At the riverbank outside Puppet City, Xing Ye was using Wrongly-Used Projector to keep an eye on Guan Ling and Randy. He smiled when he saw Guan Ling’s lively performance and praised, “His acting isn't bad.”
He wasn’t good at gambling, but for a gambler, the gambling table was a place of psychological warfare. A good gambler needed to hide their own cards and lure the other into a wrong guess about their own strength. It required both acting and fibbing skills.
Although Guan Ling had a buttload of debt, his acting skills really weren’t bad.
“Di Kuang really used Guan Ling wrong. This is how to show his talent, how could Di Kuang just push him into a support position?” Xing Ye said.
Cao Qian said, “But I’m a bit worried, he’s too unstable.”
Xing Ye agreed, “I know. Who would believe it when a gambler says he’ll never gamble again? They’re too impulsive. They lose their rationality under the gambling table’s atmosphere and turn into reckless idiots. That’s why Guan Ling’s so risky, and also why I’ve never treated him as an official teammate.”
Cao Qian and Guan Ling were different. There were little fluctuations in her mood and she was also very patient. She didn’t understand Guan Ling’s actions or felt like she could work well with a teammate like him, but she endured it all patiently.
“Let’s see how he performs here.” Xing Ye said, “We need to incorporate his risk factor in a fight.”
The mirror wiggled around as he listened to them, light flashing off his body.
Xing Ye patted him, “Stand still.”
The mirror’s lips flattened, “Why do you have to reflect the projector off my body…”
Xing Ye said, “There’s no choice, the projector needs a flat wall for us to use it. This place is completely flat, we can only use you.”
The mirror twisted uneasily, “This place doesn’t even have any shelter, how are you going to ambush him?”
“It’s this flat terrain that’ll make Randy let down his guard and make it more likely for him to fall for our trap.” Xing Ye said, “Besides, who said this place doesn’t have any shelter?
Ordinary people wouldn’t be able to stay in the water for very long because they needed to breathe, but puppets were different. Xing Ye and Cao Qian discovered puppets had no need to breathe. In the end, players were all ordinary people. A valley or ravine might put them on guard, but they wouldn’t think people could hide in the river.
This was especially so with the darkness of the night. Even if the moonlight was brighter, the river still wouldn’t be as clear as daytime.
Xing Ye picked this as the best ambush spot after careful consideration. He had started thinking about how to eliminate Randy as early as when they were returning from the illegal mines with him.
It was then when Xing Ye saw this spot.
There were many tools in his warehouse. This time, Xing Ye brought a long iron pole for Cao Qian to stick deeply into the moat’s riverbank. The three could then jump into the water and grab onto the pole to hide in the river.
“The moat is different from a natural river. Moats are usually dug out manually, so its slopes are very steep and stable. If it was a natural river, the earth would’ve been carved out by erosion, making it difficult for us to get to deep enough water. I noticed the earth in this area was especially firm, so it should be enough to bear our weight.” Xing Ye said.
The good thing was that he and Cao Qian were wooden puppets, largely made out of wood. Even if the iron pole couldn’t support them, they would just float up to the water surface.
The difficult part was the mirror. He was completely made out of metal, both big and heavy. If he wasn’t careful, he would sink right to the bottom.
The mirror mumbled unhappily when he heard Xing Ye’s plan. “I have to get wet again.”
Right now, Guan Ling was secretly trying to find the two players to confirm. Xing Ye and Cao Qian started setting up the trap. Cao Qian did as Xing Ye asked and stuck the iron pole into the earth. It easily supported Cao Qian and Xing Ye, but when the mirror grabbed it, the entire pole quickly fell by 5 centimeters!
“This isn’t going to work, it won’t hold.” Xing Ye climbed out of the water, gazing at the mirror helplessly.
Things would be much simpler if he was just a little cosmetic mirror. All Xing Ye would have to do was put him in his pocket.
“Why don’t we have the mirror puppet hide somewhere far away?” Cao Qian suggested.
“No, the mirror has to stay with me. He can’t leave my side for even a moment.” Xing Ye said firmly. As a prop, the mirror didn’t have the slightest self defense ability. He couldn’t be at ease.
The mirror was a little happy. Xing Ye treated him very well, completely different from how Randy treated the stopwatch.
Ever since the mirror heard Randy’s words, he had always felt restless. Fortunately, Xing Ye had always been patient and gentle with him, allowing the mirror to slowly relax.
Now that he was dragging Xing Ye down, the mirror felt very uncomfortable. When he saw Xing Ye drawing a QR code, he suddenly had a flash of inspiration. “You can use the pianos! The moat’s only six meters deep. Even though the pianos are small, you can stack them onto each other. I can step on them and use my hands to hold the pole, so we’re extra safe and you two won’t have to spend so much energy!”
“That’s true.” Xing Ye patted the mirror’s head, “You’re getting smarter and smarter.”
When the mirror saw how Xing Ye wasn’t worried at all, he grumbled, “You already thought of that and were just trying to make me anxious, weren’t you.”
“I just thought of it too, around the same time as you.” Xing Ye smiled.
The mirror really has gotten a lot smarter.
Randy had his own ways of confirming. He didn’t look for the two players directly, instead bribing some of the mine owner and public security chief’s subordinates to tell him about the two players’ movements. After confirming they really did smash Coco’s house and then went to the little warehouse to find Xing Ye’s group, he finally believed Guan Ling’s words.
Guan Ling also told about the city lord and mine owner’s recent movements. Randy summarized all the information before coming to the same conclusion as Xing Ye. The decisive battle was near at hand.
He hadn't seen the little puppet nor found the true mission, but Randy knew he couldn’t let the two players get the surface ending, or the whole world would be wasted.
