"You guys forgot to erase this memory of mine…"
Translator(s): Elestrea, miri, Joyce, keishi, Zryuu
TLC(s): Elestrea, moon
Editor(s): juurensha, jelly, cytaoplasm, opal
Set in the post-canon of everything. Contains a slight spoiler for Joyful Reunion's ending and implied spoiler for many things, but they're all subtle so if you haven't read it, most likely it's gonna be okay. As always, knowledge of all of the novels is not required, though it does enhance the experience. Click here for part 1 and part 2 (because they're too long...... cannot fit......) of the character list grouped by novels.
One day in the afternoon of the eighth month of the lunar calendar.
Outside the Dingkang Palace, a gust of wind blew, swirling red leaves into the sky as a layer of fallen leaves covered the surface of the Taiye Pond. Duan Ling took off his crown prince headpiece and changed into regular clothes, the cord fluttering behind him, as he walked along the path outside the imperial study.
"Your Highness!! Not good la——"
"There's an assassin!!"
"Protect His Highness the Crown Prince!"
"The Grand Commander and the assassin are fighting——"
"Your Highness the Crown Prince, please escape! Quickly get away!"
Duan Ling was taken by surprise by the sudden appearance of this assassin. He had agreed to leave the imperial palace for a stroll in the afternoon with Wu Du and hadn't expected that there would be an assassin during the grand festivities.
"Where's the Grand Commander?" At once, Duan Ling shouted to the chamberlains. "Don't panic!"
Nowadays, the land under heaven pursued the policy of a two-capital system. Li Yanqiu guarded the Jiang Province, while Duan Ling used his crown prince honorific to watch over the Western Plains. At this moment, all of the imperial guards in the Western Plains' royal palace were rushing into the Taihe Hall. If the emperor were there, Duan Ling would naturally have to be by his uncle's side in order to guard him. As long as Li Yanqiu wasn't there, there was nothing to be afraid of.
Duan Ling took a crossbow from an imperial guard and moved faster than anyone else as he rushed all the way to the Taihe Hall while asking, "How many assassins?"
"Two... two people," A chamberlain, in reckless haste, followed behind Duan Ling and reported. "General Zheng and the Grand Commander are already stopping them inside the hall! You must not... Wait up! Your Highness!"
"Don't fight! Listen to me! Wait ah——!"
From inside the Taihe Hall, a young man's shout came through. Duan Ling frowned when he saw that both on the roof of the palace and in all directions, warriors and defenders were packed like sardines. "There are only two people, you're exaggerating it too much ba!"
"To be exact, there's only one person," Wu Du's voice traveled from inside the hall. "Your Highness, don't come in!"
Duan Ling kicked the door open and instantly froze.
In front of the dragon chair in the Taihe Hall, Wu Du and Zheng Yan were jointly working together against the assassin intensely. Having an unwelcoming look across his face, that assassin, who was in his 20s, held a broadsword in his hand; he was actually fighting on equal ground against the country's two strongest warriors. And it was obvious that he still had something up his sleeve, which seemingly meant that he still had extra power.
Wu Du shouted, "Zheng Yan!"
Zheng Yan immediately understood and retreated, stepping back until he was by Duan Ling's side. Wu Du was wielding the Country Guardian Sword, while that assassin had a similar kind of broadsword in his grip. Their swords crossed with a "clang!" —— the echo going so far as to cause a sharp pain in Duan Ling's eardrums.
Wu Du was currently wearing a bathrobe without a single thread beneath it. He had planned to leave the palace with Duan Ling earlier, but he had rushed over right after receiving the alert signal. While holding a broadsword to fight the assassin, he still had some apprehensions in his heart regarding his clothes and didn't wish to make any large movements. That assassin, however, fought impatiently with a calm and collected expression. Yet again, another voice shouted in anger, "Hands down!
"Stop fighting! Stop fighting ah! Hear me out! We're not here to assassinate people!"
Duan Ling caught a glimpse of a young man protected behind the assassin's body. The young man shouted, "Even if you send 50,000 more people to come over, you still are no match for Xiang Shu! Stop calling over more people la! It's so very crowded here! And swords don't have eyes!"
Duan Ling: "......"
Wu Du: "......"
The clothing Wu Du wore today was unsuitable for combat, leaving him at a disadvantage against the assassin. He had been angry from the start, and hearing what the young man had said was just like adding fuel to fire, which made him explode. "You've gone too far!"
