|Author: Cherish the World||Original Source: SFACG|
|Translator: raltzero||English Source: Re:Library|
The rain pitter-pattered on the ground outside of the eaves.
It seemed that Moon rarely had a desire to chat. But with me, an exemplary listener, standing on his side, Moon held her hands and began talking about the past. She’s the type of person to stick to order, so whenever she speaks about stories, she does so in accordance with standard time chronology. Furthermore, she’s very organized whenever he speaks, so she always takes a moment to organize his thoughts before speaking aloud.
Moss-green tiles, sharp flying eaves, rain drip-dropping on the shelter above.
Moon sneezed and withdrew his body. She was born with an inherently neutral gender, so it was hard to distinguish whether he was male or female. The whiteness of her skin and rosiness of his lips were magnified by the rain and for a moment, she appeared a bit more delicate and feminine. I took off my jacket and draped it over his body. Moon glanced at me in response and commented:
“Your clothes are also wet, it’s not warm at all.”
Though she spoke like his, he didn’t return my clothes to me and even went so far as to wrap them around herself before slowly disclosing:
“Over in Tian Cheng, the common people live very bitter lives. When I was small, I understood this truth, that the working people of the world are the most hardworking. But when these hardworking people get up early and sleep late every day yet still aren’t able to eat their fill, then the territory they work for must definitely be problematic.”
“My family was even poorer than other households. Other children would occasionally be able to buy new clothes during the new year’s celebration, but I had never worn any pretty clothes. But there was a time when my mother bought me a new skirt, the kind that was very pretty, very colorful. When I wore it, I felt like I had suddenly become different from everyone else, that I had become a little princess. That day, my mother helped me shower and comb my hair. After dressing up well, I sat in front of the copper mirror and twirled my bangs in shameless delight. In my heart, I was very happily thinking of showing off to my little friends, of letting them know that I wasn’t an ugly duckling, that I was in fact a beautiful little swan.”
As she spoke, Moon smiled in reminiscence.
She reached out her hand and opened up her exquisite lily-white fingers, catching the rainwater falling down from the eaves with a smile on her face, but the smile in her eyes long gone.
“That evening, I didn’t see those little friends that I usually played with. Instead, I saw all sorts of grown ups in a brightly lit mansion. My mother and father were bowing and bending their knees towards them as I hid behind them. Now that I think about it, I had already understood my destiny back then. My mother would frequently praise me for being an intelligent child, but I didn’t expect that the first time my intelligence displayed itself was in such a place.”
Moon lifted up her head and gazed towards the dusky sky as she continued:
“Li De, have you ever witnessed the scene of cannibalism? The scene of delicious human flesh being cooked in a pot. I’ve witnessed it before and I’ve even personally served it to a son of Tian Cheng’s ruling family. A top-notch casserole with all kinds of condiments, steam rising from the dish. I resisted my urge to vomit and carried it over to him. He was fond of eating a beauty’s flesh, saying that it’s the most delicious thing in the world, that a 16 year-old girl’s thin skin and tender flesh is one that’s made for entering one’s mouth.”
“From that day onwards, I took off the skirt and started wearing men’s clothing.”
A wind blew past, causing the rain to slant down the azure slab road and create ripples on puddles.
There were people on the road holding oiled paper umbrellas looking at us in curiosity. After all, it was a strange scene of two in beautiful qipaos standing shoulder to shoulder as they took shelter from the rain under someone else’s house. Moon shifted herself a bit closer to me and bumped shoulders with me. I didn’t look at him since he seemed to be a bit down and people usually don’t wish for other people to look at them when they’re sad.
I asked with a low voice:
“Do you know why I refused Bai Huang’s proposal?”
And not just Bai Huang this time.
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When I was in Yun Hai and held the title of Queen of Flowers, the Overlord of Yun Hai appeared personally and attempted to induce my desire by using the cities that the Overlord of Tian Cheng was auctioning. He was trying to make me give up Moon, but I still refused at the time.
There are as many cities as one can count, but there’s only one of Moon.
Moreover, I’m not the type to look on as someone else is suffering around me since that would make me feel a little guilty as I enjoy life.
Just as I was about to explain, Moon suddenly giggled:
In an instant, all the words I was about to say were stuck in my throat. I said with helplessness:
“You should’ve said that you don’t know, this way I can act cool……that is, have an opportunity to display my handsomeness.”
“Then in that case, I don’t know.”
I spoke with deadpan seriousness:
“You said that the suffering of Tian Cheng’s populace is too far away as far as I’m concerned. Perhaps I’ll be emotionally moved by the scene of devastation, but I haven’t seen it with my own eyes as of now, so I’m unable to understand. On a bigger scale, the world is just too large and it’s impossible for me to act as a god and deliver all living creatures from suffering. Not only do I not have the ability to do so, I also don’t have the mentality of doing so. In other words, it doesn’t matter to me how I’m doing as long as I’m getting by, whether I’m well-off or suffering a little. I can ignore the situation and not haggle over the harm other people are causing me. But there’s one thing that can’t be done, whether it’s Aleya, Felita, or you, as long as any of you receive any grievance, then I can and will think up ways to give them tooth for tooth, eye for eye. I know that I’m useless and can’t protect so many people, but I am enough to protect you all.”
Moon looked at me, her fine black hair moist from the rain, her obsidian-black-pupiled eyes blinking as they unblinkingly gazed at me, and I returned the look frankly.
Should I say……worth of being the most powerful contender for the Queen of Flowers, yeah? To look so good in the pouring rain.
The corners of Moon’s mouth raised upwards:
“Oh, that’s it?”
I said with exasperation:
“That’s it. This reaction of yours……mm, actually, can you be a bit more amazed and touched so that I can feel a bit of self-respect?”
Moon asked back:
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“If not for this, do you think I would be dead-set on following you, working myself to death every day, and doing all sorts of dirty work for you? Just because you purchased me? If I wanted to, I could always work a bit less and resemble you, slacking every day.”
Moon seldom leaned on my shoulder since he was a bit shorter than I am. Therefore, at the very best, she’s able to lean shoulder to shoulder with me, unlike Aleya, who’s able to lean her cheek on my shoulder. From his shoulder, I could feel a bit of temperature, a striking opposite from the ice-cold rain.
“It’s because you danced in women’s clothes at the time, because you rejected the Overlord of Yun Hai. You promised that you would one day capture Tian Cheng and let the populace there gain happiness. From the place of my pain, there will one day bloom a sea of flowers and become a paradise.”
Moon leaned her head on me and spoke with earnesty:
“Li De. West-Resisting City might not belong to any area’s influence, but in my heart, there will inevitably be a day when it is able to step on all these influences under its feet. All living things suffer, we should do something for them.”