Chapter 14: Guns & Roses (2)
Hearing Chen Mo ask for twenty more beanbags, the vendor’s face paled. Pulling on Chen Mo, he pleaded: “Buddy, stop toying with me. Setting up this stall to do business hasn’t been easy on this little brother. Just take the one your wife wants. Don’t play anymore, okay?”
The fishing lad immediately replied with an impish tone. “Yo, so in other words, you opened up to do business, yet you don’t let people play?”
“Yang Ning!1 Sonny, I’mma…” The vendor seethed in anger, wanting to trounce the meddling lad.
Chen Mo looked at the two men who were about to start fighting and quickly restrained the vendor, saying: “I’m only trying to prove a point. Not hurt your business.”
The vendor struggled internally, but ultimately accepted this as his misfortune. Scowling miserably, he handed Chen Mo twenty sandbags.
The entire area was full of people out to enjoy themselves, but seeing a commotion, the crowd gathered to see what was going on. Miao Yuan didn’t understand the situation and watched bewildered from the side. The fishing lad walked over and waved in front of her face, his eyes laughing: “Don’t go anywhere okay? Let’s wait and watch together!”
The wooden blocks were neatly arranged on top the shelf again. Chen Mo visually calculated the distance and with a flick of his wrist, the sandbag soared towards the wooden block, knocking it down. The crowd issued a wave of cheers… but slowly, the cheering became louder and louder. And then weaker and weaker. Until finally, there was no more cheering left…only gasps of amazement.
As bodies pushed forward, Miao Yuan lost sight of Chen Mo’s progress and her heart tightened anxiously. While tugging on the fishing lad’s sleeve, she tried stretching her neck out to catch a glimpse. Finally, a single echo was heard. The circling crowd sucked in a collective breath of surprise, and then two seconds later, a buzz of chatter broke forth. Miao Yuan immediately became worried. In a moment of urgency, she shoved aside the crowd before her, tumbling out. Chen Mo quickly reached over and scooped her into his arms, cradling Miao Yuan’s waist. Before her heart could react to his touch, she raised her head and was stupefied.
Before her, the shape of a heart appeared atop the wooden shelf, punched out by the impact of the sandbags. All this was entirely Chen Mo’s doing just now.
“Do you like it?” Chen Mo whispered into her ear.
Blinking rapidly, Miao Yuan could not suppress the hot tears that rolled down her cheeks. She blew her nose and said, “I like it!”
“As long as you like it!” Chen Mo didn’t really like being the centre of attention. He briefly nodded his head to the fishing lad in gratitude. And just like before, he pulled Miao Yuan into his arms and escaped, pushing through the crowd.
The vendor was dumbstruck standing to the side. He watched the receding figure of Chen Mo—the guy that brought him bad luck—and then turned to see the amassed crowd, switching back and forth between the two. Suddenly, with an exuberant smile plastered on his face, he yelled in a loud voice: “Hey buddies, you all have to come play! It’s very simple and easy to score! Look at how many that guy had knocked down just now! Ten bucks, ten sandbags! Come have a go! It’s better than buying flowers and your wife’s heart will never have been so beautiful inside!”2
The fishing lad smiled wryly and shook his head. He then took a picture with his phone before the vendor reset the placement of the wooden blocks.
Having walked 200 m away from the stall, Miao Yuan suddenly came to her senses and screamed in shock: “I forgot to take a picture!” Extremely vexed, she held her head in her hands.
Smiling faintly, Chen Mo simply stood in front of her: “It wasn’t difficult to achieve. I’ll do it for you again next time, if you’d like?”
Miao Yuan almost wanted to stomp her feet: You don’t understand!
She thought to herself, How come I had to meet such a willful kind of a guy? Sometimes you are sweet, sometimes you are not…just what are you really?!
Chen Mo thought she was in a good mood, but then she suddenly looked irritated. He shifted his gaze away, only to discover that they had already reached the centre of the square. In front of them was a long row of stalls that were all dedicated to toy gun shooting games. Hanging from the packed, rainbow-coloured eaves was the exact stuffed bunny Miao Yuan had said she wanted earlier. Chen Mo suspected that his not asking for a prize after knocking the blocks down was why Miao Yuan was unhappy.. He promptly grabbed Miao Yuan by the shoulders and spun her in the direction of the gun stall, saying: “Didn’t you want that bunny? I’ll will win it for you.”
Gloomily, Miao Yuan nodded her head up and down. She really wanted to drag Chen Mo down to her level and ask, In the end, just what exactly do you think of me!?! But, due to the surroundings being too rowdy and loud, it wasn’t the best place to discuss this. Chen Mo looked at her, while he twisted his glove tightly behind his back without a single sound.
In his heart, Chen Mo sighed… Women truly are puzzling creatures.
He suspected Miao Yuan was most likely unhappy due to not taking a picture of the heart back then. Of course, the prize could also have been an important factor. Girls always had a soft spot for little plushies. Chen Mo took a deep breath, and told himself not to be so impatient. This was how it was supposed to be. Even if you’ve never seen a pig run, you would have eaten pork.3 In all fairness, the girl’s temperament was considered good.
