[HGEG] Chapter 34: Ghost Stone

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Translator: Zucci

Editor: xTechon

“Where it started, is where it ends?” Xin Meng was surprised, “This really is about the clearance task!”

The word ‘end’ was involved, and Xin Meng couldn’t be happier with the hopes the game will end soon. On one hand, it was because of their safety, on the other, those villagers were so miserable, every time Xin Meng saw their tears, he felt extremely uncomfortable.

Until now, the villagers haven’t done anything bad to those outsiders who brought ‘disaster’ to their village. They still treated them well and promised to take care of Xiong JiaBao, which made Xin Meng feel both moved and guilty, he should hurry up and end this ‘disaster’. Although they are just NPCs, these people’s joys and sorrows were so real, Xin Meng couldn’t ignore them completely.

They escorted the semi-disabled Xiong JiaBao to the village chief’s house. Those mountain people rarely go out, as a result they have no anti-inflammatory medicine at home, so they had to clean his wounds with water and perform a simple first aid. It was impossible to prevent infection, he could only wait for death but, fortunately, they were in a game. As long as they cleared the level, Xiong JiaBao would return to a normal person with healthy limbs in the next game.

Xiong JiaBao held Xin Meng’s hand tightly, tearing up, “Brother Xin, I can only rely on you!”

“Relax, we will be able to clear the clearance task soon”. Xin Meng comforted him softly and patted the back of his hand.

After that, You Yi and Xin Meng said farewell to the village chief. They went up the mountain and walked to the small forest that caused all the changes.

The grove was still there, existing quietly. The mountain breeze was blowing, the leaves were ratting, and a few leaves were swirling down– falling gently on the ground without making a sound.

Six stones were scattered on the ground, with footprints left by Xiong JiaBao and a few leaves around.

Xin Meng was about to step into the grove but was pulled back by You Yi. Xin Meng looked at him in confusion, You Yi explained in a deep voice, “Be careful, it won’t go so smoothly.”

Xin Meng, who was blinded by the joy of clearance, was poured with cold water and calmed down immediately, “You mean it’s dangerous inside?”

You Yi looked at the six fallen stoned inside. His eyes were narrowed, his lips in a thin line. “The closer you get to the end, the more dangerous it becomes. Help with those two stones and leave the other four to me.”

He pointed to the two stones that were closest to the exit, while the rest were inside the grove. If there’s danger, it won’t be easy to leave, Xin Meng is a little hesitant. “Those are too far; I’ll help with three.”

“You do those two. I’m enough for the four rocks.” You Yi glanced at him and ruthlessly answered.

Xin Meng’s mentality was damaged by 10,000 points. Although he knew he was only telling the truth, his heart was still broken.

He teared up and looked at him like a Shih Tzu[1], but there was no emotion in You Yi’s eyes.

After such interruption, Xin Meng quickly adjusted himself. It was necessary to be cautious, but not hesitant. You must always stay calm to cope with the upcoming danger.

Leaded by You Yi, the two stepped in the grove. Xin Meng followed and, after entering, each walked to aside, heading towards their chosen stones.

Nothing happened until they stood in front of the stones. Xin Meng carefully looked at the rock under his feet but was surprised to find out that the name originally written was gone.

‘Recalling the names on the stones back then, the name on this one should be Dong Xiu’s, but now the characters are gone, isn’t it…’

He turned around and asked You Yi, “Are there names on your stones?”

You Yi’s finger gently rubbed the stone’s surface, and smiled vaguely thought the corned of his mouth, “Yes, your name is still here.”

They are not that far away; Xin Meng can also faintly see the characters at the rock under You Yi. ‘Is that red word his own name?’

The names that once seemed like a curse now become a symbol of their survival; it was very ironic.

As the two discussed before, Xin Meng would count to three, and then they would lift the stones at the same time.

“One… Two… Three!”

Xin Meng focused on the stone in front of him and tried hard to put in on place, but didn’t expect that the stone was extraordinarily heavy, as if filled with lead. Xin Meng couldn’t even push the first one.

He gathered his strength again and pulled hard one more time, but the stone remained motionless, as if was grounded by roots, refusing to leave the soil.

‘That weight definitely doesn’t match the size of that stone!’

Sure enough, the clearance wouldn’t be so easy…

Xin Meng’s flustered. Suddenly, he heard a strange laugh in his ear, and the laugh suddenly became far away. It seemed that it came from the stone in front of him.

He loosened his hand in fright, taking a few steps back as he looked intently. Unsure of the timeframe, the originally empty stone had pale figures on it. They were naked and in groups. The area of the stone is not large, there’s only seven or eight in the bottom of it and the rest are stacked on top of each other. They grin, bend they eyes and stare at Xin Meng with a smile.

‘So it was their fault! Turns out the stone wasn’t that heavy, but rather that the ghosts inside it were resisting[2], and I didn’t notice it!’

He thought he was so close to those things but didn’t even notice, maybe there were one sticking to his face, Xin Meng shuddered, sending shivers all over his body!

The ghosts on the stones smiled constantly, eyes without eyelids watching Xin Meng closely. Fortunately, none of them jumped out, just stayed in various poses and laughed, not willing to leave.

