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As soon as Lu Shu woke up on the other side of the door, he understood why the Puppet Masters were weakened after going through the gate. It was speculated that the Puppet Masters had lowered their power level and were thrown around in the space behind the door. The harsh condition had made Lu Shu pass out straightaway… Honestly speaking, Lu Shu admired how the Puppet Masters could still fight on after passing the tunnel.
Admittedly, though, Puppet Masters could retain their Class B powers, but Lu Shu’s physical abilities at the moment were no different from a commoner’s.
He opened his eyes and studied the surroundings. It seemed that he was lying on a cold, hard bed. In the corner of the little adobe house, there was a hoe-looking farming tool, with crumbs of mud on its surface.
The bedding consisted of layers of mud bricks. There was nothing artistic about it as all of the bricks were molded into the standard rectangular shape and were scarcely baked…
There was no other furniture beside the bed and a crude wooden table with uneven surface. On top, there was a bowl with a bitten purple steamed corn bun inside. In fact, Lu Shu could not even be sure whether it was really a steamed corn bun.
Lu Shu was puzzled. Was he really in the Puppet Masters’ homeland? In his imagination, they must have come from a place teeming with powerful people and high-class cuisine that he had never heard of.
Although it was true that the food inside the bowl looked foreign to him, it did not look high-class at all.
It felt more like he had been sent to a random village unwittingly for voluntary teaching. If this was really the case, what were the Puppet Masters? The sight before his eyes was too strange to be true, which made Lu Shu wonder whether he had really passed through the right Celestial Gate.
Struggling to sit up, Lu Shu felt as if his bones were falling apart. His shoes were placed neatly beside the bed and it appeared that the owner of the room had left when he was unconscious, unconcerned if Lu Shu could be a thief.
Truth be told, though, there was nothing in the room that caught Lu Shu’s interest.
However, he was definitely going home. No matter how great the outside world was, the Earth, and Luo City, were still his favorite place.
Some people believed that the strong must shatter the emptiness and venture into another universe. But Lu Shu disagreed. Why must you seek to be beaten up by an even more powerful individual in another world when you could be the best in yours…
Lu Shu had no ambition to be the strongest man across the universe. To him, the most ideal life was to get along well in Luo City with Lu Xiaoyu.
Hence, at the moment, the greatest desire in his heart was to go home. But he knew that it would take some time.
Suddenly, a middle-age man pushed open the door and entered the room. He had a pole over his shoulders, loaded with two buckets of water. The man looked just like any other Earthlings. Lu Shu was puzzled. Was he really on the other side of the Celestial Gate, or was he in a Changbai village?
Lu Shu remained tight-lipped because he did not want to expose himself by speaking the wrong language.
Thus, his best shot currently was to act dumb and learn their language. In this way, he would be able to integrate into this world and find his way home!
In the next moment, however, the man grinned at him. “Hey! Glad that yo’r awake! Please dun mind ma shabby house, would ya? The thing is, it was so strange when I met ya. No offense, please, but ya suddenly collapsed behind ma back when I was busy working in ma farmland… Please! Dun blackmail me! I didn’t do anything!”
Lu Shu was speechless.
What’s with his accent? Was it really the alternative world behind the Gate?! This must be a mistake!
Lu Shu calmed himself and asked, “Where am I?”
Good that they spoke the same language. At the very least, his identity would not be exposed that easily.
Although Lu Shu was a talented foreign language speaker, he was not willing to spend all his time learning all the languages either.
As of now, he could speak Mandarin, Japanese, English and Chaos’ Aegyo language1…
But Lu Shu was feeling lost. Why did the man keep using honorific speech like “please”? It sounded quite strange. Yet, Lu Shu did not voice his confusion because the more he spoke, the more mistakes he might make. Besides, Lu Shu realized that the man’s accent was mixed, uncharacteristic of any specific region.
The man’s face beamed with joy upon hearing Lu Shu speak. He answered, “This is Tiangeng Town. I’m a farmer here. I’m Zhang Weiyu. Where are yo from? Are yo hungry? I can cook a chicken for yo, if yo like, please?”
Lu Shu dismissed him with a wave. “We can talk about food later. I’m having a bad memory at the moment. Let me ask you. Does here… I mean this world here, have a name?”
Zhang Weiyu seemed stunned by the question. “Of course!”
“What is it?” Lu Shu’s eyes brightened.
Lu Shu was confused.
This time, it was Lu Shu’s turn to be stunned. “Wait a minute. Is it because of your accent…”
The universe? The Luniverse?
Zhang Weiyu shot him a puzzled look and wrote “Luniverse” on the table with his saliva. Then, he said, “Luniverse. Correct! There’s nothing wrong with my pronunciation.”
Lu Shu drew a startled breath. On the bright side, he had indeed passed through the Celestial Gate. Nevertheless, the name of this world was… rather hard to accept.
Why? Was this his Lu ancestors’ world? Why was it called the Luniverse?!?
Moreover, in Chinese, universe is translated as “Yu Zhou” and the two characters refer to space and time respectively, which makes it sensible that their combination means the entire world.
But how about this Luniverse2?
Only then did Lu Shu notice that the man was dressed casually in shorts and a T-shirt. Not only that, he was wearing straw sandals and his belt was nothing but a twisted straw string.
Lu Shu studied Zhang Weiyu. Deprived of his sensory abilities, he could no longer determine the power level of this man. Nevertheless, he noticed a sense of smartness in his tone of speech. Yet, given his extreme politeness at the moment, it seemed that he had mistaken Lu Shu as some significant figure.
Suddenly, Zhang Weiyu yelled at Lu Shu, as if he had just realized that he had been fooled, “Get off my bed, you loser! Do you seriously think that you can fool me with your fake upper-class accent?! And stop lying about your memory! Such an overused excuse!”
Lu Shu was confused. What an ill-founded accusation! Yet, the best strategy at the moment was to play by hand. Be it an aristocrat or a farmer, he had to first become a man of this world.
This time, Lu Shu exercised extra caution because he knew this world was not as peaceful as the Earth due to the Puppet Masters.
Lu Shu listened to him and got off the clay kang3. He made a genuine apology. “Sorry. My memory is really messed up right now. So I’d like to know what’s going on.”
Then, Zhang Weiyu rolled his eyes and said, “Don’t lie. Tell me the truth. Did you run away from your landlord’s house because you got yourself into trouble… Never mind. It doesn’t matter who you are. Do you want to make a living here?”
Chinese pun intended here as “English” and “Aegyo” share the same pronunciation in Chinese
In Chinese, Luniverse is “Lu Zhou”
A traditional long platform for general living, working, entertaining and sleeping used in the northern part of China
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