Happy Belated Birthday to my Mo Ting ! 🙂 He was born on 15th Oct 1985. Oh, we are so fated in that I started translating his novel, right before his birthday, lol. To celebrate his birthday, of course you get another update on how cool and awesome he is. Hoju who is also currently reading this novel, thinks Mo Ting is kind of similar to Xiao Nai, the male lead in Gu Man’s Just One Smile is Very Alluring and her Toupai in Really Really Miss You. Well, I’ve to admit this author is heavily influenced by Gu Man which is why I also like some of her novels, so it is not surprising Mo Ting has shades of Xiao Nai. However, Toupai comes after them so I guess Mo Ting is more original, heehee…..
Come back next Thursday for the talent contest to celebrate the unveiling of the novel, as well as some spoilers so stop searching in shusheng bar or anywhere online because you won’t be able to find anything in English until then 😛 In the meantime enjoy Mo Ting and An Ning’s unofficial lovely 1st date!
Chapter 2.2: Diplomat
When Qiang Wei walked into An Ning’s dormitory, she saw Mao Mao and Zhao Yang asking her something.
Mao Mao: “I want to write an ancient mythical love story, a beautiful one.”
Qiang Wei: “A new version of Chang’e (Chinese goddess of the moon) flew to the moon?”
An Ning: “Chang’e and Houyi‘s (mythological Chinese archer whose wife was Chang’e) story took place in the Xia dynasty. That dynasty …… uh …… feels a bit primitive.”
“Primitive society? Don’t want, don’t want, don’t want! They didn’t even have toilet paper, right?!” Mao Mao shouted: “Next!”
Zhao Yang: “Shang dynasty.”
Mao Mao: “How many years this dynasty roughly lasted?”
Both glanced at each other and looked expectantly at An Ning who sighed: “I cannot know even this kind of matter…… I’ll check the timeline.” The outcome was An Ning could not find a clear timeline with google search.
Mao Mao: “Meow Meow, tell me more about Houyi as I am a bit interested in him. I can get him to time travel to an era with toilet paper.”
An Ning pondered: “Do you want to hear the official or unofficial version?”
The three of them: “Which is more funny?”
An Ning thought: “The official version is Houyi was killed by Han Zhuo. In fact, his life is not funny at all. The only funny part which can be proven —— his wife is really the original form of Chang’e. Oh, he relied on his wife to become famous, a typical case of riding on somebody else’s fame. The unofficial version is more or less like he shot the sun and violated the law in heaven so got killed.”
Mao Mao: “I think I better write something more modern. What was Korea used to be called?”
Zhao Yang, “Simida?”
Mao Mao: “Cabbage? (pronounced as gaoli cai in Mandarin & cai means vegetable)”
An Ning: “Well, it was called Goryeo (pronounced as gaoli in Mandarin) in ancient time …… I always feel their ancestors were Mongols who’ve moved over there …… During that time, after the Huangjin clan was exterminated by Zhu Yuan Zhang (the first Ming dynasty emperor), the Mongols in outer Mongolia were the slaves of purebred Mongols. In short this is —— ”
Zhao Yang: “The Koreans were the slaves of the Mongols!? Wah, this is so cool.”
Qiang Wei laughed: “In that case, it is really even more tragic than being the slave of three different surnames (an idiom that is meant to mock people who betray principles and will put their loyalties where the benefits are).”
An Ning: “In fact, the Huangjin clan was not completely wiped out as some went to Europe. This is also hearsay, that the family at that time was divided into two camps. The original family was later destroyed but the subdivided family fled to Eastern Europe and advanced the development of European history. Mao Mao, if you are interested, you can go and write about this, a lot of substance.”
Mao Mao: “…… I think I will continue to read my NP (N persons – a girl or a guy with several partners) text.”
An Ning’s mobile phone beeped once, she got a text message, “What are you doing?”
“Discussing about Chang’e flew to the moon and Korean lineage.”
