C46 — [2.9 – The Rose Manor]

Pulling open the sleeves, the originally pale arm with green veins was already full of horrible cracks, and another piece of skin underneath the cracks could be seen vaguely.



Visually, it looked like countless cut wounds, and at a glance, it looked as if a large amount of blood would break out at any time.



But in fact, these large areas of cracked skin weren’t painful, and there wasn’t even much sensation. If it weren’t for the skin peeling off on its own, the old count wouldn’t have noticed anything unusual.


The old count looked at the ugly, pale and dead skin on his body, his breathing a bit chaotic. He tried to tear off a large piece of skin from his arm, but with too much force, he made a chilling sound like tearing paper.





The old Count’s arm had a clean texture, the new skin under the dead skin seemed to be tighter and more delicate than the previous one, as if he had become several years younger.





In an instant, the old count seemed to realize something, he raised his head and looked at himself in the mirror.



In this inferior blurry mirror, there were still not many lines visible, only the increasingly pale skin and the gradually cracked dead skin on top.



Stretching out his slightly trembling fingers, the old count gently tore off a piece of dead skin on his cheek.



The dead skin on his face wasn’t as obvious as the chapped skin on his arms, which required the old count to be more meticulous.



He moved very gently, but with some unbelievable urgency, even his breathing involuntarily eased.



In the dimly lit room, this scene seemed particularly frightening, almost as if a person was slowly tearing off his own skin.



The old count didn’t seem to notice the abnormality of his own behavior, he just wanted to tear these ugly and mottled dead skin from his face, to verify his guess that he couldn’t believe, but also incomparably looking forward to the idea.



Like tearing open the thin film of flesh that had been sticking to the face, the large dead skin on his face peeled off, revealing a smoother new skin than before.



The old count held his breath, hardly even daring to blink his eyes, and it was only after tearing off the dead skin from his entire face that he dared to scrutinize himself in the mirror.


Although it wasn’t as smooth and delicate as his twenty-year-old self, it was still much better than before



The fine lines that couldn’t be hidden were almost completely invisible under the blurring effect of the mirror.



The current him was more like his own self who had just turned thirty years, when he was feeling sorry for himself because of his rapid aging, without the slightest anticipation that he would age more and more, and one day he would be as pale and almost ugly as he was now.



It was as if a curse in his bloodline was punishing him, the only betrayer who had escaped the fate of death, and ever since he turned twenty-seven he had been aging at a rate that was beyond normal.



Each year he had become older and uglier than his peers, until he was a far cry from his younger self.


And now, he seemed to have gone back, returning to the way he looked when he was thirty years old.



Looking at his younger self in the mirror, the old count’s breathing became a bit rapid, and he touched the delicate skin on his face, over and over again.



Until he completely confirmed that this was real, not a vain dream, then his dark pupils finally had a luster.



The beams of early morning light spilled through the heavy window veil onto the old count’s newborn white skin, and there were still fragments of human skin on the ground, forming a chillingly grotesque scene together with the old count’s face’s hard-to-conceal joy.



Inside the manor room, Jiu Shu was looking at the letters he had recently received.


There were a few letters from major newspapers and magazines that sent payment for his articles, and of course there were also letters from editors who were rather eagerly requesting Jiu Shu to hurry up and write the next article.



These newspapers and magazines were all occult magazines with high standing in the empire in the last few years, and Jiu Shu had looked up quite a bit of occult knowledge on them before.



It was just that compared to the occult knowledge that Jiu Shu had systematized and organized, the contents of these magazines were a mixed bag with varying levels, and it could almost be said that ninety percent of the content was just stories compiled by Jiu Shu.



A manuscript sent out casually by someone who had truly understood the mysteries of this world was enough to become a standout work in a magazine.

Though he didn’t really care.



He just wanted to spread a part of his understanding of the occult, to verify whether his ideas were wrong or not.



And of course to prepare for the future, he had to have some influence in this world to be able to change the ending of the object of discipline in Rose Manor.



Currently he was already laying out his plans in private, whether it was in the field of economics or scientific research, he had published many articles, and currently had a considerable amount of popularity.



