Fangirling Chinese Novels

My Darling (我的曼达林) — Chapter 8.1


Some housekeeping stuff first. I am heading to China and, as of next update, will be gone until the end of July. Same vacation procedure as last time, so many of you will be familiar with this.

  • While I am away, you will still get your updates. I have translated the subsequent chapters already and scheduled them to post at the usual posting times of Tuesday/Friday evenings, N. American time. (Forgive me if there are more errors than usual. I’ve tried, but with so many posts to prep, I’m sure I let a lot slip through the cracks. Another round of edits will occur when I return.)
  • Since I’m in China, I may have sporadic access (or no access!) to the blog, so I will not be replying to comments like I usually do. Of course, please don’t let that stop you from commenting. I still promise to read every single one when I’m back but won’t be able to respond individually to them because of sheer volume of backlog. I will be back a few days after the very last chapter for this story is posted. You can put in an @hoju if there is something you specifically want me to respond to when I’m home.
  • Peanuts is also on vacation for the next while, but she has offered to help me keep an eye out to make sure technology actually works and everything gets posted at the correct times. Thanks, Peanuts! 🙂
  • Next/previous chapter links and index may not get updated until I get back. Thanks for your patience on that.

That’s it! See you all in a month-ish!

An evening of reminiscing, and also, the significance of the ring! And LOL at the last thing that Jian Bianlin says in this chapter.

Chapter 8.1 — Your Smile that is Even More Enchanting (1)

The lightbulbs that hung from the limbs of a tree outside the corner store were bright, and Chu Jian needed to shift her gaze away from their radiance. The backs of her ears burning hot, she tossed back a sentence of “I’m not even going to pay any attention to you” and ran back down the lane along the way she had come.

Surrounded by the veil of the night, Jian Bianlin could not help letting out a laugh.

Too anxious. You’re too anxious, Jian Bianlin.

The old saying was right: When people are extremely happy, they, indeed, will forget themselves.

Stretching and moving his arms about for a little bit, he very contentedly brought his hands behind his head and linked them together to prop up his head as well as his neck that was achy from filming for an entire day.

Staring after Chu Jian’s backside, he truly felt that even just her action of walking was incredibly adorable…

© 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.

When the two returned empty-handed and stepped again into the small restaurant, the uncle-like restaurant owner was gnawing on chicken feet. Seeing that the two had come back, he beamingly prattled, “Good thing I saw that your bike was still here; otherwise I would have thought that you had run off.” Saying this, he brought out their food and laid it out. On that table, if it was not a chicken dish, then it was an egg dish, but Jian Bianlin still savoringly enjoyed the food. This was the first meal he had consumed this whole day.

It had been rather late when he arrived on location at noon and he had still needed to get the “tattoo” hand-painted onto his back. That had been an intricate and painstaking piece of work where he had been unable to move in the slightest, so he had not told the makeup artist that he had not even had the chance to have a drink of water.

Concerned that it would be unsafe if he brought her back at too late an hour, Jian Bianlin scarfed down the food until he was half-full. Gulping down a couple of mouthfuls of warm water to help his stomach feel better, he went over and exchanged a couple of words with the uncle-like restaurant owner. The uncle gave a “hee hee” of laughter, then picked up his coat and walked out. Soon, he returned, having bought the item that Jian Bianlin needed…

After a single glimpse at that item, Chu Jian did not dare look that uncle in the eye anymore.

Forcing herself to put on a pretense of composure, she picked up the last piece of chicken with her chopsticks and put it into her mouth. Slowly, she separated the meat from the bone with her teeth before bowing her head and spitting out the bone. Of course, beneath that table where a third person could not possibly see, she gave a fierce stomp on Jian Bianlin’s foot.

So hard. He was wearing military boots. It was destined that he would feel no pain from that, but he did feel something.

He lifted his eyelids to look at her. She glared back at him. But then, her face flushed first and she shifted her eyes away to look elsewhere.


© 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.

When they later returned to the little inn, the production cast and crew had also just finished eating.

The place that they were staying in was a little inn that had been completely reserved by the film team. Although it was called an inn, it was so simple and basic that it really was not all that different from a farm dwelling. There was no specified dining room. Everyone ate on the first floor, where several large, round tables had been pulled together, and that was it. Chu Jian was not paying attention when she walked through the door and ran into the dried chili peppers and corn that were hanging outside the doorway. So she, the one who had wanted to sneak in quietly, ended up creating a huge noise.

The people who were sitting at those several large tables all, one after the other, looked in her direction.

