Chapter 7: Dating a Martian (1)
The address was difficult to locate. Chen Mo took a turn off the main road and went deeper through side streets and alleyways. When he reached the door, he hesitated before he knocked, probing. A low voice transmitted from beyond the door and upon hearing it, he became relieved and waited at the doorway.
The door suddenly swung open to reveal a girl with hair unkempt and eyes squinting. She was framed by a dim room, and the low light illuminated swirling dust particles.
“Ah… Miao Yuan, it’s…” Chen Mo took a step forward and tried to enter.
But with a bang, the door slammed shut.
He jumped back, shocked. Without his martial arts training, he would have lost his nose.
Miao Yuan hyperventilated and leaned against the door.
What’s going on? Am I dreaming? Was that a ghost? I’m still asleep, right?
She pinched her thigh and the pain felt real. She then checked her temperature, pressing the back of her hand to her forehead.
So hot, so that must mean…
Her mind unraveled the circumstances.
Oh God! She swiveled around and tentatively opened the door a crack.
Through it, Chen Mo saw a pair of round, black eyes peep out.
“Your coworker,” Chen Mo paused, thinking of how to explain himself. “She told me you’re sick.”
The eyes blinked a few times before the door slammed shut once again.
“I-I have to brush my hair first.” A panicked voice sounded from inside.
Chen Mo cracked a smile. It was a reasonable request.
It was as though Miao Yuan never fell ill in the first place. She dashed into the bathroom at thrice her usual speed. Had she not been worried about keeping Chen Mo waiting, she would have even showered.
When he was finally let inside, he was surprised. Though the building was old and in need of repairs, and the air tainted with enduring traces of smog, her room was clean and tidy.
Miao Yuan followed alongside him as he entered. Her face was a shade too pink and her flustered mind couldn’t even think straight.
What is this? You just so happen to fall sick, and it just so happens to be your weakest moment, and he just so happens to be there! And just to see you!
Miao Yuan really did not know what to make of it. It felt surreal, as though she were treading on clouds, floating, and her heart was a fluff of pink, vanilla cotton candy.
“You don’t need to receive me.” Chen Mo said. “Lie down.” He looked at her dazed, disoriented appearance and was amused.
Miao Yuan nodded, and obediently crawled into bed.
“Do you have a fever?” he asked. He then took a seat by the bed and saw Miao Yuan’s flushed, round face and misty eyes.
She nodded, for she had temporarily lost her ability to speak.
The girl had an amiability about her. She gazed up at him, looking like a gentle cat. There was no vestige of hostility or malice. Chen Mo felt at ease when by her side.
“Your coworker told me you’re sick,” he said. “She wanted me to check on you.” He then preemptively explained his background to justify his presence. “Her brother knows me. He’s Qin Yue of the criminal investigation squad.”
But it looked as though the explanation was unimportant. Miao Yuan’s eyes were still unfocused. She stupidly stared at him before slowly uttering, “Oh…”
Then, she hung her head and even her neck began to redden.
The room fell into awkward silence. Chen Mo was clumsy with words. He didn’t know how to continue the conversation. Thus, he looked around before seeing a rosy apple sitting atop the nightstand. He weighed it in his hand and asked, “Do you want to eat it?”
Without even hearing an answer, he continued. “Where do you keep your knives?”
The heater made the room dry and toasty. When Chen Mo had entered, he had loosened the buttons on his uniform. Because Miao Yuan didn’t dare raise her head to look him in the face, she couldn’t help but see his dangling keys and a red military-issued knife strapped to his waist.
Chen Mo followed her line of sight and looked down. He frowned slightly and said, “This knife isn’t clean.”
“Ah,” Miao Yuan nodded seriously. From within a roll of paper towels on the nightstand, she found a fruit knife and offered it to Chen Mo with outstretched hands.
Chen Mo suddenly felt tickled by the situation. He almost wanted to reach out and rub her head. But upon a second glance at that serious, round face, he decided against it. It would look too much like bullying a little kid. As such, he gripped the knife and tested it against his thumb. It was sharp, and probably, he surmised, newly bought.
Miao Yuan fixed upon Chen Mo as he peeled the apple. At first, she hesitated to look at his face. The distance was close and almost too much to handle. She was afraid of fainting on him but she quickly discovered that his apple carving skills were even more of interest. He quickly peeled, yet the apple skin unwinded in one thin, unbroken strip. When he finished paring the entire apple, he made several swift cuts and cored the center with a turn and flick of the wrist. Only the edible parts remained.
Miao Yuan was shocked. She despairingly thought, Chen Mo, why must you tease me like this?
Chen Mo was unable to find toothpicks so he placed the slices into a clean container from the cupboard and handed it over. “Go ahead and eat it.”
“You… did you specifically practice this skill?” Miao Yuan asked through bites. It was tasteless.
Miao Yuan thought, Why practice this! He’s on the level of a domestic housewife!
As though reading her thoughts, he said, “I was bored.” Indeed, it was how he passed time when bored. Incidentally, it also let him master finger dexterity and a feel for the knife.
Miao Yuan’s heart silently bled. She sincerely felt that such a good man, someone who cuts apples when bored, was uber duber adorable.
