Chapter 22

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Chapter 22 – Gongzi Yu

Fu Hongxue did not turn around. He did not move.

He couldn’t move. He already felt a sort of all-conquering, all-pervasive killing aura. If he moved, regardless of the movement, he might give the opponent an opening. Even a single twitch of a muscle might be a fatal mistake. Although he knew that a person like Gongzi Yu was definitely not the type of person to attack from behind, he couldn’t not take precaution.

Gongzi Yu suddenly laughed. His laughter was graceful and courteous. “You truly are worthy of being called an incomparable, elite master.”

Fu Hongxue was still silent.

But Madame Zhuo blinked her eyes a few times. “He didn’t even move, but you can tell he is a master?”

Gongzi Yu said, “Precisely because he did not move, he is an incomparable, elite master.”

Madame Zhuo said, “Can it be that not moving is harder than moving?”

Gongzi Yu said, “Much harder.”

Madame Zhuo said, “I don’t understand.”

Gongzi Yu said, “You should understand. If you were Fu Hongxue, and knew that I had suddenly arrived at your back, what would you do?”

Madame Zhuo said, “I would definitely be very surprised!”

Gongzi Yu said, “When surprised, you can’t help but put up your guard. You can’t help but move.”

Madame Zhuo said, “Right!”

Gongzi Yu said, “But so long as you moved, you would die!”

Madame Zhuo said, “Why?”

Gongzi Yu said, “Because you simply do not know from where I might attack. Thus, no matter how you move, you will have made a fatal mistake.”

Madame Zhuo said, “If an opponent like you suddenly appeared behind somebody, no matter who they are, they would be tense. Even if they didn’t move, the muscles on their back would tighten.”

Gongzi Yu said, “But his did not. Although I have been standing behind him for very long, not a single part of his body has changed!”

Madame Zhuo finally let out a sigh. “Now I finally understand. Not moving truly is much harder than moving.”

If you knew a man like Gongzi Yu was standing behind you, but could keep all the muscles in your body loose and slack, then you must be a man with nerves colder than ice.

Madame Zhuo suddenly asked again, “Can it be that if he doesn’t move, you won’t have an opportunity to attack?”

Gongzi Yu said, “Not moving is moving. The final destination of all movements is not moving.”

Madame Zhuo said, “If you have too many openings, you actually have no openings, because your entire body will have become open. Open and clear, as empty as a vast mist. So you actually won’t know where to make your move?”

Gongzi Yu chuckled. “I knew you would understand this reasoning.”

Madame Zhuo said, “I also know that you definitely won’t attack. If you wanted to kill him from behind, you had many better opportunities than this one.”

Smiling, she said, “Because your goal isn’t to kill him. It’s to beat him.”

Gongzi Yu suddenly let out a sigh. “Killing him is easy. Beating him is really very difficult.”

He finally walked out from behind Fu Hongxue. His steps were serene and stable. Just at this moment, Fu Hongxue suddenly felt as though he were about to collapse. Cold sweat soaked his clothes.

He definitely could not let Gongzi Yu see this. He suddenly said, “Why must you give up the easy path and take the hard one?”

Gongzi Yu said in a heavy voice, “Because you are Fu Hongxue, and I am Gongzi Yu.”

Gongzi Yu was finally facing Fu Hongxue now. But Fu Hongxue still could not see his true appearance.

From the back, his elegant bearing seemed perfect and unassailable. However, on his face he wore a ferocious, hideous bronze mask!

Fu Hongxue coldly said, “I didn’t imagine that Gongzi Yu doesn’t dare to use his own face to meet people.”

Madame Zhuo said, “You are wrong.”

Fu Hongxue sneered.

Madame Zhuo said, “What you are seeing right now is Gongzi Yu’s true face.”

Fu Hongxue said, “What I am seeing right now is but a mask.”

Madame Zhuo said, “Isn’t there a mask on my face right now? Have you always had this cold, frozen, bloodless pale look to your face? And yet, isn’t this still your true face?”

Fu Hongxue shut his mouth again.

Madame Zhuo said, “Actually, you should understand that how he looks isn’t important, so long as you know that he is Gongzi Yu. This is the important point.”

This was the truth. Not even Fu Hongxue could deny it, because he couldn’t help but ask himself: “Am I currently showing my true features right now? What do my true features look like?”

Gongzi Yu lightly said, “I don’t necessarily want to see your true features. I just want to know that you are Fu Hongxue. That’s enough.”

