Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Living to Suffer - ch13

Translator: ayszhang
Editor: Marcia

Living to Suffer chapter 13
The prequel to TDDUP


By the time Shen Liangsheng returned to the sect, it was just past the Hour of the Rat. He bumped into Miao Jan at the gate of the side hall and bowed his head slightly. “You’re up rather late, Miao-t’angchu.”
“I was discussing something with Elder Fang.”
Shen Liangsheng nodded his head again in acknowledgment and was about to continue walking when Miao Jan halted him. “I haven’t seen you around for a few days. Did you go see that darling doctor of yours?”
“Has the deputy summoned me?”
“No, I’m just curious.” Miao Jan tilted her head. “If it were anybody else, I would warn him not to let private matters interfere with the sect’s affairs, but I have no need to say that to you.”
“You are too generous with your praise, Miao-t’angchu.”
“Who said I was praising you? Hsiao-Shen, you are getting more and more thick-skinned.” Miao Jan laughed jeeringly. “That poor Ch’in-taifu. Why did he have to fall in love with someone as difficult and obstinate as you? He’s only going to suffer for it.”
“Oh? I had no idea Miao-t’angchu had such strong opinions about me.”
“Auntie Miao watched you grow up, Hsiao-Shen.” Miao Jan usually put on the act of a young lady but now used her age to patronize the young. “Say the lad is giving you his heart. How much of that could you possibly reciprocate?”
“There’s a saying, one may know the face but not the heart. How can you tell I am not just as committed?”
“Well, that’s a question only you can answer.” Miao Jan donned once again her mask of youth and giggled lightheartedly, “When you look at him, does your heart beat faster even if for just a second?”
“It is late.” Shen Liangsheng did not respond and instead began to bid her farewell. “By your leave.”
“I said I don’t need to warn you, but I do want to stress one thing, Hsiao-Shen,” Miao Jan added as he walked away. “Do not make the same mistake I made.”

Now, she had rushed to be spectator to Shen Liangsheng’s affair last time, but the truth was that the biggest spectacle of the Hsing Sect since its founding involved Miao Jan herself.
It was more than thirty years ago, and Shen Liangsheng had not yet been born. His father held the position of hufa, and Miao Jan was one of the four t’angchu in the sect. But one day she up and left the fine post, renouncing her sect, and eloped with someone.
In the end, she returned on her own accord before even a year passed, and with much thanks to Shen Sr. she avoided capital punishment for treachery. Instead she underwent a torturous process that was literally a ‘mountain of knives and sea of fire’ and further swore a deathly oath with her soul as indemnity, and only then did she regain a spot in the sect. As she was truly talented and did not make any more mistakes, she was reinstated in her position as t’angchu when Shen Liangsheng was around seven or eight.
Naturally gifted and quick-witted even at a young age, Shen Liangsheng was expected to find great success in martial arts. The only unfortunate thing was that the boy was as stubborn as his father and even more cold-hearted. No one had ever spotted his smiles or tears after the age of three. Miao Jan used to tease him saying an icy doll like him might just melt away when the tears finally broke free.
Shen Liangsheng’s father received a critical injury in his early days from which he never fully recovered. The man knew he would live a short life and thus instructed his son from the beginning, “The position of hufa will belong to you sooner or later, but you belong neither to me nor to yourself. Your fate is to be a weapon to defend and protect the sect.”
Shen Liangsheng was a sensible boy early on and took his father’s every word to heart. It wasn’t until he was seven or so and came upon his first obstacle in his martial training that he questioned his father, “How can man be weapon? And how could one become a weapon? I fear I cannot do it.”
“You need to take your time to ponder the state of selflessness,” His father replied. “You need only remember this: in this entire world, you will find refuge only in the Hsing Sect.”
Shen Liangsheng fell quiet in thought. His father thought him too young to comprehend the idea and proceeded to give Miao Jan as an example. “Look at Auntie Miao and her extraordinary set of skills. After she sneaked away from the sect, we sent out scores of men to search for her for six whole months to no avail. And then what happened? She came back herself. You just have to remember that even if one day you become so powerful you can pierce the heavens and drill through the earth, the only place you can return to is here. The character hsing contains a blade, and in this lifetime, you are hsing and hsing is you.”
At the time, Shen Liangsheng was still fairly close with Miao Jan and even called her auntie. It was the first time he had heard about this incident, and leaving his troubles aside, he sought Miao Jan and inquired into the details.
“Why did you betray the sect?” Not knowing how to be roundabout, the child threw a frigid question in her face.
But Miao Jan only smiled, rubbing his head. “That’s because somebody was in love with me and gave me his heart, and I loved him, too. He said he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me, so I eloped with him.”
“Then why did you come back?”
“Because eventually he found out about the bad things that I had done, so he didn’t love me and didn’t want to see me anymore. I came back because I had nowhere else to go.”
Shen Liangsheng thought for a moment before asking again, this time with a trace of childishness, “Is that man still alive? I’ll kill him for you.”
“Thank you for the kind offer.” Miao Jan burst out laughing. “He is indeed alive, but that’s because I want him to be. You’re still young, so you probably don’t understand, but I finally found love. Even though our affinity ran dry and we didn’t get a good ending, I still want him to live.” After a pause, she continued with a lighthearted sigh while staring at the candlelight on the desk. “That’s right. I finally found love. Of course I’d want him to stay alive.”

