During a Moment of Life and Death
Translate: Sae | Proofread: Nancy
After Gu Hai promised to help Yan Ya Jing, he went over to inform Gu Wei Ting of the situation the very next day.
Upon hearing this news, Gu Wei Ting beamed with happiness and did not complain about the sudden decision or sought the woman’s side to find out their circumstances. He merely nodded repeatedly and gave a simple ‘okay’. For some reason, he acted as though his son was not a highly sought out bachelor considered to be ‘Mr. Perfect’, but rather a loser that was looking for a wife all day long. Regardless of what kind of person the woman was, as long as she was willing to be with him, Gu Wei Ting would gladly accept.
In fact, Gu Hai has not seen that kind of smile on Gu Wei Ting’s face for a long time.
After learning that Bai Luo Yin did not go abroad, but instead enlisted in the military, Gu Hai had wanted to personally question him, however, he later dispelled this idea altogether. His father has truly aged, and this oldness did not display on his external appearance, but rather in his attitude toward his kids. Gu Hai could not remember clearly how long has been since Gu Wei Ting had shouted or berated him. It seems, when your parents ask for your opinions before making a decision, it is proof that they indeed have aged.
On the 26th of the Lunar month, Gu Wei Ting and Jiang Yuan met Yan Ya Jing’s parents.
In order to give their future-in-laws a good impression, Yan Ya Jing’s mother took extra effort to dress up before leaving the hospital, nevertheless, it was impossible to conceal the morbid condition that rode across her face. Yan Ya Jing’s father is a senior official in the government of Shandong Province and has met Gu Wei Ting once. However, since this had occurred a few years ago, neither has any recollection of it.
The two influential families soon sat around the table, all wearing a joyous expression.
Gu Hai was the first to grab Yan Ya Jing’s hand before standing up with her. Then he looked at Gu Wei Ting and Jiang Yuan and said, “This is my girlfriend, Yan Ya Jing.”
Yan Ya Jing kept her eyes peeled as she called out: “Uncle, auntie, hello.”
Jiang Yuan smiled and said, “How unexpected! Yan Ya Jing is so beautiful.”
“Thank you, Auntie,” replied Yan Ya Jing, feeling slightly embarrassed.
Seeing his future daughter-in-law for the first time, Gu Wei Ting could not help but said a few courteous words, “My son doesn’t have any phenomenal skills or patience and sometimes he can’t control his temper. All of which are taken after me. It is inevitable that you two will bump heads here and there once you start living together. When that time comes, I hope that you can tolerate and forgive him—”
Sitting at the side, Mr. Yan interrupted. “Lao Gu, you’re being too modest, being able to marry Xiao Hai is our daughter’s blessing,” he shifted his warm gaze towards Yan Ya Jing before speaking with a rather loving tone, “We only have this one daughter here who has always been spoiled since she was young. Even at this age, she still doesn’t know how to cook. Frankly, we’ll be content if your family doesn’t kick her out.”
Hearing those words, even Mrs. Yan started to laugh and nod in agreement.
Yan Ya Jing introduced Gu Hai to her parents again. Gu Hai stood up and respectfully offered Mr. Yan a glass of wine and cheered with him before saying a few simple words to them.
Observing Gu Hai’s behaviors, Mr. Yan was pleased with this future son-in-law. He was truly worthy of being the son of a General. His every movement exposed a domineering appearance that was neither cowardice nor brash, even the way he spoke was with sensibility and his action sagacious. Being able to entrust his daughter to this kind of man would surely let them feel at ease.
While they were eating, Jiang Yuan nudged Gu Wei Ting before she lightly laughed and said: “Lao Gu, look at the two of them. Does it seem like, the more you look the more suited they are for each other?”
A simple smile emerged on Gu Wei Ting’s lips, but he remained silent.
Suddenly, Mr. Yan innocently asked Gu Wei Ting, “Don’t you have another son?”
Hearing that, Jiang Yuan scrambled to replied, “Yes! That son of ours is an Air Force Fighter pilot. He’s also 26 years old this year and is already a Major in the military.”
Mr. Yan glanced at Gu Wei Ting and Jiang Yuan with enviousness crowded in his eyes, then asked again, “Then, is that son married yet?”
“Not yet.” Jiang Yuan hesitated then smiled, “But, it should be soon…quite soon.”
A burst of light flitted across Gu Hai’s eyes.
