This chapter, I believe, is the inspiration for the title of the novel. Pride is a double-edged sword. It is neither inherently good nor bad, but we must ensure that our pride doesn’t end up hurting people, especially the ones who are important to us. Don’t be so proud. 🙂
Chapter 9.4 — Do Not Use Your Pride to Hurt Her (4)
“Serious? Is that real or fake news?” Monkey asked.
The corner of Lin Yu Tang’s lips turned up again, and he began to “play tai chi” [not giving a direct counter/answer to the question]. “Fake.”
“Teasing us, are ya?” Monkey and Brawny both gave a pat on Lin Yu Tang’s shoulder. “Naughty, naughty.”
Picking up a napkin, Shen Xi cleaned her greasy fingers, wiping each one until they were all shiny. Lin Yu Tang’s one response of “fake” actually made her feel even more so that this was a real matter. Since he was young, Lin Yu Tang had never really pursued any girl. The closest he had ever been with any female friends were the ones in high school. His university major was purely along the science and engineering route, and in the entire class, there were only six girls. Yes, it was true that Lin Yu Tang had good relationships with his female classmates, but he actually did not have any true female friends.
The only one she knew of was Ling Chao Xi.
“You really don’t need to go back to your dorm tonight?” While she was thinking about this and mulling on that, He Zhi Zhou asked her this again. His voice was steady and carried no emotion, as if it was merely a simple reminder.
Shen Xi looked at He Zhi Zhou. In his eyes that seemed bottomless, she saw a trace of coolness. Feeling somewhat unhappy, her stubborn side rose up, and she replied, “No, not going back. I already told Dou Dou, and the dorm doors are locked already.” Actually, there was still another half an hour before the doors would be locked.
“Fine.” He Zhi Zhou did not say any more.
He was angry?<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com
After several minutes, Shen Xi stole a peek at He Zhi Zhou from the corner of her eye. Why wasn’t he talking to her? Hurry up and say something to her. If he still didn’t say anything to her, she would ignore him too!
Over on the other end, Brawny was asking about the key point in what Lin Yu Tang had said. “Just who is it?”
“You all know her. Ye Su Ying.” Lin Yu Tang simply stated a name, not giving any introductions. This was because, other than Shen Xi, everyone knew her.
So it was Ye SuYing, aaaah! The members of dorm room 921 basically all knew this person, but Shen Xi did not. That year, for the required military training in their first year of undergrad, the school had specially selected several outstanding second-year students from the Department of Physical Education specifically to go to the military compound for training, and when they returned, they had served as the military instructors for the first-year students. Ye Su Ying was one of those students. At the time, when Brawny saw on the instructor list such a beautiful, pure, and fresh name, every part of him had become exhilarated. The result, though, was that day, Ye Su Ying punished him by having him run ten laps around the sports field. From that point on, he was never again able to muster up any excitement.
Ye Su Ying had a height of 173 cm and was also a member of the school’s girls’ basketball team with her excellent basketball skills. During that military training period, there was not a single student who did not obey her. Everyone had been tamed into utter obedience. Later, after military training came to an end, every person who saw her, would docilely step up to her and address her as senior sister.
Wasn’t Ye Su Ying on pre-graduation internship? In regards to Ye Su Ying’s pending arrival, Monkey and Brawny were very amazed.
Five minutes later, Ye Su Ying arrived. Lin Yu Tang ordered another five jin of crawfish. Ye Su Ying very naturally and composedly sat down in the empty seat beside Lin Yu Tang. After she took her seat, she gave an “oh” and asked, “You guys are all done eating already?”
Brawny and Monkey nodded repeatedly but then, the next second, switched to shaking their heads, both of them showing extreme reverence.
Shen Xi sat next to He Zhi Zhou. What was the most awkward thing in a gathering? It was when everyone knew the new person who just came in to join the group and only she was unacquainted with that person. Inadvertently, a line had been drawn.
Ye Su Ying was very tall. Her long hair was permed into curls, and light makeup had been applied to her face. She was not pretty, but there was magnetism to her that came from self-confidence. Unlike herself, who was only narcissistic.
Shen Xi assessed Ye Su Ying with her eyes. Ye Su Ying was also looking at her. “How may I address you?”
Shen Xi whispered, “Shen Xi. The ‘Xi’ [xī熹] that is written with four droplets of water under the character for happy [xǐ喜]. You can just call me A’Xi.” [If you take the character 喜 xǐ, which means “happy,” and place four dots, called “droplets of water” under it, it will form the character 熹 xī, which is Shen Xi’s given name.]
