Bai Liu looked at the model of a hand. He leaned into the dark bed and tried to reach the snow-white hand model statue but just as he was about to touch it, a rose-like vine drilled out from under the bed. It made the creepy rustling sound that Bai Liu had just heard.
The vine wrapped around the hand model in front of Bai Liu as if to drag the hand into the ground. Bai Liu stretched forward forcefully and threw out his whip, wanting to remove the vine. However, the vine had already contracted and wrapped around the hand model tightly. A second before the hand model was dragged into the ground, Bai Liu grabbed it.
The ice cold statue of a right hand curled gently in Bai Liu’s palm, as if to shake his hand back. Then it turned into scattered rose petals in Bai Liu’s hand. The vine also slowly disappeared into the ground.
The scattered petals made from the snow-white hand ignited with a phosphorescent light blue flame. Then it turned into ashes and completely dissipated in front of Bai Liu’s eyes.
There was nothing under the dim bed. The dimness was reflected in Bai Liu’s eyes that contained the empty and dark reflection of roses. It was an illusion that he didn’t know if it really happened or not.
If Bai Liu hadn’t touched the real object just now, he would’ve thought the broken hand he gripped was just a phantom.
Bai Liu didn’t feel anything apart from a seemingly icy feeling that lingered on his folded fingers.
Liu Jiayi was awakened by Bai Liu’s movement. She sleepily rubbed her eyes and sat up in a daze. She felt for the goggles she had placed beside her pillow and regained her sight. Then the moment she lowered her head, she saw Bai Liu underneath her bed.
Liu Jiayi woke up in an instant and her voice changed slightly. “Bai Liu, what are you doing?!”
Bai Liu slowly withdrew from under the bed. He held the edge of the bed and looked up at Liu Jiayi, causing Liu Jiayi to be stunned.
Bai Liu’s expression had a rare confusion, as if he had been bewitched by something that took away his soul. The rose in his eye swayed and a fourth petal bloomed. The black crack under his right eye socket deepened and a piece of skin and flesh under the right eye peeled off with a crumbling ‘withered’ texture.
“…Bai Liu.” Liu Jiayi’s voice was inexplicably dry. “Call up your panel and show me what your mental value is right now.”
Bai Liu was quiet for a moment. Then as if reacting to what Liu Jiayi told him, he obediently lowered his head to find the coin on his chest. He half-squinted as he pulled up his system panel. He leaned over to show Liu Jiayi and there was a very seductive scent of roses scattered from his shoulder.
This scent made Liu Jiayi dazed for a moment. Then she quickly opened the panel to buy two breathing masks. She put them on herself and Bai Liu before her mind became blank.
However, it was a bit late.
[System notification: Player Liu Jiayi has smelled a high concentration of the original rose scent. Due to the player’s intolerance of this rose scent concentration, you have entered a ‘dizziness’ debuff state. The mental value has dropped to 63 and you are about to see hallucinations.]
[System notification: Player Bai Liu has smelled a high concentration of the original rose scent. Due to the player’s intolerance of this rose scent concentration, you have entered a ‘dizziness’ debuff state. The mental value has dropped to 46! Please restore your mental value quickly!]
Liu Jiayi’s eyes were spinning. She fell back on the bed, covered her mask and breathed hard. Bai Liu also fell back on the ground, his weak breaths causing a layer of mist to form on the mask.
It was a strong, intoxicating aroma that made people unable to breathe. They could only let the torturous aroma circulate in their brains, almost making them nauseous. Liu Jiayi coughed violently several times while everything in front of Bai Liu’s eyes twisted and rotated.
He was plunged into some sort of rosy, underwater suffocating darkness—it was as if an invisible, broken right hand calmly gripped his throat.
Bai Liu’s eyelids slowly lowered.
“Get up! It is time to get up!” There was an angry, very impatient voice accompanied by the sound of clapping. “How late is it that you are still sleeping? Don’t you know how much this tent costs before the May Rose Festival?”
“If it wasn’t for the shortage of people, I wouldn’t have allowed you low-class people to come in and be flower pickers!”
Accompanied by the scolding, the half asleep and half awake Bai Liu felt his arm being grabbed as he was pulled from the ground. His mind was dizzy and swollen. It felt like he had stayed up all night and worked overtime for a week, only to be forcibly dragged to a social party by a colleague and poured ten bottles of vodka. Then he only slept for an hour before being dragged to continue working overtime.
As long as a light breath was blown at him, Bai Liu could die on the spot and sleep for a long time.
Bai Liu shook his tingling head. He stabilized his uncoordinated body using the back of a chair and took a few deep breaths before the swaying and spinning scene in front of him stopped.
It was still the old and dilapidated tent but it was much brighter. After all, it was already bright outside.
Bai Liu looked at Liu Jiayi, who stumbled off the bed. Once the processing worker pulled Liu Jiayi over, he turned around and scolded them. “Where are the roses? The roses you picked all night! You don’t work but are still inhaling it! You two useless things!”
Then the factory worker raised his foot in anger and kicked the back of Liu Jiayi, who was still walking in a staggering manner.
The foot didn’t land. Bai Liu’s face was pale as he knelt on the ground. This foot was firmly touching Bai Liu’s knee. Bai Liu’s expression was calm as if he hadn’t been unstable 10 seconds ago.
Bai Liu respectfully nodded to the worker and pointed to the bulging sacks of roses behind him that were covered by the blankets.
“The roses picked last night are all here.” Bai Liu raised his eyes. “It is a total of 83.7 kg.”
