Happy Heroes 10 PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 11 July 2008 11:11

Chapter 9 - To Kill or Be Killed

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The tables had all been separated, the cotton blankets stored. It was fast approaching the time when Kui Yuan Guan would start seating its patrons. But right then, on the upstairs level, there was only the four of them sitting motionless, like four wooden statues – wooden statues that knew how to drink wine.

The wine level in the jug was subsiding like an ebbing tide. They filled their own cups and drank in silence. No one addressed anyone else.

Then, as if they had prearranged it, Yan Qi, Wang Dong, and Guo DaLu all started laughing loudly at the same time.


Even if they were idiots, by now, they would have figured out that they had been deceived. The black-clothed man was not a government officer at all and definitely not a secret agent sent by some honourable governor to investigate Golden Lion and GunZi. He, too, was a bad guy who went after other bad guys.

To be fooled by someone so badly should have been infuriating, but they thought it was hilarious.

Yan Qi pointed at Guo DaLu, and with mirth in his voice, said, “Wang Laoda’s conclusion was completely correct: when it is time for you to be intelligent, you in fact are a fool. Not just a fool, but an idiot, a complete idiot.

Guo DaLu pointed his finger back at him and chortled, “What about you? You weren’t much smarter than me.”

Lin TaiPing had been watching them the whole time. Waiting until their laughter had abated, he asked, “Are you done laughing?”

Guo DaLu was still breathing heavily, and he struggled to hold back his chuckles. “Not really, but I am too tired to keep laughing.”

Lin TaiPing: “Do you find the situation very amusing?”

Wang Dong suddenly rolled his eyes and answered back, “What else can you do if you don’t laugh? Cry?”

This was their philosophy in life. They were able to laugh, they knew how to laugh, and they were not afraid of laughing. Laughter not only fills you with joy, but it can also strengthen your courage and love for life. “Those who laugh are blessed because it is in them that life is lived to the fullest.”

But Lin TaiPing looked as if he could not make himself laugh.

Guo DaLu: “Why won’t you laugh as we are doing?”

Lin TaiPing: “If laughter could solve the issue, for certain, I would be laughing even harder than you.”

Guo DaLu: “Even if laughter cannot solve anything, at the very least, it will not add to your worries.” He chuckled again before continuing, “Plus, when you learn to use laughter in facing the things of life, gradually you will discover that there is no problem life can present to you that cannot be resolved.

Lin TaiPing: “No matter how cheerful your laughter is, it doesn’t change the fact that you have been deceived.”

Guo DaLu: “Even if you don’t laugh, you still have been deceived. If that’s the case, why wouldn’t you laugh?”

Lin TaiPing did not say anything.

Guo DaLu: “What is it that is troubling you?”

Yan Qi: “And why are you so concerned about this particular circumstance?”

Lin TaiPing was quiet for quite a while. “Because that person is NanGong Chou.”

Yan Qi: “How do you know?”

Lin TaiPing: “I just know.”

Guo DaLu: “And what connection do you have to NanGong Chou?”

Lin TaiPing: “No connection. It is because I have no connection to him that I need to …”

Guo DaLu: “You need to what?”

Lin TaiPing: “I need to kill him.”

Guo DaLu looked first at Yan Qi, then Wang Dong. “Did you hear what he just said?”

Wang Dong did not move. Yan Qi nodded.

Guo DaLu: “This lad says he wants to kill someone.”

Wang Dong still did not move. Yan Qi nodded again.

Guo DaLu turned his head to look over at Lin TaiPing, whose face was expressionless. “You saw him awhile ago?”

Lin TaiPing: “Yes.”

Guo DaLu suddenly laughed and asked, “Why didn’t you kill him then?”

Still, no hint of emotion showed on Lin TaiPing’s face; it seemed as if he was wearing a mask – a cold, iron mask. It was quite frightful to look at. He articulated each word, “I already killed him.”

The jug was filled with wine again because Wang Dong had instructed, “When you see that our wine jug is empty, come over and fill it up.” The employees of Kui Yuan Guan were very compliant with Wang Dong’s wishes. At that moment, everyone was staring wide-eyed at the wine jug. Guo DaLu suddenly laughed aloud. “You aren’t supposed to use your eyes to drink.”

Yan Qi: “My mouth is really busy right now.”

Guo DaLu: “Busy doing what?”

Yan Qi: “Busy swallowing the questions that I want to ask back into my stomach.”

