Fresh & Pippin' Hot...
[TRANSLATED] Next Stop, Happiness
This is the novel version of "Autumn's Concerto" titled "Next Stop, Happiness". The author is Liang Wenru. I suspect "Autumn's Concerto" is an adaptation from the novel as many have pointed out the storyline in "Autumn's Concerto" follows the novel's closely. Since there's only a Chinese version available, I decided to try my best and translate an English version for you guys. By the way, for Singaporeans who are interested in buying the original Chinese Version, you can get it at Kinokuniya for S$15.50 (:
Non-Singaporeans, if you really want the book and you can't seem to find a local bookstore that has it, I'd suggest YESASIA. The link is: http://www.yesasia.com/global/autumns-concerto-tv-drama-novel/1021445843-0-0-0-en/info.html . It costs US$12.29 by the way. Apparently, that's supposedly the discounted price. (:
Please note that:
#1 Please do not  copy and paste (i.e.: transfer) my translations onto any other websites. I have people who are looking out for me and will inform me once they see my translations popping up somewhere else. Please be understanding enough that it really takes a lot of time and effort for me to translate so please do not put this up anywhere else. I'll STOP TRANSLATING if I know of anyone who's doing that. Thank you very much for your co-operation.
Please do not buy/sell this translation too. This is just an amateur translation and is NOT FOR SALE!
#2 Please do not rush me for translations. It's BASIC COURTESY. I'll post them up when I'm done. For every one person who rushes me, I'll delay the translations by one day.
#3 I'm just an amateur translator. Thus I apologise for all possible errors.
#4 I won't be translating 1st-5th Stops (Chapters) as the drama has already shown them all. Thanks and sorry for the inconvenience caused. (:
© 2009-2010 MIN|Translated Version of “Next Stop Happiness”|
[TRANSLATED] The 6th Stop- Huatian Village’s Saviour
Six years later
We see a clear blue sky with white, fluffy clouds and birds flying across the little alleys in the village. There, in the distance, we see a sea of flowers. In the midst of it, a slender female figure is working busily. She has walked from one end of the sea to another. She’s like a fatherly figure, picking out her children’s shortcomings to ensure their proper growth. She’s also like a mother, giving the flowers the tender loving care they need. She works from dawn till the evening and her greatest pleasure comes from seeing the flowers blossom with pride.
Suddenly, she felt an itch on her hands. She took the gloves off and scratched her hands a little. Then she stared at her hands. This pair of hands has moved even further away from her dreams of playing the piano. It seems like she has lost her childhood ambition but now, she has another treasure that she can keep and love…
She smiled and muttered to herself, “Therefore, I’m very happy now. What about you then?”
The breeze blew onto the flowers and they allowed for her to lift her face up and enjoy this peaceful and fragrant moment. Is this a respond from nature to tell her that he is very happy now too?
“He has changed.”
A man walks into an office and he throws a magazine onto the desk in front of a woman. The woman picks up the magazine and reads the headlines on the cover and looks at the picture of an expressionless young man on the cover. This young man, in a suit, has a sharp expression on his face with his thin lips giving off the feeling of brutality and cruelty.
“He’s actually defending a rapist. Is this really what you want?” The man asked.
“The accused isn’t just any rapist. He’s a minister.”
“That’s enough. I know what you want to say.” Fang Derong said. “I’ve already told you umpteen of times; this is how Guangxi should really be living. His choice is right. If he wins this case, he will be more popular in future. By then, all the politicians, businessmen and aristocrats would seek his service when they need legal advice and help.”
“You’re right about him being popular and famous. But is this really a choice that he really wants?”
“I don’t understand what you mean.”
Xiaolin signed and said, “You do. You were the one who constructed this life for him. You were the one who convinced him that he was like this in the very beginning. All you wanted was for him to follow whatever you wanted.”
Derong became upset on hearing this remark. “I’m his mother. This is all for his own good! Moreover, I don’t see why Guangxi would be against this. He is on such good terms with me now.”
“That’s because he obeys every command from you now.” Xiaolin frowned. He wanted to continue but Derong’s upset expression made him stopped immediately.
“If you have time for all these, why don’t you try to help me persuade Guangxi and Yiqian to get married soon? The two of them keep emphasizing that they are still young and they want to pursue their careers first. When am I going to see them get married then?”
Xiaolin smiled upon listening to her. He guessed she was more anxious than the prospective bride and groom. He wanted to reply when his phone rang. He picked it up and his expression changed immediately.
“What’s the matter?” Derong asked out of curiousity.
Xiaolin hung up and hesitated before telling her. “My friend who’s a judge just called. He said Guangxi has just beaten up his client in court.”
“What!?” Derong exclaimed angrily.
“It’s nothing at all. The judge just sentenced me to 300 hours of C.W.O.” Guangxi replied impatiently.
He felt really upset that he couldn’t enjoy his meal properly. Everyone at the dinner table, including his mother, Yiqian, Uncle He and Xiaolin couldn’t stop asking him why he had done that to his client.
Yiqian even made a remark that she really hated people who resort to violence.
Fang Derong said, “Do you know who you’ve just beaten up? He’s a minister.”
Guangxi replied as though it was none of his business. “So what? We won the case. He should be thanking me instead.”
Director He thought that it was enough and decided to try to clear up the tense atmosphere. “It’s alright. Anyway, it’s a good thing that Guangxi is going to Huatian Village to do his C.W.O. He can do a favour for me then.”
“What is it?” Guangxi raised a brow.
“It’s a case about the ownership of the land. The villagers have already agreed to sell the land to Huanyu Constructions but some of them have decided to back out now. Can you please persuade and negotiate with them on my behalf?” Director He decided that he should let his prospective son-in-law help him with this.
Guangxi decided to do Director He the favour. “No problem. It’d be a piece of cake. It’s just some ignorant villagers. I‘m sure I can settle everything very quickly, Uncle He.”
“I know I could rely on you.” Director He smiled. He looked at his daughter and said, “Yiqian, don’t be angry anymore. Pour some wine for Guangxi then.”
Yiqian replied, “I can pour him some wine. But he must promise me not to beat anyone up again. I don’t wish to marry a violent guy."
Guangxi smiled and pinched his fiancee's face. “I got you, darling.” Yiqian gave him another look before pouring him some wine. He raised his glass and smiled but his heart suddenly felt really heavy. His eyes landed on the leather wristband that he was wearing.
“Frankly speaking, the woman owes me in the very first place. I wonder why she’s so agitated about me taking advantage of her. Thank goodness I have you to help me settle and clear up this mess.”
It was this very sentence that caused Guangxi to be really upset and beat up that shameless minister.
He wondered why he was so upset but he couldn’t seem to find the answer…
“So what is it now? Is it a must that we sell our land?”
The villagers of Huatian Village have all gathered at Aunt Hua’s karaoke shop to discuss about the case of selling their land to Huanyu Constructions.
“It’s all because of the grandson of the village heard, Bin!” A villager cursed. “He actually stole the deed and sold it off to others. Even though the land belongs to the village head, we all rely on it to earn our keep. He should seek our agreement before selling it off to others!”
“Indeed.” Other villager said. “We must write in to the government to let them send someone over to clear this up for us… I thought someone mentioned that they’d be sending a public defender over? Why isn’t he here yet?”
Then the village head said, “The people in charge just called me. They are sending him over tomorrow.”
“That’s wonderful. Huatian Village can be saved now!” The innocent villagers roared with joy once they heard the news that someone would be coming over to save Huatian Village.
“Aunt Hua, are you comforted now?” The village’s matchmaker came up and grabbed Aunt Hua. “After the case is over, we can look for a bride for your son. Do you need me to arrange any blind dates for your son?”
“Blind dates, you say?” Another villager interrupted. “You don’t have to do anything. Aunt Hua’s son already has someone in mind.”
“Who says so?” Aunt Hua rebutted. “My Tuoye is very innocent. How is it possible for him to have someone in mind?”
“Aunt Hua, are you serious that you don’t know? Everyone knows that Tuoye sticks around that Liang Mucheng every day.”
“They are just friends!” Aunt Hua replied angrily, banging her fist onto the table. “The Hua family’s daughter-in-law must be someone who’s chaste. How can that kind of unwed mother be our daughter-in-law then?”
Speaking of the devil; Hua Tuoye appeared with a bag of fertilizer. “Mum! What are you talking about? Please don’t insult Mucheng.”
“Mucheng… Mucheng… She’s all you have to say every day!” Aunt Hua became really upset. “I wonder what that shameless woman fed you with that you are so taken in by her.”
“Mum! She’s not a shameless woman, she’s my good friend.” Hua Tuoye decided to speak up for Mucheng. “I’d not care about our ties anymore if you speak of Mucheng in this way again.”
“You! You’re such an unfilial son!"
Hua Tuoye decided that he didn’t want to continue the conversation with his mother and provoke her further. He turned and walked away. “I’d be sending some fertilizer over to Mucheng.”
It all seemed weird. The flowers weren’t doing so well recently and her hands seemed to be really sensitive and itching for no particular reason too.
“Is it a problem with the water?” Mucheng stopped for a moment and looked at her slightly sore hands.
“Mucheng, I’m here!” A voice rang behind her.
She smiled and turned around. “Tuoye, why are you suddenly here?”
“I’m here to deliver some fertilizer to you” He said, pointing to his van that was parked on the side of the road.
“Okay, hold on for a moment. I’ll calculate the amount I need to pay you for it.”
“It’s okay, we’re friends. Why must we be so calculative then?”
“I don’t think so. I’d better give you the money lest Aunt Hua gets upset about it again.”
“It’s really okay. It’d be a miracle if my mother wasn’t angry for a day.” Tuoye signed and frowned as he thought of what his mother had just said about Mucheng.
“Tuoye, don’t quarrel with your mother because of me. It will make me feel bad.” Mucheng said after looking at Tuoye’s expression.
“She’s too much. She’s always bad-mouthing you with all the aunties in the village.” Tuoye replied.
“I’m okay. It doesn’t matter to me what they have to say.” Mucheng felt very open about it. The villagers have been gossiping about her ever since she came to Huatian Village 6 years ago. “The people here are very innocent. It’s hard for them to accept an unwed mother after all.”
“So what if you are one? You’re not causing harm to anyone, right?” Tuoye was still very upset.
Mucheng smiled and persuaded him. “It’s okay. Stop being angry already.”
Her warm smile made him felt much better immediately. He gazed at her. After a while, he took his gaze back and said, “It’s almost time. Let’s go and pick up Xiaole now.”
“Oh yes.” Mucheng said and got up immediately. “Let’s go then.”
“Xiaole, I’ve heard that you don’t have a father.”
The newly transferred student Tangtang asked Xiaole with her soft voice.
“Who says so? My father is very brilliant. He’s an alien.” He announced proudly to her.
“Alien? What is that?” Tangtang was caught.
“He comes from outer space. They don’t live on Earth.” Xiaole explained to her. “My mother said that my father has already accomplished his mission on Earth and thus he has to return to his own planet.”
“Does that mean he’ll never be back again?” The little girl asked.
Xiaole paused for a moment. “Of course not! He’ll be back to visit me someday.”
“Someday? Which day are you talking about?” Another boy named Hua Hong teased him. “Just tell us truthfully that your father doesn’t want you anymore. Why must you make up a story that he’s an alien?”
“Who says I made it up? He really exists!”
“Where is he then? Prove it to me!” Hua Hong rebutted.
Xiaole got really upset. Since he was young, he disliked it when people laughed at and called him a fatherless child. He has a father, it’s just his father is in outer space now. Why can’t they just believe him?
“How is it? Speechless, aren’t you? Xiaole is a liar. He loves to lie.”
“I’m not a liar. I didn’t lie!” Xiaole got really upset. He pushed Hua Hong and the two of them started fighting with each other.
Mucheng saw then fighting when she reached the place. She immediately pulled the two of them apart. “Stop this at once! Stop fighting!”
“Mummy.” Xiaole felt really unjust. “Hua Hong said that I’m a liar. But I’m not. My father is an alien, right? I didn’t lie about it, right?” He immediately questioned his mother for assurance.
Mucheng was stunned for a moment. Her son was actually fighting with someone because of that. Her heart ached as she pinched his cheeks. She felt that she had really let him down for a moment. “Yes, Xiaole, that’s right. You didn’t lie. Xiaole is the most obedient child.”
“See, I’ve told you. Even my mother says so too.” Xiaole stared back at Hua Hong.
Hua Hong made a face back at him. “Both of you are liars. My mother says that your mother has either cheated on a man or has been cheated by a man…”
“You rascal! What are you talking about?” Tuoye’s blood boiled on hearing Hua Hong and he wanted to hit him.
“Forget it, Tuoye.” Mucheng stopped him immediately. “He’s just a kid, why be so calculative about it?” She smiled and took Xiaole’s hand. “Let’s go home now.”
That night, Xiaole sat on the bed after his bath while his mother blew his hair dry for him.
He closed his eyes and enjoyed his mother’s warm touch. He was uncertain and decided to assure himself again. “Mummy, I’m really the child of an alien, right?”
“Of course you are.” Mucheng replied without any hesitation. “If not why do you think I’ve to give you shots of crystals every night? That’s because you’re different from the other children on Earth. You are the most unique child.” Mucheng then bend over to kiss Xiaole’s face, causing him to burst into fits of laughter as it tickled him.
“Okay. Your hair’s all dried now. It’s time for your shots then. “
“Oh, YA!” Xiaole screamed in joy. Other children would have cried when they see a needle, but Xiaole anticipated every night’s shot because that was when he knew very clearly that he’s the child of an alien.
“It will hurt a little. You’d have to bear with it.” Mucheng said the same thing as usual.
“I’m not afraid of it.” Xiaole pouted as he stretched his arm out. “I’m the bravest person.”
“Yes. You’re the bravest person indeed.” Mucheng smiled and pinched his nose. She took a swab of cotton dabbed with alcohol and wiped it against his arm. Then, skillfully, she gave him his injection.
Xiaole squinted, but he bit on tightly onto his lips instead of letting out a cry.
“He’s such an obedient child.” Mucheng thought as she stroked her son’s head after giving him his injection. She felt really guilty about it. If it wasn’t because of the fact that she contracted gestational diabetes without knowing it, Xiaole wouldn’t have been born with Persistent Hyperinsulinemic Hypoglycemia of Infancy and had to remove half of his pancreas. Because of that, he now has to rely on getting daily insulin shots for the rest of his life.
She had to make up a story about an Alien Daddy and called his insulin shots as shots of crystals that will help aliens when they battle in order to get him to have his injections. Xiaole might be buying her story now as he’s young but she wondered how long she can still keep him in the dark. She prayed that he’d not blame her for lying to him when he finally finds out about the truth someday.
After all, it was out of love for him that she lied…
“Mummy, can you please tell me the story of Alien Daddy again?” Xiaole begged with her. “Please tell me how you all met back then again.”
Mucheng smiled and nodded back at him. She started the story again of how she met him. “The first time I saw your daddy was when I took the bus. He was really tall and strong but he had a really bad temper…”
Darn! What kind of a place is this?
Guangxi thought as he looked at his surroundings. He saw nothing else other than the flowers on the two sides of the road. There were no vehicles or people around. He knew at once that this place was definitely in the countryside for sure.
How can they send him to such a place to do C.W.O.? Guangxi wondered to himself and he thought he must really be down on his luck. To make matters worse, his newly bought car had to break down in the middle of the road. He couldn’t seem to be able to find the problem himself. He wanted to call for help but his phone’s battery was flat. It was clear that there was no one who could lend him a hand at all.
The sun beamed down on him and it caused him to have a headache. He sweated like a pig and the fragrance of the flowers caused him to have breathing difficulties.
Ever since his surgery 6 years ago, he lost all of his past memories. His respiratory system also became problematic; he suddenly became extremely sensitive and allergic to pollen. Because of his allergy, he’d suffer every spring when the flowers bloom. Things seemed even more terrible today, he was actually being sent to Huatian Village where flowers grew everywhere.
This must be a Heaven-sent punishment! He cursed while putting on his sunglasses. Then he started to look for a public phone so that he could call for help.
“Mummy, Mummy!” Xiaole screamed with excitement as he placed his hands on the edge of the bus window while putting his head out. “There seems to be a weird looking vehicle over there.”
“Be careful.” Mucheng pulled Xiaole in immediately. “Didn’t Mummy tell you umpteen of times already? It’s very dangerous to put your head out of the window like this.”
“But Mummy, that car looks really weird. It does not have a top. Is it driven by an alien?”
Alien? Mucheng paused for a moment. Then she looked out of the window too. She saw a convertible in the middle of the road. It seemed like it had broken down. A tall and strong man started to run after a bus when he saw it but the bus had already driven off.
Mucheng couldn’t get a clear look of the man’s face and she hesitated whether she should stop the driver of the bus she was taking so that they could help him. But she immediately thought of the fact that the village would be welcoming the public defender today. She already promised to help to decorate the venue. Tongues would wag again if she was late.
She didn’t want to be on bad terms with anyone in the village for Xiaole’s sake. All she asked was for Xiaole to be able to grow up peacefully and happily in this village.
“Xiaole, sit tight. That’s not an alien’s car. It’s just a normal sports car.” She coaxed her son.
“Nope, I’m very sure it’s an alien’s.” Xiaole insisted. “Did you see that man’s clothes too? His clothes look really attractive and special, Mummy.”
“It must be the fact that he knows better than the villagers on what to wear. He must be a city folk who was coming to their village for a holiday and lost his way somehow.” Mucheng thought to herself.
Mucheng smiled and shook her head. In order to appease her son, she had to convince him. The mother and son debated with each other till they reached the venue for the welcoming party today.
The village head stepped up immediately when he saw her. “Mucheng, it’s great that you’re finally here. We’ve all discussed just now. You’re the prettiest in our village. You shall be in charge of presenting the flowers to the defender later.”
“Sure.” Mucheng nodded. She’d do anything so as to get along well with the villagers. “Is the public defender here yet?”
“Nope.” The village head looked at his watch. “You can come over here and help us first.”
