Bringing Along a Ball and Hiding from Foreign Devils Chapter 1
“Ren Zhouyuan! You guys finally came back, we missed you! Don't say anything, come out for a drink tonight!"
Ren Zhouyan took the phone away, somewhat taken aback. After recovering his composure, he smiled. "Fatty? You guys haven't changed a bit all these years, only knowing how to drink and play all day." Hearing the voice of his old schoolmate, he relaxed somewhat. "What happened to everyone lately?"
The so-called fatty on the other end of the phone tut twice, nagging endlessly. Ren Zhouyan held the phone, listening quietly, a hint of a smile on his mouth.
Since leaving this place five years ago, it was the first time that he had ever stepped back into the city. The familiar scenery, the sultry air, as well the chattering words of his old friends made him feel quite at home.
The voice on the phone was still continuing, tirelessly saying over and over again, "Don't even think about running! The guys haven't met up in so long, so whatever reason you have tonight, us brothers will not let you off! You have to be mentally prepared ah!" Hearing that, Ren Zhouyan smiled wryly and looked down to see a pair of bulging eyes looking at him, so he cannot say a "good" word to the people on the phone.
As if aware of his thoughts, the owner of the eyes shook his hand and cried softly, “Dad?
Ren Zhouyuan: “…..” he sighed silently in his heart.
Looking at his son's blonde hair, matching white complexion, aquiline nose, in addition to a pair of black gem-like eyes, there is no place for a foreign child should look. Thinking slightly, he could almost imagine his old classmate's surprised expression seeing him with his child. This kind of inquiring eyes, he does not want to appear on his son. Squeezing Ren Ju An's small hand, he smiled at him. Ren Zhouyan replied to the person on the phone, "Sorry fatty, but I really can't go today. Next time, I'll invite everyone out to eat."
"This guy!" Fatty was obviously unhappy. "Every time, this excuse." He paused suddenly, realizing something. "Sister-in-law is strict* ah? Alright, let sister-in-law come too. Our group of people all have families now, so we understand. Besides, no matter how pretty sister-in-law is, you shouldn't go to such lengths to hide her from us, don't you think so?"
*it says "manages tightly" in MTL
Ren Zhouyan was helpless as he listened. Looking nervously at his son's small eyes, his heart felt complicated. If there really was a sister-in-law, he wouldn't mind going out for everyone to see. But if he said his son's origin's, everyone would look at them differently.
He said a few words of apology to the other end of the phone and finally declined Fatty's offer.
"Dad?" Ren Ju An had been listening silently to his words and saw him hang up. His eyes glittered, "Are we going to the new house now?"
"En." He rubbed his son's soft hair, eyes turning gentle. With a smile, he said to him, "We're moving in a bit.*" The father and son returned to this place early in the morning from Xicheng*. Holding hands, they talked and laughed as they quickly made their way to the newly rented place.
*it says "moving slightly" in MTL (original text: 搬家去咯)
* Xicheng district of central Beijing
The new home was found with the help of a friend, Fan Wenfeng. Opening the door, the small house was discovered to be organized. Although it was small, it was tidied up quite neatly by Fan Wenfeng. Not far from the coffee table was a vase with a few flowers inside. The layout of the new house helped relieve a bit of restlessness.
Ren Ju An, like him, had bright eyes since entering. His small face couldn't conceal the joy he felt, wanting to look around, but also not daring to move arbitrarily. His puzzled expression was a bit funny to look at.
He patted Ren Ju An's head while nudging his chin towards the room, encouraging him. "Go and see our new home."
Ren Ju An got the order and broke into a run*. Ren Zhouyan looked at his back with a grin and shook his head. He had just put the things on the sofa when the phone rang. Seeing the number on the screen, he smiled as he picked it up.
*MTL says "spread his calves to run"
"Wenfeng, en, just arrived." Ren Zhouyan clipped the phone on his shoulder while opening the boxes. "Good, thank you, also for helping us tidy up the house."
