At night, Su Ru Hui stubbornly refused to leave Sang Chi Yu’s room. Sang Chi Yu couldn’t force him out, so he reluctantly allowed him to sleep on the floor with the old dog. The dog, being unable to speak, didn’t mind Su Ru Hui’s presence, but Sang Chi Yu didn’t want him on his bed.
Suddenly, the system spoke up:
“Temporary task assigned: Climb onto Sang Chi Yu’s bed.”
“Task description: The bed belongs to Sang Chi Yu, and neither the dog nor Su Ru Hui is allowed to sleep on it. The dog is content to stay off, but Su Ru Hui shouldn’t be satisfied with this situation.”
“Time limit: 15 minutes.”
“Reward: System privileges will be increased by 5%, and the host will be able to see the secrets of people within his field of view that they don’t want others to know.”
The room was dark, and the canopy bed where Sang Chi Yu slept was shrouded in white gauze that made it difficult to see inside. Su Ru Hui stroked the dog’s fur slowly, and the dog, sensing that something was amiss, perked up its ears warily.
It knew that Su Ru Hui was up to no good.
Su Ru Hui sighed softly and said, “Poor Wang Cai. You have to share a bed with me. If only my husband weren’t so cruel; he wouldn’t even let me sleep on his bed after cooking for him.”
The dog said nothing.
Sang Chi Yu, who was lying in the bed, slowly opened his eyes.
Su Ru Hui continued to complain, “The ground is so cold. I’m going to catch a cold tomorrow. Even if I’m sick, I still have to get up and cook for my frail and helpless husband. Someone wants to kill me, but my husband doesn’t care. Oh, Wang Cai, my life is so miserable.”
The dog yawned lazily. It wanted to tell Su Ru Hui that whining wouldn’t help his situation, and that Sang Chi Yu would never let him sleep on the bed. When it first arrived, the dog found the ground too hard to sleep on, so it sneaked to Sang Chi Yu’s feet and slept there. When he woke up and found out, he sat on the bed all night, refusing to sleep with anyone. The next day, he changed the bed sheet.
If Sang Chi Yu found a clean and cute dog like him repulsive, there was no chance he would let this unknown and shameless little bastard sleep with him.
Su Ru Hui clenched his fist under his lip, exaggeratedly coughing a few times to create the illusion of being cold and windblown.
The old dog had no expression on his face
His acting was so fake, he was worse than a dog.
However, at this moment, they heard the person on the bed let out a low sigh and say, “Come up.”
The old dog stared in disbelief.
Su Ru Hui happily hugged a pillow, crawled into the white gauze canopy, and climbed onto Sang Chi Yu’s bed. He stopped playing any tricks and climbed into bed beside Sang Chi Yu’s feet, sleeping against the wall. There was a spacious gap between the two of them, enough for another person to sleep in.
“Goodnight, my husband,” he said.
After speaking, he closed his eyes and his breathing became steady, already asleep.
In the darkness, Sang Chi Yu did not close his eyes again. The night was extremely quiet – so quiet that it seemed as if one could hear the sound of time flowing. He looked at Su Ru Hui’s sleeping face shrouded in shadows and stayed awake until dawn.
Su Ru Hui only woke up when the sun was already high in the sky. He turned his head and saw Sang Chi Yu sitting next to the bedpost, the sunlight softening the contours of his face, making him appear serene and indifferent. Su Ru Hui got up and said, “Are you hungry? I’ll make you breakfast. What do you want to eat?”
Sang Chi Yu said indifferently, “You should leave now.”
He reached under the thin quilt and handed Su Ru Hui a divorce letter. The handwriting was elegant and neat, just like him.
Su Ru Hui did not take it, clicking his tongue and sighing. “My husband, you are so heartless.”
Sang Chi Yu maintained the posture of handing him the letter, making it clear that he would not move if Su Ru Hui did not take it.
“If I leave, what will you do?” Su Ru Hui glanced at the old dog sleeping belly-up and drooling. “Are you going to rely on this thing to take care of you?”
“It’s none of your business,” Sang Chi Yu said coldly.
This look was somewhat familiar, reminding Su Ru Hui of what Sang Chi Yu used to be like.
Su Ru Hui knew that Sang Chi Yu couldn’t count on anyone to take care of him, and he was waiting to die.
So what if his legs were broken and he was stripped of his spiritual powers? Su Ru Hui had long lost his spiritual powers and was no different from an ordinary person. He was expelled from the Kun Lun Secret Sect and wandered the Black Streets at eighteen. At twenty-five, he suffered from a poison that left him increasingly weak. He hadn’t given up, but this kid had given up on himself so easily. He had obviously never experienced the hardships of life.
Su Ru Hui felt a headache coming on and changed his approach. “Someone wants to kill me. What if I leave and get killed just a few steps away? We’ve been husband and wife for four days. Aren’t you even a little worried about me?”
This time, Sang Chi Yu didn’t say anything, but after a long silence, he said, “You’ll find a way.”
Su Ru Hui raised his eyebrows. “How do you know? You just trust me like that?”
