Edited by: Sparrow
After hanging up the call from this body’s mother, Lu Chu started to look through the applications on the phone.
Until now, Lu Chu never really had the opportunity to understand or use a mobile phone and its applications. When he was blind, there was no way that he could use them. Later, there wasn’t any chance for him to use them in the various ‘games’ he was in. This included the ‘game’ where he became a high school student, and he didn’t have the chance to use it because of the school’s severe restrictions and checks.
Now, he felt a little emotional as he looked at the strange variety of applications on the phone.
This phone could be unlocked with his fingerprint, which saved Lu Chu the trouble of figuring out what the password was to unlock it. Although Lu Chu had never really used mobile phone applications before, his mind worked quickly enough, and he mastered how to use them in about ten minutes.
He found the record of his original train ticket purchase in an app. After confirming the train number, time, and destination of the train he was going to take during winter break, he temporarily felt a little relieved.
In the evening, Lu Chu received another call. This time, from Tang Shizhe.
“Hey, Lu Chu, let’s go to the third cafeteria for dinner?”
Lu Chu still didn’t know the layout
of the school buildings, or where the third cafeteria was located. If he casually asked someone on the way, it would be awkward to explain if he ended up asking someone he knew.
Of course, there were usually several maps on a university campus, but it would take some time to look at a map, and he was afraid he wouldn’t be able to arrive on time to meet Tang Shizhe at the cafeteria.
Thinking of this, Lu Chu replied, “I’ve already eaten, so I don’t need to go, you guys go ahead.”
“Did you order takeaway?” Tang Shizhe said, “alright, then us bros will go by ourselves. I’ll hang up first.”
Lu Chu, “en, okay.”
After hanging up, Lu Chu put on his coat and exited the dormitory.
He planned to go for a walk around the school, to familiarise himself with the different buildings and their functions. The school was very large, and it was divided into the north and south campuses. Even though Lu Chu had increased his speed to a jog, this whole process nearly took him two hours.
When Lu Chu returned to the dormitory in the evening, he saw Gao Yong ad Tang Shizhe sitting in their seats, with their advanced mathematics textbook open in front of them and the lamp on.
Seeing Lu Chu coming back, Gao Yong asked him, “bro, it’s so late, where did you go? Did you meet some girl behind our backs?”
Lu Chu laughed, “how could there be a girl? I went for a run.”
Gao Yong looked at the sweat on his head and believed what he was saying. He returned his gaze back onto thetextbook in front of him, and sighed, “Chen Hong, that fellow’s really lucky, to stop the hunt for a girlfriend so soon. Look, they’re even attached to each other during the end of the semester review, and will probably only come back after the library is closed.”
“You can say that again,” Tang Shizhe’s tone was filled with envy, “his girlfriend seems to be really good at studies too, so he’ll probably not fail this time.”
With his tone, Lu Chuwas momentarily unable to tell whether he envied their other roommate for having a girlfriend, or for not failing the exams.
Lu Chu didn’t think much about it and returned to his own seat before taking out the book. The light was a little dimgiven that their bed consisted of two decks, as such, he also switched the lamp on and made the effort to study.
In the blink of an eye, the day of theirexam arrived. They had four examinable modules this semester, and the rest were research-based classes, which had ended before the exams.
Lu Chu easily completed these couple of days of examinations and brought forward the date for the train back in orderto avoid both Tang Shizhe and Gao Yong’s invitation to the Arts Academy. After packing up, he embarked on the train home.
Before going back, Lu Chu received a call from this body’s parents, asking if he needed them to pick him up.
Lu Chu wasn’t the type of person to rely on others, but he really didn’t know where ‘his own’ home was. Thus, he told his parents the time of his arrival, then said that he needed to trouble them to pick him up.
Whenever Lu Chu was awake during the more than ten hours of turbulence on the train, he would look out of the car window. He watched how the places he could see changed from mountains and rivers to houses, and thought to himself that the scope of this ‘game’ was really huge.
The destination Lu Chu arrived at was a small and remote county. The train station was basic and shabby, and when one got off the train, they could smell a strange scent in the air.
He pulled his luggage out of the train station. At the exit, there were many different people shouting as they held signs with a location written on it. Whether they saw someone, they would all rush up and ask the young person where they were going, and whether they wanted to take their convenient and fast car. Lu Chu refused them one by one, saying that he had someone coming to pick him up, as it took him a lot of effort to completely escape from the crowd.
Lu Chu couldn’t recognise ‘his own’ father, so he could only look around the entrance of the train station, pretending that it was too crowded and he couldn’t find his target.
At this moment, someone patted Lu Chu on the shoulder.
He turned around and saw a man who looked around 50 to 60 years old behind him. The old man’s sideburns were white, with somewhat blotchy skin and deep wrinkles.
The man gave a good-natured smile, “how are you doing, university student? Have you studied too much that you turned silly, and can’t even recognise your uncle?”
Lu Chu gave an apologetic smile, “I’ve been a little short-sighted recently, so I didn’t see too clearly.”
“That’s not okay, you should protect your eyes,” the man said, then pointed in a direction, “your father’s looking for you over there, let’s go over first.”
