Living Our Lives Well is More Important Than Anything – Chapter 5

Publish Time: 2024-05-26 11:05:28 316 views
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Chapter 5:

Li Chunzhou and Gu Lingfan are both the top performers in the Spring Flowers Tower, and they always want to outdo each other.

Gu Lingfan was three years older than Li Chunzhou. Since the age of fifteen or sixteen, Gu Lingfan showed exceptional talent in various fields like music, chess, calligraphy, and painting. She had connections with the wealthy and powerful people in Shengjing City. Five years ago, she was considered remarkable in the Spring Flowers Tower. But in recent years, with Li Chunzhou's rising fame, Gu Lingfan's position in the tower began to be overshadowed by Li Chunzhou.

People often said that Gu Lingfan and Li Chunzhou were like twin lotus flowers in the Spring Flowers Tower. However, both of them disliked this comparison. Gu Lingfan dressed more elegantly while Li Chunzhou preferred bright and colorful outfits.

Gossipy people in Shengjing City often compared Gu Lingfan and Li Chunzhou. Although Gu Lingfan was famous, some believed it wasn't hard to surpass her. In the eyes of busybodies, once a person's reputation was tarnished, they seemed to fall from grace. Hence, whenever Li Chunzhou's name was mentioned in front of Gu Lingfan, Gu Lingfan would not show any kindness. She would retaliate against anyone who dared to point out her vulnerabilities.

Li Chunzhou was not easy to get along with. With limited resources at her disposal, only insignificant people could avoid her wrath. Their interactions were often filled with snide remarks or arguments.

Only when Gu Lingfan had walked away, did Qi Leyuan reluctantly look away and check for any new updates.

[Ying Rui], "Um... Can anyone explain what we should do in the dungeon? Do we need to hunt down a murderer?"

[Liang Wenshi], "Finding the killer won't help. The creatures in the dungeons are usually uncontrollable forces of nature. We can't use laws or regulations against them. The real task is to find a way out."

[Bi Yuansi], "@Cheng Yingchu, is this the only clue you have?"

[Cheng Yingchu], "Yes, this is the only clue I have. You can trust me; if there was crucial information, I wouldn't keep it from you."

Qi Leyuan took out the clue Cheng Yingchu had sent him earlier and looked at it. According to the rules of the Main God world, whenever there is a dead person, the system will automatically provide a clue, but only the first player to see the body can get the clue.

Shi Gu, "There are thirty people in this Dungeon, it seems like bad luck might be on our side."

Ying Rui: "Sorry, I haven't joined many Dungeons. Can you please explain why you say that?"

Yan Qingze, "Though it might sound inappropriate, since we have thirty people, that means...we can get up to thirty clues?"

Gu Cai, "Are you out of your mind? If all thirty people are dead, what's the use of clues?"

Ji He said, "@Ying Rui, each player's death can exchange for a clue in the Dungeon. The more clues, the harder it is. The survival rate of this Dungeon has always been zero."

Liang Wenshi, "Let's focus on studying the clues first."

Wang Ruyu, "This sounds like a nursery rhyme?"

Yan Jiaze, "It should be from the Minnan region. Can anyone understand what it means?"

Pebble said, "I'm from Chaoshan region. Let me explain: '挨米' means grinding rice. The gist of the first part is: raise chickens for crowing, raise dogs for guarding at night, raise pigs to pay debts, raise cows for plowing fields. Boys go to school, girls get scolded."

Wang Ruyu asked, "Isn't this favoring boys over girls?"

[Bi Yuansi responded, "Indeed, it is a feudal practice, but it's somewhat normal. In times of backward productivity like this, resources in a family tend to favor males to a great extent. While granting rights to males, it also comes with responsibilities and obligations. For females, they have lower obligations and fewer rights, not needing to participate in societal production activities. Once dependency forms, the cycle continues."]

Liang Fengyu said, "We can't do anything about the special social environment, let's not dwell on that. What does the latter part mean?"

Pebble explained, "'The bride is born graceful, and gives birth to two big boys.' It seems to be a blessing for the bride to have many children. As for the latter part, 'In the long days, the old lady's eyes dim, it was you wearing the shirt, and I wearing the pants, you sleeping at the head of the bed, and I at the foot,' I'm not sure."

Shi Gu suggested, "It's okay, it's more efficient to search together. Let's each find useful clues first, and then gather in the group."

Liang Jiayou asked, "But who really killed that person? Brothers and sisters, are you not acting together? Could it be that I didn't really time-travel?!"

Someone patiently explained to him again, from the Main God world to various rules for new and old players. After that, Liang Jiayou fell into complete silence, pondering whether to accept the facts or resign himself to them.

Wang Ruyu mentioned, "I heard NPCs around saying that the official gazette today might have a letter from the murderer sent to the reporting house. But in my current identity as a commoner, I can't see the outside official gazette. Could someone go take a picture of it?"

Hongwu said, "official gazette? I think I can use my job to check on this."

Zhong Zhiye asked, "Wait, are you talking about this?" (shows a picture)

Under the big title, there are several rows of vertical text printed using a rotating type wheel.

