Chapter 41: The Haunted Mansion by the Tarn (VIII)
“Jue Bro… th… this… i-is…” Once again, Wang Tanzhi was so scared he was stammering.
“If I don’t cut you off, you’re just gonna keep【Beep——】stammering like that, right?” deadpanned Feng Bujue.
Long Aomin turned his head around, “Feng Xiong, how did you get it to beep you out like that?”
“Isn’t it obvious that my cuss wasn’t directly blocked by the System because I hadn’t intended it as an insult? However, the word itself is still quite vulgar and so I was censored,” explained Feng Bujue. “That being said, I don’t think this is the best time to get caught up with such a question, yeah?”
Plink Plink Plink… Khrsh sha sha…
All the wall lamps in the dining room exploded one after the other; the sound of glass shattering and hitting the floor filled the space.The room plunged into darkness.
Before these sounds had even died down, Feng Bujue had already whipped out his flashlight from his inventory, powered it on, shining it straight up at his own face. “There was no need for this… wouldn’t it have been fine to just directly turn off the lights; must they insist on terrifying people?” said Feng Bujue as he put on【Eyes of Hatred】.
Lil’ Tan and Long Bro started slowly backing up until they were beside Feng Bujue when they saw his column of light in the darkness. In quick succession, each took out a flashlight from their inventory as they moved, lighting a small circular area in front of themselves.
On the other side of things, Rain and Sorrowful naturally had their own ways of lighting up the area. Rain took out an old-fashioned lantern. Though it looked rather outdated, its attributes weren’t bad.
【Name: Eternal Lantern】
【Special Effect: Undying Glow】
【Remark: This lantern was formerly a magic tool, but once suffered serious damage and has since been irreparable. It can only illuminate its surroundings within a five-meter range. Fiddling with its switch has no effect on its brightness, and the lantern cannot be turned off. Fortunately, the item has kept one of its original properties: unlimited fuel】
She took her lantern and directly placed it on the long table. Just as what was written in the item description, the lantern was glowing from the moment she took it out and it illuminated everything within a five-meter sphere.
Sorrowful pulled out a yellow miner’s cap and turned on the round light on the front. She made no move at all to wear it on her head, simply holding it in her hands. Probably because the thing was either uncomfortable, or just ugly when worn.
Everyone hushed their breathing, listening closely for anything threatening that would approach from the lifeless and still darkness.
Suddenly, there was a soft chime coming from above. Everyone turned their heads up to follow the source of the sound. All they saw was that the glass chandelier above the dining table had been yanked askew by some force; the person it was aimed at was… Feng Bujue.
In the blink of an eye, the steel cable above the chandelier abruptly snapped. An object over half the size of a washing machine came flying straight at Feng Bujue. His first reaction was to dive under the table.
But there was someone who moved even faster than Feng Bujue could react, more than just a step faster.
Rain stepped lightly on a chair and jumped into the air, her quick, skilfull and powerful movements lacking none of the suppleness of a woman. Her blade was cold and her eyes were just as frigid. The sword shot out, quick and graceful as a lady, yet powerful as thunder. She struck the flying chandelier efficiently, cleaving the metal frame in two with a single blow. The object seemed to lose its energy and fell straight down; a large chunk of its glass smashed onto the ground.
Rain seemed to gracefully float back down. She used one hand to brush aside a lock of stray hair that fell in her eyes, while the other held her sword as she stood. Her breathing hadn’t quickened in the slightest. Truly, she could be described as having the appearance of a majestic, awe-inspiring, valiant and yet aloof heroine.
Lil’ Tan and Long Bro were frightened at once. Here and now, that old image of Feng Bujue smashing in the head of the lead-colored corpse from yesterday–an image which just flashed through their heads–seemed incomparably minor… The amount of savagery shown in just one skill from this “Ruthless Beheader” female who was right in front of them had already exceeded whatever Feng Bujue had shown them… To compare their two fight scenes was no different from comparing Qin Jiaxian with Feng Zhihen; there was no comparison.
“No need for thanks.” Rain said bluntly when she saw Feng Bujue open his mouth to speak.
Feng Bujue swallowed down the heartfelt words of his touched feelings–“Many thanks to this Heroine for extending a saving hand”–and thought in his heart “Good thing I didn’t say that out loud; these words are definitely the lines of a small fry in a Wuxia movie.” He cleared his throat, and said “Hm… Rain, can you make that lantern of yours a little brighter?”
“No.” replied Rain.
“Hm… May I take a look?” asked Feng Bujue.
“Why?” questioned Rain.
“I have a skill that can repair broken instruments, tools, and whatnots for a short period of time.” said Feng Bujue. “If that lantern is Ordinary Grade or lower…”
Before he even finished speaking, Rain used her sword to skillfully flip and send the lantern that was on the table over to him, having it land right in front in a flash. “Damaged.”
She preferred to be quick and to the point; naturally, he understood her (curt answer).
He took the item and used【Sloppy Maintenance】. In the end, the System popped up with a notification: 【Failed to execute Skill】. However, Feng Bujue wasn’t too bothered because failure was to be expected. It was normal given that his Equipment Proficiency was Rank F now which meant a 20% success rate to execute his skill. Obviously, it was pure luck that he got it in one go with the flashlight last time.
This time his luck wasn’t that good. He had to use the skill two more times before finally succeeding. He unexpectedly had to use a total of 300 Stamina on a skill that should only cost 100 before the repair was successful. The lantern suddenly got brighter after it was restored to Ordinary grade and filled the entire dining hall with light.
