Translator Opening Comments: Chapter two is long, so it will be broken up into 2 parts, it was also a harder chapter to translate, there were lots of analogy and expressions I did not recognize. The first paragraph was the hardest part of this chapter to translate, I spent hours trying to understand the analogy the author used but to my disappointment neither I, google translate, or my mother was much help. In the end, I decided to omitted it from the paragraph, it will neither hinder nor confuse the story if is. I will update the translation if and when I am able to do so but until that happens, I am leaving it as is. In chapter 2, we get to finally meet the mysterious Luc Song, as well as glimpsing into the childhood friendship of Luc Song and Ve Nam. I would love to hear from you guys so please leave a comment saying HI or introducing yourself, that would really be sweet!! With that said, please enjoy!!
As a brief disclaimer, my translation will not be exactly precise, there is some paraphrasing in use. Please refer back to my translator intro in chapter 1 for further information on my method.
Chapter 2.1 Luc Huu Huu and Ve Nam
Although the sun has set and it is night out, the heat of the summer has not yet dissipated. The white pavement bewitched and dazzled the eyes, almost as if it’s about to evaporate, after a day under the scorching heat of the sun. The leaves on the two rows of trees on the road are hanging loose. (1)
This here is the burning and sweltering heat of the South. Ve Nam regretted not bringing an umbrella along. Her face is sweating profusely and she does not have any tissue with her. She had to use her arms to wipe the sweat off her forehead. She looked at her watch, it is 5 o’clock already, considering Luc Songs long wait under the blistering sun, Ve Nam felt impatient. She started calculating, if she ran straight towards the metro station at a speed of 100 meters, and a train conveniently arrives, then she should be able to reach him within 10 minutes. He won’t have to wait over an hour then, that should be considerate enough. Ve Nam glanced down at her high heels, she gritted her teeth and ran towards the subway station. Because she is running so fast with high heels on, it does not feel like her feet are landing on the ground. This ambiguous feeling resembles a female lead flying in wuxia novel, only Ve nam’s speed resembles a snail. Ve Nam did not calculate the poor quality of the subway, or the number of waiting passengers. Inadequate supply will often result in severe social evils. The time for determination is now, the subway is overruned with people, like a crowd of ants. Ve nam along with the crowd in front jostle and fight each other to be first on the train. The passengers behave as if they are competing to be the first in line for reincarnation instead of a train ride. Urban life is like so. Ve nam, trapped in a crowd of aggravated people, running around like packs of tigers and wolves. Only, Ve nam belonged to the slowest group, like a snail, trying to crawl towards the front of the line. After a fierce fight, Ve nam is soaked in sweat, drenched as if she were caught in the rain. Finally, she got herself onto the train. As Ve Nam was unable to breath evenly with the crowd packed so tightly together, a thought suddenly emerged.
Luc Song? What kind of person is he? Ve nam recall the gentle voice she heard earlier, feeling quite strange. She began to suspect. Ve Dang said that Luc Song lived in their neighborhood for a time, later he moved to the far north. Indeed, Ve Nam does not have a deep impression of her childhood playmate, she does not remember his face at all, at the least she should recall his name….Luc Song…why is this name so strange? It’s like she’s never heard it before.
Oh thats right, his house is in front of the neighbors?
Luc Huu Huu?
So it’s that guy !
“Ve Nam, I learned a new word today, this word fits you well, I’ll write it for you to see.” Then he wrote the word “Pig” in big letters onto Ve nams palm. (TN: Luc Song speaking)
“Ve Nam I will teach you a new phrase today, “weeds growing everywhere” (TN: untidy, messy) it can be used to describe your head. After that, because he was not careful, he accidentally burned Ve nams hair. He told Ve nam to go sit in front of the garden by her house with her hair very much resembling weeds.
“Ve Nam I can’t believe you slept until 3pm! You are going to perish from your laziness!”
After that he moved away.
Ve nam suddenly recalls the horrifying events in her youth, of being tormented by this naughty neighbor. Ve nam suppressed her shivering without success.
As a child, she and the other kids would practice writing their names on the ground, because of the scribbled letters overlapping each other Ve nam would seek the simplest words to recognize. The first name she recognized was “Luc Luu”. The letters (双) are too far apart, so Ve Nam thought that these are the two letters Huu (又) Hùu (又).
No doubt, Luc Song in her mother’s eyes have turned out to be the ideal gentlemen, one who is willing to leave the far north, to come all the way here for work.
Ve nam smirked
Good, thats really good
Now that he’s grown, it’s time to handle this mischievous and troublesome boy.
