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Fangirling Chinese Novels

My Darling (我的曼达林) — Chapter 5.5

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I like how this chapter offers us insight into both the leads’ minds. They are both thinking, “What can I do to help him/her/situation…?” And Chu Jian makes what is a big move for her.

Chapter 5.5 — Age-Old Jealousies (5)

Chu Jian had been busy with work since arriving back at home. There was going to be a large trade show in Guangzhou, and she was responsible for receiving and hosting the company representatives from certain Japanese and Korean brands. This was a critical task, as only if these representatives felt well taken care of would she continue to hold the exclusive distribution rights of their products.

When Chu Jian first started up her business, the nail art industry was still focused on the low-end, affordable market.

After Chu Jian graduated, one of her university classmates married and moved to Japan, and this classmate hooked her up to become the exclusive distributor of a high-end brand of products. With this one move, she opened up the high-end market… Anyhow, Chu Jian had always felt that her luck had been quite good, and her business start-up had been very successful.

© 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.

Her busyness carried on until nearly midnight when, at last able to catch her breath, she stepped out from her bedroom.

She was so famished her stomach was growling, so naturally, she remembered that pot of soup in the kitchen. Shuffling closer for a look, she grew even hungrier.

Earlier on, as she made arrangements for various matters, she had endured hunger and thought about work as well as reflected on the current state between the two of them.

It seemed—her eyes glanced at the clock in the living room—it was really late already. It was not possible that he still hadn’t eaten, right?

He was still sick.

Turning the knob of the natural gas stove, she ignited the flame of the burner and reheated the broth. After ladling out a small bowl, she silently began to eat and, while she was at it, amble back and forth inside the kitchen, doing some mental processing and persuasion of herself.

Eventually, while still eating, as if guided by an unknown force, she walked up to the front door and unlocked it. Chu Jian was still wavering over whether she should invite him over to have dinner. What if he talked about marriage again; what should she do?

Before she had a chance to even bring her hand back down, the door was pushed opened by a crack.

Jian Bianlin had merely wanted to give it a try and see whether she had locked the door from the inside, but to his surprise, it had opened with a single twist of the knob. While he was still hesitating over whether he should close the door and do that step over again, knocking and addressing her first, she had already pulled the door open from the inside.

© 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.

Beneath the white glow of the corridor light, Jian Bianlin was there, dressed in the middle of winter in only a thin, black short-sleeved shirt made of cotton. He had been too anxious when he ran out and had forgotten to slip on a jacket.

Beneath the warm amber light of the front entryway, Chu Jian was there, a half a slice of bamboo shoot still between her lips. Seeing him, she slurped the remainder into her mouth and then asked blankly, “Have… you eaten dinner yet?”

Almost at the exact same time, Jian Bianlin’s eyes darkened. “Why haven’t you had dinner until now?”

And then, simultaneous again—

Chu Jian: “I was working just now.”

Jian Bianlin: “No, I haven’t eaten.”

……

Chu Jian silently ate that bamboo shoot. Jian Bianlin finally did not say anything this time. In an unclear mumble, she told him, “Hurry in here if you haven’t eaten. I just heated it up.”

With the scuffing sound of her slippers, Chu Jian dashed back inside. Jian Bianlin trailed in after her, his eyes brushing over the table to take in the sight of the dish of sauce—it had been used. He then observed her subtle expressions as she ate. By the looks of it, the food should have been cooked to her liking. Famished as well, he also dished out a bowl of soup for himself, and standing so that he rested against the side of the kitchen sink, he drank a couple of mouthfuls.

Previously, anxiousness had gnawed at his heart, so naturally his empty stomach had felt uncomfortable.

After knowing now that her belly was not suffering from hunger, his mind was set at ease, and because he had also consumed a couple of mouthfuls of food, his stomach, which earlier had been twisted and seized up with all its might, gradually relaxed, too. He was about to use his chopsticks to shovel some more of the soup’s contents into his mouth when Chu Jian quietly walked in and gazed at him, her empty bowl in her hand.

Now that they had each fed themselves half full, the effects of the series of disagreements that had arisen as a result of that unimportant phone call once again emerged.

“Jian Bianlin.” After holding everything in for so long, only a few words came forth from Chu Jian’s mouth, and it was his name at that.

Jian Bianlin reached out his hand, took the empty bowl she had been clutching, and set it into the stainless steel sink with a gentle thud. Then, he lowered his head and continued eating.

Chu Jian’s lips turned up into a pout, and in her mind, she grumbled, Fine, just suffocate yourself to death from holding everything in.

