Posted in C-Novel Translation

Chapter 6 – Castle in the Time (Time City) 时光之城 by 皎皎 Jiao Jiao

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there. Here wishing everyone safe and happy weekend.

Sorry, it took longer to churn out the translation of this chapter. Please expect further delay on the next chapter. One of the project that I have been working on at work is scheduled to go live next week, so all hands on the deck while our team worked hard to ensure that the project will be launch with no issues. In the meantime, Happy Reading!

And to everyone out there… the current epidemic is very serious. Please take the #socialdistancing and any #stayathome request by the leaders of your country seriously. Stay healthy and safe wherever you are. 

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Chapter 6:

The new semester starting soon. The professors and students have learned about the news of my father’s death. One after another, they have expressed their condolences to me. The professor asked to talk to me, saying that as long as I need help, the school will provide them as much as possible.

Although, I did not accept it, such kindness warmed my whole body.

With the huge sum of money given by my mother, the pressure on my shoulder was lighter. After paying the tuition fees, I saved the balance in the card and waited for a few months for my relationship with my mother to be closer.

© 2020 TINKERBELLSAN tinkerbellsan.wordpress.com ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Translated for tinkerbellsan.wordpress.com. If you are not reading this from tinkerbellsan.wordpress.com, then this translation has been posted without the permission of the translator.

I studied in the best economics department in China. When I was in my senior year, the courses were still the same. After all, once the threshold of university is crossed, the rest can only rely on oneself. And there are only two ways to go, either to further study or face the society.

My father’s hospitalization makes me realized the importance of money never like before. So, I decided to start working earlier initially but Profession Qian Gang of the university, two to three months ago suddenly approached me and said that he would accept me as a graduate student. And the university will offer me scholarship. Initially, I thought he was partial to me. Later, I learned that he was moved by me when he saw me taking care of my father by his bed in the hospital.

In short, for whatever reason, this is the best news that I have received in the most recent year.

Study is still the best option, but it is really difficult to make money. Every restaurant is a microcosm of society. Most of the guests who come to Manro for dinner have high expectation. I really cannot afford to offend anyone but to wait on them with extra care.

Fortunately, the overall environment of the restaurant is good. Colleagues are fairly friendly, except for one called Han Mei. Shen Qin Yan has gotten closer with me. I am a newcomer; it is inevitable that he will get worried about me being unfamiliar with the process. He had helped me to say good things in front of the colleagues and several chefs.

© 2020 TINKERBELLSAN tinkerbellsan.wordpress.com ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Translated for tinkerbellsan.wordpress.com. If you are not reading this from tinkerbellsan.wordpress.com, then this translation has been posted without the permission of the translator.

Sometimes, Lin Jin Xiu will bring different female companion to Manro for dinner every two or three days. He always calls for me to serve them, calling me like I am a little girl. As long as I show a little sign of wanting to lose my cool, he will support his chin and leisurely said, ‘Xu Zhen, don’t you embarrass me.’

The meaning of his words is very subtle. Every time I heard it; my temper cooled down. He can easily give me this job; he can easily take it back. I can only be more careful.

It was probably my soft whispering that makes him happy. Lin Jin Xiu gave a lot of tips every time which can be said a lot. Almost keeping up to the price of the meal he ate.

Just the first few times, making me feel if I should accept, while suspecting that he is trying to help me in disguise.

But he showed no sympathy even when he is tipping. He just took a few big bills in the folder and handed it to me. He will take his female companion and walked away. There was nothing special about it. Obviously, this is very rare for him.

Quietly, I asked Shen Qin Yan what to do, but he concisely said, ‘Come on. Keep it.’

He said it easily. I just felt that Lin Jin Xiu’s money is no easy to keep. I bowed my head and felt very heavy.

He asked: ‘Are there additional conditions?’

© 2020 TINKERBELLSAN tinkerbellsan.wordpress.com ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Translated for tinkerbellsan.wordpress.com. If you are not reading this from tinkerbellsan.wordpress.com, then this translation has been posted without the permission of the translator.

I bluffed: ‘Ah, this is not…..’

‘You have known him for many years?’

‘Hey, yes. It is so embarrassing.’ I sighed.

‘You hinted to him that you are short of money?’

‘No! How could I do that?’ I paused. ‘To be honest, I didn’t want to agree to this job. I have to owe him a favor.’

