Regarding my dreams.
It really is bashful to speak of it, my dreams is not ‘sing if you want to sing, sing out loud and clear’ like Zhang Han Yun, nor is it to ‘be a teacher, eating pickled fish hotpot today, eating boiled fish hotpot tomorrow’ like McDull.
(Reference to song by singer Zhang Han Yun / Kristy Zhang – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bvRN1I94MwI, also reference to a famous quote from Chinese comedy cartoon McDull with the original full quote being “My aspiration, is to be a principal, after collecting the tuition fees from the students every day, I go to eat hotpot, today I eat spicy hotpot, tomorrow I eat pickled fish hotpot, the day after I eat pig bone hotpot, Teacher Chen praises me: “McDull, you have finally found the true meaning of life.”)
My dream is to eat my fill when I’m hungry, to comfortably fall asleep on a full stomach, sleeping all the way until I wake up naturally.
See, just how simple my dream is, I have always been someone easy to satisfy.
I cling to the warmth of the bed when I wake up, half squinting my eyes as I start feeling sleepy again. Outside, someone lightly but continuously knocks on the door, chasing away the small number of sleepy bugs in me.
“Ah-Lan, can I come in?” Someone timidly asks.
I get up and lower my head, slowly buttoning up, “En.”
“Ah-Lan, we meet again.” That person stands before me, smiling extremely happily.
I stare at her for a long while, red lips, white teeth and dimples, a pretty girl ah. This pretty girl looks somewhat familiar. I dazedly ask: “You are…?”
The pretty girl looks at me in embarrassment, saying: “I’m Ke Ren, do you not remember me?”
I believe this is indeed an adorable human, but why has this adorable human come looking for me?
Ke Ren sees me stay silent and adds: “That day on the horse carriage, I was sat by your side.”
She shyly blinks, eyes glittering like stars, “Ah-Lan, didn’t think you would also come under Young Master’s wing, how great.”
I dully repeat, “How great.”
I wonder why the girlies by my side are all so pretty, could it be that one has to really throw me next to a muddy monkey to reveal my stunning beauty?
Ke Ren grabs hold of my hand and sits at the table, “Ah-Lan, once you come over, I will have a companion.”
So, she is roping me in.
I nod, “How great.”
Ke Ren smiles more sweetly, “In future, if there’s anything you’re not familiar with, you can come and find me, although I am not that capable either, I will try my best to help you.”
I hold her hand, sincerely saying: “How great.”
“Oh, right, Ah-Lan.” Ke Ren furrows her brows, “The majority of the older sisters within the courtyard are quite nice, but you must remember, you absolutely mustn’t offend [Older] Sister Zi Ling, she……”
Ke Ren hesitantly glances at me, appearing slightly worried. I cannot help but to applaud her, turns out the people within the Meng Estate are all acting majors. But today, I have no interest in playing along with her script.
“Ke Ren, I’m hungry.” I point to my stomach.
Ke Ren is a little disappointed, but still affectionately pulls me up and leads me out, “I’ll take you to eat breakfast.”
Ke Ren is very quickly sent on errand, and I could only return to my room leisurely. Today is my first day coming to Young Master’s courtyard, I heard from Ke Ren that Young Master had left very early today, nor did he say what I should do, only giving out orders to not make me do anything.
To speak the truth, I really don’t understand whether his brains contains sweet or savouring fillings (bean paste).
Passing by a little patch of flowerbed, there is something leaping up, under the sunlight, it reflects a blinding gold light. My first thought was, eh, did someone drop gold? And then one second later, I rush forward, because I can clearly see, that is a cricket, a golden cricket, a very handsome golden cricket.
Five minutes later, my thumb and index finger carefully seizes its wing, hand on cheek as I enter deep thoughts. After a long time, I stare at it and inquiringly ask: “Could it be……you, are the legendary……according to the fairytales, impossible to defeat……General Chang Sheng?” (常胜 / cháng sheng = always victorious)
Brother Golden Cricket struggled against me at first but is obedient now, of course, he is still unable to answer me.