Don’t make the same mistake I made.
That one utterance awakened the distant memories of the past. As Shen Liangsheng lay in bed with his eyes closed, he could still faintly make out Miao Jan’s soft sigh. So many years had passed, yet she had not changed a bit, as though she were a paper cut-out from a painting. Yet even a paper cut-out was asking him, “Do you have a heart with which to love?”
In the dark, Shen Liangsheng placed a hand on his chest. His heartbeat was steady and constant. Day after day, month after month, year after year, it had never faltered once.
Miao Jan was not wrong. Whether it was lingering kisses or coital engagements, his heartbeat never quickened when he held the man close, even at the most ecstatic of times.
But she wasn’t aware of one thing. Once upon a time, a child saw the tender expression on her face as she recalled her past lover and carefully stored it in the innermost corner in his heart.
That was the only thing Shen Liangsheng had ever learned since his childhood about this thing called “love.”

Ch’in Ching’s best feature was his eyes. It had nothing to do with their attractiveness but rather the emotions they held within – they were always so rich with affection.
Ever since he first looked out upon that private world of summer rain and blooming reeds, they had been gazing at him with earnest attentiveness.
Then a hint of gentle sentiment found its way in, and with sincerity and tenderness they confessed their love for him.

All Shen Liangsheng knew and understood about this thing called “love” was a certain earnest and tender expression.
It was something that he had seen once in someone with whom he was close in childhood and then once again in Ch’in Ching’s eyes.
Although he did not know what it meant to be moved or how to reciprocate that feeling, he wanted to stare into those affectionate eyes – that much he knew.
He wanted to stare into those earnest, gentle eyes while they looked back at him.
And if he could, he wanted to look at them forever.

“Ch’in Ching, this is a gift from Miao-t’angchu to make up for your first meeting.”[1]
They did not exactly end on a sour note last time, but Shen Liangsheng nevertheless had difficulty finding a greeting when he made time to visit the doctor again. What he ended up doing to break the ice was to take out from his sleeve the case from Miao Jan and place it on the table.
On account of the intricate designs on the wooden case, Ch’in Ching could easily tell it belonged to a woman. He opened it to see it full of a balm-like substance tinged with scarlet, but when he put it to his nose, he detected no particular scent.
“Wow, this has got to be…” Ch’in Ching chuckled, shaking his head. “You can tell its purpose with just a glance.”
“I asked her. It’s only an enhancer, does no harm to the body.”
“I admire your ability to say that with a straight face.” Ch’in Ching replaced it on the table. “She said no harm, and only you’d believe that. I won’t use it.”
Shen Liangsheng didn’t respond. He was recalling Miao Jan’s friendly dare when she passed the case to him. “Take this, Hsiao-Shen, if you want to feel your heart beating like a drum.”