“Xiaole, Mummy shall go and do some work now. Be good and stay right over here.” Mucheng said to her son.
“Okay.” Xiaole nodded. He saw Tangtang and decided to join her. But he realized that it wasn’t Tangtang he saw when he ran over. He started moving around in the venue when he accidently bumped into Aunt Hua.
“Oh, it’s you, Xiaole. I haven’t seen you in a while.” Aunt Hua saw that it was Xiaole and she decided to wear a look of disgust on her face. However, that didn’t stop her from smiling at him.
”Hello, Aunt Hua.” Xiaole greeted her.
“My Tuoye does go and look for your mother frequently, right?”
“Yes, he came with my Mummy yesterday to pick me up from school.”
“Is that so?” Aunt Hua frowned. She bent down, smiled and held onto Xiaole’s shoulder. “Xiaole, do you remember what Aunt Hua once told you?”
“Yes, I do. Brother Tuoye is like my elder brother, he is not to be my father. ” Xiaole recited.
“That’s right.” Aunt Hua praised him. “Xiaole, you’re so obedient. This lollipop is for you. Aunt Hua will buy you some toys the next time round.”
“Thank you, Aunt Hua.” Xiaole happily took the lollipop from here. “Oh yes, where is Brother Tuoye?”
“He’s off to look for the village’s head unfilial grandson, Bin. That Bin is such an ingrate. He has been missing since he stole the title deed. Now, he has left us with a mess that we have to clear.” Aunt Hua nagged.
“Oh, I see.” Xiaole didn’t know what Aunt Hua really meant, but since his best buddy wasn’t around, all he could do now was to stick around and lick his lollipop. Suddenly, he saw the village head jumping onto an old tow truck while saying that he was going to go pick up the public defender whose car had broken down in the middle of the road. Out of curiousity, Xiaole got in too and hid himself up.
The tow truck finally reached its destination. Xiaole put his head out and he saw the alien that he saw just now.
He’s an alien indeed!
He got off the truck and examined the Uncle Alien who was wearing a pair of sunglasses, donning on white suit and complaining to the village head – Wow, he was exactly like what Mummy had described his Daddy to be; tall, strong, and bad-tempered. Is it because all aliens were so?
He stretched his hand out and gave Uncle Alien’s pants a tug.
“Who was it?” Guangxi wondered as he impatiently looked down.
“Uncle, Uncle, which planet are you from? Have you seen Xiaole’s father before?”
Where did this little brat come from?
Guangxi got up the towing truck with the village head while Xiaole tried his best to squeeze himself between them. He started asking Guangxi many questions; questions which Guangxi found really weird. At first, he tried his best to be patient and answered them.
“Lad, I already told you that I’m not an alien. I live on the Earth, okay?”
“Are you sure? But you’re wearing sunglasses and your clothes and…” Xiaole pointed to the convertible behind the truck. “Your car is totally different from those in Huatian Village.”
Guangxi wanted to tell Xiaole that it was because his whole village was so old-fashioned; they wouldn’t have stuff like this. But he didn’t because the village head was just beside them. “Anyway, I’m not an alien and I haven’t met your Daddy before.”
“Really?” Xiaole frowned, expressing his disappointment. He rolled his eyes and suddenly saw the leather wristband on Guangxi’s wrist. “That’s so cool. This is the communicative device that you use to communicate with the other aliens, right?”
What on earth is he talking about? Guangxi rolled his eyes. “This is just a ordinary wristband.”
“You’re lying. My Mummy tells me that this is a communicative device. She even drew a picture for me and it looks exactly like yours.” Xiaole insisted. “Mummy said that there’s a memory card inside the wristband that will allow aliens to communicate with their loved ones.
“What nonsense is the boy sprouting? It’s so true that a weird son will have a weird mother too.” Guangxi thought to himself.
Guangxi took off the wristband and emphasized his point again. “Look carefully. This is just an ordinary wristband. There’s no memory card, no secret code, it’s totally as simple as that, okay?”
Xiaole took the wristband from him and started examining it. He didn’t manage to find anything too. But he didn’t want to give up so easily. So he tried to pull the wristband apart to see if there was any hidden compartment.
“Hey! What are you doing? Stop meddling with it!” Guangxi was taken aback and he snatched the wristband back from Xiaole.
“Look. You’re so nervous about it. There must be something wrong.” Xiaole stared back at him while saying it. “You’re hiding a secret from me, right?”
“Nonsense!” Guangxi rebutted. He was really upset that he was actually debating over such a silly issue with a kid. “It’s just this wristband means a lot to me.”
“Because…” Guangxi was stumped. Indeed, what was the reason? The truth was he had no recollection or whatsoever not of the origin of this wristband. All he knew was Yiqian was the one who put it on for him after the surgery. Yet, even Yiqian had no idea where the wristband came from.
But every time when he looked at the wristband, his heart would ache. It was as if it was trying to remind him that he had forgotten something and someone who was very important.
“Whatever it is, you can’t touch it!” He immediately kept the wristband in his pocket and away from Xiaole.
“But…” Xiaole wanted to continue but the village head immediately tapped his head.
“That’s enough then, Xiaole. Stop disturbing Uncle Lawyer. Your Mummy will be angry if she learns of this.”
“Alright then.” Xiaole said, pouting. He decided to be quiet but he continued to stare at Guangxi, making the latter feel really tensed.
Children are really troublesome and he can’t seem to handle them well, he thought. Even though his fiancee's a pediatrician, he never seemed to be able to understand how she could be so loving towards them.
Guangxi hopped off the truck immediately once they reached the destination so that he could be away from Xiaole.
“Xiaole, where have you been?” Mucheng was very worried after she couldn’t find her son at the venue. She was finally relieved to see Xiaole running towards her at the entrance. She hugged him and said, “Did you know that Mummy was worried for you?”
“Mummy, I saw Uncle Alien. He was wearing the bracelet that you talked about.” Xiaole told Mucheng his discovery.
What? Mucheng was lost. The village head walked up and passed a bouquet to her just when she wanted to clarify things with Xiaole.
“Hurry up, Mucheng. The public defender is here. You’ll represent us and present him with these flowers later on.”
“Yes Sir. Please don’t worry about it.” She stood up and took the bouquet of flowers from him.
The village head got onto the stage and grabbed the microphone. “Test, test.” He cleared his throat and said, “Hello ladies and gentlemen, grandfathers and grandmothers, uncles, brothers, aunties, sisters… I’m the village head. I’m here to introduce to you all the impressive public defender who has come all the way from Taipei…”
The village head rattled on but no one really cared about what he had to say. All the villagers did was to stretch their necks so that they could get a glimpse of the lawyer. But they couldn’t spot him in the midst of the entire crowd.
“That’s enough. Village head, stop nagging. Please invite the public defender on stage now!” A villager protested.
“Alright then. Let’s invite Mr. Lawyer up on stage now to say a few words.” The village head signaled to Mucheng as he said.
Mucheng understood what he meant at once and squeezed through the crowd and up the stage to present the bouquet to the man who was standing next to the village head.
“Damn it! What is this?” The man cursed and sneezed at the same time. “Are you all trying to murder me with all these flowers?”
The rough voice sounded very familiar.
Mucheng paused for a moment and looked at the source of the voice. It was a face she’d never forget. It was so familiar and yet it broke her heart every time she thought of it.
“No way. I can’t take this anymore…” Guangxi sneezed. His chest tightened and he became breathless. Before he knew it, he fainted and fell into Mucheng’s arms.
She immediately grabbed hold of him. She was shocked by his reaction.
How could it be him? It was really him!
Mucheng felt really disturbed as she looked at the Guangxi who was lying on the sofa now.
He fainted a while ago and it caused quite a commotion. The villagers decided at once to let him rest in the village head’s office till he regained consciousness. They also sent her over to take care of him.
It was a perfect opportunity for her to take a good look at this man whom she hadn’t seen for years.
It seemed like he had changed and looked more mature than he did in the past.
He didn’t frown in the past when he was asleep but now, he did, which gave her a feeling that he felt really depressed.
Why was he depressed then? Hasn’t he been living happily all these years? He has a successful career and a beautiful fiancee. By right, he should be very happy.
“You’re happy, right?” She asked softly, just like every time when she did and hoped that his answer would give her the assurance she needed.
She really hoped for him to be happy…
He moved slightly and opened his eyes slowly.
She held her breath and her heart raced while she waited nervously for him to regain his consciousness. What would be the first sentence he’d say to her? He wouldn’t still be hating her…would he?
Please, she begged. Please don’t hate me.
He finally opened his eyes. He stared at her and she felt like he had just stuck two sharp knives into her heart.
“Who are you?”
... To Be Continued...
♥ END of the 6th Stop ♥
The truth is...love has never left me... It's just I remembered, you forgot about it...
© 2009-2010 MIN|Translated Version of “Next Stop Happiness”|
[TRANSLATED] The 7th Stop- The Taste of Jealousy
She ever thought that perhaps they’d feel a sense of regret or they might be at loggerheads or they might just stare blankly at each other and realise that the love between them no longer exists if they meet again.
Or perhaps they might be able to let everything rest and be friends again, or they might just ask each other to take good care of themselves and pretend to be strangers from then on.
She has thought of many other possibilities, but none of them had anything to do with him forgetting her. He has forgotten about her…was it for real? Or perhaps it was just to spite her?
“You… don’t remember who I am?” A stunned Mucheng asked.
“Who are you? Why must I know you?” Guangxi said. “Where on earth is this place? Why am I lying around here?”
“This is the village head’s office. You fainted on stage just now.”
“I fainted?” Guangxi frowned. He felt so useless. A little pollen and he had to faint in front of everyone. He scanned the surroundings and got really upset once he got reminded of the fact that he was at the countryside. His eyes landed on the woman standing in front of him. He was stunned for a moment for he did not expect to see such a lovely looking lady in the countryside. “Who are you?” He asked again.
Mucheng felt the pain as he asked the same question again. She smiled weakly and said, “I’m Liang Mucheng.”
“Miss Liang.” He nodded like an emperor would do to his subjects. “Where is your village head? I want to see him now.”
She stared at him without moving a single inch.
“Didn’t you hear me? I want to see your village head.”
“Miss Liang, Liang Mucheng!”
She felt really shocked when he called her full name. For a moment, she thought she had seen the old Guangxi but no, all she saw in his eyes now was a cold expression instead of the teasing looks he had in the past.
He has really forgotten about her. What on earth really happened?
“Why aren’t you responding? Are all the people living in the countryside like this?” An upset Guangxi questioned.
He was the one who was rude. Mucheng frowned. He’s Guangxi indeed. He was just as rough and emotionless as he was in the past.
She wanted to reply him when the village head opened the door. “Mucheng, has Mr. Lawyer regain his consciousness?”
“Yes, he has.” Mucheng stood up and moved aside. “He was looking for you too.”
“Sir, I don’t think I’m well enough today for the welcoming party. Let’s just forget about it” Guangxi said. He didn’t want to have anything to do with the villagers in the very first place.
“Of course. We thought of that too.” The village head said. “You should rest since you’re unwell. We’ve discussed about it just now. Our village is small and we don’t really have hotels here. You can live with Mucheng for the time being since she has an empty room in her house. Moreover, your three meals would be taken care of as she can cook well.”
“Village head, what did you say?” Mucheng was caught off guard. “I have an empty room but…”
“Mucheng!” The village head knew that she was going to reject him. “Mr. Lawyer here is our guest, we should do our best to make him feel at home.”
“But…” Why must she be the one who should do that?
“What’s the matter? Are you afraid that I’ll be a free-loader?” Guangxi felt a little upset that she was trying to push him away. “Don’t worry; I’ll pay you for it. Let’s just do that then.”
In order to show that she cared and wanted to play a part for the village, Mucheng had to accept the village’s head proposal and host the guest from Taipei who was here to “save” them all.
She cleaned the guest room and laid the sheets properly. She also moved the only fan in the house into his room. She then checked for his daily necessities. She thought that everything was fine but Guangxi still had to pick on many matters.
“What is this? Tatami flooring? You don’t have a bed here? Are you implying that I’d have to sleep on the floor? Isn’t there any air-conditioning here? Wouldn’t that mean that I’d feel terribly warm at night?”
“It’s pretty cool here at night. A fan would be enough.”
“What about your bathroom?”
“It’s over there.” She pointed to a small hut that was about 10 metres away from their house.
“What? That’s the bathroom?” Guangxi was disgusted.
Mucheng rolled her eyes. “Don’t worry. There are light and water sources in there and I have cleaned the place up already. You won’t die from poisoning of fumes if you go in there.”
“Goodness gracious, where on earth am I?” That was the exact message that Guangxi’s expression sent.
Mucheng gave him a sarcastic look. He was a rich man’s son indeed. He actually dared to mention that he could put up with all the adverse situations.
“What was that for?” Guangxi looked at her and he frowned again.
“It’s nothing. If there’s nothing else, I’ll have to go and cook now.” Mucheng turned away and decided to ignore him.
“Hey, you…” Guangxi suddenly grabbed hold of her shoulder. Mucheng shook a little because of that. “What’s that reaction for?” Guangxi was taken aback by her reaction.
Indeed, why was she so tensed? Mucheng bit onto her lips. All she could say was that she felt a current moving through her body when he touched her.
“Please don’t touch me as you wish in future.” She said stubbornly so that he wouldn’t see the change in her feelings.
Guangxi thought that she had treated him as a pervert and that made him really angry. “Woman, do you think I’m trying to take advantage of you? Please, I wouldn’t be interested in a country bumpkin like you.”
“I know. You’ve such a beautiful fiancee.” She sounded really sarcastic.
He was stunned. “You know of Yiqian?”
“Please. You’re so famous, Mr. Ren. Tabloids of your relationship can be seen everywhere.”
“It’s so unexpected that news can actually travel to such the countryside too!” Guangxi’s lips rose. “Since so, you should know that I was recently voted as the “Bachelor of the Year”, right?”
“So what?” Mucheng answered coldly.
“So what? Don’t you feel honoured that you are hosting me? It’s a once in a lifetime thing, you know.”
Did he think that she was trying to butter him up and get into his good books so that he’d be interested in her? She smiled coldly. “Didn’t you just mention it yourself? I’m just a country bumpkin and I know my own limitations. It’s none of my business even if 100 different magazines chose you as “The Bachelor of the Year” too.”
“You!” Guangxi’s blood boiled. How can this woman manage to make him angry every time she spoke? To make things worse, he didn’t know why he cared so much about what she had to say.
“If there’s nothing else, I’ll go and prepare dinner now.” She ignored him and walked into the kitchen.
Even though he was upset with Mucheng, he didn’t want to deny the fact that she had pretty good culinary skills.
He never thought that there would be good food in the countryside but Mucheng had proved him wrong. Every dish she served him was not only delicious but was all his favourites too. In the end, he ate so much that he had 2 bowls of rice within a meal.
“Uncle Alien, you’re eating a lot.” Xiaole said out of curiousity. “Is it because you’re starving? Have you forgotten to have your shots of crystals?”
Shots of crystals? Guangxi was lost.
“Xiaole, that’s enough. Uncle here is not an alien.” Mucheng signaled to her son to stop talking.
“Really? But he has the communicative device that you said, Mummy.” Xiaole replied, pouting again.
What? Mucheng paused for a moment. He was still wearing the wristband that she gave him? She looked at his wrist and was disappointed to see nothing on it. She immediately laughed at herself for still having any hopes on the matter.
“It’s for real! I saw it just now. Then Uncle hid it from me.” Xiaole emphasized.
“Your son is really talkative.” Guangxi said, putting down his chopsticks. “Is this trait from his father or from you?” Guangxi chided.
Mucheng was caught off guard by his words. Before she could reply, Xiaole interrupted.
“My Daddy’s an alien, Uncle.” Xiaole announced proudly. “He went back to his planet to report on his findings. He’d be back for me after his work is done.”
What nonsense is he sprouting? Guangxi raised his brow and looked at Mucheng, making the latter feel really embarrassed.
“Xiaole, that’s enough. Hurry up and eat your dinner now. Here you go. This is your favourite pork ribs.”
“Okay.” Xiaole started tucking in obediently. He ate till his whole face was filled with rice grains. Mucheng immediately took a piece of napkin and wiped the rice grains off for him gently. She even took a rice grain from his face and ate it.
The mother and son interacted with each other as though there was no one around. Guangxi’s heart raced without a reason after seeing their actions. He didn’t know why he was touched by the act, but it seemed like he didn’t have any similar memories of such. He realised that even though he had a peaceful relationship with his mother, they lacked something. There seemed to be a gap between them, causing them to be unable to touch each other’s hearts.
Mucheng would hug his son and stroke him gently. Xiaole, on the other hand would kiss his mother’s cheeks. These acts of love made Guangxi really envious. He’d eavesdrop on them when he passed by their room at night. Even though all they had to talk about was silly stuff like aliens and shots of crystals, it’d always put a smile on his face.
Has he gone mad?
Guangxi realised that he was losing ground and he cursed under his breath while walking back to his room to sleep.
The next day, Guangxi started his C.W.O. He reported at the village’s head office and provided free legal advice for the villagers. Not only did he have to deal with the case of the land ownership but there were other cases too. For example, there was someone’s child who was stealing his neighbour’s fruits and another case when a man quarreled with his wife. He wanted some peace and wished from the bottom of his heart that the villagers would stop bothering him over such silly matters.
But he had to continue to do so in order to gain the trust of the villagers and in turn help his prospective father-in-law solve his problems.
During these sessions, he heard some gossip about Mucheng. The villagers immediately warned him about her when they knew he was staying at her place.
“She came to our village 6 years ago and in a few months’ time, we all knew she was pregnant. I wonder whose child she was carrying.”
“Everyone thought that it was Aunt Hua’s son but she insisted that it wasn’t. I guess it isn’t too; if it really was Tuoye’s, he would have married her already.
“I heard that she seduced a rich man’s son and got herself pregnant. They didn’t accept her so she had to leave.”
“That’s so pitiful. How can that man cheat her like that?”
“How do you all know that it’s not the other way round? I heard she’s not very innocent either; if not how is it possible for her to be an unwed mother at such a young age? She’s such a disgrace to her family.”
