Getting Outsmarted By The CEO - Chapter 84
Chapter 20.2 (TL: Bara Chou)
Before she slept last night, Ruan An’an asked for help in the B̲i̲t̲c̲h̲ Squad chat, but the other two also had never ridden on the subway. So, she turned to Baidu, spending about 10 minutes figuring out how to get to the station Gu Jue had marked via the subway.
When she was little, she never got the opportunity to ride on any sort of public transportation – after all, what kind of small town owns a subway system? And after she was brought back to the Ruan family, she never had the need to either.
The subway on Sunday was a little insufferable, but thanks to her research, she was able to make it just in time.
As soon as she squeezed her way off the train, she found the one who stood out even in a crowd.
Gu Jue was facing to the side, focused on his phone, and sucking on a lollipop. He wore a black hoodie paired with a pair of dark jeans that accentuated his long legs.
It was a casual look, but a stunning look on him, nonetheless.
In truth, Gu Jue had never specifically dressed up. They were always plain clothes, to the point of just being basic items, but that never stopped him from attracting attention.
Like right now.
Ruan An’an could hear one of the girls behind her mumbling “damn, that guy is hot”.
Ruan An’an hurried over to him, “how long have you been waiting?”
Gu Jue raised his eye from his phone, meeting hers. There was a split-second when the light shone just at the right angle, making his eyes glisten beautifully.
“I just got here,” he put away his phone and continued, “give me your hand.”
Ruan An’an knew what was about to happen – without a doubt, he took out a candy. “You brought candy even when today isn’t a school day?”
Gu Jue didn’t answer but simply watched as she skillfully unwrapped the candy and tossed the wrapper.
There was now a white lollipop in her mouth that matched his.
Gu Jue let out a chuckle after the pair looked at each other. He pointed in a direction, “come, let’s get out of here first.”
In a sense, this was their first legitimate date – to be together somewhere that was not the school or surrounded by people they knew.
Ruan An’an never took notice of the name of this station, but once they arrived above ground, she recognized where they were.
This was a shopping district in downtown Qing Cheng with several large malls. It was a shopping haven as well as a date haven. You could find all kinds of shops and activities here, complete with lots of food stalls around.
Ruan An’an often went out with Yin Yuan and Jiang Yi when they were in high school, but daytime activities moved to nighttime once they entered university. Maybe it was because they grew up, but the days of wandering about carefreely were long over.
Nostalgia made Yuan An’an crave bubble tea from a certain shop, so she went to get some with Gu Jue. The line took about half an hour, and when they finally finished the cups they were sipping on while strolling, it was almost lunchtime.
Coincidentally, they had come to the end of the pedestrian street. Just around the corner was an alley that was next to a school.
Glancing around, Ruan An’an noticed an interesting shop.
The name of the shop was 3 words: Happily in Poverty
Compared to the modern buildings around, it stuck out like a sore thumb with its shabby shack look. The exterior was covered with what looked like hay.
Ruan An’an was very intrigued. She tugged on Gu Jue’s sleeve and pointed the shop out to him, “Hey, look over there! Do you think it’s a restaurant? Wanna go check it out?”
Gu Jue glanced at the hand that was holding onto his sleeve, before following her finger to look at the odd building.
He had never seen anything like it before, so he hesitated, “Are you sure… it’s not a public washroom?”
Regardless of what it was, the pair decided to check it out anyway.
As it turned out, Ruan An’an was right, as proven by the menu that was posted on the door.
On the inside, there was a middle-aged man sitting at one of the tables, presumably the owner.
Without lifting his head up, the owner spoke through the unlit cigarette he had in his mouth, “we don’t take rich customers, nor delinquents.”
Ruan An’an paused at the door, managing only to let out a “huh?” in her confusion.
The owner only lifted his head then and examined the pair. “Oh, couples are ok though.” He nodded.
“…” Ruan An’an felt a bit awkward, “Um, actually, we’re…”
Before she could finish, Gu Jue interrupted, “since we’re ok, let’s order.” He led her to one of the tables.
Although the pair hadn’t gotten food together before, choosing what to order was not an ordeal.
Once they had placed their orders, Ruan An’an wondered, “Owner, what did you mean by what you said?”
“I gave this place the name ‘Happily in Poverty’ and renovated it this way,” the owner made a very smug look, “so that rich students won’t come in.”
A question mark formed above Ruan An’an’s head.
What kind of business strategy entails deterring rich students???
Before she could ask, the owner pointed to the south and continued, “you know there’s a high school just 100m that way?”
Ruan An’an nodded in response.
“Previously, our shop was called ‘Stately Eatery’ and had very cool interior designs, like, the walls were all black.” The owner took a drag from the unlit cigarette, recalling the past, “that’s why troublemakers favored this place.”
“At first, it just seemed lively. Nothing wrong with that. But, after a while, it became trouble.”
“Those kids from rich families… oh my god, do they go wild in fist fights. They didn’t give two cares about us common-folk workers. All the damaged tables and chairs…”
Ruan An’an was invested in the story, “did they not pay for the damage?”
“Pay?” That word trigged the owner, and he slammed the table. “Pay for the damage my a̲s̲s̲! Think about it, doesn’t it take time to repair? Once, they even ripped a section of paint from the wall. There was a lingering smell half a month after we patched it! Also, tables and chairs take time to replace! Who has that time to waste?!”
“…” Oh, he’s right.
Gu Jue could tell the owner was acting from the start, but Ruan An’an was completely stringed along by his performance. She grabbed Gu Jue’s hand which was holding his phone and showed it to the owner, “see this?”
Then, she pulled out her own phone from her purse, also showing it to the owner, “this too.”
The owner saw.
Two phones, the same model, both relatively new, but the screens were cracked.
