“Mommy, don’t cry? What kind of mission is that?” Guan Ling said, bewildered.
Xing Ye faced Coco, “I have something important to ask you and hope you can give me an honest answer. Your answer will decide the fate of the little puppet and all of Puppet City.”
Coco was a bit scared of Xing Ye, trembling as she nodded.
“Kill Benedict, and Puppet City will be free forever. Will you be happy if we do that?”
Coco shook her head fiercely, her head almost flying off from the force. “No, no, no, I never wanted to kill Master. Master is our creator, I never wanted to kill him!”
Xing Ye asked patiently, “Are you sure you’ve truly never thought that? Think well before answering. Don’t worry, we have a way to kill him and don’t need your help. If you don’t want to part with the little puppet, we can trick Benedict into installing the heart inside the puppet before killing Master.”
“No!” Coco was practically shrieking at this point, a crack sounding as the wooden block in her throat fractured.
Xing Ye nodded, “Okay, I got it. Don’t forget to ask Old Nect to fix your throat later.”
The little puppet heard Coco’s voice and reached out to rub her throat.
“He really has no feelings?” Xing Ye asked the mirror. Such perception and love wouldn’t be possible unless he was alive.
The mirror looked at the little puppet, “There is, but his feelings are very simple. The strength he used when he hugged Coco earlier was completely different from when he hugged me earlier. Look at how his entire body’s clinging to Coco, he doesn’t want to leave her at all.”
“How can he have feelings without a heart?” Cao Qian didn’t understand.
“It’s probably Benedict’s wish,” The mirror said after thinking, “When a father’s making a puppet for his son, some of his own emotions would definitely be infused inside it. The puppet responded to his emotions.”
“Isn’t that too ridiculous?” Guan Ling muttered.
But Xing Ye strongly believed in the mirror, “This is a fairy tale world, after all. Nothing’s impossible, using the real world’s perspective to perceive everything isn’t enough.”
Coco and the little puppet were still hugging each other. Xing Ye’s little shoulders drooped as he watched them, feeling a headache coming on, “This really is a troublesome mission. It’d be easier if all we had to do was kill Benedict.”
Even he felt it was hard. Cao Qian and Guan Ling would definitely find it even more difficult.
“I…” The mirror really wanted to speak. He snuck a glance at Xing Ye.
“Go ahead.” Xing Ye said.
“I don’t think we can take the little puppet,” The mirror said, “He should be left with Coco.”
Hearing the mirror’s words, Coco tightened her embrace around the little puppet, terrified he would be stolen by Xing Ye’s group.
“New problems just popping up…” Xing Ye thought doing that would be troublesome, but when he saw how Coco looked like a mother getting her child stolen away from her, he felt like forcing them to separate would indeed be going too far.
“Alright, the little puppet can be left here. However, you have to make a scratch on his body. That way, if someone else wants to find him, it’ll be very hard to identify him.” Xing Ye finally nodded, exasperated. In the end, he wasn’t ruthless enough.
Coco was in pain- she couldn’t bear any injuries on the little puppet’s body. Xing Ye explained to her patiently, “Those people you gave the puppets to earlier will definitely come back for revenge. Your little room was designed very cleverly. It’s enough to hide from outsiders, but it won’t hold up to a real search. They’ll discover it eventually.”
“Then what do we do?” Coco fearfully asked Xing Ye for help.
Xing Ye instructed her, “Leave the puppet outside. The sons of the cave owner and public security chief took the puppet outside like us, so they won’t think the one you’ve set up outside this time is the real thing.
“Tell them the little puppet is with the mine’s owner like when you tried to trick us earlier. They may believe it, or they may not believe it, but it doesn’t matter. Either way, it’s enough to stall for time.
“If they find the secret room, just tell them I came here and took a puppet. Then they’ll look for me. Of course, they might take all the puppets in the secret room away for insurance, but they won’t take the one you set outside.
“After being fooled once, they’ll think this one’s also a trap.
“People are often blind to the truth right under their nose.”
It wasn’t just Coco who thought his words were reasonable. The other two were also left dumbstruck- that was just too crafty. If Xing Ye wanted to hide something, there was no way they would find it.
“Of course, they might vent their anger on the puppet outside.” Xing Ye continued, “If their temper isn’t good, they might hit it. If they do, you can’t act too tense. Unless they’re really going to destroy the little puppet, you’ll have to hold back your anger and pretend you don’t care. The more heartless you act, the more they’ll believe it's a fake.”
Coco hugged the little puppet painfully, unable to bear listening to Xing Ye’s descriptions.
Cao Qian also couldn’t bear it, “Is there no other way? Does he have to take the beating?”
Xing Ye shook his head, “I can speculate their actions, but there’s no guessing the human heart, especially in a world where their actions aren’t restricted by morals or laws. Nobody knows how far they can go.”
Xing Ye wouldn’t do something like venting his anger out on the weak, but he couldn’t guarantee others had the same self control.
The little mirror suddenly pulled on Xing Ye’s sleeve, whispering, “QR code.”
QR code? Xing Ye thought of the campus world, where he helped Lin Jingxue pass on by giving her a valuable QR code.
There were QR codes hidden in chaos worlds, and each one may be linked to the plot. This might mean QR codes weren’t meant to supply players with abilities, but rather, to project the NPCS in the game world.
