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Dreamland of Death.
It was the most frightening game item known to the players.
It killed the former leader of Silver Wings, one of the three major guilds, where he was an owner of Grade-A game items. After that, the original owner of Dreamland of Death was killed by the guilds combined effort. Since they could not decide on a new owner, the three major guilds eventually came up with the fairest method-putting it on auction.
The guild that acquired the item would compensate the other two guilds with a handsome amount of game points. With that, everyone benefitted from the deal. None of them would expect a mysterious woman to so rudely mess up their plan. The woman in sunglasses managed to acquire the item, using the game points she squandered off from the chamber of commerce. As a result, the Dreamland of Death, an item the three major guilds fought so hard for, disappeared once again before their eyes.
In the following months, players searched high and low for the whereabouts of the mysterious woman and the coveted item, but no matter how hard they looked, she seemed to have vanished from the surface of the earth. It was all quiet, until a year ago, when Zhang Heng took the train home and ran into a middle-aged man who wouldn’t wake up from his sleep. He learned afterward on the foru that the Dreamland of Death had reappeared. This time, there were more victims, and worse, they were no longer limited to players. Many were ordinary people who were scattered all over the country, and none of them were even related to each other. The issue had quickly caught the attention of many, and the forum began to pile up with posts regarding the dreaded item’s reemergence.
After investigations conducted by the three major guilds, the ‘murderers’ were found. The bad news was that they all turned out ordinary people, and the Dreamland of Death they purchased actually came from an online shop called Murder Without Risk.
It didn’t cross the minds of most people that the purchase would genuinely kill the person they hated. All they wanted to do was vent their disgust and dissatisfaction, and after learning that those they targeted were actually dead, many descended into insanity.
That said, compared to the mental health of the ‘culprits,’ the player base was more concerned about other things. These were all questionable killings.
The players demanded answers to a few key questions. Who was the shop owner of Murder Without Risk? Why had so many Dreamland of Death copies appeared in the real world? How did the person do it? The fourth question, however, was the issue that most players were concerned about: how to survive a Dreamland of Death attack.
The entire Silver Wings guild found it hard to carry on after the death of their former leader. The fear among the players had also reached its peak at that time.
To make matters worse, copies of the Dreamland of Death were now widely distributed in the real world. Although the Murder Without Risk shop had disappeared, no one really knew how many copies had been sold, used, or how many were left. No one knew when or where it would appear again. No one could guarantee for sure that they wouldn’t be the next victim.
Although posts on the forum were rife with speculations on how to deal with the problem, none were verified. There was a silver lining. After multiple arrests of the ‘murderers,’ the players soon had a clearer pictue on the trigger conditions for the item.
The Dreamland of Death came in the form of a black feather. The user needed to ignite a piece of paper with the target’s name on it along with the feather. The ashes of the two were then required to be soaked in water. For the last step, the target would have to be shown the photo that Han Lu received.
Not limited to solely text messages, the picture could be shown on billboards, videos, or even including it in PowerPoint slides. As long as the target looked at it, it was fine, even if they didn’t realize that they actually saw it.
“So, you are trying to say that I’m under a curse, and from now on, if I close my eyes, I will die in my dreams?”
Even after witnessing the Filter Lens’ magical effect, Han Lu still found Zhang Heng’s words to be utterly unbelievable.
“Yes, that’s one way to put it. It’s not too difficult to prove what I’m saying.” Zhang Heng realized that it was unrealistic to make Han Lu realize these problems’ gravity by just giving her an explanation.
“Do you have any enemies?”
“It depends on how you define enemy,” Han Lu said. “In our field, it is difficult to stay pure and clean. It can be all fine and dandy with your client today, and the relationship could cease to exist tomorrow. Emotions should never get between investments, and as long as I see fit to plug the losses, I will decisively withdraw all the remaining funds. I don’t care if your company survives tomorrow. Sometimes entrepreneurs will band up with investors and find a way to kick me out of the game. And if I happen to encounter a project I can’t handle myself, I may join forces with the very ones who tried to kick me out.
“It’s very complicated… Personally, I don’t mix feelings or grudges in my work. This is my way of doing things. I have seen too many entrepreneurs losing everything. If you play with fire, you’ll have to expect that your investments can be burned forever too. Perhaps only one out of a dozen projects you invest in will survive. That one project might compensate me just enough to cover my losses. There’s a thin line between gambling and investing, and being rational is my way of living. There are all kinds of people in this field. Some are very emotional… I don’t know how many hate or dislike me. I can’t even remember their names.”
“Let’s narrow it down. Who hates you to the point of killing you?”
“Wow, what a question…”
“Don’t need to think too long. Just give me the first name that appears in your mind, and we’ll start there,” said Zhang Heng.
“Xu Jianjun.” Han Lu spread her hands. “We have no previous grievances. He is a retired soldier, and a friend introduced me to him about two years ago. He took on a project, coming to me and telling me that he wanted to specialize in producing furniture. I read his proposal and thought it was okay. If it worked out, he stood to make a million or two a year. But that’s probably the limit. There isn’t much room for expansion, and I’m generally not interested in small projects like this. For the sake of my friend, though, I invested about 700,000 yuan. I must admit, I made the contract sound rather demanding, but that’s reality. I need to protect my interests. No one besides me was willing to invest in his project. So, he signed the contract after thinking about it for three days.”
“What happened then?” asked Zhang Heng.
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