Fanatical

Fangirling Chinese Novels

Life: A Black and White Film (一生一世,黑白影画) — Chapter 9.1

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Wen Han shows here that she’s got a good head on her shoulders. She can stay cool and deduce through a situation. Also, someone we haven’t seen for a while has shown up again. Can you guess who?

Chapter 9.1 — On Whom Shall I Place My Heart’s Pining? (1)

Wen Han tried to remain uninvolved in any of this.

That lama, though, took it upon himself to walk right up to her. “Before I got off, I left a book on the train. Would you happen to have seen it?”

Lifting her head, Wen Han’s gaze met that unfamiliar pair of eyes.

The instant their gazes collided, she subconsciously began deducing things out in her mind. This unfamiliar man was holding Cheng Muyun’s train ticket and wearing his clothes. The carriage number and time on the ticket and also this question he had just asked her were all flawlessly trying to prove one thing: he was the “Cheng Muyun” on the train.

Of course, this was a huge lie.<>Please read this at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com instead

But the train had long since left already, and the only ones remaining who had been on it were herself, the youth, and those five tourists. Judging from the current situation, the police were already starting to not believe the words of those five tourists. As long as she and the youth maintained that this stranger was the lama on the train, the police undoubtedly would believe them.

Besides, in the statement those people gave earlier, there was indeed a lama mentioned, so that, too, was a piece of evidence.

Therefore, she only needed to be willing to corroborate this man’s words.

Then, this strange lama could in turn prove that she and the youth were innocent and help extricate them from this situation.

“It should… still be on the train.” Wen Han heard herself softly answer him. “I thought that, Venerable Lama, you would be returning, so I did not put away the book. I am very sorry.”

There was a smile in the lama’s eyes as he nodded ruefully. “That is a pity. I had not finished reading the book yet.” Turning around, he addressed the police officers. “After I stepped off the train, I saw you arrest these two young people, so I purposely hurried over to see if I could bear witness for them. After all, they are two good children who are believers of Buddha. I do not want them to be wrongly accused over a misunderstanding.”

The police officers of this railway station were already out of patience because of those five raucous tourists, so now, they naturally chose to completely believe the lama’s words. An imposter lama? Were they joking?

The Indian officer pointed politely at a chair. “Venerable Lama, please take a seat. As a formality, we need to ask you some questions.”

The lama unperturbedly sat down. “All right.”<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. Translated with the express permission of the author for hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, the translation has been taken without consent of the translator.

Ten minutes later.<>Please support the original translation at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com instead

When Wen Han stepped out of the police patrol office and into the train station’s waiting hall, which was milling with throngs of people, the five tourists were still being detained on the other side of the glass door behind her. Reportedly, they would not be released until after dark.

That could be considered their punishment for disrupting public service.<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. Translated with the express permission of the author for hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, the translation has been taken without consent of the translator.

“Thank you.” Wen Han fixed her eyes on this effeminate-looking man with the shaved head.

The man smiled. “You are welcome, Miss Wen Han.”

On that early morning, in that small Nepalese town, this man and the youth had watched with their own eyes as Wen Han, her face streaked with tears, screamed and ran out of that small lodging house before they had stepped inside and, like ordinary travellers, set an American bill of money on the counter.

That was actually the scene of the first time he saw Wen Han, though Wen Han did not know this.

At the time, he could not see what was so special about this woman, other than being pretty. Now… at least she could be considered an intelligent, cool-headed woman.

While Cheng Muyun had been taking care of affairs in Nepal, this man had been in India, making the arrangements for the next part of the journey. Hence, he had not known that Wen Han was Cheng Muyun’s woman, one whom Cheng Muyun had had a romantic encounter with in Nepal. He had thought she was simply another member of one of the many teams working under Cheng Muyun who had been hiding in the shadows.

It was only later that he learned about this little interlude: this Miss Wen Han was actually not a part of the original plan.

The man signaled with his eyes, then left first to disappear into the crowds of people.

The youth, who was standing beside Wen Han, tossed the tissue he had been holding onto a heap of garbage in the corner. “Don’t be scared. We’re all here,” the youth told her quietly. From his backpack, he pulled out a bottle of water, stuffed it into Wen Han’s hand, and then left.<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. Translated with the express permission of the author for hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, the translation has been taken without consent of the translator.