“That’s enough, ladies.” The village head stopped them immediately after hearing their conversation. “Mucheng didn’t step on your toes, did she? She has been relying on her own two hands to earn her keep and feed her son all these years. Talking about innocence; there were plenty of men in our village who wanted to marry her but she has never been close to any man except for Tuoye.”
“That’s why we say that there’s a problem between Mucheng and Tuoye! It’s just Aunt Hua just refuses to admit that her son has been smitten by Mucheng ----”
“Okay, that’s enough!”
That was the end of the gossip session. But Guangxi had already heard enough to know that his current host was an unwed mother and had an unclear relationship with a man named Hua Tuoye.
It seems like this country bumpkin is quite a catch here.
Guangxi thought unhappily to himself. He felt a discomfort in his chest that he couldn’t seem to get rid of.
“Xiaole, Xiaole!” Mucheng was looking for her son all over the house and was very worried when she couldn’t find him. “Where did this child go to?”
Because of his health problem, she was very strict with Xiaole since he was young. She forbade him to run around like other children but there were still times when Xiaole disobeyed her out of playfulness.
“Xiaole, it’s time for your shots of crystals!” She shouted and walked out of the house but she still didn’t see him. Then she heard water flowing in the bathroom and she heaved a sigh of relief. She smiled and opened the door. “Xiaole, you’re here…”
He was stunned and he stared back at her.
There was a naked man in the middle of the bathroom. His tanned skin sparkled under the sprinkles of water.
It was Guangxi. He was taking a bath and his strong body made him look exactly like a Greek sculpture. He was totally dashing and had attracted her attention.
“Is it an unwed mother’s hobby to look at suave looking men in the showers?” He chided.
Mucheng paused for a moment and banged the door shut. She cupped the sides of her face which was boiling and red due to the embarrassment. Oh goodness! What was she doing? What did she see? She was totally embarrassed this time round.
Guangxi opened the door just when she was lost and didn’t know what to do. He walked out of the bathroom with only a towel around his lower torso.
She turned around immediately. “You, you should put on some clothes first!”
“Your bathroom is so small, there’s nowhere for me to put my clothes.”
“Then…get into your room now!”
“Why are you so nervous?” The more embarrassed she was, the more he felt like teasing her. “Don’t tell me you haven’t seen a naked man before? You have given birth already, haven’t you? What’s all the pretence for then?”
“You…!” He had almost driven her mad. “Why must you take a bath in the middle of the day?”
“Blame it on the sun here. It’s so hot and there’s no air-conditioning, so I had to bathe lest I get sticky.”
“For… forget it, you can do as you please!” She was terribly upset and wanted to walk away at once but he immediately pulled her arm.
She shook again and Guangxi felt that her reaction was really funny. “What is the matter? Are you afraid that I’ll eat you?”
His teasing remark made her feel totally embarrassed and angry. “Didn’t I warn you about touching me?”
“What? Do you think I want to touch you?” Guangxi was really upset that she had taken him to be a pervert. “I just wanted to tell you that Xiaole’s with me. Weren’t you looking for him?”
“What?” She turned around, shocked.
“Mummy, I’m here. I was taking a bath with Uncle Alien.” Xiaole said with his face beaming with happiness as he walked out of the bathroom.
“You two were taking a bath together?” Mucheng was shocked for a moment. She felt her heart ached as the two of them winked at each other in unison. “Xiaole, didn’t I tell you not to disturb Uncle Ren?”
“It’s okay.” Guangxi expressed his disregard for her comment. “I found your son to be pretty interesting after all.”
Xiaole’s interesting? Mucheng became frantic. She wasn’t going to let this man to be too close to her son. She can’t let them develop feelings for each other --- “Please, I beg with you. Please keep a distance away from Xiaole in future!”
“What did you say?” Guangxi became angry upon hearing her remark.
“I’m afraid that you’d be a bad example for my son.” She made up a lame excuse. She pulled Xiaole over and said. “Xiaole, let’s go now.”
“But…” Xiaole was reluctant; he really liked this Uncle.
“Hey, what is your problem?” Guangxi burst. “Am I a devil? Or I have a contagious disease and you’re afraid that I’d spread it to your son? I’ve heard that you don’t let Xiaole go out and play on his own. Are you a little too protective? He’s now at the age when children love to move around. What’s wrong with him going out then?”
Mucheng’s face became pale. “You… you don’t know a single thing at all! Why are you lecturing me then?”
“I’m not lecturing you; I’m just giving you a suggestion. Why don’t you try to train Xiaole to be independent instead of being so overly-protective?”
The problem was she had to protect him well. If not, she would lose him…
Mucheng clenched her fist. “It’s none of your business how I want to raise my son!”
Damn it! Did she think that he was a busybody? He wouldn’t even respond if it wasn’t because of the fact that Xiaole was sticking around him all day long.
Guangxi got more and more upset whenever he thought of the incident of him quarreling with Mucheng. It was actually none of his business how the mother and son interacted with each other. But after spending these few days with Xiaole, he found that he was actually a rather obedient child. Even though he loved to stick around him, Guangxi found his wild imagination rather interesting too. He even felt that it was actually exciting to hear Xiaole talk about his Alien Daddy.
He knew that it was a story that Mucheng had made up to coax Xiaole and only children with the most kindred and pure souls would buy her story.
He had lost that kind of soul for a very long time already. It suddenly occurred to him that his heart actually ached slightly whenever he hears Xiaole’s child talk.
Even though Xiaole’s mother loved him dearly, Xiaole was still desperately seeking fatherly love. This was perhaps the kind of loneliness that children in single parent families would somehow feel.
His situation was similar to Xiaole’s. He only had his mother. He couldn’t even remember how his father looked like… Did his father love his mother? Did he and his father have any happy memories together?
He couldn’t recall a single thing. He had lost his past memories after the surgery 6 years ago. He didn’t know his past, including all the love and hatred that he had experienced before.
All he knew was everything that he has now was given to him by his mother. Therefore, he should follow her wishes and do as she please in life. He should also repay Yiqian as she took care of him with lots of love and gently encouraged him when he was in need of it back then.
His life these 6 years has been a lonely one. It seemed like he was on the top of the world but in actual fact, he felt like there was a part of his heart that was missing. He wasn’t too sure what this was but sometimes when he accidentally encounters Mucheng’s sorrowful gaze at him, his heart would start to feel something.
He found that he cared for the mother and son. The more he got along with them, the more he cared for them.
That was the reason why he asked her not to be so overly-protective of Xiaole! He meant good, but that woman treated his kindness like cheap dirt…
“Uncle Alien, why are you frowning?” Xiaole asked innocently. “Are you upset?”
Guangxi realised that he was in a daze. “I say, Xiaole, aren’t you bored that all you do daily is just going to school and staying at home?”
“I am bored.” Xiaole admitted. “But sometimes, Brother Tuoye will come over and play with me. Moreover, I have you to chat with me now, Uncle Alien.”
“Brother Tuoye?” Guangxi raised a brow. Isn’t he rumoured to be with Mucheng? “Why do you call him Brother?”
“That’s because he’s my best friend.” Xiaole answered.
“But I heard that he’s thinking of wooing your mother?” Guangxi probed.
“How can that be?” Xiaole was shocked. “He’s my brother. He’d be committing incest if he’s together with my Mummy!”
Incest? Guangxi chuckled. Trust this lad to come up with this radical thought. But he liked it, it was so well-said!
He unconsciously stretched his hand and tousled with Xiaole’s hair. “I must say that you seem to be pretty smart sometimes.”
“Of course.” Xiaole became very happy at the comment. “That’s because I’m Mummy’s son.”
That woman may be a hard nut to crack but it seemed like she had educated her son well. Guangxi paused for a moment. Then he suddenly said, “Xiaole, do you want to go roller-skating?” He found a pair of roller-skates when he was cleaning up his own room. He guessed then that perhaps he knew how to roller-skate.
“Yes, I’d love to do that!” Xiaole nodded his head hard. He was very envious when he saw the other children at the kindergarten roller-skating away. “But Mummy wouldn’t allow for me to do so.” He said in disappointment.
“Let’s just ignore her! Your Mummy keeps treating you like a glass doll. Her over-protectiveness is just too unbearable.” Guangxi stood up and said to Xiaole, “Let’s go and get you a pair of skates now and I can teach you how to roller-skate.”
Xiaole was missing again! Mucheng looked around frantically but she just couldn’t seem to find her son.
Where did he go again? She was very angry and worried. She realized that she had been “playing” hide and seek with her son frequently ever since Guangxi came. Xiaole became more playful because he had Guangxi to back him up whenever she was lectured him for his playfulness and disobedience.
She started to wonder if he was having fun somewhere with Guangxi now.
“Xiaole, didn’t I warn that you umpteen of times that you’ll have to have your shots of crystals whenever there’s a need to?” Mucheng muttered under her breath. She decided that it was getting dark soon and she should go out and look for him instead of waiting frantically at home.
Xiaole skated pretty smoothly while Guangxi expressed his approval. This child does have a hidden talent for skating. It only took him an afternoon and he already could grasp the basics well. “Xiaole, I’ll be letting go of your hands now.”
“Okay.” Xiaole nodded. He trembled a little while trying to move forward after Guangxi let go.
“Well done! Xiaole, you’ve almost mastered it.“ Guangxi smiled and applauded for him.
Xiaole was just getting pleased when he suddenly felt dizzy. He fell onto the ground. Fortunately, he had safety guards on his elbows and knees and that prevented him from getting bruised.
Guangxi thought he fell because he lost his balance. He said, “It’s alright. Stand up right now.”
“Okay.” Xiaole struggled as he tried to bring himself back onto his feet but he got dizzier instead.
“What’s the matter? You are a boy. You should be brave. Come on; be up on your feet now.” Guangxi frowned as he walked up to Xiaole. It was then he realized that Xiaole was covered in cold sweat and his face as pale as a sheet. He felt his heart strings being tugged. “Xiaole, how are you feeling?”
“I…” Xiaole was too weak to even speak and he fainted in Guangxi’s arms.
“Xiaole!” Guangxi panicked. He was lost and decided to rush him home immediately. On his way home, he met Mucheng who was worriedly looking for Xiaole. He immediately knew something was amiss.
“Give him to me.” She said, while taking out the needles from her bag. She immediately gave Xiaole an injection.
Guangxi stared blankly at her. “What are you doing?”
“Can’t you see for yourself? I’m giving him an injection.”
“That’s because Xiaole has Diabetes Mellitus Type 1 (Diabetes Type 1). He has to be administered with insulin whenever there’s a need for it!” Mucheng raised her voice. She was very upset and burst out in front of Guangxi. “That’s why I said that Xiaole can’t be running around as he wished. He can’t do vigorous exercises too. Do you know what you’ve just done? You nearly killed Xiaole!”
Guangxi was shocked. He finally understood why she was so overly-protective over Xiaole. He thought that it was because she was too anxious as an unwed mother. But now, he knew that there was a very good and heart-wrenching reason why she was so.
Guangxi felt his heart ached. “… I’m really sorry.”
Mucheng ignored him and turned around. She then cradled Xiaole in her arms.
“Let me help.” He said.
“That’s no need for that!” She rejected his offer. “He’s my son. I’ll carry him home on my own.”
Perhaps he should apologise to her again.
After they were back at home, Guangxi watched as Mucheng tended to Xiaole. He felt apologetic but she was so cold that he didn’t know how he should break the ice between them.
Admittedly, it was his fault that Xiaole had a relapse. But he didn’t do it purposefully. Did she have to take him as an enemy?
He felt unjust and upset that she gave him a cold shoulder. He, Ren Guangxi had never had to apologise to anyone for the past 6 years. He also never had to be humble in front of any woman. But this woman made him break his entire pattern.
He guessed he had to admit that she was one of a kind.
His hand phone rang and Guangxi picked it up in frustration. “Hello, who’s that?”
“Why is your tone like this? Are you upset?” The other party sounded shocked.
“Oh. It’s you, Yiqian.” He tried to control his emotions. “Aren’t you in the States for a conference? Are you free enough to call me now?”
“I’m back already.” Yiqian smiled. “I decided to call you for a chat before I report to the hospital. How are things going for you at Huatian Village?”
“Things are fine here. What about you?” Guangxi asked while he rubbed his eyes.
“I’m fine. I had quite a fruitful experience in the States.” Yiqian shared with him her experience in the Sates while he listened to her patiently. Occasionally, he asked a few questions and replied hers. “Why do you still sound so depressed? Is it because the case that my father entrusted you isn’t going well?”
“Are you talking about the case regarding the land ownership rights? Don’t worry. The villagers here really trust me and they have decided to entrust me with the case too. I’ll try my best to settle it for Huanyu Constructions. Please help me tell him that he doesn’t have to worry about anything.”
“There’s no need for that. My father trusts you the most.” Yiqian said, smiling.
They hung up after a while. Guangxi stared into space for a moment. Then he turned around to see Mucheng standing at the doorway of his room. She had a stern look on her face.
“I see. You’re here for Huanyu Constructions. Why did you have to say that you’re here for C.W.O.?”
Guangxi realized that Mucheng had heard him. He felt guilty and became anxious as he saw the look of disapproval on her face. He wanted to explain but the things he said didn’t sound so. “If not why do you think I’m at the countryside now?”
“Despicable!” Mucheng threw the clean sheets that she brought to change for him onto the floor. “Let me tell you this; no one in Huatian Village will sell their land. We all earn our keep from this land.”
“Money can do magic. I see that you guys have been really fickle-minded? Is it all an act to raise the price of the land?” He chided.
She stared back at him. “Do you think we’re like you rich folks and we have all the time and strength to play such games that you people do?”
“We never know.” He rebutted.
“Despicable! Shameless!” She was terrible upset. “I guess you defended that rapist because of his status right?”
“That’s right. He was a minister. It’s better to defend someone famous than some nobody.” She was already despising him and yet he just couldn’t bring himself down in front of her. “Why? Is there something wrong with that?”
“You…” Mucheng was extremely disappointed. She thought that he might have done that because he was in a predicament. But it turned out that it was all for money and fame… She had actually loved this man before! “Move now! Get out of my house now! I don’t welcome people like you!”
“What did you say?” He looked extremely upset too.
“I said, I don’t welcome you here. Please move out of my house now.”
He’ll do as she pleased! Did she think that he like to live at her place?
Guangxi packed his belongings that night and left for the village head’s house in his convertible that was already being repaired. He didn’t care if the village head was willing to take him in or not; he insisted that he wanted to stay and that was it.
The village head was shocked by his upset expression and agreed to it. He slept on the king-sized bed that was specially prepared for him. But he couldn’t sleep at all and tossed and turned till dawn.
That woman had really made his blood boil. Who did she think she was when she spoke to him in that manner? And why was he so hurt by what she had to say? The problem was; he really cared whenever she judged or reprimanded him. It made him feel like a death row criminal who was going to burn in hell whenever she did that. This was totally absurd!
He jumped off his bed and started to kick the walls in an attempt to vent his anger. The noise he made all night had led to the village head’s family thinking that there was an evil spirit knocking at their door that night.
After that day, he continued to provide his services daily. But he always wore a face when he was there and was so stern that the villagers all avoided him and decided that it was definitely not a good time to get any legal advice.
That was what he wanted anyway so it didn’t matter to him even if everyone kept their distance from him. Then, things changed one evening when Guangxi heard from the villagers that there was a typhoon that was coming. He was shocked.
“I heard that it may be here at midnight. How much of your flowers have you harvest already?”
“It’s almost done. I got a few temporary workers to help me with it. How’s yours then?”
“I’m almost done too. But I heard Mucheng’s in a pretty bad shape. She can’t afford temporary workers so she has to do everything herself.”
“Can she handle it?”
“There’s nothing she can do even if she can’t. Everyone’s so busy; there’s no one available to lend her a hand now…”
Guangxi frowned upon hearing that. He felt a little worried as he looked out and saw the weather changing.
What was the problem with him? Why was he so worried for that woman? It’s her own problem if she can’t manage to harvest her crops in time. He could use this as an opportunity to tease her.
It began raining as he thought of that. Guangxi decided that he couldn’t sit around anymore and pretend he didn’t care. He stood up suddenly and went out.
Mucheng looked at the weather and saw that the rain was getting heavier. She had a premonition but there was no other way out than working faster.
If only Tuoye was around; he’d be able to help her look for temporary workers that could help her with this. She wondered if he had already found the village head’s grandson…
It seemed like she could only depend on herself then.
A strong wind blew and it stung Mucheng’s face. She held on strongly to the box containing the flowers she had just harvested lest they became damaged.
The wind nearly blew her over. She lost her balance and almost fell into the soil. Fortunately, a pair of strong arms grabbed her in time. That person then cuddled her.
“What on earth are you doing here in such weather?” That person cursed.
She lifted her head and she saw Guangxi’s face with a look of disapproval on his face. She was speechless for a moment.
“Let’s go now. Go home with me now!” He started to drag her.
“No, I can’t do that. I’m not done yet…”
“Can you just leave them alone? It’s just an inevitable loss.”
Why must he make her angry by making it sound so simple? “Do you know that I’m tight on cash now? I need to pay for Xiaole’s school fees soon.”
“You….” He hesitated and suddenly realized that she had a heavy financial burden on her.
“Let go of me.” She said and shrugged him off. “I must at least put some plastic sheets over them even if I can’t harvest the rest. In that way, I can save more crops.”
He stared at her silently and he couldn’t bring himself to drag her away. “Let me help you.”
“What?” She was stunned.
“Didn’t you hear me? I said, let me help you!” He shouted back at her, his expression showing that he wouldn’t take ‘no’ for an answer. “Where are the plastic sheets? I’ll move them over now.”
... To Be Continued...
♥ END of the 7th Stop ♥
Once upon a time, Alien Daddy drove his UFO and landed on Earth...
© 2009-2010 MIN|Translated Version of “Next Stop Happiness”|
[TRANSLATED] The 8th Stop- The Recalling of Painful Memories
That night, Mucheng recalled what happened just a few hours ago when Guangxi saved her flowers with her as she put Xiaole to bed.
