Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Shen Jize had been walking forward. He knew that as long as he recognized a direction, even the largest woods could be left behind. While thinking about how to go back to clean up Lu Rong, he was vigilantly paying attention to the movement of the woods.
He hoped he wouldn’t run into wild boars and the mysterious flower brothers along the way.
Although the woods were dense and vast, he didn’t encounter any animals, at most only a few birds went fluttering and flying around, awakened from their sleep.
He began to sing to himself for courage, singing the popular songs his classmates sang.
“Inside the dream the air begins to smoke, the perfect face in the haze, slowly appearing.”
The song ended abruptly after one line.
Shen Jize felt that at this moment, the lyrics were too appropriate, but also a little creepy, and the sudden emergence of the song was very abrupt, causing the woods to become even eerie during the dead silence. He continued to walk for a while, huffing and puffing, and even with the cool night breeze, his forehead was full of sweat.
He was not only tired, but also scared.
Just then, he heard a strange sound coming from behind him on his left.
——It was the soft sound of a branch being brushed away and bouncing back.
The sound was very slight, but to Shen Jize’s ears, it sounded like a boulder falling into the heart of a lake, splashing a huge wave that drenched his whole body and invaded every pore with coldness.
He stopped in his tracks and looked fearfully at the place where the sound was made, his heart clenched, his breath stalled slightly, and both legs trembled. The woods were quiet again, except for his own heartbeat and the leaves clattering overhead, nothing more was heard. He felt that there must be something hidden deep in the woods, secretly watching him.
Maybe it was a pair of pig eyes, maybe it was…
Don’t think about it.
Shen Jize’s scalp tingled and he turned around, lifting his stiff legs and continuing on his way. Lu Rong was following close behind him, and saw that he had also quickened his pace.
Shen Jize, as if sensing something, gave a slight pause in his steps and then started running without looking back.
Trying to get away from me? No way!
Lu Rong also spread his hooves to catch up with him. He stopped hiding his movements and flew through the trees. The sound of the hooves were as dense as raindrops falling on the ground.
The man in front of him was running as fast as a two-kicker that scurried into the sky at New Year’s Eve, just short of a spark from his buttocks.
Lu Rong added strength, his two ears pursed on the top of his head, his small tuft of a tail stood upwards as he followed suit. He galloped on all fours, gradually overtaking Shen Jize, and at the right moment dashed out across the front, his four hooves slightly apart, and set his stride, his neck high to the sky, and let out a long roar of a fierce beast, “Oh!”
“Aaaaaah!—” Shen Jize at the same time let out a frightened yell, and a sharp brake, stumbled forward two steps, reflexively grabbed the tree beside him trying not to fall.
Lu Rong saw this scene, happy enough to laugh out loud, saw the other person standing firm after looking at him, and quickly looked at the sky again to continue his beast roar, “Oh!”
But this time Shen Jize actually didn’t follow along with the scream, so Lu Rong couldn’t help but peek with the afterglow. He saw him holding a tree with one hand and leaning on his knees with the other, bending over and looking at him as he went to catch his breath.
Lu Rong shouted again, his four hooves on the ground, the front hooves bowed, pretending to attack.
Shen Jize’s breathing gradually stabilized, and he slowly straightened up, staring at Lu Rong without a second thought. Lu Rong lowered his head slightly and aimed at him with the two horns on his forehead that were sprouting, his eyes glaring at the man from the bottom up, trying his best to look feral and fierce.
Yet Shen Jize met his gaze without averting it, his eyes were even glowing, looking as if… he wasn’t quite as scared?
Shen Jize’s whole body had relaxed by now. When he heard the movement behind him just now, he thought it was a wild boar or a flower brother, but he didn’t expect it to be such a small deer. This half-grown puppy-like fawn was too cute and extremely beautiful, more beautiful than any fawn he had seen in Nara, Japan and in the zoo.
——Its body was round, snow-white without a trace of stray marks, but its legs above the four hooves had red lines, and its two eyes were round and big, staring at him.
It looked fierce, but it made him itch to reach out and touch it.
Lu Rong’s nostrils whistled, trying to scare Shen Jize into clutching his head and screaming again, but the boy across from him was clearly no longer afraid and took a tentative step his way.
“Oh!” Lu Rong let out a short, low, angry roar.
To Shen Jize’s ears, the fawn first gave three soft, long, milky barks and now a grunt.
Lu Rong saw that the person across from him had been staring at him with glowing eyes, and reached out to grab a leaf from a nearby tree, squatted down, and hesitantly handed it over.
Lu Rong: …
His yelling intimidation was apparently not going to work.
“Why are you here? Are you lost too? Do you want to come with me?” Shen Jize saw the deer standing still, so he slowly half straightened up and tentatively moved forward. He moved very slowly and gently, and his voice was very soft, afraid of scaring the delicate little creature across the street.
