Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
The Lynn family’s hearts were also hit with a shocking wave. This was their home. Why did five people suddenly appear? Did they enter the wrong house? Duan FeiZhou, who saw the Lynn family and Lord Perlilla, just wanted to hit a wall at this moment.
Why! It’s just that! Everyone was here! How can he explain?
“You people…Why are you in my house?” Mr. Lynn asked cautiously, as if the question would violate some kind of taboo.
“Well, it’s a long story.” Duan FeiZhou’s brain began to throb. “Listen, Mr. Lynn, it’s very complicated. If you can, I hope you can keep our secret. We’re being hunted. We had no choice but to seek refuge in your home.”
“I know you’re being hunted. The police just came.” Mr. Lynn had a complicated expression. He believed that this young man would never commit a crime, so if he was being hunted, it must be because of some kind of misunderstanding, “But…How did the five of you get into my house? Did you come in through the roof?”
Duan FeiZhou squeezed out a smile, and shrugged noncommittally.
The question on Duan FeiZhou’s mind now wasn’t how to explain to the Lynn family the situation at hand. If he had to, he could have told them everything about the occult practitioners, except first, he didn’t have time, and second, the Lynn family didn’t need to know such things. They were just ordinary people, so why shake their world view?
A “we came in through the roof” explanation was enough. If Mr. Lynn had the desire to know, it wasn’t too late to tell him. However, Duan FeiZhou believed that Mr. Lynn wouldn’t ask more questions. That explanation was enough for the lawyer.
It was not because Mr. Lynn was naive and easy to fool. On the contrary, it was because he was too smart. He knew what to pursue, and what not to. He sensed danger, and that he shouldn’t get involved in the matter. The less he knew, the safer he was.
Joseph Chester didn’t consider this man a friend, but gave him his will to execute simply because of Mr. Lynn’s loyalty and honesty. Mr. Lynn nodded thoughtfully. “Rooftop, was it? It seems the door to our rooftop will need to be closed tightly from now on.”
Louisa looked at her father in surprise. Their rooftop door had always been locked tightly! What was her father talking about? Those five people had obviously gotten in by other means, so why didn’t her father ask for clarification?
Well, if her father was so easily persuaded, then just let her break the pot of sand and ask the questions! Just as she was about to speak, Mr. Lynn interrupted her, “Louisa, why don’t you go study? You’ve missed too much homework because you were sick, and you can’t catch up!”
Louisa wanted to protest, to shake her father’s shoulder to make him wake up, but Mr. Lynn just gave her a serious look that she had never seen before. She couldn’t say anything else.
“How long will you be hiding here?” Mr. Lynn tilted his head, and asked Duan FeiZhou.
“We’ll leave right away.”
“I’m afraid those policemen have left someone outside to watch.” Mrs. Lynn lifted a corner of the curtain and peeked out.
Of course we can’t just waltz out of here, Duan FeiZhou thought. But it’s easier with the dollhouse. He said, “We have a way.”
To avoid the committee’s eyes and ears, all they had to do was return to the Trading House, then ask either the Lynn family or Lord Perlilla to deliver the dollhouse to the Dodo Restaurant. His eyes fell on the large gift box Lord Perlilla had brought. It was just the right size to fit a dollhouse. It was a godsend.
“My Lord, let me borrow your gift box.” Duan FeiZhou said.
Although Lord Perlilla didn’t know why he needed the gift box, he handed it over to him with a crying expression. There was no other way. The other party was his benefactor, and if the benefactor wanted a small box, how could he not give it to him? Besides, if he refused, Miss Lynn would definitely think he was stingy! He must show his high-minded side in front of Miss Lynn!
Duan FeiZhou opened the box, and frowned at the broken pieces of porcelain inside. He said, “I didn’t break it.”
“I know.” Lord Perlilla’s face fell even further.
Duan FeiZhou poured out all the broken porcelain pieces and said to His Lordship, “I need your help with something. I’ll be putting a dollhouse in this box later, and need to ask you to deliver it to the Dodo Restaurant at 49 Frances Square – the restaurant downstairs from my house.”
“That’s it?” Lord Perlilla asked. He thought it was some big job!
“Please make sure you behave naturally.” Duan FeiZhou smiled weakly. “There may also be people watching around the restaurant.”
Louisa interjected, “Wait, the dollhouse you’re talking about, is it mine?”
“Yes, Miss. I’ll send you a better one later.”
Louisa, of course, didn’t want to give up the dollhouse. She was so old that she had stopped playing with such things, but…She just wondered why she had to send her dollhouse to the restaurant. It was just a toy, wasn’t it? What was so special about it?
