“Not going yet? What are you still looking at?” Hua Yi stood with Chang An for a long time. He rubbed his hands and touched Chang An’s. It was so cold. Swearing at him, he took off his animal hide robe, put it over Chang An’s neck, and angrily strangled him with it.
Chang An coughed as he was strangled. Struggling a bit, he patted Hua Yi and said in a hoarse voice, “Stop it. I feel uncomfortable.”
Hua Yi reached out and hugged Chang An’s waist. He didn’t know if it was because of his frozen hands, but he’d always felt that Chang An’s body was very hard, like a cold stone slab which you couldn’t bend and couldn’t feel any heat from. If you really wanted to let him go with you, you had to pull him up and carry him away.
For a moment, Hua Yi was silent. Then he sighed and said, “Although your freak master is not a good thing… it’s very nice having someone like him.”
Chang An glanced at him. “You’re the one who’s not a good thing.”
Hua Yi slightly lowered his head, the tip of his nose brushing against Chang An’s hair. He’d always thought his body smelled good. Smiling faintly, he said, “Then aren’t you too pitiful? All the people around you aren’t good things.”
The road Bei Shi and Hai Lan left on was far and long. The beach was moist, so as people walked on it, there wasn’t any bleak smoke and dust. It was as if there was something long connecting to those who walked ahead. Maybe when one looked up, they would have already returned.
“You know, when you have nothing else to do, you can think of those people,” Hua Yi pressed against Chang An’s ear and said softly. “Guess where he is now, and guess if he’s as drunk as a dead dog again… Okay, okay, I didn’t mean to scold him, why are you glaring at me? Maybe one day, you’ll look down the city gate and, aiyo, the old bastard is back. That’s much better than me. I have lived for more than twenty years, but I’ve had nobody to think about.”
Chang An looked a little relaxed. He said softly, “You don’t have to say it. I know.”
“What do you know? You’re a stubborn, little donkey man1驴人 – slang for someone dumb and stubborn who grew up in a honeypot.” Hua Yi put his hands around Chang An’s waist, and pulled him up from the ground with all his strength as if he was carrying a big wooden stake. Then, holding him upright, he carried Chang An into the city.
Hua Yi’s arms were like cast iron, but there was still room to loosen them and push Chang An up. Wrapped around the waist, Chang An looked down at him.
No one had ever carried him like a baby before. Chang An didn’t know where to put his hands and feet, and for a moment, they were stiff. In the end, he put them on Hua Yi’s shoulders. He felt that this was very shameful, but he only frowned. He hesitated for a moment but didn’t protest.
Chang An actually liked it when people got close to him. He didn’t hate hugging either, but somehow, there weren’t many people who wanted to get close to him.
Bei Shi left him feeling sad. Hua Yi was willing to hug him at this time, and Chang An felt comforted.
“You still have your old bastard of a master, but what about me? I only have you.” Hua Yi softened his voice and fixed his eyes on Chang An’s face, which he’d been infatuated with since the very beginning. “Am I not more pitiful than you?”
Chang An heard him deliberately selling goodness, and finally showed a little smile. “Nonsense. You are the Chief. Everybody listens to you, and your prestige is terrible. How are you pitiful?”
Hua Yi pressed his head into his arms and, groping in the dark, walked along the original road. The area outside the city gates was vast, but since there weren’t many people, he wasn’t afraid of bumping into things. He said in a muffled voice, “How are you the same as others?”
These words stirred Chang An’s heart all of a sudden, as if a hand had gently touched it. It jumped a bit quicker with a buzzing and tingling sensation, and following the wind close to the end of winter, it gave out a nice and warm air of its own. Like a sip of dry, warm wine, it rolled warmly into his stomach, melted into heat, and flowed into his limbs and bones.
He was at a loss for a moment, but then he raised Hua Yi’s face, lowered his head, and gently kissed Hua Yi on the forehead.
Hua Yi looked at him in a daze, but then Chang An suddenly committed a crime. He squeezed his ice-cold hands onto Hua Yi’s neck, immediately jolting Hua Yi awake from his spring dream. His whole person shivered, and he almost jumped three feet high.
Chang An jumped down and ran away like a rabbit.
Hua Yi shrank his neck, then chased after him, laughing and scolding, “Little brat, don’t you have a conscience?”
Bu Dong was sitting at the city gate tower, leisurely crossing his legs and inappropriately grinding his blade on the sole of his shoe when he saw Chang An and their Chief playfully chasing each other.
As soon as they reached the city gates, Hua Yi reached out and grabbed Chang An’s belt. Chang An was afraid his pants would be pulled off in public, so he quickly stopped in his tracks, letting Hua Yi completely catch him. Hua Yi grabbed him by the waist and swung him over his shoulder like a sack. And just like that, he carried him into the city, walking with a swagger and with a smug look on his face.
Bu Dong smacked his lips and sighed, “Aiyo, aiyo.”
