Translated by lickNick of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Xia Yi woke up hungry the next day. Perhaps this body had been starving too much in the past, he discovered that he would feel bad whenever his belly was empty. No matter how soundly he was sleeping, he would wake up right away.
Not a sound could be heard in the yard. Xia Yi lied in bed, having recalled Gu Wen Zhu saying he was going out today, he immediately got up. He rubbed his stomach and went to the kitchen to find food.
He lifted the lid of the pot, and found nothing inside. He opened the cupboard, the only thing left was half a bowl of noodles from the night before. He remembered Gu Wen Zhu told him to make something to eat by himself. He thus removed the lid of the rice container in the corner, glimpsed inside, and saw over half of the container was filled with rice noodles.
Then he peeked into the stove, hunkered down besides and started to worry.
“179, do you think we can cook a meal together?”
Xia Yi was born when his parents were older, he had been growing up pampered. He had a job as an artist at the time his parents passed away. He stayed in his workshop every day and ordered food whenever he needed to eat.
After some time, black smoke filled the kitchen. Xia Yi, with his eyes all red, coughed heavily and ran out.
“179, you don’t even know how to cook.”
“179, it appears to me that you are a completely useless system. Don’t you guys in the system world need to check the quality of your performances?”
System: Host, before teaching you to cook, you first need to start a fire.
The sun was setting. Smoke stacks were already curling up from the houses far away, adding a layer of smog to the mountain-surrounded village.
Carrying a big basket on his back, Gu Wen Zhu was also bringing baggage with him in his hand. He jumped out of old Zhang’s carriage. From here, he only had to make a turn in the mountain trail and he would see the village.
Right after making the turn, he saw a slim and small figure, eagerly waiting, standing under the big old tree at the entrance of the village. Spotting him from a distance, the figure swiftly ran this way, the oversized clothes on him swaying with the wind.
Looking thrilled, Xia Yi dashed towards Gu Wen Zhu, shouting on his way, “Zhu, you’re back! I missed you so much.”
Gu Wen Zhu was stunned when he heard Xia Yi. He froze on the spot, petrified. He wanted to turn around and leave, but thought it would not be appropriate, and so he ended up squeezing the baggage in his hand.
Xia Yi briskly came up to Gu Wen Zhu, “Are you tired? Have you eaten yet? You’re hungry, right? Go go go! Let’s go back home and eat!”
Gu Wen Zhu opened his mouth but then decided not to say anything. He walked home with a stony face, followed by Xia Yi closely behind.
After arriving home, Gu Wen Zhu put his baggage away and entered the kitchen. Upon seeing the stove fully stuffed with firewood not even leaving one seam, he began to frown. The firewood had been smoked on the outside, blackened, but had not been lit.
“What did you have today?” Gu Wen Zhu asked with uncertainty.
“That half bowl of leftover in the cupboard?”
“Ya.” Xia Yi lowered his head, embarrassed.
Gu Wen Zhu remained silent. He went back to the main house and opened the cloth that wrapped his baggage. He took out an oilpaper pack and gave it to Xia Yi, “You eat this first, then we’ll have a meal.”
Xia Yi opened the oilpaper pack, inside was two juicy meat pies, the savory aroma greeted his nose. Xia Yi, burst with joy, picked up one immediately and offered it to Gu Wen Zhu, “Zhu, let’s eat together.”
Gu Wen Zhu shook his head. He went straight to the kitchen, “I’ve eaten.”
Xia Yi had only consumed half a bowl of noodles for the whole day. Having been ravenous for quite some time, he took a tasty bite into the appetizing meat pie. He nearly shed a tear. Although he had devoured two meat pies beforehand, Xia Yi still felt like he could eat more during dinner.
“Tomorrow I’ll tidy up the old house. By then you can live there, but you can still come here to eat.” Gu Wen Zhu placed his bowl and chopsticks on the table, saying flatly, watching Xia Yi crammed down the remaining sauce with the rice.
Xia Yi’s mouth was still full of rice. He was not able to speak and could only nod hard.
“179, Zhu is truly a great guy. I must repay him handsomely someday.”