“I’ll be going to the university later, so if you are free, will you please have dinner with me?”
After An Ning sent the message, she belatedly noticed the number was unfamiliar …… oh …… 984932? Whose number?
Qiang Wei: “Meow Meow, who is that?”
An Ning: “I don’t know.”
Everyone black line: “Since you don’t know, why you replied so fast?”
An Ning: “…… People very friendly ah.”
Qiang Wei pondered: “Sometimes I think that you are very wicked, but sometimes you look very pure?!”
An Ning smiled: “Like this only can attract people.”
Zhao Yang said, “I have not seen anyone more aloof than you.”
That night, An Ning still followed the text message sent by the other party “see you at seven o’clock downstairs”. While she was waiting downstairs, An Ning thought of two possibilities. It may be a prank or there was really a friendly person intending to treat her to dinner.
Thus, at seven o’clock sharp, when An Ning saw a tall figure walking towards her, she was surprised why she has never thought of it…… Well, if she had known earlier, she would not have come down …… not right, should come down …… also not right. Anyway who asked her to reply “okay” …… but she did not know him well, right? Really not familiar with him?
When the other party chuckled and said to her, “waited long”, she subconsciously replied back, “No, waited not long.” Oh …… she must have been mesmerized by him.
That day, An Ning followed Xu Mo Ting from behind, walking cautiously a foot away from him. When they’ve only walked for less than ten meters, he leaned over and said to her: “If you want to see my rear view, I don’t mind, but I prefer you walk beside me.” An Ning thought there was really someone who can smile so brightly and dazzling.
In the end, someone hesitantly walked to his side and Xu Mo Ting slowed down his pace. When he lifted his hand slightly, An Ning’s heart cannot help but thumped …… Then he put his left hand into his pocket. Well …… please forgive her impure thoughts because she really thought he would hold her hand …… Someone lowered her head in shame.
After walking for a while, An Ning felt uneasy as she was used to walking on the right side …… but if she was to change side now, would she look silly?
He looked at her, “What?”
Did he need to be so acute?, “My name is Li An Ning.” She seemed to have not told him her name.
“I knew already.”
Knew already? Oh, her name may have been blacklisted.
An Ning: “I am just casually asking, when you go out to have meals with other girls——”
Xu Mo Ting: “I don’t go out to have meals with girls.”
“Huh? Then I saw you last time ……” She didn’t want to ask this? She wanted to ask when you go out to have meals with other girls, you are used to walking on which side? Then she can insinuate that she likes to walk on the right side ……
“Xu Cheng Yu is my cousin.” He paused, then smiled faintly: “So, you don’t need to worry.”
I was not worried …… An Ning thought in despair, oh no big misunderstanding.
“What do you want to eat?”
“Vegetable noodles.” After saying it out, she realized it seemed miserly, but she really wanted to eat noodles.
He smiled again and appeared to draw a conclusion, “You are easy to keep.”
Was that a compliment?
There were not many people in the noodle shop, but the moment An Ning went in, she ran into an acquaintance. Jiang Xu saw her and came over to say hello: “What a coincidence, you are also here to have your dinner (literal translation to eat rice)?”
An Ning: “Yes …… I come to eat noodles.”
“……” At this moment, Jiang Xu also saw Xu Mo Ting standing behind her. He can’t help but looked rather surprise and said to An Ning: “In that case, I won’t disturb you to have your dinner. My friends are waiting for me inside, see you later!” When he was walking away, he said again: “Send my regards to Wei Wei.”
An Ning: “Okay.”
Xu Mo Ting: “You find a seat, I’ll go and order.”
The moment An Ning sat down, she got a text message from her cousin: Ah …… such an ecstatic day ……
Cousin: Have to redraw all 9 of the drawings, more severe than when the computer crashed! !
An Ning: Xun Zi (Confucian philosopher) said you must be broad-minded (breadth of mind is pronounced as xinxiong (heart & chest) in Mandarin).
