Chapter 73: Swan Crystal
Cao Qian saw her attacks were ineffective and took advantage of the river water’s shielding her to swiftly retreat. She withdrew as she shouted, “Physical attacks are useless. Guan Ling, the diary!”
The punch and high pressure water bombardment on Randy was like a fist hitting water- it had no effect at all. However, Guan Ling’s Domestic Garbage was effective, meaning mental and special attacks were still useful. Right now was a perfect time to use Bai Xu’s Diary.
Bai Xu’s Diary was one of the special props players could choose after getting the perfect ending. It had a strong curse ability to give somebody a fatal curse once. The user must write the name of the person they wanted to curse on the diary and the target would become like Liu Muqing and Lin Jingxue, turning into resentful spirits. However, this prop also had a set chance of rebounding back on the user, turning them into a brain eating demon with a frantic thirst for brains. Whether it was turning into a resentful spirit or brain eating demon, the duration was ten minutes.
The system had suggested Xing Ye choose this prop earlier, but Xing Ye felt like the prop was full of traps and didn’t choose it.
But Guan Ling was worried choosing a QR code would interfere with his starting abilities and thought a prop would be better than choosing a QR code. As such, when choosing between the three props in the campus world, he chose what seemed to be both the strongest and most ominous, Bai Xu’s Diary.
The diary’s ability was very strong, but the brain eating demon rebound effects would make the user lose all rationality and even make them attack their teammates. Xing Ye was an opposing fate player, so the chances of him turning into a brain eating demon was pretty much 100%, but Guan Ling was different. He had a high luck value!
Guan Ling took out the diary and while Randy was in too much pain from his stomach to activate a QR code, thought of Randy as he wrote down his name in the diary.
After the last stroke of his name was written down, the one time use consumable diary turned into ashes as Randy turned into a translucent resentful spirit.
As a resentful spirit, physical attacks were useless against Randy, but since Randy was immune to physical attacks in the first place, it didn’t give him any advantages.
The key point was now that Randy’s turned into a spirit, Peaceful Spirit’s Tune was effective against him!
Xing Ye and Guan Ling worked in tacit cooperation. As soon as the diary disappeared, the melody of Peaceful Spirit’s Tune rang out, causing Randy, the only resentful spirit on the scene, to scream in pain.
The pain in his stomach made him want to use the bathroom and Peaceful Spirit’s Tune made him feel like he was about to be purified. The way Xing Ye’s group used props and QR codes were nothing like new players- from the very start when they set up the ambush, every move was thought out!
Peaceful Spirit’s tune continued to play. As a resentful spirit, it wouldn’t be long before Randy was purified. After Peaceful Spirit’s Tune took effect, Cao Qian and Guan Ling swiftly retreated.
Based on what Xing Ye had seen in the projector, he guessed there was a limited range around where Randy could freeze time with his stopwatch. It didn’t freeze the whole world’s time; instead, it was like pressing a pause button on all people and things near him, freezing everybody but Randy. That meant even if he froze time now, the diarrhea and resentful spirit effects would still be there.
As a resentful spirit, he shouldn’t be able to touch physical objects, but Xing Ye wasn’t completely certain whether Randy could use his wristband or stop watch. Even if he couldn’t, they still had to guard against his second starting ability. Cao Qian and Guan Ling’s earlier retreat was also following their plan.
As long as they stayed away, with only two seconds left on his stopwatch, there wasn’t enough time for Randy to overtake them in their current situation.
Unless, he tricked Linda into giving him time.
Linda was an unexpected variable in Xing Ye’s plan. Fortunately, in order to use her starting ability, Linda was no different from a corpse and couldn’t respond to Randy’s words.
Right now, they needed to retreat and wait for Peaceful Spirit’s Tune to completely purify Randy.
What Xing Ye anticipated, Randy could also guess. Even if he used the stopwatch, it’d only be enough to fight for two seconds and wouldn’t sway the battle. Right now, there was only one thing he could do!
Randy materialized the stopwatch again. Even as a resentful spirit, he could still use special props!