Thank goodness he was there to help. It was highly possible that she would have been blown away with the wind if not because of him.
He’d always appear when she needed him badly. That was how it was in the past and present. But she could no longer accept his help because she was afraid that she might fall for him again.
Mucheng sighed as she walked in the hall. There, she saw Guangxi sitting on the sofa and staring at his own arm. He saw her and smiled.
“Is Xiaole asleep already?”
“Yes.” She nodded and examined his arm. She was shocked that there was a deep wound on his arm. “You got hurt?” She asked.
“It’s nothing; it’s just a small wound.” Guangxi wanted to roll his sleeve down.
Mucheng stopped him immediately and took out her first aid kit at once and tended to his wound. “Why didn’t you tell me about this? When did you get hurt?”
“Would it make any difference even if I told you then? I don’t even know when I hurt myself. I couldn’t feel it just now.”
Was he trying to kid her? It was such a deep wound. Surely he’d feel something. She rolled her eyes at him. She knew that this man always liked to put up a tough front in front of people. That was how he was too in the past.
“I say, your arms look red too?” He frowned after expressing his concern. “Is that a wound too?”
“No.” She shook her head. “It’s just an allergy.”
“Did you apply any medication?”
“Yes I did. But it doesn’t seem to be effective.” She sighed. “Forget about me. Your wound is more serious than my allergy.”
She applied some medication and gave him a bandage after she cleansed the wound. Neither did he scream out in pain nor he moved and that made her heart ached more. She felt something stinging her eyes and a clear teardrop fell without any warning and landed on Guangxi’s bandage.
He was shocked to see that. “What is the matter with you?”
“It’s nothing.” She said, realizing that she had displayed too much emotion. She moved away from him and wiped off her tears immediately.
“Did you cry?” Guangxi gazed at Mucheng and wondered why his heart ached too. “Are you worried about the flowers? Are you afraid that you’ll incur a great loss? Is Xiaole’s school fees… very expensive?”
She could feel his concern from his every sentence and that she felt really bad.
“Please, I beg you… Please don’t be so caring.” She said with a hoarse voice.
He was stunned by her request. “Why?”
That’s because it has been 6 years already. Everything has changed in these 6 years. He already has a fiancée now and the most important thing is; he had forgotten about her.
Mucheng bit onto her lip and she couldn’t seem to express the feeling she was experiencing now.
Why did he have to forget her? She didn’t know that the feeling of being forgotten by someone was so terrible and sorrowful.
“That’s because… we’re not related to each other at all.” That’s why he should stop being nice to her. If not, she’ll really miss him badly when it’s time for him to leave.
“Are you still angry at me?” Guangxi misunderstood her. “I apologise to you. I shouldn’t have taken Xiaole roller-skating the other day. I just suddenly felt like… teaching him.”
“Why?” She went into a daze. Why must it be roller-skating?
Guangxi was speechless and he felt really complicated. “The truth is; I don’t really remember the past.” He confessed to her bitterly. “I had to undergo a surgery to remove my brain tumour six years ago. I lost all my memories after I woke up from it.”
“Tumour?” Mucheng was the one who was shocked now. No wonder he had frequent headaches back then. Now she knew it was because of his tumour. Was that the reason too why he had forgotten about her? “Have you really forgotten about everything?”
He nodded. “I was packing up my room when I found a pair of skates. I guessed then I could skate. But I wasn’t too sure so I thought of bringing Xiaole along to try out the other day.”
Does that mean that he has forgotten his own father too? Has he forgotten those precious memories he shared with his father at Shengde Hall? Mucheng gazed at Guangxi and her heart ached for him.
“From then on, I’ve been living a make-believe life. I feel that my life is way too unrealistic. I think it’s because I’ve forgotten about someone or something that’s important to me.” Guangxi said softly and he took out a wristband from his pocket.
Mucheng was stunned. “This wristband…”
“I had this with me before the surgery.” Guangxi explained. “I kept it these few days for I was afraid that Xiaole would keep pestering me for it.” He stopped for a moment and he looked lost. “I don’t know why but I’ll always feel that it’s something close to my heart. Perhaps it was a gift from someone.”
Mucheng shook to her core when she heard that. She covered her mouth frantically in an attempt to muffle her cries.
That was the exact one that she had given him! It was the last piece of memories she had given him. She really wanted to tell him desperately… but she couldn’t. If she did, things would become chaotic and that would make him feel even worse.
She took a deep breath to calm herself down. “Do you… still love your fiancée?”
He didn’t reply immediately. He only nodded after a while. “She was the first person I saw after my surgery. She was also the one who accompanied me through the miserable days I had after the surgery. I lost both my memory and coordination skills. Yiqian was the one who was there for me. She encouraged me and accompanied me during all my physiotherapy sessions.
She could picture it. He was so head-strong. That must have been a very difficult period for him. The thing was, He Yiqian was the one by him instead of her.
Tears welled up in her eyes again. But this time round, she held them back and smiled slightly. “I see. So you do love your fiancée.”
Yes, he loved Yiqian, but…
Guangxi looked at Mucheng and saw her smiling. But he could feel the sorrow in that smile. It tugged his heart and he was suddenly lost. There was this emptiness in him. He also felt worried for no particular reason.
“You don’t have to think so much.” Mucheng persuaded him softly. “Actually, I do think about the past too. Those dreams I have not fulfilled and the people I didn’t want to be separated from… But this is how life is, isn’t it? It’s inevitable that we’ll have some regrets in life. There’s no way we can go back in time and make up for anything. If we keep thinking about the past, we’ll miss the present. Isn’t that a pity too?” She paused and looked at him with a gentle expression on her face. “You shouldn’t keep thinking about the past. The present and future is what you should be thinking about instead. Your life would be real as long as you live it to the fullest from now on.”
Guangxi was touched by her words. “Do you believe you that you’re the first person to say such things to me in 6 years?”
“Really?” She smiled.
He smiled back at her. “It’s weird but I really feel very comfortable and relaxed when I talk to you like this.”
He said something similar six years ago too. Mucheng tried to control her emotions. “I guessed it’s because you’ve been too busy with work. It’s a given that you’ll feel relax since you’re not working now.”
“Perhaps.” He said, shrugging his shoulders.
Mucheng took a deep breath. “Guangxi, can we… be friends?”
Guangxi was stunned. He suddenly felt a rush in his body when he heard her saying his name.
He smiled at her. “That would make you my first true friend in 6 years.”
“You’re friends with that person!?”
Hua Tuoye had rushed back to Huatian Village after he knew about the typhoon as he was worried for Mucheng. He was already very shocked when he heard that the lawyer who was in their village for C.W.O. was Ren Guangxi. He got really upset too when he heard that Mucheng had allowed for that person to stay in her house.
“What is going on now? Are you thinking of reconciling with him now?” He questioned.
“How is that possible?” Mucheng denied. “Guangxi... He has lost his memory. He doesn’t even remember me now and he has a fiancée that he loves a lot.”
“Wait, hold on for a moment! What on earth is going on now? I can’t seem to understand what you’re trying to say.” Tuoye demanded for an explanation.
Mucheng had no choice but to tell him the whole story. Tuoye was taken aback by the story.
“Why are there so many complications? Tumour? Lost his memory?” He shook his head. “Does that mean that Ren Guangxi doesn’t remember you and your relationship with him? What about Xiaole…?”
“He doesn’t. And I don’t think I intend to tell him anything about it.” Mucheng interrupted.
Tuoye went into a daze and sighed. “Indeed. He already has a fiancée. What’s the use of telling him anything then?”
“So please, I’ll have to trouble you then to pretend not to know him lest Xiaole finds it weird.”
“Don’t worry, my lips are sealed.” Tuoye promised. This wasn’t only for Mucheng, it was also for himself. He still hoped that one day she would reciprocate his love. “Oh yes, where is Xiaole? I brought him a remote control car.”
“Guangxi brought him to the village head’s office. He loves to stick around Guangxi.” She signed.
Tuoye frowned upon hearing that. “You’re okay with Xiaole hanging around Guangxi? Aren’t you afraid that they might develop feelings for each other and later on…?”
“I know. I don’t want Xiaole to be near him too but…” Mucheng looked away. “Xiaole really likes him and the two of them seemed really happy to be together. I only pray now that Xiaole won’t be too devastated when Guangxi leaves in future.”
Xiaole would be devastated? Tuoye was jealous as he imagined it. “Don’t worry. When the time comes, I’ll comfort Xiaole so that he’d forget that person very quickly!”
So he is Hua Tuoye.
Guangxi found a man in the house with Mucheng when he brought Xiaole home. He gave off a very comfortable feeling when he looked at him. Then Xiaole screamed upon seeing him. He ran straight into his arms.
“Brother Tuoye, you’re back!”
“Yes. Xiaole, did you miss me?” Tuoye asked while he tousled with Xiaole’s hair.
“I don’t. I just remembered that you promised to get me a remote control car.” Xiaole said and made a funny face at him.
“You ingrate! All you care for is the remote control car.” Tuoye pretended to be angry. “I won’t be playing games with you in future then.”
“We’re best friends. Why must you be so calculative? You’re older than me, you know. Shame on you.”
“What did you say? You little rascal, I’ll tickle you…”
“Save me! Mummy, Brother Tuoye’s bullying me!”
“Okay. That’s enough. Tuoye, can you bring Xiaole in and wash his hands for him. We’ll have dinner in a while.”
“Mummy, you’re wrong. This is our house, I should be the one leading the way instead.”
“How old are you, rascal? You want to lead me around? Hmph!”
“I’m older than you when it concerns the mental age.”
“Do you know what ‘mental age’ means?”
“I know it more than you…”
The bickering duo left for the bathroom. Mucheng looked at the two of them and smiled. She turned around and found Guangxi standing at the door.
“What are you doing over there? Come on in.”
“Okay.” Guangxi entered the house. “Is that man Hua Tuoye?”
Mucheng was stunned for a moment. “How did you know?”
“I heard from the villagers that the two of you share a really close relationship.” He said, trying to see how she’d explain for that.
“Yes, we do. He’s my best friend. I’m really thankful to him for taking care of me and Xiaole.” She smiled, admitting that they shared a close relationship.
“Is that so?” Guangxi suddenly felt uncomfortable to see her smiling like that. The three of them seemed like a family just now and that made him really upset. “Since so, why didn’t you marry him?”
“What?” Mucheng was shocked by his question.
“I’ve heard that Hua Tuoye’s interested in you. Why aren’t the two of you married then?”
“Why must I marry Tuoye?” She was embarrassed by his question. “We’re just friends.”
“Is it because of Xiaole? He’s worried because he feels that Xiaole is a burden, right?” Guangxi said, staring at her.
“What one earth are you saying? Tuoye’s not that kind of person.” Mucheng was provoked.
“Then why aren’t you marrying him then?” Guangxi was upset. Why did she have to defend another man?
Mucheng stared at him angrily and ignored his question.
He suddenly thought of something. “Is it because you still can’t forget Xiaole’s biological father?”
She turned pale upon hearing his remark. He knew he was right and he felt even more complicated. “Who on earth is that guy? Does he know about Xiaole? How can he let a woman raise a child on her own?”
“This… is none of your business.” She turned away.
Guangxi frowned and noticed that Mucheng’s hands were trembling. His heart swayed along uncontrollably too.
What was the matter with him? Why was he so concerned about that woman? She was right; it was none of business what happened between her and Xiaole’s biological father. But even so, he couldn’t seem to poking his nose into their business. The mother and son were deep in his mind, whether he liked it or not and he couldn’t stop himself from thinking about them. Darn! Guangxi cursed. He was really upset by his behavior. He was going overboard as a friend. It seemed as though he had fallen for her. That spelt trouble!
He decided that he should calm himself down soon. He should make a trip back to Taipei to see Yiqian. Everything would be solved when he sees Yiqian.
Yiqian was on duty when he was back and she wanted him to wait for her at her house. He went straight up to the second floor when he was there. He was passing by the study and wanted to say hello to Director He. But he heard something instead—
“Ren Guangxi is in charge of the Huatian Village case now?” The person who posed the question was Xu Fangguo. He was Huanyu Constructions’ legal advisor and Director He trusted him very much.
“Yes, it’s Guangxi’s case for now. I’m taking the advantage of him doing C.W.O. over there to build the rapport with the villagers so that they’ll trust him. He’ll then be able to convince the villagers during the meeting to give up their land ownership.” Director He explained.
“Will they listen to him in the first place?’ Xu Fangguo expressed his doubt.
“That’s why we need another backup plan just in case this backfires. Didn’t you get someone to pollute the water source at Huatian Village the other time? It will not be long before they won’t be able to grow healthy flowers. When that time comes, they won’t be able to rely on that as their livelihood and they’d therefore have to sell their land.” Director He said with a hypocritical smile. He stopped for a moment and continued. “But we must keep this from Guangxi. He mustn’t know that we forced the village head’s grandson to sell us the land too.”
“Isn’t he your future son-in-law? Why are you so distrusting then?” Xu Fangguo said sarcastically.
“This is a totally different matter from that. After all, Guangxi has a weird temper. That’s why we’ll have to be careful about things.”
“You should be.” Guangxi looked extremely upset as he entered the room. The two people in the room were shocked to see him around. “What are you doing? Uncle He, how can you resort to such underlying means to deal with the villagers of Huatian Village?”
“Guangxi, when did you arrive?” Director He walked up to him and smiled. He tried to calm him down. “Listen to me, you’ve misunderstood us…”
“I’ve not misunderstood you. I’ve just heard it with my own two ears that you’ve sent someone to pollute the water source at Huatian Village. You also lied to the village head’s grandson so that he’d sell the land to you.” Guangxi stared sternly at his prospective father-in-law. “Uncle He, don’t you think that’s too much?”
“I’m too much?” Director He said, frowning. “Didn’t you say it yourself too; you’d resort to any means as long as you can win a case? How dare you lecture me when you’re just as cold-blooded?”
“I…” Guangxi didn’t know what to say. Indeed. That was what he had been observing these 6 years but…
He was suddenly reminded of Mucheng. He remembered how she braved the typhoon in order to save her flowers; how she suffered from red, sore hands and how she raised her son solely and was troubled as she couldn’t afford his school fees…
He couldn’t bring himself to ruin her livelihood. How could he choose to help the bad guy and let her suffer?
With this thought, Guangxi turned and left the room. He met Yiqian at the staircase landing.
“Guangxi!” She ran into her arms. “I missed you.”
“I’m sorry, Yiqian. I’ve something to settle now. I’ve to rush back to Huatian Village at once.” He pushed his fiancée slightly away from him, leaving her dazed at the spot.
“Let me take a look at your hand.”
The first thing Guangxi did was to check on Mucheng’s hands when he returned to Huatian Village. He saw that her hands were red and full of rashes. He realised that he definitely had something to worry about and work on.
“Didn’t you realise that it might be due to a polluted water source?”
“Is it?” The truth suddenly dawned on Mucheng. “No wonder I was thinking why my flowers withered so easily these days. How did you know about the pollution?”
Guangxi was expressionless. “It was done by Huanyu Constructions.”
“What?” Mucheng was shocked and stared back at him.
He frowned and made a decision. “Don’t worry, I’ll settle this.”
How would he settle it? Mucheng was puzzled. She finally realised what he meant by that when Guangxi announced that he’d be suing Huanyu Constructions on their behalf at the meeting a few days later.
He had gotten someone to investigate on the matter for the past few days and found out the Huanyu Constructions was indeed the culprit behind the polluted water source.
Everyone was shocked by what Guangxi had said. Xu Fangguo, who was representing Huanyu Constructions stood up and objected to his decision. “Mr. Ren, please do not defame Huanyu Constructions. Otherwise we’ll take legal action against you.”
“I’m not afraid of Huanyu Constructions suing me. That’s why I dared to say this aloud in public.” Guangxi stated.
“Please don’t believe what he said.” Xu Fangguo saw that Guangxi was composed and decided that he should deal with the villagers instead. “Perhaps you guys do not know but Ren Guangxi is actually engaged to our Director’s daughter. He’s our Director’s prospective son-in-law. Can you all believe him then if he’s going to represent you all?”
With this, the villagers were even more shocked. The messenger of justice was actually working for the devil.
“Believe me, I’ll help you all.”
“Don’t believe in him. He has an ulterior motive!”
Both parties argued with each other but the villagers just didn’t know who to listen too. In the end, the village head decided to call off the meeting.
The meeting caused everyone to look down on and detest Guangxi but he didn’t mind at all. He continued to try his best to look for evidence that was against Huanyu Constructions. He then drafted the document. He also got Tuoye to find out where the village head’s grandson was and persuaded him to stand out and be a witness.
“Why are you doing this?” Mucheng didn’t understand why he was doing this. “Isn’t it different from your original aim when you came to Huatian Village? Weren’t you supposed to help Director He persuade the villagers to sell you their land instead?”
“It’s supposedly so but he has gone overboard this time.” Guangxi said with a glum look on his face.
“But aren’t you going to offend your prospective father-in-law then?”
“I don’t have a choice even if that happens.” He shrugged his shoulders. “Whatever it is, I don’t agree to what he’s doing.”
Mucheng stared at him. She remembered that he went against his own mother six years ago when he was defending her back then. It seemed like history had repeated itself again.
“Why are you looking at me like that?” She smiled as she was touched by his gesture. That made him felt really awkward. “Do you think I’ve found my conscience? It’s far from that.”
“What is it then?” She asked him softly.
“I’m just doing it… for you.” He admitted it reluctantly. “The truth is; it’s none of my business what will happen to the villagers after they sell us the land. I just didn’t want you to lose your livelihood. What would happen to Xiaole if you did?”
“So you’re just worried that Xiaole and I won’t be able to survive?’
“I was just thinking that you’re a country bumpkin who knows nothing other than growing flowers.” He said, making it sound like he wasn’t really concerned about her. He didn’t want to know that she had touched the soft spot in him.
Mucheng smiled secretly. Perhaps she would have been angry because of his attitude if this happened a few days ago. But now, she knew that it was his attempt to try to hide his emotions from her.
