Chapter 25: A Crazy Night (continued)

On August 15, 2018, Posted by , In True Star, tagged in ,, , With 6 Comments

As a healthy male, it’s normal to have a physical reaction to the advances of someone they find attractive. If a man has no reaction in this situation then it’s abnormal and he should be taken to see a doctor for a check-up.

It was obvious that it was Lu Tian Chen’s first time servicing someone in such a way, his movements were stiff, teeth occasionally grazing. Within those few minutes, there were many times that Tang Feng felt like throwing a fist at the man on his knees due to the pain.

The thing about smart people is that they aren’t born as geniuses. Rather, no matter whatever unfamiliar obstacles they face, they always tenaciously try to tackle it, quickly learning and mastering the rules. This point of view can also apply to lovemaking.

Lu Tian Chen, having experimented a little, was slowly getting the gist of it. He was like an adventurous knight, bravely trying out all kinds of angles and strength. Each time he heard Tang Feng’s sudden cry or gasp, as if being a soldier roused by his queen, he would continue exerting himself, attacking with full fervor.

This was not Tang Feng’s first time receiving such a service. Charles had done this for him before, although that bastard liked looking at him with a teasing eye, enjoying the moment when he lost all sense of control.

In his last life, he also experienced such encounters. It was just that they had never been as intense as this before.

The heat from the mouth wrapped tightly around him was so intense it made Tang Feng arch his neck back and involuntarily grasp at the damp hair of the man between his legs with both hands.The body of a young man was indeed full of vitality and health, but at the same time, it was also easy for it to be taken advantage of by fire and bullying. Just a few months of abstinence was already enough to make this young body a bit too sensitive.

Passion continued to rise wantonly in the Los Angeles night. When Tang Feng glanced over at the window, his vision was flooded by a series of bursting fireworks, wave after wave. Within his mind and body, fireworks were bursting as well, setting his whole being ablaze.

“Ahhh…” letting out a soft cry, Tang Feng’s body was released like a fully drawn bow, shooting out long arrows into the firework filled sky. A buzzing sound lingered in his ears.

Lu Tian Chen let out a breath, propping up his body to look at the flushed face of the man beneath him.

“You haven’t been releasing yourself lately?” A seemingly normal question to ask any other guy was asked.

“What do you think…” Tang Feng felt somewhat tired and closed his eyes. Having experienced its peak, his body was slowly calming down from its high. His chest heaved up and down; a sheet of sweat covered his body. A droplet of perspiration flowed downwards from his forehead, leaving behind a faint water line along his cheek, making it look as if he had been crying.

He was feeling tired and lazy. Truly, he was no different from any other normal guy.

Lu Tian Chen lowered his head to kiss Tang Feng on his forehead, tracing the water mark down to meet his lips.

“I am regretting it.” Lu Tian Chen said.

“Regretting what?” he slowly reopened his eyes. Tang Feng was feeling a bit hot so he started to pull at his bathrobe to loosen it. His legs were still poised in the same position as earlier, it’s not that he did not want to withdraw them back, but because Lu Tian Chen’s body was still set in between them, with the latter having no intention of getting up soon.

Fingers rubbing through the man’s hair, Lu Tian Chen quietly observed Tang Feng in that moment. The man who had just climaxed alone earlier was now exuding an air of indolent sensuality. This was a side of Tang Feng normally not shown to him, just thinking that this part of him had long before been seen by Charles for days to a month’s end made Lu Tian Chen really want to do something about it.

“I’m regretting not getting in bed with you earlier.”

Tang Feng sucked in a breath and started to laugh. Hand clutching his forehead, he chuckled, “So, you intend on sleeping with me now?”

A hand suddenly shot downwards, touching a place that should not be touched. With the slight force of a prod, Tang Feng’s body trembled and he nearly yelped. He glared right at Lu Tian Chen.

“What do you think you’re doing?!” Very quickly, Tang Feng felt a foreign object, separated by the thin fabric of a western suit, rubbing against his thigh.

It was hard and hot.

“Getting into bed with you.” Lu Tian Chen immediately lowered his head again to seal Tang Feng’s lips. At the same time, Tang Feng could hear the clinking of a belt as it fell to the ground. This was quickly followed by the sound of his pants zipper being pulled down.

The blood thirst of the soldier could clearly be felt as he brandished his large sword, poised ready at the door in preparation to break his way in.

“Still want to continue?” Lu Tian Chen paused, hovering teasingly near Tang Feng’s entrance.

“How do you expect me to refuse at this moment? If you want to do it, just do it already, stop being so fussy.” Tang Feng reached out to pull at Lu Tian Chen’s shirt buttons, roughly tearing off the other’s shirt. After all he couldn’t possibly be the only one naked.

The two men were like ferocious wild beasts battling it out at midnight. Lu Tian Chen had long abandoned his usual cool and calmness, only his inflamed passion, speed and strength was needed at a time like this. All rational reasoning should be blown up together with the fireworks in the night sky, burnt until nothing is left in its wake.

“Ah—”

In the darkness of the light, a man cried out. It was soon followed by the heavy breathing of two individuals as they merged, together with reverberating moans and the sound of sweaty bodies fiercely colliding into one another with fervent movement.

The major difference between Lu Tian Chen and Charles was that unlike a wild bear with no sense of control in bed, Lu Tian Chen knew when to stop, otherwise they would never have been able to get up in the morning to catch their flight back.

“What’s the time now?” Tang Feng laid dazedly on the bed, pillow supporting his head, with silk bed sheets covering up his lower half. Love marks covered most of his back and chest, shallow enough that they would fade away within the span of a few days so as to not affect his upcoming filming schedule.

The body of a youngster was the best indeed.

Tang Feng sighed for what felt like the thousand and first time.

“Twenty-three minutes past 2 AM.” A freshly showered Lu Tian Chen stepped out with a towel round his waist, half leaning his body over to gently caress Tang Feng’s waist and back. He lowered his head down to kiss the other man’s nape and ear.

The firework show outside the window had long ended, but glow of the Los Angeles nightscape was still as splendid as ever. The two however did not pay it much heed, having drawn the curtains up long before. The room was dimly lit up by the faint moonlight seeping in, casting their shadows to the corners of the wall such that they looked as if they were hugging each other in peace.

Tang Feng looked at the man at his side while slowly blinking his eyes.

“Lu Tian Chen, aren’t you forgetting something?” Tang Feng asked.

“I’ve kissed you, savored you in bed and bathed with you, even helping to give you a massage. So what am I forgetting… is it that we should be resting now?” Lu Tian Chen replied, giving the man another kiss by the corner of his eye and then sliding down his body to lie face to face with Tang Feng. The feeling of looking at one another eye to eye in bed gave Tang Feng a sense of comfort.

“That’s not it.” Tang Feng shot him down.

“That’s not it? Well… let me think again.”

Lu Tian Chen shut his eyes, pretending to be deep in thought. From time to time, he would let out sighs and typical guessing sounds made by people who are trying to come up with answers.

“Have you remembered yet?” Tang Feng reached a hand out to poke Lu Tian Chen on his nose. Finding the action entertaining, he went on to give the other a pinch on the cheek, before gently rubbing Lu Tian Chen’s forehead with his palm, helping him to comb the mess out of his hair.

Once again, the mannerisms of a gentle and mature man reappeared.

Lu Tian Chen opened his eyes and answered, “The relationship between you and Fiennes.”

“Congratulations, you’re right.” Tang Feng raised the corner of his lips. “So, do you still want to know my answer to that or my secrets?”

“If you’re willing to, you can tell me. If not, then you don’t have to.”

“You’re really putting me on the spot. Should I be praising you for your intelligence or for your cunning?” Tang Feng shifted closer towards Lu Tian Chen, planting a light kiss on his lips. When it came to feelings, there were no distinctions between who would push or be pulled, to assert or acquiesce. He will not wait for Lu Tian Chen to come soothe and kiss him, but rather be the one taking the initiative to kiss whenever he felt like doing so.

Instead of staying on the defense, he preferred going on the offense.

“In that case, for the time being don’t tell me about it.” Lu Tian Chen embraced the other man’s waist, replying in a husky voice.

“Why not? I thought you were curious about it?” Tang Feng smiled lightly, extending the tip of his tongue out to lick Lu Tian Chen’s earlobe. In response, he felt the man’s grasp around his waist tighten by a few degrees.

“This is your secret, if you don’t wish to tell me I won’t force you to. Of course, if you do want to, I would be more than happy to hear you out.” Lu Tian Chen replied gently. He now knew why the previously promiscuous Charles was now obsessed with this man. Tang Feng’s performance in bed was a complete contrast to what he had expected; he didn’t show much embarrassment or restraint, but instead openly embraced the pleasures and warmth of his partner.

This would naturally make both feel good. After all, very few people enjoy doing all the work, it always leaves an overbearing taste in one’s mouth, a taste that surely no one could be a fan of.

“Alright.”

Tang Feng nodded in agreement, he would tell him when he was ready to.

In regards to his and Lu Tian Chen’s current relationship, Tang Feng could only wish, come the next morning, that this fellow would not make him take responsibility for it.

As much as he may enjoy the warmth of another, Tang Feng regrettably still had no intention of settling down any time soon.

