After parting ways with Li Bao Cai, Su Ru Hui fell into contemplation. Han Ye used to be his number one little brother, always following him and calling him big brother. Later, Su Ru Hui learned that this guy thought he was being held down by Su Ru Hui and always wanted to take down Su Ru Hui and replace him. Calling him “A Hui Ge” was all fake, and he was ashamed of it.
Su Ru Hui felt puzzled about when Han Ye fell in love with him and went crazy looking for a substitute. It was strange just to think about, and Su Ru Hui felt goosebumps rise all over his body.
Starting a new life, he didn’t meet any old friends, only encountered enemies. Su Ru Hui sighed with emotion, returned to the grocery store he passed by earlier, and bought a large bag of saltpeter, sulfur, and charcoal. He hurriedly carried the bags and went back to the old house of the Sang family.
It was raining heavily, and when Su Ru Hui returned home, his back was completely soaked. He put his things in the kitchen and turned to look for Sang Chi Yu. The door to the room was closed tightly, just like when he left. Su Ru Hui changed into dry clothes and began cleaning up the bowls and chopsticks Sang Chi Yu used to eat porridge in the morning. As he approached the bed, he noticed that the bowl of lean meat porridge on the table had not been touched at all and was still sitting there.
Sang Chi Yu was sitting cross-legged on the bed. Perhaps due to the cold and rainy weather, his cheeks were even paler than yesterday. Su Ru Hui tilted his head to look at him. He was the number one blade of the Secret Sect, notorious for his ferocity, and few people noticed that he was actually a pretty handsome man. Sang Chi Yu’s beauty was like that of an inanimate object, calm and steady. At this moment, because of his illness, he had an added sense of fragile beauty, like a white jasmine about to wither.
“Why aren’t you eating?” Su Ru Hui asked Sang Chi Yu.
Sang Chi Yu remained motionless, only saying, “You should leave.”
This stubborn kid. Su Ru Hui was so angry that his teeth itched. He asked, “What can you do if I don’t leave?”
Sang Chi Yu remained silent, and his lowered eyelashes cast a shadow on his cold, white face.
Su Ru Hui glanced at the porridge on the table and asked again, “Are you going on a hunger strike?”
Sang Chi Yu still didn’t respond.
Su Ru Hui asked again, “If someone wants to kill me, will you run with me?”
Sang Chi Yu glanced at him and said, “No.”
“Don’t you want to leave with me?”
Sang Chi Yu’s response was the same as always, “No.”
This kid was like a stinky stone in a pit. Unfortunately, he was also sick and couldn’t be beaten or scolded. Su Ru Hui shook his head and sighed, turned his face to look at the rain outside the window. The sky was low and oppressive, and it seemed like you could reach out and touch it. The raindrops hit the tiles with a pattering sound, creating scattered silver light on the ground.
Han Ye was coming tonight, and Su Ru Hui had originally wanted to take Sang Chi Yu and escape together, but with the rain pouring down like this and Sang Chi Yu looking half-dead and refusing to eat, he wouldn’t be able to run half a mile without falling ill.
He couldn’t leave him behind either, so Su Ru Hui was worried. Han Ye was a lunatic, and if he and Sang Chi Yu were to meet, it would be like sending a little white rabbit into the wolf’s den. With Sang Chi Yu’s tendency to collapse at the slightest breeze, it would be better for Su Ru Hui to fight against Han Ye himself.
“Do you know that I can read faces?” Su Ru Hui suddenly said.
Sang Chi Yu’s eyelashes trembled slightly, and he slowly raised his eyes to look at him, quietly watching him.
“Leave, Young Master Jiang,” Sang Chi Yu said.
Su Ru Hui suddenly reached out and pinched his cheek with a malicious smile, saying, “I can tell from your face that you are a possessive person.”
Sang Chi Yu: “…”
“I have a guest tonight, so just stay in bed and don’t come out if you’re not feeling well,” Su Ru Hui said as he cleaned up the dishes.
“A guest?” Sang Chi Yu furrowed his brow slightly.
It was the first time Su Ru Hui had heard him ask a question, as if he too had found something of interest.
Su Ru Hui laughed maliciously. “Yes, a guest who will make you jealous.”
Sang Chi Yu was a bit absent-minded, unconsciously grabbing the fabric on his knee and creating tiny folds.
After a while, Sang Chi Yu closed his eyes and said, “Do as you wish.”
He didn’t say another word. No matter how Su Ru Hui teased him, he didn’t react. Su Ru Hui tried to ask about his expulsion from the Kun Lun Secret Sect, but he remained silent.
Su Ru Hui was at a loss and left after clearing up the dishes. He didn’t send lunch or dinner again. As the day faded and raindrops fell, the flowers in the courtyard were battered and scattered. The room gradually darkened, and Sang Chi Yu sat alone in the darkness, watching the sparkling light slowly leave his fingertips.
Had he finally given up? That’s good. Sang Chi Yu thought.