Daylight did not last long in winter. After Ch’in Ching lit the candle, he turned around to find Shen Liangsheng looking steadily at him. Their eyes remained locked until Ch’in Ching finally averted his gaze. The doctor blamed the hufa’s attractiveness for the defeat – even though the man’s eyes held no affection, he was still stirred to restlessness.
“I wonder if you are of the same opinion as me, Shen-hufa.” Ch’in Ching approached with a coy smile. “A night of passion is impossibly short, thus it is best to enjoy the pleasures in a timely manner.”
Shen Liangsheng nodded at the statement. “Right you are, Ch’in-taifu.” But he instead sat down at the table and poured himself a cup of tea to sip on leisurely.
Left aside by the taller man, Ch’in Ching spat inwardly – I see through your tricks – but he could not help stepping toward the man to stand behind him and slowly remove the pin from his topknot. Seeing the sleek cascade flowing over his shoulders and down his back, Ch’in Ching found the usually emotionless face now framed with a hint of dark sensuality and bent down to plant a feathery kiss on the crown of his head. He teased quietly, “What a beauty.”
Shen Liangsheng looked up at Ch’in Ching and saw that his face had lost its previous fleshiness and was now gaunt. Somewhat displeased, the hufa pinched his cheek and commented as though he were evaluating his own livestock. “Winter’s the time to grow fat, but you’re getting thinner and thinner.”
“‘I shall never regret the loosening of my belt.’ ”[2] Ch’in Ching took the man’s hand and kissed it. “It’s worth becoming skinny pining of you.”
“I do not need you to loosen your belt.” Shen Liangsheng put down his cup. “Only your robes.”
“Shen-hufa, when will you ever fix this hypocrisy of yours, always appearing to be so proper when you’re not?” Ch’in Ching kissed the man again, this time on the palm, before letting go. He untied his belt, threw it aside, and began working on unfastening the knot buttons on his outer robe. One after another, the buttons came loose and exposed the clean, white undergarments. His fingers lingered for a moment and then resumed unbuttoning the rest until he had rid himself of all the fabric shields and stood bare right before Shen Liangsheng’s eyes. Caressing the man’s hair, the doctor asked quietly, “What now?”
“This fellow certainly did not lose any weight despite the rest of you.” Shen Liangsheng rested his head on one hand while touching the soft, hanging member between the doctor’s legs. With a quick tease, it began to react and lift its head. He stopped and continued, “What do you think should happen now, Ch’in-taifu?”
“How about you give it a little kiss?” Ch’in Ching eased his growing erection to the man’s lips and whispered back, “It hasn’t gotten thinner, but it still missed you terribly.”
After a quick glance upward, Shen Liangsheng indeed gave it a kiss as requested and proceeded to lick and suck. His tongue worked such wonders that Ch’in Ching’s hips began slowly gyrating in rhythm with the man’s sucking.
The candlelight on the desk begat two shadows, one standing and one sitting. The flame made a tiny leap, and the shadows swayed along and seemed to entwine even more tightly.

While he was servicing the doctor, Shen Liangsheng reached over for the balm. Flipping open the lid with one hand, he dipped in his index finger and then slid the digit down Ch’in Ching’s back and between the two cheeks. After massaging the opening a little, he pushed the finger in.
“Say, is this ointment really safe?” Ch’in Ching had his eyes closed in enjoyment but when he felt the slickness of the finger entering him, he thought of the fact that the aphrodisiac was made of some unknown substance and quickly backed away with a frown, giving up the pleasure. “I really don’t think we should use it. Let’s just leave it.”
“Ch’in Ching.” Shen Liangsheng hooked an arm about his hips and pulled him back. First he kissed the alert member and then commanded softly, “Behave.”
It was the first time the taller man had spoken to Ch’in Ching so quietly and gently, and he instantly turned into jelly. Silently he exclaimed how beauty misleads the heart but swallowed his objection.
Noting Ch’in Ching’s silent approval, Shen Liangsheng dug out a chunk of the balm and spread it inside the man with two fingers. While pumping the digits in and out, he continued sucking him off.

