Chapter 2: The Show Begins
It was still early morning, and a faint light shone through the window into the house.
A dark-haired man could be vaguely seen sitting on a white velvet bed, his eyes fixed on a blue screen in mid-air.
[Card: Zero – Puppet
Grade: N (Level 1)
Equipped Skill: Marionette (Speed*100 [Peak])
Note: Let me tell you a secret that only the puppets know, Puppet Master Xiao Lina whispered.
This silent puppet, Zero, is the first puppet to be made oh~]
Qiao Xingnan was quite curious about the card’s passive skill.
His eyes lingered on the “Marionette” for two more seconds when a pop-up window suddenly appeared on the screen.
Zero – Puppet Card Skill – Marionette (Passive)]
[Marionette – Use Zero as a puppet.
You can control him to do some simple things oh, such as controlling him to walk :)]
Card Zero is a card that has difficulty walking without the master’s command.
Even if you can control him, he can only do something as simple as walking and lifting his arms.
Fortunately, when controlling Zero, you can choose the speed of control.
For example, if you direct him to walk, you can control him to walk at several times the speed – so that Zero does not walk too slowly and cannot keep up with his master.
But if you want to use Zero’s speed to do something like fighting, for example, it’s impossible.
Zero was so fragile that he’ll break in one hit.
When you think about it, this card seemed to be of little use other than to occupy the title of ‘the first puppet card made’.
At that time, Qiao Xingnan did not jump to a conclusion too soon.
And when Zero was drawn from the card pool, Qiao Xingnan instantly felt that his previous reservations were correct.
He looked at the figure of the puppet Zero and was satisfied.
With a thin waist and broad back, he appeared tall and strong.
Although nothing else could be done, it was enough that he looked able to fight on the surface.
If he was right, this Zero also has six-pack abs.
Qiao Xingnan’s eyes fell on Zero’s face again.
Zero was good-looking and well-defined.
He was a calm and steady type of man.
Unfortunately, his black eyes are very hollow, without much spirit, staring straight at people.
Moreover, his body was full of abnormalities, making the hearts of those who saw him shiver.
As a screenwriter, Qiao Xingnan was not afraid at all.
He has met many people to get material, not to mention that he got something useful from the system this time.
“Zero, you must keep it up.
You are really great in this state!” Qiao Xingnan continued to fool Zero, “I’ll tell you what you’re going to do next.”
He told the other party about Zero’s part in the play.
Zero didn’t understand a thing from that long string of words, so he shook his head slowly.
Qiao Xingnan was also patient and spoke in a low voice: “It doesn’t matter if you don’t understand, just remember that I am an emperor and your current status is the most powerful personal knight by my side.”
“You need to do what fits your status in front of others.”
Qiao Xingnan has already arranged various plots on this and was only waiting for Zero to start the show.
Zero felt the enormity of his task, and he raised his head stiffly, his black eyes showing his helplessness.
“Master, I…” the hoarse voice was like two pieces of wood rubbing together.
It was quite unpleasant to hear.
“I can’t do it.
I’ll mess it up…”
Two minutes had passed by the time Zero finished one short sentence.
To be honest, when Qiao Xingnan initially looked at Zero’s performance, he thought that the puppet card couldn’t speak, so although he doesn’t speak very well now, it still surprised him a little.
Qiao Xingnan pressed Zero’s shoulder, smiled, and reassured him.
It’s actually quite simple.
It just so happens that your skills can help, and I’ll assist you in acting in the early stages.”
Zero’s every move can be controlled by his host, that is, Qiao Xingnan.
As he talked, Qiao Xingnan stood up, and white clothing suddenly appeared in his hand.
It was the clothes gifted to him by the system.
His system space was full of them, and there were expensive clothes, which were said to be some compensation for drawing the card.
“You put this on.”
“The first act is about to begin, and we need to justify your presence first.”
Zero didn’t move.
He didn’t really know what he was supposed to do.
Zero had never changed his clothes before.
The cards of the Chaos card pool do not need to change their clothes.
The clothes on Zero were still the same ones he had when he was first born from the card pool, an ordinary black robe without any decoration.
Qiao Xingnan paused at the sight and instantly understood.
He was momentarily torn and put back the inner robe prepared for the other party, leaving only a white hooded cloak.
Then, he looked at the card Zero, who was shrunken in the corner.
It was the height of summer, and the hot sun baked the earth.
Hot air sucked into the body between breaths, and layers of heat rolled over the marble pavement.
Marble was rare in the Arilance Empire, and only the emperor’s manor had the luxury of using marble to pave the floor.
The two knights at the manor’s ice house, wrapped in silver armor, stood in front of the door with gold silk patterns, sweating from the heat.
At that moment, a figure came from the distance.
The two knights glanced at each other and looked over.
It was a young man dressed in coarse clothes.
His face was handsome, his back was straight, his black hair was tied, and his fair skin seemed to be glowing.
His golden eyes glanced at the two knights at the door and nodded slightly with a cold detachment.
Polite and restrained, yet highly contradictory.
The young man looked like a nobleman who had received an elite education.
His every move was marked by aristocratic reserve, but the clothes he was wearing were no different from those of a pauper, an outfit that would be ridiculous in the eyes of any nobleman.
“What are your Excellency’s orders?” One of the knights took the lead and asked.
“Nothing.” The man replied coldly and then, without looking back, continued on his way, seemingly just passing by the ice house.
Looking at the other party’s distant back, a knight standing by the door wiped a hand over the hot sweat on his head and tsked, “Neil, do you think that person is a real one or not?”
