Fanatical

Fangirling Chinese Novels

Easily Set Aflame (轻易放火) — Chapter 10.1

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Seckill! Yi Wenze for the win!

Chapter 10.1 — The Ex and the Ex (1)

This story was translated with the express permission of the author for hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com only. All forms of reproduction, redistribution, or re-posting 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.

 

The car headed north the entire way. Jia He arbitrarily turned on the radio. Someone had just requested Jay Chou’s “Heading Straight North All the Way.” Really, so… comical.

When they arrived at the gate of her community compound, the security guard, an older man, stretched out his arm to halt them and then came up to their car. Yi Wenze was about to lower his window to speak, but Jia He had already thrown herself at him and was holding down his arm. “Let me do the talking.” This was the era where everyone in the whole country was on Weibo. It was safer if Idol’s face was kept hidden.

With those words, she did not wait for Yi Wenze’s reaction, and getting out of the car, she gave her greetings to the security guard.

<>The actual site of posting for this translation is hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. Please support the translation by only reading it there. Thank you.

“Jia He.” The uncle-like older man had a rather swaggering grin. “Your household is already occupying two parking spots today. Why are you still bringing in another car?”

Jia He gave a dry, little laugh. “Today’s my birthday…”

“If that’s the case…” The older man let out an “Oh!” and slapped a hand to his forehead. “Just wait a sec. I happen to have a bag of wife cakes[1] here in the gatehouse. Someone brought it back from Guangzhou.”

Falling silent, Jia He could only wait for this enthusiastically friendly uncle to bring out the wife cakes. During that time, she shot a couple looks at the car window, and after confirming that Yi Wenze’s face could not be seen, she relaxed somewhat.

When she was back in the car, Yi Wenze glanced at what she was holding. “What did he give you?”

“Wife cakes,” Jia He reported honestly. “Do you like them?”

Yi Wenze’s eyes slid from her face to the wife cakes in her arms. “I’m okay with them. If you like them, in the future, I’ll bring you back to Hong Kong with me to have some.”

Jia He answered him with an “okay,” feeling only that the word “back” was very profound.

“Where do we go from here?”

Only now did Jia He’s mind catch up. Pointing to the left side, she instructed, “Follow that road on the left, take it all the way to the end, then take a right. It’s the third building after that.” After stating all this, she suddenly clued in to a very important question. “How do you know my home address?”

Even if Qiao Qiao were an even bigger busybody, she still should not be getting down to that level of detail, right? …

“I asked Qiao Qiao ahead of time.” Yi Wenze nonchalantly told her, “I’m not very familiar with Beijing’s roads and was worried that if I needed to come at the last minute, I wouldn’t be able to find it.”

Jia He gave an “oh,” her heart seeming as if it was rocking continuously in her chest. She only felt that she was going to be intoxicated by him.

With a turn of the steering wheel, the car drove along the road on the left. There were not many street lamps in the community, so they could only see the things in the immediate surroundings of the vehicle. They had just passed two or three buildings when a car came driving towards them. Since the street was very narrow, Yi Wenze pulled their car over slightly to make room for it. As that other vehicle drove past, Jia He finally made out that inside it was Gu Yu.

He seemed to notice Jia He as well, and very quickly he stopped the car.

Jia He’s heart dropped with a thunk. Just as she was about to say something, their vehicle was already coming to a steady stop.

“May I get out and have a few words with him?” Jia He asked uneasily.

Yi Wenze smiled. “Do you need me to get out of the car?”

“Um…” Jia He was hesitant.

She actually simply wanted to step outside and make things clear with Gu Yu so as to avoid any misunderstandings in the future.

“Do you want to hear what my thoughts are?”

“Go ahead.” Jia He pricked up her ears.

“You wait for me here. One minute.”

Reaching his hand to unfasten his seat belt, he turned his eyes on Jia He, as if seeking her consent. Jia He felt as if in a trance from his gaze, and her mind immediately went blank. Obliging the look in his eyes, she gave a tentative nod.

