“Is this a situation where people die for feathers and birds die to become food? But I think people would actually be happier with dying to become food…” – Fan Tong
After going through an extraordinary day, suddenly having to return to an ordinary school day was really hard for one to adjust to.
However, people wouldn’t rise to the privileged class just because their friends had befriended dignitaries, at least most people wouldn’t. First let’s not mention the fact that this friend’s relationship was still very ordinary. Although this friend’s friend was an important person, the connection was still a bit distant. If one wanted to increase his or her own competitiveness edge, obediently going to school and building up a good foundation was still a more dependable method.
But early this morning, Yue Tui’s coloring didn’t look so good. His skin looked kind of pale, and he seemed weak. No one had any idea what was wrong.
“New Residents can get sick?”
Zhu Sha was surprised at Yue Tui’s condition but at the same time still considerately poured him a cup of warm water.
Yue Tui leaned against the bed, accepted the cup of warm water, and took a sip.
“Are you still going to school today?”
“I think… I’ll rest a bit first, it should be somewhat better later. I can probably still go to the afternoon class…”
The afternoon class is the Wushu combat class, so there’s no need to go if you’re not feeling well, right?
“Eating some breakfast will make it a bit better, won’t it? I can help you get a portion.”
“… No, thank you…You don’t have to, it’s okay.”
Eating that kind of yucky, unwholesome food will just worsen his cold. Didn’t you notice that Yue Tui became paler?
He’s already not feeling well, so don’t torment him any more.
“Then I’m going to class now.”
Zhu Sha gathered up his things and promptly left the room. Fan Tong felt that Zhu Sha was the sort of person who would still eat three meals and go to school even if the sky fell.
“Fan Tong… you’re not going to class?”
Yue Tui looked at him and asked.
“I’m staying to take care of you. When you feel better, we’ll leave class together.”
Leave class together… nn, whatever, it’s still within the limit of an acceptable mistake.
“You don’t have to take care of me. It’s okay.”
But I don’t want to go to class. One entire morning of Wushu lecture! Won’t I die of boredom? Just let me take care of you!
“Anyways, while I’m staying here if you need anything, don’t tell me.”
There it is again, it turned into something disastrous, wah…
As Fan Tong sank into the abyss of saying the wrong thing, a knock on the door rang out. Thinking that he might say “Don’t come in” if he answered the door, Fan Tong opened the door in person.
The person outside the door was Bi Rou. This morning she was dressed up very prettily. When she saw Fan Tong, she began speaking quietly.
“I ran into Zhu Sha and heard that Yue Tui was sick. Is he all right?”
“Then… here’s some fruit that I bought. He’ll have more of an appetite for these, right? I hope he gets well soon.”
Fan Tong had kept saying “you’re welcome” instead of “thank you,” and this always caused difficulties for him. He also felt some resentment while looking at Bi Rou offering the fruit.
Three thousand strings —
“Ah, this is for Yue Tui, you can’t eat it all yourself!”
Bi Rou explained distrustfully. Fan Tong felt a bit helpless.
Do I really seem that untrustworthy? Or do I have the look of someone who sneakily eats others’ food? I admit that earlier I was secretly drooling over this fresh fruit, but this doesn’t mean that I’ll unscrupulously seize a sick friend’s food, okay?
After Bi Rou left, Fan Tong walked back to the bed holding the fruit. Honestly speaking, because Yue Tui was lying in the middle bunk, taking care of him wasn’t very convenient. However, telling him to temporarily move to the bottom bunk was kind of strange, so they could only do it this way.
“Yue Tui, here are some vegetables that Bi Rou brought, want to eat some?”
Wah, what kind of change was that!
“No thanks, I won’t eat any.”
Earlier, Yue Tui had turned his face away from Fan Tong, so Fan Tong couldn’t see his expression. Fan Tong was surprised that Yue Tui had decided not to eat.
“Fruit tastes worse than public rations. We rarely have the opportunity to eat fruit. Are you really not going to eat a little?”
If fruit tasted worse than public rations, I wouldn’t want to eat it either. What a terrible misunderstanding…
“That can’t be right, is there anything that tastes worse than public rations?”
That teased a smile from Yue Tui. Saying the wrong thing really wasn’t bad if it had this kind of effect.
“You won’t know if you don’t eat any.”
Originally he’d wanted to say “You’ll know if you eat some.” Surprisingly, after being reversed, the meaning was still about the same. How astonishing.
