Illusions, Lies, Truth V2C1: The Busy Patient Part 2—Brother-in-Law’s Job

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Illusions, Lies, Truth Volume 2: Human Doll Contract Part Two

Original novel in Chinese by: 御 我 (Yu Wo)


Chapter 1: The Busy Patient Part 2—Brother-in-Law’s Job—translated by Raylight (proofread by Trespasserby; C/E edited by lucathia)

The neighbors…

Jiang Ziya remembered how Yu Shu had told him to burn Xiao Xue, and his heart sank. He had indeed promised Yu Shu earlier, and had even assured Lu Yang that he would coax Xiao Xue out. However, as things stood, there was absolutely no way he could just sit around and watch Xiao Xue get burned to death!

Jiang Ziya patted Xiao Xue’s back and reassured her, “Don’t be scared. I’ll protect you. No one will be able to get to you.”

Xiao Xue abruptly raised her head, staring at Jiang Ziya in a daze.

“It’s just that I need to go to school in the daytime, so I won’t be able to take care of you then, and I can’t bring you to school either.” Jiang Ziya felt a little distressed. Though Jiang Yu was at home, it was hard to guarantee that Yu Shu wouldn’t pull a trick of some kind. For example, she could distract Jiang Yu herself, and have House Keeper sneak in and kill Xiao Xue.

Both of Xiao Xue’s eyes sparkled as she answered, “I can do that. I can go to school with Gēge.”

Huh? Jiang Ziya felt perplexed as he asked, “Then, what do we do when Sis can’t find you?”

“I can make a fake substitute and leave it at home.” Xiao Xue seemed extremely happy as she said, “With Jiang Jiang around, there won’t be any problems!”

That doesn’t sound too bad… Like hell!

Jiang Ziya remembered Lu Yang.

Looking at Jiang Ziya’s expression, Xiao Xue shyly asked, “Does Gēge not want to bring me to school?”

“It’s not that I don’t want to.” Jiang Ziya had a troubled face as he answered, “There’s a classmate at school who is also planning to deal with you. You’ve seen him before. He’s the one we went to save last time.”

At this point, Jiang Ziya felt that it was fortunate that Lu Yang seemed to be busy these last few days. He had only visited him once or twice at the start of his hospitalization. Afterwards, he had resorted to giving concerned calls, which prevented face-to-face meetings between Xiao Xue and him.

Xiao Xue pouted as she grumbled, “I went to save him, but he still wants to kill me?”

Yeah, Xiao Xue has saved Lu Yang before. Will that change Lu Yang’s mind about killing her? Jiang Ziya felt uncertain, finding it difficult to read Lu Yang on that.

Lu Yang seemed very insistent on eliminating Xiao Xue, but Jiang Ziya felt that Lu Yang wasn’t an ungrateful person who would kill his savior. When these two conflicting points collided, what exactly would Lu Yang do?

Jiang Ziya felt a giant headache looming. There was Yu Shu at home and Lu Yang at school, and though they were both his neighbor and friend respectively, why did he feel as though he was surrounded by enemies?

“Xiao Xue, could you stay in the hospital today? Like how you just said, make a substitute to follow Sis home.”

Xiao Xue nodded her head, her joy evident.

In the very least, let’s get through tonight first. Jiang Ziya thought with an ostrich mentality.

Not long after, Jiang Yu came back with Jiang Jiang. Xiao Xue immediately pulled Jiang Jiang to the side to speak in hushed whispers, but their actions went unnoticed by their mother, who was currently busy taking care of Jiang Ziya. She served him dinner and brought out the soup, giving the two little girls freedom to go play on their own beside her.

“I bought some bread as well for your late night snack. If you get hungry at night, don’t just snack on potato chips. Eat some bread first to fill your stomach.”

Jiang Ziya nodded and agreed to that. It was just an excuse anyways. In fact, he could go to the convenience store himself to grab a late night snack too. He had only injured one shoulder, which made it a little inconvenient to move that arm. It was not like he had gone “completely malfunctional.”