“You always have a way. There’s nothing that can stop you.” Sang Chi Yu placed the divorce letter in front of him. “And I’m useless, only a burden to you. Leave, don’t waste your time with me.”
Su Ru Hui looked down at the divorce letter Sang Chi Yu had written. There wasn’t much content, just some customary phrases. But at the end, Sang Chi Yu had added a few extra lines that said, “May my husband be strong and healthy, live a thousand years.”
Su Ru Hui couldn’t help but smile. Did Sang Chi Yu want him to become an immortal turtle?
“Fine, I’ll keep this for now. But I don’t plan on leaving. Besides, you can’t beat me right now.” Su Ru Hui folded the divorce letter and climbed down from the bed. “I’ll go make breakfast for you.”
They had known each other for so many years. He couldn’t just let this kid fend for himself.
After saying that, Su Ru Hui left without waiting for Sang Chi Yu’s response. The rice and grain in the kitchen were almost gone, so Su Ru Hui made a bowl of lean pork porridge and put it on Sang Chi Yu’s table. Then he kicked the old dog and said, “Come with me to buy groceries. Otherwise, you won’t get any meat today.”
Before he left, Su Ru Hui looked around Jiang Que Xie’s dwelling. Sadly, he didn’t leave much money. The silver in his hands would only last another ten days at most. As for Sang Chi Yu, it was needless to ask. His room was a mess of junk and it was obvious that he was broke. This damn system, it was useless besides spewing trash talk. Why couldn’t it assign some quests to help him earn money?
Su Ru Hui looked at the iron valves, bearings, and balancers scattered on the ground. He rubbed his chin. Maybe he could make use of this scrap metal. But for now, buying groceries was more important. The murderer was targeting Jiang Que Xie, and it was fine for Sang Chi Yu to stay here alone; otherwise he would’ve died the previous night. Su Ru Hui took some silver with him and headed to the city with the old dog. It was pouring rain and there were no horses. The stable only had a broken puppet horse. They had to walk with an umbrella for almost half an hour before they entered the city, and by then it was already noon.
Yun Zhou was the largest province in Great Jing. Not counting the thirty-nine townships and counties under its jurisdiction, the main city alone had over fifty blocks and markets. The vertical and horizontal Tian Street divided each block, like tofu pieces stacked together. A towering statue was located in the city, with a huge iron-gray face full of compassion and silence, like a god. That statue was modeled after Sang Chi Yu’s master and Kun Lun Secret Sect’s Grandmaster, Dan Tai Jing. Jiang Huai Cang, the head of the Jiang family, had used tens of thousands of laborers to complete this stone sculpture on his 60th birthday. All the buildings surrounded the statue, and because the population was too dense, the buildings were piled up like towers, blocking out the sun, with countless skywalks connecting them. Pedestrians under the statue’s feet were like ants.
Su Ru Hui walked under the volley plank road, where a group of prostitutes with white powder on their faces and wearing bright red skirts were gathered overhead, laughing and playing in the rain. Various lanterns hanging under the eaves of the wine shops swayed in the wind, and the candlelight shining through colored paper cast colorful hues on the women’s pale faces, making them look like demons.
Some of the “women” had glass-like eyeballs that sparkled with a blue light emitted from their built-in spirit stones as they rolled around. Raindrops falling on their flawless skin created a non-human porcelain-like sheen. They were not real people but mechanical puppets. Despite not being real humans, their prices were much higher than those of real people, as wealthy young men were willing to pay a high price for the novelty.
A vendor in a raincoat approached him, offering him a book titled Phantom Puppets and rapidly trying to sell it to him. “Authentic merchandise passed down from the Kun Lun Secret Sect. If it’s fake, I’ll give you ten times the price. There’s also an appendix that details the love, hate, and grudges between Su Ru Hui and Miss Jiang Xue Ya of the Jiang family. Would you like to buy a copy, sir?”
“Su Ru Hui and Jiang Xue Ya?” Su Ru Hui was stunned.
The vendor spoke fluently, “Sir, you don’t know? Su Ru Hui and Miss Jiang were a match made in heaven. Miss Jiang’s undershirt was stolen by two guards from the Long Xiang Guards of the Kun Lun Secret Sect, and Su Ru Hui, in a fit of anger, killed the two lechers on the spot. Killing is a great sin, and Su Ru Hui had no choice but to bid farewell to his beloved and disappear into the Black Street. Sang Chi Yu stepped in and persuaded the Kun Lun Secret Sect to arrange a marriage between him and the Jiang family. Su Ru Hui was melancholic all day long and died of illness. Fortunately, karma caught up with Sang Chi Yu, and he became a cripple… Hey hey, sir, where are you going?”
What is this all about? Su Ru Hui avoided the vendor and turned into another street where many small newspapers were posted on the walls, soaked through by the rain, such as “Grade A Dual Cultivation Puppets, Second-Rank Humanoid Puppets,” and “Iron Ban: Those who sell spirit fire guns and blade metalware privately will be killed without mercy”…
“Dual cultivation puppets are so popular now?” Su Ru Hui stroked his chin.
[Information unlocked: Dual cultivation puppets are the best-selling type of puppet on the market. With high prices, even used ones cost a hundred gold. This system recommends that the host find Sang Chi Yu for dual cultivation directly, which is free and a better experience than using dual cultivation puppets.]
