Chapter 4: Mansion of Seven Deadly Sins - First Part
Sila was sucked into the ground without being prepared. He felt as though he's falling into the abyss that the bottom was not visible. Sila's body stayed in the air for a long time before he finally crashed to the ground.
Sila felt pain on all over his body and immediately thought of "Recovering Qi." He sat down and closed his eyes while concentrating and circulating qi throughout his body. Afterward, the pain gradually faded off.
He also heard system sound.
The level of Recovering Qi skill has been risen to 2.
The level of Qi Circulation skill has been risen to 2.
When Sila opened his eyes, he could see the surrounding. He was in a large rectangular room with dimmed light. The floor he was sitting down was covered with red velvet carpet. The walls were black and white with chessboard pattern. Surprisingly, there were no windows and doors.
When his eyes began to accustom to the dark, he then saw that there were another two men stood next to him. One of them had black hair, was very handsome, and was wearing a black butler uniform; his skin was very noticeable pale. He was stood smiling.
The other one had fluffy brown hair. He was not as handsome as the butler but had a nice muscular figure. He was wearing elite Wuxia's uniforms.
[T/N: Wuxia is a term refers to traditional Chinese martial artist in Chinese novel. Its characteristic is mostly wearing long-sleeve clothes, performing lightless movement, and able to use inner force called qi.]
Sila thought that these two must have been waiting for him to finish circulate "Recovering Qi" for a long time without interrupting. As he would like to say something, the butler guy interrupted.
"Please don't talk to each other, sir, otherwise you two will be disqualify for the hidden quest."
Sila then shut his mouth. The young man in Wuxia's clothes turned his head to nod at Sila.
Sila nodded back. Afterward, the butler guy continued.
"Firstly, my name is Sebastian, butler of Mansion of Seven Deadly Sins. Currently my master is away. So please allow me to act as his representative. I hereby welcome you two to Mansion of Seven Deadly Sins, sir."
Both of them listened quietly.
"You don't have to be so quiet, sir. You two can talk to me normally, as long as you don't talk to each other or mention something that related to your identity."
Sila felt relief and asked Sebastian of what he had wondered about:
"Why are we here?"
"You two are here to participate in hidden quest, sir. It's a duo quest with a condition that two players participating have to be a complete stranger to each other. Each of you also has to possess half part of an emblem to this mansion. The emblem can be obtained by having a race before entering into Beginner Building, sir."
Sila nodded before looking at the man in Wuxia's clothes. He thought that this man must be either very remarkable or super lucky to have a race before going to Beginner Building. Excluding for slime which card had a high drop rate; he heard that other monsters' card drop rate was very low. And since Sila was currently the sole player in slime race, it meant that this man was in another race. Compared to this man, Sila felt he was far inferior.
Sila didn't know that; this man also surprised of Sila as well. This man had received an emblem very long ago. When he'd seen an emblem's quest condition, he'd felt hopeless. Finding other player who had selected race before visiting Beginner Building was, by no mean, an unrealistic feat. He also couldn't tell anybody since there was a condition that other person couldn't be his acquaintance. Although it's true that he could tell his friend in real life, Monster Soul Online is however the virtual reality game that scans player's brain, so it would be pointless if he did that. Due to all these facts, his acquiring emblem had been always collecting dust in his Item Window to the point that he almost totally forgot about this quest.
"Where is this place?" asked Wuxia guy. That was the first time Sila heard his voice.
"I cannot answer that, sir. I can only tell you that this place is not located in Main Continent. It's a place that cannot be accessed through normal transportation methods." Sebastian answered politely.
"Then, what is your level?"
Sebastian smiled before answering, "I am a monster of grim reaper specie in undead race, Lord Rank, level 350, sir."
The man in Wuxia's clothes showed his panicked expression. Sila saw that and wondered what's wrong.
'Is this butler's level very high? But I once heard that level don't affect fighting ability, do it?'
With this thought, Sila asked in continuation.
"Didn't undead refer to a corpse? You don't look like a zombie at all."
