Is it me, or is it hot in here? Can you feel the electricity? 😉
Chapter 2.3 — The Person at the Foot of Mercy’s Seat (3)
She and Agnesa walked along the muddy road, avoiding puddle after puddle.
At the corner of the street, they turned, arriving at their destination.<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, the translation has been taken without consent of the translator.
Cheng Muyun led them inside to the first level. The shop owner was staring at a small, old and worn television. Seeing them, he stood and exchanged a few words with Cheng Muyun in a language Wen Han was unfamiliar with before calling out some instructions through the black curtain behind him. A young woman came out and, pressing her palms respectfully together in greetings to the two of them, she spoke a sentence in the local language. Then blushingly, she lifted her head to look at him. She was waiting for him to translate.
Cheng Muyun tilted his chin and motioned with it. “She is telling the two of you to go upstairs.”
After stating this, he pulled over a chair and sat down, leaning his side into the chairback in a posture that indicated he would patiently wait for them.
Walking upstairs, the two of them saw four little rooms partitioned only by thick curtains.
The two rooms to the left and right were both occupied. When they arrived upstairs, a girl wearing a black, surgical-style face mask happened to be stepping out from one of the rooms next to where they were, carrying a tray of dyes in her hands.
Wen Han and Agnesa each chose a room. Lifting open the curtain, Wen Han stepped inside and then, rising up onto the tips of her toes, closed up the curtain’s gap again. She turned around to see a simple bed, and spread on it was a blanket adorned with an Indian-style design.
Only a single, thick curtain separated this room from the adjacent one, and she could clearly hear the customer inside the other room laughingly asking something in, as before, a language she did not understand.
While she was still hesitating over whether this bed was clean or not, behind her, a figure lifted open the curtain. “Remove your top and lie down on there.” Turning in surprise, she saw a familiar pair of eyes. Although he was wearing a black face mask that concealed more than half of his face, she still knew it was him.
Her mouth opened slightly, and her heart began to jump erratically.
Narrowing his eyes, Cheng Muyun set his index finger against the outside of the black face mask.
It was obvious he was warning her not to make any noise, that next door there was another customer, and that just a few steps away, in another room across from her, was Agnesa.
“What… what are you doing here?” Her voice was very light, as if she was being a thief here.
Setting a tray, which held the dye and a hot towel, down onto a low table, he sauntered over to her.
She stepped backwards, bumping into the bed.
He lifted up the hem of her shirt, but she held his hand down, glaring at him powerlessly.
Leaning forward, he whispered in her ear, “Look, there is a bed here. Every customer here does the same.”
Wen Han hesitated. Yes, those words were correct, but—
He did not give her any further opportunity for wavering. Removing Wen Han’s cotton, long-sleeved t-shirt, he pushed her onto the bed, held her by her lower abdomen and the small of her back, and turned her over. And then, standing beside the bed with one knee kneeling on its edge, he held down her right wrist and felt for a tube of dye.
Dye touched the very tip of her finger.
It was very cool. Her skin, however, was searing hot.
In the beginning, she had felt discomfited since, after all, all that remained on her upper body was her bra, and lying like this on the bed in front of him gave her a feeling of uneasiness. As time passed, though, she began to appreciate his drawing. Cheng Muyun’s eyes were lowered, and his entire gaze moved only between her arm and the dye applicator tube. The drawing began at the tips of her fingers and traversed down to the back of her hand. Initially, there was only a vine, but gradually, at the end of the vine, a lotus flower began to appear.
A lotus flower intertwined with a vine.<>You should be reading this at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com.
Such a bizarre combination.<>An UNAUTHORIZED copy, taken from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com
“Wen Han?” From the other room, through two layers of curtains, Agnesa called to her.
Giving an “mm-hmm,” she cast a guilty glance at him.
“You know that man? The day before yesterday, I saw a woman in his room. She spoke Russian, too. Seriously, such a loose, amorous guy.” Agnesa spoke in Russian, likely because she reckoned that in this place, only she and Wen Han understood the language. “Just earlier, when he was bringing the dried, warmed blanket back to me, I hinted to him that he could stay in my room tonight, but he pretended he didn’t understand what I was saying.”
There was a warm, rough feeling on her shoulder. Through that black face mask, he kissed her left shoulder. She dared not move.
Agnesa’s giggles drifted over to her. “Why aren’t you saying anything? Oh man, oh God, I can’t laugh anymore. It’ll mess up my henna tattoo. This young, handsome henna artist of mine is already starting to throw warnings at me with his gorgeous eyes.”
She gave an “mm.” All around, quiet was once again restored.<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, the translation has been taken without consent of the translator.
Outside the window, the light that shone from the inns beside the street was suggestive.
It so happened that a new bar had just opened, and light from it filtered through a spread of leaves and vegetation, spilling a colourful glow that passed through the window and landed on the ceiling.
Amid this stillness, she grew increasingly unsettled, and she pushed herself up on her arms, wanting to move about.
Wen Han’s teeth clenched tightly on her lower lip. Her body was a little stiff from purposely maintaining the same position.
In India, she had seen someone who, after getting henna applied on both hands, had needed to sit in one place for one to two hours to ensure that the stain would hold. One to two hours—
“Why… did you leave the monastic and go back to a secular life?” She spoke softly in Chinese, hoping to put an end to this eerie silence.
Her voice was very light, so light it could nearly waft away with the incense.
Drawing with focused seriousness, Cheng Muyun replied, “My heart has turned and already believes, so wherever I may be, whatever I may be doing, there will still be no difference. Even if I were to make love with you, it would still be the same.” The drawing flowed ceaselessly from his hand, and the design had already spread up to her arm. It was no longer a diminutive, winding little lotus flower; rather, it was a large one that blossomed in layers upon layers.