He was still the Ren Guangxi that she loved 6 years ago—
“Thank you.” She thanked him sincerely.
“What is that for?” He didn’t dare to look at her. “I’m starved. Is this how you should treat your ‘guest’?”
“Okay, I’ll make you something to eat now.” She smiled at him.
What was going on?
Yiqian stood outside of the house and was shocked to see her fiancé eating at the same table with another woman and a little boy. They were happily chatting while they tucked in.
He was rarely this happy even when he was with her. Most of the time, he was just depressed and blue.
The most shocking and scary thing was; she recognised who that woman was; it was Liang Mucheng.
6 years ago, Guangxi went against the school board because of her. 6 years later, he’s now going against Huanyu Constructions for her sake…
Did their passion re-ignite? Has Guangxi regained his memory?
Yiqian clenched his fists. She had heard about Guangxi going against her father and she had specially made a trip down from Taipei to question him about it. But she was shocked, worried and lost as she didn’t expect to see something like this at all.
She knew about Mucheng’s existence 6 years ago and yet she worked with Fang Derong and kept Guangxi in the dark about it. She knew that was the only way to make Guangxi hers.
She liked and admired him. She fell for his daring attitude after the first time she saw him playing ice hockey. She never cared so much for someone before. She wanted to be part of and share all of his feelings.
Was this her retribution for being selfish back then?
Yiqian was rooted to the ground. She was lost and didn’t know what to do at all. Then Guangxi turned around and saw her.
“Yiqian, why are you here? Is there something wrong?” He walked out of the house and asked.
“I came… to see you. I heard from the village head that you’re staying here.” She answered him while still in a daze.
“Yes, I’m just living with Mu… I mean Miss Liang temporarily. That’s because there isn’t any motels here in this village.”
Was he embarrassed? Or perhaps he was feeling guilty?
Yiqian stared at her fiancé. She wanted to see if he showed any signs that he had regained his memory but she couldn’t seem to get any clues from his face—perhaps, she still had a chance.
“Guangxi, I heard about you wanting to sue Huanyu Constructions on the villagers’ behalf. Dad is very angry about it.”
“I guessed so too.” Guangxi couldn’t help about giving her a weak smile. “But Huanyu Constructions is really too much this time and I can’t leave my hands out of this.” He tried to explain to his fiancée but she just shook her head.
“It’s okay. I understand.” She paused and looked into his eyes. “I’ve decided that I’ll try to help you convince Dad to give up on owning the land here.”
He was doubtful about Yiqian’s suggestion. It was good news for him but he wondered if a sly fox like Director He would give up so easily.
“Dad loves me the most. I’ll try my best to convince him.” Yiqian promised him after she saw his doubts about her suggestion.
“That’s great. Thank you for your help then.” Guangxi was elated.
“But you must promise me something.” Yiqian stated her terms.
“What is it?”
“Let’s get married right away. I can’t wait anymore.” She immediately leaned forward, placed her arms on his shoulders and gave him a long kiss.
He was going to get married!
She didn’t hear the news from him but rather from the villagers. It was rumoured that He Yiqian had spoke to the village head and explained to him that she had already persuaded her father to give up on the ownership of the land. He also promised to help with the pollution problem. At the same time, they’d be ordering flowers from Huatian Village for their wedding as a gesture of apology.
He was finally going to get married.
Mucheng didn’t know if she should be please or upset about the news. She just felt emptiness and loneliness in her.
The villagers were over the moon because of the news. They thanked Ren Guangxi and looked upon him as if he was a saviour of the world. They also planned a farewell party for him as they wanted to send him off happily.
Everyone in the village was happy, everyone except her. She felt like a deflated balloon; wobbly and helpless. She drifted around and wasn’t sure of what she was supposed to do.
“What’s the matter with you? Brace yourself!” Tuoye knew what Mucheng was upset about. He was both jealous and worried. “Look at you. How are you going to take care of Xiaole like this?”
Yes, she still had Xiaole.
Mucheng braced herself. She had almost forgotten that Xiaole would be depressed to know that Guangxi was leaving soon.
She knew she couldn’t do this anymore. She had to be strong so that she could comfort her son.
On the eve of Guangxi’s departure, Mucheng specially whipped up a feast for him. Mucheng prepared the dishes that Guangxi liked too other than the Braised Beef Rice that Xiaole wanted.
“Uncle, my Mummy’s Braised Beef Rice is the best! You must have some.” Xiaole recommended it to Guangxi. He still had no idea that Guangxi was leaving tomorrow.
Guangxi couldn’t bear to bade him goodbye too so he pretended as though that nothing was wrong and even joked with Xiaole. He then tucked into the Braised Beef Rice. The taste of the Braised Beef Rice was food.
“Is delicious, isn’t it?” Xiaole asked proudly.
Guangxi didn’t answer him but he felt that this Braised Beef Rice tasted really familiar. It seemed like it was a taste he missed after having tried it for once. “Who did you learn this dish from?” He stared at Mucheng.
“It’s from a recipe that my mother left for me.” Mucheng noticed that he was staring hard at her and her heart raced. She was worried that he would recall something.
But Guangxi just nodded. “It’s not too bad. It’s pretty delicious.”
“Oh.” Mucheng felt disappointed. On one hand, she was worried that he’d recall something but on another hand, she was sad that he couldn’t recall anything.
She was distracted throughout the entire meal. After dinner, Guangxi invited Xiaole to take a bath with him. He then tucked him into bed and told him a bedside story.
She stood by the doorway and looked at them. She felt that this was really a bittersweet moment.
They really look like father and son like this…
“Your son is really picky.” He said to Mucheng, smiling, after Xiaole went into slumber. “I must perform too while I tell the story. Otherwise he won’t go to bed. I bet you were the one who spoilt him right?”
She didn’t reply him. She just looked at him and gave him a weak smile.
They just looked at each other quietly. Guangxi noted that she seemed to have a lot to tell him.
“I’m going back to Taipei tomorrow.” He said hoarsely after a while.
“I know.” She nodded and tried to avoid his eyes.
“Please give this Xiaole on my behalf.” Guangxi passed a box to Mucheng.
Mucheng opened the box and was stunned to see a wristband lying in it. It was the very same one that she had given him.
Guangxi heaved a sign. “Do you know? I’ve been dating Yiqian for 6 years already. But I’ve been delaying our marriage plans. It’s not only because of the fact that the two of us are busy with our careers; it’s also because of the fact that I’m afraid.”
“Afraid?” Mucheng was lost.
“It’s because I couldn’t remember the past. I was afraid that there might be one day, something or someone from the past might look me up again. That was why I never dared to go ahead with my marriage plans with Yiqian. But…” He paused and smiled slightly. “You were right. I can’t keep thinking about the past. I must learn to grasp the present… This wristband is like my past memories, it has been clinging onto me and therefore I must let go of it.”
That was it. It was really over for them.
Mucheng held onto the wristband and was on the verge of sobbing. She didn’t tell him that there was a memory card in the wristband when she gave it to him 6 years ago. That memory card contained the memories of them together and today, he told her that he’d be letting go of them…
But, it was time to let go. It was not only for him but also for her.
“I thought I might as well give it to Xiaole then. He can take this as the communicative device he was talking about the other time. He can call me anytime if he needs my help.”
“No problem. I’ll hand it over to him.”
Mucheng promised. The two of them looked at each other and they saw a look of dismay on both their faces. This was wrong. They were just very ordinary friends.
Guangxi raised his hand and he wanted to stroke Mucheng but he stopped when he almost touched her face. “You can call me too when you need my help, Mucheng.”
“Okay.” She said, nodding, with tears welling up in her eyes.
But they both knew; she’d never call him. It was highly possible that they may never meet again—
The villagers held a farewell party for Guangxi the next day. Everyone in the village was there, including Tuoye. But Guangxi just couldn’t seem to find Mucheng and Xiaole amidst the crowds.
“They won’t be coming.” Tuoye knew what he was thinking about and decided to answer his query for him. “Mucheng has gone to pick Xiaole up from school and they’d be heading straight for home. She said that Xiaole would create a din if he knew that you were leaving.”
“That’s good in a way too.” Guangxi smiled bitterly. Frankly speaking, he was afraid to say goodbye to Xiaole too. After all, he had developed feelings for that little boy during his period of stay here. He’d be so embarrassed if they were to break down in front of the other villagers.
It’s best that Mucheng and Xiaole weren’t present.
But even so, Guangxi still couldn’t stop his feelings from pouring out from him. He knew that he shouldn’t let that happen but he really hoped to see the mother and son for the last time. He didn’t mind even if he had to do it secretly.
Thus, he slipped away when the villagers didn’t notice and arrived at the kindergarten.
The compound was empty and almost all of the children had already gone home. Guangxi loitered around. He suddenly felt that what he was doing was extremely stupid and silly.
It’s definitely not of a man to be so wishy-washy.
He turned around and wanted to leave. Suddenly, he heard someone playing the piano. It wasn’t very clear but it had mysteriously touched his heart.
He traced the source of the music and then he found that it was really clear to him now. He was stunned and that melody was so familiar that it made his heart ached.
It was the “Air on the G-String”.
He didn’t know how he had managed to know the name of the tune immediately. He hummed along with the melody.
Then, he began to recall certain images. His head ached… What was that? Why were there those images? He seemed to see a girl who resembled Mucheng and she was playing the piano.
I’ll play the piano for you every day after you knock off from work.
He seemed to have recalled something…
... To Be Continued...
♥ END of the 8th Stop ♥
This wristband is like my past memories, it has been clinging onto me and therefore I must let go of it...
© 2009-2010 MIN|Translated Version of “Next Stop Happiness”|
[TRANSLATED] The 9th Stop- The Decision
It was “Air on the G-String”.
This tune was the one which she kept all her memories in. The memories she had with her father and Guangxi and all her childhood dreams and ambitions. All these came under the light as she played the tune.
Those were her most happy and upsetting memories. She used to have a lot and she lost a lot too. It was time for her to be strong and bid everything farewell now.
She bid her dreams, youth and the love she couldn’t seem to let go goodbye.
Mucheng played the piano over and over again. Her tears fell onto the keys and her hands. She finally couldn’t control her trembling fingers…
“Why did you stop?” A hoarse voice asked.
Mucheng was stunned. She thought that it was the kindergarten teacher. She stood up frantically and said, “I’m sorry for borrowing the piano for such a long time. I’m leaving now with Xiaole…” She stopped when she noticed that the person standing in front of her was actually Guangxi. “Why are you here? Aren’t you supposed to be at the party now?”
“I thought I wanted to see you all one last time before I leave.” He said, expressionless. “Where’s Xiaole?”
“He’s over there.” She said pointing to Xiaole who was sleeping in a corner in the music room.
“Did he fall asleep after listening to you play the piano?”
“He’s exactly like me.”
“What?” She was stunned.
“He’s exactly like how I was back then, isn’t he?” Guangxi looked straight into her face. “I’d always hear you play the piano and would fall asleep most of the time after that.”
“You…” Mucheng was shocked. She grabbed onto the edge of the piano. “How is it possible that you…?”
“I’ve remembered the past.” He said bitterly. “It’s not a complete recollection but I think I’ve recalled many things concerning you. I’ve recalled how we met back then, the case and when you said you wanted to leave me.”
“Guangxi…” Mucheng clenched onto her teeth. She found many thoughts racing through her head. Why was he staring at her with a look of indifference on his face now?
“Liang Mucheng, I couldn’t protect you, right? I couldn’t even save my own family’s Shengde Hall, how could I’ve thought of protecting you then? I’m just a rich man’s son who sits around and enjoys life. You were afraid that I couldn’t take hardships and would become your burden, right?” He forced her to answer him. Every question was like a piece of molten rock that seemed to melt and burn her heart.
He really remembered it all. But the bad news was, he remembered their breakup most clearly. He must have been heartbroken back then.
She was teary-eyed. “Guangxi, listen to me…”
He suddenly grabbed her shoulders. “What is it that you have to say? How do you intend to put me down further? Isn’t all these enough already?”
He really hated her because she hurt him badly then. “I’m sorry, Guangxi.”
“You don’t have to be!” Guangxi shouted. He was furious and he shook her hard. He really felt like slapping her. “After all, you’ve already repaid me with your body, isn’t it?”
“Didn’t you leave with Hua Tuoye so that you'd get to enjoy a luxurious life? What on earth is going on now then?” He said sarcastically. “Why are you an unwed mother and have to work really hard like you did in the past? What about Hua Tuoye? Why isn’t he protecting you? Why aren’t you married to him? He…”
Guangxi paused and suddenly turned his attention to Xiaole who was sleeping in the corner. He was struck with a thought that made him lost for a moment. Then he said, “Don’t tell me that it’s because Xiaole’s my…”
“No, that’s not the case!” Mucheng guessed what he wanted to say and interrupted immediately. “Please don’t let your imagination run wild.”
But the more she denied, the more he felt she was hiding the truth from him. Guangxi knew immediately what was going on and he had mixed feelings about it.
“Xiaole’s my son, right?” He asked her sternly and tried to walk across the room to Xiaole.
Mucheng stepped in front of him and tried to block him. “Please, Guangxi.” She shook her head miserably. “You’re getting married soon.”
So what? Did she take him as a fool now? Was that why she kept the truth from him and forbade him from acknowledging his son?
“Liang Mucheng, you’re ruthless indeed.” Guangxi banged his fist into the wall. He felt a burning sensation in his chest. This woman was the one who trampled on and killed his young and innocent love. “I’ll not let you off.”
“What do… you want?” She was as pale as a sheet.
The sides of his mouth went up slightly, making him look like a smiling demon. “I want Xiaole.”
Mucheng was afraid as she knew what he meant. She ran across the room immediately and pick up her son. Xiaole was shocked and he woke up. He rubbed his eyes and looked at his mother.
“Mummy, what’s the matter?”
Mucheng didn’t answer him. She just wanted to get away from Guangxi. But Guangxi was sticking closely right behind her. His every footstep sounded to her as though the guards from Hell were coming after her.
No, she couldn’t let him take Xiaole away from her. No one was allowed to take her son away from her.
“Mummy, it’s Uncle Alien.” Xiaole found Guangxi who was standing behind them. He immediately got down from his mother’s arms and ran towards his idol.
Mucheng immediately grabbed her son’s arms. “No, Xiaole, we have to go now!”
“Why? Mummy, I want to play with Uncle.”
“No, you can’t!”
“Why not? Uncle!” Xiaole cried. He could feel his mother’s firm stand even though he was a child.
“Xiaole!” Guangxi’s heart broke when he heard Xiaole’s cries. He ran up to Mucheng and snatched Xiaole from her.
Xiaole snuggled in his arms. “Uncle, why doesn’t Mummy allow for me to play with you?”
“That’s because I’m not your Uncle.” Guangxi said as he stroke his son’s head.
“Who are you then if you’re not Uncle?” Xiaole asked innocently, with tears in his eyes.
“I’m your Daddy.”
Guangxi announced in front of Mucheng. He didn’t know that she felt like it was the end when he said that.
She was rooted to the ground and she looked very helpless. She saw her son grabbing Guangxi. Xiaole was all smiles. It was like a dream come true for him as his idol was actually his biological father.
“I knew it. I knew that you were related to my Daddy. You’re exactly like what Mummy had described you to be. You are my Daddy.” Xiaole’s eyes sparkled like the stars in the night sky.
“Yes, I’m your Daddy.” Guangxi hugged his son.
Don’t do that, he can’t take Xiaole away from her. Xiaole was her only treasure…
Mucheng felt something stinging her eyes are she watched them. “Xiaole, come back here.”
“Mummy, it’s Daddy!” Xiaole didn’t understand why his mother was upset and happily shouted his discovery at her.
She felt that it was too unbearable for her. She took Xiaole’s hand and said, “Let’s go. Xiaole, let’s leave now!”
“No, Mummy, I want to be with Daddy…”
“Leave with Mummy now!”
Mucheng and Xiaole were “playing” tug and war with each other when a fist landed on Guangxi’s face and he was thrown onto the ground.
The person who had beaten him was none other than Tuoye. He had saved Mucheng at the most critical moment. She immediately picked her son up and left hurriedly.
“No! Mummy, I want to be with Daddy. Xiaole wants Daddy---”
“He said he wants Xiaole. He said he’s going fight for Xiaole’s custody rights with me!”
Mucheng put Xiaole to bed with much difficulty before telling Tuoye what had happened just now. She then poured her worries to Tuoye. “What should I do now? Tuoye, tell me. What should I do now?”
“Mucheng, calm down.” Tuoye said, grabbing onto her shoulders. He looked at her and saw that she was pretty disheveled and lost and that broke his heart. “Don’t be like this. There will be a way to solve this. Ren Guangxi won’t be able to do as he pleases.”
“But he has already taken some of Xiaole’s hair for DNA Testing. He’ll go to court once the results are out… I know he’ll do that. He’s a lawyer. He can easily win Xiaole’s custody rights if he wants to.”
“Even so, he still has a fiancée. She’s a rich man’s daughter. Do you think she’ll be willing to raise someone else’s child then?”
“Who knows? Guangxi said that she’s a pediatrician and she loves children.” A disturbed Mucheng said.
“This is not just someone else’s child; it’s a child that has been born to her fiancé and another woman.” Tuoye tried to calm Mucheng down. “Just don’t panic for now. You have to stay calm and think. I’m sure that there will be a way out.”
“I have actually thought of a way.” Mucheng said. “The only way is for me to leave Huatian Village with Xiaole.”
“What did you say?” Tuoye was shocked. “Are you trying to imply that you’re hoping that Ren Guangxi wouldn’t be able to find you all like that?”
“Yes, this is the best solution to the problem.”
What about him then? He wouldn’t be able to see them too. How was he supposed to be at peace then if he couldn’t take care of them?
“No, I don’t approve of that.”
“I can’t let the two of you out of my sight! “ Tuoye said anxiously. “It has been tough on you all these years and I don’t want to see you suffer anymore. I…” He bit onto his lips and struggled for a moment. Then he shouted, “I want to take care of the two of you!”
Mucheng was stunned.