Chu Jian was thin-skinned. Now that her presence had been discovered, she was too embarrassed to simply return quietly to their room, so nudging Jian Bianlin, she insisted that they take a seat at Xie Bin’s table.

“What good stuff did you get to eat?” Tong Fei nibbled on her chopsticks. “You left us all here with nothing to eat but the air, eh?”

Chu Jian swept her eyes over the leftovers on the table. Although the meal was basically finished, she could still tell that the balance between meat and vegetables had been well-coordinated and reasonable. Besides, she had eaten yesterday’s lunch and it was obvious that the film team’s hired cook was skilled in his trade.

“Does it even matter what they ate? When you have love, even water satiates.” Xie Bin was gleeful as he quipped, “Isn’t that true, eh, Xiao Yu?”

Xiao Yu immediately chimed in, “That’s right, Ge!”

Everyone laughed.

Just now when the two were not here, by everyone’s request, Xie Bin had summarized briefly that this girlfriend who was by Jian Bianlin’s side was Jian Bianlin’s first love. The two were childhood friends and would marry sooner or later, so there was no need to keep their relationship a secret from all the staff and crew. The two words “first love” truly had shocked quite a few people. Those sitting in the room had all experienced many years of ups and downs within the entertainment circle, so they had seen all the weird and wacky romantic relationships that could exist.

All except this type. This type of relationship that Jian Bianlin had was one they had never seen before.

And so, everyone began to recall all the little details between the two of them since the commencement of filming, and as they thought more and more, they began to sentimentally reminisce about their own experiences. What does one’s first love represent? It is not simply “love;” it also embodies “youth.”

Therefore, even before Chu Jian and Jian Bianlin had stepped into the room, the conversations had already been going at a high, and their appearance only pushed everyone up another level.

Work the following day was not going to begin until the afternoon and no one had to rise early, so by the end, every table had opened up quite a bit of alcohol. Eventually, the drinks went to everybody’s heads. Never mind the older people who were more senior in experience;v even Xiao Yu, a relative newcomer, had grabbed the Macau-native Lin Shen and poured out his story on how he had come into the industry, plus all those darn ups and downs and setbacks that he had experienced.

There were not as many stories of glory and glamour as one would think. The more wealth that is amassed in an industry, the more pragmatic and hard-nosed that industry is.

At the doorway, there were even two people who had broken out into tears from their conversation…

© 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.

As Chu Jian watched the drunken antics and overflowing feelings of all those people in the foyer and outside the door, many memories of the things that had happened in her adolescent days were called up in her mind—memories regarding Jian Bianlin.

At the very beginning of high school, there was one time when she was riding her bicycle home with one of the girls in their school who lived nearby her. They had just gotten out the gates of the school when they saw Jian Bianlin walking and pushing his bicycle, and furthermore, his tire was flat… At the time, she had even wanted to go over and ask him whether he wanted to go home together with them, but then two girls, each pushing a bicycle, came chasing after him. “Jian Bianlin, did your bike break down?” Out of curiosity, Chu Jian had thrown a couple of extra glances in that direction.

The female classmate who was riding beside Chu Jian burst out in laughter, and tugging on Chu Jian’s arm, she had commented, “Nowadays, it’s so entertaining to watch girls try to pursue a guy. That guy there from Class No. 1, his bike tire’s valve stem core has been pulled out every day, just to create the opportunity to walk home together after school and talk to him.” Chu Jian had been dumbstruck when she heard this. That certainly was original and creative.

Later, in the second semester of that first year of high school, this type of occurrence had become so commonplace that it no longer brought any surprise.

The boy who had drawn the most gazes in both the middle and high school campuses had been he.

One time, when it was her turn to stand at the entrance of the school and inspect school badges, she had seen his surname “Jian” blatantly written in thin pen on the uniforms of two girls. Chu Jian had discovered the one in the morning. It was a girl dressed in the frog-green uniform of the middle school, and the character had been written on the cuff of her sleeve. The classmate standing beside Chu Jian while they were on watch duty had discovered the other one during the noon break. That classmate’s reaction had been like she had just discovered the New World, nudging Chu Jian with her elbow and exclaiming, “Look, look!” This time, it was the red and white uniform of the high school campus, and the small words “Jian Bianlin” had been written in paint marker right on the collar.

Every school has a few boys like this who fill this type of role.

What was different about Jian Bianlin was that, in the end, he truly did step into the entertainment industry, and he went from being a campus idol to an idol of the masses. During that period when he first became famous, many of their former schoolmates had posted in Tieba[1] or Weibo, saying that even in high school, there had already been tons of girls who had tried with all their might to pursue him. The reports had been vivid and colourful, and there truly had been many stories.

