Chapter 15 Night of the Ancient Castle
The closest room.
Peng Lu sat by the bedside, playing with the 【Family Crest】. Being much smarter than Luo Xiao, he quickly realized the hint of possible retaliation for the side quest, making his face increasingly serious.
Luo Xiao was too greedy. She shouldn’t have bragged about her hard work in front of the castle master. Otherwise, even if Pei Wenwei had exceeded the mission’s requirements, the Earl’s favor towards them wouldn’t have dropped so much.
Faint roars of a dying person came from outside the window. Before long, the night wind carried an unmistakable smell of blood. Peng Lu knew that Luo Xiao had run into trouble.
“The real bride.”
Peng Lu grasped those three words, fully understanding everything. Without any hesitation, he quickly rushed outside to find Wen Shi.
He believed he would need to explain for a while at the entrance, but just two firm knocks were enough to make the door open.
Peng Lu was taken aback. He picked the main point and said, “Only you can use the crest now. The real bride has shown up, as long as…”
“As long as the crest is used in front of the real bride, this instance will break, right?” Wen Shi asked with a half-smile.
Peng Lu noticed the stray strands of hair on the other person’s forehead were wet, and there were some water stains on the collar. It seemed that Wen Shi hadn’t prepared to sleep tonight, as if he had already anticipated what would happen.
“Luo Xiao sometimes looks at me with a hint of criticism, thinking I’m too naive to survive in this endgame as a newbie,” Wen Shi’s smile gradually faded, “But I can’t help but feel that you all are even more naive.”
Earlier, Peng Lu’s reason was scattered by Luo Xiao’s death, but now that he had calmed down, his expression changed suddenly as he realized something.
“That’s right,” Wen Shi said emphatically, “Disturbing the castle master at night will lead to death.”
He had already stepped into this restricted area on the first night. Regardless of the form or purpose, once a player disturbed the castle master’s sleep during the night, they would undoubtedly die.
The mission of the Blood Bride had already ended, and the castle master had personally closed the door, indicating that he would refuse any further disturbances.
The reward, the【Family Crest】could be used in any instance except this one during the night.
Peng Lu also realized it.
This was just a side quest. If catching a paint thief could help them leave the castle, it would be too easy.
“Please keep up the good work in the next few days,” the castle master had said that.
In other words, if it weren’t for Wen Shi as a variable, they would have to keep searching until they caught the last blood bride. The real bride hidden among them would do anything to avoid exposing her identity.
When the real bride appeared, almost nine out of ten players would lose their judgment and directly use the crest to summon the castle master.
This was how the game misleads players into making wrong judgments.
Peng Lu keenly noticed some movement.
The hall’s lights were on, and the second-floor corridor was barely visible. A blood river was flowing from Luo Xiao’s room at the back, carrying something floating on its surface, swiftly coming this way.
As the distance closed, Wen Shi saw the full appearance of that thing—a thin sheet of paper with a human face. It floated on the surface of the river, with almond-shaped eyes, but the most lifelike parts were tainted with blood, making it hard to see any whites of the eyes.
“A malevolent creature.” Peng Lu’s heart sank.
“What?” Wen Shi asked curiously.
Peng Lu had some real skills. He could draw demon-subduing arrays and even made a living as a Feng Shui master in the real world.
For some reason, even in this life-threatening moment, he found himself patiently answering Wen Shi’s doubts.
“NPCs in the game can be divided into six categories: Yin creatures, ordinary monsters, higher-level demons, malevolent creatures, evil spirits, and true spirits. There’s a saying among players that true spirits have divine powers, so some people secretly call them deities.”
Peng Lu further explained, “malevolent creatures contain boundless malevolent energy. The real bride can extract her blood and skin, using a new vessel to hold her soul, surpassing regular malevolent creatures by far. With additional time, it could transform into an evil spirit.”
He knew very well that he couldn’t handle such a thing. If he could set up some arrays to seize the opportunity, there might be a chance to escape, but clearly, there wasn’t enough time now.
On the side, while Wen Shi wondered about the other person’s attitude in answering his questions, he calmly listened to Peng Lu’s explanation about NPCs. He was certain that the real bride wouldn’t dare to harm him.
As long as the Earl’s favor was secured, the 【Family Crest】would be an excellent talisman, allowing players to use it to protect themselves.
Game dogs might be game dogs, but they could leave a way out.
Wen Shi replied ambiguously as if answering a phone call, “If there’s nothing else, you can hang up now.”
He raised his hand to close the door.
