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Chapter 6: A Big Fire

The rules were actually very simple. Each of the three manipulators from the fate camp could set two conclusions. One was Claire’s ending while the second was their own character’s ending. No matter how they achieved either ending, Xing Ye would lose. With three people, Xing Ye had to try and avoid six unknown endings alone. The difficulty was obvious.

What made it even harder was that the system hid this rule from the anti-fate camp and ensnared it with countless traps, deliberately trying to make Xing Ye misunderstand the rules.

Malice. This was Xing Ye’s deepest impression of this world. No matter if it was the women’s clothes, the women’s clothes, or the women’s clothes, it gave him goosebumps and drained him of all his energy.

After arranging his thoughts, Xing Ye couldn’t help but sigh: “Even though my luck value’s set to 1%, my luck’s actually pretty good.”

The senior maid stared at him sluggishly. The rules were already so demanding yet this guy thought his luck was pretty good?

“The first opponent’s so stupid and basically leaked all the rules to me. Actually, my luck’s amazing.” Xing Ye shook his head, “But this game’s really malicious so I can’t always just wait for the enemy to make a mistake. I have to be cautious against the next manipulator.”

The senior maid: “...”

Was he saying I’m stupid? Me? Stupid? The senior maid thought, confused.

She remembered that she hadn’t lost yet and straightened her back, asking: “So what if you figured out the rules? Without me, how can you escape the garden? You’re just a maid. Now that you’ve knocked out Earl Luca, he’ll definitely kill you once he wakes up.”

Xing Ye didn’t reply, just standing up and leaving before soon returning to the room with a corpse. It was the female maid that was tortured to death when he had just arrived earlier.

“How do you guys normally deal with the corpse?” Xing Ye asked.  

”Toss them into the river,” The senior maid said, “The people here don’t care about hygiene at all.”

It was true, which only worsened the pandemics in medieval times.

”So in other words, you should’ve already dealt with the corpse following Earl Luca’s orders. If another corpse appears in the earl’s bedroom, it should be Claire’s.” Xing Ye said, “You said earlier that dying in the game didn’t mean dying in real life?”

”Of course not, dying would just make you lose 50% of your points. Furthermore, the penalty for losing is always just taking 50%. If you had more points, you’d lose more, but you can’t lose all of your points.” The senior maid was scared by Xing Ye’s imposing manner and couldn’t help but spill all she knew about the rules.

So you couldn’t die… then how did Xing Shuo die? Xing Ye thought of his little brother in the funeral hall. He was absolutely certain that Xing Shuo’s death was linked to the game, but now…  

He was lacking information. He needed to continue entering games to learn more about the system.

He put the knocked out earl with the corpse before pulling the senior maid in front of the door.

After setting everything up, Xing Ye picked out the biggest set of equestrian gear in the earl’s closet, changed out of the women's clothes, and squeezed himself into the men’s set.

He had to suck in his stomach, the cloth pressing painfully against his bosom. Xing Ye frowned, feeling rather uncomfortable.

He used the knife in the bedroom to cut his long hair short before copying the earl’s hairdo, shaping it into a common hairstyle for this era. After messing around with it for a while, he grabbed the mirror to check if he did it right. This time, the mirror actually reflected his appearance.

”Cut the left side a little shorter.” It even gave advice!

Xing Ye listened and cut the left side a bit, instantly making it look much better than before. The mirror’s aesthetics were pretty good.

”What, what are you doing?” The senior maid asked in fright. She couldn’t tell what Xing Ye was trying to do.

“Last question: can you surrender yourself?” Xing Ye asked.

“Y-you can.” The senior maid stammered as she replied, “You can leave the game world after surrendering and your in-game body will automatically die.”

“Very good,” Xing Ye pressed the knife against the senior maid’s neck, “You can either surrender yourself or be killed. You can choose.”

“What’s the difference?”

