Chapter 55: Point of Time Confirmed
There was another person Yue Qiang met that was similar to Yin. It was that trader in the Zhao Army, Ai Qian.
By ‘similar’, he meant that they shared the same attribute: Memory Unlock Rate. That guy’s memory unlock rate was 3%, which was slightly higher than Yin’s 0%.
Other than that, the duo also shared another common point: They all showed some traits of modern people.
Yin might not remember what happened to her, but she could understand the gaming jargons Yue Qiang revealed to her. As for Ai Qian, he might be mingling within the Zhao Army’s camp, but he gave off a feeling that separated him from other people. Moreover, this guy also had an item that was obviously of a modern era. It was an inspirational babble type book called ‘The Philosophy of Cockroaches’ aimed at a niche market.
Yue Qiang had a premonition that as Yin and Ai Qian’s memories were gradually unlocked, the truth behind the game would slowly float to the surface as well.
Wait a second, Ai Qian… I think he mentioned about a trading market not far away to the north of Yue Village.
While Yue Qiang was pondering, Yin spoke, “Therefore, your problem is to seek out the main quest, whereas my problem is to attempt recalling what happened to me before, which is to unlock the memory unlock rate you mentioned earlier. The common point between these two problems is that they both need a location where a large amount of information can be sought for!”
“About that, I have just the information.” Yue Qiang said and told Yin about the trading market.
“If it’s titled a market, then there must be a lot of people, and the more people there are, the more information we can get.” Yin said agreeably, “There should be three types of people in this game. One is this world’s NPC characters, which are the majority of the population; next would be a player like you, and you should be the one and only; and finally there are people like me, who have this ‘memory unlock rate’ attribute. This assumption should be correct.”
“Besides that,” she continued, “Don’t you think that the difficulty to survive in this game – or should I say, this world – is a little too high? From your description, nearly every one of your battles were close calls, and the two tigers especially – I cannot find another explanation but a ridiculous amount of good luck to explain the fact that we actually manage to beat them with just our strength alone. Therefore, I am sure that you must have missed something earlier in the game. For example, what are Progress Points used for, and how exactly do you raise one’s stats!”
“You must have missed out on some important ways to increase one’s strength!”
Suddenly, Yue Qiang felt that it was a truly lucky thing for him to have met a girl like Yin. What was a confusing mess of problems was – okay, it was still a confusing mess of problems, but with her logical analysis alone, they had at least found some clues to be used from it. It might still not be able to solve their problems completely, but at the least they had a couple of ideas about the solution now.
Stats, and Progress Points. These things had appeared multiple times as the game progressed, but he never really paid them any real emphasis from the beginning until now. He had been playing all this time with the attitude of a superior elitist, attempting to surpass the obstacles through meticulous control alone.
Now that he thought about it, the battles he experienced earlier were too risky, and his answers to them were too irrational.
“Alright, then let us head to that trading market immediately.”
Yue Qiang helped Yin to her feet, and before he left he did not forget the other ‘S/L Module’. This item was his biggest reward this trip; it was something that could save his life. He picked up the other S/L Module growing with rainbow light and put it into his backpack. When he successfully put the two modules into his backpack, to his surprise a series of system messages were triggered.
System Message: The third stage of the Quest ‘Request Aid’ is complete. Quest ‘Request Aid’ is complete!
‘Save/Load Module’ has been collected!
New Quest ‘Search and Investigate’ has been triggered!
Quest Background: You have received the village elder Chen Zi Han’s quest to request for aid, hoping to seek help from the School of Mo’s Great Camp. However, to your surprise you find that the place has already turned into a tiger’s den.
Quest Objective: Gather information, and through various people investigate the cause behind the change of the School of Mo’s Great Camp.
Quest Reward: The requirements have not been met yet.
Note: A new quest chain has been triggered.
This was great news, since their goal to seek out the truth behind the game and the main quest had coincided with each other. It would seem that their trip to the trading market was now set in stone.
Yue Qiang investigated the surroundings one more time, and after finding that he missed nothing, while supporting Yin, they slowly left behind the small room.
Not long after they left, a family suddenly appeared inside the small and dark room.
The way they appeared wasn’t like how the Zhao Army Scout Zhu Huai had appeared gradually from the shadows. In fact, it was rather similar to Yin’s condition, where they were just abruptly there.
This was a family of three. The husband and wife were dressed sumptuously. The husband was holding the wife’s hand. One of the wife’s hand was completely intertwined with her husband’s, whereas her other hand was holding a baby. The husband looked at the bloodstains and corpses on the floor and frowned, seeming slightly worried that the blood stench would affect the baby. He said to his wife, “I’ll go out and have a look around.”
He returned quickly, and with a slight frown said to his wife, “There were a lot of dead soldiers out there. There’s also a dead female tiger. It has also exceeded its limits just like this male tiger corpse. They probably used the S/L Module.”
The wife did not seem to care too much for these things, and simply looked tenderly at her child. The blood stench in this air was a little thick, and the baby began to cry loudly after smelling it.
Seeing this, the wife hurried untied her clothes and revealed a swollen breast. She pressed the baby’s mouth to her nipple, and while shaking her body slightly and swinging her arms rhythmically, she sang a children’s tune softly,
“Two old tigers
Two old tigers
Run very fast
Run very fast
One of them has no eyes
One of them has no tail
Oh how strange
Oh how strange”
(T/N: The above song translation belongs to Sammy Li Wei Long from this link. I am borrowing it here, and I do not own the song or the translation in any way whatsoever)
After drinking the milk, the baby slowly fell asleep within the wife’s lap. The husband stood beside his wife and tenderly put her clothes back in order, saying, “the baby slept?”
“Mm.” The wife answered softly. She continued to swing her hands gently, and the baby slowly fell into sweet slumber inside her arms. She abruptly lifted her head and said with a hint of worriness to her husband, “Is the point of time confirmed?”
“We can basically ascertain that we are at the end of the Warring States Period. The people who died outside were all wearing clothes unique to the Zhao State.”
“Then… how much longer can we live?” When the wife said this, her tone was a little distant.
“It is not important how much longer we can live, really. What’s important is the hope that our child can live on.”
“Mm, you’re right. As long as our child lives, it is fine.” The wife slowly leaned into her husband’s lap and no longer said anything.
Her husband was also quiet as he inhaled twice swiftly, still appearing to find the blood stench in the air a little hard to breathe in. He waved his hands, and after he made some sort of unknown movements, a bubble-like thing appeared in the surrounding and wrapped gently around the family of three.
“Anyway, let’s go find the others first.” He held his wife’s hand gently, and slowly led her towards the passage’s exit.
Their footsteps appeared slow, but they were gone in the blink of an eye.
Before them, the corpses that might have frightened the child, including the tiger corpse without a tail and the tiger corpse without an eye, had turned into green smoke all of a sudden…
… and vanished.