Chapter 13: To Peacefully Get Along
Pan Lei pouted at Tian Yuan.
Looking at him laughing so happily, Pan Lei thought that he was doing things right.
Thus, he told him everything that he had experienced from when he was little until he grew up.
If Tian Yuan knew more about him, he will no longer make any excuses, right
“I have a cigarette case inside my pocket.
Come and light me a stick.” Tian Yuan did not refuse his request but instead, approached him.
Pan Lei’s one hand is holding the pot while the other hand is holding the spatula.
While his ‘helper’ is waiting for him to rummage through his jean’s pocket, Tian Yuan finally pulled a cigarette out with great difficulty.
Next, he stuffed it on to the edge of Pan Lei’s mouth and conveniently gave him a light.
Pan Lei sucked in a mouthful and then held the cigarette in his mouth at a crooked angle as he smoked lazily.
Even when wearing an apron, his appearance still gives out a bandit-like appeal that is full of arrogance.
However, to Tian Yuan, he looks more like a family’s virtuous house-husband.
“Don’t drop the cigarette ash into the pot.
What should we eat if you do that”
Pan Lei stretched his head and stuck out his mouth.
Tian Yuan smoothly took the cigarette from his lips and clipped it at the tip of his fingertips.
Unconsciously, he also sucked a mouthful himself.
He continued to watch Pan Lei with great interest.
He was wondering how he grew up as a bully.
Pan Lei looked back into the other’s eyes. Two people smoking one cigarette, this could also be considered as being intimate, ah. Pan Lei beamed with joy while he went to beat another egg.
When the oil turned hot, he fried the egg.
“I was thirteen-fourteen years old when my dad and mom returned.
But my temper had already grown for the worst so they can’t do anything more about it.
My dad was a particularly harsh man.
When I didn’t go to school, he whipped me.
One time, he hit me and after that, I ran away from home.
My uncle and two brothers quarreled with my dad while saying that if he didn’t want to raise me, they would directly adopt me so as to avoid having a grandson to go missing from the old Pan family.
My grandpa had given my dad strict family rules, but my dad had no way to manage me.
At that time, they were very busy.
My mom worked in the hospital and was a surgeon like you.
My mom seldom went into the kitchen to prepare meals for me because my dad said: ‘your mother’s hands are for saving, not for cooking.’
Therefore, I must carefully take care of your hands.
Those hands are for saving people.
I will cook for you, and I will continue to do so in the future.
We shall live a very good life.
My appetite had always been big.
Nobody at home prepared meals for me.
However, I can not allow myself to get hungry so, the only way is to rely on myself.
I studied how to cook for a long period of time until I’ve finally learned how to do it.
In the end, I rarely had a chance to put my culinary skill into practice when I entered the army.”
Pan Lei had reversed the tide as the stormy air around them finally calmed down.
He turned off the fire and took the pot off from it. Shredded pork noodles with egg fried rice, not bad. “You tell me the taste, lest I put in seasoning that you don’t like to eat.”
Tian Yuan’s smile was no longer presumptuous.
Before his eyes, this man gives him some kind of warmth.
The light in the room is soft and the food smells appetizing.
Pan Lei looks like a virtuous wife who would normally say: ‘you earn money outside to raise our family and I’ll do everything at home.’
Obviously, he is a tall and burly man with a very imposing character.
However, the him who is wearing an apron while carrying bowls and chopsticks, unexpectedly, looked very harmonious.
It was as if he had been around for a long time, cooking for him.
As he was too tired when he arrived home, Pan Lei’s actions deeply moved him.
Everyone wished that when they go home feeling tired, a cold and desolate room will not be the first thing to welcome them as they open the door.
Instead, one hoped to see delicious meals prepared and the look of the smiling faces of their family members.
A person will, sometimes, be lonely.
And this loneliness, at times, could be very difficult to bear.
Even when you whisper a sound, there’s no other voice that could be heard.
Having an insomnia at midnight is also another thing.
This kind of loneliness would kill people.
Why do people want to have a companion Why do they want to get married Isn’t it because they were lonely
If two people can be together, then they will no longer be lonely.
Tian Yuan also longed for such things.
Coming back home to see another person in the kitchen, just like now, who would cook for him, chat with him, tease him just to make him smile, and all his fatigue will just completely fade away.
Pan Lei took the dishes to the dining room.
He sat down, filled a bowl of rice, and gave it to Tian Yuan.
“When I got to the army, I realized that my appetite was not the biggest.
