Chapter 1: The Nation’s Male God (1)
Shen Zhifan was very good-looking.
This kind of ‘good-looking’ was a broad sort of ‘good-looking’. From the time he was young, up until he turned sixteen years old, anyone who saw him couldn’t help but sigh; this child was truly neat and beautiful.
If you counted the number of young girls who would sneakily turn their red faces away, the girls that had secretly loved Shen Zhifan had to be in the dozens. For this reason, Shen Zhifan, that goddamn bastard, was annoying. The first earnings in sister Jing’s life were made by selling his photos.
The reason why he was described as beautiful, was that the 16-year-old Shen Zhifan had not yet matured. He was this kind of rose-lipped, white-toothed1唇红齿白 – lit. rose-lipped, white-toothed – a handsome youth young man, with refreshingly short hair.
He would wear a casual white shirt, and when the wind blew, under the thin bangs were actually the youth’s clean and pure eyes.
His temperament was good, and he also liked to smile. When the corners of his lips hooked up, it…was like a painting.
Just how handsome was he? It was about to the extent, where his rude-mouthed younger sister Shen Zhirou would often say: Although Shen Zhifan didn’t really have any brains, fortunately, he didn’t need to learn any skills either. Even if he was gluttonous and lazy, he could absolutely live off his face.
Actually, Shen Zhifan didn’t really like this so-called beautiful appearance. As a boy, he always eventually wanted to walk the road of a mature and handsome man.
So, the Shen Zhifan of yesterday who still felt like he didn’t know when he would grow up, awoke to find that his dreams had come true. Looking at the mirror was a little…he didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.
The man in the mirror was still him, that definitely wasn’t wrong. No matter if it was from those familiar brows and eyes to the little red mole on his neck, it all should be his body.
Even the scars remaining from the healed wounds on his hands from the past few years were still there, so this body was definitely still his own.
Then the real problem arose, when did he grow to be so…mature.
And there was also this really…cough, he furtively took his hand out of his underwear, guilty and blushing. Although his future development was so good that he couldn’t help but feel a little proud – Ah, but wait, that obviously wasn’t the point.
Whether it was speaking of just that part or the whole body, all of it wasn’t the body that Shen Zhifan should have had at the age of sixteen years.
The him in the mirror was no longer the boy that could have used ‘beautiful’ to describe himself at sixteen years of age. Now it seemed like ‘handsome’ would be more appropriate. However, it wasn’t a kind of crude and rough handsome, but a mature kind of handsome, with no lack of delicacy.
Looking down once again, it was no longer the thin body of a youth. The muscles were proportioned and symmetrical, with unbloated lines that fulfilled both aesthetic and power. Wide shoulders and narrow waist, a six-pack, with an organ that was big and lively – Ah, although he should have written that off, whether it was lively or not was still awaiting verification.
The electronic calendar hanging to the side quickly answered the question that’d had him at a loss, it was year 733 of the interstellar calendar…then this should be seven years into the future.
So, now he was twenty-three?
Shen Zhifan squinted slightly at the mirror, and the man in the mirror did the same. He stretched out a finger, pointing to the man in the mirror. It seemed like he was dreaming…he couldn’t tell if he really was dreaming or not. It wasn’t just the maturity of his countenance, the feeling of his gestures seemed different…but even if one looked carefully, one still wouldn’t know how to describe it.
Anyhow, after sizing himself up for about half a day, he came to a conclusion.
After growing up, he had really become handsome.
God was fair, after giving Shen Zhifan an extremely good-looking exterior he’d also incidentally dug out a piece of perception from his heart2心眼 – lit. heart eye. Can refer to heart/intelligence (in the sense that a person knows how to treat others and can recognise how they themselves are treated by others), intentions, social grace. Sometimes refers to a person having too many unfounded misgivings about others. when Shen Zhifan was born. There was usually no cure for this kind of inborn lack of social awareness. Giving the mirror a wink, he turned his attention away, now more interested in his current environment.
When he’d just woken up, he had felt it was a little off, but at that time, he hadn’t been fully awake. Now, after eyeing the place again, he thought this was really…indescribably expensive.
This house was very big, it was truly a magnificent sight3金碧辉煌 – gold and jade in glorious splendour. Our author repeated this three times in this paragraph…please…chill…. Even so, it wasn’t a vulgar magnificence, it was more of a…lowkey luxurious type of splendour. Shen Zhifan contemplated deeply for a while and after being unable to come up with more high-end adjectives, decided to give up.
Anyway, it just looked like the place was made of money.
Shen Zhifan came from a family that was relatively poor, and the three generations before him had always been earnest miners on Saturn. For many years, no matter where they looked, the people of their family only wore a few thick, anti-radiation suits. Also, their genes weren’t good in the first place, so everyone grew to look very arbitrary. Against all expectations, when it came to Shen Zhifan – He was a phoenix flying out of a chicken’s nest. The more he grew, the prettier he got. He was pretty to the point that his father looked at him every day and sighed incessantly.
