Chapter 30: Bottom Line
Xing Ye and Cao Qian currently had leads on 4 of the campus legends, the QR code Mr. Deng gave Xing Ye, and the mission the human head gave them.
They knew that the Mona Lisa painting in the corridor would cry while pointing at the third years and that the game time was limited. However, it shouldn’t be just limited to that. Xing Ye stil hadn’t found the painting so they couldn’t just rashly conclude that.
They still hadn’t found anything about the youth running around holding a human head on the night of the new moon. This was contradictory.
I made a mistake in chapter 28! The new moon hasn’t happened yet, it’s just very close to the new moon. It’s fixed now!
In the seven days they had, there could only be one night with a new moon. If they lost the chance, they would never be able to finish the mission. At that point, the players could only kill each other until only one person remained, who would then have to kill themselves to return to the novice world. The higher points they had, the more they wouldn’t dare to act rashly without thinking.
“Huh?” Xing Ye couldn’t help but issue a sound of surprise.
“What?” Cao Qian’s sight had been trained on Guan Ling this whole time, not even turning her head when she heard Xing Ye’s sound.
“I was thinking in the wrong direction earlier,” Xing Ye said, “The whole time, we’ve been taking Di Kuang’s group as enemies.”
“Aren’t they?” Cao Qian said, “If we aren’t in a team, we’re competitors. Right now, they just don’t dare to act blindly because they don’t know our true strength. If they discover we’re just weaklings, they’ll definitely take our heads. Even mosquito legs still count as meat.”
Xing Ye shook his head, “It might seem so on the surface, but it’s actually different.”
“How?” Cao Qian only moved her gaze after Guan Ling disappeared around the corner.
“If you don’t enter the tiger den, how would you be able to get its cub? There’s still a day and a half left, how about we go find Di Juang to cooperate?”
“Ha?” Cao Qian couldn’t keep up with Xing Ye’s train of thoughts as she just blindly followed Xing Ye up to the third year's room.
It was noon, so most of the students were either having their noon break in the dormitories or enjoying their free time. Di Kuang was standing in front of the third year's class 3 door, looking at Da Vinci’s famous quote.
Sure enough, he’s also thought of it. Xing Ye walked right to Di Kuang without any fear. Sensing somebody was coming, Du Kuang turned around, his eyes meeting with Xing Ye’s.
“Hello, I’m Xing Ye. I’m sure you already know me.” Xing Ye politely extended his hand, making it appear like he and Di Kuang were close friends.
Di Kuang kept his hands in his pockets, showing no intention to accept Xing Ye’s goodwill. “You killed somebody from my team and still dare to come find me. You sure have guts.”
He was hinting to Xing Ye: I’ve long known about you and also understand that you know about me. Since we have a tacit mutual understanding, there’s no need to fight just yet.
Di Kuang raised his cell phone, showing a QR code on the screen. Xing Ye knew his first sentence was extremely important. If he misspoke, Di Kuang would’ve immediately attacked. He raised his hand to show he wasn’t holding his phone and got right to the point. “I have 200 points and Cao Qian has 1100 points, 1000 of which was obtained from killing Li Hong earlier.”
“Ha?” Di Kung never expected the two he had always regarded as opponents would take the initiative to attack, and that the first thing they’d say to him was this!
“We just came out of the novice world and this is our first melee world.” Xing Ye said, “You can only get 100 points from killing me. As for Cao Qian… Cao Qian, if somebody wants to fight you, the first thing you should do is waste all your points on your initial skills. Just leaving 200 points is enough, we can’t let our opponents get them just like that.”
Cao Qian was speechless.
After marketing her in earlier, Xing Ye started to play rascal. Really, what a two faced person...
No, he wasn’t two faced. He was just completely unscrupulous when it came to winning.
“So you’re saying, my support type teammate with more than 30,000 points and very special initial abilities got killed by you two who just came out of the novice world?” Di Kuang asked with a frown.