Next:
Previous: Chapter 24: A Crazy Night
Return: Main Page

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Translator: Kix
Proofreaders: Rose, Lyrick

Chapter 24: A Crazy Night

On August 1, 2018, Posted by , In True Star, tagged in ,, , With 16 Comments

“The fireworks are beautiful. Thank you.”

When Tang Feng opened the door, Lu Tian Chen was right outside. He stepped aside to let the other man in. Lu Tian Chen closed the door behind him and locked it under Tang Feng’s gaze.

“As long as you like it.” The simple reply carried more impact than the sweetest compliments especially since it came from Lu Tian Chen, a man known to be logical and blunt.

Charles could shower any random stranger with the most flattering praises. However, with each repetition, the praises lost their meaning. Who knew whether Charles really meant what he said?

Lu Tian Chen was a man of few words but when he did speak, it was in a straightforward manner that expressed his thoughts clearly. More often than not, people were more willing to believe and rely on these kinds of people.

Tang Feng couldn’t help but admit that a simple “As long as you like it” made his heart skip despite his years of experience.

“Why did you suddenly decide to set off fireworks? And at 11:11 at that?” Tang Feng turned around and walked toward the bar. He looked back at Lu Tian Chen, who was taking off his jacket and loosening his tie. “Do you want something to drink? Alcohol or coffee?”

“Whisky. Thanks.”

Tang Feng brought out two glasses and filled them half-way with ice. He then poured each of them a glass of whisky. He admitted he was indulging, but he rather enjoyed having the chance to indulge occasionally.

“It’s because today’s a special day.” Lu Tian Chen said while unbuttoning the top three buttons of his shirt, revealing a hint of a toned chest. Lu Tian Chen had a rather well-built physique for an Asian man.

If not for his cold expression and his sharp personality, Lu Tian Chen would definitely be more popular. However, Lu Tian Chen’s personality meant that he had high standards for his other half. Having only a beautiful exterior wasn’t enough to satisfy someone like Lu Tian Chen.

If the other party wasn’t someone especially outstanding or someone of strong mind, it would be difficult for them to stand beside Lu Tian Chen and not feel pressured.

Tang Feng glanced over Lu Tian Chen before walking over. He handed a glass of whisky to the president who deliberately brushed his hand against the actor’s as he accepted it.

Sitting opposite from Lu Tian Chen, Tang Feng asked “What’s special about today?”

Tang Feng tilted his head and glanced at the fireworks outside the window. The spectacular display must have cost a fortune.

When he glanced back, he noticed Lu Tian Chen staring at him. It was an earnest gaze. Despite the dazzling fireworks behind him and the glittering night scene of Los Angeles below, it seemed as if Lu Tian Chen only had eyes for him.

At that moment, Tang Feng relived his past life when he had heart disease. He could feel pressure on his chest and a throbbing pain deep in his ribcage. It wasn’t the unpleasant kind of pain though.

Not wanting Lu Tian Chen to notice something was off, Tang Feng raised his glass and took a big drink. He’d already had a few glasses earlier. He could feel his head becoming hazy and his cheeks heating up. He was definitely on the brink of becoming drunk.

“I’ve been thinking over why it seems you’ve become a completely different person after losing your memories. At first, I truly believed it was because you wanted a fresh start. However, a broken vase can’t become an antique even if it returns to the furnace. Similarly, an ignorant, willful, and childish person can’t suddenly become mature, calm, and indifferent.” While speaking, Lu Tian Chen’s eyes did not leave Tang Feng’s.

No wonder Lu Tian Chen was a businessman. He was definitely a force to be reckoned with at the conference table.

Even Tang Feng felt a bit pressured from such an intense gaze. If he looked away or if his expression wavered, Lu Tian Chen would know something was off.

Fortunately, Tang Feng had no plans to evade the question. He’d never planned on leading a false life from the start.

“You’ve said that a lot. But you haven’t answered my question yet. Why is today special? Is it because it’s the first time I’ve gone out with three different men? Or is it because it’s Fiennes’ birthday?” Tang Feng took a drink and smiled.

“11:11. Don’t you understand what that means?” Lu Tian Chen replied mysteriously.

The actor shook his head. He truly didn’t know what 11:11 meant.

“Single,” Lu Tian Chen supplied.

“Huh?” Tang Feng stared at him blankly.

“November 11th is Single’s Day. The reason I set off the fireworks at 11:11 is to celebrate the last day of you being single.” Lu Tian Chen’s reply perplexed Tang Feng even more.

He was single. That was right. When did he stop being single?

Tang Feng confusingly stared at the other. Contrary to his normal calm, the doubtful look he had on his face made him look rather adorable.

Staring at that pair of bright and confused eyes, Lu Tian Chen was struck with how beautiful they were. He didn’t know whether it was because Tang Feng’s eyes were beautiful to begin with or if he had started thinking Tang Feng was beautiful no matter what after falling in love with the actor.

It didn’t matter in the end. As long as he liked what he was seeing.

“I don’t understand what you mean. You’re acting really strange today, Lu Tian Chen.” Tang Feng set his glass down and furrowed his brows.

The second he finished speaking, Lu Tian Chen leaned forward and kissed him on the lips, a simple and fleeting brush. Then, as if nothing just happened, Lu Tian Chen sat back down in his spot.

“I think the reason you called me over is because you have something to say to me,” Lu Tian Chen said.

“You kissed me.” Tang Feng was caught off guard by the sudden change in topic. If Lu Tian Chen was doing it to get his attention, then he was a little too successful.

Who in the world would be capable of discussing secrets with someone who’d just kissed you out of nowhere?

“Yes, I did,” Lu Tian Chen said.

“Are you not even going to explain? You just kissed me!” The more Tang Feng learned about Lu Tian Chen, the stranger and more interesting the latter became. It seems Lu Tian Chen wasn’t as old-fashioned and boring as he initially appeared.

“I’m not used to sleeping alone.” The topic drifted away once again. Tang Feng was simply incapable of following Lu Tian Chen’s train of thought.

“Then why do I remember you sleeping by yourself all the time before? My god, I’m losing my mind.”

Tang Feng didn’t know if it was due to the constant change in topics or the alcohol, but he could feel himself losing his hold on his logic and calm. They sprouted wings and were flapping to fly away, all the while waving and saying goodbye to him.

He rested his hands on his forehead and shook his head. “Enough, Lu Tian Chen. Tell me what you want. I feel like my head is going to explode.”

“It won’t.”

“Won’t what?”

“Your head won’t explode.”

They’d landed on another strange topic.

“I was making a comparison!” Tang Feng glared at the other. Lu Tian Chen didn’t reply, he simply stared back at the actor.

“No matter how much you stare at me, I won’t turn into a flower.” Unable to stand Lu Tian Chen’s gaze anymore, Tang Feng stood up to cover the other’s eyes. To his surprise, Lu Tian Chen wound an arm around his waist the second he got out of his seat.

By the time he had his hands on Lu Tian Chen’s eyes, the latter had already pulled him into a hug, bringing both of them down onto the couch.

Lu Tian Chen was a businessman, but, as he had already mentioned before, he was also a man.

From the minute he’d confessed to Tang Feng, Lu Tian Chen had already switched from being a businessman to simply being a man.

He leaned forward to kiss the actor again. This time, it wasn’t a simple brush against the lips. There weren’t any fancy techniques to his kiss, but the force of his kiss was enough to make Tang Feng feel as if he were being invaded. It was a kiss that spoke of Lu Tian Chen all over.

By the time his brain had caught up to the situation, it took Tang Feng ten seconds to finally realize that he was being kissed by another man.

No. It was more accurate to say that they were kissing because Tang Feng was also responding.

Perhaps he had been holding himself back for too long, or perhaps his logic had flown out the window, or perhaps it was even because he wanted to let himself go and truly indulge tonight, but Tang Feng gave in and accepted Lu Tian Chen’s kiss.

The president’s mouth was fresh and minty; he had probably brushed his teeth before coming over.

When Lu Tian Chen pulled his bathrobe open and moved down to kiss his collarbone and shoulder, Tang Feng understood.

Everything had been planned beforehand. Lu Tian Chen probably started planning how they were going to spend the night together while they were still tomb sweeping.

November 11th was Single’s Day and today was supposedly the day he stopped being single. But just because they slept together didn’t mean that he had stopped being single.

Lu Tian Chen noticed that Tang Feng was lost in thought. Out of mischief, he reached down between Tang Feng’s legs. The sudden touch jolted the actor out of his thoughts and made him kick out at Lu Tian Chen.

“That hurts!”

“First time. My mistake.”

Tang Feng rolled his eyes and glared at the other. Soon, his expression changed to one of surprise as he watched Lu Tian Chen move down and open his mouth.

Heavens…

It was truly a crazy night.

Next: Chapter 25: A Crazy Night (continued)
Previous: Chapter 23: Happy Birthday
Return: Main Page

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Translator: Nannyn
Proofreaders: Jinny, Lyrick

Chapter 15: Who is Better at Chess?

On July 13, 2018, Posted by , In Ti Shen, tagged in ,, , With 10 Comments

To understand things better, the story will have to backtrack to two days ago.

