Fanatical

Fangirling Chinese Novels

The Healing Sunshine (一厘米的阳光) — Chapter 24.2

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Want to learn more about Jì Chengyang’s past? While we’re at it, want to see a naughty Jì Chengyang? 😉

Chapter 24.2 — The Deepest Recesses of Time (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.

 

With this time’s return to Chengdu, Jǐ Yi’s status was much more delicate. Fortunately, Jì Chengyang’s personality was not particularly open and unreserved, and he would never show any sort of intimate actions or say intimate types of words in front of other people. Therefore, they did not arouse the attention of Nuannuan’s maternal grandpa.

This was completely opposite to Nuannuan’s boyfriend; that person was definitely a romantic.

“What does it feel like dating my little uncle?” Late in the night, as Jì Nuannuan lay on the bed, she curiously asked Jǐ Yi this while also using her mobile phone to chat with her boyfriend, who was in the guest room. “How come I haven’t ever seen any times when you guys were being especially lovey and intimate?”

Jǐ Yi thought about it. “Don’t really feel anything… What we both feel is about the same, I guess.”

It seemed that truly was the case. Jì Chengyang absolutely was not someone who would speak those honeyed words between lovers. She could not think of more than a few words from him that had been especially touching or sentimental. In front of other people, he was indeed quite proper. He had only ever held her hand once, in the corridor of the television station, and that had been when she was still only fourteen, fifteen years old. She imagined that, to him, holding her hand that time had been no different from holding the hand of a little niece. There had only been one time, as well, where he had completely swept her up into his arms, and that time had also been because of a very special reason.

Consequently, when the two of them left Chengdu and were on the road towards that little town, in between some of the casual conversation, their driver even asked Jǐ Yi if she was out travelling after just graduating from university, and why she had not come with her boyfriend. At the time, Jì Chengyang had gotten off the car to get some fresh air. Apprehensive about the fact that the people in the vehicle all worked for Nuannuan’s maternal grandpa, she was not certain whether or not she should state things very clearly, and hence she replied vaguely and brushed over the topic…

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When they came here in the year 2000, it had been in the depths of winter. With the blink of an eye, eight years had passed.

Through the car window, Jǐ Yi gazed out at this town that was not big. The vehicle followed the flat, dirt road around several bends and pulled to a stop at the very end, in front of the courtyard home that Grandaunt had once lived in.

She peeked a glimpse at Jì Chengyang. The person being peeked at, however, did not show too much of a reaction.

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

The two of them, as well as the driver, doctor, and soldiers who had come along with them, one after the other stepped into the courtyard. A girl sitting in front of the house, washing clothes, stood up, her manner rather awkward as she looked at them and called some words over her shoulder. Very soon, a middle-aged woman lifted open the curtain of plastic beads over the doorway and stepped out. Staring at Jì Chengyang amongst this group of strangers, she hesitantly uttered his name in the local dialect.

Jì Chengyang nodded. “It’s me.”

It was not the least bit of an exaggeration to say that the middle-aged woman’s eyes instantly grew red, and walking over, she continually scrutinized Jì Chengyang up and down and rambled on and on about something. Apart from Jǐ Yi, everyone here could understand what she was saying.

Only Jǐ Yi was guessing while looking on at all of this.

When she eventually walked into the house with Jì Chengyang and they together went over to the corner of the room to offer up some sticks of incense in front of Grandaunt’s portrait, Jì Chengyang at last translated for her that conversation from earlier. Grandaunt had never married during her entire lifetime. Jì Chengyang was her one and only kin, and his life in Beijing seemed quite good as well. Therefore, there really was nothing that she had been particularly worried about and could not let go of. Before she died, Grandaunt had specifically asked the village chief to serve as a witness, and she had bequeathed her house to an especially impoverished family of the village.

That family felt deep gratitude for this, and hence, they all year round kept Grandaunt’s portrait here to offer up worship.

Gazing at that photograph, Jì Chengyang said, “Grandaunt, I’ve brought your grandniece-in-law back to see you.”

Jǐ Yi, with incense sticks in her hand, was right in the middle of bowing respectfully when she heard this sentence. Her motions froze. She was stupefied.

