“Kong Kong, I’m leaving…” Cang Qiong, with his large travel bag, resignedly looked at Kong Kong who silently sat on the sofa.
Kong Kong was mad at Cang Qiong because he refused to take him on this trip to Suzhou. Cang Qiong neither needed to buy a train ticket nor pay for the hotel accommodations for Kong Kong. He could have just asked Kong Kong to follow him quietly, but he still refused to take Kong Kong with him! Therefore, of course, Kong Kong was unhappy and didn’t want to talk to Cang Qiong!
Cang Qiong stood in front of Kong Kong, staring at him. If he succeeded, Kong Kong wouldn’t be stuck in this apartment anymore, or remain pouting and pissed off at Cang Qiong. Nonetheless, no matter what Kong Kong would become, Cang Qiong was determined to find him even in the face of all the hardships and difficulties!
“I’m leaving.” Cang Qiong hardened his heart and left. His godfather was waiting for him at the train station. Leaving the building, he habitually looked back at the empty balcony. It seemed that Kong Kong was truly angry this time…
Seeing Cang Qiong walking farther and farther away, Kong Kong stuck his head out and looked at Cang Qiong’s back from a distance. He dejectedly thought to himself: “If I were a human, Qiong Qiong would definitely take me with him, right?”
“Clickety-clack—!” The train was leaving the platform.
Cang Qiong took out from his bag the notebook that recorded the details of Kong Kong’s death. All of these were told by Kong Kong due to Cang Qiong’s deliberate inquiries…
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Gnnsaekdt vs obyv Isdt Isdt bye alnyzzle, yaswde 2:00 r.x. sd Grakz 23, 1990, bl alpsavle vs pwknkel cu nwvvkdt bkp oakpv kd vbl cyvbassx; Isdt Isdt eked’v jdso vbl lmynv vkxl obld vbl vball rlsrzl nyxl. Xdzu bl jdlo kv oyp yaswde dktbvvkxl yqvla bl qlzz ypzllr. Gqvla blyakdt vbl jdsnjp sd vbl essa, bl tsv wr vs srld vbl essa yde vbyv oyp obld vblpl xld cyatl kdvs vbl assx. Jyple sd vbyv pvyvlxldv, vbl vaytkn lhldv vbyv bl oswze pwqqla qasx oswze’hl byrrldle sd vbl dktbv sq Grakz 22. Mblalqsal, obyv Uydt Cksdt dllele vs es oyp vs twyae Isdt Isdt sd vbl lhldkdt sq Grakz 22 vs ralhldv Isdt Isdt qasx clkdt byaxle!
“Tso oyp uswa ralryayvksd?” Jlpkel bkx oyp bkp tseqyvbla obs zlydle shla vs zssj yv Uydt Cksdt’p dsvlp.
“Ebyv lzpl pbswze R ralryal?”
“Zsw jdso vbl lmynv vkxl?”
“Mblal pbswze cl ds rasczlx okvb vbl vkxl. Isdt Isdt pyke vbyv kv oyp 2 s’nzsnj obld bl osjl wr sd vbl 23ae yde pyo vbl nzsnj.”
“Gde bso ycswv vbl eyvl?”
“Jlnywpl vbl 22de oyp y Fwdeyu, yde Isdt Isdt bye nayx pnbssz vbyv eyu… R vbkdj Isdt Isdt alxlxclale vbl eyvl nsaalnvzu.”
“Mbyv’p tsse!” Mbl tseqyvbla tzydnle yv bkp oyvnb, “Mblal kp pvkzz rzldvu sq vkxl. R’x tskdt vs vyjl y dyr qsa y obkzl.” Mbkp clywvkqwz yde zshlzu tseqyvbla zyke bkp blye sd Uydt Cksdt’p pbswzela yde nzsple bkp lulp.
Their destination for this trip was Qiyun Mountain, a legendary Taoist holy place where many residual traces were left by previous Taoist priests who had cast spells there. Thus, some of those remaining obscure powers have remained at Qiyun Mountain. His godfather chose that place because it had the best protective barrier.
After eight hours of ups and downs, Cang Qiong and his godfather finally arrived at the bottom of the mountain before sunset. During this time of the day, the yang energy has gradually receded, and the yin energy was rising. They found a trail and started climbing the mountain.
