Mr. Melancholy Wants to Live a Peaceful Life - Chap 57
No one knew better than Luo Huai what a frightening weapon “emotions” were. Starting from childhood, he had been engaged in the work of treating Protectors and their relatives.
If a Protector chose to marry an ordinary person, they would either conceal their identity until death or their spouse would constantly receive psychological treatment under the Protection Organization’s auspices. When they were near collapse, it would be up to Luo Huai to step in to free them.
In the end, there were few family members whose willpower was as staunch as You Zhengping’s father You Guodong’s, who was a military man. Many more of them were only ordinary people.
Even among Protectors, when they were released from active service after being wounded, it was hard to avoid suffering from PTSD. They would be plagued by nightmares and excessive anxiety, perhaps even harming the people around them.
Decades ago, mental type Protectors only operated in secret. At the time, neither the country nor society had had a consummate system of psychological theory. They hadn’t attached enough importance to the psychological states of the Protectors and their relatives. They had taken many wrong paths and brought about many tragedies.
Starting from the generation of Luo Huai’s mother Luo Wenyun, the Protection Organization had begun to attach importance to the work of psychological coaching. But Luo Wenyun had touched too many negative emotions. At first she had been very happy to help her teammates and their relatives, willing to make contributions towards everyone’s happiness.
But in the process of absorbing their memories, of course she would come into contact with negative emotions. Over time, this had created a great burden on her mental state. She had become dazed. Stories that didn’t belong to her often appeared in her dreams. Gradually she became afraid of dreaming, not daring to go to sleep. Each night she would sit up in bed, waiting for daylight.
When daylight came, she could stay awake no longer. She would lean on her pillow, sleeping lightly for an hour or two then be startled awake by a nightmare.
Luo Wenyun’s youthful appearance withered day by day. She accepted the Protector Perpetuation Program almost with pleasure. She longed for another Protector with mental powers to help her shoulder the burden.
When Luo Huai was born and displayed a special ability, Luo Wenyun was happy. But everyone had overlooked what a burden giving birth was on a woman’s body and mind. In normal times, Luo Wenyun had barely been able to stand up to the negative emotions, and it was even worse in the weak period following birth.
Before her death, Luo Wenyun left behind a suicide note. She had written that there was no need to grieve for her. She was very happy to finally be able to sleep. It was so good not to have to bear others’ dreams any longer. The only thing that made her sad was that she was deserting a battlefield that belonged solely to her. She could no longer offer her power to the nation and the people. But…she was sorry. While she seemed intact on the outside, she was inwardly full of holes. She truly had no way to keep fighting.
In fact, Luo Wenyun had also developed a mental illness, but the physician could not heal herself. She could save other people’s souls, but no one could save her.
Luo Huai had completely inherited his mother’s special ability, and he was even more powerful than her. Luo Huai could not only absorb and preserve others’ memories, he could also release these memories to influence other people.
He very rarely used this ability. Whether the emotions were good or bad, they were all someone’s treasure. Luo Huai felt that he had no right to use these memories.
Only when facing an enemy would he awaken the memories of Protectors who had already passed, requesting these elders to fight with him.
The five stars surrounded Huan Zixu. As a mental ability user himself, Huan Zixu understood the nature of these stars at a glance. He attempted to dodge, but how could the body throw off the speed of thought?
The memories belonging to senior Protectors instantly wrapped around Huan Zixu. These were memories from fifty years ago and more. At that time, technology had not been developed enough, communication had not been smooth enough, the people not rich enough, and the Protectors had been facing the Destroyers while the System was at its prime.
The fragments of memory didn’t show what the Destroyers’ missions had been. The Protectors weren’t clear on what goals the Destroyers had. They only knew that the Destroyer in front of them had created a landslide to kill a village full of people. All they felt was hatred and the certainty of victory.
Their weapons, communications, and technology were all inferior to their opponent. All the Protectors could rely on was conviction and sacrifice.
In a daze, Huan Zixu “saw” an elderly Protector leap forward to grab him while another young Protector wielded a sword of light, tearfully stabbing the elderly Protector and the Destroyer at once. Then he knelt on the ground and collapsed into sobs, desperately wiping the fresh blood off his hands.
