Living Our Lives Well is More Important Than Anything – Chapter 17

Publish Time: 2024-06-01 10:41:50 226 views
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Chapter 17:

For a moment, Mi Hongbao felt like his sanity was about to reset to zero with this realization, but suddenly, there was a faint tapping sound behind him. It wasn't loud, but within the confines of the barrel, the sound echoed sharply.

Mi Hongbao could almost picture the scene outside - a female ghost in a red wedding dress was gently tapping the side of the barrel with her red embroidered shoes...

Thud! Thud! Thud...

The ghost kicked harder and harder, the water jar seemed about to crack. Just before Mi Hongbao was about to break down, Li Chunzhou quickly opened the wooden lid and stood up.

Because her sudden movement startled him, Mi Hongbao stood frozen for a moment before trying to grab Li Chunzhou's waist, frantically trying to pull her back.

But Li Chunzhou was quicker. Before the ghost could reach her, she took something out of her sleeve and placed it in front of the red-clothed ghost, saying, "Red bean, it's time to stop now."

The ghost's bloody scent reached her face, but Li Chunzhou remained still. The ghost's hand was less than a centimeter away from her, but stopped when it saw the contract.

"I have bought you, they have no right to sell you to others. Come back with me."

The red-clothed ghost froze, unable to react immediately. She stared at the contract in her hands, tears streaming down her face, gradually turning from bloody red to clear.

Mi Hongbao watched as the terrifying scene dissipated like sand in the wind, the night turning into day again. The horrifying sight of corpses disappeared, leaving four people in the yard: Hóngdòu Wáng's parents, her brother, and the man who came to arrange the ghost marriage.

"They tricked you back for the ghost marriage. Go report it to the officials."

Hóngdòu Wáng couldn't stop her tears, her face a mix of hate and resentment, her lips almost bleeding from biting, painfully saying, "Why... why... they sold me once, isn't that enough? Why do they keep using me, am I not their child?"

Li Chunzhou thought quietly, "Why ask? Silly child, your younger brother is of marriageable age now. Selling you will bring in money for him to get married, have children, and build a house."

But she didn't speak these harsh words, she just lowered her eyes gently.

Qi Leyuan then remembered Li Zhexuan who had been following them all along, realizing Li Zhexuan was not in the tub just now... Qi Leyuan thought to himself, it seems that Li Zhexuan not only lacks presence in front of people, but also in front of danger.

He glanced at Hóngdòu Wáng again, feeling a bit wary, as if she might turn back into the female ghost from just a moment ago. However, Hóngdòu Wáng stood alone, tears falling continuously.

Li Chunzhou stood in the tub, arms open, letting Li Zhexuan carry her out. She then reached out to pull Mi Hongbao out of the tub, asking him with a smile, "A'bao, was it fun?"

Mi Hongbao's face showed a mix of vivid colors, a mix of relief from a narrow escape, with a hint of confusion and bewilderment.

Seeing him like this, Li Chunzhou approached warmly and used her handkerchief to wipe the cold sweat off his forehead.

After another quarter of an hour, Mi Hongbao tied up all four people lying on the ground with a rope. Once red beans had cried enough, Li Chunzhou squatted down and said to Mi Hongbao, "Let's hand these four people over to the authorities. What do you say? Do you want to come with me?"

Hóngdòu Wáng wiped her tears with her sleeve, clenched her fists, and said angrily, "Letting them go like this... I can't accept it."

Li Chunzhou pulled her hand and examined it closely. It looked smooth and clean, with no signs of wear. The scenes they had just witnessed were experiences that Red Bean had truly gone through before the start of the first cycle.

Of course, in this cycle, she has not experienced these yet. But from the moment she steps into the house, she will immediately remember the painful and scary things from before, and then start carrying out her duties as a villain in the dungeon.

The scenes that just happened actually did not occur in reality. They were simply illusions created by their minds while being in the Sub-dungeon.

Red Bean's ability as the evil entity is to deceive people's consciousness.

Now, by holding the contract, Li Chunzhou has broken the barrier imprisoning her, her "cage." Therefore, Red Bean no longer possesses the hallucinatory abilities as the manifestation of evil.

