Chapter 32 – Mother
Novel t.i.tle: 一生之计在于春 (Spring is the Plan of Life)
Author：御小凡 (Yu Xiaofan)
Translator: K (@kin0monogatari)
Protagonists: 姚锦夕 (Yao Jinxi -MC), 吴洋 (Wu Yang -ML)
*Please read at knoxt.s.p.a.ce, the original site of translation. TQ*
The first emotion that surged within Yao Jinxi was fear.
After many years, Yao Jinxi still remembered the anger and despair on his mother’s face vividly. Her words at the time were so decisive, leaving no room for reconciliation.
His vision blurred and his mind was in disarray. It made him feel stiff all over.
His cold hand suddenly felt warmth—it was being held by Wu Yang.
“I met your mother. Although she wasn’t very receptive at first…” Wu Yang spoke gently, summarising his visit to City L, “Actually, I think your mother misses you a lot. But you should understand her personality.”
Yao Jinxi naturally understood. Yao Hong was extremely stubborn and strong-willed. He looked utterly lost, genuinely unsure of what to do.
Wu Yang’s tone was comforting. “I’m sorry for doing this without consulting you. But didn’t you say you wanted to go back home? I think this is a good opportunity.”
Without paying much attention to Wu Yang’s apology, Yao Jinxi asked in confusion, “A good opportunity?”
“An opportunity to show vulnerability,” Wu Yang said, noting the paleness on Yao Jinxi’s face. It did fit with his strategy. But seeing him like this made Wu Yang’s heart truly ache. His grip on Yao Jinxi tightened a little. “Don’t be so afraid.”
Yao Jinxi held onto him and asked, feeling bewildered, “How did you talk to my mom?”
After a brief pause, Wu Yang summarised, “I didn’t explain the events at that time because it involved your brother. I was afraid it might complicate matters.”
Complicating matters further was not a wise choice. Past events had become a settled fact. Wu Yang had no intention of addressing the issue from that angle. After all, there was still Yao Jinchen. The worst-case scenario might be that both of them ended up worse off.
“In the past few days, through my interactions with your mother, I feel that she’s someone who responds better to a gentle approach. So, I only mentioned your struggles with depression and self-harm,” Wu Yang held Yao Jinxi’s hand tightly and patted his back with his other hand. “Listen to me, you’re a mother and son. There shouldn’t be an unsolvable knot between you.”
Yao Jinxi pursed his lips and stammered, “B-but… But…”
He shook his head in anguish and closed his eyes. He said, “At that time, she said she didn’t have a son like me anymore. She really… She said if she saw this shameless, worthless wretch of a son again, she’d break my legs.”
Surprisingly, Yao Jinxi was so afraid of his own mother. Wu Yang felt a mixture of heartache and amus.e.m.e.nt. He couldn’t bear to see Yao Jinxi in this abandoned dog-like appearance. So he simply pulled him into an embrace, patting his back gently. “There, there. Even your mother wasn’t very friendly with me. She can be quite scary. But as you can see, I still have both my legs. And she agreed to let me take you to see her.”
This position was quite comforting, offering a sense of safety and warmth. Yao Jinxi didn’t want to worry about the issue of this close distance between them at this moment. He let himself rest his chin wearily on Wu Yang’s shoulder and asked again with a m.u.f.fled voice, “How did you talk to my mom?”
“Well… I just told her the truth. You both just need a chance. A mother can’t possibly not care for her own son, right?” Wu Yang replied, patting his back once more. “And then I also shared a bit about my own experiences.”
Yao Jinxi froze and pushed him away. He repeated, “Your experiences?”
“I’m also a sufferer of depression. Sharing my own experience made my argument more persuasive to your mom,” Wu Yang paused. He didn’t elaborate further. Sometimes, presenting the same event in a different manner could yield entirely different results. Moreover, he had shared a lot of other things. But it wasn’t necessary for Yao Jinxi to know all of them just yet.
