Friday, January 22, 2016

Till Death Do Us Part - ch11

Translator: ayszhang
Proofreaders: happyBuddha, m@o, Marcia

Till Death Do Us Part chapter 11! NSFW


The weather in Tientsin this year was a bit unusual. First, the Indian summer was hotter than usual, and then winter came colder than ever with a huge snowfall in the end of November. The elderly probably would have said something like “even the gods change for the worst when the mortal world is in turmoil,” but the kids didn’t have a care in the world – snow is great!
The snow began to fall at noon, starting with sparse, powdery dots that slowly built up. By the end of the school day, the field was loosely covered with a few inches of snow. The class was no longer paying attention to the lecture and was anticipating the end of the lesson so they could play.
It was at times like these that Ch’in Ching seemed not to be a proper teacher; he was too lax with his students. He glanced at the time – fifteen minutes left of class – and shut the book, announcing, “Let’s end here today. I’ll let you out for a bit, but on one condition: go home right away afterwards. The roads can be dangerous when it snows, so don’t make your families worry.”
The girls sang praises for their teacher as they ushered him out the classroom. Fang Hua was teaching maths in the next classroom and was nearing the end of her lesson. She was giving questions for the students to complete in class when she heard the commotion from the field. She looked out the windows and shook her head, chuckling, “All right. You can go out and have fun, too. Don’t forget to do the questions at home.”

“You couldn’t keep them under control either?”
Ch’in Ching was standing at the edge of the field, making sure the girls did not run too wild, when he saw Fang Hua letting her class out early as well. He greeted her with a smile.
“It’s not that.” Fang Hua took her place with Ch’in Ching on the side. “I didn’t want Lao-Wu to give you trouble. The law cannot be enforced if everyone is an offender, can it?”
The Lao-Wu that Fang Hua spoke of was the vice principal and head of Academic Affairs at Sheng Kung. He was a just, easygoing person, and asked the younger staff to call him Lao-Wu. In reality, they would not get punished by Lao-Wu for the likes of ending the lesson ahead of time. Fang Hua had only been joking, but the joke seemed a bit too intimate for their relationship. Ch’in Ching wasn’t sure how to reply and chose to return with a chuckle.
“It’s been rather cold lately.” Despite the lack of a response, Fang Hua brought up a new topic for their small talk.
“It has indeed.”
“Um….” Fang Hua faltered but found the courage to continue. “I was bored, so my mom had me learn to knit, and I made a pair of gloves, but they turned out too big. So, um, you could have them if you don’t mind.”
Ch’in Ching didn’t know what to say. He knew that she must have knitted them especially for him. If he straight-out rejected her kind efforts, it would turn unpleasant for both of them. But, at the same time, not rejecting them might give her false hope.
“I feel younger just watching them play.” Fang Hua quickly changed the topic again because she sensed his reluctance, or perhaps because she was shy.
“You’re younger than me, aren’t you, Miss Fang? I haven’t even begun to feel old, so you of all people shouldn’t let it get to you,” Ch’in Ching replied naturally right before a few students ran up to them asking them to join in their snowball fight. The two jumped into the action, and the uncomfortable atmosphere disappeared.

The roads were indeed dangerous when it snowed, and the trams were affected, too. Shen Liangsheng considered this and left the office early to pick Ch’in Ching up from work even though it was not a day on which they usually met.
He was nearing the school when he was forced to park the car and walk the rest of the way due to the number of adults waiting for their children outside.
It had been two months since he last came to the school looking for Ch’in Ching, but the gatekeeper still remembered him and let him in after some small talk. Shen Liangsheng took a few steps in to see the field as chaotic as a barnyard at feeding time. He easily picked out Ch’in the Rooster amongst the chicklets, but still looked at his watch, wondering why the kids were out and having fun this early.

Snow days were different. The sky was gloomy, but the snow reflected the light so that it was brighter than usual. As he turned, Ch’in Ching caught sight of Shen Liangsheng in a long, black coat and a matching fedora walking towards him with his hands in the coat pockets and the pigeon grey twilight as background.
Ch’in Ching stood, dazed – no matter how many times he had seen this man already, his heart would miss a beat every time.

