Chapter 6: Collar

It sounds like Mr. Kan Chen has a deep grudge against those vermin.

“Shall we go over there now?” Xia Nuo smelled the scent of roses again as he spoke. This time, the scent was much stronger. It was obviously not just an illusion.

A moment later, he saw two black shadows appearing in front of him. The black shadows looked very thin, its stature like a child’s, with a very clear silhouette of a human body. The scent of rose continued to permeate the air around.

If Xia Nuo could see them, he would see that the two shadows were not real human children, but extremely well-made puppets.

Kan Chen stepped forward and stood in front of Xia Nuo. “Are you here to see me?”

“Yes, dad rehearsed a new play–” The puppet on the right said in a childish voice.

“–and we’re here to invite you to see it!” The puppet on the left continued.

“Li Charlie?” Kan Chen snorted. “He rehearses all day long, isn’t it just going to be the same play?”

The two little puppets looked up at him stiffly, stared at him straight and said in unison, “Don’t say that about dad! Even though he’s poor, stupid, untalented, showy and stubborn…”

Ai…? Xia Nuo’s eyes widened.

What’s up with kids these days? Instead of letting others talk about your dad, they themselves are putting him down to nothing. Is this okay?

“…but this time, he really did prepare a new script called ‘Bloody Opera House’!”

“I won’t go.” Kan Chen refused directly. “I already feel like it’s not worth seeing just by hearing the title.”

He’s been in the manor for so long, of course he’s aware of Lee Charlie’s screen writing level. This man’s level has always been horrible, and has not improved since he came to the manor.

The two little puppets were not discouraged by his rejection, and instead turned to Xia Nuo and asked, “Older brother, do you wanna go see our father’s screenplay?”

“No, no.” Xia Nuo waved his hand repeatedly.

‘Bloody Opera House’, you can already assume from the title that it’s very gory. Moreover, he won’t be able to appreciate watching the opera, since everything he sees at the moment is still kind of dark.

“Ah…” The little puppet on the left dragged a long tone and let out a disappointed sigh. The little puppet on the right looked at the hands of the two people holding each other, rolled his eyes slyly, and asked, “Older brother, it’s your first day at the manor, right? I’m different. I’ve lived in the manor since birth, I know everything about it. Do you want to know the secrets of the manor? For example, who is the owner of the manor? I can tell you. But in exchange, you have to go to see dad’s opera…”

Although his words were addressed to Xia Nuo, his eyes looked straight at Kan Chen, and his outlined mouth grinned widely, revealing a mocking expression.

Kan Chen stared back coldly.

Is that supposed to intimidate him? Then he’s got it all wrong. Although he’s an immortal creature, he had a thousand ways to make him wish he was dead.

But… He glanced at the young man beside him. What choice would he make?

“Really?” Xia Nuo was surprised to hear this at first, but then thought about it and refused, “Forget it. I will know the name of the owner of the manor sooner or later, but if the condition is to force my friend to go to the opera, then forget it. I don’t want to make him unhappy.”

Although the conditions offered might sound tempting, Xia Nuo wouldn’t force a friend. Since Mr. Kan Chen has rejected it, he will not contradict him.

The little puppet didn’t expect Xia Nuo to give such a reply, and could only look indignantly at the man in front of him, who was showing a smug smile.

Although Kan Chen didn’t say anything, his eyes already told everything well.

How’s that? Isn’t my little pet very clever and sensible?

The little puppet grinded his teeth viciously. He looked at Xia Nuo and Kan Chen, then finally compromised, “You probably need a collar now, right? I can ask my dad to make one for you. He’s got the best materials, and even though he’s stupid, his craftmanship is top notch. What do you think?”

He won’t believe that this man won’t be tempted by this!

After hearing those words, Xia Nuo became puzzled. “Why would we need a collar?”

The little puppet did not pay attention to his question, but looked straight at Kan Chen. As expected, the man did not refuse, but showed a pensive expression.

“Deal.” Kan Chen said a moment later.

“Great!” The other little puppet who had been silent since a while ago and had been watching the developments jumped up and cheered, “I’ll show you the way!”

With that, it began to trot along the path.

