Chapter 563 Curiosity

GOR Chapter 563 Curiosity

Nightmare felt extremely unfortunate.

Talking about unfortunate circumstances, his was quite an unfortunate one. He was one of the typical left-behind children of China. When he was still very young, his parents had left for the city to find work, leaving him at home with his grandparents in a township (class 4). [1]

As his grandparents were old, they no longer have much energy. Additionally, there was still a need to attend to domestic chores. Thus, it was only natural for them to not care for Nightmare properly.

The quality of education of his township’s schools was also most concerning. Over time, Nightmare drifted along through life and began visiting the internet cafes in his township. Eventually, he became a resident wastrel there.

Truth be told, he simply did not possess any talent in gaming. However, he did become friend with some delinquents. Most of them were left-behind children like him. And thus, they established a XX Clan of punks – that was all the rage a few years back.

The days he spent without anyone restraining him was quite carefree. Although his grandparents had no strength to discipline him, they did care for him when it came to food.

In the summer of last year however, all of that fell apart.

His parents who had gone together to work in the city divorced each other.

Nightmare heard that his mother had married into the family where she had been working as a nanny. She married the head of the family, a 40-year-old widower. As for his father, he had hooked up with a waitress where he was working at.

Most unfortunately, after separating, neither one of them was willing to take care of Nightmare – their own child, Zhao Tiezhu.

As his mother was marrying into another family, she feared bringing a child along with her would be an inconvenience.

As for his father… … he was poor. City life was never cheap.

Due to that, Nightmare’s living expenses became something to worry about – his grandparents’ physical health was also not that good.

Gradually, he could no longer afford to visit the internet café. Instead, he began to do a little ‘something’ with his punk friends: petty crime. Occasionally, they would extort some students outside the township’s school – in this world, delinquents such as these would commonly do things like this.

He had spent most of his time in internet cafes. As for the things he learnt in school… … while he could still deal with basic arithmetic, anything more profound than that would be no different from understanding the Bible.

However, he did end up becoming a typical Middle Second syndrome patient. All the various mangas, animes, games… … he stuffed them all down his head during his time in the internet cafe.

He was also familiar with the various online novels.

One day, the student Zhao Tiezhu found himself sucked into a game, an instance dungeon. There he underwent a miraculous adventure.

As a result, Zhao Tiezhu transformed into Nightmare.

He was quite fortunate.

In his first instance dungeon, he encountered Thorned Flower Guild.

Zhao Tiezhu never had much of a heroic side to him. When he witnessed how Thorned Flower Guild’s team swept aside the other Awakened participants in the instance dungeon, he did not hesitate to… … surrender.

After becoming Thorned Flower Guild’s captive, he should have become a cannon fodder. Generally speaking, the best case scenario for him would be getting sent to lure away NPCs or the BOSS, thereby becoming a cannon fodder.

However, due to the extraordinary characteristics of his skill, the Team Leader for Thorned Flower Guild’s team in that instance dungeon decided to leave him alive and bring him back.

Then, the Team Leader made his report.

After that, Nightmare’s luck took a turn for the better.

It was said that the one with the highest position in Thorned Flower Guild, Shen had said, “There is actually such an exotic skill? Although it does not have much use in combat, keep him! Consider him a collection.”

As a result, Nightmare became an ornament among the Awakened members of Thorned Flower Guild, a mascot, a collectible.

With the protection of the mighty Thorned Flower Guild, he was able to lead a rather carefree life.

Occasionally, he would be able to swagger about as well, satisfying his wicked Middle Second syndrome.

All that time, Nightmare had felt most grateful toward Guild Leader Shen, someone he had never met before.

Unfortunately, his world collapsed once again.

Guild Leader Shen went missing and chaos broke out within Thorned Flower Guild.

His carefree days came to an end.

Although Nightmare was a Middle Second syndrome patient, he was not an idiot. He could see the chasm within Thorned Flower Guild. The Players had always looked down on Awakened ones. If not for the suppressive might of Guild Leader Shen, chaos would have broken out long ago.

Within Thorned Flower Guild, Guild Leader Shen was the unparalleled apex of authority.

However, it was not hard to imagine what would happen should this existence disappear.

Nightmare knew all too well that without Guild Leader Shen’s protection, the best-case scenario for an Awakened like him would be getting sent to serve as cannon fodder for the guild’s Player members. He would become a slave.

Surviving three instance dungeons would be a miracle.

Nightmare did not want to die. He was still young. He still haven’t had enough of life.

Thus, when some of the Awakened members from Thorned Flower Guild began organizing a resistance, Nightmare did not hesitate to join them.

That was his only path to survival.

Unfortunately, dreams are beautiful while reality is harsh.

Nightmare, who had fallen into Chen Xiaolian’s hand, was now feeling uneasy. His only concern was: Would this fellow known as Chen Xiaolian kill me?

I have not lived enough!

For Chen Xiaolian, dealing with Nightmare was not something important. He was more concerned about something else. How could Mr San foresee the future?

Two days ago, Mr San had foreseen that I would come to this underground parking lot?

This is ridiculous!