“Okay, I’ll eat a bit then.”
Yue Tui seemed to be in a better mood. He sat up and took a delicious-looking piece of fruit from Fan Tong’s hand.
“How is it, does it taste bad?”
“It tastes bad.”
Yue Tui has actually started making jokes? But it would be embarrassing if Bi Rou found out.
Bi Rou had brought four pieces of fruit, but Yue Tui had only eaten one before he didn’t want to eat anymore. Based on the thought that not eating them would be a waste, naturally it was up to Fan Tong to take care of the rest. He actually ate them quite happily.
“Fan Tong… in your original world, what kind of person were you?”
In the past they really hadn’t talked much. Normally Fan Tong practiced writing with Yue Tui. Zhu Sha was in the room as well, so starting up a conversation was still quite awkward.
Right now they couldn’t practice writing. Since they were rarely alone together and had nothing to do, it was naturally the perfect opportunity for chatting.
Chatting was a good way for people to understand each other better. Fan Tong was also very happy to talk about himself, but he really wasn’t very good at making conversation.
With this mouth, it’s just wishful thinking to want to have a proper conversation.
“My original profession was divination.”
Evidently Yue Tui had never heard of this term before, as indicated by the confused expression on his face.
“It’s like fortunetelling, but I also include lots of other things, like how to avert disaster and good matchmaking advice . There are also different levels of fortunetelling; mine isn’t very accurate.”
“Do you provide other services because your fortunetelling isn’t very accurate?”
Yue Tui opened his eyes wide in understanding. In contrast, Fan Tong felt helpless. Of course he wanted to say that his fortunetelling was very accurate, but his mouth had made difficulties for him, and he couldn’t do anything about it.
“Yue Tui, how about you?”
If he continued talking, he was afraid that he would twist his past self into someone completely different. Compared to talking, he was more suited to being a listener; of this point he was very aware.
Yue Tui stared blankly, dumbfounded, when his question was returned. It looked like he’d originally only wanted to hear about Fan Tong and hadn’t planned on talking about himself.
“My past… there’s really nothing worth mentioning about it. To me, there isn’t a thing.”
Usually people would be at least a little distressed when saying something like that, but Yue Tui didn’t reveal that kind of feeling. While he was talking, his entire person was completely calm.
Actually, Fan Tong didn’t like this kind of “calm” that Yue Tui revealed on occasion. This kind of calm encompassed “empty” and “silent” feelings, making it hard for people to judge whether he was actually repressing all of his emotions or actually didn’t feel any emotion.
Even though it was hard to judge, Fan Tong believed that Yue Tui was forcibly repressing himself – letting himself seem to be in the emotionless state of “emptiness.” After all, normally Yue Tui seemed to be very ordinary.
I don’t know if it’s just a protective measure, or even a habitual state of his subconscious…
Fan Tong just thought that Yue Tui in that kind of state seemed to be remote from people. That chasm was difficult to cross because it was intangible and nearly impossible to see.
“If you feel sad, it’s okay to express it…”
When Fan Tong said that, Yue Tui’s gaze seemed to freeze for a few seconds. At that moment Fan Tong even had a kind of feeling that he’d said something wrong, but his words definitely hadn’t been reversed.
“… That’s right, I’m always forgetting that here isn’t that place anymore…”
What he called “that place” should be the world Yue Tui originally lived in. Fan Tong had a hard time imagining exactly what kind of life Yue Tui had lived there.
He’s already living in a completely different world, so how could he still have misconceptions?
“Thinking it over carefully, there were still good things. I liked saving people, but this wasn’t completely…”
He held back his train of thought then seemed to feel tired, so he promptly closed his eyes and fell asleep.
It was good for someone who wasn’t feeling well to sleep. Fan Tong quietly stayed by his side, trying not to disturb his rest.
If it was possible, he really wanted to go back to sleep too, but he’d slept early last night. Right now his mind was very alert; if he forced himself to lie down, he probably wouldn’t be able to fall asleep, so he had no choice but to stay awake.
It was noon when Yue Tui woke up. When he opened his eyes, it seemed like he couldn’t tell if he was still in dreamland or in reality, which caused him to tense up. He only relaxed when he’d made sense of his surroundings and seen Fan Tong inside the room. The expression on his face brightened as well.
“Fan Tong… what time is it?”
