<br /> Here we go again. Welcome to chapter four! I hope you enjoy following Nellie around during her wild adventures. I know I did!<br /> Note: Starting with this chapter, I have begun using the in-game pop-ups to show what certain Sims say when telling about adventures, etc. Therefore, EA gets credit for those words, not me…lol. Of course, if you have the game, you already know that, but I thought I'd better point that out for those who don't, and so that no one thinks I'm claiming words as my own, when they are not. <br /> <br />The first thing Nellie did was to go in search of the special merchant, Jiang Lu, to stock up on a few special supplies for her adventure. She found him just outside the market. On the top of her list was escape dust. Nellie had no desire to possibly become lost in The Temple of Heaven the way she had the last time, and escape dust would insure against that happening.<br /> <br />Nellie, then, reluctantly made her way into the food shop, where Ho Sung stood in his usual place behind the counter. She had not spoken with him since the day he so abruptly ended his visit with her while she slept. Gathering her courage, she boldly walked up to him and gazed into his eyes, the expression in them a mixture of pain and confusion. "
she asked quietly in a voice choked with emotion, "
did you leave that way? Have you lost interest in me since we . . . did what we did? I mean I . . ."
her voice choked off suddenly as she fought to hold back the tears that threatened to fall.<br />"
Oh no, do not ever think that!"
he exclaimed with emotion that matched her own as he placed his hands firmly against her head. "
Never think that! It's just that I . . . well . . . I had some urgent matters to tend here that could not wait. I did not want to wake you."
<br />Nellie was skeptical about his reply, but decided to let it drop for now. She had more pressing to which to attend. She told him of her imminent journey back to The Temple of Heaven and that she had only stopped in for supplies.<br /> <br />Immediately, Ho Sung wrapped his arms tightly around her. "
Must you go? It is a dangerous adventure and I fear for you going alone. Oh, how I wish I could make the journey with you!"
<br />Nellie smiled sadly as she pulled out of his embrace. Although she assured him she would be fine, her thoughts belied her words. Yes, she was a bit frightened of the idea of going back into that large maze of rooms and tombs, but it was something which must be done. Her new-found adventurous nature, along with curiosity, caused her excitement to outweigh her fear.<br /> <br />Finally, Nellie moved on to the general store, where she found her best friend waiting with open arms. "
It is so good to see you again"
he greeted with a friendly smile and a warm hug.<br /> <br />"
It's always good to see you, as well!"
she replied with a sigh as she pulled back from their embrace. As she purchased her needed supplies and told him about her new adventure, Zhan Su expressed his own concerns about her venture. She promised to be careful as she left the market and made her way to her dreaded destination.<br /> <br />All too soon, Nellie once again found herself standing outside the tiny building underneath which the tombs of The Temple of Heaven lay. She took a deep, calming breath and then stepped inside. This time, instead of turning to her left to enter the maze from which she had scarcely escaped on her last adventure here, she noticed an unopened door straight ahead. She moved forward, used a keystone to unlock it, and then entered cautiously.<br /> <br />Nellie gasped in amazement at the sight before her. It seemed to be a suit of rooms with small bed chambers. She chuckled softly to herself, thinking she certainly could have made use of these on her previous visit.<br /> <br />The hour was late and Nellie wasn't running on a full energy supply, so she decided to not venture to far from the beds that night because she knew she would need to rest in one for awhile, but she did feel the need to have look around.<br /> <br />She moved toward a locked door. Grateful for being prepared, she pulled out the keystone she had purchased from Jiang Lu and inserted it into place. The chains fell away and she entered.<br /> <br />Nellie was standing in a room with a huge mirror on one side and large statues on the other. With a heavy sigh, she moved toward the statues, knowing what must be done. First, she moved one statue out of the way, in order to inspect a hole in the wall behind it.<br /> <br />She found a hidden switch that activated another door somewhere in this underground space. A satisfied smile curved her lips as she felt something else inside the hole and wrapped her fingers around it and pulled it free.<br /> <br />It was a pile of ancient coins. It never failed to amaze her how shiny they were, even though they were old and should have been dulled by age.<br /> <br />Now, she faced the task of moving three large statues into place over three floor panels that would open another door through which to continue her explorations.<br /> <br />It was during times such as these when Nellie wished she had a partner to explore with her. The statues were heavy and she grunted and groaned as she pulled the final one into place on top of the floor panel.<br /> <br />Hearing a door creak open in the direction from which she had come, Nellie ran toward the sound and found herself standing in a very strange room of the likes she had never before seen.<br /> <br />The only thing in the room worthy of inspection was the hole in wall of the far corner. Nellie gingerly stuck her arm in and began to feel around.<br /> <br />She found a hidden switch which opened up two hidden stairwells. A quick peek down them revealed that they both descended into the same cavern below. Her curiosity was piqued, but Nellie only sighed heavily and then emitted a yawn. She stretched and then headed back toward the way she had come to enter the room where she had first encountered the tiny bedrooms.<br /> <br /> Being too tired to continue her excursion, she merely looked into the various treasure chests in the rooms and then chose a bed for herself.