Wu Yang cautioned, “However, there’s something you need to remember. The reason your mom wavered in the end is because I told her you had a serious illness.”
“W-what?” Yao Jinxi didn’t quite understand Wu Yang’s explanation. It was true that he had experienced a significant illness. It was appendicitis turned peritonitis. But he didn’t consider it a life-or-death situation.
Wu Yang continued, “I described the situation as quite critical. Well, since you were unconscious at the time, even if you can’t recall the details, it should still hold up.”
He then lightly touched Yao Jinxi’s face. But quickly retracting his hand before Yao Jinxi could react. “Looking at your complexion now, you really do resemble someone recovering from a serious illness.”
Yao Jinxi thought: You’re scaring me with this!
Yao Jinxi’s expression at the moment was incredibly peculiar. There was a mixture of bewilderment and fear on it. It was as if he had unexpectedly encountered a bear charging out from an alley while walking down the street. “Are you saying you lied to my mom?”
“I didn’t lie to her,” Wu Yang showed an innocent smile. “Firstly, you did get sick. Secondly, you did have surgery. Thirdly, when I arrived, you were truly unconscious.”
At this point, Wu Yang sighed, “Back then, if I didn’t make it in time…If I had come a bit later, you might have really died.”
Yao Jinxi: “…”
Yao Jinxi wasn’t sure if this is the truth. He woke up after the surgery was over. “Is… is that so?”
Wu Yang’s tone sounded somewhat nostalgic. “Yeah. You were calling for your mom while in pain and delirium. It was really heartbreaking to see you cry out in agony.”
Yao Jinxi was shocked, “Really?!”
Wu Yang said with a heavy tone, “Of course, I was deceiving your mother. But as soon as she heard it, her eyes welled up. It was very effective. I told her that even though we’ve known each other not for so long, I only just found out how much you miss home.”
Yao Jinxi: “…”
Yao Jinxi glared at Wu Yang with indignation, almost on the verge of shouting but held back. He angrily pointed at him and said, “How could you deceive her?! What if it gets exposed?!”
Wu Yang responded, “It won’t get exposed. I didn’t lie. I might have exaggerated artistically. I mean, you had peritonitis. Not liver cancer, right?”
The whole thing feels like a melodramatic act. It was too ridiculous.
Yao Jinxi anxiously furrowed his eyebrows, “You’re talking as if it’s a joke. Is this April fool? Are you teasing me? What’s the date today?”
“How could I joke about something like this? So, are you going or not?” Wu Yang turned around and fastened his seatbelt as he asked, “Hmm? If things go south, just blame it on me.”
Yao Jinxi forced a smile, “With you saying that, I have no idea how to face my mom.”
“No need to worry.” Wu Yang turned back, suddenly smiling with a kind of subtle warmth in his eyes. “You can do whatever you want.”
Yao Jinxi stared at him for a moment, lost in thought. After a while, he wiped his face and said, “You’ve already set up the meeting time, so let’s go.”
He was feeling a bit reckless. But he couldn’t hide his antic.i.p.ation. Just thinking about the meeting later got Yao Jinxi excited beyond words.
He had thought about this for so many years. He kept it in his heart, allowing him to suddenly become quiet even at his happiest moments.
Wu Yang didn’t say much more, not wanting to disturb Yao Jinxi as he collected his thoughts. He turned the steering wheel and started driving.
Once on the highway, the road was smooth. In Yao Jinxi’s eyes, they arrived in City L in what seemed like no time at all. It was a city with mountains and rivers. It was midsummer right now. So, the muddy river flowed fiercely behind the embankment.
Yao Jinxi looked at it from a distance. His heart was as unsettled as the flowing river.
He hadn’t been back to this city for a whole five years, despite being so close in the neighbouring City C. The scenery here seemed unchanged, yet incredibly unfamiliar.
“h.e.l.lo, Auntie? We’re almost there,” Yao Jinxi tensed up as he heard Wu Yang on the phone. Trying not to care too much, he channelled his focus elsewhere.
