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God's Descent

God’s Descent: Chapter 20

Nightingale and The Rose

In order to find the Priest and clear the game.

Of course, You Rongyi wouldn’t say this directly to an NPC. Instead, he said, “We are just two history students who want to know the truth about the fall of Nightingale Country.”

Angelina fell into a prolonged silence.

After a while, she hoarsely spoke, with a bitter and ironic smile, “You say you’ve come to investigate the truth behind the fall of Nightingale Country?”

“It’s really amusing. The legitimate descendants of Nightingale Country on this island have no desire to explore the truth of that ugly nation’s demise. They would rather forget everything about Nightingale Country. Yet here you are, a stranger, crossing mountains and rivers to explore?”

You Rongyi stared at her calmly, his tone steady and gentle. “I don’t care if the nation is ugly or not. I received a task to uncover the truth.”

“And no matter how ugly the truth is, there is always the right for someone to know, isn’t that right, Angelina?”

Angelina paused.

You Rongyi wasn’t impatient; he waited quietly for her to speak.

“I have one request,” Angelina spoke slowly. “I can tell you everything I know, but you have to help me with something.”

“What is it?” You Rongyi asked.

Angelina tightened her grip on the newspaper and looked up abruptly. “I want you to help me find out if there is anything else related to the Isabella sisters on this island.”

You Rongyi didn’t hesitate. “Sure.”

【System Prompt: Player You Rongyi accepts the commission from NPC Angelina to find items related to the Isabella sisters.】

【System Prompt: Favorability of island NPC Angelina towards player You Rongyi +20, current favorability level 65】

【Favorability Description: Both foes and friends】

Angelina slowly took two steps back, sitting on the bed, her pupils hollow, seemingly immersed in some distant and dark memories:

“Two hundred years ago, Nightingale Country was a very prosperous nation, and Sylviidae Valley Garden was the most beautiful garden in the country. It was filled with the melodious calls of nightingales and vibrant flowers at night, and on holidays, it was open to the public, becoming everyone’s favorite place.”

“But ever since the king became intensely obsessed with the nightingale’s cries and started organizing the Golden Nightingale competition, Nightingale Country and Sylviidae Valley Garden changed.”

Angelina murmured to herself, “It turned from a garden of nightingales into a living hell for people.”

“Once chosen as the Golden Nightingale, one could not leave until death, spending the days trapped in the garden singing.”

When Angelina reached this point, her tone became somewhat painful. She lowered her head, clenched her fists, and said, “This competition torments everyone, yet even so, every year, countless people still participate in the Nightingale Night competition, hoping to become the Golden Nightingale.”

Following his character’s background, You Rongyi asked, “Why?”

Angelina suddenly raised her head, her smile on the face both mocking and sorrowful. “Why?!”

“Because our great king demands every household to provide a collection-grade nightingale each year to fill his Sylviidae Valley Garden. If they fail to do so, their taxes will double.”

“As long as someone in the family is selected as the Golden Nightingale, until the nightingale dies, all the members of the same surname in that family no longer need to provide any nightingales or pay any taxes.”

“Not only that, but as long as the Golden Nightingale sings for the king for a day, the king will grant her family an ounce of gold—what a great job.”

“Just need to chirp all day like a bird.” Angelina’s expression was extremely mocking. “Just to get a moment of peace in this world.”

“At that time, in order to be selected, the citizens of Nightingale Country did all sorts of absurd things.”

Angelina paused for a moment. “They spent their days imitating nightingales, accompanying them daily, mimicking the habits of nightingales. Some even cut feathers from nightingales to make clothes, chirping like birds on the streets, hoping to gain the king’s favor.”

“The nightingale garment you’re wearing,” Angelina said coldly, “is a tradition from that time.”

“But the Sylviidae Valley Garden is no longer a place for raising nightingales.”

Angelina said, “After being renovated by the current islanders, it is used for ceremonies, but the customs from that time are still preserved, and people still wear nightingale clothes to participate in the rituals.”

“If there are no nightingales in the Sylviidae Valley Garden.” You Rongyi asked after pondering for a moment, “What do you use to replace them now?”

Angelina paused for a moment. “Roses.”

“Roses?” You Rongyi asked.

“Roses in full bloom,” Angelina said, “sacrifices for the ceremony.”

You Rongyi’s eyes flickered. “Dylan told me that Nightingale Blood Roses are only found in the Rose Palace.”

“There are roses in the Sylviidae Valley Garden that bloom in winter.” Angelina paused for a moment. “But they are not the red Nightingale Blood Roses found in the Rose Palace. They are a special kind of white rose.”

You Rongyi quickly grasped the key point. “Are there two types of roses that bloom in winter on Nightingale Island?”

“Yes,” Angelina answered after a pause, “They are called the Winter Rose Marvel, which actually includes two types of roses, both used as sacrifices for ceremonies.”

“One type is the Nightingale Blood Rose that my brother mentioned to you, which grows in the Rose Palace. It’s a bright red rose, extremely rare, and only blooms in the depths of winter, unable to be cultivated artificially.”

“There’s also another kind of rose, called the Nightingale Snow Rose, a white rose.”

“This type of rose also blooms in winter, growing in the Sylviidae Valley Garden. It’s another kind of rose used for ceremonies, not as precious, and can be cultivated artificially.”

