Chapter 1.8 – Fourty Thousand
“Where does your family live? Who else is there in your family? What are you doing staying in the temple?” The youth poured himself a cup of tea. Finding that the water had cooled, he merely took a sip and put it down.
You Shu quickly cleaned himself up, opened the luggage and rummaged through for a while, his fair and tender white butt facing the youth. The youth wanted to laugh again. He stepped forwards and pulled out a thick cotton jacket from the chest and wrapped it around his body.
“Thank you. You sit down ba. I can take care of myself, it is not a problem to take care of you.” You Shu patted his small chest and used a cloth towel to wipe his body and hair dry, and then put on his trousers and jacket.
You Shu breathed a sigh once his body was dry and clean. From the bottom of the bed, he pulled out a small chest and asked, “Are you hungry? Would you like to eat something?” He received a fright just now and urgently needed to eat something to suppress the shock.
“I just used a meal half a sichen ago.” The youth waved his hand in refusal. 1
You Shu’s heart was secretly delighted. His eyes turned around and around. Seeing the appearance of his mouth speaking differently from his heart made the youth endlessly laugh in his sleeve. Just like everyone in the end of the world, You Shu not only had the habit of hoarding food, he was extremely stingy with sharing. Whoever wanted to seize it from his mouth was the same as asking for his life. That question just now was just him being polite and courteous. [footnote] laugh in his sleeve – to secretly laugh
Seeing the little bean digging and digging around his lapel, taking out a key with great difficulty which even used a red rope to securely hang it around his neck, the youth originally thought that there was some treasure hidden in the chest. Who would have thought that once it opened, it was rations all wrapped up in oilpaper. Seeing the steamed buns, millet pancakes and other things, the youth shook his head and smiled.
“Be careful that it’s not spoilt.” He kindly warned.
“It is cold now, it won’t spoil.” You Shu took out a package of oilpaper and turned to securely lock up the chest. He pushed it into the space under the bed and hid the key in his clothes.
“I’ll light up a fire, you wait here.” As if anxious the youth will pilfer the food, he stuffed the oilpaper into his bosom, carried a small charcoal brazier and ran to the front courtyard to look for a monk for fire.
The youth stood at the entrance and looked from afar as the little bean stealthily gave the monk a few copper coins. When the high quality charcoal let out a few sparks, he quickly ran back like the wind. He turned the charcoal brazier as he ran back, making the sparks quickly ignite under the breeze of the cold wind. When the little bean had ran closer, the fire was already burning well and hot air rushed to his face, causing the grave and stern eyebrows of the youth melt a little.
“Quickly go back and warm yourself near the fire, it’s cold outside.” You Shu pushed and shoved the youth, and easily took him along into the room. He took out the oilpaper package from his bosom and opened it. There were two cold, hard steamed buns inside. 2
“The kitchen still has warm steamed buns. If you go now, you should still be able to get a few.” The youth pointed in the direction of the kitchen.
“I want to eat toasted steamed buns.” You Shu put up the iron tongs on the charcoal brazier and put the steamed buns on it, turning them from time to time.
After half an hour, a rich charred fragrance drifted in the air, causing people’s mouths to greatly move. You Shu kept swallowing his saliva again and again. Not caring if the steamed bun scalded his hands, he picked it up and broke it in half, and ate it in big mouthfuls. Because he ate too quickly, his throat let out a ‘ao wu ao wu’ sound. 3
The raised his eyebrows and stared at the little bean full of interest. He had no choice but to admit that the other party really knew how to take care of himself. He’s only 5 years old and could take care of his life neatly and orderly. He also knew how to let himself get by better. Just one point, he seems to have an unusual attachment to food.
Seeing the little bean eat very sweetly, the youth’s appetite, which was diminished by his gloomy mood, actually felt somewhat hungry. He turned over and put the other steamed bun on the iron tongs and asked, “Can I have a bit?”
