Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Lu Rong, who was used to pleasing people, was very sweet and nice.
Shen Jize listened to his naive words and thought, ‘My brother is really cute.’
But he corrected himself in his heart, ‘My wife is really cute.’
Just thinking about the word ‘wife’, he couldn’t help but blush.
Shen Jize was paired with a female study committee member during the one-on-one support because he was a student. The female study committee member was very serious, chasing him every day to do his homework, and he was teased by his classmates that she was his wife.
He had a fight with two of the most aggressive ones because of this, and since then ‘wife’ had been a word that he wasn’t happy to hear. But now that Lu Rong was so happy and singing that strange mountain song, he suddenly felt that the term ‘wife’ wasn’t bad at all.
On the way, Lu Rong made another round deer out of willow branches and handed it to Shen Jize. Shen Jize also broke four small sticks and put legs on the round ball.
“It’s called a stool deer.” He said.
Lu Rong laughed as if he had heard the funniest thing, laughing back and forth, “Stool deer, stool deer, hahahahaha.”
Shen Jize looked down at his smiling face, felt like he had to start bugging him about the future, and said, “Rong Rong, I’m going back after my vacation.”
Lu Rong’s laughter stopped abruptly when he heard this, and his face suddenly appeared helpless and frightened.
Shen Jize hurriedly said, “But I will come back. I’m not leaving you, nor throwing you away, understand? When it’s the winter holidays, I’ll come right away. If Little Uncle is not here, I’ll come by myself, take the plane or train to see you. Not only the winter holidays, but every holiday from now on, I will come to see you.”
Shen Jize saw Lu Rong staring at him in a daze, hurriedly took his hand, first clenched it into a fist, then put up one of those white fingers, “This is October.”
Another one, “This is November.”
The third one was held in his hand, “I’ll be here after December. Look, it’s only three months.”
Lu Rong looked at the hand he was holding, then at Shen Jize, and tears began to well up in his big eyes.
Shen Jize stared nervously at the watery glow and held his breath. It was a relief until the reddened eyes returned to their original color and the tears disappeared.
“You’re coming back in three months?” Lu Rong inhaled and asked.
“Yes, winter break is in three months.”
Lu Rong looked down and thought for a while, then finally whispered, “Okay then.”
Shen Jize coaxed him for a while, waiting for him to feel better before continuing down the mountain. When he reached the entrance of the village, he suddenly remembered something and said, “Rong Rong, let’s go to the village kiosk.”
“Do you want to buy anything?” Lu Rong asked.
Shen Jize said vaguely, “Just looking around.”
The Li family kiosk was located in the back of the village against the hill, and the goods on the humble shelves could be seen through the wide open window.
His parents had taken him to a wedding, and what he remembered most was that there was wedding candy at the wedding, and this couldn’t be missing. He didn’t want to aggravate Lu Rong, and they were married even if there were no guests, so wedding candy was a must. As for the rest, he could wait until they grew up and then make it up.
Lu Rong was lying on the windowsill with him, staring at the pile of snacks, when his eyes lit up, he quickly turned his head to look at Shen Jize.
“Good candy, huh? There is, there is.” The shopkeeper, who was sitting under the eaves plucking the hair from a pig’s foot, got up and entered the room, wiping his hands on his apron. He rummaged through the shelves and pulled a plastic bag from inside and put it on the windowsill, “This is a good candy, Dove chocolate.”
“Chocolate, chocolate.” Lu Rong gently tugged at Shen Jize’s shirt and gulped. Grandpa Cai usually liked to watch science programs on TV, so he didn’t let him eat much candy, saying that it wasn’t good to eat too much of that stuff, only buying it for him during New Year’s holidays.
Usually when he grumbled for candy, Grandpa Cai would hand him a handful of peanuts and dates, ‘Good boy, eat this. It’s better than candy.’
Shen Jize held Lu Rong’s hand soothingly, while his other hand went to pull the plastic bag to see the chocolate inside.
“Do… Boss, this isn’t Dove.” Shen Jize picks up a chocolate and identified the words on it.
The shopkeeper said indifferently, “It’s Dove.”
