Fanatical

Fangirling Chinese Novels

The Healing Sunshine (一厘米的阳光) — Chapter 22.1

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Hope you all have had a wonderful two months. I’m back, but jet lagged… zzzzzzz. Hopefully it wears off soon.

Funny how Xixi’s family suddenly wants to jump in and start playing the role of family again when it has to do with the issue of “face.” :@ Another old friend makes an appearance. I bet you never expected it to be this person. 🙂

Chapter 22.1 — What Use is there in Wishing to Do Things Over? (1)

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.

 

She had originally planned to go back to her school in the afternoon, but because of Jì Chengyang’s one sentence, she stayed at the newspaper office and continued to gather and organize information and materials for which there was no actual urgent need. Page after page of old newspapers made rustling noises as she flipped through them. These were all news stories that were very difficult to look up on the internet, and due to them being from so long ago, the photographs as well as writing and wording all seemed to give off a dated feel.

She was not certain why, but looking through these always reminded her of when she was very young, sitting on the couch of the living room, reading through Grandfather’s newspapers. Reference News and Beijing Evening News. The newspaper names most deeply imprinted on her memory were these two.

Now that she thought about it, she had never read anything that was age appropriate, apart from the traditional Chinese character publication of Grimms’ Fairy Tales.

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

That was her childhood before she met Jì Chengyang.

After meeting him, everything began to somehow be connected to him.

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

Time slid by, minute by minute and second by second. When it was nearly five o’clock, someone called the morgue and instructed Jǐ Yi to come out, saying a visitor had come looking for her. She was very surprised, not expecting that Jì Chengyang would arrive early, and so, after hurriedly signing her name on the sign-out log, she strode out with a stack of newspapers in her arms. As she had left in a hurry, she did not have time to return to her office to put away those newspapers and simply carried them like this to the second floor of the building.

This place was specifically for the newspaper’s employees to rest or receive outside visitors. The moment she walked inside, she ran into several co-workers who were with their own friends. Giving a greeting to them, she stepped past the glass door. And then, her steps abruptly halted.

She was not the only one with such a reaction. Basically, anyone who came or went through here would pause their steps for a moment when they saw those people who were dressed in military uniform. Jǐ Yi did not really dare step over there. Her mind was completely blank, and dazedly, she remained planted at the doorway.

Until the two people sitting inside saw her.

Third [Paternal] Uncle gave a slight nod and beckoned to her. Only then did she walk in, set down her newspapers on the glass table, and take a seat opposite Third Uncle.

“Xixi, congratulations.” Third Uncle was looking at her. “I only heard recently that you passed the civil service exam and advanced into the interview process at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.” Ever since she was little, she had not had much interaction with this uncle and would only see him once or twice a year, during the Lunar New Year or other holidays. Suddenly hearing this congratulatory sentence from him, she did not know how she should respond. It seemed she could only say “Thank you, Third Uncle.”

The ensuing dialogue that unfolded mainly revolved around this particular matter.

The general idea was, Third Uncle’s good friend had mentioned recently that he by chance saw the shortlist of interview candidates and discovered that Jǐ Yi’s name was amongst them. At the time, when the people in her family heard this news, they had all been very astonished. After all, since Jǐ Yi graduated from high school, she had very seldom returned to the military compound. What everyone knew about her recent state was merely that she was studying at Beijing Foreign Studies University, but when they counted the years carefully, this piece of information was actually from several years back.

Jǐ Yi’s father was not born of the same mother as his brothers, and he was also the only one out of them who did not wear a military uniform. Naturally, then, no one was close to him. From the standpoint of Jǐ Yi’s [paternal] grandfather, the elderly man also believed that, by helping to raise that granddaughter until she had graduated from high school, he had already done everything that might be required of him by both humanity and responsibility, and it was not reasonable to expect that the elderly generation would provide for her all through university. As a result, these last several years, he had also tacitly approved of her estrangement from the family.

Of course, when they heard that she was doing quite well of late, they all expressed their great happiness at this, and hence, they, of their own accord, learned a little bit about her recent circumstance and how things were going for her. According to Third Uncle’s words, he “happened to be” passing by her internship work location, so he came in to see her.

“You’re graduating from university this year, right?” Third Uncle was trying to recall.

“I’m graduating from my master’s program,” she quietly corrected.

“Oh, that is really very good. The Foreign Affairs University.” Third Uncle was unfamiliar with these local universities. Despite the praise that came from his lips, he actually did not know what kind of school China Foreign Affairs University was. “I heard that several of your primary school classmates are in master’s programs in Tsinghua and Peking U. After they get their degree, they’ll be at the associate battalion leader level. You kids are all very good kids.”

Her head was lowered, and she sipped at her mineral water.

