“Do you remember who I am?”
Once such a sentence was said, the close-up shot of the live stream room cut to Chi Ting’s face.
After the challenge in the arena was over, two high-level treasure chests were obtained. The live stream audience couldn’t bear the pressure of the points and retreated one after another while holding their bleeding hearts.
Unknowingly, the entire live stream room became Qiu Ji’s private room again.
At this time, what entered Qiu Ji’s field of view was the scarlet cross blooming in Chi Ting’s eyes when he looked up. For an experienced player, one glance was enough to tell that this was an obvious sign of being mentally polluted. The situation obviously wasn’t optimistic.
Qiu Ji frowned and looked vaguely worried.
In the previous challenge area, Chi Ting showed absolutely outstanding personal strength. Such strength had basically determined that it was only a matter of time before he cleared the ‘Lost Treasure’ instance and left. However, now mental pollution was involved, and the outcome might not be certain.
Not to mention newcomers, even the top players currently on the top of the leaderboard would have a headache when facing a powerful mental impact.
This had nothing to do with one’s own strength. Once a person fell into a state of being unable to distinguish between reality and illusion for too long, the final result was to lose control of reason and completely fall into madness.
Qiu Ji had seen too many people become ignorant monsters after forgetting themselves, step by step. This included the teammate he just lost.
From the current perspective, Chi Ting’s state was really bad.
In a daze, Qiu Ji seemed to see the figure in the live stream room overlap with Old Seven little by little.
The sudden flood of bad memories made him let out a loud cry in his heart. He lit up a cigarette and took two deep puffs.
On the screen, Chi Ting still maintained this posture and looked at Yue Ren.
His blurred and wandering gaze stayed on the face that was just a short distance away. He was about to slowly lower his eyes due to exhaustion when the force on his lower jaw forced him to raise his head again. He met Yue Ren’s eyes again.
After more than ten seconds of silence, a strange light slowly flowed around the cross in Chi Ting’s eyes. It seemed to slightly reflect the tall figure of the man. It wasn’t until he finally caught a glimpse of reality among the hallucinations that crazily emerged in his mind that he slowly spoke. “I know. You are… Yue Ren.”
Due to the permission authority, Qiu Ji only heard a ‘beep—!’ when Chi Ting said the name, but his worried heart finally calmed down.
He once again took a deep puff of the cigarette. “He is so strong, and his will is so firm… If he can achieve this now, it seems he definitely won’t join our Seven Seas when he comes to the Sanctuary…”
After spending so many points to follow the stream to the present, it turned out that his effort was likely in vain. This made Qiu Ji somewhat sad.
Unfortunately, the two people in the instance obviously couldn’t feel the pain of their sponsor father.
During the copying, Chi Ting felt that an invisible force filled his mind with an extremely huge amount of information.
In a short period of time, he seemed to be in the past of the ancient city of Aleran, experiencing the vast history.
Countless images filled his mind, like movie clips being played at double the speed.
The dazzling shots were synchronized into several chaotic timelines and crazily flooded into his memories.
Chi Ting seemed to truly feel the despair of the people of Aleran under the rule of the demons. He witnessed the glory of the heroes after defeating the demons. He saw the scene of people excitedly cheering on that day and even seemed to touch the legendary treasure with his own hands…
Shrouded in holy light, familiar figures that he eagerly wanted to see again appeared in front of him.
These people stood in front of him and called him ‘Captain Chi’ with a smile.
Such a scene made him instinctively want to smile.
It wasn’t until a cold hand grasped his wrist that Chi Ting found the fragment that really belonged to reality among the countless, rushing illusionary images. The distorted images in front of him gradually seemed to return to that quiet room again. In the simple reading room, he and the man in black were the only ones around.
The huge mental consumption made Chi Ting’s face inevitably become a bit pale. He took a few deep breaths and tried to calm down his chest, which was heaving violently after suddenly breaking free from the illusion.
Obviously, both the process of falling and the process of breaking free was extremely physically exhausting.
Chi Ting tried hard to maintain a normal expression. His voice was unprecedentedly slow, but it was reassuring. “There is only one last copy left. I will soon finish copying it.”
Chi Ting raised his arm that felt like lead but couldn’t break free from Yue Ren’s hand. “…Let go.”
Yue Ren stared without any expression at Chi Ting’s unfavorable state that was visible to the naked eye.
He furrowed his brow but his tone was as mocking as ever. “There is no reward for this broken daily task. Even if it isn’t completed, the old man can’t do anything to us. Seeing your anxious expression, are you addicted to copying…?”
“To be honest, it does feel pretty good.”
Chi Ting slowly lowered his eyes. His gaze fell on the white paper in front of him that was filled with strange characters. The blood around the cross in his eyes spread a bit more prosperously in an instant. Along with the curve of his mouth, there was a different type of magnificence. “The lost treasures left in this city might indeed be the most wonderful existence in the world. Really… there is indeed a temptation that is difficult to refuse.”
