Goodnight, Miss Rose chapter 5

Chapter 5

The night breeze blew, and her hair brushed across her cheeks, revealing a portion of fair skin on the side of her neck.

Tao Ting’s long hair was black like ink, loosely tied in a bun with a ribbon. When he moved closer to her, he could smell a faint earthy, sweet fragrance [1].

Xu Linyue lightened his breathing. After coming back to his senses, he was still a little puzzled by his action.

The alcohol probably made him tipsy, causing him to behave improperly. Moreover, the surroundings were also too dim.

The distance was too close, and his eyes took in the shock and panic on Tao Ting’s face in its entirety.

He should not be frightening a young woman. Xu Linyue lowered his gaze, faded the smile at the corners of his mouth and straightened his upper body with a dry cough.

He was just about to say something to remedy the situation when the light in front of him was abruptly blocked. Warmth and softness met his lips soon after.

Tao Ting placed her hands on his shoulders, tiptoeing to give him a soft kiss. Just like the blown peach blossoms on the surface of the shore’s waters, the wind was constricting his breathing and heartbeat inch by inch.

Xu Linyue trembled. Just as he was about to reach out to grab that peach blossom, it had already floated away with the wind.

He stood in place, following her with his gaze, watching the red dress swaying and the long hair scattering as this Cinderella fled before midnight.

Half a beat later, the clouds dispersed, and the moonlight shone down on the lake.

Xu Linyue clutched at his heated ears as he wiped the corners of his lips with the back of his hand. The air was still lingering with the smell of wine and sweet fragrance.

He bent down to pick up the black ribbon on the ground and wrapped it around his finger, wondering if this could be considered the glass slipper.

It seemed that he was not the only one who was drunk.

He had initially intended to only smoke a cigarette before heading back, but Xu Linyue lit another one.

The milk-white smoke blended into the night. He took off his tie and unbuttoned the top button. He now has yet another concern that he could not sort out.

He was not in a particularly good mood today and had been rather gloomy the past few days.

Perhaps he’s at the peak of his life and was now at a stage where his abilities fell short of his ambitions.

He was suddenly exhausted and felt that everything was dull.

The night before the annual dinner, he had a video conference through the night. When it had ended, he had smoked two cigarettes in his office, in front of his desk, while internally cursing at the group of higher management.

A few hours later, he had changed into an ironed suit, and once again, turned into an elegant gentleman, swirling his goblet and socialising with the crowd, even having to give a fervent speech under the spotlight to encourage the employees.

Xu Linyue felt so resigned that he wanted to laugh.

What was this? A rotting corpse or an empty soul that was afraid of light and the crowd?

Even the alcohol and the nicotine had lost their effectiveness. However, when Tao Ting made her appearance in her gorgeous attire, Xu Linyue felt that this night could be considered beautiful after all.

Tao Ting was beautiful and intelligent. It was difficult not to be attracted to such a woman.

Yet, Xu Linyue could not understand. He had seen many beautiful and intelligent women, so why was she an exception?

This was terrible. He stomped on the cigarette to stub it out and raised his head with a long sigh.

He supposed the clumsy and clueless him earlier must have fallen in love. For if he had made sense of this all, he would have moved steadily and carefully.

––

After kissing and running, Tao Ting hurried back to her hotel room in her high heels.

On the spur of the moment, she did something impulsive. Her heart was thumping like it was about to burst out. Short of oxygen, she gasped heavily, her entire body trembling slightly.

It filled her up, the great excitement and the ecstasy that she was unable to contain. She had no regrets.

She had taken the initiative to kiss him and had enjoyed the kiss tremendously. Even if Xu Linyue dismissed her the next day, she would not regret doing this.

Her phone beeped with a message, shocking Tao Ting.

Her phone notification indicated that it was from ‘CEO Xu’. Seeing that, she swallowed her saliva and solemnly slid her finger up to unlock the screen.

Xu Linyue had sent her a “?”.

Tao Ting also sent back a question mark.

【Was that a return gift for the dress? Trying to seduce the boss? Or simply trying to take advantage of me [2]?】

She did not think that he would pursue this matter. Xu Linyue’s bluntness made Tao Ting bashful. She held her phone and typed seriously: “I’m drunk. Please forgive me if I have offended you.”

Xu Linyue said: “I can’t forgive you.”

Tao Ting closed her eyes and fell on the bed, burying her face into the pillow.

Xu Linyue must have waited too long for a reply from her, for he directly called her instead.

