Author Archives : a giraffe

Home  >>  Author : a giraffe

Chapter 6: New Year’s Festival

On August 1, 2017, Posted by , In Chen Yue Zhi Yao, tagged in ,, , With 3 Comments

“Speaking of New Year’s, are you going to beat up a ? Can we ask Lord Yin Shi to provide one? I’ll just watch as Yue Tui beats it up.” ─Fan Tong

“He’d only tell you that he has a little calico kitten, and not a Nian.” ─Ling Shi

“Return the kitten to me! Bastard!” ─Wei *** (For the sake of anonymity).

 

Upon hearing that the New Year was imminent and that the Eastern City had some special traditional activities planned in place, Fan Tong merely blinked his eyes, unable to react.

Who would’ve thought that Huan Shi also celebrates the New Year? As expected, as long as you put your mind to it, you can find things that you are familiar with even in a different world.

They had half a month’s time before the last day of the year arrived. To prepare for the New Year, they needed to clean the house, make some peace charms, and prepare their offerings… Basically, they had many things to do, especially for the debt-ridden Fan Tong. He had to work in order to pay off his debt again.

After receiving the grass green tassel, Fan Tong still owed the Eastern City 250 strings of money after deducting the sum of his salary for the month and his wages from his part time jobs. And this was after he’d borrowed money from Yue Tui. Like usual, both of them with penniless and lacking in food.

Zhu Sha had some money saved up, but he obviously wouldn’t treat them to meals. They had to make do with public rations in the end. Upon hearing that the public rations would be different during the New Year’s period, Fan Tong couldn’t help but be a little excited .

Speaking of which, Yue Tui hadn’t demanded any compensation fees from Yin Shi yet, which bothered Fan Tong for a long time. For someone rich like Yin Shi, Fan Tong felt that it wouldn’t be too extreme to scam some money out of him. But the one who’d died wasn’t him, and Yue Tui had already made his decision, so Fan Tong couldn’t say anything.

If Yue Tui could extort some compensation money out of Yin Shi, we’d be living comfortable lives─

Fan Tong knew that it wasn’t good to have a “If Yue Tui had money he would definitely take care of me so Yue Tui’s money is closely related to me” mentality, but that was easier said than done. In the end, principles were worthless in the face of poverty.

As for the “seal Chen Yue” matter, he was still feeling glum about it.

He had tried to discuss it with Yue Tui before, but he’d given up after forcing out two unintelligible and reversed sentences. Regardless, he wasn’t in any rush; he could wait until Yue Tui could read the Eastern City’s language before communicating with writing. This would make the explanation clearer. After taking some classes, Yue Tui could now understand nearly half of the Eastern City’s language. Fan Tong believed that the day he could use writing to communicate with Yue Tui would soon arrive. New Residents all had plenty of time, he could wait.

Ever since being promoted to a grass green tassel, Fan Tong’s growth had stagnated. He hadn’t advanced the slightest bit towards a dark green tassel.

It wasn’t that he didn’t want to be promoted, but rather that he’d given up after learning that he had to pass the Wu Shu Tractor Teacher’s test before he could rise to a dark green tassel.

Despite carrying a grass green tassel, he only had the ability of a white tassel. How was he going to pass the test? He’d probably end up being toyed with before being marked as a failure.

While the condition for promotion proved to be difficult for Fan Tong, it wasn’t the case for others. Compared to gathering goods, passing the Tractor Teacher’s test was evidently much easier. Thus, Yue Tui, Bi Rou, and Zhu Sha were all dark green tassels now.

Zhu Sha should’ve passed the test through the normal route. As for Bi Rou, Fan Tong wasn’t sure if she’d used her beauty as a trap, or if she’d used her connections with “high-level” people to help her pass. Yue Tui was the only one whose circumstances he could ask about, so when Yue Tui came home with a dark green tassel, Fan Tong immediately rushed over.

“How was it? Did you beat up that Tractor Teacher until he was half dead?”

If he personally had that kind of strength, he would probably use the promotion as an excuse to get revenge.

“Teacher didn’t let me make a move. He just directly promoted me,” Yue Tui replied with a wry smile.

That Tractor Teacher didn’t even give people a chance to take revenge. He was indeed a devious man. Fan Tong suddenly wondered if he was related to Mi Zhong.

Being promoted to a dark green tassel proved to be troublesome for Yue Tui; the number of people seeking to duel him had greatly increased now that grass green tassels could challenge him as well. The number of times he was stopped while walking outside increased along with the number of challengers. Even watching from the sidelines, Fan Tong found it a bit annoying.

“Yue Tui, do you want to try killing some of them? That way, the number of people that come looking for trouble will increase.”

He meant to say that after killing a few, the rest of the challengers would be intimidated and disappear. However, his words had been reversed once more.

“Exactly, I think there would be more people looking for trouble if I killed a few. It’s quite worrisome…”

Even with his words reversed, Yue Tui was somehow able to continue the conversation. Fan Tong was speechless.

In short, their lives had gotten busier because it was almost New Year’s. Yue Tui hadn’t forgotten what he’d promised before and accompanied Fan Tong to work. Fan Tong was touched by the gesture, and decided that he would definitely repay Yue Tui if he had a chance in his next life.

As for why not in this lifetime… Obviously because Yue Tui was way better than him in all aspects. There was no way he’d have any opportunity to repay Yue Tui.

“Yue Tui, Fan Tong!”

On the first day of New Year’s preparations, Bi Rou called after the two of them just as they were about to head out to work.

“Something wrong?” Yue Tui turned around, he was polite yet indifferent.

Yue Tui, exactly what do you have against Bi Rou? Just say it straight out. What kind of man faces a beautiful woman with that kind of expression? Even if the beautiful woman is taken, you shouldn’t be like this.

Ah! Did something happen between you and Zhu Sha without me knowing? If that’s the case, I can understand. Zhu Sha seems like the jealous type whether if he were a man or a woman. If you were caught cheating, it would be disastrous… But is that really the case? Probably not, right?

“Do you want to celebrate the New Year together? Yin Shi, Ling Shi-dage, and I already agreed to celebrate it together. If everyone comes, it’ll be more lively.”

Have we already become the type of people who do everything together?

Fan Tong was a bit perplexed. Why did it sound perfectly normal to him to celebrate the New Year with Lord Yin Shi and Long Ling Shi? This shouldn’t be normal, right?

“I don’t care, ask Fan Tong.”

Yue Tui didn’t look very interested, and gave the decision to Fan Tong.

“Huh? I don’t care either.” If he said “Sure,” it might be twisted to “No.” But if he said “No,” it might not be twisted to “Sure.” In the end, Fan Tong chose a reply that would be harder to mix up.

“Then we’ll celebrate together!”

