Chapter 109.2: Realm of Mortals (12) (Part 2)
“F**k — Brother, why did you jump on your own? Is it me who should jump or you?!” Caught by the strong wind that rose when the car drove over, the drunkard almost fell into the river. Luckily, he was already holding onto the guardrail and wasn’t standing very close to that guy. With much difficulty, he stood on the edge of the spot that was crashed.
He blinked a few times, then raised his hand and fiercely rubbed his face. As his dizzy head was slapped by the cold rain, he slightly came back to his senses.
“Huh?” He saw the murderer and Teenager Deeply In Love beating each other up, then he looked back at the taxi in the river, cold sweat pouring down all over his body.
Tang Cuo saw the nameplate attached to his chest, with his name and position written on it — Market Extension Department, Chen Jun.
Wasn’t this the corporate slave Chen Jun who missed his meal due to his busy workload and was fired because he vented his anger on his boss?
Tang Cuo remembered that in the message he sent to his friends, he was in a bad mood and wanted to get drunk.
It now appeared that this drinking incident would eventually teach him the value of life.
After Tang Cuo sorted out all the ins and outs of the matter, he inevitably felt that everything was a tad absurd.
These three cases, excluding all accidental factors that weren’t directly related to the parties, such as the takeaway staff, the dog owner, Pao Qi, Chen Jun, et cetera, were actually connected by double-headed arrows and kept pointing to each other.
The cheating scumbag wanted to kill because of his failure to keep his girlfriend, but he accidentally killed an innocent passer-by.
The innocent passer-by’s brother was a vicious serial murderer who happened to kill the scumbag’s ex-girlfriend.
The time of these two killings was the same, and the escape route after the killing was also the same, which meant, they were like two legs of the same person, one running in front while one tagging at the back. In the end, the murderer’s taxi hit and killed the scumbag.
A man who killed because of impulse also lost his life because of another person’s impulse.
Although the evil murderer survived, he would be judged by the law and spent his remaining time in endless remorse and torture.
This was karma. And karma was always right.
But the life that had been lost wouldn’t come back again. Thinking about it this way, Tang Cuo couldn’t feel good. The dungeons of Yong Ye City always held lots of maliciousness towards the players, and the ‘evil’ that players carried out back in the mortal realm would always be magnified ten times and blatantly shown before their eyes.
If he had to expose his sentiments, Tang Cuo felt that from the moment they stepped into Yong Ye City, the so-called karma serving process had already started. The sins people actually shouldered were far more than those written in their Survival Assessment Reports.
After a series of fights, Tang Cuo successfully adjusted his Soul Instability Index to 0 and drank some potion to restore his HP, but he had always had low blood sugar, so his face stayed slightly pale and turned even colder.
Soon, he found the scumbag’s cell phone tombstone and went through a quick, neat battle.
The battles at the three gates almost started simultaneously.
Jin Cheng had been playing relentlessly, and the further he went, the stronger the monsters got, and the difficulty was comparable to that of Sun Wukong’s journey to the West. Zheng Yingying and Meng Yufei smoothly avoided most monster doctors that were making their rounds, and after a few insignificant brawls, they reached the director’s office. The two stood at the door, holding their breath and counting down three seconds.
“Three, two, one!”
Instead of rushing in, they stuffed two lighted firecrackers through the gap below the door. These were obtained from a player they encountered when walking upstairs. They killed the monster who was about to catch the player and took some firecrackers in return, which was fair.
Following two loud explosions, there was a low roar and the sound of heavy objects falling to the ground coming from the room. Meng Yufei immediately kicked the door, while Zheng Yingying picked up the fire extinguisher in the corridor and took a step back.
She had to accumulate strength and look for opportunities to use the [Nameless Dagger] to deal a fatal blow to the monster.
Xiao Tong was paying attention to all three gates at the same time. Among them, Tang Cuo, who was the sole player in his gate, finished the fastest. The paleness on his face seemed to be proportional to his ferocity. The paler his face was, the greater his ferocity grew, and the harder he attacked.
The second Boss’ strength was similar to the first one, but under Tang Cuo’s hands, it fell down merely 15 minutes later. This still happened even when the battle spread to two nearby tombstones and summoned two soul light balls, which joined forces with the Boss to fight Tang Cuo.
But this time, Tang Cuo didn’t rush to absorb these soul light balls. After the battle, his state was unstable. If he took them in immediately, his instability would worsen, which certainly wasn’t conducive for recovery. Moreover, he had only one last potion left, so there was a need to save this bit.
He decided to find Mo Mo’s tombstone first, then absorb the souls thereafter.
But Mo Mo’s tombstone was hidden deep in the cemetery. Half an hour later, Tang Cuo even found Teenager Deeply In Love’s tombstone, but he couldn’t locate Silence’s.
Teenage Deeply In Love’s phone screen was showing Alipay, where Tang Cuo could see his past bills, including his payment for the rain boots. Tang Cuo used Pao Qi’s account to get the rain boots’ price and transaction time from the Purchasing Agent, which indeed matched.
In the end, which phone was Mo Mo’s?
Tang Cuo stood on top of the tombstone in the front, his eyes sweeping across the cemetery again. At this point, the cemetery was in tatters after going through several battles. Under the dim sky, the remaining cell phone tombstones emitted a faint blue light, making an utterly fitting environment for exchanging ghost stories.