The lower level of economic development in this world also facilitated him to accumulate strong funds through various sophisticated economic means, and although he was not well known, he was now a veritable big capitalist with a large amount of assets.



All that was left was to wait for the Imperial Emperor to reveal himself.



Thinking of this, Jiu Shu began to look up the latest newspaper again.



On the front page of the newspaper was the news that the Imperial Emperor had recently quarreled with the ministers in the parliament over financial issues.


There were also a few other stories about the Emperor’s affair with a noble girl, and even the gossip about the Empress and her lover were all published together in the same newspaper.



This world was indeed very open about love affairs, and compared to it, the old Count’s behavior was a bit too innocent.



Jiu Shu’s expression softened then he calmly put the newspaper away.


They had mediocre talent, the imperial emperor with a malicious mind wasn’t his main focus. He was now more concerned about the secrets hidden behind the Augustus family.



In this strange world with gods, the human society’s deceitfulness was very simple, and those unnameable gods were the most difficult to deal with.



According to the content of the original story and the research that Jiu Shu had done over this period of time, the only god that had clearly appeared was the one that the old Count’s family enshrined.



The other gods seemed to only appear in the background and didn’t have such a strong presence, and it was doubtful whether they even existed.



That was why Jiu Shu’s current research was focused on the old count’s family.



Taking out the Augustus family’s ceremonial rituals, Jiu Shu’s azure pupils condensed with faint contemplation.



The things recorded in this book were too obscure and difficult to understand, using multiple languages mixed together, with every sentence upside down, making one feel dizzy just reading it.



It was as if there really was some sort of power beyond nature deliberately preventing outsiders from reading it.



If it wasn’t for the fact that Jiu Shu’s mental power was several times stronger than that of a normal person, he might have been like the several members of the scientific research team in the original “Blood of Madness” who were unable to truly understand this book, and could not comprehend its contents until the end of the original story, when the heir of the god finally descended, and his sanity would be lowered to a certain level.



Jiu Shu read through the contents of it regarding the sacrifices to the gods, and all sorts of dangling blood rituals came into view, detailed down to the exact way each ritual spell was written and the weights and proportions of the various sacrifices required.

The only thing that was vague and rarely mentioned was the bloodline curse concerning the Augustus family.



Jiu Shu wrinkled his eyebrows at a passage in the book that stated that the Augustus family had been worshipping that unknown god since two hundred years ago, and had used a strange symbol to refer to this god.



At the end of this passage there was a story of unknown truth, the main content of which was that a certain ancestor of the Augustus family had given birth to an heir with the bloodline of the god by the grace of the god.



This was the complete opposite of the extremely terrifying depiction of the god in the front, and it was very much like the Augustus family’s fabricated content in order to draw closer to the god.



After all, according to the description of the sacrificial ceremony, this god was from an unknown place beyond the world, a place similar to a higher dimensional space, and it was simply impossible to give birth to an heir with an existence like an ant in His eyes – a human.



But if this story was true, it could really match up with parts of the original.



Because of having the bloodline of a god, the human body couldn’t withstand the power of a god and could only die a violent death before the age of twenty-seven, and the target of punishment was that accident.



But as a price, he had also become paler than his peers.





Jiu Shu mused for a moment, still making a pending note on his notes that the story was probably a half-truth.



From the original depiction of the god’s children, it was more like a part of the god had descended rather than the god’s bloodline.



As a provider for the gods, the Augustus family may have gotten a part of the god’s breath from some sacrificial ceremony, mistakenly believing that it caused the birth of the god’s heir, which resulted in a miserable curse that lasted for a hundred years in a row for their own family.



After all, a mortal body could not bear the breath of a god, and their family could only be said to have been tainted by a god.



As a higher-dimensional being beyond human cognizance, even if that god had only unintentionally leaked out a trace of his breath, it would be doom for the tiny humans.


And perhaps like the last world, the soul of the target of punishment was a part of that god’s projection in this world, thus avoiding the family curse, or rather postponing it, and descending to earth as an evil god after death.



