Chapter 12: Pale Hand
After that day, Ji Huan and Grandpa both had a new bad habit: at any moment they liked, they would tease Hei Dan until he cried.
When Hei Dan cried, they would hug and kiss him.
Thus, Hei Dan was forced to become a “little crying bag1.”
The day after Hei Dan was vaccinated, Ji Huan discovered that all of his family’s pigs had diarrhea.
He was given quite a fright and started to think it was a disease at first. Only until he carefully observed that Da Bai and the others didn’t seem to have any symptoms of sick pigs was he a little relieved, but he was still a little more diligent with the pigs since then. He began to be more careful when he prepared Da Bai and the others’ feed and fresh water, and thoroughly cleaned the pigsty once. However, they still had diarrhea every few days, but it wasn’t as frequent as before. And over a period of time, they were eventually completely fine.
He didn’t know if it was because it was so overexerting to cry everyday, but Hei Dan’s appetite also grew bigger. He used to drink 60mL of powdered milk seven times a day, and now, he normally drank ten times. Ji Huan didn’t restrict his diet. As long as he was hungry, he gave him food. But in doing so, the amount of milk powder that Hei Dan consumed in a month was much more than before.
The money his older sister left behind was sufficient, but Ji Huan didn’t plan to use it currently. He had wanted to work a part-time job, but going to the family car repair shop from before wouldn’t work again. Being paid in advance last time didn’t make the boss so happy, and besides that, it had unstable working hours and he frequently had to work overtime.
Before, when Grandfather’s eyes weren’t so bad, Ji Huan would skip classes to go to his part-time job, and he would try his best to get home on time. These days, Grandfather’s eyes were beyond use and there was Hei Dan at home now as well. At the time, the car repair shop boss wanted him to come back. So, he refused.
At the same time, his classmate Wang Xiaochuan did another good deed: he told his parents about Ji Huan. They knew that Ji Huan was a kindhearted person who rescued their son before, and that he usually helped their son with his homework everyday. Wang Xiaochuan’s parents immediately found a job at a sanatorium2 for Ji Huan.
“The vaccination clinic hasn’t had a vacancy recently. Actually, my aunt’s sanatorium has a recent position, and the wages are also higher than the vaccination’s clinic…” Wang Xiaochuan looked apologetic as he explained. In his opinion, the work at the vaccination clinic probably suited Ji Huan more. After all, it was the territory controlled by his parents.
“It’s already very good. I only need to work four hours a day, and the wages are twice that of the car repair shop from before.” Ji Huan, however, was very satisfied. He only just realized until now that he had probably been exploited before, but that didn’t matter either. After all, without the right social connections, that family car repair shop was the only place willing to give him a chance to work.
“Ah? Ji Huan, you worked at a car repair shop?” However, Wang Xiaochuan immediately noticed the other meaning that Ji Huan revealed in his words.
“Mmn, my family’s finances are relatively tight.” Nodding, Ji Huan said bluntly.
“Ah… sorry!” Wang Xiaochuan promptly said.
“It doesn’t matter,” Ji Huan shook his head. “However, your family’s economic situation is very good. You don’t need to work, right?”
Just recently, Wang Xiaochuan said that he would go work together with him, and this made Ji Huan a little surprised.
“Uh… an internship! It’s an internship! You know, my whole family is in the medical field. Even before, after helping you get the vaccines, I realized that I was a little interested in it, so I wanted to take advantage of when school work isn’t so heavy to get in touch with you. My dad and mom are very happy…”
Those words were really the truth.
In order to be able to talk to Ji Huan a little more, it had been the first time that Wang Xiaochuan had completely finished all of his winter vacation homework so quickly. It really surprised his parents! When he asked his parents about working, his dad and mom were even more surprised! God knows that their family’s son wasn’t even a little interested in becoming a doctor before. He wanted to be a computer programmer, but it was so difficult to find that job now and there were a great deal of IT industry graduates. How could he have the basic confidence and courage in a home so deeply rooted in the medical industry?
In the end, all parents worried about their children.
