DA HAI, HUG ME
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Passing through a small park on the edge of a courtyard, he was surrounded by the smell of the forest, accompanied by the sounds of birds singing and insects wailing in unison. As he continued to walk, Bai Luo Yin finally arrived in front of the tall and wide main entrance of Zhen Da Cheng’s Chinese style mansion. When he approached it a bit more, two guards blocked his way in.
“What are you doing?”
“I’m looking for Zhen Da Cheng.”
The guards looked Bai Luo Yin up and down before one of them asked with a calm and collected face, “Your identity card?”
Bai Luo Yin took out his student identity card and citizen card, the only two forms that were on him at the moment. One of the guard went inside, while the other guard stared attentively at Bai Luo Yin as if he was preventing a thief from approaching any closer or entering. The look in his eyes were bombarded with thorns as they pricked Bai Luo Yin all over from head to toe, making him feel extremely uncomfortable.
A while later, the other guard returned with his chin held high, hinting at Bai Luo Yin to enter.
It’s that simple to enter?
Since Sun Jingwei had warned him beforehand, Bai Luo Yin was already prepared to be thrown out. In all actuality, he did not expect it to go so smoothly like this.
But the moment he was inside, Bai Luo Yin discovered that he was gravely mistaken.
Making it pass the main entrance was only the first step.
The huge courtyard could easily cause anyone to become speechless. There was such an intense feeling to the land beneath his feet, that even he felt a bit overwhelmed at the immensity of it. When one thought about it, it truly is reckless to waste such precious natural resources like this in pursue of a need to possess a spacious and luxurious private courtyard.
In the center of the courtyard was a fish pond. Early in the spring mornings, the surface of the water was sheathed in a very thin layer of ice, and the water itself was crystal clear. It was possible to see the fishes beneath the thin ice swimming around from one corner to the next cheerfully.
At a distance a bit far from the pond stood a couple of old trees, ones that seen time passed by as it usually does. On every one of those trees were at least three to four bird cages hanging on the larger branches and the birds trapped inside tweeted incessantly almost in unison. There was also a parrot, lively yet well-behaved in manner; it kept on chatting away the same words, “Hello, hello, hello.”
Just as Bai Luo Yin took one step forward, he could right away hear the sound of a large dog barking furiously.
It was a fierce and formidable otterhound. In all honesty, it was quite rare to see them around.
Bai Luo Yin’s earthen eyes brightened up with delight, he couldn’t help but to take an immediate liking to it, so much so that for the time being, he had even forgotten his own purpose for being here. Without even a hint of fear, he advanced and started to tease this dog, attempting to play with him. At first this otterhound had a rather ruthless and violent attitude toward Bai Luo Yin, as if warning that you cannot approach nor touch it. By now, an average person would have kept a respectful distance from it already, but unfortunately, Bai Luo Yin was not one of those people, he doesn’t do things as normal people would; he couldn’t lose to this. After less than two minutes, this dog sure enough identified with Bai Luo Yin.
“Your skills are not to be taken lightly!”
Bai Luo Yin’s body stiffened when he heard the voice.
A moment ago, he was too overly delighted that he didn’t even notice the presence of another person behind him. Quickly he stood up and turned around, only to meet the face of an extremely ordinary looking man. Such a person, one can easily bump into a great deal of them on the streets. If he had not personally seen him here, Bai Luo Yin would have absolutely not taken him as a high official.
“My dog here only recognizes its owner. You’re the first stranger that could approach him.”
Bai Luo Yin looked at him apprehensively yet his tone was laced with coldness, “You’re Mr. Zhen?”
Zhen Da Cheng, nodded his head, “I am.”
Astonishment crept into Bai Luo Yin’s mind, he’s said to be strange yet I don’t see anything strange about him!
“Mr. Zhen, I have something I wanted to ask you for help with.”
Zhen Da Cheng laughed indifferently, “I know.”
Bai Luo Yin wasn’t even able to open his mouth yet when Zhen Da Cheng walked passed him toward the area where the trees were arranged and stood close to the trunk. He then began to play with the birds in one of the cage.
Thinking that it was not an appropriate time or place for him to talk, Bai Luo Yin remained silent for the time being. He wanted Zhen Da Cheng to finish his own matter first before having a serious talk with him about the situation.
After Zhen Da Cheng finished playing with the birds, he didn’t even bother to give Bai Luo Yin a glance and kept walking toward the hall in the opposite direction.
Bai Luo Yin silently followed after him.
As they approached the front door of the hall, Zhen Da Cheng went inside but Bai Luo Yin was blocked outside.
“I have something to discuss with Mr. Zhen.”
The man standing at the doorway merely looked at him with a zombie like face, cold and stiff.
“I know, but right now Mr. Zhen is busy. He doesn’t have any time to talk with you. You can wait for him out here first.”
