IWOL Chapter 72: Servant of Body

Cui Zuojing hurried to the study. Victor was lying in the cat nest on the table, surrounded by stacks of hard-covered books. Hearing Cui Zuojing pushed open the door, the white cat lifted his head with some difficulties. His two ears stood upright, and his amber eyes were full of his usual gentleness.

“Uncle, how do you feel?” Cui Zuojing stretched out his hand and asked softly. Fu Zhe followed behind him and closed the door.

“Not bad.” Victor placed his front paws on the boy’s palm, his voice low and unspeakably weak. “My first seal is unlocked.”

“I know. Dong Linhai told me everything.”

Cui Zuojing paused, and finally couldn’t hold back, “How could you be so impulsive at that time? If you hadn’t lifted the seal in time, wouldn’t you be—”

“If I didn’t intercept, Linhai may not be able to get out of the box,” Victor said, his furry tail curling lightly. “I thought that, as the Master of Body, even if something really did happen, a single blow wouldn’t be enough to kill me.”

Cui Zuojing didn’t speak, but silently looked at him. Victor was soon defeated under this kind of gaze and meowed. “Ok, I rushed up without thinking.”

Cui Zuojing sighed, took Victor in his arms and stroked his back. “I knew it was like this.”

Fu Zhe leaned back on the edge of the table and said, “You’re no longer in a human body at your peak strength and endurance. If you encounter this situation again in the future, you must not be impulsive. What if something really happened? A’Zuo didn’t bring you back for you to die. The body element would also attach itself to a new owner, and it would be very difficult to find this person.”

Victor nodded but still didn’t promise not to do it again next time.

“By the way, how was the box?”

“We passed it very smoothly and were able to explore the final true ending. It probably left a psychological shadow on everyone. Although no one has shown it yet, they must feel uncomfortable in private.”

Victor knew Cui Zuojing was right and didn’t bother asking what the ending was. Since the purpose of the box was to create and collect despair, he didn’t need to let his mood be affected.

“How is Linhai?”

Fu Zhe said, “His ability seemed to have the capability to evolve. At the critical moment of life and death, he managed to distort the dagger and save his and Lin Hangzhi’s life.”

“Is it metal control….?” Victor hummed in approval. “A very practical ability.”

Cui Zuojing said, “Finally, that kid won’t be so stupid and awkward. With someone to teach him, his progress should improve quickly.”

Victor only spoke a little. He’d just awakened from a coma caused by a spiritual overdraft and was still very tired. He needed more time to adapt to his current physical state after unlocking one seal, so he remained curled up in Cui Zuojing’s arms.

Fu Zhe said, “After you’d unlocked your seal, did you get any information about the body elements?”

“Prisoner, servant, messenger, master,” Victor whispered. “These are our titles under the queen’s triple seals. It is also a test given to us by the elemental powers themselves. Every time a seal is unlocked, our level will increase accordingly, and after the triple seal is finally cracked, we will become the true master of the elements.”

Cui Zuojing realized that unlocking the seal would result in increased knowledge, and asked Fu Zhe, “What did you get when you unlocked your seal?”

“Some of the secrets of the law of time and space. It’s pretty mysterious and hard to explain.”

Cui Zuojing did not force Fu Zhe to say it. After talking a bit more, they stopped disturbing Victor and walked out of the study.

As soon as he left the room, Cui Zuojing was surprised to find Dong Linhai leaning with his back against the wall, staring down at his toes and waiting silently. He was as tall as an adult man, but the outline of his face still had a hint of youthfulness.

Seeing Cui Zuojing and Fu Zhe coming out, Dong Linhai raised his head. He seemed as if he wanted to say something but then hesitated.

It was rare for Cui Zuojing to not deliberately goad him. He pointed to the door, and said, “Go. Uncle wants to see you too.”

Dong Linhai’s bleak eyes lit up immediately. He bit his lower lip and couldn’t wait to push the door open.

“Uncle.”

“Linhai.” Victor smiled, seeming to be expecting him. “I heard A’Zuo said that your real ability is metal control. You are very talented to discover your true ability so quickly.”

“Oh. Yes, it is.” Dong Linhai scratched his head, a little embarrassed by Victor’s generous praise. However, he didn’t come to talk to Victor about this. He sat at the desk and asked, “How does your body feel? I was really scared to death when I saw you being hit by Pen Chuangen.”

“Without destruction, there can be no construction.” Victor smiled. “As you can see, I was fortunate and managed to unlock the first seal.”

Dong Linhai silently pursed his lips. Then, he touched Victor’s head and said with conviction, “Uncle, from now on, I won’t let anyone fall into danger in order to protect me. I blamed myself for being so useless before. Now that I have this ability, I will definitely be responsible for myself.”