It was only after the door had banged shut that she heard her heart beating—furiously beating.

Back when she had been so heartbroken that even her insides had hurt, she had sworn that she would find someone better than Gu Yu. She had even fantasized countless times about how she would hold her new boyfriend’s arm and walk right in front of Gu Yu, her head held high and chest out, provoking him so much he would vomit three litres of blood. Of course, that had just been her fantasy. But now, downstairs of her own home, that fantasy remarkably had come true, except the re-encounter she had planned out in her mind seemed to have become a showdown…

Jia He, stay calm, stay calm…

After taking several seconds to gather herself, Jia He hastily spun around and leaned herself through the space between the two front seats, trying hard to get a clear view of the situation behind the car. At this angle, she could see Yi Wenze’s backside. Very soon, he had stepped up beside Gu Yu’s vehicle, and bending down, he directed a sentence into the car. It was too dark; his expression could not be seen. Regret for agreeing to this hit Jia He, for she was afraid that Gu Yu would say something that would cause Yi Wenze to misunderstand and become angry.

Fortunately, he only spoke that one sentence before straightening back up and giving a casual pat to the roof of the car.

Jia He’s heart at once flew into her throat, and she stared unblinkingly at him, waiting. In that instant, numerous scenes flashed across her mind. If Gu Yu got out of the car, she would definitely need to rush out, throw herself between her idol and Gu Yu, and then say something to make things absolutely clear. But what should she say?

This was a question… but it was not the most important question. Just rush out first, and then she’d take it from there.

At any rate, she definitely could not just sit around and wait.

This thought had only just been established before Gu Yu’s vehicle all of a sudden shifted slightly and then… drove away?!

His hands in his pockets, Yi Wenze very composedly strode back over, sat into the car, and began driving. His expression and motions were utterly like he had just gotten off the car to pay for the gas that he had refueled, showing nothing even the least bit out of the ordinary. Jia He only felt that those eyes beneath the brim of his cap seemed even more unreal.

“What did he say to you?” she asked in trepidation.

“He didn’t say anything.” He was focused on driving.

Oh no. He must have said something that should not have been said.

Jia He looked tensely at him. “Anything he said, just don’t take it seriously. Honest. There’s been nothing at all between the two of us for a long time already.”

Yi Wenze glanced at her, his face placid.

“Honest.” She felt only rattled and unable to think. She wanted to say many things to explain, but ultimately she did not even know what Gu Yu had said and even more so did not know what she should explain… Seeing that Yi Wenze still had not spoken, she grew more anxious. “I know we just started our relationship not long ago, but I hate the fickle types who constantly change their affections, or people who are already eating from their own bowl but still keeping an eye in the pot[2]. You know, having basic morals is really important…”

The car suddenly halted. Even more panicked now, Jia He fixed her eyes on him.

He gave a light smile. “We’re there.”

Huh?! Only now did Jia He turn her head to the side for a look. Sure enough, they were downstairs of her apartment building.

Her whole soul still wound up, she turned back and continued staring at Yi Wenze. “Are you still mad?”

Unable to contain himself any longer, a laugh slipped from Yi Wenze. “He really did not say a single word.”

“He just left without saying a single word?” She still could not make herself believe this.

If she had seen correctly just now, Yi Wenze should only have lowered his head and said one sentence and then that car had driven away.

As she watched Yi Wenze give a nod, only one word, scrawled in blood-red letters, popped up in her mind: SECKILL[3].

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

A smile on his lips, Yi Wenze shook his head. “Let’s go now.”

With that, he opened his door and stepped out of the car.

For three seconds, Jia He still sat dazedly inside. Then immediately she jumped out and circled in front of the car to stand before him. “I’ll just go up by myself.” If he were to make an appearance at the front door of her home, there was a hundred and twenty percent chance her mom would have a heart attack…

Yi Wenze looked down at her. “What’s wrong?”

The light cast from the outdated street lamps was as faint as moonlight.