Shen Qin Yan nodded unexpectedly, ‘That’s just one more debt.’

It was so easy to chat with Shen Qin Yan. A messy thought that I had for 2 weeks easily entangled.

‘Everyone has a hard time. There is always time to pay off what you owe.’ Shen Qi Yan said. ‘For now, just pretend to be stupid.’

It is easy to understand. I looked at him with admiration and exhaled slowly. Shen Qin Yan is younger than me and much more transparent than me in many things.

On the third weekend of my job, I met an impressive middle-aged couple. The wife had a gloomy face and a big temper. I checked my eyes and estimated that these two people must have quarrelled recently and are in bad mood. So, I took extra care. I know that there will always be a malicious customer in a hundred of people, but I did not expect to meet such a difficult person.

© 2020 TINKERBELLSAN tinkerbellsan.wordpress.com ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Translated for tinkerbellsan.wordpress.com. If you are not reading this from tinkerbellsan.wordpress.com, then this translation has been posted without the permission of the translator.

Usually, we take care of a table together in a team of 2 person. On that day, there were a lot of customers in the restaurant and there were many who were doing take out as well. The shortcoming of our lack of manpower is obvious. I was completely reduced to be their punching bag.

At first, the wife suspected that the vegetables and slices of ham in the started were not fresh. After a while, the macaroni was too hard. After that, she criticized that the seafood sauce is not good. Redo it. It is not enough, if I am slower, I am scolded with harsh curse and being called a vixen trying to seduce her husband and threaten to complain to the manager.

Seduce? I was completely dumbfounded.

I just kept a consistent smile, hoping that her husband could suppress her temper slightly.

That was really the most humiliating time in my life. I grew up not ever being so badly scolded like this. Dad, I was his princess. Although I was not always in school, I never felt so lowly. I was ashamed and angry. My heart was burning, my eyes were red. My hands were sharing and the plates and cups in the tray were pushed. It fell on the table and the cold debris stained the tablecloth and it splashed on the woman.

The woman’s eyebrows were raised. And the next second, she grabbed my collar and stood up. She snarled at me. I saw her raising her fat palms and slapped me fiercely.

I never expected that in additional to verbal insults, this woman would also use physical attack under a large audience. Forgetting her reaction for a while, it was too late to try to avoid the attack.

© 2020 TINKERBELLSAN tinkerbellsan.wordpress.com ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Translated for tinkerbellsan.wordpress.com. If you are not reading this from tinkerbellsan.wordpress.com, then this translation has been posted without the permission of the translator.

Shen Qin Yan put a hand up to help me block out all the firepower. Completely blocked in front of me, he grabbed the woman’s waving arms and raised his voice saying in a deep voice.

‘This is not a place for you to perform martial arts. You are not satisfied with us; you can raise it up. There is no need to get physical.’

His voice was calm and reliable with patience and toughness in his impeccable courtesy. Shen Qin Yan is absolutely professional and admirable in the working atmosphere. If it wasn’t because the target was me, I think I would appreciate his behavior better.

The woman yelled, ‘She stained my clothes!’

I want to rebut but Shen Qin Yan took my hand to make me calm down and stop me from answering the woman. ‘We will send for dry cleaning and return to you as compensation.’

After saying that, he simply tidied up the dining table that made me felt terrible and gave me a wink. I was very grateful to him. I crouched down to pick up the broken pieces of tableware.

As soon as I got up, Han Mei, who hurried over, held down my neck and asked me to apologies to the woman. I felt that I was not wrong, and I was unwilling. Han Mei should not embarrass me in front of so many guests. She asked Shen Qin Yan to deal with the follow up and she looked at me before pulling me into the employee lounge.

© 2020 TINKERBELLSAN tinkerbellsan.wordpress.com ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Translated for tinkerbellsan.wordpress.com. If you are not reading this from tinkerbellsan.wordpress.com, then this translation has been posted without the permission of the translator.

‘What kind of attitude you have! The customer picks on you, how can you throw things on people’s clothes!’

I tried to explain, ‘I didn’t do anything wrong. I just broke the plate when it slides from my hand. If there is a system, I am willing to be punished.’

However, Han Mei wouldn’t listen to it, but sharply scold me. At first, I bit my lips and endured humiliation without making noise, until she suddenly said, ‘You are so reckless. Who you want to show! Don’t think I dare not deal with you even if you have someone backing you!’

