Chapter 240 Hidden Mechanism (Part 1)
Sour Apple could see White Fairytale’s face morphing from a mask of sadness into an expression of joy and excitement, and then into disappointment, and finally despair in the span of a minute. Her expression was just like a flower that bloomed and then slowly wilted away.
“Was that Fleeting Time?” asked Sour Apple.
She received no reply from White Fairytale who stood silently with tears streaming down her the fair skin of her cheeks.
Sour Apple then saw Fleeting Time’s message in the World Channel. She was curious about the reason behind Fleeting Time’s sudden decision to initiate a conversation with White Fairytale. Ah, so that’s why. One of White Fairytale’s suitors knows about Goblin Engineering, and had sold quite a number of Goblin Workbenches to Genesis at a very low price. It’s a shame that White Fairytale was not even interested in him.
Fleeting Time must’ve known about the Goblin Engineering player! That’s why he contacted White Fairytale for answers because he can’t find anybody else who is a Goblin Engineer. But for some reasons, Fleeting Time did not obtain the answer he wanted from White Fairytale, and ended up hurting her feelings. thought Sour Apple to herself.
“Fairytale, it’s quite late now. Let’s just go to sleep.” Sour Apple sighed. Love must be the most illogical and most complicated thing in this world.
“Why is he doing this to me?” White Fairytale’s felt as if Fleeting Time was pouring salt over the already gaping would in her heart. She was forced to acknowledge a truth that she had been ignoring for a very long time. Sadness welled in her heart and the dam that was holding her tears back broke, “I’ve always treated him well! He don’t have to treat me like this even if he don’t like me! Why must he hurt me like this?”
Sour Apple was lost for words.
What is love? It is something that some live for, and some would even die for.
Time passes quickly. Countless amount of time could pass in the blink of an eye.
Ye Ci sat by a bonfire in the depths of the Goblin Palace, slowly roasting chunks of meat over the warm fire. Ol’ Four drooled at the sight of the meat, and was wagging its tail at Ye Ci. As she looked up, Ye Ci could no longer see the roof of the Goblin Palace.
She did not know how long she had spent in the palace with Fleeting Time. Her surroundings were dark with the only source of light coming from the torches that lined the walls around her.
Even when Ye Ci had never completed an Epic-tier quest in her last life, she had read accounts of players who were fortunate enough to encounter such quests on the forums. Every Epic-tier quest was unique on its own way, putting different qualities and aspects of players to the test. Some Epic-tier quest could only be completed through teamwork, while some required players to have good mechanical skills, or high level of intelligence. There were also quests that would stretch the patience of players to their limits.
Ye Ci took in a deep breath and patted Ol’ Four on the head before tossing a chunk of roasted meat at her pet. Ol’ Four immediately let out a happy yelp as it began wolfing down its food. Ye Ci was envious as she studied her Ol’ Four. The life of a Hunter’s pet is actually pretty good. It’s so carefree and free of worries.
A set of steady footsteps rang in the darkness, heading slowly towards Ye Ci. “We still have a long way to go. You should eat something.” said Ye Ci without even turning to face the source of the sound.
Fleeting Time took a seat beside Ye Ci, with Little Five settling down not far away from its master. The man threw a chunk of roasted meat at his pet before stuffing a piece of meat into his mouth, “Yup. I’ve lost count of how many floors we’ve been to. Even travelling down the stairs is pretty time consuming.”
Ye Ci smiled at Fleeting Time, “I feel like I’ve not seen the sunlight for a long time, in game and in real life.” She was able to develop a mutual understanding with Fleeting Time after the days they spent in the dungeon. Despite their status as players from opposing continents, the duo was able to work together seamlessly in the dungeon.
“Hunters thrive in gloomy forests. I didn’t know that you like the sun.” said Fleeting Time with eyebrows raised.
