Happy 5th Year Anniversary! It is by far one of my favorite Matthia novels to date, so PLEASE check it out! This was a joint effort by everyone in ExR for our 5th Year Anniversary. Thank you, Addis, Rikko, Aphelios, Ceti, KarateChopMonkey, gaeatiamat, and Rara.
Gap in the Door by Matthia
Novel Status in Country of Origin: Complete, 14 chapters
Translator: Rikko, Ceti, Addis, Aphelios, Rara,
~~~~Brought to you by ExR~~~~
Tragedy ended their lives before they were fully lived. But after meeting the Landlord they discovered there was more to come. A bittersweet tale of life and death and the meaning of truly loving one another.
Chapter 1: The Guest and the Landlord
Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Before he woke up, he was killed.
On a snowy December night, he had been wearing a thin white gown and kneeling on the cold stone slab in the corridor to drink poisonous wine. He didn’t want to die, but he had no choice. He has no room for resistance. Even if he was humiliated and unwilling, he could only die. Otherwise it would be crueler to wait for death.
Not long after he died, he woke up. For a little while, he didn’t remember what he had done, and he didn’t know where he was. Slowly, he thought of the poisoned wine. He sat up in surprise, looked down at his hands and feet, then touched his chest. His body was still warm, not like a ghost’s.
He stood up and looked around. It was a snow-white dome with round walls. It was small enough for only three or five people to stand. There were no windows, no doors and no lights, but it was very bright.
He heard footsteps outside the wall. A door appeared out of thin air in the tight-fitting wall, and a strangely dressed man came in. The man was handsome and gentle, with all his limbs as normal, but his eyes were golden.
“Hello,” said the golden-eyed man. “Welcome to- I don’t know how to describe it. You are welcome anyway. You can call me ‘Landlord.’ It’s a nickname given to me by a former guest. Looking at your clothes, you probably come from a time and space with ancient oriental charm? You think I’m weird, don’t you? Don’t be afraid. The clothes I wear are called a ‘shirt’ and ‘pants.’ It’s nothing strange. I can answer your questions as much as I can, until you choose your way to the future. Do you understand?”
In the face of this series of narratives, the person who had just woken up shook his head. “I don’t understand.”
“What’s your name?” asked the man who called himself ‘The Landlord.’
“You Ji.” 1
“You Ji? Is that a man’s name? Good Mary Sue name…”
“Who is Mary Sue?” 2
The Landlord leaned against the door, and looked him up and down. “Where are you from?”
“From the capital…”
“No, no. I don’t know which one you’re talking about. I don’t know which country you’re even talking about.”
You Ji looked at him strangely. “Are you a foreigner?”
“Tell me quickly, what country and what city are you from?”
“I come from Huanyu City. When I was 15 years old, I was elected to the Imperial palace of Ruidi. Since then, I became a concubine and have lived in the harem for a long time.”
Hearing what he said, the Landlord slapped his fist and said, “Ah! Sure enough! This is not a place from ancient China. I didn’t think you’re from ancient China. I have met a person from that time and space before. She looked like you, but there are subtle differences in temperament. She threw herself into the river with a box of jewelry…Forget it, it doesn’t matter. I’ll talk about it later. Now, continue to answer my question…”
You Ji was waiting.
“Your country, no, that time and space, that world… How many genders do you have? Do you understand gender? How many do you have? Are there men and women?”
For You Ji, this question was almost crazy, but he still seriously replied, “Of course, it’s either male or female.”
“Really? Not six? Alpha, omega, beta or ger or something…”
“What are these six? I’ve never heard of… “
“Well, are you a man or a woman?” he asked, as he looked at his waist length hair, long silk shirt, and pale, slender wrists and ankles.
“Man of course.” In fact, You Ji’s clothes were very thin. He had no feminine characteristics.
“That is to say, in your world, men can enter the Imperial Palace and become concubines?”
“Not only the Imperial Palace, but also ordinary people.”
“Is your emperor a man or a woman?”
“There were men and there were women. Now, His Majesty Reid, is a man.” When he mentioned that person, You Ji couldn’t help but feel pain. That was the person he had respected and even loved, but in the end, Reid believed in a treacherous person’s false accusation and gave him a cup of poisonous wine.
“What about ordinary people?” he asked. “Do ordinary men marry many men?”
“What’s so strange about that? As long as they are the owners of the house, men or women can marry at will. My father was married to my mother, and there were two older sisters above me, but they did not become the head of the family. Instead, they married into other families. One married an ordinary man in business, and the other went to the princess’s house as a concubine.”
“This time and space is really interesting,” he said as he turned away from the room.
You Ji also wanted to go out, but felt some fear.
“Won’t you come out? That room is just a ‘connecting station.’ There’s nothing in it. It’s boring. Come on, I’ll tell you about this place.”
You Ji walked out the door carefully. After he left, the wall behind him completely closed again.
They were standing in a long corridor, which was too long to see the end. On both sides, there were single panel mahogany doors, which were thick and immaculate. There were at least a hundred rooms.
With a few waves of his hand in the air, a staircase descended from the ceiling of the corridor.
