Fanatical

Fangirling Chinese Novels

The Road Home (归路) — Chapter 12

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Happy New Year! Thank you, readers here at Fanatical, for an awesome 2019! May 2020 be a year of joy, health, and love for all of you!

Well, now that there is an understanding between them, Lu Yanchen has to protect what’s his from other male entities… even if the male entity is a seven-year-old child. LOL

Chapter 12 — Dawn’s Light Illuminates the Road Home (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.

 

After leaving Meng Xiaoshan’s house, Lu Yanchen took the car for a spin along the canal before eventually pulling it to a stop in a discreet spot.

Engine off. He got out of the vehicle.

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

When six o’clock came, the sun had sunk beneath the horizon. Leaning against the trunk of a poplar tree, he inhaled from a cigarette, then pushed up his sleeve and glanced at the hands of his watch.

It was about time.

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

In a private dining room of Meng Xiaoshan’s restaurant, the conversations amongst that roomful of people were in full swing.

When Lu Yanchen was walking in, two young female servers who had carried in the dishes had just been yelled out of the room by Lu Yanchen’s father. Once the old man so much as touched alcohol, he would be like this, but still, every meal he was unable to stay away from the drink. Lu Yanchen’s mother meekly stole a glance at Meng Xiaoshan, who was at the doorway soothingly hugging one of the young girl servers. She felt bad, but she did not dare open her mouth to say anything either.

Seeing that Lu Yanchen had made his appearance, Meng Xiaoshan signaled at him with her eyes: Just state everything and lay it all out in the open. We’re here. We can keep things under control.

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

As Lu Yanchen stepped through the door, his father was in the midst of bragging that business at the auto repair shop had been great these last two years. Zhao Minshan likely had already heard something from her parents, for the expression she wore was unpleasant. However, her parents, the Zhao family’s old husband-and-wife couple, had not stated everything like it was already set in stone. They had told their daughter, RMB 1.1 million was not a small sum, and on top of that Lu Yanchen’s own father did not know anything about this; there was still room to turn the situation around. Hence, when she suddenly saw Lu Yanchen walking in, Zhao Minshan still held some hope in her, and her heart was immediately snagged after a single glance at this man who potentially could be her future husband.

This afternoon when she went to find him, he had appeared very sullen and rather dispirited.

Now, he looked quite a bit more crisp and refreshed, with half of his collarbone exposed through the slightly open collar of his white, button-up shirt, a buzz cut, and his tall build which stood perfectly straight. Of course, Zhao Minshan was no longer a young girl, and on her mental balance scale, she did weigh into consideration the matter regarding that child of his comrade-in-arms, as well as Lu Yanchen’s father’s terrible temper and how he would beat people when he was drunk.

The child definitely could not stay. If they really were going to get married, she would find an opportunity to send him away. She would personally do it, so that was already considered as giving face to Lu Yanchen.

As for Lu Yanchen’s father, Zhao Minshan actually was not concerned about him. In the past when the old man came to her house and had too much to drink, he had even said, a person only lived a few decades, so anyone who took care of his kids was an idiot. Supposedly, even when Lu Yanchen’s [paternal] grandmother[1] lost her mobility, he had merely sent her to live in the ancestral home in a village in the boonies, and after throwing a bit of money at the neighbours to have them take care of her until she kicked the bucket, he had not bothered with her anymore. Therefore, with this type of father-in-law who neither was filial to his parents nor took care of his children, what was there to be scared about?

If worst came to worst, they would cut ties and have absolutely nothing to do with him anymore for the rest of their lives.

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

While Zhao Minshan was still planning things out in her mind, Lu Yanchen had already come to a standstill. From Qin Feng, he took the small cup of baijiu handed to him, lifted his hand, and, throwing his head back, downed the entire cup. His father thought that this eldest son at last knew to give him some face and this was a cup drunk respectfully as a toast to the in-laws. Contrary to his expectations, though, immediately after setting the cup down onto the table, Lu Yanchen gave this one statement: “All the elders who are present here, my apologies. I must break off this engagement.”

Zhao Minshan’s heart abruptly sank.

Lu Yanchen’s words had only just left his lips before a full cup of heated baijiu came hurling toward his face. He tilted his head to the side slightly, evading most of the alcohol, while the rest all dripped down his neck, dampening his button-up shirt.

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

Lu Yanchen pressed the corners of his lips together, not uttering so much as half a word. The look in his eyes was icy.