Do you know how much the new company recruit, whom I first stayed with, could eat with his personal gourmet bowl”
Tian Yuan took the food and tasted it. His culinary skill is pretty good. The meals are tasty.
He looked at Pan Lei with a raised eyebrow as he also wanted to know how much a person could eat in a single meal.
Pan Lei’s expression is full of enthusiasm as he answered.
“Two or three steamed buns! One time, he only stopped eating after taking in 12 steamed buns! On his big bowl of porridge, he drank five bowls, not counting vegetables.
I always thought that mine was a rice bucket, but the opening of his personal gourmet bowl was like an over-sized cylinder.
When the new recruit’s company commander saw this, he got horrified!”
Tian Yuan almost spew out his mouthful of soup, while coughing incessantly.
One should not talk about something hilarious while eating.
It will make people not to eat their meals properly.
Pan Lei poured water for him.
He smiled and then resumed his dinner, but he was still chuckling.
When Tian Yuan lifted his bowl again, he was surprised to know that he had almost finished eating his third bowl of rice.
“Your family, are they all from military origin”
Is the whole family of military background Pondering on what he meant, his two elder brothers and him are all members of the army.
What about his father
Pan Lei put down his chopsticks and began to gave him a careful account.
“My grandpa had attended the Whampoa Military Academy .
When he was young, he served as an officer in the Kuomintang . My grandma’s family was also a family of soldiers.
In the end, my grandpa took refuge in the government and together, they fought for state power.
Later on, my big uncle, my second uncle and my dad were sent to the army.
When I was born, my grandpa was already a general, and my dad was already a military commander.
My big uncle was stationed in the Northwest Military District and he was the commander there for more than ten years.
My second uncle was the Chief of Staff of the Northeast Military District, and my dad was also deployed in the Southwest Military District.
In the military compound, all of the parents of the children there were not home.
But then, my big uncle and second uncle came back one after the other after the reform.
Only nine years later, did my dad return.
My eldest brother spent a decade in the army and my second brother stayed a few years in the army’s specialized field.
I like the army very much.
My grandpa once said that the younger generation does not know how to repay favor to the country.
How can I have the heart to ruin our family of soldiers Since others ignored one’s proper duties, then I must continue to stay in the army.”
Sure enough, all three generations are soldiers.
The family education is truly strict.
“Does your family consist of all boys Were you all under some sort of militarized management”
“No, my aunt’s old sister is in the Song and Dance Troupe, but she is also the Chief Executive of the government’s Song and Dance Troupe.
The militarized management not only applies to us, three boys.
My grandpa’s family law is very strict.
The girls were also trained like boys.
When I was little, I joined my older sister (cousin), who was still young back then, to stand-at-attention.
My grandpa sent a non-commissioned officer to teach us.
My older sister (cousin) stood for two hours.
When she was already too tired and was unable maintain her stance, she started to cry.
As a consequence, my grandpa returned with a small wicker whip in his hand.
In turn, this girl grew up to become a pretty and charming woman.
How to stand and walk gracefully were all trained at that time.”
Tian Yuan felt that it was so nice to have lived in a normal family.
Compared to an ice-cold and heartless training, at least his parents didn’t hit him.
Pan Lei ate fast while Tian Yuan was still struggling with his bowl of rice.
He had eaten four bowl of noodles, and two bowls of egg fried rice.
Propping his chin while looking at Tian Yuan’s leisurely meal, Pan Lei felt pleased.
Loving a person really makes people go blind.
Otherwise, he wouldn’t think that even Tian Yuan’s leisurely way of drinking soup looked so charming.
Notes: Whampoa Military Academy – Presently called Huangpu Military Academy, it is located at Huangpu District, Guangzhou, Guangdong Province.
The Whampoa Military Academy was founded by Dr.
Sun Yat-sen in 1924 with the help of the Communist Party of China and the former Soviet Union.
Learn more at chinatravel.com and at academic.mu.edu. Kuomintang – A nationalist party founded in China under Sun Yat-sen in 1912, and led by Chiang Kai-shek from 1925.
It held power from 1928 until the Communist Party took power in October 1949 and subsequently formed the central administration of Taiwan.
Learn more at totallyhistory.com or at wikipedia.Song and Dance Troupe – I wasn’t able to get an exact reference for this, but I was guessing that the author got the idea from the China National Ethnic Song and Dance Ensemble which is based in Beijing.
It is considered as the only national-level performance group representing China’s ethnic minorities. Its president is the contemporary folk singer and performing artist, and the First Lady of China, Peng Liyun.