Chapter 466 This Is It
Fan Meinan grabbed the bronze rings from the hands of the lady in shades, throwing it to Zhang Heng, coming down from the second floor.
(Name: Oath Rings]
(Effect: If one of the two bearers breaks an oath, the other will know about it.]
Zhang Heng obtained this Grade-F game item from Mr. Coffee during the previous quest. The identification results just came in that afternoon, and it happened to come in handy during the interrogation process.
The conditions of activating the Oath Rings were straightforward. All the wearer needed to do was mix both wearers’ blood, write the vows on parchment, then put on the ring. If one were to violate the vow, the other wearer would be instantly notified-the ring of the one who broke the vow would start to heat up. Once the ring was removed, the oath would become invalid.
Styx was more than just the goddess who lived in the underworld and ruled the river. She was also known as the goddess of oaths and hatred. Since Mr. Coffee was her agent, it was no surprise that he had this pair of rings on him.
Although the Oath Rings were only Grade-F game items, they were actually quite useful in certain situations, doubling up as an effective lie detector after a vow had been written. Other than that, the identification results of the USB drive from Edward had also been released. The drive was also a Grade-F game item, where it would make the user’s IP address untraceable when plugged into a computer.
The two items that he acquired in his previous game were not only super powerful, but they were also practical enough to be used in certain situations. However, these were in no way helpful in removing Han Lu’s curse.
Zhang Heng had once put all his hopes on the lady in shades, but now, it proved a wrong strategy. Fan Meinan watched as Zhang Heng drew a knife and walked toward the lady in shades. “She… she has told us everything she knows…” Fan Meinan muttered nervously.
“Yes, so it doesn’t make much sense for us to keep her around.” Zhang Heng then cut the rope binding the lady in shades. The latter rubbed her wrists, stared at the masked Zhang Heng, and sensibly bowed her head. Happy to be alive, she silently walked out of the factory without uttering a single threat or harsh word.
But just as she was about to reach the gate, Fan Meinan voiced out. “You’d better not contact Pestilence again.”
The lady in shades stopped, seeming a little surprised. “Why?” she asked.
“Because he can’t reply to you anymore.”
“Oh, is this an early April Fool’s joke?”
“I thought the same as well when I saw what happened. Consider it as a friendly reminder from a close relative.”
Afterward, the lady in shades seemed to have understood something. She looked at Zhang Heng for another second, then turned around and walked out of the old workshop without uttering another word.
Fan Meinan was a little sad, but she quickly cheered herself up. “It seems we have reached an impasse. My sister does not know how to lift the curse, and we are not about to locate Seth anytime soon. I’m sorry I lead you to a dead end.”
Zhang Heng shook his head. “You have already helped us so much, so leave the rest to me. Great. I’ll be the one that gets to break the bad news to her. Let’s go. I’ll drive you to your place first.”
It was three in the morning when Zhang Heng returned to Han Lu’s house, the only one in the entire area that was still lit up. Han Lu opened the door after she heard a knock. There was loud music, and cigarette butts were scattered all over the floor. An open bottle of plum wine was also lying on the table.
“Don’t worry. I drank too much coffee and tea. I needed a change of taste, hence the plum wine. I won’t be getting drunk if that’s what you’re thinking.
“Where is the maid?” asked Zhang Heng, looking around the messy living room as he let out a long sigh.
“I gave her some money and put her up at a hotel. So… it appears we are the only ones left in this house.” Han Lu exhaled a puff of smoke and put her finger on Zhang Heng’s lips. “Shh! Don’t tell me the results just yet. Come have a drink with me.”
Zhang Heng closed the door, taking a seat opposite Han Lu.
Han Lu brought a glass with a Mount Fuji engraving at its bottom and poured some plum wine into it. Zhang Heng then took a sip from the glass. The freshness and sweetness of fruits mixed with strong distilled spirits brought on a distinct tasting experience. “So, how did it go?” Han Lu asked.
“We found her.”
“I’m not asking about that. I’m asking you how the wine is.” Han Lu frowned and threw the half-finished cigarette on the floor.
Zhang Heng took took Han Lu’s glass away from her. “At least listen to me before you drink this.”
“No, I don’t want to listen to you now!” replied Han Lu, shaking her head. After two tries, she failed to get the glass back from Zhang Heng. So, she picked up the bottle instead.
“We found her and asked her about the Dreamland of Death, she…”
Without warning, Han Lu suddenly threw the wine bottle against the wall, interrupting Zhang Heng midway. The bottle was shattered, painting the wall with splashes of purple. “I said, I don’t want to hear this now! You thought I didn’t know the outcome when I first opened the door? Why can’t we pretend that we don’t know anything and have a glass of wine first?!” she bellowed in a fury.
“Sorry,” Zhang Heng muttered under his breath.
“No, I should be the one to apologize. The thought of dying at this age crossed my mind before, and I always thought I would be brave enough to face it. I thought, if death came knocking on my door one day, I would confront it with calm and finesse before I meet my maker. I want to be able to leave this world gracefully. This is very important to me… perhaps we can’t defeat death, but at least, we can retain our dignity in the face of it. I don’t want to be who I am right now-a hysterical crazy woman… But until death is right at your doorstep, who knows what kind of mood you will be in, right?”
“You have done well,” said Zhang Heng.
“But I want to do more, and I still want to live. That’s the problem… I don’t want to die like this. It’s not an outcome I want, which is why I’m so… angry!” said Han Lu, her eyes turning red in frustration and hopelessness.
Zhang Heng was silent for a moment. “There is still time… Perhaps I can find another way to help you.”
“Did you know, the worst part of this whole ordeal is not the feeling of despair, but getting your hopes shattered one after the other. I don’t want to experience this kind of thing again,” she went on in exasperation.
Han Lu looked extremely tired, very much like a traveler trekking the desert for days without a sip of water. a
“That’s it, stop right here.” “Is there anything that you’d like to do?” asked Zhang Heng.
“I originally planned to make love with you, but I changed my mind. I have never missed sex in my life. With one phone call, I can get men of all shapes and sizes to sleep with me… Right now, it’s impossible to get what I want.” Han Lu shook her head. “The girl who was with us before…”
“What about her?”
“She always seemed as if she didn’t care about those around her. She looked just like me when I was young, but I saw that she cares about you. She doesn’t want you to know about it… From my experience, she’ll be hurt by such thoughts sooner or later.”
Han Lu’s mind suddenly became crystal clear, as if he could see through Zhang Heng’s heart.
“It’s because… you don’t have much emotion left in you, right?”