My mind was in a mess. I felt like I was going to suffocate. This was definitely livor mortis!
I slowly sat down against a corner in a daze, holding my head in my hands.
What’s going on? What’s happening to me? I am obviously alive, but why do I have livor mortis? Doesn't this mean that my body is slowly rotting? This… is impossible. Is this all a dream?
I gave myself a hard slap.
It hurt like hell. It was all real.
I was afraid to close my eyes. As soon as I did, my thoughts filled with livor mortis and death. I opened them again, but these scary patches of skin were still there. My heart chilled, and I felt my resolve wavering, as if I would break down any minute.
Lost in thought, long time passed.
“Lu Chen, Lu Chen! What’s wrong?”
Du Thirteen opened the door. He saw me sitting in the corner in a daze and couldn’t help but ask, “What happened?”
I didn’t hide it from him. I lifted my arm and answered with an ashen heart. “Thirteen, I think I’m… already dead!”
Thirteen’s eyes were wide open. He grabbed my arm and said with a tremble, “Lu Chen, don’t scare me. Bro, w-what happened to you? How did this happen? Y-you’re definitely just sick…”
Thirteen’s eyes glistened with tears as he looked at my slowly-rotting body. Eyes red, he said through gritted teeth, “Shit, how did this happen…”
I looked up at the ceiling with despair and told him about what had happened in the past few days.
After hearing my story, Du Thirteen silently turned around. He came back with a syringe in hand and looked at me. “Bro, I’m not gonna let you die!”
He extracted my blood and said with a low voice, “I forgot to tell you but my dad’s a specialist at the Provincial Institute of Biology. I’m going to take your blood to Nanjing for a detailed lab test. Don’t worry, you’ll definitely be okay. I’ll be back tonight…”
I nodded, and said dejectedly, “Thanks… But when you were chasing Tan Xue, I remember you saying that your dad was a banker…”
“Fuck, why do you still remember that? Just wait for me!”
Du Thirteen went out the door before turning around again. He warned, “Lu Chen, you’d better not die. If you die, I’m going to be fucking lonely!”
And so, Du Thirteen left.
The sky had not completely brightened. For me, a person like him who was widely known to be a lazyass, was actually catching a ride to Nanjing.
The sky was overcast when I reached the rooftop of a small building. I looked up, and countless scenes of the past flashed across my eyes.
I sat on the cement floor and lay down, calming my turbulent heart. After thinking about it, I realized that I didn’t get a class like Undead Swordsman just by chance. It was because there was an issue with my body. Strictly speaking, I really was dead. I was already dead when I got buried and this was all because of a woman—
I regretted nothing. Grasped in my right hand was a blue book titled “Encouragement”.
It was a birthday present He Yi once sent me by mail. She said that it was effective in motivating others. If we ever wiped at a boss, it was good at boosting morale.
The edges of my mouth curled up. I couldn’t help but smile.
The scene of a breezy mountain range with tall grass and flying birds surfaced in my mind. He Yi was gathering herbs and I followed her, staring at her back in a daze. He Yi was a very independent woman. Once she picked a direction, she would head there without hesitation. It was a trait worthy of admiration. At the same time, she was extremely charismatic. Not only was she beautiful in face and figure, she had overwhelming wisdom and courage. If not, how could a delicate woman like her become the GGS Asia Region Vice President?
I slowly closed my eyes with a smile. If I die like this, I hope to pass on peacefully.
It began to rain, fine raindrops gently falling on my face.
The weird part was that I had actually fallen asleep, until a scorching pain shot through every part of my body.
After a long sigh, I sat back up and stared at the bizarre scene around me.
The rain had stopped and sunlight shone upon my body. It was as though the scary livor mortis had evaporated like water, only leaving behind an acute pain. I felt like I had been put on a stove, that piercing burning pain was not something anyone could endure!
I tightened my fists and watched the livor mortis vaporize under the sunshine. There was a phrase that would describe my mood: Pain comes with happiness.
In not even ten minutes, the livor mortis had completely disappeared. My skin was white again and it shone like new. The pain had also disappeared, it was like a weird disease that had been cured by sunlight.
Tap tap tap tap…
The sound of urgent footsteps echoed. Du Thirteen was back.
I went downstairs and just happened to encounter Du Thirteen. He was holding a piece of paper covered in tiny words and wore a beaming smile. “Lu Chen, your results are out!”
“What’s up?” I snatched the piece of paper, only to discover that it was all in English. I didn’t know what it said.
Thirteen breathed in. “There’s a rare kind of poison in your blood. You can also call it a virus. The formula’s already been analyzed. This kind of virus had never been seen before but its effects are super crazy. It’s able to continuously revive dead cells!”
“What?!” I was shocked.
Du Thirteen nodded. “It was the reason behind the livor mortis on your body. This kind of virus is too fierce. Its propagation speed is faster than the life cycle of your cells. It had gone overboard and sped up your body’s metabolism. But don’t worry, my dad made his friends analyze this virus’s characteristics as fast as they could. I already found a way to inhibit its growth.”
“What way?” I asked quietly.
“X-ray!” Du Thirteen said with full confidence. “This kind of ray might be harmful to the human body but it could restore you back to normal!”
I nodded and then came to a realization. No wonder sunlight was able to cure me. It was because the sun had X and gamma rays!
Du Thirteen took a step forward and patted my shoulder, smiling. “Don’t worry about it, bro. There’s nothing wrong with your body. In fact, Heavenblessed’s game helmet has a little X-ray radiation. As long as you’re in the game, your body won’t worsen. Not just that, this kind of virus can even strengthen your body!”
