Hard to Escape Chapter 6.1

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Candle: When doing research on tattoos/tattoo equipment I found out that tattoo artists generally dislike the phrase “tattoo gun” and prefer “tattoo machine”. However, I felt that using “tattoo machine” wouldn’t properly portray the scenario, so I used “tattoo gun” in places instead. I’d still like to recognize the validity of the tattoo artist community’s opinion though, hence the note.

Yin Li handled things in an extremely swift and decisive manner. That very night he called over a tattoo artist. Leaning on my crutches, I watched a group of people carry various equipment into the house, which they then set up in Yin Li's room. Prompted by my curious expression, the tattoo artist turned to me and introduced each apparatus.

Tattoo gun, needle points, needle grips, liner machine, shader machine, tattoo inks, ink cups, vaseline, green soap;1 I stared at everything, stupefied. When I inadvertently glanced at the tattoo artist, I noticed that aside from the Azure Dragon on their left arm and the White Tiger on their right arm,2 there was also a Mickey Mouse. Although I knew that tattoo artists, early on in their careers, often practiced various designs on themselves, I still suddenly felt a trickle of cold sweat for Yin Li.

1 green soap is a kind of medicinal grade soap used by tattoo artists
2 Azure Dragon (Qinglong) and White Tiger (Baihu) are creatures from Chinese/East Asian mythology

"Mr. Yin, what section are you thinking of tattooing? Do you have any design or phrase in mind? Do you want to discuss the position and placement of the tattoo?" With a slight bow, the tattoo artist respectfully questioned Yin Li.

"Tattoo her name. The "yan" (颜) from "countenance", the "xiao" (笑) from "smile." Yin Li gave me a nonchalant look.

"Mr. Yin, forgive me for being blunt, but these two characters are both complex and the result may not look good. I suggest that you choose one of them, and I'll help you come up with a design incorporating it." The tattoo artist pulled out a paper to draw ideas.

I irrelevantly joked, "Why not make it simple, directly draw a smiley face. It just so happens to match my name's "xiao", plus it has a nice and sunny feeling, so even if other people see it, they won't a.s.sociate a smiley face with someone who has connections to gangs."3

3 Being tattooed is usually a.s.sociated with gangs/mafia in China

I secretly looked at Yin Li and continued, "Where to tattoo it? Hm, I think tattooing it on the b.u.t.t or the lower back is good. There's more meat there so they should be the least painful spots, but most likely there's still going to be quite some blood." While I spoke my eyes were spinning. The tattoo was only something that I had blurted out off the top of my head, in order to get Yin Li to step back and stop pus.h.i.+ng to continue our relations.h.i.+p. In my heart I didn't actually want Yin Li to tattoo my name on his body. Yin Li's plan to use this as a reason to tie me down, proved that he really was determined to stay with me, because he didn't give me any opportunity to escape.

And once he got the tattoo, I knew that I'd no longer be able to liberate myself from the position of fiancée unless Yin Li got fed up with me first. The difference in our strength was too big, so regardless of whether he loved me or not, and what had happened between us, as long as he wanted to continue, there was no way I could quit in the middle.

I just needed to thicken my skin and continue to lobby. "Yin Li, think for a moment! Once you get a tattoo, it'll be on your body for the rest of your life. Right now you might like me enough to get my name tattooed, but if we split up, my name will be left behind on your a.s.s or your lower back. When you roll around in the sheets with your future wife, won't this be a huge eyesore,4 potentially becoming a crisis in your marriage!"

4 大煞风景 is a chengyu meaning something that spoils the otherwise nice scenery

"Mr. Yin, I've finished drawing." The tattoo artist suddenly stood back up and pa.s.sed the paper over to Yin Li, and then gave me a look full of pity, "Erasing old tattoos is not impossible, but there's a tradition among us tattoo artists, that every person who works with tattoos must respect. If a person's name is tattooed, it represents a kind of contract. Only if one party pa.s.ses away, can the tattoo be removed."

I felt greatly alarmed, then what if the day came when Yin Li came to his senses, realized that the tattoo looked really stupid and interfered with his ability to attract women, and concluded that along with removing the tattoo, he'd also need to get rid of me? Wouldn't this situation be as if my life was tied to the tattoo on Yin Li's a.s.s?! In my panic, I stared at Yin Li with eyes full of fear. At the moment he was dressed in a loose bathrobe, leaning against the doorway calmly amidst the chaos, watching the expressions on my face change rapidly from one to another.

Then he nodded his head at the tattoo artist, and pointed out a drawing on the paper. "This one is not bad, let her take a look at it. Ask whether she really wants a smiley face or prefers this instead."

Where would I have the courage to ask for a tattoo on Yin Li's old tiger a.s.s,5 I just barely resisted the temptation to drop to my knees and beg for forgiveness. I could only wave my hand repeatedly, "As long as you approve, I approve! You look after your own b.u.t.t!" After speaking, I immediately wanted to slip away. I didn't want to stay even a moment longer in this room!

5 The author was probably referring to the phrase 老虎屁股摸不得, meaning "a tiger's backside cannot be touched", attributed to Mao Zedong. Used to refer to someone that doesn't tolerate dissent; who cannot be provoked.

"Yan Xiao, you stay here." Yin Li's words firmly pulled me to a stop just as I was beating a retreat, "This tattoo is for you, how could you be allowed to leave? I want you to properly watch the whole process." He mockingly smiled a little, and then with his back facing me he took off his bathrobe halfway, holding it at his waist so only his upper body was exposed. Then he turned his head and glanced back at me before, still with his back towards me, he took a seat. From this angle, I could see both the beautiful lines of his shoulders and the strong but elegant muscles of his back.

"Draw it on the back left shoulder." Yin Li directed this order at the already-gloved tattoo artist, who respectfully nodded at him. As for me, my eyes were still glued to Yin Li's back.

I never knew that under Yin Li's expensive clothes was a body like this, br.i.m.m.i.n.g with vitality, beautiful and attractive. Beauty really was a kind of strength. If Yin Li had taken off his clothes earlier, I estimate that I absolutely wouldn't have said a word about wanting him to tattoo a smiley face onto his b.u.t.t.

It really was beautiful.

But because of this, my reluctance to have Yin Li tattoo himself only increased. At the moment the tattoo artist had already disinfected the area and sketched out the design with a surgical marker, and was already preparing to start tattooing the outlines. Seeing the tattoo artist take out the tattoo gun, I averted my eyes and turned my head away.

Yin Li, on the other hand, didn't make a single sound.

But I still didn't dare watch the whole process. This seemed like a ceremony, a kind of contract between Yin Li and I, so by not watching it, I didn't have to acknowledge it.

Candle: Yin Li’s doorway count +1

Niang Niang: Sometimes Candle will call out my name, and I’ll look up from my computer… only to find her leaning casually against the doorframe with a c.o.c.ked eyebrow like ey whaddup… KING OF THE DOORWAY IN THE FLESH

Candle: sometimes I like to imagine what sorts of poses Yin Li takes when he leans against the doorway…. maybe like dis :^)

DOKI DOKI Y-YIN LI Y-Y-YOU MUSTN’T

Niang Niang: oml the guy on the very right is YAN XIAO

Hard to Escape Chapter 6.1

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Hard to Escape Chapter 6.1 summary

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