Cold and hungry.
With a faint pain in his head, Dong Zheng opened his eyes. He laid curled on a cold surface, and there was a rat next to his hand, trying to eat his fingers.
Dong Zheng moved his hand back. The rat was fat and unafraid. Still squeaking, it tried to bite him.
Dong Zheng directly grabbed the rat’s tail and threw it away.
The rat finally slipped into the pile of debris.
Dong Zheng glanced around. The room was dark, messy, and covered in dust. It obviously hadn’t been used in a long time. He also saw some wooden objects with strange shapes and structures, and though they now looked very shabby, he could still see that the shapes were very precise.
The room only had a narrow window, which was sealed by wooden bars. A faint light leaked from the gap between the cracks under the door and the broken door panel, making the room less dark.
His body ached everywhere, telling him how uncomfortable he’d been. Dong Zheng took a few deep breaths, trying to adapt to the current state of his body. Then, he slowly got to his feet.
The height of his vision and his small hands told Dong Zheng that he was now a small child. His ragged clothes covered with patches, the types of debris in the corner, and the sandals on his feet were clues that allowed him to make a rough guess about the time period of his world.
It was an ancient setting…
Dong Zheng checked for wounds on his arms and body. His long hair hung messily behind him, and it was a little hot. From time to time, rats squeaked in the corners. Unafraid, they stood upright in full view, gnawing at the wood.
At this time, the box prompt appeared in his mind.
[Mission Challenge: Leave Wenuan Court]
Wenoun Court should be the villa where this small, ruined house was located. There were countless small and large abrasions on the floor, with some obvious traces of being smashed. Dong Zheng touched his waist and his hand suddenly paused.
Dong Zheng: ……?
He couldn’t believe it and touched his waist again.
Dong Zheng’s expression froze on his face.
He grabbed his downstairs, but there was nothing there.
Dong Zheng’s expression cracked.
The prisoner contract accurately transmitted the turbulent waves in Dong Zheng’s heart to Cui Zuojing. Now that he’d taken back his feelings, he could fully understand how Dong Zheng felt. A young shadow appeared beside Dong Zheng.
The child in front of him was very dirty and dusty. The clothes were so tattered that it was difficult to imagine how they’d managed to give warmth, and the two little feet were just a pair of straw sandals with a worn sole. Only the large eyes revealed a sharpness and calmness that shouldn’t appear in children.
Oh no, at this very moment, he was shocked and shocked.
In front of him was a little girl’s face. She had long hair with a hairband that was coming off. All of this clearly showed – This was an authentic little girl.
“Pufft.” Cui Zuojing couldn’t help himself. He squeezed Dong Zheng’s small face, squatted down, looked at the loli Dong Zheng, tilted his head, and said, “Do you know what you look like right now?”
“I don’t know.” Dong Zheng sighed and pulled at his shirt. This level of vision made him feel very uncomfortable. But fortunately, although his body was restricted, his ability was still present.
Cui Zuojing poked here and there, and he was almost dead from the cuteness. The little in front of him looked a bit like Dong Zheng. If Dong Zheng was a girl, he would look like this, right?
He wiped off the dirt stain on Dong Zheng’s face little by little, pulled down his hairband, and helped him retie his hair.
After combing his sister’s hair for a long time, Cui Zuojing was very good at it. Even after ten years, his technique wasn’t bad.
Dong Zheng allowed him to do as he pleased and said, “Can you move around at all?”
“It’s a bit difficult. It’s quite difficult to challenge the box’s restraint on the prisoner.” Cui Zuojing tied the hairband into a bow. He looked around and pinched Dong Zheng’s cheek without holding back.
“I guess I can’t stay outside for too long. In a while, someone might come over so you can stay safe in the prisoner space.” As Dong Zheng said this, he lifted his pant legs to check his legs. The sandals were torn and the soles of his feet were worn and bloodied. It wasn’t hard to guess that this child suffering was no less than just being locked up in this room.
With no hints as to the plot, Dong Zheng didn’t act rashly for the time being. He endured that pain and searched the room, hoping to at least treat his wounds.
He had overly weak arms that seemed to break with a single bend. He didn’t know how long he’d been hungry or thirsty, and he had no strength at all.
Cui Zuojing stayed by his side and helped him. He lifted the lid of a tightly covered jar, covered his mouth and nose to prevent the dust from getting inside, and took a few steps back. After waiting for a while, he looked inside and found that it had a kind of cabinetry system with a bird inside. .
Cui Zuijing took it out and studied it. This was a very sophisticated handicraft and was completely driven by gears and clockwork. The bird’s wings, the head, and the feet could move by itself, and there was even a cavity in the stomach, probably for storing something.
This small broken-down house was full of discarded things, but they didn’t find anything useful. Deciding not to waste any more time, Cui Zuojing tore off his jacket and wrapped it around loli Dong Zheng’s feet to make it into simple shoes. It was at least better than the torn straw sandals, which will likely stab his feet.
Cui Zuojing found a thin piece of wood and easily cut open the door to the room. Fresh air rushed in with the wind, bringing with it the dull, wet breath of rainy days. It looked like it might rain.
This place was indeed located in the corner of a courtyard. Looking over at the palace wall, they could see the pavilions in the distance. Dong Zheng walked along the corner of the wall and vaguely heard a voice.
“How did it go?”
“Four. I found one last night and locked her in the storage room. I’ll wash her up later and take her with me.”
The two girls dressed in palace clothes hurried past. Even when speaking, they had their voices lowered.
Dong Zheng speculated that he was one of the “her” that they were talking about. What was going on? Were they collecting people or just little girls like him?
