Happy Heroes 15 Print
Friday, 11 July 2008 11:23

Chapter 14 – A Tough Task


When she reached the door, Mei RuNan turned around and beckoned to Guo DaLu. Her hand was pale and smooth.

Suppose that a pair of hands are wrapped around and gripping your neck. Regardless of how pale these hands are or how soft and smooth, that feeling would still be rather unpleasant.

Guo DaLu had to stand. He looked over at Yan Qi. Yan Qi did not look at him. Guo DaLu turned his eyes toward Wang Dong. Wang Dong was drinking wine, and the cup was blocking his eyes. Guo DaLu cast his gaze over at Lin TaiPing. Lin TaiPing was staring off into the distance. Grinding his teeth together, Guo DaLu grumbled hatefully, “My ancestors must have accumulated many good deeds; otherwise, how could I possibly have made such great friends?”

Mei RuNan’s voice was heard calling from outside the door, “What did you say? Why haven’t you come outside yet?”

Guo DaLu sighed. “I didn’t say anything. I was farting.” He finally managed to drag himself out the door. Looking at the agonized expression on his face and the dejected manner in which he hung his head, you would think that he was being escorted to an execution ground.

A long time passed before Lin TaiPing finally exhaled loudly and muttered grumpily, “Never knew that that guy can put up a good act. In his heart, he secretly is delighted, but he still has to pretend and put on that look of misery. It makes you mad just looking at him!” His tone sounded a little sour, as if the wine in his stomach had all turned to vinegar [*i.e jealous].

Wang Dong snickered, “You are mistaken about one thing.”

Lin TaiPing: “What is that?”

Wang Dong: “He is not the least bit delighted.”

Lin TaiPing: “He’s not happy? Is Mei guniang not good enough for him?”

Wang Dong: “Whether she is good enough or not is one matter; whether he is happy or not is a completely different matter.”

Lin TaiPing: “How do you know he is not happy?”

Wang Dong: “Because he hasn’t turned into an idiot or become mute.” Lin TaiPing blinked; he did not understand. Wang Dong was aware that he was confused so he explained, “There was a brilliant person who once said something that is very sensible. He said, no matter how smart a man is, if he has truly fallen in love with a girl, he will behave like he is stupid when he is around her, to the point where he cannot even say a word.” Perhaps deliberately, perhaps subconsciously, Wang Dong’s eyes shifted to glance at Yan Qi as he chuckled, “But in front of Mei guniang, he seems to have more to say than anyone else...”

Yan Qi cut him off with an icy tone. “That is only because some people were born as blabbermouths.”

Wang Dong responded with a little laugh and did not continue speaking. Nobody likes being a blabbermouth. Usually, no one would ever call Wang Dong a blabbermouth, but today there seemed to be something different about him. The number of words he had spoken was at least several times more than what would normally be heard coming from him.

Lin TaiPing also thought something seemed strange. “Why is this person all of a sudden so talkative today? And who were those words intended for?” Lin TaiPing only was certain about one thing: unless he had a deliberate purpose, Wang Dong was usually too lazy to even bother moving his lips.


The moonlight was beautiful. Perhaps very few people have noticed, but winter moonlight is not necessarily less captivating than spring. The winter moon is also able to move the heart of a young girl.

The round moon hung above the treetop. Mei RuNan was standing beneath that tree. The moonlight shone upon her face, her eyes. Her eyes were even more beautiful than the moon. Even Guo DaLu had to admit that she really was an attractive girl, especially her figure. Guo DaLu had practically never seen another girl whose figure was as good as hers. She seemed to be even prettier than the first time Guo DaLu saw her. Perhaps it was because of her clothing, or perhaps it was her smile. Today she was no longer wearing clothes made of rough cloth. The narrow waistline and long skirt accentuated her dainty waist and made her graceful bearing even more mesmerizing.

She was looking at Guo DaLu once again with a little smile. Her smile was especially sweet. Normally, Guo DaLu was particularly fond of her smile, but now, he did not even dare look at it. A girl’s smile is like her clothes and jewellery, her rouge and powder – these are all bait used to entice a man onto her hook. A smart man should not even look. If that day Guo DaLu had understood this principle, he would not have brought about today’s predicament.

