The Entire City Is My Husband - Chapter 9
Guardian D had been quietly eating his breakfast at the table when he suddenly let out a gasp of surprise.
“What are you doing?” A, B, and C raised their heads and looked at him.
“Um… I… The uh…” D stuttered while glancing nervously at X as if he couldn’t say anything with him around.
X silently picked up the plate of his newly made runny eggs, spun his wheelchair around, and returned to his own room.
D gestured for Guardians A, B, and C to huddle up. When all four of their heads were lowered in unison, D said, “Go on the community forum, quick!”
“What are you being so mysterious about? Can’t you just tell us what it is?” A calmly opened the community forum and—
“Holy shit—!? X has a gossip post??”
B and C quickly went and opened their own forums, finding a trending post at the very top of their feed. There were already more than ten thousand reposts on it.
[Wowza! My ge actually managed to add God X on Wechat~]
[God likes to pamper people so much.]
The boiled egg in B’s hand clattered onto the table.
“Holy shit, X usually doesn’t say anything unless he has to, not to mention he has amnesia so he isn’t interested in anyone. Who would’ve thought he would text like… this!”
“Wait a second! Isn’t this player… isn’t he the one that sent him flying away?” A was flabbergasted. “He screwed X over so spectacularly in game, yet he didn’t get mad and instead added him on WeChat and texted him so happily?”
C and D arrived at the same conclusion at the same time.
“There must be something wrong!”
There was nothing more thrilling and exciting than listening to gossip at the break of dawn. All the sleep in A, B, C, and D was completely gone.
X finished eating his breakfast and walked out of his room, spinning his wheelchair and making a beeline for the game room in order to continue training.
Guardian A egged D on in a soft voice, “Hey! Quick, go test the waters a little…”
“But why do I have to do it…”
“You were the one that found out about it! Shouldn’t you be the one to investigate too?”
B and C both nodded their heads, looking at D with expectant eyes.
“Ugh, fine!” Guardian D turned towards X and shouted, “X! How’s your… How’s it going with that player?”
“What player?” X feigned ignorance.
“The one you met in the game last time… the one that disrespected you. Wasn’t he begging you to sign the request form?”
“I signed it already.” X said.
“What?!” B was so shocked he choked on the egg yolk in his mouth. “Y-You just gave it to him? Just like that? Did you not… ask him for anything?”
X’s brows furrowed and he said, “I didn’t take a bribe.”
“I’m not asking you about a bribe!” A hated that steel wouldn’t become iron.1Phrase in Chinese that means something doesn’t live up to their expectations and wishes that it could become better “B was just telling us about how you were great at making conversation. Look at it this way, you wouldn’t have a reason to talk to him after giving him your signature. See? He already stopped talking to you! You could’ve asked him out for dinner or a movie or something!”
“How do you guys know I was talking to him?”
ABCD: “Community forum.”
X opened it up on his phone, scrolled for a bit, and didn’t find anything.
“What the—” B exclaimed, “Isn’t this mod a little too fast?”
—This post has revealed classified information on a high-tiered Guardian. This post has been removed by a mod.
Now, the top trending post on the forum was the post used to expose a fan. X was just about to close the forum when he saw a new post getting moved up.
[After so many years of living, I’ve finally managed to see what God X looks like!]
His hands paused over the button, swerving to open the post instead.
[I’m too excited. This is too exciting! I’m so excited I could die!!!]
[So where’s the picture??]
[When I have money, I’ll definitely buy an OP that knows how to post pictures.]
[Did the two floors above not see the post? Guide here for the lost souls, it’s Floor 500 something on the exposing post someone made. X’s old fan sent it!]
[Can someone bring it over here?]
[Please call me Lei Feng from now on.2Lei Feng(雷锋) is someone who was very kind and selfless (i think)
[Wuwuwuwuwu thanks Floor 6. Oh my god, those eyes are to die for!]
X took a look at the community exploding from his own picture and refreshed it again.
[The post has been removed by a mod]
“Was there someone exposing my chat logs just now?” X asked.
A, B, C, and D thought, As expected of X, what incredible instincts.
“There was an OP that said his cousin added you on WeChat.” A said, “There were thousands of replies accusing him of lying but…”
But they knew that there was a high possibility that they weren’t lying about it.
“So, X, did you really just… sign the form so easily?”
