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ABBR - Chapter 85-Pt.1

Jingle, jingle—

The bells at the door rang once more. As if avoiding something, Ange looked toward the entrance and loudly said, "Welcome!"

Compared to the greeting Fang Qin received, Ange's current greeting sounded more vivid and powerful. However, it also sounded a little rushed.

Fang Qin also looked toward the entrance.

However, not a soul could be seen by the entrance as the bells had only rung because of the wind.

Ange: "..."

Fang Qin chuckled.

One yuan, two yuan, three yuan, four yuan…

Ange resumed counting the banknotes in her hands in silence, pretending as if nothing had happened. Unfortunately, no matter how hard she tried, she couldn't ignore the woman, who was half a head taller, standing in front of her.

Unable to keep up the act, Ange put the banknotes back into the cash register and looked up. "Are you here to buy cakes?"

Initially, Fang Qin had only gotten a sudden urge to visit this cake shop. Never did she think she would meet Ange here. Then, while running her fingers through her hair, she said, "That's right."

Ange secretly sighed in relief when she realized that Fang Qin didn't come here looking for her.

"Ah, no," Fang Qin quickly added.

"..." Ange's heart thumped, and her right eyelid twitched. Her hand also shook slightly. This, in turn, caused her to release the metal clip meant to hold down the banknotes, and the clip smashed straight down onto the tip of her pinky. Fortunately, she managed to endure the pain and did not cry out loud.

Although Ange didn't show any changes on the surface, inwardly, she was praying for other customers to enter the shop. Unfortunately, business this afternoon was slow.

Ange's cousin brother had to leave the shop to pick up some supplies today, while his wife had to stay at the back and focus on baking cakes. Since it was rare for her to visit the shop, Ange had volunteered to look after the shop. However, never did she think that she would welcome such a customer.

If she's not here to buy cakes, what is she here for? Ange couldn't figure out what Fang Qin was trying to do. However, she also couldn't bring herself to ask.

"That…"

"I…"

The two opened their mouths to speak almost simultaneously, only to then retract their mouths simultaneously as well.

While randomly tapping her foot against the ground, Ange said with an indifferent expression, "You go first."

After sorting out her thoughts, Fang Qin said, "I came here with my boss this time, and I'll be heading back in a few hours, so I thought to buy some walnut cakes back for them."

So she is here to buy things. That makes things easy. Pointing at a certain display shelf, Ange said, "They're just behind you. They're freshly baked this morning."

Fang Qin turned around and approached the shelf.

Seeing this, Ange breathed out a sigh of relief.

The walnut cakes came packed individually and in boxes of twelve, and they were neatly organized on the shelf. Fang Qin grabbed six boxes without much thought and went to pay for them.

Ange had already brought out a paper bag while Fang Qin was away. When she saw the other party bringing back so many boxes, she pondered for a moment before saying, "They're too heavy. Leave them on the counter first and give me a second; I'll get a bigger bag for you."

Fang Qin didn't know what Ange was up to, but she still obediently placed the boxes of cakes on the counter.

Although Ange owned this cake shop on paper, she only knew how to collect and store money. She wasn't too familiar with the locations of the various items in the shop. Hence, it took her quite some time to find a super-large paper box. When she stood up from under the counter, she accidentally bumped into something, and a ribbon ended up hooking around her neck.

"..."

Ange hurriedly tried to pull the ribbon off of her neck, but her struggles only ended up creating a bigger mess.

Suddenly, a hand reached out to her. Upon seeing this hand, Ange subconsciously tried to take a step back.

"Don't move," Fang Qin said.

Ange's body stiffened.

Fang Qin did not look at Ange. She fully focused her attention on the ribbon. Carefully, she widened the noose around Ange's neck and removed the knotted ribbon through the top of Ange's head. "Alright, it's done."

Ange felt relieved when Fang Qin's hands moved away. Then, she threw the obstructive ribbon aside and said, "Thank you."

"You're welcome."

