Friday, January 15, 2016

Till Death Do Us Part - ch10

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

Till Death Do Us Part chapter 10! NSFW


Ch’in Ching was to stay the night at the Shen manor. The servants were mindful and prepared the usual guestroom for him, laying out new sheets and blankets. After the two said good night at the top of the staircase, Shen Liangsheng followed the man with his eyes as he walked toward the guestroom. He blurted out, “Why don’t you sleep with me tonight?”
Ch’in Ching halted his footsteps and looked back. His lips spread into a smile, and he nodded.

The layout of Shen Liangsheng’s room was simple. A Western four-poster bed took up the centre of the room. The curtains were of foreign cut as well and covered an entire wall – it was likely for aesthetics and insulation since the windows were nowhere as large – like the curtains at the theatre.
While Shen Liangsheng was washing up in the bathroom, Ch’in Ching parted the heavy cloth and peeked outside. The tall and slim French windows framed a peaceful night sky painted with faint stars and a half moon.

Ch’in Ching expected the other man to do something, but nothing happened. They just lay side by side listening to each other’s breathing and let sleep come to them.
He had not shut the curtains completely earlier, and the moon cast a sliver of light onto the floor that stood out in the dark room.
“Shen Liangsheng,” Ch’in Ching muttered, “you might not be good at Chinese, but even you know ‘Moon light by the bedding shines,’ right?”
Shen Liangsheng turned over and nuzzled Ch’in Ching’s shoulder with his chin.
Ch’in Ching turned too and lay face to face with the other man. “Did you miss home while you were away?”
“No.” Shen Liangsheng’s answer did not sound forced but rather a casual statement. “I actually wouldn’t have minded never coming back.”
This man’s past was still a mystery to Ch’in Ching. He recalled the gloomy air when they last discussed this topic, and he couldn’t help but ask, “How so?”
Shen Liangsheng did not avoid the question and briefly explained his background. However, he didn’t want the man to pity him, so he left out many of the unhappy bits.
“This place never left a good impression, so I didn’t miss it.”
Although Shen Liangsheng had not gone into detail, Ch’in Ching could imagine the things he had to go through – a boy living under someone else’s roof with no one to turn to in hard times – and felt bad for him. However, he couldn’t show it and opted to shift the focus. “So you’re a quarter White. You can’t tell just by looking, though.”
“It was more obvious when I was young.”
“Do you have photographs?”
“I think a few.”
“When are you going to show them to me?”
“I’d need something in return.”
“I was just being polite. Didn’t think you were serious about showing me.”
“There goes your smart mouth again.” Shen Liangsheng reached down to the man’s crotch and grabbed it. “I remember someone was crying and begging me to–”
“Let’s not bring that up again.” Ch’in Ching wiggled away as his face began to heat up.
“You did it but won’t let other people talk about it.” Shen Liangsheng took his hand back and teased quietly, “Ch’in Ching, you little rascal.”
“Good night.” Ch’in Ching turned to face the ceiling once more and ended the conversation. Sure enough, Shen Liangsheng fell silent, and soon his breathing slowed as though he had fallen asleep.
Meanwhile, Ch’in Ching lay there, eyes closed, thinking that he wouldn’t have met him if he had not come back. Then, he found that he wasn’t sure if meeting him was better than not meeting him. In the end, he summed it up with the proverb: “No gain satisfies a greedy mind.”

Hsiao-Liu’s warning earlier was not entirely accurate, but he had meant well. He was of the opinion that Ch’in Ching was still the good-tempered and loyal, but dumb, boy who would not be angered by his jokes about the runaway cat and who would still take the blame for him the next time he got in trouble.
But Ch’in Ching was twenty-four now and had learned to read people. He had long realized what sort of person Shen Liangsheng was and that their relationship was like that of a monk and bell – take it one day at a time. He took it literally. He would take what he could, and when it came to an end, that would be it.
Unfortunately, knowing is different than doing especially when it comes to romance, and plans never work out the way one wants. Ch’in Ching was lying beside Shen Liangsheng wishing he could keep ringing this bell when he came upon a serious problem. He wanted to keep ringing it, but that depended on whether the bell wanted to be rung or not.