Fan Wenfeng said on the other end of the phone: "Don't be so polite with me." The tone was regretful, "I'm a bit busy today, otherwise I could help you move." After asking a few questions about their situation in the new home, Fan Wenfeng changed the topic. "I sent you the information, have you seen it?"
Hearing that, Ren Zhouyan's hand stopped moving and he sat back down on the couch. "I saw." There was a faint trace of anxiety in his voice. "It's a technology company. Is it difficult for me to get in?"
Fan Wenfeng chuckled. "How many times do I have to tell you; your skill* is absolutely perfect. They want to recruit people with your specialty, so there's definitely no problem."
*MTL: strength (实力), but skill probably fits in better
Before he could even speak, Fan Wenfeng already knew what he wanted to say. He comforted: "Your diploma isn't enough to explain your skill, and you are at least an undergraduate. It's not as bad as you think. The articles you published over the years have proven your ability. Unless the person interviewing you is blind, at your level, there's absolutely no problem."
He paused and added, "Don't worry too much. This company may be new, but the rate of development is really fast. I have a friend working there, and they told me about it. The boss is a very forward-looking person. The patents he owns are enough to support an entire family. If you can stay, the future is surely limitless."
Ren Zhouyan was very excited about this company called "Vichy*." He also heard a bit, that the company's headquarters in the United States was established shortly after China's. Those who can work inside are the elite among the elite. On the other hand, he himself with a diploma and an undergraduate certificate, even if Fan Wenfeng convinced him again, he would still think he didn't have a chance*.
*维奇 - Weichi in pinyin, but since it's a foreign company, Vichy probably sounds better
* MTL: didn't have much confidence
Ren Zhouyan held on to the idea of trying. It was rare that someone like Fan Wenfeng was so enthusiastic to help him, so he did not want to disappoint the person's kindness. To the other side of the phone, Ren Zhouyan smiled and said: "Okay, if you have free time, I'll treat you to a meal. Come over here, it'll be more convenient."
The two exchanged a few more words then hung up. In the phone's registry, he wrote what the other party just said. After he finished, he discovered that his son had been silent for a long time. He looked back and saw Ren Ju An standing in the doorway of the room, watching him.
Ren Zhouyan was surprised for a moment. He waved his hand at him. "An? Why are you standing there?" He patted the couch. "Come over here and sit with Dad." Ren Ju An obediently ran over to sit next to him. He looked down, grabbed his clothes and looked up, "Dad, how long will we stay here this time?"
Ren Zhouyan touched his head and stroked his hand along his hair. He said: "An doesn't like it here?"
Ren Ju An shook his head. "No ah!" As if afraid that he didn't believe him, he fiercely nodded. "I like."
"Well…Dad will think about it." Ren Zhouyan was pretending to think, but of course he knew what his son was thinking. All these years, they had been drifting to make a living, avoiding other people's visits and pitiful eyes. They seldom lived in the same place for a long time, so he was aware of his son's routine. "Uncle Wenfeng helped Dad find a job here. If Dad gets the job, we might live here for three or five years."
"What about our last house?" It was the longest place they had lived in, and for nearly two years. His tone carried a bit of dismay.
Ren Zhouyan recalled their stay in Xicheng. The father and son would nest at home every day. The number of times they went out in a month could only be counted on one finger*. Based on his son's sticky temperament, it was no surprise that he liked it.
*数十个手指头也数得完,照儿子那么粘他的性子 - I tried to make sense of it, okay?
But this city is one that Ren Zhouyan was most familiar with. If the incident five years ago didn't happen, he wouldn't have left for five years. After drifting away for so long, not to mention his son, even he was tired of a life like that. It just so happened that Fan Wenfeng found a job opportunity for him here. This gave rise to the idea of staying here once more.
In order to give his son peace of mind, he pretended to hesitate. "Our last house has been rented to others already. An doesn't like it here? What to do, Dad promised uncle Wenfeng to live here for a good long time."
Sure enough, as soon as he heard him, Ren Ju An immediately took his arm, genuinely anxious. "Like! An likes it!" As if he was afraid to go back, Ren Ju An said: "Dad must refuel*. An-an will be obedient."
