“Hmph, it’s a terrible death…”
Annan smacked his lips with relish.
He was now in Roseburg, watching the live broadcast while guarding the corpse.
Salvatore was already asleep. His activity time was limited. He couldn’t stay up to display the corpse with Annan later and then make up his sleep during the day after affirming Annan’s authority. He already had a severe lack of sleep time. After all, he had to fall asleep at 3.a.m.
Hence, Annan could only stay in the viscount’s mansion at Roseburg for the time being.
Salvatore went to bed while Annan stayed in the viscount’s mansion to watch the night.
Annan also took the opportunity to spectate the horror game live broadcast.
Although the exterior was scorched black, the viscount house was so big that the interior stayed intact.
As the hammer struck, the Child became a pile of meat.
The death was shocking.
As soon as Wandering Child turned his head, he saw a huge hammer smashing the glass window, accompanied by a thunderous whistling sound, and hit his face.
His vision was instantly blurred and shattered, and his consciousness dissipated directly.
That shock coming from the terrible death had reached the audience through the live broadcast.
Even the bullet texts paused for a while because the audience was equally stunned.
After a few seconds of silence, a barrage of bullet texts slowly picked up:
“Fuck it. This is too staggering!”
“He triggered the death flag. I don’t think the Child has time to dodge it.”
“After taking the letter, run straight away! Don’t care about the things behind you. Don’t look back. It should also be a chase here.”
“Ya, that makes sense. Brother Hammer looks like the one on the second floor no matter how you look at it.”
“If you were caught up on the second floor, I think you would be caught in the same animation.”
It was the first staggering kill after turning around in this nightmare.
Unlike the players, Annan knew the “don’t look back” warning from the beginning.
This warning did not mean “You will die immediately when you turn back,” but “you can’t turn your head back at certain nodes.”
After all, Annan followed Priest Louis’s strategy.
In this dungeon instance, as long as you failed, all your memories would be lost. Hence, Priest Louis could only plan his behavior pattern before entering the dungeon instance. Then, he would summarize the commonalities of his behavior pattern after clearing the level.
Therefore, his strategy was incomplete.
Annan didn’t tell the players this strategy so as not to restrict their creativity. Otherwise, the players would inevitably follow Annan’s strategy. They wouldn’t be searching for Easter eggs after clearing the level. This was equivalent to limiting the players’ thinking.
Annan had to let them die a few more times to make full use of the player’s immortality.
This was compensation for the lack of talent through hard work. Anything that couldn’t kill me would only make me stronger. This was where the player’s advantage lay.
There would be gains with every life paid, as long as it was not expended in vain.
Let’s take Wandering Child, for example.
The letter he got from the window was vital.
Annan did not pick up this letter at the time.
This was the clue Annan missed.
If all went well, the Child hadn’t stayed rooted in the place just now, triggering a chase. Then, Wandering Child would meet Brother Hammer again at the end of the corridor and enter “Nightmare: Elle Morrison.”
When the Child saw Elle’s diary, he could immediately realize that the letter was part of the diary. It was the part Elle tore off. Thus, it would become apparent that Elle’s diary was the critical clue.
The reason why Annan guessed that Elle had torn that particular page off was that Annan encountered a diary with only one page written (usually both pages of the book would be utilized). It was quite unnatural.
Generally speaking, when writing a diary, both the left page and right page should be filled. No one would write diaries on one page. Moreover, when Annan read Elle’s diary previously, she indeed wrote two pages in her habit.
This showed that Elle was dissatisfied with what she wrote in the diary and tore it off.
So, in whose hands did the page go?
That diary fragment in the envelope was neatly folded. The person who sent this letter must cherish it a lot.
Annan also noticed that Brother Hammer’s eyes had the same emerald green as Elle’s eyes.
Annan related the occurrence to “Buckel… please…” which Amos had blurted right before entering the dream of “Elle Morrison.”
A wild thought flashed in Annan’s mind.
Elle Morrison should be formerly known as Elle Buckel.
It was the news Annan read in the newspaper published forty-five years ago. It was a piece of news that players didn’t know.
So, that Brother Hammer is Elle’s biological father.
But isn’t he dead?
Was he not dead? Or did he come to Amos to settle scores after he was resurrected?
With that, Annan empathized with Brother Hammer’s revenge.
After all, Amos violated his wife and daughter. His daughter almost gave birth to a child for Amos. Brother Hammer wanted to come over and smash Amos’ head, which was completely understandable.
Elle tore off the diary of that day. The content in it should be paramount.
Only through getting this letter could Annan understand why “Dad was painting in front of the garden, and he couldn’t paint halfway through the painting. So then, he tore the painting.”
For Amos Morrison, painting needed to start from the bones to have that magical charm. Unfortunately, the paint he got could only be used to paint portraits. So, when he painted landscape paintings, he could feel “a drastic and intolerable regression.”
It was the diary of this day that could truly reflect Amos’ weird state. Combining the contents of the diary on the last day – “June 10th,” Wandering Child should be able to realize that there was vital information in the “Study Room.”
In this way, the information of the entire dungeon instance could be connected to a storyline.
This puzzle was similar to the standard combination lock  puzzle in horror games.
A set of numbers should be written on a wall or a piece of paper somewhere. This number was the password of a combination lock.
Of course, if there were not many digits in the password, one could force his way over it.
When Annan tackled the nightmare by himself, he relied on his swiftness to search the entire room. Only then could Annan confirm the clues were in the diary. Then, he went straight to the study just because the word was mentioned in the diary. Annan was decisive as he made up his mind without hesitation.
The entire process purely relied on Annan’s swiftness in taking action, which put heavy weight on his efficiency in the time limit.
Annan suddenly realized what was the most critical element in this dungeon instance. Actually, there was a hint at the very beginning.
In the beginning, the player played as Amos, whose internal organs were wounded and bleeding. His liver or kidney was injured, and he could not move for too long. The Brother Hammer’s chase also put further pressure on time.
In the level “Elle Morrison,” the person tackling the dungeon had to finish reading the book in the study before Amos returned home. This challenge directly determined the subsequent plot development. In addition, the mission of “live till dawn” emphasized time too.
“Don’t waste time… Is it?”
This should be the core mechanism of this dungeon instance.
Annan came to a realization.
If Annan didn’t guess wrong, the strategy of this nightmare was not “don’t look back” but “don’t stop.”
Wandering Child almost got it right.
As the Child triggered the window’s opening at the door and walked over to take the letter, he should have run after reading it. Brother Hammer should have just broken into the window at this time.
This was probably why Brother Hammer would appear behind Annan somehow in the cinematic graphics (CG).
It turned out that according to the logic of this nightmare, Annan should have read the letter and triggered the chase before escaping into the trail. Only then would he proceed to trigger this “CG.”
Amos already knew that someone was chasing him, so he shouted, “Buckel, don’t kill me.” Then, he walked into the dim trail to shake off the pursuer. The purpose was to get the enemy to go to the next floor from the bright place while hiding. But, in the end, he faced a dead end.
With this, the events were connected. All the details became logical.
“Sure enough, letting players tackle the dungeon instance is a rewarding move.”
Annan muttered, returning to the Wandering Child’s live broadcast.
If nothing else, he should follow the bullet text instructions and go to the third floor again.
“What happened to the others?”
Annan was curious.
What are the other nightmare levels like?
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