Next chapter we really get into the main plot. 🙂
Chapter 1.4 — The beautiful girl is grown-up! No worries and no fears!
(translated by nutty & edited by hoju)
Sometimes, sadness was felt not from being kept in the dark but because something unpleasant was about to break out of its cocoon and she was still desperately trying to keep it from coming to light. Actually, she genuinely felt that Lin Yu Tang was really a good guy, just that his temperament was a little distant.
He was like a glass of plain, boiled water, and her feelings for him were like the slow process of cooking a frog with warm water (温水煮青蛙 – a saying that describes a person who has let down his guard due to habits and not noticing things that are changing very slowly until it’s too late). She clearly was that frog that was slowly being cooked but she had even treated it like it was someone tickling her and had enjoyed it. Regarding love, her understanding of it had always been shallow and straightforward, but she did know that the process of liking someone should be like a marathon and not like a so-called 100-meter sprint.
Whatever you want to eat, when I get back, I’ll make it for you……
Lin Yu Tang’s gentle words were like a spell that tightened itself around her mind. Shen Xi inhaled deeply. Her mind was completely blank. She felt like the ocean wind was blowing straight into her heart. Feeling a chill, she shivered and her entire body suddenly felt cold.
Her ears were buzzing and she was stunned, but she could still clearheadedly guess who Lin Yu Tang was probably talking to on the phone.
Sometimes, no matter how stupid a woman could be, she still was not that stupid.
Shen Xi returned alone to where everyone was. Monkey cut her a big slice of cake and then told her to sit down. “This is definitely the biggest and prettiest slice. It has the most fruit.”
“Thank you, ah.” Shen Xi smilingly took the cake and began eating it, bite after bite.
Monkey then asked her, “Beautiful Maiden Shen, tell us more about you and Third’s love story. We love listening to it.”
Shen Xi felt a little like she could not make herself say any more. The gloomy feelings she was having for the time being had sealed around her heart and seemed to press particularly painfully against her chest.
With quips and jests, she guided the topic so that turned to He Zhi Zhou and she asked him, “Hey, He Zhi Zhou, tell us about your romantic history.”
If you didn’t want to talk, then the best thing to do was to turn the subject of the conversation onto someone who was even more worthy of discussion. Here, the person who was most worthy of discussion was He Zhi Zhou. When Shen Xi called out He Zhi Zhou’s name, even Zhang Ran’s eyes turned and stared eagerly at him.
The one who had suddenly been called out, He Zhi Zhou, one second before had had his eyes closed in rest. He calmly opened his eyes and answered indifferently, “What are you talking about? Romantic history? No comment.”
“ –––– No comment?!” Brawny did not give any face to He Zhi Zhou. “Leader, you just don’t have anything to say, that’s all!”
This sentence really did not make a person feel very good. The corner of He Zhi Zhou’s lips turned up slightly. These people seemed to act as if dating a few times could give a sense of superiority.
Lin Yu Tang came out approximately five minutes later, and his hand was also holding a jacket. The wind on the ocean was a little strong, and he had deliberately brought it out for her. Someone had told her before that being tender and thoughtful could be because of habit only.
Shen Xi wrapped the large jacket around her body. It was nice and warm and still had Lin Yu Tang’s scent on it. However, there was still a little coldness in her heart, as if she had soaked herself in the icy cold ocean water.
Monkey unintentionally asked Lin Yu Tang, “Just now Shen Xi went to find you to come have cake and you deliberately put on airs, didn’t you? Took so long for you to get here!”
Lin Yu Tang looked over at Shen Xi. Those eyes that were as calm as still waters showed a flash of surprise.
Shen Xi munched on cake while hurriedly answering Monkey’s question. “On the way, I went to use the bathroom. Then after, I realized that if there was one less person here to eat, that would mean there would be one more slice available, so I immediately turned around and came back.” Her tone was endearing and sweet and no one doubted her words.
They were not as wild at night as they were during the day, but out on the beautiful sea, even gabbing and spouting nonsense was delighting. Out of all of them, the earliest one to return to his room to sleep was He Zhi Zhou. The rest all stayed out until the wee hours of the morning before dispersing.
