During one particular day, when the end of autumn was inching closer, Mo Shu went through the hall straight towards the front yard where Nan Ge Er was, bursting with joy while doing so, “Let’s go.”
“Go?” Clearing weeds from the garden, Nan Ge Er found Mo Shu rather ridiculous as he glanced at him.
“To the mountain.”
“Huh?” Nan Ge Er looked at him, even more confused.
“It’s a good time to hunt; Zhu Xi approved it.” Mo Shu replied with a smile.
“Hunt?” Nan Ge Er repeated in a daze.
“Let’s go.” Mo Shu pulled Nan Ge Er up in a swoop, before dashing out.
“Hey.” Nan Ge Er was hauled away by Mo Shu, with mud in one hand and grass in another, “You didn’t even make yourself clear, why the need to go?”
“To hunt on the mountain.” Mo Shu revealed a slightly perplexed expression, “Didn’t I said that before?”
“You going up the mountain has nothing to do with me.” Nan Ge Er snapped, rubbing his mud-filled hands on Mo Shu’s clothes while he was at it. When Mo Shu was around, he did all the laundry. That was why Nan Ge Er could wreck his clothes without any bit of care.
Disregarding Nan Ge Er’s little movements, Mo Shu coughed, “Zhu Xi said that I can only go if you agree to go with me.”
Nan Ge Er jerked his lips, “So?”
“Let’s go together.” Mo Shu smiled, “It’s fun to go up the mountain. The kids in the district love going up the mountain, but they aren’t as obedient as you, so I wouldn’t bring them along.”
Nan Ge Er’s tone was unpleasant, “I have to thank you for recognizing my worth then.” You’re the child here; your whole family are all children, you bastard!
“No need to thank me.” Mo Shu chuckled, “Let’s hurry and go. ”
Nan Ge Er struggled a bit but to no avail. He had no choice but to stand right there, “I’m not going.”
“Why not?” Instead of revealing a shocked expression, Mo Shu smiled at him.
“Too troublesome.” Nan Ge Er’s brows furrowed.
“It’s really fun.” Mo Shu laughed, “Don’t you want to take a look at something fun?”
“Nope.” Seizing the opportunity when Mo Shu was distracted, Nan Ge Er forcefully pulled his arms back. I’m satisfied just by living alone. As for things that aren’t necessary to survival, those referred to as ‘joyful’, I’m not quite willing to look at them.
“Why did you use that much force?” Mo Shu frowned rather disapprovingly, “Won’t your hands hurt?”
“Nope.” Nan Ge Er shot a glance at his own arm as he blurted coolly. He walked back, continuing to loosen the soil. He did feel slight pain, but it wasn’t that considerable.
“Xiao Nan.” Mo Shu called behind him, his tone annoyed. “I don’t like your current attitude.” Nan Ge Er continued doing his work without even turning his head. “You wouldn’t want to witness me getting angry.” Mo Shu’s voice was deeper than before, with a hint of danger leaking out.
Nan Ge Er simply squatted down with his back away from him. With all things considered, he figured that Mo Shu wasn’t someone who would lash his anger out at others when things didn’t go his way, thus he dared to ignore him like so. Even if Mo Shu wanted to lash out… Truthfully, he could do nothing about it anyway. He just wanted to survive due to his instincts, while wishing to live on as well. However, he didn’t obsess on the need to survive. He merely tried his best, without his former will to survive at all costs. In short, he just felt tired and lazy.
Peering at the back view of the slightly weak figure, which was as guarded as a hedgehog, Mo Shu didn’t know why he felt a light pain in his heart. He stood at the same spot for a while, deciding not to mind Nan Ge Er’s cold attitude in the end. He sighed before walking toward him.
Hearing the nearing footsteps of Mo Shu, Nan Ge Er tightened his body instinctively.
“Both of us won’t do well if you continue that.” Those were the only words spouted by Mo Shu. He walked to Nan Ge Er’s side, squatting down similarly, “Come with me, won’t you? I planned to make another soft fur coat for you in the coming winter. If not, I’m worried that you will catch a cold again.”
Nan Ge Er paused his movements, muted.
“Zhu Xi knows you’re the only one who can control me, that’s why he wanted you to go with me.” Mo Shu whispered, “If you don’t go with me, I will never be able to go up the mountain this year.”
Nan Ge Er remained silent.
“You just have to accompany me up to the mountain. There’s no need to do anything else.”
Nan Ge Er’s hands came to a halt.
“So, please go with me, alright?” Mo Shu urged Nan Ge Er, his tone was slightly fawning and soothing.
“Hmm?” Mo Shu wasn’t sure what Nan Ge Er mumbled just then.
“Why do you treat me well?” There is no reason to do that at all; I have nothing of worth. I am dismissible, any random person in Guang Tian is much better than me.
