Chapter 99: Reunion (Part 1)
Translated by satellite of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Feisha coughed once. He hid his expression behind his palm as he pretended to rub at his forehead, throwing Layton a look of warning.
Layton blinked innocently back.
You Pengnan slowly stretched back, his proud smile growing wider as he hunted his prey. “Noah’s Hotel? Forgive my ignorance, but which international hotel chain would that brand be under?”
God only knows what international hotel chains there were in the human world. Layton took a careful step back, pretending to be shy as he hid himself behind Feisha. You Pengnan stared down at Feisha relentlessly, as if waiting for him to back himself into a corner.
Feisha sighed to himself. After spending so long at Noah’s Ark, he didn’t have much in the way of skills, but now he was definitely a master of bluffing his way through with talk. Besides, this was the most trivial of roles to play. He answered with complete calm. “It’s just an exclusive, membership only hotel. It’s not opened to the public.”
You Pengnan raised an eyebrow. “Oh? Which city is it in, and how would I be able to join? I often travel domestically and abroad, and if it’s a nice spot, I’d like to get a membership there too.”
Layton huffed under his breath. “Pff! Seems like nowadays even peasants want to rise into nobility.”
This ‘peasant’s’ eye twitched. “Little child, what did you mean by that? Peasants? You’re not trying to say that there’s still nobility in China today, right? Unless…you’re telling me that you’re nobility?”
Layton took out a gold coin and flicked it over. “Here, a token for you!”
You Pengnan caught it reflexively.
Layton sneered. “Peasants will be peasants.”
You Pengnan clutched the gold coin, his fist trembling in anger. Feisha gave Layton’s tiny boots a kick, warning him to watch his words. He’s only stayed a week so far, but if he was going to be stuck here forever, he needed to avoid causing unnecessary trouble.
Qian LuYou finally spoke to break the tension. “This child is your nephew?”
Feisha gave a vague gesture of affirmation.
Qian Luyou knelt down and held a hand out for Layton. “Come here, let big sister take a look.”
“Big sister?” Layton exclaimed, excessively loudly. He, in his thousand years of age, was expected to call this twenty-something kid big sister!?
Feisha hurriedly picked him up so that his head pressed up against Feisha’s shoulder and his butt faced the rest of them. He carefully ‘calmed’ him. “Yes, yes, I know, it should be ‘Auntie.’ You have to understand, humans always like acting young!” He purposely added extra emphasis on the word ‘human.’
Layton’s hackles slowly sank back down. Qian Luyou thought Feisha was deliberately humiliating her, her face flushing completely red in embarrassment. She obviously wasn’t in any state to notice his odd choice of words. She stood up awkwardly. “It seems like you guys are doing pretty well.”
Feisha smiled back at her.
Qian Luyou’s face darkened, and she forced a laugh. “We still have have other places to go, so we’ll be leaving now.”
When she first met Feisha, she had plenty to offer. When the two of them were together, she’d always often felt like she was giving him the honor of being with her. And yet, this honor wasn’t enough for him to devote himself fully to their relationship. Every other day he’d be working overtime or scheduling appointments– his work always came before her. So this time, she wanted to stand above him, eyebrows raised, forcing him to feel deeply dissatisfied with himself.
But after meeting him again, she realized how ridiculous she was being. She couldn’t see even the slightest hint of irritation, love, or longing in his eyes– there was only a well-hidden sense of impatience. This whole farce of a meeting, from beginning to end, was just a show she was putting on alone, with everyone else reluctantly clapping along. Qian Luyou quietly bottled up her humiliation and resentment, dragging a stubborn and willful You Pengnan with her as she left.
They’d taken about five or six steps away when You Pengnan suddenly sneered loudly at them. “The CEO of Noah’s Hotel? I’d say you’re probably the CEO of Daydream Hotel!”
Layton was trembling with anger, his glasses tilting just slightly on the bridge of his nose from the motion. “You can just stand and take that?”
Feisha put him down and shrugged his shoulders indifferently.
Layton was still undeterred. “Where was this nice guy impression back when you were messing with me and Gin?”
Feisha thought about it for a bit. “I guess I was too lonely back then.” Other than messing around with everyone, there wasn’t much else to do to pass the time.
“Can’t you just be lonely again?” Layton asked.
Feisha replied. “Right now the loneliest thing is the acid rolling around by itself in my stomach– could we find something to go with it?”
“Sulfuric acid should do it, they’ll be compatible.” Layton said.
The cafeteria had been open for so long, they had a couple tricks up their sleeve. Feisha and Layton had been at the mercy of Borja’s cooking for far too long. When they finally had the chance for a normal meal, they immediately stuffed their faces with everything they could shove into their mouths, eating for two whole hours before they finally slowed down.
They were both leaning hard against the wall as they walked out.
Layton burped loudly and said. “I can’t anymore…I think…I’m going to throw up.”
Feisha wasn’t much better, waving incessantly with his hand. “Don’t talk, it’s going to overflow.”
