Chapter 8: Trial

“But I do have a solution.” Kan Chen looked at him with a trace of disappointment then said after some thought, “Lean over.”

Xia Nuo obediently leaned over. A pair of slightly cool hands reached over and covered his ears.

“Ai?” Xia Nuo’s eyes widened as his sensitive ears were touched. A blush abruptly appeared on his face, “Mr. Kan Chen, w-what are you doing?”

“So you wouldn’t hear anything,” Kan Chen couldn’t help but rub his earlobes and said so.

Xia Nuo’s earlobes were soft, just like him, and felt pleasant to touch. Kan Chen kneaded them, seemingly getting addicted to the feeling after squeezing it for a while.

Xia Nuo’s face started to feel hot. He hurriedly reached out and grabbed Kan Chen’s palm to stop him from moving and softly pushed him back. “I… I can do it myself!” 

His palms were small and a bit plump. Kan Chen found that holding his hand felt very good when he first held it.

“Really?” He took the boy’s hand down and placed it in front of him to compare it with his palm. “Feel it. Aren’t my hands bigger than yours?”

[T/N: ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)]

He slowly closed his palm and wrapped the teenager’s hand in his. Xia Nuo nodded in confusion, not quite understanding what he meant.

Kan Chen shook their clasped hands and added, “Then think about it. Wouldn’t it be better to use my hands to cover your ears to block out the sounds?”

Would… would it?

Xia Nuo gaped, not knowing what to say. What’s more frightening is that he seems to have been persuaded by the man’s suggestion. “It does seem that way but…”

The feeling of having his ears kneaded remained in his mind, and made him feel hot when he thought about it.

He shook his head and answered in a rush, “I think it would be disrespectful to the actors on stage if I cover my ears. Also, didn’t you say that Mr. Li Charlie is watching us? Let’s just enjoy the opera.”

“You’re right.” Kan Chen admired the blushing, embarrassed and shy appearance of the young man in front of him, and finally let him go. However, on the armrest of the seats, the hands of the two remained intertwined.

The female singer on the stage was still singing. Xia Nuo listened for a while, enduring the discomfort in order to divert his attention.

The opera tells the story of a beautiful woman. The female singer slowly sang this story from a first person perspective.

She was born in summer when roses were in full bloom. When she was born, roses bloomed in their garden. Her parents held her in wonderment and named her Qiang Wei.

Qiang Wei grows up to be eighteen years old and becomes very beautiful. She falls in love with her childhood friend’s brother in the neighborhood.

Their love was young and moving, but it was as short as the morning dew at sunrise. After getting married, Qiang Wei had to face a poverty-stricken family situation and worried about her livelihood every day.

Determined to stop living like this, she tried to find a way out. Fortunately, she had the face of a natural capital beauty and was taken by a wealthy customer of her husband. She eloped with him without hesitation, but was abandoned by him in the end and had to go back to her poor home in despair.

Her husband accepted her back in spite of what she did, but Qiang Wei was not grateful. She was fed up with her wimp of a husband and this life of having to plan for every penny. Soon, she accidentally meets another older, wealthy man and, having learned her lesson, she lies that she is not married and, behind her husband’s back, becomes his lover.

Through her scheming, the rich man gradually fell in love with her and harbored intentions of marrying her. But paper cannot cover fire1紙包不住火 – Any evil ill doings will eventually be revealed. Her husband accidentally learned everything, angrily approached to question her, and even wanted to tell the rich man the truth to cut off his ideas.

But Qiang Wei was very unwilling to let go of the chance to finally obtain success. She tried desperately to persuade her husband, but after failing to stop him, she killed him and set fire to their home to cover up her crime of murder.

Apart from the bad vocals, the story of the opera was quite okay. Xia Nuo soon was absorbed in the story without realizing it. When the female singer stopped, he became a bit impatient.

“Why did you stop singing? Is that it? What happened to Qiang Wei in the end? Did she get punished?” 

Although the story was somewhat clichéd, like an opposite version of a scum man abandoning his wife and son, it would be too heartbreaking if it just ended like this.

He asked so many questions in one breath, but Kan Chen only answered the first one. “It’s not over yet. The next step is the trial of the sinners.”

Trial? Does that mean that there will be other characters that will come out? But the stage looks so empty, there isn’t even a decent set. It doesn’t look like a new character will appear.

Xia Nuo was thinking so, but the female singer on the stage stepped off the stage. She walked very stiffly, and when she got closer, he heard that familiar unnatural clicking sound again.

This should also be a puppet created by Li Charlie, then? In that case, she could really not be blamed for having such a bad voice and little emotions in her performance.

