Fanatical

Fangirling Chinese Novels

My Darling (我的曼达林) — Chapter 4.2

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I’d like to stay in that hotel… (Pictures were included to help visualization, not to entice you guys, but I ended up being enticed myself. *sigh*)

Chu Jian is working to fall into her role of Jian Bianlin’s girlfriend and to take care of him. She also gets to witness a little bit of how this illness is affecting him.

Chapter 4.2 — Each Second of Waiting (2)

Xie Bin and Jian Bianlin had originally reserved rooms in the Banyan Tree Macau. Now, though, there were no more available rooms, so Xie Bin decided last-minute to give his room to Chu Jian while he went to stay in the nearby Ritz-Carlton. When Chu Jian finished checking in and walked into her room, housekeeping was just beginning to clean it.

Jian Bianlin glanced inside. The room was in disarray, and there was also the stench of cigarettes. In a low voice, he instructed the housekeeping staff that the odour needed to be removed, and then, picking up Chu Jian’s small suitcase, he brought her to his own room first.

As she stepped into his room, a slight, inexplicable sense of nervousness came over her that could only be eased by continuously talking. “It’s a good thing that after I went back last time, I got another travel permit for Macau[1]; otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to be here by tonight.” Seeing Jian Bianlin’s clothes, lots of clothes, strewn on the bed because he had not had the chance to put them away yet, Chu Jian brought all the clothes hangers over and, one by one, started to hang his garments up for him. “You don’t have a shoot tomorrow morning, right?”

Her voice cut off abruptly. The last button-up shirt had been moved away, revealing several nicely-folded pairs of underpants…

Chu Jian practically used a full throwing motion to toss the shirt back, covering up those items again.

But they still were not completely concealed. She cast a guiltily self-conscious glance at Jian Bianlin, who was lighting some incense. With her fingers, she tugged on the corner of the shirt and pulled it over another inch. There, completely covered up now…

Then, acting utterly as if she had not seen anything, she hastily began hanging the clothes that were now on hangers into the closet.

“I’m going to watch some TV. You go take a shower.” He set a lit candle into a holder.

“Shower?” Chu Jian’s arm froze, his jacket still held high, and she gaped foolishly at him.

“You’ve had the wind blowing on you the whole night. If you don’t take a shower, you’ll catch a cold.” Jian Bianlin stepped over and took the garments she was holding from her, hanging them up himself. “Hurry and go now.”

He had always been someone who spoke only half of what was to be said. If he could omit any words, he would.

Chu Jian roughly understood what he was saying. Her own hotel room was just starting to be cleaned, and the odours still needed to be removed. It was uncertain what time everything would be finished, so it was better to shower here.

But…

Chu Jian turned to look at the shower enclosure. Its four walls were all semitransparent glass, and it was beside the open walk-in closet. See-through on all sides…

Jian Bianlin dragged the suitcase from beside the door over to the walk-in closet, just outside the shower enclosure.

Without saying a word, he then walked up beside the floor-length windows and turned on the water to the heated pool. The sound of coursing water instantly filled that quiet room.

After being taken aback briefly, Chu Jian understood.

This action of filling the in-room pool in the middle of the night carried no other meanings behind it. It was purely to lessen and offset the water sounds that would be coming from her shower so that she would at least not feel too embarrassed.

Top: Floor plan of a Cotai Pool Suite in the Banyan Tree Macau (image credit). Bottom: Photographs of the in-room pool in the Cotai Pool Suite (image credit: left and right). Note that the room type is not specified in the novel and the author may not be envisioning this one specifically. Images have been included only to provide readers an approximate idea.

Amid the sounds of water and the television, Chu Jian hesitated for one minute, but afterward, she hurriedly grabbed some clean clothes and underwear from her suitcase, rushed inside, and used less than twenty minutes to finish up a haphazard shower. Then, following a search all about to find a hairdryer, she blew her hair until it was mostly dry before walking out from the walk-in closet.

The incense was still burning slowly.

The heated pool was still being filled with water. The television was still playing a program.

But the man leaning back on the daybed-style sofa was asleep.

Stepping softly over to him, she leaned in close and asked quietly, “I’m done showering. Do you want to have a shower first and then go back to sleep?”

Jian Bianlin’s brow furrowed slightly, and he gave a light shake of his head.

She saw his short hair that had been dampened by cold sweat. Extending a finger, she wiped away the thin layer of perspiration that had broken out on his forehead and the bridge of his nose. Does it really hurt? She felt somewhat helpless, not knowing what she could do.