*??? 加油 = refuel, so…maybe it means strive harder or cheer up?.
"Good." Ren Zhouyan kissed his forehead, a little distressed and helpless. Dad will try hard, so An-an must also cheer Dad on."
However, although Ren Zhouyan boasted extravagantly to his son, he couldn't help but think of the company "Vichy" that Fan Wenfeng showed him and feel nervous.
On the day on the interview, Ren Zhouyan got up early and dressed himself in formal clothes before going to the new company.
Looking at the building, Ren Zhouyan couldn't help but gulp*.
*MTL: swallowing saliva lmao
Ren Zhouyan was a complete liberal arts student. As a child, he had no relatives or friends. The only thing he could do was practice calligraphy, so he fell in love with Chinese Literature. He studied in the University's Chinese department, Graduate School of Philology*, living for 30 years dealing with scripts. This time, if it wasn't for the company aiming to attack the Chinese market and needing to hire a specialized document secretariat, this job opportunity wouldn't have fallen on him.
*Philology – the branch of knowledge that deals with the structure, historical development, and relationships of a language or languages.
Although he had been quite nervous applying for the new job, when HR asked him about his expertise, Ren Zhouyan instantly forgot his prior anxiousness. He talked about his profession without a single bit of stammering.
His looks were outstanding, and he got this from his father. Every move he made exuded a strange maturity, his long-term immersion in the scrolls gave him a different taste in books. He ignored his initial unease, gradually calming down.
The interview progressed*. Because of doing research beforehand, the questions from the opposite party were already within his expectations. When the whole process was finished*, Ren Zhouyan had full confidence in his performance. Except for a single moment when HR's face showed a brief moment of surprise upon hearing he had a son, the interview could be regarded as perfect.
*MTL: continuous surface passes
*MTL: the process got down
But anyways, after the two-hour interview, Ren Zhouyan felt more relaxed.
Going out the office door, Ren Zhouyan was relieved. He took out his phone, and sure enough, there was a message on WeChat from Fan Wenfeng. He thought for a moment, then decided to give him a call. It quickly connected. The other side couldn't wait to ask about how his interview went.
Ren Zhouyan walked outside and repeated the process*. As he stepped down the stone stairs, an oncoming car parked in front of him. Ren Zhouyan froze for a moment when the driver got off and went to the back seat. The person opened the door and rashly pushed him aside.
*as in, the process of the interview
Ren Zhouyan was forced to move to the side reluctantly, wondering if it was some great person. Standing firm after stepping back, he continued speaking to the other end of the phone*, saying: "Well, now go back and wait for the news. I heard the boss is a foreigner, but he isn't here today. "
*not sure who is speaking here
After finishing the sentence, Ren Zhouyan discovered he was next to a bunch of people encircling someone, standing in an upright fashion wearing suits. He only took one glance and was about to leave, but stopped when he heard a low voice speaking Russian. His heart thrashed inexplicably. He turned his head towards the crowd, but his view of the person was blocked by the surrounding people, only letting him get a glimpse of blonde hair.
On the other end of the phone, Fan Wenfeng had to say "Hey" several times before Ren Zhouyan's attention was called back.
However, that long-lost Russian still lingered in his mind, as well as that familiar hair color. They made his heart give birth to many inexplicable emotions. Ren Zhouyan stood on the last step, not hearing what Fan Wenfeng said on the phone. He did not give up and turned around, padding his feet to the inside. Through the gaps in the crowd, he finally saw the face of that person——
—a face that he very much wanted to forget, but woke up to his memory every day.
TL Note: Hurrah~ Corensi finally contributed something to the Danmei translation community!
I’ve always wanted to translate something, but lmao. I don’t know any other language except my native one and Engrish. Thankfully, with the help of Google, Bing and Systranet, I was able to make sense of this chapter and bring it to you.
Anyways, I have a small question. Are in-line notes better? Or should I just clump all of them at the end of the chapter for the sake of readability? I’m a bit bothered by the in-line ones, but you guys might prefer seeing them immediately instead.