Fanatical

Fangirling Chinese Novels

The Road Home (归路) — Chapter 14

24 Comments

I feel like, out of the MBFB stories I’ve translated, this one gives the most glimpses from the male lead’s perspective. We actually still don’t have Gui Xiao’s side of the story on the break-up yet.

Anyway, I think you guys will enjoy this update. 😉

Chapter 14 — Dawn’s Light Illuminates the Road Home (4)

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.

 

“You really don’t have any impression of it in your mind?”

Two hours later, Gui Xiao, sitting in the front passenger seat of his car, in the end still could not resist asking this.

“I have an impression of the time, place, and assignment, but nothing about the people.” Lu Yanchen’s left arm was against the car window, propping his head in that hand, while his right hand turned the steering wheel. “There were more than two thousand travellers there at the time. Can’t remember the faces.”

And moreover, terrorists were rampant during that period. Their squadron had been mobilized in at the last minute. The time had been tight and the mission urgent. They had had to avert any large-scale stampeding and also keep an eye out for lawbreakers attempting to seize the opportunity to cause trouble. His ears had been filled with shrieks and bellows, alarmed cries and angry curses. Before him, face after face had been covered with fear, and every person had been trying with all his or her might to squeeze out of there to a safe place. Every person had been afraid of being shoved down beneath the horde, yet at the same time, out of instinct, had shoved at every surrounding thing, searching for a way to escape from there alive.

In such a time, he had been in no mood to pay attention to the differences between people’s facial features, or if they had long hair or curly hair…

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

Thinking about it, Gui Xiao felt that that did make a lot of sense.

She turned to look out her window. It was still a boundless sea of vehicles. Their car and her guy cousin’s vehicle had originally driven out of that community compound one behind the other, heading to Jinbao Street near Gui Xiao’s home to have dinner, but they had gotten separated because the road was cordoned off.

Her cousin had arrived at the destination already, but they were still waiting, along with hundreds of other cars, on Xidan[1], that thoroughfare lined with hanging, colorful lights.

“When I was in high school, I’d come here often to go shopping.” Gui Xiao pointed to Lu Yanchen’s left. “One place I’d go is right there. Another is the clothing wholesale market next to the zoo. I have a younger girl cousin who’s especially good at bargaining, and every time I brought her, I could save a lot of money. The younger guy cousin of mine whom you saw today, when he was a kid, he was an annoying shadow that followed us everywhere. Neither of us wanted to take him along shopping, so we’d dump him at home. He even cried and tattled on us.”

With his arm resting against the side of the window and the cold wind blowing into his face, Lu Yanchen examined the dense throngs of pedestrians and all the different lights, ones on the buildings, ones lining the edge of the street, as well as the ones on all those shop signs for which there was no end in sight.

This was the “peace and prosperity” he and his brothers had, on the frontiers, pledged their lives to guard and defend.

<>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.

The atmosphere of the mundane, material world was thick here. To Lu Yanchen, though, it was unfamiliar.

In his days of youth, he had lived in the far outskirts of Beijing municipality and had not often gone into the urban areas. Later, the university he was accepted into was in Nanjing. In his second year of university, he had joined the armed forces, and with that departure, he was gone for more than ten years. Other than that one time when he had returned to Beijing after Gui Xiao broke up with him, he truly had never come back again. Thus, Lu Yanchen’s familiarity with the famous commercial sights of this place where his hukou was registered was close to zero.

Why was it “close to”?

Because last night he had looked over the map and studied up on the route from the airport to that head teacher’s house and then over to Gui Xiao’s home.

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

Very soon, the road control came to an end.

The sea of vehicles was still crawling slowly. From the GPS, that monotone, gentle, mechanical voice would every so often speak up to inform them of traffic conditions. It surprisingly took another half an hour for their car to get from the main intersection at Xidan to the underground parking garage of the restaurant on Jinbao Street.

From Xidan Commercial Street to Jinbao Street is approximately 5 to 7 km, depending on the route taken and the specific locations of the starting and ending point.

