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Hou Xin

Last Login:
July 10th, 2020




Gender: Male

Age: 36
Country: China

Signup Date:
March 19, 2020


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06/29/2020 01:48 PM 

Duty, hiding... or leisure

/1st part of a drabble I attempted to write - just to notice I totally got lost and sidetracked, not even getting close to the core subject I wanted to address... so, with RL nagging, I´ll leave that 1st part here for now, but surely at least one more, maybe even two will follow in due time /

Hou Jiàng (General Hou), Ning Cheng is here”, Wu Ying the foot-boy assigned to the quarters of the Imperial Guard, or Jade Guard as the elite troop of highly trained Demon and Monster Hunters also were referred to among common folks, announced, stopping right at the doorstep leading to the General´s office.
The person in question looked up, or rather directed a set of dark-brown, unfocused eyes towards where he sensed the their youngest member, a warm smile lightning up the even features while nodding his acknowledgment.
“Finally! - let him in” Hou Xin gestured invitingly almost impatiently while rising from the seat pad behind the narrow writing table. - “Duìle, Wú Yín
g (By the way, Wu Ying), please make sure that no other than my men enter may unannounced.” he added before the Guard´s young handyman was able to bustle away.
“Méi cuò, Jiàng (Sure, General)” – swift footsteps faded across the yard just to be replaced by heavier once, which, if footsteps were able to convey such sentiment, resounded with a distinct cheerfulness only one person Hou Xin knew radiated, no matter what.
“Ning Cheng!” the smile even widened, deepened - “Dà gē (Brother)” came the merry greeting in return accompanied by
a playful yet soundly enough slap to the older´ s shoulder. – Not really official Court etiquette between one superior and his subordinate, yet now that they were meeting in private both of them reverted back to their normal, casual way of behaving around and addressing each other.
Both
warriors shared a friendship dating back until their childhood days – They met shortly after Hou Xin was left an orphan and officially made the Court´s ward. Ning Cheng, only one year younger and son of one of the Emperor´s stablemen, already all the upbeat, positive and cheeky nature he managed to keep till this day, had been the one to easily get through and befriend the traumatized boy.
Quickly they became inseparable, brother-like friends – a relationship which only deepened over the years and which
helped them to pull through all kind of worries and hardships young recruits and soldiers on the battlefield were facing.
The latest
challenge to overcome for Hou Xin had been the blow of losing his eyesight. And once again it had been Ning Cheng ahead of all the others offering support who kept the struck warrior going – and it had also been the convincing words of the man Hou Xin affectionately called “Xiǎo dì (Little brother)” who made him accept the rank of a General, yet only provided that Ning Cheng would be his 2nd in command and right hand man all along.

“Suǒ yǐ (So), did you bring the reports, Xiǎo dì?” Hou Xin inquired after their initial greeting to receive an almost indignant “Dāng rán (of course), as always”, in return.
Hǎo ba hǎo ba (alright, alright), sit down then and let´s get started”, Hou Xin nudged his friend towards the seat he just left.
Ning Cheng eventually taking
the place behind he writing table stated to spread out the reports, yet suddenly paused, curiously eyeing an envelope sitting a the side as if discarded carelessly.
“May I ask you something, Dà gē?”, that this was just a rhetorical prelude became clear when the younger of the two warrior
s went on without waiting for an answer, “Why do you still do that yourself?”
“What do you mean?!” Hou Xin, by now slouching on the steps leading up to the area with the table flashed a curious glance upwards, pretending to be all unassuming though he
was rather certain where this was about to go.
“You know what I mean… why do you do
still all that planning stuff yourself. Setting up patrols, reading all those reports… none of the other Generals do that. They all assign it to some assistant… someone like me…” Ning Cheng went on and was interrupted by a voice lined with slight annoyance.
“Do I look like the other Generals to you? – Or do you think I don´t trust you?!”
“Méiyǒu (no) surely not… I didn´t mean it that way and you know
that very well, too - … just, why waste your time with such stuff when you could simply it leave it to me… and maybe join this fancy evening of Official´s Zhu daughter,… as it is set tonight?!”
The scowl on Hou Xin´s face vanished being replaced by something resembling amusement biting a bitter lemon.
“Qí yī (firstly), who told you to snoop around my desk? – You found that invitation, right?....
Qí èr (secondly), why did you think I insisted that we go through these tasks specifically tonight, Xiǎo dì?! – Have you ever met Official Zhu´s daughter?... Zhu Jinghua….”.