Mrs. Yan’s hoarse voice sounded. “Since it’s going to happen soon, why don’t we let them hold their weddings together? That way you’ll be able to fulfill both your wishes at the same time.”
“That son of ours is not in a hurry. It doesn’t help that he currently has many important missions to prioritize first. Also, given that his lifestyle is not quite stable yet, it won’t be too late to think about this later on. It’s important that we take care of Xiao Hai’s engagement first, if they are delayed any longer, then we’ll be the ones that are going to regret the most!”
“Yes, yes, yes…you see, my health is not good. I’ve been looking forward to seeing my daughter married off for a while now.”
“You must be happy to see that your daughter will be getting married soon. Perhaps, this illness will be cured.”
This meal was eaten with an incomparable sense of harmony as the two families laughed and talked cheerfully. And, given that Yan Ya Jing had been picking food and placing it on Gu Hai’s plate, it was impossible to see that this sweet couple was pretending.
It has been a long time since Gu Wei Ting had drank this much. As a result, he swayed a bit when he walked toward the bathroom and Gu Hai had to support him on the way there.
While the two were washing their hands, Gu Wei Ting suddenly called out ‘son’ causing Gu Hai to twist his head toward him. The intense and sharp gaze that was usually drawn in Gu Wei Ting’s eyes has faded and even his tone was soaked with a hint of intoxication.
“Actually, dad knows that you’ve suffered for the past eight years…”
At those words, Gu Hai’s hand paused. The water from the faucet that has yet to be turned off flowed against the bowl of the sink, just like the thoughts and sadness that flowed all these years.
“Dad, you drank too much. Let’s go out now.”
Gu Wei Ting waved his hand, “I didn’t drink a lot.”
With that, Gu Hai simply pulled him out.
No matter what I say now, it’s useless. It’s best to let him peacefully pass over this year!
In just a glance, the days quickly flew towards the 28th of the Lunar month.
On the early morning of this day, Yan Ya Jing was pulled into the dressing room to begin a day of many and complicated makeup session. When she finally emerged a bit later, her immediate surrounding was infiltrated by loud screams and unsurprisingly, many of those screams came from her colleagues that were invited. Now with the camera that they had prepared earlier, they quickened to face it towards Yan Ya Jing and fiercely snapped pictures of her. After they were done with that, they remained to exchange some words with each other which caused the entire banquet hall to be filled with excitement and liveliness.
Once ten o’clock rolled around, one by one, all the guests started to enter the hall.
Gu Hai was standing not too far from the entrance. Every time, he saw elders or friends that he was familiar with, he would politely step forward and greet them with some kind words.
He was waiting for someone else the entire time. This kind of anticipation left a sensation that felt like being devoured to the bone by a million fire ants. He does not understand why he was waiting or what he would say once that person appeared. It was a feeling of refusing to be convinced until you are faced with the grim reality.
Before long, two very familiar silhouettes collided into Gu Hai’s line of sight.
Seeing them, Gu Hai’s eyes immediately stained with heat. Even though he had mentally prepared himself earlier, but the moment he saw Bai Han Qi and Aunt Zou, he still found it a bit difficult to breathe.
Ban Han Qi had clearly aged and even hunched a bit when he walked, but his face still bore that same warm smile as it had before. Aunt Zou, on the other hand, still carried the same honest and simple appearance as she closely followed beside Bai Han Qi, revealing a worried expression from time to time.
Once he spotted Gu Hai on the other side, Bai Han Qi’s footsteps came to a halt.
The stinking brat that called him ‘Uncle’ back then was now impeccably attired in suits and ties as he stood elegantly in front of him. In a flash eight years sauntered by, the son that had once threw himself on the ground and kneeled before his foot had enlisted because of him. And now, the person who stayed in the dark and lonely tunnel starving for the sake of his own son was going to enter a wedding hall.
Gu Hai walked toward Bai Han Qi’s side, and his tone was somewhat unsteady as he spoke.
“Uncle, auntie, you’re both here.”
Aunt Zou was startled as she reached out to grab Gu Hai’s arm and exerted some strength as she carefully looked him up and down, then with an amazed expression, she turned towards Bai Han Qi, “This…this can’t be Da Ha, right?”
“What nonsense are you saying? Who are we here for today?”
Emotionally stirred and feeling rather excited, Aunt Zou incessantly said, “Just look, look, this child has really changed so much!! I could barely recognize you! In my heart, you’re still that high school student who would always be the first to report to my breakfast stall every day. In just an instant, you already have your own company!”
