1

After the war in the Southwest was over, people's livelihoods and the economy there recovered much faster than expected.

The traffic routes between the entire Southwest's 50-odd strongholds were fully operational while the strongholds completely opened up as well. Just as in Luoyang City, the stronghold residents and refugees could enter the various strongholds as long as they possessed trade or work visas.

The Qing Consortium encouraged the residents to do business by reducing taxes. With a flow of people moving between the various strongholds, the stagnating Southwest finally became livelier.

Even though the people here had just been through a war, Stronghold 88 looked like it was completely thriving.

Ren Xiaosu and Yang Xiaojin found a hotel to stay at for the night. They still chose two separate rooms as usual.

At night, Yang Xiaojin returned to her room early to sleep. If it were in the past, the two of them might still have a long conversation with each other.

At their home on Anning East Road, they would chat through the walls until late at night.

But now, they seemed to have much less to say between them.

Ren Xiaosu's mind started running wild. When he was alone, the first thing that came to his mind was whether Yang Xiaojin was treating this trip to Stronghold 88 as their last chance to spend some time together before breaking it off with him.

He felt that Yang Xiaojin's attitude towards their relationship must have changed. Otherwise, why didn't her Enchanted Doorway open to their home in Stronghold 144?

Initially, Ren Xiaosu also felt that he might be thinking too much. However... the enchanted doorway would not lie.

Thinking of this, Ren Xiaosu did not know whether to laugh or cry. Whoever said that her Enchanted Doorway had to open at the same place as his?

After an entire night of imagining things, Ren Xiaosu finally fell asleep.

The next day, when Yang Xiaojin knocked on his door to wake him up, Xiaosu had a rare look of fatigue on his face.

"You didn't sleep well?" Yang Xiaojin asked, "Why don't you sleep in a little longer?"

"It's OK." Ren Xiaosu said, "Where do you want to go? I'll accompany you."

"Come on." Yang Xiaojin led the way. "Let's get you some new tailor-made suits since the ones I bought for you were damaged in that fight in Winston City."

Ren Xiaosu was stunned. "Wait, how do you know that? Were you there at that time?"

"Of course." Yang Xiaojin glanced at him. "You did well."

Ren Xiaosu learned from Zhang Xiaoman that Yang Xiaojin and Zhou Yingxue had set off for the Kingdom of Sorcerers earlier than the Great Hoodwinker and company. But in the end, Yang Xiaojin arrived at Ghent City together with them.

Ren Xiaosu did not ask Yang Xiaojin when she had arrived in the Kingdom of Sorcerers. But from the look of things, she must have been lurking since she got there. She even witnessed the battle where he walloped the Berkeley family's patriarch at Winston Manor.

And Yang Xiaojin's reply now was probably praising Ren Xiaosu for not having any entanglements with the opposite sex on his travels.

When Ren Xiaosu thought of this, he suddenly broke out in a cold sweat.

"When did you catch up to me in the Kingdom of Sorcerers?" Ren Xiaosu cautiously probed.

Yang Xiaojin said calmly, "Take a guess."

Her reply was really profound. Ren Xiaosu could not determine what she had or had not seen at all.

The more it was this way, the more Ren Xiaosu was left scratching his head.

The streetcar rattled along on the track in the stronghold. The early risers were taking transit to work. Yang Xiaojin led Ren Xiaosu onto Streetcar 12 with a sense of familiarity and sat in the streetcar as it drove unsteadily towards Shunjiang Road.

Yang Xiaojin said, "When you came to Stronghold 88 previously, I didn't have time to show you around."

"Is the tailor store on Shunjiang Road?" Ren Xiaosu asked.

"Yes." Yang Xiaojin nodded. "In the past, my family's clothes were all tailored on Shunjiang Road. But at that time, it was the tailor who came to our place to take our measurements. I only had to go to the store occasionally. The store was run by a couple whom my father was very familiar with. Every time that auntie came to take my measurements, she would smile and remark that I'd grown taller again. I was a little rebellious when I was young, so she would bring a few pieces of candy to coax me into staying still while she took my measurements."

Ren Xiaosu suddenly felt that their trip to Stronghold 88 this time was like a walk down memory lane for Yang Xiaojin. He was experiencing the things she had experienced and meeting with people who played a part in her life.

At some point, Ren Xiaosu felt a little grateful to Yang Xiaojin's parents. Based on her description, he could tell that her parents were very warm-hearted people. To have such a trait in the Yang Consortium, it probably made them some sort of an outcast in the organization.

If Yang Xiaojin were as cold as the other members of the Yang Consortium, it would be impossible for them to be in this relationship.

In the streetcar, the two of them sat on the two-seater seat at the back. Yang Xiaojin's chin-length hair fluttered lightly as the warm and mild morning breeze blew in through the window.

Then Yang Xiaojin gently leaned her head on Ren Xiaosu's shoulder without saying a word.

This silence and setting suddenly made Ren Xiaosu feel like they were a long-distance relationship couple from the Pre-Cataclysm times who were on the verge of breaking up. This made him even more flustered.

His heart rate started to change, and even his breathing was affected. Yang Xiaojin could feel all of this, so the corners of her mouth curled up again under her cap.

"Let's get off here." Yang Xiaojin got up and alighted from the streetcar with Ren Xiaosu following behind her. He was a little enthralled as he looked at the name of the tailor store.

Peace Tailors. The word "peace" felt very abrupt but beautiful in this era.

When Yang Xiaojin pushed open the door, it collided with the wind chime on the door frame, and a pleasant jingling could be heard. Together with the creaking of the wooden door, it sounded like a greeting.

There was only a middle-aged woman on the inside, and she was measuring fabric with a measuring tape in her hand. The other party did not even look up and just greeted warmly, "Welcome to Peace Tailors."

Yang Xiaojin stood there but did not say anything. When the middle-aged woman looked up and realized it was her, she was stunned. Her eyes reddened immediately as she said, "Xiaojin, it's you! I'm so glad you're alright! I haven't seen you since that incident in the stronghold. You must've suffered after leaving Stronghold 88!"

Yang Xiaojin smiled and said, "I'm fine."

When she took off her cap, the middle-aged woman gently patted her head and said with a tearful smile, "Xiaojin, you've grown taller again."

"Mhm." Yang Xiaojin said, "I've grown another centimeter taller."

Actually, without a reference, most people would not notice it at all. The middle-aged woman's remark and the way she patted her head were a kind of warm chemistry between the two.

At this moment, the middle-aged woman looked at Ren Xiaosu. She hesitated for a moment before asking with a smile, "Are you the future commander of the Northwest Army? I've read about you in that rankings publication of superhumans. At that time, I was thinking that perhaps only someone like you is worthy of Xiaojin. But I must remind you, you had better treat Xiaojin well."

The middle-aged woman did not care what superhumans were capable of. When she purchased the rankings publication, it was only because she heard Yang Xiaojin was on it.