—The player sent him a few kitten stickers saying “Sorry,” and then muttered a few words of apology, and he just forgave him?!
“What? Nononono! You can’t just let him go so easily!” B swallowed his boiled egg in one go. “You’re the highest-ranked guardian here! How could you get played by a regular player just like that? You have to get your just deserts!”
“Exactly!” A chimed in, “ X, I’m telling you, you’re the strongest person in the game. There’s nothing wrong with listening to you. But in reality, we have more experience than you do, so you should trust us!”
Their strongest Guardian, X, was wheelchair-bound and amnesiac in reality. He didn’t know where he came from, nor did he know where he lives. He was without a name or family, even his scheduled surgeries were attended alone. He finally met someone that he had an interest in, going as far as to add their WeChat so how could they just let this opportunity slide?!
Guardian D made a plan.
“I have some experience in this, X, listen to me. You have to continue maintaining contact with this player. Next week is Dream City’s five-year anniversary, all the events there are crazy luxurious, why don’t you invite him to join you?”
—Dream City’s design was relatively simple. The players had homes in their own cities so the developers chose to create multiple scenic locations on a global server and host different kinds of events in order to bring the players out and about. They could go to these things by going into their inventory and opening their maps.
This year was their five-year anniversary. The developers are hosting an extravagant ball on the top floor of the famous [Hudson Castle]. They only created about a hundred invitations, and millions of players around the world were vying for it.
B: “I remember that we high-ranking guardians were allowed to attend without a ticket. Invite him to go with you!”
A: “That’s a good idea! The castle is one of the most beautiful places on the map, I even remember some players requesting to get married there. Not to mention the ball’s being held at the top floor, it’s not something anyone can go to with a wave of a hand. The ticket prices are up by tens of thousands, it isn’t something a normal player can get. I’m sure he’ll be jumping with joy if you invite him!”
X’s face held a trace of confusion. He wasn’t sure how the conversation had gone from You must get your just desserts to Invite him to the ball!
“He… probably won’t come.”
A: “How would you know if you don’t ask him?”
B: “Exactly! You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”
C: “Come on, come on, I’ll send you the information on the castle ball so you can send it to him and test the waters a little.”
D: “Remember to tell us if there’s any progress!”
X had a feeling he had walked into the Matchmaking Center.
4 o’clock in the evening.
Chu Feng opened his WeChat.
Lin Lan was at the very top with his profile picture of a yellow chick and five new messages.
[Ge, you there?]
[The fisherman was selling suan cai yu3Boiled Fish with Pickled Cabbage and Chili at 5% off today, should I get some for you?]
[I’ll eat with you. I bet you didn’t cook anything.]
[Should I go over at 5?]
[Helloooooo, is anyone there?]
Chu Feng replied.
[I’m busy at 5, come at 6.]
He paused, then added another line.
[Come in with your spare key, I’m too lazy to open the door.]
Lin Lan sent over a peach cat signing an OK.4https://sdl-stickershop.line.naver.jp/stickershop/v1/sticker/157962068/android/sticker.png
Chu Feng was just about to exit WeChat when he noticed that Lin Lan’s profile had been knocked to third place.
He had Xie Shiyu’s WeChat pinned to the top, though that profile would never send him another message ever again.5That’s dark man
The second profile was…
He set his notifications to [Do Not Disturb], so X’s message was not shown as a number, but rather as a small red dog at the corner of his profile.
Chu Feng thought about it for a while before opening it. There was only one message, a repost of Dream City’s account’s post.
[Happy 5-year anniversary! We have released the tickets to the dance on Hudson Castle’s highest floor. Only a hundred tickets have been released globally, have fun!]
Chu Feng: ?
What the hell is the point of sending him an advertisement?
He closed WeChat and didn’t bother replying.
4:10. Work had ended.
The company had been Xie Shiyu’s, but now it was his. If he wanted to work, he’d come. If he wanted to go home, he’d go home.
Chu Feng would come every day at 10 and go home at 4. He worked three times a week, the rest of the four days were rest days.
Chu Feng had to be home before 5 and load [Dream City].
There was a five-year-old Xiao Shiyu in his City. He was a little special since he’d only appear every day at 5 in the evening—he’d come out of the kindergarten and buy a popsicle6 https://pica.zhimg.com/v2-a9cd74261dd55e40fd0081104f29f0a3_720w.jpg?source=172ae18b not your usual popsicles. If he missed it, Chu Feng wouldn’t be able to see him.
