Part 2 is here! A real long chapter is finally done.
Qing Chen slowly adapting to her new body/slash memory.
v1c2 part 2 – Meeting by Chance at the End of the World
After finished tidying up the man's wound, Qing Chen sat on the rock at the side, breathing a sigh of relief and looked up to the sky: "The sky is dark."
Eleven frowned and look around, then turned around to ask her: "Are there people staying around here?"
Qing Chen stilled and thought, then said while smiling: "Around the mountain side, there is a bamboo house, it's mine. You can follow me if you don't mind."
Eleven saw that the man does not mind, said: "Then, we'll have to trouble you. We have not asked for your name?"
Qing Chen pressed her lips again to think, said: "I'm… Feng Qing Chen, what's yours?"
Hearing her question, Eleven stilled, saluted with his fist and said: "Miss has helped us even though we are strangers, this one should be giving you our name honestly. However, due to our special circumstances, we have to hide our identity, this is definitely not a behaviour of a nobleman, I hope Miss can forgive us."
Qing Chen looked up to look at him, smiled and said: "I will not ask if you are not willing to say. Both of you have saved me in the first place, I should also be thanking you."
Eleven reconsider and said: "This one was born in the order of number eleven, if you are willing, you can also call me 'Eleven'."
"Alright, Eleven." Qing Chen nodded, then looked at the person who kept his eyes closed to rest.
The man opened his eyes, there is a hint of fatigue in the coldness in his eyes, said with a soft voice: "Many thanks."
Qing Chen smiled: "No need to thank me, I heard him called you 'Fourth Brother', then you are number 4?"
Eleven said: "Fourth Brother is older than me by a few years, you seem to be by age, maybe… you can also call him 'Fourth Brother'." Qing Chen nodded and stood up: "His injury is not light, let's find a place to rest."
The three walked along the riverbed following the opposite direction of the water flow. When they arrived at the house, the sky has turned completely dark. Qing Chen found this place based on a stranger's memory and breathe out a sigh of relief when seeing the hut. Feeling strange, she rushed to open the little bamboo door for Eleven. Borrowing the light from the stars, she can see the house was planted with many different plants. As the wind blows, it brings along a soft fragrance.
After entering the hut, she looked for the candle and light it. Even then, it is not very bright, only a pretty soft dim, but giving a feeling of being in a dream. Even so, this dream feels very familiar. Qing Chen held the candle with one hand, the other hand opened the curtain. This bamboo house is not big. It is separated into the front and back yard. The place was tidy and clean with light blue as the theme colour for the tools. The tables and chairs were properly arranged. The waves of the candle lights gave off a soft glow. It seemed to have been used for a long time. Further in, there was a bedroom. Green coloured silk curtain was hung on the bed in the middle of the room. A small short table was put next to the bed. On the table, there was a bronze mirror with a jade pin and a wooden comb showing that this is a woman's boudoir. On the side close to the window, there is a guqin (古琴)**.
Qing Chen took a deep breath. After settling down the injured, she lifted the curtain and went out, only to find there was a side room. There were some some bottles and also many different medicinal plants that had been cleaned up. On the other side of the room, many different types of books were arranged neatly. She skimmed through the titles, only to see that most of them were medical books. The rest were some music score, some astrological books, even a small collection of books on the art of war.
However, she did not have the time for look through these books. She was also too busy to think about other things. Borrowing the candle light, she picked up some bottles to check while thinking. Finally, the picked out 2 small porcelain bottle, and also found some clean cloth bandages. She took these and went out. At the same time, she peeked at the next building, to find that it's the kitchen.
Looking around, it's a quiet and beautiful place. The owner of this place can be considered to have a heart like a flower and beautiful quality. Qing Chen unconsciously thought of what happened during the day, stood still in a trance in the middle of the house. At this moment, everything in front of her feels like a dream and real at the same time, as though she is an actress in a play, there are many unfamiliar intentions passing through her mind. However, in a blink, everything is back to the real her. Real and fake passing interchangeably, a strange feeling that she cannot say and cannot understand. However, not sure why, in the deepest part of her heart, there is a peculiar feeling of peace, almost like everything that has happened is just a matter of fact, like she has been to this place and met these people a very long long time ago.
Qing Chen slight frowned, standing alone dumbfounded looking around her a some time, until there is sound of the curtain being moved behind her, Eleven came out of the room: "Miss Feng."
Qing Chen came out of her thoughts, her pair of eyes carrying a hint of confusion looking at Eleven. Eleven noticed her looking out of sorts, came closer and asked: "What's wrong? Something happened?"
