This is a snippet from Ding Mo’s novel I’m currently reading. Hope you guys like it!
Don’t Turn from Summer (莫负寒夏) by Ding Mo
The dark sky was calm and the shadows under the streetlights swayed lightly. There were no other pedestrians and no other cars passing.
Mu Han Xia suddenly gripped her handbrakes, stopping her bike at the intersection. She couldn’t believe that she just witnessed such a severe accident.
A black sedan lay lopsided by the side of the road. Shattered glass covered the ground, half the body of the car was deformed from impact. The wheels were still rotating futilely in the air. It was uncertain whether the passengers had survived. Just a few feet away a big truck also drove off the road into vegetation, with the front of the truck flattened by the impact.
As Mu Han Xia tried to piece together what had happened, the big truck started again and began to drive away. Mu Han Xia instantly yelled: “Wait! Wait!” but the truck just kept accelerating.
Mu Han Xia took out her cell phone from her pocket and snapped a few photos.
The truck drove farther away.
Mu Han Xia parked her bike by the side of the road. Though nervous, her first instinct was to call an ambulance, then call the police. After this she ran over to the sedan and stopped a few steps away. There was no one in the back. A woman sat in the passenger seat, head bleeding, eyes tightly shut, seemingly passed out. In the driver seat was a young man. There was a lot of blood on his face, but his eyes were open watching her.
His skin quite fair, his eyes very deep as if it contained some calm and deep precipitate, watched her attentively.
Mu Han Xia lightly asked: “Can you move? Would you like me to help you get out?”
The man’s voice low and hoarse: “Help me get out.”
His behavior was too calm, far from the stress of someone who was just in an accident. Mu Han Xia couldn’t help but look him over again. When meeting his close, cool, gaze, she quickly withdrew.
Mu Han Xia pulled open the door and he offered an arm to her. She supported him and carefully helped him out of the car.
Their surroundings were still very quiet, only the light sound of the wind blowing on the leaves could be heard. It was almost midnight and this was a side street intersection, no wonder there was no one else passing.
Mu Han Xia helped him lie down on the roadside. Slightly panting, she also sat down. Although he looked skinny, he was very tall with a big frame. His weight leaning on her for just a little while was very strenuous.
After they sat quietly for a few seconds, he said: “Call an ambulance.”
Mu Han Xia: “Already called.”
He spoke again: “Do you……remember the license plate?” talking seemed somewhat difficult.
Mu Han Xia looked down at him. His hair and suit were covered in blood. His suit seemed to be well-made and he was wearing a Rolex on his wrist. Light shining on his face, his features were visible, but his skin was pale. Evidently, this was someone who was used to ordering others around, till now, he has yet to express gratitude.
Mu Han Xia: “License plate is already recorded and the picture is very clear. I have already contacted the police, don’t worry. Although, do you think the more you talk right now, the quicker you will bleed?”
The man glanced at her, and after a moment said lightly: “Thank you.”
Mu Han Xia smiled, turned around and took two T-shirts out of her bag, this was all she had on her. She secured one to his still bleeding thigh and used the other one to wipe away some blood from his face.
The soft, clean T-shirt still had a light fragrance. The man felt her hand gently moving on his face, wiping the blood from around his eyes, making it a lot more comfortable for him. His body still hurt and he felt a wave of exhaustion washing over him so he slowly closed his eyes.
“Go look at my companion.” He said.
Mu Han Xia walked around the car, the woman was still unconscious and it looked like she was stuck. Mu Han Xia did not want to make things worse, but with some courage she stuck a finger under her nose, and let go of the breath she was holding in.
Mu Han Xia returned to the man’s side: “Your friend is still alive, but has not woken up.”
Him: “Don’t move her carelessly.”
Mu Han Xia: “Why would I move her without thinking?”
Their gaze met and Mu Han Xia spoke: “Alright, there is nothing else I can help you with. The ambulance should be here shortly, so just hang in there.” After saying this, before she could get up to get a bottle of water from her bag for him, his hand swiftly grabbed her hand.
Mu Han Xia froze.
He fixed his gaze on her: “Don’t leave, take care of me here.”
Reflexively, Mu Han Xia tried to take her hand back. Although he was injured badly, he was still a man. Mu Han Xia did not put up a struggle. His hands were fairer than hers, big and slender, a pair of hands that clearly haven’t done hard labor.
Mu Han Xia could only say: “I’m not leaving! Let go.”
He simply did not comply, continuing to grasp her hand firmly. Each of her fingers were intermingled with his. His eyes were half open, half closed, seemingly only half conscious.
“Before the ambulance gets here……” He suddenly mumbled in a low voice, “If you leave, I will (falsely) blame this on you.”
Mu Han Xia: “……”
This guy! What kind of person did she save?
“How……how are you going to blame? You can’t possibly tell the police that I used my body to send your car flying?”
Eyes closed, the corners of his mouth turned upward wordlessly.
Mu Han Xia could only let him hold her hand.
But she knew that in this moment, his awareness was not fully clear. When she rescued him from the car, his behavior was so calm. However, now muddle-headed he knew to rely on her.
Each minute each second passed, in the dead of the night the wind started picking up. His eyes closed, Mu Han Xia looked down to assess him.
The man had a broad forehead, high brow peaks, and a tall nose. His features were not heavily accented, on the contrary his features lined up concisely giving a strong and refined feel.
