translation: baumkuchen editor: ellabells
Lu Qingjiu drove the pickup truck that had changed its form and, after over ten hours of bumpy roads, finally returned to the city that he had chosen to leave. After half a year, the city hadn’t changed much, with towering skyscrapers and an endless stream of traffic on the roads. Still a noisy scene.
Having gotten used to life in the quiet countryside, Lu Qingjiu felt a little out of out of place in upon returning. The pickup truck had also become much more well-behaved and he didn’t know if it was because it’d been shocked by these unfamiliar sights.
“Qingjiu, Qingjiu! Over here!” Zhu Miaomiao had arrived at the agreed location early on. She rushed towards him, waving.
Lu Qingjiu drove over after seeing her.
Zhu Miaomiao asked, “How long have you been awake now? How about I drive?” Lu Qingjiu had left in the morning, and only arrived at night. After driving for an entire day on the highway, he had to be tired.
“No need,” Lu Qingjiu said, “I’m not that tired.” In truth, he hadn’t actually driven for very long. It had all been the pickup truck controlling the direction and speed, he’d even fallen asleep while holding the steering wheel…
“Oh, alright,” Zhu Miaomiao said, “Then let’s go to my house first.”
Lu Qingjiu nodded.
Although he’d lived in this city for many years, Lu Qingjiu had never bought a house here. His home before had also been a rental. Since he was returning to his hometown, he’d gotten back the deposit on his rental. For this trip back, Lu Qingjiu originally planned to stay at a hotel. But Zhu Miaomiao had refused to let him do that, saying that she clearly had a place for him to stay at her home. Why would Lu Qingjiu still need to go create more trouble for himself by staying at a hotel? Wasn’t staying at a friend’s home much more convenient?
Unable to out-stubborn her, Lu Qingjiu could only agree.
After parking the car in the garage, Zhu Miaomiao brought Lu Qingjiu to the entrance of the neighbourhood for dinner. After becoming used to what he made at home, once he went back to eating food from outside, Lu Qingjiu could taste an obvious difference.
“Ai, the food over at your place is still better.” Zhu Miaomiao was also very rueful about this, “The stuff in the city are always a little lacking.”
Lu Qingjiu smiled and said, “I brought over some raisins we made at our place for you. They’re delicious, you should try some first.”
Zhu Miaomiao grabbed a handful. When she stuffed them into her mouth, she let out a surprised expression, “So good! These grapes are really sweet.”
“Yup,” Lu Qingjiu said, “You can come visit us again when you’re free.”
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.
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Zhu Miaomiao lived on the twentieth floor in the city center, not far away was the bustling commercial street. Just by looking out, he could see the glow of streetlights converge into a sea of lights, the headlights of the steady flow of cars on the roads like a rushing stream. This was the night view of the city, completely different from that of Shuifu village, each with their own kind of beauty.
Lu Qingjiu watched for a while, before heading back to bed in preparation for sleep. He would need to get up early tomorrow morning, after all.
The next day, the sound of the alarm clock wrenched Lu Qingjiu out of the world of dreams. After getting up and seeing that Zhu Miaomiao was still asleep, he quietly washed up and left the house, alone.
Lu Qingjiu went to the garage and started the pickup truck. The two of them then headed over to the cemetery.
The cemetery was on the outskirts of the city, so it took about an hour to drive there.
Upon reaching the cemetery, Lu Qingjiu bought some incense sticks and paper money as well as a bouquet of fresh chrysanthemums. Since it wasn’t a festival or holiday, the cemetery was very quiet. Towering pine trees neatly lined both sides of the path. The atmosphere was solemn. The shorter evergreen trees were still covered in droplets of dew from the early morning fog. As Lu Qingjiu passed through them, they left wet marks on his pants.
He soon found his destination, a tombstone placed in a corner.
Because of his parents getting into an accident at the same time, they were buried together. Their names were outlined in gold on the tombstone and above that were two black and white photographs. The man looked handsome and intelligent; the woman gentle and beautiful. Anyone who looked at them would call them a jade couple.
Lu Qingjiu put down his bouquet of fresh flowers and stuck the lit incense sticks before the grave. He half-squatted down and began burning the paper money in his hands, sheet by sheet. As the paper money turned to grey ashes in the fire and disappeared into the sky with the wind, Lu Qingjiu said, “Mom, Dad, I’m back to see you.”
Naturally, there was no answer.
Lu Qingjiu continued to murmur in a low voice, “I’ve gone back to our old home now, and I’m doing very well. You two don’t need to worry about me. If you have any requests from down below, don’t forget to let me know in a dream. I haven’t dreamt about you two in a very long time.”
He paused for a moment, and when he spoke again, his voice was a little downcast, “I don’t know… if there’s still any chance of finding you guys.”
Back then, there was a landslide on the mountain near Shuifu village, and Lu Qingjiu’s parents, who had still been on the road, were directly buried. Not even their corpses were found. The only things that were found were a few items they’d been carrying. At that time, Lu Qingjiu was completely unable to accept that fact, rushing back to Shuifu village overnight, wanting to go find his parents remains. Only when he saw that patch of collapsed mountain did he realise, that was practically impossible.
In the face of the power of nature, man was truly far too weak. Weak to the point that they were like a mantis trying to stop a carriage, not even having the chance to resist before losing their lives.
