Fangirling Chinese Novels

Challenge 2: The Most Romantic Scene

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First and foremost, I think I have to apologise for the serious case of MIA. Unfortunately, it can’t be helped since my job in Real Life has exploded left right and center; last week, our boss sent an e-mail telling us to “rest well” this weekend because next three weeks is going to be the “choke point”. I think it is more of “you should finish whatever work you can this weekend so that you have hope of going home during the next three weeks.

So Peanuts (and by extension, Lidge :D) will have to hold down the fort here until I can see the light of day again. But I will try to put in at least a monthly appearance with the Monthly Challenges.

Anyway, back to more interesting and entertaining topics, this week we’re going to discuss what we feel are the most romantic scene(s) in C-novels (I know that the challenge is “THE” most romantic scenes, but given that this is our blog and our challenge, we’re playing by our rules – anyway, who will actually complain about getting more than one scene here?) And as a SPECIAL bonus, Peanuts have joined in the game, and added her opinions below.

And if you’re thinking why isn’t it “Most Favourite Male Character this month”, the answer is also the our-blog-our-challenge line/rationale again. We/I will do whatever we fancy, whenever we fancy it instead of being tied down to a schedule. :P. And the surprise keeps things interesting too, no? But if you’re really wondering when the “Most Favourite Male Character” Challenge is going to be posted, it’s tentatively next month. Peanuts has dibs on it (and no, she refuse to disclose who are the finalists. 😦  )

Hui3r’s Most Romantic Scene

It took me the better part of the week to figure out my reply to this challenge. I mean, what you would consider romantic may be totally not from my point of view (which is what happened between me and Peanuts, because she thinks that my final answer is not romantic at all). In the end, I reasoned that all of my “finalists” for this challenge revolve around a single theme: a declaration of love. It doesn’t need to be loud and showy, replete with flowers, champagne and a fricking ring in the pudding; as a reader, the only thing that I ask for is that I can believe that at that moment, love has blossomed.


Ultimately, my finalists came down to two. The first one is the scene where Xiao Feng asked Xiao Wu to catch 100 fireflies for her from Step-mum Fei Wo Si Cun’s Eastern Palace. Basically, Xiao Feng’s grandfather, who is the leader of her maternal tribe and a respected warrior amongst all of the tribes, declared that the man who kills the legendary one eyed wolf in the mountains will have Xiao Feng’s hand in marriage. And one day, Xiao Wu shows up with the carcass of the one-eyed wolf. True to his word, her grandfather granted him Xiao Feng’s hand in marriage.

Xiao Feng was not happy because Xiao Wu’s story was that he happened to be passing by and killed the one eyed wolf by chance. He did not go into the mountains specifically to kill the one eyed wolf in order to marry her. She did not want to marry a man just because he happened to fulfill the challenge set by her grandfather by chance; to her mind, that meant the man did not really want her or care for her because he did not expand any deliberate effort to gain her hand in marriage. He was a wolf, the wolf was a danger, so he killed it – it was something he would have done regardless of whether he gets her hand in marriage or not.

So she told Xiao Wu that she would only marry him if he would catch 100 fireflies for her. Of course, to her that seemed to be a difficult and burdensome – if not impossible – task, and if he would take the time and effort to do it, it would show that he really wanted to be with her. Of course, with his superior martial arts, it wasn’t as difficult as Xiao Feng imagined it to be. But it was really one of the most beautifully written scenes, and definitely one of the happiest in an otherwise angst-ridden book.

But the winner of the two came from is Xin Yi Wu’s Mirage. Which is a contentious win, if we had to have an unanimous vote between Peanuts and I (she agreed that the above scene from Eastern Palace was romantic, although she did not agree with this choice at all). And because this is my choice for winner, you get a translation.

This scene happens right at the end of the book (its not too late to look away from spoilers), when everything has been revealed and all that is left unanswered is whether our main characters Chi Cheng and Xun Xun can move on together from the past. At the start of the scene, they were intent on going their separate ways. Chi Cheng had injured his foot, so he asked Xun Xun to help him back to his car. Along the way, Chi Cheng stopped to stand at a manhole cover and refused to move.


“What are you doing?” Xun Xun sighed heavily.

Chi Cheng moved as if to pulled her along. She let go of his hand and said unnaturally, “Don’t pull me along when you’re looking to die.”

“I don’t believe in such nonsense.” With great difficulty, he turned around on the manhole cover where he stood, “Look – this is the danger that you are afraid of. What you are afraid of may not happen. What is destined to happen, will happen no matter how careful you are.”

“I am not going to fool around with you,” Xun Xun turned around to leave him.