Since it didn’t matter to them, Bi Rou naturally settled it herself. They’d assumed that she would let them go after agreeing, but she ended up dragging them over and discussing everything related to the event in one go, like where and how they would celebrate.

Of course, this kind of thing couldn’t be decided by a single person alone, so Bi Rou requested that they open their communication charms in order to discuss the arrangements with Yin Shi and Ling Shi.

“Ah, Xiao Yue and the mop’s master are going to celebrate the New Year with us? Then what about Xiao Zhu?”

Stop saying “the mop’s master.” I don’t even know how to retort anymore.

“We haven’t asked Zhu Sha yet,” Yue Tui replied simply.

Lord Ling Shi coughed and said that he was very busy and didn’t have time to waste. Hearing that, they went straight to the main topic.

“How do you guys want to celebrate?”

When Bi Rou asked this, Fan Tong chose to stay silent. Because he’d been alone in his original world, he’d always stayed home during New Year’s. Sometimes, he’d forget to buy food beforehand and end up running out of food because all the shops were closed… But he didn’t think that this experience was worth referencing. Anyone who wanted to celebrate the New Year that way surely had mental problems.

“I don’t really have any experience,” Yue Tui said. It was possible that he’d lived in a country that didn’t celebrate New Year’s, so not having any experience was normal.

“I normally stay by Ying’s side and organize her matters. When I don’t have any work to do, I just stay in my room.” This was Ling Shi’s response. It seemed like the New Year was any other day for him judging by the things he did.

“Ah… New Year’s celebrations are mostly the same every year. I’ve already celebrated it for many years, and it’s boring to death. Xiao Rou, how do you guys celebrate where you are from? Tell us.”

Yin Shi clearly felt that celebrations for the New Year were always the same routine over and over. He was fed up with it, and didn’t look forward to it at all. As he’d asked, Bi Rou began to talk about the Western City’s traditions.

“Hmm, I’ve never celebrated with them…but people in the Western City normally gather in small groups to exchange gifts and each person that attends must bring a handmade dish. Sometimes they choose a gathering place indoors and sometimes it’s outdoors. That’s basically it.”

When Bi Rou finished speaking, Yin Shi excitedly chimed in, “Ah, that seems really unique! We should celebrate this year using the Western City’s customs!”

Ah…?

Lord Yin Shi, you’re joking, right? Who even has the money to buy gifts? Can I gift wrap the mop and give it to someone else as a gift? Even if it was worth two hundred strings, who would be happy to receive a mop as a gift? You might be the only one who would want it, right?

“Don’t be ridiculous, can you cook?” Ling Shi mocked Yin Shi with contempt. At the same time, Fan Tong felt as if he’d been stabbed too.

That’s right, if we really need to provide handmade dishes, then I can only force everyone to accept my scary cooking skills… I can cook a strange type of porridge, but I don’t have any ingredients. Would it be ok if I just boiled the public rations and arranged it in a creative way?

“If I can’t cook, I can learn! I don’t believe that there’s something you can do that I can’t learn!”

Lord Yin Shi, your battle spirit is astounding. Exactly how many dishes will be edible this New Year?

“How well you cook doesn’t matter, your feelings are the most important.” Bi Rou was correct, but no matter what, Fan Tong still wanted to eat normal dishes.

“We don’t have the money to buy any ingredients,” Yue Tui awkwardly stated their predicament, but it clearly wasn’t a good enough excuse for Bi Rou.

“Just tell me what ingredients you want! I can help you buy them, it’s not a problem,” Bi Rou said generously. Yue Tui was rendered silent.

You obviously don’t have a problem! You have three thousand strings in savings…

“Then it’s decided!”

“Sigh, whatever.”

“You guys will need to take care of the presents yourselves, but if it’s really difficult, you can come find me and I’ll lend you money.”

After the discussion was finished, they dispersed.

Fan Tong felt greatly pressured by what they’d decided on during their discussion.

Why do I feel like we’ve been dragged into an event only upper-class rich people can afford to attend?

For today’s work, Fan Tong and Yue Tui were responsible for assisting in the production of special foods given to New Residents during the New Year’s period. Fan Tong was excited to learn that he’d be able to find out what the special foods were in advance. However, he felt uneasy at the thought of giving away the food he’d personally made; whoever received the food he’d made would be particularly unlucky.

His selfishness then kicked in and Fan Tong felt that it’d be fine as long as he wasn’t the one on the receiving end. Besides, among the people here helping out, there were bound to be some as clumsy as him. He suspected that after witnessing the creation process, he might not actually want to eat the special public rations on New Year’s Day.

As the two of them had arrived a bit early, Fan Tong started chatting with Yue Tui while they were waiting for the person in charge to arrive.

“Yue Tui, you always seem super happy whenever you see Bi Rou. Your attitude towards her is also especially cordial. Is there any particular reason?”

Oh, I meant to say that you never seem excited, and that you also treat her especially indifferently. I had no intention of sounding sarcastic…

“…Huh? Happy? Cordial?” Yue Tui’s expression slackened.

You can just say that you think I’m blind, it’s all right…

“I mean, you seem really cold to her. Why is that?”

As if God had heard Fan Tong’s pleas, he was finally able to say a correct sentence. But Yue Tui fell into a long silence at his question.

Why, why won’t you speak? If you don’t want to tell me, you can just say that there isn’t a particular reason. Although I’m really curious and that kind of answer won’t satisfy me, I would at least understand what you mean. Why are you silent?

“Fan Tong,” Yue Tui said after a long silence. However, he didn’t directly answer the question. “If you were killed by someone and then one day you came across them, what would you do?”

Fan Tong was a bit shocked by the sudden question, but judging from Yue Tui’s serious and heavy tone of voice, he knew that the other had asked it after careful deliberation.

Bi Rou killed Yue Tui? That can’t be, right? Wait, is Yue Tui also someone from this world? Ah? Oh? Huh?

“No.” Yue Tui knew what Fan Tong was thinking, and shook his head at Fan Tong’s guess. “I just want to know what would you do. I feel…a bit lost.”

Oh, as long as Bi Rou wasn’t the killer. If one of my friends killed another one of my friends, I really wouldn’t know what to do. Then again, what are you at loss for? Are you thinking about your wounds and nightmares again?

“Fan Tong, can you tell me what you would do?”

Seeing Yue Tui’s serious expression, Fan Tong felt that it would be wrong if he didn’t give an elaborate reply. He imagined himself encountering someone who had killed him and replied, “I would first point at that genius and praise him greatly. I would then gently caress his vital points and not let him go until I’ve finished expressing my happiness. Essentially, I would make him wish for death.”

While Fan Tong was speaking, he felt as if a cold wind was blowing through him while a crow was cawing awkwardly in the background. To his expectations, Yue Tui’s expression became extremely strange.

“Fan Tong, your thoughts are…very unique. However, I don’t think that’s a good idea,” Yue Tui forced out after a long silence.