The only way to avoid this end of becoming an evil god after death was to keep the object of punishment away from death, but the curse in his bloodline was unavoidable, and Jiu Shu couldn’t guarantee that the old count would live peacefully until he died a natural death.



It almost became a dead end.



Knock knock – the door of the room was suddenly knocked.



Jiu Shu, who was busy recording his notes, was startled out of his contemplation, only to realize that it seemed to have already arrived at the time that he had agreed to with the object of his discipline yesterday.



After all, the relationship had just been established recently, Jiu Shu intended to go on a few more dates to let the subject of discipline gradually unravel, and today was the date to continue strolling around the manor.



He almost forgot.



Jiu Shu sighed, his long white fingers rubbed his brow, then he put away the notes on the table, got up and opened the door to the room.



Outside the door was the taller object of discipline, he seemed to have dressed up with care, he wore a black coat with a brown double-breasted vest, revealing a white long-sleeved shirt on the inner lining, and simple black pants underneath, revealing a broad-shouldered, narrow-waisted, upright figure.



It was a plain collocation that was very different from the current aristocratic youths, and matched well with the simple and clean outer shirt Jiu Shu often wore.



Perhaps because he was in love, the old Count’s face also seemed to be much better than usual, looking much more refreshed.



Jiu Shu curved those beautiful blue eyes and didn’t hide his praise, “It’s a very nice outfit today.”



“I like it.”



Jiu Shu smiled and hugged the object of discipline in front of him, proving his liking in a practical way.


Proving that he didn’t care about his age.


The old count looked at his young lover who suddenly hugged him, his eyes widened slightly and his cheeks flushed red under the mask, his dark pupils filled with soft love.



The old count hugged Jiu Shu back, his magnetic voice silky smooth like velvet, filled with the tender love belonging to an older person, “I love you too, every single day.”



To be exact, it was love.



In his eyes, every single day, Jiu Shu was incredibly beautiful, and the only way he could barely match his beautiful young lover was to dress carefully.



Only by trying harder.



Right now it wasn’t nearly enough.



Seemingly remembering something, the old count restrained the love in his eyes, looked at the snow-white, flawless face of Jiu Shu in his arms, and tightened his embrace.



Although the strength was still light, there seemed to be some unspeakable desire spreading, causing him to want to embrace Jiu Shu more tightly and never let go again.



“Let’s go.”



Jiu Shu and the old count interlocked their fingers, and the two of them walked together down the long, red carpeted corridor, as close as if they could hear each other’s heartbeats.



The old count looked at the love of his life, his ears flushed red, and slowly tightened his grip on Jiu Shu’s hand.




Jiu Shu followed and shook her hand, indulging in this boring but intimate gesture just like every couple who established a relationship for the first time.



In fact, Jiu Shu had originally planned to go out for a stroll this time, but the old count still seemed to be very concerned about his appearance, so in the end, he could only settle for the second best thing, wandering around the manor.



It just so happened that there were still a few forbidden places in the manor that Jiu Shu hadn’t finished strolling around.



However, this was actually the opposite of the original purpose of the date, he wanted to let the old count gradually unravel his heart, let him know that he didn’t mind walking in the sun with him.



But now they were more like a couple who were cheating, completely out of the light.



And the old count actually knew what Jiu Shu was thinking, but he just held Jiu Shu’s hand tightly in silence and didn’t answer.



His lover was too young to understand how terrible the slander of outsiders was, it was enough to destroy the entire perception of a naive young man.



The old count only wanted Jiu Shu to live in happiness and joy, not to face those outsiders with vicious words, he didn’t want his lover to experience what he had.



Facing this silent look of the object of discipline, Jiu Shu also understood where the knot in his heart was, and just embraced him gently.



“Could it be that you will abandon me just because I’ll get old?”



Jiu Shu’s piercing blue eyes swayed with a gentle watery light refracted by the light from outside the corridor, causing the old count to become a bit mesmerized.



His answer was of course no.



In his eyes, Jiu Shu would always be beautiful, no matter what he became, even when he was wrinkled, he would still be too beautiful for him to take his eyes off.

But he was different, his old age and ugliness made him unworthy to stand with Jiu Shu at all.



