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I found this novel on a Chinese forum that gives recommended novel lists. The list also included Lord of Mystery and Outside of Time, so I guess it’s also a good novel?
Let’s find out.
Chapter 1: Ancient Temple in the Deep Mountains
“Finally cleared all achievements.”
As the boss fell, Xu Yuan’s eyes, with bloodshot veins, slowly leaned back on the gaming chair behind him. The CG of clearing the game also started rolling with the credits on the screen.
After more than a month of battling and staying up late, he finally completed all the storylines and achievements of “Blue Spring,” a domestically developed game with the most complex plot.
As a 2.5D pixel-style game, “Blue Spring” has an overly rich plot with thousands of options, 25 worldlines, and dozens of different endings, providing players with a new storyline experience every time they play.
“With current technology, only 2.5D pixel-style games are capable of accommodating such a large plot.”
After carefully reviewing each ending, Xu Yuan finally shut down the power source and went to wash up in the bathroom, climbed into bed, and habitually recalled the game’s plot.
“Finally, it’s over. It’s just a pity about the prime minister. All of the final boss endings were scripted and killed off.”
“And once you play a few times and are familiar with the gaming mechanisms, the difficulty decreases.”
“Ah… so tired… don’t want to think about it. Tomorrow, I have to help my old man at his company. I’ve been away for over a month, he’s probably going to chew me out.”
Mumbling to himself while exhausted, Xu Yuan fell soundly asleep.
Thunder boomed as heavy rain poured down.
With the crackling of the flames burning wood, Xu Yuan woke up in pain, confused and trying to open his eyes. He had a throbbing headache and planned to get up and find some painkillers from the medicinal box. But when his eyes adjusted to the dim environment, he couldn’t help but stare in confusion.
Where am I?
Was I at home?
The familiar ceiling was nowhere to be seen, and all he saw was an abandoned temple with broken beams and wooden pillars, a stone Buddha with one arm missing sitting on a lotus pedestal, a flickering bonfire, and a black-clothed woman sitting quietly next to it with a thin veil covering her face.
The sound of pattering rain could be heard faintly from outside the temple.
Everything was eerily quiet.
After a moment of silence, Xu Yuan closed his eyes, took a deep breath, and opened them again.
Nothing had changed.
Xu Yuan tried to make sense of the situation he found himself in, but he was completely puzzled after thinking for a while.
The only thing he could confirm was that he seemed to have crossed over.
However, his headache was not a result of the fusion of memories. It was from a physical bump on the back of his head.
The sudden cross over left Xu Yuan feeling completely alienated from everything around him, and his gaze roamed around the temple.
The winter rain was icy and his bones felt cold.
Taking advantage of the faint light of the bonfire, Xu Yuan looked around the temple, which was huge. When incense ceased burning, the once respected Buddha now seemed to have turned into something sinister in the dim temple.
He finally looked at the only living thing in the temple except for himself – the black-clothed woman, who was sitting beside the fire with her eyes closed, a sword lying flat beside her.
The firelight illuminated her skin, snow-white and flawless, and her hair, falling freely behind her as a cascade of blackness. With a veil covering her face, the black gown seemed to outline her curvaceous figure.
Rainy night, deep mountains, abandoned temple, beautiful woman; these elements combined made it hard for Xu Yuan not to think of something strange.
He slowly stood up from the ground amidst the silence.
Over the years which he has helped his family business, his father had led him to meet many people and see many things, both good and bad.
Although the surrounding environment was a bit eerie, after recognizing the reality, Xu Yuan was very clear that he had to do something now.
It seemed that his body was injured, and his clothes were thin. At the very least, he had to sit by the bonfire. The cold rain of the winter night was already going to freeze him.
Xu Yuan stared at the woman in front of him and walked slowly towards her step by step.
The woman in black seemed to not hear his footsteps and sat quietly by the bonfire with her eyes closed, resting.
The veil covering her face couldn’t hide her temperament, and she was quiet and beautiful.
As soon as he approached, Xu Yuan’s pupils suddenly shrank.
A huge arm was lying on the ground next to the woman, startling Xu Yuan.
His footsteps slowed down, and his heart rate suddenly accelerated, but he soon relaxed.
Although this arm looked lifelike, it was not human, but had the texture of stone.
He glanced back at the huge statue of Buddha with one arm broken that he had seen before. It must have broken off from there.
Using the stone arm as a stool, Xu Yuan stared at the flawless side of the woman’s face covered by the veil.
In the bleak and windy silence for two seconds, the woman in black suddenly slowly opened her cold, ink-like eyes and looked towards Xu Yuan.
A thunderstorm tore through the dark night sky, bringing everything inside and outside the dilapidated temple.
The brightness flashed and disappeared, but as Xu Yuan faced the woman, he caught a glimpse of something outside the temple gate with his peripheral vision.
By the lightning that flashed and disappeared with the thunderstorm, the puddles on the ground outside the temple were filled with broken corpses, and sticky blood was constantly flowing with the rainwater…
Xu Yuan’s thoughts were still a bit confused, but he was instantly sober. His heart rate began to accelerate uncontrollably, and his hand hidden in his sleeve couldn’t help but tremble.
His family did business in the Golden Triangle1, but the sight of countless corpses was beyond what he could accept.
He bit his tongue hard, trying to control his gradually panicked thoughts and use rational thinking to analyze the situation in front of him.
