Chapter 543 The World’s End?

GOR Chapter 543 The World’s End?

They were on a sunny beach. At that moment however, when those words left Miao Yan’s mouth, the two of them fell silent. An atmosphere of fear gripped them and Chen Xiaolian could feel his scalp tingle even as goose bumps rose all over his body.

Shen … is the first generation GM?

This speculation, this knowledge, the ramifications of this possibility, they were too big and too…

Horrifying.

Next, Chen Xiaolian subconsciously grabbed the bottle of whiskey and poured himself a cup before gulping it all down in one go.

Pa.

After slamming his cup down the table, Chen Xiaolian cast a deep gaze at Miao Yan.

Miao Yan put on a look of indifference and said with a smile, “Truth be told, that is just my guess. I cannot be certain.” After a pause, Miao Yan then shook her head. “Who knows? I might be wrong.”

The two of them exchanged glances and saw the trace of irregularity in each other’s face. Then, they simultaneously turned their gazes away.

“I, the power he displayed today and other clues, I had used those to make my guess.” Miao Yan smiled bitterly before continuing, “My strength is quite good.”

“Of course. You are a high-ranking Player with your own Exclusive Account,” Chen Xiaolian said with a wry smile. “You are already [S] class, aren’t you?”

“Not quite truly there yet. Soon though.” Miao Yan pondered it before saying, “High-ranking Players with Exclusive Account hold special privileges. With my present level of strength, even if I have to face a real [S] class, I would not lose as badly as I had today. Even back in the Mausoleum of Qin Shihuang, I had not lost this badly against that incredibly strong BOSS Bai Qi. Not to mention, I am now much stronger that I was back then. And yet, today, facing Shen, I felt like a three-year-old facing a world boxing champion. That type of difference…”

Seemingly attempting to shake off the feelings of shock in her heart, Miao Yan too took a large gulp of whiskey.

Chen Xiaolian remained silent.

That was true. Shen’s might was simply astounding.

He was strong to the point of being unrealistic.

Indeed, unrealistic was the word.

Considering the power that Shen had displayed, even if a real [S] class expert were to face him, that expert would likely be crushed.

“Thus, he is probably not a Player. Otherwise… …” Miao Yan smiled wryly and continued. “The system will never allow a Player to possess a power capable of upending the game’s balance.”

“So…”

“So, I speculated that he is not a Player. His power does not appear to be a matter of power levels. Rather, it is due to the difference in rules.”

Miao Yan considered her words carefully before saying that.

After that, she grabbed hold of the bottle and poured a cup for herself and Chen Xiaolian.

Just like that, the bottle of whiskey was almost empty.

“All right, my third question.” Miao Yan looked at Chen Xiaolian. “What happened to Zero City? I mean, it is not as if the system had only been searching for Zero City for a day or two. So why? Why is it that the system could suddenly attack Zero City today? It is as you said, you have obtained the authority over Zero City. Thus, you must know something.”

Chen Xiaolian pondered the question for a moment. Then, he looked at Miao Yan and said in a very sincere tone, “Just now, you risked your life to save me, so I do not want to hide anything from you. However, it is really very difficult for me to answer this question… … because, I too am in the dark about what just happened.”

Miao Yan looked Chen Xiaolian in the eye and sensed that he was most probably not lying. “What do you mean by that?”

“Simply put, there had always been a security system for Zero City. The program protected the passageways by encrypting the outer passageways. Thus, the main system had always been unable to find and attack Zero City. Today however, the encryption security program was cancelled. As to why it was cancelled, to be honest, I do not know.” Chen Xiaolian looked at Miao Yan and continued, “I am telling the truth, I really do not know.”

Chen Xiaolian was indeed not lying.

He knew well that this matter had something to do with himself. More accurately, the him from when he was still inside Room Zero, the ‘authority room’.

However, that was all he could remember. He could not remember what happened after that.

Zero City had informed him that he was the one to issue the irrevocable command.

But Chen Xiaolian had no recollections of what he had done at all.

He then turned to face Miao Yan and said, “Let’s be fair. I have not clearly answered your question. So, you can ask another question.”

Miao Yan smiled, “You are giving me so much respect?”

“You saved my life,” said Chen Xiaolian slowly.

“Fine, since you are being generous, I will not say no.” Miao Yan thought about it and her eyes darted around. She then looked at Chen Xiaolian and said with a smile, “What should I do? You cannot answer my third question and I cannot just think up one on the spot. How about this? I will keep this favour first. When I have finally thought it through, I will go look for you and ask you.”

