Ye Zun was just overtaken by the veteran players when he approached the woods in the west.
Even if his body affected by the drug had almost rid itself from the influence, he alone couldn’t fight a dozen veteran players at the same time, so he could only grit his teeth and run to the west.
“Ai, what are you running for? Although City Lord Alevei is a demon, it’s still a big beauty with nice curves ah.”
“Shut up, hurry and grab him! This is a first-class good that can be exchanged for five thousand magic crystals.”
“Even a novice can’t get it, what wastes.”
“Wait, where is he running to? Stop chasing! Stop! That is…”
Before those people suddenly changed their tone and shouted out a mysterious and vague warning, Ye Zun had already rushed into the depths of the forest in one breath, running all the way until he crashed into the door of a church.
Ye Zun panted quickly, pushing the door while looking back to where he came from, wanting to be certain whether those people had followed him over.
He didn’t realise that the church he stepped into was purgatory on Earth.
The carpet was drenched in the blood of the demon lying on the ground, who had his splattered internal organ chunks seeping from wounds created from fragments of broken stained glass.
The demon had six pairs of wings made of bone, four heads, and eight compound eyes.
The visual impact of this corpse was infinitely more horrifying than the novice trial he had just experienced.
However, Ye Zun could not see this.
The moment he made sure that those people had not chased after him, just before he looked back at the interior of the church, everything suddenly changed.
The blood-stained shards from the depiction of Heaven floated back to form the dome, the rows of chairs restored, and the blood-drenched carpet returned back into an old red carpet.
Even the huge body of the demon disappeared from human sight in a second.
Ye Zun didn’t notice anything.
He backed away and into the church vigilantly while turning his head.
Oblivious to what was around him, he ran into a man standing quietly in the middle of his path.
Like a bird startled by the release of a bow*, Ye Zun abruptly turned his head back and subconsciously raised his hand to press a finger against the man’s lips as he let out a shushing noise.
[T/N: 惊弓之鸟: someone who is frightened easily due to past experiences]
When he raised his eyes to see the man in front of him clearly, Ye Zun was stunned still, unable to say a single word.
Compared to Ye Zun, who had not yet graduated from university, the man in front of him was a bit more mature.
When facing each other at such close range, he was at least a head taller than Ye Zun, who stood at a height of 1.85 metres.
Ye Zun was not particularly slender.
The man wore a slim and crisp shirt and long pants, the black clothes accentuating his thin figure even more, but still half a small circle bigger than Ye Zun who was wearing mint green.
[T/N: so I’m guessing: Ye Zun wears a brighter colour (and what i’m assuming baggier clothing), ‘the man’ wears well-ironed black clothes so it makes it look like he’s thin, but actually, Ye Zun’s waist is thinner than the man’s ]
——Fortunately, he didn’t cover his mouth, otherwise he may not be able to suppress the other and could’ve caused a conflict.
This was the first vague thought flitting across Ye Zun’s mind after seeing the other person’s height, body shape and appearance, and suspecting the man of being of mixed blood.
Then, he saw the eyes behind those black bangs that stared directly into his own.
They looked like a pair of expensive and rare black quartzes, quietly sinking in the refreshing spring water.
Such beautiful eyes made people hold their breath subconsciously.
This man undoubtedly had the most handsome and perfect face that Ye Zun had ever seen.
Although his noble and abstaining face didn’t have an obvious expression, his black and quiet eyes gave people a gentle and timeless feeling.
Being watched quietly and curiously by those excessively beautiful eyes, the intruding Ye Zun couldn’t help feeling nervous and embarrassed.
Under his fingertips, he felt a soft and cool touch, and only then did he realise that his fingers were still pressing on the other’s lips.
Almost as if he had been scalded, Ye Zun retracted his hand.
“Are you human? There are still normal people here?”
“Excuse me, is there a problem?” Facing Ye Zun’s rudeness, the man was elegant and peaceful, eyes still staring at him as he reservedly and politely nodded in confirmation.
