Ch49 – Love Song on Ice 6
The next day, Chi Xiaochi woke up to a delicious scent.
From the direction of the kitchen, came a soft clanging of pots and pans, clinging and clanging, the homely atmosphere particularly calming.
Chi Xiaochi got up, put on some cotton slippers that were slightly too big for him, and trotted out of the bedroom.
This was the top floor of an old apartment in Binzhou’s Jiuchengqu. It spanned about 100 square meters, with two bedrooms and two living rooms. The neighbourhood wasn’t a very eye-catching high-cla.s.s residential area, but it was quiet and conveniently located for transport.
As a single male, young, and owning a car and a house, Dong Feihong was absolutely the blue chip stock out of all blue chip stocks.
Just as he walked over to the entrance to the kitchen, the blue chip stock walked out.
The blue chip stock, “You’re awake? How was your sleep?”
Chi Xiaochi nodded.
“There’s a disposable toothbrush and washcloth in the bathroom sink cabinet.” Freshly stir-fried dishes in his hands, the blue chip stock gestured towards the bathroom. “I wasn’t fully prepared this time. When you come here next time, I’ll have a set of permanent living supplies ready for you.”
Chi Xiaochi let out a reserved expression. “No need to go through so much trouble.”
The blue chip stock expressed, this was what he ought to do.
As he washed up, Chi Xiaochi said to 061, “I suspect Dong Feihong is Dong Ge’s long-lost father.”
061, “……” Actually it’s me.
Chi Xiaochi continued to speculate reasonably, “Or else why is he treating Dong Ge so well.”
061, “……” Because it’s me.
Chi Xiaochi spat out the toothpaste in his mouth. “Liu-laoshi, what exactly is this person trying to do?”
“Yesterday, when you were sleeping, I went and did a check on him,” 061 said, “Dong Feihong, 27 years old, a mangaka, single, has no unhealthy addictions, his father had a big argument with Dong Ge’s father when they were younger, so they had little contact with each other. He went to j.a.pan to study and returned about three years ago. There was an accident two years ago, and he injured his hand, it was quite serious, too. Originally, he intended to go overseas for treatment, but at that time, it just so happened that several internationally renowned neurologists came to Binzhou for a study exchange, so he didn’t go.”
Chi Xiaochi nodded.
This actually explained the discrepancies from Dong Ge’s memories.
When one’s life restarted, there would inevitably be some variations.
If Dong Feihong left the country to treat his hand, he wouldn’t be able to come back for about a year.
If he had, because of this, taken the opportunity to settle down overseas, him not appearing during Dong Ge’s most difficult time wouldn’t be strange.
He nodded. “Got it. I see now.”
061, “……” Phew, successfully brushed it over.
After Chi Xiaochi was done washing up, Dong Feihong placed a plate of julienned potatoes on the table.
The chopped onions were slightly curled from frying. Bits and pieces of chili peppers were scattered over the shiny, yellow, thickly chopped potatoes. Two bowls and two sets of chopsticks were arranged neatly on the table. The chopsticks were made of redwood, and the bowls were blue and white porcelain, filled to the brim with ricecongee, the rice grains almost mush from the boiling.
Dong Feihong said, “I started cooking the rice when you went to bed yesterday. I specially left it to cool for a while, it shouldn’t burn your mouth already.”
After Chi Xiaochi picked up the chopsticks, he then said, “When you don’t have anything to do at sports school on Sat.u.r.days and Sundays, just come to your uncle’s house. Leaving home at such a young age, even though you don’t say it, I know you must feel a little lost in your heart. Here, at your uncle’s place, there will always be a hot, home-cooked meal to eat, and a warm home to come back to. What do you think?”
Chi Xiaochi mulled over it in silence, unable to make up his mind.
With regards to this suddenly-appearing “uncle”, he still couldn’t trust him completely.
But if he was sincere, then the appearance of this uncle was absolutely beneficial to Dong Ge’s growth and education.
He didn’t hurry to answer, picking up some potatoes with his chopsticks and bringing it to his mouth.
Then, he froze. He looked up at Dong Feihong.
Practically simultaneously, 061 and Dong Feihong asked, “What’s wrong?”
Dong Feihong picked up his chopsticks and tasted the potatoes. “……Still tastes okay.”
Chi Xiaochi swallowed the food in his mouth. “I ate a chili pepper.”
Dong Feihong laughed. He got up to go to the water dispenser and retrieved a cup of warm water. “Eat slowly, there’s no rush.”
Chi Xiaochi silently nodded, but quickened his movements, finishing all the food on the table without saying a word.
