Running Snail Chp 4

 

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OPENING COMMENTS: Your translator, has been one productive lady this week! I usually upload a new release on Monday, since I do the bulk of my translation during the weekend, when I actually have time to spare, but my first wedding anniversary is this Sunday, and I wanted my weekend free, so instead, I cranked in a couple hours everyday before work this week to complete this chapter for you guys. Which is why its coming to you today instead of the usual scheduled program, but do not expect this to be routine, do not set yourself up for disappointment like that 🙂 lol!!

Now, before you jump straight into the story and skip my opening comments, I would strongly suggest you take a minute to read what I have to say, especially today in particular, as it does pertain to the story. There are some clarifications I want to make and point out, to hopefully make the story less confusing. If you recall,  in chapter 3, when Ky Quyen and Ve nam were having a conversation in her car, Ky Quyen bought up Hua Chi Hang and asked Ve nam if their relationship ended. This conversation implied to me as a reader, and translator, that their split was recent, this is proven false, however, as we come to understand that their split happened at least a year ago, maybe longer. Now, if that is the case, why did Ky Quyen ask about their relationship as if it was a recent event? This confused me to no ends. The one theory I have, is that perhaps the author did this as a way to set up the story, especially since the backstory of Ve nam and Hua Chi Hang took place soon after. Nevertheless, it was still quite confusing to me, so to curb any further confusion, below is a timeline of events and facts, that will hopefully add clarification where it’s needed. If you do not wished to be spoiled, please read the list after you’ve finished reading chapter 4.

  • Ve  Nam met Hua Chi Hang when she was 12
  • Ve Nam, Hua Chi Hang, Tieu Tieh, and Ky Quyen all attended the same elementary school, high school and college.
  • Ve nam attempted to confess to Hua Chi Hang in highschool, but failed.
  • They started dating in their 2nd year of college, which lasted for a month
  • Ky Quyen and Tieu Tinh were present throughout the whole relationship
  • They are currently in their 4th year of university
  • In conclusion, it has been 2 years since the end of their relationship. 

AS ALWAYS, HAPPY READINGS!

Chapter 4 : First Love

Ve nam was 12 years old and in the 6th grade, when she first met Hua Chi Hang.

At that age, their innocence was akin to a blank piece of paper. (1)

At that time, the Internet was not as developed as it is now, computers were a luxury then. The economic condition of the Ve nam’s family was moderate. Ve Nam’s parents are civil servants. (2) Ve Nam did not know about online novels then. Her computer literacy was limited to Spider Solitaire and Minesweeper. Ve nam’s knowledge of books were also limited to martial arts stories by Kim Dung, and Co Long, and romance novels by Qiong Yao. Ve nam would borrow those books from the library, but the books would be yellowed already.

Those were peaceful years, everyday Ve nam would take the same road to school, and from school, back home.

Ve nam like most adolescent girls, enjoyed daydreaming, and was drawn to anything flashy or vibrant. She would regularly buy teenage magazines that features adorable cartoon characters. She enjoyed reading the love stories within, as well.

Throughout the school, Hua Chi Hang was known as the famous black prince. He liked to dress in black. He was quiet, and barely spoke, He had a mysterious aura about him. When passing by him, one can’t help but feel a blowing cold wind passing through, almost as if, Hua Chi Hang brings the cold with him, wherever he goes. He has a dismissive attitude towards people, he is arrogant and aggressive. Rampaging about as if there is a reason to.

He skipped class often, but his grades were very good. He ranked the highest at every exam. Although, broody and severe, his personality, however is strong, and in the eyes of the ladies, he was someone very special. His cold eyes, handsome face, tall body, and good guitar playing skills, made him the dream prince of all adolescent girls.

Many girls tragically and secretly loved Hua Chi Hang. If there was a line it would stretch all the way out onto the streets. Ve nam was a normal girl, she did not have the ability to see through to a person’s true nature, thus she was blinded to his bad qualities. Just like the other naive and innocent girls, she was fascinated and lured in by his flashy exterior.

Horribly for three years, she secretly loved him, pursuing his shadow at every turn.

Whenever the school organized a sport’s competition that involved him, Ve Nam would line up very early to find an ideal spot to sit and wait. After the self-study class, Ve Nam would stare at Hua Chi Hang’s shadow as he biked passed. Ve Nam wondered, what kind of girl would ride behind him. When they both passed the entrance exam for the same high school, Ve nam laid happily in bed all evening. She thought, maybe after all, this was fate.

