Inside the bag, the top layer was all food. Apart from salted duck eggs and home-made salted vegetables, He Nuo believed the whole milk powder and canned anchovies all came from Shi Yan. The lower layer was an unopened English dictionary, a few writing paper pads, a 16k1 exquisite notebook, envelopes with the name of the unit printed on it and 50 stamps. He Nuo held onto the dictionary, feeling bitter-sweet. Shi Yan, the most important friend in my life, but we can no longer love each other anymore. It’s a road where both sides suffer. Do you know how much willpower I had to exert to prevent myself from wavering, trapping the both of us in what a hopeless situation?
Taking skipping classes to be the norm, Shi Yan they all didn’t even plan to attend a single class on Saturday. In fact, they only had classes in the afternoon. Sleeping in in the morning, only getting up in the afternoon, eating before leaving. As a result, not only did Qiu Linsong and Wang Feng follow him to A University, even the other buddies wanted to join in on the fun and followed them. Their party split into two cars, a total of seven people.
Reaching A University, the school campus seemed to have a festive atmosphere. Normally in University, year 1s and year 2s will have classes on Saturdays, year 3s and year 4s curriculum will be relatively lesser, having no schedule on Saturdays. So among those seniors students who do not have any self-activities, a lot of them came to watch the parade.
When Shi Yan they all walked towards the stadium, they saw the overwhelming green in the crowd from afar, one of the buddies said, “Fuck, there are quite a lot of people. How are there so many freshmen in their school?”
“Do you take it to be like our school? How many people can we fit in that space?”
“They’re all wearing the same thing, where do we go to see Shi Yan’s buddy?”
“I see him,” Shi Yan spoke slowly, “I knew which was him with just a glance across.”
Of course the others didn’t believe it, wanting Shi Yan to point him out and after Shi Yan identified him, they found him and on the spot exclaim handsome. But the rest thought that it was because He Nuo’s dress uniform was different from others, a total of only three people wore that kind of uniform, of course it was easy to seek him out. Shi Yan didn’t argue with the others, the closer he walked towards He Nuo, the more focused his eyes was.
When they were a few steps away, He Nuo saw them. He went over to greet them all.
“Brother, you’re too handsome. Too damn handsome.” From Shi Yan they all’s dormitory, whose home was in mo city, Mou (pronounced the same as Mu) Weiyu pat He Nuo, shouting loudly.
He Nuo was particularly embarrassed being called handsome by him, “It’s because of the uniform, everyone wearing the uniform seem to have more vigour compared to plain clothes.”
Shi Yan was appreciating He Nuo in the dress uniform, it’s so showy! Shi Yan didn’t know if it was because of this uniform that he was able to find him in a glance in this crowd. But Shi Yan knows that the him in uniform was so brave, tall and handsome that he couldn’t look away.
He Nuo wanted them to go into the stadium first. The freshmen had to gather in a while, lining up properly before they could enter the stadium. Shi Yan was unwilling to miss any moments of He Nuo, so he wanted to stay outside and wait. He Nuo glared at him, “If you wait till we go in, how would there be any front seats left? If you all want to watch the drill, it’ll only be clear from the front.”
After entering the stadium, only then did he know that what He Nuo said was true. The senior students were already seated at the most advantageous ground, the first floor of the stepped seats at the side of the platform. They sat down at a slightly distant area, then one after another the number of students increased. They waited for the don’t know which rank school leader and the highest ranked commanding officer ‘Liang Mao Yi’ (two bars and one star)2 in-charge of this time’s military training and the other instructors to take their seat. Then the impassioned military music sounded, Shi Yan saw the flag guards that were coming over. He was composed, he was majestic, he was electrifying, he was the only sight in Shi Yan’s eyes.
Shi Yan’s eyes were wide opened, unwilling to blink in case he missed something. His heart was beating as he came over, with a large number of troops, with his overwhelming masters as they stepped forward in a neat and orderly way. These same strides and same footsteps only made these two months new recruits seem strong and majestic, like qualified and professional soldiers. When He Nuo they all walked past the platform, when He Nuo they all kicked off the parade steps, walking past while saluting, Shi Yan could not sit down. He stood up, clutching onto the railings tightly. It was as if he saw their passionate youth as they walked over, as if he also saw the path to their successful future beneath them.
Shi Yan felt a surge of emotions. He chased, catching He Nuo’s eyes. He thirst for, anticipating their hearts to collide once. In the later memories, Shi Yan always believed that at this time, they had looked across the Milky Way and connected with each other. Shi Yan was stuck in some kind of mood, so when Wang Feng pulled him down to sit, did he realise He Nuo they all had already left the stadium — the parade ended?!
Of course not, the showcase is the best part. The girls behind Shi Yan they all were still excitedly discussing the military troop from before. During their discussion, the topic of that pretty flag guard kept appearing. Well-informed sources had already been paying attention to him during the rehearsal, so they could proudly provide his family history: That talented man is from the Law department of the Institute of Humanities, majoring in Maritime Law. From a while back when school started, the first edition (poster) shocked the different institutes, letting the Institute of Humanities take the lead. The female seniors were generous, sending out excessive praises. Some even jokingly went to the Student Council to ask for an additional picture of He Nuo to be developed (Today, we must take photos for archives and publishing). Everyone who heard this laughed. Wang Feng elbowed Shi Yan, “He Nuo is a really amazing fellow. I even had the desire to treat him differently even though it’s only been a while3. That dress uniform of his is too dazzling.”
Shi Yan corrected Wang Feng in his mind, you’re wrong, it wasn’t the dress uniform that was dazzling but the person wearing the dress uniform. Otherwise, why isn’t the flag bearer the one who got the most attention? Furthermore, there wasn’t only one flag guard right? The one that was dazzling is He Nuo, who had the confidence and power, showcasing independence and dignity.
wow sorry, I’m not sure about the ranks and roles related to military, I could be hecka wrong and sometimes I don’t get what is being said orz. one thing though, I might not be able to get chapter 7 up by next week since I would be busy, and chapter 7 is really long. unless you guys don’t mind half of chapter 7?
1 16k: china’s paper measurement, so it’s equivalent to an a4 notebook.
2 ‘Liang Mao Yi’ (two bars and one star): a major and Liang Mao Yi is 两毛一, is used to describe the rank in Chinese
3 treat him differently even though it’s only been a while: originally 士别三日刮目相看 which means that one has made great progress in a short period of time and should be treated differently.