Don’t Close Your Eyes At Me
Chapter 78: Duke
Invigilator 1006 has extensive experiences and qualifications and is someone who has seen many things so the blood on his hand didn’t scare him.
He just grabbed a towel, wiped his hand and neck and held it against his wound.
“What formal clothes is it for you to have that expression?”
With the incident just now, Gao Qi’s attitude towards Qin Jiu had improved slightly.
He opened the bedroom door and looked out before exclaiming: “There’s also a dress?”
“Looks pretty good. Who’s wearing it?” He turned to the other two in the room and wiggled his brows.
As he did that, he saw that those two were looking at him with a terrifying look.
How terrifying was it?
It was to the point that he could tell that if he remained here any longer, that dress would be wrapped around his neck.
Gao Qi immediately stored away his smile and escaped.
“I’ll see you at dinner!” He then flipped across the balcony and escaped next door with vitality of a fifteen-year-old.
He had slipped away too fast. The male servant outside heard the noise and looked in but came face to face with You Huo.
“Did something happen sir?” The male servant looked into the room.
You Huo held the door and used his body to block most of his line of sight: “It’s nothing.”
Just as he was about to close the door, the male servant reached for the door and said, “I heard some sounds———”
“It has nothing to do with you.”
You Huo interrupted him impatiently: “Do you want to watch my wife changing?”
When he was done the door slammed shut.
Inside the room, Qin Jiu walked out from the bedroom.
He was holding the dress. He raised his eyebrow and said: “Which wife is changing?”
If he was just teasing, then that was fine, but this bastard even held the dress up and compared it with You Huo’s body. He made a ‘mm’ sound of satisfaction.
Mm your grandma!
He held Gao Qi’s “self-beheading” knife and pointed the tip of it to the room next door: “Scram back next door and change.”
Qin Jiu placed down the dangerous object with a smile and jumped off the balcony.
This old castle was huge.
As the pairs of guests walked out of their rooms wearing formal attires and masks, for a moment they couldn’t help but feel as if there was a problem with time and space and that the other guests were actual noblemen from another century.
Zhou Qi who was looking around and taking in the layout inside the castle slowly moved closer to You Huo.
You Huo glanced at her: “Scared?”
Zhou Qi smiled meekly: “All the clothes are almost the same and the masks are similar so I can’t tell who is who. When I looked at you from a distance, I thought you were someone from here and I was an examinee who had snuck in. It’s a little scary……”
You Huo leaned against the stone wall of the corridor and watched the people coming and going below. He didn’t appear to have any intention to leave.
The male servant urged: “Sir, madam, I’ll take you to the dining hall.”
You Huo didn’t even look up: “Waiting for someone.”
The male servant said: “The dinner banquet is about to begin.”
You Huo: “Oh.”
Male servant: “The Duke is waiting for you.”
You Huo: “Then he can wait.”
Male servant: “The lady is already here, who are you waiting for?”
As an NPC, he didn’t seem to understand relationships other than “married couples”.
You Huo didn’t pay him any attention.
The male servant then said: “You can go to the dining hall first to wait.”
You Huo pretended to be deaf.
Male servant: “………….”
As they spoke, the wooden door next door creaked open.
Qin Jiu who pushed the door open saw You Huo stand by the side of the corridor.
The formal clothes he wore made him look tall and straight, and when he turned his head, the material at his waist wrinkled slightly. The mask covering the upper half of his face was intricate and delicate, a direct contrast to his cold lower half of his face.
Please read this from kk translates
Qin Jiu’s footsteps stopped.
At that moment, he suddenly felt that the collar around You Huo’s neck was too tight.
So much that he wanted to go over and pull open the top button, rip off the mask and either bite or kiss him. In any case, he wanted to do something to break up that contrast and make those cold lips show some other emotions.
Perhaps it was because the lights above them were dim and ambiguous.
He actually felt that a You Huo like that wasn’t unfamiliar, and he could even imagine how the other party would look when he could no longer maintain that cold and indifferent look.
It was almost as if he had seen it before.
But it was just almost.
That subtle feeling passed through him fleetingly. Very quickly, it disappeared like an illusion.
“Are you ready now?” The male servant asked again. He was expressionless but his eyes revealed some discomfort, like he was ready to cry on the spot if You Huo didn’t move.
You Huo hummed in response and straightened up.
He saw Qin Jiu tug at his collar and walk over unhurriedly. Qin Jiu opened his mouth to say something.
At this moment, the other door also opened. Gao Qi walked out awkwardly. As he tugged at his sleeves, he complained to Zhao Jiatong: “This thing is really uncomfortable to wear. The collar is not a collar, the waist is not a waist. Are they bullying me because my neck is short……..Huh? Are you waiting for me?”
He looked over at You Huo while straightening his clothes.
You Huo paused. He then nodded at Gao Qi: “Hurry up.”
Gao Qi was moved.
Master You felt guilty.
They lived the furthest away and they took their time changing so by the time they started heading off, there were no other examinees left on the third floor.
The three pairs of guests actually have three servants leading the way.
