Proofreaders: Artemis, Gwen, LSL, Luzo & Red
Read on to find out what happened after they got on the cab!
To be honest, I wasn’t too surprised that Pokerface knew my address. With his abilities, I reckon he could get the address of the American president if he wanted to, let alone that tiny house of mine. What I was surprised about was that I somehow had gotten stuck to him like a piece of caramel candy ever since Fats started to go berserk, and the fact that he hadn’t flipped the table and called it quits. He actually stayed until the end of the party and even got in the car with me.
While I was focused on this feeling of surprise, the cab driver slammed on the gas and started racing down the street, fearless because there was no competition on the streets this late at night. He practically drifted as he turned each corner, making me bounce in between the car window and Pokerface. I was petrified! What if we got into an accident?!
Pokerface paid for the cab and got off when we finally made it home. The moment he stepped out, he turned around to grab me by the shoulder and I got yanked out by his incredibly powerful grasp. Just as I hit the ground, I took a few steps forward to catch my balance and my head started spinning again. I could barely stand so I quickly crouched down.
I heard the revving of an engine behind me and the cab left. I was balled up like a mushroom on the side of the road with my knees tucked tightly in. I was trying to wait for all my brain functions to recalibrate before standing up again.
I heard footsteps passing by me and stopping in front. A sense of pressure loomed down from above. It appeared that the person had crouched down as well and put a hand on my back.
Pokerface? He hasn’t left yet?
I peeked out between my arms to see a pair of semi-worn Camper shoes. It was his all right. I wanted to look up but my head felt so heavy so I kept rubbing my forehead to alleviate the aching. However, at that moment, my stomach churned, causing me much discomfort.
I was half-joking when I had said I’d never been drunk since university. I had been drunk all right, but not once had I been as drunk as this time. At least I had been able to walk by myself. Normally, the one passed out on the ground wasn’t me and I often had to take care of the ones who were. Thus, I completely understood how annoying and disgusting it was to take care of a drunken bastard, yet I was that bastard. I was conscious but my limp hands and feet just wouldn’t listen to me.
Pokerface didn’t rush me or push me but rather stroked my back with unbelievable patience. I couldn’t help thinking that he must have had previous experience taking care of drunk people.
Who was fortunate enough to have him do that?
Fortunate. Hah, that was actually what I thought.
“Keys,” he said while tapping me after what seemed like a minute. Or maybe it was an hour.
“Huh?” I looked up.
Keys? Oh right, keys. That’s how you get the door open.
Without much more thinking, I started rifling through my pant pocket with the astonishment of Columbus when he discovered the New World.
Keys, keys, keys. Where are you? I hear you tinkling so why can’t I pull you out?!
He probably didn’t want to wait until the sun rose for me to find my keys so he let out a quiet tsk and reached into my pocket. In less than no time, he fished a string of keys out.
Once he got the keys, he got up and went to the door. I was still where I had been, listening to him inserting the keys with precision and getting the outer door and the inner door unlocked. The pair of Campers came back and then I was lifted up under my arms and dragged towards the house.
Throughout the process, all I saw was the asphalt road, the doorstep, the doormat, and then the wooden floor, and when this thing that was called a sofa came into sight, my vision experienced a blackout. By the time I realised, I was already lying flat on the sofa.
The metal door closed with a bang. The pitter-patter of Pokerface’s footsteps resonated in the house. I thought he would just leave after tossing me into my house. After all, his mission was complete. But it turned out that Pokerface was a good person and it seemed he was determined to see the whole thing through. His shadowy figure moved away and then approached. I felt my limp self being pushed upright off of the sofa. I squinted at his face but it was blurry.
“Water.” Something cold and hard was placed against my lips along with his simple utterance.
I moved my gaze down. He had passed a glass of water to me. I didn’t think too much since he was the one who gave it to me and tilted my head back with the edge of the glass against my lips.
Once again, it turned out that it was hard being a good person.
The thought hadn’t even occurred to me when I was gulping down the water, what devastating results would ensue drinking more liquids when your stomach is already filled to the brim. By the time I realised this, the water had already slid down my throat, and when I opened my mouth to say ‘No!’ I ended up making an ‘urgh’ sound which was followed by a cascade of vomit.
Pokerface was quick to shrink back after grabbing the glass, but not quickly enough: nearly half of the barf sprayed onto him. Even though I did my best to cover my mouth, needless to say, the rest welled out of my mouth and dripped onto my body.
Damn, I just changed the sofa cover last week! I cried in my mind.
However, that wasn’t the most urgent thing at hand. Getting my own clothes dirty was fine—it was my own damn fault—but Pokerface…he…
Honestly, my head cleared up quite a bit after puking and I recognized what a stupid thing I had done. I lowered my head while covering my mouth and stayed there in fear of the aura of death that stood before me.
But I couldn’t just keep it lowered. I mean, he brought me back home, paid for the cab, poured water for me and even had such an atrocious thing done to him. I had to apologize for my actions, right?
