【Consciousness disruption…consciousness reconnection…consciousness successfully online. Status check: no abnormalities.】
【Worldview loaded successfully, ground environment loaded successfully, host information imported successfully, body matching…body matching successful.】
【System permission opening level: 30%】
【Host 000, Su Ru Hui, welcome back.】
Su Ru Hui opened his eyes, his vision blurry as if a thin layer of mist enveloped him. His whole body ached, and his meridians seemed to have been shattered and then stuck back together inch by inch. He moved his fingers and his arm immediately went numb. He took a few sharp breaths and lay there silently, waiting for his vision to clear.
What happened? Memories slowly came back to him. He remembered that he had died. In his days imprisoned in Kun Lun, poisoned and with no cure, the Kun Lun Sect had taken a risky move and cut open his lungs to search for the heart core. It was deeply implanted in his body yet did not belong to him.
Unfortunately, the wound bled profusely, the meridians failed to be sutured, and in his final moment, he felt life quietly slipping away, flowing out of his body like a small stream.
It seemed like he had experienced a long period of darkness before he was awakened by this strange voice in his head.
System. He remembered this voice, which had been intermittently nagging him since he was ten years old. What exactly was it? Where did it come from? He had no idea, and had even entertained the thought of cutting open his own skull to find the source of this voice…
【Friendly reminder: The host cannot use this method to find me. You will have another major hemorrhage. In addition, you will lose your skull and scalp. While others become bald, you will be worse than them.】
Su Ru Hui: “……”
【Congratulations on the host’s reconnection. It is now the winter of the 12th month of the 1239th year of the Kun Lun calendar, at noon. During the five years, three months, twenty days, and seven hours since the host’s disappearance, the three pillars of the “Phantom Puppet” – the puppet, the spirit fire gun, and the meteorite iron skeleton – have made a leap in development, and the world has transitioned from the spiritual power era to the era of mechanized spiritual power. Currently, the “Phantom Puppet” and the spirit stone reserves that drive it are monopolized by the Kun Lun Sect. Due to the fact that this world does not protect intellectual property rights, the host has no recourse but to be an honest pauper.】
The system’s wording was always strange, but miraculously Su Ru Hui could understand it.
That’s right, the “Phantom Puppet” was something he invented.
“The heavens are the ancestors of all things, and all things will not be born without the heavens.” People believe that the stars contain the origin and rules of all things, and by deducing star charts and counting star groups, one can understand the relationship between heaven and man. People are born with qi, which can awaken spiritual power. Spiritual power is innate, and combined with cultivation that corresponds to heaven and earth, one can accumulate qi and activate spiritual power. If people are compared to cannons, then qi is the gunpowder, and spiritual power is the barrel. Only with spiritual power can qi be released, and different spiritual powers have different ways of releasing it. People who have spiritual power can become lovers to increase the probability of their offspring awakening spiritual power. Therefore, prominent families around the world tend to intermarry with each other to maximize the chances of spiritual power inheritance.
Unfortunately, Su Ru Hui lost his spiritual power due to an accident when he was ten years old.
In short, for the sake of survival, Su Ru Hui created the “Phantom Puppet.” They were powered by spirit stones. The puppet was impervious to fire and water, the meteorite iron skeleton invulnerable to swords and spears. The spirit fire gun could open fire and blast everything. Even ordinary people without spiritual power could have the immense killing power comparable to those with spiritual power. Without innate spiritual power as the barrel, the “Phantom Puppet” was an external barrel for ordinary people.
Therefore, many people respectfully called him “Boss Su.” The Great Jing hierarchy was strict, with a clear separation between the nobles and the common people. Su Ru Hui went against the norm and gave the masses the ability to challenge nobles, making him the most hated person by the Kun Lun Sect and other prominent families. He has been the top-ranked wanted criminal by the Kun Lun Sect for years, and was chased everywhere by Sang Chi Yu.
He originally thought that the Phantom Puppet could give the common people a place to stand, but he never expected that the Kun Lun Sect could monopolize the spirit stones and also his Phantom Puppet. Su Ru Hui sighed heavily and moved his limbs again. Finally, the pain in his meridians disappeared, and he turned his body to look around.
Before him was a rather exquisite room, built of stone bricks and decorated with carved windows, a raised bed, and a table. Everything looked typical of an aristocratic style. Su Ru Hui hadn’t lived in such a room for a long time, having spent years living in the streets and the caves in the outskirts. He felt somewhat unaccustomed. Many scarlet curtains hung around the room, indicating that the previous owner had just gotten married. Many books and notes were spread out on the table, densely packed with tiny writing. The redwood window frames were open, the wind rustling the papers. There were many meteorite iron parts, puppet devices embedded with spirit stones, and worn-out artificial meridians scattered on the ground.
A mirror was facing him, and Su Ru Hui saw his appearance, which was somewhat similar to his original self, only much younger. His bone structure was clear and sharp, with slightly pointed eyebrows, and the most outstanding feature was his eyes, dark and imposing, with a compelling sharpness when looking at people, giving him the look of a noble young gentleman.
