Fanatical

Fangirling Chinese Novels

The Road Home (归路) — Chapter 36

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Sending everyone hugs…

Parents can testify that children (even when they are still in the belly) are always able to help us mark the passage of time. The joy of watching how they change each day is priceless. 🙂

Chapter 36 — Loyalty and Faith (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.

 

Six o’clock in the morning.

Lu Yanchen arbitrarily grabbed one of her bedside reads. Lying on his side beside her, his head resting on the crook of his arm, he paged through it, but he was not really processing what he read. He merely wanted to understand a bit of what she was reading of late. The bedside light was set behind two old-fashioned, lemon-colored panels of glass, and when it shone down, the design on the glass was like a rose… This sort of lighting would cause headaches from just taking even a couple of extra glances at it. Lu Yanchen’s actions followed the lead of his thoughts, and with his brows creased in a frown, he began to examine that light source, musing that the next time he came back he would need to change her lamp for her.

“I just had a dream. I dreamed that you’d left already.” Without opening her eyes, Gui Xiao stroked the back of his hand. Then, intertwining her fingers one at a time with his, she grasped his hand. “It gave me a scare. And then I woke up.”

“Leaving very soon.” He closed the book.

“Then touch my belly first.” She pulled his hand under the light blanket and even lifted her pajamas up, letting him touch her abdomen. The rough skin of his palm, which carried warmth to it, slowly glided over her belly.

“When I’m seven, eight months in and you touch it again, you won’t be able to feel the dip of a belly button. It’s going to pop out,” she quietly informed him.

Taking his hand away, he pulled her pajamas back down for her and covered her abdomen back up. “Sleep now.”

With those words, the light turned off.

“Lu Chen…” Gui Xiao circled her arms around his neck. “I know you can’t tell me any specific details. Just tell me, is the danger great this time? Tell me the truth.” She had always been supportive and understanding of his work. This was actually her first time blatantly asking him about it.

In the dimness, Lu Yanchen gave a low chuckle. “Don’t be scaring yourself all day long. It’s not like we’re filming a television drama. It’ll be fine.”

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

That night, Lu Yanchen arrived back at the factory. At some time past two o’clock in the middle of the night, the people from Erenhot who had been mobilized here also arrived.

Qin Mingyu was the first to jump out of the vehicle. Spotting the several leading officers and Lu Yanchen, who were all waiting for them, he headed over with long strides. He first gave a salute, then began, as usual practice, to give a report of the current state.

Next, everyone else came out from the vehicle. It was no overstatement to say that when they saw Lu Yanchen’s face, their eyes all lit up.

After Qin Mingyu was done giving his account, their report for duty was considered completed. The leading officers of their own accord left this space to these old comrades-in-arms. Once everyone was dismissed, Qin Mingyu was the first to give a hard slam with his elbow into Lu Yanchen’s chest. “Oh, you are good, eh. For anything that requires people to flirt with death, the first ones you think of are your bros.”

Lu Yanchen did not waste any words. Throwing an arm around Qin Mingyu’s neck, he began describing the situation here. In the deep hours of the night, Qin Mingyu and the four other people who had come to provide backup each picked up their own duffle bag and strode towards the factory dormitory, listening as they walked.

<>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 height of summer ended and slid into autumn weather.

Gui Xiao mailed a stack of coloured photographs that she had printed out.

They were 4D ultrasound pictures, and in the images the baby’s face and even facial expressions could be seen. On the side, Gui Xiao had even written some annotations:

When this shot was taken, he was picking his nose…

Don’t think he’s ugly and be turned off. The doctor said his facial features are well-proportioned and he’s really quite good-looking. She just wouldn’t tell me whether it’s a boy or a girl.

These are different shots of when the baby’s yawning, sticking out his tongue, and sucking on his fingers.

There were a dozen or so images. For several nights Lu Yanchen looked at them over and over again. Qin Mingyu, who was sharing a room with him, could not take it any longer. “I’m someone who’s been a dad before. How come I wasn’t as excited as you are? I seem to recall that the kid was more fun after he was born. Before that I didn’t even dare touch my wife’s stomach. It would just start moving for no reason, like it was a mutant…”

Leisurely Lu Yanchen put the filter of a cigarette against his lips and took a drag. Not bothering to even respond, he carried on looking through the pictures.

He kept track of the days. When Gui Xiao was about seven months pregnant, he submitted a request for time off, hoping to go back and get a look at her before she gave birth, but the request was not approved. Thus he could only explain on the phone to Gui Xiao that he likely would have to wait until next month and, judging on the situation then, try again. Gui Xiao actually made an on-the-spot decision: “I’ll go find you. You just need to come out to see me, and that’ll be good. Your leaders should approve that.”

