Chapter 66: Falling into the Sea
Translated by Rui of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Since that night, the fruit of Gu Ting Yu’s labour had completely gone to waste.
Nian Xing hid inside his shell and refused to come out. It seemed as though he did indeed fear entering the vast sea.
Everyday, Gu Ting Yu would sweep the floors, prepare a cup of seaweed tea and lean against the edge of the window as he felt the sea breeze blow against his face. He would also occasionally flip through Nian Xing’s drawings… The only thing he didn’t do was force Nian Xing to come out of his shell again.
Nian Xing secretly cracked his shell open.
Why doesn’t this Gu Ting Yu turtle egg drag me out from the shell? If I crawl out myself, then I lose face completely.
Gu Ting Yu was currently sitting by the window and gazing out towards the sea. A few drawings were placed next to his hand. The sea breeze blew his sky blue shirt upwards. The side of Gu Ting Yu’s pale face seemed unusually peaceful and at ease.
“…” Nian Xing secretly closed his shell again, then he hugged his blanket and started rolling around.
*Bang* *Bang* *Bang* A sudden knocking sound echoed—Gu Ting Yu finally tapped on the shell!
Nian Xing’s muffled voice resounded from within the shell, “… Ha. Since you want me to come out and grace you with my presence, then I’ll…”
“I’m leaving, Nian Xing.”
After saying those words, Gu Ting Yu distanced himself from the shell, and silently counted. Before he could even count to ‘three’ inside his head, the shell exploded open.
“You, he…. Gu Ting Yu!! Where are you going??”
Gu Ting Yu pointed towards the island opposite to the seashore and slightly smiled, “I’m swimming back there.”
“You… you… you…” Nian Xing trembled, and only managed to squeeze out a few ‘you’s’ after a long time.
“Oh, I forgot to ask you. Do you want to come with me?” Gu Ting Yu walked up to the door. It was as though he suddenly remembered something when he turned around to face Nian Xing with a smile.
Deformities were inborn.
Within specific time periods, every merman had the right to go ashore. Nian Xing, who had a deformed tail since birth, always swam slower compared to other merfolk. When the season to go ashore arrived, the undercurrents at the bottom of the sea separated Nian Xing from the rest of the group of mermen. When he opened his eyes again, he was trapped beneath a lighthouse only a few nautical miles away from the shore.
Yet, it was still a distance which Nian Xing could not swim. He had lost his merman tail, and was left with nothing but two deformed legs.
“I can’t swim over there…” Nian Xing said.
Gu Ting Yu sighed, “I’ll help you swim there. You simply have a few things that are different from others.”
“Xiao Yu, I don’t feel hopelessness or sorrow because of my differences. Or in other words, I merely see the circumstance is unfortunate. What truly makes me despair is the way others look at me.”
Nian Xing didn’t want to return to the sea. He had always been the lone merman left at the very back of their group. Since he was born with a deformity, Nian Xing could only accept it.
Why opt for self-abandonment? Why blame the heavens?
The only thing that he needed to do was to merely continue living.
“Then… do you still yearn for the sea?” Gu Ting Yu slowly asked as he made his way towards Nian Xing step by step.
The sea was originally calm and tranquil.
However, it was only until the waters near the lighthouse suddenly erupted with an earthquaking roar that shattered the surrounding peace —
“I’m going to die!! I’m going to drown!! Aaahhh…”
“I can’t swim anymore, I need to rest!!!”
“Xiao Yu, save me…”
Gu Ting Yu couldn’t stop himself from slapping his hand against Nian Xing’s ginger head, “Get yourself together, we haven’t entered the water yet!!”
Nian Xing was currently laying flat against the stone table and practicing how to swim correctly. He shrugged his shoulders as if nothing happened, “I’m just letting you get used to it beforehand, because later when we do get into the water, I’ll still scream like that.”
“Nian Xing…” Gu Ting Yu leaned against the lighthouse as he sank into a pool of helplessness, “… Listen to me and just try entering the water first. I’ve got a rope here to reel you in.”
“Why should I listen to you?”
“Ah! Don’t kick me!!! I’ll fall in… *cough* *cough*….” Nian Xing choked on a few gulps of saltiness and instantly sprang out of the water. He pointed at Gu Ting Yu and sweared loudly at him, “You turtle bastard!!! You piece of bird-pooping-fish-pooping-fly-poop!!!”
“Your insults have now included both the animals that fly in the sky and the ones that swim in water,” Gu Ting Yu said with a faint smile as he patted Nian Xing’s wet hair, “You’ve improved.”
Nian Xing opened his mouth and was just about to say something when he suddenly felt as though Gu Ting Yu was looking at him in a slightly strange manner. He looked at his surroundings before he finally realised he was currently situated in the middle of the sea…
It was… so easy… to return to the sea?
Nian Xing grabbed onto the rope and floated on the water. He gently moved the fish skeleton connected to his legs from side to side. He suddenly recalled this feeling, this sensation of being surrounded by the sea… All the hairs on his body stood up as they thirstily drank in the sea water. Nian Xing had once believed that he didn’t belong in the sea, but their reunion after a long separation made Nian Xing’s heart instantly swell like a dry sponge soaking up water.
