The Witch Nichang- Chapter 88 Lips

The Witch Nichang– Chapter 88

Lips

Does she know what she’s doing right now? No, she doesn’t. 

Is this a kiss? No, it isn’t. 

It wasn’t her lips that touched my lips. The warm, soft, supple presence felt like a tongue, or maybe it was a tongue. It glided over my chapped lips again and again, her touch gentle as it moved and pressed. This was merely an act of moisturizing, out of care, unrelated to lust.

“Doesn’t hurt now, right?” she asked, her tongue still on my lips, her voice steady and her breath calm. 

So, the ruffled breath in the dark was mine, not hers. 

Enough of this intimacy that has nothing to do with intimacy. Enough of this unthinking teasing! Her hand was still caressing my back, her tongue gliding on my lips, and she was the one I loved, the one who took my heart!

I wanted to stop her, but as if something had been ignited in me, something that had been suppressed for a long time. Now it swelled fast in my heart, riding on the darkness. It swept away everything in its path, unstoppable. My spine spasmed straight, and I reached out and clasped my hand exactly on the back of her head. Irrepressibly, I pressed down, turning what seemed like a lick into an actual kiss. 

Eyes unable to see, ears unable to hear, vigilance and rationality gone, only a fire left burning in my chest, quenchable only by her. 

Thirsty, not my body, but my heart. 

Sealing lips, claiming the kiss, drawing it in, and reaching in. I tried my best to control myself. Even so, I wasn’t exactly gentle with it. How could a parched person sip and savor the water when they came across a spring? The only thing to do was to dive in and drink to their heart’s content!

A muffled grunt sounded in the dark the moment my lips clashed into her teeth, but shortly after, her breath was just as fast as mine. Perhaps this somewhat forceful advance had triggered her competitiveness, perhaps it was the sweet and salty taste of blood seeping from the cracks on my lips that had kindled her wild side. Anyway, the expected pushback or rejection didn’t happen. Instead, she came back with more force.   

Even though I knew it didn’t come from the same want as mine, I let myself indulge in it. This was a fight, a literal fight of lips and tongue. It was intense and unbridled from start to finish. The overtaking and overtaken, the domineering and domineered between lips, tongues, and teeth. My chin ached from being gripped, and the hand on the back of her head returned it by pressing down as hard as it hurt. The icy-cold water streaming down the wall trickled down my hair and my brows, but my body was still burning. I was slightly suffocated, and the world was spinning. Finally, a hard shove separated our entangled bodies, bringing everything to an abrupt halt. 

The only sound in the dark was the sound of Lian’er’s huffing, her breath heavy and ragged. I rubbed my right shoulder, which ached from the shove. Panting, I silently backed up a little on my hands and knees, putting some distance between us. Half-kneeling in the narrow space, I awaited the conversation that was bound to follow after she had caught her breath.

“Why…”

When her ragged breath had calmed down, she spoke with a hint of indignation in her tone. The first word she uttered left my heart hanging, but she then continued, “…why can you hold your breath longer than me?”

“…” What I heard didn’t seem to match what I was expecting. I slowly furrowed my brows, then responded with a dumbfounded face, “Huh?” 

This time, I heard her answer loud and clear. There was no mistaking it. “I was already out of breath. Why do you still look so chill? And you catch your breath faster than me. How is this possible? No way, I’m supposed to be better than you at breathing and qigong!” There was the sound of water splashing in the dark. She fumbled toward me and grabbed my hand, demanding, “I don’t believe it. Again!”

That “again” left me stunned. Suddenly, I was enveloped by a familiar presence, greeted by softness once again. 

However, this time, the fervor was gone. The unquenchable fire was smothered the moment I was pushed away. The burning desire died down. Fervor made you dauntless, but it never lasted. Rationality returned after a burst of passion, so all I could do was accept her in a baffled daze, but kept my lips pressed together. 

Naturally, she realized that, and after a few exploratory attempts, she backed up dejectedly, patted on my arm that she was holding, and grumbled, “What? Are you going to back out after getting me once? I don’t think so.”

What she said about “getting her” snapped me back to reality. Like an out-of-use machine, my brain sputtered back to life.

