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New Times, New HellCh8 - Marionette

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“Please come in.” Wei Xiao led Yu Zhengdu and Shang Que into the company’s meeting room.

After sitting down, Wei Xiao once again thanked them for being good Samaritans. Yu Zhengdu’s response was very honest: “There’s no need to be so polite. Since we are collecting a gratitude fee, we can’t be considered good Samaritans.” QPvE8f

Shang Que maintained his nonchalant look, elegantly resting against the back of the chair. He nodded at Yu Zhengdu’s words. “Exactly.”

Wei Xiao paused for a moment, then looked at Yu Zhengdu. His words hid a deeper meaning as he asked, “May I ask, how did you open the elevator?”

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Yu Zhengdu originally wanted to use the lie he used with the firefighters to trick him too, and then leave after receiving the gratitude fee. But after hearing this question, his breath hitched as he realized that perhaps Wei Xiao already noticed something.

The company’s secretly obviously couldn’t be revealed, but if Wei Xiao really was suspicious, it probably would be difficult to fool him. D3byHZ

Yu Zhengdu was a bit hesitant so looked at Shang Que, only to see Shang Que’s head was propped up on one hand, his expression indifferent. His tone of voice was passive. “Say what you want to say directly. Stop going in circles.”

Yu Zhengdu immediately felt newfound respect. Even though their company was small, their boss’s attitude wasn’t!

He just didn’t know if the big boss of a famous, old-fashioned company like Double Horn Technology would buy it.

Yu Zhengdu secretly worried about the gratitude fee that they hadn’t received yet. O Qbiq

Wei Xiao was ultimately someone who had a lot of experience in the business field, even after this he remained unbothered, warmly saying, “I noticed it earlier. Not only did this student open the elevator doors, but later when the doors closed, you guys did that too right.”

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Yu Zhengdu didn’t think Wei Xiao would be so sensitive thus couldn’t help feeling surprised, but outwardly he mimicked his boss perfectly, quietly faking an aloof air and remaining silent.

Thankfully Wei Xiao didn’t trouble them with more questions, suddenly changing the topic and saying, “To tell you the truth, I have a daughter named Momo who is 5 this year. Her health has always been poor and she gets sick a lot. Her mother and I took her to many famous doctors but to no avail. Later her grandmother took her to see a religious man, who said that Momo’s health problems weren’t because of a congenital deficiency……”

“Sometimes Momo is like this student too, she’ll talk to the air……” ifv6dK

Wei Xiao made a call as he spoke, “Xiao Ni, bring Momo over.”

Right after he finished his command, someone who appeared to be an assistant knocked on the door and entered. She nervously expressed, “Boss W-Wei, Mo, Mo…… Momo is gone——”

Wei Xiao stood up with a “huo”. His previous warm and courteous appearance disappeared, replaced with an expression of rage. He harshly asked, “What did you say?”

The assistant’s makeup was about to start running off her face from all the sweating; her voice shook as she spoke, “Just now Momo was clamoring to see you. I couldn’t stop her so took her by the elevator, but just, just then someone sent a file over so I grabbed it. It was just a moment but Momo, dis-disappeared……” gzm4lt

Wei Xiao’s face was dark. He glared at his assistant, “Then hurry and get people to go look.”

His assistant’s voice wavered like she was about to cry, “We’re already looking. I’m sure we’ll find her soon.”

Wei Xiao’s voice was as cold as ice as he slammed a hand against the table. “How soon, give me a time.”

The assistant obviously couldn’t give him a time. The entire company knew how much the big boss cared for his precious daughter, or he wouldn’t bring her to the company so often. Yet the more it was so, the more the assistant feared. Her eyes glistened with tears, but she didn’t dare to cry, only bracing herself and saying, “Very, very soon……” OdZv9u

Wei Xiao had already lost all of his previous composure and was currently walking in circles where he stood.

Yu Zhengdu could approximately guess what happened from the conversation he heard, and couldn’t help but worry for Wei Xiao. Unfortunately, he really couldn’t do anything in this sort of situation.

At this moment, Shang Que, who had previously only been an indifferent wallflower, suddenly opened his mouth, lightly asking, “If I can help you find her, will I get another gratitude fee?”

