar was a character from a certain game.
He chuckled, finding it amusing that this old person seemed to be quite fashionable.

The friend request was quickly accepted, before Pei Yan sent his location to the other party.
‘Old people who use game characters as avatars should at least be able to use the location map, right?’

The other party sent a message.

[Fan Hua]: Thank you.
I’m wearing a long red dress and a red shawl with beige embroidery.
I’ll be there in five minutes.

Red dress…

Pei Yan faintly felt that something wasn’t quite right. 

A few minutes later, he frowned as he saw a young woman in a red dress dragging a suitcase coming towards him.

 ‘Is this the ‘elderly’ embroiderer Yang Shao spoke of?’

 ‘When did ‘old age’ fall below 30?!’ 

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 When Pei Yan saw Hua Jin, she also saw him.
Even across all living beings, people with outstanding appearances, blessed with radiant bodies, made it easy for other people to gaze upon them. 

 While walking across the hallway, Hua Jin gaze never veered away from Pei Yan.
She waved to him before smiling, “Hi~ What a coincidence.”

 Pei Yan continued to look at her blankly.

Hua Jin cared a lot about her image when she’s out in public, so when she saw Pei Yan looking at her expressionlessly, she ignored him and proceeded to look for this cousin of Dong Dong, which he described as so handsome that you could recognize him from a crowd.
But with Pei Yan here, all the other men here simply paled in comparison.

  “Where are you going?” Seeing that Hua Jin was still walking forward, Pei Yan opened the door to the backseat of the car, “Get in.” 

 Hua Jin covered her chest as she looked at Pei Yan in disbelief, “We’re in public! What do you want to do to me?!”

 “What do I want to do to you?!” Pei Yan rolled his sleeves before walking towards her, taking her suitcase out of her hand and putting it in the trunk.
He clapped his hand like he wanted to get rid of imaginary dust before saying, “I’m here to pick you up.”

 Hua Jin blinked.
It turned out that Dong Dong didn’t lie to her.
His cousin really was someone you’d recognize in a crowd at first glance. 

Seeing that Hua Jin was still standing there, frozen, Pei Yan opened the driver-side door before lazily saying, “Get in the car already.
Even if something happens between us, it’ll be me who suffers and you who’ll be benefiting.
If anything, I should be the one who should be worried, not you.”

Hua Jin: “…”

‘Young man, you might be good looking, but you’re just asking for a beating if you keep on talking like that.’

 “Then should I sit in the front or at the back?”

People on the Internet had said that the front passenger seat was reserved for people who are close to the driver, but if you didn’t really care and just sat at the back immediately, you’d be deemed as disrespectful.

  “Whatever you want.” Pei Yan got into the car and fastened his seatbelt.
“It takes about three hours to drive from Furong City to our destination.
If you want to sleep, you’re free to take a nap.” 

  Hua Jin thought for a moment before opening the front passenger door and taking her seat.

Such a fine specimen, even the side view was perfect.
Seeing that Pei Yan turned on the navigation app, Hua Jin softly inquired, “Are you also not familiar with the route?”

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Pei Yan simply looked at her indifferently, “I prefer quiet women.”

“How embarrassing.
Perhaps, I simply wasn’t born to please you.
Oh well, it’s hard to change one’s nature, so you should learn to be a little more tolerant.” Hua Jin took out two lollipops from her bag, before stretching out her hand intending to give him one before pulling back half-way.
“It’s safer to drive without eating, so I’m not giving you any.”

“Who cares…” Pei Yan snorted softly before starting the car. 

   After exiting Furong City through the highway, Pei Yan noticed that the woman who claimed “nature was hard to change” hadn’t said a word since then.
When he glanced at her, he saw that she was staring out the window in a daze.

“Are you hungry? There’s some food in the small refrigerator, so let’s go stop at the service area for a while to rest.” Pei Yan drove the car into a rest stop before taking out some drinks and snacks for Hua Jin. 

“Thank you.” Hua Jin opened the can while leaning against the car door.
Today’s weather was very nice, with just a few clouds floating in the blue sky.
It made people feel relaxed.
She squinted a bit before taking out her phone to take a picture of the azure sky.
She happened to see Pei Yan busy drinking water, so she quickly took a picture of him too.

The moment she took it, Pei Yan turned his head to look at her.
Those clear eyes were revealed.

“Secretly taking a photo of me?” Pei Yan stared at Hua Jin.

“How can you call it “secret” when I took it in public?” Hua Jin handed her phone to Pei Yan, “Well, you can delete it if you want.”

“I knew you were envious of my face.” Pei Yan sneered, “So I’ll let you keep it, since I don’t think you’ll ever find a more handsome boyfriend than me in your life.”

 “Says who? My first love was a ‘Male-God’ and he was a hundred times more handsome than you.” Hua Jin put away her phone.
“Just to let you know, boys shouldn’t be too narcissistic or girls would be put off.”

   “Who’s your first love anyway, this ‘Male-God’?” Pei Yan raised his eyebrows.
“Tell me about him.”