Cousin: Already E cup, still not broad enough?! Say something comforting.
An Ning: …… Broad.
Mo Ting came over to give the drink in his hand to her. While waiting, An Ning listened to the conversation on the next table, not eavesdropping because they were speaking very loudly.
F: “Yesterday, I downloaded a new game and discovered it has a lot of weapons specifically to hit the face.”
G: “Hit the people but don’t hit the face ah!”
F: “My boyfriend’s weapon is pure gold disc …… the kind to throw.”
G: “Very powerful, right?”
F: “That will depend on whether he is throwing a piece or a pile.”
G: “A pile of pure gold? Your boyfriend is really rich ah. Should be able to retrieve the disc?”
Another girl who has not been talking, laughed: “Retrieve? Don’t tell me after throwing out, regardless of whether hitting the mark or not, to go to retrieve it. Then throw again and retrieve again ……?”
F shrugged her shoulders: “Anyway, he is well-off, so it is all right if they can’t be retrieved.”
An Ning quietly turned her head and just happened to clash with Xu Mo Ting’s eyes. He also seemed to have heard the conversation, so he smiled faintly: “What?”
Due to the close proximity of their table to the next, An Ning has no better option but to lean over and said to him: “Well …… according to Jin Yong‘s logic, people with strange weapons are not the protagonists.”
He seemed to pause for a very short time, not knowing whether it was because of what she had just said or her closeness.
At present, An Ning was thinking about Yang Guo‘s (fictional protagonist in Jin Yong’s wuxia novel The Return of the Condor Heroes) dark steel sword, weighting two hundred and forty pounds which can fight off thousands of men. Actually it was also quite strange, right?
When An Ning was eating her noodles, someone came over to greet Xu Mo Ting: “You are in the university today?!”
Mo Ting got up, “Came to hand in a stack of information. How about you?”
“There are some matters in the student union which I’ve to deal with. A small group of new students who can’t do much.” The other party saw An Ning who was seating opposite Xu Mo Ting, so he can’t help looking a few more times and did not continue his topic, “Oh, by the way I have been meaning to ask you this, do you’ve time to be the judge for the preliminary round of a ‘talent’ contest organized by the university? ”
An Ning could not help but listened attentively because Qiang Wei had signed up for this activity.
Xu Mo Ting: “I may not have time.”
Yes? An Ning looked up at him, please agree …… so she could use the back door …… uh, incorrect …… must have very good relationship to go through the back door …… how about sending him a gift?
This time, Xu Mo Ting also smiled faintly and asked her: “How?”
This man was actually God, right? “Why don’t you be the judge?”
An Ning decided to ignore the stranger’s stare and gave a meaningful smile. Anyway …… Mo Ting has probably already misunderstood.
Then he smilingly replied the stranger: “Okay”.
An Ning pondered, can she also misunderstand that he likes her……
After finishing their noodles, Mo Ting sent An Ning back to the dormitory like a perfect gentleman. An Ning calmly said, “goodbye”and went into the dormitory. Then she heard Mao Mao was saying: “I don’t want a blind date but I want a chance encounter, purely natural, like on an intersection, in a cafe or on the airplane.”
Zhao Yang: “If you see a person who fits your requirements in a cafe or on an airplane, what will you do? Merely ships that pass in the night.”
Mao Mao was getting excited: “I’ve YY (fantasizing) about this kind of scenarios countless of times. Of course, observe first before taking actions to hit the target ah!”
An Ning: “…… Oh I see.”
Mao Mao: “You must be there, next to me.” She looked expectantly at An Ning who has just came in and sat down.
Zhao Yang: “What will you do if you dirty his clothes and he is annoyed with you?”
Mao Mao: “This is why I said Meow Meow must be next to me.”
An Ning: “Help you to pay the dry-cleaning fee?”
