Yang Chen gulped once again. Tang Wan continued introducing the streets to him to change the topic. The corner of Yang Chen’s lips raised lightly. It seemed like there would be a show tonight…
As they walked the long pathway that felt like a time passage, the sky started getting dark. They then arrived at the entrance of a seemingly vandalised alley, which was lit up by a few 40-watt light bulbs.
Tang Wan brought Yang Chen to a booth which sold ramen. Facing an old man who was pulling noodles, she shouted, “Uncle Qiao!”
The man referred to as ‘Uncle Qiao’ raised his head and immediately revealed a smile. “Little Wan, you’re finally here! I’ve missed you. You haven’t come here in a while,” he said excitedly.
“Yeah, I’ve been rather busy nowadays. Uncle Qiao, how are you doing recently?” Tang Wan asked as she stepped forward. She seemed to be really familiar with Uncle Qiao.
After chatting with Tang Wan for a short while, Uncle Qiao’s facial expression turned odd as he looked at Yang Chen, “Little Wan, aren’t you going to introduce him to me?”
Tang Wan replied generously, “This is my friend Yang Chen. I brought him here today just to eat your ramen. I told him that this has to be the most mouth-watering food in the entire Zhonghai. Uncle Qiao, you mustn’t make me lose face today.”
“Kid, what are you talking about? Do you think my culinary skill can go wrong? But… this person here mustn’t just bean ordinary friend. You haven’t brought anyone to my stall except your daughter,” Uncle Qiao said smilingly.
Tang Wan didn’t get shy at all. She said, “Uncle Qiao, he’s not my boyfriend. It’s just that he did me a major favor not long ago. I just thought that he wasn’t too terrible of a person, so I offered to treat him to a meal. Since other restaurants are overly mundane, I decided to bring him here.”
Smirking, Uncle Qiao said, “Just because he isn’t your boyfriend now, doesn’t mean he won’t be in the future.” He then turned to look at Yang Chen before giving various signals using his brows and eyes. “Kid, try harder! Although Little Wan is slightly older than you, I haven’t seen any lady who is more beautiful and kind than her in my entire life. You mustn’t miss this opportunity.”
Looking at Uncle Qiao trying his best to get Tang Wan and himself together, Yang Chen suddenly felt that he was too heroic, while Tang Wan was just smiling at the side. She looked like she didn’t mind Uncle Qiao’s action.
Yang Chen and Tang Wan got seated beside an old table while Uncle Qiao started making them noodles. Since it wasn’t time for supper yet, the stall was rather deserted. The sides were really empty as well.
As Yang Chen looked at Uncle Qiao make noodles from behind, he said helplessly, “Why didn’t you explain to Uncle Qiao earlier? He must’ve thought that we have something.”
Tang Wan minded her own business and pour herself a cup of green tea while saying, “Isn’t that what you have been hoping for?”
Speechless, Yang Chen let out a bitter smile. He said, “You don’t have to be so straightforward. Why do I feel like I became the prey, and you’re the real hunter now?”
“Looking at my age, I’m 38 years old already.” Tang Wan lifted the tea cup before taking a sip elegantly. Her every action seamlessly merged with the dilapidated background, looking unexpectedly coordinated.
“What do you mean?” Yang Chen asked, confused. He didn’t know why the lady suddenly talked about her age. To most women, age was something they would detest for their entire lives.
“I don’t have much time to mess with uncertainty and obscurity anymore,” she said before finishing her cup of tea. She then turned and looked at Yang Chen coldly. “Yang Chen, do you want to hear how I feel towards you?”
Yang Chen knocked his knuckles of one hand on the table before nodding.
“The first time we met should be by the river. Feeling extremely moody on that day, I met you who was brainless, who asked me for a one night stand. The thing that pissed me the most is that you told me you sell mutton skewers for a living, while you use diamonds as the buttons of your shirt. Although I felt that you were very terrible, I can’t deny that you’re the one who left the deepest impression amongst all the men who asked me for a one night stand. At the same time, you’re also the only one that I didn’t punish after it happened,” Tang Wan said jokingly.
Yang Chen didn’t open his mouth, and only kept quiet while he listened.
“The next time we met was in my daughter’s school. Surprisingly, you were related to a naive and young teacher, and she even went so crazy for you. I thought that you were really horrible… Another time, I met you at my club and saw you together with Mo Qianni. I didn’t expect a woman who was so cautious and rational like her to develop feelings for you. After you finished playing tennis, I understood something. You were indeed a bad guy, but you were rather exceptional. I started to get a little curious about you…”
“After that, you stopped a few robbers for me in the bank. At that moment, I finally understood why Teacher Li and Mo Qianni would choose a bad guy like you,” Tang Wan said. She tilted her head and gave Yang Chen a smile. “Listen, the only reason I’m being this straightforward with you is because I have feelings for you. Otherwise I wouldn’t be saying all these.”
Yang Chen took a deep breath before saying, “Does this count as a love confession?”
“I said it just now. I don’t have much time left. I’ll be 40 years old two years later, even my daughter would be able to get married under the law. After another two years, I might be a grandmother already. Being a grandma, no matter how well I maintain my appearance, I’d still be merely an old lady.” The smile on Tang Wan’s face slowly disappeared. “The most unfortunate thing is, the only guy that i want to get together with, is someone more than ten years younger than me. Tell me, how can I not be anxious?”
Yang Chen didn’t expect Tang Wan to say something like this on their first private meeting. Before he could say something, Uncle Qiao shouted, “The noodles are here!” He carried two large bowls of newly-cooked ramen over.
“You still say that there’s nothing between you two. I saw that you were chatting very happily. What have you been talking about? Don’t you dare talk bad behind my back,” Uncle Qiao said jokingly. He was in a very good mood.
Tang Wan sniffed at the special smell produced by ramen mixing with parsley. She said, “Uncle Qiao, Yang Chen told me that I shouldn’t dream of trying to get him using only a bowl of noodles!”
“Ahem, ahem…” Yang Chen coughed as he took his first bite of the noodles. He said helplessly, “Why did you slander me out of nowhere? And when have you ever tried to get me?”
Uncle Qiao laughed and said, “This ramen absolutely can’t get women. Back then, I tried to get Little Wan’s mother by relying on noodles. At last, her mother still got married to the rich man. However, Little Wan still liked me more than her stupid father. So I guess I feel a little better about myself.”
Yang Chen was stunned. He didn’t know that Uncle Qiao had such a past with Tang Wan’s elders. However, he felt odd that she preferred her father’s love rival over her own father.
As a few customers came, Uncle Qiao went up to serve them. Yang Chen and Tang Wan then started eating their noodles.
Very quickly, Yang Chen finished devouring the huge bowl of noodles together with the soup. He let out a long burp as he looked at Tang Wan who was still slowly chewing away. Feeling emotional, he asked, “Tang Wan, have you checked on my background before?”
Tang Wan drank a mouthful of soup as she shook her head. “Nope. Although I’m very interested in your past and background, I hope that you still tell me about them yourself. I won’t check on you,” she replied.
“Then aren’t you afraid that I’d leave you after taking advantage of you, since you said you had feelings towards me?” Yang Chen asked.
Tang Wan left out a sweet smile before saying, “Then let me ask you a few questions. You need to answer me honestly, either it’s a ‘yes’, or a ‘no’. What do you think?”
Yang Chen rubbed his face. This initially romantic and lovely date suddenly turned into an investigation survey. What made Yang Chen uncomfortable was this lady’s overly initiative approach. She was so aggressive that she would tease him repeatedly, while looking at him in enjoyment like a proud queen.
“Alright, you may ask,” Yang Chen murmured.