You Shu’s eating movements slightly paused, his eyes unintentionally revealing traces of struggle. If he curried favour with the youth he could hold onto his life, but food was equivalent to life. The weight of the two is the same, how to choose? It’s not the end of the world now. After these things are finished, Song mama can still deliver some over. Thinking about this, You Shu nodded with difficulty. 4
How could the youth not see his reluctance? Seeing his mouth eating and his eyes fixedly staring at him, more specifically staring at the steamed bun in his hand, a secret burst of laughter rang in his heart. How can this little bean protect food like this? And also didn’t know to cover up his feelings. Interesting, truly interesting? Raising him by his side is also good, at least he could have some laughs.
Biting a mouthful of the wafting charred-fragrance steamed bun, the youth’s cold face thoroughly relaxed. He hasn’t had a good meal for a long time. As long as he thought of how he could never return to the capital, his pent-up frustrations couldn’t disappear easily as if he had a fish bone stuck in his throat. But now, seeing the young child who deemed the steamed bun in his hands as the most delicious thing in the world, he actually felt that his current life is not so bad.
“Take it.” He took out 5 tael of silver.
You Shu easily picked it up and foolishly asked, “What for?”
“Your money for selling yourself.”
“I don’t sign death deeds.” You Shu put the silver on the table, his tone was a little nervous, “Sign a life deed every five years, is this possible?”
“Yes.” The youth really didn’t care about this. A young 5-year old child, how can a child be smarter? Is it possible that he was a spy sent over by his enemy? The possibility of this is next to nothing.
Although he thought so in his heart, an investigation should still be done. The youth signed a life contract with You Shu and when he returned to his courtyard, the two bodyguards already clearly checked You Shu’s background and life experience.
“Wang Xianggan’s di son?” The youth muttered. He suddenly shook his head and sighed. A di son just like him, rejected by his father just like him. Didn’t expect that the young child would actually be a fellow sufferer such as himself. Wang Xianggan is a Minister of Military Affairs, one of the highest core powers. He spoiled the mistress and neglected his wife, causing the di son to wander outside in destitute. He has some use. 5
“Go and fetch him over.” The youth waved at the guard. His voice just fell when the sounds of footsteps in the snow, ‘kacha kacha’, came from outside the door.
When the guard pushed the door open and looked, he saw a young child three feet tall holding an enormous package, slowly walking over a step at a time. The package was very bulky and he was too short and small. From afar, it looked like the package grew a pair of feet and could walk on its own.
“Huff…….” The two guards couldn’t hold it and laughed out loud.
The youth resisted the curling of his lips so that he could avoid also avoid breaching etiquette in front of someone. This little bean is clearly tightly withdrawn, yet still didn’t know to curry favour with people, but every move was filled with comicality and can always inadvertently make people happy.
“Why didn’t you get someone to help you?” Hinting at the guards to go and receive the package, the youth stepped forward a few steps, pulling the little bean into the room.
The wing structure of Kaiyuan Temple was similar, only the size of the structure is slightly different. The room of the youth was already the best, but for an imperial kinsmen, I’m afraid it can only be called “simple and crude”. The furnishing in the room was very simple. A table, four chairs, a bed, a cabinet, a brazier without any other furniture.
You Shu gave the room a general sweep and could already understand that although the youth was an imperial kinsman, his current situation was difficult. Compared with himself, I’m afraid it’s just a thin line. He shook the beads of snow off his shoes and imitated the movements of the two guards, bending over and cupping his hands at the youth, and seriously said, “Master, if you have any matters, please instruct me.”
“Pfffff……..” The two guards laughed again. The little bean is only three feet tall, but stubbornly thought that he was full of power and grandeur and could keep up with big and burly eight feet tall people. That solemn expression, his cautious and proud tone, coupled with a small sticky milky voice, had such a big contrast can make people laugh till tears come out.
