High Energy QR Code
Chapter 87: Outbreak
“I never thought about it that way!” Yan Hebi nodded his head excitedly, “I’m so happy I’m teammates with you, Yiyi. I got true endings before, but it always took a long time. There were so many times when we just barely missed the true ending, but now I feel like I’m making progress 3x faster!”
He didn’t realize Cao Qian and Guan Ling were staring at him with a sad, pitying look in their eyes.
They also had to consider the following fate players among the hospital staff who worked without any breaks. There was also a possibility of following fate players being among the patients’ family members, but investigating it would be too difficult so they could ignore it for the time being.
“You told me players could form teams, so let’s assume the remaining following fate players are in teams. With their luck value, it’s likely they spawned around the same area when they entered the world.” Xing Ye said, “In the gynecology and obstetrics department, there are one doctor and two nurses that have worked continuously the past few days. The possibility of them being players is very high.”
Cao Qian carried the wheelchair with one hand and followed Xing Ye down the stairs, “The department of gynecology and obstetrics is on floors 3-5 of the second building and includes the fourth floor passage that connects the three buildings. If they’re following fate players, the parasites won’t go after them immediately. We know the parasite was active in the first building from the measles patient and there are three opposing fate players in the third building. This positioning tells us a lot.”
Guan Ling said, “They’re lucky after all. They can avoid meeting other players and haven’t run into the parasite. Look at me, getting spawned in the infectious disease department. If I mess up, I might just get infected and die.”
“Gynecology… and… obstetrics?” When Yan Hebi heard those three words, he recalled the egg idea Xing Ye raised earlier and his face twisted.
Yan Hebi immediately waved his hands when he saw Xing Ye’s round yet piercing eyes turn to look at him, “No, no, I didn’t mean to reject your idea.”
Xing Ye said, “You exposed yourself. But you’re pretty sensitive to the plot, unlike your sense with women.”
Guan Ling interrupted, “Boss, what are you two talking about?”
Xing Ye looked at Yan Hebi, gesturing him to speak.
Yan Hebi was excited by his Yiyi’s approval and spoke, “Earlier, Yiyi was doubtful about why two parasites could only infect one person every night. Their speed made her think the parasites were breeding. In the infectious disease department’s nursing station, there was an extra tablet of antipyretic medication despite the hospital records saying he took it.
“Yiyi had questioned how the parasite was transmitted and if it was through injection or consuming its eggs. She also mentioned the idea of breeding.
“I’ve worked with many following fate players before and I found their status and spawn location always made it easier for them to find clues compared to opposing fate players. Three following fate players spawned in the gynecology and obstetrics department and the basic nature of that department is reproduction. Considering that, it’s hard not to link the two things together.
“But wouldn’t it be terrifying if the parasites and reproduction were really connected?”
“Ugh…” Guan Ling crouched in the corner and puked for a while before Cao Qian plucked him up and placed him in her wheelchair.
Cao Qian said, “If you can’t walk, I can carry you. Don’t waste time.”
Guan Ling jumped up from the wheelchair, “I can walk! It’s just that what Yan Hebi said was too disgusting.”
Although Yan Hebi was also very disgusted, he had become much calmer about it with time. He suddenly said, “That measles patient just now.. What would’ve happened if I actually used an attack-type QR code to kill him?”
“I don’t know.” Xing Ye shook his head, “Our current information is too little. Right now, we should just try to avoid the parasites, pay attention to our food, medicine, and water, and stay alert of our surroundings.”
The group was solemn as they walked to the fourth floor. Yan Hebi was unable to remain calm, “Qianqian, why are you still carrying around wheelchair? Aren’t your legs already better?”
Cao Qian glanced at him, “Unless I have a good excuse, I can’t just reveal my legs magically healed. Otherwise, I’ll be forced out of the hospital by the doctors and attract attention. My legs have always been wrapped in gauze and since I refused to cooperate with treatment, all the bandaging and gauze is wrapped by myself. During the daytime, I have to just sit on my wheelchair and continue pretending to be a cripple.
“This way, I can both avoid attracting attention and build a weak and frail image. Regardless of its players or characters crucial to the plot, when they see me wheelchair bound with legs wrapped in gauze, they’ll instinctively underestimate me. With that, it’ll be easier for me to mount a sneak attack.
