11 Brief Tranquility
“Do you know someone named Gaoqin Jiuye?” I took a sip of milk and asked You Ji, who was sitting on my bed. You could eat and drink as much as you wanted here, and it wouldn’t affect your body at all. That, at least, was one positive here.
“Gaoqin Jiuye? Who’s that? I’ve never heard of him.” You Ji was currently combing through her green hair.
With an annoyed look, I complained, “Go outside to comb. Don’t leave a pile of green hair on my bed.”
You Ji completely ignored me and continued combing. “Did something interesting happen while you were in the Eastern District?”
“It’s better not to talk about it. But there is something I need you to check out.”
“What is it?”
“It seems that Laurel didn’t die. Jie Pa said that someone had been disguised as her.”
A flash of surprise crossed You Ji’s eyes. “Jie Pa? From the marketplace?”
“Which other one is there?” I asked.
“I’ll go talk to him. If Laurel really didn’t die, I’ll find her as fast as I can.” You Ji got up to leave.
“Okay. But if you’re heading downstairs, pass by the first floor and tell Old Man Fan to make a trip up here.”
“Got it.” You Ji nodded.
When Fan knocked on the door, I called out, “Old Man, grow your head back and then come in!”
I smiled happily to see Fan looking like an ordinary, friendly old man. Tears welled up in his eyes, and Fan raised a trembling hand, as if he were about to touch me.
“What are you doing?” I asked with a face of disgust.
“Ah Shen, I was very worried about you. They didn’t hurt you in the Eastern District, did they?” Old Man Fan sounded like he wanted to cry.
“Aiya, who would have hurt me? I’m still a district commander,” I responded. “Grandpa, I want to ask you something. Do you know of someone named Gaoqin Jiuye?”
Fan started at the mention of the name. Then he staggered over to a chair and sat down. “The Southern District’s Gaoqin Jiuye?” Fan asked seriously, his teary demeanor now gone.
Grandpa Fan was rarely this serious, so I also grew solemn. “Mmh, that’s right. Him. He seems pretty strong. We met him in the Eastern District today.”
“Although I’ve been in the Split Zone for a very long time, I don’t know much about him. I have heard though, that his activities are rather unusual. And he only obeys the commands of the Southern District’s Si Luo. He doesn’t even listen to Mr Blond. No one seems to know what his mental force amounts to. He’s someone without a record, and he works in unpredictable ways. Sometimes he’s good, sometimes bad. If you provoke him, he’ll torture you extremely cruelly.”
I nodded, as I thought this over.
“How did he end up appearing in the Eastern District? They say that he never leaves the Southern District.”
“It seemed like Jiao S was trying to recruit him.” I took another sip of milk. Ah, delicious.
Old Man Fan looked at me with concern. “Ah Shen, I’ll be frank with you. You should start properly training. Running away blindly serves no purpose. Since all these people are stuck here, they should at least be comfortable and safe. You have the responsibility to protect all the residents of this district, so you can’t continue on this way.”
I tilted my head slightly and touched the glass in my hand. “Grandpa, what I don’t get is why I have to protect them. What does their life or death have to do with me?”
Old Man Fan rationalized, “Because, if you do not defend, you will simply be attacked. That is the way of the real world, and this place is no different. Consider why Mr Blond chose you as a district commander. It’s because he knew that you wouldn’t leave everyone to die. There are many people here who don’t care about living, but you’re not one of them.”
“Why is living so tough everywhere? What’s the point of it all?” I lifted my head and looked towards the window.
Fan suddenly asked, “Have you ever thought about why soul splitters exist, or why they brought us here?”
I shook my head. “I’ve never understood it.”
“Perhaps these soul splitters exist for the purpose of telling us to cherish our lives. No one here had a meticulously clean record while they lived,” Fan started profoundly. “Have you ever thought about why it’s so difficult to find our soul splitters? If you were to find the reason for living, do you think that, perhaps, our soul splitter would just be brought to us, by some work of fate?”
I was a bit distracted as I considered what Fan was saying. After some time, I suddenly raised my head and smiled warmly at the old man. “I understand, Grandpa. Don’t worry, I’ll protect all of you. I won’t let what happened to Laurel happen in the Western District again.” Grandpa Fan nodded.
At the top of the residence, Nie Zun lied with his hands tucked behind his head, as he stared up at the sky. I rolled my eyes as I looked at his completely at ease attitude.
“Miss me?” Nie Zun asked.
“What I’d like is for you to die.” I scoffed and walked over to him. Then I lied down and rested my head on my arms as well. (t/n: the word for ‘to miss’ is the same as ‘to want for something’)
“The sky here really is pitch black.” He yawned.
“Nie Zun, Gaoqin Jiuye looks just like the senior that I killed.” Instead of looking at the pitck black sky he mentioned, I closed my eyes. Beside me, there was just silence.
