Hunting for Beautiful Men, a Journey Through Time 狩猎美男之古旅 (Volume 1)
Chapter Seven: Faker
The legend Of Niu Lang—Through lying and trickery I took care of Niu Lang, a promising young lad was ruined by me just like that.
I was woken up in the morning by the chirping of birds, I looked up to search for Xiao Niu Zi and saw that he was sitting not far from me. I look down at myself and found his coat draped around me, was this the sweet smelling blanket in my dreams? I took off the coat to return to him, and awkwardly said thank you. After all, this was the first time a guy has taken care of me like this, my heart felt as if there were little bugs crawling over it, a little tingly and a little ticklish.
We began to collect herbs. Xiao Niu Zi casually glanced over Uncle Liu’s paintings and started to collect herbs. I, on the other hand, held the painting in front of me and kept on looking. Before long, he’s already collected a few, but I still haven’t found a single one. I couldn’t help it but to start complaining about Uncle Liu’s stupid paintings, not only were they not in colour, they didn’t even indicate the actual size of the herbs in comparison to the paintings. On top of that, the paintings were stained with blood, how am I supposed to see what’s drawn on there? What a bunch of defective designs. (Author: You were the one who used it to wipe away the blood.) Oh well, let him gather the herbs himself, it’s more efficient.
As Xiao Niu Zi gathered herbs I was flower picking on the side, not long after, I’ve collected a huge bouquet of flowers and excitedly made a flower wreath to wear on my head, then gestured for Xiao Niu Zi to take a look. He looked over at me dotingly and smiled.
“Xiao Niu Zi, did you know? A lot of gods in the ancient times liked making flower wreaths as hair decorations, do you think I look like a goddess from ancient times?” I asked as I twirled around and struck a pose.
He answered very seriously, “Yes, very much, Miss … Miss Ou.” Since when did he start stuttering?
Then, a flower took my attention away from Xiao Niu Zi’s stuttering. The flower was tiny, its white petals were dotted with red water droplet like spots, exuding a grievous fragrance. I reached out to pick the flower.
I was startled by Xiao Niu Zi’s sudden outburst, my hand quivered and touched the stem of the flower, it felt like being pricked by a rose thorn. I looked up and Xiao Niu Zi was already in front of me, without a word, he put my finger in his mouth. He’s sexually assaulting me! I was extremely surprised. He sucked hard on my finger and spat out the blood immediately.
“The flower stem, it’s poisonous.”
“Huh? He was several meters away, yet he was able to come to my aid so quickly. Who knew he was so agile?!
My finger felt a little numb, I wasn’t sure if it’s due to the residual poison or some other reason, my heart felt a little numb and tingly as well. It seems that people were right when they said that the fingers were connected to the heart. This also proved another saying, “Don’t pick the wild flowers by the roadside”. See, now I got poisoned.~
Xiao Niu Zi tended to my wound, carefully examined it once more and finally sighed in relief, “This flower is called the Crimson Tear, its flower is dainty and beautiful, while the stem is highly poisonous, there is a legend surrounding this flower as well.” Are you also telling legends? Copy cat!
“According to legend, the husband passed away from being poisoned, the wife dressed herself in white, devastated by her loss and grief, she cried bloody tears of crimson, dying as she embraced her husband. The two of them together transformed into the Crimson Tear, the flower and stem depend on and rely on each other, together always and forever.”
I thought to myself, back in the ancient times, when a woman loses her husband it’s GAME OVER for her life, there’s almost no hope for her to start a second romance, no wonder she’s so pessimistic and took things so seriously. But then again, without her husband who’s going to carry the rice for her? (Author: =_=||| What woman in the right mind thinks of this first when their husband dies? If her husband found out he’s probably going to be turning in his grave.) No wonder the flower’s so toxic, I’ll just change its name to “Widow’s Poison” then. (Author: Xiao Niu Zi told you a beautiful and faithful love story of life and death, and you are totally ruining it, you won’t even spare the flower’s name.)