 

Ning Cheng could have sworn that his brother-like friend seemed to slightly shudder while uttering her name. “Méiyǒu… I haven´t but I know that the Zhu family is one of the richest families around… so, she surely must be well set…and I HAVE heard that some praise her beauty…”
“Of course, THAT´s what I am looking for in a woman… rich and beautiful – especially latter… “ Hou Xin mocked back, “…
a high maintenance, difficult and self-absorbed woman.. .that´s what I experienced while having been guest at the Zhu´s residence… - and not too bright at that…. – No, I´d rather not encourage her even further – indeed I hope that if I stay away long enough she might find another poor soul to chase into any kind of relationship…”
The utterly amused laughter of Ning Cheng filled room, “Oh, so are you using me as an excuse… I am
not sure if I should be flattered or offended - and here I thought you indeed genuinely enjoyed our time together.”
“Shut up,
don´t be a jerk… I do… to be honest, I´d prefer any kind of evening spent with you or the Guard for that matter over any of those fancy events. They are bothersome and all this demanded pretending is tiring… - So, stop nagging and let´s get going, the schedules won´t write themselves - here, maybe that helps to get us started decently….”
During
their little banter Hou Xin had gotten up and made his way over to a cupboard on the far end of the room and let his fingers run across some bottles stored on the shelves.
Once he felt out a
certain wax sigil sealing the top of one of the jugs his search stopped and he turned back to his friend, placing said bottle and two wine-cups next to his 2nd in command on the writing table.
“Ugh…Quèshí
(indeed) that helps a lot, Zouh Wei makes some great wine” Ning Cheng happily clapped his hands while watching Hou Xing pouring a cup for each of them.
“Gān bēi
(Cheers!)… and now with your throat all properly greased, start reading, I am all ears.”
“Dāngrán! (Sure!)… here we go” after emptying the simple yet delicate stoneware-cup the Ning Cheng eventually averted his attention back to the reports on possible non-human or even demonic activity causing problems for the people which
had been stated to the officials during he past weeks and started to read them out loud.

to be continued

 

 

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04/29/2020 10:08 PM 

drabble: Oh the regret!

// I was challenged to write a drabble in contemporary setting based on the prompt "Words your character spoke and regretted almost instantly" - here we go:



Zaoshang hao, Xiao Xin (Good morning, Young Xin)!” – the slightly pipy voice, drenched with omniferous, unshakable happiness and underlined by a certain brittleness which came with high age made Hou Xin visibly cringe and freeze right there in his movement.
Miss (if addressed in English she insisted on this title) Tang
Lien his elderly neighbor from the 3rd floor - an utterly genuine sweet-to-the-bone, ancient soul.

Right after moving in about two months ago the
senior resident had spotted her possible fellow countryman – and upon discovering that the young, blind Asian looking guy from the floor above was indeed Chinese, too, was even born and raised in her former homeland and only recently found his way to Europe, she unceremoniously declared him her rather involuntary foster-grandson and center of her care and attention.
Resistance was futile in any
conceivable way. – Not at least as due to his cultural upbringing which basically forbid any kind of disrespecting behavior against elders. And denying a well-meant offer came within exactly this category in his cultural book.

Hou Xin took a deep breath, closed his eyes briefly when a wave of overwhelming feeling of defeat washed over him, and then turned with the most possible friendly smile
he was able to muster at this early hour of the morning and in this very situation.
“Zahoshang hao, Lao Tang (Good morning, venerable Miss Tang)” he gave back accompanied by a brief bow towards the tiny figure who had just appeared in the
door-frame of her flat.
He had no clue how she did this – Every.Single.Day.
She managed to catch him every single morning… nothing worked so far, changing his schedule, slightly, vastly… tiptoeing, even walking down the stairs in socks…. latter only served fit to get him some funny remarks… - she seemed to lurk behind the peephole day in day out or to have set up some untraceable surveillance system in front of his flat. Untraceable as he
wasn´t able to find anything when he in fact could not stop himself from checking on this option after the 10th time she was greeting him with this voice trembling with genuine happiness and care giving away the surely wonderfully broad, sweet smile when he left for work in the morning.
However it was not
her genuinely warm and embracing way but the small bowl or rather its content in her hands – the Bowl of Doom has he called it by now – which by now made him even considering sliding down the drainpipe a proper means to leave the building.

