Fangirling Chinese Novels

Falling Leaves Without Trace (叶落无痕) Radio Drama with English Subtitles – Part 1


OMG, I have never translated something so melancholy before. This is a one-off only to return a favour to a loyal reader. Although she only asked me to translate part 2, I can’t do the ending without the beginning so I will do both and share with everyone. Don’t ask me to translate anymore ancient or sad novel:P Also, please forgive me for any error or omission as it is rather difficult to translate a radio drama without a script:(

A word of warning, this story is rather sad, similar to Fei Wo Si Cun and Korea melodrama style so get ready your tissues as I cried buckets:( Like me, you may need to listen to Shan Shan’s radio drama to recover yourself. Although this is a typical sad short story, it is a well-written and produced radio drama with lots of nice and slow songs and music so do give it a try. The broadcasters are also very good. You need to listen to the radio drama to feel for the story. Just reading my translation is insufficient!!! It is similar to watching a good movie except you need to visualize your leads. Thus, I have included a fan-made MV with Hu Ge and Liu Shi Shi to help you along:)

Part 1 (translated by peanuts) OR

Rrrrring…Knock, Knock! “Cheng Si Ying, Cheng Si Ying.”
“You can’t go in. Master and young mistress are having dinner. Mr Xiao!”
“Xiao Huan, what are you doing here?”
“Please let Cheng Si Ying marry me.”
“Why should I let my beloved daughter marry you? You are impoverished and have nothing.”
“Cheng Si Ying, Cheng Si Ying.”
“Si Ying, go back to your room.”
“Dad, I am willing.”
“Cheng Si Ying, what did you say?”
“I am willing to marry him.”
0.30: That year, I was 21 years old and without any hesitation married him. Because of the reckless and desperate emotion in his eyes when he looked at me. It was like he was drowning and only I could save him.

Falling Leaves Without a Trace Part 1 by Jian An radio drama.

1.24: “I Cheng Si Ying (Xiao Huan) will accept Xiao Huan (Cheng Si Ying) as my husband(wife), with God as my witness. We will live together as husband and wife irrespective of what circumstances. I am willing to look after him(her), love him(her), respect and protect him(her) until death do us part.”
“Thank you everyone for attending my daughter’s wedding. I have a public announcement to share with all my friends and relatives. From today onwards, my son-in-law Xiao Huan will take over and serve as Yuan Sheng Group’s executive director.”
“Xiao Huan and Si Ying, congratulations and wish you have an everlasting marriage. Hope you have a baby soon.”
“Thank you Mr Wang. Excuse me, I need to go and greet some friends.”
That day he finally smiled. After I tried for such a long time but to no avail, he finally smiled. The corner of his mouth was curved slightly upward which really looked like a king. It was a lonely wedding as I did not feel any happiness. He dragged me around to toast but did not ask if I am tired. I followed him around until my feet are swollen. But I did not dare to say anything as I was afraid to make him unhappy.

“Xiao Huan!”
“Luo Qing.”
“Let me introduce, this is my wife, Cheng Si Ying!”
This is the first time Xiao introduced me as his wife.
“Hello, my name is Luo Qing, Xiao’s old friend!”
“Hello, welcome you for attending my wedding!”
“Xiao, your action is really fast. Always will not fall behind others!”
“We are both the same. How about you? Why you did not bring your husband here to let me take a look!?”
“The richest man in the city is your father-in-law.  So why will I bring that ugly man out to embarrass me!?”
“What are you talking about, so happy?”
“Si Ying, go and give your Uncle Lee a toast.”
“Dad, are you okay?”
“Dad, you go and take a rest. I am here to look after the guests.”
“I am okay.”
“Dad, how are you?”
“Dad, dad.”
“Uncle Cheng, Uncle Cheng.”
“Xiao Ding, drive the car over, quickly.”
4.04: “Si Ying, dad doesn’t have much time left. In this life, I don’t have much regret. But I am concerned and worried about you. Dad did not oppose strongly against your marriage to Xiao Huan because at this moment he is the best person who can take good care of you for me. Si Ying, you must be happy and blissful.”
“I will, I definitely will.”
When I was 23 years old, my dad passed away. I only have a husband by my side, an outstanding but utterly indifferent husband.

