Note: Everything above this is an announcement by Creative Novels. It's not written by me (Reika). So if you read something like "I've been sick" that isn't me. That's the owner of this Creative Novels.
*********Never Marry A Man With Two
Before it got too dark, Cheng managed to find a small stream with waist-deep water.
Liu Guang was dehydrated so badly that his clothes had almost turned grey. Cheng Nuo waded into the stream holding Liu Guang. First, he gave Liu Guang water then carefully washed the bloodstains off his body. Even though he was in a coma, Lu Guang seemed to be suffering from thirst and drank until his stomach bulged. His wounds had already scabbed over but they still looked quite ugly.
Cheng Nuo was tired. As he put new clothes on Liu Guang, the sky turned completely dark and the roaring of the various wild beasts in the forest could be heard. His heart was troubled. Holding Liu Guang tightly, he gripped the short sword in his right hand. He suddenly realized how little he had done in the past and couldn't help but sigh. It's true that he spoiled Liu Guang but the truth was that he was the one who was dependent on this child most of the time.
After the fear and trepidation he felt in the face of disaster at recent events, his heart finally calmed down. Cheng Nuo breathed a sigh of relief. Even though he was a bundle of nerves after a sleepless night, his spirits were still high.
Liu Guang hadn't awakened yet but his body temperature was now only slightly higher than normal. Cheng Nuo was quite relieved to see that, based on the way Liu Guang's dry, chapped lips were starting to look a lot better, he probably wasn't dehydrated anymore
Since he didn't know when Liu Guang was going to wake up, Cheng Nuo decided to continue traveling. He hung their baggage in front of his chest and tied Liu Guang to his back with some rattan. Though he was in a coma, Liu Guang subconsciously held on to Cheng Nuo's shoulders with both hands and rested his head on his back. This gave Cheng some peace of mind and made a tender feeling rise up from his heart.
Liu Guang was in a coma for seven or eight days. During that time, Cheng Nuo carried him on his back, stopping for a rest whenever they passed through a town or village. There were no twists or turns on the road and Liu Guang's injuries were almost healed.
When Liu Guang woke up, he found himself sleeping on Cheng Nuo’s legs. Cheng Nuo was sleeping, leaning against the wall in exhaustion with his head crooked.
Liu Guang was in a daze for a time. As a matter of fact, he had been half-conscious these past two days and vaguely realized that Cheng Nuo was carrying him. His heart was quite anxious but there seemed to be a roiling ball of fire in his belly that made him feel extremely miserable and so tired that he couldn't open his eyes.
He touched Cheng Nuo's face. It was soft but thinner than it had been before.
Liu Guang's stomach growled loudly. Cheng Nuo's eyelashes quivered and Liu Guang hastily retracted his hand.
Cheng Nuo's eyes slowly focused until he saw Liu Guang, whose red hair was sticking up messily, looking at him. He threw himself at Liu Guang in excitement and hugged him while stroking his hair: "Xiao Guang, you're finally awake!"
Liu Guang blushed and said “hmm.” Although he felt embarrassed at being hugged by Cheng Nuo, he didn't want to break away from his embrace. However, his stomach started growling loudly again, which made Cheng Nuo happy. These past few days Liu Guang had only been able to consume rice water and plain water so he was very hungry.
Cheng Nuo let go of Liu Guang and pulled out their remaining money from their baggage. He smiled and said: "Let's go eat." Feeling as though he had lost then regained something, he clutched Liu Guang's hand all the way to the restaurant. When he loosened his grip
Cheng Nuo busy loosening Liu Guang, and pulled out the remaining money from the baggage and smiled and said: “Go, let’s go eat.” He has a feeling of being lost, and he has not held Liu Guang’s hand along the way. Liu Guang smiled at him as he gobbled up his food.
After they ate, Cheng Nuo carefully asked Liu Guang the details of what had happened and told him what he had found out about the ancient race. Cheng Nuo explained what happened after Liu Guang had collapsed and repeatedly cautioned him that he mustn’t transform again.
Liu Guang gnashed his teeth and said in a voice full of hate: "I will definitely kill this Li Yue in the future!"
"There's something really pitiful about him…" Seeing that Liu Guang wasn't paying attention to what he was saying, Cheng Nuo stopped speaking.
Liu Guang said angrily: "What's so pitiful about him? The next time he shows up, I won't let him go!"
They weren't far from Liao Ji City now. The two of them killed some wild beasts to exchange for some food in the city and, after walking for seven or eight days, they arrived at their destination. It was still about a month until the official registration.
Liao Ji was equivalent to the capital city of a country so it was much more prosperous than the other cities they had passed through.
As they traveled Cheng Nuo had listened to the people talking about Liao Ji and knew the basics about the city. There were three areas, the central area, and a wide expanse of beautiful mountains stretching hundreds of miles in the distance behind Liao Ji. Civilians were not allowed to enter.
