Chapter 4: Crushing on the Mensao Man (4)
This was the second time that someone had reached their limit within 30 minutes. Outside the window, Chen Mo noticed that nearly all of the autumn leaves had already fallen. The ones that remained gently fluttered in the wind. It would be a long time before they too would fall. Naturally, he continued staring off in a daze. He had finished today’s hot chocolate soon after it was served. Taking advantage of drinking it when it’s hot made it taste considerably better, but as a result, you wouldn’t be able to experience the thrilling sensation of hot chocolate coagulating at the back of the throat.
They say that if one person ignores you, then the other party may be in the wrong. But if ten people think that you have a problem, then it must be you who has a problem.
Chen Mo didn’t mean to be concerned over if he had a problem or not. It’s just that he knew today’s matter would reach his mother’s ears very quickly. Then, he almost began to feel a bit curious. What kind of woman would she arrange for him next time?
This was a seemingly calm battle with no flashy exchange of blows, but merely stifling oppression. From his childhood till now, they’ve only ever known this one way of living together.
He remembered when he was young, his dad would always say, “You must not provoke your mother.” Back then, he was rather spineless and cowered away easily.
Then when he learned not to give in, his dad could only helplessly say, “Son, give in sometimes; your future will be brighter if you do.”
Really? How do you know that taking a step back will lead to a brighter future and not to a bottomless cliff? Chen Mo felt that a good amount of his mother’s blood flowed within his veins, and that’s why they shared the same, unyielding personality. Naturally, he knows that as a son, he shouldn’t outright defy his mother. Thus…
He remembered Lu Zhen once saying that no one would ever outlast Chen Mo in a game of silent treatment and giving the cold shoulder.
However, it truly wasn’t him who was in the wrong this time. As the woman sat down, her first words were, “I will be leaving the country in the future.”
Chen Mo looked at her as if he had just heard something funny and replied, “I will not be leaving the country in the future.”
And so, the two people both heaved a mutual sigh of relief. They were both forced to come out on this blind date by their families and felt a little camaraderie in having to suffer together. Chen Mo initially thought that he would finally make his first female friend in this city, but the conversation quickly steered into irreversible territory.
She had a master’s degree in finance and was overly conceited. She was too convinced in the strength of the market and the economy, liked to advocate for advancing democracy and human rights, and touted the fact that she paid her taxes.
Chen Mo remembered when they made anti-terrorism contingency plans, they once divided people up into different types. People like her were truly the most vocal, but were also the group that required special attention the least. Because they weren’t overly religious, it was extremely difficult to win them over and convince them to give their lives for any particular cause. But don’t expect much loyalty from them either!
Chen Mo was quite bored as she very seriously described how he was a political tool and part of the state apparatus1. She said, “In the end, no matter what you say, you are nothing more than an unconditionally loyal tool that serves the government.”
War is like a game of chess. It doesn’t matter which piece is lost. What’s important is that the game is won. The chess player celebrates in high spirits but unfortunately you just so happen to be a pawn. Of course, to each their own. If you feel very proud, then feel free to be proud!
“No!” Chen Mo said. Then he thought, I’ve really been too bored lately. To actually go so far as to refute her. That’s way too abnormal.
“No to what? Then who did you pledge your loyalty to?”
She revealed a disdainful smile. “The people? That word is too illusory. ‘The people’ simply doesn’t exist.”
Chen Mo looked down and said, “Leave. I don’t want to see you again.”
She froze for a moment but quickly changed her expression and laughed, saying, “What’s going on with you now? To go this far? So narrow-minded. We were only expressing different views.”
Chen Mo looked up and glared at her. “Leave!”
Feeling a sudden chill envelop her, the woman practically shivered as she grabbed her bag and left without looking back.
The people? What is ‘the people’? Chen Mo reflected.
Outside the window, Chen Mo saw a group of old ladies do a fan dance by a man-made lake. Under a tree, someone was immersed in a book, and further away was a group of middle schoolers who had just been let out of class. The people? Of course, those are ‘the people’, but it’s not limited to just them. There are so many more. They work and study, take exams and emigrate, fall in love and get married, have children and divorce. They are protected, sacrificed, sought after, and taken advantage of. They walk aimlessly through life, sometimes blind to the truth. Before violence, they are weak and powerless and have to submit. But in the end, they are the ones who will determine the flow of history.
They are the dirt, being incessantly trampled upon yet always able to birth the most beautiful flowers. They occupy the moment. All those great people who etch their names in history will still die in the end. Only the people live on.
So, you see, ‘the people’ is not illusory at all. It’s just that you don’t understand it.
