Chapter 35.2: The Commands (Part 2)
The figure wrapped in the fog was looming closer. He appeared at one place in one second and popped up several steps in front the next second. His shadow flashed around, making sure that no one could predict his next move.
Chi Yan’s Blast Egg only blew up the corner of his clothes and caused the fog to spread out. Other than that, there was zero impact.
Tang Cuo took out Meteor Rain without a second thought.
Within a radius of five meters, meteors fell down from the skype at a ghostly speed, finally shining a light on Jiang He from within the fog. He was really an average man with an average face, and even the clothes he wore weren’t anything slick, just equally average.
“Whoosh!” Jin Cheng’s arrow flew towards them.
Jiang He rolled on the ground and avoided the arrow despite the injury caused by the falling meteor. He threw out a rain of shurikens but wasn’t aiming at Jin Cheng, rather, his target remained as Tang Cuo and Chi Yan.
Chi Yan wasn’t able to stop the shurikens and his pupils shrank in fear, but at the very moment his life was hanging by a threat, he disappeared into an alley next to him with an excruciating 90° turn.
It was a turn so abrupt that no one was prepared for it.
The lights were so dim that even Tang Cuo didn’t notice an alley where only one person could pass at a time. After Chi Yan entered, he frantically tossed out more bombs.
One after another, the Blast Eggs came flying. “Boom, boom, boom!” They actually made Jiang He pause a few times.
Jin Cheng finally showed up and stood in between Jiang He and Tang Cuo, his splitting arrow forcing Jiang He to back down. Jiang He was an assassin, so when it came to fighting head-on, he couldn’t stand as Jin Cheng’s opponent and soon had his arm wounded.
But this had certainly proven a theory he had in mind about Tang Cuo: This person was very important to Jin Cheng.
And that was all he needed to know.
Jiang He risked it anyway and suffered an injury before he forcibly turned into a cloud of smoke. The moment he vanished, a firework ascended from the spot and exploded above East Cross Street. Chi Yan’s eyelids twitched as he watched it, but he knew that he would only drag his geges down if he headed out now. There were a few old wooden boxes piled up next to him, and he came up with an idea of covering himself with these boxes.
He had to hide now, then run away as soon as no one noticed him.
Actually, no one had forgotten about Chi Yan, because he was a small fry that no one remembered in the first place. But as for Tang Cuo, the moment he ran a few steps outside, someone jumped out of the window from the building on the right and almost cut off his nose.
Tang Cuo immediately braked and raised his hand to summon the Goblin Saber. “Clang!” His Goblin Saber stopped the opponent’s long saber in its path, a pressure so powerful thrusting down Tang Cuo’s arm that he almost felt numb.
It was a fierce man with an unfamiliar face. The opponent kicked Tang Cuo, at which point Tang Cuo swiftly turned around, holding the revolver in his left hand and pointing it at the opponent’s chest.
“Bang!” The man quickly turned sideways, but the close distance had him getting hit in the shoulder.
Tang Cuo had never underestimated the players of Yong Ye City, so even with his precise marksmanship and in such a short distance, he still chose to aim for the chest, a larger target area, rather than the head.
Jin Cheng came over and ganged up on the opponent with Tang Cuo.
In a fraction of a second, the vanished Jiang He suddenly appeared behind Jin Cheng with a dagger in his hand, aiming straight at Jin Cheng’s heart from the back. Tang Cuo’s pupils instantly shrank and he turned his muzzle around in a flash.
“Clang!” The bullet deflected the dagger, but Jin Cheng still suffered a gaping cut on his back.
As his blood gushed out, Jin Cheng’s expression was drenched in pain. Looking at the sweats streaming down his forehead and his stagnating movements, he must be trying hard to hold up. Otherwise, he could have avoided Jiang He’s attack.
“Do it!” The man with the long saber was Chong Yanzhang’s underling, Chen Liu. He was the one who had a dispute with Jiang He earlier. He desperately wanted to kill Jin Cheng, and seeing this situation, how could he even wait?
Jiang He opened his mouth and wanted to say something, but eventually no words came out. At this moment, a black cloud emerged in the sky, and a dark shadow suddenly engulfed the entire chaos, making everyone stop in their moves.
As Jiang He looked up, a solemn expression cast over his face ― it was the puppeteer Yao Qing.
He indeed came in person.
A mecha bird swooped down from mid-air, its huge wings spreading out like two black clouds, its target undoubtedly Jin Cheng. Chen Liu wasn’t amused by this sudden arrival and raised his saber.
Chong Yanzhang finally managed to shake off Miao Qi, and after a quick glance, he rushed over to stop Yao Qing in order to allow Chen Liu and Jiang He to continue fighting with Jin Cheng. As a puppeteer, Yao Qing certainly had more than one puppet. Several powerful puppets and the most adept players of Yong Ye City jumped at each other in a brawl so turbulent even the black slabs of the street blew up into pieces.
Jiang He felt a little odd.
What is wrong?
Something definitely seemed off.
Did Miao Qi, that psycho, give up so easily? Why didn’t he chase after Chong Yanzhang? And where was the small fry just now? Jiang He now remembered Chi Yan, then he looked over to find that Tang Cuo had slipped away.