However, hatred is not easily eliminated.

Li Chunzhou grasped the handle of the knife at Mi Hongbao's side, smoothly drew it out, and handed it to Red Bean, saying casually, "If you're not willing to report to the authorities, there's a knife right here. Go ahead, you can also kill them. I'll help you with the scene afterwards."

Red Bean looked at her in disbelief, her expression momentarily frozen. She fell silent for a moment but did not take the knife, hesitantly saying, "But... they are my parents. I can't bring myself to harm them..."

Without the cruelty of being the evil entity, Red Bean was left with the indecisiveness of a human. Her hatred was not strong enough for her to kill her own parents and her blind devotion was not deep enough to fully forgive her selfish family, unable to accept this ugly form of affection.

"Why... Why is it always me... to encounter these things?" Red Bean muttered to herself, "If only that night, I didn't leave with them..."

Li Chunzhou returned the short knife to Mi Hongbao, then gently took Hóngdòu Wáng's hand again, patting off the dust on her palm. Holding Red Bean's hand, she thought to herself, "Of course you don't remember..."

But this is already the hundred and fifteenth time I've saved you.

Every time, every time... Li Chunzhou had grown tired of this repeated cycle as if it were fate. But no one remembered all of this except for her. Neither Red Bean, nor Liang Changfeng, Mi Hongbao, or any girl in the Spring Flowers Tower remembered these events.

It seemed like Li Chunzhou was the only one being thrown into the river of time, struggling to start over each time.

Many times, Li Chunzhou thought to herself, "Forget it, it doesn't matter. How does others' life and death relate to me? After all, their lives will continue to repeat in the next cycle."

However, before each new cycle began, Li Chunzhou held the same worry, or perhaps hope - what if?

What if, starting from today, time would move backward again?

Then the dead would not come back to life, and the mistakes made could not be undone.

So, she kept coming here again and again, to this rundown and poor courtyard, watching the red beans escape time after time, recalling painful memories, breaking down repeatedly, and crying in front of her over and over.

But this time, really was the last time.

The 121st time, also the last cycle, her life could finally move forward...

Thinking of this, a heartfelt smile appeared on Li Chunzhou's face.

Because it was the last time, every step, every person, every detail, had to be perfect.

Li Chunzhou lowered her head, looking at the tear-stained red bean on her face, and said seriously, "Come with me? As long as we send these people to the authorities, whatever price you want them to pay, my companion, the Crown Prince of the Northern Marquis, can help make it happen."

Mi Hongbao, who had been standing next to them with a serious expression, was suddenly called out. Confused, he subconsciously nodded repeatedly to help Li Chunzhou solidify her statement, "Uh...? Yes, that's right!"

"Why..." Red Bean whispered, looking up at the smiling Li Chunzhou, wondering why she was helping me like this...?

"You must be very tired. I understand." Li Chunzhou wiped the tears from Red Bean's face with a handkerchief. In this Dungeon World, there were four sub-dungeons, and she chose to deal with the one Red Bean was in first not only because it was earlier in the timeline but also because of the special abilities Red Bean possessed.

In a way, it was because of the presence of red beans that Li Zhexuan had the ability to deceive others by making them overlook himself.

Red Bean gazed up at Li Chunzhou's smiling face with warmth and charm, so infectious like the sun with a touch of maternal comfort that made people feel at ease.

Putting aside the painful and dark memories, Red Bean was simply a seventeen or eighteen-year-old girl, blinded by Li Chunzhou's smile and feeling as if she had finally met someone who could rescue her life.

Seeing the look of dependence and infatuation on Red Bean's face, Li Chunzhou smiled even more brightly, radiantly beautiful yet tinged with a hint of sadness.

From a young age, Li Chunzhou knew how to use her beauty to attract those around her, years of practice allowing her to effortlessly obtain anything she desired, whether material wealth or admiration from others, enjoying it all without guilt.

The sadness lay in the fact that even though she had known Red Bean for many years, when the next cycle began, the name "Li Chunzhou" meant nothing more than a stranger to Red Bean.

