Ch48 - Game Of Murder
(Curtain of Night)
Edited by Silver Wind
The puppet did not even make a sound before it collapsed suddenly, falling apart without an intact corpse to speak of.
Shen Dongqing retracted his hand back calmly.
The Little Mermaid was shocked: “This, this…”
Zhou Wenyan slipped his hands into his pockets: “Let’s go to the next one.”
In order to celebrate the current wedding, the entire castle was decorated with lanterns and coloured streamers.
The maids were all wearing similar smiles as they hurried along to their destinations and they completely ignored the fact that one of the protagonists of the wedding was lying on the ground and in pieces.
The puppets in castles performed what was preordained in the script and they were utterly unaware of the fact that catastrophe was about to descend from the skies.
Shen Dongqing grabbed a puppet decked in a noble’s costume and slammed him into the wall with practiced ease.
They left broken puppets strewn on the ground in their wake.
The player acting as Little Mermaid was already used to it, and as she followed behind the two big bosses, she helped them deal with some of the fishes that had slipped out of the net.
With Shen Dongqing at the helm of the operations, he pushed open the large doors to the reception room.
Standing inside were various puppets with their delicate features and they were dressed up elegantly, each wearing the same assembly line expressions as they looked over, but that did not detract the horrifying impression it gave when they did it together.
Shen Dongqing rubbed his fist and palm together.
When he was about to stretch his hand out to reach for the puppet that was closest to him, however, a little girl’s shrill voice came from above.
No, it was more accurate to say that time stilled for all the puppets present, and only the players were free to move.
Shen Dongqing raised his head and caught sight of the castle’s rooftops disappearing without a trace before it was replaced with the enlarged face of Susie.
“You bunch of detestable guests, you actually have the audacity to break my puppets, I want to punish you—”
Before she could finish speaking, Zhou Wenyan directly lifted his hunting rifle and loaded his gun before he fired, causing the bullets to fly out and hit the more exquisite-looking puppets in an accurate fashion.
The country’s king, queen and the neighbouring country’s princess— all of them fell.
“Punish us for” Zhou Wenyan hooked up the corners of his mouth with the air of a ruffian.
The words Susie wanted to say were lodged in her throat, and she could not speak for a long time.
As she watched the number of puppets dwindle, she shrieked: “No, all of you get out!”
Before the players could react to the fact that they had left the puppet theatre, a loud cry exploded by their ear.
Susie bawled loudly.
Her little face was red and tears clung onto the curl of her lashes.
Had they not experienced the puppet theatre just now, perhaps the players would have an ounce of sympathy for the little princess; but the fact remains that they had experienced the oddities within the fairy tale stories she had constructed and they wanted to stand further away.
Susie wiped away a handful of tears as she sobbed out: “I want to turn all of you into puppets!”
The players who managed to survive exchanged gazes and they did not understand why this little princess would suddenly change faces.
Whereas the player who acted as the Little Mermaid understood.
She was equally aware that she only managed to get out of her predicament because she had hugged their thighs, and she could not possibly turn her face once she was done hugging.
Thus, she hid among the crowd and went mute with a peace of mind.
After a moment of silence, Zhou Wenyan suddenly opened his mouth to say: “We are the guests of Her Majesty the Queen.”
Therefore, under the stipulations of the rules, the NPCs could not casually kill people.
The Clown’s rule was his death roulette, and Susie’s rule was her puppet theatre.
They were only allowed to kill players in those two environments.
Susie’s expression became cold.
She was obviously a child but she possessed a sombreness that was not suited for an adolescence her age.
“I’m not satisfied.” Susie said unhappily, “I am not satisfied with your puppet theatre, therefore—”
Do it again.
Before Susie had the time to spit out the latter half of her sentence, she saw Zhou Wenyan hauling up a puppet from the side and directly trashing it to the ground.
A clear and melodious sound erupted, scaring the players into a shudder.
Zhou Wenyan stepped on one of the puppet’s arms and stooped over to look at the small Susie: “Are you satisfied”
Susie was angered to the point that she could not speak.
Shen Dongqing understood what Zhou Wenyan was trying to accomplish, so he followed his example by grabbing a puppet and smashing it to the ground.
One crash after another.
The sound was quite pleasant to the ears.
Susie, however, was on the verge of passing out.
Why were there two bandits in the guests that arrived this time around!
“Stop, stop!” She screamed in rage.
Alas, the two bandits did not have the intention to stop.
It was as if Susie had to say that she was satisfied or they would trash all the puppets in the room.
We’re sorry for MTLers or people who like using reading mode, but our translations keep getting stolen by aggregators so we’re going to bring back the copy protection.
If you need to MTL please retype the gibberish parts.
In the end, Susie compromised as she said through gritted teeth: “I’m satisfied!”
