Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Now that it was dark, Shen Jize didn’t see Shen Yan, so he asked Grandpa Cai, “Grandpa, where’s my little uncle?”
“Since you were sleeping, your little uncle didn’t want to wake you up. Tonight, sleep with Rong Rong, and tomorrow he will come to pick you up, okay?” Grandpa Cai explained in a warm voice.
“Grandpa, I don’t want to sleep with him, this is our home, tell him to leave!” Before Shen Jize could answer, Lu Rong was hanging on Grandpa Cai’s neck, face to face, squirming around petulantly.
He was wearing only a pair of pants, his white and soft little body twisting like a silkworm.
Shen Jize thought he had a lot of male authority, and unlike Lu Rong when he was that old, he no longer was pampered by his parents like this. Now when he saw Lu Rong using such tactics to drive him away, he felt very disgusted, very disdainful, and very angry.
“Grandpa, I don’t want to sleep with him either. I’d better go to my little uncle.” He finished in a hard tone, and then sternly tried to put on his shoes.
Grandpa Cai took Lu Rong’s arm off his neck and put the undershirt over his head, saying under his breath, “Brother is a guest, no more such words.”
Shen Jize found his sneakers and put them on, and before he could reach the door, Grandpa Cai tugged his arm, “Xiao Ze, your uncle went back to the construction site, and it’s dark outside, the mountain road isn’t easy to walk.”
“It’s okay, just tell me the direction, Grandpa.”
Grandpa Cai made a scared face and kept waving his hand, “That’s not possible, there are a lot of wild animals outside at night, wild boars, flower brothers. 1 They all come out and are very fierce! Grandpa wouldn’t dare to let you go.”
Shen Jize looked out the window and could only see a side of the compound illuminated by lights, and the distant mountains and forests showed tall silhouettes in the moonlight, full of unknown dangers. He no longer insisted on leaving, but stood still, craning his neck to look out the window.
Lu Rong stood by the bed without making a sound, his eyes squinting at the boy.
Grandpa Cai turned around and silently made a slap-raising gesture to him, and he hastily showed a pleading face. Grandpa Cai nodded at him with his finger in the air and lowered his hand again.
“Let’s go. You’re tired from today, right? Let Grandpa take you to take a bath, wash up and have a good night’s sleep.” Grandpa Cai went to take Shen Jize’s hand.
Shen Jize pretended to struggle twice, but didn’t use much strength, so he didn’t break free. He followed Grandpa Cai to the shower with a reluctant look. He wouldn’t stand in the yard to walk around with his birdy out like Lu Rong, but to go to the bathroom next to the kitchen to wash.
The bathroom was short and simple, with only a layer of concrete painted on the walls and a yellowing light bulb hanging from the ceiling. A large homemade iron bucket hung high on the wall, with wiring connected to a small electric switch at the door and a faucet sticking out into a barrel.
Grandpa Cai said, “The water is already boiling hot. Turn on the tap and you can wash. Your uncle put your bag of clothes here so I’ll go get your pants.”
“The black short-sleeved set is my pajamas.”
“Okay, Grandpa will get them for you.”
When Grandpa Cai brought the clothes, Shen Jize began to undress for the shower. The faucet wasn’t a shower, and Shen Jize dared to turn on only a small stream of water for fear of quickly draining the bucket, but it was summer and the water didn’t flow too much without feeling cold.
The night in the countryside was very quiet, there was no sound of people. The already dim light was steamed over by the water, and everything was even more blurred.
Shen Jize was alone in this small bathing room, listening to the long howl of some beast in the distance, and was slightly afraid. He quickly rinsed with the water, grabbed the soap, and smeared it on his body haphazardly, and began to regret coming to the countryside.
If he hadn’t come along with his uncle, he would be watching TV right now. Or casually lying about something and going to the internet cafe down the street to play CS 2 instead of standing here in the shower with nothing and a little kid trying to kick him out.
Outside, the wind was blowing, and the mountain woods resounded with a whimpering echo. The sound of pine trees swaying in the quiet night fell to Shen Jize ears, extraordinarily eerie and creepy.
As soon as the thought of fear arose, it could no longer be controlled. He quickly finished his shower, resisting the urge to run directly to the house bare-assed, and dressed before going out.
The bucket of hot water, which he was worried wasn’t going to be enough, was not even half used.
In the house, Grandpa Cai was scratching behind one of Lu Rong’s ears, whose eyes were closed, his eyelashes fluttering, and his mouth moving to suck in air.
He looked like he was about to fall asleep.
Shen Jize, wearing oversized plastic slippers, woke up Lu Rong with the sound of his crunchy footsteps.
Grandpa Cai reluctantly withdrew his hand and asked Shen Jize who rushed in, “Has Xiao Ze finished washing?”
“I’m done.” Shen Jize stood in the doorway in a state of shock.