I will always remember those words Xia Minglang said to me, Chen Mo thought, as he recalled those words. ‘We choose to pick up our guns only because we don’t want to see a day when our own mothers will have to wake up in the morning to the sound of explosions and gunshots. It’s just that simple.’
Miao Yuan saw Chen Mo quietly sitting by himself. The temperature had already dropped and the sun no longer shone as strong as earlier. But when the rays fell on him, it still carved out a warm illuminated stage around him. It was as if he cleaved a piece of the world solely for himself.
Very sharp, extremely sharp looking! Miao Yuan gazed at his spiky short black hair and orderly uniform. Her heart stirred.
These years, men’s tastes had declined. They sported long swoopy bangs and dyed their hair all sorts of colors to bring attention to themselves. They wore uncomfortable, ill-fitting clothes, and pierced all sorts of holes from which they hung strands of gold jewelry. They just don’t understand how moving a clean, poised man can be.
Miao Yuan carefully placed the cake onto his table. She tried very hard to keep herself from making a single sound. Chen Mo didn’t turn his head. He just said a few words softly, “Thank you, I’ve troubled you.”
Miao Yuan was taken aback for a moment. “I’ve disturbed you.”
“I… I’ll be more careful later.” Miao Yuan’s face reddened.
Chen Mo turned to look her in the eye. Sincerely, he said, “You really haven’t.”
Miao Yuan was suddenly struck by lightning, and could only feel blood rushing to her head. She had no other choice but to dizzily make her escape first.
All right then. Chen Mo looked at that scurrying back and wanted to laugh a little. ‘The people’ probably includes this sort of honest, flustered girl too. They know nothing but untainted warmth and their smiles are adorable. It’s worth protecting.
Actually, no matter how careful Miao Yuan was, it was of no use. When she came close, Chen Mo would obviously know. Her footsteps carried a distinct sound unique to her. The intoxicating cocoa smell represented a familiar food. He knew all this without even having to turn his head because he had to use those very instincts to survive.
Zheng Kai said that after returning back and staying for a long time, his senses became dull. But Chen Mo felt that it wouldn’t happen to him. He thought things were pretty nice and he liked it.
Sometimes, Chen Mo thought that he must have been born for this profession. Although he initially tested into military academy to leave his strict, controlling family, in the end, he found his life’s direction there.
There are countless paths in life, and there will always be one that is different from the rest. Some will succeed in finding the most suitable path. Others won’t.
Similarly, there are countless people in this world, and there is always one who is different from the rest. Some will succeed in finding the most suitable person and form a relationship.
Miao Yuan went back and forth between the counter and the booths. Every once in awhile, she would look in his direction and sneak a peek, making sure that her angle was good. She saw Chen Mo, mouthful by mouthful, eat her specially-made cake clean off his plate. Her heart felt warm inside, and almost a little soft.
In the following two weeks, Miao Yuan saw Chen Mo go on two more blind dates. One was relatively normal. The girl lasted an hour before politely leaving. But looking at her expression, it was clear that there would be no second date. The other one went on for quite some time. When Miao Yuan went to clear the plates, she heard the date say, “My boyfriend…” Blah blah blah.
Miao Yuan’s face fell. These days, people really are unreasonable.
This city could neither be considered large or small. After making various inquiries, Momo finally got something of value when chatting with her cousin, who was a criminal investigator.
Chen Mo. Hailing from the Special Brigades. A genuine Special Forces soldier. Ace sniper. His military and training skills were both very impressive. He’s now transferred to the Armed Police Force. The troop leaders all viewed him in high regards and threw him into their most elite squadron, ordering him to assume the top position.
So… handsome! Miao Yuan blinked her eyes as she released cutesy vibes.
“Aha, so you like the uncle type. It’s fine to act cute. But don’t be an idiot and actually hurl yourself at him! ” Momo looked at that pair of starry eyes deep in love and knew she was a lost cause.
Miao Yuan’s face blushed red. Her first objection: “What part of him resembles an uncle!”
“These days, three years is practically one generation.” Momo reminded her seriously.
Miao Yuan was struck dumb. So many generations between us… so, so many …
“Plus, let me tell you. Everyone in their squadron is like a Martian2. They’re so weird they don’t even seem human. Last time, my brother introduced a sergeant to me. The sergeant was unwilling to even let me go karaoke! He said I would be making a scene. You really have to believe me. Miao Yuan, he’ll make you feel as if you aren’t even on Earth…” Momo saw that Miao Yuan had already drifted off into her own world, and could only helplessly shake her head. Why else would the older generation want sons, not daughters. Look at what happens when you have a daughter. So hopeless.3
Translator: It’s okay, Miao Yuan! Even if he’s a Martian, the age gap between you two can’t be as large as…