Gui Xiao wanted to give her cousin a call to tell them that the food could start to be served up now. While she was lowering her head to pull up the phone number, her hair on her shoulders slid down, so she lifted her hand and tucked it away. But then she saw him looking at her.

“I’m going to give Pan Hao a call,” she explained.

“Call him in five minutes.”

“… Okay.”

It was quiet inside the car. She surmised that he likely had something to say, so she simply waited, musing on things. She had thought, since he needed to take so long to prepare himself for it, she would hear a long talk, but in the end it was merely a single sentence: “The matter with Zhao Minshan has come to an end.”

Each word leapt forth and rippled through the vehicle.

Gui Xiao’s lips turned up in a slight smile. Her mood was suddenly absurdly good.

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

Observing that there was a smile on her face when she bowed her head and a smile on her face as well when she turned her head to look out the window, Lu Yanchen knew she was happy.

Although his one sentence had been simple, the actual process had been tortuous and difficult.

Lu Yanchen’s mother was softhearted and had gone to the automobile repair shop several times on behalf of Zhao Minshan to try to persuade Lu Yanchen, but each time, she had gone back with only Lu Yanchen’s icy rejection. On the other hand, when Lu Yanchen’s father heard that his son was going to pay back the debts and he would not need to spend any of his own money, and there were also Qin Feng and his wife, the wealthiest and most influential couple in town, on Lu Yanchen’s side to mediate this, he straightaway clapped his hands and declared his stance that he was not going to get involved anymore. Eventually, only Zhao Minshan was left, unable to figure out why Lu Yanchen, a poor, bachelor soldier, would still rather pay back more than a million than marry her. She simply could not get over this insult that was like a pit in her heart, and would not relent.

Lu Yanchen’s stance on this was firm: Paying back money owed was only right and reasonable. Pulling other things into this was pointless.

In this particular matter, he also believed that the Zhao family had not done anything very wrong. At most, they were anxious to marry off their daughter and had believed that he, as someone just discharged from the military, would certainly be in a hurry to find a wife, too, so they had thought this would be a wonderful arrangement. However, he truly could not marry her. If Zhao Minshan wanted to drag things out, then he would let things drag. It did not matter to him if things were drawn out for a few years since, no matter what, this marriage would not be happening.

These words basically stabbed the other party in her Achilles heel.

Things could drag out, but at the end of the day, the losing party would still be Zhao Minshan. It was not as if Lu Yanchen was someone she loved so madly that she absolutely had to marry him. The more she dragged it out, the more she would be wasting the commodity of time and would bring about even further gossip regarding her.

<>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, Qin Feng delivered the message from Zhao Minshan that she agreed to break off the engagement. Lu Yanchen immediately took a cold shower and, not sleeping for the whole night, consecutively dismantled three cars. Early the next morning, he also brought the kid out to go for a spin in a car.

He drove past shop after shop in the town, searching for the knife-shaved noodle[2] shop that used to be Gui Xiao’s favourite.

So many years had passed, but surprisingly, the noodle shop was still around. It had simply changed locations, but the shop itself was still as large as ever.

When the boy heard that Auntie Gui Xiao loved eating this, he also ate very happily.

The shop owner recognized Lu Yanchen, and the first thing he asked was about Lu Yanchen’s little girlfriend from back then. “In the past, you would always bring a young girl here to eat. That little girl was so beautiful and radiant, but she just liked to eat spicy foods. She could pour out almost half a jar of my chili sauce just to eat one bowl of noodles. It would be the middle of summer, and I’d see her sweating from eating.” The shop owner chuckled cheerfully; Lu Yanchen also smiled when he heard this.

As he listened, he even felt that this shop owner had a good eye, that even though back then there had been so many students who were his regular patrons, he could still remember Gui Xiao.

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

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

The radio was playing an old song.

Against the back of the seat, Gui Xiao rested her head and turned it to look at him. Once the engine was shut off, the car’s lights dimmed slightly, but the lighting inside the parking garage was bright. Lu Yanchen unfastened his seat belt and, facing into the light, returned her gaze.

Gui Xiao bit down on her lip, smiling again.

