Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Living to Suffer - ch10

Translator: ayszhang
Editor: Marcia

Living to Suffer chapter 10
The prequel to TDDUP
NSFW a little


Ch’in Ching fell into a deep slumber that night, but when he awoke the sun had not yet risen fully. The window paper was a dim grey.
Hugging the quilt, he stared at it for a while before he noticed his clothes had been changed and he did not feel sticky or uncomfortable. He marvelled at the fact that the man had taken the time to provide aftercare this time.
He left the bed and took a few steps. The man probably applied a new coat of medicine, for his behind felt slightly moist and cool. Walking tugged at the wounds a little, but it was nothing severe. He took out a lined cotton robe and put it on before washing his face and mouth at the bedside bowl.[1] After the routine, he pushed open the door, and a gust of wet, winter wind belonging to the south country hit him. The horizon was slowly whitening, but in the near distance were thick, black clouds that might bring a cold shower later.
Ch’in Ching stared dumbly at the sky until the cold seeped into his robe and made him shiver. Only then did he remember to head to the kitchen to boil some hot water to warm up. He turned to find smoke rising out of the kitchen chimney. The thin, pale strand of smoke was like a lonesome ghost struggling in the grey dawn light for a few yards before grudgingly dissipating.

“You’re still here?”
Ch’in Ching ambled over and watched from outside the door as Shen Liangsheng made congee. Only when his nose itched and he sneezed did he step over the doorsill and close the wooden doors behind him, shutting out some of the chilliness.
“What is the time?” Once the doors were shut, the kitchen became even darker. Ch’in Ching gravitated towards the only light source, the radiance of the stove fire, and grabbed a stool to sit and warm his hands.
“The middle of the Hour of the Snake,”[2] Shen Liangsheng answered coolly, revealing to the doctor that the sun had risen long ago. It was only because the weather was bad and the skies were overcast that the sun was still not visible at this hour.
“Winter sure came early this year.” After warming up by the stove, he started to feel drowsy again and yawned. He found the stool to be extremely uncomfortable for his bottom and his waist to be rather weak. He spotted Shen Liangsheng from the corner of his eye, so he simply leaned against the man’s leg. After yawning again, he let his eyelids droop, appearing sleep deprived.
Shen Liangsheng let him lean on his leg and did not reply to the small talk. After a moment, however, Ch’in Ching felt a hand on his head softly brushing his untied hair.
“You know, you needn’t do this.” Ch’in Ching looked up at the man. “I’m not blaming you for anything.”
The standing man tilted his head and looked down into the doctor’s eyes as if waiting for more.
“Shen-hufa, forget not.” Ch’in Ching looked back smilingly, his eyes still earnest and warm in the crimson firelight. “I love you.”
“Ch’in Ching.” Shen Liangsheng picked a different response for once. As he pushed the loose strands back behind his ears, he replied in a low voice, “Forget not your own words.”
After long, silent eye contact, it was the hufa who bent down and kissed the doctor on the lips. With his tongue, Shen Liangsheng nudged them open and captured the man’s tongue, but he did not advance farther, only locking the tips of the tongues in a sensual game. In the quiet gloaming, the shallow kiss seemed to hold an intangible intimacy.

