Ch6 – Whose heart do you want?
The moment Huo Wuling grabbed his wrist, Ji Ning’s heartbeat jolted.
Especially after seeing that bloodied scene in his nightmare, he didn’t even dare look at Huo Wuling in the mirror.
Of course, Ji Ning didn’t want to be taken to the infinite flow world by Huo Wuling.
He had no intention of dying, so he didn’t hesitate to call for help from the blood prince outside the door, but he didn’t receive any response.
Ji Ning’s heart sank at the silence, he guessed that the space had been isolated from the outside world.
Yet for some unknown reason, Huo Wuling chose to let go of Ji Ning’s hand and disappear into the mirror of his own initiative.
The light in the bathroom went out with a pop and the room fell into complete darkness.
Blinded, Ji Ning didn’t dare to stay there any longer.
He groped his way to the doorway, before clawing at the edge of the door so he could peer out.
It wasn’t the warm light of the bedroom that bled through the gap, but a bleak white light that carried with it the sound of rain.
A cold breeze blew through the doorway.
Feeling that something was wrong, Ji Ning tried to close the door but it swung open sharply by itself.
Outside the door was a dark and quiet street.
The heavy rain poured from the night sky, gathering into puddles across the roads.
The street lamps emitted a dim light that flickered on and off, reflecting off the pools of water.
There were neat and delicate low rise buildings on both sides of the street, only two or three stories high with the first floor being shops.
Signs hung on each door, their handwriting blurred and unreadable in the unlit rooms of the rain stained shop windows.
Faced with such a bizarre scene, Ji Ning felt no desire to go out, but a sudden force from behind pushed him out the door.
He staggered a step forward as the door closed with a bang behind him, twisting and deforming until a glass door stood there, no different from the other shops, blocking Ji Ning’s way back.
The cold rain that fell on Ji Ning’s body carried a faint smell of blood.
He stood stil, knowing he was completely trapped.
Although Huo Wuling hadn’t shown up yet, Ji Ning knew it was his attempt to scare him, little by little edging him into a corner.
In the night time downpour, Ji Ning tightly wrapped his wet pyjamas around himself, pursed his lips and began to walk slowly down the street.
In the end he had no real choice, if he refused to walk it would be like with the door and Huo Wuling would choose for him, which would only be worse.
It didn’t matter… the worst case scenario was that he was tortured by Huo Wuling.
As long as he could find a way to die at the hands of Huo Wuling, Future had promised him that he could apply for resurrection.
Ji Ning calmed himself down, raised his hands to wipe the rain from his face and started looking around, attempting to guess what Huo Wuling wanted him to do.
The street was deserted.
As the rain fell a white mist appeared, the doors on both sides of the road were locked and pitch black inside.
Only a store in the distance was lit up, its lights hung under the shop sign swaying in the wind.
Ji Ning walked towards the store.
As he moved closer he could begin to hear a noise aside from the rainfall.
It was an ethereal song, gentle and soothing like an old record, that came from the open store door.
Before he entered the store, he raised his hand to block the rain in front of his face so he could read the store’s sign board.
The sign was so old it had lost all its colour, only the words ‘Grocery Store’ were written.
We’re sorry for MTLers or people who like using reading mode, but our translations keep getting stolen by aggregators so we’re going to bring back the copy protection.
If you need to MTL please retype the gibberish parts.
Ji Ning walked through the open door and stood inside the door frame until a pool of water had accumulated beneath his feet.
Ktf ugbmfgs rabgf kjr yijcxfafv ys j kjgw bgjcuf iluta.
Ktf rabgf kjr cba ijguf yea mbcajlcfv j njglfas bo ubbvr.
Cii jmgbrr atf rabgf kfgf tecvgfvr bo mbibegoei uijrr pjgr, qijmfv bc j njglfas bo rabgjuf rtfinfr.
Vbwfktfgf lc atf rtbq, j gfmbgv aegcfv bc j ugjwbqtbcf, gfifjrlcu j ibk jcv ufcaif ofwjif nblmf.
Inside each glass jar was a living thing that trembled slightly in the light.
Before Ji Ning could take a closer look he heard a light thump from one of them.
Inside the jar was a beating heart, vivid red in colour with pronounced blood vessels across it.
Each glass jar held a similar shape…they were all hearts.
A scream was heard from the silent street.
A man’s voice.
The door of the store opened close to Ji Ning and two shadows ran out, one after the other
These shadows held no facial features, as if their whole bodies were composed of black mist.
It could only be distinguished that one was a man and the other a woman.
The man in front was running for his life whilst the woman held a sharp knife and chased him from behind.
“You said you loved me…you swore that you loved me!”
The woman screamed, suddenly rushing forward and pushing the man to the ground, stabbing the knife frantically into his body as he fell.
He struggled and yelled but after several cuts he gradually stopped moving until he lay silent and motionless on the floor.
The woman who appeared as a human shaped mist let out a wailing cry, slumped beside the corpse and wept.