Regardless of what lay in the future, Shen the Bell rather liked being rung as of now. They had dinner on Wednesday as usual, and Shen Liangsheng drove Ch’in Ching home afterwards. He parked on the road and walked the man to his door. He even took the opportunity while the man was searching for his keys to pin him against the gate and steal a kiss.
Ch’in Ching was taken aback by the sudden action. Although the alley was dark, there was no guarantee that a neighbour would not walk out and barge into their romantic scene.
“Shen…mhm….” Ch’in Ching didn’t want to make too much noise and could only protest with mutters while trying to win the upper hand in the struggle. His unwillingness only made Shen Liangsheng even more excited. He held the man’s jaw with one hand and his waist with the other, refusing to let go.
“Stop it alrea–” Ch’in Ching had a good temper, but this was pushing his limits.
“Shush,” Shen Liangsheng suddenly hissed. “Someone’s coming. Hold still.”
Ch’in Ching froze and held his breath to listen. Surely, he heard faint footsteps, followed by a light creak of gates. Only when he was sure the person had entered their house did his heart drop down from his throat.
“For goodness sakes.” The interruption made it hard to get mad, so he just sighed. “There’s no one home. You could’ve at least waited until we got inside, instead of making it seem like….”
Ch’in Ching wanted to say “like a secret affair,” but he was reluctant to use those embarrassing words. He instead gave Shen Liangsheng a push. “Get off of me.”
“If we really go inside, it’s going to take more than a kiss to satisfy me.” Shen Liangsheng did not stop there and continued to speak in a suggestive way that was opposite of his reserved expression. “You don’t have anything in your house, and if you get hurt again, I’m going to have to wait another two long weeks. You wouldn’t wish that upon me, now would you?”
“You can just wait until Saturday….” Ch’in Ching stopped midway to find himself in Shen Liangsheng’s trap again. He paused, finding the situation amusing. He couldn’t stop himself from taunting the other man. “Oh, Master Shen, last time I checked, we were both grown men and an active part of society. Are you telling me you can’t even wait for three days?”
“But, Mister Ch’in, you’ve kept me waiting and waiting.” Meanwhile, Ch’in Ching had already opened the gates and Shen Liangsheng followed him in, still rattling on. “How can you bear to see me like this?”
Honestly, Ch’in Ching thought that he himself could be quite ridiculous when he wanted to win the argument, but he had to admit this man could put him to shame. He didn’t have a retort, so he went along, leaning into his ear. “So are you coming in or not? I surely can’t bear to see you like this.”
“No, thank you.” Shen Liangsheng turned into a gentleman right after he teased the other man enough. He only held him in his arms and whispered, “I’ll save it all for Saturday.”
“Then why are your hands still on me?”
“Cheeky again, I see.” Shen Liangsheng gave him a smooch. “Not afraid of punishments, are we?”
Ch’in Ching was about to retort when the man sealed their lips in a deep kiss. The only warmth in the winter night was from their connected lips. Their tongues were like snakes rushing to hibernate, worming through the frosty soil into the dark moisture beneath.

