The Entire City Is My Husband - Chapter 1.1
Part 1: You Have Too Many Husbands
It was a summer morning with almost no wind.
The bus was full of students on their way to school. The air was humid and hot, with a combination of both sunlight and human warmth.
Chu Feng was squeezed between them, his white button-up soaked in a hot sweat, outlining his backbones, which were trembling as he rejected the naughty student behind him.
The said naughty student just wrapped his arm around Chu Feng’s thin waist, overtowering him with his nearly 190cm height. “You won’t even give me my good morning kiss, how cruel.”
Chu Feng tilted his head and focused on the reflection in the bus window. The naughty student behind him was wearing a white school uniform with light blue pants. On his forearm was a tattoo, while the familiar face was just as handsome as he remembered, and the way his eyebrow was raised held a certain tyrannical feel to it.
It was the youth he had missed so much. The 18-year-old tyrant, Xie Shiyu.
Chu Feng patted the tattoo on his forearm and asked, “Did you finish your homework?”
“Have you ever met a tyrant that did homework on time?”
“And yet you still have the face to ask me for a good morning kiss? Let me go. Do your homework first.”
Xie Shiyu released him with a pout.
The bus came to an abrupt stop because of the red light, causing Chu Feng to stumble forward. The 18-year-old Xie Shiyu was just about to reach out his hand when someone else beat him to it.
“Be careful, professor.”
Chu Feng had been brought into the embrace of another student.
The warmth emanating from the student felt incredibly familiar, his presence caused Chu Feng to relax subconsciously. He recognized who the student was instantly— it was 19-year-old Xie Shiyu.
Because he wanted to attend the same university as Chu Feng, he chose to repeat a year. The restrained Xie Shiyu wasn’t as arrogant as he was when he was the tyrant of the school. A few points of maturity rested between his brows now.
Repeat student Xie Shiyu closed the English dictionary in his hand and supported Chu Feng gently. “Then can I have a good morning kiss? I’ve finished all my homework and I’m memorizing English words in the morning. Aren’t I much better than that bastard?”
School tyrant Xie Shiyu flashed his middle finger at him.
“I can’t really do that…” Chu Feng could feel a headache creeping up on him. If he only kissed this Xie Shiyu, then the rest of the Xie Shiyus would start asking for one too. He glanced at his phone and upon seeing that it was 7:10, he shook his head. “I’m sorry but I really can’t kiss you today. I’ll make it up to you next time, okay?”
“Are you okay today, Chu Feng?” The 19-year-old repeat student shuffled closer, so close that they could almost kiss. “Why do I feel like you’re a little nervous today?”
“Don’t go so close to him!” School tyrant Xie Shiyu grabbed repeat student Xie Shiyu’s collar roughly, looking down at Chu Feng, “I’m sure he’s bored of playing student and teacher. Chu Feng, we literally grew up together, how do you have the face to listen to us calling you professor all day?”
The entire bus of Xie Shiyus turned their heads at that statement, as if in silent agreement.
Chu Feng’s face was heating up with all their eyes on him.
He stood in the crowded bus, surrounded by Xie Shiyus of all years. The one that repeated school, the school tyrant, the one hugging a basketball, and the one that just got a buzzcut… Every single Xie Shiyu looked just as familiar as the ones in his memory. They all exhaled warm carbon dioxide, sweating from the illegally hot weather, so real that it felt as if he was still alive.
But Chu Feng knew very well that Xie Shiyu had already died.
What surrounded him right now was a bunch of data from the new virtual reality game, Lucid Dream City.
Players could create their own cities and input people that they liked into them, changing their fates and settings to their liking. It was all up to the player themselves, a game that allowed them to live in the city they always dreamed of.
Chu Feng’s dream was Xie Shiyu.
They’ve known each other since they were seven and grew up together. They studied, confessed, dated, and got married at the tender age of 20 years old. It was as if their life was out of a fairy tale.
Yet at 27 years old, that fairy tale came to an end.
On their seventh-year anniversary, Xie Shiyu changed his flight in order to get back to Chu Feng on time. Alas, the flight he rushed on had crashed.
The entire flight crashed from thousands of meters in the sky into the ocean, and not a single person survived.
The search went on for six months, but the only thing they found in the Pacific Ocean was the remnants of the plane. Not a single corpse had been found.
They never had another wedding anniversary after that. It was considered Xie Shiyu’s death anniversary in the following years.
Alone in the empty house, Chu Feng lay on the king-sized bed that they used to share and put on the helmet that contained Lucid Dream City.
His brain waves connected with the system.
[Please wait as we retrieve your memory, keyword “Xie Shiyu”…]
[We apologize, your memory spans up to twenty years. We are unable to create a single character, do you wish to create multiple characters?]
Chu Feng stared at the notification window in front of him, reaching his manicured finger to the button.
The wind carried along the warmth in the air as the bus announced over the speaker.
“Next stop, Second Secondary School. Exiting passengers, please exit at the back door.”
The bus slowly stopped at the bus stop.
The back door slid open, and countless Xie Shiyus carried their bags and walked out of the bus in an organized row.
Now that the bus wasn’t as crowded, Chu Feng found an empty seat and sat down. He glanced at his phone again, noting that it was 7:15.
