Fanatical

Fangirling Chinese Novels

The Healing Sunshine (一厘米的阳光) — Chapter 25.1

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In an atmosphere of disaster and tension, there is good news.

Chapter 25.1 — Joined Pulses (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.

 

Nuannuan’s boyfriend had left Chengdu two days ago, so, as it turned out, he had avoided this earthquake.

That night, Nuannuan’s mother reminded the two of them to absolutely not sleep too deeply, that they should be prepared at any time to handle any aftershocks. This sort of instruction did not have any practical effect, for Jǐ Yi was utterly unable to sleep anyway. The instant she closed her eyes, she would think of Jì Chengyang. His mobile phone had already gone from a state of being unable to connect any calls to a powered-off one.

In the deep of night, there once again were intense aftershocks. The people in the bedrooms all moved out into the yard.

As Jǐ Yi sat on a small chair, her arms wrapped around her knees, she and Nuannuan stared soundlessly at each other. She did not want to speak a single word. Utterly powerless—right now, she deeply understood the meaning of those two words. A disaster befalling right around you and the feelings you get when you simply watch it on a news report are two completely different concepts.

Not far away, Nuannuan’s mother was keeping Nuannuan’s maternal grandpa company by casually conversing with him, remarking that there had been an especially large number of unfortunate things that had occurred this year. It was just at the end of last month that two trains had collided in the Shandong province[1] and the casualties had been in the hundreds. Now this month, before even half the month had passed, there was also this earthquake here in Sichuan… Nuannuan’s mother had always had a good relationship with Jì Chengyang, so this entire time, her heart, too, had been in her throat. Eventually, the elder, who was already beyond the age of eighty, actually ended up needing to comfort her and urge her not to worry.

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

The television on the first floor was on, giving live broadcasts of pictures from the disaster relief efforts. Jǐ Yi watched fixatedy, especially fearful that he might appear in the camera shots, especially fearful that one of the people being carried out from a certain corner somewhere would be Jì Chengyang; yet she was also hoping that he would appear, if even only a backside view, to show that he was safe…

“Xixi.” Nuannuan was also worried sick, but seeing Jǐ Yi like this, she could not contain the heartache for her too and wanted to divert Jǐ Yi’s attention. “This time after coming back to the country, I went to see Xu Qing. His older sister went with me.”

Nuannuan’s words pulled her back to reality.

That warmhearted class prefect who had departed this world too early was the regrettable sorrow of every one of their high school schoolmates. The painful impact of the passing of a good friend and peer of the same age is ony understood by someone who has experienced it. Jǐ Yi quietly said, “I’ve never gone. I don’t dare go. I only went to see him at his home with our classmates before he passed away. At that time, he had still looked quite fine.”

“I also don’t know why I went. At first, I didn’t dare go either. Later, when I stood in front of his grave and looked at his photo, I kept feeling that this person should still be alive. I couldn’t sense at all that he really isn’t here anymore.” Setting her chin on her knees as well, Nuannuan said in a low voice, “I can still remember especially clearly, back when he and I were together, that time during our first kiss, his arms were shaking while he held me. And after we were done kissing, he was too embarrassed to really talk to me…”

Jǐ Yi did not know what she should say.

“Back then, we had been afraid it would interfere with our studies, so we dated for a while and then just ended up breaking up. Now that I think back on it, it’s actually quite a shame.” Jì Nuannuan spoke in quiet tones. “If he and I had been together the whole time and then he went to study at military academy, I definitely would have been able to help him in a lot of ways. I could have somehow found a way to get him back to Beijing. He would lead his troops, and I’d be the significant other of a soldier. That actually would have been pretty nice. I’m guessing my [paternal] granddad would have been happiest about that. People in my family all would like it if I found someone who wears a military uniform, and the financial circumstances of his family would have improved quite a bit, too.”

This was a hypothetical situation.