“That’s what I was taught by the player I respect most. He said the worst thing isn’t other people looking down on you, but you looking down on yourself. Weakness isn’t a failing- at times, it can actually be used as a weapon. Following the role the system gave you isn’t just mindlessly submitting, but an experience that will give you a deeper, more comprehensive worldview. This person has always played his role and kept in character, no matter what status the system gave him. I admire him very much.”
Xing Ye: “...”
Her words sounded familiar. He couldn’t help but gracelessly dig at his ears.
Guan Ling also wiped his face. Cao Qian was warning him: unless the boss himself said it, they couldn’t reveal anything.
Yan Hebi nodded, “That person’s reasoning makes sense. You have a petite build to begin with. Combined with your wheelchair and bandages, nobody would expect you to have such frightening strength.”
Xing Ye silently bowed his head, reaching down to rub the mirror in his bag.
The mirror said everything would be much better after he found his teammates. At that time, Xing Ye thought that even if he had teammates, he wouldn’t trust them. However, he didn’t expect their relationship would actually be like this.
The mirror was right.
Xing Ye couldn’t help but like the mirror a little bit more.
When they got to the gynecology and obstetrics department, Cao Qian returned to her wheelchair and had Guan Ling push her. That way, others would think she was only a sickly amputee patient.
The gynecology and obstetric department wasn’t quiet even at night. Cries from wailing babies rang through the air as the hospital staff rushed about.
Xing Ye found the three working tonight on the shift schedule list and memorized their faces.
They still didn't know if those three were friend or foe. It was best for them to continue pretending to be patients.
Yan Hebi stood beside Xing Ye and looked at the shift schedule, "This following fate girl's really pretty, even her ID photo looks good. But whether it's in game or real life, she's not nearly as pretty as Yiyi."
Xing Ye in crossdress was truly beautiful. If he was in male clothing, he probably wouldn’t be as eye catching. That could be for a reason for the original owner’s resistance against his gender.
“Which patient’s family members are you?” A tired-looking nurse appeared in front of the three, “It’s so late- I mean early. Why are you guys up?”
“No,” Cao Qian said in her wheelchair, “My legs are going to be amputated soon so my mood’s been a little poor. I asked my brother to push me around the hospital to help relieve my boredom. My brother’s a doctor in the first hospital building and has always followed the rules.”
The brother she was referring to was Guan Ling.
A sympathetic look appeared on the nurse’s face when she heard Cao Qian was an amputee. However, she still couldn’t allow the rules to be broken, “I understand your feelings, but you can’t just go everywhere around the hospital. Especially so close to a surgical room.”
Cao Qian and Guan Ling shared a glance. It was so late, yet the surgical room light was actually still on.
The nurse saw their doubts and explained, “There’s a woman giving birth inside.”
Guan Ling and Cao Qian had an excuse, so the nurse then turned to Xing Ye and Yan Hebi.
Yan Hebi immediately smiled, “Miss, I’m a patient in the third building and this my girlfriend who’s been keeping me company during my stay. I couldn’t fall asleep earlier, so my girlfriend brought me on a walk to help me relax. We’re preparing to get married and she’s been wanting a child, so we couldn’t help but come see when we passed by the department of gynecology and obstetrics.
“Don’t worry, we’re just passing by. We won’t disturb any of the new mothers.”
Yan Hebi was very handsome and probably didn’t look bad in reality either. He controlled his expressions well, every movement adding to his good looks. The nurse’s face flushed as her voice turned warm, “As long as you guys don’t run everywhere, it’s fine. There are some posters over there about the pros and cons of natural birth and c-sections, and what women suit natural births. You can go take a look.”
After doing his thing with the nurse, Yan Hebi gave Xing Ye a big thumbs up.
Xing Ye was speechless.
The little mirror shook like a phone being spammed, almost dying from laughter.
Xing Ye still remembered the little mirror asking over and over again for Xing Ye to like him, saying if he raised his favorability, the little mirror would get very powerful abilities. But with the mirror laughing like that, how could Xing Ye possibly like him? He was closer to dying of anger.
But it wasn’t the mirror Xing Ye was upset at— it was Yan Hebi. This guy really liked to take advantage of every little thing!
They followed the nurse’s directions to the posters. Xing Ye lifted his head and pretended to study the posters, inwardly thinking
He glanced at the posters, planning to quickly memorize the expected delivery dates...