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Wei Xiao forcefully turned his head to look at him. FRYaVd

Yu Zhengdu stared at him in shock. He never imagined, Boss learned how to make money so quickly. He awkwardly said, “Boss, can’t we have a classier way of earning money……”

But Wei Xiao had already practically jumped on him: “How much. However much you want, as long as you can help me find Momo.”

Yu Zhengdu quickly comforted him. “Boss Wei, there’s no need to be this way. It’s every citizen’s responsibility to help find lost children. We really don’t need to discuss pay.”

Wei Xiao was firm. “I will definitely pay for this.” Z0dPpH

Yu Zhengdu: “……”

Shang Que switched a hand to rest his head on, looked at him, and asked shamelessly, “What is considered a classy way of earning money?”

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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.

Yu Zhengdu: = = Can Boss focus his attention on the right things.

Ktf ubbv atlcu kjr atja tf gfwfwyfgfv tlr ybrr kjrc’a j tewjc, jcv mbeivc’a yf pevufv ys tewjc rajcvjgvr, rb tf gfrqbcvfv lc j ibk nblmf, “Dbrr, j ibra mtliv lrc’a j rwjii lrref. Po sbe xcbk tbk ab olcv tfg, pera teggs jcv afii Dbrr Qfl.” v84LpF

Shang Que looked at him and smiled. “Didn’t she disappear by the elevator? All we need to do is ask the bunch still over there.”

Yu Zhengdu was hit by this sudden revelation.

He led a distraught Wei Xiao to the elevator exit. The group of ghosts were still obediently lined up against the wall, not daring to interfere with the passersby at all.

As the situation was urgent, Yu Zhengdu had no time to worry about Wei Xiao’s reaction. He directly inquired, “Have you seen a 5 year old little girl?” ZCt2Hu

A ghost on the side stuck out a hand and pointed in the direction of the stairs, saying, “She went over there.”

Story translated by Chrysanthemum Garden.

Yu Zhengdu nodded and told Wei Xiao, “Boss Wei, this way.”

Wei Xiao was stunned and gaped as he watched Yu Zhengdu speak to the air and then confidently point in a direction. He remembered this also happened earlier, when Yu Zhengdu spoke to the empty elevator and the doors closed after.

Wei Xiao was ultimately someone who had witnessed many things before, so though he was bewildered internally, he wasn’t in a rush to ask questions. Instead, he followed Yu Zhengdu and Shang Que to the stairs. As he spoke, he shared his doubts. “Is she really here? Momo once almost got lost here when she was playing hide and seek. Afterwards she developed a fear of the stairwell, so probably wouldn’t come over herself……” n u5e7

He only got through his doubts halfway before quickly shutting up.

Only to hear a little girl’s laughter resounding in the echoey stairwell: “Heh heh——”

“Lift your hand—— lift your foot——”

“Walk forward——” Zn6cIs

“Heh heh——”

“So fun——”

“Heh heh——”

“Heh heh——” CoqhQb

The voice had the crispness and sweetness a little girl’s should have, and should have been considered cute. But perhaps due to the elongated last syllables or the effects of the echoes, it sounded strangely empty and weightless in the deserted stairwell.

There was a subtle and hard to explain creepiness to it.

An unexplainable feeling of disgust hit Yu Zhengdu, but Wei Xiao was overjoyed. He followed the source of the sound and sprinted downstairs, yelling as he ran, “Momo, where are you? Don’t move, wait for dad to come——”

Story translated by Chrysanthemum Garden.

Yu Zhengdu felt exasperated, but could only grab Shang Que and run downstairs with him. BtIKfL

Five or six flights down, a human shadow suddenly flashed in front of their eyes. They stopped in their tracks.

Only to see a short little girl standing at the corner of the staircase half a floor below them.

The little girl had two pigtails, wore a red dress with shoulder straps, and her socks had lace borders. But in her hands, she held a marionette styled like a doll.

The little girl’s head was down, her entire focus on tugging at the strings of the marionette. She kept saying, “Lift your hand—— lift your foot——” WKAOQd

“So very fun—— Heh heh——”

Following her words, her hand and foot would move.

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She raised a hand, then a foot.

The marionette raised hand, then a foot, too. YZyd4x

The lighting was dim in the stairwell. The little girl’s shadow was blurry against the wall, attached to the smaller marionette’s. The big and small shadows were in sync.

“Lift your hand—— lift your foot——”

“Really fun——”

Wei Xiao finally found his daughter, and immediately yelled, “Momo——” 2gIe F

After, he made to run over to her, but was stopped by Shang Que.

