The car didn’t slow down at all after hitting someone. It soon disappeared into the horizon.
Zhang Yuxuan frantically staggered over, his face pale as he shouted Liu Cheng’s name. Hot tears fell from his eyes onto Liu Cheng's cheeks, onto Liu Cheng's mangled body.
Someone called 120. Ambulances soon arrived on scene.
The doctors put Liu Cheng's body on a stretcher and covered it with a white cloth.
Ye Hongyuan came over as fast as he could. He had an incredulous expression as he stared at Liu Cheng’s body and the bloodstains on the road.
Zhang Yuxuan was about to ride in the elevator with Liu Cheng when he turned and saw Ye Hongyuan’s figure. With red rimmed eyes, he stomped over and jerked the man forward by his tie. He roared furiously, "Ye Hongyuan! Did you do this?! Did you send someone to kill Liu Cheng?!!"
Ye Hongyuan knocked off Zhang Yuxuan's hand. He grimaced. “I just wanted to teach him a lesson, not kill him. Besides, I already promised your father that I wouldn’t touch him. Let go of me! Zhang Yuxuan, don't think you can go barking up the wrong tree just because you’re Zhang Desheng's son. Can’t you see this was just an ordinary car accident?!”
Qiu Yanzhi turned to He Zhou and asked, "...He Zhou, do you think this was just an ordinary car accident?"
He Zhou neither confirmed or denied it. He only remarked after a pause, “That car didn’t have a license plate.”
Not only that, it fled the scene without any hesitation after hitting someone.
"I'll have my people look into it." He Zhou said.
Because Liu Cheng had no family, it was Zhang Yuxuan who planned his funeral.
Zhang Yuxuan had no friends in common with Liu Cheng, so he went through Liu Cheng's contacts and let his friends know they could come see him one last time.
Zhang Yuxuan waited from late afternoon until noon the next day.
No one replied to him. No one came to see Liu Cheng.
Only Qiu Yanzhi and He Zhou placed a white flower each before Liu Cheng's body.
With the help of the funeral director, Zhang Yuxuan trimmed Liu Cheng's nails, shaved his beard and wiped down his body. Then he applied an appropriate amount of makeup and changed him into a nice set of clothes.
Liu Cheng had made Zhang Yuxuan look good every time. It was his turn to return the favour for his friend’s final journey.
Afterwards, Zhang Yuxuan took a long time to say goodbye to Liu Cheng by himself at the funeral parlour.
Liu Cheng's body was then cremated.
Zhang Yuxuan chose a beautiful gravesite for Liu Cheng.
The weather was very good the day of the burial. There was even a rainbow in the distance like it had just rained.
When Qiu Yanzhi returned home after the funeral, he felt somewhat lightheaded.
A person who was so brimming with life died in front of him just like that.
Qiu Yanzhi poured himself glass of cold water and downed it. He could feel his stomach flip and ache something fierce.
Holding his stomach, he sat on the couch. Only then did he remember that he hadn’t eaten anything since Liu Cheng died.
...I can’t go on like this.
Qiu Yanzhi suddenly remembered the day Liu Cheng drugged Zhang Yuxuan, when he ran into He Zhou in the bathroom.
At the time, He Zhou had said, “Qiu Yanzhi, don’t you think as a player that you’ve gotten too immersed in this game?”
Yes, he really was in too deep. Even to the point where he almost forgot this was just a game.
Liu Cheng did die, which meant that the only trail they found was cut off.
However, this was just a game.
Qiu Yanzhi stood up and went to the kitchen to make some instant noodles. Then he called for Big Yellow.
"Big Yellow, Liu Cheng’s dead. Is there a card that can revive him? I still need to ask him some questions.”
"No." Big Yellow shook its head. "There are no resurrection cards."
Qiu Yanzhi was silent for a moment. Then he asked, "What about a Reset Card?"
Big Yellow said, "The Reset Card will reset everything. In theory, it should also wipe all of the NPCs’ memories. He Zhou and Liu Cheng retained their memories after the last reset, meaning that they’re bugged and immune to the effects of the Reset Card. It can’t erase their memories.”
Big Yellow paused for a moment. "But Qiu Yanzhi, if the bug in Liu Cheng's body continues to persist...he might not come back to life even if you use a Reset Card. However, if the bug disappears, then he’ll lose his memories anyway.”
In short, the two most likely scenarios if Qiu Yanzhi were to use a Reset Card were as follows:
1. The Reset Card has no effect on Liu Cheng. He wouldn’t be reset, so naturally he wouldn’t come back to life.
2. Liu Cheng would revive but without his memories. He wouldn’t be able to answer Qiu Yanzhi’s questions.
You might be wondering: what were the odds of Liu Cheng being revived with his memories?
The possibility of that was about as likely as Qiu Yanzhi getting out of this game tomorrow.
"So what else can I do?"
Qiu Yanzhi looked up at Big Yellow. "I thought Liu Cheng would know something that could help me leave. But I’m back to square one since he’s dead now.”
Big Yellow fluttered its wings and sat down on the counter. "Qiu Yanzhi, you can draw once from the free card pool every two days, and the chances can accumulate, remember? How many days has it been since you drew a card?”