He gave a silent sigh as he walked over at a snail’s pace. Out of nowhere, he asked, “Is your brother’s alcohol capacity really that good?”

She giggled, “No. He rarely drinks.”

Smiling bitterly, he moaned, “Then this is an even bigger problem.”

Mei RuNan: “What problem is this?”

Guo DaLu answered with a chuckle, “I had been planning that, once I saw him, I would find some way to get him drunk to prevent him from remembering the events of the other day and trying to get revenge.”

Mei RuNan smiled prettily. “If you are afraid of him, why don’t you avoid him for a while? After a few days have passed and his anger has died down, you can go see him.”

Guo DaLu: “But aren’t you in a hurry to bring me back to see him?”

Mei RuNan’s eyes grew wide in realization and she gaped at him with amazement. “You thought… you thought…” She suddenly doubled over in laughter.

Guo DaLu was silent for a moment. His eyes bulged out as he gawked back at her and spluttered, “It’s not me…”

Mei RuNan was howling so hard that she could not answer and could only shake her head non-stop

Guo DaLu could not help demanding, “If it’s not me, then who is it?”

After much effort, she finally managed to control of her laughter. She gasped, “It’s Yan Qi.”

Guo DaLu yowled, “Yan Qi?... The guy you have your eye on is Yan Qi?”

She nodded.

This time, Guo DaLu had to stop and let it sink in. He actually had no desire to marry Mei RuNan; in fact, he did not want to marry anybody. He should have been delighted and breathing a sigh of relief that the man she fancied was not him. But for some reason, he was feeling miserable and very disappointed, even a little sour. A long while passed before he was finally able to exhale out that breath of jealousy. Shaking his head, he mumbled, “I just don’t understand. How could you be attracted to him?”

She smiled. “I think he is great. Everything about him is great.”

Guo DaLu: “Is it also great that he does not bathe?”

Mei RuNan: “A man with personality usually does not care about his appearance before he gets married, but once he has a wife to care for him, he will change.” Her eyes glimmered as if she was lost in her reverie. A dreamy smile crossed her face. “To be honest, ever since I was young, I have always liked the type of man that does not confine himself to following trivial rituals. That is what I would call true manliness. I want to throw up when I see guys that spend the whole day sprucing themselves up so that their hair is all greasy and their face is powdered.”

Guo DaLu was looking into her eyes. He suddenly realized that her eyes were not the least bit beautiful. They were like the eyes of a blind person.

Mei RuNan: “I know that he has been avoiding me as if he really dislikes me. Only men with character are like that. I detest those types of men who, when they see a woman, behave like flies around blood.”

Guo DaLu’s face seemed to grow a little hot. He gave a couple of dry coughs and asked, “So it seems as if you really do like him?”

Mei RuNan: “You really could not tell, not even a little bit?”

Guo DaLu let out a sigh. Smiling bitterly, he said, “All I could sense was that you were being particularly affectionate with me.”

She answered sweetly, “That is only because I was deliberately trying to make him mad.”

Guo DaLu: “Why would you want to make him mad if you like him?”

Mei RuNan: “It’s because I like him, that is why I want to make him mad. Don’t you understand that principle?”

He laughed cynically and replied, “If that is the case, it is best for a man if no woman ever takes a liking to him. That way, he will end up living a happier life.”

Blinking her eyes innocently, she inquired, “Are you very happy right now?”

Guo DaLu: “Of course I’m happy. I am extremely happy.”

When Guo DaLu walked back inside, even a blind man could tell that he was not the least bit happy. If it could be said that he looked like a prisoner being taken to his execution place when he went out, then now he basically looked like a dead person, or at most, someone who had one more breath of air than a dead person.

A breath of bitter air.

The situation inside the house was nearly identical to what it had been when he left. Wang Dong was drinking wine, Lin TaiPing was staring off into the distance, and Yan Qi was purposefully trying to pretend as if he did not see him.

Guo DaLu grabbed the cup out of Wang Dong’s hand and cried, “What is wrong with you today? Have you turned into a wine pitcher?”