The falling of the night gave Qiyun mountain an eerie aura. The lush greenery during daytime has turned darker and stranger at night. Wild beasts began to appear and made odd noises, transmitting from one valley to another.
Cang Qiong and his godfather climbed a few hills, and found an octagonal pavilion. They put down their packages and started to form an array. Cang Qiong took out the brush and ink, and drew a Feng Shui Bagua on the pavilion’s floor; his godfather put eight charms on the eight corners of the pavilion and set up a barrier to cover up his power. Then, they took out five incense candles in five different colors: white, cyan, black, red, and white, corresponding to the five elements of gold, wood, water, fire, and earth, and then placed the candles in a pentagon shape inside the Feng Shui Bagua. Cang Qiong then stood in the middle of the Feng Shui Bagua.
“Qiong Qiong, I must remind you. The candles will burn for 50 minutes at present, which means you can only stay for 50 hours in total in the past. You will return here as if you had seen me after 50 hours. However — for me — 50 minutes have just passed. You won’t be sending back to the exact time, so you have to adapt to the timeframe once you get there. You shouldn’t disturb the other past events when you are there and should ignore everything and everyone around you if you can. Also, don’t tell others who you are. Once you’ve come back, no matter what the outcome is, we have to leave Hangzhou immediately. 50 minutes is already a big risk for me. Have you remembered everything that I have told you?”
“Wow! Godfather, you’re so handsome when you’re being serious!” Cang Qiong appeared carefree as if no pressure was overpowering him. But in fact, he was awfully nervous too, making a joke of the situation helped him loosen up.
“Of course! I am your godfather. I have been a good-looking man since ancient times…”
“What an old monster!”
“If I were an old monster, you were a little monster!” The two people quarreled in the pavilion before the appointed time arrived.
Finally, “I will no longer disturb you. We must be in sync. Are you ready?”
“Okay, let’s get started!”
The godfather fixed his posture, closed his eyes, and began to chant a spell silently. Cang Qiong opened his ears, listening closely. But the spell was so complicated for him to understand, even a word was too complex.
“Hissss..” The white candle instantly ignited and formed a white flame. His godfather opened his eyes and waved his hand to Cang Qiong who had turned into a beam of light, disappearing in the dark night…
His godfather sat in the pavilion and prayed for him quietly: “Qiong Qiong, you must come back safe”. Then, he took out a Gameboy from his bag and started playing…
Cang Qiong suddenly felt all the darkness surrounding him vanished, and then a dazzling light appeared. He had been flipped over several times and was close to throwing up… Finally, the nausea he felt stopped. He opened his eyes and found the world had turned upside down. After patting his head a few times, he finally woke up and realized he was hanging on a tree.
‘Where is this place? What day is it today?’
“Kong Kong, I like you…”
‘What? Kong Kong’s here? Someone is confessing to Kong Kong? Don’t tell me it’s that horny pervert who looks a lot like me?’ Cang Qiong tried to move his body violently. But unfortunately, he was hooked by the branches and couldn’t get down from the tree. The dense leaves blocked his vision, troubling him to see anything from beneath him. He decided to calm down and listen to their conversation.
“You’re crazy, I’m not gay.” It was Kong Kong’s voice! Cang Qiong’s heart started to beat wildly, ‘Kong Kong is just right under me and he’s still alive! This is great! Fortunately, Godfather didn’t send me to the wrong period!’
“It doesn’t matter. I know what I feel, and I have liked you since a long time ago…”
‘Ewww… such a disgusting confession, even the voice is hideous!’ Thought Cang Qiong.
“Sorry, I’m not into that!” ‘Wow! Kong Kong is so manly! It’s the first time I’ve seen him act like this! Kong Kong! Well said! Call him a pervert!’
“No, I’m not gay… I just happen to like you.” ‘Bah! This line is out of date!’ Well, Mr. Cang, you are in the year 1990, you know?
“I don’t want to trouble myself with this kind of issue now. In a few months, we’re going to take the college entrance exam. So, sober yourself up from this pipe dream of yours! I’m leaving…”
‘Kong Kong! Wait a minute! Don’t just leave yet!’
The two people below seemed to be gone by now, while Cang Qiong was still stuck and struggling in the damn branches!
‘Crack!’ Possibly because of Cang Qiong’s weight and excessive struggling, the branches eventually broke. “Woah!” He fell face down into the mud, gnawing a bit of it.
