"I’m praising your beauty! You Hu people really are unromantic!"
Chapter revised by Elestrea on 15/10/2021.
Always support our Chicken Lord by buying the original work whenever you can! Link for each platform's guide to purchase the raws can be seen on our FAQs.
Alas, worrying too much wouldn't do anyone good. Chen Xing had liked going to festivals the most during his childhood, but sadly, he had been taken to remote mountains back then. He naturally wanted to have fun after being isolated for so many years.
"Then," Chen Xing said, "do you remember saying that as long as I cured Che Luofeng, you would do anything?"
"You finally brought this up?" Xiang Shu said. "I've been waiting for you to say this sentence for quite some time. You want me to be your Protector, right? Since I have promised, I will naturally keep my word."
Chen Xing, who didn't think Xiang Shu would accept in such a straightforward manner, was totally surprised.
Xiang Shu: "I've been thinking about what you said these days."
Chen Xing: "Hey, sober up, that's not what I want. What kind of person 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 frowned as he looked at Chen Xing with eyes full of suspicion.
Chen Xing smiled and spoke, "Take me to tomorrow's Autumn Close Festival and let's have fun, okay?"
Xiang Shu fixed his gaze at Chen Xing. After staying silent for a long time, he finally replied, "All right."
On the day of the Autumn Close Festival, an unprecedented grand event was held in Chi Le Chuan. After stacking their good wine, beef, and mutton in a cleared-out, vacant area, all of the tribes set up a li-long table for people to eat and drink. The sixteen 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, cheering as soon as he saw such a lively scene, went to the side of the venue teeming with people while Xiang Shu was preparing the shooting-arrow ceremony as a way to worship heaven. Chen Xing wandered around for a long time; he cheered loudly at the lively wrestling venue and went to gamble with some Hus using his medical funds. Winning a lot, he then 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 platform!"
"Xiang Shu!" Chen Xing shouted. "What do you think of the horse I just bought?"
Many people had already gathered in front of the platform at that time Chen Xing led the horse and went over. Xiang Shu, who stood on the high platform wielding a jade bow in his hand, was dressed in a set of Tiele armor made of pure gold that wrapped and emphasized his beautiful chest and his attractive, neat abdominal muscles. He said with a face full of anger, "You were the one saying you wanted me to take you out to play, but you vanished first thing in the morning!"
Chen Xing smiled as he looked at Xiang Shu who stood tall on the platform; when he leaned slightly sideway, he truly looked 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 all his life, none had the proper words to describe him with.
"Here comes a gentleman, who is as beautiful as flowers." As he approached Xiang Shu, Chen Xing felt his heart was beating violently to the point he became a little breathless. Yet even though his heart was like a raging sea, he still pretended to have a calm, smiling expression on the surface.
"What?" Xiang Shu raised his eyebrows in confusion and questioned him.
Chen Xing jumped onto the stage and helped 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 to whistle. Xiang Shu then pointed his finger toward the back, motioning for Chen Xing to move a bit and watch from the rear.
Che Luofeng, also going up the platform, shouted, "Shall we start?"
After receiving Xiang Shu's signal, Che Luofeng started ordering people, and soon enough, the Rouran trumpeters around the platform blew their horns one after another. The Hu people in the entire Chi Le Covenant immediately stopped what they were doing and rushed toward the central platform all at once.
Che Luofeng brought over a pair of wild geese, which were tied together with a red string around their necks, with a palm-sized golden gong hanging in the center of the connecting rope.
Chen Xing said, "What are you going to do?"
With a jade bow in hand, Xiang Shu said in a deep voice, "Keep your eyes wide open."
Chen Xing: "One arrow, two birds? Don't ba, can you even hit it? What if you miss?"
Xiang Shu: "I would lose my face if I did."
Chen Xing: "No... even if it hit, what mistake did the geese do? The geese are innocent!"
Xiang Shu, using Tiele language, announced the beginning of the Autumn Close Festival in a clear voice, yet out of hundreds of thousands of densely packed people below the platform, none of them cheered.
Che Luofeng shouted "go!" as he released his hands to set the geese free. The geese cried out simultaneously as they spread their wings and flew toward the horizon!
In just a moment, the geese, which had initially been pulling one another, began to fly in circles. Not long after that, they were finally able to synchronize their movements and quickly became a small black spot.
The 300,000 people down the platform held their breath seeing Xiang Shu slowly drawing his longbow. Chen Xing, stunned, merely thought, Do you really have the ability to do that?!
After turning around a full circle, Xiang Shu immediately pulled the bow into a full-moon arc; borrowing the force of the rotation, he titled the longbow toward the sky. Whoosh, whoosh, whoosh, three arrows were then fired in succession!
That day in Chang'an City, Xiang Shu had been able to shoot the Yin Yang Mirrors in Feng Qianyi's hands from a distance of a hundred steps. That itself could already be considered magical, but it never crossed Chen Xing's mind that he would actually try shooting 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 mark!
