Fangirling Chinese Novels

Together Forever (至此终年) — Chapter 2.3



Schedule update:  I’ve been needing to take a little bit of a rest, and yearend is also a very busy time for me. This next week, posts will still be as normal. However, beginning next week until the end of the year, I will be reducing my postings down to only once per week, on Tues evening/Wed morning. Normal posting schedule will resume back again in January. Thank you, guys for the understanding. 🙂

You only ever know as much about someone’s life as they are willing to show you.

Chapter 2.3 – Those Little Stories (3)

When Gu Pingsheng returned, the paper was still blank. She truly did not know how to solve it. Afterwards, because it was getting late, Gu Pingsheng’s cousin invited her to stay for dinner.

To be honest, the cooking skills of this former lawyer of the states of New York and California were really something that could not be praised. Tong Yan tasted a few of the dishes and then, without so much as batting an eyelid, she stretched her chopsticks over toward the easiest dish to make, shiitake stir-fried with bok choy. Coincidentally, Gu Pingsheng also happened to pick up a bok choy with his chopsticks as well. A glance passed between the two of them as they put the food into their mouth, and then, at the same time, they both picked up their glasses of water…

Gu Pingfan was eating with great enthusiasm. “TK told me that the two of you had known each other in the past, and it was actually when he was working as an intern doctor?”

Tong Yan nodded and continued drinking more water. “We met only the one time.”

She did not know how much Teacher Gu had said, and she, naturally, was also happy to give a vague answer and let things be.

That incident was like a very private matter. She did not know whether, to Gu Pingsheng, that was the only time he had behaved uncharacteristic of himself, but to her, that was her one and only time she had ever exposed in front of someone else all those secrets that, even to this day, were otherwise hidden away.

In this day and age where morals had completed eroded away, many people simply did not even bother paying attention anymore to the existence of third parties in people’s relationships.

But what if your mother, the one who should be the most gentle and warm person, the one who was always patient and forbearing toward you, suddenly became the party who was wrecking someone else’s home and family? In a single night, the person you most depended upon from the time you only babbled and cooed and were learning to talk suddenly became the type of person that you most despised and shunned. To her, this form of hurt that had been brought upon her was destructive and devastating…


“What do your parents do?” Gu Pingfan suddenly asked her. Her smile was very warm and kind, and a dimple could also faintly be seen in her cheek. So very much like Gu Pingsheng.

Tong Yan stared at the reflection of the wall lamps in her eyes and, all of a sudden, was somewhat at a loss for words.

It was actually Gu Pingsheng who carried on the conversation. “How much of the sugar and MSG in my house did you use in your dishes today?”

Gu Pingfan looked at him quizzically. “Not much. I mostly used salt.” At this point, she suddenly clued in. “You found the food salty? TK, the things you say are crossing the line more and more…”

Later, before Tong Yan had even come up with an excuse, Gu Pingsheng had already recommended that this week, they would have only this one tutoring session and they could discuss the following week about the remainder. He had driven her back to school and had said this as she was getting out of the vehicle on the road opposite the main entrance of the university.

She nodded at him through the car window. Then, she suddenly remembered, “I’m going home for the National Day holiday. That’s next week. I definitely won’t have time for tutoring lessons.”

Gu Pingsheng looked at her. “I will be going to Beijing next week, as well. If there’s anything you need, you can contact me any time.”

Smiling awkwardly, Tong Yan replied, “I won’t. Don’t worry, I won’t disturb your holiday.”


During the National Day holiday, it was difficult to get even a single train ticket. She had asked around for help from several of her senior schoolmates, both male and female, from Beijing before she was able to obtain one standing ticket.

Fortunately, it was only fourteen hours, but when she actually stepped into the train car, she was stunned. As far as the eye could see, it was filled with people, and there were already people lying underneath the seats. With great difficulty, she managed to squeeze her way up to the train door beside the bathroom and then, putting on her thick skin, she helped herself to a spot there.

She could see that, in the bathroom, there were even two children sitting on the sink, and she decided right there that this whole night, she would not have anything to drink and just endure through it until she could get off the train.

The sound of the train rolling over its tracks was very rhythmic.

Getting off the train early in the morning, she traveled on subway and bus, persevering for another full two hours before she finally made it to her [paternal] grandmother’s home. She had just opened the door with her key when she saw the figure of that person she missed the most in the kitchen, busy preparing breakfast for her. “Yan Yan, you’re back? I just made a mixed-grain porridge.”

