Chapter 6: Miscalculation (Part 2)
Very unfortunate events
“Asakritos! Get out here, you coward!” The roar drowned out Feisha’s screams for help.
Echoing down the hallway, hurried thumps approached. Soon, Asa’s hulking silhouette appeared at the entrance. Gripped in his hand was a spiked baseball bat.
Yes Asa, smash his face in with that thing!
“I see you’ve finally come, coward Asa. I thought you’d have crawled back into your momma’s womb as soon as you heard my voice!”
Shock was written all over Asa’s face. “Darhk! Why are you here!?”
“Could you guys…reunite…later…?” Feisha wheezed with difficulty, face completely red. “Just…stop this laundry…hanging…first…okay?”
“Laundry hanging?” Darhk swung him around by the collar a bit. “Like this? Can you feel the slight breeze?”
“…” Feisha’s last words of choice was a succinct middle finger.
“Let go of him, Darhk! He’s human; he’ll die!” panicked Asa as Feisha’s eyes slowly rolled to the back of his head.
“Okay. Catch!” Darhk complied easily and swung out his arm.
Asa could only follow the diminishing projectile with his eyes, until-
On a certain floor in Noah’s Ark, a pair of black wings unfurled, gracefully flew to a certain destination and caught the limp body.
“Goddamn black-winged traitor!” spat Darhk.
“You’ve gone too far this time, Darhk,” Asa said furiously.
“Pfft, did you just tell me that I’ve gone too far? You really are getting more and more cowardly with every passing day, Asa,” Darhk managed between snickers. “The past you would’ve grabbed me by the collar and screamed, “You wanna die!?” Now you just tell me that I’ve gone too far- oh man, you’re killing my sides.”
Asa ignored his mockery. “Why are you here?”
The laughter ceased as Darhk looked gave Asa a cold look. “Because I have courage.”
“It’s a violation of the peace treaty.”
“Who cares?” grumbled Darhk. “We titans are a race of warriors, not a bunch of cowards whose lives are dictated by a flimsy piece of paper!”
“You joined the Liberation Resistance?” Asa asked in a dark tone.
“Hah, let’s stop dwelling on details, shall we? You owe me a rematch from two thousand years ago!” At this, Darhk thumped on his chest. “Come on, coward Asa, let me see if you have any talents beyond crying for mercy.”
“I will not fight you.”
“You can’t not fight me. As the head of security at Noah’s Ark, you have the responsibility of dealing with all trespassers. Heh, I spent two thousand years thinking up this genius plan to make you fight me. I am both shocked at my own intelligence, and afraid for your life…”
“PUNCH HIM! KICK HIM! BEAT HIM UP UNTIL HE SHITS HIMSELF AND BEGS FOR MERCY!”
Asa and Darhk looked up at the same time to see a human, backed by a pair of black wings and foaming at the mouth with fury.
“Shut up, stupid human!” Darhk roared.
“No matter how stupid I am I wouldn’t spend two thousand years thinking up such a retarded plan, you pig-head!” Feisha roared back.
Darhk was livid. “PIG-HEAD!? Did you just compare the likes of me to a low-tier animal!? Do you wanna die?”
“I’m sorry,” said Feisha, immediately. Darhk, taken aback by his reply, paused.
“…As I thought, humans are a weak race,” he huffed.
“I’m sorry, pigs, for degrading your species!” Feisha suddenly shouted. “Please forgive me for almost lumping a moron in with you!”
Darhk stamped his feet in anger and charged at him. Watching the face of rage enlarge at a worryingly fast rate, Feisha froze. The arms circled around his waist tightened before the world before his eyes started moving – they were flying up – and with it Darhk’s face decreased in size.
Seeing Darhk bristle with ire, Feisha burst into peals of gleeful laughter. A cool voice sounded from behind him-
“Grade one error, a penalty of $1500 will be deducted from your salary.”
The laughter broke off as if someone had ripped out his throat.
