The previous 4 of Hearts, Extremely Quick Train also required dressing up. Xiao Lou and Yu Hanjiang had changed into the uniform of a train conductor and spent three days on the train. Therefore, Xiao Lou wasn’t surprised when he saw the prompt about ‘role allocation.’ He thought that 8 of hearts might also be a special environment where challengers needed to play a role to solve the case.
There was darkness in front of them and the wait was noticeably longer. It took around half a minute for Xiao Lou to regain his vision.
Xiao Lou sat up and rubbed his eyes before quickly looking around. It wasn’t the modern environment he was familiar with. He was in an antique bedroom with a carved wooden bed, light-coloured windows and wooden tables and chairs.
His teammates weren’t around but this was nothing. It wasn’t the first time the secret room had teammates. The question was what was his condition and the floor-length dress? There were also complicated ribbons and patterns on the clothes, making it a headache to look at.
Xiao Lou got out of bed. he hadn’t even taken two steps when he tripped on his clothes. He soon figured out that he had come to ancient times. It seemed that the story of 8 Of Hearts took place in another era.
Xiao Lou had never worn a period costume and he wasn’t used to it. He pulled up the skirt that was dragging to the ground and stood still, reading the prompts on the floating box in the upper right corner.
[Welcome Xiao Lou to 8 of Hearts: Beacon in Troubled Times.]
There are four countries in the world. Your country is the Daqi Dynasty and the current city is the capital of the Qi State.]
You are assigned a special status in this room. Please play your role well. If a person in the secret room perceives that you are an outsider then you will fail this instance.]
[it is forbidden to kill the original people of this world. In addition, all attack type, control type and modern high-tech cards are disabled. Specific ally cards can be used. Please check your card pack.]
Xiao Lou opened his card pack to look. The high-tech cards such as the hairdryer and rice cooker had become ‘unusable’ grey cards. Meanwhile, for his control and attack cards, some skills had been disabled.
Apparently, this secret room was for challengers to figure out the mystery, not to cheat with their cards. Xiao Lou swiped over the floating box with his finger and two more rows of text popped up.
[Identity Introduction: Xiao Lou. Your father is a well-known coroner and your mother a well-known doctor. Since childhood, you have studied with your parents and have a good knowledge of traditional Chinese medicine and autopsies. Your younger brother joined the army and went on an expedition with General Xi three years ago and his whereabouts are unknown. There are no other loved ones in your family.]
[When you were 16 years old, you rescued a talented man in Jiangzhou who was going to Beijing to take the exam. This person later became the top scorer in the palace examination and became a popular man. He was grateful for your help and married you. The husband and wife respect each other and love each other very much.]
[10 days ago, the prefectural magistrate of Jiangzhou died of illness. Your husband has been entrusted by His Majesty and will go to Jiangzhou to take office.]
The story will take place in your hometown of Jiangzhou. Please be prepared.]
Xiao Lou felt it was more and more wrong? Wife? Marry? The crazy A of Hearts had him play a woman?
No wonder why he felt things weren’t right when he opened his eyes. There were a dressing table and a bronze mirror in the room. The clothes on his body were like a woman’s long dress and his hair was very long.
Xiao Lou hurriedly picked up the mirror.
Sure enough, he had changed into a dress. The ‘woman’ in the mirror had long black hair pulled up in a simple bun with a simple and elegant hairpin inserted in it. He had a fair skin, a beautiful face and soft eyebrows. He looked ‘knowledgeable.’
Xiao Lou couldn’t bear it and hit his head against the mirror.
This secret room was really too strange. The role-playing even changed his gender. He couldn’t help wondering if Group Leader Yu was also wearing female clothing. What identity would be assigned to his other teammates?
Since they opened the secret room at 23:55, all the card skills were refreshed and the heart channel with Group Leader Yu was also broken. He didn’t know where Yu Hanjiang was at this time.
At the same time, the palace.
Yu Hanjiang was wearing an official uniform and seriously reading the secret room’s prompts.
