何所冬暖 何所夏凉 SEASON: Chapter 4.1

We finally get more backstory on the mysterious Xi Xi Chen and also,  Jian An Jie’s initial impression of him. This chapter is super duper long, so I decided to break it into two parts. I’ve been translating for days and I’m only half way through the chapter!  :O

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We Never Had Anything to Say

 

My wrist was gripped tighter and tighter, to the point that it started to hurt. “Xi Xi Chen!”

The man in front looked at me; no words, no actions, and also didn’t loosen his hand.

“Xi Xi Chen, what exactly do you want?” I swear, in this life time, I’ve never been this loud before.

“Disgusted?” He stretched out his free hand to caress my cheeks.

I felt a cold chill course through my entire body, but at this moment, I couldn’t conjure up the slightest reaction. For example, I could’ve evaded or harshly push away the hand that I detested so much. Instead, I foolishly remained stunned in place. “You….”

“Since you’re already so disgusted, then a bit more shouldn’t make a difference.” Suddenly, he looked like he figured something out, and his voice was so calm. “Let’s go. Wasn’t there someone you needed to meet?”

His presumptuousness enraged me. “Xi Xi Chen, do you not understand the human language? You shouldn’t provoke me. You also shouldn’t want to provoke me!”

He looked down and only uttered: “Let’s go, you’re going to be late.”

“You’re impervious to reason!” I fumed.

“If so, that’s fine.”

If one could kill without going to jail, right now, I would kill the person in front of me. I stared at him bitterly. “Xi Xi Chen, I don’t want to have any interactions with you. Not before, not now, and most certainly not in the future! I’m not sure why you’re bothering me, but I beg you to please stop doing such pointless things!” Just when I was about to try releasing my hand again, I suddenly felt dizzy, and in the next moment, I descended into boundless darkness.

I sensed someone holding me, and vaguely scented a hint of minty fragrance.

I regained consciousness in the hospital. Again in the hospital. I laughed bitterly.

“She must’ve been involved in a traffic accident in the past, and it’s obvious the accident caused severe damage to her body’s functions. In addition, her own body’s physique had always been relatively poor, so being sick and dizzy are common occurrences. In the future, try to not let her…..”

“Awake?” Xi Xi Chen walked to my bed side in a few steps.

The young doctor wearing a white outer layer also followed over and asked: “How are you feeling? Still feeling dizzy?”

I asked: “What time is it?”

The doctor was speechless for a sec. “Around 2 or 3 in the afternoon.”

Xi Xi Chen briefly glanced at the doctor. “You can leave now.”

The young doctor walked to the entrance and before closing the door, turned around to smilingly add one more line: “Old classmate, watching you being that nervous, it is a first. Really.”

Xi Xi Chen’s eyebrows pinched together and he eventually turned towards me. His cool intonation is one I’m familiar with. “Stay in the hospital for a day and get the other areas examined as well. Your body is…too frail.”

“No need.” I got out of bed and put on my shoes and outerwear. Not wasting a second longer, I opened the door and left.

He didn’t come up to stop me.

I went to the place prearranged with Ye Lin, but he was already gone. His phone was also turned off.

Afterwards, I went to Pu Zheng’s house to sleep. I’m not sure how long I slept, I felt that I kept transitioning between the state of sleep and consciousness. During this period, I continuously had dreams. As to what the dreams were about, I couldn’t quite decipher.

After waking up at dawn, I couldn’t fall back to sleep anymore. My eyes remained open waiting for morning to arrive.

In the morning, I heard some movements outside. I walked into the living room and saw Pu Zheng making breakfast. After seeing me, he said: “Yesterday when I got back from work, I saw you lying in the guest room and got a huge scare. Sis, can you please not do this anymore. I’m going to get a heart attack because of you.

“Sorry.” I apologized and walked to his side.

“When are you returning to France?”

“Waiting a bit longer.”

