Wang Que and Luo Yan sat on the top of the highest tower in the royal city. The ancient city was in full view, and the borders of the dream were blurred and indistinct. Luo Yan stretched her legs out through the gaps in the railing and swayed them in the air, while Wang Que was much more restrained. Since that day, she was inevitably afraid of heights. Every time she stood at a high place, she always remembered that she was once pushed down from a great height and fell in terror.
When Luo Yan asked about the progress regarding the recovery of Fu Zhe’s fragment, Wang Que had some reservations. She could sense that Luo Yan already knew all about it and only wanted to hear her talk about it.
“Why don’t you go to see Brother Cui directly?”
Wang Que had already asked this question many times already.
Luo Yan shook her head and said, “It’s not time yet.”
“What are you planning to do?” Wang Que looked at her. This girl looked to be about Wang Que’s age, but had been imprisoned in this dream world for nearly ten years now. Thus, she should be ten years older than Wang Que. “You keep many secrets. If this continues, I won’t be able to give you my complete trust anymore.”
Luo Yan smiled. She didn’t mind that Wang Que was starting to doubt her. She stretched out her hand to feel the wind, and replied, “It’s okay. You can just wait. Time will tell you what you want to know.”
When Cui Zuojing and Dong Zheng got back to the apartment, Victor really was waiting downstairs for them. When he saw them, he didn’t say anything and immediately helped Dong Zheng deal with his wounds.
Cui Zuojing said, “How is it?”
Victor replied, “Fortunately, it’s just Midnight. What happened?”
“In the first half of the night, we fought with Midnight in Heimdall. I wounded him, and for the rest of the night, we only had to deal with some shrimp soldiers and crabs. He didn’t come back,” Cui Zuojing said. “It felt more like a test of mine and Dong Zheng’s strength, without any real shots.”
“It must be difficult to deal with the two of you together. Didn’t they also separate us before and then deal with us one by one?” Victor said as they walked upstairs.
Cui Zuojing nodded in agreement. “I used the power of time, but it doesn’t matter if they found out. With you and Fu Zhe, we still have a lot of cards.”
They returned to the apartment and waited again for a while to ensure that the space prohibition for the night clearing was gone. Then they woke everyone up.
After entering the castle, everyone separated and went to their own respective rooms to bathe and rest. Fu Zhe wasn’t in the living room so Cui Zuojing went directly to his study to look for him.
He opened the door. The array on the floor of the study, which was used to sense the other fragments, was dull. Fu Zhe sat next to it. When he head Cui Zuojing came in, he smiled and raised his head.
“I have good news and bad news.” Cui Zuojing closed the door and showed him the seals on his wrist. “We successfully recovered your morality, but he had already killed your conscience.”
Fu Zhe’s expression changed slightly, but very soon, his brows relaxed.
“It’s okay.” He stood up and said in a low voice, “The way things are now, I probably won’t need conscience anymore.”
Cui Zuojing couldn’t deny it. When Morality said he killed Conscience with his own hands, he felt that it was especially ironic.
Purple light shot out from the seals. It gathered around Fu Zhe and finally sank between his eyebrows. As space fluctuated, the power of time in Cui Zuojing’s body also resonated. A wind rose up, setting the curtains to fluttering and the books to slam open with pages flying.
Victor lifted his head and looked upstairs. The spatial force spread out like ripples of water. When it reached the edge of the castle, it met an invisible barrier. The more the energy was built up, the more precarious the barrier became.
There was a cracking sound as the energy accumulated to a terrifying level. Then it burst through the barrier, leaked into the endless cracks of space around the castle, and once again re-establish connection with the Pure White Realm.
The curse that had lasted for ten years was finally broken.
Fu Zhe opened his eyes. Indescribable emotions flashed across those eyes, but were quickly hidden.
Even so, they didn’t escape Cui Zuojing’s eyes. He knew that Fu Zhe must have also acquired Morality’s memories.
Now that Morality had been returned to Fu Zhe, what impact it may have caused, probably only Fu Zhe himself would know.
But Cui Zuojing didn’t say anything. He opened his arms, stepped forward, and gave Fu Zhe a hug.
“Congratulations, you are free.”