The abrupt cry of a bird from the yard broke the tranquility. Immediately, Shen Liangsheng drew back and walked to the main hut, not returning for some time. Ch’in Ching guessed the man had sent out a smoke signal that summoned the Hsing Sect’s messenger bird, and when he returned to the main hut as well, it was as he had predicted. Shen Liangsheng was standing at the desk writing something with borrowed ink and paper. On the edge of the desk perched a small falcon that twisted its head to study Ch’in Ching with its apparently intelligent, black, beady eyes when he entered.
Given his discretion, Ch’in Ching did not peek and only walked to the small room attached to the main room. He found a new set of bedding to switch out the utter mess that was on the bed.
“It’s fine if you have matters to tend to,” Ch’in Ching said as he spread a new cover over the quilt. “Looks like it will rain soon. How about you take an umbrella with you?”
“No need.” Shen Liangsheng replaced the brush and folded the rice paper small before slipping it into the tube on the falcon’s leg. He walked to the yard to let the bird go, and when he returned, he had with him a bowl of hot congee. He saw the doctor had already undressed and gotten into bed, wrapping himself in the quilt and leaning against the headboard, so he commanded flatly, “Eat before you sleep.”
“I’m not sleeping.” Ch’in Ching took the congee and spoke between bites. “It’s too cold outside, so forgive me for not seeing you out. If you have time…” He looked up at Shen Liangsheng’s face, but as expected he could not discern anything. “Come again when you have time.”
“I’ve sent a message.” The taller man also sat down on the bed and watched the doctor eat. “I shall leave in the evening.”
“But the roads are rough at night.”
“It won’t matter once I become familiar with them.”
Ch’in Ching only wanted to make small talk, but he noticed the implied meaning behind the hufa’s words. He glanced up thinking it was too tricky to find a decent response, so in the end he stuck the spoon near the man’s mouth. “Want some?”
Surprisingly, Shen Liangsheng opened his mouth and ate the spoonful. Ch’in Ching watched his thin lips open and close and could not help but lean in and steal a kiss. After taking advantage of the hufa, he acted oblivious and innocent, his sly smile making him look like a player in scholars’ gown.

When the two men finished the congee together, one spoonful each at a time, Shen Liangsheng took the bowl and placed it on the table. By the time he turned back around, Ch’in Ching had scooted back, clearing a space for him, and was patting the bedding. There was a crooked smile on his face, a prime example of a little man feeling grand. “Care to join me?”
Ch’in Ching’s bed was quite large, having a roof and a canopy, and there was more than enough room for two men. At the head of the bed was a row of hidden drawers that held some books for casual bedtime reading.
Ch’in Ching pulled open a drawer and took out a few at random while Shen Liangsheng removed his boots and got into bed. The latter leaned back against the headboard and pulled the doctor into his arms, man and quilt in one bundle. The two each picked a book and began to read, the air about them calm and soothing for once.
Before long, it began raining but not heavily. The sound of the drizzle was audible only because it was so quiet inside. A volcanic glass lamp stood on the headboard. Ch’in Ching had especially requested it from his shifu so he could read at night. The glass shade was ground very thinly and glowed with a light amber ombré. Several crab-apple flowers were carved at the bottom where the colour was the darkest, and in the candlelight they gave off a tinge of sensuality.[3]
The bitter wind and icy rain could not intrude into this space. Snug and warm in a thick quilt, Ch’in Ching had a beauty in his arms…no, was being held in a beauty’s arms, leisurely flipping through a book on some dynasty from centuries ago.
On the other hand, Shen Liangsheng had in his hand a book on circles and formations. It should not have been a casual read but for some reason had been placed in the drawers by the doctor. After reading the first pages, it slowly dawned on the hufa – Ch’in Ching likely had read this frequently in his childhood, judging from the occasional lines of handwriting in the blank margins. They were not proper notes but rather stray thoughts.
“Rain for three days. When will the sun come out? Hsiao[4]-Rong said she wanted to go lotus-watching. Afraid she will forget if this rain continues any longer.”
“A’Mao next door gave birth to a litter of pups. Want to ask for one to raise. Shifu won’t let me. Stubborn old geezer.”
“Told Hsiao-Rong. She said she will take care of it if I ask for one, but her mom said no, too.”
“Knew I should not go out when the date is near, but could not help myself. Hsiao-Rong was beside me when the attack happened. Scared the wits out of her. Told her this illness is like the blood that girls get. When it comes, it comes. When it’s gone, everything is fine. Ended up getting scolded by her, though. What did I ever do?”
Shifu grounded me for two months because of what I did. O Buddha, please rescue me.”
“Sneaked out to find Hsiao-Rong but was caught by Shifu before I made it out of the alley. Now it’s three months. Shit.”
“I think I might be in love with Hsiao-Rong. Curses. Now I’m really in shit.”

