Chapter 22 Night of the Ancient Castle
Knife in hand, the bride wanted to chop off the head of the man who was talking big in front of her.
“A big wedding needs many ceremonies. The Earl is someone who cares about manners,” Wen Shi said softly, revealing the real plan, “You get married, I’ll go steal.”
His voice was so gentle, but in the reflection of the bride’s pupils, she only saw an excited man with a smiling face.
At that moment, Wen Shi convincingly played the role of a lunatic.
The bride stared silently at him for a moment, as if trying to see the very soul of Wen Shi.
Eventually, the bride suppressed her urge to kill. She liked interacting with lunatics, especially when their madness was directed at someone she intensely despised.
Her bright red nails rubbed against the paper knife’s edge, and the bride showed a highly eerie smile, “What if you failed?”
Before Wen Shi could speak, the bride’s paper knife had already touched his skin.
“Give me a strand of your soul and swear to me that you will damage the spirituality of the painting frame.”
The latter request didn’t matter, but Wen Shi would definitely not do the former. He shook his head.
The bride raised the paper knife high.
Wen Shi noticed that the knife’s surface wasn’t smooth. It had a dense serrated edge.
The bride issued an ultimatum, “Last chance.”
Wen Shi silently displayed the family crest.
The bride fell silent, almost forgetting about it for a moment.
Wen Shi: “I won’t betray my teammate, otherwise, I could have summoned the Earl by now.”
The bride remained steadfast. She never trusted a human easily.
At this moment, Wen Shi spoke slowly, “Our director has wanted to contain him for a long time. The director gave me a few things. I am absolutely confident in destroying the painting frame.”
The rest of the words were pure fabrication, but this time, the bride’s perennially cold face showed a reaction.
“Frank Hospital,” she seemed to recall something, persuaded by this reason, and spoke with a chilling smile, “Remember, if I fail, I’ll lose my freedom, but you will surely die.”
Wen Shi once again experienced the power of the hospital and nodded, “Rest assured.”
Everyone was busy on that day.
Chu An and someone surnamed Li also joined the team preparing the church in the afternoon.
Being stuck at a certain stage of a quest was the most troublesome. It often led to various death rules. They urgently needed a breakthrough. Especially in this instance, it was a replica of a second-phase endgame. The players who entered later had no knowledge of the earlier storyline. If the newcomers took advantage of the asymmetric information to trap them, it would be troublesome.
Li looked at a busy figure in the church and sneered, “A’Ling, who is a member of the bride’s faction, is actually helping us build a ‘grave’ for the bride.”
Chu An wasn’t surprised. “Anyway, the bride won’t show up anytime soon. Whether the church is arranged or not only concerns the life or death of that newbie.”
Unfortunately, the newbie behaved differently from their expectations. Upon seeing them hastily arranging the church, he showed no intention of compromising.
They all gathered for dinner.
Wen Shi arrived late.
His messy hair and good spirits indicated that he had indeed slept. After reaching an agreement with the real bride, Wen Shi had a solid three-hour nap. Just waking up, his voice carried a hint of laziness.
“Good evening, everyone.”
The players around the table felt puzzled. Why would someone go to sleep at this hour? And to make it worse, he seemed to be still asleep.
The castle master didn’t care about what Wen Shi did. He only cared about the faint and intoxicating fragrance emanating from him. He held a dinner knife; his slender fingers, reflecting against the dark red walls, showed a hint of rosy color.
Before the meal, he first expressed gratitude to the newcomers, “You all have been great. The butler told me that you’ve been actively helping with the church arrangements.”
“It’s an honor for us to help someone of your distinguished status,” Chu An said, but as soon as he finished speaking, the castle master’s face darkened.
Chu An felt baffled, unable to figure out which part of his words was wrong.
Wen Shi shook his head. The medical report mentioned that the castle master despised inheriting the title of Earl from his parents, so flatterers should be cautious. Thinking of this, he couldn’t help but sigh lightly, just like when he praised the bloody bride, he got an infinitely negative score.
