• Akiko: Talking Elbows

Volume one.

Autumn in 2022.

2022年,秋。

The patter of light rain fell from the gray sky, floating lightly on the city streets.

淅沥沥的小雨从灰色苍穹之上坠落,轻飘飘的淋在城市街道上。

It is autumn, and from time to time, pedestrians without umbrellas can be seen passing by with their hands over their heads.

时值秋季,时不时还能看到没打伞的行人,用手挡在头顶匆匆而过。

In the narrow Junmin Hutong, there is a seventeen or eighteen-year-old boy sitting opposite an old man under the canopy next to the supermarket canteen.

狭窄的军民胡同里,正有一个十七八岁的少年,与一位老爷子对坐在超市小卖部旁边的雨棚下面。

The whole world outside the canopy was dark and the ground was darkened by rain. Only the ground under the canopy was left with a dry area, as if there was only one piece of pure land left in the entire world.

雨棚之外的全世界灰暗,地面都被雨水沁成了浅黑色,只有雨棚下的地面还留着一片干燥地带,就像是整个世界都只剩下这一块净土。

In front of them was a dilapidated wooden chess board with a red “Fu Lai Supermarket” sign on top of their heads.

他们面前摆着一张破旧的木质象棋盘,头顶上是红色的‘福来超市’招牌。

“General,” the young Qingchen said and stood up, leaving the old man with sparse hair sitting in a daze.

“将军,”少年庆尘说完便站起身来,留下头发稀疏的老头呆坐着。

Young Qingchen glanced at the other party and said calmly, “No need to struggle.”

少年庆尘看了对方一眼平静说道:“不用挣扎了。”

“I can still…” the old man said unwillingly: “This is only 13 steps down…”

“我还可以……”老头不甘心的说道:“这才下到十三步啊……”

In his words, the old man felt a little embarrassed about the situation of losing his helmet and abandoning his armor in thirteen steps.

言辞中,老头对于自己十三步便丢盔弃甲的局面,感到有些难堪。

Qing Chen didn’t explain anything, the murderous intentions were revealed on the chessboard, it was the last moment that Tuqiang saw.

庆尘并没有解释什么,棋盘上已杀机毕露,正是图穷匕见的最后时刻。

The young man had a clean face and clear eyes. He was just sitting there in a plain school uniform, as if he was purifying the world around him a little more transparently.

少年面孔干净,眼神澄澈,只是穿着朴素的校服坐在那里,就像是把身边的世界都给净化的透明了一些。

The old man threw the chess piece he was holding onto the chessboard and discarded the piece to admit defeat.

老头将手里举起的棋子给扔到了棋盘上,弃子认输。

No one beside Qing Chen walked into the counter of the nearby supermarket, took 20 yuan from the change basket under the counter and put it into his pocket.

庆尘旁若无人的走进旁边超市的柜台里,从柜台下面的零钱篮子里拿了20块钱揣进兜里。

The old man looked at Qing Chen scoldingly: “I have to lose you 20 yuan every day! I just won 20 yuan from Lao Li Lao Zhang in the morning, and I lose all to you now!”

老头骂骂咧咧的看着庆尘:“每天都要输给你20块钱!我上午刚从老李老张那里赢来20块钱,这会儿就全输给你了!”

Qing Chen picked up the money, then sat back next to the chessboard and started replaying: “If they hadn’t been willing to play chess with me, I wouldn’t have to win money through you. You need face, I need money, it’s fair. reasonable.”

庆尘揣好钱,然后坐回棋盘旁边开始复盘:“要不是他们已经不愿意跟我下棋了,我也不至于非要通过你来赢钱。你需要面子,我需要钱,很公平合理。”

“You can eat me, right?” The old man murmured, “The fortune teller said that I can live to seventy-eight. I’m only fifty now. If you lose 20 yuan a day, how much do I have to pay? “

“你就吃定我了是吧?”老头嘟囔道:“算命的说我能活到七十八岁,我现在才五十,这要是每天输你20块钱,我得输出去多少钱?”

“But I also teach you to play chess to win back your face,” Qing Chen replied calmly, “You are not at a loss by this calculation.”

“但我还教你下象棋去赢回面子,”庆尘平静的回答道:“这样算下来你并不亏。”

The old man murmured, “But what you taught these past two days has been useless.”

老头嘟囔道:“但你这两天教的都是些没用的东西。”

Qing Chen glanced at him: “Don’t talk about yourself like that.”

