He picks up a book he’s halfway through and stands up and crosses past me, intending to withdraw back to his cell. I don’t know what happened to me, but my body naturally makes a reflexive pull on him.
Gu Yan glances at my hand holding on to his arm, then glances at me again. Suddenly, I am pushed to the ground by him, his whole body then presses against me, and we knock over a stack of books on the floor.
“What are you doing!” I reprimande in a rather unpleasant manner.
“Because you held me.”
“What kind of reason is that!”
“I wanted to take you back to the room and talk about it, but since you pulled me in, then I guess it doesn’t matter here.” Even if it’s irrational and inexplicable, even if I cannot accept it, for Gu Yan, that kind of reasoning is right.
“Don’t joke like that… You!” I panic and hurriedly grab Gu Yan’s hand that is tugging off my belt, and I couldn’t help but yell, “Stop it! I just wanted to ask you something so I pulled you!”
“Oh? What is it?” Gu Yan’s violent movements akin to a storm fortunately cease.
The following parts of the text will be scrambled to prevent theft from aggregators and unauthorized epub making. Please support our translators by reading on secondlifetranslations (dot) com. If you are currently on the site and and you are seeing this, please clear your cache.
R nzwvnb Qw Zyd’p bydep vktbvzu, qlyakdt vbyv yp pssd yp R zlv ts, bl oswze pvyav vwttkdt yv xu nzsvblp ytykd. Vydvkdt, R pyke, “Ebu… yal usw okzzkdt vs zlv xl pll Dkys Ubldt.”
Qw Zyd kp pkzldv yv qkapv. Tl zlyhlp xu cseu yde qzsrp wr ytykdpv vbl cssjpblzq sd vbl pkel. R oslqwzzu rasr xuplzq wr kd lxcyaayppxldv, rwv sd vbl rszknl nyr vbyv bye qyzzld vs vbl pkel, yde pkv wraktbv ynaspp qasx bkx okvb xu calyvb pvkzz y ckv ekpsakldvle.
“Jlnywpl usw nakle vs xl.” Qw Zyd ydpolap.
Ebld R blya vbkp ydpola, R clnsxl pvwddle qsa y xsxldv, yde vbld R alxlxcla Qw Zyd’p ps-nyzzle nau sq xkdl, obknb pbswze alqla vs vbl pbyxlqwz dktbv obld xu lxsvksdp nszzyrpl kd qasdv sq bkx. R alyzzu nswzed’v blzr cwv czwpb kd lxcyaayppxldv.
“Mbkp kp nsdpkelale y nbyakvu R’x tkhkdt usw, clnywpl kq R esd’v zlv usw pll uswa pkpvla, usw xktbv vawzu calyj esod kdvs rklnlp aktbv kd qasdv sq xl, yde R esd’v zkjl vbyv.”
G qlo zsnjp sq ale byka bkel Qw Zyd’p qzknjlakdt, xytdkqknldv&dcpr; talld lulp, xyjkdt xl wdyczl vs nzlyazu pll vbl lxsvksdp zwajkdt kd bkp lulp.
“Rq usw’al alyzzu osaakle, vbld obu esd’v usw fwpv zlv xl ts?”
“Eszq, vbyv’p vbl sdzu vbkdt R nyd’v rsppkczu ytall vs.”
“But if I have to stay in the Absolute Wing Hall forever, I might still fall apart …”
“I once said that I would never let you go, although it’s not what I like to see and not that I’m that happy towards our situation, however, even if you ended up being broken, I’ll still keep you close by my side.”
Gu Yan’s raised eyes are resolute and unwavering, without the slightest hint of ripples within, and I immediately understand that it really is impossible to persuade Gu Yan to let me go, and that letting me see Xiao Cheng is already his maximum limit──
“Gu Yan…” I feel desperate and exhausted, and after a deep sigh, I finally ask Gu Yan the question that has been buried in my heart for a long time. “Why me? What made you choose me?”
“I don’t know.” Gu Yan shakes his head, his expression like he really doesn’t know as he ruffles a few locks of his red hair in front of him. ” Maybe it’s because of your looks, maybe because of your figure, or maybe it’s because of the feeling of comfort you provide to me, maybe it’s these superficial reasons why I…”
Gu Yan’s gaze darts around elsewhere, and for the first time, I watch him let out a soft sigh of helplessness.
“Is that all?” I insist.
Gu Yan becomes silent again, then lifts his head and stares at me for a long time.
“And your eyes… because of the look in your eyes.”
“The look in my eyes?”
“When I was looking at the image of you in your interview, it was your eyes that made me notice you, because it looks a lot like my mother’s.”
I don’t know what to say, and just stare at Gu Yan quietly.
“You have a pure, innocent and sincere look in your eyes, just like her.” Gu Yan’s expression at this time is very strange. Although it’s the same as his familiar lazy smile, it’s like he’s at a loss for words and doesn’t know what expression to put on his face so he habitually squeezes out his usual smile.