5:08 “You’re back.”
“You’re still awake! Still making your coffee?”
“Yes, do you want to drink some? Or should I prepare some food for you?”
“Cheng Si Ying, why don’t you understand? In fact, I do not love you, but you can be assured. Without you, I will not have what I am having today so I will not divorce you. Cheng Si Ying, don’t be proud of yourself. I look down on princess like you who can neither toil with one’s limbs nor tell the five cereals apart.”
I laughed not because I felt proud, but I felt sorry for you. I was a useless woman, not pretty, not smart and also always sick. You clearly has the ability to be free, but you were reluctant to have your freedom. Although you did not love me, I would not say to you: it did not matter if you want a divorce because I did not want to leave the cute you.
“Why are you still here? I want to do my work. Go back to your room. Don’t let me see you again.”
“You have already earned so much money. Why you still need to be so hardworking?”
“Cheh! You are a useless woman ! Earn money? That is a conquest which you will never understand!”

Ding ling ling!
“Big brother’s wife, is Xiao at home?”
“Yes, he is at home.”
“E……that Lu Yun and Liu Jin are here.”
“Oh, go and make them a cup of tea!”
After getting married for two years, I have never called him ‘husband’ because I did not dare.
6.35: “Xiao, something happened.”
“Sit down.”
“The other side has changed their minds.”
“What happened? I though everything has been finalised and the agreement will be signed tomorrow.”
“Suddenly the other side called and said another company is offering better term than us.”
“You came over in a hurry just for this small thing? Tell them this is our bottom line. We are not going to give them anymore concession. They should know our company is the only one with the capability to cooperate with them. Give them some pressure. Tell them if they don’t show some sincerity, we will terminate the arrangement.”
I curled up on another sofa and held a mug of coffee in my hand. I looked out the window, flooded with lights.

7.30: “I was wondering why a brat like you didn’t go to ‘Night Scene’ recently. It turns out that you are dating a little girl!”
“Hey, I can’t help it. Who ask this world to have so many women!?”
“Frankly speaking, Xiao is still the best. He has got an obedient wife who will not cause trouble!”
When this kind of topic started, this meant that they were no longer busy working. Man’s topic of conversation usually revolved around two things, money and women.
“Yes ar, big brother Xiao is so fortunate. He does not need to spend money to fool around with women. Luo Qing that woman, ate up her husband until the base, can compete with us!”
“Tomorrow is Luo Qing’s birthday and I’ve made a booking in ‘Night Scene’. Make sure all of you bring a present when you come.”
“Big brother Xiao! Your mistress is not so easy to please. Whatever we give, she will also not be surprised!”
“As long as big brother Xiao is there, you don’t need to worry she will not laugh like a flower!”
“Haha! Yes, you are right!”
They talked among themselves, whereas I just drank my coffee at their side, one mouthful after another. I was still lying on the sofa. In my house, even if I were to sleep in the toilet, he would also not care about me.

8.50: Rrrrring…”Hello Si Ying!”
“Xiao Bei, you don’t need to work today?”
“I don’t need to work in the afternoon. Let’s go and watch a movie. Long time we haven’t been catching up. Have you been thinking about me?”
“Yes, I think of you daily. But you are always busy so I dare not call you.”
“What are you talking about? I am calling you now to ask you out. What are you doing now? Why is it so noisy?”
“I am washing some cups. We got some guests yesterday and I haven’t washed the cups.”
“Washing cups? Why you need to do such menial task? Where is your servant?”
“I have let her go. I don’t like stranger to come and go in my house.”
“I think it is Xiao Huan who doesn’t like stranger in his house. Aiya, stop washing and quickly come out. I will treat you lunch. Wear something pretty.”