When Saturday finally rolled around, Ch’in Ching met with Shen Liangsheng after work and returned to his house on Cambridge Road to have supper. After the meal, they each had a cup of Ti Kuan Yin to help with digestion. The sweet, teasing scent resembling that of orchids seemed to suggest that the leaves were picked during autumn in Anhsi County.
They went upstairs at almost nine o’clock and took a shower together. The porcelain tiles that covered the walls were so shiny that reflections could be seen from within. The water sprinkled down and filled the room with vapour. Standing across from Shen Liangsheng, Ch’in Ching recalled what had happened last time and became aroused. On the other hand, Shen Liangsheng had already been hard when they were undressing. The hot water dribbled down and left the erection standing out from a bed of wet hair. The sight parched Ch’in Ching’s throat as he felt a forbidden craving.
“What’s on your mind?” Shen Liangsheng raised a brow with a smile as though he could see the man’s desires. He rubbed the soap on Ch’in Ching’s chest and played with the slippery nipples.
“Nothing.” Ch’in Ching didn’t want to tell him, and he didn’t push either. He slid the soap around his back and down his butt crack. When he was satisfied with the lather, he stuck his middle finger in with it as lubrication. He asked as he pushed his finger in and out. “Does your ass feel good?”
Ch’in Ching did not feel anything in particular other than a slightly stretched feeling, but what he couldn’t stand was the man’s tone that sounded just as vulgar as it was chaste. The last syllable danced up like a hook trying to lure in its prey and made Ch’in Ching feel psychological pleasure from the fingering. The ring of muscle tensed and suckled on the man’s finger.
Shen Liangsheng’s breathing became ragged, and he pulled his finger out, replacing it with the shower head to rinse off the lather. He rushed to clean Ch’in Ching off and grabbed a towel for him. “Get out and wipe yourself off. Don’t go anywhere.”
Ch’in Ching’s behind felt scorched by the hot water, and when he stepped out of the tub, some of it trickled out from his ass, making him blush. He was drying himself with the towel when Shen Liangsheng came back. His face burned even more, and he quickly averted his gaze, not letting out a peep.
The taller man had a pair of white briefs in hand which he held up to Ch’in Ching’s crotch. He eyed the size before asking. “Put them on for me.”
Ch’in Ching had never worn this type of undergarment, but that was not what made him go red – it was the fact the briefs were clearly not new. The man had purposely picked a pair that he had worn, and that in itself added another meaning to the act.
“Leg up.” Shen Liangsheng bent down, grabbed Ch’in Ching ankles and helped him step into the briefs. He pulled them up and moved Ch’in Ching’s erection to stay tucked under the waistband, flat against his abdomen. He left the head poking out, however, and began rubbing it with his thumb.
Before long, he felt juices overflowing from the tip, and he wiped it on the man’s nipples. He stepped forward to stand face to face with the man and rubbed his dick with the other one wrapped in his own underwear. He reached around, grabbed the bottom hem and pulled upward.
The fabric around the hips turned into a thin rope biting into Ch’in Ching’s crack and exposing the two buttocks.
Ch’in Ching could feel the cloth dragging across his groin, and his sac stung as though it were being whipped by a tiny flog. The pain filled him with shame, but his member only got harder, and hot juices kept oozing out from his peehole. Some dripped onto the other man’s dick while some dribbled down the length, wetting the waistband.
Shen Liangsheng pulled at the garment with one hand while playing with the man’s butt cheek roughly with the other. He asked as he grinded his own erection against the other man. “Do you want it? Hm?”
No reply came.

Ch’in Ching didn’t make a sound since he probably thought actions spoke louder than words. He held onto Shen Liangsheng tightly and kissed him desperately while pushing him out the bathroom as though they were conjoined.
Shen Liangsheng had no problem with this and kissed him back as they backed towards the bed and eventually toppled on top of it. They fell into the four-poster bed, kissing and rolling over each other. The underwear that he had put on Ch’in Ching was now being stripped off by him. The two naked men clung to each other in a thirsty frenzy, grinding their genitals on the other’s body but not finding full satisfaction.
Ch’in Ching was the one to wave the white flag and drag Shen Liangsheng’s hand to his crotch. “Touch me. I’m so hard it hurts.”
“Earlier in the bathroom, did you want to lick this?” Shen Liangsheng pulled his hand to his own member, too. “Do you like it?”
Ch’in Ching had his dirty little secret uncovered and wasted no more effort trying to hide it. He climbed on top of the other man and planted kisses down his chest to his groin. He sucked on the bulging sac before licking up the length crawling with veins. He pressed his tongue against the tip and lapped at it.
Shen Liangsheng let out a low moan and propped himself up to see the man kneeling between his legs, blowing him while jerking himself off. The ceiling light left everything in plain sight. Shen Liangsheng fell back onto the bed, surprised that he had nearly reached orgasm just from seeing this. It made him feel powerless that he could never seem to control himself around this man. He decided to stop trying to do so and began to thrust his hips up in rhythm with Ch’in Ching. Soon, he came in the man’s mouth with a groan.

