Fanatical

Fangirling Chinese Novels

The Healing Sunshine (一厘米的阳光) — Chapter 17.2

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Xixi has no idea what effect she has on him. I appreciate how Jì Chengyang deals with other women, then and now. Why give them false hope?

Chapter 17.2 — Beneath the Same Roof (2)

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.

 

Smart people have advantages that come with being smart, and they also have problems that come with being smart.

While Jì Chengyang was in the kitchen holding a small steel knife and paring a potato, he saw Jǐ Yi’s figure wandering in, and straightaway, he knew what she had gone into the bedroom to do. Without a word, she had changed into a set of homewear that was a prettier colour.

Jì Chengyang had seen this particular outfit when he was helping her organize her wardrobe. Actually, most of her outfits for home were different only in colour. It was merely that this one was a smokey purple colour, very different and unqiue, so he naturally had some impression of it.

So…

He could roughly guess what kind of changes Jǐ Yi’s thoughts had gone through.

This was what was called “a woman beautifies herself for a man who fancies her[1].”

Jǐ Yi stepped over and set her chin lightly on his arm, attentively watching him slice potatoes. Turning his head slightly, he took a glance at her. He saw her eyes, which seemed to hold pools of water in them as she very naturally leaned her body against his. Her hair was even slightly damp, and it grazed flittingly against the back of Jì Chengyang’s hand.

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When Jì Chengyang was in high school, there occasionally had been girls who had done this same sort of thing to him. For example, when a girl brought a textbook over to talk about an exercise problem or something similar with him, or when she moved closer to speak to him, at times, there would not be a good handle on the distance between them and they would be close enough that he could touch the other person’s hair. Back then, he had not really felt too much towards this, and sometimes he had even purposely given a little hint. “That’s about it now. For the steps after this, you can ask the subject rep about them.” And then, he would pick up his school bag and leave, heading to the basketball court or maybe the orchestra’s rehearsal hall.

At the time, he was the age that Jǐ Yi was presently. It seemed that most of his youth had been spent making great strides forward, and he had not had any desire to linger in the scenes and sights that surrounded him. In that stage of his life, love and romance had not been necessities to him. Later, he had gone to the United States, where expression of feelings was no longer in the traditionally subtle and indirect way of the Chinese. His most awkward moments had been in the very beginning, when he was attending a gathering and had been touched on the inner thigh by a blonde girl to whom he had only said hello a few times, or when an ethnic Chinese girl, who was also a foreign student, had outright requested to go home with him.

……

He had only ever wavered once. It was during a farewell party, after receiving his university degree.

It was a girl who had been on the same flight as him when he first came to the United States, one whom he had known for four years already and who was actually slightly older than him. That night, because he had received a call from the newspaper agency that he was interning at, he had hurriedly picked up his jacket and left that room that was still extremely lively and bustling with excitement. The girl had run out after him. In the subtlest of ways, she had asked him, “I have two job opportunities in front of me. One of them is to stay in this city. Do you think it’s ‘worth it’ for me to stay here and continue waiting for you?”

It was the subtle, indirect Chinese way of expressing feelings.

After the other party finished asking this question, Jì Chengyang had looked into that beautiful, gentle pair of eyes. In them, he saw too much hope. For two, three seconds, he had vacillated ever so slightly. And then, he had bidden farewell to her and driven away.

He had thought, this was the first time he had been touched by a girl’s veiled feelings and the notion of “not having the heart to refuse her” had crossed his mind. However, he had only really hesitated for two or three seconds before he had already collected himself again.

What had it been for? For that four-and-a-half year old little girl whom fate had led him to meet long ago when he was thirteen years old?

To the him at that time, it was not possible that this was the answer.

But it was destined, and God had indeed ended up giving him this answer.

……

That summer, he went to Syria.

And when he returned to China, he met again the then-eleven-year-old Jǐ Yi.

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

This was the advantage of being smart. He was always able to rationally analyze what he needed most in which particular stage. But when the girl you love is using body language that even she does not really understand to express that she loves you…

It was impossible for him to remain unmoved by it.

In fact, because of this, his heart and mind had been agitated and restless for a long time already.

Jì Chengyang’s gaze fell on the edge of his knife. Strip after strip of skin was lightly peeled away and dropped into the wastebasket. One piece of yellow potato skin landed outside of it. “It fell out,” Jǐ Yi laughed. Bending at the waist, she picked it up and threw it into the wastebasket. “Need me to help you with anything?”

