Chapter 14.1 Night of the Ancient Castle
The bright moon was high in the sky. Before Wen Shi could take another look, he suddenly saw a graceful figure. The person grabbed Wen Shi’s clothes and pulled him strongly. Taking advantage of the moment, the blood bride freed herself from Wen Shi’s grasp and stood up, getting out of danger.
Just like she hadn’t allowed Wen Shi a chance to catch his breath, the newcomer didn’t spare her either.
A long sword appeared before the blood bride’s eyes.
In the cold glimmer of the sword, the blood bride saw herself once again.
A dreadful scream tore through the night sky.
Xie Tangyan explained, “The snakes in the maze were bothering me, so I decided to take a walk outside.” She glanced at the blood bride and asked, “Should we throw her out?”
Wen Shi quickly waved his hand, “I still need to take her back for reporting.”
Xie Tangyan went back to fetch a hemp rope and brought another almost lifeless blood bride along. Wen Shi firmly tied them both to his withered wrist and led them back.
Before leaving, Wen Shi didn’t forget to emphasize to Xie Tangyan once again, “Don’t venture beyond the boundary of the streetlight.”
If they crossed it, they’d be dragged underground by those dead hands’ bones.
Wen Shi once again experienced the weight of this word. To survive, they must act within the confines of the rules.
Not daring to linger in the outskirts for too long, Wen Shi quickened his pace on the way back.
The blood bride’s joints moved like a manipulated puppet, unnaturally stepping with overly slender legs. Moonlight illuminated the young man’s shoulder, while his fair fingers pulled the other end of the rope, resembling a cruel jailer.
Wen Shi occasionally looked back to check the situation. Seeing the blood bride’s face filled with resentment, he scoffed lightly, “You came to kill me, yet you act all wronged. Hurry up and leave.”
He was in a hurry to return and complete the task.
The cruel confrontation under the streetlight and the castle’s appearance after the light’s restoration completely divided the two worlds. Everything inside the castle now took on a soft and distorted appearance due to the gentle lighting.
With Wen Shi drawing away the trouble, Luo Xiao and Peng Lu easily dealt with an injured blood bride.
The two of them took the blood bride to report.
Peng Lu was still thinking about what happened when Wen Shi was locked outside at night. “That new guy is a bit strange.”
Luo Xiao shrugged. “Doesn’t matter.”
The task was completed, and they believed they would soon get useful clues.
The castle master’s door was open, indicating that he was willing to receive visitors at the moment.
Seeing the captured blood bride, the castle master was in a good mood.
“You did well, catching a ‘little mouse’ who stole the paint.”
He emphasized the quantity, showing that they hadn’t reached a hundred percent satisfaction.
Luo Xiao timely amplified the credit, “The thief was very cunning. It took a lot of effort for us to barely catch her.”
The castle master showed rare magnanimity and said, “Keep up the good work in the next few days.”
The blood bride lying on the ground had half of her shoulder turned into charred remains by the demon-subduing array. She squeezed out a hoarse curse from her throat. When the castle master’s gaze swept over, she finally closed her mouth in fear.
“Congratulations on completing the tasks assigned by the butler. Try talking to him the next day. Perhaps there will be unexpected rewards.”
“The current favorability of the castle master towards you is thirty.”
“The castle master has decided to give you a gift.”
“Player obtained Family Crest *1.”
【Family Crest: One-time special S-grade item.
The castle master has a bad temper, but he values each employee.
Wearing this crest grants a temporary identity as an ‘Internal Castle Staff,’ allowing you to call upon the Earl to help you once during the night.
Note: This item can only be activated when the favorability reaches 20 or above.】
Luo Xiao and Peng Lu exchanged a glance, secretly thinking they hit the jackpot.
They truly hit the jackpot!
This item could even rival the item【Sacrificial Doll】, which was also a one-time use item, and was sold in the store for sky-high prices. So far, only a few top players had purchased it.
“Thank you for your gift, we…”
Luo Xiao’s words of gratitude were interrupted by a sudden voice, which was incredibly familiar, clear, and pleasant, but at this critical moment, it sent shivers down one’s spine.
The corridor had lights at intervals, and the castle master’s room was quite a distance from the staircase. Wen Shi slowly emerged from the dim end of the hallway. As the light shone on him, his figure gradually became clear.
Wen Shi wasn’t alone. He walked with a straight posture at the forefront, followed by two bound blood brides. One of them had nearly returned to a two-dimensional state due to being drained of a large amount of blood by her companion.
The moment Luo Xiao fully saw that face, he instinctively clenched his fingers, “You, how are you…”
“How am I still alive, right?”
His pupils trembled, widening. Wen Shi had seen this familiar expression on Exiu’s face before, but he didn’t expect it to reappear so soon.
Wen Shi smiled and spoke, “Unity is strength, you know.”
