Matryoshka Off-Limits Chapter 18

Chapter 18.1 Night of the Ancient Castle

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Luckily, Wen Shi’s choice turned out to be useful this time.

The notification sound was finally no longer routinely rejected.

“In the secret rivalry between the bride and the Earl, the castle’s every dark night had hidden movements. Nobody knew that beneath these movements, another force was concealed. They were monsters struggling to survive in the gaps, treated like pests by the castle master, always crushed on sight. The bride saw them as sustenance, drawing energy from them to grow stronger.”

“For survival, the monsters had to band together, using it to balance against the bride.”

“Welcome to the Monster Alliance! Even though they welcome you, you are a treat in the eyes of monsters!”

“The main quest got updated. Player is reminded to check it out.”

Wen Shi opened the panel and indeed saw a completely new main quest.

【Main Quest:

Counterattack of the Monster Alliance (Choose one to complete)

Optional Counterattack Objective 1: Revenge at the bottom of the food chain (within seven days, seal or kill the real bride).

Optional Counterattack Objective 2: Battle for the picture frame (they want to live in the frame that belong to the real bride, gaining the status of ‘artwork’).

The castle master wouldn’t destroy his own creations, ensuring the monsters’ safety from now on.

Quest reward: Blessing of the monsters.

Hint: Upon completing any of the objectives, the monsters will reveal a secret passage to help the player leave the castle.】


Upon seeing these two-syllable word, Wen Shi felt a leap in his heart, as if encountering the word “luck.”

He discreetly glanced at the castle master.

The monsters wanted to completely deal with the real bride, but they didn’t dare to harbor murderous intent towards the castle master, indicating that the latter’s power was even stronger than imagined.

“What a hassle.”

Who would consider cockroaches in their home as artwork? Getting the castle master to willingly allow the monsters into the picture frame was undoubtedly out of the picture. These two counterattack objectives was placing him in opposition to both the castle master and the real bride simultaneously.

Wen Shi’s first consideration was how to obtain the picture frame.

Three ways: snatch, steal, deceive.

The first option was simply courting death, the second had only one chance, and once caught, it would definitely end in tragedy.

That left only deception.

However, the problem remained how to make a clean getaway after deceiving.

As Wen Shi attempted to sort out the logic, the castle master had already set down the cutlery.

“It’s getting more enticing.” The food brought by the guards didn’t quite suit the castle master’s taste, so he wasn’t praising the steak on the plate this morning.

Wen Shi raised his head and saw an undisguised desire to indulge in eating in those eyes. He realized that the castle master refused his help not only because the real bride disliked him, but also because there was another hidden desire in the castle master: to kill him.

A regular player targeted by such a powerful boss would probably be frightened out of their wits.

Wen Shi remained calm because there was a more troublesome undead to deal with right now. This was an unpredictable time bomb. If the castle master wanted to kill him, he would at least follow the rules, but the undead wouldn’t, and they could betray at any time, anywhere.

He continued to eat leisurely, then furrowed his brow.

When the castle master mentioned “enticing,” he referred to the soul. The notification claimed that he was a delicacy in the eyes of monsters, but what did it mean? Wen Shi didn’t consider it a good evaluation. He was now certain that when an NPC described something as enticing, it generally meant one thing: they wanted to kill you.

After dinner, Wen Shi went to the study.

The fluffy curtains swayed. Sensing the breeze passing by, he guessed it was Xie Tangyan.

“What’s bothering you?” Xie Tangyan noticed he had something on his mind.

Wen Shi explained the faction matter in detail: “The picture frame and the bride are the monsters’ top priorities to deal with, but now they seem to treat me as prey.”

He emphasized the discomfort brought by that word “enticing.”

After a brief pondering, Xie Tangyan asked, “Could it be that the word ‘enticing’ doesn’t describe you?”


“According to our earlier speculation, the host here suddenly used the word ‘enticing’ to describe you when I appeared. The monsters might have done the same,” Xie Tangyan said, “Think carefully, when did they start paying attention to you?”

Wen Shi had very few interactions with the monsters, except for the first day when they were just chasing him normally.

He fell silent for a while, thinking of something, and suddenly his eyes brightened, “Big Sister, you’re a genius! It’s the undead.”

Stripping away the facade of the instance’s story background and looking at it from a more realistic perspective, there were no romantic factors in this instance at all.