After having the experience of being surrounded by ghosts in the water, Xin Meng felt his heart had reached a new level of tolerance. Even now, with those ghosts being four or five meters away from him, he didn’t actually yell, fell frightened, or run away. He calmly thought: ‘oh, this is probably the last obstacle.’

‘But this obstacle is really too difficult to handle.’ Even if Xin Meng didn’t flee, it didn’t mean he dared approach those ghosts. Or, even if he approached, if there were twenty or thirty people inside it, he wouldn’t be able to push the stone anyways.

He looked at those ghosts and tentatively called, “Q-Qi XiaoKui?”

Those ghosts remained motionless and still stared at him, but the thrilling laughter disappeared. He shouted once more, but this time the ghosts didn’t show any reaction.

He turned around and, sure enough, Qi XiaoKui was summoned and stood behind him. The eyes of those ghosts moved away from Xin Meng and set on Qi XiaoKui instead.

Qi XiaoKui’s face didn’t change, just fluttered to the side. The gaze of those ghosts also shifted. The pressure on Xin Meng’s body was suddenly relieved a lot. He asked Qi XiaoKui, “Can they leave the stone?”

Qi XiaoKui shook her head.

Xin Meng, “…”

“If I push a stone, will they attack me?” Xin Meng asked again.

Qi XiaoKui shook her head and pointed to herself.

“If you are here, they can’t hurt me?” Xin Meng guesses what she meant.

Qi XiaoKui nodded.

Xin Meng couldn’t understand the reason behind it, but he was relieved when he heard those ghosts wouldn’t hurt them. He turned to look at You Yi’s side and saw that the place where You Yi stood had already a stone standing up.

Xin Meng “…” ‘Is he a human being? Did he eat spinach?!!!’[3]

It was estimated that You Yi lifted the stone at the fastest speed, so there wasn’t enough time for the stone ghosts to appear. However, when he ran to the second stone, the ghosts had already appeared, so he decided not to take the risk and wait Xin Meng to talk to Qi XiaoKui, so he just stood still and waited for the right moment.

After listening to their conversation, You Yi glanced at Xin Meng, walked towards one stone with firm and steady steps, without hesitation inside his eyes. As if he wasn’t aware of the horrible things inside the stone, he headed straight to it and lifted it, turning it around and leaving it standing on the ground.

Xin Meng was stunned.

When You Yi lifted the three other stones in the same way, Xin Meng returned to earth when he walked in his direction. He could just admire the man inside his heart, watching nervously as he walked towards the last stone.

As he was too concerned about the man, he didn’t notice Qi XiaoKui anxiously gesturing behind him, neither did he saw that her body was gradually disappearing.

When he touched the stone, Qi XiaoKui was completely gone.

Xin Meng was waiting for him to lift the last stone and end with this nightmare. Soon, they will leave soon…

Then, an abnormal change happened, and those ghosts started laughing again, they squirmed, and attacked You Yi!

“What?!” Xin Meng yelled in fright. You Yi was too close to the ghosts; he would soon be bitten.

You Yi didn’t panic. With a saber, that Xin Meng didn’t know he had, he swung it towards a ghost. The ghost’s body split the moment he was hit, being cut in half. His body soon merged together again, healing itself before rushing towards You Yi one more time.

“Run!” Xin Meng shouted instinctively. He looked towards Qi XiaoKui and finally discovered she was gone. He shouted again, “Qi XiaoKui! Qi XiaoKui!”

However, this time, Qi XiaoKui didn’t appear.

He clenched his palms and looked at You Yi, who was in trouble there. He was surrounded by dozens of stone ghosts, although he was doing a good job, splitting the ghosts around him, they continued to come back tirelessly, sooner or later he would be bitten.

Xin Meng was unable to keep calm like before, when watching Dong Xiu or Xiong JiaBao. Seeing You Yi’s arm was about to be bitten off, his mind went blank, then suddenly, déjà vu took over his nerves… As if he had seen this before…

‘A man was being surrounded by monsters and… And then…’

Xin Meng’s head hurt, making him dizzy and about to vomit, still his eyes refused to close, reflecting the man before him. His nails made his palms bleed, and Xin Meng shook off his strange thoughts. Took out the portable saber he was given before and rushed off to help him.

You Yi yelled, “Don’t come!”

His feet stopped again. Xin Meng was too afraid to help and didn’t dare going any further, but his heart was bewildered and soon he burst into tears.

Translator and Editor Notes:

[1] It’s a dog breed

[2] this originally said “…but it was filled with ghosts, and I didn’t notice it” but it was changed to “…but rather that the ghosts inside it were resisting,…”. I wanted to clarify this statement more because ‘how can ghost being there make it heavier if they don’t have mass?’ It’s rather implied but it makes more sense that the ghosts were resisting Xin Meng pulling the stone rather than ‘the ghosts are just really heavy and chillin’ in the stone’. Either way it’s not such an important detail as the main point is that Xin Meng can’t pull the stone out because of the ghosts.

[3] If you don’t know, it’s a reference to Popeye the sailor, he gets buff like the hulk after eating spinach.

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