Piloting a Helicopter to Herd Sheep
Translate: Sae | Edit: Nancy | Proofread: Julieta
Another sleepless night prevailed—early in the morning, Gu Wei Ting was just about to wash up when a resounding burst of footsteps transmitted over.
Without the need to turn around, he already knew who had arrived.
He had not anticipated that Gu Hai would be so composed and had only come then.
“What exactly did you say to Yin Zi?”
Gu Wei Ting despised it the most when Gu Hai used that kind of tone to question him right in front of his face. Even if he was old to the point he was paralyzed in bed, his son should not speak to him like that.
“I just told him that I do not approve of you two being together.” Gu Wei Ting employed an utterly harsh voice.
The chilliness contained in Gu Hai’s eyes could even freeze bones, “Your reason?”
“Reason?” Gu Wei Ting wiped his face and casually said, “If you can have him give birth to a grandchild for me, I will accept him immediately.”
Gu Hai tightened his fist, which was trembling uncontrollably. After tightening it for a long time, he finally exploded.
“Starting tomorrow, I will go and recruit a group of surrogate mothers to try and give you 180 grandchildren within a year! Then I will completely disappear from your sight as to avoid being an eyesore to you!!”
After nine years, Gu Wei Ting had thought that Gu Hai had already passed the age of yelling at him, but he discovered that human maturity was not based on age, but rather on events. The reason why he had been calm and optimistic for all those years was not that his mind had become wiser, but because he did not find any motive that made him resort to the extremes.
Once that motive was in sight, he would immediately tear off the mask of hypocrisy and continue the war of words without hesitating to utilize a foul language to hurt the person, regardless of his father’s identity, regardless of his good intentions over the years.
Realizing that point, the words Gu Wei Ting exercised were even more relentless.
“You can rest assured. There is no need for 180, even if it is just one, I, Gu Wei Ting, will no longer glance at you.”
A deep sense of despair appeared in Gu Hai’s eyes—not because of Gu Wei Ting’s inability to comprehend but merely because, in this father’s eyes, this son’s happiness was lowly and expendable.
“He gave up eight years of his youth for me and paid the price of losing his loved ones, yet what have you given up for me? Was it that you gave up on the woman you betrayed for more than a decade? And that you devoted yourself in a marriage that made me feel repugnant, deep-seated hatred and pain? If you believe that by giving me life and supporting me for over ten years was your selfless love, then I can return them all to you in a hundredfold. I will also let you taste what it feels like to be neglected for more than a decade, being thrown to different nannies day in and day out and tossed out with a stack of money!”
“In your eyes, I am not a person with blood and flesh and a complete set of characteristics. I am nothing more than just your personal belonging. In your young and vigorous days, you could abandon your family for your dreams, but I couldn’t even choose the profession that I wanted. Then when you became successful in your profession, for the sake of marrying a beautiful woman, you forced your son to leave home and wander from place to place, but I can’t even be together with the person I love…”
“In your eyes, everything that you do is reasonable and everything that I do is preposterous.”
“To be honest, you used the pretense of a father to morally kidnap me! You used your privilege as my father to do whatever you pleased with me! When I suffered your beatings and abuse, I accepted them all. After all, who made me your son? Who made you give me life?”
“But what does Bai Luo Yin owe you? For what reason did he charge into the battlefield to secure your position? For what reason did he uphold that bit of glory just to protect your reputation? He is someone else’s offspring! He has never eaten a meal from your family, Gu Wei Ting!! He has never touched any of your limelight, Gu Wei Ting! If he wants me, Gu Hai, to betray my own family, he only needs to say one word and I will immediately leave with him!”
Why is it so hard for you to open up your heart?”
Having said that, Gu Hai left without turning his head, like a kind of farewell ceremony— tragic and miserable.
A flash of understanding cracked open in Gu Wei Ting’s heart.
He drove to the cemetery and respectfully placed a bouquet of fresh flowers on his late wife’s tombstone.
Those flowers inexorably complimented that young and gentle face in the picture on the tombstone, and after gazing at it for a long time, his heart finally quiet down.
The clamor of the world outside was already far away, leaving only the beautiful memories from twenty years ago.
Gu Hai’s birth was an unexpected event. Gu Wei Ting still remembered that the first time he saw the child, he had no clear concept of what father and son meant. Instead, he merely felt that the burden weighing on his shoulders had increased.
Unexpectedly, after those more than twenty years passed by in an instant, he had reached a point where he saw his son as his life.
“Did I make a mistake?”
Gu Wei Ting asked himself quietly.
Bai Luo Yin’s helicopter slowly descended in the vast prairie of Tibet, and when he came out of the cockpit, there was an immediate change in the atmosphere. After an interval of nine years, he had come here once again as if time had flowed backward. With the blue skies and clear water, the beautiful scenery of this place was as magnificent as it was before. It seemed as though he had found the fearless and adventurous mindset to face any difficulties from back then.
Looking around in all directions, there was a small village not too far in the distance; the houses were sparse and the calls of the herdsman moving the flock of sheep were like the rising spirals of smoke dissipated along with the wind. Bai Luo Yin picked up his bottle and drank a few big mouthfuls of water when suddenly, a strange noise sounded.
