Chapter 49: Fourth World (8)
Translated by Shiya of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Due to the accident just now, both of them were embarrassed. Bai Duan didn’t know what to do. Fortunately, Xie Yan didn’t plan to ‘take further advances’ at this time. After all, he was a fat man with low self-esteem, he had an instinctive cowardice in front of all the people who knew of his true appearance. Unless he really succeeded in losing weight, he could not actively express his feelings. What’s more, he was supposed to be suffering from a breakup, if he were to so quickly ‘move on’ and fall in love with another person, that would not seem consistent with ‘reality’.
With a sigh of regret, Xie Yan got up from the snow, then he patted the snow off his body, pretending as if nothing had happened. He also pretended to be clumsy in covering up his own confusion and shyness. Even his tone became stuttered, “Up ahead, those ruins, probably… our destination — should we go and have a look?”
“…okay.” Seeing Xie Yan’s evasive attitude, Bai Duan didn’t know whether he was relieved or disappointed, but he could only nod and tag along behind him. Bai Duan followed him to the nearby ruins.
The ruins looked quite grand. It wasn’t even inferior to the main cities of the demon clan and the human race respectively. They had no idea who constructed such a huge building in such a remote location where very few people would go to. Plus, this place was surrounded by danger, making it even more unimaginable. Yet, after going through the trouble, they abandoned it.
Pushing open the heavy door that was made of unknown materials, Bai Duan found that the temperature inside the ruins was much lower than that outside, so he shrunk his neck, earning a concerned glance from Xie Yan.
As soon as Bai Duan noticed Xie Yan’s gaze, he couldn’t help but remember about the ‘accident’ that he wasn’t sure if he could count as a first kiss. Then, he quickly turned his head to the sides and murmured, “I thought we were here to solve a murder. How did we take things step by step, but end up… becoming a pair of ruins excavators?”
“… Who knows how? This quest is so complicated. I think the hermit who was killed has been living in seclusion all this time just to search for these ruins, and he indeed found a clue. Then he was killed by some other people who were also interested in these ruins.” Xie Yan recalled a bit further, “Then, we also found the clue while we were tracking down the culprit, so we came here to this weird place to find out the truth.”
After all, as long as it was a quest, it was for the players to finish. So no matter how many things the NPCs discovered, they were only doing it for the players, at the end of the day, the players would be the ones that profited from it.
That straightened out Bai Duan’s thoughts, he nodded and said, “So what is this place exactly?”
He dodged the little monsters that pounced out from the dark, leaving them for Xie Yan, who was more powerful, to deal with. Bai Duan carefully examined the artifacts that were very distinctive on both sides of the wall. Since these statues were made, they obviously were meaningful.
A moment later, Bai Duan stopped and pointed at the wall on his left, “Here… The things carved here are showing the various tribes of the Ayakashi clan, the tribes seem to be gathering? And that side…” Bai Duan looked at the wall on his right and said, “That’s the human race.”
Xie Yan killed off the last monster and looked in Bai Duan’s direction, “Hmn, it’s showing all the occupations of the human race: swordsmen, assassins, Taoists…”
“However, only a small part of the sculptures are depicting the human race and the demons.” Bai Duan walked forward a few steps, looking at the sculptures that were divided into two portions by a huge column, “The sculpture depicts something like the demons, but it’s different — they all have wings, and although the demons have some non-human features, I have never heard of any tribes that have wings.”
“It’s the same here.” Xie Yan narrowed his eyes slightly and raised his hand to clean the dust and ice debris off the sculptures, “The people here look like humans, but from the tiny details, there is a… sense of transparency, maybe they are the Ghost tribe?”
Bai Duan and Xie Yan looked at each other in confusion, because at present, there were only two main camps, the human race and the demon race. They had never heard of a Ghost tribe or Winged tribe before.
“This ruins is probably a backstory for the game’s future update, I think? The name of the game is [Ten Thousand Realms] after all, just from the name we can understand the ambition of the gaming company. They certainly will not limit the game to humans and demons alone. If they only had humans and demons, then how could they call themselves [Ten Thousand Realms]?” Xie Yan shrugged his shoulders and came to a conclusion.
Bai Duan nodded silently and accepted the explanation, “So… this relic was co-constructed by all the races? Then what purpose does its existence have?”
For this question, even Xie Yan didn’t have an answer, they could only continue to explore.
The ruins were quite huge. Although some parts had collapsed due to a lack of maintenance, the intact parts of the ruins were all thoroughly explored by Bai Duan and Xie Yan. The deeper they went, the more certain they were about their previous speculations. This place was built by many races, and the reason seemed to be… to revere something.
At last, they stopped in front of an icy gate.