The semen in Ch’in Ching mouth wasn’t disgusting, but he didn’t know what to do with it – to swallow or not to swallow. Shen Liangsheng lay there panting for a few moments, and when he opened his eyes again, he saw the man still on his knees with his semen in his mouth. He didn’t know what had taken over him when he leaned over and kissed the man while stroking his erection. He sucked his own semen from the man’s mouth, an experience that none of his women ever had the privilege of having.
By the time Ch’in Ching came back to his senses, the two had switched places. He was on all fours with his butt in the air, a rather shameful position. However, he didn’t want to escape from the tongue on his entrance, teasing him like a dragonfly skimming the water only to leave the entire pond rippling in its wake.
Shen Liangsheng parted his butt cheeks and let the white fluid dribble out of his mouth into the crack. Then, he spread it with his tongue, wetting the sac and even the hairs before reaching the tight entrance. He licked it, toying with each and every crease until the cute little hole opened and closed as though it was beckoning at him.
“Does it tickle?”
“Does it?” he asked again when he received no answer.
“Do you want me inside you?”
The murmurs in the bedroom were the most seductive, and listening to these, Ch’in Ching prepared himself for the sharp, tearing pain. He realized that he chose this willingly and gladly – even if it was pain waiting for him.
“Hey, take it easy.” Shen Liangsheng could sense the man’s tenseness and kissed his butt as a reward for behaving. He pulled open the drawer beside the bed and took out a jar of Vaseline from the pharmacy as he joked good-naturedly. “It might be just pain for you, but it’s heartbreak for me to see you like that.”
It was a joke, but it was quite romantic coming from Shen Liangsheng. His hand worked in the same loving manner, applying an adequate amount of jelly on his fingers before sticking one digit in. After some stretching, he added another and asked while sliding them in and out, “Does it hurt?”
“How about now?” Shen Liangsheng bent his fingers a little as he explored the soft wetness inside.
“Do you feel anything else?”
“Tell me when you do.”
“All right.”
Silence ensued as Shen Liangsheng continued probing until…
“Just now…” Ch’in Ching hesitated for a few moments before finishing, “It felt a bit…”
“I don’t know. It’s just…ah!”
Ch’in Ching cried out weakly. Shen Liangsheng’s fingers touched a spot that sent an electric spark through his body. It felt different, but excitingly good.

Shen Liangsheng had done some research beforehand and learned that even the bottom could feel good if the right spot was found. Seeing the man’s reaction, he continued to finger that spot, pressing and drawing circles. The man’s cries became thick with desire, and his hole clamped down hard around his fingers. Shen Liangsheng shoved his other hand between the man’s legs to find his erection livelier than ever, a clear sign of pleasure.
Shen Liangsheng could no longer stand the ecstatic moans coming from him. He slid his fingers out before putting jelly on his own member that was rock hard despite having already come once. Trying his best to control the speed, he pushed into the man and stopped halfway to ask, “Does it hurt?”
“Not too bad.”
“Almost there…” Shen Liangsheng could barely hold himself back, but he continued slowly. He let out a deep breath when he was fully buried. “You’re so tight.”
The words made the schoolmaster turn crimson. His entrance felt a little sore, but it was not terrible. He could almost make out the shape of the cock deep inside him and thus derived some pleasure from the discomfort.
Shen Liangsheng gave the man a minute to get accustomed before starting to thrust. He inquired in the same manner, “Does it hurt?”
“Not really.”
“Are you sure?”
“Tell me if it does.”
Ch’in Ching couldn’t take his questions. Only now did he learn that his heart was made of clay – each word the man uttered pressed into it like fingers, marking every inch of it with the man’s fingerprints.

