Gamers Are Fierce - Chapter 27
Translator: Atlas Studios
Editor: Atlas Studios
Here came another quest prompt.
Li Ang led everyone through the bell tower, the drum tower, the Hall of Four Heavenly Kings, the sutra depository, the monastic room, and the dining room to have a rough glance at Solitary Temple. There was no psionic response in any corner.
When Li Ang closed his Cat’s Eye and restored his Spirit, he returned to the courtyard in the middle of the main entrance and told everyone calmly, “We didn’t manage to find the source of the weeping. However, it probably shouldn’t be a prank pulled by an ordinary person.
“This temple has likely been abandoned for special reasons, so we must be prepared to deal with ghosts.”
Hanging Sword for Ten Thousand Miles frowned. “How do you know?”
Xing Hechou, who did not utter a word, was also puzzled.
“This is concise observation, bold speculation, and cautiously proving a point.”
Li Ang said lightly in a tone he deserved a beating for, “Based on the area of the monastic room, the number of beds, the number of chopsticks in the fasting room, and the number of straw quilts, it can be seen that Solitary Temple was a large temple with at least 200 monks before it fell.
“In ancient times, monks read Buddhist scriptures. Therefore, it was impossible to produce all day long just like rural common people. There were four main sources of economic resources for maintaining the temple’s economy.
“First, they relied on the imperial family to bestow land on them so they could cultivate by themselves.
“Second, they reclaimed wastelands, got involved in papermaking, and relied on themselves.
“Third, they were given monetary or land donations from Buddhist devotees and big businessmen.
“Fourth, they relied on farming income and donations from believers to take financial loans. Yes, they were providing loans.
“Solitary Temple was located in a remote area with only a medium-sized city wall in the distance. The road was not in good condition. It did not look like the temple was close to the capital or could win the favor of the Emperor.
“Although there was reclaimed wasteland on both sides of Solitary Temple, the area was quite small. It was impossible for the land to produce and support a temple with a hundred monks. Similarly, the production of printed Buddhist scriptures was insignificant to the temple.
“In the village that we saw in the east just now, the houses still had mud-tile roofs. Commoner farmers were still wearing tattered clothes, yet there were a lot of cattle in the fields. Their production equipment was much more luxurious than the equipment of the farmers of the same generation.
“Therefore, it could be concluded that Solitary Temple’s financial source was mainly donations made by Buddhist devotees and big businessmen.
“Solitary Temple, which was in good operating condition, had also established a storehouse called Longevity Bank, which was specifically used to store property and facilitate financial loans.
“Combined with the number of slightly luxurious cattle in that village, it could even be speculated that the vast fertile land observed by the drone is the Buddha fields formed after the land merger of Solitary Temple!”
During the teleportation, Li Ang had not given a constructive opinion. Instead, he had stood aside doing nothing and making a fool of himself. This was a method he used to observe the behavior of highly-experienced players who were suspected of having an official background.
Xing Hechou had also done a very good job easing the atmosphere and forming a temporary team following the Special Affairs Bureau’s operation guide.
Now that they had heard this unknown weeping sound without finding its source, Li Ang, who felt faintly threatened, took the initiative to conduct intelligence analysis, lest this group of teammates dragged him into something.
Hanging Sword for Ten Thousand Miles opened his mouth without knowing what to say. He didn’t think that he was stupid but he definitely couldn’t speculate based on just two or three pieces of information.
He asked with a frown, “Solitary Temple used to be in good operating condition, but how is that related to us surviving here for seven days?”
Li Ang chuckled. “Of course those things are related. Try imagining a luxurious temple with 200 monks, countless pious Buddhist devotees, and vast fertile land. How could it be abandoned in just three years?
“These three years of wasted time was what I speculated based on the growth of creepers, such as Boston Ivy, on the red brick wall.”
Hanging Sword for Ten Thousand Miles did not like having his IQ tested. Thus, he looked at Li Ang. “Can you stop beating around the bush and tell us your conclusion quickly?”
“He he he…”
Li Ang did not get angry with Hanging Sword for Ten Thousand Miles. Instead, he said with a smile, “There are many possible reasons. Did the advent of the military disaster cause these monks to flee? That’s impossible because the peaceful and quiet villages of the fields showed no sign of military disaster.
“The Imperial Court was dissatisfied with Buddhism for producing nothing. Could the emperor have wiped them out? That is also impossible because the monks would have at least taken all the Dharma instruments, property, and scriptures from the temple before fleeing. Even if the monks did not move, the government would.