“On the eve of the ceremony, the islanders will pick the freshest and fullest Nightingale Snow Roses for the ritual. And a few days before picking, to prevent anyone from secretly picking the roses, the islanders will send people to guard the Sylviidae Valley Garden and prevent others from approaching the Nightingale Snow Roses.”

As Angelina finished speaking, You Rongyi’s system panel vibrated:

[System Prompt: Player obtains key information about the background of the instance—(The Nightingale Snow Rose and the Nightingale Blood Rose, the Twin Winter Rose Marvel)] [Background Completion Rate (Nightingale Country History): 46%]

You Rongyi’s gaze swept over the system’s key information about “the twin winter rose marvel.” “Angelina, I have one last question to ask you.”

Angelina, annoyed, said, “Just say what you want to ask!”

You Rongyi’s gaze remained calm. “If I were to tell you that tonight we plan to secretly infiltrate the Sylviidae Valley Garden, do you have any advice for us?”

Angelina suddenly raised her head, and at the same time, there came a nervous shout from outside the door from Huang Jinghui, “You Rongyi, Dylan is coming upstairs!”

Angelina stared at You Rongyi, her chest heaving for a moment, her face full of disbelief. “Are you crazy? You want to go to the Sylviidae Valley Garden at night! Do you know what besides roses, the islanders heavily guard there?”

“There is gold…” Angelina wanted to say, but ultimately didn’t.

“I have a general idea,” You Rongyi remained very calm. “If you have no further advice, I thank you for generously answering our questions tonight, and for trusting and confiding in me as a friend.”

“I sincerely appreciate it, Angelina.”

After You Rongyi finished speaking, he turned to leave, but Angelina suddenly called out loudly, “Wait!”

The brown-haired, green-eyed girl stared at You Rongyi, and finally, trembling, she said, “If you really have come for the truth about the downfall of Nightingale Country…”

“Then please reveal that cruel truth, for us islanders, for those Nightingales who have passed away, and for that child, as a form of liberation.”

“You Rongyi! Hurry!” Huang Jinghui urgently called in a low voice, “Dylan is coming up!”

“Angelina, thank you for your generous advice. I will do my best to fulfill your request,” You Rongyi thanked her before quickly leaving.

As the door closed behind him, Angelina gritted her teeth and whispered softly, “And don’t wear the Nightingale clothes my brother gave you.”

“He genuinely likes you, and giving you that clothing was not malicious, but wearing the Nightingale clothes for too long… you’ll never be able to take them off again.”

As the door slowly closed, the last scene lingering in You Rongyi’s eyes was of the brown-haired, green-eyed girl, trapped in her dark feathered cloak, her expression filled with immense sadness as if about to be consumed by her own clothes.

“Quick, let’s go!”

Seeing You Rongyi coming out, Huang Jinghui hurriedly pulled him away, almost catching Dylan stepping onto the stairs. The two rushed into their room.

“My completion percentage on the system panel increased a lot!” As soon as they entered the room, Huang Jinghui excitedly asked, “What crucial information did you get from Angelina?”

You Rongyi truthfully recounted Angelina’s words to Huang Jinghui.

Huang Jinghui sighed, “This king is really heartless, actually demanding such things. And I really didn’t expect that Winter Roses include two types of roses,” Huang Jinghui pondered. “But the system only requires us to find the withered Nightingale Blood Roses, the red roses.”

“But according to Angelina, the Sylviidae Valley Garden only has white roses. So where do we find withered red roses…” Huang Jinghui thought hard.

“We’ll figure it out when we get there,” You Rongyi said, his gaze subtly freezing on the back of Huang Jinghui’s neck.

Huang Jinghui, still wearing the heavy Nightingale leather coat, was lost in thought. From You Rongyi’s perspective, he could clearly see, from the exposed skin on the edge of the coat, that Huang Jinghui seemed to have small, black, hard roots emerging from his pores—like the roots of bird feathers.

While furrowing his brows in contemplation, Huang Jinghui unconsciously scratched the back of his neck, “Why did Angelina say not to go to the Sylviidae Valley Garden at night… Ugh, it’s so itchy…”

He scratched more forcefully, pulling at the roots emerging from the pores.

“Huang Jinghui.” You Rongyi suddenly reached out, grabbing Huang Jinghui’s wrist. “Take off your clothes first.”

“Why are you suddenly asking me to take off my clothes…” Huang Jinghui tried to pull his hand out of You Rongyi’s grip. “Ah, I’m so itchy, let me scratch first!”

Seeing that communication was ineffective, You Rongyi reached out and grabbed the collar of Huang Jinghui’s clothes, pulling it down.

“Ah—!!” Huang Jinghui let out a piercing scream, as if he were being skinned alive, jumping up in pain. “It hurts!”

You Rongyi looked at the exposed back of Huang Jinghui’s clothes, his gaze freezing.

On Huang Jinghui’s bare back, densely packed, large and small, were countless feather roots protruding outward. Some had even emerged a little, growing black fuzz. These roots were connected to the leather coat, and as it was pulled apart, blood oozed out.

—This leather coat was slowly merging with Huang Jinghui’s skin.

In the silence of You Rongyi, Huang Jinghui realized that something was wrong. He struggled to turn his head backward, and in the moment he saw it, his pupils widened in horror: “F*ck! Why do I have hair on my back!”

“It seems this is the side effect of wearing this Nightingale coat for a long time,” You Rongyi’s gaze deepened. “Long-term wear will cause it to fuse with your skin.”

No wonder Angelina said that once worn for a long time, it can never be taken off again.

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