[Extra 004] Coming Out (Second Half) & The Secret of the Tmall Genie
Yuan Shuo had announced it over dinner. At this news, both Yuan elders were shocked. The both of them didn’t understand, “Why would he go and like a boy instead of a girl?”
“You know how this child Jin Jin is indifferent to all except for YunFei. Add to that they’re peers in their youth, it was natural for them to build up feelings with each other.”
Both Yuan elders were at a loss for words, “Look at you speaking up for him.”
Yuan Shuo couldn’t help but reply, “What else was I supposed to do? I have just this one son.”
Father Yuan heard this and smacked his hand against the table, “Then discipline him!”
“Is he someone I can discipline?” Yuan Shuo threw the question back at his father.
Father Yuan: … It was truly impossible…
“Then tell him…”
“Tell him what?” Yuan Shuo interjected and asked, “Tell him that if you want to be with Lu YunFei, then don’t come back to the Yuan family?”
“No,” Father Yuan opposed, “I have just this one grandson!”
“Then tell him what? Tell him that if you don’t break up with Lu YunFei, then forget about our Yuan family’s inheritance?”
“Then who else are you intending to give this to?” Father Yuan said angrily, “If you’re not giving it to your flesh and blood, who else are you giving it to?!”
Yuan Shuo spread out his hands, “So what can I say, I can only say that YunFei is quite a good choice. He’s obedient, sensible, talented, and handsome. Plus, his family has dealings with us. Most importantly, they’ve known each other since his bad times as childhood friends. They’re unlikely to have strife in the future, it’s quite good.”
Father and mother Yuan: … It did sound quite good. Apart from his gender, Lu YunFei was someone whom you couldn’t find fault with, and paired really well with their grandson, a warm to his cold.
Father and mother Yuan fell silent. Yuan Shuo looked at his parents and thought that this matter was more or less settled. However, right before the matter was closed, father Yuan gave him a meaningful glance, his tone heavy: “Then if Jin Jin and Xiao Fei are together, will they have children?”
Yuan Shuo: “…”
Father Yuan snorted angrily and pointed at his son as he said: “If Jin Jin doesn’t want children, then it’s all on you!”
Yuan Shuo could only smile awkwardly and hope fervently that his son wanted children.
Even though Bian JinYuan expected the Yuan family to not be much of an obstacle between himself and Lu YunFei, he hadn’t expected for them to accept it so quickly.
“We’ll have kids,” he said assertively, “Lu YunFei and I will be a family. Since we’re family, we’d definitely have a child.”
Yuan Shuo relaxed at this. Bian JinYuan saw how he virtually deflated with relief, and took the initiative to pour him a cup of tea.
Differing from how Bian JinYuan’s coming out was carried by Yuan Shuo, Lu YunFei’s coming out was entirely on his own.
Father and mother Lu looked at their son, completely in disbelief of what he had just said. In the end, Lu YunShang was the one who broke the silence as she calmly asked, “Are you serious?”
“With Bian JinYuan?”
“When did you start?”
Lu YunFei thought about it before saying, “We had some feelings for each other in high school, and got together in university.”
“He pursued you?”
“No,” Lu YunFei lied without batting an eye, “Does he look like the type to fall in love? I was the one who pursued him of course.”
Lu YunShang: … From my perspective, you don’t seem to be the type to fall in love either.
“Does his family know?” Father Lu asked.
“What do they think?”
“Uncle Yuan Shuo is really eager to be a family with you!” Lu YunFei said warmly.
Father Lu: …
Mother Lu worried, “But the both of you are boys.”
“But I like him,” Lu YunFei said, “Dad, mum, I know you’re opposed to this in your hearts, but I’ve thought it over carefully. For the first half of my life, I’ve always listened to you. I’ve tried to achieve things that you like, and tried to steer clear of things that you dislike. But we only have the one life to live. I can try to realise your requests, but at the same time, I have my own likes and dislikes. I think that I have the right to choose whom I wish to have by my side for the second half of my life.”
“I’ll have to leave home one day to set up a new home with someone else. Then, I’ll be spending most of my life in that home. I wish for the person in that home to be someone I like,” Lu YunFei looked at them and said quietly, “Otherwise, the rest of my life would be too pitiful.”
Father and mother Lu fell silent at his words.
That night, Lu YunShang and Lu YunFei chatted. Father Lu smoked half a box of cigarettes. Mother Lu looked out the window at the pitch black sky, and drew a long sigh, “That’s that then,” she said, “if they live well, that’s naturally the best; if they don’t live well, then life will teach them to turn back.”
Father Lu nodded and extinguished his cigarette.
Bian JinYuan also told Bian Jie. After her initial surprise, Bian Jie was silent for a while before she asked Bian JinYuan, “You’ve decided on this?”