"Listen to me!" Duan Ling immediately said. "Everyone, lower your arms. Grand Commander, withdraw! Three, two, one!"
"Put your sword down!" The young man also shouted right away. "Xiang Shu!"
When they were ordered to stop, both sides subconsciously listened and actually pulled back at the same time, each taking a step back. Immediately afterward, the uniform sound of bolts being placed on the crossbows' foregrips and triggers getting unlocked echoed throughout the hall.
Wu Du originally had no desire to stop the fight, but once he heard Duan Ling's shout, he conscientiously listened to him. He only wanted to lift his sword and fight once again, but he had put it away; he was in a very difficult position. Steaming with anger, he retreated to Duan Ling's side.
"Your bathrobes... pu-put them on properly," the young man said. "If you fight more, your clothes will all fall off."
It was only then that Duan Ling noticed that this assassin called "Xiang Shu" was also only wearing a bathrobe that showed his fair and beautiful chest. He had been fighting until his shoulder and back were half-open, and his stature actually wasn't inferior in any way compared to Wu Du's. Once both of them were reminded, they leaned sideways and fixed their belts.
Duan Ling frowned. "Who exactly are you both?"
"I......" Chen Xing was questioned and frustratedly answered, "What is this place? And who are you people?"
"Who are you?" Duan Ling asked.
"Who are you?" Chen Xing threw the question back at him.
The two of them stared at one another. Chen Xing then said, "We were catching a thief when we were suddenly teleported to this place. We asked for directions, but this... this great general with long legs got into a fight with my family's Protector..."
Wu Du: "………………"
Duan Ling held his forehead with one hand and didn't know whether to laugh or cry. " Do you know what this place is? You came to the palace to catch a thief?!"
Xiang Shu had also returned his sword to his back. He stretched his index and middle fingers then curled them in a provocative gesture toward Wu Du, his meaning clear: "If you still want to fight, then bring it on!"
"Stop provoking them la!" Chen Xing was depressed. "Hurry up and catch the thief so we can return home and celebrate the festival."
Duan Ling: "You two come down first and explain things clearly to me. Wu Du? Don't move your hand."
Duan Ling pulled Wu Du's hand; Wu Du couldn't care less and returned the sword to his back. He pulled Duan Ling's hand and half-dragged him toward himself, protecting him behind his body. Obviously, he was still wary of these two uninvited guests.
"The thing is," Zheng Yan said, "just now, I was in the Taihe Hall, watching people putting up festival lanterns, when suddenly, as if flowers were raining down from all over the sky, there was a 'peng!' sound that was followed by these two assassins dropping down from the plaque with characters 'for a marvelous sight of rivers and mountains'......"
The thing was, Chen Xing and Xiang Shu came here in order to catch a thief that had stolen a "very important thing." Due to an unexpected turn of events, they ended up coming here...
"Generally speaking, it's just a piece of paper," Chen Xing explained to Duan Ling as he went outside. "You can think of it as a piece of paper, and it's been stolen. You may not believe what I am going to say, but this item was appointed to me by the heavenly celestial lord, and I must find that piece of paper at all cost. We followed the thief ne, and arrived in your world...... You can imagine it like 'three realms and six paths' or the concept of 'three thousand wide worlds,' and where you all live is merely one of those three thousand spaces..."
Duan Ling looked at Chen Xing in a daze. Chen Xing scratched his head and was a little bit distressed. "We also live in one of these places as well. Do I sound like a liar? You don't believe me, do you?"
"No," Duan Ling suddenly said. "I believe you, I believe you. I believe that this world has gods as well as celestial lords."
Xiang Shu halted his steps. Chen Xing, Duan Ling, Wu Du, and Xiang Shu —— these four people stood outside on the square of the Taihe Hall.
Remembering Celestial Lord Baihu and the various stars of heaven, Duan Ling then asked, "So the thief you want to catch has escaped to our place here?"
"Err," Chen Xing said, "we're still not sure yet." Saying so, he gave a meaningful glance at Xiang Shu. Xiang Shu proceeded to untie a tiny waist purse from the side of his bathrobe and took out a piece of talisman paper.
All along, Wu Du had kept his eyes on Xiang Shu and saw that on his back, he was carrying a huge golden sword; although it didn't look as heavy as the Country Guardian Sword, there was no way it could be called light. Just now, his power alone had easily been able to handle both him and Zheng Yan, and there was no way those common soldiers filling the hall would even enter his eyes. From the start of the fight until they had finished, his complexion was the same as ever, his breath was still steady as per usual, and it was safe to assume that that indeed hadn't been his full strength.