Since it was a call from her superior, Tao Ting answered it immediately out of reflex.

“Hello.”

“Tao Ting.”

His deep voice was right by her ear, with a little more affection than usual. Tao Ting looked at the crystal chandelier on the ceiling and was dazzled by the porcelain white light.

“Answer me, please?”

Tao Ting gave a very soft laugh.

Xu Linyue did not rush her and quietly waited. For a long time, there were only the sounds of both their breathings.

The alcohol kicked in late, but just like being hit by a tsunami, Tao Ting’s eyes were half-closed, and her head was dizzy. She yawned, trailing off at the end.

She was so sleepy that she did not even realise what she was saying.

“There may only be this one opportunity in this lifetime. If I didn’t do it, it would be too much of a pity. I’m very sorry. Please forget about it.”

Xu Linyue asked, “What will you do then?”

“Me?” Tao Ting rolled over, her voice muffled under the covers, as if she was telling a secret, “I won’t forget about it. I’ll secretly engrave it in my memories.”

Early the following day, Tao Ting woke up to her alarm just as the day was breaking. She struggled to get up with the headache from her hangover, her entire body aching as if she had been in a fight.

After heading down to check out of her room, Tao Ting wanted to go to the restaurant to have breakfast before leaving.

When she saw Xu Linyue on the sofa by the window, Tao Ting clutched her suitcase and was about to turn around and leave. However, before she could lift her foot, her name was called.

She took a deep breath, put on a polite smile, walked to the table and exchanged pleasantries with him, “CEO Xu, you’re up so early?”

Xu Linyue was sitting with his legs crossed, with only a cup of coffee in front of him. When he saw Tao Ting coming, his gaze moved upwards to glance at her before quickly casting it downwards.

He had not slept at all, but he could not possibly say so.

He could not help but admire this young woman’s mental state. She had a look that was neither servile nor overbearing, and it seemed that if he were to continue fussing over this matter, then he would be too small-minded.

Xu Linyue’s eyes fell on her suitcase and asked, “You’re leaving?”

Tao Ting nodded, “I have something on this morning. I’ve already bid everyone else goodbye, so I’ll be leaving.”

Xu Linyue raised his wrist and looked at the dial, “That’s great.”

Tao Ting, “Hmm?”

Placing the coffee cup back on the porcelain plate, Xu Linyue stood up while buttoning his suit, “I’m also going back to the city. Since it’s on the way, give me a ride back.”

Once seated in the car, Tao Ting did not quite know where to put her hands and feet.

Xu Linyue could see that she was nervous and asked with a smile, “Do you want me to drive instead?”

Tao Ting did not dare let her boss be a chauffeur. She buckled up and started the car, “It’s fine, I’ll do it.”

The stereo was automatically connected and continued playing the song from where it had last cut off.

The husky male voice was tenderly singing a love song. Tao Ting’s heart sank, and she internally sighed at the lousy timing, hurriedly pausing the song.

“What’s wrong?”

Tao Ting cleared her throat, “I’m afraid that you’d think it’s noisy.”

“It’s fine,” Xu Linyue leaned over and started playing the song again.

Ich schenk’ dir die Welt, den Mond, die Sterne,

Hol’ die Sonne für dich her.

–– I’ll give you the world, the moon, the stars

–– Fetch down the sun for you [3]

“You usually listen to German songs?” Xu Linyue asked, somewhat surprised.

“Ah,” Tao Ting nodded, “I listen to all kinds of songs.”

The song came to an end, and the style of the next song was an abrupt change. It was Zhang Hui Mei’s “After Loving Each Other, The Animals Turned Sentimental [4].”

“It indeed is very varied,” Xu Linyue commented.

Tao Ting lifted the corners of her mouth.

While waiting for the light to turn green, she took the opportunity to turn her head secretly and glance at Xu Linyue. He was looking out of the window with a hand propped under his chin, seemingly lost in thoughts.

She exhaled. Xu Linyue most likely did not notice.

Xu Linyue previously shared all the songs in this playlist on Weibo. A total of twenty-seven songs of different languages and styles.

She was not the one listening to a variety of songs.

It was nearly an hour’s drive to the city. When the fifth song, “Girls Like You”, started playing, Xu Linyue took his phone out of his pocket and kept sliding upwards on his phone as if looking for something. After a long while, he finally looked up.

When she got off the highway, Tao Ting’s cell phone rang. The phone was connected to the car by Bluetooth; she took a look at the caller id and answered the call.

“Hello.”

