Fanatical

Fangirling Chinese Novels

Easily Set Aflame (轻易放火) — Chapter 18.2

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The kitchen isn’t wary of strangers; it’s protesting that they need to find a different location. LOL. Poor Auntie Zhao nearly gets a heart attack. 🙂

Chapter 18.2 — Prelude to the Wedding (2)

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.

 

Qiao Qiao had commissioned the seamstress of her company to make her evening gowns for her. From the Internet, she downloaded more than ten different designs, and fussily she discussed them with the seamstress for a long time. Jia He, her chin resting on her hand, waited for her. The two were both exhausted by the time Qiao Qiao suddenly remembered her. “Should we make yours along with all the other ones, too?”

Facing toward the heat that was blowing, Jia He warmed her hands. “No need. A certain someone said he’s already bought mine for me.”

Having adjusted to the indoor heating of Beijing, now that she was back in Shanghai, she was unable to stand these temperatures.

Qiao Qiao shot an envious glare at her. “Why do I feel like you’ve already gone from being a motivated young woman striving to advance herself, to being a leech. That certain someone of yours, is there anything that he doesn’t do or prepare for you? I’m guessing that other than having babies, he takes care of absolutely everything.”

Burrowed in a corner of the couch, Jia He grinned smugly. “Jealous, eh?”

“You’re just being cocky. See, that’s what’s called ‘being cocky.’” Qiao Qiao lifted her arms while holding the edge of the fabric, letting the seamstress bend over beside her and take measurements.  “Even I’m getting married. What about you? Don’t tell me you’re going to just keep the relationship in the shadows for the long term.”

Jia He blinked and looked at her. “Hey, married woman, why are you so smug?”

Those two words successfully enflamed Qiao Qiao into pouncing on her, and the two became entangled in a wrestling match.

The truth was… there was a persistent feeling in her that he was making preparations. But, this was just a feeling she had.

<>The translator would sincerely appreciate it if you would read this translation only from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, the actual site of translation. Thank you.

When the courier service delivered her dress, she was in the process of boxing away the smaller decorative items in her apartment so as to not have to wipe them again the next time she came back. It was a very large, wide box that was delivered. Very carefully, she took some scissors and cut the plastic tape on the outside as well as the plastic wrapping. Opening the white box revealed layer after layer of translucent tissue paper, and with the removal of each layer, there was a light rustling sound.

A pale-mauve dress with a white ribbon knotted loosely around it. On the ribbon was the signature of the designer.

Lifting the gown out from the box, she spread it on the bed and stared for a lengthy time at it, all the while feeling that if she wore this, Qiao Qiao undoubtedly would straight-up murder her just to do away with her…

Hence, to give the bride-to-be a heads-up, she brought the gown with her when they went out for Japanese food in the evening.

Qiao Qiao gawped at it, thoroughly floored. “I’ll say, is that Yi Wenze of yours doing it on purpose? He’s treating my wedding as the dress rehearsal for your wedding?”

Jia He took small sips from her soup, wearing an “I’m so innocent in this” look. “I honestly didn’t know that he ordered it from this shop. That’s why I brought it for you to have a look…”

The lights were very low. The sashimi was very fresh.

While speaking, she picked up a piece of salmon and dipped it in some soy sauce, her conscience feeling uneasy. Alas, because she had been too preoccupied with gazing at Qiao Qiao, she dabbed on too much wasabi and ended up with tears streaming down her face from the sharp, pungent burning in her sinuses after eating the fish.

Therefore, when the server pulled open the door to come change out their plates, what she saw was a tearful Jia He opposite a scowling, frosty person. Throwing a very sympathetic look at Jia He, she speedily retreated from there.

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

That night, the rain was pouring down when Yi Wenze hurriedly arrived in Shanghai.

She held her phone, listening to the rumble of thunder outside, and discussed with him whether he should come pick her up and bring her over to his place. This apartment of hers was small, after all, and did not have changes of clothing for him either, so there more or less would be some inconveniences if he were to stay here.