Blue brain waves currently synchronizing—[Welcome to Lucid Dream City.]
The sun was just setting, painting the sky a pale yellow. Chu Feng walked towards the kindergarten in the West District.
There were multiple Xiao Shiyus inside, cute and small. Chu Feng would come visit them regularly, though he wouldn’t always go in. Sometimes, he’d just stay outside and listen to Xiao Shiyus’ laughter.
On the right-left of the kindergarten was a small stone pavement, and along it was a small shop.7Technically the word they’re using refers to a shop that’s attached to a school
Chu Feng still remembers that, one summer 20 years ago, the shop would sell popsicles out front for 5 cents each. Xiao Shiyu from the kindergarten would buy a grape-flavored one and split it in half with him.
Holding the half-broken off purple popsicle, cold drops of water dripped onto the ground.
They would walk on the stone pathway and suck on the grape-flavored ice popsicle. 5 in the evening during summer was still very hot. The sun no longer shone brightly like in the afternoon, rather shone a golden orange color instead. The cicadas clung to the old tree on the edge of the road and screamed.
He used to tell Xie Shiyu to catch that noisy cicada.
But before that summer had ended, Xiao Shiyu had left the kindergarten.
And that cicada was like their childhood that summer, slipping through his fingers with no one to catch it.
In another 20 meters would be the end of the stone pavement. Xiao Chu Feng sucked on his half of the popsicle, and when he was just about to reach the plastic wrapping of it, he found himself reluctant to throw it away. So he would find the smallest remnants of purple ice water and puffed his chest and sucked as hard as he could, trying to taste that last bit of sweetness.
His mother had rushed to fetch him from their apartment. Xiao Chu Feng rushed to the side and threw the empty popsicle into the trash bin nearby.
Xiao Shiyu wanted to act cool. He stood on the spot and waved his hand nonchalantly. The plastic wrapper of the popsicle arced beautifully in the air and fell into the trash bin.
Xiao Chu Feng cheered.
“Chu Feng—?” A voice sounded from the road.
“My mom’s here, I’ll go first!”
Xiao Shiyu turned around, as if he didn’t want to see him leave, but didn’t want to reveal his own reluctance. He would—like a cheeky bastard—keep his back facing towards Xiao Chu Feng and wave his hand at him leisurely.
—Even now, Chu Feng could still remember that Xie Shiyu had always gone home alone. No one would fetch him from home.
Xiao Chu Feng had still been brash that year. He had even asked Xie Shiyu once why no one would fetch him.
Xiao Shiyu hadn’t said a thing.
It was five.
The door to the kindergarten opened, and one Xiao Shiyu walked out.
Chu Feng stepped forward and waved.
He’s already 29 this year, with a height of 1.8 meters. Five-year-old Xiao Shiyu didn’t even reach his leg. He was like a small ball.
Xiao Shiyu didn’t really like talking to people. He raised his head and stared at Chu Feng before nodding silently and turning to walk towards the stone pavement to buy his popsicle.
Chu Feng’s Dream City contained the shop from his memories. He made sure to put a bunch of delicious snacks other than popsicles in there, like Hagen Daz. It was something they hadn’t ever seen 20 years ago.
—But Xiao Shiyu would always only buy the grape-flavored popsicle.
Xiao Shiyu cleanly broke the popsicle in half and gave the other half to Chu Feng.
Chu Feng took it into his hands, feeling the familiar cold sting of condensed ice water on his fingertips. 29-year-old Chu Feng and 5-year-old Xiao Shiyu walked together on the stone pavement, the setting sun elongating their shadows.
Chu Feng sucked on his half of the popsicle, his eyes were red.
—He would never be able to see what 29-year-old Xie Shiyu looks like.
Xiao Shiyu was as quiet as a statue, only repeating the same thing every single time.
“I want this one.”
But today, Xiao Shiyu said something else.
“I-I don’t feel very good.”
Xiao Shiyu scratched his elbow.
“It’s so itchy.”
Chu Feng immediately bent down and grabbed Xiao Shiyu’s elbow for a closer look. He found that there was a large, swollen patch of skin on his elbow.
“You got a mosquito bite?”