Chapter 75: 2 Beast Skins, 1 Bamboo Scroll
While holding the door with the iron rod, Yue Qiang slowly moved towards the front. As the door’s angle widened further and further, he felt like something had emerged from inside the room.
It seemed to be a kind of gas that was both noiseless and colorless. But he could feel it all the same.
It was a gas that invigorated the mind.
Since the moment he climbed down the vertical stairs, he felt as if he was becoming more and more clear-headed. This was especially obvious when he was facing against the mechanical fist. He had performed a series of meticulous control that he would never be able to do under normal circumstances.
It was an incredibly shocking revelation.
Although his game character might be inside an underground tunnel, the real him was sitting right in front of the monitor in his house. While his game character might be poisoned, wounded, put to sleep and experience all kinds of sensations, Yue Qiang himself could only watch and listen with his senses.
However, right now in front of the monitor, he could truly feel that invigorating feeling working through his body.
As the wooden door opened, a sensation that was like a blowing spring wind emerged from inside.
Yue Qiang sucked in a deep breath, feeling his brain and mind becoming clearer and smoother than ever before.
His vision had been focused right at the door of the wooden house, and as the gas gushed out from inside his field of view gradually widened towards his surroundings. First, he saw the entirety of the wooden house, which looked almost like the giant crossbow log house at Yue Village. Then, he saw the shut-eyed, serious-looking Yin and frowning Ai Qian who seemed to be in pain even when he was out cold. Finally, his field of view continued to enlarge until he saw the surrounding stone walls and the tunnel’s very structure. Finally… he saw the fringe of the monitor.
I’m playing a game right now…
The number and alphabetic keys on the keyboard beneath his left hand felt very familiar. He would not tap a wrong key by mistake even if he did not look at them, and speaking of which, it seemed like his gaze hadn’t moved away from monitor’s screen for a very, very long time, had it?
And how long is a very, very long time?
He glanced once at the computer table. It was scattered with six or seven packs of consumed instant noodles. There were bits of condiments and plastic wrappings everywhere.
Did he seriously eat so many packs of instant noodles after he came back?
That’s strange. He did not remember tearing open a package or boiling water at all…
It was only when he saw the mess that he realised that he had actually eaten so many instant noodles. His nose had also chosen this occasion to suddenly became functional. The smell of mixed condiments, grease, and cold noodles that were left aside untouched for a long time mingled with each other and entered his nostrils. If he had eaten this many bags of instant noodles, then it had probably been two or three days…
His field of view widened again, and he saw the collapsed dustbin on the floor. The garbage inside the dustbin had fallen out and become scattered all over the floor. Judging from the direction it was pointing after it had toppled, he had probably knocked it over by accident when he was going to the toilet.
But when did he go to the toilet?
Unbelievable. He could not remember the occasion at all. It did not leave an impression in his mind in the least.
What was the time when he came back to his house? It was probably when the blue progress bar was at 50%, was it? What was the date today? What month and day was it?
Why did he subconsciously begin to count the days using the game’s time?
Right, what month and day was it again?
He subconsciously picked up his handphone and took a glance, but he discovered that his handphone had ran out of power and shut down already. With a stupefied look, he picked up his charger to recharge the phone’s batteries. Then, he blanked out.
Countless questions suddenly popped into his mind. On the surface, these questions appeared to be perfectly normal: When was the last time he ate, did he go to the toilet, had he slept and so on. But the problem was that he did not have an impression of either of those things at all.
It wasn’t like he never became so absorbed in games that he skipped meals and sleep, but at the very least he would remember to eat, sleep, and ask his schoolmates to fake his attendance in class.
But this time, he literally just forgot everything.
Even stranger was the fact that the forgetfulness had felt like the most natural thing to do. It was as if it was natural to be fully immersed inside a game.
Why did he suddenly ‘wake up’? Why did he suddenly recall that he was ‘playing a game’?
“Are you okay?”