The girls were too engrossed in the snow to notice Shen Liangsheng, but one saw Ch’in Ching standing still and took the opportunity to hit him in the back with a solid ball of snow.
“You lost again, sir,” she giggled.
“Yes, yes, you’ve won. I surrender.” Ch’in Ching chuckled as he dusted the frozen bits off of his back. Soon, his hand was replaced by another – Shen Liangsheng had reached him and was wiping at his clothes for him.
“Oh….” Only then did the girl notice the visitor. She remembered seeing him before and that he had written on her paper, too. With that, she became excited but was embarrassed at having lost face in front of him. After some hesitation, she still gathered the courage to continue. “Sir, you’re Mister Ch’in’s friend, right? I-I didn’t do well on the examination last time….”
“Ah, yes.” Shen Liangsheng thought of the paper with the clever and winsome plea, and finding the girl cute, he decided to put on a stern face and tease her. “So, have you been studying?”
“Yes, I have, sir.” Shen Liangsheng’s emotionless face proved daunting and made the girl take his words seriously. She tugged at Ch’in Ching’s sleeve timidly. “Mister Ch’in is my witness. Aren’t you, sir?”
“Stop scaring her.” Ch’in Ching patted her head in reassurance. “And you, don’t be afraid of him. There’s no need.”
“Listen to your teacher, and don’t bully him.” Shen Liangsheng patted her head, too, after Ch’in Ching ruined his act. He added suggestively, “Your teacher is really sensitive to pain. You’re going to hurt him if you keep hitting him like that.”
Instantly, the schoolmaster in question blushed and glared at the man for being so inappropriate with his student. The girl naturally did not find anything strange with Shen Liangsheng’s warning. She did, however, turn red from his touch on her head and ran off, abashed. As she did so, she bumped into Fang Hua and decided to hug the teacher around the waist.
“Miss Fang,” she called endearingly.
With an arm around the girl, Fang Hua looked over, smiling. She saw and nodded towards Shen Liangsheng whom she took for a friend of Ch’in Ching’s.
As the chime rang, she pointed towards the staff room signalling her leave. Ch’in Ching returned it with a smile and nod.

The staff room was empty when Fang Hua arrived. She quickly pulled out her desk drawer and took out the gloves that had been finished for some time but that she had yet the chance to gift. She then hurried to Ch’in Ching’s desk on which there was a pile of workbooks and stuck them between two books.
She thought she had to be brave – if she liked him, then she had to be. She wanted to give to him her feelings, every stitch and every thread of them.
She wanted to even if she might not receive anything in reply.

Ch’in Ching was still stuck on the field herding the chicklets back to the classroom for their things and thence out the school gates and on their way home.
Shen Liangsheng was patient and waited for him before heading to the staff room together.
The stack of workbooks was assignments that Ch’in Ching had to grade. He noticed the knitted gloves between the books and glanced over at Fang Hua. He just chose not to say anything and proceeded to pack everything away into a fabric bag.
“What are you up for tonight?” Shen Liangsheng asked as he fired up the engine.
“Anything is fine. What do you want?”
“How about hot pot?”
“Sounds splendid.”
The man turned the car around in the direction of Cambridge Road. The two had not eaten out since establishing a relationship more or less to avoid unnecessary attention.
Ch’in Ching knew that he was more than likely going to stay for the night at this rate. However, they had slowly gained experience and not gotten themselves into the same situation as the first time. And as long as it did not interfere with the next day’s lessons, Ch’in Ching honestly enjoyed it too much to oppose.

They had been on the road for a few minutes when Shen Liangsheng asked out of nowhere, “Why don’t you take a look?”
“She put so much work into it, and you just stuff it in your bag?”
Ch’in Ching was astonished that the man was observant enough to tell the gloves were a gift. He retorted jokingly, “I didn’t want make anyone jealous.”
Shen Liangsheng shot a mild glance at his passenger without replying. It was Ch’in Ching who ended up smiling awkwardly while scolding himself for not keeping his loud mouth shut. Why did he have to dig himself a hole?

The truth was that Shen Liangsheng did not mean to shoot a look at Ch’in Ching for thinking too highly of himself – because if he truly weren’t concerned about it, he wouldn’t have asked in the first place.
A saying goes that getting into anything is better than getting into a relationship. One either turns stupid or extremely mindful and more sensitive than necessary.
However, this sensitivity is not useless. For instance, Ch’in Ching could see that Shen Liangsheng’s earlier invitation to move in with him was only a whim. Well, he did not see – not with those nearsighted eyes of his – he merely sensed that the man regretted saying it and accordingly found a reasonable excuse to decline.
Unfortunately, Ch’in Ching was not one for romanticism no matter how sensitive he was, and nothing could keep him from sleeping like a log after turning down Shen Liangsheng.
And now, he might feel a bit blue thinking that he had overestimated his own importance to the man, but after the hot pot, all that blueness went into his stomach along with the mutton and bok choy and was never heard from again.

