The next morning, Xiao Xia realized she had caught a cold. It was the result of the fright and the cold last night. Despite this, she still used the excuse of visiting her client to slip out of the law firm to go find Gu Yu Fang.
“There’s something going on with that Entertainment City.” Xiao Xia didn’t beat around the bush. “Not only are there illegal activities such as prostitution and drugs on the surface, there’s also something strange about it.”
Gu Yu Fang didn’t speak, giving Xiao Xia an abundance of silence.
“I encountered ghosts there yesterday, and they even followed me home. They put on a door-knocking performance in the middle of the night.” Xiao Xia’s fright turned into anger due to her headache and stuffy nose. She couldn’t help but recount the events in a raised voice.
Gu Yu Fang turned pale as she muttered: “I told you they had abnormal abilities.”
“But you still tricked me into going over. You’re forcing me into helping you but you still tried to screw me over.”
“No, I wasn’t trying to harm you. I just…I just thought maybe you…I didn’t know you would encounter that.”
“Then you should at least tell me the truth now.”
“It’s not that I don’t want to. I swore a blood oath when I was initiated into the society.” Gu Yu Fang couldn’t help but shiver. “I already said…if I violate my oath, I will…” She couldn’t finish her sentence as she subconsciously rubbed her limbs.
Gu Yu Fang’s expression caused her fear to spread to Xiao Xia, immediately dampening her momentum. Her tone became almost apologetic instead of righteously angry. “Fine, I won’t force you. However, I also won’t be able to help you. I’m not holding a grudge, I’m just very afraid as well. You won’t tell me anything so I’ll be like an exposed lamb in a pack of wolves. I should at least be able to put up some resistance and protect myself if I am to help someone.” Ruan Zhan wasn’t here and she had no assurances whatsoever. She never realized how much she had become reliant upon him.
“No, you must help me. I beg you.” Gu Yu Fang suddenly shook herself awake from her stupor and grabbed Xiao Xia’s arm, her nails even piercing through Xiao Xia’s thin sweater. It was like Xiao Xia was her last lifeline. “I don’t know who else to trust, and also can’t reveal anything to anyone else. I would suffer retaliation, I’m sure of it. Maybe….” Her lips trembled. “Maybe, it doesn’t matter anymore if I reveal anything or not. Everyone will die in the end regardless.”
She released Xiao Xia and slowly sat down in a daze. She seemed timid and in despair.
Xiao Xia couldn’t help but walk over and pat her comfortingly on the shoulder. “It’ll be fine, it’ll be fine. Perhaps the police will take care of this matter. You don’t need to make a decision right away. There’s still a period of time before the trial. You can think things over carefully during this time.”
Gu Yu Fang smiled bitterly and shook her head. “For some things, there’s no going back once it’s done.”
She stretched out a cold hand and pulled Xiao Xia to sit closer to her, as though searching for courage.
“I only joined the Flower Society because I’m very lonely.” She murmured. She decided to escape her shackles and tell Xiao Xia part of the truth. At least enough for her to avoid prison. “Actually, I am the newest member and have only joined for a month. I joined after Ah Zhan’s place closed.” She looked around, sensing someone looking at her but unable to ascertain the direction.
“Ruan Zhan? What does this have to do with him?” The name made Xiao Xia’s heart leap a little.
“It’s got nothing to do with him. It’s just that he left.”
“Why do you sound like a neglected wife?” Xiao Xia grumbled, a little unable to believe this crush.
“The way things are now, there’s no need for me to hide it. I’ve always had feelings for Ah Zhan, and have always wanted something to develop between us. But men like him cannot be pursued too closely. Therefore, I merely sat at his place day after day, hoping for an opportunity. However, during these two years, he never treated me too well or too poorly. He treated me the same way he treats everyone else. If I was smart enough, I would have known early on that wasn’t a tinder that could be lit. I should have left. However, I allowed myself to sink deeper and deeper.”
“There are plenty of women at the Nocturnal Revenant who are interested in him. Really don’t know what’s so good about him.” Xiao Xia’s voice lowered some more.
“Isn’t he good?” Gu Yu Fang asked in return. “Big sis here has seen too many men before. Trust my insight, he’s one of the rare men in the world of the highest quality. There’s toughness within his gentleness. He’s responsible, calm and steady. He offers the sense of security that mature women value most.”
“Most annoyingly, he’s also that handsome.” Xiao Xia’s voice continued to grow lower, almost a whisper, but Gu Yu Fang still heard her.
“That’s right. That’s also one of the reasons I like him. However, good looks are also the main reason I entered the Flower Society.”
Xiao Xia recalled the pretty boy at Entertainment City and immediately understood what she meant.
Gu Yu Fang clearly understood that Xiao Xia didn’t approve of her actions. Xiao Xia was raised in a conservative family and taught strictly to be a conservative woman. Despite her living in a modern and globalized metropolis and working a higher-end job, she wasn’t able to accept Gu Yu Fang’s lifestyle.
However, Gu Yu Fang also didn’t think of herself as someone corrupting society. It wasn’t easy for a woman to become extremely successful in this society, especially one without any background. She had experienced countless things. She had money, ability, and also desires. She naturally had the right to enjoy materialistic goods that came with it, including men.
She didn’t have a family, didn’t have any children. No one was willing to come home to an empty place after a long day of work. If Ruan Zhan hadn’t appeared in her life, she would probably have kept up her happy yet lonely life. Although it would have been without substance, it was at least uncomplicated.