Ever since, they knew that it was his classmate Ji Huan who had urged their son to finish his homework so quickly, and that his classmate Ji Huan had also made their son become interested in being a doctor. They also remembered the roadside justice from before, and that the one who seemed to have saved their weakling son was actually Ji Huan. As a result, even though they hadn’t met him, Wang Xiaochuan’s parents has a very good attitude towards Ji Huan. After they realized that Ji Huan’s family just had a small child, his parents, taking a good opportunity, made Wang Xiaochuan give Ji Huan a giftcard for the nearby mother-and-baby store. In their line of work, this kind of thing was unavoidable and their family didn’t have any small children, so it was perfect to give to their son’s friend.
The next day, Ji Huan went to work timely with Wang Xiaochaun.
The sanatorium was located on a mountain on the other side of the small town, the same mountain that was more famous than the mountain that Ji Huan lived on. Of course, it couldn’t be said that it was famous in the whole country, but it was nevertheless a place that everyone in town knew.
It was actually the only mountain in Bade Town. It winded around unevenly and encircled the center of Bade Town. However, when people spoke of Bade Mountain, they had to be referring to that mountain there. The scenery was beautiful and the vegetation lush. Even though it was winter, it was still green and cheerful. unlike Ji Huan’s home where it was already very difficult to see green. There was no reason for it —— other than there were hot springs.
There were very good hot springs there all year round. The people in town used to soak in the hot springs leisurely until the town’s hospital and sanatorium were built there. In addition to this, there were also many of what seemed to be hot spring hotels. They were said to be hotels, but they weren’t actually lavish at all and looked more like big bathhouses. However, Ji Huan hadn’t even been to one once.
“Isn’t it very beautiful here? There are still flowers in the mountain valleys that you can see! We can come back later to enjoy the flowers.” Although he had already been there countless times, the person he had come with this time was Ji Huan, so the scenery that he was used to looking at had become particularly beautiful. Seeing Ji Huan staring out of the window at the scenery like he had seen God, he followed Ji Huan’s line of sight a little curiously and forgot what he had been saying: “All that grass over there, ah. Could it be that it’s a famous grass?”
Hearing what he said, Ji Huan withdrew his eyes: “No, it’s just pigweed. All the grass at my house on the mountain died early on, I didn’t expect it to still be so lush over here. I can cut some pigweed on the way home after work.”
Wang Xiaochuan’s expression changed in an instant → 囧!
Well, for through-and-through pragmatists, good-looking things could never be compared to practical things.
The two teenagers talked intermittently for a short while, and they finally arrived at their destination.
The sanatorium they were about to work at was a little bit past halfway up the mountain and was one of the best sanatoriums in Bade Town. Just as they arrived at the sanatorium’s gate, there was a middle aged woman in a white gown waiting there, who smiled broadly once she saw Wang Xiaochuan and greeted them.
“Aunt, this is my classmate, Ji Huan. Ji Huan, this is my aunt.” Wang Xiaochuan immediately introduced Ji Huan to his aunt. However, his introduction was a little irregular: he forgot to introduce his aunt’s entire name.
As a result, Ji Huan was lost for words.
“Look at this child, it’s not clear on who you’re introducing. My surname is Zhang, you may call me Aunt Zhang.” Wang Xiaochuan’s aunt immediately realized that Ji Huan was uncomfortable and was all smiles as she gave him an opportunity to escape the awkward situation. While walking them into the sanatorium, she also showed them around the sanatorium.
Ji Huan and Wang Xiaochuan were assigned to the medical orderly department. They couldn’t do the things that professional nurses did, but they could learn how to help as orderlies.
Wang Xiaochuan’s aunt introduced Ji Huan and Wang Xiaochuan to the head orderly as her relatives. She smiled broadly as she told the other person to take good care of her family’s two children, but when it was time for them to work, she waved and said goodbye.
She obviously had good relations with people and was clearly patient with her orderlies. Should she teach something, she didn’t hide any little tips and tricks at all. Compared to Ji Huan’s previous experience with the car repair shop, it could be said to be the difference between heaven and earth. So Ji Huan couldn’t help but let out a sigh of emotion by Wang Xiaochuan when it was only the two of them left.
Wang Xiaochuan, however, snorted out a laugh: “It wasn’t because of my aunt’s popularity just now. She’s responsible for the performance of all the people in the sanatorium. It’s only natural that they have to work hard to have a good relationship with her.”
Ji Huan was lost for words at first. After a while, he nodded thoughtfully.
Four hours of work a day, a meal, and a staff card that recharged with points every month that they could use to shop at the sanatorium’s supermarket. When he found out that the brand of powdered milk that Hei Dan usually drank was sold there, Ji Huan immediately decided to use all the points on the card to buy milk powder.
