While they were eating, Cheng Peng suddenly called a waiter over.
“Send two portions of crayfish to the next booth, under my tab.”
Yue Wen Wen asked, “Huh? Do you feel bad for not letting them win some crayfish?”
Cheng Peng smiled but did not reply.
Chen An picked up a crab. Despite his unusual way of talking, his hands were very swift and he easily shelled a bowl full of crab.
Biting his lips, he pushed the bowl over to Cheng Peng.
“D-Do you want to eat?”
“No,” Cheng Peng replied.
“I shelled it for you.” Chen An whispered, “I- I’m a-allergic to seafood. I can’t eat it.”
Cheng Peng pushed the bowl over to Ji Ran. “Wanna eat?”
Ji Ran wasn’t polite. He took the bowl and looked at Chen An. “Thanks.”
Chen An blinked awkwardly and sat there silently.
Although he had ordered the Eight Treasures Soup for Qin Man, Ji Ran himself drank quite a few bowls.
As per his instructions, the kitchen prepared it with extra ingredients so the soup was extra thick and he couldn’t stop drinking it.
Qin Man silently scooped a fourth bowl for him.
When his phone rang, Qin Man swept a glance over it, wiped his hands, and got up. “I’ll go out and take this.”
It was Liu Chen informing him that the piece of land he was after had been obtained.
Qin Man hummed in agreement and suddenly asked, “What about the matter I asked you to investigate previously? Is there a lead?”
“Not yet. This matter… isn’t easy to investigate. Ms Zhao does not seem to have any close friends and the entertainment company she was in has already folded. I’m currently trying to reach her former manager.”
“Got it, pay more attention.”
Qin Man wanted to say more, but from his peripheral vision, he saw a familiar figure. He paused. “I have something else, so I’ll hang up for now.”
He Suiran waited for him to hang up before slowly approaching. He reached out a hand. “I forgot to introduce myself earlier. It’s an honour to meet you, Qin Man.”
The two men who had just arm wrestled previously shook hands, the air thick with hypocrisy.
He Suiran said, “I heard about your family, is everything alright?”
“It’s fine,” Qin Man answered carelessly.
There was no need to go about in circles when speaking to a smart person, thus He Suiran decided to go straight for the question. “May I ask what is your relationship with Ji Ran?”
Qin Man sneered, “This doesn’t seem to be something you should be concerned with.”
“It really is something I should be concerned with.” He Suiran laughed and confessed, “I don’t like to interfere in others’ relationships. That’s why I need to be clear in order to take the next step.”
Qin Man looked at him quietly. “Do you think you have the opportunity to take the next step?”
“Opportunities depend on one to fight for them. In this world, there are many opportunities which do not belong to me. But now, they are in my hands.”
Qin Man did not refute. “Has he ever looked at you properly?”
He Suiran did not mind. “Perhaps, not in the past. But now, I am confident I can make him look at me. At least there is one area where I am superior to you.”
“Racing.” He Suiran smiled. “He belongs on the race track and one day, he will return. Both of us are the same.”
Saying so, he leaned against the wall. “That’s why I’m asking, what’s the relationship between you two?”
Qin Man raised an eyebrow. “We have a very close relationship.”
That sounded like they weren’t lovers.
He Suiran nodded. “I understand, let’s have a fair battle, then?”
Qin Man seemed to have heard a joke. “Fair battle?”
He Suiran, “Did I misunderstand, don’t you like Ji Ran?”
“You really did misunderstand.” Qin Man turned around.
He Suiran was somewhat in disbelief before he relaxed. Ever since he had such thoughts, Qin Man had become his number one rival.
He froze. “Is that so? It seems that I have overstepped…”
A voice interrupted him.
“You got the order wrong. It’s not that he belongs to the race track, but that the track belongs to him. It is not only through competitions that he can prove his love for racing. At most, you two can only be considered… people with the same interests? Taking a step back — Even if he does return to the track, in his eyes, you aren’t even a teammate.”
