Xing Ye believed the key to reaching 80 intimacy points was trust. The following fate player and opposing fate player needed absolute trust in each other. The following fate player must willingly face the risk of having their consciousness erased and the opposing fate player must willingly share everything with them.
If they didn’t know about the following fate prop’s consciousness could be erased, it’d be very easy for trust to form between them. The opposing fate player’s the only person the following fate prop can rely on, making it hard not to think well of the other. The opposing fate player would think the prop was very obedient and thoughtful, so their intimacy would also rise. When both parties felt the other was special, it wouldn’t be hard for their intimacy points to rise to 80.
But he and the mirror were different. The mirror knew Xing Ye could kill him.
Xing Ye was a little nervous. He wanted to win, yes, but he also hoped the mirror could trust him without any reservations.
A ding! sounded as a system prompt appeared in his head: Congratulations to the player and his prop for reaching 80 intimacy points. You are now best friends who are willing to share everything with each other. The prop’s initial abilities are now unlocked and may be used with the player’s points. Other features are waiting to be discovered. Such close friendship is rare, it must be cherished!”
Cherished? Earlier, it said “the game sometimes needs a little compassion” and now, that the friendship with following fate props “must be cherished”.
The little mirror’s intimacy points grew very quickly. Even though he knew it was tantamount to giving Xing Ye control over his life and death, the little mirror still chose to do so.
“We’ll have to rely on you for this world.” Xing Ye told the mirror.
The two held hands and charged into the mines together.
This was their first time going deep into the mines, but through Wrongly Used Projector, they were already familiar with the mine’s layout.
Xing Ye and the mirror went straight to Benedict’s laboratory. Half way through, mechanical puppets appeared, blocking their way.
Xing Ye had long been prepared. The instant he saw the mechanical puppets, he used Redrawing Pen to draw You’ve Already Matured. This time, his target was the cave wall!
The QR code floating in the air stuck to the cave wall and the cave immediately began to change. Just when the mechanical puppets began shooting at Xing Ye and the mirror, a stone wall suddenly appeared between them, blocking their attacks.
“How did you think of using that QR code on the cave wall? Wouldn’t people usually choose to use it on the mechanical puppets?” The mirror asked in disbelief as they ran.
This was the difference between geniuses and ordinary people. Xing Ye’s brain circuits were completely different from the norm- whether it was his inferences about the plot, conjectures about the system, or how he used QR codes, his line of thought was as wide as the cosmos. He could think of ideas others would never begin to consider.
Xing Ye laughed, “You’re already a mature cave wall, so you should learn how to control your own cave structure. Nothing’s wrong with that, right? Since this QR code gives the target life, why should they continue acting as furniture like chairs and sofas? Why can’t that apply to mountains and rivers too?”
The mirror answered reluctantly, “I guess…”
With the cave’s help, the two didn’t need to run for 40-50 minutes to get to the cave’s core like Randy. It only took them 5 minutes to approach the core of the cave.
Unfortunately, the maturing QR code only lasted for five minutes under Redrawing Pen and the original code prefaced the same QR code could not be used on the same target continuously. Xing Ye could not change the mine’s layout again.
Fortunately, the mine was pretty smart after ‘maturing’. Before it lost effectiveness, it helped separate Xing Ye from the mechanical puppets and, to prevent a disaster in the mines, moved the laboratory as close as possible so Xing Ye only needed to run a few steps.
The mirror rubbed the cave wall, which had already lost its consciousness, and said softly as he ran, “Thank you.”
Even though he knew the cave was only briefly alive because of the QR code’s effects, the mirror still thanked it and didn’t just treat it as a prop.
After another three minutes of running, the two finally reached the laboratory. The door was open and it only took a glance for them to see Benedict standing in front of the heart vessel.
He shouted angrily when he saw them, “What are you doing!”
He was standing in front of the nucleus control machine. As he yelled, he pushed down on the button ruthlessly.
