Fanatical

Fangirling Chinese Novels

My Darling (我的曼达林) — Chapter 4.1

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One of the things I like about Chu Jian is, if she makes a promise, she will do it. Despite the awkwardness, she promised to “try,” so she will do it to the best she can. Think Jian Bianlin is thrilled?

Chapter 4.1 — Each Second of Waiting (1)

Going now? So soon?

Chu Jian took a deep breath. She felt she should open the door. Right, open the door.

And so, the obstacle that had been blocking their views, just like that, suddenly disappeared. Jian Bianlin’s one arm was leaning against the doorframe, and the focus of his gaze all at once switched from that little sloth bear that hung on the wooden door to her, leaving him in somewhat of a daze.

“I… just remembered that I still have a package of instant noodles. I’ll go make a bowl of noodles for you.” Choking on her words for the longest time, she finally was able to get these two sentences out.

With his one arm still resting on the edge of the doorway, Jian Bianlin thought for a moment, then nodded. While Chu Jian ran into the kitchen, he sent a text message to Xie Bin, who was out in the stairwell, telling him to come grab the key to his home and hang out for a little while in the apartment across the hall.

Therefore, when Chu Jian was searching all over for some eggs, she heard the door of her home open. Offhandedly, she asked, “Is someone here?”

Jian Bianlin walked up to the door of the kitchen. From his eyes to his face, the expression he wore was completely normal and ordinary. “No, nobody.”

With an “oh,” Chu Jian carried on going about in a flurry, trying to find a few more items to toss into the pot. The result, though, was that the better part of the bowl ended up filled with cilantro to serve as “green vegetables.” Jian Bianlin took advantage of the time she was making dinner to wander around her home, watering the potted plants on the balcony and feeding Chu Jian’s dad’s little tank of fish. Strolling back to the kitchen again, he was just in time to see her standing in the faint, warm yellow glow of that single light, her head tilted slightly to the side as she worked hard to pour the noodles and soup from the small stainless steel pot. She left not even one drop behind.

When they were kids and he still had not learned how to cook, during the times when the adults of their two families were away, he would make instant noodles for her. She would always stand beside him and continually throw out all types of requests: “Add some luncheon meat, eh. Put some leafy greens in there, too. I also washed some tomatoes for you. Oh, right, there’s chicken stock in the fridge as well.” A bowl of instant noodles ended up being cooked so that it was more like ma la tang[1] [various ingredients inside a numbingly spicy broth] from a street vendor. At the end, right before pouring it out of the pot, she would over and over again remind him, “Don’t spill any on the counter. Whoa, slow down, slow down. It’s spilling…”

She brought the noodles out of the kitchen. As Chu Jian watched him scoop up every last cilantro leaf, she started to have regrets that she had not set aside a small bowl for herself to try. Did it really taste that good?

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

When it was time for him to leave, she deliberated over each option in regards to whether or not she should see him out, and if so, if she should see him to the door, to the elevator, or all the way downstairs.

Eventually, taking a sweater with her, she did see him downstairs.

Watching as he walked down two stair steps, she called out, “Jian Bianlin,” then took a couple steps forward to stand on the highest step so that she was at eye level with him. “Make sure you… you take care and be careful.”

The night wind… even it had come to a standstill.

Not far away, the security guard for the community compound was still running about, coordinating where vehicles were to be parked. Xie Bin had driven his car over for a long time already, but he dared not honk the horn to hurry them. From afar, he stared through the window at that place where they stood, silently griping over what in the world was holding those two up. This was the last flight of the night, and if they did not leave now, the plane would be gone.

“You’re not leaving? …” With her hands stuffed in the pockets on both sides of her sweater, she slid her gaze away and glanced over him at Xie Bin’s car.

Jian Bianlin’s eyes were fixed unblinkingly on her. After half a minute or so, in a low voice, he told her muffledly through his face mask, “Going now.”

Consequently, for the second time ever, Chu Jian lay sleepless in her bed the entire night, tossing and turning over and over. Even when the sky was glimmering faintly with dawn and her eyes were stinging with tiredness, she still had not recovered herself. The two of them were now considered “together,” and the theme of their first date had been to help each other brush up on fast-food cooking skills…

She did not sleep for long before groggily rolling off her bed again.