Jian Bianlin could sense that someone was touching him. His eyelashes fluttered slowly, twice. Opening his eyes slightly, he saw, under the blurry glow of the light, that face that was so near he could touch it.

He had been too tired and had hazily drifted off to sleep.

Those large eyes were filled with worry. Caught in a daze for a moment, he did not know whether this was a dream or reality.

“You’re awake? How about I get a warm towel for you to wipe down your hands and face, and then you can go back to sleep?” Chu Jian suggested gently. She felt he must be so tired that he could not be bothered to even move from there. This daybed sofa was large and soft anyway and would have no issues sleeping three or four people on it. “I’m going to bring a blanket over for you first.”

But before she had finished speaking, he suddenly grabbed her hand.

Her entire palm was forcefully brought over to press against his sweat-covered right cheek. His physical condition had tortured him to the point that there was a slight frailty and hoarseness in the timbre of his voice. “Chu Jian.”

Because of this action, she was also pulled toward him, her waist twisted, her body stiff, and her elbow beside his face, propping her up…

His already low voice dropped even further. “I was wrong…”

He was evidently only half-awake and was mumbling incoherently.

For several minutes, she remained paralyzed like this, until she detected that Jian Bianlin had once more fallen into a deep slumber. Her elbow unable to hold her up any longer, she dropped onto the daybed sofa with a thunk.

……

There, close to her, was his face.

His lashes silently covered the line of his closed eyelids. His teeth were clamping down slightly on his lower lip. He should have been in a terrible state of discomfort when he fell into sleep. Was he still in pain while asleep? Slowly, she reached her finger forward, gently, a little at a time, pushing his lower lip down and away from his teeth, trying to help him relax.

She could see very deep teeth marks…

Her finger could feel the tempo of his breathing.

Water still continued to splash down and fill the pool. The humidity in the entire room was rising, as was the temperature. All these tiny details that she was noticing were like a raging stream gushing into her heart, so rapid and crushing into her until her heart felt heavy and swollen. “I already made my promise to you; I’m not going to go back on my word…”

These were words that she absolutely would not say if he were awake.

But after saying them, she still felt they were sappy. Sitting up swiftly, she flusteredly pressed her palms together and rubbed them. Then, moving lightly, she fled from there.

© 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.

The following day, the scene was to be shot in a casino.

Jian Bianlin did not play an important role in this particular scene and was more like a backdrop, drinking water beside the second lead actor as that actor cut a deck of cards. The main lines of dialogue as well as the camera were all focused on the actor cutting the cards. Jian Bianlin’s responsibility was to drink some water with a normal expression, and then that would be good enough. At least, this was how Xie Bin had described it to Chu Jian.

So, she had naively believed that it would be very simple.

That completely was not the case, though.

He needed to consume the water with ferocity, where the liquid was slugged down in huge gulps to exhibit that his mental and emotional state were extremely volatile and that he very much was not calm and was actually extremely enraged. In short, he needed to demonstrate emotions.

Of course, when a man swigged water, more than half a bottle could be consumed in only a few gulps.

If there had only been one or two takes of the scene, then so be it.

Eventually, Chu Jian could not even watch anymore—she could not watch, for the nth time, Jian Bianlin’s actions of picking up one of those simplest of casino water bottles, twisting open the cap, and guzzling down the mineral water.

Midway through, Jian Bianlin somewhat was unable to take it anymore and, during a break, went to the washroom outside of the casino. Chu Jian left with him, walking along with his every step until they reached the door and she could not follow him inside, and then she watched as a male assistant went in with him.

© 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.

The instant Jian Bianlin ran inside, he shut the main bathroom door.

Next, it was the inner door.

Then, all the while still trying to suppress it, he began to throw up.

He tried with all his might to hold it in, not daring to make any noise. When his male assistant walked in after him, Jian Bianlin was covering his mouth with his right hand, controlling himself so that he did not vomit again. He normally was not so weak and fragile. At most, after drinking like that, he would just induce himself to vomit and then would continue drinking again. However, in recent days, his pain-tormented body could not handle these sorts of things, and he was utterly unable to suppress himself.

His assistant had turned pale with fright, thinking something was wrong with him.

When his body had at last completely calmed, he leaned back against the door and slowly blew out a breath. “Don’t worry. I just don’t want her to hear me throwing up.”

The assistant was dazed and, with the weight on his chest lifted, said quietly, “Jian Ge, you freaked me out just now.”

Jian Bianlin shook his head. “What’s there to be scared about? Drinking mineral water can’t kill you.”

