Fanatical

Fangirling Chinese Novels

The Road Home (归路) — Chapter 2

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Watch out for that little boy. 🙂 Also, Commander Lu demonstrates his prowess!

Chapter 2 — A Snowy Night on the Frontier (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.

 

Gui Xiao did not dare even to scrutinize the little boy’s facial features. She uttered, “I’m going to go to the bathroom.”

Her heart was suddenly terribly heavy, and pain throbbed in her, beat by beat, in pace with her heart’s increasingly dull rhythm.

“Auntie, the bathroom is out the door, to the right, and down the stairs. It’s between the fourth and fifth floors.” The boy rose from his seat and thoughtfully, one at a time, pulled out the chairs beside the table. “Uncles, Auntie, please have a seat. If you’re visiting Erenhot, then you’re our guests…”

The voices of everyone laughingly praising the boy were shut out from her ears by the door at her back.

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Gui Xiao remained outside the door, her heart hammering. When she saw someone walking by her carrying half a roasted lamb, she hastily stepped backwards and made way for him amidst the strong aroma of roasted meat.

Her heart felt flustered and would not settle back in place.

Afraid that someone would notice there was something wrong with her, she decided simply to follow the boy’s instructions. She strode to the end of the corridor, turned right, walked down a few steps, and went searching for the bathroom on the landing between the fourth and fifth floors where the stairs turned a corner.

But when she was standing outside that door, staring blankly at the “Men” sign over the bathroom, Gui Xiao was in a daze for quite some time.

Slowly, she recovered some of her rational mind.

Eleven years ago, he left Beijing. Ten years ago, they broke up. That the child looked to be seven or eight years old was very reasonable.

Everything was perfectly logical and reasonable.

So, Gui Xiao, what do you still want to see him for?

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

“What are you looking at?” A voice spoke behind her.

Gui Xiao jolted in surprise.

A glass door that was banded on its right by aluminum edging had been pulled open from the outside. Lu Yanchen, his hand pinching half a cigarette that he had not yet finished smoking, was leaning against the doorway, his eyes narrowed slightly as he eyed her over. “Women’s is downstairs.”

She said an “oh,” then turned around.

“Come back.” Behind her, Lu Yanchen stated, “I’ll bring you down when I’m done my smoke.”

“No need.” She continued walking.

“I told you to come back. Did you hear me?” Lu Yanchen’s tone dropped.

Gui Xiao’s footsteps came to a halt.

Back then all I did was dump you. So what? You have a kid already. What gives with this attitude still, like I owe you something?

Gui Xiao gritted her teeth fiercely and whipped her head around. “No, I didn’t hear you.”

His lips taut, Lu Yanchen lifted his brows and stared at her.

Then lowering his head once more, he took a draw from his cigarette and blew out a not-quite-fully-formed smoke ring. “If you didn’t hear, what are you turning around for?”

<>Your support by reading this story only at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, the actual site of posting, would be greatly and sincerely appreciated. Thank you.

“The lady doesn’t want to talk to you, is that not okay?” Behind Lu Yanchen, a rugged-looking man who appeared to be just in his thirties stubbed out the cigarette he was holding. “Don’t mind him. Our Commander Lu—ah, no, it’s former Commander Lu, who was discharged only a few days ago—is bored out of his mind, so the way he’s talking is sulky and sarcastic.”

Gui Xiao looked at him in surprise. “Didn’t you say—” it would be this year?

Lu Yanchen gave a smirk. “Just finished up the procedures but it still hasn’t gone through the formalities that have to follow. I’m a jobless bum now. What? You think it’s not worth it to treat me to dinner anymore?”

The man behind him hurriedly smoothed over the situation. “Miss, please don’t mind. Our Commander Lu’s way of talking is just particularly cutting.”

Gui Xiao certainly knew what kind of person he was.

Lu Yanchen, in his younger girl cousin’s words, was a terribly proud person who was too smart and understood too clearly all that he saw. Which person had what little thought or scheme hidden away in the heart was all clear as day to him. The closer you were to him, the more he would not let you put on any act.

Back when the two had known each other for more than a year, Gui Xiao was so smitten with him that she had wanted to inscribe his name into her arm, but still she would, with all her might, force a facade of being reserved and dignified. Only on Wednesdays and Fridays, when there was choir rehearsal or music class, would she circle over to the third-year high school classroom and put on a pretense of heading to rehearsal or class.

This way, she could sneak a couple of peeks at him in passing.

He was repeating the grade and sat in the very last row of the classroom. When class was dismissed, he liked to tilt his chair back so that the back of the seat leaned against the wall, and he would chat with a few other boys.