By night, everything was ready. Guan Ling decided to partner with Guan Ling and make a trap to snatch back the little puppet.
But he felt like just two people weren’t enough, so he also invited Linda.
Linda was unwilling, but who knew what Randy said to convince her. Linda refused the puppet Xing Ye brought to her doorstep, but agreed to work with Randy to deal with those two following fate players.
One more person meant one more risk. Guan Ling didn’t want Linda to come, but under their current pretext, the more people, the better. Guan Ling didn’t have any excuse to prevent her from coming.
In the end, three people exited the city. Xing Ye watched the projection turn dark.
Randy’s aim in bringing along Linda was very clear. Xing Ye didn’t particularly like Linda, but Randy’s conduct truly disgusted him.
They were done preparing. The projector showed the three had already left the city. Even if unexpected issues arose, they had to stick through with it and might even have to kill Linda with Randy.
The three jumped into the water, listening to the sounds outside.
Guan Ling saw they were soon approaching the ambush area and opened his mouth, reminding the three in the water. “Randy, where are you planning to set our trap?”
His voice was particularly loud in the dead of the night. Even though Guan Ling spoke at a normal volume, Xing Ye and the rest could still clearly hear him in the water. This was their signal.
In the water, Xing Ye swiftly started to draw a QR code.
Since it was easy to draw it crooked in the water with the water resistance, Xing Ye used the mirror’s body. By drawing it on him, Xing Ye could guarantee the QR code would be flat.
The QR code the mirror helped Xing Ye find in the fountain was called “You’ve Already Matured xx”. The city lord led the inhabitants of Puppet City to create the plaza and fountain by themselves, a symbol of Puppet City’s independence from Benedict. It was a delay type QR code with the ability to give life to inanimate objects, allowing it to act on its own. Its strength depended on the user’s IQ; the higher the user’s IQ was, the stronger the reanimated object was. However, there was a degree of instability and it could only be used for ten minutes, five minutes under the effect of Redrawing Pen.
Xing Ye used it on the river water!
The instant the QR code activated, the moat water suddenly rumbled in stormy waves, ruthlessly slamming towards Randy’s group.
Guan Ling had long been prepared. The instant he heard the water rumble, he rolled away. Cao Qian flew out in tandem with the water, Glorious Boxing Gloves gleaming silver in the moonlight.
The gloved fist hit the water with a boom, splashing on Linda and Randy like raindrops.
Since Linda decided to work with Randy, Cao Qian wouldn’t be polite.
Under Xing Ye’s will, the river water personified into a high pressure water gun. The water concentrated together, strong, pressurized, jet streams of water shooting at the two.
The moment Guan Ling dodged Cao Qian and the river’s attack, he remembered what Xing Ye had said: When facing a surprise attack, a person’s first reaction would always be to block and dodge. Very few people have the ability to both attack and defend when they’re evading. When they’re busy defending, 9 out of 10 people will reveal a flaw. That, was when a sneak attack was the easiest.
Guan Ling didn’t hesitate to use the QR code he found in the puppets’ residential area. This was the QR code that Xing Ye couldn't see and had no way of knowing its use. Guan Ling decided to gamble on it- this had to be an attack type QR code.
Condensed Thread, the delay type QR code that he used on the little puppet earlier, had already activated so Guan Ling could now use other QR codes.
Domestic Garbage: The puppets in the residential area never created garbage, so how could this come to be? In order to become true humans, they needed to create garbage! A delay type QR code- when targeted at a machine-type race, this ability will make their stomachs swell with pain, giving them the human urge to create garbage. Although this is an illusion and can be endured with perseverance, it will severely affect the target’s mental state. The effect lasts for 30 minutes.
“Great!” Guan Ling slammed his fist on the floor excitedly. This QR code was just perfect. Although it won’t directly attack the target, it can destroy the enemy’s willpower. When something’s wrong with a person’s body, their ability to think drops dramatically. He refused to believe somebody could fight calmly while his belly was swelling with pain.
One of Linda’s starting abilities was called Unambitious. When the user loses the will to fight, they can void the enemy’s attack for a cost of 50 points. However, the user couldn’t have any will to fight at all- even the slightest would cancel the skill.
Linda immediately activated Unambitious the moment Cao Qian attacked. The conditions to activate the ability was very harsh- she couldn’t even have the will to dodge. She had to reach a corpse-like level of calm, with no intentions to do anything. After activating the ability, the effect lasts for ten minutes.
In other words, Linda had to completely relax herself and couldn’t even think about trying to dodge. Only that way, could she protect herself.
Fortunately, she had already gotten used to using the skill and just shut her eyes, lazily lying on the floor. The main target of Cao Qian’s attack wasn’t her either. With the high pressure water’s support, she fiercely attacked Randy.
Cao Qian’s strength had always been frightening, and together with Glorious Boxing Gloves, one punch could even shatter reinforced steel bars and iron bones. Not even Di Kuang’s Copper Skin, Iron Bones could bear it.
Randy’s puppet was just as bad as Xing Ye’s. His body wouldn’t stand Cao Qian’s blow at all.
However, his fighting awareness was very strong. The instant the river water exploded, Randy immediately used one of his use-limited starting abilities, Tender and Soft as Water. It allowed his body to turn like water, passing through physical attacks. It costed 50 points and could be used for ten minutes.
Like other Opposing Fate players, Randy’s starting abilities had to do with changing his physical attributes. However, his ability was rather special, so the duration wasn’t long. However, ten minutes were enough!
Glorious Boxing Fists and the high pressure water were all ineffective against Randy. Randy raised his wrist, about to use a QR code to counter before suddenly, a piercing pain stabbed his stomach. It almost felt like he was about to crap his pants, filling him with an intense need to run for the nearest bathroom.