According to my understanding of the Ghost Eclipsers, they wouldn’t dare to take a woman for themselves - especially not a woman like me, who was considered a precious commodity in this world. They would hand me to their superiors.
“Lil’ Bing… Lil’ Bing?” Someone patted my face. I opened my eyes and saw… Jun!?
“Am I okay?!” I grabbed his collar. He smiled and said, “You’re fine now.”
“That’s good.” I let out a breath of relief.
“Someone’s been living comfortably enough to be caught out.” Zong Ben leaned on Jun, smirking. He rubbed his lips and continued, “I would have been disgusted if those Ghost Eclipsers had done things to you.”
I sat up and glared at him coldly, saying, “Do you think you’re the only one who would find it disgusting? I’d be more disgusted, okay?!”
“Heh...” Jun chuckled awkwardly between Zong Ben and me. “Lil’ Bing, I think... the Ghost Eclipsers are a little different this time.”
“Jun, don’t show too much kindness.” Zong Ben narrowed his eyes and eyed Jun. “Professor Hagrid Jones looked very kind too, but he destroyed the entire world!”
Jun’s smile faded and he hung his head in silence. It was my first time seeing him without a smile, his face tinged with sorrow.
“Hm, but I like it! Hahaha.” Zong Ben laughed and continued, “Everyone in that world acted elegant and holy, like an angel. Those kinds of faces always irritated me!”
“That’s because you don’t have a family!” Jun suddenly got agitated and walked away, making Zong Ben lose his balance and fall.
Zong Ben narrowed his eyes and stood up glumly. “You know I’m an orphan. You also know how much effort I had to put in to enter the Holy Painting Palace. In order to achieve my goal I spent many years creating paintings, which you people view as pure and beautiful, and yet they disgust me.”
Jun was a little shocked and he turned around. “I thought you liked them!”
“Do I really like them!? Hah! Who would enjoy seeing you people showing off happiness everyday? I’ve been living like a rat in a dark drain my whole life. Why would I paint a beautiful life!? Tsk!” Zong Ben shrugged his shoulders and laughed. The chains on his body shook. “Such an idiot.” He chuckled with his raspy voice, but his laughter sounded more like sobs.
Jun looked at Zong Ben wistfully and said, “I thought you changed your painting style because you were feeling rebellious. It turned out that... those scenes were what you’ve always wanted to paint.”
Zong Ben reined in his smile. He hunched over, looking at Jun with his droopy eyes. “I actually became friends with you just so I could enter the Holy Painting Palace.”
Jun was stunned.
“If it weren’t because you continued to support me and be my best buddy even after I changed my painting style, I wouldn’t have stayed with you, someone who grew up in a happy, loving family! Hmph!” Zong Ben humphed and looked at Jun’s upset face. He continued, “You’re as naive as the people on Hagrid Island. That’s why you’re the one I’m jealous of the most. Why did you have such a perfect life when I was abandoned? My life has been nothing but rough times."
“Let’s not talk about this. You’re both good brothers.” I went forward to stop Zong Ben. I looked at both of them and continued, “You’re both dead. What’s the point of talking about it now?”
Jun hung his face in sadness, again without his smile.
It turned out that there had been such a secret between them.
Zong Ben looked away, annoyed. “Tsk. I wanted to tell you when we were alive. But everyone died, even your parents and your sister. There was nothing to talk about anymore.”
I watched them argue in silence. It was my first time seeing them fight. Zong Ben was sharp-tongued, but I reckoned he didn’t feel good either.
“Will you... forgive Professor Yin Yue?” I asked, because they were the ones who had the right to forgive her.
Jun looked at me after he calmed down. The edge of his lips raised slightly and he said, “I…”
“You definitely will,” Zong Ben replied on Jun’s behalf. Jun smiled embarrassedly and lowered his head again. The awkwardness finally faded.
Zong Ben rolled his eyes and lifted his hand to drape over Jun’s shoulder. He then looked at me, saying, “I know him too well. Hmph, he’s just as kind as the people on Hagrid Island. He’ll surely forgive her because Hagrid Jones’ wife is innocent. Am I right, Jun?”
Jun nodded smilingly.
“As for me?” Zong Ben pointed at himself and sneered, “I’m antisocial. Hahaha.”
Jun sighed and shook his head.
Zong Ben smiled and looked at me. “Oh right. We said that you were fine, but we didn’t say that…” He hunched his back creepily and continued, “...the ugly-ass merman is fine.”
I shouted in shock, “Ghostie!”
Suddenly, there was an uproar. What happened?
Jun suddenly pushed me, saying, “Quickly, go and save him!”
I was pushed out to the world again in an instant, and the uproar became clearer to me.
I slowly opened my eyes, feeling a little giddy. My nose was filled with a reeking smell, reminiscent of a man who hadn’t showered for three years!
I sat up slowly and heard chains clanking.
“Shhhh…” Suddenly, I heard a long shush from a microphone. The noise stopped.
I looked at my surroundings. It seemed I was in a hovering cage, with a bed in it. There were hundreds of Ghost Eclipsers around the cage I was in!
They were all staring at me, besotted. “Ohh…”
“Our sleeping beauty is awake…” A middle aged man’s voice filled the air. “Everyone, behave like a chivalrous man. Don’t scare our sleeping beauty.”
The voice sounded like it had come from above. I looked up and saw a bearded uncle in a floral shirt with wide-legged trousers, sitting on top of the cage I was in. He wore a feather hat that looked like a woman’s hat, too.
He pointed at everyone, saying, “Whoever wants to get the sleeping beauty, speak with your fist!”
“Woohoo!” Everyone started cheering again. I see. They’re the one making the noise.
The uncle jumped up on his feet, standing atop the cage I was locked in. The cage shook and chains jingled. Both my hands and legs were shackled.
Oh yeah. My superpower couldn’t be detected using the superpower tester. That was also one of my life-saving talismans: No one could tell that I was a metahuman.
“Next, whoever kills this water ghost passes the first test.”
I immediately ran to the side of the cage and saw a patch of bloodstains below, with Ghostie standing on it. His claws were covered with blood and he was panting. There were also strips dangling off them, possibly human flesh.
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