SnCr 36

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On the scheduled night of this month’s full moon, the Moon Festival came.

Xin Junyan had fussed over everyone’s outfits for attending, and now they were all dolled up in especially fancy sets of robes and accessories.

(Zhu Li had learned about two weeks into knowing Xin Junyan that he just shouldn’t question the where, when, or why of all the clothes she procured out of seemingly thin air.)

It was now that he was also noticing a pattern in the way she picked out his and Chu Ran’s wardrobes. Chu Ran’s were all drab colors that he couldn’t possibly bungle up color-matching — there was no combination of white, black, brown, various shades of gray, and red that could possibly look bad, and what little blue he had were single pieces with no outer robe. Zhu Li had apparently been assigned only dark colors, whether that was brown, black, dark gray, dark red, dark blue, or dark green, though she would let loose with the embroidered details and hems, if she wanted to.

This was embodied in his bestowed festival-going attire; black with significant golden trim, accompanied by a gold pin-crown and some braids she had insisted putting on the sides of his head.

It was fancier than he had ever dressed in his life, honestly. Was this festival really such a big deal? He wasn’t going to walk over and be comically overdressed, was he?

He shot a look at Chu Ran’s outfit. It was all light gray, but embroidered with red lily petals on the bottom hem and sleeves of the outer robe. Instead of a crown, his hair bun had been stabbed with two metal hairpins.

Little Chu Mei was also lined up. She was in green, and her robes were femininely-embellished, but male-cut, with a silver crown that was far too intricate to be in the same class as a typical male one. There was also, for some reason, a white veil covering the lower half of her face.

As for Xin Junyan herself, she had gone all-out. Her colors matched Chu Mei’s, but her cut was more feminine, allowing for more flow and white hanging pieces of fabric. The updo she had was too complicated for the average human mind to comprehend; somehow, she had fashioned it into the stable, six-petaled shape of a lotus, all slicked back, yet somehow still had enough hair to loop at the sides of her head and string with a extravagant array of silver and jade ornaments of intricate make.

Not only that, but she was decked up in rings, earrings, and necklaces that were all of understated color, so that she could liberally apply them without overwhelming the whole look. On her face was a flowermark at the forehead and a white veil identical to Chu Mei’s, the purpose of which eluded him.

Zhu Li knew that such complex hairstyles were usually done by five or more servants for much wealthier people. As far as he knew, the Pavilion of Quiet had no servants, and he wasn’t sure the Xin Sect members would have been able to help her. That meant that she had done her hair up like this all on her own, with techniques he couldn’t even begin to comprehend.

And he thought he’d known something about hair, having four sisters. This one woman put even his fashion-conscious second one to shame. How she managed to load so much jewelry onto herself and not look gaudy was a mystery.

Xin Junyan deftly felt about herself, seeming to make sure that everything was in place. Even her two weapons of choice was tastefully blended into her outfit; a flexible sword inside a built-in sheathe of her belt, and a sword with a silver sheathe strung horizontally across her waist.

She put the rest of them to shame, who only had their swords — or a dagger, in Chu Mei’s case — strapped to one hip, hidden beneath lined outer robes. No one in jianghu ever left their bases unarmed, after all.

“Everything’s in place,” Xin Junyan announced, after checking all of their outfits. “Make sure not to take that veil off, Mei’r, and stab anyone who tries to touch it or you. No one has any business placing a hand on a little girl, so anyone that tries can’t complain when it earns them pain.”

“…Okay,” Chu Mei answered sheepishly.

“You’ll be fine since you’ll be with me the whole time, don’t worry. We’ll be going to do fun stuff while the boys will go and do other stuff.”

“We were?” Zhu Li asked.

“…We were?” Chu Ran repeated.

“Yes, you were,” Xin Junyan emphasized. “The Moon Festival has women-only events. You two can go eat mooncakes and play games until we’re done.”