[Identity Introduction: The Yu family has been officials for generations and your grandfather once occupied the position of prime minister. Then he resigned and retired to Jiangzhou.]
[You have read poetry since you were young. When you were 18 years old, you were heading to Beijing to do the palace examination when you were bitten by a poisonous snake in the wilderness. Your life was at risk but a gentle woman passed by and personally helped deal with your wound, saving your life. You fell in love with her.]
[Three years after becoming the top scorer of the palace examination, the late emperor originally wanted to betroth you to the Ninth Princess. You refused on the grounds that you already have a marriage contract, offending the Ninth Princess. In order to use the excuse of an ‘early marriage contract’, you immediately went back to Jiangzhou to propose to the benefactor who saved your life. You have been very loving after marriage.]
[The seventh year of the solar calendar happens to coincide with the death of the prefectural magistrate of Jiangzhou. You have been appointed as the new prefectural magistrate of Jiangzhou.]
[You are about to go to the palace to bid farewell to the emperor before going to Jiangzhou with your wife tomorrow to serve.]
Yu Hanjiang read the description and his eyebrows slightly wrinkled. What was this mess?
Not only did he become a prefectural magistrate of the Qi State, the keeper inexplicably arranged a wife for him? Tomorrow he would go to Jiangzhou to take up his post. It was obvious that the plot of this secret room would be in Jiangzhou.
Yu Hanjiang had a headache at the thought. It was better to find an excuse to leave his wife at the capital and go to take office alone, lest a ‘wife’ hinder the handling of the case.
The magnificent palace was in sight and the environment was extremely realistic, as if travelling to ancient times.
A sharp eunuch’s voice entered his ears. “Go up to court!”
Yu Hanjiang took a deep breath and looked up at the high steps. His genius was bright and there were many officials waiting around him. He patted his official uniform and followed the other officials. Although he wasn’t a professional actor, the keeper had asked them to abide by the rules of the world and play the role well. Thus, he couldn’t mess around and could only follow the plot.
Inside the palace, the emperor sat on the throne. He was very young with clear eyes and a gentle smile.
Based on the identity introduction, the words ‘late emperor’ showed the current emperor should be a new one sitting on the throne for less than four years. After seeing the emperor, Yu Hanjiang’s mind was automatically injected with the identity information of the emperor. Yu Hanjiang had known the emperor for a long time. He had been the prince’s companion in childhood. Later, his grandfather resigned and returned to his hometown of Jiangzhou.
The internal party competition of the Daqi Dynasty was serious. The new emperor had to cultivate his own power after rising to the throne. The emperor trusted Yu Hanjiang very much. Jiangzhou was one of the largest and most prosperous territories apart from the capital. Now the emperor transferred a young official like Yu Hanjiang to Jiangzhou to serve as the prefectural magistrate. The intention to cultivate him was very obvious and this move was opposed by many of the traditional faction.
Of course, the emperor seemed gentle but his eloquence was excellent. After a war of words with the ministers, the emperor defended against all opinions and secured Yu Hanjiang’s position as the prefectural magistrate of Jiangzhou.
The memory indoctrination allowed Yu Hanjiang to know where he should stand. He stood to the side, surrounded by many people who looked at him with complicated eyes. It was inevitable that people would be jealous since he was becoming the prefectural magistrate of Jiangzhou at such a young age.
The hundreds of officials knelt together. “Long live the emperor!”
The emperor raised his hand with a smile, “My beloved ministers, as you were.”
After everyone stood up, the emperor specifically pointed out Yu Hanjiang. “Beloved Minister Yu, you are about to go to Jiangzhou. Are you ready?”
Yu Hanjiang took a step forward. “Your Majesty, I am ready to leave tomorrow.”
The emperor smiled. “Beloved Minister Yu, you are young and promising. You must do you due diligence in Jiangzhou and live up to the expectations of the court.”
Yu Hanjiang responded stiffly.
The emperor discussed things with the officials for a long time. It wasn’t until the call of ‘withdraw’ was heard that Yu Hanjiang was slightly relieved and followed the other officials in turning away.
