Chapter 2: Incident

Eeek…

There was a sudden screech on the road. We saw a woman lying on the ground, her lower body bleeding profusely. She must have been in an accident!

“Eh?”

He Yi frowned and slowed down immediately.

“Please, I beg you, please save my wife. She was ran down by a car. Please…” A middle-aged man about 50 years old ran over while crying. “Please, take her to a hospital.”

“Oh?”

He Yi stopped her car without hesitation. “Lu Chen, let’s help them!”

“Mn.”

I was about to get out of the car when I caught something at the edge of my vision. It was a black car speeding straight at us from an alley! The driver even ran over the road fence!

Not good, this smell… a conspiracy!

The car was too fast, and there was nothing I could do besides shielding He Yi with my body. Shock appeared on He Yi’s beautiful face. “No…”

BANG!

There was a loud noise, and He Yi’s black sports car was knocked straight off the road. The impact was terrible. My mind was blank, and He Yi had collapsed in her seat. A trail of blood slid down her pale forehead.

I shook my head with all my might to clear my head. Then, two broad-faced men rushed through the smoke toward us while swearing, “Check if that woman is dead!”

It really was an attempted murder!

I hastily took action. My limbs were unhurt, and my back was only slightly painful. I carried the unconscious He Yi out of the car.

“Fuck, she has a guy with her! Get them!”

The men were holding an iron rod each. They attacked us without any hesitation at all.

Thunk!

One of the rods hit me squarely on the shoulder. Terrible pain shot straight into my brain.

There was very little time to ponder. This place was next to empty in terms of crowds, and very few cars passed by this area. He Yi and I had clearly fallen into an elaborate death trap.

I kicked one of the men in the underbelly and made him crouch in pain. Holding He Yi protectively in front of me, I ran toward the road. I could only hope that someone would show up.

Pain erupted from my shoulder again. Fresh blood was slowly but surely drenching my white shirt. He Yi was unconscious, and her eyes were tightly shut. Her long eyebrows made her look sad and beautiful.

“I will protect her this time. I won’t let her get hurt even if I were to lose my life!” I told myself again and again in my head.

When I finally stumbled and crawled my way onto the road, I discovered that the heavens hadn’t forsaken us. A private car was just moving toward our direction.

I quickly moved to the center of the road to get it to stop. At the same time, the two killers swung their iron rods and rushed at us again.

“Open the door!” I shouted. Alas, the middle-aged man inside the car clearly wanted nothing to do with us. Scared and shaken, he didn't dare to open the door.

“Open the fucking door!” I punched the car window and caused it to crack. The situation escalating, the driver had no choice but to give in.

I seized the opportunity to push He Yi into the car before shouting, “Quickly, take her to a hospital!”

The middle-aged man had no choice but to nod again. Suddenly, his eyes widened with fear. It was because the two burly men had caught up with us.

There was no way I was escaping this predicament, so I stood in their way, allowing the car to leave safely.

“Fuck! He screwed up our plans! Kill him!”

The man with knife scars all over his face jumped me with a savage grin on his face.

I didn’t put much of a resistance. I had taken too much damage earlier, and was already out of steam. My knees slowly hit the ground.

Bang!

I felt a burning hot sensation behind the back of my head, and the world spun from beneath my feet. I collapsed heavily on the road after that.

Everything was dark. I couldn’t see anything.

  ……

Am I dead?

I asked myself that again and again, but there's was no one to answer my question.

Despair and sorrow suddenly overwhelmed me while I was kneeling in the darkness. I felt like I could almost hear my mother’s final words: “Take care of yourself, Lu Chen…”

“I’m sorry, mom, I broke our promise.”

“Mom, I’m scared…”

I cried and cried, but I couldn’t open my mouth or make any sound at all. My entire being was engulfed in fear and despair.

Suddenly a voice rang beside my ears—

“We don’t even know who this kid is. What should we do?”

“What else? We bury him. Fuck this busybody, he brought this upon himself!”

I could feel my body sinking deeper and deeper. Soon, my consciousness disappeared completely.

  ……

It was late at night. At the farmland of a quiet, abandoned village, there was a spot that looked like it had been freshly dug.

Poosh!

An arm suddenly burst out of the earth.

I crawled out of the hole and looked down at my soiled hands. I could barely believe that I was alive. How on earth did I survive being buried for so long?

Shocked, I turned around and discovered that the hole was only about twenty centimeters deep. The earth also looked incredibly loose. This probably meant that there was enough air for me to breathe even while I was unconscious.

“Ugh…”

I groaned as a splitting pain appeared from the back of my head. The blow that knocked me out and nearly took my life was seriously heavy. Still, I was lucky to have survived this.

I looked around me and saw a sky full of stars. It was already nighttime.

My phone was missing, and my clothes were blood-red. Any movement caused waves of terrible pain to shoot to my brain.

Still feeling glad for having survived this ordeal, I couldn't help but worry about He Yi. Had she been delivered safely to the hospital? Why did those people try to kill her? There were so, so many mysteries that remained unsolved... 

Hospital, huh... People who tried to assassinate GGS Vice President were bound to have connections in many places. Hospital? Police? That will just put me on their radar. What if they use me to find He Yi? What if He Yi comes looking for me? I just hope she's safe.  

Never mind, I should get back home. I doubt these people would know me by name and know my address. God knows how long I’ve been under the soil considering how hungry and weak I am. 