Patrons were gradually arriving; the restaurant was not an appropriate place for further discussion. Guo DaLu picked up his wine cup, then set it down again. “It is seldom that Guo Dashao is a host and treats his guests…”

Yan Qi: “This time, you have been let off easy. Let’s go.”

Lin TaiPing was the first to rise to his feet. Surprisingly, Wang Dong also stood up. Guo DaLu stretched his arm out in, his hand in front of their faces, blocking their way.

Looking at him, Wang Dong asked, “What would you like to do? Did you want me to give you a palm reading?

Guo DaLu forced a laugh. “There’s no need. I know I was destined to live a life of poverty. The worst part is, every time I would like to treat some friends, the money inside my pocket will mysteriously find a way to fly away by itself.”

Wang Dong: “You want to borrow money from me to pay the tab?”

Guo DaLu cleared his throat a few times. “Well, you know, my activities last night were quite expensive.”

Wang Dong had wanted to laugh in response, but after one glance at Lin TaiPing, he could only give a sigh. “You have come to the wrong person.”

In a tone full of detest, Guo DaLu asked, “You’ve completely spent your money?”

Wang Dong: “Mm.”

Guo DaLu: “You… how did you spend it?”

Wang Dong: “My activities last night were very expensive as well.”

Guo DaLu: “What were you doing?”

Wang Dong: “There is only one activity in this world that is more expensive than finding women: gambling.”

Guo DaLu: “You lost all your money? Who did you lose it to?”

Wang Dong: “The employees of this restaurant.”

Guo DaLu paused for a long while in astonishment. He could not help laughing as he responded, “No wonder they are so submissive to you. Every shop’s employees are especially nice to idiot squanderers of money.”

Wang Dong: “I am not the only idiot squanderer here.”

Guo DaLu: “Who else?” Wang Dong looked over at Lin TaiPing, then Yan Qi. Guo DaLu leapt up in surprise. “You guys lost all your money too?”

No one said anything. Their silence was an admission.

Guo DaLu collapsed back onto his seat. Forcing a smile, he said in a sickly tone, “If that is the case, all the employees here suddenly made a fortune.”

Wang Dong: “They will not be rich for long. Sooner or later, they will lose the money to someone else.”

Guo DaLu paced around as he nodded. “True. What comes easily will go easily; how it came is how it will go.”

Wang Dong: “But at least we have contributed to mankind and society.”

Guo DaLu: “What type of contribution?”

Wang Dong: “The faster money circulates, the more prosperous the economy will be. As a result, mankind can progress.”

Guo DaLu thought this over for a moment. Smiling cynically, he said, “Your words always appear to have some logic behind them.”

Wang Dong: “That is why you don’t need to be upset either.”

Guo DaLu: “What would I be upset about? I didn’t lose any…”

Wang Dong: “Regretfully, we lost your share of the money along with everything else.” Guo DaLu froze in shock. “Even if the mud Buddha statue in the abandoned temple does sleep with people, it certainly would not charge a fee for the service.”

As he listened, Guo DaLu’s eyes slowly grew rounder and rounder. “You all knew?! You had been conspiring the whole time, hadn’t you? … The sneaky, little thief who stole from me, it was…?” He suddenly stabbed a finger at Yan Qi’s nose and cried, “It was you!”

Yan Qi: “You are correct.”

Guo DaLu seized him by the collar. Gritting his teeth, he asked, “Why would you do such a thing?” Yan Qi did not reply, but his face showed a faint red color.

Wang Dong: “It was for your own good. He did not want his friend to get a venereal disease.”

Slowly, Guo DaLu’s fingers released Yan Qi’s clothing. He sank back to his seat, his hand rubbing his scalp as he muttered under his breath. “Oh Heaven! … Oh Heaven! Why did you make me befriend such a person?” He suddenly jumped up again and, through clenched teeth, demanded, “If you knew that all four of our wallets were emptied, why would you still sit here feasting and drinking away?”

Wang Dong: “To make you happy.”

Guo DaLu could not contain his voice as he cried incredulously, “Make me happy?”

Wang Dong: “An individual is always especially happy when he is entertaining guests, right?”

Guo DaLu held his head in his hands as he moaned, “Yes yes yes! I am so happy, so frigging happy I might as well just die right now.”

A waiter suddenly walked over to them and said, “Wang Dage, you need not fret about paying the bill. The tab has already been cleared.”

Guo DaLu sighed. “I never would have expected it, but at least there is one person with a kind heart in this place.”

