GOR Chapter 137: Truly Strange, Truly Strange
Listening to the dispute between Nicole and Qiao Qiao, Chen Xiaolian fell into silence.
Chen Xiaolian had to admit. Despite the harshness in her words, some of Nicole’s words had struck the nail on the head!
Truthfully, neither Nicole nor Qiao Qiao’s view was wrong. However, Chen Xiaolian had come to realize that he was facing a highly problematic issue.
This guild… what kind of path should it take?
From the moment their guild was formed, it was originally done to give them the authority to select instance dungeons – that was the most immediate advantage that a guild has.
But the truth was, things were not that simple.
The type that Nicole spoke of should be the most ideal form of a guild: Calm, rational, militarized, obedient, combat tactics – the Floating Angels that she was part of probably falls into this category of guild.
No, perhaps even Thorned Flower Guild was such a type of guild.
When necessary, sacrifices will be made. The Guild Leader’s position would be similar to that of a military commander!
Kindness cannot be used to control soldiers! 
As for Qiao Qiao’s version, it was an idealistic guild that prioritizes feelings, where friendship and feelings take the dominant position. Everyone will live together and die together… this type of feeling was certainly something good. However… within this perilous game, such a guild would face an infinitely high chance of being utterly decimated!
For Chen Xiaolian, he was originally in favour of the latter.
But now, he came to realize that things may not be that simple.
Their guild currently has only seven people.
If he was to consider who would actually go through with living and dying together, there were only himself, Qiao Qiao, Roddy and Soo Soo.
Although Xia Xiaolei’s relationship with them was quite good…they have only just met a while ago. In addition, he was too young. He might impulsively offer up his life in the heat of the moment… but to accept something like this would be too immoral.
As for Lun Tai and Bei Tai, despite having obtained their trust and their recognition as a Guild Leader, Lun Tai and Bei Tai were only viewing them as ‘partners’.
As partners in the field of battle, they would have a cooperative relationship and fight together.
However, they have yet to reach the point where they would live and die together.
If this guild were to progress according to Qiao Qiao’s concept, then the current situation would undoubtedly cause Lun Tai, Bei Tai and even Xia Xiaolei to feel awkward.
Now that he thought about, Chen Xiaolian could imagine how awkward Lun Tai and Bei Tai had felt when Qiao Qiao and Roddy were adamantly wanting to turn back to find him.
Turn back to accompany him in death? Lun Tai and Bei Tai have yet to have such deep feelings for him. Back then, the two of them had remained silent. They had done so due to their sense of duty, but that does not mean they were really willing.
If such an incident were to continue occurring, this guild will certainly crack apart!
Moreover, there was a very problematic and cruel question, one that Chen Xiaolian would never speak out on his own. Perhaps this question already existed within Lun Tai and Bei Tai’s mind, but was simply left unsaid.
If back then, the one to stay behind was not him, but Lun Tai and Bei Tai… would Qiao Qiao and Roddy adamantly insist on turning back to live and die together?
This question… just by thinking about it would cause one to feel a chill down their spine.
This was not a question that they would bring up, but would they not think about it?
“Enough! Stop quarrelling!”
Chen Xiaolian’s face suddenly turned grim and he spoke out solemnly. “As the Guild Leader, I will earnestly consider this matter. At present though, the biggest problem we face is to overcome this instance dungeon! As for what comes next, I promise that after this instance dungeon is over, I will make a decision on it. I will make a decision on what path of development our guild will take in the future!”
He walked to stand before Nicole and extended his hand. “Nicole, although you are just a temporary guild member, I am thankful for your suggestion. Incompatible way of thoughts comes from the difference in our positions. However, from an attitude point of view, I am thankful for your sacrifice. Yet, I hope we can first put aside our disputes and seek a common ground so that we can complete this instance dungeon together.”
“… I agree,” Nicole exhaled. “This is your guild, you have the final say.”
Chen Xiaolian glanced at Qiao Qiao and saw her maintaining her silence, showing her support for Chen Xiaolian’s decision.