Lu Chu answered, “okay.”
He followed that man with his luggage and walked over.
The man waiting for them looked to be about forty to fifty years old, and the corners of his eyes were covered with marks of hours of hard work. When he saw Lu Chu, there were traces ofjoy in his eyes, but he resisted those happy emotions and put on a deliberately stern face, not wanting to show his feelings. Lu Chu took a few glances to confirm that this man was his father.
The man reached out to pick up the suitcase in Lu Chu’s hand, however, Lu Chu smiled and refused, “I can do it myself.”
Gratification flashed across the man’s eyes. There was a bit of pride, happiness that his child had finally grown up, but there was also some kind of inexplicable loss that could be seenwithin them. He asked Lu Chu, “how is it at school, are you used to it?”
Lu Chu nodded, “not bad, I get along quite well with my classmates.”
The man asked again, “how about your studies?”
Lu Chu answered, “it’s still okay……”
The three of them walked out of the train station like this, asking and answering.
From their brief conversation,Lu Chu learnt that his uncle and father had borrowed somebody else’s van to come and pick him up. As his father didn’t have a driver’s license, he called his uncle who could drive to help. He was the only university student in their family, so everybody was extremely happy and valued him a lot. Hence, his Uncle came over to pick him up with his father without a second word.
Their village was still some distance away from this small county, and the route leading to their place was very flat, with tracts of wheat fields containing tender green seedlings. Just as he was about to enter the village, the van turned into a dirt road within one of the wheat fields. Then, it was a bumpy route the whole way through. The van, unable to bear it, moved up and down extremely roughly. Additionally, the smell inside the car wasn’t that good, which made Lu Chu a little dizzy.
After another ten minutes, the van finally stopped and they arrived at Lu Chu’s home.
His Uncle bid him goodbye, then drove the car back.
Lu Chu’s mother came out to welcome them, then pulled Lu Chu over for another round of enthusiastic greeting.
Lu Chu had arrived at the train station at around nine o’clock in the morning, and by the time he reached home, it was past twelve, and Lu Chu’s mother had already prepared lunch.
There were four people in the Lu family. His father, mother, and younger sister, Lu Ling.
Soon, the Uncle who went out to return the car came back, and Mother Lu invited him over to stay for lunch. The five of them talked about what happened to Lu Chu during his six months of school, and as they ate, an hour soon passed by.
After lunch, the Lu family sent his uncle to the door, before returning to the yard.
His mother1original Chinese uses 陆母 (Mother Lu) instead, but it doesn’t flow as well in text led Lu Chu to his room, then took out a necklace-like object from under the pillow of his made bed and passed it to Lu Chu.
Lu Chu took it, looked at it, and realised that it was a bronze copper coin strung on a red string.
His mother said, “Xiao Chu, place this on your body for three days, then take it off and hang it on the handle of your door.”
Lu Chu was a little puzzled, “Mum, what is this?”
“I went to the neighbouring village’s fortune teller to get this for you. It’s for luck, and can ensure that your coming school year is smooth and safe.” After explaining, his mother walked to the bed and lifted the upper layer of the mattress, revealing the two long red cloth inside. She continued, “and there’s this. Continue to sleep on it. When school starts, bring it with you and place it under your dormitory’s mattress, then bring it back during the holidays.”
When Lu Chu heard this, he understood what she meant.
His mother had specifically gone to pray for an item for luck, and they were this copper coin with its specially tiedred rope, as well as the red cloth that was almost two meters long and fifty centimetres wide. The method to get the luck was to bring the copper coin around with him for three days, then remove it, and hang it behind the door handle of the room he slept in with the red cloth spread under his bed.
After understanding the whole process, Lu Chu didn’t ask anything more and hung the copper coin around his neck.
When his mother saw this, she gave a relieved smile, and gave a couple more reminders before she said, “you must be tired after taking the train for such a long time, go rest, I won’t disturb you anymore.”
After speaking, sheleft Lu Chu’s room.
Lu Chu was indeed a little tired, but after laying down on the bed, his heart still couldn’t calm down, nor could he sleep. He thought about the tips that this ‘game’ had, and took out his mobilephone to see if he could find any relevant information.
The signal in the countryside wasn’tthat good, and the loading icon turned for a long time before the information he searched up appeared. Lu Chu clicked on the first one–
Nuptials of the Corses, appeared during the Han Dynasty, with remnants of this custom remaining in the capital cities until the end of the Qing Dynasty and the beginning of the Republic of China. Marriage between the deceased, called ‘Nuptials of the Corses’; a marriage is settled, and both families become in-laws, named, ‘Corses Relatives’.2Original: 搭骨屍. Lit. Matching/Joining/Arranging the bone corpses. For more in-depth explanation, check out here.
Lu Chu was slightly stunned.
This meant, in popular terminology — Ghost Marriage.
The author has this to say:
Stupid Author: Unfortunately, you haven’t appeared in this chapter.
Stupid Author: Be calm, you must first bear hardships you can enjoy.
The translator has this to add: Sorry for the delay, got distracted with guild wars.