Suddenly, she remembered he was soon going for surgery, but yet he was still so busy. It seemed that was very inappropriate. As she leaned against her bed, her hands tugged at the shaggy rug beneath her until she was about to put a hole in it. Surmising that Jian Bianlin might not be available, she decided to call Xie Bin instead. When the call was picked up on that end, the first sentence that came at her was, “Hello, Jian Bianlin’s girlfriend, is something the matter?”

……

In front of anyone other than Jian Bianlin, she was still able to handle herself and respond with ease. After being taken aback briefly, she behaved as if nothing was out of the ordinary and confirmed with Xie Bin what Jian Bianlin’s schedule looked like for the subsequent days as well as the condition of his illness. This time, Xie Bin did not purposely try to make things unnecessarily mysterious, nor did he exaggerate or hide anything, and he gave her the rough work schedule for the next little while. So it turned out that Jian Bianlin’s schedule was not as light as he had described. Right now, he had already departed Hong Kong and was in Macau.

For at least twenty-four days, he needed to film pick-ups for that movie from last time before he could come back again and arrange for his surgery. Therefore, no matter what, the surgery would need at least another month before it could take place. While he was at it, Xie Bin sighed over how hard it was to be an artiste, and that Jian Bianlin took painkillers like he was consuming vitamin C. He added, “Hmm, that’s not quite right. He only takes two tablets of vit-C a day…” By the time he hung up the phone, even Xie Bin felt that it was not easy being the agent that he was—he was practically playing half the role of Jian Bianlin’s mother.

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

Jian Bianlin was filming pick-ups this afternoon, and his schedule was very tight. At the airport, he met up with a journalist who was going to interview him, and immediately after getting into a black, private van, they moved straight into the interview. From beginning to end, he endured through pain in his abdomen, patiently leafing through the interview outline and trying as best as he could to, one by one, answer each question in detail so that the journalist would have sufficient material to go back and write up the draft.

The van avoided a pedestrian street where souvenirs were sold and drove to the base of the Ruins of St. Paul.

The iconic Ruins of St. Paul in Macau. All that remains of this 17th-century Portugese church is the front facade and staircase. (image credit: Pixabay)

Jian Bianlin closed the interview outline. “Thanks for all your hard work. If there are any additional questions that you need to ask, send them to my agent, and I will have him put together a text version of the answers and give it to you.”

The journalist put away his portable voice recorder, smiling as he gave his pleasantries. “Thank you, thank you. You really understand our work. It really must be exhausting for you. It’s such a short bit of time from the airport to here, but you still did an interview in it. Your work schedule is packed full, and any time for personal life has been crammed out until there’s none left.”

Jian Bianlin gave a nod. After this motion of farewell, he put on his cap, jumped out of the van, and, bringing two assistants and a make-up artist with him, strode directly up to the fort.

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

This particular scene was already a night scene to begin with, and furthermore, the director was known to be tiresome and demanding in his standards.

The filming of a single scene took place from when the sky had just darkened all the way until three in the morning.

Eventually, Jian Bianlin was beginning to feel weak from even the simple action of slipping on his jacket… The pain that was radiating out from his abdomen caused even the fingers of his right hand to start trembling slightly. Sensing that something was wrong, when the cast and crew had wrapped up for the day and were tidying up, Xie Bin told him to lean against the gray brick wall of the fort to take a rest.

Monte Fort (also known as Fortaleza do Monte) is directly adjacent to the Ruins of St. Paul but situated higher up. It was built in the 1600s and is the oldest fort in Macau. (Image credit left and right)

The director seemed to detect something, and prior to leaving, he specifically inquired about what was the matter. With a wave of his hand, Jian Bianlin gave a cursory answer that he had eaten something that disagreed with his stomach and that the crew should quickly finish packing up and then go rest. He would be fine in a little bit.

It was abdominal pain, so he could not sit down. He had chewed down some painkillers, but their effect would not immediately be seen, either.

So, he stood leaning against the wall like this for more than half an hour. The crew had all left already and the painkillers had kicked in, but his legs still felt a little weak. Slowly, with Xie Bin supporting him, he climbed down the steep and tall stone steps.

“Jian Bianlin.” From somewhere far away, someone called his name.

He almost jolted with astonishment. Whipping his head around, he stared disbelievingly at that spot off in the distance.

Chu Jian jumped up from the bench that was under a tree and ran toward him.

