How To Survive as a Villain - 56
Xiao YuAn and Yan HeQing slowly walked side by side on the bluestone board beside the river. There were a lot of candles illuminating the river, it was such a beautiful scenery. Xiao YuAn asked Yan HeQing: “Would you like to put a lantern?”
“Then, let’s go stroll around?”
Xiao YuAn stopped walking and looked back at Yan HeQing, he asked him with confusion: “Are you angry? What happened?”
He didn’t expect Xiao YuAn to see right through him. Yan HeQing concealed his expression and softly answered: “Nothing happened. There’s a troupe singing there, do you want to go see it?”
“Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go.”
On top of the stage, set up casually with a wooden board and a red cloth, was a man in female clothes1 with his dancing sleeves, singing about a bright and sunny day. Under the stage, there are several low tables and a lot of spectators. The drums were a little loud and the applause was non stop.
After the both of them listened to the music attentively, Yan HeQing suddenly asked: “Do you like the Princess of the Western Shu Kingdom?”
“Ah???” Xiao YuAn was eating melon seeds while listening to the music and Yan HeQing’s question caught him off guard, scaring him to death and the seeds in his hands fell. When he finally understood the meaning behind those words, Xiao YuAn reacted with urgency.
What the hell, Yan HeQing was truly angry after all, because he got too close with Xiao PingYang, he started to doubt them both!!! Yan HeQing, Yan HeQing, you are the one eating in the bowl and looking at the pot2!! This is too much, too much.
And how could he dare to touch your wife!! Everyone knows that the wife of a stallion protagonist can’t be touched!! You can’t even take a glance at her!
“Cough.” Xiao YuAn patted the crumbs of the melon seed on his hands, and after pondering for a while, he finally answered: “I don’t like her. Who told you that I’m attracted to women?”
Sure enough, this time, he must rely on sexual orientation to get rid of arousing suspicion!
Yan HeQing’s eyes narrowed slightly: “You did say before that you’re not a cut sleeve.”
“Ah? I said that? When did I say that? Oh, I seem to have said it.” Xiao YuAn was stupefied: “That was before, people change over time. I recently found that I’m more interested in men, look at the actor singing on the stage for example, I find him very eye-catching.”
Yan HeQing: “……”
Xiao YuAn felt that the air temperature surrounding him got a little colder. Carefully, he looked back at Yan HeQing’s face, and couldn’t help but cry out inside his heart: I explained it to you but you’re still not satisfied! What else do you want me to do! What else should I do!
At the end of the evening, the song ended. The market streets gradually got empty leaving behind the lively hustle and bustle.
Xiao YuAn was still in a good mood and weighed the gold in his hands that was borrowed from Wuning Wangye. He took Yan HeQing towards the most famous wine shop in the Imperial City to buy some intoxicating fine wines and brought them back to the Palace.
Inside the Palace, the both of them came to the sixth floor of the Yuhua Tower. Looking by the fence3 at the bright moon, the high buildings, the boundless mountains and rivers, it was such a beautiful scene.
“Come, let’s get drunk and enjoy while we still can4.” Xiao YuAn smiled and opened the seal of the wine jar, immediately, a mellow fragrance came from inside the jar.
Yan HeQing seemed to be in a better mood and he took over the wine jar to drink alongside Xiao YuAn.
After being warmed by wine5, Xiao YuAn was slightly drunk. He held his head and looked at the Palace’s cornice at the distance, the stars were sparse, and with a soft smile he said: “I never thought that there’ll be a day in which I’ll be so close with you.”
Yan HeQing looked at Xiao YuAn and replied: “Me too.”
Xiao YuAn drank the second half of the wine jar, stood up shakily, took a breath and said: “I suddenly want to sing a song.”
“What type of song.”
“A love song.” Xiao YuAn cleared his throat, held onto the railings and began to sing: “You’re a mighty and powerful man in a horse, the galloping horse is like the wind! The boundless wilderness wanders with you!6”
“Pft—” Yan HeQing choked after taking a sip of wine and coughed for a long time.
Xiao YuAn looked at Yan HeQing and laughed at him. His smile was indulgent and warm, he shook his body and his feet were unstable. He stumbled and was supported by Yan HeQing. Xiao YuAn held onto Yan HeQing’s arm and fell halfway sitting on the ground: “This, this really is a love song, even if you don’t believe me, it’s a love song. Do you believe me or not?”
Yan HeQing helplessly said: “I believe that you’re drunk.”
“Well, I am drunk.” Xiao YuAn said with a smile: “Because you’ve become two, there’s two of you in front of me.”
After he said that, Xiao YuAn grabbed the half filled jar of wine. Yan HeQing fought with him for the wine jar because he wanted to take it away from him. In the end Xiao YuAn held onto it and emptied it’s content on his stomach, leaving the almost empty jar on the ground. He then asked Yan HeQing with a smile: “Have you ever thought about the future?”
Yan HeQing gently raised his eyebrows: “The future?”
“Yes, the future.” Xiao YuAn leaned on the railing with his elbow around his knee, and a bright smile adorning his face: “I want to find a leisurely village, buy some land, grow a farm, open a wine shop or do business. Although capitalism is rotten, it’s still better than not having any money. I’ll make some good scholar friends, I won’t be deceived and I don’t have to suspect anyone7 and there won’t be a sword at my neck. I will live a free life, feeling at ease.”
Yan HeQing leaned over and looked at Xiao YuAn. He was silent for a long time, like he was waiting for him to keep talking. In the end he couldn’t wait any longer, so he asked it himself: “And then?”