Zhu Li furrowed his brow. He hadn’t attended a Moon Festival outside of his sect before, aside from buying mooncakes and then leaving immediately, but he couldn’t recall anything about it being women-only. “What events are those?” he had to ask.

“‘Women worship the moon, men worship the sun’ — haven’t you heard that phrase before?”


“I have,” Chu Ran butt in, “but is it really so enforced? I was under the impression that it was just an old phrase made by traditionalists.”

“It isn’t. Women run the Moon Festival, men run the Sun Festival. The gender not involved has to sit on the sidelines and watch what the other does.”

That was… not how things had gone back at the Miasma Caves. Moon Festivals had been quiet affairs with some handmade lanterns, mooncakes filled with fruit or custard made amongst family, and incense burnt for good luck, if one wanted. Jianghu folk were generally not the superstitious sort, which had resulted in no actual moon worship, nor any of this weird gender split-up.

He sort of understood why civilians were wary of the sexes mixing, since their control over their own bodies was much more limited than any cultivator’s, but they were honestly taking this stuff way too far.

Chalking this up to cultural differences, he shrugged at the confused-looking Chu Ran, and acquiesced to Xin Junyan’s demands. She had grown up in Zhongling, presumably, so this was probably much more important to her than it was to him.

The sun was setting rapidly, not yet fully down, so vendors all along the main streets were in the middle of setting up. Some had their wares up already, to catch the early-arrivers.

Xin Junyan forced them all past that, as the main ground was the massive square sitting just before the imperial palace. Artificial bodies of water created a ‘ten’ shape in it, the middle of which held a giant pavilion that much resembled a stage, and landscaping of trees, their leaves changing color, made the stone-inlaid ground less sterile. The whole thing was so intricate, it made one wonder whether some cultivators with a wood-element lean had been hired for it.

Vendors with brightly-colored signs and enough lanterns to start a fire were finished setting up by the time they got there. Chu Ran’s nose went sniffing in the air, taking in the sweet smell of mooncakes and pastries, as well as the savory scent of noodles, and the tart scent of wine.

Zhu Li could feel the man shake in giddy excitement from where he held onto his elbow. The blindfold had been ditched today, as had his qi sense due to the crowds that would come, so this was the compromise.

Xin Junyan and Chu Mei split off from them almost immediately, the latter somewhat reluctantly, and the former telling them not to miss the ‘show’. Zhu Li used this time to ask Chu Ran what was wrong.

“Ah, I haven’t eaten all day, Doctor. I’m positively ravenous,” the man answered. “I did that so I would have more room in the stomach for good food… hm, now that I think about it, I might not have eaten all day yesterday, either.”

Zhu Li side-eyed him in disapproval. Seeming to feel in, Chu Ran pat his arm placatingly. “It was only the day! I don’t do this on the regular. Inedia, yes?”

“You should have eaten something, even if it wasn’t much. Needing less doesn’t mean needing nothing,” he chastised anyway. “Do I need to monitor you food intake on top of your qi sense usage?”

“No, no, I’m being good about things, I promise. Say, what are we going to tell people we are to each other?”

Zhu Li quirked a brow. “What do you mean?”

“I’m hanging off your elbow at current. Someone may mistake you for my caretaker, or some such role. Friends would be accurate, yet too ambiguous, so… brothers?”

He raised one arm to set his flat palm upon the top of Zhu Li’s head unannounced, then moved it in a straight line over his own head. There was a cun or so of space between his hand and his crown.

“Well, well. Since you’re a little taller than me, Doctor, you can play the role of the older brother.”

“You’re four years older than me,” Zhu Li flatly pointed out.

“Bah, as if anyone would notice. Stereotypes and sense say that older means taller and broader. How about it? Do you want to be the big brother? The gege?”

That cutesy little appellation immediately made Zhu Li’s skin crawl. Oh, no. They weren’t doing this today.

“You’re not my little sister, so don’t ever call me that again,” he scolded.

