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Easily Set Aflame (Web Novel) - 2014 Epilogue — A Joyous Occasion (2)

2014 Epilogue — A Joyous Occasion (2)

This chapter is updated by Wuxia.Blog

When Yi Wenze and Jia He stepped in through the main doors of the Marriage Registration Centre of the Civil Affairs Bureau, Jia He was struck with panic for a moment, terrified that they might run into the media or whatnot. Luckily, their plans for where they were going today had been made at the last minute, and other than soon-to-be newlywed couples lining up to take a number, there was no one else, nobody from the media.

Yi Wenze was, one, not wearing a face mask and, two, not wearing sunglasses, attired merely in casual black pants and a white polo shirt and wearing a black baseball cap. Apart from that face of his, there were no distinctive characteristics that made him stand out as a celebrity.

He was so low-key that they were standing in front of the counter before someone finally noticed who he was.

The men and women waiting nearby to register a marriage all pulled out their mobile phones and wordlessly took photos.

Yi Wenze, however, only lowered his head, took the application form handed to him by the staff member, whose eyes were shining excitedly, and began with great seriousness to fill in each line item on the form. Because the counter was not tall, he could only bend his entire body over a little deeper as he fluidly completed this part of the procedure. Jia He still had not adjusted to the awkwardness of being continuously spectated, and her mind was deluged with various thoughts, such as “Oh no! Before I came in, I should have touched up my powder to make my complexion look a little better,” “I don’t even know right now if my hair’s messed up or not. I should have worn a hat,” etc. As a result, despite working for a long time on filling in the form, she still had only completed a few line items.

“I’ll help you fill it in.” Tilting his face down to look at her, Yi Wenze gave her a warm, tender smile.

“Huh? No, it’s okay…”

“If I don’t help you, the people behind us are going to be waiting for a really long time.”

Jia He did not argue anymore. He had already taken the form from her and, referencing her identity card and hukou[1] booklet, he went through line by line and filled it in. Meanwhile, the several staff members separated from them by a single counter were still submerged in the shocked feeling of “So this is the unphotoshopped big celebrity and his wife!” until Yi Wenze handed the two forms to the staff member in front of him.

“We’ll trouble you to do this for us.” He gave a genial smile.

“Um… Oh, uh, you guys have finished filling it in, right?” Clearing her throat, the staff member assumed a very professional demeanour and asked, “Mr. Yi Wenze…, is that correct?” As she opened up his passport and stared at the photograph inside, there was a very subtle, but interesting expression on her face.

Jia He also cleared her throat, then discreetly swept a quick look at Yi Wenze.

“What’s wrong?” Yi Wenze asked, his voice low.

“Nothing.” She could not disguise her amusement.

Back when she first saw his passport, she had been utterly overtaken with jealousy, envy, and rage, oh yes. His ID photo looked even more clean and fresh and perfect than photographs that were photoshopped. This was why people say that actors are all natural-born beauties and are basically in a completely different world from all the commoners…

“And also the certificate issued by the embassy or consulate, translated.” Before this staff member had finished speaking, she discovered that Yi Wenze had already taken out those documents long in advance and set them on the counter. Taken aback briefly, she let out a soft laugh. “I never thought that a big celebrity would think of everything even more thoroughly than normal people. Have you two taken your photo yet? You know, the one of the two of you together that will be in the marriage certificate booklet?” Judging from her tone, she was just arbitrarily asking.

Nowadays, it was popular even with ordinary people to take the photograph, edit it ahead of time, and then send it over. Naturally, then, people in the entertainment industry would place even more importance on this.

“Not yet. My wife is a screenwriter. She hopes to personally experience everything to gather potential material that can be used in her writing.” Yi Wenze gave this unexpected answer. “I heard that photographs can be taken on site here.”

All those people behind the counter whose ears were pricked up, listening in attentively to all this, were now suddenly enlightened. Ah, so she’s actually a screenwriter…

Huh? Had she said that? She clearly had no experience whatsoever in this, all right? …

But as Jia He took in his expression, even she believed that this was true.

The staff member hastily replied, “Ah, yes, they can. Go out the door, turn left, and go up to the second floor. They’ll be printed on the spot while you wait. After you’ve gotten the photos, come back here and finish up the last of the procedure.”

“Thank you.” Yi Wenze lowered his head with a smile, and, with his arm around Jia He’s shoulders, turned and stepped out the door.

“That’s true, eh? Why didn’t we think to get the picture taken first before we came?” Jia He muttered. “We were too rushed to come here.”

“It’s really fun this way.” Beside her, he, in contrast, was pleased. “We’ll take it step by step. I want you to experience everything and not leave any regrets.”

Hearing his words, she understood that he was referring to his failed marriage of the past and how it was unfair to her in some ways.

