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Chapter 77

Chen Lubai lost her horse and cried bitterly like Daiyu mourning the fallen flowers, almost blurting out a verse of “Elegy for the Burial of a Horse” in front of everyone.

(T/N: “Elegy for the Burial of a Horse”  is a Chinese poem title attributed to the Tang Dynasty poet Li Bai, also known as Li Po. The poem depicts the sorrow and lamentation surrounding the burial of a horse.

Lin Daiyu is a fictional character in the classic Chinese novel “Dream of the Red Chamber” (also known as “The Story of the Stone”), written by Cao Xueqin during the Qing Dynasty in the 18th century. Lin Daiyu is one of the central characters in the novel and is portrayed as a beautiful, sensitive, and melancholic young woman.)

Both He Zhizhou and Zheng Weiqi were cultivators. Although they hadn’t reached that level of invulnerability, their ability to withstand pressure and beatings was certainly superior to that of ordinary people.

This time, after falling from the horse, apart from He Zhizhou’s fragile heart suffering serious damage, the others were unharmed.

Old Master Chen, who rushed to the scene upon hearing the news, shook his head in distress, tears uncontrollably streaming down his face. “Tonight, let’s feast on horse meat!”

Ning Ning led the two injured individuals, looking mournful, back to their room. Before they could enter, they saw the figure of Pei Ji.

“Little Senior Sister.”

He looked at the three with indifference, eventually fixing his gaze on Ning Ning.

“Got some clues.”

Zheng Weiqi felt humiliated by the narrator’s remarks about the horse fall, but upon hearing this, she regained some vigor, her eyes shining brightly as she lifted her head. “It’s still Junior Brother who is reliable! I hope some wild man surnamed ‘He’ can learn from you!”

He Zhizhou, thick-skinned as a city wall, ignored her jab and continued, “What clues?”

After asking, he hurriedly added, “Junior Brother Pei, you don’t know, but just now all the horses in the stable went crazy. Senior Sister and I struggled to calm the chaos. From my deduction, there must be an extremely powerful demon hidden in the Chen Mansion; otherwise, they wouldn’t have reacted so strongly.”

Ning Ning smiled. “Let’s talk about it slowly in the room.”

Although initially in front of Chen Yaoguang’s door, after some discussion, they decided to wait for the opportunity, quietly waiting for the moment when the demon gate opened, and then draw their swords to fight —

But that was just talk on the surface.

Although sword cultivators might be reckless, the vast majority of them still had brains.

Since they knew early on that this tower’s difficulty level was extremely high, if they continued to poke around like frogs, they might not only end up eating horse meat tonight but also possibly have their heads chopped off and fried.

It was useless to keep them anyway, so they might as well use them to fill their bellies.

At that time, He Zhizhou teased Ning Ning with a voice transmission, calling her “Official Ning.”

When she responded, she directly made a sound.

There was no other reason than to let the hidden hand possibly monitoring them relax their guard upon hearing it, reducing their vigilance against them.

—At the same time, she is also using the voice transmission to tell others about her true thoughts.

“What? Someone is monitoring us behind the scenes?”

He Zhizhou was puzzled.

“Who is the hidden hand?”

Zheng Weiqi stretched lazily, joining the voice transmission group chat, “Most likely it’s Chen Lubai.”

Pei Ji nodded.

He Zhizhou:?

Wait, are you guys really not chatting secretly? Why does the situation now feel like when he used to attend math class, where everyone started at the same starting line, but as soon as he blinked, he couldn’t understand anything anymore?

“I have always been concerned; if we can’t explore with divine consciousness inside the Floating Tower, then why arrange a plot where Zhao Yunluo is trapped and we can’t do anything but watch her die?”

Ning Ning said, “This is a completely meaningless plot, entirely dispensable. From another perspective, if the problem is not with the Floating Tower but with Zhao Yunluo herself?”

None of the three spoke, quietly listening to her continue, “Think about it; there is something that looks exactly like a person, can move, laugh, and talk, but lacks consciousness. She is certainly not a dead object like a table or chair, so other than that, there is only one possibility.”

Pei Ji broke the silence unprecedentedly with “Hallucination.”

As soon as these two words came out, it caused He Zhizhou to sigh bitterly: “But Ning Ning analyzed earlier that the problem was not with the Floating Tower —”

At this point, he suddenly froze.

If… the illusions in the Chen Mansion did not come from the Floating Tower but from another illusion within the illusion?

“The Floating Tower nourishes the spiritual energy of the world, and its strength is extremely powerful. Even if it’s staging an illusion, the characters in it should also be endowed with illusory consciousness — but ordinary demons can’t reach this level.”

Ning Ning pondered for a moment, then said seriously, “Do you remember when we came back together with Chen Lubai? Just as we arrived at the gate, she was summoned away by Old Master Chen. While his daughter-in-law was in imminent danger, the father called his daughter aside to talk about other things. That doesn’t seem normal, no matter how you think about it.”

“And just as we bid farewell, Chen Lubai came to visit her sister-in-law. That seems too coincidental.”

Zheng Weiqi nodded after hearing this. “Perhaps she already knew that the fake people in the illusion had no consciousness, and she guessed that once we couldn’t perceive Zhao Yunluo, we would continue to try to sense others. If she is the creator of the entire illusion, her consciousness should be detectable by us, which would break all the lies.”

He Zhizhou exclaimed heavily, “So she deliberately left at that time, waiting for us to leave the room before coming to investigate the situation!”

He never liked using his brain, but now he inevitably became curious like a baby.

“But there’s something I don’t understand. If the illusion was created by Chen Lubai, then she didn’t need to use the Nightmares. This thing would easily expose her. Won’t it be better to use other demons?”

This question also puzzled Zheng Weiqi.

Yes, setting up a scene where Nightmares possessed Zhao Yunluo, deliberately exposing the fact that she had no consciousness—

What was Chen Lubai’s plan?

“It should be related to the difficulty of creating the illusion.”

During a moment of silence, it was unexpectedly Pei Ji who spoke up: “I have read some related books. It is claimed in the books that setting up an illusion requires a huge amount of spiritual power, which ordinary demons cannot withstand, not to mention the vast area of Goose City. It’s very difficult to cover everything comprehensively.”

This top-ranking scholar in the academy spoke in a calm voice, effortlessly surpassing two scumbag students, Zheng Weiqi and He Zhizhou.

Ning Ning heard about this for the first time and looked at him with some curiosity, then listened as Pei Ji continued, “In this situation, the most convenient method is to use memory, integrating illusion techniques with memories, greatly reducing the difficulty of constructing scenes. So the scenes we see now should all be events remembered by Chen Lubai—things that truly happened in Goose City.



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