CHAPTER 10 ♦ THE REUNION OF DAGGERS
last edited: 28.04.17
Yin Xu Dong saw Qin Ke Xuan sitting in front of her desk reading a book the moment he entered. Was she still a person? Waking up before dawn breaks to train was understandable, but now, studying before dawn breaks?
After leaning towards Qin Ke Xuan to look at the book she was reading, he almost fainted. His facial expression twitched, “Dear Shi Fu, are you trying to review the old?”
“You are no longer my disciple.”
Yin Xu Dong rubbed his face, deciding to ignore the primary one language textbook in her hand. “Qin Ke Xuan! You can’t be like this! Didn’t you promise me! How can you expel me from your sect just because I farted?! Didn’t we agree that I was to help you with your studies and you teach me your martial arts?!”
Qin Ke Xuan, upon hearing the “fart” word, tightened her grip; she really had the urge to throttle this fellow…
Yin Xu Dong continued to say, as though guiding her patiently and systematically, “You see, humans eat the five crops*, how would one not fart? You fart too right? Then that’s right, we’re all people, farting is a very normal thing. You can’t judge me through tinted windows; I just couldn’t hold it in at that time. Next time, I definitely will not fart again!”
(T/N: “五谷” = “five crops” namely millet, soybean, sesame, barley, rice or other variants of grains)
Qin Ke Xuan’s veins throbbed, “If you don’t shut up, you will not even have the chance to fart in the future!”
For a killer to have her emotions easily stirred up was not a good sign.
Yin Xu Dong opened his mouth, but when he saw the book in Qin Ke Xuan’s hands already distorted, he quickly did a zipping his mouth gesture, and shut up, except that he stood there stubbornly unwilling to give up.
Qin Ke Xuan gently flattened the textbook and started studying the Pinyin* conscientiously.
(T/N: “拼音” = “Pinyin”; Hanyu Pinyin is the transliteration system the Chinese people use)
… mouth opened widely o o o*, the white swan looking into the mirror, mouth pursed flatly e e e*…
(T/N: Qin Ke Xuan is practising the sounds of the vowels in Hanyu Pinyin that comes in a poem/verse which usually rhymes)
What the heck was with all these random symbols! Why was there a need to fit every character with these meaningless symbols?! With regards to this place’s knowledge and culture, Qin Ke Xuan felt beyond helpless, but in order to find out why these strange happenings occurred on her, she had to learn these.
Qin Ke Xuan picked up the book and pushed it in front of Yin Xu Dong, pointing at the paragraph of words, “Read.”
The current Yin Xu Dong, with the thought of sucking up to her in his head, did not care how strange it was for her to have him read rhymes and riddles children learn, opened his mouth and started: “… mouth opened widely o o o, the white swan looking into the mirror, mouth pursed flatly e e e …”
The nursery rhymes were easy, so Qin Ke Xuan remembered it after hearing once. As long as she remembered how to pronounce it and match them to the words, Qin Ke Xuan was able to grasp a general understanding of the relationship between the Pinyin and the words.
Afterwards was Math. This seemed to be more challenging, as all the symbols were pretty much unfamiliar to her.
Yin Xu Dong, upon seeing Qin Ke Xuan frowning, asked smilingly at the most timely moment: “Shi Fu? Do you need help?” He was actually commenting in his head, wondering why Qin Ke Xuan was starting from primary school stuff. What was the situation? It seemed unlikely she had become dumb, it felt more like those drama plots where someone loses their memories, but he did not hear about her hitting her head during the car accident! Unless to say her brain cells grew on her legs and it got rammed away by the car?
Of course, he had only dared to comment mentally in his head. If he vocalised his thoughts, Qin Ke Xuan would definitely send a Xiao Li Flying Dagger at him, the bull-eye deadly on-point kind.
“Shi Fu ah, you see, don’t you think I’m actually still of use? So can I be un-expelled?” He had to fight for his chances.
Qin Ke Xuan, seeing how persistent Yin Xu Dong was, reconsidered, thinking he indeed was of some use, “I can teach you, but you are not my disciple.”
Upon hearing this, Yin Xu Dong was happy enough to jump up and down, and nodded his head enthusiastically, non-stop, “Okay, okay, as long as you teach me, I will do anything!”
After which was Yin Xu Dong teaching Qin Ke Xuan the meaning of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Teaching a complete “kid” such low-intelligence questions, the process was a very excruciating and mentally exhausting thing.
When it was time to go to school, the two of them went on their own. Actually, Yin Xu Dong had wanted to cling on to Qin Ke Xuan’s side, except his route to school was separate from Qin Ke Xuan’s, so he could only bid his teary farewell, though Qin Ke Xuan did not spare a glance in his emotion-brimming goodbye.
The following few days of attending school, Qin Ke Xuan had a primary school textbook with her all along and candidly started reading it, completely disregarding her classmates’ emotionful and fascinating expressions.
When it was the weekends, Yin Xu Dong, who had originally been invited to go out and play with his friends, was once again dragged up by Qin Ke Xuan bright and early at dawn as though he was a soldier going for training.
This time, he was teaching her English.
“Why is there a need for two languages in one country?” Qin Ke Xuan had never seen any country that required two languages, even back where she was from, all the different countries around spoke the same language throughout, only in certain faraway and suburban areas would dialects appear.
As a Chinese citizen, Yin Xu Dong was very frustrated when it came to learning English as well, “Exactly! I think that the entire world should just come and learn Chinese!”
“Why are these symbols pronounced differently and have different meaning even though they look the same as pinyin?” Qin Ke Xuan pointed at the English alphabets, asking.