“No, no need.” Jì Chengyang lowered his head and touched his chin slightly against her forehead. “Wash your hands and then go read for a bit. While you’re at it, blow-dry your hair a bit more.”

“Okay.” Jǐ Yi smiled.

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Jì Chengyang’s cooking could not be considered to be at the skill level of a top chef, but the good thing was that he was well practiced in it. And anyhow, hot pot did not require much for preparation work. By approximately the time when Xinwen Lianbo[2] was to air, they had started eating. When Jǐ Yi was a child and still lived at home, Grandfather had watched Xinwen Lianbo every day, a routine that was unshakable. And now, when she was here temporarily staying in Jì Chengyang’s home, he, too, would occasionally watch a little bit of the program.

The steaming heat of the hot pot and the sounds coming from Xinwen Lianbo filled this room such that it truly felt like a warm, comforting home.

Jǐ Yi liked eating all different sorts of vegetables, and moreover, she liked to toss them into the hot pot all at once. In the past, when she went out occasionally with schoolmates to have hot pot, she would always be teased that it was more like they were having ma la tang[3] and not hot pot.

Jì Chengyang, though, did not feel that there was anything wrong with this. The reality was, no matter what Jǐ Yi did, in his eyes now, there would be nothing wrong with it. He would only think in such directions as “cute,” “interesting and amusing,” “very good,” “extremely good,” etc…. He would only occasionally give her reminders like “The meat was just thrown in. Don’t take any veggies out from there to eat yet.”

Halfway through the meal, Jǐ Yi started to feel hot. Her cheeks were a rosy red, and she continually wiped at her perspiration with a napkin. Unable to contain his laughter, Jì Chengyang brought the hand that was holding his chopsticks up in front of his mouth, covering it and giving a couple of coughs.

Jǐ Yi’s eyelashes fluttered slowly, and she turned her eyes on him, not really understanding what he was laughing about.

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

That evening, Jì Chengyang had finished showering, and after changing into a long-sleeved top and jogging pants that he wore at home and stepping out from the bathroom, he could not find Jǐ Yi. Wandering nonchalantly through the house, he discovered that there was light in the library room behind the study. When he pushed open the door, he saw that Jǐ Yi had turned on the light in the centre of the library, and some of the lamps on the lower part of the shelves were illuminated as well. Jǐ Yi was sitting on the rug, and spread open, all within reach of her, were two or three books.

“I’ve noticed that you like to write a few words in the books that you’ve read.” Wagging the book that was in her hand, she dug out a bookmark from it. “ ‘da Vinci’s notes are also a type of treasure. He liked to write in a way where his words were backwards, from right to left, and all the letters that came from his pen were reversed, too. You would need to put a mirror on the paper before you would be able to read what he had written.’ ”

The book she was flipping through was an old publication of the book, Leonardo da Vinci.

Jì Chengyang did indeed have this sort of habit, but he had read this book too long ago and already forgotten what he had written.

However, he finally understood what Jǐ Yi was doing. Right now, in this library room, she was searching, one book at a time, for traces that he had left behind, searching for things from that Jì Chengyang whom she did not know because she had been too young at the time.

She beckoned to him.

Jì Chengyang walked over and sat down crosslegged beside her.

“See, you even copied him and wrote a line of mirror writing.”

Jǐ Yi held the bookmark up below his eyes.

The things he was interested in and knew were truly numerous.

Just like the person he liked, Leonardo da Vinci.

In order to understand Jì Chengyang more, she, too, had actually ended up becoming deeply fascinated with that scientist.

Leonardo da Vinci. Painting, sculptures, astronomy, physics, architecture, hydrology, machinery, paleontology, medicine, and even military engineering—he knew them all. He was a self-taught, unparalleled talent in all fields… She had thought that she already had sufficient knowledge about da Vinci, even thoroughly knowing the rumours and gossip-like tidbits, like the fact that he was an illegitimate son and, at the same time, also someone who pursued homosexual relationships.

Yet, when she saw the notes that Jì Chengyang had jotted as he read, she discovered that actually, what she knew was not very in depth.

Jǐ Yi pulled out another bookmark and continued reciting.