“Even when I’m playing as a Huntress, I’m still me. I enjoy basking in sunlight.” replied Ye Ci as she munched on a piece of roasted meat. In truth, she hated the sun in her last life, but had grown to love it after her reincarnation. The sunlight that could sometimes be scorchingly hot and be warm at times was so beautiful in her eyes. “Do you like the sun?” asked Ye Ci.
“I do.” replied Fleeting Time almost instantaneously with a nod.
“Why is that?”
“I hate cold weather. This is why I love the sun.” chuckled Fleeting Time.
That doesn’t sound like something a man would say, thought Ye Ci. She was surprised by Fleeting Time’s answer as Bai Mo and Tan Polang were not at all afraid of the cold, “You can’t stand the cold?”
“Yup. I am.” Fleeting Time answered truthfully. Ye Ci could detect the hint of sadness in Fleeting Time’s calm voice. She stomached the question that almost left her mouth and responded with a smile, “It’s rare to see a man who can’t stand the cold.”
“Well, there are all sorts of people in this world.” Fleeting Time did not offer Ye Ci an explanation. He raised his head and was met with darkness. His surrounding felt gloomy, just like his past.
Ye Ci could tell that Fleeting Time had a past that was not known to many. It was something that belonged to him and him alone. It was just like how people would keep secrets in the depth of their hearts, just like how she was.
This was why Ye Ci shifted the conversation with a smile, “How long have we been in this dungeon?”
“Four days and seventeen hour.” Fleeting Time paid more attention to the time than Ye Ci, “We can’t even see the bottom from here yet. Will it mess with your timing?”
Plans could not keep up with the speed of change. thought Ye Ci to herself. Her plan to return to the Eastern Continent after seven days to check on the progress of Mithril mining in the Lesser Demon Sanctuary was foiled.
“Heh…” Ye Ci grimaced, “How I wish that I can control the flow of time. Then again, if I can do that, it means that I’m God.”
Fleeting Time chuckled at Ye Ci’s words. The flow of time was something that could be controlled by humans, just like how sudden changes could foil even the most careful planning, “Don’t think too much about it. Let’s just keep pressing on forward. We might be reaching the bottom soon.”
Ye Ci was not convinced by Fleeting Time’s words as she stared down at the bottomless darkness, but she knew that Fleeting Time was right. It was a wise choice to continue their journey towards the bottom.
The duo pressed on after their Stamina was replenished. They have slain countless Undeads and Orcs during their exploration of the many floors of the Goblin Palace, and was able to gain control of a large number of Goblin Robots. The dungeon, however, seemed so endless. Ye Ci could not help but feel a sense of helplessness as she continued onwards.
Thirty robots followed the advance of the duo. Despite the option to capture more machines, the duo chose to refrain from such an act due to the confined spaces of each floor. Having too many mechanical companions would only limit their own movements.
Their surroundings grew dimmer when they descended into yet another level.
This new level, however, was different from the previous floors. It was very wide, and its walls were decorated with more torches that brought light to the extreme darkness.
“Wait up.” the effective range of Hawkeye was greatly limited by the darkness. Ye Ci was able to put her Flare to good use in such a situation. She nodded at Fleeting Time, and fired off a Flare, which illuminated the road ahead with its dim light.
A crossroads loomed ahead of the duo. Both of its passages were dark and gloomy, as if they were pathway to despair.
“Let’s head into the one on the left first.” said Fleeting Time after a brief moment of observation.
Ye Ci followed Fleeting Time into the passage without much of an objection. The entire floor was eerily silent and devoid of monsters, but Ye Ci could still hear the faint grinding of metallic gears in the darkness. The movements of so many machines in an environment so dark and quiet was like a thunderclap to her ears.
The duo was unexpectedly bounced back by an unseen force when they headed into the passage to their left. It was just like what they experienced as they attempted to gain entry to Vo’sok.
Ye Ci immediately produced the Goblin Compass in an attempt to look for clues, it offered no additional hints other than the distance between the duo and De’frei.
“So we can’t go this way?” Ye Ci’s eyebrows furrowed, “How about the path on the right?”
