Chapter 9.1 Night of the Ancient Castle
The countdown almost exploded in Wen Shi’s mind as sweat started to appear on his forehead. He underestimated one thing–no matter how clever he tried to be, the one executing the task was most likely the player themselves.
With only ten seconds left on the countdown, Wen Shi clenched his teeth and took the syringe from Bushy Beard, trying hard to steady his trembling hands and feet.
The castle master had bulging veins on his arms, and each blood vessel had a clear direction.
【5 s, 4 s…】
As the fine needle punctured the vein, the castle master didn’t resist. Sitting motionless, he spoke in a low and hoarse voice, “What are you injecting?”
The drug was gradually pushed in. Wen Shi managed to smile. “Our director arranged this powerful medicine.”
The word “director” was pronounced heavily.
Bushy Beard beside them raised the iron hook in his right hand but held back.
The castle master coldly laughed, “Is that right?”
After Wen Shi pulled out the needle, he stood up slowly.
“Hint: Your medicine has angered the castle master.”
“Hint: The effectiveness of the medicine is less than one percent.”
“Hint: The castle master’s affinity towards you is rapidly decreasing.”
“Hint: Please strive to survive for fifty minutes.”
Why do they call it “my medicine” when it clearly belongs to the direcror?!
Wen Shi couldn’t care about all that, so he directly discarded the syringe and no longer bothered to come up with any decent excuses. He dashed out in a hurry.
He didn’t run around like a headless fly but went straight downstairs.
When he reached the hall, a strong sense of danger struck him. Wen Shi looked up. The castle master stood on the fourth floor, expressionless, staring at him while holding onto the railing.
Cold and cruel, devoid of any trace of humanity in his pupils.
The castle master didn’t chase after him directly. It was as if he was watching a dying struggling little white mouse.
Wen Shi had no choice. On the left was a large open ground, and behind him was the servants’ living quarters. The only option left to buy time was the maze.
Clenching his teeth, he continued to rush outward and immediately plunged into the maze.
【You are about to enter the male servant’s beloved garden maze.】
【Unauthorized intruders, beware of the male servant.】
It was a sunny day, but only the area above the maze had a dark cloud drifting, casting the maze below in a dangerous and mysterious shadow.
From a distance, it appeared to be a typical plant maze, but its essence remained the cold walls covered by lush climbing plants, creating an illusion of a plant maze.
The actual green walls were almost two and a half meters high, with no gaps around. Walking alone in such a silent environment, Wen Shi could clearly hear his own heartbeat and breathing.
The maze was dim under the cover of the dark cloud and the walls.
Seeing the same green color for too long made his eyes uncomfortable. He wasn’t sure if it was his imagination, but he felt the walls tremble slightly.
This time he was certain it wasn’t his imagination. There was indeed something moving within the walls covered by the greenery. Wen Shi wanted to ignore it, but as the noise grew louder, his uneasiness intensified, forcing him to stop and carefully observe.
A green, wriggling thing flashed before him.
Just as Wen Shi stared intently at the lighter green spots, a long, strip-like thing suddenly darted out, heading straight for his face.
The speed was too fast that there was no time to dodge. Reacting instinctively, Wen Shi grabbed it without thinking.
It was alive and still squirming.
It was a snake.
Wen Shi almost blacked out for a moment.
He was fearless in many situations, but in this lifetime, he was most afraid of creatures with many legs or no legs. The maggots on Bushy Beard’s wrist had already made him uncomfortable. The snake before his eyes was a complete minefield.
Fortunately, Wen Shi grabbed near the snake’s head. The conical-shaped snake’s mouth opened, but it couldn’t bite him.
The wriggling snake’s body kept hitting Wen Shi as it struggled.
It was wrapping around him. It was about to wrap around him!
Wen Shi considered throwing it away directly.
With the height of the wall, the most likely scenario was that he’d throw it away, the snake would hit the wall, and then ‘pia,’ it would bounce right back.
While Wen Shi was considering where to throw the thing, the leaves moved without any wind. It turned out there were more snakes active in the plants, wriggling and growing like hair.
Wen Shi’s expression now looked quite unpleasant. He found not only leaves but also snake heads piled up on the ground.
Some were already dried by the wind, while others were still fresh, all piled together. Did the male servant mess with these things while trimming the maze every day?
As the cool breeze hit him, Wen Shi’s expression changed. His first reaction was also about the snakes, and he quickly tried to avoid them.
