Chapter 6 – A Concert
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*
Yao Jinxi led a somewhat reclusive life. But he had his own perspective on enjoying life. Over the past few weeks, he spent weekends with Wu Yang. But it was never the same each time. During the Qingming Festival, they even went cherry picking and brought back a box of cherries, which Yao Jinxi had Wu Yang deliver to Xia Ruonan.
For Yao Jinxi, it didn’t matter much. But after a few times, he began to worry that Wu Yang might feel odd about two guys always hanging out together. He even directly asked if Wu Yang thought it would be better to invite more people.
Wu Yang’s reaction was a bit unexpected.
Though he quickly smoothed his brows and returned to his usual gentle expression, Yao Jinxi, who had been watching him closely, still noticed. “Didn’t you say you didn’t have other friends?”
Yao Jinxi had mentioned not having many friends. But that didn’t mean there weren’t other options for hanging out together. He couldn’t quite figure out why Wu Yang had shown a slight displeasure just now. So he had to ask again, “Don’t you feel awkward having just us two guys hanging out everywhere?”
“Awkward?” Wu Yang pondered for a moment and then asked back, “Do you feel awkward?”
“I don’t. But I thought you might,” Yao Jinxi replied. He found the repeated questioning annoying and waved his hand. “If you don’t find it awkward, then it’s fine. I don’t enjoy being in a big group either.”
Wu Yang’s expression grew even softer. “Then let’s just continue as usual.”
So, every week, it was still just the two of them spending time together. Xia Ruonan had been keeping an eye on this situation as well. After all, she had handed this ‘baggage’ to Yao Jinxi. When she first heard that Yao Jinxi had been straightforward about it, she had been nervous for a while. Seeing that Wu Yang wasn’t upset, she finally breathed a sigh of relief.
Xia Ruonan: It would be so great if you two really became a couple…
Tea Seller: What are you thinking all day? You told me he’s interested in someone else too. That someone is you, right? So he’s a straight guy. Do you think you’re some kind of matchmaker? You’ve really been reading too many BL novels.
Xia Ruonan:…I haven’t.
Tea Seller: Just go and download it from Weibo then. Did you download it but not read it? Is it for w.a.n.g Peng to see?
Wu Yang was really outstanding. But Yao Jinxi truly had no romantic feelings for him. Firstly, he wouldn’t consider this person as a potential love interest. How could he start liking someone from scratch?
However, he did feel that having someone who was so perceptive and understanding as a companion was actually a pretty good choice.
In the blink of an eye, the weekend was approaching again.
As Yao Jinxi was pondering about how to arrange his weekend, a client who often helped his father buy tea happened to ask if he wanted to go to a concert of a popular star.
This reminder made Yao Jinxi realise that the advertising boxes all over town were filled with advertis.e.m.e.nts for this young pop star’s concert.
The client had received these tickets from work. But he had no intention of going. He thought of selling them at a lower price, making a little extra pocket money. When Yao Jinxi heard the price, it was equivalent to a 30% discount from the original ticket price.
Yao Jinxi asked, “How many tickets do you have?”
The client responded curiously, “How many could I possibly have? It’s one ticket per person from the company. But I think others might want to sell theirs too. Why? Are you planning to go with someone?”
“What’s the point of going alone? It’s not like I just went through a breakup. Could you do me a favour and keep an eye out? If there’s an extra ticket available, let me know. Thanks!” After finis.h.i.+ng the conversation on this end, Yao Jinxi immediately called Wu Yang.
As usual, he started with, “Are you free this weekend?”
Of course, Wu Yang was available. Yao Jinxi had already guessed that. So, he got to the point, “Do you know there’s a concert this weekend? My friend might be able to get tickets at a 30% discount. Want to go together?”
Understanding Yao Jinxi’s financial mindset well, Wu Yang instinctively asked, “A concert? The two of us?”
Suddenly, Yao Jinxi remembered his chat with Xia Ruonan and finally recalled that Wu Yang had a crush on someone. Yet, he was unsure whether it was just a secret crush or if he was actively pursuing her.
He probed, “Who else would you like to go with?”