After meeting Ruan Zhan, she suddenly had thoughts of settling down. However, he remained unmoving like a mountain against all her methods. Only after he vanished without a word did she understand that despite two years of effort, she didn’t even count as a friend who deserved a goodbye.
It turned out that the harbor she wanted to dock in had just been a beautiful mirage this entire time. It was always in the distance but she could never get close.
Despair? It wasn’t to that extent. Women like her had long since crushed any fantasies of love. However, her heart remained empty and she needed something to fill it. Therefore, she had gone to the recently popular Woman Flower Entertainment City.
The moment she got there she knew that this was a place for women like her to squander their money. It was much simpler than the Nocturnal Revenant, but had everything one could ask for. Smart people who were interested could feel it right away, but it was also undetectable by the authorities.
Xiao Xia mentioned there was an incomparably handsome male server there with a unique air about him that was extremely eye-catching. However, she didn’t know the real “unique” one had only remained there for a month before vanishing. They could only be found in the Flower Society afterwards.
Furthermore, only in dreams!
Shuo Ri, Shuo Yue and Shuo Xing were triplet brothers. Their delicate and youthful faces with the sturdy bodies of mature men, paired with cold yet seductive gazes made for an indescribable allure. The first time she went to Entertainment City, she met the second oldest of the triplets in a private room. Afterwards, she was thoroughly hooked.
Shuo Yue had held her hand and read her palm. His slightly cold skin and rather rigid fingers had merely stroked her hand, but it had aroused the lust within the depths of her heart.
He teased her yet refused to satisfy her desires. He didn’t want her money, and merely said seriously to her: she was destined to be the woman of a god. He was merely one of the flower god’s three clones who was looking for the flower god’s bride.
She naturally didn’t believe him and thought he was messing around, a small trick to attract customers. However, he was serious. He said if she didn’t believe him, she could go home, lock the doors and windows, and he would appear in her dreams at three in the morning.
To play along, she did as he suggested. However, she stared at the clock until a minute before the appointed time without feeling sleepy. Right as she decided it was a joke, she fell asleep without warning.
In her dream, she was in an unfamiliar place. It was a sea of flowers surrounding a house made of black stone. Shuo Yue was waiting inside. They intertwined passionately with wild abandon. That night, she felt the greatest happiness she ever had as a woman. He said he would give her three opportunities to meet him. If she agreed, he would choose a day to come marry her. If she didn’t, he would never come again. Furthermore, it was impossible for the flower god to have a single bride. Once she decided to become the god’s woman, she had to join the Flower Society and the god would come take them away one by one.
When she awoke, she found herself completely naked in bed. She was exhausted yet weirdly satisfied. The doors and windows were all tightly shut and the security cameras of the building showed no one had come or gone.
She believed something must have happened and it wasn’t an illusion. This was because her body was telling her this. Also, upon her bathroom mirror was written “I will come again” in blood. The blood was hers, and it wasn’t her handwriting. There was a bite mark on her right breast that was deep enough to draw blood. The angle wasn’t one where she could have done it herself.
At first, she felt a hint of fear within the happiness. She even wondered if she was being haunted and spent a large sum of money to invite a priest who checked her aura. There was no hint of ghostly entanglement. This priest was said to have been hired previously by the city’s richest person Zhang Qun, and had very strong abilities. However, the priest said there was no evil influence upon her, and instead there was some divine light. He kept asking if she had encountered anything odd recently.
She naturally kept things hidden. She had only asked him to look her over and didn’t invite him home to perform exorcism. This was because she wasn’t willing to part with Shuo Yue. They had only gotten together once but she was trapped in lust. If she couldn’t have love, she could at least enjoy herself physically.
The three meetings promised by Shuo Yue always happened when she was most fidgety and unsettled. What followed was extreme happiness. The third time he left, he no longer returned as expected. She had been completely conquered by him and couldn’t do without him. Therefore, she willingly became a god’s bride and entered the Flower Society using the address he left behind.
Her rational mind prevented her from believing in the supernatural and from believing what had happened. However, the various miracles and visions slowly made her have complete faith. The world was large. Who could know everything? Furthermore, she trusted her own feelings and perception.
She was a god’s woman.
In the society, she followed along with over a dozen other similar women and donated a large sum of money. However, she didn’t care. An independent and arrogant woman like her had become like a concubine who was occasionally visited by the emperor, but she also didn’t care. As her body grew feebler daily and she realized becoming a god’s bride meant dying, she still didn’t care. The flower god also never disappointed her, filling her with faith and worship like the others. When they received the sign that the time of sacrifice was upon them, the most ardent believer fought to be the first bride.
What a beautiful dream.
On the day of the wedding, if she had fallen asleep as usual, she would still be immersed in that dream until she died. However, she had overdosed on drugs early on, and ended up mysteriously waking up at the key moment. She ended up seeing the most horrifying thing she had ever seen.
She was smart enough to feign sleep and saw everything. She didn’t dare make a sound and forced herself to keep quiet even after everything became silent. She lay there like a corpse, similar to everyone else, until that careless thief broke in. Only after the police arrived did she get out of the situation.
She was hoping for someone capable to solve the mysteries of this case, and she also didn’t wish to go to jail. Therefore, she was going to tell Xiao Xia how she was initiated, but couldn’t say anything about what happened after. She would die if she betrayed her oath.
This was because she had seen the horrifying truth.