GOR Chapter 218: At All Costs
Chen Xiaolian was stunned.
He was now in a clear dilemma.
This Countess had become overexcited. In fact, Chen Xiaolian could clearly feel that this young woman standing before him was showing signs that she was losing control of her emotions.
She appeared to be on the verge of an emotional breakdown.
Something like an emotional breakdown was something that would never happen to the Countess. However, today was a special day, and this moment was a special moment.
Before the break of dawn, she had come to this cemetery to bid farewell to a special person. Due to that, she was already feeling very sad.
Then, there were the stressful matters that were happening around her.
Finally, she suddenly saw Chen Xiaolian.
That was the straw that broke the camel’s back for her. At present, the Countess had lost control of her emotions.
Anger, fear, sadness, terror and various other emotions that she had held in check within her now erupted out from her!
As he looked into the Countess’ eyes, Chen Xiaolian hesitated.
Should I tell her… or not?
It was as though Miao Yan’s warning was ringing in his ears: Stay as far away as possible from my Exclusive Account!
At this moment, however, Chen Xiaolian could actually feel the pain that the Countess was feeling!
Just because …
We are NPCs?
All we can do is be slaves to the control of the Upper Plane?
Although he appeared to have more freedom compared to this Countess…
But… how much better of a state was he in?
Did he not still end up being tossed into instance dungeons again and again? Did he not have to struggle just to survive?
As for her… … she was in an even more pitiful state. She could not even live the life of an ordinary person.
She was just a puppet, a puppet.
A… a body meant for Miao Yan to enter into.
They were all NPCs!
Chen Xiaolian clenched his teeth and extended his hand to help support the Countess.
The Countess’ fingers gripped onto his wrist, refusing to let go. However, thanks to Chen Xiaolian’s help, she was finally able to stand firm.
“If you are so emotional, I won’t be able to talk with you,” said Chen Xiaolian as he shook his head.
The Countess’s eyelids were raised. Those eyes that were exactly the same as Miao Yan’s revealed a look of loss and anger – that expression was something that Miao Yan would never have.
“Can you talk to me? What can you tell me?”
The Countess was currently displaying a very weak side of her and Chen Xiaolian was also affected by those emotions of her… … especially the feeling of empathy as a fellow NPC who had no control over their own destiny.
However, Chen Xiaolian was neither a fool nor an idiot.
He would not blurt out everything just because he was feeling emotional.
Besides his friendship with Miao Yan and the fact that he had an agreement with her…
There was a more important point. Chen Xiaolian was well aware that even though this Countess appeared weak and helpless…
She was by no means such a weak woman.
From his previous experience of dealing with her, this Countess was not a simple person.
Sympathy… she was definitely not the type of weakling who would need to depend on the mercy of others.
The Countess looked at Chen Xiaolian and exhaled, “We have met before! Am I right?”
Chen Xiaolian sighed and slowly nodded his head.
Considering the fact that she had a sketch of his face, there was no need to deny that fact. It was something that he could not deny anyways.
“So, we really did meet before… … when did that happen?” The Countess stared into Chen Xiaolian’s eyes and suddenly burst out in a whisper, “It must be only recently! Mm, that is right! It must only be recently! The pencil marks on the sketch is very new. It must be something that happened not long ago.”
It appeared that she was finally getting calmer. There was no need for Chen Xiaolian to say anything; she quickly deduced matters on her own. “Also… … this is not the first time I am suffering from a loss of memory. Yet, I chose to draw a portrait of you. That means… you are extremely important to me! More accurately, the incident that made us acquainted with one another held a great importance to me. Thus, I had drawn out your portrait to remind myself!”
After saying that, the Countess sighed and stared at Chen Xiaolian. Then, she slowly spoke out, word by word, “In the end… … what happened between the two of us?”
Chen Xiaolian had a calm look on his face and he remained silent.
The Countess continued to stare at Chen Xiaolian. Then, her face suddenly changed and she said, “Could it be… … the two of us… …”
A slightly contorted expression appeared on her face.
Chen Xiaolian was quick to understand what she meant. He quickly shook his head and replied, “No, it’s not like that.”
“There is something that worries you!”
The Countess easily saw through Chen Xiaolian’s emotions and she slowly continued, “Clearly, you know of something. However, you are not willing to tell me now. There is something that worries you, something that troubles you, causing you to become unwilling to tell me!”
After saying that, the Countess’ eyes suddenly lit up!
“Just now, when you met me, you said… you came to visit me. But you happened to see me go out, so you followed me… …! If so, why did you come to visit me?”
