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Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations

Editor: KarateChopMonkey

 

The two boys didn’t know if it was because of the trip to the temple, but in the next few days, they weren’t pulled into the dream world again, and slept smoothly until dawn, and the fright they experienced that night gradually faded away. The two children stuck together every day, watching cartoons at home, catching fish in the creek, and taking the dog for a walk on the ridge after sunset, relaxed and calm.

Sometimes they would meet the village children, and they would look at Shen Jize with curiosity, but they didn’t dare to talk to him. Because Shen Jize was good-looking, his entire body, including expression, was strong, and was obviously a different person. The children couldn’t say what they felt, just felt different, so every time they met, they would only stare, and couldn’t stop staring.

Shen Jize felt that these children were a bit dirty, and at first didn’t want to play with them, not to mention that he was by nature a face-con and liked beautiful ones like Lu Rong. But after being stared at more often, he would also look back.

Kids were like that. You look at me, I look at you, which meant that they acknowledged each other, and could get along.

After being stared at by Shen Jize a few more times, the others seemed to get some kind of encouragement and finally came up to talk to each other.

A kid looked at Lu Rong first, “Lu Rong, we are going to ride a pig soon, do you want to watch?”

“Yeah, yeah! We’re going to ride a pig soon, watch!” Someone started it, and the kids were chattering.

There was no one in Longquan Village who would steal the pigs anyway, and they didn’t find their own way down the mountain, so they were mostly free-range and not always kept in pens. They would go to the fields to eat the vegetable gleanings, and also go up the mountain to eat the fallen nuts in the woods.

Because they insisted on exercising, the pigs in the village grew strong, had a big frame, and had a fierce face. If anyone looked at them more than a few times, they would stop eating, crane their necks, their faces screaming: ‘What chu’ lookin’ at?!’ If one didn’t pay attention, they might think this was a group of wild boars.

This group of calf-like pigs also became the village children’s mounts. They would take advantage of when the pigs were unaware, and would sneak up from behind. The pigs weren’t happy, running around wildly, and the children were riding on the back upside down.

The adults didn’t particularly care when they saw it, they just laughed and said, “Be careful, don’t fall off.”

The children were sturdy, so even if they were thrown off, they didn’t care, got up and went after the pigs, playing happily. Gradually, the sport of piggyback riding was developed.

Grandpa Cai didn’t allow Lu Rong to ride the pigs, but he loved to watch the spectacle and was very happy to hear the kids say they were going to ride the pigs again so he nodded his head.

They ran to the field, looking back at Shen Jize as they ran, with hooks in their eyes. The wonderful communication between children made Shen Jize understand this implicit invitation in a second, and since Lu Rong kept tugging on his hand, he also followed them.

The group of kids were playing like crazy, rolling around in the field, cheering on the contestant pigs, and the pigs squealing.

Shen Jize didn’t know how to ride the pigs and didn’t allow Lu Rong to do so, but stood on the ridge and watched with a smile on his face, pointing out a few things from time to time and cheering for the pig in his heart. The children were quite pleased with him, thinking that this boy was nice and easy to get along with.

Lu Rong stood next to him, cheering his favorite pig with his voice, “Big Black! Big Black! Charge! Charge forward!”

Shen Jize’s ears were perking up from the noise and he couldn’t help but look sideways frequently. Lu Rong’s face was red, his hands were clenched in fists in front of his chest, beads of sweat were oozing from his forehead, and he was obviously in a very nervous mood.

Shen Jize looked at his appearance, and couldn’t help but become a bit unhappy, so he reached out to block his eyes.

Lu Rong didn’t look at the hand in front of him, and continued to yell, “Big Black, if you run well, I will give you peanuts!”

His white neck was bulging with veins and he couldn’t wait for Big Black to go forward like the wind to the finish line and ducked under his hand. Shen Jize also didn’t look at the pig, and reached out to block.

Lu Rong ducked again.

Continued to block.

Continued to duck.

Shen Jize was extremely childish and again went to block Lu Rong’s eyes. Finding his reaction very interesting, Lu Rong was very patient, so again and again, he moved his hand away, but finally couldn’t help but frown, “Brother, you are annoying!”

Shen Jize’s heart jumped.

He liked to see Lu Rong frowning, with this soft accent saying ‘Brother, you are annoying’. A bit helpless, a bit aggrieved, but also with a bit of intimacy.