“Look at the word ‘Dove’ without the bird…”
“Are you going to buy it or not? If you don’t buy it, go away and play.” The shopkeeper still remembered the pig’s feet, feeling some impatience.
Shen Jize wanted to leave it, but when he saw Lu Rong staring at the bag of chocolates, he could only ask, “How much is a piece?”
“Two dollars.” The shopkeeper said.
“Then let me have one.” Taking the chocolates, Shen Jize asked, “Do you have any other candies here?”
“Yes, there are also Goldie’s chocolates and White Rabbit milk candies.”
“Bring me the White Rabbit milk candy.” Shen Jize had no illusions about the Goldie chocolates.
A large bag of unopened rabbit milk candy was thrown on the windowsill, Shen Jize picked up to read the words on it. This was okay, not fake.
“Boss, I want milk candy.”
“How many do you want?” The shopkeeper asked.
Shen Jize, “I’ll take this bag.”
Shen Jize took out a 100 yuan bill and handed it over. The shopkeeper took the money and asked, “Do you want more WaHaHa and McDonald’s?”
“No, I don’t think so.”
“How about KFC?”
“No, thank you.”
Shen Jize picked up the bag of candy, peeled off the wrapper of the Dove chocolate and handed it to Lu Rong.
Lu Rong took a small bite and said with narrowed eyes, “It’s delicious…”
Shen Jize was afraid that the chocolate would cause problems, so he said, “Break me a piece.”
Lu Rong, under his watchful eye, broke a vertical bar and handed it to him in a small horizontal position. Shen Jize didn’t take it, but quickly looked down and took a bite out of the chocolate he was holding in his other hand.
A large part of it was gone immediately.
Lu Rong looked at his chocolate like he was struck by lightning, his lips moved, his face full of sadness but didn’t dare to squeal.
“Why are you so stingy? Huh? How can you be so stingy? You can’t even give me more chocolate.” Shen Jize chewed the chocolate, reached out and cupped his face and shook it.
The chocolate did taste a bit strange, but he swallowed it in front of Lu Rong’s eyes.
At the same time, he felt a little sour.
Day after day, he called out ‘Brother’, as if, without his brother, he couldn’t live, but it turned out that he couldn’t withstand him taking a piece of chocolate. But on such a happy day, he didn’t want to upset Lu Rong too much, so he stuffed the bag of milk candies in his arms, “Don’t be sad. Look, there’s more candy here.”
Lu Rong hugged the bag of white rabbit milk candy and touched it with his hand, and only then did he ease up. The two walked down the road towards home, Lu Rong no longer cared about the piece of chocolate, his mouth was sweeter than the candy he had just eaten.
“Brother, you are really nice, when you go home what will I do? You haven’t left yet, and I’m starting to miss you. Waiting until winter vacation for you to come is so far away from now. Thinking about it makes my heart hurt…”
Shen Jize’s face was emotionless, but his heart was happy seeing Lu Rong eating milk candy, cheeks puffed up in a big ball. He was trying hard to keep the words in his heart, but couldn’t help but whisper, “Call me husband.”
Lu Rong was a little surprised, “Not Brother?”
Shen Jize’s eyes didn’t look at him, but was glancing to the side of the woods, before softly saying, “I am both your brother and husband.”
“Wow, both my brother and my husband!” Lu Rong exclaimed.
Shen Jize was a little bashful, pretending to be impatient as he tsked, “Then will you call me that or not?”
“Then be serious and spit out the sugar first.”
“I won’t.” Lu Rong was usually a slow eater, but with a large piece of candy in his mouth, his cheeks were puffed up and he was having a hard time chewing. When the candy was finally swallowed, Lu Rong opened his mouth and made a gesture to call for someone.
Shen Jize slightly held his breath, somehow nervous. As a result, Lu Rong and he looked at each other for two seconds and then suddenly laughed.
“What are you laughing at?” Shen Jize was a little annoyed.
Lu Rong said, “Hahahahaha! I think it’s funny, hahaha.”
“What’s so funny?” Shen Jize pulled his face down.
