IWBL: Chapter 222

It was another early morning.

Xiao Li had long been accustomed to going home at this time and he had seen the city’s scenery from three to five in the morning countless times. Now he didn’t need to turn on the lights when going upstairs and he knew which step was ahead with his eyes closed.

The only difference this time was that Shen Chenzhi didn’t leave directly and instead followed Xiao Li upstairs.

Shen Chenzhi said that in addition to seeing how to raise a cat, he wanted to know the details of what happened in Xiao Wu’s house just now. Shen Chenzhi was usually silent so once he spoke, Xiao Li could hardly refuse him.

Xiao Li opened the door and the little black cat was no longer on Xiao Li’s bed. He was lying on the armrest of the sofa. At first glance, he looked like a black gas canister hidden in the darkness. Due to the movement at the door, the little black cat moved his ears. He opened his mouth, yawned and woke up from sleep.

“Sit down,” Xiao Li said as he turned on the light. He wanted to lift the black cat up by the neck like how he did to the little white cat. However, the black cat was too heavy. His feet had just left the sofa when he let out an uncomfortable cry. Xiao Li had to hold the feet that had nowhere to rest and he hugged the cat in his arms.

The temperature in the room was higher than the outside. Perhaps it was because he felt hot but Shen Chenzhi took off his jacket at the entrance, revealing the shirt inside. The shirt perfectly showed off his muscles, which weren’t too exaggerated but looked impressive. There was strength with a sense of aggression.

Shen Chenzhi’s gaze fell on Xiao Li’s face and then shifted to the cat in his arms. “Is the cat usually like this?”

Xiao Li didn’t quite understand his question. “So?”

Shen Chenzhi gave an expressionless description. “Sleep in bed and hold him?”

He was very happy to have such treatment as a cat but now that the little black cat occupied such a position, he instinctively felt jealous.

It was a difficult relationship problem that he couldn’t ask about. He was always looking for Xiao Li. When he couldn’t see Xiao Li, he wanted to get closer. When he saw Xiao Li, he wanted to meet him one step further. Shen Chenzhi seized every opportunity to stay with Xiao Li. It was the same as a severely ill patient with hunger and thirst.

He had done almost everything he could to please the other person but it still didn’t work. He couldn’t hold Xiao Li in his arms, couldn’t kiss him and watch him wake up. He would naturally be jealous of all the creatures that could be hugged by Xiao Li.

The little black cat was stared at by his young man and his fur stood up. He simply kicked away from Xiao Li and climbed onto the cat climbing frame, pretending to look at flowers with Tan Li.

Xiao Li was caught off guard and was kicked by the cat. Then he turned to Shen Chenzhi. “No, cats are very independent creatures. They don’t like to be with people if there isn’t anything wrong. Just remember to feed them and they will take care of themselves.”

“Feed some snacks every day when you have time. It doesn’t matter if you have no time to play with him. The kitten will play by himself.”

“That’s all of it. Are there any questions?”

Shen Chenzhi stared blatantly at Xiao Li while listening to the cat knowledge. Once the teenager finished talking, he paused before asking, “Why did you spend so long upstairs just now?”

“We accidentally entered a place that Wang Huai called a ‘domain’.” Xiao Li didn’t hide the matter. He told Shen Chenzhi about what happened while taking out the little yellow book and turning to the piece of paper. The paper where the author’s manuscript had previously been written was now placed in the little yellow book.

The little yellow book had an extra line: [The author’s manuscript. A special item. The soul of Zui Tian lives here. It has been separated from the fragment and only the soul is left.]

Fragment?

Xiao Li took out the previous light blue object from his pocket. It was very thin and was like a small diamond. It could be easily overlooked but the pattern on it revealed a rough beauty. Under the light, it was like stars circulating.

Shen Chenzhi’s eyes narrowed slightly when he saw this fragment. His expression changed but he instantly returned to his usual indifference.

Xiao Li had never seen this thing before and he asked the little yellow book, “What is this, an item?”

Then he received a strange answer. Little yellow book: [.]

