ARTT Chapter 23

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Chapter 23 — The Sounds of Nature
Romantic Words Should Be Said During Such A Romantic Atmosphere


Edited by planetes

 

 

 

Zhen Jiu appeared in midair, a murder of crows dancing around him, alternating between swarming together and spreading out. As such, his figure too faded in and out from sight.

 

“You said before that if someone with a black name were to enter a city, they would be automatically attacked by the NPCs, right?”

 

With only a moment of thought, Zhen Jiu immediately understood his plan. He turned towards Jingzhe City, and with a few bounds, he vanished.

 

Ling Xiaolu’s heart hung in suspense. Ji Meng had said that the strength of Commander Titus was more than that of a hundred players, and he was not confident whether Zhen Jiu would be able to bring him over safely.

 

After a moment, Zhen Jiu reappeared in sight of the crowd. His bizarre way of moving aided him in avoiding quite a number of fatal blows, yet it still could not prevent him from being attacked to having only a sliver of HP left.

 

The male lead of the wedding was following closely behind with his sword raised, rushing towards Zhen Jiu who was basically hanging by a thread.

 

 

 

 

Ling Xiaolu still remembered that perverse punishment that Zhen Jiu would face if he were to die, and he too suddenly recalled that to Chunfen City, Zhen Jiu was the enemy, but to Jingzhe City, he also was not a friend.

 

“Heal him!” Holding no hope, he cried out. Almost instantaneously, around a dozen healing spells simultaneously hit Zhen Jiu’s body, immediately refilling his HP that was critically low. At the same time, all sorts of protective and enhancing buffs appeared on him. Using their own methods, the people of Jingzhe City expressed their acceptance of this new comrade-in-arms.

 

Ling Xiaolu sighed a breath of relief, but things were not looking so bright for Bei Feng.

 

“Stop! Everyone, stop!”

 

He tried to prevent the head-on clash, but it was already too late. Due to the collateral damage the commander received from the invading players’ attacks, he too was pulled into the battle. At this opportune moment, Zhen Jiu too hid and vanished, withdrawing from the scene.

 

Losing his first target, Commander Titus stopped, slowly turning towards Bei Feng.

 

What the hell! Bei Feng cursed silently. There was a possibility that the summation of their current combative strength might rival that of Commander Titus, but preventing the bridal carriage of their priestess from entering the city was their objective.

 

 

 

 

“Retreat! Retreat first!” He roared.

 

With a swing of the Commander’s sword and no time to withdraw, in the blink of an eye, the people within range all fell to their knees.

 

“Ignore the Commander! Block the path, continue blocking the path!”

 

Bloodlust took over Dou Kou, who had been besieged the entire time. “Who dares block the path? Now that you’re here, you can’t turn back!”

 

Behind him, his lackeys called out to him anxiously. “Clan Leader, withdraw first and regroup. You have very strong degen debuffs on you right now, and you can’t be healed!”

 

Closing his ears to everything, Dou Kou waved his sword around, madly killing his way through the crowd.

 

The opposing forces naturally noticed this as well. “Commander, it’s a good time to deal with Dou Kou!”

 

Bei Feng summoned his albatross, pointing his spear at Dou Kou. “Honour!”

 

The albatross brayed, circling the air before diving. Right as it neared Dou Kou, it exploded, turning into incandescent fireworks.

 

 

 

 

“Papa Dou has died!” The people of Jingzhe City exclaimed in shock.

 

“Clan leader! Clan leader!” People of Ri-Dou-Culing You shouted anxiously.

 

“Dou Kou’s dead! Dou Kou’s dead!” The morale of the people of Chunfen City was immediately boosted. “Let’s go! We must not let him revive!”

 

Racing against time, the healers worked on reviving Dou Kou. Waves and waves of enemies crashed upon them, and the most intense battle ever was about to happen. The spirit version of Dou Kou raised his card up high in front of the two armies.

 

This was the first time Ling Xiaolu had seen a benefactor raise his card, and it was even a neon, LED sign. When one was alive, their name shone in gold, and after their death, they were still as high profile as ever.

 

 

 

Dou Kou: None of you are allowed to revive me!

 

 

 

People on both sides were stunned. What move was this, not allowing them to revive him?

 

Sentence by sentence, Dou Kuo’s card lit up.

 

 

 

 

Dou Kou: What do you think you’re doing

Dou Kou: Don’t insult a benefactor’s dignity anymore

Dou Kou: To just grind and not spend any money

Dou Kou: How is this any different from being a commoner!

 

 

Dou Kou’s spirit tilted his head back, drinking a resurrection potion — an on-the-spot resurrection, with thirty seconds of invulnerability, and your stats will double for fifteen minutes!

 

Gold rays rose from the ground, and the kneeling Dou Kou stood up valiantly, an explosive aura surrounding him.

 

With his chin up and his chest squared, it seemed as though ten thousand soldiers would not be able to get past him. His voice rang out, as clear and bright as a bell.