Because the pain had been too intense, a layer of cold sweat had broken out all over his body. Now, with the night wind blowing on him, the dull throb of tension in his forehead was inevitable. Seeing her run up to him, it was nearly by reflex that he put on his cap, concealing the sweat that covered his forehead and his short, black hair that was soaked with perspiration.

“The whole time, I didn’t dare go up. I was scared you guys were still filming. Then, when I saw lots of people moving stuff down earlier but you and Xie Bin didn’t come down, I thought you might have left a long time ago and gone back already.” While she spoke, Chu Jian grimaced and twisted her face into a wry smile. In a low voice, she added, “My legs are asleep… Give me a sec to recover first.”

Under the light of the moon, Jian Bianlin watched the subtle transformations in her expression due to the sensation of pins and needles in her legs. Speaking each word distinctly, he asked, “You came here to find me?”

“Yup…” Otherwise, whom else would I be here for? Chu Jian silently muttered, before saying, “I don’t really have anything I need to do for the next little while, so I came to take care of you.”

She was not someone who did things superficially as a brush-off. Since she had agreed to try being in a relationship with him, then what should be done should be done well; for example, a girlfriend coming along to take care of her sick boyfriend was something that should happen, right? Plus, her time was more flexible than the average nine-to-fiver.

“But based on the intensity and hours of your work that I witnessed tonight, I’m guessing I won’t really be able to do much to take care of you.” She had not finished speaking, though, when Jian Bianlin took her wrist into his hand.

Chu Jian’s brows creased slightly. “Don’t move. Just wait! I’m still not better yet… Do not move at all…”

Hearing her say this, Jian Bianlin did not dare move and remained in that stiff, bizarre-looking posture with his arm half-raised and holding on to her.

After half a minute, Chu Jian finally relaxed and said. “Okay, I’m good now.” Exhaling lightly, she threw a glance at Xie Bin, who was only a short distance away. “Do you have to film into such hours of the night every time you do a night scene? Even an ordinary person wouldn’t be able to take it, let alone you’re someone who’s sick—”

His voice interrupted her. “When did you arrive in Macau?”

“About… some time past eight, I think?” she offhandedly answered before carrying on with her questions. “Xie Bin hasn’t talked to the director for you? Who runs a sick patient into the ground like that?”

Jian Bianlin paid no heed to her words, still gazing at her and asking in return, “How long have you been waiting?”

“… Quite a few hours, I guess.” She had not seriously counted.

Xie Bin had said that it was a night scene and filming would probably finish at around eleven o’clock or so. She had not doubted this at all, so after leaving the airport, she had headed straight over here. Sitting on the bench for who-knows-how-many hours, aside from sending Xie Bin a text message midway to confirm that they were still on site, she had not dared to bother them.

She actually did not really understand that agents were allowed to move freely about and do as they pleased on filming location. She had simply worried that she would disturb them and, hence, had only sat in waiting—all the way until now.

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

An arrival in Macau shortly after eight o’clock meant that, at the latest, she would have been sitting here by nine.

From nine last night to the current time of four in the morning, it had been seven hours. Moreover, those hours had spanned over the deepest hours of the night and had been spent in waiting.

Were it not for the chill from the night wind blowing on his clammy skin, he would even believe that this was all a dream. Even her wrist was cold…

Jian Bianlin’s hand followed the outline of her wrist and slid down to take hold of Chu Jian’s hand, where he discovered that her fingers were also cool. He frowned.

He needed to bring her back to the hotel as soon as possible to let her have a hot bath.

She must be freezing.

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

Chu Jian still wanted to grumble more about the director’s lack of humanity, but in an instant, she ceased all her fire.

Her mind went a little blank.

Randomly fixing her eyes on the tightly closed door of a shop off in the distance, she said softly, “We’ll be photographed…”

Chu Jian tried to pull her hand back, but without success.

Jian Bianlin’s voice was barely audible. “There’s no one around at this time of night.”

It was four o’clock in the morning. Reporters needed sleep, too.

This was a very reasonable explanation.

He gave a light tug on Chu Jian’s arm, a very gentle force, signaling to her that she should leave with him. And just like this, he quietly held on to her, not forcing her in any way. In fact, his hold on her hand even loosened slightly.

The more he was like this, the more she dared not pull away from him. Thus, after putting up half-resistance, she gave in and allowed him to hold her hand and lead her away. When they walked past Xie Bin, she even heard this great, respected agent, with eyes squinted, say, “My apologies. I just saw your text message. If I had known, I would have told you to head back to the hotel first.”