I am at lost: ‘What?’

Han Mei sneered, ‘How did you come to Manro?’

It turns out that she was talking about Lin Jin Xiu. I really have no room to distinguish this matter. I only listened to her scolding with a wry smile. On top of being scolded, my salary was also deducted to compensate for the broken plates. Who made me break a set of previous porcelain?

I was discouraged and through that I was conscientious and hardworking, but I still fell into this unbearable situation. Although, people can’t help but bow their heads under such situation, but I was insulted as well. So, I can only take the burden off.

‘Enough is enough.’ These strong words fully reflected my thoughts, but it did not come out of my mouth. I looked back in surprise and saw the manager pushing the door in.

‘Today’s affair will be handled after work.’ The manager said succinctly and waved his hand. ‘Xu Zhen, you go home first.’

I was sent out of the room with just that sentence. Leaving the room, I saw Shen Qin Yan leaning against the corridor, slightly scratching his head. The sound of my footsteps alarmed him. He looked up, his eyes lighted with relief.

© 2020 TINKERBELLSAN tinkerbellsan.wordpress.com ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Translated for tinkerbellsan.wordpress.com. If you are not reading this from tinkerbellsan.wordpress.com, then this translation has been posted without the permission of the translator.

My heart moved.

‘Did you call the manager?’

Shen Qin Yan looked at me as if to confirm that I am good and safe.

‘Thank you for the help today.’ I was so moved that I almost wanted to give him a hug. Grievances are too much. Seeing a person who supports me, I hope that I will spend my heart and soul to be a friend for life.

Shen Qin Yan finally said, ‘Sometime, I will encounter unreasonable guests.’

I feel like a confidant, ‘Have you ever met any?’

He does not speak. I also felt that I was really stupid. Shen Qin Yan have been in the field for several years. He has definitely seen more people than me and have more experience.

He paused. ‘I will call the manager directly when I meet this kind of customer again in the future.’

‘I will remember that.’ I sighed in a low breath, leaning back against the wall.

Shen Qin Yan didn’t make a sound and reached out and pat my shoulder.

I have nothing to hide in front of him. ‘If it wasn’t for the manager to come in, I would probably have quarreled with Han Mei. It was too painful and unjust. And I struggled repeatedly between wanting to kill and refusing to kill.’

‘Forbearance is over.’ He looked more stunned than me for a moment. ‘Sometimes, these kind of case, no matter how plain and ordinary life, you will encounter all kinds of malicious and those who hate it. It happens.’

Assuming that everyone has a lake of water in my heart, I can almost see the words dripping into my heart like drops of water and the ripples of the horizon is all fallen people.

He turned his head to meet my eyes: ‘How?’

I smiled, ‘It’s rare to hear you saying so many words.’

© 2020 TINKERBELLSAN tinkerbellsan.wordpress.com ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Translated for tinkerbellsan.wordpress.com. If you are not reading this from tinkerbellsan.wordpress.com, then this translation has been posted without the permission of the translator.

There was a flash of light in the corners of his bright eyes but that was an instant. The next second, the gaze is gone, he turned his head to look at the end of the corridor and whispered, ‘You go back first.’

‘No. It is not my personality to escape.’

The corner of his mouth flicked up, drawing a perfect arc.

When I left Manro with Shen Qin Yan that day, I regained my spirit and completely dismissed the idea of resignation. On the subway on the way back, I felt painful and deepened my understanding of the arduousness of the service industry. So, I decided to take up service industry and the growth of the national economy as my graduation thesis topic. This is also a good thing with two benefits.

© 2020 TINKERBELLSAN tinkerbellsan.wordpress.com ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Author:

I love travelling and exploring the world, see things from the lense of my camera.... this is my space in sharing the many exciting places that I have visited as well as some of the wonderful gastronomy experience. I also loved baking while exploring new recipes. From time to time, I will also be sharing unique dishes that I cook for my family as well as sharing some of my baking experience / recipes.

2 thoughts on “Chapter 6 – Castle in the Time (Time City) 时光之城 by 皎皎 Jiao Jiao

  1. Thanks for the chapter! Here’s to your project going well! I like the idea of her taking on the service industry as the topic of her senior project. Restaurants are one of the hardest businesses with the thinnest profit margins.

    Liked by 1 person

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