Chapter 37: Third World (9)
Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Bai Duan tossed and turned all night but never fell asleep. When he got up the next morning, his eyes were red and haggard. He washed his face in cold water and refreshed himself slightly. Then he changed into court clothes and went out of the house. After a few steps, he met Zhou Mo, who had also changed into court clothes.
Zhou Mo apparently had a sleepless night, with a slightly lethargic look. Seeing Bai Duan, he smiled as usual and did not mention last night’s incident, but no longer hid his affectionate eyes and the deep concern and pity made Bai Duan unable to escape.
“Brother, let’s go together?” Zhou Mo went to Bai Duan and asked softly, with a cautious tone, which soured Bai Duan’s heart.
Bai Duan could not bear to refuse and nodded gently, “…okay. ”
In response, Zhou Mo immediately felt as if he had landed on the ground with a big stone in his heart, showing a sigh of relief and joy. Seeing his appearance, Bai Duan felt more guilty and uncomfortable. Even though he had done nothing wrong, he still could not bear to see Zhou Mo carefully flattering him.
Yesterday evening, Bai Duan lay in bed thinking a lot, trying to figure out what was going on.
However, whenever he recalled it, he remembered Zhou Mo’s care and love for him. The combination of the bright and dark, the Yin and the Yang was there, but Bai Duan involuntarily remembered his friendship with Zhou Mo.
When Bai Duan was a very ordinary carpenter, Zhou Men became friends with him, taught him to read and write, talked naturally with him, and answered all his questions patiently. He helped take care of his daily life and knew his habits and hobbies almost better than Bai Duan himself. In the most challenging period, he bought him clothes and food, he never wronged Bai Duan; when Bai Duan was sick, Zhou Mo was frantic and worried; when he was ambushed by the enemy, Zhou Mo protected him in the chaotic army, he even took several arrows in his body, using his own flesh and blood to block in front of him…
So little by little, Bai Duan’s heart has been deeply engraved with Zhou Mo’s figure, as long as he could make Zhou Mo happy, then he would spare no effort. Bai Duan did not know whether it was love or not, but it was because he cared about Zhou Mo that he was so hesitant and unsure. Although Bai Duan didn’t know what to do, he knew that men would be scorned when they fell in love with other men. He didn’t care how the world looked at him, but he was afraid to involve Zhou Mo and didn’t want the other party’s flawless name to be smeared with a layer of dirt.
But to worry about Zhou Mo’s reputation, he ignored his own mind, was that right? Bai Duan couldn’t think of too complicated things, so he was uncertain about everything.
Along the way, there was an awkward and quiet atmosphere between them. Bai Duan didn’t know how to open his mouth, and Zhou Mo was afraid to speak out.
Up to now, the courtiers clearly felt that the Regent’s mood today was not very good. Although he was still the same, he had a solidified atmosphere and a stronger power. He showed no mercy to the court officials who had been thoroughly investigated, which made the whole courtyard as cold as ice, and even the little emperor on the throne could not help have a white complexion.
Early in the morning, the curtain fell on such a depressing atmosphere. When the eunuch shouted the word ‘back to the dynasty,’ everyone in the hall could not help but feel relief.
Zhou Mo sauntered to Bai Duan’s side, with a soft tone, he said, “Go back together?”
Bai Duan hesitated for a moment and shook his head slightly, “I think…we should walk alone.”
Zhou Mo was silent for a while and nodded gently, “Okay, then I’ll wait for you to come back for lunch.”
Bai Duan moved his lips, but after all, he could not bear to refuse and nodded his head.
Zhou Mo’s tense face eased slightly, he did not continue to ’embarrass’ Bai Duan, so quickly turned around and left. His figure was bleak and lonely but stood tall with perseverance and rigidity.
At least in the eyes of Bai Duan and most people.
When Zhou Mo left the hall, the courtiers followed him one after another.
The close relationship between Bai Duan and Zhou Mo was a well-known thing. When they saw the reactions of the two people, of course, they also understood the reason why the Regent was in a bad mood.
Didn’t this seem awkward? Or did Bai Duan shake the Regent off?
Various courtiers whispered and gossiped, peeping at Bai Duan with their eyes from time to time, while Song Ying and other old friends of Bai Duan simply gathered around him, warmly inviting him to go to a restaurant for a few drinks.
Bai Duan knew what they were going to ask, and he had been thinking all night without any clue. Even if he thought about it again, he could only continue to be like a headless fly. It would be better to listen to what others said.
Half pushed and half pulled, Bai Duan was dragged by Song Ying and the others to the most famous restaurant in the capital, into the most private elegant room.
Everyone in the army liked wine, and even Bai Duan learned to drink. Although he could not swallow a large amount of alcohol, he could drink at least two glasses. When the wine was served, the people did not ask directly. Instead, they greeted each other and drank two times. They waited until the wine was slightly affecting them, and the atmosphere was heated. It was then that they began chatting about what happened between Bai Duan and Zhou Mo.
Bai Duan hesitated for a moment, “Last night… Big Brother Zhou said something to me…”
“What did he say?” Song Ying drank heavily, and he was hanging onto Bai Duan’s shoulder.
All of those in the room had been accompanying Zhou Mo to fight since the beginning, Bai Duan licked his lips, “I asked him why he did not sit in that position, he said… it’s because he doesn’t want to marry and have children. He…wants to be with me.”
