Hunting for Beautiful Men, a Journey Through Time 狩猎美男之古旅 (Volume 1)
Chapter Six: Love Bird
The constellation Niu Lang—Pretended to be a crook and lied my way into my Niu Lang’s heart.
Carrying one’s girlfriend on their back as a classic for university love stories definitely has its reasons. Currently, I’m trapped in this heartwarmingly ambiguous bog of love, unable to free myself. Quietly, without a word, I listened to his heartbeat, it’s as if this was the only beat left in this world. His broad shoulders gave off a faint heat, the feeling of having someone to rely on warmed my heart. Xiao Niu Zi walked fast but was still very steady. He was very careful and cautious, like he’s carrying some fragile treasure on his back. Even though we were both silent, there wasn’t any hint of awkwardness. It felt so right, as if it’s supposed to be like this all along. The two of us walked quietly towards the end of the road. Slowly, the lingering warmth drew me into a sweet slumber.
Only until after the sun has set did Xiao Niu Zi wake me up, “Miss Ou, we are here.” He gently put me down.
I woke up from my sweet dream, bleary-eyed and with a smile still hanging on my face from my dream. “Is it time for dinner now?”
Huh? Why is the corner of my mouth all wet? I immediately woke up completely, pulled him over to inspect his back, and sure enough, there was a patch of dampness beneath his collar. My face suddenly flushed crimson, redder than a boiled shrimp.
He was momentarily stunned, then realized what had happened and couldn’t help it but to laugh out quietly. I pretended to go and pick up firewood like the shrimp I am and walked off.
Xiao Niu Zi and I sat around the fire eating our food. I took a gulp of water and out of habit, gave the water pouch to him, he hesitated like last time, but did take a small sip, then a flash of red crept into his cheeks. It’s not like I gave him booze, what’s with the red cheeks?
Eureka! It was … an indirect kiss. Oh, you ancient people with your complex minds, so impure. (You are the one who’s impure!) Now I finally understand why he wouldn’t drink the water before. I didn’t even mind for you to take advantage of me, why are you being so overcautious. (Author: It’s him drinking your spit, maybe you don’t mind, but he might mind.)
And quiet moonlit sky, the howling of wild animals, reflection from the flames in my eyes, and the absence of words between the two of us. I’m not sure if I’m being too sensitive, or perhaps it’s the pressure created by being in the forest, I always felt that someone was staring at us from the dark the whole way here.
“Do we have to stay here guarding the fire at night?”
“You sleep, I’ll guard it.”
“Thanks for carrying me, your medicine really worked, I think tomorrow I’ll be able to walk down the mountain on my own.”
He was quiet.
“This is my first time sleeping outside. To be honest, I’m a little scared, but it’s a good thing you are here with me.”
He was still quiet.
I guess I can’t engage in any “Helpful Listener” conversation with someone like this. I really want to go to sleep right now, but I slept for too long back there, and now I’m wide-awake. Perhaps I’ll count the stars to help me fall asleep? That’s right, the stars?!
“Xiao Niu Zi, did you know? There are twelve constellations in the sky, they correspond to the twelve months of the year. Each constellation has its own legend, so the people born in different months have different personalities.”
He lifted his chin slightly. YES! He seems to be interested in this topic.
“I’ve also studied a little bit of astrology, but I’ve never heard of such a saying.” Constellations are an imported area of study, I’ll be a monkey’s uncle if you’ve ever heard of it! And now I’ve taken it back to the domestic market.
What’s the relationship between Xiao Niu Zi and Uncle Liu, is he also a member of the Crooks Association? Or perhaps all the people from ancient times know about astrology? I only know the two of them, and both know about astrology. But if I think about it, it’s entirely possible. The modern times have such rich and colourful nightlife, here in the ancient times there isn’t even lights when it gets dark, there isn’t anything to do aside from looking at the stars. There’s probably as many people here who know about astrology as people who know how to use the computers in modern times.
I’ll pretend to be a crook then, it’s not like he’s ever heard of it before. When I go back I’ll ask Uncle Liu to introduce me into the Crooks Association, it’s easier to trick people once I have an organization. (Author: Neither Uncle Liu nor Xiao Niu Zi are crooks, you are the only one that is!)