There was a hint of playful longing in the whisper-like voice. Chi Ting’s slightly crazy expression seemed bewitched. However, just as everyone thought he was almost defeated, a smile gradually appeared on his face again that contained a bit of cold sarcasm. “However, there is nothing new. I can meet people who play this brainwashing game anywhere. What scammers.”
Yue Ren paid close attention to Chi Ting’s every move and had already started to consider the possibility of directly picking up this person and carrying him away. Then Yue Ren became stunned when he heard the last sentence.
He swept his gaze over the other person’s eyes, which were obviously lost in confusion. Still, he could tell that Chi Ting retained his reason. This caused Yue Ren to gradually return to his usual playful demeanor. “It is difficult to resist the temptation, but you dislike it?”
It could be seen that Chi Ting’s brain was indeed very dull.
Now, it took him a long time to understand Yue Ren’s words. He raised his unfocused eyes to look at the man and smiled softly. “False beauty never has any meaning. There is everything in your dreams. Wouldn’t you dislike it if you dream there every day without doing anything?”
Yue Ren hadn’t expected that this person could still say such words in this state. Then after a moment of silence, his lips curved up. He loosened his grip and withdrew the strength that was holding Chi Ting’s wrist. “I understand. Since this is what you wish, please go ahead and make your last copy.”
Chi Ting sat in an upright manner at the table again.
As he continued to write, the blood around the cross in his eyes started to spread enthusiastically.
This time, Yue Ren didn’t go back to the wall. He stood aside silently and looked down at the person who was writing quickly.
His gaze was fixed on Chi Ting’s face. It was in a seemingly casual manner, but the shadow under his feet had quietly tightened. As long as there were any signs of danger, he was ready to continue his plan of carrying away this person.
This was until Chi Ting finished writing the last word, and the whole story of the heroes ended in his mind.
Along with the full stop that represented the ending, the blood continued to occupy the whites of his eyes. The cross in the center was flowing with a strange light, which exactly reflected the city emblem on the cover when the book was closed. It fit in a strange manner.
Chi Ting’s brain was still in a dizzy and swollen state.
All the images he saw during the copying process seemed to be burned in his mind. He felt dizzy under the huge amount of information. This made him shake his head several times before he finally got rid of the phantom colors rushing in front of him. He gradually captured the afterimages of reality.
He staggered as he tried to stand up from his position. Yue Ren quickly helped him up, and he barely managed to hold onto the table without falling down.
He vaguely heard movement and looked up just in time to see the door of the reading room open again.
As if he knew everything that happened inside, Old Coleridge reappeared at the right time. He glanced at Yue Ren’s hand that was still supporting Chi Ting. A look of disgust flashed across his face, but he immediately replaced it with a smile he thought was kind. “As expected of an excellent explorer. You actually completed three excerpts of the city chronicles so quickly. How about it? Do you like the history of our Aleran?”
He finished speaking and looked at the strange cross in Chi Ting’s eyes with twisted expectations.
“Of course,” Chi Ting replied in an unhurried manner. His expression seemed quite pious, and he still wasn’t satisfied with his previous experience. “If it wasn’t for the lack of physical strength, I would like to have a deeper understanding of the history of your city.”
“It is really a pity.” Coleridge looked at him steadily. “But we have always believed that a real hero will definitely lead us to find the legendary treasure again. I hope you are the one we are waiting for, dear explorer.”
Chi Ting looked tired as he nodded. “I also sincerely hope so.”
As originally stated, the store didn’t offer any treasure chest. The moment the old storekeeper escorted them to the door, he gave an additional copy of the latest edition of the city chronicle for them to take back as a souvenir.
The moment Chi Ting saw the logo on the cover, he felt like the memory lock in his mind had been opened. He quickly put it away.
He looked exhausted as he walked out of the bookstore with Yue Ren’s support.
It wasn’t until the door closed behind him that he heard someone give a low sneer. “You should be able to let go.”
After going out the door, Chi Ting’s pupils returned to their original appearance.
The bloody cross in his eyes had gradually faded away in the process of leaving the bookstore. It was just that the blood gathering in the city of his pupils seemed to be an imprint that couldn’t be erased. It seemed like it could spread to the surroundings at any time.
Hearing Yue Ren’s ridicule, he released his grip on the other person’s left arm. He glanced at the sleeve that had been crumpled because of him and gently cleared his throat.
It seemed that Yue Ren was supporting him, but in fact, Chi Ting had always been pulling Yue Ren.
After all, he felt an unprecedented sense of danger when he finished copying. He felt that this man’s mood seemed a bit extra impetuous while doing the task. He was really worried that Yue Ren would cut up the old storekeeper of the bookstore on the spot when unhappy.
Chi Ting made a deliberate show in front of Old Coleridge. His face had already lost a lot of the confusion and fatigue after he left the bookstore. It was just that the tiredness in his eyes was still somewhat clear. It could be seen that the process of copying had taken a great mental toll on him.
He had really held on tightly just now. Then once he saw that his little thoughts were exposed, he didn’t continue to hide. “After all, it is an NPC in the city. It will be troublesome if it causes other chain reactions, right?”
