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Amidst the chaos, everyone's gaze instinctively searched for familiarity, but there was none.
As their gazes returned closer to the cliff that they were standing on, the smoke was getting even thicker. Within the blanket of thick smoke, several vague but hulking figures were roaring loudly.
With the light from a few sudden explosions, numerous figures jumped out from the smoke, brandishing their swords in the air and huge splashes of blood followed.
The noises also gradually cleared up and sounded extra real. There were shouts, battle cries, clunks and slashing rustling loudly with commands thrown into the mix.
It was a warzone! Behind the quiet cliff and beneath the illusory scene, a warzone was hidden!
Then, what was the fake scene that they saw earlier? A distortion of s.p.a.ce? If that was the case, discerning it as fake or real was somehow accurate.
Tang Ling was almost shaken off his feet, but he was the only one that responded favorably as Andy and the two girls had fallen on the ground, trying hard to control themselves from shivering.
Orston uncontrollably leaned over to Tang Ling, gripping on to the latter in order to stand up straight.
Amir was already on his knees. Only Yu was barely standing side by side Tang Ling.
The whole process was less than 20 seconds, yet the revelation defied the truth that had resided in the young warriors' hearts for more than a decade.
"Starting to regret your decision?" Instructor Thuja's voice finally came, slightly calming the absent-minded young warriors down.
Looking up, the young warriors finally realized that Thuja was not standing in the air but on top of a 20-meter stone platform that extended out from the cliff.
The edge of the platform was reinforced with metal, and at the end of the platform, there was a large iron rack with an iron capstan installed on it.
The capstan was turning and the iron chain was rumbling as it seemed to be reeling something up from beneath the cliff.
However, no one was concerned about that. Everyone stared at Thuja, hoping for an explanation or some comfort.
Thuja had his liquor bottle in his hand. He took a swig with a faint smile and said with a slight hint of irony, "Back then, when I first saw this and the monsters, I thought that I'd be going to war with those wicked beings one day. It really threw me into despair."
Without any explanation or comfort, he asked, "What about you guys?"
"Compared to your past…" Orston clenched his fists as he stepped up. Strong words were squeezed out of the seams of his teeth. "How long do you people plan to lie to us? I don't know how you people do it, but why? Why lie to us? What is the meaning behind all of this? What about the people that live behind the illusion? Who are they to you? Are they just being reared…?"
Orston could not continue but he had his reasons to be so upset.
Just look at those enormous beings and monsters further away! Despite the distance, they were still fearsome!
No matter how stupid he was, he would have realized that his fifth brother who loved him the most must have died beyond the cliff.
Everyone in the family told Orston that his fifth brother was a hero, but he did not care about him being a b.l.o.o.d.y hero. He only knew that a few days before his fifth brother left, his brother was tenderly caressing his head with his large, rough hand and said to him with smiling eyes, "Little Orston, you'll be a lot stronger than me when you grow up."
In the end, his fifth brother died without an explanation a few days later.
No body was found, and there was no reason for his death or the location of death.
The people might not care about how the hero died, but in Orston's heart, he could not accept that his loving and living fifth brother had simply disappeared from his world without an answer.
Was his fifth brother's death to conceal the so-called truth?
Thuja did not say anything. A layer of mystery veiled his side face as he looked up into the sky.
"I hate this kind of ignorant nonsense."
The capstan then stopped spinning. The iron chain was still shaking a little as it reeled up a huge iron cage. The door of the iron cage was already open and Yang Kong stepped out from it. It was he who mocked the upset Orston.
"Who made us ignorant then?" Orston's face was red as his anger made his veins pop, but Tang Ling held him back from doing anything stupid.
Who would not be angry though?
If someone had told him the day before that the night scene that Tang Ling had seen for more than a decade, including the towering cliff, the distant night sky, and the misty mountain were all fake, he would also have been furious.
There were many times that he and his late little sister quietly gazed at the night scene on top of that little hill, so the countless warm and kind memories that he retained from the scenery was self-explanatory.
However, in the end, his memories and what he experienced were all fake!
Nonetheless, so what? The truth had been revealed. Getting upset at it was a helpless act. While an explanation might seem important, facing it and accepting it was more important.
Orston could also only accept and face it.
As the thought lingered in his mind, Tang Ling tapped Orston's shoulder. His little tap was magical as it swiftly calmed Orston down.
Orston felt at ease. After all, he still had his companions, did he not?
Yang Kong, on the other hand, was not moved by Orston's question. He walked towards Thuja and said, "Is that so difficult to accept? There was a technology called a 3D holographic projection from the latter period of the old civilization. The technology was very interesting and still had a lot of s.p.a.ce to improve, but as we all know, the old civilization was destroyed. However, it didn't mean that our era doesn't have better projection technology than the old civilization."
"Coincidentally, our Safety Sector No. 17 has such a high tech projector and we fully made use of it. Still, it wasn't something worth all the astonishment because this technology already existed in the old civilization, didn't it?"
Yang Kong was already standing beside Thuja, looking asquint at Orston before he continued, "Or maybe you prefer us to unveil the truth to the people? Would that be better, making them live the rest of their lives in constant fear?"
Orston looked down and went silent. How should he reply? Why would he have the right to a.s.sume that people should live their lives in fear?
Tang Ling stood in front of Orston without saying a word. His eyes were clear. He did not think that lying and deceiving were correct.
Why live in constant fear? If one could get used to fear and accept it, fear would be a foreign concept.
Had humans not faced their odious primal lives and live persistently since the dawn of evolution?
There was nothing right or wrong in this kind of situation. They were nothing but decisions made by the strong.
Tang Ling did not care about other people's thoughts, but he knew he had to live with a clear mind. Since that night, he was determined to be strong and soldier on without being made a fool.