ASV Chapter 44: The Environment

(T/N reminder: Please keep in mind the warnings/tags for this novel on novelupdates before reading.)

After drinking the medicine, Qin Kaiyi looked at the nice weather outside the window and hesitated for a moment, then said to Shen Feixiao: “Are the other Lingshan Sect disciples really missing?”

“En.” Shen Feixiao said with a faint tone: “Shixiong can go out and see.”

Although he felt that Shen Feixiao’s tone was strange, Qin Kaiyi didn’t take it seriously until he pushed open the door of the room and walked outside. The moment he saw the scenery in front of him, Qin Kaiyi’s whole body stiffened―the inn where they lived was completely empty, and the originally lively lobby was as silent as a horror movie at the moment.

“Shixiong.” Shen Feixiao seemed to have discovered the abnormality of his residence long ago, and he did not show any surprise. Looking at Qin Kaiyi’s appearance, as if he didn’t dare to believe what he saw, he said nothing.

“What’s going on…” Qin Kaiyi’s heart was cold. He couldn’t remember such an incident in the novel, and he even more couldn’t understand the reason for this incident. Qin Kaiyi didn’t realize it until now–apart from his knowledge of the plot, he had no advantages at all in this world.

“It was an illusion.” Shen Feixiao seemed as if he understood Qin Kaiyi’s doubts. He looked at Qin Kaiyi and said, “Shixiong, what shall we do next?”

“… Go to the Empty Waste Mountain.” After a moment of silence, Qin Kaiyi made a decision.

Even if such a misfortune occurred, it did not change Qin Kaiyi’s idea of ​​moving forward. He tried to seriously recall the details of the Lingshan Sect disciples who came here with him, but found that his impression of the disciples who disappeared was pitifully meager… that’s right, except for Shen Feixiao, he didn’t care much about anyone.

“Still going?” Shen Feixiao was a little surprised by Qin Kaiyi’s insistence. He thought for a moment then said: “Shixiong won’t go back and report to shifu what happened here? The other shixiongs just disappeared like this… really no problem?”

Of course it was impossible that there was no problem. Hearing Shen Feixiao’s doubts, Qin Kaiyi was silent. The best option now should be to return to the Lingshan Sect and report everything that happened here to Qing Xuzi. Although Qin Kaiyi didn’t know what the illusion Shen Feixiao spoke about actually entailed, he was certain it wasn’t anything good. If he wasn’t restricted by the system… he really wanted to bring Shen Feixiao back with him to the Lingshan Sect now. 

But the right to choose was never in Qin Kaiyi’s hands. Qin Kaiyi was very clear in his mind that this trip to find spiritual grass was arranged by the system. If he went back like this, who knew what kind of accidents the system would create. 

After thinking for a long time, Qin Kaiyi coughed a few times and firmed up his decision: “Go to the Empty Waste Mountain.”

“Yes.” Shen Feixiao didn’t express any opinion on Qin Kaiyi’s statement. He glanced at Qin Kaiyi thoughtfully, and then said: “Our horse is gone. Shixiong is sick again. Do you want to live here for a few days then go?” 

“…” Qin Kaiyi’s mouth twitched. Shen Feixiao had too much nerve. If normal people encountered this situation where everyone suddenly disappeared, no matter what they would definitely feel a little scared. However, Shen Feixiao actually wanted to continue to live here!!

“I’m fine.” He said he was fine, but his ugly complexion didn’t seem to be okay. Qin Kaiyi looked up at the sunny sky outside the house and licked his dry lips: “Let’s leave immediately.”

Shen Feixiao nodded silently.

Then Qin Kaiyi and Shen Feixiao proceeded on the road like this. Qin Kaiyi didn’t care about his body anymore, but directly led Shen Feixiao in making a hand seal. He wanted to quickly leave these desolate outskirts and make it into a town or city. 

But reality proved that Qin Kaiyi was too naive. It wasn’t clear if it was because he had gone in the wrong direction, or because the scope of ancient towns and cities were too small–even though Qin Kaiyi made a hand seal and flew the whole day, he didn’t even catch sight of a single ghost. 

The sky dimmed in front of him, so Qin Kaiyi had no choice but to stop rushing forward. Thinking that it would just be one night by the roadside, he prepared to sleep on the street with Shen Feixiao. But just then, the building that appeared suddenly in front of him made goosebumps rise all over his body–the inn that should already be far away again mysteriously appeared in front of him. 

“… Is this a ghost hitting the wall?” (T/N: walking in circles, getting lost). Qin Kaiyi’s expression was very distorted. He wanted to ask Yan Gu what this was all about, but couldn’t due to Shen Feixiao’s presence.

Shen Feixiao didn’t respond to Qin Kaiyi. From the moment they left to hurry along their journey, he stood next to Qin Kaiyi obediently and did not express any opinions on the decisions made by his shixiong. It was only once he saw the inn suddenly appearing again that his facial paralysis broke a bit. 

“…” What was going on with this messy plot? Qin Kaiyi wanted to growl, but he bore the urge. After all, his shidi was still nearby. He at least had to pay attention to his image.

