IWOL Chapter 311: The Cause of Sin

Roughly speaking, the church wasn’t very large. It had three floors connected by a spiral staircase. In addition to the main building, there was a front yard, a rose field, a back cemetery, and the area where Cui Zuojing woke up in.

He didn’t know where his teammates went. The box stipulated that the active area was only this big. Therefore, they should all be able to meet soon. Cui Zuojing left marks as he walked. Each of them had their own unique marking so that, if they were separated, their companions would know each other’s general situation and allow them to easily reunite.

He walked along the corridor with one side full of stained glass windows. Before they entered, they had guessed what the theme of the box would be based on the name and patterns of the box. Therefore, everyone made preparations by studying various aspects of theology.

Cui Zuojing pushed the doors one by one and found that most of them were locked. He left a mark on the corner and continued to walk forward. Until, he saw scattered blood on the floor.

Cui Zuojing’s spirits lifted. He approached the place where the blood stains appeared, and found obvious signs of a battle around him. The statue of the Virgin was lying in the corner, and the pillars were pitted and cut with what appeared to be sharp tools. He walked forward quickly. The blood stains grew. There was a three-meter-high ‌splash of blood on the fancy window that displayed a man holding the Holy Bible to his cheek, giving the colorful holy patterns a strange addition.

Judging by the disordered footprints and the intermittent blood spots that extended all the way to the door and disappeared beyond, the injured party should have escaped after the battle.

Cui Zuojing tried to push the door open, but it was locked. According to the regular script, he should find a key somewhere or go outside to try to enter through a window. With his ability, he could easily destroy the lock, but he couldn’t help but consider that, if he needed to hide from danger, it wouldn’t do if the lock was already broken. In the end, he still chose to look for a key.

It didn’t take much effort to find the key hidden behind a portrait, and soon, Cui Zuojing pushed the door open. He was greeted by a blockbuster film scene of blood stains. It was obvious that the injured person had stayed here for a long time.

But there was no one inside, as if the injured person had locked himself in the room and disappeared. This room was a lounge with fairly simple facilities. The single beds were placed against the wall, and between the bed and the table was a small window. The view behind the window was roses and a pink sky. On the table was a bible with a bloody handprint on its black cover.

Cui Zuojing touched the blood mark, and a bit of blood came away. The injured man should be someone strong and accomplished. He opened the Bible, and English words greeted his eyes.

—In the beginning, God created heaven and earth.

—The ground was emptiness and chaos, and the abyss was dark; God’s spirit travelled on all water surfaces.

A burst of light emitted from the pages of the book, extremely dazzling, and Cui Zuojing subconsciously raised his hand to protect his eyes.

Birds and insects sounded in all directions, far and near. Dense trees obscured the sky, and the sun threw mottled spots on the forest ground. When the wind flew by, the forest tops made a swishing sound. In the air, there was a scent of freshness after the rain. Cui Zuojing lowered his head. He was wearing a jacket with a hiking backpack and muddy shoes. He apparently climbed all the way up from the foot of the mountain.

Shouts from a voice with a strong dialect came from behind him. They were being chased by a ranger and his dog. The person next to him panted and said a little nervously, “How long have they been chasing after us like this? Ahh, too persistent. We can’t stop, right? If they catch up, we might be fined.”

Everyone agreed. There were a total of seven people in the group, including Cui Zuojing. They divided into three groups and fled in different directions.

Cui Zuojing couldn’t control this body and could only watch everything unfold. He quickly understood that now he was a backpacker and was part of a group of “explorers” that had recently arrived here for a mountain expedition. However, they were discovered by the local forest ranger. The ranger was afraid that they would smoke and cause wildfires or that they would poach. Therefore, he’d been chasing after them all morning until now.

The more they were chased, the more scared they became. The thin dog kept barking behind them so that its owner wouldn’t lose his target.

“Cui Zuojing” and his other two groupmates moved to the left. This mountain forest was only patrolled every so often and so it was difficult to move around. They were exhausted, but if they relaxed even a little, they might really get caught.

Now that the target group had divided into three smaller groups of people, the ranger hesitated and decided to chase after Cui Zuojing’s group because they were running in the direction that led to the cliff. There, the terrain was very complicated and if they weren’t careful, they might fall into danger.

The forest ranger who looked to be in his forties shouted after them in his dialect, but they had no clue what he was saying. They could only run harder due to the dog barking.

“We shouldn’t run like this. The others are okay now. It’s fine if we got fined a little.” Twenty minutes later, “Cui Zuojing” stopped to say this. He was exhausted, and the Sony camera on his chest had nearly broken his neck. Because it had just rained, the ground was very muddy and slippery and he had to use a lot of physical strength when running.

He turned his head and looked back. The forest ranger was sweeping aside the low-hanging branches on the path and running to them with difficulty. He would catch them once he turned at the bend.

“Don’t stop. We’ve been running this long already. Just hold on for a bit. Once it gets darker, he definitely won’t chase us anymore and we’ll be safe at that time.” His companions pulled at him and he had to continue running with them.