Shen Liangsheng flipped through page by page. After nearly the time of a burned incense stick, Ch’in Ching turned to talk and spotted the handwriting on the page. He paused as though he just remembered the existence of this book in the drawer. He shook his head while chuckling quietly. “That’s from ten years ago. How embarrassing for you to see.”
“How old were you?” Gaze not leaving the book, Shen Liangsheng flipped over another page and asked nonchalantly.
“Fourteen? Maybe fifteen.”
“What happened afterward?”
The doctor did not understand, so Shen Liangsheng pointed a finger at ‘Hsiao-Rong’ and glanced at him obliquely.
“Nothing happened. Shifu and I moved away, and I never saw her again.”
“Do you feel regret? She was your childhood sweetheart.”
“Hah, are you jealous, Shen-hufa?” Ch’in Ching shot an amused look at the man. “There was a reason, of course. I won’t live very long, so I shouldn’t waste a fair maiden’s time.”
Hearing this, Shen Liangsheng put the book down to observe the doctor’s expression, but he found no trace of sadness, as though he were not discussing his own death.
“Because of your illness?”
“Something like that.”
“No cure?”
“There wasn’t one, but one might exist now.” Ch’in Ching also put down his book and sat up straighter in the man’s embrace. He said while looking at the man, “I asked you for a stalk of huai-meng ts’ao to find one.”
“Mhm.” Shen Liangsheng’s expression was mild, more befitting the situation where the topic of discussion was a complete stranger.
“Shen-hufa, your reaction truly breaks my heart.” Ch’in Ching leaned in, joking. “Or are you saying you wish my death could come early so that you can find a new husband sooner?”
“Ch’in-taifu.” The taller man pulled him back close and slid his left hand underneath the quilt to tap the doctor’s butt lightly. “‘Tis not wise to forget the pain after the wound heals.”

Ch’in Ching was reminded of his suffering the previous night and his expression stiffened. Too afraid to be cheeky any longer, he flipped open the book and resumed reading.
He was now well-behaved, but Shen Liangsheng’s hand not so much. It remained under the sheets and began by caressing the doctor’s thigh over his pants before moving upwards to his abdomen, slowly massaging over the undershirt.
At first, Ch’in Ching only felt the comfort of the massage, so he relaxed and let the man work until the man parted his shirt and touched his bare skin. Fingers sliding around his waist, the doctor realized the impending danger and put down his book in a hurry. Holding the man’s hand down, he said with a frown, “Actually, Shen-hufa, my wound has not healed quite yet. It still hurts, you see.”
“Don’t move.” Shen Liangsheng whispered in his ear. “I’m just going to touch. Nothing else.”
“…” They had explored what was permitted and what was taboo to the point that Ch’in Ching’s body held no more secrets, yet his cheeks still flushed at the relatively mild phrase. And soon, the peach red migrated all the way to his ears.

Perhaps since he had verbalized his intentions, Shen Liangsheng began to let his hand act freely. And since clothing was a hindrance, he opted to strip the doctor clean in the sheets, pulling out the shirt and pants and tossing them aside.
Ch’in Ching’s only reaction to his undergarments slowly being dragged off and thrown out in an indescribably erotic manner was his cheeks turning a deeper shade of red. He marvelled at how a seemingly proper, chaste man could be so…
So…what exactly? But not even the smart, cheeky Ch’in-taifu could find the right description now.

“Looks, average. The skin, however, exceptional.”
Shen Liangsheng’s hand wandered leisurely over the naked body – the nipples, the waist, the cheeks, the thighs. Ch’in Ching could not see the man’s movement through the thick quilt, but he could feel very clearly where his hand was going, the amount of pressure applied to each caress and the faint tingles. The member that had been tormented the night before was gradually reacting to the stimulation, and his breathing hastened as well.
“Even this part is soft and silky, like that of a virgin.”
Shen Liangsheng had touched every piece of skin he could possibly touch and knew very well that the doctor was aroused. His open palm slid down to his crotch and closed around the member. Shortly after some gentle strokes, it completely hardened. Although it was not as thick or long as his own, it was nothing to ignore. The straight length was delicate and silky to the touch like the skin of a baby, and the tiny hole on top was already a little damp.
Ch’in Ching was responding to “like that of a virgin,” but Shen Liangsheng misunderstood on purpose, breathing in his ear. “If you don’t believe me, Ch’in-taifu, see for yourself.”
Before the utterance came to an end, Ch’in Ching’s left hand that was outside the quilt was led back under the sheets by a hand of Shen Liangsheng and, partly by force and partly by persuasion, began touching his own chest, repeatedly rubbing over his nipples before sliding down together to hold the hard shaft. After stroking a while, the hufa’s hand left to roam down to the sac and cup the two globes.