He patted down the dust on his body and looked around. ‘It seems like a school… Where is Kong Kong?’ He remembered that Kong Kong was in class 2 so he started to walk there.
Cang Qiong found Class 2 of Senior Three in the education building and looked through the window, but no one was inside. ‘What day is it today? How is it that there is no one? Is it the 22nd of Sunday?’
Cang Qiong wandered along the corridor, walked past the teacher’s office, and heard a broadcast inside: “Hello everyone! Today is Saturday, April 21st. It is now 8:15 am Beijing time. All listeners are welcome to listen to our program …”
While pondering for a while, Cang Qiong adjusted his watch… He felt that something was wrong… ‘Yes, in 1990, there shouldn’t be a two-day break each week, right?’
Suddenly, a voice called to him! “Hey! What class are you from?”
Cang Qiong became stunned for a moment. He then turned and found a teacher in front of him.”I-I’m a senior in this high school…”
“Why are you still here then? Why aren’t you in the hospital for the medical examination?”
“Oh, oh oh…” ‘So that explains it!’! Cang Qiong immediately left the school.
It turned out that today was the physical evaluation for the high schoolers. ‘Then… Kong Kong should be at the nearby hospital? What should I do now?’ The clueless Cang Qiong wandered in the streets for two hours. The streets have changed a lot during these 10 years…
He suddenly caught a glimpse of a person. Kong Kong?!
Cang Qiong’s sharp eyes focused on the familiar figure! His Kong Kong — in his high school uniform — was about to descend from an overpass bridge, towards his direction. After predicting the direction Kong Kong was going to take, Cang Qiong walked up.
‘Kong Kong looks so cool. Having that poker face makes me want to pinch him…’
Kong Ru noticed that a man was approaching him, staring at him with a malicious smile. But this person appeared to be a good-looking guy. Thus, he promptly caught Kong Kong’s attention. Kong Kong fixed his gaze at him… Without noticing, he missed his step, lost his balance, and was about to fall.
Godsend opportunity! Cang Qiong rushed up, and held Kong Kong, hugging him in his arms… ‘Kong Kong‘s body is warm…’
“I’m sorry! I’m sorry!” The panicked Kong Kong immediately stood up and wanted to leave the arms of this stranger. But he found that the stranger wasn’t letting him. Instead, he was holding him tightly.
“Kong Kong, I know I’m handsome and you can’t resist looking at me. But you need to be careful when you walk.”
“What did you just call me?” Kong Kong was sure that he had no memory of ever meeting this person before.
“How did you know my name is Kong Kong?”
Cang Qiong thought of the bastard who confessed to Kong Kong this morning. He shouldn’t let himself be left behind! Otherwise, Kong Kong could be bewitched by others! “Because I like you. So I should know the name of the person that I adore…” What kind of reason was that? It sounded like a cliche line from a playboy…
“Do we know each other?” Kong Kong couldn’t decide whether he had seen this person before, or if this person in front of him was playing a prank?
“We haven’t known each other yet…”
Kong Kong became more confused and began to wonder if he had encountered a lunatic… “Let go of me! I’m going home!”
“Okay! Give me your first kiss then I’ll let you go.” Cang Qiong quickly lowered his head, and pressed his lips to Kong Kong’s own, taking his first kiss without a second thought. Kong Kong’s lips were warm and soft… Just like the marshmallows that he ate when he was a child… Cang Qiong smiled softly and released Kong Kong from his embrace.
Kong Kong was shocked. It took a long time for him to realize before he fled away in a panic…
Cang Qiong stood on the overpass and looked at Kong Kong from a distance; just like what Kong Kong did every day, gazing at him from a distance.
Out of the corner of his eye, he suddenly noticed someone standing beside him. He turned his head, seeing a boy with glasses staring at him…
“What? Am I that too magnificent for you to look at?” Cang Qiong rolled his eyes and walked away.
Cang Qiong clearly knew where his goal was so he just walked directly to his own place, which was also Kong Kong’s current address.
The old house looked a little newer, at least there was no dirty moss on the walls. Getting into Kong Kong’s apartment was simple since he still had the key in his backpack – as long as the lock was the same.
Cang Qiong took a look at his watch, it was already noon. He hadn’t eaten for a long time, so he walked into a nearby small restaurant and asked for a bowl of curry beef noodles.