His eyes searched outside the bus window with a slight urgency. The people in the bus, at the bus stop, on the road, driving and walking, all of them were Xie Shiyus of different ages, living happily in the Dream City that he had created.
But all of these Xie Shiyus will die very soon.
Chu Feng’s muscles were stretched taut. The Xie Shiyus in his game would all get into accidents eventually, repeating the tragedy that had happened in real life, leaving him forever.
That accident was almost here.
Chu Feng clenched his phone tightly, and the system of the game showed itself as a white-colored fairy. Errors quickly appeared all around it before a blood-red warning showed itself in front of him.
[We have detected danger!]
[Threat Level: Fatal]
[It is highly recommended that you exit the game right now.]
It was impossible for Chu Feng to leave the game and abandon all the Xie Shiyus in there. He coldly cleared all of the warning panels in front of him while the fairy on his phone displayed a teary expression.
[We are heartbroken by your indifference! We shall remind you again in five minutes!]
[Please take care of your life, do not mistake this as reality.]
Chu Feng was too lazy to care about the system. He searched through his contacts and clicked on the one he wanted to find, inviting him into the Dream City.
Not long later, the system displayed another notice in front of him.
[Your cousin “Lin Lan” would like to enter your Dream City. Accept/Reject]
Blue data bits swirled around and were combined at the bus stop, finally turning into the form of Lin Lan. This guy had just graduated from university, he was wearing a t-shirt and shorts, slinging a military bag on his shoulder as he ran towards the bus.
“Woah! There are so many Xie ges here!”
Lin Lan exclaimed as he went to sit beside Chu Feng.
The instant his butt hit the chair, the entire bus of Xie Shiyus shot daggers at him, scaring him into jumping back up, trembling like a mouse.
“Who the hell are you?” School tyrant Xie Shiyu sat on the seat behind Chu Feng, raising his brows in question.
“He’s my cousin, Lin Lan. He’s straight as a pole, no need to be jealous.” Chu Feng reassured him.
They only got married at 20 and started officially introducing their family members to each other, so 18-year-old Xie Shiyu didn’t recognize Chu Feng’s cousin.
Lin Lan sat back down as he continued to tremble.
He was one of the first few people that played Lucid Dream City. He was also the one who introduced it to Chu Feng after Xie ge passed. He had already warned him about the tragedies that Xie ge would face in the city, so now he was here to watch it play out.
“Ge, I searched it up just now. There was a post in the community that mentioned your situation. After they put their deceased relative into the game, they kept getting into accidents, and in the end, their data was destroyed forever. Though someone else managed to find a way to solve this afterward.”
“What is it?”
“Before you enter the game, there’ll be a settings button on the top right corner of your screen. After you get in, there will be a “Character Precision” button. As long as you change it so that it isn’t 100%, they won’t die. Because if it was completely accurate, then not only would they replicate 100% of his personality, but they would also replicate 100% of his… ending, which, in this case, means the… accident. If you don’t know where to change it I can show…”
“That won’t do.” Chu Feng rejected him without hesitation and said, “What’s the point of this if it isn’t 100% him?”
“But… there’s no difference in a 99% version, no?”
Chu Feng glanced coldly at what looked like an innocent fairy representation of the system.
“If the Character Precision isn’t set to 100%, they’ll be forcefully controlled by the system and forced to become what the player wants them to be.”
For example, if he wanted a gentle Xie Shiyu and the Character Precision was set to 99%, it meant that in every 100 Xie Shiyus, there would be one whose gentleness wouldn’t be high enough. So the system would find them and then kill them.
Chu Feng tossed Lin Lan a side glance and asked, “If it were you, would you choose to accept that?”
“G-Ge… Please don’t say it in such a… frightening manner.” Lin Lan caressed the system fairy on his phone and said, “It’s such a cute little thing, I’m sure it doesn’t kill people.”
“You can’t know that for sure. Characters aren’t people to them, they’re just money bags for the game company.”
“Can you not describe the fairy as something so dark? Now I can’t even think of it as cute anymore!”
The system fairy on their screen just continued to act cute and innocently, staring at its owner, Chu Feng, with its big eyes as if it couldn’t understand what they were talking about.
Chu Feng turned off his phone. He would rather stare at the dark screen than that thing.
He had never once trusted these systems. They were just tools to help get him what he wanted, like a 3D projector projecting all 20 years’ worth of memories he had of Xie Shiyu into his Dream City with precision. The system didn’t need to interfere with anything other than that, much less take control of his Xie Shiyu.
“There’s no way I’ll ever change the Character Precision.” Chu Feng continued, “I went on the community when I first started playing too. There was a theory that someone posted. They said that as soon as they changed the scale, the system will never be able to replicate the character fully ever again.”
Even if they just set it at 99%, with the passage of time or the system’s loss, his Xie Shiyu may very well slowly turn into 98%, 90%, or even lower. In the end, it’ll become a stranger wearing the skin of Xie Shiyu. Only God knows who it really was.
“Something like that exists?” Lin Lan gasped. “How come I didn’t find that post?”
“It was deleted on the same day it was posted.”
“Then… What do you plan on doing?”
“We’ll just have to save all of the Xie Shiyus before the accident happens.”