"That player from three years ago...I suspect he's not dead.”
Qiu Yanzhi jerked to a stop.
He turned to look at Big Yellow, "What did you just say?"
Big Yellow looked up at him. "Qiu Yanzhi, do you remember how you complained once about why your holographic control panel only appears with voice commands since it was difficult to summon it in a room full of NPCs?”
Qiu Yanzhi nodded, "Yeah, I remember saying that. So what?”
"Actually, in addition to the voice-activated holographic control panel, this game also has a physical control device that has the same functions. However, it can be used in front of the NPCs because it’s in the shape of a phone.”
Qiu Yanzhi frowned, "So how come I've never heard you mention it before?"
Big Yellow said, "The last player had the physical control device with him when he got into that car accident. I thought the device was destroyed along with the player because of that."
Big Yellow took a deep breath and continued, "But two days ago, I seemed to have sensed a signal from that device. I’ve been searching for it since.
"So what did you find?"
Big Yellow was a little dejected.
"I didn't find anything. That signal only appeared for a moment before it disappeared. I searched and searched for the past two days, but I didn't find any more clues."
Qiu Yanzhi: "...Are you sure you received a signal in the first place?"
Big Yellow thought carefully for a moment. His expression became somewhat hesitant: "Actually...I’m not really sure. It was just too sudden and quick. The signal disappeared again in less than even a second."
Qiu Yanzhi tried to sound a little friendlier: "Little friend Big Yellow, next time you find such a faint, suspect, and dead-end clue, please don’t start with a startling clickbait introduction like 'I suspect the player from three years ago didn't die'."
"Oh." Big Yellow hung his head, his expression becoming even more downcast.
Big Yellow suddenly noticed he was on Qiu Yanzhi’s suitcase. "Where are you going with this?"
"I've rented a flat outside."
Big Yellow was a little confused. "What about Ye Mingxu? He just confessed to you before I left. It seemed like there was only a bit more to go before you successfully captured him. Don’t give up halfway..."
"Successfully capture him?" Qiu Yanzhi sneered. Remembering what happened in the restaurant that day, he couldn't help but gnash his teeth, "Once that bastard He Zhou stirred things up, Ye Mingxu started avoiding me."
Big Yellow: "......"
So why did you get so angry at me before going to look for him?
You reap what you sow.
Qiu Yanzhi and Zhang Yuxuan were now both going through difficult times.
"I heard that your senior won't even reply to your messages now."
"I heard that your junior would rather sleep in the club room than see you now."
The two of them toasted each other.
"What a coincidence."
Qiu Yanzhi was afraid that Zhang Yuxuan would use alcohol to drown out his sorrows again because there was no way he could carry this guy home alone. Therefore, he tossed Zhang Yuxuan the microphone and told him to sing.
Zhang Yuxuan chose a very sad song, ‘Why don't you love me’, and sang his heart out.
As he listened, Qiu Yanzhi silently filled his friend’s glass, ready to persuade him to put down the microphone and continue drinking.
At this moment, the door of the compartment was suddenly pushed open. A person ran in, startling Qiu Yanzhi and Zhang Yuxuan.
The panicked man pleaded with them, "Please, let me hide here! I'll be beaten to death if they catch me!"
Qiu Yanzhi froze for a moment when the man looked up.
Surprisingly, he vaguely knew who this was.
--This was Liu Cheng, the guy he had met in the last round (1).
Qiu Yanzhi remembered that this person sat at the bar, gleefully making fun of Qiu Yanzhi for behaving like a lowly bitch because he liked He Zhou so much.
Zhang Yuxuan almost went over to start a fight when he overheard.
Anyways, they hadn’t met in this round yet.
When Zhang Yuxuan saw this person suddenly rush over and say such terrifying words, he tensely replied, “Then what are you waiting for? Hurry up and hide!”
Liu Cheng hastily thanked him before cowering into a ball under the table.
After doing a good deed, Zhang Yuxuan immediately started panicking. "Yanyan! What should we do now?!"
Qiu Yanzhi held his head and helplessly said, "Keep singing."
So Zhang Yuxuan continued to sing his heart out, "Where am I inferior to him, can’t you look at me~"
Zhang Yuxuan sang for another two minutes before someone opened the door again.
A group of unfriendly men in black had surrounded the entranceway.
One of the men was in a dark grey suit. He scanned the compartment and said, "We're looking for someone."
Then two of the others started to head in the room.
Zhang Yuxuan stopped singing and turned around.
The man who had just spoken suddenly froze and stopped his two subordinates. He bowed respectfully towards Zhang Yuxuan. "Sorry Young Master Zhang, I've disturbed you. We'll be leaving now."
The group rushed off in a hurry, but not before thoughtfully closing the door behind them.
Qiu Yanzhi stuffed some popcorn into his mouth and munched on it.