Because he’d reported the time wrong, he’d caused Yue Tui to be anxious for a bit. Yue Tui sat up and noticed the bright sunlight before he patted his chest in relief.
“Whew. And Zhu Sha isn’t in the room either. It’s not nighttime, Fan Tong, what’d you scare me for.”
When will you realize that I have a speech problem…
“I think it should be fine for me to get out of bed and walk around. Let’s go to class.”
Yue Tui said this, then promptly changed his clothes and made preparations.
“But we don’t have weapons, so won’t we be driven out by the Bicycle Teacher?”
Wah! That’s amazing! The Tractor Teacher got turned into the Bicycle Teacher! I never thought that this kind of new term would appear, how original!
…… I’m getting better and better at masking my embarrassment.
Yue Tui’s face was full of confusion.
Even if I said “Tractor Teacher” without any mistakes, I think he still wouldn’t understand.
“Maybe we can talk things over with the teacher. It’s possible to carry out Wushu combat unarmed.”
You want me to go up against people with weapons unarmed? No way! You can, but I definitely can’t. I’ve never learned how to disarm a person with a blade unarmed, so spare me! Also, how do you think you’ll communicate with that Tractor Teacher? With your fists?
“I’ve finished preparing, let’s go.”
This violation of free will, the erroneous reply that resulted in my life travelling a divergent path, how many more times does this have to happen?
“Yue Tui, the chicken skins and feathers……”
“Right, carrying it is safer.”
According to what they’d learned from asking around, there were people who stole chicken skins and feathers, so leaving them in the room when no one’s inside really made them uneasy. It’s just that carrying a bag of chicken skins and feathers on one’s person isn’t really convenient, so it’s truly very bothersome.
When Bi Rou came this morning, it seemed that she’d already replaced her tassel with a grass green one. Zhu Sha had also said that he would take the chicken skins to rise in rank before school. This truly made them envious…
“Even though it’s a little inconvenient, we should still carry them. I’m fine with holding them.”
And so, they carried their “precious goods” like this and went out.
After Fan Tong and Yue Tui walked outside, they ran into an unfriendly crowd.
They’d thought that there were people who would steal, but they’d forgotten that there were also people who would seize it by force.
“Hand over the chicken skins and feathers, or else prepare to be reborn in the Pond!”
The robbers in the middle of the street, aren’t they too extreme.
Yue Tui was slightly transfixed, mostly because, in all the education he’d received, he’d never been taught how to deal with this kind of event. However, Fan Tong was also frozen in place. In any case, he was unable to manage the situation too.
Forget about the street robbery. What was more over-the-top was, those who came to rob them were a group of blue tassels. That is to say, what they wanted was to prevent the two of them from rising in rank as well as wanting to sell off the skins and feathers to make money.
Looking at them so determined to win, giving orders so ferociously, they really couldn’t react for a period of time.
We really can’t just hand over our items like this, right? But if we don’t, what should we do?
Onlookers mostly chose to ignore the robbery. Aside from not wanting to get drawn into the quarrel and make enemies with so many people, a number of them also noticed that those getting robbed were Westerners, so they had no intention to intervene.
The racial discrimination here is quite serious. I wonder if Luo Yue’s people also discriminate against their city’s Easterners like this?
“Yue Tui, what do we do?”
Fan Tong felt very embarrassed for wanting a younger person to make the decision, but the more he embarrassed himself, the more thick-skinned he would become. He believed that in the future, he would gradually stop feeling ashamed.
“I don’t like fighting, so let’s run.”
Even if they wanted to fight, the current condition of Yue Tui’s body wasn’t too suitable for that; however, if they wanted to run… run where? Also, Fan Tong highly doubted his physical strength and running speed would be able to beat these robbers.
“Yue Tui, you can’t abandon me. Don’t leave!”
Yue Tui stared blankly for a bit and then laughed bitterly.
“I won’t leave you and run away by myself, really…”
It’s not like that. I was saying that I can’t get away anyways. I wanted to tell you to leave me and run away yourself, but it looks like I’ve created a misunderstanding again.
“Did you not hear me? If you don’t hand it over, then we’ll take it ourselves.”
Actually, Fan Tong also thought that fleeing was a better decision. The mob of students that Yue Tui had defeated last time during Wushu combat class were all white tassels, but this mob was made up of blue tassels. The difference in ranks was huge, so Fan Tong didn’t know if the risk would be successful.
