Chapter 36: Ankang Ancient Town (15)
The footsteps went away again.
Yan Wei’s eyes narrowed slightly, and his gaze stayed on the closed door. He was sure that they had tied up the matron, and even if the matron ran out, she was taken out of the well with no umbrella.
When the sound was far enough that he couldn’t sense any movement, Yan Wei glanced at the last few minutes left in his skill. He got up slowly and quietly walked towards the door.
“I’ll have a look.”
On the first night, it was the matron, and the risk of opening the door was not foreseeable, so Yan Mingguang was more suitable then.
But now, in this unknown situation, Yan Wei felt that it would be better for him to take a quick glimpse.
He had just taken two steps when someone suddenly drew him back hard. The man had no intention of negotiating with him, pulling him back in one fell swoop. Yan Mingguang walked forward and said, “No, I’ll look.”
Yan Wei: “…”
He blinked. “Oh, no, last time I asked you to see it, you said no. This time I said I’d go see it, and you also said no?”
The man’s face didn’t change. “Yes.”
“…” Yan Wei shrugged. “Fine, it’s up to you anyway.”
Yan Mingguang: “…”
Yan Mingguang walked to the door silently, long whip in his hand, and opened the door warily.
–Like last night, nothing happened.
“How is it?” Yan Wei asked.
“Just like last night,” Yan Mingguang said, “Five identical skin and bone umbrellas.”
“Jiang Xiu is also dead.”
In front of the projection of Ankang Ancient Town, it was unknown how long the stillness lasted. Someone voiced a conclusion softly, breaking the deadly silence.
Before this, those who watched and analyzed this instance witnessed Yan Mingguang and the others design Jiang Xiu and Zheng Mao as the lowest scorers. In the evening of the instance, Jiang Xu and Zheng Mao, who were still searching for a solution, turned off their projections.
The players who bet on the two were still waiting for them to find a counterattack, but it didn’t take long for Zheng Mao’s projection to turn from black to gray after the player died. Soon after, there were angry rebukes from Yuemang, but after a moment…
–Everyone watched Jiang Xiu’s screen go gray.
The whole place was quiet.
When Zheng Mao died, the people of Yuemang gnashed their teeth and said something, but when they noticed Jiang Xiu’s death, they all froze.
This was a seventh-floor instance.
Compared to players like Lin Zhen and Yu Feizhou, as well as Yan Mingguang and Yan Wei, who only passed one instance, Jiang Xiu had the highest floor among the twelve people in the entire instance. Even if some people didn’t choose him when betting before, most believed Jiang Xiu would not cling to the best player. Others did not think he would break in this seventh-floor instance even though they thought Jiang Xiu wouldn’t win.
However, this just happened.
The seed players cultivated by Yuemang have steadily risen, floor by floor. Before, there were often old players of Yuemang who brought Jiang Xiu to instances to select items.
Yet he died at the hands of a newcomer who had only passed one instance.
Not only was the damage done to the Yuemang devastating, but it was also a great humiliation — after this, the newcomers who were going to join Yuemang would hesitate to some extent. After all, newcomers could kill their seed player.
An old player of Yuemang frustratedly hurled the notebook to the ground. He gritted his teeth and said, “You all still have the face to stay here? Go, go back.”
Several new players looked at each other and hurriedly raised their heels.
The scene immediately exploded.
It was not only the death of Jiang Xiu. The newcomer, code-named Yan, could kill players with a tenth-floor gap. He could even use the instance rules with ease to counterattack in a casino-level difficulty instance.
Yan has the potential of a seed player and can even impact middle-level and high-level instances.
Yuemang was in great shame, but other organizations saw the opportunity.
“I’m done. I’m finished. I bet on Jiang Xiu. The instance isn’t over, and I’m doomed to lose…”
“I also chose Jiang Xiu. I regret it now!”
“I’m just betting on a reversal. I made a bet on Yan. Hahahahaha, I think it’ll be the best bet I’ve ever won!”
Next to this cheerful player, the player who bet on Jiang Xiu looked at him bitterly and said, “Don’t be happy too soon! Three Yuemang members entered. Two died, and there was Ning Yi. Ning Yi may not be able to kill Yan Mingguang.”
“I don’t care about Yuemang. I’m just curious. It’s reasonable that Yan can get into an alliance with Yu Feizhou, but how did he get a psychopath like Lin Zhen to cooperate?”
Gao Ming stood among the players and smiled silently as Yan Wei and Yan Mingguang still had black screens.
He knew that in front of these two people, nothing was impossible. They had much more potential than those newcomers who the inner world of the tower praised. As long as Yan Wei and Yan Mingguang keep pushing forward, they will eventually reach the top.
He was an average player. All he had to do was watch.
Seeing that his instance buffer period could no longer wait, Gao Ming took one last look at the projections, turned around, and decided to leave and return to the apartment to make final preparations.
But when he turned around, he unexpectedly found several people standing in front of him. These people surrounded him from left to right, apparently blocking him.
Gao Ming paused. “You are?”
The man in the center had quite a soft face with delicate facial features. His eyes were deep and dark, as if bottomless.
He looked at Gao Ming and said meaningfully, “You’re the one… The first player to complete an instance with Yan. What’s his name… oh, Gao Ming?”
Gao Ming’s pupils shrank.
The man in front of him smiled softly, grabbing his shoulder and whispering, “Then come with us.”
In the hallway in front of the guest room, the wind from the rain seeped in. It brought in a slight coolness. Against the backdrop of five skin and bone umbrellas lined up in a row, it made people feel chills down their spines.
There were sounds of doors opening and closing, and it should be the other players also opening the doors to observe the situation.
As Yan Mingguang turned away from the view, Yan Wei spotted the umbrella at the door — half-propped on the ground just like last night and saw nothing else.
