In Ancheng, August was the hottest time of the year. The wide asphalt road had been exposed to the sun all day and standing on it, even with shoes, was a bit uncomfortable.
Standing in front of the car, Wei Ruxia took the luggage handed over by her grandma from the car one by one. When the luggage was handed over, she could feel a small gust of cold air from the car, giving her a brief reprieve.
Summer in the south was really tough.
"Tell me if you're missing anything, I'll buy it for you." Li Suhe said gently after pulling out the last piece of luggage.
Although she had Wei Ruxia for a granddaughter, Li Suhe wasn't dressed like a grandmother. She was in a creamy white chiffon bow tie shirt, light-colored wide-leg pants, and pearl white low heel sandals.
One could see in her face that she was old, but a shadow of the beauty of her youth still remained. Her medium-length hair was meticulously combed, and although it was mostly white, there was still life to it.
"Got it, thank you grandma." Wei Ruxia replied obediently, absorbed in the summer heat wave and the noise of the cicadas.
They were now standing in front of a three-story single-family villa with a courtyard. Li Suhe's car was parked at the door. The garden in the courtyard was planted with flowers and plants of various colors, all of which had wilted after a day of sitting in the sun.
In the yard, the door of the villa was tightly sealed, and whoever was inside seemed to be unaware that someone was coming, or had adopted the posture of turning them away.
After closing the car door, Li Suhe glanced at Wei Ruxia. She showed a distressed smile, "It's hot out, right? Go, let's go inside."
Wei Ruxia had moved down from the northernmost snowy town. The north wasn't as hot as the south, and after a while in the sun, her face had become flushed from the heat. The sweat from around her ears wet a lock of hair, curling it into an S shape.
Wei Ruxia grew up in the north, but her skin was white and red and tender, like a southern girl. This was inherited from her father.
Her skin followed her father, but her appearance was that of a typical northern girl like her mother. Her features were deep set and the bridge of her nose was high, her brows were a little heroic and at the age of sixteen she was already 1.7 metres tall.
With two pieces of luggage in hand, Wei Ruxia smiled and said, "En, a bit."
Li Suhe opened the door, walked in, then looked back at Wei Ruxia who was standing motionless at the door and said kindly, "Come in."
"Ah, okay." Wei Ruxia pressed her lips together slightly and walked in.
As soon as she walked in, Wei Ruxia felt the air-conditioning in the room and the heat dissipated off her skin. Wei Ruxia raised her eyes and looked around.
The first floor of the villa was large, with the entrance leading straight to the living room which connected the front and back door. In the center was a spiral staircase leading to the second floor. To the left side of the stairs was the kitchen and dining room, and to the right side was the lounge room. The lounge room had large floor-to-ceiling windows, and the afternoon sun shone through the glass, covering the neatly arranged tables and chairs and making the whole area appear clean and bright.
Wei Ruxia wasn't familiar with the style of design but looking around she thought it looked pretty. The furnishings in the living room, including the chandeliers, tables and chairs, all had an elegant sense of simplicity, giving a sense of gentleness to their owner.
After entering the house, Li Suhe walked to the staircase, raised her head and called up to the second floor.
After yelling twice, there was no movement. Li Suhe went into the kitchen to pour a glass of juice. She brought it out and handed it to Wei Ruxia and said, "You wait here for a while, I'll take a look."
After receiving the juice, Wei Ruxia responded, "Okay."
Li Suhe smiled at Wei Ruxia, and then went up to the second floor while calling the man's name.
Wei Ruxia's temperament had a bit of the northerners' peace of mind. Seeing Li Suhe go upstairs, she sat on the sofa, drinking juice and looking around the living room.
The room was cooled by the air-conditioning, and the fresh air blew gently, like a summer night in a winter town, adding a sense of intimacy.
She didn't observe for long, before the sound of arguing gradually came down from the second floor, the voices becoming louder and louder.
"Why would I want to live with her?" A man's voice could be heard, his voice was low, but there was anger in it that couldn't be concealed.
"Keep your voice down." Li Suhe whispered, then persuaded, "She's your biological daughter."
"Daughter? Since when did I live with a daughter? Why did she appear in my life without my consent?"
Wei Ruxia lightly bit the soft fruit on the tip of her tongue, the sweet and sour taste of the orange permeated her taste buds. She took another sip of juice, then picked out another fruit and placed it on the tip of her tongue as she looked at the sky outside the tall windows.
What he said was correct, he was indeed quite innocent.
But although he was innocent, she was also real. The deed had been done, and it couldn't be undone. It was something they both had to live with.
Wei Ruxia held the juice in her mouth, tasting the sweetness and sourness of the juice, and thought to herself, let's just take it a step at a time.
After a while, Li Suhe seemed to realize that Wei Ruxia could hear their improper quarrelling, but she didn't want to give up on persuading her son for the time being. She stopped arguing with Wei Zishan and walked down from the study. She handed the car key to Wei Ruxia who looked at her and spoke with her softly.
"Honey, there's still some luggage in the car, can you help grandma get it?"
"Okay." Wei Ruxia swallowed the juice, put down the cup, took the key from Li Suhe's hand, and went out quickly.
As soon as she left the house, the summer heat wave enveloped her, instantly dispelling the chill from Wei Ruxia's skin. She actually felt a little comfortable.
Wei Ruxia left the courtyard and pressed the open button on the car key. The black Cadillac that was stopped at the door flashed. She put her hand on the door handle and pulled the car door open.
