Chapter 135: The Card
The more Tang Cuo walked forward, the wronger he felt. There lingered a feeling of being peeked at, so much so that even his soul felt a chill creeping up.
After coming to Yong Ye City for a while, his ability to feel the ‘soul’’s existence was getting stronger and stronger. He sometimes thought that this might be because his body had already died by the time he got to this world, and it was only the soul that entered Yong Ye City.
Coming back to the main business, Tang Cuo kept an eye on everything, but instead of putting up a noisy entrance, he directly set off a signal flare. The flare turned into fireworks in the night sky, making it particularly eye-catching.
“Tang ge, who are you signalling to? Is Jin Cheng finally coming over?” Qian Wei’s words were filled with excitement.
“Wait.” Tang Cuo didn’t explain much and continued to check the remnants of the living corpses that scattered around, making it difficult to figure out what he was doing.
About ten minutes later, a spatial rift suddenly emerged at the long street before them and Leng Miao walked out of it. He looked rather worn out, his expression grim.
“Found him?” Tang Cuo went straight to the point.
Roughly two hours ago, Leng Miao left the Ruby Bar and acted alone, but the two sides also agreed to communicate with a signal flare if there was an emergency.
“Zone B. Fortune Teller Yan Ye. Jin Cheng and Rong Yi are both there.” Leng Miao was stingy with his words as usual. Actually, he just barely arrived in Zone B and didn’t know the specific circumstance yet; he only saw a huge battle taking place.
Yan Ye had always kept her identity well-hidden, but she should be able to withstand a joint attack from Jin Cheng and Rong Yi. As for how she actually looked like, it didn’t matter to Leng Miao.
He wanted to intervene, but at that moment, he saw the flare. Luckily, the flare produced by 10086 was big and eye-catching enough for him to see it all the way from Zone B.
After unexpectedly receiving some news from Jin Cheng, Tang Cuo’s heart eased a little, but the next instant, he said with a serious face: “I suspect that someone is spying on me. You walk in the direction where the living corpse came from. Let’s act separately.”
Leng Miao didn’t ask much. After giving a cold nod, he walked away. In this particular aspect, he was undoubtedly an excellent partner.
“Let’s go.” Tang Cuo took Qian Wei to the other side, and the two quickly went their separate ways, leaving Scarlet behind them with a moment of hesitation.
“You said he noticed something?” Scarlet asked.
“Maybe.” Jiang He gave an ambiguous answer.
Scarlet didn’t care much either, for in any case, no matter what Jiang Ha said, she wouldn’t completely believe him. She only asked him out of old habits, not to mention, it was fun to tease Jiang He.
In the end, Scarlet chose to follow Leng Miao, because she wanted to find the little girl first.
Very soon, Tang Cuo found that the feeling of being peeked upon was slowly fading away, and after he had walked a certain distance, it entirely disappeared. But Tang Cuo was still very cautious. As they passed another street, he brought Qian Wei into a dark alley, climbed into a nearby residential building in the alley through a small window, then left from the other side of the building.
Following Tang Cuo left and right, Qian Wei almost felt his head spinning. By the time they returned to the main road, he could only scratch his head, having absolutely no idea where he was.
Tang Cuo looked as though he had a map loaded in his mind. After determining a single direction, he moved forward unwaveringly. Qian Wei looked at his stern face and wanted to ask, but after thinking about it, he decided to shut up —
Bad things come from your own mouth, Qian Wei, you must remember!
But after only ten minutes after walking out there, Qian Wei was stupefied by the loud sound in the distance: “F**k, what’s going over there!?”
Tang Cuo also frowned. In order to completely get rid of all the eyes that were on him, Tang Cuo had taken a long detour. Although he would still end up heading in the original direction, he was quite a bit of distance away. Yet, it was in that direction that a huge commotion was heard at this moment.
He had no idea who was actually fighting with whom.
Now that Tang Cuo had chosen to sneak behind the opponent’s back, he certainly had to make full use of this tactic. Together with Qian Wei, Tang Cuo rushed to the scene, but they didn’t get too close. Instead, he chose to hide at a secluded spot to peek at the situation.
This was the commercial street of Zone E. The center of the battle was the department store with a huge picture of a lady dressed in Republican style. The two sides of the battle, Scarlet and Leng Miao, were fighting at the top of the department store.