It was not long before the hufa realized something was amiss. The member in his mouth actually had become soft and would not harden no matter what techniques he applied.
“Is it really that uncomfortable?”
Moving his mouth away, he looked up at Ch’in Ching to find him biting on his bottom lip with a frown, sweat beginning to drip down his temples.
“Well, if you feel good, why is this guy so well-behaved?” Shen Liangsheng gently flicked the limp member while still fingering the man.
“How should I know?” His legs beginning to fail him, Ch’in Ching was falling into the hufa’s arms, face already buried in the nook of his neck. After some panting, he mustered a quiet utterance. “But…it’s quite…in there…mhm…”
“How is it in there?” With an earlobe between his teeth, Shen Liangsheng asked softly before increasing the speed of his fingers.
Ch’in Ching remained speechless but soon reached his own hand down to overlap with that of Shen Liangsheng.
The latter assumed Ch’in Ching did not like the velocity and expected to slow down, but it became apparent that the doctor was thirsty for more. He just would not verbalize it and only fumbled with the hufa’s fingers attempting to add another digit in.
Although Shen Liangsheng understood his intentions, he feigned ignorance and even went as far as to stop his hand. He sat back and let Ch’in Ching manoeuvre another one of his fingers into himself after much toil. The man’s entrance was winking, sucking on his digits as though they were enticing him to resume his penetration.
“What’s going on with you?”
“You…” The hufa knew what was going on, so why was he asking? Ch’in Ching felt a prick of frustration, but he knew the man would refuse to resume if he didn’t say it aloud. He could only abandon what little shame he had and speak honestly, “It really itches…in there, so help me.”

After shedding his humility, the rest came a lot easily, as nothing seemed too hard to utter now. Shen Liangsheng had just resumed his fingering when Ch’in Ching’s hands slid down to the hufa’s crotch and covered his manhood. Then came the doctor’s mumbled prompt. “Are you hard? Hurry up and stick it in…”
“Impatient already?” Shen Liangsheng began undressing while fingering Ch’in Ching, pulling his pants down to reveal his swollen length. He was about to order the man to sit down, but the man could not wait another moment and held the shaft steady himself before finding the right position and impaling himself on it in one go. His entire manhood buried into the moist heat, and Shen Liangsheng could not suppress the soft gasp that escaped his mouth.

The candlelight swayed, just as Ch’in Ching was rocking wantonly on Shen Liangsheng’s lap. From the front he showed absolutely no signs of activity, but from behind he was receiving an incomparable level of stimulation, as though the pleasure that belonged in the front had all been trapped in the back by that questionable aphrodisiac. Every inch of his insides was at the height of sensitivity as if all his nerve endings were rerouted to that one place. At the same time he felt as though it were not enough; he would be hungry one moment but always hungrier in the next. It was all he could do to beg Shen Liangsheng, “Go to the bed…you on top…faster that way…”
Hearing this, Shen Liangsheng took the man into his arms and walked them both to the bed. After setting down Ch’in Ching, he took the opportunity to strip himself, but he realized the man could not wait for even that long. As soon as the manhood left him, Ch’in Ching replaced it with three of his own digits and started fingering himself as he stared at Shen Liangsheng with a half aggrieved, half desperate gaze. The hufa felt the fires of lust within him roaring higher and hotter under those eyes, so he quickly rid himself of all garments and pounced on the bed pounding into the man. He buried himself in and did not move back and forth, instead stirring Ch’in Ching’s tight insides like a swimmer’s legs treading water. Meanwhile, he asked, “How’s this?”
“Ah…yeah…yeah….” Ch’in Ching’s mind was in complete disarray when he caught a whiff of a phantom fragrance. Incidentally, the balm was scentless under normal conditions but released a warm scent only in the heat of desire. It had the effect of heightening arousal but also clarity.
Called back to earth by the fragrance, Ch’in Ching felt his head clear and every bit of pleasure from below travel to the crown of his head, then to his four limbs and every one of his bones. This became an unbearable tingle that caused him to wind his arms around Shen Liangsheng’s neck and writhe uncontrollably. The sensation of their skin rubbing together gave him such ecstasy that he wished they could simply melt into one, their flesh and blood merged forever.

Shen Liangsheng also smelled the fragrance. Ch’in Ching’s eyes burned with passion as he stuck out his chest to rub his alert nipples with those of Shen Liangsheng, evidently pursuing stimulation whichever way he could. Seeing this, the hufa swore his heart rate truly hastened. Although he knew it was because of the phantom fragrance, he still felt an indescribable emotion in his chest, almost like anxiety that arose from deep within urging him to devour this man whole, flesh and bone, so that his person would be his totally.
“Look at me, Ch’in Ching,” he demanded before quickly straightening himself to a half-kneeling position. He pushed the doctor’s legs up then pressed them down, folding him in half like a piece of paper so that his butt was in the air. Even from Ch’in Ching’s angle, he could see the manhood penetrating him, entering fully before pulling out fully. The monstrous shaft was like an anaconda drilling its way time and again deeply into him and sending wave after wave of pleasure that threatened to eat up all of his vital organs.