[Liu Yuming was killed a long time ago. You still have no clue. Are you not curious about how he died? I can give you a hint. If you can't find me, then it's your problem. If you agree, it will be published in the official gazette. If there's no report in three days, I'll continue killing people.]

Liang Jiayou asked, "What does this back and forth mean?"

Linlang explained, "It should be the self-proclaimed title of this dynasty, similar to 'I' for us. This passage probably means 'I killed Liu Yuming. It's been a while, and you still have no idea, it's so incompetent. Aren't you curious how he died? I can give you a clue, but whether you can find me depends on your abilities. The condition for exchange is to publish this news in the official gazette for me to see. If you don't see this message in the official gazette within three days, I will continue killing people.'"

Ji He asked, "Does 'official gazette' mean a newspaper?"

Gu Cai answered, "Well, you're not too silly. The official gazette is like the earliest form of a newspaper, but it was controlled by the government for sharing official documents from local officials to the central government."

Ji He responded, "Hmm, I'll take that as a compliment."

Zhong Zhiye said, "This letter arrived yesterday morning. The deceased used to be a high-ranking official at the Ministry of Punishments, and the government is still deciding whether to publish this letter in the official gazette for everyone to see. The murderer's actions are seen as challenging the authority of the royal court. Today, another person has died, causing a divide among the people - some think the letter should be published, while others strongly disagree. Oh, wait, it seems like the older officials in the government are about to start fighting."

Bi Yuansi asked, "Who is this Liu Yuming?"

Zhong Zhiye explained, "Oh, Liu Yuming was the former high-ranking official at the Ministry of Punishments. He was killed in his home about a week before we entered this Dungeon."

Qi Leyuan was about to say something in the group chat when Li Chunzhou suddenly grabbed him and pulled him back.

She twisted her body back and ran towards the small courtyard, grabbing a hat with wide brims and thin silk hanging underneath, rushing towards the Spring Flowers Tower outside.

The brothel madam saw her figure from upstairs and quickly leaned on the railings, asking, "Lady Chun, where are you going?"

"I am going to Xiangru Court!" Li Chunzhou answered in a clear and lively voice, showing a vibrant energy as if she hadn't been affected by seeing the dead body just now.

Most of the girls at Spring Flowers Tower had bound feet, making their movements graceful and alluring but restricting their ability to walk for long periods. When they needed to meet clients outside, they were carried by the brothel's security.

Li Chunzhou never had her feet bound, so she didn't need anyone to carry her when she went out. She just wore a white curtain hat, changed into comfortable shoes, and left the house.

Li Zhexuan quietly followed behind her like a silent dark shadow. Qi Leyuan suddenly realized that for the people in this Dungeon, Li Zhexuan's presence was very low - Li Chunzhou's maid wouldn't question why a man was in her mistress's room, and the madam seemed to not notice the young boy beside Li Chunzhou. Throughout, everyone's gaze just passed by him.

Qi Leyuan was thinking and then suddenly became absent-minded, and after a long time coming back to his senses, he couldn't remember at all what he was thinking just now.

Li Chunzhou walked briskly out of the Spring Flowers Tower's door, directly across from Xiangru Court. It was only then that Qi Leyuan understood why the madam dared to let the money tree from the building go out, as the two places were so close to each other.

It's no wonder, they are all from the lower class, so it's only natural for them to be on the same street.

Xiangru Court is a theater, bustling in the daytime with many female guests coming and going. Li Chunzhou changed her clothes and blended in with the crowd without standing out. The servant sweeping the courtyard recognized her hat and greeted Li Chunzhou with a bow, asking, "Miss Li is here? Do you want to say hi to Brother Yan?"

Li Chunzhou stopped in her tracks, standing under the bright June sun at the open door, waving her hand, "Don't tell him, I'll go in and tease Brother Yan."

She held a chicken in her arms, pinched Qi Leyuan's beak with two fingers, and sneaked into Xu Yanqu's courtyard.

The stage at Xiangru Court was beautifully decorated with various murals, paintings, wood carvings, stone engravings, and more. The backstage depicted various characters, roles, masks, costumes, props, and so on in detail. Many young boys and girls had just finished warming up their voices, the dressing room was even more chaotic, with people coming and going, some were doing makeup and others were busy changing costumes.

Li Chunzhou knew that there was nothing for Xu Yanqu this morning, his performance was in the evening, and he had been performing for the past three or four days now, with each show attracting a large crowd. These few days, Xiangru Court was probably even livelier than Spring Flowers Tower.

The servant at the door saw her and was about to go inside to announce it, but Li Chunzhou stopped him. She gestured for him to bow his head and whispered in his ear, "Go ask your Brother Yan if Miss Li sent someone to ask if she can come play with him."

Li Chunzhou pushed back her veil, revealing half of her face. The servant blushed at the sight of her and quickly agreed before hurrying inside.

After a while, he came back out and whispered, "Brother Yan told me to ask 'What does your lady want?'"

Li Chunzhou smiled and with a dimple showing, said, "Tell him - 'I miss him!'"