“I’ll count to three, then we run.”
Yue Tui told him this, and so after counting to three, the two of them immediately broke into a run in the other direction.
Fan Tong was practically following Yue Tui. Even though Yue Tui wasn’t feeling well, his running speed was higher and he was more agile than Fan Tong. Fan Tong had almost stumbled over obstacles many times while he was running. He thought, once more, that someone who could disregard those obstacles, like Yue Tui, who seemed like he was running on flat ground, was practically superhuman. To say the least, Fan Tong himself couldn’t handle it too well. The sounds behind them revealed that those people weren’t too great at running while avoiding obstacles either.
“Tsk…… spell of freezing!”
Blue tassels already had a certain level of strength. Running and throwing Fuzhou to attack their targets wasn’t a problem for them yet. They’d probably gotten tired of chasing them on this kind of street as well, so one of them conveniently fished out Fuzhou that had been prepared in advance and promptly tossed one forward at Fan Tong.
Of course Fan Tong had heard the sound of the other person shouting as he or she threw the Fuzhou. He hurriedly dodged to the side and avoided the Fuzhou that luckily, hit the ground. However, forcibly changing direction while sprinting caused him to suddenly lose his balance. One misstep promptly caused him to fall forwards.
The action for falling down safely, nn, ah, uwah… too late.
Tripping while running was really painful, but it was those terrible guys catching up to them that was truly dangerous. Yue Tui seemed to have noticed that Fan Tong had tripped and circled back around. Fan Tong hadn’t yet recovered from the shock of falling. He only saw Yue Tui’s silhouette dart past, then promptly start a fight with those few people.
Yue Tui’s hand accurately struck one person’s face, beating him back. The presence of a threat caused those people’s focus to all shift onto Yue Tui, and they paid no attention to Fan Tong at the side. When Fan Tong saw that Yue Tui had gained the upper hand at the start, Fan Tong was even excited for a bit. However, it seemed that Yue Tui had used up most of his strength after attacking once. His entire body slumped, revealing that his illness’ effect.
After dodging several blows, Yue Tui was promptly subdued, and the bag that held the skins and feathers was taken. Even so, they didn’t seem content to leave things at that.
“What do you say, how should we punish him?”
“Let’s just let him die once and treat it as a lesson for resisting.”
After hearing this, of course Fan Tong wanted to prevent this from happening.
“Hey! You’ve already stolen our unstuff and now what are you trying to do!”
Reversing “stuff” as “unstuff” at this kind of moment isn’t funny at all! Hurry up and let Yue Tui go!
“None of your business. Why so noisy, do you want to die too?”
One man kicked Fan Tong in the abdomen, suddenly rendering him unable to continue speaking.
When Fan Tong recovered his sight and sense of direction once more, the scene he saw was of a man clutching Yue Tui’s neck. Fan Tong immediately wanted to throw everything he could find at the man, but there wasn’t much trash in this alley, so he could only watch anxiously empty-handed.
At this time, Yue Tui, whose eyes had been closed, opened them. Suddenly Fan Tong was frozen, and those accomplices standing around watching also stopped laughing. That was a kind of atmosphere Fan Tong didn’t know how to describe.
Yue Tui hadn’t done a single thing, yet everyone felt a chill.
No, I should have said that he hadn’t done a single thing yet……
“What are you doing? Stop!”
A furious voice cut in and shattered this atmosphere. When he looked in the direction the voice had come from, Fan Tong was immediately moved almost to tears.
Oh! Luo Shi! At this time your figure, normally a bit on the delicate side, looks amazingly dependable! We’re saved! How wonderful!
After realizing that the interloper was Luo Shi, fortunately the only thing those arrogant guys could do was let go of Yue Tui. When Fan Tong ran over to support Yue Tui, he also hurriedly began speaking to Luo Shi.
“Luo Shi, that bag, it’s theirs……”
It’s obviously ours! Gah!
Luo Shi pretty much understood what had happened. His refined face seemed to be shrouded in a layer of frost.
“Return the items you stole from them, and then leave, all of you!”
Hearing Luo Shi’s orders, those guys with blue tassels were even more resentful, but they still obediently did as they were told and tossed the bag on the ground. They also maliciously left behind a few words before they departed.
“Simply relying on the influence of the attendants’ token, the jade plate, is nothing special. What’s so amazing about that?”
