Fangirling Chinese Novels

My Darling (我的曼达林) — Chapter 2.3


It truly is one thing after another for Jian Bianlin.

Chapter 2.3 — My Little Lady (3)

The nature of the situation was basically cemented with those words.

Chu Jian knew clearly that no matter what further explanations she gave, they would all be useless.

Chu Jian was not certain the reason, but she felt that, since his return from Macau, more and more, there seemed to be something not right with Jian Bianlin. Those established boundaries in their relationship that, all these years, the two of them had never overstepped had now all been crossed by him. Making up an excuse, she left Jian Bianlin outside the door to deal with Teacher Li while she wordlessly stepped inside. Amid the chatting voices of the shipyard’s managers and all her elders, she stood by the window, her head lowered, playing around on her mobile phone.

Forget it. She was not going to let him bother her. Uncle Jian still had to go for surgery.

Before long, Jian Bianlin followed after and came inside, standing beside her for quite some time but not knowing what he should say to her.

He pulled out his mobile phone. Stickied at the top of his WeChat[1] [messaging app] screen was Chu Jian’s little profile picture.

In these twenty-plus years, the one thing he could not let go of was the little lady who he believed belonged to him.

He had known that Chu Jian did not like him in that way, yet he was the one who still allowed their entire grade to mistakenly believe that they were dating while underage; he was the one who had kissed her on that ferry against her will; and also, that winter… Up until a moment ago, he had still held onto a wishful fancy, hoping to make her tacitly admit that they had once been a couple.

And even now, he was confident also that she would not get angry with him during this time when his father’s health was unwell.

All of this selfish “confidence” caused him to remember his agent, Xie Bin’s words.

“Just let it be, Jian Bianlin.” That night, he and Xie Bin were having drinks. While the two of them were taking in some fresh air out on the balcony, even Xie Bin, despite being a man, had started to look at things from Chu Jian’s standpoint and tried to persuade him. “You’ve just been taking advantage of the close relationship between your two families and, since she was little, snuffed out any possible romance she might have. The girl is twenty-six already, but she hasn’t even properly dated anyone yet. When it comes down to it, it’s just because the girl was unlucky enough to have been neighbours with you since you were kids, yeah?”

Xie Bin was right—to be loved by him was pretty rotten luck.

© 2013-2016 FANATICAL ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Translated with the express permission of the author for If you are not reading this from, then this translation has been posted without the permission of the translator.

Chu Jian was communicating with a young assistant in her company about the schedule of the Japanese instructor who was coming to teach some classes and, while she was at it, also asking some questions regarding their booth at a trade fair when a WeChat message from Jian Bianlin popped up:


After contemplating briefly, she did not reply.

She had not expected that this word would become the last dialogue they would exchange for the entire remainder of the daytime.

At night, Jian Bianlin stayed in the VIP hospital room to take care of his father while Chu Jian and her parents returned to their home in Hangzhou.

Her mom, in passing, also took the key to the Jians’ home and went in to gather some things for them. They had been relatively rushed to head to the hospital and had not had the chance to pack any items that Jian Bianlin’s father would need for a hospital stay. After helping her mother pack for a little while, Chu Jian brought in the laundry that had been hanging out on the balcony, folded it, and set it on the bed in the master bedroom.

She discovered a photograph placed near the head of the bed. It was a picture of Chu Jian and Jian Bianlin together, taken around the time of their graduation from high school.

The two people inside that picture were wearing school uniforms. That was the day they had received the letters of acceptance from their universities, and in front of the school, Jian Bianlin’s dad had requested that they take a photograph together standing by the main entrance.

Blue school uniforms, very characteristically Chinese. As Chu Jian stood beside him, the top of her head barely came to his shoulders. His eyes were dark and bright, and on his nose was a pair of rimless glasses. Chu Jian, her eyes large and her nose petite, was smiling, revealing a crooked little canine tooth, and her black hair was short with blunt-cut bangs.

Because his dad had requested it, Jian Bianlin was even hugging her shoulders.