The puppet clattered and walked towards Gu Zhao Dong, who was sitting on the far right, amidst Ye Qiang’s frightened eyes.

She stood in front of him, her dark eyes fixed on him unblinkingly. “What do you think of me?”

She asked so.

Ai? Is this a way of asking the audience for their opinions? Xia Nuo froze for a moment, and quickly began to organize his words, ready to praise the puppet well. After all, she worked hard to perform a show, and her storytelling ability was really good.

In Gu Zhao Dong’s eyes, the puppet has become his beautiful little mother Ye Qiang. He wanted to say a few good things to please her, but when he spoke, it turned into something else.

“You’re just a stupid old woman. Say something to father and convince him so I could inherit his money. Remember that we’ve always treated you well. Don’t you tell me crap that you sincerely love me and that you’re with father because you care about me. You think I’m as stupid as your husband? If I didn’t have to please father, I wouldn’t even bother with you.”

In fact, it was not Gu Bao Xi but Gu Zhao Dong that Ye Qiang hooked up with at first. But at that time, Gu Zhao Dong only had a few small amount of money, and the real rich man was his father, Gu Bao Xi.

When she learned of this, Ye Qiang coquettishly persuaded Gu Zhao Dong to introduce her to his father, and promised that with her mediation, she would definitely let Gu Zhao Dong inherit their family’s estate, and then they would be together openly.

Did Gu Zhao Dong believe it? No. He was only willing to help Ye Qiao because he knew he had the upper hand, so he was sure that Ye Qiao would not go back in her word.

Ye Qiang was also really bold and courageous. He only let out the words that only a dead person can keep a secret. Then she dared to kill her husband. He really admired her ruthlessness, but it was also because of this that he had always guarded against her. 

“Gu Zhao Dong, having an incestuous relationship with a married woman, instigating Ye Qiang to kill her husband and covering up the evidence for her, do you plead guilty? Do you plead guilty for deliberately causing a car accident and killing her son?”

He didn’t feel guilty in his heart, yet his mouth said uncontrollably, “Yes, I admit I am guilty.”

Crack–

The sound of something shattering rang out, and Gu Zhao Dong felt the bones in his body shattering inch by inch, as if they had been crushed by a car. He could not stop screaming in pain, but still could not move, and could only watch as something wooden slowly climbed up his body from his ankle and spread to his face in just a few seconds.

In the last few seconds of his life, he saw the puppet in front of him give him a stiff smile, and the wooden surface of its face actually glowed with a soft sheen, as if a soft human skin had suddenly sprung up.

Gu Zhao Dong died, his body fell to the ground and shattered into pieces of wood. His eyes were still wide open, filled with fear and confusion, not knowing to his death how he lost his life.

The puppet stood next in front of Gu Bai Xi. “What do you think of me?”

Gu Bai Xi’s old, cloudy eyes narrowed slightly as he saw his dead original wife standing in front of him.

“Jingjing, it is I who have wronged you. You have already become old and lost your youth’s charm, would often yell at me and lose your temper. I can endure all these things and tolerate you, but you shouldn’t always mention in front of me that my fortune is financed by your father. I was originally the son-in-law of your family. You wanted me to make a will to let me leave all the inheritance to your son. Aren’t you cursing me to die early by saying that?” 

He sighed. “But you are ahead of me. To be honest, the death of you and your son was really just an accident. I just wanted to warn you guys a little bit, who knew the brakes would suddenly break down? If you ask me what this means, I would answer that this is just fate!”

The puppet listened in silence. “Gu Bai Xi, you embezzled the property of your father-in-law and mother-in-law, and then poisoned them to death, do you plead guilty? Killing your own wife and children, and shielding the real murderer, do you plead guilty?”

“Yes, I am guilty.” Gu Baxi said bluntly, “But people don’t kill for themselves, I’m just following my own desires.”

As soon as he finished speaking, his throat gurgled, a burning sensation from his internal organs penetrated his body, and a stream of black blood flowed out from the corner of his mouth.

In the ten minutes between the poisoning and his death, he wailed in pain, praying for the puppet to give him relief. But just as he did to his father-in-law and his mother-in-law, the puppet chose to stand by and watch until he died in pain.

This time, the puppet possessed a pair of soulful eyes.

Then it was He Zheng Wei’s turn. He witnessed the death of Gu Zhao Dong and Gu Bai Xi, and knew that his turn would come next. He was so scared that his clothes were soaked with cold sweat.