“What a slut you are. How else do you want me to fuck you? Hm?”
Shen Liangsheng would never, ever, utter such vulgar expressions of lust, but at the time his heart was actually beating like a drum, the pace only gaining speed. Such a vivid sensation impelled him to abandon all self-restraint and devote himself fully to this fleshly engagement.
“Ah…hah…” Ch’in Ching hadn’t the slightest idea how else he could be fucked or how he should cope with this. Shen Liangsheng had tied his member last time preventing it from release, but he knew what the end would ultimately be. This time, however, his member would not harden no matter what. He was obviously in mind-blowing ecstasy now, but he did not know how he could achieve that final climax.

Shen Liangsheng might have been in a rare state of total engagement, but he still held on to shreds of rationality. Concerned for Ch’in Ching’s stamina in this position, he eventually laid the man down flat after dozens of thrusts, tucked a pillow underneath his hips and resumed the forceful pounding in missionary position.  He felt the slick, soft walls tightly wrapped around him as they kept squeezing and convulsing around his head as though trying to glue themselves onto it. With his member treated to such delights, even someone with exceptional self-control like Shen Liangsheng was unable to bear it much longer, and before a stick of incense could finish burning, he had reached his release.
He looked at Ch’in Ching after catching his breath to find teary signs in the doctor’s eyes, so he pulled the man into his embrace, their nether regions still very much connected, and joined him at the lips launching into a passionate exchange.
“Your buddy here is awfully well-behaved. Could it be that it doesn’t feel good enough?” After some kisses, Shen Liangsheng became hard again and began pumping himself slowly while stroking the man’s limp member. He leaned into his ear. “What should I do to make you feel good?”
“I… well, I’m certainly never going to use that ever again…” Ch’in Ching grumbled and then whispered in the man’s ears secretively. “Not that it doesn’t feel good… It feels so good down there…so good I could die…”
“See for yourself…” Shen Liangsheng led his hand down to the spot at which they were connected and returned more quiet words of passion. “You’re so hot and soft there, and so very tight, I just want to fuck it all night long.”
“Good…” Ch’in Ching kissed him again and said through mumbles, “I love you so… One night goes without saying…I wish I could spend the rest of my life with you between the sheets…”

Outside the hut, the long night grew cold, but on the inside, it was exploding with heat and passion.
Holding Ch’in Ching close, Shen Liangsheng thrust himself in deeply as if he would only rest once his bloated balls entered the doctor as well. His pubic hair had become moist from the lewd fluids leaking from the man, and the imagery of black, shiny hairs slick against two fair butt cheeks was the epitome of eroticism.
“Turn around and bend over,” Shen Liangsheng ordered a change in position after a while. The doctor bent over on his knees pushing his hips into the air. The hole between the cheeks was fucked so much it was open like a blooming bud. On the stigma hung pearls of milky white – the semen he had just shot in.
Ch’in Ching waited with his butt in the air for the re-entry but felt the root of his ethereal pleasures only rubbing back and forth near his entrance, stubbornly rejecting his invitation. He could only reach back with his hands and spread his cheeks apart, begging wantonly, “I can’t stand it. Stick it in, quick…”
Before he finished, he felt it enter him once more, this time with the company of two hands on his chest roughly playing with his nipples. He let his voice free, moaning and screaming, only for it to come to an abrupt halt – it felt so good he was crying.

Although he could not reach release through his manhood, an endless stream of pleasure came from his behind and formed a dense web entrapping him more and more tightly. In the end, after countless positions and innumerable hours, the phantom fragrance could no longer keep him conscious, and his vision faded to black.
But the last thing he registered before he lost awareness was not the infinitely deep trench of carnal desire but the soft touches of the man kissing away his tears and their streaks – again and again, stubbornly and impulsively on his closed eyes.

[1] In some situations, it is customary to give a “first meeting present.”
[2] A line from Liu Yong’s poem, die lian hua (蝶戀花), about his longing for his love.

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ayszhang: Sorry to those who came here earlier on Aug 2nd. A wrong version of the post got published! It should be fine now :)

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