I mean you can’t really blame me for not being moved by the story, I can be a little bit insensitive compared to others. I remember back in university, the girls in my dorm insists that I leave when they watch tragic romantic movies, because if I’m present and commentating on the whole thing, tragedies will be turned into comedies. There was also another time, when a guy asked me out to watch a scary movie, perhaps he wanted to enjoy a girl throwing herself at him when she gets scared. However, when the movie was showing a close-up of a person being skinned, I suddenly said, “I feel like eating roasted leg of lamb.” And then that guy threw up. Geez. (*_* You call that insensitive? I think that’s utterly unfeeling!)
“Xiao Niu Zi, I quite like the smell of this flower, can you help me pick some, I want to take it back and use it to make a scented sachet.”
He immediately got to work, by putting a piece of cloth over his hand and effortlessly removed the poisonous stems, leaving behind only the flower portion. Could it be that he’s legendary “master of deflowering”?!
“Don’t throw away the poisonous stems, help me wrap it up. I think the flower pedal wife wouldn’t want to leave her poisonous stem husband and go with me, this way I’m afraid even if I make it into a scented sachet, it will no longer emit the same delicate fragrance.”
My impressive sounding reasons earned a deeply affectionate glance from Xiao Niu Zi, believing that I’m also somebody that cares deeply about love and affection. But in reality, I just remembered Uncle Liu’s unsettling presence and wanted to keep some poison by my side for a rainy day. Even if I don’t use it against the enemy, I can use it to commit suicide. Killing two birds with one stone! (Can committing suicide be considered as killing two birds with one stone?)
After two hours, Xiao Niu Zi finished gathering all the medicinal herbs, and took care of the flower and stem from the “Widow’s Poison”. From start to finish, all he did was take a quick glance at the paintings, so I can’t help but feel a little depressed in comparison to him.
“Let’s go back.” Xiao Niu Zi said, then lowered his back to me, “I’ll carry you off the mountain, you can get down and walk once we are close to the village.” Seeing how I was looking at him full of gratitude, he added, feeling a bit embarrassed, “We were a little delayed back there, so we have to go quickly to make sure we can reach there before nightfall.”
So I climbed on top of Xiao Niu Zi’s “cattle back”. Thinking that not only did I not help him on this trip, I’ve given him so much trouble, so I inevitably felt somewhat guilty. But then thought again, I haven’t even charged him for being his “three with escort”, so we were even. (Author: What’s this “three with escort” you are talking about? Lead Female Pig: Eat with him, drink with him, sleep with him. Author: You faker!)
Xiao Niu Zi carried me on his back, his pace was brisk and he seems to be in a good mood, could it be that he’s addicted to carrying me on his back? It’s not like you are Zhu Ba Jie!
“Xiao Niu Zi, did you find the Taurus constellation last night?”
“Yes, I did!” It was hard for him to conceal his excitement. Why’s he so excited, if I stared for that long at the stars, I would’ve probably found an entire zoo.
“Then did you also see the Niu Lang constellation and the Zhi Nü constellation?” I’ve decided to deliver another blow. (Author: You really can’t see other people do well can you?!)
“Niu Lang and Zhi Nü constellations?”
“I’ll tell you about it the next time we go stargazing.” You gotta give me some time to straighten out my lies, I actually don’t even know where the Niu Lang and Zhi Nü constellations are.
Seeing how he was a bit depressed, I quickly added with a legend. “The Niu Land and Zhi Nü constellations also have their own legend.”