Wu Yang seemed puzzled and replied, “Who else would I like to go with?”
Hearing this, Yao Jinxi concluded that Wu Yang didn’t have a girlfriend at the moment so he confidently made plans with him. The reliable client managed to get the tickets quickly and Yao Jinxi bought them. When the weekend arrived, he went straight to the stadium.
This celebrity had quite a few fans in City C while many others had travelled from other places just to attend it. The area around the stadium was already packed with people. It took Yao Jinxi and Wu Yang several phone calls before they finally managed to meet up. They quickly distributed the tickets.
Without any reminder, Wu Yang handed over the prepared money and exchanged it for the tickets with Yao Jinxi. He also brought two bottles of mineral water.
As Yao Jinxi fanned the collar of his s.h.i.+rt back and forth, he complained, “Oh my, there are so many people! Thankfully it’s not summer. Or we’d be steamed.”
Wu Yang handed over the bottle of mineral water. His tone carried a soothing intent as he spoke, “Young people like this kind of thing. Back when I used to sell tickets, it was mostly students in their teens and twenties who bought the most.”
Yao Jinxi was taken aback, “You used to sell tickets?”
Wu Yang summarised in a few sentences, “Back when I first arrived in Shanghai, I did some part-time work selling scalped tickets. It was quite profitable.”
Yao Jinxi was slightly surprised. Wu Yang gave off the impression of someone skilled in conversation. But the fact that he had even worked as a ticket scalper was quite unexpected for Yao Jinxi. He couldn’t help but ask, “What other jobs have you done?”
Wu Yang took a sip of the mineral water, “I’ve worked in sales, sold insurance, and had various other odd part-time jobs.”
Yao Jinxi twitched the corner of his mouth, feeling that sales and insurance jobs were oddly fitting for him. Especially selling insurance, it was a profession with extreme polarisation – those who earned a lot, earned a lot. While those who earned little couldn’t last for more than a few months. Success in this field depended greatly on personal communication and relations.h.i.+p-building skills. Just thinking about it felt troublesome to Yao Jinxi, “… I have a certain admiration for people who sell insurance.”
Wu Yang chuckled, “Thank you. Even though I’m not in that line of work anymore, I still have many former colleagues and contacts. If you ever want to buy insurance, I can give you some recommendations.”
“Not at the moment. Finally, it’s our turn.” Yao Jinxi looked at the end of the queue and felt a sense of excitement.
Actually, Yao Jinxi wasn’t a fan of this celebrity. He wasn’t into idol wors.h.i.+p. But the atmosphere around him was infectious. He found himself quite excited. At the entrance, they each received fluorescent sticks that resembled flashlights, emitting a soft green glow in the darkness.
The guest’s seats weren’t in the best location, which was understandable – it was a company benefit. Having tickets at all was already a good thing with no room for choice. Fortunately, Wu Yang seemed to casually lead Yao Jinxi around, weaving through the second tier’s railings, which turned out to be an excellent spot. However, from this distance, seeing the superstar’s performance clearly was still a challenge.
Yao Jinxi didn’t mind. When he saw the celebrity come out and say a simple “h.e.l.lo, everyone,” which instantly energised the crowd, he found it amusing. Yet, he joined in. He cheered along with the fans while waving the fluorescent stick one moment and singing along with the celebrity the next – remembering the lyrics when he could and humming when he couldn’t.
Wu Yang remained quiet. In truth, he didn’t enjoy crowded places. Such noisy and bustling environments always made him feel oppressed. This sense of unease tended to linger for a while.
But today was different.
Today, he had Yao Jinxi by his side.
Compared to the performance on stage, Wu Yang’s interest was more focused on Yao Jinxi. The guy was now excited. His face flushed, smiling so brightly – he looked like a young boy with dreams and a zest for life.
Wu Yang felt a touch of envy. In this limited time they spent together, he could clearly sense that this person found joy in life and was full of vitality.
He admired that candid personality and att.i.tude.
So, he always couldn’t resist wanting to get closer, to observe him more. Like the damp and shadowy moss, he absorbed the warmth of the sunlight that didn’t directly s.h.i.+ne upon him – just enough to feel its presence.
