Chapter 16: Enticing
”What nonsense are you talking about?” Duke Garcia clearly didn’t believe him. This was normal and just proved nothing was wrong with Duke Garcia’s brain.
Xing Ye also didn’t plan to explain and just continued: “Sir Duke can choose whether to believe me or not but I must enter the palace and assassinate the Queen. Otherwise, the blocked river will never be able to flow again.”
After saying that, Xing Ye picked up the knocked out man and started to leave. Duke Garcia hastily shouted: “Stop!”
He massaged his temples, not sure about what he should do with this woman.
Xing Ye knew when to stop and lowered his head: “I understand. May Sir Duke please order me to die then.”
”Huh?” Duke Garcia couldn’t keep up with Xing Ye’s reasoning.
”Sir Duke doesn’t believe me but I insist on killing the Queen. This would give Sir Duke much trouble so the only way to stop me would be to kill me. If Sir Duke believes me but is loyal to the Queen, Sir Duke can’t allow me to live. Lastly, if Sir Duke both believes me and wants to get rid of the demon within the Queen, Sir Duke would have to drain me of my blood to kill the Queen.”
Basically, you can just kill me.
”However,” Xing Ye kicked the Queen’s favored man and continued: “This person can’t return to the Imperial Palace. He knows my secret.”
Duke Garcia killing the last manipulator would be perfect.
”Wait a moment!” Duke Garcia stopped Xing Ye from killing the man, “Everything’s too sudden, give me a while for me to think.”
”I’ll wait here then.”
Although Xing Ye stepped on the Queen’s favored man’s back, he actually had no intention to kill. In his plans, it was best if Duke Garcia was the one to execute the manipular and not him. That way, he could avoid any and all possibilities.
Duke Garcia paced around, occasionally glancing at his watch or looking at the girl standing in the middle of the room. The girl appeared very beautiful with the manor’s maid uniform- Duke Garcia never thought the maid’s uniform could ever look so attractive.
After walking around in agitation for a while, he took a seat and spoke: “The nobles and Church all know that the Queen’s been alive for five hundred years and her deal with the devil so it doesn’t matter. Lawrence, it might be hard to understand as a commoner, but in our eyes, killing a beautiful woman every ten years for the Queen to prolong her life isn’t any big deal.”
Of course Xing Ye understood. In this era, there was no way aristocrats would care about the life or death of a commoner.
”The Church needs the Queen to help them preach amongst the nobles while the nobles need the Queen to support their boycott against the Church from brainwashing the serfs. The Queen’s always done a good job at this and keeps a perfect balance between the three powers for hundreds of years now. Nobody wants to ruin the balance so even if we know she made a deal with the devil, it doesn’t matter.” Duke Garcia spoke coldly.
Xing Ye obviously knew that the actual world was different from the plot. There was no way the Queen could have controlled the country with magic for so many years without having given the other powers in the country some benefits to let them tacitly agree to her actions.
”I understand, but being a tripartite can’t compare to being the sole power.” Xing Ye said enticingly, “Why not reveal the Queen’s true face as a demon to the masses and push on the blame onto the Church? Say that the Church and the Queen were led astray by the demon, making them persecute innocent, young women for the past many years. Sir Duke, you have military strength and prestige so why bear with the Queen and the Church’s oppression? This is a good opportunity to overthrow the Queen and assist an obedient puppet to the throne to keep the Imperial Family’s dignity. Then you can join with some other nobles to build a legislative assembly with the actual power, turning the Imperial Family into a mere figurehead. The country would be yours.”
This was how history was written; nothing could last forever and after 500 years, the balance has most likely reached a tipping point. It was time for change.
”Aren’t you a little too brave?!” Duke Garcia glared at Xing Ye who had a meek look on his face, as if the one who spoke those malicious words just now wasn’t him.
Lawrence, a vicious and merciless yet beautiful woman who was frighteningly merciless; he couldn’t let such a person continue to live.
Xing Ye actually didn’t care if Duke Garcia had the courage to challenge imperial power and push for a revolt. After everything he said today, there could only be two conclusions
One: Duke Garcia doesn’t agree with him and believes it’s too dangerous. To prevent his clan from being implicated, he would secretly put Xing Ye to death. Second, Duke Garcia is ambitious and strong enough so he decides to help Xing Ye defeat the Queen by revealing the Queen’s true face to the masses. Women accused of being witches were often burnt at the stake so after Xing Ye and the mirror get the demon out of the Queen’s body, she can just be burned at the stake.
Regardless of his choice, the system couldn’t have set either of the two conclusions.
When players lived following the system’s rules and outline, their thinking would be stiff. They would think that the world was only so big and a person’s choices can only lead to the two endings designed by the system.
But this wasn’t really a fairy tale, it was a complete and whole world of its own. The world doesn’t just have the Queen, Claire, and the mirror; it’s endlessly huge, with boundless possibilities.
Xing Ye lowered his head to look at the manipulator on the floor. The manipulator was just like a canary trapped inside a beautiful cage called fate, losing the chance to fly free and boldly through the air to be lucky and live an easy life; just as he once was.
