Agarwood like Crumbs (沉香如屑) Novel Translations

Chapter 4: Do Good Every Day

Reading Time: 8 minutes
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YanDan’s getting thinner and thinner each day, and is also getting closer to breaking down.

The small fox rubbed against her and yelled loudly. For every 24 hours, she needs to spend at least 20 of those hours looking after the fox. No matter where she went, the fox had the ability to find her, and would fawningly rub against her. The first few days were fine, but after 10 days, nobody could withstand it. Everytime she tried to grab him and pull him away, his claws would dig in, while screaming and having a sad face, and it would make anyone feel bad enough to let him go. 

So for the remaining 4 hours she has left, even in her nightmares, she could hear the fox’s voice, and in her dreams, the fox is bouncing around next to her.

When she came to ZiLin’s to eat food, YuMo and LinLang were there as well.

“ZiDan is very clingy, once he decides that he likes someone, he will just cling on to them. Back when we were at the fox clan, he would follow me around the entire day, and didn’t like anybody else, so Father had to send me on this mission. Now that you detoxified his poison, he’s going to like you a lot, and be even more clingy than he was to me before.” LinLang said.

YanDan looked at the fox, and couldn’t help asking, “When will he stop acting like this?”

LinLang laughed, “Once he becomes of age, I guess. When that times he’s going to transform into a human, and he’s probably going to stop acting like this.”

YanDan asked, “How much longer until he’s of age?”

LinLang thought for a while, “About 150 years or so.”

YanDan immersed herself in cutting the roast lamb leg.

ZiLin was in a good mood, and laughed, accidentally bending the bronze goblet in his hand.

The fox was still rubbing itself against YanDan’s body, still yelling quite loudly.

Yumo grabbed a towel, wiped his mouth, and stood up, “Tomorrow, we’re going to leave early, so please prepare once you get back.”

ZiLin nodded, “Sleep early too.”

YuMo walked towards YanDan’s table, to see her moving two steps away, while kneeling, “Mountain Lord…”

YuMo stood still, “What’s up with all this respect?”

“I also want to take a short breather and relax. How about I come with you, I could also take care of your clothes and food along the way.”

ZiLin replied immediately, “Did you forget about the three-tailed snow fox? If you leave, who’s going to take care of him? Especially when he looks up to you so much.”

The corners of YuMo’s mouth lifted, “True, you shouldn’t let down the ones close to you.”

The small fox jumped onto YanDan’s shoulder, rubbing against her neck.

YanDan thought for a little bit, “I have some last words.”

YuMo replied, “Please speak.”

“Once I die, this small fox will be gifted to you, so on my behalf, please take good care of him.”

YuMo walked away, and didn’t look back.

ZiLin held the tiger cub onto his lap, and let him lick some wine off the chopsticks, telling YanDan, “Do you know what’s called a black heart? Her heart is the darkest. Do You know what’s called a bad heart? Her heart is bad. Do you know what her heart is like? Even the most poisonous arsenic isn’t as poisonous as her heart …”

YanDan couldn’t help but argue, “Arsenic isn’t the most poisonous poison.”

The sky got brighter slowly, spring is becoming more and more prominent, and the sun rises earlier and earlier.

YuMo put all of the baggage into the cabin, then sat on one of the wooden stools on the shore. After a short time, he saw the silhouette of a person, getting closer and closer until she was right in front of him. YanDan was holding a package, looked behind herself, and then sighed with relief, “I finally got rid of him, let’s go quickly.”

YuMo put a hand in front of her, “I haven’t agreed yet.”

YanDan pouted and moved to the size, “YuMo, YuMo…”

He smiled a little, “How come you even learned the three-tailed fox’s method of making a pouty face and being clingy?”

YanDan said viciously, “If you don’t help me this time, I’m going to be clingy every day, every hour, and everytime, and I’m going to annoy you until you can’t get a good night’s sleep and get nightmares every night.”

YuMo nodded his head, saying, “Alright, cling on.”

After 3 months of spring, the spring water was a light teal and a couple of peach trees along the shore has started blooming.

“JiangNan is pretty good, Ciu bamboo wood is pretty straight, create a flute out of it, and send it to my older brother, ask him if the flute’s quality is good…” the water created many ripples, there were some young girls playing around in the water, and fishermen setting nets. Three to five young mermaids were gathered together, laughing and whispering to each other.

Zhou ShanRen straightened his shoulders and sucked in his stomach, charging past to catch some people. The mermaids yelled out in shock, and all ran towards the sea. The last one wasn’t fast enough, and was caught by Zhou ShanRen. Her clothes were half wet, and she shivered pitifully. He was about to take her away when he heard a crisp laugh coming from the shore. He raised his head towards the laughter.

A tender, white hand grabbed the peach blossom branch and shook it a little, but none of the blossoms fell down, only bits and pieces of the petals drifted down slowly. She wrinkled her nose, and turned her head to say something to the young man standing behind her. That young man raised his hand, brought the girl’s hand down, and said something to her with a smile.

Zhou ShanRen watched from afar and couldn’t hear what they were saying. He saw the young man walk towards the peach tree on the other shore, leaving the girl sitting on the rock under the peach tree, alone. Zhou ShanRen immediately released the mermaid sprinted towards the shore, grabbing the girl.

The girl punched him on his back lightly, causing no pain. She did that for a while, and then got bored and stopped, the corners of her mouth lifting into a smile.

