Hell King Sect Series/Yan Wang Sect Series 阎王门系列
Singing Spring Melody 咏春曲 Chapter Four
By: Jue Ming 决明
It’s too easy to be selfish
Bao Chun stood before the main hall, forcing herself to ignore the pleading eyes of the people kneeling there, begging for help.
She kept on telling herself, this is the last chance that Huangfu is giving her, if she is selfish then there is hope for Ruo Xia, and they can finally reunite with Papa.
Unlike before, today, Huangfu was not sitting behind the white curtains. Instead, he sat leisurely behind the desk with his head propped up on his hand, smiling away. The look in his eyes was a reminder to Bao Chun that their lesson of the day was “selfishness”.
Different people seeking help, same place, same dilemma, same decision, and the same choice for her to make.
Perhaps she stayed silent for too long, Huangfu walked over to her and breathed into her ear, “He’s just a stranger, is he really more important than your sister? All you have to say is ’I want to save my sister’, then leave without turning back, and Ruo Xia is saved.” His voice was a low whisper, heard only between the two of them.
Bao Chun hung her head, afraid of the looks she was getting, Huangfu stood beside her, distracting her from looking at the fifteen-year-old boy kneeling before them, waiting for Huangfu to save him.
That boy … he’s only fifteen! He has his whole life ahead of him ….
“What’s wrong?” Huangfu ran his finger across her pale lips, half forcing her to speak up and choose.
Bao Chun looked down. No, she can’t think about others anymore, even though that sickly, frail boy was only fifteen ….
She took a deep breath as she muttered a reply, “I … I want to save my sister.”
“I can’t hear you.” He purposely spoke in a loud voice, so everyone there could hear him.
“I ….” Bao Chun saw the look in the boy’s eyes and closed her own in avoidance, “I want to save my sister.” She needs to be persistent, she needs to save Ruo Xia.
“Very well. Nineteen, show our guest out!” Huangfu smiled contentedly and closed his fan.
“NO! Godly Doctor! Don’t listen to that woman! Save me doctor! Please! Save me!” Unwilling to give up, the boy clung to Huangfu’s right leg and pleaded. He glared at Bao Chun resentfully, his stare piercing through her.
“Nineteen!” Huangfu sighed slightly, Nineteen immediately stepped forward and held the boy back by his arm.
“You selfish broad! How can you be this selfish! You’ll die a horrible death! You selfish b—” The boy was about to run at Bao Chun, Nineteen saw it and immediately threw him out the door.
Having been denied treatment, the boy stood outside the front entrance, and continued to curse Huangfu and Bao Chun. Huangfu still sat there leisurely with a look of contentment, Bao Chun’s face however, drained of all colour.
“See, being selfish is as easy as eating and sleeping.” Huangfu lightly patted her cheeks, like rewarding a pet.
My heart feels so heavy ….
Bao Chun can’t remember that boy’s face anymore, but those resentful eyes were deeply ingrained in her mind. The thought coiled itself around Bao Chun like a boa constrictor around its prey, tightening, squeezing and compressing.
“Yeah … being selfish, is so easy ….” Bao Chun muttered to herself. She did it, didn’t she? It’s so simple, she said one sentence and she saved Ruo Xia’s life ….
One sentence was enough to decide a person’s fate.
Bao Chun left the main hall like a wandering ghost, the same beautiful scenery in front of her, now, unseen by her haggard eyes.
The lake was still the same shade of dark green, her reflection in the water was still clearly visible.
Familiar eyes, familiar nose, familiar lips ….
Upon seeing her own reflection, Bao Chun’s stomach churned, she knelt by the lake side and started to throw up.
✧ ✧ ✧
Ever since that day, Bao Chun had been unable to keep any food down. Everything she ate, she would instinctively throw up, and when there was no more food in her stomach, she would throw up bile. It was as if she was going to throw up all the organs in her body.
She does get hungry and wants to eat food, but she can’t hold back the nausea and vomiting.