What Luo Huai had absorbed had been the young Protector’s nightmare. This was something that the young Protector had been unable to forget after retiring. During his first battle, he had killed his teacher and military instructor with his own hands. Even fifty years later, he couldn’t forget those blood-stained hands. Ten years ago, when the fifteen-year-old Luo Huai had seen him, the sixty-something years old man, his legs paralyzed, had been holding a vegetable knife and scraping the skin off his palms as though removing the scales from a fish. He had already removed a layer of skin, but he seemed not to feel the pain.
A lifetime of pain couldn’t be healed with even with decades of treatment.
Luo Huai undertook this work willingly. A Protector who had struggled for the sake of the world for half a lifetime, a family member who had supported a Protector heart and soul—if even these people couldn’t be happy, then the world was truly too unfair. Since he was the only one who could heal these people, then he was willing, though he would also be injured because of it.
The moment that the sword of light in the memory ran through him, Huan Zixu felt a bone-piercing sadness. He couldn’t even tell what was real. He only wanted to chop off those blood-stained hands. When his head had just cleared up a little, he was encircled by another star and sank into another Protector’s bitter memory.
While Huan Zixu was immersed in Luo Huai’s emotion attack, You Zhengping quietly opened his second space. After upgrading during the battle last time, his second space, which he used to hold people, could be separated into two. One held Yu Hua, and he used the other to seize Huan Zixu.
The door of the space opened noiselessly. As long as he could trap Huan Zixu in it, Huan Zixu’s powers would be reduced to one tenth; he definitely wouldn’t be able to break out of the space. Even if he wanted to use a high energy explosive ability like Destroyer 192, this sort of ability often did just as much damage to the user as the enemy. If he detonated a bomb in the narrow space, the first to die certainly wouldn’t be You Zhengping.
Hunt the two Destroyers, take them to the trap prepared by the Protection Organization and throwing them in, use high tech weapons and attacks designed ahead of time by the Protectors to deplete their points, then wait for the two of them to use up all their points—that was when the Protectors would draw the net closed.
The moment You Zhengping caught Huan Zixu, half of the plan had succeeded.
Just as the space was about to seize Huan Zixu, his bracelet suddenly emitted a knife, cutting open the back of his hand. A splash of fresh blood merged with the five stars. The illusion of the memories instantly vanished, and the faint memories turned the vivid color of fresh blood.
The stars were only a manifestation of the energy of the memories. Reasonably speaking, they shouldn’t have been controlled by “false exchange.” But it was very clear that Huan Zixu’s blood was special. With the blood as a medium, he was using his own mental power to cover up the memories, relying on pain and battle to clear his mind.
Luo Huai didn’t even dare to use these memories to fight with again. Because Huan Zixu had “polluted” the five stars, if Luo Huai tried to control them, his mind might be controlled by Huan Zixu.
Meanwhile, the lower leg of the mechanical skeleton Feng Kui lit up faintly, and Huan Zixu’s alloy belt lit up at the same time. His belt had been made out of Feng Kui’s lower leg bone. When Feng Kui called back his bone, the belt would carry Huan Zixu to Feng Kui’s side at supersonic speed.
From the beginning, there was no way to separate the two of them. Feng Kui and Huan Zixu wouldn’t be separated.
The supersonic speed let Huan Zixu escape You Zhengping’s second space. He flew in front of Cen Xiao and the others and stood on the mechanical skeleton’s wide shoulders. He smacked his hand. Even more blood gushed out of the wound made by the knife just now. Under the urging of Huan Zixu’s power, it splashed on Cen Xiao and Lian Yufan.
The sudden change took place within 0.2 to 0.3 seconds. Even You Zhengping hadn’t expected such a change. He and Luo Huai had already begun to move when Huan Zixu had cut the back of his hand, but they were half a beat too slow. They came to Cen Xiao and Lian Yufan’s side half a second late.
Fortunately Cen Xiao and Lian Yufan were mentally prepared and firm in their convictions. They used their willpower to resist Huan Zixu’s mental attack. Luo Huai arrived within one second, touched the two of them, and absorbed the false impression that Huan Zixu had given them.
