The game hall’s central screen, the Nightmare Rising Star Hall.
It was bustling in front of Bai Liu’s small TV. Ordinary players looked up at the small screen of first place on the nightmare rising star.
“Bai Liu is rushing too fast! What is he eating that is making him rush so fast?!”
“He is eating Little Witch. That child is already stunned. Who did he just call Little Witch?”
“What Liu Jia?”
“…You Little Witch fans, don’t deceive yourself. Liu Jiayi, Liu Huai’s little sister. Bai Liu just pushed her out. I think it is 80-90% correct.”
“I won’t listen, I won’t listen! The Taboo Witch is so cold, elegant and mature. There must be a 28 year old beautiful woman under the black veil!”
“Wake up, the Taboo Witch is so short. It is around the same height as an 8 year old girl.”
“…Isn’t it said in the character book published by the King’s Guild that Taboo Witch is an undeveloped person? I always thought the Taboo Witch was a dwarf! It turns out that this is what it means by undeveloped!”
“I’m flying to eat melons. The forum posts have exploded and countless Little Witch boyfriend friends are mourning about how their wife has suddenly changed to a daughter. They aren’t ready to become fathers.”
“Hearts seems to be dealing with this matter but it is more troublesome in the game. I don’t think Liu Huai’s situation is good. Tsk, this league’s cheering season is great. There is such a big melon among the popular newcomers.”
“I don’t think it is good for Bai Liu. Little Witch has always been cruel to non-team players. I feel like Bai Liu is going to be cold.”
“It is the first collision between the new and old nightmare stars. Who will be the nightmare in the end? The forum has opened…”
Liu Huai collapsed to his knees in front of Bai Liu. His mouth opened and closed for a long time, as if wanting to say something but in the end, he was silent.
There were hazy tears in his eyes and the blackness was dark and dreary, like a dark sky that didn’t emit light.
Liu Huai’s head hung down as he knelt in front of Bai Liu. He was like a puppet that had been drained of its soul and whose limbs had been inadvertently torn off by a naughty child, leaving only the torso that couldn’t stand up straight. Once the puppet strings were cut off, he curled up in place.
Tears could no longer flow. Liu Huai’s eyes were wide open while his face was streaked with tears. Everything seemed to be far away from him.
The damp ward and dark village gradually overlapped in front of him. Liu Jiayi’s dirty and clever smiling face was the only thing he could see, unlike anything else.
She ran barefoot through the mountains, sniffing the wildflower weeds beside the pool. Then at Liu Huai’s nervous scolding, Liu Jiayi turned her head to smile at him.
Liu Jiayi’s blind eyes curved into a crescent moon and she raised her small face to call out to her brother loudly. After that, she flew toward him with open arms, like a bird, a butterfly or a sun that didn’t know it was shining.
What a reckless and innocent little girl. She fell into Liu Huai’s arms with scars all over her body after being beaten. Liu Huai choked up and touched Liu Jiayi’s hair, saying that he would take her away after the exam. Just hold on for him!
Liu Jiayi meekly leaned against his chest and answered softly that she would hold on for her brother’s sake.
Liu Huai walked out of the mountains on a rainy night with Liu Jiayi on his back. From that day on, Liu Huai vowed to let her see no darkness in the world. He would bring her the brightest future and be worthy of what she had given up for himself.
They both had the blood of the man they hated. They relied on this evil blood to connect and depend on each other for life, stuttering and daring to grow up.
Liu Huai had told Liu Jiayi that they were siblings who experienced terrible things together. Therefore, they would never let go of each other’s hands.
Liu Jiayi was his most important person. Liu Huai was willing to risk his life in this terrible game to give her a bright future. He was willing to be a puppet for her, pick up a dagger to betray his best friend and he was willing to die for her.
However, she deceived him anyway.
Just like he lied to Liu Jiayi, Liu Jiayi lied to him.
Liu Huai was in a trance as he recalled Liu Jiayi’s dirty face hidden under the bed… was this retribution?
Due to what he did to Jiayi, due to his cowardly inaction, Jiayi was getting revenge on him?
“Do you know why I followed Puppet Zhang and betrayed Brother Si?” Liu Huai’s head seemed like it was going to touch the ground as he spoke gently, “It is because at that time, Puppet Zhang used Jiayi’s real-life news to threaten me to join the King’s Guild, to become his puppet and surround Brother Si…”
Liu Huai’s eyes showed no spirit at all. “He promised to give me good treatment and ensure my safety. I was indeed the one treated the best out of all his puppets… However, I had always found it strange. I never told anyone in the game about Jiayi. Why did Puppet Zhang know about Jiayi and why did he know she was my sister? Why did he know so many details about us, as if I had voluntarily told him?”
