After getting a new phone, Xing Ye went downstairs to take his old sim card out his old phone. As soon as he finished setting it up, he got a call.
He hadn’t set up his contacts yet so it was an unknown number. Xing Ye picked up and Di Kuang’s voice rang out. “Yo, Xing Ye. Money’s really great, huh?”
“You know I have eyes around the entire campus?” Xing Ye asked.
“Not just that, you even found out my identity with money. Money in this fake world sure is useful.”
Xing Ye didn’t reply, waiting for Di Kuang to continue.
“We can cooperate, but only up until the night of the full moon. We’ve already found some clues on the crying Mona Lisa and for the three girls, Mr. Deng already volunteered to investigate the office. How about we meet an hour from now, at the rooftops?” Di Kuang took the initiative to say.
“Fine with us. There should be somebody coming to find us with more information soon.”
After saying that, Xing Ye hung up and rubbed his pocket, where the little mirror was.
Right now, he was truly lacking QR codes. Little mirror agreed to help him look for them, but the last couple of days had been fruitless.
Xing Ye tapped his pocket, whispering, “Don’t you always brag about how great your luck is? How useless.”
In his pocket, the little mirror trembled furiously. How could he find one if he can’t even go outside?!
“Who are you talking to?” Behind him, Cao Qian asked.
“I’m just thinking aloud.”
Around half an hour later, somebody finally contacted Xing Ye, saying they found somebody who knew what happened. However, the informant didn’t want others to know her identity and wanted Xing Ye to find a quiet, secluded area to talk. The informant didn’t seem like she wanted money, she just wanted to know where Xing Ye got the three’s photos from.
Hearing this, Xing Ye knew he had found the person he wanted.
Their spot at the rooftops were already exposed. They needed to find a new place.
“Let’s go to your dorm room. He said that the informant was a girl, so it’d seem very natural for her to enter the girls dormitory.” Xing Ye told Cao Qian, “There’s class right now, so there shouldn’t be anyone else in the dorms. Our opponents are all males, so it’d be hard for them to enter the girls dormitory.”
At the start, Cao Qian thought Xing Ye was truly intelligent. But now, she wasn’t so sure anymore. She still remembered the first thing Xing Ye did in the campus world was to go to the girls dormitory. There’s seven legends, so why would he go to the girls dormitory instead of, let’s say, the piano room? Could Xing Ye actually be using a serious act to hide his true perverted self?
While she was thinking that, she saw Xing Ye take a small, cosmetic mirror out of his pocket and smoothen out his hair. He stared at his reflection for a long time before finally raising his head, “This won’t do. My face is too masculine so it’d be hard to crossdress.”
Cao Qian: “...”
Xing Ye put back the mirror and very naturally asked, “What happened to you?”
Cao Qian hesitated for a moment. “I want to ask you, in the real world, are you a man or a woman? I’ve been playing this for a long time and always kept my gender. However, I heard others say that Opposing Fate camp players with especially bad luck sometimes wouldn’t even turn out human in the game world, nevermind keep their same gender. I once met a player who turned into a dog. He said that he didn’t know if his luck could be regarded as good or bad because from start to finish, nobody managed to discover his identity. In that world, the win condition was to be the last one surviving, so he lived as a dog for five years. At the start, he wanted to kill himself but ultimately decided to persevere and he ended up winning. However, the repercussions were very big. After he returned to the real world, he would constantly think about raising his leg to pee. He only got better after a lot of therapy.
So, you’re a man, right? Or would you be a sister of mine?”
It’s even possible to turn into a dog? Isn’t the game just too malicious towards the Opposing Fate camp players?
Xing Ye was expressionless. “Of course I’m a man, I just thought it’d be easier to enter the girls dormitory as a girl. It doesn’t matter, there’s other ways. You can pretend to have fainted and I could carry you in.”
Hence, Cao Qian pretended she fainted and Xing Ye carried her back to her dorm. The dormitory supervisor looked at Xing Ye suspiciously, but still let him pass.
Soon later, a girl knocked on Cao Qian’s door. They opened it to see it was actually year two’s class three’s Zeng Jingrou, the campus belle.
Boy C had once said Xing Ye got dumped by her. That was also the reason why Xing Ye was certain Boy C was an ordinary person and not a player. Players wouldn’t know who the body’s original owner had pursued.
Zeng Jingrou was truly very beautiful, only her beauty seemed very familiar. While Cao Qian was thinking about where she had seen her before, Xing Ye started to speak confidently. “The one wearing the Patek Phillipe watch is related by blood to you.”
Zeng Jingrou was a bit startled, revealing a bitter smile. “Patek Phillipe? Sure enough, you know something. In the two years I’ve been in this school, I’ve never said I was related to her until I saw the picture you posted. Others might’ve not noticed, but I could tell at a glance that the photo was taken in the girls locker room, the same one where the incident may have taken place. Where did you get that photo from?”
When she said that, Xing Ye felt somebody patting his shoulder again before sensing two hands circling his neck. The hands were very cold, with sharp nails. It seemed to be threatening him, that if he said one thing wrong, it would strangle him to death.
“What’s that girl called and what’s your relationship with her?” Xing Ye’s face didn’t change as he asked.
“She’s my older sister, Lin Jingxue. She took my dad’s last name while I followed my mom’s.” Zeng Jingrou said, “She’s always been exceptional and proud. She’s the person I admire most.”