A bit stunned, I smiled. “Is this the so-called profiting from a disaster? Would I be able to fly around like Superman?”
“I doubt it.” Du Thirteen laughed. “How can that kind of thing happen here on Earth? The strengthening that I’m talking about is just enhancing your muscles and bones. If you were able to beat a normal person before, you can probably beat one and a half people at your current level. Though a random Shaolin monk can still destroy seven or eight of you…”
“Fuck…” I was speechless, but the dark clouds in my mind had already dispersed. According to Thirteen’s explanation, this virus wouldn’t take my life, and that was enough.
“Oh right.” Thirteen swallowed. “The scientists there had a discussion about the origin of that virus. From the place of the accident and the age of the virus, they theorized that it was probably produced by dead bodies. The place you were buried just so happened to be an ancient burial complex!”
“Burial complex?” I froze. “What burial complex?”
“Late Han Dynasty. It was a graveyard for Wu State’s clan descendants, but was razed later on. It was said that when Guan Yu was killed, his head was sent to Wei State but his body was buried there.”
“No way, why is this sounding more and more mystical?”
Du Thirteen snickered. “All things in the world are connected by karma. How can you not believe in feng shui and the supernatural described in our metaphysics? You’d better be careful. What if Martial God Guan Yu’s soul enters your body one day and runs around challenging the criminal underworld swinging a butcher knife? Now that’ll be interesting, haha…”
I was speechless as I watched Thirteen clap his hands while laughing. This dumbass was seriously heartless. He could actually joke around at a time like this?
At this time, a horn blasted. Standing near the window, Du Thirteen and I could see a black sports car stop downstairs.
The door opened and an absolute beauty got out of the car. Du Thirteen and I were both instantly stunned.
I was stunned because this beauty was He Yi, but Du Thirteen was stunned because the girl was seriously hot. He noisily rushed at He Yi and exclaimed while drooling, “Fuck! I saw this super beauty this morning. Tsk tsk, she’s this beautiful and she drives a Lamborghini. I… I have to marry her…”
I slapped him back onto the sofa and said solemnly, “Thirteen, do you know who she is?”
“He Yi, Ancient Sword Dreaming Souls guild’s leader, my boss. I didn’t know that she’d find this place!”
“Ah?” Du Thirteen clapped while laughing again. “You little shit, you’ve got good eyes. This He Yi’s beautiful and rich. All the girlfriends I’ve had in the past can’t even add up to her. Tsk tsk, you’re seriously too lucky…”
“You’re still joking around?” I glared at him. “She can’t know that I’m here…”
“Why?” Du Thirteen said with puzzlement.
"Why?!" I pointed at myself. “Just look at me! My body is a mess, I've been infected with some virus and even though I'm fine, God knows how long this will last. Even if she knew the truth, what if this equilibrium ends? My body is dying, Thirteen. The last thing I'd want is to give her hope and for her to see me slowly succumb to death, helpless to stop it. She would just blame herself for her entire life. Maybe it is for the best, my 'death' being so sudden.”
“Lu Chen…” Thirteen whispered, stumped for words. “Then what do we do?”
“I think I'm going to hide.”
“Then what should I say?
I gritted my teeth as countless possibilities flitted through my mind. I recalled the patches of dead skin on my body as I made my resolve. Tears welled up in my eyes. “Just say that I’m dead.”
Not long after, He Yi knocked and her clear, sweet voice came from the door. “Excuse me, is anyone there?”
Du Thirteen ran to open the door. He Yi froze when she saw him. “Who... are you? Doesn’t Lu Chen live here?”
“Lu Chen?” Du Thirteen furrowed his brow. “I’m Lu Chen’s friend, why are you looking for him?
He Yi looked a bit uneasy and her elegant brows slightly wrinkled. Her tone immediately switched to a commanding one. “Get out of my way!”
That kind of bearing was probably something that came with being the GGS Asia Vice President. Dumbass Du Thirteen stared blankly and as expected, he obediently moved aside.
He Yi entered my apartment. I was hiding in the supply closet, watching what was going on through a slit in the door.
Du Thirteen followed her and looked at the book. “You can stop searching, Lu Chen’s gone.”
He Yi’s delicate shoulders suddenly trembled. She turned to Du Thirteen, her beautiful eyes filled with doubt. “Gone? What do you mean by ‘gone’?”
Du Thirteen gritted his teeth. “Someone sent me a message three days ago saying that Lu Chen had an accident when he went to meet a friend from a game. He died in the graves of Nanjiao and he’s already been cremated. Who the hell are you? And why are you looking for him?”
He Yi’s beautiful eyes were filled with shock. Her entire body suddenly collapsed, bumping into the table behind her.
Glistening tears slid down her face as she cried. She slowly kneeled, not caring about her snowy legs making contact with dust on the floor.
“Encouragement” fell from the table and just happened to land on top of her. Her teary eyes hazily looked at the book she had sent me as a present, her sobs exploding into an uncontrollable wail.
Du Thirteen was dumbstruck. He looked extremely uncomfortable as he stood next to her, at odds about whether or not he should help her up.
He Yi’s eyes were red and her usually bright face was filled with grief and distress. She cried and cried, hugging “Encouragement”, as if the book was the thing she loved the most in her life.
My nose soured as I did my best to keep my face tilted up. As long as my tears don’t fall, the sorrow won’t spread.Previous Chapter Next Chapter