Sha Po Lang


Extra: 2 small extras in 1

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Extra: 2 small extras in 1

Priest: I don't know what to write this week. Let's talk about trivial


1, About "Hometown."

* The word used here is 故园 - gùyuán, the word gu read the same as the gu in Gu Yun (although written differently). I'm guessing it is (园).

wordplay, as in this is Gu Yun's garden (d).

Outsiders would think since Marshal Gu was born in the army, he always ate sand and drank the north wind, and with his wacky temperament, he must be very casual. In contrast, His Majesty had been gracious since he was a boy. His manner is incomparably elegant, even concealing his foreign Barbarian blood.

So on the surface, everything in their private life should be arranged by His Majesty, while Gu Yun was the casual one.

But in fact, Chang Geng, a country-born "Local Emperor"*, was not as particular as he looked. All day long, he had no other interests but to work and exercise. As soon as Gu Yun would go on a business trip, he would live like a monk, going to bed early and getting up on time every day, fighting with iron puppets, then going to court to take care of work. (the bodyguards were too intimidated to chase after the emperor with a sword).

* local tyrant: refers to the influential people who occupy a territory

and has a derogatory meaning

At mealtime, he would eat whatever the kitchen prepared, never complain about dishes he did not like, or be greedy for the delicious food. He would not have the bad habit of drinking a cup of wine after the meal, either. Because he used to not have a good sleep in his early years, he did not even drink tea, let alone wine; he lived solely on plain boiled water.......Waiting until Gu Yun returned to drag him out to live a colorful life once again.

Gu Yun, on the contrary, couldn't stay idle. Whenever he is free, he must come up with things to do. Moreover, according to Chang Geng's observation over the years, it was not that the man was fussy, but it was his joy.

After the site selection for the Gu garden was decided, it was natural to renovate it. In the beginning, Chang Geng wanted to do it himself, because he felt it was a big job. He did not know how much effort would have to go into such a sizable garden and was unwilling to let Gu Yun exhaust himself, he could only see to it personally.

After he racked his brain to illustrate the garden design, Gu Yun had also returned from patrol to the north. The emperor ordered the Ministry of Works' executive officer to bring the design to Marshal for his opinions.

Marshal's opinions... they were as heavy as a downpour.

The hard work in Chang Geng's eyes became Gu Yun's greatest joy at that time. After returning to the capital, Gu Yun ran to the Ministry of Works every day, chatting with the two construction leaders. One day he would add something, then change something else in another. He would offer Chang Geng a heap of bits and pieces of miscellaneous things he thought was impressive.

Today, he'd show him the most popular tiles in Jiangnan, and the next day, he'd showed him five designs for the guest pavilion, asking him to choose which one he liked best. Chang Geng bent his waist, holding a magnifier glass, looking back and forth three times, but could not see any difference between them.

"It's alright," Chang Geng didn't understand his enthusiasm very well. He just thought, "As long as he's happy."

Therefore, the construction of the entire Gu garden in the later period was almost entirely built according to Gu Yun's ideas. He carried out these things with seemingly never-ending patience. He even personally went to see what kinds of bamboo trees would be planted beside the pavilion; when he could not make a choice, he also brought several trees back to the Marquis's manor for planting to see how they would turn out.

Chang Geng accompanied him to plant the bamboo. He felt that when these trees were standing in a row, they appeared as if they came from the same mother. He thought blankly, maybe they will become different after some time?

Because of the weather in the imperial capital being inappropriate for their growth, the bamboo trees all died, Chang Geng was not able to see the difference. Thus, it remained a mystery.

Long after the Gu garden's completion, Gu Yun set off his horses in the back of the mountains, while Chang Geng rolled up his trousers to fish.

As soon as there was a fish about to take the bait, Gu Yun's horses always ran over to join in on the fun, as if they were deliberately making trouble. After sitting for a long time, they did not manage to catch any fish. Chang Geng was not in a hurry either; he calmly changed the bait and sat leisurely, there was no telling whether he was fishing or meditating.

Gu Yun remembered something and suddenly asked Chang Geng, "Didn't you say that you would take care of building this garden? Why did it all become my job in the end?"

Chang Geng said lazily: "My idea at the beginning is relatively simple, only a small piece of the courtyard."

In the Gu garden's entirety, Gu Yun did not make any drastic changes to the small place where the two usually lived, because before, Chang Geng had renovated it down to the detail. From the slightly lowered small courtyard to the flowing and winding water, to the duckweeds and stone steps, all were painted by him.

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Gu Yun pillowed his arms and laid down by the lake behind the mountain: "I heard from the construction leaders that you tell them to work however they pleased in other places. I think you only have the patience to build a small courtyard."

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