Most of her primary school classmates had gone on to study at military academy. The direction and student development scheme of those types of military schools were a completely different type of education system from hers. But, she thought, Third Uncle would not be interested in these things, and so she did not explain.

It was a very dry conversation that kept on for half an hour.

Jǐ Yi waited uneasily, speculating over what other content of discussion would follow that was actually the real topic of today.

When Third Uncle was readying to leave, he finally opened his mouth and remarked, “Also, I heard by chance that the Jì family provided you with some aid in this matter. Since childhood, you have troubled them quite a bit. If you encounter any difficulties, it is still better if you talk with your family about it as much as possible. Outsiders will always still be outsiders.”

Jǐ Yi seemed to comprehend the connotation in what she was hearing, but she still held on to the off chance that it was not as she presumed.

Even now, she did not know what exactly was the relationship between her and Jì Chengyang. They had once had a secret relationship that no outsiders could know about, but that had been buried deeply away in the past that was four years gone. And then? He had suddenly returned, coming into her life once again. She could not bear to stay away from him, and so, she somewhat self-indulgently allowed herself to see him and occasionally have dinner with him. She did not even know whether they were considered to have made up and be back together again.

While she was still wishfully hoping that she could make up an excuse that would handle this, similar to how she had sidestepped Second Aunt’s well-intentioned reminder when she was young, Third Uncle was already straight-out stating what he ultimately needed to say. “There are some things that will bring about a very bad effect, and in the type of family that we have, it absolutely will not be allowed to happen. You are a very sensible child. I believe I only need to state just enough here and need not say any more beyond this.”

With that, Third Uncle gave her a rather meaningful look, then rose and left.

She was caught off guard, not having even a chance to react, and flusteredly, she stood.

Right as the door was pushed open, a tall figure dressed completely in black and wearing a black cap strode inside. Three people brushed past each other, but then, Third Uncle and Jì Chengyang both simultaneously ceased their steps, having recognized one another.

There was only a three-to-four-year age difference between them to begin with. They were of the same generation and could also be considered peers of the same age group. Their two families had such a close relationship that when they were young and living in the same military compound, their lives had intersected in many ways. In their student days, they had even sat on the same school bus and pitted their skills against one another on the basketball court, and they had also chatted casually before, during their elders’ dinner gatherings.

Now, to unexpectedly meet again, and especially in this place, after he had just had a conversation with Jǐ Yi that had hinted much, Third Uncle plainly was somewhat displeased. Still, though, he maintained his basic manners and exchanged a couple sentences of niceties with Jì Chengyang. Then, he purposely mentioned Jì Chengyang’s marriage. “What’s that? You’re not planning on having a makeup wedding ceremony here in China? You have returned now, after all, so that would be considered a fulfillment of your duty to all the elders.”

Jì Chengyang replied, “It’s a personal matter. There is no need to go to such trouble. Besides, I am already starting on divorce procedures.”

Third Uncle threw a very swift glimpse at Jǐ Yi, who stood not far away, and put on a forced smile as he said, “All right. I’m going to leave first now. If we have time, we can meet up again.” When he finished saying these words, he gave a firm pat on Jì Chengyang’s shoulder.

Behaving as if nothing at all had occurred, Jì Chengyang left the newspaper office with her. It was the rush hour when everyone was leaving work, and in the underground parking garage, they even one after the other ran into the managing editor and He Feifei, who were both about to drive their cars away and leave. It was clear the managing editor understood what was going on but was pretending to be clueless. With gleeful snickers, he asked Jì Chengyang, how was it that he was acting like a Japanese devil [Japanese soldier], “sneaking into the village and not firing any bullets[1],” and then, just like that, had managed to spirit away the newspaper’s new and wonderful employee.

He Feifei, on the other hand, acted like she had seen a ghost and continuously babbled, “Teacher Jì, hello. It really has been long time no see. Have you, Teacher, been busy of late? …” Her eyes, though, were darting over furiously, doggedly fixing themselves on Jǐ Yi. Shortly after Jǐ Yi was sitting in Jì Chengyang’s car, she received He Feifei’s text message:

What in the world is going on? Tomorrow you’re going to give me an honest report!

Jǐ Yi’s heart was in a tangled mess, and she had not an ounce of strength to handle this sort of questioning that came in the form of teasing.

<>Please support this translation by reading it at its actual site of posting, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, instead. Thank you.

What occurred just earlier was still so clear in her mind.