Peng Lu mentioned that NPCs could be classified into six categories: Yin creatures, ordinary monsters, higher-level demons, malevolent creatures, evil spirits, and true spirits. The real bride far surpassed ordinary malevolent creatures, and if given more time, it might even evolve into an evil spirit.

The true spirit was capable of communicating with gods. The Earl definitely could not reach the level of a true spirit, so he must be an evil spirit.

If the real bride evolved into an evil spirit, she was highly likely to replace the Earl as the leader in this instance.

The quest mentioned that the real bride could absorb strength by devouring monsters. Surely, the monsters could also devour something to evolve.

The undead were higher-level demons and, in theory, could counter monsters, but these monsters were obviously not easy opponents. They could unite and even to some extent counter the real bride. Reversely, devouring the undead would probably be a piece of cake for them.

In simple terms, this was a food chain story of big fish eating small fish and ants uniting to devour an elephant.

The game served as a mediator, imposing restrictions on all parties while providing opportunities, allowing conflicts to occur in a relatively controlled manner.

Xie Tangyan saw the problem clearly and after finishing the analysis with determination, she said, “Then you can cultivate the undead well. They have great potential in the future.”

If the speculation was true, the gap between monsters, higher-level demons, and malevolent creatures was not too large. As long as there were enough in number or had quite formidable weapons, they could overpower their opponents.

Wen Shi nodded. “The real bride may not like me, but she won’t disregard mutual interests.”

The monsters uniting pose an invisible threat to the real bride. Given the chance, she would eliminate them mercilessly. This gave him an opportunity to deal with the hidden danger of the undead potentially going berserk in their sleep.

“I have to talk to the real bride.”

Xie Tangyan pulled out a book titled “Negotiation Techniques” from the bookshelf and handed it to him.

Wen Shi took it and casually picked up another book called “Self-Cultivation for Actors.” He quickly flipped through it, then his eyes widened without warning, “Come on, crimson eyes.”

Xie Tangyan: “……”

“Alright, veins popping out.” The veins on his temple cooperated by pulsating.

“The final step, an unyielding and stubborn expression.”

Catching Xie Tangyan’s expression unintentionally, Wen Shi pondered and said, “Big Sister, you seem to be looking at an idiot.”

Xie Tangyan turned away, avoiding his gaze for the first time, “You’re mistaken.”

Wen Shi practiced a few facial expressions and gestures that he might use later.

“Tonight, I have other arrangements.”

Implicitly indicating he would act alone.

Xie Tangyan didn’t stop him. “When you can’t hold on, shout for help loudly.”

Wen Shi nodded solemnly and went to the art studio alone.

In the quiet studio, he sat down for a few seconds, picked up a silver pen, and began to doodle on the canvas to pass the time.

Wen Shi’s art style was highly abstract, with chaotic lines. Sometimes he applied force heavily, and other times he smeared large areas with shadows. However, what he painted were twisted monsters, vivid and lifelike.

By the time a bunch of monster figures leaped onto the paper, the sky had already darkened.

Evening was the playground for monsters, a consensus among players.

When the time was right, he started speaking to the air in the studio, “I know you’re here. You’re nostalgic but reluctant to come out and see me.”

He made use of the clues provided by the notification without changing his expression.

“The monsters have formed a group. I can help you deal with the hidden danger.”

The candle flame went out.

The temperature in the studio began to drop sharply. Wen Shi took out a flashlight. In the darkness, he became a living target.

There was no movement in the studio for a long time, as if time had stood still.

The scent of blood wafted to his nostrils, and the first thing Wen Shi sensed was the killing intent. Surprisingly, he relaxed a bit, as the real bride’s appearance would make things much easier.

Wen Shi stated the reason for cooperation, “I turned the body taken last time into a Wandering Corpse. The monsters want to devour it, which is detrimental to me. If we cooperate, it’s a win-win situation.”

Peng Lu was killed by the real bride.

Wen Shi grew more excited as he spoke, almost dancing as he described the entire plan, then asked, “What do you think?”

He was certain that the real bride would agree. If the plan failed, it wouldn’t affect him in any way.

A chilly wind blew, and the drawing paper mysteriously turned a page, revealing blood-red letters: Good.

With the answer he wanted, Wen Shi stood up and walked outside.

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1 thought on “Matryoshka Off-Limits Chapter 18”

  1. Am I.. Am I still reading a unlimited flow horror novel…? Why does it feel like they’re playing politics..??


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