I’ll be taking a short break to concentrate on exams. I’ll be back around mid December. Probably a bit later considering holiday activities. Have a great holiday!
When Qin Huai was at the age where he started to remember things, he was already in this place of debauchery. He did not know who his father was, and only knew that his mother was a lady of this Mansion. After giving birth to him, she started to thin out, her good looks were no longer, and thus the thought of selling him to become a rabbit gentlemen had been birthed.
He had wanted to oppose so much, but at that time, his mother cried and begged in front of him. He had started to be at a loss- was this his destiny?
In the very end, he had still been sold by his mother for twelve silvers to the Southern Wind Mansion. Although he wasn’t the best looking, perhaps because he had stayed in the whorehouse since he was small- when he smiled, it would bring about a natural style of a prostitute. In addition to the stubbornness inside his bones, his one smile would have a particular style to it, and particularly draw in others.
Like this, the previous Little Father of the Southern Wind Mansion taken a fancy to Qin Huai, and wanted to support him. However, Qin Huai was not willing. He said,
“If I were to do it, I want to be in charge of the lives of these people.”
How laughable- a person who could not even control his own life had wanted to go on to control others life and death.
The Little Father had promised Qin Huai. He liked the Qin Huai with such ambition, and was happy to support him, and let him be a clean prostitute. However, there was a condition- if there was some big official that wanted Qin Huai, the Mansion would not care for him, and would let him take care of the situation himself.
Qin Huai treasured this opportunity that was not easy to come by- he took care with every step he took. He liberally used his smile to draw in those prominent officials and noble lords to throw money at him, but at the same time, could not bear but force himself to do so. He who had been working in this field from since he was small- what he was good at most was no more than a person’s heart.
He had originally thought he would continue down like this forever, then gradually grow old in this flourishing city. However, he had met Chang Ge.
Perhaps he fell in love at first sight, or perhaps the slow years his mentality of being unable to obtain nor let go of anything was causing trouble. Qin Huai could not say what part of Chang Ge he liked either. Perhaps it was because he only had a fleeting glimpse when he first saw him, or maybe it was because Chang Ge with those eyes that seemed to be reminiscing curved, and slightly smiled towards him.
Those people would say they liked him, but felt that he was just a rabbit gentleman, nothing more than a plaything. But Chang Ge was not the same- his eyes did not hold any condescension towards him; he would talk to him in a cheerful and humorous manner, and never let him feel embarrassed.
Qin Huai had known best that all the true hearts in the world could not be trusted, and yet, without even knowing the identity of other party, he plunged into it headfirst.
No one knew who Chang Ge was. This person that looked to be a noble had seemingly appeared out of thin air, and would live in for just those few days each month, listen to him play a few songs, then disappear into thin air once again.
For this person, Qin Huai even changed the days he would perform on stage, in hopes that he could dress in his best, and let this person see him with a single look- the best being that the look would pierce into his heart.
But time had passed for so long- the Mansion’s newcomers had changed batch by batch, he too went from a clean prostitute to the Little Father. Finally, he could freely control those people’s lives, but he was no longer interested. He would only thought- when would Chang Ge come next.
When he first saw Shen Hang Zhi, he was just a dirty little child- those pair of eyes were extremely good looking. With a voice filled with overwhelming anxiety, yet dyed in a childish anger, he asked, “Excuse me, are you still accepting people?”
“Actually, I am quite good looking. Don’t be so wary- it’s only because I ran here, tripped and fell, that I would look so dirty.”
“I want to be a person above others, and take revenge for my mother.”
Ah, how similar he was- the child in front had seemed to overlapped with the previous him when he was young, similarly felt that fate was unfair, and wanted to grasp onto a path for himself.
“Alright, I’ll permit you.”
Not too long after, Chang Ge had come again, and this time, with a little disciple by his side. He said he wanted to live in the Southern Wind Mansion for these few days.
He was very happy, but much time had passed- he had discovered Chang Ge’s line of sight would always go towards Shen Hang Zhi. Even if those eyes did not carry a sliver of admiration, that gaze would make him feel uncomfortable.
He was overly self-sentimental, thinking that he was capable enough to keep Chang Ge- but not once did he ever look him in the eye.
Shen Hang Zhi was certainly hard working, but he was also a wolfling- his techniques were ruthless, his mind certainly couldn’t be considered to be very meticulous, but he would liberally use his own strong points to reach his own goals.
His judgment was not wrong- this wolfling was very similar to himself, but he still did not like it. He did not like that Chang Ge’s eyes were chasing someone else.