There had not even been a word of goodbye.<>Please read this at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com instead

All around her was the chaos and din of the railway station.

And now, once again, only she remained to continue the rest of the journey alone.

Wen Han looked down. The packaging on the bottle of mineral water in her hand was the type used in Nepal. Could it be, these two people… had followed behind them all the way from Nepal?

She remembered that early morning when she awoke in that valley, and also those friends of Cheng Muyun who had one by one appeared from the forest’s bushes. At that time, she had not carefully counted, but now that she thought about it, there should have been more than twenty of them. Their dress had been ordinary, and most of their faces were not the types that stood out. What they ate and where they stayed could not even compare to the average backpacker, and they had to constantly deal with all different kinds of situations that would suddenly arise.

Since last night, everything that had occurred had been a sudden, unexpected situation: being falsely accused of stealing a passport, being taken to the railway station’s police patrol office, being detained. And this had been so until that stranger had exchanged clothing and train tickets with Cheng Muyun and come to rescue them from the predicament. She believed that this was a last-minute plan they had created to counter the situation.

What exactly were these people and Cheng Muyun doing?

It was a like a math problem. She was following the formula that Cheng Muyun had taught her and then deriving and calculating the final answer by herself.

She really was not that fond of mathematics.<>Please read this at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com instead

But now, she actually… was starting to look forward to what would happen next.

Silently, she recited one time to herself everything that Cheng Muyun had instructed.

The next thing she needed to do was to find a specific place.<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. Translated with the express permission of the author for hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, the translation has been taken without consent of the translator.

Before the sky was dark, she stood at the mouth of a narrow alley.

Lining both sides of the alley were small, open-air eateries. A dog was stalking around Wen Han, sniffing here and there. Her sudden appearance here caused several young men who were having dinner to turn and eye her over. Acting as if she had not noticed, she hurriedly strode into the alley. On both sides, there were little souvenir shops.

She lifted her head, searching for the place she needed to go to.

She did not have a house or building number, only the description Cheng Muyun had given.

A portly, uncle-looking Indian man garbed in white stood in front of his own store, beamingly staring at Wen Han. She returned a sheepish smile. “Sorry, uncle. I don’t have time to buy your souvenirs…”

After making a right turn, several rusty metal staircases appeared in her sight.

One, two, three, four. It was the fourth staircase. She did not trust herself and counted one more time. Finally, after inhaling lightly, she followed that flight of stairsteps up to the landing on the second floor. The door was shut. She stepped over to it. Inside, there was even the sound of a television, and she could also smell a strong aroma of food.

What happened on the train had left her with lingering trepidation.

Any person she saw along the way had caused her to feel unsafe. Consequently, during the entire journey here, she had not dared to eat anything and had relied only on that bottle of water to get her to this place. She was famished already.

“When you get there, you will be safe.” This was what Cheng Muyun had told her.

And so, right now, at this moment, she inexplicably felt as if she had once more returned to the normal world.

Wen Han raised her hand and knocked on the door.

Someone inside was speaking in English and, with a laugh, asked, “Who’s got a free hand to open the door?” A girl said she would open it. There was still the sound of laughter. And then, the door was opened.

Her eyes took in the scene of a very harmonious gathering.

Clustered together were several men dressed in either grey or white cotton pants, and they appeared to be conversing casually. They were all young Indian men. But the person who opened the door for her was a young girl…

Wen Han looked at her in great surprise. This was their third time seeing each other. In the little inn in Kathmandu, at the campsite when the girl had been a doctor, and now here—what was she now? Wen Han’s heart, which had only just settled down in relief, actually tingled slightly with jealousy. Her mind could rationally deduce that this girl must be like Zhou Ke, that youth, and the fake lama and belong to Cheng Muyun’s group of “friends.” Her heart, though… This girl was too special, so special that she made Wen Han feel extremely uncomfortable.

This type of discomfort was very difficult to explain. She wanted only to see him immediately, to wholly get to the bottom of this and ask, who was this girl? Did she really not have that type of relationship with him?

The girl, on the other hand, smiled and announced into the kitchen, “Your little sister is here.”

Little sister? Wen Han was taken aback slightly.

That tall, slender figure that had disappeared last night on the train walked out from the kitchen carrying a large stainless steel tray, which had on it a stack of flatbread and also several stainless steel bowls containing a paste-like Indian dish. He set the items on the low-profile table. “You arrived just in time. We’re ready to eat.”