You don’t have to force yourself to admonish me. Also, please, can’t you figure out that I’d misspoke? And are you saying that it’s not a good idea because my personality is twisted or because it would be bad for the person on the receiving end?

Seeing that Fan Tong made no effort to reply, Yue Tui lowered his head awkwardly. “I’m sorry, I’d probably asked the wrong question…”

Don’t be like this! Don’t apologize when you don’t understand the reply to a question that you’d asked! I was saying that I would point at the scum and curse him to the heavens. I would then ruthlessly beat him up by striking all his vital points. I wouldn’t let him go until I’d finished expressing my fury and make him wish for death. This is clearly a normal reply, isn’t it?

“Yue, Tui, then what about you?”

Fan Tong gave up on the idea of trying to reverse the horrible image he’d just given himself. More accurately, he’d lost hope ages ago. He didn’t care about his image at all, it was completely beyond saving.

“Huh?”

Yue Tui hadn’t imagined that Fan Tong would continue the topic. Faced with his own question, Yue Tui frowned, seemingly not sure of how to answer.

Fan Tong might have just used any stranger as his murderer, but Yue Tui knew the identity of his killer. Due to the different circumstances, Yue Tui didn’t quite know how to answer.

“Yue Tui, are you contemplating how you would repay your gratitude towards them or whether you would forgive them?”

I mean how you would take revenge, not repay some stupid gratitude, rotten curse…

Yue Tui looked at Fan Tong with confusion. It looked like he was unable to figure out the reasoning behind repaying gratitude.

“I think that you should inflict pain on the person who made you suffer, you shouldn’t be too kind.”

Thank god the sentence came out correctly. If it had turned into something like “bring joy to the person who made you suffer” or “inflict pain on the person who brings you joy”, Yue Tui will start  wondering if I’m a masochist or a sadist…

Upon hearing Fan Tong, Yue Tui’s expression became somewhat complicated. Another long while passed before he answered, “I’m…not actually kind.”

Fan Tong was shocked. In his mind, Yue Tui was a very kind-hearted child. He didn’t understand why Yue Tui would describe himself as unkind.

Does that mean you’ve decided to enact revenge? That’s a good thing, bad people should die a rotten death, hahaha.

Hmm? Wait, he still hasn’t answered my original question. Exactly why don’t you like Bi Rou? Also, is it possible for you to meet your murderer again? Are you really someone from this world after all? I have so many questions, but I can’t even properly ask a single one…

“Fan Tong, it’s better if we talk about something else instead. What do you plan on doing with the presents?

Oi, oi! Don’t just switch topics! What about Bi Rou?!

“You still haven’t answered my question about Bi Rou…”

“…There really isn’t an issue between us, perhaps you’re being oversensitive. Why don’t we think about what to do with the gifts?”

Do you know how obvious you are why you lie? If you’re so clumsy at lying, then don’t try to lie. But I can tell you don’t want to reply to my question, sigh.

In the end, they never discussed what to do about the gifts as the person in charge had arrived. The two of them, along with the other workers, moved to another location.

Fan Tong didn’t see Mi Zhong among the crowd, which he was grateful for. There was finally a day when he could work without being together with Mi Zhong. Being with Yue Tui was always much better than being with Mi Zhong. He could be cheerful for the whole day and not be constantly nagged at.

Despite working together with Yue Tui, Fan Tong’s expression darkened upon knowing what their job entailed.

The public rations being distributed on New Year’s Day were rice balls, so their job today was to make rice balls.

Each person had to prepare 400 rice balls, and they weren’t allowed to go home until they’ve finished.

The fact that each person had to make 400 rice balls was enough to make Fan Tong despair. While calculating how much time it would take in total if making one rice ball took two minutes without stopping in between, Fan Tong took in the 40+ ingredients that they’d been given.

The person in charge had said that they were free to choose the fillings they wanted to put inside.

They wanted each person to make 400 rice balls, yet they refused to give them simpler ingredients. Wasn’t that just asking for them to drop dead from exhaustion?

Fan Tong kind of wanted to just start wrapping plain rice balls without any fillings. Either way, it was impossible to tell from the outside what kind of filling the rice balls contained. Making plain rice balls would save him a lot of effort.

However, an evil idea started to wag its tail inside his head. With so many ingredients, it’d be easy to make some “creative” rice balls. He might not be able to see the expressions of the people eating them, but it was still amusing when he imagined how people would react upon eating something like a cilantro, chili pepper, and Chinese cinnamon combo rice ball…

Fan Tong was sure that quite a few people were thinking similar things. These public rations that were supposed to be handed out on New Year’s Day were actually terrifying bombs. He really needed to reconsider whether he wanted to stand in line and obtain a few.

But the next sentence the person in charge said dispelled all his notions of making “creative” rice balls. Aside from wages, they could also choose 10 rice balls among the ones they’d made to take back as food at the end of the day.

This was extra food. Although they could pick up more rice balls to eat on New Year’s Day, seeing as how there were 40 different fillings, Fan Tong didn’t trust others to make safe ones for consumption. It was good that he could choose from the ones he’d made himself; he would at least have a general idea of what was inside them.

Knowing that he would be eating ten out of the four hundred, Fan Tong decided to make large rice balls. He stuffed filling after filling into the abnormally large rice ball in his hand, to the point that Yue Tui stopped to stare at his outrageous actions.

“Fan Tong, you don’t need to make them so large, right?”

This is called being greedy, you wouldn’t understand.

“Yue Tui, yours are too large. You’re clearly benefiting from others’ expense.”

That’s not it! I’m saying that yours are too small and that you’re losing out that way.

“Huh? Are these too large? But yours are clearly larger than mine.”

Yue Tui looked at his own rice balls with surprise. He thought that the ones he’d made were the perfect size.

Fan Tong replied with a few indistinct grunts before focusing once again on his rice balls, hoping that Yue Tui would ignore what he’d said.

At first, Fan Tong tackled the rice balls with great ambition, but after finishing nearly 100 of them, he was starting to become impatient.

His plans for creative rice balls were starting to stir again. If he were going to make the rice balls randomly, then there wasn’t a need to make them particularly large. Fan Tong discovered that it was much more fun to make them however he pleased. He hummed a little tune to himself while working, content enough that it didn’t even feel like he was working.

Although he was enjoying himself, the amount of time required to make 400 rice balls wasn’t going to decrease. In other words, an increase in mood didn’t translate to an increase in work efficiency. By the time he’d finished 300 rice balls, ten hours had passed since when he’d first started working. Although he could steal some rice and fillings as lunch and afternoon tea as time passed, he still had to hurry up so that he could go home and sleep.