Finishing dinner, Gu Wen Zhu searched his baggage and took two sets of new clothes out. He gave them to Xia Yi, “I don’t know what gers like, so I let the shopkeeper choose for me. You can go and change.”
Recalling the shopkeeper saying something like the ger at his home was so lucky while he was in the boutique picking clothes, Gu Wen Zhu’s face seemed awkward.
Xia Yi rubbed his hands and took the clothes from Gu Wen Zhu, “I can wear whatever. I’m not picky. The clothes I am wearing are fine too.”
He then merrily went into the inner house with the clothes in his hands. The linen clothes that reached his knees were well-made, the design and the crafts were impeccable. Xia Yi looked at himself in the mirror, dressed.
“179, is it good?”
“Good. Especially at the waist. The wasp-waist design looks good on you.” 179 grabbed the chance to improve the host’s opinion on it.
Xia Yi touched his chin, hesitating, “No doubt it looks good, but the color…. Doesn’t this purple seem queer to you?”
He had been rather sensitive about these kinds of things lately.
“How will people in this world care about these? You are overthinking.”
“You’re probably right.”
With his new clothes on, Xia Yi happily went outside. He called Zhu along his way and stood at the door with a big smile.
Gu Wen Zhu was adjusting the plow in the yard. He looked up when he heard Xia Yi calling him. When Xia Yi came into his sight, he was astounded.
He stood there in the well-suited new clothes. He was thin, with a graceful curve at his waist. His features were clean and delicate but also with the charm of a man. The light from the setting sun gently landed on his body, surrounding him with a coating of marigold light.
For the past few days, Xia Yi had been looking like a dirty beggar. He could only wear Gu Wen Zhu’s clothes which were ill-fitting for him. Now, dressed up, he was a pretty ger.
Xia Yi walked up to Gu Wen Zhu and asked with a smiley face, “How do I look?”
Gu Wen Zhu did not respond. He instantly looked away. Then he said, “I am going to check on the land.” He quickly stepped out from the yard without looking back.
At night, lightning stroke, heavy rain fell. The entire village was covered with a thick layer of rain. The outside was filled with the sound of pitter-patters. The tiles on the roof had been hit on and made chinking sounds. From time to time, there would be crashing noises made by collapsed stones from afar.
It was so noisy that Xia Yi could not sleep. He just rolled in his bed. Half asleep, he thought he heard Gu Wen Zhu go out to the yard and come back after around an hour.
The next morning, Xia Yi was awakened by a wave of birds tweeting. The rain had already stopped. A few drops of water were dripping down the eave.
In the main house, Gu Wen Zhu was sitting in the middle of some bamboo. Bit by bit, he used his axe to trim the bamboo.
Hearing footfalls, Gu Wen Zhu said without turning his head, “The wall of the old house was soaked in water. Some stones were peeling off and it is not suitable for living. You can live here so I am making another bamboo bed. I will be sleeping in the new bed from now on.” He paused, “Breakfast is in the pot. You can eat it.”
Xia Yi made a sound to let him know he got the message. He went into the kitchen to fetch a bowl of porridge, used a chopstick to skewer three large steamed bread, walked back carefully and crouched down to watch Gu Wen Zhu craft the bamboo bed.
Gu Wen Zhu’s had sharp joints on his hands. His fingers were slender, with callus developed on his palms. He had turned up his sleeves, revealing his tawny forearm; his muscles were strong and firm with a smooth outline. The slices of bamboo, manipulated by his hands with flexible movements, were being filled into the wooden frame one by one.
Which man on Earth did not like watching handicrafts and excavators?
Xia Yi was mesmerized. He moved himself forward, crouching across from Gu Wen Zhu. He nibbled the steamed bread, watching with eyes fixed. Gu Wen Zhu gradually slowed down. Then he adjusted his position sideways, turning his back on Xia Yi.
Xia Yi moved again, this time besides Gu Wen Zhu, scooching down shoulder to shoulder with him. Under the intense gawking of Xia Yi, Gu Wen Zhu stopped his job in hand, turned his head to stare back at him.