Chu Ran must have sensed his horror, as he let out a low chuckle. Since he thought himself to so damn funny, Zhu Li did something he had never done before: he bopped him lightly on the head, much like how he had done to his little sister when she had misbehaved, once upon a time.

If he wanted to use a little-sister word, he was getting little-sister treatment. And his baby sister had been a moody teenage jerk, last he’d seen her.

The offended, disbelieving, wide-eyed look on Chu Ran’s face was completely worth it.

Zhu Li smirked, just a little. “Say it again, and you’re getting bopped harder.”

“Duly noted,” Chu Ran said, scrunching his brows together and… pouting. That was about right, at this point.

They began to go to the different stalls. Some sold toys for children, some sold useless baubles, some had lanterns made of either paper or wood, some were peddling dragon-shaped or moon-related decor. Others still sold anything and everything, from papier-mache masks, wind chimes, sugar figurines, puppets, drums, flutes, random imported goods, hanging decorations, good luck charms, dried fruits — the list went on, and this was only one corner of the market.

To be pretty frank, the selection of goods was fairly similar to that of any other market on any other day, except festival-themed and kitschier than normal. Zhu Li really wasn’t impressed with any of it.

What was drawing his companion in consistently was, of course, the smell of food.

Chu Ran had been trying to direct him towards several stalls harking noodles and pastries, but Zhu Li was using his eyes to discern whether a stall’s food was worth the money.

Even with that, Chu Ran was sampling one of every single flavor of mooncake that his hands could reach: red bean, mung bean, sesame, custard, peanut, sweet potato, leek, osmanthus, pomelo, lotus-egg yolk, matcha, oolong, charcoal with beef, pork, rose, kiwi, spicy hawthorn… nothing was safe or sacred.

Who was coming up with some of these flavors? Who ate charcoal? Who was putting savory flavors in a typical dessert food? Zhu Li had even needed to put his foot down and forbid him from buying a shrimp mooncake, because he didn’t want the sea stink following them around.

The capital-goers had to be out of their minds. Back in the Caves, they had made bean paste and been done with it.

Chu Ran had to be out of his mind, too. How was he eating so many of these? Sure, a lot of them were no bigger than a jade amulet, and he might have aided in taking bites of some of them on Chu Ran’s request, but it was still a lot of damn mooncakes.

What was weirdest, though, was what Chu Ran had done something weird with all of the vendors.

First, he would tell Zhu Li to stand a ways away, out of sight, while he went up to the stall by himself. Second, he would put on a show of being blind, making it abundantly clear to the hapless stall runners. Third, he would overpay the cakes’ advertised worth.

What happened after that would be either one of two things: the vendor would point out the mistake, whereupon Chu Ran would tell them to just keep it, or the vendor would try to sneakily keep it, whereupon Chu Ran would ask Zhu Li to come over and verify that the amount he’d paid was correct. This would make the vendor in question turn white, and sometimes make other people stare, when Chu Ran exchanged the money for the exact right amount.

After a few times of this, Zhu Li had to wonder: What the fresh hell was this guy doing?

So, he asked that question out loud, if a bit politer. “What are you doing?”

Knowing Chu Ran, he had no problem spilling familial funds like water, so… seriously, he was at a loss here.

The man in question was in the middle of chewing on mooncake number sixteen, turning towards him with raised brows. Once he swallowed, he said, “Eating a mooncake.”

Zhu Li glared briefly at him. Smartass. “I mean the thing you’re doing with the money.”

“Oh, this is just a little game I play whenever I go to any market. Those that think they can get away with scamming a blind man do not deserve the extra funds, and those that so altruistically point out the mistake do. Everyone reveals what they are on the inside, when they think no one will know of what they’ve done.”

“That’s not a game I’ve ever heard of.”

“It’s not odd that you haven’t, as it’s something I made up in my childhood. At times, due to sickness or untimely death, nannies or servants of mine would be unable to shop for me, so I would have to go out and do it on my own. Once I was swindled a few times with money and amounts, I made up this ‘game’ to learn which peddlers I could trust, and which ones I could not.”