This brief episode quickly passed.
Tonight, the castle master was in a good mood and didn’t continue to dwell on the matter. He enjoyed all kinds of meat, either steaks or baby lamb, always cooked medium-rare. The castle master looked with a hint of pleasure on his face at the blood oozing out of the meat.
After swallowing the meat, the castle master lightly clapped his hands, and the butler appeared with a small tray containing four rubies.
A glance at the quantity made it clear that none of them were his.
Except for Wen Shi, the other players had a hint of amusement in their eyes.
Just as the butler was about to present the gift to the guests, the sound of a silver spoon hitting the plate broke the facade of harmonious dining.
No one expected Wen Shi to suddenly show displeasure and throw a tantrum in front of the castle master.
His rudeness caught the castle master off guard.
Facing the castle master’s stern expression, Zhao Sanjie wondered how this newbie had managed to survive until now.
Wen Shi looked around and questioned, “Isn’t it too much to come for dinner when the church hasn’t been arranged? Can’t you all distinguish what’s important and what’s not?”
Without waiting for their response, he snapped his fingers, and a graceful figure walked slowly from the entrance.
When the real bride didn’t deliberately drain her blood, she looked stunning, as exquisite as a snow lotus on an icy mountain, without a single flaw to be found. The moment she entered, players who had seen countless things were momentarily stunned.
The castle master was initially taken aback, but then pleasantly surprised. He scrutinized the bride and, once confirmed, his anger dissipated instantly.
Wen Shi said somewhat discontentedly, “I found the most perfect bride for you in just half a day, and yet the church hasn’t been arranged.”
The most astonished were Chu An and someone surnamed Li from the Earl’s faction, and they exchanged puzzled glances.
Was the main quest just completed halfway by players from other factions?
After the initial surprise wore off, Chu An’s left hand’s six fingers flexed, “Keep a close eye on that newbie, make sure he doesn’t make any unnecessary moves.”
Different factions had no reason to find a bride so quickly, even if it was for survival. Moreover, the bride appeared on her own initiative, making it seem more like a conspiracy. He was increasingly convinced that this newbie was suspicious, especially since the three veteran players in the previous endgame all died. He had to temporarily put aside his plan to gather clues for the 3S quest and focus on the game.
The beautiful yet lifeless face of the bride showed no expression. She only said two words, “The ceremony.”
The castle master, who had just decided to give out gifts, now had a bad mood towards the players. He agreed with what Wen Shi said–the church wasn’t arranged, so how could they have the face to come for dinner?
For the first time, the castle master ordered the butler to call the servants for overtime work during the night.
Chu An took the initiative, “We can help too.”
He wanted to ensure that Wen Shi would be under his watchful eyes.
“Me too,” other players expressed their willingness to help one after another.
“Good to hear that,” the castle master’s attitude improved slightly.
Wen Shi raised his hand obediently, “Then I’ll be a bridesmaid.”
Chu An immediately objected, “Men can’t be bridesmaids.”
Wen Shi: “It’s the bride’s request.”
The bride, still holding the knife, looked coldly at him, “Do you have a problem with that?”
Chu An was at a loss for words.
Before leaving, the butler placed the tray at a corner of the table. Without hesitation, Wen Shi took all of it in front of himself, “Uh, bridesmaids need jewelry. I believe you all wouldn’t mind if I make them a bit more dazzling.”
The moment his hand touched the items, the game automatically identified them:
【Ruby: Ordinary gemstone, sometimes brings luck.】
Wen Shi almost developed PTSD at the word “luck.”
Clearly, it was just an item. How could he just take them all for himself? A’Ling calmly changed the concept, “The Earl’s private property should not be taken without consent.”
The term “Earl” precisely triggered the second penalty.
The castle master lost all the good feelings he had for them after their earlier arrangement of the church.
“It’s for borrowing,” Wen Shi looked at the bride and sincerely asked, “Don’t you want a blingbling bridesmaid too?”