Ye Zun pursed his lips very slightly, looking up into the man’s eyes.
“Sorry, but, can I stay here for a while?”
As soon as these words left his mouth, his heart immediately became annoyed with himself——what kind of war-spy idol drama script line was this?
The tension in Ye Zun’s eyes gradually stabilised.
He forced himself not to express any emotions.
——You must be stronger, and you can’t be seen as cowardly.
If you are, things may escalate like with those people outside.
Once he finds out that you don’t understand anything, he will want to sell you to some strange demon.
His eyelashes fluttered up and looked directly at the other man again.
Assuming a calm and strong look, he unwaveringly* said, “I need to stay here for a while.”
[T/N: 云淡风轻: light clouds and light wind]
If one didn’t look at the left hand he clenched subconsciously, he looked quite the part.
But the elegant and gentlemanlike person in front of him was truly kind.
With shallow curiosity in his pitch black clear eyes, he watched Ye Zun closely.
“Of course you can.
If I may take the liberty to ask, did you perhaps meet some kind of trouble?”
The jut on Ye Zun’s throat shifted slightly.
Because of the other man’s gentleness and kindness toward him, it was difficult to maintain his apparent calmness and indifference.
With such a jerky reaction, only students who had not yet entered society would think they were putting on a very good act.
The man regarded him.
The pupils that occupied most of his eyes were solid black, yet bright and pure.
As a result, the black and white contrasts in his eyes were especially clear and soft.
It was like seeing a book he had never read before, so he unconsciously shifted his full attention to this human, growing curious.
“What is your name?”
Ye Zun looked at him.
The man’s slightly closed eyes lifted ever so little, his gaze still focused on him for a moment.
His lips slightly open, and for the first time, there was a clear ripple of emotion on his handsome and peaceful face.
The emotion was slightly obvious; surprised, as if he were about to smile.
But he didn’t.
Never had he thought that the special title for the Demon Lord of the Abyss would appear one day on a human being, to be used as a name.
The elegantly low voice spoke, with an inconspicuous curiosity, “May I ask, is it the ‘Zun’ I am thinking of?”
[T/N: 尊/zun means ‘honour’]
Because this person had a similar reaction to other people in his past when he heard of his name, Ye Zun’s nervousness settled down slightly.
“My name is a little weird, isn’t it?”
“En?” The man looked at him, neither agreeing or disagreeing.
Ye Zun naturally said, “When my parents dated in their youth, they liked to watch a movie called《 Glass Bottle* 》.
To commemorate their love, they gave me this name.
The ‘Zun’ was originally the ‘bottle’ character with ‘wood’ on the left*, but not long after I was born, they left each other and married other people.
I was brought up by my grandmother.
She wasn’t too literate and made a mistake when filing the household registration, which is how I have the ‘Zun’ for ‘respect’ now .”
[T/N: 玻璃樽/bo li zun: same ‘zun’ pronunciation as MC’s name, but means bottle.
MC’s 尊 is basically the character for bottle, but without ‘木’/wood on the side]
While he was rambling, the man listened attentively, his eyes gently watching.
Ye Zun didn’t realize anything was off until he finished speaking.
His eyes squinted unconsciously and his Adam’s apple rolled slightly.
He also felt he was very weird.
“Meeting for the first time, I shouldn’t say stuff like this, should I? I’m sorry, I don’t go out and deal with people often, and I’m not good at chatting, so I often don’t understand the boundaries when talking in conversations.
Even though I’m often told my name is strange, I don’t go specifically explaining it in depth.
Maybe it’s because you are a priest, and you look very gentle, that I unconsciously just…”
The man, who heard someone say he was gentle for the very first time, was unaware that his black pupils had dilated slightly.
He watched the human quietly.
Actually, it is also the same for me.
I am not good at communicating with people.
Hearing you say this, I feel like you are like me, so I am very comfortable.”
Ye Zun raised his eyes to look at him, slightly surprised.
