Last Updated on August 31, 2020 by Lizonka
Hua Yi dragged the beastman’s corpse into the trees not far away and didn’t even bother to hide it. His face was indifferent.
Afterwards, being neither anxious nor hasty, he twisted the bamboo hat on his head and continued on his way. This time, he wasn’t in a hurry. As they slowly moved further and further away from the site of the long and bitter tribal war, Hua Yi even had the time to hum a desolate tune off-beat.
As Chang An stared at him curiously, he finally figured out what was so strange about his “benefactor”—he’d say one thing but do another.
He asked,”Why did you say that you didn’t have the ability to save someone, but then went ahead to save someone?”
Hua Yi’s face twitched.
Chang An nodded. “Bei Shi said this is called duplicity. It’s like saying you like someone even though you really hate him. And when you like him, you pretend you don’t like him. This is especially true when it comes to women… Why would you do that?”
Hua Yi wanted to say, “Just listen to yourself. Are you really asking this?” But when he looked at Chang An, he couldn’t bring himself to say it. Facing Chang An, he found that he always seemed to lose his temper.
“You can’t even understand this?” Hua Yi rolled his eyes while he pretended to be profound. “You wild ignorant mountain boy, do you even know what this song is called?”
Chang An shook his head honestly.
Hua Yi said, “It’s a popular tune in an extremely cold place. It’s sung by the birdbeasts. Their heads are so small and they think it’s not big enough. And so, every festival, they wear a circle of flowers around their necks, tying themselves up like a flat-faced sunflower. When they shake, it will make people laugh off their teeth. Do you know what it means?”
Chang An’s attention was easily distracted by novel things. He seemed to have forgotten the question he had just asked and was lured in by Hua Yi’s deliberate temptation. He asked, “What does it mean?”
“What else can birdbeasts sing? It must be the thing of laying eggs!”
Actually, Hua Yi didn’t understand the language of the birdbeasts. He was just guessing to make a fool of Chang An. Seeing the young man’s unconvinced look, Hua Yi nodded seriously. He continued, “The birdbeasts are so pitiful. The people of their family, young or old, all crawled out from eggs looking like freaks. And even when they grew up to be beasts, they are still freaks. There’s only a small group of them in this world. Their small tribe has to avoid other people and live in the extremely cold North. To be associated with the freaks is considered a disgrace.”
Chang An, unexpectedly, believed in his nonsense and even listened very closely. As he listened, he even grasped the key problem. He asked, “What they spit out that day was poisonous? How could poisonous things be kept in their mouths? And why were those beastmen with them?”
As long as Chang An wasn’t impetuous and didn’t ask questions that no one could answer, Hua Yi was very willing to talk to him. Every time he saw those eyes that were deep in contemplation, his mood would improve.
When Hua Yi saw that he had forgotten what he had just said, he readily followed with good advice: “The bodies of birdbeasts are full of poison, it’s even in their blood.They fight poison with poison, unafraid of the substances they themselves produce. Their so-called alliance is nothing but a mere temporary convergence of interests. But even though it’s only for a while, who would truly believe them? They’re not of the same race, so right from the start, we must guard against them.”
No one had ever told Chang An such a complicated thing before. He listened, frowned, pondered for a while, then thought that it was very unreasonable–some people had big eyes, some had long noses, and some had small mouths. Everyone looked different. Why did it not matter if they were big or small in other parts, but when it came to having a small head, they were considered as not of the same race?
Was it because the head was more important than any other part?
“In those years, the Twelve Gods opened up the heavens and the earth. They made it so that there were birdbeasts in the extremely cold places, beastmen on the mainland, and merpeople in the sea. People in different places believe in different gods. If the gods can live together peacefully, then the people will be safe and sound. But if the gods quarrel and fight, people will die across thousands of miles and blood will flow into rivers.” As if seeing Chang An’s doubts, Hua Yi, like a reliable dage1Respectful address for older brother (not necessarily blood-related), slowly explained, “Then, it was said that Twelve True Gods fell one after another. The world was in chaos, the ground was frozen for thousands of miles, and the fishes in the sea died in large numbers. The people who survived by chance lost their faith, and they no longer fought with each other because of the gods. However, the enmity between them had already been carved deep into their bones.”
Chang An opened his eyes wide and held his breath as Hua Yi described it.
“This matter between the races is no trivial matter. If two continents are in mutual hostility, the earth will tremble and the mountains will sway. It’s not a matter of only one or two human lives. Each and every debt will inevitably be blood debts. How can they be clearly settled?” Hua Yi looked at Chang An’s bright and clear eyes and sighed. “For thousands of years, we’ve survived precisely through such enmity.”
Hua Yi elaborated well, but Chang An didn’t fully understand it. After listening for a long time and pondering about it, he only figured out one thing–all these hatred2掐 (qiā) – Actually means “to pick” or “to nip,” but I found that it’s also slang for “to fight,” so I went with that meaning and just changed the word to “hatred” to make it read better. I could be wrong though, so feel free to check!, which had been going on for generations, began in ancient times and were caused by these True Gods, whom they didn’t even know actually existed. If there were such gods, why didn’t they properly do their jobs instead of acting like shit sticks?3屎棍子 – Wow, I learned a new term today… So shit sticks were something that farmers used to stir the dung to evenly spread them when using them as fertilizer. Figuratively, “stirring the shit stick” or just “shit stick” refers to someone who loves to sow discord.
He couldn’t help asking: “Are gods real?”
“I don’t know, but I have a friend who’s quite eccentric4神神叨叨 (shén shen dāodāo) – There are several meanings for this:
1. A person who appears rather mysterious that people think they have mental problems. Like, this person says some stuff that normal people won’t understand.
2. Someone who is eloquent and can speak well.
3. A person who keeps talking to himself about ethereal things.
Source: baike.baidu.com; you can ask him. But even if gods weren’t real, there are always other things. If you want to fight, you can always fight.”
Hua Yi said this in a very vague manner. Chang An didn’t expect that there was such an unreasonable thing in this world, so he asked, “What do ‘other things’ mean?”
Hua Yi looked at him, and with some tender affection in his heart, he thought: This silly boy, he can’t even distinguish between betas and pearl stones. All he knows is that if he eats his fill, he won’t starve. Where can he realize that people’s hearts have boundless desires?
He couldn’t say it clearly, but from the young man’s question, he felt a little desolate. He shook his head, and after a long while, he said, “There are some things you don’t need to look into too much5刨根问底 (idiom) – to dig up the roots and inquire at the base; to get to the bottom of something.. For instance, if a wolf eats meat and a bird lays eggs, you can only keep going. The more people you see, the stranger things there’ll be. There are so many strange things and I don’t understand everything, okay?”
These random words had really strayed too far6这番话前不着村后不着店 (idiom) – Actually says “these random words had no village in front and no shop at the back.” The “no village in front and no shop at the back” is an idiom that refers to having nowhere to stay when you’ve walked too far away.. Really, Hua Yi had recklessly muddled through his words that it could even be said he had reached the pinnacle of bullshitting. Sure enough, he had successfully confused Chang An.