Fu Hongxue stared at him. Only after a long time, did he say in a deep voice, “Now, you already know that I am Fu Hongxue. I also already know that you are Gongzi Yu.”

Gongzi Yu said, “Therefore, there is something I wish to resolve.”

Fu Hongxue said, “What?”

Gongzi Yu said, “Between the two of us, only one of us can stay alive.”

His voice was still callous but polite. He was clearly very confident in himself. “Whoever is stronger is whoever shall survive.”

Fu Hongxue said, “There seems to be only one way to resolve this issue.”

Gongzi Yu said, “Correct. There’s only one way. Since ancient times, there’s only been one way.”

He stared at the sabre in Fu Hongxue’s hand. “So I must personally defeat you.”

Fu Hongxue said, “Otherwise, you’d rather die?”

An unspeakable look of sorrow was suddenly revealed in Gongzi Yu’s eyes. “Otherwise, I must die.”

Fu Hongxue said, “I don’t understand.”

Gongzi Yu said, “You should understand. I don’t want others to kill you, in order to prove that I am stronger than you. I am definitely going to be the strongest in the world. Otherwise, I would rather die.”

His voice was suddenly filled with cynicism. “The martial world is like an independent country of its own. Only one ruler may be allowed to exist at any one time. If it isn’t me, it’d be you!”

Fu Hongxue said, “This time, I’m afraid you’re wrong!”

Gongzi Yu said, “I’m not wrong. There are many things which indicate that aside from me, you are the person with the highest level of martial arts in the martial world!”

He suddenly turned around, facing the painting on the wall. He slowly continued, “You were able to survive long enough to get here. That wasn’t an easy task. It wasn’t due to luck.”

Madame Zhuo let out a light sigh. “It definitely wasn’t.”

There were many people on the painting, almost lifelike in their perfection. The painting revealed a series of stories. There was a common person in every story. That person was Fu Hongxue. Facing the painting, the first thing he saw was himself.

Gloomy weather, a little town on the borderlands. There were two people locked in a vicious battle in the long street. One wore clothes as white as snow, but in his hand he wielded a scarlet red sword. The other wielded a pitch-black sabre.

Gongzi Yu said, “You should remember this. This is the Phoenix Market.”

Fu Hongxue naturally remembered. At that time, the Phoenix Market hadn’t become a dead settlement. That was also the first time he had met Yan Nanfei.

Gongzi Yu said, “In this battle, you defeated Yan Nanfei.”

In the second segment of the painting, the Phoenix Market had already become a ghost town. In the middle of the mist, two people knelt before Fu Hongxue.

Gongzi Yu said, “In this battle, you defeated the Twin Killers of the Five Elements.

And then it was the vipers in the horse saddle, Ghostly Granny’s poisonous cakes, and the poisoned wine in the bright moon’s building.

In the middle of the desolate Ni Family Garden, a young barefoot man was slowly falling down before his sabre.

Gongzi Yu said, “Du Lei originally was an expert of a rarely seen calibre in the martial world. His sabre was forged through bitterness and misery. Although it was a bit arrogant and artificial, I really did not imagine that you would kill him in one chop!”

Fu Hongxue said, “A sabre art designed to kill only has one chop!”

Gongzi Yu sighed. “Not to think of it, and yet when you think of it, the gods know . Striking later, but arriving first. Not changing despite thousands of transformations in front of you. One sabre chop really is enough!”

Not only did this single sabre chop shatter all of the various transformations of all sabre arts, it also overcame the boundaries of form and speed.

Madame Zhuo said, “What I really could not imagine was that you were actually able to escape from that secret room in the Peacock Manor!”

The Peacock Manor had turned into a heap of rubble, and Zhuo Yuzhen appeared on the painting. The Demon Decapitating Sabre of Heaven’s Monarch angrily chopped the horse in half, chef Hao chopped flesh in front of the cart, Mingyue Xin and Zhuo Yuzhen being sent into the secret room in the Peacock Manor, Gongsun Tu appearing, Zhuo Yuzhen giving birth in the secret room…

By this time, Fu Hongxue’s hand had already turned ice cold.

Madame Zhuo said, “She was a string. Originally, we wanted to use her to bind your hands. If your heart always pined after her and her two children, your hands will effectively have been fastened.”

A person whose hands had been fastened, naturally was not worth Gongzi Yu personally dealing with.

Madame Zhuo sighed again. “But we truly did not imagine that even in that situation, you were capable of killing the Demon Decapitating Sabre of Heaven’s Monarch!”