“Come to bed when you’re done.” Grandpa Cai saw that he didn’t move and realized that he and Lu Rong didn’t seem to get along very well, so he said, “Why don’t you go to my little room and sleep there? I’ll sleep with Rong Rong.”
Shen Jize looked at Lu Rong, who had already rolled over and got up, and said stiffly, “I’ll sleep here, it’s okay.”
Sleeping alone? That’s too scary, no, no.
“Okay, then you guys go to sleep, but no sneaking around to play.” Grandpa Cai lit a tray of mosquito incense and put it on the floor, and applied flower lotion to Lu Rong’s exposed hands and feet outside his undershirt and pants.
“Grandpa, I don’t want to put this on.” Shen Jize said.
Grandpa Cai, “It’s to prevent mosquitoes.”
Shen Jize, “I don’t like the smell.”
“He likes to smell bad.” Lu Rong interjected with a naive face, but his eyes were rolling, and he saw that he was in a bad mood.
Shen Jize lowered his eyes and pretended not to hear.
Grandpa Cai said, “Okay, if you don’t want to apply, you don’t need to. Anyway, I also lit the mosquito incense.”
Leaving the light on in the room, Grandpa Cai repeatedly told them to cover themselves with the blanket, then closed the door and went to his own bedroom.
Lu Rong saw Shen Jize getting ready to go to bed and hurriedly moved to the side to block the edge of the bed. Shen Jize didn’t look at him, went to the end of the bed and climbed up, Lu Rong again darted down to the end of the bed.
“This is my bed.” Lu Rong was afraid that Grandpa Cai would hear him, and his voice wasn’t loud, but he made a fierce face.
“I was just about to leave, and your grandpa told me to stay.” Shen Jize lowered his eyelids, and his voice had little emotion.
“I don’t care. All I know is that this is my bed and I didn’t allow you to sleep here.”
Shen Jize looked at him from top to bottom, “You think I care?”
“If you care, don’t stay here.” Lu Rong tilted his head and said.
Shen Jize stared at him for a while, then grabbed the pillow from the bed and headed for the door, “The bed is yours, I’ll go sleep on the sofa.”
Lu Rong looked at his back, instantly relaxed his guard, and crawled towards the bed, satisfied. But at that moment, Shen Jize swiftly turned around and rushed back, flew to bed, and then lay down inside.
Lu Rong lost his position in a moment of carelessness and hurriedly reached out to push him, “You’re cheating! You’re cheating!”
Shen Jize pretended not to hear, only closed his eyes, his body pressed against the gabion, and his hands tugged on the edge. He even strained every toe, gouging into the mat tightly.
Lu Rong pushed a few times without success, then stared at his face for a while in exasperation, finally giving up resentfully and laying down on the outside of the bed.
Shen Jize took advantage of his laying down and quickly shot out, pulled the quilt over, rolled his body, and found a comfortable position.
Lu Rong went to grab the blanket back, but couldn’t, so he had to puff up the remaining half of the cover.
Shen Jize secretly thought, ‘This fat white child shouldn’t talk about jianghu morality. He doesn’t want face anyway, so I also don’t want.
The two of them weren’t in a position to be able to turn back the clock to the daytime, and that they had been in the sun for so long, and Shen Jize didn’t eat the popsicle.
The two children didn’t pay attention to each other, each facing their own direction. They seemed not to care, but had a very tacit understanding of the bed being divided into two; each occupying half, their shirts against each other was the central axis.
Neither would let the other cross the boundary. When one moved, the other would push back. The two weren’t talking, seemingly asleep, but they were watching out for each other in a secret tug of war.
Shen Jize was now no longer afraid, his only focus was on guarding his territory.
The body against his back was small and soft, like a small animal, emitting a nice, pleasant scent.
But he – definitely wasn’t soft hearted!
Neither boy knew how long it took, but both of them fell asleep in a daze.
Lu Rong was sleeping soundly, and in his sleep he sensed something different, he couldn’t describe it, but he could feel it. After a jolt in his brain, he opened his eyes abruptly. As many times during the night, he found himself not in bed, but in a strange place.
He was familiar enough with the scene at hand to know that he was dreaming again. Although Uncle Bai never appeared in his dream again, there was his scent everywhere; strong, safe, and reassuring.
He was ready to look for the aperture, and every time he entered the dream world, he could wake up by finding it. It was a dense forest, starlight came down through the branches and leaves, and a faint mist floated in the forest, like smoke and veil, curling around.
Lu Rong disappeared quickly, and there was a white, slightly rounded deer in place.
The fawn’s four hooves had red lines, like a flower in full bloom, winding up, disappearing into the snow-white fur at the base of his thighs. He had a pair of beautiful eyes, dark eyes flooded with watery light. The two small silver bumps next to the ear on top of the head had grown more than two inches, a small cut like a layer of silver dust, shimmering in the starlight.