Sometimes he felt that this might become addictive because it was just so comfortable.
Wu Yang thought to himself that meeting only one day a week was truly too little now.
The concert lasted a full two hours. Yao Jinxi shouted with gusto, very dedicated to the experience. Those around him who didn’t know him a.s.sumed he was an enthusiastic fan. After it ended, his voice was hoa.r.s.e. He quickly chugged a bottle of mineral water to soothe his throat. “Want to come over to my place for a while?”
Wu Yang took out his phone to check the time and realised he had many missed calls from the same number. The concert was too loud so he hadn’t heard his phone ringing. Though the number wasn’t saved in his contacts, he knew who it was.
“I have something to deal with. I won’t be coming over tonight.” Wu Yang smiled at Yao Jinxi, not rus.h.i.+ng to return the call. “Next time, let’s have the tea you brew.”
Yao Jinxi didn’t insist, acknowledging that everyone had their own matters to attend to. He said his goodbyes easily. “Sure, I’ll head out now. Bye.”
Back at the tea shop, Yao Jinxi went upstairs directly to take a shower. After enduring the packed concert, he felt sticky and messy all over. Once he finished showering, he sat cross-legged on the carpet, feeling refreshed. He started playing kart racing game on his computer, ignoring the time. After all, he wasn’t a typical nine-to-five worker; he played until he felt like sleeping.
Unfortunately, his mood wasn’t great tonight. He lost several dozen rounds in a row, not winning even once. His interest waned. Yao Jinxi wasn’t into forming cliques online so he didn’t know anyone there. He looked at QQ and saw that Xia Ruonan was offline. He guessed that she must be sleeping, probably coerced into it by w.a.n.g Peng. Looking at the time, it wasn’t even midnight yet. This guy was more controlling than her mother.
Yawning, Yao Jinxi closed his computer and settled onto the mattress on the bed. He was lying down while using his phone to read ‘Dream of the Red Chamber’. This was a hypnotic tool he had collected. As expected, he didn’t read for long before his eyelids began to droop. He decisively tossed his phone onto the cus.h.i.+on on the other side. He then hugged his blanket, rolled over, and contentedly fell asleep.
Usually, Yao Jinxi would sleep until at least 10 a.m. in the morning. However, when he was awakened by a series of ringing, the window outside was still pitch black.
At first, he thought he was dreaming and turned around in a daze. The ringing persisted stubbornly. He suddenly opened his eyes, sat up, and with half-opened blurry eyes, he searched around for a moment before realising that it was his own phone ringing.
My goodness, what’s this?
Yao Jinxi took a few seconds to recover. Then, like a zombie, he stiffly and slowly crawled to the other side to pick up his phone. In a barely awake state, he answered with annoyance, “What kind of grudge do you hold, calling me in the middle of the night? Are you a pimp or something?”
The voice on the other end seemed to chuckle. “Didn’t you say I could call you at night?”
Still not fully awake, Yao Jinxi’s mind didn’t immediately recognize whose voice it was. He looked at the name on the screen.
*Author’s Note: Alright, for those who said I could call and bother you in the evening, here I am. Mr. Yao, remember to turn off your phone when you sleep next time… -YXF
>Qingming Festival, also known as Tomb-Sweeping Day or Pure Brightness Festival, is a traditional Chinese festival that usually falls on April 4th or 5th of each year, depending on the lunar calendar. It is a time for Chinese people to pay respects to their ancestors by visiting their graves, cleaning the tombstones, and making offerings of food, incense, and other items. Qingming Festival has a history of over 2,500 years and has both cultural and historical significance.
Here are some key aspects and customs a.s.sociated with Qingming Festival:
(a) Tomb Sweeping: The most important tradition during the Qingming Festival is tomb sweeping. Families visit the gravesites of their ancestors to clean the area, remove weeds, and offer sacrifices. It’s a way to show respect and remember their deceased loved ones.