Xing Ye wanted to say they were lucky, but then remembered there was no way them of the opposing fate camp would compete with the following fate camp when it came to luck. He could only give a bitter smile. “Everything’s good about the following fate camp except for their tendency to be overly confident. Since you’re a team, you should be clear about that.”
Di Kuang accepted that situation but still didn’t relax his guard so easily. “Points and experience don’t mean anything. If anything, it just proves you two are very strong and must be guarded against.”
“However, I’ve already broken the piano.” Xing Ye said, “If you kill us and lose one of the leads, you guys will have to choose who has to kill themselves and return to the novice world.”
Di Kuang’s face didn’t change, not letting Xing Ye’s words affect him. “YOu think we haven’t made preparations? That night in the girls dormitory, why didn’t Wu Yu attack you two? It’s because he only had two QR codes and didn’t dare to waste them. Every time we enter a world we’ve made preparations to fail. There would always be a teammate arranged to bear the consequences. If we don’t have any chance to complete the mission, we’ll help each other leave and in the end, Wu Yu will return to the novice world. You can’t threaten me.”
Cao Qian’s face paled when she heard Di Kuang’s words.
“I’m not threatening you, just helping you calculate. Kill us, and we’ll definitely resist. At the very least, you’ll lose a strong QR code and some points, as well as an important lead to the game mission. You would have no way to get the mission’s reward points or the secret side missions, and at the end, one of you will have to return to the very start. If you cooperate with us, we can share our leads with each other. It sounds like it’s favorable towards us, but we wouldn’t win much or lose much. For you guys, it’s different.”
Di Kuang was silent.
“I believe you haven’t wasted the past two days. You should’ve definitely gotten some leads like us. We both have our cards, so why don’t we put them together? We’re missing information about the youth running around with a human head on the night of the new moon. Are you certain that your group can solve the mission while our two teams are constantly scheming and obstructing each other? There’s only one chance.” Xing Ye continued to talk Di Kuang over.
Speaking frankly, Xing Ye and Cao Qian had little to lose. In any case, they only had a few points and hardly any QR codes. However, for Di Kuang’s group, just a support-type player like Li Hong had more than 30,000 points. How much would they lose?
Xing Ye didn’t try to force Di Kuang, just leaving behind a “You can think it over and give me an answer by dusk tomorrow.” before leaving with Cao Qian.
On the rooftops, Xing Ye held a laptop and card reader. “With this, we’ll be safe until the night of the new moon.”
“Will Di Kuang agree to cooperate?” Cao Qian asked with a frown.
“He will before we finish solving the legends.” Xing Ye started up the laptop and plugged in the card reader, “But the moment we finish clearing all the legends, he’ll act and we have to be prepared.”
“He’s lying in wait.” Cao Qian shook her head, not approving of Xing Ye’s methods.
“Perhaps we can trap him instead.” Xing Ye said, “I have a question. We rely entirely on our phones to use the special QR codes. What happens if they’re stolen or broken? Furthermore, phones are upgraded and released very often in the real world. What if we want to upgrade our phones in the real world?”
Cao Qian grabbed Xing Ye’s phone and threw it down the building. The sound of it shattering rang crisp in the air.
Xing Ye: “...Throwing something off somewhere high is illegal, it’d be bad if it hit an npc. Plus, that was my phone.”
Cao Qian was too fast, so much so that he couldn’t even react before she threw it down. If this was a fighting game, Cao Qian would be incredibly powerful. By the time her opponent saw her, they would’ve already died.”
Initial skills that make you faster might not seem like anything much, but in reality, victory is often decided in a split second.
Cao Qian was loyal, spoke little, and was powerful. Her speed and power were both at the peak and cost very little points. They were both novices and could grow together, making them very suitable teammates. Furthermore, she was very honest and wouldn’t doubt her teammates, so she would be easy to get rid of.
Perfect as a tool that could be thrown away after being exploited...
Recalling how Cao Qian had acted before, Xing Ye could mostly guess her story.