Jiang He immediately chased after him, but couldn’t figure out where Tang Cuo had escaped to.
Was it left? Or was it right?
At the same time, outside East Cross Street, a panting Wen Xiaoming had finally caught up and was wiping off his sweat. The vaccine sat tightly in his pocket, but he didn’t rush in immediately.
He took out a yellow safety helmet and put it on his head. An antenna poked out atop the helmet, its tip flashing red.
“Di di di di!” The antenna sent out a signal and pointed in a certain direction.
Wen Xiaoming threw a Blast Egg in that direction and waited for it to blow up before asking: “Why aren’t you coming in?”
One man from the other group almost exploded and was about to scream “It doesn’t concern you” when another recognised that he was Wen Xiaoming ― Jin Cheng’s right-hand man, Magic Ball master, China Mobile customer service hotline 10086.
As a battle was on the verge of breaking out, Wen Xiaoming simply tilted his head and smiled. He suddenly pulled out a piece of grayish silver cloth to cover himself, then vapourised right under everyone’s nose.
“Quantum Stealth Invisibility Cloak!” Someone finally debunked the puzzle, then numerous strikes smacked at Wen Xiaoming’s original spot, but nothing happened.
Wen Xiaoming had already fled. He wasn’t good at fighting, but he was superb at running away. He pinned down the people lurking in the shadow outside East Cross Street while running and blew up half the street with a long string of explosions.
Those people were tossed off of their hiding places and couldn’t stay out of sight anymore, so most of them simply rushed into East Cross Street, planning to fish in troubled waters. The veteran players of Yong Ye City were always abundantly cautious and daring.
As long as the matter wasn’t settled, everyone had a chance to win.
More and more people joined in the fight. At the center of the battle, Jin Cheng and Chong Yanzhang finally faced off. Needless to say, Chong Yanzhang’s strength must be at least in the top 10 of Zone A. Although Jin Cheng’s was unfathomably strong, he was hit by BS101 and his strength must have been tremendously weakened.
“Crash!” Jin Cheng was hit by Chong Yanzhang’s punch and his body slammed into the corridor on the left, blasting a big hole into the wall.
“Cough, cough.” As he covered his chest, Chong Yanzhang jumped at him again. The two got into close combat, fighting all the way from the ground floor, the deafening sound of their strikes making the surrounding people tremble in fear.
Chong Yanzhang’s underlings turned around and started to stop the others to shield their boss.
Yao Qing snorted as he rode a mecha bird high up the sky. He decided to stop temporarily because he didn’t want to spend his energy on the random nobodies below. He stared at Chong Yanzhang and Jin Cheng with intense eyes, waiting for a chance to kill them both in one blow.
More and more people gathered around and their eyes were glued on the battle in the building, no one daring to lose track of even the slightest movement.
Jiang He still felt that something was wrong.
Too many people were here. Why were there so many people all of a sudden?
And what was that explosion in the distance?
Suddenly, a thought flashed through his mind and he finally understood why he had that uneasiness. He turned to look at Chong Yanzhang and Jin Cheng, who were now fighting at the top of the building. When he saw Jin Cheng spit out another mouthful of blood, he opened his mouth and was about to scream something.
“Bang!” A bullet stopped him.
It was Tang Cuo.
Jiang He looked over coldly and saw Tang Cuo in front of a window in the next building, his smoking muzzle aimed at Jiang He. Now that they were facing each other again, Tang Cuo pulled the trigger without the slightest hesitation and fired another bullet.
On the roof, Chong Yanzhang was looking forward to victory. He caught a glimpse of Yao Qing from the corner of his eye and seemed to detect a suspicious move. He said with a biting tone: “You’d better not come over, Yao Qing, or I will be the first to kill you.”
Yao Qing’s face turned white with rage, but he didn’t dare to make a move. After all, Jin Cheng wasn’t dead yet. Yao Qing had been especially wary of Jin Cheng, and he always felt that he would never be at ease without seeing Jin Cheng taking his last breath.
It was better to wait for Chong Yanzhang to kill Jin Cheng, then he would snatch the twelve movements from Chong Yanzhang altogether.
There were plenty of others who had the same idea as Yao Qing. Compared to the martial arts master Chong Yanzhang, they were more afraid of Jin Cheng, even if he seemed to be dying very soon.
“He’s got a trick up his sleeve!” Jiang He pierced the night wind with a shocking cry.
Yao Qing and the others frowned. They knew that the sound came from Jiang He and couldn’t help but pay attention to it. Was this Jiang He sending them a warning or trying to trick them?
Was Jin Cheng really planning something, or was Jiang He deliberately scaring them away so that Chong Yanzhang could get it all?
Jiang He never expected that this alert from him would give Jin Cheng some buffer time. Now even Chong Yanzhang had a moment of suspicion. In any case, everything had been set in motion, there was no way to back down now.
Chen Liu also shouted anxiously: “Don’t listen to him, do it, Chong ge!”