“Now, let us discuss what to do next,” Chen Xiaolian gestured for everyone to be seated.
“It is currently six thirty in the evening,” Chen Xiaolian looked at the clock on the wall. “How is our current situation?”
“We are still on the highway. The distance to Saitama Prefecture’s Metropolitan Area Outer Underground Discharge Channel is not that far off. If we move out immediately, we can arrive at the destination by evening,” Lun Tai quickly said. “For the time being, we have no casualties and our team is intact. Our quest target is also secured… we also have a prisoner, that bald headed girl, Nagase Komi.
“This motel is very quiet and has no staff members. When we arrived, we found this place to be empty. Even though the facilities are intact, there is no one here. It is similar to the situation at the rest stop. However, we have yet to encounter any attack from monsters.”
After Lun Tai had finished his explanation, Nicole continued. “We currently face a problem. We have enough firearms, but insufficient ammunition. Back then, I only robbed a squad of Special Assault Team, not a military armoury! We now have less than one third in terms of ammunition. If we have to engage in another battle as intense as that from the rest stop, we will not be able to last. Not to mention, the hand grenades and grenade launchers have all been used up. We now only have firearms ammunition.”
“My rifle is an anti-material rifle and could be somewhat repurposed for heavy fire,” Roddy interjected. “However, a sniper rifle does not have enough firing coverage. So, it will still be lacking somewhat.”
“We only have one vehicle. This motel is empty and I cannot find any spare vehicles,” Nicole continued. “However, there is a good news… my Floater has finished recharging and could be used.”
That was indeed good news!
Chen Xiaolian felt relieved. With a Floater around, Nicole would be a real Floating Angel!
Ignoring all else, as long as she can display that powerful battle strength when destroying that Thunderstorm Tank back in Tokyo, their team would have obtained a very strong supporter!
“At the moment, we should still be ahead of the other participants of this instance dungeon,” Lun Tai added. “We have been staying here for over three hours. No other participants appeared. Though, I fear that our advantage has been reduced.”
“… I am sorry. This is all because of me,” Chen Xiaolian sighed.
“No, this was my decision. If anyone is to blame, then it is me,” Qiao Qiao spoke out. “I am the one who insisted on staying here and wait for you to wake up.”
“Now is not the time to throw the blame,” Lun Tai shook his head. “Besides… staying here and waiting for our Guild Leader to awake is something I agree with. Our team needs a leader after all.”
“I think I grasp the overall situation,” Chen Xiaolian rubbed his chin. “What about our quest target?”
“She is resting in a room. I gave her a tranquilizing injection,” Nicole shook her head. “I purchased it from the system. It is a strong tranquilizer that will put her to sleep for a few hours. But, we can wake her up with the release agent at any given moment. This was my own decision. However, it should not cause any harm to her.”
“As for that Nagase Komi, we did not do anything to restrict her freedom. She could leave at any time. However, that girl had lost her courage from fear. Even if we use a stick to shoo her, she wouldn’t dare leave us,” Bei Tai laughed.
“Then it’s decided,” Chen Xiaolian stood up. “Twenty minutes to prepare! Lun Tai, Bei Tai, search this motel and see if there is anything that we could use. If you find anything useful, just bring it together.”
“All right, we’ll check it out,” The two brothers, Lun Tai and Bei Tai got up. Lun Tai gave a strained smile. “However, we will only be able to find some food. We can forget about finding weapons. Japan is not like the US. If this is the US, just searching a few residential homes will net us one or two firearms. Since Japan is a country that bans firearms, we can forget about that. I’ll go look around now.”
“All right, I’ll have to trouble you two for this. Be safe,” Chen Xiaolian quickly replied. “Roddy and Nicole, you two are responsible for the condition of the vehicle. Gasoline, status, recheck them again. In twenty minutes time, we’ll head out.”
Chen Xiaolian looked at Xia Xiaolei. “You are responsible for bringing Takeuchi Mikiko. Right, that Nagase Komi… keep an eye on her. Do not be careless. If she is willing, then let her follow. If she is not, then that is fine.”
