Fanatical

Fangirling Chinese Novels

The Healing Sunshine (一厘米的阳光) — Chapter 12.3

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Books in China often come with little extras. The Healing Sunshine’s book includes a postcard with an illustration of the scene at the very end of this update. The pic above is a scan of my postcard, so my apologies for the lower quality.

Xixi still doesn’t really understand where this relationship stands right now, but to Jì Chengyang, there is no doubt in his mind. ❤

Chapter 12.3 — The Person in the Past Dream (3)

This story was translated with the express 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.

 

That night, after the lights went out in the dormitory, as if they had previously arranged it, the eleven people who were rooming with her all began talking about their aspirations for after their college entrance examinations.

Although they still did not know whether the policy would require them to submit their post-secondary education aspirations before the college entrance examinations or after the examination marks were released, this still did not hinder everyone from looking forward to the future. When senior-year high school students see that they are fast approaching the endpoint of an era in life, they will all feel fired up, like their blood is roiling.

“I want to be a journalist in the future.” When all of them were stating their standpoints, Jǐ Yi suddenly expressed her own thoughts. Although her only understanding of this profession was through Jì Chengyang, just he alone had already allowed her to understand that type of attitude towards life when one holds extreme ideals.

Only dreams and ideals can give you courage in the face of disaster.

Only dreams and ideals can allow you, in the midst of a colossal flood with even floodwaters at your chest, to still face the camera and describe the serious disaster. Only dreams and ideals can allow you to walk calmly in the face of death itself, where even if in the next second the place you were standing were to become the landing site of an artillery shell, were to become the place where your life came to an end, you would still stride forward undauntedly, for the sole purpose of bringing the most frontline scenes of this world’s wars and fighting to everyone…

<>It would be sincerely appreciated if you read this translation at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, where it was originally posted. Thank you.

The people inside the dormitory room with her were all former classmates from the advanced science stream class, and science-stream students were not very attracted to the journalism profession.

Only Yin Qingqing in the bunk above her was very interested. When everyone had quieted down, she all of a sudden climbed down softly, slipped under Jǐ Yi’s quilt, and whispered, “Let me tell you, I especially want to be a program anchor.”

Jǐ Yi shifted closer to the wall, making some space for her, and replied in a low voice, “I just met a few program anchors today. They’re all really nice and approachable.”

“Really?” Yin Qingqing grew excited.

Jǐ Yi gave her a general description in a few sentences, explaining vaguely that a friend had brought her to the television station. Her eyes held a sense of aspiration and pride, and more and more did this rouse Yin Qingqing’s interest. Of course, it also roused Yin Qingqing’s suggestive speculations. “Jǐ Yi, are you in an underage romance?”

Jǐ Yi was alarmed. Instantly, she could feel her heart pounding like thunder, and hemming and hawing, she did not reply.

“You must be.” Seeing that she did not give an answer, Yin Qingqing was even more certain. She moved in close to Jǐ Yi’s ear and exhilaratedly told her, “When I went to buy something at the supermarket, I saw you getting out of a car on the opposite side of the overpass. There was a really hot guy inside the car wearing a baseball cap, right? He’s especially tall, right? I could tell from him just sitting in the car that he’s definitely about the same height as those guys on our school basketball team. You guys, hmm… I’m sure have some sort of underground affair going on, or else why didn’t you get off the car at the front of the school instead of walking two streets to get over here?”

Beside her ear was Yin Qingqing’s breath, which was being blown out as she spoke, warm and tickly.

To high school students, someone having a boyfriend from outside of the school was already a very shocking piece of gossip, let alone this “rumoured boyfriend” seemed to be someone who was already out in the working world. This was just blood-boilingly exciting!

Boyfriend? … More like one-sided love, right? At some point in time, he would get married, and then this one-sided love should then also quietly come to an end.

Jǐ Yi could not help giving Yin Qingqing a little shove, feeling too embarrassed to continue this dialogue. “I’m not going to talk to you anymore. Hurry up and go to bed. We still have morning self-study class tomorrow.”

With a grin, Yin Qingqing climbed back up the ladder.

Hugging her quilt, Jǐ Yi lay with her cheek resting in the crook of her arm. In this room that was gradually slipping into stillness, she could even hear the sounds of the ticking clock hands. The angle that she was at was just perfect for her to see the alarm clock on the only wooden table in the dormitory room. The clock hands that were painted with glow-in-the-dark powder were silently pointing towards twelve o’clock.