The same thing happened to Ye Ci and Fleeting Time as they attempted to walk down the passage.
“There must be some sort of mechanism hidden someone.” said Fleeting Time and Ye Ci in near-perfect synchronization. They then shared a look with each other with a smile on their faces, “Where do you think it might be?”
Fleeting Time spoke up after a moment of thought, “I think there might be something hidden between the two paths,” and Ye Ci shared the same opinion as well, “So what are we waiting for?” she shrugged.
A statue of a Goblin clad in lavish clothing loomed over the duo. Shards of shattered jewels could be seen on the weathered statue. From afar, the statue looked very beautiful.
Fleeting Time lit a torch, and began reading the words written at the base of the statue.
Ye Ci was baffled by the strange language that was spoken by Fleeting Time. She inched closer to have a better look, only to find words that she could not understand, “What is this that you’re reading?”
Due to the limited lighting provided by the torch, Fleeting Time could barely read the words etched onto the surface of the statue. Ye Ci was in close proximity with Fleeting Time as he leaned closer to have a better look at the words.
Neither Ye Ci nor Fleeting Time realised that they were in close proximity with each other in the dark. Their attention was focused wholly on the writings on the statue.
When he heard Ye Ci’s words, Fleeting Time turned around reflexively and was surprised when he bumped into something. Ye Ci could feel something soft brushing against her cheeks. She immediately understood what exactly the soft sensation was, and backed away from Fleeting Time, as if she was jolted by electricity. Despite her shock, Ye Ci forced herself to remain calm as she stared silently at Fleeting Time.
Fleeting Time was stunned as well. He stared at Gongzi You who was centimeters away from him. Her cold gaze appeared so gentle under the dim light. Her silvery hair was tied into a ponytail behind her head, but there were still strands of hair on her forehead and her cheeks. He could even see the light of the torch reflecting in Gongzi You’s ember eyes.
Panic. It was something that Fleeting Time had never seen in Gongzi You. In that moment however, he could detect hints of panic in Gongzi You’s eyes.
Under the right circumstances, people would find themselves doing things that was out of the ordinary and was out of character.
As Ye Ci stared at Fleeting Time, she could feel her heart beating violently in her chest. She felt the need to act, or to at least speak up, but it was as if she was sapped of energy. She maintained her pose, and stared silently at Fleeting Time.
She stared silently at his slightly arching brows, and the slight smirk on his lips, and felt warmth in the depths of her heart.
Fleeting Time knew that he would scare Gongzi You away and create a ridge between them if he acted rashly. Then again, he was not able to hold himself back. At that very moment, the urge to inch closer to Gongzi You occupied Fleeting Time’s mind.
Ye Ci panicked when she felt the warmth of Fleeting Time’s breath. This was something that had never happened to her. She was always confident in her abilities to adapt to any changes that she might encounter, but why was she so lost right at this moment?
She could feel Fleeting Time inching closer and closer. She could feel her heart boil along with the warmth in his breath.
Ye Ci moved slightly to the back before the two could come into contact, putting in some distance between them. The gesture, however simple it may seem to be, required all of Ye Ci’s willpower.
Fleeting Time’s rationality returned to him at that moment. He stared silently at Ye Ci before backing away. He extended a hand at Ye Ci, brushed away the stray strand of hair that was in her mouth, and spoke in a soft voice that could only be heard by himself, “This, is good enough.”
Ye Ci could feel the scorching heat of Fleeting Time’s fingers as they brushed across her face. Her nails dug into her palms as she clenched her fists tightly.
Hiya minna-san! Here's another awesome chapter of the awesomesauce novel translated by an awesomtacular translator, which is me!!! Hope you people enjoyed the chapter!
What do you guys think of people who cheat in the exam? I got into an argument with my friend because he wouldn't shut up about how cheated in his exam, and kept defending his actions with things like "But I was just minding my own business, I didn't disturb anyone!". In my opinion, cheating is cheating no matter how you try to defend your actions. So yeah....
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