You Ji, with a silk gown in his hand, followed the Landlord up. It turned out that there was a very spacious and bright room above. The layout of the room was very strange. It was different from the country where You Ji was from, and had the style of foreigners in his impression.
Although he’d seen all kinds of carved furniture along the wall, it was not very nice to see the light colored furniture. There were three sets in the room. Several of the walls were made up of bookshelves. The books on the bookshelves were strange in shape, but he could read most of the words on the spine of the books.
“Come on, sit down.” The Landlord motioned for the melancholy man to sit on a set of soft furniture that looked like a settee. Of course, only later did You Ji know that it was called a sofa.
“I’ll tell you what’s going on with you,” he said, as he sat across from him. “I’ll open up to you all the books and all the knowledge here, and if you need answers, I’ll tell you everything. But I have to make it clear in advance that I can’t explain to you what this place is because I don’t know myself.”
You Ji began to understand.
“It’s no wonder you feel at a loss when I say that all of a sudden. Then let’s take our time and solve the problem bit by bit. “
From dialogue and mutual questioning, You Ji gradually understood what happened.
Before he woke up, he was dead. He died in the country and the world where he had lived. Then he woke up here – a place with no name, no definition, no source. It could be roughly called a ‘space-time gap’ but he said the name was not accurate.
You Ji was not the first to arrive there. Before him, the Landlord had received countless random people after death. They had died, and would never return to their former relatives and friends, but they would wake up in the white dome room and meet him.
Now, just like talking about the people in their own world, they would make a decision to study here.
Yes, they had a next world.
In the endless corridor, behind each door was a different time and space.
According to the Landlord’s conjectures, these people must have died in their original time and space, but their lives should not have been cut off. Therefore, there was an invisible force that drew them to take their unburned life energy to a new space. They often stayed in the private room of the Landlord for a period of time, talked about their pain, looked for some books from the bookshelf, expanded their horizons, calmed their hearts and understood the once unimaginable universe.
After that, they made a choice.
In their hearts, their ideal life would gradually emerge, not a life dominated by others.
After they had made a choice, the Landlord would take them back to the endless corridor, and they would find the door they should open, walk in and say goodbye to him.
After that, the Landlord didn’t know. He could only send the people off.
“I can’t get out of this place,” explained the Landlord. “I don’t remember when I got here. I’ve been here since I can remember. I can find all the knowledge and entertainment I need, but I can’t leave. However, I’m not lonely at all. I always get to receive people like you. It’s very interesting to talk to everyone. I like to hear stories from different times and spaces.”
He had met people with various physical features. According to the laws, these people speak different languages, but what was amazing was that as long as they were in the crevice world, they could communicate with him and understand the words in the room.
The conversation between You Ji and the Landlord lasted for a long time. At first, You Ji couldn’t understand many words and sentences. When combined, he couldn’t understand. The Landlord patiently explained them to him, and gradually, their conversation became more and more smooth.
It had been a long time since You Ji talked to people, and was so relaxed. Now, he could ask what he wanted to ask and express what he wanted. He didn’t have to kneel on the ground to pray for mercy, and he didn’t have to be careful of every word. He was no longer afraid to tell his true feelings.
After a general understanding of what the Landlord said, You Ji also began to briefly describe his life. As he said, in his world, men could marry men and women could marry women. Of course, the marriage between men and women was the majority. He had a beautiful face since childhood, but unfortunately he was cowardly and physically weak. His father said that men like him usually married others, so he had always been trained in that way.
When he was a teenager, he was elected to the Imperial Palace. He thought he could shine for his family, but it was the beginning of a nightmare
When You Ji got to this point, the Landlord couldn’t help but cut in and say, “I can make up all the following things for you, intriguing and so on. I have received the victims of this before, such as the maids who get dragged out and killed. So I know a little about these things. However, it is the first time for me to see a male concubine forced to die.”
You Ji’s life was exactly what the Landlord imagined. Just add a moody emperor.
During the conversation, several times, the Landlord wanted to ask, Didn’t you want to resist? You’re a man. No, let’s not talk about gender. At least, you are human. However, he did not ask. He knew that his values came from another time and space, and did not apply to You Ji’s world.
You Ji suffered from all kinds of bullying and humiliation. Due to his gentle personality, he was at the mercy of others. This was the only way he could be. This was the way of life he got used to when he was young.
Finally, they talked about ‘your next world.’
You Ji was still alive, and there was the possibility of choosing a new life.
But You Ji was very worried. He asked, “Even if I walk into a certain door, I would not be a brave man or woman. A useless person like me can only please others, and then degenerate into an abandoned chess piece. Besides, nothing will be achieved. “
“Don’t rush to choose,” said the Landlord. “You can live a little longer, and get used to all kinds of knowledge, which -” he waved at the bookshelf. “is common knowledge in all universes, not just in one or two societies. You can also watch movies and listen to music here, and I will teach you.”
Although he didn’t quite understand what a ‘movie’ was, You Ji still nodded.
In order to change, he hoped to take steps, even if it was only a small step.