GOR Chapter 681 Central Zone
“Adam, are you sure you don’t need any equipment?”
Shen was standing at the place once known as the main control area. He held Adam with his right hand.
“Mm! Gibbs told me before, I was designed this way.” Adam nodded vigorously.
“Fine! So, are you willing to help me?” Shen turned and crouched down to face Adam. He placed both his palms on his cheeks.
“Mm… … I want to see the ocean! I want to sit on a boat and fish!”
“Naturally, you can.”
“I want to go hiking! The tallest mountain!”
“I want to fly a plane!”
“I also want to…” Adam tilted his head and thought for a long time before saying, “At any rate, I want it all!”
“I, will give you all, Adam. As long as you can get out from here together with me.”
“All right!” Adam smiled happily and nodded vigorously.
“Well then, let’s get started.”
Shen stood up and pulled Adam toward the curtain of light in front of them.
“Shen, have you considered the consequences of doing this?”
Zero City’s voice rang out.
“There is no need for you to tell me that. You have no idea just how long I have been waiting for this moment…” said Shen softly, a smile on his face.
Adam reached his hand out to press upon the surface of the curtain of light. His palm was seemingly pressing into a layer of water, easily moving into the curtain of light.
Before Zero City was attacked, this important screen was placed within the main control area. Be it the members from Zero City’s resident guilds or temporary visitors, all were allowed to touch it.
Regardless of who they may be, after pressing their hands on the screen, they could only feel a near inexistent response. The only thing to appear on the surface of the screen were minor water ripples. Through the translucent screen, it was possible to look at anything behind.
However, when Adam extended his hand to press it on the screen, a completely different scene transpired.
His hand disappeared.
It was as though the screen had swallowed his hand.
Adam turned his head to look at Shen. “You promised, Shen. You will take me out.”
Next, he took a step forward and his whole figure disappeared into the screen.
The screen remained quiet. Only water ripples appeared from that action and they slowly subsided away, returning to its original state.
“Something is not right.”
Frowning, Nicole stopped moving.
“What is wrong?” Tian Lie stopped as well, turning to look at Nicole.
“The road… … it’s wrong.” Nicole shook her head. “We have been walking for so long. We should have arrived by now.”
“Are you certain?” Tian Lie smiled. “Could you have made a mistake?”
“Even though most of this place have been destroyed, I can still clearly remember the general layout of this place. I had lived here for a very long time, after all.” Nicole shook her head; a firm look on her face. “Starting from the central plaza, first is the Hunter King Guild’s headquarters, then Rodriar Guild’s headquarters, then the Angel Corps’ residential area. After that comes the Board of Patriarch’s building. However…”
Nicole stretched out her hand to point at a pile of ruins on their right. “The order that we see during out move forward has been messed around with. This was the Angel Corps’ residential area. Additionally, this is the second time we are here.”
“Someone is pulling the strings here?” Tian Lie tightened his fists.
“No, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a human,” said Nicole after some consideration.
“Actually, confirming this is very simple.” Tian Lie laughed out. “By looking at it from the sky, won’t everything be revealed? If we can see the Board of Patriarchs’ building from the sky, just fly over to it. If what we see does not match what you remember, we can… … figure something out to find that fellow!”
Having said that, Tian Lie extended his hand toward Nicole.
“What are you doing?” Nicole regarded Tian Lie warily.
“Pull me up! You can fly, I cannot.” Tian Lie shrugged. “What did you think I wanted to do?”
“Nothing.” Nicole hesitated for a moment before extending her hand. As she was about to grab Tian Lie’s hand, she suddenly heard a voice speaking out. “No need to look. I had indeed made slight alterations to your surrounding space earlier.”
Nicole jerked her head around but saw no one.
“Don’t bother looking for me. You cannot see me. Now, you need only listen to what I have to say quietly.” The voice was seemingly originating from no fixed points. She could not figure out which direction the voice had come from. In fact, it was as though the voice had appeared right beside their ears. “I have no malicious intentions. It is just that I was occupied with something else earlier. Thus, I had no time to receive you two. As it is… … it seems I will need your help.”
“Help?” Tian Lie sneered. “Who are you? Why should I help you?”
“No, I am not talking to you. I meant the girl beside you.” The voice continued coolly, “Nicole, the Floating Angel of the Angel Corps, guild number 0052.”
“You… you are?” Nicole hesitated for a moment. A speculation had formed in her mind, but she could not be certain.
“I am Zero City. More accurately, I am Zero City’s main control system.”
Nicole was taken aback. She had wanted to say something but was interrupted by Zero City. “Do not doubt me. As it is, we do not have the time. What I need you to do right now is of utmost urgency. I believe… you should be able to sense my existence.”
The moment Nicole heard the voice, her whole body was visited by a strange sensation. It was similar to when she had touched that screen back then, establishing a spiritual connection with the main control system of Zero City. This time however, the feeling was stronger.
If the feeling she felt in the past was the equivalent of watching a Japanese *** movie with heavy mosaic, then the present feeling was like watching a 3D Bluray version with 4K resolution.
“Yes, I can feel it.” Nicole closed her eyes. After a few seconds, she opened her eyes again. “What do you want me to do?”
“Me. I want you to… … obtain me.”
The moment Zero City’s voice rang out, the scene before them flashed. When everything became illuminated once more, the surrounding city ruins had disappeared. They were standing upon smooth floor.
The sky was pure white and the same was true for the floor. The whiteness extended as far as the eye could see, seemingly endless.
Before them was a door.
Beside the door stood a man.
He was a middle-aged man with an ordinary face. It was so ordinary that, no matter how much they looked at him, the moment they turned their gaze away, they would completely forget his appearance.
