But Xiao Yi was hired by Luzhou to be his personal assistant, in order to have several days off during New Year, he has to first discuss it over with Luzhou.
Xiao Yi: “That’s right, Brother Zhou, how are you going to celebrate the New Year?”
“Don’t know.” Luzhou said: “Watch TV at home.”
Xiao Yi: “How you celebrated last year?”
Luzhou: “In Paris.”
Xiao Yi: “……”
“Then the year before last?” Xiao Yi asked again.
“I was with Zhang Xinran.” Luzhou said, “Why? Just spit it out if you have something to say.”
Luzhou just came back from a get-together with his friends, they were sitting in the car and Xiao Yi’s eyes fully concentrated on driving the car, he said “Ah……I was thinking, in a few days I will return home to celebrate New Year, what about you? Do you have any plans?”
In a flash, Xiao Yi had a premonition that he would hear Luzhou’s roaring.
However Luzhou didn’t, but instead, he said: “You can return back home to celebrate New Year, no need to care about me.”
Xiao Yi was overjoyed, and said: “When do I have to come back?”
“Oh, you still think of coming back?” Luzhou said sincerely: “Go home and grow vegetables, little brother, the working people of the motherland needs you.”
Xiao Yi: “……”
Xiao Yi parked the car in the garage, Luzhou got out and slammed the door and walked away arrogantly.
Xiao Yi carried 15 pairs of shoes from the backseat that Luzhou had bought from Taobao, and moved it into the house, he waited for Luzhou to issue an order, before bringing it all back into the room, but who would have thought Luzhou would said: “Show me.”
Without any better option Xiao Yi had to tear open the packages, he hoped that Luzhou would feel that these wrappers were bothersome and make him throw all the shoes out directly, this unexpectedly didn’t happen though.
Luzhou took a pair of shoes and said: “44?”
Xiao Yi: “Eh……”
Xiao Yi wore size forty-three, obviously a little smaller, he had to bite the bullet and put on the sneakers for Luzhou and tie up his shoelaces.
Xiao Yi: “Is it small?”
“Wear it yourself and see? Huh? Put it on.” Luzhou was simply becoming furious because of Xiao Yi.
Xiao Yi put on the other one, walked a few steps, smiled and said, “I’m wearing it just fine! “
The look that Luzhou had was simply wanting Xiao Yi to throw the shoes back into the box to return it, that night Xiao Yi was being chewed out by Luzhou, 15 pairs of shoes with a total of 4,300 yuan, this whole amount would be taken from Xiao Yi’s pay. Xiao Yi had to take pictures one by one and upload them on Moment to sell all those shoes off……
(T/N: Moment = a social network function of the app WeChat)
“How about we go somewhere to celebrate New Year, Brother Zhou.” Xiao Yi said.
“Aren’t you going home?” Luzhou said while looking at Xiao Yi holding the iPad and leisurely surf Taobao.
“No, no.” Xiao Yi hurriedly said accompanied with a smile: “I’m not going home, there are so many people going home around Chinese New Year, I couldn’t buy a ticket.”
“Oh?” Luzhou said: “I’m going on vacation abroad and I’m leaving tomorrow, since you’re not going you can stay behind and look after the house.”
Xiao Yi: “……”
“Turn the page!” Luzhou said.
Xiao Yi turned the page right away while he thought ‘Wait until I go back I will book a ticket, I know you want to mess with me’. Luzhou stared at a dress for almost thirty seconds, Xiao Yi said: “This……you want to buy this?”
“Are you insane!” Luzhou said: “I’ll buy a dress for who to wear! Turn the page.”
Xiao Yi thought ‘I can go home, but is Luzhou lying?’ He hadn’t heard the company mention anything about Luzhou spending his New Year abroad. Also, recently he hadn’t heard him say anything about it……
Xiao Yi accompanied Luzhou to surf Taobao, he reported the newest trending gossip on Weibo and found out that the matter regarding Zhang Xinran had already faded, everyone was focusing on the latest news of Li Changzheng. Before she went on vacation Du Mei had said that after the New Year she would organize a propaganda campaign to create gossip to promote Luzhou, she even told Xiao Yi to pay more attention, but recently what was there to hype it?