In terms of presence, one will always weaken when encountering someone who is strong and strengthen when encountering someone who is weak. In front of Ye Su Ying, Shen Xi unconsciously softened. After her self-introduction, He Zhi Zhou added one statement: “My girlfriend.”
He Zhi Zhou’s voice was neither light nor heavy, but it was especially imposing. Shen Xi finally had the opportunity to get out of this awkward situation. Immediately taking hold of He Zhi Zhou’s hand, she gave a nod.
“So it turns out that when God He encounters a beautiful maiden, his heart will also be moved,” Ye Su Ying teased, her tone not sounding like there was any loathing in it.
He Zhi Zhou lifted his eyes. “Fate came, and I couldn’t escape it.”
Ye Su Ying gave her approval.<>This was taken WITHOUT authorization from Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com.
Another five jin of crawfish were served up. Everyone was all ready to eat again to keep her company, but Ye Su Ying had already stood, decisively saying, “We’ll pack it up and bring it to the KTV lounge. We can sing and eat at the same time. Otherwise, if I make you guys stay here with me, I’d feel bad, right, Yu Tang?”
“That works.” Lin Yu Tang told the stall owner to pack up the food.<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, this translation has been taken without consent of the translator.
The six of them headed out to Rainbow KTV in the city center. After waving down the taxis, Shen Xi and He Zhi Zhou got into one, along with a certain Monkey. Brawny, Ye Su Ying, and Lin Yu Tang took another.
Inside the taxi, Shen Xi felt a little like she could not muster up any enthusiasm. She knew that what she had done tonight was not right, but she had already taken the initiative several times already to back down… She stole another couple of glimpses at He Zhi Zhou. Returning her look, He Zhi Zhou stated a fact. “You’ve looked at me a good few times already.”
Shen Xi was in a huff, feeling both wronged and sad. “I finally get a boyfriend. What, am I not allowed to look at him?”
He Zhi Zhou was left speechless for a moment, all words choked off in his throat. Putting his hand on her shoulder, he pulled her completely into his embrace. He lowered his head. “Of course you can. I was being petty. I’m sorry…”
Lying in He Zhi Zhou’s arms, Shen Xi nodded.
Holy crap! Could you get any more nauseating than that?! Monkey, who was sitting up front, was puking blood on the inside, and he opened his window to feel the cool breeze outside. The young taxicab driver was totally sympathetic, and in a light tone, he told Monkey, “You’ll be fine once you get used to it. See how chill I am.”
Monkey: “……”<>This was taken WITHOUT authorization from Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com.
Inside the other taxi that was following behind, Brawny was sitting in the front while Lin Yu Tang and Ye Su Ying sat together. Ye Su Ying was someone who could talk, and the entire way, she complained about her boss at her internship job. Her final summary was, “So damn tiring!”
Lin Yu Tang listened to her and had thrown out a response in the middle. “How could it be as bad as you say?”
“It is simply that bad.”<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com.
Up front, the feelings Brawny had were also complex as he exhaled a long breath. Nowadays, it sure was hard being an expendable extra. He said to the uncle-like taxicab driver to his left, “Uncle, could you put on some music?”
The driver turned on Little Apple. And then, amid the tune of “You are my little, oh, little apple,” they arrived smoothly at the KTV lounge.<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, this translation has been taken without consent of the translator.
Inside the KTV lounge, Brawny, who had been ruined by that one song that had been put on repeat in the cab, was already unable to find any of his musical sense. In the two consecutive songs he had requested, he had ended up singing them both to the melody of Little Apple. Finally giving up, he went to the corner and began to play the drinking game of finger-guessing [game where the participants mutually guess the number of fingers the opponent will raise] with Monkey.
Ye Su Ying was very good at setting the mood and atmosphere. She was also able to hit high notes with her singing and could sing Tibetan Plateau without gasping for air. Even Shen Xi was beginning to admire her. Shen Xi was a little sleepy and accidentally yawned in front of He Zhi Zhou. The look He Zhi Zhou gave her was utterly one that said she had brought it onto herself.
Disheartened, Shen Xi rallied herself together and joined Brawny’s game. The game was the same old, same old, Who’s the Spy? Whoever lost had to choose truth or dare. Due to Military Instructor Ye’s presence, when the game first began, the questions were all quite normal and proper, and only later did they start crossing the line more and more.
Shen Xi was losing badly, and all her unsavoury history had been dragged out in the questioning. Everyone had had some drinks, so their nerves were wired and excited but their heads were muddled. He Zhi Zhou had played a few rounds with them, but after winning to the point that it was no fun, he leaned languidly back into the sofa and watched as Shen Xi constantly lost and everyone constantly took turns grilling her, digging up all her dirt.