© 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 smog in Beijing has been particularly bad these past few days. Several of my schoolmates took air quality measurements indoors, and the pollution levels were way over safe levels. Could you wait a few days before going back? I’m scared your health can’t handle it.” Huh? Why was she talking about smog levels? Gee, she sure was saying one thing but really wanting to talk about another.

Jian Bianlin had evidently noticed that she was randomly searching for things to talk about. Truthfully, even if she had not, he would have done the same. But it was also apparent that Chu Jian’s personality was much more suited to this role. Moreover, based on his understanding of Chu Jian, no matter how far she wandered, she would always return to the true subject.

What did she want to say? Did she want to tell him, “We are not suited for each other”?

Bringing his eyes down, Jian Bianlin carried on eating while making himself stay clearheaded and calm. Regardless of what she said, he could not allow himself to do or say anything that was out of line again.

So, Chu Jian began to ramble, from smog to the telephone conversation she had had just earlier on with Uncle Jian in which she told him to please not casually play matchmaker anymore. And then she went on to explain how that big family dog of Jian Bianlin’s might have fallen into a bit depression after her mom brought the dog to the kennel. Then she talked about…

Stumped for topics. What could she continue saying?

Chu Jian finally halted.

Jian Bianlin’s hand that was holding his chopsticks paused.

“Jian Bianlin,” she addressed him, “have you calmed down yet?”

He placed his own bowl and chopsticks into the sink also and turned on the tap, running cold water first while waiting for the kitchen water heater to kick in. Only then did he remember that he also needed dish detergent.

“So are we considered… done quarreling, and we’ve made up now?”

Such familiar words. He had even nearly forgotten that this was her favourite thing to ask.

When they were quite little, she did not like doing homework and often broke his things as well—just a variety of hateful acts that were simply too numerous to list individually. He actually could not even been bothered to pick those bones with her. He would pretend to snap angrily at her, only because he had found it amusing and liked to see her put on a pitiful and sad expression, but inside, he would also turn his nose up in contempt at himself for being so petty.

In the end, after a long time of introspection and examining the error of her ways, she would always come over in a dawdling jog and ask him, “Are we done quarrelling, and we’ve made up 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.

Chu Jian gazed at that pot of food, giving herself a target that she could fix her eyes on.

Well, then, how could she say what she wanted to say next?

Chu Jian heaved a sigh. “Just look. It doesn’t matter who it is; when anyone is dating anyone else, they will need to slowly learn how to be together and get to know each other, right? Me and Xu Jing… In the twenty-five years and four months that I’ve been alive, that relationship practically is negligible and can be omitted. If we really were to talk about who I’ve dated, you’re the one who should be considered my true and proper…”

Chu Jian was silent for several seconds before she gave him the definitive term: “… first love.”

So why did you need to have such a big reaction? Of course, she did not say this last sentence aloud.

Chu Jian truly felt that she had been wronged. All these years, he had pressured her to the point that she had never even properly dated anyone, and it had not been an easy feat to now finally begin what could be considered quite a serious relationship. Although this relationship in the end was still with him and, in fact, when they began it, there had been a sense that she had been forced to “try it out” and could not back out of it, at least they truly were officially together.

She had only just adjusted to this change in their relationship and the awkwardness was just gradually lessening, and then he wanted to move their relationship forward by a huge leap…

Chu Jian simply could not hold herself back as she added, “But you can’t expect that, in just a few days, I’m going to love you like your fans do, so extreme and intense and willing to die for you. Can we not just take things slowly?”

© 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.

Quiet was once again restored in the kitchen.

Someone who had just survived a calamity—that was what he felt like right now.

After thoroughly washing all the dishes, wiping them dry, and placing them into the sterilizer, he grabbed a towel and dried off the water on his fingers. Then, turning around, he tilted his head down slightly to look at the girl who seemed to be standing a little too close to him.

He was thinking, how could he explain that that sentence about getting married had been a product of momentary rashness? Even though he really wanted to get married, he also had ample patience to wait for her. It was just that every person experiences emotional ups and downs…

Chu Jian’s greatest and most distinctive trait was her patience, that she was good at waiting. And so, after saying those words, she simply waited for him to complete everything that he was doing…

She was thinking, what did she need to do in order to give him the assurance and sense of security that he needed?

However, even after contemplating on this for a long while, she still did not dare move. She could say that she at last understood what was meant by the saying, “a giant in thinking, a dwarf in action.”

Her gaze glided from his eyes to his nose and continued downward, then self-consciously shifted away…

For some reason, Jian Bianlin had what must be a mistaken feeling that she wanted to kiss him.

But she actually had not moved.