Su Yi Mo had been contemplating over and over again, things as they were now just did not sit right with him. If Ran Feng Ge’s situation remained unclear, then it would be impossible to save Jing Qiu Lan, and he would have to sacrifice someone from his side.

Feeling such unease has never been a trait of Su Yi Mo, even if he had to lose a substantial amount of assets, the normal him would require the same amount of returns back.

Staying still like a sitting duck was not doing him any good, he might as well do something about his current situation.

Therefore, he decided to activate the tracking device he had previously installed into Jing Qiu Han’s phone, finally identifying Lan Kuang’s location.

The location was in ‘A’ city, and it was naturally part of Su Yi Mo’s territory, his subordinates started to work out finding leads as soon as they got the order from above.

If Lan Kuang finds out that the information Ran Feng Ge handed him was accurate, he will not let this chance to bring down Su Yi Mo go. He would definitely try his hand at the goods in the harbour.

Against someone like Lan Kuang, a direct approach will be fruitless and will only serve as an excuse for Lan Kuang to take out Ran Feng Ge. There was only one method against someone like him, a feint to turn the tides.

Two days later

Lan Kuang did indeed bring his men to the harbour, however, even before he had a chance to launch his attack, a trusted subordinate contacted him to inform him, Su Yi Mo and his men were getting ready to raid a nightclub that Lan Kuang owned.

This nightclub cost Lan Kuang a lot before it was established, and for such a nightclub to exist in ‘A’ city where the Su family was in charge meant that if Su Yi Mo were to set his eyes upon it, then all the troubles Lan Kuang had gone through to open it would come to naught.

There was no need for him to lose such an important asset over an issue so minor.

Lan Kuang quickly ordered his men to stand down on the raid at the harbour and instead decided to focus on the defence of the nightclub.

Taking out Jing Qiu Han’s phone which he took from Ran Feng Ge, Lan Kuang decided to give Su Yi Mo a call.

In actuality, Su Yi Mo did not intend to join the raid on the nightclub, he was merely vetting through the information his subordinates were providing him, slowly eliminating the possible locations where Ran Feng Ge could have been held at.

At the sound of his phone ringing, Su Yi Mo felt a smile pulling at the corner of his lips. He took his time to answer the call and did not utter a single word once the call was put through.

On the other end of the line, Lan Kuang refused to say a word as well.

Both sides were silent.

After a long while, Lan Kuang finally asked “So you know everything?”

“What do I know?” Su Yi Mo replied.

With a small chuckle, Lan Kuang said “Ah, this whole thing involving your Ah Qiu!”

Hearing that, Su Yi Mo’s eyebrows knotted together, what exactly did Lan Kuang mean by that? Unless Lan Kuang  capturing Ran Feng Ge was not just a punishment? Did he actually know everything Jing Qiu Han’s double? Or… is he saying all of this as a means to unsettle him?

“Ah Qiu will not be going back to your side ever again. He promised me that he will stay by my side.” Lan Kuang replied smugly, “Young master Su’s expectations are so refined, I doubt you ever truly liked Ah Qiu. Everything you had before, wasn’t that just a performance?”

This move Lan Kuang played was indeed smart, regardless of whether Jing Qiu Han was indeed a double agent, keeping him forcefully still proves his worth as a useful pawn piece.

Because of the initial text message Su Yi Mo had sent him, Lan Kuang already ascertained a simple fact. Su Yi Mo was willing to go to any lengths for Jing Qiu Han.

Su Yi Mo targeting Lan Kuang’s nightclub in ‘A’ city was evidence enough of his affection for Jing Qiu Han.

What else could be said here on out?

Admit to Lan Kuang that he does care for Jing Qiu Han? And then what? And if he were to refute his affection for Jing Qiu Han, then this would lead Ran Feng Ge to his demise at the hands of Lan Kuang.

“Who would be so distasteful as to let young master Lan enjoy someone I’ve used already?” Su Yi Mo said nonchalantly, “What we have between us should naturally be kept between us. If young master Lan would be so kind to compromise a little, then there is no doubt that I will do the same for you.”

A deep guttural laugh escaped Lan Kuang’s lips, his voice laced with contempt, “Su Yi Mo, these lies of yours can only be used for the dead! If you were willing to compromise, then you wouldn’t have targeted my nightclub!”

“Since you have already seen through my plans, there is no need for me to pretend any further. If young master Lan fancies Qiu Han that much, then keep him. I’ve already had enough fun with him anyways.” With that said, Su Yi Mo ended the call.

This was a gamble.

Su Yi Mo was gambling that the suspicion his words would raise would lead to Lan Kuang heading over to the location where he was holding Ran Feng Ge.

Su Yi Mo was just emulating Lan Kuang’s thought pattern.

Lan Kuang did indeed get suspicious. Unless… what if Su Yi Mo’s ultimate target wasn’t the bar, but instead it was just a diversion with his main target being the rescue of Jing Qiu Han?

Regardless of the tricks Su Yi Mo was playing, in order to prevent his plans from falling through, Lan Kuang decided to head down to where Jing Qiu Han was being kept.

Su Yi Mo’s eyes followed the little red dot on his phone, it was heading in the direction of the last few locations Ran Feng Ge could have been held. At last, the red dot was circling around outside a workshop in the west side of the city.

Whilst driving, Lan Kuang was tossing a little object up into the air and letting it drop back down into the palm of his hand. He had long since discovered the tracking device that had been installed into Jing Qiu Han’s phone and it was not hard to guess that this was what Su Yi Mo was using to try and find him.

Driving the car towards the west was but a method to attract the snake out of the hole.

Su Yi Mo, if you have the guts to come, come. I will have a huge gift waiting for you!

 

Next:
Previous:Chapter 14: Breathless
Return: Main Page

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Translator: Joeypoonie
Proofreader: Lyrick

Chapter 23: Happy Birthday

On July 1, 2018, Posted by , In True Star, tagged in ,, , With 15 Comments

“Doctor Harvey, are you here today to see Fiennes?”

Gino unexpectedly ran into an acquaintance who had arrived carrying a bunch of white roses. At age 40, the corners of his eyes had already started showing small crow’s feet. Nevertheless, he looked handsome and refined, and his clean and fair hands revealed a life of privilege. His manner of speech and bearing also indicated his good upbringing.

“Yes, thank you for coming today to celebrate his birthday.” Harvey smiled politely, and went forward to put down the white roses, his expression turned rather dry.

Gino step forward to ask: “Doctor Harvey, what’s wrong?”

“Those red roses…”

“Oh, those three bunches of red roses are from my friend. He said today was Fiennes’ birthday, and that a person like Fiennes should be given red roses.” Thinking that the other thought that red roses were too shocking, Gino hurriedly started explaining. His usual impression of Tang Feng was that he was a rather conservative person. He never would have expected that the man’s way of thinking would be so unusual as to bring red roses to tomb sweeping.

Doctor Harvey let out an “Oh”, the shock in his eyes gradually dissipating, only leaving behind a slight layer of regret and melancholy.

“Your friend is quite the intuitive person. While he was alive, Fiennes’ favorite flowers were roses.” Harvey smiled bitterly, “Please give your friend my thanks, Gino.”

“Of course, that’s not a problem. He’s standing right there… huh? They were right here.” Gino pointed at where Tang Feng had just been, but the shade under the tree had long since been abandoned. Tang Feng, Charles, and the rest had already left some time ago.

“They probably returned to the car.” Gino apologetically told Harvey, not feeling like anything was wrong. “I’ll introduce you to him next time, he’s my costar. We’re currently working on a film together. He’s quite an exceptional man.”

“Sure.” Harvey smiled.

Gino and Harvey said a few more words to each other before saying their goodbyes. After Gino left, Harvey remained standing in front of Fiennes’ grave, his gaze not leaving the three bunches of red roses.

It had to be a coincidence, right?

Gino found Tang Feng and the others in a small coffee shop nearby. After visiting Fiennes’ grave today, his mood had improved a lot. In the past, he had never had the courage to visit Fiennes’ grave. When he did actually go visit, he suddenly felt lighter and more clear-sighted.

While they ordered coffee and some desserts, Tang Feng silently ordered a piece of his favorite chocolate lava cake. There were a bit too many calories in it, but since today was his birthday he decided he had an excuse to indulge himself a little.

On the outside, it looked no different from a regular slice of cake, but when your fork pierces the outer shell you’ll discover its soft, sweet and fiery heart. Eating it will make you feel elated and worry-free.

The only bad part was…

“Who was that man just now, Gino? You seemed to know him well. Oh, I know, he likes mature men, am I right?” Charles tried to start a quarrel with Gino, wearing an expression that said “I know what it is”. From Tang Feng’s perspective, Charles seemed bored senseless and was looking for something to do.

Gino coldly snorted, and took a sip of his coffee. Ignoring Charles’ provocation, he directly told Tang Feng, “That man is Harvey. He was Fiennes’ attending doctor while he was still alive. I only knew him after Fiennes’ had passed, but he’s a respectable and upstanding person, with a stable career and income, and a beautiful family. Actually, Fiennes’ funeral was all taken care of by him.”