The sudden voice caught Yue Qiang off guard and made him shiver uncontrollably.
Then, his mind caught up and he realised that it was Yin asking for him inside the game.
He put his fingers on the keyboard and typed a few words, “Nothing. I just suddenly recalled something.”
“I saw you stop moving all of a sudden. Did something… unexpected happened ‘over your side’?”
Yue Qiang understood her meaning. When Yin said ‘your side’, she meant ‘his world’.
But how could he say yes?
The correct answer was that the unexpected had always been around from the beginning until now. It’s just that he was slowly losing the ability to realise that he was just ‘playing a game’ as the progress bar continued to increase. His attention were completely absorbed by the game, and every time he played his game time had increased gradually. Judging from the amount of instant noodles he ate, he had probably played for three days straight this time.
He had neglected the fact that he was ‘just playing a game’ for a very long time. That was what was truly unexpected.
Or maybe he should say that the unexpected had become a normal part of his life, and the problems he should’ve noticed under normal circumstances were overlooked instead. That, was what you called unexpected.
This condition of his had continued for two or three days straight until…
It was until the moment he pushed opened the door that he was finally and fully jolted to wakefulness.
There was something behind the door that had cleared up his mind!
Is it her?
Yue Qiang pondered.
Ai Qian continued to lay unconsciousness as he was dragged. As the door swung inward further, the unconsciousness trader’s eyebrows became tightly locked and his handsome face also became somewhat distorted. He seemed to be in even more pain now, even though Yin and him were perfectly fine. Perhaps this was the effects of the confusion type skill? Perhaps it was she who was using this skill?
They should check out the room first.
The wooden house’s door was now fully open. It was pitch black inside.
Yue Qiang raised a torch and walked inside.
The decor inside the wooden house was extremely simple and empty. There was a coffin laid at the center of the room. The coffin’s cover was not fully shut, and there were extremely faint smoke emerging from the gaps. The wooden house was very small, and the thin smoke covered every corner of its space.
“It’s not a poisonous smoke.” Yin made a simple conclusion, “It’s a gas that invigorates the mind.”
“It is for us, yes. But it is not for him.” Yue Qiang added. Right now Ai Qian was looking even more in pain, and even his body was beginning to spasm unconsciously. Yue Qiang put him at the entrance and entered the house with Yin, arriving in front of the coffin. He raised the torch closer.
The coffin looked exactly the same as the picture on the beast skin.
Exquisite carvings, delicate patterns. It was no different from the coffin drawn on the beast skin. What was different was that there were two beast skins and a bamboo scroll on top of the coffin’s cover.
Sharing tacit understanding, neither Yue Qiang nor Yin had opened the coffin immediately. Instead, they picked up a beast skin each.
The beast skin Yue Qiang picked up was drawn with an extremely fine-looking little man. This little man was drawn colorfully and vividly. It looked like it would jump out of the skin at any moment. The little man looked like a normal man, and the only difference was that it had sixty four arms!
Speaking of which, it was strange that the sixty four arms appeared to be unusually distinct on the beast skin, even though they should be densely packed and incredibly scary. Yue Qiang immediately recognised that the sixth four arms were arranged according to the Fuxi Hexagram.
It seemed comedic that a man could grow sixty four arms, but on this beast skin the oddity appeared immeasurably harmonious and dignified. The instant he opened the beast skin, an imposing and vigorous aura instantly erupted and pressed down on Yue Qiang so heavily that he couldn’t breathe!
He had faced this aura no long ago.
It felt exactly the same as when he was going up against the mechanical fist.
When he looked at the top corner of the beast skin again, he found three large, ancient characters written on it:
Killing Style, Evolved!
This was a skill book!
By this point there was no need to describe how precious a skill book was. Yue Qiang used to doubt the existence of such items until he held it directly in his hands and saw the system message, “You have obtained the skill book ‘Killing Style, Evolved’. Click and use to learn ‘Killing Style, Evolved LVL 0’. Learning this skill requires the prerequisite ‘Killing Style, One’” that he finally believed it completely.
