Guan Ling’s words sent a wave of nausea surging through Yan Hebi’s body. He shuffled closer to Xing Ye, “Yiyi, don’t worry. I’ll protect you.”
Xing Ye ignored him and gestured at Guan Ling to continue.
Guan Ling knew those little things wouldn’t faze the boss and continued, “The nurse didn’t have any reaction at all! Then, during the day, I saw her giving the other nurses water.
“Another thing is that parasite just now, it was actually the measles patient! He had a fever the whole day. I always felt something was off about him, so I took advantage of the nurse’s absence to secretly take his temperature. Who would’ve thought that he’d suddenly turn into a monster and chase me! And well, you saw what happened next.”
Cao Qian was also quite disgusted by the saliva collecting. Only Xing Ye remained unfazed.
He was missing many parts of his memory and didn’t quite understand the three diseases Guan Ling mentioned. His lashes fluttered softly as he searched on his phone. Yan Hebi couldn’t help but gulp as he watched Xing Ye’s face.
Cao Qian didn’t move, but Guan Ling dragged Yan Hebi back and asked, his voice low, “What are you looking at? Don’t you know how powerful Boss is? You actually have the guts to chase him?”
They were both men, so Guan Ling could understand Yan Hebi. Xing Ye’s current appearance was just too pretty. He was also incredibly handsome in the campus world, but Guan Ling didn’t think he would be this beautiful dressing as a woman. That being said, Guan Ling only had his wife and children in his heart and also knew what kind of person Xing Ye was. There was no way he would dare to let his imagination run wild, but Yan Hebi, this single, young man wasn’t the same.
But the Boss was the one person you couldn’t pursue!
Yan Hebi whispered back, “You don’t understand! My team used to all be full of following fate girls who were all as pretty as they wanted to be. I would risk life and limb for them- not for any benefits or anything, but just because I’m a man. How could I, as a man, not help a pretty girl? But then, I met a following fate girl in the real world…
“Sigh, I won’t say anything. Because of how lucky following fate players are, their looks in game worlds are just too deceiving! Although we couldn’t become lovers, we were still good teammates so it just was how it was in the game world.
“But that opposing fate girl isn’t the same! With the system’s settings, Yiyi’s appearance would only be nerfed, not improved. Yiyi’s already so beautiful right now, so how stunning must she be in the real world?”
Guan Ling thought of Xing Ye’s handsomeness in the campus world and nodded sincerely, “I’m going to be totally honest with you. The boss’s looks are already reduced by at least 10% in this world.”
“Right?!” Yan Hebi rubbed his hands, “I’m not saying anything might end up developing in reality, but don’t you think that teaming up with her really increases your motivation?”
“I get it, but…”
Before Guan Ling could finish, Xing Ye had wrapped up his research and interrupted the two, “The three diseases you mentioned earlier are all illnesses that infect through the respiratory tract and through droplets. They have a low mortality rate in modern times and the large majority of patients are only hospitalized for a week or two before making a full recovery.
“Droplet transmitted illnesses sound frightening, but these viruses actually have a low survival rate in air and die quickly. Even if you drink from a patient’s cup, you might not be infected.
“Furthermore, these illnesses all give lifelong immunity. After getting it once, you can’t get it again. Many people who are injected with vaccines for those illnesses at birth will never get them.
“The hospital director’s orders won’t actually harm the hospital staff.
“But the suspicious thing is that the person parasitized on the first night was the measles patient.”
“Could it be that the parasites only go after those with infectious diseases?” Yan Hebi asked, “That means we’re safe!”
Xing Ye shook his head, “I don’t think so. I think there are two main reasons why the parasite decided to attack the measles patient: first, measles isn’t an extremely serious disease, so after recovering, they would be back to being part of the normal, healthy population. Second, all infectious disease patients share one common feature: a poor immune system.
“A fever shows your immune system is fighting the virus cells in your body, leading to symptoms such as high temperatures and sweating. If another disease attacks then, it’ll increase the burden on your immune system.