Within days, Bao Chun’s rounded face became frighteningly thin, her conditions were worse off than Ruo Xia’s.
She laid in bed weakly, her body feeling light as air.
Granny Li worried about her everyday, and tried her best to cook her dishes that stimulated the appetite. She tried making medicinal cuisines, supplementary cuisines, as well as desserts. Unfortunately, it still couldn’t do much to improve Bao Chun’s terrible condition.
“Granny made you some medicinal chicken stew, no matter what, you should eat some.”
“Thank you, I’m so hungry.” Bao Chun took the bowl of delicious aromatic soup and sipped it with a smile.
Granny Li carefully studied Bao Chun’s reactions, seeing how Bao Chun happily enjoyed the soup, she thought the poor girl was probably alright now.
Suddenly, Bao Chun covered her mouth, unable to bear the pain and discomfort in her stomach, and once again, threw up all the medicinal stew she drank.
It was as if her body was punishing her, the more food she ate, the worse the vomiting became.
“Little Bao Chun!” Granny Li hurried over to pat her on the back and ease her breathing.
After a few more violent coughs, Bao Chun wiped away her tears and comforted Granny Li, “I’m fine now!!”
“You call this fine? You can’t keep going like this, I’m asking The Master to come and take a look!” Forgetting about the messy state the kitchen was in, Granny Li hurried to find Huangfu.
“So bitter, I feel terrible ….”
Bao Chun closed her eyes and let her body lay limp on the bed, in spite of how tired she was, she couldn’t fall asleep no matter what.
Through her tightly shut eyes, she could make out black shadows moving about, transforming into numerous unfamiliar faces. They were whispering, arguing, and crying beside her ears, making it impossible for her to fall asleep.
Then she heard Huangfu’s voice floating beside her, he lightly pressed his hand on her wrist to assess her pulse. “How long has she been like this for?”
“Four or five days.”
“She’s been like this for five days and none of you have thought to let me know?” Huangfu’s expression darkened, and he narrowed his eyes, a sign that he was about to get angry.
“I just thought that Little Bao Chun had an upset stomach, but her conditions got worse and worse. The past few days she’s only had some water to drink, anything else she eats, she’d throw up.”
“Little Bao Chun?” Huangfu patted Bao Chun’s sickly pale face, she looked terrible. “Come on, wake up, don’t sleep anymore.”
“I wasn’t sleeping ….” Bao Chun replied, she was so tired that she couldn’t even open her eyes.
“Why can’t you eat anything?”
“I don’t know … I’m so hungry … but I’m afraid to eat …. Once I eat, I’d throw up, and I’ll feel even worse ….” Bao Chun answered feebly.
“How long have you gone without sleep?” From assessing her pulse, he knew that she was severely sleep deprived.
“Ever since the day I started to throw up …. I’m so sleepy, but I can’t fall asleep ….” Bao Chun struggled to open her eyes, and looked at Huangfu with worry.
Huangfu furrowed his brows, and wanted to know further about her condition. However, nothing seems to be out of the ordinary, he pressed his palm against her forehead, but her temperature was normal.
“Have I contracted the strange disease? Am I going to die?” She was in so much pain, so hungry, and so tired ….
“Nonsense!” Huangfu stopped her from drivelling on. Could it be that there was another illness in the world that was even harder to treat than the poison in his body?
Nineteen, who stood silent behind Huangfu the entire time, approached, after pondering for quite a while and whispered into Huangfu’s ear.
Huangfu looked at Nineteen, stunned, “Is that even possible!?”
“Why don’t you try it, Master?”
Huangfu stared at Bao Chun’s emaciated features, and dismissed the two others, “Leave us.”
Granny Li still wanted to stay and help, but Nineteen pushed her lightly on the back, and gave her a look that said it was going to be alright.
Finally, they were alone in the room, Huangfu sat by the edge of the bed, his hands still cupping Bao Chun’s wrist, her small hand shivered underneath his palms.
“Little Bao Chun, is … this your way of protesting to me, for forcing you to make that selfish decision the other day?” Huangfu leaned in towards her face, carefully studying her reaction.
