Fanatical

Fangirling Chinese Novels

Blazing Sunlight I (骄阳似我 上) – Chapter 12

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image

Chapter Twelve

The cool night breeze caught the edge of my skirt causing it to billow. After some time had lapsed, I found my voice.

“Why are you still here?”

Zhuang Xu and his room mates had also tagged along to send Ah Fen off. I hadn’t paid any attention to them the entire time so I was confused as to why he was stuck here as well.

His eyes flashed. “I was standing behind you. Since you couldn’t board, neither could I.”

His words sounded very much like he was blaming me. I relived the embarrassing memory of being jostled off the bus and couldn’t help feeling apologetic. “Sorry.”

“You should say ‘thank you’.”

His voice was soft but I heard every word clearly. I found it strange but I didn’t pursue it. “Where’s the rest?”

“I don’t know.” He answered pointedly after a pause. He seemed tired of the questioning.

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I only caused him to miss the bus, surely that was no unpardonable sin? I was just thinking of going our separate ways when his phone sounded.

He fished it out and glanced briefly at the screen before answering.

“Hello.”

…..

“I couldn’t board.”

The person on the other end must have been asking where he was. Was it Rong Rong then? I was still mentally going through a list of possible callers when I heard him say rather abruptly “I’m with Nie Xi Guang.”

My heart skipped a beat.

His conversation was nearing its end. After an ‘okay’, he hung up.

“Your roommate?”  Surely he wouldn’t have been so forthright otherwise.

He stared at me long and hard “It was Rong Rong.”

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I was rendered speechless momentarily.

“What did she say?”

“She and the rest are all on the bus. She told us to get a taxi.”

“… Then let’s do that.”

He nodded.

I patted my pockets before recalling belatedly that coming to the train station was purely an act of impulse. I had no money on me. Even the spare change used to board the bus earlier had been from Xiao Feng. I was a little embarrassed as I said “I don’t have any money. Do you?”

It might have been because it was late at night but his eyes were unusually deep. He seemed to be pondering the question seriously. Finally, he declared “I don’t either.”

“Oh.” I was stunned. “What do we do now?”

He gave me another look before leading the way “We walk.”

I was still rooted to my spot. He had walked some distance before he slowed and turned to stare at me. He didn’t speak. I pressed my lips together before catching up to him.

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After all that had happened, I couldn’t believe we were walking together on a night such as this.

Both of us concentrated on walking; neither of us talked. However this made me more unsettled so I resorted to counting my paces to avoid giving my idle mind a chance to overthink the situation.

After my Nth time of counting wrongly, I suddenly heard Zhuang Xu speak in a hollow voice “You didn’t use my thesis.”

The moment he spoke, my mental counting went awry. “Oh, it wouldn’t have been nice.”

I had assumed the conversation would end there. However, he was unexpectedly relentless “In what way?”

I was stumped. Did he want me to say that I was uncomfortable using it because he had intended it to be an apology on Rong Rong’s behalf?

“…. It is after all your work.”

“Really? You don’t want it because I authored it?” He had a questioning tone “During the holidays in Year Three, we were only just acquainted but you asked for my work as reference …”

But you didn’t give it to me back then I thought to myself bitterly. Furthermore, I had already written my own pathetic draft, it was merely an excuse to interact with you.

“… Just take it that I’ve become more matured.”

I didn’t want to dredge up memories of the past. Every single detail reeked of foolishness that made me want to bury myself in the earth. Thankfully, only both of us were privy to them.

Unless Rong Rong knew as well? Did he mention me whenever they were together? Did he tell her all the silly things I said to make her laugh?

This possibility was a dreadful jolt and I started slipping into a neverending vortex of what-ifs. I was void of all desire to continue walking with him. It was such a peaceful night on a vast, empty road. The surroundings were not appropriate for us at all.

I slowed down.

“You go on first. I can’t walk another step. You don’t have to wait for me.”

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He halted and frowned at me “You … How pampered are you?”

… It was just an excuse …

His gaze fell on my feet and his forehead creases expressed his strong disapproval. “Why did you wear these shoes out? You only care about beauty and not …”

He must have sensed that his tone was inappropriate because he clammed his mouth shut.