“My first love, the ‘Male-God’, is known and acknowledged by everyone as a rare man that has both beauty and strength.
There will never be a man more handsome than him in this world.” Hua Jin tapped her phone before showing the screen to Pei Yan.
“Look if you don’t believe me.”

After seeing the person on the screen was Sun Wukong, a fictional movie character, he was struck speechless.

“I didn’t lie to you, right?” Hua Jin then put away her phone and threw her snack wrappers and beverage can into the trash.
When she looked back, Pei Yan had also come to throw his trash.
On her way back, she saw someone had littered a milk carton on the ground, so she casually picked it up and threw it in the trash as well.

“Turns out that you like monkeys over people.” Pei Yan’s expression was subtle, “What an unusual taste.” After speaking, without waiting for Hua Jin’s retort, he walked towards the wash area and put his hands under the faucet to wash his hands carefully several times. 

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Hua Jin simply stared at his back, before going into the car again and taking her seat.

Pei Yan’s hometown was in Jiangsu City, which was famous all over the country because of its popular wines.
When Hua Jin and Pei Yan passed the Jiangsu Expressway Toll Station, it started to rain.
This gave him no choice but to take Hua Jin to a hotel to stay the night, to prepare for their journey to his hometown tomorrow, hopefully when the rain stopped.

  In the evening, Pei Yan got up and knocked on Hua Jin’s door, only to find that she wasn’t in her room.

 He frowned and was just about to call her, when he saw her walk out of the elevator.

   “You went out?” Pei Yan found that there were splotches of mud on the edge of her white skirt.

“Yeah.” Hua Jin nodded.
“I went out to the old neighborhood to ask about the embroidery style a few decades ago.”

 Pei Yan released his gaze before saying, “Go change your clothes before coming downstairs to the restaurant for dinner.”

“Wait for me.
I’ll go right now.” Hua Jin went into her room and quickly changed into a new set of clothes.
When she opened the door, she saw Pei Yan had really waited for her in the corridor.
She smiled and thanked him.

    “You are running errands for our grandma, so you don’t need to thank me.” Pei Yan put his hands in his pockets, “I just didn’t expect you to be a Shu embroiderer.”

  “Surprised?” Hua Jin walked into the elevator.
“Actually, I’m mainly here for myself, so I still want to thank you.”

 “For yourself?” Pei Yan’s expression mostly remained unchanged, though a little surprise slipped through.
Didn’t Yan Shao tell him that this Shu embroiderer came to the Shu Province to collect information in order to be able to make the panda embroidery for grandma?”

 “Yes.” Hua Jin smiled, “Shu Embroidery isn’t merely manual labor, but it is an artform.
If someone wants to improve their skills, they must first overcome countless difficulties to allow their craftsmanship to fuse with their artistic expression, together with their color aesthetic.
Only then will they be able to make the most exquisite embroideries.

Pei Yan didn’t speak.
He admired Hua Jin’s spirit, but he personally didn’t understand what she was trying to say.

The two stayed the night at the hotel, but on the next morning, instead of stopping, the rain grew even heavier.
After eating their lunch, Hua Jin noticed that Pei Yan looked a little annoyed.
“I heard that the oil-paper umbrellas here are very beautiful, and it just happens to be raining today.
Let’s buy two of them and let’s play a bit.”

 “No.” Pei Yan refused without thinking.
“This is not Xi Lake and I am not Xu Xian*.
For what purpose are we buying oil-paper umbrellas? Don’t tell me you wanted to play Legend of the White Snake?”

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*Note: Xi Lake and Xu Xian are the location and a main character in the folklore story, Legend of the White Snake.
Check out the wikipedia article for more information.

“I just wanted to experience holding an oil-paper umbrella under the rain.
Perhaps I might suddenly get a flash of inspiration and enlightenment.” Hua Jin said seriously, “People like me, who pursue art, are very particular when it comes to artistic expression.”

“Can you stop speaking gibberish and start speaking in a human language? Maybe I can reluctantly accommodate your request then.”

“An oil-paper umbrella is very beautiful.
I just want to take one out in the rain and take pictures to post on my social media.” Hua Jin spoke all this in one breath.

Pei Yan stared at Hua Jin silently for a good three seconds before saying, “That’s it?”

“That’s it.”

Pei Yan put down his chopsticks before standing up, “Let’s go then.”

“Where to?”

  “To accompany you to pursue art and find inspiration.” Pei Yan crossed his arms around his chest, glowered at her and then mockingly said, “Looking forward to witnessing you get enlightened!”

 “As expected of Mr Pei.
Such a handsome and kind man.” Hua Jin picked up her bag and followed behind him.
“Right now, you’re already so tall and committed, aren’t you over 3.8 meters tall already? If you remember to turn on MeiYan* when you take pictures of me later, you’d probably grow taller to 8.8 meters!”

*Note: It’s a beauty filter… 

Pei Yan paused before turning to look at Hua Jin.

‘Photo?’

‘Me?’

  ‘Who said I’ll do it?!’

—————————–

The author has something to say: “Art? Bah! Beautify your own face! What does that have anything to do with me?!

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