Life: A Black and White Film Chapter 11 Part1

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Aaaah… It’s the breather we’ve all been waiting for. Just a normal, peaceful bit of time. And actually kind of sweet. ❤ ❤  She got the response she was praying for…

Chapter 11 — Persons Who Exist in Jambudvipa[1]

Wen Han knew that occasionally, these sadhus would smear their own bodies with the ashes of the cremated[2]. Out of fear of the departed, she did not dare get too close to them. In particular, most of their faces were painted with rather frightening designs, and their methods on the path of attaining enlightenment were also too unique and peculiar, such that ordinary people, including even herself, someone who had similar religious beliefs to them, could not truly totally understand them.

For instance, the one closest to Wen Han, according to Cheng Muyun, had kept his right arm raised for more than ten years and had never lowered it for even one minute or one second. This was his method of tempering his physical body…<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. Translated with the express permission of the author for hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, the translation has been taken without consent of the translator.

They sat until some time past midnight, when showers began to fall.

This rain shower deep in the night reminded her of Nepal.



The rain was not heavy, and the bonfire was somewhat sheltered from it so would not be extinguished.

The sadhus were actually happy about this bizarre change in weather, for to them, the more torment inflicted on their bodies, naturally, the better it was.

But Wen Han did not think so.<>Please read this at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com instead

Quietly taking Cheng Muyun's hand, she said in a low voice, "Let's go back?"

She clearly was simply worried his wound would become infected because of unclean rainwater, but somehow, the look he returned her made her feel as if she had warmly invited him to…

"Go back to where?" He turned a question back on her.<>Please read this at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com 

Wen Han looked up at the building's second level.<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. Translated with the express permission of the author for hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, the translation has been taken without consent of the translator.

Luckily, her suggestion had been put forth early enough, by just a little bit. They had just stepped under the eaves of the building before water came flowing down.

Here, where they stood, the light was behind them.

With his body, Cheng Muyun sheltered her against the wall of the corridor. His hands propped on each side of her body, he dipped his head down and, catching her completely off-guard, kissed her face and neck. Her heart feeling flustered from his actions, she quietly protested, "Can we not go upstairs?"

His voice low, he answered, "Dearest, you must know, sometimes men tend to be impatient."

The rain had grown heavy, or perhaps it was because of the very basic, stark furnishing of this place that the sound of rainfall seemed particularly noisy.

So noisy it left one feeling restless and on edge.<>Please read this at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com instead

So noisy she would sometimes forget where she was.

The entire time, she could sense it, could see that those eyes that were even more breathtaking than the Himalayan Mountains were watching her, were searching for her soul.

This moment, it was as if she was beholding the wolf pack leader that had lost his pack in the wilderness and, in the raging wind of the black night, was searching for his companions.

He thrust his hands into her hair, which was damp from the rain as well as her own perspiration, making her focus and look at him. "I do not like this pitying look that you have. If you do not start immersing yourself into this, trust me, I will make sure you do not forget this night for the rest of your life."

Alas, his words were completely opposite of what his body was actually doing.

The next second, Wen Han had already fully lost her willpower. With her head tilted back, sounds that caused her cheeks to flush slipped out from her. She abruptly bit down on her lip.

……<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. Translated with the express permission of the author for hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, the translation has been taken without consent of the translator.

This rainfall came fast but also left quickly.

Early in the morning, those sadhus, who had let themselves be drenched in an entire night of rain, were making their own breakfast, which was merely a type of flour that the manor lord had provided for them and they would mix with cold water before swallowing it down.

Wen Han watched them eating it heartily.<>Please read this at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com instead

With his arm around her shoulders, Cheng Muyun asked her, "Are you hungry?"

"A little bit." She thought for a moment. "You're not going to have me eat that, right?"

Squinting his eyes, Cheng Muyun pretended to ponder in silence for three seconds. "That stuff actually does not taste that awful."

"I'm still not going to eat it…"<>Please support the original translation at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com

He used to very much dislike people who turned their nose up at any type of food.

Evidently, though, this girl in front of him would become an exception to that. He wanted to treat her better, to be good to her these next few days.

Shrugging, Cheng Muyun told her he was going to have a cold shower and then take her to eat something. She thought he would be bringing her back to that little building that she was staying in to have a "warm and harmonious" breakfast with those friends of his. To her surprise, he actually voluntarily brought her out of this manor, leaving through the back door.