Xiang Shu raised his head and released the talisman; it immediately furled into a butterfly that fluttered in the air and flapped its wings under the clear sky, flying away.
"The trace of spiritual qi has indeed left this place," Chen Xing spoke.
Xiang Shu, whose side profile looked handsome under the radiance of the afternoon sun, was taciturn and silent.
"Lend us a horse," Chen Xing said. "We have to catch up to it without delay."
Duan Ling: "Together ba? There's still something I'd like to consult about."
The situation was like this. Six hours ago, Jin'ao Island:
"Oh no!" Xiao Ji yelled, "I'm doomed?! What do I do?"
"You haven't been back for even a day," Shuzhi said gloomily, "and you've already lost the Founder's Blueprint of Civilization. Dad is definitely going to beat you to death."
Xiao Ji: "How was I supposed to know that that was the Blueprint of Civilization! Didn't Haoran-shishu use it to wrap mooncakes just now? I thought it was just an ordinary piece of paper this whole time. Also, the moment I unfurled it, the wind blew it away and a black shadow immediately stole it!"
Accompanied by his older sister under the cassia tree, Xiao Ji wanted to cry but was so distressed that he couldn't even shed a tear. Lü Zhongming sauntered over lazily and asked, "What's wrong? Who are you two planning to mess with now?"
"Nothing," Xiao Ji immediately said, "We're extremely normal."
Shuzhi also said helpfully, "Nothing."
"Little children sneaking about, up to no good without a doubt." Lü Zhongming scrutinized his youngest brother suspiciously.
"You are the one who is a child," Xiao Ji retorted resentfully.
Sometimes, Zhongming and Jichen's relationship seriously gave Qilin a headache. Before Jichen was born, Lü Zhongming had doted and fawned over that egg so much, hugging it every day to help incubate it. But after Jichen was born, Lü Zhongming's first words were, "Oh my god! Why does didi look so ugly? He looks like a dog!"
"When you hatched, you were also this ugly!" Lü Bu was displeased and gave Zhongming a scolding, which led to Zhongming developing a bit of trauma in his heart.
Nevertheless, after a few years, Xiao Ji grew up to be a very cute child. He got along very well with his older brother and sister and was normally quite polite. However, over time, when he was around 7 or 8 years old, he started to like playing mischievous pranks on his older brother and so, the two brothers would often fight. When Xiao Ji's rebellious phase approached, he even ran away from home in a moment of anger. Zhongming feared he would be blamed again and usually didn't dare to provoke him. Tongtian-jiaozhu suggested it would get better once Xiao Ji had grown up a bit more. After all, Zhongming had also been very rebellious at that age.
And so, Lü Zhongming led Shuzhi away, leaving Xiao Ji by himself to despair in his turbulent emotions amongst the cassia trees. Before leaving, Shuzhi gave her little brother a meaningful look that said "you better fix this quickly, otherwise there's going to be trouble again."
Xiao Ji thought about it over and over again. He wanted to go search for it himself, but he was also scared of being trapped again. He'd get yelled at if he didn't make it back in time for dinner. The last time he ran out, he was trapped there for 3 years, and that was already enough to make a person despair. But what's even worse, being outside for 3 years was only equivalent to 3 days on Jin'ao Island. The only person who had worried was his old man, and upon returning, everyone else would just greet him with, "Oh? You came back la?"
That wouldn't do, this time he definitely couldn't personally go out. Xiao Ji pondered for a long time and remembered a certain... friend from the mortal plane. However, relying on him alone might not be enough to retrieve the Blueprint of Civilization. He would need to find him a couple of helpers too.
At the base of Mt. Zhong:
Wu Du instructed someone to bring out Wanlibenxiao, then flipped onto the horse with Duan Ling so that the two of them sitting together astride it. He then ordered someone to bring Chen Xing and Xiang Shu out a horse that was gifted by Batu Khan. Xiang Shu mounted the horse with Chen Xing in his embrace. The four then set out, chasing after the folded butterfly talisman.
"Where are we going?" Chen Xing asked Duan Ling.
Duan Ling said, "Mt. Zhong, we were just about to head up the mountain to soak in the hot springs."