As I staggered my way onto the road, a new question hit me. Why had I defended He Yi with my body without any hesitation when she was in danger? What on earth was I hoping for?

I shook the thoughts out of my head. Who knew what I was thinking at that time?

There were very few public transports that traveled through a rural area, and I had to wait for over half an hour before I finally saw one. The driver looked at me like a ghost when I climbed into his bus. “Friend, did you fall into a drain or something?”

I nodded and smiled at him. “More or less. Rotten luck, trust me.”

The road back home was bumpy and uncomfortable, and my phone was nowhere to be seen. Luckily, I still had the card He Yi had given me, so my livelihood wasn’t in any danger yet. “Heavenblessed” would be starting tomorrow night. Maybe I wasn't good enough to do whatever I wanted, but earning a living should definitely be within my reach.

I touched the wound at the back of my head. It was still hurting a bit. All this time, I couldn’t stop thinking about how I managed to walk out of this whole thing alive. I was struck in the head with a blunt object, and the blow was probably heavy enough to break my skull. Then, I was buried in the ground for god knows how long. Seriously, how the hell had I made it out alive?

I looked back at the area where I was buried and noticed that it was an undeveloped area. It looked a lot like a graveyard filled with tiny, short tombstones.

A long time later, I suddenly laughed derisively at myself. “Well, who cares as long as I’m alive?”

  ……

By the time I finally returned home, the sky was already completely dark. I lived in an apartment that consisted of a bedroom, a living room and a toilet. The monthly rent was 2200 RMB. Yep, if a brother hadn’t helped me out, I would have failed to pay my rent last month. Of course, the cost of that aid was a low-level Divine-grade weapon, a two-handed sword to be exact. That being said, “Spirit of Grief” was shutting down in a couple of days, so it was eventually going to become worthless anyway.

I walked up the dark stairs and went through the familiar motions of producing my key. Suddenly, a figure rushed out of my apartment.

“Fuck, man! What kept you away for so long? And where have you been for the last two days? You weren’t picking up any of my calls!”

I already knew who the figure was from his voice.

Du Thirteen was the best brother I’ve ever had. We were so close that we wouldn’t hesitate to share our precious belongings with each other. Du Thirteen and I were friends since primary school, and we practically shared everything with each other besides our girlfriends. We barely even had any secrets that we kept from each other. Of course, the reason we never shared girlfriends was because one, I never had one to share in the first place, and two, Du Thirteen changed partners faster than a girl changing her clothes.

Du Thirteen peered at me through the dim lighting before exclaiming in astonishment, “What on earth happened to you, Lu Chen? Oh right, I heard you were hunted by Candlelight Shadow until you had to delete your account… It’s okay. Right now Candlelight Shadow is like the sun in the sky, and there’s practically nothing he can’t do in the China server. It’s not surprising that Ancient Sword Dreaming Souls couldn’t fight against him.”

I smiled slightly at him and gave him a tap on the shoulder. “I’m fine. Be more optimistic, will ya? Candlelight Shadow may be in his prime right now, but there are no primes that last forever. Besides, it’s just an account deletion; a small matter. Young people should be optimistic, you know?”

“Optimistic your sister…” Du Thirteen replied helplessly. “Just who’s consoling who right now…”

“Speaking of which, why are you here, Thirteen?” I glared at him. “Tomorrow’s the release day. Why are you here instead of preparing?”

Du Thirteen took a bite of cucumber before staring at me in astonishment. “Did someone hit you in the head? Heavenblessed releases tonight at 12 am. What do you mean tomorrow?"

“What? Today?! What… what date is today?” I asked a little dazedly.

“Today is the 10th, isn’t it?”

“The 10th…”

I was stunned. He Yi and I met on the 8th, but today was the 10th already. Was I unconscious for an entire day? In the ground? How was that possible?!

“Hey, bro, are you really okay?”

Du Thirteen gave me a tap on the shoulder before asking, “What’s with the confusion on your face? Today's the 10th. Is there something wrong with that?”

I sucked in a deep breath before smiling at him. “Nothing. Anyway, today’s the day right? So why are you loitering around here?”

“You heartless bastard!” Du Thirteen’s saliva flew everywhere. “I came here because I couldn’t contact you for the past two days! I was worried that you were dead or something! Anyway, I’m going back now that you’re here. I should reach home just barely before 12. I’ll see you in game, alright? Now quickly, what’s your new ID? Is it still Falling Dust?”

“I don’t know, I'll change it this time I think. What about you? What’s your ID going to be?”

“I don’t know either. There are just too many people registering, you know? I wanted to register myself as Brother Cool or Handsome Hero or something, but the chances are pretty low to be honest.”

“In that case, you should head back first. We can always contact each other after we leave the starting village.”

“Alright, I’ll be leaving. By the way, I brought you a couple hundred grams of sliced beef. I was going to drink with you, but you were quite late. Next time.”

I looked inside my apartment and saw a bag of sliced beef and a bottle of Erguotou on the table. I couldn’t help but feel a surge of warmth inside my heart. If there was one thing I had gained throughout my life, it was this good brother of mine.

Thirteen left, the street lamps casting a long shadow on the ground. He was by no means a gaming professional. One might even rightfully call him a noob. Where others left behind a story of their journey, he only left a lonely view of his back.

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