Aroused by the man and unable to stop himself now, Ch’in Ching continued his stroking while the man massaged his sac. Exploding with pleasure, he reached release in less a pot of tea’s time, dirtying the brand new sheets.
While Ch’in Ching was flushed red and panting, Shen Liangsheng appeared undisturbed. The latter began fondling instead the doctor’s nipples, switching between one and the other, as if the two nubs were his personal playthings.
“Say, don’t you ever undress when you have sex?”
After catching his breath, Ch’in Ching sat up straight escaping the man’s hand and looked at him as he questioned. He did not wait for the answer, however, and dipped down to latch onto the knot on his belt with his teeth and pulled it apart.
“You know, I’ve been thinking about stripping you naked for a long time now.”
Thinking to himself what the great saint once said, ‘tis impolite not to reciprocate, Ch’in Ching worked on taking off Shen Liangsheng’s outer robe while teasing verbally. All the while, he kept eye contact with the man so that he could abort should danger present itself. That was the disadvantage of being the weaker – only those with power and leverage could toy with and pick on beauties as they wished.
Shen Liangsheng was much hardier against the cold than the average person, only donning a single layer underneath his outer robe even in winter. Ch’in Ching’s hand paused at the knot buttons and continued after he spotted no objection on the man’s face. When the man’s tight, bare chest came to sight, his heart skipped a beat.
Next, he took off the man’s underpants, and out jumped the culprit that was twice responsible for his torturous ecstasy. Under the volcanic glass lamplight, its head was red, swollen and leaking, announcing its prolonged arousal.
“And here I thought you were in control…” Ch’in Ching flicked the member lightly, chuckling. “I didn’t notice it through the quilt, but I bet it’s been hard for quite a while, huh?”
Shen Liangsheng only looked back at him steadily, but Ch’in Ching kept pushing at his limits, teasing in the man’s ear, “I thought that mantra of yours requires much inner strength and control? What’s wrong now?”
“How about instead of talking, Ch’in Ching, you use that mouth of yours to do something else?”
When it came to the battle of the tongue, Shen Liangsheng had never let Ch’in Ching take an easy victory. Once again, he easily silenced the doctor with a single utterance. The latter faltered and bit his lips, asking, “Do you really want it?”
Shen Liangsheng did not answer, but his action spoke loud and clear. Holding the doctor’s head, he pressed it downward.

Ch’in Ching let the man guide him down to that monstrosity. When it came too close, he closed his eyes and let it into his mouth, but he could only fit half of it before it touched the base of his tongue.
Ch’in Ching only held it in his mouth, and Shen Liangsheng did not rush him, either. After giving the doctor some time to get used to it, he guided his head back and forth.
The shaft was truly not of usual size, so much so that Ch’in Ching’s cheeks were stretched and sore, leaving no room to suck. He managed to wiggle his tongue to slide it against the length as he tried to provide some suction. At times, he could lick the tiny hole and taste the salty, musky flavour of the man’s fluid. He did not feel disgusted at all and even swallowed it along with his own saliva while gazing at the man.
Under the lamplight, Shen Liangsheng’s brows were slightly furrowed and his eyes partly lidded. With his tall nose and thin lips, his countenance belonged to one lacking in emotion and desire but presently revealed a hint of arousal, which made Ch’in Ching’s heart skip another beat. He was the one serving another man with his mouth, but he couldn’t help his own member feeling excited as well.