Chen Xiaolian suddenly felt that his decision to come find the Countess was a bad idea!
He had been too hasty in making this decision.
“Just forget that I came, can you do that?” Chen Xiaolian gave a wry smile.
“What do you think?” The Countess sneered.
“Truth be told… …” Chen Xiaolian hesitated for a moment before sighing. “Even if I did tell you. It is useless… later on, you will still forget about them all.”
“You mean… my memories will still be lost?” said the Countess, her eyes flickering.
Chen Xiaolian sighed to himself.
He recalled the conversation he had with Miao Yan.
Even if I do tell you… you will still forget.
So… what’s the point?
“But still, I wish to know!” The Countess bit heavily on her lips. She abruptly yelled with all her might. “Even if I know that I will lose my memories after hearing it, I still want to know! It holds a meaning! Even if it is only a moment! At least, in that moment, I would have found the truth! There is a meaning in that! For the current me in my memories, that me whose heart is filled with pain and confusion would have found the answer!”
She took a deep breath. Despite her trembling body, she forcefully seized Chen Xiaolian’s wrist and said, “Please, please tell me!”
Looking at the Countess, Chen Xiaolian was suddenly reminded of himself.
He was reminded of the night when he faced Miao Yan!
“Are you willing to make an exchange?”
Chen Xiaolian sighed.
“Just say it, what do you want from me?” said the Countess with narrowed eyes. “I am willing to exchange all my wealth for this exchange! Anything!”
Chen Xiaolian frowned and he looked at the Countess. He asked, “Do you have that much determination?”
The Countess’ body trembled!
She suddenly loosened her grip on Chen Xiaolian’s arm. She turned to look at the distant grave.
“Do you know… … for whom the grave was made for?”
Her voice carries a deep feeling of sadness.
Chen Xiaolian remained silent.
“The one who is about to be buried inside there is named Schmidt. He was two years older than me and he was my… …”
Chen Xiaolian was momentarily surprised. He blurted out: “Your boyfriend?”
“No… … not that. But…” A trace of pain flashed through the Countess’s eyes. “He… he loved me a lot.”
Chen Xiaolian was silent. After a while, he whispered, “May I ask, how did this Mr Schmidt die?”
“I think, it must be because of me!” The Countess gritted her teeth and clenched her fists until her nails dug deep into her palm.
Then, she spoke with a depressed tone of voice.
Jane Brummel Norman.
That was the name of this Countess… naturally, as an aristocrat, and especially the descendant of the Norman family, her official name was longer than that. Generally though, that was how she was referred to.
The Countess was a typical member of the UK aristocracy.
She received an aristocratic education since childhood. Additionally, she attended the UK’s best public schools. In keeping up with the tradition of aristocracy, she attended an all-girls school.
After she graduated from the all-girls’ school at the age of eighteen, she began to take over many of her family’s businesses. At the same time, she also entered university to study.
The Countess had spent her entire adolescent life within an all-girls’ school. After leaving the school… … her beauty naturally caused a lot of males to pursue her with passion.
The name of the first victim was Rohart Dawson.
He was born into a family with a political background. His family could be considered as an emerging family of aristocrats. His grandparents had held offices in the ministry of the UK before.
During a social event, this Rohart Dawson became acquainted with the Countess. With an act that would shake the Heavens, he began to passionately woo her.
The Countess who had just left her all-girls’ school was like a little bird that had just flown out from her cage. When faced with those males who were arduously trying to court her, she became shocked. Additionally, she also felt vigilant and uneasy.
This Mr Rohart Dawson was quick to stand out from the others and was able to attract the attention of the Countess.
The reason for this was that he possessed a special point. He was a very outstanding polo player.
He had an extraordinary family background, favourable education, very good conversational skills, acceptable looks and expertise in polo. It just so happened that polo was the Countess’ most favourite interest.
Thus, Rohart Dawson was soon able to attract the attention of the Countess. They gradually grew close while their friends and family elders expressed happiness in seeing them being together.
Then… a tragedy occurred.
On a certain day, Rohart Dawson confessed his love for the Countess. Although the Countess had already agreed inwardly, she deliberately said: If you win in tomorrow’s polo match, I will agree to be your girlfriend.
Those words were simply a naughty act from the young girl’s heart. Which girl would not want her sweetheart to become a hero in the eyes of the people before moving to take her hand in full public view?
However, on the next day, on the day of the polo match, something happened.
Before the match began, the Countess had intended to go visit the stables to encourage her sweetheart.
