translator: baumkuchen editors: serefina, glitterypanda
More than a thousand li away, in a noodle shop near the sports school.
Lou Sifan played with his noodles, a little preoccupied.
When He Changsheng, sitting across from him, saw that his expression was strange, he didn’t bother hiding it, directly asking, “What’s up with you? Is there something on your mind?”
Lou Sifan said, “It’s nothing.”
He Changsheng lowered his head and continued eating his rice noodles. “Oh.”
When he didn’t ask any further, Lou Sifan leaned in towards him, a smile on his lips. “If I just say ‘it’s nothing’, you’re not going to ask any further?”
He Changsheng raised his eyebrows. “……Ah?”
Lou Sifan liked this about He Changsheng. Usually he looked cold and indifferent, but actually his reactions were always a little slow. With this contrast, he seemed a little cuter.
With this kind of wanting to refuse but still welcoming, one step forward and one step back, Lou Sifan felt like the distance between them had lessened by a lot.
This even dispelled some of the distress in his heart.
He said, “The latest youth figure skating series has been quite lively. The coach organised a live broadcast for us during class.”
He Changsheng said, “We’re also watching it. We found a lot of good seedlings.”
Lou Sifan said, “The ones you guys are watching are all probably in the pair skating division. Guess whom I saw in the single skating division?”
He Changsheng slurped up his piping hot rice noodles. “Who is it, you know them?”
Lou Sifan just rested his chin on his hand and looked at him, seeming to not be planning on directly giving him the answer.
……That was to say, they both knew this person?
Very quickly, a child standing in the centre of a bathroom, his eyes filled with stubbornness and indifference, appeared in his mind. “……Is it that kid?”
Lou Sifan smiled and nodded.
That child called Dong Ge truly looked too similar to how He Changsheng looked when he first saw him.
At that time, He Changsheng had a split lip, cheeks bruised green and purple, and a whole chunk of his hair ripped off. He had been surrounded by a group of children from the sports school and kicked and beaten. When he helped him up, however, his eyes were still bright with stubbornness, extremely unwilling to admit his defeat.
Also, in his memories, little Dong Ge had been just as lonely as He Changsheng. He remembered seeing little Dong Ge sneakily feeding a little yellow dog before, and had also seen him skating alone, going off into a daze alone, and running off to the stands in the ice rink to cry after a quarrel between his parents.
This type of kind, sensitive, yet prickly person was most likely to arouse Lou Sifan’s protective instincts.
And most importantly, at that time, when Changsheng vaguely heard the sounds of a beating coming from the bathroom, his expression had become so ugly, so how could he just ignore it?
He Changsheng asked, “How did he do?”
Lou Sifan said, “The coach said we should study his transitions. He even said that in some areas, his transitions were even better than mine.”
Lou Sifan was praising Dong Ge so much in his speech that it made He Changsheng a little doubtful. “He’s that good?”
Lou Sifan got up and sat himself down next to He Changsheng. He pulled out his phone and played the video he’d recorded for He Changsheng to watch.
It was of Dong Ge’s second segment for the preliminaries.
He wore a black and white overalls-style costume, cinched in with a little blue belt. His hair had also been tied into a little ponytail, a bit of gold dusting the ends of his eyes and enhancing his indifferent, fluid gaze. Just one glance towards the camera was enough to let people see the stirring spirit within them.
The song he’d chosen was very lively, 《Kikujiro’s Summer》. The blades beneath his feet were just like an extension of his body. He did an uninterrupted series of small toe jumps on the ice, executing them with the ease of someone who had done it a million times.
But his body was also appropriately soft. When he successfully performed a perfect Biellmann spin following an eight-revolution layback spin, his light and graceful posture resembling a drop of water, it caused a large part of the audience to burst into cheers.
After single-mindedly watching the entire performance, he made an objective evaluation, “You should really learn from him.”
Lou Sifan who originally thought he would be comforted, “……”
After holding back for a long time, he said, “Why is it that you’re saying the exact same thing as Coach Chen?”
He Changsheng was a little puzzled. “Your transitions aren’t as good as his. Or else, what else do you want me to say?”
Lou Sifan decided to not discuss this topic anymore.
After all, comparing oneself with a junior was never something that would put anyone in a good mood.
He said, “It’s a good thing we helped him out in the beginning, isn’t it?”
We’re sorry for MTLers or people who like using reading mode, but our translations keep getting stolen by aggregators so we’re going to bring back the copy protection. If you need to MTL please retype the gibberish parts.