In high school,Ve Nam and Hua Chi Hang was in the same classroom. He sat in the front, while she sat in the back.

Under Tieu Tinh’s encouragement, Ve nam decided to confess. She picked out a day when he would stay behind, and with a box of chocolate in hand, Ve nam inhaled deeply and for several times, before she summoned her courage and prepared to confess, when suddenly, he uttered one sentence that stopped her cold in her tracks.

“Who are you? Why are you looking for me?”

In Ve Nam’s head, something exploded, the feeling of emptiness was incredible.

The words “Hua Chi Hang, I like you” was strangled in her throat, they refused to come out.

“Who are you?”

Ve Nam assumed he knew her who she was. They were students at the same elementary school for three years, they’ve been in the same classroom in highschool for a month now, he’s seated in front, while she in the back. The distance isn’t that great, unexpectedly in his eyes, he saw her just as a passerby, an anonymous person.

Ve Nam clenched her fist, smiled and said softly “lend me your eraser.”

He frowned, took the eraser out from under his desk, and said in an uncomfortable voice: “it’s a gift, you do not need to return it”. After that he turned away and left.

A light wind blew through the empty classroom, the pale blue curtains ruffled. The eraser was tossed onto the table, the thumping sound echoed throughout the deserted room, it resembled the heavy, painful pounding, resounding in Ve Nam’s heart.

In Ve Nam’s eyes, the image of his handsome face, with his brows slightly scrunched, his eyes deep and bright, and his tall skinny frame, all of it, became distorted and blurry.

That afternoon was permanently imprinted into Ve Nam’s mind.

Those who have love silently remembers very clearly the feelings that are difficult to describe. Although, later when the memories resurface, the heart is still filled with sorrow. Like a green apple, it appears beautiful but sour when consumed. Perhaps love at such a naive age is too beautiful at the start, but alas sour and bears no results.

At that age, Ve nam liked beautiful things. Later on, when she grew up, she came to understand, that hidden in the crust of a beautiful candy, lays poison. At that time, she could only laugh and reprimand herself: “I was too stupid.”

Ve Nam thought her predestined relationship with Hua Chi Hang ended that day. Unexpectedly,  after the end of 12th grade, they would once again become classmates.

In the second year of university, their school hosted a singing contest. Hua Chi Hang was selected to the finals, along with Ve Nam’s group, that included Ve nam,Tieu Tinh, and Ky Quyen.

Hua Chi Hang performed a song he composed himself, with the title – “The girl in my heart.” He said he wanted to give it to the girl he loved. Under the stage, his voice resounded loudly. The host applauded cheerfully. Ve Nam, remembered very clearly the vibrant scene of that day. She looked at him through the curtain of the stage, not seeing his facial expression, only the view from behind.

Because of Hua Chi Hang’s presence and appearance, wherever he goes, he receives the admiration of others, so it’s of no surprise, he won first place in the contest. Ve nam’s group won second place. The trophy they won last year was to be given over to the new winner, all three of them felt sadden by this. Ve Nam personally handed over the trophy to Hua Chi Hang and said “Congratulations”.

Xu Chi Hang coldly took the trophy and said, “Thank you.”

On the way back to the dormitory, Hua Chi Hang blocked Ve Nam’s path, he lowered his voice and  asked:

“Ve Nam, how do you like my song?”

Ve Nam, uncomfortable, said: “it’s nice.”

“Then I’ll give it to you.”

Having said that, Hua Chi Hang bent down and  kissed Ve Nam.

That was Ve Nam’s first kiss, even now she can’t recall exactly all the emotions she felt at that moment.

The kiss was unexpected, so Ve Nam’s eyes were wide opened, she stared at the face pressed closely against her. It felt as if the whole world was shaking.

A moment later, Hua Chi Hang smiled and gently said next to her ear:

“You fool. Do you not know how to kiss. Is it your first time? “

Ve Nam face flushed red. Her brain was overwhelmed, her handle on language malfunctioned, so her voice came out stuttering.

“You…”

“Well, did you not like me? I remembered when we were in high school, weren’t you about to confess to me then?”

“…………….”

“If it weren’t for your affections, then I wouldn’t have had to studied so hard, in order to pass the entrance exam.”

“I”

“Let’s be together, how about it?”

As she reminisce about the past, Ve nam desperately wants to rewind time, to go back to when she was held securely in Hua Chi Hang’s strong arms.

how Naive and stupid, Ve Nam chided herself. 