Fu Hongxue’s hands tightened. “At that time, you were already preparing to allow her to reveal her true identity. Why did you have her kill Du Shiqi?”

Madame Zhuo said, “Because we needed her to do one last thing.”

Fu Hongxue said, “You wanted her to use those two children to force me to hand over the Sorrowful Book of Yin and Yang and of Heaven and Hell Mingling?”

Madame Zhuo nodded. “Only then did we believe that the Sorrowful Book of Yin and Yang did not fall into your hands, because we knew that for those two children, you would be willing to give up everything.”

She sighed again, then said, “A pity that you actually were able to master the Great Acupoint Changing Technique. You actually didn’t die in her hands. The even greater pity is that you couldn’t steel your heart enough to kill her!”

The girl wearing the jasmine flowers appeared on the painting. She was feeding chicken soup to Fu Hongxue. The old lady next door was killing a chicken. Xiao Ting, wearing her jasmine flowers, was buying alcohol in the small store at the other side of the street. The obese store owner was staring at her chest, an obscene smile on his face. But he lay drunken in that small room, as though he had slowly become used to that lowly way of living.

Madame Zhuo said, “At that time, we originally thought that you were finished. Even if you could still kill, you would be nothing more than an insane executioner. You were already not worth Gongzi Yu personally dealing with you.”

The only person Gongzi Yu would personally deal with was the strongest person in the martial world.

Madame Zhuo said, “Even if you were already no longer the strongest person in the martial world, we wouldn’t have been happy if you died in a sewer. So at that time, we were planning to find someone else to kill you.”

Fu Hongxue said, “Unfortunately, there aren’t many people who can kill me.”

Madame Zhuo said, “We at least have one person who can.”

Fu Hongxue said, “Who?”

Madame Zhuo said, “Yourself.”

Fu Hongxue suddenly once again thought of that bitter, cold, despairing melody. It was more than enough to make a person totally lose all his will to live. No one could have imagined that when he reached that point, he would still have the courage to keep living. Perhaps it was because he had that sort of courage, that he was able to live until today. If even he himself could defeat himself, why would Gongzi Yu need to personally deal with him?

Gongzi Yu said, “Thus, you should now finally understand that you were able to live until today, not because of luck.”

Fu Hongxue asked again. “Have you done this solely because you must prove you are stronger than me?”

Gongzi Yu said, “Right?”

Once more, that unspeakable sorrow and cynicism was in his eyes. “Because all of this can only be enjoyed by the strongest person. If you can defeat me, all of this is yours.”

Fu Hongxue said, “All of this?”

Madame Zhuo said, “What all of this refers to is everything. It not only includes all of his riches, his honor, and his glory, it also includes me.”

She laughed. Her laughter was very gentle, very warm, very sweet. “So long as you can beat him, even I am yours.”

Open the door and outside you would see a long hallway, so long that it seemed one could never reach the end. Gongzi Yu had already opened the door, walked out, then turned around.

“Please, come with me.”

Madame Zhuo didn’t follow Fu Hongxue out. Now, they had reached the end of this hallway.

At the end of the hallways was another flower-carved wooden door. It was exquisite but solemn. Within was a spacious grand hall. There was an enormous stone platform, with four enormous torches lit in each of the four corners.

Gongzi Yu slowly went onto the platform. Standing in the middle of the platform, he said, “This is where we shall fight.”

Fu Hongxue said, “Excellent.”

A perfectly smooth stone platform. Brilliant torchlight. No matter where you stood, no matter where you faced, everything was the same. There wasn’t even a hint of wind in the room. The preparations you made while striking, or the speed of your strike, definitely wouldn’t be interfered with by any outside factors.

Gongzi Yu clearly didn’t want to gain any unfair advantages from the weather or the terrain. For a person to do this much was already a very rare thing.

There were three large and comfortable chairs on each of the two sides of the stone platform. Every chair was precisely seven feet away from the stone platform.

Gongzi Yu said, “When we fight, only six people can be allowed to watch. They will also be the witnesses to our duel. You may choose any three people you please.”

Fu Hongxue said, “No need.”

Gongzi Yu said, “When experts fight, victory and defeat are often determined in a very brief period of time. With your own friends watching on the side, you would feel a bit more at ease. Why would you give up this right?”

Fu Hongxue said, “Because I have no friends.”

Gongzi Yu stared at him, then said, “It’s best if you keep this right. If the people whom I bring make you feel uncomfortable, you have the right to reject them.”

Fu Hongxue said, “Very good.”

