General’s Gown Chapter 40

Chapter 40 The Desert Kiss Part 5


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Helian Rongchuan’s hands were neither light nor heavy when he stroked the shallow depression of Yan Changqing’s back. Even through the layer of clothes, he felt that the line of Yan Changqing’s waist was extremely smooth and tantalizing. It had the lean strength that can only be obtained through long-term exercise and the narrowness and flexibility of a young boy who had not yet fully matured. 

Helian Rongchuan even discovered that Yan Changqing had two shallow dimples on his back. He once heard someone considered to be Dongyun’s most romantic dude say that there are thousands of beautiful bodies in the world, but those with shallow dimples were hard to find. When saying this his eyes lit up, full of greed and envy. Anyone with dimples on their back was considered a rare beauty.

Helian Rongchuan had always looked down on the countless romantic affairs of other people, but now suddenly he felt that what the Dongyun player said was true. He couldn’t help but smile in fascination. 

Seeing Helian Rongchuan’s smirk, Yan Changqing couldn’t bear not knowing what he was thinking. The coffin was narrow, and with his arms folded, he finally pulled Helian Rongchuan’s dishonest hand off his body. 

“What the h*ll do you mean by this?” Yan Changqing frowned. 

“Nothing .” Helian Rongchuan bent his two fingers and knocked on the half-opened cover of the heavy coffin: “It’s red and gold gilded, isn’t it festive? A gift for you.” 

Yan Changqing: “…” 

Gift? Who would give a coffin as a gift? And in such a weird and festive colour scheme?! 

Yan Changqing couldn’t figure out what Helian Rongchuan’s mysterious gift meant, and he couldn’t stand the intimacy of being face-to-face. Their breath intermingled in the coffin, so he immediately sat up ready to walk out. 

Helian Rongchuan grabbed him: “Don’t rush, you have to take a closer look before drawing any conclusions.” 

He pointed to the side of the coffin behind Yan Changqing. Yan Changqing turned over, and by the candlelight of the camp, he discovered that a very fine pattern was carved on the inside walls of the coffin. 

The carvings depicted different scenes. Each one was as big as two palms. 

The top one was an engraving of a black army on the hillside under a full moon. The flags were flying. A man in armour and a mask was riding on a horse, a bow in his hand ready to shoot an arrow. Following the trajectory of the arrow, Yan Changqing saw a person standing alone under the hillside, looking at the other with a smile on his face. 

This is… the time when they first met.

Yan Changqing felt his heartbeat pick up, beating faster and faster. He tilted his head slightly and continued to the engravings with a renewed curiosity. 

The second picture was of a narrow stone staircase. A man with messy clothes and blindfolded eyes looked a little confused and at a loss. The other person was holding him cautiously from behind, fingers interlocked. His expression was sad and full of guilt. 

Yan Changqing frowned. This was not a very pleasant memory. But after all, it was in the past and he was a man. He would not bother bickering about it now. But why does Helian Rongchuan look like he is in pain here? 

As he was thinking, Helian Rongchuan gently grasped his waist and softly said: “In fact, I always wanted to tell you that I owe you an apology for what happened that day.” 

Yan Changqing immediately understood what Helian Rongchuan was referring to. He pulled Helian Rongchuan’s hand, feeling slightly uncomfortable, and calmly replied: “It’s all in the past.” 

Next, there was an extravagantly lush and tall elm tree with a canopy that seemed to cover the sky. The big umbrella gave shade to a dozen frolicking cheerful children under the tree. Some kids were bent over picking up elm money and some were looking up at the enormous tree. Then Yan Changqing saw a person holding another person as they were falling from the elm tree, their clothes fluttered. They looked like immortal beings. 

Yan Changqing’s fingers lightly traced the outline of the big elm tree, shaking uncontrollably. For an instant, he seemed to have returned to the moment when blood dripped into the ground, saturating and colouring it crimson. The day when Qixia Village was mercilessly slaughtered. 

In fact, Yan Changqing suffered through long or short nightmares almost every night. In his dreams, he was back in Qixia Village watching the innocent villagers get slaughtered time after time. Then watching Helian Rongchuan fall from the cliff with a sad expression on a loop. He couldn’t ever move in these dreams, frozen in the same spot and feeling helpless. 