Actually, Su Ru Hui had no time to cook at all. He was busy preparing for the upcoming battle with black gunpowder and flintlock rifles. Due to the limited materials, he could only bury some homemade guns with saltpeter at the four corners of the house. He sprinkled saltpeter powder in specific areas on the ground and connected the homemade guns at the corners of the walls. He carefully covered the traces with books and puppet parts to avoid being discovered. Finally, there were the flintlock rifles, which were extremely crude with bamboo tubes as gun barrels, but had some power and a range of up to 150 steps. The chamber was filled with many pieces of broken iron, which would immediately scatter and spray if they exploded. These guns didn’t need to be aimed specifically and could still cause great damage. Even if he couldn’t kill Han Ye, he could at least turn him into a hedgehog.
It was dark outside, and he leaned against the wall, waiting. The candle burned silently, with droplets of wax falling and accumulating in a white porcelain dish. Su Ru Hui was bored and started dismantling the mechanical parts on the ground, making small spider-like mechanisms. His puppets were divided into four grades: wooden, iron, leather, and flesh puppets. The degree of authenticity increased from the fourth grade to the first grade, with the flesh puppets being almost indistinguishable from living creatures.
He once created a group of beast puppets, consisting of tigers and lions, with the occasional addition of small cats and dogs. This beast puppet army once captured the White Emperor City in the Western Province for the Black Street. Su Ru Hui then transformed the city into a mechanical fortress, with the entire city operated by complex and tightly-organized machines, rendering soldiers unnecessary for defense against a million-strong army. This was the peak of the Black Street’s power. Unfortunately, Su Ru Hui was captured by the Kun Lun Secret Sect, and the beast puppets were handed over to them, and the White Emperor City was recaptured by the Kun Lun Secret Sect.
Su Ru Hui implanted the Wind-Stealing Star Formation in the brain of the spider puppet. This star formation was simple and easy to learn, but of little practical use. It allowed Su Ru Hui to listen to the wind’s whispers, which he would usually use to gossip about the Black Street.
He made four or five wind-stealing spider puppets, but it was already past midnight, and nobody had arrived yet. Su Ru Hui’s stomach grumbled, so he got up and went to the kitchen to steam a basket of large white buns. Sang Chi Yu hadn’t eaten all day, and he would get stomach problems if he continued like this. Su Ru Hui planned to find a way to feed him tomorrow. Carrying the buns back to his room, he pushed open the door and immediately sensed danger. A man was sitting in the dark, with half of his face hidden in the shadows. Only his clean white chin and thin lips were visible in the light.
The man scrutinized Su Ru Hui, and even though they were separated by a thick wall of darkness, Su Ru Hui could still feel his menacing gaze.
[Information unlocked: Han Ye, the current head of the Paradise Pavilion. Has a chaotic personal life and is a prime example of a man who does not uphold male virtues. Host, I support you in spanking him and castrating him.]
He spoke, his voice low and hoarse, “Little thing, you really do look like him.”
Su Ru Hui was speechless. Little? Sorry, but he was actually quite big.
Su Ru Hui swallowed the steamed bun in his mouth and approached the table, his spirit fire gun hidden under the table. Judging from Han Ye’s words, he had probably never met the original owner of the body, so Su Ru Hui could improvise. “I’m sorry, boss, for troubling you. I’m young and inexperienced, and I rashly offered to serve you without understanding the situation. After thinking it over, I think it’s better for me to concentrate on being a spy. How about I cook you a meal as an apology, and you can leave after you finish eating?”
Han Ye chuckled softly. “Have you done your homework? You speak like him. Among those useless people sent over to please me, you’re the only one I find acceptable.” He crossed his legs and tapped the table with his fingers. “Come over here and let me take a closer look at you.”
Su Ru Hui remained motionless and said, “Boss, you should find someone else. It’s late at night and the dew is heavy. Have a safe journey.”
Thinking that Su Ru Hui was trying to play hard to get, Han Ye asked, “What do you want? Gold? How much do you need? I’m in a good mood today, so I’ll grant your wish.”
“I just want you to leave and not come to me again in the future,” Su Ru Hui said.
Han Ye stared at him silently for a moment before standing up. Light and shadow flickered around him, and the candlelight illuminated his cold, white cheeks. Five years of time had settled on his eyebrows, making him look much more mature. His features were deep-set and his eyes were deep and dark. He was no longer the little brother who followed Su Ru Hui and acted cute, but a dangerous criminal who held the power of life and death.
“Who did you learn your tone from? What’s your name?” Han Ye asked.
Oh no, Su Ru Hui didn’t even know the original owner’s name. He urgently called out to the system in his mind.
Fortunately, Su Ru Hui didn’t have to answer, as Han Ye figured it out himself. “I remember now. Your name is A Qi. They say you’re a street thug who’s been hanging around, and that you joined the Paradise Pavilion when you were eleven and have killed people and set fires. No wonder you’re like him. That guy was also a thug.”
Wow, there’s no need to insult him like that. Su Ru Hui felt depressed. After all, he came from a prestigious family.
Han Ye said, “Those guys before you either cry and beg for mercy, or fawn over him, doing things he wouldn’t do and it’s disappointing. Jiang Que Xie was a bit more likeable, but unfortunately, the people in the Paradise Pavilion fed him too many drugs to please me.”