I looked at my innocent fine strapped heels and couldn’t help feeling indignant on their behalf. “I didn’t expect to be walking tonight. Moreover, they are the latest trend. Everyone in the hostel has a similar pair.”

And if I didn’t recall wrongly, Rong Rong wore a similar pair herself tonight. Indeed, when one is displeasing to the eye, even what she wears will be criticised.

“Really?” He added “I never noticed.”

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I was silent momentarily before I ventured “Zhuang Xu, you can’t stand me can you?”

“You think I’m a sloth and lack ambition …”

And that I’m pampered?

I didn’t say the latter statement out loud because it felt like I was wronging myself. When I was young, my parents were often busy with work so I lived with my paternal grandmother in the village. I was happy there. I was only a little lazy now … Yet this created a false image of having lived a privileged life.

“Yes.” He answered without hesitation.

… He was his same old self, never sparing a thought for my feelings.

I couldn’t help but retort “But there’s nothing wrong with that! Must everyone have a goal to work towards? If one lives a happy life and doesn’t negatively impact the lives of others, why should she have to change?”

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He took the outburst quietly. He obviously didn’t agree with me; He was the sort who was goal-oriented and motivated. I had no idea why I was telling him all that. Perhaps I wanted him to understand that this was my nature, that this was my inborn personality. I liked my life and there was nothing unacceptable about that.

I recalled a quiz I took with Jiang Rui recently. It was about whether one should eat the bigger grape first or the smaller grape.

“There’s this quiz about grapes. It asks if one would prefer eating the bigger one first or the smaller one. I’m the kind who will eat the bigger one first. If I eat the smaller one, I might become too full for the larger one. If I can be happy now, why worry about the future?”

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He replied gently “What if there never was any big grape?”

“Oh …”

I froze and thought of his background. Waves of empathy swept over me. I had never felt like such an insensitive person before.

“No, I used to have it.” He added abruptly “But I made the only big grape angry and she ran off.”

She ran off … was it Rong Rong? Now that I thought about it, in the recent few meals, they didn’t sit together and they didn’t converse much either …

I imagined the slim Rong Rong as a round grape and found it hilarious even though I was feeling down. But on seeing how serious he looked, I couldn’t bring myself to laugh so I comforted him “She will return eventually.”

“Really?”

Zhuang Xu was so earnest that I felt as if my response was of great importance. But, I’m not Rong Rong.

However his eagerness for an answer compelled me to nod along. Perhaps he needed reassurance.

“Really.” I said in all seriousness.

He didn’t speak as he broke into a huge grin. It was like a burden had been lifted.

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Zhuang Xu had never smiled like this. It was as if the fog had lifted and the storm clouds had parted. I was enraptured by the smile but when my senses returned, I was even more forlorn.

The smile was not because of me and I would never see him smile this way ever again. I was suddenly overcome with a sense of loss. I yelled “Zhuang Xu!”

The jubilance hadn’t disappeared from his eyes “Yes?”

At that moment I felt I had to give it one last shot but then I also recalled that I had already done everything I possibly could.

More importantly, back then I was ignorant of the relationship between Rong Rong and him. Now that I had learnt of it, it was only right that I back out of the love triangle gracefully.

“Nothing. I was just fooling around.”

He kept his eyes transfixed on me as though willing me to say something.

“I really was only playing around …”

His pupils seemed to gain a touch of disappointment. I suspected it was a wrong interpretation on my part. He must have found me childish and irritating.

When the moment passed, he looked away “There’s a shoe shop a short distance away. You can get another pair.”

Would it still be operating this late at night? Even if it did, it was useless.

“I don’t have cash on me” I had to remind him “And neither do you.”

He seemed stumped for words.

“Let’s continue walking. It’s not the shoes.”

We didn’t speak after that as we walked along unhurried. When we were finally back on campus and at the fork leading to our separate dormitories, I uttered the words I had been preparing myself mentally for the entire journey “Goodbye.”

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I was about to walk off when he responded “I’ll send you to your block.”

“No …” I wanted to say it wasn’t necessary but when I saw his tender expression bathed in moonlight, the words stuck in my throat.