The youth found that as soon as he met the young child, he would habitually suppress his curling lips. He highly suspected that his skill to not show happiness or anger on his face will eventually be made useless by the young child. Slowly walking to the writing desk, he looked down and stared at the calligraphy book. The feeling of being unable to suppress a smile slightly dissipated. He commanded, “Do you know how to grind an inkstone? Help me grind ink.” Because he was exiled and even came across assassins on the road a few times, his entourage had long died or ran away and only two bodyguards were left. Of course, this was only on the surface.
“I know.” You Shu was quite confident. He wasn’t timid at all, and wasn’t even reserved. Sticking out his small chest, he only realised when he walked to the writing desk that even though his skills were at full points, his height was not enough. Don’t talk about grinding ink, he couldn’t even see where the ink slab was when he tiptoed. He stretched his neck to look here and there, and tiptoed around and around, his ear had a little red flush and could only feel his phobia of embarrassing situations flare up.
The youth was wholly absorbed in practising calligraphy as if he wasn’t aware at all, but the coldness in his eyes had long been replaced by a thick smile. He habitually put his left fist on his lips. The shoulders of the two guards incessantly trembled, their mouths intermittently emitting ‘ppfff pffff’ sounds of laughter. Where did this little cub come from, too funny.
You Shu maintained his calm but his ears became thoroughly red a long time ago. ‘Huff puff’, he moved over a chair and set it by the table. Then his hands and feet simultaneously climbed up, and finally saw the ink slab. He cleared his throat and then spoke frankly with assurance, “There needs to be weight when grinding ink, moderate speed, posture must be upright and must maintain a grasp perpendicular to the ink stick. If grinded in circles perpendicular to the ink slab, you cannot grind in a slant or just push, and you cannot disorderly grind at will. Liu Gongquan has what was called ‘straight brush’ and the inkslab is also the same. If the heart is straight, then the ink stick is also straight. If the ink stick is crooked, then it is offensive to the eye. The ink that was grinded out will also be uneven…..” 6
You Shu felt that it was very necessary to let the youth experience his erudite and competence, otherwise it would be very hard to wash away the previous silly impression. This person was not an ordinary person and was his life-saving talisman. He must firmly grasp onto him and it would be the best if he could achieve the level where they were inseparable. The person who can be inseparable from the Master was definitely the confidant of confidants and this was exactly the goal he’s struggling towards.
Feeling that there’s enough ink to use, You Shu took the inkstick and wiped it dry, then he put it at the side to air out. After that, he stuck out his small chest and looked at the youth. His eyes were glistening and especially bright, but his face was expressionless seemingly very serious.
The youth glanced at him, the corner of his mouth slightly twitching, then he looked again, and continued drawing. Only then did he pressed his left fist on his lips and said in a muffled voice, “Your grinding is pretty good.” The little appearance of still being eager to show off and eager to receive approval was even more amusing.
You Shu ignorantly sighed in relief and still stood on the stool, clasping his hands behind his back and a respectful face, as if he was waiting for orders at any time. Actually, this kind of life of waiting on people, he was already used to it in his previous life. To stay in the research institute, he began to work as a handyman at 10 years old. Those scientists mostly couldn’t toil with their four limbs nor tell the five cereals apart except for going to the toilet and washing their hands. Eating and sleeping and whatnot required the help of others. Over time, it became exercise. 7
Although the youth came from a noble background, his temperament was very mild and his demands were also not too harsh. This work was more relaxed than You Shu imagined.
BLU: Hi~ I hoped you guys enjoyed the chapter! I’ve finally achieved my dream of translating a BL novel!!! 〜(꒪꒳꒪)〜
You Shu is so adorable, it was torture translating this! I couldn’t stop laughing (Ｔ▽Ｔ). Now I have the hiccups.
Ah yes, I translate Sinister Ex-Girlfriend too, so check it out if you’re interested! ( •̀ᄇ• ́)ﻭ✧ <- ambitiously & shamelessly advertising