Edited by renderedreversed
- It was silent for a while. Then, Zihui laughed. “A Xiang lady really knows how to praise someone.”
“Who allowed you to speak?!”
I heard Chu Kong shout through gritted teeth.
“Hmph, you’re a real sly demon, aren’t you? Acting all mature and calm. Letting people like you. Letting people lose their soul as they still think about you.”
Zihui was stunned and asked, “What does Shifu mean with those words?”
Chu Kong sneered. “I don’t have a player for a disciple.”
While Chu Kong was talking, I remembered the soul from the cave. I said, “Oh, I almost forgot. Zihui, do you have a deceased wife? Her soul asked us to come find you and tell you to look for her. Go quickly; if you’re late, her soul will already have been scattered.”
Zihui let the already cooked leg cook again on the fire. He smiled and said, “A Xiang lady has got the wrong guy.”
I hesitated and looked at Chu Kong. Chu Kong narrowed his eyes and looked at Zihui. I said, “That woman asked me to pass on some words: ‘A Luo has always been waiting for you.’ Do you know her?”
The air was full of the smell of the meat. Zihui didn’t move and quietly replied, “Don’t know.”
I pouted and didn’t say anything anymore. Chu Kong stroked his hand. The flame melted the meat. The meat fell on the snow and rolled away.
“This smell is making xiaoye upset.”
Zihui smiled. “I’m sorry.”
He paused and then continued. “Where are you two planning to go next?”
Chu Kong was immediately alarmed. “What do you want?”
“I have nothing to do now. If you two need help, I’ll use all my strength to help you in order to pay back Chu Kong’s grace for saving me.”
“Don’t need it.”
“Good,” I shouted.
Chu Kong frowned. I wondered, “A person is taking the initiative to repay you, so why don’t you want it? Having someone around to run errands and do odd jobs is really good.”
This is what I wished for in the lifetime when I was stupid. That lifetime, I failed to accomplish it. Now, it would be good if I could have that wish come true.
Chu Kong put on a stinky face. “No, xiaoye is happy to have him owe me.”
I was silent and hadn’t yet had the time to speak again when Zihui said, “As the saying goes, as long as the hoe plays well, there’s no wall that he can’t dig down. Is Chu Kong afraid of me?”
Upon hearing that, I winked and looked at Chu Kong.
Chu Kong saw our actions. Slowly, his ears began to turn red. “Afraid your uncle!” he shouted, and turned away.
“If you want to follow us, then follow. Wait and see how xiaoye will handle you! This is what you asked yourself; don’t blame me for not warning you! Hmph!”
So, the road that Chu Kong and I had to walk to go get the stones now had an additional person, or better said…an additional stone.
“Use him to fill the hole.”
Zihui bought a fur coat for me at a small tent. I wore it and felt warm. I looked at Zihui and smiled.
Sitting on the chair inside the inn, Zihui went to get something to eat. Chu Kong immediately gave me a cold look. “He’s just a stone demon, so we can just use him to fill the hole. That will let him pay us back for saving him, and also solve our matter. Kill two birds with one stone.”
My mouth twitched. “Don’t you feel despicable and treacherous, speaking about these things behind a person’s back?”
Chu Kong hmphed coldly. “I didn’t say it behind his back.”
“Why is Chu Kong so disgusted with me?”
Zihui put a bowl of buns in front of me.
“A Xiang lady, eat while it’s hot.”
He laughed and looked at Chu Kong. “I’m dedicatedly working to show my gratitude, but in exchange, I got such words from Chu Kong. It really makes me sad. Moreover, what a Xiang lady told me is that the hole is leaking evil energy. Using pure and clean stones can block the evil energy from leaking. If you use me, a stone demon, I’m afraid the more you use, the more it’ll leak.”
Chu Kong’s hand reached for my face that was full of buns and squeezed it, letting the oil from my mouth fall onto his hands. He didn’t let go. “You told him everything, ah!”
“Isnhn’t he geoing to gelp us…”
Zihui helped me translate. “She said, isn’t he going to help us?”
Chu Kong angrily interrupted him. “I understand what she said!”
Chu Kong pushed my face away and wiped his hand with disgust.
“You, cheap thing. Someone gives you a little benefit and you’re bought. Thing without a backbone.”
I swallowed the buns in my mouth and looked at him. “You have backbone. Don’t eat my buns. Don’t stay at the inn that Zihui found.”
“Xiaoye just won’t stay!”
Chu Kong kicked the chair and stood up. “Today ye will go stay at the Red House1. You two can stay here!”
I blinked and watched Chu Kong’s leaving figure, forgetting all about the buns.
“Where did…did he say he was going to stay?”
“He was talking about the Red House.”
I nodded. “Is he going to look for a flower girl, ah?”
Zihui drank a mouthful tea. “Is a Xiang lady jealous?”
I buried my face in the buns. “Hmph, who has the spare time to be jealous?! Let him get ten girls tonight. Let him contract flower transmitted diseases.”
Zihui coughed twice and joked, “Since you two like each other so much, why don’t you be a little more honest? These two days we were walking together, Chu Kong was really angry.”
“That I like him…is it really that obvious?”
I was silent and didn’t know what more to say. That’s right, ah. I’ve already been so obvious…
Chu Kong, you stupid thing, confess to me, let me stay at ease with you and see what’s like!
I angrily stuffed another bun in my mouth. Zihui said, “Just tell him directly. With Chu Kong’s temper, it’ll be a difficult task to get him to open his mouth.”
“It isn’t that I haven’t given him any hints! He just never says it clearly to me. It must be because there’s still a little small white flower waiting for him in Heaven! They’ll also go look at the stars…”
I startled even myself by blurting out those words.
So…deep in my heart, I had been skeptical about Chu Kong. Giving him hints again and again, being thick-skinned and telling him that he likes me… But every time we got to that point, my heart wanted him to get the courage to tell me directly, to give me a definite answer. But every time…he didn’t give me a direct answer. His performance, his behavior wasn’t as good and real as that one solid sentence: “that’s right, I like you.”
The small white flower named Ying Shi that I saw in the Netherworld was always a shadow in my heart, reminding me that Chu Kong could be gentle to another woman. Alone, I looked forward to him.
I used my chopsticks to pick at the steamed bun. After a long time, I picked some meat out. “Nobody has ever asked me to go watch the stars.”
“If that’s so, then a Xiang lady, let’s go watch the stars today. You and me.”
I looked up at him. Zihui smiled. “We’ll go to the Red House to watch stars.”
My eyebrow raised. I was instantly suspicious. “What do you want to do?”
Zihui smiled mysteriously. “Let Celestial Star Chu Kong say what’s in his heart. Doesn’t a Xiang lady want to hear?”
All the meat in the buns have been poked out by me.
“…It will be a lie.”
- Red house is a place where courtesans and prostitutes work aka a brothel