This feeling was somewhat agonizing to him… His right hand haphazardly slid over those short hairs that lay across his forehead, smoothing those locks and, at the same time, also giving himself a way to divert his attention.

There was an unexpected downward tug on his sleeve. Then, he watched as Chu Jian swiftly rose onto her toes, brought herself up to him—

Jian Bianlin was utterly, completely one hundred and twenty beats behind in his reaction. His arm was still raised in midair and his fingers were still in the middle of combing through his short locks when, just like that, her lips softly pecked his lower lip.

He was a little unsure of what had happened.

He was even still in a dazed stupor and seemed to have sensed that her lips were a little moist…

That night, it could finally be said that Jian Bianlin truly, personally understood what it meant to have one’s desire fulfilled.

© 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 hour later, Xie Bin, who had long since gone to bed in the guest bedroom, also genuinely understood what the meaning of “living hell” was, because since coming back, Jian Bianlin was watching a movie in the study with the volume cranked. And it consisted completely of gunfight scenes…

Hugging his quilt, Xie Bin thought he was about to have a breakdown. He was a kind, caring agent who had not slept in more than thirty hours. Had it not been for the fact that his home was being renovated and he had wanted to come here so that he would be able to sleep in, he would not have even had to endure hunger and torment. Plus, he needed to take care of the psychological counseling of this hottest artiste under his management to ensure that work and life were not affected…

He had thought that since Jian Bianlin had been over there for half an hour and still had not been kicked out and sent back, everything should have been resolved already…

With a low, anguished cuss, he sent a message to Tong Fei:

I’ll give you a hefty red packet[1]. Just hurry and fix those two up together so that there’s no nonsense and they get married and have babies. I won’t send him down the idol route. I’ll shape him with my own hands toward a future where his image will be the old uncle type…

Shortly after he sent this out, Tong Fei’s reply came:

Haha! Everything can be discussed, Xie Zong. I have only one question. I heard that someone once dug up that piece of gossip about Jian Bianlin from back when he was in that singing competition, but you forked out a ton of cash to quell that rumour. Tell me secretly, was that true or not?

© 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] 红包 “hong bao.” “Red envelopes” or “red packets” are referring to monetary gifts put inside red envelopes.

© 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
19 of 36 Chapter segments
0 of 1 Epilogue

 

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41 thoughts on “My Darling (我的曼达林) — Chapter 5.5

  1. psychological counseling? LOLLLL Xie Bin is truly dedicated.

    Thank you for the hard work!

  2. 😱 finally! Jian Bian Lin is truly amazing and Chu Lian is finally putting him first 😉 I love the cute agent of JBL too 😉

    • Amazing an, at the same time, with his own set of faults. I think from the moment Chu Jian agreed to “try it out” with him, she chose that she would put him first. The first time she demonstrated this was when she flew all the way to Macau. She’s keeping her promise and (like Zhousheng Chen), teaching herself how to love this person.

      Xie Bin and Tong Fei… Hahaha. Maybe we should hook them up. 😉

  3. As always this coupke does not disappoint in making me giggles. Chu Jian is definitely more proactive when it comes to being open to each other in their relationship. I sometimes imagine Jiang Bianlin like a kettle that’s full of boiling water. He’s such an overthinker or should I say he keeps too many things to himself. I like how their relationship progresses slowly but realistically. Thank you so much for this wonderful chapter Hoju!! 😘😘

    • I’m glad you’re liking this couple. 🙂

      Chu Jian is definitely more putting action to her thoughts. Jian Bianlin is working everything out in his mind, thinking how he can explain things to her, planning to try to break the ice, but then Chu Jian beats him to it in the execution part. He’s the true “giant in thinking” but he’s not even a “dwarf in action;” he’s more like “an ant in action.”

      It is slow, and it is realistic. I didn’t appreciate that realistic part and the flawed characters as much the first time I read the novel (and in fact, felt like banging my head in frustration at times), but my subsequent re-reads makes me appreciate that these characters are actually closer to real life people than some of the other ones we’ve read about.

      Thank you for reading. 🙂

  4. Lol Xie Bin and Tong Fei are funny! And our OTP…. *sighs dreamily* they’re so damn adorable!!!

    • I’m thinking what a funny pair Tong Fei and Xie Bin would make. See, I told you, you like the silent, brooding types.

      (BTW, forgot to ask a while back, have you settled on your school yet?)

      • Not yet. I’m thinking of applying for the Spring Intake. I applied only to UPenn and they’d replied back in the affirmative. But I didn’t really like their CompScience and am prefering Harvard or Stanford. Or I guess I’ll just take a break year or something! It’s so sweet of you to remember *blushes* 🙂

        • UPenn is where Gu Pingsheng studied. 😉 Of course, that was med school, but still…

          Good luck with everything!