He didn’t try to ask Linda anything. Instead, he just grabbed the stopwatch, enduring the pain from his stomach and purification to wind up the stopwatch to go faster.
Cao Qian and Guan Ling weren’t sure what Randy wanted to do and retreated even faster. Xing Ye also started to draw Skip Class Freely, which could help buy them more time to flee.
But unexpectedly, after Randy adjusted the stop watch, he directly threw it onto Linda’s body.
Linda, lying there with her mind completely empty, never expected a stopwatch to drop on her and jumped from fear. In the split second she lost focus, the hands in the stopwatch started to whirl.
This was different from last time. Instead of moving backwards, the stopwatch spun forward, showing Linda’s time was being sped forward.
“Not good!” Xing Ye said, “Attack the stopwatch on Linda. We can’t let that stopwatch continue!”
Hearing Xing Ye’s order, the mirror leaped out of the water with Cao Qian’s Hundred Shot Gun in his hands.
The 100% accuracy bullets in the Hundred Shot Gun were all already used up in the campus world. There were still 20 50% accuracy, but they were completely useless to opposing fate players. Therefore, Xing Ye gave the Hundred Shot Gun to the mirror. As a following fate player, the mirror’s luck value could bring the full power of those 20 bullets to light.
A bullet accurately hit the stopwatch, causing it to fall off Linda.
But it was already too late. They could only watch as Linda’s body eroded away, her time in the game world speeding forward. When her body disappeared, only a transparent swan-shaped crystal remained in its place.
Randy dashed forward, grabbing that crystal and the shot away stopwatch.
Cao Qian ran to get the swan crystal, but she fled too far earlier and was just a step too late.
With the swan crystal in his hand, Randy solidified back into a puppet and the pain in his stomach disappeared.
What is that, what did you do to Linda?” Guan Ling questioned in disbelief.
“What’s wrong? She did this to herself- sooner or later, she would’ve ended up like this. All I did was speed her time up.”
Randy sneered. Before Xing Ye could draw a new QR code, he tapped his wristband and used his second QR code for this world, Words Sting.
Words Sting was a delay-type QR code with the ability to turn words into attacks. The more the user’s words shake the other’s spirit, the more damage their physical body takes. The effect lasts for three minutes.
Randy didn’t know what his QR codes did until he tapped it. He just chose what sounded most useful based on the description.
“This QR code isn’t bad,” Randy looked at Cao Qian, Xing Ye, the mirror who crawled out of the water and Cao Qian, the one who led him into the ambush. He chose his target: “Old Nect’s son, I’ll call you Little Nect for now- you’re a following fate player, right? Do you know why Linda turned into a swan crystal? Because that’s a following fate player’s fate!”
Pain suddenly shot through Guan Ling’s heart as he asked back, “Why?”
He didn’t want to ask, but he couldn’t help but want to listen to Randy’s words. This was due to Words Sting- the target must listen to the user’s words. The only way to resist being hurt by the words was to have a strong spirit.
“Don’t let him continue talking!” Xing Ye said.
Cao Qian’s Glorious Boxing Gloves, high pressure water gun, Xing Ye’s piano, and the little mirror’s Hundred Shot Gun were all physical attacks. The only special attack they had was Peaceful Spirit’s Tune, but it was only effective against resentful spirits and the swan crystal had already turned Randy back into a puppet.
No matter how they attacked, they wouldn’t be able to break through Randy’s Soft as Water.
Xing Ye punched the ground. They just didn’t have enough QR codes!
Randy continued, “Actually, your teammate knows why. What do you think that mirror beside him is? It’s a following fate player that was turned into a prop!”
“What did you say?” As the only following fate player in the battle, Guan Ling was most affected by those words. The metal on his body started to drop uncontrollably- evidently, his spirit had taken a large blow.
Randy saw his words were effective and dodged their physical attacks as he quickly continued, “Following fate players seem to be very lucky, but in fact, their fate was sealed the moment they chose their camp. No matter what they do, they can only become a prop, whether it be a system prop or an opposing fate player’s prop.
“Following fate players that actively clear worlds will eventually reach the final level, but that final level is impossible for following fate players to clear. They are fated to lose the final level and turn into a game prop, thrown into a world by the system until they’re found by an opposing fate player and become their prop.
