Guan Ling thought of what Xing Ye said earlier and asked, “If the city lord wants to kill Benedict, does that mean Benedict’s a villain?”
“We can’t be sure yet. The city lord might also be the villain. If you look at it the other way around, wouldn’t you say Benedict’s also quite pitiful? The puppet he personally created wants to kill him.” Randy asked back.
He stumped Guan Ling. Guan Ling couldn’t help but look at Xing Ye, but the one he had always viewed as the big boss was currently silent, not saying a word.
They didn’t have enough clues. Xing Ye felt like they couldn’t rashly make an opinion yet. One could be good and the other evil, or they could both be good or both bad. Everything was possible.
Old Nect said they would arrive at the mine after following the river for 5-7 hours. That speed was evidently calculated using new iron puppets as the standard. For shabby old puppets like Xing Ye, it would already be good to go three hours before stopping to rest his knee joints and rewind his coil springs. Seven hours was simply impossible. It took them 10 hours in total, and by then, the sky had already darkened.
“What exactly are the mines?” Guan Ling asked under Xing Ye’s prompt as they walked.
Since Guan Ling talked a lot, Xing Ye designated him to be the one who would talk to Randy and the city lord’s son. Xing Ye and Cao Qian remained quiet, not allowing them to learn anything from their behaviour.
The city lord’s son clearly knew many things. “Primary ore is the energy source puppets use to live. One piece of primary ore is enough to let an old style wooden puppet’s nucleus work for a year, and just three months for newer iron puppets. As long as you have enough primary ore and frequently replace your parts, puppets can live forever.”
No wonder primary ore was precious enough to be used as currency. It was actually their life source.
“Then doesn’t that mean it’s faster for newer model puppets to die?” Guan Ling’s face was filled with worry. He was an iron puppet.
“You’re Old Nect’s son. He’ll always replenish your energy stores, you don’t need to worry.” The city lord’s son said.
Xing Ye rubbed the area where his nucleus was probably located. He didn’t know how long it’s been since this body’s topped up its energy stores. He shouldn’t be that unlucky, right? But then again, he was an opposing fate player, and all opposing fate players were unlucky.
“Do any of you guys know how to fill our energy stores with primary ore?” Randy asked, “I suggest that as soon as we find primary ore in the cave, we should immediately fill up our energy stores so we don’t suddenly stop operating.”
Randy was truly experienced as an opposing fate player and didn’t try to test his luck at all.
The city lord’s son said, “I don’t know how to, but there’s specialized stores in Puppet City that charge a service fee to fill your energy stores. Apart from them, the owners of engine oil and repair shops also know how to. After all, it’s necessary for business.”
Everybody turned to look at Guan Ling, who immediately waved his hands, “I, I don’t know how to either!”
The atmosphere instantly turned somber. If nobody knew how to fill their energy stores, all three opposing fate players were in danger.
Xing Ye looked at Randy, suspicious. If Randy knew what the primary ore was used for and worked with the city lord’s son, how could he not have already gotten his own energy stores filled? This meant that he was probably testing them.
Xing Ye thought before asking cautiously, “Are there any signs that you’re running low on energy?”
He couldn’t act too calm or experienced right now. There was no harm in showing a fitting amount of weakness.
“I heard your nucleus would feel very uncomfortable, like your spirit is leaving your body.” Randy said.
He was very skilled. It sounded like he already knew how it felt to have low energy stores. If so, it was very likely that he already filled his energy stores. Randy clearly could have reminded us when we first met- at that time, there was still a chance to return to the city and refill our energy stores. However, the fact that he chose to bring it up right before we’re about to enter the mine means that he wants to probe our current situation. When he confirms we have no way to refill our energy stores, he’ll have all the negotiation power. Xing Ye thought secretly.
This “cooperation” only meant they wouldn’t attack one another. In truth, neither side had confidence in the other. They didn’t take the initiative to say their starting abilities and more importantly, hid the most crucial info for themselves.
Randy’s words made it clear that he had a scheme. Otherwise, how could he be worthy of being a high-level player?
Cao Qian looked at Xing Ye uneasily. This was the first time she felt like Xing Ye was being suppressed by somebody else.
Old puppets didn’t have many expressions, so nobody could see through what Xing Ye was thinking. They could only hear him say, “Well, we can’t do anything. There’s not enough time to return to the city. We can look into it more when we find some primary ore. I got my nucleus threads wired earlier, so I know roughly where my nucleus is. Maybe I can figure something out.”
He didn’t look flustered or afraid, giving others the feeling Xing Ye was either very confident or a fool.
“Since you guys aren’t worried, I won’t cower either. Let’s go into the mine.” Randy suggested.
The mine had always been dim to begin with, and now that the sky was dark, going into the mine in the middle of the night was practically the same as seeking death.