But he was not using a joking tone. As he inserted the burning incense sticks in place, there was an indescribable feeling in Jǐ Yi, like she had entered an ancestral hall and was acknowledging her ancestors and returning to her roots… Before she could recover from her daze, liveliness was suddenly heard behind them. The well-known elders of the village had all come, many bringing along those of the younger generation with them to see this famous person. Jì Chengyang turned around and went to talk with these elders whom he in reality had already basically forgotten.

Jǐ Yi stood in front of the portrait photograph. There was a persistent feeling in her that she should say something.

She still remembered that mistaken sentence that Grandaunt had said to her when she was fourteen years old. Grandaunt had asked Jì Chengyang whether Jǐ Yi was his little wife. At the time, Jǐ Yi still had not awakened to any feelings yet, and towards Jì Chengyang, she had held none of those romantic sentiments and notions between a boy and a girl. She had merely been stunned by this question. Now, though, when she thought back on it, it was as if this was something fate had predestined for them, and the elderly woman had spoken it aloud first.

She pondered with seriousness for a very long while. Then raising the incense sticks in her hand, she bowed worshipfully once more, gently stating, “Grandaunt, we will be fine. You can set your heart at ease.”

The words had just left her lips and she still wanted to add a few more, when, out of the blue, she heard Jì Chengyang’s voice from behind her ask, “What will be fine?”

“Huh?” She had not noticed that he had come over. “Just that we will be safe and sound and peaceful.”

“That simple?” He smiled.

“… Is there something else I should say?” This was her first time offering up incense and praying to someone who had passed on. She had no experience whatsoever in it.

Jì Chengyang pretended to muse over this. “Such as, you can tell her about any way or time that I haven’t treated you well and ask her, our elder, to monitor me in the future.”

Jǐ Yi was confused. “… You treat me very well.”

Jì Chengyang had originally wanted to say, he clearly was the one to blame for those four years of separation. However, looking at her now, it was evident she already forgotten about this matter. He touched a hand to Jǐ Yi’s hair, not saying any more.

<>This is a copy, taken from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. Please show your support by reading it there instead. Thank you.

It seemed that every time Jì Chengyang returned, many people would come to this place. Four or five tables were actually laid out in the courtyard at dinnertime. The women were few but the men were many, and young and old all drank and ate for a very long time. Those soldiers and the driver who came along all had a military background, and drinking was the thing they were least afraid of. Still, after drinking into the very late hours of the night, they were all passed out in a state of complete intoxication.

Jǐ Yi had finished eating very early on and was chatting with the two young girls of this family. All the while, fearing that issues might arise with his health, she kept her eye on Jì Chengyang, who was being surrounded, chased after, and intercepted by everyone. Fortunately, this time Jì Chengyang had brought along a doctor, who had to swear over and over and constantly explain that Jì Chengyang’s physical condition truly was not suited to consuming alcohol. As a result, Jì Chengyang was lucky enough to only end up drinking two or three cups. The doctor, on the other hand, had had so much alcohol shoved down him that he could not even discriminate between north, south, east, and west.

Eventually, nobody even cared who was who anymore. If they hit it off when their eyes met, they would just start drinking…

In short, at the end of this night, anyone who could drink was not left standing.

The person who had been Jì Chengyang’s very last shield to buffer him from all the alcohol was now sprawled on the table and sleeping. Jì Chengyang took Jǐ Yi with him and disappeared as well for the time being. While no one was noticing, the two left the courtyard and followed the dirt road until they arrived at the edge of the village. Not far away was a river. There were no streetlamps, only the clean spill of moonlight that fell down onto the river’s surface where the water rippled. Even off in the distance, this reflection of the moon’s glow could be seen; it was all paddy fields.

“Are you feeling unwell at all?” Jǐ Yi asked as she ambled slowly beside him.

Jì Chengyang smiled and brought his index finger to his lips, signing to her that she should not speak. Then, tilting his face upwards, he motioned that she should look above her head.

Without even being aware of it, they had already walked so far.

Near and far there were many old trees, but the one directly in front of Jǐ Yi was the thickest one. Even if there were two of her spreading her arms and trying to wrap them around the tree, she likely still would not be able to completely encircle it. By memory, Jì Chengyang found a place where you could smoothly climb up. He helped Jǐ Yi clamber up onto a tree branch, then followed after her. In this May weather, the leaves were already rich and lush, and very easily concealed them.