Su Ru Hui touched his pale cheek and finally asked the first question after his rebirth:
“Who am I now?”
A semi-transparent panel jumped out in response–
Name: Jiang Que Xie
Gender: Appears to be male, but is currently wearing women’s clothes
Age: Seventeen, still young and not yet experiencing any sexual dysfunction
Identity: Appears to be the youngest son of the Jiang family in Yun Zhou, who didn’t inherit the family’s spiritual power. Got married three days ago. The system wishes the host and his husband a passionate love and a happy marriage. Other identities to be explored.
Su Ru Hui: “?”
Cross-dressing was one thing, but he was also married!?
Jiang Que Xie. Su Ru Hui had never heard of this name before. The Jiang family in Yun Zhou was a prominent aristocratic family, and every generation had many members who awakened the spiritual power and joined the Kun Lun Sect. For a family member to not have any spiritual power was equivalent to being disabled, and the most common way out was to marry into another aristocratic family. Obviously, this was Jiang Que Xie’s current situation.
“How did he die?” Su Ru Hui asked again.
【Insufficient system permission. Only basic information can be provided at the moment. Please explore the rest on your own.】
Ugh… how troublesome. Su Ru Hui rubbed his forehead. The “other identities to be explored” on the panel was worth thinking about. It seemed that the original owner of this body was not simple. He touched himself up and down. His skin was intact. There were no wounds, and there were no traces of a fight around him.
Was it natural death or murder?
Su Ru Hui got up from the ground and looked around. He opened the closet and saw rows of neatly arranged clothes. He took out a skirt and looked at himself in the mirror. This child had good taste; it looked good on him. He turned his head and looked at the books on the long table. He randomly flipped through a few of them. They were “Quick Illustration of the Phantom Puppet”, “Meteorite Bone Material”, and “Puppet Joint Analysis”. It seemed that this child was studying his Phantom Puppet. Su Ru Hui’s gaze moved upward, and saw a shoe print on the windowsill.
The toe pointed inward. Someone had stepped on the windowsill and entered this room.
Su Ru Hui took off his shoes and compared them with the shoe print. The shoe print was one size larger than the original owner’s, so it was not the original owner’s.
It was probably the murderer.
How did this person kill Jiang Que Xie? There were no injuries; maybe they used some strange and mysterious secret technique. There were no traces of a fight, and the murderer was likely someone familiar to Jiang Que Xie. Now that Su Ru Hui had taken over this body, Jiang Que Xie had not died in the eyes of outsiders, so would the murderer come back to kill again?
More importantly, there were no footprints in the room. The murderer was very cautious and took off their shoes after entering the room, but only left this one on the windowsill. This person probably planned to wipe it off before leaving, since they were going to wipe away the footprints they left outside anyway. Since they didn’t wipe it off, and there was only one footprint entering the room but no footprints leaving, it meant that –
The murderer was still in the room.
Being in the same room as the murderer was really terrifying. The situation seemed dangerous, but…
Whatever. Su Ru Hui was bored with life and didn’t care.
Come on, kill me. Su Ru Hui waited for a while, but the person didn’t come out.
If you’re not coming out, forget it. He turned his back, sang a joyful tune, and swaggered out of the room. When he looked outside, he was amazed by how big the courtyard was. The wooden corridor twisted and turned, the bamboo mat hung down from the blue tile eaves, and the scarlet lanterns spun around like bees. The sunlight felt warm on his shoulders. The courtyard was really big, and it was good to have money, but where were the servants? He had been out for a while, but he hadn’t seen a single person. Looking closely, the house was very old, with peeling pillars, missing railings, and brick walls covered with green vines. Only the lanterns and curtains were new, probably replaced for the owner’s wedding.
How strange. Where exactly was this?
Su Ru Hui rubbed his chin thoughtfully and caught sight of a locked room across from him.
“You’ve locked it, but I’m going to open it anyway.”
Without bothering to find a key, Su Ru Hui kicked the red sandalwood door open.
Inside, it was pitch black and filled with a chilling yet refreshing coolness. The furnishings were old and simple. The first thing Su Ru Hui saw was a lonely bed with white gauze curtains covering a blurry figure, like an abandoned grave that no one paid attention to. A skinny old dog lay by the edge of the bed and lifted its eyelids to glance at him when he opened the door.
Su Ru Hui went in silently, lifting the curtains with one hand to see the person inside. It was a man with a face that was originally white as jade, but now excessively pale. He was sweating profusely. He wore a plain white shirt that was soaked in blood. Despite his pale face, he couldn’t conceal his cold and stern temperament.
Su Ru Hui fell silent.
He knew this person even if he turned to ashes. Sang Chi Yu, the sharpest sword of the Kun Lun Sect, his nemesis who had been fated to live and die together.
