IWOL Chapter 270: The Original Plan

Cui Zuojing knocked on the door and Victor opened it.

Victor wore a knitted V-neck vest with a white neckline and hem. His short platinum-blonde hair was neatly combed, and he looked very academic. Cui Zuojing couldn’t help thinking that at this time yesterday, he was a white cat lying on the sofa, with one leg up and “wanting to lick his own chrysanthemum,” and had to fight against this unyielding scene in his mind.

A loud scream came to his ears as he and Dong Zheng entered through the door. He looked over Victor’s shoulder and saw Lin Hangzhi lying on the ground. For the sake of this comrade’s personal safety, all things within ten meters of him had been moved away. But unfortunately, a flying chip still managed to hit him in the eye. At this moment, he was wailing as he covered his face.

On the other side of the room, Dong Linhai and Wang Que were dumbfounded. They had been using the chips won to play a game.

Victor hurried over to give Lin Hangzhi treatment. The redness and swelling peach eyes quickly returned to normal under the action of Victor’s purifying power. The poor Doctor Lin grabbed Victor’s arm hard and shouted, “I’m dying! If I have to do it again tomorrow, it’s better if I just die now! Why is fate pitting so ruthlessly against me? I’m merely a child. Ahhh, kimochi–”

This last ecstatic kimochi succeeded in making Wang Que cover her face as she listened. Xia Qiongyun turned her face to the side, unable to bear looking at him straight-on.

Cui Zuojing squatted down next to him and sighed sympathetically. “You really know how to scream.”

“QAQ.” Lin Hangzhi’s other hand grabbed onto Cui Zuojing and held on tightly. He looked at him and asked, “Comrade, how is the situation?”

“Tomorrow, you’ll have to work hard. I found the approximate location of the boss’s residence, but I have to make two guarantees first. Go according to the original plan and try to attract the people in the casino as much as possible. Try to get high-level officials to entertain you, so that we can continue to investigate.”

There was deep despair in Lin Hangzhi’s eyes, and his hands dropped weakly. His eyes rolled up, his tongue stuck out, his neck choked, and he stopped moving.

Cui Zuojing reached out to pull his tongue.

Lin Hangzhi hurriedly withdrew his tongue into his mouth and accidentally bit it in the process. The severe pain made him scream, and he nearly lost his breath in an instant.

Lin Hangzhi: Died on the spot.jpg.

Victor was caught between laughter and tears. He hurriedly continued to treat Lin Hangzhi. Tonight he was destined to be unable to go anywhere. Victor was afraid that as long as he left Lin Hangzhi for one moment, the poor Dr. Lin would no longer be alive.

Lin Hangzhi cried and said with a sad face, “Do you really want me to continue tomorrow? This is just the first day and it’s already like this.”

“Don’t worry, you’ll be fine,” Xia Qiongyun said. “You just have to believe me and you’ll be fine.”

Since Xia Qiongyun joined the Wonton Insurgency, she had gotten better at getting along with the others and had officially become a member of this small group.

After Fu Zhe determined that the area in the box where the fragments were located was a casino, they formulated a plan, forming a dual-core lineup with Lin Hangzhi and Cui Zuojing as the main support. While Lin Hangzhi would rely on his ability to attract the main firepower, Cui Zuojing and Dong Zheng would take the opportunity to secretly investigate and attack.

In order to ensure Lin Hangzhi’s personal safety, Fu Zhe had the idea of letting Xia Qiongyun exert her Truth Speak ability on Lin Hangzhi. They found that as long as Lin Hangzhi was firm enough in his belief, within the time limits of Truth Speak, no matter how he overdrew his luck, he would not be backlashed by bad luck.

In the same way, once the effect of Truth Speak ended, the backlash would act on him.

This required Xia Qiongyun to stay with Lin Hangzhi at all times as he took action. To ensure the continuity of Truth Speak, Lin Hangzhi must also have 100% trust in Xia Qiongyun and believe in her every word.

In the end, the combination of Lin Hangzhi and Xia Qiongyun was formed. The two of them were responsible for working together to shine in the casino, while Dong Linhai and Victor secretly protected them, and Wang Que and Dong Zheng followed Cui Zuojing to form the second team.