"Undead means the undying being, sir. It does include a moving corpse though; but it's a Squire Rank being, while my rank is Lord."
"Is Lord Rank strong?"
As soon as this question came out from Sila's mouth, the man in Wuxia's clothes suddenly stared at Sila as if he saw an alien. He clenched his fists tightly and started circulating his qi in secret. He looked toward Sebastian while worrying that Sila might get killed, as monsters in some species thinks highly of their rank and don't want anyone to insult it.
However, Sebastian only laughed and smiled gently before answering Sila's question.
"You must be a new player, mustn't you? Umm … I should say that Lord Rank is above Squire Rank by 3 degrees. For more accurate information, I suggested you to ask others instead, since I obliged to stay in this mansion without opponent to measure my strength. Oh, but I used to spar with my master; and he said that I was 'quite decent.'"
The man in Wuxia's clothes was a little more worried. Normally, monsters in Lord Rank were insanely strong and very hard to find. However, this monster said that it even had a 'master.' Now he really couldn't imagine how strong its master, whom once had said Lord Rank monster's strength was only considered 'quite decent,' was.
"Well, we should end the question session for now. Allow me to explain the details of your hidden quest first, so we can get start soon."
Sebastian waved his hand, and the room transformed into a luxury suite. There were many facilities available; such as TV, refrigerator, liquor bar, and even Jacuzzi tub.
"Please follow me, sir."
Sebastian pointed to two recently appeared doors. One was white and one was black. Sebastian led two players into the room behind the black door first.
The room they were entered had walls and floors in deep dark color. The size was about 10 times wider than the room before; so it's more like a wide field than a room.
"This is the training room, sir. At the entrance there is an altar with a list of monsters that you can summon them to fight against, you can also summon them simultaneously. "
Sebastian paused for a while, and then continued.
"Please note that the summoned monsters will be all dark element, and they can range only from Squire to Knight Rank. In addition, these monsters will not drop any item, money, nor give any experience point. Their purpose is for training solely."
When Sebastian finished speaking, he then led two players back to the first room, and navigated them to the white door later.
This time, the room was all white. Inside the room there was a single treasure box on the floor. Sebastian opened it, showing them the gold coins inside.
"Here is the treasure room, sir. Now you can see there is only one treasure box. But actually, the number of box will grew by one every one hour, and the treasure inside will get better each time. Some will contain gold coins, and some will contain weapons or accessories. Every item found in the treasure box inside this room will guarantee to be B Grade item or higher, even S Grade item could be found. You can walk into this room to see the treasure's content leisurely, but taking it with you is prohibited, otherwise you will be disqualified."
Afterward, Sebastian took them to the first room.
"This room is the lounge; all necessary facilities are presented here. You can take everything in this room with you, whether it's food, drinks, or even bed if you can carry it. This room also has 5 times recovery rate higher than other safe zone."
Upon hearing these statements, the eyes of the man in Wuxia's clothes shone as if he could think of something good.
"Well, now I am going to talk about a hidden quest. Both of you must have been waiting for it for a long time now."
Both men nodded.
"Okay. This hidden quest's content is very simple. From now on, I will start counting the time. The quest will end when the time is up, and you will receive the quest reward."
"Time counting? How long?" asked Sila.
"I cannot tell you that, sir. It maybe an hour, or it could be a week."
"Is the quest just for us to wait?"
That was a question from the man in Wuxia's clothes.
Sebastian smiled again. But it's a smile that Sila could tell that it's a wicked one.
"Yes, just that, but …"
Sila frowned. 'I can sense that I definitely won't like this 'but…' part.'
"…there will be some 'rules' in this quest."
Both Sila and the man repeated this word simultaneously.
"Yes, in this quest, you two will have to follow these rules, sir."
"And they are…?"
"First, when one player dies, the other will be given with all treasures in treasure room. Second, if time count ends, in case that the two of you are still alive, no one will get any treasure inside that room. Third, you two are forbidden to communicate to each other, both by chat or by writing message; you can still use body language though. Fourth and the last, when one player loses one's life, the quest will be counted as ended immediately."
