The system didn’t delay and started calculating at once. Su Yan clenched his fists. Forget about that strange special task he had gotten, this one was the important one!
One after another, messages appeared on the screen. Su Yan’s hands got sweaty and he rubbed them on his trousers. Why was this taking so long? The system had always been faster when processing the couples! Could it really be easier to find all the data on those people and check their compatibility than evaluating one short one-thousand words scene?
Su Yan bit his lower lip. Oh god! There really were problems with his text!
[Compiling suggestions for improvement.]
Su Yan’s heart started to flutter. He couldn’t sit still any longer. He leaped to his feet and started pacing up and down in front of the counter. How many things had he done wrong? Was his romantic encounter really this bad?
He covered his face with his hands but finally couldn’t resist taking a peek. There was still the same damn message.
“Why are you still compiling?! Show me the damned results!”
“Su Yan?” Nie Chang frowned in the backroom. He could have sworn he had heard Su Yan’s voice just now and it had somehow sounded angry. Could there be another customer? Mn, maybe he shouldn’t leave him alone. Who knew if someone was making advances on him again.
Su Yan clasped a hand over his mouth. “Uh … S— sorry!”, he shouted at the door. “I … I was … trying voice-to-text.”
Nie Chang lifted a brow. There was no way this guy who was all thumbs when it came to technology would try something like speech-to-text. He was probably cussing out his notebook again. Nie Chang shook his head and continued to work. He had observed that strange habit of Su Yan’s often enough. There was no reason to worry at all.
Su Yan listened if there was any movement in the background. Only when he was sure that Nie Chang wouldn’t come over, did he heave a sigh of relief. He sat down again and stared at the Lovely Writing System with reproachful eyes. Couldn’t it hurry up?!
As if the system had heard him, the message suddenly changed again.
[Appraising skill level.]
The characters disappeared again and another window popped up. Su Yan shut his eyes and gulped. Could he really look? What if his results were really bad? What if the system told him that he had no talent?
He wanted to ignore it but, of course, the window wouldn’t just go away. Finally, Su Yan couldn’t help himself any longer. Even if the result was bad, he still wanted to know!
He opened his eyes and stared at the results of his hard work:
Overall rating: 2,6/5
Evaluation: The host has grasped the basics but still lacks in his ability to apply them in a convincing way. Please try implementing the following suggestions for improvement.
1) Describe the appearance of the character ‘Yi Zan’ in more detail. Pay special attention to unique and memorable traits that could be linked to his personality.
2) Include some of Yi Zan’s thoughts and emotions and have them contrast those of his sister Ai Hua to induce conflict.
3) Hint at the further developments between Lei Jiang and Yi Zan.]
Su Yan read the suggestions, his brows raising a little higher with each one. It seemed the system had resolved to shake his three views. In the scene he had written, Yi Zan wasn’t even important. He had just been a convenient way to let Lei Jiang and Ai Hua find a safe topic. In fact, he could have even left him out. And now he was supposed to add more to this unimportant character? Wouldn’t it be better to really leave him out and concentrate more on the main characters? After all, this was their first meeting. It would probably be better if there weren’t any other characters.
Su Yan pursed his lips and opened the text editor again.
There was an easy way to leave him out without having to change the course of Lei Jiang and Ai Hua’s first meeting too much: He just had to let Lei Jiang realize that Ai Hua was Yi Zan’s sister by himself.
He clenched and unclenched his hands a few times and then started to edit his first attempt from the point where Ai Hua reacted to Lei Jiang calling out to her:
[“Were you talking to me?”, she asked, a little bewildered. She hadn’t expected him to call out to her anymore.
“Mn.” Lei Jiang went over. She was still smiling, so he felt like he hadn’t done anything she disliked. “I …” He stopped talking. Just now he remembered that he had nothing to say. What now?
Ai Hua looked at Lei Jiang’s lips that moved without him uttering a sound and instantly felt delighted. She stepped closer and shyly looked up at him. Please, just say something!, she thought in her heart. Anything was fine. She just wanted a reason to stay a little longer with him.
“Uh …” Lei Jiang looked away, unable to bear it any longer. He needed some type of topic that seemed normal. Something that wouldn’t be too direct, but could also be used to establish a relationship between them.
But how? He didn’t know anything about her! Lei Jiang looked at her again, searching for anything that might help. Oh heavens, in the worst case, he’d just compliment her. It wasn’t a good way but still better than nothing.
He examined her lovely face and finally, his gaze stopped on a strand of her auburn hair that had fallen into her face. The wind gently blew it to the side, lending her a special kind of liveliness.
Wait! That auburn hair! Lei Jiang’s eyes widened. He had seen someone with similar hair! In fact, he was well acquainted with him: It was one of the other soldiers and as far as he knew that man had an older sister.
Lei Jiang’s eyes glinted and he smiled at Ai Hua. “If I may be so bold to ask: Could it be that you are Yi Zan’s sister?”
Ai Hua was a little bewildered. Sure, she had wanted him to say anything but why was he asking about her brother out of all things?
“Oh.” Lei Jiang also noticed that his approach might be misunderstood if he didn’t explain. “I was just thinking that you seemed quite familiar, though we’ve probably never seen each other before. I just … had a feeling as if we had known each other for a long time already.”
Ai Hua smiled and squirmed a bit. He had paid this much attention to her … Did that mean her feelings weren’t just one-sided?
“It’s true. I’m his sister. I … I have to go now”, she confessed with a sad gaze. “I hope we’ll see each other again.”
“Mn.” Lei Jiang could only nod, her last smile had truly robbed him of his senses. He watched her turn around but suddenly remembered that he had forgotten something important. “Ah, Miss, wait! You didn’t tell me your name, yet!”
Ai Hua turned around, her smile getting even sweeter as if it would drop with honey the next moment. “Ai Hua”, she whispered, then she hurried along but not without turning back once to look at him longingly.
At that moment, Lei Jiang was still watching her, entranced. He couldn’t help it. She was just too perfect to take his eyes off her for even one moment. “So her name is Ai Hua”, he murmured. “How fitting. Such a beautiful woman should have such an elegant name.” He only left the spot where he had been talking to her when he hadn’t been able to see her anymore for a long time.
This was their first meeting but it shouldn’t be their last by far.]