When bedtime came, Ch’in Ching was in bed first since he had already washed up and was reading the newspaper by the bedside lamp. Shen Liangsheng walked out of the bathroom drying his hair as he sat down on the bed. Noticing the blanket pulled up to Ch’in Ching’s stomach instead of a bathrobe, he guessed that the man had on nothing underneath and stuck a hand under the blanket. He remarked as he touched his thighs, “You sure are candid today.”
“Saves the trouble.” Ch’in Ching replied half-heartedly as he was still reading. The paper crinkled as he flipped to the next page.
Shen Liangsheng did not remove his hands but proceeded to the inner thighs. Ch’in Ching couldn’t help but laugh from the tickling caresses on his tender skin. He hadn’t the eyes for the news anymore, but he pretended to keep reading and only focused his senses on the man’s touches. The fingers had finally reached his crotch and began to gently tug on a tuft of hair. As they teased along the nook, they scraped by his soft member moving in a smooth, nimble manner as though writing an English word.
“Didn’t I see you just two days ago?”
“And you still want it this badly?”
Shen Liangsheng’s original motive was to make fun of how easily aroused the man was, but when the man replied so frankly, it was he himself who lost control of his steady breathing. His jest turned into teasing.
“Then what do you do when I’m not around?”
Ch’in Ching felt the other man stroke his growing erection and let out a quiet moan. His legs parted to let him work his magic.
“What do you do?”
“Have you touched yourself?”
“While thinking of me?”
Ch’in Ching was still holding the paper in front of his face. This way he would not have to see Shen Liangsheng because somehow it made it easier to admit that he had secretly masturbated to the thought of him on the days he could not see him.
Shen Liangsheng pumped his hardened length at a steady pace. He couldn’t tell if the other man’s face was red or not since it was behind the newspaper, but the fingers holding it were trembling with pleasure.
“Stop pretending. You can’t still be reading.”
“Well, as they say, ‘while the night is still young.’” Ch’in Ching threw away the paper after Shen Liangsheng saw through his act. “You’re right, Master Shen, time waits for no man.”

Shen Liangsheng removed his glasses for him and placed them on the bedside table. Ch’in Ching pulled the blankets off of himself to reveal his own naked body. It was skinny but not without muscle, He had a slim waist and straight legs between which his manhood was standing proud, swelling red under the warm lamp light.
Ch’in Ching watched as the other man stripped off his bathrobe and climbed on to the bed naked. He immediately leaned in to kiss him but was pushed down onto the bed.
Shen Liangsheng straddled the man over his chest, delivering his own erection straight to the man’s mouth.
Ch’in Ching understood this as a request for a blowjob and proceeded to lift up his head and open his mouth to take the man in.
However, Shen Liangsheng pressed a finger to his lips and rubbed on them gently before moving to his brows and eyes.
This made Ch’in Ching close his eyes. He lay there quietly as if he were offering himself up for sacrifice.
He felt the man on top of him replacing his fingers with his member, slowly tracing every detail of his face with his manhood. The head delicately drew over his brow, scraped the mole by his eye, teased his lashes and slid along the bridge of his nose down to the lips and jaw.
Shen Liangsheng worked gently and slowly, but behind his actions lay a brute, possessive force. Like a male beast marking his territory, he purposefully patrolled the face with his manhood, branding it with the clear fluid oozing out of the aroused length.

To be completely honest, Ch’in Ching couldn’t tell if Shen Liangsheng treated their relationship seriously or not.
Sometimes he could sense that the man was not actually invested in it, or that he was ready to leave whenever he wanted to.
But other times he could distinctly feel the possessiveness the man had for him.
So strong was this that Ch’in Ching almost thought Shen Liangsheng actually cared – that he actually cared about whether Ch’in Ching liked him or not, and whether he would like someone else instead.
And at one point, the words of confession threatened to slip out of Ch’in Ching’s mouth.
“Shen Liangsheng, I love you.”
But the words got swallowed back down before that could happen; he found that he couldn’t let them out. Perhaps it was because he feared the silence that would envelop them after he said so.

Ch’in Ching’s late mother had two pennies on her son, but Hsiao-Liu had three, the third being “dare devil.” When they were young, the neighbourhood kids all would run off to the cemetery with a candle to tell scary stories. More often than not, Ch’in Ching would be the only one left still calm and composed. If the ghost of a hanging victim appeared, he would have had the guts to tie a bowtie with its tongue.
Sadly, everything had its vanquisher, and since he met Shen Liangsheng, his guts had vanished from sight. Even Fang Hua was braver than him – he was too scared to say the three words, “I love you.”
He feared that the words would only bring about silence, and then time would just burn away in that silence until it all became ash.
He would rather not clarify anything because at least the desire in the present was alive and warm as they held each other in this undefined embrace.

