Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
The scene around him was distorted, the glass house in the distance began to collapse, the gym equipment also broke into millions of pieces, and the tiles under his feet fell down with a crash, like falling into a bottomless abyss.
Lu Rong looked around in surprise and saw Shen Jize running towards him with his feet in the air.
Shen Jize ran close to him, took Lu Rong into his arms, and asked repeatedly, “Rong Rong, are you all right?”
When he saw Rong Rong nod his head, he breathed a sigh of relief and let go of his heart, only to find that his feet were empty and he was floating in a void of chaos.
“Ah!” He gave a short shriek.
Lu Rong rushed to lick the back of his hand, meaning it was okay, he wouldn’t fall.
Shen Jize tentatively lifted his feet, noticing that although there was nothing under his feet, there was a solid feeling of stepping on the ground, so he stopped panicking and put his arm around the white deer and looked around.
“Rong Rong, this should be the deep illusion, the core of each illusion.” He explained to Lu Rong, “I don’t know who created the illusion, but no matter what kind of scene appeared, the core is actually this right here.”
Lu Rong also looked around in his arms, twitching his black nose to smell the place and sensing some kind of unintentional and evil prying from the rich fishy smell.
“What’s that?” Shen Jize suddenly pointed his finger in a certain direction.
Lu Rong followed and saw two floating oval objects not far away, like two large cocoons, with a soft white glow.
“Come on, let’s go see.” Shen Jize said as he took steps to go there, Lu Rong hurried to follow.
Because of the surrounding void, there wasn’t anything to serve as their guiding post, so even if the two oval objects seemed not far, after walking for a while, they found that there was still quite a distance.
As he got closer, Lu Rong saw that the eggshell-like object seemed to contain something, and the outline gradually became clear, it seemed like two people curled up inside.
Shen Jize also sensed his nervousness and quickened his pace, tensing his jaw and neck in a cold, hard curve.
Lu Rong finally relented and began to trot, then lept forward on all fours, with Shen Jize close behind him.
He came to a halt about ten meters in front of the eggshell and slowly walked forward. The four hooves were placed very gently, as if they were afraid of waking the sleeping person inside the eggshell.
There were clear figures in each of the two eggshells, huddled motionlessly, as if they were babies in their mothers’ wombs. But the shells were covered with a layer of mucus, so it was impossible to see the people inside.
Lu Rong both wanted to go forward, but didn’t dare, so he stood still, and trembled uncontrollably.
Shen Jize also ran closer, saw Lu Rong’s condition, so he directly took off the clothes on his body, revealing his muscular and solid upper body. Then he took two steps forward and used his clothes to wipe away the slime covering the eggshell.
As he did so, the faces of the people inside became clear, and when Lu Rong recognized the appearance of one of them, tears instantly blurred his eyes and he called out softly in his heart, “Brother Tu.”
Wang Tu was exactly the same as he remembered, his eyes were shut and his face was calm, like he was sleeping. He was still wearing the black down jacket that he wore when they parted, and the right side of his face also had a fresh wound like that night, with grains of blood oozing from it.
He suppressed his inner excitement, looked at Wang Tu for a while, and then looked at the other eggshell, and found that Uncle Chen was sleeping inside, also in the same shape from the night they separated.
Shen Jize wiped the slime off the two eggshells and felt around with his hands, trying to find if there was a switch or something.
But the eggshells were made of some kind of material, hard and smooth, and there were no cracks on their surface, not to mention switches.
Lu Rong walked forward, signaled Shen Jize to leave, and then placed his front hoof on the eggshell where Wang Tu was.
The red stripe on his leg suddenly shone brightly, emitting a searing light, and with a series of cracks, an interactive crack appeared on the egg shell.
He raised his hoof again and smashed down heavily on it, and with a loud bang, the seemingly hard surface of the shell broke into pieces and scattered in the air.
Lu Rong looked at Wang Tu, still suspended in his original position, and held his breath as his eyes turned red, while Shen Jize approached him, half-crouched beside him, and put a comforting hand on his back.
It seemed like half a century had passed, but it seemed like only a few seconds had passed, when Wang Tu, who hadn’t moved at all, suddenly let out a long breath and slowly opened his eyes.
He met his eyes with the white deer in front of him and looked dazed for a moment, murmuring, “Lord Lu Hong.”
Because he hadn’t spoken for a long time, his voice was as rough as if his throat was filled with gravel, then he stumbled and stood up straight, as if he wanted to salute.
Shen Jize also looked at Wang Tu, and soothingly held Lu Rong closer to him.
Wang Tu looked at the tearful white deer and asked in confusion, “Are you… You aren’t Lord Lu Hong?”