At this moment, the ranger tried to bypass a bush but he wasn’t strong enough. His feet slipped out from under him and his body slid a certain distance along the smooth wall of the mountain side.

He strenuously reached out and grabbed the branch next to him, but his body continued to slide down so that he was hanging off the mountain cliff with a drop of 100 meters below his feet.

“Woof woof woof!”

Despite the danger, the forest dog scrambled after its owner, carefully stepping on the muddy, wet ground as it barked for help.

“Oh no!”

Cui Zuojing and his companions immediately turned back. They threw away their backpacks and cameras, and lay on the edge of the rock, stretching out their hands to pull the ranger up. Cui Zuojing clearly saw the rough, chapped hands of the forest ranger and the traces of wind and frost on his simple face. He was only forty years old, but he looked like he was fifty.

The ranger, who was used to intimidating poachers with the gun on his back, tried hard to grab Cui Zuojing’s hand so he could climb back up. But the rock was too slippery from the recent bout of rain. His slipped and the force of his fall caused the branch to snap.

He fell, falling off the cliff that was a hundred meters high.


Cui Zuojing was jolted awake so suddenly that he nearly stumbled to the side. The bible was lying quietly on the table in front of him and the stench of blood still permeated the room. Everything he saw just now was probably the sin the box had set for him. According to the box’s stipulations, he needed to cleanse himself of this sin.

He had disregarded the rules, resulting in the death of a dedicated forest ranger. This was his debt.

He had run away like a coward to escape law and punishment, but he couldn’t stand the shame in his heart and so he came to church.

Cui Zuojing retracted his hand. His heart was complicated, but he adjusted it quickly. The immersive scene easily gave people a strong sense of substitution, but after all, that was just a set up from a box.

Now that he knew that was the root of his sin, he could now look for the son of God for repentance. Now, the question was whether the Son of God was one of them or an NPC.

There were no other clues in the room. Cui Zuojing was certain that he wouldn’t find any other traces of the injured person so he left without delay. He still needed to locate his teammates as soon as possible; this would give him a better sense of security.

Cui Zuojing continued to explore the church, leaving his mark while looking for the Son of God. He knew that since the box allowed him to understand the sin he was carrying so easily and quickly, the difficulty in the next point would definitely be increased.


Dong Zheng pushed open the door of the room and didn’t bother locking it.

He’d woken up in a coffin beside the cemetery behind the church. In the black coffin, a newspaper article about a plane crash was next to him.

After Dong Zheng listened to the prompt of the box, he roughly calculated the difficulty of the box. Subjectively speaking, and based on his own experience, the more specific the prompt, the less they would need to explore things step-by-step. This meant that they wouldn’t need to fumble around, but it also meant that the tasks would be more difficult to complete.

In the cemetery where devout believers were buried, each tombstone was carved with a small cross. After searching, Dong Zheng found no other clues and walked into the church through the back door.

The back door was connected to a corridor that extended to the left and right sides. Based on the logic that the church would have a perfectly symmetrical structure, Dong Zheng chose the left side. He planned to roughly explore the entire left side. In this way, he could simulate the structure of the entire church based on the principle of symmetry.

This church was very luxurious. Dong Zheng had visited several famous churches in Europe, and the initial feeling here was quite similar. Crosses could be seen everywhere, and the corridor had many columns carved with religious statues. The building structure arched into a dome with continuous murals overheard that portrayed various stories to its believers.

Dong Zheng even saw the familiar scene of Jesus nailed to the cross. The Holy Father had his arms stretched out behind him, while the Virgin Mary and St. John stood on both sides. If he remembered correctly, this painting was called “The Holy Trinity,” and it was a very famous religious painting.

Most of the doors were locked, so that Dong Zheng had to push seven or eight doors before he finally found a door that would open.

The room was a storage room with many wooden boxes piled up inside. Dong Zheng walked in and touched the top box, which was coated in dust.

There was a half-opened window, and on the window sill was half a bloody handprint, as if someone had escaped from the window. Dong Zheng leaned on the window sill and looked out, only to see the cemetery in the distance.

He turned around and was surprised to find himself staring straight at a Pinocchio puppet doll. It was placed in the corner behind the door, and only by closing the door and turning around inside the room would one see it.

The long-nosed puppet was wearing a yellow hat and overalls. It sat on the box with joints that were likely connected by loose wires, so that, when Dong Zheng picked it up, its limbs drooped naturally, with two calves constantly swaying.

Pinocchio stood for lies. Was lying his sin? Dong Zheng didn’t know. For the time being, he couldn’t connect the long-nosed puppet to the newspaper article.

He left the room and continued to explore. When he finally reached the end of the corridor, he stopped and frowned. Based on his footsteps, the inside of the church was much smaller than it looked from the outside. This meant that there must be many secret rooms here.

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2 years ago

It’s so interesting to see how Cui Zuojing and Dong Zheng carry out the mission in their own unique ways based on their own understandings of the boxes.
Dong Zheng is much more methodical, while Cui Zuojing is also cautious, but in a different way.