Although Lu Yanchen’s mother’s heart ached for him, she still hesitantly remained where she was, not daring to move, and only reached over to hold back Lu Yanchen’s father. “What are you doing? It’s the middle of winter and you’re here throwing wine at the child again.”

Shoving Lu Yanchen’s mother away, Lu Yanchen’s father rolled up his sleeves, ready to pounce over and begin pummeling, and roared, “You little punk! Don’t think that just because you’ve come back from the military, I don’t dare beat the crap out of you—”

“Third Uncle, Third Uncle[2], let’s just talk it through, talk it through.” A smile covered Qin Feng’s face while his 1.9-plus-metre, burly build easily obstructed Lu Yanchen’s father, who was only 1.73 metres tall. “Even if you don’t give the kid face, you’ve got to give me face, Third Uncle.”

Meng Xiaoshan also followed suit, trying to pacify him. “Third Uncle, Third Uncle, you and my dad have so many years of friendship. You mustn’t wreck our family’s restaurant. Just ignore Lu Chen. We’ll have Qin Feng ready the best private room for you. Today I’m not going to do any business here! We’re only serving you!”

This husband-and-wife couple were very well-respected to begin with, and they had also purposely left the best private dining room in preparation for this scene that they were putting on. With all sorts of cajoling and persuasion, they managed to get Lu Yanchen’s father out of this room. Less than a minute later, Meng Xiaoshan came back again and also invited Zhao Minshan’s parents to step out of the room.

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

The lights shone radiantly. Across the large, round table of this dining room, only Zhao Minshan remained.

From the box on the table, Lu Yanchen yanked out a few napkins and wiped away the remnants of baijiu on his chin and neck. Then he pulled out a chair and took a seat. “Is there anything else you want me to say?”

Zhao Minshan was utterly affronted. “With this attitude of yours, there’s no way we can talk.”

Lu Yanchen gave a smile, not speaking.

To Lu Yanchen, the behaviour of the Zhao family’s two elders was still excusable. After all, for one thing, they were anxious from not being able to get their money back from Lu Yanchen’s father. Secondly, they were worried about their daughter’s marriage and future. Zhao Minshan, however, had been clear that he had known nothing about the whole matter of getting engaged, and yet she had so readily agreed to it. While it could not be said that she had any great malicious intent, neither could it be said that she was open and honourable.

“Lu Chen… I am very clear on what your family’s situation is like, and you also know what my family is like. Our two families basically know each other’s backgrounds through and through, and neither one of us can be said to be an unworthy match of the other person. You’re thirty already. Are you really going to take all of your savings and use it to pay back my family? What are you going to do then? Your dad definitely isn’t going to give you even half a cent. You go through all this trouble, and then, in the end, don’t you still need to get a wife and have kids? You’ve never been married before. Once you’ve stepped into that circle called marriage, you’ll realize that no matter whom you marry, in the end, life is still lived the same.”

Seeing that he did not answer, Zhao Minshan held on to the mindset that she could move him with her words, and so she carried on in a gentle voice, “This time, I genuinely want to get married. You and I have known each other since we were in school. That’s way better than you going to find some person you don’t know, right? And plus, if you’re going to pay the money back for your dad, you’ll have to borrow money. The people in all the nearby towns and villages won’t even need to really ask around to know how much debt you have; who’ll be willing to marry you then?”

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

From the beginning to the end of this conversation, Lu Yanchen had not had any desire to discuss anything.

To him, this was merely a formality. It was essential that he had a discussion with Zhao Minshan as proof that he had tried and that the negotiations had truly failed. In this way, proper face and respect would have been given to the elder couple of the Zhao family as well as Qin Feng and his wife.

When Zhao Minshan saw that her every sentence did not get a single reply, her temper thoroughly erupted. “Am I that beneath your notice? Even if we did the whole marriage engagement behind your back, it was because your dad owed us money first and wouldn’t pay it back. With the way you’re breaking off the engagement, how am I even going to be able to stay in this town? Your dad and mom have even booked the wedding banquet already!”

Lu Yanchen left his chair, then stated, “The kid you saw today will be with me for at least five, six years.”

Zhao Minshan had not expected that he would bring the discussion over to this matter. Her heart gave a thud, and mentally she backed off half a step.

“You can just say that there’s something wrong with Lu Yanchen as a person, that he brought back a comrade’s kid and is going to raise the child himself, and so you can’t accept this marriage.”

After tossing out these words, Lu Yanchen strode out without even a backward glance.

<>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.

Over in the other room, Qin Feng had called his own father over, and the father-and-son pair kept Lu Yanchen’s dad company, drinking with him.