 

“I, Dou Kou, will keep my word! Who dares disrupt this wedding, will first have to go through my dead body!”

 

 

 

 

Ling Xiaolu cried out excitedly, “Papa is so cool!”

 

With high spirits, everyone shouted in agreement. Yells of “Papa is so cool” surrounded them all.

 

Sadia’s bridal carriage continued pressing on, only a step away from the gates of the city.

 

Bei Feng decided it was do or die. “Ignore everything else, destroy the carriage!”

 

The invaders now all changed their target to the bridal carriage, risking everything on this one act.

 

Too many of Jingzhe City had died, and a lot of them were in the cooldown period for revival. As such, they could only slowly wait for the clock to tick down, watching as the damage to the bridal carriage slowly increased, unable to do anything about it.

 

Commander Titus and Dou Kou tried their best to clear out everyone on scene. However, it was as though these people did not care for their lives at all, fixated solely on the bridal carriage. When one fell, many more replaced him. With the barricade built upon their lives, the final step for the bridal carriage seemed as far as the moon.

 

 

 

 

Ling Xiaolu pulled at Ji Meng, dragging him out of the crowd. “It’s now time for us to show our stuff.”

 

Ji Meng released his dragon, jumping onto its back with Ling Xiaolu.

 

Ling Xiaolu tossed an enlarging pill at it. “Here!”

 

After consuming the enlarging pill, the dragon instantly doubled in size. With a shake, it became gigantic. Ling Xiaolu looked at the rapidly shrinking ground, grabbing onto Ji Meng tightly.

 

“Let’s go!” He shouted.

 

Ji Meng gave his dragon a pat on its neck, and the transformed dragon swiftly shot towards the surrounded bridal carriage.

 

“Move out of the way!” He yelled. The others heard it, but how could they have the time to react? They could only watch with alarmed expressions as the gigantic dragon drew closer.

 

The dragon knocked everyone off their feet, forcefully emptying a path for the bridal carriage.

 

 

 

 

Bei Feng leapt off his horse, raising the spear in his hand. “Sacrifi—”

 

Those who knew what he was going to do immediately started shouting, “Stop him!”

 

No one was able to do so. All of a sudden, from the bridal carriage, Sadia spoke, “Bei Feng, I’m very disappointed.”

 

Ling Xiaolu froze. Ling Long was right, the intelligence of such advanced AI was truly high level, and their emotions seemed to be truly felt as well.

 

Bei Feng was nailed to the spot by that one sentence, and he stopped what he was doing. Ling Xiaolu was not sure if he was getting the wrong impression, but it seemed to him that Bei Feng was about to cry.

 

 

 

 

“You once said… that you would forever bless and protect the citizens of Chunfen City…” Bei Feng’s lips trembled.

 

“Yes, I will forever keep my oath, no matter where I am.”

 

A huge, round moon rose from the horizon, and in the light, Bei Feng’s figure looked even more frail.

 

Sadia glanced back. “See, the moon here is also very bright, just like my hometown.”

 

 

 

 

Ling Xiaolu sucked in a breath. Under the moon, a large pair of black wings grew from Bei Feng’s back.

 

No, that was not it! It was Zhen Jiu, with his huge black wings extended, that had appeared behind Bei Feng, silently dealing him a killing blow.

 

“Sadia…” Bei Feng murmured the name of his priestess. Slowly, he fell, kneeling on the ground, and his spirit escaped from his body.

 

Revealed as Bei Feng fell, Zhen Jiu’s clothes were as black as night, his wings as dark as a crow’s. Like a god of death descending from the palace in the moon, his metal mask glinted under the moonlight.

 

 

 

 

The bridal carriage drove slowly into the city, and all the NPCs were now in a state where they could not be attacked.

 

Commander Titus put his weapon down, running back to his position where he stood to welcome his bride.

 

The royal orchestra started playing a symphony. Commander Titus kneeled, one knee on the ground. The surviving guards too knelt down in formation.

 

“Welcome to Jingzhe, my priestess. May your light, too, shine about the citizens here, like how you brought the light to my life.”

 

Sadia descended from the carriage. The moment she placed her hand in Commander Titus’s palm, a burst from a firework lit the sky.

 

“We succeeded!” The people of Jingzhe City cried aloud. Elatement spread through the crowd, along with the hardwon happiness.

 

“We succeeded!” Ling Xiaolu too happily grabbed Ji Meng, bouncing about, delighting over the union of two pieces of data that basically did not exist in the real world.

 

 

 

 

The surroundings suddenly fell silent, causing Ling Xiaolu to think that there was something wrong with his hearing.

 

“What’s going on?”

 

“Shh—” Ji Meng whispered. “Listen.”

 

Ling Xiaolu held his breath, listening carefully. There was a song in the air, vague and indistinct. It sounded like it was far away, yet also as though it was right in his ears. First, it was a very quiet, barely audible sound, but its volume gradually increased, expanding all around. Finally, it filled the ears of the people, sounding as beautiful as nature.

