Matryoshka Off-Limits Chapter 17

Chapter 17 Night of the Horror Castle

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The threat and warning were obvious in the four words.


It was the butler who was hurrying down the stairs and nearly stumbled and fell.

The castle master glanced at Wen Shi. Still caring about the subordinate’s safety, he then walked away.

The next morning, the butler and chef were missing. It was said that the male servant was gone too, sent somewhere for treatment. The castle master was stern but protective, taking care of the internal staff by giving them separate living areas to avoid the nocturnal monsters. Even when they made mistakes, he didn’t blame them hastily. Consequently, during the chef’s treatment, all the food was delivered by the external guards, and Wen Shi no longer had to study the corresponding death rules.

He used all the extra time to ponder the mission.

This time, the mission was quite clear, a significant advantage after being downgraded to a solo game.

The real bride was sentimental and might remember the past, suggesting she might go to the art studio at night. The only tricky part of the mission was the words spoken by the castle master, with the key phrases being: “Let her come” and “free spirit.”

This meant that Wen Shi still couldn’t summon the castle master in front of the bride using the【Family Crest】. The latter was waiting for the real bride to approach voluntarily.

Once the death rules were confirmed, the rest became clear.

All Wen Shi needed to do was play the role of bait at night and lure the real bride from the art studio to the top-floor attic. The NPCs in the instance had a natural malice towards players, making it easy to attract pursuers. The challenge was how to survive this journey.

Wen Shi estimated the distance and knew that he had to sprint for at least fifteen minutes from the underground art studio to reach the attic, assuming there were no obstacles along the way.

Fortunately, Xie Tangyan and the Wandering Corpse could assist him, making this difficulty acceptable.

With hopeful anticipation, Wen Shi waited for nightfall for the first time.

In the afternoon, he sat in the art studio, holding the small lantern provided by the butler, waiting for the bride. The remnants of the demon-subduing array still remained on the ground, reminding Wen Shi of Peng Lu diligently drawing the formation yesterday. He suddenly felt a sense of change in the world.

Once again, he experienced the cruelty of the game, understanding that he could only become stronger to avoid elimination.

Wen Shi was still waiting for the real bride half an hour pass midnight.

The monsters seemed wary of this place; the walls remained silent.

From being highly vigilant at the beginning to becoming drowsy by one o’clock in the morning, Wen Shi couldn’t help but feel a little sleepy.

He forcefully dispelled his drowsiness and patiently continued to wait.


The wind’s speed changed, and a gust of wind blew over. Wen Shi’s expression changed. He was about to summon the “Wandering Corpse.”

“It’s me.” A familiar voice sounded.

It was Xie Tangyan. While Wen Shi breathed a sigh of relief, he felt somewhat disappointed, as he thought the real bride had finally arrived. “Big Sister, where do you think the bride might have gone?”

“Don’t ask me, reflect on yourself.”


“You’re the only one alive now, so if there’s a problem, look within yourself.”

Wen Shi reflected on himself for half a minute.

Half a minute later.

Considering Xie Tangyan was present, he held back his foul language, his face looking somewhat grim. “I’ve been blessed by the blood bride.”

In the instance, any female NPC who was prettier than the blood bride would loathe him.

Wen Shi had analyzed before that this aversion could only lead to two possibilities: either becoming the top priority target or automatically staying away from him.

The real bride was powerful, making her the obvious candidate to kill him, but Wen Shi had only threatened her with the【Family Crest】last night.

In fact, the family crest wasn’t an almighty symbol. The castle master wouldn’t want to destroy the most perfect creation. The real bride seemed to grasp this point. Her fear lay in being captured and losing her freedom. Now, with the double buff overlapping, it was enough to make the real bride choose to stay away from him.

“The power of the blessing is unexpectedly strong.”

Wen Shi’s gaze turned cold in an instant. The real bride and the blood bride were not on the same level. He had always believed that the aura the blood bride had imposed on him couldn’t affect stronger NPCs, but now it seemed that wasn’t the case at all.


The familiar call interrupted Wen Shi’s thoughts.

He was taken aback, realizing that the Wandering Corpse had appeared voluntarily without being summoned. He held his stomach with both hands, and the muscles on his face twitched mechanically, only able to speak monosyllabic words.

【Your Wandering Corpse is incubating seeds.】

【Warning, the rationality value of the Wandering Corpse decreased by 1.】

Wen Shi paused, his face darkened. “Mutated pomegranate flower, I should say it’s a perverted pomegranate flower.”

Who would have thought that Peng Lu’s death wouldn’t allow him to skip this process? It was because there was no fresh flesh and blood that the situation only arose now.

“Ah~ Ha~”

【Warning, the rationality value of the Wandering Corpse decreased by 1.】

【Warning, rationality value too low, risk of devouring the host.】

Wen Shi felt a headache. “Big Brother, be reasonable. Why should your discomfort concern me?”

【Warning, the rationality value of the Wandering Corpse decreased by 1.】

Wen Shi paced back and forth, trying to find a solution. His gaze fell on Xie Tangyan, who was standing on the side. “Big Sister, do you know how to deliver a baby?”

A cold glint flashed, responding to him was the sound of a sword being unsheathed. Xie Tangyan had an incredibly strong psychological endurance. Even when she saw the sudden appearance of the Wandering Corpse, she merely stood on the side, preventing the out-of-control Wandering Corpse from hurting Wen Shi.

