Xiao Bai, Publicly Embarrassed
Translate: Sae | Proofread: anasofi
On a rare weekend when he was free, Gu Hai decided to make dumplings for them to eat.
Sitting at the side, Bai Luo Yin helped by rolling out the dumpling wrapper and passing it over to Gu Hai. But the thing was, the way he rolled out the dough was barely passable. Not only that, he was so slow that he could not match up to Gu Hai’s speed of putting the filling in and wrapping it up. As a result, Gu Hai pushed Bai Luo Yin to the side to watch the excitement instead while he busily rolled the dough and wrapped the fillings all by himself.
The dumplings that Gu Hai made had thin wrappers and an ample amount of filling, each boiled one was round in shape and would make anyone who looked at it full of joy.
Wanting to give it a try, Bai Luo Yin grabbed a wrapper, scooped a spoonful of filling and pinched the side, just like how Gu Hai had done. Afterward, he fixed some parts of the wrapper that was open and held it up in front of Gu Hai to see.
“How is it? Not bad, right?”
Raising his eyes slightly to give Bai Luo Yin a glance, Gu Hai’s robust lips perked up at the corners. “Not bad, it’s quite good, but… go play with it over there. Listen to me and behave!”
Bai Luo Yin, “…”
Whenever the two ate dumplings, they could eat a whole family’s worth, so that was the amount Gu Hai ended up wrapping until his hands became sore. By then, Bai Luo Yin was bored out of his mind. With nothing else to do, he started to think about the difficulties he had encountered in the past and the happiness he now felt in the present.
“When I was younger, my family only ate dumplings during New Year and a couple of other festivities. Back then, my paternal grandparents were still quite healthy. Normally, my grandmother would roll the dough and my grandfather would wrap it up while I watched them from the side and my father waited at the table to eat.”
Gu Hai paused the movements of his hands and let out a sorrowful sigh. “From what I remember, my grandfather passed away before I was born and my grandmother never. Back then, the military gave us two cooks, a nanny, and a diligent house worker. When I was younger, all the food I ate was strictly controlled so I couldn’t eat whatever I wanted to.”
A flabbergasted expression crept up Bai Luo Yin’s face. “Wait… I remember that when we first met, you told me your grandfather was paralyzed and had urination and defecation incontinence. How come now you’re saying that he passed away before you were born? How many grandfathers do you have exactly, huh?”
“Just one!” Gu Hai feigned ignorance, “Did I say my grandfather was paralyzed before? Aren’t you remembering incorrectly?”
Bai Luo Yin was confident with his memory. “I didn’t remember it ‘incorrectly’. That’s what you said to me. At that time, you came to eat at my house and my grandfather spat out some food all over the table. Later on, when you were heading home, I apologized to you and you told me that your grandfather was also like that.”
Hearing that, Gu Hai’s heart dropped as the memory came swimming back to him. He had indeed said such words. Fuck, why the hell would he remember such a small detail?
Seeing the slight change in Gu Hai’s expression, Bai Luo Yin immediately saw through his inner thoughts. He narrowed his eyes and looked at him with annoyance, “You must have fucking lied to me a lot, right?”
“Uhhh…” Gu Hai replied mockingly, “Wasn’t that for the sake of getting close to you?”
Bai Luo Yin coldly grunted, twisted his head away and gripped the dough in his hands.
Suddenly, Gu Hai recalled the Bai Luo Yin of that time—carrying a torn backpack, wearing a windbreaker-type of school uniform with a head of hair that looked like a bird’s nest after he had slept all day, and occasionally wearing slippers to class… the more he thought about it, the more amused he was. With that, he couldn’t help but to reach his hand out to grip the little monster lying at Bai Luo Yin’s crotch.
“‘The monkey steals a peach’ technique!”139 Gu Hai shouted, followed by a burst of laughter; a nefarious laughter of a mischievous man!
Taken aback by that abrupt and obscene action, Bai Luo Yin became apoplectic with rage as he turned around and punched Gu Hai’s ass a few times. Then he fished out something small from his pocket and passed it over to Gu Hai.
“Put this inside the dumpling.”
Gu Hai took a close look at it and asked, “What is this?”
“A new army recruit gave me this small jade pendant and said that it was blessed in his hometown… so if you wear it, it can keep you safe and sound throughout your life.”
Narrowing his eyes into a thin line, Gu Hai said, “Why did he give you this thing?”
“Isn’t it normal for a lower ranking person to give their superior a gift?” Bai Luo Yin urged, “Hurry up and put it in the dumpling. When I was younger, my grandmother always put a steel one in and said that whoever ate it would be blessed. Let’s try it and see who will be more blessed.”