The unknowing Cao Qian said, “It doesn’t matter if we kill players here and throwing something high is even less of an issue. Just look at your hand.”
Xing Ye raised his hand and saw a black and white wristband on his wrist with a prompt: Would you like to transfer your data to a new device?
“Your phone can’t be stolen or destroyed,” Cao Qian said, “Even if your phone’s stolen, it’ll reappear as a bracelet. It’s also more convenient in that form for fighting. But in the real world, a phone is more normal and the interface’s more convenient to use than a bracelet. It also has more features so generally, when they’re not fighting, people prefer to keep them as smartphones. It’s a different matter for worlds without phones though.”
So it was actually like this. Xing Ye didn’t have another phone on hand and could only inspect the wristband. He tapped the search for a new device prompt and a new box appeared: please turn on bluetooth on your new device to download the data.
The technology was even pretty advanced.
It was like how you needed to scan the QR code to enter the game. The Game of Challenging Fate wasn’t a material existence and was saved with data. Furthermore, the technology seemed very much like the modern world’s. All this made Xing Ye suspect that the game used all these things like data and bluetooth transfers to make it easier for people in the modern world to accept.
The QR code was only one medium. If he came from a different world, the game would run with a different medium.
He closed the wristband’s new device transfer option. He still had to buy a new phone later.
Xing Ye looked at the absolutely shattered phone on the ground and sighed a little in relief when he saw it really didn’t hit anyone. Otherwise, he would’ve been blamed for breaking another one of the school rules.
In two days, he had smashed the piano, broke open the door, and threw his phone from the top of the building. The once three-year good student and student council president, Xing Ye, had done all the bad things he had never done before in the game world, turning into a true delinquent.
“I think we have to agree on something,” Xing Ye turned to Cao Qian, his voice serious. “I know that it’s only natural for humans to gain a sense of superiority when they get supernatural powers, but that’s unacceptable. In this different world, we have to attack players while keeping in accordance to the system rules. We can’t rashly hurt ordinary people in these worlds or go against our ethics, conscience, and bottom line. Things like throwing stuff from high up is not allowed.”
Cao Qian was a little surprised. “I thought you didn’t care about rules.”
Xing Ye shook his head, “No, in this world, nobody can break away from the rules and live. We have to respect the rules, use it to our advantage, and even create new rules. The rules aren’t our fetters, it’s our protection.
“The most important thing was that they wouldn’t stay in this world forever. They would still have to return to the real world eventually.
“Regardless of when, we all must have a bottom line. Just because this isn’t the real world doesn’t mean you can lower your expectations for yourself.
“‘I’ll just gamble one more time. Just another joint, just another theft. it’s not like anyone’s going to find out.’ When you think like that, it’ll never be the last time.
Without rules, people were like kites with a broken string. They would just plummet down.
“I think you’re a good teammate and I would like to partner up with you, but I also want you to set a bottom line for yourself. Are you willing to do that?”
His last question was asking if Cao Qian was willing to be partners and set limits for herself.
“I don’t mind, but you really are strange.” Cao Qian looked at Xing Ye.
Xing Ye just smiled.
The atmosphere was pretty good and the two had just reached an agreement when somebody climbed up to the rooftops. Mr. Deng walked towards Xing Ye with a face full of sweat. “Why’d you have to choose to meet at the rooftops? It’s too high, I have a fear of heights.”
“Sorry, I didn’t know, I just thought it’d be quieter here. We’ll change the meeting spot next time. I’ll introduce you two: Cao Qian, Mr. Deng. The three of us are a group.”
Cao Qian didn’t understand. Xing Ye had clearly said he didn’t trust Mr. Deng, yet now, he called him here. However, one of her merits was that she wouldn’t ask questions and just shook hands with Mr. Deng without showing her doubts.
“Now that we all know each other, let’s start watching the video. Mr. Deng, I’ll explain where this video came from in a bit.” Xing Ye said as he clicked open the video from the memory card.