In the end…
She lost her memories.
When she came to, the reality awaiting her was:
Before the match began, Mr Rohart Dawson was found lying in the stables. He died as he was on the way to the hospital. The cause of death was heart attack.
“What I could remember was me leaving the parlour. I was going to head to the stables… then, the next thing I knew, I was standing in front of a mirror in the washroom.
“My memory on what happened in between that was utter blank, a missing piece.
“As I was walking out from the washroom feeling confused, my butler ran over to inform me that he had been looking for me all over. And… … the news that Rohart had been sent to the hospital.”
The Countess coldly said to Chen Xiaolian.
That was the Countess’ first love and tragedy.
Before her first love even began, it ended.
This incident did not arouse any suspicion.
Rohart Dawson did not have a history of heart disease. However, no matter how strange this matter seemed to everyone, they could only accept it. Although his parents and relatives were in grief, no one connected his death to the Countess.
No one… … … except her!
She was the only one who knew that she had suffered from a loss of memory!
That was not the first time that the Countess had experienced a short-term memory loss and loss of consciousness.
However, she had never had such an impactful experience from it – until that time!
That was when she began to fear and doubt herself.
The beautiful young woman continued to grow.
Although the death of Rohart Dawson was saddening…
This young woman’s beauty was still capable of attracting the pursuit of other men.
Mr Beckman Hampson was the second.
He almost succeeded.
He was one of the Countess’ classmates from university. Their group of young people had gone on a tour and they were going for a hot-air balloon ride.
Beckman Hampson had prepared flowers and champagne in advance. He chartered a separate hot-air balloon with the intention of making a romantic courtship toward the Countess while they were up in the air.
Tragedy struck once again.
A fault occurred within the Countess’ memory.
She remembered herself going up in that hot-air balloon… in fact, she was ready to accept Mr Beckman Hampson’s courtship. Otherwise, she would not have chosen to ride in a separate hot-air balloon.
But, she lost her memory once more.
She remembered boarding the hot-air balloon, and then… … what she was able to remember next was her lying atop a clump of trees, seriously injured. A search and rescue team had saved her.
Two km away, the search team found the wreckage of the hot-air balloon and… … Mr Beckman Hampson’s corpse.
What happened during the hot-air balloon ride, how it crashed, how the Countess appeared on the ground…
She was unable to remember all of those.
After the police had conducted their investigation, they deduced that it was likely that the hot-air balloon had risen up too high, causing a malfunction to occur. The Countess accidentally fell during that time. Back then, the height was still not too high. Thus, the Countess was only injured and she did not die. The man then tried to land the hot-air balloon to save her. However, an operational failure caused the hot-air balloon to fly far away and crash. Thus, the man died.
That was the conclusion made by the police.
However… this time, the Countess did not only experience grief from losing her sweetheart.
There was also… … suspicion from others!
Last time when Rohart died, she was not found at the scene and no one connected her to the incident.
This time however, there were only the two of them inside the hot-air balloon! One of the two died while the survivor claimed that she had lost her memory.
At the very least, this argument was something that Beckman Hampson’s family was unable to accept.
The Countess’ reputation began to suffer from smears and people started giving her prejudiced looks.
Some suspected her of being a murderer; others suspected her of being a cursed harbinger of misfortune.
In short, after what happened that time, the Countess chose to directly drop out of the university – she was unable to endure the looks of perplexity and suspicion from those around her.
There was no one she could confide in regarding the feelings of pain, sorrow and fear within her.
The one to be buried today was named Schmidt. He was the third.
After suffering through two tragic experiences, the Countess began going for psychological treatment and counselling.
At the same time, she closed up her own heart. She dared not accept the pursuits of any other men.
She felt that she was a harbinger of misfortune!
As for Schmidt, he did not believe in misfortune.
Schmidt was a highly talented student in the field of medicine. He was a student to the Countess’ attending psychiatrist.
Once, when the Countess was meeting with her psychiatrist, she became acquainted with Schmidt.
It was only normal for Schmidt to fall in love at first sight with this astonishingly beautiful, yet melancholic and fragile woman.
He began to pursue her passionately.
This time though, the Countess had sealed up her heart. She was unwilling to open up easily for other men. Thus, she rejected Schmidt’s advances.
However, this young doctor was very persistent!
“Although I had refused him many times, he never became discouraged. He always showed concern toward me. I gradually lowered my resistance toward him. However, I was still unwilling to accept his courtship. I keep feeling that I was the one who caused my first two sweethearts to die. I am a harbinger of misfortune. If I am to accept a person’s courtship, then, that person would be cursed and he would die!