“You didn’t go on a blind date today?” she asked.
“No I didn’t.”
“What,” Miao Yuan hesitated. “What kind of girlfriend are you looking for?” She then lowered her head. She was a smidgen away from burrowing into some container and sealing herself up.
“Just one that’s easy on the eyes.”
“Then, do you think I…” Miao Yuan mustered up her courage. “Do you think I’m easy on the eyes?” She then gazed anxiously at Chen Mo, who raised his eyebrows in surprise.
Miao Yuan’s breathing quickened. She hung her head, only to miss the shadow of a smile that surfaced on Chen Mo’s face.
“Pretty… pretty decent,” Chen Mo answered.1
Whaa—?! Miao Yuan brightened up instantly.
Suddenly, Chen Mo recalled that saying of how there’s no getting younger, only older. Everyone and their mother was saying how he ought to find a girlfriend, and get along with her, and start a family. If so, then why spend all this effort searching an entire deck of cards for The One?
The girl in front of him was satisfactory. At least, they bumped into each other often. Plus, she was quite easy on the eyes. At least, he’s tasted her cooking, which was delicious. At least, it seemed like this girl liked him, and didn’t broach any sensitive subjects like the national economy or the people’s livelihood. At least, their conversations didn’t sound like: “When, Chen Mo, when will you be promoted, when will you change jobs, do you have a house, do you have a car, when will you get a house, when will you get a car.”
However you look at it, this girl was more reliable than all those people that his mother introduced. Chen Mo recognized that his own experience was too shallow to answer questions of what love looks like, and what sort of person he should spend his life with. Yet he still knew that when with that person, you shouldn’t have to walk on eggshells, or put up guards, or constantly squabble.
If life was a battlefield, we would have our allies and our enemies, and our days should be spent with those allies—our nearest, our dearest.
Chen Mo thought and then took out his phone. “May I take your picture?”
“Huh? Why?” Miao Yuan was baffled at his request.
“My mom forced me to go on blind dates, and would set me up with a new person each week. I’m a little troubled over this. But today, she said if I can find my own, she won’t mind my business, so I have to take a picture to show her. You don’t have any objections, right?” Chen Mo earnestly looked into her eyes.
“Oh… so it’s like that… like that…” Miao Yuan felt lightheaded. Her head was steaming, and her spirit sneaked a laugh and snickered as it drifted away.
“Go ahead!” Miao Yuan tightly clenched her fists. “Of course it’s no problem!”
It’s practically no effort for me! I, Miao Yuan, as a good person, must do a good deed every day!
But, but… My dear Miao Yuan, please don’t deny or evade the fact of the matter. In truth, you’re secretly laughing, aren’t you? In truth, you’re over the moon, right? Get rid of his mom! Quick, just get rid of her! Don’t let him go on any more blind dates with those women. Such a good catch should be left for me to slowly woo.
“Oh, uh… Do I need to put on makeup?” Miao Yuan suddenly began to fret.
“No need. You look great as you are right now.” Chen Mo found a good angle and pressed the shutter.
He complimented my appearance! Miao Yuan blushed. She felt a surge of excitement but hid it behind a bashful exterior.
“Tha-that is, you see,” said Miao Yuan, nervous. “I helped you with such a big favour. Shouldn’t you invite me out to eat?” Her heart raced and the proverbial deer in her heart pranced unbridled.
“Okay, after you get better, I’ll treat you to whatever you want.” Chen Mo silently thought to himself that this girl truly got into the groove too fast.
Oh! Yay! Miao Yuan mentally fistpumped. If you treat me, then next time I can treat you, and then next time… Comrade Miao Yuan, recover quickly. Hurl your whole self into pursuing the hot guy and winning his affection. It’s for the great revolutionary cause! And what’s the revolutionary cause? To treat each other out to eat…Yeah!
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?
When Miao Yuan opens the door and sees Chen Mo…
When Chen Mo loosens his buttons, Miao Yuan be like…
Sadly, there are no mentions of dessert… Oh wait! Fruits are basically Asian dessert, right?
Hello everyone! 🙂 Thank you for following MYBWLY thus far. How are you enjoying it? Now that we’re finally past the first part of the novel, things are going to pick up~ ♥
That said, we’re currently in need of a regular editor. We’ve been passing around the editing work like a hot potato these past couple of weeks
We promise the workload won’t be too demanding! If you’d like to help out, then please PM @Blob Translations on NUF, email blobt[email protected], or message us at the Contact Us page : -)
Just note that there is a tiny test >~<
*cough* Until we’re able to recruit an editor, releases are going to be on hold ^_^;;
Truly hope this early release can satisfy you all after the cliff from the last chapter
Update 1/19/2018: We found an editor ^w^ Thank you for applying guys!! Chapter 8 will be posted on the 28th, which aligns with our previous schedule~
- Here we have Exhibit A of Chen Mo’s mensao-ness. That outwardly “I’m too shy to tell her she’s cute” but deep down inside, he’s squealing like a prepubescent girl. (I totally realize this footnote is unnecessary, but if I were to toss all professionalism out the window, I would footnote every damn line because they are so gosh darn cute.)