“You are early, today, Nanhai (boy)” – He certainly
was, again an attempt to escape her caring clutches. It was not even 6 o´clock yet.
With gritted teeth which surely looked more like a snarl of desperation than a smile the caught one simply nodded unable to avoid to
visibly flinch when the too well known, small piece of white porcelain resting between delicate, wrinkled, well-groomed fingers suddenly touched his own fingertips.
“Well, gladly I noticed you coming down, so I got your breakfast ready in the nick of time.” With that
Hou Xin noticed how the warm, smooth vessel of evil was pressed gently but adamantly further into his hands.
“Dangran shi, Loa Tang (Yes, of course, venerable Miss Tang), lucky me”, came the strained reply while
the desperate presentee took the bowl with mechanical, robot like movements.
It contained what had become his daily moment of desperation – Douhua, Tofu Pudding,
warm and salty at that. – The tangy scent of Soy Sauce seemed to mockingly bite the inside of his nostrils.
There was little in terms of food he despised more than Douhua, especially the salty version… the texture something between too liquid jelly and gooey custard, the slimy saltiness… the very thought of
having to gulp it down made the urge to simply drop the bowl almost irresistible.
Instead he took a deep breath and swallowed the whole mass in one
frantic go, struggling to not gag too obviously.
- His daily, nightmarish morning routine for the past approximately 8 weeks so far and with no prospect of change anywhere in the near future.
Once the bowl was empty and Hou Xin was sure that he´d not choke up everything again he put it down, still the slightly lunatic snarly-grin plastered to his face.
After handing
the empty cup back he adamantly had to constrain himself to make his retreat down the stairs not look like a hasty flight, the happy - “Have a nice day, and see you tomorrow, Xiou Xin (Young Xin)” - following him like a threat.

And all this only because during their first meeting he
had not been able to bring it upon himself to turn her down on her offer, explaining that ever since he was a kid he hated Douhua Pudding breakfast when she told him proudly that she made this kind of tofu all by herself as it was basically impossible to buy over here.
In fact did he even encourage her in her action when, after politely accepting a tiny sample for the sake of manners demanded by cultural habits and
the prospect of pleasant neighborliness, he had nodded and voiced his approval.
That the backlash
immediately would hit him with such epically challenging proportions was nothing to be foreseen back then – Now, however Hou Xin´s regret ran deep but the words were spoken and there was no way to take things back, at least not without offending her deeply.
And no one offended a sweet old lady and her Douhua – he clearly would not, knowing very well that sweet old ladies could easily become the stuff of Chinese Horror Stories if not treated properly with respect. – In this case a daily dose of slimy, salty tofu-pulp certainly was the more pleasant option.

 

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03/27/2020 06:03 PM 

Some basic Info on Chinese Names

As I frequently get questions how people would address Hou Xin correctily here´s a very brief, very superficial introduction on the usage of and customs around Chinese Names.
 

  1. Chinese family names take first place because they are more valuable.
First of all, when Chinese people say their name, first they say the Family name, then Given name.
So in terms of Hou Xin – 'Hou' is his last name, 'Xin' is the given name.


Family names have been in Chinese culture way before our era, but back then only privileged people had a family name. Common people did not.

It was only many years later that all Chinese people had family names. Much like many popular English names such as Smith, family names would have been issued according to their occupation. 

 
  1. Given names – what do they mean?
Chinese given names always have meanings and its always something good and pleasant.

Girl’s names normally have a Chinese name that relates to beauty, flowers, or pureness. Boys Chinese names are usually connected with power and bravery.


'Xin' as a term in Chinese Philosophy refers to one's "disposition" or "feelings" (Chinese: ; pinyin: xīn), or to one's confidence or trust in something or someone (Chinese: ; pinyin: xìn). Literally, xin () refers to the physical heart, though it is sometimes translated as "mind" as the ancient Chinese believed the heart was the center of human cognition.

 
  1. Forms of address
Unlike in the west, referring to somebody by their full name (including surname and given name) is common custom – although these personal names are only used in close social context like close friends or family.
So, someone close to Hou Xin would use his full name 'Hou Xin' and hardly ever just 'Xin'.

When speaking of and to non-family or close social acquaintances, people are generally addressed by and referred to by a title
– in Hou Xin´s case that would be 'Hou Jiàng juān' (General Hou), or neutral without military ranking 'Hóu Xiānshēng' (Mr Hou).


If you are interested in the astonishingly wide and utterly interesting field of the development of Chinese Names, all the customs round properly and politely addressing someone there is a very detailed Wiki-page https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_name  giving a lot of more insight, and still sticking somewhat to the surface as the whole topic is able to fill volumes of studies.

 

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