“You are a priest, you should be receiving many believers or people like that every day.”
The man calmly said, “Oh, this church is deserted.
Actually, there are no believers who come here.
To be honest, it’s been a few days since I have taken over this church, but there is only me who stays in here to read.
I am very happy to see you come in.”
As if to prove that he really was happy, the man raised the corners of his lips, and the face that showed no evident emotion wore a subtle smile.
His eyes calmly and intently watched him.
“So, you can stay as long as you like.
If you want to always stay, that is also very good.”
Ye Zun stared at him in a daze.
After being inexplicably thrown into this terrifying world and betrayed by players who were in the same position as himself, this was the second person to unconditionally lend a hand to him.
A warm current poured into his body.
Ye Zun gazed at him with clear eyes, Adam’s apple rolling slightly.
The corners of his lips pulled upwards a little, and a rather jerky and restrained smile appeared.
You are a really good person.”
The man’s eyelashes lifted slightly.
He said in his gentle, low voice, “Ah, good person?”
This was the first time he had received the evaluation of being a good person, right after the first time he was said to be gentle.
The eyebrows that have never rippled were now both raised slightly, and a real smile hooked up at the corners of his lips, before they wordlessly vanished again.
Ye Zun finally relaxed from the initial tight state.
“This world is very strange.
I met many people in such a short time.
A stranger I’ve never met helped cover for me, but people who came from the same place, people who should be helping each other, only deceived and calculated others at the first encounter… I’m sorry, I’ve ended up talking to myself too much.”
No matter how gentle and well-tempered the other man was, he shouldn’t vent all his negative emotions at him.
After all, they had only just met for the first time.
And, in case he made a fool out of himself with an ignorant blunder, he couldn’t forget the possibility that this person might want to sell him to the demon like the veteran players.
He should forget about strangers.
For people who have shown kindness and exchange good impressions to pull off this kind of betrayal, it could really make people especially desperate.
“Do not worry.” The man very shallowly raised the corners of his lips.
Ye Zun: “Ah?“
——Did I accidentally say what was in my heart out loud?
After living alone for a long time, people will always develop the bad habit of talking to themselves unconsciously.
But the man just watched him gently.
“I think your social skills are actually very good.
It is fine to just express whatever you want.
A conversation is to express your true feelings sincerely and let the other person receive them.
I can feel them completely, I don’t find them annoying.
I really like this direct exchange of emotions.”
Ye Zun faced the man.
It was like when he was praised in school, looking at the knowledgeable and tolerant teacher, not knowing how to react.
The man’s speaking speed was slow, reserved and elegant.
His black, bright, soft eyes were focused, as if looking directly into the soul, making people feel that they are understood, that no matter what, they were completely accepted.
“There are many people in this world, but often, the world makes people feel like they can say nothing more.
At such a time, once you meet someone who wishes to have a chat, you can’t help but have much to talk about.
I am the same.”
The kind of low and quiet murmurs, like a lullaby before going to sleep, made people feel both awake and hypnotised.
“It is true.
The candid and direct emotions that you radiate, whether happy or nervous, are all delicious.
They are the same as you…the flavour of mint and roses.”
The bump on Ye Zun’s throat rolled carefully.
——Do all priests talk like this?
It should be a very ordinary conversation, but it may be because this priest was too good-looking, elegant and noble, yet gentle and kind, that any words from his mouth seemed to be extraordinarily warm and pleasant, and it also made him feel inexplicably happy and nervous.
“Thank you, you really are a kind person.” It was the first time Ye Zun had felt such uncontrollable emotions.
The introverted personality he developed after being alone for so long made him unsure on how to react and he was unable to meet the man’s gaze calmly.
He just had a persistent feeling that if he continued to look into the man’s eyes, things would become even stranger; the type of strangeness where he would be unable to control the rate of his breathing and the beating of his heart.
The bump on the man’s throat also moved slightly, and he said in a reserved and gentle manner, “En.
It is the first time I have heard such a compliment, I am also very happy.”