The processing worker’s expression changed a few times. Finally, he withdrew his foot and walked behind Bai Liu to check the roses. He roughly confirmed that the weight that Bai Liu said was correct and he turned to stare at Bai Liu for a while. Then he said, “It barely counts as you completing the task.”
“Don’t be complacent! It is still too early if you want to be promoted to a processing worker to get rid of us old employees. You have to work harder!”
He walked to the entrance of the tent. Then without working, he turned around and kicked Bai Liu viciously, his lips curved with malice. “Tonight, your task is doubled. Each of you is required to pick 80 kg of roses. If you can’t do it then wait to be laid off and exiled!”
This kick hit Bai Liu’s shoulder. Bai Liu was still weak from the debuff and had no resistance. He was thrown back by this powerful kick and crashed into the chair he had just used for support.
The processing worker snorted coldly and carried away the roses that Bai Liu had picked. Before he left, he casually threw two bottles of light pink perfume in small glass bottles. Fortunately, they were caught by Liu Jiayi before they fell to the ground.
[System notification: Congratulations to player Bai Liu for completing the ‘picking 40 kg of roses’ side mission and getting a bottle of ‘low-grade Rose Dry Leaf Perfume’.]
[System notification: Player Bai Liu has triggered a new task. Please pick 80 kg of roses tonight. You will get two bottles of ‘low-grade Rose Dry Leaf Perfume’ and progress in the main mission: promotion qualification of a processing worker.]
Liu Jiayi walked crookedly to Bai Liu, who was sitting on the ground. Then she moved the perfume to Bai Liu’s face and sprayed it.
[System notification: Player Bai Liu’s ‘dizziness’ debuff has been removed and your mental value has increased to 81.]
The cracked opening on Bai Liu’s face healed and restored to a shallow depression but the rose in his eye seemed to have received some type of nourishment. It shook the branches and leaves to stretch out petals. This unpleasant change made Liu Jiayi stop spraying the perfume.
She hesitated for a moment before gritting her teeth and spraying herself several times to lift her ‘dizziness’ state.
Liu Jiayi leaned back against the chair. Her hand moved from side to side in front of Bai Liu to attract his attention and her tone was sullen. “Hey, are you awake? You came across something under the bed and almost killed the two of us.”
The smell of low-grade perfume made the sober Bai Liu cough a bit uncomfortably. He put his heavy head on the chair and looked at Liu Jiayi. His eyes were still a bit sleepy and hazy as he clearly stated what he saw last night.
“Something got into our tent when the Magic Space was in effect?” The more Liu Jiayi listened, the deeper she frowned. “That guess is unlikely.”
Bai Liu looked at her inquiringly.
Liu Jiayi looked down at Bai Liu and explained it. “I know what you mean. In a new level three game, there might indeed be monsters that can break the boundaries of Magic Space. Still, think about it, Bai Liu. If there was really this type of monster last night, wouldn’t we have been attacked? Was your monster book triggered?”
“In addition, if this monster is really strong enough to easily break through the Magic Space and enter our tent—” Liu Jiayi crossed her arms over her chest and raised an eyebrow. “Why didn’t it kill the two of us? It entered our tent in the middle of the night and stayed below my bed to shake your hand and show you how it could turn into rose petals?”
“Your words make sense.” Bai Liu’s voice was calm. “Then what if its original intention wasn’t to attack and damage us. It didn’t attack and the monster book wasn’t triggered. What if what I saw was just an illusion it wanted to show me?”
Liu Jiayi instinctively wanted to reject it. “There is no monster whose ultimate intention isn’t to attack and hurt players. There is no such thing…”
Bai Liu looked at her quietly.
Liu Jiayi’s words stopped abruptly. She remembered something and her expression stiffened. “…The god-level wandering NPC of Love Welfare Institute… what is your relationship with him?”
It was true that she had never seen a monster that didn’t intend to harm players but the god-level NPC in the previous instance actively donated blood to save Bai Liu instead of killing him.
Liu Jiayi had played so many games and this was the first and only time she had seen a monster save a player.
“…Why does that matter?” Bai Liu froze and his eyes started to drift subtly to the top of the tent.
He wanted to find a precise and straightforward definition of his relationship with Xie Ta but inexplicably, this was strange and difficult for Bai Liu to handle.
If it was before entering the game, Bai Liu could tell Liu Jiayi with a clear conscience that he and Xie Ta were innocent friends.
Now the word ‘friend’ came to his lips but Bai Liu inexplicably thought of Tawil’s slightly confused eyes and the cold and pious kisses that fell on his forehead and lips.
The two of them reunited in Siren Town. After a long reunion, Bai Liu’s greasy opening statement to Xie Ta was a flirtation. ‘What do I want… maybe you can give me a kiss?’
Bai Liu, “……”
Liu Jiayi asked this question and thought she would get an answer like ‘this monster is a player who alienated after I acquired his soul.’ However, Bai Liu’s strange reaction made a bunch of question marks pop up above her head.
Bai Liu’s tone was very calm. “We were friends before. Then when we reunited later, I wasn’t very clear-headed (my mental value was too low) so I did something to him that crossed the line. Something happened between us that shouldn’t have happened between friends.”
“Then I came to my senses later and he still wanted to be friends with me. I don’t know what he is thinking but we are still friends—that is probably the relationship I have with him at the moment.”
Bai Liu briefly summed up what happened between him and Xie Ta.
Liu Jiayi slowly murmured, “Huh?”
What type of scumbag is this? What have you done to an NPC?