Chapter 7: Buying Clothes.
A map to the imperial palace slowly formed on the mirror’s surface as the narrator commented: “The queen has already discovered the mirror’s existence with her magic. No matter if the finder still has the mirror or not, she wants to kill everyone who defied her edict.”
“The narrator’s afraid I’ll throw you away again and ruin the plot so it had to specially add that.” Xing Ye waved the mirror, “So it looks like you won’t have any more use now.”
The mirror didn’t react, just silently displaying the map and behaving like an ordinary mirror.
It’s IQ wasn’t low, at least when it came to hiding its identity. Every time Xing Ye tried to probe for the mirror’s true identity, it would immediately notice the snares in his words and turn quiet.
Xing Ye said to the mirror: “I know very little about you but right now, I can confirm two things: first, you aren’t one of the three manipulators and the manipulators think you’re just an obedient spiritual device. Second, you can’t defy the narrator’s instructions. All you can do is do little tricks to show your discontent. I only have one question for you. When you called me ‘ugly’, did you actually think so, or was it just because you were mad?”
Xing Ye really was a bit curious about this. After all, in his eyes, Xing Shuo looked outstandingly handsome. He didn’t want anybody to say this face, which looked similar to Xing Shuo’s, was ugly.
The mirror replied honestly: Half and half. You're not ugly, but you're not as good looking as me either.
”Not as good looking as you?” Xing Ye raised a brow, “So you were once a person, or had a human form?”
The mirror immediately darkened, the word “despicable” flashing on its surface.
Xing Ye didn't get angry and actually even wanted to laugh. The mirror was just like a temperamental pampered young master- it was pretty cute.
Since birth, Xing Shuo had always been very obedient. After their parents died, he became even more so, hardly ever raising a fuss, afraid his grumbling would bring his brother trouble. Back then, Xing Ye had just started taking charge of the family business and didn’t have enough time to care for his little brother. When he finally had time, Xing Shuo had already grown up to be an independent young man and never went to him if anything happened.
He actually really wished Xing Shuo could be a little more willful, occasionally getting angry or wanting to waste money. Xing Ye knew he owed his little brother and would have agreed to everything Xing Shuo wanted.
Xing Ye’s nerves, which had been stretched taut the entire time, finally relaxed a little. He tapped the mirror: “How much better looking? I’m not trying to boast but this face of mine is already celebrity level. It’d be hard to find somebody better looking than me.”
During their brief period of time together, Xing Ye could tell that the mirror cared about appearances and had a temper. Sure enough, the mirror couldn’t endure such provocation and a word immediately appeared on its surface: Shameless!
“Then do you have evidence?” Xing Ye continued to provoke it.
A silhouette appeared on the mirror’s surface. It seemed to be a man.
Xing Ye still wanted to look but the figure was already gone, replaced by the mirror’s words: Just a trace of me is enough beauty to make you wanna die. You little liar, I won’t be fooled into revealing my identity!
Xing Ye said: “Oh, so you’re actually a man. Whew, you’re really confident in your appearance, it’s almost to a point of narcissism. Based on your disposition and behavior, you’re probably between 20-25 years of age and never really entered society. You’re sharp but petty-minded. You don’t treat humans with any disdain or estrangement either, otherwise you would’ve said ‘you humans are all liars’ instead of just calling me specifically a liar. Thus, the chances of you being a human is more than 70%. I’m still not sure if you’re a NPC of this world trapped in the mirror or something else. Right now, this is all I know. It's really hard to squeeze more information from you.”
Mirror: Are you a demon?!
The mirror felt like if it spoke any more, it would be completely found out. It turned its surface black and refused to respond to any of Xing Ye’s provocations.
Teasing the mirror really helped boost Xing Ye’s mood as he temporarily set aside his regrets with his brother and shifted his attention to the plot.
He could infer one of Claire’s other two conclusions from the narrator- getting caught and executed by the queen. The narrator didn’t realize it revealed crucial information about one of the manipulators, allowing Xing Ye to roughly predict the queen’s plans.
The queen was a major character of the plot so she’s not likely to be a manipulator. It would be too eye-catching and easy to see through.
Thus, the manipulator would probably be somebody close to the queen, such as her personal maid or imperial guard. If it was a woman, they would have to be average looking. There was no way the disfigured queen could tolerate a young and beautiful girl as her maid.
If he deliberately avoided the imperial palace, the manipulators would probably find a way to force him to go. Xing Ye pondered and decided to seize the initiative. He would first go close to the imperial palace and gather intelligence about the queen, such as her temperament, what she likes, rumors about her, etc. to be prepared if anything unexpected happens.
When Xing Ye escaped from the earl’s manor, he took a bunch of unmarked gold and silver coins. It should be this country’s currency and make things a lot more convenient.
He didn’t know to what degree the manipulators knew about his situation, but it never hurt to be more prepared.
Xing Ye followed the map, riding for half the day to a small town to feed the horses and buy some clothes for travel.
When he passed by the women's section, Xing Ye hesitated for a moment before ultimately buying two sets of common, women’s clothing just in case.