“Is Jiěfu working overtime again?”

Every time his brother-in-law had to work overtime, Jiang Ziya felt very useless. Even on the days that he got off on time, he would often work at home on his computer. However, at least he could go home and see his wife and daughters.

“He didn’t call back to inform me!” Jiang Yu hesitated for a moment, then didn’t seem too bothered as she replied, “Perhaps he knew that I would be at the hospital, so he didn’t mention it. Come, let’s eat.”

She placed the food in front of Jiang Ziya using the small table, and then took out two portions for her daughters, who then sat at the sofa to the side. Only then did Jiang Yu turn to serve herself a portion of food.

As they ate, Jiang Ziya casually tried to find a conversation topic. “Sis, do you know what Jiěfu is working as?”

“An assistant to the boss. The kind that has to do a bit of everything, and has to help receive cases.”

So as expected, I haven’t been showing enough concern? To think that I don’t even know what my brother-in-law does. Jiang Ziya felt a bit shamed.

“A boss of what kind of company?” He decided to make an effort to get to know his brother-in-law a little better.

Jiang Yu didn’t seem to know either, for she started guessing, “Maybe interior design? I frequently hear him say that he’s going somewhere to look at houses.”

“Did Jiěfu not tell you the details?” Jiang Ziya felt a little shocked at that. He didn’t know his brother-in-law’s job, fine. But his sis was his wife after all. How could she not know?

“Before, I didn’t really dare to ask him, afraid that it wasn’t a good job and that it would turn awkward if I asked. I was thinking of waiting until things settled down. Maybe he would get a better job, and then I could ask him about it bit by bit.”

Jiang Ziya understood. At the time, his brother-in-law had been forced to quit his job as a teacher, but he had to financially support both him and his sister. Thus, it hadn’t been possible for him to pick his job at will. Perhaps he had just chosen one based on whatever was available. Jiang Yu’s thoughts on this were really meticulous and thoughtful.

“In another two years, I’ll graduate and be able to start working,” Jiang Ziya said, melancholic. He wished he could graduate right this moment.

However, Jiang Yu was not happy to hear that. She frowned, stared at him, and said, “What are you always worrying about that for? Your jiěfu is currently doing well at work, and we don’t have any problems making ends meet. Just obediently go and study. Your jiěfu is even hoping for you to continue your studies further!”

Jiang Ziya, however, did not feel that optimistic. There was still the mortgage to pay, as well as the two little girls to raise. In a few more years, they would be going to kindergarten. Nowadays, the cost of sending children to kindergarten was abnormally pricy.

“Don’t worry.” Jiang Yu looked at her own little brother anxiously. “Your jiěfu and I are both hoping that you will enjoy your university life!”

“I am.” Jiang Ziya sincerely replied, “I’m very serious in my studies. Sis, it’s not like you don’t know how good my grades are.”

“I don’t mean your studies.” Jiang Yu blinked, and said, “Promise me that you’ll enter a club, okay?”

This… Jiang Ziya found it a little difficult, and he said, “I have work at Jiu Ge after class, so I don’t really have time for clubs.”

“Then find a club that doesn’t take up much time. That’s good too. Go out more and get to know a few more people.”

Faced with Jiang Yu’s eager eyes, sparkling in hope, Jiang Ziya could only admit defeat. He agreed, “Okay, I’ll go and see if there are any clubs that can match my schedule.”

He decided to find a club in which whether he went or not made no difference, and become a member in name only. He could also conveniently drag Lu Yang with him, and when needed, the two of them could cover each other’s attendance. Though, most of the time, Lu Yang would be the one helping to cover his attendance.

“Sis, why don’t you call Jiěfu and ask him when he’s getting off work? The nurse told me that I can leave the hospital after the doctor gives me a checkup tomorrow. Jiěfu can come and pick you up, and you can take some of these things back with you. I’ll just head back on my own tomorrow.”