Gazing at the side profile of Jì Nuannuan’s face, Jǐ Yi thought, what if Nuannuan had never broken up with Xiao Jun? What sort of trajectory would her life have ended up taking then? If… her own closest playmate since childhood had not been Jì Nuannuan, then Jì Chengyang would never have had the chance to appear in her life either. What would her growing up process have been like then?

In the beginning, all of us will believe that we have merely started a relationship, but in many cases, what it actually affects is the course of our entire life.

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

Jì Nuannuan had simply wanted to pour out what was on her mind; there really was no central thought to what she was saying.

Jǐ Yi conversed with her while keeping an eye on the news. From time to time, she would dial Jì Chengyang’s mobile phone number, but it was still endlessly that message stating that his phone was powered off. All this time, the ringing of the telephone in the living room had not ceased either. They were all calls from various places, inquiring about everyone’s safety. Each time the telephone rang, Jǐ Yi would give a start and then listen attentively to determine who was calling.

One time, two times, more than ten times, more than twenty times…

Eventually, she lost count of just how many phone calls had come in. Still, when the telephone’s ring resounded once again, she stared unblinkingly as Jì Nuannuan’s mother picked up the receiver. Suddenly, Nuannuan’s mother cried out at the person on the other end of the call, “Where are you? Are you safe? How far from Chengdu are you?”

Jǐ Yi abruptly sprang to her feet.

Nuannuan’s mother listened into the receiver for several sentences. Gradually, her expression loosened, and her first smile since last night at last appeared. Turning, she beckoned to Jǐ Yi. “Xixi, come.”

Jǐ Yi ran over and took the receiver. “Hello?”

Her heart was hammering rapidly. Her chest was tight. She could not even really get a clear view of what was in front of her.

“Xixi.” Jì Chengyang’s voice echoed out from the telephone receiver. “I’m very safe right now.”

“Where are you?”

“In Dazhou.” Jì Chengyang knew she definitely would not know where this place was, so he quickly added, “It’s within Sichuan province but not in the severe disaster zone. I lost my mobile yesterday during the earthquake, and I’ve been busy this whole time helping to evacuate sick patients. It’s really chaotic here, and it’s only now that I’ve gotten the chance to call you.” These words of his resolved all of Jǐ Yi’s questions.

Map of Sichuan province showing the approximate location of the epicentre of the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake. Jǐ Yi is currently in Chengdu (circled in blue) while Jì Chengyang is in Dazhou (circled in green)

“You’re at a hospital?” Jǐ Yi caught that key piece of information.

“Yes.” Jì Chengyang did not try to avoid this point and instead clarified even more, “One of the interviewees is staying in this hospital. After the earthquake, this place became really chaotic, so I’ve stayed here until now.”

Her heart was ever so slightly set at ease.

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

Jì Chengyang stood outside the little window of the hospital’s security office, holding the telephone receiver and listening to Jǐ Yi’s voice. The sense of peace and calm in this moment would dispel the last dozen and more hours’ feeling of extreme tension.

The earthquake had struck too abruptly. At the time, he and his friends had been in a hospital room chatting with two elderly men over the age of one hundred. The sudden shaking had shocked everyone. A nurse had run in and, speculating that there had been a big explosion in the oxygen room, had continually soothed the elderly people in this inpatient room, saying that the cause would soon be investigated.

Later, once they were able to infer that it was an earthquake, everybody had grown panicked, and hastily they had worked on evacuating all the hospital patients.

The patients in this particular ward were very special. They were all elderly people between the ages of seventy and more than a hundred years old. For most of them, their family was not around, and they only had female nursing aides. However, these nursing aides did not have the strength to carry patients by piggyback and, once evacation began, could only put them in wheelchairs to carry them down, one at a time…

Jì Chengyang and his two other friends had helped by transporting by piggyback elderly people with impaired mobility. It had taken nearly one hour before they had at last evacuated all the people who were able to leave their hospital rooms and brought them downstairs.

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

By four o’clock in the afternoon, the news of the Wenchuan earthquake was confirmed. Family members of patients rushed over, and some of the patients resting on the lawn began being taken away and leaving the hospital.

