Cactus in Distress Chapter 5

Chapter 5

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Sun Yutan carried a fresh set of dishes from the kitchen and began to wash them while stealing glances out of the window. Chen Rui sat at the dining table in her striped slippers. A myriad of boxes and bags filled with an assortment of foods were arranged in front of him, yet he had not made a move to sample any of the delectable treats.

He was truly a young master.

She made her way over to the table and began to unwrap each package with a sense of curiosity. Sitting down across from Chen Rui, she inquired, “What would you like to eat?”

“I’ll handle it myself,” Chen Rui replied, picking up a shrimp dumpling.

Without further comment, Sun Yutan began to savor the various dishes spread before her. The flavors exploded in her mouth, each one as delectable as the last. As she ate, her pace gradually slowed, and she found herself casting occasional glances towards Chen Rui’s rolled-up sleeves. She couldn’t believe that she was sitting there, sharing a breakfast table with him. It was a surreal experience that she never could have imagined.

Sun Yutan found herself unable to maintain her composure and reached for her phone, diving into it with a fierce focus. As Chen Rui got up to leave, she barely lifted her head, only managing to reply with a lackluster “Okay” after he bid his farewell.

Once the table was cleared, Sun Yutan returned to her desk and delved back into her work. Hours passed, and it wasn’t until she had finished the last document that she realized just how much time had flown by. After sating her hunger with some takeout and taking a quick nap, Sun Yutan headed out to find Sun Nianxi.

With ease, she followed the navigation and signage to locate the correct floor, standing at the stairwell and orienting herself towards the correct direction. As she neared the back door, she could hear Sun Nianxi’s voice as she lectured on some topic.

Finally spotting Sun Yutan, Sun Nianxi beamed and raised her hand, offering a high-five in greeting.

Sun Yutan nodded, leaning casually against the door as she waited. Her attire, a khaki shirt dress with workwear-style pockets on either side, exuded a sense of effortless sophistication. From time to time, she cast a glance back towards the students milling about the hallway

As the bell rang, Sun Nianxi led Sun Yutan to her office to stow away some books. The room was spacious, with only four desks arranged in a neat row. Sun Nianxi perched herself on the desk closest to the wall, facing a slightly plump middle-aged woman who was diligently typing away at her computer. The woman looked up and greeted them with a smile, remarking, “Xiao Xi, you’ve brought a friend, and such a beautiful one at that. Truly, beauty begets beauty.” After some friendly banter, Sun Nianxi and Sun Yutan left the office.

“You seem to have a great work environment with your colleagues,” Sun Yutan observed.

“They’re all pretty easy to get along with,” Sun Nianxi agreed, pushing Sun Yutan towards the cafeteria. “Let me tell you, our school’s mixed sauce noodles are an absolute must-try. People even line up for them.”

Fortunately, it wasn’t mealtime yet, so the mixed sauce noodles counter was relatively empty, with only a handful of people scattered about. Sun Yutan wasn’t particularly famished, so she simply helped herself to a portion from Sun Nianxi’s plate. 

As she nibbled on the savory dish, her hunger began to awaken, and she surveyed the surroundings with interest.

“Is there anything else you would recommend?” 

Sun Nianxi gestured towards a nearby vendor, remarking, “Their glutinous rice chicken is quite exceptional.”

Without delay, Sun Yutan procured a serving, and the two indulged in the delectable cuisine together. Afterward, they each obtained a cup of milk tea and strolled towards the parking lot.

Sun Nianxi parked her car near the entrance of a lounge bar. It was still early, so the interior was devoid of patrons. Dim lighting cast eerie shadows about the room, where a smattering of servers dressed in black uniforms loitered about.

Sun Yutan nestled into a plush sofa positioned beside the window, taking in the ambiance of the lounge. A handsome young man approached her with a hardbound menu and extended a polite greeting. She ordered a glass of fruit wine and a bowl of sweet soup, brimming with an array of flavorful ingredients. He bowed respectfully and departed to fulfill her request.

Meanwhile, Sun Nianxi was engaged in conversation with someone stationed at the bar. As Sun Yutan idly scanned her surroundings, she noted the extravagantly high ceiling, capable of accommodating two levels yet only boasting a raised platform in the center, encompassed by a mezzanine. The vast expanse was partitioned with delicate branches and vines, effectively crafting a serene, intimate atmosphere. Despite being situated beside a window, the noise of the outside traffic was remarkably subdued, thanks to the soundproof brown glass lining the walls.

Directly in front of her, a raised platform was adorned with an entire band’s equipment, and a young lady was diligently tuning her bass, lost in concentration.

