“I’m praising your beauty! You Hu people really are unromantic!”
There was no use in being anxious. During his childhood, Chen Xing had liked going to festivals the most. Sadly, he was taken to remote mountains during his childhood. Isolated for so many years, he wanted to have fun.
“Well,” Chen Xing said, “do you remember saying that as long as I cured Che Luofeng, you would do anything?”
“Finally brought this up?” Xiang Shu said, “You’ve mentioned this quite a lot, but you want me to be your Protector, right? Since I promised, of course, I will keep my word.”
Chen Xing didn’t think Xiang Shu would agree so readily, it was very surprising.
Xiang Shu: “These days, I've been thinking about what you said.”
Chen Xing: “Hey, wake up, that’s not my request. Who do you think I am? Is there any meaning in forcing you to be my Protector when your heart is unwilling?”
It was Xiang Shu’s turn to be surprised. He looked suspiciously at Chen Xing, then frowned.
Chen Xing smiled and spoke: "Tomorrow is the Autumn Close Festival; take me there and let’s have fun, okay?”
Xiang Shu looked attentively at Chen Xing, not answering for a long time, before finally replying: “Alright.”
On the day of the Autumn Close Festival, a fantastic grand event was held in Chi Le Chuan. All the tribes stacked wine, beef, and mutton in a vacant area, then set up a li-long table for people to eat and drink. The 16 Hus hosted nearly ten venues, with horse-galloping, equestrian archery, wrestling, bull-taming, and so on... in short, it was a rowdy party!
Chen Xing cheered as soon as he saw such a lively scene. He went to the side of the venue teeming with people when Xiang Shu was preparing the ceremony of ‘offering sacrifices to the heavens with arrows’. Chen Xing wandered around for a long time; he cheered loudly at the lively wrestling venue, he gambled with some Hus with his medical funds and won a lot, then he bought a wine-colored pony from some Xiongnus and rode all over the place.
“Divine Doctor!” A Tiele youth who had been searching for him for half a day hurriedly called, “The Great Chanyu is looking for you! Quickly go to the high platform!”
“Xiang Shu!” Chen Xing shouted, “What do you think of the horse I bought?”
Many people had gathered in front of the stage at that time. Chen Xing led the horse and went over. Xiang Shu was on the high platform and was dressed in a set of Tiele armor made of pure gold that wrapped and emphasized his beautiful chest and also his attractive and neat abdominal muscles, and in his hand, he wielded a jade bow. He said with a face showing anger: “You said you wanted me to take you out to play, but you ran away and vanished first thing in the morning!”
Chen Xing looked at him with a smile, seeing Xiang Shu standing tall on the platform, leaning slightly sideways, just like a jade tree facing the wind. He racked his brain for a while, but out of all the poems, books, and writings he had learned from all his life, none had the proper words to describe him with.
“Son of the other, as beautiful as flowers,” Chen Xing approached Xiang Shu and felt his heart beating violently, making him a little breathless. Even though his heart was like a raging sea, on the surface, he still had a calm, smiling expression.
“What?” Xiang Shu raised his eyebrows in confusion and questioned him.
Chen Xing jumped onto the stage to help Xiang Shu fix his armor.
“I’m praising your beauty!” Chen Xing said, “You Hu people really are unromantic!”
When Chen Xing reached the edge of the platform, the people below began whispering. Xiang Shu pointed to behind him and motioned him to move a bit, then glanced behind him.
Che Luofeng also came to the platform, shouting: “Shall we start?”
Xiang Shu gestured in approval. Che Luofeng started ordering people, and soon enough, the Rouran trumpeters around the high platform blew their horns one after another. All of the Hus in the entire Chi Le Covenant immediately stopped what they were doing and advanced toward the high platform while trying to outdo one another, rushing in.
Che Luofeng brought over a pair of wild geese. They were tied together with a red rope around their necks. In the middle of the rope, a palm-sized golden gong was hung.
Chen Xing said, “What’s this about?”
Xiang Shu, holding the jade bow, said in a deep voice: “Keep your eyes wide open.”
Chen Xing: “One arrow, two birds? Don’t ba, can you shoot? What if you miss?”
Xiang Shu: “If I miss, I will lose face.”
Chen Xing: “No... even if it hit, what mistake did the geese do? The geese are innocent!”
Using a clear and loud voice in the Tiele language, Xiang Shu announced the beginning of the Autumn Close Festival, yet nobody below cheered. Some hundred thousand people around the high platform were all surrounded by pressure so dark not one drop of water could trickle through.
Che Luofeng shouted “Go!” and released his hands to set the geese free. The geese cried simultaneously, spread their wings, and flew toward the horizon.
In the blink of an eye, each of the geese began pulling one another, circling for a while before finally being able to synchronize their movements. After succeeding, they quickly became a small black spot.
Xiang Shu slowly drew his longbow, and 300,000 people held their breath. Chen Xing was stunned, do you really have the ability to do that?!
After that, Xiang Shu turned around in a full-circle, then pulled the bow into a full-moon arc. Taking advantage of the centrifugal force, the longbow was tilted, aimed at the sky, then whoosh, whoosh, whoosh, three arrows were fired in succession!
That day in Chang’an City, Xiang Shu was able to shoot the Yin Yang Mirror in Feng Qianyi’s hands from a distance of a hundred steps, which could already be considered magical. Chen Xing never thought he would shoot a golden gong in the air with an arrow!