Luzhou let out a yawn wanting to go to bed, Xiao Yi returned to his room and began to look at tickets, they were all sold out and only 1st class cabin seats remained, in order to return home Xiao Yi had to clench his teeth and buy it. After he just bought the ticket, he heard yelling from the room next to him.
As soon as Xiao Yi went over he saw Luzhou on the bed making a phone call, he said into the phone, “Then I won’t go, let’s talk about it next year. “
Xiao Yi: “???”
Xiao Yi was standing at the entrance, Luzhou said: “I’m not going abroad, looks like I have bad luck I still have to see your face during New Year, go book the airplane tickets.”
Xiao Yi: “Book the tickets?”
Luzhou: “I’ll take you out to celebrate New Year! Staying at home for what, you want me to die of suffocation?”
Xiao Yi went back to his room to arrange the trip for him and Luzhou, he was simply going insane as looked at the airplane tickets, there were only 1st class cabin seats ah ah ah!——they were more than 3000 yuan! He suddenly thought of something inside his head, he went back to Luzhou in the room next door and asked: “Brother Zhou, where do you want to go?”
Luzhou: “ Any place is fine.”
As a result Xiao Yi had to rack his brain, the next day he was being honest and said: “Brother Zhou, the visas won’t be made in time, we can only celebrate New Year within the country.”
Luzhou said: “I want a place that isn’t too cold, but it can’t be too hot either, it must have a feeling of winter, within the country is fun, but try to find a place that is bustling with noise and excitement and also can’t be found by fans, it needs to be peaceful and have the feeling of New Year, it’s been a long time since I last experienced a New Year atmosphere, it needs to have a good atmosphere, a beautiful scenery and there needs to be healthy food to eat. The place must not have any tourist groups and in general it must not have many people, the hotel owner should be cordial and can’t be too divided, also, in a New Year’s celebration there must have family reunion dinner. It’s even better if there is a hot spring.”
Xiao Yi: “……”
Luzhou put forward a bunch of contradictory requests and said, “The hotel staff must be friendly and the hotel must have many evaluation reviews and most importantly there, must, be, hot, water.”
Xiao Yi braced himself because trying to find such a place was simply even harder than reaching the sky , even Beijing didn’t necessarily meet with Luzhou’s requirements.
To Lijiang? There would certainly be fans chasing after them like dogs, Xiao Yi was only one person he could forecast that when the moment came surely the army of fans would push him over and then step on his face to get through. If they got a visa right now they could only travel in Southeast Asia, Japan didn’t celebrate the Lunar new year, South Korea……was not good. Thailand……also not good, if the Thai people saw Luzhou they would most likely recognize him. Hong kong, Taiwan……All of these places weren’t good.
Northeast China was too cold, Sanya was too hot, in Xiao Yi’s mind appeared a scene of him holding Luzhou’s bag as he followed Luzhou closely while being scolded by him like being poured dog’s blood on.
(T/N: To pour dog’s blood on = torrent of abuse)
There wasn’t anything to say about the hot spring, but a place bustling with noise and excitement, without fans, and also needed to have family reunion dinner, how was that even possible ah! And two people eating a family reunion dinner, how was he supposed to eat while looking at Luzhou’s stinky face?
‘I got a solution!’
“Xiao Yi, Xiao Yi一” the co-ordinator big sister’s voice spoke through Wechat: “At last the film is finalized, the screenwriter still to want to go through the latter part though. During the Lunar New Year we are going to eat at Sanlitun street and then we’ll go to a bar afterward, are you coming?”
Xiao Yi: “Although I really want to go……. Sister An, I already have plans to go on a trip to celebrate New Year.”
“Alright一” the co-ordinator said, “When you have time, come to the company to hang out with us, your sister will take you out to eat delicious food.”
Xiao Yi burst with joy he thought that after this year was over he must look for them to hang out.