All telephone lines were out of order, and mobile networks were paralyzed. It was only one hour ago that the hospital’s telephones were finally able to dial out. Beside every landline telephone was a nurse holding a list of names, and one by one, patients’ families were contacted.

The entire time, he had waited off to one side. Only when he had picked up the receiver and heard her voice could his mind finally be considered set at ease.

“Once the roads are passable, I’ll return to Chengdu immediately,” Jì Chengyang told her.

At this very moment, there were many physically healthy, coolheaded journalists coming one after the other into the disaster-stricken area. And what he, with his physical condition, actually needed to do was to not be a burden on others. On the other end of the call, Jǐ Yi answered him, “All right. As long as you are safe over there, you can wait a few more days… Are you honestly in Dazhou?” She was afraid he was misleading her.

“Honestly. Trust me, Xixi, I am very safe.” He spoke concisely.

His two journalist friends by his side were also waiting to call their families to let them know they were safe. Jì Chengyang very quickly ended this phone call and handed the telephone receiver to his good friend behind him.

<>It would be sincerely appreciated if you would support this translation by reading it at its actual site of posting, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, instead. Thank you.

That night, the three of them did not leave the hospital.

Due to the potential danger of aftershocks, eighty to ninety percent of the patients in this inpatient building had left already. The ones remaining were patients with severe stroke, cardiac failure, etc. who could not leave the hospital bed, and also lonely, elderly folks who did not have any family. The medical personnel who stayed were not many. Since some time past eight o’clock at night, there had constantly been small rescue teams, comprised of doctors and nurses, leaving the hospital, and without even having a chance to return home first, they headed straight to Wenchuan to provide disaster aid.

The three slept in the hospital room along with their interviewees from this afternoon.

In the late hours, when the nurse was doing her rounds in the ward, she discovered that Jì Chengyang’s physical state was not very good either and therefore arranged for him to be given oxygen as well. When their interviewees, those two veterans of the Anti-Japanese War[2], saw his health in such a state, they actually began to show care and concern for him instead.

Gradually, the several of them began chatting again.

This afternoon’s conversation that had been interrupted due to the earthquake now, in this night that was cloaked in an atmosphere of calamity, started up once more.

These were two Anti-Japanese War veterans who had no family. They were graduates of the Whampoa Military Academy[3], from the fifteenth and seventeeth classes, and had taken part in the Battle of Changsha, the Defense of Hengyang, and the various major battles in the Xiang’egan border area[4].

After one of the elderly men learned that he used to be a war correspondent, he even told Jì Chengyang, half a century ago, he also had once been interviewed by a Western war journalist. This topic actually piqued the interest of the three of them, as journalists… And thus, one conversation topic followed another, until before they even knew it, they had conversed until three, four in the morning.

When the nurse came on her rounds and checked in on the room, she very sternly ordered everyone that there was to be no more talking, bringing this dialogue to an end.

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

In the following two days, though Jǐ Yi no longer felt that initial panic and powerlessness, she still was worried about Jì Chengyang and his situation.

On the television, news reports aired uninterruptedly on the disaster relief efforts, civilian deaths, and soldiers who had died while providing disaster response. The continuously rising death toll struck at every person’s heart.

During lunch on this day, Nuannuan stepped out to take a phone call. All of a sudden, at the staircase, she let out a shriek.

That cry of surprise, the type that was filled with joy, caused Jǐ Yi to immediately set down her chopsticks. Completely forgetting about the several elders who were also at the table eating with her, she jumped up from her chair and dashed out of the dining room.

On the first level, Jì Chengyang was setting his backpack onto the floor.

A rather long gash had been torn in the sleeve of his jacket, and the skin of his arm was faintly visible through it. Mud also caked the bottom of his shoes.

In this travel-stained state, he lifted his head and swung his gaze in her direction.

With slippers on her feet, Jǐ Yi raced downstairs, urgency carrying her as she pounded down each wooden stairstep. This plainly was only the second floor, yet the distance she had to traverse seemed so very long, so long that she had absolutely no patience and leapt from the last two steps, throwing herself into his arms.