“Meanwhile, players who don’t actively play the game and just want to dally around like Linda are incompetent props the system doesn’t want. After ten worlds without contributing to the mission, they’ll turn into props.
“Linda obviously hasn’t finished ten worlds, but one of my stopwatch’s abilities is ‘Speed Up Time’, which speeds up a certain player’s time in the game. If I sped up your time, it would just increase your points, but Linda’s different. She already played several games passively. When my stopwatch speeds up her time, it speeds up her lazy playstyle and so, changes her into a prop.
“Little Nect, sooner or later, you’ll also become a prop. But it’s funny, your teammate clearly knows that, yet he played dumb and continued to work with you. Look at the mirror beside him, did your teammate tell you he is a prop?”
Clatter. The metal plates on Guan Ling’s body all started falling off. Even the newly grafted iron sheets on Cao Qian’s body started to break- only Xing Ye didn’t seem to be harmed.
“Hahahahaha,” Randy looked at Xing Ye, “Even after being exposed, you’re still completely calm. Look at the wretched states of your teammates, you sure are ruthless!”
Xing Ye stopped drawing QR codes and looked at his teammates. They were covered in wounds, especially Guan Ling- as a following fate player, he was in a miserable condition.
Xing Ye said calmly, “Guan Ling, use Puppet Play.”
Guan Ling was startled and looked at Xing Ye incredulously. Before, it was Xing Ye who stressed that they had to save it for the plot’s climax.
“This is our top priority right now. Randy knows too much. We need his answers.” Xing Ye said.
Guan Ling was already on the verge of collapse. He trembled as he opened his wristband- Should he really believe Xing Ye? He was so cold-blooded that Randy’s words didn’t harm him at all. Xing Ye only wanted to take advantage of us following fate players, why should he still obey him?
At this moment, the little mirror sprinted to Xing Ye’s side and lifted his arms, showing Guan Ling, “Use Puppet Play! Did you really think Xing Ye wasn’t wounded? If he wasn’t wounded, why wouldn’t he continue using Redrawing Pen to attack?”
On the surface, Xing Ye didn’t seem injured, but both his hands had actually rotted away, like they were melted by acid. The reason why he stopped attacking was because his hands had long become incapable of using Redrawing Pen.
Out of the four, Xing Ye’s injuries were the worst!
Guan Ling saw Xing Ye’s hands and gritted his teeth before activating Puppet Play. Thin, transparent threads were released from his wristband, entering Randy’s body.
Randy’s chin suddenly went slack, cutting off his words as he stood there in a daze.
“Puppet Play” was a rare delay-type QR code that specifically targeted machine races. The puppet strings blend into the target’s body, forcing them to completely obey the user’s wishes, becoming their puppet and staging a wonderful “Puppet Play”. The duration was ten minutes and can be stacked with ordinary delay type QR codes.
When Guan Ling explained Puppet Play’s ability, Xing Ye realized the ability was vital for breaking through the final battle for Puppet City’s true ending. When the city lord and Benedict meet and begin to fight, the only way to stop the two without harming them was to use Puppet’s Play. With that, their mission would be much easier.
It was a pity they had to use it on Randy.
Randy fell completely under Puppet City’s control. Even if he wanted to use a QR code, he couldn’t. Words Sting’s duration was almost over. Right now, he could only use his starting abilities.
“What are your starting abilities?” Xing Ye asked.
The controlled puppet had to answer the user’s questions truthfully. Randy heard his voice speak mechanically, “Soft as Water and Passionate like Fire. The first is a defensive ability against physical attacks. Passionate Like Fire allows me to cover my body with flames, boosting my attack power. Both abilities last for ten minutes, but because fire and water are incompatible, they cannot be stacked.”
Xing Ye relaxed when he heard his starting abilities. Puppet Play couldn’t control the puppet’s brain. If Randy could attack them with his starting abilities, they needed to guard against that since starting abilities could be activated by thought. They were the only abilities unaffected by Puppet Play.