Shen Jize found it impossible to continue the scene, holding his forehead, “Forget it, let’s go, don’t laugh.”
After two steps, he found that Lu Rong wasn’t following him, and when he turned his head to look, he saw the child smiling at him and calling out sweetly and coyly, “Hubby～”
Shen Jize only felt a tingle rising from the soles of his feet to the sky, and then from the sky to his entire body, he was bashful and felt like hearing it more. He coughed and said with red ears, “It won’t take long, soon it will be winter vacation, then husband will come back to see you.”
Lu Rong said, “That’s very kind of you.”
“I’ll buy you real Dove chocolates and all kinds of candy.”
Once he had a chance to get acquainted, the married Shen Jize had adjusted mentally so that he could call himself a husband.
“Thank you Broth— Hubby.”
The two went to the river again, soaking their feet in the cool water, blowing in the wind and watching the birds flying up in the forest across the street.
Lu Rong leaned his head on Shen Jize’s shoulder and reached into his arms again to fetch a candy, and was about to peel the paper when Shen Jize snatched it away, along with the big bag he was holding in his arms.
“How many have you eaten? You can’t eat any more.” Shen Jize said.
Lu Rong lifted his head and tried to whine, but his mouth opened when Shen Jize cut him off mercilessly, “Don’t do that every time, it’s useless. I told you, from now on you can only eat three a day, you have just eaten more than ten, do you want to lose your teeth?”
Lu Rong was usually controlled by Grandpa Cai, who forbade him to eat candy freely, so he obeyed and didn’t ask for more, but he was a little upset.
Shen Jize put the packet of candy aside and said to Lu Rong, who was leaning on his shoulder, “Rong Rong, sing a song for me.”
But Lu Rong grunted, “No.”
Shen Jize knew he was thinking about the packet of candy, so he coaxed, “Sing, sing. You can sing very well, just sing that song, the one about eating apricots.”
“What’s eating apricots? That’s standing under the apricot tree.”
“Ah yes, sing it.”
Lu Rong rolled his eyes and deliberately picked a fight, “I don’t just sing it, I only sing it to my wife.”
Shen Jize whispered in his ear, “Aren’t you my wife?”
Lu Rong looked up abruptly, “When did I become your wife?”
Shen Jize explained, “I’m your husband, so of course you’re my wife.”
Lu Rong was stunned for two seconds and realized that this was the case, but still didn’t relent, “When I called you ‘husband’, you didn’t call me ‘wife’.”
Shen Jize was stunned for a moment, then cleared his throat and opened his mouth, only to pause for two seconds and then fail to speak.
“Say it, say it!” Lu Rong’s eyes shone brightly at him, and for a while he forgot to count the packets of candy.
Shen Jize met his eyes, opened his mouth again with difficulty, blushed and grunted for a long time, but still couldn’t succeed in calling out.
Lu Rong stared at him intently and slowly said, “Come with me, this way, wiiiii… fe… wiiii… fe…” 3
Shen Jize deflated, “Don’t teach me, I know how to pronounce it.”
After saying that, he looked down at the water and spat out the word lightly and quickly, “Wife.”
“Hey, husband.” Lu Rong answered crisply.
Shen Jize smiled at the four feet in the water and gently stepped on the smaller one next to him, Lu Rong laughed and stepped back quickly. The two of them were playing around, getting more and more energetic, and finally they even splashed their clothes and pants, so they had to stop.
In the quiet breeze, Lu Rong plucked the water with his foot and began to sing the mountain song.
“On LongQuan Mountain, apricot flowers bloom in March.
Holding a flowering branch in my hand, I hope my husband will come.
In April, the birds at the top of the hill are in full swing, in May, the apricot blossoms are white.
In July, apricots are hanging all over the mountain, when will he come?”
At first it was quite normal, Shen Jize listened to his cool voice laced with a childlike quality, and thought it was quite nice. The more Lu Rong sang, the more he became involved, and began to feel the sorrow and mourning, dragging his crying voice, crossing his little fingers hoping he was doing a great job.
Shen Jize couldn’t bear to interrupt, pointing to the forest across the street in amazement, “Look, what’s that?”