  5. Thankyou Hoju. Haha chu jian totally surprised me. Happy for JBL, i thk he’d gladly shorten his life in exchange for CJ’s displays of affection

    • Including Jian Bianlin, that makes two of you, then. 😉

      Oh he would, he would. Thankfully, the author is a kind “mother” of all her “children” and won’t make him shorten his life for it.

  6. guess Jian Bianlin won’t be able to sleep tonight xD

  7. Thank you for the translation, Hoju~
    Guess JB get more step into CJ, huh??

    • You’re welcome!

      I think Jian Bianlin is thinking in his mind how to explain things, but Chu Jian is the one who took the step this time. And he’s on cloud 9 because of it!

  8. Oh what a nice chapter ^^ thanks for the update~

  9. Thanks for the update 😉

  10. I was frustrated to see him didn’t say a word while she tried to say her thoughts…
    Thank you for your hard work Hoju ❤

    • Haha. In my first read, I felt the same way. (If you read my introduction before I started the translation, I mentioned how I wished he would just open his mouth and talk.) This flawed personality trait of not talking is something that Chu Jian is going to have to work with, probably for a long, long time. My husband is the same. That whole thing Jian Bianlin did with going to wash the dishes instead of answering is something my husband has done! LOL. His automatic response is to retreat to silence, to mentally process everything and analyze the situation/causes/etc, whereas I’m like Chu Jian and HAVE to get it off my chest verbally. It’s taken years for him to learn how to speak, and usually he’s still not the first to volunteer to do so, although he’s no longer like the Jian Bianlin of the novel.

      So, I feel your frustration, but I also understand Chu Jian and how, though frustrating, if she is willing to, she can work with it. Because verbal expression is not part of his inherent makeup, it can take a long, long, long, long time to help him learn, if that is what she believes is important in their relationship. To be honest, I’ve learned that not everything has to be spoken aloud, too. Haha…I’ll just say, Chu Jian, I sympathize.

      Thank you for your comment!

  11. 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 finally!! Thank you so much Hoju!! 😘😘😘

  12. “Tell me secretly, was that true or not?” TELL ME TELL ME!! haha.

    Waaahh, i like this action. CJ, you go girl!!!

    Ah, aaaahhh.. i want the live action!!! L.O.V.E…

    Thanks hoju 😀

    • You have to stand patiently in line and wait… No jumping the queue.

      You like girls who take initiative. 😉 But what do you mean by “live action”? Hahaha

      You’re welcome!

  13. Thank you for your translation.

  14. This is very nice chapter👍🏼But the last part left me asking, what happened with the red packets?? Very intriguing. Will absolutely wait for the next chapter to arrive. 😘👌🏼

    • Well, Xie Bin isn’t handing out any red packets until Tong Fei has made sure those two are together and have made some babies. Hahaha…

      Thanks for waiting. Next chapter up soon!

  15. Thank you for the new chapter!
    Seriously, JB, you need to talk more and not let CJ do all the talking. Your little outburst of wanting to get married was actually cute, lol. Don’t worry, and just speak, lol.

    • You’re welcome!

      He does need to. Every relationship needs communication. Verbal communication is not the only form, though, and there are other ways to express what you may need to “say.” However, it is still an essential part, and he will need to learn. The amount of verbal communication varies depending on each couple, though, and Chu Jian definitely needs to speak what’s on her chest, but I glean that she does not require that Jian Bianlin speak everything on his chest. Some, yes, but I think she is willing to work with him and his personality. I feel he’s the type that processes mentally, and once he ‘s done that, he’s okay with everything. He doesn’t need to verbalize in order to feel things have resolved. Unfortunately, some, but not all, problems can be dealt with in that way.

      LOL. The poor guy wasn’t trying to be cute.

  16. Wow CJ passing through the awkwardness and took the initiative to kiss JBL, esp his lips 😳

  17. Thank you for the chapter~

  18. pffft – gunfight scenes as a substitute for a cold shower? Too funny! Xie Bin is also hilarious 😛

    • Oh my… I wasn’t even thinking in the “cold shower” direction. I just thought he needed some background noise (gunfight scenes?!) to calm his racing heart.
      The poor, kind, caring agent is looking for some sympathy. LOL.

  19. Poor Xie Bin, the life of an agent…
    So, Jian Bianlin celebrates with action movies. hehehehe I celebrate with popcorn and pasta. Both go great with a movie.

  20. He really needs to talk things out…..His silence is pretty frustrating….

  21. Yay for Chu Jian’s move hehe. Thanks a lot, hoju ❤

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