“Could the local bullies have united and destroyed the whole temple overnight? Plus, there were no traces of burning swords or soldiers in Solitary Temple. Even if the temple was wiped out overnight, the rural commoner farmers would have used these three years to sneak up on the mountain and evacuate the valuable pots and pans as well as the tables and chairs in Solitary Temple.
“After all possibilities are eliminated, the only possibility is the truth.”
Li Ang’s gaze suddenly turned cold and he said faintly, “Three years ago, a very serious accident occurred in Solitary Temple. Not only did it result in local Buddhist devotees not visiting Buddhist temples, but it also resulted in monks from other provinces not daring to come over to repair it.
“It also caused the impoverished rural commoners, Buddhist farmers, and authorities to remain away from Solitary Temple. They didn’t even dare steal the property of the temple to supplement their family expenses.”
“The system would not give us a quest that would definitely kill us. Since it stipulated that we cannot get more than 500 meters away from Solitary Temple, it means that the secret to cracking all these things is within Solitary Temple.
“After discovering exactly what happened here three years ago, we can figure out the source of the mournful weeping sound we heard. This is the key to our seven-day quest.”
Li Ang’s analysis was complete. Hanging Sword for Ten Thousand Miles was dumbfounded, monk Hui Bing’s face was full of respect, Xing Hechou looked at Li Ang in thought, and Liu Wudai still had an expressionless, ice-cold look.
In fact, Li Ang had yet to express another speculation. The woman’s arm, which stuck out from the plaque, was probably related to the truth of the incident as well as to the bitter weeping sound that they had heard outside the temple earlier.
Unfortunately, among all the people present, only he had a Spiritual Sense. After the other party hid, he couldn’t find any traces of the spirit.
Also, he didn’t know whether that spirit was hostile…
Li Ang’s thoughts whirled, but his expression was still as calm as water. Xing Hechou hesitated before saying, “Brother Li…”
“Don’t call me that.” Li Ang glanced at Xing Hechou, who looked as if he was brilliant, grand, and righteous. The corners of his eyes twitched as he said, “Just call me Little Li.”
“Okay, Little Li. Can I ask what your job is in the real world?”
Although Xing Hechou had asked this question, he did not doubt that Li Ang would give an answer such as ‘private detective’ or ‘historian’.
“Actually, I’m a chef.” Li Ang sighed and then said firmly, “They call me the youngest special chef ever.”
Hanging Sword for Ten Thousand Miles, who self-proclaimed that he had been born after the ’90s, almost choked on his own saliva. “You are legendary godly cook Liu Angxin? The one who, in order to compete against the strange cooking world, started to look for the legendary kitchenware?”
Li Ang said in shock, “Oh? I didn’t expect that you would have heard of my legacy.”
“Legacy, my foot!” The corners of Hanging Sword for Ten Thousand Miles’ eyes twitched. “Brother, can you find a better reason if you don’t want to reveal your information in the real world?”
“I didn’t manage to deceive you, did I?” Li Ang was rather disappointed.
“Only a fool would have been deceived!” Hanging Sword for Ten Thousand Miles was really speechless. Xing Hechou, who looked strong, restrained the urge to wipe his sweat. This middle-aged man had never watched ‘Chūka Ichiban!’ and had nearly written ‘search for young special chefs in the citizen database’ in his notebook.
Li Ang nodded his head and said, “Actually, I’m a robot. I’m a Chinese Grand Cannon that walks upright on two feet.”
Hanging Sword for Ten Thousand Miles’ eyes twitched wildly. “Your range is really wide. How come you jumped from human to non-human? Who would still remember slang from 2001? I can always sense a frivolous aura!”
“You roasted me pretty well, huh?” Li Ang widened his eyes at Hanging Sword for Ten Thousand Miles. “Since you can understand my words, you were really born after the ’90s.”
Hanging Sword for Ten Thousand Miles said, “I’d already told you that I only look slightly older.”
“Oh…” Li Ang once again pondered what kind of reasonable background he should spin. “When you see me without the mask, I’m actually Great Sage Sun Wukong.”
“Sure enough, just like the Chinese Grand Cannon, you are not a human being after all.” Hanging Sword for Ten Thousand Miles continued to roast him.
“Do I have to be human?” Li Ang nodded his head. “I’m Agumon.”
“That thing doesn’t even have a basic human form!” Hanging Sword for Ten Thousand Miles said intensely, “Plus, the Chosen One who has Agumon is Japanese, right?”
