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LWSL Chapter 21

Not Much Going On
Click here for content warningsMentions of alcohol, drinking and getting drunk

“It’s true that I don’t recognise you anymore.” Wu Ruo said, half truthful and half joking.

How could he recognise this sort of bastard who ruthlessly murdered his dad and mum?

“You…” Ruan Zhizheng was offended by his words and was about to get angry, yet Wu Ruo smiled, revealing a simple and honest smile that he had not shown for many years: “Were you angered by me?”1To be clear, the first part “You…” is said by Ruan Zhizheng, and the second part “Were you…” is said by Wu Ruo. I followed the dialogue formatting from the original text.

Ruan Zhizheng was stunned, and in that moment, he couldn’t figure out what kind of act Wu Ruo was going for.

Wu Ruo hmphed lightly: “You didn’t come to see me for over half a month, I almost thought you’d forgotten who I was. Did you know what the Wu Manor servants are saying about you? They’re all saying that you’re only friends with me because I’m a loser who can’t cultivate, that you only feel better about yourself when you’re with me…”

Ruan Zhizheng’s expression stiffened, because someone had hit the nail on the head, and angrily replied: “What nonsense, how could I be that sort of person?”

As he said this, he felt a little guilty, and he didn’t even have the guts to look Wu Ruo in the eye.

Wu Ruo looked at him with a smile that wasn’t quite a smile, and replied inwardly, “you are exactly that sort of person”.

Ah!

The Ruan Zhizheng now was really still young. With just a careless mention, his guilty expression was all over his face. The Ruan Zhizheng of the previous lifetime could completely conceal his true self after 13 years.

“I know you’re not that kind of person, I’m just angry that they talk about you like that. I’m also angry that you only came to see me after so long. You must accompany me for a proper drink today, no going home until you’re drunk.”

“Alright, no problem.” Ruan Zhizheng smiled as he looked at Shi Jiu and the rest: “You’ve changed retainers? What about those brothers, Wu Da and Wu Xiao? Where have they gone?”

Wu Ruo explained simply: “They’re getting married in ten days’ time. Right now, they’re back home preparing the wedding matters.”

Ruan Zhizheng’s expression filled with surprise: “We’ve only not seen each other for a little over half a month, how come they’re suddenly getting married?”

“They’re old enough, their family members were anxious for them.”

“That’s true.” Ruan Zhizheng looked at him, opening and closing his mouth haltingly. “That’s right, how are you getting along at the Hei family’s now?”

“There’s not much going on.” Wu Ruo pretended as though he didn’t like to talk about matters regarding Hei Xuanyi, pulling a long face as he changed the topic and asked: “Where have you been over these past two weeks or so? Don’t tell me you went and got yourself apprenticed to a master2拜师学艺 (bai shi xue yi): baishi means to be apprenticed to a master and xueyi means to learn skills. For the sake of sentence flow in English, I did not keep the direct translation since it’s implied that he’s learning skills when he apprentices to a master anyway., did you?”

Ruan Zhizheng replied, self-deprecatingly: “I want to apprentice to a great master, but who would be willing to take me as a disciple?”

Wu Ruo could tell that he wasn’t lying.

In his previous lifetime, before he understood how to break the seal on his spiritual energy, he often mixed around together with Ruan Zhizheng. The Ruan Zhizheng of that time really didn’t have any masters. Later on, for the sake of cultivating, the opportunities to meet Ruan Zhizheng lessened, and so he had no idea when he had met that mysterious person.

Wu Ruo asked: “Is erbomu still unwilling to find someone to teach you the Yinyang arts?”

Ruan Zhizheng was only the young master of a small clan, and only knew a few miscellaneous low-level magic skills. If it wasn’t for the fact that his erbomu Ruan Lanru was Ruan Zhizheng’s distantly related gugu3Let me smush three footnotes into one. 二伯母 (erbomu) refers to the wife of your father’s older brother, where er indicates that she’s married to the second uncle in absolute birth order. Ruan Lanru is Wu Qianli’s wife, so she’s Wu Ruo’s erbomu. She happens to be Ruan Zhizheng’s distantly related 姑姑 (gugu), where gugu is your father’s sister. It doesn’t matter if she’s older or younger than him, all of your father’s sisters are gugu. In this case, since it mentions that she’s distantly related, I’m assuming she’s some cousin of a cousin. I’m not going to go in too deep about this, but if anyone’s interested in why his father’s cousin is his gugu, feel free to ask. Also, gentle reminder that the Yinyang arts is the kind of magic style that the Wu family specialises in. Non-family members wouldn’t have the opportunity to learn it., Ruan Zhizheng would never even have a chance to come in close contact with someone from a major clan.

“She always thinks that I’m not suited to learning magic, why would she find someone to teach me?” the dissatisfaction and anger in Ruan Zhizheng was obvious: “The two of us good friends4兄弟(xiong di): actually does mean ‘brothers’. However, this is more like referencing the brotherhood of two bros, rather than actual brothers. I translated it as “good friends” to reduce confusion about their relations. haven’t met in over two weeks, so let’s not talk about her anymore. Let’s go, let’s go drinking.”

Good friends?

Wu Ruo laughed coldly in his heart. This time in his previous lifetime, he was injured and laid up in bed for over a month, yet Ruan Zhizheng only came to see him once. Later on, he said that the Hei family’s people didn’t like him coming over, and so caused Wu Ruo’s impression of Hei Xuanyi to worsen.