Without anyone’s assistance, the Wandering Corpse extended a thin finger, and the bluish-green long nail directly opened a wound in the heart’s position. Then, he pulled out a blood-stained seed. His vulnerable area and the place where he bore seeds were different from the blood bride.

After completing all this, the Wandering Corpse vented its frustration by smashing into the wall.

The next moment, he held his head while squatting on the ground, howling incessantly.

Wen Shi remembered the introduction about the mutated pomegranate flower: an infected person who casually discards the seed will be cursed by the pomegranate flower.

He silently picked up the seed and handed it to the Wandering Corpse. With the most patient and grandmotherly smile, he said, “Good boy, it won’t hurt anymore.” Then, he used the greatest patience in his life to coax the Wandering Corpse, “Blow on it, and the pain will fly away.”

【The Wandering Corpse’s rationality value -1, -1, -1…】

【Warning, the Wandering Corpse’s rationality value is continuously decreasing, and the likelihood of devouring the host is increasing.】

Wen Shi: “……”

Helplessly watching the Wandering Corpse’s rationality value sharply drop to one, Wen Shi gave up completely, forcing out a smile and said, “As long as you’re happy.”

He had reason to suspect that the value didn’t continue dropping because of the game’s limitation, otherwise, it would probably have reset to zero.

With things reaching this point, Wen Shi could only console himself that one plus one is greater than two, and loyalty is still one. The combination of the two might not be so dismal.

The Wandering Corpse’s out-of-control state lasted for seven to eight minutes before it finally chose to disappear with the seed.

Wen Shi opened the status panel and, before feeling too saddened by the diminishing rationality value, noticed the word【Slumber】added behind the status bar.

“Geez, this is using sleep to forcibly escape reality.”

Unfortunately, Wen Shi couldn’t escape everything through sleep. In the latter half of the night, he stubbornly kept watch in the art studio. Throughout the night, both he and the studio were quiet as chickens.

When the sky was about to brighten, Wen Shi dozed off for a while until the sun rose, and Xie Tangyan woke him up.

The cuckoo birds in the dining hall started chirping.

Wen Shi reluctantly walked outside alone.

Once outside, he would definitely face questioning from the castle master. No matter how relaxed the other rules might be, if the bride couldn’t be found, she would be killed. That was an iron rule.

As he got closer to the dining hall, Wen Shi’s steps slowed down, but his frown gradually eased.

Now, the real bride subjectively didn’t want to reveal herself. With no way forward, the game might not let the castle master directly attack him, based on this premise.

Besides, now there was only one player left. The castle master was eager to find his muse, so Wen Shi, being the last remaining player, would probably be given some attention.

The dining hall.

As expected, the castle master’s expression wasn’t pleasant.

Wen Shi took the initiative to speak, “I believe she truly loves you, but she loves her freedom even more. Because of this love, she’ll often come back to the place where she was created. That’s why I stayed in the art studio last night, hoping to persuade her.”

An oppressive gaze bore down on him. The castle master seemed to be able to discern the truth from his words. He knew that Wen Shi had stayed in the art studio all night and didn’t immediately lose his temper.

“Tonight, I’ll continue to wait,” Wen Shi earnestly said, “As long as she holds you in her heart, she’ll come back for sure.”

In other words, her absence meant she unilaterally changed her mind, having nothing to do with him.

Sweet words didn’t bring a beautiful outcome.

As expected, the real bride didn’t appear on the new night.

On the second day, the third day, and by the time of breakfast on the fourth day, Wen Shi tried his best to ignore the castle master’s gloomy face.

He was also trying to come up with a plan. Last night, he even said a couple of provocative things to the art studio, hoping to grab the real bride’s attention. However, it was completely useless. There were props in the game store to attract spirits, but unfortunately, they could only be used in specific scenarios.

The castle master maintained an upright posture and still exuded elegance, but the knife cutting through the steak almost slashed the plate.

Wen Shi could only remain silent.

Amidst the silence, the game notification sound suddenly descended like a refreshing rain.

“The castle master requests your help in finding the painting. You, being kind-hearted, hesitate, unsure whether to assist the fickle  castle master or secretly aid the bride’s freedom.”

“Please choose a faction.”

“Faction A: The castle master; Faction B: The most perfect bride.”

Wen Shi: “BBBBB.”

Even a moment’s hesitation would be disrespectful to this game.

“The player chooses to help the bride regain her freedom.”

The notification sound suddenly paused for a second:

“For reasons unknown, the bride feels deep disgust towards you.”

“The bride rejects your help and blacklists you.”

Wen Shi immediately changed his stance: “AAAAA.”

Since there were options, the instance should have some new twists.

“The player chooses to help the castle master find the painting.”

The notification sound paused once again:

“The bride feels deep disgust towards you, and she generally won’t appear where you are. The castle master refuses your unhelpful assistance.”


After a moment of silence, Wen Shi leaned back on the chair and shrugged, completely giving up.

It was not his responsibility if the game arrangements were not well thought out.

However, he did learn a lesson–think thrice before speaking ill of others and think thrice again before praising NPCs. If it weren’t for that final expression of care that granted infinite charm, he wouldn’t have ended up in such a passive situation.

The game’s ability to offer alternatives was impressive, and soon Wen Shi faced the third choice.

“Through continuous exploration, the player activates the hidden faction C option.”

Wen Shi regained his spirit, “CCC, I choose C!”

“……” The notification sound was silent again, probably not used to players being so enthusiastic about making a choice.

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