Zhang Yuxuan's character's background was quite OP.
How to put it...
Qiu Yanzhi had seen many NPCs and heard Big Yellow read many character profile cards. But none of those people could compete with Zhang Yuxuan's family.
Still, after playing two rounds of this game over four months, this was the first time that Qiu Yanzhi saw the character settings of a background character like Zhang Yuxuan being useful.
He had a feeling those people wouldn’t be coming back.
Qiu Yanzhi grabbed another handful of popcorn and spoke to the person under the table, "Come out, they're gone."
When Liu Cheng heard this, he crawled out from under the table.
He was scared out of his wits earlier because he couldn’t see a way out this time. Who would’ve thought his luck would be this good today, randomly bumping into such an esteemed person.
But even though Liu Cheng had escaped this time, his heart was still pounding in his chest. He feared that he would be caught again as soon as he left the room, ending up in the same position as before.
He looked at Zhang Yuxuan and then at Qiu Yanzhi and pleaded, "Thank you both so much. Can I stay here for a little while longer? They might still be searching the compartments outside."
Zhang Yuxuan enthusiastically offered him a seat on the sofa. "Of course, you can sit here."
Zhang Yuxuan was a little curious. "What's your name? Why are they chasing you?"
Liu Cheng looked down and started to wipe his tears. "My name is Mu Mu. My family took out a loan but couldn’t afford the payments, so they tried to sell me off in the black market. But I would rather die than go to a place like that, so I fought my way out and escaped. Those people are here to take me back…”
Qiu Yanzhi almost scoffed out loud.
Fuck man, you're even better at making things up than I am.
Zhang Yuxuan panicked. He was about to get some tissue for the man to wipe his tears before Qiu Yanzhi stopped him.
Qiu Yanzhi laughed, "Isn't your name Liu Cheng?"
Liu Cheng's body stiffened. He looked up at Qiu Yanzhi.
Qiu Yanzhi said, "I'm a friend of Shen Xingwei's."
If Qiu Yanzhi remembered correctly, in the last round, Liu Cheng had worked as a bartender in Shen Xingwei's bar. Several of the rich clients he had a good relationship with were regulars at the bar.
But to be honest, even though Liu Cheng had badmouthed him behind his back in the last game and ruined his reputation, Qiu Yanzhi didn't find this person that despicable.
After all, it was Liu Cheng who called out for someone to fish him out of the sea back then.
Actually, Qiu Yanzhi happened to have a tool card that he had drawn for free at the time. It would allow him to be like a fish. Not only would he not be tired or cold, he could even breathe in the water.
It was a rare SR tool card that Qiu Yanzhi was very reluctant to waste, so he went into the sea with both excitement and apprehension following He Zhou’s casual words.
He had a lot of fun in the sea.
Perhaps he had been in the sea for so long that Liu Cheng thought he had drowned, but for whatever reason, the man panicked and shouted for someone to go into the water and use the dinghy to get him out.
Although Qiu Yanzhi was a little unhappy that this guy interrupted his fun, he recognized Liu Cheng’s good intentions and let himself be dragged out.
Back on land, Qiu Yanzhi even put on a full show, adjusting his body temperature and pretending to have a high fever.
All in all, although Liu Cheng definitely wasn’t a pleasant person, he wasn’t bad either.
As soon as Liu Cheng heard Shen Xingwei's name, he knew that this person probably saw through his little deception. Instead of continuing to lie and being a nuisance, he came clean.
"Sorry that I just lied to you guys. Yeah, my name’s actually Liu Cheng."
Zhang Yuxuan was puzzled: "We just helped you, so why lie to us?"
Liu Cheng looked a little embarrassed. "I've offended someone powerful. I suspect that I’ll have to live as a fugitive from now on. It’s too dangerous for me to risk exposing my identity.
Zhang Yuxuan: "What exactly did you do to make that man go to such lengths to catch you?"
Liu Cheng hesitated, considering Zhang Yuxuan's simple personality and his powerful identity. He decided to tell him everything: "Actually, I...was taken in by a rich client.”
"And then what?"
"That rich client got married so we tried to keep things on the down-low, but their wife found out about us pretty soon.”
Zhang Yuxuan listened with glittering eyes. "Then what, then what? Did the rich client’s wife send someone after you?"
Liu Cheng: "No, it was my rich client who sent those people. His wife was very calm after finding out about my relationship with him. Even the rich client himself didn’t realize that his wife had found out. Then, yesterday..."
Liu Cheng hesitated for a moment. He looked like he couldn't get the words out.
So Zhang Yuxuan asked with wide eyes, "What happened yesterday?"
Liu Cheng: "Yesterday, I was caught in bed with the rich client's wife by the rich client..."
Qiu Yanzhi spat out the juice he had just drank.
(1) - Liu Cheng's the guy from all the way back in chapter 1