Chapter 10: Arc 1 – Rural Love 10 : Finicky
The villagers were really busy during the day and at night, they did not have much pastime activities. Almost all of them went back to their houses to sleep; mainly to take advantage of the time when it was quite chilly. After an exhausting day, they felt as if they could fall asleep the moment they lay on their pillows.
Huang Dan left the door open for Li Gen. When Chen Jin Hua got up to go to the latrine, she saw that the door was open so she hurriedly closed it tightly. She pulled the door bolt and even nagged away at herself, saying that the door was not closed tightly, thieves could enter and they would no longer be able to celebrate the year.
Not long after, Li Gen climbed over the wall and entered in. He knocked on the wooden window of Huang Dan’s room.
Huang Dan went to open the window and moved sideways to let the man in.
Li Gen, with one hand on the windowsill, jumped effortlessly into the room. “Didn’t I say to leave the door open for me?”
Huang Dan said, “My mom closed it.”
Li Gen, “…”
He kicked off his shoes and went to bed. With his hands behind his head, he closed his eyes. “Sleep.”
Huang Dan listened to a buzz in his ear and slapped it vigorously against the empty space. The mosquito escaped by chance leaving his palms numb.
That was very loud, Li Gen’s eyes moved and they were opened in a slit. Through the thin moonlight, he saw the young man sitting at the end of the bed. There was an 80% chance that he had hurt himself again.
“What are you doing?”
Huang Dan said, “There are many mosquitoes.”
Li Gen turned over and said, “Swat slowly, I’ll go to sleep first.”
The place where the mosquito bit was extremely itchy. Huang Dan scratched his arms and scratched his thighs. He found that the man was motionless. “Ge, the mosquitoes don’t bite you?”
Li Gen said, “My skin is rough, my flesh is thick.”
Huang Dan said, “You are really quite rough.”
Li Gen, “…”
Huang Dan went to look for the cattail leaf fan, grabbed it and lay on the bed. He said as he waved the cattail leaf fan. “Ge, are you hot?”
Li Gen inwardly said, “Hot ah, how could I not be hot? Your Ge’s heart is burning fire; I don’t know when I will draw the fire to you and let us burn together.
Huang Dan fanned for a while before he gave the cattail leaf fan to Li Gen. “Here, your turn.”
Li Gen was upset. “Go to the other side.”
Huang Dan took off his upper garment and wiped the sweat formed on his face with it. The bath he took was in vain. “Ge, I won’t sleep with you. I’ll sleep on the floor of the hall, it’s cooler there.”
Listening to the words, Li Gen gritted his teeth, “Come back!”
Huang Dan, who was walking slowly to the door, quickly lay back in bed after hearing the words.
Li Gen cursed in his heart. He grabbed the cattail leaf fan and fanned them vigorously.
The bump behind Huang Dan’s head did not alleviate. He was sleeping on his stomach with his face askew on the mat, and his eyes were narrowed comfortably.
“Ge, you go faster.”
“Then you be harder a little more.”
“So naggy, fan yourself!”
The cattail leaf fan made squeaky sounds from Li Gen’s fanning. Damn, how come anything that came out of this brat’s mouth had changed meaning?
It was certainly not him who was sick. It was this brat.
Huang Dan sighed and moved underneath the fan. His hot face was sticking to the mat. When he was about to fall asleep, a small bag with the number 88 struck on it dropped down in his mind.
The system’s voice sounded, “Mr. Huang, you used the dead fish eye and had gotten double points, a total of 176 points, deducting the 39 points from your last credit, you have 137 points, do you wish to store them in the housefly cabinet?”
Huang Dan said, “Yes.”
The system said, “A housefly cabinet costs 2 points, which will be deducted directly from your points.”
Huang Dan replied with a yes. He then said, “Mr. System, can you let me hear what’s going on in Li Gen’s heart?”
The system, “Needs 10,000 points.”