Following this bout, the two sides stood opposed, each having gained new respect and understanding of the others’ powers.
“I admire your willpower and conviction, and I fully understand your hatred for us.” Huan Zixu’s expression was rather sorrowful after being attacked by the Protectors’ memories. “But, forgive me, there are also things that we have to do.”
Lian Yufan saw that the metal on Huan Zixu’s body came from Feng Kui’s bones, and his eyes lit up. He stepped forward with a hand behind his back, making a few gestures that only Protectors would understand towards the people behind him.
To cover up that he had suddenly stepped forward, Lian Yufan loudly said, “Don’t act like you have your own secret troubles. You’re invaders. You’ve always devastated our world.”
“Invaders don’t always know that they’re invaders.” As if he had been impacted by the Protectors’ memories, Huan Zixu said, “Perhaps the invaders take this for only a game. Do you feel compassion when using a group attack to take care of minor monsters in a game?”
Previous Destroyers had either died in battle or self-destructed after being captured. The Protectors hadn’t had a chance to communicate with the Destroyers. It was Yu Hua absorbing the Destroyers’ Systems’ energy that had given the Protectors and Destroyers an opportunity to communicate.
The Protection Organization had only then learned that Zhen Li, who had only passed four levels, had simply taken this for an RPG. He had thought that the handsome uncle You Zhengping was an NPC who would give him clues to find the mission target. With Yuan Luori, who had passed thirty-seven levels, it had also been “stupid native this” and “stupid NPC that.”
But they couldn’t lower their guards against the Destroyers because of this. Destroyer 192, at least, had known perfectly well that this was a real world. Despite this, he had still used children as hostages and planted bombs on a large scale in public places. The two Destroyers in front of them also understood that they were flesh and blood, not game projections.
“Don’t use not knowing as an excuse,” Lian Yufan said. “Aren’t you perfectly well aware? Yet you still want to harm our world. From petty pilfering to murdering for money, apart from innately antisocial people, who doesn’t go step by step from minor evils to major evils?”
When hatred already existed, it couldn’t be forgiven with a single “we were tricked, too.”
Huan Zixu smiled mournfully. “You’re right. So even if I’m not willing to become the enemy in your memories, I still have to do it. I’ll say it again, give up Yu Hua, let me control you, and you may still survive.”
“Impossible,” You Zhengping said firmly. Following his words, a terrible bolt of lightning struck from above Huan Zixu and the mechanical skeleton’s head.
While Lian Yufan had been speaking and attracting attention, You Zhengping had made his second space appear behind Huan Zixu to mislead him and make him defend against an attack from behind. At the same time, he had stealthily moved the first space, which could hold weapons and energy, above Huan Zixu’s head. He had never used the first space in combat. This was his backup maneuver.
The first space contained powerful offensive energy from the older generation of Protectors. Tens of thousands of volts of electricity struck like lightning, directly hitting Feng and Huan.
It all happened too fast. Feng Kui only had time to extend his arms into long, narrow lightning rods, his legs becoming four metal conductors, channeling the lightning into the earth, keeping Huan Zixu, standing on his shoulder, from any harm.
Lian Yufan still held a length of chain that he had kept back during the battle. This was the weapon that Feng Kui had used to capture Luo Huai, and it was also a part of Feng Kui’s body. They ought to be the same as the alloy on Huan Zixu.
Using a fragment to restore an entire item was easy, but using a fragment to attract a portion of the item required extremely strong control. Lian Yufan clenched his teeth, concentrating on attracting the alloy on Huan Zixu. He had to remove the means of physical attack from this mental ability user!
Feng Kui, who was concentrating on the lightning bolt, had no way to divide his attention to resist Lian Yufan’s assembly power. He could only watch as the defensive metal on Huan Zixu all flew to Lian Yufan’s hand. He let out a snarl.
Meanwhile, Lian Yufan, who had taken Huan Zixu’s defensive items, also suffered a part of the lightning strike. While it was already considerably weakened, it still electrocuted him hard enough for his whole body to go numb.
