Chapter 42: Song of The Wind (1)
Jin Cheng declared his return so blatantly and swaggeringly, but no one came to kill him.
Under the three laws, players who were not from Zone F would end up in jail if they entered East Cross Street. And it was almost impossible to replay the BS101 tragedy, because Jin Cheng wouldn’t fall twice into the same pit.
Everyone could only grit their teeth and prayed that he would quickly level up to Zone E.
According to information from the Ruby Bar, the people who had been released from prison so far were small shrimps that should pose no concerns. But there was one thing that made Jin Cheng very puzzled. When he was making this deal, he suddenly thought of the little girl Chi Yan was talking about and mentioned her to the Ruby Bar owner.
But the information showed that the little girl hadn’t been released from prison until now.
She was just a newcomer in Zone F and a teenage girl who couldn’t even restrain a chicken. She was murdered and got sent to jail, so at most, she should come out within a few days. How could it take this long?
Jin Cheng was suspicious but didn’t want to turn up at the prison himself, so he paid the Ruby Bar to keep paying attention.
After a day of resting, Jin Cheng used the Spider Silk to temporarily replace the strings. The harp was now repaired and the two started the serial mission again.
“Congratulations to the players for starting the hidden mission [Kingdom Hidden In The Moonlight]. This is a serial mission. The second round is [Song of The Wind]. Current number of players: 2, triggering two-player mode.”
“Please check the Mission panel at all times and follow the instructions to complete the mission.”
Just after the system announcement, Tang Cuo heard someone calling Theodore’s name before he even regained his eyesight. Feeling his brain not fully conscious, he opened his eyes in a daze and saw an unfamiliar face smiling at him.
The man with red hair as lush as cotton wool waved his hand in front of Tang Cuo’s eyes and joked: “Why are you sleeping here? The celebration is about to begin! A lot of people come today, it’s very lively. Do you hear the singing in the wind?”
Tang Cuo heard it.
Together with the gentle breeze, an ethereal and mystical singing flowed along, carrying with it a grace that seemed to come from a faraway land. Tangled in the singing was the sound of the harp and flute, mixed with the soft rhythm of the drum and guitar, as though all of this was a dance of the wind.
A transparent white veil floated before his eyes. It was a ribbon hanging from the top of a tall building, a milky white church-like structure that encircled this small bazaar into its own small world. Tang Cuo had been sitting by the flower bed in the corner and looking at the merry scene, then he accidentally fell asleep in this sunny, breezy afternoon.
He couldn’t help looking down at himself. He was wearing a cotton shirt with wide sleeves, with a white scarf tucked at the neckline, a black waistcoat, deerskin boots and a knight sword hung at his waist.
The [Sword of Judgement].
Tang Cuo tightly clutched the hilt of the sword with [Nightingale] still worn on his finger. But if it was role-playing, shouldn’t the ring belong to Lancelot? Why was it still on his hand?
Before he could think about it, Tang Cuo was pulled up by Red Hair. The two of them pushed away the ribbons and mingled with the crowd, going all the way to the jolliest spot.
Walking across the bazaar, they stopped at a wide avenue outside. Red Hair happily pointed at the parade floats and said: “Look, the Grand Duke’s carriage will pass by in a moment. We will definitely be able to see if we stand here.”
Tang Cuo didn’t answer, he quickly opened the Mission panel and took a quick glance.
[Kingdom Hidden In The Moonlight]
Second round: Song of The Wind
Main mission: Protect the Grand Duke
From an assassination?
Tang Cuo instantly made the connection, and at this moment, he felt a badge in the inner pocket of his waistcoat.
Green vines filled the background and two longswords lay crossed on top. This must be the Greenvines Alliance.
Was Theodore a member of the Greenvines Alliance? Then, when he turned up here, was he appointed by the Greenvines Alliance to protect this Grand Duke?
Where is here again?
Red Hair had been tiptoeing to look at the other side of the road, seemingly trying to find someone. After a while, he said to Tang Cuo with a hint of regret in his voice: “I have no idea where Lancelot went. I actually wanted to introduce you two. Theodore, believe me, as long as you hear Lancelot’s music, you’ll like him. It’s really the most beautiful music in the world. Maybe such a kind of music could only be born from a mysterious and remote place like the Kingdom Hidden In The Moonlight. It’s totally different from the music of our Principality of Flange.”
Principality of Flange.
Tang Cuo’s sharp mind instantly caught the key point. The Principality of Flange was the closest place to the Kingdom Hidden In The Moonlight. If this was Flange, it meant that Lancelot might have just left his hometown and started roaming around, and he hadn’t yet become the bard who was famous all over the continent.