Peng Lu first cooperated with Exiu in setting himself up on the first night, and not long ago, he collaborated with Luo Xiao to lead the monsters his way. Seeing him in distress, Wen Shi remained unfazed.
Not applauding or bidding farewell was already a show of respect for life.
At this moment, the real bride had crawled out of the blood river, and a part of the blood river formed a barrier-like membrane blocking their way.
Peng Lu realized that his chances of survival were very low. The veins on his forehead bulged, showing the great determination he needed to accept this fact.
The real bride was almost standing opposite him.
Not sitting idly, Peng Lu used the most potent item he currently possessed, the 【Demon-subduing Staff】.
Without knowing the monster’s weakness, except for ordinary creatures, it would be difficult to kill higher-level NPCs with weapons.
The【Demon-subduing Staff】struck towards the woman’s abdomen, but her slender waist easily twisted. The paper transformed into various shapes, leaving no point for the staff to strike.
Peng Lu’s last trace of hope vanished.
The woman merged back into the blood.
The next moment, cascading hair fell from the ceiling. Peng Lu looked up, and blood dripped on his face. He faced a chilling smile and was about to use the item when something slipped from under his feet and rushed to his back. The woman held a paper knife and almost severed Peng Lu’s right arm.
The splattering blood and minced flesh hit Wen Shi’s face, making him nauseous from the smell.
Wen Shi wiped away the blood on his cheek, quite surprised that this malevolent creature could separate its head and body to attack people.
Enduring the pain, Peng Lu unexpectedly opened the in-game store at this critical moment.
The store offered various items, from daily necessities to weapon equipment, overwhelming anyone who looked at it.
While desperately dodging the paper knife, he silently searched for the【Spirit Coffin】in his mind, and a separate page immediately popped up.
【Spirit Coffin: Divine-level item, 10,000 points
Description: There is a certain chance to refine the deceased into a zombie.
Reminder: Must be used when the target has no chance of recovery.
Reminder: The target must have no consciousness to resist.
If either of the above two conditions is violated, the item becomes ineffective.
If both of the above conditions are met, the refining success rate is 30%.
Catchphrase: A divine-level item at a discounted price. Aren’t you tempted? Don’t you want to try your luck?】
Several popular high-level items on the main interface required more than 5,000 points, and some were even inflated to over 10,000 points.
Except for the【Spirit Coffin】.
So far, all those who bought it ended up wasting their points. Despite being on sale for so long, it only had three sales, and all of them received negative reviews.
“Pei Wenwei,” Peng Lu gritted his teeth, “You’re a newbie. Even if you’re strong, you won’t last long alone. If you’re the only one left alive in the instance, you’ll attract countless troubles in the future. They’ll be desperate to uncover your secrets.”
No one would believe that a newbie player could survive the endgame alone without any tricks.
“I can’t save you, and I don’t have the ability to save you.” Wen Shi thought the other person wanted him to rescue him, and he refused without hesitation. He didn’t understand the real bride, and who knew what her weaknesses were.
Peng Lu narrowly avoided the real bride’s attack and said in a deep voice, “Give me your player ID.”
The player ID could only be used for trading and checking rankings. Luo Xiao also knew Wen Shi’s ID, and Peng Lu could use it for something. Wen Shi thought about it and informed him of his ID.
“Player 396226 is transferring three thousand points to you.”
“Received a【Spirit Coffin】from Player 396226. Do you want to accept it?”
On the transfer interface, Wen Shi quickly read the description of the Spirit Coffin.
“Do you want me to refine you into a zombie?” Wen Shi frowned, “What’s in it for you?”
The real bride kept attacking relentlessly, leaving Peng Lu no time to explain. He wore a strange smile and said, “In the future, whether you accept the current benefits or not is entirely up to you.”
Damn, such familiar and outrageous words!
The person who set four rules for Wen Shi had said similar things when he held him hostage.
The price you need to pay comes later.
Accept or not?
Did he have the courage to accept it?
Peng Lu knew Wen Shi would undoubtedly experience strong resistance. They were both adults and knew there were no free lunches in the world.
“Accepted,” Wen Shi made a very decisive choice.
Surviving the first day in the instance didn’t guarantee surviving the fifteenth day. It was like picking flowers, and debts would accumulate.
“……” Countless words surged in Peng Lu’s mind, but unfortunately, his throat was blocked by blood, making it difficult to speak again.
After failing several attempts to hit her prey, the real bride’s patience completely ran out, and she stopped playing the cat-and-mouse game. In the next moment, her body and head reattached together. She raised her arm high, allowing the butcher knife to pierce precisely into Peng Lu’s chest.