After suffering through hunger for an entire night, her head was now heavy and spinning as she headed over to her bed and collapsed straight onto it.

“Why are you so tired?” Grandmother asked her.

Pickled vegetables, porridge, and youtiao [savoury fried breadstick][1]. She felt she was going to die of happiness.


Youtiao (image credit)

“This time I was really lucky. I managed to buy a discount plane ticket. Only three hundred something yuan[2]. It’s just that it was an early morning flight, and I’m so sleepy from taking it…”

But, she still obediently crawled up and off her bed, and under Grandmother’s attentive gaze, she finished all the breakfast, leaving not even the tiniest bit behind, and drank a large glass of water along with it.

“Next time, I’ll take you on a plane ride, when I’ve graduated. I’m just worried you’ll get motion sickness on the plane. Oh right, and your ears will hurt, too.” Her descriptions were made with all apparent seriousness. “This morning, when the plane was landing, my ears were aching so badly.”

Grandmother listened smilingly, and every wrinkle on her face seemed to carry a sense of joy.

As she was talking away happily, Grandmother suddenly, with a mysterious expression, took hold of her hand and said, “This year’s pension amount has gone up again. I’ve saved a full ten thousand yuan for you over these last few years. Can that pay back your student loan?”

Tong Yan started in alarm. “Didn’t I already tell you? I just need to pay it back within five years after I’ve graduated. Don’t try at all to save up money for me, please. I have a part-time job right now, and I’m also helping some journalists write news articles. I’m not short on money at all.”

“I’ve already withdrawn it,” Grandmother continued in a soft voice. All of a sudden, however, she remembered the meat that was still stewing in the kitchen, and hastily, she rose to her feet while saying to her, “It’s just under the couch. Hurry, take it out and put it away.”

As she stared after the outline of Grandmother’s back, her eyes inexplicably began to sting with tears. “How about this? I’ll take it out and deposit it into the account that you and I share. We’ll wait, and if ever I need to use it, then I will.”

When she left Beijing, she had deliberately opened a bank account, taking the bank card with her but leaving the bankbook with Grandmother. Therefore, if there was an emergency situation here at home that required money, Grandmother could immediately withdraw some.

From within the kitchen came Grandmother’s sound of agreement. She walked up in front of the couch and felt around under it for the secret spot used to store money. As a child, she had always been rummaging around everywhere and was well acquainted with this place for money storage.

But when she held the envelope in her hand, she suddenly detected that there was something wrong. The envelope and the contents within were very thin. Even the six thousand yuan of tuition she paid every school year was several times thicker than this… A notion flashed across her mind, and she abruptly felt as if someone had suddenly gripped the bottommost tip of her heart.

She dared not breathe, dared not move. She did not dare speak out the actual situation and could only pretend to nonchalantly ask, “These last few days, did my dad come visit?”

“Yes, and he even deliberately helped me change out the cooking gas tank.” There was an inconcealable joy in Grandmother’s voice.

Sure enough, it was him.

Tong Yan stared blankly at the envelope. This was not the first time, but this time, the amount was so large. Where am I going to get enough to make up for it?

Many jumbled thoughts were continuously flashing into her head, and all of a sudden, she felt as if her strength was drained.

Exhaustion of an entire night rushed up once again over here. She wanted only to cry. No matter how she tried, she could not stop her nose from tingling. As her vision started to blur with tears, Grandmother stepped out from the kitchen.

Tong Yan hastily stuffed the envelope into her schoolbag, pulled out a facial tissue, and pretended to wipe her nose with it, and soon, her tears were wiped away. “Why do I feel like I’m coming down with a cold?…” Standing, she quickly added, “It’s not safe to leave so much money in the home. I’m going to head out right now to deposit it.”

“There’s no hurry.” The voice sounding out behind her was cut off and left inside, behind the closed door.


She waited until she had walked to a far away bus stop before halting beneath the bus stop sign, opening the envelope, and carefully counting the amount inside — only two thousand yuan. Her tuition was normally paid for by student loans, and her living expenses came from the income from her part-time job and writing news articles. After accounting for her day-to-day spending, she had only managed to save two thousand yuan. So, in other words, she was still short a full six thousand yuan.

Six thousand yuan. This sum had to be deposited somehow. Although Grandmother knew how terribly disappointing her son was, she still carried a fanciful dream in her heart that hoped that one day, he would amend his ways.

