Chapter 60: The Scholar, Hui Shi
The market’s old man sure had some long arms alright, having the responsibilities of guarding the door, appraising items and issuing quest rewards…
Right now, the streets were still pretty chaotic, and Yue Qiang invited the scholar into a shop to drink some tea. When he entered through the door, they just happened to run into a number of armor-clad soldiers who were searching for beautiful women coming out of the store.
The soldiers saw that both Yue Qiang and the scholar were males, and they were followed by a woman behind them. The woman’s head was lowered, and her eyes were shut. Her face was dirty and unclear, and her clothes were extremely filthy and ragged. So they let the trio in without troubling them.
Once inside the tea house, the scholar sipped his tea and asked, “Young sir Yue must have something to inquire of me?”
“That is correct. I would like to know… I would like to know if you sold out on your ‘Quotes of The Ancient Sage’?” Yue Qiang was still speaking circuitously.
Seeing that he had a new buyer, the scholar immediately turned spirited, “That is correct. The book’s original price is 500 knife coins, but it is now only 198 knife coins! It is only 198 knife coins, and you absolutely deserve it! If you can’t buy it with 198 knife coins…”
Yue Qiang cut him off, clicked open the trading system and tossed 500 knife coins to the scholar right away.
“Here’s 500 knife coins. I’ll be purchasing this book.”
When the scholar saw this, he immediately beamed with joy, “Young sir Yue is a man of traditional etiquette and heroic chivalry. You are truly the model to our people.”
The preliminary work should be enough now. The reason Yue Qiang had acted in such a roundabout fashion and gave out so much money for free was simply to increase the fellow’s favorability towards him.
“I am here to consult you on a certain matter, my brother. I wonder… I wonder if you’ve been feeling as if there is something you cannot remember?”
Finally, Yue Qiang asked the critical question he wanted to know. He had a premonition. If he could completely unlock the mysteries behind this Memory Unlock Rate, then he would be able to uncover the truth behind this game!
He waited quietly for the scholar’s answer after he finished typing the line.
Contrary to his expectations, the scholar did not hesitate at all and say, “Yeah, I have.”
“Other than the things that had happened recently, I couldn’t remember almost everything from the past except for a feeling of great pain. I can only remember that my past life was extremely painful. Perhaps that is exactly why I chose to forget about it.”
Extreme pain? Choosing to forget one’s past because of extreme pain? While considering his words and putting it together with the information he had collected in the past, Yue Qiang suddenly recalled the this fellow’s Memory Unlock Rate was at 2%. It was a number far better than Yin’s 0%, which indicated that she had forgotten everything. And so he asked again,
“But you must be able to recall something from the past. Maybe something like fragments of your past life?”
“I do remember some fragments, but the one I remember the clearest was still some ad messages. It would seem that I was a merchant in the past. I may not quite understand what these phrases mean even though I say them frequently, but they do come out of my mouth smoothly.” The scholar grinned, “And they are useful, aren’t there? You, at least, spent 500 knife coins to buy my book.”
Yue Qiang was unwilling to give up just yet. He was still thinking of squeezing more information out of the scholar, “So, what life fragments exactly could you recall?”
The scholar frowned, and slowly he began to wear an expression of recollection on his face. However, the more he reminiscent, the more sorrowful he looked. In the end, not only did his expression change, his back bent and his shoulders pulled unto himself, gradually curling into a ball. His eyebrows were tightly locked against each other. At first, he pressed his fingers painfully against his temple, and in the next instant began pounding his own head heavily with his fist.
He used quite a bit of strength, and there was a series of pounding ‘Dong! Dong! Dong’ noise every time his fist connected to his head.
Yue Qiang never thought that a mere recollection could inflict so much pain to an optimistic and cheerful-looking man who was just cracking a joke a moment ago! The scholar’s transformation from joy to pain was so swift that he nearly had no time to react at all.
When the scholar raised his head once more, his eyes were swollen as if he was holding back tears, “Don’t let me remember them anymore, that… Cough cough… cough cough…”
He abruptly began to cough intensely before spitting out a huge clot of phlegm. Then, he drained all the tea before him before he finally and gradually regained his cool.
“Sorry, I truly do not mean to bring up the pains of your past.”
The scholar waved his hands, “I did not in fact recall anything specific. It’s just that everytime I think about the past, I would feel a terrible and inexplicable pain that penetrates deep into my bones. Before I could recall anything at all, I already feel so unwell that I could die.”
“It is no bother. I have caused you trouble, my brother.” Yue Qiang was helpless. It would seem that he had come to a temporary dead end. Suddenly, he recalled that he still had a system function that he could use, “You and I seem to be kindred spirits, brother. Why don’t we become sworn bro… become friends?”
The scholar said, “Young sir Yue is a tiger killing brave, and I, your little brother very much admires you. We shall swear an oath and become swo… become friends.”
Yue Qiang added the scholar’s name into his friend list. His name was called Hui Shi.
After Hui Shi bid Yue Qiang and Yin goodbye, he had basically regained his calm. Before he left, he said to Yue Qiang, “I am not sure if it is useful, but I believe that I should tell you this, brother Yue. I was feeling too unwell just now, but now that I’ve recovered, I did remember some things of the past. In the past, I seemed to live in a metallic jungle where there are big and tall houses at every direction tens and hundreds of miles away. The vast buildings could only be described as countless. Moreover, every one of these buildings were built with materials that were like the godly tiger hunting weapon you wield. This scene may last for only a split second in my mind, but it may be the truth, or it may just be an illusion that I experienced in extreme pain.”
“I shall bid you goodbye then.” Hui Shi said.
Countless buildings? Metallic jungles? Wasn’t that a modern metropolis? Yue Qiang fell into deep thought.
In that case, was Hui Shi a player then? Then what about Ai Qian? Was he a player as well? And Yin too? But shouldn’t a player be like him, sitting in front of a computer and playing through a mouse and keyboard? Also, what’s with that extreme pain that he revealed just now?
While he was thinking, Yin suddenly said softly from behind his back, “I have felt the pain Hui Shi has described before. When I first appeared in the cave, I do not remember anything from the past. However, there was an extremely terrible pain in my heart. It is a kind of pain that came from nowhere, and it is so terrible that I felt for a moment that even the decapitated corpses were better off than I am. It is only after some time had passed that this feeling gradually faded.”
Hearing Yin’s words, Yue Qiang suddenly recalled the first time they met. At the time, the girl of closed eyes had calmly analysed how the situation would turn out had he used her as bait. At the time, he had thought that she was just a girl of some eccentricities, but after seeing how painful the scholar Hui Shi was, to the point he could not wait to crack open his head and die, he finally understood just how amazing Yin was.
“Are you okay now?” He asked somewhat worriedly.
“I’m fine.” Yin said calmly, “However, there is something that I need to remind you of.”
Yue Qiang noticed the seriousness in her tone, “Tell me.”
“‘Hui Shi’ was a person who once existed in real history. He may not be too famous, but he was recorded in the history books. I just happened to recall him.”
‘Hui Shi was a knowledgeable and eloquent person, and he was a representative of the School of Names. The historical period that he lived in was… the Warring States Period.”