Chen Xiaolian furrowed his brows and regarded this woman. Although Miao Yan was smiling, her expression revealed calmness as she looked at him.

“You are not joking?”

“Of course not.” Miao Yan shook her head and replied with a smile, “It is not easy to get a chance to get the truth from you. There is no way I am going to let it go to waste.”

“All right. Consider this my promise to you,” said Chen Xiaolian in a very serious tone.

“Well, your turn now. What is your third question?”

Chen Xiaolian stared at Miao Yan and Miao Yan could sense the growing seriousness within Chen Xiaolian’s eyes.

Finally, Chen Xiaolian opened his mouth and slowly said, “There is a phrase that I would like you to help me understand.”

“What phrase?”

“The world is a tree.”

“This is really annoying.”

Shen sighed and looked at the utterly ruined underground factory. He raised his head to observe the spot where Chen Xiaolian and Miao Yan had disappeared into. “A temporary teleportation portal, eh? Humph!”

He tapped his nose and spoke loudly to the air. “All right, they are gone. I failed to get your authority holder. Although it is regrettable, at least we can now discuss without any reservations since they are gone.”

The pieces of crushed stones before him floated up once more to form words. “You want me?”

“Of course, that is my…” After saying that, an amused look appeared within Shen’s eyes. “… reason for… … existing!”

The pieces of crushed stones rearranged themselves. “You will not succeed.”

“Why is that?” Shen laughed. “I am already in Zero City and you cannot go anywhere. You are the system, but the system cannot personally fight. You can only rely on life forms under your control. Now that Zero City is under siege, you… … you will either be destroyed by the main system or be obtained my me. Either way, you are the one who will not succeed.”

The pieces of crushed stones before him reformed. They gradually formed a line of words. “I mean your final objective. You will not succeed.”

Finally, the smile faded from Shen’s face. He regarded the words floating in the air with a frown on his face. “My final objective. You found out?”

“Real.” The pieces of gravel kept rearranging themselves. “You want to obtain the real, but you will not succeed.”

“… … why?”

No answer. The pieces of crushed stones drifted down the ground as Zero City stopped answering Shen.

“Fine. In the end, must I resort to force to obtain my objective?” Shen sighed. “This really does not fit my way of doing things. Well then, since you won’t answer me, I will go to where your system lies. Mm, it is at the ground floor of the Board of Patriarchs’ building, right?”

Swoosh.

Shen’s figure disappeared.

“The world is a tree.”

As he was speaking those words, Chen Xiaolian kept staring at Miao Yan’s eyes, seemingly in an attempt to catch even the slightest change in this woman’s expression.

He was left disappointed.

Not a trace of change could be seen on Miao Yan’s eyes and face.

No look of alarm, no look of shock.

It was as though what Chen Xiaolian had said just now was not “the world is a tree”, something important. Rather, it seemed as though he had just said something like “today’s weather is quite good”.

“You don’t appear surprised to hear that I know about this,” said Chen Xiaolian with a frown. “I do not believe you know nothing about this. So, your current reaction makes me feel somewhat puzzled.”

“Sigh.” A change finally appeared across Miao Yan’s face as she sighed. However, it was only a minor change. “You are an authority holder of Zero City and a rare Irregularity. Additionally, you are now no longer a weakling. All in all, I won’t find it too surprising if someone of your identity and level knows about some matters.”

“If so, please explain the meaning of the phrase to me.” Chen Xiaolian knitted his brows and continued, “Someone had relayed those words to me. Additionally, it would appear that those words are very important.”

Miao Yan frowned again and again. Next, she gently stroked her forehead before turning to face Chen Xiaolian. There was a somewhat troubled look on her face. “How should I go about this? This could take a while.”

“We are in no hurry,” said Chen Xiaolian coolly. “Besides, spending some time for something important is something worthwhile in my opinion. Moreover… … if the bottle is empty, we can just get another.”

Neither of them were ordinary humans. Their bodies were physically superior compared to that of normal humans. Their physical attributes were high. Forget getting drunk, they were not even feeling tipsy after drinking the whole bottle of whiskey.

“Fine.” Miao Yan nodded. “Since we agreed to the exchange of questions, I won’t go back on my words. If so, I will have to start from the beginning.”

