Chapter 252 – Boarding the Train

No matter how reluctant, there must be a farewell.

Finally, the day came for Xu Jinning to leave the Qinghe Production Brigade and head to Beijing.

Xu Jinning was dressed in a new outfit her mother had recently made for her, a light blue dress the color of a freshly washed sky—clear, beautiful, and clean.

This dress made Xu Jinning, who already had an ethereal aura, look even more celestial.

For convenience, Xu Jinning wore her hair in a simple bun.

Even in this simple attire, she exuded a pure and lovely charm that made her seem like a gentle, approachable girl.

Xu Xiangdong, who was accompanying Xu Jinning to Beijing, carried her luggage, while Xu Jinning held only the lunchbox Zhang Ailian had packed for her.

Inside were steamed buns and dumplings, so they could have something to eat on the train if they got hungry.

Although food was available on the train, it couldn’t compare to Zhang Ailian’s cooking, even if it was just simple steamed buns and dumplings.

The steamed buns and dumplings would keep well, and Zhang Ailian had also made some dishes, placed in another lunchbox, with instructions to eat them first to avoid spoilage.

“Ningning, study hard. If you need anything, call or write to us.”

“When you’re away, in an unfamiliar place, don’t try to be brave. Remember, your safety is the most important.”

“It’s best to go to new places with your sister and brother-in-law, and not alone, okay?”


Before she left, Xu Aiguo and Zhang Ailian gave her detailed instructions, as if they couldn’t say enough. Zhang Ailian held Xu Jinning’s hand tightly, unwilling to let go.

Her eyes were also slightly red.

“I know, I will keep it in my heart.”

In fact, ever since the day she received her admission letter, her parents had been repeating these words from time to time.

They had said these words many times already.

Xu Jinning could recite some of them by heart.

But now, hearing them again, she didn’t feel annoyed at all because she knew that every repeated word of advice was filled with her parents’ love and care for her.

No one would ever think that their parents’ love and care were too much.

“Alright, it’s getting late, and we can’t keep others waiting. You should go,” Xu Aiguo finally said.

Not far away, two ox carts were waiting, carrying other villagers or educated youths who had also been accepted to universities or technical schools and needed to take the train to report to their schools.

However, among those who got into Beijing University, or rather any school in Beijing, Xu Jinning was the only one from the Qinghe Production Brigade.

So, the train stations were different.

Even though the train stations were different, the starting point for the journey was the same. Therefore, the captain, Xu Changyi, organized the ox carts to take these students to catch their trains.

“Little sister, let’s go.”

No matter how reluctant, Xu Jinning finally got on the ox cart with her older brother.

“Mom, Dad, go back now. I’ll call you, and whenever I can, I’ll come home.” The ox cart had traveled quite a distance, but she could still see her parents standing there, looking in her direction.

Xu Jinning couldn’t hold back her tears any longer. She shouted loudly to them.

“Big Brother.” Until the ox cart turned a corner and she could no longer see her parents’ figures, Xu Jinning couldn’t hold her emotions any longer. She leaned on her brother’s shoulder, crying and letting out her emotions.

“Don’t cry, don’t cry. You’re just going to study. Life is long, and there will be plenty of opportunities to see each other in the future.”

Xu Xiangdong patted her back gently, soothing her as he took out a handkerchief to wipe her tears.

This handkerchief had been placed in his pocket by his wife, anticipating that his little sister might cry and need it.

Unexpectedly, it turned out to be very useful.

With her big brother’s comforting words, Xu Jinning’s emotions gradually calmed down.

After getting off the ox cart and walking a short distance, they boarded the train.

The tickets had been purchased in advance by Zhang Changzheng, who had taken the initiative to help. Nowadays, trains were the common mode of long-distance travel, making train tickets hard to come by, especially during the peak period when students were reporting to school.

Zhang Changzheng had managed to get the tickets with great difficulty and had opted for sleeper berths, considering the long journey.

He had even bought the return ticket for Xu Xiangdong a few days later.

A couple of days ago, Zhang Changzheng brought his wife and children to the Xu family home to celebrate Xu Jinning’s acceptance into Beijing University.

Indeed, Zhang Changzheng’s wife had given birth to their twins. In traditional Chinese age, they would be considered two years old after the New Year, but in actual age, they were about one year old.

Both boys were adorable little fellows.

“Ningning, be careful and stay close to me.” The train was crowded, and Xu Xiangdong held the luggage in one hand and Xu Jinning’s hand in the other, keeping her safely behind him.

The train was indeed packed, almost to the point of being shoulder-to-shoulder. The air was filled with various strong odors, making it quite unpleasant.

Xu Jinning wasn’t very used to it and slightly furrowed her brows.

She could only use her handkerchief to lightly cover her mouth and nose, keeping her head down and following closely behind her brother, hoping to find their seats quickly.

Fortunately, after walking for a while, they finally found their sleeper berths.

However, when they arrived, they found their seats occupied by a middle-aged couple.

Xu Jinning’s heart sank. Could it be that they would have to deal with someone occupying their seats, like in all those novels? Would there be arguments and confrontations?

She hoped not.

Xu Jinning didn’t want to have the typical “heroine’s fate.”

Because, aside from being lucky, such a fate also often meant encountering trouble everywhere, like Conan.

Xu Jinning didn’t like that idea at all.

It turned out that things didn’t unfold as she feared.

After Xu Xiangdong informed the couple that it was their assigned seats, the couple just murmured a bit and then got up, taking their luggage with them.

Fortunately, things didn’t turn out to be so dramatic.

Xu Jinning breathed a sigh of relief and then sat down in her seat.

Considering that Xu Xiangdong had to take care of Xu Jinning, Zhang Changzheng had bought tickets for two seats together when purchasing train tickets—one on the upper berth and one on the lower berth.

When Xu Jinning didn’t want to sleep, she could sit together with her brother on the lower berth. And when she wanted to sleep, she could use the upper berth.

Xu Xiangdong wanted Xu Jinning to sleep on the upper berth.

The upper berth was higher and safer.

The lower berth, on the other hand, wasn’t as secure. In case something happened at night, in the pitch darkness, like encountering a thief or someone misbehaving, what would they do? So Xu Xiangdong preferred to stay on the lower berth himself.

Xu Jinning understood that her big brother was thinking about her safety, so she didn’t make a fuss. She agreed that when she felt like sleeping, she would go to the upper berth.

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