TL: Thanks to the winner of the event prize who requested a bonus chapter of GHG. There will be one more coming eventually.
Tang Erda watched Bai Liu through the cigarette smoke.
“It is amazing that you really worked as an obedient game worker in an ordinary company for several years only to end up laid-off because of your boss’ prejudice.”
Tang Erda couldn’t hold back his smile here. “Once I found this, I wondered if I recognized the wrong person. Is there really an ordinary Bai Liu in this timeline while the real Bai Liu (6) inexplicably swallowed his game coin and died?”
“Perhaps the Bai Liu (6) in this timeline was unlucky and died in the game before he could grow up into the frightening trader. Thus, the game made him die in the real world. Who knows?”
Tang Erda shook off the ash. “Then I soon discovered I was wrong.”
“Because I entered the game, right?” Bai Liu looked at Tang Erda. “You determined my identity using my skill?”
“Yes.” Tang Erda bit the cigarette in his mouth. “I will never mistake your personal skill of buying souls unless I turn to ash. You gathered a bunch of psychopaths like yourself in this way and almost destroyed our base a few times.”
“A group of psychopaths like me?” Bai Liu asked with interest.
Tang Erda cast a sideways glance at him. “I wonder in every timeline how you can find so many talented and abnormal people like you to form your so-called Wandering Circus.”
“It is only in this timeline.” Tang Erda tapped his index finger on the table as he looked up at Bai Liu. “This is the first time I’ve seen your process of forming this Wandering Circus.”
“You were already in a powerful position in other timelines when I met you. I risked my life in dozens of timelines to dig out your origin and I found that you lived in that private welfare home. I knew nothing about the personal information of the mad dogs around you.”
Tang Erda’s eyes narrowed. “One reason is because the mad dogs under your hands are rampant but they are very cautious and made it hard to discover their real identities. The other is that you protected them very well. Before this timeline, the base only knew their titles and habits and the rest couldn’t be found at all. Once something was found, the people on our side would have an accident.”
He leaned against the chair and lazily wagged his finger. “You should’ve met all these people. The monkey thief who helps you steal all types of secrets and the little killer witch who likes to kill men with poison.”
“The only person we could identify who had something to do with you was Mu Ke, an investor who inherited his father’s business and helped you promote the evil things. However, Mu Ke was very slippery. He hid in a care facility for 356 days a year due to his heart disease. Every time we asked him questions, he would cover his heart and start to cough up blood. Then the doctors would rush in.”
“However, now I know who they are.” Tang Erda hit the hand that held the cigarette on the table and the ashes drifted to the ground. He leaned closer to Bai Liu and spoke in a low voice, “Then I realized they weren’t born mad dogs. They just had some psychological gaps.”
“Only you are a natural madman, Bai Liu. You seized these gaps and tamed them into mad dogs under your hand, so they can bite everyone but you.”
“Is that right?” Bai Liu looked at Tang Erda without any fluctuation. “Do you think I have successfully tamed them now? Do you think they will bite you to death for catching me, Captain Tang?”
Tang Erda squinted his narrow, dark blue eyes before pressing the still burning cigarette butt against Bai Liu’s white neck.
The cigarette was extinguished, leaving a burn wound on Bai Liu’s clavicle. This made Bai Liu’s breathing become slightly faster. However, such a close distance allowed Bai Liu to see a ferocious scar on the clavicle exposed through Tang Erda’s casually open white shirt. It was corroded and like a scar scratched by some beast.
It was a bit like a scar left behind by the combination of Mu Sicheng’s monkey hand and Liu Jiayi’s poison. It also required the attacked person’s willpower to be shaken to an extremely low mental value for scars to be brought out of the game.
—It was like Mu Ke’s dagger that lowered mental value.
“How do you know I didn’t get bitten?” Tang Erda buttoned up his clothes and covered the wound. He gave a cold smile as he whispered in Bai Liu’s ears, “I killed you and you also killed me, Bai Liu (6).”
“It is a pity that none of us died.” Tang Erda blew the cigarette smoke in Bai Liu’s ear and laughed at Bai Liu’s cough. “We’ve all been resurrected.”
Tang Erda came out of the room and Su Yang greeted him. “How did it go? Did he tell you how to solve the rose gas?”
“Not yet. He won’t say it so easily.” Tang Erda held the cigarette in his mouth in a slightly sloppy manner. “I have to grind him down a bit more so keep an eye on him.”