“Patience has always been one of my strong points.”

“In this world… I mean, be it Players or Awakened ones, after they reach a certain level of strength, they would enter a certain stage where they would encounter many miraculous circumstances, special instance dungeons or others of the likes. These encounters would grant them information about matters that many ordinary Players and Awakened ones could never even glimpse.”

Miao Yan slowly continued, “Thus, legends came into being.”

“Legends?”

“This world we are presently residing in is a virtual one, a space created by the system,” Miao Yan said coolly. “Everything in here may actually just exist as data streams. Maybe, this place is just a virtual place where everyone is an NPC. As for you fellows, you were simply fortunate enough to be sucked into this game and undergo awakening. At the end of the day though, this world itself is ‘fake’.”

Chen Xiaolian showed no reaction to the statement. However, he said calmly, “Every time I hear something like that, I would actually feel angry deep down.”

“I fully understand your anger.” Miao Yan then continued, “Among the many high-ranking Players and Awakened ones, the ones I refer to are the ones who have gone to reach the realm of legends. Among them came certain legends, hearsays. And all of them revolves around a central theme: The search for the real. Or perhaps I should say how to become real.”

Chen Xiaolian maintained his silence and he quietly listened to Miao Yan.

“Many of your predecessors, I am talking about the earlier generation of Irregularities, everything they did was done for the sake of this objective. To escape the system’s control and obtain a genuine reality. However, they went about it the wrong way. Creating a Zero City is actually just escaping from a larger system into a smaller system. The virtual remains virtual.

“You are not the first, and you will not be the last. There had been other legendary Awakened figures who asked this question before: How does the real world that lies beyond this world looks like?”

Chen Xiaolian’s eyes shone. “You mean… … the Players’ world!”

“… … …” Miao Yan sighed. “I am sorry; there is no way for me to tell you anything related to Players. It is due to the rules. You understand as well. I cannot tell you. And even if you did hear it, you won’t be able to ‘hear’ it.”

Chen Xiaolian recalled that night in London, where he lost his memory of his conversation with Miao Yan.

“The system’s rules stands superior and inviolable,” said Chen Xiaolian coldly. “Then, just tell me what you can.”

“Due to the existence of these rules, the Awakened ones are unable to gather any information about the ‘Upper Plane’. However, there are legendary figures even among Awakened ones. These people are unable to resign themselves to the fate of being thrown into instance dungeons to fight and kill to survive repeatedly. They too, thought about seeking freedom and the real world. Thus, it began. I do not know when it began, but a legend grew into existence. As to where this legend came from, who first found it and… even the veracity of this legend is something that cannot be confirmed.

“At any rate, there are more than one legend swirling among the highly-ranked figures. This is not the only one. There are plenty others. Of course, in my opinion, most of them are probably fake. As for this one, someone had seemingly found some clues and obtained certain evidences for it before.”

After saying that, Miao Yan paused and took a deep breath. “It is the legend about a certain object. This object’s name is ‘World Tree’.”

Chen Xiaolian raised his eyebrows.

“Slower than I expected.”

Shen was walking across the ruins on the south street.

His figure flickered and he flew toward the defensive perimeter before the Board of Patriarchs’ building.

Up in the sky, the evacuation had reached its final moments. To be exact, there were only tens of aircrafts still lining up to leave. As for the combat personnel manning the defensive perimeter, they had begun an orderly withdrawal from the defensive perimeter as they prepared to escape.

However, there were complicated expressions on Bluesea and Angel Wu’s faces. The two of them understood that there was not enough time. There was not enough time for everyone to leave. In the end, some would surely be stranded inside Zero City.

“We have done our best,” Bluesea said with a sigh. “Angel Wu, you go first. You are an [S] class powerhouse. Rebuilding a new home requires great power. The new home needs you.”

Angel Wu did not reply. Instead, he suddenly turned and looked at the defensive perimeter. “We… … probably won’t be able to leave anymore.”

Angel Wu turned to see Shen moving toward them from far away.

Shen’s figure flickered twice and he appeared inside the defensive perimeter. The combat personnel inside the defensive perimeter roared in shock and they raised their weapons against Shen. They attacked.

Shen simply waved his hand in response and great flames rose up into the air. The flames reduced the tens of combat personnel and several War Bastions to ashes.

“Angel Wu, I am in a bad mood. I am very sorry, I had not intended on killing too many people, but now…” Shen’s voice sounded calm. “I have to do this one thing.”