He dismantled more than one hundred umbrellas of ordinary victims. Although the umbrellas made from the skin and bones of girls disappeared in the end, there were two phalanges from the umbrellas in their hand, which should be short of core strength.
What kind of umbrella was placed at their door? Who set the umbrellas?
Immortality was over.
Yan Wei pondered for a while but decided to position the umbrella back in the main hall of the mountain temple as he had done last night. As for the issue of the phalanges, it was better to wait for an opportunity to head to the well again. Otherwise, they will have no way to determine whether the current state of these umbrellas will be the same as the state of the umbrellas in the well.
He said his plan, and Yan Mingguang naturally agreed.
Jiang Xiu and Zheng Mao were dead as well. They did not have to resort to tricks like last night. Yan Wei investigated the room, and Yan Mingguang returned the umbrella to the main hall.
Late at night, the two men were still crammed into a bed as a precaution.
There was no heating device in the temple, and even the room was chilly. Yan Wei and Yan Mingguang were huddled together and eventually, due to their height, chose a posture quite accommodating to Yan Mingguang.
Compared to his cold temperament, Yan Mingguang’s body temperature was warm.
Yan Wei closed her eyes and thought about the current problem. Unconsciously, he rubbed against the other side’s arms.
Yan Mingguang’s breathing paused for a moment. He didn’t move, allowing Yan Wei to lean on him.
At this moment, the situation in the instance and instance clues filled Yan Wei’s mind, not noticing the momentary halt in breathing. “I feel that we’re now… We’re under great pressure.”
“Jiang Xiu and Zheng Mao are dead, but I think Ning Yi… Although she has never been with Jiang Xiu, she’s a seed player of Yuemang. Even if she ignored Jiang Xiu, she wouldn’t be friends with us,” Yan Wei explained while thinking, “But our instance is not over yet, and we don’t even have a clue about the staircase. I doubt that we’ll have to deal with the umbrellas and the skinless female ghosts in the future. Even tonight… Hu Ayu may have been the one to set the umbrellas. After all, she’s also in the mountain temple tonight, and only she is there. But there is nothing that can confirm this speculation at present.”
“We have to go down the well again.”
“Going down the well is for sure. I think the phalanges must be gathered together. Otherwise, I can’t understand their role. We have too many pressing things now, and the ghosts will become stronger and stronger over time in the instance. And with the first answer mode, even if everyone has reached short-term cooperation, we’ll start a new round of information closure with the death of the lowest scorer. I doubt that the method of collecting the phalanges is in the two first answer points that Ning Yi obtained, so next, we not only have to find the staircase and survive. We also have to ensure that we’re ahead in points, and at the same time, we have to confront Ning Yi…”
“It’s quite interesting. What did you say just now?”
Yan Mingguang’s Adam’s apple moved slightly. “Nothing.”
Yan Wei was not a quiet person by nature, and he liked to move around even when lying down. Not long after he stabilized in a position, he turned and bumped into Yan Mingguang’s arms.
Yan Mingguang: “…”
Yan Wei didn’t care what Yan Mingguang felt. He moved and stopped when he was comfortable. Maybe it was because his mind was running all day today, or it was tranquil at the moment. When all the conjectures and clues were out of his mind, back in the illusion, the scene of Yan Mingguang kissing the corner of his mouth suddenly came to mind.
He thought he was a thick-skinned person, yet somehow, Yan Wei couldn’t help but blush when he recalled the scene.
Thankfully, the moon was dark, the wind was strong, and he was nestled in Yan Mingguang’s arms. No one could see his expression.
He did not know what Yan Mingguang was thinking in the first place.
He thought that someone like Yan Mingguang would be more conflicting, but he didn’t expect…
“Did you hear that?” The man opened his mouth abruptly.
At this moment, Yan Wei also heard another voice.
“Singing,” he said, “It’s that song again… It looks like the young miss is coming to our room again.”
Yan Mingguang: “…”
Sure enough, not long after, a skinless ghost appeared again in the guest room of the two.
–There seemed to be a new one. Roughly judging from the facial features of flesh and blood, the one who came to their room was not the ghost from last night.
Perhaps because of last night’s lesson, players were cautious about where the umbrella may hide, and the two players, Jiang Xiu and Zheng Mao had already died. This evening, ethereal singing sounded for a while without any screaming. After the song stopped, the skinless ghost in the room disappeared.
The eeriness dissipated, and the night was long and peaceful.
In the early morning of the next day, Yan Mingguang turned on the projection and led Yan Wei to the kitchen with a long whip. At first glance, he saw Hu Ayu, who was quite embarrassed and appeared to have been hiding in the kitchen all night.
Just as Yan Mingguang raised his footsteps and approached Hu Ayu, Ning Yi suddenly appeared in front of him and came towards Yan Mingguang with a short knife in her hand.
In the blink of an eye, the whip around Yan Wei’s left wrist had been pulled back, and the tail of the whip changed direction. It headed towards Ning Yi with the sound of breaking the air.
The whip wrapped around the sharp blade, and both pulled forcefully, but neither moved.
With his eyelids lifting, Ning Yi held the dagger handle tightly. A frigid voice sounded. “She is mine.”
Yan Mingguang only said, “Move.”
Yan Wei’s eyes narrowed, and he glanced at Hu Ayu, who was confused and a little panicked, and then glanced at Ning Yi. He was about to think of what to do when the tower’s prompt suddenly rang in his mind.
【Sorry to inform you that you have obtained the instance debuff: The young girl’s favorite. Asking the player to accept reality and try to survive.】
Yan Wei: …
This thing can suddenly fall?!
Why was he unexpectedly attached to such a strange yet life-threatening debuff?!