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Chapter 180 - System vs. System (30): Jingzhe, hidden pearl, underwater palace
In the chapter t.i.tle, Jingzhe “惊蛰,” or Insects Wake symbolizes awakening from hibernation in early spring.
Yan Jinhua was really scared.
He was lying on his b.u.t.t on the icy ground of Mingyue House, tortured by the pain of the caning, grunting non-stop.
No one sent him medicine to treat his injuries, and the medicine that Duan Shujue fed him was just enough for him to hang on to life.
During his imprisonment, it seemed that someone visited Yan Jinhua and asked him some questions, such as where he was from, how he occupied the original Yan Jinhua’s body, and so on.
How could Yan Jinhua dare to make a mistake? He confessed it all in one breath.
He wept and kowtowed bitterly, just like Ye Jiming, who came to Jingxu Peak step by step to beg for Duan Shujue’s body.
He revealed everything, confessing that he was transported here, saying that this was actually a book, you and I are both people in the book, and I also have no choice, I was arranged to take this body, it was never intentional.
With one foot on the ground and one foot in the sky, he confused the people who came to question him, so they had to write down his “nonsense” one by one and planned to report back to Chi Yunzi.
Just a few steps away from Yan Jinhua, two transparent data streams floated quietly.
001 scratched the back of his head. “If I remember, the confidentiality clause was written at the top of our contract, right? ‘Do not reveal your ‘ident.i.ty’ something or the other…”
“He violated a lot of rules, not bad for this one.” 002 crossed out the name “Yan Jinhua” from the monitor display on his arm and neatly arranged the unilateral termination of his contract. “Let’s go. I still have work to deal with.”
After that, he grabbed 001, who intended to drag his feet to slip away. “Where are you going?”
001 was being unreasonable and defiant. “Er-ge, aren’t things settled? His contract is about to be terminated, that system was sent away to handle data waste, the new staff was sent to deal with the holes in the world of his first two missions…I’ll go find the system that can play mahjong and make an appointment for two rounds.”
002 said, “No.”
001: “Wow, are you my boss or am I your boss?”
002 lifted his gla.s.ses. “For every thirty applications you process, I’ll play one round with you.”
001’s eyes lit up. “Twenty.”
001: “…Okay, you’re tough. Thirty.”
As the two data streams dissolved into the air and dissipated into nothingness, the remaining data page in front of Yan Jinhua’s eyes completely disappeared.
In the original world, Yan Jinhua died suddenly, and the system collected his soul and compiled it into the database to recruit some laborers. As long as he worked properly and completed the world lines, the system would give him an opportunity to resurrect.
But who would have expected to pick up a piece of trash, it was a miscalculation.
However, fortunately, it was stopped in time and didn’t cause a greater disaster.
002 thought so.
After bringing 001 back to the s.p.a.ce, to prevent him from escaping, 002 handcuffed him to the front of the desk and then turned around again. He took some medicine to treat jellyfish toxin, packed it in a bag, and hung it on the top of a pine tree at Huaishou Peak. He pressed one hand to his chest and bowed to the pine tree.
After doing all this, 002 called up the memo and crossed out the line “Apologize to the system that was caught by mistake,” declaring that one of the daily tasks was completed. Then he disappeared without a trace into the sea of pine trees in the deep night.
Yan Jinhua had been ignored for several days since the last time someone came to interrogate him.
Yan Jinhua was unbearably hungry and thirsty and drowsily felt that he was going to die.
But who knew that half a month later, he was actually moved from the Mingyue House and thrown down the mountain?
Greed was indeed a sin, but in terms of his actions, it had not caused any substantial evil. Chi Yunzi felt that his hands would get dirty if he were to kill a mortal who didn’t even have the power to bind a chicken. After asking the real Yan Jinhua for his opinion, it was decided that he would be expelled from the mountain gate.
Sun Yun felt quite upset after hearing the news. “On what grounds? He has occupied er-s.h.i.+xiong’s physical body for many years, should we just let it go?”
Su Yun used to hate Yan Jinhua very much, and found him displeasing to the eye everywhere. But now he knew that someone was a dove occupying the Magpie’s nest, and he had wronged the real Yan Jinhua for so many years. He was unavoidably guilty, so he simply took on the responsibility of taking care of Yan Jinhua.
Yan Jinhua closed his eyes and said, “How can he die so easily?”
Su Yun: “Huh?”