“Who’s your bestie right now?” Brawny asked Shen Xi first, his thick eyebrows waggling. He was putting out the long line to reel in the big fish.
Shen Xi: “Dou Dou.”<>This was taken WITHOUT authorization from Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com
Ye Su Ying took over the cross-examination. The question continued to probe deeper. “If Dou Dou and your boyfriend, God He, were to both fall into the water, who would you save first?”
Shen Xi raised her hand to ask a question. “Why would my boyfriend and Dou Dou be together?”
Fine. Ye Su Ying gave up on asking.
Someone laughed, and even He Zhi Zhou pursed his lips together. Turning away from everyone, Shen Xi gave a yawn. In any case, she could not let He Zhi Zhou see her yawning.
The person who lost was asked a “truth,” one at a time, from every single person. It was Lin Yu Tang’s turn to ask Shen Xi. Looking at Shen Xi, Lin Yu Tang used a very joking tone to ask, “If He Zhi Zhou and I were to fall into the water, who would you save first?”
As Lin Yu Tang’s voice echoed out, the corner of He Zhi Zhou’s lips immediately twitched. Lin Yu Tang was asking in very much a jesting way, and the smile on his face was handled excellently. In everyone’s eyes, he had voluntarily withdrawn back to his role of childhood friend, and it was very normal to ask such a question.
It was just a game.<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com
Why was it this question? Shen Xi was tired and drunk, and as she leaned against the sofa, she asked with sad frustration, “You guys are too much. Why do you all need me to save you? I can only swim three metres. It’s not like you don’t know that.”
Lin Yu Tang laughed, “You must choose one person. It’s just a hypothetical question. You don’t need to account for real-life factors.” He was not giving Shen Xi a chance to throw in jokes and comical dialogue to brush over this.
Fine, but it was so hard to answer. The cloudier Shen Xi’s brain got, the more serious she took things. She truly began to contemplate, if He Zhi Zhou and Lin Yu Tang both fell into the water and she could only rescue one, whom would she rescue? Didn’t the answer of this question reflect who was more important? She peeked a look at He Zhi Zhou, but the result was that He Zhi Zhou, haughty and cold, turned his face away.
With a “humph, humph,” Shen Xi pointed her finger at Lin Yu Tang. “Of course I’d save Tang Tang.”
Lin Yu Tang beamed extremely happily, his gaze unconsciously flicking in He Zhi Zhou’s direction. He Zhi Zhou’s brow lifted ever so slightly. His hand was behind Shen Xi’s back. Honestly, he wanted to give her a nice spanking.
Monkey and Brawny were both slightly tipsy, and after Shen Xi finished answering, Monkey brazenly patted He Zhi Zhou’s shoulder, remarking, “Leader, serves you right!”
Brawny was even more ridiculously drunk. Picking up a microphone, he waggled his head and asked, “Leader, hurry and issue a statement about your downcast mood right now!”
He Zhi Zhou did not want to say a single thing. His face void of expression, he brushed aside Brawny’s microphone and stood up from the sofa. “I’m stepping out for a bit. You guys play first.”
Shen Xi’s head was groggy and heavy. The only reason she had been able to sit up straight was totally because He Zhi Zhou had been supporting her. Now that He Zhi Zhou had left, gravity took over and she slid down to lie on the sofa.
Drinking the last drops of beer, Monkey and Brawny also fell over, lying together on the sofa, passed out in slumber.
Ye Su Ying walked over, straightened Shen Xi’s head, and adjusted her into a more comfortable sleeping position. Then, she stepped over beside Lin Yu Tang, telling him in objection, “You went overboard tonight.”
There was only the sound of music in that quieted KTV. It was the background music of an old song. Shen Xi had selected this one, a song that was to be sung as a duet.
Shen Xi was about to drift off into sleep. Though her head was foggy, her heart was much more astute and sensitive than her brain, and it had now achingly twisted into a knot. Her head clearing a little, she abruptly sat up and yelled at Lin Yu Tang, “Lin Yu Tang, you go and find He Zhi Zhou for me right now! Otherwise, our friendship is done!”
Lin Yu Tang set down his glass of red wine that had been mixed with soda. Walking up to Shen Xi, he crouched down in front of her. He had finally returned to normal. “Okay, I’ll go find him right now.”
Tears fell from Shen Xi’s eyes.
Lin Yu Tang stressed to her, “Xi Xi, that was just a game just now. A game, you know? No one will take it seriously.”