“No idea.” Mo Shu was stunned for a moment before letting out a faint smile. He reached his hand out to pat Nan Ge Er’s head, “Do I need a reason?”
“I don’t know.” Nan Ge Er muttered.
“Since you don’t know either, so, no reason is needed.” Making an arbitrary conclusion, Mo Shu chuckled, “I do that just because I wanted to. That’s what I’ve always done.”
“What a truly instinctive way of living.” Nan Ge Er’s voice was barely a whisper.
Mo Shu chuckled faintly, “Perhaps so. Why did you relent so suddenly?” He was able to detect Nan Ge Er’s willingness to accompany him from his words. Mo Shu was somewhat confused by it. He initially thought they would have a long conversation while having countless of unfair rules set.
“My mother once told me, a person who treats me sincerely will be willing to compromise and yield to me.” Nan Ge Er muttered.
Those words came from the mother of his past life. As a teenager, he was rebellious and irritable. Since he always wandered around and refused to go to school, his mother had to search for him frantically every day. After finding him, she would continuously scold him and talk with him. Nonetheless, he was still stuck in his ways, continually skipping class to fool around. His mother said that to him during one occasion when she found him. Unwilling to harm him because he was treasured and cherished, yet unable to give up on him, so a resigned compromise would be made.
“What an intelligent lady.” Mo Shu smiled lightly.
“I thought…there would never, ever… be such a person again.” After his arrival to the present world, such a person ceased to exist. Nan Ge Er’s words were vague, so Mo Shu wasn’t able to hear it clearly. He asked him to repeat it out of slight curiosity. However, Nan Ge Er went silent again. Noting his silence, Mo Shu stopped talking, and instead squatted down together with him.
After a long while, Nan Ge Er finally muttered, “I don’t know.” He didn’t know why Mo Shu treated him as such; tolerating, conceding and compromising towards him. It confused him a little, even causing a slight uneasiness to well up in him.
“I don’t know either.” Mo Shu’s reply was rather calm instead. “Luckily, there’s only one of you, so it probably wouldn’t cause that much problems for me.” On the contrary, he was relaxed about it.
“You totally missed the point.” Nan Ge Er murmured gloomily, “Didn’t even understand a single bit of it.”
“A lot of things aren’t as clear as you thought it to be.” Mo Shu hung a faint smile on his face, as he patted his forehead, “You’re too serious, living like that will be tiring.”
“Please forgive how insufficient my ability is, as compared to that instinctive living method of yours.” Nan Ge Er shot a glare at him.
Mo Shu didn’t even have the slightest bit of shamefulness, as he grinned, “It’s alright, I won’t despise you.”
“But I do despise you.” Nan Ge Er gritted his teeth.
“Don’t mind so much about it. Let’s go.” Mo Shu had no care of what Nan Ge Er was fretting about. He stood up, pulling Nan Ge Er up along the way.
Due to squatting down for an extended period of time, Nan Ge Er, having a weak body beforehand, ended up plunging headfirst into Mo Shu’s bosom from the wobbling of his numbed legs.
What an absurd scenario… Nan Ge Er harped in his heart miserably. If I’m a pretty daughter in a humble family or a virtuous daughter of a noble house, this scene would have been perfect. Instead, it turned into a gay romance drama…
The first male lead was engrossed and tactful, “Your feet went numb? Do you want me to massage them?”
The second male lead spat out a word unfeelingly, “Scram.” Pushing away the first male lead, he limped away.
“Where are you going? The door isn’t that way.” Mo Shu shouted to Nan Ge Er’s back.
Nan Ge Er returned him a ‘beautiful’ eye roll, “I’m not as swift as you, I have to pack my stuff.” Actually, he wanted to curse ‘you fucking idiot’ to him.
Since they were heading to the mountain, they definitely couldn’t return by night time. Thus, preparations to camp outside were absolutely needed. He was just a fragile and average person, unlike those highly skilled martial artists.
Why does the gentle and touching emotion pass so fleetingly? All in all, it is caused by Mo Shu’s level of idiocy being unfitting for such a scenario and emotions, isn’t it? I’m so dumb, always having an unrealistic expectation and fantasy for this fellow. I’m so dumb, didn’t I completely understand this fellow’s nature long ago? Why am I still moved by him? I’m so dumb, I really am…
Throughout his walk back, Nan Ge Er filled his mind with resentment. That phrase repeated all over in his heart. Nan Ge Er had turned into Nan Lin Sao1
1 Nan Lin Sao: Nan Ge Er was referring to ‘Lin Sao’, aka Xiang Lin’s Wife, aka the female protagonist in the novel, The New Year Sacrifice, by Chinese author Lu Xun. One of her common phrases was ‘I’m so dumb, I really am’. More info: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selected_Stories_of_Lu_Hsun#The_New_Year_Sacrifice