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Susie felt like she was about to stop breathing.
“All of you get out for me!” Susie said, devastated, “I don’t want to see you ever again!”
The players walked out of Susie’s bedroom.
Upon surveying, they were unexpectedly left with thirteen players and there were even a few familiar faces in the group.
For instance, Black Hat and the curly-haired girl who killed her boyfriend were still around.
Black Hat adjusted his hat brim and said smilingly, “It seems like her fairy tale world was not as beautiful as she imagined it to be.”
The lady with one functional arm left spoke: “Can we still participate in the tea party now” She used her eyes to gesture at the tightly sealed door.
Curly-haired Girl laughed coldly: “Who angered the NPC, who thinks of an idea.”
For some inexplicable reason, her tone was teeming with hostility.
Shen Dongqing said: “Simple.”
He walked over and knocked on the door gently.
No one answered.
It seemed like Susie was still angry.
Shen Dongqing turned his head back and saw that the other players were staring at him which made him a little embarrassed to give up halfway.
Thus, he lifted his hand and held onto the door handle.
He accidentally exerted too much strength; before he even opened the door, the door lock broke and fell.
Shen Dongqing pretended that nothing happened and threw the door lock into the flowerpot by the door.
Then, he lifted a finger and pushed the door open with the greatest caution.
Susie was not inside the room.
Instead, those shattered puppets were all cleaned up and the originally overcrowded room became a lot emptier.
A player said in surprise: “Those puppets—”
The others looked in the direction he was pointing at.
Since the previous puppets were smashed into pieces, the new puppets that acted as replacements were all brand new, and observing from the lines of their facial features, they resembled the players they entered the puppet theatre with.
In the centre of those puppets sat a cute and small puppet dressed in a thick lace shirt.
Her eyes actively scanned the people who had entered and when they flitted across Shen Dongqing, a glint of poisonous resentment glimmered in her eyes.
“They’ve become puppets.” Thinking of their ending, some people exhaled a cold breath.
Just as some players were about to inspect those puppets, a voice suddenly rang out from behind them: “Randomly touching the collected articles of a master’s home is not what a good guest should do.”
A petite woman wearing garbed in black attire was standing at the door and she gave the players a hospitable smile.
“Guests, please follow me.”
The woman who suddenly appeared was the housekeeper in the castle.
She brought the thirteen players to the large hall where the tea party was held.
Probably because they were trying to coordinate with the theme of a tea party, the large hall was decorated with a dreamy fairytale style.
Purple drooping wisterias hung along the corridors they traversed and the first thing they saw when they entered the large hall was the crystal chandeliers hanging from the ceilings.
The thirteen players took their seats one after another at a round table that was draped in milky white tablecloth with embroidered, pale yellow flowery patterns, and even the knives and forks were tied together with silks fashioned into a bow.
Shen Dongqing and Zhou Wenyan sat down together.
Unexpectedly, the table accommodated thirteen guests exactly, and there was not a seat more or less.
But upon noticing the lack of empty seats, Zhou Wenyan raised an eyebrow and declined to comment.
Black Hat noticed the detail as well but he chose to phrase his observation as a question: “Is Her Majesty the Queen abstaining from this tea party”
The smile on the housekeeper’s lips became slightly strange but she reverted back to normal very quickly.
“Noble guests, there is still some time before the tea party begins proper.”
Black Hat leaned back against his seat and repeated, “There is still some time…”
“Yes,” The housekeeper moved towards the head of the table and gave the players a bow, “Before the tea party begins, perhaps we could play a little game to while away the idle time we have.”
Needless to say, there was no way of rejecting the game.
Shen Dongqing picked up his fork and jabbed the tablecloth to express his rejection: “Can you serve the food first”
Who played games on an empty stomach
The housekeeper placed her right hand on her abdomen and inclined her waist: “A qualified housekeeper will always satisfy any requests the guests have.”
She lifted her arm and clapped her hands at the side of her head.
The doors to the large hall opened slowly.
A line of maids pushed a dining cart walked in, placing the piping hot food on the table.
The food was extremely fragrant but the other players’ focus was not on this aspect because they were more concerned about the “game” that was about to commence.
After experiencing the previous death roulette and puppet theatre, there was no one who felt that this game was safe and harmless.
Thus, no one touched the food and they chose to discuss with their partners in low voices instead.
As Zhou Wenyan picked up a croissant and slathered butter in an orderly manner with a dining knife, he asked: “What’s the matter”
It was rare to see Xiao Dongqing being disinterested in food.
Shen Dongqing lamented: “I want to eat hotpot.”
His past two meals had been Western food and he was growing weary of it.
However, because he understood that it was impossible to have hotpot in a game with a Western setting, he could only reluctantly finish all the food in front of him.