That feeling was similar to what she had experienced many years ago, standing in Grandfather’s living room with many pairs of eyes staring at her while she was being questioned and suspected. The Second Ring Road before her eyes now was already extremely clogged up with traffic. Through the car window, she gazed out at the sea of illumination formed by all the cars’ lights melding together. She had even forgotten to ask where he wanted to take her. She simply sat where she was, her left hand unconsciously wringing the fingers of her right hand. The force she was applying was heavy and the joints of those fingers were blanched white from being wrung, but she was not even aware, only vacantly immersed in her own thoughts.

Suddenly, she felt her left hand being forcibly pulled away. Alarmed, she snapped her mind back to the present. Her gaze shifted from the sea of vehicles outside the window over to him. Jì Chengyang was already holding that hand of hers and had set it on the automatic shift stick between them.

“I’m going to bring you to see someone tonight. I think you’ll be really happy.” Jì Chengyang did not ask her any questions and, instead, shifted the topic over to something that was light and relaxed. His hand, though, seemed to have no intention of releasing its hold.

And just like that, his left hand held the steering wheel while his right hand held her hand.

“Do I know this person?” All her senses seemed to converge onto that hand of hers that was wrapped in his. She dared not move, and her voice also became light and soft.

“It’s someone we both know,” he answered, “but I’m worried you might not recognize him.”

She gave an “oh.” Seeing that he spoke no more, she closed her eyes and leaned back into the passenger seat, putting on a front of unperturbedness.

Gradually, her palm grew hot and numb. There was a strange emotion within her that she had never experienced before, and it left her confused and at a loss as to what to do.

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

When they arrived at the restaurant and she was facing that man who was garbed in a white chef’s coat beside their table, she needed a full minute before she was finally able to spot some familiar things within that person’s facial features.

Something flooded out from deep in her memory, but she was unable for the moment to place where she had seen him.

Until the other party switched to a dialect of a different place to tell her, “I am A’Liang.”

Only then did it hit her.

This was that boy who, when she and Jì Chengyang went to visit Grandaunt, had said that he wanted to leave his impoverished hometown, earn more money, and change his own fate. She could clearly remember what Jì Chengyang had once said to him, and those very words had also had a great impact on her. When compared with A’Liang, the present Jǐ Yi appeared much younger. Her facial features still looked as they had when she was little, so the other party had no doubts whatsoever and recognized her in just a glance.

“Before Granny passed on, she still mentioned you,” A’Liang told her, “and talked about how you’re scared of the dark. She even laughed and said that she should have had you stay with her for a few more days and then that bad trait would have been rid of.”

Jǐ Yi smiled embarrassedly.

Back then, she had genuinely been afraid of the dark. She had nearly burst out in tears simply because she did not see Jì Chengyang when she stepped back outside after going to the bathroom in the courtyard.

“In just a bit, I’ll personally make some dim sum dishes for you two. Har gow [crystal shrimp dumplings], turnip cakes… What else? Gee, I’m so excited I’ve even forgotten what I know how to make.”

Left: Har gow, also known as shrimp dumplings or crystal shrimp dumplings. Right: Turnip cakes (image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mesohungry/4514130345 used under CC BY-SA 2.0)

“No worries.” Jǐ Yi pointed at the menu. “We’ve ordered them all.”

This seemed to be Jì Chengyang’s first time seeing him as well. From the exchange between the two men, Jǐ Yi learned that, since arriving in Beijing last year, A’Liang had been trying to find Jì Chengyang using the contact information that Grandaunt had left him. It was not until Jì Chengyang’s return to the country this time that the two finally had this opportunity to meet up. Taking advantage of a bit of spare time, A’Liang sat down and told them about how, after graduating from middle school, he had come out and begun working jobs, from Ningxia, to Guangzhou, and then finally to Shanghai. His education level was low, so the whole time, he had placed his focus on learning to make dim sum dishes, and he actually was able to create a little career for himself from this. And then from that, he was also able to bring out more than ten of his cousin-brothers [paternal male cousins] from that small town.

As A’Liang spoke, he was exhilarated. His face was slightly flushed and his eyes also gleamed brighter and brighter. Eventually remembering that these were still work hours for him, he hastily picked up the menu and went to busy himself with adding some more dishes for them.

As Jǐ Yi gazed after his backside, she could not help smiling. “He must be really happy.” Saying this, she lifted her head to discover that Jì Chengyang’s eyes were fixed on her. Without any reason, she remembered the scene between the two of them in the car as they drove here the entire way, and an awkward blush crept into her face.

<>This copy was taken from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. It would be greatly appreciated if you would support this translation by reading it there instead. Thank you.

She had not expected that on such a day, the atmosphere between them would be much more harmonious than on the day of the Lantern Festival.

That evening, Jǐ Yi lay on her bed in the dormitory room, unable to fall asleep.