Xiao YuAn looked back at him and felt that his eyes were a little bit blurry, so he couldn’t focus: “What then?”
Yan Heqing’s eyes were very clear and his voice was very soft: “Where am I? What about… what about me?”
“You’re… you’re…” Xiao YuAn tried to stand up by holding onto the railing, but he became more and more dizzy because of the wine. His mouth was slurred and he couldn’t say a word, but in his mind, his voice was quiet and clear.
You’re remonstrating with all the Officials in civil and military affairs, you’re wielding the sword that controls the whole world, you’re sleeping on a bed that is sweet scented. You and me, we’re too different. One will leave and the other will be lenient, each in their own happiness8.
Yes, Xiao YuAn understands that even if he’s now the Emperor of the Northern Kingdom, he still hopes that Yan HeQing would be able to rule the world.
“You, you may, want to, want to carry me back…” Xiao YuAn couldn’t finish his words that he had to lean back against the railing, he was shaking, and half his body fell in the air.
Yan HeQing’s eyes narrowed and stepped forward very quickly, reaching out for Xiao YuAn he brought him to his embrace. Xiao YuAn smashed into Yan HeQing’s arms and them both hugged each other, because of the force of the impact, they staggered for a few steps. The wine jar was kicked with their feet pouring out the liquor inside, its mellow smell was very intoxicating.
Yan HeQing’s heart was so frightened that it was beating like a drum, and Xiao YuAn chuckled twice. With an unrestrained look, Yan HeQing glanced at his eyes that were misty because of drunkenness. And just then, he heard the world of the mortals whispering passionate words at his ear.
On this long night, the wind blew on their sleeves and the red lantern lit up the corner of the balcony. Yan HeQing hugged Xiao YuAn’s waist, suddenly leaning over, and kissing his lips. The wine was so fragrant, that it made him forget about the bustling world.
Xiao YuAn was so passionately kissed that he couldn’t breathe, and his eyes opened with difficulty, only to feel that his human body was in a trance. His feet were floating like in a dream, like he could fall into the clouds. He grabbed Yan HeQing’s lapel and pulled it several times, until a small box fell out of Yan HeQing’s sleeves.
This scared Yan HeQing, stopping his actions, he leaned over to pick up the box with panic. But before that, he looked back and found that Xiao YuAn was leaning against the railing, he was so drunk that he passed out.
The small box that fell on the ground rolled out a silk that was only two inches long. Yan HeQing quickly took it back and glanced at it, his eyes were suddenly cold.
On the silk cloth there were only a few words: At the beginning of the third day of March, at the Baili inn on the West side of the Imperial City, I’ll be waiting for seven days. Keep the silk cloth as a token.
Today, it’s the third day of February.
Yan HeQing folded the silk cloth very slowly, put it back into the box, and hid it into his sleeve. Then, he carried Xiao YuAn on his back, and step by step, slowly walking towards the Imperial bedchamber, trying very hard to be as silent as possible, taking as many breaks as needed.
- 男旦 nán dàn; male actor playing the female role in a Chinese/Peking opera. During the Qing dynasty, females were not allowed to perform on stage. All female roles were played by men.
- 吃着碗里看着锅里 chī zhe wǎn lǐ kàn zhe guō lǐ; It’s a Chinese saying, which meaning refers to married (especially male) people that have their own wife but have intentions for other women around them, or that flirts with others. That person is greedy for something that they already have, and are still greedy to have more.
-  凭栏远眺 píng lányuǎn tiào; It’s a Chinese idiom, it means to look at the scene, appreciate scenery and to feel the scenery.
-  今朝有酒今朝醉 jīn zhāo yǒu jiǔ jīn zhāo zuì; It’s a Chinese idiom, this sentence is often used to describe a person that muddles along and only cares about the immediate happiness without thinking about the sorrow of tomorrow / To live the moment / Live every day as if it was the last. From《自遣》(zì qiǎn), “Divert Oneself from Melancholy” written by (罗隐 luó yǐn), Luo Yin [833-910] a poet from the Tang dynasty.
-  酒酣耳热 jiǔ hān ěr rè; It’s a Chinese idiom, it means to drink when you are happy / To succumb to the influence after drinking many cups / Someone good mood after a few drinks / In a state of drunken ecstasy. From 《报孙会宗书》(bào sūn huì zōng shū), “Report to Sun Huizong”, written by (杨恽 yáng yùn) Yang Yun [?-54 AC] a Han Dynasty poet.
-  Lyrics from a 2010 song《套马杆》(tào mǎ gǎn) “Horse set”, sung by (乌兰托娅 wū lán tuō yà) Wulan Touya. The song, in the voice of a grassland girl, praises the vast prairie and reflects the forthright love of prairie residents.
-  尔虞我诈 ěr yú wǒ zhà; It’s a Chinese idiom, it means “To deceive and distrust each other”, “Mutual deception”, “Trying to outwit each other”. From 《左传·宣公十五年》(zuǒ zhuàn xuān gōng shí wǔ nián), “Zuo Zhuan – The 15th year of Xuangong” by (左丘明 zuǒ qiū míng), Zuo Qiuming [556-451 BC] a famous blind historian from the State of Lu.
-  一别两宽，各自欢喜 yī bié liǎng kuān, gèzì huānxǐ; It’s a Chinese idiom, it means “After parting our own ways, we will both feel relieved, and each will be free and happy”, “By being wide apart will we be happy”. From 《放妻协议》(fàng qī xiéyì),“The Wife release Agreement” from the unearthed Dunhuang relics from the Tang Dynasty.