Darhk, frustrated, stamped his feet at the pair of black wings hovering above. He suddenly took out a pair of nun-chucks from the inside of his pants and ran at Asa, spinning it like a helicopter.
Gin was leaning on the door-frame, lightly sniffing the rose in his hands before offering it to Hughes.
“The most tender and beautiful rose, of which only you are worthy.”
Hughes’ cheeks gained a light flush, but his eyes remained firmly glued to the two figures in the front counter.
“This is all my fault; I should’ve taught Feisha how to distinguish between travel passes.” Then he wouldn’t have let Darhk in.
A corner of Gin’s lips curled up into a sneer. “Hmph, that rude brat ought to learn some lessons the hard way.”
Hughes whipped around. “Don’t tell me you…”
“That’s right; I distracted you on purpose so you’d forget to tell him.” Gin pouted, canines resting softly on his bottom lip. “He laughed at my teeth.”
Hughes was speechless.
Darhk’s spinning nun-chucks loomed over Asa’s head, emitting a deathly aura much like that of a meat grinder.
In response, Asa slowly raised his bat.
Gin and Hughes held their breaths.
Like a kite that has had its strings cut, Darhk quickly dropped off the front counter and disappeared into the darkness. Asa lowered his bat, staring after him.
In the end, it was Feisha who broke the silence: “Don’t you think one and a half thousand is a bit too much?”
“Absence without leave, extra penalty of five hundred dollars.”
“Wait, so in these three days not only do I not get this month’s salary, but somehow also racked up a debt?”
“One thousand dollars.”
Feisha was silently sitting on the open ground at front counter. In fact, he’d been sitting there for two hours now, starting from when Darhk left.
“We had salmon for dinner,” Gin said as he strolled to where Feisha was sitting with his head propped on one arm. His other hand was lazily tracing patterns into the ground. Gin added after a while:
“Hughes is your mentor. He was supposed to teach you all the precautions after the meeting. Except-” Gin waggled his eyebrows lecherously before continuing- “I distracted him.”
Feisha’s hand paused momentarily.
“This is the consequence of mocking one who comes from the noble blood clan.” Even as Gin raised his head in arrogance, his eyes were desperately glued onto Feisha’s figure, watching for a reaction.
Feisha continued to trace meaningless shapes.
Spotting Hughes’ figure frowning disapprovingly by the doorway, Gin lowered his head. “But, I have decided to graciously overlook your wrongdoings.” So thank me, worship me…
Hughes could take no more and stormed over to the duo, Gin immediately attaching himself like glue. And so, the room suddenly had one less person and one more pile of clothes.
“Hughes!” Gin groaned disappointingly. The surroundings remained still. Gazing sadly at the pile of clothes on the ground, Gin sighed:
“Make sure to put your clothes on before reappearing, okay?”
“To be honest, honey,” Gin said after a while, “don’t you think it’s time to curb that bad habit of not wearing underwear? I know it’s more convenient this way, but…”
He caught the shoe that came flying at his face and quickly added, “Erm, I’m just worried for your health.” Blowing kisses around him, Gin made to leave.
“I’ll be waiting for you in my room. It’s okay if you show up without clothes as well.” He smoothly caught the other shoe, put them down neatly side by side and left with one last forlorn gaze.
One by one, clothes from the pile floated up. Hughes straightened his collar, reappeared and sat down next to Feisha.
“I’m sorry,” was the soft greeting. Feisha raised his head.
“I didn’t do my job as your mentor.”
“Maybe it’s because I’ve been here for so long. Doing the same, monotonous things every day and welcoming one human after another to the point where I seem to have forgotten that you all are new to this, and are quite fragile-“
“I’m not new to this.”
“I’m not new to this. I’ve had two years of work experience in a hotel, and within those two years I was promoted from a mere assistant manager to the front desk manager.”
“That’s better than me,” Hughes smiled lightly. “I’ve been here for three thousand years and still haven’t seen a single promotion.”