That was pretty depressing. And fairly infuriating.

Chu Ran took another palm-sized mooncake out of the paper bag he was holding, smiling. “Ah, I didn’t mean to bring down the mood, Doctor. Shall we do something else? What is there to do at festivals like this, other than eat?”

Zhu Li thought for a bit. There were party games his family had typically played, but he had no interest in playing them with strangers. Moon-viewing and lantern-making would be one-sided in appreciation. As far as he knew, the girls were off in another section praying to the moon and preparing for participation in some sort of performance that wasn’t happening yet.

That left… not a whole lot to do, for two family-less men — one blind and one introverted — in a family-centered festival.

There was one thing, though.

“How about lantern riddles?” he finally suggested.

“Right. Those are a thing, aren’t they?” Chu Ran chirped, grinning. “Let’s try those, then, though you will certainly have to read them off to me.”

There were two types of lantern riddles: ones for children, and ones for adults, each with separate prize pools. Child ones were easier and were rewarded with toys or things of miniature size, while adult ones were harder and gave more practical gifts. Zhu Li located a booth for adults, of course,

On top of reciting the riddles to Chu Ran, Zhu Li would draw them on the man’s hand, just in case the radicals or general shape came into play.

First riddle: Far away, we watch in crowds. Up close, we stand alone. White adorns our heads longer than others, yet black returns within the year.

Zhu Li answered this with ‘mountains’, earning them a small satchel of shanshu tea, good for a few brews.

Second riddle: Snakes twist into a tangle, their bath far too hot, until two identical gentlemen help to lift them out.

Chu Ran answered this with ‘noodles’, his reward being two nests of dried noodles.

Third riddle: A woman makes a circle with her arms over her head. When pressured, she cries blue.

Answer: Blue pea flowers, as given by Zhu Li. The reward: Blue pea flower seeds in a pouch.

Fourth riddle: Clouds form from a beast’s mouth, sparks fly from its eyes. Inside its stomach lie spikes.

Answer: Incense, as given by Chu Ran. The reward: Lavender incense sticks.

These gifts are super on the nose, Zhu Li thought critically. At least they were useful.

“You two are good at this,” the lantern-minder said upon handing over the latest gift, smiling. “Why don’t you have a go at the golden lantern, here?”

Zhu Li looked up at the lantern in question, unmistakable amongst all the red ones. They hadn’t quite reached the spot where it was

“It’s a very special riddle. There’s only one prize for it, and no one has been able to guess it so far,” the minder explained. “The sooner it’s gone, the sooner I can head back to my family home, you hear? The only hint I can give you is that it’s very specific.”

Nodding at him, Zhu Li went to read the next riddle.

Sitting above the moon, a body unique and arched around. The rolling ground shakes from one cry pointed towards it. Ears split, vision blurs, limbs are bound — these are related at heart.

“Lightning? Thunder?” Chu Ran immediately whispered to the lantern-minder. “A dragon?”

The minder shook his head. “Good guesses, but no.”

“Dragons don’t necessarily sit above the moon,” Zhu Li said, frowning. “The limbs being bound doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, either.”

“They have snake bodies, and snakes can constrict.”

“But how are they related?”

Chu Ran scrunched his brow up, bowing his head in thought.

They moved on to other riddles for the time being. However, Chu Ran kept drawing things on his own palm whenever Zhu Li wasn’t, clearly distracted.

After solving a few more things on his own — earning a bundle of dried peppers, a lightly-embroidered handkerchief, and a complimentary cup of wine, of all things — Zhu Li finally turned back to look at him. “What is it?”

“I feel as though I know the answer,” the other said, “it’s merely avoiding me for now… sitting above the moon…?”

He scribbled some more things on his hands that Zhu Li failed to grasp the form of. All of a sudden, his spine snapped straight, and he tugged Zhu Li’s arm back in the direction of the lantern-minder frantically.