The dungeon wasn’t so easy to clear, so the clues about Mo Mo must be hidden among the most inconspicuous details. And the main reason why he was so challenging to find was because of the lack of information surrounding him. In addition, he was a boy who could disguise himself as a girl, and the cell phone’s content never made it easy to determine whether its owner was male or female.
There was still one and a half hours before they hit the six-hour limit.
Tang Cuo didn’t want to waste time, but he wasn’t in a hurry either. He felt that his body had almost recovered, so he went to absorb the soul light balls first. In the scumbag’s soul light ball, finally, he clearly saw Mo Mo’s face.
The boy had an androgynous face, and after a wig was put on, that face seemed even more dauntless. He was tall and thin, like a model. Although he was dressed in girls’ clothing, his chest was flat, and he walked confidently and openly, with remarkably clear eyes.
Tang Cuo didn’t want to know the story of Mo Mo with Teenager Deeply In Love. Tang Cuo also didn’t want to know the story of him and his brother relying on each other or how his brother became a serial murderer, but Mo Mo somehow gave Tang Cuo a good impression.
This was probably what they called ‘liking at first sight’.
As the soul’s memory came to him, Tang Cuo carefully recalled Mo Mo’s details and contrasted them with the remaining cell phone tombstones.
He was a smoker, for a corner of a cigarette box was exposed when he took something out of his bag.
He wore Tom Ford’s Scarlet Rogue lipstick and donned a Tiffany bracelet.
His skin was fair and well maintained, but there were calluses on his hands. Looking at their position, it wasn’t the result of frequent typing, but the result of constant pressing by a pen. The two marks were slightly different.
A painter? A designer?
What else did Tang Cuo miss?
Tang Cuo thoroughly recalled his memory as his gaze swept over the many cell phone tombstones in front of him, and suddenly a bright light flashed by — what could be on Mo Mo’s phone screen?
When the scumbag stabbed him with a knife from behind, he happened to be standing at the intersection with his mobile phone, waiting for the red light. The second he was stabbed, he immediately turned his head and the phone fell from his hand.
At the moment the screen broke, Tang Cuo remembered seeing the phone’s screensaver, which was a picture. If the tombstone in this Cemetery of Souls showed their actual phone screen, then the tombstone that represented Mo Mo should have the picture that was displayed!
Tang Cuo couldn’t see clearly what was in that picture, but he knew the general colour and feel. It was a picture of blue and pink, and based on these shades alone, Tang Cuo was able to narrow it down to five tombstones.
He quickly ruled out each of them by the method of elimination, until only one last one was left.
The light pink sky and the baby blue sea covered the entire screen. This was a painting that had a calming effect, where the brush strokes were very soft and the subject was simple but not monotonous.
There was only one memo in the phone, and a modern poem was hidden in it.
[It’s the pen that blooms in despair,
It’s the flower that resists the predestined journey,
It’s the gleam of love that wakes up,
And illuminates the scene above zero degree.1]
Tang Cuo claimed he was illiterate and never read any poems except those in the textbook, so of course, he didn’t know where this poem came from. But he could still understand its overall meaning.
Mo Mo was open-minded and optimistic. It seemed his brother and he were two completely different people.
What a pity.
Feeling a hint of sorrow, Tang Cuo drew his sword and neatly slashed the tombstone where the poem was displayed. With a “smash”, the tombstone broke into pieces, and Tang Cuo struck once more to split open the tomb.
A light immediately appeared, and amidst the flying dust, like the previous two times, a figure emerged in the light.
Tang Cuo was ready to fight, and before the light even fully scattered, he made a move first. As his [Sword of Judgment] glowed with the holy light, he fiercely slammed down, but the blade seemingly struck a metal object.
“Clang!” The [Sword of Judgment] was firmly held back.
At this moment, Tang Cuo finally saw the Boss’s face, and his heart shook a little.
“My great Warden.” Tang Cuo instantly pulled away and his hand that clutched the sword naturally dropped down, his thumb silently stroking the [Nightingale] ring on his hand.
His expression was undisturbed but his eyes were stern, which firmly gazed at the person that was walking out of the light.
“K27216, Tang Cuo.” Xiao Tong, with [Ruleless] in his hand, walked out of the split coffin in no hurry, his lips arching into a smile: “We finally met.”
“The honourable Warden must’ve forgotten, we just met earlier.” Tang Cuo replied.
Seeing his incredibly calm and righteous face that looked like that of a hero, Xiao Tong found it immensely interesting, so he couldn’t help asking: “Are you born with this?”
Tang Cuo understood what he was asking at once, and he said with an unflinching expression: “Maybe.”
Xiao Tong smiled and crossed his hands behind his back, still holding tightly onto [Ruleless]. He leisurely walked to Tang Cuo and tilted his head to look over: “You don’t need to be so guarded against me. If I wanted to hurt you, you would be dead by now. Jin Cheng should’ve told you that you have no chance of winning against me.”
“So what does the great Warden want to do?”
“To make a deal with you.”
Translator and reviewer at Strictly Bromance blog. In essence, she lives to indulge in plot-driven stories sprinkled with camaraderie and slow-burn drama-free romance, especially more so if they belong to adventure, mystery or supernatural genre. A trope that she always thirsts after: “Comrades who go through life and death together”.