An Zheng and Du ShouShou were going together along the South Mountain street, when they heard some noises. An Zheng looked and found that it was two wicked dogs that were pushing a dirty alley kitten into a corner. This kitten was just a few months old. It cringed in one spot and shook. It might have been broken by the wicked dogs within a meanwhile.
Du ShouShou pulled An Zheng back and said,
– “Let’s go! Those wicked dogs cannot find their meals, so they use such alley kittens to fill their stomach. It’s not too strange.”
An Zheng suddenly sighed,
– “How similar the life is in this scene, the weak are always disadvantaged. That kitten seems to have no mother, it is quite pitiful. Why don’t I make it my friend? Whatever, I am alone, too.”
He moved toward the wicked dogs, and they stared at him and roared. An Zheng just glanced at them, and the dogs became quiet. They did not even dare to move but pissed themselves uncontrollably. (i)
An Zheng approached the shaking kitten, held it in his arm, and petted it, but the kitten still had not calmed down yet. This kitten looked too dirty. Its fur was stuck with something very dirty. An Zheng took it while he cleaned its fur. When he looked at the kitten carefully, he realized that it was the most beautiful kitten he had ever seen.
Its fur was as white as snow, but the fur of its four legs was blazing red. Its eyes were also very strange. They looked like they were being surrounded by stars.
An Zheng held the kitten, he walked while petting it, and the kitten was gradually getting relaxed. It looked at An Zheng with its beautiful eyes, full of gratefulness. It seemed to be good-natured.
Du ShouShou was walking while curiously evaluating An Zheng. An Zheng looked around and observed of what was happening in South Mountain town. It seemed that he had to live here for short time. At least when he recovered his level, he could be able to leave. He found that Du ShouShou had been curiously looking at him, and he couldn’t help but laugh.
– “Are you admiring me?”
Du ShouShou scratched his head,
– “An Zheng… are you really An Zheng?”
An Zheng moved forwards and held Du ShouShou’s shoulder, walking while saying and laughing,
– “Do you want me to remind you of the time when you had asked me to take a furtive look at Xiao QiDao’s mother when she was taking a shower?”
Xiao QiDao’s mother was a widow. Theoretically, a woman who took her child to live in the Illusory Perennial Domicile must have been very strenuous, but in fact, no one in the South Mountain town dared to tease her. Even the Great Nine Bandits must have acted ceremoniously when they saw Xiao QiDao’s mother. It was said that Xiao QiDao’s mother was a practitioner who had moved here to seclude herself.
Whatever, a practitioner was too strange for them. They only knew that Xiao QiDao’s was extremely beautiful. No one in this South Mountain Town could have been more beautiful than her, from hip to fanny. Moreover, she even had a graceful face, and she was completely different from the other women who had already had children. Xiao QiDao was fourteen years old, and he was still innocent. His face was like that of a doll’s.
Hearing An Zheng’s remembrance, Du ShouShou smiled,
– “You are not allowed to tell anybody. If Ye Aunty knows that I used to see her fanny, she will certainly skin me. Who didn’t know that in this South Mountain Town, that Ye Aunty was not a kind of person for teasing?”
Ye Aunty was the name that the people in the South Mountain Town had called Xiao QiDao’s mother. It seemed that she was quite old. In fact, Ye Aunty was not over 25. Ye Aunty had opened a small tavern at the end of the South Mountain Town. Because she was beautiful and generous, her followers were not too bad. Just about everyone knew that the quality of the wine in this tavern was not that good. Most of people that came there to drink only came to see Ye Aunty, not many cared about the quality of the wine.
An Zheng looked at the silver in his hand,
– “This little money may be enough for us to come to the place of Ye Aunty to enjoy a delicious meal. Now let’s think about what to eat, or later on we will be confused.”
Du ShouShou scratched his chin,
– “How do we pretend that we have not stepped into that tavern for the first time? And we also don’t have that much money as well.”
An Zheng looked at his clothes, and then he looked at Du ShouShou’s, unwillingly said,
– “You have just thought too much… I have an idea. After we arrive in there, what we see the other people eat, we will order.”