Her eyes red, Shen Xi did not speak.
Lin Yu Tang: “I’m sorry.”<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com
Shen Xi wiped at her tears. “Then you go right now and find him.”
Lin Yu Tang gazed at Shen Xi, his eyes dark and deep, as if they were the waters of a lake in winter, where all the ripples and waves were hidden inside, beneath the surface. And then, he nodded, agreeing to her request.
With Lin Yu Tang’s departure as well, Shen Xi sat cross-legged on the sofa, quietly sobbing. He Zhi Zhou was mad at her; so was Lin Yu Tang. She thought, she truly should just find someone with a similar personality to hers and date him. She and He Zhi Zhou were not the least bit suitable for each other. Not suitable! Not suitable! Not suitable!
Shen Xi ended up crying herself to sleep, and even in slumber, her chest would heave with hiccoughs. Now, the only person awake and clearheaded in their KTV room was Ye Su Ying. She walked over, set Shen Xi’s left leg, which had been hanging over the edge, back onto the sofa, and muted the speakers.<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, this translation has been taken without consent of the translator.
Lin Yu Tang ran into He Zhi Zhou in the main lobby area of the KTV bar. He Zhi Zhou was walking back in, his hand holding a bag of medication he had bought from a pharmacy that would alleviate the effects of alcohol. Rainbow KTV occupied the seventh and eighth floors of the New World building. The seventh floor had a lounge and refreshments that were served buffet-style. Right now was the usual time for late-night snacks and meals, so the seventh floor was much livelier than the eighth.
“Want to talk?” He Zhi Zhou opened his mouth to ask.
There were very few people in the lounge, only a couple who were in the midst of rolling around and kissing. The girl’s clothing was already more than half pulled open. He Zhi Zhou composure was to the point that he could completely ignore that scene, as if he did not even see it, and he took a seat on the sofa near the window.
Lin Yu Tang sat down opposite of him. He had put up a pretense for the entire night already and was tired now, too. Tilting his head, he looked out at the nightscape beyond the window. Off in the distance, the cars on the overpass flowed slowly, like a glowing silk ribbon that had fallen in the middle of the city.
When Lin Yu Tang and He Zhi Zhou sat down together, the couple on the sofa on the other end had no choice but to relocate their “base of operations.” When the man left, he even snapped in a very peeved tone, “Gays!”
Ha ha.<>This was taken WITHOUT authorization from Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com
Coolly casting a glance at the retreating backsides of that man and woman, He Zhi Zhou leaned his entire body into the sofa. After a long while, he asked, “How is she?”
Lin Yu Tang calmly answered, “After you left, she was crying and told me to come down to find you. She said that if I couldn’t find you, our friendship was over. I’m guessing she’s cried herself to sleep by now.”
He Zhi Zhou let out a couple of chuckles. An image of a crying Shen Xi floated up in his mind. Each teardrop seemed as if it would fall into his heart and could smoothen and soothe that heart that had felt twisted and creased tonight.
“In regards to the whole matter with Shen Xi, as your roommate, I am very sorry.” He Zhi Zhou opened his mouth to state, “But you should not have forced her like that. The person who had been indecisive and constantly of two minds was not her.”
Lin Yu Tang’s eyes lifted. He was able to clearly sort out this particular issue. He asked the question that weighed on his mind the most. “He Zhi Zhou, did something happen to you and Shen Xi?”
For a moment, He Zhi Zhou did not speak.
Lin Yu Tang pulled out his mobile phone, opened up a video, and then handed it to He Zhi Zhou. Taking it from him, He Zhi Zhou watched “himself” inside the screen doing the swan dance and then space walk, finding the video both headache-inducing and funny at the same time. Shutting it down, he handed the phone back to Lin Yu Tang. “You already have a very clear inference in your mind. There is no need for me to explain.”
So it really was that… Kneading his forehead, Lin Yu Tang recalled all the preposterous things from before. Now that his speculation had been confirmed, his mood could only be described as “dang peeved.” After taking quite some time to calm himself, he stated, “It really feels like a bad practical joke.”
He Zhi Zhou wordlessly agreed with Lin Yu Tang’s “practical joke” description.
Lin Yu Tang gave a powerless, bleak smile, and a long time passed before he opened his mouth to say, “Even so, Shen Xi still chose to be with you. But there’s a certain aspect about my relationship with Shen Xi that won’t change either.”
He Zhi Zhou’s expression showed that he understood. His question was direct. “Yu Tang, these words of yours, are they to show off or are they a reminder?”
Lin Yu Tang spread his hands. “There is no need to show off. Purely a reminder, including the whole thing tonight.”