There were dozens of sects in Liao Ji City. Several of these sects were charged by the Liao Ji City Lord to guard and maintain order and the City Lord himself was in possession of the largest sect. The Qinghua Sect that Cheng Nuo and Liu Guang wanted to join was precisely one of those that kept law and order in the city.
Now that their money bag was empty, Cheng Nuo decided to find a place to work to earn some money. This is a big city, therefore there were probably a lot of places that needed more workers.
Liu Guang listened to his plan. His straightened up his small body and said: "I'll go! You don't have to go!"
Cheng Nuo's eyes crinkled at the corners as he smiled. He lowered his head and stroked Liu Guang's hair. Since Liu Guang had such a bad temper, how could he feel at ease unless he went with him?
Eventually, the two of them found jobs at a medium-sized restaurant near Qinghua Sect. Cheng Nuo was a waiter while the small but strong Liu Guang worked with the others in the kitchen to buy ingredients. After a few days of training, Cheng Nuo learned how to speak to customers. His smile was uncommonly pleasant and he was very industrious, therefore the bookkeeper who had hired him was quite pleased with him.
This place could be considered being under the emperor's foot, thus it was naturally much more peaceful compared to the lawless places they had been to before. Although they were just short-term workers, they were paid twenty energy coins a day. It seems that the wages in a large city are a lot more compared to that of the towns.
Cheng Nuo thought this was very convenient. If he was unable to enter the sect, then he could work here to make money and it would be easy for the two of them to take care of each other.
From time to time, disciples of Qinghua Sect come to the restaurant to eat. Qinghua Sect's hierarchy was easy to determine since the different levels of disciples wore different robes but the corners were embroidered with the Qinghua Sect's motif – vivid and lifelike grass.
The grading system of Qinghua Sect is obvious. The clothes worn by disciples of different grades are also different, but the corners of the clothes are embroidered with the logo of Qinghua Sect – lifelike wood and grass. Cheng Nuo could only sigh at how, in this world, clothes really do make the man.
There were four levels of disciples in Qinghua Sect. The fourth-class disciples wear apricot yellow robes similar to a servant's garb. The third-class disciples wear dark blue robes that are of slightly higher quality. The second-class disciples wear blue-green robes and the first-class disciples are said to wear silver.
It was common to see third-class disciples eating in the restaurant and slightly less common to see the second-class and fourth-class disciples. As for the first-class disciples, Cheng Nuo hasn't seen any. Of course, disciples can choose to wear regular, civilian clothes outside of the sect. However, some disciples always like to show off their uniform so that civilians won't dare to provoke them.
They worked and lived at the restaurant. Although they had to bunk together with a dozen other people, Cheng Nuo was used to sleeping rough so he still felt quite satisfied.
Liu Guang was afraid that other people might try something on Cheng Nuo. Thus, he viciously chased away any rivals while hiding this domineering side from Cheng Nuo. Anyway, his first was strong. One unlucky man was shoved aside with such great strength and glared at so fiercely that he was shocked and could only secretly mutter a few curses under his breath as he took his quilt and changed places.
They were all crowded together so Cheng Nuo was afraid that Liu Guang would start kicking other people during the night and cause a commotion. To prevent such an occurrence, Cheng Nuo held on firmly to that small body while they slept. Actually, Cheng Nuo did the same thing when they used to sleep together in the same bed before but Liu Guang wouldn't allow Cheng Nuo to touch him while he was awake. In addition, Cheng Nuo held Liu Guang when he was in a coma which he, of course, didn't remember.
This time, Liu Guang's body went stiff and his face turned red but he hugged Cheng Nuo by the waist. It's not like Cheng Nuo could see his face anyway.
Everyone was tired after a long day of work. When they blew out the candles, they immediately went to sleep.
Liu Guang rested his head on Cheng Nuo's chest to listen to his steady heartbeat and thought that it would be nice if he was already fifteen years old. Then they could be a family and he would take Cheng Nuo to live with him in a big house. He couldn't have to go through all of these hardships and the two of them would sleep like this every day.
The restaurant had quite a lot of business. Cheng Nuo was run ragged and from morning to till noon he was so busy that he couldn't even grab a drink of water. On the other hand, Liu Guang's work of buying ingredients from the market was generally finished by noon. He couldn't help but look at Cheng Nuo with dissatisfaction in his gaze. He pulled Cheng Nuo aside and tried to take the cleaning rag from his shoulder: "You can rest. I'll take over your job for a while."
Cheng Nuo smiled and grabbed the cleaning rag: "It’s all right. I’m not tired. You go back and rest."
Liu Guang was a late developer. At eleven or twelve years old, he wasn't very tall for his age and looked like a child. How could he serve the customers? Cheng Nuo was fourteen to fifteen years old. Every month he grew taller and taller and looked more and more mature.