“Gu Yan, do you love your mother very much?” I ask.
“Love? I don’t know. She died when I was very young. I don’t have any memory of her, the only thing I remember is the way she looked at me.” Gu Yan said in a light-hearted manner, “But she should not be bad to me. I have no hatred for her.”
This is the first time I hear Gu Yan mention his family. Whenever Gu Yan and I are together, he never mentions anything about his background, and I have never asked him or asked anyone else about his personal affairs.
I remember what Cang Wu once told me── “In the Absolute Wing Hall, everyone has their own story.” This suddenly makes me a little curious about Gu Yan’s personal life.
“Gu Yan, can I ask you a question?” I unexpectedly blurt out, using a natural tone of voice enough to surprise even myself.
“Of course, I’d be happy to answer.” Gu Yan smiles at me.
“You… Why are you locked up in the Absolute Wing Hall?”
“Me? Well… because I killed my father, stepmother and siblings.” Gu Yan explains the reason while still wearing a smile on his face.
“Why?” I’m so shocked.
“It’s very simple, because I hate them.” Gu Yan’s face is a sea of calmness, not as if he was talking about his own affairs. “Our Gu family is a martial arts aristocratic family. That teaching has been passed down for a long time and it’s very prestigious in all walks of life. My father is the inheritor of the Gu family martial arts teachings, and I was his only son. In order to pass on the martial arts to me, he has been very strict with me. I started training in martial arts when I was five years old. At that time, I was always washing my face with tears everyday because of the rigorous and frequent training.”
“In my memories, the only thing I remember about my father is his cold face that looks like a Noh mask,1Noh mask – Noh is a major form of classical Japanese dance-drama. Noh performance combines a variety of elements into a stylistic whole, which can be seen by wearing different types of noh mask in accordance to the style they want to perform or portray. Information source → click here. You can see some Noh mask pictures at the end of this chapter. and his harsh scolding and lectures. I was weak when I was young, and others always said that I looked like my mother, almost as if we’re carved out of the same mold. Therefore my father always felt that I was incompetent and became even more severe to spur me on.” Gu Yan plays with his fingers, and listening to him quietly, not even a single strand of emotion can be heard from his voice. “When I was eight years old, after my mother died, my father, who was already cold and eccentric, became even more violent and perverse. In the outside world, he may seem to be a strict but loving kind of father, but only I understood that he has nothing but bone-deep cruelty for me.”
Gu Yan pauses, and then continues, “The second year after my mother’s death, my father married another woman, who had children of her own, and those children became my older siblings.”
Gu Yan’s brother and sister2Brother and sister – Chinese sentences don’t use any form of word or letter to define whether the pronoun is singular or plural. In this sentence, the raws did use the Chinese term of brother and sister, and what I don’t know is if the brother and/or sister is in plural form. So I just wanna clarify that I don’t know if he has more than one brother or sister, but it is a fact that he had both sister and brother as a sibling. Also, in some parts of this chapter, I do think that he only has one brother, but I’m not sure enough, okay. have no blood relationship with him! No wonder Gu Yan said that he was the only son, I thought to myself.
“My stepmother didn’t treat me well, and neither did my siblings. They treated me like an outsider… Heh, even treat me like a servant. I became a ‘heterogeneity’3Heterogeneity – According to the dictionary, it means the quality or state of being diverse in character or content. In my understanding of Gu Yan’s situation, it means he is being treated terribly because of how different or ‘diverse’ he is from them. In short, he doesn’t belong there (from the stepmother and siblings’ perspectives). that was gradually squeezed out of the family, and even my father treated my elder brother better. Back then, my stepmother’s children were given priority for food, drinks and clothing, and only leftovers were left for me to pick up. Occasionally, if my father was in a good mood, he would suddenly remember me in passing whenever he sent toys to the children, yet my toys were always snatched away by them, until the last thing I can get were the remains of the toys they had played broken, damaged and scattered all over the place.”
“Gradually, I realized that in that house, I have nothing, and I am nothing, but in order to survive, I have to endure and swallow my anger and live on. But do you know, Wolf… what is the only thing my father taught me?”
I shake my head and stare at Gu Yan.
“He taught me that martial arts is my weapon── I found that although I had nothing in that house, I knew martial arts, and martial arts can be my weapon of defense. Thereafter, I began to train hard. My martial arts became better and more refined, and under my father’s contempt and disdain, my martial arts gradually surpassed others without him knowing. Later, even my father’s most beloved brother could no longer beat me. I started to be brutal with thorns covering all over myself because I had found a weapon that belonged to me. I understood that they can no longer take anything away from me, so my stepmother and older siblings began to fear me.”
“If that’s the case, why did you kill them? You already have enough strength to defend yourself and intimidate them…” I asked, the muscles in my temples faintly aching.