“She will definitely be willing. She fears being discarded by us,” Xia Xiaolei laughed.
“Actually…” Nicole suddenly intercepted, but then proceeded to shake her head. “Never mind, it’s nothing.”
Chen Xiaolian glanced at Nicole. In fact, he could guess what Nicole had wanted to say.
Nicole’s intention was not that hard to guess. She probably wanted to leave that prisoner, Nagase Komi, behind.
The girl no longer has anything of value to give. She does not have much battle strength and had confessed everything she knows. She would only become a hindrance if they took her along. As such, why not just leave her?
However, Chen Xiaolian himself was also a newcomer. He was far from being capable of doing something like this that Nicole, who had survived while being tempered by the sixteen years within this game, would do.
“If we discard her and the participants behind us finds her, she may expose the situation of our team… as for killing her to silence her, I am not that cruel,” Chen Xiaolian directly spoke out those words to Nicole.
Nicole’s eyebrows were raised and she said nothing.
“All right, we’ll split up and move. In twenty minutes time, we’ll gather downstairs by the SUV.”
After everyone had left the room, only Qiao Qiao and Soo Soo were left.
“Actually…” Qiao Qiao opened her mouth but Chen Xiaolian shook his head. He looked into Qiao Qiao’s eyes and said warmly. “You do not have to explain anything to me, Qiao Qiao.”
Pausing, Chen Xiaolian then spoke out slowly. “If we are a battle-type guild, people will probably criticize you as being emotional. However… as you boyfriend, to have you run over to find me in when I was facing a situation of life and death – I am touched!”
“Perhaps we may never be able to do what Nicole advocated, becoming a paramilitary guild like the Floating Angels. However… that was never our original intention to begin with,” Chen Xiaolian shook his head. “Our only goal in this game is to survive! Not to survive alone, but to have everyone survive together! If we lose even one, that would be an unacceptable result for me. So… Qiao Qiao, you do not need to mention this anymore.”
After a moment, Chen Xiaolian abruptly had a thought. “There is a question. Why did no one ask me that question earlier?”
“About how you finished off that monster?” Qiao Qiao narrowed her eyes.
“En, could it be that none of you felt it odd?”
“Of course it felt odd,” Qiao Qiao frowned. “We all saw the monster’s corpse. How did you do it? Although I had wanted to ask, I saw that not even Nicole had forwarded that question. Even Lun Tai remained silent regarding it.”
After pondering for a while, Chen Xiaolian said. “I think I understand what they are thinking.”
Lun Tai, Bei Tai and Nicole were all veterans of this game.
Amongst veterans, there would surely be unwritten rules.
No participant of this game, regardless of Players or Awakened ones, would be willing to divulge information regarding their own strength. This was especially true in regards to their trump cards. Those things cannot be revealed lightly.
Those would become their greatest asset when preserving their life!
That was why, even though they were partners within a guild, Lun Tai and Bei Tai had never taken the initiative to reveal the hidden information regarding their skills.
Chen Xiaolian only knew that Lun Tai’s skill was of the Body Technique Division. It would allow Lun Tai to transform into a powerful berserking warrior. As for Bei Tai, his skill was similar to that of area control. It allowed him to utilize the airflow to lock the enemy and restrict the enemy’s movement capacity.
However, nothing else was known regarding the specifics of their skills: Skill class, skill restriction etc.
Since Lun Tai and Bei Tai did not say anything, Chen Xiaolian was smart enough to not ask.
That was because they have yet to become true friends who have gone through life and death together. They have yet to reach that point where they could open their hearts toward each other without reservation.
Presently, they have only accepted each other as partners. However, they have yet to reach the point where they would entrust their life to each other.
After all, this guild of theirs was newly formed. Furthermore, this instance dungeon was the first time that they were participating as partners.