Yan Jinhua swallowed a mouthful of the medicine and said with a light expression: “Killing him, on the contrary, gives him what he wants. He is not a person of this world, drive him out of the mountain, and let’s see how he survives.”
Su Yun was a little dumbfounded.
Having regained his body, Yan Jinhua’s mentality was much calmer. Seeing this junior brother who used to argue with “himself,” he couldn’t help teasing a little, “Why? Si-s.h.i.+di doesn’t allow s.h.i.+xiong to take his revenge like this?”
Su Yun hurriedly denied, “No. As long as s.h.i.+xiong can let out his anger, it’s fine.”
Yan Jinhua smiled and gathered up his quilt. “Medicine.”
Su Yun then gave Yan Jinhua a spoonful of the medicine that was warmed in his palm.
The departure of the fake “Yan Jinhua” didn’t produce any fluctuations in Jingxu Peak. Many people thought he was already dead and was thrown out of the mountain gate in a rolled-up mat, dying without a sound.
However, Yan Jinhua’s growing regret value proved that he was still lingering in a corner of this world.
The days seemed to go by as usual, but Chi Xiaochi and Lou Ying had to make a few trips to the Lord G.o.d’s warehouse every day to make a deliberate choice of what to exchange their regret points for.
Because Yan Jinhua’s regret points could be generated anytime and anywhere, the two of them were like a pair of Pixiu guarding the money printing machine. There wasn’t much difficulty in choosing, but occasionally there would be some disagreements.
At one point, Chi Xioachi stayed in front of a card set and didn’t leave.
He said, “I’m short of this advanced card for my whole set.”
Lou Ying looked at the card specially designed to treat female ovarian cysts, and said helplessly, “What are you going to do with this? Didn’t we agree last time to redeem the game console?”
Chi Xiaochi, who was suffering from an acute attack of chronic collecting addiction, said, “The pattern of this set of cards is nice. Besides, I’m just missing one.”
Lou Ying: “Just to complete the set?”
Chi Xiaochi: “Hmm.”
Lou Ying: “Will you be happy with a set?”
Chi Xiaochi: “Hmm.”
Lou Ying lifted his hand and tapped the exchange b.u.t.ton, turning the card that was placed high into a stream of stars that was put in their warehouse.
Chi Xiaochi said casually, “Thank you, Dad.”
Lou Ying laughed in spite of himself, and in a place where Chi Xiaochi couldn’t see, he gently hooked his nose tip, which counted as punishment.
Immediately, he coughed lightly and deliberately lowered his voice, but he couldn’t suppress the indulgence in his words. “Come along,
Chi Xiaochi was really swayed by him just like that.
In hindsight, he felt that he was good for nothing.
It’s been so many years, yet how come he still doesn’t change his bad habits, and always loves to be willful in front of Brother Lou?
The more I live, the more I regress to the past, bah.
However, he was still very happy about the collection of cards, but when he went back to read the collection of cards, his mind was filled with the sound of “little kid.” He couldn’t help his wandering thoughts and nearly let Yan Jinhua’s regret value reach the full 200 points twice, which was really careless of him.
They exchanged the card that Chi Xiaochi would never use in a lifetime, and after waiting for two more days, they finally got what they wanted. Two days later, they exchanged the brand new old-fas.h.i.+oned red and white machine and planned to put it in a room fit for two people.
Duan Shujue, who was infected by the two people’s shopping desire, also made up his mind to concentrate on his side business and told Lou Chi and the two of his thoughts in detail.
The mission could end at any time. The two were about to leave, so some finis.h.i.+ng work needs to be done.
After recovering from the injury, Wen Yujing said goodbye to Chi Yunzi, saying that he was going to travel and practice his own way.
His own return date had not yet been determined. If Shujue returns to Jingxu Peak, please ask his s.h.i.+xiong to take care of him.
Chi Yunzi was quite reluctant to give up, but since it was a matter of cultivating the Dao, he did not intend to stop him, and only repeatedly explained that Wen Yujing should pay attention to safety and never get hurt again.
Duan Shujue and Wen Yujing went down the mountain together, carrying their swords together, and walked through a dozen great rivers. One reason was to enjoy the scenery, and the other was to a.s.sist Duan Shujue with fulfilling his last wish.
After a few months, everything was over.
On the day Chi Xiaochi and Lou Ying left, Duan Shujue’s grand project was completed.