What was this?? Nian Xing floated on the water, heart full of emotion as his chest rose and fell vigorously…
All those days and nights… he would crawl up the stairs and paint his yearnings for the sea on the wall. Why was it so easy in the end?
Nian Xing suddenly felt as though the sea was alive, but he could only feel it when he held it in his embrace.
“Xiao Yu…” A hint of perplexion was concealed in Nian Xing’s voice. He reached out his hand and scooped up a handful of the sea water. The droplets seeped through the gaps between his fingers, leaving his hand empty again.
Gu Ting Yu watched Nian Xing’s glassy eyes and couldn’t help but smile, “Let’s learn how to swim bit by bit. You still haven’t completely gotten used to the newly attached fish skeleton.”
Gu Ting Yu knew that Nian Xing had been trying his best to show his strength and valiance whilst also attempting to conceal his deformity from the very beginning… He wanted to tell Gu Ting Yu that he was normal. However, Nian Xing had never truly believed in this facade himself.
Go back to sea, Nian Xing, and accept yourself with honesty… Okay?
“Xiao Yu, I’m actually very strong~” Nian Xing suddenly gave Gu Ting Yu a dazzling smile.
Gu Ting Yu helplessly lifted the corners of his mouth. Just when he wanted to pull Nian Xing back up on shore, an unexpected incident suddenly occurred… Nian Xing let go of the rope himself.
Nian Xing gradually sunk. He felt Gu Ting Yu’s panicked eyes on him. Ha… he finally made this man express his worry again…
“Nian Xing!!” Did he go crazy again? He clearly hadn’t learnt how to swim yet!! Gu Ting Yu instantly jumped into the sea. Everything changed as soon as he was submerged in the water. His ears become blocked with water and the blue world around turned still.
Nian Xing closed his eyes and continued to sink towards the endless depths of the sea. Gu Ting Yu suppressed anxiety and tried as hard as he could to swim towards the merman… he got closer… just a little bit more… When he touched Nian Xing’s figure, Gu Ting Yu immediately grabbed the merman’s ice-cold body and used all his strength to swim upwards.
He felt a faint stabbing pain in his chest, signalling that he was running low on oxygen. Gu Ting Yu felt Nian Xing’s body become increasingly heavier, and the faint hints of light above him seemed to drift further and further away. Gu Ting Yu held onto Nian Xing’s neck and gently pressed his lips onto Nian Xing’s before delivering his last breaths of air into the merman’s mouth.
Nian Xing suddenly opened his eyes.
What was Xiao Yu doing…? He wouldn’t really drown to death for me right…?
Xiao Yu? …. Xiao Yu?!
Wake up…. !!!
Nian Xing lowered his shoulders and Gu Ting Yu released Nian Xing’s lips. He leaned against Nian Xing’s shoulders as if he was asleep. Air bubbles escaped from his mouth and nose, before everything returned to a dead silence. Gu Ting Yu’s complexion was abnormally pale.
Nian Xing shook Gu Ting Yu. Xiao Yu could make him a prosthetic, he could take him back to the sea, and he could even make him angry with ease and calm… Wasn’t his Xiao Yu strong? Why wasn’t he moving at all now…?
Nian Xing forgot that in the end, Gu Ting Yu was still a human. No matter how powerful he was, he couldn’t stay underwater for long periods of time.
Nian Xing tried to drag Gu Ting Yu with him and swim upwards, but he couldn’t support the weight of two people. The faint source of light above his head seemed further and further away from them as they continued to sink.
“Gu —— Ting —— Yu —— !!!”
A thundering sound erupted, and a huge wave rose upwards as if the bottom of the sea had exploded. However, in the next second, the crystal-like water droplets instantly froze, turning the entire sea into a vast icy land. The source of this power had erupted and split the sea in half, forming a canyon. The man with ginger hair crouched on the frozen sea as he forcefully shook the lifeless Gu Ting Yu in his arms.
What to do?? He had to do something. What did he need to do, though?!
Nian Xing entered a complete panicked state. He had only wanted to see Gu Ting Yu’s worried expression. He wanted to wait until after Gu Ting Yu started panicking to resurface, and then tell the other person how strong he was.
However, he didn’t think that Gu Ting Yu would actually jump into the sea to save him. Was Gu Ting Yu really scared that he would drown…?
Nian Xing filtered through his memories. Gu Ting Yu had warmed him with his own body in the past… and so he ripped off Gu Ting Yu’s clothes and hugged his cold body tightly.
Fortunately he could still sense a heart beat… but why didn’t he wake up?
Nian Xing thought back to when they were in the sea. Gu Ting Yu used his mouth to give him oxygen… Thus, Nian Xing lowered his face closer to Gu Ting Yu and licked his lips. He took a deep breath and smashed his lips onto the other’s own.
Do all humans save people like this…? Xiao Yu’s lips are so soft…
Nian Xing’s hand circled to the back of Gu Ting Yu’s exposed back and glided down his hips. Nian Xing didn’t know what he was doing. He merely caressed the toned contours of the other person’s body…
This feeling was so unfamiliar to him, and yet… he didn’t dislike it.