Shen Liangsheng thought the man to be ready and finally let go of his restraints. He felt the hole that he explored with his fingers earlier around his member, wrapped tightly around his head. A tingle crawled along his length to his sac before spreading to the rest of his body. He couldn’t help but pick up speed. The penetration was accompanied by wet sloppy sounds, and despite knowing very well it was the jelly, he sneered, “You’re wet, aren’t you?”
Shen Liangsheng didn’t expect a straightforward answer and became even more aroused. However, he slowed down, probing for that spot with his tip. Once he had found it, he rammed into it while coaxing with words, “Does it feel good?”
“Do you like me fucking you?”
In the end, it was Shen Liangsheng who became more aroused. With the possessive part of him lit with lust, he reached down for Ch’in Ching’s shuddering dick and stroked it furiously. “Do you want to come?”
“I do…ah….”
Ch’in Ching pushed his hips back in time with Shen Liangsheng’s thrusts. His dick was swollen and felt as though something was forcing itself through the tiny hole. The length tingled and burned, but at the last second, the man let go of it. He even pinned his hands down so he couldn’t touch himself.
“I heard some men can come from the ass alone. Do you want to try it?”
Ch’in Ching paid no attention to what the man was saying. Not only did his dick feel swollen and tingly, the same unbearable feeling was inside his ass as well, and it climbed up his spine to his head. He needed release so badly that he begged, “No, no more…. Stop….”
“You don’t want to come anymore?”
“Yes, I do…. I want to come…want to…”
“Come from your ass?”
“Mmm…can’t.” Ch’in Ching was starting to lose his mind. He nodded for some reason, “Let – ah! Let me touch it…”
The truth was that Shen Liangsheng could not last much longer, either, so when he heard this, he brought the man’s hand between his legs and began stroking his member together. From the head to the sac, they left nothing unattended, even tugging at the hairs. Soon, the man climaxed with a sharp cry. He had held it in for so long that he shot out load after load, leaving wet blotches all over the sheets.

Ch’in Ching’s mind blanked as he reached orgasm, and he didn’t even know when Shen Liangsheng came. The boiler kept the room warm, and the two were dripping with sweat. The exhausted men stayed connected as they panted, and eventually Shen Liangsheng pulled out. He touched the other man’s crotch and taunted, “You’re wetter than a girl.”
“No way.” By this point, Ch’in Ching didn’t feel the need to be embarrassed anymore. Only now did he feel the stickiness inside of him. Shen Liangsheng must have come a lot inside. He lay face down, panting. “You’re the one who made it wet. Not my fault.”
“Can you walk?” The culprit planted a kiss on his shoulder. “Let’s take a bath together.”
“Don’t want to move.”
“I’ll clean you off in a bit, then.”
“All right.”

The room fell quiet as Shen Liangsheng got a cigarette from the bedside table. He left the bed for the bathroom and washed himself off swiftly after finishing the smoke. Afterwards, he came back to the bed with a hot towel to wipe Ch’in Ching clean.
“Shen Liangsheng.”
“Nothing. Just wanted to say it.”
Shen Liangsheng couldn’t help but pat his head at the adorable behaviour.
“Ch’in Ching,” he blurted. “How about you move in with me?”
“Huh?” Ch’in Ching was nodding off but was awoken by this invitation. He glanced at Shen Liangsheng and shook his head, chuckling, “No can do. Hsiao-Liu’s sure to get to the bottom of it if I do, and he’s the type who can’t keep a secret. If my godmother catches wind of it, she’d hunt me down and grind me to pieces with a cleaver.”
“Fine.” Shen Liangsheng didn’t seem to mind and casually changed the topic. “Don’t fall asleep yet. Get up and let me change the sheets first.”

