Chapter 23.2 Night of the Ancient Castle
There were clearly two beast-faced door knockers outside the door, but there was only one in the mirror. He remembered one of the knockers looking spirited, while the other seemed drowsy. The one in the mirror was undoubtedly the spirited one.
Wen Shi had already tried various methods, but the game didn’t give any hints. Now he could only take a desperate gamble, hoping that the way to break free was on the other beast-faced door knocker.
He forcefully scraped his right palm against the edge of the mirror, making blood spurt out.
Wen Shi extended his arm towards the direction of the strange wind inside the room, trying to lure whatever might be there with his blood.
“Come on—” Wen Shi’s actions at this moment were somewhat like teasing a small dog. He made two clicking sounds with a playful tone.
The influence of blood on monsters should never be underestimated.
This move almost never failed. A muffled “hum” reached his ears. Something woke up, snorting before fully waking. With a “whoosh,” the fireplace’s flames ignited on their own, and a beast shadow separated from the flames, pouncing fiercely at Wen Shi’s arm.
Wen Shi quickly drew back, deliberately sticking his hand to the mirror.
The direction from which the beast shadow came was the same as the direction of the flames, and it seemed like nothing more than a mere shadow. When it attacked, Wen Shi still didn’t feel any wind.
The beast face in the mirror fiercely guarded its prey, showing great annoyance at the act of snatching it away.
The pouncing beast shadow disappeared, and the mirror showed a scene of two fierce beasts colliding and fighting. Instead, Wen Shi was knocked out, feeling as though his internal organs were displaced.
Now was the best time to escape, but Wen Shi couldn’t run. He stared at the flames coming out of the beast face’s mouth, racking his brain to figure out how to retrieve the candlestick.
Should he directly reach into its mouth?
Losing an arm was one thing, but he feared being dragged into a fight with the monsters and torn apart on the spot.
Wen Shi picked up the flashlight.
Out of the corner of his eye, he saw the roaring flames in the fireplace, which sparked another idea. The candelabra was now in one beast face’s mouth, and the fireplace’s flames were ignited by another beast face running out. Perhaps the two had similar effects.
Wen Shi quickly took out the candle from the hexagonal wind lamp on the bedside table and accidentally brushed against the corner of the harp while walking to the fireplace.
【Harp: One of the craftsman’s works during his lifetime. The strings of the harp once stained with the craftsman’s blood, a resentful instrument.】
Anything that could prompt the game to give a hint wouldn’t be simple. Wen Shi was about to put it into his backpack.
“Warning, ill-gotten gains, cannot be stored.”
“Warning, ill-gotten gains, cannot be stored.”
He tried twice without giving up, but received the same warning both times.
What should he do? Give up?
No, of course, he would carry it.
Then, Wen Shi approached the fireplace and carefully lit the candle flame.
The fight in the mirror continued, with one beast face biting off the horn of another.
Wen Shi couldn’t afford to delay. He protected the flame with his hand to prevent it from being extinguished and ran all the way to the study, planning to use the secret passage to directly enter the attic.
At midnight, an unusual and grand wedding was taking place.
The real bride was originally wearing a wedding dress, a slightly yellowed white fishtail gown, with a texture resembling an oil painting. She held a paper knife in her left hand and a silver puff flower in her right, a huge and gorgeous flower bone pressing against her chest, almost covering her entire collarbone. The real bride slightly lowered her head, and her white pointed chin almost touched the topmost flower.
The carpet beneath her feet had been stained with the blood of many players. The lace ribbon on her shoes was not tied properly and fell down. The dried bloodstains somehow reached the hollow pattern on the shoes.
The cuckoo bird flew out from the dining room’s wall clock and stopped on the statue by the high platform, singing repeatedly–
Silver bloom flowers at midnight,
The red carpet of the church is laid out.
Everyone gathered to witness this century’s wedding.
Even more bizarre than all of this was the bridesmaid walking beside the bride.
‘Wen Shi’ had exaggerated red cheeks, remained silent throughout, and seemed like a walking corpse. He didn’t help lift the bride’s gown when climbing the stairs, just walked on his own.
There was no priest.
The sharp song of the cuckoo bird replaced the priest’s wedding speech.
The castle master was dressed in a bright court suit tonight. He had a preference for red, and the castle walls were almost entirely crimson. Unfortunately, in daily life, he had to pursue solemnity and wore subdued colors. Until this special moment, he finally chose an outfit dominated by bright colors.
This red seemed to signify something.
The castle master’s gaze towards the real bride held no affection. It was as if he was admiring a perfect piece of art, appreciating his own creative talent.
As for the real bride, her face, lacking any color, revealed her thoughts: “I want to stab him. I really want to stab him.”
There were only four people in the audience.
