It was rare to have such a heavy rain during April in S City.
Thick jet-black clouds shrouded half of the city, pressing down heavily on everyone’s hearts. On the streets, people were trying to find places to avoid the rain. A taxi quickly left downtown. By the time it reached a cemetery in the outskirts, bean-sized raindrops came pouring down in buckets.
Xi Jia handed the money over to the driver. He unfurled an umbrella and entered the cemetery.
The rainwater became tiny streams as it hit the umbrella, creating pitter-patter noises. The black haired young man greeted the cemetery guard in a practiced manner. After entering the grounds, he directly entered the deepest parts. He crouched down in front one of the gravestones and carefully wiped the rain off of it.
With the heavy rain surrounding the empty cemetery, it was only Xi Jia there as far as the eye could see.
He patiently wiped the gravestone clean. The rain was really too heavy. He tipped the umbrella forward, blocking the rain that fell over the gravestone. His own back quickly became wet from the raindrops.
A simple white chrysanthemum flower and a common small cake in a convenience store box. Xi Jia placed these things neatly in front of the gravestone. He smiled as he raised his head, looking at the black and white picture.
“Dad, I’m here to you see. Today, the rain’s very big. I remember that it was also raining this much six years ago. I’ve brought the cake you like. Our family’s not so poor anymore, I can buy you better things. But you never come back to see me, and I don’t know what you like to eat.”
A droplet of rain was blown by the wind and landed on the photo. Xi Jia raised his handkerchief and continued to wipe.
“When I came to see you last year, I still hadn’t graduated from college. This year, I graduated. I guess I found a job that’s not too bad. Oh that’s right, it turns out that stone that the old immortal gave is called a Mt. Tai stone. I’ve encountered a lot of interesting things these few months recently. I’ll tell you……”
The sound of pounding rain drowned Xi Jia’s voice. The edge of his lips were kept in a faint smile as he spoke about the marvels he had recently encountered.
The single mother who had cut her own flesh to bind the spirit of her son, the evil spirit doppelgänger that Aunt’s family had met, the Mausoleum of the First Emperor from more than 2,000 years ago, Ziying and the First Emperor, as well as the Qiuhu Poisonous Woman Murder Case that had happened in S City a few days ago.
“In the past two months, I have seen a world that I’ve never seen in the past 20 years. When I was little, you always wanted to bring me to find those masters. I saw a lot of them in these two months. There’s already a method to settle my yin energy. Look at this stone. It’s actually not a stone, but a Buddhist relic, a relic that was made after a senior Buddhist monk had passed away. I met a lot of people. Some people are very unreliable, but they’re very enthusiastic. Some people are……very good. The one who helped me, his name is Ye Jingzhi.”
In a neighborhood in S City, Master Ye was concentrating on cooking when he suddenly heard Xi Jia call out his name. His action of washing the vegetables immediately stopped, and a voice that carried a smiling expression transmitted to his ears.
“Master Ye is a good person. He’s very great. When we first met, he lent his magic treasure to me to help block my yin energy. He also found this relic for me. I heard a friend say that the people of the Xuanxue world don’t really care about Master Ye. But I think that they think that Master Ye’s a bit too scary. Master Ye is actually……quite pure, I guess. He really is particularly good.”
Master Ye’s face and ears became flushed as he was being praised. He hurriedly sped up and washed the vegetables. Not long after, he heard Xi Jia begin talking about acting stuff. Ye Jingzhi quickly removed his awareness from Xi Jia.
Master said before that the things wife didn’t tell you, you mustn’t eavesdrop, or else wife would get angry!
In the suburban cemetery, Xi Jia sat by the gravestone and spoke with a smile for four full hours. The rain and clouds in the sky had already dispersed long ago. After the rain, the bright sunshine lit up the earth, leaving everything full of life. Spring had arrived, and every living thing started to emerge.
After he finished saying the last sentence about the historical movie he shot last month. Xi Jia looked at the photo on the gravestone and suddenly became silent. He still held the black umbrella, leaning against the gravestone as he sat. He quietly gazed for a long time with his head down.
In the next moment, he slammed his head against the gravestone, ruthlessly hitting it.
“Dad, dad……if I knew about the Xuanxue world earlier, if I had met Master Ye and Pei Yu earlier……would you still be alive? Dad, tell me……”
“Would you……then would you have not died because of me……”
Tears slowly slid down his cheeks. They couldn’t be stopped either. On this sunny spring day, the rain had stopped, but the tears continued to flow.