However, of those stories, very few triggered Chu Jian to remember the name of any person.

Class No. 7, though, had someone named Lu Shanshan who, to this very day, she still remembered. This girl had been the boldest in her pursuit of Jian Bianlin. During the break between classes, she had sat on the classroom windowsill and shouted down at that group from Class No. 1 and 2, who were just getting off from gym class. “Jian Bianlin, Jian Bianlin, I like you!” This had elicited a furor of cheers and heckling from the students downstairs. At the time, this had stirred the entire school. Chu Jian, as simply an onlooker, had even watched with delight at a certain someone’s misfortunes…

When her train of thought diverged all the way to this point, Chu Jian jammed her elbow into Jian Bianlin. “Do you still remember Class No. 7’s Lu Shanshan?”

She thought Jian Bianlin would come back simply with a “No, I don’t remember. ” Unfortunately, though, he really did solemnly recollect for quite some time and then, in the end, nod his head.

Chu Jian muttered, “Such a good memory.”

Jian Bianlin realized he should not have told the truth. “… I just remember that she’s female. I don’t really remember anything else.”

Chu Jian reminded him, “Didn’t she even chase you all the way to your home?”

Back at the time, the news that Lu Shanshan’s pursuit of Jian Bianlin had brought her all the way to his home had spread crazily through their entire grade.

© 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.

Actually, Jian Bianlin did remember this girl quite clearly.

It was not that there was anything particularly special about this person. It was purely because his memory was just too good. He basically had not forgotten anything that had occurred since he was four years old.

Back then, this girl and three or four other male classmates had gone together to his home. Jian Bianlin’s dad had hung on to everyone, asking incessantly about this and that, but everything he asked had been regarding Chu Jian and how she was doing at school. In the end, his dad had even brought out a photo album for all of them to look through, beamingly telling them that Chu Jian was like a half-daughter to him. In the space of time when Jian Bianlin’s dad had slipped out to pour some water, all the boys had broken out in a teasing uproar, saying that it was no wonder that Jian Bianlin’s heart had not been moved by anyone. The winner had already been internally decided.

He did not explain. It was purely an unspoken admission: He did like Chu Jian.

From since he was little, the number of girls who had expressed favourable feelings toward him was not insignificant, but this particular girl was relatively more troublesome. His greater consideration, however, was that Class No. 7 was close to Class No. 9, and if the rumours got out of hand, even when the matter had passed, Chu Jian still might misunderstand. Fortunately, he had ended up rejecting the girl a great number of times afterwards, to the point that even the thickest-skinned person would know to back down against the overwhelming odds.


After a brief silence, Jian Bianlin replied, “She really went to my home? And she didn’t get beaten and thrown out by my dad?”

With a “huh?” Chu Jian asked, “Why would your dad beat her? …”

Jian Bianlin’s brows creased together. “My dad likes you, so that means anyone else who comes is going to get beaten and thrown out, right?”

Chu Jian was thoroughly tickled by his words, and happily, she spun the ring that was on her finger. Last night had been too chaotic and too absurd and then today they had rushed to go eat dinner, so she had not even had a chance to look over the ring in detail. Now, as she removed and carefully examined it, she made the rather-late discovery that letters were engraved on the inside of the ring’s band: J&C.

It required no thought to know that what was engraved was the first initial of each of their surnames.

Chu Jian glanced over at him.

Jian Bianlin: “If you read it backwards, it becomes the initials of your full name.”

“Jian” as in Jian Bianlin, and “Jian” as in Chu Jian[2]. His surname was her given name.

People are like this. They will always try to find commonalities with the person whom they hold in their hearts. Even if it is just a tiny hint of something, they still will not let go of it. Chu Jian remembered that her high school deskmate had been like this when that deskmate had fallen for their assistant class prefect. Over and over, she had written their two names out in different permutations and combinations until, at last, she had gleefully grabbed Chu Jian’s arm and cried, “Look! The second character in my name and the third character in his both have seventeen strokes! Aren’t we just so fated for each other?”

At the time, she had thought that her deskmate was being silly. Now, though, she felt that…

… she and Jian Bianlin truly were so fated for each other.

© 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.

With his gaze on her, Chu Jian slipped the ring back on. “I’m going to ask you a question. You must answer it seriously.”

Jian Bianlin motioned to her that she could go ahead and ask.