There were an especially large number of people at the bus stop. Many were parents with their children, spending the National Day holiday together in a bustling, lively atmosphere. As the bus would pull into the stop, many fathers would pick their young child up into their arms, and some would even sit them on their heads, for fear that the crowd would squash their darling baby… Tong Yan stood in that spot and watched for a long time. She had already lost track of how many buses had pulled in since she was here.

At last, she took her mobile phone in hand and stared down irresolutely at a list of more than twenty names.

Even such a good friend as Shen Yao did not know about her family situation. If she was in Shanghai right now, it would be easier since she could simply say that she did not have enough time to ask her family for the money… But right now, she was in Beijing, so she did not even have an excuse she could use to borrow money from her classmates.

In the end, after fixing her eyes on that list for a long time, it came down to only two people: Lu Bei and Gu Pingsheng.

One was a person who, without ever asking for a reason, had always agreed to every single one of her requests.

One was a person who had unwittingly seen some very true scenes of her life.

However, from when Lu Bei had married, she had vowed that she would never see him again. Regardless of the reason why their chance to be together had slipped by them, she had a very strong sense of and demand for pureness of morals, and she would never allow herself to do anything that might break up someone’s home and marriage. And so, in reality, the only remaining option was Gu Pingsheng.

Hesitantly, she sent him a text message: Teacher Gu, are you busy? I would like to ask you for a favour.

Very quickly, he sent her a text message in reply: Go ahead. TK

Two simple words plus his name signed at the end. No emotion could be discerned from them. They actually did not know each other all that well, and if she out the blue asked to borrow money…… She inhaled deeply and then wrote her reply: I was hoping to borrow some money. Only six thousand, that’s all I need. It’s urgent.

A long time passed and still he did not return her message. Tong Yan suddenly very much regretted her action. Why did she ask her teacher to borrow money? But the question had already been put forth, and it was too late to retract it. Uneasily, she stared at her mobile phone, praying continuously in her mind, “Teacher Gu, please don’t be offended. I really had no other choice.”

All of a sudden, her mobile phone rang. Gu Pingsheng was calling?

Tong Yan was somewhat stunned at this. She answered the call and was about to say hello when she immediately remembered that he would not be able to hear her. She then heard Gu Pingsheng on the other end of the line speaking to someone in English. It sounded as if the person was beside him.

Very soon, he spoke into the phone, “Tong Yan, my apologies. I was talking to one of the elder members of my family just now. Text your address to my phone. I’m driving over right now to find you.”

His voice was a little hurried, but it was still as warm and gentle as before. So warm and gentle it made you want to cry.


[1] 油条. Youtiao, literally meaning “oil stick,” is a strip of dough that is fried. While it is often referred to as the Chinese doughnut or Chinese cruller, it is a savoury food, lightly salted, and is often eaten for breakfast as an accompaniment for rice porridge or soy milk.

[2] 元 “yuan.” The yuan is the base unit of the renminbi, which is the official currency of China. It is also referred to colloquially as 块 “kuai.”



1 of 1 Prologue
6 of 66 Main story segments
0 of 3 Epilogue segments


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57 thoughts on “Together Forever (至此终年) — Chapter 2.3

  1. Thank you so much!! 😘😘😘

  2. Thank you Hoju for another interesting chapter. Have a good break 😘 oh by the way… I started watching Wallace Huo new drama as well as reading the book… very intense and mind boggling indeed… have a good week ahead!

    • hehe, me too. Love Me If You Dare, right? i love it to pieces now, hehe 🙂

      • Tui, it’s indeed addictive … Have you read the novel? I literally could not wait for the translated version so when to Baidu translate all 84 chapters just so that I could read them ahead…. Some chapters were very mind boggling indeed… Not to mentioned that Wallace is sooooo good looking in the drama so I could literally imagine his expression in each chapter I read… Enjoy the show my dear…

      • I still cringe at that English title.

        Since I have always loved Professor Bo and Jian Yao, my heart cannot help cringing for Li Xunran. Oh, he was already so noble and sweet, the way he faded back to become only Jian Yao’s big bro in the novel, and now, with Wang Kai I just want to give him a big hug!

    • You’re welcome. And thank you for the well wishes. My bed has missed me and I also have a bunch of commitments I need to fulfill, so hopefully this break means sleep and lots accomplished. 🙂

      Nice! The slow release of the episodes is killing me. :p I find Professor Bo absolutely endearingly hilarious and the production company (the same one that did Nirvana) has done a great job of honouring the original text, although, they have added in some extra stuff so it’s still suspenseful enough for novel readers.