Both of them possessed one skill — ‘Levitation’.
Leng Miao’s ‘Levitation’ came from his ability to manipulate space, but no one knew where Scarlet got this ability from. Tang Cuo hid on the roof of a Bath & Massage center in the southwest of the department store, shielding himself behind a huge water tank. He looked around; it was a very chaotic battle.
The department store was often a gathering place for players. As Scarlet and Leng Miao fought here, the place had turned into a mess. In the department store and on the streets, there were players simultaneously looking up, either panicking, feeling angry or caught in lots of thoughts.
Very soon, riots broke out inside the department store.
Leng Miao wasn’t Scarlet’s opponent. He was able to hold her temporarily, but there was no way he could defeat her. Even when Scarlet was resisting Leng Miao, she still had enough energy left to attack the players below.
The living corpses reappeared, and their goal was clear — it was a certain person in the department store.
That little girl!
Tang Cuo’s face turned a tad solemn as his eyes scanned through the crowd again. He didn’t see Wen Xiaoming, but spotted Jiang He. From there, he figured it should be Scarlet and Jiang He who just tailed behind and spied on him just now.
They were really working together.
And if Scarlet and Jiang He were old acquaintances, according to his earlier deduction, it was 100% certain that the person who hid away the phylactery was Jiang He. Scarlet, Jiang He, the little girl, the phylactery, when these four words turned up at the same time…
At this moment, Scarlet’s unique voice that carried with it a hint of hoarseness resounded in the air: “Jiang He, now it’s time for you to choose. I’ll give you one last chance.”
The instant these words came out, the players were all stunned.
“How does this have something to do with Jiang He? Is it the Jiang He that I’m thinking about?”
“What sort of shocking scandal is this…”
Amidst the loud commotion, Jiang He looked up at the mermerising deep red figure in the air, his face a gloomy expression. Scarlet was forcing him to choose either her or Zheng Yingying. This was a deadly proposition.
He didn’t answer, so Scarlet said again: “If you turn around now, I can forgive you for everything you’ve done.”
The players looked at each other, unable to adapt to the sudden twist of the situation, which had turned into a romance drama. The player standing near Jiang He finally understood that Jiang He was the ‘male lead’, but he didn’t dare to ask anything, and neither did he move an inch.
Jiang He’s expression turned darker and darker, and the emotions in those eyes as he gazed at Scarlet were complicated, but he didn’t show even a hint of hesitation or struggle.
He turned and walked towards the department store.
“Jiang, He!” Scarlet laughed angrily, and a deep red ray of light plummeted from the sky, aiming straight for the crown on Jiang He’s head. But the next second, Jiang He’s figure disappeared, making the ray of light pierce through the long black cobblestone street, but not a drop of blood was left behind.
Just as Scarlet was about to make another move, Leng Miao’s magic arrived again.
How could Leng Miao tolerate Scarlet’s contempt over and over again and the way she was so distracted even in the middle of their fight? Dr. Leng felt that this absolutely shouldn’t be allowed.
But at this point, Scarlet was invincible, and being provoked so badly by Jiang He, she went berserk.
Countless scarlet rays blew up at the same time. Like flowers that suddenly blossomed and with Scarlet as their center, they struck the surrounding area indiscriminately.
Such attacks were almost impossible to defend against. No matter how fast Leng Miao hid, one of the rays still pierced through his shoulder, and his blood spurted high up the air. Needless to say, the players below had no way to fight against these and suffered lots of casualties.
No, it wasn’t correct to say that all of Scarlet’s attacks carried corpse poison with them. Rather, she herself was the poison. All the dead players turned into living corpses, while the department store was horribly sieved by the rays, turning the whole scene into an absolutely miserable sight.
“Motherf**ker —” Qian Wei was so scared that he covered his mouth, his eyes widened, but he only had the nerve to scream silently in his heart.
It’s scary, this woman is too scary. And it was scarier that these attacks still hadn’t yet come to an end; this was just the beginning. Those hands with bright red nail polish and that gorgeous, alluring red dress were about to become the deepest nightmare in everyone’s hearts.
She was still laughing, her voice a tad hoarse, added with a tinge of roughness.
“Do you think that I didn’t level up in the whole year I was stuck in jail?” As her voice fell, she stretched out her hand to gently twist a red thread from the air, then simply pulled it.