Fan Tong heard these words; Luo Shi also heard them. Luo Shi’s coloring changed slightly and he clenched his hands tightly, but he let them leave quietly without taking action.
Luo Shi, why on Earth are you holding back? Aren’t you supposed to intercept them and violently beat them up one by one in this situation? You’re a red tassel, you know. You’re stronger than them, so you probably won’t lose, right?
Actually, Fan Tong was just unwilling to let go of his resentment. Seeing the red marks remaining on Yue Tui’s neck, he believed the members of that nasty crowd really needed to be reborn several times. Maybe it’d make them a bit kinder.
“Yue Tui, are you okay?”
The one Luo Shi first looked at was Yue Tui, and then he turned towards Fan Tong.
“Fan Tong, you’re fine too, aren’t you? You look like you’re probably fine.”
What kind of attitude is this…… am I an afterthought? Even though Yue Tui’s condition looks more alarming, so you’re supposed to care for him first, how can you just decide that I’m fine like this? I think my abdomen really hurts! It might even be bruised! If I was a little unluckier, my internal organs might have ruptured! ……
Yue Tui, who was being supported by Fan Tong, reached out a hand and brushed his neck, still seeming a bit dispirited. His face regained some expression only when Luo Shi walked in front of him and looked at him.
“Ah… Luo Shi.”
Yue Tui’s eyes were finally able to focus normally. He’d probably be okay now that he’s able to recognize people.
Luo Shi picked up the bag at the side. After looking at its contents, he passed it to Fan Tong and subsequently began speaking.
“You need to hurry up and turn in this kind of thing. It’s more practical to immediately switch to a grass green tassel; leaving it by your side is just inviting trouble.”
“But, we have too many feathers……”
Luo Shi spent five seconds before realizing that Fan Tong had meant “too few feathers.” He’d only casually glanced at the feathers earlier, so naturally, he had no way of figuring out how many chicken feathers were inside.
“Why didn’t you gather all the chicken feathers first? What were you doing, collecting the chicken skins as well. Killing chickens is more troublesome, and plucking feathers is very easy. Even if you get close to the chicken and pluck all the feathers on its head, it won’t necessarily notice.”
Huh? Then that day, those featherless chickens that weren’t killed but had their feathers plucked were just too lucky. If you asked us why we collected chicken skins as well, that question really is complicated and hard to answer…
“Don’t walk around in alleys holding that kind of thing, either. Stay on the main roads.”
“We were robbed in public in an alley, and we fled to the main roads.”
My words were reversed, but it’s okay. Luo Shi should be able to interpret it himself at this level.
Hearing that Eastern City’s public security was so lacking, Luo Shi couldn’t help opening his eyes wide.
“How is that possible…… damn, New Residents and their disputes are impossible to manage. During the next conference, I will definitely bring up this problem……”
Because Yue Tui had been very quiet until now, Fan Tong felt a little uneasy and so promptly tapped Yue Tui’s shoulder.
Because his condition seemed quite unusual, Fan Tong even waved his hand in front of Yue Tui a few times.
“…… N-nothing’s wrong, I just thought of some things…… I’ll just go back to the dorm today and not go to class. Thank you, Luo Shi.”
Yue Tui said those few sentences, seeming not to be in a very stable state of mind, and then promptly bid Luo Shi goodbye. His speed was so fast that Luo Shi couldn’t react. Fan Tong, too, stood there stupidly, holding the chicken feathers and skins.
Hence, Luo Shi looked towards Fan Tong.
“Fan Tong, you’ll still go to class then? I’m leaving.”
“…… I’m begging you, please protect me on my way back to the dorm.”
To continue surviving, Fan Tong thought, he’s afraid he would become more and more shameless.
Will I become like Mi Zhong in the end — ? Thinking about it like this really makes me uneasy……
In the end, Luo Shi really accompanied him back to the dorm. Sure enough, Fan Tong had judged Luo Shi correctly: Luo Shi was a good kid; it’s just that his words weren’t very open sometimes. After parting ways in front of the dorm’s door, Fan Tong promptly went upstairs himself and exhaustively pushed open Room 444’s door.
“Fan Tong, you’re back?”
Someone in the room called out a greeting, but……. it wasn’t Yue Tui.
Fan Tong was startled, immediately wanting to close the door and leave, but Mi Zhong went over and grabbed his hand, not letting him run away.