Assailing her was the smell of dust that was a result of being out and about for many days, an unfamiliar scent that caused her nose to tingle.

But the strength of those arms was something she was most familiar with.

Jì Chengyang held all of her against his chest, slowly stroking her back and quietly speaking to her.

His voice was too light, such that apart from Jǐ Yi, nobody could hear it.

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

The elders stepping out from the dining room, including Nuannuan’s maternal grandpa, could all perceive the hints of certain feelings within this embrace, and in astonishment, they queried about this with Nuannuan’s mother. But as for those two people who were the subject of everyone’s scrutinization, one had forgotten about her external surroundings, while the other was calmly and openly facing the gazes cast on him by all those elders. Jì Chengyang gave a light nod to Nuannuan’s mother, who was still upstairs, indicating that he had indeed returned safely.

“Little crybaby,” he carried on soothing in low tones, “I’m really dirty. If you keep crying, you’ll for sure end up getting dirt onto your whole face…”

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

[1] Early in the morning on April 28, 2008, a train derailed in the Shandong province, jumped the track, and collided with another train, resulting in more than 70 deaths and more than 400 injuries.

[2] The war known in China as the Anti-Japanese War or, more officially, the War of Resistance Against Japanese Agression, is in the Western world referred to as the Second Sino-Japanese War.

[3] The Whampoa Military Academy (also called the Huangpu Military Academy) was located in the Huangpu (formerly romanized as Whampoa) district of Guangzhou, on Changzhou Island. It was founded by the Kuomintang in 1924 as a training place to produce military elites, and many influential military figures came out from there.

[4] The Battle of Changsha and Defense of Hengyang are major, well-known battles that took place in 1944, during the Second Sino-Japanese War. 湘鄂赣边区 The Xiang’egan border area is the mountainous border region between Hunan, Hubei, and Jiangxi.

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:
63 of 69 Chapter segments
0 of 1 Epilogue

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16 thoughts on “The Healing Sunshine (一厘米的阳光) — Chapter 25.1

  1. Thanks Hoju

    Chenyang back safe and sound.. 😀
    Jiyi don’t care about their relationship being exposed anymore.. She’s really worried.. And concern for the one and only Ji Chenyang. So sweet.

    • You’re welcome!
      It hasn’t even crossed Xixi’s mind yet. At this moment, all she can see and think about is Jì Chengyang. 🙂

  2. eventually the elders will know, let them be the second group XD
    thank you

    • Eventually everyone will know. They are now past that sensitive age that Jì Chengyang had talked about before. Xixi is now marriageable age, so there is no need to keep it secret. 🙂
      You’re welcome

  3. I hope this group of elders will rally behind them. Only a few more chapters left. I want more.
    Many thanks Hoju.

    • You don’t need a lot, just need the right people to rally behind you. 🙂 LOL. Such a dilemma; you want to know the conclusion, but yet you don’t want it to end.
      You’re welcome!

  4. Now the cat is really out of the bag for JCY and JY. Such a gradual lead up to their exposure to the bigger family. What better cushion than a life and death situation, right? Big cheer for JY and JCY., now their relationship can progress openly and with approval of elders??? *:-) inching for another spoiler, aren’t I?* Thanks Hoju!!!

    • For certain people, the life and death situation is a good way to put things in perspective. What other things matter in the face of life and death, right? But for other people, face matters more than anything. 😦
      No spoilers from me. It’s a happy ending. 🙂

  5. Aaahh thank you Hoju

  6. Jiyi running down the stairs n hugging JCY😱

  7. Fan girl here screaming and hoping up and down yes he’s safe ❤️❤️❤️❤️

  8. Glad JCY is back safe and sound. Poor JY, she would be shocked when she realises that the elders there witnessed her affectionate hugging.

    Thanks, Hoju 🙂.

    • Hahaha, if it were me, I’d certainly feel more than a little awkward once I realize everyone is staring.
      You’re welcome!

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