Fanatical

Fangirling Chinese Novels

The Road Home (归路) — Chapter 30

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“Lu Yanchen’s image of ‘a man who shed only blood and never tears’ had long crumbled. Once he stepped in through the door, he still had to roll up his sleeves and do housework.” —I think this basically summarizes this chapter. Hahaha, at the end, our always-unperturbed Commander Lu loses his composure. 😉

Chapter 30 — So Shines the Hearts of the Pure and Loyal (3)

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 place to which Lu Yanchen was posted was not a military academy, but it still had strict requirements.

According to policy, each military instructor was required to rotate through being on duty at this base, and each rotation was for thirty days in which they were closed off from the outside world. Telephone use and Internet access would also be monitored. As Lu Yanchen was the head of the instructor group, he had the first rotation.

Each day, he and Gui Xiao would talk once on the phone. It was like they had returned to the days when he first joined the military, with the frequency and method of contact being more or less the same.

They could actually also use QQ[1], but the monitoring of textual communication was a bother as well, so he dropped that idea.

Even with only phone communication, he still admonished Gui Xiao to not say anything that was too embarrassingly lovey and sappy. There was a reason for such instruction.

Back when he had just been transferred from his company of new recruits into a military unit, the place at which he was stationed had also had this requirement of ensuring confidentiality. Gui Xiao had mailed five letters in succession to him. After the contents of those letters were widely read, they had immediately become “model love letters” praised by the mouths of the political instructors. Later, when Lu Yanchen was already in Erenhot, one of those political instructors happened to be passing through, and on the way, he visited Lu Yanchen, who by then was already a deputy commander. In front of a group of superiors, he had once more mentioned those love letters, dropping a sentence here about that “model example” and another sentence there about that “perfect template.” Lu Yanchen’s supervisors had listened to all of this and then afterwards had made a joke of it for a good half a year and more…

Hence, he felt there was very much a need for him to exhort Gui Xiao a bit on this so as to avoid repeating that mistake of the past.

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

After not even five days of classes, Lu Yanchen gave a good lesson to everyone.

On this day, he was sitting on the steps beside the training grounds, watching from afar a class of trainees as they did a test.

They had been divided into groups of ten.

Currently, the people in the first group were each in an individual protective circle, defusing a bomb.

They all thought that this was a competition, so they were making each minute and second count, wanting to give their best performance and beat out the other people. But something was really odd. Two minutes had passed, but still no one raised a hand in signal. The trainees in the remaining six groups standing at the back also felt that something was amiss, and they craned their necks to see.

Those trainees inside the protective circles were all wearing protective gear. It was terribly heavy, and they were tense and edgy, not knowing what had gone wrong.

From his peripheral vision, Lu Yanchen watched the second hand: Three seconds. Two seconds. One second…

Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom! Five massive roars resounded.

Five protective-gear-clad trainees were thrown two metres by the explosions. There was one who simply sat on the ground, terrified into a daze; another who was utterly panic-stricken as he trippingly crawled to his feet; and others who removed their face masks and, with their foreheads coated in cold sweat, stared in shock at the instructor who was carrying out the test…

Although nothing had happened to the remaining five people, they were all stupefied as well.

<>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.

Whether it was a trainee who had been thrown by the blast or one who had been standing in line waiting, all that anyone could hear was his or her own breathing and heartbeat.

Those explosions just now had been from live ammunition…

“There are ten of you to a group. In each group, five random people will be facing live ammunition.” The test instructor lowered his head, recorded down marks, and then barked, “Next group.”

There were two other points, which he had not said:

One, it was not possible to disarm those five real bombs. You could be a genius, but it would still be no use. They would all explode at the set time.

Two, Lu Yanchen had made those bombs with his own hands for the purpose only of scaring. They would not injure anyone who wore protective gear.

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

Far away, Lu Yanchen pulled off his hat and fanned himself lightly with it. He observed those trainees, who were obviously a hundred times more nervous than they had been earlier, and was very pleased with this result. Tucking his hat under his right arm, he rose and left the drill grounds.

An hour later, the test was finished.

The first group had known nothing and therefore their scores were still passable. However, the psychological stress on the remaining six groups had increased significantly, and there truly had been some people who had not dared to attempt the task and were given a score of zero. This was survival of the fittest. In this sort of thing where you put your life on the line, of course you needed to have guts.

Training of this sort was very standard.

It was just that in the counter-terrorism squadron, regardless of whether you wet your pants or could not walk because your legs had gone limp, you still needed to force yourself forward to do what you needed to do. At least it was better for these trainees; all that they faced was potential elimination based on relative performance.

