Chapter 96: Jue’s Side Story: The Power of Dumplings.
Translated by Rikko of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
If a plant started to rot from its roots, the best solution would be to dig it up out of the soil and let it bask in the sun. To me, the most important goal had always been to prolong the existence of Huan Sheng. However, I began acknowledging Evil Source unknowingly. Doubts kept growing in me; gradually, those doubts erased the things I should believe in strongly from the start. Being in the midst of darkness, even if I came across the simplest truth, I found it difficult to distinguish it. I felt myself slowly rotting away. It was hard for me to believe happiness and hope would ever descend upon me.
Until that day, when that human told me Huan Sheng was always in my heart, I simply refused to believe it. I admit, at that exact moment, my injuries were ruthlessly torn open by Gu Ting Yu. The anguish, confusion and despair hidden in the innermost part of me were completely exposed in front of him. What happened next was still something I found difficult to explain. Following a dizzyingly great change in the world, the other Sacred Beasts and I arrived this world. The joy of reunion filled the air among them. They gladly accepted the utterly unfamiliar world because they loved Gu Ting Yu.
What about me in this whole situation then? I convinced myself that I only stayed by Gu Ting Yu’s side just to see Huan Sheng again. Besides, I had nothing at all in this world. Whenever I was alone with Gu Ting Yu, a trace of faint awkwardness would always linger between us. Although my rotten injuries were recovering gradually, a feeling of shame rose within me following next. I could neither deny the fact that Gu Ting Yu was the one who unlocked my heart, nor that I was only able to resurrect thanks to him. What I couldn’t endure more was, my necessities were all provided by Gu Ting Yu. In human terms, this was called ‘sugaring’.
How could it be possible for me to willingly be taken care of by a human?! Every day, I woke up the earliest for work, and during night time, I was the latest to return home. I guess I was probably trying to avoid the problem.
I learnt the rules of the human world fast. During each sleepless night, I eagerly expanded on my knowledge and capabilities. Huan Sheng adapted to this world better than me; he led a blissful life here. Currently, he was a pâtissier of a bakery. The honey cake he invented even created a stir locally, and once set a record of being sold out within half an hour. He didn’t need to rely on nectar to get by, nor did he need my protection. Though I understood this in my heart, I refused to admit that he still could live well without me.
There was definitely some friction between Gu Ting Yu and the other Sacred Beasts; jealousy was even more of a common occurrence. Nonetheless, this had nothing to do with me. At this home, I was just like an outsider, watching them fooling around, laughing, depending on one another. Gu Ting Yu tried time and time again to communicate with me. He told me that the previous incidents were all in the past, that I needed to learn to accept the reality in front of me, and try my best to live happily. However, I kept avoiding him. I hated his attitude of letting bygones be bygones; I hated him telling me what to do and what not to do; I hated him even more for the fact that he knew me.
Due to a restructuring before New Year’s Eve, I got promoted and received my own office in the company. This made me heave a huge sigh of relief, as it meant that the company would be allocating an apartment for me. The day I received my keys, I moved out of Gu Ting Yu’s house without leaving a word behind. My silence didn’t mean I couldn’t hear their laughter; my lack of expression didn’t mean I had no emotions. Bystanders assumed I could survive in solitude. Actually, only I knew I couldn’t hold on any longer. I was afraid of going home. The warmth of home caused a faint twinge in my heart. I even felt myself getting used to it bit by bit, slowly being integrated into it.
That night was the first time I spent the entire night awake ever since I arrived this world. The surroundings were quiet. Although there was enough heating in the room, I found it strangely cold. I got off my bed to turn on all of the lights in the room. Under the shining bright lights, I suddenly felt empty in my heart . Loneliness swept fiercely across me like a blizzard in the northern country; I had nowhere to hide. I strolled to the balcony before fishing out my phone to switch it on.
The soft lights from the screen brightened the darkness. I forgot when I started the habit of switching off my phone the moment I stepped out of the company. Perhaps I wholly refused to contact him, or maybe I was truly afraid to confirm that he didn’t contact me at all. As time was ticking away, my heartbeat raced. I couldn’t stop myself from expecting something, until a buzzing vibration came from my phone; I received a message from him.
[From Gu Ting Yu(00:07) : Where are you?]
A moment later, another buzz sprung out.
[From Gu Ting Yu(00:15): I noticed that your stuff is all gone, are you moving out?]
[From Gu Ting Yu(01:32): I’m waiting for you to come back. Let’s have a chat then.]
A chat? About what…? Why do you think I moved out? Who do you think I’m avoiding?! Never have I told you my number, so how did you get it? Do you think I have no idea that you are the one who left the meals in the refrigerator on purpose for me? No matter how late I returned, the lights in the living room had never been switched off; do you think I don’t know you are waiting for me? To you, these are just unimportant handouts—be it concern or pity… the accumulation of those invaded my world one at a time; the kindness caught me off guard. You really get me vexed, Gu Ting Yu.
Early in the next morning, I left the apartment for work. It snowed heavily last night. The daytime in winter was unusually short; I trudged along in the dusky dawn. Not many passersby were on the street. As my shoes stepped on the thick snow, they let out a crunching sound from beneath. It wasn’t clear when, but another crunching sound could be heard behind me; our footstep overlapped each other.
I turned around only to see Gu Ting Yu in a beige windbreaker standing three meters away from me. His lips were pursed, his nose red from the cold, his eyes staring at me without even a blink. I turned back and walked away. The morning sunlight scattered down from the sparse Chinese parasol tree branches onto the long street. The thin sheet of sunlight blanketed the snow covering the ground—an absolutely gorgeous sight.
I crossed the road, walking at the opposite side of the street, before sneaking a glance back. Gu Ting Yu stepped on the layer of snow drift clumsily as he crossed the street, following behind me silently. I crossed the street again, returning to the street I was on previously. Gu Ting Yu had no choice but to follow me. Over time, we repeated this for quite a few times, as though two bickering primary school kids playing road crossing game.
By the time we reached the company, we were gasping for breath. All of a sudden, I felt my level of childishness was through the roof. Thus, I turned around, fixing my eyes at him, “What do you want to talk about?”
Gu Ting Yu replied with a flushed face, “It is New Year’s Eve today. Your company is probably on holiday, right?”
After a moment of silence, I gave him an answer, “I have to work over time.”
Gu Ting Yu lowered his head and sighed, before asking with slight hesitation, “Are you coming home… tonight?”
At that moment, I truly wanted to leap up and yell at him, ‘No! My whereabouts have nothing to do with you! It’s none of your business!’ However, I had no clue if my brain had gone crazy then or Gu Ting Yu’s sparkling eyes befuddled my mind that instant, I actually acted on an unexpected, strange impulse and blurted out, “Mn… We’ll see.”
Gu Ting Yu nodded his head and waved his hand at me, “Come back soon… to eat dumplings.”
I felt an abrupt urge to cry out into the air. Every silver of determination was reduced to ruins by those few words—Come back soon to eat dumplings. I took three difficult strides towards the company, before cursing out furiously out of the blue and turning back to chase Gu Ting Yu…