Pu Zheng wasn’t in agreement. “What are you waiting for exactly? Just look at you. You only stayed there for one night and your mental state already deteriorated this much.”

“I have my own thinking.”

“Usually your thoughts are hard to agree with.”

“Pu Zheng, you know I’ve always had a knot in my heart. I must resolve it, or else I’ll never have peace in this life.”

Pu Zheng frowned. “You didn’t cause that child to die. Why should you be so troubled? Listen to Brother, go pack your belongings today and then return to France.”

I shook my head.

“I’ve never met anyone more foolish than you!”

“I’m not foolish, I just don’t want nightmares anymore.”

At Jian’s house, when the servant opened the door, I went to my own room on the second floor directly. The room surprisingly was already cleaned and everything on the bed was newly changed. While puzzling about this, laughter from outside the window passed through. I walked over to see. Downstairs on the lawn, Jian Yu Lin was happily playing with a large dog, while Xi Xi Chen was close by sitting on a rattan chair reading. These two sure knew how to enjoy the rare winter sunshine.

“Eh? Sister, Sister….” Jian Yu Lin caught sight of me. He ran in my direction while looking up, which resulted in him not even taking two steps before the dog pushed him to the ground.

“Rui De.” A low call was spoken and the dog obediently retreated to the grass on the side and refrained from bothering others.

Xi Xi Chen put down the book in his hands, walked over to lift Jian Yu Lin up and patted away the grass on his body. Next, he raised his head and matched my line of sight.

I don’t know where to begin. I really don’t understand Xi Xi Chen.

I remember the first time I heard of him was when Shen Qing Yu mentioned that her nephew was studying at Guang Qing University. Due to some circumstances, he came to live at the Jian house temporarily. Supposedly, both of his parents passed away due to an accident and they had separate companies. On his mother’s side, Shen Qing Yu was temporarily managing it until he graduated from university and then it would be transferred over to him. My first impression was that this person is someone hard to get closed to. As expected, that day when I went downstairs, he came in through the door with luggage bags in his hand, dressed in dark casual wear, cuffed sleeves, and his every gesture had an air of indifference. He was very young, handsome, and had apathetic mannerisms. That day, he only gave my father a brief greeting before excusing himself to the guest room to rest. I was still standing at the end of the stairway and he merely walked around me.

For the next while, though we lived under the same roof, we seldom had any contact. When I was reading in the study room, he would come in, nod his head and retrieve his stuff before leaving again. Even if we were dining at the same table, there was minimal communication. Occasionally, when I went downstairs to eat, I would see him at the table browsing on his laptop. When he saw me, he would utter a ‘hello’ before rising and leaving. His tone and behaviour were the perfect level of politeness. But I could sense that he was reluctant to get closer to me…. I’d always thought, this kind of person, did they always feel like they were superior?

I think in this lifetime, I will never be able to understand his thinking. Towards Xi Xi Chen, I remain at a respectful distance. I can’t deny that every time in front of him, I subconsciously would pay attention to his hands. I’m scared he might do something else to me. The incident from six years ago, I can’t erase it from my brain. I only have feelings of exclusion towards him.

Now, I only hope he can keep the distance he’s always maintained with me.

“Miss Jian, outside there’s a man with the last name Ye looking for you.” The servant entered after knocking on the door.

Ye Lin?

When I got to the entrance, I saw Ye Lin standing there, I slowly walked over.

“Sorry about yesterday.”

“Don’t talk to me.” He looked at me with a gloomy expression “At least for now, I don’t want to listen to you.”

I didn’t attempt to open my mouth again. I stood off to the side, waiting for him.

After a moment, Ye Lin opened his mouth, his tone was bitter: “Jian An Jie, do you still want me?”

Although I’ve long been accustomed to his interchangeable and temperamental personality, these kinds of question still catch me by surprise.

He reached out and pulled me into his arms. “Do you still want me?”