I let out a “ah” as if woken up from a dream, then I whipped my head to the side and feigned a few coughs, feeling the heat rising to my ears. Flustered, I covered my mouth and said, “Um—cough—Lian’er… let’s, uh, hold on a second, okay? How about we leave this pitch-black place first? We… we can talk about it once we get out of here… sounds good?”

In that moment when I was pushed away, I thought I was about to face some questioning, a trial I couldn’t avoid or lie in. Getting a verdict that would only send me plunging into the abyss. 

Who would have known that I would come through it in this strange way. 

Or perhaps, I was just clinging to life. 

Whether I had come through or clung to life, with no verdict in sight, I had to keep on struggling. The first thing was to leave this place, leave this narrow, dark cave that made people go out of their mind. This place made me experience a long-forgotten sense of being lost and out of control, and thus it was somewhat intimidating. Although there was nothing strange about this place, or everything… everything’s just… 

Fate makes its move, and everything just falls into place, pushing us forward into the unknown. 

Initially, Lian’er was unconvinced about my sloppy suggestion. She was still dwelling on losing out to me on holding her breath. It wasn’t until I used thirst and cold as a reason that she begrudgingly went with my suggestion. 

In the next few minutes, we straightened ourselves up and filled up our pouch and an empty water bag that we brought along with the flowing water from the wall. This subterranean water seeping out from the walls seemed to be the source of the small lake. The water gathered into a lake. It dried up and returned to the cave. It was unclear what had happened. Even though the water pooled around the source was shallow, it was sweet and clear. It quenched our thirst and cleaned us up, washing away the accumulated sand and dust from the past few days. We felt refreshed but also a lot colder.

Leaving the cave was a lot easier than entering the cave. Even though we were still moving in the dark, with Lian’er leading ahead, everything was fine. I didn’t even have to grope my way forward. I just had to hold her hand and follow her lead, staying low, ducking left and right, and climbing up one step at a time. 

Other than these simple exchanges, we weren’t talking. Behind the facade of focusing on walking was a constant stream of thoughts running in my mind, contemplating how to explain things once we got out of the cave. 

I had to give an explanation. If I kept putting it off, and she found out what it meant later, things weren’t going to end well given her temper. 

But how should I go about it? I couldn’t think of a good answer no matter how. 

I had wanted to get out of this deep, dark cave so badly earlier, but when I couldn’t come up with any explanation, I was hoping we were slower. Regardless of the pace, fast or slow, we eventually saw the sky again. 

Stars were scattered across the vast sky still. It had been just under two hours since Lian’er went into the cave, but it felt like a lifetime had passed.

In the cold night of dessert, my soaked body felt ice-cold as the wind picked up. It could be an exaggeration when I said I was cold in the cave, but now it couldn’t be more true. Looking at me, trembling and hugging myself, Lian’er just said one curt sentence, “No rush, let’s start a fire and dry our clothes first.” Then she drew her sword and went to chop some reeds and branches. I wanted to go with her and help but she stopped me and told me my only job was to channel my qi and warm myself up. But until the fire was built, I was in no mood to channel my qi and warm myself up whatsoever. 

Even so, the so-called “good” answer eluded me, or perhaps, there never was one to begin with. Sitting by the blazing fire, it warmed up my body, but not my restless heart. The burning branches were crackling. In the silent night, they sounded as if they were urging me. Staring at the burning branches for a while without blinking, I finally sighed in resignation, turned my head, and looked at her who stayed by my side. 

In the glow of the fire, Lian’er was looking at me. When I realized where her gaze lingered, I couldn’t help but purse my lips, smiled wryly, and said, “Still thinking about… what happened earlier?”

She nodded frankly, her eyes moving up, locking eyes with me, and then drifting down again. She didn’t even try to hide it. Her gaze felt tangible, making me feel uneasy. I reached my hand up to rub my nose and stopped halfway down to cover my mouth before clearing my throat, and continued, “Just now, in the cave… about what I did… do you find it… um… disgusting? Did it make you uncomfortable?”

Although it didn’t feel like it, I still needed to make sure. If she couldn’t accept it physically, then there was no point in discussing any further. 

“How could that be? Not at all.” Her answer was certain, so sure that it was comforting. But before I could be touched by her unwavering answer, she drew closer and pulled away the hand covering my mouth and said, “Although you’re acting a  little strange when doing that, it felt quite nice. But you can never be better than me. Let’s try it again?”