“Aiya, why is that leading actress so dumb? She knows it is a trap yet she fell for it. It is already eleven o’clock.”
“Oh, it is raining.”
“Be careful that you catch a cold. You are always like that. Is it so nice to walk in the rain? Hey, my husband is coming to pick us up. Don’t walk too far away.”
Si Ying, you have not smiled like that in a long time. How much hurt and sadness are you hiding in your heart? Why must you love such a person?
“Why are you here? Go home.”
“Big brother’s wife?”
“Go home.”
“Don’t be like this. Didn’t you see Si Ying is all wet?”
“Si Ying, you are catching a cold. Let’s go back.”
Honk, honk….”Hubby, hubby, this side. We are here.”
“Girl, it is alright, let’s go!”

I did not dare to turn back and look at him. I was like a woman in the Cold Palace, appearing in a place I was not supposed to be, thus provoking the emperor displeasure. I dared not stay overnight in Xiao Bei’s place. I returned to the dark house to wait for him to come back.
11.34: “You feel wronged?”
“Humph! Go. Go into the bedroom.”
“Just now, I was drenched by the rain. I have not bath yet!”
“Then go to bath!”
I dared not ask him why he did not spend the night outside with Luo Qing. Even if I asked, he would also not tell me.

December 6, 2004, it is the ribbon cutting ceremony for Yuan Sheng’s new apartments launch. I attended a party with him. At the party, he was high-spirited and became the focus of all attention. I accompanied him everywhere to toast, just like when we got married. I walked until my feet was swollen. I did not know what was churning in my stomach but I felt very uncomfortable.
“Xiao, long time no see!”
“Du, having lived abroad for so long, you have not changed much!”
“Oh! This is big brother’s wife!”
“Si Ying, this is Du Yuan Feng, my university mate.”
“How are you?”
“Big brother’s wife, are you okay?”
“I I am…..”
“Si Ying, Si Ying, Cheng Si Ying. Wake up.”
“Big brother’s wife?”
I really liked those three words.

12.54: “Xiao?”
“Today, what happened? Doctor said you’ve overworked. How come I do not know that you are overworked!”
“Are you hungry? I will cook you instant noodles!”
“I do not want to eat instant noodles!”
“I will make some coffee.”
“You drink too much coffee until you cannot sleep at night. Thus, the doctor said you’re overworked. You better exercise some restraint. Do not look for trouble!”
“Okay! Next month is your birthday. I have got your gift ready!”
“Oh! I want to take my bath. Bring my pyjamas over.”
“Xiao, you are really handsome, really handsome!”
“Come over here!”
“Xiao, you are perfect!”
“Yes and you are my flaw!”
“Xiao, I will like to have a child.”
“Child? I will not let you have a child.”

January 13, 2005, it was Xiao’s birthday and he was 30 years old.
I gave him a white sweater which I bought because he would not wear my hand-knitted one. But I secretly sewed a small cloth inside the sweater, embroidered with three words: Cheng Si Ying.
For this, I was secretly happy for a long time. Every time he wore that white sweater to play golf, I could not help but laughed.
“Why are you laughing foolishly!?”

February, I attended cooking classes. I went for two hours lesson every day. One day I learned a new dish and cooked it in the kitchen. From time to time, I kept looking at my watch. It was 11 o’clock, he should be home soon.
“Big brother’s wife!”
“What is going on?”
“It is nothing! With the successful completion of a project, big brother Xiao is very happy so he drank too much!”
“Oh! That’s good.”
“What are you doing in the kitchen?”
“Miss Luo!”
“We meet again! I will take care of him. You go to take care of your kitchen!”
Xiao, although you were very close to her, you have never brought her home before. I always thought that was your gentle consideration for my feeling. But why did you bring her here today? I really wanted to kick her out. I really wanted to kick her out immediately.
“Here is the hot water.”
“Thank you. Xiao, are you feeling better now? I told you not to drink so much, yet you do not listen!”
“Ahahaha, I won! I won again! Haha Qing, it is obvious that you’ll never catch up with me!”
“Big brother’s wife!”
“I, I am okay…”
They even dared to kiss in front of me…………….

