Chapter 2: Substitute Marriage (2)

Liu Fuyi paused in confusion.

Miaomiao searched around her waist before taking out a walnut-sized embroidered red ball(1) 1 繡球掛件 Embroidered ball with tassels hanging off of it. . She rolled it up before tossing it over. The ball crashed into his abdomen before it fell to the ground next to his feet.

Liu Fuyi was stunned by this action of hers.

”Throw it back to me, quickly.” She urged him as a layer of thin sweat surfaced on her forehead.

Liu Fuyi bent his waist to pick up that small embroidered ball, the red tassels on the ball dragging against his pale hand. He carefully scrutinized it before his expression grew more serious.

”Quickly!” Ling Miaomiao’s ears perked up as she tried to listen for any movement inside the room.

He lightly tossed it up and the embroidered ball flew towards Ling Miaomiao. While in the air, it seemed to hit something and rebounded back to the ground near Liu Fuyi’s feet.

Liu Fuyi’s expression immediately changed, there was an invisible barrier separating the two!

One could enter but not leave. If any of the two were to walk towards the other, who would know if they would be like the embroidered ball: Unknowingly getting pulled into the invisible boundary.

Miaomiao spoke deliberately, “Fuyi… we might not be in the same place at all.”

The original book’s setting here was truly complicated.

As a pragmatic Mathematics major, when Ling Miaomiao read up to this point she tried to consider all the possibilities. However, no matter how she thought about it, she couldn’t figure it out. When she drew out the scene and seriously considered all possible factors, she finally came to the conclusion that: Floating Boat didn’t properly learn physics.

She had tried to describe the invisible ‘boundary’ yet only used: a strange swallowing force to describe it.

As a faithful reader, Ling Miaomiao tried her best to find a reasonable explanation: She and Liu Fuyi could both see each other because they were in two spaces that had been merged together.

In truth, they could possibly just be on two ends of the same room. Their backs could be facing each other. There was a force that twisted the space around them. The invisible barrier between them was the twisted boundary between the two spaces.

As soon as someone passed through, the boundary would quickly turn into a wall-like existence, locking both people in one space.

Ling Miaomiao suddenly heard eerie noises coming from inside the room. It sounded like a burst of water coming from the north vents.

Liu Fuyi was sharp, instantly reacting to Miaomiao’s single sentence.

He listened intently, becoming extremely serious when he heard her say with a low voice, “It’s coming!”

The space in-between Miaomiao and Liu Fuyi suddenly started to quiver then slowly start to tremble. It was just like rainwater sliding down a glass window. Shapes started to appear on it and surprisingly it was a scene of her and Liu Fuyi standing near each other with the exception of an empty background, as if fog had consumed everything.

Opposite her, Liu Fuyi opened his mouth but his voice sounded blunted, as if something was separating them. His calm voice brought with it some bewilderment, “Miaomiao, I can’t see you anymore.”

Can’t see? In front of her, she could see that she and Liu Fuyi were standing shoulder to shoulder. Ling Miaomiao raised her head and the girl in the scene before her raised her head slightly. Miaomiao smiled and the Miaomiao in the scene also smiled. Next to her however, Liu Fuyi’s eyes were dark and his expression was full of wariness, just like a tightly drawn bow.

”Fuyi, I’m right here. I can see myself and I can see you too.”

Miaomiao saw that Liu Fuyi contemplated for a moment before his expression relaxed. A light flashed through his eyes as he said, “Do you know what ‘it’ is?”

The water curtain in front of Miaomiao shook and ripples started to appear. Miaomiao snickered mentally. You old demon, I’m smarter than you, you mad?

A hint of laughter appeared in Liu Fuyi’s eyes. A face that originally held a sense of untouchable holiness somehow put on a fresh proud expression. He then took out the Nine Mysterious Demon Restraining Pagoda and held it in the palm of his right hand. Then, with his left hand, he started to draw several inscriptions in the air with rapid succession.

Ling Miaomiao stared unblinkingly at that pagoda. So the male lead’s golden finger was so small, it was just about the size of his palm. It had about seven layers and it looked like a toy some kid had made by piling some leftover pieces of wood atop each other.

Can this toy really restrain this supernatural demon?

Liu Fuyi then rapidly chanted a string of mnemonic chants in a low yet rapid voice. She couldn’t clearly hear what he was saying except for the last two words when he raised his voice at the end: “… Water mirror!”

Ah, this genius male lead Liu Fuyi really wasn’t your average guy!

This ‘invisible barrier’ really was in truth, just a mirror.

All those newlyweds of Taicang County lost their lives to this mirror.

According to the original book, this water mirror was the work of an ancient demon king. After having been immersed in demonic Qi for a long time, it gained spiritual cognition. Thus, possessing the ability to move.

It didn’t have a human form but it was evil. It continuously swallowed humans to satisfy its desires.

A hundred years ago, it had pretended to be a vanity mirror. It swallowed up many women that used it before it was sealed by a daoist who was passing through..

