Chapter 19.2 Night of the Ancient Castle
A tall, slender man came from the west, with an ordinary face and a pair of glasses perched on his high nose. However, this ordinary frame seemed to give him a certain charm, adding an indescribable taste to his regular features. The man’s windbreaker wrapped around his sleek muscular figure, and his right wrist wore a black beaded bracelet. With a straight posture and an inexplicable aura, the man would still stand out even in a crowd.
People on both sides of the road made way for him.
This time, it was the burly man himself who was taken aback, his mouth wide open in astonishment, “Th-the vice leader?!”
He never expected the vice leader to personally come.
Seeing his guild’s members, the tall, slender man nodded slightly, adjusted his glasses, and walked closer before looking at the projection screen.
Player 460872’s number remained highlighted.
“He’s been inside for several days now.”
Realizing someone was talking to him, the burly man nodded in surprise, “Some say the newbie is deliberately stalling in the instance.”
The tall, slender man said calmly, “Those who make such claims probably also got stuck in the instance.”
“Go and find out the order of death and specific times for the players who died in the instance.”
The burly man hesitated for a moment. The vice guild leader seemed to believe that these players’ deaths were related to the newbie. Having been in the guild for so long, he was certain that the vice leader paid special attention to this newbie.
Veteran players often held a condescending attitude toward newbies, even if the newbies showed outstanding qualities. The burly man couldn’t figure out why the vice leader was so interested, but he didn’t waste any time and was ready to call someone to inquire immediately.
Just then, on the huge screen, 【Night of the Horror Ancient Castle】suddenly flashed red, and a series of new numbers appeared after the participating players: Player 392752; Player 409932; Player 375183; Player 367800; Player 414782; Player 347711.
These player numbers were not unfamiliar.
“367800, isn’t that Zhao Sanjie?”
In the instance, most people weren’t using their real names. Code names were more important. On the leaderboard, Zhao Sanjie was given the code name ‘Mad Butcher,’ indicating his brutal behavior.
“‘Sand Tiger Shark’ Ling is also here. I heard she even harmed her own brother to survive in the instance.”
The code name itself was ironic, as some sand tiger sharks would bite their siblings even inside their mother’s womb.
The remaining few were no good either, with a history of notorious deeds.
“What an all-villain team.”
“I guess the newbie’s luck must be E.” Even those who were optimistic about Wen Shi earlier couldn’t help but shake their heads. This was like a second endgame.
After entering, these people will undoubtedly spare no effort to extract secrets from the newbie at any cost. Some players who had been jealous of the newbie getting attention from the big shots fell silent. They didn’t dare to seek such fortune.
The selected players were informed that they would enter the instance in 300 seconds.
The countdown was now close to halfway.
【Countdown: 160 s, 159 s…】
Many factions were desperately contacting players about to enter the game, promising to buy any information related to the special 3S instance at a high price.
Among them, Zhao Sanjie was undoubtedly the most contacted. Despite his infamous reputation, his underhanded methods proved effective at times.
Three of the top ten guilds sent messages to Zhao Sanjie, which made him feel somewhat elated. However, when the prompt sound came, he readjusted his mindset and checked if he had enough supplies in his backpack.
The beam fell on Zhao Sanjie.
【Instance “Night of the Horror Ancient Castle” has been successfully loaded.
Recap: Half a month ago, you attended a gathering with old classmates. You were delighted to see so many of them after so many years.
After the dinner, everyone went together to an art exhibition where you unexpectedly encountered a Earl. He invited you all to his wedding, but you had no interest and declined the invitation. Now, almost half a month has passed, and your friends still haven’t returned. Coincidentally, at this moment, you learned from your family that your family had some connections with the Earl, and for some reason, you decided to come and check it out.】
“Prompt: This instance requires choosing a faction.”
【The Earl’s faction welcomes you! He has been single for so long, can you bear to let him remain single forever?】
【Main quest: Help the Earl successfully marry the most perfect bride.
Current faction members: 0.