She had already printed the image, tears in her eyes as she gazed sadly at Lin Jingxue in the picture.
Xing Ye sensed the hands on his neck tremble. He asked, “What happened back then? If you tell me, I’ll tell you how I got the photograph.”
Zeng Jingrou steadied her mood and wiped away her tears. “Since small, my older sister had always been first in everything she did and she was eager to excel. This was such all the way until high school, when she only got second place in her semester one midterms in her first year here. The girl who got first place was Liu Muqing, a special enrollment student who got into the school on scholarship. However, it wasn’t just studies. She was also better than my sister in both sports and arts. The only thing my sister could beat her in was piano, and that was only because her family was too poor for her to play it.”
No wonder all the piano’s clues led to Lin Jingxue then. It also made sense that Ling Jingxue would follow him after he played that sheet music and destroyed the piano.
Zeng Jingrou continued, “One day, on my sister’s birthday, our dad bought her a very precious watch and said it was to encourage her in hopes she could get first place again on the next exam. My dad’s the kind to value boys over girls, but my mom only birthed two girls. Fortunately, my sister’s always been outstanding. My dad wanted my sister to be his heir, so when my sister got second, my dad couldn’t stand it. He couldn’t allow that to happen.”
Her narrative was very detailed and even gave a comprehensive account of the context. It perfectly explained why Lin Jingxue had such a big reaction when she saw her watch in Liu Muqing’s locker earlier.
“At that time, the pressure on my sister was very big. She brought the watch to school as a warning for herself, but who would’ve thought that just on the second day, it would be stolen, and by Liu Muqing at that. My sister said she got the watch back and hit Liu Muqing, so the matter was over. However, our dad didn’t agree. He said that she must take advantage of every chance, whether fair or foul, to suppress our opponents. Even if it’s fake, she had to make use of it to directly destroy the other’s life so she wouldn’t be able to make another comeback. He even said my sister was too timid, and if it was a boy, there’s no way they would’ve just left it at that. So, my dad used his authority as her guardian to call the police.
Liu Muqing was taken away for questioning by the police, along with her mother. I also had to go to the police station back then. I watched her parents kneel on the floor, begging dad to let their daughter off, but dad wouldn’t listen.
Without enough evidence and the case leaning towards the defendant, the school also wanted to suppress everything. They used Liu Muqing’s usual good achievements to vouch she wasn’t the type of person to do that.
With the school’s vouching for her, Liu Muqing was allowed to return to school. However, the school also said they would continue investigating the issue. If they found that she really took the watch, she would be expelled. Furthermore, she had to back her bags and return home. Before the case was over, she would have to halt her studies.
Liu Muqing returned to her room and tidied up her luggage in a trance. She ran into my sister while hauling away her luggage. Neither of them said anything, just brushing past each other when at that moment, nobody knew what happened but Liu Muqing tripped while going down the stairs. She fell from the first floor to the last, breaking her neck.
At that time, a student just so happened to be going downstairs and stepped on Liu Muqing’s corpse. Later, a legend began to spread that Liu Muqing was the thirteenth step in the girls dormitory.”
So it was actually like that. Liu Muqing was framed by the person who took the watch, and was the Miss Human Head they saw that day in the girls dormitory.
Zeng Jingrou’s words clearly stirred up the ghost behind him. She didn’t let go of Xing Ye’s neck, tightening her grasp until soon, ten black finger marks appeared on Xing Ye’s neck.
“What happened to you?” Cao Qian asked.
“It’s nothing. “ Xing Ye was calm, as if nothing was happening. “Continue, what happened to Lin Jingxue afterwards?”
“A lot of people said that my sister pushed Liu Muqing off the stairs when she brushed past her. The monitoring camera on that floor just so happened to be broken, so nothing she said could protect her. People would always side with the weak, so a lot of people blamed my sister. They said she oppressed Liu Muqing without any substantial evidence, taking advantage of her poor family background, and even pushed her off the stairs, killing her.
People even said that my sister had deliberately broken the monitoring cameras prior in order to murder Liu Muqing.
My sister’s always been strong-minded, so even with this, she refused to change schools and preserved. However, the matter with Liu Muqing made everyone ostracize her. During break times, everybody ignored her, so she would just go to the music room to play the piano as a way to release her feelings.
Because this is a boarding school, I couldn’t get very close to my sister. We didn’t even know when she had gotten severe clinical depression. One day, the school suddenly called us, saying my sister coughed up blood while playing the piano and died.
From an autopsy, we found that she had somehow gotten a large quantity of pills and committed suicide.”
By the end of the story, Zeng Jingrou was very emotional. She couldn’t help but clutch her arm, tears flowing as she cried. “If, if only I had paid a little more attention. Maybe then, she wouldn’t, wouldn’t have…”
She was two years younger than Lin Jingxue. Two years ago, she was just a child. There’s no way she could’ve thought that would happen.
The hands clutched around Xing Ye’s neck finally loosened. The next moment, Xing Ye saw a faint figure float in front of Zeng Jingrou, gently wiping away her tears to no avail.
The ghost looked back, glaring at Xing Ye fiercely.
Xing Ye: “...”
He turned to Cao Qian: “Get a clean tissue and help wipe away Zeng Jingrou’s tears.”
Kiki tears up too easily ;-;. $10 donated to doctors without borders for the month of October. Ty for the support!