Chapter 1: Su Muluo
At dawn, early autumn.
Su Muluo ascended the dim and narrow staircase of the old building, following the landlord to the fifth floor, where the apartment he intended to rent was located.
The apartment was not large, with one bedroom and two living rooms. The furniture was somewhat outdated, but still serviceable, and it came with a small balcony. In the afternoons, sunlight streamed in through the balcony, brightening most of the living room.
“The location here is a bit off the beaten path, but it’s quiet, not noisy, and you can move in with just your bags. Look, the furniture is still in good condition!” the landlord enthusiastically recommended. “The rent is two thousand, and if you go elsewhere, you won’t find such a good deal.”
Su Muluo looked around and felt that everything seemed fine. He replied, “Then, I’ll take it. Thank you.”
No contract needed to be signed. He paid a month’s rent upfront, along with a one-thousand-yuan deposit. Su Muluo handed three thousand yuan in cash to the landlord, who was taken aback and said, “Don’t you use WeChat or Alipay?”
Su Muluo replied, “I’m sorry, don’t you accept cash?”
“I haven’t seen cash in a long time… Well, it’s okay,” the landlord accepted the stack of money with one hand and handed the keys to Su Muluo with the other. “Here are the keys. Keep them safe. Rent is due on the 5th of each month, and you can contact me through WeChat if you need anything.”
Su Muluo nodded slightly as he took the keys. Afterward, the landlord couldn’t help but take another look at his new tenant.
The new tenant appeared quite young, in his early twenties. While he was friendly when dealing with people, his demeanor exuded an air of cool detachment, as if he were an untouchable snowflake atop a mountain, inherently noble. Apart from that, he was rather handsome, especially with those deep, ink-colored eyes, like gemstones that had been polished by ice-cold springs, radiating indescribable beauty.
He’s really good-looking… I’ve never seen anyone this good-looking before.
The landlord thought this way but noticed that Su Muluo turned his head and glanced at him.
Quickly, the landlord coughed and left, pocketing the cash.
After bidding farewell to the landlord, Su Muluo surveyed his new home. It was located on the outskirts of the city, in an old residential complex with some history. The nearest bus stop was a twenty-minute walk away. In recent years, in the rapidly appreciating housing market of Lincheng, the rent here was considered quite affordable.
However, Su Muluo’s choice wasn’t solely due to affordability but rather because the landlord didn’t require identification or a signed contract for renting the place. After all, he had just arrived in the human city, and he was an undocumented wanderer.
After a thorough inspection of the house, Su Muluo sat down on the sofa, took out his luggage, and checked its contents.
It was called luggage, but in reality, it was just a few simple sets of clothes for changing, all purchased by an old rabbit spirit he had known for many years in the mountains. He also had several thick bundles of cash, meticulously wrapped in white paper. The old rabbit spirit had exchanged these for him, using feathers that Su Muluo had given him to find someone willing to do the exchange.
He had known the old rabbit spirit for almost three hundred years, starting from when the little white rabbit had transformed into a small rabbit spirit and now into an old rabbit spirit. However, Su Muluo didn’t think the rabbit spirit was really that old, considering that he was still in his prime years.
Su Muluo was a phoenix. If you counted the time inside the egg, he was already five thousand years old. Without counting the egg’s time, he was only eighteen hundred years old. However, in any case, he was much older than the old rabbit spirit.
But the old rabbit spirit didn’t see it that way. He said to Su Muluo, “You’re a phoenix, and I’m just a rabbit. How can a rabbit’s lifespan compare to a phoenix’s? Besides, you’ve been in the mountains for over a thousand years. Aren’t you curious about the human city?”
At first, Su Muluo had no intention of leaving the mountains. He thought life there was quite good. It was only when the old rabbit spirit came down to the mountains and brought many novelties supposedly invented by humans that he began to develop some interest in the outside world.
“Life in the mountains is always the same. Even a phoenix can become a recluse if it stays there too long,” the old rabbit spirit said. “And look at your egg; it’s been so many years, and there hasn’t been any movement. Maybe you’re just getting tired of life here and don’t want to come out.”
Su Muluo felt that the old rabbit spirit made a lot of sense. After pondering in his nest for several nights, he decided to pack his feathers and take his egg into the city.
Yes, as a phoenix, he had an egg, but this egg wasn’t his own; it housed his partner—a dragon.
A thousand and eight hundred years ago, when he was just born, a small fluffy phoenix, this dragon egg, had been by his side. He was born with the memories of the Phoenix clan, knowing that the Phoenixes and Dragons had a history of intermarriage. This dragon egg was his marital partner. Thus, for so many years, he had kept the egg with him.
However, a thousand and eight hundred years had passed, and the dragon egg remained smooth with no sign of hatching.
Thinking about it, Su Muluo placed the dragon egg on the table. The table was smooth, but the egg wasn’t stable, so it rolled a bit and ended up back in his palm.
Su Muluo stared at the dragon egg in his hand and asked, “When will you hatch?”
The dragon egg remained silent, knowing it couldn’t answer.
Su Muluo placed the dragon egg back on the table, and again, it rolled in a circle, finally returning to his palm.
Although it hadn’t hatched, Su Muluo knew that this dragon egg had its own consciousness. It clung to him persistently, always wanting to be near him. Even if he placed it at a distance, it would silently roll back to him.
Then, it continued to cling.