Bai Luo Yin’s eyes wander along the window sill and glimpsed inside, Zhen Da Cheng wasn’t doing anything at all. He was inside by himself drinking tea.
There’s plenty of opportunities for him to chat ah, but I can’t just anxiously walk in.
Later, Bai Luo Yin figured out that people like Zhen Da Cheng tend to put on airs and drown in their own arrogance. Where else wouldn’t they act exactly like this?
Since he was told to wait out, then he might as well wait well.
This waiting game lasted until noon.
Early in the morning, Bai Luo Yin did not have a chance to eat so his stomach has been crying out in hunger a long while ago. When he saw that someone had brought food in for Zhen Da Cheng, he knew that it was hopeless for him to try and enter, so he intended to return after having a meal.
Once he arrived at the main entrance that he had first entered, he was blocked by those two guards again.
“I want to go out.”
“You need a written statement from Mr. Zhen to go out.”
Without any better option, Bai Luo Yin could only backtrack and turn back, returning to that hall again. Then he asked the person at the door: “Sorry to trouble you, but can you help me go in so I can inform him, I want to go out and eat first.”
The zombie face guard with the cold expression only said: “When he is eating, no one can randomly go in and disturb him.”
Bai Luo Yin was forced to wait.
This time around, the waiting took longer than an hour.
Finally, he saw someone carrying the leftover food out.
“Can you help me notify him now?”
Yet again, the zombie face guard spared him no glanced and stiffly walked in. Not even a moment later, he stiffly returned.
“He said, you can leave if you want, but don’t expect to come back in.”
Bai Luo Yin stared blankly at that guard, there wasn’t even the slightest sign of a joke in the tone of his voice or his face. His hand tightened into a firm fist as he secretly encouraged himself.
What’s there to be scared about in being hungry for a while, since he already let you in, that means he has at the least agreed about fifty percent of the way. The remaining half of this opportunity, you must create it for yourself. You must endure and control your temper. Make him see your sincerity.
Just from having these kinds of thoughts, Bai Luo Yin’s mind calmed down a bit.
After Zhen Da Cheng finished his meal, one by one the other people also went to eat, leaving only Bai Luo Yin standing outside alone in the courtyard.
The phone in his pocket rung and with just one glance, it was a call from Gu Hai.
“Where are you?”
Without thinking much about it, Bai Luo Yin replied, “At home.”
“What did you eat this afternoon?”
Bai Luo Yin thought about it for a second, “I ate dumplings.”
“Fuck, that’s so awesome! Hu Zi and I went out to eat. We picked the dishes that looked good but it actually wasn’t.”
You should be happy with that……Bai Luo Yin said silently in head.
Gu Hai asked, “Are you coming back tonight? I’ll make you some noodles to eat when you get back.”
In this moment, he remembered the noodles that Gu Ha made and he suddenly thought that it sounded delicious.
“I’m not sure. I’ll tell you beforehand if I go back. You can eat first, okay?”
After he hung up, Bai Luo Yin let out a long sigh. He turned around to look inside the hall quickly and to his surprise, he did not see Zhen Da Cheng in there. His chest slightly tightened before he moved from his position a bit. He stretched his neck and tried to look inside through the window but still he did not see Zhen Da Cheng.
“Mr. Zhen?” Bai Luo Yin looked at the zombie face guard and asked.
“Mr. Zhen went out.”
“When did he go out?” Bai Luo Yin was quite alarmed.
“When you were on the phone a moment ago.”
Bai Luo Yin felt rather remorseful at this turn of event and hurriedly asked that zombie face guard where Zhen Da Cheng went. That zombie face guard just casually turned his head to the other side, closed his eyes and did not reply back.
Without any other option, Bai Luo Yin went and look around the courtyard himself. Finally, in the farthest room to the west, he saw Zhen Da Cheng taking off his jacket, preparing to have a nap.
There was no need to ask, he already knew that it was impossible to enter.
The afternoon sun was ferocious. Being stranded underneath it would daze anyone into tiredness. Affected by the heat, Bai Luo Yin let out a big yawn and stretched out his body before staring senselessly at the other people standing in the courtyard. Beside the zombie face guard, every other room all have a guard at the doorway. Bai Luo Yin couldn’t help but to think:
Exactly how many people have this Zhen Da Cheng angered? That is, for him to go so far as to dispatch so many people to guard himself.
Furthermore, Bai Luo Yin discovered that these zombies face men were all naturally trained. No matter which one of them he turned to look at, they all did not move. A moment ago, they all had their eyes open and oddly enough now they’re all closed. The peacefulness in this courtyard was so extraordinary that he could only hear the sound of birds chirping. Not even a moment has passed yet before the faint sound of snores transmitted through the air.
Bai Luo Yin listened carefully for a while, it didn’t sound like it was coming from the room, moreover every room here appeared to be soundproof quite well, so it was not possible that snores could be heard.