Tang Feng continued to eat his chocolate lava cake and drink his coffee. He was thinking of where he could go later to pig out. Of course, he wouldn’t be the one to pick up the bill.

He appeared calm, but in the end he ended up eating two whole cakes.

Everyone had dinner together that evening and later visited a tea house. Afterwards, the four grown men headed together to the hotel Lu Tian Chen had booked. Lu Tian Chen had booked four rooms, without any complaints from Charles. Tang Feng wanted to be alone that night, and very bluntly kicked the others out so that he could have the room to himself.

Facing the splendid lights of the Los Angeles night, Tang Feng soaked alone in his bath tub in front of the full length glass windows. Lighting up the incense and playing some relaxing jazz music, he slowly closed his eyes and leaned back until he was entirely submerged in the bathwater.

The water gradually cooled off. He felt his hands and feet start to cool and soon after it was as if icy water had seeped into his heart, his chest becoming tight. He still remembered the feeling of his death, as if he had fallen into ice water. Falling deeper and deeper, the pressure pushed down on his heart. It was the kind of pain that almost tore him to shreds.

His breathing grew urgent as his hands and feet grew cold. Immediately, he became flustered, tense, and muddle-headed, his body covered with a layer of cold sweat.

Maybe it had only been one minute, or perhaps it was a long time, but eventually he lost consciousness from the intense pain in his heart.

No, it was more accurate to say that he had died.

(Shaa——)

“Ah!” shouted Tang Feng as he suddenly snapped out of it and sat up in the bathtub. He gulped down large breaths of air after being suffocated for so long, chest pounding violently.

There was a dull ache in his chest. He reminded himself that he would never again experience the same heart wrenching and lung splitting pain.

Leaving the bathroom, he put on a white cotton bathrobe. After Tang Feng walked back into the bedroom, he opened his phone and saw it contained a text from Lu Tian Chen. Seeing the text he smiled, that guy was staying in the room right next door and yet he still sent a text. Tang Feng had no idea what was going on in Lu Tian Chen’s mind.

After hesitating for a bit, he still chose to open the text and look over the contents.

“At 11:11 PM, stand by the French windows” Tang Feng looked at the time; it was 11:03 PM, just eight minutes away.

He first poured himself a glass of wine, then pulled a chair up in front of the French windows and sat down. There was still two minutes until the time Lu Tian Chen mentioned.

What did that guy do? It couldn’t be that he had arranged to set off fireworks for him, right?

Taking a couple gulps of wine, Tang Feng’s cell phone rang while he was still in thought. The display showed that it was Lu Tian Chen. Tang Feng smiled while picking up the call.

After Lu Tian Chen’s confession, he had started sending Tang Feng small gifts like fresh flowers and exquisite desserts. He also sent him honeyed texts every day. When they met each morning, Lu Tian Chen would show him a rare and tender smile, in addition to an especially refreshing “Good morning.” It was a very traditional and romantic gesture. Perhaps it wasn’t too exciting, but at least it wouldn’t annoy anyone.

“I’m reminding you to pay attention outside, in case you missed my text.”

“What are you planning?” Tang Feng responded.

“It’s time. 10, 9, 8, 7…” Lu Tian Chen started to count down from the other side of the call.

When he got to one, Tang Feng looked outside the window. It was as he expected, countless dazzling fireworks blossomed in the horizon. Red, white, blue… fireworks of every color dyed the dark blue skies a different hue.

Tang Feng had witnessed this scene in movies countless times already, but this was his first time on the receiving end of such a particular gift.

It was one thing to see it in a movie, it was another to personally witness it in one’s lifetime.

Tang had to confess, this time he really was happy and touched.

When a person is strong and mature, others will often forget that they too are also made of flesh and bone. People who are strong on the outside will still feel pain and hurt, but they may not be used to showing it. People are accustomed to pitying and helping those who call out in pain, forgetting about those who have gotten used to bearing its weight.

In this world, there is no one who will reject your love and concern for them. They will only care for whether your feelings were heartfelt or insincere.

The sound of the fireworks seemed right beside Tang Feng’s ears. He looked up at the splendid sky and started to smile. This birthday was not so bad.

“Do you like it?” asked Lu Tian Chen.

“Mm… Very, very old-school, but it’s not bad.” Tang Feng replied, holding back his laughter and nodding, his hand half supporting his head.

The other side was silent for a bit and just when Tang Feng thought that Lu Tian Chen was going to hang up, the man said, “Open the door.”

“It’s too late.” Tang Feng replied.

“Today is Fiennes’ birthday.” Lu Tia Chen stated.

“So what?” Tang Feng didn’t know why Lu Tian Chen would bring that up. He slightly tensed up, was he discovered? But even if he was, it didn’t matter since he didn’t mind telling others about it, as long as they could accept it.

“Why don’t you tell me about the relationship between you and Fiennes?”

Since the day he had brought up Fiennes, Tang Feng knew that this day would come, sooner or later. After all, after his rebirth, he lived his life by his own terms, without any resemblance to the former Tang Feng. However, he hadn’t anticipated that Lu Tian Chen would connect him so quickly to Fiennes. The man’s sharp senses couldn’t be underestimated.

“Come to my room.” After saying that, Tang Feng hung up the phone. He sucked in a breath of air while he looked outside at the fireworks that were still blossoming. He didn’t know if he would reveal his secret tonight.

 

Next: Chapter 24: A Crazy Night
Previous: Chapter 22: Tomb Sweeping
Return: Main Page

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Translator: Milk
Proofreaders: Rose, Lyrick

Chapter 1: Hui Shi’s Pavilion

On July 1, 2018, Posted by , In Chen Yue Zhi Yao, tagged in ,, , With 2 Comments

“The Queen lives next door, right? What if, what if we run into Lord Yin Shi when we leave? What should we do then?” – Fan Tong

“You don’t have to do anything. Just sell the first piece of news to me at lightning speed, and I promise you’ll profit!” – Mi Zhong.“Isn’t there a mortality rate of over 90% for selling the Queen’s gossip….” – Yue Tui.

The first day of the new year was naturally part of the holidays. However, Fan Tong and Yue Tui still got up early because they had an appointment with Luo Shi today.

These days, one might have the misconception that they’d been leaving Zhu Sha out of many events. Yue Tui felt a little guilty, believing that roommates should do things together, but it was Zhu Sha himself who hadn’t gone to work with them and Zhu Sha himself who hadn’t participated in the New Year’s party. It would be inconvenient to bring an extra person this time to their engagement with Luo Shi, so after freshening up a bit, they left by themselves without disturbing the still sleeping Zhu Sha.

The purpose of today’s meeting with Luo Shi was to go together to Xuan Dian by Shen Wang Dian to worship and pray for blessings.

It’s probably something similar to the first shrine visit of the year? I hear there are also that you can write on and hang up as well as . The culture here is really similar to my world’s, huh.

“Good morning, Luo Shi.”

“Good morning.”

Fan Tong and Yue Tui found Luo Shi standing by a stove for warmth. In this season, the Eastern City’s early mornings were always a little chilly. Luo Shi wasn’t wearing extra clothes, so that was probably why he felt cold.

The warmth of the fire caused his originally delicate and fair skin to gain a pink tint at his cheeks, giving him the adorable aura of a small child. This sort of look was guaranteed to make all aunties who saw him yell “This child is so cute –” and then put all their energy into rushing up to pinch, rub, knead, and squish him. Although a fourteen-year-old could be considered already half-grown and no longer small, Luo Shi’s petite stature and tender face still seemed to give people a protective urge.

“This is the place. Let’s go in.”

Xuan Dian was not very large. It was said that the number of visitors would multiply at noon; they had specifically come at such an early hour so that there would not be as much of a crowd. They wanted to avoid people watching Luo Shi curiously or blocking the road to request a duel with Yue Tui.

As for how people would react upon seeing Fan Tong, generally speaking there wasn’t much of a reaction. Normally, everyone would ignore him. Even Fan Tong himself didn’t know whether to be happy or sad about this.

“Luo Shi, who or what are we here to worship?”

Things like prayers required an object of worship, so Fan Tong was curious about what kind of faith existed here.

“Chen Yue of course, did you not see the carved mirror up there?”

Hearing Luo Shi’s answer, Fan Tong looked in the direction Luo Shi’s finger was pointing, and sure enough, there was an enormous wooden carving above which looked like a circular mirror of a rather archaic style.

It seems reasonable for the people of Huan Shi to worship Chen Yue. Do Luo Yue’s residents also worship it?

“The carving of Chen Yue is so small….”

Luo Shi wanted to retort but realized that Fan Tong had made another contradictory remark.

“It’s not that big, but since it’s made for everyone to worship, it should have more impact. That’s why it was made a little bigger.”

Oh. How boring.

“Come over here to draw a fortune and gain some luck.”

Are you certain you meant luck? Or are there no “Xiong” fortunes in the container?

Despite his unenthustiastic thoughts, Fan Tong came over anyway. Yue Tui also wordlessly followed.

Fan Tong continued lamenting even after putting his hand into the container of fortunes.

Sigh, if my memories and abilities returned, I would only need one glance to figure out something like this year’s fortune. Then, who would need to draw any fortunes? Can Chen Yue tell fortunes? Who knows if Chen Yue’s fortunes are accurate….