Jiang Yu answered “Sure” and instantly called him, but the call did not go through even after a while. She frowned.

Jiang Ziya was a little surprised at that and asked, “He didn’t pick up?”

Although his brother-in-law was busy with work, it didn’t seem to be a job in which he couldn’t receive calls in the middle of work. Thus, there usually weren’t any situations in which they couldn’t contact him.

“Let’s wait a bit then. Perhaps he’s in the middle of a meeting or something.” Jiang Yu seemed a little perplexed as she said so, having never encountered such a situation before. Not only did Jiang Qibing neglect to inform them by phone that he would be working overtime, he also couldn’t be reached.

Jiang Ziya quickly nodded his head in agreement.

What they did not expect was that this “wait a bit” would result in them waiting past eight PM, and he was still unreachable. It wouldn’t be a big deal if his phone was turned off, or perhaps his phone was out of battery. However, the call was obviously ringing, just that no one was picking up.

“Sis, do you have the contact number of Jiěfu’s workplace?”

“No.” She started to panic, having never run into this situation before.

“Sis, why don’t you go home and take a look first. Maybe Jiěfu’s at home, just that he forgot his cell phone in the office?”

Jiang Ziya simply could not think of any other reason, though he was quite puzzled. It was already very late, so Jiěfu ought to have called by now. Maybe he was too tired and fell asleep? Ziya felt that this was also fairly possible.

“All right, I’ll be going back now.” Jiang Yu instantly nodded and said, “If he’s at home, we’ll drive back here to carry back the stuff. Don’t worry about your jiěfu. Such a big person couldn’t possibly disappear.”

Although her words were directed at Jiang Ziya, it seemed more like she was consoling herself.

Once he heard the word “disappear,” Jiang Ziya suddenly felt a little uneasy. It seemed like he had been hearing that word all day.

“Gēge, I’ll be going back with Mommy!” Xiao Xue suddenly said.

Jiang Ziya froze and looked at her. Does this mean that she isn’t going to use a substitute to go back with Jiang Yu?

“You’re not staying to keep me company?” Jiang Ziya intentionally asked in a joking manner, in order to avoid Jiang Yu’s suspicion.

Once Jiang Yu heard that, she frowned, disapproving of the way Jiang Ziya had said it. If Xiao Xue were to throw a tantrum to stay, it would be troublesome.

Thankfully, Xiao Xue shook her head hard while answering, “No.”

Jiang Ziya could only let the three of them leave. However, the uneasy feeling became stronger and stronger. If only I could follow them back, he thought.

He waited for them to give him a reply from home, anxious to the point that he couldn’t even study. He also heard the sobs of the woman from the bed beside him.

The man in the patient bed next to him gently comforted, “Okay, I was in the wrong. ‘Cause my feet hurt terribly and I was holding in my bladder, so I was a bit bad-tempered. You really can’t find your little brother?”

The woman sobbed as she said, “It’s been several days, but they haven’t even found a single trace of him.”

Hearing that, Jiang Ziya was shocked. He felt as though he were listening to his sister’s cries. If his brother-in-law really were to go missing…

“How could this be? Your little brother isn’t a stupid guy. He wouldn’t just go missing out of nowhere!”

“That’s right. Such a big person, how could he go missing just like that…”

At this point, Jiang Ziya was contemplating sneaking home, but the phone rang. He quickly took the call.

“Ziya, your jiěfu isn’t at home, and he still isn’t picking up.” Jiang Yu’s voice sounded extremely panicky, though not to the point of tears.

Although Jiang Ziya also felt a little nervous, the situation didn’t allow for him to panic along with her. He tried his best to say in a calm tone, “Sis, do you know the address of Jiěfu’s company? Search for a business card or something.”

“Oh, right. Okay, I’ll go look for it.”