He looked at Lu Rong from head to toe, and his eyes went down from the silver horns, which were like small branches, to the four hooves with red stripes, as if he thought of something and suddenly let out a laugh.
Then his eyes got red and he said softly with trembling lips, “Rong Rong.”
Lu Rong slowly walked forward, and Shen Jize let go and stood up. He was unfamiliar with Wang Tu, so he remained in a wary position, watching Lu Rong’s every move.
Wang Tu also kept watching Lu Rong, and when he came to his body, he squatted down and reached out, gently touching the pair of silver horns, with a crystal watery glint under his eyes.
Lu Rong sniffed his body gently, smelling the familiar smell that accompanied his early childhood.
“Rong Rong, you’ve grown up.” Wang Tu’s words were incoherent, with a choked sob.
Lu Rong lowered his head, rubbed his head against his chest twice, and closed his eyes. Water droplets slid down the eyes and instantly fell into the void.
Shen Jize finally relaxed and just stood by in silence, watching quietly as one man and one deer embraced.
A few moments later, Wang Tu’s agitation finally calmed down a bit, he wiped his eyes and stood up, looking at the other eggshell beside him, saying, “Brother is still inside, I have to let him out.”
He stepped forward and pressed his right hand on the eggshell, which instantly emitted a golden light, and the shell lit up with runes. Then it cracked open in half, revealing Uncle Chen sleeping inside.
Wang Tu tapped on the top of Uncle Chen’s head and called out, “Brother, wake up.”
Uncle Chen’s eyelids twitched, he yawned widely and opened his eyes with a smack. He leapt up from the eggshell and was just about to talk to Wang Tu when he saw Lu Rong, and after two seconds of stunned silence, he showed the same surprised expression that Wang Tu had when he first saw Lu Rong, and was about to kneel down and bow.
Wang Tu pulled him back, “Brother, he’s Rong Rong, not Lord Lu Hong.”
“Rong Rong?” Uncle Chen’s eyes widened in shock and he blurted out, “How did Rong Rong grow up to be so big?”
Lu Rong hurriedly jogged forward and showed his appearance to Uncle Chen, focusing on the pair of silver horns that had diverged.
Uncle Chen looked at the grown white deer in front of him and was pleased and happy, “It’s really Rong Rong! Rong Rong has grown so big! Good, really good.” Then he reacted and asked in a daze, “Rong Rong has grown up, then we… how long were we trapped in here?”
“About, maybe…” Wang Tu looked at Lu Rong with a complicated expression.
Uncle Chen opened his mouth slightly, and didn’t make a sound.
Lu Rong had a lot to say to them, so he tried to change back. He had just untied the bag around his neck when Shen Jize, who was standing at one side, rushed over to block his body.
“Excuse me, two uncles… Brothers… …Rong Rong is going to change back, so please turn around and take a step back.” He turned his head to Wang Tu and Uncle Chen.
Because both of them still maintain their young appearance, even Uncle Chen was only in his early thirties, so Shen Jize changed from ‘uncle’ to ‘brother’.
Why do we have to turn around when he changes back? Wang Tu and Uncle Chen both froze. Uncle Chen was the first to react, and he immediately turned his back, as he winked at Wang Tu, “Rong Rong is already an adult, and not a child. Quickly turn around.”
Only then did Wang Tu notice Shen Jize, his eyebrows slightly wrinkled, his tone not too good, “Who are you?”
Shen Jize politely replied, “I’m Rong Rong’s brother.”
“When did Rong Rong get an older brother?” Wang Tu’s frown deepened, “Why are you also in the illusion?”
Shen Jize, for some reason, felt the nervousness of being interrogated by his future uncle-in-law and said, “We’ve known each other since we were kids, and we’ve been through several illusions together, so I’m not sure why I’m here.”
Wang Tu looked him up and down, his eyes suspicious, Shen Jize straightened his back and stood upright.
Lu Rong cocked his head to move his gaze back and forth, and seeing the unusual atmosphere between the two, he hastened to squeeze forward and straightened up to hug Shen Jize with his front hooves in an intimate manner. And then turned his head towards Wang Tu, the expression on his face clearly saying, ‘Don’t worry, he’s one of us’.
Uncle Chen patted Wang Tu with understanding, “Brother, Rong Rong is an adult, and will be embarrassed if you stare at him. Turn away, turn away.”
“Then why doesn’t this man turn?”
“Oh, Brother, why do you care so much? He will also turn right away, okay?”
Wang Tu looked across the tightly hugging person and a deer, then turned around with a sullen face, his heart surged with the heartache of his child chasing others to call ‘brother’.
Lu Rong hurriedly stood behind Shen Jize, changed back into human form and put on his clothes.