She could still remember, back then, in that high school key class, his grades had been especially good. He had not liked talking to people, and so, with his glasses, the girls in the other classes had always described him as Class No. 1’s “cultured scoundrel.” Why was the word “scoundrel” in there? She truly had been curious and had privately asked people about it. The answer: purely because he was too good-looking, to the point that he did not look like a good person…

“Why are you staring into space?” Carrying a bag stuffed full with Jian Bianlin’s dad’s clean clothing and toiletries, Chu Jian’s mother stepped into the room. When she saw the photograph, she smiled. “Your dad printed this picture for him and deliberately bought a frame to put it here. The two of you were so close when you were young. It’s too bad you guys weren’t in university together; otherwise, you might have been even closer.”

Uttering an “mm,” Chu Jian turned and walked out the room.

© 2013-2016 FANATICAL ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Translated with the express permission of the author for If you are not reading this from, then this translation has been posted without the permission of the translator.

The surgery was originally scheduled for the next day, but at three o’clock in the morning, Chu Jian was suddenly roused and told that Jian Bianlin’s dad was not doing good and that they needed to hurry to the hospital. She felt around for some clothes, slipped them on, and then went with her parents straight to the hospital. With hair that was completely mussed, she jogged up to the operating room.

Jian Bianlin’s father had already gone inside and was undergoing surgery, so they could only wait outside.

Outside of the operating room, Jian Bianlin sat alone. For fear that he would attract spectators even during such a time, he was not wearing that eye-catching, black face mask and, instead, had pulled up the hood of his hoodie, concealing more than half his face.

Chu Jian stepped up to him. Hesitating for a few seconds, she bent down and asked softly, “You haven’t slept this whole time? Are you hungry?”

This was the first dialogue between the two of them since he had said that one “sorry.”

Raising his eyes, Jian Bianlin took in the sight of Chu Jian with a track jacket thrown over her pajamas. After a little while, he said in a low voice, “Let me hold you.”

While Chu Jian was still in a dumbstruck state, he took hold of her wrist and pulled her in front of him, her right shoulder crashing heavily into his forehead. From her waist and over her entire back, his arms enveloped her—tightly—so that she could not move at all. Those arms were squeezing her so forcefully she was somewhat unable to breathe. But she did not have the heart to push him away at this time…

The corridor felt deserted. There were not many people in it.

Her mom and dad were sitting, talking in low tones, and when they looked up and saw this scene, they both paused. Then Chu Jian received a look from her mother, silently telling her to console Jian Bianlin. After all, he had moved north with his dad when he was a child, from Guangdong to Hangzhou, and his father had been the one who raised him. To be in this situation now was really difficult for him and deserved empathy.

Chu Jian could sense his anxiety. Very heavy and intense.

She stretched out her arms and slid them gently around his shoulders, softly comforting, “It’ll be all right, it’ll be all right.” This was actually the first time in all these years that she had assumed the role of “comforting and protecting” him, and she felt somewhat… at a loss over what she should do. Because she was so close to him, her nose was filled with his scent, and this intensified that feeling of not knowing what to do. But she could not push him away. Right now, she definitely could not push him away.

© 2013-2016 FANATICAL ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Translated with the express permission of the author for If you are not reading this from, then this translation has been posted without the permission of the translator.

Eventually, it was Jian Bianlin who first released her. “Sorry.”

“Sorry” again.

Chu Jian was a little dazed, uncertain whether she should continue to comfort him or do something. In the end, she made up an excuse for herself—to go buy some late-night snacks—and at last went downstairs. Truly feeling flustered, she sent a WeChat message to Tong Fei:

Are you asleep?

At this time of night, the one who was most likely to still be awake was that model worker of a talent agent.

Very soon, Tong Fei replied with a voice message: “Nope. I’m keeping my artiste company while she films some night scenes. Why are you up in the middle of the night? You’ve been sexually assaulted?”

Chu Jian: “… Jian Bianlin’s dad’s condition suddenly turned for the worse. I don’t know how I should comfort him.”

Tong Fei: “Use your body, eh.”

Chu Jian: “……”

Tong Fei carried on, tossing back another voice message that was filled with lament. “Oh, such a poor thing, he is. I had planned on waiting until you got back before I told you. When Xie Bin and I were discussing the details of the contract today, he mentioned that the results from Jian Bianlin’s medical exam report weren’t good, and once he gets back, he needs to go for surgery. Seriously, it’s just one thing after another. Go and give him some comfort. Even if there’s no love of the romantic type, you still have a full twenty-two years of friendship with him.”

