Chapter 43: Ankang Ancient Town (22)
Yan Wei chewed on these four words and muttered, “…You reap what you sow”
He asked, “Was there any mention of bones or something”
“No,” Ning Yi said calmly, “Only five words.”
Did Ning Yi not notice the well at first These five words, let alone the phalanx, gave no hints regarding the well.
Only today, when there was no other possibility besides the well, did they meet.
Hu Ayun was still standing there quietly.
The shade from the shadowy trees mottled her fair and delicate face.
This face, which appeared to be stationed at the age of eighteen, showed a faint smile.
It was incompatible with the bloody chaos in front of her, yet it seemed to integrate with the skinless ghosts.
At the bottom of the well a while ago, Yan Wei experienced the last scene of Hu Ayu’s life when he was breaking the retrospective illusion of all the skinless girls.
It was the same young face of Hu Ayun, beautiful but pure, who believed in all the good things in the world, including her sister.
On the other side, Lin Zhen’s flesh on his arm was accidentally torn off by the sudden appearance of the skinless female ghost.
Yu Feizhou jerked him back, and the two men simultaneously crashed into the thick tree roots behind them.
Yan Mingguang also tugged Yan Wei with force and blocked the bloody hand of the skinless female ghost with the whip in his other hand.
In the presence of Hu Ayun, the skinless ghosts now were much stronger than the ones Yan Wei and Yan Mingguang encountered yesterday.
The five girls who were sent to the altar turned into skinless female ghosts and were far more terrible than those ordinary skinless ghosts.
The five ghosts just stared at the five of them.
Lin Zhen and Ning Yi were already wounded.
Because Yan Mingguang had to block the skinless ghost who attacked Yan Wei, it was one person facing two spirits, and the pressure was high.
Fortunately, they carried the girls’ phalanges in their hands, so they could always mediate in a critical moment of life or death.
With these ghosts of the seventh-floor instance, it was impossible to clear the level violently.
–If it carries on like this, even if there were potential players with trump cards, the group will face extinction in the seventh-floor instance.
Although Yan Wei couldn’t die, he would still get seriously injured.
He could not break the game alone with a seriously wounded body, and it would be the same outcome once midnight arrived.
While dodging, Yan Wei’s mind had a myriad of thoughts.
Hu Ayun stood among the skinless ghosts and did not make any moves.
From the beginning of this instance, only the skinless ghosts or the phalanges that attracted the skinless ghosts killed people.
Yan Wei understood it the instant the umbrella was placed in front of the players’ doors at the beginning — it was because the umbrellas contained phalanges.
The phalanges attracted skinless ghosts, so players with umbrellas would die.
Hu Ayun should also be very dangerous, but her attack power should not exceed that of a skinless female ghost.
Otherwise, she didn’t need to stand there waiting for the outcome.
Just take direct action, and they will get wiped out.
The problem with their inability to clear the instance now was that it was unsure if the staircase would appear after killing Hu Ayun and if it would resolve the skinless ghosts.
Ning Yi received the method “you reap what you sow.”
What was the meaning
These phalanges were the phalanges of the deceased.
Could it be that phalanges of the ordinary dead could kill Hu Ayun, so Hu Ayun brought this on herself
No, it didn’t seem like a way of breaking the instance.
Regardless of the girls’ phalanges which may be able to deal with the skinless female ghosts, in terms of function, those ordinary victims’ phalanges will only attract more skinless ghosts.
If he took out the phalanges of the deceased now, the over 800 skinless spirits in front of him would rush towards him immediately.
Let alone killing Hu Ayun with the finger bones, it would be great if he wasn’t torn to pieces.
So what else…
Yan Wei held a girl’s phalanx tightly in his hand, almost forcing the nearing skinless female ghost’s retreat.
He then turned around, and a skinless ghost ripped off a portion of his clothing.
In the corner of his eyes, he caught another glimpse of Hu Ayun standing there smiling.
Her smile was almost spurious as if it was the only portion of innocence in this bloody stage.
But Yan Wei had seen the 18-year-old Hu Ayu and her twin sister, whom she harmed in the illusion.
In contrast to Hu Ayu’s smile, Hu Ayun’s smile was exceedingly false and somewhat sinister.
She and Hu Ayu were completely identical, except for one thing.
She still retained an eighteen-year-old face.
Yan Wei raised his eyes sharply.
He suddenly shifted to the side to avoid the advance of another ordinary skinless ghost.
Clenching the girl’s phalanx in his hand, he kept dodging under the protection of Yan Mingguang, but his eyes stopped on Hu Ayun’s face.