Qing Chen quickly shook her head, said: "Nothing. Here are some medicine, I will change the dressing on his wound. The kitchen is over there, maybe you can make some food."
Eleven stilled: "Kitchen? Alright, I will have a look." The change in topic distracted him from strangeness in Qing Chen's eyes, so he did not ask further.
Qing Chen fetch some water then returned to the bedroom, put the medicine and cloth bandage in front of the bed, turned around and said: "The medicinals plants I used was only an emergency measure. They do not really do much. I need to change the medication, can you sit up?"
The candlelight in front of the bed leaves a soft yellow halo, while the face not covered by the mask is as pale as snow, the pair of eyes are very clear and alert, not looking someone who has a serious injury. He slightly strained to push himself up using his palms, Qing Chen extended her hands to support him, putting some blanket behind him to lean on, then also help to remove his clothes, preparing to change his medication. However, she did not noticed that this shameless behaviour has made the person who was originally quiet to look strange.
As she thought, the injury has re-opened due to the movement during their journey back. Qing Chen frowned, she pour some clear green liquid from a white porcelain bottle then carefully clean the dirt and blood. Following that, she took out some milky white medicinal powder, gently apply them on the wound then used some clean bandage to re-dress his wound.
Having an arrow pierced to the chest, almost shooting through his back, even though it was fortunate that no vitals were damaged, she can imagine the pain he is going through when the wound is being taken care of. However, the man was quiet without making a sound. Qing Chen's fingers slight touched his skin while dressing his wound, she could feel under her fingers a certain deep hidden strength. Sustaining an injury and bleeding does not make him relaxed. He seems to always maintain a certain level of almost invisible guard.
The long sword that he carried with him is placed close next to him. It is like the owner, carrying a feeling of coldness, making people feel slightly cold. Qing Chen thought of the happenings during the day – those 3 people disguising themselves are soldiers, Eleven's shots killing them was fast and steady. These events made her feel that they are not just some people who accidentally passed by. However, these things are not really important to her. It's just that these events happening one after the other has diluted her confusion and doubt about her current situation.
The man in front of her seems to also be sizing her up. Qing Chen, coming out of her thought, felt his gaze and moved her gaze then smiled at him. The smile hitting the deepest part of his dark eyes, in a short time, it was absorbed by it.
After changing his medication, she helped him to lay back down. Qing Chen stood up to clean up the stuff. The man tiredly closed his eyes, suddenly open them back, said: "… Miss Feng."
"En?" Qing Chen lifted her head, putting away the ever disturbing sleeves at the same time.
"Eleventh Brother, he is also hurt." He is clearly concerned about others, but his voice did not carry any emotions, not even a ripple.
Qing Chen has seen the wound on Eleven's shoulder, but it is not very serious. She did not have the time to take care of it in the chaos, but remembered when he brought it up, said: "I understand, I will go out to have a look, please rest." Tidying up his blanket while saying this, then lifted the curtain and left.
Right after getting out of the house, suddenly, there is huge wave of heavy smoke blowing to her, making her unable to open her eyes. Qing Chen, seeing the continuous wave of heavy smoke coming out of the kitchen, rushed to check, only to bump into a sad looking Eleven who was coming out.
Qing Chen saw his face which has been dirtied by the smoke looking an actor in the Chinese opera, could not hold herself, 'pu chi', she laughed. Eleven's sharp brows lifted: "You… laughing at me! Why don't you try yourself?"
Qing Chen laughed and thought, isn't it just starting a fire, just burn those firewoods, what's so difficult about that? She folded her sleeves said: "Watch me." Confidently went into the kitchen. Seeing her so confident, Eleven is curious, maybe there is secret method when starting a fire. He turned around and decided that he will ask for some pointers.
After a half pot of tea, the 2 returned came back out, the kitchen is currently in a sorry state.
**(T/N): based on my research, half a pot of tea is around 5 minutes.
Eleven looked at Qing Chen, there are 3 parts of laughter, 3 parts mocking, and 3 parts of helplessness on his face. Qing Chen pressed her lips unhappily, she has never thought that starting a fire would be so difficult. Firstly, no matter how much she knocked the fire stones did not even start a cracker, the small kitchen make things more complicated. Finally, what makes her most frustrated is Eleven's mocking face in front of her. Seeing him suffering from holding in his laugh, she stubbornly said: "Just laugh if you want to laugh, why do you look so strange?"
Looking at the black and white little face, he could not hold back and laughed out loud.