It didn’t seem like a very dignified dragon.
A hint of a smile flickered in Su Muluo’s eyes as he tapped the dragon egg with his finger. “Never mind, I won’t ask you. I need to go out shopping.”
He planned to buy some daily necessities at the nearby supermarket. Before coming here, the old rabbit spirit had given him a crash course on modern knowledge for three days and nights, emphasizing that he should go to a supermarket for shopping. If he was unsure about the directions, he could use a magical box called a “phone” to check.
The old rabbit spirit had also helped him acquire a phone, so Su Muluo took out the phone and, not very proficiently, started searching. After a while, he realized that the closest major supermarket to this neighborhood required a half-hour bus ride. So, he decided to fly there, after all, he was a phoenix, capable of flight, and with a bit of invisibility magic, he didn’t need to worry about being seen by people.
Three minutes later, the phoenix touched down, carrying his dragon egg, and entered the supermarket like a regular person.
The supermarket was vast, filled with all sorts of intriguing products. Su Muluo glanced left and right, and suddenly, his gaze was fixed on a neatly arranged row of duck eggs.
“…,” he took out his dragon egg and compared it to the duck eggs for a few seconds, astonished to find that there didn’t seem to be much difference.
“Could it be?” Su Muluo exclaimed, “Are you not a dragon but a duck?”
The dragon egg: “?”
Su Muluo: “It’s slightly whiter than them. Are you a white duck?”
The dragon egg: “???”
The dragon egg rolled around in Su Muluo’s hand and appeared quite annoyed.
Su Muluo couldn’t help but stifle a laugh and quickly reassured it. “Alright, alright, you’re not a duck. Let’s not ask you anymore. I need to go shopping.”
He decided to buy a few duck eggs and placed them in his cart, planning to compare them at home later.
Next, he bought some meat and vegetables. As he walked past another section, his peripheral vision caught the diverse range of snacks on the shelves. He came to a sudden stop.
A few minutes later, the phoenix exited the supermarket with several large bags of snacks. Outside the supermarket, the bustling street was visible, and not far away, there was a café. Su Muluo paused briefly and glanced inside the café.
The café was nearly empty, and a sign reading “For Sale” was posted on the glass window. Due to slow business, the owner had slouched in a wicker chair, face buried in a book, sound asleep.
Next to the owner, a plump orange cat lay sprawled, its aqua-blue eyes fixed on the street outside. Su Muluo locked eyes with the cat for a few seconds and then continued on his way.
This place had some spiritual activity, but it was a minor spirit and posed no threat to people.
Five minutes later, Su Muluo returned to his rented house, sorted and stored his purchases, and, when he took out the duck eggs, he couldn’t resist comparing them to the dragon egg.
Then, he murmured, “Could it be that dragons and ducks share a bloodline?”
The dragon egg: “…”
The dragon egg was about to explode with anger and even bounced up in Su Muluo’s hand.
Su Muluo nearly burst out laughing, quickly restrained himself, and stroked the egg. “Alright, alright, there’s no blood relation. You’re not a duck.”
The dragon egg sulked, refusing to come out of his pocket and see the duck eggs outside.
Su Muluo allowed it to sulk and took out one of the duck eggs to prepare for a fried egg for lunch. He carefully put away the remaining duck eggs, fearing he might accidentally mix them up with the dragon egg and cook it.
However, when it came to cooking, he had no idea how to do it.
Su Muluo took out his phone once more and began searching online.
The dragon egg rested calmly in Su Muluo’s pocket, but after a while, it sensed that its phoenix was moving around and seemed to be handling various pots and pans… then came a “ka-ching” sound, the noise of the gas stove igniting.
Then, a loud “bang.”
The kitchen exploded.
The dragon egg: “…”
It didn’t know what had happened outside, but it felt its phoenix’s actions were frantic. It seemed like a plate was even shattered during the chaos. Afterward, something was hastily stuffed into its pocket.
It was a plump, round duck egg.
The dragon egg: “…”
It glared at the duck egg in its pocket for several seconds, discovering that the duck egg was anything but smooth and refined, unlike itself. It was suddenly filled with disgust.
So, he tried to push the duck egg, wanting to push it out of his pocket, not allowing it to compete for space with the dragon egg.
But the pocket was soft, making it difficult to exert force. Before the dragon egg could successfully eliminate the duck egg, a long and fair hand reached in and took both of them out of the pocket.
Su Muluo had been a little startled earlier when he accidentally activated the electric stove and didn’t know how to turn it off. Then, he wasn’t sure if it was the stove’s fault, but it suddenly made a loud noise, causing him to drop a plate and spill oil.
Fortunately, the kitchen didn’t actually explode. He quickly cleaned up the mess. Suddenly, he remembered that when he was in a panic, he had stuffed the duck egg somewhere… into his pocket.
Now, in his palm, he held two eggs that were nearly identical, smooth and round, and even in size.
“…,” Su Muluo fell silent for a moment and asked, “Which one are you?”
The dragon egg: “…”
The dragon egg was about to explode with anger again.
As a form of revenge, it remained perfectly still.
Su Muluo: “…”
Oh no, he genuinely couldn’t tell them apart.
T/N: Hey there! There is plenty more where that came from, so stay tuned! And stay healthy! Straighten your posture, so some stretches and drink some water before continuing hehe~
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Also, check out the other series we have on HoH!
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