Translated by Novice Translations
Proofread by Yserieh
Not At All Uncomfortable
“When you get off the train, someone will pick you up. The license plate number is Rong 888*9.”1 In Chinese numerology, 888 has a different meaning, triple fortune, a strengthening of the meaning of the digit 8. For this reason, addresses and phone numbers containing the digit sequence 888 are considered particularly lucky, and may command a premium because of it.
Bai Chuan dragged their luggage, and Mu Xiaoya looked around the station exit for Liang Nuonuo’s car. She said she will send a car to pick them up, but after a long time, she didn’t see a car that was supposed to pick people up.
“Didn’t give a phone number either.” Mu Xiaoya muttered. She was about to call Liang Nuonuo, but saw a man wearing a straw hat and overalls waving to her from afar.
“Is it Mu Xiaoya?” The man’s voice was so loud that it could be heard across the square.
Mu Xiaoya froze, and saw the man running over: “Little girl, are you Mu Xiaoya?”
“I am, and you?”
“Nuonuo sent me to pick you up, let’s go. The car is at the front entrance.” As he said that, the man reached out enthusiastically to pick up the suitcase in Bai Chuan’s hand. Who knew that before his hand could touch the suitcase, Bai Chuan had already ducked away.
The man grabbed air, then gave a strange glance at Bai Chuan, seeing that Bai Chuan had a calm face and didn’t speak, he thought he did something wrong.
Was it because he just delivered goods to the city and the smell of sweat was too heavy and people from the city wasn’t used to smelling it? Thinking about this, the man immediately apologized: “I’m sorry, the sweat on my body is too strong. It must have assailed your noses.”
“No, you misunderstood, my husband is introverted and doesn’t like physical contact with people.” Mu Xiaoya knew the other party had misunderstood and hurriedly explained.
“Oh, hehehe… ok.” The man smiled and didn’t take it seriously then. When he saw the other side didn’t need help taking the suitcase, he led the two forward. “My name is Liang Cheng. I’m from the same village as Nuonuo. You can call me Uncle Liang. I just brought a cart of goods to the town this morning and just sold out and was about to go back, then Nuonuo said she had two friends who specially came to see her from the big city and asked me to pick them up.”
“We inconvenienced you.”
“No inconvenience, no inconvenience at all.”
Mu Xiaoya smiled and wondered, “How did you recognized me just now?”
“How did I recognize ah. We don’t usually see well-dressed people like you in our small country town. I could easily find you at a glance when you stopped at the square.” Liang Cheng smiled cheerfully, “Especially your family’s man, coming from that station was just like coming out of the TV.”
Your family’s man? This description is really direct and crude ah. Mu Xiaoya couldn’t help but blush again.
How can I be married now, but still be ashamed of it? No, I just have to have thicker skin. Mu Xiaoya shook her head and tried to “cheer up”.
“What’s wrong?” Bai Chuan asked with concern.
“It’s okay, it’s just a little hot.” Mu Xiaoya used the hot weather to cover up her blush, although Bai Chuan may not have seen anything from her face.
Bai Chuan paused and found that Mu Xiaoya’s face was sweating a lot, so he pulled out a handkerchief from his pocket to help Mu Xiaoya wipe her face.
“I … I’ll do it myself.” Mu Xiaoya grabbed the handkerchief and wiped her sweat, but her fingers still felt the coolness of Bai Chuan’s fingertips.
‘Why is my temperature so much higher than Bai Chuan?!!’ Mu Xiaoya thought blankly.
“Okay, put the suitcase in the back.” At this time, Liang Cheng shouted suddenly.
Mu Xiaoya turned her head and found that Liang Cheng was standing in front of a truck, and he pointed to the back of it, which also held a pile of empty fruit baskets.
“…” No wonder she couldn’t find the car herself. It turned out that it was a truck that came to pick her up. Liang Nuonuo, that dead girl, didn’t say it in advance, which made her just look for the license plate number on a car.
Liang Cheng helped the two and put their luggage in the car, then said to Mu Xiaoya: “I have a small space in the front of the car, so I can only take one person, or do you want your man to sit in the back?”
Mu Xiaoya probed the car interior and found that there were only two seats in the front of the car. Suddenly, she frowned slightly. She would be uneasy is Bai Chuan sat alone behind in the truck, but she would still be uneasy if Bai Chuan sat in the passenger seat up front as well.