Chong Yanzhang no longer hesitated and threw a punch with all his strength. A golden aura enveloped his fist, and the clothes on his body swelled with the wind as his eyes burnt with an unbreakable desire. He was bound to win.
Just then, two lightning bolts struck, one coming directly at Chong Yanzhang and the other at Jin Cheng.
Chong Yanzhang’s expression changed slightly, but he quickly shattered the lightning with one relentless punch. He turned around to look at the man who had suddenly appeared in the air.
Zone A, E57456, Leng Miao.
No. 2 on Mr. Crow’s Blacklist, the Great Mage.
“I’ve been waiting for you for a long time, Miao Miao.” It was Jin Cheng who spoke first. He straightened up, the corner of his bloody mouth curling up: “How can you be so calm, Miao Miao?”
Miao Miao this, Miao Miao that. What a playful, nasty Jin Cheng. [T/N: In Chinese, the name ‘Miao Miao’ is homophonous with a cat’s mewing sound. Yes, Jin Cheng is calling someone ‘meow meow’…]
Leng Miao should be angry, but Jin Cheng’s sudden flip in attitude instantly brought a change to his expression, and at that very same moment, everyone here realised that ― what Jiang He said was true.
Yao Qing turned around and took flight without delay. Chong Yanzhang gritted his teeth, the coldness in his eyes becoming even more intense than before.
“I command.” Jin Cheng only said two words and the air suddenly froze.
A drop of cold sweat slipped from Chong Yanzhang’s forehead, and he looked at the thin, shiny sheet of paper in front of his fist in disbelief, his whole body stiff.
Leng Miao also recalled his spell with a calm expression. Just now, he wanted to open a portal to quickly leave this place but discovered that the space had been locked. He looked up and figured that the entire East Cross Street, and possibly the entire Zone F, together with all the people that had flocked here because of Jin Cheng, had been trapped for good.
Twelve movements. Jin Cheng could definitely do this. He must have already written the laws on the movement and been waiting for them to take effect. And he must have made sure that these laws could be allowed to take effect, otherwise, he would waste all his efforts till now.
Jin Cheng had calculated all these moves carefully. Everything had been delayed until this moment because he was waiting for Leng Miao to show up. Thinking of this, Leng Miao gritted his teeth, almost unable to keep the cold expression on his face.
At this point, the ethereal but creepy singing came pouring down. It was the exact same melody that Tang Cuo heard when he was facing The Wheel of Fortune.
“God, lambs and crow,
Had fun playing on the cliff together.
They sang and danced,
Flowers bloomed in the stone.
The god said, look
It was my flower.
One lamb ate the flower,
Let it go die quickly…”
Mr. Crow appeared amid the singing. He held his head up arrogantly and snorted as he saw Jin Cheng holding the movement, but he still said: “Player G79081, command your laws.”
Jin Cheng smiled as though greeting him: “Yes, Mr. Crow.”
Jin Cheng: “I command that: All players in Zone F, no matter where they are from, if they kill someone, a red number will appear above their head and show the number of people they have killed. If a murderer is killed, his jail time will be doubled.”
Mr. Crow: “Accepted.”
One commanded the law and the other passed it. At this moment, Jin Cheng seemed to belong to the same league as Mr. Crow. Everyone else listened in complete silence. Even if they couldn’t hold back their anger and were clenching their fists tightly, they didn’t dare to make any hasty move.
As soon as Mr. Crow’s “Accepted” landed, a red number popped up on top of almost everyone’s head. The number clearly exposed how many times they had gotten blood on their hands.
Almost no one from Zone A showed a number lower than three digits. Even Jin Cheng had one above his head.
Jin Cheng: “I command that: East Cross Street in Zone F is a safe zone, and no one will die within this safe zone.”
Mr. Crow: “Accepted.”
Jin Cheng: “I command that: Any player who is not from Zone F and carries a red number is not allowed to enter the safe zone. If they’re inside, they will be immediately sent to prison, and their penalty will be decided based on the number of murders they have committed.”
This time, Mr. Crow didn’t answer immediately. He glanced across the shocked faces of everyone with delight and let out an eerie laugh: “This is interesting, hahaha, the great Mr. Crow accepts it!”
“Then can I command one more?”
Today, the great Mr. Crow flipped his attitude as fast as usual.
“The 11th movement has been detected, the holder is G79081.”
“The laws are within permissible authority. They are accepted and will take effect immediately.”
“An announcement will be made to the entire city.”
With the system’s announcement bell ringing, the [Song of God, Lambs and Crow] spread throughout the city.
Some people looked up blankly while some people still couldn’t figure out the meaning of these three laws. The players at East Cross Street who managed to react in time couldn’t help throwing loud curses. But halfway through their curses, fate came to hunt them down, and one after another, they turned into a flash of light and headed straight for prison.
Leng Miao was especially angry, for he was made to leave as soon as he arrived.
In the blink of an eye, the entire cobblestone street was empty.
Tang Cuo leaned against the window and opened the character panel to see his HP’s upper limit dropping to 4. It might not be a lucky number, but it was a reason to celebrate nevertheless.
Whatever happened, he just refused to die.
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”.