She abruptly shut her eyes.

Hurry and sleep, hurry and sleep. Jǐ Yi, don’t overthink it anymore…

<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. Translated with the express permission of the author for hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com only.

April arrived, and she did very well on her mock examinations.

As a reward, Jì Chengyang brought her to watch Meng Jinghui’s play. The response to this tour for Rhinoceros in Love[1] had been very enthusiastic. Jì Chengyang told her, this avant-garde play would indubitably become a classic.

“Let’s guess how many editions there will be of it in ten years. If you guess correctly, I’ll take you to Eastern Europe.”

Four editions? Five? Or would there be six? What number of editions was considered “normal”? … Jì Chengyang watched her as she wavered indecisively.

Sitting in the sofa chair opposite her, his back toward the brown, floor-length glass window, he gave an undetected smile.

In the end, Jǐ Yi tossed in her white flag. She honestly did not know anything about this.

Jì Chengyang finally let her off the hook. “I was just joking with you. If you really want to go to Eastern Europe, we don’t need to wait ten years. After you graduate from university, I’ll take you there for two months.”

She nodded, suddenly growing quiet.

Each and every word spoken from Jì Chengyang’s lips was an enticement. It was like someone was blowing bubble after colourful bubble into the sunlight. She longed to stretch out her hand to grab at them, but she also dared not touch them. He was already twenty-four years old, already an age where he could marry… He would have a girlfriend very soon, right?

She thought about the tall building that housed the television station, thought about the people who would come and go from it and pass it, thought about that dressing room for all the newscasters, thought about all those faces who reported the news… and thought about how she, with a television screen in between them, had been only able to touch the glass and not his face that was far away in the Palestine region.

That was his world—so very far from her.

And if that distance were to be measured in time, it would be at least another five years.

<>Please support this translation at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, which is the site that it was originally posted on. Thank you.

That Saturday, at the end of April.

Jì Chengyang brought her out from the urban area and drove to the outskirts of Beijing municipality, to a place called Yangfang. He told her, in all of Beijing, this place had the best instant-boiled mutton hot pot. Wang Haoran, after coming here twice, thought very highly of it. In earlier years, when there were not many personal vehicles, there truly had been many people who would still drive here from faraway places because of its reputation, just so that they could have a taste of Yangfang’s instant-boiled mutton in a copper hot pot.

“It might be that this won’t exist in the future.” While driving, Jì Chengyang would look at the blue road signs beside the road to determine where he should turn. “There are some restaurant and culinary brands that have a long life, but the prerequisite for that is that they must be in an area that is convenient for traffic. This place here is indeed a little too difficult to get to. The restaurant business nowadays is growing very rapidly. Beijing is no longer what it used to be, when people would drive more than an hour just to have a taste of instant-boiled mutton hot pot made from a secret recipe.”

Especially since the roads aren’t good, either, Jǐ Yi silently added as she gazed through the window at the verdant and lush silver poplar trees.

On both sides, there were unending stretches of rice paddies, and near and far, there were clusters of single-storey homes that formed villages. It was as if they had entered into a whole other city. This was her first time in the outskirts on the northern end of the municipality. Along the way, Jì Chengyang even got off the car once to ask for directions. The funniest part was, after he finished asking, in order to express his thanks, he bought a variety of vegetables from the vegetable farmer.

“There’s so much.” Jǐ Yi gawked at him. “How are we going to eat it all?”

Smiling resignedly, Jì Chengyang continued driving onwards. Very shortly, they began to see all the different military sites, from the site for the artillery regiment to a chemical-protection research institute. Apparently, up ahead, there was also an engineering research institute as well as the tank force site… The road was broad and without many vehicles driving on it. Yellow dust even swirled up slightly from it. Finally, they saw that so-called “flagship location” of this “Yangfang instant-boiled mutton hot pot.”

Perhaps because business was good, there was actually a large restaurant on each side of the road.

The two of them even had a serious discussion for a little while in the car about which was the true, most-original, most-authentic instant-boiled mutton hot pot. In the end, Jì Chengyang went by what he remembered and chose the relatively smaller one. It was not until they had both taken a seat and asked the server that they were smilingly informed that both were owned by the same boss, and a big, five-storey hotel was straightaway going to be built because business was simply too good.