Upon mentioning her selfish decision, Bao Chun felt a wave of discomfort, running from her stomach to her throat, she hurried to cover her lips when she started retching.
Seeing Bao Chun’s reaction, Huangfu confirmed Nineteen’s guess.
Just because he jokingly said, “Being selfish is as easy as eating and sleeping” she was now unable to eat or sleep? The selfishness that seemed so easy for him, almost killed her?
He couldn’t make sense of it, because he was selfish, selfish and self-centred, he doesn’t care about other people’s emotions, so of course he won’t feel any guilt.
But Bao Chun was the opposite, foolish, but kind.
After Bao Chun felt slightly better, she turned towards Huangfu, his deep eyes met with hers.
Huangfu lifted her up from the bed, she protested weakly, “Where are you taking me?”
“To sleep.” He said as he left the room, making his way towards the back of the hill.
“But, shouldn’t people sleep in rooms?” Bao Chun asked, seeing how they were getting farther and farther away from the house.
“I’m taking you to paradise.” Huangfu grinned, “And let you sleep comfortably in the clouds.”
His smile gave her a sense of comfort and reassurance she has never felt before. Closing her sleepy eyes, she laid her head on his shoulder trustingly. As he walked, she felt as if her wandering mind and spirit also lay firmly in his embrace.
Once they arrived, Bao Chun was greeted with a faint and exotic fragrance, the soft, warm winds pleasantly caressed her face. Bao Chun opened her eyes slowly, the scenery she was met with took her breath away.
Flowerbeds covered the hilltop, full of tiny purple flowers swaying in the wind, like exquisite Hunan embroidery made on the soil, making the endless view in sight all the more lively.
Bao Chun inhaled deeply, desperately trying to take in more of the indescribable sweet scent. “It’s so beautiful here.” She gasped in awe.
Huangfu gave a slight smile, and said nothing. He gently placed her at the centre of the flowerbed, ignoring all the flower stems being crushed.
“It smells so great … what kind of flower are these?” Bao Chun held up a tiny purple flower to her nose with both her hands, and let the faint unique fragrance of the flowers surround her.
“Lavender, aids sleep.” Huangfu gave her a simple explanation, “Let’s pick some later to make tea.”
“You can drink it?”
“Every flower and shrub I plant is edible.” The difference is whether or not it will kill you.
“It’s so comfortable ….” Bao Chun closed her eyes, enjoying the rare feeling of relaxation. She started to feel a wave of sleepiness wash over her, the soft winds caressing her face, the air, cool and refreshing.
Huangfu was right, it feels like she’s among the fluffy clouds.
“Open your mouth.” Huangfu pinched her cheeks gently.
Bao Chun looked at him through half-squinted eyes, Huangfu picked up a piece of green leaf and placed it between her lips, Bao Chun held the front portion of the leaf in her mouth without suspicion.
“Don’t swallow it, just keep it in your mouth.”
“It’s a cool,bitter, and tastes so grassy ….” She said, mumbling her words.
“Mint, induces appetite.” Huangfu removed his outer gown and placed it over her, lying on his side beside her, his long arm around her shoulders, firmly holding her in his embrace, enjoying the feeling of having her in his arm.
“I’m already so hungry, and with this leaf in my mouth, I’m even more hungry ….” Bao Chun was curiously surprised that this little leaf in her mouth did not make her throw up.
She took a bit more of the mint leaf into her mouth. Haha, she feels like a cow eating grass!
Huangfu watched as she moved her lips and tongue, her pink lips against the captivating shade of green.
If only he could take the place of that leaf, the thought of being kissed by her lips awakened a desire deep within his heart.
He propped himself over her, blocking her sight of the white clouds in the blue sky.
Bao Chun was confused by his actions, and even more perplexed by the strange look in his eyes. As she was about to open her mouth and ask him, her unspoken words, along with the mint leaf was stolen by his lips.
She tasted the coolness of the mint leaf as well as the scent of medicinal herbs on him, his scorching breath felt strange on her, and the Huangfu before her eyes was so very close.