Du ShouShou showed a thumb’s up,
– “Having beaten by them made you more intelligent! (ii) However, recently, I had been shaken for real. In this South Mountain Town, I have only you as my friend. If you die, I will be lonely. (iii)”
An Zheng felt warm inside, and slapped Du ShouShou’s shoulders,
– “Fear not! It will not be so easy for me to die. From now on, we will become true brothers. It will take the two of us to tango. We will be good brothers forever.”
Du ShouShou shook his head strongly, said “Uhm”, and then continued,
– “Why does these words from you do not sound very natural?”
An Zheng laughed out loud,
– “What in the world made you to think twice of this? We are not students any longer, and you just need to know it.”
The two talked non-stop and laughed on the way to the end of the South Mountain Town. At the corner was the tavern of Ye Aunty. The tavern had no name, and there was only a flag embroidered with the word “Ji?” . Du ShouShou was literate, but he could not realize what was special about the word. He only felt that the word was totally strong. It was not like a word but a portrait of a traveling Yul Hyul  bringing with him a wine gourd all the time.
– “Good word!”
Arriving at the tavern, when An Zheng saw the word “Ji?”, he couldn’t help but praise. An Zheng, since yesterday certainly could not realize anything, but the An Zheng from today was different. Inside the word was a strong spirit, and it seemed to be able to fly out from the flag.
Du ShouShou did not believe that An Zheng could realize that the word was good or bad,
– “You can only see the tart, pal.”
An Zheng said seriously,
– “The tart cannot be seen, it can only be smelled (iv).”
Du ShouShou was surprised for a while, and then he laughed. He realized that An Zheng was thoughtful then. He was no longer subservient, he did not respect anyone neither. In Du ShouShou’s thoughts, the An Zheng in the past was a scornful balloon in which anyone could kick about.
An Zheng opened the curtains and went into the tavern. It was the first time that Du ShouShou had come into a tavern, so he was a little hasty. Usually, he would have gone first, with An Zheng following in a subservient manner. Today, however, was totally different.
After they came inside, An Zheng looked at all the dimensions of the tavern. It had not been lunch time yet, so there were not many customers in the tavern. There were only three big tables with people. It was not unexpected. All of the eyes were turned to Ye Aunty over there. Today Ye Aunty wore a long violet shirt. Although it was not too voluptuous, it still showed the beauty of its owner.
Specially the big boobs, they were really the spotlights in the customers eyes.
Ye Aunty heard someone coming. They were two teenagers. At first she was surprised, but later she knitted her brows and said,
– “Welcome two dài shés , this place does not sell candies, but wine only.”
Her eyes were attracted by the kitten in An Zheng’s chest, and she couldn’t help praising,
– “How beautiful the kitten is! It’s totally different from the other common creatures.”
The sound of the kitten attracted her more than An Zheng and Du ShouShou did.
Usually in the school, Du ShouShou was very brave, but once he saw Ye Aunty, his heart shook, and he unconsciously hid behind An Zheng’s back. An Zheng had no special reaction, he seemed to be calm at first, but his eyes in losing control looked over at Ye Aunty’s boobs.
Ye Aunty was too familiar with many men who had intended her beauty, but it was the first time she had seen a child who also had such desires. The fat child behind obviously had intentions but no courage, but the skinny child in front of him was not a child, and he was more likely to be an adult with much experience. Therefore, Ye Aunty worried a bit. She used to think that An Zheng was a child eager for feminine beauty, and his eyes were not honest. However, when she looked at An Zheng more clearly, she realized that he had no evil intentions.
A child? Why does he have the eyes like that?
While Ye Aunty was thinking, Du ShouShou thought that he was looked down upon, so he turned his head up from An Zheng’s back,
– “We came here not to buy candies. They have not been our favorite for a long time. We came here to drink… yes, to drink wine. Bring good wine from your tavern here. Do not think that we are so childish that you look down upon us.”
Ye Aunty knitted her brows, her beautiful eyes curved as the moon,
– “Good wine is available, but do you have money?”