“Call out ‘Brother’, and I won’t annoy you any longer.” He pinched Lu Rong’s cheeks.

Lu Rong started perfunctorily, “Broth-” Not knowing what he saw, his eyes suddenly lit up and he screamed again, “Big black! Ah, ah, ah, ah!”

Shen Jize had this string of ah’s noisily resounding in his brain, then reached out to pull up the soft flesh on Lu Rong’s face, “Seriously? You’re so noisy! You didn’t properly call me brother, so I won’t accept it.”

Lu Rong finally gave in, as he turned his head and whispered, “Bruver~~”

He was still being held by the face, the word ‘brother’ was muffled, but Shen Jize just wanted to hear that tone of voice, so, satisfied, he also ruffled his forehead wet hair to the side as he withdrew his hand, “Brother will let you go. Cheer on your Big Black.”

The two of them did their homework for a while every day in addition to playing, and Shen Jize looked very serious about his homework, writing with a swish and a light frown, thinking hard.

The reason for this was to save face in front of Lu Rong.

Now that they were familiar with each other, he was gradually revealing his nature as a schoolboy, and Lu Rong, who had not yet entered the third grade, was able to do his homework consciously. He, who would graduate from elementary school in another year, was only drawing little people in his exercise book.

But when Lu Rong asked, he replied with a serious face, “You don’t understand the way senior students learn, they have to relax their brains after writing for a while so they can learn more effectively. Of course, you will understand when you grow up.”

Lu Rong seemed to understand, “Oh.”

Shen Jize nudged his workbook with his knuckles again, “Write quickly and don’t dwaddle.”

“Okay.”

Grandpa Cai took Shen Jize to the village council and told him to use the landline inside to call home to report his safety.

“…Mn, I’ve just been doing homework every day… Not with my little uncle, he’s out running around… Little uncle let me stay at grandpa’s house… The village chief grandpa… It’s good, I do my homework carefully every day, and it’s quite mind-expanding. I think I’m getting the hang of it. I suddenly understand a lot of problems I couldn’t understand before…”

Shen Yan finally finished his business and went back to Longquan Mountain. After getting off the bus, he came straight to Grandpa Cai’s house, carrying a big bag of gifts to pick up Shen Jize.

Lu Rong was helping Grandpa Cai choose vegetables, and the moment he saw Shen Yan, the vegetables in his hand fell into the pot.

“He… why is he here? Didn’t he say he was going… going to run an errand and told his nephew to wait… wait for him?” He stammered incredulously.

Grandpa Cai didn’t care about his abnormality and said, “Don’t call him ‘he’. Call him Uncle Shen.” After saying that, he got up and greeted him cordially.

Lu Rong was stunned in place like a thunderstorm.

When Shen Yan told Shen Jize that he had to go to work and come back to pick him up in a few days, Lu Rong was listening on the sidelines and was sympathetic, thinking that Shen Jize was thrown away by his uncle.

At first, his heart wasn’t very receptive, feeling that someone came to steal his grandpa from him. But now it was different, he was often secretly happy, even glad Shen Jize was thrown away by Uncle Shen, and that he had an additional brother.

But… But why did Uncle Shen come back?

Shen Jize listened to Shen Yan’s instructions, went to collect the clothing bag and school bag, but just as he was out of the house door, a black shadow rushed up.

Lu Rong held his head in his arms, and pointed toward the house with his head and very eagerly said, “Go in. Don’t come out, go back.”

Shen Jize said, “Rong Rong, my little uncle is here to pick me up.”

“No, you can’t go with him, no!” Lu Rong tilted his head, his face full of anxiety, his big eyes already flooded with water, and he looked like he was about to start howling.

“Ah… Little Uncle…” Shen Jize gripped the door frame to stabilize his body and went to look at Shen Yan in the courtyard with difficulty.

Grandpa Cai was embarrassed and came up to hug Lu Rong, “Kid, it’s not like you can’t see him anymore. He’ll be right next door at the construction site, so you can go find little brother Ze first thing tomorrow morning.”

So that’s it? Lu Rong paused, interrupting a series of follow-ups that were brewing. Such as rolling all over the ground, howling loudly, sitting his buttocks on his feet and then holding his calf and not letting go.