“The measles patient’s hospital record shows he didn’t always have such a high fever. His temperature was only discovered when he was found in the emergency room. An antipyretic can only alleviate his symptoms for 4-6 hours. I have reason to suspect that his high fever isn’t from measles, but caused by something else.
“With everything we know right now, we can conclude that the human immune system has the ability to resist the parasite. That’s why the parasite is currently targeting those with healthy bodies, but poor immune systems. These patients are the easiest for the parasite to take over.
“With this in mind, the hospital director that’s trying to increase that population of patients with poor immune systems and the nurse who carries out his orders without hesitation are very suspicious. We can use the night to search for the parasites, but we can’t be idle during the day either. We can start investigating those two.”
While Xing Ye was going through his analysis, Guan Ling and Cao Qian were used to taking notes and recording his explanation. Yan Hebi, on the other hand, felt very stupid as he stared sluggishly at the confidently speaking Xing Ye.
He and Xing Ye had been working together the whole time, but why was their information completely different?
“Did you really lose your memory?” Yan Hebi couldn’t help but ask.
“Of course he did,” Cao Qian retorted, “If not, why would Xing Ye need to do research on the internet for a simple analysis? He didn’t even know what chickenpox was just now.”
Guan Ling asked, puzzled, “I’m really doubtful, how did you manage to get 8 true endings like that?”
“I’m a horror game lover,” Yan Hebi said, “I’ve bought a lot of horror games and I like to watch live streamers play. It was really difficult at the start when I didn’t know about true endings, but after getting a few, I started to understand how it worked. Most of the true endings are the opposite of the surface endings. The surface endings are also propped along by the system and it’s easy to find clues. Once you find the surface ending, you just have to reject it and think about it from a different point of view to get the answer.”
Xing Ye nodded, “Yan Hebi’s right. The true difficulty is discovering there’s another ending. From the very start, the system’s been limiting our thinking to a fixed framework and even told us that the amount of points we get from killing other players is far more than what we’d get for completing the game world quest. With that, most players would prefer to choose the easy route.
“In fact, the game actually gives every player a clue. To clear melee worlds, players must combine all of their clues, reject the surface ending, and get the true ending. Yan Hebi just told me surface endings only reward 100 points, but true endings provide an unlimited number of points.
“This shows the true purpose of the game is to have all the players work together and beat the true ending, allowing all of us to get more points. That’s why I decided to trust in Yan Hebi’s character after hearing he got 8 true endings.”
“Yiyi!” Yan Hebi was so touched that he almost ran up and hugged Xing Ye.
Cao Qian thought back to the campus world and puppet world and secretly nodded. Unless Yan Hebi had an IQ as high as Xing Ye’s, cooperation and a touch of gentleness were truly necessary to get the true ending.
“Alright,” Xing Ye stopped Yan Hebi’s face from getting any closer, “We’ve already searched through the infectious disease department, so let’s go to our next stop.”
“But the infectious disease department should still have a lot of clues, right?” Yan Hebi said, “Why don’t I use a QR code to get rid of the monster and we continue searching?”
Xing Ye shook his head, “When I first saw the game’s background information, I thought we were supposed to kill the parasites on sight. The parasites have the number advantage anyways. However, after hearing Guan Ling’s words, I no longer think the same. Do you really believe the parasites are alien organisms?”
Guan Ling shook his head, “I feel like there are man-made factors at play here.”
Xing Ye nodded, “That’s right. I think this is the true ending hidden in the game. Furthermore, if we think carefully, the parasite was originally the measles patient. We saw him chasing Guan Ling, but we never saw him actually hurt anybody. What if they were actually trying to ask for help but because of their appearance, we immediately thought they were trying to attack us?”
“That… that’s true.” Guan Ling said.
“Here’s my suggestion: for the time being, we’ll just investigate and avoid killing the parasites. Otherwise, if we find out they have human thoughts, won’t we be murderers?” Xing Ye said, “We have to be cautious to avoid having regrets.”