Thriller Paradise

Chapter 32 Intermission 7

Chapter 32 Intermission 7

After making his choice, the white light coagulated in the tube to form a pair of sneakers that looked like they had gone out of fashion centuries ago.


Item Name: Jazz Shoes

Item Type: Armor

Quality: Excellent

Defense Points: Slightly Weak

Element: None

Special Effect: Increase running speed and greatly lower the Stamina Points consumption when walking or running for a long time.

Remark: This pair of sneakers belonged to the best striker the world has ever seen. He was the first European football superstar, famed for his tricks. In his thirty-or-so-year career, he was never given a red or yellow card. A different athlete known as the King of Football remarked, "He was someone who taught us how to play football."


"This is not bad… and there's no equip requirement," Feng Bujue said. "Even if I get better foot armor in the future, this should sell for a fair price."

He directly equipped the sneakers and heard the system audio say, "When the equipment comes with 'Cosmetic Choices', players can choose their preferred equipment appearance from the menu."

Feng Bujue examined the function closer. Basically, the player was given the choice to select what the sneakers looked like, either the default appearance or the equipment's appearance. After the Trading Post was open, there would be more cosmetic choices on sale. At that time, there would be players who spent obscene amounts of money on cosmetics. But during the closed beta period, when the trading post was still unavailable, more people would choose to select to show their equipment as they were. Actually, this was another manifestation of pride; people liked to show off things that other people did not have and gained satisfaction from the envious looks.

After arranging everything, Feng Bujue disconnected from the system. Upon exiting the gaming hub, he found that two hours had passed in real life. By then, night had fallen, and the wind was howling outside his window. The night sky was starless, but of course, Feng Bujue was not one to admire the stars.

Young people in the city rarely went to sleep before midnight, regardless of whether they needed to wake up early the next day or not. They would rather take a quick nap on the cramped public transport than sacrifice the time that belonged to them after work. Feng Bujue was a quintessential night-owl. He woke up at noon and would normally go to bed at 4 am. He told himself, the period of twilight was when his writing inspiration struck.

But that night, even though there was still two more hours to midnight, Feng Bujue suddenly felt like writing. He brewed a pot of coffee, sat before the computer, and started to type.

His penname was Bujue, and he was writing a serial called "The Hapless Detective and His Cat" for a magazine. Actually, he wanted to write about a good detective, but in his day and age, for something to sell, there had to be a hook, just like how comics often needed gratuitous images of girls to sell. The same rule applied to the novel market. No matter which year it was, human curiosity and lasciviousness was never going to change.

When Feng Bujue was really poor, he did consider writing some harem-themed novel. As someone who referred to himself as an artist, it was easy for the man to find someone he identified with from history. For example, there was Millet, a French painter who, due to the hardship of life, once traded his painting for shoes and his oil paintings for a bed. To follow the interest of his patron, he also painted some saucy works. There was also Titian—well, this one was more of an interest that Feng Bujue had in him.

In any case, Feng Bujue eventually compromised by adding some hook in his work because that was the only way he could continue to write the topic that he liked and was good at, which was detective stories. The setting of 'The Hapless Detective and his Cat' merely split the original character he had into two. Originally, the main character should have been a clear fellow, but now, he turned into a kind yet hopelessly dull detective until he one day discovered that his housecat could speak and only he could understand it. The cat also made an exceptional detective.

The magazine's editor even praised Feng Bujue for it, saying how ingenious his setting was. The interaction between the main character and the cat could provide the comic relief to the heavier subjects in a detective novel. Feng Bujue also slowly saw the benefits to this style. One, it could help him pace the story better, and two, it could help him fill up the word count.

Other than this serial, Feng Bujue had another long novel, the one that was mentioned before, the published novel that could bring him some money. He had gotten writer's block and had not written a word for a month, but that day, Feng Bujue was suddenly inspired. He continued writing the story called 'The Twin Nightmare'.

Feng Bujue worked through the night and saved his draft when dawn came. He stood up from the table and stretched lazily. He yawned and looked at the time; it was 4.40 am. Feng Bujue only then remembered that it had been Tomb-Sweeping Day the day before. He supposed there was a reason Thriller Paradise chose to have its closed beta on that day; it was to add some scary atmosphere to its release.

Since the sun was rising, the breakfast stalls nearby should be open. Feng Bujue's mind was still filled with various plots, and he did not feel tired at all. He decided to grab something to eat before going to bed. He grabbed his key and some change—the man only has spare change left—and went downstairs. Fifteen minutes later, he returned with some biscuits and fried fritters.

When he returned to the residential area, he saw that some of the elders had already filed out for their morning exercise or were lining up at the residential clinic. Feng Bujue rarely interacted with his neighbors. Normally, at that hour, he would be sleeping. For the man, a day started at noon.

"Meow." A cat with black and white stripes called after him as he passed by it. Feng Bujue stopped and looked at the cat to confirm. Yes… its eyes were locked on his breakfast.

"Hey there…" Feng Bujue squatted down next to the cat. He looked at the lack of a collar around the wild cat's neck. "You sure you can eat fried dough?"

"Meow." The cat was not afraid of strangers, and it seemed to be answering, "Yes."

"I've been living on soup noodles for the past few days." As Feng Bujue said that, he peeled off a piece of the fritter and placed it next to the cat's mouth. "This is the only filling thing I can afford with my last few coins."