The waiter’s face grew pink with embarrassment. Smiling, he said, “I had planned on paying the bill for Wang Dage, but unfortunately, someone stole this opportunity from me and paid it first.”

Wang Dong: “Who?”

The waiter answered, “The patron sitting in that corner over there.” He turned around to point out the kind person to them. Dishes of food and wine were still on the table in the corner, but there was no one to be seen.


Guo DaLu was the last in the group as they got up to leave. He took a few steps, then turned around again. Patting the shoulder of the employee who was showing them out the door, he said, “There is something I would like to ask you.”

Employee: “Please ask.”

Guo DaLu: “How are you planning to spend all that money you won?”

Employee: “I do not plan on spending it.” Guo DaLu stared incredulously at him, as if a saint had suddenly appeared before his eyes. The employee continued, “I plan on using it as my gambling principal to win even more. I have had quite a bit of luck at the gambling table lately.”

Guo DaLu continued to stare at him. Suddenly, he burst into laughter, doubling over and laughing so hard he nearly fell down the stairs. He gave another pat on the employee’s shoulder and commended him, “Great idea. That is what we need in order for mankind to advance. On behalf of all the people in the world, I thank you.”

The employee wanted to ask, “Thank me? For what?” but Guo DaLu was already down the stairs. Confused, he knocked on his own head with his fist and sighed, “It seems that these people are not only idiot squanderers, they are also a bunch of lunatics.”

A wise person once had a very wise saying: “To be regarded as an idiot squander and lunatic can be a very remarkable thing. Indeed, it is even more remarkable than being regarded as a hero or a saint.” That restaurant employee was not wise, and naturally had never heard this saying before. Even if he had, he would not understand its true meaning. In reality, there are very few people who would understand the truth in this saying.

There are two types of people in this world. The first type is people who abide by the rules in everything they do, and their ways are logical. Anyone would be able to understand what and why they do things.

The other type is completely differently. This sort of person deliberately enjoys doing things in mysterious ways so that, not only are others not able to figure out what he will do, sometimes he does not even know himself. Wang Dong was this sort of person. Lin TaiPing was as well.

However, there is something of this world that is even more mysterious: money. When you do not want it, for no reason at all, it will somehow find its way to you. But in the times that you really need money, more often than not, you will not even be able to catch a glimpse of any.

What is it like to kill someone? Very few people know. Maybe one out of ten thousand people has ever killed a person.

Someone once said, “Regardless of what it is like to kill someone, at the very least, it is better than being killed.” Anyone who says this has never killed before.

Someone else also said, “The feeling you get when you kill a person is much more terrifying than dying itself.”

“How did you kill him?” “Why did you kill him?” Lin TaiPing was waiting for them to ask these two questions. They did not ask.

Wang Dong, Yan Qi, and Guo DaLu seemed to have an agreement. They did not ask a single question. In fact, the three of them had not even opened their mouths to speak.

Xiancheng was not a long way from the mountain city, but the absence of conversation made the distance seem very far. Guo DaLu was humming a tune. The melody line had probably been passed on for several generations already, but the lyrics most certainly were composed by him. No one else would be able to create lyrics such as these:

When we came, we were so impressive
When we left, we were so trivial
When we came, we rode a carriage
When we left, we rode nothing but the wind beneath our feet
When we came, bells and gongs announced our arrival
When we left, all had become hollow and empty
When we came…


Yan Qi piped up, “What are you singing?”

Guo DaLu: “It’s called ‘The Come and Go Song.’ Come come, go go. You come, you go. Those who go don’t come; those who come don’t go.”

Yan Qi suddenly started singing along with his melody. “Pass it out, but it’s obstructed. If it was open, you wouldn’t need to pass. Pass pass, open open. Once it’s open, let it pass.”

Guo DaLu asked curiously: “Pass what out?”

Yan Qi: “Dog fart. The song is called, ‘Passing Dog Farts.’ ” [* “Passing dog farts” is a phrase that means bull***t, nonsense, or rubbish]

Guo DaLu scowled and as he retorted, “You guys should not mock me. In the past, someone begged me to sing for him, and I turned him down because I wasn’t in the mood.”

Wang Dong nodded knowingly. “I know what type of person that was.”

Yan Qi blinked innocently. “What type?”

Wang Dong: “A deaf person.”

Guo DaLu wanted to scowl at them again, but even he could not contain his laughter.’

Lin TaiPing suddenly gave a cold laugh. “A deaf person is better than those who pretend to be deaf and mute.”

Guo DaLu blinked back at him. “Who is pretending to be deaf and mute?”

