T/N: I was shocked to see someone write in the comments that this novel translation is discontinued. No no no. Just, a heavy workload, emotional baggage, extreme anxiety, well...life in general you know. Sometimes, it gets too hard to go on. So, needed some time. It was terribly unfair to you guys, and I do feel rather ashamed of my own inadequacies, but try and forgive this little translator's inability to cope with life's problems properly.
After the band-aid, Xiaonian and Gong Ouyang went back to having their dinner and everything was quiet for few minutes.
Gong Ouyang uninterestedly stirred his soup for the third time.
“Do you know why we are here today?” he asked.
Xiaonian put down the spoon that she raised and sat straight. She thought he just called her here because he could and he felt like it. Isn’t that why things happened around her?
Gong Ouyang saw that she did not say anything but looked at him in question. He picked up the wine glass and took a sip from it before continuing.
“There’s a meteor shower today.”
Xiaonian was taken aback at his reply.
“You.. wanted to watch the meteor shower?” she asked cautiously. In all the time she knew Gong Ouyang, she never took him for someone who took time to enjoy small pleasures like watching sunrise or meteor shower.
Gong Ouyang’s thumb gently stroked the body of the glass as he stared absentmindedly at the bright red liquid swirling in his glass.
“Sort of,” he replied ambiguously.
“A long time back, when I was 17 years old, someone promised to meet me here to watch another meteor shower,” he continued suddenly still looking at wine in his hands.
“And I kept waiting for that person for hours without any luck.” And looking as if he came out of his thoughts, he took a sip from his glass and looked at Xiaonian intensely.
“Today, you are going to be that person, and accompany me to watch the meteor shower,” he stated leaving Xiaonian slightly shocked.
So there was some meaning behind her making this trip.
Although she couldn’t say she was very happy being a substitute for somebody. she knew she was in no position to say anything to him.
Gong Ouyang checked his watch. “The shower should start any minute now, lets go.”
Looks like she was not going to eat anymore. What a pity, the food was very delicious.
Gong Ouyang grabbed the bottle of wine, his glass and made his way to the balcony through the french doors. He poured himself another glass, and set the bottle on the balcony wall.
Within a moment, Xiaonian saw something golden streak past the skies. And in a few seconds, may more followed. It looked as if the stars themselves were falling onto the earth.
She quickly turned to look at Gong Ouyang. After all, this is some sort of trip down the memory lane for him, and she wanted to see what kind of expression he would wear on his face during a time like this.
Gong Ouyang had his wine glass lifted up to the sky as if he was toasting, and after a few seconds he drained how the whole glass and set it down the wall beside the bottle.
And after that, he just stood there watching the little rocks burning themselves as they fell to ground in a blaze of glory.
Within minutes, the sky resumed its normal inky darkness.
“Do you know what makes you unable to drag a person to keep up with an appointment?” he asked Xiaonian suddenly.
“Death.” He answered without waiting for her to talk.
“That is impossible to beat.” He looked down into the dark valley behind the villa.
“Who was this person?” Xiaonian couldn’t stop herself from asking.
Was this a girl who broke his heart? Is that why even after 10 years, he was unable to forget her? Who could be so amazing that they could even sway someone like Gong Ouyang?
Gong Ouyang remained silent for a moment.
Xiaonian’s eyes widened in shock.
He lost his brother when he was so young?
“He was riding here when he met with an accident,” he turned around and leaned back against the wall. “There isn’t much reception in this valley and it took 8 hours for them inform me of what happened.”
His words sounded flat, as if he was trying to remove all the emotion from his narration, as if to distance himself from the memory.
“I was 17 then, in school. I was in my uniform and waiting here for some 11 hours, fuming that I was stood up.” He chuckled mirthlessly.
For the first time since the shower, he looked at her. He extended a hand to lightly hold her fingers and pulled her towards him, into his arms.
With his hands on her shoulder, he slightly pushed her back, looking at her from top to bottom.
“I asked them to get you my school’s uniform, but I forgot to mention that it was supposed to be a boy’s uniform.”
Xiaonian’s ears reddened with embarrassment. Okay, so he wasn’t a pervert who was into school girls. Good to know that.
“But, this is a fortunate accident,” he said with a small chuckle. “This looks quite becoming on you.”
Xiaonian pulled away from him in a huff.
There was a way to keep a straight face when she thought that he wanted her to wear this kind of cosplay-ish uniform, but now that she knew that this was a mistake, her embarrassment was so accurate that it made her cheeks burn with humiliation.
No wonder, the uniform looked like a cosplay. It was from a school in England.
Gong Ouyang laughed out loud when he saw her pull away and walk back to the room, all the while trying to pull the short skirt down with her fingers.
He pushed himself off the wall and followed her.
When he reached the room, she was already disappearing through another door in a hurry.
Gong Ouyang stood still as a frown creased his forehead.
He took quicks steps towards the door and opened it rashly. Xiaonian was looking around for some kind of clothing to change into, but she was soon interrupted by the appearance of Gong Ouyang who seemed as if he was dissatisfied with something.
He went forward to her and held her wrist quite firmly.
“Today, I want make this clear,” he said as his hand tightened painfully on her wrist, “every appointment you have with me, you should always keep it. No matter what, you are not allowed to miss it. Ever.”
Xiaonian flinched in pain.
“Are you listening?” he growled at her.
Xiaonian looked at him, “Yes, I’ll keep them,” she squeaked uncomfortably.
“Always?” he probed.
Xiaonian tried pulling her hand, but failed.
“Always, okay. Please let me go, it really hurts.” Her eyes were tearing a little at the pain.
Gong Ouyang relaxed after her assurance, and only then released her hand. As soon as he let go, he could see that area where he held her looked even whiter and paler than the rest of her skin and soon started taking on hues of pink and turned red as blood started flowing back.
He sighed in slight regret. He picked up her wrist and soothingly rubbed her wrist with his thumb.
He did not mean to cause her pain, but it was important to let her know that she should always be there for him when he asks.
“If you ever break your promise or try to run away like before, ” he said as he continued gently rubbing her wrist, “I’ll make sure to break your legs, and may be even…,” he seemed to thinking about that happening, “may be even kill you.”