The two of them walked for a while, leaning against each other for support.
Layton asked. “Now….now what?”
“Let’s go home I guess.” Feisha replied. “My stomach feels so round I don’t even want to walk anymore, just want to lie on the ground and roll.”
Layton echoed the sentiment. From the shape of things, he looked even closer to a ball. The two of them arrived home and collapsed onto their respective beds. Thinking that Layton was only going to be around for three days, Feisha had lent him the bedroom. Meanwhile, he pulled some blankets out and settled for the sofa in the living room. Perhaps because he had eaten too much– as soon as he laid down, the food felt like it was going to come right back out of his mouth. He suddenly sat up again.
On the opposite wall hung a calendar, flipped to the month of April. The first was marked with a red pen, a reminder that he had to find a new job.
His eyes slid along the dates, pausing at the black numeral ‘5.’ In the human world, it was still only the fifth.
He rubbed his head. Although he had been back for a day already, walked about all day, he felt like only his body had truly returned. His soul wasn’t quite there. He met an ex-girlfriend and felt a little surprised, a little annoyed, and a little impatient, but there wasn’t the slightest bit of longing or heartache.
Obviously he should’ve liked her. Back when they broke up, he spent several days drowning his sorrows, but why was it that seeing her now was just a like seeing a stranger he happened to recognize?
He sighed and his eyes wandered inadvertently towards the coffee table. The domino earpiece and the feather dyeing agent stood next to each other. He couldn’t help but to reach for the dyeing agent, his heart suddenly thudding with a dull pain.
Isefel’s face suddenly came to mind and took a firm hold over it while Qian Luyou was immediately forced far, far away.
How was it possible? Hadn’t he already returned to the human world? So why was it even more painful than it had been on Noah’s Ark?
Feisha curled up and clutched his knees. Whenever his heart hurt so badly he felt like he’d lose himself, he always wanted to just shrink himself into a ball. But there was way too much in his stomach right now, so he could only curl his legs halfway. Both his heart and stomach hurt, the pain coming in waves that tormented him until he wanted to cry.
“What are you doing?” Layton opened the door and stared at his utterly miserable expression.
“I’m so full I could die.” Feisha punched the sofa.
“If you’re just full, what are you doing with the dyeing agent?”
“…….” Feisha quickly hid it behind him.
“This isn’t called being so full you could die, this is called being dead set and full of it.” (1) Layton walked into the bathroom with the pitter patter of his slippers on the floor. After a long time, he came out, looking refreshed.
Feisha was shocked. “Did you just take a dump?”
Layton nodded happily.
“So fast?” Feisha looked to his short stature and said woefully. “I guess that’s the benefit of having shorter intestines.”
Early the next morning…
Feisha bought some food back for Layton’s meals, then pumped himself up and went out to hunt for jobs. Layton’s wealth aside, he did have some small savings of his own, but he knew that eating idly would soon drain even the deepest coffers.
He couldn’t sleep at all last night, so he went online and looked up the job listings for a few smaller hotels and made a few interview appointments for today. In the past he never would have stooped to applying to these types of places, but the economic crisis had led to a steep decline in hotel bookings. Forget hiring– a hotel was fortunate if it could avoid laying off half the staff. Thus Feisha was forced to continue lowering his standards.
He completed two interviews, and both went pretty well. Feisha found that his luck had finally turned for the better. At least he could avoid stooping to dishwashing for now!
He was standing off to the side of the road, just about dancing with joy, when suddenly a familiar voice called out behind him. “What are you doing here?”
Feisha immediately stiffened and slowly turned back, only to see Tony standing next to a pole, swaying slightly while holding up a goldfish tank.
“Hey. It’s been a while.” It seemed like not only had his luck in careers taken a turn, his luck in friends had too. Before, he would run into someone maybe once every three years or so. Now he was running into them one a day without repeats.
Tony walked towards him quickly and whispered. “You escaped?”
Feisha rolled his eyes. “Did you find a way to escape?” Speaking of which, the two of them could probably be considered brothers-in-arms, fellow sufferers now.
“Then how are you here? Today is only the sixth, it hasn’t been a week yet.”
“Some stuff happened there, so I was let out early.” Feisha pat him a few times on the shoulder. “How have you been recently?”
Tony hesitated a moment, then slowly admitted. “I took over your job.”
Feisha laughed. “Oh. You holding up alright with Wu Zhenjian and that woman of his?”
When Tony was sure he wasn’t angry, he finally smiled and said. “It’s just work, I just consider them the dollars counting away and it’s fine.”
Feisha examined his black suit, and then looked over at the goldfish tank in his hands. “You should be at work right now, why are you out here buying goldfish?”
“A VIP guest wanted it.” Tony’s words were short.
But Feisha knew the way around the hotel business well. Whenever a new hire came in, if they couldn’t wiggle their way into being a top dog, they’d have to bow to everyone else. No matter how you looked at it though, errands like buying goldfish shouldn’t have ended up going to the front desk manager. But even if they were old friends, Feisha knew some explanations would be better left unexposed. So he just smiled and didn’t ask further.