<br /> <br />After collecting all the loot out of the chests, Nellie settled into one of the beds for a nice rest. She would feel better equipped to continue her adventure after a bit sleep. Her final thought before the darkness of sleep overtook her was of Ho Sung and how wonderful it would be if he were here by her side.<br /> <br />Upon waking, Nellie was feeling a bit grimy, so in order to preserve her canned shower supply, she decided to take a dip in a nearby diving pool to freshen up a bit. She then continued her exploration without changing out of her pajamas.<br /> <br />After venturing down one of the revealed staircases, Nellie was looking into a bedchamber that seemed fit for Royalty and she wished she had discovered it before choosing to spend the night upstairs in the tiny bed.<br /> <br />She looted the treasure chest and then moved a couple of statues onto platform triggers and heard a door open from the direction of the hallway outside the room. She quickly changed from her soaked pajamas into her dry daytime clothes and moved toward the sound.<br /> <br />Now Ellie was standing in front of what appeared to be another maze. She had to think about which direction she should go. Finally, she began to cautiously move forward as she patted and found courage and reassurance in the bag of escape dust she had with her, just in case she became lost.<br /> <br />As Nellie began to move forward, it seemed another door opened to reveal more of the maze through which she traveled. She was beginning to feel as if she would be going in circles for eternity and she patted her bag of escape dust again, just to be sure it was still there.<br /> <br />The young woman was beginning to feel confused and disoriented and once again began to wish she were not here all alone. She paused for a moment to catch her breath, and then began to make her way through the maze of endless hallways again.<br /> <br />Finally, she came to a door which opened upon a room that contained a treasure chest and she was instantly flooded with relief. She smiled and moved toward it.<br /> <br /> She was certain by the soft aura it emitted that it contained the relic she sought.<br /> <br /> When she opened it, she knew she had hit pay dirt! Inside was the relic she was to bring back to Lu Zhi.<br /> <br /> Nellie was standing in the exact center of a maze of hallways that led to the treasure she had uncovered. She quickly found her way back out and hurried to report in to Lu Zhi.<br /> <br />Hidden inside the relic were treasured writings. Lu Zhi said in a voice breathless with excitement, "
The order's best scribes have deciphered the writings. I'm so excited! A local, Liang Yat Sen's family has had the treasure the entire time. Please go convince him to return the missing piece."
Nellie graciously accepted her next mission. Although she had never met Liang Yat Sen, she was certain she could convince him to hand over the treasure ... in time.<br /> <br />Nellie found Liang Yat Sen at the Phoenix Martial Arts Academy and approached him wearing her brightest smile. After introducing herself and telling him she was sent by Lu Zhi, she asked him if he would be willing to release the part of the treasure his family had in order to place it back with the rest. Liang would have none of it! He said he did not know her well enough entrust the treasure's safety in her hands.<br /> <br />After a couple of hours of chatting and getting to know each other, Liang was willing to allow her to take the precious item back to Lu Zhi. Nellie smiled brightly, bowed respectfully, and thanked him warmly. She then asked one more thing of him.<br /> <br />It was difficult for someone as infatuated with Martial Arts as Nellie to pass up and chance for a good sparring match, besides, she enjoyed the learning experience she obtained by sparring with different people. The pair sparred, had fun, and further built their relationship. Nellie was proud to have won against such an accomplished and disciplined man. They bowed at the end and then Nellie rushed off to report back to Lu Zhi.<br /> <br />Lu Zhi was thrilled and overjoyed to have the writings all put back together in their proper place. She thanked Nellie profusely, and paid her handsomely.<br /> <br />Nellie could hardly believe it! Now she had reached Visa level three, which was the highest honor possible. It meant that the people of China now welcomed her whole-heartedly and she would be able to enjoy longer visits here, and maybe even purchase a vacation home someday!<br /> <br />Nellie was further rewarded by being invited to spar with Lu Zhi. It was a match she also won and it seems her rewards and benefits had not ended with her maxed-out Visa level.<br /> <br />Nellie had achieved a new rank in Martial Arts as well and gained the honor of having a new belt to show off. Since she didn't have any more adventures to do for Lu Zhi, Nellie went back to base camp and checked the adventure board. After picking one, she went inside, got a good night's rest, and headed out first thing in the morning.<br /> <br />Soon, Ellie was once again exploring Dragon's Maw, as per a request from a stranger on the Adventure. The stranger wanted her to explore the dragon cave again, even though he didn't know what she would find. Suddenly a strange vision flooded her mind!<br /> <br />She screamed when all she pulled from the hole in the wall was a load of creepy insects! In an almost blind panic, she fled the cave and hurried back to the market in search of Jiang Lu.<br /> <br />Unfortunately for her, she found him in the food merchant's shop and as she told Jiang of her vision, she could feel his gaze burning into her back. Though she had tried to call him several times over the past few days, he had told her he was busy and couldn't talk. She listened carefully to what Jiang told her to do next and watched his back as he left the shop. Feeling famished, she ordered some food from Ho Sung in a business-like manner and then sat down to eat.<br /> <br />Tension hung thickly in the air and Nellie cringed inwardly as she heard Ho Sung's footsteps approach her from behind. "
You've been avoiding me"
she remarked evenly between bites of egg roll. "
You never take my calls and you seem so cold and distant at times. Do I even want to know what's bugging you?"
