Zheng Shiliu was a man, a twenty-four-twenty-five years old man with elegant appearance.
Even the most demanding person would admit that Zheng Shiliu was at least a man well worth a second look. Among the average looking stand-up comedians in his batch, his appearance stood out.
However, among the thirty thousand performers, handsome ones were not few, more than one people were better looking than Zheng Shiliu. Nevertheless, Zheng Shiliu was undoubtedly the most popular star in the City of Immortals in the past month. The story about him had been serialized for thirteenth times, with ratings and popularity continuing to rise with each episode. The shops in the 3B Area even started selling merchandise with his theme.
The basis of this popularity was the lingering and touching love story of Zheng Shiliu and his sweetheart.
The main line of the story was roughly like this: Zheng Siliu was a poor man from the bottom of society. By chance, he got a ticket for a giant luxury ship that could travel across the ocean. On that huge ship, by chance coincidence, he was lucky to meet A Luo, a young woman who 'dared to love and dared to hate' from a rich and influential family, and henceforth opened a path of an unusual love...
In the previous thirteen episodes, the audiences had been fascinated by how the two young people defied the power and not afraid of the strong etiquette of love, but they also afraid when they watched the luxury ship accidentally collided with a giant sea beast. The ship's hull broke and gradually sank, putting the two young lovers' lives in danger... Finally, the show seemed to be near the end. Zheng Shiliu and A Luo were also facing the test of separation.
At this point, countless people in the City of Immortals were worried about this couple. People could not restrain their curiosity at all: What would actually happen to Zheng Shiliu and A Luo?
As far as reason was concerned, Zheng Shiliu was, of course, alive-otherwise, how else could he perform on the stage? However, in the previous dozen performances, Zheng Shiliu's face was always still like a corpse, and he showed no emotion when reciting his lines. Many people began to doubt whether he was truly still alive.
Moreover, even if he was still alive, what about A Luo whose every frown and every smile had a hundred charm? Did she die in the disaster, which then killed Zheng Shiliu's heart?
All of these would be revealed in this episode.
Therefore, although Shu Si was well aware that this idleness would probably affect his Eight Desolation Six Directions Soup, he still could not help it.
"In any case, the dead face is not the only one who has the Eight Desolation Six Directions Soup. But if I miss this show, I'm afraid there would be no replay in the future."
Thinking to this, Shu Si became more confident with his decision. Lying down under the tree, he seemed very satisfied.
A moment later, Zheng Shiliu's group of stand-up comedians finally came. More than ninety percent of the space on the signboard was occupied by Zheng Shiliu's story.
In the last episode, the screen showed a bright moon and stars-filled sky, as well as the ice cold sea.
The hull of the ship had almost sunk, and the passengers on the ship were mostly buried at the bottom of the sea. The giant ship had hit a sleeping deep sea beast. When the beast was awakened, it killed all the cultivators on the ship. Only ordinary mortals survived because it didn't put them in its eyes. However, as the ship sank, the lives of these ordinary mortals gradually came to an end.
As for the protagonists of the story, Zheng Shiliu and A Luo, at this time, were quietly waiting for their fate on the sea.
When the giant ship sank, Zheng Shiliu found a piece of plank, but the area was limited, it could only accommodate one person. Right now, A Luo was lying on that plank, weeping, while Zheng Shiliu was almost submerged in the cold sea. He was trying to say his last words to A Luo.
Because of the cold, Zheng Shiliu's words were trembling. Yet, he kept on talking. Talking about the past, talking about the present, talking about the future, even about stand-up comedy.
"A Luo, I-I hope at this last moment of my life, I could see your smile, so that when I fall asleep at the bottom of the sea, I could dream of you smiling."
"I don't want you to sleep, I just want you to live!"
"No, it is you who should live. Promise me, live for me, live healthily and happily forever..."
Outside the stage, many audiences began to cry for Zheng Shiliu's words.
Even the little mouse Shu Si who had always been scolded as heartless, could not help but wipe his eyes from the tears. "Motherf*cker, how could there be sands in this City of Immortals."
However, as he wiped away his tears, he suddenly saw a flash of bright light on the signboard, covering everything up. The deep night sky, the cold sea... gradually turned into nothingness under that bright light.
Shu Si was stunned and directly stood up. "W-What is happening here? Could it be that there was an immortal who came at the last second and saved everyone? That's why Zheng Shiliu, who should've died could perform stand-up comedy here?"
However, the next moment, a cold voice came, which broke everyone's guess.
"The boring show ends here."
As the bright light gradually faded, hundreds of the group stand-up comedy performers disappeared from the stage, leaving only a figure in black.
A long silence ensued.
Under the extreme shock, many people didn't know how to react at first, but soon, the scolding sound of the people blotted out the sky of the City of Immortals.
"F*ck you, who do you think you are!"