“It’s a formation ba.” To some extent, Shen Feixiao was far more reliable than Qin Kaiyi. He swept his gaze at their surrounding environment and quickly concluded: “Shixiong… it seems we’ve fallen into some array. “

“Array?” Qin Kaiyi frowned, and then suddenly felt that he was overlooking something. But sometimes memories work like this–the more you think about it, the harder it is to remember.

“…” What did he forget? Cold sweat appeared on his already sickly body. Qin Kaiyi couldn’t help coughing loudly, and his still weak body shivered for a while. 

“Shixiong…” The voice beside his ear gradually became a little fuzzy. Qin Kaiyi, who almost seemed like he would cough out his lungs, began to experience vertigo. He looked at the increasingly blurry scenery in front of his eyes, thinking to reach out and support himself on something, but his feet became soft and he finally fell to the ground, completely losing consciousness.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

The night breeze brought a chill that felt like it could pierce bone. When Qin Kaiyi opened his eyes and woke up, he found himself lying on a large snow-white bed. The bed’s surface emitted a thick fragrance, which smelled a bit like women’s rouge. A red paper lantern hung from the carved vermillion headboard, and the lotus pattern on it gave Qin Kaiyi an inexplicable sense of familiarity. He looked at the white clothes that he had been changed into, and there was a wave of unstoppable fear in his heart.

“… Anyone?” Qin Kaiyi’s head continued to be dizzy because he was still ill. He looked at the strange scenery around him and slowly crawled up from the bed. 

No one answered his question. There was silence in the dimly lit room. Qin Kaiyi reached out and took off the lantern on the bedhead, stepping barefoot on the floor and cautiously walking towards the outside of the room… Wasn’t the atmosphere of this place too strange?

“Anyone?” Pushing open the intricately carved door, Qin Kaiyi left the room and entered the hallway outside. That hallway was very long. Lanterns exactly like the one in Qin Kaiyi’s hands hung along the walls, equidistant. The candlelight in the lanterns were very dim, and would flicker as cold wind blew past.

“… Fuck.” His whole body prickling with goosebumps from this terrifying atmosphere, Qin Kaiyi swallowed his saliva and softly called, “Anyone there?”

Still no one answered. Without any other options, Qin Kaiyi had to walk slowly along the long corridor. His feet felt frozen with cold and his hands were shaking, but the corridor seemed like an endless labyrinth. After a long time, he still hadn’t reached an end. 

But just as Qin Kaiyi was shaking and preparing to turn around, he suddenly heard a strange sound–a pained moan.

“…” His heart immediately jumped to his throat. Qin Kaiyi held his breath and walked towards the source of the sound.

The sound came from a room that was different from the other rooms. The door handle was secured by a heavy lock, and the windows were covered with dense runes. It was completely like a firmly secured prisoner’s cage.

For some reason, Qin Kaiyi stood at the door and couldn’t move his feet… He wanted to turn around and walk away, but found that he couldn’t move at all. The cold night wind blew at him until his whole body shook, and Qin Kaiyi’s lip color gradually turned a little black from the cold. 

“Yan Gu, Yan Gu are you there?” Qin Kaiyi could only try to call out to the one person residing in his mind. Qin Kaiyi’s entire body was shaking like chaff through a sieve. He called a few times and found that there was no response, and could only helplessly accept that Yan Gu was not there.

… Where was this place? Why was that cry so familiar? Because of fear and panic, Qin Kaiyi’s teeth tightly sunk into his lower lip. He didn’t realize that the longer he stood, the dimmer the light in the lantern he was carrying became. 

“Save me… save me… save… let go…” He didn’t know when it started, but that painful moan turned into a weak cry for help. When Qin Kaiyi heard that first call for help, he went dumb with fright–that voice, that voice was exactly the same as his voice!! -This article first appeared in Jinjiang City’s literature: “what the fuck…” With these few dirty words in his mouth, Qin Kaiyi didn’t know what reaction he was supposed to give. He dully listened to the person in the room sob spasmodically, groan, and cry for help. 

Why was that voice and his own… exactly the same? Qin Kaiyi was like a petrified sculpture, standing motionlessly in front of that strange door while shaking slightly.

“Don’t be afraid.” The man’s voice was deep and gentle: “Why beg for help? Am I not good to you? Let you go? Let you go… where do you want to go?”

… This voice… Qin Kaiyi couldn’t tell who the owner of the voice was, but he was already frightened enough. The moment a low male voice appeared, Qin Kaiyi almost mentally collapsed.

What is this terrible place?? Who are the people inside?? Is he dreaming? But why… was it so real! Qin Kaiyi wanted to pass out, but found himself incomparably sober. Next to his ear, a soft sigh sounded, as if someone had stuck his mouth on his neck: “Empty waste, empty waste is really a good name. Having come here, do you still want to go? “

This sigh carried an eerie elegance, and made Qin Kaiyi finally remember–empty waste, wasn’t this the name of the evil spirit in folklore who steals the joy of others!

At the moment when the sigh sounded, the door in front of Qin Kaiyi suddenly opened. The scene in front of him left him completely dumbstruck.

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