She was so hungry ….
Her small hands unknowingly slipped around his neck, and laced her fingers through his silvery strands.
His agile tongue moved the mint leave out of the way and into his own mouth, then continued to ravage her mouth, kissing her deeply. Only backing off slightly when the person beneath him began gasping for air.
Although Bao Chun didn’t understand the meaning behind his actions, but the intimate gesture and closeness between them still made her blush. She naively thought that Huangfu invading her mouth with his tongue, was simply trying to steal the mint leaf from her mouth.
“I’m so hungry, don’t steal my mint leaf …. ”
“I’m also very hungry, I don’t mind letting you eat to your heart’s content.” There was a duality in the meaning of Huangfu’s reply, however, Bao Chun was too inexperienced and innocent to understand his intentions.
“I also really want to go to sleep ….” Bao Chun comfortably put her arms around Huangfu’s waist, finding a suitable position, then closed her eyes, feeling perfectly satisfied.
“Do you want to eat first or sleep first?” He kissed her earlobe longingly.
“No more eating … I’ll throw up again, it’s really painful ….” Bao Chun tucked her head into her shoulders, avoiding Huangfu’s lips.
Huangfu stopped what he was doing. He knew that unless he solves the problem that’s at the root of it all, she will probably never be able to eat or sleep, because she blames herself so easily.
Huangfu brushed aside the hair on her forehead, and kissed the fresh scar that had formed.
“Tomorrow, I’ll have Nineteen track down and bring back that boy, the one that came to me for help.” He spoke softly.
Bao Chun opened her eyes, looking puzzled, as if silently asking him a question.
“I’ll save him.” Huangfu placed another kiss between her brows. For her, he’s willing to be unselfish for once.
“Really? You’re willing to save him?” Bao Chun asked in a tiny uncertain voice.
“I can lie to anyone, but I won’t lie to you.” Huangfu gave her a mischievous smile, and his deep eyes softened.
“Thank you, you are so great.” Bao Chun smiled. It seems that he was back to being the gentle and kind Huangfu she knew.
Perhaps it was because Huangfu rid her heart of all the guilt she was feeling, with her mind at peace, Bao Chun’s tired eyes began to feel heavy. But Bao Chun wanted to enjoy this rare moment alone with Huangfu, so she fought the urge to sleep, forcing her eyes to stay open.
“Don’t force yourself, you can’t even keep your eyes open anymore. Go to sleep.” Huangfu covered her eyes with his right hand, forcing her to close them and rest.
“Then, I’ll sleep, just for a little while ….” Bao Chun pulled Huangfu’s gown over her, and soon gave in to the sandman’s spell and fell fast asleep.
Looking at Bao Chun’s innocent sleeping face, Huangfu suddenly felt that perhaps saving people isn’t such a bad thing.
✧ ✧ ✧
Several days ago, Huangfu brought her to the lavender garden at the back of the hill where she slept like a baby. She wasn’t even aware when Huangfu carried her back down. Ever since that day, sleep has taken up most of her time.
Perhaps the lavender’s sleep inducing properties was too effective ….
Sitting on the short kitchen stool, Bao Chun rubbed her sleepy eyes, trying to stay awake. However, a few moments later, her eyelids were eager to meet up once again.
“Dozing off again?” while busy with her duties, Granny Li still didn’t forget to wake Bao Chun up, fearing the pot of rare and precious medicine on the stove will be over-boiled by the inattentive Bao Chun.
As if by reflex, Bao Chun waved the bamboo fan she held in her right hand, her mind desperately trying to fight the urge to sleep. Her head hung so low it almost touched the ground.
“You’ve slept for three whole days now, how come you still look so terribly tired?” Granny Li stopped what she was doing, and squatted down in front of her, patting Bao Chun’s cheeks lightly to wake her up.
“I haven’t been sleeping enough ….” Bao Chun let out a big yawn, and stood up to stretch her body.