“Uncle Liang, let us both sit in the back.” Mu Xiaoya decided not to be separated from Bai Chuan.
“The back will be bumpy, and we will be on the mountain road for a long time. The bumps will be very severe.”
Then Bai Chuan can’t be left alone.
“It’s okay. Nuonuo said that the scenery here is very beautiful. I will sit back and look at it.” Mu Xiaoya casually made an excuse.
“Okay, all right.” Liang Cheng didn’t persuade her again. “You people from the city ah, are used to living in the city usually, like to see our mountains and rivers here ah.” Their mountain scenery is good, and occasionally some city friends like to come visit, so Liang Cheng didn’t think there was any problem with Mu Xiaoya’s excuse.
Mu Xiaoya smiled and didn’t speak, then climbed into the car with Bai Chuan. She set their suitcases down and they sat on their suitcases with their backs against the truck’s cab.
It took more than half an hour to drive from the country town to Liang Nuonuo’s home and during that time, they spent more than ten minutes on the mountain road. In the first half, the car moved smoothly. When they entered the mountain, Liang Cheng shouted out, “The road is going to be bumpy, you have to stabilize yourselves ah.”
“Okay.” Mu Xiaoya responded loudly, then turned her head to remind Bai Chuan, when the car suddenly turned a corner. She was thrown by inertia and landed into Bai Chuan’s arms.
Bai Chuan leaned against the car’s baggage compartment and firmly held Mu Xiaoya in his arms.
“That … Uncle Liang said, the road ahead isn’t good. So, let’s stabilize.” Mu Xiaoya said that as if she slapped herself and couldn’t help but add. “Don’t get thrown like me.”
“En.” Bai Chuan nodded seriously.
Mu Xiaoya sat up from Bai Chuan’s arms, then grabbed the back of the baggage compartment tightly with both hands to prepare for the next section of the mountain road that hasn’t been traversed.
“Clang, clang dang, clang dang dang~~”
Their bodies rise and fell with the car and the back of their waists stuck against the car’s baggage compartment. They bumped down several times and ached. But Mu Xiaoya didn’t dare to reach out to rub the ache, for fear that if she let go, her whole person would lose its stability.
The car was bumpy again, just as Mu Xiaoya gritted her teeth and was about to collide against the surface again, an arm quietly cushioned Mu Xiaoya’s back. Mu Xiaoya only felt her back was soft and her body was caught in a warm embrace.
“Bai Chuan?!” Mu Xiaoya turned back.
“It hurts, I’m blocking it.” Bai Chuan’s voice was very low. If it wasn’t for Mu Xiaoya’s ears, the voice would be almost lost in the whistling of the truck. But Bai Chuan didn’t need Mu Xiaoya to hear, he just didn’t want Mu Xiaoya to have the same bruises on her back like him.
Xiaoya was too ticklish and she won’t let him touch her. If she was injured, he couldn’t massage and apply medicine for her, so she couldn’t get hurt.
Mu Xiaoya was quietly pasted within Bai Chuan’s arms. With every bump from the car, both of them had closer contact. Mu Xiaoya didn’t know how to describe her feeling at that time, but she felt that this embrace seemed to be a circle of a small world and all around it was quiet. She could only hear the other’s heartbeat and breath. And all her feelings were in Bai Chuan’s powerful arms.
She didn’t know how long it took after that, but the car suddenly stopped. Liang Cheng stepped out of the cockpit and said to the two with a smile: “Here we are.”
“Here we are?” Mu Xiaoya suddenly returned to her senses.
“It’s Nuonuo family’s cherry orchard.” Liang Cheng said, while helping to pick up the luggage that the two handed down.
“Thank you, Uncle Liang.” After getting out of the car, Mu Xiaoya pulled out a box of chocolates from her backpack and handed it over. “I have a box of chocolates. Here you go.”
“This won’t do, I said that this was on my way, so it was convenient.” Liang Cheng waved his hand and said he would not accept it.
“This is the souvenir gift we casually bought. It’s not expensive, it’s to show our appreciation.”
“That’s fine.” The people from the mountains were straightforward. When they saw Mu Xiaoya really wanted to gift it, they didn’t refuse it again.
“Soon Nuonuo will come down to pick us up in a minute. “Mu Xiaoya smiled.