His eyes were a little red due to the high-intensity movement and the fatigue caused by the motions, and his light brown eyes slowly transformed from silent pondering to sudden enlightenment.
Yan Wei’s eyes were glowing, and under the siege of many ghosts, he evoked a smile.
On the other side, Lin Zhen and others attempted to pass the skinless ghosts to attack Hu Ayun, but although the apparitions were not surrounding Hu Ayun, every time a player approached to strike, there would be skinless ghosts around.
And if Lin Zhen shot an arrow from a distance, a skinless ghost would abruptly emerge to block the attack before the projectile could arrive.
The ghosts were a pile of flesh and blood.
Even if a weapon injured them, the flesh and blood would seal together in the next moment — the damage caused by the player to the skinless ghosts was only temporary, but the skinless ghosts’ damage to the players was lasting.
Except for Yu Feizhou’s ability to convert wounds into attack power, the rest of the people were more or less wounded, but the glow of Yu Feizhou’s blue bead prop was gradually dimming.
Yan Wei was guarded by Yan Mingguang.
Most of the wounds came from stumbling, but Yan Mingguang blocked them a few times, and blood was dripping from several places on his body.
If they can’t find a non-violent way to break the game, delay can drag them to death.
Ning Yi’s cold voice raised slightly.
“If you can’t think of a way, just use the girls’ phalanges.”
Yan Wei shook his head.
He made a decision and ducked behind Yan Mingguang.
Yan Mingguang was between Yan Wei and Hu Ayun, and Hu Ayun could not see for a moment.
Yan Wei lifted his hand, touched the intercom tucked into his ear, and held it down.
He said with a lowered voice, “We won’t last long.
Time is short.
I won’t repeat it a second time.
Hu Ayun will hear if it’s too loud, so I hope everyone can listen carefully…”
The movements of the other four people were all indistinguishable.
Yan Wei then whispered, “There are three ways we can break the instance: The first one, we crack it using violence.
It now seems impossible unless we have a physical stat of over twelve floors.
The second one, Ning Yi said, is to use the girls’ phalanges.
If the girls’ phalanges can penetrate Hu Ayun’s body, it should be a way to kill her, and these dangers will end when she dies.
But as things stand, we’ll have to do it with all our strength, and some people… might never leave this instance.”
The five people present were already the best five players in this copy, and apart from Yan Wei, the others couldn’t have not thought of this method.
But they never really acted because they knew that this was the final option.
Given the difference in the strength of the boss and the player, it would take a sacrifice to make it happen.
And if they still fail, and Hu Ayun takes back the girls’ phalanges, they will have no choice but to wait for death.
Yan Wei changed the thread of discussion.
“There’s a third way, which is my guess of ‘you reap what you sow.’ I know we’re just temporary teammates, but my guess needs you all to support me, and I don’t want my teammates and me to die here.
If you don’t cooperate, I won’t waste my time.
Yan Mingguang and I will toss those who don’t cooperate into the pile of skinless ghosts.”
He panted and said these words quickly, with an unusually calm voice.
Although no cruel emotions could be heard, several people inexplicably felt that Yan Wei’s words… were genuine.
This seemingly harmless young man was actually the most ruthless player among them still alive.
“Okay, no one is talking, so everyone will be listening to me, yes Now, I’ll explain my conjecture on the method to breaking the instance…”
In the chaos, Yan Wei kept adjusting his position and attempted to hide behind Yan Mingguang so that Hu Ayun could not catch him talking.
He used the fastest speed to tell his guess on how to break the instance and what the other four would do.
After a few minutes
Yan Wei said, “I’m done.
You all can go.”
Yan Mingguang tilted his head and gave him a silent look in the bray of skinless ghosts.
Yan Wei smiled, opened his mouth narrowly, and said without making a sound, “Don’t worry, I won’t die.”
Yan Mingguang nodded at him.
The next moment, except for Yan Wei, the remaining four unexpectedly stopped, turned around, and ran! Only Yan Wei remained in place, holding an ordinary dagger in one hand, and a skinless ghost threw him to the ground in a few movements.
The other four ran without looking back — according to Yan Wei’s arrangement, they had to race against time and head down the mountain to complete the instance-breaking method Yan Wei said.
They originally wanted to kill Hu Ayun and attempted to go on the offensive, staying in their original places.
At the vital moment of departure, they did not continue fighting, and the four of them cleared a path within moments.
Hu Ayun was still standing in place, but she looked at Yan Mingguang and the others who ran down the mountain, and her brows wrinkled slightly.
Yan Wei had been pressed to the ground by a skinless female ghost.
Mud covered him, and there was a scratch on his cheek.
Only those eyes were still bright.