“Don’t fall asleep again. Are you hungry?” Granny Li went back to the bamboo steamer and opened the lid, a sudden burst of delicious aroma filled the room.
“Yes, I’m hungry, I’m hungry!” Bao Chun’s eyes lit up, and ran to Granny Li’s side, “Is there anything to eat?”
Ever since that day when she returned from the hillside, her stomach seems to be making up for the lost meals. Her appetite became insatiable, often asking for snacks and desserts immediately after finishing a meal.
“Yes, I’ve made Chilled Cakes and Eight Treasure Congee. The Chilled Cakes need to be iced first to taste good, do you want to have some congee first?” Granny Li took a plate of glistening green desert, and put it aside.
“They look so delicious.” What flavour are these cakes?
“They are mint flavoured Chilled Cakes. The Master suddenly mentioned he wants to eat these, you’ve never had them before, right?”
A loud boom went off in Bao Chun’s head, her cheeks suddenly flushed, the memory surged forth, like water from an opened dam.
That day, she could almost feel the faint taste of mint in her mouth. That day, Huangfu was so close up against her, close enough for her to count his lashes, close enough to see the clear colours of his eyes, and close enough to feel the heat from his lips ….
“Little Bao Chun? Little Bao Chun?” The sound of Granny Li’s calls finally reached the blushing and dazed Bao Chun, Granny smiled, gave her a puzzled look and asked, “Why are you smiling in such a silly way?”
“NOTHING! I was just saying that Huang … umm, I mean mint tastes really good, I, I like the taste of mint.”
She almost said Huangfu instead of mint, she definitely needs more sleep.
“Really? You’ve had other foods made with mint? How was it made?” Granny Li has always been an excellent cook, able to make a variety of different dishes with medicinal herbs, satisfying Huangfu’s picky appetite. Because of this, she spends a lot of time experimenting with new and unique ways of cooking. Upon hearing that Bao Chun has tasted another dish made with mint, she was curious to ask whether she knew of some new and unique cooking methods.
“NO, no it wasn’t cooked …. Raw, I ate it raw ….” Bao Chun shook her head vigorously, her glowing red cheeks made Granny Li stare at her in confusion.
“Hum, not a lot of people eat raw mint. Well, come on over and have some congee.” Granny Li put the Eight Treasure Congee on the table and scooped a nice full bowl of it for Bao Chun.
Bao Chun thanked Granny Li, but her eyes kept wandering over to the Chilled Mint Cakes.
I really miss the taste of mint ….
I really miss the kind and gentle look on Huangfu’s face that day ….
“I really miss it ….” Bao Chun couldn’t help it but to speak out her thoughts.
“What do you miss? Oh, there’s Eight Treasure Congee?” Smelling the aroma of food, Huangfu came into the kitchen. He saw Bao Chun sitting at the table with blushing cheeks and the bowl in her hands, as if the Eight Treasure Congee in her hands were some sort of real precious treasure.
“Master.” Granny Li quickly scooped another bowl for Huangfu, but it seems he was only interested in Bao Chun’s bowl of congee. As Bao Chun was about to scoop a spoon-full of congee into her mouth, she was interrupted halfway.
Bao Chun was at first dazed by this, and stared dumbfoundedly at Huangfu for quite a while, only to return to herself again when Huangfu stole another bite of congee from her.
“Don’t steal my congee!” Bao Chun shouted, holding on to her bowl.
“It’s just a bowl of Eight Treasure Congee, not real treasure. Listen to you muttering ’I really miss it’ with your blushing red cheeks, who knows what you are thinking about.” Huangfu jokingly laughed at her, tapping her lightly between the brows with the handle of his fan.
“How come you are here?” From what she remembers, Huangfu has never set foot in the kitchen.
“My little medicine-boiler took so long just to cook some medicine, if I still don’t get my medicine I think I might just die. So I have to personally come to the kitchen, and see if my little medicine-boiler was slacking off.” As Huangfu said the last two words, he pinched Bao Chun on the tip of her nose, moving her head from left to right.