Smiling, everybody welcomed Wen Han in.<>Please read this at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com instead

With ardent friendliness, they all sat down on the floor and surrounded the low table. That girl took a seat close beside Cheng Muyun. From the look in her eyes to her body movements, she appeared to be his girlfriend. And Wen Han, from the moment she stepped through the door, had been introduced as his younger sister.

“My friend, please tell me, does your beautiful younger sister need an Indian boyfriend?” someone asked in a half-joking tone.

Cheng Muyun had laid his arm on the cushion behind him and was resting in the most comfortable position. “We Chinese are unlike your country, where an older brother can decide the fate of his younger sister. I have no right to intrude on whom she befriends.” He knew that coming here had left her terribly hungry, so he had already taken all of the best ingredients here that could be used and made a dinner for her that had the most local flair. Alas, from her complexion, she seemed rather unwell. As for the reason why she felt so unwell…

He knew very clearly what it was.<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. Translated with the express permission of the author for hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, the translation has been taken without consent of the translator.

The dinner was very pleasant, and everyone was very friendly.

Wen Han even felt as if she had returned to the days of those small gatherings with university classmates in one another’s homes. However, the entire time, her thoughts would wander. Since that night in the temple, when she had shaved his head for him, she had sensed more and more that there was an unexplainable distance being maintained between the two of them. As for why there was this sense of distance…

She did not know.<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. Translated with the express permission of the author for hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, the translation has been taken without consent of the translator.

It was only during the casual conversation after dinner that Wen Han learned through the dialogue that all the Indians in this house were young people of the Brahmin caste[1]. Because ancient texts and records would frequently refer to the names of the Indian castes, she naturally had some understanding of them. In India, this caste occupied the highest social ranking.

“Of course, present-day law holds that the caste system is unreasonable,” the boy who was being very attentive to Wen Han explained smilingly, “but this does not interfere with us getting the respect that we are due.”

These people had priestly duties to attend to and departed temporarily at nightfall.

The girl also noiselessly left the room, leaving only Wen Han and him. Pushing himself up from the floor, Cheng Muyun rose to his feet and motioned to her that she should follow him upstairs. There were no superfluous words.

The two arrived at the room on the third level.<>Please read this at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com instead

It was very small. When the door was pushed open, she saw there was only a large bed with tangerine-colored sheets spread on it, as well as a balcony that was fully enclosed in glass.

The entire way here, he was the person she had most hoped to see.

However, from the moment she stepped into this tiny room that was already completely furnished by only a single bed and, apart from the bathroom, had only a balcony, she felt rather…

“You don’t dare to come in?” With his back to her, Cheng Muyun passed through the arched doorway of the balcony and stood in that tiny glass space, gazing beyond the window at what could not be considered a beautiful scene of the River Nile lying beneath the moonlight.

“When did you get here?”<>This is an UNAUTHORIZED copy, taken from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com 

“One hour and thirty-four minutes before you,” he answered.

In that instant when she stepped past the door into the room, she was still wondering whether this tranquility was real.

Since meeting him, every day had been filled with unexpected twists and turns and difficulties. She would even impractically wonder, in the next instant, would some sort of danger occur here, such as those young Brahmins suddenly turning against them, or such as…?

But he had said, once she arrived here, she would be safe.

Trust—at some time unknown, it had taken root in her soul, and she no longer doubted his words.<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. Translated with the express permission of the author for hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, the translation has been taken without consent of the translator.

The balcony window was half open.<>This is an UNAUTHORIZED copy

There was the scent of night.<>Please support the original translation at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com 

There, below the window, at the end of a little alley was a small gathering site for cremation beside the river.

She heard him say, “In Hinduism, life does not begin with birth and end with death. This is merely one part in an endless cycle of countless life journeys. So you see, those Indian people there who are waiting for their loved one’s body to finish burning are not sorrowful.”

“Mm-hmm.” Since yesterday night on the train, she loved listening to him talk about such things.

“Nor are they afraid of the two-sidedness of man.” Cheng Muyun turned around. “The paradoxical merger of good and evil, sorrow and joy, love and hate, lowliness and nobility, selfishness and altruism—that is what makes a whole person.”

In that moment as he lifted his hand, a slight heat came into Wen Han’s cheeks.

