Matryoshka Off-Limits Chapter 24

Chapter 24 Night of the Ancient Castle

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As the hair strands burned, a strong, foul smell filled the air.

It crackled and popped, much like when people set off firecrackers during the New Year.

Wen Shi wanted to stand up and cover his nose, but he had to keep watching the situation with the human head. He only felt at ease when he saw it vanish before their eyes.

The flames spread from the hair to the thin skin on the face, creating a horrifying scene.

The human head could feel pain too. The flames affected the soul through the outer shell, and the quiet attic echoed with his agonized screams.

However, amidst the fiery glow, Wen Shi perceived a sense of relief and satisfaction in those sunken and hollow eye sockets.

Wen Shi’s emotions became somewhat complicated.

Whether human or monster, being trapped in an inescapable environment for a long time could drive anyone insane. The same was true for players in a game. No one knew where the eliminated players ended up. Would Luo Xiao and Exiu also have turned into monsters inside the walls, unable to find release even after the instance ended?

Regardless, he absolutely couldn’t remain in a passive state.

Dragged into a strange situation, Wen Shi currently had little understanding of many things. Later, he would find a way to learn more accurately about everything.


The enormous explosion startled Wen Shi, the ground trembling heavily. He had no idea what was happening outside.

About one-third of the head hadn’t completely burned, making Wen Shi anxious. He attempted to approach the picture frame but before taking two steps, the edge of the frame where the guillotine blade was seemed to become more three-dimensional, and the part of the cleaver flew out directly.

Under the swishing sound of the wind, it rotated like a windmill.

Unable to dodge in time, Wen Shi quickly ran back to the head’s side, disregarding the blazing flames, and picked up the head.

It hurt.

The skin instantly got scorched.

Despite this, Wen Shi still didn’t dare to let go. He held the head firmly in front of him as a talisman.

After madly spinning around, the beheading cleaver returned above the frame. Wen Shi avoided the fate of being beheaded by the three-dimensional knife.

He immediately placed the head back on the ground, not looking at the horrifyingly burnt skin. He purchased and consumed three bottles of potions in succession, and his health stopped dropping.

“We won’t make it in time.”

Wanting to obtain the picture frame, the craftsman was a hurdle he couldn’t overcome.

Wen Shi didn’t run outside to observe the source of the explosion. Since he sound came from below, he could already imagine that something had gone wrong at the wedding scene.

He initially thought that with most of the head burnt, he could manage to take down the picture frame with some effort. Now it seemed like an impossible task.

Wen Shi pulled the side iron rack to block the secret passage entrance and brought some things to block the door.

“We won’t have such a good opportunity again.”

Wen Shi bent his fingers and said, “Hopefully, A’Ling knows how to contribute.”

As a player from the bride’s faction, she should be aware of what was most advantageous for herself.

A figure lay on the staircase railing, blood covering the lower half of the body, the high ponytail messy, and hair disheveled on the shoulders.

The woman was precisely A’Ling.

She caused the earlier explosion, attempting to hinder everyone from going upstairs by destroying the staircase.

Although she hadn’t fully grasped the situation, the fact that the bride and Wen Shi appeared together to hold the wedding made it highly likely that both sides had set up this scenario.

The content didn’t matter. Since Wen Shi currently stood on the same side as the bride, Zhao Sanjie and his group’s actions would disrupt the other party’s plan.

A’Ling couldn’t let the other side succeed no matter what.

As a veteran player, she naturally knew how to leave herself an escape route. Amidst the chaos, she hinted for the bride to run outside first. Facing the request from her own camp member, the real bride cooperated with this suggestion, leaving the hall first and pointing upstairs.

A’Ling followed from behind and took the opportunity to use an item to destroy the stairs on both sides.

“I thought she was going to run away from the wedding, so I wanted to block her way out.”

A’Ling’s words sounded genuine.

Running away from the wedding and blowing up the stairs, it made perfect sense.

The castle master’s eyes were terrifying. A staff suddenly appeared in his hand as he swung it heavily towards A’Ling.

The speed was too fast for A’Ling to dodge. After feeling pain in her waist and abdomen, she began to vomit blood frantically. At this moment, her earlier excuse came into play, preventing the castle master from having a reason to kill her amidst the chaos of blowing up the wrong stairs due to the runaway bride reason, although it seemed fake. The conditions for death were not sufficient, so the castle master had no reason to kill her.