His eyes took in this smile, and it caused him to unwittingly think about doing something. And so, he moved in closer to her. “You’re that happy?”

“Of course I’m happy. Why didn’t you tell me earlier?” From the airport to Xiaonan’s head teacher’s home and then over to here, more than six hours had passed already, but he had not said anything until now.

“We were taking care of serious, proper business this afternoon. It wasn’t a good time to say it.”

These words were not right to her ears. With a restless feeling in her heart, she reminded him, “This is serious, proper business, too.”

She felt his palm clasp the back of her neck.

Gui Xiao did not utter another sound. Her heart tugged and tugged at her as it leapt and leapt… She held her breath, forcing it to remain pressed against her throat.

Those pitch-black eyes were locked on her silhouette. He murmured, “Gui Xiao…”

<>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.

Gui Xiao pulled in a little breath through her nose. His hand that held her neck applied some force, drawing her in to him. While Gui Xiao was still deliberating what she should say, he brought his head down and directly covered her mouth with his.

Lu Chen’s kiss carried the bite of cigarette smoke, ever so faint, tingling her throat and tongue…

On his palm that covered the back of her ear, quite a bit of perspiration had formed, but whether it was from him or from her, she did not know.

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

From all around her, his breath and scent engulfed her. It was the feeling she missed most. Regardless of how haughty and disregarding of others he was in other people’s eyes, only Gui Xiao knew so very clearly that his kisses were gentle and tender.

Gui Xiao had never kissed anyone else, but she had seen and read many of the descriptions portrayed on television or in writing. However, she was unable to find any that gave the feeling she had when she and Lu Chen kissed.

Whether it was the way he kissed you, or his action of holding you in his arms, it was always able to give you the sense that this man could not bear to let you feel even the slightest trace of unease or discomfort. That was why, even up to the present, she insisted on telling people that the type of man she liked most was one who was gentle and tender.

That type of gentleness that only the person most intimate with him could experience and understand.

Lu Yanchen could sense that she was responding to him. His hand over and over gently stroked her back from top to bottom. Coursing through his blood was that feeling that he had called up from his memory hundreds and thousands of times before. He was unable to describe it. He called it—Gui Xiao.

<>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.

✻ ✻ ✻ ✻ ✻

<>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 no exaggeration to say that that breakup with Gui Xiao had once sapped him of half his life. Even now, there were lingering fears of it.

Back then, had he not been in the military and had drills lined up from morning until night, as well as those group training sessions that would suddenly arise, all of them cramming away any possibility of personal time, it would have been even more painful for him. Regardless of whether it was in the desert under a scorching sun that burned the body, out on the steppe that was being battered by torrential rain, or in the remote mountains where it was so dark you could not even see your own fingers if you stretched out your hand, all of those experiences had helped him, over and over again, wipe the name “Gui Xiao” from his mind…

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

It is said, “A man should not easily shed his tears.” But for Gui Xiao, he truly had wept.

It was not that type of loud, bawling cry, nor had he been thrown into complete turmoil. All those dramatic scenes of pain piercing into the very depths of the heart had not occurred. Even he had not expected it to be like that. She had said she was breaking up with him. He had called her again and again, and she would hang up on him again and again, not giving him the time to say even another half a sentence. The border areas are managed strictly, and ordinary soldiers are not allowed to use mobile phones. There had been no other options apart from using the landline telephone.

After a few back and forth times of this, he had given up, worried that if he called too many times, she would be reprimanded by the people in her family. It was not until more than half a year after the breakup that he had at last had an opportunity to make a trip to Beijing, but he would need to go back the next day.

That night, Gui Xiao had still refused to see him.

He did not go home, but he had nowhere to go either. Aimlessly, he had done “voluntary patrolling” back and forth outside the train station to kill time, from late at night all the way until morning. When he lifted his head, wanting to look at the time on the large clock, his eyes had suddenly started stinging and grown hot.

No one would find out about this, but he himself knew clearly in his heart—he truly had cried.