“Yes, Rong Rong, you can play with your brother anytime.” Shen Yan saw this and laughed, “Why doesn’t Rong Rong go to the construction site with me today and have some fun?”

Grandpa Cai hesitated, “But… won’t that disturb you…”

“What is Uncle Cai talking about? Xiao Ze has been bothering you for so long, and I haven’t heard you say a word about being disturbed ah.”

Lu Rong quickly changed his face, took Shen Jize’s hand and flew towards the courtyard door, “Grandpa, I’ll be back for lunch tomorrow, I want to eat scrambled eggs!” Then he tilted his head and asked Shen Jize, “What do you want to eat, Brother?”

Shen Jize said, “Let’s have cold vegetables.”

Grandpa Cai could only say, “Okay, okay, okay, then tomorrow at noon, I will make you two scrambled eggs and cold vegetables.”

Seeing that Shen Yan was leaving now, Grandpa Cai took a piece of hanging bacon from the kitchen beam and shoved it at him, “Your site food isn’t that good, so take this and try it.”

Shen Yan wasn’t polite and thanked him immediately, thinking that when he returned to the construction site, he would have to prepare a generous gift in return.

Shen Yan was living in the temporary dormitory built by the company’s construction area, which was about half a kilometer away from the village, and the main project had just been completed. Although it was a temporary dormitory, the conditions were quite good, with its own bathroom, refrigerator, air conditioning, television and other appliances.

Nearby village children will often come to the site to play, pick up some of the waste edges to make toys, and Lu Rong also came a few times, so the site wasn’t unfamiliar. He picked up the kind of bubble wrap full of bubbles, and pressed the bubble until it burst with a pop. With half a meter square of bubble film he could play for half a day, and he could save the rest, watch cartoons whenever, popping it while watching, double enjoyment.

When he entered the house, Shen Jize wanted to perform in front of his little uncle, so just as he sat down, he took out a book from his school bag to do his homework. But Shen Yan, who was already big-headed, didn’t grasp the deep meaning behind this action and thus complimented him. He also vaguely felt that his nephew had read too much, and everywhere he went, he had to do the problems first, without the lively activity children should have.

So he was a little worried about the side conversations, encouraging him to go out more and play more with the village children. Shen Jize was therefore very depressed.

He spent all day running around with Lu Rong and watching the village kids ride the pig, but why was he not active? If the pig was cleaner, he would have gone up to ride it himself, okay? So when Shen Yan went outside to see the progress of the project, he didn’t write even after the book was laid out, and watched TV with Lu Rong.

When Shen Yan came back in the evening, he took the two children to the canteen for dinner. Their table was full of people, and the piece of bacon that Uncle Cai had given them was cooked and brought to the table, along with a few bottles of caramel-colored foreign liquor; whiskey that Shen Yan had brought from outside the mountains.

Shen Jize and Lu Rong each held a bowl of rice, eating while listening to this group of workers drinking and chatting, as the sky darkened.

During this period, Lu Rong’s eyes fell on other people’s glasses, and Shen Jize understood his actions, so he came closer and whispered, “This is liquor. The percentage is very high, so you can’t drink it.”

Lu Rong turned his head and stared at him, wanting to say something but pleading written on his face.

“Don’t be fooled by the color, it’s not plum wine, it’s called whiskey.” Shen Jize warned again. He had a lot of liquor in his liquor cabinet, and from the English on the bottle he could tell it was foreign liquor, and it was whiskey.

The two children gabbed and whispered, which Shen Yan noticed, so he asked, “What are you two talking about?”

Shen Jize explained, “I was telling him that it wasn’t plum wine, it was whiskey.”

“Oh, the kid wants a drink?” A worker laughed and teased Lu Rong.

Lu Rong’s big eyes darted around, not answering, but his expression was full of eagerness. Shen Jize saw the situation and hurriedly said, “He doesn’t want to drink, he doesn’t know how to drink.”

Lu Rong looked at him abruptly, his eyes full of accusations.

The workers laughed, and someone put a glass in front of Lu Rong and poured him a small amount, “Drink if you want, it’s okay. Taste it.”

Lu Rong raised his hand eagerly, but Shen Jize coughed expressionlessly next to him, and he slowly lowered his hand again. He knew that children weren’t allowed to drink, so even though he could usually talk back to Shen Jize, he was still able to listen to him on this matter.