“Brother Tu, Uncle Chen.” A few moments later, a clear voice between a man and a teenager rang out, still slightly trembling from excitement.
Wang Tu turned around and looked at the beautiful boy across from him who had grown into an adult-like figure, and once again his eyes were red. He suppressed the tumultuous emotions inside him and looked at the person across from him while saying in a hoarse voice, “Rong Rong, you’ve grown up…”
Because the place where they entered the illusion was different, they wouldn’t be in the same place when they got out, so they simply sat down on the ground in the void and began to talk about their encounters over the years.
Wang Tu and Uncle Chen entered the illusionary realm that year and fought a battle with their opponents inside, and although they severely injured each other, they didn’t have the strength to deal with the remaining demons and ghosts. They simply used their master’s body armor – the eggshell – and slept inside like hibernating, waiting for others to come to their rescue.
Lu Rong, with remaining tears on her face, asked, “Brother Tu, who’s against us? And who created this illusion? What is he trying to do?”
“It’s Candlelight.” 1 Wang Tu pondered for a moment and then replied.
Wang Tu said, “The ancient gods have fallen in the ancient times, including the god Fuxi, and his mount Candlelight also sank into a deep sleep. Because he was afraid that when he woke up, heaven and earth would be overturned, the god Fuxi arranged for two lords, Fu Zhu and Bai Ze, to guard his tomb. After Fu Zhu and Bai Ze returned to the dust, they continued to be guarded by the descendants who inherited their bloodline, as the guardians of the tomb passed on from generation to generation. Candlelight awakened more than twenty years ago, and without the suppression of the god Fuxi, he wanted to do as much evil as he could, turning the world into a purgatory on Earth, reducing all the creatures of heaven and earth to evil spirits who obeyed his orders, and he wanted to be the only god in the world.”
“Lord Bai Ze’s descendant, Bai Zhi, is my master, your Uncle Bai. Together with Lu Hong, the descendant of Lord Fu Zhu, he fought a life-and-death duel with Candlelight. In that tragic battle, Lord Lu Hong unfortunately died…”
Although Lu Rong had never met the Lord Lu Hong, when he heard this, his chest somehow overflowed with strong sadness, and tears immediately gushed out.
Shen Jize, who was sitting beside him, seemed to sense something and reached out to take him into his arms.
“Fu Zhu’s ability will be passed on in the bloodline, so Candlelight must get rid of it. Although Lord Lu Hong had fallen dead, Lady Lu had just given birth to a child, so Candlelight had to go find that child and remove him. Fortunately, Candlelight was seriously injured in the previous battle, so Master and Lady Lu teamed up so he wasn’t able to kill the child, but was seriously injured and had to flee to a place where no one could find him to heal.” Wang Tu said gloomily, “But Mrs. Lu suffered a heavy blow to protect the child, and eventually died…”
“My master, Bai Zhi, was also wounded, but he still tried to save Lord Lu Hong’s bloodline and gave it to me and my brother, so that we could take him into hiding and raise him properly.”
Wang Tu’s eyes were red, with a faint layer of watery light. He looked at Lu Rong and gestured, “At that time he was only a few months old, just a little big, lying in the blanket like a kitten, crying in a tiny voice. My brother and I suspected that he wouldn’t live, so we took turns holding him all night long, afraid that he cried so much that he couldn’t catch his breath. We hid and hid, got rid of those ghosts who followed the news, and finally settled in the capital.”
Lu Rong already knew that he was talking about him, and he bit down on his sleeve, crying without making a sound. Shen Jize pressed his head to his chest and patted his back.
Lu Rong’s thin back was heaving, his throat overflowing with uncontrollable whimpers, and he heard Wang Tu continue to speak, “But in the end, Candlelight found out where we were hiding, but the place where he was healing was also found by my master. They have been fighting, and Candlelight was afraid that you would grow up and meet up with my master, then with his current condition he wouldn’t be able to deal with you, so he fought with my master, while part of his spiritual awareness created an illusion, wanting to trap you in it.”
“My master has been stalling him all these years, but unfortunately, my brother and I are too weak to protect you, instead, we ourselves were deeply trapped in the illusionary realm. If it weren’t for the protective armor given by my master, we would have died inside.”
Wang Tu’s voice trembled, “Rong Rong, brother Tu is sorry for making you suffer all these years.”
After telling the past, when Lu Rong had digested all the information and his emotions had calmed down, Wang Tu and Uncle Chen were going to look for traces of Bai Zhi, and now they had to leave the illusionary realm and set off for a mountain peak a thousand miles away.