Xiao Yi looked for Luzhou to get his ID, when he took a glimpse at it he almost laughed, Luzhou bellowed and said: “You! Bring yours out so I can see! Who doesn’t have an ugly ID picture……”
Xiao Yi held Luzhou’s ID while laughing out loud as he fell on top of the staircase, Luzhou gnashed his teeth as he snatched Xiao Yi’s ID. Xiao Yi’s ID picture looked very handsome, therefore Luzhou didn’t have anything to say.
“Where are we going? Did you find a good place to go?” Luzhou looked down at Xiao Yi down from the stairs.
“I found a good place,” Xiao Yi said, “we can leave tomorrow.”
Luzhou stared at Xiao Yi, seeing that for a long time Xiao Yi still hadn’t told him the plan, he threatened: “If it doesn’t satisfy my requirements, you at once will……you at once will……”
“Your servant will castrate himself.” Xiao Yi said sincerely.
Luzhou: “Remember it well, when the moment comes, I’ll help you with the castration.”
The next day Xiao Yi drove Luzhou to the airport, he pulled a trolley while carrying a bag in his other hand, he carried another bag behind his back and Luzhou’s Hermes bag hang around his neck on top of that. At boarding time Xiao Yi carried Luzhou’s boarding pass to the first class cabin, Luzhou’s face changed as they went on the plane, he said: “Wuhan? What are we going to Wuhan for?”
“Wuhan is a very good place.” Xiao Yi turned over the magazine on the plane and said, “it’s lively there during New Year!”. “
Luzhou looked at Xiao Yi suspiciously, Xiao Yi asked: “Brother Zhou, have you been there before?”
“When I was young, my mother took me to live in Wuhan for a while,” Luzhou said.
Xiao Yi was a little surprised, no wonder Lu Zhou liked to eat Hubei food it was because of this reason? Xiao Yi said with a smile: “I’m from Hubei too, you’re my fellow villager then.”
Lu Zhou didn’t speak, he took off his sunglasses and adjusted the back of his seat and caught up in his recollection, Xiao Yi thought ‘as I was hitting around I accidentally hit the right target, it seems that I have guessed Luzhou’s mind, very good, this should reduce the frequency of being scolded by him during the Chinese New year……’,
However, heaven didn’t side with a person’s wish – at 5 pm on the same day:
Xiao Yi’s head was sweating as he protected Luzhou from the mighty army of workers crowded on the train.
They got off the plane at Tianhe Airport at 2 o’clock, after several twists and turns they finally crowded into the HanKou Railway Station and headed for T250 in Jingshan county. They had bought standing tickets, beside them there were farmer brothers sitting on sacks, the toilet door was crowded with people, Luzhou’s one hundred thousand yuan trench coat was filled with the smell of smoke and next to him there was a person eating instant noodles.
Xiao Yi: “I’m sorry, the highway is blocked, my younger brother’s car……couldn’t get through.”
“Brother Zhou, have you ever been on a train like this?” Xiao Yi didn’t know what to say, he tried to find something to talk about as he shook along with the frequency of the train: “Come on, highup! How about I sing a song for you?”
(T/N: Highup is literally the English word CJD used)
Luzhou calmly said: “Sing, sing well and you can keep your ‘JJ’ until tomorrow.”
(T/N: 雞 (ke) = mean chicken 雞|雞 (keke) = a cutesy term for male genital. Literally ‘chick’ and ‘little chick” respectively. Often abbreviated “JJ” online and in texts)
Xiao Yi: “……”
“Tick-tock tick-tock tick-tock tick-tock……“ Xiao Yi rolled up the magazine while imitating the sound of the train and began to sing the prelude.
“Tick-tock tick-tock tick-tock ……”
Luzhou: “Are you an alarm clock!”
“Life is a suspense novel…… “ Xiao Yi had finished rolling up the magazine and started singing “How will the plot develop on the next page? – I believe that no one knows what has happened to the world -”
Xiao Yi held the rolled up magazine like a microphone, he was singing softly at first then he raised his eyebrows and lead with his eyes. When Xiao Yi sang, his expression was concentrated, he was in high spirits and held the magazine as if he was holding a microphone while standing on a stage.