While he was stuck at 300, Yue Tui had already finished all 400 rice balls. Fan Tong didn’t know how well Yue Tui had made his, but it was a fact that Yue Tui had finished faster. Fortunately, Yue Tui wasn’t cold-hearted enough to just watch from the side while Fan Tong worked.

“Fan Tong, how many have you finished? I’m done, do you want me to help?”

Of course, Fan Tong was extremely grateful to have someone help out.

“Don’t mention it! I don’t need any help.”

Opening his mouth to reply was his greatest mistake.

As his pride kept him from trying to explain his misspoken words, Fan Tong could only continue making his rice balls alone. After another two hours, he finally finished.

“Here, these are your rice balls.”

After the two of them pushed their trolleys full of rice balls over to hand them in, they each received 10 of their own rice balls. Seeing that there weren’t any particularly large ones among the ten he’d received, Fan Tong’s expression soured. While walking back to their dorm, they tried out the results of their work today.

Fan Tong gathered up his courage and took a bite of his rice ball, at the first bite, Fan Tong felt as if he had won a prize. Of course, it wasn’t any good prize. Out of curiosity, Yue Tui also tried a bite of Fan Tong’s rice ball, and made an ugly expression as well. At that moment, all of Fan Tong’s hopes were pinned on the rice balls Yue Tui had made.

Yue Tui wasn’t stingy. Since Fan Tong wanted to try, Yue Tui passed a rice ball to him.

“Wow, Yue Tui, this rice ball of yours isn’t small, yet it’s so light…ack!”

When Fan Tong bit down on Yue Tui’s small and sturdy rice ball, he cried out.

It’s rock hard!

Yue Tui! Exactly how much strength did you use to make these?! Is this really a rice ball? I can’t get any grip on it with my teeth! They’re so small, yet so heavy; how much rice did you compress together?

Do you have something against rice balls? Why would you knead them with so much strength?

“Is something wrong?”

“It’s inedible.”

Fan Tong didn’t try to be courteous and bluntly pointed out the core issue.

If he couldn’t even bite into it, then it was obviously inedible. Maybe they could use it as a throwing weapon. A shotput?

“What’s wrong with it?”

Yue Tui tried to take a bite himself and immediately made a face.

This is great. You don’t seem human in many aspects, but it looks like your teeth are still identical to the average person’s.

“It looks like…none of these are edible.” Yue Tui smiled awkwardly. Fan Tong then suggested a horrible idea, “Why don’t we try soaking it in water?”

That way, it could turn into the porridge he normally ate.

Otherwise, what could they do, leaving them like this would be a waste.

“Forget it, I’ll just give them all to Zhu Sha.”

At Yue Tui’s suggestion, Fan Tong wanted to agree that it was a good idea. Either way, Zhu Sha could eat anything. He definitely wouldn’t have an issue eating either Fan Tong’s strange tasting rice balls or Yue Tui’s steel-like ones.

Eventually, aside from the two they’d already bitten into, they gave the rest of the eighteen rice balls to Zhu Sha as gifts. Zhu Sha was confused as to why he’d received so many rice balls, but he still accepted them with thanks.

During the New Year’s preparation period, Fan Tong and Yue Tui were busy working and earning money, while Bi Rou was happily spending the money that Yin Shi had given her to attend various New Year’s activities. The difference in how they’d spent their time only solidified Fan Tong’s belief that there was indeed a huge difference between people’s fates. Bi Rou’s were simply that of one blessed with great luck and fate; no matter what obstacles stood in her way, she could avoid the disaster and still live a happy life blessed with wealth. In comparison, Yue Tui seemed to lead a life with many obstacles, but Yue Tui’s features were too complex for Fan Tong to decipher in just one glance. If he had the chance, he felt that doing a palm or a character reading for Yue Tui would be a good idea. But Yue Tui had already died, using stuff from his previous life to determine the path of his current one didn’t seem very reliable

While they were diligently earning money, Zhu Sha was studying intently like a good student. He didn’t seem interested in moneymaking, and he’d rejected Bi Rou’s invitation to the New Year’s gathering because he thought cooking and preparing gifts was a pain. He was someone who lived in his own world and moved at his own pace.

“Should we invite Luo Shi?” Even amidst their busy schedule, Yue Tui was somehow still able to think of this.

“If you don’t want to invite him, then don’t. If you do, then go ahead.” Fan Tong didn’t care; besides, the gathering wasn’t his idea.

“Then I’ll try asking.” Yue Tui took out his communication charm and contacted Luo Shi. After exchanging a few words, he ended the connection with a regretful expression.

“How is it?”

“Luo Shi said he’s really busy over New Year’s and might not have time.”

Oh? Is he busy or is he just declining out of embarrassment? Why didn’t you speak some more with him? Based on my experience, if you ask him a few more times, he’ll surrender and say he’s free. I think you gave up a bit too early…

“When are we working tomorrow?”

“Fan Tong, we don’t have work tomorrow.”

I know, I meant to ask about today…

“I mean, when do we work next year?”

Yue Tui looked at him strangely.

“We still don’t know about next year’s work. Or have you already made arrangements?”

No! I’m…ugh, I can’t say any of it properly…

“It’s about time for our work at Shen Dian Wang, we should leave.”

In the end, he received the answer he’d been looking for. Only, the process made him feel dejected.

The day before the New Year’s gathering, they had to go to Shen Wang Dian and do some cleaning. Logically, there should be servants cleaning the palace, but it seemed that something had happened, leading to a shortage in the cleaning staff. Thus, they’d been hired to help.

Even after working hard to clean everything up until the Fourth Palace, they still hadn’t encountered Yin Shi and the others. Perhaps they knew that random people were coming to clean and had chosen to stay inside in order to avoid accidents or troubles.

After cleaning out the Fourth Palace, the person in charge stopped them from advancing to the Fifth Palace.

“Her Majesty’s living quarters is ahead. There is no need to go over there; Her Majesty doesn’t like outsiders approaching it.”

Is that the case? Don’t tell me Lord Ling Shi cleans it out alone.

“But doesn’t Lord Hui Shi also live in the Fifth Palace?”

“Lord Luo Shi has been responsible for organizing people to clean out Lord Hui Shi’s living quarters these past years. We shouldn’t meddle.”

Luo Shi?

Hui Shi isn’t here anymore, but Luo Shi still goes to clean his quarters. I wonder if I should be calling him considerate…

It was already night by the time they’d finished cleaning. However, the next night was when the gathering was going to happen. If they didn’t come up with dishes or presents right now, they’d end up with nothing, which would be bad. Fan Tong and Yue Tui dragged their tired bodies around and racked their brains for any ideas.

“Fan Tong, have you cooked before?”

“Yes, but it probably doesn’t count.”

The porridge that I can make…rather than calling it cooking, it’s probably more appropriate to call it a chemistry experiment.

“What should we do about tomorrow?”