Her entire face was enveloped in that soft glow, her eyes riveted on him, as if she had words to say but was also wavering and weighing out the matter. All around, it was very tranquil. Indistinct sounds could be heard of a family on the first floor making dinner and discussing the rising cost of green vegetables. A real atmosphere of normal, everyday life imbued their surroundings. Except the person in front of her. He was too unreal.

After faltering over her words, she finally ended up saying that same sentence again. “I’ll just go up by myself.”

His voice lowered. “What is it that’s the matter?”

“We just started our relationship.” She finally mustered up the bravery to state her thoughts aloud. “I don’t think I should let my mom see you too early… I’ll just go up by myself this time to get the stuff, okay?”

With an expression somewhere between tears and laughter, Yi Wenze asked, “I can’t be brought out to show people?”

Jia He hastily clarified, “No… I just feel it’s too soon. And who you are is so special, too.”

She gazed at him, and gazed at him some more, gazing at him in earnestness.

Finally, Yi Wenze nodded, agreeing to this, and motioned to her to go upstairs.

At last able to release a long breath of relief, Jia He turned around and took two steps. But then, she very tentatively turned back again to look at him. “How about you wait for me in the car?” If he stood downstairs so eye-catchingly alone like this, it could very well be that by the time she came back down, her mom might not know but everyone else in the entire community compound would.

This time it was Yi Wenze’s turn to be silent. In the end, he could only pull open the car door and sit into the vehicle.

Through the front windshield, he could even see Jia He examining the car, seemingly feeling that this still was not safe enough. It was not until Yi Wenze had turned off the engine and the car lights were completely extinguished that she, satisfied, stepped into the stairwell.

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

Jia He raced up, taking two steps for what would normally be three, until by the time she climbed to the fifth floor, she was already panting. The instant she opened the door, her mom came over, rambling nonstop about how Gu Yu had just left, whether she had seen him, etc. Eventually, her mom became more excited with each word, until she actually started to dial Gu Yu’s number to tell him to come back. It was then that Jia He felt that this situation was serious, and straightaway she stated that she had already run into him downstairs but he had things to tend to and needed to leave first. Only then did her mom finally give up, turning around and heading into the kitchen to cut up a plate of fruit.

She had towed her suitcase back here only yesterday, so, worried that Yi Wenze would be waiting for too long, she simply checked through it cursorily. Then, bringing the suitcase out with her to the living room, she explained that she needed to go to Tianjin on business and would not be home until a few days later. Hearing this, her mom immediately stuck her head out from the kitchen. “I’ll say, Gu Yu just said that he’s going to be in Beijing for this next week. Can you not just stay at home for a couple of days?”

Apparently, if she did not explain and clear things up, her mom really was going to treat Gu Yu as her future son-in-law…

For the sake of being able to have a peaceful life in the future, she reluctantly went up beside the door of the kitchen and very gingerly told her mom, “Mom, from now on, don’t talk about Gu Yu. I also made things clear with him just earlier.”

Pausing the motions of her hand for a moment, her mom carefully tried to entice and guide Jia He’s thinking. “He really is quite good, a lot more mature than he used to be.”

Jia He looked self-consciously at her mom. “I have a boyfriend.”

“Huh?” Her mom nearly smashed the strawberries to mush. “Since when? Why didn’t you tell me?”

“Things just started between us.” Surveying that poor plate of fruit, Jia He was even more certain her earlier decision had been the right one. “When our relationship is stable, I’ll bring him for you to see.” And at that time, don’t go scaring him off…

“What does he do?’

“He’s an actor.”

Her mom swept a chilly glance at her, an expression of “I get it” on her face. “The show-business circle is a very messy place. That’s not a very good choice.”

Jia He felt awkward. “I’m part of that circle, too.”

“In any case, it’s not a grounded, reliable choice.” Brandishing a fruit knife, her mom added, “Don’t tell me it’s because you’re obsessed every day with Yi Wenze, to the point that you only care about good looks, is it? Daughter, we need to wake up a bit. Do you really think you can marry the likes of Yi Wenze?”