“ ‘There are some in the Western world who say that God concealed all the laws of nature within darkness, and that is why Isaac Newton appeared, to illuminate the darkness with light and to expose those laws of nature before the eyes of mankind. And so, he was God’s messenger. Leonardo da Vinci, though, was someone God had not foreseen. His birth was specifically for the purpose of exposing those things that God had never told to man. Perhaps, some of those laws were ones that even God did not want mankind to know.’”

Jǐ Yi read this aloud in seriousness.

Jì Chengyang, however, felt somewhat awkward as he listened to her. These were his thoughts when he was eighteen, nineteen years old? This was the stuff that his mind had pondered on when he was about the age that Jǐ Yi was now?

Jǐ Yi wanted to keep flipping through to see if there were any more bookmarks that were even more fun and interesting. With the tip of her toe, she prodded Jì Chengyang’s foot. “Help me look. I’m worried I won’t find them all.” She was sitting barefoot on the rug. In the spill of lamplight, her nails were like seashells beneath the sunshine, with a healthy pink colour to them. Perhaps because she always liked to wear sneakers or canvas shoes, her feet had the finest and smoothest of skin, as if they had just been soaked in milk.

Casting his eyes downward, Jì Chengyang watched as her little foot continued nudging him.

“What are you thinking?” Jǐ Yi lifted her head and asked him this, her voice tinged with puzzlement.

“I’m thinking about you,” he told her forthrightly.

“Thinking what about me?” Noticing that his eyes were on her feet, she felt rather embarrassed and pulled them back.

“A lot.” This moment, there were indeed many things flitting across Jì Chengyang’s mind. He discovered that his emotions were more and more easily rippled because of this girl.

“Oh.”

Gazing upon his face, Jǐ Yi suddenly found that he was especially handsome tonight. She remembered, when he was in Afghanistan, she had watched that interview of him on television. In it, he had explained why war correspondents cannot bear arms to protect themselves… Beneath her skin, her blood was coursing slowly, carrying in it a scorching heat. In that brief silence, Jǐ Yi switched from sitting to crawling on her hands and knees like a kitten, moving herself over slowly until she was directly under his nose.

Actually, there were times when she, too, had cells in her that were frisky and willfully unruly.

It was like that time during that winter run when she had dared to jump onto the iced-over moat and surreptitiously run across it in order to avoid the monitoring eyes of the teacher. And in this moment, she was the same.

“Jì Chengyang.” She softly called his name.

Jì Chengyang’s gaze clung to her bright, rosy lips as he gave her an offhanded response.

For the time being, he still did not want to tell her that when she used this particular posture right in front of him to speak to him, it gave him an unobstructed view of all the sights that lay within her neckline.

In front of his own girlfriend, he did not want to be any sort of virtuous gentleman.

“Earlier, you said you’ve never had a girlfriend before?”

“Yes.” He gave a low chuckle. “Never.”

“So…” Biting down lightly on her lower lip, Jǐ Yi hesitated for a moment before carrying on to ask, “When you and I… it was both our… first kiss?”

“Yes,” he continued laughing, “first kiss.”

Girls always seem to like getting caught up over things like that.

In the past, he had felt that there really was no meaning or significance to it. After all, kissing is merely the intertwining of lips and tongue, and sex, to put it bluntly, would not have all that much for variations, either. However, right in this moment, when he saw the especially delighted smile that touched the edge of Jǐ Yi’s lips, he all of a sudden felt that, to a certain degree, this was very meaningful and significant.

Her blood noiselessly began to heat up. She felt that the rug beneath her palm was soft and warm.

Prior to her, Jì Chengyang had been a blank slate; he had not had any other woman. Just this type of thought alone was enough to make her giddy. After all, given the large age difference between them, the probability of this had been extremely low. Slowly, Jǐ Yi moved closer to him, for the first time taking the initiative to kiss him on the lips.

Jì Chengyang lifted his hand and took hold of her slender waist.

He was very much enjoying the feeling of allowing Jǐ Yi to voluntarily part her lips and offer the tip of her tongue over to him. He could even sense that she was mimicking him, slowly entangling his tongue, as well as his thoughts. Although a blazing fire of desire had been ignited within his heart, he still purposely welcomed her actions, despite wanting to take over control, so that he could relish in the pleasure from her willingness to take the initiative.

It was actually Jǐ Yi who became somewhat anxious first, and unable to restrain herself, she pulled away from him and frowningly complained, “Why aren’t you… showing even a little bit of reaction?”

“Oh?” Jì Chengyang deliberately pretended not to comprehend. “What type of reaction do you want from me?”