He, though, was unconcerned. “No need for all the trouble. I’ll stay at your place.”

With an “okay,” Jia He instructed, “Well, then, when you come up here in a bit, have A-Qing go to the convenience store for you and buy some food to bring back here. I have nothing here. I’ve been eating out these last couple of days, too, and don’t have anything I can make for you for breakfast tomorrow morning.”

She had only been thinking about foodstuffs for breakfast, but Yi Wenze carried a full two bags of items up with him. Such a huge amount—three days would not be enough to eat it all… Opening the refrigerator door, she put everything inside and sorted it neatly. While she was at it, she stared at all those ingredients, mulling over what she should make for him to eat tomorrow. Her attention had been diverted to her ponderings, and very soon her hands were ice-cold from the chilly air.

“Why are you staring at the fridge, lost in thought?” Behind her, Yi Wenze shut the door behind himself with one hand while the other arm slipped around her. “Do you need to shower?”

There was a very faint aroma of shower gel on him. It was her favourite smell, watermelon.

As she inhaled this scent, there was a remarkable feeling in her, like something was out of place. This was his first time staying in her home. She had bought this apartment for five years already, and now that she seriously counted, no man had actually ever stepped foot in here before… She leaned herself backwards, letting herself become enfolded in front of him in the circle of his arms. Because he had just had a shower, this embrace was particularly warm and also carried a slight dampness.

“You’ve put me in a miserable pickle.” She looked back at him. “It’s not like I’m the bride, but you made such a beautiful dress for me. Qiao Qiao is going to hack me to pieces.”

With a little laugh, he nuzzled his face against her cheek and did not answer her directly, posing a question to her instead. “Do you like it?”

Breathing in his scent, Jia He purposely misconstrued his meaning. “A lot. You smell sweet whenever I inhale.”

He was momentarily taken aback by her response, but then chuckled. Closing the refrigerator door, he picked her straight up into his arms.

This was a small apartment, and the kitchen was a very tight space as well. Hence, this very romantic action managed to cause her to kick over the bottle of soy sauce on the counter. Clunk, thunk! She was given a shock. With one hand still holding her, Yi Wenze uprighted the bottle with the other hand and remarked quietly, “It looks like this apartment is wary of strangers.”

“Yup.” Twining her arms around his neck, she grinned and replied, “This place could be considered a maiden’s boudoir in the truest sense of the word. No man has ever come in before.” He smiled and did not speak, only very carefully carrying her the whole way to the bedroom.

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

Because she liked to read on the carpet, back then she had only bought an extra-wide single bed.

Now as she stared at that bed, she truly felt a little embarrassed…

The result was that for the entire night she did not dare move about, not even so much as turn over. When she stirred in the morning, her back and waist were so sore she almost passed out.

As she tried to get up on this early morning, she was barely able to shift herself even slightly. “Next time, we’ll just sleep on the floor. This is too torturing.” Closing his arms around her, Yi Wenze lifted her right onto himself, then brought his hand over and began kneading her waist for her.

His motions were slow, his palm warm—truly, it felt so good.

Exceptionally satisfied, she sprawled on his chest and straightaway switched her tune. “I’ve changed my mind; we’ll still sleep on the bed.”

“How does this feel?” Sliding his hand into her pajamas, he wordlessly, calmly continued massaging her.

Her eyes narrowing in great enjoyment, she mumbled that with this five-star service, it was all worth it.

He smiled, not speaking. But when she was gasping lightly and wanting to get off from him to flee, he finally peeled everything off of her and gave her a “full package service.”

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

The most direct outcome of this was that she could not be bothered to even get off the bed afterwards. Stretched out beneath the blankets, she gave some “humphs” as she watched him rise easily to his feet, and she ground her teeth in jealousy. “You don’t feel uncomfortable at all after sleeping like this for a whole night? Geez, such physical strength…”

Chuckling, he bent down, but right as he was about to say something, there was an unexpected knock on the door.