The dollhouse was a birthday present from Joseph Chester that she got when she was a child. How old was she then? Five? Six? When she got the dollhouse, she couldn’t get enough of it. With that beautiful toy, she became a star among the children and everyone was envious of her. She remembered that Joseph Chester also sent the dollhouse to her house in a huge box. He had patted the girl’s head, and said with a smile, “Maybe one day, this dollhouse will save many lives.”
At the time she hadn’t understood what that meant. She thought he was saying that the dollhouse could hold many dolls. It was so big and luxurious, of course it could! However today, she vaguely and dimly realized that perhaps Joseph Chester’s words meant what they appeared to mean; that the dollhouse saved other people’s lives.
She didn’t know how a dollhouse was going to save someone’s life, but there were many unbelievable phenomena in the world. She’d had many bizarre dreams when she was being treated at the Beautiful Gaia Sanatorium; such as some people carrying her around, and then a vampire who came to suck her blood or something.
She also dreamed of a glorious man, whose light was like the sun at midnight, so that she could not look straight at him. The man spoke through her body, as if another soul had entered her. Later she quietly asked other patients, and found that everyone had the same dream. It was incredible, wasn’t it?
Maybe the dollhouse was like those dreams. Too many mysterious and unexplainable things happened today. Louisa felt that if there was time, she must find Mr. Chester and get to the bottom of it. But not today, not now.
Mr. Chester seemed ready to do a major thing. He reminded Louisa of a soldier about to go to war.
“You can have it if you like,” she whispered. “I don’t play anymore anyway.”
“Thanks.” Duan FeiZhou smiled faintly at her.
He was glad the Lynn family didn’t grab him and ask questions, otherwise he would have been in a difficult position. Not bad for a friend chosen by Joseph Chester. He sent Lord Perlilla upstairs with the gift box. The lord looked like a child who had been robbed of his toy.
When he entered Miss Louisa’s room, Lord Perilla’s eyes fell out and it was as if he had “You rascals!” was written on his face.
“What are you thinking about?” Duan FeiZhou looked at him askance. “That dollhouse is an important occult object. We’ll hide there.”
Lord Perilla was even more shocked when the other four went into the dollhouse and disappeared. He lifted the roof of the dollhouse and looked inside, but no matter how he looked at it, it was an ordinary dollhouse. How in the world did four living people get in?
He suddenly thought that maybe this dollhouse was the same as the key to the Secret Trading House, which could transport people to another place. Those five people escaped to Lynn’s house through it. If he had inherited the occult philosophy book left by his father, he probably would have understood the principle of it. What a pity…
No, there was no pity. If he had also become an occult practitioner, he would probably be one of those being hunted now.
“Mr. Chester, no, Sir Leopold, what is the matter with you?” Lord Perlilla asked timidly. If his mother had heard him speak in such a tone, she would have reproached him again. “When we met the other day, you had just been knighted, and you were so happy. Now…”
“The Committee for the Advancement of Science,” Duan FeiZhou said succinctly. “They fired all the Nightmen and took over Scotland Yard. Now we are all a thorn in their side.”
“The Committee has that much power?” Lord Perlilla’s mouth hung open in disbelief.
“After all, their members are national dignitaries and political bigwigs.” Duan FeiZhou’s expression sank. “By the way, I remember you said last time that the Committee wanted to buy your family’s mines? You didn’t say yes, did you?”
“Of course I didn’t. My mother said she wouldn’t do business with Carter. So we contracted the mine to another company. The Royal Special Mining Company. They are in charge of mining.” Lord Perlilla glowed at the mention of the big deal. “To be honest, it’s actually a royal investor behind the scenes, which means it has Her Majesty’s backing! My mother agreed. It’s a lot better than selling the mine to the Committee, isn’t it?”
He looked at Duan FeiZhou beatifically, and waited for the latter to congratulate him. However, the latter’s expression became more and more gloomy.
“Carter has convinced Her Majesty to support his plan. I’m afraid that the Royal Special Mining Company is only nominally a royal property, and the real controller is still the Committee for Scientific Progress.”
Lord Perlilla’s smile froze. “But…How does this…”
“Have you signed the contract? Is there any wiggle room?”
“It’s all been signed.” Lord Perilla panicked. “Don’t scare me. Is it true that Carter’s gang is behind that company? But how is Her Majesty being led astray by them?”
“Obviously because the Committee’s ambitions are also in Her Majesty’s favor, so they’ve pulled the Queen into the same camp.” Duan FeiZhou patted him on the shoulder and uttered the famous line of a former British Prime Minister, “There are no permanent enemies in the world, nor permanent friends, only permanent interests.” 1
Lord Perlilla helped bring the dollhouse in a gift box to the Dodo, then scurried to leave, as if he was afraid of being involved in some unsavory case. Those who remained at the restaurant were Evangeline, Yeats and Mr. R. The three of them were shocked to see a group of people come out of the dollhouse.