The last arrow then caught up; it bore through the gong with a force that shook up the surrounding!
Suddenly, an earth-shattering cheer coming from the Hus resounded on the field, seemingly able to shake even the sky. Xiang Shu put down his bow. The gathering below reached its climax, with the atmosphere getting a little bit out of control. Be it man or woman, young or old, they all sang and danced merrily just like a tide that moved in all directions. Che Luofeng laughed out loud and grabbed Xiang Shu's hand. Xiang Shu, throwing the jade bow, beckoned for Chen Xing to come; he grabbed his wrist, and the three men ran off the platform.
Good wine and delicacies were all over the place. Chen Xing got pushed around when people began snatching for wine; he had already drunk a lot before, and the strength of the wine made him a little dizzy. Che Luofeng shouted something, but Xiang Shu said, "Drink less! I don't want to carry you back!"
"It doesn't matter!" Chen Xing yelled.
Xiang Shu cleared out the crowd. Che Luofeng handed Chen Xing another bowl of wine, but Xiang Shu took and drank it instead. Chen Xing said, "Che Luofeng, you're still not well, drink less."
Someone handed Che Luofeng another wine, but Xiang Shu leaned on the table and took it again, drinking it until the last drop on his behalf this time. The Hus was in a big uproar. Che Luofeng, laughing so loud, pressed Xiang Shu down on the table before bowing his head with the intention to kiss him.
Chen Xing: "......"
The crowd got even more excited thanks to that, laughing one after the other. Xiang Shu raised his hand to resist, and before Che Luofeng could manage to kiss his lips, he lifted his foot and kicked Che Luofeng aside. "Get lost!"
Chen Xing had also laughed along, but for some reason, he felt a slight, indescribable pain in his heart; it was as if it had been squeezed, as though his drunkenness had made him unable to breathe.
Che Luofeng, who was lying on the ground, yelled out "aiya!" again and again. Afraid that he had accidentally kicked his wound, Xiang Shu rushed forward to examine him. Chen Xing hurriedly said, "Let me see?"
But Che Luofeng just smiled and pushed Chen Xing away. Shouting in Rouran language that he wanted to wrestle with Xiang Shu, he thus bounced up and stood astride behind him, only for Xiang Shu to grab him instead. Although Xiang Shu disliked his nonsense, he didn't want to fight him; he just waved his hand, wanting to leave, but Che Luofeng stopped him.
"Shulü Kong!" Che Luofeng smiled as he shouted. "I want to challenge you! If I win, I'll become the Great Chanyu! You fight me with one hand!"
The Rouran youngsters all shouted in unison, "Fight! Fight! Fight!"
Xiang Shu sneered and simply put one hand behind his back.
The field was immediately surrounded by people that obscured Chen Xing's view.
Chen Xing put down his bowl; as he heard the cheers coming from inside the circle, he felt a sense of loneliness that came abruptly and seemed to follow him relentlessly. He turned away from the table, walked 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, thinking that he had never felt so melancholy as he was now. Is this homesickness? But, where is my home?
Chen Xing, sinking inside the haystack, just lay down with a straw in his mouth and gazed at the gray sky. But then, he suddenly heard the loud cries of the Hus.
Chen Xing felt a little irritated, and the original lively scene suddenly became dull. When he recalled the sight of Xiang Shu's valiant and formidable appearance, he became slightly unhappy as if he was robbed of his own possessions. His heart was in utter chaos, the feelings all tangled into a mess.
As the shouts grew nearer and nearer, Chen Xing became even more aggravated. He sat up and shouted, "So noisy! What are you up to?!"
He saw a group of on-duty guards ran toward the prairie and made a fan shape as they shouted loudly. Chen Xing, whose thought was interrupted by this unforeseen event, looked around in confusion; he jumped down the haystack and rode to the center of the encirclement on his little colt.
There, dozens of Rouran cavalry surrounded a person. The visitor, dressed in a black cloak with a face covered with some linen, was holding a long cudgel as they warily looked at the cavalry.
Chen Xing, with his still butchered Rouran language, thus asked, "Who's that?"
Almost everyone in Chi Le Chuan knew him; they made room a bit when they saw Chen Xing coming. But as soon as the unexpected visitor saw Chen Xing, they called out, "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 400 years after Dinghai, you can see it here.
15/10/2021: More than 2 years later and I finally edited this since I just realized there were so many awkward phrasings. I had just begun translating at that time, so most likely I was still juggling to find the balance between keeping and getting the flow right, more so because I really had no previous experience other than writing… reports… (since I will only be editing the subsequent chapters whenever I have the time… please forgive me in advance, new readers T_T)
This chapter is migrated and/or formatted by our fellow chicken enthusiast(s), namio, Caro, Elestrea.