Huang Dan, “Take it that I didn’t say that.”
At about two o’clock at night, Li Gen got up and pushed the young man beside him. “Dong Tian, wake up.”
Li Gen shouted a few more times before he went to pinch the young man’s nose. He saw that the young man opened his mouth to breathe. His eyes went dark and he whispered, “Do you want your Ge to get sick?”
“Why haven’t I found out that you were so naughty…”
Li Gen sat on the bed as he removed the hand that was pinching the young man’s nose and fondled with the young man’s face before moving to his neck.
Huang Dan frowned. He grasped the hand and murmured bitterly, “Hurts…”
Li Gen’s heart jumped, and he instantly removed his hands. His breaths were chaotic. He gulped his saliva and his voice was hoarse and dry. “Do you know, every time when you are like this, being so pitiful, your Ge would feel a restlessness all over his body? I want to hit you and make you feel more painful.”
He pinched his temple with his other hand. The one who was sick was him.
“Zhang Dong Tian, I will count to three. If you don’t get up, I won’t wait for you.”
Still no response.
Li Gen swore and pulled the person up. The other party was so flabby that he almost fell back. Li Gen simply put his arm around him, “Wake up.”
Huang Dan muttered discontentedly, “I just fell asleep.”
Li Gen rolled his eyes. Your Ge didn’t even sleep. “Okay, hurry up. Tidy up and we’ll go.”
After a yawn, Huang Dan rested his chin on the man’s shoulder, as well as his head. His nose gently breathed out a warm breath that sprayed onto Li Gen’s neck.
Li Gen’s entire body went rigid. He was at a loss, just like a fool.
He fell asleep again. Li Gen was so angry that he grabbed the young man’s hand and bit the back of his hand.
Huang Dan woke up from the pain and was drowsily shrieking and making an uproar.
At this point, it was still pitch black outside and the roosters were still dreaming.
Huang Dan washed his face and sobered a lot. He took a snakeskin bag, a wooden stick with a fork in front, and went to pack the water and the cake that had been made the last night. Suddenly, he heard the voice of Chen Jin Hua from the house. “Dong Tian, you come in.”
He was stunned. She was up so early?
Inside the room, the kerosene lamp was lit up and Chen Jin Hua was leaning on the bed. “Follow Li Gen, he’s very good at catching snakes and ask him to give you two.”
Huang Dan said, “What if he won’t give?”
Chen Jin Hua said, “Forgot it if he doesn’t give you. Mom just wants to tell you, don’t be embarrassed to open your mouth, you have to be bold and daring in expressing your thoughts.”
Huang Dan, “Oh.”
“Most of the snakes in the early green hills are not posionous. There are many of them. The number of snakes you catch will be the number you have.” Chen Jin Hua said, “The money gained from the sale this time, together with the money mom has saved for you, will be enough to build a new house. After a year, we can get a matchmaker to run around and help you obtain a marriage.”
Huang Dan said, “Mom, let’s just leave the marriage aside. Nobody would want to follow me.”
Chen Jin Hua’s mood went out of control. “What did Mom tell you? You are no worse than anybody else!”
Huang Dan hung his eyebrows, looking inferior and introverted.
Chen Jin Hua’s tone relaxed somewhat. “If only you had brothers and sisters who could support each other, Mom would not have to worry so much.”
She sighed, “Like Aunt Wang, who has two sons. They are both born handsome. Even if the second child spent all day outside, he still managed to get an educated wife. No one can be more fortunate than that.”
Huang Dan’s eyes flashed. Chen Jin Hua had mentioned to him more than once that Wang Yue Mei was blessed. It was not clear whether her tone was of jealousy or envy, or it was just a plain ruefulness. He looked up, absorbed in his thoughts.
Chen Jin Hua said, “What are you daydreaming about? Whatever Mom has told you, have you noted all of that?”
Huang Dan said, “Noted.”
He asked abruptly, “Mom, this leg of yours, how did it get lame?”