However, the fortunes that they drew weren’t the ones saying “Xiong” or “Ji ” that Fan Tong had imagined. When Fan Tong drew out his fortune and opened it, he saw that it contained only two large characters that made his facial muscles twitch.

“Fool.”

…What is this? Who wrote nonsense on this slip of paper and threw it in?

“This year it’s also ‘Dead End.’  What do yours say?”

Luo Shi seemed dejected by the fortune he drew and so became interested in their fortunes.

Fan Tong wordlessly revealed “Fool.” Yue Tui seemed baffled, as if he were still deciphering the characters written on the fortune. After all, he had yet to master the script of the Eastern City.

“Pft! You actually drew ‘Fool’! How fitting!”

Luo Shi completely disregarded Fan Tong’s feelings and laughed out loud. Fan Tong was really unsure how to react to the words “how fitting.”

“What does it mean….”

“Mm, a fortune is something you must figure out yourself. If you feel at a loss, then it might be that you don’t understand yourself enough.”

I seriously hope that’s the case! Temples usually have interpretation services, right?

It was only the first day of the new year and he had already been mocked as a fool. To Fan Tong, it was like drawing “Da Xiong,”  but it seemed like nobody could understand his feelings. For example, Luo Shi had even ridiculed him mercilessly.

“Don’t feel too bad. When Yin Shi comes to draw fortunes every year, he almost always gets ‘Big Idiot.’”

… So you’re saying, compared to that, “Fool” isn’t too bad?

It’s really too tragic for me to be compared to Lord Yin Shi. However, if Lord Yin Shi received “Big Idiot,” then I can believe that these fortunes have a certain accuracy rate.

“You said ‘almost always,’ but what did his other fortunes say….”

“Occasionally, there are years where he draws ‘Brain-dead,’ ‘Retarded,’ ‘Romantic Luck,’ and so on, according to Ling Shi.”

…Aren’t they all rather similar? The only good one is “Romantic Luck,” but up until now he’s only snagged a Bi Rou, so it looks like it wasn’t very useful….

Who knows what Lord Ling Shi got? I’m so curious. And what about Lord Wei Shi and Her Majesty the Queen….

“Yue Tui, what did you get?”

Yue Tui handed the fortune to them a little vacantly.

“I can only read one character. Bloody bloody bloody… Bloody what?”

In contrast to the few large characters on the others’ fortunes, Yue Tui’s slip of paper could be considered densely packed.

The characters for “Bloody Calamity Bloody Calamity Bloody Calamity Bloody Calamity Bloody Calamity” were densely packed on the fortune.

“….”

Yue Tui, you…. What exactly is going on with you?

“Yue Tui, what’s written here is ‘Bloody Delight.’”

After Fan Tong finished speaking, Luo Shi glared at him.

“Don’t mind Fan Tong; what’s written here is ‘Bloody Calamity.’”

We’re all friends here. It’s just one misspoken word; was that really necessary?

But speaking of which, the term “bloody delight” is really inscrutable. How should I interpret it; is it saying you’ll give birth or something?

“Bloody calamity… Next year?”

Yue Tui’s complexion was a little unsightly, but Fan Tong could understand his feelings quite well.

If he had to choose “Bloody Calamity” or “Fool” for the coming year, he really would not know which one to pick.

“It…. It might not be accurate. There’s a possibility that, if you are careful, you might avoid it. Otherwise, what’s the point of drawing fortunes….”

Luo Shi, you really spare nothing to comfort Yue Tui. That’s favoritism, you know, favoritism….

“Bloody calamity….”

Yue Tui looked very worried. Fan Tong even thought he heard Yue Tui mutter, “Is it happening to me or am I the cause,” but he didn’t understand what Yue Tui meant by that.

“Hey! Xiao Luo Shi! You guys are also here to worship?”

At this time, a voice came from far away. Fan Tong thought to himself, “Ah, it’s the ‘Big Idiot.’”

We saw each other just last night; now we meet again this morning. I don’t know if I should call it being brought together by fate.

On the first day of the new year, we run into Lord Yin Shi. It doesn’t really put me in a cheerful mood…. Eh, Lord Ling Shi came with you too? Then what about your Bi Rou? How come you didn’t come together with her?

“Ah, you went to worship without bothering to invite us; Xiao Luo Shi is so heartless.”

Although it was early in the morning, Yin Shi’s energy levels were at one hundred percent, as demonstrated by both his complexion and his voice.

“Yin, don’t make a fuss within Xuan Dian.”

Ling Shi entered soon after and gave an indifferent warning. Unfortunately, Yin Shi turned a deaf ear.

“Are you guys drawing fortunes? Then I will too….”

“Please do things in the proper order and worship first.”

“What, it’s no big deal to draw fortunes first….”

“Worship.”

“You sure are troublesome, old man! You’ll definitely draw ‘Old Maid ’ later!”

“It’s still better than ‘Big Idiot.’ What is there to be proud of about ‘Big Idiot’?”

There was indeed nothing to be proud of about “Big Idiot.” About “Old Maid,” however… For Lord Ling Shi, who was feminine-looking but full of masculine spirit, wasn’t it really an insult?

“Come. Worship. First – ”

Ling Shi hooked an elbow around Yin Shi’s neck and squeezed tight, using brute force to drag Yin Shi towards the worship location.

“Violent old geezer! My neck— cough! Cough cough— ”

Lord Ling Shi’s arms, though slender, were actually extremely strong. They looked really reliable.

Fan Tong had been mentally narrating his thoughts. If Bi Rou had been there, she might have also informed him that that slender arm was not only strong but also invulnerable. When struck by the Western City’s Magic Sword Guard, it had taken no damage.

“It seems like we encounter Lord Yin Shi wherever we go.”

Yue Tui voiced his thoughts as he forced a bitter smile.

“Just ignore him. He always brings disaster.”

Of the three of them, it was Luo Shi who had associated with Yin Shi the longest. But because both Fan Tong and Yue Tui had been affected by the disasters Yin Shi had brought, they both silently agreed with those words.

Furthermore, the disasters had been quite severe – a deadly one almost every time.

“Luo Shi, what do we do now?”

“Mm… We could go to the front to receive plaques to write our wishes on, then go hang them up in the public space. But since we’ve already greeted them, I think we should wait for them.”

The people Luo Shi wanted to wait for were Yin Shi and Ling Shi. Even though Yin Shi was a bringer of disaster, he and Luo Shi were still friendly with each other. It would be unreasonable to just abandon Yin Shi and Ling Shi, so the three of them could only wait in order to go together.

Thus, choosing your friends carefully made a lot of sense. If one wasn’t friends with someone, then there would be no problem. After becoming friends, it was always more troublesome to break off the relationship, and one would have to find many excuses to do so. Why not just be more selective from the start? That way one would be safer and have fewer worries.

Sadly, one couldn’t control something like fate. Moreover, Fan Tong was still uncertain whether or not he was actually friends with those two illustrious attendants.

In truth, those who became friends with him seemed to also be affected by his misfortune. Just take Yue Tui as an example. Then, should Fan Tong be grateful that others didn’t avoid him and stop being picky about choosing friends?

If you are all destined to be rich and famous, then you can’t be dragged down by my bad luck! –In the end, Fan Tong still decided to blame other people. Anyway, it didn’t matter how many mistakes he made if he blamed them on someone else.

“Bloody calamity….”

Nearby, Yue Tui was still repeating those words, seeming extremely bothered.

Ling Shi appeared extremely pious and beautiful as he closed his eyes in prayer, giving him a peaceful aura. When gazing at him like this, Fan Tong felt that he looked just like a rare beautiful woman. Unfortunately, the undeniable fact that he was a man had crushed many men’s dreams— but there were also men who refused to give up even if they were beaten to death.

In comparison, Yin Shi appeared to be praying much more half-heartedly. One could tell from that bored expression and offhand manner that what he was thinking probably had nothing to do with worship. Most likely thinking things like, “What nice weather,” “Want to nap,” and so on, he was obviously just waiting for Ling Shi to finish praying. It really made people speechless.

After all that trouble of waiting for them to finish their prayers, Ling Shi and Yin Shi finally came over to draw fortunes. This was something Yin Shi had a little more interest in, and his expression showed that he was extremely eager.

“Ah! This year it isn’t ‘Big Idiot’!”

After opening the fortune he drew, he immediately reported this to Ling Shi with excitement.

“Oh. What is it?”

Ling Shi was not the least bit affected by Yin Shi’s excitement; the tone of his reply was full of indifference.

“It’s ‘Bloody Calamity’!”

Yin Shi proudly revealed the piece of paper. He successfully earned silence from those watching and a contemptuous look from Ling Shi.

What’s there to be so happy about when you draw “Bloody Calamity”…. Moreover, that’s nothing compared to what our Yue Tui got. You only have those four characters that spell out “Bloody Calamity,” but Yue Tui’s slip of paper was completely packed with the characters for “Bloody Calamity.”

But you are already this strong; what sort of bloody calamity could happen to you? That fortune really can’t be that accurate. At least “Big Idiot” would be somewhat more accurate.

“Bloody calamity isn’t a good thing….”