“If the gas tank explodes, you should escape yourself.” He said suddenly, eyes still closed.
Pausing, Mu Han Xia replied: “Don’t worry, I was mindful of the tank before. For the time being, there is no leak. Also if it really does explode, I’ll help you till the end, I’ll walk with you. Though I won’t be able to help your friend.
He was silent for a bit and suddenly mouth upturned: “You are strong enough? (Your) wrists are so thin.”
Mu Han Xia: “Then you have made an incorrect assumption. I am the clerk at the supermarket who does manual labor.”
He spoke softly: “Liar.” Opening his eyes, he looked at her: “There are no clerks that are this pretty and clever.”
Mu Han Xia smiled: “Hey, I think your awareness is still pretty good, I’m talking about the latter half.”
He did not say anything else. Eyes closed, eyebrows slightly pulled together, seemed to be in a lot of pain. His grip on her hand became even tighter. Mu Han Xia realized that he was enduring a lot, moving closer to his ears she said: “Don’t worry, I really won’t leave. I’ll stay with you.”
He did not say anything, nor did he move. His even breathing made it seem like he had fallen asleep.
After a little while longer the sound of an ambulance could finally be heard. Mu Han Xia lightly pulled her hand out of his. Taking out her phone she prepared to give the photo to the police, but suddenly she looked down.
The light filtered through the leaves, mottling his face in a quiet silhouette. Although his suit was disarrayed and there was blood everywhere leaving him in a dismal state, his profile view was more tasteful than any other man’s profile she’s seen.
Mu Han Xia raised her cell and took a picture.
Le Ya Supermarket’s start of the day is 7 in the morning. Mu Han Xia got home from the precinct at 3 last night. With two eyebags the next morning, she got on the bus.
Downstairs at the supermarket’s breakfast store, she tiredly asked for a rice bowl. As she ate the first two bites, He Jing arrived.
He Jing energetically sat across from her, face brimming with the glow of gossip: “Hey Ah Xia (nickname), have you seen the news? Yesterday night our Le Ya’s biggest competitor, Yong Zheng Corp’s heiress Cheng Wei Wei got in a car accident!”
Tired as a ghost and still eating, Mu Han Xia took a couple seconds to react: “Car accident?”
“Yeah.” He Jing handed over her phone.
“Yong Zheng Corp’s Marketing Director Cheng Wei Wei and friend were in a car accident” – below the black eye-grabbing headline was an associated picture showing the intersection from yesterday without the wreckage.
“Oh, I know.” Mu Han Xia said, “Yesterday night after work I was there. I even helped them call an ambulance. Currently……they should be out of danger.”
“Ah!” He Jing opened her eyes wide, “Really?”
Mu Han Xia summarized yesterday’s happenings for her, leaving out the details of her interactions with the man.
After hearing her story, He Jing looked disappointed: “Just like that?”
“Just like that.”
“You should leave them a number and ask for a reward or something. They are super rich and you saved their lives. They didn’t even express their thanks, let them shower you with checks!”
Mu Han Xia laughed, feigning remorse said: “Yes yes yes, my awareness was too low. Next time, next time I will surely utilize such an opportunity and not let it go!”
The two laughed a while longer, He Jing said seriously: “This situation, let’s not tell anyone else. Although saving someone isn’t wrong, but Yong Zheng’s competition with us is fierce. If this gets out to the leadership staff, they might actually care.”
Mu Han Xia replied: “Alright, I got it.”
1. Idiom meaning one whose facial features show that they are meant to give orders. Similar to looking noble or arrogant.
2. Means person who was with him, not necessarily ‘companion’
3. Idiom meaning hands of a prince
4. There is also a comparison here for helping someone till the end to “Sending the Budha to the West” since the journey for Budhists is to the West – this is likely another Monkey King/Journey to the West reference since the Monkey King and crew accompanied Tang Seng to the West and throughout the journey there were many conflicts they had to overcome. I think at some points Tang Seng did not want them to die and said that they could just leave him to fend for himself. Pretty fitting if the author is saying that the male lead (Lin Mo Chen) is pretty looking like Tang Seng
5. Technically “taste” here is more of eliciting feelings. One can say a painting is better than another, or a music piece is better than another because they are more “tasteful”
6. Idiom hate iron for not becoming steel – means impatient for someone to improve
The title translation is a literal one, so I’m sure it’ll be different when the cover is revealed for publication (likely in a couple of months). Summer is Han Xia’s English name in the novel.
I really like how they met, their interactions, and the plot. Before reading, I wasn’t sure I’d like Summer, but she turned out to be a strong female lead with great analytical skills. I’ve had this chapter translated for a week or so but only decided to edit it today. The daily updates started beginning of November and inspired me to start translating again.
Super excited about this novel to the point I actually follow it on a daily basis. Since this is a modern piece, it doesn’t seem like it will be extremely difficult to translate, especially for someone with a business background. Does anyone want to translate this? Anyone?? I really hope someone will because I can’t commit to another novel at this time but this one seems to have a lot of potential. And I love reading translations even when I have read novels in Chinese.
Hopefully someone decides to translate soon (let me know if you do!). Thanks for reading 🙂 ~ My next post will likely be Chapter 11 of Forensic Doctor.
UPDATE: My wish came true!
Chapter 2 translated by Yuzamy
The rest of the novel currently being translated by TB