Beta reader: Dairytea
Introducing Spring Once More, written by the author of 'The Peach Blossom Debt'!
(Traditional Chinese cover scanned by Dairytea)
Chapter One: A Routine Self-Introduction - A Man Like Me
My name is Ma Xiaodong. The ‘Ma’ of ‘Marx’, the ‘Xiao’ of Deng Xiaoping, and the ‘Dong’ of Mao Zedong.
From the name alone, it’s obvious that my mom and pop had wanted me to achieve great things. However, as the saying goes, the higher the expectation, the greater the disappointment. I ate and drank like any normal person and led an uneventful life till my twenties, somehow graduated from university and found an undemanding but respectable job. I found myself a girl who wasn’t amazing, per se, but still good enough to introduce to people. My mom and pop finally recognized that this was the best I was ever going to do.
I’m very open when it comes to my future. In the scant few decades that we humans are alive, life is life no matter how you go about it. What’s key is how content you are. My current goal for that ‘contentment’ is for my wages to double, my girlfriend’s face to shrink and her cup size to go up by two letters.
Three days ago, I bought a new Chery, and though it was only 28,000 yuan, I’ve nevertheless joined the ranks of the car owners which implies we’ve joined the middle class. Since antiquity, it’s always been about fast cars and beautiful women. Hence, one beautiful sunny day off, I brought my precious Yan Ni to the Forest Park to show off and enjoy the glamorous life.
Yan Ni is my girlfriend’s name, her surname being Yan and her name Ni. My future father-in-law had ripped off the name of Marx’s wife, Jenny, which cemented his daughter’s destiny of becoming the daughter-in-law of my ‘Ma’ family.
At risk of being ticketed by patrol officers, I park my car at the side of the widest road in the park. Reclining on the hood of my pea-green, brand new Chery, I hold my dear Yan Ni in my arms, the light breeze brushing against my shirt and her long hair. There is nothing more I could wish for in life!
I ask Yan Ni, “Anything on your mind?”
My sweetheart looks up toward the horizon. “The wind has blown the clouds over. You think it’s going to rain?”
I can only laugh hollowly in response. “Can’t you say something a little more poetic? I mean, we’ve finally gotten a car.”
Jenny gives me a dull look. “It’s just a pathetic Chery, and you’ve got your nose stuck up in the air. You think you’ve made it big! Xiao-Liu from our department hooked up with some executive, and he drives a Mercedes sports car to take her to and from work. It’s even got the doors that open upward!”
I turn to admire the surrounding scenery, brushing off her spoilsport criticism. After all, the original Jenny married into Marx’s family and was poor the whole time, and therefore it’s understandable for my Yan Ni to be afraid of poverty. A considerate and beautiful soulmate only exists in stories. How could there be someone like that in real life?
A cool breeze blows through the greenery, and a beautiful figure in red approaches gracefully from a distance. Woohoo. A hottie! Now that is a real hottie! A hottie with highlighted, curled hair, a pair of bewitching eyes, sexy red lips and a slender waistline showing off her delicate curves.
My Yan Ni is in the process of belittling my Chery, everything from the brand and price to its colour, “... of all the colours you could have gotten, you just had to pick that yucky bug-green! Are you listening to me? Ma Xiaodong, what are you looking at?!”
The hot chick reaches out a delicate hand and gently brushes the loose strands from her forehead, and I can’t help but whistle. Damn, that cup size must be at least an F!
Yan Ni raises her hand, and a slap lands on my face, the sound crisp and bright. Then she turns to leave immediately.
With one hand on my face, I use the other to pull her back, “Hey, hey, let me explain.”
Yan Ni only pulls away with more vigour, “I’m not listening. I’m not listening!” Dashing all the way to the main road, she holds out her hand and hops in a taxi, “We’re finished, Ma Xiaodong! A shameless man like you deserves to be struck down by heavenly judgment!”
Holy shit! So you’re leaving, but you don’t have to call a curse down on me like that!
As I drive the Chery along the West 3rd Ring Road, the heavens seem to sympathize with my mood, responding with muffled sounds of thunder and a torrential downpour. I am now wondering what methods I can use to persuade Yan Ni to come back to me, but all of a sudden, a glaring sphere of light flies towards my car.
I know from reading the Ten Thousand Questions children’s encyclopaedia that this was ball lightning. Before scientific knowledge was so widespread, being struck by one of these bad boys was called heavenly judgment. It was the retribution for committing an immoral act that even the heavens couldn’t forgive.
I’ve lived for over twenty years abiding by the Five Disciplines, Four Graces and Three Loves, and I’ve never done anything that went against my conscience.
Damn it! Her words couldn’t have been so effective, could they? I’d only caught a glimpse and whistled. Does it really call for this?!
Boy, the life insurance that I bought last month sure was a good deal… though not for me but for my mom and pop. It’s enough to cover the fees for raising me for over two decades and even includes interest as well!
I can’t believe this. The heavens must have gotten something wrong!!!
 Many large cities in China expand outwards in a circular direction and the circular beltways are named in order. For instance, Beijing has eight and Chengdu has six. https://contemporary_chinese_culture.academic.ru/659/ring_roads
 A policy issued in 1981 to be promoted by public organizations in PRC. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five_Disciplines,_Four_Graces_and_Three_Loves
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Dairytea: Picture from the manhua!!!
Spring Once More by ayszhang is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.