Gongzi Yu said, “You’ve been exhausted, day after day. You can’t help but not be as vigorous, as alert as you normally would be. It’s better if you rest here for some time. Thus, I will allow you to choose the day of our battle as well!”

Fu Hongxue hesitated, then said, “How about tomorrow, at this time?”

Gongzi Yu said, “Very good.”

Fu Hongxue said, “Then tomorrow, I will come again.”

Gongzi Yu said, “No need to leave. I have already prepared a room and a change of clothes for you here. You can rest in peace. There will definitely be no one who will come to disturb you. If you have any needs, we can carry them out for you.

Fu Hongxue said, “It seems this really will be a very fair duel.”

Gongzi Yu said, “It definitely will be.”

Fu Hongxue said, “I imagine you have already prepared my coffin as well.”

Gongzi Yu actually did not deny it. “It’s an excellent coffin made of nanmu wood. I had it specially imported here from Liuzhou. If you want to take a look at it, I can take you there.”

Fu Hongxue said, “Have you seen it?”

Gongzi Yu said, “I’ve seen it.”

Fu Hongxue said, “You are satisfied with it?”

Gongzi Yu said, “Very satisfied.”

Fu Hongxue dully said, “Then that’ll be all.”

Gongzi Yu’s reaction was even more flat. “Right now, perhaps the only thing you wish to see is your bed.”

Fu Hongxue said, “Yes.”

Gaudy, beautiful velvet curtains blocked the rays of the sun. The room as as dark as dusk.

From outside, the dull, monotonous sound of a sword being drawn could once more be heard. Fu Hongxue was totally awake and clear-minded.

Earlier, he had actually fallen asleep. He hadn’t been woken up by the sound of the sword. He suddenly woke up because someone had appeared in the room. A tall and slender human shadow, leaning against the window, back towards him. Beneath her soft silk gown, one could vaguely see her slender waist and limbs, and her perfectly straight legs.

She knew that Fu Hongxue had woken up, but did not turn around. Instead, she lightly let out a sigh, then slowly said, “Another day has passed. Day after day, year after year. When will this sort of life end?”

A noble, graceful voice. A gentle, exquisite posture. And yet, it carried an indescribable sense of weariness.

Fu Hongxue did not react.

Madame Zhuo slowly continued, “Perhaps you feel that I shouldn’t have come at all. After all, I am still his wife, but I truly am too tired of this life, and therefore…”

Fu Hongxue said, “Therefore, you hope that I can defeat him?”

Madame Zhuo said, “Right. I do hope you can defeat him. After all these years, you are the only person who has a chance to defeat him. Only after you defeat him can my life change.”

Fu Hongxue said, “The victor will get everything?”

Madame Zhuo said, “Absolutely everything.”

Fu Hongxue said, “Even his wife is included?”

Madame Zhuo said, “Yes.”

Fu Hongxue suddenly laughed coldly. “Since you aren’t a good wife, there’s no need for him to risk it.”

Madame Zhuo said, “But he still wishes to prove he is stronger than you.”

Fu Hongxue coldly said, “Prove it to who? Can it be that there is another master here who controls his life? Can it be that he is doing this because he simply does not have any room to choose otherwise?”

Madame Zhuo suddenly turned her head and fixed him with her stare. Her beautiful eyes were filled with shock. After a long time, she finally sighed, then said, “Why would you think these sorts of thoughts?”

Fu Hongxue said, “If you were me, what would you think?”

Madame Zhuo said, “At the very least, I wouldn’t think crazy thoughts like you are doing right now. I would focus all of my thoughts on how to defeat him.”

She slowly walked over, her limbs and her waist soft, her eyes like a pool of water. “Although I cannot be considered a good wife, I am still a very good woman. You should be able to see this.”

Fu Hongxue said, “I can’t.”

Madame Zhuo lightly let out a sigh. “Why don’t you take a look now.”

After she finished these words, the soft silk clothes on her body fell down.

Fu Hongxue’s breath stopped. He couldn’t help but admit that this was the most beautiful, flawless body he had ever seen in his life. A tall, noble woman, suddenly baring everything in front of you. This sort of temptation is all the more difficult for people to resist.

She quietly stood at the head of the bed, staring at him. “As long as you can win this battle, everything will be yours. But right now, it isn’t yet.”

Fu Hongxue’s pallid face had already flushed red. He knew the changes which were going on in his body. He also knew that she must have noticed as well.

A beautiful dusk. The room was so quiet, yet filled with the graceful aroma which her body emitted.

He was a man, after all.