“Are you really going to always live so rationally and cowardly? Xun Xun – I am not trying to make you unhappy. I have loved you all this time. That is why I am afraid that you will treat me like a shell that has existed for decades!” Chi Cheng stood where he was, his raised chased her departing figure. “I have always wanted to know, have you ever loved anyone?”

He was unwilling to ask, “Have you ever loved me” because he was afraid to hear her unequivocal disavowal.

Xun Xun though, has she ever loved anyone? The class monitor of the next class in high school, the trainer at the gym, including the Xie Ping Zhu from before their marriage and Sun Yi Fan from before tore apart each other’s masks – she had positive feelings for all of these people , but that was the extent of it – positive feelings. She was happy to see them, but was alright even if they did not meet.

If they really had to define “love” as a sudden movement of her heart, then she would have loved the superhero from the television series and the shadow of a man who was willing to turn her city upside down in her dream. But these people did not exist in the real world. Even if Chi Cheng melded together with the shadow from her dream, the him in reality was filled with uncertainty. She was not used to a life where she did not know what would happen in the next second, just like she would always avoid each manhole cover.

She walked aimlessly ahead and heard Chi Cheng shout from the back, “I really wish I had died on the mountain!”

A few tears escaped Xun Xun who still had her back to him. It was difficult for her not to think back on their days on the mountain. That period of time was when were like a pair of ordinary husband and wife who would never play mind games and doubt each other, who did not worry about tomorrow.

It was as if one has wandered into a magical peach blossom garden, and when you  finally leave, you realise that it had all been a dream. It was a sweet dream that felt like a lifetime, but it was actually only a short while in reality and nothing has changed when you awake.

Her mobile phone rang. Unexpectedly, it was a message from Cheng Yu. Just two short  sentences: “I was drunk. But now I am sober.” Xun Xun could not understand the meaning behind the message. Just as she wanted to call Cheng Yu to find out, the sound of drums suddenly approached and the sound of firecrackers exploded in her ears.

The Dragon Dance headed towards them, around ten yellow dangers maneuvering a gorgeous multicoloured dragon were being followed by numerous spectators. Xun Xun was heading in the same direction as the Dragon Dance. She turned  around and realized that she was suddenly caught in the flood of the crowd of festival goers; she was surrounded by strangers. She could no longer see Chi Cheng.

The Dragon Dancers moved energetically and she found herself being pushed forward against her will. Xun Xun worried that with his leg injury, Chi Cheng would be pushed off his feet by the crowd, so she kept turning around to look for him. All she could see around her were people and firecrackers that exploded like shooting stars.

She avoided the firecrackers and tried to run in the direction she came from. But she was met with a wall of people that prevented her from moving forward. She did not know why, but her heart started to panic. She started pushing aside the people who were in her way. Many of them turned to look angrily at her, and she kept repeating, “Excuse me, sorry, please let me pass,” until she did not wish to say anything anymore.

All of her panic and uneasiness had become a single impulse: she wanted to see him standing in front of her at that instant. Even if just a few minutes ago, she had made up her mind to leave him. It is to the extent that she could not tell whether her hope to see him arose from her worry for his leg injury, or came from the same impulse that made her, instead of climbing upwards towards safety, jump down after him when they were at the cliff.

No matter how hard she tried, Xun Xun did not manage to go against the onward current of people who were following the Dragon Dance. The crowed flowed past her. Once they passed her, she felt a lone survivor stranded on the beach after the storm, who suddenly and unexpectedly, found that another person had similarly been stranded together with her.

Chi Cheng was still standing on the manhole cover, looking in her direction. The distance between them was actually that small but she had felt as if they were separated by the Milky Way. Xun Xun thought that she must have been startled blank by the sound of the firecrackers; she had difficulty forming thoughts in her brain. She could only automatically run towards him. As Chi Cheng raised his arm, she rushed into his embrace without a second thought.

They had many opportunities and reasons to embrace in the past. But right now, she did not need a reason to embrace this person right in front of her. It is not as if she has never thought about it. Maybe he did not actually love her; that he only loved what he could not have in the past. It was not as if her love was also that true and steadfast. What she wanted was what she can hold on to right now. Surely the answer could not be more trustworthy and reliable that the person in her arms right now? At that moment, both of them felt as if nothing could be worst than a decision to separate.

“I thought you had left,” Chi Cheng hugged Xun Xun so hard she almost could not breath. He used one hand to hold on to his crutch in order to maintain his balance, and the other hand was used to hold her. He could not hold back the tears in his eyes. He thought, so what if it was embarrassing – it is not as if she ever had the impression of him being tall and strong in the first place.