Jiu Shu deserved the best of everything, and he clearly wasn’t yet.



After hearing this from the old count, Jiu Shu could only helplessly stop talking and just wander around the castle until the evening before parting ways.



“See you tomorrow.”


Jiu Shu was sent to the door of his room, exchanging an intimate kiss with the object of discipline.



The old Count’s ears reddened as always, and the two said their formal goodbyes as Jiu Shu gazed at him with a smirk.



It wasn’t until he closed the door that the old count reluctantly left.



In order to facilitate his recent ability to date his beloved Jiu Shu, he had already grounded those few remaining candidates, so harshly that they would no longer get three meals once they stepped out of the room.

So today’s appointment wasn’t disturbed.



It was just that the old Count’s heart throbbed a little as he recalled Jiu Shu’s sullen look along the way, and he knew that what his young lover wanted was to walk in the sunshine with him.



But he now looked like this ……



Looking at his skin, which was a little more delicate than before, the old count’s gaze took on a slightly obscure color.



It wasn’t enough, it wasn’t enough!



He needed to become even younger to be able to do so.



If he was as young as those candidates right now, he would certainly not hesitate to walk with Jiu Shu amongst the eyes of others, not shying away from the fact that they were both in love with each other.



And then they would live happily ever after for eternity.



There would be that day.



The old count raised his eyes, his gaze suddenly looking towards the room where the grounded candidates were.



The warmth in his dark pupils that had been there when he was facing Jiu Shu completely disappeared, leaving only an icy coldness as if he were gazing at a dead thing.



Only after a long time did the old count withdraw his gaze and return to his own room.



After returning to his room, he looked at the various information he ordered the butler to collect in his hands, and his gaze lingered on a medical file for a moment.



It was the medical records of the three candidates who were hospitalized today, all of them were diagnosed as mentally deranged, and it was said that they had an accident while performing a psychic ceremony.



The old count looked at the description of that seance ceremony and suddenly let out a snort.



Praying for a marriage.



Of course he knew who these people wanted to pray for marriage, what a fool’s errand.



The old Count’s gaze grew more and more grim as he looked at the medical record, without the slightest hesitation, he wrote down every detail of the séance ceremony and instructed the butler to publicize the ceremony, preferably letting all of the few remaining candidates know about it.



Except for Jiu Shu, of course.



“Yes, yes!”



Although the butler was uncertain, he still did as he was told.



He didn’t even dare to raise his head, he only felt that the old count today seemed to have an even stronger sense of oppression than before, as if he was possessed by a demon, and the inexplicable sense of fear made him not even dare to look at him more.



He glanced at the butler who was trembling with fear and let him leave with a bored frown.



Only after the butler left did he remove the mask and looked at himself in front of the mirror, scrutinizing it for a long time.



The self in the mirror had become much younger than before, and although there didn’t seem to be much of a difference when he was wearing the mask, when he took it off he could clearly see that those wrinkles on his forehead at the corners of his eyes were disappearing, and his skin had regained the delicacy of his youth.



He was becoming a much better match for Jiu Shu.






In the dimly lit room, the tall man sitting in front of the mirror seemed to smile, his gaze full of hope for the future, except that the smile on this pale face looked a little sickly under the interplay of lights and shadows.



Whatever it took, as long as he could be with his love.



He was so engrossed in his fantasies of a better future that the medical records in his hand were discarded in the trash, as if the lives of those few candidates were insignificant to the old Count.



And so it was.




HAPPY NEW YEARRRR 🎉🎉🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🎉🥳🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉

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3 Replies to “C46 — [2.9 – The Rose Manor]”

  1. He’s so persistent in his idea to regain youth. But why didn’t he think about the consequences? Won’t his new looks make others suspicious?

    1. He doesn’t even care for the lives of others, as long as he gets closer to becoming the ‘perfect’ match for Jiu Shu… a lil bit twisted of a man

      1. idiotsynchracy says: Reply

        I mean if we compare Norman with You Xin from the last world…… I’m not surprised at all despite Norman having more life experience, because he’s too fixated on JS to remain rational.

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