The campfire reflected in Lian’er’s eyes as she said that. The fire was flickering, and she was eager to try, almost like… a little wolf that had tasted blood. 

I wished I was wrong. Sighing to myself, I stopped her with my hand before she could come any closer. When my fingertips touched her soft and warm lips, my heart stirred.

Knowing that it wasn’t right, I quickly pulled myself together and looked into her eyes, and asked seriously, “Lian’er, do you know what that means?”

Stopped by me, she looked disappointed, leaning back a little lazily, and said casually, “What? Do you think I don’t know?”

“You… know?” The shock was profound. It almost made me jump, then on second thought, something didn’t feel right. I calmed myself and cautiously probed, “Then… what does it mean?”

“Oh, come on, you’re always like this, like you know everything, and I know nothing.” Lian’er gave me a disgruntled side-eye, then her lips suddenly curled into a smile, and she said, “Although I may not know a lot, I know that most people wouldn’t be so intimate with just anyone. If anyone else dares to touch even a finger of mine, I’d make them experience the most painful death. But you’re different. Since we’re the closest, we can do this. I just never thought to give it a try before.”

“Lian’er… ” I almost choked on my words. After thinking for a moment, I asked, “Where did you get this… idea?”

Perhaps she was happy to see my stunned face. Her smile was getting wider. She answered proudly, “When I first founded the stronghold, one of my people colluded with an outsider. When they got caught, they were doing that. Dong Sun said that was the most intimate thing in the world. You can only do that with your closest person. A person who does that to everyone has no shame. Plus she betrayed the stronghold and deserved to be killed, so I got rid of her. Well, there are things about me you don’t know, right? ”

Looking at the flickering flames, silently listening to her story, I understood her, but at the same time, I didn’t know what to say. When Lian’er noticed my silence after she finished, she nudged me and said, “What? Is she wrong?” It was then I raised my head, looked at her, conflicted, and said, “She’s right, but not entirely.”

She heard me but didn’t say anything, her eyes fixed on me, as if waiting for an explanation. I took a deep breath and said, holding nothing back, “Lian’er, there are many kinds of relationships in this world. You might not have understood when you were little, but you should know now, right? Master and disciple, parents and children, that’s family; Buddies and friends, that’s friendship. No matter how deep these relationships run, they don’t do that kind of thing. Only the third kind does.”

“The third kind?” She cocked her head, pondering for a moment before asking tentatively, “Other than family and friendship, there’s only one kind of relationship left, the relationship between a man and a woman, no?”

I no longer looked at her; I dared not look at her, so I turned my gaze to the fire and said in a low voice, “For me, other than family and friendship, there’s only one kind of relationship left, that’s love.”

“Love? You mean romantic love, right? What I’m saying and what you’re saying… ” The voice next to me was confused, “Is there a difference?”

Hearing her confusion, I pulled a weak smile, eyes still looking at the fire. The flames were dancing, bright and fluttery. They destroyed everything yet also purified everything. Staring at it, I said, “That’s something I cannot teach you. You have to find the answer to this question yourself. Until you find the answer, we cannot do that again.”

My voice was calm, but inside, I was nervous. Was this step too small or too big? No one could say for sure. I was forcibly given a shove by fate. Even if I was stumbling, I had to fumble my way forward. What lay ahead, whether it was a paradise or an abyss, wasn’t something I could decide.

In the midst of my melancholy, I heard Lian’er’s response next to my ear. Her voice was decisive, without a hint of hesitation, declaring, “No, I haven’t won yet.”


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4 Comments

  1. Guest2.0

    Thank you for gracing us with this chapter.

  2. dark4sis

    slkcjnqslcnmlnckjenckm !!! Finally I have been waiting for 2 years, It’s a slow romance but still, finally a kiss ! thanks for the chapter, cant’ wait for the next ones ^^

  3. cornonthekopp

    Talk about competitive ranked lesbianism lmaoo. This is good stuff, never in a million years did I think this would be how their first kiss went, but it’s very fitting for the feral and wolf-like lian’er.

  4. Daoread

    Our hopeless MC has evolved! thanks for the chapter!

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