The corner of Luo Shi’s mouth twitched; he really did not know what to say to Yin Shi.

When a big idiot encounters a bloody calamity, what will happen?

“No matter how I look at it, I can’t help but think it means you’ll accidentally cut yourself, you big idiot.”

Ling Shi made a deduction based on Yin Shi’s situation, but Yin Shi didn’t accept that at all.

“Ah! How can that be! I’m not as dumb as that damned Wei Shi!”

Does that mean that Lord Wei Shi has accidentally cut himself before?  Does this count as gossip? Although there’s no proof, can I still sell this information to Mi Zhong?

“Then, Ling Shi, what did you get?”

When Yin Shi asked, Ling Shi clenched the slip of paper in his hand as if he wanted to destroy all traces of it, but Yin Shi immediately grabbed his wrist and forced his fingers open with agile movements, rescuing the fortune from his hand. After one look, Yin Shi laughed out loud.

“Puhahaha! I knew you wouldn’t be able to get anything good! It’s actually….”

“No one will ignore you if you don’t speak.”

Ling Shi simply used a strong blow to shut Yin Shi’s mouth, causing Yin Shi’s next words to turn into a cry of pain. However, because Yin Shi was in pain, his grip on the slip of paper loosened, so Fan Tong saw what was written on the fallen slip.

“Good Wife and Loving Mother.”

Woah, how nice.

That’s the only compliment here; how can it not be a good thing? Is it embarrassing because Ling Shi is a man?

‘Snore──huu … Wuwu, is someone calling my name?’

Puhahaha, who had been hanging at Fan Tong’s waist, suddenly awakened and asked him such a question.

…. You heard wrong, that was just somebody laughing out loud.

‘There’s nothing? Then I’ll continue sleeping. Zzzzz….’

If Puhahaha had hands, Fan Tong would have wanted this fellow to draw a fortune so he could see if it said something like “Lazybones” or “Sleeping Pig.”

If Puhahaha got something like “Calligrapher” or “Janitor,” then Fan Tong would be justified in using it to draw characters or clean.

Someone like Yin Shi, who was both curious and loved to cause trouble, would naturally want them to share what was written on their fortunes. There wasn’t much to discuss about Luo Shi’s “Dead End,” but Fan Tong’s “Fool” was laughed at a bit. Wasn’t it just like the pot calling the kettle black for a “Big Idiot” to mock a “Fool”? However, this year Yin Shi wasn’t a big idiot, so his mockery was still justifiable. Fan Tong could only swallow his protests as he was ridiculed.

When Yue Tui took out his fortune with “Bloody Calamity Bloody Calamity Bloody Calamity….” on it, Yin Shi was unexpectedly full of praise.

“Ling Shi! Xiao Yue’s is amazing! He has so many!”

Exactly what is up with that expression, as if you’re envious of someone who got more toys than you?

“Do you really like bloody calamities that much….”

Ling Shi asked with a superficial smile. Fan Tong felt that Ling Shi was currently pondering whether to create some bloody calamities for Yin Shi.

“If they’re so great, then you can swap with him.”

Luo Shi said with a creased brow. However, exchanging slips of paper was not equivalent to exchanging destinies.

“Ah! That makes a lot of sense! Xiao Yue! Do you want to swap with me? I want to take your fortune back as a souvenir!”

Lord Yin Shi, what exactly is your brain made of?

“Souvenir….”

Yue Tui hesitantly looked at the slip of paper in his hands. The characters for “Bloody Calamity” were not only densely packed but also tiny and red. In addition, Fan Tong had no idea what had been used to write those characters…. No matter how one looked at it, it was a very unlucky item which might even attract trouble to someone if they kept it, so why, why would someone would want this kind of thing as a souvenir?

“If you like it, I don’t mind just giving it to you. There’s no need to swap….”

Yue Tui clearly had an attitude that said, “I don’t want it; if you want it you can have it, and you can also keep your own.” This was the attitude ordinary people should have. Who would want to carry around the sort of item that would attract bad luck?

“Eh? There’s no need to be polite, just trade with me. Ah, it seems like I frequently exchange things with you, Xiao Yue.”

Yin Shi said while disregarding what the other party wanted. He took away Yue Tui’s fortune while simultaneously stuffing his own into Yue Tui’s hands so that Yue Tui was neither accepting nor declining it, causing Yue Tui’s smile to be a little forced.

And as for what Yin Shi had said about frequently exchanging things with Yue Tui, he’d only exchanged his broken knife for Yue Tui’s broken sword last time. One time shouldn’t count as frequent.

However, with Yin Shi’s terrible memory, it was already commendable that he could remember that incident, so there was no need to quibble with him.

“Lord Yin Shi, why isn’t Bi Rou here?”

At this moment, Yue Tui suddenly asked this question. The fact that he had actively asked about Bi Rou made Fan Tong rather surprised. Yue Tui was normally very cold to her, and just seeing her would make him look unhappy.

“Ah, Xiao Rou said it was too early. She wanted her beauty sleep and wouldn’t come with me.”

When speaking about Bi Rou, Yin Shi became dejected. Even so, he hadn’t rescheduled their visit to Xuan Dian to accommodate Bi Rou because, the later they went, the more people there would be, making it less convenient for travel.

Yin Shi was also one of those people who would encounter many reckless people requesting duels when walking down a road. If he were obstructed by an impenetrable crowd on the first day of the new year on his way to worship and draw fortunes, then it would be very hard for him to recover his spirits.

“Let’s go write on wishing plaques together.”

Since Luo Shi suggested this, everybody proceeded there together.

Wishing plaques, which weren’t very big, were distributed free of charge. As long as something was free, Fan Tong wouldn’t dislike it. Furthermore, he was much more comfortable with writing than with speaking. Even now, whenever Fan Tong recalled what he had yelled last night at the meteor shower, he would still feel like crying but was unable to shed any tears.

If I write, at least it won’t be wrong!

Fan Tong very earnestly wrote down his wish for the new year. In the end, he still decided to write down paying back his debt. Yue Tui put great effort into using the brush he was still unfamiliar with and the characters he knew to write down his wish. No one wrote for very long, as if they had already decided what their wishes were ages ago.

The next step was to hang the wishing plaques in the designated area. Some people had already hung their plaques before New Year’s, so there were already some wishing plaques hanging there. Once they’d added their five plaques, the whole thing looked a bit livelier.

Luo Shi’s writing was very graceful. Because Yue Tui wasn’t used to the Eastern City’s writing yet, his writing was a little rough. Fan Tong’s writing was very beautiful, so beautiful that it could be sold as calligraphy. Ling Shi’s writing was firm and neat, full of his personality. In contrast, Ying Shi’s writing was sloppy to the point of being illegible.

“When are you going to write something that people can read….”

Ling Shi looked at Yin Shi. His tone carried a bit of a sigh.

“Ah! It’s that damned Wei Shi’s plaque! So he’s actually been here already!”

Yin Shi completely ignored Ling Shi.

Hearing that Wei Shi’s wishing plaque was there, everybody curiously came over, wanting to see what kind of wish he had made.

“I hope that the Eastern City’s children can grow up peacefully.”

…Eh?

Fan Tong felt extremely weird. Is this really what Lord Wei Shi wrote? That Lord Wei Shi? Doesn’t seem like it, right? He wrote this sort of ordinary, harmless wish?

“How did you know that this was Wei Shi’s plaque? There’s no signature. Did you recognize his handwriting?”

Luo Shi asked suspiciously. Yin Shi pointed at the plaque angrily.

“Who needs to recognize his handwriting! This has a detestable smell on it!”

Who can comprehend these things that only you can sense?

“Ah! There’s more! Look! Evidence!”

Yin Shi flipped over the plaque. Shockingly, four large characters spelling “Drop dead, Yin Shi” were written on the back.

These four characters made it easier to believe that this was Wei Shi’s plaque, but openly cursing someone like this really wasn’t very good. Should it be called having no filter? It wasn’t like no one would see something if it was written on the back. For Wei Shi to openly display the conflicts between the two attendants… exactly how horrible had their relationship become?

“Mm, if it has those four characters, then I can believe that he wrote it. It’s very authentic.”

Ling Shi nodded his head. Fan Tong didn’t know whether he was agreeing with Yin Shi’s reasoning or with the four characters for “Drop dead, Yin Shi.”

“That damned Wei Shi actually cursed me to die; he’s just too traitorous… Ah! He actually wrote on two plaques!”

Hearing that Yin Shi had discovered another one, everyone went over to look. It really made people speechless for one person to actually write on two plaques. The previous plaque’s wish had been very ordinary; what about this one?

These words had been written on the plaque: “The Eastern City won’t be defeated! Long live Her Majesty, the Queen!”

Oh…. Fan Tong could understand why Wei Shi hadn’t left a signature.

It would actually be kind of embarrassing for someone to openly display this sort of passionate opinion. However, perhaps Wei Shi didn’t feel embarrassed, it had just never occurred to him to leave his signature.

“Quickly flip it over and look.”

Luo Shi seemed very eager. After all, the previous plaque had had something written on the back, so this one might also have writing there. It really made people curious about what exactly was written there.

Yin Shi flipped the plaque over with a frown. Sure enough, the back lived up to their expectations, containing a few big characters.

