Chapter 48: Follow-up
“Boss, add me as a friend, ok?” Guan Ling pulled out his phone, “I really don’t want to continue staying with Di Kuang and his gang. Can I join you guys?”
Xing Ye shook his head, “Not now. I still don’t trust you.”
Guan Ling almost went and directly hugged Xing Ye’s golden thigh. “Trust is formed with time. As long as we spend more time together, we’ll be able to understand one another. Look at how obedient I am, when Di Kuang wanted me to find QR codes for him, I gave him both of the ones I found and didn’t try to hide any for myself. I’m way better than him!”
The last sentence was directed at Mr. Ding. Ding Chengshuang’s character really was despicable. All he ever did was try to save his own skin.
“I thought it wasn’t possible for following fate and opposing fate players to team up? Even if you guys have some kind of special prop, I don’t want to team up with you, and that will still hold true in future worlds.” Xing Ye said.
Guan Ling scratched his head, “But I want to team up with you. You’re an opposing fate player while I’m a following fate player. If we look at the probability based on luck…”
They’ll definitely run into each other again in the next world!
Mr. Ding also snickered and looked at Xing Ye, “Then, I-”
Xing Ye looked at him coldly, “You can pray for us to be in the same world, but I’ll kill you on sight to take back my points.”
Mr. Ding hastily waved his hands, “Nononono, I meant to pray for your success in the next world!”
With that, he turned away and ran, afraid Xing Ye would really kill him.
Cao Qian looked at Guan Ling and Mr. Ding before suddenly speaking, “Di Kuang’s group wasn’t very strong or coordinated. Our luck actually isn’t that bad.”
“Wrong. It’s not their luck that’s good, it’s our luck that’s bad.” Xing Ye said.
“Why?” A doubtful light appeared in Cao Qian’s eyes, “We’re impromptu teammates that both just finished the novice world, yet even we managed to beat them. Their strength… huh?”
Halfway through her words, Cao Qian stopped, realizing where the problem was.
Seeing Xing Ye’s encouraging stare that was just like a “kind” teacher looking at a high school student, Cao Qian answered the question like she was in class. “In fact, Di Kuang’s group has very good luck. After all, there’s three following fate players, so the system will definitely match them up against relatively easy opponents.
“They’re a group of four and were matched up against three players without any teammates. You and I are both newbie players, with zero props or QR codes and only the starting points. Mr. Ding is a player that went through three game worlds and is a natural traitor. Generally speaking, the three of us should’ve been a mess. Di Kuang’s group could’ve easily overpowered us and take our points.”
Xing Ye nodded with satisfaction when he saw Cao Qian could finally analyze problems from the system’s angle and added, “Under normal circumstances, the three of us would be forced to team up. As the climax draws near, Mr. Ding would betray us. With both of us having nothing, we would be easily beaten by Di Kuang’s group and be forced back to the novice world the next game. After all, their strength was absolutely enough to crush us.”
It actually was like that, but the system didn’t expect Mr. Ding to betray both sides. Although he was weak and had a poor character, his ability to survive was truly strong. It was obvious just from his starting skills. After failing Xing Ye’s test and leaving the group, Mr. Ding immediately clung onto Di Kuang’s group, successfully becoming a ticking time bomb and giving Xing Ye vital information. Even knowing Xing Ye’s animosity towards him, right after betraying Di Kuang, he was shameless enough to barter a QR code he had found for a mission prop from Xing Ye, winning 2000 points and the final 100 quest points. His survival skills were even stronger than a cockroach’s. It was disgusting, but something you just couldn’t exterminate.
The system also didn’t expect Cao Qian, who had just been betrayed, to form a team with Xing Ye so quickly and even become his subordinate, risking her life to fight for him.
The system especially hadn’t expected for Xing Ye to be able to see through every person’s role, including the NPCs. He even used this world’s final boss, Bai Xu, to deal with Di Kuang’s group.
The biggest thing the system didn’t expect at all was how fragile Di Kuang’s group was, ready to fall apart at any moment.
“The system can only compute numbers. It can’t account human hearts into its calculations.” Xing Ye said.
“I understand.” Cao Qian nodded, “Can we continue to team up in the next world?”
“Of course.” This time, Xing Ye didn’t refuse. Cao Qian was a very suitable teammate. Not only was she physically strong, she was also obedient and fought with such ruthlessness that it made even Xing Ye frightened. She was even willing to trade her life to delay Bai Xu for just a few more seconds.
“Scan my QR code and add me to your friends list. Once you press confirm, we can team up.” Cao Qian said, “Friends can chat in the system space, but the function’s blocked in the game worlds. We can only chat online if it’s a campus world like this one.”
“In other words, we need to rely on luck and tacit understanding to find our teammates in the game world. It’s another one of the game’s tests.” Xing Ye conjectured.
Meaning while lucky following fate players wouldn’t have to worry about this, they would have to start from afresh to find each other.
After adding each other, Cao Qin asked in confusion, “I still have a question, why do you have so much money? It’s not easy for an opposing fate player to get such an identity.”