Shuffling and flipping sounds came over the phone, but Jiang Ziya didn’t hang up. Occasionally, he would remind his sister of possible locations to search. At the same time, he decided that once the matter was over, he would definitely ask his brother-in-law about his work properly, and memorize all the company details like address and phone number and whatnot.

“I found it!” Jiang Yu excitedly shouted. “There’s a profile of the company, and the address and phone number are in it. I’ll call them and check first.”

Hearing that, Jiang Ziya heaved a sigh of relief. However, as he waited, he was greeted with bad news.

“Ziya, no one in the company is picking up. Right now, I only hear the answering machine saying ‘Work hours have ended for the day. Please call again tomorrow.’ I’m going to go over and take a look.”

Jiang Ziya quickly answered, “Sis, stay at home and take care of Jiang Jiang and Xiao Xue. I’ll go over and take a look.”

“What? You can’t, you’re still injured!”

However, it was almost ten P.M. There was no way Jiang Ziya could watch on as his sister brought two little girls to run around at night. It was too dangerous.

“My injuries won’t be a problem. I’m just going to take a taxi there to take a look.”

“But—”

Jiang Ziya quickly cut in, “I’ll get Lu Yang to come along with me. Don’t worry.”

“How can I not be worried? I mean, you even mysteriously got hit by a stray bullet.” Jiang Yu spoke softly in a worried tone. However, she too knew that it was inconvenient to bring around two children, so she could only agree. “All right, but be careful. Carry your cell phone on you, and be careful not to worsen your injuries. If there’s any news, remember to call and tell me.”

Jiang Ziya agreed to her requests point by point. Then, the moment he hung up, he changed into outdoor clothes and called Lu Yang. Thankfully, he picked up the call; otherwise, Ziya would really have to start wondering if disappearing acts were the current trend and everyone had to do it at least once.

“Your brother-in-law is missing?” Lu Yang exclaimed in shock. “Are you planning to go to his office to look for him? But I can’t leave right now. Could you wait for me for an hour?”

“Forget it. I’ll just go over and take a look by myself. I’m just going to the company.”

Already, Jiang Ziya could hear weird sounds coming over the phone. It sounded just like the sound effects of weapons clashing in movies. From time to time, he could hear some strange sounds, like the sound of a fist connecting with flesh through a punch…

To ask someone to go “hand in hand” to find his brother-in-law while that someone was fighting for his life…. No matter how Ziya thought about it, he felt that it would be a jerk move.

“Then, give me the address. I’ll finish up as soon I can, and then go and meet you later.”

Jiang Ziya was on the verge of refusing his offer, but rethought his decision. After all, he didn’t know the current situation on his brother-in-law’s side, and he was currently an injured person with only one usable arm. It was simply unwise to reject Lu Yang’s help.

After giving him the address, he reminded him, “Give me a call before you come over. Who knows, maybe my brother-in-law is just working overtime. Don’t waste your time coming over if that’s the case.”

Lu Yang gave a “Mhn” sound in agreement, and then hung up even without saying bye.

Jiang Ziya was now regretting his decision to call him. Why did he feel like there was now one more person for him to worry about? He hoped that Lu Yang would not rush and become careless as a result. To think that he would go and vanquish demons while he still had two “donuts” around his arms… He really was a person who made others worry.

Jiang Ziya tiptoed his way out of the hospital. On his way out, he was afraid of encountering any passionate nurses who would stop him, but thankfully nothing of that sort happened.

Once he was out of the hospital, he immediately hopped in a taxi and headed straight to the office.

The taxi driver was a middle-aged man who was extremely talkative. Seeing how one of Jiang Ziya’s arms was still wrapped in bandages, he asked a lot of questions in concern. The moment he heard that it was caused by a stray bullet, he immediately started cursing that the security in Taiwan was too bad.

“Seeing that you are that unlucky, you are heading to the right place.” The taxi driver nodded his head and commented, “I heard that they’re really effective! I’ve brought many customers over before.”

