”I just want to find someone I can entrust my soul to. I heard from someone in the guild that a player who dies in the game will have their soul recycled by the system.”
He was quiet. “I don’t want that.”
[System notification: Player Liu Huai is mentioning content about soul trading that involves violations. The small TV will automatically receive the silence block. Player Liu Huai, please reduce the number of mentions or the system will consider blocking player Liu Huai’s small TV.]
Liu Huai was quiet.
“In addition to my soul, I have something else to give you, Bai Liu.” Liu Huai raised his tearful eyes. “This thing is more useful than my soul. After all, I am going to die and my soul is just a banknote for you. You can’t get any value from me. However, as long as you sign this with me, you can use my personal skill like you actually have this skill.”
Strange, yellow parchment paper appeared in front of Liu Huai.
The paper fell like a piece of unburned ash, fluttering down. Bai Liu reached for it and the parchment fell into Bai Liu’s hand.
Bai Liu looked over it.
[24 related notices and instructions on the transfer of personal skills prior to the player’s death.]
[Party A voluntarily transfers their desire derived personal skill to Party B before their death. If Party B agrees to inherit Party A’s personal skill, Party B will also inherit Party A’s desire, becoming the carrier of Party A’s desire and realizing the desire for them…]
[…If Party B already has a desire derived personal skill with a strong desire, the desires will be saturated. Party B who signed the contract to obtain Party A’s personal skill can’t bear too much desire and the second skill will be reduced to some extent. If a third skill is obtained, the usage effect will continue to be reduced. If Party B’s usage of the transferred personal skill isn’t effective, it isn’t due to the system. We hope both parties can understand…]
[…Before signing the contract, Party A is obliged to inform Party B of the origin of their desire. We hope that Party B will decide whether to sign the contract or not after listening and thinking…]
[The signing unit of the contract is the souls of both parties. Once signed, both parties can’t renege unless the soul is extinct. This contract involves desire and the soul. It requires both parties to sign voluntarily from the bottom of their hearts. They can’t be forced to sign.]
[One copy of the contract will be entered into the system of both parties upon signing. The original contract will be held by the impartial public agency system on behalf of both parties.]
[Party A: —]
[Party B: —]
Bai Liu read through it briefly before looking at Liu Huai. “I can’t sign this now. The system isn’t with me so the copy can’t be entered after singing. In addition, your contract is too restrictive to me on various levels. I need to inherit your desire and as my second skill, I can’t use it to its full extent.”
Then Bai Liu looked at Liu Huai’s severed arms and the daggers recalled to Liu Huai that were by his feet. The pure black reflective knife surfaces were embossed with ‘Blood.’
Bai Liu paused. “Still, your skills are interesting. They are indeed your most valuable thing but they aren’t the most effective for me.”
“In addition, your main purpose is to let me inherit your desire—to protect Liu Jiayi.” Bai Liu declared in a lukewarm manner.
Liu Huai looked up at Bai Liu in a panic. He had taken out the bargaining chip at the bottom of the box but Bai Liu didn’t express any eager desire to get it. This made him a bit flustered.
“You don’t want my skill?” Liu Huai asked in a trembling voice.
“No, your skills are very useful but not for me. There is a more suitable candidate for this contract than me. He is more suitable for your desire than me and is more capable of using your skills.” Bai Liu stared directly at Liu Huai. “It just depends on whether you are willing to change the transferor.”
Liu Huai asked in a somewhat confused manner. “Who is it?”
Bai Liu answered, “Mu Ke.”
Mu Ke had a dark expression and gritted teeth as he climbed from the lower floor to the upper floor of the exploded building. As he climbed, he was scorched by the hot cement.
Due to his disease, Mu Ke didn’t have very good physical fitness. It took him time to do this type of climbing. Fortunately, the nurses had gone to rescue the half-dead patients and he had enough time to climb up.
He worked very hard and finally reached the ninth floor where Bai Liu was. Once there, Mu Ke ran frantically to Ward 906. He fell a few times as he ran and tears flowed. Then once he saw Bai Liu talking to Liu Huai with one hand cut off, Mu Ke couldn’t hold back from falling to his knees and sobbing.
He had been frightened all night. He had been going down to call the nurses and almost lost his soul when he saw the explosion on the ninth floor. He climbed desperately and rushed upward!
Fortunately, Bai Liu was fine!
Mu Ke wiped away his tears while rubbing up against Bai Liu’s side. “You scared me to death!”
“Don’t cry and talk about business.” Bai Liu patted Mu Ke’s shoulder with his one hand and turned him to Liu Huai.
The tearful Mu Ke looked a bit dumbfounded at Liu Huai, who was staring at him with a serious expression. Liu Huai stared at Mu Ke, causing the latter to shrink back, his voice becoming a lot smaller. “…What’s going on?”