A’Ling was left heavily injured in the end.

Her actions did succeed in delaying Wen Shi for a few more minutes.

Earlier, A’Ling blew up the stairs above, and Zhao Sanjie suddenly had a revelation, “Are we going upstairs? I accidentally discovered a secret passage this afternoon that leads up there.”

He didn’t know about the picture frame yet, but because he chose the Monster Alliance, he gained an extra piece of private information, knowing that there was a secret passage from the study to the top floor.

A’Ling barely propped herself up, looking at Zhao Sanjie with a touch of coldness.

However, she quickly calmed down, thinking that regardless of Pei Wenwei’s plans, success would be beneficial to all, and failure would be his own fate. They couldn’t solely rely on a newbie.

The real bride was nowhere to be found. Judging by the castle master’s attitude, it seemed that dealing with Pei Wenwei’s situation was his top priority.

As long as the bride wasn’t caught, there was still hope. A’Ling took a few steps to the side and sat down against the wall to ease her injuries.

Zhao Sanjie couldn’t wait and led everyone to the study.

The study.

At the moment the secret passage opened, the castle master smiled without anger, “The roaches I raise are learning to dig holes like mice.”

If the situation weren’t special, Zhao Sanjie wouldn’t want to expose the secret passage.

But he couldn’t let Pei Wenwei succeed and let the bride’s faction win.

In the darkness, the castle master walked in front, with his back turned to the three players.

No one dared to entertain the idea of backstabbing him.

“After the craftsman died, I had someone remake the picture frame.” The castle master’s face revealed an evil smile. “I casually tossed the craftsman’s remains into the blood pool to melt, using them as materials for the frame.”

Such profound resentment couldn’t be burned away in a short time.

The picture frame?

The three individuals noted down this information.

The castle master calmly walked to the exit of the secret passage. The smell of burning seeped through the cracks in the walls. Faintly, they could hear cries coming from inside, indicating that things were not yet over for Wen Shi.

Zhao Sanjie trailed at the back, his skill was【Theft】, activated by spending fifty points. This skill had unlimited uses per game, which seemed incredibly powerful. However, the success rate was low, and he couldn’t guarantee what he would steal from the target player’s backpack.

However, it was just right for Wen Shi.

Firstly, he was a newbie, unable to activate the in-game store with the current points, and most of his items were likely obtained within this instance. Secondly, Wen Shi had survived until now, undoubtedly possessing an ace up his sleeve, which could only be a treasure.

Later, he had to find the right moment to use the skill before Wen Shi was killed by the castle master.

Players with a strong sixth sense might sense the【Theft】attempt and sometimes retaliate. When facing life-or-death situations, one’s focus was solely on survival, leaving no room to pay attention to anything else nearby.

Zhao Sanjie was waiting for the moment when Wen Shi was on the brink of death.

Only the top part of the head remained. As they moved backward, the flames burned slower.

“He’s coming, he’s coming.” The head faced the direction of the secret passage, with fear still evident on its face, unquenchable by the flames.

Wen Shi knew there was no time left. The castle master possessed unmatched power. The things blocking the secret room would only hold for three or four more seconds.

Wen Shi stood still, coldly observing the collapsing torture devices piled outside the secret room.

The castle master, dressed in a vibrant attire, finally appeared within Wen Shi’s field of view.

They faced each other, but this wasn’t the closest Wen Shi had been to death. The closest was the night he knocked on the other’s door.

“Congratulations on your wedding.” Wen Shi congratulated sincerely.

Zhao Sanjie, still calculating when to release his skill, was stunned. He couldn’t understand how this newbie could remain so calm at this moment.

Chu An said, “Now, I truly admire him.”

The castle master smirked sinisterly, “Indeed, mice are everywhere.”

Holding the staff stained with A’Ling’s blood, he stepped closer step by step. The castle master was naturally tall, and the shadows cast by the flickering flames added to the pressure.


The sudden sound made the castle master’s movements hesitate for a moment.

Thud, thud.

It was indeed a knocking sound.

The castle master completely stopped and looked toward the direction of the door.

Zhao Sanjie and the others also looked puzzled. The staircase was blown up, severing the passage leading upstairs. How could there be someone knocking on the door?

The newcomer was polite, but not excessive.

