Chapter 320: The Curtains Fall, Questions for Old Man Illusionary
Bai Xiaofei could no longer remember how much he had run or how many necks he had snapped in this night of ceaseless yelling. The only thing he knew was that he was truly exhausted.
At the base of the city wall, Huskie, who had once again transformed into a Thunder Devouring Tiger, fought to let Bai Xiaofei climb the wall. Once he got onto the wall, Bai Xiaofei felt as if several lifetimes had passed.
There wasn’t a single gap in the corpses piled up on the city wall, and the originally intact wall had become riddled with holes and was on the verge of crumbling.
Tie Zhu had lost one arm, and his remaining right hand was holding himself up on a sword because his left leg was broken…
When Bai Xiao had jumped down the wall, there had been hundreds of soldiers on the wall, but when he came back, less than fifty could still stand.
This battle almost beat Bai Xiaofei back to his starting state.
Below, new enemy troops were still massing while the surviving old troops had gathered below the front wall, but it didn’t matter. They had entered the ending countdown. Even if Bai Xiaofei and the others did nothing, the opponent still wouldn’t be able to break through the city in these last ten minutes.
“General, our reinforcements are coming soon, right?!” Tie Zhu still had that silly smile on his face, but Bai Xiaofei looked at him and couldn’t smile at all.
In the clearance setting, the soldiers and the civilians were told that reinforcements would come, that was why Tie Zhu would ask such a question.
“They will be here soon. We have already won,” as Bai Xiaofei said slowly, he suddenly had a feeling of heartache.
Is this how wars in the real world are as well? How many soldiers are like Tie Zhu in the real world? How many generals will really care about them?
Are they just pawns most of the time? A pawn that can be discarded at any time?
As these questions popped in his mind, Bai Xiaofei just wanted to find a person to ask them all in one breath. He wanted to know what this world which he hadn’t yet officially gotten to know was really like.
Compared to the long night, ten minutes seemed insignificant. When the first ray of sunshine came through from over the mountain, earth-shattering shouts were heard from the distance. The enemy troops at the base of the city wall immediately panicked. After a while of confusion, they retreated like the tide despite the city that was about to be conquered in front of them.
We won, we really won…
Of the remaining few dozens of people left, some wept bitterly, some yelled loudly, while some looked at the corpses on the wall and fell into a long silence.
Bai Xiaofei observed every single reaction as gradually, a seed took root in his heart…
“General is righteous! General is righteous!”
After the enemy troops retreated, the old civilian leader somehow got the news and led many people to kneel under the now-broken wall again.
The same place, the same people, the same scene… Everything was similar, but what was different was the mentality of the person standing on the wall.
“There might be no such great righteousness in this world, but there are heroes. Those who stand in front of you and those who fail to stand in front of you today are all heroes. I hope you can remember their names, even if we are just strangers to you…”
When Bai Xiaofei finished his words, two translucent streaks slipped down from the corners of his eyes. As if not wanting others to notice his gaffe, Bai Xiaofei chose to submit the task.
When a colorful light flashed again, it didn’t directly switch to the next scene but returned him to the dark space. There, Old Man Illusionary reappeared.
“Child, you've passed four levels in a row. It's time to rest. You've done extraordinarily.” The old man’s voice was full of praise, but there was also a faint heartache.
Old Man Illusionary had seen everything Bai Xiaofei had done in the illusion. From the initial hardships to adapt to the massacre in the night, Bai Xiao's abnormally rapid change hadn’t escaped his attention.
‘Haste makes waste,’ so the old man forcefully stopped Bai Xiaofei from immediately challenging the next level.
“This isn’t just a simple illusion, is it?” Bai Xiaofei raised his head and stared at Old Man Illusionary with complicated eyes as he asked a strange question.
The old man fell silent.
“Also, I want to know, are real wars in the continent this cruel? How much have you experienced?” Not giving the old man much time to think twice, Bai Xiaofei quickly asked a series of questions.
With a long sigh, the old man seemed to have recalled some old memories. Although he wanted to communicate with others, he never really wanted to touch those memories.
“All the levels in the Illusionary Sandboard are recreated according to the real war records. Therefore, they aren’t just illusionary since they all happened in reality, only that the results of the illusion differ under your commands. As for the wars in the continent, they are far more cruel than in the Illusionary Sandboard where you only need to consider the enemy in front of you. I participated in a war once as an invited force. That time, I killed many…”
The old man answered one question after another. Bai Xiaofei's face changed with each answer. Finally, for the first time, he revealed a clouded face.
“Will there be such wars in the future?” After a short pause, Bai Xiaofei asked another question, a question that he himself actually had an answer to, but was unwilling to believe.
“Peace will always be temporary. As long as ‘benefits’ still dominate the human spirit, conflict will never go away. When conflicts reach a certain limit, they inevitably escalate into wars. This is a historical trend that no one can avoid or reverse. The only thing you can do is to conform to it,” Old Man Illusionary said meaningfully, then slowly looked Bai Xiaofei in the eyes. “Child, can you understand what I said?”
Being asked back, Bai Xiaofei was surprised. With doubt in his eyes, he softly shook his head. “I thought I understood, but when you asked, my head suddenly seemed blotted and some things can't be seen clearly.”
His answer was ambiguous, but he didn’t expect the old man to burst out laughing.
“Blotted huh? Well done! Remember, child, there are some things you don't need to see too clearly, just follow your heart. You shouldn't be a depressed person. Don't think about things you shouldn't think about, do what you want to do and what you like to do. Finally, make the people who you care about and care about you happy, that's enough.” The old man patted Bai Xiaofei’s shoulder. “Remember, no one is perfect. Have a clear conscience and you are already above everyone.”
As soon as the voice ended, a ray of light illuminated Old Man Illusionary’s figure and he disappeared.
Bai Xiaofei stood where he was and savored the old man’s words for a long time before revealing a pained smile. Gradually, the smile turned into a loud laugh.
Finally, after enough laughter, he calmed down and changed back to the usual Bai Xiaofei, and then slowly walked towards where the ray of light had just come in through.Previous Chapter Next Chapter