After eating a whole bowl of noodle soup — he had been really hungry— he asked, “Hello, the bill please!” “A bowl of noodles is five yuan.” Cang Qiong took out a 10 yuan bill and asked the store owner for the change.
The store owner took the money, narrowed his eyes, and said to Cang Qiong, “What kind of money did you just give me?”
“RMB! 10 yuan! You don’t even know money?”
“Let me tell you, young man! I know money better than the rest of you people! Do you think I’ve never seen an RMB? Here!” The boss took out a stack of 10 yuan from his pocket and threw them in front of Cang Qiong…
Oops… Only then did Cang Qiong realize that he was in 1990 and the new version of RMB hadn’t been printed yet…
Cang Qiong flipped through his wallet, trying to find an older version of the bill. But he couldn’t… even the coins were of the newer version.
“How about this? This bill is useless now. But if you keep it for 10 years, it will definitely be usable! This bowl of noodles is five yuan. I’ll give you ten yuan, okay?”
“Do you think I’m a child that you can trick easily? So you just want to freeload for the noodles?!”
“Aya! I am begging you. I can help you wash the dishes to pay off for the noodles if you want?”
“Who wants you to wash the dishes? You have to pay for it!”
Cang Qiong could only swallow the bitterness he felt. Why didn’t he expect this kind of thing would happen before he set off?
“Hello! One bowl of curry beef noodles please!” Sounded by a sweet voice!
It turned out that Kong Kong also came to eat noodles at the same restaurant he was in! What a fate! Cang Qiong ran over and asked with a smile, “Kong Kong, can you lend me five yuan?”
Kong Ru looked at this crazy man who had kissed him on the overpass a while ago. He rolled his eyes at him, “I don’t know you!”
“I know you! Your name is Kong Ru. Your birthday is on July 30. You don’t have a father. Your mother’s name is Kong Shu! You are currently a senior student in Class 3 of Huiming High School, and you are also the president of the student council, right?”
“You— you are talking nonsense!”
The store owner saw that the two knew each other, so he grabbed Kong Kong and said, “You know him? Alright, you can pay for him!”
“I don’t know him!” Kong Kong yelled.
“Liar, you are a frequent customer here. I know your name is Kong Ru!” The boss was quite smart.
‘Kong Kong, ahh, Kong Kong. I have fed you so much food, but you don’t even want to pay for a bowl of beef noodles for me. You’ve left me heartbroken!’
“Kong Kong, come here!” Cang Qiong pulled him to sit down, and took out a hundred yuan from his wallet, “Kong Kong, this money will be usable after 10 years. I am exchanging this 100 yuan with your 10 yuan bill. If this 100 yuan can’t be used after 10 years, you can come and find me at the address on it! I will do whatever you want me to do!” He took out a pen from his bag and wrote down his address on the hundred-yuan.
“Are you lying to my face as if I’m a child that is easy to fool? This money is obviously an ancestral money that we burn for the dead!” Yes, the new version of the money was red and looked indeed very similar to an ancestral money.
“I’m lying to you? The last person who would lie to you in the world is me!”
Cang Qiong’s serious expression made Kong Kong feel that this person before him was clouded with mystery and particularly cryptic.
‘Forget it. Just treat it as a strange experience…’ For some reason, Kong Kong found that he couldn’t hate this person and even felt the kiss just now wasn’t bad. He took out 10 yuan and passed it to Cang Qiong. Cang Qiong was very happy and put the 100 yuan into Kong Kong’s hand, stressing that he kept it well.
“Waiter! Hurry up and serve the beef noodles! My Kong Kong is hungry!”
When the store owner saw Cang Qiong had the money, he immediately served a bowl of curry beef noodles. Cang Qiong sat at the opposite side of the table, carefully and earnestly looking at Kong Kong.
“Why are you staring at me?” Kong Kong felt uncomfortable under Cang Qiong’s heartfelt gaze.
“Because you are obviously fine-looking. I want to look at you more now. In the future, I don’t know when I will see you again.”
“What do you mean?” Kong Kong felt a sense of sadness from Cang Qiong’s reply.
While Kong Kong was eating noodles, a drop of yellow curry soup splashed on his face. Cang Qiong reached out and gently wiped it off for him… “Kong Kong, let me protect you during these few days…”