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

As the head of the instructors, Lu Yanchen was already very respected in the first place.

That day, after all three classes were given the test, the instructor in charge of the last test praised Lu Yanchen tremendously on his bomb-making abilities, which drew even more idolization from all the trainees. Lu Yanchen had only just passed the age of thirty, and he also carried the glory of having been in counter-terrorism. Most importantly, his many years of life in the military had not roughened his face, which utterly fit the description of “graced with heavenly beauty that cannot be concealed[2].” Hence, it was impossible for him to not have admirers…

A few days later, Lu Yanchen was having a smoke in a smoking area at the corner of the teaching building.

Two female trainees walking by greeted him, “Drillmaster Lu.” Lifting his eyes, he gave a token response. His gaze was stern and aloof, and after answering them, he carried on flipping through the study material in his hands.

“Drillmaster Lu, Drillmaster Xu said you made all those bombs that were used in the test that day.” The female trainee who looked slightly more mature spoke first. “Drillmaster Xu also said you’re a genius and unusual talent who knows both EOD and bomb making?”

The study material that Lu Yanchen was holding was written in English. That, after all, was not his first language and the material also contained a lot of technical and specialized terminology, so some focus was necessary to read it. Consequently, after he heard this voice, the first thing he did was cast a completely impassive glance at those female students, but his brain was still thinking about the material in his hand.

Catching the look in his eyes, the two female trainees were rather guiltily discomfited.

Lu Yanchen slowly brought his head up from the study material, replying, “It’s not just me; many people in EOD are also bomb-making experts. In the future when you’re on the front lines, you’ll know.” During hostage rescues, barriers or obstacles may need to be blown up, but at the same time you cannot injure the people inside, so ensuring an accurate grasp on explosive strength becomes even more challenging. It is far different from what people imagine, where you simply toss a bundle of explosives and then everything is done. Those are human lives.

The female trainee who had struck up the conversation seemed encouraged by his response and smiled.

Lu Yanchen gave them an assessing look. “The two of you, what are your trainee ID numbers?”

The girl who had asked the question looked down, smoothing away the strands of hair fluttering in front of her eyes, and answered softly, “I’m Number 56 in Class 1. She’s Number 59 in Class 1.”

Lu Yanchen nodded. “For questions like this that were already explained during class time, the next time you ask one, you will get marks directly deducted. Any other questions?”

“… No.”

Closing up the study material, he picked up his hat, which had been placed off to the side on a stone bench, set it on top of his document folder, and strode towards the classrooms.

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

His time at the military base flew by.

The day Lu Yanchen returned to Gui Xiao’s home, it was already the beginning of April.

When he pushed open the door, he saw Gui Xiao sitting on the couch, peeling a mangosteen for Qin Xiaonan to eat. Her thumb pressed into the bottom of that deep purple skin, cracking open the shell, and then tender, succulent white fruit was stuffed into Qin Xiaonan’s mouth. She ordered, “This stuff is really nutritious. You’re going to have two a day.”

This was Qin Xiaonan’s first time eating this lusciously sweet food. So yummy. While he was spitting out the seed, he heard Gui Xiao state her next sentences. “Just look how we give you good stuff to eat and drink, and you also don’t have to do chores around the house. Your task is to study hard. You have only this one thing that you need to do well. If you don’t, I’ll hang you up and give you a beating.”

After spitting out another seed into his palm, Qin Xiaonan answered, “Mm-hmm.”

Lu Yanchen stepped inside. Hearing the noise, Gui Xiao instantly stuffed the rest of the mangosteen into Qin Xiaonan’s hands. “Once you’ve finished eating, go memorize one model essay.” Before she even finished speaking, she was already running barefooted across the floor over to him. Slipping her arm through Lu Yanchen’s, she told him, “I bought chicken, and potatoes, and also lots of spices, and a grill, and lamb, and beef, and just lots of meat.”

The mood Gui Xiao was in was like she was presenting some treasures.

“Make Big Plate Chicken for us, ’kay? And grilled meat kebabs.”

Big Plate Chicken? He’d never tried to make it before, but it shouldn’t be hard.

大盘鸡 “Big Plate Chicken” is a chicken stew dish originating from the Xinjiang area (image credit)

He gave his assent, then threw a look of “I look down on you” at Qin Xiaonan. The child whom no one had been able to tame ended up being defeated here at the hands of Gui Xiao. Qin Xiaonan returned him an expression of “Uncle Lu, you’re not much better.” Lu Yanchen’s image of “a man who shed only blood and never tears” had long crumbled. Once he stepped in through the door, he still had to roll up his sleeves and do housework.

