translator: baumkuchen editors: serefina, glitterypanda
Dong Feihong paid for the dessert.
When dessert time was over, he accompanied Dong Ge in slowly strolling down the boulevard, walking around aimlessly.
He wore a long, camel-coloured coat, and a white scarf was wrapped around his neck. They weren’t any high-grade, expensive, branded goods, but they suited his temperament perfectly.
The wind stirred the corners of his clothes, revealing a slight outline of his slender, curved calves.
Chi Xiaochi walked along next to him, carrying a butter tart in his hands.
Dong Feihong looked down at the paper bag in his hands. “Do you like eating this?”
Chi Xiaochi said, “It tastes pretty good. Luo Sen recommended it to me last time.”
Luo Sen was a Canadian figure skater. He was a chatterbox who loved to drag people into heart-to-heart conversations and was so talkative that he made one’s head hurt, to the point that just seeing him open his mouth made Chi Xiaochi feel like it was the balding school dean talking to him.
Dong Feihong took the paper bag. “If you like it, after we get back I’ll learn how to make it for you.”
Chi Xiaochi asked, “Can you make it?”
Dong Feihong opened the paper bag and looked inside. How many grams of whipping cream was in it, how many grams of bread was in it, how long the dough had been left to rest, how long it had been baked, what kind of baking paper had been used, all this information flashed before his eyes, as clear as could be.
After extracting all the information he needed, he moved the bag to his right hand. “Uncle will try his best.”
In the next second, he felt something strange in his right hand.
……A hand much smaller than his had very naturally grabbed onto the web between his thumb and index finger, reached out its index finger and placed it between the handle of the paper bag along with him.
Dong Feihong’s expression changed slightly.
He looked around and saw that not far away was a street performer, currently twisting balloons into all kinds of shapes.
He said, “How about uncle also twists a balloon for you as a souvenir?”
Chi Xiaochi nodded.
So, he naturally pulled his hand away. “Wait here for me, don’t run around, okay?”
He placed his hand into his jacket pocket and hurried away.
Once he was far enough, 061 asked, “Has your aversion to touch gotten better?”
Chi Xiaochi felt like 061’s tone sounded a little strange. “……It’s been alright, I suppose. Hasn’t acted up recently.”
061 pointed out, drawing blood at first prick, “There was an incident last Sunday.” When he ranked first in the qualifiers, his coach had excitedly engulfed him in a hug. The very moment he looked away, Chi Xiaochi had run to the bathroom and vomited for three minutes.
Chi Xiaochi quibbled, “That was a whole three days ago.”
Chi Xiaochi, “Alright, Liu-laoshi, I admit my wrongs, from now on, I won’t foolishly get attached to plot characters, so don’t be angry.”
061 said angrily, “I’m not angry.”
Chi Xiaochi said shamelessly, “If I do it again next time, I’ll copy a book, okay?”
061, “Copy code.”
Wily student Chi Xiaochi immediately went along with him, “Copy code, copy code, copy it once properly then copy it once upside down.”
061 couldn’t help but laugh, “……Mm, cough.”
Having appeased Liu-laoshi, Chi Xiaochi didn’t speak again, just looking down at his own hand.
……So holding Lou-ge’s hand after he grew up, would feel like this, huh.
On the other end, 061 also couldn’t tell where that anger had come from. When it built up in his chest, it was truly uncomfortable, but when he let it out, he then found his own actions inexplicable.
His illness was getting better, wasn’t that a good thing?
As he thought about it like this, he subconsciously held his right hand, which still held some of Chi Xiaochi’s residual warmth, and the corners of his mouth subconsciously curved up slightly.
……Even he himself didn’t notice.
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.
Ktlr ybeifnjgv kjr mibrf ab j ibmji eclnfgrlas. Ktfgf kfgf delaf j iba bo ofwjif eclnfgrlas raevfcar kjamtlcu atf yjiibbc jgalra’r qfgobgwjcmf, jcv atf jqqfjgjcmf bo jc fjrafgc ojmf kjr ageis j ilaaif jygeqa.