Cen Xiao looked for his opportunity. The moment the defensive alloy items left Huan Zixu’s body, he wildly threw petrol bombs, lighting the two people in front of him on fire.
Amid the flames, the tall mechanical skeleton with his whole covered in raging fire, didn’t immediately react by getting a condensation spray. He curled up, protecting the small human on his shoulder in his arms. His back burned fiercely, metal bones melting, but in his arms, the temperature remained at thirty degrees.
Huan Zixu clenched his teeth and got a condensation spray, helping Feng Kui lower his temperature.
Thick white steam billowed up. The four Protectors, concerned that an unexpected attack would come through the white steam that was impairing their lines of sight, quickly retreated, going far from the steam.
Standing outside the white steam, which took a long time to clear, You Zhengping didn’t know what attack the two people inside the steam would set off. As he was on his guard, his feelings were somewhat complicated.
In the labyrinth yesterday, the enormous mechanical skeleton had drawn countless pink hearts for him and Yu Hua. The little pink hearts had romantically encircled the couple. The mechanical skeleton hadn’t attacked them then.
And now, he and his companions were using their powers without reservation, directing their strongest attacks against the two people in front of them without any leniency.
And the mechanical skeleton who had blessed them was tightly holding his companion, struggling amid the fierce flames.
The positions of the Protectors and Destroyers seemed to have instantly been inverted. They had always been cruelly injured by the Destroyers, but who was cruelly injuring the Destroyers?
The new Destroyers were much more powerful than 192, so why was this battle easier than the one on the roof? Because the new Destroyers hadn’t taken hostages. The Protectors didn’t need to protect anyone. They only had to concentrate entirely on battle.
The two Destroyer had given up more convenient means and accepted greater attacks.
“It would be better if I had taken a hostage or two beforehand,” Huan Zixu’s cold voice came from the white steam. “That way, you wouldn’t have been so seriously injured.”
“No good…crk-crk.” This was everyone’s first time hearing Feng Kui’s metallic-sounding voice. His words contained the sound of small parts moving.
“Oh, you…” Huan Zixu sighed in exasperation. “Don’t you have a little too much conscience?”
“70%…crk-crk.” Feng Kui was telling Huan Zixu that his humanity took up 70% of his storage.
Their entirely unreserved voices made the Protectors feel highly on their guard. It showed that Feng Kui and Huan Zixu had a backup plan. They really were very powerful!
“Me, though… Before I became a leveler, I suppose I was a ruthless salesman. To make a sale, I’d talk up countless useless healthcare products to sell to clueless retirees, make them stock up on the products, attract other people degree by degree and become my money-making props.” Huan Zixu laughed mockingly. “I’m not a good person. But since meeting you, I’ve had to act like a good person.”
Huan Zixu opened his hand. In his palm was a “Sales Champion” medal. This was his initial item.
Apart from abilities, the other powerful trump card was the initial item. Feng Kui’s initial item had integrated with his bones, but Huan Zixu’s initial item had never been used.
“There’s nothing I can’t sell, and no money (power) I can’t obtain.” Huan Zixu flung the “Sales Champion” medal.
Luo Huai was the first to feel that there was awful power hidden in that small medal. He quickly said to his companions, “Run, run as far as you can!”
If he had seen right, even if it didn’t make direct contact, this item would snatch a certain item away from a person, and its range was very wide.
In their first world, Huan Zixu’s initial item had had a range of less than 1 cm, pitifully small. After 199 worlds of upgrades, his initial item had a 100 meter radius.
Even if everyone had gotten away in a timely manner and Luo Huai’s warning had come fast enough, a hundred meters was still too long.
You Zhengping felt a fearful energy emptying out his second space. He stopped in his tracks and turned. He saw the mechanical skeleton holding Yu Hua in his hand.
He opened his hand. At some point, a one yuan coin had appeared in his palm.
Using his initial item, the Destroyer had “bought” Yu Hua with a single yuan.
Yu Hua: Well done! I’m finally out! (Though I kind of hate to leave.)
You Zhengping: …So the Destroyer brought out his trump card and went through countless difficulties to “rescue” his greatest enemy?
Huan Zixu: Don’t ask. If you ask, you’ll regret it.