      • Right??? I cannot wait for next Friday morning ! 😦 I’m surprised by how well-made the drama turns out. A far cry from My Sunshine… and I never knew who Wallace Huo was. But now i understand why everyone is so excited about him. hahhaa he’s hot alright :). Thank you for picking up this translation! Im down the rabbit hole now. Btw, do you have any recommendations for other chinese novels?? something not too angsty and sweet? hahhaa im ordering a bunch on Taobao right now so might as well order a few more. Already ordered one cm. of sunshine because of your comment on Shushengbar! :DD

        • Wallace Huo has been my fave for years now, so you’re talking to someone very biased here. 😉 I’m actually not surprised at the quality. I normally wait a little fearfully at the adaptations of novels I like because you never know how well it’ll be done, but with Shandong Production Co., they have always produced quality productions. Hence, I was so excited when I heard they were the ones that were going to be adapting my favourite ancient novel, Lang Ya Bang (Nirvana in Fire).They’ve lately seemed to shift their target audience to be a little younger and hence their adaptations of stuff like Nirvana, Love Me if You Dare, etc but the quality still stands.

          This story strikes such a chord with me, so I’m glad to hear others are liking it. 🙂

          Ah, I always have difficulties making recommendations because it depends on your taste. Are you looking for a warm, sweet male lead? A little bit of angst but not too much, or just something purely sweet like candy (like Really, Really Miss You)? Little 7 novels generally seem to fit what you said, above. Hmm…

  3. Thank youuu!!!

  4. I’m so sad for Tong Yan. No wonder she works so hard.
    Thank you for the update.

    • Yes. 😦 I’m sure she would love to not have to work a part time job while studying but life hasn’t given her that option.
      You’re welcome!

  5. Thank you for the chapter!

  6. I’m confused. I’m assuming that her grandma took out the money that they shared in the bank account so she does not have the tuition fund anymore because her dad took 8000 yuan. That’s why she needs to borrow money for her tuition?

    • It took some thinking before i understood too. Goodness, what a horrible father.

    • From what I understood, she, Tang Yan, took out loans to pay for her tuition. And the grandma doesn’t really like the idea of her loans or something, so she saved up money to help Tang Yan pay it back. And the grandma has her own banking account for her pension pay (money from the government, given to retired citizens), and that’s where the grandma took the money from. Then, the shared account is a different account where Tang Yan puts money in for her grandma just in case. And, the grandma doesn’t have the credit card, so she can’t put the money into the shared about herself or something, but she can take money out becayse she has the bank book. So, the grandma tooks the money out of her pendion account, but she csn’t putting into another account, that’s why she always hides it under the couch cushions, from where the father found it and took 80% of the money for who knows why. And TY not wanting to crush her grandma’s hopes of the father reforming into a good son, only had thoughts of covering up for her father’s actions by using her own money (and borrowed money) to make up for 8000 taken by her dad.

      So long story short. TY has enough money for tution and housing without the 10000, but she doesn’t want grandma to know that dad took money for his own and now she needs money to cover up for dad.

      On another note, thanks to hoju for the translations.

    • F_J provided a great explanation. 🙂

      There’s probably no “dislike” of Grandmother for having student loans, aside from the fact that she probably just doesn’t want Tong Yan to carry a debt or to have that pressure of paying back the money all by herself, plus interest, too.

      Just a clarification, a person can withdraw and deposit with a bankbook as well. It’s just an older way of doing banking. She did not deposit the money into their joint account probably because (1) she intended Tong Yan to take the money back to Shanghai and use it to pay back her student loans, not share with her and (2) possibly because she is elderly and banking isn’t habitual, she took the money out and just stored it at home to wait for Tong Yan. You know you often hear stories of the elder generations preferring to store their money in tin cans or something because they just prefer to have their money on hand and not in the control of someone else.

      And yes, Tong Yan is trying to make up for the stolen 8000 yuan and not let Grandmother know what happened because she really doesn’t want to destroy the dreams that Grandmother has of her son.

      Thank you F_J for clarifying and everyone for reading. 🙂

  7. Thanks for the chapter!

  8. Thank you for the chapter Hoju! GP was just so caring I could cry.

    • Gu Pingsheng forever just makes me feel warm. He is so gentle, sweet, and considerate but a fun (and a little black belly, as shown by his physics revenge) guy, too. ❤ ❤ ❤
      You're welcome!

  9. Thank you very much Hoju.

    YY has a very irrresponsible father. I am so sorry for her and her grandmother. It would kill her grandmother to know her son stole from her and the money should be paying for his only daughter’s school fees.

    • You’re welcome. 🙂

      While Grandmother isn’t oblivious to her son’s ways, she really is hopeful, and you can see that by how happy she was that he came to visit and change out her cooking gas tank. Yan Yan isn’t trying to cover up for her father. She’s trying to spare her grandmother the heartbreak of knowing that his visit had actually had a hidden agenda and wasn’t because he wanted to see his mother. 😦

  10. TY’s grandmother’s fanciness of her son really rubbed onto TY. sigh…her father will probably only amend when a terrible scenario happened to one of his family members with the ways they are letting him do as he pleases.

    • It’s awful, but yes, without truly getting help, only something shocking can make someone like that change.

      Tong Yan really is not doing it to try to hide her father’s mistake. She’s only trying to not shatter her grandmother’s dream that her son might have actually come to see her because he genuinely wanted to and not because he was intending on stealing from her.

      Thanks for reading. 🙂

  11. Thank you 🙂

  12. Soooo… her dad took her grandma’s money? huaaaaaaaaaa… it’s just soo bad. poor her, poor her grandma. and im glad that he comes after two messages? emm.. this guy.. aiyo.. what kind of work i need to use to praise this guy????? i just love him more.

    but take your time dear… i will definitely patiently wait for the next chapter… and yeah, dec.. many people are busy preparing for xmas… and i have a bunch of dramas i need to finish.. and some books too… but this one is one of my fave ^^

    thank you ^^

    • Yeah, it was her dad. 😦

      Gu Pingsheng ❤ How can you praise him? Hmm… amazing, lovely, thoughtful, warm, just wonderful. I love how he told her to contact him at any time when she was in Beijing. Such a sweetie.

      Yes, this is such a busy season. Plus, I have to fulfill some commitments, like SSB posts that I promised peanuts ages ago. :p Have fun with your drama watching. It's definitely a Wang Kai season. :p

      You're welcome!

  13. Thank you for this chapter!

  14. Thanks for the update 🙂

  15. May I know what Teacher Gu sign off as TK? And others also address as such?

    • TK is his English name. Gu Pingsheng is his Chinese name. He came back from overseas. 🙂

      • Thanks for reply ; ) and more so…Thank You so much for your hard work!! Enjoy your break, will look forward to your return ; )

        • Your’e welcome. 🙂 And thank you for the encouraging words. I have a list of things I hope to accomplish with my “extra time” during this break, but the list is getting longer and longer… LOL

  16. She has terrible parents… Thanks for the updates

  17. Thank you for your translation.

  18. thank you!!! OMG YY has such a tragic life story. And who is Lu Bei?

    • Life has not been easy for Yan Yan. But I think, while she acknowledges that her parents really suck and she doesn’t want to talk about them, she is determined to have a normal life and not wallow in the sad parts. Like she said to Gu Pingsheng, there are plenty of other people who are in a worse off state than her, even if you took a walk around the school cafeteria. I really admire her for her tenacity to keep charging forward.

      Lu Bei… the one who likes Range Rovers, the one who “without ever asking for a reason, had always agreed to every single one of [Tong Yan’s] requests.” Oh, and there was a little allusion to him in the very last paragraph of chapter 2.1 😉 You’ll find out more about Lu Bei as the story progresses.

  19. Oh gosh…. this gave my heart a lil tug… this situation is so similar to what happened to me TT^TT i save up money only to find my dad took it all to gambleTT^TT though now im living happily with my mom so I’ve forgotten about it.

    Thank you for the translation!!!

    • It’s such a terrible situation for anyone. I’m sorry you had to go through that but am definitely happy to hear that it is in the past and things are now well for you. 🙂

      You’re welcome!

  20. I really feel bad for Tong Yan… she has go through that difficult situations.
    Thank you, hoju~

  21. Whoa, this chapter is too intense. I need some time to gather my thoughts. Let’s see, here’s my sumamry:
    1) Tong Yan’s dad is a douchebag and no gooder
    2) Her mom is a home-wrecker, is she still alive?
    3) Her grandma dotes on her
    4) Lu Bei is her ex-bf? who is married

    Anyhow, I can’t wait to read the next chapter..

  22. This pains my heart. TY is an angel…

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