LWS V4C9 The Dubious Bathhouse Arc

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The thing that had confused Su Yan so much was part of what the author and readers lovingly called the ‘bathhouse arc’. This was the first real arc of the novel after the two introductory chapters and it was also the first time the novel went past the status of hints.
Su Yan had happily read until here and still couldn’t understand why his boyfriend would have added a warning that this novel wasn’t suitable to begin reading the genre. Wasn’t everything about this novel normal? This was just two brothers on an adventure …
And now look at the beginning of the third chapter! It was still especially normal. Wang Ya Ting and Wang Ya Hui had just reached a slightly bigger town and found an inn where they wanted to settle down for a few days. After all, Wang Ya Hui was only a frail youth and his brother just couldn’t watch him being exhausted day after day.
Su Yan frowned at this part. Wang Ya Hui might be eight years younger than his brother and not even count as an adult in ancient times yet but there wasn’t even a hint that he was sick in any way. Where did this talk about him being frail come from? Furthermore, he was sitting in a comfy carriage the whole journey. Just how was he supposed to get exhausted?
“Mn, maybe this is what Nie Chang was talking about. This brother is certainly a little strange.”
Su Yan read further and thanks to the many years of reading one novel after the other that had led to him becoming a faster reader he didn’t need long to get to the part that had earned this arc its name.
Wang Ya Hui as the troublesome, curious person he was naturally had to go and explore what had been advertised to him as the reason for the inn’s good name. And then … things got weird.
[Wang Ya Hui made sure his brother wasn’t looking before he slipped out of the room. He would just go and take a look. His big brother certainly wouldn’t be too angry when he found out. Maybe he would even be back before his brother could notice anything.
Following his memory, Wang Ya Hui hurried down the corridor and leaped down the steps of the staircase. He took another look around to make sure that none of their servants were in the vicinity before he sneaked through the entrance area and the corridor behind it to the door the man at the reception had described him.
With another look over his shoulder to make sure that his brother hadn’t found out yet, Wang Ya Hui pushed the door open and peeked inside. His eyes instantly widened. “Whoa! What a big bird!”
The man inside the dressing room looked to the door when he heard the youthful voice, his brows raised. What bird?]
Indeed! What bird?! Su Yan was just as confused. Just where had Wang Ya Hui walked into? Hadn’t the servant at the beginning of the chapter when they arrived at the inn said their specialty was their bathhouse? Maybe that had been wrong and it was some kind of ancient aviary instead? Then why had the author called this room a changing room?
Oh! Maybe this was some kind of room in front of the aviary where the person that took care of the birds changed since normal clothes weren’t suitable for that job? But why was a bird with him then? Could he just take them out? Or had there been some kind of accident and one of the birds had managed to slip out of the aviary when he left after doing his job?
Ah, there were so many possibilities! But now it was getting interesting. Not that he minded reading about the adventure of these two brothers but he had been wondering why the novel was called ‘The Adventure of the Four Birds’ if there were only two people traveling. Maybe they would pick up this caretaker and the big bird?
Oh! Maybe the bird in question wasn’t actually from the aviary but was his own bird that was always sitting on his shoulder? That would probably make for a funny picture when they went out to travel together.
Su Yan grinned and continued to read.
[“Oh?” The man tried to see what kind of person was outside the door but there wasn’t much to identify from the small crack that had been opened. He only saw a patch of green and a patch of black. Well, he wouldn’t give up just because of that. “Which little birdie is chirping outside? Come on in then.”
Every normal person that was found peeping at a foreign man changing would have slammed the door shut and run away but Wang Ya Hui wasn’t shy with strangers. On the contrary, he was happy at being called in. He opened the door and stepped in, smiling at the man.
The other person smiled back. So it turned out the one peeping at him had been a cute youth. He tilted his head and waved Wang Ya Hui closer. “Come here, come here. No reason to be shy. We’re all men here.”
Wang Ya Hui skipped over, clasped his hands behind his back and looked up at the man with a big smile. The other reached out and pinched his cheeks. What an adorable creature!
Wang Ya Hui continued to smile. Wang Ya Ting also liked to pinch his cheeks so he didn’t mind at all. Seeing that the boy didn’t even flinch the man continued with a content smile.
“So, you’ve also come to use the hot spring, little birdie?”
This time Wang Ya Hui was taken aback. “Why are you calling me little birdie? I’m called Wang Ya Hui!”
“Oh. So that’s your name. Is that Ya as in the mandarin ducks?”
“Ah? Why would you think so?”
“Well, who was the one standing before the door exclaiming that he saw a big bird?”
Wang Ya Hui blinked. “That was me.”
“En. Precisely. So what should I call you if not little birdie? You couldn’t want me to call you big birdie, could you? You’re so small after all.” The man dropped his hands on Wang Ya Hui’s shoulders that barely reached up to his chest.
Wang Ya Hui pursed his lips. “Why would I? You’re the one with the big bird!”
His answer only served to confuse the man. “What big bird?”
“That one!” And with that Wang Ya Hui reached down and grabbed the big bird.]

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