“I say, Fan Tong, what is the meaning of this? You’re so frightened of seeing me that you don’t even want to come home…… didn’t I say earlier that I wasn’t interested in you?”
That really isn’t the reason! Don’t tell me that you want to steal my chicken skins and feathers too, Mi Zhong? I won’t give them to you even if I die!
“Hey, what’s in that bag you’re carrying?”
Huh? It looks like he doesn’t know? Was it a misunderstanding?
“You don’t think that it’s disrespectful behavior to go out by yourself when there’s no one in the room?”
Fan Tong even looked in the shower. No one; there really was no one.
Where did Yue Tui go? Didn’t he leave first?
“What do you mean, ‘go out’? Isn’t it ‘break in’? It isn’t some maiden’s room either, and everyone is so familiar with each other. Standing outside and waiting is tiring, you know; what’s wrong with coming inside to rest for a bit?”
Stop pretending to be so familiar. I’m taking offense. Exactly what did you come here to do? Also, it’s obviously time for class right now. You never go to class, is that it?
“I just wanted to ask around a bit to see if there’s any new gossip. Fan Tong, you’re very capable, gaining Lord Luo Shi’s attention. I’ve heard you’ve also made connections with Lord Yin Shi? Do you have any tricks of the trade?”
Stop talking as if my job is to sell gossip, okay? Also, basically Lord Yin Shi doesn’t even know my name. Even if we met each other face to face, I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t recognize me.
“There’s also Lord Ling Shi.”
This provocation was a must. He had always been waiting for this opportunity.
“What — !”
Sure enough, Mi Zhong’s reaction was very intense. He was so emotional that he clutched Fan Tong’s shoulder and repeatedly shook it back and forth like he wanted to shake something out of it.
“Really, that’s too much! Why do you make people so envious! Have you spoken with Lord Ling Shi? Have you shaken hands with Lord Ling Shi? Give me anything – are he and Lord Yin Shi having an affair?”
Why do so many people all think that Lord Ling Shi and Lord Yin Shi are having an affair? It’s really too mysterious. What exactly has Lord Ling Shi done to Lord Yin Shi, and how over-the-top was it? I would rather believe that Lord Ling Shi is having an affair with the queen. Isn’t he by her side even when she’s bathing and changing clothes?
Fan Tong wordlessly took out a paper and brush.
“What did you get a brush and paper for? …… What…… ‘I’m not telling you’? What is the meaning of this! And you insisted on writing it to express yourself. This makes me so annoyed! What else did you write… ‘My Fuzhou communication charm was personally made by Lord Ling Shi’ …….! Ahhhhh! Sell it to me! I’m begging you! I’ll buy it for any price! Fan Tong! I treat you the best, isn’t that right –”
Wahahahaha so fun – but I won’t sell it to you. It has a built-in function that connects with Lord Yin Shi and Lord Ling Shi’s group communication, which is priceless, you know. It might be useful sometime, and if I sell it to you, I won’t have it anymore, right?
“I’m offering five thousand strings! Five thousand strings!”
……! Five thousand strings! Damn! My heart missed a beat! I couldn’t tell that Mi Zhong actually had that much money? Wait, he has five thousand strings yet he’s still rushing about trying to pay off his debt? Exactly how much money does he owe?
“Only, please let me pay with credit as I have no cash. What do you think?”
“Fan Tong! Don’t ignore me! I swear that I’ll definitely pay it off within a thousand years! I swear!”
Am I getting this wrong? You only plan on paying me five strings a year?! Also, don’t carelessly give out this kind of exaggerated figure just because it seems like New Residents only need to switch to a new body in order to continue living, all right?
“…… What are you doing?”
Zhu Sha, who’d returned from school, finally helped shoo away this weird person. Mi Zhong even insisted on reminding Fan Tong of his communication charm’s code, wanting Fan Tong to contact him if Fan Tong changed his mind. Of course this was impossible, though.
But by the time they were about to go to bed, Yue Tui still hadn’t returned.
Yue Tui, where did you go?
It was time for bed, trouble had just started today, and going out in the middle of the night was dangerous. Fan Tong, however, still decided to go out to look for Yue Tui. Zhu Sha, though, decided to stay in the room and look after the chicken feathers and skins.
As Fan Tong was leaving, he ran into Bi Rou once again. After a somewhat incoherent exchange, Bi Rou managed to get a relative sense of the situation and volunteered to come along and search.