In the moment right before they were about to turn a corner, she grasped ahold of a few of his fingers. Deliberately using a tone of unconcern, she told him, “I am very magnanimous. I can’t assign the responsibility for all the wrong onto you just because you met the wrong person one time, and make it so that no one wants you. So, from this day forward, neither of us is going to mention anymore all that stuff that’s already in the past.”

Saying that, she gently laid her cheek on the front of his t-shirt, against his chest. “You’re good. I won’t shun you.”

After those words, she even did not forget to scan their surroundings and, in passing, peer at all the corners to search if there were any security cameras or whatnot…

He seemed to be pondering on something. Just as another couple was coming down from the upstairs level, he reached his hand over and lightly flicked Jia He’s forehead with his finger. “All right, then. Thank you, my wife, for not shunning me.”

That other couple was thunderstruck. This whole scene and that action was totally like it had come out of an idol drama, and adding on top of that his acting skills that had already taken awards… Instantaneously, Jia He felt abashed. While that young couple was still torn over whether they could take out their mobile phones and snap some photographs, she was already dragging him along and hightailing from there.

But this feeling of being terribly touched, which had been overflowing from her heart, completely vanished once they were inside the room where the photographs were taken.

The elderly man sitting behind the camera directed them to take a seat in front of the large, red curtain. The room itself was narrow, and as she sat by Yi Wenze’s side, the two sides of her field of vision were taken up completely by the white walls while in front of her, there was only a huge, black camera lens and an old man who had no idea who Yi Wenze was.

“Young fella, your smile is quite nice, yes. Lass, lift your chin up, it’s a little crooked. All right, move a little closer together. Yes, that’s right.” The elderly man all of a sudden scooted out from behind the huge camera. “Does this lass naturally have a crooked chin?”

Jia He cried a tearless cry. “I shouldn’t…”

“Then that means you normally have a bad sitting posture and don’t know how to take photographs. Look at your husband. How nice is his smile. I’ve never seen a smile nicer than this one.”

Gramps, this is a real-deal award-winning actor here, okay?

Jia He was a little stiff from all the correction she was receiving, yet more and more she was not meeting the elderly man’s standards. The crux of the problem was, the man saw that Yi Wenze’s outer appearance was simply too good and felt it would be an injustice to this terribly handsome fellow if the photograph were not perfect. Thus, the entire time, he was unrelenting and simply would not let Jia He off the hook. Eventually, Jia He was about to burst into tears, her neck so sore that she could only fake a smile and say, “Sir, I’ve honestly tried my best.” In the end, it was Yi Wenze who, unable to bear watching this anymore, quietly spoke to her and brought her back into genuine smiles. Only then did she relax and was the photo successfully taken.

When they brought their photograph with them back to the counter, it was evident all the staff members had already had an internal exchange on all the gossip.

The smiles they wore now as they faced Jia He were even a little more inquisitive. The instant Jia He thought of the fact that her hukou booklet and identity card as well as Yi Wenze’s passport had been examined and inspected to everyone’s heart’s content, she felt even greater discomfiture. Fortunately, all their documents were present.

At the end, the young female staff member had already attached the photograph to the marriage certificate and was about to affix the embossing seal, when she discovered that she had been so nervous in front of the huge celebrity that she had forgotten to ask the routine questions. “Have the two of you done a premarital medical exam yet? It’s not mandatory, but we still recommend that both the husband and wife have a check-up prior to getting married. For example, you can check whether either the husband or wife has hepatitis B, or whether either the woman or man is infertile…” Her voice broke off abruptly. Colour instantly flooded the young woman’s face.

Yi Wenze gave a mild “mm,” stating, “No need, thank you. My wife is already expecting. There shouldn’t be any big problems in that aspect.”

His manner was calm, his expression was calm—in short, he felt there was nothing wrong with anything.

Jia He’s mouth opened, then closed again. Only one thought crossed her mind: Oh no, we’re going to hit the headlines…

Sure enough, a hush fell over their surroundings.

At the two adjacent counters, the staff members and also the two newlywed couples who were in the process of doing their marriage registrations while, in passing, secretly getting some close-up peeks at Yi Wenze, were dumbfounded. The girl to Jia He’s left threw a hand over her mouth, unable to restrain herself from crying out, “Oh my God, what gossip did I just hear? Can I sell this piece of gossip? …”

[1]户口“hu kou.” The hukou, or household registration system is a system in China to identify its citizens. The hukou booklet is a piece of identification in a passport-style document that contains identifying information and also states the location where the household and its members permanently reside. When registering a marriage in China, Chinese citizens are required to show their hukou booklet.

This story was translated with the express permission of the author for hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com only. All forms of reproduction, redistribution, or re-posting are not authorized. If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, the copy is unauthorized and has been taken without consent of the translator.

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