Hunting for Beautiful Men, a Journey Through Time 狩猎美男之古旅 (Volume 1)
Chapter Nine: Birds Of A Feather Flock Together
The haunting ghost disturbance—A man dreads fame as a pig dreads being fat, I finally took my first calamitous step.
After waking up in the morning, I thought about my dream last night. I thought to myself, Xiao Niu Zi must have accumulated three lifetime’s worth of good fortune for me to have dreams about being so affectionate towards him. (You mean that he must have accumulated three lifetime’s worth of misfortune to have met you.)
Only after Uncle Liu applied for me my Cyclops “makeup” did I realized that he was looking rather pale and sickly. Uncle Liu only said that he didn’t sleep well last night, but he will be fine after he rests a while today, and told me not to worry about him.
I took out a needle and some thread and sat in the yard, making my scented sachet that’s sealed off on all four sides. After I was finished, I took a deep breath and breathed in the sweet aroma. Huh? There seems to be a word on the silk handkerchief that the scented sachet was made out of, it’s really tiny and looked like the character “溪”.
Was “Xi” the name of Xiao Niu Zi’s lover? Or is Xiao Niu Zi’s last name Xi? Last name Xi, first name Niu, so Xiao Niu Zi is a rhino?! 0_0
Just then, Xiao Hu Zi came over to visit. I quickly stashed away the scented sachet, not wanting for him to see and laugh at my shabby needlework. Why do people in this time period enjoy being animals so much? We’ve got a Xiao Niu Zi over there and a Xiao Hu Zi over here. Do animals really covet after me that much? (Author: Birds of a feather flock together, like attracts like.)
“Miss Ou, could I ask you for a favour?”
“Could you paint me one of those pictures, just like the one on top of Xiao Niu Zi’s door.”
Finally, someone that appreciates my talent! Wanting to thank Xiao Hu Zi for the faith he has shown in me, I’ve decided to provide the paper myself and write one for him. With a few strokes of the paintbrush, I was done writing. Xiao Hu Zi hurried to thank me.
“Tell me, what do you admire about my masterpiece?”
He faltered and didn’t know what to say, but seeing how I was growing impatient, he leaned in close to my ear and said, “Miss Ou, I’ll be straight with you and tell you the truth. Yesterday, I got up in the middle of the night to go and use the toilet, and I vaguely saw a black shadow passing by. I thought I was seeing things, but after a while, I saw the black shadow appear in front of Xiao Niu Zi’s house, suddenly being thrown out backwards, flying through the air and falling onto the ground, disappearing in the blink of an eye. I reckoned it was probably something unholy, then this morning I saw that there was a picture up on Xiao Niu Zi’s door and thought that it was probably what repelled the evil spirit last night. I asked Xiao Niu Zi about it and found out that you were the one who painted it, so I came to ask you for another one to ward off evil spirits.”
Having heard his explanation, I was already boiling with rage. What did you take my writing for? A spirit exorcising talisman!? I reached out and tried to snatch away the writing and destroy it, however, Xiao Hu Zi was more agile than I thought, and quickly ducked out of the way, stuffing the painting away in his clothes and hurried off after saying goodbye.
Good news won’t leave the door, while bad news travels fast. It’s not even noon yet and almost the whole village knew about the ghostly haunting incident. That Xiao Hu Zi sure has a big mouth. Too bad this meant trouble for me, with an aunty Zhang here an aunty Li there, a whole bunch of village women all lined up at my house asking for my masterpiece, making me unsure as to whether I should be laughing or crying. Thinking about how I still have to keep staying here, I didn’t want to offend these women, so I could only quietly practice writing my “HOST CLUB” sign until I was very skilled at writing it.
Finally, after an afternoon’s worth of time, I’ve finished drawing talismans for the whole village. Looking up, I saw that other than my house, all the other houses in the village were converted into host clubs by me. It’s quite a “grand” spectacle! (Now you’ve ruined a village full of people, Uncle Liu was right in saying that you were bad news. Although you haven’t done anything calamitous that’s threatening towards the country, but by the looks of it, you’ve certainly done enough to threaten its people.)