Among them, both Dong Zheng and Wang Que could use their ability to conduct intelligence investigations. Dong Zheng’s investigative ability was stronger than Wang Que’s. However, the characteristic of his ability meant that he needed the assistance of electronic products. When it came to situations like the one just now, where there was no monitoring equipment in the elevator nor any electronic products on the man, Wang Que would be required to step in.

After all, no one would guard against a little bug.

And Cui Zuojing, supported by their intelligence, was responsible for the real part of the operation, which was to recover the fragments. The only people who could bear the forces of the five elemental powers were him and Victor, and he had already taken back a fragment before so he was more familiar with the process.

Dong Zheng had already intercepted the hidden surveillance camera in the suite and replaced the screen. They could discuss the action plan as much as they wanted. Since Xia Qiongyun came back, she had canceled her ability on Lin Hangzhi, allowing him to seize the time to complete the process of “interdependent blessings and disasters.”

Although there didn’t seem to be a price for using Truth Speak, Xia Qiongyun was very careful every time she used it. She wouldn’t activate it unless she had no other choice. She had always believed that, with this kind of ability, it was impossible that there was no price to pay.

Even though she hadn’t experienced any backlash now, she knew it would just be a matter of time.

Cui Zuojing briefly talked about what he found just now, such as the elevator and the place Dong Zheng could not detect it. Wang Que nodded. “Yes, I’ll take over.”

Dong Linhai asked curiously, “Which fragment do you think that is, conscience or morality? Why do I feel like…these so-called fragments don’t correspond to their names? I didn’t see it in the pied piper either.”

“I don’t know.” Cui Zuojing shrugged. “What can I say, I feel that the Fu Zhe who lacked of morality and conscience now wasn’t much different from the Fu Zhe of the past. At most, he’s just a little different. Back then, he had a particularly poisonous tongue. Sometimes, the way he spoke could really choke a person to death. He hadn’t been like that for a long time.”

“Could it be that it’s inaccurate to call them morality and conscience? Otherwise, why don’t they represent the quality of goodness?” Dong Linhai scratched his head, “…it’s a bit strange. Shouldn’t both morality and conscience be good?

Cui Zuojing thought for a moment and said, “There’s the possibility that they are ‘polluted.’ The Worm of Mystery monitors every fragment. It’s very possible that the fragments became ‘contaminated’ by the book in the process. Do you still remember Hamelin? There was a mouse in there that was the incarnation of Worm of Mystery and was responsible for monitoring the fragment.”

Dong Zheng nodded. “The mouse helped Allen and I escape from the dungeon and told us to steal the pied piper’s magic flute. Speaking of this, is there such a possibility? Based on Murphy’s words and what Luo Yan told Wang Que in her dreams, we can infer that Worm of Mystery can swallow other people’s abilities. Worm of Mystery wanted to swallow the fragment to increase its power, but the fragment also carried elements of spatial power as well as the magic given to it by the box. Therefore, Worm of Mystery could only rely on pilgrims to steal the flute, which was the source of the fragment’s power.”

Wang Que said, “That being said, in this box, there should also be a Worm of Mystery. This means we’ll have one more enemy.”

Cui Zuojing agreed. “Yes, so we must be extra careful. Just like it pretended to be a key npc mouse before, now could be pretending to be a person or a living thing.”

Before they knew it, it was already one o’clock in the morning, and everyone became sleepy. There were three rooms in the suite, one for Dong Zheng and Cui Zuojing, one for Wang Que and Xia Qiongyun, and Victor accompanied Lin Hangzhi to sleep in one room. Dong Linhai struggled for a second in “Victor, Lin Hangzhi, and himself would make three, or why not sleep on the sofa for one night,” and without suspense, he chose to sleep on the living room sofa.

Just kidding, if he slept with Lin Hangzhi tonight, he would probably be dead in the morning.

After turning off the light, Cui Zuojing didn’t fall asleep right away. After a while, he turned over, facing Dong Zheng, and asked softly in the dark, “Are you asleep?”

“Not yet.” Dong Zheng opened his eyes and noticed that the young man had something to say. He turned his head to look at him. “What’s the matter?”

Cui Zuojing was silent for a moment, and then he said, “Imagine that my soul is divided into several pieces and you fell in love with one of them. But when the fragments return and re-integrated with my body, I’m still the original but am no longer exactly the same. Will you also like the complete me?”

