Chapter 13 Courtyard 8

The moss was growing slowly and the pit was getting bigger and bigger.

A perfect courtyard would probably require a year to take shape. That’s right, because courtyards were never built but grown. After the pit was almost completely dug, the whole yard would look like a mess. Those who didn’t have a strong mind would probably want to give up at any moment.

At this time, a lot of books on courtyards that I had bought both domestically and internationally were starting to arrive. Even my friends in the Department of Landscape Architecture sent me a lot of their opinions.

One of my old classmates also wrote me a passage, which I thought sounded very reasonable:

“People are eager to live next to beautiful scenery, but it is a very lofty pursuit. If you take a moment to look up and find that you have a corner pond and a courtyard that look like a picture when viewed from within a window or door frame, then you’ll know that you’re living amid beauty. If you live in a place with four distinct seasons, and you happen to have the ability to make those four seasons appear as four separate but beautiful compositions in your window and door frames, then your courtyard can already be considered amazing. Unfortunately, in our current lives, it’s very difficult to carve out your own corner of the world. But you, Wu Xie, are free and have people who are willing to help you, as well as the obsession to continue pursuing these things, which is something that is even more difficult to obtain. I hope you can achieve your dreams! To withdraw from the world and live in seclusion is something reserved for only the greatest among humans. Mortals who enter the mountains become nothing but savages at most.”

There were many detailed instructions in the letter which were very useful, such as not imagining what the courtyard would look like after it was completed because people couldn’t foresee how things that grew on their own would reach their final shape.

But this classmate didn’t leave their signature. I had sent out a mass email asking for advice, so there wasn’t a return address either. I didn’t know who this person was, but looking at the momentum of this small essay they had written, they were probably an upperclassman.

In my study, I began drawing up some drafts after carefully studying the materials I had gotten. The grass in courtyards needed to be a harmonious blend of colors, so I kept looking up the grasses used in various landscapes. I even bought watercolors and kept painting nonstop.

Many flowers had been planted around Xilaimian. Lin Liuren usually added different varieties, but after autumn passed, he seemed to have gotten a girlfriend and went to stay at her place. He was often absent for long periods of time, and when he was away, Little Xue seemed to be absent as well. Fatty started wondering whether the two of them wanted to go it alone.

I thought it unlikely, because Lin Liuren was attached to the garden here.

But when it came to me, flowers really weren’t my style.

To be honest, I wanted this courtyard I was designing to have more greenery, like moss and shrubs. I also wanted the design to be simple and clean yet very powerful.

In fact, I knew that Lin Liuren had studied this subject more in-depth than I had. He could probably even come up a plan that didn’t use any flowers, but I didn’t want others to design this courtyard. When I was first sorting through all the materials and pictures, I was anxious because I didn’t have a clue as to what I was doing. During that time, I even asked myself countless times whether it was wrong to be so picky. After all, it would be much faster to call someone to help me.

But I persisted in the end. By the time I finally decided on a plan, a week had passed and all the walls in my study were covered in drafts. During this time, I didn’t see any more cats or weirdos. It was almost like everything had all been in my head.

I also made a list of the raw materials I needed and asked the upperclassmen to help me purchase them. I predicted that the courtyard would be a complete mess soon, so I needed to build it up to my standards bit by bit.

During this period, I held several meetings with Fatty and Poker-Face to get their opinion on things, but they always said that the plans were fine. I sometimes felt that they were simply going along with my crazy ideas. Fatty continued to dig the pit while I was busy drawing my designs, so by the time I was finished, the pond was a little too deep. But I didn’t say anything, because according to feng shui principles, the deeper the water in front of the house, the better the feng shui.

I took a picture of the mess that was the courtyard now. If this was how it looked in the beginning, everyone would definitely be surprised when they saw how it turned out in the future.

Next summer, the three of us would be drinking tea in front of the pond as our shadows reflected off of the water’s surface. The fish would be swimming in our shadows, the aquatic plants acting as background decorations.

By the way, you’re probably wondering what kind of aquatic plants I’m looking for, the ones that can grow in completely clear water.

Those things grow very slowly, so if you can’t collect a lot of them, it’ll take ten years for them to grow into a courtyard….

<Chapter 12><Table of Contents><Chapter 14>


3 thoughts on “Chapter 13 Courtyard 8

  1. Lol, I was just thinking to myself as I read that we will never get to see the courtyard, because NPSS will just randomly stop writing as usual before it ever comes to maturity!


  2. “Those things grow very slowly, so if you can’t collect a lot of them, it’ll take ten years for them to grow into a courtyard” I feel this refers to Xiao Ge.


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