tw: animal death as expected of people living on a farm. the act itself isn’t really described when it happens but they do talk about how to go about it. no sentient animal death.
After an afternoon nap, Lu Qingjiu felt like his fatigue had been entirely swept away. Upon seeing that it was getting late, only then did he force himself out of bed to make dinner.
Yin Xun came back really late. The expression on his face when he came back held a hidden bitterness. Lu Qingjiu thought that it was because he had to have an injection, and didn’t think too much about it. He had no idea what kind of death threats his pitiful little son had received.
After Jiang Buhuan left, they returned to their peaceful life of the past. There was no end to farm work in their household, and the two little pink pigs in their home had grown up. Those two little pink pigs had been bought along with Xiao Hei and Xiao Hua, but Xiao Hei and Xiao Hua still looked like little piglets, while the little pink pigs had already turned into full-grown pigs. In order to help them make it through the winter, Lu Qingjiu hadn’t forgotten to ask Yin Xun to burn them a basin of charcoal every day, and even heated up their food for them. In Yin Xun’s words, he had raised these two pigs up following them with a towel to wipe their asses every time they pooped or pissed.
“So would you like to say something to them right now?” Lu Qingjiu asked Yin Xun. After raising these big pink pigs for a year, they were just about fully-grown. If they kept them any longer, their meat would become old, so they planned on finding an auspicious time to kill them for their meat.
“I’d like to say,” Yin Xun said, “I hope their meat will taste good.”
Lu Qingjiu, “……” He thought of the Xiao Hua who had tragically passed at a young age once again.
Since they’d decided that they were going to eat the pigs, the task of killing fell to them. This village was small and didn’t have anything like an abattoir. All the pigs raised by the villagers were killed by the villagers themselves. Even though Lu Qingjiu had slaughtered a chicken before, he’d never done anything like that to anything as big as a pig. Pathetically, after finding a neighbour and asking about the process, he became too afraid to do it.
“I think you need to tie the pig to the stool, then stab it.” Next to him, Yin Xun danced around with the knife they’d borrowed. “After a bit of blood splatter then you just take it down……”
Lu Qingjiu, “……Do you want to do it? I’ll help you hold it down?”
Yin Xun said in a small voice, “But I’ve never killed one before, and the pigs are heavier than I am.”
Lu Qingjiu, “……”
The two stared at each other for a moment, then their gazes drifted off to the same place—— Bai Yuehu, sitting in the courtyard.
We’re sorry for MTLers or people who like using reading mode, but our translations keep getting stolen by aggregators so we’re going to bring back the copy protection. If you need to MTL please retype the gibberish parts.
Lu Qingjiu, holding the knife, slowly walked over to Bai Yuehu, “Hu-er ah.”
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Bai Yuehu, a cold expression on his face, arrived at the pigsty. He reached in and dragged a pig out. When others killed pigs, they would have to get several big men to hold the pig down. He didn’t need any of that. In his hands, a big, fat, several hundred jin pig was as powerless as a small animal. Following that, a clean knife went in and a red knife came out. That cold, determined expression on his face made Yin Xun, who was watching on from the side, felt an inexplicable chill on his neck. He couldn’t help but take a few steps back.
Bai Yuehu was a very competent pig butcher. After he was done, he didn’t even forget to divide up the meat. In his hands, the pork was quickly divided into several large pieces. Lu Qingjiu gave a pig leg to Li Xiaoyu’s family next door. For the rest, he planned to cook a huge meal of pork.
Unlike the pork bought in town, their home’s pork was of especially high quality, and was extremely delicious. Lu Qingjiu cut out the pork belly and fried up some twice-cooked pork. He then made a pot of pork leg soup, and even marinated all four pig trotters and pig ears. The meat from the pig’s head was paired with cold salad. To sum up, every part of the pig’s body was put to its best possible use.
There was a lot less fat in meat from pigs fed with feed rather than grain, but it tasted better. The leftover bits of grease from cooking it could be made into another side dish by just sprinkling in some sugar.
After killing the pig, their home was as cheery as if they were celebrating the new year. Even Xiao Hei and Xiao Hua got their own big cooked pork bone, which they gnawed on with relish.
It was now April, and as the days began to get hotter, they began to wear less. At night, Lu Qingjiu brought the pig ears and pig trotters he’d marinated in the day to the courtyard, then got a few bottles of cold beer. The three of them chatted as they ate in the courtyard. After being marinated in brine, the pig feet and ears became soft and chewy. Those who liked spice could even dip them into chilli powder mixed with sesame and other spices.
The weather that day was very good, the moon was very round, and the atmosphere in the courtyard was very pleasant. Bai Yuehu didn’t really like drinking, but was still very interested in the marinated meat. Next to him, Yin Xun talked about some interesting things he had run into after becoming a mountain god, such as some parents not wanting their child anymore, purposely leading their child up a mountain and ditching them, and how he helped the child find the path and safely sent them down the mountain.
Hearing this made Lu Qingjiu frown. Just as he was about to ask how there could be such irresponsible parents, a loud sound suddenly came from the sky. It sounded like a mountain was collapsing, making Lu Qingjiu’s ears buzz. Bai Yuehu, who had originally been sitting on the rocking chair with an indifferent expression on his face, suddenly had his expression change. He said, “Stay at home and don’t move around.”
“What happened?” Lu Qingjiu hurriedly asked.
