"ANNE, my daughter, she's a good girl.  How could this happen to her?" said the mother NPC while crying.

"Can you tell me the exact details of your daughter's disappearance?" Luo Yan asked.

"Since the second girl in the village disappeared, I didn't allow Anne to go anywhere for fear that it would happen to her as well.  My daughter is quite beautiful, you see.  Who would have thought that... that..."  The NPC bursted into tears.  "T-that night was just like any other night.  After dinner, we all read together for some entertainment, then we all went to sleep.  The next day... the next day, wh-when I went to Anne's room, she- she's gone!"

"Didn't you hear or see anything during the middle of the night?" he asked.

"N-no.  Nothing.  We didn't notice anything."

"Was it really that you didn't notice anything or the people in your house were just sleeping too deeply that night?"

"We-" The NPC seemed to want to refute but then stopped, as if she suddenly realized something.  "You're right.  That night, we were probably all sleeping soundly that's why we didn't hear anything.  Could that mean something, Mr. Detective?"

[Yeah, most likely.]  "Thank you for your cooperation," Luo Yan said instead.  "I'll make sure to put these information to good use.  I'll definitely find out what happened to Miss Anne and the others."

He then said goodbye before the NPC began another round of dramatic performance.  Seeing these NPCs behaving so humanly was really a bit unnerving.  Especially those that were involved in a task that had some kind of back story in it.  But despite that, he must really give a thumbs up to the game designers for all their efforts.   

Luo Yan walked out of the small cottage.  This was the fifth household he'd been into since his talk with the Innkeeper.  Although the NPCs here were full of vigilance and didn't want to talk to him at first, but as long as he mentioned Mr. Sutton - the owner of Ivy Grove Manor - they would open their doors for him.  Showing their great trust towards the  Sutton family.

After five interviews, almost everyone had the same sets of answers.  All found the girls gone in their rooms and the night before, all the members of their families were in deep sleep.  None of them woke up in the middle of the night, so of course none of them knew what really happened during the night of the disappearance.  

But that's not all, when he asked the neighbors of those families what they saw anything on the night those girls disappeared, all of them said that they didn't.   Because they all slept soundly that night.  Too soundly, in fact.  There's no way Luo Yan would think that all of these things were just mere coincidences.  Something shady was definitely happening here.

If it was only one family group that experienced deep sleep during the disappearance of one of the girls, then he wouldn't think too much.  But that was not the case.  Luo Yan suspected that during the night when the girls were taken, the whole village was probably put into a deep sleep.  That's why none of them notice anything.  If this was the case, then some black hand definitely was behind it.

As the Innkeeper said, this kind of incident had never happened in this village before.  Having an NPC with a title said that, Luo Yan believed that it was not something unimportant.  He could only assume for it to be true.  Given that he was only given a time limit of three hours to finish this task, there's no way he could check the whole history of this village.  Which meant that the player taking on this task was not supposed to check the history of the village.  Making it unrelated to the whole task.   

This incident all started with the arrival of Miss Eliza.  The Innkeeper said that she was the first victim, already making her an important part of this task.  But was she really all just that?  What if with her arrival, she also brought over something?  Something that was taking these girls?  Maybe that something even took hold of the Ivy Grove Manor and now became its 'real' master.

Luo Yan looked at the time, he already spent more than half an hour talking with the NPCs here.  He wasn't planning to continue talking to the other three households.  Because he was sure they would all give the same informations.  So now, the only thing left for him to do was to go to this Ivy Grove Manor and discover the mystery behind it.  

The informations he got from the NPCs here could be considered good or not.  At least he could be sure that the Sutton family had nothing to do with the disappearance of these girls.  Because, just like what the Innkeeper said, if this was some kind of ritual, related to the owners of Ivy Grove Manor, then something like this should have repeateadly happened in-between intervals of a certain number of years.  Because that's how a ritual worked.  But it didn't.

So, really, the most suspicious character here was that Miss Eliza.

Luo Yan sighed.  Why did it feel like he was playing a detective game instead of an RPG?  He could only blame the game designers of this VR version for their apparent taste for back stories.

He looked at his Items Tab.  He still had a lot of supporting items such as the purple and yellow potions.  With his Invisibility Cloak and his Shadow Walk, he could search Ivy Grove Manor without anyone seeing him.  He was still quite confident of his skills.  He just had to be quick about it.

So Luo Yan started walking towards the manor in question.  While walking, he couldn't help but wonder how Luo Jin was doing.  He hoped he's doing better than him.


At this moment, Luo Jin was covered in slime and other things he couldn't care to mention.  He was already at the very edge of his temper.  Just a little bit more and he would lose it.

His task was to shoot 15 targets while going through a gruesome obstacle course with a time limit of an hour.  If he missed more than three targets, then he would fail the task.  He hadn't missed a target yet.  But he knew, with his temper, he's very close to missing one.  And he didn't want that.

He took a deep breathe and calmed himself.  Then he went and crawled under the barbed wire.  While crawling and swimming in the mud, he couldn't help but question his decision of picking this particular class.

Luo Jin only hoped that his second brother was doing much better than him.

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