After coming back from Chicken Nest Village, Zhang Junshi did not sleep well for several days. Everytime he closed his eyes it felt like there was a flock of chickens jumping around in his head. It was almost as if he had fallen into the clutches of something evil. Whenever he heard a chicken cackle during the day he would not be able to restrain himself from looking around alertly, afraid that a chicken would pop out from nowhere. As for the two workers, they too had lingering fears from Chicken Nest Village. Whenever they tell of their experience it would always have exaggerated undertones with an addition of endless admiration.
Due to the large mouths of the two workers, Chicken Nest Village soon became famous. The biggest impression it left for the people was that the village had endless chickens but only one person lived there.
As a result, thieves came along.
Adhering to the belief that it would be foolish not to take advantage and steal a couple high quality chickens, this thief made preparations and on one night sneaked into Chicken Nest Village.
Afterwards…….there was no afterwards.
The art of war stated clearly, only knowing yourself and knowing your enemy will you be unscathed through a hundred battles (TN: from Sunzi’s “The Art of War”). This thief made the mistake of being careless and underestimating his opponents. Therefore, the moment he stepped into Chicken Nest Village it was destined to end in a tragedy. He had yet to even come close to the chicken coops, when he was submerged by a flood of fighter chickens. He didn’t even have the time to cry for help as in no time he had disappeared in a flurry of chicken feathers, bits of grass and chicken poop…….
“What big balls you have! You dare to come steal chickens at Chicken Nest Village?” Nie Bufan, dressed in pajamas, sat cross legged on the bed, his arms crossed as he looked down his nose at the pitiful thief laying at his feet.
“Da ye (TN: respectful term for older men), spare me! The lowly me have eyes but fail to recognize Mt Tai (TN: expression that means failing to recognize somebody important or somebody’s great talent; to be blind to the fact)!”
The thief looked almost ready to burst into tears, his hair like a chicken nest, a bruise on one eye. There was even strangely smelling yellow white substance on his face. His clothes appeared more beggar-like than a true beggar with holes all over, en, 15 minutes ago they had been intact, truly he could not be anymore pitiful.
“Your da ye, I, hates thieves the most, tell me, how shall I deal with you?”
Saying so, the chickens also attending the trial let out uniform angry cackles.
The thief shuddered, and said in a trembling voice: “If you must kill or extort I shall listen to your honorable one in all cases. Just keep me away from this flock of chickens.”
Nie Bufan rubbed his chin, and nodded: “Alright, looking at your good repentful attitude you will be punished by staying at Chicken Nest Village to fulfill active service. Until our chicken brothers and chicken sisters are satisfied.”
The thief with a frightened face, exclaimed: “I beg da ye, spare me! I would rather you give me a clean, straightforward end!”
“Is this not straightforward enough? You just need to help care for chickens, it’s not like you will become a chicken (TN: remember the Chinese word for chicken sounds like prostitute lol)!”
The thief wiped at his tears: “I……I…..can I go home and see my old mother first, say my farewells?”
Nie Bufan said with contempt: “Don’t think I don’t know, you are just an orphan. If you lie to me again I will have you sleep with Lady Flower tonight.”
The thief’s eyes bulged, and then he said in a depressed tone: “So you know, then I am at your mercy.”
Of course Nie Bufan did not know about him, just now it was just a bluff to draw him out. He didn’t expect his guess to turn out right though.
Pleased with himself, he said: “Don’t think I don’t know what you’re thinking! Do you know that our village’s chickens all have superpowers? Some can travel a thousand miles in a day! You want to escape? In just a blink you will be brought back.”
The thief had on a disbelieving expression.
Nie Bufan waved his hand: “Brother Eagle, show him what you got.”
He just finish saying so when an entirely black chicken spread its wings and in a whoosh flew up to the rafters. The speed was truly like that of a gale or lightning, treading the skies without a trace.
The thief gaped. A little while later he cried: “I am at your mercy, I am truly at your mercy, you are truly the chicken god!”
“Very good!” Nie Bufan crossed his legs and said with ceremony, “from now on, you are Chicken Nest Village’s servant here to make up for your crimes. Your da ye, I, grant you the name ‘Chicken Servant’.”
The thief scrunched up his face, and pleaded: “I have a name, I am called Tu Beng (TN: literally meaning collapse of the earth).”
“Pei pei, how inauspicious. We are living at the foot of the mountain, you dare call yourself Tu Beng!”
“Then……then calling me little Tu is also fine.”
“Chicken Servant or Chicken Poop, you choose.”
“……..” The thief felt as upset and wronged as a little wife who was bullied by her husband. He said mournfully, “I think the name Chicken Servant is quite good, quite good.”
And as a result, Chicken Nest Village finally had a second human resident.
A few days passed and it was time for Zhang Junshi to go pick up a new supply of chickens. When he arrived with the same two workers from before, he saw a corpse filled ground. It turned out, during the past few days, more thieves visited Chicken Nest Village. Without exceptions, all of them died in battle, the matter of ‘death’ for each one extremely tragic.
Zhang Junshi and his two workers carefully picked their way to Nie Bufan’s house, seeing him he asked: “What happened?”
Nie Bufan casted a glance at that side and said carelessly: “They are all here to steal chickens. One of them, when caught, would not give up and found some backup to come again. The result is as you can see.”
“You……you took care of them all by yourself?” He didn’t look it but this little guy actually knew martial arts.
Nie Bufan flapped his hand: “No, no. Didn’t I say it earlier? I have bodyguards.”
Zhang Junshi’s head instantly pictured a heroic looking Lady Flower.…..
“Hai, let’s not talk about this. This time I brought along some daily necessities for you.”