Tony suddenly spoke again. “Oh right, there was a letter of yours delivered to the hotel. Are you free right now? I’ll go back and grab it for you.”
Feisha thought for a good long while, but couldn’t come up with anyone that would be sending him a letter in this day and age. So he nodded and said “Sure.”
This was the hotel Feisha had been at the longest, so as far as feelings go, they should run the deepest here. But at soon as he stepped through the front doors and saw the gorgeous fountain in the middle of the lobby, the only thing that came to mind was Isefel’s massive swimming pool. That crystal clear blue water…and the exceptionally beautiful angel within.
“What’s wrong?” Tony hurried back and saw him staring at the fountain with a desperate look, bordering on despair.
Feisha shoved both hands into his pockets and clenched them tightly. Breathing was so difficult, it felt as if he would suffocate in the next moment. The longing was so intense, it felt as if his heart would splinter and shatter right in his chest!
“Feisha?” Tony was a bit scared now.
Feisha raised his head and forced back the tears in his eyes.
“Hey, are you okay?” Tony held his shoulder gently.
“Do you remember Isefel?”
Tony blanked for a moment. “Are you talking about the fallen angel?”
“What about him?” His impression was actually limited to an exquisitely beautiful face and a pair of terrifyingly dark wings.
“I fell in love with him.”
“……What?” Tony almost dropped the letter he was holding.
Feisha hung his head and smiled bitterly. “And it seems like it might have turned into a bit of an obsession.”
Tony went silent for a long time. He wasn’t sure if he should remind him that he was talking about a fallen angel or if he should remind him that he was talking about a man.
After getting the words off his chest, Feisha suddenly felt like a heavy burden had been lifted. He took the letter in hand and smiled. “It’s good to have someone listening. I’ll be going then.” He began turning to leave.
“Feisha.” Tony chased after him.
Feisha stopped and looked back.
Tony looked at him and smiled. “Do your best to find your own happiness, okay?”
As he left the hotel, Feisha felt like he could finally let out a breath of relief. In this world, there were some feelings that could be stifled and fade away in silence. But there were also feelings that would just grow more wild and frantic the more they were pushed away. Perhaps his feelings for Qian Luyou were the former, but his feelings towards Isefel were definitely the latter.
The human world had TVs, computers, movies…too many things that he’d be reluctant to leave behind. But Isefel wasn’t here in the human world– they couldn’t even share the same air. This alone was enough to turn his hesitance into certainty.
After leaving the human world for half a year, he found that the only things he missed were the bustling streets and the glitterings choices of entertainment around every corner. But after leaving Noah’s Ark for only a day, he found that he missed everyone he met there, every object, even the air and the lights that surrounded him.
Sometimes choices needed to be weighed against each other on the same playing field before a decision could be made.
Tony was right. He had to find his own happiness. Sometimes, even if you do your best to plan for the future, thing don’t work out. So it might be better to start living one day at a time, following his own heart the whole way.
Feisha suddenly clung onto a pole and banged his head against it a few times. “I’ve been so stupid.”
An elementary school kid walked slowly by him. “The most stupid part is someone that wants to kill themselves can’t even choose an empty place to do it. Wrecking the city’s atmosphere.”
“……” This was the first time he realized that he had the power to wreck the city atmosphere.
After calming down, Feisha found a nearby park and sat down on one of the stone benches to open the letter.
It turned out the letter was from his aunt. (2)
After his father passed away, his relationship with his aunt and uncle grew more and more distant. They hadn’t been in contact for at least two years now. In those two years, he’d lost his cell phone twice and changed his number at least once. No wonder why they were sending him a letter in writing.
The letter said that his uncle had passed away in a car accident last month, and if he was free, the funeral was being held on the fourth of this month. There was a photo included in the envelope as well. It was a picture of his uncle with him as a child––a picture of him with the last direct relative he had.
That day, he sat in the park for the entire afternoon, holding the letter and photo tightly in his hand.
1. This joke makes a little more sense in Chinese. Feisha says he’s “撑死” (cheng si), literally “very full dead.” It’s what you say when you’re so full you feel like dying.
However, when the characters are reversed, it’s “死撑”, which I had to look up, but it’s apparently a shortened form of a Cantonese expression, “死鸡撑饭盖”, literally “a dead chicken lifting a pot lid” where the “full” (撑) means to support/lift in this context. It’s referring to a chicken’s legs being stiff even after death, to the point where it’s keeping the pot lid open– it’s a saying that means you’re so stubborn you won’t recognize your mistakes even when you’re already dead.
The closest I could get in English while having some sort of wordplay in there was “dead set” or “full of it” so I dropped them both.
2. The word here for aunt is “婶婶” which specifically refers to the wife of your father’s younger brother. So it’s an aunt, but a very specific type of aunt.