Effective? Jiang Ziya felt that the word choice sounded ominous and quickly asked, “What kind of company is the place I’m heading to?”

“Company?” The taxi uncle chuckled. “I guess you could call it a company. It’s run by a great master!”

… Great master?

Hearing that, Jiang Ziya’s expression darkened, and he asked, “What kind of master?”

“A feng shui1 master!” The driver seemed to find it peculiar as he asked, “Ah, you didn’t know? That great master specializes in looking at feng shui for people. I heard that he’s pretty good. There’s no fraud involved.”

Feng shui, huh… Jiang Ziya heaved a sigh of relief. That sounded okay, as long as it wasn’t the kind of master who vanquished demons. So, his brother-in-law worked an assistant to a feng shui master. No wonder his sister would say that he goes to look at houses.

After he got out of the car, Jiang Ziya raised his head to stare at the new, towering building. A strange feeling arose in his heart, not at all losing to how he had felt when he had discovered that Lu Yang’s home was a temple. He had originally thought that a feng shui master would be living in an area that looked more traditional, but it was very far from his expectations.

This kind of place looked like it would suit Lu Yang more. However, it just so happened that the reality was the opposite. The model-like Lu Yang lived in a temple, while the feng shui master worked in a modern, high-rise building. This was a true example of the phrase, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.”

As he rode the elevator up, Jiang Ziya began to feel a little nervous. What if I can’t find Jiěfu here, either? What if something happened to him?

Although his brother-in-law hadn’t been around back in high school, at that time, his father still occasionally returned home. In recent years though, he was outrageous to the point that he wasn’t coming home at all. If even his brother-in-law were to go missing, who knew how terribly gloomy the atmosphere at home would become.

After following the copied address and reaching the floor indicated, he nervously stepped out of the elevator. This level was rather bright, until he saw that the signboard of his destination read “Feng Shui Master Wu Ming Liang,” in which the name “Wu Ming Liang” sounded the same as “no brightness.”2

Jiang Ziya was rendered speechless. Thankfully, the office did not truly have “no brightness”—the lights inside were still on—or it would be a disaster.

He pressed the doorbell and heard it ring inside. However, even after he rang the doorbell numerous times, there was no reply.

Could it be that they’ve all gotten off work? Jiang Ziya started to panic. He was just about to call home to ask Jiang Yu if his brother-in-law had returned, when he finally heard a voice from the intercom of the doorbell.

“Who is it?”

This voice is Jiěfu’s! Jiang Ziya revived with vigor and quickly answered, “Jiěfu, it’s Ziya.”

“Ziya?” Jiang Qibing actually snorted at that. He answered, “Your lie is too absurd.”

Jiang Ziya froze. He had never heard his brother-in-law speak in this kind of tone before. Moreover, to say that he was lying? Which part of it was a lie? The only thing he had said was “It’s Ziya,” and he couldn’t possibly be lying about that, right?

“Ziya is still in the hospital. He can’t possibly be here!”

“Jiěfu, that’s because you didn’t come home, but we couldn’t contact you by phone either. Sis was very worried, so I came over to take a look.”

Jiang Ziya started to sense that something was wrong. He could recognize his brother-in-law by his voice, so why would his brother-in-law suspect him? His voice wasn’t that hard to tell, right?

“Save your breath. I won’t believe you. No matter what you try to do, I won’t make any moves and will stay here until you run out of strength to maintain this barrier dimension!”

Jiang Ziya stood rooted to the spot, stunned shocked as though he had been hit by lightning.

His brother-in-law actually knew about “barrier dimensions” too.

Then, does he know about the two girls at home?

“Jiěfu, Jiang Jiang and Xiao Xue—”

“If you dare touch my family, I definitely won’t let it slide, and will make you die a horrible death!”

