Fanatical

Fangirling Chinese Novels

Life: A Black and White Film (一生一世,黑白影画) — The End (Part 1)

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The whole truth…

The End (Part 1) — Those of the World Shall Remain with the World

This story was translated with the expression permission of the author for hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. All forms of reproduction, redistribution, or reposting are not authorized. If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, the copy is unauthorized and has been taken without consent of the translator.

 

Half a year later, Moscow.

An old air-conditioning remote control in her hand, Wen Han continuously switched the air-conditioning on and off, trying to get it to work again. This year was practically Moscow’s highest temperatures. Thirty-six degrees Celsius. Her forehead was damp with perspiration while she said in her mind, Hopefully the air-conditioning upstairs is all fine…

Her attempts at adjusting were fruitless. Tossing the remote control onto the counter, she sat herself back down on the small chair.

She could still distinctly remember how, after she saw that female innkeeper looking at this stack of postcards, she had also studied them for a long time, and how Cheng Muyun had picked them up, handed over the money, and bought them. At the time, he had called her his wife… As she lay with her upper body sprawled on the counter, she pressed two fingers against the top edge of the postcard, balancing it so that that thin card stood upright in front of her, and stared at the Dhamek Stupa on it.

That day, if she could have had a bit more time to search around the Sarnath site some more…

Wen Han shut her eyes.<>Please support this translation at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com instead

Were it not for this stack of postcards and the tattoo on her back, she would have wondered if these were her hallucinations. Wang Wenhao had already been put away in prison. Agnesa and Roman both believed that when they were being detained and guarded over in Nepal, Wen Han had also been isolated away in some place, just like them. And as for her adoptive parents, their notions were even more simple and innocent, merely thinking that her Buddhist pilgrimage had been extended by a month and some more. She had just graduated at the time and had not been working anyway, so it did not matter if she had taken a bit of extra time for some additional fun.

Other than Wen Han, nobody knew about those many things that had occurred from Nepal to India.

The door was pushed open. The wind chimes that hung in the doorway tinkled gently and, in passing, brought in a clammy wave of heat that was intermixed with car exhaust… Someone drew near and placed his hands on the counter.

Two bills of money were set on the counter. “May I trouble you? I need a room.”

A jolt went through Wen Han’s entire body. Slowly, almost as if her soul had left her body, she lifted her head. It was a man with fair complexion and a slightly effeminate appearance. Following in behind him was an adolescent-age youth wearing headphones and listening to music…

“Miss Wen Han.” Fu Yiming narrowed his eyes and gave a low laugh. “You can now answer that last question of mine. If one day Cheng Muyun were to leave you, would it pain you so much you would not want to live?”<>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 searing sun filtered through the dense leaves and branches and fell into the courtyard of a derelict temple.

On a small, concrete platform, cracks were everywhere, and all over it, scatters of dried bits of dirt and debris could be seen.<>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.

Because the weather was too hot, Cheng Muyun’s upper body was unclothed, and he wore only khaki-coloured pants as he sat cross-legged with feet bare. He appeared to be very patient while he noddingly listened to the two people by his side chatter on about the gossip in the nearby village.

A train of ants crawled by in front of him in very ordered formation.

In reality, he was counting just how many ants there were in this troop.

“Venerable, back when you were still a monk, your rituals for releasing departed souls from suffering were far and well-known. Still, though, you did the ritual for a wrong person. You don’t even know, the family that you performed the ritual for before you left have never gotten along with their neighbours. The oldest son in that family is a murderer, and there’s always been something ‘unclear’ between the second son and the youngest daughter. There are tons of rumours and gossip about them in the village. Any elder who could raise such children would not be a good person either…”

Sixty-seven? Should be pretty close.<>Please support this translation at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com instead

He nodded. “Presumptuous speaking about others will bring about karmic retribution of the tongue.”

“……” One of them immediately shut his mouth.<>Please read this at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com instead

The other smiled sheepishly. “We’re just chitchatting to pass the time…”

“In eastern Jambudvipa, there is a mountain range called Iron Ring. Its mountains are pitch-black and devoid of any light of the sun and moon. There is a great hell called Interminable Hell, and there is another hell called Great Avici.[1]” His eyelids lowered slightly, concealing that glimmer of light within his eyes. “Do you understand these words?”