“That is true.” Yue Ren nodded. “But I am willing not to care about this. It is mainly because the old man is lucky. If he really drives my dear master crazy, there will be no one to cooperate with me to clear the level, and I probably won’t have to think about such troublesome things now.”
Chi Ting seemed to awaken from his dizziness for a moment, and he looked up.
What did this mean?
This person was so angry just now because of him?
“Let’s go back to the hotel first.” Yue Ren ignored the puzzled gaze. He asked seemingly casually as he walked back, “Now can you say exactly what you saw when you were copying the text?”
The aftereffects of the copying were obvious. As long as Chi Ting thought about it a bit, these images seemed to be real memories that appeared in his mind and he became a bit confused with reality. “There are many things, and my mind is still confused.”
He frowned slightly. “If I have to say something, it can probably be considered a large-scale historical documentary of the city. I followed the previous heroes through the complete process of defeating the demons and saving the city, but… I think the story should’ve added a lot of artistic processing.”
He looked up, and his somewhat confused gaze fell on the scattered buildings in the ancient city. Due to the afterimages left in his mind, he fell into a trance where reality and illusion were blurred for a moment. “In this story, the lives of the heroes were rendered too beautifully. It was more like a fairy tale. If it wasn’t for the fact that fairy tales are originally deceptive to me, I might’ve been completely sucked into it.”
Yue Ren had been listening from the side. It was only now that he laughed with interest. “I didn’t realize it before, but you are a pessimist.
“It isn’t pessimistic. I am just used to being forced to face reality.” Chi Ting lowered his eyes and stared at the beads on his wrist. It wasn’t known what he was thinking. Finally, he clicked his tongue in a playful manner.
In fact, if possible, he would be willing to believe everything described for him in this story.
In the story, all his wishes could be realized as long as the heroes’ lost treasure was found.
Then when he finally finished copying, he saw all the people he had met before reappear in front of him. The destroyed homes were built, all the alien species were completely eliminated, and even the so-called vision of world peace became a reality with the blessing of the treasure.
Everything was so beautiful.
It was so beautiful—that it was nonsense.
If all of this was true, why didn’t the heroes use the magic of the treasure to free everyone here from the instance?
Instead of it being like now, where it was tied to an inexplicable game system, receiving the arrival of groups of players, and venting generations of hatred on the descendants of the demons.
Sometimes the more exaggerated it was, the dirtier the truth hidden behind it.
So what was hidden in the city.
Was it really a treasure left by the heroes, or was it the magic box brought by Pandora?
On the way back to the hotel, Chi Ting briefly described the story of the heroes that he had seen.
Basically, it wasn’t much different from the version they had heard. The exception was that this story clearly recorded the ending. The heroes defeated the demons but weren’t willing to leave the treasure to the residents. They chose to hide it in an unknown place while waiting for new warriors to discover its existence.
In the process of watching this movie about the heroes, there seemed to be a voice from outside hinting that Chi Ting was the person they were waiting for who would obtain the lost treasure. Then he could get everything he wanted.
“It is very good. It sounds quite heroic,” Yue Ren commented after hearing it, but his tone was perfunctory.
In terms of the fact that he felt this story was extreme nonsense, he and Chi Ting reached a particularly tacit agreement.
“It is indeed like the brainwashing of an evil sect, coaxing some young and ignorant boys and girls to dedicate their lives to the service. It is best to sell their souls and bodies and then help count the money.” Chi Ting’s tone was still a bit soft and weak. As he spoke, he yawned slowly. Then he concluded, “Sure enough, every rule is useful. I really can’t believe everything that the residents of this city say.”
Yue Ren couldn’t help laughing when he saw how hard the designer of this city racked their brain only to end up reverse brainwashing Chi Ting.
At this time, they happened to return to the Adventurer Hotel. Yue Ren paused slightly when he walked into the hotel lobby as he remembered something. “That’s right.”
Chi Ting looked over with a sleepy expression. “Huh?”
Yue Ren said, “You are a bit tired today, so I won’t go back with you. It happens to be almost 8 o’clock in the evening, so I don’t have to disturb you. It will be quieter, and you can have a good sleep.”
Chi Ting glanced at him. “Where are you going?”
Yue Ren pointed to the service desk in the center of the lobby and smiled slightly. “I haven’t experienced the hotel’s hosting service yet. Store me here in the hotel tonight. I can see if I can find other clues.”
Chi Ting’s chaotic brain took a while to react. Then he realized that he had become accustomed to such behavior, and only numbness remained. “I got it. You want to continue to experience life, right?”
He didn’t answer directly and watched Yue Ren fall into a brief silence.
Chi Ting thought about it and still felt that there were certain risks in the matter of hosting. He frowned and gave a reminder, “You can go, but try not to cause trouble.”
Yue Ren’s attitude seemed quite well-behaved at first glance. “Okay, I will try my best.”
Chi Ting glanced at this person twice.
He always felt a bit skeptical about this man’s words.