Final reward bonus: +0%】
【The Bride’s Faction welcomes you! She wants to remain single, can you bear to let her be forced into marriage?】
【Main quest: Help the bride achieve the long-awaited freedom.
Difficulty: Intermediate to Advanced.
Current faction members: 0.
Final reward bonus: +10%】
【Monster Alliance awaits your joining.
Main quest: Elevate the status of monsters and help them find suitable vessels for survival.
Current faction members: 1.
Final reward bonus: +30%】
Zhao Sanjie frowned. The game’s wicked humor was as usual, with all those flowery descriptions. It made it seem like each faction had unwelcome members.
He decisively chose the Monster Alliance.
The ‘1’ in the Monster Alliance certainly referred to the newbie. No wonder the person couldn’t leave, being in the advanced difficulty faction.
Being in the same faction would make it easy for him to approach the newbie. Zhao Sanjie revealed a cruel and sinister smile. He loved plundering things from others.
The other five players formed alliances: three chose the castle master faction, seeking stability, while the last two players were automatically assigned to the bride’s faction.
As the beam of light disappeared, they stood on a path, with a magnificent castle towering in the distance.
It was the time when day and night met, and the morning breeze felt bone-chillingly cold.
The players sized each other up. Some of them recognized each other.
“Endgames are troublesome. Many things are unclear.” A’Ling looked at Zhao Sanjie. “I bet a weirdo like you must have chosen the most difficult monster faction.”
The audacity to call him a pervert even though she had killed her own brother. Zhao Sanjie sneered but didn’t deny it. In such a situation where faction members were openly disclosed, the subsequent stages of the game would surely reveal the identities of each faction’s members.
A’Ling said, “For the endgame, we need to gather information, and the quickest way is through the newbie. I have a method to force the newbie to cooperate, but we need your help.”
Zhao Sanjie and Wen Shi were both in the Monster Alliance, so it would be troublesome to sabotage it.
“Alright,” Zhao Sanjie raised an eyebrow, looking at the others. “The newbie’s items will be mine, and we’ll share the information.”
A’Ling smiled meaningfully. “If there’s anything remarkable, you’ll have to compensate us with some points.”
The other players joined the discussion one after another. Wen Shi seemed like a piece of meat on the chopping board, dissected and discussed for the best way to devour him.
“Alright,” a player with six fingers spoke, “Entering the castle is a bit odd, let’s be cautious.”
【Night of the Horror Ancient Castle】was a standard difficulty level for an instance, and it wouldn’t normally accommodate six high-level players at once.
The six of them walked towards the castle and passed by a lush tree when a dark shadow suddenly darted out.
Before that, the shadow had not revealed any signs of its presence. It was huge in size and extremely fast, wielding an iron hook. The hook ruthlessly cut through the air, tearing into the players’ flesh and blood.
The whole attack happened without any warning. One player nearby was pierced in the neck muscles by the iron hook. He desperately used potions to restore his health. Unable to bear being treated as a sacrificial pawn by the others, he tried to escape, but someone pushed him towards the shadow. The iron hook went straight through his head.
The tough skull was easily crushed. The player looked up before his death, seeing the creature attacking him.
With a bushy beard covering his face, a pair of small eyes gleaming with excitement and cruelty.
“Aaron’s friends must die, must die!”
Who was Aaron?
The player’s head tilted, leaving with unanswered questions as he met his end.
The other fleeing players also received prompt notifications one after another:
“You have been successfully added to the assassination list of Frank Hospital’s Director, A’Ao.”
“Damn, what’s going on?”
Looking back at the persistent scruffy man, A’Ling’s face was filled with bewilderment.
What hospital director? The theme of this instance was supposed to be a castle, so why would it involve a hospital?
Not just her, people outside the game were also puzzled.
The number of the unfortunate deceased player had turned grey.
The crowd discussing when the newbie would meet their doom in the virtual world was left stunned. After a moment, someone opened their mouth, “He only just entered, less than seven minutes, right?”
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