Nightfall - Chapter 89

Published at 9th of April 2018 09:21:08 AM

Chapter 89

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Looking at the paper that fell by his feet, the chubby young lad called Chen Pipi quickly rolled his tiny eyes, and his bulging cheeks wrinkled up slightly in an attempt to express his skepticism. After giving it quite a lot of thought, he finally made the tough decision of painfully lowering his corpulent body, reached out his short, chubby and rather cute hands to pick up the paper with so much difficulty that he was panting for a while after doing so.

"Being fat really is the most miserable thing in the world."

Fluttering his thick, plump and tender lips, Chen Pipi muttered to himself with a sense of pretentious self-pity. Then he looked down to see what was written on the paper, and read it out without realizing, "Going up one more floor, and yet another, all the sorrow I had ceased to exist now. Once I was the young wood chopper at the Shubi Lake, and why should I comply and moan about cold weather, when autumn hasn't arrived just yet..."

"Being fat is in fact not the most miserable thing in the world, if one can be fat and genius at the same time." He looked at the handwriting with pity, guessing that this would be the painful inner manifesto of some freshman of the Academy. He shook his head and said sympathetically, "Compared to a genius like me, being common and ordinary like you is what makes you truly miserable."

The worlds of mortals and geniuses are so utterly different. Chen Pipi thought that he could understand the frustration and desperation of the poor guy, but wasn't planning to take such pain as his own. So after making a casual comment, he tucked the paper back into the shelf and was ready to leave with the volume of Primary exploration on Ocean of Qi and Mountain of Snow that he came for.

But all of a sudden he turned back and drew out the piece of paper again, and looking at the handwriting on it. He raised his thick eyebrows and muttered with surprise, "This guy is pretty talented in calligraphy!"

Again he tucked the piece of paper back into the shelf and as he was about to leave, he turned back once more, and drew out the piece of paper for the third time and looked at it attentively for a while and exclaimed, "Actually he's not only pretty talented, but very talented indeed!"

Seeing himself going back and forth, Chen Pipi admitted that he was acting ridiculous. He looked at the note left by the poor guy and muttered to himself, "Perhaps Haotian God pities you so much that he's using your great calligraphy as a means to induce me to help you out?"

An insignificant excuse was often the only thing needed for someone to make a decision, even if such excuse was fabricated. For Chen Pipi tonight, he had no idea that what he was about to do would change someone's life in a certain sense, but he was ready to go on and do it just because he wanted to. In this respect he was much more straightforward than certain poor lad.

Sitting down at the desk beside the east window, dimly lit by starlight, Chen Pipi read the words written by the poor stranger with a certain degree of intrigue. The knocking sound of his plump fingers on the window echoed with the song of the birds at night.

"I had been engaged in penance for consecutive seventeen days since I cultivated in the old library. Unluckily, however, I failed to learn any words by heart, and had no choice but to see them flee. Once, I was aware and also entered into some dark and sweet dreams, but they would always disappear at last."

"If these characters on the paper were illusory, why could I see them? If they were real, why couldn't I memorise them? If they existed between reality and illusion, was the ink which created them real or illusory, and was the paper which showed them real or illusory?"

After reading what was on paper, Chen Pipi pouted his lips and looked rather indifferent, like a boy who had eaten countless bowls of authentic hot-dry noodles at the west town coming across some poor lad who doesn't know how to stir his copycat version of spicy sauce noodles. It made him feel utterly proud and infinitely superior from the bottom of his heart.

He started to grind the inkstick under the starlight. Chen Pipi picked up the tiny brush of his senior sister with his chubby fingers, and swiftly wrote down a long paragraph of commentary on the back of that piece of paper. The tiny handwriting on paper looked exceptionally fine and intricate in contrast to the bulkiness of his body shape.

"Poor boy, don't believe the kind of bullshit about whether a mountain is a mountain or not. Haotian God wouldn't be as bored as to be testing us with such silly questions."

"Objective reality is nevertheless real, such as the writings on this book which are as real as my pride and arrogance right now. Even though the writing has been tampered with by the Divine Talisman Master, you must believe that it is real. If you cannot believe it yourself, then your eyes would certainly find it even harder to believe."

"The writings constitute an objective reality, so does the paper. However, when this paper and writing reflects the spring daylight into your eyes which might be big or small, and once it is interpreted by your brain which might be smart or dumb...I'm guessing dumb... that's when it all becomes a fabricated reality."

"Spring light being reflected on paper already constitutes an interpretation, seeing it in your eyes is a reinterpretation, and your attempt to understand it is yet another reinterpretation. Interpretation often leads to misunderstanding. The more you interpret something, the more it is likely to deviate from its original form."

"If you are still unable to understand it by now, as a genius I am obliged to help you out with the most vulgar example I can come up with: the objective reality of something resembles a beautiful naked woman. We can only accept her existence, and she doesn't need our interpretation. Therefore, as a completely unclothed woman, her entire being constitutes an objective reality, regardless of the size of her bosom, the shape of her ass or the appearance of her pubic hair. You cannot change her."