Jiang Ziya shivered. After being used to his brother-in-law’s gentle ways, hearing him show such ferocity was hard to accept. If he was this harsh just from his voice, then if he were to actually go in, would his brother-in-law really treat him as a demon and beat him up?

Thinking it over, Jiang Ziya felt that it might possibly happen. He had heard Lu Yang mention the events that had led up to him being hung on the rooftop. From what he had heard, the other had disguised itself as him, which was why Lu Yang had been tricked.

Lu Yang had even warned him, that as long as something felt off, he was never to agree to any “invitations.”

Jiang Ziya didn’t dare to mention that he had already agreed to help Xiao Xue come “true.”

Right now, his brother-in-law was obviously treating him as an imposter. Jiang Ziya pondered for a moment, and then decided it was in his best interest not to rashly head in. Getting beaten up was not the big issue here. If his brother-in-law also had a sword like “Slay” and chopped him with it directly, then it would be comically tragic.

“Jiěfu, are you in any danger right now?” He asked, still unable to stop worrying.

A cold snort was all he heard from the doorbell.

It seems like he isn’t in any danger. Jiang Ziya relaxed, and then decided to wait until Lu Yang came over before he did anything. He was really thankful that he hadn’t rejected Lu Yang’s help earlier, or he really would have no idea what to do.

Jiang Ziya called his sister to report that all was well, spouting nonsense like how Jiěfu had been sent out on a business trip at the last moment, the place was very remote, and perhaps the phone signal there wasn’t very good. It was to put his sister’s heart at ease before anything else.

After he hung up, he waited for a long while, before he couldn’t take it anymore and called Lu Yang.

“Sorry, I’ve been trapped again.” Lu Yang sounded embarrassed. “It might be a while before I can get out.”

Jiang Ziya froze and asked, “You’re trapped by a barrier dimension again?”

“Yeah.” Lu Yang affirmed, and then followed up quickly with, “Don’t worry, this happens often. It’s no big deal. Once the artifact demon who is trapping me in here is unable to maintain this ‘barrier dimension’ anymore, I can take care of him.”

… It even happens often.

Jiang Ziya was rendered speechless. The exorcising abilities of his good friend… sounded very unreliable!

“Then, can you talk with me over the phone?”

“Yup.” Lu Yang said, relaxed, “Since I’ve been trapped, there’s not much for me to do. I tried looking around a little just now, but I didn’t find the weak point of the barrier dimension. I’m tired of looking for it, so chatting with you to pass the time suits me just fine. Have you found your brother-in-law?”

“I’m outside my brother-in-law’s company and discovered that he’s also trapped in a barrier dimension like you. We talked over the intercom of the doorbell. He treated me as an imposter.”

“…”

In an incredulous tone, Lu Yang exclaimed, “If it were your sister, I wouldn’t feel as shocked, since special abilities are hereditary. But isn’t your brother-in-law originally just a normal teacher?”

“Right now, it seems like he’s an assistant to a feng shui master.” Jiang Ziya weakly answered, “Perhaps he got involved because of the feng shui master?”

“I’ll help ask about the background of the feng shui master afterwards. Is he in danger?”

“I don’t think so. He’s just been trapped. Also, he intends to wait until the barrier dimension disappears, like you.”

Jiang Ziya felt vexed as he complained, “It seems like my brother-in-law isn’t simple either! What exactly is going on? Ever since I found out about Xiao—about you, it feels like this world has gone completely bonkers!”

Thankfully, he had made a good save. He had just nearly reminded Lu Yang about Xiao Xue again.

“These kinds of things are always like this. Originally, when you didn’t know about them, even if you discovered something strange, you would convince yourself otherwise with all sorts of reasons, and then you would forget it completely after two days. Now that you know, there is no way you can ever deceive yourself again.”

Lu Yang sighed, and then weakly said, “Ziya, there is no way that you will be able to return to the ordinary world anymore. Actually, given that left eye of yours, you wouldn’t have been able to continue playing dumb all your life anyways. The fact that you managed to hold on until age twenty before you stepped into this world is already quite strange. I’ve always suspected that someone has been protecting you from the shadows, the most likely suspect being the boss of Jiu Ge Bookstore.”