What's wrong with me today? Why can't I do anything right? And of all people, why did I have to make a fool of myself in front of her

Ange's heartbeat accelerated, and she tried her best to maintain a calm appearance. Afraid that she would make another blunder, she deliberately slowed down her actions and carefully folded the paper box. Then, she placed the six boxes of walnut cakes into the paper box.

As the packing ribbon was in a mess, Ange picked up a pair of scissors and haphazardly trimmed the knotted portion. Then, she began tying up the box in a seemingly professional manner.

Throughout this process, Fang Qin's eyes constantly trailed after Ange's actions. When she saw Ange struggling with the ribbon, she kindly reminded, "Actually, I'm not in much of a hurry."

However, Ange seemingly did not hear Fang Qin as she continued struggling with the ribbon. After tying a non-standard bow, she pushed the paper box to Fang Qin and put on a polite smile. Then, she said, "Sorry for the long wait."

"It's fine." Fang Qin stared into Ange's eyes and hesitated to continue speaking.

"It's done," Ange said and pushed the paper box a little further forward.

"How much?"

"No need. It's a gift."

Fang Qin was a little taken aback by Ange's words. After switching her gaze between the paper box and Ange for a moment, she asked in confusion, "Why?"

Ange was like a "patient" who had been staying at home for too long and lost the ability to communicate as she repeatedly opened and closed her mouth without saying anything. Only after some time had passed did she manage to squeeze out some words, saying, "Just...think of it as my treat."

However, Fang Qin found this excuse to be too far-fetched. Turning around, she looked at the price tag on the shelf and saw that one box of walnut cakes sold for ten yuan. So, she took out 60 yuan and handed it to Ange.

Ange: "..."

Seeing that Ange wasn't accepting the bills, Fang Qin placed the money on the counter and picked up the paper box with one hand. Then, she said, "Some of them for my colleagues. It'd be awkward to have you treat them as well."

Ange silently put the money into the cash register.

Fang Qin did not leave the shop after completing her purchase. Instead, she looked around and asked, "How is business today?"

If one wasn't in the know, one would think that Fang Qin and Ange were long-time friends with how casually Fang Qin spoke. However, this was only their third meeting in reality.

While avoiding Fang Qin's eyes, Ange dryly said, "So-so. You're the only one who has entered the shop so far today."

As soon as Ange finished speaking, the bells at the entrance rang once more.

When Fang Qin heard footsteps following the jingling bells, she turned around and saw through the shelves that someone had entered the shop. Then, she smiled and said to Ange, "Another customer is here."

Ange also saw the new arrival. Only, when she found this new arrival to be a familiar figure, a hint of disappointment surfaced on her face. However, in no time at all, joy had replaced that disappointment as she said, "It's my cousin."

The few minutes Ange spent alone with Fang Qin had suffocated her greatly. Now that her cousin had returned, she couldn't help but feel liberated.

Seeing her cousin carrying bags of varying sizes into the shop, Ange hurriedly walked forward and asked, "Do you need help?"

Ange's cousin handed some of the bags to Ange and wiped his sweat with his freed hand. The bags contained some cake knives and paper boxes, and he had her store them under the counter. After leaving behind some instructions, he carried the rest of the bags to the back of the shop.

Then, the two were alone once more. To avoid an awkward situation, Ange quickly went under the counter.

Seeing that Ange was busy and that there was nothing she could help with, Fang Qin carefully asked, "Have you been very busy these past few days?"

Ange had finished putting the items in their rightful place in no time at all. However, she deliberately remained under the counter, fiddling with stuff to waste time. Unfortunately, to her dismay, Fang Qin remained persistent and did not leave.

"So…when you said you suddenly had something to do that afternoon, was it because you had to take care of the shop?"

That afternoon?

Ange nearly blurted out her thoughts. Then, when she met with Fang Qin's probing eyes, she quickly understood what the other party was referring to—the day she deliberately stood Fang Qin up.

Ange awkwardly looked away and vaguely replied with an "Mhm."