It was already too late to draw a QR code. Xing Ye directly toppled over, his eyes dull as he laid frozen on the floor.
The mirror didn’t look back and continued charging at Benedict.
Benedict took out a gun to attack the mirror, but the mirror was faster. He didn’t even need to aim as he fired, the Hundred Shot Gun hitting Benedict’s wrist just as he wanted. Now, he could no longer hold weapons.
With that, the mirror ran to the nucleus control device. An ordinary person might choose to destroy or shut down the nucleus control device, but Xing Ye had analyzed that if the nucleus control device was that easy to shut down, the system wouldn’t have given them a QR code like Puppet Play. Benedict must have a long range remote control. The nucleus control device was also very heavy. It must be very difficult to break it under the world’s rules.
The mirror didn’t try shooting at the nucleus control device’s energy storage in fear of an explosion.
He raised his wrist, where a wristband wrapped around it. The mirror could use it!
This was Xing Ye’s system wristband. Inside, there was only one QR code, the one they had found in the fountain. From start to finish, he had never used the real You’ve Already Matured QR code!
The QR code just needed to touch the target to take effect. The mirror stuck the wristband to the nucleus control device.
At the same time, Benedict took out a remote control. They didn’t know what would happen if he pressed it, but it seemed very dangerous.
It sounded slow, but everything actually happened very quickly. The moment Benedict was about to press the button, he suddenly couldn’t move!
Xing Ye slowly climbed up from the floor, his head still dizzy as he sighed, “The nucleus control device is really uncomfortable.”
The little mirror ran over to support Xing Ye and returned the wristband, his voice happy. “Success!”
After the nucleus control device ‘matured’, it controlled Benedict and released Xing Ye.
The real You’ve Already Matured QR code only lasted for ten minutes. Time was pressing, so Xing Ye bore his discomfort and quickly walked into the laboratory. He took away all the weapons and remote controls on Benedict’s body before carrying him on his shoulder.
“How do we bring the heart?” The little mirror circled the machine with the heart, “This machine looks really complicated. What if we aren’t careful and kill the little puppet’s heart?”
“Then we’ll just have the machine help us.”
Xing Ye quickly drew a QR code and ‘matured’ the machine.
After maturing, the glass vessel started moving by itself, entering a PIN and moving the heart inside it into a smaller, more portable vessel before giving it to the little mirror.
“Isn’t that QR code too powerful?” The little mirror said, dumbstruck.
The soulless puppets Benedict had trusted most immediately betrayed him after they ‘matured’.
“It’s not the QR code that’s so effective here. All the machines Benedict created are the same as the inhabitants of Puppet City. After becoming conscious, they all want to control their own fate.” Xing Ye’s words were meant for both the little mirror and the immobile but still conscious Benedict. “They all know what Benedict’s doing is wrong and want to stop him, but they also love Benedict and hope he can fulfill his wish, giving the little puppet a heart. Love and hate go hand in hand.”
“How do you know the machines love Benedict?” The mirror asked, not understanding.
Xing Ye pointed at the nucleus control device. “It’s always been preventing me from harming Benedict. Try picking up the gun and aiming it at Benedict’s nucleus.
The mirror picked up the gun to scare the nucleus control device. The moment he aimed it at Benedict, Xing Ye immediately fell to the ground, his whole body twitching.
“It knows it can’t control me, so it’s using you to threaten me!” The mirror said in alarm.
He immediately turned to pacify the nucleus control device. “Don’t be angry, I just want to help Master Benedict make peace with Puppet City by bringing him and the little puppet’s heart to Puppet City. We won’t harm him or let the inhabitants of Puppet City do so either. Can you trust me?”
With the little mirror’s words, Xing Ye’s twitching stopped and he arduously climbed up from the ground. The price for playing around with it was too high!
After reaching a consensus, the little mirror carried Benedict while Xing Ye brought along the heart. They quickly found the steam powered car the two following fate players drove over and upon seeing there was still enough fuel left, ‘matured’ the car to drive them back to the city.