“Grind him down for a bit more? How long?” Su Yang frowned. “Captain Tang, are you sure he can solve this matter?”
Tang Erda threw his cigarette butt accurately into the trash can and glanced at Su Yang.
These people didn’t know what his ability was or why he could predict where so many heretics would appear. It was estimated that the group of people in front of the surveillance couldn’t even understand the conversation between Tang Erda and Bai Liu in the room just now.
Such conversations would give away the existence of the system and the game so it was blocked when spoken by a game player like Tang Erda.
This was the restriction of the game on players. Tang Erda could only communicate with players like Bai Liu. In addition, Tang Erda was a timeline traveler. In every timeline, his people or things would have subtle changes in personality, family and emotions.
Only Bai Liu was unchanging. He was always evil and greedy, like an anchor that wouldn’t let Tang Erda, a sailor drifting in the torrent of time, lose his way. He appeared in front of Tang Erda in an unchanged manner and would never be astonished by his theory of time traveling. Rather, Bai Liu was calm and looked at him with a funny smile, as if saying ‘the other me is so interesting.’
The world was a game in this guy’s eyes.
Tang Erda was a player in the game who wasn’t reconciled with the ending and kept loading the file to start over again.
It was ironic to say that Bai Liu, this strange anchor point, was actually the only person that Tang Erda could tell everything to casually.
For Tang Erda’s other colleagues, friends and Su Yang, Tang Erda had already lost them many times. It was so painful that when they met again, he didn’t dare touch them easily.
It was because he was a player. He couldn’t touch anyone in case he brought them into the game. This was a truth that Tang Erda understood after countless timelines.
The Dangerous Heretics Handling Bureau, a special department that confronted evil things, had always easily bred players. The game players in the base were far more than Tang Erda.
However, these players who knew the origin of the evil things couldn’t tell other people who weren’t game players due to the limitations of the game. They weren’t fighting against something that had no origin. They were fighting against a game product. These things were endless so run quickly.
If a team member died in the game, those who weren’t game players would watch these dead players log out of the game and die miserably in reality in various strange ways. The normal people became more and more desperate and afraid of these evil things. They were also affected by the people who were players. This produced a strong desire to survive and they fell into the game.
In the other timelines that Tang Erda had experienced, in the later stages, most of the members of the Heretics Handling Bureau became game players. Then they died in the game one after another, including Su Yang in front of him.
Tang Erda’s eyes were distracted as they gazed through a lot of smoke, death and unknown time to slowly settle on Su Yang’s frowning and questioning face.
Su Yang died trying to save him in the semi-finals of the league.
The members of the bureau met in the game. They all tried their best to prevent others from entering the game and wanted to perform their duties in the game. They wanted to protect the precarious real world that they didn’t know was real or false. It was also to protect their teammates, relatives and friends in the real world.
Yet it was like there was an invisible hand pushing everything in a place they didn’t know. They lived like rats crossing the street in the sewer. They didn’t dare to meet their relatives, talk to their friends or kiss their lover. They just stood in the shadows where they couldn’t be found and looked at everything from a distance. It was because they were afraid that their identity as a game player would affect the people they cherished. They were involved in this harsh game where the ending was unknown.
When Tang Erda first entered the game, he didn’t dare to even go out to buy food and cigarettes. He ordered takeout and asked people to put it outside the door. He would get it after an hour or two and sat alone in a room full of cigarette butts and beer, waiting for the next seven days. After he narrowly survived, he lingered for seven days. He lived like a virus with self management consciousness and didn’t go out to infect others.
Yet sometimes, no matter how careful, the people he cherished would inevitably go toward the future he didn’t want to see because of him.
Su Yang came to see Tang Erda, who was locked up at home and never made contact with anyone.
Tang Erda started to run around, hiding from Su Yang. He changed to different hotels and had different log out conditions. Even so, Su Yang stuck to him and looked for him. Tang Erda had the game cheat to run around while Su Yang didn’t. Once he realized that Tang Erda could avoid these means, he started to use stupid methods to find Tang Erda.
In the end, Vice-captain Su would hold up photos of Tang Erda and ask people on the street if they had seen his captain.
Meanwhile, Tang Erda stood in an alley not far away from Su Yang. He lit his cigarette and didn’t smoke it.
However, in the end, Tang Erda met Su Yang in the game.
Tang Erda entered the game and saw Su Yang, the vice-captain who was much younger than now, smiling at him like he felt no fear at all. Su Yang said, “Captain, I finally found you.”