The Rabbit Gentleman and the Fox Demon 008

008

These past few days, the fox looked to have gained a bit of energy back. When Shen Hang Zhi brought it out to the courtyard to bathe in the sun, it would even lazily turned over its body, and the tail behind it would sway, and lightly rub the other person’s palm.

The slight prickly feeling on his hand made Shen Hang Zhi unable to help but laugh with his eyes rounded.

On one stormy day, Shen Hang Zhi once again dreamed of the past. He slept quite deeply, yet he felt like his consciousness was awake, yet muddleheaded. Faintly, it was as though he could feel someone stroking his back, constantly calling out to him with “Zhi Zhi”.

He had wanted to open his eyes to see if it was his fox, but no matter what he did, it was like his eyelids had a thousand pounds hanging off of it, unable to open them the entire time.

On the next morning, Shen Hang Zhi immediately opened his eyes. When he saw the fox beside him with closed eyes, his felt a little disappointed inside.

How nice it would be if the fox could turn back into the silly idiot now.

He lightly stroked the fox’s back, and carefully observed the fox’s face, reminding Shen Hang Zhi of that fox mask. His heart softened for a moment, and got off the bed to pull out that mask and silently put it on.

When he looked at himself wearing the fox mask in the bronze mirror, it had made him feel a bit strange yet familiar at the same time. When he was about to extend his hand to touch it, the side of his legs had some movement. When he lowered his head to look, the fox continuously rubbed against his legs, and raised its head to look at him.

When he lowered his body to hold the fox, Shen Hang Zhi saw those pair of fox eyes had long been muddled, then could not help but use his hand to cover them.

How could he dare to look- those pair of eyes would tell him each and every moment, just exactly what he had previously done.

The fox struggled free, and took out a wooden lump out from somewhere. Its claws pushed it along, and rolled it to the side of Shen Hang Zhi’s legs. After it bit down on that lump of wood, the fox constantly rubbed against him, signalling him to take it.

The statue was not very detailed, but he could see the person put in serious work in the statue. At that time, Shen Hang Zhi would often sss Lan Yi head towards the bone engraver’s residence at that time. He would then happily lift up the piece of wood, look up at him, then lower his head and carefully carve out a shape.

During those times, Lan Yi liked to go in hiding, and not let him see clearly what it was he was carving. But now that he could see it clearly, he could feel his eyes moisten.

Lan Yi had carved a little doll- the head wore a fox mask, the chubby little hand held onto another doll that also had the same fox mask, and smiled sweetly towards the little doll.

The fox’s head rubbed against his hand, as though letting him know its own dissatisfaction, called out to him in a low sound, then circled around him.

Suddenly, when he recalled that jade pendant he had stolen away before, Shen Hang Zhi abruptly stood up. Without a care for that dizzying feeling, he stumbled towards the vanity table, and took out that jade pendant. He did not know if it was just his imagination, but it seemed that the colour of the jade did not appear as gentle and calming as when he last saw it, and even seemed to bear a slightly dim and dark appearance.

He put the jade pendant on the fox’s body- the moment the jade came in contact, the fox seemed to have gained some life in it, unlike that deathly, lifeless look he had before. After circling around him a couple times, he leapt into his lap, and used his body to rub against him.

A faint hope had risen from his heart. Lan Yi had worn this jade pendant all the time- if he could wear it again, perhaps the silly idiot could be saved.

That night, Shen Hang Zhi had still slept deeply, but he faintly seemed to have heard Lan Yi’s voice. He still called him “Zhi Zhi” as always, his fingertips passed through his strands of hair, and combed it bit by bit.

“Zhi Zhi, if there was someday I am not here, you need to take care of yourself- don’t take your life as a joke and go to that high of a place to dance. Even if you didn’t stand so high up, with your looks, I can still spot you even in a vast sea of people.”

“If Zhi Zhi misses of me, you should just take a look at that doll, and recall how I would miss you every time.”

“Zhi Zhi, don’t forget me, okay? Can you wait until I reincarnate, then find me so we can move forward again?”

After a while, Shen Hang Zhi had heard him say, “Never mind, with Zhi Zhi this pretty, surely, there will be a lot of people that would like you. If Zhi Zhi can meet someone just like me who would look at you preciously after this, it’s fine to forget about me.”

No, he didn’t want it like this……

He wanted to open his eyes to look at Lan Yi, and had wanted to move his hands to touch him a bit. But no matter what he did, he couldn’t open his eyes, and could only faintly feel an ephemeral[1] warm touch spread from his forehead.

The feeling of pressure had disappeared in the next second, but Shen Hang Zhi continued to fall into a deep sleep in that next second.

When he woke up again, the skies were dimly lit. In a panic, Shen Hang Zhi hugged the fox. It lowly groaned, as though feeling discomfort. But he could not care for that much. He was afraid if he was even a bit late, or if he did not hug him tight enough, the fox would leave him.

He truly knew of his mistakes- he should not have been so greedy, and should not have been so selfish like that. From start to finish[2], he was in the wrong.

But what could he do even if he knew he was wrong- his silly idiot could no longer come back.

Shen Hang Zhi could only watch as the fox lost his vitality day by day, and lifelessly lay down on the stone table seeming to look quite lazy. He would stroke the other party’s fur bit by bit, hoping the fox would open his eyes to look at him. He smiled towards it, “Before, I would always dislike how you bothered me, but now that you can’t bother me every day, I would feel bored to the point it’s scary.”

“If you feel that my temper is not good, or you really hate me, then you should let me return your internal pill, then leave this place of fireworks[3]. It would be much better than turning into a fox like this and completely ignoring me, not letting me look at you for a bit.

“If you still feel that I am good looking, I’ll promise you- I’ll ask a favour from the Little Father, and redeem myself. I want to return along with you. After seeing your parents, I would properly be your wife.”

After saying so much, Shen Hang Zhi had gotten a bit of a sniffle, as though he was still that little lord of Shen that people would praise, “Was it not that you could not stand me crying? How could you be this ruthless now, and not even let me see your face. If I don’t see you, and not remember you, how would I go find another fox that would treat me so nicely in the future.”

After a long time, the little lord had finally willingly acknowledged his innermost self,

“Lan Yi, if you leave, there really won’t be another person that would treat me just as well any more.”

The father who had been nice to him had departed; his mother who was nice to him had also left. Even the Lan Yi who he had previously not looked upon but still treated him so nicely was also leaving him now. The little lord sat there in absence, just looking at the fox, thinking how in this world, there really turned out to be something that would make someone despair even more than dying and being hideous.

The little lord was just a little lord, just that there was someone willing to indulge him. But since his fox that indulged in him was also leaving, how could he be considered a little lord?

The fox opened its eyes, with great effort, and licked away the tears on the little lord’s face, its claws lightly hooked the other party’s clothing and swayed it, as though comforting him.

A joss stick’s time had not even passed[4], and the fox once again opened its eyes to carefully looked at the little lord, then closed it again. But for the entire time, the little lord had not moved an inch, and simply silently looked on at the other party.


[1] Read, written in water- disappearing in a blink of an eye

[2] Read, head to tail

[3] Another name for prostitute.

[4] The proper term here is ‘one burning of a joss stick’s time’, which has been recognized as half an hour in modern time. However, if you really want to delve into this, the time it takes to burn a joss stick can be debated between a whole hour or even five minutes, depending on the argument used.

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