Wang Dong chuckled pleasantly, “Of course. I should be drinking more than just a few cups of my good friend’s wedding wine. You’re not willing to part with your wine?”

Guo DaLu wanted to give a little laugh also, but nothing would come out. He glanced at Yan Qi from the corner of his eye. “There is a groom in this room, but it’s not me.”

Wang Dong did not seem to be surprised with this as he asked indifferently, “If it is not you, then who is it?”

Guo DaLu did not answer. He turned around and with wide eyes, stared at Yan Qi, who could not help breaking his silence as he demanded, “What are you looking at?”

Guo DaLu: “You.”

Yan Qi gave an icy little laugh. “What is there to look at? I think you are staring at the wrong person.”

Exhaling a sigh, Guo DaLu said, “I am trying to find out right now what is there about you that is so nice to look at. Why would someone fancy you?”

Yan Qi’s brow furrowed into a frown. “Who fancies me?”

Guo DaLu: “The bride.”

Yan Qi was starting to feel a little alarmed. He gasped, “What does the bride have to do with me?”

Guo DaLu was finally able to laugh. “If the bride has nothing to do with the groom, then who else could she have anything to do with?”

Yan Qi’s eyes widened as he cried, “Who is the groom?”

Guo DaLu: “You.”

Yan Qi froze. At first, it was obvious that he was in shock, but then, he suddenly became so delighted he could not contain his pleasure and giggled out loud. The expression on his face was like a large ingot had unexpectedly fallen at his feet.

Guo DaLu blinked, then remarked, “So it turns out you like her as well.”

Yan Qi did not say anything but only continued to laugh.

Guo DaLu: “If you do not like her, why are laughing with such glee?”

Yan Qi did not answer; instead, he asked, “Where is she now?”

In a dull tone, Guo DaLu responded, “In the courtyard waiting for her groom. It is best if you don’t make her wait until she is anxious.”

Yan Qi did not make her wait. Before Guo DaLu had finished, he had already bounded to his feet and rushed outside. As Guo DaLu watched him run off, he shook his head and muttered, “It looks like the groom is even more anxious than the bride.”

Wang Dong all of a sudden snickered, “You do not want to admit defeat?”

Guo DaLu glared at him before replying with a cold laugh, “I just think there is something odd.”

Wang Dong: “What’s odd?”

Guo DaLu: “I just think it is odd that every woman’s eyes seem to have some sort of problem.”

Wang Dong: “You are wondering how this girl could possibly like Yan Qi? You think he is ugly?”

Guo DaLu pondered over this for a moment. “You cannot say that he is really ugly. At least, his eyes are not ugly.” Actually, not only were Yan Qi’s eyes not ugly, they were very striking. In particular, when they held the glimmer of a smile, they looked like the clear waters of a lake shimmering under the spring breeze.

Wang Dong: “His nose is really ugly?”

Guo DaLu again thought over it before answering, “No, not really, but it looks like a meat bun when he smiles.” When Yan Qi smiled, his nose would always first crinkle up slightly, but not only did it not look like it meat bun, it actually made it seem very attractive.

Wang Dong: “His lips are ugly?”

With a surprising laugh, Guo DaLu said, “I rarely look at his lips.”

Wang Dong: “Why?”

Guo DaLu giggled, “Because his mouth is even smaller than Golden-Coat Pekingese’s.”

Wang Dong: “Having a petite mouth is a bad thing?”

Guo DaLu had to shake his head because he was not one to speak contrary to his conscience.

Wang Dong: “Then what is it about him that is physically unattractive?”

Guo DaLu mulled over the question for a long time before suddenly realizing that Yan Qi, from his head to his toe, was actually very good looking. Even his filthy pair of hands seemed more elegant than other people’s. Sighing, Guo DaLu admitted, “If he bathed more frequently, perhaps he actually would not be unattractive.”

Wang Dong laughed, “If he actually did take a bath, you may be in for a surprise.”

Guo DaLu also gave a little chuckle. “I really do hope, then, that he will surprise me one time.”

Wang Dong: “So if you think that he is not so bad, then what is wrong with Mei guniang taking a liking to him?”