The voice of Auntie Zhao, the next-door neighbour, asked loudly, “Jia He, are you there?”

Jia He was about to command Yi Wenze to go open the door, but then her mind abruptly caught up. At once throwing on her clothes, she jogged out and opened the door.

As she had just clambered out from the bed and had also exerted herself during her “morning workout,” there was still perspiration on her. When she pulled open the door, the frosty air chilled her, sending a shiver through her. Auntie Zhao stood outside the door, a broom raised above her in a posture that looked as if she was prepared to do battle, and only when she saw Jia He did she lower it back down and exhale noisily. “Scared me to death, Jia He. I thought a thief got into your home.”

Bemused, Jia He looked at her. “Why?”

Auntie Zhao very dutifully explained, “You disappeared without a word and haven’t been around for months, and then you suddenly came back yesterday but didn’t even let me know. I heard a huge sound in the middle of the night and was terrified.”

Huge sound?

It would seem it was just a bottle of soy sauce falling over…

Auntie Zhao, though, had always been like this. When it came to zany, loony antics, she absolutely was on par with the master, Chow Sing-Sing[1]. Jia He gave a rub to her eyes, roughly able to guess the purpose of this visit. “Auntie, is the community charging some sort of fee again? Just let me know. I’ll give you the money.”

Auntie Zhao hastily wagged her hands. “Oh, no, no. The community gave each household 10 kuai [RMB]. I helped you collect yours for the time being, and now I’m giving it back to you.” As she spoke, she pulled out an RMB20 note from her pocket. “I don’t have change in my home. Can you break this?”

“Don’t worry about it.” Jia He joked, “We’ll consider it your compensation payment to help you get over your scare.”

“No, that wouldn’t be right,” Auntie Zhao stated with utter seriousness. “I’ve had the money in my place for almost two months already, and it’s been on my mind every day. I can’t even get a good sleep because of it.”

Seeing that she was insistent, Jia He could only tell her, “Please wait, then.” When she was about to turn around, however, she felt warmth envelop her—a coat had been draped around her.

“I’ll go get it.” Behind her, Yi Wenze, after saying this, went into the bedroom.

Another gust of cold wind blew past.

The entire time, Auntie Zhao remained frozen in the middle of an unfinished smile, speechless with shock, two fingers still pinching that RMB20 note. It was not until Yi Wenze had already stepped back out and handed an RMB10 note to her that she was finally able to twitch the corner of her lips up ever so slightly. “Pleased to meet you…”

Yi Wenze gave a polite smile, his voice warm as he replied, “Thank you for looking after Jia He all this time.”

“That’s something I should do, I should…” Auntie Zhao took the RMB10 note from him, tremblingly handed the RMB20 over, and then floated back to her own home.

Jia He gave a wry look to Yi Wenze. “I think I’ll have to sell this apartment for sure…”

Otherwise, by the next time she came back, everyone would undoubtedly know that he had stayed here.

<>This translation’s actual site of posting is hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. Please show your support by reading it there only. Thank you.

As Qiao Qiao’s wedding drew nearer and nearer, Jia He was worn to a frazzle from all the busyness. In the afternoon, after seeing Yi Wenze off again, she decisively put in her name with a real estate agency and then headed to the hotel where the wedding would be held. She was very curious as to how “Weibo Dude” had figured out what Qiao Qiao’s wedding dreams were, for his plans were wholly, seamlessly in line with them and not off the mark in the slightest.

The hotel’s entire lawn had been reserved. It did not seem like a wedding venue and, rather, was more like the site for an all-night revelry.