“… Avici Hell. I understand, yes, I understand.”<>Please read this at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com instead

“Each of those contains lesser hells numbering hundreds and thousands. Every karmic consequence shall find its own way. Karmic consequences of the tongue also have their own place.”

“……” The other person shut his mouth as well.<>Please read this at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com instead

“ ‘Commit not that which is evil, though it may seem trivial[2].’ Each word you say now, though man may not remember, ghosts shall remember, and Buddha shall also help you to remember. Therefore,” Cheng Muyun stated, his eyes now cast downward, “be mindful of your speech.”<>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.

All of a sudden, a golden light flashed in front of his eyes.

Reflexively, he turned his head to the side to look. A young girl wearing a white sun hat stood in the blazing sunlight and gave a shake to the string of inexpensive bangles on her wrist. Smiling.

Cheng Muyun, with the sun behind him, watched with narrowed eyes the entire time as she drew nearer in front of him.

Wen Han halted her footsteps.<>This is an UNAUTHORIZED copy, taken from  hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com 

She stared at this man, as if in a dream.<>Please read this at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com instead

With the aid of Fu Yiming, she had used a half a month to leave Moscow without a trace, abandoning all of the past associated with the name “Wen Han.” She had “died” once in order to be able to stand here, to find him. Even she was no exception—to see Cheng Muyun, one first had to “die.”

Just as he had once asked her beside the Ganges River: “Would you be willing to die for a man?”

Yes, she was willing.

Because that man was Cheng Muyun.<>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 she left, Fu Yiming had handed her two thick investigation files belonging, respectively, to the cases of Cheng Jiayi and Chen Yuan and told her to pass them on to Cheng Muyun. Within them were the final results after six months of investigation and verification.

This was according to Fu Yiming:<>Please read this at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com instead

Thirteen years ago, when Zhou Ke was working on getting Cheng Jiayi to defect from that organization, his identity and information were exposed. To protect Zhou Ke, Cheng Jiayi had no choice but to sell out the operations team and divulge a list of team members’ names, which directly caused the deaths of a dozen or more people. It was also due to this that she gained the trust of that trafficking organization and hence was able to eliminate anyone within that organization who knew Zhou Ke’s identity. Ten years ago, the one who brought death on so many brothers and comrades was Cheng Jiayi—she did it to protect Zhou Ke.

As for Chen Yuan, he was actually the first spy planted in Headquarters by that criminal group, but then was unexpectedly assigned by Headquarters to go into the Moscow operations team to monitor Cheng Muyun. In those thirteen years, he never once betrayed Cheng Muyun. There was only the one time, in that little lodging house in the border area of Nepal, where, in order to protect Cheng Muyun and aid his escape, he had deliberately leaked Zhou Ke’s identity to the trafficking organization. He had used Zhou Ke’s life to give Cheng Muyun a chance to escape. Half a year ago, the person who caused Zhou Ke’s death was Chen Yuan—he did it to protect Cheng Muyun.

At the time, after Fu Yiming finished recounting everything, he had sighed lightly. “My guess is that Chen Yuan possibly stole the relic so that he could get back into the trafficking group and then avenge Zhou Ke’s death.”

“Is that a guess? Are you sure?”<>Please support this translation at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com instead

“There’s no way to be sure. The person himself who would be most clear on this is already dead.”

The truth would not ease anyone’s mind.<>Please read this at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com instead

They each had their own reasons. But no matter what the reasons were, if you take a life, you must pay with your own life. One bore the responsibility of taking more than ten lives; the other caused the death of a brother. When Cheng Muyun handed them the gun, perhaps, compared to having to bear that blood debt, choosing to end their lives was actually the easiest path.

Doing evil with a good reason is still doing evil.<>Please read this at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com instead

Wen Han, at the time, had not taken those two files from him. She had only asked one question: “Is this something Cheng Muyun wanted?”

Fu Yiming’s answer was “No, he does not want to know.”<>Please read this at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com 

“Let him let go of the past.” This was what Wen Han had beseeched in a low voice.

Fu Yiming had considered this for less than twenty seconds. Then, in the end, with his own hands, he had burned all the data, information, and conclusions. Thereafter, in this world, apart from himself and Wen Han, there would be no more people who would know the whole truth.<>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… Miss.” One of the older men squatting beside Cheng Muyun rose and rubbed his hands together. “You’re here…? Travelling? How did you find this place of ours? This remote…”

Wen Han gave a slight shake of her head. “No, I came here to find someone.”