If he was Theodore and Jin Cheng was Lancelot, where would Jin Cheng be? Tang Cuo also glanced in the crowd but couldn’t find him. For role-playing missions, the two’s main missions were most likely different, and it was hard to say when they would meet.
But Jin Cheng was extremely strong and Tang Cuo wouldn’t have to worry about him. His eyes swept across the unfamiliar faces in the crowd as his right hand kept resting on the hilt of the sword.
The parade floats slowly passed by.
Red Hair stood by the flowerbed on the roadside and looked into the distance. Finally, he exclaimed delightfully: “The Grand Duke’s carriage is here!”
The guards in silver soft armour marched in the front and a black carriage moved slowly behind the float. Sitting inside and waving to the people was the Grand Duke of the Principality of Flange, who had gray hair and carried an unsmiling, solemn expression, his aura exuding pure majesty.
The crowd cheered loudly.
Spontaneously, many people bowed their heads in respect and placed their hands on their chests, looking as though they almost wanted to lie flat on the ground. The Grand Duke also nodded at them, making Red Hair enormously excited.
“Theodore, look at this, this is our Grand Duke. Oh, I’ll always admire him. Praise Flange, praise this land blessed by the Divine Wind!”
Tang Cuo didn’t respond and was pushed around by the crowd that tried to move to the front to follow the carriage. Just then, he suddenly saw two middle-aged men on the opposite side of the road exchange a suspicious look, each of them carrying a magic wand hidden behind the robes.
Tang Cuo decisively called the shots and grabbed Red Hair to quickly retreat, and at the same time he shouted loudly: “Enemy attack!”
His earth-shattering voice made the entire guard squad alert. The crowd immediately turned amok and the music abruptly stopped. Their plan was exposed but the two middle-aged men didn’t choose to retreat, rather, they raised their wands high.
“In the name of justice, punish him!”
A surging magic energy instantly emerged from the wands, and these two were not the only assassin wizards at the scene. Tang Cuo quickly glanced across the crowd. There were two, three, four, five — at least six of them, all wearing black robes with hoods, holding their wands high up.
“What’s going on!?” Red Hair cried, his face a dumbfounded expression.
The guards responded quickly and formed a shield to prevent people from using this chaotic moment to approach the carriage. At this point, the magic attack struck and countless silver lights that looked like incredibly long swords with sharp blades scattered in the air. They all came flying down.
“Blades of Silver Light!” The one who stood near the carriage and had the most intricate armour was probably the captain of the guard squad. He called out the attack name and the guards immediately changed their formation, then raised their shields above their heads.
The captain jumped directly onto the top of the carriage, then he drew his sword out and slashed the silver lights.
Of course, there were not only knights but also a wizard in the Grand Duke’s guard squad, who sat in front of the carriage to act as the coachman. He immediately pulled out his wand and muttered a few words, and the tip of his wand lit up in a blink. As his voice fell, he raised the wand forward and a shield of orange light quickly expanded, blocking all the silver lights that hadn’t yet reached down.
The Grand Duke sat tight in the carriage, not even the slightest fluster seen on his face.
Tang Cuo frowned.
An assassination usually would adopt a precise fixed-target strike, while this kind of large-scale magic would make it difficult to achieve the purpose, unless the enemy had another backup plan. He couldn’t be bothered with Red Hair for the moment and swiftly blended into the frenzied crowd.
The chaos lasted for a while. Several assassin wizards decided to give up their Blades of Silver Light attacks and quickly retreated. After removing their eye-catching robes, they became just like any fish swimming in the vast ocean and disappeared without a trace.
The guards wanted to be on full alert, but they didn’t dare to leave the Grand Duke to pursue them.
“Keep going.” After the long period of vigilance had made everyone’s nerves stretch to the extreme, the captain eventually waved his hand to signal the squad to continue. At this point, a sudden turn of events took place.
A cold light pierced the Grand Duke’s carriage from the bottom. The captain standing on the roof didn’t catch it at all, while the wizard sitting in front cast a Freezing spell but could only stop the strike for a few seconds.
At the moment the Grand Duke’s life was hanging by a thread, Tang Cuo slid in from the side and swept his [Sword of Judgement] across. “Dang!” He forced the assassin to jump out from below the carriage.
Tang Cuo then rolled out from the bottom of the carriage. The man was so enraged that he immediately turned around and slammed at Tang Cuo, but Tang Cuo quickly blocked the move with his sword. His silver longsword was delicate while the opponent’s greatsword was wide and heavy, but the moment the two swords clanged, a faint brilliance like the moonlight suddenly glowed around the [Sword of Judgment] and instantly forced the opponent to retreat.
Was this the Holy Light of Judgement mentioned in the weapon description?
