He Zhou was still unconscious. Qiu Yanzhi watched over him from his bedside the entire time.
At 10 pm, Zhong Yabai called: "Yanyan, why aren't you home yet?"
Qiu Yanzhi was silent for a while. "I'm at the hospital."
"The hospital? Why? Are you hurt? Where are you hurt?"
Qiu Yanzhi: "It's not me that’s hurt, it's He Zhou. He's badly injured so I'm taking care of him at the hospital."
"He Zhou?" Zhong Yabai was a little confused.
Immediately afterwards, Qiu Qingcang came on the phone. He asked in a deep voice, "How do you know He Zhou? Where’s he injured? Why does he need you to take care of him?"
Qiu Yanzhi recalled his ingame character settings. "Haven't you always been working with He Zhou? He comes to our house a lot to talk business with you. I've actually known him for a long time."
"So where’s he injured?"
"...His leg. He got shot in the leg."
"He got shot? What happened?"
Qiu Yanzhi took a deep breath before speaking in a sombre tone, “Dad, there’s something I have to tell you. I’ve gotten in some trouble and someone is trying to hurt us. He Zhou got hurt while protecting me. I need some bodyguards right now. Also, those people might come after you too. You and Mom should bring bodyguards with you when you go out too. Don’t forget to beef up security and stay on your guard.”
Qiu Qingcang was silent for a long time. Then he asked, "How many bodyguards do you need?"
Qiu Yanzhi: "Ten, preferably armed with guns."
Qiu Yanzhi paused before adding: "But not from the An Sheng Group.”
An Sheng Group was the company owned by Zhang Yuxuan's father.
It wasn't that Qiu Yanzhi didn't trust Zhang Yuxuan and his father, it’s just that the first man who shot He Zhou in the last round was one of their employees.
Qiu Yanzhi couldn't afford to gamble that now.
Qiu Qingcang moved quickly. After about two hours, a large group of armed bodyguards arrived at the hospital.
There were 20 of them, all dressed head to toe in black.
According to Qiu Qingcang, they would watch over him 24-7 in two shifts of ten people.
All these people really crowded up the corridor. The other patients passing by were so intimidated by the group that they all took detours.
Qiu Yanzhi had no choice. He moved He Zhou to the VIP ward on the top floor once the patient there had moved out.
This penthouse ward was very spacious. Of the ten bodyguards each shift, five stood outside while the rest were inside. Qiu Yanzhi even had the windows on the ward replaced with bulletproof glass. Security was so tight that not even a fly could get in.
For a while, there was no word from the other player.
Perhaps he had reset to a different point in time.
Just like how He Zhou and Liu Cheng arrived a month earlier than Qiu Yanzhi when he chose Ye Mingxu’s route.
Perhaps this time, that person reset to a later time than Qiu Yanzhi.
He Zhou’s condition the past two days was good. He was recovering steadily with no signs of complications or infection from his surgery. Even his colour improved a bit.
He drifted in and out of consciousness, but his eyes always closed again before he had a chance to say anything.
The doctor said that he would soon be completely awake.
Qiu Yanzhi took a towel to the bathroom. Like he usually did, he collected some hot water to wipe He Zhou down with.
His phone vibrate. A familiar text message popped up again.
[A Reset Card, huh? I really underestimated your finances.]
Qiu Yanzhi glanced at his phone very calmly.
Then he put it back into his pocket and turned the tap back on to get He Zhou’s hot water.
In his pocket, his phone vibrated twice more, but Qiu Yanzhi paid it no mind.
He checked the temperature of the water and found it a little too hot, so he added some cold water.
When Qiu Yanzhi came out with the filled basin, the bodyguard at the washroom door opened it for him. Qiu Yanzhi carried the basin to He Zhou's bedside.
His ringtone sounded.
Qiu Yanzhi took a look. It was the unknown number from before.
He actually called me?
Seems like he’s not as calm and collected as I thought.
Qiu Yanzhi walked over to the window and answered the phone.
The voice on the other end had been deliberately modified to sound hoarse and unpleasant.
"Qiu Yanzhi, how much money do you think you have left to squander?"
Qiu Yanzhi replied calmly: "More than you think."
"Then please continue to look forward to your death. I hope you’ll be satisfied with it.”