Victor rubbed against his palm and said softly, “I believe you.”

The others were still waiting downstairs. Cui Zuojing clapped his hands and successfully attracted everyone’s attention.

“Fu Zhe organized some study materials, which will be sent to your mobile phone later. Tonight, I want you to read the first 100 items on the scp project he’d selected. You will learn about the Cthulhu Mythos, then have a good rest and start physical training tomorrow. There will also be a test on the information you learned today.”

Allen raised his hand. “Will those who don’t do well be punished?”

“Of course.” Cui Zuojing smiled brightly. “How can there be motivation without punishment? As for the specifics…you will know tomorrow.”

Lin Hangzhi and Dong Zheng made dinner together. Lin Hangzhi had been single for a long time and had a strong ability to take care of himself. Dong Zheng gave him a hand and studied under his guidance.

Cui Zuojing was right. This was completely different from the real world. There were many things that required him to change, learn and grow. He was no longer the same Dong Zheng of the past, who was always occupied with work.

After everyone had a lively dinner, Dong Linhai continued to practice his ability by hitting the iron while it was hot. He’d already managed to easily change the spoon into various shapes and even bent a small flower for Allen to play with.

Furthermore, his ability….seemed to have no limitations? Unlike Allen, who would lose energy easily; Dong Zheng, who would develop a headache and lose his concentration if he overextended himself; and Lin Hangzhi, who had his own debuff, Dong Linhai seemed to be able to use his ability as much as he wanted without feeling tired.

It may also be because he was practicing with simple spoons, and there may be restrictions if he replaced it with other metal objects.

Fu Zhe handed a dagger to Dong Linhai. “It’s still unclear whether the mechanism of your ability is to change the arrangement of metal atoms or something else. But, it doesn’t matter. You try it first.”

“Okay.” Dong Linhai excitedly took the dagger and fiddled with it. He tried to recall the mysterious feeling but didn’t succeed.

However, he wasn’t discouraged. Dong Zheng, who was heading back to his room, passed by and said, “Don’t just focus on practicing. You also must study the resource material.”

“I know.” Dong Linhai turned his head and smiled at him. “I’m already very familiar with scp and Cthulhu.”

Seeing that Dong Linhai was confident in his knowledge, Dong Zheng didn’t say anymore and went back to his room. After sitting at the table and reading Fu Zhe’s materials for a while, he began to feel tired so he laid on the bed and continued to study.

In the real world, he rarely had such leisurely time. He was burdened with too much societal pressure. Unexpectedly, it was only now, when his life was whittled down to pure survival, that he was able to exist with such simplicity.

Fu Zhe had given him three packets of documents, namely about selections in the SCP Foundation project, the Cthulhu Mythos, and the Nordic gods.

Dong Zheng began with the scp selections. After hearing Cui Zuojing mentioned scp, he’d taken the initiative to understand a bit. It was undeniable that this was an excellent collective creation project, gathering the imaginative powers of the brain. It really provided the people in the box a wealth of resources for inspiration and decryption.

Although his body was lying on the bed and he was tired, Dong Zheng’s endurance was very good. After reading thirty items in a row, he finally put down his phone and prepared to take a break.

At that moment, a knock came at the door. Cui Zuojing stuck his head in from outside, pushed open the door, and asked, “How is your ability training? I heard Fu Zhe said that, with his help, you’ve been able to smoothly enter the kernel.”

“That’s right.” Dong Zheng sat up from the bed and watched as Cui Zuojing walked over and sat next to him. “But, it’s still difficult to enter at my own initiative. I seem to be at a bottleneck and just lack a bit of opportunity.

“You are already developing at a very rapid pace. The spiritual link is the most difficult to control. With Fu Zhe, it took him more than a year to control his own ability.”

“If not for his help, I wouldn’t be able to develop so quickly.”

“Speaking of which, Fu Zhe asked me to send you this.” Cui Zuojing took out a small box from his pocket. Dong Zheng watched as he carefully opened the box, revealing a copper-colored bell inside. The bell’s tongue was fixed with rosin.

“Quick quiz. Can you guess which scp Fu Zhe based this thing on?”

Dong Zheng picked up the bell thoughtfully and said, “Cowbell?”

“Not bad.” Cui Zuojing was a little surprised. Cowbell wasn’t in the study resources selected by Fu Zhe. “How did you know?”

“I’ve looked into the scps and browsed the catalog before. I only saw one entry about bells.”

“Do you know what Cowbell does?”

Dong Zheng shook his head. “I didn’t look carefully. But, since Fu Zhe made it, the purpose should be related to mind control.”

