C43 —– Cai Sheng (V)

The children in the carriage stood up in silence, and one by one got down from the carriage. Xiao Yu was still reluctant, but with the fierce expression of the man with the triangular eyes, she didn’t dare to say anything more, and obediently blended in the crowd and stopped standing out.


After her feet hit the ground again, Kou Dong looked around.



The four carriages seemed to be separated, this was the only here. They were in a dark alley, it seemed that not far away was the street, you could hear the sound of people on the street buying and selling. That sound sounded really friendly, with a particularly smoky smell.


The children looked at him timidly.



“The usual rules,” the man gazed at their miserable faces one by one, “good behavior, no nonsense, if you try to run–”


His thin lips hooked upwards, like an invisible fishing line was hanging up the corners of his mouth, it was strangely eerie.


“If you get any wrong idea …… you’ll go to the wooden man.”


“There’s a shortage of people in the circus right now.”



Mentioning the circus, the children shivered slightly, and their bodies couldn’t help but tense up. Triangle eyes seemed to be extremely satisfied with this reaction, he slowly surveyed them, then finally waved his hand.



“That’s all,” he said, ” go do something.”



The children dispersed in a familiar fashion, each taking a bowl to beg. Kou Dong glanced at Ah Xue, and the three of them exchanged glances and walked forward as well.


They walked forward for a period of time, as they turned their heads back, they could still see the man standing on the street corner, with his pipe lit.


He had no intention of leaving.


Song Hong said in a low voice, “He’s spying.”



This wasn’t good news for them. Being under the gaze of an NPC, there were many things they could not try.


Ah Xue reminded, “Even if he’s not watching, we still have to really collect enough money-otherwise, tonight, it’ll be our turn to choose the wooden figures.”



This was true, just ……


Song Hong hesitantly asked: “Do you have relevant experience?”


Little girl: “No.”


Nonsense, who would have experience in this kind of thing.



Upon hearing this, they were silent for a while. Immediately, Song Hong asked from the bottom of his heart, “Then how do you ask for money?”






The three inexperienced people looked at each other in dismay, and finally decided to see how the other children operated first.



This look was a bit too much for them. Those children followed the people in rags, shaking the bowls in their hands and begging in a low voice: “Please be kind, just reward me a little bit …… just a little bit ……”.


The person being followed impatiently turned back, reached out and opened the hand of the child that was tugging on the corner of his coat.


“What’s with the yanking?” He reprimanded, “Little screamer, I don’t know where you came from, making my good clothes dirty!”



The child was scolded, but still persevered in following him, and even his face didn’t change half its color from such humiliation. He just wailed, a few small stones were placed in the bowl, the sound of shaking annoyed people, “Please, good people are good, I know that you are a good person …….”



There were also children standing in front of stores, knocking over the door one by one from house to house, similarly shaking the bowl in their hands.


“Give some, give some …… Give a bite to eat ……”


They raised their voices, which could be heard a dozen meters away.



“Every day, every day! –Am I your mom or dad, so what? A bunch of little screamers, born of a mother but not raised by a mother ……”


The door was slammed shut with a bang, and the owner of the store waved his hand to drive them away. But the children still stood in front of the door, until the person inside took out the broom and hit them a few times, their faces had red marks, only then did they slowly walk away from the door.



On the street corners were the figures of beggars squatting there, and on the roads were the figures of beggars clinging to the backs of pedestrians. These children were like a kind of spirit behind the people who couldn’t get rid of them as they passed through the crowd.



This kind of scene made the three of them feel a little uncomfortable, and even more so, they couldn’t do anything about it.



They weren’t really children, their minds were fully developed, naturally they couldn’t accept this abandonment of dignity.



But the more obvious fact was in front of them, either they begged for money, or they died.


Song Hong hesitated for a long time, then whispered: “Otherwise, we also ……”



He said these words with great difficulty, obviously struggling with his own self-respect, but ultimately the idea of living prevailed.


Ah Xue stood on the sidelines without a word, and her expression also vaguely contained approval.


Both of them looked over at Kou Dong, only to find the other party surveying the stores on the street with great interest, as if he had gone out for a stroll.


It wasn’t until he noticed their gazes that he turned his head back and raised an eyebrow.


“Are you guys really prepared to go begging?”


For some reason, Song Hong’s face twitched a little, “Uhm ……”



It was fine as an adult, but Kou Dong had a child’s body at this moment, and with his face like a snowball, an action like raising an eyebrow really didn’t make people feel good at all.



On the contrary, it was a kind of small kid pretending to be old and sophisticated.



He even wanted to pinch his face to see if he could make him cry.