Monkey was truly one of the good roomies of China. Before he left, he secretly pulled Lin Yu Tang into a corner and asked furtively, “Need me to arrange for you and Beautiful Maiden Shen to be in a room together?”
Lin Yu Tang stared at Monkey, not saying anything.
Monkey grew uncomfortable under his stares. “If you don’t want to, just pretend I never asked.” When he finished saying this, he speedily relocated himself somewhere else.
After being snubbed, on his way back, Monkey was suddenly yanked aside by Brawny. Monkey was two sizes smaller than Brawny and Brawny had also used too much force, so Monkey nearly was thrown onto the yacht deck.
“Did Third agree?” Brawny looked anxiously at Monkey.
Monkey coughed lightly a couple of times. “Sorry, can’t help you.”
Brawny grievingly raised his eyes to heaven. Before his “body” could experience triumph, he was given a death sentence, and forevermore, heroes would weep for him. (出身未捷身先死，长使英雄泪满襟. The poem this was taken from originally said 出师, which means to mobilize the army, instead of 出身. The poem describes how Zhuge Liang had headed out in battle but before he could experience triumph, he died, and throughout time, people would forever be weeping for him. Brawny is saying, before his body could be “used triumphantly” with Zhang Ran, it was not even given the chance and now he’s weeping.)
Monkey patted his shoulder comfortingly, each word sincere and earnest as he said, “Why be so anxious? You really should learn from Third. See how long he’s known Beautiful Maiden Shen, but he still hasn’t busted his resolve yet. How long have you even known Zhang Ran?! Just treat it like you’re doing some good, virtuous works. At night, don’t be distracted by all those dirty, garbage thoughts. If it’s truly unbearable, go recite some Clear Heart Mantra (清心咒 qing xin zhou – Buddhist mantra that is supposed to clear the mind) or something. Making a woman be half-accommodating after putting up half-resistance is not what us men should do. We should learn from Leader and Third. Make the women want to throw themselves at us!”
Brawny stared at Monkey with an astonished look and then raised his thumb at him.
Monkey suavely lit a cigarette and slowly heaved a sigh. Just as he was about to continue educating Brawny, he turned around and discovered that he was nowhere to be found.
On the yacht, Shen Xi was still sharing a room with Zhang Ran. Previously, Shen Xi’s enthusiasm had been the higher one of the two and she had belonged to the type who couldn’t sleep and would be energetic late into the night. However, tonight when Zhang Ran returned to the room on the second level of the yacht and tried to find her to chat, Shen Xi looked listless.
Bored with their conversation, Zhang Ran simply went to bed.
Shen Xi felt like a failure. Women were creatures who liked to overthink and even little things could tug the heart. On the other hand, she was afraid maybe she was reading too much into things… Anyway, after she had laid down on the bed with a splitting headache and pondered for a while, she saw that on the upper bunk bed, Zhang Ran was asleep, so she slipped a shawl over her shoulders and walked out onto the deck.
There was nobody on the deck anymore, only the dreamy, colorful lights that were sprinkled about and their glow that swayed in the rolling waves. The moon and starlight overhead pierced through the clouds and mist. Nighttime at sea was quiet and mellow and also had a magnificent type of beauty. Shen Xi leaned against the railing and stared down at the ocean water that rolled by in wave after wave. Her heart was feeling some “girl’s sorrows.”
Lin Yu Tang.
Was it because a girl was always standing in a spot where a boy would be able to see her whenever he turned around so that boy never worried that he would lose her?
The sea wind late at night was very strong. The whooshing wind gusted into her shawl, causing it to flutter behind her, and the cool breeze hitting her face seemed like it blew a light drizzle of rain with it. However, tonight was a clear night with stars.
Half of Shen Xi’s body was hanging on the railing as she started to sing and hum an old song. It should have been a light, lively tune but she was singing it brokenly. “If you are going to leave me… Please be honest and tell me… If you really are going to go… Give me back my photo…”
She would sing and stop, sing and stop, and the ocean waves would advance and retreat one after another.