There was no verbal communication between this pair of one older, one younger “good friends” who had not seen one another for a whole month.

Qin Xiaonan of his own accord went back into his bedroom to memorize the homework that Gui Xiao had assigned, purposely giving the two of them some space.

<>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.

Lu Yanchen, after removing his jacket, went into the kitchen, picked up a relatively small but long, sharp knife, and, with practiced motions, pared a potato.

Piece after piece of potato very rhythmically fell into the stainless steel sink.

Gui Xiao laid her cheek against his back. It was as if she could hear his strong heartbeat through his button-up shirt, and her own heart also adjusted its beat to follow this rhythmic pounding. She commented, “I thought you’d come back especially dirty.” He had been away from home for thirty days and was still able to stay nice and clean. How unexpected.

“Had a shower before I came out.”

Before he left, he had even silently derided himself for acting like an adolescent bloke who had just started dating, that he needed to wash himself up and be a extra clean to see his girlfriend, lest he leave a bad impression on her.

“Oh.” Gui Xiao had a question that she had wanted to ask before he left but had forgotten to, and then afterwards, because telephone calls were monitored, she had not dared to ask it. She finally had the opportunity today, and so she inquired, “At your base, are there any female trainees?”

“Yes. “

There really were? “A lot?”

“Not a lot.”

“How many are you teaching?”

“Less than twenty.”

Gui Xiao did not say anything and only slipped her hands into the pockets on each side of his pants, using this way to enclose her arms around him. This action was one that she used to frequently do. There were only ever a cigarette pack and a lighter inside; her hands would never contact anything novel. However, this time was different. Her fingers brushed against a ring.

She first paused in surprise. Then immediately she closed it into her palm and pulled her hands back out.

It was a very small ring. She was afraid that she might drop it in a moment of excitement, and then if it rolled somewhere and became lost… He must have already perceived that she had touched it.

But still he acted as if nothing was there. Tilting his head to the side, he motioned at the range hood with his hand.

Gui Xiao turned on the hood fan.

“Help me light a smoke,” he told her. “In the left pocket.”

Gui Xiao did as he instructed, taking out his pack of cigarettes and his lighter, pulling one cigarette out, and stuffing it between his lips. Still clutching that ring firmly in her palm, she moved to light the cigarette for him. There was the striking sound from the lighter. No flame. She flicked it another two consecutive times before it flamed.

That little flame was nearly touching the end of the cigarette and was about to light the tobacco.

Holding the cigarette between his teeth, Lu Yanchen said lightly, “Be careful. Don’t drop the thing you’re holding.”

Gui Xiao swiftly brought the lighter back down and glared at him. Her cheeks were hot like they were burning, as if flames had kissed them.

“Don’t like it?” A smile was at the corner of his lips.

“You didn’t even ask me before you bought it…”

Chuckling, Lu Yanchen took the cigarette out of his mouth. “It’s okay if you don’t like it. I’ll just buy another one next year. If you don’t like that one, I’ll buy another one the year after. When you’re old, you can take a string, string them all together, and hang them around your neck. No one will have as many rings as you.”

An amused giggle slipped from Gui Xiao, and she gave him a little shove. Lu Yanchen seemed as if he was caught off guard by this action, and the knife handle slipped from his grasp. However, after the knife did a flip in midair, he snatched it back. A brilliant gleam flashed in front of them, but then the next second, it was being held securely in his palm.

Gui Xiao was astonished and cried, “How did you do that?” Once she finished asking, her eyes shone even brighter. “Quick! Teach me.”

Lu Yanchen took in this keen, enthusiastic look of hers that was like that of a new recruit who had just been stationed to the unit and thought that everyone in the counter-terrorism unit was a skilled master, like still waters that run deep, with extraordinary martial arts skills and the ability to fly onto eaves and leap over walls… Everything she laid eyes on was novel, and everything she saw caused her blood to boil with excitement.

How could Lu Yanchen bear to let her play with a knife? He set the knife onto the cutting board and wiped his hands, then took the lighter from her, lit the cigarette, and took an inhale. “Try out the size.”

Replying with an “uh-huh, uh-huh,” Gui Xiao slid the ring onto her finger and tried the size. Just right. She asked another question. “Where’s yours?”

The words had just left her lips and then she saw it.

There, on the ring finger of Lu Yanchen’s left hand, wasn’t that the other one?

Gui Xiao’s heart felt ridiculously warm. In a small voice, she asked him, “Why are you already wearing it?”