When Zhu Li led him back over there, Chu Ran whispered into the minder’s ear, who grinned widely, then turned to shout, “Winner! Winner of the golden lantern prize!”

Very animatedly, the minder went and took the golden lantern down, indicating that the prizes for that riddle were out. Then, he ducked into his prize cart, and procured an unremarkable box.

For some reason, when he trotted back over to them, he looked like he was trying hard not to laugh. Zhu Li narrowed his eyes at the sight.

With dramatic flair, the lantern-minder proffered the box up, and lifted the lid to reveal…

A toy dragon.


Zhu Li’s eyes flicked up to the lantern-minder’s face. The man was on the verge of breaking out into laughter.

“You see,” the minder started, voice cracking just a little, “the Emperor decided this year to play… a bit of a joke on the adults.”

It was traditional — encoded in law, even, with a bare minimum amount to spend set — for the Emperor to host these lantern riddles on the palace treasury’s dime, a precedent from Emperors past to encourage participation in the festivities, and therefore boost civilian morale. A consequence of this was that the current Emperor also got to select what prizes would be included.

This one had apparently decided to be funny this years, and include a toy for children as a ‘grand prize’ for adults.

“What is it, Doctor? You aren’t saying anything. Is the joke bad?” Chu Ran suddenly asked.

“Ah, excuse me, Sir. I lost my manners for a second, please forgive me,” the minder cut in, regaining his composure all at once. “The contents of this box are… well, if you would hold out your hand, please…”

Chu Ran did so, and the minder graciously removed the dragon from the box, then plopped it right into his waiting palm.

Zhu Li watched at Chu Ran furrowed his brow, then began to feel up the articulated bamboo toy with both hands. It was a large and well-made thing, at least, with smooth features, painted scale patterns, red lacquer, metal eyes, fully-posable extra limbs with claws, and added hair fringe to the back, beard, and tail — but a toy was still a toy.

“This is a bamboo dragon, as commissioned by His Majesty himself. He declared it a fun little idea to celebrate the moon with, since dragons chase pearls that look like it. As subjects, we must… must not question his decisions,” the lantern-minder said, clearly pleased at having delivered the punchline at last. “Make sure to treasure it, gentlemen. Only nine of them were made.”

Chu Ran didn’t appear to be offended or put-off, thankfully, accepting the dragon with a laugh. “I shall, especially now that it flies free of the box, as it is meant to. Thank you very much, Uncle. This was quite an entertaining little diversion.— Doctor, how about we go purchase some noodles? That one question made me hungry for them, after all of those desserts.”

They left the riddle games to return to the market area. Zhu Li caught Chu Ran idly messing with the dragon toy’s tail out of his peripheral, so he asked as they walked, “What was the riddle’s answer?”

“Hm? Oh. The answer was ‘dragon’, as in the character, not the creature,” Chu Ran explained, still one-handedly fiddling with the toy. “Sitting above the moon means the character for ‘sit’ above ‘moon’. A ‘unique body’ refers to how the right half is unimitated by any other radical. The arch is how ‘moon’ is the dragon’s jaws, pointed downwards. ‘Dragon’ is part of other characters involving deafness, haziness, and cages. That’s all.”

He quieted down briefly. “I was thinking that Chu Mei might appreciate this, though she is a little too old for toys. Then, I considered that dragons are shaped very similar to snakes, yes?”

What was he getting at? “Sure.”

“Well, then.”

Chu Ran tugged at his elbow to get him to stop nearby, after which he took the reddish dragon and draped it around Zhu Li’s neck, apropos of nothing.

The latter looked down at it, baffled. “…What is this for?”

“A snake-like thing, for the man who has a snake as an ancestor,” Chu Ran answered proudly. “It’s fitting, no? Be sure to take care of it. It’s imperially-granted, after all.”

Zhu Li wasn’t sure how to respond to this. His brain seemed to have temporarily shut down in this department, like it didn’t exactly have a response for this scenario.