Xiao Li fell into thought at the strange symbol that appeared for the first time.

Shen Chenzhi moved the little yellow book away with his fingertips and asked in a deep voice, “What are you thinking about?”

“What does a single full stop mean?”

“Maybe it knows something but it can’t say it for now. However, it doesn’t want to tell you so directly.”

Xiao Li, “……”

He moved the fragment to Shen Chenzhi. “Have you seen this before?”

“No, but I think you should keep it.”

Xiao Li lowered his eyes and tried again. The fragment couldn’t be put into the little yellow book so he took out an empty chewing gum box from the table. He placed the fragment in it and put it away in the pocket of his clothes.

There was no answer to the fragment for the time being. Next was the so-called manuscript. Xiao Li released the manuscript from the little yellow book. It was a page of ordinary office paper with the corners rolled up due to excessive writing. He pressed against it several times with his hand but failed to flatten it.

According to the little yellow book’s introduction, the soul of Zui Tian lived in it.

Xiao Li held his pen and thought for a while. He couldn’t think of anything to write for the first greeting and wanted to ask Shen Chenzhi’s opinion. The moment he looked up, he saw the other person staring at him with his knuckles supporting his chin. The affection was about to overflow from his eyes.

For outsiders, Shen Chenzhi’s eyes could only be seen as an immortal iceberg. Yet at this moment, the iceberg melted and spring returned to the earth. Xiao Li had never seen the indifference to others in this person’s eyes.

The young man was taking advantage of this opportunity to stare at Xiao Li but he didn’t panic when he was caught. He just stared into Xiao Li’s eyes and found his reflection in the beautiful, pure black background.

“What’s wrong?” Shen Chenzhi asked.

“How do you deal with the soul of a writer who has just been captured?”

Shen Chenzhi’s reply was unprincipled. “Can’t you just say anything?”

In any case, this person was in his own hands, right? Xiao Li lowered his head and wrote a line on the manuscript. [Hello.]

The handwriting was quickly sucked in but there was no response.

Xiao Li changed his greeting. [Zui Tian?]

There was no response.

[The novel you wrote doesn’t look good.]

There was no response.

The little yellow book that was put aside took this opportunity to turn back to the original page. Under the explanation of the special item, another line was added: [The source of the manuscript has been successfully accommodated and is available for viewing.]

Xiao Li pulled the little yellow book over and clicked to view it. In an instant, he saw a scene—

To put it bluntly, the story was about the tragic life of a depressed writer.

It was a lonely looking man. He seemed to be young and didn’t have a beard, as if he had just graduated from university. He held a small rental advertisement that had just been peeled off the wall and knocked on the door of an old-fashioned house.

Xiao Li recognized this door. It was Xiao Wu’s home that they went to today.

Soon, a well-dressed old lady opened the wooden door from the inside and asked uneasily through the iron door, “Who is it?”

The man quickly waved the small advertisement in his hand. “Hello, I saw the rental ad that was posted on a utility pole. I… I’d like to rent a house here.”

The old woman suddenly threw out a series of questions. “What is your name? Are you a student or worker, local or foreign, married or unmarried?”

The man answered all the questions without any omissions. “I’m Huo Zilan. I just graduated, a foreigner, not married, currently without a job and I’m writing novels to make money.”

The old lady frowned. “You don’t have a serious job? Then how can I rent to you? I’m going abroad with my children and I might not come back. What should I do if you default on the rent?”

“No, I… I have funds. I have saved 10,000 yuan. I can pay you a deposit and I won’t default on the rent.” The man, Huo Zilan pleaded. He begged in a low voice for a long time until the landlady finally let go and gave him the key. After renting the house, she packed her luggage and went to her daughter.

After renting this house, Huo Zilan didn’t change the structure of the house. He just turned on his laptop and started writing day and night.

His pen name was Zui Tian. He preferred to call himself by Zui Tian rather than his real name.