I didn’t struggle. “Ye Lin…..”

“I wanted to go find you, but I didn’t have a way…I always figure you’d return, so I just had to wait.

I’m not sure what he meant by his so call lack of ability to find me. I can only whisper: “I’ve returned, but we can never go back.”

He hugged me tighter. “I don’t want this kind of ending!”

“Ye Lin. Then what do you want me to do?”

He raised his head to look at me, his gaze was full of obvious plea.

I laid my outstretched hand on his beautiful cheek. “You wish for me to return to your side, right? But six years is such a long time.”

His brows slowly knitted together. “What do you mean?”

“You used to love watching me draw, right? But I can’t draw anymore. I used to miss you, but eventually, I stopped. You think you can’t let me go, but it’s probably a misconception…. Just look, during the six years that I wasn’t here, you still managed to take good care of yourself. At least not terribly. Ye Lin, we loved each other once, but we’ve parted ways. And now, we’ve traveled too far, even the road back is forgotten. So, please let me go.” These were the words I wanted him to hear before I leave. I briefly closed my eyes and said: “Miss Yang came to find you.” My line of sight was looking across the road at Yang Ya Li. “She loves you, at least, more than me.”

I turned my head to match Ye Lin’s line of sight. His pair of eyes displayed pain and…..hatred?

He released me.

“Jian An Jie, you have no idea how I’ve lived! How many times have you practiced those lines to say them so fluently? I’m so pathetic. Returning again and again to be shamed.” Ye Lin took a step back, and his tone was piercing cold. “Saying it all so pompously, didn’t you just want me to give up? Fine, I will do as you wish.”

I watched him leave with his car. Yang Ya Li also started her car and followed after him.

In a relationship, the one who gets hurt the most is not the one that begged but didn’t receive, but rather, the one who must endure the pain of letting go. Yet, he’ll never understand how much despair his impulsive cold speech had brought, to the extent that I dare not harbour anymore hope or expectations.

I sat down by the flower bed near the entrance and gently rubbed my slightly swollen eyes. If I think about it, even I feel it’s useless.

“It’s cold out, let’s go inside.”

The sudden voice caused my whole body to turn cold.

What is this? Is he here to make fun of me?

“Have you had breakfast yet? I asked Lin Ma to warm your porridge.” He plainly said. “Your body isn’t well, your diet needs to be regulated.”

Diet regulation? Which country’s joke is he sprouting?

I turned my head towards Xi Xi Chen, who was around one meter behind me. He was looking at me with deep and sorrowful eyes.

“Let’s go in.”

“Don’t bother me.” Right now I only wanted to calm down. I didn’t want to be disturbed by anyone, especially not by him.

Xi Xi Chen’s expression remained serene. After a silent moment, he said: “Up to you.” Once he finished, he left.

I don’t understand Xi Xi Chen. Naturally, I also don’t intentionally spend time to analyze him. After all, this type of person, I’m not interested in having further contact with. After leaving this place, I’ll probably never see him again in this lifetime.

Having not slept last night, I was extremely tired in the afternoon. To avoid the embarrassment of fainting again, I took a quick nap. The main cause was also due to the time difference that I still wasn’t accustomed to.

I woke up when the sky was full of red clouds. There was an extra scent of food in the room. On the bedside table was a simple and light dinner.

Jian Yu Lin was rubbing his eyes, like he had just been woken up by someone. “The porridge was brought in by brother.”

“And?” I laughed.

“Brother said, once Sister wakes up, to drink the porridge.” His voice gradually grew weaker, to the point that it disappeared inside the bedding. This time, I’m also not aware of when Jian Yu Lin managed to sleep next to me. These days I must be extremely tired, resulting in my slow reactions.