”Lawrence, the topic is very serious so I can’t decide immediately.” Duke Garcia said, “I want you under house arrest for a few days so you can’t leave the Duke’s manor, understand?”
”I understand.” Xing Ye replied meekly, “I just have one wish- if Sir Duke decides to suppress this matter, please don’t hand me over to the Queen. I wish to die as Duke Garcia’s knight.”
Duke Garcia looked at this woman who didn’t even fear death and sighed, “Don’t worry, I don’t want others to know that I had a madwoman who wants to topple the country as a subordinate.”
This was enough. Xing Ye secretly smiled.
”Oh, right,” Xing Ye pointed at the manipulator, “Let’s get rid of this guy. The knights all already saw, he can’t live.”
Duke Garcia felt like his head was about to explode- why did he take in such a troublesome knight!
”I got it. The Queen’s favorite personal attendant sneaked out of the palace to seduce Duke Garcia’s maid but was put to death by me. I’ll compensate the Queen with a few more young and handsome male servants. The Queen won’t turn hostile with me just because of a personal attendant who had an affair outside.” Duke Garcia said casually. For nobles, people like personal attendants and Imperial Guard Captains were like ants.
So far, Xing Ye’s plan went perfectly.
Duke Garcia’s treatment could still be regarded as courteous. Although it was called house arrest, it was just not letting him carry weapons or leave the manor. Xing Ye just spent every day eating and drinking, enjoying life without a care.
That night, the Queen’s favored man died. All three manipulators were eliminated but the plot still continued on.
Mirror: How come it’s like this?
All the missions he had before would end after he defeated the Opposing Fate players. However, now that he was classified as an Opposing Fate player’s prop, he discovered that the game wouldn’t end even when the Following Fate players all died.
Xing Ye patiently explained to the mirror: “Because our opponents aren’t the Following Fate players to begin with- you guys are just the props the system’s using against the Opposing Fate players. Even if the chess pieces are captured, the gameboard still continues. Before a conclusion is reached, the plot won’t end.”
The mirror was silent, feeling a bit hurt.
Xing Ye wasn’t good at consoling people and could only remain silent.
He just had to say “Magic mirror, magic mirror, tell me” and the mirror’s consciousness would be taken over. Nobody liked the feeling of losing control of their mind so of course the mirror wasn’t happy. However, he had always bore with it because Xing Ye needed information from the magic mirror and didn’t ask Xing Ye to stop saying the incantation.
He was no longer a human, just a mirror with no freedom.
During the difficult days when they were young, his little brother Xing Shuo was just like that. He thoughtfully beared through everything himself, trying his best to never give him trouble. By the time Xing Ye took full control of the company, Xing Shuo had already lost all his willfulness.
If Little Shuo was just a bit more headstrong and told Xing Ye about the QR code, maybe everything would’ve turned out different.
Xing Ye thought back to his never-waking younger brother and couldn’t help but tell the mirror: “You can be a little more willful.”
”For example, doing something unreasonable like asking me not to use the magic mirror so your consciousness won’t get taken over.” Xing Ye gave an example.
Mirror: Then… will you really not summon the magic mirror later?
”I’m afraid I can’t,” Xing Ye shook his head, “If Duke Garcia really plans to kill me, the mirror is no use. However, if he really is ambitious, I have to use the magic mirror in front of him at least once to gain more of his trust.”
Mirror: Then what’s the point of you letting me act more willful!
”I’ll try my best to respect your wishes and consult you.” Xing Ye said, “Aren’t I working hard to get your approval now?”
The mirror was a little happier and thought for a little before reluctantly writing: Fine, only once.
”Alright.” Xing Ye grinned.
He was trapped in this supernatural world while his little brother’s body was still lying in the funeral hall, yet he still had to hold back his temper and cooperate with the system to design a perfect ending.
Although Xing Ye could bear with this torment, it didn’t mean that he was happy with it. Having such a simple minded fellow like the mirror by his side was a great comfort for Xing Ye.
One mirror and one man chatted with each other. Suddenly, the mirror mentioned gloomily: After we reach a conclusion, I’ll be a prop again.
”What happened before you ran into me?” Xing Ye asked.
Mirror: After I failed a mission, I was trapped in the mirror and couldn’t feel any notion of time. I don’t know how long it’s been, but suddenly I found myself kicked into a river by somebody. Then the system even told me I had to crawl out of the river to find the person who kicked me in there and serve him.
The mirror rarely wrote so many words at once, it looks like he was really grieved this time.
Xing Ye: “...”
Suddenly, he felt a little guilty.
He said comfortingly: “Don’t be anxious, I think that since the system turned you into a prop, there should be other options after we reach the ending. Its goal is to manipulate, control, and watch players struggle in the abyss but it’ll never make the player truly despair. There’ll definitely be a path for you, even if it’s very difficult, just don’t give up.”
The mirror was very confident in Xing Ye’s brain and relaxed a little.