Suo Laimu interjected, “Aiyo what, old thing? Don’t wear off the soles of your shoes.”
Bu Dong rolled his eyes and said, “I have my own woman to remake it for me, so what? You jealous?”
Bu Dong, in spite of his old age, disrespectfully glanced at Suo Laimu’s lower body. “Hehe,” he laughed. “I can see that if your second uncle and that guy still didn’t leave, the Chief would be so suffocated, he’d burst into flames. How come you have no desires? Are you missing a part?”
Suo Laimu said insipidly, “How could that be? I’m not any less indecent than you.”
Bu Dong narrowed his eyes and said meaningfully, “You ah, you’re no longer young. It’s time to start a family. I have a little daughter who will become an adult next year. She’s very gentle and quiet. She just doesn’t like going out. Wanna take a look at her?”
Suo Laimu bowed his head, and nobody could tell what his expression was. After a moment, he said, “I’m just a sub-beast that can’t hold anything on my shoulders and can’t raise up anything with my hands. Right now, I have the false reputation of an Elder, but in reality, that bullshit ability is nothing, so what am I? Little girls are all fond of great heroes. Don’t rely on being someone’s laozi to mess with the mandarin ducks2metaphor for a couple. Beware that she’ll resent you for life.”
Bu Dong heard the rejection in his voice and said no more. He just lowered his head and focused on damaging the soles of his own shoes as he said rudely, “Also, you’re such a fool. If my grandson takes after you, I’ll have to worry about losing many good years in my life. Let’s forget it.”
In the distance, the mermaid began to use his fake mournful crying again to piece together a unique song, and the voices of the children running and shouting was faintly mixed with it. The row of enemy heads on the city wall had become stiff. After being displayed for several days, they were finally taken off, and the last bit of killing intent in them was washed away.
Suo Laimu smiled softly and did not refute Bu Dong. Peace of mind gave birth to happiness, and happiness gave birth to anxiety.
If only time could stop at this moment, he thought to himself. If only the hearts of the people are firm and long-lasting like all the stones on the city walls, and that decades are like a single day3几十年如一日 – means “to do something persistently,” but in this context, I guess SLM is just wishing for the days to be never-changing … then how nice would that be.
But when the heat became extremely hot, how could it not turn cold? And when the harsh winter became extremely cold, how could it not turn warm?
At this moment, the spring breeze had not yet arrived, but Hua Yi’s heart was burning hot.
He carried Chang An all the way back to the tent and locked the door behind him in passing. The stove pit on the ground was nice and warm. He threw Chang An onto the couch, pressed down on his joints, and said with a sinister smile, “I’ve caught you, now how can I get my revenge?”
Chang An was sweating all over from running. He was no longer cold, so he confidently said, “How about you ice me too?”
Hua Yi bent his fingers and flicked his forehead. “Tell me, how long have you been leaving me out in the cold?”
Chang An said with a smile, “What do you want to do about it?”
“Two crimes and one punishment. This is no good. I have to think about it carefully…” Hua Yi thought seriously for a long time and then said solemnly, “How about this, take off your clothes, and then let me tickle you.”
Chang An was speechless at such a curious proposal. Hua Yi was so shameless that he was embarrassed to say anything, so he instead put it into action—he lifted a foot and kicked Hua Yi off his body.
Hua Yi, however, shamelessly hugged his leg, seemingly having turned into a four-legged creature as he pounced on it like a hungry tiger. The more the two went on, the more they seemed to be going back to the beginning. They fought again on the bed, engaging in more than three hundred battles.
In the end, Hua Yi slyly triumphed with him speedily slipping his warm hand into Chang An’s pants.
The first time Chang An tried such affairs, the taste had gotten him coming back for more, and he was soon dizzy from being fiddled with. But this time, it felt different—and only now did he realize that Hua Yi had already stripped him naked.
Then the whole world seemed to turn upside down. Skin was next to skin, fitting tightly and intimately.
In the tent, away from the eyes of the others, their relationship blossomed like the first flowers of spring, the fragrance of which was overwhelming. It swept over the hearts of the lovers, planting a tree full of blooming flowers.4This whole paragraph was so difficult to translate, and especially that last phrase. Although I used “blooming flowers,” the raws was actually 灼灼其华 (zhuo zhuo qi hua), which is literally “burning/shining flowers.” And those 4 characters seem to be a reference from the poem 桃夭 (Tao Yao), where the line was used to congratulate a bride… so the whole line is basically a kind of well-wishes for marriage or something. I’m not so sure actually, but I’m tired, so just take it and go! …( ＿ ＿)ノ｜
Winter would soon be over.
The Author has something to say:
I lied about the military situation5I think Priest is referring to the “man-made conflicts” she had mentioned was supposed to happen… idk. After thinking about it, I will still end the volume with this chapter. Otherwise, I can’t write the next volume~ Well, this is the last chapter of volume 3. Just imagine the meat part yourself.6(┬┬﹏┬┬)