“Makes things easier.”

Actually it was because, at the military base, the jokes made by that group of instructors over the fact that he was popular with the female trainees had served as a reminder to him.

Back when they were still in school and he and Gui Xiao were dating, she had very much minded this sort of thing, where today she would hear people in her grade talking about him, tomorrow she would hear that someone from another grade had passed on a message to him, and the day after, Hai Dong would make some teasing remarks. She would be in constant anxiety, and in roundabout ways she would ask him, “Did so-and-so female student in such-and-such class fancy you in the past? Does she fancy you now? Maybe she might fancy you in the future?” Were it not for the fact that he had always liked to sit alone in the very last row, without any deskmate, Hai Dong and Meng Xiaoshan would undoubtedly have made up an entire personalized story of “My Deskmate[3]” for him…

Even though, regardless of whether it was the past, present, or future, he did not believe that such a situation would arise, there was a need to have preventative measures to nip any trouble in the bud.

Hence, while he had been unable to leave the base, he had specifically gone online and researched to find which rings he wanted to buy. After accurately estimating the sizes he would need, he had asked one of the drillmasters who could leave the base to go into the city and bring back a pair for him. Then, he had put his ring on first.

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

Since you’re already wearing yours, I don’t need to be shy either.

Gui Xiao wordlessly put her ring on as well, and then raising it up high, she scrutinized it in the light. Two little diamonds were set together, side-by-side, so bright and so clear.

The more she looked at it, the more she liked it. And so, she decided to simply take off the ring that was on her middle finger. They both let out a laugh.

Gui Xiao once again wanted to snug herself firmly against him. Detecting this, Lu Yanchen merely said, “Let me cook first.”

“I had originally wanted to tell you tonight.” Gui Xiao’s throat was a little tight and rosiness tinged her cheeks.

Rising onto her tiptoes, she brought her lips up to his ear and whispered, “I think I’m pregnant.”

Chicken stewed in a soup, which was making bubbling noises. Other than that, there were no other sounds.

The whole world seemed empty of sound.

“Really?” Why was he so nervous, like his girlfriend was underage and pregnant? …

<>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.

Lu Yanchen suddenly stabbed out his cigarette in the sink and then reached out an arm to open the window. Grabbing her, he led her out to the living room, where, face to face with her, he looked her over up and down.

Reflexively, he felt for the package of cigarettes in his pants pocket. It was only when the cigarette pack’s corner bumped into his palm that his mind snapped back to awareness and calmed.

He was still standing in one spot, gazing at her like she was the only woman left in the world…

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

[1] Tencent QQ is now a huge social media platform in China. In the early days, it was mainly an instant messaging service and can still be used as such.

[2] 天生丽质难自弃. This is a line from the poem 《长恨歌》 “Song of Everlasting Regret,” written by Bai Juyi of the Tang dynasty.

[3] 《同桌的你》which has the official English name, My Old Classmate, is a movie that tells the love story, spanning over twenty years, between two deskmates. The literal translation of the Chinese title would be “You, My Deskmate.”

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
30 of 43 Chapters
0 of 1 Epilogues

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

  1. oh that stoned surprised LYC
    thank you

  2. Thabks Hoju…
    Baby!!! Soon👏👏👏👏
    Is Yanchen will bring G Xiao register their marriage…?😅
    💞💞

  3. not related to this story – which you are doing a good job translating btw, and super thank you for it!! 😘😘😘- but there is rumor than gu man’s you’re my glory is in works to be a drama!!

    any thoughts on who can/should be the leads??

    hahhahha

  4. Wow! So happy for them 😊 thanks for the update Hoju

  5. Thank you Hoju for translating this story

  6. The ending left me smiling like a fool 😍😍😍😍

  7. Yeepee! A little Lu yanchen or Gui xiao on the way.

    Thanks Hoju darling!🥰

  8. Yay Good news!! Can’t help smiling at LuChen becoming nervous.

    Thank you for the chapter, Hoju 😀.

  9. A baby soon yay!

    It came faster than I thought. 😂

  10. Aww! What a wonderful model ML LC is!!~
    He’s not dense about his surroundings, loyal, and doesn’t want GX to be anxious about him. 👏

    • Lu Chen had the benefit of learning from his youth that it being passive about the attention of other females is in some ways equivalent to encouraging them. My personal opinion: When a man values the woman he loves, he will make sure that his eyes and heart hold only her and don’t allow any other female entities to come near. (And the same holds true for women as well.)
      And for that, I admire Lu Yanchen!

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