(b) Ancestral Wors.h.i.+p: Families may bring offerings such as fruits, paper money, and other items to the graves as a way to honour their ancestors. It’s believed that this helps ensure the well-being and protection of the deceased in the afterlife.
(c) Outdoor Activities: Qingming Festival often marks the arrival of spring in China, so it’s a time when people also engage in outdoor activities like hiking, flying kites, and enjoying the blossoming flowers and greenery. It’s seen as a way to welcome the warmer weather.
(d) Qingming Cakes: A special type of food a.s.sociated with the Qingming Festival is ‘qingming cakes’ or ‘green rice cakes’. These are a traditional snack made from glutinous rice and are often eaten during this time.
(e) Observing Nature: In addition to honouring ancestors, Qingming Festival is a time to appreciate the beauty of nature. Many people take advantage of the pleasant weather to go on outings and enjoy the countryside.
(f) Environmental Awareness: In recent years, there has been a growing emphasis on the environmental aspects of the Qingming Festival. Some people use this time to promote eco-friendly tomb-sweeping practices, such as using biodegradable materials for offerings and avoiding excessive burning of incense and paper money to reduce pollution.
Qingming Festival is not only a time for remembrance and paying respects to ancestors but also a cultural celebration of the changing seasons and the beauty of nature in spring. It is an important holiday in Chinese culture, and the customs a.s.sociated with it have been pa.s.sed down through generations.
>Scalped tickets refer to tickets for events such as concerts, sports games, or other live performances that are resold by individuals or ticket brokers at prices significantly higher than their face value. This practice is often illegal or against the terms and conditions set by event organisers. It can lead to inflated prices and unfair access to tickets for genuine fans.
>QQ Messenger: QQ is a widely-used instant messaging software and social media platform developed by Tencent Holdings Limited, a Chinese tech company. It’s particularly popular in China and other parts of Asia. QQ allows users to send text messages, make voice and video calls, play online games, and more. It’s similar in many ways to other messaging apps like WhatsApp or WeChat.
>‘Dream of the Red Chamber’: also known as ‘The Story of the Stone’, ‘Hong Lou Meng’ (红楼梦) in Chinese, is one of the most famous and highly regarded cla.s.sic novels in Chinese literature. It was written by Cao Xueqin during the Qing Dynasty in the 18th century. This novel is considered one of the ‘Four Great Cla.s.sical Novels of Chinese Literature’, along with ‘Journey to the West’, ‘Romance of the Three Kingdoms’, and ‘Water Margin’.
‘Dream of the Red Chamber’ is a sprawling and complex work of literature that primarily focuses on the decline of a n.o.ble family and its ill.u.s.trious mansion, known as the Red Chamber. The story is set during the Qing Dynasty and revolves around the Jia family, whose members are part of the n.o.bility and live a life of luxury and privilege. The novel explores themes of love, desire, fate, social hierarchy, and the transience of life.
Key elements and characters in the novel include:
(a) Jia Baoyu: The central character of the story, Baoyu is a young man who is sensitive, artistic, and deeply connected to the natural world. He is also the heir to the Jia family, and much of the novel revolves around his relations.h.i.+ps with various female characters.
(b) Lin Daiyu: Baoyu’s cousin and one of his closest companions. She is depicted as a delicate and poetic young woman who shares a deep emotional connection with Baoyu.
(c) Xue Baochai: Another cousin of Baoyu and a foil to Lin Daiyu. Baochai is beautiful, graceful, and admired by many. She is also a potential match for Baoyu.
(d) Lady w.a.n.g and Grandmother Jia: Important matriarchal figures in the Jia family who wield significant influence over family affairs.
(e) Themes: ‘Dream of the Red Chamber’ explores themes of love, destiny, the impermanence of life, the conflict between personal desires and social expectations, and the decline of the aristocracy.
The novel is celebrated for its rich character development, intricate narrative, and vivid descriptions of Chinese culture, society, and the human condition. It’s often regarded as a masterpiece of Chinese literature and has been the subject of numerous adaptations, including operas, television series, and films. The novel is also known for its allegorical elements and hidden symbolism, making it a subject of scholarly study and interpretation.
Next update: 2023.09.23