Lu Rong stopped his performance and looked seriously for half a day, “Nothing, I don’t see anything.”
Shen Jize breathed a sigh of relief, picked up the packet of candy from the ground, took Lu Rong’s hand and said, “It’s nothing, it’s nothing. Maybe my eyes are blurry.”
When they got home, Grandpa Cai was cooking in the kitchen and greeted them with a loud voice, “Is Xiao Ze hungry?”
Shen Jize went to set the table, and Lu Rong went to hide the milk candy. He finally hid them in the closet, but picked out three and put them in his shorts pocket. After thinking about it, he returned two more and left one.
This was the candy that his husband bought for him, so he needed to eat it slowly, and today he was only allowed to eat one more.
The three of them sat around the banyan tree and ate. Grandpa Cai smilingly asked, “Xiao Ze, did your little uncle ask you to bring the cigarettes and alcohol in the house?”
Shen Jize nodded, “Yes.”
“You stay at Grandpa’s place, but Grandpa can’t accept the cigarettes and alcohol.”
Shen Jize said, “Grandpa, don’t worry about it, Little Uncle won’t care about it. He’s thanking you, so if you don’t take it, he will be embarrassed to let me stay here.”
Grandpa Cai laughed and said, “If he’s embarrassed, let him give me two jars of wine, Grandpa doesn’t smoke and only drinks wine.”
Shen Jize said, “I’ll tell Little Uncle about it.”
Grandpa Cai laughed and gave him some food, “Okay, eat more.”
Lu Rong bit the head of his chopsticks and rolled his eyes and said, “Grandpa, plum wine is fine.”
Grandpa Cai glared at him, “All you know is plum wine. Eat your rice.”
Lu Rong looked aggressively at Shen Jize, his big eyes black and white. Shen Jize only looked at him for a moment before turning his eyes away, expressionlessly continuing to dig into his rice.
What was up with him feeling so heartbroken? He wanted to give him all the plum wine to drink.
Shen Jize was disgusted inside when he first arrived at Longquan Mountain, but now he was so happy that he didn’t want to go back to the capital at all. Staying every day with his wife and taking Puppy around to play. He knew which tree bird’s nest not to empty out, which piece of pine forest slope the pine mushroom grows best at, and the topography of the village better than his little uncle, Shen Yan.
Occasionally he would also go to the site and Shen Yan would buy the two children a large pile of snacks, then ask Shen Jize if his homework was completed, then go through the procedure.
“Homework is done quite well, there are only a few questions left in math, the compositions were all written, and every day I also preview the new lessons we will learn next semester.”
Shen Jize always answered this way, with a face as steady as a veteran academic.
When Shen Yan was busy, the two would sit in front of the recently completed building and whisper.
“That’s the room we both woke up in that night.” Shen Jize pointed to Lu Rong at a window hole on the third floor.
Lu Rong looked down and nodded his head to confirm, “That’s the one.”
Shen Jize remembered the missing jade pendant and couldn’t help but ask, “Why don’t we go to that building and take a look?”
He was aware that the building he entered that night and this one, although seemingly the same, should actually be different places, but ultimately he still wanted to go and find out. What if? What if the jade pendant was left in that building?
Lu Rong had always been a follower, so when Shen Jize proposed where to go, he listened to him, and didn’t hesitate to agree.
The two searched the building but found nothing.
Lu Rong twitched his nose and smelled nothing suspicious, then whispered to Shen Jize, “There’s really nothing inside.”
Shen Jize sighed despondently, “Forget it. If I can’t find it, I can’t find it.”
Shen Jize could only attribute it to the fact that those ghosts were killed by themselves, so the building was now safe. He just sat on the concrete slab in front of the building and told Lu Rong more about it.
Lu Rong thought it was very hilarious, when he talked about taking the iron bar and beating the red-shirted female ghost all over the place, he would exclaim “Ah, so powerful!” every time. The expressions were quite matching, with his round eyes wide open, full of adoration and admiration.
Shen Jize thought, My wife is so cute every time I finish an exciting story.