GOR Chapter 587 Signboard
"Back then, when that cooperation between them occurred, Hossein was still the leader of the Knights of the Holy City Guild. At that time, although the others have already considered the Knights of the Holy City Guild to be a bunch of weirdos, it was still much better compared to their present status as 'religious madmen'," Tian Lie slowly said.
"Due to a certain instance dungeon's quest, Guild Leader Shen had gone to meet Hossein to propose a cooperation. Hossein was a very arrogant fellow. As an Awakened, he had a natural sense of hostility toward Players. As for Guild Leader Shen, he was the number one figure on the Player side. Cooperating with the number one Player was something that Hossein was originally opposed to. I heard that, when the two of them met, they ended up engaging in a huge and vicious compet.i.tion. It was a very intense battle."
Nicole said nothing. However, Soo Soo's face took on an odd expression.
The little girl looked at Tian Lie and said, "Exaggeration."
"I said, you are exaggerating."
"Sigh, little girl. I, Master Tian Lie, have never lied before."
"But Xiaolian oppa had said, back in Zero City, Shen alone could defeat several [S] cla.s.s t.i.tans who were fighting together. You say that Hossein fellow could fiercely compete against Shen and that it was an intense battle. How is that possible? Xiaolian oppa would never lie. So, you must be exaggerating!"
The logic behind the little girl's words appear impeccable, leaving Tian Lie gaping. After a moment, he shook his head. "How in the b.l.o.o.d.y h.e.l.l could I know what happened in Zero City? Although Shen is powerful, I do not think he could, by himself, take on several [S] cla.s.s experts at once. To be able to go so far as to defeat those [S] cla.s.s experts, the Shen I know of is not that powerful. If he is, Thorned Flower Guild would have been able to defeat the Awakened side long ago."
Nicole, who stood behind him, rapped his shoulder and said, "Hey, watch your words in front of a child. Don't swear."
"… … fine." Soo Soo swivelled her eyes back to Tian Lie. The expression on her face clearly conveyed the words 'I will believe you for now'. She continued, "And then? Finish your story."
"The story… …" Tian Lie smiled wryly. "Fine, about what happened in the later stages, I actually do not know all the details."
Tian Lie's story was very simple.
The later part of the incident went like this: Shen had personally stepped forward and fought one round against Hossein. It was an intense battle. It was said that he had utilized brute force to make Hossein put aside his arrogance - on the other hand, Hossein's strength also received Shen's praise.
At the same time, Shen proposed some special terms. Tian Lie was not aware of the details of those terms. They were likely connected to the quest that they would be cooperating for. Shen had also not informed Tian Lie on the details of that quest.
"Just… … it should be related to a piece of sacred artefact," Tian Lie said slowly.
"Sacred artefact?" Nicole frowned. "It cannot just be due to that. What kind of person is Shen? Although sacred artefacts are rare in this game, there is no need for someone at the level of the Guild Leader of Thorned Flower Guild to personally step forward for the sake of a sacred artefact."
"Maybe this one is more exceptional. It is probably not some ordinary sacred artefact," said Tian Lie slowly. "Later the two of them cooperated to complete an instance dungeon with a very high level of difficulty. However, that sacred artefact is not one. Rather, it is a pair."
"A pair? So, there are two of them?"
"Mm… … I do not know the details. At any rate, when Shen informed me about it, his original words were 'a pair'."
"What happened next?"
"Later on, their two sides had a disagreement. Originally, they had agreed that if there is one sacred artefact, that sacred artefact would belong to the Knights of the Holy City Guild. But in the end, Shen… … reneged. Something about the sacred artefact went beyond his expectations, so he expressed his desire to borrow the sacred artefact from Hossein to conduct some research on it for a while."
Nicole sneered. "Humph, borrow? He obviously just wants to seize it."
"No no no!" Tian Lie shook his head vigorously. "I am not trying to speak on behalf of Shen. Rather, why would someone like him personally step forward to seize some ordinary sacred artefact? What sacred artefact could he not get his hands on? It is likely that the item was too unique, triggering his interest in it. Thus, he had wanted to research it. Additionally, he has a very good reputation. If he gave his word that he would be borrowing, then it is definitely just borrowing. He would never take it for himself. Additionally, there is another important issue in the story."
After a pause, Tian Lie said in a hushed tone, "Shen informed me that there is something wrong with the pair of sacred artefacts. Leaving that item in the hands of the Knights of the Holy City Guild may harm Hossein. It could cause some adverse consequences."
Hearing that, Nicole snorted coldly. Clearly, she had her reservations about Shen's opinion. However, she did not say anything to interrupt Tian Lie.
"One of them is known as the number one Player, while the other is the leader of the Knights of the Holy City Guild. Since they could not come to an agreement, they could only duke it out in the end." There was an odd note in Tian Lie's voice. "This time, they fought each other for three rounds. They competed on different skills. In the end, Shen won."
"As expected, he is very strong… …" Nicole sighed.
"Not quite though." The odd note in Tian Lie's voice remained and he continued, "In the three rounds of compet.i.tion, Shen won two of them to win. In other words… … Hossein won one round!"
Hearing that, Nicole and Soo s...o...b..came surprised.
Hossein, actually won once?
That is Shen! The one who defeated several [S] cla.s.s t.i.tans all at once!
Hossein was able to win one of the three rounds?