This single question pushed Jǐ Yi into a state of incomparable embarrassment.

Swiftly, she crawled up from the rug, wanting to get out of there. Before she left, however, she still did not forget to take that old book with her. And then, she left Jì Chengyang alone in the library. Jì Chengyang really did let out a laugh. This was truly equivalent to picking up a stone and smashing his own foot with it. Running his hand haphazardly over his short locks, he stood up from the floor and, surprisingly, went back to the bathroom.

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When Jǐ Yi returned to the bedroom and threw herself onto the bed, she heard the sound of running water coming from the bathroom. She thought she had heard wrong.

She listened carefully again. It really was the sound of the shower. Why was he showering again?

Unbeknownst to her, inside the bathroom, Jì Chengyang had already completely shut off the hot water, allowing icy-cold water to spray out from the showerhead. The water followed the contour of his shoulders, flowed down to his waist, and then coursed over his long, slender legs. Using natural means to lower body temperature was the most effective method; it was merely a little extreme. With both his hands propped against the wall, Jì Chengyang shut his eyes.

His mind, still, was filled with that unobstructed view of the scenery in her neckline when Jǐ Yi had leaned forward in front of him. It had been too wonderful.

“You’re showering again?” Through two doors, Jǐ Yi’s voice asked him this.

“Showering. The library was too hot. I sweated. It didn’t feel very good.”

Was the library really hot?

Dazed confusion came over Jǐ Yi briefly, and turning around, she left.

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

As a result of his cold-water shower in early spring, in the latter half of this night, Jì Chengyang successfully managed to catch a cold. The next day when he went to the television station, he deliberately wore a light-blue medical face mask, and when he spoke with his colleagues, he would purposely try to keep away from them. As all the people inside the conference room looked at Jì Chengyang, there was a feeling in them along the lines of “Hey, hero, you finally got hit, too,” and they even did not forget to tease him. “It’s okay. All the people sitting here aren’t really afraid of dying. If we were afraid, we wouldn’t be coming to work during such a time anyway. But, you know, in all these years that we’ve all known each other, this is the first time I’ve ever seen you with a cold.”

Another person chimed in in agreement, “Yeah, and you just had to choose to have it now. You sure are joining in on the occasion.”

Everybody was cheerful. Liu Wanxia, though, for once did not really participate in everyone’s merry laughter and jesting. When the meeting was dismissed, she brought over a box of cold medicine that was supposedly very effective and set it on Jì Chengyang’s desk. There were not many people in this office that Jì Chengyang was in, so he finally removed his face mask. He poured a cup of hot water and, holding his black thermal mug, declined Liu Wanxia’s kind gesture. “I brought medicine.”

“Then just keep it. There’s no harm in always having some medicine on hand.” Liu Wanxia said this while looking into his eyes. “I’m feeling more and more that there are some things about you that aren’t really any different from when we were in high school. All these years, you haven’t changed. You’re the best at playing dumb.”

Taken aback slightly, Jì Chengyang looked at Liu Wanxia, who was in front of him now, a smile on her face. He seemed to remember that in high school, Liu Wanxia had also frequently come to him to discuss study problems. However, Liu Wanxia had been much smarter than those other girls. She would bring along in her mind a method for solving the exercise problem, and while she discussed it with him, she would also write it out on paper. Then, most of the time, she would stop in the middle of writing and ask for his opinion.

That way, with their back-and-forth discussions, he would end up saying a few more words.

Liu Wanxia had always been very intelligent. She could not possibly have forgotten that he had once clearly stated to her that he had a girlfriend.

“I really did bring medicine—” Jì Chengyang had no choice but to repeat himself again.

Liu Wanxia stared at him. Today, he for once was actually not wearing black and, rather, was garbed in a light-blue button-up shirt with a small checkered pattern. She thought, she had known Jì Chengyang for many years already, and in all these years, irrespective of what identity or status he held, irrespective of what attire he was wearing, and irrespective of where he was making his appearance, he would always carry that Jì Chengyang-style of unruffled composure. This aura of calmness and always observing things from the standpoint of a bystander was a deadly attraction to any woman.

Turning around, she remarked in a casual tone, “You weren’t like this before, saying things so bluntly. It’s not like you at all.”

Before?

Actually, he had never changed.

It was merely that before, he would never open his mouth to vocally refuse someone and would simply directly avoid the person.