© 2013-2016 FANATICAL ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Translated with the express permission of the author for If you are not reading this from, then this translation has been posted without the permission of the translator.

He needs to go for surgery? Chu Jian thought she had heard wrong and hurriedly re-listened to the message.

Two ambulances were parked outside the door of the hospital building, and several hospital employees were standing there chatting. Before long, another ambulance pulled in. Chu Jian stood there in the blue glow of the ambulance lights, her mind utterly blank, until someone called to her to hurry and get out of the way. Only then did she hastily take two steps backwards, bumping into the wall.

Seeing that she had not sent back a reply, Tong Fei continued adding to what she had said. “Originally, they hadn’t even intended on telling me. It was just because I was signing a contract with them and needed to confirm the project timeframe for our actor and screenwriter. Filming was originally supposed to start at the beginning of next year, but they said we needed to wait on Jian Bianlin’s schedule. Afterward, though, it was only because Xie Bin views me as one of his inner circle that he told me the truth. As for what the actual problem is, I don’t know either. Maybe it’s just a minor surgery.”

After listening to the message, Chu Jian’s heart still felt anxious, like it was hanging by a thread.

Tong Fei tossed another voice message over. “No, that can’t be right. He said Jian Bianlin will need to rest for at least three or four months. That shouldn’t be a minor surgery, then, right?”

Chu Jian could only sense that her arms were limp, and she was nearly unable to hold her mobile phone.

No wonder she had felt this whole time that something was not right with him…

He had not said anything, not to anyone. And now, because of this incident with his dad, he even more so could not say anything.

Chu Jian’s heart felt as if it was in a chaotic mess. She circled the hospital building several times, walking from lit areas to shadowy sections. After repeating this several times, she finally headed back upstairs.

This time, she did not avoid him and, instead, directly went and took a seat beside him. Since the chairs were all attached, his seat beneath him also vibrated when she sat down. That man who had been sitting with eyes closed, forcing himself to maintain a settled heart and mind, now opened his eyes.

“There’s nothing to eat downstairs,” she said softly.

He did not answer.

“Is there something you haven’t told me?” Chu Jian’s voice grew even lighter.

Beneath that somewhat stark lighting, Jian Bianlin gazed at her.

Chu Jian felt that it was necessary to ask and be clear on things. “Why aren’t you saying anything?”

“No,” he stated in a flat tone. “There’s nothing I want to tell you.”

Frowning, Chu Jian watched as rose and walked away to stand with his back toward her in front of the operating room, demonstrating completely that he was avoiding her and did not want her to continue asking.

© 2013-2016 FANATICAL ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Translated with the express permission of the author for If you are not reading this from, then this translation has been posted without the permission of the translator.

[1]微信 “Weixin.” Literally meaning ‘micro-message.’ A text and voice messaging app. Besides text messaging, there is hold-to-talk voice messaging, social networking, group broadcast messaging, etc. Its English name is WeChat.

© 2013-2016 FANATICAL ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Translated with the express permission of the author for If you are not reading this from, then this translation has been posted without the permission of the translator.

1 of 1 Prologue
6 of 36 Chapter segments
0 of 1 Epilogue


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41 thoughts on “My Darling (我的曼达林) — Chapter 2.3

  1. Thank you so much Hoju!!! 😘😘😘😂

  2. Well now, that’s a twist. Nothing like having something you’ve always had around threatening to go away to make it more important.

  3. Omgah *cries*
    How long should I put up with this emotional torture?! It’s killing me..
    My mom is thinking I succumbed to exam pressure and am crying in front of my Mac Lol.

    • Hmm… not too long. When she chooses to give him a chance, she genuinely, wordlessly chooses to shift her mindset. The rest of the story is about how they gradually mature in their relationship. ❤

      Ahem, are you supposed to be studying for exams instead of going ga-ga over Jian Bianlin?