Bian JinYuan nodded and said softly, “I like him.”
Bian Jie looked at him, at the child whom she had brought up, and nodded warmly, “Then I have no objections,” she said, “as long as you like him.”
Bian JinYuan was slightly taken aback by how easily she had agreed, but he smiled and said lightly, “Thank you small aunt.”
Bian Jie ruffled his hair, as a mother would with love and kindness. As she looked at him, she remembered when Bian Ting was carrying Bian JinYuan. Back then, she had looked at the solitary Bian Ting and advised her worriedly, “I think you should abort it. Otherwise, your future marriage and work would be affected. Jie jie, this will upend your entire future.”
But Bian Ting hadn’t listened to her and brought Bian JinYuan to the world all by herself, and even taught him well. In the numerous days that followed, Bian Jie celebrated Bian Ting’s independance. If not for Bian JinYuan, hers and Bian Ting’s lives would have lost so much colour.
Which was why when Bian JinYuan chose to walk his independent path, and was determined on his choice, Bian Jie didn’t wish to get in his way. She only wished that he would be able to receive the fulfillment and happiness that his mother had received on this path he chose.
“My Xiao Yuan is all grown up,” she said gently.
Bian JinYuan looked at the warmth in her eyes and reached out to hug her as he uttered, “Not grown up, I’m still your child.”
Bian Jie had a flash of tears. She ruffled Bian JinYuan’s hair and smiled wordlessly.
When Lu YunFei next saw Bian Jie, he could feel that her gaze towards him had seemed to have changed. He ducked into Bian JinYuan’s house in embarrassment, thinking about how soon they had actually come out. It was better than they had expected, with none of the expected furious opposition by their parents, as well as no dissuasions. What they had had was their families providing emotional support despite their rational disapprovals.
He and Bian JinYuan both had people who loved them very much.
Bian JinYuan helped Bian Jie to prepare vegetables, and washed some grapes to bring into the house to serve up to Lu YunFei.
Lu YunFei ate the grapes as they chatted, and got to the topic of their shared high school experiences. Lu YunFei suddenly wanted to look at their graduation photo that they had taken together, and Bian JinYuan opened the drawer to search for it. In the end, they weren’t able to search for the photo, but they had found something that he had virtually forgotten about—the broken red Tmall Genie.
It was the familiar Tmall Genie that they knew, red and seemingly normal, but in fact was anything but.
Lu YunFei looked at the Tmall Genie in his hands and chuckled, “You actually still had it with you.”
Bian JinYuan felt a bit nostalgic, “Yeah. It’s been years since it broke, I ought to throw it out.”
Lu YunFei took it from him and examined it closely as he asked, “Throw it and buy a new one?”
“That depends on whether you’d like a Tmall Genie at home.”
Lu YunFei smiled and said conspiratorially, “We’ve actually got one already.”
“You’re referring to the one you had?”
Lu YunFei shook his head.
Bian JinYuan didn’t understand.
The smile on Lu YunFei’s face deepened. He looked at Bian JinYuan as he got closer to him and whispered, “Actually, I’ve yet to tell you a secret.”
“What is it?”
“Do you really want to hear it? It’s quite fantastical.”
Bian JinYuan initially wasn’t too curious about it, but now he was hooked.
Lu YunFei raised the Tmall Genie in his hands, his eyes twinkling as he said, “Try calling out to the Tmall Genie.”
Bian JinYuan called out uncertainly, “Tmall Genie.”
“I’m here,” Lu YunFei immediately replied.
Bian JinYuan furrowed his brows, clear doubt in his eyes.
“Still haven’t realised?” Lu YunFei asked, “Do you still remember that《Little Crocodile》song?”
“I do, but what do you mean?”
“You still haven’t realised?” Lu YunFei shook the Tmall Genie in his hands, “Your Tmall Genie was actually different during the day and during the night.”
Bian JinYuan hadn’t discovered this point. After all, “I was mostly out during the day, so I wouldn’t have played with it. But how did you know?”
Good question, because, “I was on its night shift.”
As Lu YunFei spoke, he smiled, “It wasn’t my first time in your home during the winter break of year two. Before that, I’d already been in your house for a while, in here,” Lu YunFei pointed to the little red box, “I don’t know why, but ever since we became deskmates in the first semester, I’d mysteriously possess your Tmall Genie at 9pm every night. So, before you even liked me, I’d already noticed your presence.”
Bian JinYuan was shocked, and almost couldn’t believe it, “You’re saying that it was you who had been talking to me every night?”
Lu YunFei nodded, “Otherwise why wouldn’t it have no data on English, it was because I didn’t wish to speak English.”
At this, Bian JinYuan finally understood the questions that he had had, “But why didn’t you possess it after that? Why did it break?”