“What! Are! You! Do-! -Ing!?” Someone menacingly asks.
I turn around, lifting my head to see a young woman in green, “Ah?”
The young woman in green snatches away Brother Cricket in one swoop, hand on hip as she scolds: “Where has this daring lass come from?! To actually dare to touch Young Master’s Golden General!”
She looks at the golden cricket in her hand and loudly screams, “Ah! What have you done to Golden General?! You damned lass!” Having said that, she reaches out, wanting to pinch my ear.
With one turn of my head, I doubtfully ask: “Who is this pretty [older] sister?”
Thankfully, the young woman in green no longer tries to attack me upon hearing this, proudly saying: “So you’re new here, I am Lu Ping, heng, looks like we will need [Older] Sister Zi Ling to give you a good lecture in future.”
I, I, I, a sudden bolt from the blue!
Could it be? Maybe? Perhaps? Possibly? I travelled into Chiung Yao’s Fantasies Behind the Pearly Curtain?! (一帘幽梦 – Zi Ling and Lu Ping are names of characters in this novel/ drama written by Chiung Yao, you may remember that the author had mentioned these names in chapter 4)
According to Chiung Yao’s story, at this moment I should slightly part my mouth and widen my eyes, hand over chest as though my heart is in pain, tears blurring my eyes, voice shaking as I ask: “Oh, why, why, why are you Lu Ping? Why~!”
I feel a shiver from deep down, deciding to follow Ah-Lan’s script instead.
I raise my head to dully say: “Sister Lu Ping, the golden cricket was not injured by me.”
“Excuses!” Lu Ping glares at me, “I’ll drag you to Sister Zi Ling now for judgement!”
I stare at the golden cricket in her hand, “Just now, it jumped into my hand on its own, I threw it, cried out, and it came back again, and deliberately continued to do so, I threw it again, cried out again, and it came jumping back again, how interesting it is.”
Lu Ping burst out into laughter, “You? Golden General usually despises strangers the most.”
I continue to think, very troubled, “Just now it really was like that, you must have not seen it before, how much of a tease it is. Ai~ , Young Master would definitely be happy to see it.”
Lu Ping’s eyes are slightly shaken, “You……were speaking the truth just now?”
“Sister, it’s true, I know you don’t believe me, but what I said is the truth.” Allow me to meet eyes with you, please look at the sincerity within.
Lu Ping looks at me, then observes me, finally saying: “You demonstrate it for me first.”
“Oh.” I take the golden cricket, looking at its strong and healthy limbs, and casually toss it away.
A few minutes later……
Lu Ping glares at me, “Aren’t you going to hurry and call Golden General back? Watch out I don’t tell Young Master!”
I tilt my head, blankly responding: “Ah? Golden cricket? What golden cricket?”
Lu Ping’s face turns pale then green, finally turning bright red. “You……!”
She opens her mouth to shout at me, but was interrupted by someone.
Young Master holds a purple jade fan, gracefully approaching us, “Lu Ping you’re here too, Ah-Lan, I was just finding you.”
Having said that, his actions were exceptionally natural as he grabs my hand, leaving right in front of Lu Ping’s face.
I leave him to pull my hand, but did not act like an innocent young woman, bashfully calling out with a soft voice “Young Master~!”, nor did I act like a virtuous woman, loudly waving my arms around as I scold “Young Master! Please mind yourself!”. I just struggled to keep up with his pace whilst gloomily thinking, having short arms and short legs truly is tragic.
Returning to the room, Young Master lets go of my hand, turning to look at me meaningfully.
I think to myself, what’re you looking at, what’s there to see, could it be I look like Ultraman?
Young Master suddenly turns his face, raising his hand to use the exquisite jade fan to cover his lips.
As his maid, I feel that I have the responsibility of asking, “Young Master, what did you find this servant for?”