The adults saw that he wasn’t drinking alcohol, but his eyes were glued to the glass, like a gluttonous cat, and they kept encouraging him. Shen Yan usually wasn’t in tune, but now he felt it would be interesting, so he didn’t stop them, only smiled and watched.

“Don’t be afraid, drink. Uncle will back you up, don’t let your brother control you.” Then turned to Shen Jize, “Let your brother have a sip, let him taste it.”

Lu Rong pulled Shen Jize’s lapel under the table and shook it from side to side.

Shen Jize finally couldn’t resist his thirsty gaze and said helplessly, “Then you can try it. Once you taste it, you will know it’s strong.”

Lu Rong got permission and happily held up the glass. Everyone was waiting to see him get drunk and show his strange face, but after he tasted it, he smacked his lips, tilted his neck again and drank up the small half cup.

“Awesome, big man!”

“Really big man! Come, come, come, you are the big brother, quickly eat a mouthful of food.”

The workers laughed and laughed, and someone picked up the bottle to pour liquor into the empty cup in front of Lu Rong.

“No, no, you can’t pour him more!” Shen Jize hurriedly blocked the man’s hand, and saw Lu Rong staring at him with a hopeful face, so he said with a sullen face, “What are you thinking? No drinking, you’re a child!”

The worker nimbly turned around, so Shen Jize blocked the empty space, but he refilled the glass with liquor through a gap. The moment it was filled, Lu Rong picked it up and drank it all with two gulps.

As the liquor entered his throat, he sighed inwardly, “It’s so good…”

The workers clapped and laughed, giving Lu Rong a thumbs up, and Lu Rong also laughed and looked at Shen Jize, who had a sullen face and was angry, and snapped up his laugh. Shen Jize was angry and anxious, but he couldn’t take it out on the workers, so he snatched his empty glass and gave it back to the kitchen master.

Shen Yan also stopped the workers and said, “All right, all right, the kid had his drink. Don’t pour him more, let’s drink ourselves.”

Lu Rong burped contentedly, lifted his chopsticks and began to eat. Shen Jize sat down beside him without saying a word, and only ate rice with a black face.

“Brother, I want to eat that chicken wing.” The marinated chicken wings he wanted to eat were in the middle of the big round table, and his hands were too short to reach them, so he tugged Shen Jize’s sleeve and asked him to grab some for him.

But Shen Jize didn’t seem to hear him and just ate his own food, his cheeks puffing out forcefully, chewing the rice as if he was angry. Lu Rong was used to reading eyes, so he knew he was angry, and didn’t dare to say he wanted to eat chicken wings anymore and only ate the rice.

Fortunately, Shen Yan heard the word wings next to him and hurriedly gave it to him, “Rong Rong, what else do you want to eat? Tell Uncle.”

Lu Rong gnawed on the wings while stealing a glance at Shen Jize, and seeing that he didn’t look too good, he came to his ear and said curtly, “Brother, the chicken wings are delicious, you also eat one.”

“Stay away from me, you smell of alcohol.” Shen Jize swallowed the rice in his mouth and said coldly.

Lu Rong pouted and after a moment of boredom said, “What about the plum wine you were drinking before? I didn’t even mind you.”

Everyone laughed out loud, and Shen Yan said, “That’s right, Rong Rong, ignore him and eat by yourself.”

Lu Rong saw Shen Jize ignoring him, so he lowered his head and chewed the wings, but before he finished one, he felt a wave of hot air rushing to his head and his eyes started to blink. He tossed his head and continued to gnaw, but the wings were shifting from side to side and he couldn’t get them into his mouth accurately.

The worker across the table noticed his strange condition and pointed with his chopsticks, “The kid is drunk.”

Lu Rong felt dazed and could barely open his mouth, but the chicken wing was taken from his hand. He tried to take it back, but he couldn’t even say a coherent word, let alone reach for it. In his blurred vision, he saw Shen Jize growing three heads beside him, each one looking at him angrily.

“Hmph.” He grunted and tried to turn his head away, but his body leaned over uncontrollably. As he fell into Shen Jize’s arms, his consciousness faded and he fell into a sound sleep.

Lu Rong was lying on a double bed, his face red and sunken in the blanket. Shen Jize sat on the edge of the bed, reaching out from time to time to probe his hot face and forehead.

“Uncle, isn’ he a little too hot?” He asked, frowning.