What was even more deserving of notice about this skill book was its prerequisite. He had learned the skill ‘Killing Style, One’ from real life; he had learned it from the mysterious fitness coach Luqiu Duanyi. Now, he had encountered the mechanical fist that knew the ‘Killing Style, Evolved’ technique and discovered the evolved version of ‘Killing Style, One’ on the coffin’s cover. Perchance if he opened the coffin he would discover… Luqiu Duanyi’s corpse?
Holding the other beast skin beside him, Yin could hardly hide her shock despite her calm appearance.
With a slightly urgent tone, she said, “This is ‘A Complete Solution to the Two Schema Makeup of a Mechanism Power System’!”
He knew why Yin had appeared this astonished. Only a person of rich knowledge would have greater understanding as to the importance of a knowledge based item. Yin had proven her excellent knowledge since her appearance one way or another, so an item that could cause even her to lose control must be extremely precious. It might even be more precious than the skill book in his hands.
That said, if these two beast skins were already this precious, then what could possibly be recorded in the bamboo scroll at the center?
Yue Qiang carefully picked up the bamboo scroll.
It wasn’t actually too appropriate to call it a ‘bamboo scroll’ since it only consisted of four bamboo slips. The four bamboo slips were connected together using simple straws, and only the first bamboo slip had words on them. The remaining three bamboo slips were blank. There was a small, unremarkable triangle at the end of the last bamboo slip, and Yue Qiang had noticed it immediately.
The reason for that was because he was very familiar with this tiny triangle.
This thing… looked a little like the little triangle in a dialog box which you clicked to continue a conversation!
A blank bamboo scroll and a small triangle… Could it be that this wasn’t a functionable item but a dialog box?
If this dialog box needed to be expressed in the form of a bamboo scroll, then only one possibility was left – this dialog box was used to converse with the dead person inside the coffin!
A dead person could not speak. Therefore it was understandable that one needed to use a dialog box to speak with it…
To hell with this! As if to converse with a dead person through a dialog box was in any way normal!
Yue Qiang pushed aside all these questions and pulled away the unlatched coffin cover directly!
Be it a donkey or a horse, he’d take it for a walk all the same!*
*meaning that he would face whatever comes at him
The scene after the cover was opened was exactly the same as it was drawn on the beast skin.
There was a woman’s corpse surrounded by many priceless jewels and ornaments. Although her eyes were closed, she almost looked like she was just taking a nap. She had an amazing body at the level of a fitness coach, and her face looked just like Luqiu Duanyi’s.
This, was a still image.
It was both beautiful, and eerie.
The woman in the coffin did not show any signs a corpse should have at all. Her skin looked as elastic and glistening as condensed cream, and her complexion was just like a normal human’s, except a little paler than normal. But this only enhanced her beauty further.
Yin stretched out a hand over the corpse’s nose to test for any signs of breathing, then touched her chest for a little while. After a long time, she said, “She’s dead. There’s also an extremely small possibility that she is in a very deep sleep. But if we say that she’s dead, there is no way to explain how her body was preserved so perfectly.”
If this body really was Luqiu Duanyi’s, then what’s with the female fitness coach he met in real life? When he thought up to this point, he looked towards his charging phone. He had Luqiu Duanyi’s number in it. Besides that…
Yue Qiang picked up the bamboo scroll that only had four bamboo slips. He tapped the small triangle at the final bamboo slip.
While the game could no longer be described as a normal game in any way at all, he was still using a keyboard and a mouse. Therefore, he would use gaming logic to understand her!
His action worked.
The second bamboo slip was supposed to be blank, but now a line of ink-colored characters slowly appeared on it. It said: Please treat my corpse well. This is my final gift to you.
The line of characters slowly disappeared. Then, another four words appeared:
I am Luqiu Ning.