The amount of blood was even greater than before. Some almost splashed into the dying person’s own eyes.
However, Peng Lu didn’t close his eyes. He stared at the cursed creature that killed him, recalling unfinished matters in his life. He knew he needed enough resentment now to support a successful refinement.
Regrets in life and people who had briefly appeared in his life flashed through his mind.
In the past few years, he struggled to survive in the game, forced to do many things against his will just to stay alive, and yet he still died in the endgame. Peng Lu was not even thirty years old, how could he accept it? His hatred towards the game and the monsters almost reached its peak at this moment.
“Hurry.” In the moment when his pupils were about to dilate completely, he managed to speak one word with difficulty.
Wen Shi narrowed his eyes, knowing the timing had come.
“Do you want to use the divine-level item 【Spirit Coffin】?”
Wen Shi: “Yes.”
“Spirit Coffin activated, currently recovering the dying person’s physical body.”
When the prey suddenly disappeared, the real bride turned her head, looking coldly at Wen Shi.
Wen Shi took out the【Family Crest】and smiled, “Want to give it a try?”
His crest was different from the other two. When the favorability was high enough, the emblem on it looked particularly lifelike and three-dimensional.
The real bride’s chilling gaze hadn’t faded yet. She took a step closer to Wen Shi, blood dripping from the tip of her knife.
Wen Shi stared back without backing down. The real bride’s lifeless eyes were even more uncomfortable than the eerie eyes of the castle master, like a rattlesnake ready to strike at any moment.
The crest’s surface shimmered with a faint light, and the intense confrontation ended with the real bride retreating.
The paper lay back in the blood river, flowing from the wall’s cracks and disappearing without a trace.
Wen Shi kept staring at the direction where the blood river vanished, making sure the real bride was truly gone. Only then did he put away the crest and check the status of the Spirit Coffin.
“Current refinement is facing difficulties. The soul of the deceased is not strong enough.”
“The soul of the deceased is on the brink of fragmentation.”
“Your 2B Luck value was timely activated. Determination compensated for some of the soul’s loss.”
“The soul of the deceased is once again on the brink of fragmentation.”
“This deceased person is a rare medium.”
“The soul of the deceased is once again on the brink of fragmentation…”
From initially being nervous, Wen Shi’s expression became blank after a minute. The only thing that surprised him was Peng Lu’s constitution. Upon reflection, compared to Luo Xiao’s preference for using charms, Peng Lu had drawn a demon-subduing array by himself, which must have some differences.
It seemed like monsters could emerge from the corridor’s walls at any moment, so he decided to return to his room and wait for news.
The moon was bright tonight.
Wen Shi stood by the window, patiently awaiting the result.
The full moon always evoked thoughts of reunion.
From his room, he could vaguely see the side of the iron door.
If Xie Tangyan didn’t appear tonight, he would lose at least another ten points of life. It had to be said that competing with “Big Sister” was quite enjoyable, giving a sense of confidence in everything he did.
Wen Shi purchased healing potions. Each small bottle costing twenty points could restore only three health points. He bought four bottles, bringing his health up to ninety-eight. He lost twelve points due to the real bride’s attack, and another three points were lost when he was injured by the World Shard at the hospital.
After these transactions, he had a remaining balance of 2985 points.
Contemplating for three seconds, Wen Shi decided to purchase one more bottle, filling up his health bar to one hundred and one.
He let out a comfortable sigh.
Although ninety-eight health points were more than enough, one hundred and one gave him a greater sense of security.
The sudden notification sound drew Wen Shi’s attention.
“Consumed divine-level item【Spirit Coffin】*1.”
“Congratulations for obtaining the War General: Wandering Corpse.”
【Type: Wandering Corpse
Current Rank: Advanced Monster, with a certain probability of transforming into a Corpse Guard.
Rationality Value: 20
Note: When the Rationality Value of the Wandering Corpse is too low, there is a possibility of devouring its master.
Summoning Method: Blood Summoning】
Wen Shi fell silent for a moment, feeling like this Wandering Corpse and Blood Summoning might be a trap.
The impact of Luo Xiao’s death had not yet subsided. People who were watching were about to leave, but before they could take a few steps, another player’s number turned gray. It was another player ranked in the top one thousand on the points leaderboard, who had the rare skill of being an【Array Master】.
In a single instance, three veteran players had died.
The red-highlighted instance, 【Night of the Horror Ancient Castle】, became even more conspicuous. Only one number was still lit up—
note: wandering corpse = zombie
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