The people around the table were quiet for a moment. They looked at Bai Duan one after another. Bai Duan was so embarrassed that he did not know what expression to make and simply bowed his head and drank. He felt uneasy for a while, but after thinking for a moment, Song Ying suddenly came up with a sentence, “Listening to you… You haven’t been with the general yet?!”
Bai Duan was asked unexpectedly and almost choked on his wine. He looked at Song Ying in surprise and found that Song Ying was laughing. “Is that true? I thought you and the general have been together for a long time!” After that, he turned his head to the rest of the people and sought approval. “Didn’t you think so too?”
The people on the table nodded and agreed. They thought that Bai Duan and Zhou Mo were in love, but they never thought that… they just broke the window paper?! 1
Bai Duan woodenly looked at the crowd, feeling that his three views were split, “You… Why did you think I am in love with Big Brother Zhou?!”
Everyone looked at each other and expressed their opinions. The answers were varied. Some people said that they realized it when Bai Duan was ill and Zhou Mou behaved improperly; others said it was when Zhou Mou was holding Bai Duan to shield him from an arrow as he cried; others noted that it was because there was an extra egg or a few pieces of meat in Zhou Mou’s bowl, and it was all Bai Duan, doing his best-taking care of him like a wife. In a word, there were many different opinions. Among them, Song Ying was the most shrewd. He had already seen the clue when they were still in the county.
When Song Ying mentioned this thorough his experience, he looked sad, “At that time, I was wondering why the general suddenly looked unhappy, and always assigned me to do the most painful work. Until one day, when I finished my task, I went to the general to report to him. Suddenly, I found that the general’s gaze on you as you were drawing was abnormal. Only then did I fully understand why I was so unlucky. The general was clearly jealous of my good words, and that I had a good relationship with you. Almost…” Song Ying swallowed down the words, but his expression on the face was very vivid and appropriate, perfectly expressing his thoughts at this moment.
Bai Duan had no idea that he had been sent away from Zhou Mo so early, and had no idea what to say. After a few moments of silence, he spoke slowly, “Is it true that…you don’t think it’s weird…is it?”
Everyone looked at each other, and finally, Song Ying coughed and smiled bitterly, “In fact, this kind of thing was really nothing in our eyes. You know, many of us who first followed the general’s uprising were men in service. Not to mention marrying wives, even women seldom saw us. It’s normal for two men to live together. People are not plants, who can be ruthless, after being together for a long time, gaining mutual support, emotional bonds deepening… after that, gender is not so important.”
“It’s not just the people who serve, even in the army, that’s often the case.” Another added, “Everyone lives with their heads on their belts, and they don’t know if they can survive the next battle, so they don’t think much about it at all. With feelings together, who cares so much? It’s right to have fun in time without regret! To tell you the truth, I have such a friendship, and I am still together now!
Others laughed and shouted, “Who cares about gender?” “We’ve already seen it all!”
They were not worried about their relationship, they were drunk and dared to talk about everything. After all, they had a life-long relationship and knew each other well, but they had not been suspicious or dissatisfied because of the conflict of interests, so they decided it was fine for those two to wear a pair of trousers together. 2
Bai Duan opened to the door of the new world by the brave, perverted, and violent men in the army. He was dizzy from the alcohol, but the burden in his heart suddenly loosened, as if he had thought of something.
Because there are still responsibilities requiring their bodies, they did not stay out too long and dispersed. Bai Duan was full of liquor, with a red face and dim vision, steps a little shaky. Song Ying could not leave him like this but also worried about his mistakes. He simply helped him up and sent him back to the Regent’s palace, to Zhou Mo.
Zhou Mo’s eyes were everywhere and naturally knew where Bai Duan had gone and what he had done. He had received the news early and waited by the gate. As soon as he saw the figures of Bai Duan and Song Ying, he walked over quickly.
Being stared at by the familiar sense of oppression, Song Ying quickly dropped his hand and pushed Bai Duan into Zhou Mo’s bosom. His innocent face assured him that he had no illusions about Bai Duan.
Zhou Mo glanced at him. “Go back.”
“Yes, yes!” Song Ying rubbed his hands and was accustomed to the fact that his general, who had always been generous and calm, always became small-bellied in any matter with Bai Duan. He watched Zhou Mo pull Bai Duan into his bosom, half hugged and half dragged. His eyes were so tender that they could almost drip out water. He could not help feeling his heartbeat. “Mr. Bai was just temporarily unable to think, but everyone could see that he was interested in you, general. Today, the brothers also advised him, you…give him some more time.”
Zhou Mo turned his eyes to Song Ying and nodded slightly, “Thank you very much.” After a pause, he raised his eyebrow slightly. “You really care about him, but I’m afraid I can’t wait. What can you do for him?”
Song Ying knew he had lost his word and immediately laughed, turned around, and slipped away. In his heart, he secretly slandered his general as a big vinegar jar. 3 Shouldn’t he avoid it if he couldn’t afford it?
Zhou Mo smoothly ‘chased’ away the eye-catching person, and was in a good mood, so he returned to the house with his drunken sweetheart and settled down in bed.
Faced with such a sweet and delicious lover without any defense, whether he eats, eats, or…how about it? ^_^