The dining hall was quite large. You could probably say that out of all the rooms everyone had been in, this one was the largest. Now that the room was fully lit, everyone caught the faint outline of a person on the wall farthest from them, rather… it was a ghost.
They looked closer; it was a middle-aged man. He wore a traditional Western suit and he had pallid skin and sunken eyes. He had a wide forehead and square jaw, a distinguished face that was unforgettable even with a momentary glance.
It is a commonly held belief that a ghost’s appearance reflected how they looked the moment before their death or what they wore the most often. Based on what this ghost looked like, it’d be a safe to say he was unmistakably Roderick Usher.
Originally the ghostly silhouette hid in a corner that the flashlight beams could not reach, taking cover in the shadow of darkness. But now, the sudden brightness of the lantern left him no place to hide.
Roderick seemed to be afraid of the light. He used his hands to cover his eyes, curled up his body, and let out a harsh screech.
Feng Bujue lifted the lantern with a face completely devoid of fear and approached this specter with steady footsteps. In a tone that sounded completely confident (he asked), “Mister Usher, please tell us, how can we leave this place?”
“Don’t come over…” said Roderick, “Or else you will…” When he started speaking, his voice still sounded quite soft, so much so that it made people feel he was somewhat feeble. But when he reached the last few words, he withdrew both hands, revealing a distorted face, and howled like a hysterical beast, “…pay the price!”
Feng Bujue stood merely one meter in front him without the slightest reaction whatsoever. Whereas, the people behind him were scared to different degrees by Roderick’s abrupt change.
“What do you want to do, hm? Manipulate a chair and smash it against the back of my head?” Feng Bujue knew this ghost could only control things inside the house to attack him.
He spoke too late, in an instant a chair really did float up and launch itself at Feng Bujue’s back.
This time Long Aomin was relatively closer. With one long stride forward, he stretched out an arm and deployed【Fragment of Ultron】to help Feng Bujue block this strike.
“There’s five people here but it seems you have a special interest in me…” Feng Bujue tutted to aggravate the ghost. “Where’s Madeleine’s body? Together with yours, isn’t that right?”
“Ahhh——” Roderick madly howled. The plates, knives, forks, candlestick, and all the scattered objects on the table all floated up at the same time.
Without another word, Feng Bujue took out【Slowing Quicksand】from his inventory and quickly tossed the bottle onto the floor.
The item only affects “monsters” within a 100-meter radius and makes them ten times slower. It doesn’t affect the speed of moving objects; however, after Roderick was slowed, the unknown force keeping the objects afloat seemed to have been affected, and all the objects fell.
To give an analogy… this ghost’s “telekinesis” was similar to riding a bike. If the bike was made ten times slower, it would no longer slow down but fall down.
Feng Bujue faced the incorporeal specter and raised the lantern. He even aimed his flashlight at Roderick for he had no other way of attacking. Since he was left with no better option, he used the light that the creature feared to try and exert some pressure.
Roderick let out a long, bleak and incoherent sound. He turned extremely slowly, seemingly trying to use his hands to shield himself from the light while fleeing at the same time. But his movements were truly too slow. There was simply no use.
“This Scenario’s difficulty is just so-so, ah… as long as you have powerful lighting equipment, stay vigilant when facing traps in the mansion, and don’t get confused by the things in illusions, there is completely no need to worry about Health,” said Feng Bujue. “This Scenario should be one that focuses on testing courage rather than fighting ability.” He then basically shoved the lantern into Roderick’s body. The light made the ghost become more and more transparent, but it wasn’t able to destroy him.
One minute soon passed and Roderick retreated into the wall. Feng Bujue, rather disappointed, shrugged his shoulders, headed back beside the long table, and set down the lantern.
“Let’s organize our thoughts.” Feng Bujue stood up a wooden chair, sat down, and spoke, “After that Unrivaled Bro died, the relocated plot item should be near us. We should first find…”
Sorrowful took out the letter and said, “This is the item. But what information it offers inside is very limited. What can roughly be deduced is… the mental state of the master of the house, who wrote this letter, is not sound. He is plagued by some sickness and invited a friend to come visit.”
“May I take a look?” asked Feng Bujue.
“Of course.” Sorrowful passed the letter over to him and incidentally added, “If you’re looking for some hidden message like a connection between the first letters of each line or the Roman alphabet, this letter doesn’t have any.” With only a brief look at the letter a moment ago, she had already figured out this detail.
Feng Bujue looked at the disjointed letter for a minute and then said, “Players who have read the short story before would probably realize based on the contents of this letter that this place is the House of Usher. On the other hand, players who haven’t read the story could probably use the letter to understand a few basic plot points.” He returned the letter to Sorrowful. “This item also can’t leave the Scenario. It seems that it’s only an ordinary item to give some background for the main plotline. It basically won’t affect our game progression.”
Sorrowful spoke up, “Then I ask you to explain in detail our current situation. You seem to understand this story very well. Furthermore… a moment ago, that ghost was clearly targeting you in its attack. Whereas, I hold a plot item and am fine. There should also be some reason for this, right?”
Normally the System prevents you from even saying censored words out loud.
These are characters from a Taiwanese show “霹靂布袋戲” Which translates as the Thunder Puppet Show. Here’s a youtube clip of the show. Qin Jiaxian is a nickname that means “Qin Fake Immortal” because he’s more of a gag character from the show, meanwhile Feng Zhihen is this peerless sword martial artist.