Unable to persuade Bai Luo Yin to change his mind, Gu Hai had no other option but to wash the jade and put it into one of the dumplings.
While they were eating the dumplings, Gu Hai looked at Bai Luo Yin. “I wanted to tell you that there’s a surplus of funds in my company, so I purchased a mansion over at the Olympic Village—it’s for you.”
The chopsticks in Bai Luo Yin’s hand came to a halt as he looked at Gu Hai. His eyes were overflowing with a dark fire that beckoned to blossom into a raging firework.
“Are you crazy?! I have my own place, my parents have their own place and you have your own place! What did you buy a house for?”
Gu Hai looked at Bai Luo Yin with a faint smile, “If we break up one day, for good or bad, you will have something to fall back onto…”
Bai Luo Yin picked up a dumpling and threw it at Gu Hai, who surprisingly reacted quickly enough to catch it with his chopsticks.
Holding a smile, Gu Hai shoved that dumpling in his own mouth and returned to the topic. “We can use it for our retirement.”
“Why would we need such a large house for our retirement? We have no children…”
At those words, Gu Hai put his chopsticks down as his bright eyes exposed his vision of their future. “I’ve thought about it already. That house has three floors altogether and each floor has more than ten rooms. We can live in one room and use all the other rooms to raise dogs—all kinds of dogs. And then there’s the piece of land outside, we can design something for it; maybe build a few sheds and use it to raise donkeys. What do you think?”
To speak the truth, Gu Hai’s unreasonable vision of their future was something that Bai Luo Yin sincerely thought was… very good. When the two of us retire, we can go for a walk every day. Then, the moment we return home, a group of dogs will run toward us just as we enter the house. Just thinking about it made him think that it was exceptionally beautiful!
“Change the title to your name,” Bai Luo Yin said, “What am I going to do if one day the military investigates my personal assets, discovers that I have a mansion, and suspects that I’m corrupted and was accepting bribery?”
“Who would dare to investigate you?” Gu Hai revealed a fierce and tough look, “Would he dare to investigate an upright military officer? Would he dare to investigate an Army Commissioned Officer?140 Would he also dare to investigate the Lt. General of the Air Force?”141
A brilliant ray of light covered Bai Luo Yin’s eyes as he pounded the table and laugh heartily. “I love hearing those words!”
“For our beautiful future, cheers!”
After a glass of wine flowed into his stomach, Bai Luo Yin looked at Gu Hai. “I might have to leave in a few days.”
Gu Hai nearly choked on the dumpling in his mouth.
“Leave? Where are you going?” His heart suddenly tightened.
Bai Luo Yin’s expression gradually darkened, “The Central Military Committee142 will be inspecting the Air Force next month, so for the sake of achieving the best training results, we might have to move the training site to a completely secluded location. The superiors have attached great importance to the troop’s inspection this time around. Not only do I have to lead the troops during training, but I also have to conduct the flight performances. This task is very serious, so…”
Listening to the end, Gu Hai swallowed the dumpling in his mouth with much difficulty.
“Okay, go and perform well. If anything, I’ll see if I can apply for permission to go see you perform that day.”
“How come you’re being so straightforward this time?” Bai Luo Yin asked, bewildered.
Straightforward? I’m about to choke to death!! But in order for Bai Luo Yin to be more at ease, Gu Hai made himself say those words in spite of the painful sensation circulating his chest. “What? I’m just supporting your work.”
Bai Luo Yin’s complexion changed, but he did not say anything else.
Once the two were done eating the dumplings until there were none left, they went to wash the dishes in the kitchen. As they were washing, Bai Luo Yin suddenly remembered something and swung his head to look at Gu Hai. “Where did that dumpling of mine go?”
“What dumpling?” Gu Hai asked.
A shocked expression spread across Bai Luo Yin’s face, “The one with the jade pendant in it. Did you forget about it? Which one of us ate it?”
Gu Hai had a listless look on as he spoke, “I didn’t eat it.”
“I didn’t eat it either.”
But… there are no dumplings left!!
Bai Luo Yin, Gu Hai, “…”
Around a little after two o’clock that night, Gu Hai suddenly sat up when he felt his stomach doing somersaults.
Bai Luo Yin rubbed his eyes and looked at him, “What’s wrong?”
Gu Hai glanced over at him with a confused look. “Buddha is displaying his power.”