He watched seriously for a while, before using a very gentle RP accent to say, “Sorry to interrupt. I’d like one that’s shaped like a puppy, is that okay?”
Ktf jgalra kjr Zfzlmjc. Lf rjlv lc j pbmeijg abcf, “Zlrafg, ktja ygffv vb sbe kjca? Aera rjslcu lc jvnjcmf, P tjaf abs qbbvifr.”
Dong Feihong pursed his lips in a smile. “An ordinary puppy.” Just ordinary like Dog Meat was would be fine.
Dong Feihong’s face was already tending to the handsome side, paired with his gentle, jade-like temperament and taste, he was simply fatally attractive to a lot of girls.
Noticing the burning gazes coming from around him, Dong Feihong naturally looked over and nodded slightly at one of the girls with a smile. “Do you want one?”
The eyes of a girl wearing a red coat lit up. “Can I?”
“It would be my pleasure. But, if I may be so bold as to ask, do you have a coin?”
Another slightly plump, ruddy-faced young lady raised her hand. “I have one.”
Dong Feihong looked back, towards Dong Ge, before looking back at them. “It’s like this. Me and my child are here on a holiday, I want to collect a few coins from strangers and save them up to wish him a happy life.”
Upon hearing the two words “my child”, those young ladies exchanged looks. As one, their slight disappointment quickly turned into admiration.
The plump girl took out a coin.
All the girls who had coins on them took one out.
The girl in a red coat asked, “Do we need to say anything in particular?”
Dong Feihong said, “As long as you’re wishing him well, anything’s fine.”
“What’s your child’s name?”
Dong Feihong smiled lightly, “His Chinese name is Dong Ge, and his English name is July.”
Dong Ge was Dong Ge, while July was Chi Xiaochi’s English name.
This way, the well-wishes he collected would be doubled.
The young ladies made their sincere wishes. Dong Feihong accepted their coins thanked them, then took out his wallet and gave the artist a hundred-dollar bill. “May I trouble you to make one for each of them?”
After that, he took his puppy and walked back to where Chi Xiaochi was waiting for him.
Seeing the coins in his hands, Chi Xiaochi had already long gotten used to it. “You got lucky coins again?”
Dong Feihong smiled and handed him the puppy, then let the coins fall, jingling, into his pocket.
Over these few years, time was going by 12 times faster, but the three people’s experiences together were real.
Every time they went to another country, Dong Feihong would collect coins and goodwill from passers-by, then store them away.
The coins were of different colours, different values, kept together, they already filled up an entire jar.
As they walked, Chi Xiaochi said, “The coin jar is already almost full.”
Dong Feihong said, “Then I’ll just get a new one.”
Chi Xiaochi held up his balloon. Looking it over carefully, he said, “I’ll give you a name. I’ll call you Dog Meat.”
Dong Feihong laughed, “What kind of name is that?”
Chi Xiaochi said, “I’m calling it Dog Meat.”
Dong Feihong gave it some token thought, before choosing to give in. “Alright.”
Only after this charmingly simple Dog Meat ran out of air did Chi Xiaochi and Dong Feihong get on the plane leaving Toronto.
Dong Feihong’s home was a little far from the sports school, but was very close to the provincial team headquarters. Ever since Dong Ge joined the provincial team, he often came by to visit him. Now that he had transferred to the adult division, Dong Feihong naturally came to help him move.
Dong Ge’s hair had gotten long again. After thinking it over while facing the mirror for half a day, Chi Xiaochi tied it up in a high ponytail.
Even though they were both part of the same provincial team, the adult division and the junior division dorms were on different levels and their training grounds were different. The division between the two groups as clear as the rivers Jing and Wei.
As Dong Feihong moved his luggage into the car, Chi Xiaochi sat on the luggage, wheeling back and forth.
Despite such a childish august countenance, when the junior division members passing by encountered him, their attitudes immediately became a lot more restrained:
Dong Ge, this name was fated to ask for a beating, just by calling it out properly would be like giving him an unfair advantage. As such, when he first entered the junior division, many people had complained about it behind his back.