The deer turned in place, and bounced a few times, his white tail moving. He trotted forward, and then stopped, his small black grape-like nose sniffing the short tree. Then he opened his mouth, his pink tongue rolled, and a leaf was bitten into his mouth.
Lu Rong hadn’t dreamt for a long time, so he didn’t turn into a deer and run around in real life, after all, he obeyed the instructions of Uncle Bai and Wang Tu, to never turn into a deer in front of people.
Shen Jize felt a coldness in his sleep and didn’t sleep so soundly. He felt cold under his body, so he closed his eyes and groped around, trying to find a quilt to put over himself.
After grabbing a handful of foggy grass, he finally noticed something was wrong and opened his eyes and looked around, his sleepiness subsided.
Wasn’t he asleep in bed? What was this place?
Shen Jize got up and stood barefoot in the woods, looking around in confusion and repeatedly searching for memories of the time before he fell asleep.
The last thing he remembered was that Lu Rong had fallen asleep and turned around to him, his mouth next to his neck, purring like a cat, and resting his fleshy legs on his belly.
The legs weren’t long but very solid and heavy, Shen Jize shoved them down several times but they insistently went back up, so he finally gave up and continued to close his eyes.
After all, he was too sleepy.
But why did he appear in the woods when he had slept well in bed?
Shen Jize made sure his memory wasn’t wrong and gradually began to get angry.
——The kid must have pretended to be asleep and dragged him quietly into the woods when he fell asleep.
He was going to tell Grandpa Cai when he got back, and he was going to tell his uncle, so that the little shit would get a good beating. Shen Jize started looking for a way out, but luckily, even though it was nighttime, the woods weren’t pitch black, so the visibility was clear.
He was still wearing the same set of short-sleeved shorts that he had fallen asleep in, and his feet were bare. Fortunately, his feet were soft, padded with a thick layer of fallen leaves, but not hurt.
A gust of wind blew through the trees, the leaves were swirling and the light was patchy, as he remembered what Grandpa Cai said about the wild boar and flower brother and gradually began to panic. He didn’t know exactly what a flower brother was, but it shouldn’t be a good thing. 3
The distant woods were shadowy, and every movement made him suspicious that a wild boar or a strange-looking flower brother would emerge.
Shen Jize wanted to shout, but the woods were too big, and he felt that shouting would not only not help him get out, but it may also attract other things. He simply shut his mouth tightly, only to identify a sound in a direction, straight ahead.
Lu Rong ran around happily, dripping through the murmuring streams with circular patterns, smelling the distinctive scent of the forest, and jumping lightly among the tall trees. The green leaves looked like a layer of gold dust in the starlight, and they looked delicious.
That’s right, delicious.
Fresh and crisp, with a fragrance that made him salivate.
He ran and chewed all the way, not deliberately looking for that aperture to go out, but instead wandered around happily.
Lu Rong usually didn’t eat leaves, and only after turning into a deer did those leaves look delicious, just like when he saw candy and popsicles, and his grandfather’s hidden plum wine.
His mouth watered instantly, and his blood flow was accelerated. He ran and ate at the same time, startling the birds in the forest and dizzily rushing towards the sky.
As he ran, something appeared in his field of vision that shouldn’t have appeared; a person? He braked his hooves in shock and took two steps forward to stabilize.
There was a figure in the gap in the woods to his right, but he didn’t see the front, only a small piece of his back in black. Lu Rong had never met anyone else in the dream world, so he was shocked, and at the same time his heart began to pound, and his mouth went dry.
Was it Uncle Bai? Or was it Wang Tu?
He followed him with lighter hooves, slowly approaching, his two little pointed ears perked up nervously and twitching. The little hooves landed on the thick fallen leaves, quiet and silent, only occasionally brushing the branches and making a slight rustle.
The person walked to the middle of the two trees, then stopped to look back. Under the starlight, Lu Rong immediately saw his face. It was neither Uncle Bai nor Wang Tu, but Shen Jize who came to their house today.
Lu Rong’s heart swelled with disappointment, and his two ears drooped. He stood behind a big tree and saw Shen Jize looking in his direction with a panicked face, then turned and ran forward, very fast, as if something was chasing him from behind.
Lu Rong’s heart moved, as his two drooping ears slowly cocked up again.
He didn’t think about why Shen Jize was also in the dream, but he clearly seemed scared.
I scare him again!
- 花大哥 The character 花 (hua) can mean multiple things, flower, blossom etc. However, the meaning Grandpa Cai is going for is the slang of the character, pervert. Grandpa Cai is warning him of child molesters waiting in the forest.
- MonkeyNote: I assume this is meant to be Counter Strike.
- A perverted man. For an explanation, see 1st footnote. MonkeyNote: Pervy McPervFace