Her roommates were all lying on their own respective beds and chitchatting idly, their conversation topic going from work to romance and relationships and then continuing to expand limitlessly from there. All of a sudden, someone asked Jǐ Yi, “Jǐ Yi, that girl who came to find you that day, the financial situation of her family must be pretty good, right? I heard her mention the school that she graduated from and then also saw her car and handbag. They’re all definitely stuff that we all look up admiringly at.”

Jǐ Yi gave an “mm-hmm” and answered, “Her family does quite well.”

That roommate suddenly turned over in her bed. “Then have her introduce a guy to you to be your boyfriend. She must be surrounded by good ones, like she only needs to reach out her hand and there’ll be a whole bunch for her to grab.”

On her bed, Jǐ Yi lay sprawled on her belly, her face against her pillow, and silently she giggled.

Two hours had already passed since Jì Chengyang drove her back here. She could not help wondering, after he left, what would he do? Where would he go? Would he be thinking about her, too?

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

[1] In China, during the period of the Sino-Japanese Wars, when anti-Japanese sentiments in China were very strong, Japanese were often referred to as 日本鬼子 or “Japanese devils.” The saying 偷偷地进村,打枪的不要 “sneak into the village but not fire a bullet” is a saying that describes swift actions that are hush-hush and don’t raise any alarm, like Japanese soldiers who did not use their guns so as to not alert anyone of their coming.y.

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:
55 of 69 Chapter segments
0 of 1 Epilogue

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20 thoughts on “The Healing Sunshine (一厘米的阳光) — Chapter 22.1

  1. So glad you are back Hoju😘
    Happy for A’Liang and wow he even brought his brothers…
    Her family members are irritating n fake as always😡

    • Thank you. I’m still kind of here in body but not in mind. LOL

      A’Liang worked hard to achieve his dream. 🙂 So glad his efforts were shown to pay off. 🙂

      I… don’t like her uncles and aunts. >_<

  2. Oh wow they ignore her for 20 years now she is been recognized and now they remember she is part of there family 🙄 … I was so excited went he took her hand 😍 yes JiYi he’s thinking of you too ❤️❤️❤️ thanks Hoju and welcome back 😘😘

    • Well, the reason they are coming to find her isn’t even to share in her glory. It’s to make sure she stays away from the Jì family, because “some things” can “bring about a very bad effect.” It’s all about saving their face.

      Thank you. Happy to be back, too… kind of. LOL. Wish I was still on vacation.

  3. Thanks Hoju. ..

  4. So looking forward to the time when the two will open up to one another once more. Thanks for this chapter and welcome back.

  5. Shameless uncles and aunties. They’ll probably meddle with her marriage too. Why stay away from JCY’s family? I thought both families have close ties.
    Thanks Hoju.

    • Ji Chengyang explained it well, before he left for Iraq. Their age difference, the fact that he took care of her like an uncle in the past, and the fact that both their families are military families and tend to have traditional views so cross-generational relationships are a no-no—these are all things that they have to face, even now that Ji Yi is an adult. It’s just *less* sensitive now that she is marriageable age, not that those things are non-existent. I wrote an additional comment on it many posts back, if you’re interested in reading my explanation for it.

      Thanks for reading!

  6. third uncle must have lost in rock paper sissor for him to reach out to JY
    thank you

  7. Welcome back Hoju!
    I stay up late every Tuesday and Saturday nights., eager for updates on JCY and JY.
    I really really appreciate you for lining up the translation for these past two months.
    There was not a break in between. This is one of the reason I love your blogs and translation.

    Loving how the two of them are growing back into their relationship.
    Looking forward to their reunion and wedding (?) Will there be one??
    *laughing* I wont get any spoiler from you that is for sure. But I am crossing my fingers

    • Thank you. 🙂 I must say, I’m a bit out of sorts and definitely out of routine.

      Glad Little Uncle and Xixi have captivated your heart. And I very much appreciate your faithful reading. Readers make translations so much more fun.

      Haha. I will tell you it’s a happy ending. But yes, no spoilers from me. 😉

  8. JY had an good day at the end. Wonder if we get to hear JCY’s thoughts on this today.

    Thank you for the chapter, Hoju 🙂. Hope you had a good vacation.Though the chapter updates were on time, we missed your extra touch of additional comments and replies.

    • It was much more natural this time around. Like Jì Chengyang said, he was too anxious last time and rushed things.

      It was a wonderful vacation. I loved it and miss it already. 🙂 Haha, I’m back now, but still a little slow in the brain. Still adjusting to the time switch. >_<

  9. I just started reading this 2 days ago and so far i have been captivated by the story. Thank so much for all your efforts in translating this wonderful novel. I can’t for you next update. Have a blessed day always.

    • Glad you found the story and are enjoying the love between Little Uncle and Xixi. Have a great day yourself, and I will see you next update!

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