“Drop dead, Yin Shi.”

“Why is it also telling me to die—!”

According to this pattern, if Wei Shi had also written on a third or fourth plaque, the back of those would also have “Drop dead, Yin Shi” written there. It looked like he truly held a deep resentment towards Yin Shi. His persistence really made people speechless; did he really detest Yin Shi that much?

Lord Yin Shi, exactly what did you do to him? Exactly how many detestable things did you do?

“Could it be that your very existence is a huge eyesore to him? Without you, the Eastern City would be much better.”

Ling Shi made cynical remarks nearby, seeming extremely unconcerned.

Without Yin Shi, the Eastern City would be much better. Fan Tong didn’t know why he wanted to second that. Because that wasn’t very nice, however, he could only applaud silently.

“How evil! I’ll definitely make him pay when I return!”

Yin Shi said indignantly. In contrast, Ling Shi didn’t support him at all.

“Forget it, would he ever admit it? Even if he does, what can you do to him?”

“I’m going to flay him and hang him from the city walls!”

….

Are you serious? That wouldn’t be good, would it?

Compared to being executed, being flayed and hung from the city walls seems like a much lighter punishment, but it’s not like one would die from something like this. I’m afraid that, if this sort of thing happens, Lord Wei Shi would turn the Eastern City into a bloodbath afterwards in order to exterminate everybody who saw….

“Oh—? Keep your word then.”

A fleeting thoughtful smile appeared on Ling Shi’s lips, making people shudder in fear.

Lord Lin Shi, please stop prodding him….

“Mother the Queen wouldn’t ignore this.”

Luo Shi hadn’t been trying to defend Wei Shi. It was just that less was better when it came to this sort of mischief.

“Ah, that’s right, Ying will get mad.”

Yin Shi recoiled a bit, as provoking Xi Ying’s rage wasn’t a good idea.

“What a pity. I thought that you would do something on the first day of the new year to give everybody a pleasant surprise.”

Lord Ling Shi, that shouldn’t be called a pleasant surprise, okay? That should be called horrifying or shocking, regardless of whether you’re talking about the spectators or those involved.

“I’ll definitely find an untraceable way to get revenge!”

Yin Shi was still panting in rage, as if he couldn’t accept not getting revenge.

An untraceable way of getting revenge? Unlikely. If you had the ability to find one, you wouldn’t have drawn “Big Idiot” for so many years.

“Take your time; I’ll be waiting expectantly. But I think you’ll forget by tomorrow.”

Yin Shi’s burning fighting spirit seemed to matter not one whit to Ling Shi.

Looking at the wishing plaques hanging here was a very interesting task as well. Fan Tong had snuck a peek earlier: Luo Shi hoped that Hui Shi would return soon, Yue Tui hoped everyone would stay safe – basically everyone had written wishes that were uninteresting to look at. Therefore, he went to check out strangers’ plaques.

As expected, other people’s plaques were much more interesting, with much more to mock. For instance, those who wrote extreme wishes such as “Get a black tassel overnight” or “Dominate the Eastern City” greatly overestimated themselves. There was also someone who wished, “Don’t die again this year.” Fan Tong felt that this person was a fellow comrade in suffering.

When he discovered Mi Zhong’s plaque, he really felt like leaving without looking at it. He believed he would definitely see something written on it that would make him uncomfortable. After discovering it, however, he had already read the words there; the wish really was in Mi Zhong’s usual style.

Written on it were these words: “Lord Ling Shi! Give me a single glance! I beg of you to give me a single glance!”….

Fan Tong pondered whether to call Ling Shi over to look at this plaque and consider that as fulfilling Mi Zhong’s wish.

If Ling Shi asked whether he knew this person, however, he definitely would not want to admit it. He didn’t want to be looked at strangely because of someone else’s perversion, so why should he bother.

“Since we’re pretty much finished with the events at Xuan Dian….”

Luo Shi looked over at them and smiled shyly.

“Happy New Year.”

“Happy New Year.”

Yue Tui also smiled faintly, returning the benediction.

“Unhappy New Year.”

Fan Tong’s mouth was still the same as usual. At this moment, it truly was  an .

“You could at least say ‘Unhappy old year’; it’s much better than saying ‘Unhappy New Year’!”

Luo Shi glared at him and scolded him again, but this wasn’t something Fan Tong could control, so he could only feel extremely wronged.

In any case, a new year was beginning, and Fan Tong continued sincerely hoping that the coming year would be even better.

…Even if it would involve a wild goose chase, a fool, and a whole lot of bloody calamities.

“Then we’ll go back first. The martial arts tournament and the matchmaking event are about to begin. Remember to participate, okay.”

Hey, hey? What martial arts tournament and matchmaking event? What are those?

“Who’s going to fight or marry you? Do you understand anything at all? Stop disgracing yourself; just hurry up and go.”

Ling Shi didn’t bother to explain Yin Shi’s disorderly remarks and dragged him away, leaving Luo Shi, Yue Tui, and Fan Tong there.

“Do you guys have time now?”

Luo Shi asked them this, as if he wanted to do something with them.

They had never refused Luo Shi’s invitations – it wasn’t as if they would run into anything bad with Luo Shi.  In fact, there were often good food and drinks.

“Mm, we don’t have anything planned today.”

Hearing Yue Tui say this, Luo Shi looked happy.

“Then… I’m going to clean Hui Shi’s place now. Do you guys want to come along?”

What? We’re going to Hui Shi’s pavilion?

Fan Tong and Yue Tui were stunned for a moment. They hadn’t expected Luo Shi to want to do this kind of thing together.

“I thought you already cleaned it last year….”

Yue Tui replied confusedly. When they had swept Shen Wang Dian for a job last year, they had heard that Luo Shi would personally clean Hui Shi’s pavilion.

Things like cleaning…. Normally people would do it before New Year’s.

“Be-because….”

Luo Shi seemed a little embarrassed to speak and hesitated for a moment.

“I was preparing…. Last night’s…. I didn’t have enough time….”

Oh, so you spent your time preparing last night’s food and gifts? How thoughtful.

You even claimed that you had been dragged there in the spur of the moment; it turns out you were just trying to salvage the embarrassing situation…

“Do you, do you guys want to go or not!”

You were shamed into anger so quickly. Luo Shi, you are still an amateur….

Fan Tong nodded his head. After cleaning, Luo Shi would definitely ask them to dinner, right? Furthermore, Fan Tong just happened to bring a mop, so going to clean would be a perfect arrangment.

‘W-what are you thinking of doing with me again!’

Puhahaha spoke up again. It probably hadn’t heard his thoughts – rather, it had probably felt his ill intent?

Hmph hmph hmph, you can’t escape this time! Even if you’re a horsetail whisk, you’re still a cleaning tool. You don’t have any excuses!

‘Your aura is extremely sinister! Your thoughts are definitely impure! What are you going to do! I’m warning you, don’t defile my sacred body!’

Never heard of a weapon admonishing its master. Go ahead and lament;. I’m not going to talk. I’ll just let you worry a bit, hehe.

‘If you dare mess around! I’ll use my soul-purging glow!’

That’s great, when I sweep in the dark corners, I’ll even have illumination. Oh yeah.

Fan Tong was unmoved by Puhahaha’s threats. Sadly, in order to prevent Luo Shi and Yue Tui from finding out, he couldn’t verbally trade a few lines with Puhahaha. Otherwise, it would have been even more refreshing.

“Yue Tui, are you going too?”

Luo Shi stared at Yue Tui and asked again. Although Fan Tong had nodded, that didn’t mean that Yue Tui would agree as well.

“Alright.”

Yue Tui replied very straightforwardly. This time, he agreed directly and frankly instead of saying something like, “If Fan Tong wants to go, then I will as well.”

“I do really want to go see.”

Oh, Yue Tui, are you afraid he’s not fully convinced you’re Hui Shi? Or are you actually Hui Shi?

Since both parties had already agreed to go, there was no need to waste any more time. They then set off towards Shen Wang Dian.

The last time they had come to Shen Wang Dian, they hadn’t gone farther than the third palace, which was also where Yin Shi’s pavilion was. However, this time they were heading to Hui Shi’s pavilion in the fifth palace, so Fan Tong couldn’t help but be a bit nervous.

After they’d gone farther inside, it became even more apparent that Shen Wang Dian was huge. Since they weren’t sightseeing, they only passed through the area on their way to Hui Shi’s pavilion, yet that already took a very long time. The vast interior made Fan Tong feel that it was a waste to house only a few people inside, but a palace had to be big in order to have grandeur, so there was nothing wrong with its size. At most, it caused Fan Tong to think about their triple bunk bed situation and feel a burst of grief.

They entered Hui Shi’s pavilion without any trouble, as they didn’t meet Yin Shi midway and waste time, nor did they meet Wei Shi and suffer. They arrived at the fifth palace without running into Xi Ying once again; their entrance had been so dull and smooth that it felt a little surreal.

“It’ll just be us three cleaning?”

No way, this place is so big, how many days are you planning on cleaning for?

“Mm, we’re only cleaning a few rooms, the study and a bedroom. Don’t worry.”