Worried there might be bugs on the tree that would scare her, Jì Chengyang removed his jacket and spread it on top of the branch.

“You climbed this often when you were a kid?” In this type of surrounding, Jǐ Yi automatically lowered her voice, for fear that people would discover them. “It won’t break from the weight? …”

“Yes, often.” Jì Chengyang told her, “Even if a few more people were to sit up here, there still wouldn’t be any danger.”

Jǐ Yi gave an “oh” and lightly patted the tree branch, finding this fun.

“I was born here.” Jì Chengyang’s voice also grew softer. “My mother died when I was a bit older than one year old. When I was five, someone from Beijing came and took me away from here.”

“Then… what about before that? Why didn’t Grandpa Jì come and take you from here?” she asked quietly.

“Prior to that, there was quite a bit of change and fluctuation in my father’s work. He did not want to play any favourites, either, so all the children lived in their birthplace. It was not until after 1981 that we were all, one after the other, brought to Beijing and reunited.” In simple words, he explained to her, “My father, your Grandpa Jì, had one wife who later died. My mother was his second wife. There was a very big age difference between them. That’s why the age difference between me and Jì Nuannuan’s dad, as well as the other uncles and aunties you’ve met before, is also so big.”

Jǐ Yi suddenly understood.

At such a young age, he had lived here alone with only Grandaunt. He surely would have thought that he had been abandoned and was unwanted.

Her memory was not as good as Jì Chengyang’s, but she could still remember, when she was very young, every time after her parents came to see her and then left, she would cry incessantly, feeling that the next time she could see them was so far off.

“Last time when I came here with you, I had wanted to bring Grandaunt to live in a place where the economic conditions are relatively better and then take care of her in her old age.” He continued to say, “Even though she had all along been receiving a living allowance, this place still isn’t very developed.”

“She didn’t agree to it, right?” Jǐ Yi guessed.

“Yes. She had never left this place before, nor did she want to leave it.”

Moonlight slipped through the breaks between the leaves and sprinkled speckled shadows on them.

With this, their simple dialogue came to an end.

Jǐ Yi speculated, surely he was feeling a great degree of regret that he had never done some tangible things to repay Grandaunt’s great kindness of raising him. Since young, she had never known how to comfort people and was accustomed to listening. And now especially, as she faced Jì Chengyang, this man whom she had always viewed, ever since she was a child, as her mental and emotional rock and pillar, she felt even more powerless.

So, she simply sat quietly, keeping him company.

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

After sitting for roughly a dozen or more minutes, she then felt it was a little too quiet. Racking her brain, she finally came up with a neutral, harmless topic.

“I had a nightmare again last night.” The place that they stayed in last night was a rather clean, little inn. She had had her own room to sleep in but ended up being scared awake in the middle of the night. She had wanted to go to find Jì Chengyang. However, afraid that she might run into someone, she had only been able to pitifully remain there, wide-eyed and waiting for the sky to lighten.

Jì Chengyang smiled. “Why have you constantly been having nightmares lately?”

“Don’t know. I’m guessing I’m not used to beds away from home…”

His voice low, he asked, “What did you dream about?”

Recollecting, she gave a few sentences of description to him, then asked a question of her own. “Do you not have bad dreams?”

“I do.” He could not contain a chuckle. “But then there are times when I have some pretty nice dreams.”

She was curious. “What kind of dreams?”

Nonchalantly, he stated, “Ones about you.”

She even more so wanted to ask now.

Jì Chengyang had no intention of giving her the chance to keep inquiring about this. Slowly, he began to kiss her behind her ear and on her neck. Those were both her most sensitive spots.

They were here in this type of place, with the feet of both of them even hanging in midair. Although they were not high up, it was still the outdoors. If any playful children came running over beneath this tree, they could very easily spot the two of them… Thinking this, she felt increasingly diffident and guilty. But alas, Jì Chengyang did not care about these things. Supporting himself with one hand on one side of her, he pressed her against the tree trunk with his body, deliberately teasing her. “Xixi?”