The sudden and unexpected kiss scared Ve nam out of her wits, her soul flew away with it. In the end, Ve nam was so out of it, she did not know if she agreed or not.

Actually, thinking back on the so-called first kiss, it was just a lip-to-lip touch, comparable to two fish kissing.

Early the next morning, Hua Chi Hang’s bicycle was parked in front of Ve Nam’s gate (TN: her dormitory gate.)

Hua Chi Hang coldly stated: “Let’s try dating for a month, if we’re not compatible, then we can break up.”

Her roommates were laughing, while Ve Nam stood still like a log.

Hua Chi Hang said: “Hurry, get on the bike.”

Ve nam’s overstimulated brain, caused her movements to become stiff. She obediently sat behind Hua Chi Hang on the bike, she shyly clung onto his shirt. He suddenly sped up, causing Ve nam to become fearful of an impending heart attack.

Their dating life started like that and lasted for a month.

One month later, Ve Nam announced, “let’s break up.”

Hua Chi Hang expression remained calm, as if he heard the phrase “eat rice” instead.

Hua Chi Hang gently nodded, agreeded as he turned and walked away.

Ve Nam understood very well what kind of person Hua Chi Hang is.

In the one month they were together, Ve nam was able to finally see past his exterior to his true nature.

From high school to college, he had many girlfriends, if Ve Nam use all ten fingers to count, still it wouldn’t be enough. Hua Chi Hang even let her see photos of his past girlfriends. The amount  of photos, can be used to open a photo exhibition. Looking at all the girls in the photos, Ve Nam could only raise her face to the sky and exclaim, “OH MY GOD!!”

He replaced his lover as if changing clothes. This saying is worthy of him “Women are like clothes, brothers and sisters are like hands and feet.”

It’s true, he has brothers as attached to him as hands and feet. When bored, they would spend the night at the bar, eating and gambling. Fortunately enough, they didn’t  kill or rob people. Hua Chi Hang does not gamble, or hang out with other girls, him doing only this much showed her some semblance of respect. Ve nam heard that Hua Chi Hang’s father is a notorious black tycoon. His arms are covered with tattoos, filled with strange, scary shapes. Because of this Ve Nam would awaken in the middle of the night with nightmares.

Although during their time together, Hua Chi Hang changed significantly, still, Ve Nam could not accept him.

“If you Love a person you should try to love their friends as well.”

This phrase is easily said, but not easy to do.

His friends would open their mouths to say such crass and harsh words such as;

“How many women have you slept with?”

“Where should we go to find girls tonight?”

The first time Hua Chi Hang brought Ve Nam out to meet his friends, they immediately surrounded her and asked:

“When you slept with Hua chi Hang, how was his performance?”

“How often do you guys do it in a night?”

“Have you decided to have a son or daughter?”

“Once you give birth, we have to be the godfathers.”

Ve Nam wanted to burrow herself deep into the ground and hide.

Ve Nam has always looked down on weak, simpering girls, in particular, the ones who did nothing but cry all day. She especially despises girls who put up an act of gentleness and sweetness in front of men.

Hua Chi Hang extreme arrogance, and even pretentious nature is unlikely to change for anyone.

Ve nam understood very well that they did not suit each other.

So she made the rational decision to break up.

Ve Nam did not tell anyone the cause of their breakup. If Ky Quyen and Tieu Tinh asked, she would just say “our personalities are too different.”

Tieu Tinh was upset on Ve nam’s behalf because she thought Ky Quyen’s meddling was the cause for their break up.

As for Ky Quyên, she was delighted to see their relationship come to an end. After their breakup, Ky Quyen treated Ve nam to a hearty feast, Ky Quyen congratulated her on her escape from the demon’s claw.

Ve Nam did not want to tell them the reason for the breakup, it would be too hard to explain.

Although Hua Chi Hang is a scumbag, still, Ve nam  does not want to hear that word coming from other people’s mouth. It would upset her.

The secret was like a thread wrapped around Ve nam’s heart, it was constantly being tightened, initially the pain was immense, but gradually she became accustomed to it. Many years have passed, the thread has embedded itself so deeply within her heart, that what is left, is so small, no traces can be discerned.

Did she Forget?

No, just buried, hidden in the deeper places.

Some time after their break up, Hua Chi Hang got a new girlfriend. When they would run into eachother at the school yard, he acted as if he did not see her there.