“No problem… I’d still be waiting, no matter where I was,” Chu Jian murmured, feeling an odd sense of sheepishness and not daring to look at this person who had lured her into coming to Macau.

Xie Bin beamed as he watched them leave and then carried on smoking his cigarette.

The pebbles beneath them rolled around and knocked against their feet.

It might have been her imagination, but it seemed she could still smell the aromas of pork jerky and egg tarts[2], despite the fact that all the shops were now tightly closed up.

So, with Jian Bianlin holding her hand the entire way, they walked down the slope… Her mind was only called back to reality, as if awakening from a dream, when, in the stillness of the night, the side door of his private van was pushed open with a whoosh. Swiftly, she pulled her hand back.

Even in the dimness of these deep hours of the night, his eyes still shone breathtakingly black. “Get in the van.”

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

[1] 麻辣烫 “ma la tang.” Literally, this means “numbingly spicy scalding-hot boil.” Its origins are in Sichuan as a hot pot in which various ingredients are cooked by scorching them in a boiling broth. The characteristic flavour and numbing sensation that one feels after consuming the broth is a result of the Sichuan chilies and Sichuan peppercorn that go into making it. Ma la tang has been modified nowadays to become a popular street food. Streetside carts or shops carry a large pot of the boiling broth, and customers can choose various ingredients, often skewered on sticks, to throw in.

Left: Skewers of various ingredients that can be added to the broth (image credit). Right: Dished out ma la tang (image credit)

[2]蛋挞 “dan ta” egg tart or 葡式蛋挞 “pu shi dan ta” Portugese egg tart. Macau is known for its Portugese egg tarts, which are a baked egg custard in a flaky shell pastry.

Portugese egg tarts (Image credit)

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

Completed:
1 of 1 Prologue
12 of 36 Chapter segments
0 of 1 Epilogue

 

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41 thoughts on “My Darling (我的曼达林) — Chapter 4.1

  1. SHE CAME!!!!! All the way to Macau! This is so friggin sweet!

  2. Ah. I love that she is putting effort in and he is applying the things he’s learned about her. Loosely holding her hand made it her choice to continue, which is why she didn’t draw away. I love the little details and areas of progression.

    • Great observation. 🙂 While Jian Bianlin has been the only one putting in the effort before, it’s obvious what he used to do doesn’t work. So glad he’s willing to learn. And of course, I love that Chu Jian holds true to her word and doesn’t do it just superficially.

  3. oh Chu Jian, you r so lovable. I wanna hug her. And i wan her to hug him too. thanks for your post- puts a smile on my face first thg in the morning once i open my browser

    • I love that she is so genuine, that if she’s going to do something, it’s with 100% effort. I want her to hug him, too!

      So glad I can help brighten your morning. 🙂

  4. 😱 the words of Xie Bin greeting her, “Hello, Jian Bianlin’s girlfriend, is something the matter?” ….. 😍😍

    So sweet of CJ to make the trip to Macau 🇲🇴 to look after BJL. Such sweet thoughts 😍😍😍

    I believe that BJL will not hesitate to let the public know that he is now ‘not available’ although he probably would try to hide her identity. Getting photos of them together taken would not be a concern of him on his image but more of worried that she will be harassed…

    Anticipating for the chapters next week 😉 thank you so much Hoju for the lovely read 😘😘😘

    • And of course, Xie Bin already knows less than 24 hours after things became official. Think it was because Jian Bianlin just couldn’t contain his smile.

      While Jian Bianlin has never been officially unavailable, he’s also made it known that he doesn’t want women to come near him (remember he doesn’t even let the women walking the red carpet with him hold his arm?) and he had made it known he had a girl he likes. ❤ As for the publicity part, you'll see…

      • Waking up in the morning and seeing your reply brightens my morning. Also a reminder that today, another chapter is coming out! Yeah! Hopefully I can find time to read them today 🙂

        • Glad to be a positive part of your morning. Work is still really busy?