Following Qin Feng’s instructions, Meng Xiaoshan informed Lu Yanchen that his dad’s drinking session would likely last until midday tomorrow and told Lu Yanchen to go back first. In any case, the face-to-face discussion that he had had tonight with Zhao Minshan, the actual involved party, laying things out in the open, was considered a huge step forward.

Next, there undoubtedly was going to be an aftermath that would need to be dealt with. He should rest and conserve his strength. Things could not be rushed.

She trailed after Lu Yanchen all the way out the floor-length glass doors of the main entranceway. Finally, she could not restrain herself and called to him, “Lu Chen.”

Lu Yanchen turned around.

Meng Xiaoshan truly had a bellyful of words that she wanted to say. If she said them, though, she would feel that she was being cruel to Lu Yanchen. Yet, she was afraid as well that if she did not say them, Gui Xiao would end up getting the short end of the stick and suffering.

Seriously, she was making it painful for herself by holding everything in.

Lu Yanchen could guess what she wanted to say. With a nod at Meng Xiaoshan, he stated, “I will be good to her.”

This guy… was just too smart.

As Meng Xiaoshan gazed after that backside, which melded into the winter night, the biting wind blowing against her caused her nose to tingle.

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

When Lu Yanchen returned to the automobile repair shop, Qin Xiaonan, who had already had a cry this afternoon, was holding a silver wrench and bashing it against the concrete floor. The spot he was hammering was under the table by the wall. After towing Qin Xiaonan out, Lu Yanchen saw that a little crater had already been smashed into the floor’s surface, little bits of rubble scattered everywhere and the yellow earth beneath the concrete showing.

A cigarette between his teeth, Lu Yanchen pulled the kid in front of himself and ordered him to stand at attention. Feeling for his lighter, in words muffled by the cigarette, he sounded off, “How many hours has it been already? You’re still not over it?”

Qin Xiaonan’s tears pooled in his eyes. He would blink, and then they would cascade down, blink, and then cascade down again.

Frowning, Lu Yanchen fixed his eyes on him for a long while until he was brought to amused laughter. “Qin Xiaonan, just what sort of bewitching potion did Gui Xiao feed you? How many years of relationship do I have with you? And just how many days did she look after you?”

Qin Xiaonan straightened his neck. “I like her.”

Lu Yanchen’s eyes narrowed. “Mm?”

“I like her. When I see her cry, I want to cry.” Although Qin Xiaonan was an audacious and mischievous child who was an especially good sweet-talker, he had also been raised by a bunch of soldiers, so his word choices in his verbal communication were always very direct and never skirted around. “You used Auntie Gui Xiao and her feelings for you to have her help me find a school. Uncle Lu, there’s something wrong with your moral character.”

Lu Yanchen nodded. Too lazy to light up the cigarette, he tossed it onto the coffee table, replying, “Whether or not there is something wrong with my moral character is a matter that can still be discussed. But regarding this matter of you saying you like my wife, the very nature of that is just too despicable. If you dare do it again, I’ll huck you back to Erenhot. Do you hear me?”

<>Please support this translation by only reading it at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, its actual site of posting. This would be greatly appreciated by the translator.

Qin Xiaonan was still stifling tears. Shut down by this ultimatum from Lu Yanchen, he choked and was overwhelmed by a fit of coughing.

Lu Yanchen rubbed the child’s back for him and, in passing, eyed over the newly-bought hoodie he was wearing. After catching his breath, Qin Xiaonan clutched Lu Yanchen’s hand and relentlessly pressed, was he being serious? Did he really go out this afternoon to chase after Auntie Gui Xiao and bring her back? Did this mean that that auntie who came this afternoon, the one who looked like a snake demoness, was never going to come back? He wasn’t going to get married?

The questions came nonstop. Giving vague responses, Lu Yanchen dragged the child to the bed, yanked the quilt over and wrapped him in it, and soothed him to sleep.

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

It was nearly eleven o’clock. Lu Yanchen showered, threw into a red plastic pail his button-up shirt that had been doused with baijiu, and changed into some clean clothes. Only then did he sense that he was hungry.

For this entire day, he had not eaten so much as half a bite of anything.

Having no desire to make something that would require effort, he cooked a pack of instant noodles and then brought it out to the service bay. Beside a car, he found a stool that could still be considered clean. He took a seat and, holding his noodles, began to eat. Piping hot soup, pickled cabbage, and noodles. But in reality, he could not taste much of anything.

