----- This translation belongs to konila.com -----
----- THIS TRANSLATION BELONGS TO konila.com -----
----- This translation belongs to konila.com -----
----- This translation belongs to konila.com -----
It was New Year’s Eve, so there were many visitors at the Yu family. It was one of the most important holidays, and many invited the Young Master outside.
However, he didn’t like the hustle and bustle of the adults. He didn’t want to converse with unfamiliar people.
He sat alone with the three dogs on the balcony, peacefully reading a book. The dogs lied quietly by his side. Dahuang was aging and had become a lot less playful and energetic.
A few moments later, the Young Master lifted his head to face the night sky. Shuishui had departed at six in the morning for her hometown, so she should have arrived by now.
What is she doing there, is it cold in the mountains?
The Young Master knew that Lin Miao had a special connection with her birthplace. To outsiders, it might just seem like it was only a place full of hardships.
However, it was the complete opposite in Lin Miao’s heart. In her memory, everything in the village was great. She had friends, there were mushrooms and dry firewood everywhere, and it was filled with joy.
The Young Master took back his gaze and fell into contemplation.
His thoughts were suddenly interrupted by a ring from his phone.
One of his roommates had shared his phone number without his permission, so he received many blessings and messages this year.
He thought that this was just one of those messages.
To his surprise, when he lifted his phone and saw the notification banner, it was from Lin Miao. It had the words “I like Gege.”
The Young Master froze, feeling that his heart had just skipped half a beat. He was strangely confused even though he could read those words.
He soon collected himself and opened the message.
“Happy New Year, Gege! I like you so so so much! I hope we never separate from each other in the future!”
The Young Master felt dry in his mouth. Having known her for a long time, he realized that she must have encountered something.
“Yes, let’s never seperate.” The Young Master replied.
He quickly followed up with another message: “Shuishui, is there something wrong?”
Lin Miao soon replied: “Gege, all my friends are getting married, I don’t feel so well…”
The Young Master was bewildered, but he continued to comfort her, “Gege will always be with you.”
“Shuishui, can you take calls right now?”
“Yes, I’m on the roof alone.”
Seeing the message, the Young Master quickly dialed in Lin Miao’s number.
Lin Miao’s voice soon came from the phone, “Gege.”
Mhm. Of course he preferred to reach out to Lin Miao.
Not the other way around.
“It’s cold on the roof, Shuishui, go back to your room.”
“No, it's not.” Lin Miao said. Little Mei had left something on the roof to shield against the wind.
Thinking about Little Mei, she couldn’t help but feel a bit sad. “Gege, why can't people stay the same when they grow up?”
Tan Jing had mentioned it before. When her older brother grows old enough and marries, she won’t always be with him like she is now.
Tonight, Lin Miao was immensely saddened.
Lin Miao grew up in the village, then moved to the Young Master’s house, and finally to her sports school. She had retained her simplistic and pure understandings of this world.
The Young Master should have told her—told her that everyone grows up, and that when they do, they would become like the adults around her.
Doing everything they can to survive.
However, he held those words back and promised instead, “I’ll still be by your side when you grow up.”
Lin Miao was happy, “I’ll also be with you, too.”
Looking at the silhouettes from afar, and then the sky dotted with stars, she thought of her friends, now all away. Her mother told her that they had all been married. Tan Jing even said that her older brother won’t be with her anymore when he gets married. “Gege, even if we get married in the future, we should live by each other.”
The Young Master felt as if he had just taken a punch to the stomach. He asked, keeping his tone neutral, “Why is Shuishui thinking about marriage? Do you have someone you like? Is he from your team?”
Lin Miao was a bit embarrassed. She spoke with the shyness of a little girl, “No. I just… heard them talk about it.”
During dinner, the village head kept saying how she needs to marry into a family in the city. Her father said that she was too young and would decide herself later.
Lin Miao was quite awkward through this situation.
“I’m not marrying.” The Young Master said without much thought.
“Huh?” Lin Miao was stunned. It was the norm to marry. There was a man in her village who didn’t marry, and everyone laughed at him.
“But they’d laugh at you if you don’t marry someone.” Gege is so excellent, how can he be laughed at?
The Young Master looked at the partying crowd in the garden and patted the chubby Dahuang’s head. The dog rubbed against his hand tiredly.
“But, I don’t want to.” The Young Master said.
Lin Miao thought for a moment, “Okay then, I’m also going to stay single with you.” If someone is going to laugh at him, they might as well laugh at us.
The Young Master felt as if his heart had been poked by something. He had a hidden and unspeakable joy, but also a small yet unignorable bitterness.
“Okay.” He said to the person on the other side of the phone.
The two chatted for a great while, and after much urging from the Young Master, Lin Miao returned inside her room to sleep.