Shen Yan also reached out to touch it and said, “It’s normal. That’s how it is when you’re drunk, he’ll be fine after a while.”

Outside the darkness, Shen Yan went to the simple closet to get a change of clothes and said, “Xiao Ze, this bed can only fit two people. Sleep with Rong Rong tonight, and Little Uncle will go and squeeze with the others.”

“Alright, Little Uncle.”

“Then take care of Rong Rong. That box by the wall has mineral water, if he wakes up in the middle of the night to drink water, get it for him.” Shen Yan said.

Shen Jize said, “Alright.”

Shen Yan went out and when he looked behind him, he saw Shen Jize picking up Lu Rong’s hand that was outside and carefully putting it under the blanket. The movements were very gentle and contained great patience.

Shen Yan couldn’t help but nod in his heart: I didn’t know he could take care of children younger than him, that’s good.

After Shen Yan left, Shen Jize went to get two bottles of water and put them on the bed, then climbed into bed and lay down next to Lu Rong. After lying down and staring uneasily for a while to make sure there was nothing unusual about him, only then did he start to sleep.

… 

Lu Rong was again trapped in the inky blue garbage can, his nostrils filled with the smell of decay and stench. He looked through the gap in the lid and saw Wang Tu’s departing back. He reached out to lift the lid, but it was too heavy to push, and when he tried to call out to Wang Tu, he couldn’t make any sound.

He struggled anxiously, cried silently, and watched in despair as Wang Tu walked further and further away, until the cries that suddenly spilled out of his mouth woke him up.

Lu Rong opened his eyes abruptly and stared fixedly at the roof, with a tear dripping from the corner of his eye. Someone’s voice was murmuring in his ears, chanting words he couldn’t understand. As he woke up, the voice gradually faded and disappeared.

There was an incandescent lamp hanging from the roof, so bright that he couldn’t open his eyes. He tilted his head and found himself lying on a rough concrete floor, surrounded by walls of gray concrete.

It was a wide room, yet there was no furniture or objects, only a single light on the roof.

“Grandpa.” He called Grandpa Cai as he sat up. 

His voice echoed in the empty room.

“Brother!” He called again. 

Still no one answered.

Lu Rong sat up and reminisced for a moment before remembering that he got drunk. He had drunk half a jar of plum wine in the past, so he knew what it was like to be drunk.

But why was he sleeping here? He wondered if he had been put to sleep here when he was drunk, but then he thought: no, his brother wouldn’t let him sleep on the floor like that. He slowly climbed up and went to the window to look out and saw an empty lot below, with piles of cement and gravel and some large machines. A row of blue wavy roofs at the edge was the dormitory Uncle Shen had shown him during the day.

Lu Rong understood that he was sleeping inside the building that was still under construction.

Aggrieved. He was very aggrieved, but also very angry. Didn’t you just go out of your way and drink an extra glass of liquor?

Shen Jize had thrown him in here when he was drunk. The last time he drank plum wine and got drunk, he should have let Grandpa throw him into the field.

Lu Rong walked towards the door with a stern face, thinking that he should not talk to the others, but go home now and tell grandpa. When Shen Jize comes looking for him tomorrow and finds that he is gone, he will be in a hurry.

The door was a brand new security door, the top of the transparent protective film hadn’t been ripped off. Lu Rong unscrewed the handle and walked out.

Outside the door there was a long passage with a light bulb at certain intervals, illuminating the unfinished concrete passage. The stairs were across the room, and Lu Rong followed them down to the empty building, where his footsteps made a thud sound.

——He was stepping hard because he was a little angry.

As he passed around the corner, he saw two cement bags sitting there with a tin bucket next to them. The cement wasn’t unpacked, the paper bag was printed with the words ‘Wan Gong Cement Factory’, and the tin bucket was covered with cement paste, with half a bucket of water left inside.

On the next floor from the passage, on both sides were still the rooms with the brown and red security doors and the whole floor was empty. He continued down the stairs and found two cement packs and a bucket at the corner of the stairs. The cement bag was printed with the words ‘Wan Gong Cement Factory’, and the iron bucket was filled with cement paste and half a bucket of water inside.

Lu Rong was a little surprised and paused, thinking how it was exactly the same as the one upstairs. When he went down another floor, he still saw the two cement bags and the iron bucket in the corner, and began to panic. After standing there for a while, he used his fingers to tear a small hole in the paper bag of cement above, and only then hesitated to walk downstairs.

