Chapter 33: The NPCs All Know How To Whisper
There’s nothing to hesitate about. The game must go on!
Back when he was playing single player RPG games, he would often run into ‘Hopeless Boss Fights’. The protagonist would be killed by the Boss no matter what they did after entering combat. The worst part? In the case where he wasn’t relying on a walkthrough, he would often waste some precious pills or medicines or single use item only to find out later that it was a hopeless battle…
Remembering what happened earlier, Yue Qiang was seventy percent sure that that battle was a hopeless boss fight. To begin with the Boss was way too powerful. This game was not a Xianxia world where Nascent Souls were littered everywhere like dogs, but a realistic, historical world. The ability Zhao Yan displayed had probably reached the level where he could fight a hundred enemies on his own!
Next would be the increment of a character’s power. Yue Qiang had not found any methods inside the village that could directly increase a character’s power. All of his stat points were acquired through hidden quests, and his skills were learned either on his own or from that mysterious woman. The only other bit of relevant info was a ‘Ring of Earth’ that could increase the level of a Heart skill, but up till this point he hadn’t seen even a hair of the ring yet.
As an old time single player gamer, Yue Qiang could very responsibly claim that no one could’ve done better than him under this kind of situation.
Therefore, the probability that the encounter with the super Boss Zhao Yan was a sure lose battle demanded by plot was over seventy percent.
The reason he carried out these analysis and not enter the game rashly was because the game’s death penalty was far too cruel. He had to exercise the utmost caution, and then some more.
Right now, the blue progress bar had reached 70%. When he left-clicked the ‘Enter Game’ button, Yue Qiang felt as if he was in a dream.
If he said earlier that the game’s graphics was realistic to the point where it could rival original movies when he first began to play this game, then the complementation between graphic effects and first person POV now had already reached the level described in ads by the most advanced VR manufacturer in the world.
After the fade-in and fade-out effects were over, he realized that he was no longer on the battlefield.
He had returned to the small room at the beginning of the game. It was the small room where Chen Zi Han had taught him ‘Analects’.
There were dozens of NPCs gathered inside the small room. Yue Qiang silently counted the numbers, and discovered that most of the village’s NPCs were here barring three people: The girl from the Gongshu family, the doctor Ming Que, and an old farmer named Qu Zhongqiu.
Have they all passed away?
The person standing closest to him was the village elder Chen Zi Han. He said to Yue Qiang, “Thank goodness, the young sir has awakened.”
Yue Qiang typed, “I seemed to have fainted earlier? What happened?”
Immediately, everyone in the room began to voice their concerns towards Yue Qiang. Yue Qiang was a young student of a rich family and was not loved by the villagers for the longest time. However, not only did he intercept the enemy’s letter and killed the Zhao Soldiers and Zhao Sergeant during the recent war against Zhao State, he had even successfully saved the hunter Tu Xu and the doctor Ming Que. Everyone had changed their views towards him. For a time the whole screen was filled with dialog boxes, and they were so densely packed that he couldn’t read anything.
Chen Zi Han made a throat clearing motion and said, “Why don’t this old man explain things to young sir.”
“Originally, a great man like Zhao Yan would find it beneath him to participate personally in a battle as small as the siege of Yue Village. However, young sir is extraordinarily courage and resourceful to cooperate with the village’s giant crossbow log house to kill many enemy soldiers. That is why a man of the level of general was forced to don his armor and attend to the battlefield himself. However, the moment he joins into the battle, it also meant the war is over.”
“Young sir must have seen it with your own eyes the effects of a powerful war weapon at the level of the giant crossbow on Zhao Yan.” The village elder Chen Zi Han let out the hint of a bitter smile, “He is a general level character after all. It is without a doubt a fantastical dream to hope to defeat his army.”
“What happened afterwards?”
“You were too close with the general at the time, and the situation too dangerous. The hunter Tu Xu and the blacksmith Tan Xiong had charged out immediately to save you. As a result all three of you were struck by Zhao Yan’s AOE skill. You were sent flying away with no way to tell if you are dead or alive. Tu Xu and Tan Xiong were also knocked back quite far away and bled a lot of blood.”
Yue Qiang glanced at his health bar, and only a small quarter of HP was left inside it. It was probably because he suffered that AOE skill.
“Although the general Zhao Yan’s power is formidable, he had not killed the three of you right away. He ordered his subordinates to drag you back into the village, and then pen up everyone in this small house.” Chen Zi Han said, “Since then, more than six hours have passed.”
Yue Qiang suddenly recalled the letter to demand surrender, and the reason Zhao State had garroted Yue Village. He could not but ask, “And the Ring of Earth?”
“It has been turned over, naturally.” The village elder let out a bitter laugh and answered, “This old man had believed himself to have some knowledge after reading over ten thousand volumes of books. However, the strength of the general Zhao Yan’s heart seemed to be incredibly powerful. He only looked me in the eye once, and I have submitted the Ring of Earth without any resistance whatsoever. It is a truly shameful thing to bring up.”
This old man said while shaking his head continuously, feeling endless regret towards his own actions.
“So you’re saying that the entire Yue Village has become the Zhao army’s prisoners?” Yue Qiang said.
“That is correct.”
“Why had he not killed us directly?”
“In his original words, ‘the killing of one’s life is a sacred matter. I will need a reason to kill someone.” The village elder Chen Zi Han said.
“How about Gongshu Shaoyang, Qu Zhongqiu, and that doctor Ming Que who sells dog plasters? Were they killed, or…”
“Ming Que is treating the wounds of the injured Zhao Soldier. Qu Zhongqiu is preparing rice for them. As for the girl from the Gongshu family… Zhao Yan wants to build an outpost at this place and has taken apart a large majority of the village’s houses. He wants Gongshu Shaoyang to help design the base and barracks; the usage of timber… This Zhao Yan sure knows that everyone in the Yue Family has their own unique trade!” This time however, it was the blacksmith Tan Xiong who had spoken up. His tone was ill, but looked rather helpless as well.
“How I wish I could meet that bastard and slaughter him this moment!” He swung an angry fist on the table, causing it to shake incessantly.
The stalwart blacksmith was covered in blood. His injuries were very severe, and the artificial limb made of log was dragged below him in a sorry state. He appeared battered and exhausted.
After listening to everyone’s recount, Yue Qiang turned silent for a moment before he stood up and headed towards the door.
“Where are you going, young sir?” Chen Zi Han hurriedly stopped him with a shout.
“I want to that Zhao Yan with my own eyes. I was sent flying by this guy, so I didn’t catch his face.”
“It’s best if you don’t go, young sir. That Zhao Yan is a little…” The village elder Chen Zi Han carefully picked his words, “He’s a little neurotic. He may very well do something crazy.”
“It’s okay. He hasn’t killed anyone at this point, has he? I’m just going to catch a glimpse, that’s all.” Yue Qiang said.
“In that case,” The village elder Chen Zi Han said, “Then allow me to pass over the previous quest rewards first. We have successfully defended Yue Village before Zhao Yan’s arrival, and no one has died up till now. Therefore this quest is still valid.”
If the old man hadn’t brought it up Yue Qiang would have forgotten about this matter. He walked over to receive the quest. However, something unexpected happened. On the surface, Chen Zi Han had given him a quest reward, but underneath, a single line of text appeared not in the form of a dialog box, but a purple colored whisper.
“There are ears behind walls, therefore I have chosen this method to speak to young sir about a most critical matter. You must remember it well, young sir!”
Yue Qiang took heed, “Please speak.”