Bai Liu listened quietly and didn’t speak.
Liu Huai smiled while tears rolled down his face. “It turns out that he and Jiayi were a pair. Jiayi must’ve told him these things. Why did Jiayi tell him such things? Bai Liu, you said that Jiayi is so smart. Is she, is she….”
Liu Huai finally choked up and murmured to himself in a daze, “Did she do it deliberately? She knew what was going on from start to finish… she was punishing me… punishing me for what I have done and for not being a good brother…”
“If you ask me—” Bai Liu replied calmly. “I think she probably thought it was best for you to join the King’s Guild as a puppet under Puppet Zhang. It was the safest thing for you in this game. As for Puppet Zhang’s manipulation of your betrayal against Mu Sicheng under her orders, it truly wasn’t safe to follow Mu Sicheng with your ability.”
“If her purpose is to keep you alive in the game then I think her actions toward you are completely reasonable. She let an advanced player take you through the game while helping you train your ability. She chose the best guild for you and teammates she can control. She provided you with shelter and can follow you to save you in some of the more high-risk games. Everything she does is to protect you.”
Liu Huai entered the game and was afraid of his own death, so he had to send Liu Jiayi to the welfare home. On that day, the little girl had curled up in his arms and held his neck, asking him as if she was worried, “Brother, am I a burden and a nuisance to you? Are you going to send me away?”
He smiled and shook his head. “No, Jiayi is the future for me. I’m sorry I have to send you here for a while. If one day I am alive, I will take you away. I will give you the brightest future.”
Liu Huai kept his head lowered for a long time without speaking. Then he raised his head in a daze. “From that time on, I wanted to live. Was I such a troublesome thing for her?”
“It isn’t troublesome but she definitely doesn’t need you to save her. She is even likely to act against other children in order to save you. It is because she is an old player with experience. Liu Jiayi must understand the mechanism of this level 2 game.” Bai Liu’s eyes moved gently to Liu Huai. “It is that her own blood isn’t enough. She needs the blood of at least one other child to save you.”
“Then the question is now. What child will she find to draw blood from?” Bai Liu paused. “Liu Huai, I controlled you in the last game. Based on her desire to protect you, she will probably think I am a danger to you. In order to put an end to me, who is more dangerous to you than Mu Sicheng, she will probably kill my child, little Bai Liu (6).”
“I suspect she will draw blood from my child. Fortunately, my child is now in the church.” Bai Liu was calm. “Unfortunately, Bai Liu (6) will soon find out where they are being confined and will take them to escape today. I have only just learned this information through reasoning.”
Bai Liu shook his phone and gave a rare frown. “This phone is one-way. I can’t call Bai Liu (6) to inform him of this information. I must wait until he calls at 6 a.m. to tell him what I know.”
Bai Liu was quiet for two seconds. “However, I very much doubt he can live until then.”
“So now our remaining group will soon face the power of the league players Miao Feichi and Miao Gaojiang…” Mu Ke looked at Bai Liu and Liu Huai and revealed a smile that was uglier than crying. “Meanwhile, our children over there are ignorant about your sister, Little Witch, who is the number one rising star.”
“That is probably the way it is.” Bai Liu was lukewarm. “It is very likely that we are going to die, Mu Ke.”
At 5:37 a.m., the handicrafts classroom behind the welfare home.
The chaos caused by the explosion at the private hospital didn’t end until 3 o’clock in the morning. After confirming that there were no teachers patrolling near the church, little Bai Liu (6) ran all the way through the small forest encircling the welfare home while looking for the place where Mu Ke was confined. Normally, these teachers would confine children in two places. One was the cafeteria warehouse and the other was the two handicrafts classrooms that had one window facing the corridor toilet.
Bai Liu (6) went to the cafeteria to take a look. There were no children so it was highly likely that Mu Ke was locked up in the handicrafts classroom. Bai Liu (6) was very vigilant as he entered the welfare home through the window of the women’s toilets. Then he quietly waited behind the door of the women’s toilet.
He waited for a teacher to come to the toilet. The moment he heard the sound of keys colliding with the waist, Bai Liu (6) didn’t hesitate to come out from behind the door to attack the teacher.
