Chapter 43.2 – Reader: Wine can warm you up.
When Xiu nodded, Eddie breathed a sigh of relief and he quickly made camp. The two men sat down and though they were face to face, there was an invisible boundary dividing them. Eddie looked across at the silly, cute ball that had frozen into an icicle, hesitated, then pulled out a canteen from his pack. He offered it to him.
“Take a sip, it will warm you up.”
Xiu was the one who took the canteen. Unscrewing the cap, Xiu saw that it was full of wine. Du Ze saw Xiu drink a mouthful then pass it to him. It seems he agreed?
Du Ze rarely drinks. Basically, he only drinks a few mouthfuls when he is with his parents during the holidays. Wine can give the body the illusion of warmth and, since Du Ze was really cold, he took the canteen and began drinking.
The first mouthful wine was full of a fruity fragrance. It didn’t seem too strong and even Du Ze, who was a novice at drinking, felt that it was good to drink.
Eddie breathed a sigh of relief. Somehow he always felt that he was hated by the other two people. Eddie took out another canteen from his bag. Xiu coldly refused it, so the gray-haired young man also began to drink up.
The snow-capped mountains were very quiet at night. The two moons were close together and the moonlight was very bright.
“You … you are called Xiu, right?” As if he didn’t expect to get an answer from the grim-looking elf, Eddie continued without waiting for a reply: “I had a brother who was also called Xiu.”
Probably because of the wine, Eddie started talking more and more. Whether it’s because of that familiar name or because he was just drunk, Eddie began to confide in the stranger. There were a lot of pent-up emotions in his heart.
“He was dazzling and everyone liked him … including Rose.” Eddie was silent for a while and then said, “I’m jealous of him.”
“Rose is my companion. I grew up with her and that guy. I love Rose, but from beginning to end, she only saw that person. Even when that man changed, Rose came running happily to me and said ‘I’m going with him’.” Eddie covered his face with the canteen. “So I made a mistake.”
On the silent snowy peak, Eddie’s hoarse words reverberated in the dim light of night.
“I betrayed my dear brother.”1
Eddie knocked out Rose then told the Temple of Light to go to the graveyard. After he did this, he was not happy but felt endless confusion. Year after year this confusion gradually worsened until it became bone-chilling remorse.
“I don’t dare to love Rose anymore, I just want to find that guy and give Rose back to him,” he said.
A liquid dripped down onto the snow but it was not the wine.
From beginning to end, Xiu’s expression did not change. He looked coldly at Eddie who was shedding tears of remorse, but the tears couldn’t form any ripples in Xiu’s heart. Eddie’s voice grew smaller until he was murmuring words too soft to hear, utterly sunk in his own world. Xui seemed to be bored. He looked over at Du Ze then he was stunned.
Du Ze was holding the empty canteen and kept raising it to his lips even though there was no more wine. In contrast to his comical movements was his earnest expression. The dark-haired young man still had a solemn expression on his face and didn’t look tipsy at all.
Xiu stretched out a hand and took the empty canteen. Du Ze looked at the person who took away his silver canteen, his black eyes unusually bright. Xiu originally thought that Du Ze was drunk but when he saw Du Ze’s bright eyes he was uncertain and said: “Du Ze?”
Du Ze opened his mouth: “Du Ze.”
“What’s the matter with you?” Xiu asked.
The black-haired youth again to repeated his words: “What’s the matter with you?”
Xiu is now very sure that some cute fool is drunk. He had not thought that there would be a drunk person who would not be noisy and instead repeat what other people said, although his voice was flat and emotionless.
The little Phoenix jumped down from Du Ze’s hood and fell on the canteen in Xiu’s hand. It looked up at Xiu and Du Ze: “Chirp.”
Du Ze said with an impassive face: “Chirp.”
The little Phoenix was unusually excited and spread its wings: This was the first time that its “Mother” had chirped in response to it!
“Chirp, chirp, chirp-”
Xiu caught the lively and disorderly small Phoenix in his hand. It quickly quieted down. Xiu looked at Du Ze who was repeating the small Phoenix’s cries and Xiu could not hold himself back from staring at his lips. He stared at Du Ze’s face that was red from drinking the wine and he wanted to bite him, so he did. Du Ze touched the place where he was bitten, even if his face is still expressionless, it still gives people a Moe feeling.
In the moonlight, the silver-haired elf stared at the black-haired youth and softly said: “I love you.”
Du Ze said to Xiu: “I love you.”
Xiu’s heartbeat quickened, even though he knew it was only self-deception, he still enjoyed it.
“I belong to you.”
Du Ze said: “I belong to you.”
“I will not leave you.”
Du Ze said: “I will not leave you.”
After the avalanche, Xiu removed the magic and came out of the plant’s protection.2 All around him was a vast expanse of whiteness. He didn’t know where Eddie was. The avalanche was so swift that it came in the blink of an eye.
Xiu summoned Cerberus. It’s three heads sniffed the air then led Xiu to an icy cliff that was above a dark abyss whose bottom could not be seen. Xiu caught a glimpse of Eddie hanging from a branch. The avalanche must have swept Eddie down to the ice cliff and he grabbed a branch to avoid falling down.
Eddie hung on the branch, tottering precariously. He dared not call loudly, for fear of triggering another avalanche. When he saw Xiu, the gray-haired youth eyes brightened.
However Xiu just stood on the edge of the cliff, indifferent. Eddie looked at Xiu, and when he was just about to shout again, Xiu finally opened his mouth.
“Do you want to know my name?”
Eddie was startled. He has asked several times before but the other person wouldn’t give him his name. Now is not a good time to chat. Eddie felt that the branch that was supporting his weight seemed to be near its limit.
Xiu looked down at Eddie and said: “My name is Xiu.”
Eddie, hanging on the edge of the ice cliff, heard a name that he remembered. The elf in front of him has the same name as that man.
What happened next made Eddie almost think he was dreaming. The silver-haired elf turned into a blond, blue-eyed young man whose familiar yet unfamiliar appearance was like his memory of his childhood playmate.
Xiu looked at Eddie’s stunned expression and his lips curved up slightly, hinting at a smile.
“Why didn’t you help me?”3
– excerpt from “Mixed Blood”
The author has something to say:
Reader: Wine can warm you up.
Author: It can also make you promiscuous.4
Protagonist: (silently takes out a barrel of wine)
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Thanks to Jochi-chan who sent me a link to fanart about this chapter. Here are the first two panels so you can see what it is like. You can view the entire thing here – https://69erocento.deviantart.com/art/Drunk-489920035