That’s why now he fought more viciously against the enemy on the battlefield. Each swing of his sword silently screamed with desperation. That’s why he rushed over to the plague-ridden city of Qinchuan without any second thoughts. He wanted to use his power to save the people and redeem his sins. 

“Actually, when I think about Qixia Village… I owe you, and all the people in the village an apology.” Yan Changqing spoke slowly: “They… they are all… because of me…” 

Yan Changqing couldn’t continue. 

“It’s already in the past, isn’t it?” Helian Rongchuan said softly, “This is not your fault. If we need to blame someone, you can blame me or the dog emperor. I think since the villagers in the heavens reconnected with their souls, they will not blame you.” 

Helian Rongchuan stretched out his hand and stroked Yan Changqing’s handsome profile, as if comforting a child, and patted him softly on the cheek: 

“I know you have done your best.” 

Yan Changqing turned over and looked at Helian Rongchuan’s face, still quiet. He wanted to say something, but no words came to his lips. His heart was conflicted. 

“Let’s atone for sins committed in Qinchuan together. Okay?” 

There seemed to be a faint light trembling in the black mercury-like eyes. Suddenly Yan Changqing understood why Helian Rongchuan had such a coffin made for him. 

He raised his head slightly and looked at the heavy coffin lid trying to make out the words carved into it. However, the light at this angle was too dim. Helian Rongchuan as if reading Yan Changqing’s thoughts grabbed his hand. He clasped his fingers and reached then reached over to trace them over the engraving. 

Sure enough, there was writing on the cover. 

Yan Changqing’s fingers traced the indentations left by the intricate carving. 

Not seeking to be born the same day—

Then a vertical line continuing its path to the left. 

Yan Changqing hesitated, taken aback as if a stream of warm spring water poured into his heart. He froze not daring to touch the next line. However, Helian Rongchuan stubbornly clasped his hand and continued to explore the writing.

But begging—

Yan Changqing’s fingers started to tremble. 

Helian Rongchuan continued trailing their fingers over this message. As he touched each word, he whispered it softly in Yan Changqing’s ear. 

“But.” 

“Begging.” 

“To.” 

“Die”

“The”

“Same.” 

“Day.” 

Helian Rongchuan’s voice was low and soft, dripping magnetism and desire. His lips were pressed against the other man’s ear. This made Yan Changqing’s normally cold and guarded heart feel inexplicably flustered. This feeling was deeply foreign to him. 

So it turns out that Helian Rongchuan had already known about the plague in Qinchuan. Yet he still travelled thousands of miles to intending to live and die together. To atone for hundreds of lives lost in Qixia Village. 

That’s why he prepared a two-person coffin. If they were accidentally to perish, he would want to embrace and sleep together forever.  

Helian Rongchuan looked at Yan Changqing’s blushing face and whispered: “Now do you understand why I had this coffin made rather festive, in red and gold?” He closed the already short distance between them as he spoke. He could almost hear Yan Changqing’s hurried, flustered heartbeat. 

“If I can be buried with you, it is no longer a funeral but a joyous event.” 

Yan Changqing’s eyes widened a little surprised by the passion behind Helian Rongchuan’s words. Embarrassed, he watched Helian Rongchuan move closer, lowering his head to kiss him once more. 

Helian Rongchuan had confessed to him repeatedly tonight. Yan Changqing still feeling a little blindsided by this, did not know how to respond. 

This coffin was too small. He shouldn’t have come in! 

Helian Rongchuan grasped Yan Changqing’s chin. He was about to tilt his head closer and kiss him, tasting the other man’s sweetness again, when he heard Yan Changqing’s soft:

 “Huh?” 

The moment Helian Rongchuan moved his head, Yan Changqing discovered a picturesque scene carved on the side wall of the coffin behind him.

Wholly intending to dodge Helian Rongchuan’s kiss, Yan Changqing pretended to be very interested in the carved wall. So he pulled at Helian Rongchuan’s shoulders and looked behind him. 

Helian Rongchuan cried out “not good”, now wishing to chop off his hand in regret. He hurriedly leaned back to block Yan Changqing’s view: “What are you looking at? Don’t look at it!” 

An unexpectedly rare show of panic burned in his dark brown eyes. 