Du ShouShou threw out his chest, and then he pointed to An Zheng,
– “He does!”
An Zheng smiled a bit,
– “Hi Ye Aunty, we came here to enjoy meat, not wine.”
Ye Aunty pretended that she had already known these children would not dare to drink wine, looked at Du ShouShou, leaned her arms on the counter, rested her chin on her hand, and said,
– “I was thinking that you two came to drink. Amazingly, you are two little devils who are hungry. Did you steal money from your family to come here to eat? Be careful or you are going to be detected and beaten to death.”
An Zheng said,
– “Look at us! Does it look like we have stolen money from our family? This silver bar was for our good manners in school, so Mister Lu rewarded us.”
Ye Aunty said “aha” shortly,
– “This little child makes sense. Your clothes seem to prove that you are not from a rich family. If so, to save a little money, you can fulfill your stomachs here, and the remaining money you should be able to bring home for your parents. You two look around ten years old, but you seem to be sensible. You must crave for food.”
Du ShouShou reacted strongly as he was discriminated,
– “We came here to drink!”
Ye Aunty looked at Du ShouShou, but she did not care to respond. Du ShouShou felt that he was terribly looked down upon, his chest puffed and panted while breathing. An Zheng silently took him back, moved to the table near the windows, and then sat down. He said softly,
– “Why does such a child like you compare with the adults…?!”
Du ShouShou clapped on the table,
– “I wanna drink!”
An Zheng turned his head, and smirked to Ye Aunty,
– “Do you mind bringing me a wine gourd, please.”
Du ShouShou clapped on the table again,
– “A gourd is not enough, I would like ten gourds!”
Ye Aunty laughed out loud as beautifully as a peach blossom. She shook her slim hips and went into the kitchen. For a while, she brought a dish of well-cooked beef and a wine gourd. After putting them on the table, she said,
– “This wine gourd is my gift for you due to your handsomeness. After you grow up, it is certain that many girls will be captivated by you.”
Du ShouShou turned pink, and he had gotten drunk before even drinking. He picked up the wine gourd and intended to use his mouth to finish it all. However, he thought again that it was not polite, so he picked up a bowl and poured for An Zheng once, and then he took the wine gourd, and drank a mouthful. He was immediately choked and coughed a little, but he was afraid that Ye Aunty would not count on him, so he tried to throw out his chest,
– “Good wine!”
An Zheng whispered to himself that this one will certainly be played upon by women, and he will totally fail to stand beautiful women. He smiled, picked up the bowl and drank. After that, his eyes changed:
– “This… was not good!”
Ye Aunty heard and stopped, turning her look to An Zheng,
– “What was not good?”
An Zheng said seriously,
– “This wine was obviously mixed with a lot more water!”
Ye Aunty looked at him surprisingly,
– “Do you believe that I will cut your ears off and boil them, and then sell them to the market, and tell people that those are from a pig?”
An Zheng smiled,
– “So I must be bothering Ye Aunty now, later on, please lower down the cost a little bit…”
Ye Aunty found that this youth’s manner was very special. His voice was not like a child. Moreover, she felt something strange inside of his body, so she looked at An Zheng more unconsciously. Right at that time, it was noisy outside. Gao Di with one ear accompanied with a group of youths from seventeen to eighteen ran into the tavern.
– “Dage!  It was him, who is sitting next to the windows that cut down my ear. He also said that the Tyrants were built by a group of children. That he had said that he clearly looked down on you dage.”
An Zheng picked up the wine bowl, drank a little more, knitted his brows, and looked out of the windows.
Such a small place in such a small corner like this made it too difficult to live in peace. He intended to be satisfied with his life, but it seemed to be difficult… if he had wanted to live in peace and quiet, he had to teach those hooligans not to cause trouble with him anymore.
 Ji?: Wine
 A gallant
 Big brother/Big bro
(i) I pissed myself laughing when imagining those two dumb dogs.
(ii) Or he would have been beaten too dummy!
(iii) A friend in need is a friend indeed.
(iv) It smelled as f*ck!