The train rumbled with loud noises as it ran fast across the mountains, past the earth and out to the plains of Hankou under the darkening purple sky, sped up toward a distant place.
In the winter, the farm houses emitted a curling smoke from the kitchen chimneys.
“I like – to be lonely and risky, chasing after the clues that lead to dreams, my trademark is freedom – ”
“……when I breathe I feel happiness”
“Woo -” the train whistled.
They were on the vast land with snow mountains, they didn’t know where the sound came from or which family it was that had lighted up firecrackers, the night had fallen, the oil lamps were ablaze with lights from ten thousand families, in the winter the Big Dipper shined brightly in the sky.
The fog that hid the sky and covered the earth had dissipated, the crowd already belonged to a distant place.
On the horizon as far as the eye could see there was a vast expanse of an endless plain and a vast World.
“The me on the rooftop – the me in the mirror – yeah -“ Xiao Yi was simply unable to resist the happiness that was coming out, he finally turned to a soft singing and gradually faded out.
After a few seconds of silence there was applause all around.
The aunty who sold evening meals pushed her cart staring at Xiao Yi behind his back.
“Are you done singing?” The aunt shouted and said: “Make way!”
Xiao Yi was frightened and immediately got out of the way, Luzhou’s face sank, he said to the aunty: “What do you yell at him for? Do you know…… “
“Shh!” Xiao Yi said: “Be careful not to get your picture taken, we don’t want to be caught in the headlines.”
Xiao Yi quickly gave way to the aunty, the food was very fragrant making Luzhou swallow his saliva. At noon on the plane Luzhou ate very little, right now his saliva was about to drip down on the carriage. Xiao Yi observed his facial expression and seeing that Luzhou did not ask for dinner, he took the initiative to buy him a boxed meal, he said: “Eat this for now, when we arrive at Jingshan I’ll find you something else to eat.”
Luzhou didn’t ask, he took the meal and leaned against the carriage walls, one hand held the box while he used the other to eat, Xiao Yi held another box of food for him so he could pick and choose.
All the people sitting in the passageway were watching them. In fact the food on the train was better compared in the crews, though Xiao Yi was afraid that Luzhou was still thinking of his ‘JJ’, he therefore forced a laugh and said: “I didn’t expect……Ah, I’m sorry I’m sorry, actually my home environment is very good, moreover it’s very lively during the Chinese New Year, everyone has a family reunion dinner together, so…… “
Luzhou looked impatient, he said, “What have I done to you? While filming outdoors I’ve lived in all kinds of places, do I look like someone who’s difficult to serve?”
‘Good good’, Xiao Yi thought, ‘Luzhou had come all the way from the first class cabin to stand in a train and it seemed like he still hadn’t gotten angry, was it because there were many people present so it wasn’t good to get angry or was it because this matter didn’t really matter to him. Celebrating New Year in this place was also good. Uhm, it was much better like that.’
“Go buy a boxed meal,” Luzhou said.
The aunty pushing the cart was gone, Xiao Yi said, “I’ll eat whatever there is.”
Therefore Xiao Yi poured Luzhou’s leftovers on top of each other, threw the empty boxed meal away and ate the rest.
Everyone looked at them, Luzhou’s complexion wasn’t looking very good, even now nobody seemed to recognize him. Xiao Yi didn’t know if he wasn’t happy because of not being recognized or if he was unhappy because many people were staring, perhaps it was a combination of both. He was unhappy due to being stared at for such a long time even though nobody seemed to recognize him…… Luzhou swept his eyes around in a circle, the commoners carefully removed their curious eyes.
