“After the collection is done, we’ll find you before dawn to get the roses.”
“Remember, the picked petals shouldn’t be stolen by the vagrants around the flower fields who covet the dry leaf roses.” The worker warned them sternly. “If they are stolen, not only will you be unable to get a single drop of perfume but you will also be expelled from the factory. You will end up like the vagrants, do you understand?”
After speaking, the worker handed Bai Liu and Liu Jiayi two thick sacks for the flowers, a pair of thick cotton gloves for picking roses to prevent the scent from contaminating their human hands, a handful of long tweezers to pick up the dropped flower buds and a specific salary form.
The worker casually stuffed the salary form at Bai Liu and said quite proudly, “You won’t be working for long. You will be expelled and become a vagrant. The elimination rate of this factory is very high. Someone like me can be promoted to a processing worker because I am one of the flower workers who can pick 6 kg of roses in an hour.”
“You probably can’t even pick one sixth of my number. This is probably your last night in the factory. Enjoy the original dry rose leaf aroma and you won’t suffer any loss. The flower field tent is the most expensive hotel room in the world. I don’t know how many people holding gold want to stay here for one night but have to wait for a reservation.”
“You are lucky…” The worker muttered angrily as he walked back. “Last year’s dry rose leaf production wasn’t good and too many people withered. There is a serious tendency to wither or get diseases in this year’s recruitment but it is hard to find ordinary people who don’t steal roses from the flower fields. The May Rose Festival is coming again. It is the flower season where there is a shortage of people. Newcomers like you are recruited and allowed to enter…”
“…I remember my batch of recruitment was only for students with a 985211 graduate degree or above, published more than three research directions for the Rose Dry Leaf Gas and graduated with an SCI impact factor of 1.0 or above.”
Bai Liu, who spent all day playing games that led to poor grades and who graduated from an unknown university, “……”
Liu Jiayi, a second grader of a primary school for the disabled, “……”
Their intelligence wasn’t low but what the hell was this worker talking about?
Liu Jiayi held up two gloves that were around the same size as her face and looked up at Bai Liu. “Do you know how to pick roses?”
From the worker’s words, it was clear that picking these roses was a technical task.
“No, I haven’t picked any roses.” Bai Liu replied while tying the sack to his belt, rolling up the sleeves of his white shirt, tightening the legs of his pants and placing the thick black gloves on his hands. He instantly changed from an urban white-collar worker to a country boy who was ready to work in the field at any time.
He saw Liu Jiayi, who had the expression that asked ‘Why do you look so skilled?’ and naturally explained while holding the tweezers, “As a child, I cut ragweed. It is different from roses but I think the method of harvesting should be similar.”
Liu Jiayi, “…….”
Don’t treat roses like ragweed!
Bai Liu got down on one knee and helped Liu Jiayi roll up her sleeves and tighten her pants. Then he tightened his gloves and put gloves on Liu Jiayi reluctantly. As he did this, he calmly explained to Liu Jiayi, “Don’t worry about anything happening for the time being. Haven’t you seen that Tang Erda isn’t here?”
Liu Jiayi had actually discovered this but she didn’t understand why.
“If the person behind the scenes wants you to fight with Tang Erda, they should release Tang Erda, a beast who has a powerful lethal force, in order to kill you when you are powerless.” Liu Jiayi placed her hands on Bai Liu’s shoulders and raised her feet to let Bai Liu sort out her shoes and socks. There was a deep expression on her childish face that didn’t match her age. “However, he deliberately separated you and Tang Erda. This is protection for you. Why?”
“It is because they didn’t design this game stage for me to be killed.” Bai Liu stood up and clapped his hands. He lowered his eyes and spoke in a vague tone. “This gives me the opportunity to grab weaknesses and kill the opponent.”
Liu Jiayi was stunned. “It is like the last round of the game where you obtained Liu Huai’s soul first and then dealt with me, right? In this game, it is likely that Tang Erda was sent to another flower field and would have to stay there until—”
“We won’t fight until that person thinks I have the ability to kill Tang Erda.” Bai Liu lightly added to Liu Jiayi’s words. He had a casual smile on his face like this was interesting. “After all, the simple feeding scene of a beast killing someone is far less beautiful than an arena match where two beasts who became crazy after growing up are fighting each other.”
“Of course, there is another reason for that person to do this but I think you’ve guessed it.” Bai Liu looked at Liu Jiayi.