Chen Xing laughed. "What a coincidence, we were also in the middle of bathing, about to..."
"Ahem!" Xiang Shu interrupted Chen Xing.
Chen Xing noticed that Wu Du was also a good-looking man. Seeing him hugging Duan Ling, Chen Xing had a good idea of the situation and earnestly said, "This is my family's Protector. He doesn't like to speak, but he's not a mute."
Duan Ling laughed. "Our family's laoye normally doesn't speak much either."
"He just doesn't like talking to people other than you," Wu Du stated indifferently.
"That's right," Xiang Shu coldly said at last.
Duan Ling was overjoyed at that moment. Wu Du asked, "Who did you learn your martial arts from?"
"Self-taught." Xiang Shu then said, "When there is time, Guwang will use one hand and let you swap pointers with me again?"
Duan Ling: "………………………………"
"Not many people can trade thirty blows with Guwang." Xiang Shu added.
Chen Xing said, "Stop talking, we've arrived... We have a few teammates who are also chasing the thief. The entire army has been mobilized... Wah! There's a hot spring?! Why don't we just do it here......"
Xiang Shu: "Doesn't matter to me, the person Iuppiter asked was you anyway."
The hot springs on Mt. Zhong were enshrouded in steam. After dismounting from their horse, Duan Ling gave a lazy stretch, while Wu Du instructed the imperial guards in charge of the hot springs to fetch some osmanthus wine, as they had originally agreed to moon gaze here. He then said to Xiang Shu, "Just speak up if you two need any help. You can join us after drinking some wine." After speaking, he didn't bother with any small talk, taking Duan Ling's hand and walking off to the side.
Duan Ling glanced back at Xiang Shu and Chen Xing, then said to Wu Du, "I thought you would get angry."
"Angry about what?" Wu Du took the offered bathrobe and helped Duan Ling change his clothes. He continued, "To be inferior in skills to that person, clearly I must continue to train with humility."
"Wow," Duan Ling teased, "haven't heard you say that phrase in a long time."
Wu Du reached into the bathrobe, stroking Duan Ling's body, and said, "My hands are a bit restless and want to fight... What? Groping this laoye's body again?"
Duan Ling: "You started touching first."
Wu Du gave a rare jest, "You first."
"It was you first!" Duan Ling said.
Ever since Wu Du returned to the Jiang Province, his martial skills had been unrivaled throughout the land. A worthy opponent was hard to come by, but in his heart, he firmly believed that there would always exist someone more talented than himself in this world. Now that he finally encountered an equal, it provoked his long slumbering competitive spirit —— indeed in this world, it was easy to search for a close confidant, yet difficult to find a worthy opponent. He quickly took Duan Ling's hand and returned to the edge of the hot spring.
Chen Xing was standing beside the water, casting a spell. A dim light emanated from the middle of the hot spring. Xiang Shu looked back at the two and said, "We're leaving, enjoy your festivities."
Chen Xing waved at Duan Ling. "May we meet again someday."
Xiang Shu said, "I've memorized the location. I will come exchange some pointers with you once we're done. I also have another Protector comrade, so let us all have a drink together."
Wu Du handed Xiang Shu a cup of osmanthus wine. Xiang Shu drank it and tossed the cup aside, then reached out to pull Chen Xing into his arms and took a long stride. Chen Xing yelled out, "AAAAH—— we're falling in again!"
With a hum, the two vanished in the middle of the hot spring.
Duan Ling stared in uncertainty for a while, then tugged Wu Du's hand to follow. Wu Du was about to sternly stop him, when unexpectedly, with a splash, they both fell into the hot spring while still wearing their bathrobes. Duan Ling was completely soaked after that jump and cut quite a sorry figure.
"Ahahahah——!" Wu Du suddenly burst out laughing loudly.
Nara. A "peng!" echoed, like flowers raining down from heaven.
"Xiaoduo, hold on tight!" Xiang Cheng shouted loudly, the two of them suddenly falling into a hot spring.
"AAAAAAAAH——" Tianhe yelled in a frenzy. "What the hell AAAAAAH!"
Guan Yue: "Tianhe! What happened! Who?!"
Xiang Cheng and Chi Xiaoduo fell into the hot spring with a splash. Guan Yue and Tianhe were lying on the poolside, taking in the natural scenery, and didn't notice how the two men behind them had appeared. Such a surprise wasn't small, so they immediately turned around at the same time, and Guan Yue shielded Tianhe behind him.