Xie Tangyan helped him at a critical moment, otherwise, he could have made it back alive, but definitely not as unscathed as now.
The effect of the pomegranate flower finally wore off. When Wen Shi stepped into the internal area of the castle, he wasn’t expelled.
The system summarized the achievement: 【7】.
Wen Shi’s attribute panel was no longer empty. It now bore the elegant title of 【Heavenly Man Scattering Flowers】, so beautiful that he specifically checked the in-game store to see if there was an item that could clear the record with a single click.
Forcing himself to ignore the matter, Wen Shi handed over the rope he was holding to the castle master, “The thieves are all here, please take a look.” When he glanced at the other blood bride weakly lying on the ground, he turned his head, pretending to be surprised, and said, “Ah? You only caught one?”
No comparison, no harm.
Wen Shi brought back two blood brides alone, while Luo Xiao and Peng Lu only caught one. No matter how you looked at it, it seemed like they were barely handling their tasks.
The castle master immediately felt that the given crest was unworthy.
Luo Xiao, who usually spoke eloquently, struggled to come up with excuses, but a sudden prompt tone sounded in his ears.
“Warning, the castle master’s favorability towards you is decreasing.”
“30, 20, 10…”
“Back to zero, back to zero, back to zero.”
Luo Xiao swallowed nervously, looked up, and met the castle master’s gloomy gaze, causing him to shudder on the spot.
Peng Lu also sensed the trouble and knew that this side quest might result in half the effort for half the reward.
“It took a lot of effort to barely catch her?” The castle master repeated Luo Xiao’s earlier words.
In the tense atmosphere, Wen Shi crossed his arms and looked at Luo Xiao with a somewhat ambiguous smile.
“You won’t live through tonight.”
He mouthed the words.
Having seen enough of people fleeing when facing great danger, Wen Shi wouldn’t blame them for running away after something went wrong, as long as they weren’t the source of trouble.
“Congratulations on completing the tasks assigned by the butler. Try talking to him the next day, perhaps there will be unexpected rewards.”
“The current favorability of the Earl towards you is sixty.”
“Incredible, the Earl’s favorability towards you has reached a passing grade.”
“Your soul carries a faint but captivating aura, deeply attracting him.”
“The castle master has decided to give you a gift.”
“Player obtained Family Crest *1.”
Other than the difference in favorability, the hints were similar to those given to Luo Xiao and Peng Lu, possibly because this item reward was good, nearly reaching the online game standard, and there were no additional bonus points.
Interestingly, as the favorability increased, the castle master’s expression became somewhat strange.
After the effect of the mutated pomegranate flower wore off, the strange fragrance on Wen Shi’s body became even clearer.
The castle master’s eyes revealed a deep attraction. If he weren’t restrained by an invisible force, he would want to make a move right now
“It’s really strange.”
Why had he never noticed before how delicious this doctor’s soul was?
The desire to devour Wen Shi’s soul was skyrocketing like wild grass.
The castle master vented his desire in other ways, conjuring a wand out of thin air. Wen Shi finally saw this thing that had once stabbed him directly. It wasn’t a traditionally shiny golden wand. Instead, it resembled an ancient tree branch used to make wands, thin and covered in aged bronze gold, with a discreet emerald gem embedded at the top.
This time, it wasn’t the poor Wen Shi’s heart that got stabbed. It was the blood bride’s.
The wand ruthlessly plunged into her chest.
As the blood bride fell, her coiled long hair cascaded like seaweed onto the floor. Her slender body now had a huge blood hole, consuming her remaining life force.
Until the moment of her demise, despite her face being ruined by the formation, there was a unique sense of broken beauty.
A new day began with a simple act of kindness. Holding up a silver tray above a nearby blood bride, Wen Shi considerately offered comfort to the dying, “Actually, you still look quite beautiful now.”
The blood bride’s eyes widened. She was one of those captured by Luo Xiao’s group, the only one whose eyeballs weren’t burned. She suffered from eye pain due to seeing reflective objects before dissipating. When she saw the even more unnatural face damaged by the formation, she frowned in agony.
Wen Shi said, “Let you appreciate the style.”
Not sure if it was his words that had a magical effect, but for a moment, the blood bride seemed to see herself through his perspective. Her eyeballs didn’t move a bit as she said intermittently, “It’s quite… good…”
She looked at her own image above and spoke a broken sentence, dying without closing her eyes, mixed with a hint of joy. In a flash of light, the blood bride’s remains disappeared, leaving only black ashes on the ground.
Wen Shi’s hand holding the silver tray paused.
He heard a prompt sound from the game—
“At the end of the blood bride’s life, you gave her a bit of comfort. Her conscience found peace, and she blessed you.”
“The blood bride believes that the more beautiful a woman is, the more dangerous she is. You shouldn’t get close to them.”
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