“It’s me.” Xie Tangyan appeared beside Wen Shi, taking the snake from his hand and casually tossing it aside in a knot.
With a somewhat pale face, she covered her mouth, coughing softly.
Xie Tangyan clearly wasn’t afraid of the snakes. Her weakness was likely due to some other reason. Wen Shi hurriedly asked, “What happened?”
“The assassination failed.” Noticing his surprised expression, Xie Tangyan said, “Not killing humans, but ghosts. You said the castle master is not human and takes lives every day. It shouldn’t be a problem if I try to kill him.”
At that moment, Wen Shi suddenly understood why the ancient castle was locked and why the owner’s clothes were torn.
“When did this happen?” Wen Shi rubbed his forehead.
“Half an hour ago,” Xie Tangyan said, “It’s daytime now, with abundant Yang energy, the best time to have a high chance of success in killing him.”
Wen Shi’s eyelid twitched.
Trying perilous actions with a high risk of death?
“I didn’t get close. I only used hidden weapons. He has no idea who did it,” Xie Tangyan said thoughtfully. “But that man’s power structure is quite strange. He managed to hurt me from a distance.”
In the Earl’s rage, things in the ancient castle instantly shattered into pieces. It also shook Xie Tangyan’s internal organs.
Wen Shi disagreed, “The game limits your power not to protect the players but to prevent you from harming the castle master.”
An ordinary player, Xie Tangyan could take on ten opponents. With her power now weakened, she couldn’t possibly kill the castle master. It would be risking her life.
“I know,” Xie Tangyan replied calmly. She estimated her chances of winning a direct confrontation to be less than fifty percent, which was why she chose a long-range ambush. “My goal isn’t to kill him either.”
Wen Shi frowned. “Then what’s it for?”
“This man hides his killing under the pretext of seeking a new bride. As I’ve told you, if there’s injustice, a sword will put things right.”
A sword will put things right?
After a moment, Wen Shi connected it to the tear on the castle master’s pants and suddenly understood what “putting things right” meant. He felt a sudden chill below.
“When martial skills reach a certain level, even flower petals can become deadly weapons, but unfortunately, using flower petals as hidden weapons still has its limitations.”
Xie Tangyan was confident but not arrogant. The long-range ambush was enough to let her escape unscathed.
After listening, Wen Shi’s eyebrows furrowed even tighter, looking more serious than ever before. “Life is only given once. It’s not something to be tested with.”
That was how someone had taught him back then, and now he was passing on the same lesson to others without changing a word.
“The more dangerous the situation, the more stability is required.”
Xie Tangyan had never been reprimanded in this tone by anyone before. It was rare of her to be momentarily stunned. After a moment, she patted his head and said, “Alright, Big Sister will pay attention next time.”
Pausing for a moment, she changed the subject, “By the way, what were you doing in the maze, and why do you look so disheveled?”
When Wen Shi was running earlier, his sweat soaked his T-shirt, the wounds on his hands weren’t well treated, and his lips were dry due to lack of water. Overall, he looked worse for wear.
“The chemical castration failed…” Wen Shi briefly explained the professional term, “It’s a way to suppress sexual impulses through injections. I was discovered by the castle master during the process. Now, I’m running for my life.”
Xie Tangyan withdrew her hand, giving him a deep look. Weren’t they doing the same thing?
Wen Shi immediately clarified, “We’re different. I was forced to do it.”
Xie Tangyan asked, “Did he ask you to castrate him yourself?”
“……” No, it’s not that.
The snakes that roamed between the gaps in the plants became agitated.
They were no longer content with crawling along the walls. Three or four of them flew out directly. At the same time, snakes fell from the top of the high wall, creating a rain of snakes in the sky.
Wen Shi said, “They fear objects like scissors.”
The tongue wounds on the ground weren’t clean cuts. The lower part was slightly flattened, probably caused by the scissors the male servant used daily to trim the maze.
Coming in was a spur-of-the-moment decision, so Wen Shi wasn’t fully prepared. Although Xie Tangyan’s sword was sharp, it wasn’t scissors and couldn’t deter the snakes.
In just a second or two, the snake rain gave Wen Shi goosebumps all over his body.
Trying to look on the bright side, most likely these snakes were nonvenomous or had weak venom.
Xie Tangyan said, “Close your eyes and cover your face.”
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