Due to Song Gui’s physique of extremely bad luck that had been passed down through his ancestors, the six of them had to spend another day and night in a square.
After returning to the tower at dusk the next day, they sat around the table and looked at the last heart square again.
Yuan Kejie stared affectionately at the end, and asked Song Gui, “another one, bro?”
Song Gui humbly refused, and said with a gentle tone, “no need, this opportunity is more suitable for Lu Xiaochu.”
If they let him throw it, he’s afraid he would end up throwing another one.
So Lu Chu honourably took on the task of throwing the dice again, then successfully rolled a three — they cleared.
The six little people symbolising them crossed the last square, and they successfully reached the end.
With a clear ‘tick–‘, all of the symbolsfloating above the game board on the table in front of them gradually started flickering, as they turned into a scattering of light that dispersed in the air, until they all disappeared.
As the various symbols slowly started to vanish, the squares on the table started to flip over one by one from the first. Once the last one had flipped over, everybody immediately noticed that a model of the tower appeared at the finish line, and the top floor was glowing. At the same time, a staircase going upwards appeared in place of the originally empty wall in the tower, reaching up towards the top, where its end couldn’t be seen.
They all stood and looked up, and the chairs and tables disappeared.
Looking at the spiralling staircase, Yuan Kejie’s tone was doubtful, “is this…… the exit?”
When Lu Chu saw the steps that appeared in front of them, he was reminded of the same ones he had seen within the tower that appeared where he once lived. He glanced at 7 beside him, then affirmed, “this is the exit.”
Yuan Kejie looked up, “why do I feel like I can’t see the top?”
“It isn’t feel,” Song Gui answered her, “we really can’t see it.”
Luo Qi turned to look at Lu Chu, and asked, “head up?”
“En,” Lu Chu explained, “we’ll be able to return to the ‘rules’ once we go up the stairs.”
When Luo Qi heard his answer, she threw the backpack and weapons on her back to the ground, stretched her neck and moved her limbs, “let’s go.”
The others saw her action and also threw the supplies they had collected on the ground
This is because the things within a ‘game’ couldn’t be brought into the ‘rules’, so now that they had cleared this round, there was no point in holding on to it.
They were old hands at this.
At the start, all of them tried to bring weapons that they found within a ‘game’ into the door leading to the ‘rules’. However, the moment they stepped inside that door, all those weapons broke down and disintegrated, leaving nothing behind.
After a couple of times, they dismissed that idea.
In fact, Lu Chu always felt thatit wasn’t actually the players themselves who entered into a ‘game’ to get through all those hazards, but their souls, or spiritual power.
How else could one explain thefact that even though the identities they had within each ‘game’ was roughly similar to their own looks, the bone structure or age would often vary greatly from game to game. Furthermore, the things within the ‘rules’ and the ‘games’ were incompatible. No matter what clothing they wore within a ‘game’, or what they looked like, once the ‘game’ was over, their clothing would return to what they were wearing before they entered the ‘game’ once they returned to the ‘rules’.
On the inner wall of the tower, along the spiralling staircase, there were oil lamps spaced at regular intervals,emitting a yellowish light, faint, yet bright enough to illuminate a small area of the steps below.
One side of the staircase was built against the side of the tower wall, while the other side was left unprotected. The narrow stairs were directly suspended in the air, allowing only one person to pass through at a time, and they looked as if they were in danger of falling at any moment.
Luo Qi, who was the most petit, went up the stairs first, followed by Yuan Kejie, Song Gui, and Qian Zhen.Lu Chu and 7 were at the end.
No matter whether one looked at the black skyscraper from the outside, or when they stood at the bottom of the tower to look up into the endless abyss above them, one would think that thetower was extremely tall. However, in fact, they only made a few laps around the spiral staircase before they saw a bright light.
Luo Qi, who was walking in the front stared at it, then turned her head back towards the others behind her and said, “there’s probably an exit ahead.”
Yuan Kejie smiled and touched her empty wrist, on the spot where she would have a bracelet in the ‘rules’, “after working hard for so long, I wonder how much time will be rewarded to us once we return to the ‘rules’.”
Song Gui, “it should be quite a bit.”
Luo Qi continued to walk forward, and soon, she saw a spacious platform that could accommodate a dozen people, and the area she could see suddenly widened.
Luo Qi didn’t think much before stepping on the platform, then stopped in place, motionless as she looked outside of the tower to identify something.
Yuan Kejie was puzzled when she saw this, so she also stepped onto the platform, then was also stunned by the sight in front of her, “this is?”