The three servants walked very quickly. If they could, they would probably choose to drag the examinees over.
The overall colour tone of the castle was dark.
The Duke seemed to have a special liking for colours similar to blood. All the curtains and tablecloths were this colour.
About every ten metres, there would be an oil painting on the corridor wall.
It was a painting of a family of three.
A woman in a red dress sat in an armchair with her left elbow resting on the armrest. Her snow-white neck and shoulders were delicate and beautiful, and she looked gentle and dignified…..In her right hand she held a mask which covered the upper half of her face.
Her exposed lips were bright red and plump. The corners of her lips were raised as she smiled.
Standing next to her was a young boy. His hair was combed meticulously, and he wore an exquisite formal suit. He had one hand on the woman’s wrist and he also held a mask in his other hand.
Behind the mother and son stood a tall, thin man. He was bending forwards slightly and had both his arms propped onto the back of the armchair. He similarly held a mask to cover his face and his lips formed a smile.
This was likely the Duke’s family.
But now the wife and child had died, leaving only the Duke behind.
The three male servants led them through several corridors and past several empty rooms before finally reaching the end.
At the end was a tall and magnificent door. Voices of people strategizing could be vaguely heard through the door.
A servant looked at the time and heaved a sigh of relief. He said: “It’s okay, we’re on time.”
He pushed the guests through the door and left.
In the dining hall, a long table travelled from one end of the room to the other. It was enough for 13 groups of examinees to sit down and eat and there were even spare seats.
The very last few seats were probably left for You Huo and the others. The man sitting at the head of the table should be the Duke.
Although the head butler Douglas called him “Master” here and “Master” there, he wasn’t old and was actually very young.
He looked around…….twenty years old.
A dozen or so children dressed in snow white formal attire and identical masks stood on a platform in the corner singing.
The Duke looked over at You Huo and the others and knocked on his glass with a silver spoon.
He “shh”d and the entire hall quietened.
“Douglas, are these guests late?” The Duke asked the head butler beside him.
His voice was strange. It was as if he was accustomed to speaking in a low voice and was deliberately suppressing it. It was a little hoarse and it wasn’t very comfortable to listen to.
Douglas shook his head: “No Master. They came just in time.”
“Oh……..” The Duke nodded.
Although he looked young, he didn’t behave like a young man. Perhaps it was because he had grown used to being the superior one and acted accordingly.
“Not late…….” The Duke repeated softly.
He smiled and said: “Then sit down. The wine is all there. Don’t hold back.”
The food on the table was very alluring.
With a quick glance, you could see clear water beads clinging to the glass glistening under the lights. The skin of the roasted chicken was crisp and brown, and it exuded a strong, delicious aroma……
It was a sharp contrast to the dry bread that was provided in the carriage.
The examinees almost couldn’t hold back.
But they didn’t dare eat.
After taking several exams, they had become very vigilant.
You Huo however immediately picked up the wine and took a seat after sitting down.
Zhou Qi let out an “ah” but didn’t stop him.
“You’re really drinking?” She glanced over at the Duke and whispered.
You Huo: “You drink when you’re thirsty. What’s the problem?”
The food this time was much better than the food in previous exams. The skill was on par to 922’s so he naturally could swallow it down.
Zhou Qi felt that she wasn’t a friend yet so she couldn’t stop him. She turned to Qin Jiu to ask for his help.
In the end, Qin Jiu had actually drunk a little more than You Huo.
Zhou Qi: “……….”
The Duke laughed joyfully: “I like guests like these…….”
He then turned to Douglas and said: “I like it. I don’t mind letting them stay here longer.”
Douglas nodded and said: “Understood, Master.”
The examinees closest to the Duke overhead this and hesitated for a few seconds before also starting to eat.
Human’s were like this. As long as there were two or three taking the lead, the others would quickly join in.
In a blink of an eye, those who only swirled their wine glasses around but didn’t drink took a small sip. When they felt that it didn’t taste strange, they started to pick up their knives and forks.
At this moment, the door opened again.
A pair of man and woman hurried in. The man’s formal attire was incorrectly buttoned making him look dishevelled and pathetic.
The woman’s dress also wasn’t arranged properly. Shrinking behind the man, she held his hand a little nervously.
You Huo glanced at them. He internally thought that the system didn’t seem to be a complete rogue. At least not all “married couples” were forced together. Some were probably real couples.
Even if they’re not couples, with the accompaniment of the life and death exams, there would at least be a bit of a suspension bridge effect.
Please read this from kk translates
The Duke placed down his glass and turned to ask the head butler: “Douglas, this pair of guests should be late, right?”
Douglas nodded: “Yes, Master.”
His old eyes looked over at the pair of examinees. He then added: “Quite late.”
The Duke nodded: “I see.”
His voice wasn’t very loud.
But the hall was extremely silent. With the others remaining silent and not interrupting, it sounded especially clear.
That pair of examinees immediately started to tremble. Their faces turned pale.
The Duke raised his hand and said: “It’s okay, it’s okay. Don’t be afraid. I was just asking out of habit. Here, sit here. We left you a seat. The wine is already prepared.”