The gate was tightly closed and covered with thick ice. There seemed to be no way to melt it. Bai Duan walked up to the door, he just wanted to touch it, then he saw a line of writing appear in front of him, <>
Bai Duan’s mouth twitched, he had a speechless expression as he turned to look at Xie Yan, “What in the world is this?”
“…A system prompt?” Xie Yan was a bit caught off guard as well. [Ten Thousand Realms] strived to be as real as possible, the entire game depended on the players exploring on their own. This was also the first time he had seen something like this… something so abrupt and strange like a system prompt, something that seemed to be made in a hurry, just to inform players that this was blocked, something so lacking in sincerity.
Xie Yan took two steps forward, he squinted at the ice on the door. The realistic game world around him quickly turned into program codes. He saw that on the ice door was a very complex program lock, which was firmly blocking the next step of their quest.
To create such a highly realistic and large-scale game, the technology skills of the game company shouldn’t be underestimated. This program lock could most likely lock most people outside the door — but it was not enough to stop Xie Yan.
Xie Yan was an old wiseman who had traveled through many worlds after all. He had been to worlds that were even more technologically advanced than this one. Plus, his favorite acquired skills was his hacking skills.
After tasting the sweetness of hacking for the first time, Xie Yan just couldn’t stop. With continuous learning and practice, his hacking skill level naturally advanced rapidly. Although it wasn’t a legal skill, as long as the game was connected to the network, he could get infinite benefits from it and could actually very easily complete the counter attack.
So, this program lock was not enough to stop him. Although Xie Yan didn’t want to embarrass the game company, he worked hard to get to this point, yet a simple system prompt ended their quest? No matter who was facing this, said person would naturally feel dissatisfied. Moreover, he could not bare to see his sweetheart’s angry and depressed look. As such, he decided to show his skills at such a ‘critical moment’. All to win his lover’s favor.
“The door is locked by the program, but I have a way to open it — shall we open it?” Xie Yan hesitated and looked at Bai Duan.
Hearing Xie Yan’s words, Bai Duan’s eyes brightened up. Bai Duan was around eighteen years old, the exact age when ones want more chaos in the world. In addition, he was really curious as to what was behind the door. So he was itching to go in.
Blame the artefacts in this ruin! There was so much information about the other races and it aroused Bai Duan’s curiosity. Even with the old saying of ‘curiosity killed the cat,’ he still wanted to find out.
“If you can open it…then let’s try?” He urged, looking at Xie Yan cheerfully.
Xie Yan was so excited by his lover’s expectant eyes that he agreed without any hesitation.
This virtual world was made up from their consciousness, as such it could also easily be destroyed by it. Xie Yan increased his mental power and condensed it into a small bundle, which intruded into the program lock. Under the influence of Xie Yan’s supernatural strength, the program lock changed its shape and was dissected layer by layer. Soon, the technician in charge of monitoring the program lock reacted and began to block Xie Yan’s invasion and analysis. However, Xie Yan was better at it. He dodged the blocking mechanism and even blocked the technician’s attempt to reform the program lock.
The only pity was that this high-level battle between program technicians was done in complete silence. Bai Duan was watching, but he only saw Xie Yan staring straight at the ice door without budging. If his eyes weren’t attentive, Bai Duan would probably think that Xie Yan was daydreaming.
The battle between Xie Yan’s mental strength and the program seemed to be something that would take a long time, but in fact, it happened in the snap of a finger. Soon, Xie Yan showed a victorious smile. At the same time, the ice on the gate cracked and fell, turning into little ice crystals and dissipated in the air.
“Success?!” Bai Duan’s eyes widened in amazement, and his eyes looking at Xie Yan were full of shock and adoration.
Bai Duan was not stupid. Naturally, he knew that the ice layer was made by the game’s company. If Xie Yan could unlock the program lock set by the top talents of a gaming company, then that only meant his strength was definitely above those talents. Although Bai Duan had no knowledge on the subject, and he didn’t know that Xie Yan not only unlocked the program lock, but also blocked the other side, just this was enough for Bai Duan to worship and admire him.
Of course, beside admiration, there was also some sense of joy in Bai Duan’s heart. He was more and more accepting of the fact that he liked Xie Yan, who always made him doubt his own perception of aesthetics.
Even though the person he liked was not good-looking in appearance, he had a good personality, good cooking skills, was gentle and considerate, and he was also a computer genius. It was no surprise that he would fall for someone like that.
In other words, this just proved that he was not the kind of person who judged people by their appearance. What he valued more than appearance was Xie Yan’s inner self and his talent?!
…Hmn. If you ignore the fact that Bai Duan fell for Xie Yan before he knew of his talents, if you ignore that contradiction, then this long speech of self comfort could totally be given a full score!