Couple of Mirrors – Chapter 26: Competing for Her Affections

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Xu Youyi takes Yan Wei’s injured hand. Did she get hurt while rescuing me?

She blows gently on Yan Wei’s hand.

Yan Wei can only gaze at her speechlessly.

‘Does it hurt?’ asks Xu Youyi.

Yan Wei draws her hand back. ‘Not at all. It’s only a minor injury.’

Suddenly, Yan Wei perks up. ‘By the way!’ she says, and then leans down to listen to Xu Youyi’s stomach.

‘What are you doing?’ gasps Xu Youyi.

Yan Wei puts a finger to her lips. ‘Shh… I’m trying to hear the baby’s heartbeat.’

Xu Youyi chortles. ‘Where did you learn that from? The baby’s so small, how could—’

Just then, Xu Youyi’s stomach gurgles.

‘I heard it!’ Yan Wei crows triumphantly.

‘Sorry,’ says Xu Youyi. ‘That was just my stomach rumbling.’

‘Oh,’ says Yan Wei.

‘I’ll go buy you some food,’ she adds.

As Yan Wei steps out of Xu Youyi’s hospital room, she nearly runs into Zhou Heng and Feng Hong, who are right outside. ‘Isn’t Youyi being a little heartless towards you?’ Feng Hong is asking.

Yan Wei ducks behind a pillar to eavesdrop.

‘It’s fine,’ says Zhou Heng. He lights a cigarette. ‘I sure that, as long as I continue to be good to her, she’ll change her mind.’

‘Oh?’ asks Feng Hong. ‘You’re that confident?’

‘Even if she wanted to reject me,’ says Zhou Heng. ‘She couldn’t possibly reject the luxurious lifestyle she’s become accustomed to.’

‘What do you mean?’ asks Feng Hong.

Zhou Heng blows out a plume of smoke. ‘She’s angry with me,’ he explains. ‘So she’s probably to live simply and frugally for the time being, as long as it means being apart from me. But I understand better than anyone else what kind of lifestyle she truly loves.’

‘You mean…’ Feng Hong begins.

‘I’ll tell you more about it later,’ says Zhou Heng, heading towards his car. ‘I need to go home and pack up her things for her.’

‘By the way,’ says Feng Hong. ‘Do you know the name of that girl who came with Youyi?’

‘Her name is Yan Wei,’ says Zhou Heng. Then he adds. ‘But I’d advise you to stay away from her. She isn’t the type of girl you can just abandon after a fling. You wouldn’t be able to escape unharmed.’

A luxurious lifestyle… Yan Wei muses.

She recalls how Xu Youyi looked the first time the two of them met. That’s right, she was always so elegantly dressed, and her make-up was exquisite. She’s never said anything, but she can’t be all that comfortable staying in my home…

Yan Wei flashes back to a memory of Xu Youyi sticking her head out of the shower.

‘Yan Wei, where do you keep your shampoo and bath soap?’ Xu Youyi asks.

Yan Wei points to a cake of soap. ‘I use that for my face, my hair, and all the rest…’

Xu Youyi inspects the soap. ‘What do you use for washing your clothes, then?’

Yan Wei points to a second, identical cake of soap. ‘I use that one over there for clothes.’

‘Oh, all right then, I see,’ says Xu Youyi, slipping back into the shower.

Later that evening, Yan Wei and Xu Youyi arrive back at the studio. Yan Wei carefully hands Xu Youyi down from the rickshaw.

‘I’m perfectly fine now,’ says Xu Youyi. ‘You don’t have to treat me like I’m made of glass.’

Yan Wei lets go of Xu Youyi’s hand. ‘Oh.’

But Xu Youyi takes her hand again.

‘But since you’ve already done it,’ she tells Yan Wei with a smile. ‘There’s no need to take it back.’

Once they go inside, Xu Youyi tells Yan Wei, ‘Your hand is injured, so I’ll make dinner tonight.’

She opens a cupboard and peers inside…

…to find it empty except for a solitary spring onion.

Yan Wei springs into action. ‘Wait here,’ she says. ‘I’ll go out and get some food.’

Yan Wei’s first stop is the market. She points decisively at the fish in a tank. ‘I’ll take two of these!’

Soon, she’s assembled a cart full of food. ‘You must have a big family, miss!’ says the man pulling the cart. ‘If there’s going to be more, I can find you another handcart to hold it!’

‘Oh, just one should be fine,’ says Yan Wei. ‘That’s probably enough food for now. Please deliver all of that to Baihua Photography Studio.’

‘I will!’ says the man. ‘Don’t worry about it!’

Yan Wei then finds a rickshaw to take her to her next stop. ‘Take me to the best department store, please!’ she tells the rickshaw-puller.

As the rickshaw speeds through the streets, Yan Wei spots Zhou Heng, who is walking along with two heavy bags in his hands.

Is he bringing Xu Youyi’s things to her? Yan Wei wonders. Then she urges the rickshaw-puller, ‘Could you go a little faster, please!’

‘Yes!’ says the rickshaw-puller, speeding up.

The rickshaw stops outside a rather grand department store. ‘We’re here, miss!’ the rickshaw-puller announces, out of breath.

‘Please wait for me here,’ Yan Wei tells him. ‘I’ll be back after I buy a few things!’

She makes a beeline for the women’s section. ‘What kinds of things does an elegant woman need?’ she asks, without preamble.

The two sales assistants stare speechlessly at each other.

At length, one of them says, ‘So many things! Cold cream, eau de toilette, pomade, moisturiser, attar of roses, facial masks, shampoo, bath soap, body wash, lipstick…’ She adds a little haughtily, ‘I’m just not sure you—’

Yan Wei cuts her off. ‘I’ll take one of each.’

‘What?’ asks the sales assistant.

‘I’ll take one of each,’ says Yan Wei.

The sales assistants are delighted. ‘One of each?’ says one. ‘I haven’t misheard, have I?’ asks the other.

Yan Wei produces what can only be described as a large wad of cash. ‘You didn’t mishear.’

‘Quickly, go and pack everything up for this lady!’ the first sales assistant tells the other.

‘Yes!’ the other sales assistant responds.

The first sales assistant turns back to Yan Wei. ‘Miss, we also carry makeup brushes, hats, jewellery, clothes… do you need any of that?’

‘Yes, all of it,’ says Yan Wei. ‘And anything else that a pregnant woman and a baby might need.’

‘We have everything you need,’ the sales assistant tells her. ‘I’ll show you all our products and you can take your time picking out what you want.’

The other sales assistant returns with Yan Wei’s purchases, all neatly packaged. ‘Miss, our lipsticks come in a variety of shades, which ones would you like?’ she asks.

‘I don’t really know much about this,’ Yan Wei responds. ‘I’ll take one of each shade.’

***

Please view the original manhua here.

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