Fu Zhe smiled. He patted Cui Zuojing’s6+3+66 back and whispered, “Yes.”
He waited for eight years, waited until his old friends returned to rescue him. Then he waited for another two years, waiting most eagerly for his freedom.
But why, then, did it feel as if a piece of his heart was missing?
In the following days, the team returned to their normal schedules. Cui Zuojing was added back to the team, and Dong Zheng took back the position of team leader. Everyone began to enter various boxes to collect enough points to purchase tickets to the next district.
The only thing worth mentioning was Heinrich. When the night clearing ended and morning arrived, he went to Heimdall as usual and discovered the mess in the hallway and in the props display room that looked as if it had been ransacked by a thief. Furthermore, the doorknob to his office was also cut out. He was so upset that he almost couldn’t catch his breath.
Dong Zheng and Cui Zuojing knew that they were at fault and were willing to compensate with points. But after they described what happened on that thrilling night, Heinrich could only recognize their strength. He refused to allow them to pay for the hard-earned spiritual props. This was the second time he had seen pilgrims survive the executioner on a Blood Night. No matter what, the Wonton Insurgency was the thickest thigh in their organization. He could bear the loss. After all, having the other party owe him a favor was not a loss-making business.
…But it hurted!
Fu Zhe was finally able to leave the castle. The moment the curse was lifted, this bone-deep otaku ran outside under the sky. He looked at the blue sky, the green trees, and the crowded streets. He breathed in the smell of grass and strolled around alone. Meanwhile, the others were resting after having just come out of another box. Lillian offered to accompany him, but Fu Zhe refused. He wanted to keep this wonderful moment to himself, to give himself time to unwind the threads around his heart.
As he stood on the side of the street, he looked at the unfamiliar faces of the people passing by. The sun was shining over the treetops, and people stood shoulder to shoulder. It felt as if this was not real. It felt like an illusory dream, a long-lost, beautiful dream. Fu Zhe felt an unavoidable fear. This kind of fear was like coming out of prison after spending 50 years locked inside and realizing that he had no way of adapting to the outside world.
The spacious and open streets gave him a sense of insecurity. He knew that he needed a period of time to gradually and slowly adapt. Ten years of imprisonment had changed his personality to a certain extent.
As a result, he would go out shopping every day. Sometimes he would be alone. Sometimes he would shop for daily necessities with Lillian, or he would follow Cui Zuojing to Heimdall. Many times, Fu Zhe would feel as if there was someone watching him, but when he looked around, he wouldn’t find anything.
On this day, it was also the same. The Wonton Insurgency all bought their tickets and had set off to the next district. As a result, Fu Zhe went out alone. He walked slowly down the street. No one noticed this unremarkable young man. He was wearing the most ordinary white shirt and a gray coat. Everything was reflected in his two pairs of deep eyes, making the light-colored tear moles on the corners of his eyes all the more vivid.
Behind him, something flashed past the corner of the street. Fu Zhe turned to look, but the corner was empty.
He frowned and resumed walking.
But standing in front of a shop window not far from the street, there was a tall man with a pair of deep honey eyes. He gazed fixedly at that figure that he had been thinking of day and night. The handle of the Persian scimitar that hung at his waist had a brand-new gauze wrapped around it. The old one had been completely soaked in blood and could no longer be washed clean.
He raised his hand and touched his chest. The key-shaped pendant laid close to his skin. The girl had taken away the energy contained in it, but left him the key.
Fu Zhe turned into a small alley. Cerberus followed, only to discover that there was no one in the alley. There was only a small door in the corner.
Cerberus took out the key and inserted it into the keyhole. It was obviously not compatible with the keyhole, but the moment the key was inserted, it became a perfect fit.
He twisted it gently, and the door opened. Darkness lay on the other side, leading to an unknown location.
This morning, he saw with his own eyes that the group of people who had forcibly taken his master away were heading to the train station. Now, there was only Fu Zhe left in their base. Fu Zhe should be alone.
The longing to see that familiar figure surpassed everything. These three months, his longing was unbearable. He yearned to hear his voice and to hold his hand once more.
He couldn’t wait any longer.
Cerberus no longer hesitated, and he stepped in.
—Volume Ten: The Gambling Abyss [Ends]—
Xixi: Unedited. Too tired.