Bai Luo Yin, “…”
The next morning, Bai Luo Yin put on his well-ironed military uniform and boots and made his way to the training ground with a threatening yet heroic aura—each step he took created a loud and crisp sound that echoed ahead to warn the soldiers that were awaiting his presence. Maintaining his usual serious persona, he moved back and forth in front of the troops while his cold and sharp eyes traveled from one soldier to another.
“Major!!” The soldiers before him shouted; their salute was loud and clear.
Bai Luo Yin faced every one of them with no expression of any kind whatsoever.
“Since I haven’t seen you train for a few days, have you all been lazy and just goofed around?” He asked in an awe-inspiring tone.
Sparse and fragmented answers sounded off across the field. “No.”
Bai Luo Yin’s face immediately darkened, “Have you not eaten yet?! Shout again!”
“We were not lazy!!” This time, the loud and even noise woke up the will of the soldiers.
Hearing that, Bai Luo Yin nodded with satisfaction and then went to the middle of the troop to inspect everyone’s spirit and appearance.
Suddenly, a soldier reported: “Major, I have a stomachache.”
Nodding simultaneously, Bai Luo Yin suddenly recalled what happened to Gu Hai last night and couldn’t help but to feel a surge of happiness overtaking his heart. However, he could not display his happiness in front of his soldiers. He had to consistently preserve a serious façade—as a result, he endured the need to laugh as if his life depended on it. As he endured himself, he noticed a few soldiers, who were standing not too far away, wearing an expression as if they were unable to refrain their laughter.
Is it possible that they were able to see through my thoughts? Or did my facial expression betray my heart? Bai Luo Yin could feel his nerves throbbing, but he quickly eliminated those train of thoughts. How could anyone detect anything when he had concealed it to himself so well?
In the end, he continued to stride forward with his head held high while maintaining a steady pace and walking through each row of soldiers.
However, as he walked, he found more and more soldiers secretly laughing, not only that, their eyes were all aimed at him.
Bai Luo Yin became enraged and ruthlessly grabbed a soldier by the collar and questioned him in a stern voice. “Training is a serious matter, is it proper for you to laugh out loud like this?”
Unexpectedly, not only was that soldier not frightened or dumbstruck like normal, but he also did not hold back and started to make pfff-ing sounds before eventually laughing.
Once he laughed, the entire field of soldiers behind him all laughed as well.
The color on Bai Luo Yin’s face suddenly changed, but before he had a chance to flare up, an officer walked over and pulled him to the side.
“I must say, our sister-in-law is very bold and unconstrained!”
Bai Luo Yin did not understand that and only looked at him with suspicion.
The officer coughed lightly and hinted at Bai Luo Yin to look down.
It would have been alright if Bai Luo Yin did not look, but after he did, his whole face became purple.
There, at the crotch area of his pants was the clear mark of five fingerprints. It was completely white and covered the entire area where his family jewel slept.
“‘The monkey steals a peach’ technique!”
As an image of Gu Hai saying those words when he mounted the sneak attack on him emerged in Bai Luo Yin’s mind, his heart nearly exploded from anger. Normally, those kinds of jokes wouldn’t matter, but yesterday, Gu Hai’s hand was very respectful! Very respectful!!143
139 猴子偷桃hóuzitōutáo – the monkey steals a peach (martial arts technique); distracting an opponent with one hand and seizing his testicles with the other; (coll.) grabbing sb. by the balls
140 Army Commissioned Officer – Commissioned officers generally enter the Military with a four-year college degree or greater or receive officer training followed by tours of enlisted service. Officers are generally employed in management roles or highly specialized fields that require professional degrees (e.g., doctors, lawyers and chaplains). Non-commissioned officers (NCOs) are high-ranking enlisted service members who have been given officer-like authority by their superiors.
141 Gu Hai praising Bai Luo Yin for what ranking he will receive later on lol, that’s what I got from that statement since Bai Luo Yin is only a major right now.
142 The Central Military Committee (CMC) – refers to the parallel national defense organizations of the Communist Party of China and the People’s Republic of China: the Central Military Commission of the Communist Party of China, a Party organ under the CPC Central Committee, and the Central Military Commission of the People’s Republic of China, a central state organ under the National People’s Congress, being the military branch of the national government.
The command and control of the People’s Liberation Army, the People’s Armed Police and the Militia is exercised in name by the State CMC, supervised by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress. The State CMC is nominally considered the supreme military policy-making body and its chairman, elected by the National People’s Congress, is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. In reality, command and control of the PLA, however, still resides with the Central Military Commission of the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee—the Party CMC.
143 Very respectful! – Bai Luo Yin is being sarcastic; we all know Gu Hai is shameless hahahaha