The cat leaned forward to sniff the offering and swallowed it up. It licked its lips and then meowed again as if saying one bite was not enough.

Feng Bujue peeled off another piece and offered it to the cat. "You really don't look cute at all. You're not any famous breed, yet you dare demand food from strangers and are hard to satisfy…"

Even though he mocked the cat, he still continued to peel pieces off his breakfast and feed them to the cat. "If you're that hungry, go and search through the trash like a normal cat!"

Speaking of trash, Feng Bujue turned involuntarily to look at the trash cans placed before their apartment building. The cans were tall, about 1.4 meters tall, and they were shaped in a way where the upper part was wide and the bottom thin. If the cat jumped into it to look for food, then it had to wait until the can was almost full, or else there was a chance that it might get stuck inside and could not climb out. If it was tossed away alongside the trash by the trash collector, it would definitely become a dead cat.

Feng Bujue sighed. He then broke the meal in half and placed it on his palm before offering it to the cat. "Actually, life is not easy for you strays, isn't it? I hear during winter, a stray was hiding under a car to get close to the residual heat. In the morning, the owner started the car, and not knowing about the cat, he ran over it."

He rubbed the cat's head. Sometimes, he was more willing to converse with cats than human beings. "Strays have an average lifespan of three years, and I might die at any moment due to my unknown illness. I suppose it's destiny for us to meet today…"

After tossing the other half of the fritter into his mouth, he spoke through the mouthful of food. "…for us to share a meal. Perhaps, in our next lives, we'll be reborn as brothers…"

"Xiao Feng, is that you?" A familiar voice came from behind him. Feng Bujue turned to look; it was his landlady. Her name was Liu, and she was five years into retirement. Her husband was He, and he was also a retiree. Even though Madam Liu could get harsh with her words, she was a good person at her core.

Madam Liu lived in the same building as Feng Bujue. She had three apartments to her name; one was on the other side of the residential area, and that had been rented as well. The other two apartments were in Feng Bujue's building. Madam Liu thought that it was bad luck to live on the thirteenth floor, so she lived on the eighth floor and rented the other apartment to Feng Bujue.

"It really is you, and I thought it was someone else." Madam Liu carried a vegetable basket in her arms, apparently returning from the market. "Has the sun risen from the western side today? You're up so early this morning."

She moved her gaze to the cat and changed the subject. "Xiao Feng, it's not that I want to lecture, but how can you feed a stray? Once you start, it'll come back tomorrow with its other friends. You're just creating trouble for the other neighbors, don't you think?"

"You have a point." Feng Bujue thought about it and said, "Looks like there is only one solution…"

Holding his breakfast in one hand, he picked up the dirty stray with the other. "I'll take it home to keep as pet."

"You sure know how to make your own decision." Madam Liu was startled. "Did you ask for my thoughts?"

"Well… our area allows the tenant to rear dogs, and this cat is not going to leave the home…" Feng Bujue flashed a smile and tried to rely on his cuteness.

"You really want to keep it?" Madam Liu thought that Feng Bujue was just joking. Suddenly, her expression shifted slightly as she studied Feng Bujue's face and then the cat's. "Now that you mention it… you two do look similar."

Then her gaze wandered lower. "And the cat is also male."

Feng Bujue's lips twitched. "Auntie, can you not place a human and a cat in the same category. We're not even from the same species."

"Well, what do I know? You're the one with the college degree, not me," Madam Liu said. "Anyway, let's be clear. I'll allow you to keep the cat, but your place is already like a pig sty. So, if you really want to keep it, you have to keep the place clean. We have a lot of elderlies in this building. If anyone comes to me with a complaint that there's a smell coming from your place…"

"Then, I'll cook it!" Feng Bujue finished her sentence.

"Meow!" The cat seemed to understand that and growled with dissatisfaction in his arm.

"Cook your head! I'll cook you before I cook it." Madam Liu then dragged the man with her. "Come on…"

"Where are we going?" Feng Bujue asked.

"To the pet clinic to give it a shot," Madam Liu said. "What if it carries some disease?"

"Er…" Feng Bujue hesitated, "It's like this… life has been a bit hard recently…"

"When is life not hard for you?" Madam Liu cut him off. "I'll pay for it, and you can repay me when you pay your rental."

She continued moving but suddenly stopped. "Look at me, I forgot all about it. Let me go up and drop off this basket first."

When Feng Bujue returned home, it was already 7 am. He not only came back with a cat but also a litter box, cat food, a plastic bowl, and toys.

"You know what? Next life, we really shouldn't be brothers." Feng Bujue held the cat at eye level. "You should be reborn as a woman and repay me with your body."

"Meow." The cat yawned lazily, and it looked like it was tossing Feng Bujue a condescending gaze.

As Feng Bujue picked up his stuff, he pressed the phone recorder. The system said, "You have one new message."

The robotic voice stopped, and after a beep, Wang Tanzhi's voice said, "Brother Jue, why aren't you answering your phone? It's a holiday today, so I'll come to your place this afternoon with some food. After all, where else can you be? So, that's that."

The cat jumped onto the table and scratched the phone button. It sniffed it and then jumped onto the sofa to lie down after losing interest.

"Why does he make it sound like I have nothing else better to do than sleep at home?" Feng Bujue grumbled to himself, but then again… that was the truth.

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