“Ah, in fact, I didn’t mean it── it’s their fault.” Gu Yan’s eyes become cold in an instant, as if his clear green eyes shine with a glint of evilness? “It was when I was eighteen years old, I realized how my father is still deeply in love with my mother, so much that he attempted to violate me, his biological son, who resembles so much his dead wife.”
I gasp in the cold air out of shock.
Gu Yan looks at me, the corners of his mouth hook up at a seemingly vague angle. “I think the old man has been holding back for a long time… On the day of my mother’s death anniversary, he came home drunk, called out my mother’s name, barged into my room, and used his years of martial arts training to overpower me with the intention of violating me── really absurd, isn’t it? A father that has treated his son indifferently for many years, but when he took the initiative to look for him again, it was with the intention of invading.”
Gu Yan then lets out two snorts of disdain lightly.
“It’s a pity that my father miscalculated one thing. At the age of eighteen years old, I, both in terms of martial arts and strength, had long since far surpassed him as the proper heir to that traditional teaching… Relying solely on my own strength, I ruthlessly broke his arms and legs, and pounded him hard on his face amidst his pleas for mercy, trying to break the face that looked like a noh mask. When his disgusting thick blood splashed me all over my body, he had already gone out of breath, and it just so happened that this sight was all seen by my stepmother and siblings who had heard the violent noises and wanted to barge in…”
“So you killed them as well?” I ask.
“Yes, because they cried and screamed at me, pointing that I was a murderer, and that I was a bastard… It’s so ridiculous, I don’t even know who the real bastard is.” Gu Yan closes his eyes, his long eyelashes enclosing a nice circular shape under his eyes.
Gu Yan’s story is a general tragedy, a tragedy that can be heard in many places, however, once it is applied to Gu Yan, it makes me think he is very…
“That incident was not a trivial matter, but because my grandfather was a high-ranking official in the government, the family scandal could not be disclosed, so he used his power to suppress everything. At the same time, although he hated me for killing his son, I am the only blood-related heir left to him. He couldn’t really put me in an ordinary prison to fend for myself. Thus, he took advantage of his status and locked me in the Absolute Wing Hall, so that he could look after me all the time. I am simply like a fish in water in this prison, I have the power and grandfather as the outside force. I immediately became the so-called king in the hall, and in a blink of an eye, it has been seven years since I entered here. Now…” Gu Yan opens his eyes, reaches out and clutches my hand, takes off my white gloves, and plays with my fingers. I let him play with my fingers in silence, staring at his downcast face.
Afterwards, Gu Yan raises his head and gazes at me for a moment, his expression a little surprised, and then he smiles slightly. For the first time, I finally see some emotion in Gu Yan’s smile.
“Wolf, why do you look like that?”
“What do I look like?” I don’t understand what kind of expression I’m giving? I thought I’m not showing any emotion on my face…
Suddenly, Gu Yan stretches out his index finger, strokes the center of my eyebrows, presses it and traces it up to my forehead, then snatches away the police cap off my head again.
“Your brows are furrowed tightly… You look so sad, are you sympathizing with me? Or do you think I am pitiful?” Gu Yan’s fingers climb up my collar, and his whole body overwhelms me once again as he plunges my body on the pile of books that have just been knocked down earlier.
“If you sympathize with me and pity me, don’t disobey me. Just listening to me and staying by my side obediently is the greatest relief you can give to me.”
Gu Yan caresses my cheek and entangles his fingers into my hair gently. He bows his head down and pecks my lips, and then deepens it tightly, swallowing everything I want to say down into his mouth.
This situation is a bit out of control. There’s this heat on our lips and inside our mouths that has never been there before. The sticky, hot and wet touch concentrated between our lips… I don’t have any special feelings, disgust, nausea, or even a slightest sense of rejection I can think about. My emotions seem to be malfunctioning as it appears blank, just like the sky outside the Absolute Wing Hall, like an endless curtain of clear blankness stretching beyond the horizon.
I let Gu Yan kiss me, and my hand just reflexively curls around his back. I don’t even notice that I am hugging him so gently. The soothing action isn’t for anything, but because my body subconsciously told me that it’s the right thing to do.
Translator’s Note: Noh masks have a variety of types/styles, and I don’t know what kind of noh mask the author wanted to portray for Gu Yan’s father, but these are some masks I found on the internet.
If your imagination can’t put together Gu Yan’s father and these masks, then, this is just my (translator’s) assumption, but perhaps, Gu Yan wasn’t talking about his father’s actual looks, rather, he was talking about how he views his father in his heart. Because Noh masks signify the characters’ gender, age, and social ranking, and by wearing masks, the actors may portray youngsters, old men, female, or nonhuman (divine, demonic, or animal) characters. Poor Gu Yan ><
All the information about noh mask was from the internet, so please correct me if there’s something wrong. Information source → click here
Also sorry for the super duper long delay my dear wolfies ><.