“Oh?” Nie Bufan’s eyes lit up and accepted the things the workers carried over. There were bowls, cups, blankets, clothes, etc.
“Zhang third gongzi, truly many thanks. You are a good person, I was just thinking of going to buy some.” Saying so he waved his hand at the two workers to help him carry it all into the backyard.
Zhang Junshi could already ignore “Zhang third” as if it did not exist. He also followed Nie Bufan inside the house.
The room was even messier than last time. The bed even had chicken feathers. Learning his lesson from last time he dared not sit, he was also on high alert, refusing to make a fool of himself again.
At this time Nie Bufan brought a basket of eggs over, smiling: “Give and take, this is my gift in return.”
Zhang Junshi did not think much at first, but when he saw the eggs he immediately paused. Pointing at the eggs, he asked hesitantly: “These are….chicken eggs?”
Nie Bufan nodded, chuckling he said: “Although the appearance is a bit different but they are definitely eggs produced in our village.”
Alright, Zhang Junshi had originally thought to also pick up some eggs but now looking at the situation, he had underestimated the shock that this person in front of him could bring.
Inside the basket there were several dozen chicken eggs, the sizes ranged from big to small. The small ones resembled bird eggs, the big ones were as big as a grown man’s palm. He truly could not imagine what kind of chicken could lay this kind of egg. Not only this, some of the eggs even had stripes, dots, and linear markings; it had quite an artistic feel.
Zhang Junshi carefully picked one up and examined it in detail, saying: “Can you bring me over to where they lay their eggs?”
“Of course, please follow me.” Nie Bufan replied enthusiastically and brought him over to a rather shabby structure. Compared to the rock cave from last time this looked more normal, chicken clucks and cackles could be heard just outside the door.
Nie Bufan pushed the door open for Zhang Junshi. When he stepped through the threshold, the surrounding chicken clucks and cackles immediately stopped. The coop fell into a strange and eerie silence.
Zhang Junshi froze stiffly, carefully he examined the situation and saw a large flock of hens looking at him in a daze. Incubating eggs, walking, clucking at each other, flapping their wings, laying down——all of them fell into a still and immobile state, as if someone pushed the pause button.
“What is it?” Nie Bufan craned his neck and looked around.
The hens saw Nie Bufan and immediately resumed movement, continuing with whatever they had been doing before, as if just now everything had been an illusion. Zhang Junshi immediately felt that the heart that had just been in his throat went back down to its normal place, and he walked in with a relaxed expression. Originally with his status, such matters should be left to the workers but due to an unknown mentality, he could not resist exploring more, just like a masochist……
Pretending calm, Zhang Junshi looked around and indeed discovered peculiar looking eggs in the piles of grass. He even saw a hen that just stood up reveal a pebble sized egg.
They truly were layed by chickens…..
Zhang Junshi’s view of the world once again overturned itself.
Nie Bufan smiled in embarrassment: “Don’t mind their slightly peculiar appearance, the eggs truly are delicious.”
Was this just ‘slightly’ peculiar? Who had chickens that lay such colorful and diverse eggs. If not for him personally seeing it Zhang Junshi would definitely not believe it.
But as for the taste, he had no suspicions. The chickens he brought back from last time met with raving reviews and increased his restaurant’s popularity.
He hesitated a bit and said: “Alright, for now I’ll take 100 eggs back to try.”
“Sure thing!” Nie Bufan turned and shouted toward the direction outside, “Chicken Servant, Chicken Servant.”
Chicken Servant? Just when Zhang Junshi was confused, he saw a skinny and small figure of around 20 run in. Smiling he said: “I’m here, ye, what are your orders?”
Nie Bufan pointed at Zhang Junshi and said: “This Zhang third gongzi wants to buy some eggs, you go and prepare a basket.”
“No problem, I am going now.”
Zhang Junshi asked curiously: “Who is he?”
“Oh, also a thief, but attitude repentant. After being caught he turned over a new leaf and decided to help out here to make up for his crimes.”
Zhang Junshi was stupefied, he then asked after a short silence: “Recently are there a lot of thieves coming here?”
“Not too bad, just some, all have been put down.”
Zhang Junshi could not help feeling sympathy, how foolish and thoughtless these thieves must be for stealing at Chicken Nest Village!
At this time, the sorry figures of the two workers appeared.
Zhang Junshi asked: “What happened to you two?”
“Just now when we went to catch chickens we were attacked…..” Worker 1 said with a grievous expression.
“Haha.” Nie Bufan laughed aloud carelessly.
Zhang Junshi turned his head and looked at Nie Bufan.
“Fine, later I’ll have Chicken Servant put them in cages for you.”
The two workers let out relieved sighs.
“The smell is too strong here, we can return to the house to rest a bit.”
Zhang Junshi nodded noncommittaly. This time at Chicken Nest Village he finally made it unscathed. He was rather pleased with himself.
“Ladies, if there’s something you want to eat go find it yourselves. If you want to give birth then give birth. If you don’t want to give birth then don’t give birth. At your convenience.”
Zhang Junshi stumbled, turning around he gave the flock of hens a complicated look…….
Pa! A lump of something warm landed on his head. Zhang Junshi stiffened for a long while before looking up and saw a striped chicken sitting on the rafters and currently smiling darkly at him.
The two workers covered their mouths, their eyes bulging.
Zhang Junshi gnashed his teeth in rage: “Why do the rafters have chickens on it??”
Nie Bufan looked sympathetically at him and patted his shoulder in comfort: “Anything is possible, please don’t be too sorrowful.”
Zhang Junshi was nearly going crazy inside. With chicken poop on his head he walked out expressionlessly.
How come it was always him? Why must he take home a souvenir everytime? This was not scientific!
He could finally be sure that coming here was the act of a masochist, a masochist!
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