Xing Ye took out his own QR code. It was found in the fountain in front of the city lord’s manor, so it probably wasn’t meant for the little puppet.
Guan Ling had two QR codes, so Xing Ye asked him, “Where did you get your two QR codes?”
Guan Ling thought, “I found one in the residential area and the other in my house. There was a sheepskin scroll in Old Nect’s house with a QR code on it.”
“Read out the two QR codes’ descriptions.” Xing Ye said.
Guan Ling tapped his wristband and looked at the sky, reading out his display. “The residential area one says ‘Good thing there’s no domestic garbage in Puppet City’. The one from my house says ‘I can only protect you this once.”
Xing Ye firmly made a decision, “Use the QR code you found in your house and choose the little puppet as the target.”
“What?” Guan Ling couldn’t believe his own ears, “You want to use the QR code I found with great difficulty on a puppet? From the description, it sounds like a one time use protection tool and might even be able to restrain puppets! Think about how practical it is!”
“He said use it, so use it!” Cao Qian kicked Guan Ling’s butt.
“Aiyah! Stop, stop, I’ll use it, okay? Seriously.” Guan Ling activated the QR code, “There actually is a dialog box to choose a target.”
After Guan Ling selected the little puppet, a transparent thread wrapped around the little puppet. It just sat on the surface, not entering his body.
“Condensed Thread”, a machine type specialized QR code. It can reconstruct a completely destroyed puppet once- in other words, it gives a machine a chance to resurrect.
“What a useful QR code!” Guan Ling felt very regretful now. “It’s the same as giving us a chance to come back to life if we die in this world. Boss, can you redraw it?”
“Usually, I can’t redraw special delayed type QR codes like this one. It’s a second chance revival ability, how can its ability be halved?” Xing Ye shook his head. In the campus world earlier, he couldn’t redraw Review Notes either.
> TL’s Note: I actually forgot what I translated this as and couldn’t find it. Let me know if you remember!
Guan Ling’s heart twisted with pain. Even the way he looked at the little puppet changed.
“This is a delayed type QR code too. I can’t use any other QR codes while it’s active.” Guan Ling grumbled.
Cao Qian snorted coldly. This was a prime example of living in plenty without appreciating it.
She still remembered how Xing Ye completed a side mission by giving Lin Jingxue a piano in the previous world, obtaining 5000 points and a rare QR code.
Coco was an important puppet to the plot. The following fate players would take that into consideration and avoid going too far with her. However, the little puppet was different. Those players didn’t know that the little puppet was the young master they needed to find and might destroy the little puppet without any qualms.
Condensed Thread would remove those worries entirely.
After making thorough preparations, Xing Ye randomly picked a puppet to take with them to pretend they had already found Benedict’s son’s puppet.
“Where will we hide it?” Cao Qian noticed Xing Ye was taking the puppet in the direction of her house and asked, “My house?”
“I’ll give this puppet to Linda and let her protect it. Do you guys still remember? There’s no set number of points this time. Instead, the distribution is split according to how thankful the little puppet feels towards you. If Linda helps hide the fake little puppet, it’d be equivalent to stalling other players, buying time for the little puppet’s wish to be achieved. That way, Linda would count as actively participating in the game.”
Guan Ling’s mouth opened, but he didn’t dare to retort. However, he still took the chance to secretly whisper to Cao Qian, “I remember how Boss didn’t hesitate at all in the last world, not even flinching when he shot Di Kuang dead. I’ve always thought Boss was a ruthless person, but now… could it be that he's actually a saint? First he wasted a QR code to save the little puppet, and now he’s giving contribution points to other players? Linda’s not even our teammate!”
Cao Qian also found it very strange. She was certain Xing Ye was a principled person, but he wasn’t overflowing with kindness either, so why did he do that?
The two secretly puzzled over it, but neither of them dared to ask.
Linda just so happened to be home right now. Xing Ye had Cao Qian call her out and simply told her that this was Benedict’s son’s puppet, an important prop that people may come to steal. They will distract the other players’ attention, so Linda wouldn’t be implicated.
But Linda just bluntly refused his offer, “No, I have enough points for now so I don’t want to do anything that dangerous. What if they find out and come to kill me? Even if I don’t actually die, it still hurts.”
Cao Qian and Guan Ling almost smashed the wall from anger. Boss is kindly sending you points, yet you can’t even tell good from bad!
Originally, they thought Xing Ye would lose all kinds of methods to advise (force) Linda to agree, but neither of them expected that Xing Ye really just turned around and left with the puppet after seeing Linda refuse.
The two didn’t understand what Xing Ye was thinking. He seemed to be doing a kind thing, but didn’t really try to do it either, as if he was just asking her casually.
The two whispered to each other, trying to analyze Xing Ye’s intentions. The little mirror caught up to Xing Ye, saying quietly, “You tried your best.”
His words made Xing Ye feel a little better.
Randy mentioned earlier, if Linda continued to passively clear worlds like this, she would be done for soon. Since Xing Ye knew about it, he couldn’t just stand and watch as someone was dying without doing anything. He tried to help Linda, but unfortunately, he was rejected.
Life and death were ruled by fate. Xing Ye had already done what he could.