He didn’t know how to drive cars in this world, but it didn’t mean he couldn’t use those five minutes the QR code granted him to learn.
The car operated the operation handle by itself. Five minutes was enough for Xing Ye to learn how to drive it and with that, they drove out of the mines.
They didn’t meet any mechanical puppets along the way. It was all thanks to the clever cave for locking them away firmly.
After driving out of the mines, Benedict finally broke free of the nucleus control device’s restraints. His body had been tied up by the little mirror and was trembling with anger, “Give me my son’s heart back!”
Xing Ye was focused on driving the car so the little mirror soothed him, “Master, we’re doing this to help you and Puppet City.”
“You’ll kill my son!” Master Benedict howled furiously, “Puppet City never destroyed my son’s puppet because I was still outside and they needed it to threaten me! If I go into Puppet City, they’ll immediately kill me and my son so there would be nobody left that could threaten their lives!”
The mirror persuaded him patiently, “Master, if murdering you or slaughtering Puppet City could really solve the problem, we wouldn’t need to undergo so much trouble. Trust me, the little puppet won’t be happy if either side gets hurt.”
If Benedict was that easily convinced, he and Puppet City wouldn’t have fought for so many years.
The only thing that could incite him was the little puppet.
The mirror continued, “Master, I know you don’t trust my words, but we’ll bring you to Puppet City and help you install the little puppet’s heart. Old Nect should have your old laboratory and we brought along the heart. If you still want to leave Puppet City after installing the heart and the inhabitants of Puppet City try to harm you, we’ll do everything we can to bring you and the little puppet out.”
Benedict stared at the mirror before abruptly saying, “I remember you. You were a failure.
“I wanted to create a puppet completely out of metal, one that didn’t need a nucleus. I tried countless times without success- you were one of those failures.
“You shouldn’t have a human consciousness and you don’t have any energy sources either, so how are you alive?”
The mirror laughed mischievously, “It’s probably because my luck’s good. I’m glad Master Benedict made this body for me. Now I can move around and help my teammates a little.”
“It’s not just a little.” Xing Ye said beside him, “If it weren’t for you, we would’ve already lost.”
It wasn’t just the nucleus control device. If it weren’t for him, they would’ve all lost under Randy’s words.
In his despair, Guan Ling might’ve chosen to view all opposing fate players as enemies and wouldn’t continue teaming up with them. Cao Qian wouldn’t have had the courage to pick up the Swan Crystal. As for Xing Ye himself, he probably would’ve been completely destroyed knowing he had missed his brother’s call for help.
It was Lu Mingze who saved their crumbling team and made them even more united than before.
How could this be called just a little?
If there was a MVP, it would definitely be the mirror.
The failed product Master Benedict personally made and then abandoned became the only way to stop him.
Three hours later, the three arrived at Puppet City only to see a shocking scene.
Puppet City’s walls had collapsed. A tiny matchstick puppet stood on the ruins, facing a group of soldiers who had their guns all pointed towards her. Guan Ling was beside her, using his starting ability Losing the Family Fortune to protect them.
Guan Ling screamed when he saw Xing Ye and the mirror finally arrived, “Boss, save us! The city lord didn’t believe us, so in her anger, Cao Qian punched the wall! My starting ability can only hold up for another minute!”
Xing Ye: “...”
Cao Qian, good job.
Cao Qian alone wasn’t that strong. She probably used the real Glorious Boxing Fists to completely destroy the walls of Puppet City. Her execution was truly ruthless.
“It’s Benedict!” Suddenly, a shout came from a soldier, “Master Benedict’s in their car!”
“What? Master? That’s Master?”
“Hasn’t it already been around 30 years since he’s left Puppet City?”
“I heard Master lost hope in us, so he chose to abandon Puppet City.”