Most of the people living in the sanatorium were elderly. Having sufficient experience in getting along with the elderly, Ji Huan quickly mastered all of the kinds of things that their “Master” (their leading orderly) taught them. While he was already able to do most of the orderly duties, Wang Xiaochuan could only act as an assistant on the side. Looking at Wang Xiaochuan who was a little sad, Ji Huan simply encouraged him with a few words. Then, he much more seriously learned from Master how to look after the elderly. Grandpa was already old, and he would sooner or later learn the things that he could use every day. At that time, he whole-heartedly thanked Wang Xiaochuan for introducing him to working there.
It was also after starting to work there that he realized just how difficult it was to find a job there. It wasn’t just because he was looking for a low-paying job before, but rather that he couldn’t have even found such a high-paying job with his background.
Because he knew how difficult it was, he was even more grateful to Wang Xiaochuan. The way he showed his appreciation was very honest; he taught Wang Xiaochuan how to do things. When Wang Xiaochuan couldn’t finish something, he did it with him. After a long time, the relationship between them was that of a friend and a teacher, and got better and better. Knowing that Wang Xiaochuan’s lungs weren’t good, Ji Huan gave him a frozen pear from his family’s cellar every day. Although it shouldn’t be eaten outside currently, Wang Xiaochuan enjoyed eating them very much, so he took it a little shamefully:
“I told you my lungs aren’t good, but speaking of it, it’s really strange… I haven’t really coughed lately. It seems that after I met you, I haven’t had to cough as much…”
He was just saying something at first, but after unintentionally thinking about it, he realized that it really seemed to be so.
“I thought it once before, Ji Huan, the air around you seems to be especially good!”
During lunch break, Wang Xiaochuan talked to Ji Huan while eating pears.
Ji Huan’s slender eyes swept across his face: “It’s probably because I have more negative ions in my body. After all, my family lives on a mountain. 3“
“Haha, that’s also right! I’ll have to see about living on a mountain, maybe I can be completely cured.”
The two teenagers talked and laughed, and that day’s work quickly came to an end. They agreed to return home together.
While they were sitting across from the sanatorium waiting for the bus, Wang Xiaochuan let out a sneeze. Then, he started to cough incessantly. He coughed so terribly that his whole face turned red. Just when Ji Huan wanted to help him up and go back to the sanatorium, a procession of cars suddenly drove past them.
The cars in the group were very expensive, and quite a number of people in the sanatorium ran outside to see the exciting scene.
Yet Ji Huan frowned.
The long procession of cars had obstructed Ji Huan’s route back to the sanatorium. With no way through, Ji Huan could only hold up Wang Xiaochuan and wait until the overbearing procession drove out from in front of them.
Ji Huan unconsciously stared at the cars in front of him as they drove past him one by one. Then, the back seat window of a car in the middle suddenly opened a little.
He saw a hand.
A very pale hand with slender and delicate knuckles. The hand merely stretched out of the rolled down window, as if it was throwing something. Then, the car window closed just like that.
It was a very brief moment, but without knowing why, Ji Huan somehow got a very deep impression of the scene. The motion of the hand repeated in his mind until the procession of cars had left completely.
The sound of Wang Xiaochuan’s coughing finally woke up him up. Under Wang Xiaochuan’s strong request, they didn’t actually go back to the sanatorium. Instead, they got on the bus that had just arrived, and left.
i wonder who that was— (Ф∀Ф) i hope you enjoy the chapter! very little hei dan, but we finally get a taste of the main plot line for the prologue.
1 小哭包: lit. “little crying bag” i’m fairly certain this is slang or a reference for something, but searching on google has failed me. the visual effect is hopefully good enough.
2 疗养院: lit. convalescent hospital. it’s basically for patients who were ill/have long-term illnesses and need to recover. it’s a bit of an outdated term now but i feel that (lightning strikes on a gloomy night) sanatorium is pretty fitting for future events. 😉
3 Not really a translation note, but negative ions are (apparently) healthy for your body and they’re more abundant in clean air and nature (like mountains). i can’t really find any scientific articles on it (other than one that noted it might help with depression and some hokey health blogs), so i’m not sure how true it is.
Watering Can Hei Dan by Baicai Dadada
Hei Dan of the day!”