When she walked by, a little piece of chalk would often be thrown out. She would even pretend to be clueless and startled by it, and then as she looked with a reserved demeanour towards him, she would discover that he had already carried on toying with the remaining chalk in his hand like nothing had happened… Later, when they were together, Gui Xiao had feigned innocence and asked him, “Back then, why did you always like to throw chalk at me? Did you have a crush on me?”

He would narrow his eyes slightly and fix them on her, not giving her a reply.

If she pressed him anxiously for an answer, he would grin at her. “You were always sauntering around right in front of my eyes. Weren’t you just waiting for me to acknowledge you?”

Her secret little inner thought had been unmasked. She twisted her head around and stomped away from him, but he grabbed her arm and pulled her back. Though she still struggled against him, in her mind, she was actually delightedly thinking that she would probably be able to hear some nice words now. Against her expectations, however, he gave another low chuckle. “And this here, weren’t you just waiting for me to pull you back?”

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

✻ ✻ ✻ ✻ ✻

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

The man behind him carried on to add, “Actually, Commander Lu still hasn’t decided whether he’ll be going back to Beijing or not. He’s still on the fence about it. So, really, he can’t be considered a jobless bum; at most he’s just considered unemployed for the short term.”

“I may not necessarily be going back.” Lu Yanchen stubbed out his cigarette butt in the snow on the windowsill. His deep-black eyes were like the black stones that bathed inside a reflecting pond, carrying the gleam of moisture, but cold and without emotion.

As Gui Xiao watched the little bit of light over the snowy land gradually vanish, she strove to be an indifferent, magnanimous ex-girlfriend.

“It’ll undoubtedly be very troublesome to bring your wife and kid back with you. Getting their hukou[1] sorted out will be a pain, too. If you need any help, you can come find me.

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

Silence.

Lu Yanchen and the man behind him both had rather strange expressions.

After a long moment of wordlessness, Lu Yanchen chuckled at the man who was with him. “Your son’s been up to mischief again.”

Gui Xiao paused in surprise.

“It couldn’t have been him, right? That brat is scared of you. He doesn’t really dare pull anything on you.” This man named Qin Mingyu gave a wry grin. “But there’s also a chance he’s gotten more gall lately.”

He was quite a tough and strong man, but with mention of his son, his face surprisingly became flushed. “That boy of mine knows our squadron is made up of all bachelors. When he has nothing to do, he likes to make mischief when someone’s having a matchmaking date, and he’ll call the bros in our squadron ‘Dad.’ His practical jokes have scared off quite a few girls already. Sorry about that, Miss Gui Xiao.”

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

Oh, so it turns out…

“So he’s actually not your child.” Gui Xiao pretended to look out on the snowy scene. “What a pity. He’s really cute.”

His hands in his pants pockets, Lu Yanchen maintained his silence.

“Him? Cute?” The boy’s actual father by blood laughed. “The brat gives even ghosts a headache.”

After saying this, the man introduced himself, though now a little late, as Qin Mingyu, explaining that he was in Lu Yanchen’s squadron.

And that son of his who gave ghosts a headache was called Qin Xiaonan.

It was a single-parent-family situation where custody of the child had been given to the father. In order to make things easier to take care of him, Qin Xiaonan lived alone in Erenhot in the home Qin Mingyu rented, and he went to school by himself. In short, he took care of everything all by himself.

No wonder, then, that though he was young, he still dared to make great mischief.

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

When the three of them returned to the private dining room, the little boy openly and unconcernedly threw himself into his real dad’s arms. “Dad!” Then, he stole a glimpse at Gui Xiao and Lu Yanchen. With this cry, the people inside the room, like Gui Xiao, also clued in. All right, then! We got it all wrong.

The child’s practical joke was thus brushed over and moved on from.

This meal was considered quite passable. Aside from the fact that Gui Xiao and Lu Yanchen, the two people who had been the links that actually brought about this dinner, did not interact whatsoever, everything else was perfect. Throughout the entire meal, Lu Yanchen did not so much as glance at her, such that even Xiao Cai asked directly, “Commander Lu, you and our Gui Xiao were neighbours in the past? Or schoolmates? Or…?”

“Schoolmates,” Lu Yanchen answered. “Not well acquainted.”

Any words that Xiao Cai might have had were choked off with that. With a forced “ha ha,” she stiffly turned to look at the snow falling heavily outside the window. “Inner Mongolia’s snow is so heavy. Ha ha…”

From a whole-roasted lamb, to lamb offal, braised noodles[2], airag[3] [fermented mare’s milk]… Dish after dish came. Xiao Cai had basically ordered everything that could be ordered. The aura of bad luck that had hung over them since losing their vehicle at the gas station had now all dissipated, and they drank until their stomachs and bodies were warmed up.