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

[1] 西单 Xidan Commercial Street, about 2 km west of Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City, is a major shopping street in Beijing, with large shopping malls and other shops.

[2] 刀削面 “dao xiao mian.” Authentic knife-shaved noodles (also called hand-shaved, knife-cut, blade-peeled, etc. noodles) are made by holding a block of dough and, with a knife, shaving strips off of it to form noodles. This type of noodle is generally thicker and known for its relatively chewier texture.

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
14 of 43 Chapters
0 of 1 Epilogues

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24 thoughts on “The Road Home (归路) — Chapter 14

  1. Thank you for the update.

  2. I was doing ok at the beginning of the chapter but became sad towards the end. Now I’m wondering about her side of the break up. I prayed it wasn’t something as silly as breaking up with him because he couldn’t make time for her.

    • I won’t give any spoilers…. 🙂

      Just a personal opinion:
      Your significant other not making time for you, I personally believe, is not a silly reason at all for a relationship to fall apart. Many long-distance relationships fall apart precisely because the couple cannot handle that they are not spending quality time together. As someone whose love language is “quality time,” in which I feel affirmed and loved when people choose to spend time with me and can become drained when the opposite happens, I can sympathize. Of course, ways can be found to alleviate the separation and lack of quality time (e.g. sending letters, etc.), but conscious effort has to be put into that, and that can be very tiring as well. Lack of time for one another, especially during crucial times in a person’s life, can be very, very taxing on a relationship.

      Thanks for reading! And thank you for the comment. 🙂

  3. Thanks Hoju..
    That’s explanation for Lu yanchen coldness to Gui Xiao,..
    Love this chapter..so sweet.

  4. Thank you hoju for another wonderful chapter is nice to see a little more about they break up from his point of view

  5. LYC and his GX’s pride. first the reunion get back together kiss and then quickly reveal the reason behind the breakup!!!
    thank you

    • I don’t think a reason for the breakup was revealed… (We did get snippets that hinted some things, but we don’t know yet.) We just got Lu Yanchen’s perspective on how it impacted him after.

      It was sweet, wasn’t it? Both of these adults now are confident about what and who they want!

  6. Oh my.. Thank you for the update Hoju.. that’s sweet alright 😍

  7. Finally, an update!! What a great birthday gift!! Thank you, Hoju. ❤❤

  8. thanks hoju, argghh ao sad. Was it ever mentioned why they broke up in the first place?

  9. His POV is saddening… no wonder he was so harsh with her before..

  10. I was waiting when they will finish all serious discussions about others and talk about them 😀. The breakup memories are sad!
    Thank you for the chapter, Hoju 😀.

    • Haha, get to the important stuff, right?
      Breakup memories are sad. 😦 Translating them makes me heart ache.
      Thank you for reading!

  11. I definitely like this couple. I think that when you are a teenager you magnify any problem and I think Hoju had said it before. I like Lu Chen remember how he felt about it.

    On another theme today I read on Facebook that in March the recordings of Playing Fish Trapped in The Sealed Chamber, MBFB’s novel, begin. and Hu Yitian repeated as Wu Bai, the protagonist is Li Yitong.

    • I did find this in the spam folder. 😦

      I saw this news, including that the gaming portion will be changed to become robotics competitions, but I’m still waiting for an announcement from official sources. Some of the gossip/entertainment sources that stated this have historically been pretty accurate with news that they have leaked, but they are not always right. We will wait for an official announcement and see.

  12. Thank you for this lovely story. I have been keeping this in my list for quite some time patiently waiting so that I can read it in one shot. I decide not to start because I knew I will be immersed in it so I waited till almost the end of the story.

    As I am reading this, you have already almost finish translating the novel. I couldn’t wait till the end of the chapters haha so I started. I am excited to read this now till the end.

    I think you really do a great job in translating MBFB’s works of translating feeling into words. You can feel the heartache of his memories through those words.

    Thanks again Hoju for continuing to translate. 😊

    • Welcome to the story. 🙂 Glad to have you along “live” with the last few updates.
      Thank you for the lovely encouragement. I will continue to do my best. 🙂

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