Gui Xiao remembered, Lu Yanchen had mentioned that the place he was in was very remote.

Even if he were to come home and spend only one night here, from the factory he needed to first drive into town, then hop on a train to Kunming, then from Kunming fly to Beijing, where he still needed to spend time getting home. Simply on transit alone, a lot of time was consumed. That indeed would cause delays in his work. As a result, she had planned right from the start that if he was unable to come back, no matter what, she needed to let him see this real-deal giant belly of hers. So, she would just treat this as going on a holiday before the baby was born.

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

She truly did give Lu Yanchen a fright this time, and on the phone he reprimanded her sternly for several days, that she was in the third trimester of pregnancy already and it was too risky for her to travel long distances. Each time, Gui Xiao would rebut this, until on the very last day she simply informed him that she was already in Kunming. She hadn’t taken the train and, instead, had rented a minivan and was driven here. “My boss was still flying around everywhere on planes when she was eight months pregnant. Don’t worry, don’t worry. I have a co-worker with me. We came here together on vacation. You bring along Qin Mingyu. Have him come for a matchmaking date. She’s a beauty, a gorgeous beauty.”

… In the first place, Lu Yanchen was out somewhere in the mountains when he was making this call, his location being one where a single cloud floating by could cause him to have no reception. And now—just great!—before he could get in even a couple of words of persuasion, Gui Xiao had already hung up. Crouched on a boulder up on the mountain, Lu Yanchen, amid the gusts of autumn wind, shielded a cigarette with his right hand and lit it. Looking out over the distant forests of these mountains, he quietly smoked.

When only half his cigarette remained, he broke out in chuckles.

He honestly could not do anything with her. Since they were young, he never could do anything with her.

And so, with efficient and definite actions, he stomped out that half a cigarette that he had not finished smoking, took the trail down, and drove back to the factory.

Qin Mingyu had been working busily through the entire night. Now he had only just stepped out of his dorm room when he saw Lu Yanchen striding down the corridor and straight towards him. Before he had a chance to say anything, Lu Yanchen grabbed him by the back of the neck, turned him about face, and pushed him back into the room. “I’ve found someone to cover for you. Clean yourself up. We’re making a trip out and will be back by the evening.”

Qin Mingyu did not really comprehend. “Why do we need to go out? Something’s happened?”

“Nothing’s happened. My wife wants to introduce a girl to you to be your girlfriend.”

Qin Mingyu was completely stupefied at this. But, though he hemmed and stammered for a long while, he still was unable to get an explanation.

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

Four hours later.

A rental minivan was parked on the street of a small border town. When Gui Xiao opened the window and took a couple of glances all around, a large sun hat was immediately slapped onto her head by her co-worker behind her. “Careful. You’re going to get sun spots.”

After getting out of the vehicle, they went in search of the little teashop that Lu Yanchen had mentioned just now on the phone.

This town was actually quite a well-known tourist destination, and there were many tourists. Holding her hand against her belly, Gui Xiao’s eyes scanned and searched everywhere. There actually were many teashops, with several lined up together side by side. She and her colleague were still carefully reading the name of each one when she spotted him.

At once Gui Xiao’s eyes lit up and a smile broke across her face. “My hubby! Quick, look! That’s my hubby!”

Garbed in simple camo clothing, Lu Yanchen had one hand in his pants pocket and an unfinished cigarette in the other hand. At almost the exact same time, he caught sight of Gui Xiao as well.

The long, dark-blue dress that clothed her could not conceal her especially big belly. Holding down her tangerine sun hat, she lifted her face and smiled at him. Seeing him here in this little border town in which she had only set foot for the first time, a feeling arose in her that was like “Suddenly looking back upon the years, I discover that we have already passed through a lifetime together.”

Lu Yanchen stubbed out his cigarette and tossed it into a wicker wastebasket outside the door of the shop, then led Qin Mingyu over to greet the two women.

Gui Xiao’s first action was to take his hand into hers.

Her second action was to lean right against him and stare eagerly at him.

Qin Mingyu did not dare even to look directly at the female colleague who was beside Gui Xiao. To describe it very cheesily, he had been blown away by this female colleague of Gui Xiao’s. By visual approximation, the other party looked to be more than 1.7 metres tall. She wore a white button-up shirt that reached nearly to her knees, light-blue jeans, a large backpack slung diagonally across her back, and also a pair of sunglasses. By her feet was a small suitcase, which contained some of her and Gui Xiao’s daily necessities. When that female colleague saw Lu Yanchen, she took off her sunglasses and, in a manner that was much more at ease and open than Qin Mingyu’s, passed an assessing glance over these two men.

