Chapter 5: The General’s Cat (2)
Editor: Mimishijie ☺
“Lady Yan, this is today’s evening news.”
A young guard passed the evening newspaper to the elegantly seated lady.
He was new, and couldn’t help but steal an extra glance at her.
The woman was not young and she seemed to not pay too much attention to maintaining her appearance, so there were already a few thin lines by the corners of her eyes. However, this didn’t really make people feel as if she was old or past her prime. At a glance, she gave a feeling of grace and refinement, making one feel that she seemed to be unlike other upper-class women who painstakingly resisted against the passage of time. Although she had fine lines, there was a kind of leisurely and unhurried beauty.
“You’ve worked hard.”
The lady laughed softly, her laughter was clear and pleasant to the ears. Today she’d worn a retro-style Eastern qipao1旗袍 – that one stereotypical Chinese dress you see in every media representation, also called a cheongsam. You know, one piece, high collar, short or no sleeves: again and between her every frown and every smile was an implicit charm. The young guard’s cheeks couldn’t help but redden.
They happened to be seen sighted by a passing young man, who couldn’t help but tease the poor guard,: “Aunty is indeed beautiful today.”
The lady didn’t mind him at all, only laughing and looking at him,: “Aren’t you going to see your older brother? Is Ah Shuo2Ah – a prefix added onto someone’s name to show familiarity or intimacy. not at home?”
The young man removed his gold-rimmed glasses and wiped them, his laughter gentle: “En, he’s not, he’s probably rushing about because of Princess Olivia’s matters.”
“Olivia’s problem really is quite thorny – this princess always acts out and causes trouble,” Lady Yan sighed, although she seemed like she did not care about it that much. Her priority was her child. “But Ah Shuo really didn’t care for her. If he’d been willing to give her a little more attention, she wouldn’t have made such a ruckus.”
The youth was a little curious, “From what I’ve seen, since we lost contact with Olivia, second brother has been running up and down. Does that look like him not caring for her?”
Lady Yan laughed and shook her head: “Since you didn’t grow up with him from when he was little, you wouldn’t understand. When he was very young, he was brought up by me. At that time, our lives weren’t short of sufferings; his character was tough and he always put on a cold face. Sometimes even when I became angry, his face wouldn’t change at all. It was only later that he actually found a method to appease me.”
“What method was that?”
“He has his father’s ‘Zola’ bloodline and, although the Zola’s full form is mighty and frightening, the normal form is actually quite cute,” Lady Yan recalled, unable to suppress a laugh and gesturing as well, “At that time he was so small, so beautiful and cute, like a kitten. With such an adorable little thing coming over to coax me, how could I stay angry? Only, that kind of form is really too small and weak, he never liked it. You’ll certainly never see it.”
“It’s – it’s really too cute, my goodness.”
Shen Zhirou clutched at her chest, feeling as if with each breath, she was unable to breathe properly.
Shen Zhifan was further away from the cat, but after seeing those watery and bright blue eyes, he also felt his heart suddenly soften.
This cat’s appearance was indeed beautiful but was also extremely tempered. Although they didn’t know it’s gender, Shen Zhifan could make out a hint of valiance from its face.
He couldn’t help but laugh a little, it was probably because this cat really was too cute.
Shen Zhirou’s voice had become tender and gentle; this cat was so beautiful that it made her forget about the flower vase that the cat had knocked off the balcony, as well as those other departed souls. It also almost made her forget about the memories and heartache she’d recalled just then.
Bright, beautiful, and soft things would always make people become bright, beautiful, and soft in return.
She cautiously and very attentively padded over, seeming like she wanted to pet it. However, as soon as she reached out, the cat swiftly withdrew by two steps.
It actually couldn’t be said that it ‘withdrew’, it simply nimbly avoided her, turning its head away in a somewhat tsundere fashion.
….Shen Zhifan didn’t know why he could indescribably read the word ‘contempt’ written in this cat’s eyes.
Shen Zhirou, contrary to expectations, did not get angry. She regarded the cat as being afraid of strangers and retreated a little in fear that it would get scared and run away.
“Which family’s cat is this? It’s so beautiful, only a little too shy with strangers. I really want to touch it.”
Although she said this, whenever the undeterred Shen Zhirou advanced in order to try and rub that fluffy little head, she was always deftly avoided by the cat.
“Such a beautiful cat must be domesticated, it probably snuck out not too far from our house.” Shen Zhifan blurted out a question. “Who lives next door to us?”
“Our neighbours?” Shen Zhirou didn’t respond for a moment. When she’d thought of it, she dully replied. “Oh, it’s that Yan Shuo, General Yan. Such a cute and pretty kitty definitely wouldn’t have been raised by him, something like that is too soft for a single man like him. Ah, it’s a pity, although he’s handsome, he’s always so serious and harsh all the time.”