Angel Wu had moved to stand before Shen. “Guild Leader Shen! What are you planning to do? Kill us all? Stop us from evacuating?”

“No.” Shen shook his head and pointed at the distant Board of Patriarchs’ building. “It is underground, is it not?”

After saying that, Shen suddenly revealed a peculiar smile. He raised his left hand high into the air. Next, a ball of light immediately materialized before the palm of his left hand. After the ball of light floated out from his palm, a hint of killing intent surged out from Shen’s eyes and he shouted, “Zero City! Come out!”

Shen then raised his right hand to grab the ball of light before violently hurling it to the ground.

Instantly, light radiated out for miles.

The intense light engulfed everything, Angel Wu, who was standing before Shen, Bluesea, who was behind Angel Wu, the surrounding War Bastions and… … the line of aircrafts in the air. And also…

The Board of Patriarchs’ building.

The light burst out and illuminated all.

Then, it annihilated all.

“The World Tree, what is it?” asked Chen Xiaolian.

Miao Yan did not immediately answer the question. Instead, she asked, “You played games before, haven’t you? I am talking about computer games, or online games.”

“… yes.”

“You see, all games have their own programs. That is, they are the set of rules that determine the operations of the game, how the quest progresses, how the interface changes, how the story unfolds, the damaged dealt during combat etc. I am talking about the rules of computing.

“Now assume this world we reside in now is also a virtual game – naturally, this world would be so much more complicated compared to a computer game. However, it should also have a set of computing rules. These rules are what determine the way this world operates, all of it.

“Of course, such monumental rules must be extremely complicated, possibly to the point where it is impossible for us to even imagine.

“It is like… … a tree. A tree has a main trunk, which spreads out to form branches, which form more branches, which form leaves and even more branches…

“If each branch and leaf represents a rule, the rules of this world would be the equivalent of a tree like structure, complicated and tightly bound together like the branches and leaves. Yet, they are connected to each other – just like a tree.

“Thus, the World Tree represents the core rules’ framework for this world that we are now residing in.”

Chen Xiaolian frowned. “Core rules’ framework?”

“According to the legend, by finding the core rules’ framework, you can obtain real freedom. The reason for that is, by obtaining those rules, you would be able to leave this world and create a new world.”

Chen Xiaolian suddenly let out a smile. “I do not understand. Wasn’t this done before? Leave this world and create Zero City – but doing this is pointless. It is just escaping one system to end up in another system…”

“No! The concept of the World Tree is different from Zero City.” Miao Yan suddenly turned serious.

“What is the difference?”

“Zero City. If we are to look at it in detail, it is not a ‘new’ world. It is also not a ‘new’ system. It is a small part cut out from the main system. It is just like… … a house. One of its rooms was cut out and isolated. Even so, the two of them are essentially the same. Their initial setting, their structure, the system rules are all the same. The only difference is that one of them is a big house while the other is a small house. However – the two of them remain a ‘house’!”

Chen Xiaolian nodded subconsciously. He had just realized this not long ago today.

Zero City was in fact, no different from the main system. Their core settings were the same.

“Is the World Tree different? Didn’t you say leave this world and create a new world?”

“It is different. Zero City was not ‘created’. It was cut out. That is not an act of creation, but cutting away, an act of stealing. In the end, the thing you stole remains similar to the original item. Thus, all the efforts put in by the founders of Zero City, the Irregularities from back then, ended in failure. They simply escaped from one cage into a smaller cage.

“However, according to legend, the World Tree can actually ‘create’ a new world!”

After saying that, Miao Yan’s eyes shone. “Because the World Tree is not the system. More accurately, it is not a program.”

“Ah, right. You are a writer. You can think of it this way… … assuming this world is a book, Zero City would be one of the pages torn out from that book. At the end of the say, it is still a part of the book. Its contents would be of the same theme as the book.  For example, if this world is a ‘Romance of the Three Kingdoms’ book and you tear out a page from the book, that page is still about the ‘Romance of the Three Kingdoms’. The story in the page is still that of the ‘Romance of the Three Kingdoms’.

“Maybe the page you tore off is about the three heroes confronting Lu Bu, maybe the page you tore off is about Zhuge Liang borrowing the east wind – but it is still the Romance of the Three Kingdoms! Just because you tore off the page, its contents would not transform into something from ‘Journey to the West’ – that is not possible!

