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侯心 Hou Xin

Last Login:
September 12th, 2023

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Gender: Male
Age: 40
Sign: Capricorn
Country: China

Signup Date:
March 19, 2020

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03/31/2021 05:08 PM 

Drabble: Cherry Blossoms and Wine
Category: Stories

Softly, scarcely audible Hou Xin landed on the glazed tiles forming the roof of the barrack stables.
Following a habit which long turned
into a very personal tradition and ritual of his best friend and quasi-brother Ning Chen and himself where they used to meet high up above the bustle of the world to share a good sip, a good laugh or just bonding silence, during warm spring and summer nights, nights they were off duty of course
It was the beginning of spring, and they had just returned form another assignment, looking forward to a few days off, to rest, recharge… well, and tend to all the pesky courtly duties which awaited someone in his position …. - nothing he would allow to bother him tonight though.
Briefly he focused but sensed no other presence nearby, typically Ning Chen was late… some things probably never changed.
A warm smile softened the otherwise mostly so collected and unreadable features while he turned his face towards the
gentle, warm breeze coming from the south, carrying spring and the promises of a reawakening world.
The air was drenched with the smooth but distinct floral scent of the ancient cherry tree growing next to the stables, overshadowing the roof with branches older even than the very building. Soft rustling of countless petals announced that the grand
mother tree once again had made it through the harshness of winter unscathed to grace the world with unmatched splendour.
Hou Xin reached up until his hands reached one of the bushels
of delicate blossoms attached to rough bark – what contrast, and still one inseparable unity… - the epitome of Yin and Yang.
He used to love the sight,
a beauty now lost to him… lost for so long that he didn´t even remember what it looked like. Indeed when the pictures started to fade in his mind it was nothing less than desperation which overcame him. This was long in the past now, though – almost two decades without sight caused him to learn to perceive and value such beauty in a different way… like cherishing the feathery touch of a few loose petals brushing across his face on their way to the ground.
His musing was interrupted by the rustling of clothes and the very ungentle thud of someone landing behind him – Immediately his smile widened into an utterly amused grin while he turned round to greet his brother-like friend.
Dì di (Little brother)”, a hint of laughter accompanied the words, “you got the grace of a crashing heron – are you trying to alert the whole yard?!
“Xin dá (Brother Xin) - didn´t know we were on a secret mission – next time, let me know if you plan to turn leisure into another mission”, Ning Chen gave back, his own voice not less resounding with teasing amusement no matter how hard he tried to give it a sulking tone.
“Hǎodǎi (Anyhow), did you bring the cups… I got us this.. think that will suffice?”, with that Hou Xin pulled two wine flasks sporting the
imperial seal from his belt.
“Ó shì de, shì de (Oh yes, yes)… how did you get your hand on those… did you… you did not…”
“Rènhé (whatever)”, Hou Xin
stop Ning Chen´s probing with a wave of his hand while sitting down, making himself comfortable on the warm tiles. “Suǒyǐ (so,) do you want some or not?”

Hǎo de hǎo de (sure, sure)!”, noisily Ning Chen also plopped down and pulled two cups out of a small bag which had been tugged away in one of the pleats of his robe.

 “Here”, eagerly he clinked one of them against one of the bottle to provide a bit of audible guidance for his unseeing brother.

“Gods, this is good”, Ning Chen´s statement came with utter conviction only a short time later and caused another genuine chuckle from Hou Xin´s side.

For a while they just sat there savouring the noble liquid as well as the placidity of the moment – however, being the busy body he was it was of course Ning Chen who eventually broke the silence.
“Gē ge (older brother), I always meant to ask you… - how are you enjoying this?”
The question caught Hou Xin rather off guard, and with a confused frown knotting his brows together he lowered the cup instead of granting himself another sip.
“What do you mean?”
“Well, how can you enjoy it? - I know this place was one of you favourite.. before… well you know… I know how much you loved the sight of the cherry blossoms in full bloom… now though…”
“D
ì di, that happened such a long time ago.. we have spent so many nights up here since then… why ask me now?”
The rustling of clothes next to
Hou Xin implied a shrug by the man he held dear as his younger brother.
“I... don´t know… it just crossed my mind.”
“Hm… why would I not enjoy it up here? - I admit, there were times when I desperately wished that I could lay eyes on the grandeur of spring one more time… but no mo
re. There are other ways to perceive its beauty. - The breeze on my skin, the gentle rustling of the petals, the whole melody of the night, the song of the owl in the distance, the nickering and stomping of the horses below, the mix of their savoury, musky smell and the floral, graceful scent of the blossoms… all this provides so much to take in…to enjoy”, while he was talking he´d leaned back on his elbows, his unfocused glance directed upwards to the velvet sky, now however turning it towards Ning Chen, the almost cheeky grin returning. “...dàn shì (however)… the company has become rather bothersome these days, though… - too much stupid questions, too little drinking”, with that he sat back up and rose his half-empty cup in direction of the younger Jade Warrior.
“Hǎo ba hǎo ba (alright, alright) I got it” -
happy burbling announced a refill.
 

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