16.26: “Boss Chen, then it is a deal?”
“Okay, President Xiao. No need to see me out. You go and get busy.”
“Okay, then I will not see you out since we are so familiar with each other.”
“See you.”
“Inform Xiao Sui for me to have a meeting at 2pm. Also…. Cheng Si Ying, why are you here?”
“I have something to say …… ”
“Go to the Tea Pavilion opposite the road to wait for me!”
17.04: “What is the matter!?”
“Last night, you sent Miss Luo back?”
“She went back herself!”
“In future, will she still come to our house?”
“No! You come to look for me just for this matter?”
“Yes. No.”
“What other matter?”
“Xiao Bei is pregnant so I want to give her a gift. You know, Xiao Bei is my only friend!”
“No problem. Give you. Is the platinum card sufficient? No other matter?”
“You still have what other matter?”
“I’m hungry!”
“Waiteress, we want to order!”
“Mr Xiao, what do you want to eat today?”
“As usual. What do you want to eat?”
“Anything will do.”
“Then same as mine, two sets.”
“Okay, please wait awhile.”

“Si Ying! You are my wife, I will always buy you the best thing. I will also give you satisfaction which nobody can obtain but you are too easily satisfied. It makes me very unhappy, you know!? Tell me what you want!”
“I want to go for a walk.”
“What do you want to eat?”
“Can’t you ask for something more special?” Not walk or cake. What I owe you is money. You must give me a chance to repay you.”
Xiao, what I didn’t say was I wanted to walk with you and eat the cake you baked personally. I would never ever say them because from the very beginning they are not challenges but failures.
“Say something.”
“Xiao, do you remember our first meeting? I met you in my father’s office. At that time you were talking with a foreign client. Although I could not understand a word of English, I know that you convinced that foreigner because he gave you the thumb up! You just gave a faint smile, a very magnanimous and confident one.”
“Oh? Really?”
“Yes! Throughout your’s life, the only non magnanimous thing you did is marry me to get Yuan Sheng, so you hate me!”
“Cheng Si Ying, I do not really hate you. But you cannot keep up with my pace so I cannot love you. However, I will take care of you. Without you, I will not be where I am today, which I will never forget.”
“Then, do you love Luo Qing?”
“Haha, I did love her before!”
“Will you spend the rest of your life with me?”
“Maybe! Anyway, I will not ask for a divorce first!”
“Well, what about if I take the initiative to leave you first? Will you feel lonely!? After all, we lived together for three years!”
“Haha, if you leave me, where can you go? I do not even want to bother to think about it! You finish your meal then go home quickly. The way you dress, if people see you like this, it is really embarassing!”
“Welcome again!”

20.26: “Xiao Bei, it is decided I will be the god-mother of your child. No matter it is a boy or girl, the name will be Nan. You must take good care of your body. Don’t go anywhere.”
“Si Ying, don’t be so nervous. It has only been a month.”
“Here, have an apple. From now onwards, you are not allowed to do anything. You can only eat, drink and laugh! You must give birth to a healthy baby.”
“Si Ying, you move here to live with us! Do not live with him anymore!”
“You want to take care of me ah. I’m a parasite who knows nothing!”
“Si Ying, you do not need to do anything. My husband and I will take care of you. We will give you a home, give you warm and my child will call you mom! Si Ying, do not be together with him anymore!”
“Xiao Bei, I am not able to leave him.”
“Si Ying, everyday you wake up, eat meals and watch TV to wait for him to come back at night. If he is in a good mood, he will speak a few words with you. Aren’t you tired?”
“No, I am very well. But whenever Xiao wants me to go out with those rich ladies, I will feel uncomfortable. Then, I will give you a call. No matter under what circumstances, you will also come to pick me up just like now.”
“Oh, Si Ying, you are a fool. You have money but you don’t know how to spend them.”
“Xiao Bei, beside Xiao, the other person I like most is you. You are even more capable than Luo Qing. You never easily compromise in life. Strong-willed, optimistic, lively and considerate. Thus, since young, I always listen to your advice. The only time I didn’t listen is when I married Xiao.”
“Aiya, forget it Si Ying. We grew up together. I understand you well. Knowing that he is just using you, yet you are willing to marry him. So, what can I say?”
“Xiao Bei!”
“Because Si Ying is a dummie. Thus, even if your husband cannot give you happiness in the future, it doesn’t matter as I will give you enough happiness.”
“Si Ying, Si Ying, how are you? Wake up, wake up! What kind of illness do you have? Recently why you always faint!?”
“Xiao Bei, do you know how my dad passed away?”
“Brain cancer. Si Ying.”
“Xiao Bei, don’t cry.  Beside daddy, your embrace is the warmest. I do not want you to be sad. In fact I am already mentally prepared. Cancer is a hereditary disease, just that the onset of the disease is different for different people. People like me with a bitter face and an empty head, it will be strange if I am not sick!”
“Does he know?”
“He does not know and I do not intend to tell him.”

