“The front door of the banquet hall suddenly opened with a bang. People who were dancing and singing immediately stopped, and everyone looked at the front door. A man covered in flames stood at the door as a large number of ominous ravens circled over his head. The crowd went silent for a moment, until a sudden scream shrieked out–”
As he flipped through the first page of the book “The Raven Manor House”, Xia Nou’s fingers trembled lightly.
This was the first escape game that he’s going to enter. Reading the contents of the book made him nervous and scared.
Seeing him getting anxious, the system reassured him, “Don’t worry, the first game for a novice like you should be easy. I’ve called for a senior player to accompany you, and even your persona is a rich young man with a ‘boyfriend’.”
“Boyfriend?” Xia Nuo gave out a small sigh of relief.
He was already a grown man, but he has never had a relationship with someone before. He didn’t think that the first relationship he’d have would be in a game.
To put it bluntly, the first 18 years of his life were indeed unimpressive. Most of his life were spent lying on a hospital bed.
He was a premature baby. The doctors all declared that he was born with congenital defects. From his childhood days to his adulthood, he was always sick. The hospital even issued him again in a critical condition just three days ago.
Xia Nuo thought that his life would end just like this, when the system suddenly came to him.
“If you want to live longer, come and play the escape game.”
Sounds like an insincere Amway line to recruit someone. But Xia Nou, who was desperate to live longer, agreed to play his first escape game.
The system continued, “At the beginning of the game, remember to stay close to your ‘boyfriend’. He’s going to save you three times. This is a benefit that I’m giving for a novice like you, okay?”
“Okay, I will remember.” Xia Nuo nodded, then he asked seriously. “But will he enter the game with me? If not, how do I find him?”
The system answered, “You don’t have to worry about this. Though he won’t enter the game with you, he will be around you at the start of the game.”
“My ‘boyfriend’, huh…” He hesitated a little to ask, “How am I going to repay him?”
After all, there is nothing called a free lunch in this world and Xia Nuo was especially taught by his parents since childhood to be grateful to those people who have helped him. It probably won’t be easy for his ‘boyfriend’ to protect him inside that scary game, he thought that he ought to give him something.
The system glanced at him from his head to toe. It’s color was in between pink and blue, with a pair of tiny wings behind its big, round back that looked more like a design than something that could actually lift him up.
It flew in the air around the room, and its mouth opened into a wide grin that seemed a little mocking. “You don’t have to repay him. Veteran players are also given rewards for playing with a novice like you. That’s more than enough.”
Even so, Xia Nuo felt compelled to agree. He felt that the system thought of helping as just a trivial matter, and it was very different to what was taught to him since he was a kid.
Hmm… I’ll see what I can do for him after I enter the game.
Xia Nuo secretly made a decision in his heart.
The system knew what he was thinking and shook its head, feeling worried for him.
Xia Nuo, who inherited his gorgeous parents’ good genes, looked refined and handsome. He was born with a baby face that made him look younger than his actual age, with big, bright drooping eyes and an innocent look that makes people think that he’s harmless like a deer or a rabbit.
The system felt that having such qualities was both an advantage and a disadvantage for Xia Nuo.
In short, he felt that Xia Nuo could easily gain the favor of the good and neutral NPCs. If he’s lucky enough, he can get clues from them. But if he meets some evil NPC, there’s a big chance that he would get their attention. He could get caught and get played around.
It’s like meeting a deer in the wild. Some people would choose to feed it with grass, while some people would put it in a cage instead.
Unfortunately, in this escape game, the latter holds the bigger advantage.
That’s not good.
The system felt really concerned about him since it was rare to meet someone who was so obedient. He didn’t want him to be eliminated early.
“You must remember to listen well to the senior player, okay? He’s more experienced than you so going with him would lessen the problems you’ll face. You and him share the same interests, he definitely won’t harm you.”
Of course, he shouldn’t have high expectations. The restriction of the rookie system states that once a rookie player dies, the senior player will be kicked out of that game world, whereas when the senior player dies first, it won’t have any impact on the rookie player. So the senior player will try as much to protect the rookie player, but anything besides that, one shouldn’t expect much.
The system thought for a while, then said, “Lastly, you must remember not to tell your real name to any NPC in the game, or else,” it said. “Once you get entangled with them, you won’t be able to escape.”
The last sentence was intentionally said in a lower voice, which made it sound eerie and terrifying. It sent shivers down his spine that stretched from his heart to his body. Xia Nuo nodded quickly and said that he would firmly keep it in mind.
After the system scared him, it felt a bit satisfied. It had already reminded him of everything, and now it flew over back to the page of the book. “Well, now it’s time to enter the game.”
As soon as the voice finished speaking, bursts of white light lit up the pages of the book and before he could even react, Xia Nuo was already sucked up inside.
The process of entering inside was a little rough, like getting stirred up within a washing machine drum. It made him a little dizzy. Xia Nuo stumbled a little as he felt his feet touch the ground. Darkness covered his sight. He couldn’t adapt for a while, it made him panic a little.
He stretched out his hand and searched through his surroundings when an arm reached out to him and held him steady.
Oh it’s him! My “boyfriend”!
Xia Nuo’s heart filled with delight when he thought of the identity of this man was what the system told him about.
He felt more at ease with the fact of finding his new companion.
He immediately grasped this incredibly firm hand, and did not notice that the owner of that hand was stunned because of his warm, enthusiastic actions. He also didn’t notice that moments later, the man watched him and slowly showed an ambiguous smile.
As the scene from the book began, the high pitched shriek of a woman swept through the room, the ravens stormed inside and the guests began to flee.
The escape game officially starts.