“If we are going to use this analogy, the World Tree is not a book. In this case, it is… … words!

“Books are made by putting words together. This world may be a book, but if you can grasp the words used to write this book – once you have mastered how to use those words, you would be able to write out different sentences, different books!

“Thus… according to the legend, if you can obtain the World Tree, it would be like… … an illiterate learning how to write. You can create your own book, create a new world of your own design!

“It is just like…”

After Miao Yan said that, Chen Xiaolian suddenly interjected.

There was a highly bewildered expression on Chen Xiaolian. “If this world is a game like ‘World of Warcraft’, then Zero City is actually an illegal server. Although the illegal server appears to provide freedom, in the end, it is still ‘World of Warcraft’. However, that World Tree you are talking about is in fact… … programming language! By mastering it…

“One can become the equivalent of… the Development Team!”

The Board of Patriarchs’ building no longer existed.

To be exact, the land where the building once stood had been reduced into a large crater.

The area around the building had been flattened.

The things that were there before, the factories, the green spaces, the robust buildings and the defensive perimeter set up by Zero City’s combat personnel… even the aircrafts up in the sky… …

All of them had disappeared, completely.

Completely blown away.

Shen stood at the edge of the crater and observed the scene before him. Next, he revealed a faint smile before jumping down.

It did not take long for him to stand before Zero City.

Zero City’s program was right beneath the Board of Patriarchs’ building.

It was a large curtain of light and Shen moved to stand within the curtain of light.

“Now we can continue our conversation,” said Shen coldly. “Where were we? Right, you said I won’t succeed. Yet here I am, standing right in front of you. You no longer have any way of resisting me. I just can’t figure out how you can make my efforts fail.”

Zero City finally responded.

Shen, who was standing in the middle of the curtain of light, heard the voice. This voice had resounded within his mind.

“Initiating teleportation.”

“?” Shen was stunned.

Next however, he realized something.

The radar in his personal system originally had many green coloured dots of light – those dots represented Players who were on the same side as him.

Following Zero City’s words, the green dots on his personal radar instantly disappeared.

“This is…” Shen’s heart skipped a beat. Next, he knitted his brows and said, “Are you going to be this way? Forcing out the Players who invaded Zero City? Laughable. This action of yours is ineffective against me.”

“No, I had not intended to send you away,” Zero City answered with a calm and emotionless voice. “Truth be told, I have already accomplished what I needed to do.”

Shen fell into a preoccupied state.

Next, he frowned and said, “You are the system. Since the very beginning, you have the means to toss out those invading Players from this world. However, you did not. Instead, you sat back and watched as the people of Zero City fell into a bitter struggle. And yet, you chose to do that now… … why?”

Zero City’s answer caused Shen to fall silent.

“Earlier today, I was accessed by an authority holder. This authority holder possesses the mark of a Zero City founder. Due to that mark, he was able to access me. With my help, he acquired the same level of authority as a Zero City founder.

“However, during the process of activating this authority, something happened.

“Simply put, in the process of letting Chen Xiaolian acquire and activate the authority, I had placed him in a special situation. That special situation is one that would result in contradictions in the system’s environment. The result of those contradictions is something most natural, a refresh.”

“What did you do?”

“It is very simple, I modified the rules of time and sent him into the time program. In simpler terms, I made modifications toward the him within the program. External wise, it would appear that I had modified a certain point in this world’s history.”

Shen inhaled and said, “Why?”

“Because Chen Xiaolian is an authority holder. Due to his identity as an authority holder, I am obligated to help modify him completely. I must modify him until his setting and status are such that the system would – from this moment onward – lose some of its ability to constrain him. From an authority perspective, it is only after I modify his settings according to my criteria could he become my authority holder.

“The aftermath of this modification is a change in history in the outside world. This change would trigger the system to initiate a large-scale refreshing process upon the world.”

“And?”

“Originally, everything was proceeding smoothly. After this change in history and refresh, I would have lifted a part of the main system’s ability to control Chen Xiaolian. Then, he would be able to utilize his authority in a normal manner – he would become Zero City’s owner.

“However, something unexpected happened.”

“Something unexpected?”

“Yes, that something is you.” Zero City then continued, “The refreshing process that occurred in the outside world was the main system’s reaction toward the change in history. It was the automatic response of the system rules. However, during the refreshing process, I detected a unique existence. That existence, is you!

