On a humid and drowsy stormy night, the twinkling stars of the past couldn’t be seen.
The typhoon was about to pass through and the rain hadn’t stopped, turning the entire city into a fragile steel forest.
Next to the rarely lit science and technology park, the 24 hour convenience store was still open. The clerk sat at the checkout counter and played with his phone while listening to the howling wind outside. The poster stand next to him was printed with brightly colored advertisements.
There were few customers tonight. The people who were usually in a hurry were gone. In the face of the typhoon, most companies chose to let the employees leave work on time, no longer busy until late at night as usual.
Except for the bored clerk, there was only one customer in the store who had been staying there for a long time.
A man in his 30s sat in front of the window with his back to the billboard, staring at the pouring rain outside.
His previously wet shoulders had been dried by the air in the room. A chattering voice came from the phone next to his ears. “Mr Ye, there is no way. I don’t know where they heard the news but they insist on settling the payment today. The rain is also so heavy that they refuse to leave—”
The panicked words ended with the sudden darkness of the screen.
A phone with a cracked screen lost its last trace of power.
The man’s remaining will was also extinguished.
The convenience store provided the charger for free. It was just a few meters away at the cash register but he had no intention of asking for it.
It was because there was a poster there.
Ye Qing put down his phone and looked at the heavy rain outside the window with a lost expression.
In the storm, the dim street lamps seemed to be completely extinguished the next second.
Ye Qing thought that he was only five or six minutes away from the company building.
He was waiting for the rain to subside a bit.
It would make the five or six minutes go easier.
In the midst of his deserted and empty waiting, the electronic welcome sound at the entrance of the convenience store sounded softly.
Accompanied by the damp moisture, the door of the store opened and closed. A couple with a fresh and light atmosphere walked in together.
“I’ve only seen that flavor in this store. “ The man in the white shirt put away the black umbrella in his hand. The moment he entered, he looked at the drink shelf in the store. “Right there.”
The man next to him had dazzling red hair. Even the clerk playing with his phone couldn’t help looking up for a while.
The red-haired young man didn’t look very interested and he asked lazily, “Is it really that delicious?”
His lover answered him seriously, “You will like it.”
“Then why is it only sold in this store?”
“It is a new product. The company is at the science and technology park next door and they wanted to try it out at a nearby convenience store first.”
They talked like no one else was there and their voices broke the silence in the store. Ye Qing, whose mind was in chaos, subconsciously followed them with his eyes.
Both of them had outstanding good looks and an expensive naivety that didn’t know anything about the world.
On a dangerous day of a typhoon, they specially came to a remote convenience store just to buy a drink.
The mild-mannered man put the cool beverage bottle on the checkout counter. Then he turned around and followed his lover wandering among the shelves with seemingly endless patience.
The red-haired young man’s eyes casually swept over the dazzling shelves, occasionally pausing. He reached out to pick up something and commented with a frown, “This chocolate is terrible.”
He said this and seemed to recall a time from long ago. “But when I went to travel last time, I bought one with similar packaging and it was delicious.”
He was very picky.
The person around him unconditionally tolerated this pickiness.
“Can you still buy it?”
“No, it isn’t available online.”
“I will ask someone to buy it there.”
“Forget it, it is too troublesome.”
This wasn’t the first time Ye Qing had heard such a conversation.
In front of shelves full of products, there were always different people who missed the delicacies or items they encountered in the world.
Then they would see an ad that was now common in convenience stores about an online supermarket app that could be used for shopping and would deliver quickly.
The red-haired young man caught a glimpse of the large poster next to the cash register and asked casually, “Why is there such an advertisement in a convenience store? Aren’t they afraid of their business being stolen?”
“I don’t know. Perhaps there is a cooperation.” After carefully reading the words of his advertisement, his lover asked him, “It says here that you can give feedback on the products you want. After a certain number of people request it, the product will be placed on the shelves regionally and they can be bought at any time. Do you want to try it?”
He looked at the box of chocolates on the shelf that had just been disliked.
“Isn’t this a purchasing agent? It is quite creative.”
As he spoke, the red-haired young man saw the stranger’s unusual expression out of the corner of his eye and he smiled. “Sorry, did we disturb you?”
Ye Qing, who had originally just taken a look, sat up straight and stared at the couple.
He had heard this conversation too many times. He knew that the next moment, the app would have two more customers and he was used to it.
Only this time, Ye Qing could no longer control his emotions.
His eyes were obviously bloodshot and his hands were clenched, as if he was irritated by this small talk. He cast a hateful expression toward the two strangers he met by chance.
He was like a madman at the end of the road.
The red-haired young man in front of him didn’t know any fear. He saw Ye Qing’s crazy expression and the corners of his lips curled up. He picked up the box of chocolates and shook it. “Do you also think this is hard to eat?”
At this bright and open smile, Ye Qing suddenly seemed to have been drained of all his strength.
He slumped there and muttered to himself, “This is the model that I created…”
He was the one who thought of using a gimmick similar to a purchasing agent to attract users and he was the one who built the entire operating framework through trial and error. He was the one who burned money to subsidize the habits of users.
He painstakingly laid the foundation. Then his employees left and built a copy using all this experience.
The latecomer who didn’t need to fall rose to the top, receiving large sums of investment and facing infinite hope and dawn.
The stumbling pioneer was crushed to pieces due to the ailments accumulated along the way and would be quickly forgotten by the ever-changing market.
Any entrepreneur should be prepared to fail.
However, this was the cruelest of all failures and was capable of destroying all will.
Ye Qing sat down and muttered only this sentence, already forgetting the surrounding scene.
The strange couple looked at each other.
In the small stores next to such parks, there were often entrepreneurs who were either excited or desperate.
It was the red-haired young man with the flamboyant personality who said, “You made this?”