This could be regarded as a start. Dealing with the aftermath that was to follow would not be that easy.

In only a few minutes, the boiling hot noodles and soup were basically almost all polished off. Lu Yanchen set the instant noodles’ paper cup and his chopsticks onto the concrete floor by his feet and then simply sat there for more than ten minutes.

Somewhere in the service bay, water was dripping. The sound was very light, but he could hear it clearly.

One drop. Another drop… Listening to this for a long time caused even a person’s breathing and heartbeat to follow it, slowing down and down.

<>The translator sincerely asks that you read this translation only at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, its actual site of posting. Thank you.

Whether it was during their chance encounter two years ago or those days in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region or today, he actually had not truly had any sort of good, decent conversation with her. For ten and more years, he had been in a military unit and the women he saw were either doctors and nurses or townspeople whom he had helped while carrying out his missions.

The amount of normal interaction that he had had with the opposite gender was almost nil.

Be it from an objective, pragmatic perspective or a subjective, emotion-based one, Gui Xiao’s existence in his life was pure and unique. But what about Gui Xiao? Just how many books had she read; how many things had she studied? Did she ever get her doctorate? How many people had she met? What kind of things had she experienced? He knew none of these things. He did not even have any idea of what her current occupation was.

The two of them were still in love.

But their understanding of one another’s last decade and more was not that much greater than of that of someone they had just met.

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

[1] 奶奶 “nai nai.” Nainai is how you would address the mother of your father. Therefore, Lu Yanchen’s father is treating his own mother this way.

[2] While Qin Feng is addressing Lu Yanchen’s dad as “Third Uncle,” it likely is out of familiarity and respect to an elder from within the same town and is not because there is any blood relation.

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
12 of 43 Chapters
0 of 1 Epilogues

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30 thoughts on “The Road Home (归路) — Chapter 12

  1. Happy new year to everyone at Fanatical. Hoju that 2020 be prosperous for you and your family.
    The best thing that could have happened to me this 2019 is to have found this wonderful blog.
    Happy Holidays. For a 2020 full of surprises!
    I love Lu Chen and Qin Xiaona. 💓💓💓

    • Happy New Year! Thank you for allowing us the privilege of being part of your 2019. Looking forward to sharing 2020 with you.

      Hehe, Qin Xiaonan is so cute. 🙂

  2. Happy New Year!

    Thank you for another update and your effort in translating the book for us to enjoy ☺️

  3. Feeling happy 🎉 🎊 🎉

  4. Happy new year! 🎊 Thanks for all your hard work this year! May you continue this site for many years to come!! 😊
    Haha even Mr. Calm and Collected can get jealous. And at a kid. Lol! 😂

    • Happy New Year! Thank you for all your support this year.

      Haha, he’s just making sure the boy understands that he will get hucked back to Erenhot if he doesn’t stay away from his Auntie Gui Xiao.

  5. Happy New Year, Hoju 😀. Wishing you and Fanatical a great year ahead.

  6. Happy New Year and Decade 2020 to everyone here on this amazing site. Thanks to Hoju and all the wonderful translators for their hard work. I love every one of the stories you translate and this one is no exception. ♥️♥️♥️

  7. Thank you hoju happy new year to you and be a bless one for you and your family ❤️❤️

  8. Happy new year

  9. Thank you for the update and Happy New Year.

  10. Thank you Hoju, happy new year !!

  11. don’ t worry QXN, GX will back you up once she returns
    Happy New Year!

  12. Dropping by to wish Happy new year to all!

    Thank you for your hard work and wonderful translation 🙂 much appreciated! Love all the novels listed in this website

  13. It has almost be 7 years now. And 3 of which I have stop reading on here. I just came back for New Year & it feel like nothing has change be the person 🙂 Thank you for sticking through the translation and beinging real raw truthness. Many new and well known site have make their way but I still remember how my college life was on here crying for Shan Shan and peanut etc & a decade with you. And disappearing to focus on suppose life.

    Happy New Year, and I’m back to read and amaze at your dedication after I’ve try it myself. Wishing you, your friends, & family another decade of happiness.
    ——
    Omfg a love so pure and decade to love. Make me think of Li Chuan or was it sunshine novel one. Love will never ease to exist as long as you’ve them in your heart. Such impure love 👀🙇‍♀️🥰

    • Thank you for stopping by. Glad we got to play a little part in your youth. Hoping that all is well with you, now and in the future.

      Hope you like this story, too!

      Happy New Year!

  14. Qin Xiaonan is just too precious!! 😍😍

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