This expression of his shouldn’t have been directed at me so perhaps his intention wasn’t to ensure my safety? Perhaps Rong Rong was waiting for him?

If so, I shouldn’t reject his ‘offer’. Thus, I wisely kept my mouth shut as I trudged towards my hostel wordlessly. When we neared, I couldn’t help but dart my eyes about to see if my theory was correct.

The dormitory lobby was empty.

I was surprised but not gladdened.

I had hoped Rong Rong would be there. Then I could make a quick and clean exit without these extra minutes alone with him.

This was pathetic.

And, I had to bid farewell again.

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This would truly be goodbye. There was no more distance left for him to accompany me.

We stopped our steps in perfect synchrony.

As silence enveloped us, I lost the willpower to say goodbye.  Maybe I only had the strength to utter it once.

I climbed a few steps before turning back.

“Zhuang Xu.”

“Hmm?” He hadn’t left his spot at the foot of the stairs. Having never looked at him from such a vantage point, I hadn’t known that he was this handsome when he inclined his head.

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I was consumed by emotions and I blurted out “You look better with your hair short.”

Best if you pair it with a white shirt and light blue jeans …

Just like the boy waiting outside Uncle’s door when I opened it.

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“Hello, is this Mr Jiang’s residence?” That boy had asked politely.

I stared incredulously at you “Zhuang Xu?”

You replied unhurriedly “Yes.”

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It almost seemed like the scene was about to be reenacted.

“Is there something wrong?” He was patiently waiting for me to speak.

“No.” I lowered my gaze.

We lapsed into silence once more. We had run out of things to talk about. I should have left decisively but I couldn’t bear to. There would never be a moment like this again.

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How wonderful it would be if the night never ended.

Or if the stars never had to leave the sky.

Or if we could suspend time right there and then.

But there are no ‘ifs’.

It all ends tonight.

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It was time for us to part yet my mind was filled with thoughts of forevermove. I stood there shamelessly, unable to bid adieu. Surprisingly, he partook in this silence as he stood there patiently.

However, the moment could not last forever. I inhaled deeply and looked at him.

“I’m going up.”

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I ran the short distance up. From the window on the second floor, I could see that he was almost out of my field of vision. Just before the trees could swallow all trace of him, I gave an unbridled yell.

“Zhuang Xu!”

He glanced back.

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He was too far away for me to make out his expression. I could safely conclude that he could not discern mine either.

So I let my tears flow freely with abandon as I waved at him vigorously.

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Goodbye Zhuang Xu!

I still like you so much, so much. But I can lay all my feelings to rest now.

Just knowing where you’ll be is good enough for me, Zhuang Xu.

From now on, I’ll bury my feelings for you.

The world is my oyster.

© 2013-2016 FANATICAL hui3r.wordpress.com ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. If you are not reading this from hui3r.wordpress.com, then this translation has been posted without the permission of the translator.

Conclusion of the university years.

© 2013-2016 FANATICAL hui3r.wordpress.com ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. If you are not reading this from hui3r.wordpress.com, then this translation has been posted without the permission of the translator.

– That night, one person accepted that it was farewell while the other was planning a future. –

*****

Thank you guys for reading. I’m aware that I’ve much to improve on so I’m humbled by the fact that there are readers who follow the story so closely. I’m also very appreciative of all the comments and ‘likes’. I know I have not been replying them (because I have been extremely busy) but I assure you I read every single one. 🙂

With the conclusion of the university period, I’ll be handing the translations off to Peanuts, the same person who sourced the lovely picture for this chapter. It’s an original illustration from the physical book by the way. Let us not forget to thank and support Gu Man by purchasing the physical copy where possible (remember, you are paying for her effort and creativity in penning each story) and hopefully she’ll reciprocate and publish book two soon!

30 thoughts on “Blazing Sunlight I (骄阳似我 上) – Chapter 12

  1. Is this the end of book one or just the end of the university period? Huhu. Thank you for your hard work!!!

  2. Yay! Finally we’re going to see the other lead! 🙂

  3. Thanks so much for all your effort! Sigh … ZX is still so frustrating. Am I not supposed to like him? Anyway am glad he found out she never used his thesis!!

