“Master, I shall leave for home now! Promise me you’ll take care of yourself, okay?” Tigress looked at Ye Lang worriedly. She didn't want to leave him.
Those words echoed in his mind, his heart clenching just at the thought of it. It really was an indescribable feeling.
“I promise… I will…”
Time seemed to slow down as he kept his eyes on the leaving troupe. He stood still at the entrance, deep in thought for some time as Tigress’s carriage left his sight. If it wasn’t for Ye Lanyu who had spoken up, he would’ve stood there longer.
“See, now you miss her. Why weren’t you a little more selfish?” said Lanyu as she stood beside her brother.
“Selfish? There’s no way I could’ve done that. I can live on my own. The word 'selfish' isn't in my dictionary, only unconditional dedication!” Ye Lang forced out.
“Enough, let’s not talk about this anymore. If you treasured her so much, why didn’t you send her home yourself?” said Lanyu. She was feeling a little uncomfortable seeing Ye Lang so vulnerable. She didn’t need to hurt him even more.
“I would, but would you and mom have let me?” Ye Lang fired back.
“No!” Lanyu and Anqi shouted their answer. It was obvious that they were worried about Ye Lang’s current condition. There was no way they would've let him out from the premise.
“See, you’ll say no. Even Tigress would stop me,” murmured Ye Lang as he glanced towards the horizon that swallowed Tigress’s carriage.
She definitely wouldn’t have let her master do that, not only for the sake of both his mother and sister but also due to safety concerns. She wouldn’t want her tribe to see him as she was unsure how they’d react.
It was an easy guess for Ye Lang. She had mentioned it before. Whenever he said he’d like to visit her home after hearing her stories, she’d promptly refuse the idea. It was not a common display from someone obedient like her.
She was willing to admit she was Ye Lang’s servant but would such a status be well-received amongst her tribe? It would’ve been disrespectful, and the sight of her master would’ve definitely angered them.
There was also a possibility that her people would not harm him after they learned that he saved her life a long time ago. Then again, it was just a possibility. No one knows what would happen. Tigress had wanted to test the waters before inviting him over to her place.
Other than that, if he had sent her home, Tigress would’ve sent him home after that, that way she’ll never get to go home! Logically, he wouldn't do such a thing.
Just as Ye Lang turned his back to leave…
“Eh?” Lanyu felt a little vibration in the water element. Could it be…
“Ye Lang, you’re crying? Hahaha, oh dear you really are…”
Ye Lang’s lashes were wet, he was indeed crying.
Lanyu had expected him to not admit it, but she wouldn’t have guessed what was coming…
“Boys can cryyyyyyyyy! It is not a sin! No matter how strong you are, you’ll still get hurt someday. Every smile hides a shattered heart! There’s no need to keeeeeppppppp it allllll inside youuu! Boys can cry…” he started to sing as he quickly ran into the house.
[Note: He’s singing a song by Andy Lau titled 男人哭吧不是罪, which is also the original title for the Boys Can Cry chapters.]
“Your singing is… substandard but I can feel your emotions. Very manly. Where did you learn it from?” asked Lanyu out of curiosity.
Lanyu’s question caught him by surprise. “Just ignore me! I’m not done venting!” was all that he could say in response to Lanyu.
He continued singing, “Even if it rains it’s a wonderful sight, why don’t you grasp this chance to just cry it all out, it’s not a sin!”
The moonlight shone upon the kingdom in a brilliant white. The faint chirping of the cicadas could only be heard in the background. A loud voice echoed within the Ye Residence, disrupting the peaceful silent night.
“The cold wind tonight had broken my heart, drunken footsteps of mine in a flurry for more, misty rainy days sure is nice… but why am I weeping? Is it because I miss you… I weep, I weep and I weep for you…” Ye Lang sang, accompanying himself with a pipa.
[Note: Now he’s singing Wu Bai’s 痛哭的人 (the person who weeps bitterly)]
The sound of the instrument was melancholic, giving his singing a boost of sadness. It was a rather dramatic display.
He was using a pipa not because he couldn’t find a guitar but simply because he wasn’t as skilled when it came to western instruments. There were only traditional Chinese folk music instruments available in the martial arts treasury. Thus, he had no access to western ones. Maybe, he thought, one day when there was more time, he’d learn other forms of western instruments.
Purely considering the fact that his pipa skills were pretty good and his singing was not half bad, it should be bearable. However, everyone in the Ye Residence thought otherwise.
“Hey, shut it! I need to sleep!” muttered one of the servants, gritting his teeth. The servant didn’t dare say it out loud because he very much wanted to keep his job.
“What on earth? The thirteenth prince has been singing for a full day now, shouldn’t he be tired?” cried the elders of the Ye family. They couldn't help but be concerned about Ye Lang's wellbeing.
“Excuse me, Ye Lang! I have a date tomorrow and I need my beauty sleep!” hissed Ye Lang’s cousins. They could no longer tolerate the noise.
Even the best melodies at the wrong time were simply a nuisance.
After a period of time, no one was sure if Ye Lang was venting, or if he just liked singing. He hadn’t stopped singing sad songs after Tigress’s departure, everyone in the Ye Residence was affected by his sadness until annoyance took over as night fell.
Initially, everyone had enjoyed his songs. However, they had reached their limit. He had to stop.
Such a display was an obvious insight into how important Tigress was to Ye Lang, no one could’ve replaced her. He rarely showed such emotions.
“Tai Ya…” Lanyu and Anqi felt a little jealous seeing Ye Lang reacting this way to her departure. However, they were very grateful for all the attention and care Tigress had showered Ye Lang all these years. She had done a lot for Ye Lang on behalf of them both.
Anqi and Lanyu started to treat Ye Lang better after that. Basically, they spoiled him. There was a small wish within their hearts to surpass Tigress’s position in the thirteenth prince’s heart.
After hearing the roar from his cousin, Ye Lang finally halted his melancholic song recital. The cousin was delighted at the sudden silence. She had even planned to praise her obedient cousin next morning but after some thought, she scrapped that. She simply decided that he was not worthy of that praise.
He held his pipa and started to play a sorrowful piece titled, “The Language of Pipa”, after a brief moment of silence.
Seems as if the members of the Ye Residence were simply destined to have nothing close to a peaceful night.
Tonight, everyone had a newfound hatred to Ye Lang’s songs, but they would soon come to regret taking his songs for granted.