Song Hong could only think about it, but the little man sat on Kou Dong’s shoulder, tilted his head, and properly reached out to pinch his face. Kou Dong’s cheeks were slightly sunken by his fingers, but he wasn’t angry, he said a bit vaguely, “Why?”


Song Hong was a bit bewildered.


Other than this method, how else could they get money?


Kou Dong was bewildered from the bottom of his heart, “We are different.”




What point?


Kou Dong threw his head up and gave a firm, strong wave of his hand.



“We have faces!”


Song Hong: “……”



Ah Xue︰”……”



They hesitantly wondered if the face this man was talking about was the face they were thinking of ……


Kou Dong touched his cheeks and wondered, “Do I not look cute?”


It shouldn’t be, when he was a kid, he was kissed by most aunts, so he shouldn’t be bad looking.


Song Hong: “…… cute.”


He just didn’t get it. What did this have to do with being cute? It wasn’t like if you looked cute, people would give you money on their own initiative. ……



Kou Dong educated him calmly, “You don’t understand, this is very useful.”




Kou Dong showed him a new direction.



“Just by the fact that we look good, we can make money.”



…… And the NPCs loved him.



This quest was HARD mode for everyone else, but with Kou Dong, it was really positively simple.


Kou Dong had reason to believe that if he sat on the curb and cried a few times, there would be people rushing to send him money.


Could it be that he couldn’t ask for it?



It was only because he didn’t want to!



Song Hong didn’t understand at all, and still looked at him blankly. Until Kou Dong asked him, “Can you accept a part-time job without begging?”


Well, of course they could. It was just, “What store would hire a kid like us?”



Dirty and small, they couldn’t do much work.



Kou Dong replied, “Of course I’d have to go to a place where I could ask around.”


He had caught a glimpse of a teahouse with a storyteller, and there seemed to be a lot of people sitting in the shadows.


“That’s the one.”


The two followed him over, still a bit unconvinced.


Just now, the attitude of these shop owners was clear. These children came to beg everyday these days, and even the kind-hearted boss couldn’t stand it – after all, they were also open to business, and there were still old and young people to feed at home. Not to mention that these were not two or three children at all, but a group of people who were left unattended, wandering the streets all day long.


Who could withstand a group of beggars every day?


Therefore, as soon as he saw several small beggars struggling over the high threshold, the shopkeeper’s tone wasn’t very good, “What are you doing? There’s no other money for you.”



This voice was quite fierce, it made Song Hong tremble, knowing that it might not be easy to achieve.


He took the lead to lighten his voice: “Shopkeeper, listen to us ……”



The shopkeeper simply didn’t listen, he reached out to get a broom. Several waiters who were running in the courtyard also gathered around and trapped them in the middle, frowning and daring them to stay.


“What are you talking about, I don’t want to hear a word! Hurry up and leave, this is not the place for you to ask for money!”



Song Hong still wanted to fight: “No, we ……”


“You what you?” The shopkeeper shouted, “Do you believe I’ll really beat you up?”


Song Hong really couldn’t do anything, now his body was thin and short, he couldn’t push this group of strong young people, he could only cast his eyes to Kou Dong, expecting him to have a solution. However, Kou Dong stood in the center, tilted his small face up and said, “Boss, listen to us.”


Song Hong almost yelled at him.



Was this kid out of his mind – he had just said this before! It didn’t help at all!


He desperately shook his head at Kou Dong, who ignored him, still raising his head and looking at the person in front of him.


Song Hong’s heart sank, and he decided to change his method.


This obviously wouldn’t work.



If selling misery was useful, there wouldn’t be a street full of children who couldn’t get money. This group of townspeople, who had obviously been honed by thousands-


Before he could finish his thought, he heard the voice of the shopkeeper, who had been fierce just a moment ago, soften, as if someone had stabbed and deflated him.


The airbag deflated rapidly, and the shopkeeper’s face was no longer stern.



“Then… Okay,” he said dryly, throwing his broom away and silently folded his arms, “I’ll hear what you have to say.”



Song Hong: “……”



Crap you didn’t say that just now!


Where’s the attitude you just had?



Where’s your attitude? Where’s your stance that you’re going to hit someone?


This was clearly the same question, why did he get a completely different response?



Song Hong was full of incredulity, and even suspected that Kou Dong was a hypnotist, and hypnotized the NPCS. On the contrary, the little girl looked not the least bit surprised and listened blandly.


Kou Dong tilted his face and set out his attitude first, “We are not here to ask for money.”


He tiptoed to look inside, and then looked at the shopkeeper.


“Can we come here to work as a junior? We’re very capable, just give us a little money.”


“You guys?”



