After a day’s rest, everyone got over the dream created by the Corridor of Memory. Illusion was just illusion, after all. With life and death on the line, no one knew what would happen tomorrow. Some people, like Cui Zuojing, also didn’t regret knowing a completely different world. He truly enjoyed every minute and every second in the Pure White Realm. He liked the excitement and enjoyed the feeling of having extraordinary power.
The only person who needed time was Victor. In his dream, he was on his way home on a train, and he called his wife and daughter, whom he hadn’t seen in more than ten years. It was also because of the phone call that he became absolutely certain that he was dreaming.
Yes, it had been 12 years since he came to the Pure White Realm after his sudden death.
After they left the Pure White Realm last time, Cui Zuojing took Victor the cat home. They landed in Heisenway Airport, and at Victor’s directions, they went to his home and saw his wife, Karina, from a distance.
The woman and his three children had been crying with red and swollen eyes. They were all dressed in black, and Cui Zuojing followed their trail all the way to a cemetery.
On the tombstone overlaid with flowers, there was a photo of Victor. The doctor with violet eyes had a heart attack and ended up collapsing on the job. There was almost no pain, and he left quietly.
Although Victor had successfully escaped from the Pure White Realm, he failed to return to his own body like Cui Zuojing, so he died in the present world.
In eight years, Cui Zuojing took Victor back three times. His children grew up, and even the youngest one had already gone to college. The woman he loved most in his life raised their three children alone. She was wrinkled and exhausted, dragging her steps as she walked. She seemed to have grown old very fast, having lost her youth and charm.
Victor could only look at her from a corner in the distance, watching as she walked out of the house alone to go to work. Karina would never know that the pure white cat whom she once happened to meet downstairs was her beloved husband.
He had lost everything.
That period of time was indeed the darkest time for Victor. He was no longer even a human being. Cui Zuojing was the only person in the world who knew his past. But in the end, destiny hadn’t completely abandoned him. He’d returned. When they managed to successfully arrive in the Pure White Realm, they had a chance to change everything.
Lin Hangzhi was tossing a dice to accumulate good luck. Next to him, Xia Qiongyun silently looked at the thick lead-gray clouds in the distance. At the intersection, they got off the boat, said goodbye to Cui Zuojing and Dong Zheng, and boarded another steamboat leading to a block where the pilgrimage union, which had the largest trading center, was located.
Cui Zuojing and Dong Zheng set off again toward Heimdall’s branch, using the coordinates that Heinrich provided.
For efficiency’s sake, the team was divided into three teams to investigate. Victor, Dong Linhai, and Wang Que went to the pier to ask about the legends of the Endless Sea. They anticipated that the NPCs on the pier might have a lot of unknown knowledge.
“Is it here?” Cui Zuojing looked at the scene in front of him. The three-story building in front of him looked unremarkable, but the door was carved with Heimdall’s monogram. To make sure, Cui Zuojing disembarked and stepped onto the steps in front of the door.
Living in a city of water had a lot of inconveniences. He stretched out his hand to pull Dong Zheng up and opened the door. Five to six meters from the door was a small reception desk with only one female receptionist sitting at the counter. She was watching TV idly and seemed surprised to see someone coming over.
“We came from Top-of-the-Giant-Tree, number 00032.” Dong Zheng showed her their team information. “We want to use the intelligence system.”
“Oh, okay.” The receptionist hurriedly checked their credentials. After confirming it with the system, she directed, “Welcome to District VII. Turn left, go all the way to the end, turn right and then left. The second room is the information room.”
They found the room according to her directions. The so-called intelligence room was 30 by 40 square meters wide. Planks were used to divide the room into several compartments, and it also had computers for searching for information. As a newly established organization, Heimdall’s headquarters at the top of the tree hadn’t developed much yet. Therefore, the fact that it could establish branches in other locations was already pretty good.
Dong Zheng also wasn’t fussy and just used it as normal. He turned on the computer, entered his fingerprint, logged into Heimdall’s system, and retrieved the relevant information about the Endless Sea. Cui Zuojing didn’t join him. With the advantages Dong Zheng’s professionalism and ability, it wasn’t necessary for him to help with this kind of thing.
He went around the intelligence room, didn’t see much, and went out to look at the rooms in the hallway. Finally, he concluded that this was indeed a poor and silent branch.
He returned to the intelligence room and sat in a chair on one side and waited. Fifteen minutes later, Dong Zheng stood up and turned off the computer.
“How was it?”
Dong Zheng shook his head. “There isn’t much useful information, or as the seahorse receptionist said, the forgotten phenomenon resulted in a lack of information. Let’s wait for the others to come back and we can discuss it in more detail.”
They didn’t bother walking around the branch since there was really nothing to see. They said goodbye to the receptionist, walked out the door, stood on the steps, and then opened the door they had just closed with Fu Zhe’s key.
