56. Interlude: The Hei Family Rule
It was back when Hei QiYao was five.
The character used for his generation was Qi. There were two sons – the younger son, Hei QiYao, and the elder son, Hei QiXuan. QiXuan was fifteen years old.
Their parents would travel the world the whole year round. At first, they’d drag Hei QiYao, this third-wheeler, with them. Finally, they saw the light. They left QiYao in his brother’s care and drifted off into their own little romantic world.
The first day he transferred to his new kindergarten, tiny Hei QiYao caused an uproar. That’s not surprising. While he was still a teeny toddler who’d yet grown into a handsome man, his excellent genes showed themselves. A beautiful kid would have a great life no matter where they went.
All the boys and girls buzzed around him. QiYao got rather annoyed by them, but he did his best to hold his temper in as it was only the first day.
“Hey, pretty girl, be my girlfriend,” said a brash and arrogant voice.
“…” QiYao decided to ignore it. He walked around the great lump and his two little followers standing in front of him.
“Feisty. I like it. Be my girlfriend. I’ll protect you.” The lump grabbed QiYao’s hand. He wasn’t going to let the pretty girl run off that easily.
“…Let go!” Not only was he being pulled around by a pig, he’s also being mistaken for a girl. QiYao’s patience was near bottom.
“Hey, how dare you yell at our bro. Don’t…refuse the…the…cawwot for the pick.” The child still didn’t know what the idiom really was. ╮(╯▽╰)╭
“…” Hei QiYao threw a scornful side-eye glance at the kid. He harshly tugged his hand back from the grip, turned away and left.
Xiao Zheng didn’t think this tiny and thin “pretty girl” would be so strong. He stared down at his hand. Not willing to give up, he ran after QiYao once more. He was this kindergarten’s most handsome boy. Every kid in the area knew that. If others knew he got rejected, that’d be so humiliating.
“Hey, be my girlfriend.” Xiao Zheng ran ahead and struck a pose he thought was a good one right in front of QiYao.
“Hmph. One kiss and you’ll be my girlfriend.”
QiYao looked at the pouting mouth heading for his face. Finally, he snapped. He punched the other at his jaw.
“You hit me!” While Xiao Zheng was part of the older class and was more mature in all departments (so he thought), he wasn’t so mature as to not hit back when punched. His blood rushed up and he immediately charged in. Soon, the both of them were in a cloud of fists.
QiYao might be smaller than the other, but rich kids were all trained in all matters of self-defence since they could start walking. QiYao knew how to fight. On the other hand, the larger Xiao Zheng didn’t have much of an advantage. He was soon in tears.
“Y-You actually hit Zheng!” The two followers finally reacted. They rushed over to join the fight and the four of them tumbled into a lively, wrestling mess.
By the time the teachers split the kids apart, rainbows decorated every face. Not even Hei QiYao was left out. There was no helping it. With his physique, there’s no way he’d be uninjured when fighting three alone unless he had outside help. Compared to the three bawling boys, QiYao merely patted the dust off his clothes and left after throwing out, “I’m a boy!”
When QiYao got home that night, QiXuan was sitting on the couch with his legs crossed, watching television.
“You’re back,” QiXuan said as QiYao stepped into sight.
“Mn. Brother.” QiYao gave out a simple greeting. He just wanted to get back to his room now and change out of his dirty clothes.
“Hm? Wait. Xiao-Yao, come back.” QiXuan instantly noticed his brother’s weird look. He curled a finger in a beckoning gesture at QiYao.
QiYao hesitated. Still, he obediently walked over. QiXuan lifted his younger brother onto his lap and examined him from top to bottom: messy hair, bruise on face, new clothes that’d turned into a crumpled mess with a hole in it now. It was clear the boy had been in a fight.
“Heh. You were in a fight. And you lost?” teased QiXuan.
“…No. I just tripped.” QiYao twisted his head away. The tiny seed known as a man’s dignity, or rather rebellious spirit, popped up. Unwittingly, QiYao lied.
QiXuan squinted his eyes at the boy. With two fingers, he turned that stubborn face to look at him again.
The next moment, QiYao’s eyes went as wide as saucers and his mind blanked out. QiXuan was…kissing him.
That’s right. A mouth-to-mouth kiss. Bleurgh. There’s even tongue. The weird sensation freaked QiYao right down to his core. His mind snapped back to reality and he begun struggling with all his might. Unfortunately, the size difference was way too big. QiYao couldn’t move at all. He was at the mercy of the man.
“Are you a pervert?” QiYao shouted when his brother had enough of the kissing and released his lips. He forcefully scrubbed his mouth with the back of his hand. It was the first time he’d yelled at the brother he’d so revered.
“You hate it, don’t you?”
“I too hate it when others lie to me, QiYao. Especially you, my younger brother.” QiXuan stopped his mocking and teasing manner. He looked at the boy in the eye and solemnly spoke.
“…I-I’m sorry.” The tiny Hei QiYao was a teensy bit scared of his big brother who suddenly got serious.
“Listen up. If you ever dare lie, you’d best be prepared for punishment.”
“Yes.” Lying meant punishment. This rule was set in stone within QiYao’s mind. The tiny seed of useless dignity scattered like a cloud of dust before the strange punishment of the Hei family’s eldest son.
“Now, go change.”
“Yes.” QiYao climbed off his brother’s lap and dutifully walked back to his room.
“Right, Xiao-Yao,” QiXuan called out just before QiYao walked into his room.
“What is it, Brother?”
“For the next punishment, which do you prefer? Kiss you until you faint or strip you down and spank you?” With a hand behind his head, QiXuan went back to how he was before – someone who desperately needed a beating.
“None. Of. It!” QiYao burst into a rage once more. He stomped his way into his room and slammed the door behind him.
“Hehehe…” The living room was filled with QiXuan’s laughter. “Xiao-Yao’s first kiss. I can even boast about it to his future girlfriends now…”
1. Carrot and pick: Translation of the typical “to refuse a toast only to be forced to drink a forfeit” to the “carrot and stick” saying. Because the kid fumbled and used similar sounding words instead, it got replaced with “cawwot and pick”.
2. Xiao Zheng: No, not the character used for little. It’s a surname + first name.
3. Legs crossed: In Chinese, it’s called “二郎脚”. Named after Erlang Shen. According to legends/old poets/records, the original statue of the deity had him sitting down with his legs crossed. Years later, they renovated the shrine/temple and changed him into a standing pose. Actual recordings of whether this was true and how it looked was lost to the ages. So no one really knows that the original “Erlang feet” meant. Nowadays, it generally does mean crossed legs but it differs depending on context and reader/writer background. There’s the general crossed at knees with legs hanging down, a weird type that hooks the ankle behind the knee and the ankle-on-knee type. Either way, it means the person’s relaxed, but whether it’s in a negative light (e.g. lazy bum) or not is highly dependant on context and gender. Women are never said to be sitting with “二郎脚” negatively.