“You, you are… … Zero City’s core?” Nicole looked at the man.
“Yes.” The man nodded his head. “Just call me Zero. Although you have never met me, I believe you must remember the sensation from touching the screen.”
“Yes, I remember.” Nicole nodded. “Where is this…”
“Zero City’s central zone.” Zero pointed at the door. “More accurately, it is the path toward the central zone of Zero City.”
“The central zone?” Nicole frowned.
“Yes. Your place of residence is just Zero City’s outer part. No one has truly entered the real central zone before, not even me.” Zero smiled. “At any rate, I am just an administrator. The only ones with the authority to enter the central zone are the founders.”
“Founders?” Nicole had only blurted out the word when Zero waved his hand and interrupted her. “We do not have enough time for unrelated questions. Follow me. I will slowly explain it to you along the way.”
After saying that, Zero extended his hand to slowly open the door before them.
Beyond the door was darkness. Their eyes could see nothing.
Nicole took two steps forward. However, Tian Lie stood still.
“You want us to go in, so we must go in? What will happen if I do not want to go in?” Tian Lie cast a cold gaze at Zero.
“I am just a system administrator. I cannot be harmed by anyone nor do I have the authority to harm anyone. I will just send you out.” Zero turned to Tian Lie with a smile on his face. “I mean, send you out of Zero City.”
“Tell me, where is Shen?”
“Like us, he is on his way to the central zone. Thus, I hope you two can hurry it up. At the very least, you must arrive before them.” Zero City appeared somewhat anxious. However, he could maintain his air of grace. “Miss Nicole, are you ready?”
Nicole gave Tian Lie a glance. “I am going. You?”
Tian Lie and Nicole exchanged glances before stepping toward the door without hesitation.
The two of them walked through the door.
After stepping through the doorframe, the darkness before them immediately disappeared. In its place was a narrow passageway, one that barely allowed two people to walk side by side.
The passageway was made using azure-coloured bricks and appeared very solid. There were two forking paths up ahead.
“Please come with me. The process of getting this key does not involve fighting. So, the two of you can relax for the moment.” Zero cast a smile at the two of them before turning around to walk ahead.
“This key?” Nicole keenly noticed those important words. “You mean to say, there are other situations where we will need to fight?”
“Yes.” Zero nodded, not stopping at all. “The path toward Zero City’s central zone is locked. There is a total of six keys that can open the path. By obtaining just three of the keys, one can enter the central zone. The process to obtain each of the keys differ. You can consider it as… … mini instance dungeons.”
“Three keys?” Tian Lie quickly said, “In other words, we need to clear three instance dungeons?”
“Correct. However, it is as I had said, only a tiny one. Additionally, as a system administrator, I possess a certain level of authority. Originally, the assignment of instance dungeons for every patron is random. However, I can make certain arrangements and select instance dungeons that are easier.” After making his way to the forking position, Zero did not hesitate to turn left and continue walking. “This first instance dungeon is just a labyrinth. Although it is very complicated, you two can simply follow me.”
As he was talking, the three of them had passed by three other intersections. Zero had not stopped any of the times when they reached an intersection. It was as though the layout of the labyrinth had been etched into his mind.
“Fine. You should be able to tell me now… … what happened here? What is going on? And, this thing you want me to do, what will happen after that?” Nicole asked in quick succession.
“There is this person who wants to gain authority over me.” As he walked, Zero turned to look at Tian Lie. “It sounds as though you know him.”
“Something like… … half a friend.” Tian Lie nodded his head. “The reason I came here is to find him.”
“If that is the case, you will be able to see him later.” Zero then continued conversing with Nicole. “If he successfully obtains authority over me, some really bad things will happen. At present, it would appear as though I have no way of preventing that from happening. So, if it is inevitable that authority over me is seized… … the one to obtain it absolutely cannot be Shen.”
“Why?” Tian Lie interjected coolly, “Be it Shen or Nicole, is there a difference?”
“Because I have received a command.” Zero shook his head. “The command instructs me to do everything that is possible to prevent Shen from obtaining authority over me. Additionally, the priority of this command supersedes all others.”
Nicole cast a vigilant look at Tian Lie. “What are you trying to say?”
“Don’t worry!” Tian Lie laughed and raised up both his hands. “I have long since quit Thorned Flower Guild. I am no longer on the same team as Shen. The things he wants to do, the objectives he wants to achieve, all of them have nothing to do with me. While coming here, I have told you many times. My reason for coming here is to determine that he is alive and not in danger. That is all.”
“You really will not help him seize authority over Zero City?” Nicole looked at Tian Lie suspiciously.
“Little angel, you should be thankful that your words just now were uttered to the current me.” Tian Lie cast a deep gaze at Nicole. “After my rebirth, and after getting to know Chen Xiaolian, my temper has improved considerably. Before then, all who questioned my words… … have been punished. Mm, a very heavy punishment.”
“So, I should be thanking Chen Xiaolian?” Nicole sneered.
“You should be thanking me for being a magnanimous person,” replied Tian Lie, shrugging his shoulders.
Nicole rolled her eyes and ignored Tian Lie. She then asked Zero, “If so… … what will happen to me after I obtain authority over Zero City?”
“I do not know.” Zero shook his head. “This has never happened before.”
“If that is the case… … why did you receive the command that Shen must not seize authority over you?” Nicole could not understand.
“I do not know. Even if I do, answering the question is something beyond my authority level,” said Zero with a smile. “I have no will of my own. I can only obey the commands I am given.”
“Then, who gave you that command? Can you answer that?”
“Yes.” Zero nodded. “The authority holder who gave that command is Chen Xiaolian.”