“Ouch! It hurts, ouch … let go! Huangfu!” Bao Chun shook her head, and tried to free herself from Huangfu’s evil clutching fingers.
“Master, if you keep playing, Little Bao Chun’s going to asphyxiate.” Granny Li laughed and tried to help Bao Chun.
“If she dies I’ll save her.” Huangfu smiled, finally letting go of Bao Chun’s little red nose. Bao Chun unceremoniously rolled her eyes at Huangfu.
“Master, Little Bao Chun has already finished cooking your medicine.” Granny Li respectfully presented Huangfu with the bowl of medicine, “This is the last dose of the month.”
Huangfu hummed slightly, acknowledging what she has said. Then took the bowl of unbearably bitter black liquid and drank it in one go, without so much as a frown.
“That medicine’s really bitter ….” While boiling the medicine, Bao Chun secretly took a sip to try, and the only word she could use to describe it was bitter. Now, seeing how Huangfu was able to drink the medicine without flinching, she was pretty impressed.
“You took a sip of this?” Huangfu raised an eyebrow, and without her realizing, put his right hand on her wrist to assess her pulse, secretly diagnosing her.
“Only a tiny sip … then I was too afraid to! Because it was really terrible tasting!” Bao Chun saw that Huangfu’s face flashed a hint of displeasure and quickly explained while waving her hands in the air.
Huangfu’s hand left her wrist and took a small jade bottle out from his gown, “Don’t drink unknown medicines, be careful, or they might kill you.” His tone was so calm that the anger was barely discernible. Then, he poured out a small dark red pill.
The medicine he was drinking used more than ten types of deadly toxic plants as guiding herbs, with the purpose of counteracting and neutralizing the toxins that were already present in his system. A healthy person can die from one sip of it, it was lucky that Bao Chun didn’t drink much and he discovered it early.
“A peanut.” Huangfu was too lazy to explain to her, so he casually made something up.
“Liar!” Bao Chun refuted, her mouth opened to the perfect size.
Huangfu threw the pill into her mouth with accuracy, and with a light chuckle, he said, “bullseye!”
Although Bao Chun was feeling suspicious, but based on her trust in Huangfu she obediently swallowed the pill.
“Good girl.” Huangfu patted her on the head, and sat down on the empty seat beside Bao Chun, eating his congee.
Bao Chun wolfed down two bites of congee, and drank two large bowls of tea, trying to rid her mouth of the bitter taste from the pill, then went back to talking to Huangfu, who seems to be in a pretty good mood.
“Huangfu, do you have time after this?”
“I have time for pleasure, but not business.” Huangfu answered her, knowing Bao Chun was probably going to ask him to treat Liu Ruo Xia again.
“You said you were going to save my sister.”
“Yes, another day, another time.”
“But you’ve been saying another day for days now, it’s already been several days! Are you trying to drag this on forever!?” Bao Chun pouted, she wasn’t happy with Huangfu and was starting to lose trust in him.
“So clever.” Huangfu gave a fake laugh and clapped his hands, “It’s only been a short few days, and Little Bao Chun has already figured me out, good job, excellent work!”
“No way! If you have time today, you have to go and take a look at Ruo Xia.” Bao Chun was bent on making him keep his promise. They’ve been here for almost a month now, she can’t keep letting him dismiss her so easily.
Huangfu saw the firm look on Bao Chun’s face, and gave her his best and most distracting smile to try to draw her attention away. “Come on now Little Bao Chun, don’t be angry.” His voice was so sickly sweet, it could turn a person to putty.
“It’s useless.” After losing to his smile for more than ten times, she dared not lose to its charms again! Bao Chun stared into his eyes adamantly, making up her mind to overcome his fatal charm.
Huangfu hummed in acknowledgement, upping the dosage and attacked her with his smile once more.
NO! I can’t backdown! I can’t lose! I can’t surrender! Bao Chun cried out in her mind.
“My darling, baby, Little Bao Chun.” He tried once more with the deadly combination of an endearing nickname, and a loving glance, his thin red tongue lightly flicking over his lips, gracefully drawing a sinful arc of perfection.