……

Stewing in awkwardness, Jia He stayed silent.

The one word of “boyfriend” had basically ignited all of her mom’s parenting potential. Perceiving that her mom, wielding that fruit knife and cutting up some watermelon, had already readied herself into a stance of carrying out a long dialogue, Jia He immediately picked up her suitcase, opened the door, and hightailed out of there. She had only just reached the fourth floor before she heard the shout resounding behind her: “I’m still not done talking! Gu Yu really is quite good. He’s an editor-in-chief already…”

Not giving even a sound in reply, Jia He sprinted downstairs, and only after she had handed her luggage to Yi Wenze and both of them were in the car did her relief rush out in a huge exhale. But before she could say even half a word, a phone call came in pursuit of her.

“My mom.” With a wry smile at Yi Wenze, she answered the phone. “I really have to go. We’ll talk about it again when I get back next week, okay?”

A snicker containing volumes of meaning echoed from the other end of the line. “I saw him just now. He’s pretty tall. Didn’t see his face, but how come no matter how I looked, it still feels like you chose the boy based on your idol? From what I can see, he’s pretty young? He wouldn’t be one of the young, little actors in a production cast of yours, right?”

Jia He was not sure whether she should be amused or vexed by the question. She snuck a glance at how he was dressed today. Indeed, it did look that way…

“No. My phone’s out of juice, it’s out of juice,” she hissed, then speedily hung up.

When she looked up again, the car had already driven out of the community compound. With guilty discomfiture, she took a glimpse at Yi Wenze. After a rather long internal wrestle, she finally came up with an opening topic that she could use. “What did you say to Gu Yu earlier on?”

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

[1]老婆饼“lao po bing.” “Wife cakes, “also known as “sweetheart cakes” or, from their Cantonese transliteration, “lo por beng,” are a Cantonese pastry. A flaky pastry is filled with a sweet winter-melon filling that is soft and chewy. It is very popular in Hong Kong.

[2] 吃著碗裡看著鍋裡. When someone is said to be “keeping an eye in the pot despite already eating from his own bowl,” it means he is not satisfied with what he has. In terms of dating relationships, it means that person is already dating someone but is still keeping his eyes peeled and looking for other “options.”

[3] 秒杀 “Seckill,” which combines “second” and “kill,” is a slang that originated from online gaming and is used to describe someone who killed an opponent in a matter of seconds. (Nowadays, in China it is also associated with online shopping, when an item sold out extremely quickly because buyers swooped in to purchase it.)

This story was translated with the express permission of the author for hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com only. All forms of reproduction, redistribution, or re-posting 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:

Lyrics for Jay Chou’s “Heading Straight North All the Way”:

 

《一路向北》Heading Straight North All the Way

 

✻ 后视镜里的世界 越来越远的道别
The world in the rearview mirror draws away, the farewell further and further behind me
你转身向背   侧脸还是很美
You turn away, but the side view of your face is still so beautiful
我用眼光去追 竟听见你的泪
My eyes chase after you, and I can actually hear your tears

○ 在车窗外面徘徊 是我错失的机会
Lingering outside the window is the chance that I let slip by
你站的方位 跟我中间隔着泪
Tears separate me from where you stand
街景一直在后退 你的崩溃在窗外零碎
The streetscape continuously recedes away. The image of you as you broke down has become fragments beyond the window

△ 我一路向北 离开有你的季节
I head straight north the entire way, leaving behind those seasons that had you
你说你好累 已无法再爱上谁
You said you have tired and are no longer able to love again
风在山路吹 过往的画面全都是我不对
The wind blows over the mountain road. All those things of the past, they were my wrongdoing.
细数惭愧 我伤你几回
I count the times I have hurt you and the shame I feel about them

Repeat ✻   ○   △

我一路向北 离开有你的季节
I head straight north the entire way, leaving behind those seasons that had you
方向盘周围 回转着我的后悔
All around the steering wheel hovers my regret
我加速超越 却甩不掉紧紧跟随的伤悲
I accelerate, I pass cars, yet I cannot shake the sorrow that closely pursues me
细数惭愧 我伤你几回
I count the times I have hurt you and the shame I feel about them
停止狼狈 就让错纯粹
Let’s stop this mess. Let those wrongs go and there remain only good.