Bai Liu patted Mu Ke on the shoulder. “Give a brief introduction of yourself. How old are you, what are the conditions in your family, what are your arrangements for marriage and family in the future, how many children you are ready to have, do you have any bad hobbies, your educational background and how many girlfriends or boyfriends you have had.”
“?????” What was this? Was he going to have a blind date with this Liu Huai?!
Mu Ke became more and more confused but Bai Liu just calmly glanced at Mu Ke and signaled for him to start.
Mu Ke was still baffled but he was very obedient as he cautiously introduced himself. “Oh, my family’s conditions are quite good? There should be tens of billions? I don’t know very well. If you need to know then I can go back and ask. I am almost 21 years old this year. I don’t smoke, drink or have any bad habits. For my future marriage… I haven’t thought about this yet. I haven’t had any girlfriends or boyfriends. My education is a bachelor’s degree but I can take the test for a master’s degree at any time.”
Having said all of this, Mu Ke glanced at Bai Liu for help, asking with his eyes, ‘What is this situation?!’
Bai Liu raised his chin. “You should also introduce yourself, Liu Huai.”
Liu Huai took a deep breath as he examined Mu Ke up and down with a slightly critical gaze. “The person I’m satisfied with isn’t you. I wanted Bai Liu but he didn’t accept. Therefore, you are fine.”
Mu Ke stared at Bai Liu, whose expression didn’t change, in a blind manner. There was a huge amount of information revealed. ‘You were on a blind date with Bai Liu? You don’t want me to come?!’
Bai Liu handed the parchment to Mu Ke and motioned for him to read it. Mu Ke lowered his head and examined it. Once he raised his eyes, his gaze toward Liu Huai was complicated.
Was this man transferring his personal skill to Mu Ke? He knew that Liu Huai’s death was an irreversible part of the plan Bai Liu made a long time ago but he didn’t expect…
“I have a sister…” Liu Huai started telling Mu Ke some things about himself.
Bai Liu patiently waited for him to finish before speaking. Bai Liu stared at Liu Huai with insightful eyes. “What is the core of your desire? Liu Huai, you have to be honest with him if you want Mu Ke to bear your life’s desire and sister. Otherwise, I won’t let him easily sign this contract. This contract is engraved in his soul and his soul belongs to me. I need to be responsible for the souls in my hands.”
“I need to know everything.”
Liu Huai opened his mouth before closing it again.
[System notification: Does player Liu Huai want to spend 200 points to buy the silencer service?]
[I am sure.]
[System notification: After purchasing it successfully, anything you say in the next 10 minutes will be silenced. The small TV viewers can’t hear it. Please start to talk freely!]
Liu Huai turned his head and spoke dryly with red eyes, “…Jiayi and I are half brother and sister.”
“Our home was in a very small and remote countryside village. You might not know how remote this is. When you get off the bus, you have to walk for an hour and a half in rubber shoes. After heavy rain, the road will even be closed. The road is full of mud. People inside can’t get out and people outside can’t get in.”
Liu Huai closed his eyes as he thought of the muddy, dark village.
“I had a sister when I was a child but she drowned in the pond on a rainy day. My father was waiting by the pond and waiting for my sister to grab fish for him. He didn’t go down to save my sister who was struggling in the mud. I didn’t understand why at the time… Although my father sent me to school, he didn’t care about anything else. My sister raised me before and later, he occasionally looked after me. My father said my mother ran away early. I don’t know where she ran to and I have never seen her.”
Liu Huai was crying while his eyes were wandering and hollow.
“I really wanted to leave that place. I studied hard but I wasn’t smart, so I didn’t get good results.”
“Later, someone from our village got admitted to a famous university. It was my aunt’s daughter. The village gave us a 20,000 yuan bonus which could be called an astronomical amount for us.”
“From that day on, my father changed. He never cared about my performance before but after that, he would ask about my performance every day. If I didn’t do well in the exams, he would start beating me and scolding me, saying I was my grandfather’s seed. How could I, a male, be inferior to my aunt’s daughter, a female. Apart from being able to get pregnant, how was she any better than the roots of the Liu family?”
“The more he beat me, the more scared I became. I started shaking whenever I took the exams and my performance became worse. Finally, he felt that I might really be a waste and gave up beating me. I was relieved. He told me that he wanted to find my cousin, the one who was admitted to the famous university, to teach me for a few months. I was very happy at the time.”
Liu Huai talked for a long time, so long that Bai Liu thought his story was over. Then Liu Huai suddenly bent over like he couldn’t accept it. He gritted his teeth, took a deep breath and smiled sadly.
“Do you know why Jiayi was born blind?”
Bai Liu understood. He was quiet for a few seconds, his eyes looking at the night sky before he answered in a light tone. “Birth defects in children are commonly caused by close relations. Liu Jiayi is the same, right?”