Leng Miao lowered his head in amazement to find that his hands and feet had unknowingly been entangled with a red thread.
“Go to hell.” As Scarlet’s eyes gleamed with a menacing flash, the red thread in her hand was pulled straight. The next second, she slammed Leng Miao against the department store.
The more Leng Miao struggled, the tighter the red thread was tied, so much so that he couldn’t even call out his ‘Mega Rift’ skill.
“Crack!” His black figure smashed through the roof and shattered all the tiles on the second floor, and only then did he stop falling further.
Leng Miao’s body twitched and he spat out a mouthful of blood. Seeing that the rays would soon hit again, a cloud of black mist burst out from the side to rescue him.
At the same time, another signal flare flew from the edge of Zone E, near the central area.
As though she didn’t hear it at all, Scarlet’s pupils turned into a shade of deep red, but no longer did she bother about Leng Miao. Rather, step by step, she walked towards Zheng Yingying, who had appeared beside the escalator on the second floor.
“Tell me, where’s the thing that Jiang He gave you?”
Every word that Scarlet uttered was so heavy that it struck Zheng Yingying’s heart hard, making her body that had been wounded after being sieged by the living corpses look as if it might collapse any moment now.
But she was in a good mood, because in the end, Jiang He had chosen her.
“You want to know?” She asked back.
Scarlet snorted coldly and her five fingers opened slightly, but just as she was about to catch Zheng Yingying, Jiang He appeared in front of the girl again, blocking her entirely. As the two stood face to face, a crack was formed in the middle, growing larger as each second passed.
The entire department store was crumbling, but the people who were still inside had no time to care.
“Are you betraying me again because of her?” Scarlet’s eyes clearly revealed her frantic killing intent.
“You still don’t get it…” Jiang He clenched his fists, but halfway through the sentence, he was suddenly discouraged. Because it is useless and unnecessary to say anything. The person in front of him would never understand, she would never admit that —
A year ago, he didn’t betray her.
But was it important to know who first wanted to kill the other? What was important was the present.
“Scarlet, no matter how the past was, I indeed am betraying you now.” Jiang He drew out his assassin scimitar: “If you want to kill her, kill me first.”
Scarlet: “Do you think I can’t do it!? “
“No, you can. From the beginning, you have always been able to.”
“Jiang He, you are forcing me.”
Jiang He stopped answering. All that should be said had been said, and all that should be done had been done. The previous Scarlet wouldn’t turn back for him, and the current Scarlet wouldn’t either.
They could only fight to death.
Standing behind him, Zheng Yingying heard Jiang He’s words: “I’ll stop her and let Leng Miao take you away. Remember what I said, go to Jin Cheng and Tang Cuo.”
“No!” Zheng Yingying reached out and grabbed him subconsciously, but only ended up clutching a fleeting corner of his clothes. Jiang He started the fight first, and like the rain and the wind, in an instant, the black mist blocked everyone’s sight, turning the surrounding area into vagueness.
In the middle of pitch blackness, a tinge of red was flowing. Black and red colours tangled together in one place, stunning yet dangerous, making it almost impossible to see what was inside. The occasional gust of wind that spilled out of it easily cut off the pillars of the department store.
Amidst the rumbling sound, the broken slabs and bricks continued to fall down, and the escalator also broke. The ceiling collapsed in its entirety, but no light permeated through it.
“Let’s go!” In the darkness, Leng Miao grabbed Zheng Yingying’s hand and pulled her into the spatial rift. Obviously, he also got Jiang He’s secret message.
But with a flip of her hand, Zheng Yingying stabbed the back of Leng Miao’s hand, forcing him to let go. She stumbled back out of the rift and yelled in Scarlet’s direction: “Don’t you want the card? Jiang He gave it to me. Only I know where it is!”
There was a faint red glow amidst the black mist. The next second, it swept towards Zheng Yingying.
Leng Miao stared at the little mad girl and quietly wished to just knock her over, but thinking about the meaning of her words, he still decided to take the right action. Jiang He was also here with him to stop Scarlet, but Jiang He was in a very bad state at this point, panting hard and his hair a mess, with a few bloody wounds on his body.
“Say it.” Scarlet was also injured, but her state was obviously better than the other two.