Lf Jtjcurtfcu atbeuta obg j wbwfca. Lf gfwjlcfv rlifca.
……He clearly remembered that day that it was Dong Ge himself, holding a bare mop, who had carried the whole scene.
Po atfs tjv mbwf j ilaaif ijafg, wjsyf Gbcu Xf kbeiv tjnf mbwqifafis kgfmxfv jii obeg bo atfw ys tlwrfio.
Ktlcxlcu jybea atja ilaaif xlv’r ‘ilof-ajxlcu’ wbq, Lf Jtjcurtfcu tjv atf riluta eguf ab ijeut.
Fqbc rfflcu Lf Jtjcurtfcu iloa atf mbgcfgr bo tlr ilqr rilutais lc j gjgf rwlif, Obe Vlojc bo mbegrf atbeuta atja tf kjr rwlilcu ja tlw. Llr wbbv lcrajcais lwqgbnfv ys j iba.
Whenever he saw Dong Ge skating freely and fluidly on the competition rink, he always couldn’t help but think, if he hadn’t made a move in the beginning, helping him out in the toilet, and expressing that they knew each other, right now, he might still be suppressed by the bullying of a group of kids his age. Even if he hit back on the spot, they would inevitably come back to take their revenge afterwards. It would have been impossible for him to get such a good opportunity.
In other words, without his help at that time, he might not have had the chance to appear in this competition……
Thinking of this, Lou Sifan once more felt an inexplicable wave of restlessness. He sat back down in his original seat, and took a few mouthfuls of his already-cold noodles, making himself think a little more positively.
……Putting it like this, Dong Ge would definitely feel very grateful to him.
Just like He Changsheng in the beginning.
Thinking this way, Lou Sifan’s expression finally eased by a lot.
Chi Xiaochi couldn’t be bothered to follow his line of thought. Wasn’t Lou Sifan disgusting enough already?
Since his first public appearance, he had become a media darling. After he successfully entered the finals, even more media personnel came to interview him and Madam Dong.
Facing the camera for the first time, Madam Dong was both shy and nervous. Dong Ge sat by her side accompanying her, silently holding her hand, helping her relax, solemn as if he were already a little adult.
When the media asked her how she had brought her child up to be so excellent, Madam Dong’s face turned completely red. Where would she find the shamelessness to paste gold on her face? She could only stutteringly say, it was all her son’s own hard work.
When she said this, she snuck a glance at Dong Ge.
Dong Ge was currently also sneakily peeking at her, his eyes filled with a childish longing.
But after his and Madam Dong’s eyes met for a few seconds, he was as if he awoke from a dream. Like a startled rabbit, he immediately averted his gaze.
His gaze was like a direct hit to Madam Dong’s heart. Her nose immediately turned sour.
After the reporters left, Dong Ge moved down the hotel sofa, sitting next to the bed. He said restrainedly, “Mom, I’ll stay here a while longer, until uncle comes over to take me back to the hotel the competitors are staying at.”
Madam Dong sighed, her hands rubbing restlessly at the seam of her trousers. She didn’t know what to say.
The sports channel on the television was playing this year’s Skate Canada International’s highlight reel. As the melodious music played, Dong Ge suddenly heard Madam Dong’s evaluation from behind him.
“From what I see, your skating is about as good as theirs, huh.”
Every time Dong Ge spoke to Madam Dong, he would become a little nervous. His back muscles tensed. “Their skating is much better than mine.”
Madam Dong got anxious and replied domineeringly, “If Mom says you’re good then you’re good.”
Upon hearing this, Dong Ge was stunned, turning back to look at her.
His eyes slowly filled with happy surprise. “……Mom……”
Madam Dong moved herself to sit next to him, her expression a little ashamed. “Mom will watch this together with you.”
As Dong Ge looked at his mother, tears suddenly started rolling down, big and round droplets falling one after another, soaking his eyelashes.
Madam Dong’s heart hurt so much for him that her eyes had also turned red. She pulled her child into her arms in a hug. “What are you crying about, a boy……”
Before she could finish, she also started crying.
Dong Ge wiggled a little in her embrace, as if embarrassed, but was hugged even tighter by Madam Dong.
As she wiped at her face, she said in a teary voice, “Aiya, Mom looks incredibly unsightly like this, don’t look.”