After hearing Luo Shi’s words, Fan Tong finally felt at ease. So they didn’t need to sweep the whole place. He could probably endure it then.

“Then, let’s start with the study!”

They didn’t need anything too complex to clean the study. All they had to do was use a cleaning rag and mop to tidy the bookshelves and floor.

Because he didn’t really want Puhahaha to hate him forever, Fan Tong didn’t use him as a mop. Instead, he obediently grabbed a mop that Luo Shi had prepared and commenced mopping.

‘Look, that is a real mop, while I am a horsetail whisk. Can you tell what a real mop is or not?’

Puhahaha obviously held a grudge against Fan Tong for always calling him a mop. As soon as he had a chance, he had to reprimand Fan Tong.

“Of course I don’t know that this is a mop….”

Fan Tong replied impatiently; the curse attacked again.

‘You grew up without knowing this is mop? What did your family use to mop the floor!’

I was saying that I do know this is a mop. Why are you fussing so much? Watch out or I’ll call you .

“Fan Tong, what are you talking to yourself about?”

Luo Shi looked over suspiciously.

“I’m talking with Puhahaha.”

“Oh… You are getting closer to your mop.”

No way are we getting closer to each other. It’s more like we are growing further apart.

“Fan Tong, conversing more with your weapon is a good thing. Your strength will increase as your connection and relationship deepen.”

Yue Tui, who was polishing the bookcase, turned his head towards Fan Tong and said this, leaving Fan Tong somewhat puzzled.

Don’t you only have a broken weapon that can’t talk? How did you know? Did you diligently study the Eastern City’s books while I wasn’t paying attention? But can you even read those words?

“How did you know, Yue Tui?”

Sure enough, Luo Shi also found this strange. After all, the three of them had bought weapons together.

“The teacher at school said it….”

Yue Tui replied with a half-baked explanation. However, there was no evidence against him  since Luo Shi did not take classes with them and Fan Tong didn’t pay attention much in his Wushu classes.

Since they’d finished cleaning the study quickly, they then went to the bedroom. The bedroom was slightly bigger than the study. Besides the necessary bed, there were also a few shelves, tables, and chairs. The cleaning process was quite similar to how they’d cleaned the study; Fan Tong continued to mop while Luo Shi and Yue Tui continued wiping things.

After entering, Fan Tong looked around.

He had some sort of wondrous feeling he couldn’t describe…. At any rate, it was just a very wondrous feeling.

The decorations in Hui Shi’s pavilion were very plain and simple. Although the tables, chairs, and rugs were still made of high quality materials, they didn’t have a gorgeous feel. The furnishings usually had plain white designs or stripes; this aspect made the place somewhat similar to Yin Shi’s pavilion.

However, Yin Shi’s pavilion was brighter than this place. Upon entering Hui Shi’s pavilion, Fan Tong felt a sort of gloomy aura. He couldn’t figure out why he had such a heavy feeling, and after he entered the bedroom, this feeling became even more obvious.

Why exactly did he have that feeling? Was it because the atmosphere was bad?

Although they were all in the same room, the room was quite large, and one could say they had been scattered to three corners. There wasn’t much conversation, so after Fan Tong mopped a little, he started spacing out.

He felt himself subconsciously inspect the room, scanning from left to right, then from right to left. His eyes seemed to move with a will of their own, until they stopped at a small cupboard.

At this time, Fan Tong wasn’t sure what he was thinking and just felt a little confused. He felt that he was looking not at that small cupboard but at something else…. And just as he could wrack his brains no more, Yue Tui’s silhouette suddenly entered his line of sight.

Yue Tui wiped the small cupboard a few times with his cleaning rag, then stopped and suddenly used a slim, pale hand to quickly maneuver something on the side of the cupboard. He then proceeded to press a spot on the wall above.

A square depression silently appeared, from which he retrieved a manual as if by magic. Fan Tong stared dumbly until Yue Tui returned the wall to normal just as quietly before coming back to himself and yelling out loud.

“Yue Tui, what is that?”

Probably because he hadn’t expected Fan Tong to see what he’d done, Yue Tui jolted slightly, and Luo Shi also came over at Fan Tong’s shout.

“What is it….”

“Uh…. I accidentally discovered this; it probably contains Hui Shi’s notes.”

After turning around to face Luo Shi, Yue Tui flipped through the book in his hand and replied as such.

What do you mean you accidentally discovered it; was I just imagining what you just did? Wasn’t that trick to open the secret compartment done too competently for it to be an accident?

Fan Tong was somewhat dumbfounded at Yue Tui’s lie, but after thinking about it, he decided not to expose Yue Tui, although he had no idea what Yue Tui was planning.

“Hui Shi wrote this?”

Luo Shi’s voice was somewhat shaky from the surprise. He was in such a hurry he couldn’t be bothered with manners and rushed over to snatch the book from Yue Tui’s hands.

After he’d briefly flipped through a few pages, his expression became a little ugly.

“Luo Shi, what’s written inside? Does it have anything to do with Hui Shi’s whereabouts?”

There must be something strange inside for his face to change like that. Fan Tong couldn’t help but ask about it, causing Luo Shi to purse his lips.

“I…. will go back and study it carefully, then I’ll tell you.”

Oh. Actually, it’s fine even if you don’t tell us. If this book can give you a lead on Hui Shi’s whereabouts, then just find a way to bring him back.

“Yue Tui, where did you find this? How come I’ve never seen it before?”

After Hui Shi disappeared, of course Luo Shi had also come to Hui Shi’s pavilion to look for clues. He’d resigned himself to searching the whole place yet had never discovered this booklet, so of course he had to ask.

“There was a mechanism in the wall. I think I accidentally triggered it, and then….”

Yue Tui lied again, making Fan Tong feel even more suspicious.

He could have sworn that Yue Tui had known how to open the secret compartment, but why would Yue Tui know?

Luo Shi’s expression while gazing at Yue Tui was filled to the max with suspicion, but what was more important right now was the booklet. Luo Shi had no choice but to temporarily set aside his doubts and focus on the booklet.

In order for him to sit down and study the book properly, it was of course impossible to continue cleaning. Therefore, Luo Shi decided that today’s cleaning session was finished.

Since it was still early and not mealtime yet, Fan Tong’s dreams of gourmet cuisine naturally flew away. This was a huge blow to him, and his disappointment was completely visible on his face.

“Why is your expression like that?”

Fan Tong’s dispiritedness was so conspicuous that it couldn’t be ignored, so Luo Shi couldn’t help but ask him about it grumpily.

“Food….”

Hearing his response, Yue Tui was somewhat speechless. In contrast, Luo Shi couldn’t help but smack his head.

“You think about nothing but food all day! You should have drawn ‘Rice Bucket’! That would suit you the most!”

…!

That’s just over the top! Using others’ names to make a fuss ! Then picking at their sore spots as well!

As Luo Shi said this, Yue Tui also sighed nearby. It looked like he didn’t object.

People should care about their stomachs first! If the stomach isn’t full, then there’s no point mentioning anything else!

But no matter how justified he was, his cursed mouth made it was impossible for him to argue. Fan Tong could only be silently depressed.

Fan Tong’s Afterword

The first day of the new year, the first day of the new year….

Today felt very long, with lots of things happening, so how come only one day has passed?

All right, it might be because we got up early. Under those circumstances, the day has become extra long, since several hours have been added that would have normally been slept away—but when we were preparing to depart from Hui Shi’s pavilion, it wasn’t even noon yet. This really is…. Time passed a little too slowly, right?

It feels like most of the morning was spent on drawing weird fortunes. Maybe the leftover fatigue from dealing with the “Big Idiot” contributed to that feeling. I feel that the Eastern City’s fortunes are really unique, since they’re truly able to make people angry. Does anybody ever draw a satisfying fortune?

Lord Yin Shi doesn’t count. He drew “Bloody Calamity” but was still satisfied to such a degree – I’ve never seen such a thing before.

Returning to the main topic, if there’s no need to report the fortunes drawn or return them, then how do Xuan Dian’s managers know which ones are missing so they can replenish them?

Luo Shi actually said that I should have drawn “Rice Bucket.” That really hurt me. If that’s the case, doesn’t that mean Mi Zhong should have drawn “Rice Weevil” and Luo Shi should have drawn “Pretty Girl”? I didn’t even use his most upsetting point to attack him; how could he attack me like this—

Then we went to Hui Shi’s pavilion and didn’t even get to touch anything good before having to leave. That was really quite unsatisfying.

No matter what, I should still properly ask Yue Tui exactly what happened. It would have been awkward to ask that in front of Luo Shi, but when it’s just the two of us, I should be able to ask, right?

But what if he plays dumb and evades the question….

Mm, looks like I can’t do anything about that.

Ah—a new year, a new year—I’ve written on a wishing plaque, so my wish must come true!

Actually, after looking at everybody’s wishes, I figure the probability of their wishes coming true is very low.

However, for Lord Wei Shi, it’s not that the probability is low. You wrote on two plaques, cursing Lord Yin Shi to drop dead, so that the chance it’ll happen will double?

Sigh, that Hui Shi person had better hurry back already. We have his notes, so there must be a lead, right….

 

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Translator: Squinty
Proofreaders: NyxEclipse, Sherry