“But when committing to the precepts to abstain, lust is one of the greatest things from which you should abstain,” she quietly countered.
“Oh? Do you truly believe that?”<>This should be read at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com
“Even non-Buddhists know that…”<>This should be read at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com
“And even if one should break a precept, so what?” He leaned in and whispered this by her ear.
Setting down the tube of dye, Cheng Muyun traced his fingers along the curve of her spine and glided them downward. The contour of her back was very smooth and flowing, and her spine dipped deep into it.
Dye was beginning to be applied to her legs now.
Wen Han screwed her eyes shut. The erratic beating of her heart caused her body to rapidly grow hot.
“Do not move,” he instructed her, his voice light. “Maintain this position. Do not ruin the lotus flower on your back.”
Wen Han clamped down tightly on her lip with her teeth. Because she was purposely holding herself still, her arms were feeling somewhat numb.
Perspiration began to surface in small, densely spaced beads on her back. Bringing the side of his face against hers, he guided her in a low voice, “Your arms are numb?”
She did not speak.<>This is an UNAUTHORIZED copy, taken from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com
“In that space between suppressing one’s sensual desires and giving way to them, there is a remarkably wonderful period.” He spoke softly, “Don’t you think so?
Wen Han could sense his breath against the back of her ear, and her own fingers were twisting the bed sheets with all her might. It felt as if there was a fire being held in her throat.
In a low tone, Cheng Muyun uttered her name, speaking in Chinese, the language that only she and he could understand. In that moment when he gently called her, she even had the mistaken feeling that he had already fallen in love with her.
It was the type of love that had come into existence at first sight.
This night carried on until two or three o’clock. Across the way, Agnesa was very heavy-eyed. Through the curtains, Agnesa said, just now, the owner had come up and informed her that that Chinese man had left a message for the two of them, telling them to wait one or two hours until the stain had completely set. They should sleep for a while first and then go back when morning came.
He, when she was utterly drained, had also finally told her that she was nearly free to move about again as she pleased. Wen Han, though, had absolutely no strength left in her to move, and soon, she was asleep.<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, the translation has been taken without consent of the translator.
Early in the morning, the two of them walked downstairs.
Cheng Muyun sat leaning back in that shabby old armchair on the first floor, his legs crossed and resting on a low cabinet, looking as if he had not left that spot the entire night. Languidly, he rose to his feet, moving and stretching his arms. “I hope you two ladies had an enjoyable time last night.”
With his jacket in his right hand, he pushed open the door first.
When they returned to the inn, the innkeeper was leaning against the doorway of the room on the first floor and smilingly looking at them. “Yun Laoban, you came back at the perfect time. I took a long-distance call here that left a phone number and asked you to call back as soon as possible.”
He bid the two of them goodbye, then walked through the door behind the innkeeper.
After he had taken a seat on the couch, the innkeeper very soon brought over a cup of hot Nepali milk tea. Cheng Muyun was feeling a little fatigued as he undid the two buttons at the top of his shirt that only not long ago had been fastened. With two fingers, he picked up the cup by its brim and took a sip.
The innkeeper looked at him. “How was last night?”
He set his arm on top of the back seat cushion of the couch, not giving her an answer.
“You’re not worried that she has some sort of special identity? You said yourself that you saw her half a year ago.”
“I have touched every inch of skin on her and the frame of her entire body. I know her body better than she knows it herself. That body is very straightforward and pure.” There were absolutely no traces of having been put through any training.
But her figure is very good. She must like sports or exercising? he thought.
In addition, the person who had applied the henna for the other Russian girl last night had also examined that body—extremely ordinary.
“It’s so strange that that man would actually bring a few ordinary people along here with him on vacation.”
“It is a very good smokescreen.” Cheng Muyun gave this assessment.
The female innkeeper pondered for a moment. Walking over to the window, she stared out at the endless number of Westerners, both men and women, who were strolling along the road. “Just earlier, before Wang Wenhao left, he was still asking me about whitewater rafting on the Trishuli River.”
“Yesterday when he and I made contact, he had already said that he would be going rafting next.” Cheng Muyun continued moistening his throat with the milk tea. The entire night of suppressing his own sensual desires had caused his nerves to now be even more taut. He was finally beginning to admit that sex that one could not have was both the most exciting and the most exhausting. “I very much dislike spending an entire day in a rubber raft, as well as listening to people screaming uncontrollably, as a way to pass the time.”
Furthermore, as the “local bodyguards,” he and Meng Liangchuan would need to bring along Wang Wenhao’s goods and go rafting with these people.
Such a torturing itinerary and travel plans.<>This should be read at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com
“A whitewater rafting trip is a minimum of two days, one night. In your opinion, do you think he’ll choose to hand off the goods that night at the campsite?”
“It is possible.”<>This is an UNAUTHORIZED copy, taken from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com
Feeling rather uncomfortable, he furrowed his brows together.
The sounds of a bunch of women, and even men, screaming in fear were already beginning to echo in his mind.<>If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, the translation has been taken without consent of the translator.
On the wall directly across from Cheng Muyun, there hung a Tibetan-style blanket.
He, however, was thinking of the lotus flower on her body.<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. Translated with the express permission of the author for hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, the translation has been taken without consent of the translator.
A random girl he had a chance encounter with half a year ago, far away in another country where he was still a monk, suddenly showed up here where he was, six months later. We don’t know details, but we do know Cheng Laoban is here with some sort of plans. How could Wen Han’s arrival not trigger some suspicions initially?
Of course, that does not mean the other things he said are untrue. 😉
1 of 1 Prologue
6 of 50 Chapter segments
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