Fangirling Chinese Novels

The Road Home (归路) — Epilogue and Author’s Afterword *NOVEL COMPLETED*


It’s been five months since the start of this translation. Thank you, readers, for joining in on this ride. I am glad I had the honour and ability to bring this story to you, as well as, perhaps, a smile during this time.

This post contains the epilogue and the author’s afterword. Lastly, as is my custom, I have signed off with some of my own thoughts, which you are welcome to give a “miss.”

The final epilogue gives you the final piece of the puzzle, what each of them were truly thinking after they saw one another again in Inner Mongolia. *sniffles*


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.


It was eight or nine years later when I ran into my first love again; it was at the gas station, as I walked out of the convenience store after buying some water. She stared at me, her gaze quivering, glistening with tears. Tentatively, she asked, “Do you still remember who I am?”

Ah, forgetting would actually have been better.

The year we broke up, I was not even twenty years old. With a starving belly, I had swallowed a snake gallbladder raw and stripped the skin off of a frog. I had traversed deep into mountains and thick forests while bearing 40 kilograms of weight. None of those caused me to collapse. But when those military exercises were over, the moment I touched alcohol, I began to think of you. A grown man more than 1.8 metres tall had lain in a thicket of grass that was half the height of a person, and consumed alcohol until he was like an idiot—but who knew about this?

Holding my bottle of water on my upturned palm, I looked at her and rather placidly answered, “Yes, I remember you. Even if I were to turn to ashes, I would still remember you.”

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

The blazing sun above my head and the earth beneath my feet shall bear witness for all this lifetime.

You are the only one I have loved in my days of youth. My girl, Gui Xiao.

<>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.

✻ ✻ ✻ ✻ ✻

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

Gui Xiao,

I’m currently still in the KTV, waiting to take those punks to the train station.

I found this paper behind the counter; same for the pen. Currently, it has been one hour and twenty-three minutes since you drove away from here. They’re still singing that same song they were singing when you got here. The lighting in here is really dim. I’ve actually pulled open the curtains and propped the door open to write this. The wind and snow are blowing hard. My fingers can last about an hour in the cold wind.

One hour for one letter. That’s sufficient.

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

Xiao-Xiao, I haven’t written any letters to you in these last few years. Thinking back to before that, I did write a few to you then, but I didn’t mail any of them out. One, I didn’t know your home address, but two, I figured you were at the age that you should be married or getting married and I didn’t want to disturb you. Of course, after this letter is done being written, it still won’t be mailed. I just wanted to find a place where I could talk to you for a bit.

To be honest, our breakup back then nearly sapped me of half my life. But later, whenever I thought back on things, they were always the good things about you.

Back on that summer day of that year, beneath our school’s old poplar tree, you had stared at me. You must not have known that afterwards, every time I chanced upon you on campus, I would take a couple of extra glances at you. You’re the most beautiful girl I’ve ever seen. That’s been true since we were just teenagers. Every time I bumped into you at the open-air sinks in front of your classroom, I would convince myself, “Lu Chen, just forget it. She is so pretty and from a military compound at that. She’s totally a girl who’s out of your league.”

But I still ended up falling in love with you, the wonderful person that you are, and you fell in love with me, too.

The time that we were actually together was not long. After we broke up, I did resent Heaven, I did hate my parents, but I never did truly blame you. Other than a lousy old mobile phone, I’ve never given you anything worth mentioning. Whenever I took you out, if it wasn’t to go play pool, then it was to go to the arcade. There was no good food to eat in the town, and during the best of times, just eating a bowl of beef noodles could make you ridiculously happy. I would always bring you to the auto shop because I wanted to cook for you. I can’t comment on how good the cooking was, but the food was definitely clean.

Before I met you, I never really pondered over what it’s like for other people when they’re dating, and then when you and I were together, I didn’t have the chance to ponder on that question either. You’re not a picky person; you never once requested anything from me. Later, when I was in the military in the place where I’m stationed, every time I thought back on those scenes in the town, I would think, I honestly got the better end of the deal and could be considered a jerk of a guy who didn’t love and dote on his girlfriend.