Before long, Sun Nianxi returned, bearing two glasses of refreshing beverages. Following closely behind was the handsome server from earlier, delivering a small bucket of ice, a bowl of tantalizing dessert soup, and several plates filled with delectable snacks, which were promptly placed upon the table.

Sun Yutan settled into her seat across from Sun Nianxi, taking in the ambiance of the place. “Did you invest in this establishment?” she inquired.

Sun Nianxi nodded, a proud smile tugging at the corners of her lips. “Isn’t it wonderful?”

“It’s certainly unique,” Sun Yutan agreed.

“We poured our hearts and souls into it,” Sun Nianxi remarked.

“Did the process stress you out?” Sun Yutan pressed, curious about the challenges of investing in such a venture.

Sun Nianxi shook her head. “Not really. I handle the financial side of things. Being a wealthy woman has its perks.”

Despite being the same age as Sun Yutan, Sun Nianxi exuded a sense of confidence that came with being financially secure. Initially, Sun Nianxi had kept her wealth a secret, but as they became closer, she had revealed that her family owned a prominent building in Haicheng. Her mother had entrusted her with a few floors to learn the ropes of rent collection. Sun Yutan was taken aback by this revelation and jokingly speculated that they might be long-lost sisters with the same surname and from the same city. Sun Nianxi laughed at the idea.

Sun Nianxi’s phone rang, and her face lit up as she saw the name of her boyfriend flashing on the screen. They spoke sweetly for a few minutes, and when she hung up, she noticed the expression on Sun Yutan’s face. She cleared her throat and changed the topic. “How long will you be staying in Haicheng?”

“I’ll be leaving at the end of November, after attending the graduation ceremony. I have to fly directly to Tangcheng,” Sun Yutan replied.

“Are you seeing anyone?” Sun Nianxi asked, a mischievous glint in her eyes. “I have a few students who are incredibly good-looking. Maybe I can set you up?”

Sun Yutan rolled her eyes, but couldn’t help but laugh. “No, thanks. Besides, it’s better to avoid getting attached to someone who’s leaving soon.”

Sun Nianxi leaned in, lowering her voice to a conspiratorial whisper. “Is there something between you and your boss?” she asked, her eyes twinkling with curiosity.

Sun Yutan looked at her incredulously. “Are you talking about Zhou Shuxin? Are you out of your mind, or am I?” she exclaimed, shaking her head in disbelief.

Sun Nianxi couldn’t help but burst out laughing as she reminisced about the day her friend was discovered by a talent scout. She turned to Sun Yutan, and said, “Do you remember that exhibition in our junior year? You were the brightest star in the night sky, dazzling everyone.”

Sun Yutan raised an eyebrow in response. “What kind of description is that?” 

“It’s very fitting,” Sun Nianxi replied with a smile.

The exhibition had taken place during the summer of their junior year. They had been recommended by their teacher to act as translators for the foreign guests and business partners. It was a busy day, and Sun Nianxi was in charge of a booth that had been visited by a couple from Australia. Their accents were typical of Australians, but they also mixed in some unfamiliar intonations that made it difficult for Sun Nianxi to understand.

Desperate for assistance, she had quickly signaled to Sun Yutan for help. She had come to her aid and successfully escorted the couple away. As they were leaving, Zhou Shuxin introduced himself and invited her and Sun Nianxi to have lunch with him to discuss potential cooperation.

During the meal, Zhou Shuxin shared several videos featuring himself. They showcased his daring exploits, including skydiving in the midst of roaring winds, diving into the colorful depths of the sea, and even bike riding in a heart-stopping manner. As they watched, Sun Nianxi and Sun Yutan couldn’t help but exclaim in amazement.

After putting away his phone, Zhou Shuxin explained his purpose to Sun Yutan. He was in the process of building an extreme sports club and wanted to invite her to accompany him as a translator for his upcoming skydiving trip in Australia. Sun Yutan couldn’t help but feel a twinge of excitement at the prospect of such an adventure, but she wasn’t completely sold yet. She asked, “But wouldn’t the Australian representatives who regularly receive guests from all over the world be quite professional and have no accent?”

Zhou Shuxin laughed at her question. “Yes, they should be professional and have no accent, but I want to travel to other places,” he explained. “The translators I hired before, with their impressive resumes and specialized skills, charged a lot. When I was just playing around, it didn’t matter, but now that I’m running my own business, I have to be cost-conscious. Miss Sun, this is my consideration as a poor boss. But don’t worry, I won’t mistreat my employees. Your professional skills and on-site reactions are excellent, and I am sincerely looking forward to a long-term cooperation with you. I will not let you down in terms of remuneration. If you have any concerns, feel free to bring them up, or add them to the contract.”

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