Chapter 3 - The Graveyard
Translator: SaltyTank Editor: SaltyTank
The road was slimy and muddy after the rain.
The roads through the slums were always in poor condition since no one could be bothered to maintain them. Dirt and mud would splatter everywhere while walking. A pungent smell enshrouded the slums as excrement in the alleys would sometimes be flushed into the main streets by the rain. Inside the closely packed wooden houses, many people with staid expressions were busy fixing their houses before rushing to the docks to find jobs. A lot of houses suffered from leakage during the rainy seasons, and tragedies where houses collapsed occurred from time to time.
Soran held the deceased dog in his arms as he walked through the stinking streets. Vivian held his arm, quietly following him.
Heath was dead.
The dog who had accompanied her since her birth had finally reached the end of its lifespan and left the cruel world.
The siblings were going to properly bury it just as one would bury their beloved relatives.
The reason was simple: Heath was, in their minds, their relative.
“Oi, that’s Soran! He finally woke up!”
“Hoh, something good is bound to happen soon.”
The residents in the slums all whispered among themselves as they peeked at Soran with both respect and fear in their eyes. Soran had been a reputable thief before he was defeated by a wizard. He could easily knock down three to five adults, and it was rumored that he was so talented in using daggers that he could nail a fly onto the wall with just a simple dagger toss.
Blaze and Cannibal were two active grunts who controlled the nearby streets. They targeted Vivian the moment they learned that Soran was unconscious, and rumor had it that Sofia had already given them a considerable deposit for the deal. The two also warned the nearby residents that she was their prey and told them to stay out of the way.
The slums were an evil place.
No one was willing to stand up for the little girl. They were afraid of the grunts, not to mention that they lacked the ability to do so.
“Big brother, where are we going?”
Vivian was wearing a tattered shirt woven with cheap linen. Only residents of the slums would wear this type of clothing, as it was poorly made and the material was uncomfortable. Even though Soran was an outstanding thief, he was only a subordinate to an even more powerful thief in the gang. He had to hand over a large portion of his loot to the gang leader, leaving him with only the bare minimum for the siblings to maintain a simple life.
This was the rule set by the gangs and factions. A newbie thief, albeit talented, could not go up against such regulations.
“To the graveyard. Heath deserves a place in there.”
Soran looked around as he walked, subconsciously comparing the scenes from his memory to his actual surroundings. He was familiar with the name Amber City as he had heard about it in the game, but that was when the Epic Main Quest had already begun. A terrible crack in space-time stripped the gods of their divine powers, and they were forced to descend into the mortal world as Saints. From time to time, some gods would ascend back to the heavenly realm, while others were slain by the mortals. To be honest, players were only part of the story—an insignificant part.
Players only had three lives in <<Clash of the Titans>>.
Every time a player died, they would respawn with a penalty of -3 in Constitution. The penalty was permanent and could not be removed. After dying three times with a single avatar, the avatar would be deleted from the game, and the player would have to start over from scratch.
In that chaotic period, many players rose to great heights, only to fall into the deep void soon after.
It was a stage which belonged to everyone.
The Epic Main Quest ended when the gods finally returned to their own realm, but not before a third of them had already died.
Even powerful deities like the Goddess of Magic, Master Order, the Night Baroness, the Shadow Monarch, and the Dread Lord fell during the crisis.
That was not the end; an even more shocking event came afterwards.
The thrones of the gods and goddesses fell from the heavenly realm and crashed into the mortal realm, creating special realms that players could explore.
Together, those were named the Realm of Gods.
Only players who had endured hardships and survived the crisis were qualified to explore these special realms.
As for the players who had died during the period of turbulence, they had to start over from the beginning. They could only qualify for the weakest realm of the Kobold King Gaknulak even after raising their profession to an advanced grade.
A torrent of confusing memories suddenly appeared in his mind.
The scenes only visible to Soran showed him how lawless and disordered the world was in the future.
The Saints who were originally deities cracked the continent apart and completely changed the nature of over a dozen continental shelves, with three of them even ending up as an inferno of everlasting flames, an iced continent frozen till all eternity, and a land of undeads. Demons surged from the depths of hell and tricked people into slaughtering one another by implanting suspicion and fear into their hearts. Numerous NPCs were affected by the demons, and a considerable number of players succumbed to the temptations of the demons as well. Abyss demons tore the skies apart, enshrouding the world in a dome of blood. More than twelve fortresses with over a hundred thousand soldiers and citizens were trampled on and annihilated just on the first day the Abyss awoke.
The players called that period The Dawn.
It was the dawn of the gods, the dawn of the players, and, finally, the dawn of the entire world.
In this crisis which affected the entire universe, everyone died at least once. Even Soran was utterly defeated and had to reincarnate.
No one could escape from the wrath of the crisis.
Some of the players with the ‘Hero’ build, which was thought to be the best build against demons, were crushed like ants.
This was the age of the Saints.
Most importantly, the grand finale for the heavenly titans!
When everything was finally over, the age of mortals began. Countless special realms awaited them, and the treasure vaults inside these dangerous yet rewarding realms contained equipment none could imagine.
Power, wealth, even immortality; people could obtain them within the ruins of the fallen realms.