Xia Yi took a sip of porridge and, with a mouthful, raised his chin towards the direction of the bamboo slices, signaling Gu Wen Zhu to continue.
Gu Wen Zhu exhaled deeply. As if he was trying to be patient, he eyed the corner without saying a word. Then he put down the bamboo slices in his hand, gathered them all in a heap behind the door. He stood upright, walked to the kitchen, packed a few steamed breads and a bottle of water into his cloth bag, then he also took his plow, “I am going to the farmland.”
Muffling, he sounded grumpy and uneasy.
“Host, should you not go with him to get yourself familiarized with the job?” 179’s voice rang.
“Zhu, wait!” Xia Yi ran up, catching his breath. Gu Wen Zhu was walking out of the village with his cow. “Zhu, let me see you farm.”
Xia Yi was panting with his face red after running. He was carrying a cloth bag packed with steamed bread and water as well. Gu Wen Zhu halted when he heard Xia Yi. He wanted to say something, but he closed his mouth eventually and kept moving forward with a stoic face. Xia Yi hurriedly followed.
They passed by a stream outside the village; some people were washing clothes on its side. They turned their heads towards Xia Yi and Gu Wen Zhu together at once when the two of them passed through. Gu Wen Zhu speeded up, moving around twenty steps ahead of Xia Yi.
“Gu Wen Zhu, is this the nephew of Li XiuEr?” A woman stood up and shouted in this direction.
Li XiuEr was the stepmother of Gu Wen Zhu’s, Xia Yi’s aunt supposedly. Gu Wen Zhu coldly responded with a sound and kept accelerating as though something was chasing him. His cow, led by him, was forced to start running slightly.
“Dear oh dear, quite a handsome one.” The group of women began to chuckle.
Xia Yi responded with a friendly smile, then he noticed a couple of skinny men among them who had red marks on their foreheads like they had makeup on.
“179, don’t tell me that those are gers.”
“They are gers, same as you, host.”
Xia Yi slowed down, examined the two gers without being seen. Those two even used their hands to cover their mouths habitually when they giggled.
“System, do we really have no ways to go to the cultivating world?”
“Really, there is no way, host.”
When he turned around, he found that Gu Wen Zhu was already out of sight. He hurriedly picked up his speed to follow and as soon as he made the turn, he saw Gu Wen Zhu, with his cow, waiting. Once he saw Xia Yi, Gu Wen Zhu began to keep his pace around twenty steps ahead of him again and walked to the land.
“179, let’s be frank, I feel like I’m a woman when he treats me like this.”
“Host you are being too sensitive. I think Gu Wen Zhu is totally normal.” 179 quickly talked back. It had to clear the host’s doubts and got him to farm with peace of mind.
“I guess ever since I know how perverted this world is and I am a ger, my mentality has become a bit twisted.” Xia Yi took a long breath-out, feeling a little distressed.
“Host, you need to adjust your mindset. Please do not doubt everything.” 179 placated.
In the farmland, Gu Wen Zhu urged the cow to loosen the soil. The plow, under his control, cut through the black soil swiftly.
Xia Yi sat beside the field, studying every step meticulously, learning every move.
“179, the plow has to be 45 degrees above horizontal.”
“179, we need to use leverage to press down the plow.”
“Host, you also need to whip the cow. I think the plow is not that easy to press down.”
“179, look, he is bare footed. He might touch some earthworm or something. I feel like I can’t do it.”
“I can put mosaic on every earthworm.”
“But I can feel it.”
“Then I will block the feelings of your body.”
The heated academic discussion went back and forth between the man and the system while they were watching Gu Wen Zhu farming.
Gu Wen Zhu felt like this was the hardest time farming in this small piece of land ever. There was always a pair of eyes staring at him on the left side of the land. They were piercing through him, making him forget urging the cow to move a few times and unable to fully control his movements.
Why was this ger so shameless? Staring intently at men, not even glancing away for a second.
If he turned his head and glared at Xia Yi, he even gave him an adorable smile. He knew that Xia Yi was into him, but they had just met each other for a couple of days and he was already trying all kinds of ways to seduce him.
How on earth could a ger act like this? He was so shameless.