“I wish to take care of the two of you.” Tuoye repeated himself. He walked towards Mucheng and planted a kiss on her forehead. “Would you marry me, Mucheng?”
“But…” Mucheng hesitated. All she took Tuoye for was a good friend.
“I know that you only take me as a friend.” Tuoye wore a smile of self-mockery on his face. “But I like you for a very long time already. Mucheng, I was afraid that we can’t even be friends if I confess to you. But now…”
He scratched his head and he looked a little bashful. “You need me too, isn’t it? If we get married, Xiaole will have a father and a complete family. In that way, you’d be granted the custody rights even if we have to go to court.”
That was true. A complete family would mean a better chance of being granted the custody rights.
“But I can’t make use of you like this. It’s not fair to you.” Mucheng said, frowning.
“Make use of me, Mucheng.” Tuoye said, smiling. There was so much love that could be seen in his smile. “I’m really happy that I can let you make use of me. I, Hua Tuoye am most willing to be at your service whenever you need me.”
“Tuoye, you…” Mucheng stared at Tuoye. She knew his feelings for her all these years. But she couldn’t bear to hurt another person’s heart.
“You don’t have to give me a reply immediately. You can consider about it first. I can wait for you.” Tuoye left at once as he was afraid that Mucheng may reject him on the spot.
Mucheng sat there and went into a trance. She didn’t notice that Xiaole was hiding in the corner, eavesdropping on their conversation.
Oh no, what will happen to Daddy if Mummy were to marry Brother Tuoye?
Xiaole was very nervous after he overheard the adults’ conversation. He didn’t understand what it meant for ‘custody rights’ or ‘complete family’. But he knew that he’d be separated from his father is his mother marry Brother Tuoye.
He didn’t want that. He wanted his parents to live together with him.
He took out the wristband that his mother had given to him. He heard that it was a gift from his father. It was supposed to be a communicative device but he still didn’t know how to operate it despite him examining it for a few days already.
Who should he ask then? He couldn’t ask his mother or Brother Tuoye. It shall be… Grandpa Village Head then. He’s the elderly with the most authority in the village. He’d know how to operate the device.
With that, Xiaole took the bus to the village head’s office. But the village head was too busy to entertain Xiaole so he ended up loitering around instead. He then heard a piece of good news.
A few of the villagers were sending flowers to Mr. Lawyer who was in Taipei. Xiaole knew that they were talking about his Alien Daddy so he decided to follow them.
He hid at the back of the truck and he finally reached Taipei. The journey wasn’t a smooth one and Xiaole was dizzy and he wanted to vomit but he bore with it until they reached their destination.
The truck stopped and the villagers started to move the flowers down. Xiaole slipped away from them and went to the venue of the wedding. He started to grab onto every stranger he saw and asked, “Have you seen Xiaole’s Alien Daddy?”
“Lad, where did you come from?” All the people answered him impatiently. “We’re very busy here. Please go and play somewhere else.”
Xiaole was depressed that he couldn’t seem to find his father. But he persevered and believed that he would be able to do so. Finally, he met a middle-aged woman who was classily dressed up for the occasion.
She was none other than Fang Derong. She had made a special effort to go down to the venue to see how the wedding preparations were going when she met a weird little boy.
“Alien? Whose child are you? Where are your parents?”
“My Mummy’s not here. I’m looking for my Daddy.” Xiaole replied innocently.
Fang Derong gazed at the boy and realised that he looked familiar. “Who is your Mummy?”
“Her name is Liang Mucheng. Do you know her?”
Liang Mucheng! Fang Derong was shocked. Isn’t she the girl whom Guangxi was smitten with 6 years ago? Why did she appear again after 6 years? Was she here to crash Guangxi and Yiqian’s wedding?
With that thought, she immediately put on a stern face and chased Xiaole away. “Go away! This isn’t where you should be.”
“But I’m looking for my Daddy.” Xiaole pouted as he wore a pitiful look.
Fang Derong was almost going to give in to him but she forced herself to be ruthless about this. She called for the guards and said, “Bring this child out of here.”
“No!” Xiaole struggled. “I want my Daddy…Ouch…” He felt a pain around his abdomen area and he squatted down in pain.
“Hey, what is wrong with you?”
“I feel… terrible…” Xiaole felt really dizzy and he seemed to be out of breath. His face was as pale as a sheet.
Fang Derong was shocked and stared back at him. After a moment, she found her voice. “Call the ambulance now and send this child to the hospital at once.”
It was raining outside.
It was really a drizzle but it made Yiqian feel really depressed.
She stood by the window as she recalled what her fiancé said to her the night before---
“I have a child. I’ve already done a DNA testing to confirm his paternity.”
“Is he… Liang Mucheng’s son?”
“Yes, you saw him that night too. His name is Xiaole. I’d want to fight for his custody rights.”
She looked at the glum look on his face and suddenly, he seemed like a stranger to her. “You’ve recalled everything, right?”
“Yes, I have.” He admitted. It was clear that he was wanted to blame her for something. “You knew about Mucheng’s existence and my past with her. Why didn’t you tell me about it?”
How could she have done that? She wasn’t brave enough to do that? She’d lose him for sure if she did!
But now, she was definitely losing him too. She knew that his heart was no longer belonged to her even though he did still express his willingness to get married with her…
She wanted to cry and tears welled up in her eyes. She covered them in an attempt of self-denial.
Guangxi was hers. He’d stay by her as long as she accepted Xiaole. After all, she was the one who was by him during the most miserable period of his life 6 years ago.
Guangxi loved her. She loved Guangxi too. They’d get married and no one would stop them from doing that.
“Dr. He, Dr. He!” A nurse called for her. “There’s an emergency case!”
Yiqian regained her composure and rushed to the emergency department. The little patient was surrounded by a few nurses and trainee doctors. Amidst them, she saw her prospective mother-in-law.
“Yiqian, please save this child!” A flustered Fang Derong walked up to Yiqian. “He was at the wedding venue and I chased him away. Then he suddenly fainted without any warning. Can you please check and see what is wrong with him?”
“Okay, I’ll take a look. Don’t worry.” She comforted Fang Derong and squeezed through the crowd to find the little patient who was lying on the bed to be Xiaole.
He was Mucheng and Guangxi’s son.
Yiqian stood rooted to the ground and she was lost. The trainee doctor gave her a detailed report on Xiaole’s pulse and breathing rates and his blood type. But she just stared blankly into space. She then lowered her gaze onto Xiaole. A frightening thought then occurred to her.
If this child ceased to exist, Guangxi would not tied to Mucheng. Guangxi would be solely hers then.
If only this child ceased to exist…
Guangxi rushed to the hospital immediately after he was being informed by Yiqian. He saw Xiaole sleeping in the ward and his mother pacing around outside the ward when he reached the hospital.
“Why are you here?” Fang Derong was shocked to see him. “Who informed you about this?”
“It was Yiqian.” Guangxi replied and immediately rushed into the room to take a look at his son. “How is Xiaole? Is he okay?”
“You…know that child?” Fang Derong was devastated. “Does that mean that you have seen Liang Mucheng?”
“I’ve not only seen her, I’ve also recalled the past.” Guangxi announced to his mother.
Fang Derong was terrified. She couldn’t believe her ears. She noticed how flustered her son was and knew immediately that something was amiss. “So, you… no! You can’t be involved with that woman anymore. It’s none of your business what happens to her son…”
“Who says that it’s none of my business? Xiaole is my son too!”
His deafening words shook Fang Derong to the core.
“I heard that Xiaole had a relapse after you tried to chase him away.” Guangxi lectured his mother. “Do you know that you’ve nearly cost your grandson his life?”
He was her grandson? That child in the ward was actually her grandson? Fang Derong was speechless.
Guangxi ignored her and entered the ward to keep his son company. A few hours later, Mucheng arrived too. She was almost on the verge of breaking down when she saw her son lying unconscious on the bed.
“Xiaole, Xiaole.” She stroked her son’s pale face.
“He is going to be fine. His condition has already stabilized.” Guangxi said hoarsely while he looked at her.
Mucheng stopped and took deep breaths. She was still extremely angry. She stood up and stared sternly at Guangxi. “Why did this happen? Why is Xiaole here? Did you take him away when I didn’t notice it? How could you do that?”
Guangxi frowned. Her accusation made him really upset. “Do you really think that I’m such a despicable person; that I’ll take Xiaole away without informing you about it?”
“Fine. Tell me how did Xiaole make his way to Taipei then?” She grabbed his collar and tears welled in her eyes. “Do you know how worried I was when I couldn’t find him? I was so anxious as it was way past the time for his shots. I was afraid that he may suffer a relapse out there. I was so afraid that he’d be all alone by himself and no one would be helping him. I thought I heard him cry for me. I knew he’d be very frightened… Why must you do this? How can you take him away from me? I hate you, Ren Guangxi, I hate you…”
Mucheng was choked with emotions and she broke down. Guangxi stared at her and wanted to hug her but she pushed him away.
“Don’t touch me. Don’t you dare touch me!” She screamed at him and drew a line between them.
Guangxi clenched his teeth. He was really upset at her. A part of him wanted to scream back at her but another part of him wanted to hug her tightly and comfort her.
That was because his heart ached…
“Liang Mucheng, do you know that you’re really abominable?”
“You’re the one who’s abominable! You stole my son from me!” She accused him again. “I won’t let you do as you please. You will not snatch my Xiaole away from me!”
“Stop quarrelling.” A weak voice interrupted. The two of them turned around immediately and looked at Xiaole who was lying on the bed. He had regained his consciousness and was sitting up on the bed looking teary-eyed.
“Xiaole, you’ve woken!” Mucheng ran towards her son. “How are you feeling? Are you in pain? Tell Mummy now, do you feel any discomforts?” She examined her son from top to toe anxiously.
Xiaole pushed her away indifferently. “I want Daddy.”
“What?” She was stunned. “Xiaole, what did you just say?”
“I want Daddy!” Xiaole cried. “Mummy, you’re so mean. You don’t want me to be with Daddy and you want to separate us. You’re an evil Mummy. Xiaole hates you!”
Xiaole… hates her?
Mucheng was shocked. Her beloved son wanted his Daddy instead of her?
She stood rooted to the ground. She felt a stinging sensation and she wanted to cry but she couldn’t seem to do so. She wanted to say something but she couldn’t seem to do so too.
She recalled how much pain she had endured to give birth to Xiaole, who was so small and weak back then. She was so afraid that Xiaole wouldn’t survive then.
She never dared to let down her guard all these years. She was afraid that a small mistake would cost Xiaole to suffer again. She’d piggyback him to the hospital when he was sick. She’d take care of him all night long when he had a fever.
She loved this child and would always think that her life was complete whenever she saw his innocent smile. He was her treasure, her hope.
“Xiaole…” She trembled as she stretched her hands out to her son.
“Mummy, you’re so evil. Why can’t you let me be with Daddy? I hate you, I hate you!”
Her hand that was hanging in mid-air fell upon hearing that.
Her heart was broken
Guangxi saw her in the walkway. She was in a corner and she had buried her face between her knees.
She may have been crying but Guangxi knew that she wouldn’t want him to see her doing so.
It seems like Xiaole’s rejection was a strong blow for her. He had never seen her this depressed before.
Guangxi gazed at Mucheng and realised that his hatred for her was gone. All he wanted to do now was to protect this woman and make her smile again.
He made his way to Yiqian’s office silently and knocked on the door.
Yiqian allowed for him to enter. It was as though she had known that he’d look for her. Her expression was very calm. “Take a seat; I’ve been waiting for you.” She poured a cup of coffee for him. He accepted her offer. “Thank you for saving Xiaole.”
“It’s my responsibility as a doctor.” She smiled slightly.
Guangxi gazed at her and realised that she was giving him a weak smile.
She knew he had seen through her disguise and decided to stop pretending. She pouted slightly and said, “Actually, there was a moment that I had actually hoped that the child would be of non-existence.”
Guangxi was stunned and his fingers gripped tightly onto the side of the cup.
“I’m very scary, right?” Yiqian smiled bitterly. “I was frightened by my own thoughts too. I’m not fit to be a doctor.”
Guangxi didn’t reprimand her. He could understand why Yiqian would have that kind of thoughts. He felt apologetic. “It’s my fault. I’m sorry.”
“Why are you apologizing?”
“It’s because…” He took a deep breath and closed his eyes. “I want to annul our engagement.”
“I knew it, I guessed it earlier too.” Yiqian lowered her head and said to herself softly. She smiled reluctantly and continued. “I knew you’d leave me if you regained your memory. That is why I’ve been delaying our marriage plans all these years. I was afraid of the arrival of this day.”
“You too?” Guangxi was shocked.
“Some things are fated and predestined and there’s no way you can change or escape from them.” Yiqian said. “It’s just like you remembering the past and me having to pay the price of lying to you.” She took a deep breath and walk towards Guangxi. She leaned on his chest and said, “Can you please hug me for one last time, Guangxi?”
The two of them hugged and none of them said another word.
Guangxi returned to his son’s ward after coming to an agreement with his ex-fiancée. Mucheng was still standing lonely outside the ward. He took a glance at her before entering the room.
Xiaole wasn’t sleeping well. He frowned and mumbled in his sleep. Suddenly, he woke up.
“What’s the matter?” Guangxi said, grasping onto his cold palms.
“Daddy.” Xiaole grasped him tightly as though as the action would comfort him. “Where’s Mummy?”
“She has already left.” Guangxi said purposefully.
“She left? Where did she go?” Xiaole was shocked.
“Didn’t you tell her that you want me and you hate her? That’s why she left. She’ll not disturb you again.”
“Nope, that’s not it…” Xiaole was flustered. “I didn’t mean to chase Mummy away.”
“But you broke your Mummy’s heart because you said you hate her. She was very sad and has already left.”
“What should I do now, Daddy?”
“I don’t know.” Guangxi pretended that there was nothing he could do and shook his head.
Xiaole became worried and struggled to get down from bed. “I must go and find Mummy now!”
“No, you can’t go now. You’re still on a drip. You can’t move around as you please.” Guangxi stopped Xiaole.
“Let me go, I want to find Mummy now!” Xiaole shouted. He was worried that he’d lost his mother. “Mummy! It’s my fault. Please don’t be angry with me and abandon me!”
“What’s the matter?” Mucheng heard the commotion and rushed in immediately. “Xiaole, how are you feeling? Are you alright?”
“Mummy!” Xiaole heaved a sigh of relief after seeing Mucheng. He laid in her arms and cried softly. “Please don’t be angry with me. It’s my fault. I was disobedient. I apologise to you. Please do not leave me, Mummy.” He sniffed. Every sentence he said broke Mucheng’s heart.
She hugged her son tightly and comforted him. “Who said that I’ll abandon you? How can I bear to abandon you? I won’t leave; I’ll be here with you. Xiaole, don’t cry.”
“Mummy.” Xiaole continued to sob.
Guangxi stood by the side and watched the mother and son hugged each other. He smiled and said, “Xiaole, you like your Mummy best, right?”
“Yes.” Xiaole sniffled and nodded. He wiped his tears and said, “I like Mummy best.”
“Your Mummy is the most important person to you, right?” Guangxi asked.
“Yes, but…” He wanted his Daddy too! Why can’t he like the both of them? Must he really have to choose from the two of them?
Xiaole looked at his father and was on the verge of crying.
“I know. You want the both of us, right?” Guangxi understood his son’s thoughts. He leaned forward and stroked his face. “Shall the three of us live together in future?”
Xiaole’s eyes sparkled. His face was still full of tears but he was already smiling. “Can we really do that? Can I live together with the both of you?”
“We can; as long as your Mummy agrees to it.” Guangxi said and looked at Mucheng.
She stared back at him and was lost for words.
“Please marry me, Mucheng. We’ll get married. That’s the best solution.”
Guangxi pulled Mucheng onto the walkway to sort things out after Xiaole fell asleep.
“You want Xiaole to have a complete family too, right? He wants both his Daddy and Mummy. We can fulfill his wish as long as we get married.
“But… what about He Yiqian?” Mucheng hesitated. “Weren’t you going to marry her?”
“I’ve already annulled our engagement. She agreed to it.”
“You…” She frowned.
He warned her before she rejected him. “You’d reject me only if you want to fight for Xiaole’s custody rights with me in court.”
She paused and was upset by his demanding tone. “I don’t have to marry you. Tuoye proposed to me too…”
“What did you just say? You want to marry another man?” Guangxi grabbed her by the shoulders. He was very upset by her remark. “Listen carefully, I’ll not allow for that. You and Xiaole belong to me and I’ll not let anyone else have the two of you!”
Six years ago, Mucheng left him for Hua Tuoye. Was history going to repeat itself again?
No! He wouldn’t allow for that to happen!
“Say yes, you can only give me this answer.” He commanded.
How can this man be so overbearing?
Mucheng clenched onto her teeth. She didn’t understand him at all. He hated her to the core and yet he wants to marry her? Did he think that a couple would be able to live happily ever after without love?
“I know. You want to punish me, right?” She stared at him sorrowfully. She thought she was right and her heart sank. “Whatever. You may do as you please. I don’t care. It doesn’t matter to me anymore---”
... To Be Continued...
♥ END of the 9th Stop ♥
It was "Air on the G-string"...
© 2009-2010 MIN|Translated Version of “Next Stop Happiness”|
[TRANSLATED] FINAL Destination; Next Stop, Happiness ♥
She actually thought that he brought up marriage as a punishment for her.
How could she have thought in that manner…?
Guangxi felt utterly defeated and depressed. What kind of a man did Mucheng think he was?
Six years ago, she didn’t believe that he could bear the responsibility of a man and bring her any happiness. Six years later, she took him as a jerk that was going to fight with her over their son.
Liang Mucheng was clearly belittling him. He must have been mad to want to marry her after she didn’t believe in him and had expressed her doubts about him.
But he knew he wanted to marry her despite it all. It was not only to provide Xiaole with a complete family but also because he didn’t want her to leave him again.
He wanted seeing her to be the first thing he did in the morning after he wakes up. He also wanted seeing her to be the last thing he did at night before he goes to sleep. He wanted her to smile at him. The only place she could hide if she were to cry was only to be in his arms.