As Lu Qingjiu burnt the paper money, he prattled on about some of the details of his life. When all the paper money was burnt, and he’d said all he wanted to say, he reached out a hand and stroked the tombstone, saying tenderly, “Mom, Dad, I’ll be leaving first. I’ll be back for Qingming next year. If you guys are thinking of me, let me know.”
Silently and as always, the man and woman on the tombstone just showed gentle smiles.
Lu Qingjiu packed up his things and left the cemetery. When he got onto the car, his phone suddenly rang. Picking it up and looking at it, he found it was Zhu Miaomiao’s phone number.
“Qingjiu,” Zhu Miaomiao said, “Do you want to have a meal with us tonight? It’s a work dinner, Yun-ge and the rest will also be there.”
Lu Qingjiu said, “If it’s a work dinner, it won’t be very good for me to show up.”
Zhu Miaomiao said, “Don’t worry, the person you hate the most won’t be coming. I told the rest you’ve returned, they were all really happy.”
Lu Qingjiu thought for a moment, “Alright.” He actually really liked those colleagues from work. Usually, everyone got along really well, and he had been dismissed rather than resigning voluntarily. Of course, Zhu Miaomiao and the rest didn’t know about that, because in this matter were some hidden issues Lu Qingjiu didn’t want to bring up. Since the person he most hated wouldn’t be there, it would be no big deal if he had a meal with them. Lu Qingjiu straightforwardly accepted Zhu Miaomiao’s invitation.
The place they were eating at was a restaurant near their workplace. With nothing to do, Lu Qingjiu first took a walk around the city to buy some snacks for Yin Xun and Bai Yuehu.
Shuifu village’s market square was still far too small, it didn’t have a lot of things. For example, Lu Qingjiu hadn’t been able to find the kind of soft candy with jelly inside that he really liked eating. Even though he could order it online, having to go to town to pick up his package was really a little troublesome.
Lu Qingjiu bought a whole lot of big packets of soft candy. As he placed it into the car, he suddenly thought of something. He patted the head of his family’s pickup truck and asked, “Do you eat sweets?”
The pickup truck’s headlights came on. It flashed them once, then honked.
“You do? Then where’s your mouth?” Lu Qingjiu asked.
With a click, the hood of the car opened. Lu Qingjiu looked inside and saw the area where there should have been an engine was actually empty. The hood was even cleaner than the trunk of the car… This image was truly a little shocking. Scared of other people seeing, Lu Qingjiu hurriedly tore open the bag of candy in his hands and shoved it in before closing the hood of the car again. Just as Lu Qingjiu was going to ask if it liked it, he saw his family’s originally completely black car began to flash with all the colours of the rainbow — pretty much like the colours of the soft candy.
What did that mean? Did it taste so delicious it changed colour? Lu Qingjiu hurriedly called out to the pickup truck, telling it to not be so excited. If they were seen by someone they would be done for.
Only then did the pickup truck calm down. Lu Qingjiu didn’t know if it was his misconception, but he felt like the pickup truck, after eating the soft candy, drove a little more energetically than usual.
At around 6 p.m., Lu Qingjiu arrived at the location Zhu Miaomiao had told him, and saw that there were already quite a few familiar faces sitting in the restaurant. With a smile on his face, he walked towards the crowd.
“Qingjiu, you’re back!!”
“Qingjiu, you brat, you’re finally willing to come back to see us!”
“Lu-ge, quickly come and sit over here!”
When they saw Lu Qingjiu, they began warmly greeting him one after another. Lu Qingjiu had a gentle personality, did things steadily and responsibly. He was very popular with the people at work. At the time, his sudden resigning from his job had left people confused. After that, him directly leaving the city and going back to his hometown gave rise to countless guesses.
Lu Qingjiu sat next to Zhu Miaomiao and said with a smile, “Hello everyone, long time no see.”
His former old senior, Yun-ge was also at this table. When he saw Lu QIngjiu sit down, he slapped a hand against the table and said, “You little brat, you left without a word, and now you still dare come back? See if I don’t make you make you kneel!”
Lu Qingjiu laughed, “Have some mercy, Yun-ge—”
Beside him, Zhu Miaomiao poured out a glass. “Stop talking. You can’t escape today.”
A quiet life made one’s heart peaceful, but the lively secular life wasn’t bad either. Lu Qingjiu drank a little too much. A faint blush rose on his cheeks and his eyes shone with a glimmer of tears. Next to him, Zhu Miaomiao made a joke, saying that a drunk Lu Qingjiu was really cute.
Lu Qingjiu said, “Who calls a man cute.” Just as he was planning on pouring another drink into his glass, he felt the originally lively crowd suddenly go quiet. Raising his head to take a look, he saw a man walk in through the door.
“Why did he come!” Zhu Miaomiao had originally been a slightly tipsy state, but the moment she saw the man she immediately sobered up. She said, “Didn’t he say he wasn’t coming today!?”
“How would I know.” Yun-ge was also slightly panicked. “But he really did say he wasn’t coming…”
Zhu Miaomiao gave Lu Qingjiu a nervous glance, but saw that Lu Qingjiu’s expression hadn’t changed much, just that the look in his eyes had turned slightly colder.
by the way, I was checking back on previous chaps and realised I tled something wrongly. XP The supernatural tree LQJ mentioned was by his workplace, not by his dorm. I don’t even know where I got dorm orz My bad!