"When you look at her with desire, thinking about her beauty and wanting to have sex with her, these thoughts become layers of clothing. Each time you attempt to interpret her, you are covering her seductive body with a layer of clothing, until you are ultimately unable to fathom what she actually looked like at the very beginning, and how big her boobs were."

"How to resolve this problem? It's very simple. Remember the image of her at the very instant in which she was completely naked, and forget about whether she is the saintess of the Great River Kingdom or Ye Hongyu from the West-Hill Divine Palace. Don't think, don't ask, don't offer her flowers or play a melody for her, instead, simply go up there and f*ck her right there and then! Women are to be f*cked and not interpreted!"

The ink flowed swiftly on paper with such power and spontaneity, fully expressing his greatest ideas. By the time Chen Pipi finished his face brightened up showing utter satisfaction. Since a very young age he had been considered by everyone as an unprecedented genius, but throughout the years he had been studying under the very best, and he could only listen and learn without getting any chance to unleash his inner desire to give someone else a lesson. He couldn't help but praise himself.

"The words might sound vulgar, but the gist is there. I just hope you won't get too obsessed and taken over by my words."

By the time the ink was dried by the night wind, he proudly stood up and made is way back to the bookshelf, tucking the piece of paper back into the pages of the  Primary exploration on Ocean of Qi and Mountain of Snow , no longer caring about his bet with his Second Brother on the memorization of basic teaching material.

Just as he was putting the booklet back into the shelf, his plump face showed a little hesitation. Strictly speaking, by helping this poor lad he has seriously breached the rules of the old library. But then again he thought of something else his master once said, and he rolled his tiny eyes, tucked the book into the shelf and left the building without worrying about a thing.

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"Rules are bullshit."

Every morning, Ning Que left Lin 47th Street at dawn and only returned to Chang'an city very late in the night. Even though it was the first day ever for him to walk down the old library, by the time his horse carriage entered through the south gate of Chang'an, it was already well into the night.

Chu Youxian was concerned about his physical condition and waited for him to return together to the city. As the two horse carriages parked in front of the Old Brush Pen Shop one after another, this Eastern City snob looked out from the carriage window at Ning Que, and full of appreciation he said, "I can't believe you left aside all grudges and persuaded Xie Chengyun to walk down the old library, I never thought you were such an open-minded, humble, graceful, tolerant, noble..."

Ning Que turned back with a smile on his face and said, "even though I don't mind staying here and listening to the string of praises you could come up to compliment me, I must also admit that, persuading Xie III to leave the library wasn't entirely out of concern for his health...I was simply interested in the spot he sat on every day, it was a nicely sunlit spot."

"You're so peculiar for concealing a good deed with an evil motive just to avoid praise..."

Complained Chu Youxian as he ordered his servant to drive the horse carriage away.

Ning Que smiled as he waved his friend goodbye, and as he walked into the shop and covered his face with the towel passed to him by Sansang, he sank his entire body into the armchair, as if all his strength and energy was suddenly taken away from him.

Ever since he started going up the old library, each night as he returned to Lin 47th Street he would enjoy the invigorating effects of a hot towel. Sangsang calculated the timing meticulously and soaked the towel just in time to make sure the temperature was exactly right.

Underneath the steaming white towel, Ning Que said with an exhausted voice, "I still don't have much of an appetite tonight, please just make a bowl of noodles with fried eggs."

Sangsang agreed but didn't leave. She stood quietly by the armchair and glared at the steaming towel on Ning Que's face. After a long silence, she finally said, "young master, you...shouldn't go tomorrow."

The truth is, even though Ning Que looked fine and seemingly able to chat and joke with his academy mates, only he and Sangsang were aware of the real damage suffered by his body and mind after forcing himself to read at the old library all these days. Everyday as he returned to the city he was in so much pain that he could barely bring himself to utter words, and he vomited so much that he required great will power to even swallow his dinner.

Hearing Sangsang's voice, Ning Que felt as if the white towel on his face turned into a fluffy white forest, alongside the warm and moist sensation covering his mouth and nose. He was quiet for a while and finally forced himself to smile as he said,"I didn't get a chance to take you out before when I had my days off, so...I won't go to the Academy tomorrow. By the way, I bumped into the silly Princess today at the Academy, and she invited you to go play with her. Shall we go tomorrow?"

Sansang removed the lukewarm towel from face, and started massaging his forehead. Then she timidly replied, "Her Highness wants to see me? I would like that too."

With his eyes closed, Ning Que felt how her cold fingers massaged away his stress and nausea, and he sighed in relief as he said, "And I shall use this opportunity tomorrow to cross off the second name from the list."

Sangsang's fingers froze briefly, and looked down at her slightly worn-off shoes. She was obviously not too impressed about this. 

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