After the knocking, there was a loud noise, and the heavily locked door was kicked open and instantly shattered.

Knowing who had come, a smile appeared on Wen Shi’s lips.

The others who didn’t know the situation only felt a rush of cold wind.

Outside the door stood a woman holding a sword, with a beautiful and serious aura that overshadowed her natural beauty.

Chu An and Li exchanged glances, wondering which NPC this was. Judging by her imposing presence, she seemed like a boss.

As the woman walked in, her noble bearing was fully displayed, like a golden dragon entering the hall, making people dare not offend her in the slightest.

“Very well.” She maintained a smile on her lips, seemingly unaffected by the terrifying castle master, as if strolling leisurely in a comfortable place.

The two words “very well” were said lightly, and everyone present heard them clearly.

Xie Tangyan was indeed in a good mood. Wen Shi was too reliable, always making decisions at the right time, so she had been holding back from taking action. Now that the other party was in trouble, she could finally do as she pleased.

The castle master held an extra staff in his hand, gazing coldly at this unexpected guest.

Chu An whispered to Li, “Boss-level NPCs generally won’t engage in casual battles. Don’t let your attention be diverted. The burning head on the ground is eerie. Let’s deal with it first.”

Pei Wenwei worked hard to come up and burn the head, proving the importance of this matter.

Li nodded, about to take a step forward, but was forced to retreat by a gust of wind in the air.

With a cold gleam, Xie Tangyan unsheathed her sword and stabbed directly at the castle master.

Li’s eyes widened in surprise. He quickly stepped back a few steps. What was happening? They were supposed to fight, right?

The castle master narrowed his eyes. “So, you’re the one trying to harm me with hidden weapons in the dark.”

He had been investigating who was using hidden weapons to try and injure him.

Xie Tangyan was always ruthless and rarely spoke much. The next second, her figure disappeared from its original position. Outside, the treetops swayed gently, but inside the attic, a violent wind raged, as if some kind of monster had descended.

The intense reflection pierced through, making people dodge their gaze. Zhao Sanjie was closest to the cold gleam, standing right behind the castle master, seemingly locked within the attack range.

Zhao Sanjie quickly stepped back, only managing to catch a glimpse of the hairpin inserted diagonally at the temple.

The cold fragrance emanating from the woman’s sword and sleeve was more terrifying than the burnt smell from the burning head, reaching his nostrils.

For the first time, Zhao Sanjie felt what true killing intent was. In an instant, all his pores opened, and his legs became too weak to move.

In just a few seconds, he was already sweating profusely.

It was only when Xie Tangyan stopped that Zhao Sanjie belatedly used his hand to touch his neck, feeling a stabbing pain, but no blood gushed out, leaving him relieved.

“I’m not dead, I’m not dead.”

In that brief moment, Zhao Sanjie really thought he was about to die.

He didn’t die solely because Xie Tangyan’s primary target was the castle master.

The staff lightly smashed into the ground, and the unstoppable three-foot-long blade was suppressed by an invisible force. Two majestic forces confronted each other in midair, almost distorting the space.

Xie Tangyan’s sword finally stopped at the castle master’s throat.

However, the castle master’s staff was aimed at Wen Shi, obviously preparing to kill Wen Shi first.

A strange air current hit Xie Tangyan, preventing her from taking another step forward. Her grip on the sword’s hilt tingled, but she successfully made the castle master feel the icy tip of her blade, stopping him from making his lethal move.

Xie Tangyan held her breath and kept her eyes fixed on the castle master, while her peripheral vision remained on Wen Shi. With a gentle tone, she called out to him, “Are you alright, Little Brother?”

Wen Shi shook his head, still carrying the harp he had stolen from the Earl’s room. Tonight, Big Sister and Little Brother were up to different schemes–one for wealth, the other for revenge.

Xie Tangyan seemed to understand his emotions, and a more stunning smile adorned her face. “You’ve got it wrong. It’s Little Brother here for wealth and Big Sister here for romance… Remember what I said during the day?”

The knowledge from the book was fascinating, especially the description of the butterfly effect, which ignited people’s imaginations.

Wen Shi seemed to grasp what she was going to do. His mouth slightly opened as he looked at her in surprise.

“You’ve always said that he has an enticing smell.” Xie Tangyan stared at the castle master’s pale cheeks and asked, “What about now?”