There’s a really good old saying: Those in their first love don’t know how to love. When they learn how to love, the girl is already gone.

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

Xiao-Xiao, I’m sorry.

I joined the military without ever discussing it with you. I know you had actually planned things out in your mind already, that after you finished your college entrance exams, you would attend a university in the city I was in, and in Nanjing, you and I would study together, date, graduate, and then find work. All of the plans were so wonderful. And you were studying hard. The only things I can blame are that I was too set on my own ideas and I also did not understand you well enough at all. Now that I think about it, with how much you liked me, I should have at least discussed it with you; you’re not an unreasonable person. But in the end, you still accepted my decision.

I was enlisted. I was in a new environment. There were unfamiliar people. And training, training, and more training.

There were times when I would just throw myself on the bed and then be asleep within three seconds. That was a type of life that was completely different from when I was studying in university. You would always ask, did I miss you? How could I not miss you, my girl? The time I missed you the most was that time when I was wrapped in bandages and sitting in the hallway of the military base’s hospital, thinking that you were waiting for my call right then. But I couldn’t go back. I needed to wait for my political instructor, to wait for my comrade-in-arms whose wounds were being treated. I missed you. I was scared you would cry again, cry and say that I didn’t give you any attention. Every time I heard you cry, I would miss you even more. I would want to touch your face, to pick you up into my arms and hold you against me. How is it even possible that I did not love you? But you never gave me any chances, Xiao-Xiao. You’re a girl who is so good with words, and you’re also so good at saying words that hurt. No matter how calm I was, one sentence from you could stab me in the place that hurt most. Every time I hung up the phone, I would hate myself; why couldn’t I just say some nice words to make you feel better? What kind of dating relationship was this? We couldn’t see each other. We couldn’t touch each other. I made you wait all alone for me in Beijing, but I couldn’t even say a few words that would make you happy! Why would you want to have a man like me? What use was I?!

These are things from more than ten years ago. Bringing them back up now seems like I’m sweet-talking after I got an easy out, doesn’t it?

But all these years, I didn’t even really dare think about you. You’re too wonderful. If I thought about you, my whole heart would hurt. I was afraid of hearing news about you, afraid that you had already married someone, and if it was someone I knew, I’m guessing I wouldn’t have the courage to ever return to Beijing again in my entire life. Xiao-Xiao, I don’t know if you’ve fallen in love with anyone else over these years. I never did. And that’s why I’m scared that you can’t understand my feelings, those feelings where just hearing your name makes my heart ache. When we were together, I did not speak much, and this time when we saw each other, my words were few, too. But not talking a lot doesn’t mean that you’re not in my heart. How great a weight do you hold in my heart? If brothers and friends are my hands and feet[1], then you are my heart.

<>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.

As I write to this point, I suddenly feel that I’m actually quite shameless.

You coming here to the KTV to find me was something I truly had not expected, and I was completely stunned.

But once you left, I regretted it. Good thing I did go out to look for you. That glance that you gave me from inside the car was like a searing hook that burned my heart. Your eyes were red, did you know? My eyes were red, too; did you see? If I didn’t have all these brothers who are leaving tomorrow and if your friend hadn’t been there, I would definitely have opened your car door, pulled you into my arms, and carried you out.

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

Xiao-Xiao, it’s been eleven years, eleven years in which I haven’t touched your hand, haven’t held you in my arms. The last time you were in my arms was downstairs of that little hotel, beside the flowerbed. If I had known that that would be the last time, I would not have let go. I would have held you until the sky grew dark. Now, as I sit here beside the door, with Inner Mongolia’s wind blowing on me, I can still remember how that day, by the flowerbed, Beijing’s sandstorm and blowing grit made our faces really dirty. But the girl I loved was in my embrace, letting me hold her and kiss her. Xiao-Xiao, I once thought that that would be the last time we would ever see each other. I never thought that there would also be that time during the 2008 Olympics and also did not expect that we would run into each other again at the gas station. Even more so, I did not expect that you would come to Inner Mongolia to find me.