Jì Chengyang pulled off his jacket and also removed his cap.

His hair had already grown back a little, and after being pressed down by the cap, those black hairs appeared even softer.

The server placed a menu in front of him and also handed him a pencil. “The lamb and beef were all raised right here. You must eat it. Also, for the sauces, you must choose our secret sauce… and also the sweet-and-sour garlic, and also our shaobing [baked, unleavened flatbread]—”

The server was afraid that Jì Chengyang might miss the chance to try out the specialty foods and hence exhorted him over and over.

“Thank you.” Jì Chengyang expressed his thanks.

<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. Translated with the express permission of the author for hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com only.

Dish after dish of food was served up, and the charcoal inside the copper hot pot’s stove burned red as well. Jì Chengyang tossed the entire plate of mutton in, and then his chopsticks made a circle around the copper pot, spreading out the slices of meat inside the soup to cook them through evenly.

涮羊肉 Instant-boiled mutton hot pot (Image credit: “Old Beijing Hotpot” by Nan Jiang, original posted in https://www.flickr.com/photos/cristina317/16154316166/, image used under CC BY-SA 2.0)

“You were saying in the car earlier, you want to go to Peking U to apply for its foreign small languages program[2]?

Jǐ Yi gave an “mm-hmm.”

“Why are you trying to get into such an atypical major? You’re worried your grades won’t be able to get into a key university?” Jì Chengyang was somewhat familiar with the admission process of foreign language programs in schools like Peking University and Beijing Foreign Studies University. They all held a written examination and interviews in advance, and then afterwards, candidates would all take their college entrance examinations. There were separate minimum grade requirements for admission into these programs. In other words, this normally meant that there were several key universities that one could get into with low grades.

“No.” Nibbling on the end of her chopsticks, Jǐ Yi gave an equivocal explanation. “I was just thinking… I could learn a weird language that, when combined with English, would be relatively useful.” Such as Arabic, Burmese, Indonesian, Filipino, or Russian, which had all been on this time’s program admissions brochure. It seemed, in the future, if she went to the war zones with him… it should be very useful.

Jì Chengyang asked her, “When is the registration date?”

“May 11.” Jǐ Yi remembered it clearly. Seeing that the mutton was cooked, she immediately picked some up with her chopsticks and placed it into his bowl. “It’s cooked.”

Jì Chengyang also got her some with his chopsticks. “Don’t worry about me. You eat more.”

When the two had finished eating and were driving back, they realized that they had the smell of mutton and hot pot on them, so Jì Chengyang rolled down all the car windows. He removed his jacket, tossing it to the backseat, and wore only his short-sleeved shirt to drive.

It was the end of April and also a brilliantly sunny day. As she sat in the front seat, the sun beat down on her until she began to perspire.

Jì Chengyang was also feeling hot. “Go sit in the backseat. Sit behind me.”

Very obediently, Jǐ Yi crawled to the back and rested her upper body on his driver’s side seat, leaning in close to speak to him.

“This is a different road from the one we took to come here?”

“This road passes by the Tank Museum[3].” He chuckled, “If you’re always driving the same roads and seeing the same scenery, it’s boring, don’t you think?”

Her face against one side of the seatback, she answered him with an “mm-hmm.”

<>This translation was taken from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. Please support it on that site instead. Thank you.

Their vehicle had not been driving for long before it was forced to come to a halt.

Where they were was a stone bridge. Right now, next to the small red brick house on each side of the road, there were signal lights flashing, and red-and-white boom gates were slowly lowering down, obstructing both sides of the road. A train would be coming soon. This was to clear the road and ensure that the railway tracks would remain free and unimpeded.

This particular road was remote to begin with.

There was only one vehicle on it. Other than their car, there were no other vehicles.

As for people, though, there were three. An elderly man was on duty in the little red brick house to the right, while he and she were in the car.

<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. Translated with the express permission of the author for hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com only.

Jǐ Yi’s train of thought had been interrupted. She looked to both sides of the railway tracks. The train still had not come yet.

What had they been talking about just now?

Oh, right. War zones.

“Do you ever get scared, you know, when you’re out on the combat fields?”