But she suddenly lifted up her clothes, gliding out like a swallow. As she walked out the door, she suddenly turned and laughed, “Right now, I’m not yours yet. But if you need it, I can find someone else to accompany you.”

Fu Hongxue tightened his fist. He suddenly asked, “Is Zhuo Yuzhen here?”

Madame Zhuo nodded.

Fu Hongxue said, “Bring her here. Immediately.”

Shocked, Madame Zhuo stared at him. It seemed as though even in her wildest dreams, she had never imagined he would make this request.

Fu Hongxue coldly said, “You just said, if there is anything I need, you can provide it for me.”

Madame Zhuo laughed again. It seemed as though her laughter was filled with an indescribable sort of cunning. “Why do you insist on her? Why don’t you choose Mingyue Xin?”

Fu Hongxue’s body suddenly went stiff.

Madame Zhuo said leisurely, “You didn’t imagine that she would still be alive?”

Fu Hongxue said, “I…”

Madame Zhuo said, “She’s here. Do you want me to bring her here?”

Her face suddenly sunk. She coldly said, “I know you don’t want me to. You want Zhuo Yuzhen. You’ve always liked despicable, diabolical girls like her.”

With a slamming sound, the door closed heavily. This time, when she left, she didn’t look back.

Why did she suddenly turn so impulsive and angry? Just because Fu Hongxue wanted Zhuo Yuzhen?

A beautiful, cunning, yet level-headed woman, usually wouldn’t become angry over something like this.

Fu Hongxue was still quietly lying on his bed. That shrill, abrupt sound was still going on nonstop. The other was paying such a high price for this battle. If he were to become annoyed over a woman, wouldn’t that be silly?

But he couldn’t help but think of Mingyue Xin. If she really still had not died, and had fallen into the hands of these people, she might have met with a fate more miserable than death.

Only when he thought of this did he suddenly realize that it had been a long, long time since he had thought of her.

A person would always try to avoid thinking about things which made him feel guilty.

Suddenly, the night was deep and dark. The room was totally black. From outside, there was a sound of knocking.

“Who is it?”

“It is miss Zhuo, miss Zhuo Yuzhen.”

Two serving girls helped Zhuo Yuzhen walk in.

She had made herself up beautifully. Her beautiful black hair was adorned with pearl ornaments, and a beautiful scarlet red cloak covered her, dragging on the ground. She looked almost like the legendary beauty who was given away for a marriage treaty, Wang Zhaojun.

Right now, she obviously did not need to continue the pretense of being so pitiable. She coldly stared at Fu Hongxue. Her face was expressionless.

The serving girls put down the lantern. They giggled, then quietly crept away.

Zhuo Yuzhen suddenly coldly said, “Did you ask me to come?”

Fu Hongxue nodded.

Zhuo Yuzhen said, “To get revenge on me?”

Fu Hongxue said, “I asked you to come, originally because I had a few questions I wanted to talk to you about.”

Zhuo Yuzhen said, “And now?”

Fu Hongxue said, “And now, I don’t want to ask anymore. So you can go.”

Zhuo Yuzhen said, “You don’t want to get revenge?”

Fu Hongxue said, “No.”

Zhuo Yuzhen said, “You don’t want me to go to your bed either?”

Fu Hongxue closed his mouth. He didn’t actually blame her. For her to say these words wasn’t very surprising either. For women like her, when they were no longer capable of harming others with their actions, they would use poisonous words to harm instead. She hurt others, perhaps only to protect herself.

He didn’t blame her, but he suddenly felt very tired. He only hoped that she would leave quickly, and that they would never meet again. He suddenly realized that nothing else was important. Only tomorrow’s battle was important. He needed to defeat the man who was still practicing drawing his sword at this very moment. Only after defeating this person could he solve all of the mysteries, could he see Mingyue Xin again.

But Zhuo Yuzhen stubbornly stood there, staring at him. Her eyes were filled with grief and hatred. She suddenly said, “Since you don’t care about me at all, why did you insist on me coming?”

Fu Hongxue said, “Even if I shouldn’t have asked you to come, you can still leave now, just the same.”

Zhuo Yuzhen said, “It’s not the same anymore.”

Fu Hongxue said, “How is it not the same?”

Zhuo Yuzhen said, “It’s not the same, it’s not the same…”

It seemed as though she hadn’t even heard Fu Hongxue’s question. From her lips, that phrase simply continued without stopping. Who knows how many times she said it? Suddenly, her tears began to flow down her cheeks. Her body fell down as well. The scarlet red cape fluttered open, revealing a scarlet, blood-like color.