After tonight, I am certain that your reason for coming to Inner Mongolia was to find me.

I cannot say anything, though, because I am not like you, with a successful career already. I’m changing career paths, I don’t have a job yet, my future is uncertain, and there’s even someone back home with whom I have a marriage engagement. I’m actually scared that, running into you again now, I will end up hampering you and your life. Back when I was in my teens, I had already made you cry. I’m in my thirties now, and if I make you cry again, my heart really won’t be able to rest, even when I die.

<>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.

Someone over there is throwing up from drinking too much. I’m going to go deal with it first.

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

Back now.

Took care of things for more than half an hour. When I was beside the sink, I thought carefully again over the things between us.

Back then, you said I’m handsome and you liked my face. Just now beside the sink, I took a look in the mirror. I’m a little darker, skin’s a little rougher, but overall my appearance hasn’t really changed. I’m going to shamelessly summarize in a sentence: the thing you liked is still there. When you were here this time, there were several instances where you just stared at me, looking like you wanted to cry but wouldn’t let yourself, and I could tell that I still dwell in your heart. You still dwell in my heart, too.

Over these years, other than my gun, there has been no one who has slept with me or caused me to think about her day and night. I’ve even wanted to make you have regrets. Every time I’m on assignment, I imagine that I’ll lose my life but before I die I must instruct one of my brothers to bring a last word to you. Gui Xiao, if I, the man that I am, were to become ashes, then even in those ashes would there be your name. I know that people live out their entire life and then that’s it; there isn’t a next life. I don’t want to forget, and I don’t want you to forget me. These are things that I considered only in the past. But since you’ve come seeking all the way to Inner Mongolia, since you’ve come and stood before me, then if I, Lu Yanchen, am a true man, I cannot run away anymore. I can’t see the road in front of us. I can disarm a bomb and I can fight terrorism, but I cannot predict the future. It might be really difficult. My family, my parents, they all make everything so difficult for me. But as long as their strong-arming doesn’t kill me, I will be able to be with you again.

Back when we were together, I was nineteen and you asked me, “Lu Chen, will we ever break up?” I said, “No, we won’t. Never.” Even though so many years have passed, I still believe that you and I never broke up. In my heart, you are my girl, that girl whom I kissed and held but never got to completely make mine.

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Xiao-Xiao, to Lu Chen—to me—you are my beloved, and you are also my homeland.

Back then, I said to you, “The journey of life is shadowy and hard to tread, but press on and be honed with each step down its path.”

And now I say to you, “To the south I seek my road home, while north the migratory birds fly.”

I will return to Beijing.

Xiao-Xiao, you must wait for my return.


Lu Chen


✻ ✻ ✻ ✻ ✻


Lu Chen,

I’m on the plane right now, flying to Beijing. Qin Xiaonan is asleep. I’m guessing that some time before the plane lands, his ears are going to hurt. This is, after all, his first time flying. There’s about another hour before the plane lands. I’ll just write, and you can just read.

Since breaking up with you, I haven’t picked up a pen again to write a letter to you.

Now, as I hold my pen, all my thoughts and feelings seem dammed up in my heart and I can’t get them out. To put it in a really cheesy way, I have thousands and thousands of words that I don’t know how to express. Lu Chen, do you get it?

All my memories of my youth are somehow connected to you. Any that don’t have anything to do with you have become hazy already. Wherever I walk in that little town, it’s like I can see you. You, when you were nineteen years old. A really tall build, very slim. And that face of yours was honestly just so good-looking. To date, you are still the most handsome man I’ve ever seen. Sometimes I’ll think, when people are young, they really should not see things that are too wonderful, for example, you. To have seen it and to have once had it—that’s the luckiest thing, and the most bothersome thing.

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

That arcade is gone, the space long transformed into something else. The beef-noodle shop is still there. The gas station is still there, too. I’ve always wanted to drive over to your auto repair shop for a look. Even if I were to just stop by the canal and look at it from far, that would still be nice. I still clearly remember that big main door. There’s a spot on it that I actually once picked off a piece of green paint from. Has it been repainted yet?