“The city lord said the state of Puppet City was a mess, with thieves and pillagers everywhere. Somebody even accidentally broke the leg of the puppet Master Benedict prepared for the young master. All of these incidents discouraged Master and in the end, he decided to leave Puppet City.”
“But the city lord already punished those bad thieving puppets, set up new laws, and recruited us as soldiers to protect the city.”
“Then did Master come back because we turned better?”
“Has Master really forgiven us? I’ve always missed Master. I remember when I was first created, Master was deftly putting in my final screw. That screw’s already old and rusty now. Old Nect told me to change it, but I just never could- Master touched that screw!”
“So then, did the city lord assemble us on an expedition outside the city to find Master and bring him back?’
The soldiers all set down their guns and some even started waving at Master Benedict.
The city lord shouted, “Don’t lower your guard, Master wants to kill us!”
“Impossible, that’s Master!” One puppet retorted, “Master personally created us, how could he kill us?”
Only a few puppets knew about Benedict wanting to destroy Puppet City. Most of the other puppets were just following the city lord’s lead and just thought Master Benedict lost hope in them, believing as long as they were good puppets, Master would one day come back.
Puppets had much better hearing than humans. Even though they were very far away, Xing Ye’s group could still hear the soldiers’ words.
The mirror looked at Benedict, “Do you hear them? None of them want to kill you, they were just following the city lord’s orders this whole time. They don’t want to harm you.”
Guan Ling suddenly got an idea after hearing the soldiers. With a gambler’s mentality, he directly removed his absolute defense and shouted loudly at the soldiers, “I am Old Nect’s son, Little Nect. My dad ordered me and my companions to bring Master back home. Now that Master’s back, shouldn’t you all clear the road and welcome Master back properly in formation?”
He pretended the whole wall breaking thing never happened. In any case, it wasn’t important now.
The soldiers’ spirits were surging with Benedict’s return. They’ve always believed they had been bad, causing Master to leave Puppet City out of anger. Now that Master’s returned, it meant they had done good and Master forgave them!
One by one, in order to show off their obedience and loyalty to Master, the soldiers rushed to clear the road. Xing Ye saw them working hard and deliberately slowed the car’s speed.
The mirror said timely, “They all love you. Do you still have the heart to kill them?”
Benedict didn’t speak.
Xing Ye slowly drove into the city. The road was filled with puppets who had heard the news. They all tried to squeeze closer to the front, waving their hands as they called out “Master, Master!”.
Guan Ling and Cao Qian jumped on the car through the crowd of people. Guan Ling shouted to prevent the puppets from blocking the road, “Soldiers, Master brought back the young master’s heart. We are on our way to install the young master’s heart, so everybody must keep order! Don’t block the road and obstruct Master!”
Whispers arose from the crowd of puppets.
“The little young master’s still in Puppet City? I thought Master left with him.”
“How could that be possible? Master created Puppet City for the little young master to live here, but we didn’t live up to his expectations.”
“Then if Master didn’t take the little puppet away, does that mean he still likes us?”
“And here I thought Master completely abandoned us. When Master left, I cried for days.”
“Yeah right, you don’t even have tear ducts! You aren’t allowed to lie in front of Master!”
Such words all entered Benedict’s ears as he watched the puppets make way on the streets. Benedict didn’t say a word as he glared at the city lord fiercely.
The city lord shrunk back. He thought Master would destroy Puppet City, so he was the one who pushed to kill Master first. Now, he didn’t have the shame to look at Master.
Xing Ye said to Cao Qian, “Bring the city lord here and let him have a good talk with Master.”
Without another word, Cao Qian jumped off the car and snatched the city lord from the crowd of puppets, bringing him onto the car.
The city lord sat beside Master with his head hung low, not daring to say a word.
Benedict didn’t speak either, his face sullen. The mirror pushed the container with the little puppet’s heart into Benedict’s hands, letting him hold it.
The car surrounded by puppets made its way to Coco’s home. Coco got onto the car holding the real little puppet before Xing Ye continued driving to Old Nect’s shop.