As a result of this round of intimacy, Chi Xiaochi excused himself for a bath, ran into the bathroom, turned the water on to its strongest, leaned over the sink and vomited until his little face turned green.
061 was incredibly distressed. He got him a glass full of clean water. “Why did you cry?”
Chi Xiaochi took the glass and rinsed out his mouth. It took a long time before he could speak again, “……It wasn’t me crying.”
061 started slightly. “You’re saying……”
Chi Xiaochi unbuttoned the top button on his shirt and took a deep breath. “It was Dong Ge.”
When Dong Feihong came to pick him up, he saw that this pair of mother and son both had a pair of peach eyes.
He didn’t say anything. After greeting Madam Dong, he started taking Dong Ge back to his hotel.
Madam Dong had just resolved things with her son. She said rather reluctantly, “Can’t he eat here? I’ll take him out to eat something good.”
Dong Feihong knew that this was a good time for them to stabilise their mother and son relationship, but after some consideration, he said, “Sister-in-law, tomorrow is the finals. This child needs to keep his energy up. He’ll be eating the meal prepared for competitors, which is both full of nutrients and clean. If you take him out, what if he eats something bad and upsets his stomach……”
Madam Dong immediately responded, “That wouldn’t be good. ……Take him back then, be safe on the road. After the competition ends tomorrow, Mom will take you to a good restaurant.”
Dong Feihong nodded with a smile, then said to Dong Ge, “Say goodbye to your mother.”
Dong Ge nodded slightly, “Bye Mom.”
After walking out of the hotel room, he then poked his head back in and said in a small voice, “……I’ll win first place.”
When the door closed, the middle-aged woman sat down on the bed, her heart sour yet sweet, filled with every kind of emotion.
The next day, she came to the stadium early, so early that the stadium wasn’t even open yet.
While waiting, she bought a souvenir book and a souvenir coin, even buying a pair of ice skates that looked incredibly gorgeous but didn’t at all meet competition standards.
Her anxiety was completely captured in Dong Feihong’s eyes. “Sister-in-law, you should have a little confidence in Dong Ge.”
Madam Dong’s mouth was stiff. She said, “I do, how can you say I don’t. How could I possibly not know my own son?”
Even though she said this, before Dong Ge came on, she went to the toilet three times, and asked Dong Feihong “when will Xiao Ge come on” at least five times.
Every time, Dong Feihong would patiently repeat the rule about appearance order following the reverse ranking order.
Dong Ge’s total points from his previous round earned him first place, so he would be the last to appear.
After having listened to Dong Feihong’s explanation, Madam Dong would always let out a thoughtful “oh”, and then after another while she would once again be unable to keep from asking the same question.
She even couldn’t resist running to the smoking section and smoking a cigarette.
After a long wait, the commentator finally announced, “The next competitor, and also the last competitor to come up: No. 5, Dong Ge!”
Before Madam Dong could stand, she was struck dumb by the cheers and applause coming from the entire stadium.
……Practically everyone around her was cheering for her son.
They called out Dong Ge’s name, wanting to see for themselves the rise of tomorrow’s star.
As Madam Dong sat in the stands, she was assaulted by a huge wave of emotions, making her eyes well up with hot tears before she even saw her son’s performance begin.
Dong Feihong patted Madam Dong on the shoulder with one hand, and at the same time, watched the person in the centre of the rink attentively.
Chi Xiaochi, or rather, Dong Ge, was wearing an elegant, flowy costume today. On his upper half was a red top that faded to white, with a classical colour and lustre and a texture that was just like top-notch porcelain glaze. On his bottom half was a pair of pure black pants, which especially emphasized his pair of naturally long legs.
His skin was on the paler side, so the brilliant red contrasted perfectly with the paleness of his skin. The woven silk clothing seemed especially flowy on his body.
Every outfit that had appeared on his body had been designed together by Dong Ge and Dong Feihong, and then made by an expert that Dong Feihong had hired. Every set was worth more than ten thousand yuan.
And this current outfit, was Dong Feihong’s favourite.
When Dong Ge put it on, he looked just like a young and prideful little phoenix.
These finals were being broadcasted live on the sports channel.
At that moment, it wasn’t just Dong Feihong and Madam Dong, Mister Dong was also squatting in front of the television, watching attentively with a few old friends.
Old Friend A pointed at the Dong Ge in the television and said, “Yi, Xiao Dong Ge looks really spirited.”
Mister Dong’s mouth fell open slightly.