And also, by the canal, in that spot that’s about two hundred metres from the crossroads that will take you to Bai Village, that’s where you kissed me. Even now, more than ten years later, when I close my eyes I can still remember that feeling. Your kisses were so gentle, completely different from you as a person. Every time you finished kissing me, you didn’t like to talk, to the extent that I couldn’t even hear the sound of your breathing. Or maybe I should say, your breathing sounds completely disappeared into Beijing’s northwest wind. You would gaze intently at me, like you were melding the sight of me into your bones.

It was the same when we quarreled; you didn’t like to talk. To use a current term to describe it, you were passive-aggressive. But now that I think about it, that doesn’t seem quite right either. Every time you would stay silent until I was done saying what I wanted to say and I was out of words, and then you would say a few nice words to me. My young man, my nineteen-year-old young man, I’ve only ever seen you give in to one person—that person is me.

<>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.

Lu Chen, you’re the reason I came to Inner Mongolia. No matter how many excuses I may have had, no matter how hard it was for me to set aside my pride, I just wanted to see you. Our breakup back then, even to this day, is still a thorn in my heart. That thorn pierced really deep. I don’t have the strength to pull it out, nor do I want to pull it out. You can call it guilt. You can say I’m regretting it. I had originally thought that I would just leave it there for the rest of my life, that even if it hurt when it was touched, I still wanted to keep it there.

It is evidence of the relationship we had.

Only when you have loved someone will you know what love is. It’s not complicated; it’s really simple: If you take my hand in yours, I will go with you. If you kiss me, I am your beloved. From the past to the present, Lu Chen, even though we broke up, I’ve never forgotten you, not even for one minute, one second. Even if I didn’t dare let myself think about you, you were still there, wholly and completely in my heart.

Lu Chen, I don’t know if you still love me. Lu Chen, I still want you to come back, and you and I can just date one another. You and I are already this age. You’ve already left the military, and I also have my own career. If it’s possible, I want to start over with you. I want to say to you, “Your Xiao-Xiao never fell in love with anyone else. All these years, you have been the only one in her heart.”

I’ve even thought, if one day I die, regardless of whether it is by mishap or old age, I must have someone secretly look for you or go to the place where you are buried to find you.

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

After writing all this down, it’s actually kind of weird, now that I think about it. It’s just the love from my youth. Why are you so deeply impressed in my memory? But this world actually doesn’t have that many “whys” to ask. You, me, him—everyone’s different. And everyone’s love is completely different.

All right, I’m not going to say any more. I need to give Xiaonan some water to drink.

This kid is really mature, isn’t he? Thank you for giving me a very good travel companion.

Let me secretly tell you, I’m going to buy a lot of things for Xiaonan so that when I return him to you, all the stuff and clothes are going to fill up your place. I’m going to make it so that whether you open your eyes or close them, you’ll see all the stuff that’s somehow connected to me, and then you will have no choice but to remember me, to remember all those past things, even the little things, that cannot be forgotten.

Lu Chen, Beijing has big sandstorms, too. I know Inner Mongolia’s importance to you. My hope is that you will come back to Beijing and stay here forever. If… what I mean is, if we really do get the chance to walk out our lives together, I’m willing to go back often to Inner Mongolia with you to walk around there.

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

Lu Chen, you must come back. This place is our hometown.

My young man, the young man who forever cannot depart from my memories.

Lu Chen, I will wait for your return.


Gui Xiao

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

[1] There is a saying, 兄弟如手足 “brothers and friends are like one’s hands and feet.” It is a simile that describes the importance of friendship and siblings, that they are so important they are like your hands and feet, and you cannot be separated from them. There is a second half to that saying: 女人如衣服 “women are like clothing.” While brothers and friends are important and are like a part of you, women should be viewed as “disposable,” where, like clothing, if they don’t fit or you do not like them, you can just change them out. However, here, Lu Yanchen is saying, if his brothers and comrades are like his hands and feet, from which he cannot be separated, Gui Xiao is like his heart, without which he cannot live.

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.