Xing Ye pondered, “Could it be related to my status in the real world? Having money could be lucky for a normal player, but for me… it’s pretty normal.”
Although saying that sounded like he was in need of a spanking, that’s just how rich Xing Ye was in the real world! It was to the point where if his little brother wanted to see the sea, he would just buy a few islands abroad for him.
Cao Qian: “...”
“Actually, this body’s identity already has a lot of restrictions.” Xing Ye showed Cao Qian the bank info on the phone, “Two million for living expenses, and another one million limit on the card. Together with the cash, it’s only around four million yuan.”
Only…? Cao Qian blinked.
“It’s only enough for stirring up little tricks between students. In society, this little bit of money isn’t even worth looking at.” Xing Ye sighed.
Cao Qian: “... Then I’ll see you in the next world.”
After their talk, the final mission prop was given to the headmaster. Everybody received a notification as the world spun, returning each of them to their mission spaces.
Xing Ye opened his eyes and the black and white rubix cube appeared before him, giving him a book just like the last time.
“Congratulations to Player x8205 for obtaining another book.” The black and white rubix cube said.
Xing Ye took the book, which was titled “Who Took My Head”. The plot was just as they had experienced, and the final ending was: As the battle between good and evil finally came to an end, revenge was taken. Everybody finally shouldered the responsibility and crimes that had originally belonged to them. The two outstanding girls, Lin Jingxue and Liu Muqing, finally solved the knot between them and laid down their grievances. If there was a next life, they would definitely meet again. At that time, they would no longer strive as opponents, but would encourage and support each other, becoming the best of friends.
Not a bad ending. Xing Ye smiled slightly.
One book, one narrative, and one real world. Perhaps he was just a role under somebody else’s pen, only becoming part of the story.
When he put the book on the shelf floating in the air, the word ‘reincarnation’ slowly appeared on the bookshelf. Could the name the bookshelf gave itself have some sort of special meaning?
Xing Ye started to skim over his own mission rewards: he had 6400 points before the fight. He used 28 pianos, one pingpong ball QR code, and the Impression Eye + Redrawing Pen combo used 100 points each, adding up for a total of 2900 points. Killing Di Kuang won him 1000 points and by completing the campus search missions, he and Cao Qian had won another 4000 points. They divided it equally, with 2000 points each. The 7th campus search prop added another 2000 points, along with another 100 points from completing the mission. Altogether, he has 8600 points after completing the second world.
He had no props or QR codes except for Peaceful Spirit’s Tune, which was already used to help Liu Muqing subdue Bai Xu. However, he had memorized eight QR codes, including the one Mr. Ding gave Cao Qian, which still had an unknown function.
Before the fight, Cao Qian had 2900 points and didn’t consume any during the fight. Killing Wu Yu granted her 100, and completing 3/7 and 4/7 campus search prop missions gave Cao Qian another 2000 points when split with Xing Ye. The final mission completion gave her 100 points, so after the second world, she got a total of 5100 points.
Although her Hundred Shot Gun still had a few 20-50% accuracy rate bullets, it was pretty much useless in an opposing fate player’s hands. However, it could become useful if they get a following fate teammate later on.
She also had two QR codes. Hippity Hop Ping Pong Balls was already consumed, but Teaching Plan and the one Mr. Ding had given her could still be used.
All in all, the two of them 200 points and 0 QR codes to their current point was already a huge success.
The black and white rubix cube spoke: “Congratulations to Player x8205 for having the highest contribution towards finishing the book amongst all the players. The system’s reward will be increased by one tier. You may choose to either randomly draw a special QR code or select a prop from a world you have previously experienced.
Friendly reminder: The previous world had many powerful props~ Liu Muqing’s landscape painting can block a fatal attack from a ghost; Bai Xu’s diary has intense cursing power, and can be used once to give somebody a fatal curse; Aunty Zhang’s little on-duty office is a space type prop, which can allow you to escape from one fatal attack.
With the player’s luck value, it’ll be difficult to draw a good QR code. A prop is recommended.”
Xing Ye: “Oh, that’s really not bad. I choose to draw a QR code.”
The black and white rubix cube: “...”
The landscape painting’s ability overlapped with Peaceful Spirit’s Tune. If he took Bai Xu’s diary, he might end up being the one getting cursed. The risk was too much, nevermind the diary’s range. Aunty Zhang’s on-duty office sounds pretty good, giving him the ultimate protection, but it wouldn’t be bundled up like a backpack in the game world. An ability could be changed into a QR code and stored on his phone, but a prop would have to be physically carried. It couldn’t be that he had to run around carrying an entire office on his back like a snail, right?
So, he could only choose to draw a QR code.
The black and white rubix cube really was devious. If he was the slightest bit careless, he would’ve been tricked.
After choosing to draw a QR code, the black and white rubix cube changed forms again, swirling madly as it spoke. “When the player says stop, I’ll stop.”
Xing Ye casually said ‘stop’ before pulling out a QR code without any expectations.
After scanning the QR code on the black and white rubix cube’s surface, Xing Ye received a notification: congratulations to the player for pulling something completely useless to you. Instead, it’s a QR code that’s only useful for your prop. Friendly reminder: your starting ability cannot be used on a system-drawn QR code~
For my prop?