Perhaps due to these thoughts, Ch’in Ching had a peculiar dream that night in which he was actually at a temple ringing a bell.
It took place during sunset in what appeared to be an ancient monastery. He climbed up the winding wooden staircase of the bell tower, alone, to announce the end of the day.
The odd thing was the hands that supposedly belonged to him. The pair of hands that he saw was so skinny that the knuckles were protruding. The sleeves of his clothes did not appear to be those of a monks robe but rather those of a Confucian student in the old days, draped over the wooden striking beam. The garment and the spotted wood along with the pair of hands imbued the scene with a strange sense of desolation.
He heard the chime as it echoed throughout the empty hills, reaching the bloody red skies beyond.
Meanwhile, he heard his own silent utterance.
“Shen Liangsheng, I love you.”
The bell of Buddha rang on, and gradually, all he could hear was the word, “Sīla.

The amount of physical exercise and the ridiculous dream from the previous night left Ch’in Ching a bit drained the next morning. Shen Liangsheng tried twice to wake him but to no success.
Shen Liangsheng saw the man was still curled up in bed after he did his morning routine and, lighting a cigarette, decided to smoke him out.
“Ch’in Ching, are you getting up or not?” he asked as he blew a puff of smoke right in the man’s face.
“Ye–” He coughed from the fumes and got up from bed. He shuffled over to the bathroom like a member of the undead.

As Shen Liangsheng smoked, he went to the windows and swung them open for fresh air. The world outside was completely white due to it having snowed through the night. The icy air gushed into the room, the temperature seeming lower than yesterday.
“Close the windows, Shen Liangsheng.” Ch’in Ching finally woke up after washing up. He shivered because he had on only a bathrobe. “I swear people are going to be dying if it keeps getting colder.”
Shen Liangsheng was just reaching the end of his cigarette so he threw the butt out the window before closing the windows as the man had requested. As he turned back around, he saw Ch’in Ching about to get dressed. “Dress warmer today.”
The schoolmaster had worn a thick lined robe yesterday that was enough to handle the cold. He watched as Shen Liangsheng opened the wardrobe and picked out an outfit for him. From the underwear to the coat, everything was his and the wool sweater smelled like him, too. Ch’in Ching didn’t even want to refuse. He didn’t even care if it would attract attention at school.

The clothes make the man. Ch’in Ching looked like an honest teacher in his lined robe but in wool sweater and suit pants and the silver-rimmed glasses, he looked like a player in scholars’ gown.
Said player also had a faulty memory. He had scolded himself for not watching his mouth, but today he could not stop his cheeky mouth from poking fun at Shen Liangsheng again. “C’mon, it was only a pair of gloves. Do you really need to retaliate with all this?”
“What do you think?” Shen Liangsheng said with his usual cool face as he buttoned the shirt for Ch’in Ching, who thought the taller man was actually in a good mood.
“What do I think?” he continued confidently, “I think this is all a man can ask for from his dear wife.”
“And I think you can walk to work today, Mister Ch’in.”
“No, Master Shen, please have mercy. I was foolish to speak so brutishly.”

By the end of the banter, Ch’in Ching was fully dressed, prim and proper. The topmost button proved uncomfortable for him, and he unfastened it.
“What’s wrong?”
“It’s too tight.”
Shen Liangsheng found a grey checkered wool scarf for him before instructing, “Don’t take this scarf off today.”
“Bite marks.”
Ch’in Ching had been teasing the man this whole time but easily turned crimson at one utterance from him. “You really are a dog, aren’t you?”
“Right you are, Mister Ch’in,” Shen Liangsheng replied, unflustered. “You were born in Year One, right? And I’m two years older. You do the math.”
Ch’in Ching was born in the Year of the Rat, and two years before Rat was indeed the Year of the Dog.
Not knowing how to retort to that, Ch’in Ching grabbed the coat on the back of the chair and went downstairs for breakfast.

Then, he lived in the man’s presence for the rest of the day.
The coat was in dry-cleaned condition and only smelled of camphor from the wardrobe. The sweater, however, had already been worn once and emanated the scent of tobacco and cologne, just faintly enough to be detected but never fading away.
Shen Liangsheng was a meticulous person and had chosen only dark, unflashy clothes whose price the average person could not discern. The colleagues only complimented the schoolmaster. “Looking sharp today, Ch’in!”
Ch’in Ching chuckled, not even attempting to explain. Perhaps those in love always become a bit foolish. Despite it being a taboo relationship, he was unwilling to hide the sweet delight inside and so was secretly cheerful the entire day.
And when he thought of that absurd but strangely realistic dream again, all he could think was…
As long as he could be with this man like this, forever and ever, he wouldn’t trade it for all the money in the world. Begone with Sīla!

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
For more information:
Diaosigui (Ghost with long tongue)
The KMT calendar
Buddhist ethics
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ayszhang: Hello! :D All my tests and paper have been dealt with! I'm off until April hehehe~ The reason why I've posted TDDUP this week instead of the next is because Ying has been really busy with school as well. She will be posting CoER next week instead :)

Also, I have a request for Cold Sands fans. Please read the post here.

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Till Death Do Us Part - English Translation by ayszhang is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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