He did not want to remind her, that the Zhao Xun Xun who had always treated manhole covers like vicious beasts was now standing shaky manhole cover. If such a thing can happen, why couldn’t he believe that one day, she would come to love a shell that had existed for decades?

Ok, that was much more difficult to translate that I originally thought it would be. And frankly, I don’t think I did Xin Yi Wu’s actual prose justice – I had to make some edits to make it flow better in English. This scene stayed with me a long time after I read the book, and I often revisited it in my head. Peanuts asked, “how romantic is it for a couple to be lost in a crowd and then finding each other?”

I agree, that scenario in itself is not romantic AT ALL. But if you had followed Chi Cheng and Zhao Xun Xun for almost 40 chapters, you would understand the significance of Xun Xun running into Chi Cheng’s embrace without a second thought or noticing that he was standing on a manhole cover.

Xun Xun is a character that was rational to a fault. Her childhood had made her into this person who tries to outsmart and outwit surprises and danger. Her fear of manholes came from the fact that one day, she was walking with her mother and suddenly her mother disappeared from next to her. She had fallen into a manhole (which was a fate she richly deserved, really). So to Xun Xun, manhole covers are dangerous because they could give way at any second and a person standing on it  could disappear without a trace.

So Xun Xun actually standing on the manhole cover with Chi Cheng at that moment signified that she had chosen him over her fear of the unknown. He was a man filled with uncertainty and she was a woman who can’t stand uncertainty. But at that moment, she had chosen to be with him… so that is why for me, that is the most romantic scene in a C-Novel that I have read so far.

The ultimate line that totally slayed me was:

He did not want to remind her, that the Zhao Xun Xun who had always treated manhole covers like vicious beasts was now standing shaky manhole cover. If such a thing can happen, why couldn’t he believe that one day, she would come to love a shell that had existed for decades?

So I hope you enjoyed the above, and I’m going to pass you on the Peanuts now. 🙂

Peanuts’ Most Romantic Scene

There are too many romantic scenes in C-novels so I can’t remember all of them, lol. Since Hui3r wants me to think hard, I’ll write the one I can remember so they might not be the most romantic one:P For your information, I’ve very poor memory, haha….

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For ancient C-novels, I’ll pick the scene in Yun Zhong Ge by Tong Hua where Meng Jue piggyback an injured Yun Ge to go out for a walk under the full moon. Then they saw the lunar rainbow together while Yun Ge was singing to him in her melodious voice. Such a romantic setting, what else can you ask for? If you want to read about it go here How can I forget my Ling gege so I’ll also choose a scene with him:) That will be his first meeting with Yun Ge in the desert when they were still children. She melted his chilly heart with her innocence. They sleeping together under the starry sky and also sharing bedtime stories. Plus the promise to meet again once they are grown up. Oh, so sweet and romantic to meet & love since childhood. If you want to revisit them go here


Since He Yi Sheng Zhao Mo by Gu Man is the number one Chinese romance novel in most poll in China, I am digging deep into my brain to think of a romantic scene. I like the part where the female lead (MS) will count the tiles on the pathway while waiting for the male lead (YC) who is often late. She always threatens him that she’ll leave once she counted to 1000 but she never get beyond 999, so sweet:) The book is littered with many bitter sweet moments/actions like the male lead still keep the female lead picture in his wallet even though they’ve broken up 7 yrs ago because of a misunderstanding etc. Although there is no one defining romantic scene, the overall actions of both the leads make this book such a firm favourite with many readers.

According to Lidge, there are many romantic moments in HYSZM, but the marriage proposal stands out the most for several reasons:
1) marriage is a lifelong serious commitment and YC loves MS deeply to want to tie her to him forever (c’mon, a handsome, wealthy, successful guy who wants to commit? is there a more perfect formula? lol)
2) shows YC’s only wanting to look to the future and not dwell on the past (this is BIG plus in my book, I hate ppl who dwell on the past especially if it’s a guy, just let it go already u ninny!)
3) shows YC’s love for MS enables him to forgive the hurt she has caused him, unintentionally without her realizing it (another BIG plus because unconditional love is what all women want from their husband)

The marriage proposal by itself is not romantic but in HYSZM, the context it was based on makes it romantic.  At that point, he was torn between loving her deeply and feeling hurt tremendously by her leaving him.  Yet, at the end, his love for her won out and he chooses to look to the future, a future in which he wants her with him. YC’s love for MS overcomes everything that can destroy a relationship- doubts, betrayal, pain, hurt, etc.  At the end, all a relationship needs to survive is love, if we love the other person enough, we will work hard to ensure the relationship works and survives all ups and downs.

One thought on “Challenge 2: The Most Romantic Scene

  1. Pingback: 浮世浮城 Mirage – 辛夷坞

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