The others behind her also went onto the spacious platform.
The moment they stepped on it, the scenery in front of them completely changed. The walls of the tower became transparent, leaving only a door standing there, as if it was floating in mid-air. Looking down, it was as if they were standing on an extremely high cloud; and as they looked far away, the scenery that they could see with the bright moon and thousands of stars was beautiful and magnificent.
But the reason why they were shocked wasn’t because of the scenery beneath them, nor was it an endless end — but fifty-two connected squares. Each area had a different environment and scenery, with clear lines dividing each of them, and the shape that they were connected in was exactly the same as the game board they saw on the table before.
As for the outside of those squares, there was nothing.
Just like a setting in online games, there was no need for the nothingness outside of the setting to be created.
Looking at it that way, it was as if they were able to see every inch of land that they had just ran through, especially the area belonging to the second-to-last square closest to them. Due to Song Gui’s luck, they had just spent a day there, and killed more than adozen monsters.
Yuan Kejie whispered, “this is…… the end? This really refreshes one’s mind, enlightens us with perfect wisdom……”
Song Gui frowned.
Something like this didn’t feelgood, they had just watched the place that they were fighting in become so small, like some model of a film. For people like them, what was the meaning behind fighting to death in such a huge simulation?
Both Qian Zhen and Luo Qi fell silent, with their thoughts occupied.
This is the second time that Lu Chu had looked into the ‘world’ that he had just been living in as a bystander.
As for the ‘cleaner’ 7, every time he performed a cleaning mission, he would always appear and leave from such a tower.
“Let’s go,” Luo Qi usually had no emotions other than disdain on her face, and right now, her expression became even colder, “I’ll free myself from this one day.”
After speaking, she walked into the door next to her.
“Let’s go,” Yuan Kejie shrugged, “Qiqi is right, one day, we’ll leave this place.”
But, before that, they would have to live carefully and fight through any setbacks.
Song Gui laughed, “of course, we’ll leave this place.”
Yuan Kejie, Song Gui, and Qian Zhen walked into the door one by one.
Then, there was only Lu Chu and 7 left.
7 didn’t belong to the same ‘rule’ as them, so even if they walked into the same door, they wouldn’t return to the same place. This meant that, in the illusion created by the ‘rules’, Lu Chu wouldn’t
be able to see 7.
Thinking of this, Lu Chu stopped, then looked at the handsome man who was slightly taller than himself.
Lu Chu gave a gentle smile, and with his picturesque features, he looked into 7’s deep eyes and asked, “do you remember what you promised me?”
The scene of that glowing sunset akin to a blazing fire appeared in 7’s mind. Drenched in blood, he stood in front of the giant monster that he had just killed, and the way Lu Chu walked forward to hug him as bright red blood stained his clothes. The manner in which he had stepped back at that moment, as he reached out a hand towards him, and said, “this gentleman over here, please give me the right to live and die with you.”
7’s eye moved slightly, and in the depths of his eyes was an uncontrollable indulgence, “whatever I promised you, I remember.”
— To live, and die, with you.
This was the bestsentence he had ever heard.
Lu Chu’s smile looked even better whenhe heard that, then he stretched out his hand toward him again.
Just like before, 7 wrapped Lu Chu’s slender hand with his slightly larger one, “Lu Chu, I will show you a complete world.”
This was his answer, two, for one.
It was as if Lu Chu’s smiling eyes had stars in them, “I’ll see you in the next ‘game’.”
7 curled up the side of his lips, “okay.”
Then he released the hand that was holding Lu Chu.
Just when 7 thought that Lu Chu would turn around and step into the door that led to the ‘rules’, Lu Chu suddenly stepped forward towards him, and took advantage of the moment he was startled, looked up, wrapped his arms around 7’s shoulders, then closed his soft, smile-filled eyes.
A touch, like the slight fluttering of a dragonfly.
However, in that short moment, that warm and soft touch reached the bottom of his heart from his lips, causing electric-like shivers to run down his spine.
After that, Lu Chu seemed calm as he said goodbye and turned to walk into the door, but both of his ears were red.
7 reacted, looking at Lu Chu’s back with a trace of panic, but there was nothing but softness and sweetness in his heart.
Standing alone at the top of the tower, a sharp gut-wrenching pain burst from where 7’s heart was located. Sinister looking blue veins popped up on his neck, and they started toslit and ooze warm blood, soaking through his clothes. The wound tore apart yet healed again, and the process was slow and agonising, but he stood there, indifferent, as if he was used to the pain.
As long as it allows you to take another step forward, I’ll be willing to do anything.