  4. Awww . . . When it rains, it really poors. Poor JB is in such a sorry state. But does this operation will play a role in bringing them closer? Well, is this the time to prove how tenderhearted CJ can be? Can’t blame JB for not telling though because everytime she sees him awkwardness is always in the atmosphere and its always JB who pushes himself on her. I do wonder the real reason though. Is it for himself or for her? Though Im guessing that it is for her sake though given how muchshe loves CJ. As always, thanks for your wonderful efforts Hoju! You made my Saturday happy! 😆😆

    • But the good thing about a storm is, no matter what, regardless of how long the storm clouds stay, one day, the sun will come out and shine brightly upon you… and you may even have a rainbow. 🙂

      As for your questions, some things may not necessarily be done for only one reason. I think there is a main one (you’ll read about it) but I also think that there is a little of everything, plus the fact that he just doesn’t know how to talk to her. Too many years of her avoiding him and him treading carefully around her has really decreased their lines of communication.

      Thank you for reading. 🙂

  5. Oh wow ! Thank you for the chapter. My heart is breaking for JBL. I hope he hpgwts happiness soon

    • He will get happiness, I promise, and I. The grand scheme of the novel, it’s actually not that long until things start turning around for him. 🙂

      Thanks for reading!

  6. Thank you for your translation.

  7. Yay for the chapter!

    I loved that last exchange. His reply that there’s nothing he “wants” to tell her is truthful yet misleading. Whatever his medical issue is, i bet it’s dealing with this that finally gets her to start viewing him in a different light.

    • That’s a good point. 🙂
      We will see soonish if your prediction is correct 😉

      Love that you’re thinking. Thanks for reading!

  8. What a frustratingly opaque last statement! I think I’ve watched too many dramas though, because my mind immediately leaps to the ‘make me happy while I still have time to live’ scenario 😛 An illness would really complicate things though, that line ‘she didn’t have the heart to push him away at this time’ is a bit ominous. Thank you for the chapter!

    • Haha, this story doesn’t have the typical melodrama of TV dramas. 😉

      You’re all caught up. 🙂 See you next time!

  9. Don’t tell me he is going to give up…😢😢
    But I think CJ heart is moved a little..

    • Why do you think he’s going to give up?🤔🙂 Chu Jian is just not capable of completely hardening her heart, and that’s why I think even after all these years of rejection, he knows that he will never completely lose her.

      Thanks for reading. 🙂

  10. Oh good heavens, I hope everything will be alright. It is a long way to go. I will forever cheer you Jian Bianlin 👊😊

    • You know that I always get my readers to repeat my little chant, right? “Hoju only translates stories with happy endings.” Keep cheering. You won’t be disappointed. 😉

  11. aiya poor JBL

    thank you

  12. Oh my heart…

    I don’t have that much to say except be strong JB… Oh poor guy T.T
    Be with him (not romantically) CJ. Your presence means everything to him.

    • There, there. *pats head*
      Chu Jian does care dearly for him, not necessarily in the way he wants right now, but she will take care of him if he allows it.

  13. Thank you!!!!! Now, I can’t wait for the next chapter.

  14. Heart break 😢 thank you for the update

  15. Can’t hardly wait the next chapter, thank you so much for your effort.

  16. thank you for your hard work!!!
    AHHhhh JB you’re killing me with your dedication!

  17. Personally, this chapter was hard to swallow. So painful to read on JB’s inner turmoil, his love for CJ (currently not recipocrated), his father injured, while having his health issues to boot! I know there is light at end of tunnel but can we fast track to happy times 🙂

    • Haha… Honestly, I felt the exact same way when I first read this, so I feel for you. It won’t be too, too long before there’s a turning point. 🙂 There will be happy times!

  18. I tried staying away.. because i want to read every chapter in one go… but really can’t stay away…
    What is wrong with him?

    • Haha, I’ve done that before. In fact, I did it with this story when it was first being released by the author online. >_<
      You will find out pretty soon a little bit of what's wrong with him.

  19. 😱 poor guy… CJ seems to be really shaken with the news of his surgery…. can’t wait to read the part where they got together…. thank you so much Hoju for this wonderful story 😘😘

    • Chu Jian genuinely cares for Jian Bianlin. She’s distancing herself because she doesn’t want to give him false hope, but that doesn’t stop her from caring for him like family.

      You’re welcome!

  20. Thank you for the chapter~

  21. JB is too pitiful… Thanks hoju~

  22. “Chu Jian could only sense that her arms were limp, and she was nearly unable to hold her mobile phone.“

    … she does care, more than she realizes… ; )

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