"Mr. Valpolicella?" Tianhe stared stupefied at them.
"Mr… Mr. Guan." Xiang Cheng, wearing a white shirt and black suit pants, was drenched. He climbed up from the pool and smoothed back his hair. Chi Xiaoduo sneezed as he also clambered ashore and spoke, "Ah… Where is this? Where are the... the pages? How did we end up catching a hot spring when trying to catch a thief? And even got soaked in the springs? Huh? Uncle Guan? Auntie Wen?"
Guan Yue: "......"
Tianhe: "Auntie, my ass! Chi Xiaoduo! Do I look older than you?"
Tianhe almost couldn't make head and tail of it, but on second thoughts, he said, "Did you two… teleport here? What kind of mind-boggling technology is this?!"
Chi Xiaoduo: "......"
Xiang Cheng: "......"
The two men were obviously racking their brains to figure out how to explain their emergence out of thin air, and a dead silence fell over the place.
"Do... do you guys want to put on your clothes first?" Chi Xiaoduo asked.
"It's you two who ran into other people's private hot springs," Pro said.
"Wow, Mr. Guan, you can ventriloquize?" Xiang Cheng looked around for the sound equipment.
"Make it clear to me!" Tianhe exclaimed. "Did you guys travel through space? Why here? This is Nara!"
Chi Xiaoduo: "We just so happened to be above this hot spring of yours. We were elated to see you two, hence I started counting from one to three, and then we jumped down together…"
"As if I believe your shit!" Guan Yue also couldn't stand it.
Pro: "That was a poorly done lie…"
Xiang Cheng: "Why does the ventriloquist keep asking and answering his own questions?"
Tianhe: "Pro, stop talking."
Xiang Cheng: "Forget it. Do you still have the Lihun Pollen?"
Chi Xiaoduo: "It's all wet! We're done for la!"
Guan Yue and Tianhe got up and put on their bathrobes and were about to question them in detail when Tong Kai's shout came through from the private pool in the next room.
"Who's there? Somebody ah! There are assassins!" Jiang Zijian shouted.
After another frenzied shout came the splashing sound of water. Someone had fallen into Jiang Zijian and Tong Kai's hot spring.
Guan Yue: "?????"
Tianhe looked incredulously at Chi Xiaoduo, who said, "Ah… Those are our… our colleagues."
"Is this cosplay?" Jiang Zijian remarked. "Who are you guys? Who am I? Where am I?!"
"Who's in the next room?" Xiang Cheng asked.
"Me!" Li Jinglong answered. "Where is this?"
Xiang Cheng: "Do you have any Lihun Pollen with you?"
Hongjun replied at once, "Yes, yes, yes!"
"Wishing you both a Happy Mid-Autumn Festival and good luck!" Chi Xiaoduo promptly said.
Then, he pulled Xiang Cheng and ran out without explaining at all. Guan Yue also pulled Tianhe and ran after them with their feet bare, exclaiming, "Where are you going? Explain everything clearly!"
Xiang Cheng said, "We're catching a thief! We won't be able to celebrate the festival otherwise…"
Xiang Cheng and Chi Xiaoduo rushed out of the room. On their way out, they met the thoroughly drenched Li Jinglong and Hongjun; both were dressed in Tang attires, which were wet and sticking to their bodies. The most deadly sight was that of Li Jinglong who was wearing light silk pants and a black robe, which had become nearly transparent due to the water.
Guan Yue thought, I lost…
Jiang Zijian thought, I lost…
Tong Kai thought, I lost…
Tianhe thought, Guan Yue actually lost…
"Where'd they go?" Xiang Cheng and Li Jinglong looked at one another blankly. Li Jinglong frowned as he said, "After chasing them up to here, we lost all signs of them."
Chi Xiaoduo said to Xiang Cheng, "What about the ancestors?"
Xiang Cheng, dumbfounded, said, "Don't talk nonsense. They are the ancestors!"
"Hold on, are you guys shooting a film?" Tong Kai said.
Jiang Zijian: "How did you get to our pool? Am I dreaming?"
This immediately reminded Hongjun. The four men saw Hongjun casually swinging his arm toward them while saying at the same time, "Forget everything!"
Guan Yue, Tianhe, Tong Kai, and Jiang Zijian sneezed all at once. "Aaa-choo!"
"Bye-bye——" said Chi Xiaoduo, "Love you all!"