Story translated by Chrysanthemum Garden.

Wei Xiao looked at Shang Que with bewilderment. His voice was anxious. “Mr. Shang, she is my daughter.”

Shang Que didn’t speak, only looking indifferently in the little girl’s direction.

At this time the little girl finally lifted her face; both corners of her mouth raised, emerging in a slight smile. Her crisp voice also seemed hollow. “Dad——” pgdTrD

She lifted her hand. “Look, lift your hand——”

The marionette’s hand lifted too.

She lifted her foot. “Look, lift your foot——”

The marionette’s foot lifted too. ircCAV

Wei Xiao replied urgently, “Momo, dad sees it.”

In the same instant, Yu Zhengdu’s head rang with a “weng”. The unexplainable feeling of disgust became physical chills running down his body.

He clearly saw that as the little girl smiled, the marionette, which was supposed to be expressionless, also displayed a creepy smile.

He subconsciously reached out to stop Wei Xiao, saying, “Boss Wei, don’t go over yet. Right now it’s not your daughter playing with the marionette……” Y4xrjd

The expression on Wei Xiao’s face immediately changed. Finally, he too realized something was off, and asked, “What do you mean?”

Only to hear Shang Que lightly say, “Un, it’s the marionette playing with your daughter.”

Wei Xiao blanked. He looked at Wei Mo shaking her head left and right, her two little pigtails swaying with the motion. She said, “Dad, come over here. Play with me.”

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She lifted her hand and then her foot. onHkgm

The marionette followed in lifting its hand and foot.

“Look, it’s so fun.”

But Wei Xiao was staring at the wall behind her in disbelief. From the shadows, one could clearly tell that it was the marionette first lifting its hand, using the strings to puppet his daughter.

Lifting her hand, then her foot. qTdY8c

Wei Xiao looked simultaneously ill and furious. He was such a big boss, yet had no words to describe the situation, only blankly turning to stare at Shang Que and Yu Zhengdu.

This was also Yu Zhengdu’s first time witnessing such a scene. Goosebumps popped up all over his body and he hid behind Boss, saying, “Fuck, what kind of ghost is that? It’s so scary.”

Story translated by Chrysanthemum Garden.

Shang Que: “A serving ghost that has been refined.”

Yu Zhengdu was still unclear about ghost classifications, so was confused by his words. He asked, “Is it aggressive?” Tw51xW

Shang Que thought about it and said, “Compared to other ghosts, it is considered quite aggressive.”

A so-called serving ghost was one that had been refined or contained by those who had learned Daoist practices. The ghosts were kept under their command and had to serve them; this Daoist skill was known as the Serving Ghost Technique. However, the ghosts that could be contained were those that tended to be more aggressive than regular ghosts. After refinery, their abilities would become greater, making them even more aggressive. Without true prowess, it would be fairly difficult to get the upper hand with them.

After hearing the explanation, Yu Zhengdu immediately became even more worried. He felt his own breathing become quicker, so stubbornly stayed behind Boss’s back, refusing to even stick his head out. At most he only raised a hand to massage his boss’s shoulders. “Jiayou, it’s all on you!”

Wei Xiao finally found some of his voice again, eyes beseeching as he looked at Shang Que. “Mr. Shang, as long as you can save my daughter, I’ll give you as much money as you want.” 1h9tVB

Yu Zhengdu solemnly stated, “Boss Wei, don’t worry. We refuse to make our fortune off children.”

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Wei Xiao answered sullenly, “I don’t mind if you do……”

While one of them was adamant about not receiving money and the other was adamant about giving money, Shang Que had already walked over. His figure was tall and lean, his footsteps steady as he calmly made his way over to Wei Mo.

Yu Zhengdu was agitated in his stead, and said, “Boss, at crucial moments you should just let go of your image. Capturing ghosts is more important.” jE4Vp

As soon as he finished speaking, he saw Shang Que grab the marionette from Wei Mo’s hand and directly toss it on the ground, then stomp on it with his foot. The marionette’s screech of agony was extra terrifying in the empty stairwell.

Shang Que turned around. “Done.”

Yu Zhengdu and Wei Xiao both remained silent.

Yu Zhengdu asked expressionlessly, “Boss, didn’t you say this ghost was very aggressive?” E81ofw

Shang Que looked at him with a smile that was not really a smile. “In the humans’ classification, it is quite aggressive.”

