After hearing Xing Ye’s order, Guan Ling sobbed as he charged over, using his tattered body to tear about Randy’s wooden body. He tore out Randy’s nucleus from his chest and took out a dagger from somewhere, ruthlessly stabbing it into Randy’s nucleus.
They weren’t like Randy, who could use special props to kill players in the real world. Right now, even though they had defeated him, all it did was make Randy lose a perfect ending in this world.
But tearing out his nucleus still brought tremendous pain to Randy.
Just linking his arm made Xing Ye feel like his soul was being burned by an iron. He couldn’t imagine the pain Randy felt with Guan Ling stabbing his nucleus threads like that. It must be a severe psychological blow for Randy.
But Xing Ye didn’t sympathize with Randy at all and let Guan Ling vent.
After stabbing madly for a while, Guan Ling finally dropped his dagger powerlessly. He sobbed, “He died. I got 1000 points. He’s dead, but what do I do, what do I do…”
His voice was crying, but no tears flowed from his eyes. Puppets had no tears.
Cao Qian limped towards the swan crystal and stopwatch. The stopwatch disappeared with Randy’s death, but the swan crystal was still there. Cao Qian’s boxing gloves had already lost their effectiveness and most of the iron plating on her body had fallen off from Words Stng. She used her withered matchstick fingers to pick up the swan crystal Linda had turned into.
They won the battle, but it was a terrible, painful victory.
Guan Ling howled, “The game wants me to invite somebody after I become a high level player and let them be my owner, but apart from my family, who else can I trust! Who else do I dare invite! However… the people I trust are all the people I love and care about most. How could I invite them to such a dangerous game, where you might die at any moment? My wife and children left me because I gambled away all our savings and my parents even sold their house to help pay my debts. I can’t burden them again!
“Why did I have to gamble, why!”
He grabbed a rock from the riverbank and smashed it against his right hand like he couldn’t feel any pain. He mumbled to himself, “I’ll cut this hand off, I won’t ever bet again, never again…”
Xing Ye had managed to keep standing, but when he heard Guan Ling’s words, he could no longer support himself. His little puppet body crumpled to the floor.
Did Xing Shuo say the same things Guan Ling said now?
Xing Ye finally understood why that day he left, Xing Shuo called out to him holding his phone but didn’t say anything.
Back then, the words Xing Shuo had left unsaid were: Brother, save me.
But he didn’t want to implicate the people he cared about most after discovering the system’s malice against following fate players. When he wanted to invite Xing Ye to the game, Xing Shuo hesitated and ultimately set his phone down, telling his brother with a faint smile, “It’s nothing, I’ll tell you when you come back.”
And just like that, they parted forever.
A big body reflecting the moonlight moved in front of Xing Ye. Without lifting his head, Xing Ye knew it was the mirror. The mirror spread his arms, pulling him into a hug.
The mirror was the most tragic one out of them all. Guan Ling hadn’t become a prop yet and Cao Qian and Xing Ye were opposing fate players, but the mirror had already been turned into a prop. His life and death were in Xing Ye’s hands and his consciousness could be erased at any moment.
But between them four, only the mirror was left unharmed by Words Sting. His body was in the best condition out of everybody. He hugged the tattered little puppet in his embrace tightly.
Again, Xing Ye was comforted by the mirror.
He didn’t wail like Guan Ling. Even when his parents passed, Xing Ye just cried silently when he was alone. He couldn’t let himself appear weak in front of others.
But the mirror could see through him. No matter if it was happiness or sadness, the mirror could see through all of it.
The mirror hugged Xing Ye for a while. When he felt Xing Ye was a little better, he released him and clattered towards Guan Ling. When he left the mirror’s embrace, Xing Ye actually felt lonely for a moment.
The mirror stood in front of Guan Ling. “Raise your head and look at me.”
Guan Ling looked at his tattered and ragged self in the mirror.
The mirror said gently, “I’ve already become a prop, but I believe Xing Ye won’t abandon me and I also believe in my own foresight. He’s not that kind of person.”
“That’s because you met somebody as good as Boss.” Guan Ling buried his face in his hands, not daring to look at himself in the mirror.
“Ugly, right?” The mirror said bluntly, “The way you look right now is seriously ugly. If it was any other time, there’s no way I’d let your face reflect on my body, but right now, you’d better look at yourself closely. The end isn’t even here yet and you already can’t go on. If you don’t like the way you look right now, then use your starting ability. Can’t you use it 3 times in 24-hours? It’s been a day since you restored the wall and there just so happens to be three people here you can help.”
“I…” Guan Ling opened his mouth. It felt like his whole world was collapsing- why should he care about a little thing like that?
But the mirror said earnestly, “You can rage at Xing Ye and bawl in front of Cao Qian because you think you’re more miserable than them, but in front of me, you don’t have the right to because I’m more miserable than you. You’ll turn into a prop, but with your points and capabilities, who knows how long it’ll take you to get to the final level. You don’t know what the future has in store for you.”
His words were very reasonable, stumping Guan Ling for a moment.
The mirror looked at the three’s ragged appearances and stood up, putting a hand on his waist, “You guys ask yourselves, who’s worse off than me? I’ve already spent three worlds as a prop and my body’s been in a vegetative state for a month. I might be killed off by the conscienceless Xing Ye at any moment, but I’m not crying, so what are you guys crying about?”