Xiang Cheng blew a kiss toward Guan Yue and Tianhe, and said, "Thanks, Mr. Guan, for helping me pay for everything!"
"Love you all!" Hongjun followed suit and blew a kiss, and said, "We just met during the last year's dream, and you already forgot la?"
Li Jinglong also blew a kiss. Chi Xiaoduo then emitted a butterfly talisman and the four people chased after it and left.
Guan Yue: "???"
Pro: "You guys forgot to erase this memory of mine…"
As if flowers were raining down across the sky, a "peng!" resounded on an unknown battlefield.
"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA——" Chen Xing and Xiang Shu fell down with a loud scream.
"Where's this?" Xiang Shu said in disbelief. "How come there are drought fiends everywhere?"
Chen Xing shouted, "Look out!"
On this barren land, as far as the eyes could see, drought fiends occupied every space of the land, dragging their sluggish bodies as well as their rotting limbs. When they noticed there were living people, they went and crawled toward them.
The moment Chen Xing activated the Heart Lamp, the ground exploded, followed by the appearance of a ring of light that continued to expand. The dazzling Martial God's golden armor enveloped Xiang Shu's body; he turned into a flash of light that rushed forward and cleared out the surrounding area with a golden sword in his hand.
Chen Xing immediately ran to the high ground, looking for a mound. In all directions, besides wasteland upon more wasteland, in a distant place, there was a surging, thick smoke, as well as "bang bang bang" and "da da da" sounds, and also an explosion that shook heaven and earth.
"There's someone!" Chen Xing shouted. "Over there! Let's go and take a look!"
"Liu Yan, don't bump us into that mass of zombies!" Half of Meng Feng's body was out in the car roof, controlling a rapid-fire machine gun as he shot all around, shouting, "Has Jue Ming replied yet?!"
"No!" Liu Yan, driving the car, impatiently said. "No energy! The electric coils are useless! We can only rely on the collision energy!"
"How come there are zombies everywhere ah!" Meng Feng said. "Go, go! Drive back! You were running to that bunch of monsters!"
Liu Yan was driven mad. "I have absolutely no idea where in this place there are zombies and where there aren't! I don't have a GPS in this parallel world ah!"
Meng Feng: "Wah... wifey, come up and see this... That's not right, what is that? A Gundam?"
Dressed in war armor that glowed gold, with the bright light of the Heart Lamp trailing behind his path, Xiang Shu blasted off countless zombies along the road. Similar to how Moses parted the sea, he rushed out and cleared the way.
Liu Yan: "Meng Feng, have I been starving for too long that I'm starting to hallucinate?"
Meng Feng and Liu Yan stopped, their MCV parked on the cleared space. They saw Chen Xing ride on Xiang Shu's back as the Protector Martial God whirled around at a high speed and made circle after circle around their MCV. Wherever that white light went, the zombies collectively fell and ran away.
Liu Yan stabilized the chassis of the MCV before twisting the steering wheel to make the car body whirl around accordingly. Meng Feng shouted, "Stop turning it! Are you playing a merry-go-round?! I want to vomit!"
"Wow, they have gods in this world?" Meng Feng murmured. "Gods in ancient costumes? This is not some holographic display made by Jue Ming ba?!"
"Hey! Did you guys see anyone passing by here?" Chen Xing asked.
Xiang Shu finished off the zombies surrounding them. Meng Feng's scope slid down his nose, and he and Liu Yan stared dumbfoundedly at the two newcomers.
Xiang Shu lowered himself to the ground, and Chen Xing jumped down from his back. The four of them blankly stared at one another; Chen Xing frowned and repeated his question.
"Did we accidentally run into a movie set?" Meng Feng asked. "You're in bathrobes? Where's the Gundam armor?"
"N-no..." Liu Yan said. "Are you guys...... locals?"
"N-no..." Chen Xing replied. "Erm...... we just arrived here."
Xiang Shu said, "What's the situation here? Are they all drought fiends?"
Liu Yan said, "We just arrived too, not too sure what's going on......"
Chen Xing gestured his hands and said, "I mean in this world."
"We just arrived in this world too," Liu Yan said. "You both crossed over here?"
Liu Yan seemed to have accepted this sort of world-shattering phenomenon pretty quickly. Meng Feng, on the other hand, was still in a daze, and he took a while to return to his senses.