He knocked the teacher unconscious with a candlestick from the church and took the teacher’s keys. Then he hid in the doorway of the women’s toilets and calmly adjusted his heavy and quick breathing. He made sure there were no teachers or carers in the hallway before running very lightly to the two handicrafts classrooms across the corridor.
Bai Liu (6) stood in front of a door and looked left and right to watch out for anyone coming. Meanwhile, his hands moved quickly and he opened the door of the classroom.
The moment the door opened, Mu Ke was stunned. He looked at Bai Liu (6) who stepped into the classroom and was so happy he almost jumped up. “Bai Liu (6)! Why are you here?”
“I came to take you away.” Bai Liu (6) briefly explained the current situation. “I stepped outside and found the group of flute playing children with infusion bags coming from a tunnel behind the statue of the god. They also took the children out through the tunnel of the church. I followed them in the tunnel for a while and found that the tunnel has a strong smell of disinfectant.”
“Before dawn, the teachers are still sleeping. We can run out from the tunnel. Based on the strong smell of disinfectant in the tunnel, the direction the tunnel leads to should be where the group of children with blood drawn came from i.e near the private hospital. All investors at the hospital leave their wards after 9 o’clock. We have to escape before 9 o’clock to avoid running into these investors head-on and getting caught.”
“There must be cars near the hospital. We will be safe when we get in a car.” Bai Liu (6) simply explained his plan. “This is the backup plan that my investor and I discussed before. If we can’t run out on Open Day and the gate of the welfare home is locked, we can start the back-up plan. We can try to follow the flute playing children and find out how they are getting out of the welfare home.”
“I found their escape route last night and analyzed it comprehensively. Now I think the plan can be implemented. You guys, pack up and get ready. We have to hurry.”
The thrilling encounters last night were all downplayed by Bai Liu (6). His eyes swept over the classroom before finally settling on the faces of the silent Miao Gaojiang and Mu Ke. “What about the other two? Where are Miao Feichi and Liu Jiayi?”
Bai Liu (6) reacted quickly and he stared at Mu Ke coldly. “What happened? Why were those two locked up in another classroom?”
Mu Ke gulped and stepped forward to explain what had happened. Bai Liu (6)’s expression sank.
Bai Liu said that Miao Feichi did have the habit of cannibalism. That fool Miao Feichi wasn’t certain he would be saved today so he produced the idea of ‘having a full meal before death.’ Bai Liu didn’t find it strange.
However, Liu Jiayi wasn’t a simple child who wouldn’t resist. The fact that she followed Miao Feichi… considering some of the information that Bai Liu previously told him, Liu Jiayi had some obvious suspicions. Even so, Bai Liu (6) had no extra time to deal with these doubts.
His investor, his future self, was waiting for him to escape with the others. Bai Liu needed him to save Liu Jiayi, no matter how suspicious Liu Jiayi might be.
After all, Bai Liu had given money.
“I will go and take a look. You stay here.” Bai Liu (6) turned to leave the classroom but as he opened the door, his doubts made him pause for a second. He turned to look at Mu Ke. “If I haven’t come back in 10 minutes, jump out the window in the women’s toilets and make your way through the small forest to the church.”
“The exit is directly under the thorny, reverse cross statue, under the baptismal pool. Once I handle things here, I will take Liu Jiayi and follow you.” Bai Liu (6) looked at Miao Gaojiang and narrowed his eyes in a threatening manner. “Mu Ke has a heart disease. Miao Gaojiang, you better take care of him otherwise… you know what you have mortgaged to my side.”
“Okay!” Miao Gaojiang heard that Bai Liu (6) had another escape plan and his face was a bit excited. He hurriedly agreed.
Listening to Bai Liu (6)’s words, Mu Ke’s heart beat uneasily. “It is just going to another classroom. What will happen? Miao Feichi can’t do anything to you! Come back and let’s escape together!”
“I don’t know what will happen but my luck has always been bad. Good things don’t come to me.” Bai Liu (6) leaned on the door and turned to look at Mu Ke. The faint morning light fell on him and created a long and ominous shadow on the ground.
Bai Liu (6)’s eyes were very light and hardly any emotions could be seen in them. His pale, blood-stained face was stained with golden sunlight and even the fine, fluff-like hairs on his immature face could be seen. There was an inexplicable smile on his face.
Bai Liu (6)’s eyes curved as he continued in a soft voice, “However, I seemed to be lucky last night. It is probably because I changed my name. I seem to have been blessed by something very strange and something good happened to me.”
He pushed open the door, casually waved to Mu Ke and headed to the handicrafts classroom where he drew the two paintings for Bai Liu.