The following two days, I didn’t go out again. What’s strange is that I also didn’t bump into the exceptionally idle Xi Xi Chen either. Not sure if he’s purposely avoiding me or if it’s coincidental, regardless, I’m glad. Later, I found out from the servants that Xi Xi Chen actually stopped living here for several years already. Reportedly, this time it was due to my father’s request that he came over to take care of me for a few days. I sneered internally when I heard this. How can it be to take care of me? More like looking after Jian Yu Lin.

Speaking of Jian Yu Lin, his constant entanglements with me these past few days have been quite annoying. Children’s cognitive ability don’t understand the meaning of rejection. Deep down I can’t help thinking, they sure are at ease in letting him spend time with me.

While the person I was waiting for, Shen Jing Yu, never showed up.

Today in the afternoon, Yang Ya Li unexpectedly showed up at the Jian House. “I came to talk to you about him.”

I set my coffee cup down. Naturally, I knew exactly who she wanted to discuss.

Yang Ya Li looked at me, her lack of acceptance towards me is obvious in her attitude. “Jian An Jie, I really can’t decipher your true feelings.”

I laughed: Sometimes, even I don’t understand myself, not to mention Miss Yang yourself.”

“You also don’t need to be so cynically mocking, I know I don’t have the right to say this to you, but……” When she got to this part, she paused for a bit. “Ye Lin, he….”

“Miss Yang.” I interrupted her. “Are you sure you want us to discuss about him?” There was clear reluctance in her eyes. While she hid it very well, I could still sense it. Hating me, but still needed to calmly sit with me to discuss a topic she least wanted to discuss with me.

“Ye Lin, he’s currently very unwell.”

Since she wanted to talk, then I’ll cooperate. “I hope you’re not trying to imply that this is all because of me?”

“You should know this better than anyone else, no?” She couldn’t contain herself.

“Really?” I added two tablespoons of sugar into the coffee and didn’t mind her lost of self-control.

“Ye Lin is a model, can also be considered an artist. The past two years, his development’s momentum has been very good. You know he’d always been arrogant, even more so now…..If the media managed to find negative information to report on him, it will have a huge impact on his image.  He can not mind, but I cannot.”

I scrunched my brows. “What exactly do you want to say, Miss Yang?”

“I admit, you have great influence on him. In the past, as well as now.” She paused when she got to this part, and watched me as I continuously add more sugars into my coffee. “However, I’m the only person that can be next to Ye Lin. Today, I came to find you in hopes that you will never appear in front of him again. I know this kind of request is very unfair, but you can’t help him, you’ll only burden him. So I beg you, please don’t return anymore.”

I smiled as I picked up the coffee to drink a few mouthfuls, not replying.

“Mr. Xi.” The servant’s voice traveled in from the entrance.

I was momentarily surprised, as was Yang Ya Li. Not sure if I’m overthinking, when Yang Ya Li heard Mr. Xi’s name, she seemed to become more fidgety.

Xi Xi Chen walked into the living room. He looked at me and also turned to briefly glance at the person sitting in front of me. He nodded at her and then directly headed for the stairs. Just when his hand touched the handrail, he stopped and turned in Yang Ya Li’s direction. “If Miss Yang is not in a rush, you can stay for dinner.”

Yang Ya Li naturally didn’t stay for dinner. After she left, I stared at Xi Xi Chen. He actually recognizes Yang Ya Li?! They’re obviously two people who should have no relation with one another. “You know her?” I still asked in the end.

He gave me a quick look and faintly replied: “Coincidence.”

Coincidence? This reasoning was concise and clear, I stopped questioning.

“What do you want to know?” Xi Xi Chen walked over to stand next to the sofa and abruptly continued the topic from just now.

“I don’t think you’ll say.” I put down my coffee cup and said. “Actually, you don’t have to tell me, because none of it concerns me.” How does he know Yang Ya Li? Why do they know each other? To me, none of this matter. As to why I originally asked, was only because I thought this might have some connection to Ye Lin.