“It’s not a Japanese Chosen One, but a Chinese Chosen One Sovereign of the East.”
“Even if you change your nationality, you can’t change the fact that you’re not human.” Hanging Sword for Ten Thousand Miles’ expression was quite awful.
Obviously, he was very smart. However, this Level 3 game novice player, who was retarded, made him feel very helpless.
Upon seeing the two of them echo one another while interacting, Reverend Hui Bing, who had never seen such an interesting situation, could not help but stretch out his hands and cover his mouth with a light smile.
Because of his red lips and pearly white teeth, he sketched his charm and gentleness by accident, causing Hanging Sword for Ten Thousand Miles to feel a chill all over.
“It’s okay. Little Li, you don’t have to answer if you don’t want to.”
Xing Hechou interrupted this awkward conversation. “I only asked casually. The most important issue now is still completing the quest.”
Having a smart person in the team who could perform intelligence analysis was definitely a good thing, but Xing Hechou, who was a field staff member of the Special Affairs Bureau, did not plan on handing over the team’s command authority submissively.
After all, he had the highest level on the team, which was Level 6. He’d also had an operation guide compiled and organized by the think tank. Xing Hechou was still somewhat confident in dealing with critical situations.
“I suggest making a bonfire in the courtyard of the temple first tonight. Everyone will gather around the fire, but we should not act alone. We will take turns keeping watch and spend the night. We will wait until tomorrow to search for the temple.”
Xing Hechou asked, “Little Li, what do you think?”
“I think it’s okay.”
Li Ang nodded his head and looked at the sunset in the distance. “There is still some time left before dark. I suppose that more changes will occur after nightfall. While we take advantage of this time before dark, we’d better collect as many things as possible.
“Old Xing, if you don’t mind, since you have the highest level, I suggest you go to the sutra depository with Reverend Hui Bing to search for the Buddhist scriptures in the cabinet.
“If Reverend Hui Bing is professional enough, he should be able to determine the dynasty of this plot quest through the cut-off period of all the Buddhist scriptures.
“If Reverend Hui Bing does not recognize any Buddhist scriptures, it will still prove that the background of the plot quest is not an ancient Chinese country but an unfounded alternate world.
“Oh, that’s right. After you guys collect the Buddhist scriptures, remember to wrap them up and bring them to this courtyard. Those scriptures might be extraordinary things.”
Reverend Hui Bing nodded his head. “I grew up in the temple from a young age. I am familiar with reading scriptures. There will be no problem determining the dynasty.”
“There better not be.” Li Ang looked at Hanging Sword for Ten Thousand Miles and Liu Wudai. “There will be nobody in the temple. The clue is most likely in the monastic room of this temple. I will go there to search for his personal items. It would be best if I could find the account book of the monetary dealings of this temple.
“However, I have a lower level. It’s not safe for me to be doing this alone. Which one of you two will come with me?”
“I’ll go,” said Liu Wudai expressionlessly.
Hanging Sword for Ten Thousand Miles froze and scratched his head before saying anxiously, “Hey, what am I going to do then?”
Li Ang curled his lips. “Collect firewood and make a bonfire in the courtyard.”
“I’m a Level-5 player. You want me to make a bonfire?” Hanging Sword for Ten Thousand Miles looked at Li Ang, who had fallen behind him, and said while feeling unconvinced, “Doesn’t splitting up the task mean that we will be killed one by one like people in horror movies?”
Li Ang replied with a smile, “Our quest is to survive for seven continuous days. Generally speaking, the danger level will gradually increase in seven days. In the first few days, it might be the safest.
“You are a Level-5 player, after all, so you have the best self-defense ability in the team. There shouldn’t be a big problem if you do it alone.
“I’ll feel assured if you’re the one handling things.”
Li Ang ignored Hanging Sword for Ten Thousand Miles, who stood in his original spot. Li Ang turned and headed straight for the monastic room, while Liu Wudai, who was wearing nightwear and carrying a black compound bow, followed him.
Xing Hechou patted Hanging Sword for Ten Thousand Miles on the shoulder and rushed to the sutra depository with monk Hui Bing.
After all four of his teammates left, Hanging Sword for Ten Thousand Miles, who was standing in his original spot, came back to his senses. He looked at the serene and silent courtyard, feeling helpless as he carried the long sword in one hand, and picked up fallen sticks honestly in one hand while muttering.
“Just a Level-3 player…”