“You resisted the system’s refreshing process!”

Shen nodded his head. “Meaning you originally tried to help Chen Xiaolian hack into the main system in an attempt to modify Chen Xiaolian’s history and imprints. By doing so, he would become hidden from the main system in the future!

“It is like… … a thief who snuck into a house to steal something. However, as the thief was about to leave after stealing that something, a vase fell down and shattered. Is that it?”

“Yes, that shattered vase is you. That incident came as a big surprise to me. At the same time, it also triggered the main system’s alarm program.

“My refreshing attempt failed. Most importantly, the main system finally found my tracks.”

Shen smiled nonchalantly. “When you put it that way, I was the one who foiled your undertaking?”

“I do not know if that statement is appropriate,” replied Zero City. “However, that incident did indeed lead to my failure to modify the personal information that the main system has on Chen Xiaolian. Due to the failure of the automatic refreshing process, the main system‘s alarm program was triggered and it became inevitable that the main system finds me.

“It was at that moment that Chen Xiaolian issued a command to me.

“Due to the contents of the command, my defensive mechanism for the outer passageway was called off, making it easier for the main system to find me.”

“What did Chen Xiaolian command you to do?” Shen asked curiously.

“Unable to answer. This piece of memory was deleted by Chen Xiaolian.”

“In other words, Chen Xiaolian’s command led to Zero City opening its gate, allowing the main system to send Players and Electronic Guardians inside?” Shen finally revealed an expression of surprise.

“Theoretically speaking, that is how it is.”

“If so, this battle, the deaths, the destructions, even this moment of you facing the danger of being attacked and destroyed, all of them are due to Chen Xiaolian’s command?” There was an uncertain tone in Shen’s voice as he asked.

“Theoretically speaking, yes.”

Shen was unable to stop himself from exhaling. “Now I am really curious to know what Chen Xiaolian did.”

After saying that, Shen waved his hand and said, “No matter. Since it is a done matter, there would certainly be some information left. Even if the memory regarding Chen Xiaolian’s command has been deleted, there must surely be other traces left for analysis. When I obtain full authority over you, I will personally grasp these traces and analyse them.”

“… like I said, you will not succeed,” replied Zero City. “Just now, the passageway leading outside had been closed. I am referring to the main gate in the central square. It has been cut off. In other words, as of now, in this Zero City, there are only me and you.”

“… … …” Shen frowned. “Me and you?”

“Yes. As of now, in this space, there are only me and you.”

Shen’s frown deepened and he suddenly flew into the sky. He flew out from the crater into the sky and regarded the ground.

Sure enough, Zero City was silent and most of the buildings had been reduced to debris in the battle. The buildings that remained intact and those reduced to ruins were silent, not a single movement was evident.

The same was true in Shen’s personal radar. There was nothing there.

Shen’s face turned ugly to behold.

He swooped back down the ground and flew through the streets of Zero City as he looked around. Once again, he failed to find anyone there.

“What is this supposed to be? A prison?” A vexed tone could be heard from Shen as he spoke.

“Something like that.” Zero City’s voice intoned its way into his ears.

“I can devour and destroy you. By doing that, I will obtain authority over you and reopen the passageway out!”

“You cannot.” Zero City appeared indifferent to the Shen’s threats. “Earlier, your words might be able to deceive me. However, after the battle earlier and your display of emotions, I have calculated out an accurate assessment of you. You are very powerful, but that ‘powerful’ is not due to you possessing a strength surpassing that of the [S] class powerhouses. Rather… … the rules you operate under are of a higher level compared to theirs.

“Shen, this power you possess originates from the rules belonging to the system. Due to that, you would become an invincible existence when facing off against the other game participants.

“At the same time, there is a restriction to those rules. And that is… … you and I operate under the same rules. As you are also part of those rules, you cannot harm me directly!

“The only thing you can do is exert control over the other Players and have them damage me. However, right here, right now, there are only you and me, no one else.

“There can be no acts of direct harm between you and me. Existences related to the system are equipped with immunity when interacting with one another.”

Shen abruptly stopped moving. He entered a crouching posture while staying in the middle of the air.

His eyes were wide open and he said, “This… … is this a trap designed for me? That Chen Xiaolian, what command did he give you? Just what is going on here?”

“This World Tree is such a magical and important existence. However, I feel dubious as to whether it really exists. Also, considering how important it is, why would it be placed in this world? Additionally, how would anyone find it?” Chen Xiaolian shook his head. “When you think about it, all of it is just too bizarre.”