“Niu Lang was an orphan of the Niu Family Village, he lived with his brother and sister-in-law. His sister-in-law was harsh and often abused him, he was forced to move out and made a living by farming with an old ox. The old ox could speak human language, and one day, when Zhi Nü and all the other heavenly maidens descended to earth to bathe in the river, the old ox persuaded Niu Lang to go and steal Zhi Nü’s clothes, from this, Zhi Nü became Niu Lang’s wife. After their marriage, Niu Lang farmed and Zhi Nü weaved, they had a boy and a girl together, life was happy and wonderful. However, the Emperor of Heaven found out about this and sent the Queen Mother of the West to bring Zhi Nü back to the heavenly courts to stand trial. The old ox couldn’t bear to see their family being torn apart so he broke off one of his horns and turned it into a boat, letting Niu Lang ride in it to chase after Zhi Nü while shouldering his two children. Just when they were about to catch up to Zhi Nü, the Queen Mother of the West took off her golden hairpin and drew out the raging waters of the Silver River. Niu Lang couldn’t cross the river, so he and Zhi Nü could only look across the distance at each other and weep. Their faithful love for each other touched the magpies, numerous magpies flew over, using their bodies to build a colourful bridge across the celestial river, letting Niu Lang and Zhi Nü meet each other. The Queen Mother of the West had no options but to allow Niu Lang and Zhi Nü to meet each other once each year during the seventh day of the seventh month atop the magpie bridge. The day they are allowed to meet each other was called Qixi. It’s said that on Qixi, when it is quiet at night, you could still hear the tender whisperings of love between Niu Lang and Zhi Nü while sitting under the grape vines.”
After I finished, I took a swig of my feet water to wet my whistle. Are we holding a storytelling competition? Along the way, he told one legend, I told two legends. I’m a “setter”, he’s a “passer”, along with Uncle Liu’s “net block” with his daily fishing expeditions, we’ve got ourselves half a volleyball team.
I thought to myself as Xiao Niu Zi quietly repeated to himself Niu Lang’s name. Do you like that name? I suddenly had an idea, “Xiao Niu Zi, can I call you Niu Lang from now on?”
He suddenly stopped and staggered, my nose promptly bumped into his back. Don’t break so hard, you have to think of the others when driving! I rubbed my nose and thought irritably.
He did not answer, but continued to walk. Since you didn’t speak out in objection I’ll take it as an agreement. “When I get home I’ll write you a sign to name your house, I’ll call it “The Host Club”. My schemes have prevailed.
“Niu Lang!” I called out tenderly and saw his back stiffen and his whole body tighten. Was he not used to the new name? Why such a big reaction? He’s totally not adaptable enough! I continued, “You did all the work during this trip to gather medicinal herbs, I’ve done nothing but drag you down, you won’t blame me for insisting on coming in the first place, right?” (Author: You’ve ruined his silk handkerchief, stained his coat with your saliva, made him drink your feet water, tainted his lips with poison and stolen his first kiss, your evildoings are too numerous to be listed.)
“I’m very happy.” Happy to be dragged down by me? He’s probably too tired and confused from carrying me on his back, I won’t hold it against him.
Verbal repentance seems a little insincere, so I’ve decided to give him something. I looked all over and found that I have nothing of value on me, what should I give to him as a gift? That’s right! I took out one of Uncle Liu’s paintings and made a paper crane, I’ve even chosen one that I used to wipe away blood, it’s prettier with some colour. (Author: You miser, dismissing him with a piece of paper. On top of that, the piece of paper actually belongs to Uncle Liu. =_= )
I happily handed Xiao Niu Zi the paper crane, “Here, Niu Lang, from me to you.” (Author: It’s just a piece of paper, of course you are happy to give it to him.)
He had a look of bewilderment on his face, I continued to explain, “I’m giving you a crane to fly you to see your Zhi Nü.” Xiao Niu Zi was quiet and didn’t speak a single word. Did he see through my actions? Seeing that he wasn’t easy to fool, I have to up the dose. “Don’t underestimate this paper crane, it’s called the thousand paper crane, it was said that if you give someone you love one thousand paper cranes on their birthday, not only will she accept you, you will also be granted a wish.” Xiao Niu Zi looked slightly moved after hearing my explanation.
“I’m only secretly telling you, don’t you go and tell the others.” I thought to myself, he’s so poor and these papers aren’t cheap, ordinary people won’t be able to afford many of them, when he’s saved up enough money to buy a thousand pieces of paper, I’ve already run off. But if he let the others know, then there’s no promise that people with money and time to kill won’t go and try to fold one thousand of them, and when they realized their wishes weren’t granted, they’ll come after me.
After hearing my explanation, Xiao Niu Zi carefully put away the paper crane as if it’s a precious treasure. (Author: A decent lad like Xiao Niu Zi was completely ruined by you, treasuring a piece of paper tainted by your foot fungus.)