Ke, so what if he did not like it? What was he to Chang Ge?
The marks of age had long climbed up his brows- he was no longer that Qin Huai that could draw in those playboys and make them go crazy for him with a single smile of that year. However, it was not the same for Shen Hang Zhi. He was even so much more than him. He had looks that others would be envious of, as well as a perfect smile- the smile of a youth so pure they would unconsciously draw people in.
What did he have that could be comparatively better?
From head to toe, there was nothing he had that was better- no matter if it was Chang Ge’s gaze, or whether it was having someone that would love himself.
Qin Huai had admired Shen Hang Zhi a lot. Just by going down the streets to take a walk, he could bring back a wholehearted Lan Yi that bore the pure heart of a newborn. Others would not say it, but they were all extremely envious. Everyday, they would hope to have a husband that would be this nice towards themselves.
He had also hoped- hoped that at some time, Chang Ge would be able to turn his head to look at him even once.
But time had passed so long, yet Chang Ge had never looked at him.
And that Lan Yi that always loved to bother Shen Hang Zhi, had also left.
Ever since Shen Hang Zhi fell down and was saved by Chang Ge, he didn’t know what possessed him- everyday, he would hold that sickly fox that was about to die, and even go to beg Chang Ge. He leaned back towards the pillar, lowered his head to see the discomposed Shen Hang Zhi kneeling on the ground, with his expression remaining indifferent.
Qin Huai did not know what he was thinking himself, but he thought this scene was quite funny.
He and Shen Hang Zhi were both just as prideful, but in the very end? Both of them were still those rabbit gentlemen working in the lowest class, making themselves to be a wretched mess.
When that fox died during the New Year, Shen Hang Zhi had turned mad along with it. He did not know what he begged of Chang Ge, but in the end, he came back scared out of his wits. He did not know what evil he contracted either. Ever since that fox died, Shen Hang Zhi grew older with each day, and in the end, he looked to be even older than himself.
There was no choice- Qin Huai could only chase him out, and give him some travel expenses, but who knew Shen Hang Zhi would leave himself before anyone could react. Since he had known him for so long, he had hoped Shen Hang Zhi could live on alright.
When Shen Hang Zhi left, Chang Ge also came to announce his departure- when he was about to leave, Qin Huai stopped him, and asked him after a moment of silence.
“Chang Ge, in the years you and I have known each other, did you ever have a bit- even just a bit, have an impulse of bearing feelings for me.”
That day, the winds were so strong, his face hurt, but Qin Huai could hear very distinctly.
There was not a single tact in his words. After saying those clear cut words on the spot, he took along his little disciple and left.
As he watched Chang Ge slowly disappear into the crowd, he could not help but loudly laugh, not caring for other’s strange stares.
How similar he was to Shen Hang Zhi- the two had painstakingly wanted to climb towards the top, and even worked in that realm of feelings for so many years, yet in the end, they had completely fallen at the top of the word ‘love’.
Qin Huai was already old, but the other was still not, and thus, the two separated to continue on their own paths.
He had even felt, the wind that wasn’t actually that big, it was just right.
 Refer back to the beauty of the seasons and its reference to romance and life of debauchery.
 红尘- Literally read as ‘red dust’. In ancient times, this term is used to refer to flourishing cities. In Buddhist and Taoist teachings, this term would refer to human society. The term can also be used to refer to ‘world of mortals’ if you want to further remove yourself from humanity. However, 红尘 is often interpreted as (and is inseparable from) 红尘俗世, which one would interpret as ‘in a bustling human society, on the front, may appear as a flourishing city, however hidden inside is filled with insatiable desires (greed)’, and thus the above term itself is also representative of human greed as well. All interpretations are certainly viable.
 Read, under the (false) impression that the other person was attracted to him
 Refer back to the previous chapter discussing how, in their line of work, they play with others feelings and thus know best about how untrustworthy it is. And yet, in the end, they are still toppled by the one they should know best. Within the sentence, the word feelings and love are one and the same.
 一别两相茫- a term that would be typically be used in the divorce of a husband and wife. People that once got together, both feel it was the wrong choice, thus they both go on their own separate paths, never to meet again.
(Side note: the part before kept confusing me for a solid few- because they usually group words in fours, I kept reading it as 秦淮 已 老君未老 before moving on and realizing it should be split as 秦淮已老 君未老 which would give you the translation in the text. The older the Chinese the more confusing I stg)