Part 1 Special Episode: Four Years
(TN: This is a special/extra that should be read after chapter 33. It starts right after Xiu got sucked into the door.)
Xiu woke up and found himself in a silver-white enclosed space with no entrance or exit. He remembered being sucked in by that door.
As Xiu got up, a foreign body attracted his attention and he noticed that he had some papers in his hand – it was the pages that had been torn from Du Ze’s book when they were separated by the door. When they were in the reverse side of the continent, Xiu had opened that book and read until the second page before Du Ze woke up.
Xiu hesitated for a moment, then examined the pages.
The whole space was quiet. The only sound came from Xiu turning the pages, but the gnome’s tiny ears, hidden in his flaxen hair, became tinged with crimson.
Suddenly, a blue light swept over the room and a small figure appeared. Xiu unthinkingly hid the papers behind his back. The figure was short and had pointed ears, showing that he was a gnome. The gnome smiled at Xiu.
“Welcome to the Gate of Wisdom, child.”
“It’s really a work of art,” the gnome exclaimed as the examined the mechanical puppet. “There’s no difference between this mechanical puppet and a man.”
He tiptoed to touch the head of the mechanical puppet. “If it has feelings then it’s no different from real people.”
The gnome looked at Xiu: “You are the most gifted child I have ever seen.”
Hearing the praise, Xiu did not show a happy expression and he just asked: “Can I leave?”
“Of course, child.” The gnome waved his hand and a metal bracelet engraved with three stars appeared in front of Xiu: “This is the highest mechanical certificate I can give you. In fact, you are already a five star mechanic. After you get out of here, you can take your work to the “Severity” plaza to upgrade your star rank – I suggest that you get five stars so you can take five-star materials from the “Foundation” plaza.1
The gnome rankings use stars. There are a total of 7 star ranks. Depending on the gnome’s star ranking, they can get the corresponding star level material and command the corresponding star ranked mechanical puppet.
Xiu took the bracelet and the metal chain automatically clasped itself on his wrist. The gnome stood opposite him. This time his smile looked more spontaneous and less programmed.
“Congratulations child, you are ready to graduate.”
When Xiu came out of the Gate of Wisdom, he saw Old John guarding the door. The old mechanical puppet saw Xiu and the blue lights in its eyes glowed with delight.
“Welcome back.” Old John looked at the bracelet on Xiu’s wrist: “Three stars already? Looks like our new little Master is very good.”
Beside them a machine beeped. It seemed to agree and cheer. Xiu glanced around him but did not find the person he was looking for.
“Where is he?”
Old John’s blue lights flickered and his voice was full of sadness.
“There is one thing I have to tell you …”
The little Phoenix stood at the top of the wheel of time, languishing. It occasionally pecked the golden outer ring of the wheel of time as though trying to get the big guy to return its “Mother.” Suddenly, a small figure appeared in its field of vision and the small Phoenix issued a tender cry, bouncing up and down on the wheel of time.
“Chirp, chirp, chirp!”
Xiu stared fixedly at the wheel of time. All the numbers and runes were brightly lit, which seemed to indicate that it was functioning. He stretched out his hand and pressed on the wheel of time.
That person … is in there?
Xiu turned around and scanned the information and records that were on the ground. His amber eyes flashed with a hint of ruthlessness.
I’ll pull you out!
Rachel stood at the top of the metal pyramid, overlooking the huge space. Even she felt an indescribable thrill and shock.
This is the legendary space eye. 30,000 years ago the gnomes built this metal pyramid to block the space eye. Since then, the reverse side of the continent had not had access to the “channel” to the Chaos Continent.
Rachel chased the clues which led here. The mechanical puppets in the Death Swamp brought them a little trouble, but those machines could not stop the Thunder Regiment’s footsteps. They went to the Lost Land, entered the pillar of light, and received a great surprise.
The “channel” that had been blocked for thousands of years was finally open again.
Rachel glanced at the space eye below and took her men away. If no location is indicated, the space eye will transfer each person into a random place on the other side. She had to go back and get ready for the space eye. In addition, she was going to spread this exciting news across the reverse side of the continent.
The demons have waited too long. Now it’s time for them to return to the Chaos Continent.
The little Phoenix flapped its wings. Its feathers have grown out and it no longer flies like a drunk man, clumsily bumping into things. Old John smiled. If one did not know that he was a mechanical puppet, one would mistake the smiling, brown-haired mechanical puppet for an ordinary man.
Xiu changed the obsolete mechanical puppet’s shell so that Old John could more easily look after the baby Phoenix. Old John fed the small Phoenix, and then looked at his small master whose head was still buried in the research data. Xiu’s food had already become cold.
As a race, gnomes are curious and stubborn. Old John often thought that if only they were not so curious, they would not have perished. And if they had not been so stubborn, they wouldn’t have suffered so much pain.
Xiu put down the report in his hand. No matter how many times he looked at it, no matter how many tests he did, he always arrived at the same conclusion: he had no way of controlling the wheel of time.
According to the Gnome Research Report, the wheel of time is an artifact through which you can access the law of time.
Xiu looked at the huge wheel of time, revealing a strong determination2 in his eyes.
Since it is an artifact that is activated, it must have a master. So who is its master?
Part 2 Special Episode: Four Years
The gnome’s record reads: ______ gave the wheel of time to the gnome race.
Xiu rummaged through all of the gnome’s data and never found the name that should be in that blank space. According to all of the information he could access, the gnomes attempted to manipulate the law of time, thus they were erased by time, but the deliberately erased name implies that things are not that simple. Xiu stared blankly at the blank.1 He wanted to know who this person is. Compared to the gnomes of old who wanted to manipulate time itself, Xiu was more concerned with snatching control of the wheel of time from that unknown person.
