Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Shen Jize said everything while gesturing, his expression was colorful and complemented by movements. Lu Rong was very happy, even if he didn’t understand some parts, as soon as Shen Jize began to laugh, he laughed a lot, like an excited little frog.
Shen Jize looked at his smiling face and was so impressed that he suddenly felt that the two of them actually had a tacit understanding, it was just that they had misunderstood each other before. He finished another short speech, and when he paused, he suddenly realized that the surrounding scenery had unknowingly changed.
In the distance, the mounds of earth disappeared, turning into a green grass, with swarms of fireflies flying above. The gnarled and gloomy woods beside them had become a running stream.
The moonlight was no longer cold, only soft and peaceful, and the ubiquitous sense of depression and terror disappeared instantly.
Lu Rong saw Shen Jize had stopped talking, so he stopped laughing and looked around, and also perceived the change in the place. He smelled that the fishy odor that was ever-present in the air had disappeared, and Uncle Bai’s gentle scent covered the area again.
“Look, there! See? It’s the light mass! The light mass that lets us go out!” Shen Jize pointed not far away and shouted.
The silver-white light mass appeared some time ago, hanging on the lawn not far away, those converging points of light flowed like gentle stars.
“Go, go! Let’s get out!” Shen Jize took Lu Rong and ran towards the cluster of light.
When Shen Jize opened his eyes, he wasn’t surprised to find himself still lying in bed with a quilt comfortably on his body.
There were crickets chirping outside the window, and the electric fan at the end of the bed buzzed as its head revolved. Nothing was out of the ordinary, and what he had just experienced seemed like a dream. He slowly turned his head and met the eyes of Lu Rong beside him.
Lu Rong was lying on his side, wide-eyed and awake, and moved toward him, wrapping his arms around his neck.
“Rong Rong,” Shen Jize called in a low voice, rubbing his back.
“Did you… just wake up, or…?” He asked tentatively.
Lu Rong rested his head on the nest of his shoulder and looked at the jade pendant hanging around his neck.
The jade pendant was very thin, carved with a green leaf, looking crisp and green, and Lu Rong couldn’t help but take a bite with his mouth, and suck on it before jarring back, “Deer Warrior… paper men…”
It really wasn’t a dream, Shen Jize breathed a sigh of relief, but couldn’t tell what the feeling was in his heart.
“Don’t lick it, there are germs.” He glanced down at Lu Rong in his arms, reached out, cupped his chin and took the jade pendant out of his mouth, “Why do you put everything in your mouth?”
“I’ll just taste it, I won’t eat it.” Lu Rong said.
“You can’t even taste it. You can’t taste this one.”
Shen Jize tucked the jade pendant into his shirt and asked, “What do you say, do we tell your grandpa about this?”
He sounded hesitant, because he didn’t think the adults would believe it. His parents were both university professors, staunch materialists who could make perfect explanations from a scientific point of view for any shenanigans.
Shen Jize knew that if his parents knew about it, they would think it was either a fabrication or a dream, or something wrong with their brains. Even with Lu Rong’s testimony, it would still be a partnership to make up lies. But it was understandable, this matter wasn’t their own personal experience, anyone they told wouldn’t believe them.
When Lu Rong heard this, he abruptly raised his head from his arms and asked nervously, with his hair in disarray, “Are you going to tell the others?”
Shen Jize didn’t notice the abnormality in his tone as he replied, “I’m not too sure, but what if I don’t tell the adults and get dragged in again?”
Lu Rong let go of the hand around his neck and sat up from the bed, twisting his back toward him in an obvious refusal.
“Don’t you want to tell the adults?” He poked Lu Rong’s waist. The flesh there, with a poke, rebounded and felt good, so he couldn’t help but poke it again.
Lu Rong twisted his body but didn’t avoid it, so he simply pouted and turned back to pluck his fingers away.
Shen Jize propped his head on his elbows, “If I don’t tell the adults, what if it happens again tonight?”
He really didn’t want to sleep peacefully in bed and then be caught by the paper man. This horrible experience was enough once, and he really didn’t want to experience it again.
Lu Rong said with an unhappy face, “No need to tell the adults. I will protect you, so don’t be scared ah.”
“Where am I scared? I’m not afraid at all.” Shen Jize straightened his upper body very sensitively, “Who said I was afraid? I’m being cautious.”
Lu Rong looked at him, his gaze was dark, and his big eyes looked like they had a lot to say.
Shen Jize suddenly felt a little weak and said in a roundabout way, “How about we just reveal a little bit to grandpa, without saying anything, just say we had a dream and see what grandpa says.”
Lu Rong was torn for a moment and said reluctantly, “…Well, okay, let’s just say it was a dream.”
The two of them talked and discussed for a while, and the sky was white like a fish belly. In the end, they didn’t sleep enough, and fell asleep without realizing it. When they woke up at dawn, Shen Jize dragged Lu Rong to Grandpa Cai and recounted what happened last night.
“You two had the same dream?” Grandpa Cai was washing the mushrooms and stopped his hand movement at the words.
“Yes, I had a terrible dream and woke up and told Rong Rong about it, and he had the same dream as me.” Shen Jize said.
Lu Rong looked at his feet and nodded haphazardly.
“What kind of dream was it?” Grandpa Cai asked, bewildered.