Lin TaiPing: “You, you, and you.” He jabbed his finger into each of their faces before continuing, “You obviously have questions that you want to ask. Why are you not asking them?”

Wang Dong: “It is not that we are not asking; there is no need to ask.”

Lin TaiPing: “Why is there no need?”

Wang Dong: “Those types of people, you may not complain that there are too many when they are alive, but you definitely would not protest the loss when they are dead.”

Guo DaLu: “Very true. If one dies, that is one less in the world. The fewer there are of that type of people, the better.” He patted Lin TaiPing on the shoulder and smiled comfortingly as he said, “Since you did not wrongly kill anyone, why would I question you?”

Lin TaiPing was clenching his teeth. He suddenly asked them, “Have any of you killed someone before?”

Guo DaLu looked at Wang Dong. Wang Dong looked over at Yan Qi. Yan Qi gave a wry smile as he answered, “I have only ever been killed by someone.”

Lin TaiPing suddenly leapt into the air. He brushed past them as he flew towards the side of the road. As he landed behind a tree, the echo of his sobs carried back towards them.

Yan Qi looked at Guo DaLu. Guo DaLu looked over at Wang Dong. Wang Dong said, “He had never killed anyone in the past.”

Guo DaLu nodded. “This is his first time.”

Yan Qi heaved a sigh. “So, it turns out that the feeling you get when you kill someone truly is much more horrible than being killed.”

Wang Dong: “When NanGong Chou realized that he was being followed, he must have thought that Lin TaiPing had discovered his secret and therefore, attacked him first to permanently shut him up.

Guo DaLu: “But instead, the one with the intention to kill ended up being killed.”

Yan Qi: “Lin TaiPing’s martial arts seems to be much stronger than ours and also much stronger than NanGong Chou.”

Guo DaLu sighed. “This is an example where ‘a person cannot be judged by his appearance, the ocean’s water cannot be measured in a dou [5].’ When I first laid eyes upon him, I thought he didn’t even have the strength to catch a chicken.”

The sounds of sobbing had not yet ceased.

Yan Qi: “One with intentions to kill may not be have the ability to kill. And yet, even though Lin TaiPing may have killed someone, he never wanted to kill.”

Guo DaLu: “Let’s go over and console him.”

Wang Dong: “No.”

Guo Dalu: “Why?”

Wang Dong: “Even though crying is not as good as laughing, it is not a bad thing for a person to occasionally have a good cry.”

Sighing again, Guo DaLu said, “I, personally, still prefer laughing. At least, when you are laughing, you do not need to hide behind a tree to do it.”

Yan Qi also gave a sigh. “And, no matter how hard you laugh, you need not worry that other people will come watch the scene you are making.”

The more concerned you are about people staring at you, the more people will come to stare. The sky was not yet dark. There were still lots of people on the road, and many of them had stopped, stretching their necks and peering curiously at Guo DaLu and the others. Some of the passersby had even walked over towards where they were standing.

Guo DaLu wiped the sweat on his brow nervously. Forcing an uneasy smile, he whispered, “I only hope people will not suspect that he is crying because we were bullying him.”

Nobody “suspected.” Everyone was practically certain this was the case.

Seeing the accusing expression in their eyes, Yan Qi could not help wiping at the sweat on his forehead as well. “Can you just hurry up and think of a way to convince these people to leave?”

Guo DaLu smiled wryly and answered, “I don’t have such a talent. The best I can do is dig a hole.”

Yan Qi: “What would you dig a hole for?”

Guo DaLu: “So that I can crawl in there and avoid getting stared to death by these people.”

Yan Qi let out another sigh. “Then, it would be great if you dug a bigger hole.”

Guo DaLu accused bitterly, “If you guys had not lost all that money, or at the very least, not lost all of it, we could have at least rented a carriage so that he could sit in it and cry to his heart’s content.” He had just finished his sentence when an elegant horse drawn carriage actually appeared, driving towards them. It stopped in front of them.

Yan Qi cast a sidelong glance over at Wang Dong and murmured to him, “We actually should not have gambled in that last round. It was nearly certain we were going to lose. We shouldn’t have tried to recoup our losses.”

Wang Dong: “If gamblers didn’t want to recoup their losses, then those who relied on gambling to put food on their table would starve to death. And you wouldn’t want to see people starving to death,would you?”