On Ve nam’s twentieth birthday, he gifted her a box, it was empty inside, there was nothing.

She called to ask what he meant by it. He did not explain, just lowered his voice and said,

“What I need is just one person, someone who can accept all of me.”

Then he hung up the phone, leaving a lifeless dial tone behind.

His words chilled Ve nam to the bone.

The sound of the dial tone pierced its way into Ve Nam’s heart, causing her tremendous pain.

Still, she couldn’t delude or convince herself to accept.

Even though, Hua Chi Hang is very handsome, charismatic, and mild tempered.

And though she loved him.

Loved him for almost six years.

Loved him to the extent that every time she missed him, pain would grip her heart.

But for all that, Ve nam couldn’t accept the truth, that Hua Chi Hang was involved with gangsters. She couldn’t accept that his father is a notorious black tycoon. Moreover, he did not intend to change, he lived in that environment happily  like a ” fish in water.”

Ve nam hated it, even feared it

There are young naive girls who are infatuated with handsome and intensely alluring gangsters. If it were a story, the bad boy would break off their relentless self restraint and declare their affections to the young lady by exclaiming“actually, I love you” and from there, they would marry, and happily live ever after. But that is just wishful thinking.

Ve nam, herself have met such girls, recalling their faces and scary smiles. They would call Hua Chi Hang “Boss Hua” with a fake and sarcastic tone. The girls with painted faces and tightly fitted dresses, would exchange money with one another,  as a strong smell of cigarette emits from their bodies.

That lifestyle is something Ve nam cannot accept, even if she wanted to.

Ve Nam’s parents are honest and kind employees, they truly can not accept such a son-in-law. As for Ve Dang, on the outside he may seem very shallow, but really he is quite caring of others, therefore, he will certainly not allow his little sister to married someone like, Hua Chi Hang. All of Ve nam’s friends are decent people, if she were to mention gangsters, hooligans, or the black society, they will certainly look at her with contemptuous eyes. Since childhood, she has lived a normal life with a cozy family, but faced with such dark matters, she feels only fear and wished for escape.

She does not dare step into his world.

Even if the one she loves most resides there.

She can only look from afar.

Ve Nam vehemently hates Man Man’s phoniness, but nonetheless admired her courage.

The two of them have lived together for nearly a year now, it seems  Man Man has already entered into Hua Chi Hang’s world. Looking at the man who once kissed her, but now is in an intimate relationship with another girl, Ve Nam could only calmly say to herself “there is no one to blame.”

Blame the the fact that these two people are not from the same world.

Like two boats headed on the same straight path, they may, for a while, be on the same direction, but once they pass an intersection, their path veers off, and becomes increasingly distant from one another.

Ve Nam used cold water to wash the tears on her face away, took a paper towel to wipe her face dry, then looked at the mirror, smiled, and reminded herself,

No matter, I can live without love, so cheer up.

Once she stepped out of the restroom, Ve Nam returned back to the image of a cheerful, carefree girl, as if nothing had ever happened.

Hua Chi Hang was standing by the wall, in the hallway, when she got out,  he stood quietly and alone. Ve Nam saw him and stopped, she smiled and ask: “Do you need to talk to me?”

Hua Chi Hang coldly said: “you know me and Man Man are together?”

“Yeah”.

“Not jealous then?”

Ve nam swept her bangs aside, smiled and said,

“Do not worry, we dated 2 years ago, I got over it long ago, I’m happy for you and Man man.”

“Oh really, I would’ve thought your feelings would be a bit deeper, for the man who gave you your first kiss.”

Ve Nam was silent for a moment, then said: “you’re not wrong, but….”

Hua Chi Hang smirked: “but what?”

“But you’re not the first to kiss her.”

The voice was definitive, it was accompanied by a sigh of relief, after that he continued by saying:

“You are really quite an arrogant fellow. I don’t particularly like aggressive people like you. “

Behind her, the familiar voice rang out, clearly this person is very aggressive but apparently he detested people like himself …..Luc Song.

Ve nam sweating, turned her head back and saw Luc Song leaning against the wall, smiling at her, as he said intimately:

“Right, Ve Nam?”

Hua Chi Hang laughed coldly: “What does that mean?”

“What do you think?”

Luc Song shrugged his shoulders then headed towards Ve nam, his gestures and manners intimate as he stood beside her and leaned against the wall. His proximity to Ve nam was enough to cause a misunderstanding. Luc Song winked at Ve Nam, then turned around, smiled and said, “so?”