The pendulum of the wall clock struck.
The maids walked back into the room soundlessly and cleared the plates in front of the guests.
“Hm, what is this” Shen Dongqing noticed that after the plates had been removed, a piece of paper that was two fingers wide was left behind.
He picked it up and saw that written in scarlet letters was the word “Executioner”.
Shen Dongqing’s first reaction was to show the slip of paper to Zhou Wenyan.
However, before he had the time to do so, he heard the housekeeper speak.
“The first rule of the game, do not divulge your identities.”
Once her words fell, the paper in Shen Dongqing’s hands became fine powder and left naught of its trace, and the same could be said of the other player’s slips.
“Second rule of the game, the executioner can murder any person during the ‘Curtain of the Night’.”
The crystal chandelier above her head flickered once before the entire large hall was plunged into thick darkness, save the single candelabrum in the housekeeper’s hand and when the gloomy illumination from the candlelight touched her face, it made her appear rather strange.
With blood red lips, the housekeeper evoked a half-smile and said: “Welcome to the Curtain of Night—”
It was as if someone had flipped the switch because rays of light descended from the skies.
Out of the thirteen players, only three of them were enveloped in the beam while the others were excluded; seemingly partitioned off by a black layer which made them hazy and indistinct to the eye.
Shen Dongqing opened his eyes and realised that he was one of the lucky people who had been enshrouded by the light beam.
Apart from him, there was also the girl with curly hair and Black Hat.
Shen Dongqing wanted to call out to Zhou Wenyan but for a reason he did not comprehend, they seemed to be in different spaces and they could not communicate with each other.
He turned to look at the other two executioners.
Black Hat and Curly Girl did not take any rash actions either.
Expressionless, the housekeeper explained the rules to them: “The Curtain of the Night lasts for a duration of ten minutes and the executioners are allowed to choose one person to murder every curtain of night.
When the curtain of night ends, the person being chosen will die.”
“The conditions to end the game are, one, the executioner must kill all the players in the game; two, the victims must deduce who the executioners are; three…” The housekeeper issued a bone-chilling laugh and said with some expectation, “No one survives.”
“May the executioners choose the victim of the first curtain of night.”
Once she was done speaking, the housekeeper merged into the darkness.
Shen Dongqing licked away the cheese residue at the corners of his mouth and asked: “Can we not kill people”
The housekeeper said: “You may.”
Shen Dongqing: “I choose to kill no one then.”
He was a person who was fond of peace.
Curly-haired Girl said: “If we don’t kill someone, we’ll be wasting the first curtain of night.”
The housekeeper’s gaze was cold.
“One against one.”
The decisive point was with Black Hat, and he lowered his head to contemplate.
Thus, the housekeeper reminded: “The curtain of night is about to end.”
Black Hat raised his head, “I choose to kill no one.”
The housekeeper was a little disappointed: “Tonight is a peaceful night with no victims.”
The crystal chandelier brightened again and the darkness scattered.
Shen Dongqing looked to his side and Zhou Wenyan was still sitting there.
He opened his mouth, wanting to say something but was stopped by Zhou Wenyan.
Without any fluctuations in her voice, the housekeeper repeated: “Tonight was a peaceful night, and please, in the order that you took your seats, provide a defence for yourselves.
When all the defences are given.
We will conduct a vote, and the person with the most votes will be eliminated.”
This game was quite similar to Werewolf but the killing method for the current game was a little simpler.
The first person who took a seat was the lady with a broken arm and she was familiar with the details regarding Werewolf.
After staying silent for a moment, she said: “No one died on the first night.
I suggest that we should not go through with the voting and wait until someone has died.”
The second person was the other lady who had accompanied the broken armed lady and she nodded her head: “I think the same.”
Because they had too little information, everyone could not make a proper judgement; after all, if they were cast the wrong vote and it was not an executioner in the end, it was equivalent to committing suicide.
Thus, the proceeding players all chose to give up their votes.
When it was Shen Dongqing’s turn, he asked curiously.
“What will happen if absolutely no murders occur and no votes are cast”
The housekeeper went quiet for a moment before she said: “Her Majesty the Queen will be displeased, and only one ending will come out of her unhappiness, which is… all the guests will be phased out.”
As to what ‘phased out’ meant need not be said; it could only be the word ‘death’.
The last person to speak was Zhou Wenyan.
He surveyed all the players at the scene and stopped briefly at Black Hat’s face.
He asked: “What happens if an executioner is found”
The housekeeper replied: “For murdering someone, they will be stabbed with a knife at the end.”
If the executioner was found, their only ending is death.
Zhou Wenyan nodded to convey that he had no further questions.
“The Curtain of the Night falls—”
Darkness descended once more.