I calmed myself and linked all the minute details together. Could it be that Uncle Liu was the ghostly shadow? Why did he go and look for Xiao Niu Zi? And was thrown out the door? Could it have been Xiao Niu Zi? Or perhaps someone else? In any case, it certainly wasn’t my “HOST CLUB” that sent him flying out the door.
With these doubts in my mind, I went to make dinner, hoping that Uncle Liu wouldn’t kill me for the sake of my okayish cooking. Or maybe I should make a preemptive strike, and kill him with the Widow’s Poison? But this is my only weapon. That’s right, I’ve still got one of my high heels, I could smack him with my shoe. When I was in University, for the sake of my own safety I hid a brick and a wine bottle under my bed at the dorm, in case some criminal breaks in through the window. (Author: You live on the 6th floor okay, missy?) But then again, these were all speculations, what if I accidentally killed an innocent person? It’s best for me to just wait and see for now.
Uncle Liu didn’t seem to have much of an appetite, and he kept on coughing, my heart was pounding like a drum inside my chest and we finished eating our meal in silence. When I was clearing the table, Uncle Liu asked me to go over to his room after I was done.
I thought as I washed the dishes, could Uncle Liu have found out about my intentions? Was he finally going to kill me? After much thought, I was at the end of my wits. I can’t keep standing here like this, I’ve got to hurry back to my room and find a weapon. Huh? Where did my high heel go? Did someone steal it? But none of my other valuables were missing except for the shoe. Could there be a thief in this village that secretly admires me? (In your dreams!) Thinking about how Uncle Liu treats me pretty well, and what must be must be, I can’t avoid the inevitable. I made up my mind and stuffed the Widow’s Poison into my clothes, then headed straight for Uncle Liu’s room.
A new chapter is finally up for both HBMJTT and Singing Spring Melody. I know the people following this particular novel see updates pretty frequently (?) I think. But I made people waiting for Singing Spring Melody wait for quite a while last time. >~< Anyway, hope you enjoy this short and sweet little update, it was fun to translate. Not much progress in the story but suspense is building up.
For people reading this, I recommend for everyone to go and check out one of my new translation projects, Haunting Spectre Road by Tinadannis. It’s a really awesome book! Click here to read it —>LINK.
As always, please like, comment, and follow if you’ve enjoyed reading!~ Ciao! ❤
1 The Chinese character 溪 is read as xī, and in this case it’s part of a character’s name. This character literally means “stream” or “brook”. The female lead in the novel thought this was Xiao Niu Zi’s last name.↩
2 So here’s another joke from the author. It was mentioned before that the female lead thought that “溪” or Xi was Xiao Niu Zi’s last name and that “牛” or Niu was his first name, so together his name should be “溪牛”, read as xī niú. The Chinese name for rhinoceros is 犀牛, read as xī niú as well. That’s why she’s calling Xiao Niu Zi a rhino.↩
3 In Chinese the author mentioned that Xiao Hu Zi thought her writing looked like “鬼画符”, literally translates to “ghost scribbling talismans”. Which is another way of saying that someone has messy and scrawly handwriting. How did this saying come to be? Well, taoists write talismans using red ink on yellow paper, for the purpose of calling and commanding spirits, keeping a person safe and whatnot. If you’ve never seen a taoist talisman then click here to see what it looks like —>LINK. Now, usually the writings on these talismans aren’t very recognizable since they are written in a special way, so in comparison, someone with scrawly handwriting might have illegible handwriting that look so unrecognizable that people call it “鬼画符”. In the novel it played on this a bit and Xiao Hu Zi believed her scrawly handwriting has ghost repelling properties.↩
4 For anyone interested in learning Chinese, “What must be must be, one cannot avoid the inevitable” is the translation of 是福不是祸，是祸躲不过.↩