As a result, he had just walked out of the hall when a eunuch came over and whispered to him, “Yu daren, His Majesty has requested you go to the royal study.” (Daren = title of respect for superiors)
Yu Hanjiang had no idea what was about to happen. Since a key figure like the emperor asked to meet him, maybe the emperor wanted to give him a task or provide a clue. Yu Hanjiang immediately followed the eunuch to the royal study.
The emperor sent away his attendants and whispered, “Beloved Minister, the Eighth Imperial Uncle’s mansion is in Jiangzhou. Remember to go visit him at the Zhenjiang prince’s mansion. I have a secret letter here. Please hand it to my imperial uncle.”
Yu Hanjiang nodded. “Yes, Your Majesty.”
The emperor continued, “The situation in Jiangzhou is complicated. You must go with great care at this time. If you encounter any difficulties then spur your horse at full speed to hand over the secret missive. In addition, there are many forces from enemy countries over there. I have arranged a group of dead soldiers to protect you. This is a token. Remember to mobilize them when necessary.”
Yu Hanjiang respectfully took the token and secret letter from the emperor. It actually reached the point of arranging a group to protect him. It seemed that Jiangzhou was full of deep waters.
Yu Hanjiang carefully kept the emperor’s instructions in mind and put the token in his pocket.
After coming out of the palace, a tall guard immediately came up to him and said, “Daren.”
The secret room had the setting that if he saw anyone, he would automatically gain memories of them. Therefore, Yu Hanjiang soon remembered. This was an orphan adopted by his grandfather and had been around him since childhood to protect him. This person’s name was Yun Cang and he had great martial art skills. They might be master and servant but they were more like brothers.
Yu Hanjiang nodded at him and walked in the direction of his home in his memories while whispering, “Yun Cang, go find two fast horses. We will set off to Jiangzhou tonight. Regarding the madam, you will find another place to settle her well.’
Yun Cang’s face was full of surprise. “Daren, you mean you won’t go with the madam this time?”
Yu Hanjiang frowned. “I temporarily won’t take her… wait until I settle over there first.”
Yun Cang suddenly realized. “I understand. Daren loves the madam so much that you are afraid of her fatigue.”
Yu Hanjiang agreed on the surface but inwardly, he was afraid that he would reveal something in front of this lady. After all, he wasn’t a movie emperor. He couldn’t play a husband and wife with a stranger. Moreover, if he met his teammates in Jiangzhou and they saw a lady beside him, what would Professor Xiao think? He didn’t want to take a woman to see Xiao Lou.
At the same time, Xiao Lou was sitting in front of a mirror and studying his clothes with a headache. He had never been exposed to female clothing, let alone a complicated outfit like this.
Someone suddenly knocked on the door. “Madam, it is time to wash.”
Xiao Lou opened the door and saw a girl dressed as a maid coming in with a washbasin, ready to wash his face. Xiao Lou was uncomfortable and immediately said, “You go out. I can do it myself.”
After the maid left, Xiao Lou picked up a towel and simply washed his face. Then he pushed open the window to see—
Based on the sun outside the window, it should be eight in the morning. People got up very early in ancient times and the ‘husband’ who had been forced on him should return soon.
Xiao Lou rubbed his temple as he thought about countermeasures.
His husband was going to take up office in Jiangzhou and he had to follow. Things would definitely happen in Jiangzhou. Xiao Lou was unfamiliar with this era and couldn’t run away by himself. Going to Jiangzhou with his husband was his only option. However, he couldn’t really act as a couple with a stranger, not to mention that he was now a woman! If his husband wanted a close relationship with him, should he punch that person or obey?
Thinking of this, Xiao Lou felt his hairs stand up.
Just then, footsteps came from outside and the maid called out loudly. “Daren is back!”
Yu Hanjiang quickly received a memory. This was a 16 year old girl called Pinger. She was his wife’s personal maid and an orphan rescued from a famine a few years old. Yu Hanjiang asked in a low voice, “Is the madam up?”
Pinger smiled. “She is up and washing up.”