Wu Yang spoke respectfully, “We’ll be at the café across from your office. We’ll wait for you to finish work. Oh, he’s fine. Although the wound seems to be hurting again, I think it might be due to the b.u.mpy ride. It seems a bit inflamed. But I reminded him to take some anti-inflammatory medicine before coming. So it shouldn’t be too serious.”
Yao Jinxi: “…”
He squeezed out a low voice from between his teeth, “We were on the highway. How could it be b.u.mpy…”
“Don’t worry, I’ll take good care of him,” Wu Yang hung up with a smile, seeing Yao Jinxi looking like he wanted to scratch the wall. “Don’t sweat the details. Besides, look… Your mom is still very concerned about you.”
Yao Jinxi looked miserable, “It’s all the story you made up…”
Wu Yang maintained his gaze forward as he smiled, “But her concern for you isn’t something I made up. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. I’ve got your back. Just think about what to say when you meet her.”
“I…” Yao Jinxi hesitated for a while. He bit his lip, turned his head and let out a gentle sigh. His pupils reflected the familiar yet unfamiliar scenery outside the window.
City L wasn’t a big city. They arrived at their destination with minimal effort. After parking the car, Wu Yang led Yao Jinxi into a café.
He found a table by the window and ordered a cup of coffee for himself. When he noticed that Yao Jinxi was absentmindedly flipping through the alcohol menu, he helped by ordering, “Get us a pot of Bi Luo Chun tea.”
While they waited for the server to leave, he pointed to the opposite side and said, “You see, your mom works there. She worked as the HR manager at a cosmetics company.”
Yao Jinxi followed the direction Wu Yang indicated and looked over. The building was quite impressive. Although the company probably occupied only one floor, it was still substantial.
Yao Hong didn’t even have a high school diploma back in the day. The level of effort she must have put in to reach this point was evident. During the most challenging times when Yao Jinxi was a child, he didn’t even have any meat to eat for several months. It wasn’t until she married her second husband that their living conditions improved.
He felt a twinge of guilt, realising he hadn’t been the most filial son. “The money for Jinchen’s high school and college education was provided by my mom, right?”
Wu Yang spoke gently, “Your mom is remarkable. She’s doing well now based on her own abilities. When you’re back by her side, I believe her life will be even more fulfilling.”
A warmth crept into Yao Jinxi’s heart.
Checking his watch, Wu Yang said, “They get off work at 5. It’s about time.”
He was right. People started streaming out of the building’s entrance. Yao Jinxi kept a close watch. After about ten minutes or so, a middle-aged woman in professional attire walked out. She was walking faster than the others, checking her watch and heading towards the coffee shop.
Yao Jinxi shuddered.
That was Yao Hong.
*Author’s Note: Mom, care leads to chaos. You’ve been deceived by your son-in-law.
‘Catching bugs’ this afternoon so I’m not updating =3=
*Translator’s Note: Let me explain. The phrase “捉虫” (zhuō chóng) literally translates to ‘catching bugs’ in English. However, in this context, it’s likely being used metaphorically or idiomatically to mean doing something enjoyable or engaging, perhaps like a hobby or leisure activity. Without further context, it’s difficult to pinpoint the exact meaning, but it indicates doing something fun or interesting in the afternoon.
I think I’ve explained this somewhere before (I’m just not sure if I explain this in this novel’s translation yet) but just let me reiterate; In many Chinese cultures, it is common to address people who are not blood-related as “auntie” or “uncle” as a sign of respect and courtesy. This practice is deeply rooted in traditional Chinese values and customs, and it serves several purposes but in this case, it is to create familial warmth. It creates a sense of warmth and familiarity in social interactions. By using these familial terms, people can establish a friendly and welcoming atmosphere, even with acquaintances or strangers.
By the way, I want a man like Wu Yang too. But real-life men are all crudes. -K
Next update: 2023.11.12