Xiao Tangqiu pushed Tang Mianmian through the door and headed for the window where the puppet was located. He could see that the owner of the antique shop liked the puppet very much because he had arranged the display window beautifully.
He carefully picked up the puppet. Tears rolled down the puppet’s face and fell onto his hands.
Its tears were cold and didn’t have the warmth of human tears.
“Are you a puppet?”
Xiao Tangqiu tried to ask.
However, the puppet didn’t speak like he imagined and its eyeballs stopped moving. It seemed that it had lost all life and its luster had faded.
If it weren’t for the tears, he would’ve thought that everything he had just seen was just an illusion. But no matter how he much he spoke to the puppet, it made no more movement, as if it were just an ordinary puppet.
Just then, Shen Yuan suddenly said, “The sun is setting.”
Before they entered this antique shop, the sun was still visible on the horizon, but after they came in, the setting sun had faded away. As the last ray of sunlight disappeared, it turned completely dark.
The temperature difference between day and night in this small town was also very large. When the sun went down, the temperature seemed to drop by more than ten degrees in an instant. Tang Mianmian shivered in the wind.
“The sun has already set. Let’s hurry back in case we can’t go back by midnight…”
Xiao Tangqiu instantly understood what Shen Yuan meant and frowned slightly. “The sun has set…Could it be that this puppet can’t move after the sun sets? Is that why it didn’t respond to us?”
Tang Mianmian reacted to his conjecture at once, “But when we first arrived, it was still broad daylight. At that time, we also passed by this antique shop but the puppet didn’t move either.”
The two men looked at each other one at the same time and suddenly cried out, “Dusk!”
The puppet couldn’t move during the day and at night, so there was only one possibility left – the puppet could only move in the period between day and night, which was at dusk!
Duan Hongzhen tilted his head and said, “That does seem to make some sense. We can only wait until tomorrow evening to look at it again.”
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.
Xiao Tangqiu carefully put the puppet back to its original position, but the puppet that was sitting properly inexplicably tilted and fell to one side.
Xiao Tangqiu froze for a second, then quickly bent down to pick it up, only to find that when the puppet had landed, it had somehow twisted its arm joints and was pointing at one of the tables right now.
He was acutely aware of what had happened in that instant and turned to walk towards that table. There were many antiquities and old items on the table; there was even a set of exquisite porcelain tableware. In the most inconspicuous corner, there was a small wooden jewelry box.
Xiao Tangqiu thought of Maria’s jewelry box in an instant and quickly picked up the small wooden box and opened it. There were several letters inside just as he had expected!
He picked up one of the letters and suddenly found it was addressed to Veronika on the envelope, and the address of the letter was the town of Daemon!
Seeing that Xiao Tangqiu had discovered something important, the others immediately gather around him. Lu Si’er who was their translator looked at the letters while Tang Mianmian accompanied Xiao Tangqiu in turning out the other contents of the small wooden box.
In addition to the letters, there were several old photos inside, one of which was a photo of a little girl with her family in this antique shop.
“This little girl is Lippinobert’s third wife Veronika?” Tang Mianmian rubbed his chin thoughtfully. “It looks like, not only is she from Daemon Town, she’s also the owner of this antique shop!”
In the next few photos, the little girl had gradually grown up and finally became a graceful and elegant young woman who resembled Lily Marlene.
At the same time, Lu Si’er had also finished going through the letters. “The contents are similar to the previous letters from Lippinobert to Maria. Veronika saw his marriage proposal in the newspaper and wrote him a letter. She grew up in Daemon Town and had always been curious about the owner of the castle…”
“Lippinobert sent her a letter and asked her to attach photos of herself. She sent all the photos from her childhood to adulthood to Lippinobert and received his marriage proposal.”
The naive young lady married into the castle with curiosity and longing for its owner, but didn’t know what was waiting for her…
“What’s the relationship between this puppet and Veronika?” Xiao Tangqiu frowned slightly. He looked at the puppet he had just picked up and tried to discern the truth. However, no one could give him an answer and the puppet was remained motionless and unresponsive.
The gears in Tang Mianmian’s brain started to turn. “Is it Veronika?”
Xiao Tangqiu frowned slightly. “Why would Lippinobert make Veronica into a puppet and display it in the window of her own antique shop?”
In the midst of their discussion, the little boy suddenly screamed. Throughout this whole day, he had been extremely quiet and obedient. It wasn’t clear if the child had finally understood his current situation or if there was any other reasons, but now he seemed to have resumed his naughty behavior of shouting, which gave Xiao Tangqiu and Tang Mianmian a fright.
Soon, Xiao Tangqiu understood the reason why the little boy had screamed. It turns out that while they were preoccupied, the door of the antique shop had been blocked by the “residents” of the small town. The people, who were still alive and kicking during the day, were looking into the antique shop at them with a stiff and dull expression. There were many “people” leaning against the window of the antique shop, staring at them through the glass windows with the same dreadful, lifeless eyes.
This was like a scene out of a zombie movie, but these “residents” were obviously not zombies. Their appearance wasn’t any different from that of the day. Aside from their stiff and sluggish expressions, the only difference was the additional joints between their wrists and hands, feet and ankles, etc – moving joints that were limited to puppets.
Xiao Tangqiu reacted at once. “The residents of this small town become puppets after the sun goes down!”
