HD - Chapter 1.2: The Depraved Street (2)

Everything gradually unfolded into the situation now.

Unknowingly, the small confined room was covered in darkness after the sun had set. The lights in the neighborhood lit up one by one, the city was lit up, and the night market increasingly became lively.

It was almost time. Wen Yifan got dressed and applied some light makeup.

Zhong Siqiao couldn’t stop spamming her in WeChat.

She grabbed her purse on the rack, “I’m going out now.” she replied with a voice message. She went out, glanced across the street, and went down the stairs in a hurry.

They promised to meet at the subway station.

The place that she was going to was a bar recommended by Zhong Siqiao. The bar was located opposite Shang An Plaza. After passing through an alleyway, lanes of neon lights were gleaming on every signboard of the stores. 

This was a place that would only be bustling at night.

This street of bars was well-known in Nanwu City, it was also nicknamed ‘The Depraved Street’.

Since they had never been here before, it took them a long time before finding the bar in an unnoticeable corner.

The name was intriguing, it was called “OverTime”

With a sleek white font and black background, the signboard was extraordinarily simple. It was so low-profile like a hair salon, that it did not stand out among the vast number of vivid and colorful neon lights.

“Seems like a good idea.” Wen Yifan commented after staring at the bar for a moment. “Opening a hair salon at a street of bars. Those who wish to pick up some girls could visit here to glam up beforehand.”

Zhong Siqiao’s lips twitched slightly, dragging her inside, “Don’t talk nonsense.”

Unexpectedly, the bar was not as vacant as Wen Yifan thought it would be.

They were early when they reached. Although it was not the peak hours yet, the seats in the bar were mostly occupied.

There was a lady singing while playing the guitar on stage, the ambience was serene and relaxing. At the bar, a blonde bartender was tossing and juggling the shaker around with ease.

They found a seat, and Wen Yifan ordered the cheapest liquor.

Zhong Siqiao looked around, disappointed, “Is the owner away? I don’t see the handsome guy here.”

Wen Yifan rested her cheeks on her hands, and mumbled, “That bartender could be the one.”

“Rubbish!” Zhong Siqiao clearly couldn’t accept it, “My colleague who drops by ‘The Depraved Street’ all the time said that the owner of this bar is ‘The Icon’ of this street.”

“Perhaps that was all self-proclaimed.”

“?”

Wen Yifan noticed the glare from Zhong Siqiao, she straightened her back and enunciated, “Perhaps.”

Zhong Siqiao grunted.

They had a casual conversation for a while.

Zhong Siqiao seemed to have recalled something from the afternoon, “Oh, I met my high school deputy class monitor today. He is also a Nanjing University student, and seems like he’s living in the same dormitory as Sang Yan, but why do I not recall ever seeing him?”

Wen Yifan became startled when she heard that name.

“Speaking of which, do you remember——” While asking, Zhong Siqiao glanced, then had her eyes fixed at the bar, “Hey, look at your 10 o’clock direction, could he be ‘The Icon of The Street’ ?”

In the meantime, Wen Yifan heard someone yelling “Brother Yan!”.

She looked in the direction of the voice.

Not knowing exactly when, a man started standing next to the bartender. 

The bar was dimly lit. He was leaning on the side of the table, with his back towards the bar and his head tilted aside. It seemed like he was having a conversation with the bartender. He was wearing a pure black jacket, and he had a tall and fit physique. Even though he was slightly hunched, he was still taller than the bartender next to him.

With pitch-black eyes and that smirk on his face, he seemed cynical.

The beams of LED lights left traces on his face.

In that split second, Wen Yifan recognized him.

“My goodness.” Zhong Siqiao probably discovered the same thing, “Girl, it’s Sang Yan!”

 “……”

“He showed up as soon as I brought him up just now… Do you still remember him? He flirted with you before you transferred to another school……”

Wen Yifan’s eyelashes fluttered.

A waiter was just passing by. Wen Yifan was feeling a little uneasy, and was about to interrupt Zhong Siqiao when she heard a cry right next to her. She looked up and saw someone bumped into the waiter. The serving tray and the glasses on the tray lost their balance...

...towards her direction.

Liquor, along with ice cubes, spilled and streamed down her left shoulder. She wore a loose-fitting sweater that day, and half of her sweater was drenched. The piercing cold gave her shivers.

Wen Yifan gasped and instinctively stood up.

The music in the bar was loud, but that still caused quite a scene.

In shock, the waiter’s face went completely pale, and he apologized repeatedly.

Zhong Siqiao stood up and removed the ice cubes on her sweater before frowning, “Are you alright?”

“I’m fine,” Wen Yifan’s voice shivered involuntarily, and she looked at the waiter calmly, “There’s no need to apologize, just be careful next time.”

“I’m going to the washroom to clean this up,” she informed Zhong Siqiao.

She glanced up and unintentionally bumped into an intense and distant but ambiguous gaze. 

Their gaze held for two seconds.

Wen Yifan turned away and headed towards the washroom.

She took off her sweater in the changing room. Inside was a tightly fit innerwear.

Fortunately, the sweater had absorbed most of the moisture, and her innerwear was just slightly damp.

Wen Yifan took the sweater to the sink and managed to clean the liquor off herself using a damp tissue.

She went out of the washroom after roughly fixing her outfit.

She had a glimpse at the aisle, there was a person standing there. Wen Yifan intuitively looked up and was stunned.

With a cigarette in his mouth, the man was leaning against the wall. His expression was dull with lackluster eyes. Unlike before, his jacket was taken off and held in his hands.

There was only a black T-shirt left.

It has been six years since they both last met.

Not being completely sure if he still recognized her, Wen Yifan didn’t know if she should greet him. After struggling for a second, she decided to bite the bullet and pretend like she did not know him. She looked down and went straight towards the bar.

This place had a dark-colored yet classy interior design, the spread-out vein pattern of the marble tiles were glistening. The melodious vocals of the singer could be faintly heard from where she was. 

Closer and closer.

She was going to pass by him.

It was at this moment.

“Hey,” he uttered indistinctly, sounding weary.

Wen Yifan stopped and looked towards him.

Out of a sudden, Sang Yan threw his jacket towards her, blocking most of her view. Wen Yifan was stunned but she quickly grabbed the jacket while feeling baffled.

Without looking up, Sang Yan put out his cigarette on the bin next to him.

Neither one of them took the initiative to speak.

It lasted just for a few seconds, but it felt like a lifetime. Sang Yan slowly looked up and met her gaze. His gaze unveiled a trace of distance.

“Let’s talk,” he said.

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  • Written by 竹已. Translated by Uygnis.