Author’s Afterword

I have a lot of things I want to say regarding The Road Home, yet it also seems it’s not necessary for me to say anything. I actually want to laugh a bit. I’ve used this same sentence in the back of several books. With regard to the “Zhi Ci” series, I’ve always said it holds a special significance to me. Maybe it’s because there are always shadows of my life in the stories: my primary school, middle school, high school, university…

This book is really short.

It’s not as long as Together Forever or The Healing Sunshine. When I was releasing it online in installments, there were several times when I was just stuck, several times when I was so frustrated I was going to break down, several times when I could not continue. The fact that I could write to this point and bring it to a complete ending is already the limit of what I can do.

I even just felt really glad that I could finish writing the novel.

In the beginning, I would over and over look into myself and blame myself, thinking, why couldn’t I write this better? But when this book reached its conclusion, I suddenly felt a sense of release. With every book, there will be regrets, some more, some less. Over these years, what I have done has only been to write the best writing that I can at that time. With the different experiences of the years and the changing of one’s frame of mind, writing perhaps will also experience some change. But what remain unchanged are the person writing and the beliefs and convictions within the writing.

Through the words, what you read is a story, but at the same time it is also what I want to say.

When some people are chatty, they will post on their blog, post on Weibo, etc. As for me, when my chattiness kicks in, I’ll write stories, one after the other, good ones, bad ones, long ones, short ones, light ones, heavy ones. Very fortunately, I have a bunch of readers, precious, lovable readers. From 2011 to now, they have stayed with me; they are people who love more enduringly than me. They are such sweet people. Each word that they have left is a form of witness, a witness to my low points and valleys, a witness to my fumbling my way through, a witness to my frustration, and also a witness to my curiosity and risk-taking.

The Road Home is a story that I wrote in my lowest period. And it is also the story for which countless times my eyes grew hot when I opened up its file and read a little passage. I am very grateful to this book for helping me come out from that low point in my spirits.

Lu Chen, my young man. As I look back on this half a lifetime of mine, thank you.

<>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.

Mo Bao Fei Bao

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.


Hoju’s Rambling:

(This also includes some thoughts I’ve had about “real life” nowadays, as I just wanted a place to set them down. Please feel free to STOP here if you don’t want to read something like that.)


I actually haven’t given many “additional comments” in this particular translation. This was partly because of busyness (some days I could barely make it to getting the post updated, much less adding my own two cents), partly because I wanted you all to have the full perspective of their relationship, from beginning to end, from how and why the breakup happened, to how each felt when they met again, to how they behaved around each other when they finally were together again, for the past is so very important to understanding just how they view their current relationship, why it works now, why they treasure it now.


When I first read this novel, there was one particular line that left me pondering: “She was very clear that without Lu Chen, she could still live her life at one hundred percent, live it to the fullest. But with him, her life undoubtedly would be even better.” I mentioned it when I introduced this novel that I like Gui Xiao, and one reason is that romantic love to her is not the be-all and end-all. However, though I agree with the quote, it actually got me thinking: how does it happen, that you live your life to the fullest, at one hundred percent, and then when someone comes into your life, it becomes better?

This actually goes both ways; the same is true for Lu Chen, too. I know kite analogies sometimes are drawn to death, but in my mind I do draw that analogy in their relationship. A kite is meant for the sky; only when it is flying high, riding the wind, is it truly doing what it is meant to do and fulfilling its purpose. Lu Yanchen is like a kite, and when he joined the military, especially when he was stationed on the borders, he found his sky. There, he found “his purpose of life as a person”; there he found “the weight of his own bones again”; there he found what he had the ability to do and what he should do.