24.07: “Why recently Xiao Bei comes to visit you everyday? Are you sick? Have you gone to the hospital for a check-up yet?”
“Yes, it is just that my vision is getting worse. Xiao Bei is checking for me, no big deal!”
“Can I request something from you?”
“Say it!”
“We sleep in separate room!”
“Because I am a Buddhist now so I need to purify my defiling illusion!”
“Haha, No way! Si Ying, don’t provoke disagreement with me. You know, I have my needs!”
“But, you still have Lou Qing!”
“Haha, she has her own life. Si Ying, she is not my wife!”
“Xiao, I really love you but you merely want to vent it out on somebody only, nothing more! Right? You do not want to have children, it does not matter. I do not mind, I will just live in your heart. But can you please give me a little space for fantasy, so that I can gradually become independent?”
“If you want to be independent, I can help you. But this and whether we sleep on the same bed is not contradicting!”
“You really do not love me?”
“I’m sorry!”
Recently i can only depend on tranquilizer drug to live my life. Otherwise if too clear-headed, I will easily fall apart. Yet, even this kind of monotonous and lack of courageous spirit life still made me reluctant to leave, not willing to give up and go.
Do you know?
How deep I love you?

26.00: “Hello Si Ying, I just went to the hospital for a check-up and the doctor told me I am pregnant with twins. I will call my son Nan and my daughter will be called Ying. What do you think?”
“Your husband surnamed is Mei so if your daughter is called Mei Ying (meaning do not win), it is too unlucky! As her godmother I disagree!”
“Okay! Then I will call her Mei Si Ying.”
“Then you need to wait until I kick the bucket before you can give birth. So, I can be reborn as your daughter, so wonderful!”
“Xiao Bei, stop calling me. Also, do not visit me anymore. A pregnant woman cannot always cry. Xiao Bei, goodbye!”
From that day onwards, I have never picked up Xiao Bei’s phone calls. I also refused to see her. She knocked on my house door everyday but I just would not open it. Later, her husband took her back to the ancestor home to rest. Her husband called me and said, “Si Ying, both of you are good women and really good friends!”
“It is enough with such a sentence from you. Please take good care of her. Then, I can feel relief.”
“Si Ying, thank you.”

July 14, 2005, it is Xiao Huan and my third wedding anniversary. He booked the whole restaurant to have dinner with me.
“What is this?”
“My gift to you. It is the key for the bank safe. All these years I have deposited a sum of money for you, the amount is not small!”
“Have you been listening to what I am saying!?”
“Yes. Just now I suddenly feel a little dizzy so I cannot hear clearly!”
“Look at your weak and dispirited apperance, how can you be independent!?”
“If I start my own business, will you support me?”
“Yes, I’ll teach you!”
“Well, will you be pleased?”
“Yes, I will also help you!”
“Xiao, I want to donate the money to the orphanage, may I?”
“Are you sick? Do you know how much money there is here!?”
“Yes, I am sick!”