Since he could not find the master of the artifact, then he would need to work directly on the artifact itself.
Yet even if he has earned his six-star credentials, he is still unable to shake the wheel of time. The immense wheel, as always, was quiet and shining, as if laughing at mortal powerlessness and presumptuousness.
If mortals cannot control it, then … What about a god?
Xiu took out Dan’s note and tore it apart without hesitation.
Three days later, the green-clothed merchant appeared in the Gnome ruins.
“Gee, you really made me look hard for you.” Dan took the book in his right hand, looking at the steel city with great interest. “Luckily, the channel is open, otherwise I would have a credibility crisis.”
Dan addressed the flaxen-haired gnome. “That must be Your Excellency’s masterpiece. So, what kind of deal do you want to make with me this time?”
“Get my companion out of it.” Xiu pointed to the wheel of time. “I will pay anything.”
“I didn’t see the human, was he sucked in?” Dan glanced at the wheel of time, and then asked Xiu to confirm it again: “What’s the reward?”
After getting Xiu’s affirmation, Dan went to the front of the wheel of time and pressed his hand on it. “How exciting!”
The light of the wheel of time became more dazzling but Dan jerked back a few steps. He was silent for a while then said to Xiu: “It’s a pity but I’m afraid I’m incapable of completing this transaction.”
“You are a god … you really can’t do anything?”
Dan’s eyes narrowed and his normally harmless demeanor was replaced by a terrifying manner. In a flash Old John moved in front of Xiu, falling into an attack posture.
“You know?” Dan’s voice was very light and dangerous: “How did you find out?”
“Answer my previous question,” said Xiu, still standing upright even in the face of pressure as heavy as a mountain, “and I’ll tell you.”
Dan gazed coldly at Xiu. It was as though he was looking at an ant.
The sweat slid down the gnome’s cheek and the whole room seemed to solidify.
The next moment, Dan patted the book on his forehead, and went back to his usual harmless appearance.
“Your Excellency really makes me feel embarrassed. I don’t want to lose such a satisfied customer.” Dan raised the book slightly, revealing a bitter face. “It is a master artifact that can be destroyed but not controlled – only its master can control it.”
Xiu already knew this but he did not think that even a god cannot seize control of the wheel of time. “Who is its master?
“I don’t know.” Dan shook his head: “I can only say that it gave me the feeling that I should not meddle with this object … Don’t look at me like that, a god is not omnipotent, not to mention I can’t use my power now. Maybe one day your partner will come out.”
The green-clothed demon spread his hands. “Well, I’ve answered your question, can you answer mine now?”
“… He told me.”
“He?” Dan immediately reacted and followed Xiu’s eyes to the wheel of time. “How did he find out? Why would an ordinary man – ”
Xiu’s heart beat violently and he eagerly interrupted Dan’s words. Xiu didn’t realize that his voice trembled as he said: “Wait – did you say he is an ordinary man?”
“What else?” Dan looked at Xiu with amazement. “What do you think he is?”
“… a god?”
Xiu watched the green-clothed merchant shake his head with great certainty.
“No, he is not a god.”
Deep in the depths of the sea of undead souls, in a house built of bones, the lid of a black coffin slid open. A wrinkled hand grasped the edge of the coffin. Slowly, a dried-out body rose.
The mummy clapped her hands, and a bat flew over with a bottle of red liquid. The mummy took the bottle and opened the lid. The house was filled with the rich scent of blood.
“Glug, glug, glug.”
After the contents were all gulped down, a white, plump hand put down the empty bottle. The tips of the hand were painted red.
The mummy had disappeared, replaced by a sexy woman with long, straight black hair who wore a Necromancer’s black robe. She stretched.
“I’ve been asleep a long time and my bones are rusty,” said the woman, placing her red fingertips to her red lips and giggling. “Let my lovely disciple come and stretch with me.”
The coquettish woman got up and used the contract to summon her beloved student, but the information she got from the contract made her stop in her tracks.
The voluptuous woman’s body began to tremble, long fangs burst from her mouth and stabbed her red lips, drawing blood.
“Who was it? Who dared to kill my student Anat?!” A furious breath rolled over the bone house, and the woman’s voice became ugly with anger. “I want him to die!!!”
Xiu remembered a story he had heard.
A demon was sealed by God. For the first 100 years, the demon thought that if someone were to release it, the demon will give that person countless treasures. However, 100 years passed and no one released it
For the second 100 years, the demon thought that if someone were to release it, the demon will give that person the best things in the world. However, 200 years passed and no one released it.
For the third 100 years, the demon thought that if someone were to release it, the demon will make all of that person’s wishes come true. Unfortunately, 300 years passed and no one released it.
The demon became desperate and furiously said to himself: “If someone releases me, then I will kill that person!”
The first time he heard the story, Xiu was so ignorant that he could not understand why the demon would choose to kill its benefactor. He thought, “oh, it’s because he is a devil.” Xiu could not understand that demon’s hope and despair.
But now that he has experienced it himself, Xiu understood that waiting for something without knowing when it will come is pure agony.
Day after day, the little Phoenix was growing up.
The parts he made for Old John were getting more and more elaborate.
But Du Ze never showed up.
The excitement of hearing the news that Du Ze is not a god began to cool down. He may not have to wait for that man anymore.
That man is his only hope. He can lose everything except for Du Ze. He will never let him go.
He waited for a year, then another year, and in the blink of an eye another year passed by.
The gnome’s little figure leaned against the wheel of time. He put his face on the wheel and lowered his eyes.
Come out quickly, I want to see you.
Come out quickly, I want to say something to you.
Come out quickly, I’m already … I can hardly bear it anymore.
The demon says if someone releases it, it will kill that person.
The surface of the wheel reflected Xiu’s eyes. The color was so bright that it seemed to ooze blood.