He had lightened his footsteps, and evened out his breathing, but the whole building was quiet.

This time after going down to the last step, he held onto the iron railing next to him and probed down to see the familiar cement bag and iron barrel in the corner of the passage.

“Brother!” After standing still for a long time, Lu Rong suddenly shouted.

There was no response, he was the only one in the building.

After another moment, he held onto the iron railing, as if afraid of alarming someone, creeping down. Only the palms of his hands rubbed against the iron railing, making a rustling sound. The corner of the two bags of cement were neatly stacked, as he walked closer and closer, the small hole he poked with his finger was clearly visible.

Lu Rong stopped in front of the cement packet, but wasn’t afraid, just bewildered. This is a dream again, right? No, Brother said this isn’t a dream, so it’s a place somewhere.

But he surveyed the surroundings and thought, Forget it, let’s pretend it’s a dream.

Even though he had been in this situation many times, he was a little nervous this time because he didn’t feel Uncle Bai’s breath from the beginning to end. The absence of Uncle Bai’s breath in the place made him panic; it was unlike his previous dreams. But besides being nervous, he was also a little happy that his brother had not left him alone in an empty room or let him sleep on the floor.

Lu Rong flew down the stairs, entered the passage, and pushed open the door to the room across the stairs.

This was the room where he had woken up in the beginning and could see the construction site outside through the window, so he wanted to go there to have a look, maybe he might find someone or something. This situation wasn’t impossible, didn’t he run into his brother in a dream last time?

The latch of the security door was retracted and opened with a push, but when he stepped into the room, the view inside made him retract his lifted foot and stand fixed in the doorway. The electric lights in the room weren’t on, only the moonlight was coming in through the windows, illuminating the center of the floor a miserable white.

It also illuminated a person lying there.

The man was wearing a white robe, half bent over the floor in a strange position, his limb joints bizarrely bent. Obviously not like a normal human’s, but rather like an arthropod insect’s. A full meter long hair was scattered around his body, spread out in a black layer.

Hearing the door, he slowly raised his head, his face hidden behind the black hair, his miserable white and blue skin only visible from the seams.

After Lu Rong suddenly saw such a thing, his soul was scared out of his body, and with a whoosh he turned into a small white deer, turned and ran. But because of excessive fright, his hooves actually slipped on the ground, shuffling a few times without advancing half a step, and scared him to let out a deer cry.

And at this time, the security door in front of the windless automatic, closed tightly with a bang. He jumped up and used his hooves to toggle the door handle, but, click, click, click, click, the door seemed to be locked. Even after he twisted a few times, it didn’t open.

Lu Rong was trying to open the door with his horns when he heard a strange sound from behind him. He turned his head and found that the man had straightened his upper body and was trying to stand up.

The fawn’s fur exploded, and its four little hooves shrank into a ball, gouging the ground.

I can’t let him come over!

Lu Rong quickly turned back, giving himself an internal pep talk: Don’t be scared. I’m a demon, don’t be scared, I’m the deer Wukong. He then took a deep breath, put his head down, his bright horns glimmering and crashed against the monster that had propped up the upper half of the body.

Bang! With the muffled sound, he estimated that he had hit the other on the side of his chest. As a result, the thing raised his head, his head of black hair hanging in front of his eyes, and was trying to lift it in the middle with his chicken claw-like dry hands with long nails.

No! I don’t want to see your face!

Lu Rong’s heart was stirred and he swung his front hoof and struck the head hard. There was another muffled sound, and the “man” was hit so hard that his body fell to the side and hit the ground, spreading his long black hair on the ground.

He straightened up, two hands to part the hair in front of the face, his mouth hissed as he turned his head.

Bang!

Lu Rong swiftly swung his hoof and knocked him over.

“Hiss!” He got angry and jerked his head up.

Bang!

“Hiss—” He looked up sideways.

BANG!

“Ah hiss—” He lifted his head defiantly.

Bang!

After a few hard blows, he finally didn’t move again after lunging down. Lu Rong watched nervously, slightly curving one hoof, always ready.

Suddenly, the man, like a gecko, crawled on the ground and took two quick steps backwards, then propped himself up on his elbows, poked out a hand and stubbornly continued to ruffle the hair in front of his face.