As Jian Bianlin walked over to the sink and washed his hands, he discovered that his eyes were a little red and were also covered by a thick film of moisture. His brows creased together habitually, and, facing the mirror, he stood for a little while.

Only when he was about recuperated did he finally open the door.

Her heart quivering with trepidation, Chu Jian stepped forward to meet him. “Is anything wrong?”

Without speaking, Jian Bianlin shook his head.

Seeing the glisten in his eyes, as if they had been soaked in tears a moment ago, Chu Jian pulled on his sleeve. “Are you in pain again? Why don’t we just ask to take the time off? Can you use a stand-in? It’s not as if you have any lines. Can’t you just turn your face away a bit to drink the water? That way, you can use a stand-in, right? …”

Worry plagued Chu Jian’s heart, and her questions came piling out endlessly, one after the other.

He ceased his footsteps. All of a sudden, he bent at the waist, the stray hairs in front of his forehead slipping forward slightly, and gazed at her. Chu Jian was struck dumb. He leaned closer again. Before she had the chance to make the reflexive move of shirking away, he brushed up against her until his face nearly touched hers, whispering in her ear, “Don’t interfere with my work.”

She felt a little wounded but still very obediently nodded her head. “I understand.”

Jian Bianlin did not say any more. With quick strides, he returned to the casino.

© 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.

For this particular scene, the actor cutting the deck of cards took more than twenty takes in all.

Chu Jian totaled the numbers up. In three hours, he had altogether chugged down at least fifteen bottles of mineral water…

When work wrapped up for the day, it was obvious he would not be able to get any food down.

That evening, Xie Bin informed them that he needed to leave Macau for a few days. When he was departing, Xie Bin noticed the look of misery on Chu Jian’s face and knew that the sight during the daytime had upset her. Patting her on the shoulder, he comforted, “Really, it’s nothing. Men, you know. What’s the big deal about drinking a few bottles of water? It just happened to be right at the time when he’s sick, so he just felt a little unwell.”

“Evil, callous agent,” Chu Jian grumbled.

Xie Bin laughed gleefully. “Eh? What’s this? Haven’t you guys only been together for a couple of days, and now you’re already cherishing and doting on him like he’s your hubby? Fine, fine, I’m the evil, callous one. You go, then, and give him lots of love.”

Chu Jian was embarrassed.

From the corner of her eye, she saw Jian Bianlin looking at a musical score and holding the guitar that Xie Bin had instructed someone to send over, all the while leaning back to rest on a throw pillow beside the small in-room pool.

Supposedly, his shoot tonight also had a scene like. She was not certain, but perhaps, because Jian Bianlin had had his start as the singer of a band, this scene had been written and tailored specifically to him. In any case, this one did not need a stand-in, either; he could step right in and personally do the scene.

© 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.

With a wave of his hand, Xie Bin left.

Chu Jian poured a glass of warm water and set it down on the marble ledge by his foot. After wavering between whether to climb up with him or not, in the end, she took a seat by the daybed-style sofa beside the pool, separated from him by a narrow marble ledge. She was sitting down low; he was sitting up high.

Photograph of the daybed sofa and marble ledge beside the in-room pool in the Banyan Tree Macau Cotai Pool Suite (image credit). Note that the room type is not specified in the novel and the author may not be envisioning this one specifically. Images have been included only to provide readers an approximate idea.

“Was it in third year uni”—Chu Jian was trying to call up the memory—“or fourth year that you won the competition?”

“Fourth.” He gave a final flip through the music score and then closed it.

“What song was it?”

The Rose.”

Since high school, he had been fond of playing the guitar. He had had good grades and good looks, and on top of those, he had liked this hobby. The label, “refined rogue,” truly had not been given to him baselessly. Back then, he had been a hot commodity when it came time for any sort of event and had often been asked by other classes to perform and add to the fun. However, besides Class No. 9, no one had ever successfully invited him.

“You’ve never heard it?” Jian Bianlin asked.

Chu Jian thought for a moment, then shook her head. “I don’t think I have.”

“I sang it in Class No. 9 before.”

“Huh? When?”

“Last year of high school.” Holding the guitar, Jian Bianlin lightly strummed his fingers over it a few times. His entire expression, from the look in his eyes to the one on his face, was neutral, with nothing unusual about it, and he told her in an unhurried voice, “The New Year’s Gala.”

Last year of high school? Chu Jian curled herself up and hugged her arms around her knees, not uttering a word. That year’s New Year’s party had been the one where she had been furtively asked down to the bicycle storage area by one of the boys in her grade, and then that someone had confessed his feelings for her… When she had gone back later, one of the girls in her class had excitedly told her that Class No. 1’s Jian Bianlin had come and sung a song.