After some time passed, Nie Zun’s lazy tone sounded again. “This place has always been strange. Everything that appears seems normal, but you know, right, no matter what, everything here is fake.”
I kept my eyes closed. “If you think everything is fake, then why don’t you just wake up?”
I heard a soft laugh. “I said it’s all fake, not that I’m dreaming. I don’t know why we ended up in this place. What I do know is that we can go back. So, there’s no need to be overly concerned about anything here.”
In the darkness, I finally opened my eyes. “You’re so accepting of this situation, but I really don’t get it. What is it about you that resembles my second identity? I have a hard time believing that someone as optimistic as you would somehow resonate with a demonic killer.”
He smiled. “Don’t put it like that. That demonic killer is still a part of you. Moreover, someone like me is probably good at convincing others.”
“I often think that it might just be better if the two of us just die.” I turned my head and looked at the side of Nie Zun’s face. Even from the side, you could still see that calm, indifferent and carefree smile.
“Then let’s die together. But tonight isn’t the night for it. Don’t go talking about eternity, dying as you lived, loving without bounds… That kind of stuff, okay?” His voice was very clear. I couldn’t help laughing. Then I closed my eyes and didn’t say any more.
An evening breeze blew past, and it felt very pleasant against my skin. A voice suddenly sounded behind us. “The two of you sure are in a good mood.”
I opened my eyes and sat up. I turned back and saw Song Lu and Yu Liang. Even though I don’t have a large fangroup like S Clan to protect me, as the Western Commander, I do have several friends, at least. Song Lu and Yu Liang probably count as my friends.
They’re a famous pair of lovers in the Western District. It’s said that Song Lu developed a mind-splitting disorder after being raped in the real world. After arriving here, she kept to herself and was uncommunicative for a long time. In the end, it was Yu Liang who finally pulled her out from the darkness. I really envied her relationship with Yu Liang.
A few days ago, the two had gone to the Northern District to see Mr Blond, so that they could have a glimpse of their life in the real world. They finally returned today.
“Song Lu jie!” I rushed over with excitement and hugged Song Lu. She had a super hot body and a gorgeous head of curly hair that fell to her shoulders. I rubbed my face against hers.
“You perverted girl, release my wife!” Yu Liang called out exasperatedly.
“Hmph.” I ignored him.
Song Lu lovingly pat my head. “I heard a lot happened while I was gone. Is everything okay?”
“Yeah. Now that you two are back, there’s nothing I’m scared of anymore.” I let go of Song Lu. Then, like a child, I spread my arms out and pretended to fly around the rooftop like a plane.
Song Lu sighed. “I heard from Old Man Fan, and I decided that I’m going to start training you tomorrow. While it’s difficult to raise your mental force, it’s not entirely impossible. You’ll just have to work really hard. I can’t let you get away with loafing around anymore.” Song Lu smiled at me.
“That’s right. People in the Eastern District can manipulate the air around them, but she can fall off a building while she’s running. What’s up with that difference, right?” Nie Zun bantered. I rolled my eyes at him.
“It happens that our trip to the Northern District was quite insightful. After talking to Mr Blond, we returned with some new methods of controlling mental force. It’ll be helpful for training Ah Shen. Want to give it a try?” Yu Liang pointed at me as he spoke to Nie Zun.
I couldn’t help jumping in. “Hey, hey, you’re treating me like a test subject now? I’m still a district commander, okay, Yu Liang? Just because your wife likes me more than you, you can’t get revenge like this.”
Yu Liang smiled innocently. “Don’t try to escape. We’re not going to let you get out of this training.”
I curled my lips and put on an expression like I wanted to cry. Then I wrapped my arms around Song Lu. “Song Lu jiejie, they’re bullying me.”
“I agree with Yu Liang this time.” Song Lu covered her mouth and laughed.
“Oh no, I’m done for…” I wailed.
So, for the next week, I spent every day being trained by Song Lu and Yu Liang. As for Nie Zun, he mostly lied around on the sidelines, looking like a spineless coward.
After a week of nonstop training, day and night, I was finally able to increase my mental force to 53. And now, I also don’t have to use any MF for ordinary jumping, combat, or running. That counted as a success, surely. Well, I’m very satisfied.
However, Song Lu and Yu Liang’s opinion boiled down to: This child is just too dumb to teach. I hadn’t learned any cool moves during the week of training. Still, it’s true that not everyone could increase their mental force in a week at all. And considering that my mental force was much weaker than the other two district commanders to start with, this extra one level of mental force was just enough to allow me to expend some on my sexy appearance. The two of them helplessly shook their heads at me.
While I was trained like my life was on the line, I often saw a scene of the lazy Nie Zun, sleeping at the side like a dead pig.