“Thus, I constantly refused to accept Schmidt.
“The both of us slowly became friends. One day, I finally confided the fears within my heart to him.
“He did not believe in it. He believed that it was just a shadow in my heart. He attempted to psychologically enlighten me. He vowed that he would cure my mental illness.”
After saying that, the Countess’ face turned bitter and she continued, “However… I am not sick at all! I know that I am not sick! There must be something important within the memories I lost! Yet, those memories are gone!”
“He… … how did he die?” There was a grim expression on Chen Xiaolian’s face and he gave a gentle sigh.
“It was a car accident.” Tears trickled down the corners of the Countess’ eyes. “One day, he invited me to dinner. I did not suspect anything and accepted his invitation. However, after getting into his car, he drove us out of the city toward somewhere far away. After I asked him about it, he said that he wanted to give me a surprise by bringing me for a picnic.
“When that happened, I became extremely scared! It was as though I suddenly had a premonition that something bad would happen!
“So, I tried to refuse him while I was in the car. I threw up a fuss and requested him to turn back.
“He became very dejected and disappointed. I can still remember his last words to me: Jane, do you really want to continue down such a path of pain and misery? All because of some shadow that might not be true?
“Mm, perhaps those was not the last thing he said to me. However…
“As far as I can remember, those were his last words.”
“You… … lost your memories again?” Chen Xiaolian furrowed his brows.
“Yes, I lost my memories again!” The Countess slowly said, there was a trace of madness within her voice as she continued, “When I came to, I was in a hospital. The doctor and police told me that we were involved in an accident and we slammed into the mountain!
After checking the case repeatedly, their investigation on the accident reached a conclusion. No abnormalities were found in their investigation of the crash site. As for the car, their investigation revealed that there was a failure in the brake system.
“I became injured and was admitted to the hospital.
“As for Schmidt… … he lost consciousness, unable to awaken. In other words, he became… a vegetable!”
Chen Xiaolian was speechless.
“Schmidt’s family was deeply saddened. Most importantly, they somehow learnt of the many rumours about me, about how my last two suitors had died! And so… … the label ‘cursed’ became firmly fixed upon my head.
“During the few months that Schmidt lay in bed, his family refused my attempts to visit him. They even applied for a restraining order, forbidding me to get close to their son.
“They hated me to the extreme!
“I remember, in the hospital, they howled at me, screamed at me, cursed at me…
“I do not hate them.
“Their every word only made me hate myself more!
“I hate the misfortune that I bring!
“I hate my own powerlessness!
“When he finally died, I was not allowed to participate in his funeral!
“In a few more hours, the funeral will be held. As for me, I can only take advantage of the fact that the sky had yet to brighten and come here. While the others have yet to arrive, I went before his grave to reminisce and express my sorrow.”
Chen Xiaolian was stunned.
Never did he expect that the Countess would suffer from such a tragic experience.
When they met last time, Chen Xiaolian felt that this woman was shrewd and calm; and her body exuded a faint atmosphere of gloominess.
Unexpectedly, she had gone through so many tragedies.
Just imagine, a woman had to endure having her sweetheart dying three times in a row… additionally, it was due to something strange that was happening to herself.
It was likely that anyone else would have gone mad and gloomy!
“You said that even if you did tell me, it was likely that I would still end up forgetting about it… …” The Countess suddenly sneered and a look of madness flashed through her eyes. “I will tell you this! I must know the answer!”
“I must know!
“I must know what is going on!
“This matter has filled me with hatred! My heart is filled with madness.
“That is right! I must know the answer!
“Even if- even if I have to give up everything! I am willing to give it all! I will do anything!
“Yes! I want to know the answer!
“I want to know, what is going on with me?! What is the reason that brought me to suffer from such an accursed fate!
“In the end, what kind of people, what kind of power… caused them to die?
“In order to find that out… … I… I am willing to find that out… … at all costs!”
This young and beautiful woman pierced her fingertips into her palms until blood dripped down the ground!
She bit her lips until blood trickled out as a result!
With a blood stained mouth, she repeated her last sentence:
“At! All! Costs!”
Rohart Dawson. ‘罗哈特.道森’, pinyin: ‘Luō hā tè. Dào sēn’
Beckman Hampson. ‘毕克曼.汉普森’, pinyin: ‘Bì kè màn. Hàn pǔ sēn’
Schmidt. ‘舒米特’, pinyin: ‘Shū mǐ tè’.