The others hadn’t returned yet. Cui Zuojing and Dong Zheng decided to wait in the living room, so they sat by the fireplace and played a game of chess. Dong Zheng had a higher chance of winning, but he didn’t take it very seriously either. While they chatted, they just played a game to kill time.
Lillian was cleaning with a feather duster, while Fu Zhe was reading in his study. Cerberus was probably in his own room. Since everyone from the Wonton Insurgency came back, Cerberus hadn’t made any efforts to integrate with them and even ate his meals alone in the kitchen.
But this situation couldn’t last forever. Even if Cerberus wanted to regard himself as an invisible shadow, the others couldn’t treat him as if he doesn’t exist. If possible, they would like to try as much as possible to pull Cerberus into their camp.
Cui Zuojing thoughtfully grabbed a knight chess piece and stopped Lillian, who had come to clean the fireplace. He asked, “Lillian, have you had much contact with Cerberus these days?”
“A bit.” Lillian straightened and said, “Fu Zhe told him to ask me if he doesn’t understand something. He asked me where I go to buy supplies. In the past few days, he has been preparing meals for Fu Zhe.”
“Oh?” Cui Zuojing became interested. “What did he make?”
“Things with very precious ingredients.” Whenever Cerberus borrowed the kitchen, Lillian would keep an eye on it to ensure safety, so she was able to recount the details for Cui Zuoijing. Cui Zuojing assumed these should be things that Morality liked to eat, and so he nodded and said, “Thank you, Lillian. When we’re away, you need to pay more attention to Cerberus.”
Lillian said, “Yes. When he suddenly came to the castle, he really startled me. But up to now, he hasn’t shown much malice.”
Dong Zheng didn’t join this conversation because Heinrich had just sent him a message asking if he’d gone to the branch. He still had the idea to let Dong Zheng carry the District VII branch. Dong Zheng was speechless and could only send him six points back to express his feelings clearly and vividly.
Three hours later, the others returned, their faces wet with rain. Dong Linhai had put his jacket over Wang Que to protect her from the rain and so his shirt was soaked through. He had to go back to his room to change clothes.
“Call Fu Zhe down on your way there!” Cui Zuojing called from downstairs.
Five minutes later, everyone was gathered at the table and the District VII meeting began. Overall, they weren’t able to collect much useful information from their trips. They found nothing in the Heimdall branch and the trading post. Only Wang Que and Dong Linhai were able to question some workers at the wharf. According to these workers, whenever the fog rose, the light from the Master of Oblivion’s small boat would be visible. It was like a little mermaid turning circles in the sun and disappearing without a trace.
As a result, ghost ships were discovered one after another. These intact ships out at sea would float on the Endless Sea, all goods perfectly intact. Only, there was no one on board. No one remembered who was on the ship. Even the crew list in the table was empty.
“At least we now know how to determine its position,” Dong Zheng said. “We can rent a boat, wait until a foggy day to go out to sea, and follow the direction of the lights.”
“We really won’t be like other people and disappear, will we?” Lin Hangzhi was worried. His unlucky physique inevitably made him a pessimist. He rarely believed that he would encounter anything good.
Cui Zuojing tried to calm him, “I don’t know if the person is Nana or not, but even if it’s not, with me and Uncle present, the combination of time and physical strength is enough to resist chaos.”
Fu Zhe added, “You can also take the key and borrow my ability. This will provide additional insurance.”
The plan was tentatively set. Dong Zheng went to the dock to reserve a boat to rent. They found many rental stores, but no one was willing to rent to them. Finally, a family of fishermen decided to rent them a fishing boat. Originally, the fishermen refused when they heard that they were going to sea on a foggy day. However, the high price was enough to make people’s heart waver, and after weighing it, they still decided to rent the boat to them.
In the event that Dong Zheng and the others saw the Master of Oblivion and the boat became a ghost boat, the fishermen would still have the chance to go out and catch their boat back. In this way, there would be no monetary loss.
So, three days later, when a fog quietly covered the entire city in the early morning, the Wonton Insurgency left the castle, went to the docks, and boarded the boat. The inside of the fishing boat was thick with the smell of fish.
Wang Que covered her nose and couldn’t help but complain, “The smell is so heavy.”
“Just bear with it. This is the only thing we can rent.” Cui Zuojing saw a dead fish in the corner of the cabin. A fisherman probably threw it here when he was fishing. It was rotting and gave off an unpleasant stench. He looked around a few times, found a dustpan, scooped up the rotten fish, and threw it into the sea.
Just as the fishermen had said, a tiny little light loomed mysteriously in the sea, guiding them.
Under the puzzled and compassionate gazes of the dock workers, the fishing boat let out a whistle and sailed out of the harbour. It was soon quickly submerged in the thick fog.