“Yes.” Jì Chengyang was open about this. He smiled. In the sunlight that shone through the front windows, that smile appeared especially distant. “Sometimes when you close your eyes, you’ll wonder whether you’ll fall asleep and then never wake up again, because at any time, a bomb can fall in any corner. In wartorn countries, there is not a single inch of land where someone can peacefully fall into sleep.”

Distant.

When he spoke of these things, he truly seemed so distant.

She felt that she truly fit that saying, “a frog at that bottom of a well[4]” [narrow, limited perspective on life and the world]. She could only feel moved and sigh at his words but had no way of having true perceptions and feelings that came from personal experience.

Without warning, Jì Chengyag unfastened his seatbelt and motioned to her to get out of the car. Jǐ Yi did not know what he wanted to do, but opening the car door, she followed him. The two of them approached that railway track. Jì Chengyang took a look at the red brick house on the left that had nobody inside and then brought her to its other side. With this particular angle, the elderly man on duty would not be able to see what they were doing.

<>It would be sincerely appreciated if you would support this translation at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, where it was originally posted. Thank you.

In the distance, a train rounded a bend and headed in their direction.

She and Jì Chengyang stood on the stone bridge. The safety and protective measures all around were simple and crude, with only a rusty metal railing in place.

Puzzled, she looked at Jì Chengyang. Right as she was about to ask him what he wanted to do, from behind, he enfolded her in his arms so that all of her was securely leaning back into his embrace. In her ear, the final few words she heard were “Don’t be scared. Watch it go by.”

<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. Translated with the express permission of the author for hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com only.

In that instant when the train hurtled past them, all her hair and her skirt whipped upwards, slapping against her face and legs. It stung a little.

There was a furious burst of wind, a wind that could sweep you onto the tracks at any moment.

Her heartbeat gradually grew rapid.

Without him there, she might really have been swept away.

Jì Chengyang was leaning against the railing, and she was leaning against him.

In front of them was the train, and behind them, several metres down, was the rocky riverbank below the bridge.

Here, in this moment, her blood was coursing madly through her body. Train car after train car streaked past them. A huge roaring noise flooded her ears. Before her eyes, there was only the continuously changing black exterior of the train. Even after the final train car had torn past, the two stimulations of fear and exhilaration were still relentlessly alternating in her heart.

Finally, he loosened his arms from around her. Lowering himself into a half-crouch, he took her waist into his hands and turned her around to face him. “It’s that feeling.”

Jǐ Yi’s heart once more began to pound furiously, growing faster and faster. She was actually feeling retrospective fear now.

Jì Chengyang tilted his face downwards and smiled, his gaze fixed on her. “Scared?”

She gave an “mm-hmm.” Her legs felt somewhat limp.

<>This translation’s actual site of posting is hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. It would sincerely be appreciated if you would support it there. 

It was that same warm feeling of restlessness. Jì Chengyang was increasingly unable to resist his little lady.

Even this sort of moment—where she stared at him, trying hard to suppress those little feelings of fear that had risen retroactively within her eyes, her mouth opening and closing to say the simple words of “I was a bit scared earlier, but now I’m okay” that carried no sense of enticement whatsoever—this moment still caused him to want to do something.

A single ripple within your eyes has already completely broken down the dam of someone’s heart[5]. Ah, love.

<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. Translated with the express permission of the author for hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com only.

[1] 《恋爱中的犀牛》Rhinoceros in Love is a play directed by Meng Jinghui and written by his wife. In 1999, when it was first performed, it was regarded as “experimental theatre,” but has since been performed thousands of times worldwide. As of 2017, this play had nine editions.

[2] 小语种 “xiao yu zhong.” In China, “small languages” is referring to lesser known foreign languages, or basically foreign languages aside from English. “Small languages” could include Spanish, Korean, Arabic, etc. so they are not necessarily “small languages” in terms of number of speakers in the world, just in China.

[3] Referring to the Beijing PLA Tank Museum, or simply known as the Tank Museum.

[4] 井底之蛙 “jing di zhi wa.” A frog at the bottom of a well can only see that tiny patch of sky above it. It does not see—does not necessarily even know—about the vast heavens beyond, about the rivers and lakes and great oceans. A person who is described as being like a frog at the bottom of a well is someone who knows very little beyond things in her own little world and has a limited perspective and understanding of “the real world” and life.