Except for the emperor of their Arilance, he had never seen a person with such a good temperament and appearance.
At least I haven’t seen an emperor in rags.” Neil shrugged, “We’ll know when the steward finds out, and I’m sure we’ll have a good show then.”
It’s ridiculous to say that a poor man dressed in rags knocked on the manor’s gates, claiming to be an emperor.
No matter how good-looking, a fake is a fake, and such fraudulent means will only be welcomed by a cowardly person like the steward.
“That makes sense.” The knight nodded approvingly, “Even if he is good-looking, he is not authentic, and not everyone can be called an emperor.”
Qiao Xingnan, who could vaguely hear the knights talking, acted as if he hadn’t heard anything and walked straight toward the end of the marble path without stopping in his tracks.
There was a winding path in front of him.
Qiao Xingnan’s eyelashes trembled slightly, and he looked to his left and right untraceably.
The surrounding area was lush woods, and further ahead was the back mountain of the manor, which outsiders were not allowed to approach.
He walked to a tree and stopped, lightly closing his eyes.
Qiao Xingnan was not from this world but only crossed into this strange world after death.
As the two knights said, this person he crossed into was a fake and a liar pretending to be an emperor, but actually using a liar to describe the original body is inappropriate.
He was actually more like a madman.
This madness was not derogatory but simply the truth.
The original body has no parents like Qiao Xingnan.
Still, unlike Qiao Xingnan, who grew up in an orphanage, the original body has a younger brother and sister.
However, just when the original body was sixteen years old, his eight-year-old siblings disappeared.
In order to earn one more silver coin, he went back an hour late, and his younger siblings were gone.
Because of a silver coin, he lost his family.
The original body collapsed.
He carried all the sins on his back.
Today was already the seventh year, but the original body had not let go of it for even a single day.
He even became mentally disturbed because of long-term depression and self-loathing.
When Qiao Xingnan was a screenwriter in his previous life, he worked as a free assistant to a psychiatrist in a hospital to get material and had seen many patients.
He knew that if someone had enlightened the original body during these seven years, or if he had found some clues about his younger siblings, even just a little, it would have been a source of hope and spiritual support for the original body.
But there was no such thing.
And because of the war, the original body lost the only broken house that could shelter him from the wind and rain.
There was no longer a place for him to stay in the world.
The original body, driven to a desperate situation, was extremely depressed both physically and mentally, like a taut thread that would snap entirely at the slightest touch.
After learning that the emperor of Arilance would be staying at his manor in Utia City during this time, the original body, which had become mentally unstable, began to fantasize that he was an emperor.
His status was high and mighty.
His younger siblings are national treasures.
As an emperor of equal status, the emperor and the foolish people here should help him find his siblings.
If they don’t help him, he will take his knights and trample down this man-eating place.
The original body nervously chewed his nails, frantically fantasized about everything, and knocked on the door of the manor in his coarse clothes.
The steward of the manor was cautious, and after seeing that the original body was good-looking despite being all dirty, he didn’t directly drive him away but kept him.
The original body, who had lost his senses and normal thinking, lived happily, but he did not know that all the attendants in the manor, except the steward, saw him as a man who was going to die.
Because the emperor that the original body will soon meet was a ruthless, vengeful tyrant who loathed deception above all else.
This legendary tyrant beheaded the pope at the age of eighteen, overthrew the church, and took the entire Arilance under his control.
Those who had offended the tyrant are still imprisoned in the forbidden palace, and it is said that several pots of blood can be brought out from it every other day.
The notorious emperor would not care if the original was a madman.
He would only send him straight to the guillotine after he knew that the original had lied to him.
Qiao Xingnan was unwilling to bet on the tyrant’s kindness.
He just wants to live.
But in reality, Qiao Xingnan was just a small scriptwriter in the era of peace, and it was impossible to fight the tyrant.
If the other side found out that he was just a liar who wanted to use him, not being skinned and cut to the bone was the tyrant in a good mood.
The opponent was too scary.
Although Qiao Xingnan sympathizes with the original body, for his own little life, of course, he could not just wait to die.
He originally thought about escaping.
However, after circling the manor, Qiao Xingnan realized that the manor was heavily guarded, and even a fly could not escape.
In addition, everyone in the manor saw him as a thing offered to the emperor to relieve his boredom.
There were also people guarding him every moment to see his jokes, so it was even more impossible to escape.
Now the only option left is to continue the lie of the original body, disguising himself as an emperor.
Fortunately, when Qiao Xingnan crossed over, a card draw system was by his side, allowing him to draw cards to get outside help.
Otherwise, his credibility would have been too low if he was the only one acting.
Yes, that’s right, although Qiao Xingnan patted Zero on the back and spoke with conviction, it was, in fact, the first time he rushed to act for his own life.
At the very least, he was a well-known screenwriter in his previous life, depending on the script for a living.
Now, there was just an added stage acting.
When he was in college, he did not miss out on acting classes.
Together with the card helper playing support, he can certainly live safely!
Qiao Xingnan was bitterly happy, trying to think of everything in a good light.
Then, in the next second, a cold electronic sound came to his ears.
[Whether to link Zero – Puppet Card: Yes/No]
[Ding, link successful.]
Qiao Xingnan heard the sound, closed his eyes, and followed the instructions to successfully link his spiritual power with the puppet.
At the same time, the man shrunken in the corner of the room suddenly stood up.
He wore a white cloak, and the hood covered his face, revealing only his angular jawline.
Unlike the previous slow response, the man’s speed was fast, as if several invisible threads in the air controlled the man’s every move.
Act 1 – Action.
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