Guo DaLu sighed, “Nothing. Nothing at all.”

A piercing cry was suddenly heard coming from the courtyard. It was Mei RuNan screaming, and she sounded like a cat that had just had its tail stepped on. Guo DaLu stood up as if he wanted to go outside to take a look, but he sat back down again. Smiling, he shook his head and said, “I know that grooms are all very anxious, but I did not think that Yan Qi would be so terribly eager.”

He had just finished his sentence when Yan Qi walked in. He walked in alone.

Guo DaLu: “Where is the bride?”

Yan Qi: “There is no bride.”

Guo DaLu: “If there is a groom, then there’s a bride.”

Yan Qi: “There’s no groom as well.”

Guo DaLu looked intently at him, then snorted, “Did the bride get frightened away by the groom?” All of a sudden, he noticed that there were three long fingernail marks on Yan Qi’s face, like he had been scratched by a cat.

All of a sudden, he noticed that there were three long fingernail marks on Yan Qi’s face, like he had been scratched by a cat.

Yan Qi, though, did not seem to mind and, rather, seemed to be very cheerful as he blinked and replied with a smile on his face, “Yes, she has left but not because I frightened her off.”

Guo DaLu: “No? If you had not started putting the moves on her, why would she scream?”

Yan Qi laughed, “If I really had tried to put the moves on her, do you think she would have run off?”

Guo DaLu admitted, “No.” This was because he knew that, if a girl really did like a man, she would not be scared if he did put the moves on her. “But then, why did she leave?”

Yan Qi: “Because she suddenly changed her mind and does not want to marry me.”

Startled, Guo DaLu inquired, “She changed her mind? How could that be?”

Yan Qi: “Because… because I said one thing to her.”

Guo DaLu shook his head. “I don’t believe you. If a woman is intent on marrying you, even if you say 3,600 sentences to her, she still will not change her mind.” He gave a little chuckle and continued, “When have you ever seen someone willing to let a fish that has already been hooked escape?”

Smiling, Yan Qi offered, “Maybe she discovered that this fish has too many spikes, or maybe she just does not like to eat fish.”

Guo DaLu: “There is no cat in this world that does not like to eat fish.”

Yan Qi: “She is not a cat.”

Looking at his face, Guo DaLu smirked, “If she is not a cat, then why would she scratch people?” Obviously, Guo DaLu knew that women know how to scratch, and when they do, it is often more ferocious than a cat. Cats will scratch people for a reason; that is not always the case with women. If a woman just feels like scratching you, she will.

There was only one thing Guo DaLu could not figure out. “What scheme did you use that made her change her mind?”

Yan Qi: “I didn’t use any scheme. I just said one sentence.”

Guo DaLu: “What sort of sentence?”

Yan Qi huffed, “That is my business. Why must you insist on asking?”

Guo DaLu: “Because I want to learn how to do it, too.”

Yan Qi: “Why do you want to learn?”

Guo DaLu chortled, “What man wouldn’t want to learn it?”

Yan Qi: “Then for sure I cannot tell you.”

Guo DaLu: “Why?”

Yan Qi gave a little chuckle. “Because that is my little secret. If I teach it to you, then what would happen to my advantage?”

Exhaling a long breath, Guo DaLu mumbled, “And I thought we were friends. Who knew that even this…”

Out of nowhere, Wang Dong cut him off. “Can friends not have secrets?”

Guo DaLu: “It depends on what type of secret.”

Wang Dong: “A secret is a secret. All secrets are the same.”

Guo DaLu asked curiously, “So it sounds like you have a secret also?”

Wang Dong nodded his head. “And you? Do you not have any?”

After considering it for a moment, Guo DaLu finally forced himself to give a curt nod.

Wang Dong: “And if someone was to ask you about your secret, would you tell them?”

Guo DaLu again thought over his question and finally forced himself to shake his head in reply.

Wang Dong: “Then you should not be asking others either.” He lay down.

When he lay down, it meant that the conversation had ended. Only a correct conclusion can end a conversation. Wang Dong’s conclusions were usually correct.

Everyone has a secret. Everyone has the right to preserve their secret. That is their personal freedom.

End of Chapter 14