Xing Ye's eyes lit up. He called his team over and whispered, "I remember in the data I saw earlier, the first hospital didn't have any natural births scheduled in the next two days, only c-sections."
“Only c-sections? What kind of coincidence is that?” Yan Hebi asked.
“It’s not a coincidence,” Xing Ye checked his phone, “The first hospital is well-known for its department of obstetrics and gynecology. Any woman with complications in her pregnancy would make a booking in the first hospital, so the beds are always fully booked. It's hard for women with safe, natural births to get a spot here, so most will choose to book at another hospital. That's why more than 90% of the pregnant women here undergo c-sections."
Guan Ling, who had a wife and child, raised his hand, "My wife had a c-section. You could choose what time to have the procedure. Unless it was an emergency, there's no way it would be done at... 4:30 in the morning! Who would choose to have a c-section at this time?!"
"Where are the three potential following fate players?" Xing Ye suddenly asked.
Yan Hebi immediately followed up, "I'll ask around.”
The one he was going to ask was obviously the blushing nurse from earlier.
They watched as Yan Hebi took his phone and chatted with the nurse for a while, taking the chance to add each other on Wechat. The nurse turned from guarded to relaxed as she started to laugh and joke around with Yan Hebi.
"What a flirt," Guan Ling said, "Now I know why an opposing fate player has so many female following fate teammates. With his looks and personality, even scouting information from female NPCs is easy! Big sis Ye, you can't choose a man like that. If you two get together, you'll be eating so much vinegar that you'll turn into a wrinkled old prune! I'm a man, so I know!"
> Eating vinegar = getting jealous, particularly when your loved one is talking to another man/woman.
Xing Ye started at Guan Ling calmly, “I know. I'm a man too."
Cao Qian lowered her head and clutched her stomach in her wheelchair, clearly secretly laughing her ass off.
The little mirror was also shaking wildly. Xing Ye really wanted to go to the girl’s bathroom and shake him a few times.
Yan Hebi and the nurse talked for around ten minutes until a patient called for help, forcing the nurse to bid farewell and rush away.
Yan Hebi returned with his information, “Meimei, the nurse from earlier, said that she’s been on shift the past day and night. Yesterday, she noticed something was wrong with three of the nurses and doctors. They didn’t even know how to do simple intravenous infusions.
“Nurse Lin pricked a pregnant woman five whole times, causing the pregnant lady to shake in fear at the sight of her. Nurse He didn’t see any of her patients and spent the whole day walking around the hospital instead of working. All of the work got pushed onto Meimei, making her really frustrated. There’s also Doctor Fei, who’s as useless as her name. He fainted yesterday in the middle of a c-section surgery and needed to be carried out.
The Fei (费) in his name sounds the same as 废 (useless, cripple, waste, etc.), so he’s making a pun.
“The department head was considerate and offered them a vacation, but the three of them all rigidly refused. Meimei wanted to cry at the thought of working with them tonight.
“But in the middle of the night, a pregnant woman suddenly showed signs of premature delivery. The department head called the three of them to help.”
“Why did the department head only ask those three idiots for help? Doesn’t he know they haven’t been doing well lately? He’s putting the pregnant woman’s life at risk!” Guan Ling questioned angrily.
“No, there was also another doctor and anesthetist there." Yan Hebi said, "The department head isn't working tonight and she's not on the list of names on shift today. Meimei said she also slept in the hospital last night- she seemed to have quarreled with her husband and didn't want to go home. There's a lounge in the director's office, so Director Wang can rest there and the logs wouldn't say she was working."
“What else?” Xing Ye asked, “There should be more information, right?”
“Little Yiyi’s so smart,” Yan Hebi never missed a chance to flatter him, “I asked Meimei. Normal pregnancies usually need several doctors, but as the directing physician, Department Head Wang usually conducts the procedure with only one assistant. Today, however, she called Doctor Fei to help her. Meimei found it very strange. Doctor Fei's you know, useless, so Meimei was very worried about something going wrong."
Xing Ye said, “Department Head Wang hasn’t rested for two days and despite knowing those three doctors and nurses haven't been performing well lately, she decided to ask them to assist her instead of the more experienced Meimei. How interesting.
"Was the woman in the operating room recently hospitalized?"