Just then, he saw the fawn suddenly move. But instead of running away in panic, it made a movement that shocked him greatly.
——It propped itself up on the ground with its front hooves, slowly parted its two hind hooves, sank down, and did a perfect split right in front of him.
Shen Jize: !!!
He had never seen or heard of an animal doing the splits, and looked at the deer, which remained motionless in its pose, and found it inexplicably amusing and at the same time unusually bizarre.
After a few seconds of silent staring at each other, the deer retracted its hind hooves and stood up straight again.
——Not with four hooves on the ground, but with two hind hooves like a human.
Then, the fawn’s left front hoof slowly crossed the waist, the right front hoof began to swing rhythmically, the crotch also followed a left and right swing.
If someone else saw this scene at this time, they would be so shocked that their eyes would fall out.
In the quiet woods at night, a white deer, silently and rhythmically did the movements of a human dance. Shen Jize held his breath and his heart was beating fast. Time seemed to freeze, and only the sound of rustling leaves reminded him that it was all real.
This is a dream, right? This must be a dream, right?
He wasn’t taken into the woods by Lu Rong, it was just a dream.
When he pinched his palm, he felt it, but he didn’t wake up. He twisted his thigh again, and almost screamed out in pain. After the initial shock passed, a wave of panic welled up in him.
The little animals in the cartoons could do anything, but those were cartoons, and it was impossible in reality. Besides, he was still in this eerie wilderness, where all those scary stories basically took place.
Shen Jize instantly felt his hair stand up and a layer of goosebumps rise along his skin. The deer, which looked cute as hell at first, was now scarier than the wild boar and flower brother.
Lu Rong could only do this move, or the five-minute aerobics he learned on TV. He kept the beats in his heart, dancing while keeping a close eye on Shen Jize not far away, secretly observing his expression.
Shen Jize felt like he had left the world, he tried to turn his head, his neck was stiff as if it was welded to his shoulder. He wanted to use his legs to run, but neither of his legs would move.
In Lu Rong’s eyes, his face expressionless, looking at him coldly.
Still not scared?
Lu Rong stopped moving and continued to stand on his hind hooves, with his two legs crossed left and right. Then he held his chin with his two front hooves, tilted his head slightly, and grinned at Shen Jize.
Shen Jize’s pupils shrank, his blood seemed to freeze and stop flowing.
The deer opposite of him made strange movements and could no longer shock him. After all, he was just dancing. But the hairy Rong Rong’s deer face actually showed an expression that did not belong to an animal.
——It was smiling, obviously smiling, its mouth grinning upward, its original round eyes also curved into a slit.
It’s a de… Demon deer.
Lu Rong saw Shen Jize with a wooden face, felt some discouragement and put away his expressions and movements, wondering whether to stop playing and go in another direction to find the light ball.
Tonight he had played long enough, and should go back to sleep.
But at that moment, Shen Jize let out a cry.
He woke up after seeing the deer finally standing on all fours like an animal, and finally feeling that his heart was still beating and his body still belonged to him. He no longer cared about the aphorism that a man should never cry, so he started to howl and cry with tears flowing out of his eyes.
Lu Rong also froze, the whole deer froze there. He wanted to scare Shen Jize, after all, this person was too annoying, but he didn’t really want to scare him enough to make him cry.
Shen Jize looked at the deer with blurry eyes. Because his crying was so loud, the sleeping birds flew up and scurried through the forest.
Lu Rong was a little panicked, slowly moving forward, trying to get closer, so that he understood that he didn’t bite. But after just a few small steps forward, Shen Jize, who hadn’t moved, suddenly rushed out to the left.
The movement was like a gust of wind, a flash of light, a lightning bolt.
Shen Jize burst out of his life potential, howling while running, in the blink of an eye, rushed out more than ten meters, disappearing behind a pile of trees. Lu Rong was stunned for a moment and hurried to catch up with him.
Shen Jize ran so fast that he had to backtrack on all fours to keep up, but luckily, the cries kept giving him direction.
After running for a while, Shen Jize found that the deer didn’t follow, and finally stopped running, holding a large tree while gasping for breath and looking around. His throat was so dry that it seemed like it was going to explode, his chest grunting like in the tug of bellows. When he calmed down, he realized that there was a strange light not far away from him. It was as high as a door, made up of many points of light, bright but not blinding, slowly rotating.
He stared at the light, cautiously approaching, and stretched out his finger to poke the ball of light.
Just as his finger touched the point of light, he only felt a great light before his eyes, and his body was sucked in as if by some force, followed by instant darkness.
“Aaaah!” Shen Jize let out a loud cry and sat up from the bed. He quickly touched his chest, his face, his hands and feet, and his birdy.
Fortunately, all were in place.
He looked around and saw himself lying in Grandpa Cai’s bed in the watery moonlight, with a gabion mat underneath him and a towel quilt on his stomach.
Lu Rong was lying next to him, sleeping soundly, snoring like a cat.