“Tell me your birthday.” He seems unsure and hesitant, so I said again, “I don’t need your time of birth, I just need the date.” Pretty cautious aren’t you, afraid I’ll take it and go villain hitting eh?
“March the sixth.”
When is lunar calendar’s March the sixth according to the Georgian calendar? Oh no, I have no idea what zodiac sign he belongs to. There was this good friend of mine who was a Taurus and his birthday was March something according to the lunar calendar. And your name is Xiao Niu Zi, so Taurus it is.
“You belong under the Taurus constellation, people born under this star sign are naturally melancholic and repressed.” His eyes it up, it seems that I’ve guessed correctly. I’ve shamelessly turned my good friend’s personality into the personality for this star sign, who cares, I’m a crook I’m not afraid of anyone.
“When all your repressed feelings have accumulated to the max you will suddenly have an outburst. People born under this star sign are hard-working and diligent, can endure hardship and have strong determination. Patience, endurance, and toughness are their key characteristics. (You are describing the key character of an ox.) They believe in love, but they will choose the safest and the surest path to it, usually after a long period of deliberation and preparations, and once they’ve made up their mind, no one can change it.” Hehehe, from the way you treat me I know exactly what type of love bird you are!
Judging from the look of concentration and seriousness on his face, he surely agrees with me completely, especially the last part when I was talking about love, his eyes were filled with surprise from finding a soulmate.
I was actually running out of tricks, but seeing how eagerly he was looking forward to the next part, I stuttered and stammered out some more things I made up, “They are loyal, sincere, understanding, not boastful, frank and responsible. They are also rule-followers and strive to be reasonable when dealing with things.” Everyone likes complements, this is the number one guideline for crooks. (The guideline that you made up!)
I can’t hold it anymore, even if you look at me like you are burning with the desire to know more I still can’t tell you anymore. Dude, please just let me go, I have elderly parents and no children, stop hounding me to death!
“Do you see that cluster of stars? That’s your star sign, the Taurus.” I randomly pointed at the sky, there are so many stars up there, he’s bound to find the one that looks like a bull, perhaps several bulls. With a guilty conscience, I quickly took a branch and poked at the fire.
Xiao Niu Zi looked in the direction that I pointed at, searched for a while but still couldn’t find it. So he took the initiative and sat down close next to me, asking me to point for him once more. “Over there!” I pointed to the part of the sky with the most clusters of stars. Dude, can’t you use your imagination a little? If it looks like a dog then can’t you just squint a bit and see it as a bull? (Author: How do they even look alike? >_< People who study physics strive for a realistic scientific approach, but why can’t I see that in you at all?)
I don’t want to keep staring at the sky like this with him, my neck’s getting sore! When my neck has recovered I realized we were sitting so close to each other. From where I was sitting his profile was quite handsome looking. Huh? I can’t see the pores on his face. I remember when I was buying leather, my mom told me that if there aren’t pores then it’s artificial leather. (That’s animal hide, this is human skin. >_<) I leaned in closer to examine the “artificial leather”, when all of a sudden Xiao Niu Zi turned his head to face me, his lips accidentally brushed against mine. We were both surprised and stunned, and just stared at each other. It was as though time had stopped, our surroundings were so quiet that the only sound left was the crackling of firewood.
Xiao Niu Zi tried to act natural by picking up a branch and poking at the fire, he even took the opportunity and moved away tracelessly. (Fire: Why is it that whenever you two feel awkward you have to poke at me, who have I pissed off!)
His face was unusually red and he sat uneasily next to me. I was sure that his face wasn’t just red from the heat of the fire. Could it be that I took away his first kiss? Seeing how he was so cute and had just lost his first kiss, I’ve decided not to make fun of him.
“Xiao Niu Zi, do you know about the legend of the Taurus constellation?”