The driver of the carriage had suddenly jumped down and walked over to them. He had a cordial smile on his face as he asked, “Which one of you is Guo Daye?” [*daye is respectful form of ‘mister’ or ‘sir;’ often used in addressing a patron]

Guo DaLu: “Who is looking for me? And for what reason?”

The driver bowed respectfully and replied, “Guo Daye, please step into the carriage.”
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[5] A unit of measure where 1 dou = 1 decalitre. Also, is a dipper or cup-like object measuring 1 dou

 

Guo DaLu: “I don’t like riding in a carriage. I prefer walking.”

The driver smiled again. “This carriage was hired by a friend of Guo Daye. The hiring cost has already been paid.”

Guo DaLu gave a start of surprise. “Who hired it?”

The driver laughed as he said, “He is Guo Daye’s friend. If Guo Daye you do not know, how would I know?”

Guo DaLu thought for a moment, then all of a sudden nodded his head. “I know who it is. He is my godson.”

Once they had sat down in the carriage, Lin TaiPing stopped crying. He merely sat staring forward with a blank expression on his face.

Guo DaLu was also silent. Yan Qi could not contain his curiosity and asked him, “Do you really have a godson?”

Guo DaLu smiled sarcastically. “Sure, I have a ghost as a godson. Even if I asked to be someone’s godson, no one would have me because I’m so dirty. Who would ever want to be my godson?”

Yan Qi’s brow furrowed. “Then who hired the coach?”

Guo DaLu: “I am eighty percent certain that it is the person who paid our tab in Kui Yuan Guan.”

Yan Qi: “Did you see who that person was?”

Guo DaLu: “At that moment, I was already thanking the heavens if no one was looking at me. Do you think I would have been looking around?” That was true. A person does not dare hold up his head if it comes time to settle the tab and his wallet is empty.

Yan Qi: “What about you?” He was not addressing Lin TaiPing. Of course, Lin TaiPing had not been in the mood to notice other people around him.

Wang Dong chuckled. “The only thing I was bothering to concern myself with at that instant was the expression on Guo Dashao’s face. I had never before seen him look so adorable.”

Guo DaLu glared back at him. “My only regret is that I could not be there to see the expression on your face when you lost all the money. I’m certain it would have been very adorable as well.”

And so, Yan Qi fell into silence also. He, too, had not noticed the person who had paid the bill for them.

Wang Dong: “The driver was looking for Guo Dashao, so this person must be Guo Dashao’s friend.”

Guo DaLu let out a long sigh. “I do not have any friends that are so wealthy. Out of all my friends, the richest one is you.”

Wang Dong: “I’m rich?”

Guo DaLu: “At least you have a house. Even though it is a house that people loathe and ghosts despise, a house is still a house.”

Wang Dong replied lightly, “If you like it, I will give it to you.”

Guo DaLu: “I don’t want it.”

Wang Dong: “Why not?”

Guo DaLu: “Presently, I have no possessions and my wallet is empty. I am content because there is nothing tying me down, unlike all of you who need to worry about other things.”

Yan Qi: “Wang Laoda has a house to worry about, but what about me?”

Guo DaLu eyed him up and down before he grinned and replied, “You still have a brand new set of clothes. Before you do anything, you cannot help wondering whether it will dirty your outfit. When you sit, you will have to first check whether there is any mud on the ground. How can you compare to me? I am completely carefree.”

Yan Qi looked steadily at him and asked, “Is there truly no person in this world that you care about? Nothing that you are concerned about?”

Guo DaLu all of a sudden grew silent. There seemed to be a trace of sorrow hidden behind his eyes. In that moment, Yan Qi realized that perhaps this person was not as happy as he portrayed himself on the outside to be, that perhaps he, too, had some painful experiences in his past. He merely was very adept at concealing these and would never reveal them to people. He would only let people know and share in his joy. He did not want people to share in the burden of his pains and sorrows.

As Yan Qi gazed at Guo DaLu, his eyes became radiant. The longer he spent with him, the more he realized that Guo DaLu was indeed quite adorable.

It was uncertain how much time had passed before Wang Dong suddenly let out a long sigh and cried, “Almost there. We’re almost home.” The sound of his sigh was filled with joy and contentment.

The little mountain slope could be seen through the window.

Guo DaLu could not help heaving a lengthy sigh as well. “It seems that neither dens of gold nor dens of silver can compare to your dog den.” [*dog den is a slang term for home]

Wang Dong: “My dog den?”

Guo DaLu laughed. “Our dog den.”

