Chapter 17 – Cheng Huang Temple

Sponsored Content

The group wasn’t in a hurry to do their task, instead hiding behind a building to watch the veiled players buy tofu.

“Human, yao, and spirit players wouldn’t be dressing like that during the day, so they must either be special NPCs, demons, or ghosts,” Qingyue said confidently.

“How come?” Black Cat asked.

“Video games are about looks,” Qingyue said.
“What kind of player would wear that getup, unless they couldn’t show their face?”

“Video games are about looks?” Black Cat said, arching his back in shock.
“What do you play, dress-up gacha games?”

Qingyue pinched her face, then gave Dugu Zhuo an envious look.
“Wasn’t I tricked into playing by this game’s max level attractive characters in VR? After spending so much money on a helmet, I found out this stupid game actually uses your normal appearance lowered to 80%.
I’ve been putting my attribute points every level-up on my appearance, so now I finally look okay.”

There were six attributes in Nine Heavens, strength, health, spirit, agility, attractiveness, and will.
With each level up, each attribute would automatically increase by one, plus the game would give players six attribute points, which they could use to adjust their attributes how they wanted.

Once attribute points were allocated, they couldn’t be changed.
Since the game was new right now, no one was sure how best to allocate their attributes, so for the first few levels, they could only spend them blindly.

For example, Aotian had calculatedly spent his points on agility, health, and spirit, Black Cat had picked agility and spirit, following the yao race’s affinities, while Ye Zhou had picked will and spirit.

You didn’t often see a player who spent all their first points on appearance like Qingyue.

“Assuming Dugu Zhuo’s conjecture was correct, Qingyue’s point isn’t unreasonable,” Ye Zhou said.
“If these people really are ghost or demon players, and took some sort of task in order to appear in the daytime town, how come they’re lining up to buy tofu just like us?”

Ye Zhou emphasized ‘buy tofu’.
SInce Widow Yang was part of the main questline, why would a few players who could only come to the daytime town on a task specifically want to see her?

It was too much of a coincidence.
Ye Zhou and Dugu Zhuo shared a glance.

Sponsored Content

“I recall you once said the PC game had PVP restrictions in certain maps, so that players could not attack each other in populated areas like this one,” Dugu Zhuo said to Ye Zhou.

“That’s right,” Ye Zhou said, “but in the VR edition, they changed it so that players level 20 or lower can fight without restrictions.
You’d only be restricted above level 20.
Right now though, the highest level is… 18? That’s fast! Looks like we’ll be seeing the first embodied spirit soon.”

Naturally, the level 18 player was the lingzhi from earlier.
The top ten ranks on the leaderboard were all spirit players, and no non-spirits were higher than level 15.

Dugu Zhuo didn’t really care whether some players leveled up exceedingly fast.
He said, “Since we can fight below level 20, let’s give it a try.”

They had a party of five, and their opponents happened to also be five people, so they had an equal matchup.

Aotian held Dugu Zhuo back.
“Hold on, even if you’re sure that they’re players, what’s the point? I know you’re suspecting that they’re also on the main questline, but that’s pretty normal.
Everyone does tasks together, and whoever’s fastest gets to be first.
Instead of confirming their identities, we might as well hurry up and find the fortune teller.”

Dugu Zhuo shook his head.
“I just have a suspicion.
It wouldn’t hurt to try.”

Unable to convince Dugu Zhuo, Aotian said, “In that case, why don’t we split up? Whoever wants to can stay here and investigate that group, while the rest can do the tasks with me.”

It was a good solution.
Qingyue and Ye Zhou decided to stay and cause trouble with Dugu Zhuo, while Black Cat chose to complete tasks with Aotian.

Black Cat was a normal player, so he wanted to be the first to complete the questline.
Ye Zhou wanted that too, but he was more worried about his disciple, so decided to stay and back him up.
Qingyue’s thinking was extremely simple, on the other hand.
She just wanted to see what those players looked like under their hats.

Since the party leader had to complete the tasks, Ye Zhou transferred leadership to Aotian and the five went their separate ways.

When they had received their task from Widow Yang, other players had been unable to see their interaction.
In their eyes, their conversation had simply been about buying tofu, as the game company had placed a filter on them in order to keep the storyline secret.

In the same way, the veiled group seemed to be normally buying tofu to Dugu Zhuo and his party, so they couldn’t notice anything suspicious.

After the group mysteriously bought their tofu, they shared a few glances and sent a few private messages, then left the stand.

Sponsored Content

They didn’t seem to know where to head next, and after picking a random direction, started questioning the first NPC they met.

In a deserted alleyway, Ye Zhou quietly drew his weapon.

His sword was powerful, so Ye Zhou was confident he could destroy their clothes in one hit and reveal their true appearances.

However, Dugu Zhuo held his hand down.

Ye Zhou gave Dugu Zhuo a confused look.
Dugu Zhuo had suggested this attack, and now the time was ripe, yet he was preventing Ye Zhou from acting.

“I want to see where their mission goal is,” Dugu Zhuo said to Ye Zhou in a private message.