But he simply stroked her long locks lightly. “Want to go take a shower?”

He easily caught the shifts and stirrings that flitted across her eyes. This beautiful girl before him who had such a beautiful body, her first time belonged to him. Hence, he was familiar with all her sensual little gestures, including her breathing that she was trying hard to maintain at a calm and reserved rate. He knew them all, and he also never tried to hide the fact that he was constantly attracted to her.

“Will we be staying in India the whole time?” She was burning beneath his gaze and felt somewhat in a stupor.

“Yes,” he replied, his voice low. “Within the boundaries that I tell you, you may read, befriend people, or stroll through a coffee plantation. This is the earliest country in Asia to grow coffee, and its colonial history is very interesting.” His voice grew even lower, but his hand had left her long strands of hair. “Dearest, I am deeply apologetic about those hard days in Nepal of being homeless and on the run that I put you through. Here, it is very safe.”

Bending at the waist, he leaned in close to her and looked her in the eyes. “Hurry now. Go take a shower.”<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. Translated with the express permission of the author for hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, the translation has been taken without consent of the translator.

This sort of urging was simply too direct and explicit.

She could stay here no longer. Hurriedly grabbing some clean clothing from the bed, she went and took a shower. When she came out again, the room was empty. He was gone.<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. Translated with the express permission of the author for hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, the translation has been taken without consent of the translator.

[1] See footnote [1] in chapter 3.1.


Additional Comments:

LOL. I did a triple take when I first read this and saw the Nile being mentioned. At the time, I just assumed my Chinese wasn’t up to snuff, and “that can’t be the Nile in India, right?”. And then, I got to the bottom of the update and this was the author’s comment:

Sorry… Idiotic me moved the Nile over into India.

So, I guess we’ll just suspend our disbelief and humour “idiotic” Mo Bao Fei Bao. LOL

 

Completed:
1 of 1 Prologue
24 of 50 Chapter segments
0 of 1 Epilogue

 

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13 thoughts on “Life: A Black and White Film (一生一世,黑白影画) — Chapter 9.1

  1. I think she meant the Ganges not the Nile… Also, not all Hindus know the deep underlying philosophy of the religion, only few do lol.
    I felt like wrapping my hands around CM’s throat and throttling him when WH is introduced as his little sister *grrr*
    Wen Han, kick the ahole outta your bed tonight!! *rages*

    • Nah, she knows about the Ganges and has referenced it several times already, so she obviously purposely did not want this river to be the Ganges. Why the Nile…I don’t know. 🙃
      Should I be happy you’re getting emotionally charged? 😂
      He never does anything without reason. It’s not like he’s trying to toy with her heart. Quite the opposite. He’s laid it bare what he can and cannot offer her.

  2. I now know that distance can make a simple conversation seems so sensual. I feel like Wen Han’s riding an endless roller coaster ever since she met Cheng Muyun. The highs and the lows of her feelings, the dangerous turns on their journey, the exhilaration when their together and the anticipation on what’s to come.

    Since Wen Han can finally feel safe, is it now time to introduce a love rival?? Poor Wen Han’s heart can’t take a break 😂

    I wonder if the girl knows about Cheng Muyun and Wen Han’s “relationship” and if her actions are intentional.

    Will there be more alone time now?? Please throw a bone to this poor reader, Hoju! 😂 Thanks for your efforts, Hoju!! Wishing you and your family a great holiday! 😊😊

    • Haha. Actually, aside from that low period when he abducted her and she did not trust him, I find almost everything between them sensual.

      As for your love rival prediction, nothing is ever as you think with this story… You shall learn more soon.

      Yes! Have you read the next post? It’s sizzling!

  3. Oh my.. poor Wen Han … thank you Hoju

  4. Glad Wen Han is safe but her heart is so unsettled ☹️. Author’s comment on Nile bought a smile. Thank you for the chapter. Happy Holidays.

    • Yes, it has not been easy for her. Trust me that Cheng Muyun is doing his best to take care of her in the way he feels is right. You may or may not agree but he has no bad intentions.

      Happy holidays to you, too. 🙂

  5. Thank you and have merry christmas 😉

  6. Although CMY can’t be around WH protecting her, he sure has set up quite a few arrangements

  7. *sigh* this cheng muyun is simply annoying haha…I’m surprised that wen han’s hasn’t already gone out the window

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