All in all, he’d never let someone else have her, even if the other party is Hua Tuoye!
“You’ll give Mucheng happiness, right?” Hua Tuoye warned him at the wedding banquet. “You’re dead meat if I know that she’s upset with you. Ren Guangxi, I don’t care how people would look at us but I’ll take her away from you if that happens. You better be well prepared then.”
“I know. Please don’t worry about it. Mucheng will be happy.” That was his reply. It served as both a rebuttal and also a comfort to and for Hua Tuoye.
Frankly speaking, he admired this man. He had been by Mucheng all these years and had never wavered since.
But that also spurred him on. He wanted to show that he was more worthy of Mucheng’s love than Hua Tuoye. He’d make her fall in love with him again; as long as she gave him the chance to do so.
If only she gave him the chance to do so----
It was their wedding night. Guangxi blinked his eyes as he stared at Mucheng’s face. She seemed a little… indifferent? His heart sank as he felt that he was hurt by her expression.
“Have you been waiting for a long time?” He was lying backwards on the bed. “Take off my clothes for me.”
Mucheng frowned and pondered for a moment as to how she should treat him. Then after some consideration, she gently took off his coat and tie.
“There’s still another piece.” He pointed to his top.
She bit onto her lips as she unbuttoned his top. One by one, the buttons came off. She was slow at it and her hands trembled. She paused when she was at the last button.
He squinted at her. “What’s the matter? Are you shy?”
She was stunned for moment. Then she blushed. “Ren Guangxi, don’t go too overboard!”
“How can you say that? You’re my wife, I’m your husband. Don’t you know that it’s part of our bedroom fun for you take off my clothes for me?”
She remained motionless while staring back angrily at him.
“Alright then. Since you don’t want to take it off for me, can you take off your own clothes then? I’m your husband; it’s a sort of entertainment to see my wife strip in front of me. That isn’t too much to ask for right?” Guangxi said, smiling a little evilly
He thought that Mucheng might reject that idea and even lecture him for it. But to his surprise, his newly-wedded wife just stared at him with a stubborn expression and she started to remove her own clothes.
Her actions were fast and firm and she didn’t hesitate for a moment. Guangxi was shocked by her actions and he sat upright while staring at her.
In a matter of moments, Mucheng’s nightgown fell onto the floor. She was only in her undergarments. She stood there, upright and she resembled a while lotus that was blooming out of the water.
Guangxi looked at her with his heart racing and lust unleashing in him.
But she just stood calmly on the spot and tilted her face slightly, She looked distant and Guangxi felt as though as he was been disregarded by her.
What was she thinking? Was she still thinking of Hua Tuoye and was thus depressed that she had unfortunately become his wife instead? Was she that unwilling and reluctant to marry him?
With that in mind, Guangxi was very angry. He got up from bed and took the quilt in his hands. He then wrapped the quilt tightly around Mucheng.
She was stunned. “You…”
“Liang Mucheng, it is okay if you don’t want to do it. I’m not so pathetic till I have to force myself on an unwilling woman.” Guangxi made his statement. He then put on some clothes and walked towards the door.
“Where are you going?” She asked him.
He turned around and smiled broadly. “Women would throw themselves at me if I really need one.”
Was he implying that he was going to have some fun with—another woman out there?
Mucheng was speechless. She slumped onto the bed and wrapped her arms around herself. She suddenly felt extremely cold. She shivered and tears started to well up in her eyes.
What kind of marriage was this? How was she supposed to face a husband who doesn’t love her?
She didn’t have an answer…
Ever since then, Mr. and Mrs. Ren appeared to be close in front of others but behind others, they almost ignored each other.
He was strong-headed and she was stubborn. The two of them refused to play second fiddle because they were afraid that they’d lose face and end up being hurt at the end of the day. They decided to be indifferent about the other party’s life.
Guangxi would always used his work as an excuse and he was often back at a late hour. Even when he was earlier, he’d only play with Xiaole, tell him bedside stories and put him to sleep. After that, he’d return to his study room and continue with his work.
Neither would he go back to the master bedroom on his own nor would Mucheng call for him. The husband and wife slept in different rooms and would often toss and turn till dawn.
They’d only pretend to be a loving couple in front of Xiaole lest he got upset.
“Mummy, Daddy told me the story of Snow White last night.” Xiaole told Mucheng at the breakfast table.
“Snow White?” Mucheng lifted her brow. “I thought you hated such girlish stories in the past?” Xiaole loved stories about aliens on their adventures or Harry Potter and his magical encounters, isn’t it?
“But Daddy said that someday, I’ll meet my Snow White too. Therefore, I should learn how to protect her now.”
Was he trying to teach their son courting skills at such a young age?
Mucheng rolled her eyes at Guangxi. He shrugged his shoulders and continued having his coffee.
“I actually liked Tangtang. But I can no longer see her now that we’ve moved to Taipei.” Xiaole sighed. He felt that it was a regret that his first love had ended so quickly. “If not, Tangtang can be Snow White. I’d slay the dragons for her and stop her from eating the poisonous apples.”
Were there dragons in that fairytale?
Mucheng was puzzled while Guangxi relaxed and continued to have his coffee. But he felt a little guilty and almost choked on his coffee. The truth was he had made up most of the fairytale himself and he was pretty sure that some of the parts may have been mixed up with the other stories.
“Daddy said that Prince Charming kissed Snow White and caused her to wake up because he loved her.” Xiaole had finally got to the most important point after talking for so long. “Mummy, does Daddy wake you up by kissing you too?”
“What?” Mucheng paused for a moment.
“Kissing.” Xiaole pointed to his own lips. “Daddy said that he’d often play kissing games with you.”
What was he trying to teach their son? Mucheng felt herself blushing and stared back at her husband plaintively. “Xiaole, don’t listen to your Daddy’s nonsense. We’ve not done that…”
“What? You all don’t kiss?” Xiaole was disappointed. “Don’t you guys love each other?”
“Of course we do.” Guangxi announced it in a most natural tone and wrapped his arms around Mucheng’s shoulders. “You love me a lot, don’t you, my dearest wife?”
He sounded so wicked and annoying. Mucheng looked at him and her heart began to race uncontrollably.
“Mummy, don’t you love Daddy?” Xiaole persisted and he looked terribly worried.
“I… Of course I do.” Mucheng decided to give it her all to satisfy her son.
“Do you all play kissing games then?”
“Of course we do. We’d often kiss.” Guangxi replied reassuringly and his lips started to move closer to his wife’s face. “We’d kiss like this, and like this and sometimes we’d also kiss like this.” His kisses landed on Mucheng’s face, forehead and brows as he said that
“Don’t you all kiss on the lips too?”
“Of course we do.” Guangxi planted one last kiss on Mucheng’s lips. He even paused for a few moments on her lips.
Was that enough? Mucheng felt her face burn. She was embarrassed and she pushed her husband away. Their eyes met with each other’s. She initially wanted to express anger but it seemed like she had ended up wearing a gentle expression instead.
The couple felt weird and both of them turned away at the same time.
Xiaole failed to notice the awkward atmosphere between his parents. He just clapped happily and even said that he’d follow in his Daddy’s footsteps and give to his future princess a lot of kisses too.
At the very same moment, Fang Derong came into the dining hall coincidentally. She was shocked to see the family of three happily having breakfast together.
“Good morning, Granny.” Xiaole greeted her obediently after seeing her. “Today’s breakfast is really delicious. My Mummy has made us some egg rolls.” He warmly sat her down next to himself as he said that.
Xiaole’s actions left Fang Derong stunned. She had mixed feelings for this long-lost grandson. She still felt a little displeased even though she finally agreed to Guangxi and Mucheng’s marriage. After all, it was because of Xiaole’s presence that her plan backfired and Guangxi no longer listened to her.
“You all can have it.” She rejected Xiaole’s invitation. She felt a little out place with them. “I have to attend a meeting in school this morning. I’ve to leave first.”
Xiaole watched as his Granny left. He pouted and asked, “Mummy, don’t you think that Granny doesn’t seem to like me?”
“Just ignore her.” Guangxi replied immediately. He tousled Xiaole’s hair and said, “That’s her personality. You just have to ignore her.”
“How can you tell that to Xiaole?” Mucheng reprimanded Guangxi. She then turned to Xiaole and smiled to him. “Granny just doesn’t know how to express her feelings yet. I’m sure that she really likes you.”
“Really?” Xiaole didn’t really believe what Mucheng said.
“Why don’t you make her a birthday card since it’s her birthday next week? You can let Granny know that you want to befriend and get closer to her.”
“Okay.” Xiaole nodded.
Guangxi frowned. “Why must you do that? You know my mother doesn’t buy that sort of things.”
“You say that because you don’t know her well.” Mucheng replied and sighed.
“What do you mean?”
“She’s actually someone… who really needs to be loved too.”
Xiaole decided to use Mucheng’s suggestion and he made a gigantic card personally. The mother and son prepared a little party to celebrate Fang Derong’s birthday. The hall was full of colourful balloons. Xiaole even learnt how to make birthday party hats from Mucheng.
Mucheng baked the cake while Xiaole used fresh chocolate cream to write “Happy Birthday, Granny” on the cake.
Fang Derong was shocked by their surprise and she stood rooted to the ground after seeing it.
Xiaole popped a party popper in front of her and the confetti was released. “Happy Birthday, Granny!”
Fang Derong was speechless. Was it her birthday today? She had forgotten all about it.
Mucheng brought the cake in and the both her and Xiaole started to sing the birthday song. Xiaole applauded loudly and he requested his Granny to blow the candles and make a wish after they finished singing the song.
Fang Derong was embarrassed but she couldn’t bear to disappoint her grandson. She could only vent her “frustrations” on her daughter-in-law. “I don’t usually celebrate my birthday.”
“It’s a thought of Xiaole.”Mucheng explained gently. “Mum, can you just blow the candles so that he’d not be disappointed?”
What else could she do other than that?
Fang Derong stared at her daughter-in-law before bending forward to blow the candles out. She then pretended to make a wish.
“Granny, this is a gift from me.” Xiaole presented the card to her.
Fang Derong accepted it reluctantly.
“Open it!” Xiaole urged.
She opened the card to see the drawing of an old person and a young child holding hands together and taking a stroll in the park.
“I hope that I can take daily strolls with you in the garden, Granny.” Xiaole said. He walked over to her and took her hand in his. His hand was warm and fuzzy and that brought tears to her eyes.
She clutched onto the card tightly as her fingers trembled.
“Granny, can we do that? Can I take strolls with you?”
She took a deep breath and her chest rose. She was deeply touched by him. “Of course… you can.”
She then held onto Xiaole’s hand.
Mucheng smiled after looking at them. Fang Derong turned over and looked at her. She was very grateful for what Mucheng had done.
She shook her head. The two of them looked at each other. This very moment revealed a chance of their cold relationship coming to an end.
“What is going on now?”
Guangxi came back for his mother’s birthday party after Xiaole wanted him to do so. He was shocked to see his mother smiling away. It was even more unbelievable to see his mother talking and laughing away with his wife.
“What magic tricks did you use?” He asked his wife when they were alone.
“It’s nothing to do with magic.” Mucheng said, smiling. “I only let Mum know that her grandson would love her a lot if she’d open up herself.”
“Love?” Guangxi was stunned. “My mother doesn’t believe in that!”
“She chose to be so because she was hurt deeply by love in the past.” Mucheng raised her gaze and looked at Guangxi. “You still don’t know, do you? Your father left back then because he was having an extramarital affair.”
“What?!” Guangxi was taken aback.
“I heard that he’d meet up with that woman in Shengde Hall.” Mucheng explained. “That is why Shengde Hall maybe a place that represents happiness for you. But for your mother, it reminds her of her pain and failure. She never mentioned any of these to you and has even tried her best to keep Shengde Hall for your sake.”
“Why won’t she… tell me?” Guangxi was shocked and suspicious. He still couldn’t believe that the truth was so ugly.
“Don’t you understand?” Mucheng sighed. “She didn’t want to tarnish your father’s image in your heart. She knew how much you admired him and she didn’t want to break your heart.”
Is that so? Guangxi clenched onto his teeth. The person at fault back then was actually his father instead?
“In order to maintain your father’s image in your heart, she chose to let you hate her instead. I’m a mother myself. My heart broke when Xiaole told me that he hated me then – How can you say that your mother doesn’t know anything about love then? She doesn’t have to torture herself like this if not that she loves both you and your father.”
Guangxi was shocked. He regretted deeply how he had hated his mother in the past and how he had wasted so many years before he could think about the feelings between him and his mother.
“How did you know about all these?” He stared at his wife. He was surprised that she could see a secret that he couldn’t.
“Mum told me some of it while I guessed the rest of it.”
“Why did she tell you all of these?”
Mucheng didn’t reply him and looked away. But Guangxi sensed something amiss from her actions and expression. Suddenly, he realised something—
“Don’t tell me that it was my mother who told you to leave me back then?”
It was true that it was his mother’s doing when she left back then. But she had willing done so and accepted that decision.
That was why she wasn’t resentful at all. She thought that Guangxi would able to return back to his normal life and be happy as long as she leaves him then. That was why she didn’t mind at all. But she didn’t think that it would be so coincidental and they’d meet again. And till now, the past was still a tangled mess that they have yet to be able to resolve.
The both of them were trapped in an unwanted marriage now and feeling very breathless because of it.
Was it her mistake at all? Perhaps she shouldn’t have made such a decision back then. But how could she have known that he’d rather let go of He Yiqian and punish her instead…?
Mucheng let out a sigh. Where was this marriage of hers heading to? Was it happiness or destruction? She felt very lost and didn’t know what to do.
Her hand-phone rang, shocking her. She picked up the phone and she heard a worried and flustered voice over the other line.
“Mucheng, are you Mucheng?”
“Aunt Hua?” She was stunned and didn’t know why Tuoye’s mother suddenly called her. “What’s the matter? Did something… happen to Tuoye?”
Aunt Hua was almost on the verge of breaking down. “Mucheng, you must think of a way to save my Tuoye! He’s dead meat; he’s really a goner this time round…”
“What are you talking about? Don’t panic and tell me slowly, Aunt Hua.”
“It’s all the Village Head’s grandson Bin’s fault! I have already told Tuoye to leave that rascal alone but they grew up together and that was almost impossible. But look at what trouble he has landed Tuoye in now!”
“What is going on?” Mucheng wasn’t able to understand what she was saying and that made her anxious. “Aunt Hua, what happened to Tuoye?”
“He has been arrested by the cops. They suspect that he has murdered someone…” Aunt Hua said, choking with emotions.
“Murder!?” Mucheng was shocked.
“It’s Bin’s fault! He had to get involved with a gangster leader and the other party sent someone to kill him. Tuoye was just trying to save him…”
“Was that how he killed the man accidentally?” Mucheng was in a daze. How could that have happened?
“Tuoye didn’t kill him. Tuoye said that the man fell down the building because he wasn’t standing properly… It’s not Tuoye’s fault but the police refuse to believe what he said and insisted that he’s the murderer…” Aunt Hua cried as she talked to Mucheng.
“Aunt Hua, compose yourself. We’ll find a way to help him since Tuoye is innocent. Dry your tears and don’t worry anymore.” Mucheng coaxed her. But she was dripping in cold sweat and looking very pale herself.
“Mucheng, can you please get your husband to help?” Aunt Hua begged. “He’s a famous lawyer. He will definitely be able to help Tuoye. Can you please do that? Can you please get your husband to help to save my son?”
She was to get Guangxi to help? But…
Mucheng frowned and thought about the cold and awkward relationship they shared. She really wasn’t too sure if he’d help them.
“Take it that I’m begging you to do so!” Aunt Hua thought that Mucheng wasn’t agreeable to it and she begged her desperately. “I know I wasn’t nice to you in the past but I… didn’t mean it at all! I was just worried for my Tuoye. You do know that I’m very nice to Xiaole, don’t you? I’d often give him sweets and toys…”
“I know, Aunt Hua.” Mucheng comforted her. “Don’t worry; I’d get Guangxi to help to get Tuoye out of this. Please dry your tears and calm down.”
“Okay, that’s great.” Aunt Hua was very grateful. “Thank you, Mucheng. I’ll await news from you then.”
What was going on 6 years ago?
Was Mucheng really breaking the promise they made when she left him then? Or perhaps there was another reason that she couldn’t tell anyone at all?
Did this reason have anything to do with his mother then?
It was already late at night when Guangxi was still working in his office. He was preparing the documents that he needed in court tomorrow. But he was listless and often ended up thinking about the dazing look that his wife wore on her face.
He always felt that Mucheng had kept something from him 6 years ago. He thought about everything that happened 6 years ago and tried to analyse her journey in life then logically.
The more he thought of it, the more he felt suspicious about it. His wife was never a materialistic woman. If it was like what she claimed; she was tired and wanted a good life, why did she have to end up in Huatian Village and raise Xiaole all on her own then?
Such a woman wouldn’t be afraid of hardships. She was experiencing them all the time!
Guangxi felt his heart ached as he thought about how Mucheng had raised Xiaole solely all these years. It had really been difficult for her…
He regained his composure when someone knocked on his office’s door. He lifted his head and was shocked to see the woman who he missed dearly standing right at the door.
She looked pale and she was wearing a forced smile. She looked at him apologetically, as if she was worried that she had interrupted him.
“Why are you here?”
“I realised that it was late and you weren’t home yet so…” She took a deep breath and raised the container that she was holding in her hand. “I came to give you some supper.”
“Supper?” Guangxi was surprised and he stood up and walk towards his wife. Was this her way of making peace with him?
“Are you hungry? Have you had dinner already?” She asked and stared uncertainly back at him.
“I had dinner. But it was just a sandwich.” He smiled. “What do you have for me?”
Beef rice? He was stunned for a moment.
“Do you want… to have some?” She asked after she spotted his hesitant expression.
He wasn’t hesitant at all. The truth was; this dish of beef rice reminded him of their bittersweet memories, happiness, pain and losses.