In reality, Fan Tong really wished that she would call Yin Shi or Ling Shi to come help. They’d probably find Yue Tui very quickly. However, he just couldn’t open his mouth to ask. He truly believed the problem was that he wasn’t thick-skinned enough.
“I’ve got it, I’ve got it! I think he should be outside the city in the southwestern area. We can probably find him if we search in that direction.”
Fan Tong thought that Bi Rou was also very mysterious. After she closed her eyes for a while, she suddenly said those words. However, Fan Tong didn’t have a basis with which to dismiss her words, so he could only follow her out of the city, searching in the southwestern direction.
They hadn’t seen anyone even after walking quite a ways along the road, but if they continued walking, they’d approach a dangerous area. Fan Tong hesitated a bit, but Bi Rou didn’t have any intention of returning, so he just continued to walk with her.
According to the map Mi Zhong gave me in the past, if we keep going, we really will be slaughtered by wild creatures. Yue Tui, are you really there? Why did you go to such a dangerous place?
“Ah, found him.”
Bi Rou pointed in front of her. There really was a person’s shadow in that direction. Fan Tong recognized him by that head of golden hair; he was standing right before a crack in the ground, silhouetted against the luminous moon in the distance. Thanks to the moonlight, he could be seen very clearly with a quick glance.
Fan Tong called to him from a distance, but he didn’t react, nor did he turn around. After the two of them jogged closer to him, Bi Rou went over and touched the back of his hand, also thinking that something was strange.
“Yue Tui, why did you come to this kind of place? We were very worried about you…… ah!”
When Yue Tui turned his head and caught sight of Bi Rou, he suddenly threw her hand off and retreated one step. When Fan Tong and Bi Rou looked at him, they were astonished and scared speechless by the expression in his eyes.
It was an expression that conveyed absolute hatred. When he fixed that kind of gaze on Bi Rou, she felt completely terrified and confused.
Why was that kind of hatred directed at her?
Fan Tong, too, couldn’t figure out what was going on. He had never seen Yue Tui behave this way and had no idea that the feeling of hatred could be manifested so tangibly in someone’s eyes.
“…… My apologies. What was I doing just now? Fan Tong, Bi Rou, why did you come here?”
All of a sudden, that kind of terrifying feeling disappeared. Standing in front of them was the Yue Tui they remembered, speaking to them with a warm expression.
Only, there still seemed to be a faint trace of anguish within that warmth.
“It should be us asking why you came here! You hadn’t returned by midnight. Everyone was really worried about you!”
Probably wanting to disguise her previous frightened state of mind , Bi Rou spoke chidingly. Her words sounded almost accusing.
“Uh…… I just came out here to relieve my boredom. I’m sorry. Let’s go back.”
After Yue Tui’s simple apology, he promptly indicated that he wanted to go back with them. After all, finding him was the most important. He seemed like he didn’t want to explain anything at all, so trying to dig deeper most likely wouldn’t get them anywhere.
A mystery was formed tonight, and it didn’t seem like it will be solved anytime soon.
◎ Fan Tong’s Afterword
Regarding my so-called friends, is it better to become closer or maintain ordinary friendly relations?
To me, I want to chance continuing to care about him. Even though the deeper I dig the less pure he will seem to me, at least he’s a good person with a seemingly pure personality. If his background isn’t pure, then that’s also the fault of the person who corrupted him.
Today, even though we succeeded in protecting the chicken skins and feathers and also put Mi Zhong in his place, I don’t seem to feel very happy.
Ah – I always feel very depressed about situations I can’t understand –
Also, how has being with Bi Rou affected things? Is it actually possible that you are also secretly in love with her, Yue Tui, so you were jealous? …… I think the me who has these kinds of thoughts is quite shallow. Am I just thoughtlessly searching for a reason to escape this mystery?
Anyways, I hope that after getting up early tomorrow morning, everything will return to normal. I also hope that Yue Tui can be a bit happier. I like it when he reveals that whole-hearted smile. While people are young, they should smile more. It’s the same for Luo Shi – is it popular for handsome young men these days to pretend to be cool by not smiling?
I think this is even more depressing – I can’t look cool even if I don’t smile. What exactly is the problem here, my face or my personality?
Translators: Sherry, Nannyn
Proofreaders: Radhasings, Charlote, PiKairi, Nannyn, Ayanora, Sherry