[Chapter 067] A new friend
Training classes commenced on 15 July. Not many students participated in the training classes this time, and so the school only designated a classroom – year three class one’s.
The previous batch of year threes had already graduated. Even though the college entrance exams results weren’t out yet, everyone had a measure of how well they scored after tabulating their marks, according to what Lu YunFei had read on the discussion board. Back then, Lu YunFei hadn’t felt much while reading the year threes’ discussions, but once he stepped into the classroom of year three class one, it struck him that he was going to be a year three next semester, and that the college entrance exams were not far off.
It was the Mathematics training class in the morning. Lu YunFei chose a window seat according to his habit. Many students who had already sat down started to stand back up to sit next to him, but just as they took two steps, they found that their targeted seat was already occupied by someone—Wen MingYi’s voice rang out before he’d even reached the seat. He called out to Lu YunFei and walked towards him.
The students in the classroom saw Wen MingYi sit next to Lu YunFei and whispered among themselves, “Why is he here? Isn’t Wen MingYi from Humanities? Humanities students are participating in the training classes this time huh.”
Lu YunFei wasn’t as surprised as them. Wen MingYi’s sciences weren’t bad, in fact they were on par with his. The only reason why he was in the Humanities track was purely to anger his ge.
Wen MingYi sat down and chatted with Lu YunFei as he took out his stationery and notebook.
Lu YunFei wondered aloud, “Are you attending the Physics class in the afternoon?”
“Nope,” Wen MingYi placed his bag in the desk pocket, “I haven’t studied Physics in a year and I no longer have interest in it.”
“Why isn’t Bian JinYuan here? Does it mean that I’ve got to give him this seat once he arrives?” Wen MingYi asked as he leaned on the desk.
Lu YunFei thought about how to answer this question. Logically he, Wen MingYi, and Bian JinYuan were good friends, and so they could choose to sit with anyone among themselves. But perhaps he had become used to Bian JinYuan as his deskmate, so if he had to choose between the two, Lu YunFei was invariably drawn towards Bian JinYuan.
He cleared his throat and was about to respond when he pointed to a girl nearby as if she were a his saviour, “Isn’t that the student committee representative from your class? Tch, it’s just the two of your from Humanities, and you’re even in the same class. The both of you have to unite at this time!”
Wen MingYi: …
Wen MingYi looked upward mutely, feeling that his friend was too insincere.
Li Li was in charge of the Mathematics training class. Lu YunFei was used to her teaching style, and so the morning was over in a blink of an eye.
Wen MingYi accompanied Lu YunFei for lunch before leaving the school. Lu YunFei then entered the classroom, switched his notebook, and waited for the Physics training class to start.
There was still half an hour before class commenced. Bored, Lu YunFei plugged in his earphones to watch some videos on his phone. As he watched, he suddenly felt a shadow cast beside him. He looked up to find a handsome boy place his bag at the seat next to him. Seeing him look over, the boy smiled politely and initiated, “I’m Dài HánSēn.”
“I know,” Dai HanSen said as he smiled, “I’ve heard of you.”
Lu YunFei nodded and thought for a bit before saying, “You’d like to sit beside me?”
“Well, it’s just that I’m saving this seat for someone, and he’ll be here in a few days. You’ll have to leave when he arrives.”
Dai HanSen chuckled, “I thought we only had to reserve seats at the library.”
Lu YunFei smiled as well and didn’t respond.
“Sure,” Dai HanSen said, “we’ll see later.”
Lu YunFei made a sound of acknowledgement and continued to watch the video on his phone. Dai HanSen finished unpacking and looked over, eventually watching it together with him.
Lu YunFei was naturally extroverted. Seeing this, he shared an ear bud with him. Dai HanSen thanked him and continued to watch the video. After watching the video, the both of them had a common topic to talk about. Dai HanSen was a good talker with a wide breadth of knowledge; no matter what Lu YunFei said, he was able to keep up and give his thoughts on them. Lu YunFei listened and found him interesting.
“What class are you from?”
“Class three,” Dai HanSen said.
“That’s close to our class.”
After class, Dai HanSen asked Lu YunFei if he wanted to have a meal together, “I have no one at home, so I usually eat before heading back. What about you? Want to eat together?”