But, just now he clearly heard it.
Bai Luo Yin’s brows rose as he casted a side glance. He noticed that the zombie face guard that was standing to the side had his eyes closed; the rise and fall of his chest moved coherently with his breaths. Bai Luo Yin cautiously approached him for a closer look, as a result, the snoring sounds became louder and louder, it was quite obvious now that the sound had come from his nostrils.
Surprised crept its way onto Bai Luo Yin’s face.
These group of guy aren’t actually sleeping while standing are they?
The facts had been proven. What Bai Luo Yin had thought was correct. All the men standing guard with their eyes closed were all sleeping. Seeing them like this cause shivers to crawl up his arms. But then he suddenly recalled Sun Jingwei’s words of advice.
This place seems to be really ominous.
More than two hours of standing have passed in silence and Bai Luo Yin didn’t even dare to take a nap, afraid that after he fell asleep, Zhen Da Cheng would slip away in front of his eyes again.
Finally, Bai Luo Yin had waited until the moment that Zhen Da Cheng sat up from his bed. In just a split second, his own tired nerves immediately liven with vigor.
Bai Luo Yin straightened up his waist and back. He watched attentively as Zhen Da Cheng put his clothes on, got off his bed, strolled around the room, sat down for a drink, pick up a call……then with small steps, he leisurely walked out for a look.
At last the waiting has ended. Bai Luo Yin hurriedly walked toward the doorway to inquire after him.
Mr. Zhen’s shadow emerged in front of Bai Luo Yin’s line of sight with a smile neatly gracing his face. Bai Luo Yin thought that this fortunate time was good, so he took one step forward.
“Hahaha……Lao Li, you’re finally here!”
The sudden burst of warm greetings and laughter behind Bai Luo Yin awoken him from his dream. He turned around, Zhen Da Cheng was already giving another person a hug. The two talked and laughed rather cheerfully as they passed by him and entered into another room.
Bai Luo Yin stood there for a long while before he took a few small steps back. Then he continued to walk toward that room they entered and quietly waited outside of there instead.
The two sat down inside for a game of chess. From the looks of their game, they had just started.
“You standing here will disturb Mr. Zhen chess game, please wait over there.” Another zombie face guard looked at Bai Luo Yin and extended his hand out indicating for him to move away. Although his expression was quite respectful, in reality he was chasing him away.
For the sake of answering this riddle, Bai Luo Yin endured this humiliation again. He waited at a spot just a bit further away and continued to wait.
The color of the sky gradually darkened. In just the blink of an eyes, it was already time to have dinner. Zhen Da Cheng and the friend that he was playing chess with had their dinner in the room. The delicious smell of the food slipped through the window and dispersed teasingly around Bai Luo Yin which cause his mouth to water and he couldn’t help but to swallow with a yearning for some substance. There was already no way for him to retreat, if he did, all his precious efforts would have been wasted.
With no other choice, he picked up his phone and sent Gu Hai a message, telling him that he won’t be able to go back, then he continued to endure the torment of hunger.
This time around, the meal lasted for two hours, Bai Luo Yin himself can no longer feel the hunger. Probably because he was so hungry he lost his appetite.
Now, he could only pray that Zhen Da Cheng would quickly come out, even if he were to give him just five minutes of his time for a talk, he would still be content.
Finally, after waiting until that chess playing friend departed, Zhen Da Cheng came out to send him off toward the main entrance. Bai Luo Yin quietly followed after. Both his legs were already numb by now so his walking posture was slightly lopsided. Yet even then, his eyes still contained a very small traces of excitement.
This day will quickly end soon. At this time, he shouldn’t have anything else to do, right?
As he watched Zhen Da Cheng, Bai Luo Yin quickened his pace to meet up with him.
“Mr. Zhen, we……”
“You haven’t left yet huh?”
Zhen Da Cheng showed great astonishment toward Bai Luo Yin’s presence.
Bai Luo Yin very calmly told him, “I have been waiting for you all along.”
Zhen Da Cheng nodded his head and without saying anything else, he directly went back into his bedroom. Bai Luo Yin was intercepted at the doorway again. Then, he looked on unemotionally when he saw Zhen Da Cheng watching television inside. After that, his wife returned, the two watched television together, then soon afterwards, the lights in the room went off.
Bai Luo Yin’s heart also died out with coldness.
The guards outside have also been exchanged and allocated to the entranceways of all the rooms. The batch of guards this time looked even more bold and powerful and the lighting that hit their faces at just the right angle, made them look even more sinister and dreadful.
It seems, I’ll have to crouch here for the night.
Bai Luo Yin lit a cigarette and senselessly looked at the arrangement of the courtyard. This time around, he noticed that, this place doesn’t seem like someone’s home. On the contrary, it looked more like a Buddhist monastery.