Ye Qing replied out of an almost conditioned reflex, “I made it earlier!”
The red-haired young man smiled knowingly. “You made it earlier but it isn’t your product in this ad. So you failed and can only sit here embarrassed, venting your anger at strangers.”
Ye Qing’s mind was pulled back to reality by this merciless sentence. He was about to speak when he saw the other person’s clear eyes flash with interest, as if he had found something interesting.
He turned his head to look at his obedient lover. “Is it expensive to invest in such a project?”
“…I don’t know.” His lover thought for a moment and hesitated. “It isn’t expensive.”
“Is it? Are you interested?” The red-haired young man’s smile grew stronger. “I think it is quite interesting.”
He glanced at the advertising poster not far away and casually put the chocolate back on the shelf.
“The color scheme of this icon is too ugly. I don’t like it.”
Then he flashed a good-looking smile at his hesitant lover. “Besides, that chocolate before was really delicious.”
The rain outside the glass window was still falling.
The anger in Ye Qing’s eyes gradually turned into indescribable surprise.
It was because the good-natured lover in the white shirt quickly looked down, took out a business card from his wallet and handed it to Ye Qing.
It bore a name that was famous in the city.
Ye Qing didn’t move because he thought that perhaps he was wrong.
When people were in despair, they were also prone to fantasy-like delusions.
However, the other person’s tone was very serious. “If you are interested in accepting a capital injection, make this call. A secretary will answer first and you can just say that the business card was given by me.”
Ye Qing was stunned for a few seconds before slowly reaching out to take it, his voice stunned. “Who are you?”
“My name is He Qiao,” the man said. “This is my dad’s business card.”
Ye Qing was stunned in place. He watched He Qiao finish paying for the drink, grab the umbrella at the door of the convenience store and hold it up for the red-haired young man to leave.
It was as if everything that just happened was as casual as buying a bouquet of flowers for his lover.
It was as casual as an illusion.
After a while, Ye Qing put away the business card and walked into the still noisy wind and rain with the umbrella.
There were only occasional lights from the buildings in the science and technology park. It was empty and not as brightly lit and busy as it was in the past.
Ye Qing walked in this familiar direction in silence.
The typhoon had completely passed through and the rain had become less.
He made up his mind to go back to the company.
It was only five or six minutes away.
However, stepping on the vortex of fate, with water splashing everywhere, his footsteps became slower and slower until he stopped in place in a trance.
He now had two options.
One was definite destruction and the other was a joke that might come true.
The dim light of the street lamps and the cold sarcasm of the stranger burned his back.
The welcome sound from the door of the convenience store sounded again.
The man covered in wind and rain strode to the cashier and reached out to tap on the table.
The clerk looked up blankly.
“Do you have a charging cable?”
Next to the brightly colored poster, Ye Qing tightly held his cracked mobile phone.
In addition, that simple business card.
The light illuminated the thin piece of paper.
Diagonally across the road, through the continuous rain curtain, Chi Xueyan clearly saw Ye Qing sitting in his original window seat. His phone connected to the cable was held tightly against his ear and he was speaking solemnly.
He Qiao stood beside him and held the handle of the umbrella, staring at the convenience store opposite him quietly.
The rain fell on the black umbrella, making a dull and continuous sound.
Without words, they understood one thing together.
Ye Qing would never walk up to that windy and stormy roof again.
Chi Xueyan held the plastic bag containing the drink in his hand. He involuntarily pinched the thin plastic strap tightly, letting the rough texture rub against his palm.
He witnessed a reversal of fate, a new life for someone who should’ve died on a rainy night.
Unspeakable feelings filled his heart.
After a long while, Chi Xueyan’s mind returned and he asked the person next to him, “What will your father do?”
“Once he talks to Ye Qing in person, he will definitely recognize Ye Qing’s ability. He will invest in Ye Qing’s person, or in other words, invest in this person.”
He Qiao spoke calmly. “My guess is that as the representative investor, I will be asked to have more contact with Ye Qing and to learn from him.”
He paused and there was a hint of ridicule in his voice. “It is because this is a good opportunity that I discovered by mistake.”
Chi Xueyan nodded. “So you are going to become a sanctimonious capitalist?”
“Yes.” He Qiao raised an eyebrow and attacked back with a smile. “Dentist who is very good at coaxing people.”
The smile revealed the truth that he forgot to hide.
Chi Xueyan also laughed.
A vague laugh was covered up by the sound of rain.
The wind and rain were raging in their field of view. They stood side by side on the long street with no end in sight, as if there were no two people in the world who fit better than them.
They now looked more like accomplices than casual acquaintances.
Intimate and unscrupulous accomplices.
The loot after their adventure was two cold drinks.
He hadn’t opened the lid but he seemed to have tasted something he would never forget.
Looking at the water splashing on the edge of the umbrella, he suddenly asked, “Do you know what the best thing to do now is?”
He asked a question again.
In the atmosphere of the rain pouring down around them, He Qiao understood this person more and more and replied without thinking, “Throw away the umbrella?”
Chi Xueyan thought that he had finally guessed half right this time.
It was throwing away the umbrella and kissing.
It was a pity that the streets were empty at this moment and there was no live audience to please.
Thus, he had to live up to this wonderful, rainy night.
He Qiao held the umbrella and patiently waited for the mystery to be revealed. However, Chi Xueyan didn’t announce the correct answer. He just looked over with a clear smile and his pale lips moved slightly.
His eyes were so bright that it was as if he had plucked the crescent moon from the night sky and hid it, lest it got lost alone in the mighty storm.
“It is time to say goodnight,” His lover whispered his name. “…He Qiao.”
The author has something to say:
A kiss with the taste of good night 030
That was a particularly poetic chapter. Must have been an absolute pain to translate. Great work!