Dong Zheng lay flat on his back. Thick curtains blocked the lights‌ outside, sinking the entire bedroom into the darkness. He thought about it for a long time, turned over to face Cui Zuojing, and whispered softly:

“I don’t know, but if the current you is only a part of someone, and after you’re fused back together, the real you becomes someone different, then I will feel that the completed you is not my lover. It will only make me feel guilty, as if I’m betraying you. Because, whether completed or not, it was the part of you that attracted me and made me fall in love with you in the first place. But if that you is the same as the you in my heart, then and only then will it truly be complete.”

Is that so?

Cui Zuojing had thought about this question alone many times, and Dong Zheng’s answer was a little different from his, but there was one thing that they both had in common, and that was the feeling of betrayal.

Although both the fragments and the body were counted as the same person, he still believed that such behavior was a kind of betrayal to the original lover.

“Don’t think so much.” Dong Zheng stretched out his hand and gently touched the young man’s eyelashes. Feeling Cui Zuojing’s eyelashes trembling slightly like butterfly wings at his fingertips, he said in a low voice, “No matter what, the one who has to make that choice wouldn’t be us.”

——

[You are still thinking about the impossible…]

[Most people always wish for things they don’t dare to obtain.]

[Why? No matter what, the ending will not change. You and I, in the end…]

​​A vague voice repeated in his dream. The voice sounded like Cerberus but was somewhat inexplicably unfamiliar. The words was intermittent and finally ended ‌with a cold phrase‌—

[Kill him.]

The fulfilling sensation of holding that person in his arms told Cerberus where he was. It took less than a second for him to go from sleep to waking up. He opened his eyes, and found that the young man had been awake for some time, and he was looking at him silently, his always calm eyes filled with an emotion that Cerberus could not understand.

Seeing that Cerberus had woken up, Mr. Mo lowered his eyes, as if what Cerberus had seen just now was an illusion borned from the haziness of sleep.

Cerberus moved his arm away from Mr. Mo’s waist, who leaned back. He left a nostalgic kiss on Mr. Mo’s shoulder, quickly got off the bed, and was on guard again.

Mr. Mo leaned sideways on the head of the bed and watched him buttoned up the top of his white shirt and neatly tucked the hem into his belt. He couldn’t help thinking about the time when he first brought Cerberus back, the man had cluelessly held on to his clothes, not knowing how to put them on.

Three years went by in just the blink of an eye.

After dressing himself, Cerberus picked out the dress shirt, waistcoat, pants, belt, socks, leather shoes, pocket watch, cufflinks, brooch…And then he half-kneeled on the carpet and gave them up one by one. Still sitting on the edge of the bed, Mr. Mo put them on. Afterward, Angela opened the door quietly, carrying a silver basin with water and a towel on her arm, to serve her master in washing.

Finally, Angela carefully applied white ointment to Mr. Mo’s hands. The young man stood, looked at himself in the mirror, and handed Cerberus his cane.

“Let’s go.”

————
Xixi: Lin Hangzhi is too funny, and I just realized that Dong Zheng and Cui Zuojing engage in a lot of pillow talks. What do you guys think about the conundrum of Fu Zhe’s situation? I don’t agree with Cui Zuojing and Dong Zheng. If Cerberus ended up falling in love with the completed Fu Zhe after Mr. Mo was re-integrated, I don’t think it is a betrayal to Mr. Mo. After all, Mr. Mo is still a part of Fu Zhe, and even though Fu Zhe isn’t exactly the same as Mr. Mo, people do change and love can either grow to accommodate that change or dissipate because of it.


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crimson
crimson
3 years ago

Thank you for the chapter~

I feel sad for Cerberus, but also for Mr. Mo and Fu Zhe. In the end, their thoughts won’t change the fact that Fu Zhe needs to absorb his fragments to be able to contribute to the Queen’s defeat.