Lu YunFei shook his head, “I don’t know why either. But I clearly remember that it broke when I visited your home. Perhaps once I physcially entered your home, I could no longer visit your home virtually. Just as Cinderella’s magic, everything has a time limit.”
Bian JinYuan looked at him and looked back down at the little red box in his hands, feeling a sense of wonder. He could never have known that the person in front of him would have any relation to the Tmall Genie that had been stored away for so long. They were obviously different, but at the same time they were similar. This was such an inexplicable feeling that he didn’t know what to say in that moment.
“Isn’t it fantastical?” Lu YunFei asked, “Unimaginable?”
Bian JinYuan nodded.
“That’s why I never told you. If I hadn’t seen it today, I would probably never have told you.”
Bian JinYuan reached out to take the Tmall Genie from him and examined it carefully before saying gently, “Then I’d rather you tell me anyway, then at least I’d keep it with me. Otherwise, I could throw it out one day when I organise my things.”
Lu YunFei squinted his eyes at him, and Bian JinYuan shot a smile back, “But it’s a good thing that I’ve never thrown it out.”
Seriously speaking, Bian JinYuan didn’t wish for the Tmall Genie to have been Lu YunFei. They had met at a point where his environment was at its worst. If it could be helped, Bian JinYuan wished that Lu YunFei wouldn’t see him during his struggles. More than that, he hoped that he would always be at ease with Lu YunFei, confident and strong.
But thinking about it another way, if the Tmall Genie really was Lu YunFei, then from very early on, before he had even liked Lu YunFei, Lu YunFei was already accompanying him. Accompanying him to burn the midnight oil, to tell Shuang Shuang a story, to spend his birthday… those buried memories of the events resurfaced, and brought with them new meaning.
A low chuckle erupted from Bian JinYuan, as he said in a knowing tone, “No wonder you didn’t want me to buy another Tmall Genie. I was thinking, could an artificial intelligence be so intelligent? It was you all along.”
“Of course,” Lu YunFei retorted, “you already had me as your intelligent Tmall Genie, why would you need those other un-intelligent things? I was simply helping you!”
Bian JinYuan nodded slightly, “As my wife says so.”
At this, Lu YunFei got quiet.
Bian JinYuan looked at him and thought about all that had transpired between them. He suddenly thought that this was probably fate. Because of chance, he and Lu YunFei had different types of encounters, whether it be school, or at home, as a student, or as a Tmall Genie; Because of serendipity, they were meant to stay together always, no matter the obstacles posed from any individual, family, or society.
On this earth, some people had chance and no serendipity, while others had serendipity and no chance. But the both of them had clung tightly onto these two ends of fate, as they walked steadily towards each other.
In the fairytale, Cinderella had to leave the palace as the clock struck twelve. The magic wore away, leaving only a pair of crystal shoes as a testament to all that had happened. But in Lu YunFei’s story, he possessed the Tmall Genie as the clock struck nine. When it next struck nine, he would leave the Tmall Genie, leaving behind a broken Tmall Genie to prove that everything was true.
Lu YunFei plugged the Tmall Genie into the power socket, ready to try calling out to it, but heard Bian Jie say, “Xiao Yuan, Xiao Fei, come out to eat.”
Lu YunFei quickly stood up and pulled Bian JinYuan out with him.
Leaving behind the red Tmall Genie sitting upright, as if it were seeing them off.— This was the beginning of their story, and their ending would not be for a long time yet. Their future was set to be wonderful!
The author has something to say:
The end! This is finally completed~~ This story was supposed to be a short one at 200,000 words, but after I checked the word count when I finished, my god, I exceeded again, I’m really an author who can’t write short stories [hides face]. After you’ve finished this story, if you don’t mind, could everyone help me to rate five stars on the JJWXC platform? This is very important, muacks, I’m relying on you. Because this is how future readers would be willing to read this. If the score is too low, I suppose that people won’t be bothered to read it. Thank you (づ￣3￣)づ╭
Final chapter! Thank you everyone for staying with me on my first completed translation project. It’s been such a journey, and I hope you enjoyed this fluffy read! Do consider supporting this story by purchasing the official chapters – if I’m calculating this right, the locked VIP chapters cost a total of 620 JJ coins. I had paid US$17 for a package of 10,000 JJ coins, which means that this story cost about US$1.05. It’s super affordable! There are tutorials out there on how to navigate the complicated platform and how to use Paypal to pay for it if anyone’s keen.
I’ll be taking a break from translating for the moment, and am not sure when I’ll be back to start a new story (very likely one from Gongzi due to the JJWXC fiasco). I’m not confident I can commit to a regular schedule given how the past few months have been. But this site will definitely be staying up! Do let me know if there are issues with the site, because it’s definitely not supposed to be the case! Until then my fellow danmei readers!