Corner Café

April 22, 2021

Random Ramblings on BL Novels – Zhang Qingkai & Xia Fei 張青凱×夏飛

Filed under: Miscellaneous & TV Shows — SeaDragon @ 4:00 pm
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Before I begin on this post, just let me warn you that this is a spoiler post for a BL novel by Wuzhe 巫哲 called 竹木狼馬 (Zhú Mù Láng Mǎ). So stop reading now if you are planning to read this novel in the future and you prefer not to know anything about it at the moment… I’m writing this post mainly to leave a video here for myself!

— Spoiler Post Below —

The title of this novel is quite mysterious as I have no clues how to translate it into English, and I can’t seem to find an English translated novel for it to see if anyone has translated the title. The four characters 竹木狼馬, are “Bamboo Wood Wolf Horse”. If we put the first character and the fourth character together, 竹馬 (bamboo horse), we can immediately think of the Chinese idiom, 青梅竹馬, which means childhood sweetheart. But by separating the two characters 竹 and 馬, then adding 木狼 (wooden wolf) in between, I really have no idea what’s that supposed to mean, LOL… However in the synopsis of the novel, there is a mention of a “wolf in sheep’s clothing”, so I guess the “wolf” in the title has something to do with it…

Anyway, that’s not the main point of this post. Currently I am going through Wuzhe’s BL novels one by one from the beginning. Even though I have read a few novels by this author not by chronological order before, I did enjoy all of the novels I’ve read, Saye 撒野 being my favourite of the favourites. So I decided to search out some of Wuzhe’s earliest novels, and started reading them from the chronological order of the time they were written. At the moment I am up to the novel in question, 竹木狼馬, which is about two brothers, but not blood related. The younger brother was adopted from the orphanage when he was 6 (but not an orphan as his birth mother anonymously left him there when he was 1), because the Fu parents were unable to have anymore children after having only one child, the older brother, who was 10 when the younger brother was adopted. I am not sure if they are considered stepbrothers in this situation, are they?

The two brothers are Fu Kun 付坤 and Fu Yijie 付一傑 and they are the two protagonists of the novel, now you maybe wondering who the hell are Zhang Qingkai * 張青凱 and Xia Fei 夏飛 in the title of this post? Hahaha… Let me tell you that you are going to cry a bucket with these two even though they are just minor characters in the novel but have a great impact to the overall story. They seem to be even more well known than the two protagonists after I tried to search if there is an audio drama with theme song for this novel, and most of the video results from the search engine were about a video called 《想你的張青凱》 which translated as “Zhang Qingkai Who (Dreadfully) Misses You” and the “You” refers to Xia Fei. You may guess by now Zhang Qingkai and Xia Fei are a couple. The video 《想你的張青凱》 is a short audio drama based on an extra chapter at the end of the novel telling the story of Zhang Qingkai.
* Just a note that “Q” in Chinese pinyin should sound like “Ch”, so the name Qingkai should be pronounced as Chingkai.

So where is Xia Fei? This is not really a surprise as we know from the outset that Xia Fei suffered from hemophilia, so he died quite early in the story! I usually don’t cry reading novels, mostly just feeling really sad or angry at the injustice, but I did sniffle and sob uncontrollably when Xia Fei went… Not once but two more times when Zhang Qingkai appeared again briefly later on, and Zhang Qingkai was not even impacting the main story at the beginning as he was just someone who fluttered in and out of Xia Fei’s home (neigbhour of the Fu family) at the beginning… I am now nearing the end of the novel, and I am dreading to read that extra chapter at the end of the novel as I know I may not be able to hold it in once again… I think this is the first time I am more attached to the minor characters of a novel than the main characters. And I am glad I’m not the only one as clearly many other readers felt the same with more discussions about Zhang Qingkai and Xia Fei online than Fu Kun and Fu Yijie!

Below is that short audio drama 《想你的張青凱》, the only one I found on YouTube, as many other similar videos are all on Bilibili only. I am leaving the video here so I can listen to it later on after I finish with the novel…

I really like the BL novels by Wuzhe. They are mostly contempory stories about common working class, or impoverished families which created many engrossing storylines, unlike all the young men from ubiquitous rich families we see so often in BL TV dramas. So for anyone who is interested, below is a list of BL novels by Wuzhe, differentiated by genres…

【校園】Campus series:
2016-10-30《撒野》Saye / Run Freely
2018-10-15《輕狂》Bloom of Youth
【輕鬆現代】Contemporary series:
2017-08-13《一個鋼鏰兒》A Lucky Coin
【動物園】Zoo series:
【都市奇幻】Urban Fantasy series:

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