Author: Chai Jidan
Translator: chiangyushien, Renkun27
Mu Xueshi did not notice the Third Prince’s disappointment even for a bit. His eyes had been fixated on a big bird, not far away from them. From the time that he was a kid until he grew up, he had never seen such a big bird flying in the sky. It did not look like a vulture. It looked more like a lizard with two wings. Its appearance was indescribable and strange.
Mu Xueshi’s eyes were wide open. He strongly elbowed the Third Prince’s chest and hastily asked: “What kind of bird is that? Do you have bows and arrows? I want to shoot it with an arrow!!”
The Third Prince felt depressed. He originally wanted to hurry and continue on with their journey, yet when he looked down to see Mu Xueshi’s big and eager eyes, he wavered a little. He took out a bow and arrow from behind like a magic trick and held it in front of himself.
Mu Xueshi wanted to grab the bow and arrow, but the Third Prince firmly held it in his hands and did not let Mu Xueshi have his way. Mu Xueshi’s repeated pleadings had no effect whatsoever. Finally, he leaned his head on the Third Prince’s chest and relied on his look of defeat to plead on the Third Prince.
After Mu Xueshi did this, the Third Prince handed the bow and arrow over to him. Mu Xueshi was dumbfounded. He suddenly realized that this tactic was quite useful. He did not know whether the Third Prince was ticklish or just liked to be hugged by others. In the past, Chen Youzai used to hate being too close to boys; but now, when he was close to the Third Prince, he was a little excited.
The Third Prince supported Mu Xueshi by his waist and turned him around, making Mu Xueshi’s back stick close to his chest. The Third Prince then held Mu Xueshi’s hands and wanted to shoot that bird together with him. Who would have thought Mu Xueshi was reckless and stubborn. He wanted to do the job himself or else, he would not have a sense of accomplishment.
The Third Prince watched Mu Xueshi stubbornly guarding the bow and arrow. Mu Xueshi was afraid he would intervene. The Third Prince could not help but feel that the person in front of him had recovered his cuteness and spirit from a few days ago. His anger just now had all vanished like smoke into thin air. The Third Prince wondered as to why he was so affected by Mu Xueshi’s emotions.
Mu Xueshi looked strange as he pulled the bow in his position, then he aimed at the big bird, that was not far away from them. When he adjusted his position, the big bird suddenly flapped its wings and flew away. When he panted and changed his position a few times, the big bird was still leisurely flying in the sky. Mu Xueshi’s arms felt sore and when he could not stand it anymore, he clumsily shot the arrow away from his hand.
When Mu Xueshi was able to shoot the arrow, the Third Prince nudged Mu Xueshi’s grip. Mu Xueshi did not notice it, but when the arrow flew exactly to where the bird was flying, the Third Prince flicked his fingers and shot the bird with a weapon that he was hiding. Finally, the bird fell to the ground. The arrow that Mu Xueshi shot also penetrated the bird’s body, but because the force he used was weak, the arrow’s penetration was not too deep.
“Wow!” Mu Xueshi almost jumped down from the horse’s back. He shook the Third Prince hard and said: “Xi, look, I’m fucking awesome. This is my first time shooting an arrow!”
The Third Prince could not help but slightly smile and his eyes softened as he looked at Mu Xueshi, who looked so happy and lively.
For the first time, Mu Xueshi saw the Third Prince smile which made him dumbfounded. Of course, he was excited, but this excitement soon turned into a little sadness. The Third Prince’s smile was meant for his body’s original owner — not for him. If the Third Prince finds out he was not the body’s original owner, would the Third Prince still smile for him?
Inevitably, one day, he would leave this place. When he thought of the Third Prince revealing such a smile to others, he unexpectedly felt very upset in his heart. As a matter of fact, he and the Third Prince were the same type of person. They were so selfish when it comes to their feelings. He used to ridicule how the Third Prince wanted to dominate over him. Come to think of it now, was he not doing the same thing to the Third Prince?
The Third Prince noticed that Mu Xueshi suddenly became taciturn after being excited earlier. Since Mu Xueshi was caught, he often worried about personal gains and losses. Today, he finally recovered and regained his former temper, yet he became silent again because of inexplicable reasons.
The Third Prince also did not say anything more and continued to hurry on his journey with Mu Xueshi. The Third Prince turned Mu Xueshi over again and made Mu Xueshi face him. Mu Xueshi did not know why the two of them rode a horse so strangely but doing it like this was quite all right. There would come a time when this kind of intimacy would end, and he better enjoy it now, so he would not have any regrets later on. Besides, he had to stay up all night, waiting for the oriole orchid to bloom, so he would rather take this opportunity to take a nap and have enough rest to restore his vigor.
Even though he was a bit lonely, Mu Xueshi still asked the Third Prince to come over while mounted on the horse to pick up that big bird, which he firmly grabbed.
Soon afterwards, a horse, a bird, and two people traversed through a forest, then finally arrived at a lake that was surrounded by green grass, where the Third Prince first saw Mu Xueshi. Countless hills loomed around the meadow, as the mist emerged. The mountains were dressed with soft white muslin canopies, separating them, leaving only the cyan peaks, just like a clear, dense and beautiful landscape painting. The lake water ripples glimmered, and tiny ripples appeared on the surface of the water.
The Third Prince’s horse walked on a narrow path that separated the lake into two. The lake water was so clear so that one could see right through the bottom of the lake. The reflection of two matchless beauties on a horse’s back appeared on the lake water — one was fast asleep as he heaved on the other’s chest. Carefree and unrestrained, his face looked at peace, as if he was dreaming that he was a fairy who accidentally fell into the other’s arms. Without doubt, he caught the other man’s sight, captivating him. With a relaxed gentle smile on the other man’s face, he gently placed his hand on the back of the other one who was fast asleep.