Qiu Yanzhi: "I can't remember. It’s been quite some time… I haven’t done that much since the reset.”
Big Yellow: "Then why not try your luck? Maybe you’ll get a card that lets you glean information about Liu Cheng.”
Qiu Yanzhi: "I thought you said there were no suitable cards?"
Big Yellow: "I was talking about the ones you can buy in the VIP mall. But there are so many more different types in the card pool. Who knows? Maybe one of them will be of use to you.”
As the mainline capture target of this round was Ye Mingxu and Qiu Yanzhi had cheated on him, he received a punishment for breaking the rules of the game. Now he couldn’t draw any cards related to Ye Mingxu from his card pool.
However, this turned out to be a blessing in disguise, with respect to the current situation, because it vastly increased Qiu Yanzhi’s chances of drawing a useful card.
After drawing four times, Qiu Yanzhi drew an SR-ranked card called ‘Supporting Character Memory Search Card’ that seemed promising.
By using this card and selecting a supporting character, he would receive three random memories of theirs.
After selecting Liu Cheng, Qiu Yanzhi was suddenly transported to another place.
A mechanical voice rang out.
A second later, Zhang Yuxuan’s big face appeared before Qiu Yanzhi.
Qiu Yanzhi was so startled that he jolted and stumbled back two steps. Only then did he remember that Zhang Yuxuan shouldn’t be able to see him. This just meant that Zhang Yuxuan was standing before a mirror and he happened to be beside him.
Zhang Yuxuan shouted towards the door, "Liu Cheng! Hurry up, I'm already ready!"
After a minute, Liu Cheng came in through the door, carrying a makeup case in his hand.
...He came to do Zhang Yuxuan's makeup.
This was a long memory, about an hour.
But all that happened was things like applying makeup, putting on wigs, braiding hair, and trying on dresses.
At first, Qiu Yanzhi was sure there must be some important clue coming up.
But watching this makeover was so boring that he almost feel asleep midway through. Luckily, Qiu Yanzhi caught himself before he fell asleep and concentrated again, determined to find those important clues.
By the time he realised it really was just a makeover session...
The first memory was already over.
Qiu Yanzhi: "......"
...I feel like I've been scammed.
The second memory played immediately afterwards.
The setting was unfamiliar to him. It seemed to be a kitchen of sorts.
It wasn't until he saw Liu Cheng sitting on a stool peeling potatoes that Qiu Yanzhi realized that this was probably where Liu Cheng had hid those two days.
One of the cooks came in with a pot of garlic and sat next to Liu Cheng. She peeled the garlic while chatting idly with him to pass the time.
Qiu Yanzhi listened for ten minutes without hearing anything useful. He was about to try and look for a fast forward button when he heard the auntie ask, “Chengcheng, what’s your type, ah? My grandson’s 23 this year…”
Qiu Yanzhi stopped what he was doing and turned to look at Liu Cheng.
Liu Cheng tossed the peeled potatoes into another pot. "...What’s my type, huh? I like someone who’s really tall with a brilliant smile. The type that doesn’t look too smart at first glance...but they’re as warm and welcoming as the sun.”
The auntie: “Looks like you have a sweetheart already, huh? Is he your boyfriend?"
Liu Cheng was taken aback for a moment. Then he turned to the auntie with a smile.
"...No, he’s not. He’s too good for me.”
Only then did Qiu Yanzhi understand why Zhang Yuxuan was able to convince Liu Cheng to see him.
While he was still reeling from that realization, the third memory started to play.
It seemed to take place in a study.
Before Qiu Yanzhi had time to take a closer look around, he saw Ye Hongyuan violently choking Liu Cheng, pinning his entire body against the wall.
He was using so much force that Liu Cheng’s entire face was swelling and turning a shade of reddish purple. He continued to struggle to try and get away, but Ye Hongyuan was just too strong.
Liu Cheng looked at Ye Hongyuan like he wanted to beg for mercy, but only intelligible noises came from his throat.
It was only when Liu Cheng's breathing weakened that Ye Hongyuan let go.
Liu Cheng collapsed to the ground after suddenly losing his support. He laid there, gasping for breath.
Ye Hongyuan squat down with a grim expression. "Liu Cheng, apologise to my wife."
Liu Cheng slowly lifted his head.
Qiu Yanzhi followed his gaze and saw Jing Zeyu standing in the doorway, expressionlessly crossing his arms.
...What's going on here?
Did this happen in the last round of the game or this one?
Did this have something to do with why Liu Cheng’s bugged?
Qiu Yanzhi was about to try and figure out what was going on when everything went dark.
The third memory had ended.
Zhang Yuxuan’s makeover lasted at least an hour! Why’s this one so short?!
The mechanical voice of the system was transmitted directly into Qiu Yanzhi’s ears.
"All three memories have been played. They have been stored in the card and can be replayed."
Replay what? Replay Liu Cheng braiding Zhang Yuxuan's hair??
Qiu Yanzhi pursed his lips.
At that moment, He Zhou called him.
He said, "We have information about the driver who hit him."