Mu Ke suddenly realized the meaning of Bai Liu’s words. His suspicious and uncertain eyes stopped on Liu Huai and he got goosebumps. “…No way?! So lawless? Didn’t anyone care about it?”
Liu Huai looked like his bones were being crushed by a heavy load as his head hung down deeply.
Liu Huai’s voice was hoarse, dry and cracked. It seemed to contain a piece of charcoal as he laughed and cried mockingly.
“No one cared about it because it was so dirty that no one wanted to care about it. People who knew about it treated it as a scandal to cover up and didn’t talk about it. My cousin wanted to call the police and get an abortion after she became pregnant but my father said she must have a new university student in her stomach and all sorts of other things. He is the only son of the Liu family so after the coordination of my grandfather, he finally succeeded.”
Liu Huai’s eyes closed. “A few months later, my cousin failed to go back to university. After Jiayi’s premature birth, she went to dig fish in the pond and drowned like my sister. My father also stood on the edge of the pond, watching my cousin struggling in the mud without trying to save her.”
“I started studying like crazy and was admitted to a famous university. I took the 20,000 yuan and ran away from the small village with Jiayi. However, my father soon came to the door and asked me to give him money to support me. He tortured Jiayi to torture me. I spied on this man in the dark thousands of times and wanted to kill him, but I didn’t dare. I couldn’t bear to let go of the university I was admitted to or to let go of Jiayi.”
Liu Huai choked, his tears hitting the ground as he howled and cried in a depressed and dull manner. He was like a weak beast whose head was stabbed but he didn’t dare resist. He kneeled on the ground, head aimed toward the ground as tears burst out freely.
Next to his head were the daggers engraved with ‘Blood.’ It was as if the sins of his blood had entered his desire and soul, changing him to a pained fish struggling in the mud but unable to change.
“You are like an assassin who wants to kill but doesn’t dare attack.” Bai Liu lowered his eyes and commented calmly. “The final personal skill is a skill that decreases people’s mental value without any damage.”
“Yes.” Liu Huai’s forehead rested against the ground as he opened his dull eyes. “…I am a cowardly assassin.”
[System notification: Player Liu Huai’s skill identity ‘Cowardly Assassin’ has the background story and the carried desire activated. Do you want to open the transfer of the personal skill?]
Liu Huai slowly straightened up and stared at Mu Ke with dim, teary eyes. “Can you live bravely for me, pick up my daggers and play well in this game to protect Jiayi? This is my only desire. Do you have the consciousness to bear it?”
Mu Ke turned his head and looked at Bai Liu with bewilderment. He wasn’t ready to bear such a heavy thing and instinctively sought out Bai Liu’s advice.
Bai Liu watched Mu Ke indifferently. “Mu Ke, if you want to ask me for suggestions then my attitude is already obvious. I suggest that you accept it. Having a skill is a good thing and won’t do you any harm. Still, accepting it or not is your business.”
“Abilities and desires are linked.” Bai Liu said. “If you choose to pick up Liu Huai’s daggers, you will be an assassin like him.”
“…Can I pick up your daggers and try it?” Mu Ke asked carefully.
Liu Huai nodded in agreement.
Mu Ke looked at the two black daggers with ‘Blood’ engraved on them on the ground. Their surface had something flowing like ominous and taboo black blood. Mu Ke reached out to hold the handles of the daggers. The moment they touched his hands, he couldn’t help shaking.
The handles of the daggers pulsed slightly in his palm, warm as if human veins and blood vessels were growing from his hands. Mu Ke’s weak heart was unable to resist the strong desire in the daggers. Vitality and hatred flowed all the way from the daggers in Mu Ke’s hands to his heart.
For a moment, Mu Ke thought he could feel all the rage and extreme emotions of Liu Huai’s life.
He stared in a daze at the miserable looking and armless Liu Huai, whose face was covered with mud. Liu Huai’s breathing was weak and dying, like a fish caught in a dry pond.
The life of a struggling fish in the mud was originally something that an expensive cat living in a crystal box couldn’t understand. Yet at this moment, Mu Ke and Liu Huai felt an unprecedented resonance. Their weak hearts beat as if to jump out of their throats.
They just wanted to live.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t allowed by the world.
“I agree.” Mu Ke gripped the daggers in his hands and declared in a hoarse voice, “I want to inherit your skills and be an assassin.”
Liu Huai’s head and eyelids were drooping with exhaustion while his voice was as light as smoke. “…Thank you.”
[System notification: Players Mu Ke and Liu Huai have officially signed the ‘24 related notices and instructions on the transfer of personal skills prior to the player’s death’.]
[The agreement will come into effect after Liu Huai’s death.]
[Third party witness: Bai Liu.]