The pain on his tongue finally made Xu Yuan calm down a bit. He tried to regulate his breathing and looked at the woman in black.
The lightning disappeared, and the temple gate was once again shrouded in darkness.
However, the scene just now was already engraved in Xu Yuan’s mind.
Each of the corpses outside the gate held weapons and had a uniform appearance. Although their cause of death was different, their feet were almost all facing this ancient temple.
In other words, they came from the same place, and for some unknown reason, they wanted to break into this ancient temple.
The scene that flashed before his eyes instantly made Xu Yuan think of a lot of things. He looked stiffly at the woman beside him and realized he was sitting next to a very dangerous woman.
There were only two of them in the temple, and his weak body was visible to the naked eye, so those corpses that tried to break in could only be caused by this woman.
The sky outside was pitch black with continuous thunder, and the cold wind kept blowing in through the broken temple gate. A woman dressed in black like ink and a noble gentleman dressed in gorgeous silk were sitting around a campfire, with a blood-stained wasteland hidden in the shadows outside the gate.
In the midst of the silence,
“You…are blocking me.”
The woman’s voice was light and cold, steady and indifferent.
Hearing her words, Xu Yuan was stunned.
He was blocking her?
Then Xu Yuan realized that the black-clad woman was not looking at him, but behind him.
A hint of doubt rose in his heart.
He had just observed that although the Buddhist hall was large, from this angle, there was nothing behind him except for the giant statue of Buddha’s broken arm.
The doubt made Xu Yuan subconsciously look back,
And it was this glance that sent a shiver down his spine.
Xu Yuan saw a pair of legs.
Legs that were as tall as him when he stood up.
His gaze gradually moved up,
The huge stone Buddha had silently arrived behind him from the lotus platform, and the eerie, cracked face was hidden in the shadow of the roof, seeming to be smiling, looking down at him and the woman beside him from above.
For a moment, his brain went blank.
The phenomenon that he had always believed science could not explain, the fear of the unknown instantly exploded in Xu Yuan’s heart, and he could no longer suppress it.
Xu Yuan’s breathing accelerated uncontrollably, and the giant, eerie statue of Buddha was almost within reach, making his body stiff as if frozen in ice.
After a few seconds of being stunned, Xu Yuan started to forcibly control his stiff body and moved aside.
He…he had to move away quickly.
His heart was pounding so hard that it felt like it was about to burst out of his chest. This eerie scene had exceeded his cognition and acceptance.
At this moment, the corner of Xu Yuan’s eye suddenly caught a glimpse of the woman in black.
With the giant Buddha looming closer, the woman in her thin veil did not even get up, sitting quietly in her original position, not even picking up her sword that was placed beside her. Her calm expression remained unchanged, calmly watching the statue of Buddha.
The woman’s calm and leisure gradually gave Xu Yuan a sense of reassurance.
As he shrunk into the corner of the Buddhist hall to calm his fears, he carefully observed the Buddha statue and the woman in the center of the hall.
Fortunately…fortunately, this woman seemed very strong.
Xu Yuan thought of the corpses outside the temple.
The thing that had scared him just now became a calming pill for Xu Yuan at this moment.
Xu Yuan couldn’t imagine facing the strange “living Buddha” alone in this deep mountain temple.
The woman and the Buddha were silent for two seconds, and the chilling air of killing gradually spread, and Xu Yuan took the opportunity to cautiously retreat to the corner of the broken temple.
The strange “living Buddha” moved.
Its huge body did not affect its speed at all. With a speed that Xu Yuan could hardly see, the giant palm slammed down.
The temple and the ground both trembled fiercely. The giant palm landed, and the only bright campfire in the room was extinguished by it.
Xu Yuan’s vision suddenly plunged into darkness.
After the light was gone, the sound became the only protagonist in the darkness, and the huge tremors and roars were connected one after another, constantly reverberating.
Listening to the noise coming from not far away, Xu Yuan, who was shrinking in the corner, had a fast heartbeat, and the fingertips of his clenched fist were embedded in his palms unconsciously.
A clear sword sound echoed inside and outside the temple,
A blue sword light flashed in the darkness and disappeared in an instant,
Everything returned to calm in an instant.
Thunder and lightning illuminated everything in the temple at this moment.
Xu Yuan finally borrowed this opportunity to see what was happening over there.
The woman’s black dress was not stained with any dust. She calmly sheathed her sword, while the head of the giant “living Buddha” had disappeared.
While Xu Yuan was still stunned.
A black shadow fell heavily in front of him, and the dust raised made Xu Yuan frowned and took a step back.
It was the huge head of the “living Buddha”.
And the kind eyes on the head were staring at him with a faint light.
Seeing this, Xu Yuan subconsciously wanted to hide next to the black-clothed woman. This kind of strange thing was too dangerous.
After the thunder, everything returned to darkness.
Xu Yuan silently pondered his words and walked towards the direction where the woman had just stood, thinking of asking her something.
At this moment,
A weak whisper came from the darkness in front of him:
“Third young master….”
The Golden Triangle is a region in Southeast Asia that encompasses parts of Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar. It is known for its prolific production of opium poppies and is a major hub for the production and trafficking of heroin and other drugs. The name “Golden Triangle” refers to the complex network of drug trade that has flourished in the region for decades, generating billions of dollars in revenue each year. The Golden Triangle has also become a popular tourist destination, with visitors drawn to its beautiful landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and abundant wildlife.
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