Only after stepping out beyond that two-metre-high gray wall did she learn what was behind it. It was a bustling street and market.

And here she had been worried last night whether any thieves would climb into the manor grounds while she was all alone with the peacock…<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. Translated with the express permission of the author for hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, the translation has been taken without consent of the translator.

From the moment they walked out of that building, Cheng Muyun had begun maintaining the required distance that should exist between them.

The two strolled side by side down this slightly rundown, dirty, and messy street that had no tall buildings.

He was someone who was not at all picky, and arbitrarily selecting a small eatery, they walked inside.

The items ordered were, as before, flatbread and all different types of curry-based, paste-like dishes contained in several stainless steel bowls. This time, Wen Han very attentively made the discovery that he truly did not eat any animal products. Now that she thought about it, it seemed that after they had escaped from that mountain valley, during that meal in Kathmandu, he also had not eaten a single bite of the chicken in that set meal. But—

"To not take the life of a being, to not steal, to abstain from strong drink, to not lie, to not lay or sit upon comfortable beds or seats, to not adorn oneself, to abstain from music and dancing and shows, to abstain from food after midday." Laughing, she jested, "Monk, you have already violated many precepts.

"Also"—Wen Han pointed her chopsticks at the curry dishes before them—"Buddhists do not eat the 'five pungents[3],' those five strong-flavoured vegetables. Does this curry that's in front of us count as you not refraining from the five pungents?"

Cheng Muyun's propped his hand against the side of his face, listening to her speak and only smiling, not giving her any reply.

Her attempt to goad him had fallen short. "What are you thinking?"

"I am thinking, since this woman who is before me now started to lose her fear of me, she has become more and more interesting." Cheng Muyun sincerely expressed his praise. "I am enjoying more and more the feeling of being with you. Very few people can say words like these that amuse me or I find enjoyable."

Looking directly into her eyes, Cheng Muyun softly added, "Or perhaps more simply, Wen Han, I believe I am beginning to fall in love with you."<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. Translated with the express permission of the author for hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, the translation has been taken without consent of the translator.

At dusk, on a certain evening before Zhou Ke had died …

He had sent Meng Liangchuan into the tent to change the dressing on Wen Han's wound, while he had sat in the jungle and chatted with Zhou Ke. Zhou Ke had asked him whether he had fallen in love with this ethnic Chinese girl from Moscow. He had not given an answer. At that time, he still should not have. He had merely, out of instinct, wanted to draw closer to her.

Now, however, he very clearly knew that everything had changed.

Despite the large age difference between them, despite the fact that to him, this girl in front of him was like a blank piece of paper, he was truly beginning to not want to let go of her. Every time he made the decision to leave, he would overturn it. And then, this would repeat again. Perhaps it was from when she had repeatedly looked at him last night with eyes that contained pity that he had at last realized this.

Everything, both before and after that, was starting to point to the one answer: he truly, genuinely was beginning to fall in love with this ordinary girl from Moscow.<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. Translated with the express permission of the author for hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, the translation has been taken without consent of the translator.

God.<>Please support the original translation at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com instead

Wen Han was still gripping her stainless steel spoon, utterly at a loss over what she should do.

Her fingers tightened their hold, the metal edges digging into them until they were sore. Still, she was unable to suppress her most direct of responses—her leaping heart.

It was only yesterday that she had just found out who he actually was, his approximate age, where he had come from, and what he was going to do. She still, to date, did not even know what he planned on doing after he rooted out the spy amongst his brothers.

There were still so many questions, many speculations and uncertainties, many…

And then he told her, he had begun to fall in love with her.

Oh God! What should I say?<>This is an UNAUTHORIZED copy, taken from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com

Wen Han could not utter even half a word. She had completely lost her voice.

However, Cheng Muyun did not give her the chance to deliberate over how she should answer. With a beckon of his hand, he paid their bill. Then rising, he walked to the door of the little eatery, slipped his hands into the pockets of his pants, and gazed out upon all the various Indian locals and tourists.

He remained like this until Wen Han caught up behind him.

As a result of Cheng Muyun's one, sudden sentence, the atmosphere had switched and started to feel strange.

And he had begun to fall into a taciturn manner.<>Please read this at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com instead

Wen Han surreptitiously eyed him over numerous times, but none of these times got any response.