But to truly fly well, a kite needs a string, and on the end of its string there needs to be a hand. The purpose of the hand is not to constrain the kite but to release it, to help it fly higher. And when that kite needs to—when it needs a place of rest, when it needs to be repaired or recharge so it can fly again next time—it can follow that string back to that hand. Or perhaps that hand will gently tug it back, as a reminder that it should have a rest. Gui Xiao is that hand who holds his string. Lu Chen belongs in the military; Gui Xiao knows this in her heart, that “such a man’s blood was flaming hot, and his heart was loyal to his mother country. If you cooled his blood and took away his heart, he would not be himself anymore.” And so she told him, “If you told me to be in this line of work, I’m guessing I wouldn’t be able to do it. I’m not psychologically strong. […] But if you go and do it, I have no problems with it.” These lines are so, so significant in their relationship because she is releasing him and sending him into his job with her blessing, and also accepting everything that goes with it—that is so empowering! Without Gui Xiao, Lu Chen would still fly in his sky of Inner Mongolia, still fulfill his purpose in life; he would live his life to one hundred percent. But with Gui Xiao, Lu Chen will fly higher, will feel even more secure and fulfilled because he has the support of the one who loves him and whom he loves. His life had already had a purpose, but, as he said himself, now that he has her, he has his “heart.”

To me, “home” is less a physical place and more the feeling it gives or invokes: we feel safe there; we can rest there; we are supported there; etc. “Home is where the heart is.” That is a saying that many of us know. Beijing was never Lu Chen’s home, because he never had that sense of belonging, be it with his family or in that town. That is why “the road back” is not leading him back to the place he once resided. The road back is leading him back to his home, back to his heart, back to… Gui Xiao.

And that is why I chose not to go with the English title of the published book, “The Return,” nor the literal translation of the Chinese title, “the road/way back.” I felt “home” captured that feeling much more. And so, I settled on the title The Road Home. (You can see how a translator’s style and interpretation can impact a translation. 😉 As mentioned before, I have run this title by the author.)


<>This is Hoju. I post only on Please, if you’re not doing so, just read it from there. I would genuinely appreciate it.

Now, so ends another translation project for me. Thank you to everyone who has followed along, especially those who dropped a line. When this project started five months ago, I don’t think any of us expected that most of the world would almost be at a standstill and we would be isolating ourselves at home.These have been very interesting times. I hope the bi-weekly updates of this story have managed to provide you even just a little smidgeon of joy and normalcy during what may be trying times.

I’ve mentioned before that the “Zhi Ci” series (which includes, to date, Together Forever, The Healing Sunshine, and The Road Home) are, I believe, Mo Bao Fei Bao’s salute to everyday heroes. I said in my introduction to this story that this quote captures what I feel the author really is trying to convey: “There are different countries, but the same type of people can be found in all of them. Irrespective of whether they are poor or rich, their love for their motherland is their faith.” With the current global situation, though, the sentences that come immediately after that, when Lu Yanchen was recollecting why he chose his career path and does what he does despite the dangers, struck me even harder, and I believe now that they, even more so, express the author’s heart: “In the very beginning, he had wanted to become this type of person. Later, the reason was even simpler: he had the ability to do so, and he should do so.”

I know some nurses and health care workers. I’ve read stories of doctors coming out of retirement to work the front lines during this pandemic. I read a news article about a man who used to run ventilators in hospitals but had changed careers and was now in the film and production industry, but realizing there might be a need, he contacted his previous supervisor and volunteered himself back into his former profession. I suspect that many of these people have not really consciously decided they are going to do a “greater good.” They just want to do what they can. I suspect that they merely thought, they have the ability to do so, and they believe they should do so.

And to all these people, you have my sincerest gratitude, and my deepest respect.



As for my next translation project, permission was received a long time ago. It’s a very challenging one. However, I am actually much busier now than before since, with the current situation and isolating at home, I’m spending most of my days keeping my little ones happy and healthy, all the while homeschooling them as well. I spend more time teaching and preparing lesson plans than translating. (The amount of translating I accomplish per day is 25% of what it used to be.) Hence, at the absolute earliest, I won’t begin anything until the summer, if I am able to build up enough inventory. When I have figured something out, I will make an announcement about the project.

Once again, thank you, readers. If you can, please leave me a comment here so I know how you’re doing in these times. I think of my readers often. Then, when I eventually announce the next project, drop me a line there, too, again so I know how you are.

Take care of yourself. Blessing you and your family, friends, and loved ones with safety and health. Press on, everyone!