If it weren’t for the birth certificate as well as his father thinking; frankly, his wife was only so pretty, she wouldn’t be able to seduce any man who was better-looking than him – he wouldn’t even have dared to recognise Shen Zhifan as his offspring.
“Look how unattractive your younger sister is, how come only you look like this?” Father Shen’s grieving and lamenting finger pointed to the side, where Shen Zhirou was currently picking at her foot.
At these times, the unattractive Shen Zhirou would usually roll her eyes unceasingly.
Shen Zhifan: “…”
Blame me, blame me for being born so good-looking.
In short, even though this family didn’t have money, they got by rather happily.
Therefore, when Shen Zhifan first laid eyes on the room he was now in, he really…shivered a little.
If this was truly seven years later, then he really was rather successful.
A little curious, he walked out of the bathroom and directly into the living room, if it could even be called the living room. It was wide, with complex chandeliers suspended from the ceiling. The sides of the double staircase leading downstairs were filled with famous paintings, and although he couldn’t recognise any of them, they looked incredibly expensive.
He couldn’t be blamed, the current Shen Zhifan was still the sixteen-year-old Shen Zhifan inside. Ever since he was a child, he’d always lived on Saturn, which was sparsely populated, with the economy being very sluggish and backward. Most of his forefathers were miners and had only seen these things often on their small, blurry-screened television.
Shen Zhifan’s line of sight kept moving, and when it finally landed on a photo in the centre of the living room…he was stunned.
It was an extremely large portrait of the deceased, about two metres wide, hung right at the centre of the living room. The girl in the photo was distinctly different from his memory – she had grown up a lot – but sure enough, she was still unattractive.
He jumped back in shock. When he realised that it was a portrait of the deceased, his body had reacted quicker than his mind. His eyes reddened. Even though Shen Zhirou was really annoying, occasionally she wasn’t, and this sudden display of a deceased person’s photo had still caught him unawares.
Although Shen Zhirou was both annoying and uncute, unattractive, even her voice was unpleasant on the ears…well, if he thought about it like that, sure enough, she had no merits. Still, once in a while he would think that she had a little bit of cuteness, but even then he had to force himself to think up her good points.
Shen Zhifan wiped at his face forcefully – originally, his curiosity towards this world had been suppressed. He silently stared at the huge, unfathomable portrait, and let out a deep sigh, telling himself that the dead couldn’t come back to life. Lastly, he touched the portrait – although she was ugly, she could reluctantly be counted as a smiling, flowery young girl…
“Brother, what are you doing.”
Shen Zhifan, who hadn’t yet reacted, heard this voice and subconsciously turned around. His eyes happened to meet with those of Shen Zhirou who had just gotten out of bed, with hair like a bird’s nest.
Since he was now the Shen Zhifan that had grown up, the one in front of him was also the adult version of Shen Zhirou. Shen Zhifan had lived up to expectations without any long-term defects, while Shen Zhirou had lived up to expectations by not growing well. If she cleaned herself up a bit she could almost be counted as having clear and fair white skin. However, as of now, her barely-awake, barefaced appearance with traces of unknown liquid at the corner of her mouth really just made for a tragic sight.
Shen Zhifan blanked, looking at the perfectly alive girl in front of him, then turned his head around take another look at the huge dead person’s portrait, then looked at the girl, and back to the portrait.
Shen Zhirou: “???”
Shen Zhifan unconsciously asked: “Isn’t this a picture of the deceased?”
Shen Zhirou: “…”
Her face reddened visibly. Aggrieved and indignant, she threw herself at the picture, her body in the shape of a 呈 character, blocking Shen Zhifan’s line of sight and stopping him from continuing to look at her photo.
“This is the photo I took to enter in a competition, okay? It’s the latest style in replicating black-and-white photography. If you don’t know anything then don’t talk nonsense, will you! What damn picture of the dead, do your family’s portraits look like this!”
Shen Zhifan retracted his wasted sentiment and expressionlessly said: “Oh, of course, our family’s portraits of the dead all look like this.”
Shen Zhirou: “…” They really fucking did.
However seeing the resurrected (not necessarily) Shen Zhirou, his mood lightened immensely. This kind of false alarm made him feel as if it happened a lifetime ago, but the sound of his sister’s nearly earth-shattering voice made him realise that he truly wasn’t dreaming.
Even if he wasn’t dreaming, this really was too fake, wasn’t it? Yesterday he was obviously still the sixteen-year-old Shen Zhifan, and at this time he should’ve been in studying in the classroom, dazedly listening to the teacher’s lectures and occasionally closing his eyes to the sound of his deskmate whining. After class, he would receive a bucketload of love letters, then go to the closest bookstore to waste away the rest of his afternoon.
Shen Zhifan’s throat bobbed up and down, and he couldn’t resist stretching out a finger to poke at Shen Zhirou.