The man patted the woman’s hand, took a deep breath and built up his courage before walking over to the long table.
There were indeed two empty seats beside the Duke. They looked like they were specially prepared for late guests.
Zhou Qi continued to stare at the Duke. A moment later, she whispered to You Huo: “I know those two examinees. We were together in the first round. The man is called Zhang Pengyi and the woman is called He Jiajia. They were a couple and their relationship was pretty good……..”
She said this and then looked at the Duke again: “My boyfriend was originally here too but unfortunately we got separated in the second exam.”
You Huo asked her: “How many have you done?”
Zhou Qi said: “This is my fourth one.”
Her results were barely okay. It was enough to let her hold onto a small sliver of hope. Her boyfriend was a little better than her so as long as he didn’t run into any strange exams, he should perform better than her. Once five exams are done………perhaps they could get out together.
As she spoke, she continued to stare at the Duke.
You Huo asked: “Are you afraid of him?”
Zhou Qi froze. She shook her head and then nodded: “I am afraid. He’s the subject of question. Who knows what he would do? But I’m always looking at him because……his lips look a little like my boyfriends. I miss him.”
She grievously drank some wine. She then glanced at You Huo and then at Qin Jiu.
With a long sigh, she said: “I miss him more now.”
You Huo: “………….”
Halfway through the delicious meal, the Duke knocked on his glass again: “Thank you everyone for coming all this way to accompany me in remembering my Alyssa and Colin. I believe…….I believe they will be very moved if they knew about this. I heard from Douglas that you promised to treat the townspeople here.”
He paused and then said in a gentle voice: “Those poor people. I thank you in their stead.”
“Douglas will arrange for the carriages to take you to town during the day but be sure to return by nightfall. I can’t do much so please give me this chance to provide you with delicious meals and warm beds.”
After he said this, he suddenly turned his head aside and coughed a few times.
It was stifled but his entire body shook with each cough. It was as if he was trying his best to suppress his cough.
Douglas supported him.
He used a tablecloth to wipe his mouth. When he turned back, his lips were bright red.
The people sitting at the table quietly gasped.
The Duke said: “I have been feeling a little unwell the past few days. It’s something small, don’t worry.”
“Ah yes, while everyone stays here, please don’t take of the mask.” The Duke suddenly added: “It’s neat and beautiful like this.”
Who wants to look neat?
This Duke probably has OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder).
But because everyone had mentally prepared themselves in advance and knew that this Duke must have some strange quirks, they didn’t take it to heart.
The Duke then said: “My house is a little big. You can easily get lost at night. It’s better to drink more wine so that you can have a good night’s sleep without needing to get up in the middle of the night.”
He gently laughed: “There is also another request. As I have said just now, I am feeling a little unwell. My sleep quality at night isn’t very good so I do not want to be disturbed. If there are any friends who like to get up in the middle of the night, please don’t go to the first floor of the west tower. My temper isn’t good when I don’t sleep well and I don’t want to offend anyone.”
Everyone nodded. They started to feel a little scared.
But the fine wine and good food was very alluring, and the Duke behaved very courteously. Soon afterwards, the examinees once again buried their heads in the food.
The children’s singing acted as background music. The light and feathery voices made people feel a little sleepy.
But everyone struggled to stay awake and chatted amongst themselves.
The examination question this time was a little strange. Usually something would happen on the first day or some hidden exam requirements would be revealed.
Or at least some punishments would be enforced for the group in last place.
But this time it was very strange. Nothing happened.
Gao Qi mumbled something to Zhao Jiatong before grabbing a bread and turning around to ask You Huo: “…….A, what do you think?”
“I just discussed with Zhao Jiatong. Should we go to town to check out the situation tomorrow or use the opportunity while everyone is away to investigate this castle.\? The Duke is probably going to be troublesome so it’s better not to provoke him for the time being.”
He had told Zhao Jiatong about his dream and it had been constantly on his mind.
He felt that this castle was 120% strange.
“Zhao Jiatong votes to go to the town first because it’s safer. I voted to investigate the castle. Which would you vote for?”
You Huo said: “I want to check out the invigilator’s quarter first.”
Zhao Jiatong: “?”
Gao Qi: “???”
“I mean…….What did the invigilator’s quarter do for you to want to check them out first?” Gao Qi didn’t understand.
He turned and looked at Qin Jiu before rubbing his nose and asking angrily: “What about you? Zhao Jiatong wants to go to town first, I want to investigate the castle first and A over here wants to visit the invigilator’s quarter. There’s one vote for each of them. It’s up to you now.”
“Me?” Qin Jiu said: “I want to provoke the Duke.”
Gao Qi: “…………”
Why did he have to take the exam with these two psychopaths?
Not far away at the head of the table the Duke covered his mouth and coughed a few more times. He then turned to the late examinees Zhang Pengyi and He Jiajia and said softly: “Are you free tonight?”
Please support the translator and read this from
KK has something to say:
Oops. That poor couple probably raised a death flag. RIP
Also dayum, you’ve got some pretty dangerous thoughts there Qin Jiu…