“Sure,” Lu YunFei said. There was no one at home anyway, so he’d be alone if he went home.
Dai HanSen brought him to a private diner that specialized in spicier foods. Lu YunFei preferred spicy food, so it suited his tastes and he enjoyed his meal.
After eating, Dai HanSen wanted to invite him to play games, but Lu YunFei looked at the time and declined with, “Another time”. Saying that, he hailed a cab and boarded it.
Dai HanSen watched him leave and finally dropped the smile on his face and left.
When Lu YunFei arrived home, he found mother Lu there. He greeted her as he changed his shoes.
“Why are you home so early? Where’s dad?”
“Your dad is having a meal with a customer.”
“What kind of customer is so important that that my dad needs to eat with him?” Lu YunFei exclaimed.
“It’s a big customer of course,” mother Lu smiled, “speaking of, the other party was quite handsome. Not only that, but he’s also got a likeable face that was quite familiar looking. I couldn’t help but compliment him, but just as I was done, your dad chased me out. Sigh!”
Lu YunFei heard his own mother brag about her love and cried out with a “Woof woof woof” accordingly, “feeding me dog food immediately after I come home. You’re an old couple yet you’re still bragging about your love life.”
“I wasn’t,” mother Lu denied, “I was just complaining to you about your father being too narrow-minded.”
“Humble bragging, I know.”
“What do you know?” Mother Lu beckoned him over and gave him some grapes from a bowl, “You’re still just a child.”
Lu YunFei: “Heh.”
“Are there any girls interested in you?”
“Yeah,” Lu YunFei sat on the sofa.
“Then is there anyone you like?”
Lu YunFei shook his head.
Mother Lu guessed as much, “To think that our Xiao Fei’s looks are so suited for early romance, yet he’s more well-behaved than anyone.”
“What’s so good about early romance?” Lu YunFei proclaimed, “We’re students. Studies are the most important.”
“That’s right. However you should still pursue romance after the college entrance exams.”
“We’ll see,” he wasn’t in a hurry anyway.
“Oh right, why haven’t we seen teacher Xiao Bian this month?” Mother Lu was puzzled.
“I gave him a break,” Lu YunFei said, “He usually has to work part-time, so I asked him to take a break in July and come back in August instead.”
“I see,” Mother Lu nodded, “teacher Xiao Bian doesn’t have it easy. The next time he comes, I’d like to talk to him about raising his pay. Your English scores this year has improved so much this year all thanks to him.”
“Sure, but I’m guessing that he wouldn’t agree.”
“Don’t worry, I’ll persuade him,” Mother Lu peeled a grape, and then asked curiously, “Does he also not have a girlfriend? It can’t be, he has such good grades and he’s also good-looking. He should be very popular with girls.”
“He doesn’t,” Lu YunFei said as he ate the grapes, “Teacher Bian doesn’t seem to want to be in a romantic relationship yet. I think that he’s not yet attuned to romance, and doesn’t seem to be interested in girls.”
“Well, if he still hasn’t found anyone suitable after he’s interested in romance, I’ll help teacher Xiao Bian to look out for a fair gentle beauty.”
Lu YunFei was puzzled, “Then why won’t you help me to look out for one?”
Mother Lu looked at him and said seriously, “Baby, these girls are our blood relatives. It’ll be illegal for you to get together with them.”
Lu YunFei: … Understood.
He and mother Lu chatted for a while, before he went back to his room.
Bian JinYuan’s hometown was a little mountain village in the northwest. There weren’t many people remaining in this village now, as the young adults ventured out to find work, leaving behind the old and the very young. Bian Jie led Bian JinYuan and Shuang Shuang back to her home with a sense of familiarity.
The rooms were slightly dirty, as no one had lived there in a long time. Bian Jie got Shuang Shuang to play in the yard while she and Bian JinYuan started cleaning. The both of them quickly organized the house, and then Bian Jie went to buy some rice and vegetables from a neighbour’s house while Bian JinYuan looked after Shuang Shuang.
The next day, Bian JinYuan and Bian Jie prepared some offerings. The both of them sat on the bed as they chatted. Bian Jie told her about her childhood, most of which involved Bian Ting. Bian JinYuan listened quietly, occasionally letting out soft smiles. Bian Jie reached out to hug and kiss him, saying, ” I’m sure jiejie would be very happy if she were to see what you are now.”