At eight in the evening Xiao Yi pulled open the door and let Luzhou get off the train, they finally arrived in Jingshan……
Xiao Yi’s younger brother’s name was Xiao Qiang, on the highway many people were driving big and small cars to return home to celebrate the Chinese New Year, this had caused him unable to move a single step, while not knowing what to do Xiao Yi had called Xiao Qiang and told him that he didn’t need to pick them up at Wuhan, Xiao Qiang once again moved onto the highway. He waited at the JingShan Railway Station, it was pitch dark, the Plaza lights in front of the train station were broken.
Xiao Yi led Luzhou to his younger brother’s second-hand Santana, he then went to the rear trunk and ferociously stuffed the luggage inside.
“Sister-in-law!” Xiao Qiang turned his head around when he saw a man sitting in the backseat, he immediately shouted loudly.
“My God!” Xiao Qiang shouted: “Liar! You’re a woman!”
Xiao Yi exerted all his strength to stuff in Luzhou’s luggage, he angrily yelled at his younger brother: “Are you a potato! When did I talk about bringing back a wife!”
“Then what is this?!” Xiao Qiang pointed at Luzhou, he inexplicably poked his head out of the driver’s seat and asked his older brother.
At last Luzhou’s patience had run out, he yelled angrily in Wuhan dialect: “It’s your ancestor! You brothers are a bunch of potatoes! “
Xiao Qiang: “……”
Xiao Yi said, “Take the rope out!”
Xiao Qiang was puzzled as he got off the car, Xiao Yi took the rope and tied Luzhou’s LV luggage on the roof of the car and said: “Go!”
Xiao Qiang drove the car as it puffed and blew, fast as lightning, carrying Luzhou and Xiao Yi with the LV luggage tied on the car roof shaking as it went.
“He’s my brother, Xiao Qiang.” Xiao Yi said to Luzhou, then he solemnly introduced Luzhou to his younger brother, “This is my boss, my male god, my idol! Xiao Qiang, call him brother Zhou.”
“Hello brother Zhou, hello brother Zhou.” Xiao Qiang looked into the mirror and clasped his hands together he bowed as he greeted Luzhou, Luzhou truly felt defeated by these two brothers, seeing Xiao Qiang’s worship style and his action in a flash frightened Luzhou out of his wits, he shouted: “Don’t you need to hold the steering wheel to drive! Does a Santana also have automatic driving?!!”
Xiao Qiang passed Luzhou a cigarette, Luzhou waved his hand and thought to himself ‘Who gave him this name?’
“Xiao Qiang, Xiao Qiang.”Xiao Yi smiled apologetically and said: “When people hears his name, they will immediately think of disaster come from inside the wall……”
(T/N: 萧墙之祸 = Disaster come from inside the wall = The evil of the wall is caused by internal and external causes. Idioms out of the story of Chun Shenjun and Li Yuan. 萧墙 = Xiao Qiang is in the 萧墙之祸 (Xiao Qiang Zhi Huo). In easier term it’s mean disaster was started by someone close to you/living with you. That’s why when hearing his name, people would think of that phrase)
Luzhou was in the process of drinking water, he nearly spat it out, Xiao Qiang said: “Brother, mother heard that you were bringing her daughter-in-law back, she has been cooking since early in the morning! I told her not to do it but she wouldn’t listen.”
Xiao Yi replied with a black line going down the side of his forehead (-_-|||): “I clearly said that I’m bringing a friend back. Did mom and Dad eat yet? “
Xiao Qiang said, “They already ate. “
Xiao Yi’s mother had misunderstood, Xiao Yi said “friend” but she understood it as the pronoun of ‘girlfriend’. Xiao Yi was embarrassed, but it didn’t seem like Luzhou had heard it at all, he was looked out at the road while deep in thought. Images outside passed by, a building with 5-6 stories, the dim yellow street light in the county, people riding bicycles, electric cars coming and going, the children playing and throwing firecrackers as the Spring festival was approaching.
(T/N: Remember girlfriend is a pronoun in Chinese, not English)
The lanterns were hung along the side of the road, flickering and flickering, they appeared exceptionally striking in the nighttime.
The song Xiao Yi sang in this chapter is called 魔幻季节 or Magical season by Gigi Leung
~ Enjoy ❤