Zhou ShanRen ran faster and faster, and when he saw the boat in the center coming downstream, he shouted loudly, “Stop the boat and bring it towards the shore!” The boatman heard him, and he rowed towards the shore. Before the boat fully docked, Zhou ShanRen jumped onto it, his face a bright red, “Look what I caught today, Father will definitely award us well!”

The girl said something under her breath.

Zhou ShanRen didn’t hear the girl, and patted her, “Don’t be scared, you’re with us, and you’ll be happy in the future.” He walked into the boat cabin, threw the girl onto the cushion, smiling, “Father, what do you think of this girl?”

Zhou ShiMing was lying on a soft cushion, and two servant girls were massaging his legs. There was white smoke coming from the agarwood near the window, and the air smelled sweet. He was wearing a brocade robe, and held a bottle in his fat fingers. 

He waved his hands, and the servant and Zhou ShanRen both left the room.

“What are you called?”

The girl sat on the cushion, looking at her surroundings, smiling slightly, “My name is YanDan.”

Zhou ShiMing looked at her, “Then do you know who I am?”

YanDan sighed, “I don’t know who you are.” She looked at him carefully and said sincerely, “You don’t look like a bully, more like somebody enjoying his big fortune.”

Zhou ShiMing smiled, “You’re such an interesting young girl! You have to look at what’s on the inside, not the outside appearances, okay?” YanDan nodded, she was most familiar with that phrase.

He stood up, and slowly walked towards her, “Since you know who I am, then you should also know that you should listen to me obediently, or else you will be begging me to spare your life!”

YanDan replied sincerely, “Uncle, there are 5 hairs on your face that you didn’t shave well, 3 nose hairs in your left nostril, and a mole on your right eyebrow…” Zhou ShiMing’s face turned a shade of pale green, and exploded with anger, reaching out to tear her clothes, but suddenly his body felt light, and flew backwards, smashing a hole in the wall.

YuMo walked forward, grabbed his collar, and threw the man against the broken boards again, turning to face YanDan,“How long are you going to wait?”

YanDan flicked her shirt, and walked towards the hole in the wall made by Zhou ShiMing, the wicked complaining first, “It was you who came too slowly, and let that fat man bully me.”

On the desk outside, about 10 people were waiting, with knives and clubs. While rubbing his old waist, Zhou ShiMing scolded Zhou ShanRen loudly, “I told you to find a couple of people with good looks, yet you found this girl and there’s even a man!” YuMo flipped his sleeves and walked out of the cabin. JiaDing saw that his opponent’s hands were empty, eager to test his luck, and was about to step forward, but YuMo flicked his hand and all the weapons flew into the air, and landed into the water with a splash. 

He spoke monotonously and slowly, “If you want to survive, jump off this boat. I’ll count to 5, if there are still people on the boat, then I won’t go easy on them. One, two…” He just counted to 3, and the entire group of people were trying to climb off the boat, jumping down the side of the ship with a plop. Zhou ShiMing, although he was fat, his joints weren’t old, and as he was about to jump off, a force tightened around his ankle and dragged him back.

YuMo just so happened to finish counting to five and said almost regretfully, “There’s only one person left, but that’s fine.”

YanDan knelt next to Zhou ShiMing, holding a rope in one hand, the other end tied to ZhouShiMing’s ankle.

Zhou ShiMing pointed at YanDan, his fingers trembling, “You’re… you’re a demon, a demon!”

How could an ordinary woman have the power to drag a fat adult from the tip of the boat back here? Aside from being a demon, there’s no other explanation.

YanDan was holding the rope in her hand, smiling, pointing to Zhou ShiMing’s head, saying angrily, “Look at the person who told me that you shouldn’t look only at the outside appearance.” She poked Zhou ShiMing with the rope and grinned, “Your flesh looks so tender and white, and it’d definitely going to taste good.”

Zhou ShiMing let out a howl, and in a burst of strength, he desperately covered his head and tried to crawl away. But suddenly, right in front of him, he saw the bottom hem of a light green robe. He looked up, and cried in surprise again, and tried to crawl to the left. YuMo lifted his foot, stomped it in front of Zhou ShiMing’s face, and slowly knelt down, “She’s kidding you. She’s a normal mortal, how would she be willing to eat your meat?” Zhou ShiMing looked up at him, trembling.

YuMo smiled, “She’s not eating, I’m eating your flesh.”

Zhou ShiMing’s eyes rolled up and he fell to the ground.

YuMo took out a dagger from his sleeves, and placed it on his double chin, “Where should I start?”

YanDan knelt next to him, pointing slightly, “It’s better to consume his soul, because you might not do it correctly and he will die in pain.”

YuMo said, “First stab, and then consume his soul.”

Zhou ShiMing turned over and kneeled on the ground, “Two great immortals, please kill me without any pain, I’m begging you, I’m begging you…”

YanDan ignored him, “First cut the thigh, the flesh there is more resistent.”

YuMo spinned the knife, “I think it’s better to cut the ear first.”

Zhou ShiMing smacked the board, “I beg you, I beg you…”

YuMo sighed, “It’s better for a man to bleed than to cry tears, you got to have a backbone, so why are you crying?”

“I know that I did evil and unforgivable things, I shouldn’t deceive young boys and girls, and I should do good and be afraid of evil. Please forgive me. I won’t do it again, no matter what happens I won’t do bad ever again. I- I swear to god, I swear! I won’t do any bad things, or else…”

YuMo suddenly had a murderous glint in his eyes and there was a sound of a sword being drawn, and water suddenly started flooding into the boat. 

A young man in a watercolor ink robe stood at the side of the boat, his sleeves fluttering in the wind, his hand on his sword, pointing it at them.

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