Thinking back on it now, this was probably just an excuse for Ruan Zhizheng because he didn’t want to visit Wu Ruo. He had probably assumed that Wu Ruo would not go looking for Hei Xuanyi to clarify, which was why he’d dared to tell such a bold lie.

Wu Ruo and Ruan Zhizheng arrived in Wu Ruo’s old quarters and instructed the kitchen to send up some dishes to accompany the alcohol. Once the two of them started drinking, they kept drinking until after it had turned dark, their intoxication obvious on their faces.

Ruan Zhizheng said angrily with an intoxicated expression: “I clearly have spiritual energy, so why would I be unsuited to learn magic? I say, she just despises me as her distant relative and thinks that I’m a nuisance.”

Wu Ruo said drunkenly: “You’re so impressive, how could you be unsuited to learning magic? I think my erbomu must be afraid that you’ll exceed all of my tangge5堂哥 (tangge): an older male cousin from your father’s side of the family. This is regardless of how their parents are related to your father, as long as he’s your older male cousin and his parents are related to your father, he’s your tangge. In general, any cousins from your father’s side will have the tang prefix. Over here, Wu Ruo is referring to Wu Qianli and Ruan Lanru’s sons, who are both older than him, and not literally all his older male cousins. Just the ones who are also distantly related to Ruan Zhizheng., that’s why she’s afraid to get someone to teach you.”

At this moment, Shi Yi walked over and said: “Madam, Young Master Ruan’s retainers have come to fetch him home.”

Wu Ruo replied: “Let them in to help him out.”

“Understood.”

Ruan Zhizheng’s four guards also looked very intoxicated, the scent of alcohol all over their bodies, and even their footsteps were unsteady. They only managed to help Ruan Zhizheng out of Wu Ruo’s quarters with much difficulty.

After they left, Wu Ruo who had been blind drunk instantly recovered an expression of sobriety, looking as if he hadn’t drunk any alcohol at all.

Shi Yi walked forth, speaking in low tones: “Madam, the arrays have been put up properly.”

Wu Ruo laughed coldly: “Help me onto the bed to rest.”

“Understood,” Shi Yi helped him into the inner room and assisted him in removing his outer robes.

“Remember to clear everything up.”

After Wu Ruo instructed them, he fell asleep. Even before the next morning, he heard the shouts coming from outside the building: “Second Young Master, bad news!”

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  • 1
    To be clear, the first part “You…” is said by Ruan Zhizheng, and the second part “Were you…” is said by Wu Ruo. I followed the dialogue formatting from the original text.
  • 2
    拜师学艺 (bai shi xue yi): baishi means to be apprenticed to a master and xueyi means to learn skills. For the sake of sentence flow in English, I did not keep the direct translation since it’s implied that he’s learning skills when he apprentices to a master anyway.
  • 3
    Let me smush three footnotes into one. 二伯母 (erbomu) refers to the wife of your father’s older brother, where er indicates that she’s married to the second uncle in absolute birth order. Ruan Lanru is Wu Qianli’s wife, so she’s Wu Ruo’s erbomu. She happens to be Ruan Zhizheng’s distantly related 姑姑 (gugu), where gugu is your father’s sister. It doesn’t matter if she’s older or younger than him, all of your father’s sisters are gugu. In this case, since it mentions that she’s distantly related, I’m assuming she’s some cousin of a cousin. I’m not going to go in too deep about this, but if anyone’s interested in why his father’s cousin is his gugu, feel free to ask. Also, gentle reminder that the Yinyang arts is the kind of magic style that the Wu family specialises in. Non-family members wouldn’t have the opportunity to learn it.
  • 4
    兄弟(xiong di): actually does mean ‘brothers’. However, this is more like referencing the brotherhood of two bros, rather than actual brothers. I translated it as “good friends” to reduce confusion about their relations.
  • 5
    堂哥 (tangge): an older male cousin from your father’s side of the family. This is regardless of how their parents are related to your father, as long as he’s your older male cousin and his parents are related to your father, he’s your tangge. In general, any cousins from your father’s side will have the tang prefix. Over here, Wu Ruo is referring to Wu Qianli and Ruan Lanru’s sons, who are both older than him, and not literally all his older male cousins. Just the ones who are also distantly related to Ruan Zhizheng.
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Comment

  1. sadiewoods9 says:

    It always fascinates me that there are so many specific terms for family relations in Chinese! The era this is set in as well (some nebulous ancient time period except with cultivation/magic) has that emphasized meaning to it of course as well.

    I don’t know why, but the not-actually-drunk trick always tickles me. I’m a lightweight myself so I’d always end up being the tricked one, but it goes along with my love of seeing a mastermind at work!

    Already preparing a lovely giggle for next chapter! “Bad news”, you say? Hahahaha! I’d love to see it!

    Thanks for your hard work translating!

    1. Peachy says:

      As much as I love Chinese sometimes, the fact that there’s so many incredibly specific words for familial relations/how someone is related to you sends my head spinning. You can really feel how much Chinese people value family from the language itself.

      I think Wu Ruo loves the not-actually-drunk trick as much as you! It comes up again in later chapters too.

      Hope you enjoy today’s chapter! Thank you for your kind comment!

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