But the more he panicked, the more Yan Changqing felt unsettled. He barked out: “Get out of the way.” 

“No.” 

Yan Changqing’s frown deepened. There has to be something there! 

“Get out of the way.” Yan Changqing threatened through gritted teeth. 

Helian Rongchuan knew he couldn’t hide it from him any longer. He closed his eyes: “You need to swear that you won’t take me down with your sword after seeing it!” 

Yan Changqing frowned: “I swear.” 

Helian Rongchuan finally revealed the intriguing painting behind him. The light was still very dim. Yan Changqing leaned closer before finally examining it clearly—this was an erotic picture! 

A vast grassland was full of wildflowers. Countless brilliant petals were carved into the wall making them look as if they were being carried by the wind. In the sea of ​​flowers, two young and nude men were tangled together and appeared to be doing indescribable things. Although the depiction of their faces and expressions was not clear the rest of the scene made it pretty obvious who the two young lovers are. Two horses were engraved off to the side and the men’s clothes were scattered around. Putting all that together it was clear as day – this was a picture of him and Helian Rongchuan!!!

What’s even more annoying was that there was a small line next to this painting: My Dream

Signed by Helian Rongchuan.

Yan Changqing was so angry that he could’ve spewed a mouthful of blood. His handsome face instantly turned bright red. He gritted his teeth once more: “You!” 

What did he do with his sword??

When Helian Rongchuan saw that Yan Changqing was looking for his sword, he quickly tried to explain: “Hey, look, this is just my dream! Can’t I fantasize about it? You and I have no practical experience so I didn’t even paint the details of your face! This can’t be considered to be real.” 

Hearing Helian Rongchuan’s attempts to come up with excuses made Yan Changqing even angrier. He wanted to come out of the coffin immediately to draw his sword and stab him a bunch. 

However, as soon as he stood up, still in the coffin, he saw a crooked figure outside. The person raised the tent curtain and cautiously stepped in. 

Young imperial physician Wei Jin was caught off guard. He stared at Yan Changqing who had just climbed out of the coffin. 

For a moment everything went completely silent. 

Wei Jin’s face turned pale, and he started screaming, “Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!” 

Before Yan Changqing could utter a single word, the camp lit up, signalling everyone’s awakening. Lieutenant General Xiang Yu rushed onto their tent in a panic holding a stack of yellow papers. 

“A fake corpse??? Where?? Is there really a ghost in this coffin?!” 

Xiang Yu still dumbfounded, finally glanced at Yan Changqing standing in the coffin. His eyes widened in surprise. 

“You…what are you…” 

Helian Rongchuan utterly confused was about to climb out of the coffin to see what all the commotion is about. But before he could do that Yan Changqing shoved him back down not allowing him to come out. 

The force behind Yan Changqing’s palm caught Helian Rongchuan off guard. His head hit the corner of the coffin with a “boom”, and he blurted out in pain: 

“Ow!” 

The young doctor took a deep breath, and his voice trembled: 

“There…Inside…Is there still another…one?”

He took a step back and with a shaking hand reached for the small medicine chest that never left his person.  

Helian Rongchuan was still in pain and had tears in his eyes. Rubbing the back of his head he dazedly poked his head out of the coffin. 

Yan Changqing:  

Helian Rongchuan: ??? 

The little doctor was stunned as he watched his Prince crawl out of the coffin alongside a great beauty he had never seen before. Both looked incredibly dishevelled. Their clothes were all crumpled up. Wei Jin’s brain had completely stopped functioning, going blank. Trembling, he took a piece of a black donkey hoof out of the medicine box and placed it into Xiang Yu’s wide-open mouth.  

Xiang Yu watched his general flush red. Followed by a dishevelled Helian Rongchuan crawling out of the hefty coffin. He was as astonished as a wooden chicken. His hands shook, and the piles of yellow ghost talismans scattered out. Then, of course, they just happened to land on Yan Changqing’s face and all over his body. 

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Back dimple refers to the two recessed fossae located at the back of the waist. They are the upper part of the hip sacral vertebrae and the two sides of the joint of the lumbar vertebrae. It is one of the symbols of an ideal mannequin. The back dimple also has a name called “Venus’s Dimple”, which is regarded as the sexy eye of the human body. 

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