“What’s bad about being serious?” Shen Zhifan couldn’t help but defend his male god. “And also, when was he ever harsh? Even to me, General Yan is quite gentle.”
The cat again tilted its head slightly, looking at the youth that seemed a little biased towards him.
“As if.” Shen Zhirou knit her brow. “The whole empire knows about you putting a green hat on him. I’m thinking that right now, about eighty percent of him is thinking about how to chop you up and eat you.”
“…” For Shen Zhifan, just thinking about it made him feel heartsick. He sighed helplessly but again couldn’t help but defend. “But when I asked him for an autograph just then, he was very nice. He even said he’d faithfully attend to it!”
Shen Zhirou stared blankly, then sighed, saying sincerely: “Brother, you’ve forgotten that you’re young right now, your experience still isn’t enough ah.”
Shen Zhifan: “…” In some ways, Shen Zhirou had really grown older than him.
“If the time comes when he wants to invite you out to talk about these things, you definitely can’t go. Think about it, he’s such a high-ranking, important person – he must be particularly proud of his face3not literal face, more like reputation. and would definitely be unable to tolerate wearing a green hat. What if he takes this pretext to have you secretly gunned down?”
Shen Zhifan paused, hesitant: “When you say it like that, it actually kind of makes sense…”
Cat: “…” How did such absurdity make any sense?
“But if General Yan really invited me out, how could I ever decline?” Shen Zhifan continued, lowering his head slightly and seemingly distressed. “And if we’re neighbours, shouldn’t I take the initiative to pay him a visit tomorrow, at least to be polite? I can’t say for sure if I can get rid of his misunderstanding towards me…”
“…” Shen Zhirou was temporarily speechless, her complexion had become a little odd. “Brother, I’ve found that you seem to quite like General Yan?”
The cat that was silently eavesdropping twitched its tail. It purposefully dropped down onto its two front paws, dozing off in a half-lying position. However, one ear trembled and was half-raised.
Shen Zhifan fell silent, thinking of something. In his daze, he began to blush again, mumbling somewhat: “You wouldn’t understand a man’s worship of his idol.”
Shen Zhirou was bewildered as she found that she truly couldn’t understand.
“If I don’t understand, then I don’t understand.” Shen Zhirou couldn’t help but splutter. “What’s your face red for?”
Shen Zhifan seemed unwilling to elaborate. He glossed over the topic and changed it back to the cat.
“Its fur looks really soft.”
Shen Zhirou was immediately brought back to the cat, her expression truly yearning. However, the kitty was very alert; as soon as she moved her hand it would open its eyes, lithely striding onto the balcony. It looked soft and cute, but in actuality, even one strand of cat hair couldn’t be touched.
Shen Zhirou finally gave up after countless failed attempts. Under her despair, she finally had an inkling of the nasty nature underneath this cat’s adorable appearance.
Hidden behind graceful steps, its tail seemed to curl unhurriedly and cheerfully, its eyes disdainfully narrowing as he looked at her out of the corner of them. It seemed that it was rather delighted with teasing her.
The thought occurred to Shen Zhirou that this cat seemed almost supernaturally intelligent.
Shen Zhifan’s fingers also itched. He’d heard that cats made their outwards appearance so cute and innocent in order to excite the innermost adoration from humans and attain the ultimate goal of survival.
However, watching Shen Zhirou try and fail repeatedly, Shen Zhifan was also rather disheartened. Sure enough, this cat was extremely intelligent.
Even so, he couldn’t help but try, taking a step forward.
The cat crooked its head, its large, soft tail swaying.
Shen Zhirou, who’d been making a fool of herself for a while was waiting to watch Shen Zhifan make a joke out of himself: “Your distance right now is too far, but you definitely won’t be able to get any closer.”
Shen Zhifan locked eyes with the cat and his heart suddenly stirred.
Those eyes were so beautiful, like a resplendent galaxy.
He suddenly thought of something in his heart; those eyes were so soft, it was as if they were longing for him.
Thus, he took another step forward.
Shen Zhirou’s voice, that’d been rejoicing in his misfortune, suddenly came to a stop. Her mouth gaped open slightly.
The sunlight fell, and the gentle shimmering afterglow of the setting sun was like a layer of golden gauze, bright and blinking. It lengthened the youth’s shadow and gilded the fur of the normally white cat. It raised its head haughtily, and before Shen Zhirou’s expectant eyes, it jumped into the youth’s embrace without hesitation.
Today, Shen Zhirou had been truly wronged, alright?
Excuse me?4this was written in English in the raws lol
Ah, she had already recognised that this world only looked at appearances, but how come even a cat was willing to wound her? Had she done anything wrong, huh?
- 1旗袍 – that one stereotypical Chinese dress you see in every media representation, also called a cheongsam. You know, one piece, high collar, short or no sleeves:
- 2Ah – a prefix added onto someone’s name to show familiarity or intimacy.
- 3not literal face, more like reputation.
- 4this was written in English in the raws lol