“SCP-513, Cowbell, Euclid class. Any sentient beings who hear the sound it makes will begin to feel anxious. When turning their heads or passing through windows, mirrors, or opened doors, the victims will suddenly catch a glimpse of an anomalous creature. They will be stalked and then attacked by this creature once they’d fallen asleep, resulting in extreme tension and panic and loss of sleep. Under such extreme stress, they will inevitably have a mental breakdown and finally commit suicide.”

“When questioned, all the victims described the anomalous creature as an excessively thin humanoid with a pair of abnormally large hands.”

Cui Zuojing casually shook the cowbell, but because the tongue was sealed, it didn’t make a sound. He raised his eyes and stared at Dong Zheng. With a smile, he said, “Would you like to try it?”

Dong Zheng: ……………………

He sighed. “It seems that since I told you I’m afraid of supernatural things, you especially like to scare me.”

“Who told you to take the initiative to expose your weakness to me? But, don’t mind it too much. Everyone has weaknesses. You don’t have to feel embarrassed.”

“Do you have any weaknesses?” Dong Zheng asked rhetorically.

“Of course I have weaknesses.” Cui Zuojing smiled slyly and tapped Dong Zheng on the chest. “Aren’t you my weakness?”

Dong Zheng was taken aback, but then he realized that Cui Zuojing was referring to the blood contract. This was to be expected, since his injuries would be shared with Cui Zuojing. This was naturally a weakness.

He shifted his gaze away, settled his mind, and said, “Okay. Do you want to use this on me?”

This was a prop Fu Zhe created and wasn’t the actual Cowbell. The effect should only take place when he enters the illusion.

“Mmn. Fu Zhe wants to test how much your ability has improved.” Cui Zuojing gestured and said, “Lie down.”

Dong Zheng laid back on the bed and tilted his head slightly to gaze at Cui Zuojing.

“Do you want to sleep on your back?” Cui Zuojing sat on the edge of the bed, supporting his body with one hand on the bed while the other hand held the cowbell. “Then, shall I start?”

Dong Zheng consented, and Cui Zuojing put on his earphones. He turned on the music on his phone and carefully took out the rosin that sealed the bell’s tongue. Then, he shook his wrist.

Dingling—

The instant Dong Zheng’s ears caught the crisp sound of the bell, the room suddenly whirled in front of him. The bed underneath him abruptly dropped away with the floor, and for one second, a sense of weightlessness wrapped around his body.

Then he fell heavily into the endless darkness below.

Falling.

Down.

Down.

Dong Zheng seemed to lose consciousness the moment the bell rang. Cui Zuojing looked at him, looked at the bell, and curiously asked out loud, “Is it really that amazing?”

So, he took off the earpiece and tentatively shook the bell.

Dingling—

His dark, bright eyes lost all clarity. He was motionless for two seconds, then suddenly fell face down onto the unconscious Dong Zheng. The bell rolled from his hand and, after a series of sounds, rested quietly on the bed.

——————————-

Xixi: Here’s the link to SCP-513.  The bell came with this note that I thought was particularly creepy:

You’ve seen it. Now he can hear you.
You’ve touched it. Now he can see you.
Never ring it. If you hear it, he can touch you.


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Anonymous
Anonymous
3 years ago

Thank you for the chapter~

O.O That note is really creepy. Its simplicity somehow makes it even creepier. I wonder what our main duo will see. Will they share the same illusion or different ones? Will it have any effect on Cui Zuojing? Dong Linhai's and Victor's interactions are so heartwarming >w< Their pure relationship is too precious.

Nabong_uwu
Nabong_uwu
3 years ago

That "Aren't you my weakness?" Caught me off guard, even if it was in the literally sense XD
The bell is so scary!!! T T

Unknown
Unknown
3 years ago

Why do I have tgis bugging feeling that FuZhe sus…. I don't know, maybe when I heard the devil said 'Don't trust your friend' something like that… Or kinda slight sus before that when the ml brother feel that he kinda have some not so good feeling fuzhe gave off…..

Haruka
Haruka
7 months ago
Reply to  Unknown

When did linhai say that?

Loni
Loni
3 years ago

LMAO he actually rang the bell for himself. Ahahahaha xDDD
Btw that note…. ooof. >_>

Dreamer
Dreamer
3 years ago

Eyyy DL could be Magneto??? Awesome! But maybe its true nature and evolution will head in a direction we wouldn’t expect. So exciting!

Ah goodness DZ is falling rather fast. And CZJ… This dumbass. I can only say that if anything were to happen to him, he can only have himself to blame

3694
3694
2 years ago

Idiot 😂

thatonecat
thatonecat
1 year ago

I keep getting lost in an scp rabbit hole (like a wiki rabbit hole) every few times you mention one, though I’ve read most of series 1/2/3