Bai Han Qi patted Gu Hai’s shoulder and happily said, “My child, uncle came to congratulate you!”
Gu Hai remembered that eight years ago when they confessed their relationship to Bai Han Qi, he had also patted his shoulder like this, but at that time, he did not even say one word.
Calmly sorting his feelings, Gu Hai led Bai Han Qi and Aunt Zou to the guest seating area.
Along the way, Gu Hai casually asked, “How come Tong Tian didn’t come?”
Aunt Zou simply laughed, feeling a bit embarrassed. “There is too much work in high school that he has to keep up with and it’s rather bunched in together. He also has an end of the semester exam coming up. So, I told him he can’t come.”
Hearing that, Gu Hai’s eyes became red. In his heart, Meng Tong Tian was still the brat who would always hug his legs all day long and called him ‘Gege’.
“Oh, that’s right, how are grandpa and grandma’s health?” asked Gu Hai, remembering their warm presence whenever he visited.
Bai Han Qi faintly replied, “One passed away two years ago and the other last year.”
Gu Hai’s heart dropped, stopping him from asking again.
He always remembered that Grandpa Bai was fond of sitting on a campstool,41 and used a rectangular piece of paper to roll up the broken pieces of tobacco leaf before he smoked it one puff at a time. One time he went to ask Grandpa Bai to roll one for him, and when he took a drag of it, he discovered that it was especially strong. When Grandpa Bai caught sight of his distorted expression, he had even laughed mischievously revealing his badly damaged and incomplete set of old teeth.
“Even you cannot rule him?”42
“Comrade Liu Shaoqi was the one who led us to plant this plot of crop.”43
“Mao dūdū44 is the reddest, reddest, red sun.”
After Bai Luo Yin washed his face and changed into his military uniform, he stood in front of the mirror, emitting a threatening yet heroic aura.
The car was already prepared for him and the chauffeur was also waiting outside. Bai Luo Yin conveniently picked up the invitation card that was on the table and stared silently at the two characters of Gu Hai’s name. Then he closed the card and let his rigid footsteps move to the door.
The weather outside was bitterly cold and perforated deeply into the bones.
Just as Bai Luo Yin was about to get into the car, he suddenly saw two familiar figures flashing by from the side. His grabbed one of them, “Where are you frantically rushing to?”
“There’s an urgent mission. You weren’t informed?”
Bai Luo Yin has yet to respond when the two briskly ran off.
“You can wait here for me for a bit,” Bai Luo Yin said as he threw his wallet toward the chauffeur and ran after those men.
“Now that the enemy aircraft has illegally intruded into our territorial airspace, we must urgently dispatch two fighters to intercept them. Since we are unable to accurately determine the speed and performance of this aircraft, your life may be at risk at any given time. This is the moment that you’ll be put to the test. I won’t say anything else. Write your will!”
Hearing these words, the color on their faces suddenly turned a deathly pale. Although they were both firm and unyielding men who had gone through countless real combat practices when it came to a moment of life and death, no one would dare to rashly nod their heads.
“Do you want to disobey a direct order?” the Chief of Staff’s expression sank with seriousness.
With that, both their hearts immediately fell into a deep ravine.
Suddenly, a voice sounded off from behind them.
The Chief of Staff’s expression loosened once he saw Bai Luo Yin not too far away.
Bai Luo Yin was exceptionally calm, “I’ll go. I don’t need to write a will.”
41 Campstool – in case you don’t know what it may look like; I actually like sitting on it too XD
42 Even you cannot rule over him? – refers to the strength of the cigarette, although this was also used when someone, I think Bai Han Qi, asked Gu Hai, if even he cannot rule over Bai Luo Yin.
43 Comrade Liu Shaoqi – (Liu Shao-ch’i) chairman of the People’s Republic of China (1959–68) and chief theoretician for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), who was considered the heir apparent to Mao Zedong until he was purged in the late 1960s. Liu was active in the Chinese labour movement from its inception, and he was influential in formulating party and, later, governmental strategy. He played an important role in Chinese foreign affairs after the communists had gained control of the country.
44 Mao dūdū – Mao Ze Dong; Grandpa Bai is saying, Chairman Mao is the Red Sun. This is derived from the say, “The East is red and the sun rises; in China there emerges Mao Tse-tung.” Read here if you are interested: CLICK