Not speaking, He Zhi Zhou’s leaned his body backwards, his left arm resting on the coffee table. Suppressing all the emotions that were brimming in his chest, he asked, “What are you reminding me about?”
Lin Yu Tang once more glanced out at the dazzling lights in the darkness on the other side of the window, his voice cooler than the night outside. “My relationship with Shen Xi will not change. Regardless of whether you admit it or not, the weight you hold in Shen Xi’s heart is no greater than my weight, no more important. He Zhi Zhou, I know what your temperament is. You have your own pride. There are some things that, even if you don’t state them aloud, it does not mean that you do not mind. Just like tonight, you actually very much did mind. But what was the result of that? And who ended up the most hurt?”
He Zhi Zhou’s eyes turned to Lin Yu Tang, the expression in them insipid. But inside, it was as if there was concealed a flowing river that was quiet, yet would surge violently.
Standing, Lin Yu Tang enunciated each word as he declared, “The one thing I most want to say today is, do not use your pride to hurt her. You think Shen Xi is not sensible and mature. If you really mind that much, why bother making yourself miserable?”
Once Lin Yu Tang finished saying this, he turned and strode out of the lounge. He Zhi Zhou glanced at the time on his mobile phone. Two o’clock in the morning already. Bringing the medicine he had bought, he returned to their KTV room.<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, this translation has been taken without consent of the translator.
Inside, the room had already shifted from a lively atmosphere into quiet. The LED screen with its shifting light was still silently playing the MV of a certain song. In the dim lighting, Shen Xi was curled up on the sofa, asleep already. He Zhi Zhou walked over to her and lifted her into his arms, adjusting her into a comfortable sleeping position.
Being suddenly pulled into an embrace, Shen Xi stirred blearily. The corner of her eyes were moist, to the point they were about to form eye goop. Squinting her eyes, she saw that it was He Zhi Zhou, and with slurred words, she mumbled, “… He Zhi Zhou, I think the two of us aren’t suitable for each other.”
He Zhi Zhou blinked. What was she saying?!
Shen Xi was extremely sleepy, and sleeping in an embrace was so comfy. Before long, she had drifted off into slumber again.
He Zhi Zhou shut his eyes. He needed to think of a way that would make tomorrow’s Shen Xi forget about this statement.
<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, this translation has been taken without consent of the translator.
Mini Side Story #1
The scene is still He Zhi Zhou with his future father-in-law at the dinner table. Right now, He Zhi Zhou is being criticized, sentence after sentence, by Daddy Shen. The dishes are served up, each one a specialty of the kitchen.
Shen Jian Guo, the food lover on Weibo, lets out a light cough. “Can I post this on Weibo?”
He Zhi Zhou: “… Feel free to.”<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com
Shen Jian Guo picks up his mobile phone, immediately takes a photo of the table, and then posts it on Weibo.
The next day, Shen Xi is looking through “Lion in the Wind’s” Weibo. The post at the top of the page says:
A brat wants to come eat the sweet little white cabbage [internet slang for someone innocent] in my house. But the brat treated me to a meal tonight. Tasted pretty good!
Shen Xi who is surfing through Weibo at night falls onto her bed, completely tickled. <>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, this translation has been taken without consent of the translator.
Mini Side Story #2
On a certain dark and windy night, Brawny furtively tossed the leaky blow-up doll into the lake, completely keeping this secret from everyone. The next day, Shen Xi and He Zhi Zhou were meeting up beside the lake. He Zhi Zhou had just arrived when Shen Xi cried frantically, “He Zhi Zhou, look! A girl has fallen into the lake!”
He Zhi Zhou was slightly near-sighted. He felt something was not quite right, but alas, Shen Xi was already spinning in circles from anxiousness. He Zhi Zhou heroically jumped into the lake to save the person, but he ended up pulling a doll back.
Shen Xi felt that this doll looked familiar, and He Zhi Zhou was already refusing to talk to her. Shen Xi therefore could only take out her anger on Brawny. Completely letting out the air from the doll, she brought it back to Brawny, and then first thing she said was, “Zhou Chen, you know that girlfriend whose corpse you discarded? I dredged her back up for you!!!”
<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, this translation has been taken without consent of the translator.
Readers of My Darling might recognize Little Apple. Lyrics were translated over in My Darling, so I’ll just link over there. Can’t blame Brawny. Trust me on the brain-washing abilities of that song. My kids heard it when we were in China in the summer and we are still singing it nearly every day.
44 of 65 Chapters segments
0 of 2 epilogues