"Yes." Chen Xing felt that this person was pretty amazing; he only needed a brief moment and a few sentences to catch on.
The four of them were at their wits' end. Chen Xing looked around and doubtfully said, "Did you bump into Li Jinglong? Are you here to catch the thief too?"
"No." Liu Yan answered.
Meng Feng asked Liu Yan, "Who's this Li Jinglong now?"
Liu Yan: "How would I know?"
Meng Feng: "Aren't you two chatting as if you're very familiar with each other?"
Xiang Shu: "......"
Chen Xing: "Hold up, when did you two arrive? What are you doing here?"
Liu Yan said, "We...... arrived a month ago, trying to look for our captain who had crossed over and gone missing. We had four people when we arrived here in the beginning, but now two have gone missing too. We're looking for them."
"Oh......" came Chen Xing's reply, as if he wanted to say something.
Liu Yan: "You guys are here to catch a thief? Catch what thief?"
A shout came from afar. Zhang Min was carrying a sniper rifle on his shoulder, and he scurried towards them with Jue Ming in tow.
"Liu Yan!" Zhang Min said. "Hm? This is an ancient world?"
Liu Yan immediately cut off Zhang Min's question and asked Chen Xing, "Can we provide assistance to your problem?"
Chen Xing answered, "A pitch-black thing with a very big head, looks like a human."
"Ah," Jue Ming suddenly said, "a barbarian?"
Chen Xing said in confusion, "I don't know, I was given this description by someone else too. The thief took some fragments of pages, which are very important things that must be retrieved."
Zhang Min said, "We saw a silhouette like that just now, running in that direction."
Zhang Min pointed. Liu Yan took the initiative and offered, "Get in the car, I'll take you guys to look for it."
Chen Xing hurriedly thanked him, and said, "You mean this box covered with iron sheets, right?"
Xiang Shu: "......"
Liu Yan opened the car door and let the two of them climb in. Realizing that the car's interior was unexpectedly spacious, Chen Xing let out a breath and said, "We need to get this done before the sky turns dark, then we can go home and enjoy the festival."
"Enjoy what festival?" asked a puzzled Jue Ming.
"Mid-Autumn ah." Chen Xing said.
This one sentence snapped people out of their daze; the sky in this place was always a greyish color, and Liu Yan couldn't figure out what season it was anymore. However, with some careful calculations, based on the time that they had entered this world, now was about the time for the Mid-Autumn Festival.
Meng Feng said, "This Gundam-xiongdi, are you a......"
"I can talk," Xiang Shu said, "just don't want to talk."
Meng Feng continued, "Can you teach me how to transform?"
Xiang Shu: "It's an innate talent."
Liu Yan: "......"
Meng Feng: "Let me look at your talent tree, which skills have you chosen?"
Xiang Shu: "???"
"Don't mind him," Zhang Min laughed. "He likes to joke around. Eat lunch first ba."
"Whoa, what is this?" Chen Xing observed how Zhang Min prepared the food and was thoroughly shocked. Not long after, Zhang Min passed him a bowl and asked, "Try some?"
"It's very delicious!!" Chen Xing was really moved to tears and said, "What is this?! How can it taste so good!"
Jue Ming said, "It's stir-fried tomato and eggs."
Liu Yan: "......"
Meng Feng: "......"
Chen Xing: "Stir-fried tomato and egg? I know eggs, but what is a tomato? The taste is a bit sour, a bit fresh, so delicious! You try some, Xiang Shu?"
Xiang Shu: "........................"
Meng Feng asked, "Which period are you guys from? Who is the ruler?"
"Fu Jian ruled for a while," Xiang Shu said casually. Meng Feng waited for the four of them to set the table, ready to dig in. Chen Xing immediately picked up his bowl and joined the rest.
"That would be the Two Jins and Northern-Southern Dynasties," Liu Yan said. "Tomatoes hadn't been introduced yet."
"What are the Northern-Southern Dynasties?" Chen Xing continued to ask.
Meng Feng asked, "So the space-time setting is all messed up? Because we activated the device?"
Liu Yan shrugged and said, "Concerning the future, it's better to not ask too many questions."
Chen Xing nodded, his eyes turning to Xiang Shu; Xiang Shu also nodded his head. Being the first people to successfully change fate, naturally, they understood how fickle matters related to time and history could be.
America, the Metropolitan Museum of Art. A "peng!" sound was heard; in the dark, it was like flowers were raining down from the sky.