Following this logic, as long as he became more like Su Ru Hui, he would be fine. Su Ru Hui breathed a sigh of relief.
“But you have to have a sense of propriety and not go too far. After all, I used to hate that guy.” Han Ye reached out to him and said, “A Qi, come here.”
Su Ru Hui was confused. “Do you like him or hate him?”
Han Ye replied, “You-“
Before Han Ye could finish his sentence, Su Ru Hui pulled out a spirit fire gun with his left hand, lit the fuse with his right hand, and a brilliant spark of fire burst out from the bamboo tube. Su Ru Hui loved to fire the gun before finishing his sentence, catching his opponent off guard. The sound of the gun was like thunder, and after the smoke cleared, Su Ru Hui retreated to the door while Han Ye remained in place. The gun missed. The aim was too poor, and the shot went awry.
Apart from a scratch on his cheek, the flying shrapnel failed to injure Han Ye. His black robe seemed to be custom-made with a faint glow on the surface, which Su Ru Hui could tell was due to the effects of talismans. By drawing blood and painting symbols, spiritual power users could partially transfer the effect to their power. Han Ye’s robe had talismans that had the effect of a “Shield,” similar to a suit of armor.
“A gun?” Han Ye whispered, “He always liked to tinker with these things. Who taught you?”
Su Ru Hui shrugged. “Take a guess.”
Han Ye suddenly looked up. “Unfortunately, your aim is not good enough.”
“But it’s enough,” Su Ru Hui said softly, turning around and running out of the room.
Behind him, sparks from a sudden firearm explosion ignited the gunpowder on the ground. The sparks flew and within moments ignited the four cannons in the corner. A thunderous blast shook the earth. Flames shot in every direction, and the fragile wooden windows shattered into pieces. Bricks turned to dust under the tremendous impact and the bedroom collapsed into rubble.
With the four cannons fired, the house had crumbled. Su Ru Hui stood in the courtyard, dusting himself off.
“Goodbye, you little bastard. I’ll burn a hundred paper men to keep you company in the underworld,” Su Ru Hui chuckled, hands on his hips.
As the dust settled, Su Ru Hui’s laughter abruptly stopped.
A shadow stood amidst the ruins, a dark flame engulfed in his palm. Except for a small scar on his face, Han Ye was unscathed.
He looked down at the flames in his palm, and said, “My spiritual power has already reached the Dong Xuan realm. Anything with fire is under my control. You were too careless.”
Dong Xuan realm spiritual power!?
Spiritual powers in the world were divided into ten realms, with the tenth realm further divided into five stages, from low to high: Dong Xuan, Tong You, Guan Huo, Chao Sheng, and Tian Ren. Those who have just awakened to spiritual powers could not even be considered as having reached the first realm. It usually took gifted individuals over a decade to reach the Dong Xuan realm, while many took forty to fifty years. Chao Sheng level practitioners in Great Jing were few and far between, and Dan Tai Jing was one of them. He was the head of the Kun Lun Secret Sect and had just turned one hundred this year. As for the grandmasters of the Tian Ren realm, there had never been one throughout history.
Han Ye, at most, was only twenty-five years old and had already reached the Dong Xuan realm. Su Ru Hui understood that this man had controlled the flames that had attacked him, turning them into a shield to block his attacks.
It was too much to bear. Su Ru Hui felt exhausted. Why didn’t he have such a powerful technique?
At this moment, a slender, cold hand pressed down on his shoulder. He turned his head and saw Sang Chi Yu’s calm profile. Sang Chi Yu leaned on his crutch and walked to his side step by step. Despite his ragged appearance, he still had an unyielding spirit.
“Who are you?” Sang Chi Yu stared at the man in front of him.
Han Ye looked at Sang Chi Yu from afar with an unfriendly gaze, then suddenly smiled. “I know now, it was you who taught Jiang Que Xie everything about Su Ru Hui. Sang Chi Yu, you are the one who killed Su Ru Hui. Why do you keep a fake person around? Aren’t you enemies? Do you still care about the childhood friendship between you and Su Ru Hui? You, who pretend to be moral, are really disgusting.”
While Han Ye kept talking on the other side, Su Ru Hui wracked his brain quietly. Han Ye was strong, and he couldn’t confront him head-on. The Paradise Pavilion wanted to extract information about Kun Lun Secret Sect from Sang Chi Yu’s mouth, but all they could get were maps and defense plans. Sang Chi Yu was a disciple of the Kun Lun Secret Sect, and no one knew more about these things than him. Paradise Pavilion wouldn’t kill Sang Chi Yu for the time being, nor would they expose A Qi’s undercover identity.
Having figured out these details, Su Ru Hui knew what to do.
He turned around and threw himself into Sang Chi Yu’s arms, pinching his throat and fake crying, “Husband, it’s him, Han Ye. He said I look like Su Ru Hui and wanted to rape me. How can a man serve two husbands? Husband, this wife can’t live like this anymore.”
Sang Chi Yu: “……”
Han Ye: “……”