Furthermore, what did Mr San had in mind when he sent this youngster to him?

If at all possible, Chen Xiaolian would really like to talk to Mr San face-to-face. Better yet if he could just grab him by the neck and shout at him.

Would it kill you to not speak in riddles for once! Acting all mysterious and having others guess what you are up to!

After getting back into the car, Chen Xiaolian glanced at Nightmare, who sat in the first passenger’s seat.

The youngster’s face revealed a highly concerned expression – at his age, he had yet to learn how to hide his feelings.

“I won’t kill you. You can relax.” Chen Xiaolian was still something of a kind-hearted fellow. Scaring a little kid was something he felt disdain for.

Nightmare’s face grew less tense. After a moment of silence, he asked, “Can you tell me when you saw through my dreamworld?”

Chen Xiaolian smiled but chose not to answer.

Truth be told, the answer was easy.

The Sword in the Stone.

When he managed to summon out the Sword in the Stone inside the dreamworld, Chen Xiaolian had realized that something was not right.

The Sword in the Stone had been destroyed back in Zero City.

As for the dreamworld, it was created based on his own consciousness. Thus, his habit of summoning out the Sword in the Stone as a weapon… … this subconscious habit of his revealed the flaw in the dreamworld.

As he was bringing Nightmare, an outsider, with him, Chen Xiaolian did not return to the base. He drove toward the previous, abandoned base, the fitness centre.

He led Nightmare up the building. As they were moving past the corridor, Chen Xiaolian subconsciously checked the yoga studio that had once roused his suspicion.

The door to the yoga studio was closed and locked.

Chen Xiaolian moved over to peer inside it.

It was very dark and a layer of dust was evident on the floor. It had been left untouched for at least a number of days.

Chen Xiaolian knitted his brows lightly before turning around to lead Nightmare into the fitness centre.

Half an hour later, Lun Tai and Bei Tai came and they met up.

The two of them did not encounter any dangerous situations. The reason why Chen Xiaolian would see them in the dreamworld was because he had failed to make contact with them earlier; thus, his subconscious feelings of concern had created them.

Truth be told, the two of them did not encounter Thunderflame either. They had quickly retreated and did not encounter any surprises. Just now, after successfully dealing with Nightmare, Chen Xiaolian had quickly made contact with the two of them to meet up here.

Chen Xiaolian placed Fatty and Skyblade on the bed in the lounge. After that, he went to sit together with Nightmare in the lobby.

He made a deliberate act of moving a chair before sitting while facing Nightmare. He regarded the youngster.

This youngster… … just how was he useful? Why would Mr San wish to send him over to him?

His wonderful skill that had no practical applications?

When Lun Tai and Bei Tai entered, they saw Chen Xiaolian staring at Nightmare.

Lun Tai appeared calm. He moved forward and gave Nightmare a glance before turning to ask Chen Xiaolian. “Him?”

“Mm.” Chen Xiaolian nodded.

Chen Xiaolian had informed them both of what happened this night.

Next, it was time for them to discuss more serious matters.

After sitting down, they ignored Nightmare. Lun Tai first revealed his opinions on this matter.

“It is not hard to explain Skyblade’s issue. It is likely that his son had gone looking for him. If my father is an Awakened, after his death, I too would figure a way to find the refreshed him. This is human nature. However… … him secretly following you is rather strange.”

“I feel the same. Maybe the issue lies with that woman. Did you encounter that woman?”

“No,” answered Bei Tai. “We did not encounter the other party. We did not even know if the other party was male or female. We hid our presence the moment you told us to and left. No one should have discovered us. We had also taken extra precautions on the way here. No one was following us.”

“And yet, this little kid found me,” said Chen Xiaolian with a frown.

“So, the crux of this matter lies on that Mr San’s person! The ability to foresee the future? Humph!” Lun Tai gave a harrumph.

After further considering it, Chen Xiaolian said, “It appears that the news about Zero City could no longer be held back. It will quickly spread out. A storm is coming!”

“… how should we deal with this kid?” Bei Tai’s pupils swivelled to the side as he regarded Nightmare.

An obvious look of panic spread across Nightmare’s face.

“Keep an eye on him first.” Chen Xiaolian considered it for a moment. “One of you stay behind and make sure he remains here. Do not let him make contact with anyone outside.”

“Doesn’t he have a guild channel?” asked Lun Tai.

“No.” Chen Xiaolian smiled and said, “I had questioned him about it. When Thorned Flower Guild broke up, the stronger Awakened members from other regions all established their own guild. However, he is unfortunate. He is the lonely commander of this region. He would normally contact the other Awakened members through phone.”

“Mm, so we are not taking him back to base?”

“Depends.” Chen Xiaolian decided to be cautious about this. The base was their biggest secret. As long as they were unwilling to kill to silence others, it would be for the better to not bring Nightmare back to the base.

“And the list!” Lun Tai suddenly spoke up. “The list that Mr San gave this kid is an important clue! Why is it that all the people you know are on the list? For example, those few people from Japan and Phoenix’s guild.”