“You are a priest, don’t you hear things like this all the time?” Ye Zun tried his best to make himself look more at ease, showing a polite smile with restraint.
“After all, in the eyes of many believers, the priest is the representation of God to the people.”
The man lowered his eyes and saw his slightly jerky smile.
“En, but we can also be taken for granted*.”
[T/N: 理所应当: as it should be by rights, meaning people expect him to act in a certain way because he is a priest]
Ye Zun pursed his lips, not knowing how to answer.
“Oh, I forgot, you haven’t told me yet.
What is your name?”
The man watched him attentively.
“En?” Ye Zun looked at the man’s obviously more oriental appearance.
Although he could see traces of his mixed blood heritage at first glance, he was still a little surprised.
Deep down in his heart, because of the difference between the man and himself, he suddenly broke away to the previous distance, before he had unconsciously gotten closer to the other.
Although he didn’t want to rely on the other party, he still felt inexplicably empty.
The corners of the man’s lips seemed to take on a soft edge.
“Moros; meaning cold, frigid.
I am of half Chinese ancestry.
As for a Chinese name, you can call me——Lin.”
In all taboo books, they used the ancient and complicated demonic languages to heavily prohibit and lock away a single name, Lin • Ilya • Ye.
Among every medium of power, they all hid a mysterious and powerful signature: L • Y • Ye.
[T/N: pinyin for 凛·伊利亚·叶 is Lin Yiliya Ye.
I would have prefered to translate the name to Rin Ilya Ye but I’ll keep Lin since it’s Chinese.
Ilya won’t be brought up too much I think so I’ll leave it as its Russian form]
All creatures lived under the shadow of this name, and all powers prayed for his permission to flow, move, and exist.
People feared his name, and people wrote his name in secrecy.
When the name of the great Demon Lord of the Abyss is called on, that is, when the Abyss is awakened, Death will open his eyes and gaze upon his sacrifice.
“Wait, don’t move.” A deep voice whispered, “A catkin* seems to have gotten stuck.”
[T/N: annoying as heck cluster of flowers (?) on trees]
Ye Zun stood there, watching the man tilt his head slightly before he felt the other’s fingers tuck his soft hair behind his ear and, as if the man were curious, gently pinching his right earlobe between two cool fingertips.
Suddenly having his sensitive ears be touched, Ye Zun’s heartbeat was as heavy as it was weightless, and he subconsciously held his breath.
His eyes wandered unconsciously, falling on the man’s face which was close to his own, eyes cast down in focus.
It really was an excessively handsome face, enough to be called a beautiful one.
Where Ye Zun could not see, in the church soaked in the demon’s blood, the noble and abstinent priest in front of him touched him with the right hand that had crushed the heart of the demon deity just moments prior.
The fingerprints imprinted with the blood that had not yet dried remained on the pale white earlobe, like a blood-red stamp.
Ye Zun stared at the man whose behavior suddenly became intimate.
The cramped space turned the man’s excessive beauty into an aggressive attack.
His spine numbed slightly, and the subconscious desire to retreat gradually rose in his body that was not used to being too close to another person.
He called the man’s name, “Lin?”
There was a pair of clear, dark brown eyes, with sclera that had the same pale blue hue as a baby’s.
When they smiled, they glistened like the brightest time in late summer, yet they also had the wet shine of rain droplets absorbed into glass blades.
It was as if he was stuck in the somewhat shaky transition between a teenager and a young man, always being somewhat restrained by his own feelings of being imprisoned.
The taste of his soul was tender and sensitive, and also fragile and desolate.
However, there was a gentleness hidden away, along with an unease and fear towards the world that even the owner himself did not realise he had.
Lin quietly watched this beautiful soul, and softly responded, “En, I am here.”
The author has something to say:
Ye Zun: Why am I being nervous and weird? It must be because the priest is too kind, too gentle.
Intuitive radar: Danger, quickly run ah!
Rin: It is very fascinating ah.
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