Bian JinYuan said softly, “She’ll see me tomorrow.”
The morning was a clear day. The three of them wore black clothes and climbed up the mountain with their offerings. Shuang Shuang was still a small child and didn’t know the seriousness of this situation, so he was instead excited at the novelty of climbing a mountain. Bian Jie watched him run and jump around, even plucking some flowers to give her. She gently rubbed his little head, her mood lifted by his antics.
Their destination wasn’t considered far, and they arrived in a little over half an hour. Bian JinYuan looked at the lush scenery that was all too familiar with him. It was only because they only visited once a year that it brought a fresh perspective each time.
He shifted his gaze to his mother’s grave and took out a broom nearby to start cleaning.
After cleaning, Bian JinYuan burnt the offerings that they had brought. He half-knelt in front of the grave and said the words that he wanted to say silently as he did so, relaying to Bian Ting the words that he hadn’t been able to tell Lu YunFei.
You would probably like him, Bian JinYuan said in his heart. If there were a chance, I’d take him to visit you; if there weren’t, I’d still tell you the results of these feelings.
He looked at the photo on the grave. For the first time, he was curious about it. For so many years, Bian JinYuan had never been curious about his father. When he was very young, he had asked his mother, where was his father? Back then, Bian Jie would answer him, he’s somewhere else.
Bian JinYuan didn’t understand, “Why can’t he be together with us?”
“Because we don’t have to be with him.”
“I want to,” Bian JinYuan said.
Bian Ting smiled as she rubbed his head, “But he doesn’t need to.”
Her smile was extremely pleasing and touching. She said, “Could you just only need your mum?”
Today’s notes are unrelated to the story – I’m sure many of you are aware of the current danmei fan translation situation in light of news about an upcoming international section for JJWXC (JJ). If you’re out of the loop, here are posts on Reddit and Tumblr about it. JJ is the largest provider of danmei webnovels, and this title belongs to it. In response to the preliminary terms & conditions stated in the forum, many translators are locking/ deleting chapters as a preventative measure, because a worst case scenario is where someone else (in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan) applies as an official translator at JJ, rips off fan translations to post there, leading JJ to issue a takedown notice to the fan translators for their own translations while the profiteer gets paid. That would be such a slap to the face. I’ve thought about my direction over the weekend, and have decided that I will continue posting as-is without locking/ deleting chapters. A few reasons:
- Concrete details of the international site aren’t confirmed, and it may take a while before the official site gets rolled out. I’m inclined to leave things up here while we wait for details to take shape. Plus I really want to finish this title, we’re so close to the end! I’ll be monitoring the news to see if this author/title is added to the official site. At that point, my (hopefully completed) translations will probably have to be taken down since there’ll be an official translation.
- Locking chapters means a lot of logistics that inconveniences everyone – on my end, I’ll have to go through each chapter to lock them and deal with some way of disseminating passwords. School just started back up and I don’t have the capacity to deal with this at a point where the pressure isn’t that intense since everything about this is still in the early stage.
- Worst comes to worst, someone profits off my translations and I get hit with a DMCA for the entire 84 chapters of Tmall Genie and 5 chapters of Cat & Dog. I’ve only got one(-ish) title to lose so I actually consider myself lucky in comparison to other translators.
What I’ve done is to disable right-click and text-copying on this site as a low-effort deterrent to screen out bots which copy and paste to aggregator sites. It shouldn’t affect your reading here! Honestly, there’s not much in preventing the worst case scenario as there are a good many ways to rip these translations with no recourse on my end as this is an unlicensed project. The only way to not waste my time translating is to stop what I’m doing, but I’m not going to do that because as I’ve mentioned, we’re so close to the end for this title! I really like this story and I want to share it with you guys! Consider it the cost of doing business with piracy-heaven China and fandom I guess.
I had actually lined up another work by this author that I also love and want to share as my next translation project; in fact I had already started working on the synopsis and bits of chapter one, but I’ll be putting that on hold while the situation unfolds. What I plan to do for my new next project is to explore non-JJ sites to see if I find any title that I like. It’s a good motivation for me to venture beyond JJ, I’ve never read stuff from outside JJ before! If anyone has any contemporary recommendations from non-JJ sites do let me know.