His hearty laugh carrying a certain satisfaction and elegance, as though the bright sun shining on a clear sky, making the handsome pair of brows giving a short feeling heroism. Qing Chen looked, kicked him and said: "Laugh! I don't have the time to do it now. You can't start the fire, let's not say we cannot boil the medicine, we'll see who will be anxious when everyone is hungry." Her beautiful brow lifted, making a threatening pose, then flicked her hand to leave.
Not caring about Eleven who is not sure if he should laugh or cry, she continued to enter the house and prepare the medicine. Among the many types of herbs, there are some that she recognised from her previous life, some she recognised from the memory that pops up when she needs them, often taking her by surprise. She thinks and choose some herbs, trying hard to adapt to the memory which did not belong to her, afraid of being careless. After some moments, Eleven suddenly lifted the curtains, said: "Ha, I did it."
"You did it?" Qing Chen followed him out, doubtfully said, "It stayed?"
"It's burning just fine." Eleven's expression carrying a hint of satisfaction, "A small matter like this, still not hard enough for this… young master."
Qing Chen entered the kitchen, seeing the fire in the stove, unimpressed, her brows lifted, said: "Oh? Then, preparing a meal should not be difficult for Eleven Young Master. There are some rice and vegetables over there, I'm leaving it to you." After saying this, taking the chance when Eleven was stupefied, she lifted her hands and patted on his injured shoulder. When Eleven screamed 'aiyo' in pain, she brought up the medicine bottle in her hand, "let's first have a look at your injury."
On Eleven's shoulders, his left shoulder is covered with some light wounds, the wound on his right shoulder is lightly more serious, it has bled quite a lot, almost soaking the whole sleeve. Qing Chen look down to examine, realised that they look like knife wounds, when she lifted the head, the words that were in her mouth. However, after thinking about it, she stopped herself, and carefully helped him to apply the medicine and dress his wounds. There is a golden bow and a long sword on the table. The sword's edge is strong and sharp, carrying a hint of killing intent. Due to her unclear situation, Qing Chen did not ask him anything. When thinking of the time when he killed those evil men, not sure for what reason, she did not feel afraid. In fact, she was impressed by his honesty and heroism.
After his wounds are taken care of, Eleven laughed and said: "Many thanks."
Qing Chen said: "No need to thank me, why don't you make some good food, let's take that for medical fee."
Eleven shook his head: "such eloquent mouth, not even willing to be a little disadvantaged."
Qing Chen carried the medications on the table, said: "Thanks for the praise, same to you. Can I trouble you to start the fire and boil the medicine first?"
"No problem." Eleven re-start his work, taking out a jar of wine from the house and pouring a little wine into the medicine stove that Qing Chen has prepared, added some firewood, knocking the fire stones, quickly starting the fire.
Qing Chen moved in to look at the wine, frowned and said: "It really is Niu Jue Mu Dan**, this jar a good wine that was brewed for a really long time using many different types of expensive herbs."
**(T/N): 牛嚼牡丹 – basically translates as A Cow chewing on Peony. For those who are interested. Hehe..
"Oh?" After hearing that, Eleven pour it into a small cup to drink, said after quite a while: "Good wine!"
Curious, Qing Chen dip a finger into the wine then tasted her finger. Just a drop, the clear bitterness entering her mouth, mixed with a fragrant taste of the strong wine, staying in the mouth a long time, making people feel a strong satisfaction when remembering the taste.
She nodded, said: "It really is not bad." She put her hand in the middle of the jar again, suddenly she quickly took back her hand, at the bottom of the jar, that layer of dark colour thing is actually a snake.
Eleven looked carefully, then suddenly laughed and said: "Are you not the one who brewed this wine? So scared, I wonder how you caught this snake?"
Qing Chen stilled, flowing along said: "Of course not, this one was brewed by someone else a really long time ago. Since you found it, I'll toast a cup with you." Qing Chen smoothly change the subject, worried that if someone asked about certain things she will not be able to answer.
Eleven looked at her, his eyes investigating. Seeing that he did not response, Qing Chen looked up and said: "There are certain things that you cannot say, I will not ask. Can you also not ask? Both of us know that we don't bear ill intentions, but we have our circumstances, let's just say, it's a tie?"
Hearing her explaining things clearly, Eleven did not doubt anymore. Brightly laughed, smoothly poured 2 cups of wine, said: "Alright, just like you said, today, we are fortunate enough to know each other, I will first toast a cup to you."
Qing Chen took over the cup of wine, the corner of her lips lifted, then said with a low voice: "We get to know each in this lifetime, maybe it's fate."
The 2 lifted their cups, drank and emptied their cups, the strong alcohol passed through their throats feels clear, making them feel very satisfied, then a wave of laughter sounded in the house.
This is the end of chapter 2. 🙂