In the end, I think it mostly depends on which aspects of Mr. Mo Cerberus fell in love with and if those aspects will endure even after Fu Zhe absorbs Mr. Mo. The there’s also the issue of how much of his fragments’ personality will affect Fu Zhe. The Pied Piper didn’t seem to have any strong traits, but if Mr. Mo feels strongly enough for Cerberus, will those emotions be carried over too? If Mr. Mo and Fu Zhe fuse, will the resultant Fu Zhe be a combination of both or will only Fu Zhe be left? If it’s a combination, it might just seem like Mr. Mo has a new body with more facets to his personality. But if Mr. Mo isn’t even tangible and Fu Zhe is all who’s left, can Cerberus even feel the same way towards him? It’s such a complicated issue -w-;

Xixi
Xixi
3 years ago
Reply to  crimson

You made a very good point. After all, if Fu Zhe is completely different from Mr. Mo then it would just be like falling in love with your dead lover’s twin. Luckily, at least for now, they both displayed some similar habits, like being a homebody and having a love of books. 😄 It also begs the question of whether he will love the whole Fu Zhe or just the Mr. Mo fragment of Fu Zhe. If it’s the latter, then it wouldn’t be fair to Fu Zhe at all and he’s better off without him. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

crimson
crimson
3 years ago
Reply to  Xixi

falling in love with your dead lover’s twin

O.O *thinks back to a certain traumatic reading experience* Yup, that would definitely be all kinds of problematic -v-; And I hadn’t thought of their similarities under the surface. It’s reassuring to think that they might manage to meld smoothly~ I guess the perfect ending would be Cerberus growing to love Fu Zhe as a whole, but that’s a good point. He does seem like the type who would stubbornly cling to his master. Hopefully it won’t end up with Fu Zhe getting erased and Mr. Mo taking over though.

Mememe
Mememe
2 years ago

See…They say did not have to make that choice (DZ and CZ) but I think there was indeed something similar. DZ fell in love with the CZ who could barely show his true emotions (an incomplete version) but the love still remained the same when CZ became a more vibrant, complete self. Of course these situation are different in context but when we fall in love with one part of a person, we will make adaptions for the other parts until we love it all equally.

cynicalreader
cynicalreader
2 years ago
Reply to  Mememe

+1 i like this, i’ll accept this explanation because it makes me feel not as bad about this situation AHAH *cries* to the next chapter!

cynicalreader
cynicalreader
2 years ago

this is …….. these fragments give me war flashbacks from tsubasa chronicles LMAO

oh god I’ve been feeling strange ever since this problem was presented — I can’t help but empathize with Fu Zhe for thinking that taking back his fragment is like committing murder… but it should also not be ignored that because of that fragment’s “freedom” / lostness (??), the original has been locked in a different space and had to suffer alone for all these years until CZ and the gang came back

this type of moral predicament is just like the issue with clones or making a digital copy of yourself = does this mean they’re people too? AGH this is making my head hurt

this makes me realize how amazingly evil the queen and her band of thieves are for putting FZ and everyone else in this sort of torment.

god I just want everyone to be alright in the end

I dunno
I dunno
2 years ago

This problem that requires too much braincells is not for me, my only opinion is that Fu zhe and Fu zhe’s fragments is still the same Fu zhe with the same personality, same traits, same habits, and same feelings. It will just take time if ever Cerberus manage to meet the complete Fu zhe to fall in love again.

nico
nico
2 years ago

i understand all the implications but the only thing i don’t want is Cerberus to die or something, if not, i’ll lift some knives here 😀

Piggy
Piggy
1 year ago

Psst, the past tense of “born” is “born”. “Borned” is not a word. Same with “hurted”. Just wanted to tell you.
Anyway, thanks for the chapter!

GayDay
GayDay
1 year ago

That dream… is Cerberus the fragment of Worm of Mystery? I also don’t wanna think that way, but if that’s the case… *shudders*

GayDay
GayDay
1 year ago
Reply to  GayDay

Wait, that could also mean Fu Zhe is the “traitor” and he had a relationship with Worm of Mystery before? I hope not 🙁

Last edited 1 year ago by GayDay
thatonecat
thatonecat
1 year ago

I agree with Fu Zhe that absorbing the fragment is a form of murder. There’s another horror infinite flow where the MC comes back to life at the beginning of the day he died. That means that he and the ML have a hard time connecting. As he has to keep dying in the scenarios to progress, all the time he spends with the ML and anyone else is meaningless, as they “die” with him. Why bother with anyone, even if they literally die in front of him, he just has to reset once he’s found the best exit solution and they’re okay. So human life doesn’t matter, nor do relationships.