What should we do? Even if you ask me, I don’t know either. Maybe salad?

“Should we…buy some ingredients and make rice balls?”

Did you forget that the rice balls you made were completely inedible? How many rice balls do you plan to sacrifice while you test out how much force you should be exerting?

“Either way, it should be fine as long we do it with good intentions. It doesn’t matter if it tastes disgusting or delicious, they’re different either way.”

“Disgusting and delicious are definitely different.”

Stop nitpicking at my wording… Or rather, stop making fun of me for constantly misspeaking.

At that moment, Fan Tong suddenly thought of a good idea. There was another guy they could ask.

“Puhahaha, wake up. Do you know how to cook?”

Having fallen to the point where he was asking a mop how to cook, Fan Tong felt that he could be called a genius.

Yue Tui watched blankly as he pulled out Puhahaha. Who knew what he was thinking about?

“Huha… This horsetail whisk obviously cannot. A nobleman stays clear of the kitchen.”

Who’s a nobleman… Exactly how are you like one, please tell me.

“What, you’re really useless. You can’t even cook despite living so long.”

Not bad, my complaint hadn’t been reversed. Otherwise, I’d be really annoyed.

“I don’t need to eat, why would I study cooking? I’m clearly a weapon, not a kitchen tool. Your request is unreasonable.”

Weren’t you half asleep before? Why are you suddenly speaking so clearly and fluently? Are you awake now?

“When outside the house, a weapon should help their master contend against an enemy. When at home, a weapon should act as the master’s capable wife. This is only right and proper!”

Huh? I’ve also started speaking clearly and fluently? Being able to speak two sentences in a row without any reversed words all of a sudden is a bit hard to accept.

“Hmph. This horsetail whisk doesn’t want to marry anyone, and even if I did, it wouldn’t be to you. Who would want to become your wife?”

What! You dare to hmph at me? Also, aren’t you forgetting that you’re male?

“The hell are you saying, I really want to marry you.”

As expected, happy occasions never number more than two. My words were reversed again, and it chose to do it in the worst direction.

“…Ill fate, such an ill fate. After all this time, I wasn’t able to find a master I admired. Even after choosing one that barely seems decent, it turns out that all he does is flap his lips all day and assault me. He doesn’t even have any actual skills. Why, oh why, truly, why can’t an outstanding weapon like me find a master that is good enough to match me?”

All I did was misspeak, yet you prattle on and on about my bad qualities. Aren’t you going a little overboard? You belittle me while praising yourself. Do you think of yourself as the main character of some melodrama?

“Fan Tong…”

Fan Tong wanted to reason with Puhahaha, but Yue Tui suddenly called out his name with a peculiar expression.

I’m doomed. I didn’t ask for Puhahaha to speak out loud, so Yue Tui only heard what I’d said and not what that mop said. What kind of misunderstandings have formed this time?

“No matter how good a person’s relationship is with their weapon, it’s still best if you realize the difference in species. Even if you really like it, you shouldn’t think of it as a human that you can marry.”

Please don’t advise me so seriously with such a worried expression. I don’t, I really don’t have that kind of preference at all, okay? Moreover, do you not know that this thing is male?

“Did you hear that? Your friend is much more sensible than you. Don’t bother trying to delude yourself any further.”

I can’t believe you’re taking advantage of the misunderstanding to insult me more. Despicable!

“Just go back to sleep. I don’t want to talk to you anymore, I can’t deal with you anymore.”

The frequency at which I can correctly talk to Puhahaha has increased. Does that mean our spirits are becoming interlinked?

“Fan Tong, you shouldn’t be too cold to your weapon just because you can’t marry it.”

In the end, after discussing the issue for a long time, they decided on some basic ingredients and requested for Bi Rou to buy them. They would wait until tomorrow to deal with it.

 

◎ Fan Tong’s Afterword

When I was really, really young, when my parents were still healthy and alive, I celebrated New Year’s with them. My memories from when I was little are blurred now though. All I remember is that there were a lot of things we had to do, and it was both busy and lively. We would be so busy that everything blended together and in the blink of an eye the New Year would have passed. Everything would end, and everyone would leave to return home.

Whenever it was time to say our goodbyes, I never wanted to leave. I’d always be crestfallen on the way home. After returning to our own house, the home I’d lived in for so long suddenly felt cold. It was then that I realized that humans were truly social creatures. Upon separating from everyone else, one would truly feel lonesome.

Then again, one could only feel lonely after experiencing liveliness, right? In reality, when I was small, I lived with my parents and I never really felt lonely. By the time I was truly alone, I’d also gotten used to it and it wasn’t unbearable anymore.

Don’t give me such a pitying look, I’ve never found myself pitiful. My father claimed himself as someone who had , and he had told us long ago that he would die the day I turned thirteen. He would emphasize that it had been decreed by fate, and that we shouldn’t feel too sad… I asked him why it had to be on my birthday, and his reply was that it would be easier to remember. If one’s father’s last day was the same day as one’s birthday, it would take less brain cells to remember. His reply had made me speechless.

After hearing something like that, I’d thought that my father was capable of choosing his own day of death, and had purposely chosen my birthday… I had a headstrong father who was determined to die on his own son’s birthday. But I can’t complain much, I still respected him very much. Before he died, he had taught all his skills to me, so that I could earn my living from the fortune-telling shop. That way, he could pass on to another world at ease without worrying about me and my mother starving to death.

However, the fortune-telling shop didn’t do well, and only improved after I had been cursed by that woman… Another world, ah, speaking of another world, my father couldn’t have come to Huan Shi too, right? Should I go find Luo Shi and ask him to check the residents list?

But he didn’t have any unfulfilled wishes when he’d died, the possibility doesn’t seem very high.

It’s probably best that I don’t check.

If I really do find him, and then discover that my weak-limbed father had been living in this world for so long as a white tassel… That’s not something that can be solved by crying a few tears. It would be too sad!

No, Dad didn’t have any speech problems after all. Even if he were a modern man with no dreams like me, a person that couldn’t learn Shu Fa, he would at least be able to use Fu Zhou! With Dad’s aptitude, I’m sure he’d be able to become a red tassel without a problem! If that were the case, maybe I should find him, and ask him to help his debt-ridden son, and get some spending money…

But with my current condition, it’s possible that I’ll call him “Mom” instead of “Dad” upon seeing him. Then he’d probably grab a broom and sweep me out the door while fiercely cursing at me.

Oh, I don’t even know if Dad really came here, yet I’m thinking so much. Aren’t I just getting upset over nothing?

Perhaps it’s because New Year’s has made me remember the past… Sigh.