The two people went to the storage room. Dong Zheng whispered, Oh no, and immediately rushed past a blind corner behind the two women. Because he was practically barefooted, there was barely no sounds when he walked. He hid behind a tree, the sturdy trunk perfectly hiding his thin figure.
Cui Zuojing picked up a stone and threw it at the top of the house.
“Who?!” One of the court women stopped warily. A few seconds later, she moved toward the direction of the sound.
Dong Zheng took the opportunity to run to the side near the entrance and hide behind the stone wall. He looked around and created a map of the entire courtyard in his mind.
There were two gates, one in the north and one in the south. The north gate was closed, and the sound was unclear to him. He didn’t know whether there was a guard stationed outside, so he didn’t dare to run out hastily.
The safest way was to climb the wall, but with his current height and physical quality, it was absolutely impossible for him to climb a palace wall that high.
As Dong Zheng was thinking, the young man quietly came to his side.
Cui Zuojing looked around and made the same decision as Dong Zheng. “Go over the wall?”
Dong Zheng nodded and climbed on Cui Zuojing’s back. As this moment, a maid’s voice came from the direction of the storage room, screaming, “Where’s the person?”
Cui Zuojing let out a soft Hey, stood up, rushed to the foot of the wall, and suddenly jumped.
With Cui Zuojing’s jumping ability, he should be able to jump up two meters, then kick the wall and take advantage of his strength to jump off again. In this way, it wouldn’t be a problem to grab the top of the wall with his hand. But the moment he took off, he suddenly felt uncomfortable. As he stretched out his hand, wanting to hold the wall and change his posture, he found that his arm couldn’t touch the wall at all.
In the next moment, they fell together and rolled twice on the ground.
Cui Zuojing grimaced and got up. He saw the maid running over. Dong Zheng was on his back and he was nearly pressed to the bottom when they fell. Seeing Cui Zuojing, Dong Zheng’s pupils shrank sharply. He quickly got up, grabbed the young man’s hand, hugged him tightly in his arms, and protected him with his own body—
With a whoosh of the wind, a stick hit Dong Zheng’s shoulder hard.
He groaned and protected Cui Zuojing’s head more vigorously.
“Stop hitting! If she breaks, how can I explain it to the National Teacher?” Before the next stick fell, the better dressed palace maid blocked it, afraid that it would fall down and the person that they’d just recovered would be gone.
The guard cruelly pulled Dong Zheng and Cui Zuojing apart. Under the palace maid’s command, he dragged them all the way to the nearest room and threw them inside like trash.
“You both go and prepare. I’ll stay here and watch them,” said the older maid, who was clearly the head maid here, and the others closed the door and left.
Cui Zuojing grimaced and got up from the floor. He looked down at himself and found in despair that he, like Dong Zheng, had also become a child!
He reached down and touched himself.
Sure enough, the box wouldn’t allow him, a prisoner, to intervene in the pilgrim’s plot on a large scale. However, Cui Zuojing didn’t expect that retribution would come so soon.
Seeing the despair in Cui Zuojing’s eyes, Dong zheng moved to his side and held his equally tiny hand.
[Don’t panic. Let’s bid our time and sneak out.]
The girl in front of him blinked her eyes, and Cui Zuojing’s voice sounded in Dong Zheng’s mind.
[Am I cute?]
Dong Zheng: …….
Although Dong Zheng could pass one-way messages to Cui Zuojing using Arabidopsis, the DH encryption protocol that he’d obtained not long ago had allowed them communicate in both directions.
[You have always been cute.]
The head maid obviously found Cui Zuojing’s appearance incredibly strange. Originally, they’d only brought back the child that was Dong Zheng. Where did this second child come from?
“Which palace did you run out of?” She stood a few steps away from them, looking disgusted as if fearing they would get dirt on her.
“I…I don’t know.” Cui Zuojing patted the dirt off his hand and gave the head palace maid a frightened, weak, and helpless look. “Many people were chasing me. I didn’t know how I got here, but I just hid in the house. Older sister…can older sister tell me where this is?”
“Where?” There was a strange smile on the maid’s face. “This place is at the feet of the Emperor. If you want to hide, where can you hide? Don’t think about running away either. Be obedient, wash up, and later we’ll send you to the National Teacher, where you can receive his blessing.”
Now of course, the maid and everyone else knew that when it came to the National Teacher, who would believe in his blessing?
In fact, the National Teacher was a downright pervert who liked to collect little girls everywhere!
Cuo “Oscar-winner” Zuojing looked close to tears. Meanwhile, Dong Zheng’s gaze shifted behind the maid, and his face suddenly had a look of panic. With his mouth stretched open, he pointed and said in a trembling voice, “….What’s that?”
The maid was taken aback. She immediately turned, her eyes scanning swiftly for possible anomalies. Dong Zheng scrambled up all of a sudden, grabbed a vase from the shelf, and slammed it ruthlessly into her head.
The current Dong Zheng was much shorter than the maid, and the vase was quite big. Without a sound, the maid was knocked out to the ground.
Panting, Dong Zheng put down the vase. His body’s condition was too bad and was more like a stick. Cui Zuojing quickly got up to help Dong Zheng when he swayed and nearly fell down.
“Let’s go first.” This overly young body made him feel too powerless. Cui Zuojing opened a few unlocked drawers and turned out the cabinets. He found a jewelry box. The small bronze mirror in the drawer reflected a girl’s fat baby face with bright, big eyes. Maybe because he didn’t suffer Dong Zheng’s misery, he looked fairly clean.
Yo, he really was cute.
As expected of him.