He drafted a letter, called a small fish by the river, told it to carry the letter to find Ye Jiming, and then returned to the inn to lie in bed.
He had already made preparations for their departure, but when it came to parting, his heart was still astringent, and he couldn’t hide his sadness.
Duan Shujue solemnly wrote on his lapel, “You two gentlemen, take care and cherish yourselves.”
Wen Yujing stood beside his bed, stroked his forehead, and whispered to Chi Xiaochi, “The mountains are high and the waters are far, we will meet again.”
Duan Shujue closed his eyes.
Wen Yujing got up, walked outside, and closed the door for him.
Outside, there was a crisp spring rain, casting a layer of clear water mist on the town by the East Sea.
Beside him were the townspeople running to avoid the rain. Wen Yujing slowly opened his blue-inked carp umbrella, as if sharing an umbrella with others, and his elegant figure gradually dissipated in the mist.
A few days later, Duan Shujue, whose fever subsided, met Ye Jiming in a small mountainous forest with verdant hills and beautiful waters.
The dormant season was over and the weather was getting warmer. The mountain was lively with insect sounds.
Ye Jiming received his letter and knew that the pair of living treasures had left, so he hurried to the agreed location, and saw Duan Shujue’s back under a tree from a distance.
He wore a delicate jade hair crown, his ponytail was combed very high, and his hair tie and blue clothes moved in the wind. It outlined his tall and clear figure, with one hand behind his back, clean and serious like the Sword in the Stone at his waist. The sword and the person were both first-cla.s.s gentleman material.
He was concentrating on a burrowing pangolin.
Ye Jiming smiled. Silly.
He stepped forward quickly and pounced straight onto Duan Shujue’s back. The fish scale bracelet on his wrist made a rustling sound. “Wooden fis.h.!.+”
He turned his face and saw the snake tooth necklace on his neck, and Ye Jiming was in an even better mood.
Duan Shujue reached behind to hold his legs and said, “You’re here.”
…This was the tone of voice that belonged exclusively to Duan Shujue’s, and it was Duan Shujue’s eyes, not Chi Xiaochi.
In addition to being overjoyed, Ye Jiming felt slightly disappointed when he thought of the guy who had already left.
Losing a good friend whom you could converse with about anything under the sun and talk freely with was regrettable.
But right now, it was his little fish that was the most important.
Ye Jiming grabbed his chin and sized him up wantonly. “You don’t look well. What’s going on? Did you miss this lord and become sick?”
Duan Shujue politely said, “Ye-xiong, please respect yourself, don’t…”
The more he talked about self-respect, the more interesting Ye Jiming felt. He hooked his neck and didn’t let it go. He deliberately rubbed half of his face against him. “Daoist Duan, what are you saying, ‘don’t’ what? Ye-xiong is listening.”
The black snake scale pattern under his eyes was s.h.i.+ning brightly. It felt a little rough when rubbed against his face, but the touch felt wonderful.
At first, Ye Jiming just wanted to tease the fish. After all, he hadn’t seen him for a long time, and he didn’t know what the dead fish was busy doing. It made him miss him badly. However, after play-fighting for a while, Ye Jiming felt his body gradually getting hotter, and he became more and more reluctant to let go of the surnamed Duan.
In the early spring, snakes were more likely to be aroused to pa.s.sion and it was normal to do some reckless things.
“Ha.” He gently bit on Duan Shujue’s ear cartilage with his fangs and bit down with some brute force. “Unfortunately, Daoist Duan, you are entangled with this snake.”
Duan Shujue’s cheeks were slightly red, and his words were a bit helpless in tone. “If we’re already entangled, do you still have to discuss it with me?”
Ye Jiming loved his reluctant tone the most.
Relying on his soft body, his feet didn’t touch the ground, coiling his body to the front of Duan Shujue, to wrap around the other side of his waist. Taking advantage of his height, he forced Duan Shujue to look up at himself. “Wooden fish, I missed you.”
Duan Shujue tilted his head to look at him. He reached out to clasp his waist, afraid that he would slip off. “Me too.”
Ye Jiming was sweating a little, and his voice became hoa.r.s.e. “…I thought about it for many, many years.”
Duan Shujue said demurely, “The same is true for Duan-mou.”
Ye Jiming said, “I want you.”
Duan Shujue said, “Me too.”
In just a few words, the two reached a tacit agreement.
Ye Jiming held Duan Shujue’s face and kissed him from his height.