In those black eyes that carried a deep blue colour, there was Cheng Muyun’s shape as he remained seated, cross-legged. She gave a very friendly smile, and bringing her palms together reverently, she bowed to him in respectful greeting. “Good after-midday. Do you remember that more than half a year ago in Nepal, you said that I am so beautiful I enthrall your mind and soul?”

The two middle-aged men beside Cheng Muyun were shocked by this remark. This very venerated man of noble character had indeed left for seven, eight months, but wasn’t it said that… he had gone on a holy pilgrimage? …

“Oh? Really?” Cheng Muyun, his back to the sun, changed to a different sitting posture and continued gazing at her with his chin supported on his hand. “We met before in Nepal?”

He seemed to have already forgotten her.<>Please read this at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com instead

But those eyes were still like they had been when they were on the fourth floor of that little inn in Nepal’s capital of Kathmandu, still had the same expression they had held when they were in that room. They carried a fearsome force and power in them that no one dared look directly into and exuded a sense of unpredictable danger. And also real was that smile that was hidden in the very deepest reaches, in the darkest part of those black eyes.

He was still that same him.<>Please support the original translation at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com instead

But how could she possibly be afraid of him anymore?

“It doesn’t matter. I trust that you will certainly remember by tonight. Oh, yes, I forgot to say,” Wen Han stated lightly in Russian, “it is a pleasure to meet you—here, in China.”<>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] This passage is quoted directly from chapter 5 of《地藏本愿经》Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva Sutra. The translation I have used is modified from this source:

Buddhist Text Translation Society (2000). Earth Store Bodhisattva. Retrieved from http://ksitigarbha.net/documents/English/Earth_Store_Bodhisattva.pdf

[2] 勿以恶小而为之. This is quoted from 《三国志》 Romance of the Three Kingdoms.<>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 story was translated with the expression permission of the author for hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. All forms of reproduction, redistribution, or reposting are not authorized. If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, the copy is unauthorized and has been taken without consent of the translator.

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

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19 thoughts on “Life: A Black and White Film (一生一世,黑白影画) — The End (Part 1)

  1. 😱 is already the end? I have not even started reading and was planning to start in March 🤣 thank you so much Hoju for the hard work. I am sure once I start I will comment as well 🤣😍

    • Haha. Yes, the conclusion is today and then one epilogue after that. The translation is ending a little earlier than I originally stated because of the extra birthday week posts.

      Looking forward to hearing from you when you start reading. 🙂

  2. Completed:
    1 of 1 Prologue
    49 of 50 Chapter segments
    0 of 1 Epilogue

    ……

    so, it is two chapter left… will going to miss them…

    And now Wen Han status in her acquaintance is dead? Like how CM is dead in world’s eyes?

    • Yup! Woohoo! Almost another one to add to the “completed” list.

      Yes, the identity “Wen Han” no longer exists. To the world, she si dead.

  3. Wah the reasons of the betrayals are quite hard to digest
    Thank you

    • Chen Yuan’s reason is especially sad. Doesn’t make what he did right. He and Cheng Jiayi definitely aren’t any of the stereotypical greedy, evil, power-hungry traitor.s

      Thank you!

  4. …was my guess previously right? (°_°)

  5. Thank you for the chapter 🙂.

  6. Goshhh …the end? Gonna miss them … thank you

  7. Aww… My pleasure too!!! After a long journey.. Wow… Thank you hoju ^^

    • China to Nepal to India back to China. It was a long journey. 🙂 Stick it through to the end! There are still another two updates. 🙂
      Thanks, Yui!

  8. Thanks alot for picking this amazing novel and for your hard work and translation this novel is definitely one of my favorites I will miss it alot T^T

  9. They finally meet again! I wager the feels will be strong when one re-reads it, after knowing all that will happen. The part about Zhou Zhou and Chen Yuan was handled extremely well. They had their own, compelling reasons, but they also caused many innocent deaths. As it is said, evil done with good reason is still evil.
    One thing though, if Wen Han has ‘died’ then what about her parents? Friends and colleagues? Will she really put her close ones through such pain? I guess she will tell those closest to her about this, especially her parents (that will take an eternity to explain, lol) in the next chapters.

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