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Chapter 46 - Anecdote (Translated and edited by Xing)
Strictly speaking, a long, long time ago, Tang Xue and Li Yubing once held a wedding.
It was a marriage of convenience.
It happened in primary 2 and took place in the latter half of the school year.
Back then, a snack called "The Great Zodiac War" suddenly took the school by storm. It was a snack made from puffed rice and its novelty came from how it was shaped into the twelve animals of the zodiac. Thin and crispy with a hollow centre, every piece was a savoury crunch. There were two flavours available: barbeque and tomato.
Besides being delicious, the snack's appeal came from the collectible cards that it came with. Inside every packet was a zodiac card. After collecting all twelve zodiacs, a person could exchange them for an amazing toy set to show off to their friends.
Countless children were obsessed with collecting the full set of cards, causing them to spend all of their pocket money on the zodiac snack.
Tang Xue caught onto the craze as well. She diverted some of her attention from Kinder Joys to the zodiac snack and "invested" a hefty sum of money into it.
Li Yubing also found the snack appealing. However, as his allowance was always surrendered to Tang Xue, he could not afford it himself and had to ask his parents to buy it for him instead. Fortunately, his father's friend bought him an entire carton of "The Great Zodiac War" after hearing that he liked it. Every day, Li Yubing would bring and open a packet in school.
The collectible cards in "The Great Zodiac War" were not evenly distributed. The rarest card was the rabbit card. There were several cla.s.smates who had collected all eleven cards except for it. In fact, n.o.body in the entire school could complete their collection due to the rabbit card. The redeemable toy set in the school convenience store collected dust as the older students began to wonder if the rabbit card even exists.
One ordinary afternoon, in the midst of the ongoing suspicions, Li Yubing opened a packet of "The Great Zodiac War" as he did every single day.
Then, from the packet, he fished out a rabbit card.
The whole cla.s.s was in an uproar. Everyone jostled to Li Yubing's side to see the white rabbit card. A cla.s.smate prodded his shoulders to ask when he was going to redeem the toy set. This chapter is a labour of love that should not be found outside of teafragrance[dot]wordpress[dot]com.
Li Yubing was about to answer "right after school" when he turned and happened to see Tang Xue glancing enviously at the card in his hands. He immediately changed his mind.
There was no rush.
The following few days, Tang Xue exhausted all possible means in order to obtain that precious card from Li Yubing's hands.
Li Yubing had long hidden the card well.
She was like a donkey trailing after a dangling carrot he held. Though Li Yubing suffered in her hands, he took secret delight in thwarting her.
One day, Tang Xue heard from her parents' conversation that two people's a.s.sets were shared after getting married. This meant that if she and Li Yubing were to get married, he must take out his rabbit card to share with her.
The next day, Tang Xue rushed to hold a wedding with Li Yubing.
The marriage officiant was Mo Xiaolu.
Looking at a piece of paper, Mo Xiaolu read, "Li Yubing, are you willing to be with Tang Xue and share with her all your snacks and allowance, and not leave her no matter how poor she is or how terrible her exam results are?"
"I'm not willing," Li Yubing said.
Mo Xiaolu turned to look at Tang Xue. "Tang Xue, are you willing to be with Li Yubing and share with him all your snacks and allowance, and not leave him no matter how poor he is or how terrible his exam results are?"
"I'm not very willing either…" Tang Xue voiced her honest thoughts.
Mo Xiaolu said, "I now p.r.o.nounce you husband and wife."
Tang Xue waved her hands. "Okay, time to collect the wedding gifts."
From snacks and coins to stationery and toys, she proceeded to collect various types of gifts.
In the end, Tang Xue still did not manage to obtain the rabbit card from Li Yubing. However, she was satisfied with the numerous wedding gifts that she had received.
After that incident, holding mock weddings to receive wedding gifts became very fashionable among the lower primary students. Princ.i.p.al Tang had no end of headaches over this trend and lamented the creativity of children these days in coming up with devious ideas. Luckily, his Tang Xue did not partic.i.p.ate in such nonsense.
A long, long time later.
Li Yubing was in the midst of tidying up his old items when he found a card on the bottommost shelf of his bookcase.
On the card was a white rabbit tinted a faint yellow with the pa.s.sage of time.
Li Yubing sat cross-legged on the floor as he recalled a storm of memories stirred up by the card.
He sat there for a long while, till Tang Xue's call came in.
"Li Yubing, what are you doing?"
Li Yubing turned the card clasped between his fingers, a gentle and warm smile on his face as he looked at it. "I discovered our very first a.s.set after marriage."
"… Lunatic." Tang Xue could not make sense of his words.
Li Yubing stood up. "I'll head over to find you now."
Li Yubing chuckled. "To fulfil my obligation as a husband."This is an original work of 酒小七 (Jiu Xiaoqi) translated by Tea Fragrance. If you are not reading this at teafragrance[dot]wordpress[dot]com, this translation has been reposted without the translator's consent. Head there for extra content or to leave feedback and comments on the novel translation.
Jiu Xiaoqi was a little stuck while writing and updated this anecdote while working out the main plot.
I do miss Li Yubing and Tang Xue's childhood antics. Li Yubing may be under Tang Xue's thumb in the past (and dare I say now as well) but he's pretty black-bellied. There would be one or two more of their childhood chapters in the future.