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

They walked into the shop and sat down in a spot beside the window.

Right as Qin Mingyu was about to pull out a chair and take a seat, he heard Gui Xiao say, “Duan Rou, let’s not have the two of you sit at the same table as us. Time is precious. Don’t disturb us…”

Duan Rou laughed. “Okay, I know, I know.” She looked, unruffled, at Qin Mingyu. “Let’s go sit at another table; is that okay?”

“… Okay. No problem.” Half a beat behind, Qin Mingyu followed after her.

In this little shop, the two couples sat far apart with two tables of tourists between them.

Gui Xiao even snuck glimpses of that other side, finding this exceptionally amusing. “This co-worker of mine is an especially nice person. She had already registered her marriage, but before the wedding banquet could be held, she ended up divorcing over the matter of premarital assets. She wanted to have a prenup, the guy didn’t. Afterwards, she told me that she wants to find a boyfriend who’s independent. That way her mind can be set at ease while she’s working, since she spends more than two hundred days a year flying around to other places. Also, she likes a man who is very strong in his own ideals and convictions and has his own things in life that he pursues, and who’s not the type who will cause trouble for her over things like the house and kids and housework… I thought about it for a sec and it was like, hey, Qin Mingyu fits the bill. Oh, and also, when she was young she lived somewhere near the Songhua River, in the disaster area of the Great Flood of 1998, so instilled in her very bones is a good impression of anyone who wears a military uniform. I just mentioned this trip to her, and then she right away said that this was perfect; she could come with me on vacation and keep me company, and in passing she could meet him, because what if he is her type? And even if she doesn’t end up taking a fancy to him, they can still be friends.”

Lu Yanchen also swept a glance over that table. Qin Mingyu’s back was very straight as he sat across from the other party, and he had placed his hands on his knees like he was listening to a lecture from one of his superiors. By intuition Lu Yanchen knew that Qin Mingyu had taken a fancy to the girl.

<>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.

“Don’t look at them anymore. Look at me. Look at your wife.” As Gui Xiao softly spoke, she brought his left hand onto her belly. “Touch. He’s by chance awake.”

He was completely caught off guard by the feeling beneath his palm of something pushing against her belly and moving about. It was like a bone or something sticking out. What was it? A hand, or a foot? He was trying to guess, but his throat felt as if he had smoked for several days and nights and he wanted to have a drink of water to temper some of this curious feeling that was unfamiliar, left him awaiting in eager anticipation, and even caused him to feel like he was floating upwards.

“Is it fun?” Gui Xiao was waiting expectantly for his answer.

Lu Yanchen chuckled. What kind of question was that? Is it fun?!

He pulled her into the encirclement of his arms, for the first time ever taking the initiative to embrace her out in public. That scent that was unique to Lu Yanchen flooded at her. She was pregnant and strictly speaking she should not inhale the odour of cigarette smoke. However, there was only just a tiny bit of residual scent, so she willfully let herself smell it for just a little while longer.

She immersed herself in it, using this way to ease her longing for him.

“I need to inform you of some things.” Before long, Gui Xiao remembered proper business. Breaking out of his arms, she took out a notebook, which had been in the little backpack-style purse that was slung diagonally across her back. It was a rather small book. She opened it. “These are my several bank accounts and their login passwords as well as their fund withdrawal PINs and my online banking password. There are also my stocks, funds…” When her words reached this point, she became a little worried. She wondered if Lu Yanchen knew how to use these.

But, she also felt that nothing should be too hard for him.

While she was at it, she told him in one go where all the various valuables in the home were kept and even the location of all the important documents, such as the property ownership certificate.

After holding his silence for several seconds, Lu Yanchen questioned, “What do you want to do?”

“Listen carefully.” Gui Xiao was thinking as she spoke. “Sometimes during childbirth there will be life-threatening complications. For instance, with amniotic fluid embolism, even successful resuscitation is a difficult thing. If for some reason… then you’ll know where all this stuff of ours is. You’re normally not at home and don’t really pay attention to this stuff. Don’t look at me that way… If, for some reason, things happen and you don’t know all this, it will be really problematic. Don’t look at me that way… I still have one other bank card and it has one million saved on it for my mother. That’s for her to use in her old age. You just need to know about it and that’s it. Don’t mention it to her.”

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

Never had Lu Yanchen thought that there would be a time in his life when Gui Xiao would give him such instructions. It was similar to the words that your wife of many years would say to her loved ones when she was at a grave moment in her life and could not set her heart at rest.

