Chapter 2.2: I Am a Beautiful Man
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Shen Lang grew up in Xuanwu City, Hanshui Town, Fengye Village.
His family? They were nomads who came to settle in Fengye Village when he was only two years of age. His loving mother and father were farmers. It was the only income viable enough to make a living. The soils they toiled on fervently were rich and fertile thanks to the Nujiang River.
His family were travelers and only came to settle in Fengye Village when he was only two years of age.
His parents were one of the many farmers who farmed for themselves to make a living. The soils they toiled on were rich and fertile due to Nujiang River providing a water source for the rich soil.
Shen Lang’s family of four only had two acres of land in the mountainous region to farm but regardless, his parents were very diligent despite not having enough food and clothing to keep themselves comfortable and live a leisure life.
Despite the background of a village farmer boy, his loving father and caring mother never failed to spoil him since birth. Seeing their poor son, they could not bear to scold him.
Despite, the poverty he and his family faced, they with great difficulties managed to provide him education through Hanshui School.
In a way, he was a humble scholar of ordinary background.
But his intellects and knowledge to comprehend were too poor. It’d been well over ten years and he’s yet to memorize no more than a thousand words. It is not because of laziness, but rather his mentality. He’s quite diligent in his work.
Upon coming home, he’d take it upon himself to learn the knowledge imparted unto him, yet it only led to failure. Shen Lang was bound to fare poorly in scholastic pursuit.
His level of mentality was too low. Many would consider him mentally retarded. In a sense, he is much like Forrest Gump—very soft-spoken, sluggish expression, and a bit slow-witted. With the exception of his handsome features, he’s virtually useless in all ways and synonymous to a waste and excrement.
His little brother, Shen Jiang fared no better. He’d been cultivating, practicing arduously with dreams of walking the Jianghu [I] over the past few years, yet nothing much came of it. He failed to gain quintessential experience nor the proper strength.
Much to his dismay, Shen Lang’s parents were growing older with each passing day. Death was nearing them ever so closer. Besides, they were too poor to even think of elevating their status, but that was more than enough. They had each other; had a family; had a bond. More than enough.
This year, Shen Lang turned eighteen years of age. He’d been diligently studying in Hanshui School for well over ten years straight, yet his knowledge was somewhat lacking… no… truly lacking.
Some of his classmates who entered the school the same year as him had long graduated. Some even managed to garner fame and status, but here he was still attending basic level classes with a group of ten-year-olds each and every passing day.
This was simply equivalent to his peers graduating from elementary to high school then entering a university of some sort while Shen Lang regressed, having yet to graduate from a primary grade level.
Such matter became a shame to Hanshui School. Teachers were unwilling to teach him. He was too dumb, too retarded, too stupid. He wouldn’t understand a thing even if the best teacher or scholar in town taught him with all their might and work.
What’s the point of teaching a mentally retarded child? So what if he’s a handsome little lotus? It matters not. He’s still dumb and stupid.
In the end, Shen Lang was thrown out of Hanshui School.
From the beginning of his childhood days leading to the point of his adulthood, his loving parents never failed to spoil him dearly. They’d even hold the sky for him to the best of their ability if need be. Sometimes, they’d forget to take care of their well-being from watching over their son meticulously.
All they wanted, all they longed for was for Shen Lang to never live a solemn life.
When Shen Lang returned home after Hanshui School kicked him out, he swiftly grabbed a wooden stick. He then wrote and drew on the dirt situated right outside the front door every day without interruption. He’d eat well each day without the need to toil and labor tirelessly. His parents did not despise him. Matter of fact, they kept him warm under their blanket of care.
His little brother treated him just as well despite his brash personality like that of a hooligan. Shen Jiang’s thick face labored outside to earn a few coins here and there for his family.
Shen Jiang never complained nor did he detest this dumb older brother of his.
When the images rolled like a film in Shen Lang’s mind, a wave of complex emotions brimmed the core of his heart.
Ever since he can remember, he always had the better meal, the better food while his family ate the leftovers or took a small portion, yet here he was eating and filling his stomach full.
Shen Lang’s father hunted hares in the mountains occasionally. He’d bring the animals he hunted to the market and sell them. Each time he did so, he always left the legs of the hare for Shen Lang to eat while Shen Jiang’s face drooled as he watched and ate his bowl of corn and rice.
Such love… how sweet it was… his parents, they were truly one-of-a-kind. The sort of love they showered him even though he was mentally retarded… it was truly heartfelt and touching.
Because he’s a retarded child, he was often bullied. In order to protect him from those who wished to bully him, to mock him, threaten him, Shen Jiang all too often found himself in a scuffle with others. Shen Lang’s not sure how many fights his little brother found himself in just to protect him.
It was a really warm and happy family. They didn’t have much but it was a really good family. The memories pouring in his mind was incandescently beautiful. They were content; they had everything; they had each other.
Though since Shen Lang was a poor bloke of a poor background, why then was his room ever so luxurious? Because he married a super rich young lady. It can be said he was a son-in-law entering a wealthy household.
[I] Jianghu… it is the counterculture society of workers who made their living with the skill of their own two hands: craftsmen, beggars, thieves, street performers, fortune tellers, wandering healers, and many martial artists.