Did the residents of the small town become puppets after the sun went down, or was it more accurate to say that these living puppets became residents of the small town during the day? It was obviously not the right time or place to contemplate this matter now because right after the little boy screamed, some puppets immediately squeezed into the small antique shop and rushed at them angrily.
Soon, more and more puppets rushed in. They broke through the windows and knocked the goods in the store to the floor. They weren’t at all like puppets that were played by children, but more like murderous zombies.
Xiao Tangqiu instinctively wanted to look around for weapons that he could use to protect himself. Duan Hongzhen had already taken out his flying scalpel from the get-go. However, before he could make any moves, Shen Yuan stopped him.
Shen Yuan’s voice sounded icy, “Wait a minute, these puppets may also be included within the scope of puppets that cannot be damaged that Lippinobert had said.”
Duan Hongzhen moodily fiddled with his flying scalpel. He raised an eyebrow and looked incredulous, “Never mind that those damn puppets in the castle can’t be destroyed, but even the puppets in this small town?”
The aloof woman added, “These puppets are probably also made by Lippinobert. As long as he made them, they should be within the scope of puppets that are not to be damaged.”
Duan Hongzhen wasn’t a good-natured person, but after hearing what Shen Yuan and the aloof woman said, he obediently put down the flying scalpel, which surprised Xiao Tangqiu.
Was this one of the “rules” that players must follow? Did they have to continue to obey the “rules” even if they might end up dead? Despite his doubts, it was obviously not a good time to ask these questions.
“Since we can’t destroy it, then we can only run,” Duan Hongzhen shrugged. “Being a gentleman, I’ll open up a path in the front. You better run as fast as you can. If you fall behind, I won’t stop to wait for you.”
This sentence was aimed at Xiao Tangqiu and the rookies. Before they could reply, Duan Hongzhen took the lead in rushing towards the small door behind the antique shop. Xiao Tangqiu and Tang Mianmian looked at each other and took some objects that they could us to protect themselves. Although Shen Yuan said they couldn’t damage the puppets, it was obviously not a big problem for them. Shen Yuan and his team had to be careful not to damage the puppets, but they had to be careful not to be injured by the puppet!
Fortunately, although the puppet army looked menacing, its attack ability wasn’t as bad as it looked. At most, the puppets were only a little stronger than them. Xiao Tangqiu and Tang Mianmian used their bodies to block the puppets’ attacks. They managed to forcefully rush their way out and soon returned to the street.
On returning to the street however, Xiao Tangqiu’s heart sank. The street was full of puppets, and there were some strange looking puppets in the distance. Their skin was rotten and they lacked eyeballs and organs. Some only had bones left. The only thing similar they shared with the other puppets was that they had joints…
“Fucking hell! That psycho made puppets from the dead!”
Tang Mianmian muttered, trembling all over. Although this puppet army didn’t have advanced fighting capabilities, such a large group of puppets gathered together… was simply unthinkable!
At the frontmost, Duan Hongzhen also waved his arms in defeat. “There are too many of them. It’ll be a little difficult to escape without damaging them.”
Suddenly, from not far off, the deafening toll of the church bell sounded.
-It was the start of the hour.
Xiao Tangqiu suddenly had an idea. “Let’s go to the church! It seems like they didn’t dare approach the church during the day!”
An army of puppets that resembled the undead suddenly surged towards them, making Xiao Tangqiu even more anxious. However, his temporary teammates obviously didn’t agree with his suggestion. Duan Hongzhen raised his eyebrows. “The church is in the center of the town. If we want to go, we have to turn back.”
“We’re close to the exit of the small town. There’s no need for us to head to somewhere further,” said the aloof woman.
At that point, Shen Yuan said, “Go to the church.”
Xiao Tangqiu had blurted his suggestion out subconsciously. After he calmed down, he had also felt that it was a little unwise. To go to church, they had to retrace their steps, which was farther and farther away from the entrance of the small town… He hadn’t expected Shen Yuan to agree.
Shen Yuan was obviously a well-respected captain. Under his command, everyone decisively obeyed and turned around to leave. No one expressed any dissatisfaction or raised any objections. Lu Si’er and the little boy naturally didn’t dare to say anything either. They soon set foot on the road back to the church.
Although it was impossible to use physical force, Shen Yuan and his team were still able to cope with the puppet army. Xiao Tangqiu and Tang Mianmian, on the other hand, had some difficulty. They had taken the long wood pieces from the antique shop and waved them back and forth to drive away the army of puppets that were chasing them. They stumbled and struggled along the way, and almost fell behind several times.
By the time they had caught a glimpse of their “promise land”, their clothes were torn in several places, bodies a mess. Finally, when they stepped into the area of the church, something almost magical happened – the puppets didn’t catch up to them. Just like creatures afraid of the light, they wandered outside the church for a while, then scattered off.
Xiao Tangqiu and Tang Mianmian immediately fell down to the floor, panting and out of breath. Duan Hongzhen looked at them and arched an eyebrow, “Why are you two such weaklings?”
Xiao Tangqiu gave a bitter smile and was about to say something when Tang Mianmian suddenly cried out, “The church… the church seems to have changed.”
They all looked up and sure enough, the church was completely different from what it had looked like earlier. Although the previous atmosphere of the church was solemn and strange, it was still the picture of a normal church. But right now, the church had completely transformed. There were charred traces of a fire everywhere, broken glass windows and damaged murals, as if it had been abandoned for many years, which gave off an eerie, terrifying vibe.