Xiao Niu Zi let me down when we were approaching the village, but due to being on his back for too long, my feet were already numb. Suddenly being put down on the ground, I lost my balance and was about to fall over. Xiao Niu Zi helped me keep my balance and blamed himself as he rubbed my feet. After quite a while, he finally helped me walk to my house.
When I got home, Uncle Liu was already back, but the strange thing was, the fishing nets weren’t hanging in the yard as usual. Could it be that Uncle Liu didn’t go fishing when I was away?
Xiao Niu Zi went home after Uncle Liu checked over the medicinal herbs. I was going to have Xiao Niu Zi over for dinner, but after hinting at it several times, Uncle Liu completely dismissed me, so I had to give up.
Immediately after Xiao Niu Zi had left, Uncle Liu asked to see the blisters on my feet. He untied the silk handkerchief, carefully examined it and set it aside. Then he used a silver needle and dabbed at the medicine Xiao Niu Zi applied for me, smelled it and thought to himself, then his brows unfurled and muttered, “He actually used Hundred Grace Essence.” Then he said to me plainly, “Your feet’s fine, it will heal tomorrow. I’ll go and prepare the medicine for your eyes, you probably have to apply for seven to eight days straight.” Then, he went off to mess around with those medicinal herbs.
Why does everyone in this time period have a silver needle, I should get ahold of one and bring it with me everywhere. (Don’t prick yourself with it!) Xiao Niu Zi and Uncle Liu both used the silver needle to pick my feet, do they suspect that I have poison on my feet? Back in high school, I was infected with athlete’s foot, but that’s like a hundred years ago, do you guys have to prick me left and right like I have some sort of poison? But having said that, Xiao Niu Zi’s medicine was really effective, and Uncle Liu’s even more awesome, the nearsightedness that has plagued me for years can be cured with his Traditional Chinese Medicine within only a week, it’s truly a blessing for all the patients suffering from the same problem.
Niu Lang or 牛郎 is another name for male hosts at host clubs. Hence the reference.
This chapter is finally finished!~ I’m so happy that it’s all done. 🙂 Can’t wait until I start and finish the next chapter of Singing Spring Melody. I’m really happy the humour with the whole “master of deflowering” translated. We get to hear the crazy thoughts in Ou Yuan’s head once again. The Chinese names of the flower and the medicine Xiao Niu Zi used were both really pretty, I did my best to translate them.
If you still haven’t, go and check out my Song Lyric Translations.
As always, please like, comment, and follow if you’ve enjoyed reading!~ Ciao! ❤
1 It’s called 香囊 in Chinese, carried around as both an accessory for both men and women, it also emits pleasant fragrances. It’s also believed to have the purpose of driving away evil spirits. Women give these to men as tokens of love to their lover, to see pictures of them please click here —>LINK.↩
2 The term 采花 or flower picking can have literal meanings but also can be to rape a girl. 采花贼 or flower picking thief is another name for a rapist. The story mentioned 采花高手 or master rapist …. I’ve translated it to “master of deflowering” keeping the same meaning while still using the flower analogy.↩
3 The “three with escort” is a literal translation of 三陪 another name for an escort that has sex with her customers.↩
4 Zhu Ba Jie or 猪八戒 is the Pig from Journey to the West, there’s a famous scene know to everyone where Zhu Ba Jie humorously carries his wife on his back.↩
6 王母娘娘, 西王母, or 王母.↩
7 It’s the Chinese name of The Milky Way, I’ve chosen to not use the English name because it doesn’t sound right in the story. It’s also referred to as the celestial river.↩
8 It’s a type of bird, called 喜鹊 in Chinese. Click here to see pictures —>LINK.↩
9 It’s called 七夕节, 乞巧节 or 七姐诞 in China. It’s celebrated in many East Asian countries, click here to read more about it —>LINK.↩
10 Niu Lang or 牛郎 is another name for male hosts at host clubs. Hence the reference.↩
11 Silver turns black when in contact with toxins, a lot of people in the Jianghu Community brings a silver needle everywhere to test for poisons..↩