ed to maintain a furious expression.
“Boy! How dare you rob my lady; what ~are~ your intention~!!!”


Paper Boss: “……”


For a moment, The Paper Folding Shop was eerily quiet.


Tian Si De, who had joined Hoodie's sand sculpture delusion, reacted to what he had done: “…”




Why was this such an awkward scene?


Just as he thought he was about to die of embarrassment, the lights flickered, and the paper boss disappeared.


'Where did he go?'


Tian Si De couldn't stop himself from swallowing.
In the quiet Paper Folding store, the sound of his throat rolling was noticeable.


Hoodie whistled as he waited for the lights to turn on.


“Look down.”


Something was sneaking up on Tian Si De's feet.
He took a closer look and discovered —


Good lord, wasn't it The Paper Folding Shop's proprietor?


Tian Si De was about to take a step back when Hoodie reached up and grasped his shoulder.
He remained still, staring stiffly at the man on his knees.


The light flickered a few more times, and Tian Si De, fighting back his dread, began to attempt to make sense of the low frame motions of the folded paper man.


It lifted its head and tapped the ground.
It rose his head and pounded it down again.
This move was repeated until Tian Si De finally grasped what it meant.


The other man appeared to be pleading for his forgiveness?


'Are you kidding me?'


He opened his lips, but nothing came out.


Hoodie: “Ugh ugh ugh, stop kowtowing.
Is it useful for you to kowtow? Why do you need a jail if it does? Only Master Tian is generous enough to give you a reprieve from a death sentence,” remarked Hoodie, crouching on the ground and pointing to the folded paper man., “You've had the chutzpah to abduct the master's wife! I'm afraid you deserve to be sunk in the pond? No, drowning is too cheap for you.
You should burn a knife and slice off your flesh piece by piece so the wolves may devour your black-hearted bones!”


Even though they were visibly smiling, Hoodie's statements were like a frigid winter wind that could penetrate one's spine.


For a brief while, the lights in The Paper Folding Shop flickered fearfully, and the Paper Folding man was seen curled up, gripping his hat and dropping to his knees.


Tian Si De was dumbfounded.


How did…
Hoodie become more terrifying than a ghost?


He also trembled involuntarily as he imagined the aforementioned scene.


“Say, which family asked for a paper bride?”


Shivering, the folded paper guy touched a piece of white paper, the ink spots haloing into a word.


Tian Si De murmured, “Zhang (张)?”


“Good old man Zhang!!!”


Hoodie raged as the eerie green light continued to flicker, sending shivers down the folded paper man's spine.


“He's seeking a bride for his son in the underworld!” Hoodie smacked the long table, causing the paper-folded things to sway.


“He's a sneaky scoundrel! What kind of boldness does he have to take our Master Tian's wife as his bride?!”


Master Tian stood shivering, not daring to say anything.
He was worried that Hoodie might get carried away and inadvertently attack him.


Shivering, the folded paper man kneeling on the ground wished he could burrow into the earth.


“You too!” Hoodie grabbed the man's lapels and hauled him up, severely lecturing him, “Who gave you the guts to seize her? Are you willing to be skinned alive? No, even if you peel it off, your skin, flesh, and especially your stinking black heart, not even starving wolves will dare to eat it and will flee!!”


The folded paper man shook his head toward the telegraph machine.
He fumbled for a bit before picking up the white paper and writing:


[We Help find your wife]


The ink smears were so slanted that it took Tian Si De a long time to read the five words.


Hoodie came to a halt and turned to face Tian Si De.


“Master Tian, what do you think?”


Master Tian: “……
Just, just do what he says.”


As they tossed away the folded paper guy, Hoodie growled harshly.


“You're in luck; my lord is kind.
But if you still can't find the abducted wife, I'll tie you up and light you up like a sky lantern without seeking permission from your lord!”


Paper Boss “…!!!”




Tian Si De was still in a trance as he left The Paper Folding Shop.


The folded paper doormen in front of the business had vanished.
He had the impression that Hoodie's turmoil had scared them away.


Hoodie switched on his flashlight, and they tapped it familiarly.
They then smacked Tian Si De on the back.


Tian Side's spirit almost flew away after being struck like this.




This time, Hoodie was much calmer and just teased him, “Your acting skills are only so-so; you still need to improve.”


Tian Si De smiled bitterly.


“This alley leads to Zhang's home.
In the village, they have a large family.
When you go to get your sweetheart back, you must exude confidence.
People in this community abuse the weak and fear the strong.”



He said this with a friendly but firm tone.


Tian Si De followed him on his right side and couldn't help but wonder, “Why are you so familiar?”


“Are you taken aback?” Hoodie chuckled.
“Didn't I tell you I've been here before? It's just the same plot.
After a few more walks, you have them almost memorised.
Anyway, it's a long path; let me tell you about it, and you'll understand why I sounded so harsh just now.”


——— Translators Notes ———



张: zhàng = stretch, extend, expand; sheet

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