Chapter 10

Little Yushka yearned for Tokyo because he liked oriental designs. He had a relatively serious mental illness so he rarely saw anyone except for his personal physician. His job was to buy old Japanese buildings and gather them in one location.

There were also many people in China who did this kind of thing. They would dismantle the tenon and mortise structures of old buildings, draw the designs as they dismantled them, and then put them into warehouses. When a suitable opportunity arose, they could take them out again and use them to build houses. Since a lot of precious wood was used in the construction of old buildings, this process ensured that many golden nanmu(1) structures could be repaired or replaced with new wood if needed. The discarded golden nanmu was often more expensive than the whole house.

But in Japan, you couldn’t actually make any money with this kind of job because there were too many old houses like this. It wasn’t worthwhile to stock up on such goods.

Little Yushka also had a hobby of getting sick. He would buy all kinds of bacteria to make himself sick so that he could experience the feeling of being sick. It was said that he became psychic because of this. It was also said that he had been infected with most of the world’s microbial diseases and had even recorded a thick stack of notes about them.

But since he didn’t often see people, nobody knew whether these rumors were true or not. His mother firmly believed that this was just an excuse he came up with in order to avoid seeing people.

All of this information had been written about in the local Japanese tabloids because the house where Little Yushka lived was always surrounded by flies all year round.

This probably led to the feeling that there was a plague god there.

In any case, Little Yushka didn’t like meeting people so he wouldn’t come out to greet the two of them, but his mansion was full of servants who would serve them. At the same time, Zheng Jingyin told them that even though Little Yushka wasn’t afraid of death, the old lady still managed to persuade him to open his doors and accept this investigation.

“There’s nothing surprising about that,” Black Glasses said. “As long as people continue living in this world, there’s always a certain chance that their bodies will break down.”

“But it’s true that people in that house often get sick,” Zheng Jingyin said. “And all of them have been strange illnesses. That’s why even the servants believe that Little Yushka doesn’t want others getting near certain areas of the house. They say he smeared bacteria at some of the key intersections in the house so as to scare the servants away and keep their curiosity in check.”

“Hmm, it sounds a bit like the story of Bluebeard,” Xie Yuchen smiled. “It’s quite romantic.”(2)

Zheng Jingyin looked at the two men and couldn’t shake the feeling that he might not have explained the details clearly enough. His heart was beating like a drum at the mere thought of entering that house. In fact, the old lady could only communicate with her younger son by using video equipment. No one knew what this man was doing in that big house.

When they drove up in front of the big house located beside Lake Kawaguchi, they saw that the entrance appeared to be the same as any typical Japanese-style house, but you could feel the immense scale of the building complex behind it. It was a bit like a huge ancient temple.

Black Glasses and Xie Yuchen got out of the car and stood at the entrance, looking at the huge shadow looming behind it. There weren’t many lights on in the house. Black Glasses patted his luggage, “Keep an eye on them. Don’t let them mess with my luggage. If possible, see if they can provide a high-calorie late-night snack. I’ll probably be hungry when I come back.”

With that said, he entered the building without taking off his shoes, directly bypassing the servant who had come to greet them at the door. Zheng Jingyin was surprised but quickly told the servant to stand down when it looked like they wanted to stop him. He knew that these people did things for a reason—even if he didn’t understand it—so it was best not to ask any more questions.

After standing at the entrance for a while, Xie Yuchen leveled Zheng Jingyin with a look, “Take me to the guest room.”

“Aren’t you going with Master Black?”

“It’s evening now, it’s his shift,” Xie Yuchen said. “By the way, are there any high-calorie foods?”

“Is he going to be alright alone?”

“He’ll call for help if something happens,” Xie Yuchen said.

<Chapter 9><Table of Contents><Chapter 11>


TN Notes:

(1) Nanmu is basically a Chinese cedar or Chinese giant redwood. It’s a precious wood that’s unique to China and South Asia, and was historically used for boat building, architectural woodworking, furniture, and sculptural carving in China. The highest grade of nanmu wood has a bright golden color. More info here

(2) Bluebeard is a French folktale that tells the story of a wealthy man in the habit of murdering his wives and the attempts of one wife to avoid the fate of her predecessors. Basically, he gives the wife the keys to the château and tells her not to enter one particular chamber. When he leaves the château to take care of business, she becomes super curious and opens the chamber, only to find the blood and corpses of the previous wives hanging there. She drops the key in the blood but its magicked so the blood won’t come off. Bluebeard comes back and notices the blood on the key and gets ready to kill her but her family comes and saves the day. More info here.


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