Yeats circled around the dollhouse. “I can’t believe the trading house has an entrance here. This was set up to avoid the destruction of the spell runes, right?”
“Yes, and there are other purposes for this entrance and exit.” Duan FeiZhou explained, “First, we can enter the trading house through the phalanx rune at any place, and then leave through the dollhouse. Second, wherever the dollhouse is, we will appear there. Using this feature, we can even move from one end of the earth to the other in an instant!”
“Incredible,” Yeats exclaimed.
Duan FeiZhou himself was both surprised and terrified. What a terrible place Joseph Chester had created!
Mr. N had prepared a room, medicine and food for Z. After being tortured in the dungeon for so many days, he desperately needed to recuperate. Duan FeiZhou entered the Trading House and saw Z was still sitting against the wall. He lifted his head, somewhat listlessly, “Finally remembered me?”
Duan FeiZhou couldn’t help but smile. “Aren’t you safe here?”
Z grunted, turned his face away and didn’t speak.
Duan FeiZhou half-knelt down beside him, and wrapped his remaining arm around his neck.
“What are you doing?” Z was surprised.
“Carrying you out.” Duan FeiZhou glanced at his empty pant leg. “It’s okay. It’s not like people are going to laugh at you.”
Z deliberately maintained an indifferent expression, but his eyes betrayed him. With that stoic and twisted look, Duan FeiZhou couldn’t help but think of the past him that Z remembered.
“Don’t.” Z braced himself. “Give me a cane. I can walk by myself.”
“You don’t trust me that much?”
“It’s not that I don’t trust you, I just…” Z bit his lip and stopped talking. His pride was so strong that he didn’t allow others to pity him, but now he had to rely on others and bow down to them. This was more painful to him than the physical injury.
The Z that Duan FeiZhou remembered had always been so strong, like a machine cast in steel. Unaware of pain, never tired, always running with unparalleled precision. Now Z was so weak, he was like a broken and shattered sword.
Duan FeiZhou couldn’t help but lean forward and kiss the corner of Z’s lips. Z’s eyes widened in surprise, but he didn’t refuse.
“I told you no one would laugh at you,” he said. “Unless you want to feel sorry for yourself.”
Z deliberately avoided his gaze.
Duan FeiZhou sighed. “Well, if you won’t let me hug you, then I’ll have to…”
He took out the brass spoon that Mr. N gave him from his belt and pointed it at Z. Z’s body floated up.
“Put me down!” Z yelled.
Duan FeiZhou didn’t pay any attention to him. Who told him to save face? He deserved it.
“Don’t move. The balance of the human body is very difficult to maintain. I may accidentally let you fly into the sky,” Duan FeiZhou half-truthfully warned. He pointed at Z with the spoon and then left the Trading House with a floating white-haired Nightman.
The dollhouse was placed in the kitchen. There weren’t many customers in the restaurant anyway, so the kitchen wasn’t used much. The crowd was just gathering to talk about the details of the heist. Yeats was taking an unparalleled interest in Miss Acheson’s Gatling typewriter and asked Miss Acheson to transform it into a machine gun and back again; back and forth. Wonderfully, Miss Acheson was still enjoying herself.
“Amazing, isn’t it?” Xenophon said proudly. “This is the work of my mentor, Mr. Thales, who made it with alchemy, especially for Acheson…”
His voice got stuck in his throat. He saw his Boss Z float out of the dollhouse…That was right. Floating.
Everyone stopped talking at the same time. The kitchen was so quiet that even a pin drop could be heard. Z’s expression looked like he wanted to snap the necks of everyone there, or flee the planet on the spot.
“Xenophon!” he ordered. “Get me down!”
Xenophon didn’t move. Not only him, but all the occult practitioners present clearly had the ability to land him, but none of them did.
“Did you see that?” When the floating Z had left the kitchen and drifted up the stairs, Xenophon asked the people beside him in a secretive tone, “The boss was flying in the sky!”
The others nodded, indicating that they too had witnessed the same spectacle.
“Xenophon. I think,” Miss Acheson’s eyes glazed over. “If you want to live in the future, then you better not mention this in front of the boss.”
“…So it’s okay to bring it up in front of others?” Xenophon froze.
Miss Acheson “…”
Duan FeiZhou directed Z to float into the bedroom on the second floor, and carefully landed him on the bed. There was hot water and towels on the bedside table, and a medical kit tucked under the bed. When he walked over to pull out the medical kit, Z suddenly grabbed his wrist. “Did you just have to make a fool of me in front of everyone?”