After a while she raised the sharp knife again and tremblingly cut open the corpse’s chest, removing its heart.
Dropping the knife, she held the heart in her hands, where it still continued to beat.
She staggered towards the grocery store, asking in a hoarse and trembling voice.
“Is the boss there…”
Ji Ning took a step back, looking at the shadow of the woman’s silhouette with some fear but she didn’t appear to be looking for him.
She even nodded politely at Ji Ning before continuing to look inside.
“Coming at once.”
A warm male voice came from behind the heavy storage racks.
When he heard the voice, Ji Ning’s body tensed but as if he were a pinned butterfly, he was unable to move a muscle.
He couldn’t even make a sound as Huo Wuling’s beautiful face emerged from the storage rack.
He was still wearing a white shirt.
Every button was neatly fastened and the shirt was ironed straight, emphasising his tall and slender figure.
He smiled at the woman and asked gently.
“Miss, what do you need?”
“I want you to store this…”
Huo Wuling nodded and took out a glass jar.
He packed the heart into the jar and placed it on a storage rack.
As he operated the register, he asked the woman kindly “What’s your reason for storing this heart?”
“His heart has deteriorated…” murmured the woman sadly, “He doesn’t love me anymore so I want to preserve it before it rots.”
Huo Wuling wrote this down in a notebook.
The woman stood in the store, stared at the lavender glass jaw for a long time, then turned and slowly walked outside, her misty figure gradually dissolving.
“Then, this customer,” Huo Wuling closed the notebook in his hand and looked at Ji Ning with a smile, “What do you need me to do!”
Ji Ning’s voice was blocked and he couldn’t answer the question but Huo Wuling didn’t seem to need his answer, just curled the corners of his lips and continued.
“You don’t look like you want to store or trade hearts…want to buy? We sell hearts too.”
“Whose heart do you want?”
With a tender smile, he took Ji Ning’s hand and led him to browse the glass jars on the storage shelf, each with a beating heart inside.
There were a variety of graphite drawings hung on the walls.
The figures on them had no facial features, only the outlines of their bodies but Ji Ning quickly recognised the figures as himself and Huo Wuling.
The drawings were of their past experiences.
When Huo Wuling pulled him from the ten thousand ghosts pit and fed him with his own blood.
One summer night when Huo Wuling fell asleep on top of him like a cat because of his comfortable, cold ghost body.
When Ji Ning was captured by a monster in a dungeon, Huo Wuling had slaughtered the entire chamber, walking across bones and blood with a serene face as he extended his hand to him again.
And the last drawing was…
“Do you like the drawings?”
Inside the grocery store, the Huo Wuling who held Ji Ning’s wrist stood in front of the drawing, looked at Ji Ning and abruptly laughed.
“I think you’ll like this too.”
He raised his hand to his chest, his fingers dipping into the flesh as he dug out his heart, blood spurting from his lips as he tore off the blood vessels connecting the heart to his body.
The bloody mess was handed to Ji Ning.
“I’ll give you my heart.
Is it good?”
“Don’t you want it?”
The female voice from the gramophone became higher as the tune twisted unrecognisably and the lights in the shop went out.
The scene seemed to shift to Ji Ning holding the heart as Huo Wuling hugged him from behind and moved his hands to his chest.
“In exchange, you have to give me your heart Ningning.”
“Let me preserve it before it rots completely.”
“Will you promise you will never leave me?”
The extreme cold began to penetrate Ji Ning’s heart, his face turned pale as his eyesight became more and more blurred and his eyes began to close…
Just as he was about to be completely engulfed by the cold, a cobweb of cracks spread through the surrounding darkness before it shattered like a mirror, revealing the warm lights and interior of the bathroom.
Ji Ning’s falling body was caught by a pair of powerful arms.
He was so dizzy he could barely see anything.
He only glimpsed a pair of dark red pupils before he fainted.
Herinos held Ji Ning in his arms and looked at the figure in the mirror with a gloomy expression.
The glossy mirror surface was covered in cobweb-like cracks.
Similarly, Huo Wuling’s body began to crumble within the mirror, dissipating quickly.
Before he could completely disappear, Herinos narrowed his eyes dangerously and warned,
“No matter who you are, you are not allowed to approach Ji Ning in the future.”
Huo Wuling smiled, his eyes falling on Herinos’s hand dripping blood and said meaningfully,
“This time you’ve won but next time we meet, I will take Ningning and kill you.”
As his figure vanished completely, the mirror shattered, sharp fragments flying everywhere.
Herinos raised his hand slightly, creating an invisible force that blocked the fragments, letting them fall harmlessly to the floor.
Herinos gently placed the unconscious Ji Ning on the bed.
He spread out his hands to look at his bloodied knuckles.
The wounds which usually would have disappeared in a few seconds had turned a faint black, with no signs of healing.
Herinos’ expression was complex as he looked at the comatose Ji Ning.
After a while, he touched Ji Ning’s face with his fingertips.
He spoke softly, as if he was speaking to Ji Ning.
“…Who is he?”
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