Maybe not ‘like’ it didn’t. It probably legitimately didn’t.

Once they both had some savory noodles in their system, harkers shouted about how the main event was beginning soon.

The crowd began to push towards the middle of the large square, where the pavilion was. When they got too close to Zhu Li and Chu Ran, the former made use of his Fiendish Aura yet again, giving them room.

“Do you want to watch… listen to the performance, or do you want to head out to more peaceful parts?” he whispered to Chu Ran.

“I am perfectly capable of hearing it from far away,” was the answer.

That was fine by him.

They went against the flow of the crowd to leave the festivities. Eventually, they stopped meeting resistance, and were standing in a now-people-free section of the grounds. Lanterns lit up still-running stalls, who were taking this opportunity to reorganize their harassed resources.

“Ah, so much better…” Chu Ran lamented, stretching his limbs out. “Even without my qi sense going, the crowds are stressful. And stinky. Has no one heard of baths? Granted, it takes only one stinker to ruin a lovely bouquet.”

“Do you think we should wait for the girls?” Zhu Li asked.

“Dear Junyan was in such a rush to shake us off, that I’m positive she’ll be fine to escort herself, too. We ought to just head home. I have no interest in their little women-only play or whatever is going on.”

The bitterness seeping into Chu Ran’s tone could not be covered up by his typical flippant attitude. He must have been looking forward to spending time with his sisters, only for… yeah.

Maybe I should talk to Junyan for him. My diplomacy sucks, though, Zhu Li thought to himself. Her attitude seems to have been getting worse lately. Or maybe I’m just now noticing cracks that were already there.

The two of them started down the road. Unlike the festival, the streets were unlit, dark as ebony.

As cultivators, their footsteps were almost too light to hear. Nothing quite broke through the vacuous quiet, not even the faraway noises of the festival.

Despite not needing to anymore, Chu Ran was still hanging off of his elbow, his head bowed.

“You know, Doctor, I once heard that the Moon Festival is also a time of matchmaking and courtship,” the other started, “but I don’t understand how anyone is supposed to do that with all that horrendous noise. Nor do I understand how women are supposed to pray to the moon for love and good marriages and such. It hardly seems romantic.”

Zhu Li looked at him suspiciously. “You listen to too many novels. Most civilian marriages are pre-arranged for alliance and convenience, not romance or even compatibility.”

“Hm. Is it the same in jianghu? With your family?”

“Kind of. The Caves are a bit weird. Since it never took in outside disciples, more emphasis is placed on having kids than other sects. Even then, because cultivators live a really long time and have a longer fertility window, there’s less of a rush to marry than for civilians. My eldest sister married for love, just before I left, at almost thirty. Civilians would have considered her too old.”

Chu Ran furrowed his brow. “Of course. Thirty… is positively ancient,” he said, slightly deadpan.

It took Zhu Li a second to realize that Chu Ran himself was thirty. He pressed down his amusement. “You’re a man. Civilians wouldn’t say you’re too old.”

This didn’t make Chu Ran any happier. “I suppose civilians cannot count too well, no. Poor Chu Mei was getting concubinage requests from men twice or thrice her age. No propriety from elders, I suppose. What is wrong with those men? Do they believe themselves too good for women their own age?”

“A lot of things, and yes,” Zhu Li answered flatly.

“Disgusting, really. Those silly ‘love at first sight’ things between two young folks is one thing, this is another.”

At that, Chu Ran tilted his head at him. “Could you explain ‘love at first sight’ to me? I fail to comprehend it, for some reason.”

“There’s no such thing,” Zhu Li answered immediately. “You can’t genuinely be friends at first meet, so you can’t have genuine love at first sight, either. People can find each other attractive at first sight, but that’s it.”

“Are you so sure it doesn’t exist, or have you just not experienced it for yourself, Doctor?” Chu Ran teased. “You clearly aren’t the type to be distracted by beauty.”