After several cups of alcohol had gone into his belly, Qin Mingyu truly began displaying his chatterbox nature, and he did not even pause as he prattled on about Lu Yanchen. He even very solemnly rose and raised his glass to everyone, beseeching Gui Xiao and the others to please, if they were able to, help out Lu Yanchen so that his return to Beijing could go a little smoother.

“Of course, of course,” Xiao Cai immediately assured. “ ‘A drop of water in need, returned with a spring indeed[4],’ let alone Commander Lu did such a big favour for us. If we can help in the future, we’ll definitely help!”

Everyone echoed this sentiment.

<>It would be greatly appreciated by the translator if you would read this story only at its actual site of posting, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. Thank you

Dinner was finished.

When everybody was inside the elevator, Qin Mingyu suddenly asked, “The five of you all came in one car?”

Xiao Cai replied, “Ah, yes.”

“Commander Lu, take them back, eh. It’s not really safe with five to a car.” Qin Mingyu put forth this reasonable suggestion.

Lu Yanchen hooked out his car keys with two fingers, not answering.

“Oh, that would be too much trouble,” Xiao Cai politely declined.

“It’s not any trouble, Auntie.” Qin Xiaonan scampered into the elevator and cheerily tilted his head up, replying, “We’re over in the west; you guys are in the east. Even though it’s not really on the way, it shows our sincerity to escort our guests.”

Xiao Cai laughed. “Then I’ll head over first with Commander Lu to the parking lot to get the car. You guys wait at the door.”

With sounds of grinding metal from some place unknown, the old elevator slowly descended.

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

Despite her words, Xiao Cai still felt that if she went with Lu Yanchen to the parking lot, she inevitably would be “chilled to death” by this Commander Lu, so she pulled Gui Xiao along by the arm to be the “lubricant.”

Alas, she did not realize that with Gui Xiao there, Lu Yanchen truly would be so cold he could freeze someone to death.

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

Xiao Cai’s vehicle was parked on the east side of the parking lot and Lu Yanchen’s was also in a spot nearby.

Gui Xiao waited on the outer side of the driving lane while Xiao Cai cut through between two cars and headed to her own vehicle. Right as Gui Xiao was distracted, wanting to find where Lu Yanchen was in the dimness, she suddenly heard Xiao Cai let out a shriek of “Aaah!”

Gui Xiao was stupefied. Before she could even react, several shadowy figures were already rushing out.

A huge force on her arm yanked her backwards, and then nearly at the exact same instant, a thick, padded, black jacket enshrouded her head and face. Gui Xiao did not have the chance to steady herself on her feet before, in this abrupt onslaught of darkness, someone shoved her outwards and she crashed into a vehicle.

“Don’t come out!” Lu Yanchen’s voice resounded.

Shocked, Gui Xiao tore the garment down from her face. Snow rushed into her nose and mouth, choking her. Coughing violently, she looked around in panic.

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

The one who had yanked and shoved her was Lu Yanchen. A dozen or so tall, brawny men were already surrounding him.

“Lu Chen!” This cry slipped from Gui Xiao’s lips. The blood in every vein of her body congealed.

Beneath the pale moonlight, he turned his head to the side slightly, and as if he had not heard her, he twisted one of those shadows into his control and flung that person into the snow. The next one that came at him was also nimbly hurled away. His attacks were not vicious, but neither were those people able to get near him. Luckily, Qin Mingyu, having heard the scream, had already been dashing over, and now with a swift slash of his hand, he smashed one person facedown into the ground…

Waves of numbness rolled over Gui Xiao’s back as her eyes took this all in, and even her legs were limp.

“Gui Xiao…” Trembling with fright, Xiao Cai sprinted back over from beside her vehicle. Except for some mud and snow on her, she was not injured.

Gui Xiao hurriedly held out a hand and supported her. “Are you okay?”

“I was shoved around a few times. They want to steal the car…”

Once the two women finished saying this, they were both gasping heavily and unable to utter any other words, engrossed only in staring in terror at those dozen or so ruffians who had appeared without warning, and also Lu Yanchen and Qin Mingyu. But the ones those people were up against were, after all, from the counter-terrorism squadron; those dozen or so people were not any match at all. Before long, they had all been pummeled into the ground, and facedown, they struggled and moaned.

Only now did the several men travelling in Gui Xiao’s group dare come close.

Qin Xiaonan also rushed into the excitement. “Dad, I took that uncle’s phone and called the police with it!”

Qin Mingyu grinned. “Nice work!”