Shen Jize, “Anyway, there were demons in it, I don’t know if it was a dream or not, but I also ran into Rong Rong.”
Grandpa Cai looked fixedly at the two’s expressions for a while, and then lowered his head in silence for a moment and said, “I’ll take you two to the temple after dinner, so the master can exorcise the evil spirits for you.”
“What is exorcism?”
“It is to exorcise the demons that want to get close to you.”
Shen Jize settled down and saw Lu Rong’s uneasy look and whispered comfortingly, “It’s okay. There’s a master, and the master will drive away the evil spirits.”
Lu Rong thought, “What I am afraid of is that the master will drive away the evil spirits and treat the deer warrior as a demon.
After lunch, Grandpa Cai casually cleaned up the dishes, filled a basket with peanuts and eggs, took the two out the door, and climbed up a stone staircase at the back of the village towards the mountain.
Since Longquan Mountain was made into a tourist attraction, and the temple on the mountain was also a landscape, the narrow mountain road was rebuilt into a spacious staircase. The sunlight sprinkled through the leaves, and Shen Jize was wearing a black baseball cap. When he saw Lu Rong was sunburned and his face was red, he took off his hat and settled it on his head.
The hat was a little big, so Shen Jize helped him adjust the buckle, and continued to walk forward. Lu Rong pulled his hand, and ran forward a few steps, the other hand pulled at Grandpa Cai. The steps weren’t wide enough for two people to walk alongside each other, and the three of them held hands and were squeezed so hard that they couldn’t even move their feet.
Grandpa Cai reluctantly took a step behind and said, “Rong Rong, you and your brother go ahead.”
Lu Rong refused to do it, and had to pull one person with one hand, preferring to climb up with a slanting body. Obviously this posture was awkward, but he was very happy, as his eyebrows curved with his smile.
Grandpa Cai also said no more, and let his hand be pulled forward. He saw that the two children were ignoring each other before, but today they were very sticky, which confused him a little.
The temple was located halfway up the hill, hidden in the greenery, there was a big tree outside the temple gate, surrounded by a wooden fence, the above stapled with a sign of a certain heritage museum.
The temple door was covered with chipped paint and was wide open. After entering the door, they saw a fat bald man who was sitting on a bamboo chair shaking a bushel fan with a rough white coat, showing his round belly.
“Master Hong.” Grandpa Cai said respectfully.
Master Hong opened his eyes, smiled and got up, slipped on his cloth shoes and greeted him, “Aiya, Old Cai! Long time no see.”
“Come, Rong Rong, Xiao Ze. Come greet Master Hong.”
Shen Jize greeted politely, but Lu Rong hid behind Grandpa Cai and refused to come out.
“Oops, look at this kid. This kid…” Grandpa Cai dragged him out without moving and smiled helplessly at Master Hong.
Master Hong stroked his bald head and said peacefully, “It’s okay, it’s okay, I’m not good-looking, and it scared the child.”
“He’s just afraid of meeting new people and is thin-skinned.” Grandpa Cai explained.
The two of them spoke to each other and then headed inside, Grandpa Cai was carrying the basket of peanuts and eggs, so Lu Rong stepped back and joined Shen Jize. Shen Jize looked at the temple curiously, while Lu Rong stuck to him a little timidly, his eyes fixed on Grandpa Cai’s back.
Master Hong looked like a kind and amiable fat bald man, the heels of his shoes were also worn out, always calling out Old Brother Cai and their hearts relaxed slightly. The temple was not much different from an ordinary courtyard, only bigger, with a few wooden pillars propped up under the eaves.
The roof was set up with a TV receiver, and the sound of TV commercials came from one room. In the courtyard, soybeans were drying, and there was a chicken coop in one corner, where some chickens were kept.
Shen Jize had only seen temples on TV, and they were ancient and magnificent temples, but not like this. He wanted to look around but with Lu Rong hanging on his arm didn’t allow him to enter the house. “Brother, let’s stay outside, not inside, not inside, okay?”
Shen Jize complied with his agreement, and stood in the shade, removing the cap from his head to let in the wind. Seeing beads of sweat oozing from Lu Rong’s forehead and a few moist hairs stuck to it, Shen Jize plucked it away with his hand, blowing on it.
Lu Rong blinked, his eyelashes fluttered like a small fan. Shen Jize looked amused, and blew into his eyes again.
“You’re so annoying, Brother.” Lu Rong’s nose wrinkled with lines and his face puffed out a bit, and he said in a petulant tone.
Shen Jize couldn’t resist pinching his face again, the skin he was touching was soft and slippery, and it felt good to pinch.
“Is Brother annoyed?”
He took the opportunity to pinch a few more times.
“Is Brother bored?” Shen Jize asked happily.
Lu Rong also didn’t say he was annoyed, and slapped his hand away.
“Hey! You mountain barbarian, how dare you slap my hand? See how I will fix you.” Shen Jize touched the back of his hand and pretended to gnash his teeth.
Lu Rong, seeing the situation, hurriedly wrapped his arms around Shen Jize’s waist and tilted his head to call out in a long, curt voice, “Brother～”
Shen Jize’s face wasn’t tense, and he raised his hand while smiling to rub his hair and make it more messy. This time, Lu Rong didn’t resist, but also enjoyed with his eyes squinted, like a comfortable kitten.