When she arrived, it was nearly 6. Ve Nam moved with a speed of a tortoise towards the crowded Yuehua building. After arriving at the appointed meeting place, Ve nam started looking around, trying to locate a potential target. In the front, is a suspicious looking person. Target Confirmed.
The young man standing far down by the front, is wearing a clean T-shirt with light blue jeans, unlike her brother Ve Dang, whose pants has tears and holes everywhere. He’s dressed very well and neatly, his shiny shoes does not have a speck of dust on them. He does not have the look of someone who just got off a long train ride. One of his leg was leaning slightly forwards, he doe not set it completely on the ground. One leg erect, with his back leaned against the wall, his presences exudes the polite courtesy of an intellectual. On his neck, is a pair of trendy mp4 headphones, with his eyes closed he listens to the music. The music is quite loud. Even standing from a distance Ve Nam felt sorry for his ears. His lips are slightly curled, like he is smiling, but not really, a somewhat perverse expression, that attitude and gestures is not one of an intellectual, rather the furthest from it.
Ve Nam observed him carefully, an intellectual appearance with a perverse attitude, these two traits coexist perfectly within the same person. Ve Nam intent on watching him, is shocked when suddenly he opened his eyes, and looked at her with such intensity, causing her to jerk in reaction.
“Have you seen enough?”
He smiled, stood up straight, and looked at Ve Nam.
A drop of sweat on Ve Nam’s forehead rolled down, she quickly smiled “Hi, may I ask, are you Luc Song?”
That person was silent for a moment, then looked intently at Ve Nam, his face seem friendlier: “Oh so it’s you Ve Nam! You look different from what your brother said, I thought you were………..”
Ve nam curious asked “You thought I was?
“Someone employed at a bar.”
He smiled carelessly and handed a bag over to Ve nam and said “sorry to bother you but can you carry this bag for me?”
Ve nam looked at him blankly, this person is not considerate at all, he probably views her as his maid, although Ve nam simmers with indignation, outwardly she displayed only a broad smile.
“Don’t be so formal.”
“You are a close friend of my brothers which makes you a friend of mine, so of course I should be the one carrying the luggage.”
“Then I will drop the formalities” his brief answer was accompanied by “Can you please help carry this bag for me as well?”
Ve nam has nothing to say to that
Usually, isn’t it the mans responsibility to carry the luggage for the ladies, to show respect and consideration. Why did he do the opposite? Moreover, he asked so naturally, he neither blushed or felt shameful. Luc Song, oh Luc Song, if only your face is a bit thicker, it can be used as a bullet proof vest! (implying that he is shameless.) Ve nam shot him a glare, grabbed the bag and smiled “it’s okay, its not heavy.” With one hand he pulls his suitcase along, the other hand placed inside his pocket, he walks in a leisurely pace. Ve nam on the other hand, carries two large bags, one on each arm, she follows behind him, just like how a servant would follow her master.
“Luc Song, was your journey hard? Ve nam asked and smiled enthusiastically at him, Luc song showed no sign of thawing. Ve nam seems to be the only one suffering difficulties, the sweat all over her body has evaporated, it has spread all over, making her look like a steaming bun, to add insult to injury, she has to smile eagerly at him as well, this is the worst kind of torture.
Luc Song said calmly “Since you are Ve dang’s sister, that makes you my sister as well right?”
“If that’s the case, then next time do not look at me with such eager eyes, you are staring a hole into my back.”
Naturally, the overly enthusiastic look had terrified him, Ve nam smiled and said “Yes, I just…..” before she completed her sentence, she was interrupted by the enemy, Luc song turned his head, looked at Ve nam and said “Otherwise I would think you are….”
He smirked, leaned towards Ve nam and said “I would think you are seducing me.“
Ve nam nearly blurted out “ ” fortunately, before the reply escaped her mouth, she forced it back down.
“Did you not study medicine?”
“You have seen dead bodies and yet this surprises you?” Luc song found Ve nam’s reaction quite amusing, he rubbed his chin and said “I’m just teasing, you looked like your going to collapse to the ground, any second now.”
Ve named laughed cheerily, “What is better than the joy of friends visiting from afar? to enthusiastically receive and welcome the honored guest is not only proper but necessary. So please do not misunderstand. I stared at you out of curiosity, and not for any other ulterior motive. Since this is our first meeting, it will be difficult to avoid mistakes, in the future I hope you will instruct me well.”
Ve nam does not blush, she then pounded her heels on the ground and walked pass Luc song. Luc song does not walk fast or slowly, his posture is relaxed, as if he out for a late night stroll. Luc Song replied in a curt voice “Uh, that’s good then, your brother and parents on the other hand are quite eager to set us up, what do you think?”
Ve nam stopped and laughed amusingly, “I do not think anything of it, this profound problem has to be entrusted to God to resolve it.”