Only when Dong Feihong and Chi Xiaochi went downstairs together and got into the car, did he continue the question he had been going to ask before being interrupted, “When your afternoon training on Friday ends, should I come pick you up?”
Chi Xiaochi fastened his seatbelt, then replied in the tone Dong Ge would have used, “……I need to train.”
“Some relaxation is always necessary,” Dong Feihong said, “There’s a skating rink near my home. The owner was my junior high cla.s.smate.”
He’d already built a house, building another skating rink wasn’t a problem.
Chi Xiaochi thought for a moment, then nodded slightly, finally agreeing to Dong Feihong’s suggestion.”
With a smile, Dong Feihong leaned over and tightened Chi Xiaochi’s scarf. “The car is a little old, it doesn’t have good heating, don’t catch a chill.”
Chi Xiaochi lowered his eyelashes, the long, soft and curly strands covering the faint melancholy in his eyes.
After sending Chi Xiaochi to the sports school, Dong Feihong got into the car and wiped off the condensation on the car windows, preparing to find a place without any people or cameras to once again perform a vanishing act.
Inadvertently, he noticed several high-school aged Smarts in the distance, poking their heads out of a little alley across the road, staring at Dong Ge’s back and pointing.
Then they retracted their tortoise heads back into the alley.
“It’s him, that brat. Yesterday, he beat up my younger brother.”
“Just that sissy boy? One against four?”
“Isn’t it? Really f.u.c.king scary. That younger brother of mine was terrified, even told me to not cause him any trouble cuz he has someone backing him. Bah! What a worthless person. Am I scared of him? He didn’t give my younger brother face, that’s like embarra.s.sing me. How could I just let this go?”
“Then let’s beat him to death?”
“Beat him. But not to death, fortunately this thing is also an athlete. We can just disable him. Us bros don’t need to get into much trouble, we can just cut him up a little.”
“This school is pretty well-managed, I don’t think they’ll let us in.”
“What kid of this age doesn’t play hooky?”
“Right, make your little brother watch him for us. There is bound to come a time when he’s alone. ……Who’s there?!”
As the group of people were chatting it up, they heard one of them, a tall and strong silver-haired fatty, call out.
He pointed at the entrance to the alleyway and said, “Just now, there was a figure standing there for a while.”
The others looked over at the direction he was pointing in. There was nothing there.
Xue Yibo’s brother curled his lip. “You have a f.u.c.king problem with your eyes.”
The silver-haired fatty had constantly been facing the entrance to the alleyway. About two to three minutes ago, he’d noticed a group of abnormally shaped shadows by the entrance of the alleyway, but he hadn’t thought that it would be a “person”.
But just now, the shadows had moved.
In order to confirm his statement, he hurried to the entrance of the alleyway, stuck out his head and looked out——
There were several styrofoam boxes stacked by the entrance.
As the fatty was being mocked by the rest of his group, Dong Feihong appeared in the driver’s seat of his car.
——The Dong Ge from before had been bullied sufficiently by Xue Yibo, giving his brother no room to b.u.t.t in, so this scene had never occurred.
As he watched the fatty scratch the back of his head with a face full of befuddlement, Dong Feihong started the car, and started driving in a random direction.
Today, Chi Xiaochi changed into red and gold training clothes and went to the practice rink.
The moment he put on his skates, an extremely strange feeling ignited in his heart.
……As if he’d willingly put on that pair of cursed red dancing shoes from the fairy tale, preferring to burn to ash in raging flames, rather than become dust trampled beneath people’s feet.
Chi Xiaochi slowly slid onto the ice, saying, “Now, there’s only one song that can describe my feelings.”
061’s mind was filled with Sailor, Zhang Zhihua, me and my last stubbornness, that kind of thing.
Chi Xiaochi sang, “If you were a firebird, I would be those flames, surrounding you, surrounding you, burning you, burning you, yeah, yeah.”
061, “……” Please be reasonable, if you want to talk just talk, why do you have to sing.
Especially those last two “yeah”s, they could be said to be written by the hand of the G.o.ds. 061 was “yeah”-ed until his entire system didn’t feel too good.
Being distracted by trivial matters, coupled with having to suffer through the devilish noise in his ears, 061 forgot about Chi Xiaochi’s strangeness at the breakfast table that morning.
Meanwhile, Chi Xiaochi followed his body’s instincts, and threw himself into training.
In the sports school, training and cultural lessons were intertwined. In consideration of the students’ bodies, the school rules dictated that their time on the ice could not exceed three hours a day.
However, driven by his instincts, Chi Xiaochi kept skating until a coach came to urge him off the ice.
During that time, he was repeating the same movement.
The jump that had once crippled him.
In the corner of the ice rink, he mechanically repeated this movement over and over, jump, fall, jump again, fall again.