庆尘看了他一眼:“不要这样说自己。”

Old man: “???”

老头:“???”

The old man re-arranged the chessboard irritably, and then eagerly said: “It’s all right, let’s resume the game.”

老头没好气的将棋盘重新摆好,然后急切道:“行了行了,复盘吧。”

At this moment, Qing Chen suddenly bowed his head.

这一刻,庆尘忽然低头。

The time that had just passed, seemed to replay from his mind.

那刚刚流逝过去的时间,像是从他脑中回放一般。

The guns that hit the head in the head, the fierce pawns in the Chu He Han realm, echoed one by one in his mind.

当头袭来的炮,楚河汉界上的悍卒,在脑海里一一回荡。

More than these.

不止这些。

And the uncle who passed by them while playing chess, holding the four sesame cakes they just bought, the fresh sesame cakes fainted with some water vapor, and the transparent plastic bag was stained with a layer of white mist.

还有下棋时从他们身旁路过的大叔,手里提着刚买的四个烧饼,刚出炉的烧饼晕开一些水汽,在透明塑料袋里染上了一层白雾。

The little girl in a white dress walked by with an umbrella, and there were two beautiful butterflies on the upper of her little leather shoes.

穿着白色裙子的小女孩撑伞走过,她小皮鞋的鞋面上还有两只漂亮的蝴蝶。

Above the sky, the precarious rain fell in the alley, crystal clear.

苍穹之上,飘摇的雨水落在胡同里,晶莹剔透。

At the end of the alley, the 103 bus flashed past the narrow alley, and a woman in a beige windbreaker rushed to the bus station with an umbrella.

苍穹之上,飘摇的雨水落在胡同里,晶莹剔透。

The sound of footsteps and the sound of running water as the rain flows into the manhole cover by the roadside, these noisy sounds make the world extremely quiet.

脚步声,雨水汇入路旁窨井盖时的流水声,这些嘈杂的声音反而显得世界格外寂静。

Qing Chen has never forgotten all this, although it is difficult to recall.

这一切,庆尘都不曾忘记,虽然回忆起来有些困难。

But the difficulty does not mean it is impossible.

但困难,不代表不可以。

This weird memory is Qing Chen’s innate talent, just like he picked an archive from the long river of time, and then read the picture in the archive magnetic strip.

这古怪的记忆力,是庆尘与生俱来的天赋,就像是他随手从时间长河里抽取了一条存档,然后读取了那片存档磁条里的画面。

Qing Chen resisted the dizziness in his brain and squeezed the chess pieces on the chessboard.

庆尘忍住大脑的眩晕感,捏起了棋盘上的棋子。

The old man stopped talking immediately, and stared at the board with his eyes intently. The resumption after each game was also the agreed terms of the game.

老头顿时不说话了,双眼全神贯注的盯着棋盘,每局之后的复盘也是赌局约定条款。

Qing Chen is responsible for teaching chess, and the old man learns chess after losing money.

庆尘负责教棋,老头输钱之后学棋。

This scene is a bit weird, Qing Chen does not have the modesty and shyness that young people should have when facing the elderly, but like a teacher.

这一幕有些诡异,庆尘没有少年人面对长者时应有的谦虚与腼腆,反而像是老师一样。

The other party didn’t think there was anything.

对方也并不觉得这有什么。

The old man didn’t blink his eyes. The start was normal, but he couldn’t figure out how to get to the sixth step. He obviously ate the opponent’s horse, but suddenly fell into a slump.

老头眼睛都不眨一下,前面都是正常开局,可他想不通怎么到了第六步,自己明明吃了对方的马,却突然陷入了颓势。

“The essence of the thirteen tricks for abandoning horses is to enter the cart and abandon the horse in the sixth step. This is a killer to tear the line of defense,” Qing Chen said quietly, “I see the chess you played with that old man in Wangcheng Park the day before yesterday. Now, he likes to start the game smoothly. It’s no problem for you to beat him with these thirteen tricks.”

“弃马十三招的精髓就在于第六步的进车弃马,这是撕开防线的杀手锏,”庆尘静静的说着:“你前天和王城公园里那个老头下的棋我看了,他喜欢顺跑开局,你拿这弃马十三招打他没有问题。”

The old man on the opposite side fell into deep thought, and then asked in a low voice: “Can you really beat him?”

对面的老爷子陷入深深沉思,然后小声问道:“真能赢他?”