Bai Yuehu shook his head and said, “I don’t know yet. I’ll go over and take a look.” As he stood up, a cloud of black fog formed around him. Then, he disappeared before Lu Qingjiu’s eyes.
Lu Qingjiu had never seen such a heavy expression on Bai Yuehu’s face before. He asked, “What in the world happened?”
Yin Xun said, dazed, “The sky seems to have broken……”
Lu Qingjiu, “The sky’s broken??” He looked over in the direction Yin Xun was staring at and found that the sky really did seem to be broken. In the originally dark sky had appeared an extremely long red glow. That light pierced through the sky, leaving a dazzling trace in the air. Within the glow, however, seemed to be a gathering of dark clouds, as if there was something that was about to burst out of them. Looking at it made them feel uncomfortable.
Lu Qingjiu and Yin Xun were both stunned by what they saw. Even though they didn’t know what that glow meant, clearly, this wasn’t anything good. Dark clouds poured non-stop out of the light, like the sky had sprung a leak.
As the unease in Yin Xun’s heart became stronger and stronger, he said, “Qingjiu, let’s go back into the house.”
Lu Qingjiu said, “Alright.”
The two left the courtyard and returned to the house, shutting all the doors and windows.
The red glow was gradually expanding. Lu Qingjiu watched it from afar, waiting for more changes. Yin Xun was a little more sensitive than Lu Qingjiu. By this time, he already no longer dared to look outside, curling up in a corner of the house as his body trembled uncontrollably. Seeing how he looked, Lu Qingjiu asked, worried, “Are you okay, Yin Xun?”
“I’m…… I’m fine,” Yin Xun said in a trembling voice, “Qingjiu, do you…… do you know…… the year your parents died, such a glow also appeared in the sky.”
Lu Qingjiu froze, shocked.
“After that was a continuous rain.” Yin Xun hung his head. “I couldn’t feel anything.” He was the mountain god of the mountains, for every blade of grass, every tree on the mountains, he would be able to sense even the slightest change, but the moment this glow appeared, his connection to the mountain seemed to be blocked by some strange force. He could see nothing with his spiritual senses.
Lu Qingjiu thought back to his parents death. All this time, he’d thought that his parents’ death had been an accident. Even though he’d become doubtful because of Old Tree’s words and came back to Shuifu village, he hadn’t found anything in particular. Only when his birthday came, and he opened the wooden box his grandmother left him, did he find out that his parents’ death, wasn’t actually an accident.
Beyond Shuifu, were other lands. What did those other lands refer to? Did they refer to that world Bai Yuehu had brought him to? Or did they refer to some other place.
The sky should have been dark, but the piercing glow lit up half the sky. Under such a strange scene, the entire Shuifu village sank into utter silence. It seemed as if none of the villages were interested in the strange scene in the sky. All the houses had their doors shut tight, as deathly still as graves.
Even though he didn’t know what had happened, because of his instincts, Yin Xun was engulfed by an indescribable sense of horror. He was afraid of that glow, or to be more precise, he was afraid of what was about to spill out from that glow.
Lu Qingjiu was a little better off than Yin Xun. he sat by the window, staring unerringly at the glow. As the glow grew larger and larger, more and more dark clouds began to spill out of it. Then, it seemed as if something got close to the glow, blocking off the opening with its body.
Because it was backlit, Lu Qingjiu couldn’t quite see what it was, but from its outline, it seemed to be a dragon-like creature.
Lu Qingjiu stared at the sky. He had a guess as to what that dragon-like creature was…… Obviously, it was his home’s lazy tenant, Bai Yuehu.
But what was he doing, and what did the glow mean? Unease surged in Lu Qingjiu’s heart. He knew that Bai Yuehu’s wounds hadn’t fully healed. If he had to get into another fight, would Bai Yuehu’s body be able to hold on? Lu Qingjiu was very worried, but he was only a mortal. The things he could do were truly too few. He even had to make Bai Yuehu distracted protecting him.
He didn’t know what Bai Yuehu did, but the glow in the sky began to dim. Slowly, the sky returned to its usual state.
Like Yin Xun had predicted, huge droplets of rain began to fall, pouring down, forming a huge curtain and covering the entire world. The rain was too heavy, so heavy that Lu Qingjiu couldn’t even hear Yin Xun’s low mutters or see what happened to the red glow behind the rainclouds.
Yin Xun, who had been curled up in the corner, suddenly stood up. He said, “Bai Yuehu’s back.”
Surprise appeared on Lu Qingjiu’s face. He hadn’t thought that Bai Yuehu would return so quickly. When he looked back out, sure enough, in the curtain of rain, he saw Bai Yuehu’s figure.
Bai Yuehu stood outside the door, and waved gently towards Lu Qingjiu, as if signalling him to come out.
“Are you going to go out?” Yin Xun was a little uneasy. “Outside…… seems to be very dangerous.”
“It’s alright,” Lu Qingjiu said, “Bai Yuehu’s there.”
Yin Xun started to speak, then stopped. In the end, he said nothing, letting Lu Qingjiu push open the door and go outside. What Lu Qingjiu said was actually rather reasonable. After all, if there really was someone who wanted to harm Lu Qingjiu, only Bai Yuehu would be able to protect him.
As for himself, he was nothing more than a weak mountain god.
As he watched Lu Qingjiu walk out the door, a hint of a bitter smile appeared on Yin Xun’s face.
baum: on a brighter note, Avis (@bewarethemandragora on Instagram) made an adorable drawing of Xiao Hei and Xiao Hua~