Xi Jia stayed in the cemetery for another hour. By the time he left the grounds, the guard looked at him in shock, “Lad, what happened to your head? How’d you get hurt? Come, I have a band-aid, hurry up and stick it on.”
Xi Jia smiled as he took the band-aid from the guard and softly stuck it on his forehead.
The wound on his forehead wasn’t very deep. It was only a bit of broken skin and some blood. Out of the grounds, Xi Jia extended his hand to flag down a taxi and returned to the urban district of S City. When he got home, it was already six o’clock in the afternoon. He had just opened the door when a rich spicy smell hit his nose.
When Xi Jia went in, he saw Fatty Chen Tao lazily lying down on his sofa. Seeing him come back, Chen Tao leapt up like a carp and quickly ran to him. He flattered, “Brother Jia, you’re finally back. We were just waiting for you! We can finally eat now. Today, we’re eating hotpot. How is it? I brought the soup base and bought it especially from Shu Province. This flavor is authentic!”
Looking at his best friend, Xi Jia raised his brow, “You didn’t cook?”
His voice just fell, and Xi Jia saw Master Ye wearing an apron and carrying a few plates of dishes to the table. He said, “Master Ye, how come you’re cooking today? Since this fatty c, he should be cooking.”
Chen Tao wasn’t quite convinced, “I brought the ingredients, and you’re still making me cook, Brother Jia? You’re bullying!”
Xi Jia laughed. He leaned closer to Chen Tao’s ear and whispered, “Do you know who the person who cooked for you today is?”
Chen Tao pondered for a long time before giving out an answer, “Isn’t he your friend? When I arrived to your house today, I suddenly saw a stranger and thought I went to the wrong door. Brother Jia, this is the first time I saw you interacting with another person. You’ve really changed. You are willing to accept acting roles and even cohabitating!”
Xi Jia glanced at the fatty peevishly and said, “Anyways, you should open your stomach wide today. In the future, it’ll be hard for you to eat such a precious hotpot.”
Chen Tao failed to understand the reasoning, “I only just randomly bought some ingredients.”
Xi Jia, “The problem isn’t the ingredients. Master Ye’s time is very precious. Anyways, you’ll be able to experience some fine food. Master Ye’s technique is quite good.”
Chen Tao muttered, “Isn’t it just hotpot, it’s nothing more than washing the ingredients, what technique?” However when the three of them sat down at the table, Chen Tao tried a bite of boiled baby Chinese cabbage, and he lost all restraint.
“Holy shit! Isn’t this extremely tasty? Could it be that the hotpot base from Shu Province is that frickin’ great?”
Xi Jia looked at him in shock and caught a chopstick full of boiled beef. Sure enough, he could taste just the right amount of aroma and spices as it entered his mouth. It was even more delicious than eating at a hotpot restaurant.
Before, when Xi Jia said to Chen Tao that Master Ye’s cooking was particularly good, it was only nonsense that he spoke without thinking. Hotpot simply didn’t require any culinary talent. It’s okay once the ingredients are washed. How could it reflect Master Ye’s excellent cooking skills? Who would’ve thought that this hotpot was actually this tasty. While eating, Chen Tao kept on crying out loud “delicious”, causing Xi Jia to also faintly think: Could it be that no matter what Master Ye was making, it would always be exceptionally delicious?
Only tripe, beef, and some pork belly were left on the table after finishing the vegetables.
After Xi Jia placed a piece of pork belly into his bowl, he looked up and saw Ye Jingzhi put in a piece of tripe into the pot. And then, he held his chopsticks, waiting obediently and calmly. Ye Jingzhi’s gaze tightly stared at the rolling tripe in the boiling pot. However, almost half a minute had passed, and he still hadn’t fished up the tripe, continuing to stare at it seriously.
Xi Jia hastily picked up the tripe with his chopsticks and placed them in Ye Jingzhi’s bowl. Ye Jingzhi looked at him in shock.
Xi Jia smiled, “Master Ye, tripe is ready in a few seconds. If you put it in too long, it’ll become tough.”
Ye Jingzhi froze for a moment. Somewhat ashamed, he lowered his head, “Sorry, I’ve never ate this before……”
Xi Jia was stunned instantly. He still hadn’t opened his mouth when Chen Tao made a big fuss, “What? You’ve never ate tripe before? You’ve never had tripe while eating hotpot? That’s practically wasting natural resources!”