The ghost’s dirty and bloody hand grabbed his arm and pressed him firmly to the ground.
The other bloody hand gradually approached Yan Wei’s cheek — wanting to begin tearing Yan Wei’s face!
Yan Wei still looked calm.
He rolled his eyes and muttered, “This instance really has a grudge against mysophobia…”
Then, he took a deep breath and shouted the moment the bloody hand was about to touch his cheek, “Do you miss your sister”
The hand of the skinless ghost froze.
The surrounding skinless apparitions slowly dragged their boneless legs out of the way.
An unsoiled “girl” approached step by step.
The skinless ghost unexpectedly let go of Yan Wei and retreated a little under the drive of Hu Ayun.
Gasping, Yan Wei sat on the ground and leaned on the tree stump behind him.
He said calmly, “Sit down and have a chat”
Hu Ayun walked to his side.
“Your companions ran away,” she said, “I may have to kill you first and then kill them.”
Yan Wei raised his eyelids, chuckled lightly, glanced at the hundreds of skinless ghosts around him, and asked, “Which one is Hu Ayu”
Hu Ayun’s expression changed narrowly.
Yan Wei expected this situation.
The way he wanted to break the instance, someone had to go down the mountain, and it had to be quick — even if it takes a while to descend from the mountain, it must be before sunset.
Hu Ayun had a high chance of getting stronger after dark, and daytime was their last chance.
But if all five of them go down the mountain, Hu Ayun will surely follow them.
By then, they will have to break the instance under Hu Ayun’s nose, and the possibility of success is slim.
They had to keep Hu Ayun where she was.
It was okay for those skinless ghosts to chase because they couldn’t think.
Hu Ayun could, and she was intelligent.
Therefore, Yan Mingguang and others went down, and Yan Wei remained here to attract Hu Ayun’s attention.
He knew at most that he would suffer a little, but he would not die.
As long as Yan Mingguang and the others broke the instance and the stairs appeared, his injuries would be healed.
Moreover, Hu Ayun’s interest in him was different from that of others.
If anyone else stayed, Hu Ayun might not be interested.
Most importantly, Yan Wei was sure that he could hold off Hu Ayun.
Listening to the group’s progress heading down the mountain on the intercom, he slanted against the stump and whispered to Hu Ayun, “The question you asked me in the morning.
Whether I would save myself or let off innocent people shows that you’ve been struggling with this question all along, right I’m going to die anyway, so it’s okay to talk.
Didn’t you want to chat with me in the morning too”
Hu Ayun looked straight at him.
After a moment, she sat down on Yan Wei’s side, leaned over, raised her hand, and traced the outline of Yan Wei’s cheek with her fingers.
“Then I’ll skin you after you finish.
I’ll do it gently.
After all… no one wants such a beautiful face to remain on a painful expression.
As for those friends who left you behind, don’t worry, I’ll let them accompany you.
I’ll let them live to see their skin peeled off and their bones pulled out piece by piece at night.”
Yan Wei turned pale again.
He knew that his task at the moment was to stall Hu Ayun, and after clearing his throat, he said, “I want to hear your stories before I die.
No one has known these things for ten years.
Now I am an audience member.
Are you interested in telling them”
He laughed softly.
Mud covered the embarrassed young man’s face.
There were scratches on his cheeks, and blood was oozing slightly, but his eyes were transparent and pure.
His entire disposition was shining, and the dirt on the windbreaker did not block his neatness.
Hu Ayun was stunned for a while, then said with a smile, “When you’re skinned, your countenance will look better.”
“…” Yan Wei nodded.
On the other end
Yan Mingguang and others dashed at maximum speed, descending the mountain at their quickest.
Some skinless ghosts were pursuing them, but the sun slowly shifted.
Perhaps Hu Ayun felt they couldn’t escape at night, and those skinless ghosts stopped chasing them.
Halfway down the mountain, all the skinless ghosts had disappeared, and only four people with colored bodies remained.
In the nearby mountain temple, some children’s voices reading books could be faintly heard.
These children come to the temple to read at a fixed time every afternoon and then leave the mountain in the evening.
Hearing the children’s voices meant… the night was approaching.
Yan Mingguang said, “Go to the ancient town.”
“I’m going to the temple first,” Yu Feizhou suddenly said, “Song Yu is not dead.
If the stairs only show up at a certain location, he’s dead.
I… I want to take him with me first.”
Ning Yi glanced at Yu Feizhou and continued to rush forward without saying a word.
Lin Zhen covered the wound on his arm and sneered.
“At a time like this, only you are overflowing with compassion.
I’m going to Ankang Town.”