The shopkeeper instinctively wanted to sneer, how could a group of children who were not yet tall enough serve as waiters – but when he looked at the child’s dark eyes in front of him, it seemed as if he had been momentarily blinded by honey. He couldn’t even utter a single word of the mockery he had just thought. The words that were finally spoken were as soft as candy, and his voice instinctively softened, “Are you not afraid of hard work? Where are your parents?”


Kou Dong lowered his head like he was sad, “…… they aren’t here anymore.”


Just these few words were enough to make people brainstorm a bunch of plots. His parents died, he was lonely and helpless, then fell into the street, begging for a living, in an instant all this flooded into the shopkeeper’s mind, plus this child was actually unexpectedly strong, he didn’t think of getting something for nothing, but instead he wanted to rely on his own hands and honest labor to make ends meet.


Not to mention, he was young ……



Just then, he saw that the child’s eyes were red, as if he would cry soon.





This was the final hammer that broke the dam, and the shopkeeper’s defenses completely collapsed into slag.



“Come,” he said, his voice becoming amiable, even reaching out to touch Kou Dong’s head, “Poor boy, come on in-what’s all this talk about work? Are you hungry? I’ll have someone make you something to eat ……”



This change in attitude left Song Hong completely dumbfounded. Kou Dong followed the people forward on one side, but also didn’t forget to take care of his little friends, “They are all my friends ……”


The shopkeeper finally remembered that there were two other people here, and twisted his head, but at them, his tone was much colder and harder, “Then you guys come in too.”



The little ones dragged their feet through the door, still deeply shocked.



How in the world, it couldn’t really be because of his face, could it?



Taking advantage of the shopkeeper personally going to serve food to Kou Dong, Song Hong couldn’t help but inquire, “How did you know that he would definitely let you in?”



Kou Dong was silent for a while and answered him seriously: “Because there is true love on earth?”




This statement sounded like nonsense.


Song Hong sat up straight again. After a while, he saw the shopkeeper bringing up a tea tray with several plates of Dim sum in it, but he just put the plate in front of Kou Dong.



It was obvious that they didn’t have a share.




Song Hong was also hungry. He had hardly eaten anything in that room the day before. Unfortunately, the shopkeeper didn’t have any intention of letting them eat at all, he just pushed hard into Kou Dong’s hand and said, “Look at how thin you are ……”



The child’s hands were small, and both hands were full of snacks. The remaining two people, however, had two empty hands, and their stomachs couldn’t help but growl.



Kou Dong broke off two pieces and shared them, the shopkeeper pulled a long face, glaring at these two food sharing.


But he heard Kou Dong ask in a milky voice, “Boss, I heard we have a circus here?”



He wiggled his legs like a normal child, looking a little bit eager: “I also want to go see, but I don’t have the money ……”.


The shopkeeper thought for a while, but understood, “You are talking about the one that came recently, right? I haven’t seen it before. –That’s not cheap, you need more than ten silver coins to get in.”


Next to the table was a guest drinking tea, he heard this and couldn’t help but look over, interjecting: “But that is really worth a look. I went to see it, and it was a big show!”


He gestured with his hands, his face flushed with excitement.



“Such a tall bear! With a human face and talking and singing ……”



“And that snake, just like the beauty snake in that storybook, if you spend another five silver coins and they can still put it around your neck.”



“Oh yes, and that person that grows in a vase, ah, that is really unseen ……”



His voice grew louder, and gradually others joined in.



“I have also seen it. That bear man can not only sing, but also drill into a fire circle and breathe fire in his mouth. It’s really amazing.”



“That big-headed doll, he can also walk a tightrope!”



“Spend some more money and you can even touch him!”


“Amazing, amazing ……”


“An eye-opener, really an eye-opener!”



The shopkeeper also joined the conversation and said with interest: “Really? If that’s the case, then I’d like to go and have a look.”


Kou Dong lowered his eyes and didn’t say anything. He knew that the people in front of him were innocent, and they didn’t know that they were made from children – but for some reason, he still felt a physical nausea.



What was going through the minds of those children, wrapped in their thick furs, performing for them in fear, as they looked at the amazed and excited faces underneath?



“Speaking of which,” someone exclaimed, “I hear there’s going to be a new addition to the circus in the next couple of days.”


Kou Dong’s movements jerked and he raised his head.



The man couldn’t wait to reveal the answer.



“I heard that it’s a singing dog!”



“Dog?” The shopkeeper wondered, “Dogs can sing?”



“Why not!” The man sputtered as he introduced it, “It’s just in the past two days, the people in that troupe told me – hey, that’s a rare treasure, I don’t know how much they spent to find it – ”



Kou Dong suddenly recoiled a little. He inclined his head to look at the two people beside him, and they looked equally ugly.