Simply thinking about the fact that this one wedding was going to go on for twelve hours evoked such despair in Jia He that she wanted to kill someone…

The emcee for the wedding rambled on nonstop with his explanations. Qiao Qiao was listening with extreme earnestness, inquiring in detail about each sequence and step. Three hours into this planning meeting, they finally finished talking through the entire sequence of events for the ceremony. Holding a notebook, Jia He continually jotted down what she needed to do at each step, until in the end there were more than ten pages of densely-written notes. Eventually, she bewailed, “Just kill me. I haven’t taken notes since I graduated from uni…”

Qiao Qiao was even in the middle of applying a facial sheet mask, not caring at all whether this was a public setting, looking just like a big star taking a rest on a film set.

But the thing every woman looks forward to most is merely that on the day of her wedding, she has her own stage and all attention is fixed solely on her. Out of the blue, Jia He wondered, what would it be like on the day of her own wedding? …

While she was letting her imagination run free, Qiao Qiao cleared her throat and brought her voice down, saying, “Normally the maid of honour is paired with the best man. I don’t dare invite your man to be the best man, though, because I’m scared I’ll be hacked to death the instant I step out the door. But I’m also scared that if I find some other guy to be the best man, your Yi Wenze will hack me to death. How about you help me ask Wu Zhilun? Even though he’s not quite at the standard of Yi Wenze, he’ll still absolutely be a best man whom everyone will be jealous about.”

Jia He closed her notebook. “You’re not scared he’s going to overshadow the groom?”

Peeling off her sheet mask, Qiao Qiao asserted, “Don’t you think Cheng Hao very much carries his own sort of aura? His looks keep growing on you, and you want to come back to them again and again, much more so than Wu Zhilun’s.”

Jia He’s lips twitched. “Aura” was such a useful, all-purpose, all-encompassing word…

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

[1]What I have translated as “zany, loony antics,” in the original text is actually 无厘头 “wu li tou.” This term is usually transliterated as mo lei tau as it originally was a Cantonese term from Hong Kong popular culture. The term itself means “makes no sense” or “meaningless” and is describing a unique type of humour based on wordplay, slapstick comedy, and puns. Stephen Chow Sing Chi and his films are known to be representative of this type of humour. In his Fight Back to School film series, which very much uses this zany, loony, mo lei tau humour, Stephen Chow plays a character named Chow Sing-Sing (also known in English as Star Chow).

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.

 

Completed:
1 of 1 Prologue
53 of 58 Chapter segments
0 of 7 Epilogue segments (4 epilogues in total)

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17 thoughts on “Easily Set Aflame (轻易放火) — Chapter 18.2

  1. I can’t wait for her own wedding… 😍 thank you so much Hoju 😘

  2. Thanks Hoju
    This story near its ending😢
    I think Jia He and Yi wenze in the last chapter ..
    If you dont mind give me a bit spoiler..there’s a chance to see Jia He and A ze baby? Haha

  3. MBFB is really a great writer. The scenes in her stories will always make me envision how the story will look like in real life. It’s like I can imagine the characters out?

    The one where the server comes in when Jia He is chocking and crying because of wasabi and Qiao Qiao looking at her scowling. I can see that scene being played out.

    And uh huh wouldn’t it be fun if I can also get a “full package service.” *wink* I can imagine this too. *blush*

    Thanks for the translation. I think I can imagine these scenes out because you translate it real good. 😘

    • Haha, so can I. Is it “poor Qiao Qiao” then? The server must think she is mean to make Jia he “cry.”
      Sorry, full package service from Yi Wenze is reserved only for Jia He. Hahaha

      Thanks for reading! I’m glad you’re enjoying the translation.

  4. Thank you for the update.

  5. haha YWZ no longer allows his pretense to be hidden away within JH’s territories
    thank you

    • He’s not deliberately flaunting, but neither is he deliberately hiding. I think he just wants to act like a normal couple.
      Thanks for reading!

  6. Thank you for the update Hoju

  7. Finally Qiao Qiao wedding😄😄…thanks Hoju😁

  8. I was a big fan of Stephen Chow back then around my junior high school era.

    Thank you for the update Hoju 😍😍😍😍😍

    • I watched a ton of his films, too. I can still recite lines from some of them. Such classics.
      Thanks for reading!

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