“… Can’t you just let me have someone normal around me?”

“Uh, I initially thought that your brother-in-law was a normal person.” At this moment, Lu Yang suddenly laughed and said, “Looks like they can’t continue anymore. Hold on, I’ll take care of this artifact demon and head over.”

Jiang Ziya could only continue to wait, but all of a sudden, he heard sounds coming from the office behind him. He immediately turned his head to look. The lights inside were flickering non-stop, and there was even the occasional rattling sound.

“Jiěfu? What’s wrong?” Jiang Ziya leaned on the doorbell and pressed it desperately, but he heard nothing except for the sound of the bell.

I can’t wait anymore!

Jiang Ziya banged on the door hard. The door was an automatic sliding glass door, but it was currently locked and would not slide open on its own. He was at a loss as to what to do. Though he wanted to smash the door open and had tried several times banging against it with his non-injured shoulder, he still wasn’t able to knock it open. The glass was simply too sturdy.

He then looked around for things he could use to smash open the door. There was a flowerpot to the side, but it was too huge for him to pick up with one hand.

With no other options, he pressed his whole body to the door, trying to see what was happening inside on both ends. Instantly, he noticed that something was wrong with the left corridor. It was aglow with red flames from a sea of fire, as though it was the site of a fire. Inside the huge flames, he could vaguely see a human silhouette.

No, that can’t possibly be real. Jiang Ziya forced himself to calm down. With such a large fire, he should be able to feel the heat from his side too, but he didn’t feel anything different about the temperature.

That’s not real!

The fire immediately extinguished, revealing a person who was continuously patting himself down with his hand. When the fire vanished, he froze, said “Eh,” and then ceased his patting motions.

“Jiěfu!” shouted Jiang Ziya.

Jiang Qibing was startled. He seemed dazed as he looked at Jiang Ziya outside the glass door, and then at his surroundings. He appeared to be lost as to what to do.

“Jiěfu!” Jiang Ziya anxiously called once more, as he banged against the glass door. “Hurry and come out!”

Once Jiang Qibing heard that, he hesitated for a few moments, before he then slowly opened the door and went out.

In this time period, Jiang Ziya was practically burning from anxiety, though he did not blame his brother-in-law for his slow movements. He understood that Jiang Qibing was still questioning whether he was real or fake, and perhaps was worrying even more that this was a trap and a fatal invitation.

No matter how slowly he went, Jiang Qibing still finally managed to open the glass door and walked out.

Jiang Ziya went up to him and sized him up. Seeing that he was completely unhurt, he finally relaxed.

“Ziya?” Jiang Qibing forced himself to put on a smile as he asked, “Why are you here?”

“I came to look for you. It’s past ten PM. Sis is really worried about you!”

“… Were you really the one talking to me just now?”

“Yeah,” replied Ziya as he nodded his head.

An awkward expression showed on Jiang Qibing’s face, and he vaguely muttered, “This-That… My work is a bit complicated, so I was a little suspicious just now. But nothing major is going on, so don’t worry about it.”

He paused, and then, almost begging, he said, “It’s best if you don’t tell your sister. I don’t want her to worry too much about my work.”

Jiang Ziya agreed with a nod. He also did not want to make his sister worry.

“Jiěfu, drive me back to the hospital, and then go home. I told my sister that you went on a business trip, and that your phone didn’t have any signal, so you couldn’t call home to inform them. Remember not to get that wrong.”

Jiang Qibing had not thought that it would be this easy to convince Jiang Ziya, and furthermore, he had not asked any questions on the matter. He looked profoundly at his wife’s brother, and then agreed, “Okay.”

When the two of them went downstairs, they coincidentally ran into Lu Yang. All three of them momentarily stared at each other.