With an almost imperceptible glance at her, Jian Bianlin rested his back completely into the throw pillow. Crossing one leg on top of the other, he picked up the guitar and, without any warning, began plucking its strings. This song was one he was simply too familiar with, not because he had won some sort of prize with it, but because he had practiced it too many times.

Over and over, he strummed, but in a soft voice, he sang only one unconnected line of lyrics:

I say love, it is a flower, and you, its only seed…”

© 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]As Hong Kong and Macau are special administrative regions (SAR) of China, when travelling to and from one or both of these places, Chinese national who reside in Mainland China are required to obtain a special travel permit called 往来港澳通行证 Exit-Entry Permit for Travelling to and from Hong Kong and Macau (also simply called the Two-Way Permit or the Valid Exit-Entry Permit (EEP) to HK/Macau).

© 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.

Additional Comments:

Since in the novel, Jian Bianlin is mainly just picking at his guitar and sings only one line, I decided to link an acoustic solo version of The Rose. If you want a male cover of the song to help with your imagining, there’s this one.

Gah, my heart clenched a bit when I was doing the edits. Jian Bianlin’s expression is impassive here as he tells her about the song he had performed in high school, but back then, on that day when he had hoped to use a song to express his feelings for her, another boy had come in ahead of him. It must still pain him to think of that day. To this day, that song still rolls naturally off his fingers.

 

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

 

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33 thoughts on “My Darling (我的曼达林) — Chapter 4.2

  1. AHHHHH, poor JB! No wonder he got into that vicious fight….but hehehe such an actor he must be to have such a neutral expression in front of CJ. The only consolation is knowing that he finally he gets the girl in the end! 🙂

    Thank you!!!

    • Not justifying his actions back then, just that you can kind of see that he was probably already quite hurt that she had not even bothered going to his performance, and then to find out the news that someone else was her boyfriend… Still, he knows that his actions back then were wrong.

      Probably partly because he’s an actor and partly out of personality. He’s never been one to show his emotions, even when they were kids.

      Yes, he gets the girl!

  2. Oh no, poor JB 😦
    I’m glad to see CJ opening up and putting her all into the relationship though, they’re both so sweet and it sucks that they have to go through so much to be together 😦
    Thanks for the translations!

    • Poor Jian Bianlin. 😦

      Think of it this way. They have 20+ years of friendship as a foundation. Even considering that the last 8-10 years where things have been awkward, they still have genuinely cared about one another and Chu Jian hasn’t wanted to let go of that friendship. So, if they can get through this period, grow up, learn to understand one another, it will be so, so good. 🙂

      You’re welcome!

  3. It’s me asianbolt. Just wanted to change my display name.
    Not trying to brag, but I have been there and can say with authority that the room is damn good.
    Why is it that every chapter ending ends up stabbing my already weak heart?! *cries*

    • But why calculus? Why not jianbianlinfanatic? Or zhoushengchenfanatic? Or gunfanatic (hmm… that could be misconstrued… maybe hanshangyanfanatic? (Gu Pingsheng and Toupai are left to me!) Haha… or hojufanatic. 😉

      Hmph. Jealous.
      Actually, I haven’t been to Macau since I was seven years old, despite going to Asia several times since then. Hmmm…. maybe I should plan a trip.

      It gradually improves. The heart stabbing is to make some holes so that we can pour the sweet, sweet honey in in the later chapters.

      • LOL. It was difficult to choose between hoju and calculus. But in the end, Calculus won out! 😛 I’m not kidding though. I really do love your translations, and if I could, I would wrangle an interview out of you!
        BTW, can I know how to contact Mo Bao Fei Bao, hoju? I would love to work as an intern or some position similar to that. Mind you, my Chinese knowledge is dangerously limited. But maybe, once my exams and high school is done, I could travel all the way to China to work under my most favorite author!

  4. Those moments of sappiness and affectiin from chu jian left no doubt that jian bianlin would be able to get her he just didn’t the chance to do so years ago. And this is the right place and right time for them. It’s so nice to ride along on their way to falling in love with each other or watch chu jian catch up to jian bianlin’s love for her.

    As always your efforts are very much appreciated Hoju! 😊😊😊

    • I don’t think Chu Jian doesn’t have any hidden love for Jian Bianlin that she never discovered. I think she has finally allowed herself to put on a different pair of glasses to try to view him in a different light. And she will eventually start noticing things she never noticed before. 🙂

      They both have stuff to learn about each other and themselves. But with 20 years of friendship as their foundation, once they get past the barriers, they don’t even have to go through the “getting to know each other” phase like a lot of couples have to.