By knowing his two starting abilities, they could guard themselves against it. Randy’s Passionate Like Fire would deal huge damage to his wooden body, rendering that ability pretty much useless in this world.
Sure enough, even as a reincarnation player, opposing fate players were still ridiculously unlucky.
Xing Ye looked at his own two hands and secretly gave a bitter smile.
Randy was truly strong. He managed to kill Linda even under Xing Ye’s meticulous planning, left them all beaten up, and forced Xing Ye to use Puppet’s Play. Earlier, he was the one who told Guan Ling not to use it no matter what, yet he never thought he would be the one to order him to now.
“Tell us everything you know about following fate and opposing fate players.” Xing Ye said, “Even if I lose this world, it’s something I have to know. It’s important to all of us.”
Randy answered mechanically, “I already said how following fate players become props. Those who actively clear worlds will lose at the final level and be reborn as a prop in a novice world. Slacking players will not be tolerated by the system and will turn into props.
“The abilities of the prop following fate players turn into depends on their starting abilities, but they’re different from ordinary people in where their starting abilities can be upgraded. As players, our starting abilities can’t be upgraded, but props can.
“Opposing fate players that own the following fate prop can use QR codes to upgrade their starting abilities. The random QR codes drawn after successfully completing a world must be used on their prop and amongst them, are ability upgrading QR codes. This isn’t a loss because compared to QR codes that you don’t even know the abilities of, it’d be more effective to upgrade your prop."
“How do you use following fate props?” Xing Ye asked.
The little mirror couldn’t use his starting ability, Otherworldly Beauty.
Randy answered, “You just have to erase the following fate player’s consciousness. Sometimes, you can draw a QR code that can do that. Otherwise, after you have at least 80 intimacy points, the system description will change into ‘take what you want’ and give the opposing fate player the right to erase the prop’s consciousness. After their consciousness disappears, the following fate player will completely turn into the prop and will die in the real world.”
“AHHHH!” Guan Ling screamed, collapsing when he heard that.
Xing Ye understood his feelings, but he couldn’t lose his calm. He still had questions that needed answers.
Cao Qian restrained Guan Ling, hinting at Xing Ye to continue.
Xing Ye asked, “Is there any way to let following fate props use their starting abilities without erasing their consciousness?”
Randy answered, “You still need at least 80 intimacy points. After that, you can share points with your following fate prop, which they can use to activate their starting abilities based on their own choice. However, most people choose to erase their consciousness. After all, who wants to use a prop that won’t listen to them? I erased my stopwatch’s consciousness with a QR code.”
Xing Ye rushed to ask, “Is the time your stopwatch took from people in-game time or real-life time?”
Randy answered, “It’s real-life time. After the stop watch takes their time, the player’s real body will die and their game points will all belong to me. They can all be used to trade for money and abilities!”
“Since you need high favorability, why were you able to use the swan crystal Linda turned into? Did you already erase her consciousness?”
Randy answered, “No, it’s a special effect of my prop that temporarily lets me control her, but her consciousness hasn’t disappeared yet.”
Seeing that they still had time, Xing Ye asked another question he wanted to know, “A player can invite another player by sharing a QR code. Have you seen that way of entering the game?”
Randy answered, “Ah, only following fate players can share QR codes. They can only invite one person to the game and can’t say anything about it. If the person they invited enters the game and chooses the opposing fate camp, when the following fate player becomes a prop, they’ll be automatically given to the opposing fate player as a prop with their intimacy level set at 80 from the start. If they chose the following fate camp, they only get 2000 points and a life saving QR code.
“Following fate players can only invite others after becoming a high level player. Some people who sense the danger of becoming a prop invite their closest friends or family into the game so they can become their prop and the two of them can fight together. Others just stay unaware and waste the one chance to save their life.
“However, nobody knows if a prop can return to being human. After all, I’ve never seen anyone that cleared the final level. Therefore, most people will choose to erase the prop’s consciousness after getting into a disagreement. After all, it makes things much more convenient.”
“Enough.” Xing Ye saw ten minutes almost up and already got the answers to most of his questions. His face was solemn as he ordered, “Kill him.”