The daoist that sealed it didn’t have a way to completely exterminate this dangerous mirror so after racking his brains for a solution, he settled on sealing it instead.

The daoist was an egotistical priest who liked to delve into mathematical conundrums in his free time. After struggling against the mirror for half a day, he finally came up with this rule: Only if a person takes a step that measures three meters, and faces the mirror, will they have a chance to be swallowed.

The daoist was immensely proud of himself, which normal person would take a three meter long step? No matter how capable the water mirror was, it was only an one-sided mirror. When they passed through the mirror, they would be behind the mirror, how could they possibly see their reflection? How could it possibly swallow anyone?

”Double insurance, I’m a genius.” As he thought all this, he mounted his donkey feeling quite proud of himself and left.

After Ling Miaomiao had read this, she thought to herself: As long as the mirror bends itself down, turning itself into a double sided mirror, and gets people to pass through it… wouldn’t everything be over?

She only dared to silently ponder. As readers, one should be more lenient on the struggling authors’ mess ups. In any case, the mainstay of this novel was focused on love, hate and drama. There was no need to pay any particular heed to these details.

After the water mirror passed through a hundred years of earnest experimentation, it finally discovered a way to swallow people.

It chose the moment the couple would enter the bridal room, when the two people were standing more than 3 meters away from it, to instantly move the space, creating the false scene of two people standing face to face, and it itself will hide in the crevice between the two spaces.

Just like what had happened to her and Fuyi a moment ago, if something had passed through the mirror in a 3 meter long step, the water mirror would’ve twisted the space back to its original state.

The edges of the space were very ambiguous, to the point that if you were to say that it was one, you could also say that it was two. As long as the water mirror bent around the side with nobody in it, once a person passes through the mirror and looks at one of the mirror’s faces, they will be sucked in by the mirror. Those who try to save the lovers will have space twisted once again by the water mirror. It will shrink the three meter long distance into a single step and these people will step through the mirror in one smooth motion. It won’t even let go of those trying to rescue them.

The water mirror was only a low ranked monster yet it was able to think of such a remarkable method. Ling Miaomiao couldn’t help but feel impressed by it. She was even somewhat reluctant to think of killing it.

The wood pagoda suddenly flew out of Fuyi’s palm and rapidly enlarged, casting a huge shadow from atop their heads.

In the next instant, the water mirror in front of Miaomiao shattered, rapidly turning into a tornado of glass shards. It headed towards the door in a bid to escape from the chasing wooden pagoda.

The twisted space returned to normal and she saw Liu Fuyi’s shadow. He was only 3 meters away from her, with his back faced towards her. Liu Fuyi turned around and looked her in the eyes. There was a hint of astonishment in his eyes, “Miaomiao, you’re much more intelligent and courageous than I’d thought.”

”I don’t dare.” Miaomiao pondered for a moment, thinking about what Ling Yu’s reaction might’ve been. Then, according to the original host’s personality, she lowered her head and replied in a shy and bashful tone, “Brother Liu, you’re praising me wrongly.”

Liu Fuyi was somewhat astonished but he immediately smiled, “Did you get injured?”

Miaomiao shyly shook her head before looking at him coquettishly, making Liu Fuyi at a loss for words.

After a while, he deliberated before saying, “Miss Ling, can you dispel my confusion? Just now we didn’t pass through the water mirror and reasonably, we should’ve been on the front and back sides of the mirror. Why could you still see the scene of the both of us standing close together?”

“I guess it’s because the old monster cut itself in half, exposing your silhouette. What I saw was my inverted image and the real you. Over on your side, I was blocked by the water mirror…”

Liu Fuyi’s eyebrows leapt up as he naturally continued her words: “What I saw was the back of the water mirror so I couldn’t see you. It pieced the scene together to entice you into checking out the mirror…” He couldn’t help but reveal another slight smile, “So that’s how it is. It was extremely clever.”

Miaomiao smiled at him, Liu Fuyi’s IQ was very high. If he were to undergo modern education, he would definitely become a prodigy. Much more impressive than her, who struggled to pass her exams.

“Oh yeah, where’s Mu Yao?” Miaomiao followed Liu Fuyi out as she yawned and showed a bit of concern.

The heavy rain outside had already stopped, only leaving behind puddles of mirror-like water.

“Yao’er?” Liu Fuyi’s expression was a little strange, “Yao’er was heavily injured and hasn’t woken up yet. Isn’t she currently resting in the east sideroom?”

East sideroom!

Ling Miaomiao buzzed for a second, as if she was struck in the head with a bat. In just a moment, the blurry memories came rushing back in like a tsunami, immediately filling up all of her missing memories.

Oh my god! Even though she only just entered the book’s world and her mind still hadn’t wrapped itself around this fact… how could she possibly forget about this point in the plot!

(1) 繡球掛件 Embroidered ball with tassels hanging off of it.

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