Lu Rong: !!!

He leapt onto the man’s back, and kicked and stomped on his head and back, regardless of his hooves. There was only one thing on his mind: he couldn’t let his face show.

After a frenzied output, the “man” under his hooves stopped moving and lay motionless on the ground.

Lu Rong stared at him with bated breath, his heart beating so hard it was about to pop out of his little deer mouth.

Under the moonlight, the fingers of the withered hand on the ground moved a moment later, trembling and rising up… 

Just as Lu Rong raised his hoof again, it snapped to the ground and never moved again.

Lu Rong took a step back, staring at him warily, and before he reached the door, he heard the sound of the latch popping out and the door actually opening automatically. He rushed out, his hind hooves simultaneously kicking the door back heavily with a loud bang.

Lu Rong leaned against the wall and spat out his tongue as he gasped for air.

Ahhhhh! That was really scary.

He turned his head and saw his clothes and shoes scattered at the door, plucked them to his body with his hooves, and then skillfully tied them into a wrap and hung them around his neck. After calming down for two minutes, he walked to the stairway and looked down, and after seeing the two bags of cement and buckets of water around the corner, he turned around and walked forward down the passage.

No matter how he went downstairs, he always ended up on this floor. Then he simply shouldn’t go down, since the light mass was probably somewhere on this floor.

Lu Rong no longer thought about opening those doors, just, da-da-da, jogged forward, while running and turning his head to look around.

The passage was long, and when it came to the end, a passage appeared on the left and right. Both were gray concrete surfaces, scattered around with masonry and wooden strips, there was no difference.

Lu Rong was in trouble, turning left and right, and finally stretched out the front hoof at the two sides of the light point, “Point the troops, ride to war, point whichever way you go, and if you don’t go, you’re a puppy.” 1

His hoof fell on the right side with the last word. He didn’t hesitate to run to the right.

This passage was also long, with closed rooms on both sides, and he ran to the end. When another two passages appeared to the left and right, he paused, used the pointing method lightly, then followed the hoof that landed to the right, and continued to the right.

“Point the troops, ride to war, point whichever way you go, and if you don’t, you’re a puppy.”

To the right.

“Point the troops…”

To the right.

To the right, to the right.

After running through several passages this way, he found himself running back to where he started when a staircase appeared in his eyes and he saw the cement bag with a hole drilled in it in the corner. Lu Rong stood stunned in place, using his hooves to tap left and right once, finally realizing that the method of pointing soldiers and riding to war didn’t work.

Why is it always to the right? Is this a big circle?

He tightened the bag around his neck and thought about choosing the next passage left and right, not the same direction every time. As he was thinking about it, the security door next to him suddenly clicked and there was the sound of the door handle being turned.

This was a small sound in the silent building, but like a thunderstorm on the ground.

Lu Rong quickly turned his head and found that this was the room he just came out of, now something was opening the door; it must be the demon who was beaten down by him.

I must not let him out!

Since it was a new door, in order to facilitate the workers construction use, the keys were hanging on the door handle. He rushed forward to straighten up, and took off the key to unlock the door.

But his hoof was only an open fork, ultimately not as flexible as fingers, and not particularly useful. Especially when dealing with such small gadgets, the key slipped out of the fork of his hoof.

The demon inside seemed to notice someone at the door, turning the handle more frantically, also pulling and pushing back and forth, the iron door was shaken to a booming tremble.

Lu Rong didn’t want to wait and ran far away from the demon on the other side of the door. What if he simply tied his hair up? He didn’t even have to reach out to pluck it, and would directly reveal his face, so when he was in front of you, that big face would show.

The whole passage was filled with the heavy sound of the demon pulling the iron door. Lu Rong felt that this couldn’t continue, and that he needed hands. So he decided to change back to human form, pick up the key and twist to the left.

Click.

The door was pulled open.

Ah! The key is reversed!

Lu Rong shrieked, too late to care about the key and the door that had been pulled open. In a panic, he shot his hoof directly in front of him, and waited until he waved it into the air, only to find that it wasn’t a hoof, but his own arm.

“Aaah!” A high-pitched shriek came from the opposite side at the same time.

This sound, which was very familiar, fell on thishe ears, and Lu Rong, preparing to change into a deer, immediately interrupted the action. When he looked at the person who was still screaming, he shouted with joy, “Brother!”