She single-handedly took off the little gourd Wen Shi had given her to conceal her aura and tossed it back to him.

With such a close distance and no more items to hide behind, the castle master finally realized that the real source of the captivating scent wasn’t Wen Shi but the woman before him.

Tenacious, audacious, and with a soulful warmth.

Xie Tangyan looked back at the castle master and asked deliberately, each word emphasized, “Between me and the perfect bride in your heart, who is more beautiful?”

Who is more beautiful.

Who is more beautiful.

Who is more beautiful.

These simple and plain words, when heard by the castle master, were more piercing than the calls of a cuckoo bird in the dining hall.

Finally, the castle master’s calm facade was torn apart. A trace of ferocity emerged in his deepening gaze.

Every game has its fundamental setting, and in this instance, the castle master’s most perfect bride could only be a painting created by his own hand.

The painting was cold and lacked the vibrant soulful aura. Thus, the real bride’s temperament tended to be cool, lacking the vividness brought by human emotions. Compared to the incomparably charming Xie Tangyan, she could only be considered delicate.

From soul to body, Xie Tangyan stood on a higher plane.

The castle master’s belief in ‘beauty’ was shaken when he reluctantly began to recognize that the painting was slightly inferior. If he acknowledged this, the entire foundation of the instance would be overturned.

The castle master’s eyes flickered with surging killing intent.

“Kill her, kill her…”

In his mind, a frantic thought echoed: This person should not exist in this world.

The castle master tightly gripped the scepter, but at the same time, he seemed like a malfunctioning robot, trembling with uncoordinated limbs. “Answer her, answer her.”

Wen Shi watched the scene, his fingers clenching.

Since the moment the castle master first mentioned the word ‘fragrant,’ he had already set up some kind of hidden danger for himself.

Wen Shi just couldn’t comprehend why, among countless parallel worlds with different versions of himself, it had to be Xie Tangyan who appeared, and why the castle master fell in love with her soul at first sight.

This couldn’t be explained by mere luck or a simple coincidence.

In the midst of his conflicting thoughts, Xie Tangyan didn’t take the opportunity to stab the castle master with her sword.

She wanted to see what kind of consequences could be triggered by loosening a single nail.

Xie Tangyan calmly spoke to Wen Shi, “Don’t be afraid. I asked the question, I did the deed, and I’ll bear any consequences.”

The floor beneath their feet shook, the commotion stronger than the previous explosion. Lightning flashed outside the window, illuminating the entire attic with thunderous roars.

The half of the castle master’s face was lit up, his handsome features contorting with pain.

Zhao Sanjie had never experienced such a scene. The terrifying energy emanating from the castle master’s body reached them, leaving several blood holes on his body, forcing him to awkwardly move to the side.

Ignoring the pain of his flesh wounds, Zhao Sanjie looked outside the window in horror and exclaimed, “What have you done? What have you all done?!”

Chu An and Li were not faring any better, frantically seeking a place to hide.

Afraid that things weren’t intense enough, Xie Tangyan continued her interrogation, “Still getting married?”

Each word felt like a knife stabbing at the heart, almost crushing the staff in the castle master’s hand.

“Getting married?”

“Get married.”

“Why not marry?”

Xie Tangyan’s lips gracefully spoke a venomous question, far more sinister than a demon’s whisper.

On that day, the castle master became utterly terrified of marriage.

At the moment when the castle master’s worldview crumbled, a deep and unfathomable crack appeared in the gathering dark clouds outside, and it seemed as though everything would be sucked into it. Roads shattered, and rocks tumbled everywhere, like the end of the world. At the end of the abyss, a pair of eyes slowly opened, penetrating through the void and the thick castle walls, gazing at the distressed figures inside the castle.

For some unknown reason, that terrifying gaze bypassed Xie Tangyan and precisely fell upon Wen Shi.

At the same time, a scorching sensation engulfed Wen Shi’s body from the spot where the charm was placed. The familiar pain made him lose his balance.

Wen Shi clutched his chest, tightly shut his eyes, and an inexplicable thought flashed through his mind.

The butterfly’s wings had stirred.

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2 thoughts on “Matryoshka Off-Limits Chapter 24”

  1. Ayo what the flip-

    What just happened????

    I absolutely understood everything that happened in this chapter and yet didn’t..

    And what Abyss eyes? Is that the creator of this game-world? The final boss of this novel..?


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