He lifted up his slightly lowered head. I continued, “There was once a beautiful princess named Europa. One day, she was out playing and flower picking with her servants, when suddenly, a bull as white as snow appeared before them, and looked at Europa with gentle eyes. The bull was actually Zeus in disguise, he had long admired the princess’s beauty. At first, the princess was taken aback, but when she walked over to the docile animal’s side and lightly stroked him, the bull was exceptionally tender and obedient. The princess let her guard down and climbed onto the back of the bull, when suddenly the bull started to run and finally jumped into the ocean. The princess held onto the bull, and saw all the creatures in the ocean coming out to greet Zeus. It was then, the princess finally found out that the bull was the incarnation of Zeus, the ruler of all gods. When they arrived on land, she and Zeus held a wedding. To commemorate this event, Zeus put his own incarnation in the sky, as the constellation Taurus.”
Xiao Niu Zi showed slightly that he was visibly moved by what I have said, he was about to say something, but then bit his lip and kept on quietly looking at the stars in the night sky, piously looking for his place in the heavens.
Being a nervous crook had killed a lot of my brain cells, now that I’ve relaxed, fatigue washed over me, so I’ve decided to lay down. Before going to sleep, seeing that he was still tirelessly searching for his Taurus constellation, I felt a little guilty for randomly pointing at the stars back there. That’s why I’ve decided to say with much Zen and mystery, “When you’ve found your Europa then you’ll naturally find your Taurus constellation.” However, after he heard me he looked up at the sky with even more determination. Nevertheless, I fell peacefully asleep.
In my dream, I felt a little cold and curled up my body, just then I felt someone gently covering me with blankets, the blanket had a nice faint smell. The person softly whispered beside my ear, reminding me of when I was younger, and mom was tucking me in again at night, coaxing me to go back to sleep. That night, I had a good dream ….
Finally, chapter seven is up! This chapter was pretty easy to translate since there’s nothing technical. In this chapter, we see the oh so cliche accidental kiss in idol dramas xD and the main female lead being … herself. I hope y’all enjoyed this chapter. I finished the two books and realized there’s like 50 names in the book, one character had 9 or so different nicknames. So I’m going to start compiling them and if a chapter has a lot of the names being thrown around left and right, I’ll make a list here at the end to clear it up.
A bit on Xiao Niu Zi, his name has 牛 in it so he always has something to do with bull/cattle/ox or other animals with the character 牛 in its name. There are a lot of play on words with his name. Hopefully, I can make all of them make sense to you. 🙂
I just saw someone link to my blog as BBC Novels, I’m super flattered and I also thought that’s pretty funny and amazing xD I like to watch BBC’s Sherlock so hahaha! Thank you!~
As always, please like, comment, and follow if you’ve enjoyed reading!~ Ciao! ❤
1 This name was from the Chinese version of the story of Altair and Vega, you might have heard about it from your family members or from watching The Big Bang Theory. In the Chinese version of the story, the young man with the cattle/ox was called 牛郎 niú láng instead of Altair, and the heavenly maiden who was an exceptional weaver was called 织女 zhī nǚ instead of Vega. 牛郎 literally has the character 牛 for bull/ox/cattle followed by the character 郎, that’s commonly used in names in names for men. 牛郎’s name also implies that he kept bull/ox/cattle. 织女’s name literally meant weaver girl. To read the story of Altair and Vega you can simply do a search or watch many interesting videos available on YouTube, there was one that’s really inaccurate and called Altair a cowboy, so don’t watch that one.↩
2 Villain hitting or 打小人. It’s a superstitious ritual popular in Guangdong and Hong Kong generally among women. They take the name and exact birthday (including their hour of birth) to these “professionals” to curse and hit or on their own. They are usually done in discrete locations either under a bridge or overpass or some other locations. If you watch a lot of HK dramas/movies you might be familiar with this practice. It’s similar to the practice of nailing straw dolls, as some of you might have seen in anime. To learn more about this interesting folk sorcery, please click here—>LINK. ↩
3 In Chinese there is this saying 上有老，下有小, meaning that they have elders above them and younglings below them (children) so they need to stay alive or they need to take care of them. This is usually used as a plea for someone to spare their life or when they are convincing someone to do something. E.g. I have elders above me and younglings below me, I don’t think I can go on this treasure hunting excursion with you, it’s too dangerous. ↩
4 In Chinese, Europa’s name was written as 欧萝芭, the female lead’s name is 欧元, notice how the first characters are the same! Oh my, could this mean something? 😉↩