His look of exasperation made Duan FeiZhou smile.
“You’re the one who didn’t let me hold you,” Duan FeiZhou said in a condemning tone.
Z shook off his hand, and planted himself back on the bed. He twisted his head and refused to face him. He heard Z mutter something in a low voice, not quite audible, but he was definitely scolding him anyway. He undid Z’s shirt, wrung out a towel, and gently wiped the other man’s bruised skin. Z pushed him away again, and whispered, “I’ll do it myself.”
“If I was hurt, you’d do the same for me, right?” Duan FeiZhou asked.
“Then don’t move.” Duan FeiZhou was quite good at taking care of patients, and although he hadn’t done it for quite a while, his skills weren’t rusty. As he cleaned Z’s body, he searched for wounds on Z’s body, then gently pressed on each one and injected healing energy. Fortunately, most of the injuries on Z’s body could be cured with healing techniques.
Every time he healed a spot, he enjoyed the opportunity of stealing a kiss there, and every time his lips touched it, Z’s body would tremble slightly.
When he kissed Z’s thigh, Z froze. His whole body was stiff. “I don’t need it.”
“Really don’t want it?” Duan FeiZhou straightened up, and smiled treacherously.
“You…like to take advantage of people that much?”
To say he was taking advantage was a very different understanding of words. Duan FeiZhou just wanted to take the opportunity to see more of Z’s reluctant, squirming, and stoic expression. When Z recovered, he would never see it again.
Z was now so weak, and doing that with him would be like killing him. Besides, other people were still downstairs. If they heard, how bad would the impact be? When the time came, Duan FeiZhou would have to pack up and leave together with Z as they eloped.
He bandaged Z’s wounds that couldn’t be healed with occult arts, and helped him change into clean clothes. Duan FeiZhou then took the opportunity to kiss Z a few more times, as if to make up for all the kisses he missed those days.
After he did that, he left the bedroom with the water basin. He was surprised to find Mr. N was sitting on the stairs. The stairs were just a few steps away from the bedroom, and while he was sitting there he could hear all the movements in the bedroom. How long had he been sitting there? Did he hear what Duan FeiZhou and Z said just now?
Mr. N tilted his head and looked at the young man with an uncomfortable face. He spoke slowly, “Boss Z is very weak now. You…don’t indulge too much.”
Duan FeiZhou blushed as if a steam engine was roaring inside his head. “We…That…No…”
Mr. N waved his hand. “I know about your relationship. Who am I to say that I have never seen any big scene?”
Duan FeiZhou was surprised, “Did Z tell you that?”
“Uh…” Mr. N’s eyes drifted a bit. “Actually, I live right below you. Every time you do something upstairs, the noise is always quite loud…”
Duan FeiZhou wanted to drop the water basin on the spot, and dig a hole in the ground.
“I know I shouldn’t be telling people what to do with their personal lives, but,” Mr. N paused and scratched his head. “Your uncle and I knew each other for a while. I know you are the last of the Chester family. If you get together with Z, then your family line will be cut off. Have you thought it over?”
“Our family doesn’t have a throne to inherit does it? So it doesn’t matter, right?” Duan FeiZhou said.
Mr. N. laughed, “That’s true.”
“Besides, the only thing I can pass on to the next generation is my psychic abilities. But that doesn’t have to be passed down through blood. Just eat my flesh and blood to inherit my abilities. I can find myself an apprentice, and when I die, let him eat my ashes with rice.”
“Do the ashes taste good?”
Duan FeiZhou recalled the day he ate Joseph Chester’s ashes. “Not very good. It was dry.”
N lost his straight face, and laughed again. At that moment, there was a sharp thumping of feet on the stairs. Xenophon came running up, as he waved a newspaper. He said seriously, “Something’s happened.”
If it could make Xenophon so serious, it had to be a big event.
- “We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow.” Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston, (20 October 1784 – 18 October 1865) was a British statesman who was twice Prime Minister of Britain. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_John_Temple,_3rd_Viscount_Palmerston
They can no longer hide their relationship, so cool they are back together! Thanks for the chapter!
The likes of Mr Lynn are rare.
Ha, ha, ha; “Every time you do something upstairs the noise is quite loud”. Hilarious.
Will Z ever get over DFZ’s ‘liberties’ 😏
Thanks for translating and editing; loving his adventure.
Such a touching scene of DFZ taking care of Z.
Poor Mr. N….🤣
DFZ and Z are so sweet but his conversation with Mr. N is *SO* embarrassing!!!
Xenophon will probably talk about floating Z with others in the future. 😄
And man, that Mr. Lynn is sharp!
Thank you for the chapter!