Duan Shujue took a step forward and pushed him against the tree.
Different from the faint smell of smoke on Ye Jiming’s body, Duan Shujue’s whole body was full of a strong and elegant sandalwood fragrance. It gave him a natural sense of distance as if he were awe-inspiring and invincible, but Ye Jiming could easily bully him, such a refres.h.i.+ng feeling made his spine feel numb when he thought about it. His kisses became more ecstatic, and he couldn’t wait to swallow this fish with an open mouth, putting him in his belly for safe storage, not letting anyone see him.
However, gradually, Ye Jiming felt that something was wrong.
Duan Shujue calmly and gently stripped and drew the strength from his whole body, and his fingertips held the seven inches of his waist and abdomen, pressing rhythmically.
Most of the tingling sensation on his body was from this.
His original terrain advantage gradually disappeared. The attacking lips and teeth were replaced by the seemingly dignified and reserved dead wooden fish on the opposite side.
Ye Jiming hummed twice and was kissed until he was comfortable yet uneasy. He forced both hands to push Duan Shujue’s shoulder but was shocked to find that the thin arm was infinitely strong, refusing to be pushed, holding him to the side of the tree without moving.
The pangolin watched the excitement for a while but seeing that the situation was not good, it snuck away through the hole that had been dug.
Ye Jiming was agitated at seven inches, half lying on Duan Shujue’s body. His waist became more and more unable to straighten. He was kissed until tears came down, and couldn’t stop the thin whimpers in his throat.
When he couldn’t bear it anymore, he injected his teeth with paralyzing venom, and planned to spray Duan Shujue half-paralyzed, but unexpectedly, Duan Shujue’s soft tongue gently hooked and impartially blocked the poison sacs.
The poisonous cavity was in the hidden portion of his mouth, and it couldn’t be touched lightly. Ye Jiming ahhed vaguely, and Duan Shujue swallowed all of his sounds.
Ye Jiming was tossed to the point that he lost all energy, panting “ha, ha,” leaning on Duan Shujue’s shoulders and gasping for breath. Duan Shujue released his lips and explained warmly with blus.h.i.+ng cheeks, “I ate a detoxification pill before I came.”
Ye Jiming: “…”
This fish deserved to be killed with a thousand knives!!!
When he felt Duan Shujue holding his waist and unfastening his belt, Ye Jiming’s scalp nearly exploded.
Ye Jiming was angry and aggrieved, and roared weakly, “You gentleman will still take off people’s pants?!”
Duan Shujue thought about it and ripped his pants apart.
Ye Jiming: “…”
Duan Shujue whispered in his ear and explained slowly and methodically, “Mr. Chi once taught me to act decisively. To do what you want to do. Do not delay and waste time.”
Ye Jiming wanted to cover his face and spray him with venom, but the wave of venom was forced down just now, and it wasn’t so easy to regenerate it.
Duan Shujue looked up at him, the snake tooth necklace on his neck swayed slightly. His cheeks were slightly red, but he focused enough to look at him as if waiting for a nod.
This look immediately made Ye Jiming’s heart soft. He turned his face away, cursed fiercely, and closed his eyes, acquiescing.
Because of his soft heart, his bowels were green with remorse.
Next, he cursed for a whole half day.
In fact, he wasn’t that angry. He just scolded out of habit, but the surnamed Duan was really abominable. He pressed him against the tree, raised him high, and didn’t allow his feet to touch the ground. Not to mention the hundred kinds of bullying. The sinister black-hearted fish didn’t allow him to curse him to his satisfaction. He stopped when he was most comfortable. No matter how his long legs wrapped around his waist and rubbed against him, he refused to move a cent, stroked his lips, and said, “Ye-xiong, please fix your mouth.”
Ye Jiming felt that he fainted from anger.
When he woke up again, it was nearly dusk.
He leaned on Duan Shujue’s back, while Duan Shujue carried him to the seaside where the tide surged. They walked alone all the way along the coastal reefs as if to show him the sea.
Ye Jiming took a closer look, and couldn’t help but feel angry.
There wasn’t an inch on himself, only loosely covered in an outer robe and cloak, but that surnamed Duan was very sophisticated with a neat hair crown and meticulously groomed hair. The end result was a well-dressed gentleman.
Ye Jiming moved a little and grimaced in discomfort.
This lord has suffered such a great crime, you actually took the time to comb and wash?
In anger, he reached out and yanked off his hair crown.