So their feelings had to start anew each time, with only Li Chunzhou retaining memories of fruitless efforts. At first, Li Chunzhou was hurt in her heart, but now she had grown accustomed to it.

Li Chunzhou embraced Red Bean, just like she would with the sisters in Spring Flowers Tower, pressing her soft body against Red Bean's with unfamiliar affection, saying with a smile, "I really haven't deceived you. Lord Sun, a visitor to Dali Temple, is also my guest. Whatever you ask for, as long as I can, I will satisfy you!"

"Don't cry, it breaks my heart…" Li Chunzhou gently wiped the tears from Red Bean's face with the back of her hand, the gesture intimate and natural.

Red bean's face turned red all of a sudden, she stumbled in speech and couldn't say a word, her mind went blank, and she did whatever Li Chunzhou told her to do.

Mi Hongbao frowned and pulled the two apart, he glanced warily at red bean.

Li Chunzhou asked Li Zhexuan to stay here temporarily to watch over the four tied-up people so they wouldn't escape, then she and Mi Hongbao took red bean back to the capital to report to the authorities.

Li Zhexuan always listened to her, so he just nodded when he heard her words. Even after Li Chunzhou disappeared into the layers of trees, he still kept his head turned, like a statue, staring motionless in the direction Li Chunzhou left.

Going up the mountain was easy, but coming down was hard. Li Chunzhou took a few steps and felt her thighs getting really sore, Mi Hongbao saw this and carried her on his back.

Walking on the winding mountain road from the outskirts to the capital, Mi Hongbao carried Li Chunzhou step by step as they descended the mountain. It was noon when they were heading down, the sun shining high in the sky, leaving behind Mi Hongbao's footprints and big sweat stains on the mountain path.

Li Chunzhou used her hand to fan Mi Hongbao and occasionally wiped his sweat with a handkerchief, but she didn't say a word about coming down to walk herself.

The mountain path was bumpy, and Li Chunzhou didn't want to walk.

Mi Hongbao remembered the recent intimate gestures between Li Chunzhou and red bean, he had a displeased expression on his face as if he wanted to say something but kept hesitating, with an expression that clearly said, "Hurry and please me".

It's very easy to see, it's almost like it's on purpose.

Walking behind the two, the Red Bean received the same treatment as Li Zhexuan at the beginning. She would occasionally get a stern look from Mi Hongbao, feeling confused and puzzled, so she lowered her head and avoided eye contact with Mi Hongbao.

Li Chunzhou was lying on Mi Hongbao's back, tilting her head to look at him from the side, and asked softly, "A'bao, am I very heavy?"

"Not heavy at all!" Mi Hongbao answered without hesitation.

Li Chunzhou continued sweetly, "A'bao, I find that the better you treat me, the more I can't be without you. Oh, what should I do..."

Hearing this, Mi Hongbao couldn't help but show a pleased expression on his face.

Because he didn't want to get too close to "Former Menace Red Bean", Qi Leyuan, who was sticking close to the two, glanced at Mi Hongbao. Upon seeing the silly and proud expression on his face, Qi Leyuan felt helpless.

"Giggle giggle giggle!? Giggle giggle giggle! Giggle giggle! (Can't you act more like a man!? Don't float around in pink bubbles just because of her sweet words! Pathetic!)"

As they reached the foot of the mountain, the three of them saw a young couple from afar. The woman was carrying a child on her back, while the man was holding a hoe, as if they had just come back from the fields.

At this moment, Qi Leyuan's heart finally calmed down, confirming that they had escaped from the Sub-dungeon and returned to the normal Dungeon World.

Mi Hongbao looked at the young couple from a distance and suddenly said with emotion, "Actually, living a life like holding hands and growing old together is not bad..."

Li Chunzhou looked away, smiled faintly, but didn't speak. She knew very well in her heart that for the Crown Prince of the Northern Marquis, his yearning for a pastoral life was too idealistic and condescending. Mi Hongbao had never toiled in the fields under the midsummer sun or felt the sensation of his ears and cheeks peeling from sunburn.

He just wanted to experience that kind of life, after all, that dirty, endlessly tiring existence where you can't see the end in sight, he could leave anytime he wanted.

Just like the love of people like them.