When He Zhou said everything about the driver had been dug out. he meant it. What his name was, where he lived, his job…
But the person himself had vanished into thin air on the day he hit and killed Liu Cheng.
Qiu Yanzhi felt a chill crawl up his spine.
He Zhou said, "Qiu Yanzhi, don’t you feel a sense of deja vu right now?”
Of course he did.
In the last round before he left, a car hurtled towards He Zhou.
The details all lined up with the current situation.
Both involved black cars without license plates that drove off after hitting someone.
Both drivers responsible were identified and thoroughly investigated, only for it to come to light that they disappeared on the day of the accident.
What the hell was going on here?
After hanging up, Qiu Yanzhi realized that his forehead was dotted with cold sweat.
"Qiu Yanzhi, are you all right?" Big Yellow asked worriedly.
Qiu Yanzhi propped himself up on the stove and shook his head.
He turned around and prepared to leave.
He suddenly couldn’t recall why he was in the kitchen in the first place.
Oh right, he was cooking instant noodles.
Qiu Yanzhi turned to look at his food. Luckily he had set the automatic shutoff switch beforehand so nothing caught on fire.
But too much time had passed. The noodles were ice cold and all the oils had floated to the top and solidified. It was a rather unappetizing sight.
Qiu Yanzhi dumped the noodles into the trash can.
He didn't feel like making any more food, so he turned and headed back to bed.
Big Yellow fluttered over again. "Qiu Yanzhi, do you want to draw more cards?"
Qiu Yanzhi shook his head and said tiredly, "I don't."
Seeing that Qiu Yanzhi wasn’t in a good mood, Big Yellow tried to cheer him up a bit. “Come on, try it out! Drawing cards can be rather therapeutic. Who knows? Maybe you’ll get another clue!”
A clue? Yeah right, like what?
All that he had learned from watching the three memories retrieved by that memory card just now was that Liu Cheng liked Zhang Yuxuan.
Despite thinking that inside, Qiu Yanzhi still sat up and muttered unenthusiastically, “Then let’s keep going.”
He drew several cards, all of which were R-ranked tool cards. Rather odd ones at that.
Some examples included the Flight Card (1 min), the X-Ray Vision Card (3 min), the Guaranteed Cooking Success Card (one time use), and the Instant Transport Card (5 km).
Why was it only one minute? Did they think he would crash if he flew longer than that?
And the one time use Guaranteed Cooking Success Card… Were they mocking him for even managing to mess up instant noodles earlier??
As for the 5 km Instant Transport Card, who needed to instantly move 5km? It’s not that time consuming to hail a cab in this day and age, you know??
Qiu Yanzhi took out the X-Ray Vision Card. "Let's try this one out for now."
Big Yellow frowned. “Why use it in your own house? Wouldn't that be too wasteful?’
"What else can I do with it?” Qiu Yanzhi sighed, "Peek at He Zhou’s naked body?”
Big Yellow: "...E-even if you use it to peep at He Zhou, it's still better than wasting it, ah!"
Qiu Yanzhi thought of something before shooting Big Yellow a look of disdain. “You’re way too shameless, Big Yellow.”
Big Yellow: ???!!!
Qiu Yanzhi wouldn’t dare to peep at He Zhou.
He laid down in bed and used his X-Ray Vision Card.
He didn’t really have any particular reason for doing this. He was just tired and wanted to watch the stars for a while in bed before going to sleep.
The X-Ray Vision Card was quite high tech.
After using it, Qiu Yanzhi felt a warm layer of light cover his eyes.
When he opened them again, he could even see the wires in the ceiling light.
This X-Ray Card let you adjust which layer you were seeing. Qiu Yanzhi was just about to change to the furthest layer to watch the stars when he suddenly stopped.
There were more than just wires inside the ceiling light.
There was also a black square object with a red dot.
Qiu Yanzhi sat up and stumbled from his bed. All the hairs on his body stood on end as he surveyed the room.
His body stiffened. His veins felt like they were filled with ice.
It was like a snake was slowly slithering up his leg.
The lights in this house, the picture frames on the walls, the cracks between the bookshelves…
Even the kitchen cupboards, the air conditioner in the living room, and the flower pots on the balcony...
They were all packed to the brim with hidden surveillance cameras.
When the three minutes were up, the effects of the X-Ray Vision Card faded away and everything returned to normal.
He was back in his familiar room with its familiar furnishings
But Qiu Yanzhi knew that his every move was being watched in this place.
His entire body trembled uncontrollably. He could hardly even get the words out.
Big Yellow also saw what Qiu Yanzhi saw. Its mouth was open but it was too scared to speak.
Qiu Yanzhi had to shout its name for it to turn around. “What, what's wrong?"
Qiu Yanzhi: "...Use the Instant Transport Card."
Qiu Yanzhi's voice was a little shaky and nasally. “He Zhou. To He Zhou’s side.”
He Zhou didn't know what was going on.
He was currently taking a shower. He had just closed his eyes for a moment to rinse his face.
But when he opened them again, Qiu Yanzhi was standing in front of him with red-rimmed eyes.
A second later...
Qiu Yanzhi threw himself into his arms.
He Zhou: "......"
He Zhou completely froze.