But slowly, as time passed, no one ever questioned this name again. Even a large portion of the team members who were older than him were willing to sincerely and wholeheartedly call him “Dong-ge”.
Firstly, it was because he had slowly gained the qualifications, secondly, it was because of the championships under his belt.
With qualifications, one could at most be considered an old youtiao, but only awards were proper backing.
After putting the luggage away, Dong Feihong sat down on the bed. “So what now, are you going to go off to train first, or do you want to go get something to eat first?”
Dong Ge said, “Let’s go to the dining hall. Today is Saturday, the dining hall is selling roast chicken. Madam Liu promised to save one for me.”
Dong Ge and Dong Feihong both really liked eating the dining hall’s roast chicken. The skin was crisp and the meat was tender, the quality of the meat soft and well-cooked. If one were to stick their chopsticks in from the back, they would be able to directly and easily tear it in two. Paired with barbeque sauce, it could be considered the peak of human cuisine.
As the two of them thought of roast chicken, neither of them expected that the moment they stepped out the door, they would bump into Lou Sifan, just back from training.
Chi Xiaochi was immediately energised. “Yoho, the ATM’s here.”
061, “……You haven’t forgotten what his name is, right?”
Chi Xiaochi, “I know it, isn’t he surnamed Lou?”
061, “Lou, and what then?”
Chi Xiaochi, “Lou, and oh, what was it?”
061, “……Lou Sifan.”
Chi Xiaochi, “Oh oh oh.”
061, “……” How many meanings does oh oh oh have, huh?
In Lou Sifan’s hands was a thermos. When he saw Dong Ge, his gaze froze over for a moment.
But he quickly let out a warm and polite little smile. “You’re back?”
Dong Ge nodded slightly. “En, I’m here.”
Lou Sifan had asked, “you’re back”, but Dong Ge had answered, “I’m here”.
Clearly, their question and answer were talking about two different things.
Dong Ge answering this way held a hint of provocation, but it was also in line with his rumoured “arrogance”.
Lou Sifan of course couldn’t squabble with a junior over this. He said, “You did pretty well in your competition. Getting first place in your first time competing in the adult division, it’s really a good beginning.”
Dong Ge said, “Thank you, Fan-ge.”
Seeing Dong Ge wasn’t going to ask any further, Lou Sifan let out an imperceptible sigh of relief.
Originally, he had also been able to participate in this Grand Prix, but who knew than in his first segment of the preliminaries he would stumble and fall. The very next day, he bought a ticket and flew back.
Chi Xiaochi also knew about this plot point.
In the last timeline, Dong Ge had entered the adult division three months later than he had in this timeline, and as such was not qualified to participate in this Grand Prix.
When Lou Sifan returned in frustration, he’d even taken half the day off and came to the provincial team to skate with him.
This time, Dong Ge didn’t have that American time to idle around with him, instead taking the laurel he didn’t manage to get and strolling back.
Lou Sifan of course didn’t want to continue with this topic, so he turned his gaze to Dong Feihong. “I’ve seen you before, you’re…… Dong Ge’s uncle?”
They were both in the provincial team, so they were bound to see much of each other. Of course this wasn’t Lou Sifan’s first time seeing Dong Feihong coming to find Dong Ge.
Dong Feihong replied politely, “That’s me. You should be Dong Ge’s senior, right? There’s also another kid, surnamed He.”
Lou Sifan, “You’re talking about Changsheng?”
Dong Feihong, “Ah. It should be him.”
Lou Sifan reached out his hand, wanting to shake hands with him, expressing his resolution according to etiquette, “I’ll take good care of Dong……”
Just then, the door to the dorm room next door to Dong Ge’s opened.
He Changsheng, wearing shorts and a black singlet, appeared behind the door. The all-black outfit emphasized the extremely slender, beautiful lines of his muscles.
He glanced at Dong Ge, “Dong Ge, you’re here?”
As soon as his words fell, he slumped down, falling headfirst into Dong Ge’s arms.
Chi Xiaochi didn’t have the time to become nauseous before being shocked by the temperature of his forehead.
Fuck, it’s burning like a well cover in summer.