Liu Guang glared at him but Cheng Nuo saw another group of customers entering the restaurant so he pushed Liu Guang back. He smiled and greeted the customers.
The customers were four teenagers, all dressed in gorgeous clothes. One of them a was a thirteen or fourteen-year-old dressed in a long skirt, obviously a female. He had a beautiful face and stood at the center of the group like a moon among the stars. Cheng Nuo dared not neglect these customers. Smiling and showing two tiger teeth, he said: "Welcome, please come inside."
The teenager glanced at him arrogantly, then glanced inside again. Two delicate eyebrows drew together in a frown and he said, "So many people! This restaurant doesn’t look good either."
A taller youth, who was obviously the one treating them to dinner, quickly smiled and said: "Zi Qing Shidi probably doesn't know this but even though this restaurant's decorations are a little worse, among the restaurants in this area, their food is the best. Waiter, do you have a private room we can use?"
Cheng Nuo quickly nodded and smiled: "Yes, please go upstairs."
Zi Qing snorted and followed. Cheng Nuo showed them upstairs and diligently served them tea. He was rapidly losing confidence in the stupid teenagers of this world and was afraid that he would get in trouble again.
The older teenager apparently came here frequently. He ordered several signature dishes and asked Cheng Nuo what new dishes they had. Cheng Nuo recited the new menu aloud. Zi Qing listened to what he said then pouted, "Lu Zhen Shixiong, this is nothing good. When I'm at home, my servant eats better than this."
The other two teenagers laughed. One said, "Shidi, don't be angry. I will invite you to eat well some other day." The other teenager was also laughing and making jokes.
Cheng Nuo watched all this with a smile on his face. How precocious the young people in this world were to flirt with the opposite s*x at such at an early age! it seems that these three males were probably pursuing this Zi Qing. It would be better if it was three men pursuing one girl. With three men competing for another man's attention, Cheng Nuo felt like his eyes were blinded!
Of course, no matter what he thought, he dared not laugh.
Lu Zhen couldn't stand their mockery. When he saw Cheng Nuo standing there and bowing at him, he angrily said: "Why are you still here? Go and order the dishes! And go buy some sweet-scented osmanthus sugar steamed chestnut cake and rose pastry at Ruyi Zhai for Zi Qing Shidi to eat."
Cheng Nuo was a little surprised then smiled and looked at him. If he wants someone to run an errand for him to get food from somewhere else, then shouldn't he pay for it first/ That Ruyi Zhai wasn't far at all. It was just two blocks away from the restaurant.
Lu Zhen eventually understood what Cheng Nuo was waiting around for and impatiently slammed a level two energy coin on the table: "You can keep the change as a reward, move faster!"
Although his monthly salary was just five level two energy coins a month, in front of Zi Qing he naturally acted arrogantly.
The two teenagers laughed and joked about "Lu Shixiong’s extravagant ways" and so on. Cheng Nuo quickly bowed and rushed out.
A level two energy coin is worth a hundred level one energy coins. It's more than enough to buy those cakes. Cheng Nuo stroked the money in his palm, his eyes narrowed in delight
The restaurant was quite full so Cheng Nuo couldn't go out to run an errand. He went to Liu Guang and asked him to do it. He was afraid that Liu Guang would make a mistake so he repeated his instructions several times until Liu Guang said impatiently: "You're too long-winded! I understand; I'll go now. You should take a break."
Cheng Nuo smiled and stroked Liu Guang's hair. Bright-eyed, Liu Guang glanced at him before running off.
After Cheng Nuo sent a dish up, Liu Guang returned. He had finished the errand very quickly. Ruyi Zhai’s snacks were delicately packaged and smelled very fragrant. Cheng Nuo carefully placed the two snacks on a plate and carried them up, smiling.
osmanthus cakeReika's Notes:
- "These past few days Liu Guang had only been able to consume rice water and plain water." – 米汤 (mǐ tāng) a sort of rice “soup” but I used "rice water" since it's actually just the water in which rice was boiled. There's no rice in it so it's not porridge.
- "Qinghua Sect's motif – vivid and lifelike grass." – 栩木草 (xǔ mù cǎo) The three characters mean "vivid/lifelike wood grass" which doesn't make much sense and, sadly, Baidu and Google image search turned up nothing so I have no idea what this motif looks like. A possible translation is "alfalfa."
- "And go buy some sweet-scented osmanthus sugar steamed chestnut cake." – Yes, the name of it is really that long. 桂花糖蒸栗粉糕 (guì huā táng zhēng lì fěn gāo). I think that it’s actually made with water chestnut, not chestnut.
- "… and rose pastry." – 玫瑰酥 (méi guī sū)
- Thanks for reading!