Bao Chun covered her burning cheeks with both her hands, running out of the kitchen gasping for air, once again defeated by Huangfu’s charms.
“Hahaha! This is so fun!” Huangfu gave a hearty laugh. He never gets tired of seeing her like this.
However, Bao Chun wasn’t aware that Huangfu has already instructed Granny Li to alter Ruo Xia’s diet and bathing regimen, adding the appropriate medicinal herbs to improve her sickly condition，but not to cure her completely within a short period of time. Because he knew that the longer Ruo Xia remains here, the longer Bao Chun will have to stay here with her, so Huangfu selfishly didn’t want to cure Ruo Xia too early.
“Master, why won’t you just tell Little Bao Chun that you’ve already started your treatment for Miss Liu?” Granny Li felt bad for poor Bao Chun, being tricked by Huangfu like that, and wanted to speak out for her.
“Do I need for you to comment on what I do? Zip your lips, don’t let me hear anything you aren’t suppose to say.” Huangfu stopped smiling, the relaxed look he had on his face disappeared completely.
“Nineteen.” Huangfu called out of the window.
“Master, Miss Bao Chun left for the stone bridge at the centre of the lake.” Nineteen was standing outside the entire time and knew what Huangfu was going to say, and gave him the answer before Huangfu had to ask.
With his back to the both of them, and a look of annoyance, Huangfu criticized Nineteen, “And you, go back to the quiet guy you used to be.”
“Yes Master.” Nineteen respectfully answered with no intentions to change.
Huangfu left the two of them and went after Bao Chun.
With The Master gone, Granny Li teased Nineteen, “You are getting less and less afraid of The Master.”
“You too.” Nineteen answered plainly, walking into the kitchen. He stood outside the whole time, listening and watching as Huangfu scolded Granny Li, without missing a single moment, not even when she made that funny face as she respectfully said “yes”.
In truth, her and Nineteen never changed. It was Huangfu who changed.
Granny Li brought over two bowls of Eight Treasure Congee, and handed Nineteen a bowl, they both sat down on the doorstep as if in silent agreement. From there, they were able to see most of the scenery on the bridge at the centre of the lake.
“It’s rare to see The Master walk so fast ….” Granny Li commented.
“That’s Qinggong.” Nineteen answered. Although The Master has excellent martial art skills, he rarely ever sees him use any.
“Oh, he has on that mischievous smile again.” Granny Li had a sharp eye, she was able to see very clearly the expression on Huangfu’s face as he caught up to Bao Chun, like some riffraff harassing and toying with a nice girl from the village.
“Miss Bao Chun lost again.” Nineteen took a bite of the congee, and the two talked as they watch the two people on the bridge.
“She’s pretty much hopeless as soon as The Master smiles ….”
Too bad there wasn’t Pepto-Bismol back then~ hahaha~
Speaking of porridge, bear bear’s porridge was eaten by some terrible blond girl >~<, she also sat and broke my chair, and slept on my bed!
I gotta admit, my mind kinda went to the gutters during a certain part of the story, simply because if I were to use the same words the author used, what they were doing would have sounded much more R-rater. I tried not to use the words “wrap mouth around” and “suck” but … yeah you get it ….