“Okay, then I’m leaving. Come and have dinner at this uncle’s house when you’re free.” Liang Cheng waved his hand and drove away in his pick-up truck with a clang-dang.
Until the sound of the truck could no longer be heard, Bai Chuan’s brows slightly loosened. He had never seen such a noisy car before, which was even louder than the train.
“Mu Mu!” At this moment, a bright female voice came down from the hillside, then a girl in a plaid shirt ran down the mountain like the wind.
“Nuo Nuo.” Mu Xiaoya was so happy that she let go of her suitcase and ran to meet her. The two flower-like girls hugged on the grassy hillside, smiling like two five-year-old toddlers.
Bai Chuan looked at Mu Xiaoya’s smile, and all the discontentment that had accumulated from the noisy journey instantly dissipated. His eyes were bright, even shone with some satisfaction. He thought that if he could see Xiaoya’s smile every time he had to experience such noise, then he felt that the noise wasn’t so unbearable.
The two laughed enough, and Liang Nuonuo then devoted her time to look at the young man who had been standing quietly under the hillside. At his appearance, she immediately said with jealousy and envy, “What a beautiful youth, how could he encounter you.”
“Jealous ah?” Mu Xiaoya laughed. “I got in line more than ten years in advance. ”
“Xing Xing Xing,2means keep going forward…references a historical poem I know your childhood sweethearts.”
They walked back a few steps and Liang Nuonuo extended her hand to Bai Chuan: “Hello, my name is Liang Nuonuo, and I’m your wife’s good friend.”
Mu Xiaoya turned her head to see Bai Chuan, but instead of urging or reminding him, she quietly waited for Bai Chuan’s response.
Bai Chuan first looked at Liang Nuonuo’s outstretched hand, then looked at Liang Nuonuo’s face, his movement was slow and expressionless.
Liang Nuonuo wasn’t impatient, still with a goodwill smile, she patiently waited for Bai Chuan’s response. Bai Chuan’s situation has long been mentioned by Mu Xiaoya, so she didn’t feel strange or impatient at this time.
“Hello.” After two minutes, Bai Chuan finally gave a response, but he just said hello and didn’t reach out to shake Liang Nuonuo’s outstretched hand.
But just this answer made Mu Xiaoya very happy. Because it took Bai Chuan only two minutes for him to accept her friend.
“I’ve decided, the next time I talk to him, I will definitely not take action.” Her hand was outstretched for a long time and felt a little sour, and Liang Nuonuo couldn’t help but rub her hand and complain to roast Mu Xiaoya.
Mu Xiaoya ignored her, holding Bai Chuan’s hand, and they went up the mountain.
Liang Nuonuo clutched Mu Xiaoya’s luggage and followed, leading the two into the small wooden house in the cherry orchard.
There are five cabins total lined up in a row. They were built in the middle of the cherry orchard.
Liang Nuonuo gave Mu Xiaoya the middle room and then introduced: “The kitchen is in the back and at the right is the bathroom. Take a bath and change your clothes, then we will eat. I live next door. You can call me anytime.”
“Okay.” Mu Xiaoya glanced briefly at the wooden house, the internal space is very large, about twenty ft2. Although the decoration of the room was simple, it was very sentimental. Liang Nuonuo even prepared them a crimson mandarin duck3Usually this image is associated with a happy marry couple/lovers quilt, just like a bridal chamber.
“Then I’ll go make dinner first.” When walking to the door, Liang Nuonuo turned back and winked at Mu Xiaoya. “Friendly reminder.”
“What?” Mu Xiaoya asked.
“The sound insulation here isn’t good, you guys … pay attention at night.” After finishing, Liang Nuonuo quickly rushed out of the door and happened to avoid Mu Xiaoya’s bout of rage from the humiliation from her flying shoe assault.
When she missed, Mu Xiaoya turned around and met Bai Chuan’s line of sight, so the disharmonious thoughts that Liang Nuonuo drawn out from her brain suddenly overflowed and she couldn’t accept them.
“It’s okay, I can wear headphones.” Bai Chuan said that since Xiaoya bought the headphones for him, so he wasn’t afraid of the noise as before.
“…” What’s the use of wearing headphones for that kind of thing!!!
Bai Chuan: It’s useless to wear headphones, what should I do?