There were many small stalls covered with waterproof oilcloth leaning against the wall, where vendors were dozing off inside. They sold puppets that had been discarded by noble families and the Kun Lun Secret Sect, incomplete sword manuals and martial arts collections, as well as stacks of talismans. Su Ru Hui knew that if even one of these talismans was effective, it would be a godsend.
He walked on without stopping and bought groceries in another alley before finally selling the old dog to a meat shop.
“Sorry, Wang Cai.” He grinned and walked away from the old dog’s angry gaze.
He wandered around in the crowd for a while, trying to find out about the incident that caused Sang Chi Yu to be expelled, but he didn’t learn anything. The Kun Lun Secret Sect always controlled speech very tightly, so it seemed that he wouldn’t be able to find out anything without going into the Black Street. However, to enter the Black Street, he needed a letter of introduction. In his past life, he killed two Secret Sect disciples in public, so the Black Street opened up to him on its own initiative. This life, he didn’t want to kill anyone. He just wanted to be a diligent citizen who supported his disabled husband. That made it difficult.
He didn’t find out anything, and he was being followed. Su Ru Hui didn’t know where he had exposed himself and attracted attention, or was it… the murderer who killed Jiang Que Xie? He entered an alley and turned back. He saw a man standing in the rain.
“Why didn’t you come find me? According to our agreement, we should have met yesterday.” The man’s voice sounded like that of an older man.
It was someone the original owner knew. Su Ru Hui subconsciously looked at the man’s feet, but he couldn’t see how big his feet were through the rain curtain, so he couldn’t compare them to the shoe prints in his memory.
Was this guy from the Jiang family, or was he someone else?
[Li Bao Cai, the original owner’s direct supervisor. Hoped to climb to the top of his career by using the original owner’s appearance.]
This was the damn “little secret unknown to others” that the system mentioned? It was equivalent to saying nothing. Su Ru Hui wanted to beat the system up.
Jiang Que Xie’s identity was unknown, so Su Ru Hui couldn’t say too much, or he would be easily exposed. He didn’t answer the man’s question directly, only saying, “Someone tried to assassinate me the night before.”
“Someone tried to assassinate you!? Did you see their face?”
The man calmed down. “Maybe it’s the people from the Great Compassion Temple. They are also monitoring Sang Chi Yu. You don’t need to worry about this matter. I will investigate. You don’t need to contact me in these few days. Just play the role of Jiang Que Xie well and try to dig out everything about the Kun Lun Secret Sect from Sang Chi Yu’s mouth.”
That was an important information; so Jiang Que Xie was fake. Su Ru Hui exclaimed “Wow” in his heart.
The Great Compassion Temple was the largest sect in the Black Street, always mysterious. He had contact with people from there a few times in his past life. The old dog had mentioned “Hei Guan Yin,” so he should be a member of the Great Compassion Temple.
[Host guessed correctly. Information unlocked: The old dog’s monastic name is Ji Wu. Hei Guan Yin sent him to dig up information from Sang Chi Yu. His special power is shapeshifting. To disguise himself, he chose to become an old dog, but he didn’t expect that dogs were the animals Sang Chi Yu hated the most.]
The man said again, “Get ready tonight. Han Ye will come to see you.”
Upon hearing the name, Su Ru Hui roughly understood that this fake Jiang Que Xie was a member of the the Paradise Pavilion gang in the Black Street. Paradise Pavilion was the largest gang in Black Street, and Su Ru Hui had the been their leader once. Of course, compared to being a leader, he preferred if others called him “boss.” The title of leader was too old-fashioned and sounded like a brothel owner, which couldn’t even qualify for a male protagonist in a novel. Fortunately, he didn’t hold the title for long because in his second year as leader, there was a traitor who sold the secret passage to the Kun Lun Secret Sect. The power difference was too great, and Black Street had no chance of winning, so the only condition for a peace agreement was to hand him over. Sacrificing one person to save everyone else was the inevitable outcome.
Han Ye was the one who handed him over.
He didn’t expect to meet his old enemy again. Should they have a warm-up fight? Han Ye was a spiritual power user, possessing the secret technique “Black Flame Fire.” On the other hand, Su Ru Hui had no tricks up his sleeve. Forget it, let’s just be a little brother honestly, and we’ll have a chance to deal with him later.
The man noticed that Su Ru Hui hadn’t said anything, and seemed to misunderstand something, saying, “What, are you going to back out? We’ve already agreed, and I’ve already reported your name to the higher-ups. It’s impossible to change it now. Don’t worry, your face after the facial reconstruction looks a lot like Su Ru Hui, and Han Ye will definitely like you. You’re sensible. Please Han Ye, and you’ll have a bright future in Paradise Pavilion, and I’ll benefit from it too. Don’t think about rebelling. Jiang Que Xue is your warning; that kid is already dead.”
[Information Unlock: The real Jiang Que Xue was taken into Paradise Pavilion half a year ago and has since died due to excessive use of aphrodisiacs.]
Su Ru Hui: “…”
What the hell is going on?