“You let us leave first, then I’ll tell you.” Zheng Yingying’s gaze was fixed on her. Although her legs trembled under the pressure of Scarlet’s aura, her eyes were as sharp as ever.
Such eyes made Scarlet very annoyed, and she couldn’t help but think of the sentence that Jiang He said earlier: “She’s like you.”
At most, she’s just an inferior lookalike!
“I’m not discussing conditions with you.” Scarlet threw out a red thread and wrapped it around the only pillar that was still standing upright on the second floor. With a light pull, the pillar cracked and rammed towards the three of them.
Jiang He hurriedly shielded Zheng Yingying and withdrew, but Zheng Yingying suddenly laughed. There was mockery, glee, yet also gloat in that laughter.
“If you don’t chase it, it’ll be too late.”
Scarlet frowned: “What do you mean?”
Zheng Yingying pulled Jiang He’s hand away and walked up to Scarlet without any fear. Once again, she stood face-to-face with Scarlet: “I said — If you don’t chase it, it’ll be too late.”
This time, Scarlet finally understood what she meant, and her expression changed at once: “Who did you give the card to?!”
Zheng Yingying responded with a smile, her lips trickling blood and her left hand clutching tightly onto the [Nameless Blade]. Her right hand swept across the knife’s blade, and, as she let the sharp blade cut through her palm, blood dripped out. The cut was so deep that her knuckles had turned all white, and each word she said carried such unfathomable killing intent.
“I curse you.”
Scarlet suddenly sensed something bad and wanted to stop her, but the deal had been made. The red energy of the curse rushed out of the dagger and condensed into a mysterious circular formation in front of Zheng Yingying, which quickly charged towards Scarlet.
Scarlet retreated quickly but couldn’t dodge it, thus beaten into a shop behind her. With a bang, the shop collapsed, broken glass and dust splashing all over.
“You, must, die!” A mere curse formation certainly couldn’t defeat Scarlet. Like a poisonous snake crawling through the ears, her voice was terrifying, completely stunning people’s hearts.
With Zheng Yingying releasing such a huge move, her whole body shook and her face went as white as chalk, but before the poisonous snake approached, she gave yet another reminder —
“Cough, cough… Aren’t you going after it?”
Leng Miao and Jiang He stared closely at the direction of the shop, ready to face her. But Scarlet had retreated after all. Casting a sullen glance at the three of them, she disappeared into the collapsed wall in a flash.
She didn’t need to ask anymore, because the phylactery was inside a dungeon, and the key to getting in and out of the dungeon was the card, so the person who obtained the card would only go to one place — the game hall in the central area!
At the same time, Tang Cuo was rushing to the game hall at full speed, not hesitating to expose himself at all. He was running straight ahead completely without any detours. Qian Wei couldn’t keep up with him, so they split up.
The card wasn’t in Tang Cuo’s hand, but he saw Wen Xiaoming’s flare. It was the signal flare that rose from the edge of Zone E when Scarlet broke into the department store just now.
There were many types of signal flare produced by 10086. With fireworks as the signal, they were able to produce a set of combinations that conveyed different messages. This was the easiest way to send messages in Yong Ye City, where there was no communication network.
What Tang Cuo used to notify Leng Miao was one type, and what Wen Xiaoming put up was another. The signal Wen Xiaoming sent out represented — the card.
Wen Xiaoming had separated from Tang Cuo from the beginning, and the information he had received was limited, so he didn’t know the specific use of the card. Zheng Yingying also had no idea, but Jiang He had solemnly handed it to her and asked her to choose the right time to give it to Jin Cheng, which made it clear that the card was special.
She was keenly aware that this card might be the key to victory.
So she gave the card to Wen Xiaoming, while she herself stayed back to stir more chaos and buy more time.
Zheng Yingying only took a second to arrive at this decision.
“Boom!” Another round of fireworks burst into the sky.
The signal from Tang Cuo told the waiting Wen Xiaoming to head to the game hall.
There was a downside to this method of transmitting through fireworks, that was, it was easy to expose one’s position, and there was also the risk of the message being cracked. But they were caught in an urgent situation and Tang Cuo couldn’t afford any further meticulous arrangements. He could only fight for time with Scarlet.
There was only one card. As long as he could smoothly snatch the card and entered the dungeon, the scale of victory would certainly tilt towards him.
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”.