 

Next:
Previous: Chapter 5: Yue Luo Territory
Return: Main Page

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

Translator: TaffyGirl13
Proofreaders: Nannyn

年兽 (nián shòu). According to Chinese mythology, the Nian is a beast that comes out of hiding during the New Year to feed on crops and children. It is weak to loud noises, fire, and the color red. Hence, when celebrating the New Year, or 过年 (guò nián), people will light up firecrackers and dress up in red to intimidate and ward off the Nian.
Studying someone’s face is a way of fortune telling. Much like palm reading.
A concept of Daoist philosophy. Someone who has achieved the Dao (the way), has become unified with the Dao and has become a perfected person. It requires distancing oneself from conventional ideas and values set in place by society. A disengagement from the baggage of society, yet not a withdrawal from life.

Let’s All Be a Multi-faceted Person ;)

On July 15, 2017, Posted by , In Updates, With 4 Comments

We’re back with some True Star and Ti Shen. Just one chapter of each, I’m afraid. Hopefully, that’s enough to tide you over. If not, well, maybe next time. Patience is a virtue! :D

Speaking of which, we could really use some more translators and proofreaders. Otherwise, we really might be defunct in a couple months. Come help us! You don’t want to still be reading True Star while you’re in your 80s, right?

True Star: Chapter 11
Ti Shen: Chapter 9

Chapter 9: Difficulty Breathing

On July 15, 2017, Posted by , In Ti Shen, tagged in ,, , With 11 Comments

Ran Feng Ge dilly-dallied slowly after Su Yi Mo down the corridor. Su Yi Mo pushed open the door leading into the private room he had reserved, indicating for Ran Feng Ge to enter. As soon as Ran Feng Ge entered the room, Su Yi Mo promptly closed and locked the door.

Touching his nose slightly, Ran Feng Ge asked, “Don’t tell me you still want to fight?”

Instead of answering, Su Yi Mo turned around and silently stared at Ran Feng Ge. His gaze was no longer as cold as it had been before.

Feeling uncomfortable being stared at, Ran Feng Ge stepped deeper into the room, making a beeline straight for the table once he spotted it. He sat himself on top of it, swinging his legs slightly. Not wanting to look up at Su Yi Mo, he could only continue looking at his toes as he asked, “So, what’s the matter?”

“I have something I need to ask of you.”

“Ah, is this what they call the carrot and the stick?” Ran Feng Ge replied with a raised eyebrow and a look full of reluctance.

“You started it first by attacking me without any reason.” Su Yi Mo emphasized, “I was only defending myself.”

“Tsk!” Ran Feng Ge clicked his tongue and rolled his eyes, “If you were being sincere, you’d stand there and let me hit you.”

“Why should I just stand here and let you hit me?”

“…That’s why I say you are insincere!” Ran Feng Ge refused to admit that the reason he played Su Yi Mo to trick Jing Qiu Han was because he was afraid of Su Yi Mo. That was why he decided to take the initiative to fight with him.

Besides, Su Yi Mo knowing that Ran Feng Ge pretended to be him to try and trick his little lover would make him very unhappy. Therefore, letting him do a little work out to soothe out those feelings would help.

See, isn’t Su Yi Mo so much more manageable now?

Su Yi Mo realized that it was getting a little difficult to maintain his iceberg persona.

He used to be someone who was very resolute in everything he did, one meant one, but now that Ran Feng Ge was in the picture, he found it very difficult to retain the same attitude. Even if he did try, what was the use if the other party refused to acknowledge it?

Just like now.

That fellow wearing a face identical to his own, sitting with both his legs dangling off the table, a look of stubbornness etched on his features, even Su Yi Mo was unable to find the drive to get angry.

Even though he had already let his anger out, he found that he was now filled with a feeling of helplessness.

“Can you first change your face back?” Su Yi Mo asked, resisting the urge to sigh out loud. Then, with a few strides, he stepped in front of Ran Feng Ge. Looking at his identical double before him, Su Yi Mo couldn’t help but feel as though it was some kind of out-of-body experience.

With a brief scratch on the cheek, Ran Feng Ge stated, “Why should I change back? I think this is quite nice.”

“I find it very awkward!” Seeing that Ran Feng Ge had no intention of doing anything, Su Yi Mo reached for the mask with the intention of ripping it off.

“Aiyah! Hurts, hurts, it hurts, be more gentle!” Ran Feng Ge had no choice but to follow the movement of the arm before him, as his face was being manipulated without his will. He was unable to form coherent sentences, “I’ll do it myself, I’ll do it! Let, let go… Argh…”

With a start, Su Yi Mo felt his spirits lift as he watched his doppelganger’s face turn red from his manipulation. Whatever he was pissed off about before.

Seeing the sides of Su Yi Mo’s lips curl upwards, a glimmer of relief shone through Ran Feng Ge’s eyes.

So long as he’s no longer angry…

Knowing his limits, Ran Feng Ge carefully felt along the junction of his cheek and ear base. He then retrieved a bottle of transparent makeup removal, which he carries along with him at all times. After what seemed like half a day, the mask was finally pulled off!

“Hu…” Releasing a breath, Ran Feng Ge glanced at Su Yi Mo from his peripheral vision and said, “So, we’ll talk about serious matters now?”

Su Yi Mo found himself staring at the slightly oxygen deprived face before him, blotches of red amid all that handsome smooth whiteness. Of course, it was only but a moment of distraction.

“Because of your little prank, I was indeed very angry. However, now that I have calmed down and have given it some thought, rather than hiding things from you, I might as well show you all my cards. Now that you’ve met Jing Qiu Han: his character, his movements, how he reacts in different situations… I am sure you should now know them like the back of your hand. Therefore, I would like you to listen very carefully to what I want to say next…” Su Yi Mo’s voice suddenly became very serious.

“Qiu Han is in fact being forced to do this. Throughout the years he has been by my side, he has indeed provided Lan Kuang information on Falcon, which led to the demise of my family’s business.”

“I did wonder at the beginning when I first accepted Qiu Han, if he approached me with a motive, but he has yet to let me down even after numerous trials.”

“Besides, I did use him to get back at Lan Kuang too… Thinking back, I suppose we can call it even.”

“The main reason Qiu Han refuses to be honest with me is because his little sister is still in the hands of Lan Kuang.”

“Therefore…”

“Therefore, you want to use this to your advantage. Provide me with some privy information and have me act as Jing Qiu Han to meet up with Lan Kuang to negotiate and rescue his sister. This way, both brother and sister will be under your protection, right?” Ran Feng Ge has always been quick to catch on. Su Yi Mo had just finished explaining himself and Ran Feng Ge was already able to guess what his next step was.

Ah… He is indeed an infatuated moron! Having already planned everything, even willing to sacrifice his own gains to come out on top in the end.

Su Yi Mo did feel a little guilty. When he first signed the contract with Ran Feng Ge, he had no intention of dragging him this far in. His only duty had been to mimic and act as Jing Qiu Han for a year in the entertainment circle to ensure that no suspicion was raised.