Although they really looked like ordinary children when they were standing still, once they started running, Xia Nuo heard an unnatural sound of joint clatter.

“This.. Are they…?” Xia Nuo turned his head to look at the man. Are they actually not humans?

The man responded with a chuckle, “You just found out?”

Xia Nuo’s attention skewed elsewhere, however, and he asked in a surprised tone, “But they have a dad, though? Is that person also not human?”

“No, their ‘dad’ is a real human being. He’s a carpenter, and they’re all puppets made by him.” So that’s what he’s gonna ask, huh.

To be able to make puppets so lifelike, even their way of speaking and thinking is the same as that of human beings, and even smarter and cunning. One would probably never imagine that they’re inanimate creatures.

To be able to make such a puppet, the carpenter’s craftsmanship must have reached the pinnacle level, right?

Wait…

“A carpenter who goes off to write plays?” Xia Nuo thought there was a problem.

“Li Charlie is a first-rate carpenter but an eighteenth-rate playwright.” Kan Chen commented. “That’s why I don’t want to see his rehearsed opera. It’s just torture.”

When Li Charlie first entered the manor, everyone had not yet formed a correct understanding of his screenwriting ability and was glad to accept his invitation to watch. However, once they saw his rehearsed opera, they did not agree anymore to see it the second time. The same could be said as true for Kan Chen. Since his visual and auditory senses have been poisoned once, he has since then turned away from this person.

“Then why did you suddenly agree?” Xia Nuo was puzzled and asked, “Is it because of the collar?”

Mr. Kan Chen obviously agreed to this after hearing the little puppet promise to have his ‘dad’ make a collar for him, but why a collar? Is there something special about this kind of thing?

Kan Chen’s mouth held a mysterious smile, “You’ll know later.”

Such a thing like a collar can both provide safety and assert sovereignty. From the start, he wanted to prepare one for his little pet.

Although there were many collars in his treasure room, including gold and silver carved plain collars, collars carved from beautiful jade, and collars inlaid with pearls and gems, they are not as effective as those made by Li Charlie. His craftsmanship is way beyond reproach.

“All right.”

Xia Nuo is not the kind of person who asks a lot. Since the man didn’t say the reason why, he will no longer ask questions. What he didn’t know was that when he answered like this, Kan Chen showed a faintly disappointed expression.

Little pets are supposed to be curious, right? He wanted to tell him the collar was for him as soon as he asked. He thought that he would get a grateful look from the little darling, and maybe he would jump into his arms and ask for pampering. Now it’s all just a dream.

At this time, the little puppet who had been leading the way stopped and reminded them, “We’re here.”

A small opera house appeared in front of them, with pointed arches and ribbed vaults. It looked like a typical gothic building. Its snow-white walls were covered with large black roses. A strong floral fragrance filled the tip of their noses without even the wind blowing.

“Let’s go in quickly, the performance is about to begin.” The little puppet urged.

“Wait first.” Kan Chen walked away for a moment and came back with a large bunch of roses with the thorns removed and handed it to Xia Nuo, “Here, the roses you’ve always wanted. Like it?”

“I like it!” Xia Nuo excitedly buried his face into the petals, feeling the soft touch, “Thank you, Mr. Kan Chen!”

These are real flowers! Not a fake flower with no color or fragrance, not a dried flower that will break when you touch it. The fresh petals are spreading between his fingers, with a vibrant vitality and vigor. This is what Xia Nuo longed for the most when he was lying on the hospital bed, which is why he has such a deep obsession with flowers.

In his excitement, he couldn’t resist swooping up and planting a loud kiss on the man’s cheek as the little puppet next to him looked on with straight eyes. Instead, he held up the bouquet and giggled as if he didn’t know what a feat he had just done.

The man received the young man’s grateful look plus an additional kiss just as he wished, and the heart in his chest that hadn’t beaten for many years seemed to make a clear ‘thump’ sound at that moment.


Ayy, don’t you think characters just keep on appearing like mushrooms?

nezu

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2 Comments

  1. Anra7777

    And the man’s not going to wonder how he was able to see well enough to find the man’s cheek without mishap?