The silence fell into the room.
"Do you have any question?"
"Umm…" asked Sila faintly, "What will happen? Why there's part about losing life in the rules? Will there be a monster invasion that trying to kill us?"
"No, sir. Please be at ease. It's only two of you here."
'How can I be at ease? This is like telling us to kill each other, isn't this?'
"Does this mean we have to kill each other?" directly asked the man in Wuxia's clothes.
Sila's face turned slightly pale. No matter how he looked, this man seemed a lot stronger than him.
"I didn't say that, you know? Please just be reminded of the rules." Slyly smile lurked on Sebastian's face, "oh, there is something I almost forgot."
This caught the attention of the other two.
"You two have an emblem to Mansion of Seven Deadly Sins, haven't you?"
Both players nodded. They picked the emblem up, and tried to give it to Sebastian.
"Please keep it. I just want to say that: in case that owner of an emblem destroys his own piece, both of the players will be disqualified for the quest, considering that the emblem is not completed."
Sila felt more stunned. This sounded like both players had his own insurance; in case that one felt like he couldn't fight, he could just break the emblem, and no one would get anything. This could also mean one must kill without the other being notice.
"That's all. Now please excuse me, sir. Let the three of us meet here again when the quest ends. Opps, or maybe not three, but two, umm… or else… will there be only me? Fufufu."
No one laughed at this joke.
"Lastly, I hereby wish you both to enjoy and relax in our Mansion of Seven Deadly Sins, sir."
Suddenly, Sebastian faded off with the darkness; leaving two men stood still uncomfortably.
Atmosphere in the room had been very awkward for an hour. No one said anything. Actually, it's the rule that stated that no one could say anything. The man in Wuxia's clothes now walked into the corner and sat on his haunches, closing his eyes.
Sila saw that and decided to do the same. He then started thinking about rules since he had nothing to do.
'Sebastian said we should try to remind of the rules, didn't he.'
Sila could summarize the rules as follow:
One: When one player died, the other who survived would get all the treasures in the treasure room.
Two: When the time ended, if both of them stayed alive, then no one would get even a single treasure in the treasure room.
Three: Players could not communicate via chat and writing message, though the body language was possible.
Four: The quest would end when someone died.
Five: Although it wasn't included as a rule; whenever someone destroys one's own emblem, both players would be disqualified immediately.
'No matter how I think about them, these rules are forcing us to assassinate each other …'
Sila glanced at the man. The other was still sitting with the eyes closed.
'Is this my chance?'
Sila thought, but then he reminded of Crow's sentence before he had been sent here.
'Be careful. Do not let darkness swallow your mind. I can only tell you that, otherwise it will break the NPC's law.'
'Did the word 'darkness swallowing my mind' mean this?'
Well, Sila was just vigilant. Normally, He wasn't the type of person who attacks someone behind their back.
But what about the other? Would that man attack behind Sila's back? Sila didn't know. They just met each other.
Many thoughts were floating in Sila's mind. But in the end, he shook his head, dismissing all useless ideas.
'He still hasn't shown any bad intention toward me, how can I prejudice him then? I should just circulate my qi. The "Recovering Qi" is very helpful, it's better if I train this skill while I have free time.'
Sila sat down and started circulating his qi.
The level of Recovering Qi skill has been risen to 3.
The level of Qi Circulation skill has been risen to 3.
Sila smiled happily and continued to circulate his qi all over his body. The skill levels then slowly increased.
The higher the skill level, Sila could feel that the time it took for qi to circulate all over his body had shortened. His concentration afterward entered into the state that unaware of the surroundings, even the system sound telling him that his skill level had risen couldn't be heard by him anymore.
Time had passed. And when Sila came to his sense and opened his eyes again, he felt panicked, as the man in Wuxia's clothes stood in front of him. This man's hand was touching Sila's head, the hand was glowing in white light.
Sila had seen this scene before when Crow slapped the table. That time Crow's hand had been glowing in red light. But with Sila being hit at the head, he thought that it wouldn't matter whether its color was red or white.
'Damn it. I was too careless.'