Chu An forcefully stretched his fingers, a small habit he often did while contemplating. Chu An had a wide gap between his fingers. He was born with an extra one, making his palm look like an elongated duck web.
“I always feel something’s off about that newbie.”
Chu An’s gaze was firmly fixed on the person beside the real bride.
Chu An and Zhao Sanjie were the most astute here.
Zhao Sanjie also sensed that something was wrong. The sudden appearance of the real bride seemed suspicious from every angle.
If initially Zhao Sanjie wanted to kill Wen Shi to grab the treasure and complete the Monster Alliance’s recruitment mission, now he had another reason: different allegiance.
Pei Wenwei, who was trying to play both sides and clearly leaned toward the real bride’s camp, had to go.
Zhao Sanjie’s eyes never left ‘Wen Shi.’ Suddenly he seemed to have noticed something, his expression darkening. “He’s not Pei Wenwei!”
Though Chu An, who was closest to him, also doubted the newbie, he found this conclusion rather funny.
There were only a limited number of players, and it seemed unlikely that someone would commission an NPC to impersonate themselves.
Zhao Sanjie spoke with a deep voice, “He’s not breathing.”
Chu An was taken aback, taking out a telescope item in an attempt to look more closely and confirm if there was any rise and fall of the chest on that figure in the board.
Chu An’s expression turned somewhat unpleasant.
What exactly was this bridesmaid who looked exactly like the newbie?
Also, should he expose the truth?
As long as the Earl’s wedding proceeded smoothly, the main quest would naturally be completed. Under normal circumstances, he should avoid any complications. However, if the newbie was not what he seemed, then they must be plotting something.
While Chu An hesitated, Zhao Sanjie had already stood up and shouted towards the castle master on the stage, “The bridesmaid has been replaced.”
Not far away, A’Ling sat alone on a chair, her eyes lowered as she contemplated something.
He should still have around five or six minutes, but Wen Shi knew very well that plans could be disrupted at any moment, and his Wandering Corpse status might be exposed.
Face whatever comes.
“Your Wandering Corpse status has suffered a significant injury.”
“The【Scented Sachet】takes effect, enhancing the Wandering Corpse’s evasion, allowing it to dodge the deadly crisis.”
“The Wandering Corpse emits a sweet fragrance of mutated pomegranate flowers, which displeases the castle master, but he refrains from killing it immediately.”
“Should the heavily injured Wandering Corpse be recalled?”
Before Wen Shi and the Wandering Corpse exchanged clothes, he had given it the scented sachet and the ruby, both of which could increase luck attributes.
It was somewhat fortunate that Peng Lu could be successfully transformed into an Wandering Corpse before his death, and these two items might amplify that luck.
The candle burned faster than usual.
Only the last twenty or thirty meters remained for the secret passage. Wen Shi quickened his pace and rushed forward.
Now, it was all about speed, to see if the real bride could gain complete freedom first or if the castle master would arrive first.
On the other hand, as long as he could obtain the picture frame and hand it over to the monster, he would complete the main quest of the Monster Alliance, and the monsters would provide him with a secret passage to leave the castle.
At the end of the secret passage was a wall. In the darkness, Wen Shi fumbled around and found a brick with an obvious depression. He pressed it firmly, and the wall in front of him automatically flipped over. Wen Shi lost his balance and instinctively protected the candle, falling onto the ground in front of him.
The back of the harp cushioned his back, but his ribs felt like they were about to break.
Completely ignoring his sore waist, Wen Shi’s heart and eyes were focused on the picture frame on the wall.
The picture frame became more and more three-dimensional, as if it came alive at night. The guillotine blade on top moved eerily on its own.
Despite the silent attic with only Wen Shi, the weak and pain-filled sobbing seemed to come from nowhere.
“Hurts, it hurts so much.”
Each word was pronounced with great weight, conveying the sensation of shattering pain.
“My head, where is my head?”
Wen Shi furrowed his brow, searching for the source of the voice.
Just then, something rolled to the side of his shoe.
Wen Shi lowered his head and saw the whole thing clearly: it was a human head, with the neck severed and broken flesh still hanging on, greasy hair haphazardly stuck to the face.
The lifeless eyes of the head opened, and a smile appeared on the blood-stained face. “So, my head is here.”
The sticky hair kept growing longer, entangling Wen Shi’s ankle and dragging him towards the picture frame, where the guillotine blade was ready. The head grinned again. “I’ve been trapped for too long, it hurts so much. You will feel the same pain unless…”
“Unless I can set you free, right? Stop the nonsense. I’m in a hurry, and I’ve brought the candle flame that can burn your soul to ashes. I’ll free you now.”
Wen Shi almost blurted out his words in one breath. He had already used the candle flame to ignite the hair entwined around his ankle.
The head: ?
What the heck, who spoiled the question?
Why are there still people jumping in to answer?!
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