14 thoughts on “Falling Leaves Without Trace (叶落无痕) Radio Drama with English Subtitles – Part 1

  1. OMG… I love you so much Peanuts *tons of kisses throw to you*
    Wow, the translation is clearly good😀 I’m still waiting for part 2 so that I can cry just one time listening to this ar😦

    • Patient, patient, I will work on it at the weekend so should be ready by next week. Oh so sad lately, translating this for you and reading an angsty novel recommended by Lidge called Paper Rose. Have you read it b4? Do Viet ppl have a liking for angsty novels?

      • Haha =)) I don’t know… but Paper rose is a published book. And most of the books that are chosen to be published is angsty =)) Maybe people think that angsty is what make the books “real” and “serious” and that is a delicate way of reading =)) Therefore, I usually don’t touch the books which are published (well, except for SS and some others funny works of course haha)

        According to my knowing, many Chinese novels fans like angsty novels – which I don’t really know why @.@”

  2. Ho wow! I’m a big ShiGe shipper and I can totally see them playing this sad script.
    It’s seems like a very melo story but I don’t know, I kinda like it. Thank for your translations. I can’t wait for part 2 to find how this story ends. Does she die? Is she really sick? Seems like she’s gonna die…

    • You are welcome. I am glad you like it. Do listen to the radio drama as reading my translation only is not enough. Haha, the ending is pretty obvious but I still will not tell you:p Part 2 should be out next week as I’ve been very busy lately so stay tune:)

  3. Ooooo Thanks for the translations to the radio drama! sounds pretty sad.

    • You are welcome. Yes, very sad, sob sob…..the saddest translation on my blog:( Prepare your tissues for part 2 which shall be out soon when I’ve time, lol.

  4. That’s one jerk of a husband! Well, I actually like to read emotional, dramatic novels, but everytime I can’t help myself from swearing at the heartless male leads and keep hoping the female leads would ditch them for her own good and for my personal satisfaction.

    Thanks for sharing. I’ve been lurking around here and appreciate your articles and discussions. But this bad-ass Xiao Huan has successfully dragged me out of the dark.;P.

    • You are welcome and thank you Xiao:P No doubt Xiao is not a good man but he is not that bad compared to many of Fei Wo Si Cun’s male leads. If you can understand Mandarin, you can listen to part 2 or read the short story which will shed more light on their relationship. Otherwise, wait for my part 2 translation in a month time which might change your opinion of him. This is a short story so Xiao’s character is not really fully developed.

  5. Pingback: 叶落无痕 Falling Leaves Without Trace – 简暗

  6. I’ve cried so much during and after reading this story. Normally I would never read novels with sad ending but this one is short so I thought it wouldn’t be so unbearable >__<

    There is something that bothered me (aside from the fact that the main male character is a jerk). Which rights does he have treating her like that? I mean he is the one coming to her? She didn't force him at all! This detail is a little illogical in my opinion.

    There are other novels following a similar storyline. I am going to read "One night, one day, one year, the whole life" (that's what it's called in Vietnamese). I've heard it's even more painful than "Falling leaves without trace". Well, let's see…

    • Ya, this is sad especially the radio drama. I translated it as a favour for Phong who can’t understand Chinese but loves the radio drama. Actually I feel this guy is a jerk but not that bad compared to that jerk in FWSC’s Eastern Palace. He didn’t love her when he married her. It was just for her money. But later, he learned to cherish and appreciate her but it was already too late. He never thought of leaving her even after he got her money and when she was sick.

      Is that short story by Tang 7? I think lidge read it b4 & said very sad so prepare your tissue. I am not touching it:P

      • I’ve read “One night, one day, one year, the whole life” and actually had write a “THESIS” (just kidding. neh) to compare the two of them😀 “One nigh, one day,..” is longer, and maybe ‘cuz it is written after “Falling leaves without trace”, that is why the author added the man lead’s story after the female lead died, that’s why it seems more enough and satisfied for most of the readers (including me). But well, I love Falling leaves a little more, cuz 1, the female lead is more likeable; 2, the way of writing is more beautifully with full of images and poetic🙂

        • Thesis? You major in Chinese romance novels study, lol? I refuse to read sad stories, sob sob…..I believe you that this book is beautifully written bcos I even have to translate a poem. Luckily, it is a modern one or else die lah, lol

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