The only prop Xing Ye had was the little mirror. Moreover, after discovering the little mirror’s true identity, Xing Ye no longer regarded him as a prop.
He pulled out the mirror to show Lu Mingze the QR code.
When he was finally opened, the little mirror released a sigh. “That Bai Xu was terrifying, just hearing her scream almost frightened me to death. Thank goodness I was just hiding in your pocket the whole time.”
Xing Ye laughed, “Apparently I drew a QR code that’s good for you. Take a look.”
The mirror looked at the description on the screen and asked doubtfully, “I don’t get it, why don’t you try using it?”
“Alright.” Xing Ye didn’t care about the QR code. If it was useful to the little mirror, he wouldn’t hesitate to use it.
After he tapped the use button on his phone, a beam of light appeared in the air as a description of the QR code showed up on the screen: a prop-equippable QR code. This QR code gives the equipped prop the ability to move their soul. Props without a soul cannot use this QR code. For example, if the player’s little mirror is equipped with this QR code, it can change its body once every game world, becoming an ancient mirror, bronze mirror, full length mirror, vanity mirror, vehicle mirror, mirror armor, etc. anything you can think of~
Xing Ye: “...”
This just had to be the most useless QR code to exist.
“Well, if we look at it from the good side, it can at least protect your identity. Once a world, you can change to another mirror. I don’t think any teammates would be able to see through which one you are like that if we just carry a few extra mirrors.” Xing Ye consoled him.
The mirror spoke dejectedly, “I’m pretty useless.”
“Not at all,” Xing Ye said, “Your ability really helped in the game world earlier.”
“Eh? Really?” The mirror asked curiously.
Xing Ye: “I managed to win the battle earlier because of Hippity Hop Ping Pong Balls, which you helped me find in the gym. It had two uses- first, it made Guan Ling tumble down to the second floor, stalling Bai Xu and giving us time to get to the first floor to find Aunty Zhang. Secondly, it sealed Di Kuang’s special QR codes. He was our strongest opponent and a tyrant, so he had all the strong QR codes on his own phone. We only won because he couldn’t use his QR codes.
The mirror immediately turned happy, “Then I really was useful and helped you?”
“Of course.” Xing Ye said sincerely.
“Then… can you go see my body… I’m really worried.” The mirror asked very pitifully.
“Don’t worry, I was already planning to.” Xing Ye rubbed the mirror, trying to comfort him.
After returning to the real world, he went to pay a visit to Lu Mingze’s father as soon as the sun rose. Xing Ye’s company had business dealings with Lu Dong, so a visit wasn’t out of the ordinary.
Lu Dong was far more haggard than nine years ago. As soon as Xing Ye asked, he understood. One month ago, just after graduating and returning to China, Lu Mingze had suddenly fainted and fell into a coma. He was currently being treated by an international medical expert who had examined him for several days before concluding he had fallen into a vegetative state.
Their son’s sudden failing was a heavy blow to Lu Mingze’s parents. Lu Mingze’s mom had fainted on the spot when she heard her son had fallen into a vegetative state and had to be wheeled into the ER for an emergency heart surgery. She was currently still recuperating. Although Lu Dong hadn’t collapsed as the backbone of the family, the month had deeply affected him.
“Then what about Lu Mingze?” Xing Ye asked, “We could be called acquainted. I’d like to go visit him.”
Since Xing Ye had saved Lu Mingze back then, Lu Dong naturally didn’t refuse and had his assistant bring Xing Ye to the sanatorium.
This was the best sanatorium in the country. Lu Dong had spent a large sum hiring a top professional to look after Lu Mingze. Every day, he would be massaged, given time under the sun, etc. There was nothing he lacked, and he was very well looked after.
Lu Dong never gave up hope. He thought, if one day, his son woke up and found his muscles had atrophied and his skin was bad, he would definitely be furious.
The little young master lying in the wheelchair under the sun looked just like an angel. His eyes were closed peacefully, as if he was just having a nap.
Xing Ye whispered by his ear, “I’ll bring you out of there.”
When a few nurses came to record Lu Mingze’s status, Xing Ye left the sanatorium and went straight to the mortuary.
Xing Shuo’s corpse laid in the frozen coffin. Xing Ye stood outside, silently staring at Xing Shuo’s name engraved in the icy coffin.
They were both players, but Lu Mingze had fallen into a vegetative state upon becoming a prop
Did that mean Xing Shuo and Lu Mingze were met with different experiences, and Xing Shuo had already died?
“Director Xing, may I ask how long your little brother will be stored here? The police and hospital have already issued proof of his death. If it continues to remain here, it’ll be very difficult for us…” A staff member of the mortuary said.
“Wait a bit longer,” Xing Ye said, his voice so low that even he could hardly hear it.
He left the mortuary, finding an area with no people before leaning helplessly against the wall, slowly sliding down.
His legs could no longer support his body. He needed to rest.
Xing Ye buried his head deep in his knees. The mortuary’s cold air seemed to have chilled his very bones as uncontrollable shudders wracked through his body.