          • Good morning 🌞 finally finished up with my current place yesterday. New adventure starting next week. Now I finally have time for translation and reading 😍 can’t wait for your chapter today

  5. Holy cow they’re so adorable! I love how hard CJ is willing to try, as awkward as it is for her. I really hope JB is able to go back and treat his illness soon though, it’s only getting worse 😦
    Thanks for the translation! Looking forward to the next one being the treat after my next exam 😀

    • Exactly. You just can’t fault Chu Jian if she puts in such effort, no matter what direction it goes. That illness… 😦

      Hope your exam went well!

  6. JBL would be extremely touched and happen despite CJ being in the cold for way too long

  7. Thank you so much Hoju!! 😘😘😘 so sweet. Can’t wait for next week.

  8. Thank you so much, like always you make my day.😃🌻

  9. Awhh, what a sweet gesture from chu jian 🙂 thanks for the update! i’m craving some egg tarts now haha

    • Isn’t it? Sweet and such a demonstration of her sincerity and commitment to her promise. Oh, man, I’ve been craving steamed egg custard with clams for a while now… Mmm, egg tarts would be nice, too.

  10. Thanks for the chapter!! Finally, the sweetness is here!!!

    • You’re welcome. 🙂 Yup, sweetness has arrived. The ramp up will be slow at first and then it will become exponential later. (Yes, I’m an engineer. LOL)

  11. Aw – good for her! i love that once she’s committed she doesn’t phone it in. Not many people have that kind of standard and determination. I imagine JB must be crying inside….having held onto a precious dream all these years and finally seeing bits of its fruition…

    • It shows her integrity as a person. She’s not just giving lip service or even a halfhearted effort. She sincerely is trying.

      He was disqualified from his dream before he was given a chance. I think that is one thing that has been so hard to accept. While he knows that the dream still may not come true, he at least has a shot at it now.

  12. Im really happy even the romance is gradually starting. The foundation will be stronger. I wonder what JB really felt about the surprise appearance. 😊👍🏼

    • Yes, we have moved into the romance development now, although it will still be a little slow for a bit. 😉

      Actually, if they do start a romance, they have a strong foundation of years of friendship that they can build upon, don’t you think? 🙂

      Even if he didn’t show it, I’m sure he was over the moon.

  13. Thank you for the new chapter!
    See, CJ is so sweet. You’ll be a really adorable couple JB and CJ.
    But I wonder if the problem of JB being a super-superstar will be brought up to? Like them being chased by a hoarde of paparazzis? I hope that whatever comes at them, they’ll support each other and still be as adorable!!

    • You’re welcome. 🙂

      She is. Jian Bianlin has always said that Chu Jian has a kind heart, and we are really seeing it now, too.

      His celebrity status is a reality. Let’s see how he deals with it in their relationship. 😉

  14. Did I mention before that I like how deci sive Chu Jian is. I like how she follows through with her decisions. She doesn’t say yes just for the heck of it. Though of course Xie Bin may have incited her to go to Macau but this sudden flood of effort really is a very nice surprise for JB and i think this is the first comment that I have that mainly talks of CJ because I know im too partial to JB.

    Thank you so much for your efforts Hoju! 😄😄😄

    • I agree. It is most certainly a wonderful trait about her and worthy of admiration. I think that Chu Jian had made up her mind to put in that effort the instant she sent off the “okay.” She just was caught off guard when Jian Bianlin suddenly showed up while she was putting away conch shells. 😉 Once she had her time to process things, this decision was a lot easier to make.

      You’re welcome!

  15. Is there any possibility of the 3rd person???? Because this couple is already soooo adorable. With him being an idol or popular actor, i just hope, there’s no crazy fangirls who can let their oppa date a girl. haha… sorry, so into kpop.

    I started to like CJ. With her taking every step closer to him… she’s really ‘OKAY’.

    JBL is just L.O.V.E haha… Ah… Yang Yang or Ma Tian Yu would be perfect to act as JBL (on my mind) 😀

    Thank you hoju ^^

    • Any third person is even less substantial than Tong Jiaren was in Zhousheng Chen’s relationship with Shi Yi in Beautiful Bones.

      She deserves such credit for sincerely trying and taking those steps. Just an “okay”? 😉

      Haha, you’ve collected another male lead into your L.O.V.E. classification.

      You’re welcome!

  16. Thank you for your translation.

  17. CJ is a lovely character… I wish her only the best in this story!

    • She is, indeed. I promise she will get the best, even if she doesn’t know quite yet that he’s the best for her. 🙂

  18. So sweet, thank you 😘

  19. Thank you for the chapter~

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