      You’re very welcome!

  5. The room pictures helped a lot! That’s neat, that you found one that is so close to the description.

    • I’m so glad they were helpful. The novel specified that the hotel they were staying in in Macau was Banyan Tree. All I did was search up the different types of rooms. The room types have certainly similar features between all of them, so I may not have chosen the exact one that MBFB had in mind, but it still isn’t far off.

  6. Is it that why he punched that guy. Think about failed plan to woo the girl 😅😅

    • Failed plans hurt. 😉

      Novel doesn’t say that he just punched him. It says that Chu Jian saw him and the other guy fighting, and the other party was more severely hurt. It also doesn’t state what the catalyst for the fight was. However, I’m sure finding out the girl that he loved for all those years was suddenly someone’s girlfriend did not help his emotional state. Then, something happened and he and the guy got in a fight.

      Regardless, it was a stupid thing that he did when he was an irrational adolescent, and you will read that in his heart, he regrets that event. 🙂

  7. he can finally pass on the song for CJ to listen

  8. Poor JB 🤢! Thank you so much Hoju!! 😘😘😘

  9. Thank you for the new chapter!
    Xie Bin is evil! Evil! Well, he did gave somewhat a push that the couple need, but a bully nonetheless!

    • LOL. I don’t see how he bullied them, but I certainly do see how he schemed. Sometimes, a little “helping hand” from an outside party can speed things up a little.

      You’re welcome!

  10. Thank you for the chapter, Hoju!
    High school melancholia, make me remember some sad memory 😖😖😖
    Three month ago, I was in relationship with my high school friend. We try to become more than friend but alas she can’t be. There is some wall that make me thought, we are not mean together.

    Nevertheless, reading this story make me sad, happy, and glad in my busy days. Somehow it like broken heart therapy 😌

    • I’m sorry to hear that. Relationships are such remarkable things. So many times, the whirlwind of emotions that you can experience can be like riding the ocean in a violent storm, but yet people still pursue relationships because the potential of experiencing the waterfall of love that can come over you or the comfort it can bring, like a gentle brook, causes us to willingly take on the risk of another storm at sea. I pray that you will find your gentle brook or waterfall soon. 🙂

      Sad, happy, and glad are all part and parcel of being in a relationship. I’m glad this novel’s relationship has therefore touched you in such a realistic way and can bring a little smile to your face.

      Thanks for reading.

  11. thank you for this chapter!! it really means a lot that you put so much work into finding us picture examples, and video examples to further deepen our connection to the story!!

    • You’re very welcome! Thank you for the kind encouragement, and knowing that the little things do help you guys gives me motivation to keep doing more. 🙂

  12. I am loving the blooming of relationship between these two. 🙂

  13. What I really like about this story is how he’s portrayed as a scary guy because of his actions; his good looks doesn’t excuse his obsession and extreme jealousy. This is much different from other stories that I’ve started and quit reading.

    Thanks for translating. I’m looking forward to more.

    • I agree that I like how hits story does not justify his fight with the other guy. It was wrong, and if I were Chu Jian, I would be shocked and scared after seeing him do that, too. The fight and the fact that he didn’t apologize to anyone about it after have had consequences on his relationship with the girl he’s always loved.

      However, I don’t think of him as a “scary guy.” As I mentioned before, the incident was in their adolescence, when we often do really… well, really stupid things, and reactions are often taken to more extremes. Doesn’t make the violent reaction right. Doesn’t mean that Chu Jian should not be scared. Just that I don’t think it constitutes a psychological issue.

      I like that there is a complexity to these characters. They are flawed. If you read through the comments, you’ll see you guys, the readers, are quite evenly split on who your hearts tend to sympathize more with, but most of you can acknowledge in your mind that neither is Chu Jian or Jian Bianlin is totally wrong or totally right.

      Thanks for reading. 🙂

  14. Thank you for your translation.

  15. Thank you for the chapter~

  16. Awww their love is like that fragile flower at the moment. I have to say I’d have zero resistance to that kind of serenade 🙂

  17. It’s almost as though he’s trying to rewind the clock, and start again a the point before it went sideways. And she is method acting her way into the relationship (from the outside in; actions to create/enhance understanding and emotions). That’s interesting, since he acts, and she is [relative to their relationship] in many ways stuck back in time.

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