Dong Feihong immediately, without a word, lifted He Changsheng up, moving him a little further away from Dong Ge. “Are you alright?”
Fortunately, He Changsheng hadn’t really fainted from the fever, he had just heard someone talking outside the door from on his bed, got up too quickly, and became a little dazed for a moment.
He raised his eyes, wet from the fever, and his tone was as proper as always, “I’m fine.”
Dong Feihong touched his forehead. “You’ve got such a high fever, you should go see a doctor.”
He Changsheng’s logic was still very clear. “No need. This is just how my physique is. My fevers come quickly, but they also go quickly. I’ll be fine in a day, and I’ll be able to get back to training by tomorrow.”
Lou Sifan glanced at Dong Ge. Finding that his expression hadn’t changed at all, he raised the thermos in his hand. “The patient food I brought him.”
Dong Feihong said, “Then you should eat quickly. I’m also bringing Dong Ge off to eat now. From today onwards, Dong Ge will be living next door to you, so I’ll have to trouble you to look after him more.”
Suddenly being entrusted with someone, He Changsheng blinked, almost making the water in his eyes escape. “I will.”
After handing He Changsheng to Lou Sifan, Dong Feihong originally planned to leave with Dong Ge, but the latter was called back by Lou Sifan, “Dong Ge, I’ll have training in the afternoon, so can you come and take care of Changsheng for a bit?”
Dong Ge stood still. He raised his eyebrows slightly.
He Changsheng tugged at Lou Sifan. “Don’t trouble other people.”
Dong Ge said, “No problem. The coach wants me to write a post-competition reflection, it doesn’t matter where I write it.”
After resolving this matter, Dong Ge left.
As he watched Dong Ge leave, Lou Sifan looked pensive.
——During Dong Ge’s preliminaries, after Dong Ge and his coach hugged, his expression had been a little off.
As the cameras caught him turning away, he had one hand pressed to his stomach, seemingly feeling very unwell.
Over the past three years, Lou Sifan had been constantly keeping an eye on Dong Ge’s training.
Ice skating training would occasionally have pair skating practice, but Lou Sifan noticed that Dong Ge practically avoided every single one of such practices when he could, and if he had to do it, his concentration would drop sharply during his training afterwards.
He felt more and more that there was a reason behind Dong Ge’s unwillingness to pair skate.
However, it already wasn’t possible to suggest Dong Ge change to pair skating. He needed to think of another way to make Dong Ge do more of this kind of training.
Thinking about it another way, this was helping Dong Ge overcome his psychological barriers and shortcomings, wasn’t it?
Hence, after entering He Changsheng’s room, as he unscrewed the cap of the thermos, he said to He Changsheng, faux-casually, “Changsheng, do you think that Dong Ge has any weak points?”
He Changsheng had always been a practical and realistic person, “He’s perfect in almost every way, it’s just that at times, his ability to coordinate isn’t good enough.”
“How do you practice coordination?”
“Probably sandbag training. Also practicing throwing and catching in pair skating practice.”
“I’ve watched Dong Ge’s training a few times. He seems like he’s never really liked working with others for these things,” Lou Sifan said, “You’re his senior and you have abundant experience. He’s already accompanying you while you’re stuck in bed, how about you take some pity on him and help him perfect this skill? What do you think?”
He Changsheng’s face was red with fever. He looked up and thought for a moment. “Alright.”
Lou Sifan smiled slightly.
Who didn’t know about Dong Ge being as stubborn as a bull? He would never be able to admit his haphephobia to anyone.
The author has something to say:
Fake Lou: Digging pits is really fun.
panda: watching CXC waltz around those pits is also fun ^v^.
sere: ^^ mood. im literally going to build a ship for He Changsheng and Dong Ge. also who names their kid July when he literally has winter in his name?????
baum: it’s not his name lol. It’s Chi Xiaochi’s. 061 is just lying, since 1. these people don’t know Chinese, and 2. they wouldn’t know what characters make up Dong Ge’s name. anyways, the end of this chapter just made my blood pressure rise so much orz just. fuck Lou Sifan. I hate him so much