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God's Descent

God’s Descent: Chapter 12

Nightingale and The Rose

You Rongyi wanted to continue asking, “The rose?”

“Brother!” A scolding voice suddenly came from upstairs, and Angelina stood at the end of the corridor, her face gloomy. She seemed to have appeared out of nowhere. “Don’t talk to these outsiders about these things!”

“If you keep talking to outsiders about this, others will get angry!”

Angelina’s black feathered robe extended up to her neck, tightly encircling her. She looked like a wary bird with folded wings, glaring fiercely at You Rongyi and the others with resentful eyes. “Hurry and chase them away, don’t let them disrupt the ceremony!”

Dylan scolded, “Angelina! Don’t be so impolite to the guests!”

Angelina snorted coldly, then turned and walked away.

“I apologize.” Dylan looked frustrated and apologetic. “Angelina holds strong hostility towards people from outside the island.”

“Because of the rumors about this Winter Rose spectacle, in the past, a group of tourists used to come to the island every winter.” Dylan explained helplessly. “But these tourists didn’t cherish the island’s relics and didn’t respect our customs. Since then, the island has become less welcoming to visitors.”

“Subsequently, we started having fewer and fewer tourists here.”

“If you want to explore the island,” Dylan paused, “please make sure not to disturb the Winter Rose ceremony.”

“Otherwise,” Dylan’s face appeared shadowy in the firelight, “the islanders will be very angry.”

Huang Jinghui looked at Dylan’s inexplicably cold expression and couldn’t help shivering.

Must be an illusion, right? Pisces NPCs are usually very friendly.

Under Dylan’s cordial invitation, You Rongyi and Huang Jinghui decided to stay at his house.

“You can stay until after the festival,” Dylan said. “Once the ceremony is over, the Rose Palace should be empty. I’ll inquire with the organizers if you can enter.”

“Until then,” Dylan looked into You Rongyi’s eyes, his cheeks slightly reddened, “just stay at my house and wait for the ceremony to pass.”

Night fell.

Dylan prepared a guest room with two beds for them, located on the second floor at the corner. The beds were covered with soft and gentle velvet mattresses, and there was a warm fireplace at the foot of the beds. The curtains were partially drawn, creating a very thoughtful and cozy arrangement.

“This treatment is quite nice.” Huang Jinghui stretched lazily. “If I didn’t know I was in a game, I’d think I was on a vacation.”

“For now, let’s not worry about that!”

Huang Jinghui rubbed his arm. “Well, we don’t have any information now anyway. It’s useless to overthink it. Let’s just go to sleep.”

“No information?” You Rongyi softly questioned, “Aren’t there already a lot of information available?”

Huang Jinghui turned his head in shock. “!!! What?”

“Mhm,” You Rongyi said, “I’ve analyzed some information. It should be useful.”

After just a few hours of being together, Huang Jinghui had already vaguely realized that You Rongyi had decent logical thinking and observation skills. Right from the start, he had managed to extract a lot of information from the NPCs’ mouths.

But Huang Jinghui wasn’t quick to believe what You Rongyi analyzed.

After all, You Rongyi was just an ordinary newcomer, and this was a high-difficulty B-level instance. He wasn’t a top-level decryption expert from a major guild who could solve the instance background right from the beginning.

So, even after hearing what You Rongyi said, Huang Jinghui didn’t hold much expectation.

He tried to soothe the situation by saying, “What information? Tell me, and let’s see if it’s useful.”

“You mean…” You Rongyi lowered his eyelids, his finger against his chin, “Is there a possibility that the rose is the islanders’ food?”

“What are you talking about?” Huang Jinghui looked utterly baffled. “Island’s food with roses? What does that have to do with what we heard tonight?!”

“Just a guess of mine,” You Rongyi said softly.

Huang Jinghui helplessly rubbed his forehead. “Guesses shouldn’t be this wild. Currently, we only know the key information about the Winter Rose ceremony, and the rest is unknown. There’s no clue that could lead to such a conclusion. Even if you’re a first-time player, this kind of guess is too…”

Before he could finish, the system’s notification sound chimed, clear and crisp:

[System Notification: Player resolves key instance background information — Roses are the islanders’ food] [Instance Background (Nightengale Nation’s History) Completion: 16%]

Huang Jinghui’s mouth that was in the middle of complaining slowly closed, and then he widened his eyes. “Oh my god!”

“You actually guessed right!”

“No, wait!” Huang Jinghui snapped back to his senses instantly. He turned his head to look at You Rongyi with a face full of astonishment. “This isn’t right. How did you guess it?”

“Based on the information we obtained, it was easy to deduce.” You Rongyi remained calm, not thinking he had done anything out of the ordinary. “The information in the game scene was quite obvious, and it could be seen at a glance.”

Blind little Huang, who couldn’t see at a glance, fell silent for a moment. Then, with a humble tone carrying a touch of humiliation, he asked, “… I couldn’t see it at a glance. Could you please explain it to me?”

You Rongyi paused for a moment. He slowly turned his head to look at Huang Jinghui, his eyes carrying a subtle hint of sympathy.

Please, don’t look at me with that “you must have a tough life” expression!

Huang Jinghui was speechless, almost choked up, “Normal people wouldn’t be able to deduce this! How on earth did you figure it out?”

“To deduce this conclusion, you only need two pieces of information.” You Rongyi sat on the edge of the bed. He lowered his head, letting his curly black hair cascade down from his snowy white neck. He opened the system panel’s illustration function and started explaining to Huang Jinghui while writing on the panel.

“The first piece of information is that the islanders here don’t need regular food.”

Huang Jinghui, whose eyes had been dazzled by beauty, struggled to divert his gaze from You Rongyi’s nape. “Uh-huh!”

“No, wait, there’s a table of food downstairs, and when we knocked on the door, they were sitting at the dining table,” Huang Jinghui suddenly regained his senses and questioned with doubt, “Why do you say they don’t need regular food?”

You Rongyi explained, “The facts you saw were only 【a table of food】 and 【they were sitting at the dining table】. Did you actually see them eating?”

Huang Jinghui hesitated. “… No.”

“You only assumed they were eating based on the connection between 【a table of food】 and 【they were sitting at the dining table】,” You Rongyi said calmly. “I paid special attention to that table of food. Not a single thing had been touched. When we arrived, they were already preparing to rest, not to eat.”

“That table of food seems to have been prepared specifically for us.”

“Specifically for us…” A chill crept down Huang Jinghui’s back. “… What’s the second piece of information?”

“The second piece of information is…” You Rongyi wrote down the word “sacrifice” on the panel. He continued, “Usually, the offerings presented to deities in a region are the most precious things to the people of that region.”

“The custom of offering sacrifices has a long history. In traditional ritual ceremonies, to please the deities, people would offer things that would please themselves the most — sumptuous food, beautiful maidens, gold and gemstones, exotic treasures, and luxurious fabrics.”

You Rongyi lowered his eyelids. “People wouldn’t offer things they couldn’t comprehend as sacrifices because the act of sacrifice itself is a form of human self-indulgence, and the intention of the deities is essentially a projection of human nature.”

“Food is the most common theme of sacrifices. Adding to the fact that the islanders here clearly don’t eat regular food, I deduced that roses are likely a type of food offering.”

“By combining these two pieces of information, we can conclude—”

You Rongyi slowly lifted his gaze. In his calmly undisturbed pupils reflected Huang Jinghui’s excessively astonished face. “Roses could potentially be the islanders’ food.”

“You haven’t really played ‘Gods’ Descent’ before, right? How come you’re so good at solving mysteries, You Rongyi?” Huang Jinghui couldn’t help but ask, “Are you secretly a puzzle-solving player trained by a major guild?”

The difficulty of instance background puzzles in “Gods’ Descent” was quite high, to the point where ordinary players were discouraged and could only focus on completing the main storyline. Tasks involving a lot of puzzle-solving, like the priest boss missions that required deciphering multiple lines, were typically accomplished by puzzle-solving professionals nurtured by the major guilds.

These players were highly paid recruits from top global academic institutions, and it was said that many of them had exceptionally high IQs. In any case, they were on a different level from ordinary people like him.

Huang Jinghui had teamed up with players of various sizes, and the completion rate of the background at the beginning of the game was usually around the same when it ended. This was the first time he had met someone who could start the game by significantly raising the background completion rate.

You Rongyi fell silent upon hearing Huang Jinghui’s question. He also wanted to know who he really was, but unfortunately, he couldn’t remember anything else besides the nonsensical paperwork from the hospital.

He had once possessed remarkable talent in holographic gaming, but now his brain was damaged, his parents were deceased, and that was all he knew about himself.

But he always felt that something was off. The fragments of memories that rolled incessantly in his dreams seemed to be screaming at him and reminding him—

— This is not his life.

The only thing he strongly sensed was that if he could keep winning through the stages of the game league, he could reclaim his past.

You Rongyi slowly lifted his head. “I don’t know if I’m some puzzle-solving player nurtured by a major guild.”

There was no emotional fluctuation in his pitch-black eyes. “The only thing I know for sure is that I must win this game.”

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