Yan Hebi continued, “Meimei said that this pregnant woman was really pitiful. She came to the hospital alone and she’s had a rough pregnancy. She got high blood pressure during her pregnancy and has been in a state of unconscious since entering the hospital. She's staying in the ICU under the department head's personal care. However, this pregnant woman's family seems pretty wealthy, to be able to afford a private room in the intensive care unit. Meimei suspects she might be a rich man's secret mistress."
Cao Qian gave a sigh of admiration, "Whew, you got so much information in just ten minutes. Good job."
Yan Hebi laughed mischievously, "Yiyi, aren't I useful?! How about I skip out on the points this round and we continue teaming up in the next round? I'll carry you to the high-level worlds and then we can do them together."
Xing Ye's face was blank, completely ignoring Yan Hebi as he said, "It looks like something's going on in the operating room, but unfortunately, we can't watch. If those three are players, I'm not too worried. They have starting abilities and QR codes, so self-defense shouldn't be a problem. However, I really want to know what's happening inside."
Cao Qian still had "Wrongly-Used Projector" but they haven't made direct contact with the three, so it couldn't be used.
Xing Ye sighed when he heard Cao Qian’s QR code. “So there were actually such useful QR codes.”
Guan Ling asked, “Boss, are your starting abilities working?"
Xing Ye didn’t know his own starting abilities and Guan Ling didn’t dare to reveal it in front of Yan Hebi.
Yan Hebi was blunt, "My starting abilities are 'Keyboard King' and 'Ladies Man'. Keyboard King helps me find clues and information in worlds with modern technology. Ladies Man helps me get clues from the opposite sex. I managed to get so much information from Meimei by using Ladies Man on her earlier.
Guan Ling and Cao Qian were speechless.
Cao Qian asked, “How did you enter the game and get an ability like that?”
"A year ago, I was in university and helping the school beauty fix her computer when a QR code suddenly appeared on the computer screen. I thought it was some sort of virus and wanted to try challenging it, so I scanned it..." Yan Hebi's voice grew quieter and quieter, "Yiyi, I'll give you my phone. Will that help you trust me?"
Keyboard King was just as Yan Hebi described earlier. Ladies Man could be used against anybody of the opposite sex that didn't hold malice against Yan Hebi (including NPCs), making them lower their guard towards him and be more willing to talk. It consumed 50 points per target and could be used without a cooldown three times within a 12-hour cool-down period.
Since Yan Hebi was so forthcoming, Xing Ye didn't try to hide anything and gestured at Guan Ling to say his starting abilities.
Yan Hebi gasped when he heard about Redrawing Pen, "Yiyi, you're so powerful! But in this world, your memory resets every day..."
"Yeah," Guan Ling said bitterly, "Boss would always give everything to us and say she didn't need any QR codes. She can memorize tens of QR codes. Do you know how frightening spammable QR codes are? A pile of pianos can exhibit the crushing force of Mt. Tai! To us, Boss is like an all-powerful wizard and we just have to defend him. Now she's forgotten all the QR codes. If we had the "You've Already Matured" QR code, Boss could just stick it on the operating room wall, mature the operating room, and let us enter!"
Cao Qian interrupted, "It's good that this world has phones though, we can just show her our QR codes on there. We can use the projector QR code. All we have to do is find a way to touch a player from the operating room and we can see what happened to them. I won't use the QR code unless the situation's critical. If you forget it, I'll just show it to you again."
“Thanks.” Xing Ye nodded to Cao Qian.
After losing his memory, his biggest feeling was knowing he had two teammates that didn't completely rely on him and worked to improve so they could fight shoulder to shoulder with him. It seemed like the past him had done quite well.
Yan Hebi clenched his teeth, “I’ll show Yiyi too. That way, our fighting force will be much stronger!”
This time, Xing Ye really had a new view of Yan Hebi. QR codes were a person's means of attack. It was fine if they showed it to an ordinary person, but showing it to him was equal to directly making him stronger. This showed Yan Hebi really thought of him as a teammate.
But the only reason for teaming up was because he was a "girl".
Xing Ye's mood was complicated as he looked at his dress before turning to stare at Guan Ling and Cao Qian.
His meaning was that until this world was over, they absolutely could not let Yan Hebi know his true gender. Right now, they only had two QR codes and they weren't even attack-type QR codes. They needed Yan Hebi's combat strength!
Guan Ling's lips twitched as he made a zipping motion across his lips, indicating his mouth was sealed.