How in the world did the cracks manage to mirror each other, the owner was amused. It’s easy to crack a phone screen, but to get a matching set? That takes some skill.
The owner examined the pair again, drawing the conclusion that they were a university couple. Despite both of their outstanding appearances, they were still dirt-poor students who couldn’t even afford to replace their cracked screens.
“Well, you two seem like a great match. It’s tough being a uni student, eh?”
Ruan An’an: ?
What’s he going on about?
“I may not be rich, but at least I can replace my phone screen if need be.” The owner acted magnanimously, “I’ll give you 50% off for your meal.”
I don’t think there’s room to reject.
Food at Happily in Poverty tasted surprisingly good, considering the low prices. When the two were done, the place was filling with boarding students who were returning for the new week. Ruan An’an made sure to say goodbye to the owner before they left.
Be it in novels or tv dramas, one key element of a date, other than a meal together, is the movies.
Among the recent releases, there was a foreign romance movie with a great cast. Even the giant posters were oozing with romantic vibes. Before Ruan An’an could bring up the movie to Gu Jue, he pointed to the poster first and said, “I bought tickets for a showing of this movie in about half an hour. Do you want to watch it?”
Ruan An’an swirled her head around to look at him, “when did you buy it?”
I swear it’s like he could read my thoughts.
“Last night,” Gu Jue answered. “I was just browsing and saw that this is really popular. Plus –“ he dragged out the word for a dramatic effect, “the reviews said it’s the best option for couples.”
Speaking of “couples”…
Even though they had no intimate gestures, everyone they met today, including the owner of Happily in Poverty, assumed they were a couple.
Ruan An’an was about to make a comment, but Gu Jue continued on, “the reviews said something else too.”
“Oh? What did it say?”
The corner of his eyes creased with the widening of his smile. He replied in a low voice, “there’s also a great chance for development when two single people watched it together.”
Ten minutes later, the pair sat on a couch in the atrium, wasting time before the auditorium of this god-tier “wingmovie” opened.
Ruan An’an felt her phone buzz several times. She opened WeChat and found a ping in her family group chat.
Group name: Work hard in youth, play hard in retirement
The group name sounded like an MLM or a cult for old people, but it’s actually a group with just 3 members – her and her maternal grandparents.
[Lin Songbai]: @[Ruan An’an]!! Why didn’t you go into the office??? /angry
Ruan An’an started to type “I’m out playing” but had a better idea. She turned on the camera, stealthily angling it so she could capture Gu Jue’s long legs.
[Ruan An’an]: (photo)
A minute later.
[Lin Songbai]: You little stinker!!! You’re out on a date???
[Lin Songbai]: You’re in a relationship???!!!
[Ruan An’an]: Eh-heh, more or less~ /cute
Coincidentally, just as Ruan An’an was typing away, Gu Jue’s phone also buzzed in his pocket.
He checked and saw it was his family’s group chat.
Group name: Has President Gu yelled at Gu Ming today?
[Gu Qizhong]: Come explain why you didn’t show up at the company today.
[Gu Qizhong]: You’ve been only going 2-3 times a week, are you trying to revolt??
[Gu Qizhong]: I already have to deal with your brother, are you trying to be rebellious like him???
Gu Jue was unfazed.
[gj]: I’m in the middle of a date.
[Gu Qizhong]: As if!! I know you don’t want to meet the girls I wanted to introduce to you, but all the lies about dating someone! Your brother slipped up when he got drunk! He told me you never f̲u̲c̲k̲i̲n̲g̲ dated anyone!! Don’t lie to me!!
Gu Jue: …
He turned to look at Ruan An’an who was still messaging on her phone. Her hair was tucked behind her ear, showing off her porcelain profile. Her long and curly lashes gave her a soft look. Whomever she was chatting with left a hint of a smile on her face.
This scene soothed his heart.
Gu Jue took a moment to take in the image, before straightening up from the couch.
With his phone in his left hand and camera set to the front, he patted Ruan An’an’s shoulder with his right. “Are you scared of bugs?”
“…” Ruan An’an looked up from her phone, taking a few seconds to register what he just asked, “not really, depends on the type… what type are we talking about?”
“Uh, what type are you scared of?”
“Definitely bees… their stings are scary,” Ruan An’an made a “tsk” sound, “not only are there honeybees and wasps, but there are also killer bees… just listen to that name, how—”
The word “scary” didn’t quite make it out of her mouth, because she clearly heard Gu Jue say “don’t move, there’s a bee on your back.”
Ruan An’an: !!!
She felt the ends of her hair standing, but before she could make a move, such as to jump up or to scream, she felt a force on the back of her head.
Gu Jue had pushed her head onto his shoulder with one hand and lifted his left hand to swiftly take a picture.
Then, he pretended to pat something off her back and let go. “All good, it’s gone now.”
Ruan An’an let out a sigh of relief, mumbling stuff like “there’s a bee inside the mall”, “filing a complaint”, and “outrageous” under her breaths. Gu Jue mindlessly nodded along while he focused on editing the photo.
He changed the color balance and contrast, and added a filter, before saving.
He made sure only his face was showing. There was a girl against his chest in an intimate position, showing only the back of her head.
The back of her head was perfection. She could probably win an award with it.
Gu Jue was very satisfied with the final image and sent it in the group chat.
[gj]: Dad, picture proof. I’m really on a date. This time, the girl is real. @[Gu Qizhong]
Two seconds later.
System message: Group member [Game Addict Gu Ming] changed the group name from “Has President Gu yelled at Gu Ming today?“ to “OMG President Gu is gonna yell at Gu Jue today!!!”
Btw, the interactions with their family are so cute <3 Anyone else have weird group chat names with their family? Mine is “Versailles Savage Group” XD
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