It was real blood. Fresh blood had already dyed her bare torso scarlet. On her entire body, there wasn’t a single part of her body that was whole.

Fu Hongxue jumped up, but his heart had already sunk down.

Zhuo Yuzhen ground her teeth. “By now, you should understand why it’s not the same anymore…”

Fu Hongxue said, “Because I asked you to come, she tortured you like this?”

Zhuo Yuzhen chuckled. “Actually, you should have realized long ago that although she didn’t want you to touch her, she didn’t want you to touch any other women, because…”

Her laughter was even more tragic than crying. She wanted to continue to speak, but could no longer say another word.

Fu Hongxue was still asking. “Why? Why?”

Zhuo Yuzhen chuckled again. Her eyes lifted up. A strong medicinal smell wafted up from her cloak. Her death wasn’t very painful, because her entire body had already been numbed by madame Zhuo’s medicine.

Supposedly, in far away Africa, in the fertile muds of the Nile river, there is a beautiful yet strange flower called the ‘opium’ poppy. Not only could it numb a person’s body, it could also numb a person’s soul.

Some women were just like that flower. The blood flowing within her noble, graceful body, was actually more venomous than the flowers of opium poppies.

Why did she do this? Just because she didn’t want Fu Hongxue to touch another woman?

She had only known Fu Hongxue for less than half a day. Why would she be so wildly jealous of him?

How could there be jealousy without love? How could there be love between people who had only known each other for half a day?

Fu Hongxue slowly stood up. He slowly walked over, then gently opened the door. If the door had been bolted from the outside, if the door had been made of iron, he wouldn’t have been surprised. He was already mentally prepared. No matter what happened, no matter what the situation, he was prepared to endure it.

Unexpectedly, with a light push, the door swung open. There was nobody outside the door, and there was nobody in the long hallway. There was only that monotonous, abrupt sound of a sword being drawn, still continuing without pause.

He headed towards the direction of this sound. The hallway was long but winding. There was a long distance between each room. After an unknown number of twists and turns, he finally saw a door. Inside the door, it was quiet. There was no one inside. There also was not the sound of a sword being drawn.

He still pushed the door open and went inside. He had once again arrived at the room he had just left. Zhuo Yuzhen, who had been in a pool of blood, had disappeared.

The room was still peaceful. Although a person was missing from it, a full table of dishes had been added to it.

It was time to eat dinner. Six exquisite dishes, all still warm, and a bamboo plate with small steamed buns on it. A pot of polished white rice, and a vat of not-yet-opened wine.

Right now, he really needed to drink a little wine, but he left again.

The hallway was the same, and as quiet as before. But his walking style had already changed. Originally, he walked very slowly. Now, he walked a bit faster. Originally, he was walking to the right; this time, he walked to the left.

After another unknown number of twists and turns, he once again saw a door. The room inside was still quiet. The carvings on the door were exactly the same as well. Only, when he left earlier, he hadn’t closed the door, while this door was shut.

He pushed the door open and walked in. He had already warned himself three times to be steady and keep calm. But once he entered the room, he couldn’t help but feel very unwell, because he once again saw that table of dishes. He once again had entered the room he had just left. The dishes were still warm. They seemed even warmer than they were earlier.

But beneath the vat of wine, there was a short note. The writing was very delicate. Clearly, it was a woman’s handwriting!

“The bright moon never had a heart. Why search for the moon?
A little drink can help you sleep soundly. Why don’t you drink alone?”

Fu Hongxue sat down. He had to force himself to sit down, because he had discovered that regardless of how he walked, the result was the same. He would still come back here, would still see that table filled with dishes which seemed to never grow cold.

He also wanted to force himself to eat a bit, but as soon as he lifted up his chopsticks, he found that something was amiss. Of the six dishes earlier, one dish had been squirrel and yellow croaker, while another was sweet and sour spareribs. Although he had only taken one look, he remembered it very clearly. He was always very sensitive to the sour taste of vinegar as well, but now, all six of the dishes were vegetarian. The full pot of rice had turned into a full pot of porridge.

He also finally realized that this room wasn’t the room he had just left. Not only was every room here identical, the utensils and the furniture were identical as well. Even he couldn’t tell if the room he originally was in was this one, or the previous one?

The bedding on the bed was in a mess. Clearly, someone had slept here. Was the person who had been sleeping on this bed earlier him, or someone else? If it wasn’t him, who was it?

What type of people lived in this mysterious, strange place?


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