  4. I like this chapter so much, thank you 🙂

  5. Thanks for the chapter!

  6. Okay, NOW I am annoyed with the female lead in this chapter.

    …What was that?

    I was hoping she would give Zhuang Xu a talking off, but all she did was keep yelling his name and follow it up with feeble responses? I should not have gotten my hopes up every time she yelled out his name.

    And this Zhuang Xu guy is terribly oblivious and at times, stupid even. He deserves to be alone for the rest of his life. I feel like he is playing with both Rong Rong and Nie Xi Guang’s feelings. Even Rong Rong deserves better.

  7. Thank you for the translations! Really appreciate it and I think they are awesome and well versed. Thanks again and take care.

    Like the chapter. After the frustration that this couple never actually have the conversation in the book at all lol. Finally get the see there ‘live’ interact.

    They have no chemistry!
    There were not and there are not clear communication, past or present. When she say ‘really’ or when she still think he was talking about RR, or it was not clear whether he say yes that she lack ambition or that he can’t stand him, both parties explain nothing to each other. They don’t understand each others at all. How could they become couple with this worst communication? I become understand him a little but I still team other guy LOL.

    and I don’t like the fact that he give her thesis even with his good intention. I mean it is the same as saying ‘she is incapable and have no pride, so she gonna need and use other people whole work’. That being said, glad she found closure. Now wait for another guy!

  8. All along she was the big grape he was referring to, but Xie Guang thinks it’s Rong Rong.
    He needs to know how to answer her better, making NXG misunderstand.
    After university days, do we have to wait for the next book?
    Thank you for the chapter.

  9. I really enjoy this story, mmm I was wondering if we need to wait for book 2 to know the other guy or this book continues?? Hope we have a few more chapter until we need to say so long, farewell :D.
    Thank you very much for this chapter. Read you soon.

  10. Thank you so much for the hard work so far. This guy I hope he changes his character the next time we see him because so far the only thing I like is that he is handsome.

  11. I can’t stand man as gutless as he is and two timer. Dating RR and like NXG, continuing hoping that NXG make the first move yet not do anything. ZX is so popo mama like someone who has no back bone. Hate this lead guy and hopefully the second lead guy r firmer and more decisive in his decision making of what he want.

    Thanking for all your efforts in translating book 1. Hoping that I won’t have to wait for book 2 for too long. 😀

    • But he’s not dating Rong Rong? Or at least, it’s not proven that he is. That’s just what Nie Xi Guang and the others assumed.

  12. i echo julie’s hope that i won’t have to wait long for book 2. thanks for your hard work! happy weekend!

  13. To those wondering if the conclusion of the university age is the end of book 1, it’s not. Therefore, you will be seeing peanuts’ translation soon with the other guy. And may I also add, I am so on board with the other main guy! Zhuang Xu annoyed me a great deal. But I hope Gu Man published book 2 before peanuts finishes translating book 1.

    Thank you yingniang! and looking forward to your translation soon, peanuts! 😊

  14. Hmm, when it’s just Zhuang Xu and Nie Xi Guang together, they make a very sweet story despite all the miscommunications.

    I burst out laughing at the big grape and small grape story.

    “No, I used to have it.” He added abruptly “But I made the only big grape angry and she ran off.”

    I imagined the slim Rong Rong as a round grape and found it hilarious even though I was feeling down. But on seeing how serious he looked, I couldn’t bring myself to laugh so I comforted him “She will return eventually.”

    “Really?”

    Even if I’m totally on board the other guy’s ship later, this will be my favourite part of Zhuang Xu.

    This is so beautiful: – That night, one person accepted that it was farewell while the other was planning a future. –

    Is there no news on Book 2 at all? And are there only two books planned for this story?