"It's the climax of the story, damn it!"
"Kill this son of a b*tch!"
In the face of this fierce scold, the man in black seemed to not hear it at all. Instead, his eyes seemed to penetrate the signboard and reach the depth of everyone's heart, and then a cold wind rose, freezing everyone's anger.
A moment later, the man in black opened his mouth and said, "The show just now was a scam, this is the real Zheng Shiliu."
With that, he stretched out his hand and summoned out the same scene inside the venue and then zeroed in on a face, which was that of Zheng Shiliu's.
It was just that, compared with the previous Zheng Shiliu, this Zheng Shiliu seemed to be timid and depressed, completely without the previous 'although born poor but had straightforward, upright, and open-minded characters.'
Next came a picture of a woman, which was very similar to A Luo, yet lacked the cheerful and vivaciousness of the previous A Luo. Her eyes were a bit slender, her skin was dimmer, and her figure was a bit fuller... and her look seemed to be filled with evilness.
The man in black explained, "This is the real A Luo. The two of them did not get acquainted on a big ship. Instead, they met at her late husband's house. Zheng Shiliu was one of the entertainers that her late husband employed. A Luo is also not a cheerful girl who dares to love and hate, she was just a slutty widow who couldn't control herself; she wants to be in bed with all the good-looking men in the world."
On the screen, they saw A Luo smiled and said to Zheng Shiliu.
"Little Zheng, my shoulders are very sore, come inside and give me a shoulder rub."
Zheng Shiliu looked up to her in fear. "Miss, I-I am just a stand-up comedian, please don't make things difficult for me."
"So what if you're a stand-up comedian? Are you not a male stand-up comedian?
"Miss, you're joking with me, of course, I am a man. But..."
A Luo's willowy eyebrows jumped. "Since I told you to come then come! Be careful, or I tell my dad to fire you!"
Finally defeated by this abuse of authority, Zheng Shiliu cowered-ly entered the room. Then, for a time, there was a moaning sound that made adults feel extremely uncomfortable.
A moment later, the picture changed. Zheng Shiliu's appearance had turned haggard from his previous attractive look. Especially when walking he had to clamp his legs. And his slouch posture seemed even more tragic.
Obviously, the stand-up comedian was far from being able to withstand the hard work of having to serve big miss A Luo.
However, A Luo didn't know how to stop before going too far.
"Little Zheng, where have you been? Hurry up and come in, I want to do it today! If you dare not to come, I'll have your parents' legs broken and your little lover name A Mei grabbed and fed to the dogs, hear me!"
Zheng Shiliu's expression was originally bitter, but when he heard the last part, his whole body shook, and his eyes gradually turned cold, revealing a trace of madness.
Then, either by providence or by luck, he came across a shovel at the decorative mass planting of flowers and shrubs outside...
The slender hand, who only knew how to hold a writing brush, tightly held the shovel.
The pictures turned again. Now it was a rainy night filled with lightning and thunder. Under the heavy rain, the thin Zheng Shiliu brandished his shovel and dug a deep pit on the ground. At his feet was a once warm and plump body but now had turned cold and stiff.
Zheng Shiliu's eyes were cold and his eyes were completely focused at the deep pit in front of him. The rainstorm was like a waterfall and thus, water quickly gathered in the pit. The water surface reflected the broken face of Zheng Shiliu.
"Father, mother, child is unfilial, unable to look after you guys in your old age and arrange proper burial after you die. I can only return your kindness when we meet again in the afterlife... A Mei, I'm afraid I can't save enough money to go back to marry you... just forget about me, and then find a good man to marry, and live happily forever, just consider me..."
The picture ended here and the man in black sighed.
"The real Zheng Shiliu is just a poor man who has been driven into a dead end. It's not worth to wantonly distort his story and use it for amusement. He never saw the sea in his entire life, let alone a trip on a huge ship. A Luo is his personal enemy that he hates to the bone, so how could he make a solemn pledge of eternal love with her? That kind of story is disgusting."
With that, the man in black waved his hand and all the signboards in the City of Immortals dimmed. The broadcasted program had been forcefully stopped.
On the other side, on the rostrum, Wang Lu shrugged his shoulders indifferently.
"Why spoil everyone's good dream? By doing this, you would make those hipsters who believe in love to suffer from insomnia."
The man in black ignored Wang Lu and said coldly, "Let's begin the next round."
The so-called the next round was the last and most important part of the Opening Ceremony: A bet for this Grand Competition between the Union of Ten Thousand Immortals and the Ancient Immortals under the supervision of everyone.
The Grand Competition claimed to decide the future of Nine Regions, but how to decide the method would be decided by a bet between the two sides.
There was no possibility to delay this round. In other words, Wang Lu's delaying tactics had to stop here.
The real show was finally about to begin.
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