On the other side, the ladies' man Yan Hebi was deep in the charms of Xing Ye's beauty as he showed the five QR codes he had to Xing Ye.
"Ladies' man," Cao Qian still had doubts, "Aren't you afraid we'll betray you?"
Yan Hebi said, "I'm not stupid. The QR codes on my phone can't be stolen, so there's no loss to me if Yiyi sees them. Besides, Yiyi's memory will be reset tomorrow. Even if you guys betray me, it won't be right now. At the very least, it'd be after breaking through this world.
"Most importantly, I believe Yiyi isn't somebody who would trick me. With how intelligent she is, she wouldn't lower herself to be a bad person for points."
Xing Ye glanced at Yan Hebi. This person was very clear about his own preferences but kept his actions appropriate while showing his care whenever he could. It was actually quite respectful.
It was no wonder he could break through 60 words and reach the threshold of becoming a high-level player.
Yan Hebi wasn't stupid and knew about the game's rules, yet held true to his own principles.
He treated every player with goodwill but understood how to keep a proper distance, protecting himself without harming others. It was rare to see somebody as outstanding as him.
Xing Ye knew he shouldn't continue fooling Yan Hebi. Even if Yan Hebi knew he was a man, he believed Yan Hebi would still want to team up with him.
He opened his mouth, “I’m actually a…”
Suddenly, Xing Ye stiffened. His eyes turned slack as he started clutching his hair and screaming, “No! Ahhh!”
“Yiyi, what happened to you?” Yan Hebi said, panicked.
Xing Ye pulled out his hair tie. His hair fell scattered around his shoulders, taking away some of the fierceness from his appearance and replacing it with a touch of fragility. It made him look even more beautiful. Yan Hebi froze as he gaped at him, but then suddenly, Xing Ye screamed, "Where's my knife?! I need my knife!!"
When Xing Ye was sober, he took out the knife from his bag so he couldn't harm himself.
He panicked when he didn't see the knife in his bag and rushed to the nurse's station to find one.
As it happened, there was a box knife on the table in the nurse's station. Xing Ye grabbed it, a large grin spreading across his face.
He laughed as his voice rose, singing loudly, "I got it~~ I got it, now I can finally cut it off~~!"
And with that, he slashed downwards!
The nurse in the nurse's station screamed and frantically pushed the emergency help button. But right now, the emergency workers were all sleeping. There was no way they could come so quickly!
Guan Ling supported Cao Qian up to help her keep in character as the two hurriedly made their way to Xing Ye. Yan Hebi also came to support Xing Ye and restrained his hands so he couldn't hurt himself.
In his frenzy, Xing Ye was even stronger than normal. Yan Hebi couldn't beat him to begin with and was pushed away by Xing Ye with a slap. Yan Hebi just barely managed to block in time. Cao Qian grabbed Xing Ye's hand and pinned him down, forcing him to release the knife.
Cao Qian saw a rubber hose in the nurse's station. With one hand, she grabbed Xing Ye and with the other, she wrapped the hose around him.
Xing Ye could no longer move.
Before security could arrive, Cao Qian, Guan Ling, and Yan Hebi carried Xing Ye and ran to the elevator.
Cao Qian blocked Xing Ye's mouth, fearing he would say things he shouldn't.
It was already a miracle that his singing hadn't exposed him.
The three didn't know where Xing Ye's hospital room was and they didn't dare to go to Guan Ling's office knowing the parasite was still on that floor. Cao Qian and Yan Hebi were both in normal sickbeds that were shared. For a moment, they didn't know where to take him.
"The third building roof!" Yan Hebi suddenly had an idea, "Yesterday, Xing Ye proposed we meet there. I stayed up there the whole day and didn't see anybody."
With Cao Qian there, it was actually pretty easy carrying a lunatic in a wheelchair up to the roof.
It was 5 am. The sky started to brighten again.
A beautiful young lady struggled wildly on the rooftop. Yan Hebi couldn't help but stare as he watched her long legs flail, red marks appearing where the hose was against her skin.
“Her legs are so long…” Yan Hebi sighed emotionally.
Guan Ling swatted his head, “Don’t look if you’re going to be so shameless!”
After another half hour, Xing Ye finally stopped struggling as his eyes grew clear again.
Cao Qian sighed in relief, her body covered in sweat.