The bride glanced at him but didn’t object.
The castle master wouldn’t care about a few gemstones. What concerned him was when the church would be arranged. Impatience showed on his face.
Having previously volunteered to arrange the church, they couldn’t back out now.
A’Ling looked at Wen Shi, “I’ll help you with the makeup.”
The success or failure would depend on tonight. Wen Shi didn’t want to beat around the bush, “I’ll take a shower first. Instead of wasting time on chit-chat, you better hurry up and arrange the church.”
After getting the castle master’s permission, he immediately got up and headed outside, locking the room door as the first thing he did upon returning to his room.
Wen Shi had a plan early on.
The in-game shop offered products for disguise, with the most basic one costing 300 points. He had his eyes on a prop that could replicate someone’s appearance, costing 500 points. All disguise products were one-time use and had a limited duration, not exceeding twenty minutes at most.
After checking his balance, he had 【Points: 2385】 left.
The heartless game was like a gold-devouring beast, plundering the hard-earned points from players.
Wen Shi felt a slight pinch in his heart, then he cut his palm open to summon the Wandering Corpse.
It might be an illusion, but when the Wandering Corpse appeared, it seemed a bit thinner than last time. It looked more like an emotionless vampire, standing rigidly in place, awaiting orders.
Wen Shi really wanted to ask about the pomegranate flower’s seeds, but considering the possibility of witnessing a rationality value dropping to zero and becoming a food, he chose to suppress his curiosity.
Wen Shi instructed the Wandering Corpse to exchange clothes with him and then grabbed some cosmetics from the dressing table.
The Wandering Corpse’s overly long fingers scratched the table, giving Wen Shi a deathly gaze.
“I just want both of us to survive, I swear it’s not a prank.”
Not knowing how much the Wandering Corpse had absorbed, Wen Shi worried he might betray him. So, he kept explaining incessantly, emphasizing that they were like two fleas on the same rope. Finally, he succeeded in applying two exaggerated red blushes on their faces.
Both of them had similar heights, but Wen Shi had a lighter and smaller frame, overall appearing slender. Peng Lu lost a considerable amount of blood after being refined and now belonged to the lean type.
Wen Shi stepped back a few steps, admiring his masterpiece.
The exaggerated red blushes were meant to draw attention away from their body shapes, as they could still be distinguished upon closer inspection.
The Wandering Corpse emitted a deathly aura, but since he was going to be a bridesmaid and stand next to the real bride, this faint aura could be overlooked.
The only trouble was the scent.
Wen Shi took a small gamble.
The safety charm disappeared inside him, and the Wandering Corpse could be considered his War General. By summoning it with blood as the medium, he should also be able to imbue it with the fragrance often mentioned by the castle master.
Before the appointed hour, the cuckoo bird in the dining hall prematurely emitted a piercing sound that could penetrate everything.
This bird completely jumped out of the clock case, its bloodshot eyes constantly moving, singing a blessing song:
“Silver bloom flowers at midnight,
The red carpet of the church is laid out,
The bride holds a knife,
Soon to make everlasting vows with her beloved groom,
Where are the spectators,
Come witness this century’s wedding,
And open your mouth together with the cuckoo bird.
What a wonderful night.”
The knife-like sharp sound made people want to cover their ears. Wen Shi endured it and made sure the wedding was about to begin, using an item to disguise the Wandering Corpse.
He gave the Wandering Corpse his final command for tonight, “Play my role well and attend the wedding.”
The Wandering Corpse turned around, each step taking the same distance, slowly opening the door and walking out.
Outside the door, Xie Tangyan savored the cuckoo bird’s song lyrics, thinking, “This is not a wonderful night, but it will certainly be unforgettable.”
She looked at the cold sword sheath around her waist and suddenly smiled. Killing was the most basic form of pleasure, but there were more interesting things worth trying.
The next moment, Xie Tangyan straightened up and disappeared before the Wandering Corpse came out.
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