As for its ranking among the Underworld’s classification, especially in front of the Ghost King, then obviously things would be different.

Yu Zhengdu: “……Oh.”

Only because Boss is too handsome, causing people to often forget his true identity. 1DvItG

Even though Wei Xiao was still a little frightened of the marionette, he had no time to display his fear, instead running over immediately to pick up his daughter and comfort her.

Yu Zhengdu squatted on the ground to look at the marionette, criticizing, “Not even letting a child off, what a piece of shit!”

Shang Que asked, “Do you want to play with the marionette?”

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Yu Zhengdu glanced at him, the excitement in his eyes obvious, “Is it dangerous?” Y2e84k

“No,” Shang Que answered, removing his foot in the process.

Thus Yu Zhengdu hoisted the marionette up and started thrashing it against the wall, almost like he was pulling noodles. “Lifting your hands and feet, lift my ass!”

After scolding it for a few moments wasn’t enough, he started tugging wildly at the marionette’s head. “Still think it’s so fun!”

Not much later, the marionette finally couldn’t hold it anymore. It moaned and groaned, “I won’t do it again, I won’t do it again, please don’t twist my head.” ik29Gh

Its voice was like sandpaper, gravelly and rough. The echoes in the empty staircase made it seem even more horrifying.

But Yu Zhengdu’s emotions didn’t fluctuate. He continued to squeeze the marionette’s neck and scolded, “You’ve got guts, evil ghost! How dare you come out in the middle of the day to harm people!”

Story translated by Chrysanthemum Garden.

The marionette’s voice was weak and plaintive, “I, I didn’t. I just wanted to have a little fun, not harm anyone!”

Yu Zhengdu was furious. He pointed at the girl in Wei Xiao’s arms and said, “You dare to lie when the witness is right here!” XdGO4m

The marionette’s entire being was not okay. He shook like a leaf in Yu Zhengdu’s hand. “I’ve been wronged. I was originally a serving ghost controlled by humans and finally escaped. I was scared that I would get caught and taken back, so could only hide in these unoccupied corners. I happened to see this little girl suddenly run in; I saw that her 7 mortal forms were unstable. I’ve spent too long being controlled by humans, so I couldn’t help but want to try the feeling of controlling a human instead and possessed her puppet to play for a bit. I was just lonely and bored, I really didn’t mean any harm……”

As the marionette spoke it also shook wildly. If not for Yu Zhengdu holding on, it probably would have tried to kneel right then and there.

Yu Zhengdu saw that the ghost seemed honest, so turned to look at Shang Que with a look half believing and half disbelieving.

Shang Que maintained his apathetic appearance. Upon noticing Yu Zhengdu’s gaze, he finally slowly responded, “The child is fine. She probably ran into that group of ghosts by the elevator so her soul is a little unstable, which is how she ended up here.” CxUS5G

The marionette felt extremely wronged, and almost shouted for Justice Bao. It cried, “That’s what happened. I’m really a good ghost, I’m innocent.”

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Yu Zhengdu imitated the tone of voice that Kang Jin and the others normally used, declaring rather professionally, “No matter what kind of ghost you are, you can’t walk around freely outside, especially since you also made a mistake. Even though it isn’t severe enough to be considered a crime, you’ll still need to be detained for a few days.”

After speaking, Yu Zhengdu looked at Wei Xiao and said, “Boss Wei, I don’t think you should keep this marionette. How about giving it to us.”

After witnessing the entire process Wei Xiao was now expressionless. He placed a hand over his chest and said, “You take it, take it. No need to be polite.” hfkgAG

He already started using honorifics.

Translator's Note

The sound of rushing air when something is done quickly.

Translator's Note

The sound of being mindblown.

Translator's Note

In Daoism, each complete soul or 魂魄 (hun po) is made up of 3 immortal souls/三魂 (san hun) and 7 mortal forms/七魄 (qi po). Put together it is 三魂七魄 (san hun qi po).

Translator's Note

Justice Bao is a famous historical Chinese politician known for being fair. He is considered the cultural personification of justice.

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13 comments

  1. Finally found a befactor 😂 Boss Wei we’re waiting for the development moni ok?

  2. Hello translator-san. I want to ask if you don’t mind. Can I re-translate into my language?

    And thanks for the hard work, I love your translation! Wish you good health always!