It is possible that Zhen Da Cheng was also abstaining from eating meat in order to pray to Buddha?
Bai Luo Yin laughed at his own thoughts, can someone that believed in Buddhism have such a malicious heart?
Just as Bai Luo Yin was right in the middle of amusing himself, he suddenly felt a chillness at the top of his head and he immediately lifted his head up for a look. Someone was holding a big basin. He wasn’t even able to respond yet, as the big basin of cold water came splashing down on him. It soaked his cotton padded shirt, woolen pants, and flowed along his neck and ran inside. Every stream of water was like an ice blade stabbing his skin and flesh before piercing his ribs. Bai Luo Yin felt so cold that he abruptly jumped up and pulled his attacker’s collar.
As his body shivered and his lips trembled with coldness, he asked: “Why did you splash me with the cold water?”
The attacker expressionlessly looked at Bai Luo Yin, “You can’t smoke here. I was only helping you put out the cigarette.”
Bai Luo Yin was so cold his teeth clattered against each other. His fist that smashed against the attacker’s chest was ridden with ice shards.
The attacker opened his mouth again, “You can’t make any loud noises here. If you want to fight, I can take you outside.”
Bai Luo Yin’s body stiffened like a block of stone.
By the middle of the night, a layer of thin ice already formed on Bai Luo Yin’s clothes. His hair has already become strands of thin icicles as they individually joined at the top of his head. He also felt that his legs had already become frozen and numb; there was no feelings at all anymore. At this moment, if they were to be amputated, there would be no need to inject anesthetic. For the sake of warming himself up, Bai Luo Yin started to run around the courtyard. Yet, just as he ran, the dog barked and once the dog barked, the zombie face guard came over again.
“You can’t make loud noises here.”
Bai Luo Yin at long last has completely experienced the painful feeling of hunger and coldness. He could barely endure this difficulty. But the most unbearable thing was, the endless waiting and not being able to see any hope.
Bai Luo Yin went to the corner furthest away from Zhen Da Cheng’s bedroom and huddled. He then gave Gu Hai a call.
In the depth of the night, Gu Hai’s voice sounded so warm.
“It’s so late, you aren’t sleeping yet?”
Bai Luo Yin’s hands were trembling quite terribly, “I’m a bit cold.”
Gu Hai’s tone was full of love as he spoke, “Are you stupid or what? Cover yourself with more quilts when you’re cold! What use is there to talk to me? Go into the cabinet and grab another quilt now. Be quick and don’t be lazy about it!”
Bai Luo Yin smiled with much difficulty, “No, I won’t go. I want to talk with you.”
Gu Hai paused for a moment, his voice softened a bit, “You miss me don’t you? My little baby?”
A gust of cold and violent wind suddenly flew by, Bai Luo Yin quickly huddled his neck close to his knees, but nevertheless, the coldness made it challenging for him to breathe. This kind of coldness seeped directly into the thin cracks of his bones, drilled deeply inside and weakened that bit of willpower that still existed in Bai Luo Yin. His head swam as he felt his vision blur and then a strange sensation descended upon him. There was an alarm bell pounding incessantly in his heart.
You can’t faint. You absolutely can’t. They’ll definitely throw you out if you faint. Once you’re out, you won’t be able to get back in.
“Why aren’t you talking?”
Bai Luo Yin bit down on his teeth, willing the shivers away for a moment. As he listened to the breaths transmitting from the other side, his heart was finally filled with warmth. The warmth that he so longed for.
“Da Hai, hug me.”
“……Yin Zi, you’re so well-behaved. I’m hugging you now, sleep soon.”
 Otterhound – a large, rough-coated hound with an imposing head showing great strength and dignity, and the strong body and long striding action fit for a long day’s work. It has an extremely sensitive nose, and is inquisitive and perseverant in investigating scents. The Otterhound hunts its quarry on land and water and requires a combination of characteristics unique among hounds-most notably a rough, double coat; and substantial webbed feet. Once he’s latched on to something, his perseverance, determination, and stamina (like those of his relative, the Otterhound) are legendary.
put on airs – thinking you’re better than someone else; arrogant.
Lao Li – Lao is a prefix indicating that someone is older or for familiarity/closeness. It can also be Mr. but, I think it’s best to keep it this prefix. Actually, in the previous chapters when Jiang Yuan calls Mr. Gu, she’s actually saying, Lao Gu. But I used Mr. Gu instead. I will change it all to Lao Gu later when I have some time since I prefer using the Lao. 😀 It’s also going to Lao Bai for Yin Zi’s dad XD
***Yin Zi calls Zhen Da Cheng, Mr. Zhen, in Chinese the title is Zhen xiansheng, xiansheng being a direct translation of Mister [Mr.]. But in this case, it makes sense so it’s kept as Mr. So basically, it’s a give and take, depending on the person!
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