“Jiang-gē.” Lu Yang greeted with a smile as he took the lead, making Slay appear at his side. This attracted a glance from Jiang Ziya, but gathered no attention from Jiang Qibing.

… So he can’t see it? Lu Yang thought and didn’t bother to put away Slay, letting it float between the three of them.

Jiang Qibing acknowledged him with a “Mn,” not daring to ask him too much due to his guilty conscience. He merely asked him politely, “Did you come here looking for Ziya? How is your hand injury?”

Lu Yang chuckled as he said, “It’s a lot better. No big deal.”

No big deal? Jiang Ziya couldn’t help but want to roll his eyes at him. Those two donuts have already become strawberry-flavored, and you still dare to say you’re fine. Do you think that we are all blind?

“Come with me to the hospital to get it wrapped again! The nurses will surely give you the scolding of a lifetime.”

Lu Yang scratched his head and reassured him, “It’s really fine. I’ve got to go back and write my English essay. It’s due tomorrow in class!”

“Come to the hospital. I’ll write it for you!”

“Really?” Lu Yang’s eyes sparkled as he immediately agreed, “Okay, I’ll go to the hospital with you.”

Jiang Ziya muttered in annoyance, “You… If you didn’t want to write essays, why take a writing class? It’s not even a required class!”

“Oh, I chose my classes based on your timetable; otherwise, who would help you with— Otherwise, no one would help me with the roll call!” Lu Yang quickly corrected himself.

To think that he had nearly said, “Who would help you with the roll call” in front of Ziya’s brother-in-law… If he were to say that, Jiang Qibing would surely get angry, and then Jiang Ziya would never help him write his essays for the rest of his lifetime.

Jiang Ziya shot him a fierce glare. Thankfully, Lu Yang had corrected himself in time, or else Jiang Ziya would have been tempted to perform the act of killing one’s friend on the spot.

Jiang Qibing looked at the bickering duo in amusement. Within his heart, he was very glad that he had insisted on Ziya going to university, instead of agreeing to Ziya’s request of letting him work immediately after graduating high school.

Don’t joke around. For such a clever child like Ziya, it would be too much of a pity for him not to further his studies.

Actually, Jiang Yu should have continued her studies, too.

Thinking of his young wife, Jiang Qibing hated himself for not having enough ability to make it happen. Perhaps, he could wait until Jiang Jiang was a little older and was in kindergarten, then he could reconsider having Jiang Yu go back to school.

“Jiěfu?”

Jiang Qibing raised his head and saw the two boys currently staring at him. He quickly broke into a smile and said, “Let’s go. It’s very late already.”

Footnotes

1 “Feng shui”: Feng shui is the practice of arranging and positioning buildings and objects within it to harmonize with spiritual forces for prosperity.

2 “Wu Ming Liang”: The name of the feng shui master 吳明亮 (wú míng liàng) sounds the same as “no brightness” 無明亮 (wú míng liàng).

5 Responses

  1. Much thanks.

  2. And so his normal life falls apart, everywhere.

  3. YAAY! To be honest, I did not like this series that much at first, it was so different from Yu Wo’s other works that I had read. Still, now I do like it quite a lot and still resent the fact that I could not find any of Yu Wo’s books when I visited China. I wish, as good as you guy’s translations are, that a deal could be made to publish Yu Wo’s works in english. Money for Yu Wo, money for Princerevolution, more fanatic followers that could put Yu Wo’s life at risk….yeah on second thought, let’s not do that.
    Thanks as always for the translations and a belated digital pie for Pi day!

  4. Jasae Bushae

    Interesting…I wonder how Fend Shui would translate to a setting like this if it actually worked…

  5. Interestingly enough, when Jiang Qibing thinks about Jiang Yu’s future, he only mentions Jiang Jiang going to kindergarten. So it seems like he really is aware that Xiao Xue wouldn’t be able to go to school like she is?

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