Chu Jian: “Why do you like me?”

Jian Bianlin: “You’re pretty.”

Chu Jian: “You’re not being serious at all. There are so, so many people who are prettier than me.”

Jian Bianlin: “It’s true.”

Chu Jian: “Let’s not even mention the actresses you have worked with. Just in middle and high school alone, out of those girls who liked you, there were a lot of beauties, too.”

Jian Bianlin: “It’s true.”

Chu Jian: “……”

Jian Bianlin leaned in close and, beneath the glow of the incandescent lighting, carefully scrutinized her. Without so much as a shift in expression or speeding up of his heart rate, he stated what he believed to be the absolute truth: “Compared to you, everybody else isn’t even female.”

© 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]贴吧 “Tieba,” which literally means “Post Bar” is a Chinese key word-based forum provided by the search engine, Baidu. It is a massive online communication platform, and keyword searches will bring a user into a group discussion site or “bar” in which one can start or join posts on that topic.

[2] Jian Bianlin’s surname is 检 “jiǎn,” while Chu Jian’s given name is 见 “jiàn,” so the characters are different but pronounced similarly, with the difference being only in the tone.

© 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
29 of 36 Chapter segments
0 of 1 Epilogue


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27 thoughts on “My Darling (我的曼达林) — Chapter 8.1

  1. Have a safe and fun trip.

  2. Very short chapter. Bitin!

  3. Okay, it’s cloudy right now all over my country but i’m still feeling i’m melting

  4. Jian Bian Lian is so sweet. I think my first love was not aware that I was waiting for him. Lol

  5. Man of few words but when he says them.. you melt ” Compared to you, everybody else isn’t even female.” I’m gonna remember this one JBL.
    Happy holidays Hoju! You’re gonna spend a month in China? Which part. Have fun and thanks for remembering us and scheduled all the post in advance. u r a sweetheart. Take care n bon voyage!

  6. Thanks for the chapter..

  7. Oh my God, i feel so happy. This chapter was so good. Jian Bianlin.. where did i can find a man like you? His answer about why did he like Chu Jian was simple but strike the point. Poor all the girls even didn’t have a chance

    Hoju, have a nice holiday 🙂

    Thank you for the chapter

  8. Enjoy ur vacation!
    Lol the last part *cringing*

  9. Happy holiday hoju…thanks for the chapter..

  10. Oh that’s adorable. Well done.

  11. Thanks Hoju!!! Ur so dedicated!!! Even translating chapters in advance for us!!!

  12. Thank you Hoju, and have fun on your holiday~

  13. *melts into puddle* They’re so damn cute! And JBL LOL! That last line made me squeal so hard! Argh. I’m being spoiled rotten by this novel!
    Thanks Hoju and Happy Holidays! Where in China are you going to BTW?
    My nails are suffering while I wait for my ACT Results to be announced… Wonder if I’ll have to retest! I’ll definitely retest if I don’t get a 36 though! Gah, the suspense is killing me!

    • Eh, the ACT isn’t so bad. You probably did better than you’re worried about. Don’t freak out if it’s not 36, though. A point or two less than perfection isn’t failure in a standardized test. Also, if you retest, or do the SAT, sleep well the night before. Falling asleep during the language portion is not the key to a perfect SAT.

  14. maybe JBL with just a little experience will become a natural wooer

    thank you so much for having scheduled posts setup just to satisfy our thirst
    enjoy your vacation!

  15. Happy holiday Hoju….😄

  16. Enjoy your holidays and have a safe trip. Thank you so much Hoju!! 😘😘😘

  17. Where is my Jian Bianlin rabba???

  18. Enjoy your holiday in China.. be safe.
    Thanks for the chapter….as always…

  19. Thanks and have a great vacation

  20. Kyaaaaaaaaaaaa!! Jian Bianlin’s last line is turning me in to a crazy girl yelling around the room squealing! You’re such a romantic! (Only to Chu Jian though) i love how he said it in such a matter of fact way. Thanks for makin

    • It accidentally sent out again 😂

      Anyways thanks for making my morning so fluffy! 😘😘😘

      And enjoy your vacation, Hoju!

  21. Thank you for the chapter~

  22. Enjoy your vacation hoju! Happy traveling!!!
    And also Peanuts!! 🙂

    Wow.. JBL knew well how to melt a woman’s heart. But wait.. “Compare to you, everybody else isnt even a female” uh what? Who do you think i am? Lols.. CJ is one luckiest girl.

  23. His mother-in-law would be flattered and insulted at the same time, no?

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