“Take a seat.” Guangxi lead Mucheng to the sofa. He opened the container and he immediately picked up the aroma of the beef rice. It reminded him of those past memories. He took a mouthful of it and began to chew gently. Guangxi felt nostalgic.
“Is it nice?” She asked him gently.
His eyes were red and he took a few more mouthfuls before nodding his head.
Mucheng was worked up as she saw him taking in big mouthfuls of the rice. It was a bittersweet feeling and she was choked with emotions.
Guangxi ate very quickly and he ended up choking on his food. She immediately poured him some water and patted his back for him.
He looked at her and mocked. “This is so embarrassing, right?”
She shook her head.
“But this rice is really delicious.” He praised her.
“It’s great that you like it.” She answered him as she gazed softly at him.
He knew that she had something to say. “Do you have something to say? Shoot then.”
“I… I was thinking…” Mucheng bit onto her lips and her hands clung onto her skirt.
“It’s okay; just say whatever you want to.” He encouraged her gently. He thought that perhaps she wanted to confess to him the reason why she had left him back then.
“I want to ask you for a favour. Can you… please help to defend Tuoye?”
“What?” Guangxi was taken aback. That was nothing close to what he had expected to hear.
“He has been framed by someone!” She explained anxiously. “He didn’t murder anyone but the police refused to believe him. He is innocent!”
He stared back at her. It was after a while when Guangxi replied in a hoarse voice. “That’s the reason why you sent me some beef rice for supper tonight, right?”
She wasn’t trying to make peace with him. She did all of that for Hua Tuoye! Why was he so foolish? He actually thought that she still cared for him because of their past relationship. The truth was, the person who she really cared for wasn’t him; it was Hua Tuoye…
“Guangxi, what is your answer then?” Mucheng asked him cautiously.
Guangxi laughed and stood up with his back facing her. He then gazed out of the window. “Would you leave with Xiaole someday again if I don’t do so?”
“I…” Mucheng was stunned for a moment. She didn’t know why but she felt that her husband’s words and attitude were really cold and that made her heart ached.
“Okay, I promise you that I will help.” He turned around and looked at her. “Don’t worry; I will save the life of the man you love.”
The couple’s relationship aggravated ever since Guangxi agreed to defend Tuoye. Even Xiaole couldn’t act as the lubricant between them anymore. Guangxi would always put on a face when he was home. His attitude to Mucheng was just absolutely cold.
Fang Derong couldn’t tolerate what she saw. She decided to speak to her daughter-in-law personally. “Is Guangxi so because he is still upset about what happened 6 years ago? I should have told him that it was actually me who’s the one…”
“It’s not that, Mum.” Mucheng rejected her mother-in-law’s kind offer. “This is a problem between me and Guangxi. We should solve these ourselves. Guangxi isn’t only upset about me for what happened 6 years ago.”
“What is he upset about then? How do you want to resolve this?” Fang Derong was anxious for her son and daughter-in-law. In the past, she would have just closed an eye but now, she really hoped that the couple would understand and appreciate each other well. In that way, they’d be able to walk down the path called Future together.
“It’s okay. You don’t have to worry for us. I will think of a way.” Mucheng comforted her mother-in-law. She sounded confident but she knew that deep inside, she was actually extremely worried too.
Guangxi actually thought that the person she loved was Tuoye. This was a really huge misunderstanding!
The problem was, how was she supposed to explain it to him that it was a misunderstanding? Guangxi was always avoiding her. The only matter he’d discuss with her was Tuoye’s case. Even then, his attitude was cold and business-like. Every time when she tried to get closer to him, she’d be able to feel him moving away from her.
Did he really hate her that much?
Her heart ached when she saw him working late into the night for Tuoye’s case. She’d prepare some supper for him but he’d always leave her kind intentions alone.
She didn’t know what to do. The more one cared for somebody, the more one would be afraid that he’d be cold towards yourself. Her heart was full of wounds now that she didn’t want to add another to it.
Eventually, she could only care for him from a distance. She’d get the maids to send the supper to him. She also got Xiaole to serve him the chicken soup that she specially took time and effort to boil for him.
She could only iron and wash his clothes secretly. She never wanted him to know and be touched about it. She just hoped that by doing so, she would able to take some load off his shoulders. That was her way of supporting him while he worked late into the night.
Two weeks later, Guangxi found the crucial evidence that helped to clear Tuoye’s name. Mucheng was very happy when she learnt of the news.
“Thank you, Guangxi. I knew that you can definitely do it. Thank you!” She thanked him.
Guangxi, on the other hand, was rather emotionless. He paused for a moment before speaking coldly to her. “I’ve already delivered what I promised. It’s now time for you to repay me now.”
“Repay you?” She was stunned for a moment. “What do you want me to do then?”
“I want you to… leave my world from now on.”
“What?!” She was shocked, as though she had been stroke by lightning. “You mean that…”
“I want a divorce.”
Divorce! He wanted a divorce with her?
Mucheng’s mind went blank and she almost fainted. “Why? Guangxi, why are you asking for…a divorce?”
“Isn’t this what you want?” He replied coldly. “Don’t worry; I won’t threaten to take Xiaole away from you again. I’m sure that Aunt Hua is very grateful to you after this time. She won’t stop you from marrying Hua Tuoye again. I wish you happiness then.”
He actually wished her happiness?
Mucheng’s heart broke. Her tears flowed. She closed her eyes and her body slumped against the wall.
Guangxi didn’t go home for three whole days after he requested for a divorce. He only got a carrier service to send over two sets of divorce papers which he had already signed.
No one had any idea where he was. He switched off his hand-phone and he didn’t report to work at his office. It was as if he had disappeared from the surface of Earth.
Even though Mucheng told herself that she had to be strong after she received the divorce papers, she still couldn’t take the blow after all. She became sick right after that.
Xiaole saw his mother lying on the bed and running a temperature. He heard her calling out for his father and he was very worried. He wanted to contact his father but no matter how he called his number, no one picked it up. Then, he suddenly thought of the signal-sending device that his father gave to him.
He found the wristband but he didn’t know how to use it. He meddled with it and accidentally broke the wristband instead.
Oh no! Did he spoil the signal-sending device?
He was on the verge of tears and he held tightly onto the broken wristband. He started to call for his father in the courtyard. “Daddy, Daddy, do you hear me? Xiaole is calling for you. Please come back now! Mummy has fallen sick…”
Perhaps the signal-sending device really worked. Or perhaps it was because the kind Heaven heard and sympathized with Xiaole. But whatever it was, Guangxi really returned home after Xiaole did that.
“Daddy…! You’re back!” Xiaole ran into his father’s arms happily. “My signaling really worked. Mummy didn’t lie to me.”
“Xiaole.” Having wandering around for 3 days had taken the toil on Guangxi’s mental and physical health. He was suddenly energized after seeing his son. “Daddy missed you badly.”
“I missed you too, Daddy! Why didn’t you come home for so many days?”
That was because he was afraid to face the separation if he came home. He couldn’t bear to take the terrible pain of losing both his wife and son at the same time.
Guangxi puckered his lips as he stroked his son’s head. “How have you been then, Xiaole?”
“Not good.” Xiaole shook his head fiercely. He lifted his head and showed his face which was full of tears. “Mummy has fallen sick.”
“Mucheng has fallen sick?” Guangxi was shocked.
“Mummy is running a high temperature.” Xiaole replied,
How did this happen? Guangxi was very worried. He immediately rushed upstairs and back into their bedroom. True enough, he saw his wife sleeping on their bed. She was as pale as a sheet.
“Guangxi, don’t… Please don’t leave me…” She muttered while she was dreaming away. Tears could be seen in Mucheng’s eyes.
“Mummy kept calling for you. She really wanted to see you.” Xiaole’s eyes turned red too
Really? Did she really want to see him? He thought that she would have ran into her lover’s arms happily after receiving the divorce papers from him…
Guangxi was lost. He walked up to the bedside. Mucheng seemed to feel his presence and she stretched out her hand, which he grabbed onto hesitantly.
“Daddy, Mummy will get better, right?” Xiaole asked worriedly.
“Of course she will.” Guangxi used his other hand to hold onto his son’s hand. “Daddy promises you that it’s true.”
“That’s great.” Xiaole was relieved. He then snuggled into his father’s arms. It was then he realised that he was still holding on to the spoilt wristband. “I’m sorry, Daddy. I have something that I want to tell you and I hope that you will forgive me.”
“What are you talking about?”
“This.” Xiaole said as he unveiled the wristband that was broken into two. “I’m sorry, Daddy. I spoilt the signal sending device that you gave to me.”
“I see.” Guangxi smiled. “It’s okay. I’ll get you another one.”
“Nope! This is the first gift that I got from you, Daddy. We can’t just let the matter rest like this.” Xiaole was troubled.
“Alright then. Let me see if I can repair it.” In order to stop his son from crying, Guangxi took the wristband from him to check if he could repair it. But he found a memory card unexpectedly in the wristband. “What is this?”
He took out the memory card and the secret from 6 years ago unveiled…
Mucheng saw a cosy and warm sight when she woke up. The man she loved was hugging onto their son who she adored dearly and the two of them feel asleep by her side.
Both the father and son wore smiles on their faces. It seemed like they were having a happy dream.
She gazed at the two of them and she suddenly felt a surge of emotions in her. She didn’t want to cry but her eyes just brimmed with tears.
Guangxi was suddenly jolted out of sleep and he placed his hand on Mucheng’s forehead after seeing that she was awake. “Your temperature has gone down.”
She felt warmth from his expression and that shook her to the core.
“Hold on for a moment.” He smiled and carried Xiaole back to his room. He was holding onto a piece of document when he was back.
It was the divorce papers!
Mucheng was shocked and she felt cold. “Do you still insist that… we get a divorce?”
“Don’t you want that?” He answered her question with another question
She gazed at him, lost and confused. After struggling for some time, she finally decided it was time for him to know her true feelings. “Yes, I don’t want that, Guangxi. I don’t want… to divorce you.”
“That’s because you’re the one… I love.” Mucheng clutched on tightly onto her blanket and tried to hide her sorrowful expression from him. “Even if you hate and want me to leave, I still want to tell you that… you’re the one I love no matter if it was then or now.” She was choked with emotions and was struggling to confess to him. “It was my fault 6 years ago. I thought that my decision was the best for you. I really want you to be happy but I didn’t know that things would turn out to be like this. I’ve hurt you deeply, right? I’m really sorry, Guangxi, I really am. Please don’t hate me, okay?”
She kept apologizing to him. He knew that she was really upset.
“That’s enough.” He stopped her gently. He then sat down on the side of the bed and used his thumb to wipe away the tears on her face. “Do you know where I’ve been to these few days?”
“Where did you go then?”
“I went to Shengde University. I also visited the places that we’ve been to together. I even went to Huatian Village to take a look at those flowers that you took pains to grow.” He paused and gazed at her. “Mucheng, the truth is; I can’t bear for you to leave me too.”
Mucheng was stunned for a moment. “Then why…”
“I thought that you don’t love me at all.” Guangxi smiled bitterly as he explained to Mucheng. “Do you know that I was waiting outside of our room on the night we got married? I was hoping that you’d come out to look for me but you didn’t. I was very angry and I felt that you didn’t care for me at all.”
Was he hoping for her to care for him? Mucheng gazed at her husband and looked deep into his eyes. Then, slowly, she saw his feelings for her there. She then realised that she must have hurt him badly that night.
“It really hurts here.” Guangxi pointed to his chest. “That was why I was always home late and my attitude to you was always cold.”
Mucheng’s heart ached. “I’m sorry.” Why did she always have to hurt him?
“This is how I have always been. You should know very clearly too. The more I cared for something, the more indifferent I will pretend to be.” He mocked. “It’s exactly the same as it was 6 years ago.”
6 years ago? Mucheng blinked her eyes in uncertainty.
Guangxi was a little embarrassed and he stood up with his back facing her. “6 years ago, I pushed you away. But it wasn’t because of Yiqian; it was because I knew that I was suffering from brain cancer and I heard that the chances of survival aren’t high. I didn’t want to trouble you then.”
Mucheng was shocked. She stood up too and said, “But Mum said that you dated Yiqian for the sake of Shengde Hall.”
“I knew that she’d say that to you.” Guangxi turned around and sighed. “I’ve never considered about dating Yiqian. All I know is you’re all I want.”
That means that she had misunderstood him. She thought that he was having a difficult time then because of Shengde Hall. But the real truth was; he had to let go of her because of brain cancer. “You left then because you felt that it would be good for me, right?” Guangxi asked obscurely.
Mucheng was stunned for a moment and she felt a surge of emotions. She stretched her hand out and covered her mouth so as to stop her urge to cry.
Her assumption actually caused them to be separated. She wasn’t by his side when he really needed her to be there.
“I’m sorry, Guangxi. I’m really… very sorry.” Tears flowed as Mucheng apologised.
Guangxi raised his hand and used his fingers to wipe away her tears. “I was at fault too. I shouldn’t have kept you in the dark about my condition then.”
She was even more depressed when she saw that he was so gentle to her. She cried while lying in his arms.
“Were you serious just now when you said that you love me?” Guangxi lifted Mucheng’s face and asked her hoarsely.
“Yes.” She replied honestly.
“Me too.” He smiled softly at her. His smile was full of emotions. “I fell in love with you again before I regained my memory.”
“Really?” She couldn’t believe it.
“Yes! I’ve really been tortured badly by you during this period of time. You actually thought that I married you so that I can take revenge on you. I was so mad when I knew about that.” Guangxi said as he pinched the tip of her nose slightly.
She smiled with tears in her eyes. “I’m sorry. It’s all because I’ve been too petty about things.”
“Promise me something then since you know that you’re at fault.”
“What is it?”
“Go on a date with me tomorrow.”
The first thing they did for their date was actually to take a bus ride.
Mucheng was shocked. She hesitated before boarding the bus. Both of them sat in the last row of seats.
“Why are we doing this?”
“Why are you still asking me that question?” He smiled as he looked at her. “Isn’t this your wish?”
“What?” She was stunned for a moment.
He took a memory card out from his pocket. He then started to wave it in front of her. “It seems like there’s a certain woman who has made used of this to confess her feelings for me.”
“What? You found out about it?” She blushed and wanted to snatch the memory card from his hands.
He allowed for her to snatch it from his hands. He then took out his hand-phone. “It’s okay. I’ve already saved everything that’s important here.”
“What?” Mucheng’s face turned redder. She was thinking if she should snatch his hand-phone from him too.
“It seems like a certain someone is really in love with me. She took so many photos of me secretly.” Guangxi teased as he raised his hand-phone and chose a photo. “Look, she even took a photo of me when I was sleeping. I bet she looked at me for a long time and was definitely drooling away while she took this photo.”
“What are you talking about?” Mucheng protested. “I didn’t drool.”
“Are you admitting now that you did look at me for a long time then?” He chided.
“I…” She was stumped.
“That’s no surprise at all.” Guangxi pretended to fling his hair. “I’m so handsome and charismatic. It’s hard for women not to fall for me.”
“You…” She was angry at his comment. “You’re really thick-skinned.”
“Thick-skinned, you say? Do you want me to say things that are more embarrassing than this for the pleasure of all the passengers on the bus?” Guangxi continued to tease her.
She breathed deeply when she heard that. She knew that by hook or by crook, she’d have to snatch his hand-phone from him. “Give that to me! Don’t you dare create a mess, okay?”
He chuckled and they started to fight with each other like children. They were so rowdy that the other passengers couldn’t stand the noise and gave them stares.
In the end, Mucheng was tired. She had no choice but to admit defeat. She closed her eyes so that she’d not have to look at the complacent smile on her husband’s face.
Suddenly, an earphone was stuffed into her left ear. She then heard crystal like sounds.
It was “Air on The G-String”. She felt her heart quiver after she recognized that it was the very recording she made years ago.
After the piece ended, she heard her own voice making her confession shyly---
“I like you, Ren Guangxi, I really like you…
I like your stubborn streak. I like your proudness. I like the air of arrogance and confidence that surrounds you when you’re playing ice hockey. I like it when you’re reading your law texts for me seriously. I like it when you always don’t mean what you say; you’re always doing things for me and yet you’d always pretend that you’re indifferent.
I also like the childish look on your face when you’re asleep.
If life is to be a bus ride journey, I hope that my final destination will be you. But I don’t think that is possible because you have greater dreams to fulfill. I can never match up to that.
But it is alright. I have no regrets even though I can only take the bus ride with you for a short while. That’s because I’ve managed to see the most beautiful scenery at your stop.
Thank you, Ren Guangxi.
I love you even though your happiness isn’t at my stop.”
This was the very confession she recorded then.
Mucheng felt mixed emotions as she heard the recording. It felt like she had returned in time and experienced the taste of teenage love.
There was silence for a few seconds before she heard another warm and low voice---
“Liang Mucheng, I like you too.
I like it that you have a strong will. I like it that you’re very understanding. I like your expression while you play the piano. I like the fierce look on your face when you try to lecture me about things. I like it that you say that you should be protecting me too.
I also like it that you’re always so shy when we kiss.
Thank you, Liang Mucheng.
I love you. My happiness is at your stop.”
♥ The End ♥
I love you. My happiness is at your stop... (:
© 2009-2010 MIN|Translated Version of “Next Stop Happiness”|
Hello All. (:
Finally, we're done. I cried again as I finished the last line. Oh no, what am I going to do for the last episode of the drama then? Anyway, thank you all for your support and patience all this while. I will continue to try my best to provide you guys with quality subs and translations. (:
PS: I will continue to post updates and stuff here from time to time. So remember to check this website again even though you have finished reading the translations. (:
Let me EMPHASIZE AGAIN, DON'T TRANSFER/BUY/SELL my translations BECAUSE 1)I have spent time to do them, 2) I'm an amateur translator and 3)I've copyrighted them. (:
I thank you all for your support all this while. Please continue to leave me comments/suggestions. (: You may do so in the CBOX (on the right) or on my YT Channel (: )
I must emphasize again; the drama is an ADAPTATION so it will not follow for certain parts. I hope this will clear some doubts you all might have. (: