This is the second last post of the novel but is the ending for the online version of the novel. Lucky you, I’ll translate the last chapter which is in the printed copy of the novel as the next post.
Coincidentally, in the novel as well as in real life, the Chinese will be celebrating Lunar New Year of the Monkey for 15 days. Thus I will use this opportunity to wish the readers, ‘Gong Xi Fa Cai’. A big thank you to Bong for making this nice cover picture and all the pretty new banners.
Chapter 15.2 – To Read You [and Learn and Understand You] for an Entire Lifetime
Mo Ting was carrying the soup out of the kitchen. He turned his head and saw the people at the entrance hall. He was also a bit surprise for a moment, but his face looked calm right away. Walking over, he saw the obvious blush on his girlfriend’s face. In an appeasing manner, he whispered into her ear: “Mom and dad like to drink Pu’er tea. The cups are in the kitchen, so please go and make two cups.”
Of course, An Ning was happy to do that. She smiled shyly at the elderly couple and turned to go into the kitchen.
Mo Ting led his parents into the living room to sit down, “Mom and dad, why do you come over?”
“I accompanied your dad to attend a dinner party nearby, so taking this opportunity to come and see you as well.” While talking, Mrs Xu glanced at the kitchen and asked his son softly, “Mo Ting, if little girl has time on New Year’s Day, bring her home to have a meal, okay?”
Xu Mo Ting thought for a while, “I’ll ask her as she may still have to go to another province.”
Mrs Xu nodded, “Her parents are living separately in two places. Little girl must be really exhausted running between two places. After she married you, it’ll certainly be less troublesome.”
Mr Xu smilingly patted his wife’s shoulder, “Even if she has married Mo Ting, going back to her parental home is still a must. Mo Ting, you arrange for a time for us to formally meet her parents. If you want to marry their daughter, etiquette should be observed.”
Xu Mo Ting said: “Wait for her to come back after the tenth day of the New Year, then I’ll arrange a meeting.”
An Ning carried the tea out. Mrs Xu took it from her and said: “An Ning, when you’ve time in the future, you must come to visit me often, okay? I’ll be happy if you can accompany me to have a meal.”
The feelings Mrs Xu gave An Ning was just like her own mom, generous and gentle so she was very fond of her.
Mrs Xu was very satisfied, “Then I’ll be waiting for you.”
The two elderly did not stay long. After drinking the tea, they got up and left.
While Mo Ting was sending his parents out, he said softly to her: “You drink some soup first, not scalding hot anymore.”
For a split second, An Ning felt her heart was filled fully by something.
When Xu Mo Ting came back, she had already filled a bowl of rice for him. She was sitting at the dining table, holding a bowl of steaming hot soup and drinking contentedly. Seeing that he has sat down, she also got him a bowl of soup, put it in front of him and smilingly said: “Very tasty.”
Mo Ting smilingly picked up the bowl and gulped down the soup. The house was very quiet, filled with a warm and cozy atmosphere.
“Mo Ting, we’ll get engaged after the end of the New Year.”
A very soft voice, but Xu Mo Ting heard every word clearly.
He put down his bowl, went over to sit next to her, reached out to hug her and said softly: “An Ning, you have to say what you mean and mean what you say.”
Xu Mo Ting sent her home that night. Although very reluctant, both were cool-headed and rational people.
“When you come back, I’ll go and pick you up at the station.”
An Ning nodded.
Mo Ting sighed and hugged her, “I can’t bear to part with you.”
An Ning smilingly hugged him back, “Me too.”
After she went upstairs, the sport utility vehicle parked for a while longer before being driven away.
An Ning went to G city the next day. Li Qi Shan was the one who came to pick her up. At that time, her parents chatted for a very long time in the living room while she waited in the bedroom. Afterwards, when she went downstairs with her father, he said: “Ning Ning, after graduation, if you do not want to go to G city, then stay back and keep your mother company.” This was the first time her father made it clear that he will let her follow her mother.
An Ning looked at the hair on her father’s temples, unaware when they had turned white. Her eyes turned slightly red, hesitatingly held out her hand to hold her father’s thick palm, “Thanks, dad.”
Li Qi Shan looked emotionally moved. After all he was already old, so long as his child feels happy, he has no regrets and was also content.
This time An Ning was clearly more relaxed mentally compared to the last time. However, she still cannot feel completely at ease with Zhou Xi. Some people may be good and kind, but ultimately she still cannot like them.
On Lunar New Year’s Eve, An Ning kept her grandmother company by drinking rice wine with her until drunk. Hazily, auntie Zhan helped her into the bedroom. She has good drinking and alcohol etiquette, so even if get drunk, she will also be well-behaved. Once she collapsed on the bed, she will pull over the quilt and quietly close her eyes to rest.
Auntie Zhan smilingly said to Zhou Jin Cheng who was helping her: “Thank you, Mr Zhou. The elderly lady is very happy today and went so far as to get Ning Ning drunk. Ning Ning has learned to drink since she was young and is worthy of the title, ‘sober after even a thousand cups’.”
Jin Cheng looked at the person on the bed, “I reckon Ning Ning will have a headache tomorrow. When she wakes up, you let her eat an aspirin before letting her go back to sleep.”
An Ning drowsily heard voices, then gradually faded away. After getting drunk, she felt dizzy and whenever she thought of something, she also felt like laughing. She heard the mobile phone in her pocket ringing, so she struggled to find it and press the answer button, “Hello?”
Xu Mo Ting’s gentle voice came through, “How are you? Already slept?”
“No ……” An Ning felt very happy hearing his voice, “I’ve been drinking with my grandmother.”
“Well, I’ve also just finished eating my meal,” Mo Ting was a little worried: “How much did you drink? Are you feeling unwell?”
“A little …… a little ……” An Ning lay dazed under the quilt, unconsciously mumbled: “It’s really nice to hear your voice.”
Xu Ting Mo laughed out and said softly: “Are you going to sleep yet? If you want to sleep, I’ll hang up. You sleep la.”
An Ning shook her head, “No, I am not going to sleep. You tell me a story ……”
Mo Ting has no choice, but to ask in a doting manner: “Then what do you want to hear?”
“Whatever also can ……”
Xu Mo Ting smilingly got up and went to the bookshelf to pick a book, ‘A Short History of Nearly Everything‘. Then he sat back down in the chair, “It is history so you should like it ―― In 1911, a British scientist named Wilson was studying cloud formations by tramping regularly to the summit of Ben Nevis, a famously damp Scottish mountain …… ”
His voice was pleasant and gentle which magically relieved her headache and slowly making her sleepy.
After Mo Ting read for more than ten minutes, he heard the slow breathing sound across the line, so he stopped reading, “An Ning, have you fallen asleep?”
An Ning slept very well that night. She woke up looking bright and lively the next day, did not suffer from a hangover. When grandmother saw her, even she said that she looked “alert and bright, with eyes that glistened charmingly.”
An Ning broke out in a cold sweat. Grandmother, do you usually read Buddhist scriptures or Flowers in the Mirror?
Time passed very quickly with paying New Year visit to relatives as it was already the ninth day of the New Year. The ninth day of the New Year was the end of the month but her great aunt (Chinese slang for menstrual) still has not come yet …… in the past it was in the middle of the month, so it was ten days late …… then she recalled what happened before she came here …… after that her world exploded.
No, it cannot be?
An Ning felt dizzy and eyes dimmed. Her train of thought became chaotic. She only remembered to take the purse and keys before hurriedly going to the garage to drive out the car.
Her first thought was to go to the pharmacy, but she did not know what to buy to do the test. In a moment of desperation, she called Qiang Wei. Hemming and hawing hesitantly, she managed to mumble out the entire story. The person at the other end of the line was obviously more shocked than her, “It cannot be?! Brother-in-law worked too fast!”
Twenty minutes later, both of them met at the entrance of a big pharmacy.
Qiang Wei was still wearing her pajamas inside her coat. She dragged An Ning into the store and, knowing exactly what she was doing, she picked out a few items and smilingly said: “Just get married. Make sure you let me be the godmother of your child!”
An Ning was worried sick, yet she still has the mood to joke around.
“Don’t glare at me, ah. If brother-in-law knows, he’ll definitely take you to obtain a marriage certificate. Do you believe me?”
Qiang Wei asked in a low voice: “Do you want to inform him?”
Qiang Wei chuckled and said: “I am really looking forward to this. Don’t you feel exciting to get married while still studying in university, then give birth to a beautiful baby?”
An Ning only felt lost and unreal.
When Qiang Wei left, she reminded her, “You must notify me of any good news!”
Well, what happened on that day will make An Ning exceptionally irked many years later ……
It was like this. She returned home and went into her room. Then she took out the ‘test strip’ which Qiang Wei mentioned. After throwing the rest of the stuff on the bed, she hurriedly went into the bathroom. When she was about to read the instruction, she heard her father’s voice calling her outside the door. Before she has time to do the test, she came out and saw her father’s serious complexion, looking at her stuff on the bed.
“What’s going on?”
Hence, on the tenth day of the New Year, An Ning returned to X city, together with her father and grandmother.
Everything that followed happened at lightning speed. Li Qi Shan met with Mr Xu on the same day. An Ning did not know what they specifically talked about. She merely knew the arrangements for her engagement and wedding to Xu Mo Ting were quickly finalized ―― the engagement will be on 3rd of March in X city and the marriage will be on 14th of March. Afterwards, there will be another wedding reception on the 15th in G city.
When Xu Mo Ting saw her on the first day of the month, his eyes have a faint smiling expression. He did not say anything, just brought her outside to have a meal.
For the past two days, An Ning’s mood was extremely complicated, so she did not have much appetite for food. Mo Ting did not force her to eat, just let her drank half a bowl of red date porridge.
An Ning has been trying to tell him, but she felt that he must surely know. Feeling very depressed, she drank the porridge in silence.
Xu Mo Ting occasionally put some food in her bowl. Seeing that the more she ate, the more food in the bowl, An Ning cannot help but glare at the culprit.
Mo Ting smiled. His expression was just as gentle as before, patiently waiting for her to speak first.
Finally, An Ning nursing a grievance said, “Do you want me to say it?”
“I also can say it.” He leaned forward and reached out to cover the right hand she put on the table, “An Ning, we’ll get married.”
An Ning bit her lips and could not help smiling, “Is this considered getting on the train first, then buy ticket later?”
Later, An Ning knew they completely went through the normal procedures.
She was not pregnant > _ <
However, she knew about this at the end of March. In other words, the grand wedding ceremony had already taken place long ago.
Recalling the month of March this year, it was rush and hectic like a world war.
Custom-made the wedding dress, taking the wedding photographs, the start of a new term in university, getting engaged, registration of marriage, official wedding ceremony …… She suspected whether she has lost several kilograms. Because he held her like he was holding a lightweight feather.
44 of 45 Main story segments
0 of 10 Epilogue segments