Chapter 1: The Temple Fair
Translator: Sparrow Translations Editor: Sparrow Translations
It was February. The western sunset engulfed the entire cold, winter sky. Its desolate red light was like a layer of an oil painting, giving passers-by shades of different colors.
The passers-by were full of smiles.
It was the third day of the Lunar New Year, a good time to go shopping at the temple fair. In the small city of Luo Cheng, there were at least seven temple fairs going on.
“Lu Shu, I want to eat hawthorn candy, the ones with a walnut.” One girl said, pulling on the sleeve of the young man in front of her. Her hand was pointed towards the small candy cart at the roadside. Through its glass windows, one could see that the hawthorn candies inside were gleaming like crystals.
The girl was young and looked about 10 years old. She wore a white down jacket, which was clean and pristine.
The 17-year-old teenager named Lu Shu looked over at the cart unwillingly, cleared his throat and said to the girl, “Lu Xiaoyu! Didn’t I tell you when I bought you the down jacket? If you wanted the down jacket, we would have to spend less, or else I wouldn’t have enough to pay for my senior year 3 school fees next semester!”
“Lu Shu, you’ve changed!” Lu Xiaoyu said calmly.
Lu Shu’s face turned dark, “Who did you learn this from, watch fewer soap operas will you?”
He hesitated for a moment, before sighing and walking over to the owner selling the hawthorn candy, “Boss, how much do the walnut ones cost?”
“5 dollars. Come on, buy one for your sister,” The owner smiled amicably. He knew long ago who actually wanted to eat the candy.
5 dollars… So bloody expensive . Lu Shu took out a wrinkled 10 dollar note from his pouch, handed it over to the owner and got 5 dollars back as change.
The candy was now Lu Xiaoyu’s. One stick of candy consisted of 7 candies. Lu Xiaoyu, upon receiving the stick, said, “I’ll eat 5 and save 2 for you!”
Lu Shu smiled and patted Lu Xiaoyu’s head, “Just one will do.”
At this young age, the girl was only at Lu Shu’s waist level. A stretch of Lu Shu’s arm would reach her head nicely.
“Okay.” Lu Xiaoyu said. Her pale face and red lips in winter gave her the impression of a beautiful glass doll.
At this moment, a few youngsters walked past them, discussing intensely about something peculiar, “Did you guys see the news last night? It’s about this old man whose soul was seen before he died. This news was deleted eventually.”
Lu Shu looked at Lu Xiaoyu eating the candy enjoyably while thinking that there were increasing numbers of weird occurrences recently. There was also news that a kid was emitting blue light from his palms, and a big man lifting a 2000 pound weight with just his hands.
It was not clear whether these news were false or not as they were deleted soon after and the commotion also diminished.
There were also some videos, for example, showing a person who would cause the street lights to go off wherever he walked to. These occurrences all seemed extremely weird and supernatural.
A video of a woman mysteriously disappearing into thin air.
And a video taken by a bystander, who claimed to have seen someone spitting out and sucking in the clouds at the top of a mountain.
What was common in all of them was that all these videos eventually disappeared.
Lu Shu looked up at the sky and he had a feeling something was about to happen but had no idea what it would be.
Did the world really have such mysterious and supernatural occurrences? Having lived for 17 years, these occurrences only started occurring recently. What’s wrong?
It felt like life was taking a big swing!
“Let’s go, let’s go watch some acrobatics.” Lu Shu took out a pair of tickets from his pouch, “There’s still 20 minutes, apparently this year’s temple fair specially invited this acrobatics team, there are even acts involving flames.”
At this point in time, Lu Xiaoyu had finished 6 candies, and satisfactorily passed the stick and its sole remaining candy to Lu Shu, “Delicious!”
“Good-for-nothing.” Lu Shu chided.
There was indeed a fair amount of work put into this year’s acrobatics performance, and it seemed to hint at some elements of magic. The organizers of the temple fair built an elaborate stage, and there were huge crowds below it. Only then did Lu Shu feel the atmosphere of the Lunar New Year.
The acrobatics didn’t have much uniqueness initially; typical performances such as using heads to smash large vats, juggling knives, and similar acts.
Eventually, there was some change towards the end of the performance. A young man came onto the stage, and immediately after the act started, his entire body burst into flames.
Lu Shu was taken aback. Heavens, is there really no problem with such a performance? Won’t he die?
“Lu Shu Lu Shu, let me sit on your shoulders to watch the show!” Lu Xiaoyu exclaimed.
Lu Shu said helplessly, “I can’t lift you up.”
Lu Shu seemed rather skinny, and his face unusually pale. It wasn’t due to a sudden illness, but it was his innate trait, being born rather frail and weak. Once, he bought supplement pills for a period of time, spending much money and effort but ultimately, it didn’t have any significant effect.
Still weak as ever…
At the very least this meant that his weakness was not because of his kidney, it was minimally some sort of consolation for himself… Lu Shu did this to comfort himself.
Lu Shu squeezed forward with Lu Xiaoyu as standing closer would have offered them a clearer view.
At this moment, the performer on the stage extinguished the flame in the blink of an eye. It seemed as if the flames were totally under his control.
Lu Shu only then realized that the rise in price to 20 dollars in this year’s temple fair was really worth it, getting to see both acrobatics and magic.
The man on the stage had flames engulfing his body momentarily, and in the next moment, it would be gone. The crimson red flame brought along a small shade of blue, and it was extremely gorgeous.
Towards the end, flames erupted from the man’s palms and flew towards the audience. However, as the flames were about to reach the audience, they all vanished into thin air.
Applause and cheers erupted from the entire venue and the performer bowed before leaving the stage.
One person was silent. The bright and crimson red flame got the closest to Lu Shu, and when that flame got nearer, Lu Shu felt, momentarily, that his heart had an erratic movement. That feeling… It felt like a reconciliation between two parties after an eternity…
What was that? Lu Shu had some questions. This feeling felt so real, so real that he had no doubts about it.
“Lu Shu Lu Shu, I want to learn this! You bring me to him to learn acrobatics!” Lu Xiaoyu urged Lu Shu before running off to the backstage.
“You are just a little girl, why learn acrobatics? All these acts are their secrets and way of life, why would they teach them to you! Moreover, we don’t have the money for the learning fees!” Lu Shu said irritably. However, he wanted to see the performer as well, and he wanted him to perform it once more if possible. Lu Shu wanted to know exactly what happened to himself previously.
He followed Lu Xiaoyu to the backstage and bumped into 5 men with guns, donned in black. A needle-like object was pierced into the neck of the performer, and within two seconds, the performer fell flat on the floor, motionless.
The other performers didn’t dare to utter a word. The aura of this group of people was too strong. Their bodies hidden beneath the black coats must have been huge and contained apocalyptic strength.
Lu Shu was confused. What was happening? This scene was rather wrong!
Lu Xiaoyu did not care so much, “What gives you the right to do this to him!”
To Lu Shu, not peeing out of fear by this series of events would be impressive for an ordinary person, but Lu Xiaoyu this little good-for-nothing had always been righteous, and seeing her potential master on the floor made her even more unhappy.
Lu Shu’s face turned green and was tempted to flee with Lu Xiaoyu on the spot. Surprisingly, one of the black-coated guys spoke calmly, “This temple fair did not apply for the approval of fire-fighting emergencies for his act. He went against the safety guidelines for fire safety and we have to bring him back for investigation.
I’d be a fool to believe your crap!
Lu Shu absolutely did not believe their words and even if he did go against safety, it would be handled by the organizers of the temple fair!
And which fire safety company uses a tranquiliser dart to knock someone out?
There’s a problem! A huge problem!