Yu Hanjiang quickly stepped forward and pushed open the door. No matter what messy wife the keeper arranged for him, he had to find a good excuse for his wife to stay in the capital while he went to Jiangzhou alone to see his teammates.
However, the moment the door opened, Yu Hanjiang met a pair of familiar eyes. These eyes were as clear as water and there seemed to be a mysterious power that attracted his attention. The other side’s features were gentler with the long hair and jewellery but they were clearer compared to weak women. The gentle and elegant Xiao Lou in a period costume stunned Yu Hanjiang.
After seeing his his ‘wife’, he received a memory, including the main event of the marriage between them. However, all the plot settings weren’t important. Yu Hanjiang only knew hat this was Xiao Lou.
The wife the keeper arranged for him was actually Xiao Lou! Yu Hanjiang’s heart beat violently.
Meanwhile, Xiao Lou’s eyes couldn’t help widening when he saw the tall and handsome Yu Hanjiang dressed in official clothes. The husband the keeper arranged for him was actually Group Leader Yu?
His heart beat quickly, but at the same time, he was relieved. Since the other side was Group Leader Yu, the two of them going to Jiangzhou was really good. The things he had worried about wouldn’t happen.
One person stood at the door and the other person inside the room.
After a long period of staring, Yu Hanjiang tentatively called out, “Xiao Lou. Madam?”
Xiao Lou’s face heated up a bit. He was familiar with this voice and it was indeed Yu Hanjiang. He just couldn’t adapt to being called ‘Madam.’ He coughed lightly and whispered, “Daren, I have something to tell you privately.”
Yu Hanjiang looked at the maid and guards beside him. “You go back first.”
The people made expressions that said ‘I understand’ and quickly retreated.
Yu Hanjiang entered the room and closed the door and windows.
He looked carefully at Xiao Lou and wondered, “How are you in female clothes?”
Xiao Lou was depressed speaking of this topic. “I was wearing a dress the moment I woke up. Then I heard that a husband was arranged for me and I really had a headache. It is good…”
Yu Hanjiang’s heart paused for a moment as he asked in a low voice, “What’s good?”
Xiao Lou almost said, ‘It’s you.’
It was just that the ambiguity of these words was too great. He immediately changed topics. “Fortunately, I will go with you to Jiangzhou and we can discuss countermeasures on the road. My status in this world isn’t only your wife. I am also the heir to a famous doctor and my father is a coroner i.e. an ancient forensics doctor responsible for autopsy.”
Yu Hanjiang watched him while thinking, “A forensics doctor? Did the keeper arrange roles according to our identity?”
Xiao Lou nodded. “No wonder why Director Tang said there is no way to have a strategy for the A-grade secret rooms. It seems that the A-grade secret rooms are based on the number of challengers and their occupations. Each team will enter a different secret room.”
Yu Hanjiang also felt this made sense. He looked at Xiao Lou and said, “We are playing a husband and wife in this secret room. Perhaps it was arranged this way in order to facilitate us acting together.”
Yu Hanjiang unhappiness at inexplicably getting a wife disappeared the moment he saw Xiao Lou. Instead, he thought that this was a good arrangement.
Xiao Lou pulled at his long sleeves and looked quite distressed. “We are setting off tomorrow right? I want to change my clothes. They are too awkward to wear and walk in.”
Yu Hanjiang looked soft. “Okay, I’ll accompany you to buy two sets of easy to wear clothes.”
The two of them went out and Guard Yun Cang ran over. “Daren, I have prepared fast horses as you said. Tonight…”
Yu Hanjiang interrupted him. “Prepare a horse-drawn carriage for the madam to sit in. Tomorrow we will set off together.”
The guard, “???”
What about the madam? He changed his mind so soon?
TL: I both hate and love this arc. I love it because of the setting but it is ancient times :blobsweats:
I’m personally not used to Chinese titles/honorifics so I try to translate them as much as possible, unless I can’t think of a suitable word in English. This is why there might be a mix but I’ll try to minimize this as much as possible.