Chapter 21: City of Cigars & Meant to be

Important Translation Note**:

[1] In this chapter, Gu YeBai makes a pun with a line from the poem “Thinking of My Brothers on a Moonlit Night” by Du Fu. The original line, 露从今夜白 (lù cóng jīn yè bái) already contains his name,  夜白(yè bái), and all he does is swap out 露 (lù) for an exact homophone, 路(lù), which is significant because it is the same character in Lu YouYan’s name, 路悠言, and represents her. Thus, the line now means “The road turns white tonight” and essentially means Lu YouYan follows YeBai, taking in consideration their names.

Note that for the sake of achieving the same effect, the original line isn’t translated as what it actually means and has been instead replaced with the translation of the pun >.> the two lines sound exactly the same…


If one ignored the brilliant city lights, the seaside highway appeared silent and lonely. The coastline was indistinct amidst the dark night, the silent roars of the sea and the lonely lighthouse.

“Bai, it’s Professor Xia’s birthday at the end of the month, what should we prepare for his gift?” HuaiAn inquired.

“You can pick it yourself.”

HuaiAn smiled and continued: “All you do is push your tasks to me. If your professor doesn’t like the gift, don’t you dare blame it on me.”

Gu YeBai responded: “We haven’t seen him for such a long time, I think he must have missed you. As long as you go, he’ll be content with anything.”

HuaiAn responded with a hint of playfulness: “You’re not Mr. Xia, how would you know if he misses me? You don’t have the right to say that, so we still have to pick the present carefully.”


YouYan was sitting in the backseat, listening to their conversation.

No matter what type, feelings are incapable of withstanding the passage of time.

Him and her. They are living happily right now, with a future to look forward to.

Through the mirror, HuaiAn notices YouYan in a slight daze, causing the hatred inside her to suddenly magnify. “Bai, I can’t go to your house tonight.” HuaiAn said softly with a hint of a smile, “I’m flying with our vice department head to Cienfuegos. I haven’t researched the area yet. Tonight I’ll do my research well so I can visit the city after I finish my work. Cienfuegos is your favorite city, I want to see everything in it. I wanted you to come with me but you are always busy.”

“Research? I don’t think you need that.” Gu YeBai responded.

HuaiAn paused.

“I contacted an old friend there. Once you finish your work, he’ll bring you around the town.” He continued gently.

This little act of closeness was originally done to have YouYan see their relationship, but now when he said this, HuaiAn was surprised. He had planned it all out. She never thought this man had already planned everything for her.

HuaiAn felt a warmth inside her heart, reaching out to hold his hands on the steering wheel.

YouYan’s heart ached painfully. She tugged on her lips but she really couldn’t smile at this moment.

A small town in Cuba, innocent and perfect. It’s rumored that there’s no one in the streets, making it quiet and peaceful, yet it was also famous for its cigars.

He once told her, he’ll bring her there one day. With a charming smile, she replied, “I would disappear on a little boat, among rivers and seas for the rest of my life from here on[2].”

He smiled happily. He was already handsome, and with this smile, even more so.

Placing his chin on her head, he continued lightly, “We might as well pass there. There are drawings, cigars, and——”

She laughed as she asked what else.

“There’s YouYan.”

Inside, she was happy beyond words, but she twitched her mouth and continued: “Who said I’ll go with you?”

A smile appeared on the corners of his mouth.

She reached out to squeeze his nose but was unexpectedly brought into a hug.

“I heard Susan say that you received a horrible grade in Chinese language arts..”

She had been waiting for some sweet words to come out of him, but upon hearing this instead, she raged and said: “Who the hell fabricated that! I’m great at language arts!”

“I have a poem in my mind right now, but I don’t know if Yan knows it.”

“Of course I know it !!” She raised her chin and hmphed.

“So it starts off like this. War drums have cut off all human motion, a call from wild goose shrieks across autumn skies.” He said, laughing.

“ The road turns white tonight, the moon——”

“Yan, what did you just say?”

“The road turns white tonight.” She wrinkled her nose and repeated frustratedly.

“The road [露] turns white tonight, indeed.”

She opened her eyes wide and stared at him.

His smile went away as he moved closer to her lips, the rest of their words disappeared into the kiss.

“Since you want to follow me so badly, how could I reject you?”

The road [路] turns white tonight. As it turns out, this was meant to be.


Translation Note:

[2] The words, “I would disappear on a little boat, among rivers and seas for the rest of my life from here on” are from a classical Chinese poem by Su Shi – Lyrics to the Linjiang Narcissi. In this context, the river and the seas symbolize Gu Yebai and YouYan is willing to follow him even if it means disappearing herself.