Rock Sugar And Pear Stew

By Jiu Xiao Qi,酒小七

Rock Sugar And Pear Stew Chapter 8

Rock Sugar And Pear Stew Chapter 8

Chapter 8 - So what happened next? (Translated by Xing and edited by Souhi) ?

……

In Tang Xue's memory, her childhood was deeply entwined with a person called Li Yubing. All her recollection of those years was marked by his name and presence.

So what happened next?

What happened next……

The sixth year of primary school[1], Tang Xue and Li Yubing faced the issue of choosing their secondary school. Lake City was a metropolis with a population of ten million people. It had numerous secondary schools but only two that were of a better calibre. One was Lake City High School while the other was Flower West Secondary School. Both schools had their own strengths and every year, countless parents would crack their brain trying to send their children into these two schools. Translation stolen from teafragrance[dot]wordpress[dot]com. Head there if translator's notes are missing or if you simply want to read without ads.

Out of the two, Flower West Secondary School had better co-curricular activities and programs. They also had the best ice skating team in the entire city. Tang Xue and Li Yubing promised to attend Flower West Secondary School together. Tang Xue had won a prize for speed skating before. Even if she did not do that well for her secondary school entrance exams, she should still be able to get in. As for Li Yubing, he had even less to worry about. Based on his results alone, he was someone that both schools were fighting to enrol.

During the summer break after primary school graduation, Tang Xue was especially happy. This was because her grandpa finally brought her to Disneyland.

Even though she did not manage to become the class's top scorer even once throughout the six years of primary school, her grandpa realized that he was not getting any younger and had limited years left. What if the day that Tang Xue becomes the top scorer never came…… It was simply best to go to avoid any lifelong regrets.

During the same summer break, Li Yubing went for an overseas training camp. There was no news from him for two months straight.

School started in September and Tang Xue officially became a secondary school student. She changed into her new uniform, new schoolbag and stationery, and took a half hour journey on the subway before finally reaching her new school.

Principal Tang was worried about Tang Xue and tagged along as well.

The father and daughter duo stood in front of the bulletin board, their neck stretched out to scrutinize the class lists. Their gestures were similar in nature and anyone could tell with a glance that they were related.

Only the two of them were still looking at the bulletin board.

The security guard reminded them kindly, "The class assignments can be checked online."

Principal Tang nodded his head. "Thanks. I know, I'm just taking a look….. Found it?" The latter part of the sentence was directed at Tang Xue.

Tang Xue shook her head. "No."

She was looking for Li Yubing.

Principal Tang said, "Could it be that he's not at this school?"

"That can't be!"

"Alright, alright. We'll slowly look through the list again."

After looking through again, there was still nothing.

Principal Tang saw that Tang Xue looked upset and comforted her, "Head over to class first. I'll give Li Yubing's family a call to ask."

After persuading his daughter to leave, Principal Tang called Li Yubing's mother.

"Hello, Principal Tang? Has Tang Xue gone to school?"

"She's already there. What about Li Yubing?"

"Li Yubing is also already there. What class is Tang Xue at? I didn't see you two when I brought Li Yubing to report for school earlier."

"Tang Xue is in Class 1. What about Li Yubing?"

At this, Mrs Li laughed, "Li Yubing is also in Class 1. It seems that they're destined to be classmates. How about we ask the teacher to arrange it so that they can be deskmates again?"

Principal Tang sensed something amiss. "Wait, wait a minute. Li Yubing is at Flower West Secondary right?"

"Eh, What Flower West Secondary? Didn't Tang Xue say that she wanted to go to Lake City High? Li Yubing said both of them promised to attend Lake City High together."

"……"

Principal Tang has figured out what happened. That silly lass of his……

In order to prevent his daughter from feeling too miserable, Principal Tang spun a story. When fetching Tang Xue from school in the afternoon, he hurriedly told her his seamless lie: "Li Yubing originally planned to attend Flower West Secondary. However, Lake City High was eager to secure excellent students. They offered his parents 100,000 dollars and they agreed to enrol him there. Li Yubing was too embarrassed to tell you. This is meant to be a secret. Just pretend you don't know anything, got it?"

Tang Xue was able to accept how this unfolded. She said, "I didn't know Li Yubing was this valuable. What about me? If I go to Lake City High, how much would they give me?"

"You're the type that belongs to massive clearance sales at the end of each season. Barely valuable at all. Spare me the trouble and obediently remain at Flower West Secondary."

"Humph." Tang Xue puffed out her cheeks.

Looking at Tang Xue, Principal Tang thought, my precious daughter is adorable even when angry. He wondered which bastard was lucky enough to marry her in the future and grew melancholic at this thought.

……

Even though Principal Tang understood Li Yubing's desire to free himself from Tang Xue, he was unable to forgive this lad for deceiving her. At the same time, Principal Tang thought that since Li Yubing disdained his daughter, there was no need for Tang Xue to keep in touch with this kind of person either. After all, one should not treat an unappreciative person so warmly.

Hence, Principal Tang blacklisted Li Yubing's home number.

Tang Xue went home and called Li Yubing but her call did not went through. She asked her father why.

"Li Yubing is staying in school. They cancelled their home line since there's no need for it. Who still uses telephone anyway, everyone's using handphones these days."

"Oh."

Afterwards, Tang Xue wrote a few letters to Li Yubing but she did not receive any response at all. Her enthusiasm for contacting him gradually cooled as well.

Therefore, whenever anyone asked her "what happened next", her only reply was—there was no next.

Her father said, in life, everyone has their own path to walk. Sometimes, you may find yourself getting close to another person and create beautiful memories together. However, as you wander on and on, it's just as likely that you find yourself wandering off from that person.

The regret you feel is simply a result of you being unaccustomed to this.

But it's alright, take it slow. Don’t stop moving and you will meet new people. New laughter and joy will appear again to brighten up your world.

As for the ones that you've wandered off from, let them live in your memories. Just like old photos in a photo album, you can casually take them out to have a look once in a while when you're free. When you're done, simply put them back and move on with what you were doing before.

In Flower West Secondary School, Tang Xue made new friends and led a new life. Throughout the six years of secondary school, she did not see Li Yubing even once.

She thought that she would never see him again in this lifetime.

Originally translated at teafragrance[dot]wordpress[dot]com. Head there for extra content or to leave feedback and comments on the novel translation.

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Translator's Notes:

[1] According to google sensei, China's education system comprises 6 years of primary school and 6 years of secondary school before heading on to university.

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A somewhat bittersweet chapter to translate.