Qiu Yanzhi paused before suddenly asking, "There’s something I’m confused about. Why didn't you kill me?"
Qiu Yanzhi had been looking after He Zhou all this time, and when he was free he would think over what he knew about this player. The more he thought about it, the more he felt that something was off.
Qiu Yanzhi continued, "If you did this because you were afraid of me exposing the existence of this world after I get out, then wouldn’t it be simpler to just kill me while I’m here? But during that first time at the shooting range, the gunman was aiming for my shoulder, not my head. And the second time on the rooftop, the sniper killed my mother and shot He Zhou, but he spared me. Is it really a coincidence?”
After a beat of silence, chilling laughter came from the other end. “You’re grasping at straws here. The sniper’s just not a good shot, that’s all.”
Qiu Yanzhi: "Then what about when I was in the glass elevator? Are you telling me your sniper couldn’t get a good shot in the entire time I was inside?”
Qiu Yanzhi looked down and slowly said, “Or could it be that you’re not actually afraid of me getting out and destroying this game? You’re just using that as an excuse to hide your true motives.”
There was a moment of silence before the other person snickered ominously. But before he could say anything, another person’s voice suddenly interjected from the other end of the phone: "Tongfang, you..."
Qiu Yanzhi’s pupils immediately dilated. But the other people hung up a split second later.
Which ‘Tong’ is it? (1)
Is that the player's name?
Qiu Yanzhi pursed his lips and dialed a number.
"Hello, I would like to commission a task to help me find someone called Tongfang. I need the information of all males over 20 years old with that name."
After Qiu Yanzhi hung up, he stood in place for a moment longer.
Then he suddenly remembered that he still had to wipe He Zhou down.
Qiu Yanzhi put his phone back in his pocket and turned around.
Then he froze.
--He Zhou had woken up.
He Zhou silently looked at him, his eyes dark and calm.
Qiu Yanzhi's heart skipped a beat. He took one step after the other in He Zhou’s direction. "He Zhou..."
"My leg’s broken?" He Zhou asked.
Qiu Yanzhi went up and took He Zhou's hand into his own, saying hoarsely, "...D-don’t worry, He Zhou. I’ll keep trying. Maybe, maybe the Healing Card’s just bugged. Maybe it’ll fix itself eventually. You’ll definitely be fine”
A little panicked, Qiu Yanzhi licked his lips. "E-even if the card doesn't work, the healthcare here is so advanced that you’ll definitely stand again some day. It’s just a matter of time… You'll definitely be fine."
Qiu Yanzhi was lying.
The Healing Card wasn’t bugged, it was that all the main character and NPC cards had lost the ability to affect He Zhou.
As that was the case, of course there was nothing the hospital could do for He Zhou.
This game’s healthcare was very strange. It could obviously let someone with a broken bone be as good as new after just ten days…
It could obviously let Qiu Yanzhi recover from his concussion in just two days…
It could obviously let He Zhou, who was shot in the leg, become stable and free of pain...
...Yet when it came to letting He Zhou stand again, it was powerless.
Qiu Yanzhi remembered furiously questioning Big Yellow on why the doctor was so sure that He Zhou would never stand again. Weren’t there prosthetics like in the real world?
Big Yellow’s reply was that this was a dating simulator. The hospital wasn’t designed with complicated medical procedures in mind.
Besides, if the hospital could cure all diseases...
Who would buy Healing Cards?
When he heard that, Qiu Yanzhi was on the verge of strangling Big Yellow to death.
...Even though he knew its logic was sound.
He Zhou had overheard the doctor during his moment of consciousness, so he knew that Qiu Yanzhi was just trying to comfort him. Despite this, he just looked down and faintly said, “En.”
He didn’t seem like he wanted to discuss his leg anymore. After a moment of silence, He Zhou asked, “Were you just speaking to that player?”
Qiu Yanzhi nodded. "He Zhou, I have some good news for you. I might have found out what his name was. During the phone call just now, I heard someone call out to him. They called him Tongfang. I’ve already arranged for someone to look into it. Who knows, maybe we’ll find him soon.”
Qiu Yanzhi: "Do you know him?"
He Zhou shook his head. "No, I don't."
(1) - 同方，铜方还是童方？- 同, 铜 and 童 are all homonyms pronouced as 'Tong'.