And If god does not solve this problem for me then I won’t continue to burn incense for him, Ve nam thought.
Luc song frowned “You honestly don’t think anything of it? He paused for a moment and said seriously “I’m going to be blunt, I do not think we are a good match for each other, you are not my type, so it’ll be better if we keep our distance, I will be staying at your house for a week, after I find a job, we can go our separate ways, without any attachments. Ok?”
Even though Luc Songs words were a hard pill to swallow, Ve nam found his bluntness to be very practical and admirable. He is not the type of person to lead others on, he rather burn bridges, and severe all connections then to let people hope uselessly, there are not many people like that.
“You took the words right out of my mouth,” Ve nam tossed her hair to the back and crossed to Luc song, she turned around and smiled, “You are also not the type of guy I like.”
There is a wonderful saying “In order to deal with cruel people, you have to be crueler than them, to deal with despicable people, you have to be more vicious than them, to deal with liberals you have to be more enlightened than them, and to deal with beautiful people you have to damage their beauty.”
As of now, There is no way to ruin his handsomeness, but at least his confidence can take a few hits.
Is it necessary for him to act this way?
Luc Song, you are not the only handsome and eligible man in the world. The arrogance! A person’s flesh is born of the heavens, and a gift your parents bestow upon you, no matter how handsome you are, it is still the work of your parents. Only, your parents are quite brave, to birth such an despicable son, and to raise him successfully to adulthood without him dying young, this is truly a great accomplishment, they should be awarded “the hardest working parents “ on Earth, Ve nam thought.
Even from a distance, Ve Nam smelled the aromatic foods. She opened the front door, on the table is an array of food. As soon as the door opened, Ve Nam’s mother smiled brightly and ran out to welcome them. Luc Song greeted Ve Nam’s mother very politely. Ve Nam’s mother hurried and took the suitcase from Luc Song, her mother glanced up at him with bright and glittering eyes “little song, is it you, my you grew up quickly, hurry come into the house!” She enthusiastically pulled Luc song into the house.
Ve man’s mother acted as if her daughter wasn’t even there, not one was word directed at her.
Ve nam felt nauseated hearing the words “little Song, Little Song.”
she wrinkled her face, shrugged her shoulders, and place the two heavy bags onto the table, it seems Luc song was correct, her parents are planning to set them up.
“You take such great care of your children.” Luc song’s voice rang out from the living room.
Ve nam shivered with goosebumps
“Hello uncle, my dad told me you are great at mahjong”
Ve nam shivered again.
“Auntie, did you cook all this, it smells absolutely amazing”
What a phony, Ve nam shot him a glare, headed towards the table, and handed her father a bowl.
If the constant appearance of goosebumps can burn fat, then today Ve nam would’ve transform into someone very thin. She’ll be all skin and bones in a blink of an eye.
“Ve nam, Luc song came here for work, this is a unfamiliar city for him, tomorrow take him out around town, and familiarize him with the environment and lifestyle here.” Ve nam’s father said seriously.
“Okay” ve nam nodded her head and replied.
“You are too much, Luc song just arrived, he needs to first rest for a few days, after that he can do whatever he wants.” Ve nam’s mother reproofed.
“A strapping young man like Luc song will only need a few hours to recuperate from a train ride.” Ve nam’s father gently rebutted.
“How is that? Let’s just have Ve nam and Luc song stay at home tomorrow, they can play online games together, kids nowadays love that.”
“Luc Song is nothing like our daughter, don’t go bunching those two together as if they are interchangeable.”
Ve nam parents started arguing again
Ve nam, too familiar with the scene, sat and quietly ate her food. It seems, Luc song did not find it weird either, because he continued eating his food as well. After they ate their fill, Ve nam’s parents finally agreed on a plan.
Her father said, “tomorrow go with Luc song to shop for necessities, then go visit the nearby sights, like the lakes or mountains.”
Ve nam nodded her head “okay”
Ve nam felt an utter sense of helplessness
The good intentions of parents will sometimes cause unnecessary pressure towards their children. As their child, Ve nam does not dare argue back, so she grits her teeth and bared with it. Fortunately, for Ve nam she hasn’t graduated yet so her parents won’t force her to meet his parents, otherwise Ve nam would have gone crazy.
-To be continued
1- Expression omitted, T
he fresh flowers are competing against one another to be the first to bloom, like the injection of stimulant that causes physiological function to exceed normal level, feels like at any time it can fall down, it is frighten to behold. (TN: Sorry guys I honestly don’t understand this analogy, which is why I crossed it out, this is the google translation of it and it seems correct when I compared the translation to its Vietnamese counterpart but still it makes no sense.)