Qin Man turned back, his eyes filled with mockery and disdain. Then, he ridiculed, “And… you want to have a fair battle with me? Aren’t you thinking too highly of yourself? What do you want to use to compete with me? Chester Kenelly’s figurine?”
He Suiran was stunned, but he reacted swiftly. “That was just the start… that’s right. In the beginning, I couldn’t even be considered his teammate. But what about you? He thought about how to provoke you everyday, anyone who heard it knows how much he hates you.”
Unexpectedly, Qin Man did not get angry. Instead, he laughed. “I have the ability to make him think of me every day. What about you?”
He Suiran choked for a minute before he abruptly laughed. “You’ve said so much. So why aren’t you guys together yet?”
Qin Man raised an eyebrow.
He Suiran felt like he had grasped the key point and grew bolder. “We both have an unrequited love, who’s to say who’s better? Fair enough, such matters have never been fair, we’ll see who Ji Ran falls for. Don’t tell me you think you have the confidence to…”
Qin Man smiled and continued, “If there is a day where he falls for someone, that person will be me.”
He Suiran thought of countless rebuttals, but once he saw the other man’s gaze, he found himself unable to speak.
With a face full of unwavering confidence, Qin Man looked like he was merely stating a fact.
A shout came from behind. It was the staff calling He Suiran back.
He Suiran retracted his gaze, looking rather battered. He had never been defeated by his opponent on the racetrack, so why was it that he found himself unable to speak in front of Qin Man?
He gritted his teeth, but his confidence was already lacking. “No way, just you wait.”
With quick steps, He Suiran returned to the rental car, his track shoes emitting a crisp sound as it landed on the grass.
Behind a wall.
Ji Ran was awoken by the fading footsteps and unconsciously shrank back into the shadows.
Wide eyes and reddened ears.
He had heard everything earlier.
Right now, it felt like there were two cars in his heart, barrelling towards each other, seemingly as if it would charge out of his heart in the next second—
What did Qin Man’s words mean?
When He Suiran asked whether Qin Man liked him, why did Qin Man not deny it?
Qin Man had a crush on him?
Ji Ran’s breath seemed to have gone up a notch. He understood every single word they had spoken but why was it that when strung into a sentence, his brain was completely unable to make any sense of it?
How was it possible? If Qin Man liked him, money would fall from the sky and even a sow could climb a tree.
After He Suiran left, his mind was still in a mess and he even forgot he was still eavesdropping.
He pulled out a pack of cigarettes from his pocket to redirect his thoughts. The moment he lit it, a pair of footsteps sounded.
“Why are you here?” Qin Man turned a corner and saw him, looking surprised.
“Smoking.” Ji Ran looked at him and answered stiffly. He closed the lighter and put it back into his pocket.
“Aren’t you going to smoke?” Qin Man looked at the unlit cigarette between his lips and laughed quietly.
“Not smoking any more.” Ji Ran returned to his senses and dropped the cigarette.
“What’s wrong?” Qin Man could tell something was off.
Ji Ran licked his lips.
Fuck. Why was there no clear winner between the two cars in his heart? They were colliding so fiercely that his heart was about to explode.
No, wait, what did Qin Man mean?
There was the sound of conversation coming from the entrance. It was Yue Wen Wen and the others who had come out.
Qin Man looked over there and said, “Let’s go, then.”
“You like me?”
His voice, accompanied by the cries of the cicadas abundant in the countryside, landed in Qin Man’s ears.
Unnamed flowers blossomed among the two’s feet and carried a faint, lingering, scent.
“I heard everything.”
Ji Ran didn’t know how red his face was.
He couldn’t hold it in. If he didn’t ask now, there was no way he could sleep tonight.
After letting it out, he no longer felt as nervous.
Thus, he gritted his teeth and looked straight into Qin Man’s eyes, and repeated. “Do you like me?”
T/n: FINALLY HERE WE GO. My eyes when I saw Qin Man scooping four bowls of h*rny soup for Ji Ran ->>> O.O