 

The priestess’s singing touched upon every blade of grass, every tree, every stone and every tile in Jingzhe City. It awoke the city walls, it flew the battle flags, and everything motionless now carried life within them.

 

However, everything that moved now fell silent. The birds stopped flying, the winds stopped blowing, the earth stopped moving, and the bright moon stopped rising.

 

As time moved on, the singing voice became sonorous, and everything came back to life. Ling Xiaolu felt as though he had returned to that smoky, chaotic battlefield. Cold steel flashed in the light, spells flew in the air, the persistent Bei Feng, the heroic Dou Kou, the ghostly Zhen Jiu, and every single person who fought for their own beliefs…

 

 

 

 

More and more voices joined in song. At first, Ling Xiaolu thought that he was mistaken, but he quickly realised that that was not the case. People from Chunfen City slowly revived their comrades, walked over to the city center, and gently harmonised with the song of their priestess.

 

Only Bei Feng, who still persisted in his spirit form despite being revived by countless people, stood quietly outside the city, gazing in the direction of where the bridal carriage vanished.

 

Ling Xiaolu slid his eyes past every singing person. Some of their faces were like still water, and some with tears rolling in their eyes.They seemed unreconciled, yet all calmly accepted the reality of the matter. In their song, there was goodbye, there was reluctance, but there also was a blessing, and a new beginning.

 

Right from the start, they already knew that a story that had been set in stone would not be changed because of their interference. However, they still persisted in this battle that they were bound to lose.

 

 

 

 

Listening to them, Ling Xiaolu sniffled a little. He now understood many things he had once been unaware of, and he finally knew why Bei Feng would be so obsessive, as well as why these people would raise their weapons so bravely.

 

This world was fiction, but the people in it were real. The stories of the characters were also fiction, but the emotions of the people listening to these stories were real.

 

Even if the ending would only be a failure, they still had something that practically could not exist in the real world — an all-out battle, a belief that they were willing to die for, a group of united comrades, formidable and respectable opponents, as well as a death that none would regret.

 

 

 

 

Commander Titus held his bride by the hand. The priestess’s knights all fell to one knee, witnessing their priestess heading into the wedding hall in bliss.

 

Music swelled around them, a thousand people in chorus. Resplendent fireworks filled the sky, lighting up the night sky of the battleworn Jingzhe City.

 

Dazzling, brilliant and glittering. This moment of liveliness left an eternal mark on everyone.

 

Ji Meng tugged at Ling Xiaolu, pointing at a tree behind them.

 

Ling Xiaolu: ?

 

“The view is much better up there.”

 

 

 

 

Ling Xiaolu and Ji Meng sat side by side at the top of the tree, admiring the fireworks display.

 

The grand fireworks brightened the sky, the colours changing and ethereal. It was not just fireworks, but hope and longing as well.

 

The night breeze rushed by, and the faint aroma of the flowers too surrounded them. The sounds of the fireworks, the music of the orchestra, the cheers of the people, all three mingled in the dark, and it felt as though everything was within their reach.

 

This was the most romantic and beautiful scene Ling Xiaolu had personally seen, heard and experienced ever since he entered this game.

 

He took in a deep breath. Those unhappy troubles were quickly tossed to the back of his brain, leaving only beautiful memories behind.

 

“It’s really wonderful to be able to come and play this game,” Ling Xiaolu exclaimed sincerely.

 

 

 

 

Below them, someone took the opportunity to confess their love. People started teasing and heckling, and when the person being confessed to agreed bashfully, others started cheering.

 

People quickly followed suit. Some were cheered on, some muscled up their courage, and some got what they wished for. Tonight, Jingzhe City seemed to have become the source of all love, quietly spurring on the start of all beautiful unions.In this air that was filled with romance, everyone seemed influenced by it, courageously revealing their intimate thoughts to the person they liked.

 

Ling Xiaolu too was immersed in this aura, both touched and excited to the point where he could not speak. From a distance, he looked at the couples embracing tightly together, and he seemed to be able to feel those deep emotions and love as well.

 

Unconsciously, he turned to look at Ji Meng, only to discover that Ji Meng was looking at him too. Their eyes met, and Ling Xiaolu could see stars in Ji Meng’s eyes.

 

 

 

 

The largest firework of the night burst across the sky, lingering in the air. With little trails of light, it reluctantly fell to the ground.

 

Ji Meng’s side profile was lit up, before melding into the night again. However, the stars in his eyes still remained where they were.

 

“Lu Bi.” Ji Meng called his name softly.

 

“… What?” Ling Xiaolu’s throat grew dry. If he were to make an impulsive, wrong decision at this moment, it was probably because the fireworks were too beautiful.

 

Ji Meng took a deep breath.

 

“I want to form a party with you and do the quests together.”

 

Ling Xiaolu: ……


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0 thoughts on “ARTT Chapter 23

  1. Somehow, this made me think of “You….fight good” from Disney’s Mulan. A terrible confession from a socially awkward man but it’s also kinda cute, in a way.

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