Coco said to Benedict softly, “Master, I didn’t hurt the little young master. Look at the little young master’s body, I’ve been keeping good care of him this whole time.”
Benedict accepted the little puppet. When he saw every part of the little puppet’s body was glistening clean, he thought of the filthy and damaged fake puppets the two liars (the following fate players) sent before looking back to the little puppet that looked just like new.
Just as he was about to say “Thank you”, he remembered how Coco hid the little puppet back then and packed a fake into his luggage, causing him to lose his son for many years. Benedict’s mood instantly turned sour again as he turned away, ignoring Coco’s words.
Coco and the city lord shrunk back. They had both betrayed Benedict.
They arrived at Old Nect’s house. Old Nect had long heard what happened and had his door open, pacing outside as he waited for Master Benedict’s return.
When he saw the procession, Old Nect could no longer bear it and charged at the car before also getting dragged up by Cao Qian.
It was fortunate the two following fate players chose a very big car to carry the dozens of little puppets, or there wouldn’t have been enough space.
Old Nect looked at Master Benedict, his parts shaking in excitement. “M-Master, the laboratory’s already prepared. I examine all the instruments every day so you could come back and install the little young master’s heart anytime.”
The puppets that followed below ran with the car, shouting at Benedict, “Master, I’ll never lie again! So please don’t leave, stay here with the little puppet and live happily in Puppet City!”
“Master, I’m from the public security bureau! We patrol Puppet City everyday and the chief even erected a prison so all the bad puppets have to serve a sentence there!”
Calls filled with hope and anticipation chorused from the crowd. The mirror said, “Look, it’s not as bad as you thought, right? Could you bear using the nucleus control device on these puppets that love you so dearly?”
“Hmph!” Benedict snorted heavily before suddenly grabbing the gun in the city lord’s hands. He didn’t pull the trigger, directly using the gun’s barrel to hit the city lord, “It’s all your fault!”
The city lord didn’t make a peep as he let himself be hit. In fact, he even moved his head so it was easier for Master to hit him.
Fortunately, they were very close to Old Nect’s house, so they all moved into the repair shop. Old Nect led Master and the little puppet into the laboratory while everybody else waited outside.
Xing Ye and the rest were anxiously waiting outside when the public security chief arrived with soldiers restraining the owner of the mines. He scolded the city lord and owner of the mines, “I told you guys to not be so rash and that Master wouldn’t harm us! As long as we governed the city well, Master would’ve definitely forgiven us!”
“City lord, reflect on yourself. Was what you did right?” The public security chief asked.
The city lord and owner of the mines were like two misbehaving kids as they kneeled in front of the laboratory, not making a peep.
Three hours later, Benedict held the little puppet’s hand as they walked out of the laboratory. When he saw the two kneeling in front of him, he kicked them fiercely as he scolded, “Good thing my son’s safe, or I would’ve thrown you two into the compactor!”
“Master!” The city lord hugged his thigh, “I’m sorry, you should just kill me!”
Coco nervously watched Master, scared that he would really kill the city lord in his anger.
The little puppet pulled his father’s hand, “Uncle City Lord’s always looked after me. He and Uncle Security Chief would always take turns visiting me with primary ore and engine oil.”
The public security chief and city lord looked at each other, saying in unison, “You’ve also been secretly taking care of the little young master?!”
The little puppet added, “Uncle Nect also gives me regular check-ups and maintenance while Uncle Mine Owner frequently sends me pretty clothes!”
Benedict kicked them one more time before giving a loud “Hmph!”.
Xing Ye’s group heard the system notification ring in their ear, “You have successfully completed ‘Find the Truthsayer’. The total reward for clearing the game is 16000 points and will be split according to individual contribution levels. Xing Ye wins 10000 points, Guan Ling 3000, and Cao Qian 3000. Congratulations to players Xing Ye, Guan Ling, and Cao Qian for achieving a perfect ending.”