When he saw the mirror jumping with vigor, Xing Ye really did feel better.
Under the mirror’s admonishment, Guan Ling slowly climbed up and fixed himself first before healing Cao Qian and Xing Ye.
The three perfectly restored puppets sat on the riverbank, finally seeming a little better.
Cao Qian’s iron grafted body was recovered. She held the swan crystal, “Linda didn’t disappear with Randy, but the stopwatch did, so that means Linda doesn’t belong to Randy. Randy said earlier that she hasn’t died yet, so I want to take the swan crystal with me. Do you think she can return to the system space with me?”
Xing Ye thought and said, “I met the mirror as a game prop in the first world. After I got a perfect ending in the novice world, the system allowed me to pick a prop from the game world and I chose the mirror. If we can get a perfect ending for this world, you might be able to choose Linda as a reward prop.”
“Before, I’ve always thought that this was just a game. It didn’t matter if I lost, but now… can we get a perfect ending?” Cao Qian asked.
The swan crystal trembled in her hands.
Xing Ye said, “I’m not sure. After all, Guan Ling’s QR code has already been used. Furthermore, even if you save her in the game, her body in the real world would’ve already entered a vegetative state. If nobody takes care of her body, it’ll wither away very soon. The mirror’s parents have been taking very good care of his body, but does Linda have somebody to take care of her?”
The swan crystal shook again, as if saying no.
“Why can’t she speak?” Cao Qian asked, “Can’t the mirror speak?”
“When I first met the mirror, he also couldn’t talk and could only write. He could only talk after becoming my prop.” Xing Ye answered.
The mirror could talk when the system took over and turned him into a magic mirror, but that wasn’t his voice and didn’t count. After following Xing Ye, he got the ability to talk and now, he could even switch bodies. Randy said after opposing fate players get a following fate prop, the reward QR codes they draw after every world can only be used to help the following fate prop upgrade. While the following fate prop gets stronger and stronger, the opposing fate player loses his chance to get QR codes and can only rely on their starting abilities.
The game seemed to be seeking a balance between the two extremely unbalanced camps, but why?
Cao Qian listened to Xing Ye describe what a vegetative state was like before nodding, “After she can talk, if she’s willing to tell me where her real body is, I’ll hire people to look after her. I don’t have money right now, but after I become a high level player, I can exchange points from every world for money. At that time, I should have enough to send someone to take care of her.”
Xing Ye looked at Cao Qian in surprise. He didn’t expect Cao Qian to be so selfless.
“It’s not selfless, I just don’t want to see somebody die in front of me without trying to save them.” Cao Qian said, “I feel like that stopwatch was very pitiful. First his consciousness was erased, and now he’s being forced to kill people. If he was alive, there’s no way he would be willing to do that. I don’t want to become somebody like Randy.”
A tear slipped out of the swan crystal. It turned into a crystal, shattering on the ground.
Guan Ling picked up the crystal shard, dazed for a moment before suddenly hugging Cao Qian’s thigh, “Qianqian, why don’t you keep me!?”
Cao Qian: “...”
Guan Ling then looked at the mirror and hugged Xing Ye’s thigh once he was done hugging Cao Qian’s. “Boss, you can keep me too! I’ll definitely have at least 100 intimacy points with you! I’m useful and competent, just use me!”
Xing Ye’s sad mood was completely destroyed by Guan Ling. He tore Guan Ling away from his leg and said impatiently, “How many points do you have right now?”
Guan Ling rubbed the dirt off his nose, “9300. 6000 was from this world, 1000 from killing Randy and 5000 from the side quest. Boss, you gave me these points.”
Xing Ye: “... Following fate players that fight to clear worlds only become props at the final level. Why are you worried about that little amount of points? Think, how long would it take you to reach the final level relying on yourself?”
Guan Ling pondered, “Ten years… twenty years? If I didn’t have you, it’d probably take me 3-5 years to get through the chaos worlds and high level worlds are definitely even harder. I won’t dare to slack off, but with my IQ, no matter how I try, I still won’t be able to get a perfect ending. Plus, just losing once will take away half my points…”
“Then what are you crying for?” The mirror glared at him, “You can just live your whole life with the game.”
“That’s, that’s true…” Guan Ling dared to act miserable in front of everybody but the mirror. The mirror was even worse off than him.
Xing Ye ignored Guan Ling and turned to Cao Qian, “Linda’s lucky she should meet you. I hope she can treasure that. In the future, don’t slack off. At the very least, you should help Cao Qian clear the worlds as quickly as possible.”
Xing Ye pushed everyone’s spirits, “There’s only hope for Linda if we get the perfect ending and let her become Cao Qian’s prop. We’ve already used the crucial QR code, so it won’t be easy. We need to plan well.”
Guan Ling wiped away his non-existent tears and patted his chest. “For Linda and to collect good karma for myself, I’ll do all that I can.”
Cao Qian also clenched her fists, her fighting spirit even stronger than before.
The mirror looked at the three and smiled.
Xing Ye held the mirror’s hand naturally. He didn’t have any other thoughts; he just purely wanted to touch the mirror.
The three of them were all in despair, but with just a few short minutes, they were all burning with hope again.
Lu Mingze was truly a magical person and Xing Ye was truly grateful he met him again. Xing Ye looked at the mirror’s ugly, dirty copper mirror face and couldn’t move his gaze away for a long time.