In his memories, Dong Ge was a snot-nosed child bundled up into a ball, who didn’t like to talk and didn’t even like looking up at other people. Even three whacks with a rod couldn’t even get a fart out of him.
But that half-grown youth standing on the rink, with calm features, a slender waist, and long legs, was actually poles apart from the little bratty kid in his memories.
The pair-skating finals had already ended the day before, so both He Changsheng’s and Lou Sifan’s classrooms were showing a simultaneous broadcast of Dong Ge’s competition.
He Changsheng spun his pen in his hand, watching this younger brother who still had limitless possibilities, wanting to see what he could do.
Lou Sifan also stared at the screen. It was unknown what he was thinking.
Under countless tangible and intangible eyes, Dong Ge placed one hand on his shoulder. His eyes were half-lidded, like a resting kitten.
The moment the music started, he moved.
The commentary was still being made by the two men who commentated Dong Ge’s preliminary round, but like everyone else, their gazes towards Dong Ge were completely unlike the gazes they had used to look at Dong Ge during the preliminary round.
Upon hearing the music, the non-professional commentator immediately said, “This song is 《The Dawn》.”
The retired skater looked towards Dong Ge like he was looking at a future hope. “He can adapt to different performance styles.”
Under the warm lights, the ice shimmered faintly. The youth’s silky clothes fluttered in the wind.
The woven silk wrapped around his body like flowing water. His movements were still as smooth and fluid, but his dance steps had become much more gorgeous.
An elegant hydroblade, followed by an illusion spin was already enough to make the entire stadium break out into cheers.
And as the music gradually reached its climax, Dong Ge’s gaze gradually blurred.
……A struggling departed spirit was going through the fires of hell, experiencing rebirth in flames.
As the low voice began reciting its lines, Dong Ge’s lips parted slightly, silently reciting the words along with the song. Then, he opened his mouth, pulled off his right glove with his teeth, and threw it towards the crowd.
When he was still alive, this action had raised a lot of criticism, with many people thinking he was just being a sensationalist. Yet at this moment, after he threw it, the entire stadium practically exploded.
Before the cheers fell, he lifted his wrist, and threw himself off the ice in a jump.
The retired skater suddenly choked. He cried out in a hoarse voice, “3A! It’s a 3A!”
A 3A jumped by a child! A perfect, flawless 3A!
Seeing this, all the way in Binzhou, Lou Sifan’s jaw dropped.
In the next classroom over, He Changsheng’s pen clattered onto the table.
But Dong Ge’s heartbeat didn’t even speed up. As the music slowed, he stretched open his arms to form an arabesque, skating along half the rink as if roaming around his own territory.
He was back.
Dong Ge was back.
When the music fell, only then did Dong Ge’s tears fall as his heart began to pound.
Just as he turned to look at the camera, a teardrop rolled down his face. Paired with his slightly sweaty fringe and pure eyes, his beauty made one’s heart skip.
As Chi Xiaochi gasped for breath, he said to 061, “This time, it’s me crying.”
This single tear truly drove the media crazy. For a time, countless exaggerated praises rushed at Dong Ge like snowflakes.
And before Dong Ge had even returned to Binshi, an invitation letter from the provincial figure skating team was sent to the sports school.
The author has something to say:
“He has this opportunity entirely because of me.”
“He’ll be grateful to me.”
Experience for a moment how Fake Lou, like rain, silently, softly, moistening all, beautifies and boosts himself up……
He really thinks he’s a Holy Mother _(:з」∠)_
sere: sleeping plot finally stirred a bit after we all got sidetracked by the fluff
baum: i have no idea why there are three programs here. i have two possibilities: 1, there is only one prelim, the one last chapter was his short program, the summer one is his long program, and because DG is extra he came up with a new long program for finals, or 2, there are two prelims, DG is super extra and so he came up with three different long programs (cause free skates are longer and skaters have more freedom with them so i would expect author to focus more on them, rather than the short program)
also, I just found out that there are trashbin fanfics!! although, there are spoilers abound there so be warned if you want to check them out. like, just going onto the ao3 page spoils 023’s name hahaha
I like the fact that the very first fanfic posted features Elder Sun <3 he has had to deal with so much shit from CXC, the poor man. He’s one of my faves even though he doesn’t ever get much screentime~ also, if anyone here reads the raws and is starved for more Sun Guangren, he shows up in 我恐怕是一条咸鱼了
anyways, the songs: