"Master, I've returned." Cao Yi shouted towards a vacant room.
"Oh? How did you escape? Why would they let you free?" an unhappy voice echoed back.
Judging from the shadows, the unknown Master was like a Sect leader from a Xianxia novel. His voice sounded old enough to match that persona. Surprisingly, Cao Yi had never seen his Master before.
Cao Yi was a beta player. During his daily routine before being transferred, he loved to read xianxia novels online. He would often daydream about casting himself as the immortal protagonist in those novels. Before the disaster event in game, Cao Yi had obtained a mysterious communication device. He spoke with the person on the other end of the device to find his current Master. The Master introduced himself as a Sect leader and to prove that point, he explained complex knowledge of achieving immortality. Cao Yi believed what his Master had said and worshipped him.
Under his Master's guidance, Cao Yi found several secret missions that other Beta players couldn't find. This resulted in Cao Yi leveling up more quickly and solidifying the importance of his Master in his heart. Cao Yi never second-guessed his Master after that.
Also under his Master's guidance, Cao Yi climbed on an airship and traversed the seas onto one of the islands. During this period, Nin Jing City had not been released as a game feature yet. Cao Yi had to search for his Master's location, and tracked the location to the current secret hideout. Even during that initial meeting, Cao Yi only saw the bony shadow of his Master.
Now that Cao Yi and his Master were on the same island, it was easier for Cao Yi to carry out different missions. The Master promised that if Cao Yi could continue with his good performance, he could be transferred into the game. That way he could be the true protagonist of The Trembling World.
At that time, Cao Yi didn't believe the promise of being transferred from his monitor into the game. He took the promise lightly, as if it was a joke. Three days after that promise, on the fateful day of open servers, Cao Yi was transferred into the game. From that point forward, Cao Yi had no doubt that his Master was very knowledgeable.
During those days within the game, Cao Yi was doing tasks for his Master sect leader. These tasks included capturing players and local survivors as specimens for the laboratory. As reward for the effort, his Master would hand out 'medicinal pills' that would increase his level. This positive reinforcement made Cao Yi work even harder. The captured specimens were turned into puppets and dressed in black uniforms. With the addition of lackeys, Cao Yi could carry out his tasks more easily.
The Master Sect leader had fulfilled his first promise, so when he promised more rewards, Cao Yi had no reason to not believe it. The second promise was that he would help Cao Yi build his Foundation stage, with the potential to reach past Jindan stage and Yuanying stage.
This was until one fateful day when Cao Yi received the order to suppress the foreign group that had been invading the city; that group was Sheng Li's battalion, killing off all the remaining zombies within the city. The Master Sect leader required the energy given off by the zombies. Indirectly, Sheng Li's battalion was an hindrance to their future development. Upon further investigation, Cao Yi reported the situation back to his Master. Ultimately, Cao Yi was ordered to refrain from needless killing, since every person in the Village could be useful as a specimen.
That was when Cao Yi decided to demonstrate his prowess in the Beginner Village. Accompanying him were a dozen uniformed lackeys, their purpose being to suppress the villagers and pick out the highest potential specimens. From that point forward, the village would have to offer up 10 villagers as tribute.
Once Cao Yi seized control of the Village, he bought information from those who were willing to betray others. He obtained information that the leader was only level 12, and was on a mission at Moonlight Gulf. The villagers haven't heard back from their leader ever since the day of departure.
When the information was passed back to the Sect leader, he disregarded it. From his perspective, a level 12 player was seeking death at Moonlight Gulf. So Cao Yi was only given instructions to take over the village. More importantly, they couldn't allow any villagers to escape. By alluring to Cao Yi's desire to become an immortal, his Master said the villagers were necessary sacrifices for the Foundation Stage on the path of becoming a Supreme Being.
Cao Yi was even more motivated to watch the villagers like a shepherd. He would report back to his Master in a timely fashion. The last thing he had ever expected was to be captured by an overwhelming foe.
Before everyone was captured, one of his lackeys had released a wireless distress call. The signal had information on what had taken place. Once the Sect leader knew that Cao Yi had been defeated and captured, he had little hopes of Cao Yi escaping. So when Cao Yi returned back to the secret hideout, it surprised him.
"No, they didn't release me. I relied on my intelligence and courage to escape!" Cao Yi insisted.
"You escaped alone? From your pig brain, you were able to escape their watch? I suspect they purposely allowed you to escape. Then, they could track you, leading back to me!" the Sect leader inferred through Cao Yi's words.
"I… I thought about that possibility. So along the way back, I've been very careful. I purposely took the long route and backtracked on my steps. I took precautionary steps to avoid being followed," Cao Yi continued to reassure his Master.
Cao Yi had never felt so embarrassed before. Of all the missions he had done before, he had never failed so utterly. His encounter with Liu Gan was a total loss. It was a stain on his perfect track record. He would do whatever he could to take revenge on Liu Gan.
"According to my radar life detector that I've placed within the perimeter, you weren't being followed. Well, it doesn't matter. Even if they were able to reach this location, they can't enter our compound. This place is my immortal chamber! I've placed high-level restrictions and heavy firepower weapons to restrict any invader. If it's a human they will perish, if it's a ghost they will evaporate! No one will be able to enter my immortal chamber!" the Sect leader promised.
"That's a given! My Master is very capable. If you want rain, you will get rain. The flick of your fingers will turn all those rebels into ashes!" Cao Yi continued to praise his Master.
"Hahahaha… My Apprentice, you are right. However, I am preparing to ascend to Yuanying stage, so I need time. It isn't a convenient time for me to handle them myself. So let them do as they please for now!" the Master Sect leader instructed Cao Yi.