“You said that dying in the game is just as painful as dying in real life and I don’t want to personally kill anybody either. Although I know it’s not really killing somebody, I still don’t want to experience it. Either way you’ll die so pain or no pain- isn’t it an easy choice?” Xing Ye was expressionless as he pushed the knife against the senior maid’s neck with more force, “I’m actually a very kind and gentle person. I’ve never even killed a chicken before so I can’t guarantee that I can kill you in one strike. In case I can’t, you’d probably have to suffer a lot.”

You? Kind and gentle? Your expression looks like you’re very experienced! The senior maid’s whole body trembled. After all, this was also her first game. She didn’t think she would encounter such a terrifying person in the first world!

Just as Xing Ye said, this was a very easy decision. Either way she lost, so why not just pick the easier route.

Seeing Xing Ye had no intention to continue talking, the senior maid also didn’t want to continue staying with him alone. She tapped open her wristband and sent a quick warning to her other two teammates before hitting the surrender button.

Xing Ye watched her tap on the air but couldn’t see her system interface. It seems like the panel would automatically be hidden from the enemy team.

After surrendering, the senior maid’s body turned soft and fell on the ground.

Xing Ye propped her against the door, making it look like she was trying to run away from something.

“What are you trying to do?” The mirror lit up a few times, reminding Xing Ye to read the words on its surface.

“Make ‘Claire’ disappear.” It was rare that Xing Ye had the patience to explain to the mirror: “This world definitely doesn’t have anything like DNA identification technology so if I make it look like Earl Luca accidentally set the curtain on fire, burning down the maid and Earl Luca’s bodies, nobody can confirm if the maid was really Claire or not.”

Regardless of if others really believed Claire died or not, the most important thing was that he could use this as an opportunity to change his identity.  

“Although the system mission states I can’t let others discover I’m not actually Claire, it doesn’t say that I’m limited to Claire’s identity. If Claire died, that mission would no longer exist because if they realize I’m not Claire, they need to first prove I am Claire to prove I am not. This is a paradox that can’t be solved.”  

The mirror flashed a few times, appearing to have given up on trying to understand.

When ordinary people try a new game, wouldn’t their first reaction be to learn the game’s rules?

But all that was in this guy’s head were thoughts about loopholes in the rules, overthrowing the rules and making his own.

Xing Ye didn’t like obeying fate. He had always been somebody who liked to trample down destiny.

After igniting the curtains and bed sheets, Xing Ye calmly watched the flames grow, swallowing up the maid’s corpse, the senior maid, and Earl Luca.   

Nobody noticed the figure that crawled out from the earl’s bedroom on the second floor.

It was unknown who first shouted “Fire!” but everybody heard, running out from their rooms in a panic.

The old butler organized a group of servants to go in and save the earl but the flames were too big. They couldn’t even get close.

The flames raged for the whole night before gradually flickering out the next day. They could only find the three corpses among  the ashes, one of which was the maid Earl Luca had thrown under the bed, allowing it to luckily remain relatively intact.

The old butter recognized the clothes he had prepared for the newly arrived maid, Claire.

Everybody knew about Earl Luca’s vicious and preposterous ways. This wasn’t the first time something happened when he was playing.

Regardless of if this really was an accident or not, many people wanted to inherit Earl Luca’s assets and title so no matter what, it would be taken for an accident.

On the evening of the fire, many horses were lost. However, compared to the value of Earl Luca’s land, they were worth nothing.

Xing Ye took advantage of the chaos during the fire to steal a horse and smoothly fled from the manner.

He didn’t have a map and didn’t know the way so he could only spur the horse towards the opposite direction of Claire’s village.

However, Xing Ye wasn’t anxious. It wasn’t like he needed to finish the ending. The ones who should be anxious are the other two manipulators.

After a while, the narrator spoke just as Xing Ye expected: “Claire took advantage of the burning manor to disguise herself as a man and flee. However, she’s just an ordinary peasant girl and doesn’t know what path to take. Suddenly, she felt the mirror burn hot and took it out to take a look. On the mirror’s surface, she saw a map to the Imperial Palace.”

Xing Ye reminded the mirror: “Hello? Map.”

Mirror: “...”

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