But unexpectedly, the puppet actually walked straight past him, as if he did not see him as a person, and did not ‘judge’ him.

“…”

He Zheng Wei was at first incredulous, then ecstatic. Had he escaped?

Then he saw He Yun standing next to him, and walked up to him with a smile and stood still. “Sorry, the person in charge of your trial is me.”


“Ye Qiang.” The puppet stood in front of her and removed its veil, revealing a face identical to hers.

Ye Qiang looked at it coldly. “Did Li Gen Sheng send you here?”

She snorted coldly, “I should have thought that man won’t die that easily. Only he, too, would come up with these strange ideas. I don’t want to talk to you. Tell Li Gen Sheng to come out.”

The puppet also looked at her coldly and suddenly revealed a mocking smile: “Do you think he will still be as nice as before? As long as you cry a few times and say a few words of apology, will he forgive you? You’re thinking too lightly, aren’t you?”

“What does it matter to you what I think?” Ye Qiang’s schemes were seen through and shattered by her. She could not help but be a little angry, “No matter what, this is still between me and him! It has nothing to do with you, a piece of broken wood!”

“Then I’m sorry to say this but this piece of broken wood will replace you today.” The puppet was not annoyed at all, but laughed more happily.

Ye Qiang couldn’t move, so she could only shout loudly. “Li Gen Sheng, you are a scumbag! Don’t pretend you’re not here, just tell me clearly! What do you mean by replacing me?!”

She looked at the puppet that looked exactly like her, but with a more refined and younger face than her. Panic filled her heart.

She always knew that she was special in Li Gen Sheng’s heart, and that he would tolerate her no matter what she did wrong, so she became more and more emboldened, relying on this tolerance to make the world go round. But if she’s no longer unique, will this tolerance still exist?

In fact, in retrospect, she also truly loved him and had made a promise to stay together until the end of time. But then the betrayal, in the end, is not her fault! She blames this man for being too useless!

She watched as her friends who were not as good looking or as educated as her found well-off husbands and were well fed and clothed, while she married a carpenter and lived a poor life, worrying about her livelihood every day and being ridiculed by those who were not as good as her before!

“Shut up!” The puppet stepped forward and viciously strangled her neck, “Who gave you permission to curse him like that?!”

The puppet’s hand was so strong, it frightened her. Ye Qiang felt that her throat had gotten severely stuck, and she gradually began to lose her breath. She could not help but reach out her hand towards the young man next to her, and spit out a word with difficulty. “Save…”

As he suddenly received a request for help, Xia Nuo became confused. “Is still part of the opera?”

But this woman next to him seems to really be choking to death, this should not be an act, right?

He just wanted to reach out, but he hesitated, turned his head and asked Kan Chen. “Should I save her?”

If this happened in the real world, he would definitely rush in to save people without hesitation, but he couldn’t do that in the game world because he didn’t know what consequences it would trigger and whether it would bring trouble to Mr. Kan Chen.

And if this woman is the Qiang Wei in the opera, then she is not innocent at all.

“Don’t mind her. This is the karma between them. We can’t interfere.” Kan Chen stroked his head and said so.

“Oh.” Xia Nuo nodded obediently. Since Mr. Kan Chen had said so, he would just pretend that he didn’t see it.

The woman next to him didn’t expect him to let her die and couldn’t help but feel pain and hate. She struggled hard, desperately scratching the puppet, wanting it to let go of her hand. Her strength was useless and irrelevant to the puppet. It sneered and slowly tightened its fingers.

The lack of oxygen made Ye Qiang’s eyes black for a while. She shouted in her heart in despair: I don’t want to die! There are many people in the world who are more sinful than me! Why should I be the one who dies?!

In desperation she even began to hate. Hate Li Gen Sheng, hate why he married her; hate Gu Zhao Dong, hate that he seduced her; hate the puppet in front of her, hate that it wanted to take her life; hate the young man next to her, hate that he saw her dying and did not try to save—!!!

As she struggled, she seemed to have penetrated something and caught hold of something warm and round. The fingers on her neck suddenly loosened and both bodies fell to the ground at the same time.

“Ai? What’s wrong with Miss puppet?” Xia Nuo saw this scene and shrieked.

“Don’t move, I’ll go over and take a look.” Kan Chen got up and walked over towards Ye Qiang on the ground.

He probed her nostrils and found that she had lost her life.

He was just about to turn around to check on the puppet, but he felt a gust of wind blowing around him, and heard the young man’s scream.

The puppet rose from the ground and lunged at Xia Nuo. He was thrown from the chair to the ground and collided with the ground with a dull thud.

nezu

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