Hearing that, Bai Luo Yin turned his head around only to be immediately taken aback; behind him were a large flock of sheep and a crude looking boy was standing in the center, shyly looking over at him.
Initially, Bai Luo Yin had thought that he was obstructing the flock of sheep, so he shifted a few steps to the side. But that boy merely looked at him and walked over while the sheep naturally encircled them.
“Do you need something?” Bai Luo Yin spoke first.
The boy smiled shyly and pointed at the helicopter before he asked in a limpid tone, “Is that yours?”
Bai Luo Yin nodded.
“Wow!” A look of admiration and envy quickly appeared on the boy’s face.
Seeing that, Bai Luo Yin laughed, “Do you want to go in and sit in it?”
The boy nodded his head energetically.
In the end, the boy was hesitant to step forward when the cockpit opened, as his face revealed a hint of cautiousness. Perhaps, he had come to realize that the helicopter was much bigger than he had imagined; perhaps, he was worried that the helicopter might collapse— but in short, he was afraid.
“Don’t worry, it is very stable.” Bai Luo Yin patted the boy’s shoulder.
With Bai Luo Yin’s encouragement, the boy finally climbed with his trembling legs into the cockpit and sat in the copilot’s seat with a nervous expression. After that, Bai Luo Yin skillfully started the helicopter which caused their bodies to shake strongly for a while before it began to slowly ascend.
When the helicopter flew up to about five meters, the boy started to shout wildly for a full twenty-second, making Bai Luo Yin go numb. This kid was indeed a local child born and bred in the plateau, as his voice was clear and his vitals’ capacity extremely large.
The boy gradually stopped shouting and leaned against the window, looking down curiously; his flock of sheep had already become dots beneath his gaze.
“Aren’t you afraid someone will steal your sheep?” Bai Luo Yin asked.
The boy shook his head, “No one will steal them, only the wolves would.”
After flying around for a while, Bai Luo Yin slowly descended again. However, that was clearly not enough for the boy, as he remained in the cockpit and refused to get out of it, touching this and that while wearing an inquisitive expression the entire time.
“How about I gift this helicopter to you?” Bai Luo Yin asked.
The boy was completely shocked as he looked over, “Gift it to me?”
“Yeah,” Bai Luo Yin said seriously. “I give you the helicopter and you can give me the sheep, how about it?”
Although that was such a beneficial transaction, the boy unexpectedly shook his head without a hint of hesitation.
“No, I won’t make such an exchange.”
Bai Luo Yin was actually puzzled, “Why? My helicopter is much more expensive than your sheep. You can sell it and buy a few thousand sheep with the profit.”
The boy still shook his head, “It is not sellable here.”
Bai Luo Yin let out a pfff sound and laughed, “You are really honest.”
“I did not raise ducks,” said the boy again.224
Bai Luo Yin laughed and laughed until it felt like his ribs were going to crack.
The boy laughed along with him and even praised Bai Luo Yin, “You are very good-looking when you laugh.”
“Let’s go!” Bai Luo Yin placed his hand on the boy’s shoulder, “Let’s go tend to the flock of sheep.”
No one could have imagined that Bai Luo Yin would actually fly the helicopter in the prairie to herd sheep.
The helicopter was flown at a low altitude and, as the flock of sheep ran up ahead, the boy’s shouts were like a heart-rending song that uplifted the soul and made Bai Luo Yin follow along.
That evening, Bai Luo Yin followed the boy to the local herdsman’s home.
The condition was difficult, and the food was hard to swallow, but fortunately, Bai Luo Yin had frequently pitched camped outside over the years, which made it so that he could adapt to any harsh environment quickly.
Before going to sleep that night, Bai Luo Yin placed his arm beneath his head like a pillow and turned his head to look at the boy.
“What are you going to do tomorrow?”
The boy’s tone could not conceal his excitement, “Herd the sheep! Sit in the helicopter! Hehehe…”
Bai Luo Yin was curious, “What do you do every day?”
“Herd the sheep ah!” The boy said without thinking.
“Besides herding the sheep?”
The boy thought for a moment, “Eat, sleep, go to the bathroom.”
That is the same as not saying anything… Bai Luo Yin asked again, “You don’t have to go to school?”
Since that matter was brought up, the boy appeared to be very proud.
“My father said that only kids that cannot herd the sheep well have to go to school. I have never been to school.”
At first, Bai Luo Yin could not quite comprehend that kind of concept, but then he suddenly realized that his father was a wise man! Rather than letting the child go withstand the rough wind and rain225 and be corrupted by society until there was nothing good left, it was better to let him roam freely between the heavens and the earth from the beginning and allow simpleness and happiness to accompany him for a lifetime.
The next day, Bai Luo Yin flew the helicopter to herd the sheep again and he ended up doing just that for three days.
224 duck – (slang) prostitute; the boy who is in his teens is saying how he didn’t raise ‘ducks’ to be sold, eluding to him not being a pimp if he did have ducks*
225 withstand the wind and rain – “…endure the hardships,”