As the geese flew higher, Xiang Shu released the last arrow.
The first arrow hit, breaking the red rope and making the golden gong fall from the sky. The second arrow hit, and a 'bang' sound echoed.
Another 'bang', and the third arrow also hit!
The last arrow caught up. It bore through the gong with a force that shook up the surrounding!
Suddenly, an earth-shattering cheer, coming from the 16 Hus, resounded on the field and shook the sky. Xiang Shu put down his bow. The gathering soon reached its climax, with the atmosphere getting more and more out of control. No matter man or woman, young or old, they all sang and danced just like a tide, moving in all directions. Che Luofeng laughed and grabbed Xiang Shu’s hand. Xiang Shu threw the jade bow, beckoned for Chen Xing to come, grabbed his wrist, and the three men came off the high platform.
Wine and food were everywhere. People began fighting for the wine, and Chen Xing was pushed around. He had already drunk a lot, and the strength of the wine made him a little dizzy. Che Luofeng shouted something, and Xiang Shu said, “Drink less! I don’t want to take you back!”
“It’s fine!” Chen Xing yelled.
Xiang Shu cleared out the crowd. Che Luofeng handed Chen Xing another bowl of wine, but Xiang Shu drank the bowl himself. Chen Xing said: “Che Luofeng, you’re still not well, drink less.”
Someone handed Che Luofeng another jug of wine. Xiang Shu leaned against the long table, took it, lifted his neck, and drank it all. The Hus was in an uproar, Che Luofeng laughed loudly, pressed Xiang Shu down on the long table, bowed his head, and kissed him.
Chen Xing: “...”
At that time, the crowd got even more excited, and they all laughed one after the other. Xiang Shu raised his hand to resist before Che Luofeng could manage to kiss his lips. He lifted his foot, kicked Che Luofeng aside, and roared: “Get out of here!”
Chen Xing also laughed along, but then, without knowing the reason, he felt a slight pain in his heart, as if it had been squeezed, feeling as though his drunkenness made him unable to breathe.
Che Luofeng lay on the ground, crying “Ouch!”, “Ouch!”. Xiang Shu was afraid of kicking his wound, so he rushed forward, wanting to examine him. Chen Xing hurriedly said: “Let me see?”
Che Luofeng smiled and pushed Chen Xing away, shouting in the Rouran language that he wanted to wrestle with Xiang Shu. He rose quickly and stood behind Xiang Shu but was rejected by Xiang Shu. He disliked doing rubbish things and refused to have anything to do with him. He waved his hand, demanding to leave, but was stopped by Che Luofeng.
“Shulü Kong!” Che Luofeng smiled and shouted, “I want to challenge you! If I win, I shall be the Great Chanyu! Give me a chance!”
All Rouran young men shouted in unison: “Fight! Fight! Fight!”
Xiang Shu smiled sarcastically and simply put one hand behind his back.
The field was immediately surrounded by people, obscuring Chen Xing’s view.
Chen Xing put down his bowl. Hearing the cheers coming from inside the circle, he suddenly felt a sense of loneliness that seemed to follow him relentlessly. He left the long table, got out of the crowd, and went to the southern end of Chi Le Chuan.
What’s wrong with me? Chen Xing felt baffled as a heavy feeling suddenly seized him. A dark color covered the once blue sky, as if signaling that a snowstorm was coming.
He climbed up the haystack and sat down quietly. He had never felt this melancholy before. Is this homesickness? But, where is my home? Chen Xing, drunk, lay down with a straw on his mouth. Sinking in the haystack, he looked at the gray sky and heard the loud cries of the Hus.
Chen Xing felt a little annoyed. The original lively scene suddenly became dull. He recalled the sight of Xiang Shu’s valiant appearance. He became slightly unhappy as if he was robbed of his own possessions. His heart was in chaos, the feelings all tangled into a mess.
As the noise grew louder and louder, Chen Xing became even more annoyed. He sat up and shouted: “It’s noisy! What are all of you doing?!”
A group of on-duty guards was seen running towards the nearby prairie. They made a circular shape and shouted loudly. Chen Xing’s thoughts were interrupted by this unforeseen event. He looked around vacantly, jumped down the haystack, then mounted and rode his pony to the center of the encirclement.
Dozens of Rouran’s cavalry surrounded a man. Dressed in a black cloak, his face was covered with some linen, and he held a long Shaolin cudgel. He was looking at the cavalry warily.
Chen Xing, with his still butchered Rouran language, asked: “Who is that?”
Almost everyone in Chi Le Chuan knew him. When the Rourans saw Chen Xing coming, they relaxed a bit. As soon as the unexpected visitor saw Chen Xing, he said: “Tianchi!”
OK, I’ve been in this pit for so very long and see no exit at all… so when Zryuu tempted me to help around, guess who fell right into the trap. Anywaaaaaaaay, hello everyone! Let me assure you that Dinghai is a MASTERPIECE and you will NOT regret reading it! I’m always open to some fangirling too, so just ping me on Discord or Twitter and I’ll scream with you happily.
Also, we are working on translating and subbing Tianbao Audio Drama Season 1 and some of the AD
baits snippets should be out within a week. Tianbao is Dinghai’s sequel which is set around 200 years after Dinghai, you can see it here.
Meanwhile, have this Donghua PV:
This chapter is migrated and/or formatted by our fellow chicken enthusiast(s), namio and Caro.