Small children’s bodies were flexible and light. When he fell, it didn’t really hurt, and fall injury prevention skills were something every skater knew well.
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But every time he fell onto the hard surface of the rink, surrounded by the smell of powdery ice, Chi Xiaochi would feel an urge to cry.
The Chi Xiaochi who hadn’t compiled anything immediately tried to suck up to him, saying, “Lou-ge’s the best.”
Lou Ying picked up a small screwdriver and removed a small screw. “Say it again.”
Chi Xiaochi, “Lou-ge’s the best.”
Lou Ying laughed, a ma.s.s of warm flowers blooming in his eyes.
Even a long, long time later, Chi Xiaochi still remembered those dusky evenings, when there was someone to share a lamp with, who would whisper guidance in his ear. “You can add a supplementary line here.”
Chi Xiaochi was awoken by the teacher’s chalk to the head.
This English teacher was a big burly man with a height of 180 and a weight of 180. He pointed at Chi Xiaochi’s nose and scolded, “Your little b.u.t.t’s raised pretty high. You’ve learned everything already, have you? If you know it all already, why don’t you try translating this sentence?!”
Chi Xiaochi obediently stood up, “Liu-laoshi. Liu-laoshi.”
The summoned Liu-laoshi, “Page 89, third line from the left. The meaning, when translated is, ‘to me, a long-time expatriate, I think that……’”
Chi Xiaochi recited it like drawing a tiger from a cat.
This person who had been completely proficient at both Spanish and English in the last world, purposefully stammered through this elementary school level sentence.
When he finished his translation, the English teacher was also a little surprised, “Really amazing, you could still hear what’s going on even though you were asleep, huh.”
Chi Xiaochi lowered his head, resisting the impulse to run his mouth.
The English teacher let him sit down.
After being smacked in the head with chalk, he also became a lot more well-behaved, beginning to doodle in hie textbook, expression extremely serious.
061 extended his head out and took a look. On an ill.u.s.tration of an unadorned young foreign woman, he had drawn a remarkably realistic heavy-duty motorcycle, then made it so that the woman was smoking a cigarette, thought for a moment, then added a banner behind the woman.
“Having a son isn’t like having a daughter, with a son finding a future partner for him will be a bother.”
He was suddenly a little skeptical of how that year’s Chi Xiaochi had scored into that prestigious high school and maintained the top in his level there for three years straight.
Dong Feihong would come to pick Chi Xiaochi up for a meal on Wednesdays, while local sports school students could return home on Sat.u.r.days and Sundays.
In the afternoon two days later, Chi Xiaochi waited at the school gate.
Because he didn’t have a phone, he hadn’t been able to arrange a time with Dong Feihong. He just bought a shredded potato pancake from nearby and ate it as he waited.
061 advised him, “Find a small shop to wait in. It’ll be warm.”
Chi Xiaochi said ambiguously, “I want to see him.”
061, “……” Hmm? What was this about?
But since Chi Xiaochi wanted it, then he would hurry it up.
Turning around, he could see several brightly-coloured heads harbouring malicious intent spying on the solitary Chi Xiaochi.
Days in winter got dark especially early, and the parents who had come to pick up their children had gradually left, leaving only Chi Xiaochi, waiting alone anxiously in the light of a small shop.
Seeing that their chance had arrived, several frozen, shivering people exchanged glances.
The leader in front was Xue Yibo’s older brother.
He confirmed the situation, “Get him?”
No response came from behind him, but he didn’t take it seriously and began striding towards Chi Xiaochi.
But just as he took the lead in slipping out of the alley, a hand reached out from behind him, directly covering his mouth and locking his throat in his grip.
A low, melodious whisper sounded by his ear, “Shh.”
The brat’s hair bristled. “Wuwuwu!”
Out of the corner of his eyes, he saw his bros who had just been sneakily following along behind him already beaten unconscious, lying scattered all over the alley.
Two days ago, 061 hadn’t been able to confirm if they had just been talking big or were actually serious, so he hadn’t made a move.
Now that he had caught them red-handed, he naturally didn’t need to be polite anymore.
He leaned in close to the ear of the person whose eyes were full of fear and whispered in a low, deliberating tone, “Don’t bully Dong Ge anymore, okay.”
The little good-for-nothing’s eyes filled with terror. Before he could think it over, he started nodding nonstop, planning on first escaping this threat before thinking more about it.
But in the next second, a m.u.f.fled screech echoed in the alley.
About ten minutes later, an old Buick pulled up in front of Chi Xiaochi who had already been waiting for a long time.
The window rolled down, revealing Dong Feihong’s gentle, amiable smile. “Did you wait long?”
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