Alas, in the end, the plans of men are fallible. Now that Jing Qiu Han’s identity as a undercover spy was unknowingly exposed by Ran Feng Ge and Qiu Han did come clean to him, there was no way he could ignore the wellbeing of Qiu Han’s little sister. Therefore, the only choice was to rely on Ran Feng Ge.

He is capable of protecting himself, right?

Being dragged into all this… It shouldn’t… It shouldn’t be too dangerous right?

“I will add another 10 million to the contract fee for you.” Su Yi Mo muttered quietly, feeling very inadequate at the moment.

Not knowing what to say, Ran Feng Ge could only look down at the freshly removed mask in his hands. Pulling it this way and that, he said with an enigmatic voice, “You treat your little lover very well!”

“So… you…” Su Yi Mo didn’t know what was going on with his heart and all he could do was stutter uneasily.

Seeing his troubled expression, Ran Feng Ge felt a tug at his heartstrings and decided to quell the foreign emotion rising within him. Gripping the mask tightly in his fingers, Ran Feng Ge hopped off the desk, “Okay, deal!”

Before Su Yi Mo was even able to open his mouth to say his thanks, Ran Feng Ge continued, “But I want to see the money in my account first this time! Only once I have confirmed it will I do anything!”

“No problem! I will immediately call my people to transfer the funds into your account!” A rare expression of ecstasy to appeared upon Su Yi Mo’s face.

Silently, a mysterious emotion flashed through Ran Feng Ge’s eyes.

Su Yi Mo clasped his hands on top of Ran Feng Ge’s shoulders, “Even though you are paid to do this, I really need to thank you!”

“Then, I shall accept your thanks.” Ran Feng Ge replied nonchalantly.

Su Yi Mo gave those shoulders a tight squeeze, “Then I shall go and make the arrangements, we shall discuss more about this when we get home.”

“Okay.” He answered, flashing a perfect smile, without a hint of weakness.

Once Su Yi Mo had exited the room, the smile that had been plastered on Ran Feng Ge’s lips grew stiff. He lowered his head in a daze and stared at the wrinkled piece of fake skin. He lifted it up to his chest and wondered to himself. Why was he feeling so uneasy here? It was as though there was a huge rock sitting right on top of his chest making it very difficult to breathe.

Lang Ting Hotel: Presidential Suite

“Boss, this is the information you requested!”

“Just put it there!” Lan Kuang waved his hand absentmindedly. After placing the document carefully next to the tea set, his subordinate exited the room Leaving Lan Kuang alone in the vast room.

It still seemed as though he had very casually dressed himself. He wore a pure white robe that was secured loosely at his waist while a glass of whiskey appeared to be glued to his hand at all times.

This was exactly what Lan Kuang was like, sprawled lazily across the sofa with half his bathrobe hanging off him, his well-sculptured chest exposed to the world.

If one were to look carefully, one would find that there was a very faint scar marring the surface of that otherwise perfect chest. Of course, that scar was already so faint that it was unnoticeable unless one knew where to look.

Actually, the scar that was on Lan Kuang’s chest was very similar to the one that can be found on the body of An Mu. They were both marked with an ‘X’.

Except, one of them was obvious, and the other was barely visible anymore.

Lan Kuang sipped at his whiskey slowly, enjoying the taste of it on his tongue. He leaned forward and reached for the document that had been placed down by his subordinate and balanced it on his knee, flipping it over to the first page.

It contained pictures of An Mu when he was still with him, newspaper articles, rumors – Everything.

His gaze shifted to another photograph, one that was blurred.

It was a group picture of two men.

Actually, it was not really a group picture. It was taken by a reporter, which Lan Kuang had intercepted. He then had the photo developed.

It’s been two years since then.

Both men’s faces were unable to be recognized, but even from the photo, both had an imposing aura.

The one that was in the midst of falling on to the bed, had on a Vampire Knight mask. While the other stood tall at the bedside looking like a dominatrix, had on a Demon mask.

That had been the night of a costume party. Normally, Lan Kuang was not one to join in on events such as that. However, it was a party organized by a few of his sponsors so Lan Kuang had been pressured to attend.

That night, Lan Kuang had donned a Vampire Knight mask. An Mu had been the one under the Demon’s mask.

All that was visible that night had been that pair of mesmerizingly cunning eyes that were peeking out from under the eyeholes of the Demon mask.

One look was all that was needed to entrap Lan Kuang’s heart.

 

Next:
Previous: Chapter 8: Force Over Words
Return: Main Page

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

Translators: joeypoonie
Proofreaders: dinoj, Lyrick

Chapter 11: The Hidden Trap Within Words

On July 15, 2017, Posted by , In True Star, tagged in ,, , With 20 Comments

Lu Tian Chen stared at Tang Feng. He wanted to obtain some sort of answer from the actor’s eyes, but he couldn’t find anything within the other’s beautiful irises.

It wasn’t the first time that Lu Tian Chen had tested Tang Feng, but it was a bit different this time around. Rather than staring at Tang Feng with an interrogating gaze, Lu Tian Chen was gazing at the actor with a sense of appreciation and obsession, transmitting across an emotion that even he didn’t suspect.

As an actor, Tang Feng believed that he understood the emotions behind different gazes. What could Lu Tian Chen mean by gazing at him that deeply?

The intensity of the president’s gaze made Tang Feng unable to look away. It was like a blaze trying to burn him alive. He wanted to escape from the reaches of the fire, but he felt as if he’d been glued to his spot.

Who didn’t desire the love of another?

Humans naturally paid more attention to individuals who were kind to them. People would remember who smiled at them that morning, who bought breakfast for them, and who helped them carry their bag. They would commit those faces to memory and recall them when they next came across the person.

As humans, it was natural to crave attention, to crave love, and to crave recognition.

When Tang Feng had walked onto the path of an actor, was it also to obtain the attention he couldn’t receive in his normal life? As an abandoned orphan, he’d already been denied the recognition he deserved as a human being. He needed to prove that he wasn’t worthless in the eyes of society. There was a meaning to his existence. He wasn’t born so that he could be abandoned.

People often said that Fiennes was a miracle. He’d turned from an abandoned orphan to an actor loved by millions. As Fiennes, he knew that his fans loved him, but he craved the love of the people around him much more than the love of the audience separated by the screen. Only the people close to him knew what he was like in real life, and not as the Fiennes that the media and his agency had created.

“Good night.” Lu Tian Chen leaned forward and kissed Tang Feng on the forehead. He got up from the bed and turned the light off.

Tang Feng stared at the ceiling in the darkened room. “Lu Tian Chen, what exactly is this supposed to be?”

“A warm up for your performance tomorrow,” Lu Tian Chen replied calmly, as if it were completely logical.