She was worrying unnecessarily about groundless fears, but it was this groundless worry that allowed Lu Yanchen to sense a weighty love.

<>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.

He gazed steadily at her. “Do you regret it?”

Gui Xiao paused for a moment, not understanding. But then she looked into his eyes, and she understood.

He was asking, did she regret being with him again?

“I’m about to have this baby and you’re only asking now?” she laughed. However, seeing Lu Yanchen’s serious expression, she began to reflect over whether she had scared him just now. What should she do? Musing briefly, she set her chin on his shoulder and, by his ear, whispered her answer: “The thing I most regret is that I didn’t press you down onto the bed before you went off to join the military. For this, I felt so much regret that I couldn’t sleep for many days.”

Lu Yanchen ran his finger down her nose. “Just how old were you then? Did you even dare?”

She refused to admit defeat. “I’d dare… If you dared, I would have dared.”

Shaking his head, Lu Yanchen picked up the small cup of tea beside his hand and took a sip to moisten his throat.

Never mind talking about whether he had dared or not; he had not even thought about doing such a thing.

What sort of things had he experienced since he was a child? And what sort of environment had he grown up in? The people around him had been young in age, but they had all been extremely seasoned when it came to that matter. Before he met Gui Xiao, he had seen plenty of it, too, but he had actually never thought in detail about how things would be when he had a girlfriend in the future. However, after he and Gui Xiao were together, he had been prudent, and more prudent. For the entire summer that they were together after they first started dating, they did not even so much as kiss, let alone have thoughts about getting onto the bed.

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

A smile suddenly came over Gui Xiao’s face, and in delighted surprise she clutched his hand again. “He’s moving again! He’s moving a lot today. He must know that he’s seeing Daddy.”

Before Lu Yanchen could set his hand there, a tiny protruding “footprint” appeared on her belly… Gui Xiao’s eyes widened and she brought a hand to her mouth, her smile so wide she could not contain it. “Oh my God, Lu Chen! Look, look…”

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
36 of 43 Chapters
0 of 1 Epilogues

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19 thoughts on “The Road Home (归路) — Chapter 36

  1. Thanks Hoju…
    Aww this chapter full sweetness and a bit bitter😅
    Next chapter their bundle of 💞💞 the joy arrival..💞💞

    • Thanks for reading!
      More sweet, though, right?
      Gui Xiao and Lu Chen, as a couple where one person is a military serviceman, have to make conscious effort to stay in love. I’ve always said, love isn’t just a feeling; it’s work. And so even though there is distance between them, they are working hard to do what they can to keep their relationship strong. 🙂

      Next chapter…

  2. Hugs to you too Hoju! Thank you for continuing to provide us with this bit of normalcy amidst all the craziness happening. You stay safe and take care too!

    • Indeed, these are crazy times. Hopefully these little updates can give you guys some sunshine and regularity. 🙂
      Take care!

  3. So much sweetness 😍😍😍

  4. awww reading those precious moments between GX + LC is just ❤ wat a journey it has been for them.

    Thank you Hoju! Take care everyone in these challenging moment!

    • With Lu Chen’s profession, the moments they have together are much fewer than normal couples, but they make every moment count. 🙂

      Thank you! Take care as well!

  5. Awww so sweet,threw me back when I was pregnant, I did the same to my hubby: look ! touch my belly!, 😍

    • Nothing quite like that feeling of having a little one inside. 🙂 And I think most every couple loves that moment, regardless of whether it’s the first or nth child. So sweet.

  6. I really like it… the normalcy of it… 💜🌸

  7. GX trying her best to give as much opportunity for LYC to experience her pregnancy stage
    thank you

    • And isn’t that sweet how she is including him as much as possible? There is so much joy in participating in your little one’s growth. Gui Xiao does not want Lu Yanchen to have regrets, or at least, as few as possible.
      Thanks for reading!

  8. I don’t why I’m a little bit emotional reading this chapter! This chapter represents the sacrifice of who in the military! All the heroes and the wives, salute!

    • I got teary translating it, too (though it’s not hard to make me teary). I think it’s because I’m touched to see how they know to treasure each little moment, because they have fewer moments together than ordinary couples.

  9. Such a bittersweet moment between both of them. Gui Xiao making an effort to come meet Lu Chen so he can experience the pregnancy too.

    Every moment counts for them and they make the best of it. ❤️

    And do a bit of matchmaking at the side too.

    • I think it’s so wonderful of Gui Xiao that she would do that. I don’t think Lu Chen is without regrets that he cannot be there with her throughout her pregnancy and has been missing out on the changes. She wants to include him as much as possible.
      They truly understand how to treasure every little moment. ❤

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