Tentatively, I glanced up. Pokerface was standing upright, and surely, his white shirt had become dark yellow. I was too afraid to look into his eyes because I was afraid daggers would come flying out at me. First, I rehearsed my emotions and when I lifted my face, I had a lost-puppy look on it. “Xiaoge, I-I’m so sorry.”
Only the night light was on in the living room. In the dark, I saw his tightly balled up fist by his leg. I felt grateful all of a sudden—all the incense I had burned for those bodhisattvas were worth it—because he probably would have cut me in half if he had his black iron sword.
However, that hand disappeared from sight with a zoom and the next second it grabbed me by the collar and I was dragged up from the sofa.
Pokerface pulled me close to him. “Where is the bathroom?”
His voice was one octave lower than usual which made me shudder. I pointed my shaky hands towards the second floor. “In my room…there’s one.”
The moment I finished enunciating ‘one,’ I felt this menacing force coming for me and I closed my eyes instinctively as I thought it was a punch. However, my body suddenly spun around and my feet left the ground. Accompanying the overwhelming shock was the realisation that I was being carried horizontally!
Wh-wh-wh-what the hell?!
Pokerface just carried me like he would a baby chick. He peered towards the second floor and his feet quickly followed. My arms swung and dangled in the air.
I was scared stiff, literally, and felt utterly embarrassed. He was taller than me but if I took a picture with him, I would definitely take up more of it! It wasn’t like I wanted a large frame. However, this contrast didn’t seem to bother him. He practically fled up the stairs.
There was only one room on the second floor. When we arrived at the door, it was half-open but Pokerface kicked it open with a bang so loud that I thought my door was probably broken. But rather than worrying about the door, it was a better idea to worry about my fate.
He scanned the room. The door to the bathroom was to the left hand side and he found it very quickly. He first took a few steps in, stood me upright on the floor and opened the bathroom door, shoving me in with a swipe of his arm. This shove knocked me straight into the bathroom, making me trip over my own feet. The bathtub suddenly enlarged before my eyes. My knees buckled and my body limped over. I collapsed over the edge of the tub.
Sprawled out on the tub, my mind was still a mess and was not going to settle down any time soon. As I was using my remaining bits of logic to determine what to do next, the door behind me clicked open after being closed for less than a minute.
Almost instinctively, I turned to look. I could make out Pokerface coming towards me through my blurry vision. He was almost nude, the only article of clothing left being a pair of square-cut briefs.
He drew closer and closer. My mind had cleared up quite a bit but I still wasn’t sure how angry he was. Erring on the safe side, I slumped back onto the edge of the tub, letting my arms go limp and closing my eyes to pretend to be a man on his deathbed.
He wouldn’t beat up an unconscious guy even if he was furious, would he? I kept wishing in my head. Even though he usually looked very cold, I wanted to believe that he had a compassionate heart.
He stopped beside me. I wondered what he had thought after seeing a full-grown adult playing dead by a bathtub. However, he didn’t say much as he lifted me up by the arm and turned me to face him.
I shut my eyelids but my eyeballs wouldn’t stop pulsing. I hoped he didn’t notice.
Compared to the menacing air from earlier, the Pokerface in front of me seemed to be gentler—although I had my eyes shut and couldn’t see a thing. He let me lean on his shoulder while he pushed my arms up high and then he reached for the bottom of my V-neck shirt, pulling the garment all the way up.
I think it was tossed away after the sleeves left my arms since I heard the shuffle of cloth against the ground. I took this as the absence of danger so I opened my eyes a crack. He was very close to me so I couldn’t tell if he was mad.
Then I felt his icy cold fingers sliding down along my abdomen and unbuckling my belt.
Kylin: This is really the last time I'm doing this.
I was thinking that Pokerface didn’t seem to be able to stand these filthy clothing staying a second longer either on me or on him. That was why his anger decreased by half when he got rid of his. Thus, I didn’t make any delays and just stood there compliantly as he took off my pants along with my belt and dropped it on the floor with a clank.
But I could no longer stay quiet once he started to pull on my underwear.
“Erm, Xiaoge?” I grabbed his wrist alarmingly and asked nervously. What was he doing?
He still kept a straight face while tugging on the waistband with a finger. “You want to shower with it on?”
Ohhh. A shower! I see now! I must be really out of it right now.
I couldn’t help reprimanding myself in my head.
Wu Xie, oh Wu Xie, why were you measuring his corn with your bushel? Why was I so nervous just now and why am I so relieved now?
We were just two fellows so it wasn’t a big deal to show a little skin. Also, it wasn’t like we hadn’t before—we did in the undersea grave, although we didn’t show nearly as much as this time. Therefore, I still pushed on his hand, indicating that I could do it myself. I held on to his shoulder with one hand and clumsily pulled my underwear down my leg to my ankles with my other before kicking it aside.
I was completely naked by the time I stood up straight again. I had no idea what to do with my hands and where to look, but Pokerface didn’t waste any time. He turned me around and led me to step in the tub.
I felt like he was my own designated handicap railing, standing there for me to hold on to while I cautiously stuck out my feet one at a time and stepped into the tub.