“Learn the thirteen tricks I taught you to abandon the horse within a week, and you can get your face back,” Qing Chen said, “After all… he didn’t do that much.”

“一个星期内学会我教你的弃马十三招,你就可以把面子找回来了,”庆尘说道:“毕竟……他下的也不怎么样。”

There was a hint of joy on the old man’s face.

老头面色上露出一丝喜色。

But he suddenly asked, “If I can beat him by studying for a week, how long will I be able to beat you by studying chess?”

但他又突然问道:“学一个星期能赢他,那我学棋多久可以赢你?”

Under the canopy, Qing Chen thought about it seriously: “The fortune-teller says you can live seventy-eight years old… Then it’s too late.”

雨棚之下,庆尘认真思虑起来:“算命的说你能活七十八岁吗……那来不及了。”

The old man’s complexion was stagnant: “If you say a few words, I might be able to live to seventy-nine… Hey, you should study by yourself at night, why is it so early today?”

老头面色一滞:“你少说两句我说不定能活到七十九……咦,你这会儿应该在上晚自习啊,今天怎么放学这么早?”

He knows that Qing Chen is a sophomore in high school. Today is Tuesday, so the 13th high school two blocks away should be studying late at this time.

他知道庆尘是高二学生,今天周二,所以两条街外的十三中这时候应该正在晚自习。

Qing Chen thought for a while and replied, “I’m waiting for someone.”

庆尘想了想回答道:“我在等人。”

“Waiting for someone?” The old man was taken aback for a moment.

“等人?”老头愣了一下。

Qing Chen got up and looked at the drizzle outside the canopy, his eyes dangling in the rain curtain.

庆尘起身看向雨棚外面的细雨,目光飘摇在雨幕中。

The old man said, “Qing Chen, your kid is so good at chess, why don’t you go to a chess match? Didn’t you say that you are short of money? You have money to win the championship.”

老头说道:“庆尘你小子下棋这么厉害,怎么不去参加象棋比赛?你不是说你缺钱吗,得了冠军也有钱拿啊。”

Young Qingchen shook his head: “I just memorized a lot of chess records in my mind, not how good I played chess. Memory does not mean analytical ability. It’s okay to play with you. If you really meet a master, I will be shy. . My way is not here. Chess is only temporary.”

少年庆尘摇摇头:“我只是将许多棋谱都记在了脑子里而已,并不是我下棋有多么厉害。记忆力并不代表分析能力,跟你们下下还行,真遇上高手就露怯了。我的路不在这里,下棋只是暂时的。”

“It’s all in my head…” The old man sighed: “I used to think that remembering things like this was made up by others.”

“全都记在脑子里……”老头感慨了一下:“我以前觉得,过目不忘这种事情都是别人瞎编的。”

The rain slowly stopped.

雨缓缓停了。

At this moment, the old man suddenly noticed that Qing Chen was stunned. He followed the boy’s gaze and looked towards the end of Junmin Hutong. He happened to see a couple walking with a little boy.

就在此时,老头忽然发现庆尘愣了一下,他顺着少年的目光,朝着军民胡同尽头看去,正巧看到一对夫妻牵着一个小男孩走来。

The middle-aged woman is wearing a delicate windbreaker, holding a cake box in her hand with a beautiful purple ribbon on the box.

中年女子穿着精致的风衣,手里提着一个蛋糕盒子,盒子上系着紫色且好看的缎带。

The gray world couldn’t stop the joyful look on the three of them. Qing Chen turned around and left, leaving the old man sitting under the canopy at the entrance of Fulai Supermarket and sighing softly.

灰蒙蒙的世界也挡不住三人身上的喜悦神色,庆尘转身就走,留下老头坐在福来超市门口的雨棚下轻声叹气。

The middle-aged woman saw Qing Chen’s back, she called out Qing Chen’s name, but Qing Chen disappeared at the other end of the alley without looking back.

中年女子看到了庆尘的背影,她开口喊了庆尘的名字,但庆尘头也没回的消失在了胡同的另一端出口。

The walls on both sides of the hutong were very old. After the white walls fell off, they left patches of mottled red bricks.

胡同两边的墙很旧了,白色墙壁脱落后,留下一块一块斑驳的红砖模样。

The people Qing Chen was waiting for came, but he didn’t want to wait anymore.

庆尘要等的人来了,但他又不想等了。

Author caitou

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