He stared into Miao Yan’s eyes and continued, “Since you know so much about it, then you must also know if someone had obtained the World Tree before, right?”

“Obtain the World Tree? That is the wrong way of seeing it.” Miao Yan shook her head. “The World Tree is a framework of rules that is already in existence.  The so-called obtain the World Tree is not to seize this existing framework, rather… … it is to seize that which could be used to create the World Tree… … … the seeds.”

Seeds?

Chen Xiaolian’s heart gave a thump.

Seeds!

He quickly recalled the seed he obtained during the course of his second time through the Mausoleum of Qin Shihuang instance dungeon.

“The seeds of the World Tree?” Chen Xiaolian took a deep breath. “How do they look like? How could they be obtained?”

Miao Yan regarded Chen Xiaolian’s face and burst into a smile.

“From what I understand about you, that you would ask those questions means that you must have grasped something. It could be the seeds of the World Tree or some legends pertaining to the World Tree. At any rate, you must certainly have grasped something,” Miao Yan said coolly. “Still, I can answer your question. From what I know and according to the legend, there are a total of seven seeds of the World Tree.

“Legend has it that each of the seeds could create one part of a World Tree. By gathering all seven together, they will form a new and complete World Tree.”

Gathering all seven…

Chen Xiaolian was unable to refrain himself from smiling wryly at that.

This setting, seriously…

After saying that, Miao Yan gulped down the last remaining cup of whiskey down. Next, she regarded Chen Xiaolian’s face that revealed thoughtfulness. She suddenly laughed.

“Chen Xiaolian, could it be you really believe in this legend?”

“Eh? What is that supposed to mean?” Chen Xiaolian raised his head to look at Miao Yan. There was a rather shocked look on his face.

“The legend of the World Tree that I told you earlier… mm, how should I put it. Those are indeed the contents of the legend. However, that legend is just too bizarre.” Miao Yan shook her head and said, “Truth be told, I myself do not believe in this legend. Additionally, this legend contains obvious traces of fabrication. Heaven knows which generation of senior Awakened ones fabricated this pointless story and entrusted it to others.”

“Oh?” uttered Chen Xiaolian.

“Of course I do not believe in this legend. Why would the Development Team leave such an important existence inside the world they created?

“The most important part is… … I know that Shen had once possessed a seed of the World Tree,” Miao Yan said coolly. “Later on though, he used the seed as a means of transaction and gave it to someone else. Think about it. If this item is truly that important, would someone like Shen just give it away to someone else?”

Shen had it? And he gave it to someone else?

Chen Xiaolian asked, “Who did he give it to?”

“Sorry, the three questions are used up and question time is over.” Miao Yan smiled and got up. “However, I can give you some information for free.”

She suddenly exhaled and leaned close to Chen Xiaolian’s ear. She said, “About the story of the World Tree and the creation of a new world, that is just one of the legends regarding the World Tree. It is the most famous one among them. However, from what I gather, there is another legend regarding the World Tree.

“According to this legend, the seeds of the World Tree can be planted to grow a World Tree. From the World Tree, you can climb your way to… …

“The World’s End.”

“The World’s End? That is a weird thing to say. Let us not go the question of whether a World’s End actually exist, what is this World’s End?”

“It is said to be a place of ruins. Anyone from this world who had died, anything that was destroyed would be sent by the system there. The eternal end, a tomb. Simply put, it is a burial ground.”

“A burial ground? What is the point in having that?”

“A lot. I am not clear on the details myself, but I did hear a legend about it. Legend has it that someone had once obtained the seeds of the World Tree, and through the seeds, that someone reached the world’s end. There, that person resurrected one person.”

“Resurrect one person?” Chen Xiaolian knitted his brows. “That doesn’t sound too special. Awakened ones could be refreshed back into an ordinary human to begin with. Having that person recover his or her memories is not too difficult either. Blade Mountain Flame Sea Guild more or less got Qiao Yifeng to recover his memories. Of course, his power as an Awakened could not be recovered…”

“No, the resurrected person that I am talking about is not an ordinary person, not an Awakened either.” After saying that, Miao Yan continued at a slower pace. “An Irregularity. According to this legend, once upon a time, someone had utilized the seeds of the World Tree to reach the World’s End and… … … resurrect an Irregularity.”


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