“Attraction isn’t enough for a relationship. It’s easily overcome by… personal defects.”

Zheng Tonghao popped up into Zhu Li’s mind all of a sudden. It brought his mood substantially down.

“That makes more sense,” Chu Ran acknowledged, ignoring his mood drop. “I cannot go off of appearances, myself, so I must go off of everything else. Voices, scents, personality, and the like. That means that I am of the authority to tell you that ‘love at first smell’ and ‘love at first hear’ are not idioms for a reason. I was wondering if sight had some special love property; if it does, it obviously is not universal.”

An exasperated grin spread on his face as he shook his head. “Honestly, if ‘love at first hear’ was a reality, then you would have been first on the list, Doctor,” Chu Ran continued in a giggly tone. “Though your medicine smell leaves just a tad to be desired.”

Okay. That was it. There was no mistaking it now.

The sprout of suspicion within Zhu Li grew to adulthood in an instant. Branches spread out, leaves sprang and fanned, and a single phrase carved itself into the trunk, a psychological manifestation of the current thought currently occupying his mind:

This guy’s definitely fucking flirting with me.

Were he to claim that the confirmation wasn’t causing his emotions to go a little haywire, he would be lying. The knowledge that Sir Emotion-Reader was right next to him was not helping matters at all.

Terrible timing for this, really.

“Doctor, what’s wrong?” Chu Ran asked, as if he wasn’t the direct cause of this. “The smell isn’t that bad, really. I was just being cheeky.”

That is so not the problem, Zhu Li thought, waving him off. He would calm down in a minute, regardless.

In response to the stress, his mind latched onto the memory of the pendant Chu Ran himself had once gifted him, for specific use in warding off the qi sense.

Maybe… maybe he should start wearing it. At least until he had a plan for what to do.

The author says: I have several things to say because I talk too much.

  1. Other MLs love being called gege. Zhu Li would rather stab his own ear drums out.
  2. I thought up the three main portions of this chapter a long, long time ago, and it feels freeing to finally write them. The first was Chu Ran calling Zhu Li gege (which he fucking hated, rip), then came Chu Ran trolling an entire market, then came Zhu Li finally confirming what his ever-budding suspicion was.
  3. The Moon Festival here is an altered form of the Mid-Autumn Festival. Lantern riddle stalls in real life don’t work like this, for example, and the real Mid-Autumn festival has some gender-preferred activities, but it’s not female-dominated.
  4. I spent way too long thinking up those riddles, especially the dragon one. I felt like stealing pre-made ones would be cheap…
  5. Articulated bamboo dragon toys are real! (I would know; I have one.) Finding an image of them online is nearly impossible, for some reason. Just google “bamboo toy snake” , then imagine it with tail fringe, back fringe, stick-on horns, and legs.

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3 thoughts on “SnCr 36

  1. I would love to win that dragon toy, that sounds like a great prize!
    Poor Chu Ran, wanting to spend time with all of his favourite people, but being unexpectedly abandoned by two of them. I’m really wondering what’s going on with Junyan.
    Well done Chichi for coming up with those riddles – inventing riddles is HARD.
    And how will the good Doctor handle this new information/confirmation, hmmm?


  2. Okay, so it’s 2am, I finished binging 6 last chapters, I love everything about this one, especially the ending 😀 I wonder what the doctor will do know with this new realization ^^
    Thank you for this update!!


  3. Festival time! The squad is all dolled up
    Local Doctor sees the gege-kink and goes Absolutely Not.
    Is the purpose of festivals not to consume as much street food as you can? Also Chu Ran’s godawful childhood has just hit the point of yeah that tracks.
    You know what? There are worse imperial jokes. Unless this one has Implications. Still. (which is definitely the thought train of everyone in the vicinity of that decision making process)
    Zhu Li exe. has stopped working
    Yup he’s fucking flirting with you.
    Look Doctor Zhu is very ace. Gods of heaven and earth if that isn’t a mood.
    Thank you for the update!


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