TI Vol 16 Chapter 20-1

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Zheng couldn’t figure out the meaning behind Xuan’s words. The man was always so calm and confident like not one thing in this world could scare him. Having him as a comrade made them feel safe. Xuan never said anything these kind of words in all the desperate situations they had come through.

Zheng didn’t know if he should be happy for him or worry. Logically, this would mean Xuan had feelings but he just didn’t know how to express them yet. However, the content of his words were worrying.

(Xuan’s death… Hope this is only his illusion. A person who has been dealing with only data and probability mentions feeling is a bad omen by itself. But his death… I have never thought about this happening.)

Aragorn traced the footsteps ahead. Zheng was distressed from Xuan’s words. He had no choice but to simulate HongLu’s thinking and try to figure out what Xuan meant.

(Theoretically, he is the safest person among us. He is as safe as Lan. I have been paying attention to protect them. They are the cores of the team. Team China’s strength and survivability would drop by a half without them. So if Xuan ended up dying, not many in the team can escape death either. It might even end in a wipe.) He was indulged in his thoughts that he didn’t notice Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli’s expressions turning serious.

Aragorn noticed Zheng spacing out and shouted at him in a low voice. “Be careful! Don’t let other things distract you. The trees told Legolas something.”

Legolas frowned and said. “Yes. They are saying the White Wizard is approaching. Saruman has come!”

The movie characters tensed up. They knew that only wizards could rival wizards. The thundering magic Saruman used was still vivid in their memory.

Though team China knew the one supposed to be coming was Gandalf. So many things happened on the way but the plot converged to the movie. Gandalf was reborn as Gandalf the White and would meet the group here.

As expected, a white light radiated from deep within the woods. Aragorn looked to Zheng. “You are the strongest person here. Once Saruman begins his attack, you are the only one who can fight back… or perhaps kill him. So do not let him speak, he will put a spell on us. Or none of us will survive.”

Zheng nodded without much emotion. The white light loom in on them. The movie characters drew their weapons. Legolas placed three arrows on his bow. The players didn’t want to bother getting their weapons out but that would make them appear they were abandoning their comrades. They couldn’t help it and grabbed their weapons. They quietly waited for the white light to approach.

The white light came very close. Gimli shouted and threw his axe at the light. Legolas also released his three arrows. Aragorn and Zheng charged ahead, ready to attack. Though Zheng was merely giving an act.

Dong! Dong! The axe and and Explosive Shot hit a translucent barrier. The barrier was so tough that the axe shattered on impact and arrow couldn’t pierce through. Aragorn and Zheng’s swords were deflected and only left a crisp sound.

“You are tracking the footsteps of a young Hobbits and a group of humans. They passed this way, the day before yesterday. They met someone they did not expect. Does that comfort you?” An old man’s voice came from the light.

The voice sounded so familiar that Aragorn became suspicious. “Who are you? Show yourself!”

The bright white light cloaked the old man. Following Aragorn’s shout, the light dimmed, revealing Gandalf dressed in white. He smiled at the Fellowship.

The movie characters were stunned. Though the players kept their cool.

Gandalf said. “Down in the abyss, I fought the core of the Balrog of Morgoth. I attempted to seal the creature with the Flame of Udun. The creature realized its fate was determined. It self destructed its life core. The flame consumed me…

I strayed out of thought and time. Stars wheeled overhead, and every day was as long as the life age of the earth. But it was not the end. I felt light in me again. I’ve been sent back until my task is done.”

The movie characters let out a sigh of relief. Aragorn walked over to Gandalf. “Gandalf! So glad you’re back.”

“Gandalf? Oh yes. That’s what they used to call me. Gandalf the Grey. That was my name. I am Gandalf the White.” Gandalf turned to the players. “I saw your origin through Eru’s eyes. You aren’t people of our world but I trust you will help me complete my task. Brave warriors.”

The players were surprised. Zheng asked. “You saw our origin? Is it the world we come from? What is your task?”

“It is of course to destroy Sauron.” Gandalf laughed.

Xuan suddenly asked. “Only Sauron? Not the One Ring?”

Gandalf returned with an enigmatic smile. “Eru sees through everything. The One Ring will disappear from Middle Earth but it will not be destroyed. The prophecy says either you or another group of people in Mordor will take the ring away. Sauron will disappear and the ring remains. The three elven rings will retain their powers. The elves can stay in their realm and not leave their homeland. This is part of the prophecy I witnessed.

The other part of the prophecy shows another group that came from the same place as you. They have strong hostility towards you. Eru told me to defeat them or one person in the group will help Sauron obtain the One Ring. Once the ring falls in Sauron’s hands, countless warriors will lose their lives. My task will fail.”

Gandalf walked along the forest. “There is no need to think too far ahead. War has come to Rohan. We must ride to Edoras with all speed. Saruman’s army is preparing to attack. Our fist battle is to defeat his army. The prophecy says the One Ring will remain safe until we defeat the armies of Mordor. There is no need to worry about it. We need to hurry to Edoras.”

Zheng asked Xuan in a low voice. “Can we trust him? Is there really a prophecy that can tell our future?”

Xuan replied calmly. “There are gods in this movie world. We can imagine these gods possess strong magical powers. At least the ability to see through nearly all the land and people in this world. When you have nearly perfect information, it isn’t difficult to induce the future. Would you actually think my plans are prophecies?”

Zheng stopped for a moment. “Well, your plans… sometimes do feel like prophecies. It’s like you know what is going to happen next.”

Xuan nodded. “Right. I don’t see how things develop but I can induce based on given information and each person’s personality. Just like how I am certain Haotian will find the loophole in my plan and try to complete it, and how the other four members will end up following his plan. Once you analyze every detail, then the ending naturally comes.

Similarly, if this god witnessed the power of team East America and team Celestial and saw the hostility they showed toward us, it will come to the conclusion that Gandalf saw. Someone from team East America or team Celestial must have come to us before. It is likely that the person attacked us. We should be prepared for their attacks.”


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