Young Master’s long phoenix eyes flashes, followed by the rise of a deep sounding laugh, and that laughter starts to sound more and more happy, until even those ink-black orbs were infected with a smile.
I look at him, baffled. Is this person lacking a brain?
“Ah-Lan.” His voice has a charm that pulls you in, “Are you certain you’re not pretending to be a fool?”
I feel a little helpless, once again seriously correcting him, “Young Master, this servant is no fool.”
“No fool, haha, a great phrase of ‘no fool’.” He raises the jade fan and lightly knocks my forehead, rosy red lips hooking up into a nice-looking curve, “I have surely expanded my views today, turns out even a fool knows how to fool people.”
I take a step back, voice sounding rather displeased, “Young Master, this servant has a temper.”
Did the nation make a rule that fools cannot fool others, cannot be angry? Once I’m angry, the consequences will not be easy to deal with.
Young Master half squints his phoenix eyes upon hearing this, “Oh, you’re annoyed?” He once again takes hold of my hand, gently rubbing it, “Alright, alright, you’re no fool, you’re no more of a fool than anyone else, is this not enough?”
“Young Master.” I stare at his white slender finger, “What are you doing?”
Young Master very casually says: “Flirting.”
Young Master’s action pauses, followed by an even heartier laughter, that pretty little face looking extremely likeable, likeable to the point I wish Xiao Hei could leave its teeth marks in it.
“Ah-Lan.” His clean hand caresses my cheek, laughingly saying: “You sure are very interesting.”
I remain silent, wanting to say to him: Young Master, you sure are very pleasured.
The next morning, the very moment I open my eyes, I see someone sitting at my bedside, hand supporting their chin, I rub my eyes, sighing, facing this adorable human’s face first thing in the morning sure can be harmful.
“Ke Ren……?” I groggily call out.
Ke Ren blinks, wrinkling her nose and cutely saying: “Ah-Lan you’re finally awake.”
I was just wondering what ‘finally’ was supposed to mean, when Ke Ren speaks up again. “Ah-Lan, hurry and get up, Young Master is waiting for you right now.”
I am slightly dumbstruck, “Ah?”
Waiting for who? Waiting for me?
Ke Ren grabs hold of the clothing from the side and passes it to me, “Young Master is waiting for you to dress him right now.”
I truly am baffled now, “Young Master hasn’t gotten up yet?”
Ke Ren looks me over a few times, finally inquiringly asking: “Ah-Lan, you and Young Master…….are very close?”
I glance at her, slowly wearing the clothes, “Young Master says I’m a fool.”
Ke Ren’s eyes lights up upon hearing this, kindly helping me to tie the belt, “You hurry over then, Young Master said this morning, that he will be getting up whenever you wake up. Young Master really is such a child, I guess he just wanted to get a taste of what it’s like to get up this late too.”
The corners of my lips twitches, Young Master, a child? From what I’ve seen, he just has a head full of air, missing a brain.
When I push open the doors and enter the room, Young Master was still wrapped in his blanket, and only lazily asks, “Is Ah-Lan here yet?”
I walk up to the bed and flatly say: “Young Master, this servant is here.”
Young Master sounds “en”, followed by the appearance of long slender fingers throwing aside the blue brocade blanket as he gets up and stands in front of me, phoenix eyes covered in a layer of mist, his voice slightly husky when he speaks: “Help me get dressed.”
I suddenly felt angry when I went to grab the clothes, check out the wake-up image of this handsome male, a hazy and seductively beautiful sight, now thinking back to my own unruly appearance……slams table! Why is there such a huge difference between two people?!
Once again, I can only hate on my own height, with this short stature, I can only see Young Master’s chest at eye level. Young Master’s body carries a faint scent of rosin, quite a suitable smell.
I was in the middle of trying my best to dress him on my tiptoes, when the view before me suddenly darkens, followed by the sense of warm and moist air besides my ear.
Young Master lowers down to my ear side to quietly sound a mocking laughter, carrying bad intentions in his tone as he says: “To wake up this late every day, are you a pig?”