[5] A literal translation of that sentence would be “A single ripple within your eyes has already caused someone to collapse for thousands of miles.” The Chinese text uses 潰之千里 “collapse for thousands of miles”, which is likely derived from the saying, 千里之堤,溃于蚁穴 “an ant hole can cause the collapse of a great dike thousands of miles long.” I took some artistic discretion in this translation.

This story was translated with the express 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:
29 of 69 Chapter segments
0 of 1 Epilogue

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25 thoughts on “The Healing Sunshine (一厘米的阳光) — Chapter 12.3

  1. Ah , love what can I say love this sweet moments with them thank you @ hoju ❤️❤️

  2. I went to see 恋爱中的犀牛 last year!!! Although I will admit the my Mandarin was not good enough to understand all of it, I found the music to be moving.

    As for this portion of the chapter, I CAN’T WAIT TO READ WHAT HAPPENS NEXT!!!!

  3. Ah love indeed.. These two are so melomelo in love. It’s great!! BUT THE FACT THAT THEY WON’T AGREE TO A RELATIONSHIP!! What are they?!!? D:
    Many thankss

    • They are a fully mature man and a sixteen year old girl. There are some things that Xixi may not even realize need to be considered, but Jì Chengyang must be prudent about them. 🙂
      You’re welcome!

  4. Hmmm, yes, this is all very sweet but am I the only one bothered with their age though? She was 15 and only just turned 16, while I think he is 24. One might argue that she is mature because of her family circumstances, but her family circumstances also make her more vulnerable and sensitive to any form of sincere affection. I find their gap in age and life experience to be quite significant at this point in the story, so it is rather difficult to support any romantic development for now. While Ji Cheng Yang has acted with propriety, I would have preferred for him to develop romantic feelings for her once she is older. I was fine with the age difference between Gu Ping Sheng and Tong Yan, I could also accept their teacher-student romantic relationship, but this one is hard to accept. I enjoy reading this translation but I do find myself uncomfortable as we find out that he actually already has feelings for her. Hmm. Anyways, thank you as always for translating!

    • He is well aware of their age difference, and I personally think he hasn’t overstepped any boundaries. There is a reason why he hasn’t said anything to her, for he knows he must be prudent about certain things. He also fully understands that she is not completely mature yet, so he will not ask her to make a choice. You will hear from his perspective later and how he chooses to deal with this. I don’t think he is grooming her as a future girlfriend. I think regardless of what her heart will choose, he wants to care for her like he always did, when she was merely a little girl who had no parental figure.

      Thanks for your thoughts! 🙂

  5. A single ripple within your eyes has already already completely broken down the dam of someone’s heart. Ah, love.

    ~ Ah, love indeed.
    Together with JY and JCY, I am so lost in the warm feelings whenever I read their sweet love story.

    Thanks for the update my dear Hoju.

  6. Ah is this love JCY? But feel sad for Jiyi as she thinks they belong to different worlds
    The pic is so cute lol the height difference😊when I tried to search yangfang Beijing china wow all I can see is the copper pot hotpot😱

    • I know! I’d love to go. It supposedly still exists, but I bet I’ll never go there in my lifetime. It’s too remote for me to make the drive out if I’m in Beijing for any reason. 😦

  7. Ah love 😍 thank you Hoju

  8. happy news for JY! and if JCY would not eventually run away from this feeling
    thank you

  9. JCY put a name to the warm feelings 😀!!! I am waiting to see how he deals about this with JY still young. Lovely picture too.

    Thank you for the chapter,Hoju 🙂.

    • I think he is smart enough to identify those feelings. 🙂 We just finally get to “see” him acknowledging it and the fact that it’s getting harder and harder to keep his distance from his little lady.

      You’re welcome!

  10. JY is so lucky there is actually someone who can fill the void in her life, and JCY is slowly planning future events by including JY in it. This kind of romance is very interesting.

    • And on the flip side, Jì Chengyang is blessed to have found that girl who can allow him to forget some of the devastation he has seen. They are fortunate to have found each other.
      Thanks for reading!

  11. Ohhhh my heart….I can’t handle this…..

  12. Ah, love.

    This is so sweeeet!! I’m drowning. Thank you for this.

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