“Really?” Xi Xi Chen’s gaze carried traces of close examination, but he didn’t continue to question. He turned his body to help steady Jian Yu Lin, who had rushed down the stairs and into his arms. “Next time don’t run so quickly.” His tone was slightly reproaching.

“Granny said it’s time for dinner.” The little child smiled at me, face full of eager anticipation. “Sister, let’s eat together, okay?”

I watched him. In the end, I didn’t refuse.

“Be good and go wash your hand.” Xi Xi Chen was so gentle.

Later during dinner, Jian Yu Lin abruptly pointed at my left hand and loudly declared: “Sister is using her left hand!”

I forgot this is the first meal I’m dining together with them since I’ve returned to China.

It was much later when I heard my own even voice: “Got into an accident. My right hand became useless. So naturally I’m using my left hand. What, something wrong with it?”

The expression Xi Xi Chen used to look at me was complicated. In the end, he softly stated: “He’s still young.”

“If you’re that scared of hurting him, then don’t let him appear in front of me. That would be the safest.”

“You——really make it hard for others to like you.”

Not expecting him to say this, my chest felt like someone punched it. I discretely pushed down the unhappiness that was surfacing and steely commented: “Xi Xi Chen, in regards to me, how much do you really know? Isn’t it ridiculous to already cast judgements?”

“You would care about my opinions?”

I made a ‘ha’ sound. “Thank you for your reminder. Indeed, I don’t care!”

“Your stubbornness won’t bring you much benefits.” After a while, he added in this statement.

“How I am, doesn’t concern you.” I rudely sneered back. “Or should I be weaker so you can display your dominance more thoroughly?”

“Now, deliberately distorting the meaning of other people’s intentions has also become one of your strengths”. I’m not sure if there was irony in his words.

“Don’t talk as if you understand me so well. What strengths and weaknesses? Mr. Xi, we’re only slightly better than strangers simply because of the added layer of ridiculous relationship.”

“If that layer of relationship didn’t exist, what would happen?”

“Stop saying stuff that is incomprehensible.”

He used an extremely complicated gaze to look at me “Jian An Jie, how could you possibly not understand——“

I quickly interrupted his speech: “I don’t think we need to wasted time on discussing this ridiculous topic.”

His expression turned dark, neither one of us spoke again. The topic was placed on hold. I discretely held onto my right hand under the table to help restore my calmness and indifference.

In the corner of my eyes, I saw Jian Yu Lin starring at me. Towards this child, I didn’t have any feeling. But what’s difficult to understand is why does he like me for no reason. After all, we never had any interactions before and the few times we’ve met now, I didn’t treat him pleasantly.

“Young master Jian, is it easier to swallow when you watch me eat?”

Jian Yu Lin immediately lowered his head. “Sorry, Sister….”

“He’s your brother.”

“I was wrong.” The child opened his mouth again.

“So what?” I returned my gaze directly back to the pair of deep dark eyes.

Both of them ceased talking. Jian Yu Lin was also aware of the unusual atmosphere and didn’t dare interrupt. He lowered his head even lower.

I decided to get up because this meal had become too difficult to swallow.

“What exactly are you afraid of?” Xi Xi Chen also raised.

“Afraid? Forgive my ignorance, I’m not sure what you’re referring to!”

He walked around the table to stand before me. I trembled slightly inside. My voice was harshly authentic. “Oh right. I’m scared of you, wasn’t it?”

“You’re scared of Yu Lin.” He kept closing in.

I firmly shut my eyes. “Ah. Interesting perspective.”

“Jian An Jie.”

My tone sank. “Xi Xi Chen. Where did I offend you that you must repeatedly be against me?”

“You think I’m targeting you?”

“Is that not the case? Don’t tell me, you thought you’ve been doing me favours? My face displayed sarcasm and his eyes showed inexplicable sadness. I actually laughed. “Nothing to say? That’s right, Xi Xi Chen, I never had anything to say to you!” Once finished, l resolutely left the dining room.

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