The two lay down together once more on top of the new sheets. Shen Liangsheng hooked an arm around Ch’in Ching and brought the man’s head into the nook in his neck. After a while, he leaned down and began kissing the skin behind his ear.
“Stop it already,” Ch’in Ching mumbled as he fell asleep. “Go to sleep.”
That left Shen Liangsheng in the dark with his eyes wide open, sleep refusing to come to him. He was starting to doubt himself.
What he said earlier was entirely impulsive, and he had regretted it the moment the words escaped his mouth. That Ch’in Ching refused only meant relief for Shen Liangsheng.
He suspected that the man had turned him down because he could see this, but maybe he was reading into it too much.
Nevertheless, those impulses meant something even though they were nothing but impulses. The invitation for the schoolmaster to move in acted as a fuse that forced him to rethink his feelings – he was indeed too possessive toward this man, so much so that it felt like the prelude to a serious relationship.

Liking someone was no big deal for him – Shen Liangsheng could proudly admit that he had been in relationships. He had a fixed ideal for women that was not strict at all: a decent face, above average height and easygoing attitude. That was it. Considering this, Ch’in Ching was a match if it were not for his gender.
Simply put, relationships were nothing more than the waltz in the ballroom to Shen Liangsheng – the constant change of partners was the norm. As for with whom he would settle down, that depended on which song was playing when he reached the right age. Whoever was the partner then would be the one.
But, curiously, as he held Ch’in Ching in his arms, the two in bed together, he felt this inexplicable sense of agitation.
It was as though a ballroom host was shouting at him in a high-pitched voice, urging him.
“Changing partners!”.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

More information:
Lamentations in the Tranquillity of Night
Ti Kuan Yin

On the original proverb used by Ch'in Ching to refer to his own greediness:

His exact words are "Without the right heart, snake swallows elephant(xiang)."
This comes from a folktale. One day, a boy named Xiang found a snake and took it home as his pet. The snake seemed to understand humans, and lived harmoniously with the family. Many years later, Xiang’s mother grew ill and the doctor prescribed snake liver as an ingredient in the medicine needed to cure her. Unable to find another snake, Xiang turned to his pet and friend. The snake understood and unhinged its jaws for Xiang to climb in and slice a part of its liver off for the medicine. Xiang’s mother recovered but Xiang worried that the illness may return after the snake died. He grabbed a knife and forced the snake to unhinge its jaws once more and climbed in. He cut into its liver again. The snake writhed in pain but Xiang would not stop. He cut off piece after piece until finally the snake could not take it and closed its jaws, swallowing Xiang whole.

This was too hard to express in one sentence in the story so I just used an equivalent English proverb and opted to explain it in detail here.

On the proverb about the monk and the bell:

This is a special kind of proverb called xiehouyu where the second part carries the "punchline" of the proverb. The roughly literal translation of the expression is: "Ring the bell once for every day one is a monk – the number of times one does is the number of times one gets." A monk’s duties include studying scriptures, caring for the temple and such, while ringing the bell is only a superficial ritual that one must do every day.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
ayszhang: *gasp* A smut chapter with more reading to be done afterwards XDDD This author loves using these cultural references that require much explanation on my part!!! 

I'm joking. That's what made me love this novel. It's so colourful, and I only hope that it is at least half as colourful in English as it is in Chinese. I always try to bring back the original expression and explain it when I replace it with an English equivalent in the story. That's my way to maintain the Chinese-ness of the story while making sure the readers aren't stuck wondering "What the hell does that even mean?" in the middle of the action.

It's finals week for me and I have lots of papers to finish, so unfortunately, no TDDUP next week :( but I promise I will make up for it next month! <3

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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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