TI Vol 18 Chapter 14-2

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Life in the team felt dangerous without Zheng holding Xuan back. It was like putting your fate to a computer. No one could remain calm and normal despite knowing the computer was set to not harm any humans. Yet, people still had resistance over the fact that a heartless computer controlled their fates.

The atmosphere in the team became even more dense in the last ten days. Even ChengXiao lost his liveliness to this density.

“Of course… You need girls to be lively. Or do you want me to be energetic around a bunch of dudes? It drives up the madness level rather than energy.” ChengXiao said.

Zero was as quiet as usual. TengYi was never spectacular with communication. WangXia was better but he seemed to be addicted to fantasy novels recently. As a result, every other sentence would be related to fantasies and this realm. The others stayed away from him.

Heng and LiuYu were the normal ones. Though Heng was still pretty much injured and rested on the bed most of his time. LiuYu was too young to carry out conversations to ease the atmosphere. In just ten days, team China felt like a dead team.

“We can’t go on like this.” ChengXiao said to Heng.

The team was having dinner in a five star hotel. Dinner was fancy but everyone only focused on their food. The table lacked the liveliness of a meal. ChengXiao couldn’t hold it to himself anymore.

Heng shrugged. “Hold on for a bit more. We will return in a few more days. Maybe the heal can wake them up. Even if it fails, things will get better once Zheng is revived.”

ChengXiao sighed and asked curiously. “Speaking about Zheng, I think this isn’t the first time he died. He used the Revival Cross back in Resident Evil. Can he still be revived?”

Pah! The glass Zero was holding shattered.

Xuan sliced the steak knife into the plate. He lifted the knife and continued cutting the steak as nothing happened.

“Uh…” ChengXiao nearly jumped. He forced a laughter and said, “I was joking. Don’t take it as real. That was the revival from the Revival Cross and we are using the Book of Amun-Ra this time. The two are…”

Xuan continued eating his tasteless steak while he said, “That isn’t for certain. Both are deaths. The effects may stack. If that is the case.”

The table fell to a silence. LiuYu was the only one who wasn’t worried. He had only just joined the team and had no bonds with Zheng. His knowledge of the team was limited to that Zheng was the leader, Xuan was the strategist, and the names of the rest of the members.

As for the veterans, they had developed bonds with each other through all the trials of life and death. No one member was someone that can be left behind. Feelings apart, Zheng was the core of the team. He didn’t have the wisdom and determination of Xuan. He was flawed in multiple areas. But it was his wish for everyone to live on that carried the team to this day. The team would collapse without him. Perhaps not instantly but Xuan could not keep the team together by himself.

“It shouldn’t… be. I was just kidding.” ChengXiao said.

No one replied as they put their gazes to the food. The atmosphere thickened again along with a weight put on their hearts. It was an uncertainty of the future. It was only after Zheng was gone did they noticed he had become a pillar of the team. He and Xuan were the pillars that supported the team.

Time ticked through the days one by one. Everyone counted until the day to return. Yet, when the time actually came, a hint of fear held them in place. Would team China still exist without Zheng? Where would the future lead without their bonds?

The clock struck midnight and the thirty days were over. In the past, they had always stayed together when this moment came. However, due to the atmosphere, the team members decided to stay in their own rooms to await the return. Furthermore, Xuan had been acting strange after Zheng’s death. No one could tell what was different about him but everyone felt it. Especially after the possibility that Zheng might be gone forever was brought up, he gave off a sense of… danger!
Heng was watching TV on the sofa quietly. Thoughts were racing through his mind. He pondered his actions for the near future regarding YanWei’s revival. It was a difficult question to figure out how to face her. Even with the obstacles cleared in his heart and freed from his cowardice, he still felt difficult facing her and made her accept him again.

“Perhaps I should erase that part of the memory from her. Xuan could probably do this…” Heng murmured to himself. But he immediately reejected it.

The other problem was he didn’t want to face the Xuan right now. If Zheng couldn’t be revived, where did the future of team China lie? Would he have the power to protect YanWei? Or would the two of them soon die together in this realm?

Ta-ta-ta. A series of knocks on the door. Heng knew who it was that would knock the door instead of ringing the doorbell every time. “Open the door youself! You know I can’t move so easily. Are you doing it on purpose?”

ChengXiao entered the room with a laughter. He sat down beside Heng and said, “Don’t worry. Isn’t it almost twelve? There’s something serious I want to ask you before we return.”

Heng was curious of it. “What things?”

ChengXiao put on a serious expression. “What stage of the genetic restraint have you unlocked? Don’t tell me first stage. I won’t believe it.”

Heng nodded, “I am on the second stage. Not experienced enough with it but with a little more practice…”

ChengXiao interrupted him. “That aside, what I want to ask is, what stage is Xuan on?”

“Xuan?” Heng also became more serious and pondered. “I can’t be certain. Thinking back, did we ever think Xuan would have such power? We had put him on the role of a strategist even when he gained the Lambda Driver and gun-kata.”

“No.” Zero’s voice came through the door. He walked in and said, “Instead of us putting him on this role, it’s more appropriate to think he put himself on the role of the strategist. He hid his strength while highlighting Zheng’s strength in his plans. So we naturally assumed he wasn’t strong.”

“And?” Heng was rather confused.

ChengXiao and Zero met eyes with each other. ChengXiao said, “My guess is Xuan has reached the fourth stage so he has obtained feelings. However, his life long habit hindered him from expressing them. This explains why he has been acting different recently. Because he has feelings.”

Xuan? Reached the fourth stage? Heng was stunned.


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7 thoughts on “TI Vol 18 Chapter 14-2” - NO SPOILERS and NO CURSING

  1. Wow, tha seems legit in a certain way…. he doesnt have any inner demons to fight or something that can block him because he cant have emotions, must be easy for him to control the 4 stage

    1. Well, the thing is, what he is aiming to obtain by reaching lvl 4 is feelings… If he obtains feelings as soon as he enters lvl 4, considering the life he’s lead, acting and living in almost a machine like manner he will probably instantly develop a “hearth’s devil” before he has a chance to reach middle lvl 4 😀 Still, that’s a very interesting bomb shell Zero just dropped on us!

      1. I can’t say its true. He’s powerful, but not that powerful. He’s a monster amongst the normal players. so he looks more powerful than he is. I bet Third Stage. Anyways, if he’s Fourth Stage, he could take test to become 5th stage.

  2. This would actually make sense. The Lambda Driver is actually powered by emotions, so if Xuan hadn’t reached 4th stage, it would be hard to believe that he’s so strong with it. Compare the current him to when he first got the power, he could only shoot once and only under hypnosis.

    1. In the transformers movie, Xuan has literally burnt out his life to use it for so long. His gradually aged, and had a few hours to live.
      Even with “feelings”, that problem does not go away. And thus far, nothing proves that Xuan overcame these limitations with the 4th stage, as he kept using his hypo-glasses to make use of the Drive during Transformers, and Transformers was the last movie they did.

      So if the 4th rank does not enable him to use the Drive better (he still constantly used the hypno-glasses during Transformers),
      And the 4th rank does not allow him to prevent his body from destroying itself (he rapidly aged)…

      …What are the evidence for the 4th rank?
      I’m sure the story will come up with something. But I honestly cannot see it, and I don’t think even after the explanation, will I care about it. This author likes too much to use these “twists”, to surprise the audience by springing upon them something completely random and unexpected, and then investing an entire chapter to explain why it makes sense. I just find it in bad taste.

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