  15. Thank you very much for your translation yingniang!!!! We are really really appreciate your time and kind effort eventho we may not write it down. Some of us are lurkers and quite shy…

    Youth and their strange method of communication…

    Onto the next stage of life called WORK!!! yay. Bring it on peanuts 🙂

  16. why it’s soooo heartbreaking???? why?? i havent liked this guy yet but now i feel the pain for him.. omo.. this is just a sad farewell, for both.. the last quote completes the heartbreaking feeling.. T^T

    after read this chapter, im neither going to dislike him nor ship him with the main girl.. he’s just not my fave male character.. he lost before the war.. just wondering, what happen to them in the future, with one saying goodbye and other planning the future..

    thank you so muuuuccchhh ying niang! you’re one of my fave translators!

    peanuts, bring the another boy out!!! 😛 haha fighting!

  17. I don’t think ZX ever dated Rong Rong, but only took care of her as a younger sister.

    Opposite many of you, I actually like ZX and understand his struggle.
    He thinks that NXG and him belong to two different leagues. He was a tutor to her rich cousin (he was working for her family) and he loaned money from her (she’s someone he’s indebted to). The reason why he paid her the loan back with interests is because he doesn’t want to be indebted to her. He wants to be her equal.
    For me it’s very clear that he likes her a lot. But he doesn’t want to make a move before he’s at the same level as her. I think he believes in his own talents, and he’s sure that he’ll one day be “good enough” for her and her family. But at that time… It might be too late.

    • Yup, I guess it might have been too late? Like what @Yul said, he already lost before the war. What a noble idiot, but I still like him. Darn. Could anyone please tell us if NXG really gave up on ZX after the university years? I Google Translated through the last few chapters, and thought that she was still affected by ZX when they met again. Or did she already fall for LYS?

      • Semi spoiler or not really spoiler below 😛…

        I would say that NXG’s interest in ZX is very deeply rooted, however, like NXG said, she wants to bury her feelings and move on. I think we’ll be able to firmly answer that question better in Book 2 where I think both male leads might take center stage simultaneously.

        • Thanks, @chang’er. Simultaneously? Wow. Let the duel begin! But.. When is Book 2 coming out?

        • I really don’t want to comment about future chapters since I don’t want to spoil too much so I’ll try to keep it as vague as possible.

          That’s only my assumption since ZX and NXG still have “communication issues” to the end of Book 1. I mean, ZX can’t really duel it out unless he makes his intentions known to the other party, and based on ZX and NXG’s never being on the same wavelength as seen this chapter, he really has to make it clear to her. Or maybe it’ll remain that way. Only the author would know. I have no idea when Book 2 will be out. Rumor has it, Gu Man is extremely slow as a turtle. lol. I think it took her a few years to write Book 1. I’m not really sure of the details since I can’t read Chinese and follow Gu Man or other Chinese sites, maybe peanut or yingniang could answer that question for you. 🙂

  18. I love the chapter about how they first met, and curiously about zx’s point about their first encounter Btw tq for your hard work, u know, my day more joyful because your trans, have a nice weekend

  19. Ooooh the feels!!!! But I am a little disappointed that watermelon hold back her feelings. She has nothing to lose and I’m sad this ship isn’t sailing. I’m looking forward for her next chapter in life! Thanks for the translation!

  20. Oh myyyyyy the farewell was so sadddd :'(((( my heart was beating so fast while reading this chapter. Hope the love story after graduation would be better

  21. This has got to be my favorite chapter of this book. Thank you Yingniang for the translation thus far, really loving the way you interpret the story, unbiased and very detailed. Hope to see you translate more of this story once Book 2 comes out!

  22. I find i like ZX a lot and try to imagine how it is from his side of things. i imagine it is very different than what is going on in watermelon’s head. so much is assumed on both sides and is reliant on second hand information from those who don’t really know everything. People have pieces and form the whole cloth but the truth is something else. these two have been interested in each other for a long time from a distance.

  23. Ha……. xi guang is so relatable that i even thought i was the model for her character lol 😂

    Zhuang xu is pretty frustrating but for some reason i wanna root for him :”””
    I want to know what’s going on inside his head…………

  24. Xi Guang’s emotions are infectious… I can’t help but tear up.
    Thanks a lot for your hard work, yingniang~

  25. Noooo, this chapter made me tear up so bad! Why is Xi Guang saying goodbye instead of trying to spend more time with him?
    And the small grape, little grape thing too! That was too sad/adorable ;~;

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