“Is he your boyfriend?”

Hua Chi Hang stared  at Ve nam, within the depths of his eyes she sensed his contained raged, she did not dare look directly into his fathomless eyes.

Ve Nam turned away, and nodded slightly: “That’s right”.

“Then congratulations. You’ve finally found someone to love you, it’s not an easy feat to accomplish. ”

As he approached the door, Hua Chi Hang lowered his voice and said, “I wish you happiness, Tieu Nam.”

Tieu Nam

Even though their time together was short, he endearingly called her Tieu Nam then.

Unfortunately, later on, that intimate pet name, never came up again.

The door slammed slightly, Ve Nam smirked, pushed Luc Song out of the way and said,

“What are you doing here?”

The smile on Luc Song’s lips disappeared, he softly said, “Sorry.” Seeing his sincere repentance, Ve Nam did not say anything else, she turned around and walked ahead. Suddenly Song said, “if you want, you can kiss me to feel better.”

She turned and glared at him.

Even shameless people should have some degree of restraint.

Luc smiled: “Okay okay, I’ll stop teasing you. Actually, this task was entrusted to me by your brother. He asked me to help you severe all ties with Hua Chi Hang. He paused for a moment, smiled then asked: “You and Hua Chi Hang loved each other, right?”

Ve Nam stayed silent.

“Your brother investigated it.” Luc Song explained.

“Do not try to fool me. When does my brother have enough free time to go snooping into my life? And even if he did, he does not have the talent or capability to investigate something that happened two years ago.”

“Of course, but let me finish telling you the whole story first. Not too long ago, a lawyer name Tieu Pham took up a case that involved Hua Chi Hang, when they investigated him, on the list of known girlfriends, your name was on it, so the lawyer called your brother, and told him about it.

Ve Nam’s heart felt very heavy and uncomfortable.

Of course, no one can accept their relatives or friends to interact with people like thugs and hooligans.

Ve Nam calmly said: “It’s alright, I will call Ve Dang and assure him, that I and Hua Chi Hang broke up long ago, he need not worry any longer.”

Luc Song smiled “Uh huh, you shouldn’t waste your affections on people like that.”

The two of them were talking when the door opened, and out came, Hua Chi Hang embracing a pale faced Man Man.

In the room they vacated, Ky Quyen’s ice-cold voice rang out,

“Hua Chi Hang, you realize, your whole body, from top to bottom, emits the stench of a scumbag, just like your father. I do not think you can properly reside in society, not with the scum that you promote in excess.”

Ky Quyen’s  scolding words and intense disgust, pierced Ve nam’s heart.

The word “scum” sounded so jarring to Ve nam’s ears

Hua Chi Hang expression was dark, he did not turn his head as he embraced Man Man and passed by Ve Nam.

The feeling of him walking pass her felt the same as the first time, still cold and distant as ever.

Ve Nam quietly looked at the corridor.

Under the flashing and changing light bulb, his silhouette flickered in and out, but finally disappeared altogether.

The end of the dark corridor, looked like a gaping black void that swallowed Hua Chi Hang and Man Man whole, leaving no trace of them left behind.

When he left, it was empty, only flickering and flashing lights remained.

Ve Nam, realized in that moment, that he finally stepped out of her world and reach.

Only even now, Ve Nam still does not know why Hua Chi Hang would always ask “you love me right,” but never say…. “I love you”.

On the day they broke up, Ve nam asked him about it, but he did not answer. He just smiled, turned away and left.


ENDING COMMENTS: I wish to reiterate once again that my translation is not meant to be a word for word translation. At the beginning of every chapter, I start out translating it that way, but when I come to the editing phase, heavy revision and editing has to be done to make the translation coherent and legible. So please expect paraphrasing, omission, or substitution, to be in use. This is more true in chapter 4 then in any of the previous chapters, but liked I promised, I kept and will continue to keep the integrity and spirit of the authors work in tact. I never omit anything critical to the story,  if it is omitted then more or so likely it’s an idiom/expression or unnecessary information that convoluted the story. I will insert the omitted sentences at the end of every chapter if you are curious and wish to know what has been excluded. 

Omitted Sentences :

  1. Friendship was just a vague notion
  2. Her father would write down parts he needed to hopefully buy a computer

 

 

4 thoughts on “Running Snail Chp 4

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