“This… English is the English people’s language, so their pronunciation will definitely differ from ours. As to why they look the same as pinyin, I have no clue either. Right, why was it the same?” Yin Xu Dong, after learning so many years of pinyin and English, had never actually thought about why they looked the same.
Qin Ke Xuan sent an eye roll at the Yin Xu Dong who was scratching his head in confusion.
Yin Xu Dong taught Qin Ke Xuan the basic pronunciation of alphabets, and as for the grammar and tenses and etcetera, he too did not really know much about it, so he only had Qin Ke Xuan memorise some vocabulary.
Qin Ke Xuan placed the primary four five and six textbooks on the desk and started listening to Yin Xu Dong read aloud the vocabulary words while she memorised them.
Finally, it was morning, Yin Xu Dong asked Qin Ke Xuan for permission to go back to have breakfast, then peeped at her, but Qin Ke Xuan was so excited so did not bother to care about him.
After he woke up from the sofa in a fright and ran anxiously up to Qin Ke Xuan’s room, the sun was hanging high up in the sky—it was afternoon. He secretly glimpsed at Qin Ke Xuan, and only after seeing that she displayed no symptoms of an anger detonation did he breathe a sigh of relief. At the same time, he felt a wave of grief, just when had it been that he downgraded to having to see her mood before doing anything?
Afterwards, Yin Xu Dong continued reading the vocabulary list, but after reading for a while, he pointed at a word and paused there, unable to continue. “…a, a… why was it so noisy outside?” Actually, he had heard the arguing outside long before, except that now he was just borrowing the pretext to make a fuss so to divert Qin Ke Xuan’s attention. “It’s so noisy, how am I supposed to read?”
Qin Ke Xuan cast a sidelong glance at the unnatural Yin Xu Dong, put down her book and walked to the balcony and looked out the porch, only to see the Wen Mei Xia she had not seen in a long time appearing there. She was currently swearing noisily while pulling and dragging Jiang Hui Lin, while Qin Peng Cheng was also there, his face all red, trying to pull away the person who was bullying his mother. Except given his small size, his strength was insignificant and was even pushed to the ground when Wen Mei Xia shook him off. Jiang Hui Lin upon seeing this, starting retaliating instead to defend her son.
Yin Xu Dong also ran out and frowned when he saw that.
Qin Ke Xuan said lightly: “If you still can’t read after I’m back, you can forget about learning martial arts from me.” After saying this, she leapt off the balcony with a swoop, landing soundlessly on the porch below.
Yin Xu Dong had already developed immunity towards her prowess. He was curious as to how she was able to accomplish that, but at the same time worried she would not teach him martial arts, so he quickly climbed back over to his own bedroom to grab a dictionary to search up the word.
Qin Ke Xuan walked toward where the three of them stood.
Jiang Hui Lin was the first one to discover her presence and asked weakly: “Xuan Xuan… how come you’re here?”
Wen Mei Xia did not stop, and instead starting calling Qin Ke Xuan while pulling at Jiang Hui Lin: “Xuan Xuan, hurry come and help, let’s show this vixen some colours! If it weren’t for her, your dad would not have been seduced away!”
Not waiting for Qin Ke Xuan to react, Qin Peng Cheng immediately crawled back on his feet, gave a loud howl before running towards Qin Ke Xuan and hugged her legs, “I won’t allow you to bully my mummy!”
“So noisy.” Qin Ke Xuan grabbed Qin Peng Cheng’s elbow and flung it away, saying softly.
Jiang Hui Lin’s face dropped as she called: “Xiao Cheng. Xuan Xuan…”
Wen Mei Xia emptied a hand to tidy her messy hair, and praised Qin Ke Xuan happily: “Good job, this was what the pair of them owe us, let’s teach them a lesson!” After saying this, she tugged at Jiang Mei Lin’s hair, her other hand reaching out to slap her face.
Unfortunately for her, that woman seemed to have forgotten how she had been carried and thrown out of the house.
Qin Ke Xuan walked to Wen Mei Xia’s side, raised her hand, a swift cut down, and Wen Mei Xia groaned before collapsing.
Assassins are infamous for their crude and lethal ways.
The pair of mother and son stared, mouth agape and dumbfounded, at the unexpected plot twist.
“Xuan Xuan…” Jiang Hui Lin did not know what to say.
“I said, it’s noisy. Don’t let this woman in in the future.” Qin Ke Xuan after cutting off the source of the commotion turned and left.
When she brushed past Qin Peng Cheng, she paused, “You, drag her out.”
Qin Peng Cheng froze, before saying poutingly: “Where the heck am I supposed to find the strength to drag her out?!”
Qin Ke Xuan’s pitilessly black eyes met Qin Peng Cheng’s gaze, “Precisely because you don’t have that, you can’t protect the people you want to protect.”
“I…” Qin Peng Cheng wanted to rebut her, but he could not find any words to.
Qin Ke Xuan spared him a glance before walking to the area below the balcony. Using the same method she had last night, she flipped herself onto the balcony, her actions clean and swift, leaving Jiang Hui Lin and her son who had witness the spectacle flabbergasted. Was this a Chinese version of spiderman?
Yin Xu Dong immediately ran up, his eyes sparkling, “Shi… Qin Ke Xuan, that was so sick! Woah! Seriously way to wicked! I want to learn that!”
“Vocab?” Qin Ke Xuan asked instead of replying.
“Hm? Oh! I got it, I’ll read it immediately!” Yin Xu Dong grabbed the textbook and started reading aloud grovelingly.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
TRANSLATOR & EDITOR: Wynne