Lun Tai and Bei Tai’s former Guild Leader, Nangong  had obviously known about their skills. However… the present Chen Xiaolian had yet to attain the level of trust and position that Guild Leader Nangong had with them.
Vice versa, Lun Tai and Bei Tai were sensible enough to not ask Chen Xiaolian what his secret was – how he finished off the monster, what skill did he use. They did not ask these questions.
As of now, the only skills Chen Xiaolian was informed of was those of his best friends.
Roddy possessed the Mechanical Heart and was capable of controlling all electronics and machinery. However, it was restricted by the class of the skill.
Soo Soo possessed the blazing Phoenix skill and a body of the fire element.
Xia Xiaolei was a humanoid discount card with Extrasensory Perception, which enhanced the area of detection for his radar. (Everyone’s radar faced a restriction within this instance dungeon. Thus, this Extrasensory Perception becomes unusable within this Japan instance dungeon. This has greatly reduced Xia Xiaolei’s capabilities.)
As for Qiao Qiao…
Her skill was the most special amongst them!
Her skill was known as: Child of Darkness.
“Truthfully, this technological type instance dungeon is a big disadvantage for you,” Chen Xiaolian forced out a smile. “However, I really hope that my girlfriend does not become ä monster whose body is filled with the power of darkness in the future.”
“You’re the monster here,” Qiao Qiao laughed.
A gaunt figure stood atop this symbolic structure of Tokyo, his black colored hair was ruffled from the high altitude winds.
A voice came from the headset.
“Yes, how is it?”
“Our advance team had been completely exterminated,” The voice coming from the headset sounded slightly mournful. “We have lost contact with the interception team that we sent out for over four hours. It is likely that they have all been wiped out. According to the last received transmission, we could hear their miserable cries and a peculiar sound. They have probably encountered a very powerful enemy.”
“Enough, there is no need to be worried about this matter,” The black haired man said indifferently. “Those people are nothing more than disposed pawns to begin with. Their demise is something that we have long since anticipated. At the very least, they did send back some useful information.”
“All right, you’re the boss, Guild Leader.”
“I have said it before, do not call me Guild Leader, I do not like that term,” The black haired man said with indifference. “We are just a temporarily established guild. After this instance dungeon ends, we will discuss about the future of this guild. For now, let’s just call each other by our names.”
“… but everyone highly respects you,” The voice through the headset revealed a trace of reverence. “Mr. Culkin, if not for you, most of us would not be able to pass even the first phase.”
“We’ll talk about the rest after this instance dungeon concludes.”
Culkin then slowly continued. “Don’t you think that our current guild has too many people? I do not want to create a large-scale guild. I want elites who are of use, only a small number would suffice. I feel that after this instance dungeon is over, only five to six people within this guild will meet my standards for being my guild member.
“Naturally, no matter what happens, you are the one I value most, Lei Hu.”
Through the headset, a trace of smile could be heard from Lei Hu’s voice: “I agree with your point of view, Culkin. I too, think that there is no need to have too many trash with us. Five to six people is enough to become the cornerstone of a guild… naturally, all must follow your leadership.”
“All right, has the monster chasing after us left yet?”
“It has gone back. However, our third team has been wiped out and their energy sources were seized,” Lei Hu’s voice showed traces of fear. “That monster… is too powerful!”
“There is no need to worry about all these. We do not really need those energy sources. Five is enough. Those extras will only be used as decoy to lure away powerful enemies. All we need to do in this instance dungeon is to preserve our strength. Then… survive out of this instance dungeon. That alone is a victory.
“Right, I actually do not intend to forcefully complete the second phase. If this second phase proves too difficult, I would rather give up and have us all enter the punishment instance dungeon. Trust me, I have a special method for the punishment instance dungeon.”
“Of course we trust you, Culkin,” Lei Hu then asked. “So, right now… do we give up on the quest target? And rest here in Tokyo while waiting for the second phase to end?”