<br /> <br />Ho sung sighed heavily and tried to rub the tension from his stiff neck. The silence grew stifling as he struggled to find a response to remarks. "
I have been quite busy"
he replied softly. "
Nellie, there are many things you do not know, many things you need to know, but I have not found a suitable way in which to tell you."
His thoughts were interrupted as a customer entered and he moved quickly back to his station behind the counter.<br /> <br />Nellie sat in silent thought as Ho Sung quickly served the customer. When the patron had left the shop, she abruptly stood, struggling to contain the sea of emotions that coursed through her slightly-trembling frame. "
Don't worry yourself any longer about it, Ho Sung"
she said, her tone even and emotionless. "
I think I understand perfectly. You have your life to live and I have mine. Now, if you will excuse me, I have some collecting to do!"
Ellie rushed out the door, leaving her plate of food on the table barely touched. Suddenly, she had lost her appetite.<br /> <br />Nellie silently fumed as she went about the task of collecting the Lapis Lazuli stones which were required to construct the vision statue. She already had obtained the platinum that was needed for the job. How could Ho Sung have used her in such a manner? Was she considered just another notch on his belt of women to be conquered?<br /> <br />She tried to wipe it all from her mind as she bent to retrieve the last needed stone. After snatching it off the ground, she rushed back to find Jiang. Despite all the unexpected drama that had entered her life with Ho Sung, she was anxious and excited to continue her adventure here.<br /> <br />Jiang was delighted that Nellie had found the materials needed so quickly. He then told her she needed to bring to him some common Chinese relics as well. He turned and began to walk away, but Nellie stopped him.<br /> <br />"
Wait, Jiang, hold up!"
she called after him and he turned back to her. "
I have found many relics in my explorations. Will these do?"
she asked as she took several from her bag.<br /> <br />Jiang smiled. "
Yes. These will do nicely"
he said. "
At last, we have everything that is needed to construct the statue. Now, leave me so I can finish my work. I will contact you soon to continue the next part of our journey."
<br />Nellie fought back the disappointment at having to wait, but decided to find something else to occupy her time in the meantime. As she wandered behind the shops, she spotted something interesting on the ground.<br /> <br />Unable to resist the temptation, she began to inspect the small hole with her usual amount of caution. Finding a switch, she pulled it gingerly. Suddenly she heard a loud scraping noise behind her.<br /> <br /> A hidden stairwell had opened up in the ground behind her! Ecstatic, Nellie descended the stairs in breathless excitement.<br /> <br />The first thing her eyes fell upon was a sarcophagus against the wall between two headstones. Excitement flooded her mind and body as she took a step toward it, but she abruptly stopped in her tracks as a wild vision flashed in her mind. Suddenly, she was inside the sarcophagus, and was watching in breathless excitement as the lid creaked open.<br /> <br />"
Ah, so you think you can run and hide from me through your explorations and adventures, do you?"
he asked, flashing a wicked, seductive grin at her as he stepped into the sarcophagus with her. He closed the door behind him and pressed his body against hers. Nellie's knees felt weak, her heart pounded fiercely, and her mind reeled with anticipatory excitement.<br /> <br />Suddenly, Ho Sung's arms wrapped around her and his lips covered hers. Nellie was instantly lost and tossed about on a turbulent sea of mind-numbing ecstasy. Her breath quickened and her pulse race as delightful, wondrous sensations coursed through her mind and body. Nothing else in world mattered to her except the merging of their bodies, minds, and souls.<br /> <br />Nellie, unable to speak, watched Ho Sung's back as he turned to open the door to the sarcophagus. She desperately struggled to catch her breath and mentally will her pulse to return to a normal rate. No one had ever made her feel the things that Ho Sung had and her heart was bursting with love and longing for him to close door and turn to her again.<br /> <br />As she stepped out behind Ho Sung, Nellie had a vision of what lay behind the far wall, but it barely registered in her mind as she mentally scolded herself for entertaining such fantasies. Who, in his right mind, would want to do that in a smelly, old sarcophagus? Ellie could not fathom such a thing, so why would she see such a thing in her mind? She shook her head to clear it and put it down to the fact that Ho Sung was at his usual station behind the counter directly above her. He was so close, yet so far.<br /> <br />Determined to pursue the task at hand, Ellie pushed thoughts of romance and Ho Sung out of her mind, and moved toward the sarcophagus. Once opened, she found a hidden switch that triggered a hidden doorway to open in the wall.<br /> <br /> Ellie turned and slowly moved toward it, wondering what treasures and what dangers lay within.<br />