“You know what I mean, don’t change the topic. Explain clearly, we aren’t children here.” Tang Feng blinked forcefully and opened his eyes again. He turned his back to Lu Tian Chen and pulled the blanket up to his chin.

As the two of them were sleeping in the same bed, there were two sets of blankets. Tang Feng had the habit of hugging his blankets while sleeping. He didn’t like sharing them with another person; it meant that he had to hug something else in order to sleep.

“Then what kind of answer do you want from me?” Lu Tian Chen’s low voice sounded like a poet’s recitation in the dark. Every word was a story, a poem.

“You… Do you have feelings for me?” Tang Feng clicked his tongue lightly in annoyance.

After asking his question, Tang Feng found that he didn’t quite want to know the answer. Whether it was yes or no, he wasn’t happy with either.

“If you mean whether I want to sleep with you, then the answer is yes.” Lu Tian Chen’s blunt reply made Tang Feng smile. The man continued, “Do you remember what I’ve said? I may be a businessman, but I am also a man. If you’re so keen on seducing me, then I’m not against having an office love with one of my employees.”

Hearing those words come out of Lu Tian Chen’s mouth made Tang Feng feel as if he were watching a dry comedy.

Tang Feng burrowed his head into the blankets. He said with a voice slightly muffled, “I said I haven’t been seducing you. Why don’t you go back to your own room and sleep?”

Not two seconds later, Tang Feng felt a warmth slide up his back and spread toward his limbs. Lu Tian Chen was hugging him from behind. Even through the layers of blankets, the heat between them was enough to burn. “You’ve been really fragile lately.”

“Oh… I’ve been trying to get in touch with my character. Can you let go a bit? It’s too hot.”

“Hot? Since when did you wear pajamas to bed?” Lu Tian Chen chuckled. Tang Feng could feel the other’s hot breath on the back of his neck. “Are you afraid that I would attempt something? Did you know? A person is at their least appealing state when they are completely naked. It’s in bad taste and only makes them appear low.”

“Wait a second…” Tang Feng frowned. “Are you trying to make me take my clothes off?”

Lu Tian Chen farfetched reasoning wasn’t convincing at all.

“You can take it that way.”

Heavens, he didn’t know that a serious man like Lu Tian Chen also had a thick-skinned and perverted side to him. Truly, one shouldn’t judge another by their appearance. Tang Feng covered his face with both hands. Exactly what was happening? “No, I feel like you’re trying to drag me into a trap. From this moment on, I’m not answering any of your questions. Why don’t we just sleep, all right?”

MOVIE: SATAN’S ALLEY

SCENE 12

EXT. INSIDE A CHURCH—NIGHT

The days passed by one by one. With night’s fall, the monks of the church had already returned to their own rooms. All that remained behind in the church were brightly burning candles that danced in the salty sea breeze, and one solitary monk.

Tang had been at the church for three months already. He believed that news of his crime would never cross the sea and reach where he was. He had to believe that was the case. Wearing the simple black robe, Tang knelt in front of the figure of God and prayed. He prayed that God would forgive his lies, for he had lied to everyone at the church here.

The fake letter he had given them, none of them knew the truth.

Occasionally, he’d wake up during the night, ears ringing with the accusations of his past companions. They accused him of being dirty. The foul words and glaring eyes threatened to swallow him like the sea outside. He was drowning in the waters, sinking deeper and deeper. He couldn’t breathe and the light in front of his eyes dimmed bit by bit. Finally, he sank into a cold and painful world filled with darkness.

Tang continued to pray and memorize the scriptures.

The sea breeze outside crashed against the windows, making the old, wooden frames creak in protest. Some of the candles went out with a whoosh.

After half an hour of praying, Tang felt much better. He could feel his heart calming down with every word of prayer. He opened his eyes and looked around; he was the only person left in the church.

It was about time for him to return to his room. He had to wake up early and water the garden tomorrow morning. The monks at the church lived a self-sufficient life. As a foreigner and a newcomer, he was responsible for a large amount of work around the church. Tang didn’t complain, he knew it was God’s way of punishing him.

Tang walked toward the candlesticks. He picked one up and blew on it, the dancing flame quickly extinguished itself, leaving behind a smoldering wick.

He turned and blew out the remaining candles one by one.

Soon, Tang heard footsteps behind him. They were clear and steady, like the approach of a sudden breeze.

Tang turned and looked in the direction of the footsteps. The person he saw was concealed from head to toe by his black robe. Their monk robes all came with a large hood. With the hood pulled up, all that could be seen from the outside was the person’s chin.

The person walked through the door and stopped three steps away from Tang. He reached up with pale hands and pulled off the hood of his robe. Tang knew the man; it was the first person he’d seen after waking up: Chris.

Aside from the first few days, Chris hadn’t spoken to him again. Tang understood, no one liked talking to someone who couldn’t respond. But he could often find Chris standing in different places observing him with a deep gaze.

Chris’ attention made Tang tense and uncomfortable. He could feel his heart racing, trying to jump out from his chest.

“You’re here.”

Chris walked toward him. Tang stared at the other monk, not knowing what to do. A burning candle remained gripped in his hand, forgotten. The molten wax streamed down the body of the candle and dripped onto his hand. Tang jolted at the pain and instinctively dropped the candle.

The white candle landed on the ground and cracked into two. The wax flowed like tears down its body and collected into a pool on the cold, hard ground.

Tang stared at the broken candle. He bent down to pick up the pieces, but Chris grabbed his wrist. The voice that was as enticing as the devil’s sounded beside his ear.

“I know…I know you have your own secret. You might have fooled the others with that letter, but you can’t fool my eyes, Tang.”

Tang raised his head and looked at Chris. There was a battle in his eyes, patience fighting with fear and fragility. At the same time, Chris cradled Tang’s face and kissed him on the lips. Tang struggled in the other’s hold, sweeping more candles onto the ground in the process.

The candles rolled across the ground and threw light all over the dark church. The wind outside crashed against the walls with a frenzy, while the broken moonlight reflected their intertwined shadows onto the figure of God.

At that moment, a streak of lightning flashed across the sky.

 

Next: Chapter 12: Beat You to Death
Previous: Chapter 10: Warm Up
Return: Main Page

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

Translator: Nannyn
Proofreaders:

Biscuits Are the Key to Solving World Problems

On July 1, 2017, Posted by , In Updates, With 1 Comment

Hi guys! Sorry for the late update. After six months, we finally have another chapter of Gong Hua for you guys. Trying to translate 15 pages during the semester is an impossible task. That’s why there was such a long wait. Anyways, enjoy!

That’s all we have for this time. Yup, that’s it… I can already hear people screaming in anguish at the lack of True Star, and Ti Shen. Alas, your neighborhood translator hasn’t looked at anything besides Gong Hua since May. Maybe next time. :)

Gong Hua: Chapter 2

error: Content is protected !!