“Mm…”

He whispered by her ear, “Are you really curious what I dream about?”

“Mm-hmm…”

“I dream about…” Rather naughtily, he softly uttered one word from his lips. “This.”

And then just like that, his hand followed the hem of her garment and slid inside it.

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

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.


Additional Comments:

A romantic, yet, at the same time, naughty Jì Chengyang. Can you resist him? 😍

 

When Jì Chengyang gave the key to Xixi, I made the comment that, to me, that scene felt like he was redeeming some of the hurt in Xixi’s past. This last conversation between Little Uncle and Xixi is terribly sweet, but at the same time, I feel that it is also doing something similar. This time, though, it is for Jì Chengyang.

In chapter 23.2, we read how nightmares of all the horrors he had seen and experienced in Iraq now plague Jì Chengyang:

Those gray-tinted memories that co-existed with his life could not be forgotten.

But, he absolutely had to yank the him that was deeply submerged in feelings of bleakness and hopelessness back out and separate himself from the darkness.

He wanted to live once more.

This chapter:

“Do you not have bad dreams?”

“I do.” He could not contain a chuckle. “But then there are times when I have some pretty nice dreams.”

She was curious. “What kind of dreams?”

Nonchalantly, he stated, “Ones about you.”

 

Iraq changed him forever. The nightmares are only one part of it, and, as he said here, he still has nightmares. But he made the choice and is doing all he can to live again, to live so that he can be with his little lady. And he is recovering, for she, too, is his healing sunshine, tearing the veil of those gray-tinted memories, if only even by a little, and allowing her warmth to slip in. Perhaps those dreams of her that he speaks of truly have appeared in his sleep, or perhaps he is making that up as a way of teasing her. However, she is his dream for the future and his motivation to live once more.

 

Completed:
61 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 24.2

  1. Thanks Hoju

    On the tree.. Seriously Ji Chenyang?.. Haha, he’s romantic but behind the scenes. I think them both are shy person, not show their affection or intimate in public. 😀

  2. Side note **

    May I know who’s the author or you describes as Chenyang and Xixi..?
    I mean someone in reality ,
    Reading a story it’s more interesting if can imagine ML n MC in reality .haha thanks for your reply

    • I always imagine Mark Chao 😍
      Thank you Hoju!

    • They are both reserved in personality, so affection is displayed in private.

      I don’t really imagine any real-life person in these roles. The author has never explicitly stated which actor/actress she had in mind for any of her stories. She had mentioned before that for certain novel(s), she will not sell the adaptation rights unless the artiste she has in mind for a certain role accepts it, but she has never revealed which novel(s) or which actor/actress that is referring to.

      Thanks for reading!

  3. perhaps JCY overheard JNN and JY’s night time conversation!!? XD
    thank you

    • Hahaha… highly unlikely, since he was puzzled by Xixi’s behavior at the dinner table, but oh, how embarrassed Xixi would be if he had.

      You’re welcome!

  4. What a lovely chapter. MBFB draws me closer with her choice of scenes and play of words. I am falling in love with China more and more with her novels. thank you so much Hoju for your consistent and faithful translation.
    Any news about the write up for MBFB from her fans?

    • I agree completely. 🙂
      MBFB is known for her love of her country.

      I actually haven’t been really involved anymore with the project from pure busyness. I believe they are still working on it. The last I saw, in the summer, they were selecting cover design.

      Thanks for reading!

  5. Naughty JCY…slow poison🤣

  6. Awww 😍 thank you Hoju

  7. Now, it’s Xixi turn to be healing sunshine.
    Thanks Hoju.

  8. Uuuu naughty naughty!!!! >•<

  9. I have always felt there is some story around JCY’s childhood and this chapter gave all the info. Such a good hearted Grand Aunt. And very nice setting at the end too – tree branch, moonlight and romantic JCY 😀!

    Thanks, Hoju for the chapter and insightful comments 🙂.

    • We were all waiting to learn about it. And we find out that successful, extraordinary man once felt abandoned and unwanted as a child, too. Thankfully, he was raised under the loving care of Grandaunt.

      You forgot the naughty Jì Chengyang part. 😉

      Thanks for reading!

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