Chapter 24: Tragic Ending
Translator: Henyee Translations Editor: Henyee Translations
The night in the wilderness was quiet.
The environment was horrible, dry bones and totems everywhere. The stench of rotten bodies was also disgusting.
Yet, Roland did not feel very scared.
He found several shovels in the trolls’ lair. The tools must’ve belonged to farmers who had been caught and eaten by the trolls.
Roland dug a deep pit with a shovel and carefully transferred the bones into the pit with Hand of Magic, burying them altogether.
He filled the pit and set up a cross with two sticks before the tomb.
1“I don’t know your names, but since you are all victims, it shouldn’t be a problem for you to rest in the same place.”
Roland heaved a long sigh, feeling heavy.
He couldn’t treat the NPCs in this game as data. After spending a month here, he realized that the NPCs were barely different from real people.
Yet, he was certain that he was in a game.
It was a rather contradictory feeling.
At this moment, it was already late at night. Burying the deceased took him a lot of time. He began his journey back to Red Mountain Town.
Thinking about the long distance, Roland couldn’t help but mumble, “I wish I were capable of teleportation… I’ll definitely have to grasp space-time spells in the future. They’ll be useful in both battles and travel.”
Roland had decided what skills he should specialize in because of the long journey.
As for Betta, he returned to Red Mountain Town by morning.
3The fair had already ended. He found the old couple next to the lake.
With the red morning sun reflected in the lake, the old couple were gazing at the horizon next to their wooden house.
Betta approached them and said casually, “I have found what you asked for. Your grandson is dead.”
“My grandson is not dead!” The weary old woman jumped to her feet and yelled, “What a mean man! You’re saying that our grandson is dead? I’ll beat you…”
This must be part of the plot set by the system… Betta thought and gave the dry skull to the old woman.
The old woman was frozen, but her stunned eyes glittered.
She accepted the dry skull and hugged it tightly and gently.
“It’s good that you’re back.” A bright rainbow seemed to be flashing in the old woman’s eyes. She raised the skull before her husband’s eyes and said, “Look, our grandson is back!”
The old man smiled happily, too.
He scratched his grandson’s withered hair and said, “I won’t punish you for running away. Let’s have breakfast…”
The two of them entered the house with the skull.
Betta felt weird watching all this.
Yet, he could not tell what exactly the weird part was.
The NPCs in this game were vivid, but their reaction was too strange. Normally, shouldn’t grandparents cry when they see their grandson’s skull?
Something must be wrong with their emotion data… This is highly unreasonable and illogical.
With such a thought, Betta backed off and guarded the house.
He should be searching for other quests now, but a voice in his heart told him to stop and see what would happen to the old couple.
Delighted laughter burst from the house, entirely different from the gloom of before.
Something must be wrong with the game data.
Betta mumbled again and tried to leave, but his legs simply wouldn’t budge, as if they had been nailed to the ground.
He still felt that something was wrong, but he did not know what it was.
After breakfast, the old couple left the house.
Both of them looked rather happy. The old man bought food from the fair, and the old woman fetched a lot of firewood.
They worked and lived as usual. Soon, smoke curled up from kitchens as evening fell. It was as regular as the behavior of other NPCs in the game. Their lives were the same no matter what happened.
Betta found nothing wrong after observing for a whole day, but he felt more and more uneasy.
In the end, he held back his strange feeling and came to the entrance of the town.
Soon, Roland made it back, too.
As a Mage, he was not as strong as Betta, who was a complex class. He rested twice on the way and finally made it back before nightfall.
Roland smiled when he saw Betta. “You haven’t closed the quest yet, have you? I gave it a lot of thought on the way. Informing them of their grandson’s death is too brutal. We might as well keep it a secret from them…”
Roland was suddenly stunned, because he saw a fire rising in a house next to the lake… The night had not entirely fallen yet. From his perspective, he saw a glittering fire right beside the setting sun.
“It’s the James’ house!”
Roland shouted and ran forward. Having practiced magic near the lake, he knew the couple and would nod at them when he met them.
Betta’s face turned pale when he saw the house on fire.
Roland reached the house. He was going to launch Ice Ring at the house to put out the fire, but he gave up in frustration after observing for a second.
The fire was too huge and had burned through the wooden house. Anyone inside must’ve been killed.
Betta approached the place, too. His face was paler and paler, and his body was shivering.
In the end, he gnashed his teeth. “Brother Roland… The skull we found belonged to the grandson of this old couple.”
Roland’s heart was instantly chilled.
He was frozen, unable to move.
The fire attracted a lot of villagers. Many of them intended to extinguish the fire, but they all shook their heads and gave up when they saw the reddened house.
Someone mumbled, “Why is the James’ house suddenly on fire? Who came here first?”
“Mr. Roland and another noble.”
“What exactly happened here?”
Falken finally came, too. He asked Roland, “What exactly happened here, Mr. Roland?”
Betta shivered, his body appallingly pale. He turned his head away, not daring to look at the villagers.
“I found Sam’s head and gave it to the James couple,” Roland said calmly, sighing.
Falken looked at him and shook his head slightly.
The other villagers also stared at Roland and Betta in silence. They all dispersed in the end.
The fire did not die out until dawn.
Nothing was left on site except for the ash and the rising smoke.
“Quest accomplished. EXP +376, reputation in Red Mountain Town -10.”
A notification appeared in Roland’s sight.