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Dusk. The rays of the setting sun filled the mountainside. In this light, the half-withered autumn grass appeared to be like blades of gold, gold as far as the eye could see. The little flagstone pathway that stretched forward as it slanted down the slope was like a string of white jade amidst the mountain of gold.

A breeze was sighing. Birds were singing. The insects of autumn were murmuring in low tones. All these intermingled to form a sound that was even sweeter than music, like soft whispers in the ear of a lover.

The air was filled with the fragrance of flowers, the smell of grass, and the scent of the wind. Even the sunset seemed to have absorbed the pleasant smells of its surroundings, gentle like wisps of hair on your lover’s temple.

Life could actually be so deliciously fragrant, so lovely.

Guo DaLu let out a long sigh of contentment. He laughed loudly and said, “Only now do I realize that being poor can, in fact, be a happy thing.”

Yan Qi: “Happy?”

Guo DaLu: “How many rich people can actually relish in such beautiful surroundings? Or breathe in such lovely smells? The only thing they are able to smell is the stink of copper. [*the stink of money]”

Yan Qi had to laugh as well. In that instant, Guo DaLu suddenly noticed that when he smiled, his face was as radiant as the setting sun. “I have only just now discovered that you are actually not the least bit ugly. But you are a little too dirty most of the time.”

Surprisingly, this time Yan Qi did not send a cutting retort back at him, and on the contrary, lowered his head slowly. He was normally not one who allowed himself to be teased without responding. What could have caused this change? Was it the sunset? The quiet breeze? Or perhaps it was the cheerful smile on Guo DaLu’s face?

Wang Dong suddenly interrupted, “Having money is not necessarily a bad thing.”

Guo DaLu: “What about being poor?”

Wang Dong: “Neither is being poor.”

Guo DaLu: “Than what would be bad?”

Wang Dong: “Nothing is truly bad. Whether something is good or bad is a function of whether you know how to truly live and enjoy life.”

Guo DaLu mulled over these words carefully. His heart all of a sudden was flooded with warmth, joy, and contentment. He was content for the mere fact that he was alive. And because he was alive, he could enjoy the life he lived – this life that was filled with such beauty.

That is why, my friends, you should not worry when you do have money, and even more importantly, not be anxious when you are poor. If you learn how to take pleasure in life itself, then your existence will not be pointless. Even when, one day, you depart from this world, you will die happy because you will know that your life had been fuller and happier than others.

The carriage could not drive up the mountain, so they got off and travelled the remainder of the way on foot. They took their time, strolling at a leisurely pace, because they understood that no matter how slow they walked, they would still eventually arrive at their destination.

Night gradually fell, but they did not grow concerned. They knew that it would not be long before the sky was bright again.

And so, their hearts were flooded with pleasure. Even Lin TaiPing’s eyes sparkled once again.

Finally, Wang Dong’s house came into sight. Though the house was old and worn, under the hazy light of the dusk sky, it appeared to be as beautiful as a palace.

Each person has a palace of their own; that palace exists within the heart. Strangely, though, some people may never find their palace.

The sharp, angular features of Wang Dong’s face appeared to have grown softer as well. He suddenly gave a wide grin and asked, “Can you guess what will be the first thing I do when I get home?”

Guo DaLu and Yan Qi scrambled to give the answer first as they cried simultaneously, “Get on your bed and sleep.”

Wang Dong: “Correct answer.”

But life is always filled with unforeseen circumstances.

They had not yet arrived at the manor when they suddenly saw a window become illuminated from the light of a lamp. At first, it was just the one window facing the doorway. Then, they watched as, one by one, every window was lit up with lamplight from inside the house and glowed brightly in the night.

They stopped in astonishment.

Yan Qi: “There is someone in the house.”

Guo DaLu: “Do you have friends that would come for a visit?”

Wang Dong: “I used to, but ever since I sold my last chair, all my friends suddenly disappeared.” He gave a nonchalant smile before resuming, “Perhaps they are all as lazy as I am and afraid they won’t have anything to sit on when they come.”

That one nonchalant smile showed how deep an understanding he had on life. Hence, he never placed too high an expectation on anyone. When he gave, he never expected to receive anything in return – perhaps this was one of the reasons why his life was so much happier than most people.

Yan Qi frowned. “Then, who could have lit the lamps?”

Guo DaLu’s lips formed a little smile. “Why should we stand here and guess? Once we go in, won’t we know the answer?”

Normally, this would be a correct approach. This time, though, he was wrong.


End of Chapter 9

Last Updated ( Friday, 11 July 2008 11:55 )