“No, Tokyo is too dangerous. More and more people are transforming into monsters. We’ll move according to plan, leave Tokyo for Saitama Prefecture. This is a ‘mantis stalks the cicada, unaware of the oriole from behind’ game . Lei Hu, all we need to do is wait for an opportunity.”
The conversation ended.
Culkin’s clothes billowed as he stood atop Tokyo Tower, breathing in the view of Tokyo below. The city that never sleeps had turned considerably dark and the neon lights that were usually lit up at this time had already disappeared due to the ensuing chaos. Many areas in Tokyo were now in utter darkness. Occasionally, some light could be seen glowing, the light from flames that were the result of rioting neighbourhoods.
Culkin looked down upon the city, a smile forming on his mouth.
“Qiu Yun, you are a real idiot. A pity, you can no longer witness… just you watch, in the future, my current guild will surely surpass Meteor Rock Guild by a thousand times!”
A strange carriage was running madly through the highway in the night.
Under the moon light, the bald head of Tian Lie shone brightly atop the open carriage.
A thick cigar protruded from his mouth. He smiled as his hand held onto a whip made from wringed steel. The edge of the steel whip scraped across the surface of the highway, creating a long line of sparks!
Tian Lie laughed and sang loudly out against the night winds.
“Two~ tigers, two~ tigers, they’re so fast, they’re so fast, one~ has no tail~, one~ has no ears~, truly strange, truly strange ! Hahahahahaha! Run faster! You two trashes! Run with all your might!”
After saying that, Tian Lie flicked his wrist and the steel whip viciously lashed out toward the front!
In front of the carriage, a few iron chains as thick as an arm were tied around two monsters as they ran with all their strength!
The two monsters body were hairy and their huge bodies were filled with scars. They have flat mouths and square-shaped heads while their four limbs were very long and thick.
Surprisingly, these were the monsters transformed out from the ordinary citizens within Tokyo. They were mighty monsters specializing in running and jumping.
These two monsters appeared bigger and stronger than the rest. At present however, it did not possess even the slightest image of savagery. Under the ministrations of Tian Lie, they could only shriek out in fear and pain.
The steel whip struck the monster’s body, instantly tearing out flesh and blood! The two monsters could only wail out and put more effort as they pulled the carriage quickly across the highway…
With these powerful monsters pulling it, the speed of the carriage was in no way inferior to that of a car!
Watching the monsters wailing, Tian Lie laughed out loud and lashed out brutally with the steel whip again. Then, he sat back down on the carriage and took a deep drag from the cigar.
At the back of the open carriage lay a figure.
It was a female. Her appearance was hidden by the darkness and only a slim figure within an attractive flight attendant’s uniform could be faintly observed. Her figure curled up within the carriage and both her hands were handcuffed to the carriage.
Hearing the wails of the monsters, the female flight attendant also issued out a fearful cry.
“Little girl, do not cry. The whip did not hit you,” Tian Lie puffed out a mouthful of smoke. “You should feel happy. I have never liked killing women. Don’t worry, I will not hurt you. In fact, I will safely escort you to the designated location. You are the quest target for protection after all!”
After saying that, Tian Lie ignored the female flight attendant’s sobbing sounds and clipped the steel whip onto the carriage. He then placed his hand on his head while biting onto the cigar and continued singing.
“Two~ tigers, two~ tigers… one~ has no ears… truly strange, truly strange…
“Haha, my little Floating Angel, wait for me!”
Culkin, raw: ‘卡尔金’, pinyin: ‘kǎ’ěr jīn’.
Lei Hu, raw: ‘雷狐’, pinyin: ‘léi hú’. Lei means thunder, Hu means fox.
1 ‘Kindness cannot be used to control soldiers’. Raw: ‘慈不掌兵’, pinyin: ‘cí bù zhǎng bīng’. An old saying amongst soldiers. When leading soldiers, one can show care, but not excessively.↩
3 The mantis stalks the cicada, unaware of the oriole from behind. An idiom which indicates the act of reaping gains without realizing the danger coming from behind or in secret. ↩
4 Two Tigers is a Chinese nursery rhyme.↩