The graveyard was not in the slums. There was only a mass pit for the deceased there. The corpses would be tossed into the pit and eaten by wild dogs. Some of the corpses would disappear into thin air as well; those were obviously taken away by necromancers or evil spellcasters. No one knew what the corpses would become, and no one cared either.
Heath must not be thrown into the mass burial pit.
Soran could already sense the greed coming from the starving people. All they could see was a tasty dog stew. Even if he buried Heath deep down,people would still dig him up at night and cook a large pot of stew with his corpse.
This was the slums, a place where everyone was always on the brink of starving to death.
They craved for meat!
They would even eat the corpses of dead humans if not for the punishment of endless torture in hell after death for cannibalism.
Soran, like a lot of other players, could not believe how poor the starting condition was when he first logged into the game.
There was no glittering equipment, no wonderful scenery, and no casual PvP arenas for players to sharpen their skills in—only a dirty slum where life and death were decided in a simple brawl. A place filled with dirt and dung, a place where light could not reach, a place of complete evil. A lot of players had to risk their lives just for something to eat or trash-tier equipment.
A handful of players were completely disgusted by the terrible situation in the game world and set out to be paladins. They swore to change the world into a better place, despite it being a virtual one.
In the end, the ones who were changed were the paladins themselves.
They lacked the power to challenge the rules of the world. One could not simply change the way things worked in an entire world easily after all.
In a period darker than the Dark Ages, all players had to witness things that challenged their moral standards and had to make heartbreaking decisions.
Some would be cruel for the sake of evil; others would be generous for their own beliefs.
In this virtual world, everyone had to choose their own path, be it willingly or not.
For this very reason, <<Clash of the Titans>> was almost like an alternate world for most of the players.
It was a silent and peaceful place.
It was a place where the souls of the deceased could rest in peace as the shrine of the Underworld Princess was located here. Priests and shrine guards protected the place from intruders and prevented the souls from being disturbed. Not everyone had the right to enter the graveyard; people had to pay a fee in order to enjoy eternal peace.
The Goddess of Riches once said, “Everything in the world can be exchanged with money, given that you have enough of it.”
It was a dark age in which people were brainwashed with desires and would go to great lengths to obtain what they wanted.
Soran held Heath’s body and stood silently in front of the shrine. He lowered his head to show humility and respect when an old priest came out to greet him. Though at first, Soran still wasn’t sure if he was only controlling his avatar, after witnessing the vivid movements and intelligence of the people, he knew he was no longer in a virtual world. Everything was real.
After speaking with Vivian about a few things, Soran was told that there was no such thing as ‘attributes.’
The game pod he once used flashed through his mind for some reason.
There was a magic formation under the game pod, but most people found the decoration creepy and sold their device not long after.
Soran was not too concerned about the decoration so he kept his, but even the game publisher acknowledged the players’ negative comments and removed the decoration from all its subsequent products.
“Are you sure you want to bury it in the graveyard?”
The old priest had met a lot of nobles who buried their pets that died of old age in the graveyard, but it was his first time meeting a poor thief from the slums who wanted to do the same.
With their tattered clothes and muddy shoes, everyone could tell that Soran and Vivian were from the slums.
Soran bowed slightly and said, “Yes.
“Please accept this offering for burying him.”
Soran took a Silver Derahl from his pocket and humbly handed it over to the priest. As a talented thief, he had already found his first prey and succeeded during their walk to the graveyard.
It was fine as long as no one knew what he had done!
The glittering Silver Derahl was a currency created and crafted by the followers of the Goddess of Riches. It was so widely accepted that it could even be used in hell.
The old priest looked deeply into Soran’s eyes, then nodded and pointed toward the offering box nearby. “Perhaps it was a loyal dog, or else you would not go so far for it.
“Children, follow me. It will be granted a place where it can rest in peace.”
Soran placed the coin in the box next to the entrance of the shrine and followed the priest into the graveyard with Heath’s body in his hands.
In an obscure corner of the graveyard.
After the two siblings had finished digging a pit for Heath’s burial, Vivian, who had been silent all along, could no longer hold back her tears.
The little girl muttered something in front of the small grave, then stood up with a serious look on her face as she held her brother’s hands.
Heath was simply an old dog who died of old age.
He was not qualified for a tombstone, thus he only had a tiny grave.
A tiny grave in an obscure corner of the graveyard.
*[advantage]: by having their erection in contact with her
*[ cent bills]: China has cents in bills called jiao
*[Guoshu]: Guo here means country and shu means technique
*[ 190 centimeters]: Over 6ft tall
*[Lake Cui]: Cui Hu, also means Green Lake
*[hundred dyuan bills]: 100yuan is their biggest bill
*[Daoist Fierce Tiger]: The author of this novel
*[Noodles]: made of wheat
*[Rice Noodles]: made of rice
*[Zhang Tian Tian]: Tian means sweet
*[Bajiquan]: Also known as Eight Extremities Fist, but Bajiquan sounds nicer to me
*[Long Taos]: side characters in Chinese operas who perform acrobatics and fight scenes
*[12.47 to 13.07]: don’t ask me about the tree sap