“I have a prop.” Randy took out a flashlight, “It’s a QR code prop that I pulled out from a raffle in some world. It’s just an ordinary flashlight with a usage limit of 30 hours. Its only merit is that it can be brought into worlds without electricity.”
With the light in his hands, it was clear Randy wanted to become the group’s leader.
Xing Ye wasn’t going to insist on being the leader. As long as the other side had no hostility, he was completely willing to cooperate with them. If Randy was going to carry novices like them, Xing Ye didn’t mind relaxing for a world.
But Randy gave off an unsettling feeling, especially the look in his eyes when he looked at the little mirror. It made him feel very uneasy.
The mirror clung by Xing Ye’s side and held his hand. Xing Ye knew the mirror was unsettled and couldn’t proceed with this plan, so he spoke up. “I suggest we rest here tonight and wait until tomorrow morning to enter. Don’t forget the city lord sent in a group of fully armed puppets into the mine, none of which returned. It’s already so dangerous; with the added risks of going in at night, I can’t agree with the plan.”
Guan Ling and Cao Qian naturally listened to Xing Ye’s words.
“I actually feel it might be just as dangerous outside the mine. Furthermore, staying an extra night outside means there’s a greater risk of running out of energy.” Randy said unhurriedly, “I didn’t expect you guys to be so timid. What about you? Are you going in with me?”
His last sentence was directed towards the city lord’s son.
The city lord’s son seemed to be quite confident in himself as he nodded. “I also have an illumination ability. Furthermore, we’re different from the city lord’s group. We have starting abilities and special QR codes, it won’t be a problem protecting ourselves. Besides us, there’s still other players. We have to fight to get the clues before them to win points.”
Cao Qian naturally listened to Xing Ye. Guan Ling grabbed a handful of rocks and threw them on the ground, saying, “If it’s odd, I’ll listen to boss. If it’s even, I’ll listen to Randy.”
Xing Ye and Cao Qian: “...”
For the better or worse, the number of stones ended up odd and Guan Ling chose to spend the night outside the mine.
Randy’s expression didn’t change. He gave a chuckle at the three before entering the mine with the flashlight.
After they could no longer hear their footsteps, Cao Qian asked, “What’s wrong with them?”
“They aren’t good people!” The mirror held back for the entire day and now finally couldn’t help but say it, “I don’t think that Randy has good intentions!”
Xing Ye was very confident in the mirror’s ability to judge people and patted him in consolation. “I know. Don’t worry, I’ll be on my guard against him.”
Guan Ling hesitated, “But the other’s a high level player. Wouldn’t dealing with us be easy as turning a hand?”
“I believe he has restrictions,” Xing Ye said. “If somebody’s really that strong, how would he treat new players like us? At the very least, he would probably be much more proud and aloof.”
Guan Ling thought of Di Kuang and strongly agreed with Xing Ye. “He would’ve beaten us up until we obeyed, then force us to be his subordinates and make us slave for him.”
Xing Ye: “... Not everybody would do that, but essentially, for the most part, they would all take charge. However, Randy’s attitude was more like psychologically attacking and destroying our guard against him- a much gentler approach. It could be because of his personality, but it could also be because he doesn’t have enough confidence.”
“We also don’t have much confidence. I don’t have any illumination QR codes, while you and Cao Qian are almost out of energy.” Guan Ling said anxiously.
It felt like they had sunk into a desperate situation.
“No, we’re actually not in such bad straits.” Xing Ye raised both of his hands, “With both hands back, we’ll be alright.”
In this world, Cao Qian couldn’t show Xing Ye the QR codes on her phone. However, before they entered the Puppet City world, she showed Xing Ye the QR code she drew in the system space after finishing the previous world.
Xing Ye also memorized the ones he had in the campus world, using Redrawing Pen to completely redraw them.
“Do you still remember the QR code Mr. Ding gave Cao Qian?” Xing Ye said, “Yesterday night, we tested that QR code.”
“How did you test it?” Guan Ling still wasn’t completely clear about Xing Ye’s abilities. He only remembered neverending pianos dropping down one after another, pressing down on his head like Mount Tai.
“Like this.” Xing Ye activated his starting abilities and started drawing the QR code in the air.
The QR code Mr. Ding gave Cao Qian was described as “The students love multimedia class the best, they can secretly screen movies there.” Yesterday night, Xing Ye used Redrawing Pen on the two unknown QR codes Cao Qian had. If they were going to explore the illegal mines the next day, they had to prepare early.
Guan Ling saw a translucent pen suddenly appear in Xing Ye’s hand as he drew out a QR code in approximately a minute. When the last stroke was complete, he saw something that looked like a projector appear in the air.
“Wrongly Used Projector”: This prop allows you to choose a player that the user has met before. When the player is away from the user, Wrongly Used Projector will show what’s happening from their point of view. Conditions: there must be a wall to project on. The projection lasts for ten minutes. After being copied by Redrawing Pen, the projection will only last for five minutes.