Chen Jin Hua said, “It has been a few years. Why do you mention this for no reason? Go and pack up your things and go to your second uncle’s house. Ying Xiong is also going to catch snakes this time. You two accompany each other and go find Li Gen together.”
Ten minutes later, more than a dozen strong men gathered at the entrance of the village, carrying packages prepared by their wife.
No sooner had they crossed the hill than the youngest Zhang Ying Xiong said that he was not going.
Huang Dan also did not want to go as he did not get enough sleep. His mental state was very poor, “I will go back with you.”
Li Gen frowned. “Dong Tian, your mom told me that if you want to go to the early green hills, you must follow me.”
Huang Dan looked at the man with hidden bitterness.
Li Gen pretended that he did not see it.
Zhang Ying Xiong kept on yawning. He pulled Huang Dan’s hand and said, “Dong Tian, I’ll go back by myself. You should pay attention when you are in the early green hills. It’s fine if you can catch any snakes but just don’t get bitten by them.”
Huang Dan still had a circle of tooth prints on his hand.
Li Gen pushed back Zhang Ying Xiong’s hand. “Okay, don’t be fussy, Ying Xiong, you go back to the village.”
Zhang Ying Xiong, “…”
Zhang Ying Xiong gave all his food to Huang Dan, waved his hand and ran back to sleep.
After passing through the mass graveyard, Huang Dan completely lost his drowsiness. He breathed in the fresh air, which was only present during the cool night. During the day, the ground was hot, so hot that it made people want to climb upward.
Li Gen walked ahead as he talked to Da Hu and Da Long. He would turn around from time to time. Others thought that he had something behind his leg; they didn’t know that he was watching a person.
It was unknown how long they’ve walked. It was almost daybreak.
A group of people stopped by the reservoir outside Village Yin. They ate something and continued on their journey.
Huang Dan took a few bites of the cake. It had long gone cold and hard. From his mouth to his stomach, it was pressing painfully at his organs. He looked at the sunrise and felt a little better.
Li Gen called Huang Dan behind the a tree and took out some peaches from the bag. “For you.”
Huang Dan didn’t like to eat this wild peach. It was furry. It still felt furry even after washing, causing his body to itch all over. “Sour, I am not eating.”
Li Gen said, “Finicky.”
He took a bite of the peach’s flesh. “This is sweet, I love sourness, you take this to eat.”
Huang Dan brought the peach to his mouth and bit into it. Peach juice oozed out and it was really sweet instead of sour. He ate up the peach flesh quickly and threw out the peach pit. Maybe it could grow a peach seedling next year.
Afterwards, Li Gen took a bite out of all the peaches first. He gave those that tasted sweet to Huang Dan.
They finished a dozen peaches.
Huang Dan ate the peaches and he also conveniently ate the man’s saliva. Something suddenly occurred to him, “Ge, did you not brush your teeth?”
Li Gen’s face twisted instantly. “Brushed.”
Huang Dan was in doubt, “Why didn’t I see you brushing your teeth?”
Li Gen felt guilty and angrily said, “I said that I’ve brushed then that means I’ve brushed, why do you talk so much nonsense?”
Huang Dan stopped talking.
Li Gen showed a long face. “Mind your business!”
He stuffed the bag in his pocket, got up and left.
There was nobody by the river, not even the wild ducks.
Li Gen squatted and brushed his teeth. He scolded with a lisp, “You dare disdain Lao Zi, you must be tired of living.”
After spitting out the toothpaste foam, Li Gen washed his face. He stood up and turned around. When he saw a person standing behind him, he cursed fuck and almost fell into the river.
Huang Dan looked at the man and the toothbrush in his hand. “Didn’t you say you had brushed your teeth?”
Neither was Li Gen’s face red or was his heart jumping. “Why? Your Ge loves to be clean, can’t I brush twice in the morning?”
Huang Dan, “…”