After disconnecting, the Young Master read over the message again and continued to read his book.
Then, he put his book down and stared quietly at the night sky.
Lin Miao said that she could see thousands of stars at her village.
Over at his side, there was only the dusky gray sky and the tens of thousands of artificial lights.
It felt as if they were in two different worlds.
He suddenly recalled his nightmare in the hotel.
He was the only one there, without Lin Miao.
Lin Miao woke up very early the next day. She was really obedient to the coach.
Before the break, her coach had reminded them to exercise regularity and remain flexible. He didn’t want them to just pick up the kilos.
So, she woke up for a run at the beginning of dawn.
The early morning in the village was misty.
Lin Miao ran up the mountains and crossed the ditches wearing only a single layer of clothes. She was flying across the paths.
She reminisced about her past as she ran. Back in those days, she used to head home this way, and her mother would wait for her at their house.
It felt as if she had returned to her childhood.
The childhood that seemed to be endlessly filled with joy.
She treasured those memories.
At the summit of the mountain, she could almost see the top of the sun afar.
Lin Miao was about to descend back down when she saw some zanzibar gems leaves on the rock face.
She and her friends had loved picking these. They could sell it for good money after it dried.
Lin Miao remembered seeing a lot in the village head’s backyard. They were probably collected by the village head’s youngest daughter, Da Mei, and Xiao Mei’s younger sister, Xiao Ying.
Xiao Ying was still a newborn baby when she had left, and was now only seven years old, so they weren’t very familiar.
Lin Miao carried an armful back.
Everyone else had woken up when she returned to the village head’s house. Lin Miao gave all the leaves to Xiao Ying, who shyly thanked her.
She was very timid.
To Little Ying, Lin Miao was someone who came from a big city.
Lin Miao followed her parents to their house for the ceremony.
Their home was now plastered with spider webs, and the tables were covered with dust. It lost its sense of home.
They cleaned up the house. Then they burned paper and prayed to their ancestors.
When they returned to the village head’s house, they saw a woman with a baby on her back. She was doing the dishes, her back facing them. Over her shoulders, she was wearing the common red straps from the village.
“Xiao Mei, Shuishui just came back from the ceremony.” The village head said smilingly.
“Hearing that you’re returning, Little Mei returned early for Shuishui.”
Lin Miao paused. She then saw the woman doing the dishes turn around and looked at her with surprise, “Shuishui!”
When Lin Miao left with the Master, Little Mei was still a little girl who occasionally argued with her older sister Da Mei.
Now, she was wearing cotton clothing meant for women in the village. She wore earrings, and her face was a waxy yellow. She carried a child on her back, and beside her were the dishes from breakfast.
Little Mei also saw how her friend looked like for the first time in many years. Lin Miao was white and skinny. She wore a white coat and a skirt. No one in the town looked as good as her. Little Mei awkwardly wiped her hands on her apron.
A young man walked out of the room. “Dad, Gangzi asked me to play a few rounds of cards. I’ll be back soon for lunch.”
He then told Little Mei, “Mom just called. She said she wants you back soon. She needs another hand at home.”
Lin Miao could infer that the man was Little Mei’s husband. Lin Miao walked over to her. The child on her back had already fallen asleep, showing red cheeks.
It wasn’t Lin Miao’s first time seeing children so little, but it was her first time seeing her friend’s child. Lin Miao also didn’t anticipate her friends to return, but now that they did, she was extremely pleased. Her excitement took over, seeing that the child was asleep, she quietly asked, “Little Mei, is this your kid? Looks so pretty!”
Little Mei felt shy. “Wait a moment, I’m almost done.”
Lin Miao had sat down and started helping her wash the dishes.
“I can do it myself, you’re my guest.” Little Mei said immediately.
“It’s faster if both of us do it.” Lin Miao responded.
The dishes were washed in a big basin. The two sat in the corner.
The adults continued to socialize on the other side.
Dishes in their hands, Little Mei took the initiative to start another conversation, “Are you still going to school?”
Everyone knew in the village that Lin Miao had returned after working outside for a bit over half a year because it was too laborious.
The village head was quite vague when he spread the news, so Little Mei didn’t know much further than that.
Lin Miao nodded.
“Mhm, studying is great.” Little Mei commented.
Lin Miao was pretty efficient, and the two finished the dishes in no time.
Lin Miao then followed Little Mei upstairs. She used to be a frequent visitor at the village head’s house as they had an intimate friendship.
However, the two found themselves a bit awkward now that the initial excitement had worn off.
She had a lot of thoughts in her head, but she didn’t know where to start.
Little Mei then took a stick and dug under the bed. Out came many golden yellow pomelos.
“It’s from the tree in your yard. I picked some last time I came back and left them here.”
----- This translation belongs to konila.com -----Awesome!
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