Garbed only in a button-up shirt, for he had tossed his jacket to Gui Xiao, Lu Yanchen, in these surroundings of frost and snow, selected a few who still wanted to crawl back up and landed another heavy kick into each of them. Only after every one had been dealt with and was well-behaved did he finally brush off the dirty snow and mud that had been kicked up onto him.

Slowly, he walked back over.

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

Gui Xiao truly was stunned with fear.

Lu Yanchen strode up in front of her, then stood still.

His hand’s shadow flitted in front of Gui Xiao’s eyes, and out of reflex she shirked away. Lu Yanchen’s hand paused briefly before he bent his fingers and flicked away the dirty snow on her bangs. “You weren’t scared?”

He had covered her face with his jacket earlier because he had been worried she would be frightened.

Gui Xiao, though, had not understood his intention at all, yanking it down herself and watching the entire thing.

“No.” Perceiving that her voice was quivering, she turned her face away from him. “… What’s there to be scared about?”

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

[1] 户口 “hu kou.” The hukou is a system in China to identify its citizens. The hukou booklet, or household register booklet, is a piece of identification in a passport-style document that contains identifying information and states the location where the household and its members permanently reside. Lu Yanchen is from Beijing but has been in Inner Mongolia for many years already and would have transferred his hukou there. Hence, if he were to move back, he would need to re-transfer his hukou back to Beijing. Furthermore, if he married someone from the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and had a child, the hukous of his wife and child would not be tied to Beijing and would also need to be transferred.

[2] 焖面. Braised noodles is mainly a dish of northern China. Though there are variations, it generally is made with string beans and a meat of some sort. In Inner Mongolia, it is often served in an iron pot.

[3] 马奶酒. Airag is the Mongolian name, but this drink is also known by the Turkish name, kumis. It is a fermented product made from raw mare’s milk, alcoholic, but only slightly so, and a traditional drink of the Eurasian steppes.

[4] 滴水之恩,涌泉相报. A more literal translation would be “The kindness of a drop of water should be repaid with a gushing spring,” meaning, even if it was only a small favour that was given, you should do all that you can to repay 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:

Chen Ge, you wanted to cover her face because you were worried she would be frightened. She, though, didn’t want her face to be covered, because she was worried you would be hurt.

 

Completed:
1 of 1 Prologue
2 of 43 Chapters
0 of 1 Epilogues

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24 thoughts on “The Road Home (归路) — Chapter 2

  1. Wow he did show how awesome he is she was scare but didn’t want to show him thank you hoju ❤️❤️

    • He is awesome. They still have things they have to get over, but inside they both care about the other person.

      Thanks for reading!

  2. ahhh….only ch 2 but i’m hooked on this story!!

    Thank you so much!

  3. Mmmm biting my handkerchief in desperation. What really happened between these two? So impatient! Thanks for the chap

  4. Thanks Hoju.
    I really like this novel and Chen Ge too.
    We continue reading and waiting for the next chapter.

  5. Phew no kid! That would’ve been another obstacle to get over. Hero saves beauty. So cliche, yet works every time! They can see each others real feelings. Thanks hoju!

  6. Woah he is acting cold n suddenly warm😂

  7. A mean comment “Bah… he still care for her…” 😂. After all he is our male lead, the hero, and I understand he HAVE-TO-SAVE lives but someway I got jealousy quickly and easily 😅. It would have been interesting that the kid was his, right?! A kid that he would have had to take care of (maybe a mother dead tragically… yeah I am writing nosense hahaha). Hoju~~~ 😭 I am heartbroken, he still cares…

    • LOL. You’re getting jealous on behalf of Gui Xiao? A kid would have been interesting; it would have just completely changed the dynamics. But have no fear! There is still Qin Xiaonan.

  8. Thank you Hoju, naughty kid 😅

  9. This story is really interesting.

    And, it’s only 2 chapters in and yet I find myself looking forward to reading it and keen to know the dynamics between both past, present and if I might add, future, of both the leads.

    The guy seems like a loner, the quintessential taciturn hero. But both the parties, it seems cannot each other’s presence. I like how protecting her was like a natural the instinct to him.

    Update soon.

    Your new reader.

    Your translations are great.

    • I’m glad this story had captured your attention so far. 🙂

      Your assessment of him is partially correct. 😉

      Enjoy the ride!

  10. Ha ha, mischievous but very resourceful kid. Looks like Gui Xiao is one who is not going to admit her feelings easily. And author has made the hero smart to read people well. Good combination. Looking forward to more of their interactions.

    Thank you for the chapter, Hoju 😀.

    • The kid is cute, although to be raised by a single dad who’s a military servicemen must be tough.
      Neither of them is really willing to admit their feelings. 😉

      Thanks for reading!

  11. Thank you very much….

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