At 2 in the morning, chaos ensued inside the museum. Every single security alarm was blaring sirens.
"What is this place?" Hongjun asked amidst the darkness.
Li Jinglong raised the Acala's Sword of Wisdom; the blade emitted light, brightening up the exhibition hall.
"Painting from the Guangyuan Temple???" Hongjun said. He turned his head, looked at the other side, and asked confusedly, "Isn't this the Book of History in Dunhuang? How did it run over to this place?"
"This must be the future ba," Li Jinglong said. "We should still be in the Divine Land's Central Plains."
"Not necessarily," Chi Xiaoduo said. "This place is a museum ba, oh my god! It's the Met ah! Security guards are coming, we should hurry and find somewhere to hide."
"No problem," Xiang Cheng said. "Call Zhang Qiu's phone and see...... What the hell? Qiu-jie is already 50 now? It's 20 years later right now?!"
Lu Shaorong was woken up in the middle of the night by a phone call and instantly rushed over to the museum all the way from the suburbs. Zhan Yang drove him there; he grabbed his jacket and hurried to the third floor.
Zhan Xing yawned and said, "You all actually crossed over here ba."
"No." Hongjun had learned how to deny by now. When being asked anything, his answer would be a straight-up no.
Lin Jingfeng was already very tired. Wearing a suit and accompanied by Zhan Xing, he attended an international cultural exchange event nearby specifically to return a few relics; Lin Jingfeng was representing the Eastern Countries and came to act as a delegate. Zhan Xing's family and the museum had close ties, so upon hearing that a police report was made, he practically charged inside.
"Obviously you are," Lin Jingfeng said.
"Really, we're not." Li Jinglong said. "We're just cosplay enthusiasts."
Zhan Xing: "Even if you tried feeding that lie to ghosts, ghosts wouldn't even take it. Which cosplay enthusiasts would, at 3 AM, run to the Met while being soaked from head-to-toe and go into the Chinese Exhibition Hall?"
Lin Jingfeng said with a scowl, "You probably entered a body of water in ancient times, then crossed over to the current time period? The historical exhibition hall has something related to your time period?"
"No, no, no," Chi Xiaoduo said. "We're not like what you think, please don't casually give us more scenes to act out, thank you. You see, we're obviously very modern people ah."
Xiang Cheng said, "I even know how to speak Italian. Valpolicella, you see?"
"You probably only know this one sentence ba?" Zhan Xing heartlessly poked through Xiang Cheng's facade.
"How come you aren't even wearing shoes?" Lu Shaorong finally arrived and suspiciously looked at the ancient and modern duo.
Xiang Cheng gave Lu Shaorong a business card and said, "To tell you the truth, we're an investment firm......"
At that moment, Lu Shaorong's phone rang. He looked at Zhan Yang. Zhan Yang took the phone, then walked away to answer Zhang Qiu's call. While Lu Shaorong continued interrogating the two people, six armed guards arrived. Xiang Cheng had to signal Li Jinglong more than once not to act recklessly and thought to himself that they were lucky that that ancestor of his wasn't around. Otherwise, it would be troublesome if a fight really broke out and bullets started flying around.
"What?!" Two corridors away, Zhan Yang's voice rang out so loudly the glass exhibition cabinets in the museum started shaking with a buzz.
Lu Shaorong felt helpless. Chi Xiaoduo said, "The spiritual trajectory has passed by this place, so the thief must have been to the Met before. May I have a look at the surveillance footage?"
Li Jinglong asked, "Is there some sort of scripture stored in the warehouse?"
"Oh?" Zhan Xing wondered, suspicion sprouting in his heart.
Lin Jingfeng asked, "The Blueprint of Civilization?"
"Yes, yes!" Everyone exclaimed at once. Lu Shaorong asked Lin Jingfeng, "How did you know?"
Lin Jinfeng said, "That one-third of the painting is a collector's item. It was bought by someone at the auction yesterday and wasn't put into storage. I was the auctioneer."
Li Jinglong immediately said, "Describe that person's appearance. Where did he go after the auction?"
Lin Jingfeng uttered a wu. "I was suspicious of that person as well. After he bought the item, he hailed a cab and got off at a very remote alley. Then he disappeared."
"Take us to that alley," Xiang Cheng said hurriedly. "Please."
This chapter is migrated and/or formatted by our fellow chicken enthusiast(s), Cat.