Shen Zhirou was like a puppy whose fur had been fried. She used to be like this as well. After being poked only once, she was itching to bite Shen Zhifan back ten times and shouted: “You-you-you-you’re good-looking so you think you’re hot shit now?!”
“Well, not really,” Shen Zhifan was suddenly a little embarrassed. He felt that the Shen Zhirou of yesterday who was not incomparable to a child had grown into not a slim and graceful, but an upright young woman. It was rather miraculous. “Just, uh…right now should I be…twenty-three years old?”
“Hah?” Facing her brother who had changed the subject way too quickly, Shen Zhirou obviously hadn’t reacted yet. Her eyebrows drew together.
“I’m saying,” Shen Zhifan had a bit of a hard time finding his words. With his sister, this kind of close relative, he didn’t need to hide anything, “I think that just yesterday I was sixteen!”
Shen Zhirou gave a cold, disapproving laugh: “Oh, so looking delicate makes you so amazing, I also feel like year after year I’m still sixteen.”
Shen Zhifan: “…”
Just when he wanted to explain himself further, the doorbell suddenly began to ring, making him jump.
“Ahhh! There’s a guest, you should have told me earlier!” Shen Zhirou blanked, after all, she was still a young woman. She hurriedly stamped her feet and like a wisp of smoke, she escaped back into her own room, “I can’t meet anyone looking like this!”
She didn’t give Shen Zhifan the chance to say, “I don’t know anyone right now.”
Shen Zhifan, at a loss, stared blankly. He could only brace himself; with some trepidation, he went to open the door.
When the door opened, Shen Zhifan became unable to speak.
The other person was very tall. He had to look up slightly to see him, so the other person was probably taller than him by about half a head. At first glance, he saw a body clad in navy blue military uniform, which was so stiff that it looked brand new, without a trace of any wrinkles. This type of imposing manner, with not a strand of hair out of place, was extremely forceful. A golden, high-level epaulette was sewn onto his shoulder, and when Shen Zhifan’s gaze moved up, he saw that person’s face.
His face was somewhat slim, although it was a type of face that showed his mental vitality. He had more Western-inclined features which gave him a clear, statuesque outline, with eyes that were deep-set but unshadowed. The bridge of his nose was very high, and the azure irises underneath his long, thick eyelashes were sharp like the edge of a blade. When he casually looked around, it was like being carved and polished by an engraved knife.
He was not only extremely handsome, but he was also an upright, honest type of handsome. He was like a low-hanging eagle suspended above, in the wild, scorching sun.
This point was one that Shen Zhifan had been aware of since very long ago, and now had rediscovered; that General Yan Shuo in real life seemed more handsome than when he was on television.
The Shen Zhifan that had suddenly seen his lifelong idol stood there staring stupidly for a moment. His state of mind had been shaken to the extent that he wasn’t very clear-headed or accepting, so his arm, without permission, automatically closed the door.
General Yan, who had been about to open his mouth but had the door closed on his face instead, was a little embarrassed: “…”
Shen Zhirou, who had blanked at the sound of the door closing, poked her head out of her room: “Who was it?”
Shen Zhifan, still rooted in his stunned dream cycle, mechanically said: “Little sister, I’m seeing hallucinations.”
“Ah?” Shen Zhirou ‘ah’ed in discontentment.
“I saw Yan Shuo.” Shen Zhifan’s face showed his soul’s return to God.
“…” Shen Zhirou remained unmoved, “Oh, so what, this is very normal.”
“How is this normal?!” Shen Zhifan who had finally returned from his mental journey asked. “Doesn’t our family work in the mines in an outlying interplanetary corner? Since when have we been able to casually see an imperial general?”
Shen Zhirou fell silent for a moment, looking at Shen Zhifan with a kind of hard-to-describe expression commonly known as being constipated: “Those are matters of years ago, brother you’ve gotten sick today, haven’t you?… At least now your status isn’t low, you can be counted as the nation’s male god.”
End of Chapter 1
T/N: Hey guys it’s me, deathbutlowkey! I’m pretty new to translating, and my this is my first solo project. This is my favourite type of novel (but I had to pick the one that has more complex writing even though I’m a new tler qaq) drama and fighting and shit are good every once in a while but we all need some fluff and healing and wholesomeness too!! The first three chapters will be posted together, and then from there, it’ll hopefully be a new chapter every Sunday. Hope you all enjoy General’s Cat!
- 1唇红齿白 – lit. rose-lipped, white-toothed – a handsome youth
- 2心眼 – lit. heart eye. Can refer to heart/intelligence (in the sense that a person knows how to treat others and can recognise how they themselves are treated by others), intentions, social grace. Sometimes refers to a person having too many unfounded misgivings about others.
- 3金碧辉煌 – gold and jade in glorious splendour. Our author repeated this three times in this paragraph…please…chill…