 

Completed:
1 of 1 Prologue
28 of 58 Chapter segments
0 of 4 Epilogues

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20 thoughts on “Easily Set Aflame (轻易放火) — Chapter 10.1

  1. 😍 thank you Hoju. She should just have brought him up to meet the mother. Guess it is harder especially when they just started. Oh yes, what did he say to Gu Yu? I am curious to know too 🤣

    • I totally get her. After only 2.5 weeks, and with his superstar celebrity, I wouldn’t either! I didn’t bring my hubs to meet my parents until two months after we started dating.

      Thanks for reading!

  2. My Guess on what Wen ze told Gu Yu
    “Can you pls make way for me?”

  3. Film Emperor Yi Wenze: Mr. Yu, you are troubling my wife.

    Editor-in-chief Gu Yu:_(:з」∠)_

    Jia He: real life PK!!!!!

  4. Thanks Hoju..haha, so her mother peeps from their house, yeah I’m curious too, what the answer from A Ze 😆
    Let me guess,Ye Wenze – Jia He in safe hands now, don’t bother about her anymore 👌 😅

  5. YWZ is so ready to announce his relationship with JH to their inner circle…soon to HK to visit his parents and relatives XD
    thank you

  6. Oow, her mother not very supportive, I wonder when she know the truth about teacher Yi😁😁, thank you Hoju😄😄..

    • Often, if the boy doesn’t check off all the “daughter’s boyfriend” requirements that a mother/father had, the automatic response is to first say no. As long as they’re not stubborn about it, it’s all good.
      Thanks for reading!

  7. She should make it clear to her mom about her and GuYu rather than making her mom keep on the hope of them being together again.

    • I don’t think Jia He has done anything that gives any indication to her mom that she should keep holding onto any hope. Regardless of whether she tells her mom about what Gu Yi once did, she had already stated, “From now on, don’t talk about Gu Yu” and “I have a boyfriend.” That’s 100% clear what her thoughts are. It comes down to whether her mother is willing to listen.

  8. The only thing I would really disagree with how Jia He handles this entire situation is the lie to her mum about the ex-boyfriend. At the time of the breakup the fib might have been okay, but now she should come clean on this.
    Thanks for the chapter.

    • I think, as a mother, I would hope that my daughter told me everything. I would also hope that for a Jia He, as a daughter, she would feel comfortable enough to tell her mom everything. However, as I think about it, Jia He’s words were specious but not a lie. She was the one who broke up, her feelings probably were no longer the same the instant she found out about the betrayal, and that’s what she told her mom. If I were her mother and eventually found out the truth, the heartache for her would be true, I might even get angry and chastise her, but I honestly could not label it as “wrong.” Years later, I still don’t think she has anything to “come clean” about because she wasn’t the one who did “dirty,” Gu Yu was. It’s not a daughterly obligation to tell her mother about every aspect of her relationships, it is a reflection of the mother-daughter bond and how it has been established. They probably both could do better in handling this (e.g. Mom asking Jia He why she doesn’t like Gu Yu) but not because of obligation and, rather, to further the trust.

      Thanks for reading!

  9. I love that song. That’s the movie and song that introduced me to the awesomeness that is Jay Chou. It is quite nostalgic listening to a beloved song again while reading this SECKILL chapter. The timing is just too perfect. Thank you Hoju.

  10. Thanks for the chapter! I just came back from visiting my parents for a week, & yes parents induced awkwardness is alive a thriving…

    • Welcome back!
      I think parents-induced awkwardness has been around as far back as mankind can remember and will exist as long as mankind does. LOL

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