In front of them was the largest of the stalls, and it catered towards playing with electronic guns. At the back was a wide curtain with a multitude of rainbow-coloured balloons attached. At the front, a shallow screen with the guns mounted behind, a hole to fit hands through and aim at the fragile targets. Once the gun was fired, a small needle would fire out and prick open a balloon; a crackling sound reminiscent of auspicious occasions—like Chinese New Year’s—would be produced as a result.
Chen Mo tugged Miao Yuan to squeeze inside. He then opened by saying: “Vendor, give me two hundred rounds of bullets.”
Hearing this, the vendor blanked out, but quickly came around with a beaming grin: “OK!”
I’ve struck gold with this foolish spendthrift who’s sparing no effort to impress his girlfriend with a prize! The vendor gazed up at the plushies hanging on his stall’s eaves, and secretly felt pleased in his heart. It must be said, our stall’s collection of plushies is the best at attracting people in the entire playing grounds.The vendor handed over a gun and thoroughly explained how to fire and aim with it. He was about to explain the reward and punishment system to Chen Mo, when Chen Mo casually pointed at the largest bunny, “How many points is that?”
“Aiyo, this one can be difficult. First, you have to make 47 hits with 50 shots, otherwise, it wouldn’t be easy for me to get by.” The boss said with his utmost sincerity.Chen Mo nodded. He raised his hand and shot. No hit.
However, after that one shot, Chen Mo realized that this gun seemed to be an M16 imitation. Of course, the appearance of the imitation was very improper. On top of the gun lacking a front sight, it actually missed all of the parts. In fact, it had no bullets. It wasn’t a gun, but simply a laser shooter. So, the bullets had no parabolic trajectory, no wind velocity, no elevation. This was the most basic shooting, straight shooting.
After Chen Mo fired the second shot, he successfully figured out the magnitude of the range and scope for the receiver. An average player would believe the balloons to be within the range and scope of the gun, but it wasn’t that simple. If the vendor did not use this trick, his business might not as well open in the first place and just pay the customers his money directly.
After five bullets, Chen Mo started to hit combos. They flew over in the same direction. The sounds of balloons bursted into shreds could be heard. Pop pop pop. The colourful pieces fell down like snowfall, one by one. The gun stall’s vendor stared in shock, his complexion having fallen several shades whiter, as Miao Yuan—after having observed Chen Mo finish shooting one horizontal line, then two vertical lines—suddenly understood what he was aiming to achieve..
As a result, a certain face became whiter and whiter, then redder and redder…
People from all around were drawn over. Even those who had already paid to shoot had stopped playing. Everyone gathered around to watch Chen Mo shoot.
When the first “Miao (苗)” character appeared, the crowd cheered thunderously. Miao Yuan overheard the person next to her excitedly exclaim: “That’s the guy! That’s the guy who was just at that sandbag toss stall over there!”
“Too… Too awesome…”
“Aiya, his girlfriend is enjoying herself more now. So the boy is chasing after this girl. This can also be considered a life skill ah…”
Miao Yuan stood on the side, and listened. Unable to discern what was reality, her whole being felt as if it were floating dazedly, treading along the clouds.. Chen Mo let out his breath as he hit out the second character to ‘Miao Yuan (苗苑).’ Seeing that the counter on the side showed that several tens of bullets remained, he continued to shoot. At the side, he shot several more bullets again, and created a tiny, tiny heart.
This time, it was a true heart. Plump. Only, the last edge was a little sloppy, because he ran out of bullets.
“Alright! Not angry anymore?” Chen Mo returned the gun, his palm resting on top of Miao Yuan’s head.4
Miao Yuan raised her head and looked up at him. Scarlet lips, and a pair of crystal clear eyes.
“Didn’t you want to take a picture? Hurry! Or else the people are going to reset the balloons.” Chen Mo nudged her forward, in his heart he wondered why this girl suddenly became stupefied again.
Miao Yuan blankly took out her phone. Finally, someone discovered her presence and identity. Some mischievous youngsters then jeered: “Kiss, kiss…” until ultimately, the entire group of people hooted and hollered. Such a scene, was like watching the blooming of beautiful flowers. The story of two people falling in love was something everyone in the world loved to see. The kind, good-hearted, and lively crowd loved nothing more than to make two mutually affectionate people become a couple.
Seeing so many people had cheered her on, Miao Yuan readily stuffed her phone into a stranger’s hand, raised onto her tippy toes, grabbed the back of Chen Mo’s neck, and softly pecked him on the corner of his lips.
Chen Mo was a bit caught by surprise, but he lowered his head and smiled at her tenderly.
In our lives, there are always those few moments when you drown in a crowd, forgetting your surroundings with the clamour and noise. At the height of it all, you hear your own heart pulse.
Suddenly, I understood my meaning of being, my purpose. I came into this world…
To meet you.
Now how beautiful is that?5
- Presumably, Yang Ning is the name of the fishing guy
- [Editor’s note] basically saying that the wife will have never been in a better mood, nyaa~!
- Original saying is: A child may have never eaten pork but surely have seen a pig run. Meaning a person may have never experienced something themselves, but having heard of it, already entitled them some degree of understanding.
- [Editor’s note] Nyaaaaa~! So adorably cute, nyaa~!
- Our raws are kinda wonky and this paragraph section popped up again. I’ve ordered the physical copy from China and it should arrive in a few weeks. So once it gets here, I’ll double check and make the corrections. Thanks for your understanding!