The man showed absolutely no sign of release even when Ch’in Ching’s cheeks were too sore to continue, so he could only abandon the task and crawl up to speak near the man’s ear. “Shen-hufa, it appears impossible for my mouth to complete the job…” A pause, and then he pressed his voice lower, speaking at a nearly inaudible volume, “Could you do it with your own hand? I’ve always wanted to watch you.”
Opening his eyes to the request, Shen Liangsheng put on a rare, ambiguous half-smile and replied lightly, “Since you want to so badly, take a good look.”
With that said, Shen Liangsheng actually took hold of his own member and began calmly stroking under the doctor’s gaze. He watched the naked man kneeling before him begin to get hard again and, apparently impatient, soon lean in putting his renewed erection against his hand, quietly requesting, “Help me, too.”
Shen Liangsheng circled his free arm around the doctor and pressed their bodies together, chest to chest, shaft to shaft. Back and forth the two members rubbed against one another, one head wetting the other.
Hugging the taller man, Ch’in Ching moaned quiet sweet nothings in the man’s ear. “Your…feels so nice…like this…”
“Oh?” With raised brows, Shen Liangsheng reached around the doctor and slipped a finger in with the ointment as lubrication. “Doesn’t it feel better inside you?”
“You’d better not…” Ch’in Ching snapped back to reality after the threatening remark. “We can discuss this n-next time.”
“You should’ve considered that before you tempted me. It’s too late to play innocent now. Ch’in Ching, you’re bound to cause trouble with that reckless attitude of yours.”
Strangely, Ch’in Ching did not reply after the utterance but instead looked back at him with a smile. Only after a long time did he speak. “It’s not often I hear you say so many words.” He paused and then added, “I love you.”
Shen Liangsheng held his gaze but remained silent still and sped his hands. He stroked their lengths together in his left hand while he slid a finger of the other hand in and out of Ch’in Ching, scratching a certain sensitive nub from time to time. Very soon he pushed the doctor to his climax, but perhaps because of overindulgence, there was little ejaculate and Ch’in Ching was left limp and panting on the taller man’s chest.

“You’re thinner than when I met you.” Shen Liangsheng was still fully erect but seemed not to be in a rush. He brushed the doctor’s back and traced the protruding shoulder blades.
“Yeah. Maybe soon I’ll be on my way to enlightenment and the other world. Would you like me to take you along?”
“Ch’in Ching.” But Shen Liangsheng responded with an unrelated question. “You keep mentioning love, but why are you not worried this time that you might waste somebody’s time?”
“Well, I got a question for you, too!” Ch’in Ching continued the lighthearted banter, giggling. “After I die, will you have a problem finding a husband or finding a wife? If not, why should I be worried?”
Not returning the banter, Shen Liangsheng pressed the doctor’s head down again, commanding, “Suck it some more.”
The obedient Ch’in Ching did as he was told, but the taller man did not spare him this time. He thrust into the warm cavity roughly until saliva dribbled all over slurring the doctor’s words, and he could barely breathe, and tears filled his eyes. Only then did Shen Liangsheng release his hot load in the man’s mouth, but he did not pull out and instead forced the man to swallow most of it.
Cough-cough-cough.” Ch’in Ching’s reaction was not one originating in disgust but simply from being choked. When he spoke again, his voice was very hoarse.
“Rest assured, Shen Liangsheng…” Ch’in Ching looked up at the man with a hand on his chest as though he was still catching his breath and the other hand wiping away from the corner of his lips a drip of milky white. “You and I will end only when death parts us.”

[1] Beside the bed is a stand with a bowl filled with clean water for washing purposes
[2] 9am to 11am
[3] Crabapple flowers, 海棠花, are among the most beloved flowers in China and were often found in the imperial gardens along with the Yulan magnolia, moutan peony and osmanthus. Many poems and songs of praise and admiration can be found throughout Chinese history, but perhaps the most famous story is Emperor Xuanzong of Tang (685 – 762) comparing the sleeping face of his most beloved concubine, Imperial Consort Yang, who is regarded as one of the Four Beauties of China, with the crabapple flower.
[4] A prefix for someone younger or equal in status to you and expresses familiarity.

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ayszhang: A random message, but I would like to practise French with any francophone readers here :) J'étais à Chicoutimi au Québec au mois de mai et juin pour apprendre le français, et j'espère que je peux continuer l'apprentissage et en même temps faire la connaissance de nouveaux amis. Particulièrement, je voudrais connaitre des amis belgique parce que je voudrais travailler en Belgique dans quelques années... En échange de l'aide, je pourrais t'aider à parler anglais, mandarin, cantonais, coréen ou japonais! 

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