Jì Chengyang picked up that box of cold medicine and wagged it between two of his fingers a couple of times. Remembering how Jǐ Yi could already light up with such joy simply because he had never had a girlfriend before, he suddenly felt that his choice in the past of staying far away from all girls had truly been very wise. Offhandedly, he tossed the cold medicine diagonally behind him in the direction of his male colleague, Fang Xiang, who had been “sitting in” on the discussion the entire time. “You can leave this with you to keep on hand.”

Fang Xiang gave a very meaningful grin. “Thanks, eh.” Saying this, he yanked open his drawer and tossed the medication inside.

<>Please support this translation at its actual site of posting, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, instead. It would be great appreciated. Thank you.

Jì Chengyang carried on drinking his hot water. From his pocket, he fished out a transparent medicine box. This had been prepared for him by Jǐ Yi and was especially small and sized for pockets. There were several little covered compartments, containing within them fever medication, cold medicine, and also vitamin tablets…

Fang Xiang took a glance. “What are those?”

“Cold medicine, vitamin tablets, and fever medication.”

“Whoa-oh. Hey, Belle of the Station, you sure live life meticulously. And here I had always thought that since you’re often running around on battlefields, you very likely don’t really take care of yourself.” Circling over to him, Fang Xiang carefully scrutinized that pill organizer box. The more he looked, the more amused he became.

“My girlfriend prepared it,” Jì Chengyang explained.

“Girlfriend?” Fang Xiang paused blankly for some time before finally processing those words through. “That day when I heard them mention it, I didn’t believe it. You honestly have a girlfriend?”

For a moment, Jì Chengyang did not know whether to cry or laugh at this. “What’s there to not believe? It’s not like I’m a monk.”

“Then you need to hurry up and stop covering political stuff. Switch over to the finance side. Otherwise, how can a normal girl even stand it? Every day, if it’s not Afghanistan then it’s Syria, or else it’s Chechnya. Not a single one of them is a safe place.”

Heaving a sigh to himself, Fang Xiang slipped out the door and headed to the editing room.

Jì Chengyang did not really take what Fang Xiang said to heart. These were words he heard time and again, and he had long since become desensitized to them.

He merely followed Jǐ Yi’s instructions, opening each lid and putting the pills into his mouth. All of a sudden, a thought crossed his mind… If a label could be put in front of a name, that would actually be a good thing. For instance, he, Jì Chengyang, was Jǐ Yi’s boyfriend. If such a label could be put at the front of his office desk, it would save so much trouble and effort.

As he thought this, he could not help giving a chuckle.

If there really could be such a label, he reckoned that it would be enough for the little lady to be smiling for an entire month or even an entire year.

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

[1] 女为悦己者容. This quotes from 《戰國策》Records of the Warring States (known also as Records on the Warring States Period, Strategies of the Warring States, etc.). It translates as “a woman will beautify herself for the man who fancies her.”

[2] 新闻联播. Name of the daily news programme produced by China Central News Television (CCTV). See footnote [6] in chapter 1.

[3]麻辣烫 “ma la tang.” Literally, this means “numbingly spicy scalding-hot boil.” Similar to hot pot, various ingredients are cooked by scorching them in a boiling broth. (The characteristic flavour and numbing sensation that one feels after consuming the broth is a result of the Sichuan chilies and Sichuan peppercorn that go into making it.) However, the difference lies in that with hot pot, you cook the food yourself, a little at a time as you eat, while with ma la tang, the ingredients are cooked in the broth all at once and then dished out and served together.

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:
41 of 69 Chapter segments
0 of 1 Epilogue

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8 thoughts on “The Healing Sunshine (一厘米的阳光) — Chapter 17.2

  1. Omg so adorable. I find it so cute and enduring that he refers to her as ‘his little lady’. But Ji Chengyang…. I thought you were more mature! You lecherous old geezer! Lol
    Many thabnss

  2. JCY can also wear a labeled clothing of it: JCY is taken, JY is his girlfriend XP
    thank you

  3. Awww so sweet. It’s really good to read from JC’s perspective.

  4. Squealing* Kyaaaaaa.

    Adorable!!!! Super adorable /3_3/

  5. Hehehe thank you

  6. Ha ha … Smart man and his thoughts.

    Thank you for the chapter, Hoju 😀.

  7. Love it 😍 yes Jiyi boyfriend ❤️❤️❤️

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