The shrieking stopped abruptly.

The hallway light illuminated the person inside the door, wearing a light blue T-shirt and white shorts, holding the door with one hand and holding a bottle of mineral water with the other. Who else could it be but Shen Jize?

“Brother.” Lu Rong stepped forward, hugged Shen Jize’s waist, and called out again.

Shen Jize slowly lowered his hand and mumbled incredulously, “Rong Rong?”

“It’s me, Brother, we met again in the dream.”

Shen Jize showed a mixture of sadness and joy. He began to feel scared in the room, and threw away the mineral water in his hands, tightly wrapping an arm around Lu Rong, burying his face in the top of his hair, his body still slightly shaking.

Lu Rong stood on tiptoe to look into the room above his shoulders, only to see the demon still lying on the ground like before, but the location seemed to have changed. He wasn’t lying in the center of the room, but moved to the base of the wall.

Shen Jize calmed down and raised his head. After noticing his line of sight, he hurriedly blocked the person and also pushed out, “Go go go! Go out first! Don’t stay here!”

He closed the door with a click, and then turned the key to lock it, as Shen Jize’s hoarse voice continued, “Rong Rong, let’s get out of here, something’s wrong here.”

Lu Rong was pushed forward by him, and kept looking back at the room, so Shen Jize said, “Don’t look, I have no idea what that thing is. When I came in the first time I noticed that it’s not a person, but almost like the ghosts on TV. It isn’t very powerful, only slowly crawling on the floor, desperately trying to show me his face. How can that work? I used mineral water to smash him desperately, smashing him when he tried to lift his head.”

“Wow, then you’re very good!” Lu Rong exclaimed with genuine admiration. He himself was turned into a deer before he dared to go on, but Shen Jize was able to do it with just a bottle of mineral water.

“How long have you been in here? Just now—” Shen Jize’s mouth paused as he looked at him, then added, “Why are you naked again? Where are your clothes?”

He hooked his finger around the bag of clothes around Lu Rong’s neck, “Why did you take off your clothes? Why did you strip yourself naked when you’re not moving?”

Lu Rong scratched his bare buttocks and rolled his eyes, “It’s just… It’s hot, okay? It’s too hot to run around.”

“Don’t take off your pants even if it’s too hot.”

“Oh.”

Shen Jize didn’t say more on this issue, after all, it wasn’t a particularly big deal, not to mention that Lu Rong ran around naked every time after showering, so he had gradually gotten used to it from the initial shock to the later numbness.

“But it’s not that hot now, so I’d better put it back on.” Lu Rong undid the knot on his chest and began to dress.

Shen Jize saw that he was fumbling around, so he took the pile of clothes, picked out the pants and handed them to him first, and waited with the short sleeves, his eyes glancing around, “Where is this? It seems to be a building under construction, is it the building that Little Uncle is repairing?”

“Yes, I’ve been here before, it’s the building that Uncle Shen and the others are repairing.” Lu Rong put on his short sleeves and started putting on his shoes on the floor again.

“Put on your shorts first, then your shoes.” Shen Jize while vigilantly looking around, to prevent any unidentified creatures that would jump out, while handing him shorts, his mouth didn’t forget to admonish him.

Lu Rong now also didn’t panic, he was endlessly blabbing, telling his version of the passage and scurrying around. But he didn’t tell him that he also met that strange “person”. After all, he had turned into a deer until Shen Jize found him, but also couldn’t suppress the happiness in his heart, so he turned his head to come over, and kissed his arm.

“What are you doing? Like your puppy.” Shen Jize asked, stopping in his tracks.

He could feel Lu Rong’s happiness and guessed that he must have been scared when he first came in, which was why he was so clingy now. Children should start to cry from fear, right? Looking for grandpa and brother everywhere, right? Thinking about this, his heart was both heartbroken and sour and soft.

But thankfully, he didn’t encounter the thing he just smashed, otherwise he must have been scared silly.

“Brother, I just think you’re really nice.” Lu Rong again put his soft lips on his arm and pressed them against it.

 

Shen Jize’s mouth turned up slightly, as he curled up his index finger and flicked it very lightly on his forehead, leading the boy onward.

 

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Translator Notes:

  1. Thsi is like the American Eenie minnie miney moe.  Or this little piggy.
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