Holding onto her candelabrum, the housekeeper reiterated: “Executioners are never soft-hearted.” You should be killing.
Black Hat looked towards Shen Dongqing and queried: “Which player do you think is better to kill”
Shen Dongqing: “All of them are not better or worse.”
Black Hat: “Oh.”
Shen Dongqing: “I like peace, I choose to abstain.”
Curly-haired Girl sneered: “Then I am the exact opposite.
I don’t want to waste our time tonight, I want to—” She raised her hand and pointed to one of the people, “Kill him.”
Shen Dongqing’s gaze landed on the Curly-haired Girl’s finger before he looked over accordingly and saw that her target was the darkness enshrouded Zhou Wenyan.
Curly-haired Girl’s facial features distorted slightly, “Both of you obviously had the strength to save everyone but you did not stand up immediately to save us, and you harmed my boyfriend.”
She was precisely the girl who killed her boyfriend to save her own life.
Shen Dongqing wondered, “Weren’t you the one who killed him”
He refused to carry this blame.
The Curly-haired Girl’s expression stagnated before her hysteria increased, “It’s all your faults! I want to kill the person you like as well!”
The housekeeper: “One against one, please cast your vote.”
Once more, the decisive vote was placed on Black Hat’s person again.
Black Hat lowered his hat brim and rasped out: “I’ll follow—” he hesitated for a beat before he glanced at the Curly-haired Girl— “Her.”
Black Hat was not necessarily a good person.
The lack of killing in the first round was for the purpose of gathering more information, and now that it was the second round, he would not waste any more time.
In his eyes, Zhou Wenyan was a competitor and if he could borrow the chance to off him, he could not let the opportunity pass.
Shen Dongqing’s complexion changed and a rare nervousness spread across his face.
The curtain of the night came to an end.
The housekeeper read out loud: “Tonight was a night of rain, and blood rain fell from the skies, the deceased is…”
Shen Dongqing wanted to inform Zhou Wenyan but no matter what he did, he could not open his mouth.
As a result, a sense of frustration blocked his chest and he had no way to vent it besides staring at Zhou Wenyan, the fork in his hand had long deformed under the force of his grip.
When Zhou Wenyan discovered Shen Dongqing’s aggravation, he turned his head to the side and gave him a comforting smile before he mouthed:
The housekeeper remained silent for a long period of time.
Curly-haired Girl felt like her breath was being stifled and she shot repeated glances at the housekeeper.
Under the multitude of eyes, the housekeeper finally managed to breath out the air she had been holding in, “Apologies, killing this particular victim is too difficult, I am incapable of substituting this execution.”
There was such an operation The NPC was incapable of killing
She almost blurted her thoughts out but thankfully, she managed to hold them back in the end.
However, her entire face had turned ghastly pale from ire.
The housekeeper was helpless too.
Who would choose someone so fierce from the get-go Who would be able to handle it
“The curtain of night has been restarted, may the executioners make their choice again.”
Having finally entered the curtain of night, the Curly-haired Girl could not wait to ask: “Why couldn’t you kill him”
The housekeeper had already shamed herself to begin with; now that she was being asked by the Curly-haired girl again, her annoyance spiked.
“Because the disparity of strength between you and him is excessively wide and the rate of success is too low, thus the execution cannot be implemented.”
Curly-haired Girl pointed at herself: “Me”
Housekeeper: “Weren’t you the one who chose the murder target Naturally, the execution imitates your strength.”
Unfortunately, she was akin to a trussed up and weak chicken.
Then, the Curly-haired Girl pointed at Black Hat: “Doesn’t he count for something”
The housekeeper shook her head: “The difficulty is still too high, only this executioner is capable of killing him.” She pointed at Shen Dongqing.
Shen Dongqing said placidly, “I’ve already said that I choose world peace.”
Curly-haired Girl slumped in her seat, despondent.
Black Hat stated, “If you don’t choose to kill someone, we can’t end the game.”
Shen Dongqing smiled, causing a small dimple to emerge on his cheek.
“Fine, I’ll choose one then.”
His gaze roved around before it landed on Curly-haired Girl’s person.
“I choose to kill her.”
That caused the Curly-haired Girl to raise her voice suddenly and it was extremely sharp to the ear.
“I am an executioner as well.”
Shen Dongqing: “No one disallowed it.”
Yes, Shen Dongqing did not like hurting people.
But if someone touched his bottom line, then he had no choice but to do so.
The housekeeper was fine with it.
“That is indeed the case, executioners are allowed to mutually kill each other.”
Trembling, Curly-haired Girl lifted her hand.
“I’ll vote for him as well then!”
An infighting broke out amongst the executioners before anything had happened.
The housekeeper watched on with amusement.
“One against one.”
For the third time, the final decision rested with Black Hat again.