Something cropped up over the weekend so I couldn't post this earlier. Also, chapter 5 is incredibly long! But very satisfying.
*edit: I double-checked with the original text and realised I joined Chapter 5 & 6 haha into one long Chapter 5. Have separated them correctly.
Chapter 5: Our Second Master Succeeds!
Because of that incident, Second Master was angry for a whole half a month. Later, he became too busy and so he forgot to be angry. Basically, I'm not able to see Second Master now - every morning, he leaves early and comes back late. Sometimes, he only comes back to sleep after two or three days. Second Master's originally fair face darkened quite a bit. But, there was one change that I thought was good - Second Master became strong.
Actually, Second Master's body wasn't considered weak previously. But, because of his injury, his whole body seemed to have weakened quite a bit. After these few months, Second Master's back became broader and his chest became thicker. Even his two arms became tougher by quite a bit. Once, Second Master returned late and called me to eat together. I said I would quickly set up the table but Second Master said there was no need, we could directly eat in the kitchen.
Second Master sitting on the small stool, holding a bowl of rice and eating with big mouthfuls - I looked at him dazed. Second Master placed the bowl down and said casually, "Why are you looking at me?"
I quickly lowered my head. Second Master said, "Lift up your head." His voice was low, but it wasn't an angry tone.
Second Master asked, "Why do you keep looking at me?"
I felt my brain being pulled as I opened my mouth, "Your humble servant was looking... looking at Second Master's change."
"Ah?" Second Master had eaten his fill and his whole demeanour seemed lazy. He looked at me and asked, "What change?"
I said, "Changed from before."
Second Master was dazed, casually placing his hand lightly on his leg, he said in a low voice, "Indeed, it has changed."
I knew he misunderstood and forcefully shook my hand, "It's not... it's not because of that."
Second Master looked at me and didn't speak. I was only concentrating on explaining, "The change your faithful servant speaks of... are... are changes in other places."
Second Master said, "What place."
I thought for half a day and blurted out, "Second Master has turned black."
After speaking, I wanted to give myself a slap. Second Master was dazed for a moment and then he laughed. He touched his own face and nodded, "Yes, it is black." He touched his face until he felt a piece of dead skin. He peeled it off and said, "Rougher too."
I looked at Second Master's firm chin and clear distinguished brows and eyes. He was wearing robes made of rough cloth, a waist-belt, just leaning his body a little and that thick and broad body will cause the robes to tighten on him. In that moment, I realised those loose silk robes of yesteryear, the man who embraced beautiful maidens and played by the West Lake only seemed to exist in a dream now.