"I see." Fang Qin did not doubt Ange's reply. Looking down, she took a moment to adjust her mood. Then, she said, "Alright, I've held up your work for long enough. Goodbye."

Ange found Fang Qin's lukewarm attitude to be within expectations. However, she also couldn't help but feel a little disappointed. She also noticed that Fang Qin did not say "see you next time," probably because the other party thought they wouldn't have any more opportunities to meet again.

Fang Qin walked to the entrance in a leisurely manner, her heels producing crisp sounds as they made contact with the floor.

"Wait—" A hesitant voice called out to Fang Qin.

Fang Qin's footsteps stopped. Then, she slowly turned around and looked at Ange.

"That day…"

Fang Qin quietly waited.

Forget it. I better not explain. Taking a deep breath, Ange asked, "Have you eaten yet?"

Fang Qin opened her mouth slightly, her brain failing to process the situation. After staring at Ange for a moment, Fang Qin shook her head.

"Me neither. Do you want to join me?" Ange asked with an awkward expression on her face. "I'm really sorry for missing the appointment last time. I'll treat you to make up for it."

Fang Qin didn't understand why Ange suddenly had a change in attitude. Regardless, a hint of joy appeared in her heart as she said, "Okay."

By the time Fang Qin found the cake shop and completed her purchase, half an hour had gone by already. To avoid missing her flight scheduled to take off in two hours, they visited a nearby restaurant and ordered a few simple dishes.

This meal wasn't just a simple meal for Ange. She also didn't offer to treat Fang Qin on a whim. Instead, it was her token of apology for skipping out on their appointment.

Previously, Ange had regretted her actions after haphazardly agreeing to Fang Qin's invitation on WeChat. As a result, she didn't manage to get a good sleep the entire night. When she woke up to a message notification the next day and saw Fang Qin's message, she chose to back out almost immediately. Hence, she made up a random excuse to skip their appointment.

Ange knew that it was rude to cancel an appointment at the last minute. Hence, after she sent out the message, guilt started eating away at her heart. She initially thought the other party would call to question her. However, even after a long time had passed, her phone remained silent.

It had already been close to ten days since they last contacted each other, so Ange gradually began forgetting about that incident. To give herself some peace of mind, she made up an excuse, thinking, That person is only a passerby in my life. If she's gone, she's gone. There's nothing much to it.

However, when Ange met Fang Qin again today, she realized that she still felt guilty over the matter. Her guilt was further exacerbated when she told two consecutive lies, yet Fang Qin showed not even a shred of suspicion.

The restaurant they dined at served plain water for free. Before the food had even arrived, Ange had already drunk two cups. When she was about to pour herself a third cup, she heard Fang Qin saying, "How are you going to eat if you drink so much water now?"

Despite being partially full already, Ange pretended to be okay, saying, "I have a big appetite."

Fang Qin scrutinized Ange's body. Then, she said, "But I remember that you hardly ate anything the last time we dined together."

"..." A drop of residue water hit the back of Ange's hand. Pretending to be calm, Ange said, "I didn't have much of an appetite last time because of my cold."

"Was the cold medicine useful?"

Upon hearing this question, Ange recalled that Fang Qin had previously bought medicine for her and that half of the medicine remained in her house. Then, she blinked her eyes and said, "...It was quite useful."

Hellscythe's Notes:

That's it for ABBR! Thank you everyone for following Xu Chuanchuan and Murong Shi on this arduous journey, and please consider trying out the new yuri novel I'm translating - My Cousin is Always Busy(GL).
 
Here's the link for Chapter 1:
https://hostednovel.com/20832/novel/miss-cousin-is-always-busy/mcab-chapter-1

Read it, or else. :)

Other novels I translate on Hosted Novel:
Pantsu Hero Alice (PHA)
Reincarnation of the Strongest Sword God (Side Stories)
Miss Cousin is Always Busy (MCAB)(Yuri, Quick Transmigration)
Written by Inverse Sign. Translated by Hellscythe. Edited by Grammarly.