Having no time to think about it, Tang Cuo took advantage of the opponent’s weak moment to deal a blow at him.
The more times he swung the sword, the more easily he could feel the aura flowing in his body. It seemed as though the power that scoured through him when he first picked up the sword had made him stronger and faster.
This sword was alive. Between each breath he took and it took, the sword became more connected to the master’s mind, allowing Tang Cuo to command it freely and effortlessly. With this, even Tang Cuo, one who had never specifically practiced swordsmanship, could manoeuvre it smoothly.
From not far away, Red Hair had been nervously looking for Tang Cuo and was now having his eyes beam with excitement. The way he saw it, every knight should be like Tang Cuo. They should all wield a sword this neatly and flexibly without ever needing to use any petty tricks.
Tang Cuo was really cool.
He protected the Grand Duke, which made it even cooler.
But Tang Cuo was thinking of something else.
A wand was needed to release magic, but in such a fast-moving fight, it was too dangerous to abruptly take out a wand. He could die while chanting a spell. As the saying went, the villain died because he talked too much and the wizard died because he chanted too long.
But the [Sword of Judgment] was an enchanted weapon. Could it replace a wand?
Tang Cuo pondered the idea, but had no time to verify.
There was not only this assassin swordsman from under the carriage. One after another, other swordsmen jumped out to attack in sequence. The packed roads and panicked crowds gave them too much convenience. More wizard assassins also appeared, their overwhelming magic attacks exhausting the whole guard squad.
Tang Cuo gasped for air as he stepped back a little, but as soon as he retreated to the side of the road, a bell rang in his ear.
A brave and upright knight would never leave his companion behind.
Tang Cuo was afraid of being struck by lightning and died a miserable death, so he had to give chase again.
The Grand Duke’s carriage didn’t stand in one spot, for it would be equivalent to giving the assassins a perfect stationary target that was just waiting to be killed. The target of Tang Cuo’s mission was the Grand Duke, so he could only run with the carriage, killing while avoiding the enemies’ attacks, his long hair flying with the wind and streams or sweat drenching his back.
Only then did he realise that his hair was chestnut brown. But shouldn’t Theodore have long silver hair?
“Swoosh!” In the split second that Tang Cuo was distracted, a long arrow brushed past his cheek, almost leaving him with an awful scar. Tang Cuo coldly turned around to see another long arrow flying his way.
Tang Cuo cut off the arrow in half with a single fierce swing.
You can beat me, but not my face.
Touch my face and I’m gonna destroy you.
In a flash, Tang Cuo took out the goblin blade, located the archer and threw the blade exactly that way. Before he even knew if it actually hit the target, Tang Cuo caught a magic light from the corner of his eyes, then he backflipped over the roof of the carriage.
And “Thud!”, Tang Cuo kicked a man who was trying to climb into the carriage.
He then turned around: “Your Grace, please get out. It’s no longer safe here.”
The Grand Duke looked deep into his eyes and glanced at the sword in his hand. He hesitated for two seconds and immediately followed suit. Tang Cuo thanked him for his cooperation and carefully guarded him to retreat to the roadside.
At this moment, Tang Cuo saw a familiar face.
“Here!” He stood in front of a door and waved at Tang Cuo with a smile and an immensely familiar aura. Of course that must be Jin Cheng, whose current identity was the bard Lancelot. He was holding a small harp in his arms and clad in exactly the same clothes as the bronze statue in the small square, but without a hat.
Tang Cuo quickly led the Grand Duke into the house, and Jin Cheng closed the door as soon as they stepped in. Although his movements were fast, they revealed a calm and unhurried air, and he even had the heart to leisurely salute the Grand Duke.
“Good afternoon, Your Grace.”
Tang Cuo just wanted to kick him.
But let’s hold back the urge.
The three moved to the cellar, where there was a secret tunnel leading directly to the White Leaf District. Tang Cuo didn’t know where the White Leaf District was and Jin Cheng also didn’t explain much, but the Grand Duke’s expression slightly tensed up.
In his city, right under his nose, someone dug a secret tunnel but he didn’t know anything.
Before anyone could find out, they rapidly made the move and Tang Cuo and Jin Cheng closely guarded the Duke. Although the Grand Duke didn’t try to put on the noble air of a Grand Duke, he was old after all, and the longsword around his waist was pretty much just decoration.
The three inevitably slowed down as a result, and Tang Cuo took this chance to open the system panel again.
Main mission: Escort the Grand Duke and Lancelot to the White Leaf District.
He couldn’t help looking at Jin Cheng.
Jin Cheng tilted his head and smiled: “Hello, my name is Lancelot and I’m a travelling bard. Glad to meet 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”.