Ye Zhou accepted his explanation, and the three followed the veiled team as they wandered through Zhulong Town.
After a while, they heard a system notification.
“You’ve agreed to roast the perfect beggar’s chicken for the fortune teller.
The beggar boss at the outskirts of town makes the most authentic beggar’s chicken.”

It seemed like Aotian and Black Cat had already found the fortune teller and received the next task.

Each link of the quest chain led to another, making it quite a hassle.
In order to obtain one thing, they had to complete tasks for several people.

However, for each completed task, the players received a bit of experience, and the main questline’s quest rewards were good compared to fighting monsters or completing instances.

Meanwhile, the veiled team had asked half the town’s NPCs before finally arriving at a temple in the north side of town.

“It’s Cheng Huang Temple,” Ye Zhou said.
“Yesterday, I spoke to every NPC in town that had dialogue, but there weren’t any tasks relating to this temple.
There also aren’t many people in the area, so I guess human players can’t get tasks relating to Cheng Huang Temple.”

Since the other team had come here, the possibility they were demons or ghosts was now even higher.

“If they’re also doing the main questline, how come it’s completely different from ours?” Qingyue asked.

Sponsored Content

Ye Zhou thought for a bit.
“Assuming that that ghost I met was a player, we were completing the same mission under different roles.
Maybe the main questline they’re trying to complete is completely different from ours?”

“What do you mean?” said Qingyue.

“The task we received from the Tanye Temple was to help the Qingtian Sect take in the Xuan Sword’s wielder.
Maybe their task is to have some other sect take the kid away, or kill him?”

“But in that case, the main storyline would have two outcomes, so how would the game’s plot continue?” Qingyue said doubtfully.

They both looked at Dugu Zhuo.
Over these two days, Dugu Zhuo had displayed impressive insight and been spot-on in all his conjectures, so perhaps he would have some ideas about this too.

Dugu Zhuo didn’t answer, just looking like he was deep in thought and knew something else about the main storyline.

“It’s hard to say now,” Dugu Zhuo said.
“I’m going to find out more information.”

“How?” Qingyue asked.

Dugu Zhuo rearranged his clothes, making himself look even more distinguished.
He smiled at Ye Zhou.
“Don’t I look very much like an NPC?”

A light breeze stirred Dugu Zhuo’s long hair.
Ye Zhou, his heart thumping wildly, was unable to answer in time.
Instead, Qingyue answered, “You look uncannily so!”

“Then let me give my NPC act a shot,” Dugu Zhuo said.

Before the veiled team entered Cheng Huang Temple, Dugu Zhuo hopped over the wall into the courtyard.

A temple usually had a main and side entrance, so Dugu Zhuo was familiar with the way Cheng Huang Temple was constructed.
He found the back door to the main hall and slipped inside.

Sponsored Content

Cheng Huang Temple wasn’t as lively as Tanye Temple, with only one person sweeping the main hall.
It was a bit like Tanye Temple at nighttime.

There was a huge sealed gate in the back courtyard, making Dugu Zhuo think of how Aotian and Qingyue had said their friend was stuck behind a large gate during the day.

Seeing the other team was now hesitating outside the temple hall, Dugu Zhuo thrust out a palm and slammed the main doors shut.

The attendant who was sweeping the floor was startled and looked toward Dugu Zhuo.
“Young hero, outsiders may not enter the main hall.”

The NPCs in the game all referred to human players as “young hero”.
“I am not a young hero,” Dugu Zhuo said.

The attendant froze for a moment.
Staring at Dugu Zhuo, he seemed to be confused about his own perception.
After a long while, he finally said, “Lord Cheng Huang presides over this place.
Outsiders may not enter.”

Thinking back to how closely this storyline resembled his own life, Dugu Zhuo released some of his sword aura and said, “This one is Dugu Zhuo, the Xuan Sword’s wielder.”

“The Xuan Sword’s wielder? This…” The NPC was completely incoherent, apparently not knowing how he should identify this man before him.
He threw down his broom, holding his head and seeming to be in pain.

Dugu Zhuo had found out while interacting with the old monk that his presence seemed to be able to call over people from his own world and influence the NPCs of this world.

He assumed that this attendant was important in the demons and ghosts completing the main questline, so he was curious what would come of him revealing his identity before this NPC.

“No, it can’t be Dugu Zhuo, Xiao Bao is only ten, Dugu Zhuo shouldn’t be…” the NPC babbled.

“This town is divided between night and day due to the torch dragon’s curse.
The Tanye Temple wishes for the Qingtian Sect to take away the future Xuan Sword wielder.
What do you people want?” Dugu Zhuo asked.

As if he had heard some kind of keyword, the attendant’s behavior improved slightly.
He stared blankly at Dugu Zhuo.
“The Xuan Sword’s wielder is meant to be taken by the Qingtian Sect.
We only wanted the future Xuan Sword wielder to be more suited to the wicked qi of the Nine Desires Abyss.”

“How?” Dugu Zhuo said, gripping the attendant’s shoulder.

“I’m not sure.” The attendant shook his head.
“In any case, right now we must make the Xuan Sword wielder’s mother die an unkind death in hatred and resentment.”

点击屏幕以使用高级工具 提示:您可以使用左右键盘键在章节之间浏览。

You'll Also Like