That was a living, breathing player.



It was clear that he was still alive now, but they couldn’t confirm if it was really better than death or not.



The children picked themselves up and barely managed to serve plates a few times in the teahouse, and the shopkeeper gave them some money. The other two just had a few coins, only Kou Dong got a silver coin.


The guests in the building looked at them as pitiful for coming out to work at a young age, and gave them a lot. Song Hong held the copper coins, feeling a faint sigh of relief in his heart. However, when he turned his head, he saw Kou Dong holding a basket full of money in his hand.



Even so, some guests still put money or even the entire money bag into the basket and kindly instructed him to eat more.




Song Hong: “……”


There really was a gap between people.



Kou Dong, who was favored by all the NPCs, straightened the corner of his coat and deeply hid his merits and fame.


The triangular eyed man came from outside to see them several times and saw them walking through the guests. He thought they were begging and didn’t take it seriously, so he turned around and left. The shopkeeper was skeptical, “That person, I don’t know what he’s doing, he won’t come in for tea.”



He vaguely suspected in his heart that the other party was the thief who had come to stamp on him. He secretly noted this, but suddenly heard a singing sound coming from the open window. The voice was precise and round, clearly a man, but with a feminine charm, wearing a blue coat.


“The wind from the Water Palace is strong in autumn, and the moon shines on the third floor of the palace gate . The twelve railings are all worn out, and the night is heavy when she walks alone in the empty corridor… The beauty has a deep hatred for her country. How long will she see her again!”


The shopkeeper leaned out and listened, then withdrew and said to Kou Dong, “Didn’t you just ask? Here, this is them singing to attract customers. – If you want to go, go take a look.”


When Kou Dong heard this, he realized that this circus was actually on this street. He was delighted, and thanked the shopkeeper, hurrying off with the remaining two.



But he saw that there were already many people around the door, and the three of them were small in size. They peered through the gap and squeezed into the first row before realizing that it was the beautiful snake singing.


His face was extremely beautiful, with long satin like hair hanging down beside it. At first glance, he was truly a beauty.



It wasn’t until one caught a glimpse of that sinuous, coiled body that one could realize that he wasn’t entirely human. He had neither feet nor arms, and was only in an iron cage as he sang a rendition of “Xi Shi”. Kou Dong didn’t understand the opera, but from the reaction of the people around him, it looked like it was sung extremely well, and many people applauded, with coins of various sizes falling down like rain.



Beauty Snake stood up and smiled. After he finished the song, he raised his head and thanked the crowd.


It was rare for a snake to be able to speak, let alone sing. Someone yelled, “One more! One more!”



He sang again, this time in a different tone, more charming than before, but it was Kunqu, the most famous song in The Peony Pavilion, “A Dream”.



“The morning flies and the evening wears away, and the clouds and hazes of the Cui Xuan……”


He slowly lifted that pair of eyes up, right towards the center.


Kou Dong had an intuition that he was looking at him.



The corner of the beauty snake’s lips held a deeper smile, as he slowly sang: “Rain and wind, the flower boat ……”



Kou Dong was staring straight at him, but it was as if he had stepped into a cold pool of water. He slightly furrowed his brows, then Ye Yanzhi on his shoulder suddenly said in a deep voice: “It’s not right.”



Kou Dong: “What?”



Ye Yanzhi stared at the golden python.


“His eyes aren’t right.”


He said.



From where Kou Dong was standing, the beauty snake was facing the sunlight, so he couldn’t see it clearly, and he could only feel that the other party had shifted his gaze away.



He asked in a low voice: “What happened to his eyes?”



Ye Yanzhi looked at it firmly before shaking his head.



“It’s gone.”


Kou Dong believed his words, “If it comes back later, you can tell me again.”



A few moments later, the Beauty Snake shifted his gaze back and landed on Kou Dong again.


This time, Kou Dong heard Ye Yanzhi’s suddenly loud voice: “It’s coming! –It’s the pupil!”



Kou Dong: “What about the pupil?”



“His pupils changed!” The villain said, leaning forward slightly, “Just looking at you, he–”


Kou Dong’s eyes were slightly uncomfortable as the sunlight stung them. He blinked, barely able to hold back the tears that nearly came to his eyes.


Through the hazy layer of watery light, he finally understood what his cub meant by that.



–only while looking at him.



The pupils of the beauty snake slowly thinned out, gradually elongating and squeezing ……



It changed into vertical pupils that only a true snake would possess.




Support UntamedAlley

If you enjoy my content, please consider supporting UntamedAlley [which is just me lol] Thank you.

Leave a Comment