Also, because of a few things in this chapter, I was a little slow during my translation. Reading the chapter made me feel all like this —>LINK while translating it made me feel all like this —>LINK. I have never written anything intimate between two people beyond hand holding …. Now I am seriously considering translating some pure smut for practice before I move on to any more projects. >~> hum … shall we randomly insert a post between all the Singing Spring Melody updates just to see how my smut translation skills are? Teehee~
As always, please like, comment, and follow if you’ve enjoyed reading!~ Ciao! ❤
1 药膳 or medicinal cuisines. Before we get into that, there are dedicated people in China live their life according to what is good for the healthy, this is known as 养生 or 养生之道. Diet is a big part of living healthy, medicinal cuisines are a specialty in China, where food and medicine come together to create dishes that not only tastes good, but are also good for one’s body. This way, without having to drink bitter bowls of medicine, you are doing good for your body. Now click to see some examples of medicinal cuisines —>LINK.↩
2 补品 or supplementary cuisines. As we mentioned before, 养生 or 养生之道, where people live their life in certain ways to keep healthy, and eating is a big part of 养生. Aside from that, Chinese people are big on 补, which literally translates to “to supplement”. The Chinese believed that different foods and medicines have the ability to supplement nutrients to specific parts of the body, and have particular healing properties, which is why they eat foods in certain combinations to harness those properties. Some even believed that similar things supplemented similar parts in the human body, eating an anima’s brain will be good for your own brain, eating a soup made from the lungs of an animal will help with your lung functions and drinking the alcohol that has been soaking a tiger’s penis and testes will make a man better in the bedroom … yeah. Let’s come back to the story, in the story the supplementary cuisines Granny Li cooked were probably just combinations of nutritious soups and what not. An example you might have heard before is bird’s nest soup/congee, click here to read about it —>LINK. I admit some of the ingredients in famous supplementary cuisines are strange sounding, bird’s nest, hasma (toad oil), fish swim bladder, shark’s fin and etc. But I assure you, there are normal ones! Finally, click to see some examples of supplementary cuisines —>LINK.↩
3 湘绣 or Hunan embroidery is one of four famous embroidery styles in China, and part of the Chinese Intangible Cultural Heritage Project. It is known for its incredible realism, where the needle is used like a brush to paint amazing detailed pictures. Click here to see what it looks like —>LINK. ↩
4 凉糕 or Chilled Cakes can refer to a type of snacks eaten during the summer in both Beijing and Sichuan. These Chilled Cakes are made with rice, sugar and flavouring ingredients such as 薄荷 which is mint. These cakes are steamed and cut into pieces or prepared using moulds. They should be chilled before serving, since it is usually eaten during the summer. I have found two pictures that pretty accurately represents what the book described as 薄荷凉糕 or Chilled Mint Cakes, but they AREN’T IT! So click here if you want to see what they look like in my mind —>LINK1 —>LINK2. Now click here if you want to see what 凉糕 ACTUALLY looks like —>LINK.↩
5 八宝粥 or Eight Treasure Congee is a delicious sweet congee made with rice (long-grain, black rice, or glutinous rice), a variety of beans (but always includes red beans), a variety of nuts, and other goodies such as lotus seeds, red dates, dried logan, gouqi berries and silver ear fungus. The congee is always sweet, and traditionally made with rock sugar to produce a shiny velvety finished product. The congee doesn’t necessarily have eight ingredients, but tend to have at least that many number of ingredients or somewhere around that number. The ingredients may vary based on personal preferences, and geographical locations in China. This congee also has its medicinal properties depending on the ingredients. It is customary to eat this congee on the eighth day of the twelfth month according to the Lunar calendar, called 腊八, the congee is then called 腊八粥. Stores carry cans of Eight Treasure Congee so people can enjoy them easily nowadays without having to spend several hours boiling the congee. Click here to see pictures of 八宝粥 —>LINK.↩
6 药引 or guiding herb/ingredient, sometimes you will see it being translated as conducting herb/ingredient, is a term in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). The 引 in 药引 means to guide, and to lead out, these are herbs or medicinal ingredients that are able to guide the other medicinal ingredients to the part of the body that needs treatment.↩
7 轻功 Qinggong, sometimes translated as Light Kungfu in Wuxia novels. Despite its name, Qinggong DOESN’T make your body lighter, what it does is that it greatly improves your speed, agility, and the height in which you are able to jump. It also allows you to jump and leap off of extremely small objects, or something generally impossible to step off of. Such as sword tips, a blade of grass/leaf, and the surface of water. If you’ve seen Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon there was a bamboo forrest scene that shows off the character’s Qinggong. There are different Qinggong from various different masters and sects. If you enjoy reading Wuxia Novels you might see this very often.↩