"At any rate, he won one of them. Don't ask me for the details. I really do not know." Tian Lie smiled wryly and continued, "In the end, however… who knows what Shen was thinking, maybe it was due to the strength that Hossein had shown, or maybe it was due to something else, but Shen did not take the pair of sacred artefacts away just like that. Rather… … he split them apart, leaving one half in Hossein's hand while he left with the other half. A pity… … sigh!"
In the end, when Tian Lie sighed, both Nicole and Soo Soo sensed that the story was about to take a turn for the worse.
"Shen took away one half of the sacred artefact, while the other half caused a tragedy to befall Hossein."
"Why do you say that?"
"That sacred artefact, is very exceptional!" There was a solemn look on Tian Lie's face. "Shen informed me that the sacred artefact contains an immense power! By fully grasping the power inside it, an Awakened could instantly reach [S] cla.s.s! If an [S] cla.s.s expert grasped what lies within it, he or she may discover something phenomenal!"
Hearing that, Nicole sighed. "It would appear someone grew covetous."
"Yes." Tian Lie slowly continued, "After the cooperation, Shen left. It was no more than six months after the incident that a news came up. Internal strife had erupted within the Knights of the Holy City Guild. Hossein was overthrown by his younger brother, Mene. At the same time, some of Hossein's trusted aides, subordinates and supporters were killed in the internal strife. As for Hossein himself, he disappeared without a trace."
"Heh!" Nicole sneered. There was a trace of anger in her voice. "As expected, no matter how powerful an expert may be, he cannot defend against a stab from the back!"
"When you put it that way, that Hossein is indeed a powerful character? He is someone with the strength to compete against Shen." Soo Soo then asked, "If so, why is it that he would be captured by you and sister Nicole?"
"Err… … there must be some reasons behind this. I heard Shen mention it before. Researching that sacred artefact requires a great deal of power. Understanding the mystery within it requires some meditation. Perhaps that is why Hossein's power had grown weak. In other words, he had yet to fully comprehend that sacred artefact… … or perhaps, his younger brother, Mene had s.n.a.t.c.hed off the sacred artefact. No one knows the details behind it. However, Shen had been the one to inform me about Hossein changing his name and hiding in London, away from the holy city. It is said that Shen had went to find Hossein after that, but Hossein did not say anything about it. So, Shen left."
"Maybe… …" Soo Soo's eyes suddenly shone. "Maybe, Shen had grasped the power within the sacred artefact? That is why he could be so powerful back in Zero City!"
"I do not know about that. At any rate, the Shen I knew was not as powerful as Chen Xiaolian had described."
On the top of a snowy mountain…
Across a mountain peak was a snow field. A valley rested several hundreds of metres beyond the snow field.
Chen Xiaolian was carrying Lin Leyan amid the white snow. He had her sit on his shoulders. It looked very incongruous. After all, Chen Xiaolian did not possess a beefy stature. However, he was strong enough to do so.
Hossein had already brought out some mountain climbing snow goggles and distributed it to them all - exposing the eye for extended periods of time in the snow could result in snow blindness.
The thickness of the snow made their progress slow. Chen Xiaolian had already brought out some suitable items from his Storage Watch. After disa.s.sembling out a few boards, they tied the boards to the soles of the feet to act as snow shoes. Even so, their progress remained slow.
They spent the morning crossing a snowy mountain peak and trekking through most of this snow field.
Thankfully, the weather was fine and there was no snowstorm.
After making their way past the snow field, they reached the hillside. As they did, Chen Xiaolian, who was in the front, suddenly halted his steps.
Hossein, who was behind him, was carrying Jenny. He caught up to Chen Xiaolian and discovered him standing there. As Hossein was about to questions Chen Xiaolian, his gaze turned away from Chen Xiaolian and he saw the thing before them. He too, was stunned.
"This… … what is this?" There was disbelief in Chen Xiaolian's voice.
Before them, at the hillside, was surprisingly a tall metal rod.
It was roughly as thick as a human arm and rose up high, very high, roughly seven to eight metres. There at the top end of the metal rod was an arrow sign.
The arrow pointed to the southeast direction and there were words on the arrow sign.
"Welcome to the visiting Awakened ones. Please follow this direction for one kilometre."
Hossein mumbled, "What the h.e.l.l… …"
After silently regarding it for over one minute, Chen Xiaolian put Lin Leyan down and broke into a smile all of a sudden. He said, "It seems there is really someone here."
Hossein knitted his brows. "What do we do? Follow the instructions given by the sign?"
"Of course… … not!" Chen Xiaolian suddenly smiled and said, "We… … will go in the other direction! Let us see what happens then!"
The four of them made their way in the direction opposite that of the sign. After over an hour, a signboard appeared before them once more.
"Useless. No matter where you choose to go, we will still meet." Those were the words on the signboard.
Chen Xiaolian sighed. "Sure enough."
Hossein frowned and said, "What do you mean by that?"
"This is a prompt, it is just like… … the system prompt inside an instance dungeon. The fellows who have seized this s.p.a.ce are unable to directly send prompts into our personal system like the system. So, they could only resort to this, putting up signboards on the way." Chen Xiaolian sneered and continued, "In other words, the fellows who have seized this place consider themselves as the masters of this place, the equivalent of the system - they lord over this place. We, the game partic.i.p.ants who have entered this place are like toys to them."
Pausing, Chen Xiaolian sneered and continued, "We had deliberately moved in the opposite direction, but there is still a signboard waiting for us. That proves one thing… … the other side is secretly watching us!"
After saying that, Chen Xiaolian abruptly raised his head. His eyes, which were as sharp as knives, turned to a.s.sess his surroundings.