The two seemed to be travellers casually strolling around. Outside a temple, when Wen Han cast a few extra glances at it, he finally spoke. "Would you like to go in for a look?" He had brought her to India but still had not stepped into a temple with her yet. In this nation of Buddhism, that seemed a little inexcusable.

Wen Han hurriedly nodded.<>Please support the original translation at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com instead

Of course she wanted to. The wish she had prayed to Buddha for had been fulfilled…

So she needed to go offer her votive gratitude.<>Please read this at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com instead

Therefore, these two people who had been ambling aimlessly now mixed into the queue that stretched very far back outside the temple. After waiting beneath the scorching sun for approximately half an hour or more, it was at last their turn. With Cheng Muyun's gesture to her, Wen Han removed her shoes. He had her go inside herself.

After all, he had once been a monk and was not a follower of Indian Buddhism. Even if he really were to pay respects to Buddha, it still would not be appropriate for him to go in here. Wen Han naturally understood this, so after going in and giving her votive offering, she came back out.

Not far away, Cheng Muyun was bent down in a half-crouch in front of a stall selling young women's jewelry and accessories.

It was merely a white cloth spread on the ground, laid out with many accessories that had little value.

He saw her approaching. Picking up a stack of golden, brass bangles, he took her wrist in his hand and slipped the ornaments onto it. "In their custom, bangles signify happiness and longevity. The more you wear, the better."

She had actually always wondered why Indian girls liked to wear so many bangles, groups and groups of them, wanting to cover half their arm with them. Now she understood.

"Just look. The rich here are always gifting ones made of gold and have precious gems on them," Cheng Muyun told her in a low tone. With a chuckle, he said, "But I do not have much money. Are these ones acceptable?"

Wen Han lifted her wrist and examined it, feeling happier than if she had received precious gems.

She did not believe that he could have much money. In the beginning, she had even thought he was a monk who had returned to the secular world and was now a destitute vagabond, squandering his days away in Nepal. Later, she had believed him to be a robber and smuggler who passed back and forth through the borders making illegal money. Now…

In any case, he was a person who had no association whatsoever with being rich.

Thinking this, she waggled her wrist and grinned. "What else are you going to give me? Just giving this is a little stingy."

These had merely been arbitrary words spoken in jest.<>Please read this at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com 

He, though, truly did spread open his palm, revealing a very small protection amulet[4], one of those that were the most common of tourist souvenirs found in temples in China. Usually, there was a metal medallion of some sort inside.

Untying its red string, he fastened it around her neck for her.

Protection amulet. Left: example of a protection amulet, which is commonly contained in a pouch held closed by a string (). Right: example of a metal medallion that might be contained inside a normal protection amulet pouch ().

Wen Han did not know when he had gotten this. He seemed to have had it ready for a long time already. She touched it, feeling what was inside. It was a strangely-shaped item, its contours not very regular… It appeared to be something like a piece of wood.

This was a trick, right?<>This is an UNAUTHORIZED copy, taken from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com

As if he had seen into her thoughts, Cheng Muyun leaned forward and whispered, "Your thinking is correct. We monks often use these to con people. Keep it somewhere safe. Do not lose it."<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. Translated with the express permission of the author for hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, the translation has been taken without consent of the translator.

[1] 阎浮提 "Yanfuti." This is the Chinese name for Jambudvipa. As we read in chapter 8.2 through the thoughts of Wen Han, Jambudvipa has a variety of meanings, but in the context of what the author is trying to refer to, it is the "human world," in Buddhist beliefs, the space where humans live.

[2] I shall simply point out that a search for "Aghori sadhus" can be a good starting point for more information.

[3] 五荤 "wu hun." The five pungent foods are scallions, onions, chives, garlic, and leeks (and other members of the onion family). According to Buddhist beliefs in some areas (China being one of them), these foods produce lust when eaten and are also unclean, creating an odour in the body.

[4] 护身符 "hu shen fu." A protection amulet or auspicious amulet is generally believed to bring physical protection, health, luck, or protection against dangers, etc.<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. Translated with the express permission of the author for hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, the translation has been taken without consent of the translator.

Completed:
1 of 1 Prologue
31 of 50 Chapter segments
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Life: A Black and White Film Chapter 11 Part1

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Life: A Black and White Film Chapter 11 Part1 summary

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