Just as she opened the car door, the continuous bark of a dog came from not far away.
As the dog barks drew close Wei Ruxia closed the door and turned to look intently. A big wolf dog, half a human tall, was rushing towards her savagely.
It was a German Shepherd with a sturdy figure, shiny hair, and big pointed ears, it looked terrifying.
But Wei Ruxia wasn't afraid. When the big dog was about to reach her, Wei Ruxia smiled, bent down on one knee, and lowered herself to the ground.
She had her tongue pressed against the top of her mouth, and made a 'che che' sound to the dog. The dog heard her call, and after a clever 'wheeze' came from his throat, he stopped in front of her. His face was a bit hideous when he was running, but he became extraordinarily handsome after he stopped.
Wei Ruxia smiled more happily. She reached out and touched the big dog's head, her eyes curled, and she praised him, "So good."
The German Shepard’s hair was very bristly, not soft, but very smooth. Wei Ruxia stroked him twice, and he let her pet him obediently. His red tongue was spit out and he panted, and finally sat down before Wei Ruxia.
Grandma's intention in having her go out to get the luggage was to keep her away while they argued. She was bored, so she might as well tease the dog if he was here.
Wei Ruxia wasn't afraid of large dogs. There were many such dogs in her hometown. They looked terrifying, but they were actually very friendly to people.
As soon as the big dog sat down, there was a clear and young voice calling from not far away, accompanied by a fine rolling sound.
Hearing the call, the big dog turned around abruptly, and ran off in the direction of the sound.
Wei Ruxia stood up and looked over at the back of the big dog running off.
The one who called him was a young skater who was wearing a white tee and a black baseball cap. After calling A'Mang he continued rolling in the direction of Wei Ruxia.
In the summer afternoon the sun was low, shining through the plane trees in the community. The dappled light and shadow hit the young man's body, like a scene from a comic.
The young man was slender and fit. Soon he rolled to the door of the villa next door and stopped. He landed on his front foot and stepped on the back of the skateboard with his back foot. The front of the skateboard shot up and the boy grabbed it carrying the board in his hand.
After the teenager picked up the skateboard, A'Mang ran to him and wagged his tail. The boy put his hand on top of its head and rubbed it twice, his slender and white fingers were pale compared to the dark fur.
He lowered his head slightly, the brim of the baseball cap covering his eyes. Wei Ruxia couldn't see his entire face, only his tall nose, and his lips which were very rosy against his fair skin.
Perceiving the sight of the tall girl next to him, Luo Tang didn't care. He stretched out his finger to open the fingerprint lock and go home. The moment the lock was opened, the tall girl suddenly spoke.
"Is that your dog? He's so good."
The girl's voice was clear and crisp, like the sound of ice being broken.
Luo Tang recalled the appearance of A'Mang's head being touched under her hand just now. His eyes darkened, and he looked up at the girl coldly.
"It's not good, it's fierce."
As soon as Luo Tang looked up, Wei Ruxia could see his entire face clearly.
Teenagers from the South were really beautiful, and he seemed to be more sunny and refreshing than the average southern teenager.
He had an angular face, a smooth forehead, dark black eyebrows, and black eyes that seemed to be bottomless at a glance.
Wei Ruxia didn't seem to care about his answer. Her eyes dropped slightly, and she beckoned to A'Mang who was sitting next to Luo Tang.
Hearing Wei Ruxia's call, A'Mang got up wagging his tail, and walked to Wei Ruxia's side.
Wei Ruxia stretched out her hand and rubbed A'Mang's head. She smiled at Luo Tang and said, "See, isn't he so good."
The girl smiled so that the corners of her eyes were curled up. Luo Tang looked down at A'Mang who was wagging his tail and suddenly asked, "What's your name?"
"Hm?" She didn't know how the topic got there, but Wei Ruxia followed his lead and replied: "Wei Ruxia."
Hearing her answer, Luo Tang blinked slightly then spoke in a faint voice, "Wei Ruxia."
His youthful voice was like the clear spring of a mountain stream, dripped on the stone slab, clean and refreshing.
"Huh?" Wei Ruxia didn't understand what he wanted to do. She smiled inexplicably and asked: "What is it?"
Luo Tang's eyes were deep as the night sky, as if you could be sucked in with a glance. He didn't answer Wei Ruxia's question, but said calmly, "Come here."
Still not knowing what his intentions were, Wei Ruxia got up and walked to Luo Tang. She raised her head questioningly, looking up at the boy who was half a head taller than her, and asked, "What the hell do you..."
Wei Ruxia hadn't finished what she was saying when she felt a weight on the top of her head. She was taken aback and looked up at the handsome boy in front of her.
Luo Tang's slender fingers touched the girl's soft hair, and after rubbing it twice, he withdrew his hand and said in a deep voice, "So, you're also good."
Welcome to the book! If this is your first time on this site, hello, I'm you're shitty MTLer. I try my best to update everyday at 12:00AEST. Update alerts can be found on Twitter @mtlshitty or via RSS (link at bottom of every page). Feel free to leave a comment below, if you don't want to sign up just tick Anon and you can comment away!
I've decided to do something new this novel and I'm putting the Chinese characters and piyin into the notes everytime a new character appears. The names don't hold any plot importance, I just thought having a pronuciation guide might be helpful. I know thinking a name like 'You' sounds like the English 'you' for a whole book is totally something I've done before.
Re: The Tang in Luo Tang, anyone know of God's Menu by Stray Kids? The 'tang tang tang tang' is kinda what his name should sound like.