Zui Tian wrote traditional martial arts novels about not deceiving the young and the poor. However, the subject of martial arts was quite cold. He always gained the minimum living allowance despite updating every day. Later, he wrote about the emotional entanglement of an overbearing president falling in love but he still couldn’t support himself.

His living expenses were declining. His parents who lived far away were urging him to find a decent job. They even helped find one for him in a factory. He would go to work at nine in the morning and return home at nine in the evening. However, if he did this then he wouldn’t be able to continue to write. Zui Tian didn’t want to give up like this. He wanted to try his best and decided to try writing for a year.

It was just that his attempts were of no use. The updates he has done every day were only enough for him to eat instant noodles and his inspiration gradually disappeared. There was no improvement even if he stayed up all night and wrote until three or four o’clock every day.

Zui Tian had a habit of writing inspiration and specific outlines on manuscript paper he carried with him rather than the more popular computers these days. Therefore, his efficiency was slow and he had to work harder.

Under the pressure of life, Zui Tian started to smoke. He saved money to buy cigarettes. He wrote manuscripts, smoked cigarettes and submitted chapters.

He seldom went out except for buying instant noodles or accepting the takeout. In a month, he almost always stayed home except for when he went to the convenience store at the gate of the community to supplement his food supplies.

Zou Tian didn’t exercise, stayed up late and smoked. He had several bad habits and in half a year, he had changed from the thin man who just graduated to a fat homebody with a weak body.

He felt pain in his heart several times when he stayed up late to write a chapter. At that time, he wanted to go to the hospital for a check but everything was fine the next day. Zui Tian was too lazy to go out and eventually, he never went.

Such days lasted until one day, Zui Tian was carrying a bag from the convenience store filled with instant noodles and cigarettes. On the way back home, he heard someone in the community shouting excitedly. “Look, a meteor!”

He looked up in a trance and remembered that tonight was the time when a meteor shower would be shown on TV. Zui Tian hadn’t looked at the night sky for a long time. He felt a bit irritable for some reason and scratched at his face. He just wanted to leave when he found a fragment in his hand.

What was this thing? He threw the fragment into the plastic bag and walked home quickly.

In the next few weeks, Zui Tian still didn’t go out but his heart discomfort became more and more frequent. He decided to go to the hospital next week for a check but fate didn’t give him this opportunity.

One day, he was extremely emotional because he was particularly stuck and almost couldn’t get full attendance (updating every day). His blood vessels almost burst because of how he was in a hurry.

Just as Zui Tian was struggling to hit the keyboard, a huge throbbing sensation suddenly came from his heart. His fingers stopped and his entire body fell down. He never got up again.

Zui Tian’s body wasn’t found by the police until it started smelling. Then his parents were notified. The landlady didn’t come back and the house couldn’t be rented out again, so it was empty for a long time until it became dusty.

Then Zui Tian gained consciousness again. He didn’t know how much time had passed but he was suddenly awakened in a spiritual state.

At first, his power was very weak and he could only exist in this dead room. He paced back and forth, falling asleep from time to time. It wasn’t just that. Sometimes he really wanted to kill. He was full of destructive desire and wanted to destroy everything. Fortunately, he had a cowardly nature and never did such a thing.

Then after waking up for a while, that fragment appeared in Zui Tian’s hand and he merged with it. Zui Tian found that his sanity was much clearer than before and his strength had increased. Not only could he write a novel according to his thoughts, but he could also even construct a world of his own and make his own novel a reality!

Considering that he was a ghost, Zui Tian decided to give up on martial arts and the overbearing president. He decided to write a horror novel that incorporated his own experience and obsession.

It took a lot of thoughts and ideas to construct a world until Xiao Li was attracted.

***

Xiao Li watched the source of Zui Tian’s manuscript and thought about it for a moment. Then he wrote again: [I think your novel is very beautiful. I would like to ask you for another manuscript.”

This time, Zui Tian poked up his head. The writer ghost, the prototype of Kou Tian, replied in a reflexive manner: [Impossible. Is it true?]

Xiao Li, “……”

It was really useful.


Proofreader: Tofu

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