The surface was a bit wet and the pools of moisture were cool to the touch. I had just found my footing in the tub when my mind split into two. I tried to reach for the shower head with one hand while turning to look at Pokerface because I was wondering why he was still standing outside. Through this pull and push, my body started tilting in a weird angle. My feet slipped—bam!
For a moment, the world was black. When light returned to my eyes, what I saw were the light bulbs attached to the ceiling flashing and twinkling, while I was on my butt in the tub and my spine ached immensely.
My first reaction was to turn to look at Pokerface. I saw him massaging his temples, seemingly at his limit. I thought, if I were him I probably would have butchered me. I mean what a troublesome person!
I struggled to get up but Pokerface lowered his hands and took his briefs off without hesitation. Next, he stepped into tub and looked down from above.
The view was quite, uh, majestic.
While my mind was wandering, Pokerface had already hauled me up. I came up too quickly which made me feel lightheaded and lose my centre of gravity so I fell on him.
He held me up with one arm and did something else behind me with the other. I heard the shower head being picked up and placed into its holder that was screwed into the wall.
The shower was turned on too—splash—and water started pouring out onto us.
“Stand properly,” he commanded.
I had been leaning lazily on him but once I heard him, I quickly straightened my posture as though every cell in my body felt danger, and became stiff like a plank even though I was still feeling extremely dizzy.
My hair soaked up the water very quickly and hung down in front of my face. I watched Pokerface through them. His face was covered by strands of hair too. Water droplets hung off of the ends and made him look not angry but as if he was saying ‘What am I going to do with you?’.
He reached under my arm with one arm to work on something. I glanced over to find that his hand was full of shampoo and it came back to rub the shampoo into my hair.
I had thought that the shampoo was for him so I didn’t expect him to wash my hair first. Habitually, I closed my eyes, if not it would have hurt a lot if the water and lather went into my eyes.
Pokerface began to massage my scalp with such even pressure I almost fell asleep. However, his hands moved down towards my temples. He applied a bit more pressure and drew circles around them. A very soothing feeling washed over my mind and helped to sober me up.
As he massaged me, I thought to myself, from what I have seen through our interactions, he doesn’t seem like the type to know how to care for others. At least he doesn’t know how to take care of himself, does he?
My thoughts started to wander and for some reason I thought back to the carcass cave. I recalled that after we had left the cave, Big Kui had fainted from fright while Pokerface had, too, from the blood loss. I changed his bandage once while he had been unconscious and when I had seen the wound I was stunned. The cut was so deep that I could see the fat layer! He had been so reckless that it seemed as though he had not been cutting himself but some other person. I wondered whether he would even treat the injury or just let it flow freely and get infected while being completely oblivious if no one had been there to look after him.
My head was hanging low. I blinked my eyes a few times and several drops of water got shaken off, allowing me to see what was in front of me: Pokerface’s collarbone. There was a distinct dip where the bone connected to his sternum.
A confusing image flashed through my head. This area had once been dyed red with blood and also had a tattoo of what might have been an animal. Although the tattoo hadn’t appeared for long, it had left such a striking impression that I couldn’t forget about it even if I tried to.
“Xiaoge,” I leaned my head against the fair surface that had nothing on it so far. “Where’s the qilin?”
His hands stopped moving. “What?”
The water was still running. It streamed through my hair and onto him, leaving lots of white lather.
Huh, what did I just say?
Drunk people had horrible memory and would forget what was just said a second ago.
“Qi…Ki. Lin.” Cream?
I was fairly sure that I was spouting nonsense. My linguistic capacities were a complete mess. But after I said it, I discovered that Pokerface’s skin was indeed very smooth, kind of like cream. I nuzzled my face in his neck and the fact that I was just being a nuisance did not even occur to me.
Clunk. The water stopped coming from behind. I felt Pokerface placing his hand on my waist after turning the tap off.
Why? Why has he turned the water off? Is he leaving?
He held me by the waist with one hand and put the other up in front of my face, sticking a few fingers up. “How many fingers, Wu Xie?”
I squinted at his slender, long fingers, pressing my face closer and then drawing it back. They became a few shadowy outlines in my dilated pupils. It looked like there were four…or maybe only three? Then I blinked my eyes and it became five, six, seven, eight…
This made me even more confused, so I impatiently let out a ‘tsk’ and tackled his hand.
“Kylin.” Okay, I finally got it right.
That was not what I had wanted to say but it was what I wanted to say then. Qilin, cream, Kylin—I wondered if he ever noticed that his name sounded like a lot of things.
With his hand in grasp, I moved it downwards towards my stomach where my manhood was just starting to awaken.
For those who haven't read the original, here is the manhua depiction of the scene where Kylin cut his hand and used his blood to drive away the carcass bugs and overpower the female corpse, making it kneel down. This is the first scene where we witness the powers/abilities of Kylin and because of it Kylin also has the nickname of 'Bug Spray,' because bugs/evil critters are afraid of his blood.
Note: Wu Xie is the one with a band-aid on his cheek, Uncle Three is the one with the moustache and Panzi is the one with a bandage around his head. Also, remember to read from left to right!
ayszhang says: The last chapters of this short story will be released tomorrow! ^o^ Thanks for reading and we look forward to your comments! <3