“The journey of life is shadowy and hard to tread, but press on and be honed with each step down its path.”  —The Road Home


1 of 1 Prologue
43 of 43 Chapters
1 of 1 Epilogues

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117 thoughts on “The Road Home (归路) — Epilogue and Author’s Afterword *NOVEL COMPLETED*

  1. OMG! The Road Home will be adapted to drama. It will be headlined by Jing Bo Ran and Seven Tan. This is my fav novel and I am ao excited to watch it in drama. I hope there will be less deviation.

    PS: Ho Ju dear, I hope you are doing fine and stalking here. God bless you dear. Because of your translation I was able to read this beautiful novel. Thanks again.

  2. Thank you for translating this beautiful love story.

  3. Thank you so much for your efforts in translating this novel and all the others. I enjoyed it very much. I hope you and your family stay happy and healthy.

  4. Dear Hoju, Just want to ping you and say “Hello Again”. I would check your site at least once a month to see how you are doing. To this day, MBFB is my favorite Chinese Author for someone who can’t read Chinese. Thank you Again for the times you spent in translating all those wonderful novels. Simply said “I miss Fanatical Site”. Looking forward to the Drama “The Road Home”. Yeah, I hope they use that title for the drama, it’s very fitting for this novel. xoxoxo

  5. Dear Hoju,

    I starded from 1 drama, but i wanted to read the book.Thank you for your patience and very hard work! In the last years I always returned here and found something new. I also enjoy the dramas, but the fealing from the books more.

    Looking forward for your next translation.

    All the best wishes on a winter morning with pink and purple sky.

  6. I still come back to read these novels and sad to see some are no longer available, but I totally get it. I hope you are okay and have found peace and happiness.

    Just to let you know, these books help me to quiet my mind and give me a sense of happiness too when things are not going so great in the real world.

  7. Thanks a lot for this translation. I love how much they love each other. Lu Chen and Gui Xiao I love them❤️ thanks HoJu.
    By the way, currently watching the drama, can’t wait for episode 9 later. 😘

  8. Ohhh My Goddd!!!!!
    I just saw Road Home actually has a drama adaptation now!!!! I’m so excited.
    I absolutely loved this book, so I’m really looking forward to the drama. But at the same time I’m also skeptical whether the drama will be able to retain the beauty of the book
    *fingers crossed* *starry eyes*

  9. come back again and again to re-read this novel and still crying. The ML and FL in the drama version, perfectly picture these two characters. Such a great story, amazing translation, and strong chemistry of characters in the drama version. Thank you Hoju…. for your hard work, too.

  10. Thanks a lot for your work. Love it.
    This translation give more details than drama which is already very good. 🤩

  11. Thank you 🙏

  12. Just re-read the translation again prior to watching the drama. Thanks so much hoju and i hope you are doing well!

  13. Thanks Hoju for your wonderful work, as always! It took me a long time to read this novel as I was apprehensive if there will be a lot of heartache and tears here. It’s a good thing, I read this novel from one of my fave chinese author. I love the story and most especially the characters. As the drama series based from the novel is already completed, will definitely watch it as I’ve been hearing a lot of good and positive reviews from it. Again, thank you for your hard work, for us to be able to read all these work of art novels.

  14. Thank you so much for your wonderful translation! It is clear that your talents, skills, and hard work in translation have brought happiness to so many. I also appreciate the extra information you have included, as it brought deeper insights to the characters and the story. Blessings to you and your family!

  15. Thank you so much for the English translations for this wonderful story, which is now a Chinese drama. I gained so much more insight into LuChen’s deep thoughts through his letters, and explained many details missed or just unanswered in the drama. There is only so much that can be covered in the drama. I loved both the drama and the translated story. I looked so hard to find a translation and finally found you. Thank you again.

  16. Thank you so much for your translation. I finished watching the drama and could not let the characters go. I’m very glad I found your translation — the novel helped provide context for the characters’ inner thoughts and an emotional depth from the language that was not always able to captured on film. Thank you for all your work bringing this beautiful work to more of us!

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