“That War Tiger is an unfamiliar one.” Chen Xiaolian frowned.

Suddenly, he thought of something. “Maybe, Mr San wants… … he wants us all to unite?”

Chen Xiaolian immediately grabbed hold of Nightmare and said, “When Mr San gave you the list, other than telling you when and where I would be appearing, did he tell you the whereabouts of the others on the list?”

“Why are there two people in your body?”

The little boy who sat on the floor dropped the toy in his hand and looked up at Shen.

The toy that was in his hand fell to the floor and transformed into virtual specks of light – it turned out that all the toys there were holographic projections.

The sight took Shen aback.

There was a very honest and serious look on Adam’s face as he looked at Shen. “There are two shadows in your body.”

Shen subconsciously turned to look at his back. Naturally, he did not see anything.

“Are you a child who likes joking around?” Shen frowned.

“No. I never joke around. They told me that little kids must not lie,” replied Adam with a very sincere tone.

Shen felt perplexed.

“Two?”

“Yes, you and… … her.” Adam cast his gaze at Shen. However, Shen had this strangest feeling. Although this child was clearly looking at him, it felt as though he was not.

“She? You mean, a woman?”

“Yes, she looks terrified.”

Shen suddenly shouted out loud, “Zero City! Is this one of your tricks?”

Zero City sighed as its voice rang out from within the room. “It is not me. He is not lying. To be precise, there is a soul fragment within your body.”

“Fragment?” Shen entered a state of contemplation. Suddenly, he took a deep breath and took a step to the side. Next, he extended out one finger to tap the spot he was just standing at.

Immediately, a virtual ray of light appeared, just like a mirror. Within the rays of light was a translucent silhouette that looked like a ghost.

Within the mirror like object was a long, black haired woman. She looked around with an anxious expression.

Seeing that shocked Shen.

“Eh? It is you?”

“Coffeehouse Guild, Guild Leader: Phoenix. Coordinate: XXXXXXX. Date: XXXXXXX.”

Chen Xiaolian looked at the note that Nightmare had given him and pondered for a moment. “In two days’ time.”

Lun Tai asked, “So, we are going to follow Mr San’s instructions to go find them?”

There was a solemn expression on Chen Xiaolian’s face as he considered the matter. “Since this is a clue sent by Mr San, we might as well give it a shot. I am getting more curious. Just what is the answer behind this incident!”

“I say, are you awake?”

Tian Lie splashed a cup of water onto Nicole’s face.

Nicole continued sitting there. She silently rubbed her face with her hands before raising her brow and glancing at Tian Lie.

She appeared to have calmed down.

Then, she suddenly and slowly stood up. Next, she stepped toward the main gates of the warehouse.

“Hey, where are you going?”

“I am leaving,” said Nicole without turning her head.

Looking at Nicole’s back, Tian Lie suddenly spoke up, “You want to go back? To Zero City? How do you plan on going back?”

Nicole abruptly halted her steps. She turned to look at Tian Lie. “You… …”

“Don’t be so surprised. We have been dealing with each other for so long, even a fool would be able to figure out you are someone from Zero City.” Tian Lie smiled and continued, “Miss Floating Angel!”

“What about you, Mr Tian Lie from Thorned Flower Guild?” Nicole responded coldly. “What do you intend to do?”

Tian Lie revealed a look of surprise. “You… … figured out my identity?”

“It is as you said, even a fool would be able to figure it out by now. Your skill is very unique. Besides… … your skill had left a very deep impression on me!”

Tian Lie responded with a wry smile. “And I thought you would battle me to the death the moment you figure out who I am.”

“Why? Because I had died by your hands? Or because you had killed my father?” said Nicole icily. “I have already died once. Then, I saw my own father living a very good and happy life in a farm in America. I think that beats being an Angel member of Zero City. Compared to a life where he had to risk his life every day, that way of life would give him more happiness.”

Tian Lie was unable to stop himself from feeling surprised.

“You are right. At present, there is no way to return to Zero City… … so, I want to take her!” Nicole suddenly pointed at Jenny.

Jenny’s husband, Tom Huggins, quickly stepped out, positioning himself before his wife. “I will not allow you to take my wife away! Unless you kill me!”

Nicole said nothing in response. However, killing intent seeped out from her eyes.

“Enough! No one is killing anyone!” Tian Lie frowned. He got up, walked over and stood before Nicole. “Since we have cooperated this far, how about you be patient a little longer and continue with our cooperation one more time? What do you think?”

“… … …”

“Trust me, I have a method of solving this – although it may not be a good one, it may be better compared to yours.”

Without waiting for Nicole’s reply, Tian Lie turned to Jenny and said, “Jenny, according to the responsibilities assigned to you, now is the time to activate Zero City’s special circumstances emergency protocol. You need to send an emergency message and make contact using a special channel. You can do that, right?”

Nicole looked on warily. “What do you want to do?”

“It is very simple. Help you contact your organization and… … I am also feeling very curious to find out what happened.”

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1 China’s administrative classification. Provincial level at class 1, prefectural level at class 2, county level at class 3, township level at class 4, village level at class 5.

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