He pulled Lu Rong aside and said seriously, “Rong Rong, I’m going to look for Master. But Master can’t deal with Candlelight by himself, only the two of you merging your power can stop him. When the time comes, you have to work with him to seal Candlelight completely. You have grown up, and have to take the responsibility of the Fu Zhu clan, understand?”
Lu Rong said solemnly, “Brother Tu, don’t worry, I understand everything.”
Wang Tu patted his head and looked at his thin body, saying with sadness and relief, “If your father was still alive…”
“Brother Tu, I can do it just as well.” Lu Rong interrupted.
“Okay, then wait for my news.”
Lu Rong turned his head and saw Shen Jize standing not far away staring at him in awe, revealing a light smile as their eyes met.
Ahead of the void floated the light mass of the exit. After Wang Tu and Uncle Chen disappeared at the entrance of the passage, Lu Rong asked Shen Jize, “Brother, shall we go out too?”
Shen Jize thought about it and said, “You go out first, I’ll come out later.”
Seeing Lu Rong tilting his head and looking at him in confusion, he explained, “Don’t forget that there’s still a person locked up in the spice bottle. If we go out, he will be dead if he stays. He should be somewhere inside the illusion and I have to find him, so his body wouldn’t be around the apartment, neither dead nor alive. You should go and find him first, that guy just burst out of the entrance, so his body must be near the front door. Use a rope to tie him up firmly, and then hand the person over to the police when we get out.”
“Okay then, be careful.”
Lu Rong took one step and three steps back toward the passage and hopped out.
It was now morning, and the morning sun was spilling through the curtains onto the large bed in the center of the house. Lu Rong, lying on the bed, suddenly moved his fingers and opened his eyes.
After meeting Wang Tu in the illusion and listening to his story about his life, Lu Rong was still in a trance. After lying in bed for a while, he got up and got out of bed.
He opened the bedroom door and walked to the living room, and pulled a bathrobe strap from the hanger and stretched it in his hand.
Lu Rong knelt down, tied the man up with the bathrobe strap, stuffed a cloth in his mouth, and left him lying on the floor.
He went back to Shen Jize’s bedroom and pushed the door open.
The bedroom was furnished just as he had seen in the vision, empty of furniture, with a spread-out leather case in the corner.
Lu Rong tiptoed over to the bed and sat down, staring quietly at the sleeping person in the bed.
Because he knew Shen Jize wouldn’t wake up, he traced the outline of the face with his eyes.
The face of my brother is so sharp, it’s quite different from when we were kids… Well, the bridge of his nose is still as high, and his eyelashes are just as long…
Lu Rong hesitantly stretched out his finger and tapped on the corner of his forehead. He also followed his eyebrows down, gently traced over the high bridge of his nose, and landed on his thin lips.
My brother’s lips are so soft…
Shen Jize’s face was as quiet as if he was asleep, allowing his finger to scratch around on his face,not reacting in the slightest.
Lu Rong knew that he was still in the illusion, so he was emboldened. He unconsciously swallowed his saliva, staring at the perfect lines of the lips, lowered his head a little bit, put his lips on it and pressed them together with his.
He wanted to just touch lightly, but the feeling of intimacy with Shen Jize was so good that a happy shiver rose in his heart, and he couldn’t help but touch and then touch some more.
In the end, they simply stayed close and didn’t separate.
The two people’s breaths mingled, and only shallow breathing could be heard in the quiet bedroom. Lu Rong was no longer satisfied with this kind of touch, and tentatively stretched out the tip of his tongue, licking gently on the lips of the sleeping person… Then there were a few thumps coming from the living room entrance.
Lu Rong’s disoriented mind snapped awake, reacting to the fact that it was the tied-up cleaner who had woken up.
He hurriedly straightened up to see how the man was doing, but a strong arm instantly wrapped around his waist, imprisoning his entire body.
Lu Rong was stunned and looked down to see Shen Jize beneath him and found him staring at him with his eyes open.
The bottom of his eyes were clear.
The next thing he knew, the sky was spinning, and the two of them had switched positions, and he was pressed down on the bed by Shen Jize.
Shen Jize leaned over him, looking down at the man, and asked in a soft voice, “Have you kissed enough?”
“You… you… when did you come back?” Lu Rong’s hand was propped up on the side of his head, so he could only stammer.
Shen Jize half-smiled, and only after a moment did he say with a smile, “From the time you touched my eyebrows with your fingertips.”
Lu Rong was dumbfounded for a moment, remembering the scene just now, and he was so ashamed that he wanted to curl up under the covers. But Shen Jize was holding his hand down, and his dark eyes were staring at him.
Lu Rong struggled twice but couldn’t get away, blushing and saying, “Bad Brother.”
Shen Jize replied with a serious face, “Lustful Brother.”