“Hello, Your Royal Highness, where are you currently at?”

Since it was on speaker, this cringy appellation resounded through the car. Tao Ting’s eyes widened, and she glanced at Xu Linyue in panic, a little embarrassed.

She gritted her teeth and answered, “I just got off the highway. I’ll be arriving soon.”

“I’ve brought Jujube Cake and Sweet Pea Pudding. Drive slowly; there’s no need to hurry.”

Tao Ting smiled and hummed in agreement, “I’ve got it. I’m hanging up now.”

Xu Linyue rubbed his neck, his face turning gloomy visibly.

The male voice on the phone was clear and pleasantly warm. Such an intimate appellation, an everyday conversation – was he a husband or a boyfriend?

Even calling her “Your Royal Highness”.

A jar of vinegar knocked to the ground [5], sour [6] and astringent.

Feeling discomforted, Xu Linyue began to speak sarcastically, “You live rather blissfully.”

Tao Ting glanced at him and nodded, “Mm.”

Fuel was added to the fire, and two drops of lemon juice [6] were squeezed into the vinegar.

Xu Linyue propped up his cheek impatiently, wishing that he could jump out of the car and leave.

He wanted to ask who that person was to her, but he did not want to reveal that he had been bothered.

Xu Linyue pushed down the irritation in his heart, stretching his hand out to stop the music.

Tao Ting looked at him, puzzled. Xu Linyue explained expressionlessly, “It’s too noisy.”

On Monday, the CEO must have been insane, for he suddenly wanted to treat the marketing department to afternoon tea.

Everyone had a Black Forest Cake and latte each.

Lu Xiaoyue told Tao Ting to thank Xu Linyue.

Tao Ting carried out the order obediently, sending over a “Thank you, CEO Xu, for your afternoon tea”.

While waiting for a reply, she scooped a spoonful of cake into her mouth.

As if monitoring her every move, Xu Linyue sent her three words at the perfect timing: “Is it delicious?”

Tao Ting held the spoon in her mouth and typed back: “Not bad.”

After a few seconds, Xu Linyue sent again: “Is the Black Forest Cake more delicious or the Sweet Pea Pudding?”

Tao Ting felt baffled but still replied politely: “I think the two are not comparable.”

Xu Linyue did not relent and insisted that she give a reply.

Tao Ting did not understand what he was trying to do. She found it strange and quickly and straightforwardly said: “CEO Xu, are you very idle (xián)?”

The other party replied with six dots, as well as a: “Not salty (xián), but very sour [6].”


TRANSLATOR’S NOTES

[1] 冷香 (lěng xiāng), literally, “cold fragrance”. Cold fragrances are usually associated with flowers and fruits. (Source 12)

[2] 耍流氓 (shuǎ liú máng): 流氓 originally means “hooligan”, but is now commonly used to describe a person (usually male) who is behaving indecently or being overly flirtatious towards someone. The person receiving the advances may use this phrase because they are uncomfortable, or they may say it in exasperation and do not hold any ill feelings. 耍流氓 is a verb for the action of behaving indecently or being overly flirtatious.

[3] The song quoted is Ich schenk dir die Welt (I’ll Give You the World) by the German band Die Prinzen (The Princes). You can listen to the live version of the song here. Credits for the English translations go to [email protected] Translate.

[4] The song mentioned is 张惠妹 (Zhang Hui Mei)’s 相爱后动物感伤 (xiāng’ài hòu dòng wù gǎn shāng), with the official English title being “Depressed”. You can watch the MV here.

[5] 醋 (cù) refers to vinegar, but is very commonly used as a wordplay on 吃醋 (chī cù; literally, “eat vinegar”) which means to be jealous. Hence, 醋坛子 (cù tán zi), literally, “a jar of vinegar”, describes a person as being jealous (usually because of their significant other) and toppling/knocking over the jar of vinegar describes the person being mad due to said jealousy. (Source)

[6] There is an Internet phrase which goes 我酸了 (wǒ suān le), literally, “I am sour”. It is usually used to refer to situations where you describe yourself as being envious of someone else. Since lemons are sour, 酸 is used interchangeably with 柠檬 (níng méng; “lemons”) to convey the same meaning. (Source)


Goodnight, Miss Rose

Goodnight, Miss Rose

晚安, 玫瑰小姐
Score 8.2
Status: Completed Type: Author: Released: 2021 Native Language: Chinese
A story where both career achievements and a boyfriend must be gained.The Approach: Placing equal importance to both love and career and working on both simultaneously.

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