When he wanted to create the Phantom Puppet, Sang Chi Yu destroyed it. When he wanted to kill his enemies and burn down their family, Sang Chi Yu saved them and put out the fire, driving them to flee in all directions. He still remembered a time when they met in a snowstorm with freezing air that made his ears hurt. But even colder was Sang Chi Yu’s voice:
“The Phantom Puppet has been unleashed, and the world is in chaos. I will stop you.”
How did he respond? He couldn’t recall, but he knew it wasn’t pleasant.
“Little rascal, we meet again.” Su Ru Hui lifted the covers and saw that Sang Chi Yu’s right knee was shattered. “What happened?”
[Information unlocked: Sang Chi Yu made a mistake and was expelled from the Kun Lun Sect five days ago. His name was removed from the disciple’s list. His master stripped him of his spiritual power and disabled his right leg. Now he is powerless and at the mercy of the host. Friendly reminder: The candle is on the third floor of the Duo Bao Pavilion, the whip is on the second shelf of the bedroom, and the iron collar is in the wardrobe.]
If you touch a key person or item, the system will automatically unlock some related information, but whether the information is useful or not is another matter. Su Ru Hui automatically filtered out all the strange things and wondered in his heart: So why is he here?
【Jiang Que Xie’s new husband, your cheap husband, is Sang Chi Yu. As the saying goes, enemies can become lovers.】
Su Ru Hui remembered that Sang Chi Yu had a marriage contract with the Jiang family. As a popular and talented young man, a martial official of the Kun Lun Sect, if everyone who wanted to marry him lined up, they could go from Yun Zhou to the South China Sea. The Jiang family had already discussed the marriage contract with his master. If he remembered correctly, Sang Chi Yu’s fiancée was Jiang Xue Ya, the twelfth young lady of the Jiang family. Now it seemed that Sang Chi Yu had become a waste of a person, and this marriage was handed over to her useless younger brother.
No wonder there was no one in this courtyard, and the furnishings were old. It turned out to be the old house of the Sang family. Sang Chi Yu was from the Yun Zhou Sang family. When he was three years old, the Black Street Gang attacked the Kun Lun Sect. The Sang family fought to the death, leaving only this child. With his master and everyone else dead, his servants naturally dispersed. Sang Chi Yu also lived in the border city for many years, and naturally no one took care of the Sang family’s old house.
This poor child was so miserable that Su Ru Hui would be embarrassed with himself if he bullied him. He stood in place for a while, staring at the old dog sleeping next to the bed with big eyes. Su Ru Hui returned to his bedroom and rummaged through his boxes and cabinets to find gauze and medicine. As he was leaving, he looked at the windowsill and saw that the footprints were gone. The culprit must have run away. Returning to the room, he cut open Sang Chi Yu’s clothes and saw his horrifying wounds. They looked like whip marks. Many places were swollen and blackened, and there were signs of pus.
The injuries were too severe, and the rotten flesh needed to be cut out and blood needed to flow before applying medicine so that the wounds could heal. Some places also needed stitches. Su Ru Hui found alcohol and a knife. He sprayed a large amount of alcohol onto the blade, and then heated it over the candle flame until it turned red. He first applied anesthesia to Sang Chi Yu, and then gradually cut away the rotten flesh.
At that moment, the person on the bed frowned and his eyelashes trembled slightly. He slowly opened his eyes.
Su Ru Hui lifted his eyes and met Sang Chi Yu’s gaze. After so many years, this kid’s eyes were still so black and deep that looking into them was like looking into an ancient, endless sea. Upon closer inspection, he felt that something had changed, but he couldn’t say what had changed.
Su Ru Hui smiled slyly. “Oh, husband, you’re awake? You’ve been unconscious for a long time, and I was worried sick about you.”
Sang Chi Yu just looked at him and didn’t say anything.
Sang Chi Yu had always been a taciturn person, and Su Ru Hui knew him well, so he didn’t say much and just helped him apply medicine. Sang Chi Yu was like a puppet, with no reaction at all.
What mistake did he make to end up in such a situation? Based on Su Ru Hui’s understanding of Sang Chi Yu, this guy was a stubborn person with a narrow mind, who took the rules set by Dan Tai Jing and the deceptive teachings of the Kun Lun Sect as the rules of life. How could he make a mistake?
Thinking of this, a “beep” suddenly sounded in his ear.
Mission release: How do I save you, my disabled husband?
Mission description: Investigate the truth behind Sang Chi Yu’s expulsion from the sect.
Mission reward: Unlock 10% of the system’s benefits. The host can request everyday items from the system.
Su Ru Hui continued to concentrate on bandaging Sang Chi Yu’s wounds. The chest bandage was done, and he noticed that there was also blood on the bedding. Sure enough, this kid had been laying here quietly for so long. Didn’t he have any sense of pain?
Su Ru Hui couldn’t bear to watch anymore. “The whip has injured you so badly. Who was so cruel to you? It’s inhumane.”
Sang Chi Yu quietly raised his eyes and said something for the first time: “You.”