“I’m also not fragile. I might be human, but we have intelligence. At least, more than that titan who spent two thousand years thinking up that ludicrous plan of his.”
“Yes, that much is certain,” Hughes nodded.
“Therefore, I don’t blame you. We’re both at fault for this,” Feisha said. “I should’ve come to ask you about basic things like this.”
Hughes looked at him gently. Suddenly, Feisha thrust out a hand-
“So, seven hundred and fifty dollars please.”
“Eh?” His outburst was met with a look of surprise.
Feisha spoke through gritted teeth. “Isefel told me earlier that my mistake was grade one, and gave me a pay deduction of one and a half thousand dollars. Since we’re both at fault for this, obviously you’re responsible for half of that.”
Hughes thought about this for a moment. “Your currency is…?”
An idea occurred to Feisha. “Since you and your boyfriend seem to get up to some real interesting shit behind closed doors, how about you pay in pounds?”
“You just admitted that we were both at fault for the mistake a moment ago.”
“But we only use gold coins,” said Hughes, helplessly.
Feisha gulped. “I shall reluctantly accept your offer.”
Hughes nodded: “Okay.”
“When are you going to give it to me?” Feisha was overjoyed.
“Don’t worry, I’ll hand it straight to Isefel for you,” Hughes said as he patted Feisha on the shoulder. “Oh, you haven’t had dinner yet, have you? Dinner tonight was salmon; Gin specially requested Antonio for it. There are a lot of leftovers in the fridge, make sure you go eat some, okay?”
On the way to the dining hall, one lone phrase replayed in Feisha’s mind like a broken record: I’ll hand it straight to Isefel for you…
Sitting at the place that Feisha had previously occupied, a grin suddenly found its way onto Hughes’ face as he reached out and lightly drew a circle over Feisha’s doodles. A beam of light emerged from the ground, fading away to reveal a drawing-
A buck-toothed man. There was an arrow next to him, pointing at three big words: Gin, you motherfucker.
Gripped in his hand was a spiked baseball bat.
What Asa was holding wasn’t actually a spiked baseball bat, but rather a 狼牙棒 láng yá bang (lit. wolf’s teeth club). I don’t believe there’s an English translation for this, but just think of the ball part of a flail, and elongate it into a bat. A spiky metal bat.
“Darhk! Why are you here!?”
There are no mythological figures called 达克 (dá kè), so I named him after Damian Darhk :p
“You joined the Liberation Resistance?”
The Chinese name for this organisation is called 逆九会 nì jiǔ huì (lit. reverse nine organisation).
“I’m sorry, pigs, for degrading your species!”
Instead of addressing pigs as a whole, what Feisha actually does is cry out at Zhu BaJie. You can learn more this mystical pig here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zhu_Bajie
“Since you and your boyfriend seem to get up to some real interesting shit behind closed doors, how about you pay in pounds?”
Puns, oh how I love thee.
As per usual, here is the original quote: 为了迁就你的发色，美金吧 wèi le qiān jiù nǐ de fǎ sè, měi jīn ba (lit. To accommodate your hair colour, USD will do). Here’s the part where I have to confess something: all the currency in this novel was originally in Chinese yuan. Anyway. The conversion from yuan to US dollars is roughly 1 USD = 5 yuan, so Feisha is trying to scam Hughes for some money because he’s a stingy mofo.
USD in Chinese is 美金 měi jīn (lit. American gold). This sets us up for a great pun, because in addition to being the first character of the word America (美国 měi guó), 美 can also mean beautiful, which gives the word for USD a double meaning of ‘beautiful gold’. Hughes is a blondie- do you see what I’m getting at?
Now for the English translation. First things first – all currency is already in USD, so a currency that converts to be ‘worth more’ than USD must be used. The gist of the translation is that Gin and Hughes get up to quite a lot of…pounding. Just- think about how Gin said he distracted Hughes.