Mao Mao: “You’ll help me be the target of his annoyance. Then I’ll wash his clothes to get into his good book. Ah, ha ha ha ha, life is really good ah!”
Zhao Yang immediately rolled her eyes: “More like YY (fantasizing) is really good.”
Mao Mao: “In summary, Meow Meow will be the whipping boy and I’ll be the angel who he’ll fall for. Of course, if An Ning is interested in him, she can have him. Then I’ll continue to look for new prey, man ah man, a whole airplane of them.”
The other two were left speechless.
Zhao Yang: “Meow Meow, who did you just have dinner with?”
An Ning: “Oh …… where is Qiang Wei?”
Zhao Yang: “Aren’t you being a little too obvious in trying to change the subject?”
An Ning smiled: “Is it so obvious?”
Mao Mao asked: “Who’ll accompany me to climb Yin mountain tomorrow? There is a Daoist temple on top of the mountain so we can ask Buddha to give us a man each.”
Zhao Yang looked at her in disdain: “Mao Xiao Xu, you are really vulgar.”
“I’m going home tomorrow.” An Ning was thinking whether to tell Mao Mao, if you worship in a temple, the outcome will certainly not be optimistic.
Mao Mao: “Zhao Yang, what about you?”
Zhao Yang: “I don’t want to go with you.“
One day when An Ning was taking a shower, Mao Mao came knocking at the door, “Meow Meow, your phone has been ringing for a long time. Do you want me to bring it in to you?”
“Ah …… please help me to answer the call.”
Then, one minute later, Mao Mao knocked loudly at the door again: “It is a man! I told him you’ve stripped naked and are taking a shower. He said he will call back later. I said how about I chat with him but he politely declined – By the way, he said his surname is Xu.”
An Ning immediately pushed open the bathroom door, her face flushed, “You …… told him what?”
Mao Mao: “How about I chat with him?”
“The sentence before that.”
“You’ve stripped naked and are taking a shower.”
An Ning groaned: “Mao Mao …… I’ll never talk to you again.”
In the end, the mobile phone did not ring again on that day until it was time to go to bed. An Ning did not know why, contrary to what one might expect, she felt a little relieved.
Early in the next morning, she went to the university’s back door to take the bus home. Then she ran into …… uh …… Xu Mo Ting.
He was standing near the bus stop, dressed casually from top to bottom. His figure was good so he looked especially tall and handsome. An Ning looked at his profile, her facial expression somewhat awkward …… should she approach him and say good morning or something? However, they seemed not to have a special “friendly relations” …… confused, but An Ning’s confusion did not last long because Xu Mo Ting saw her.
Thus someone tried hard to pretend to look like it was a chance encounter (in fact it was really a chance encounter, right? ……), went up and shyly smiled, “You are also here to wait for the bus?”
Xu Mo Ting straightened up, “No, I’m waiting for you.”
“Your roommate said you’re going home today.”
Uh …… he was unlikely to have come here to see her off, right?
The fact proved that he had really come here to see her get on the bus ……
After that, An Ning for the first time on the bus, did not bother to check for any deviation from the 50 minutes and 17 seconds needed to reach home. Instead all the way, she thinking about …… Xu Mo Ting ……
Noon, when she was having lunch at home with her mother, she did not know how they came to chat about the “partner” topic. Mrs. Li’s opinion was, “Daughter ah, you are not young anymore, so shouldn’t you find a boyfriend to start dating?”
An Ning: “I am only 24 years old.” She gave a very lovely smile.
Mrs. Li: “When I was 24 years old, you already called me mother.”
An Ning: “Well …… then when you are 45 years old, do you want someone to call you grandmother?”
Mrs. Li: “…… You are still young, so can wait for a few more years.”
When An Ning was helping her mother to wash the dishes, she thought, if she remained single forever, will it be considered unfilial? Perhaps her parents’ divorce did not hurt her too much, nevertheless she still felt dismayed and sad……