A chill that couldn’t be controlled went down Liu Jiayi’s back and she slowly opened her mouth. “It is because the audience likes to watch such a development the most. If the person behind the scenes is related to the system, he can make a profit from the system. Such a small TV trend is the easiest to get recharged points and likes. Part of our various profits from the viewers will go to the system…”
“Even if we die, all our proceeds and our souls will be taken away by the system.”
All of them were just… casually released animals for the person behind the scenes to play with and watch, to please their eyes… nothing more.
“So don’t worry about our life or death for the time being. The person behind the scenes won’t let me die easily.” Bai Liu pulled out the salary form from his pocket and showed it to Liu Jiayi while sighing. “It is really a part time job…”
The salary form impressively listed the weight of the roses picked and the corresponding wages.
-Reference data: One dried leaf rose (not dried) weighs around 2 g.
Picking 40 kg of dried leaf roses (flowers and branches) can be exchanged for a bottle of low-grade Rose Dry Leaf Gas perfume with a concentration of 30-40% that is 35 ml.
(Note: A bottle of low-grade perfume with a concentration of 30-40% can leave a smell on the human body for 4 hours.)
[System notification: The player has unlocked a side mission.]
[Side mission: Collect 40 kg of roses tonight.]
[If the mission is successful, the player will be able to exchange it for the first bottle of low-grade Rose Dry Leaf Gas. This can be used to alleviate contamination and is the first step to becoming a processor! If the mission fails, you will be laid off and exiled to the periphery, becoming displaced people.]
Bai Liu silently converted it in his heart. One rose was 2 g then 40 kg of roses was…
“200,000 roses…” Liu Jiayi looked up from the salary form in disbelief. “We have to pick 200,000 dry leaf roses before we can get a bottle of low-grade perfume that only maintains the scent for four hours? Are they treating us like animals?”
Bai Liu habitually glanced at Liu Jiayi. “Congratulations, little friend. You have already appreciated the true meaning of part-time work in advance.”
“I also talk about my boss like this every month when my boss pays my salary.” Bai Liu paused. “Then I was fired by my superiors but I wasn’t very interested in doing such a low-cost thing. I just started to realize the benefits of not working part time and doing freelancing (earning money in the horror game). I didn’t expect that I would also start working in the horror game and the salary would be lower than before…”
Bai Liu started to visibly look upset.
Liu Jiayi, “…….”
Okay, he seemed to be talking about his sadness…
Bai Liu and Liu Jiayi were chatting but their hands and feet still moved as they took the sacks down to the flower field.
The flower field was densely packed with lush roses. There were rows of rose bushes with a narrow path of around one person wide between them. Bai Liu was now moving slowly through this path, using the tweezers to pinch the roses on both sides.
Bai Liu wanted to move quickly but the ground of the rose field was a wet and viscous red mud. Stepping on it was like stepping in a swamp. It was difficult to move in the smooth boots with a plastic appearance. This red mud always had a type of fishy smell. It wasn’t a bloody smell but the smell of the sea.
The strange thing was that almost every rose was in full bloom here. The size, color and number of petals was exactly the same. It was like someone grabbed a rose and copied and pasted it to fill the entire rose field.
Bai Liu grabbed the root of a rose with the tweezers and lifted it up. He observed this newly picked rose from a distance. It was a very unique type of rose. At the very least, Bai Liu hadn’t seen this variety of rose in reality.
When they picked buds that weren’t fully opened, the petals at the root were a dark red that was almost black-purple, gradually becoming a rosy red at the edge of the petals and the outermost area was a light pink. Unlike the dark green oval leaves of ordinary roses, the heart-shaped leaves and thorns of the dry leaf roses were the yellow of maturity. They withered and fell at the moment they were picked. This was the origin of the name of the rose.
The moment the rose blossomed, all the stems and leaves that had provided nutrients for it dried up, leaving behind only the rich bud. It was like the humans who were addicted to the concentrated aroma but couldn’t get a constant supply.
It was a very aggressive rose that was grown and produced as a perfume.
Bai Liu and Liu Jiayi walked through the flower field, one deep and one shallow. After almost an hour, they both stopped and walked toward the edge of the field.
Liu Jiayi raised her hand to wipe the sweat from her forehead. She exhaled and handed a bag full of roses that she had just picked to Bai Liu. Then she sat down on the ground and gulped the physical supplement.
In the game, it was April or May weather. The night wasn’t very cool and this flower field was a very humid place. There was a rush of sweltering heat from their necks to spines, especially when they were walking in the swampy flower field and doing physical work.