Ye Jingzhi, “I’ve never had hotpot before.”
Chen Tao immediately shut his mouth. The little fatty incessantly gave Xi Jia a meaningful look as if asking, “There’s actually a person of Huaxia in this world who has never eaten hotpot before? Your friend isn’t playing with me, right?” Xi Jia gradually understood. He didn’t pay any attention to Chen Tao. Instead, he took the initiative to help Ye Jingzhi cook the meat and tripe and used a ladle to put the cooked food into his bowl.
Ye Jingzhi blankly raised his head to look at Xi Jia, and Xi Jia lightly smiled, “Master Ye, if you like, we can eat this more often in the future.”
Pitch-black pupils slightly trembled, and Ye Jingzhi nodded before continuing to eat.
After the meal, Ye Jingzhi still wanted to go wash the dishes when Xi Jia waved his arm, “Let Fatty do it. He said he’ll cook for me, but he was actually lying on the sofa and acting like a lord. Taozi, you’re too much. You said you’re going to cook for me. I, however, kept on thinking and waiting for several days. In the end, I waited for a hotpot, and it wasn’t even you who washed the ingredients!”
Chen Tao chuckled twice before going to wash the dishes in the kitchen.
Xi Jia and Ye Jingzhi were in the living room watching TV. Master Ye was looking down and peeling an apple. From the top to the bottom, the trail of apple peel was never broken. After he peeled the apple and gave it to Xi Jia, Xi Jia also handed him a mandarin orange. Master Ye happily picked up the mandarin orange to eat. Xi Jia softly asked, “Master Ye, why didn’t you eat hotpot before?”
Ye Jingzhi had peeled half of the mandarin orange when he heard this. He answered, “I heard that hotpot needs a lot of people for it to be lively. I usually eat by myself, and cooking one dish with rice is enough. When I’m outside ghost hunting, eating some bread will do. It’s pretty good.” He finished talking and also finished peeling the mandarin orange. Then, he split it in half, giving it to Xi Jia.
Xi Jia didn’t expect Ye Jingzhi to split off half of the mandarin orange and give it to him. He took half of the mandarin orange in a daze. Ye Jingzhi lightly smiled and said, “Eat, it’s very sweet.”
A warm feeling from the bottom of his heart rushed forth in a flash. Xi Jia’s hand was holding the peeled apple, and the other hand was holding half of a mandarin orange. The TV was playing a 8 o’clock soap opera, and in front was a Hell King Ye with a gentle smile.
It seemed like something’s not quite right. Xi Jia’s lips were moving, and he wanted to speak, but nothing came out.
At this time, Chen Tao’s resounding voice rang, “Brother Jia, you ran out of dish soap. The pot will have to wait till tomorrow to be washed. It’s all oil, you can’t wash it clean without dish soap.”
Xi Jia suddenly became clear-headed, “Okay!”
Ye Jingzhi finished eating the mandarin orange. He saw Xi Jia hesitating for a moment. Then, he couldn’t help but ask, “What happened to your forehead?”
Xi Jia stroked his head and took a bite of the apple, “It’s nothing. I accidentally bumped it today.” My heartbeat still seems to be a little bit fast, just what is going on……
Ye Jingzhi nodded and took out an ointment from his Qiankun bag, “I’ll help you apply it.”
Xi Jia recognized this ointment. It was the one that required several points. According to Pei Yu, it was the best spirit medicine for external wounds that Shennong Valley sold. He only broke a bit of skin on his head. In two days, it would probably heal, and there basically was no need to waste such a good thing. However, Ye Jingzhi insisted on applying the medicine for him. Xi Jia truly couldn’t refuse and had no other choice but to allow the other apply it.
After applying the medicine, Xi Jia couldn’t help but say, “Master Ye, that thing is really costly. Don’t waste it on me in the future.”
Ye Jingzhi subconsciously said, “Not expensive.”
Xi Jia, “……En, it’s really not expensive.” Maybe for you, but Pei Yu and the others would cry for you to watch!
Ye Jingzhi looked at Xi Jia, not understanding. Chen Tao came out after quickly washing the dishes. This little fatty was really good at talking. With him there, the atmosphere in the home became lively. Even Ye Jingzhi was able to say a few words, adding in to the topic.
Mirror: Wife is praising me (❁´▽`❁)*✲ﾟ*
C+: *confused* Why is my heart racing?
Translator’s Notes: Huzzah, none!