He Zhi Zhou was a light sleeper, and he had somewhat been unable to sleep because of the sounds of the yacht’s engine. Finally he had managed to fall asleep for a brief period but then woke up, discovering that he had only dozed for a little more than forty minutes. He decided then to simply go to the deck to walk around and so, he had just come downstairs when he saw Shen Xi.
“All this stuff about being together as long as the world lasts, that’s just something you said offhand. What you love about me, you can’t even name……”
Shen Xi stopped and sprawled dejectedly on the railing. She wasn’t happy, ah.
He Zhi Zhou detachedly watched her for some time and all of a sudden, he felt a bit of sympathy for Lin Yu Tang. He walked toward Shen Xi to make sure she was not sleepwalking.
Shen Xi was still hanging herself over the railing, and when she heard the sound of footsteps, she turned around. Seeing He Zhi Zhou behind her, she still could not muster up any enthusiasm to greet him and listlessly asked, “You can’t sleep either?”
“Mm-hmm.” He Zhi Zhou answered Shen Xi’s question before gazing off in front of him. His ears seemed almost to be completely filled with the droning of the ocean waves. Far away, the sparkling of lights from a small island could faintly be seen. The originally bright, starry sky was now somewhat muted.
Suddenly, a gust of wind blew and the cold air seemed to pierce into the body. He felt a tickle at the tip of his nose and reached up to touch it, but there was nothing there. He had clearly smelled something fragrant just now, though.
He turned his head to look at the hair of the woman beside him that was being blown around messily. It was the strands of her hair that had been brushing against his face.
The sky was faintly lit now, and dim light shrouded the space between the two of them. He must have been possessed by ghosts because he took another glance at Shen Xi. Her face seemed lit up by a ray of light shining from the horizon. In his eyes, he saw her graceful, straight nose, her dark black hair, and her flushed cheeks that looked like they had been dyed with a thin layer of the rosy morning glow…… plus her eyes that were slightly red.
The Shen Xi in this moment was too peaceful. He Zhi Zhou was not really used to it. He thought briefly and opened his mouth to kindly point out, “If we wait any longer, there might be thunder.” What he was implying in those words was that she should hurry and go back to the room to sleep.
Shen Xi still did not move in the slightest. After a while, she replied in a lazy voice, “Thanks for the reminder.”
He Zhi Zhou did not say anymore. He was not a person who would invite someone to snub him. However, probably because Shen Xi’s voice sounded too depressed, before he left he still reminded her, “It’s very late already.”
“Just don’t worry and go back already!” Shen Xi suddenly twisted her head back and looked at him with shiny and watery eyes. She pouted her lips and snapped, “Why keep asking me! I’m not going back to the same room as you so just hurry back to your own!”
Her emotions were about to crumble.
It seemed to He Zhi Zhou that he was looking at a little leopard that had just been wronged. The yacht shook very slightly. He held onto the railing and through clenched teeth, he spit out two indifferent words: “Sure, whatever…”
Following, the yacht rocked again to a slight angle. He Zhi Zhou walked back the way he had come without looking back until the entire yacht suddenly was thrown forward violently. He nearly fell and instinctively steadied himself. He had not organized his thoughts yet when a streak of bright white light seemed to flash by across the still night sky……
He stopped his footsteps, but he had not had the chance to turn his head around when a cry of alarm was heard behind him.
He Zhi Zhou turned around but he could not see Shen Xi on the yacht anymore. The pale beige shawl she had been wearing just one second earlier flipped once in midair and then floated down into the ocean……
When Shen Xi awoke again, only Zhang Ran was within sight. Zhang Ran was holding a cup of water in her hand and when she spoke, her voice was more charmingly girly and crisp than before. “Do you…… want to drink some water?”
On the other side, He Zhi Zhou had woken up in Lin Yu Tang’s warm embrace. Beside him, there was also the sound of Monkey and Brawny talking. He opened his eyes to see Lin Yu Tang’s worried, loving, bloodshot eyes……
He Zhi Zhou’s heart tightened. Since when were he and Lin Yu Tang this close?