Duan Shujue was startled, but he didn’t care much about his pained scalp and messed up hair: “Ye-xiong is awake?”
Ye Jiming was so angry that he didn’t want to talk. He clutched the hair crown and held him tightly from behind.
Duan Shujue returned to the gentle and elegant Duan Shujue as if the dictatorial look just now never existed. “Would you like to accompany me for a trip down to the sea?”
…Shut your mouth. Don’t you have any idea what you’re doing?
Ye Jiming was ruthless in his heart, while secretly circling his neck tighter.
Having accompanied you to death once, where can I not go with you?
He said, “What nonsense. Lead the way.”
After that, he put Duan Shujue’s hair crown on his own head, rested his chin on Duan Shujue’s collarbone, gritted his teeth, and couldn’t help but reminisce.
Walking to a reef, Duan Shujue said, “Come down.”
Ye Jiming: “Hmm.”
After Duan Shujue jumped into the water, he turned into his merman shape, and the streamlined silver-white fish tail drew a line in the water out of the ripple, silently breaking through the sea pressure, and diving quickly into the depths.
Snakes could swim naturally. And with Duan Shujue accompanying him, Ye Jiming didn’t feel any discomfort. He was only curious about why Duan Shujue suddenly wanted to take him into the water.
Could it be that he wanted to take him to meet his family?
But he, like himself, had no relatives and no friends for a long time apart from each other. How could there be any close relatives?
Ye Jiming’s thought confusedly and was taken to a coral reef by Duan Shujue.
Duan Shujue re-formed his feet and stepped on the soft seabed.
…Was there something wrong here?
He asked, “What kind of tricks are you playing, surnamed Duan?”
As he spoke, Duan Shujue grabbed his wrist.
Duan Shujue turned back half of his face.
In the swaying reflection of the seawater, his blue pupils were distinguishable from the black, contrasting with Ye Jiming’s golden pupils, one was quiet and the other was fiery.
Duan Shujue said softly, “Ye-xiong, do you still remember what I said when I gave you this fish scale bracelet?”
Of course Ye Jiming remembered.
In the beginning, he disliked the fish scales for being vulgar and petty, and Duan Shujue said that in the future, he could exchange them for a good thing with him.
…But he thought it was just an excuse from the fish.
Duan Shujue couldn’t help but grab Ye Jiming’s hand gently, moving it forward to touch the thin wall of seawater in front of him with the string of fish scales.
In an instant, the magic formation that Duan Shujue had formed before dissipated like a cloud, forming a mirage-like spectacle.
Among the clumps of sapphire blue coral, there was a magnificent underwater palace standing in the middle. On it, pale golden silk tulle flowed, and silver-white mermaid pearls were embedded in the wall as lamps. Everything was dazzling and brilliant, quite in line with Ye Jiming’s ostentatious aesthetics.
Every lamp and every corridor column was similar to the cave mansion that Ye Jiming built in Ba Shu in his previous life.
And the name of the palace was written in Duan Shujue’s inscription.
Wen s.h.i.+zun built Huaishou Peak for Mr. Chi, so why couldn’t he create an otherworldly realm for Ye Jiming?
The mermaid pearls he cried out in exchange for a truckload of silver allowed him to build this underwater palace.
Over the years, all the treasures that Mr. Chi helped him get were stored here, enough to feed an arrogant little black snake.
Today, he was going to put his greatest treasure into it.
Ye Jiming suddenly felt his eyes burning, lowered his head, and bit the fish’s ear fiercely. “This is mine?”
“You planned this long ago, didn’t you?” Ye Jiming’s heart beat fiercely. “Do you think you can bribe this lord like this? Make this lord not remember to get revenge for today?!”
Duan Shujue heard his words, turned around, and wrapped his arm around Ye Jiming’s waist. He leaned into his ear and said bluntly, “I just want to give you a home. If you want to hold a grudge, let’s enter our home. You can scold me slowly, and I will listen slowly, okay?”
Ye Jiming stopped talking, thinking angrily, dead wood fish, hmph.
Just as the two of them joined hands and dived into their secret undersea realm together, in a nameless town not far from the East Sea, a disabled man nestled in the corner, gobbling the cold steamed buns he had just begged for.
After swallowing all the crumbs cleanly, he walked out of the narrow alley with crazy eyes and limped forward again frantically.
Where was he going?
n.o.body knew, not even himself.