Little by little, the sun was setting in the west.
Deep in the mountains by the well, a large shade of trees permeated the sunset of brilliant gold.
Hundreds of skinless ghosts gathered in droves, their eyes bulging out as if ready to come up and tear his skin.
Yan Wei casually chatted with Hu Ayun while listening to the progress of Yan Mingguang and others on the intercom.
Yu Feizhou left to carry the seriously injured Song Yu out and began Yan Wei’s method of breaking the instance with Yan Mingguang and the others.
Yan Wei’s eyes remained unchanged.
After listening to Hu Ayun’s words, he asked, “So you two were very close, and you still dragged her to die for you”
“If she doesn’t die, I will.”
“But she never said she was willing to die for you.”
“I’ve already decided to let her die for me.
Does it matter if she wanted to”
Yan Wei raised an eyebrow.
Hu Ayun played with her hair in a bored manner and said, “I know you have the girls’ phalanges that make up the core strength of the umbrellas.
They can kill me, but you can’t get them close to me.
Yan-xiaoge, let’s start peeling.
We don’t need to delay any longer.”
The skinless female ghost closest to Yan Wei slowly stretched out her bloody hand.
Yan Wei only said, “When I went down the well, I encountered the bitterness of some young girls who had died, saw their last act, and learned of their greatest regrets — there was your sister in it.”
Hu Ayun’s expression suddenly transformed, and the skinless female ghost’s hand halted in mid-air, no longer nearing.
Compared with her previous leisurely and light-heartedness, Yan Wei’s words abruptly brought her to his face, and her beautiful face revealed ruthlessness.
Her eyes were dark, and her voice was low as she questioned, “…What was it”
“She has always admired you, thinking that you were very powerful and would become the best matron in Ankang Town.
So when she secretly came to the temple before the sacrifice, she blamed herself for why she was unable to take you away.
She even wanted to discuss with you whether there was any other way.
As a result, as soon as she saw you, you knocked her out… Then I knew her regret.”
Yan Wei took a pause.
Hu Ayun stared straight at him.
Yan Mingguang’s cold voice came from the intercom.
Yan Wei chortled.
He brushed off the dirt on his body, stood up slowly, and said, “Sitting on the ground for so long really is a test of mysophobia.
Do you expect any heartfelt regrets Unfortunately, the end of the story is a cliché.
Her regret was…”
Yan Wei enunciated each word, “She didn’t kill you first.”
Hu Ayun rose violently.
With a gloomy face, she said grimly, “Then you should die too.”
Yan Mingguang’s voice sounded almost simultaneously on the intercom, “All done.”
Five skinless female ghosts reached out to Yan Wei at the same time!
Under the terrifying sense of death, Yan Wei held the swallow coin in his hand and stayed motionless.
But when the ghosts were about to tear off his skin, they unexpectedly stopped!
At the next moment, more than 800 skinless ghosts made a groaning “ho ho” cry, but they did not listen to Hu Ayun’s summons and headed down the mountain.
The five skinless female ghosts stood stiffly and then slumped to the ground.
As if they had lost the strength for support, the bodies that have been flowing with blood immediately began to decompose and stink, giving off a foul stench.
Hu Ayun yelled, “What’s going on!”
The sun was halfway below the distant horizon.
The sky was full of bright yellow clouds in the west, drawing the darkness that gradually descended in the east.
Under the slanting sunlight, Yan Wei witnessed that Hu Ayun in front of him appeared to have transformed.
Her face, which was initially so fair and delicate that one could not see a single flaw, had faded away, with a few lines at the end of her eyes, and her complexion had also dimmed a little—that was the traces of the years.
A few lines were at the end of her eyes, and her skin color dulled a bit — they were the traces of time.
She changed from a sixteen-year-old teenager to an ordinary twenty-eight-year-old woman within seconds!
“I am indeed stalling.” Yan Wei took a step back, shrugged, and hooked the corner of his lips.
“Not for me, but for my friends who ‘ran away.'”
Hu Ayun raised her hand in disbelief, stroked her cheek lightly, and looked at the five decomposed corpses on the ground — Hu Ayu was no longer known there.
The phalanges of those five girls never came close to me!!”
Yan Wei laughed softly.
“Who said you had to be defeated by a girl’s phalanx”
He took a few steps forward, bypassed Hu Ayun, looked at the vast world in front of the mountain, and glanced in the direction of Ankang Ancient Town.
He said, “These abilities of yours, the power to control the umbrellas, and the appearance that has remained at the age of eighteen… all originate from — Ankang Ancient Town suspending for ten years, right”
“Now time moves, so your power… disappeared.”