In a room with a color and luster that was close to dark red, cold water pipes rushed from all directions to the center of the room like twisted and vicious snakes. These pipes bypassed some of the two at the top of the room and narrowed the beam-like support structure. They coiled down and fell toward the center of the room.
The center of the room contained a huge, glass and copper-iron clad exhibition cabinet filled with an unknown viscous liquid.
It was like the display case used to house Tawil the first time he saw Tawil in Siren Town’s museum. At this moment, in the game called Rose Factory, the thing in the display cabinet was no longer a beautiful, rotting merman but a bright red, beating heart.
Cold water metal pipes entered through small openings at the top of the display case and connected to the openings of the aorta, pulmonary artery, pulmonary vein, main vein and upper and lower vena cava and then fixed to the walls of the blood vessels with some type of staple-like device.
The pipes turned into blood vessels with reinforced iron bones while the ‘vessels’ surged with a pink liquid that exuded the fragrance of roses. It was just like the color of blood after carbon monoxide poisoning. The heart, which was a brilliant color like a branding iron, was supported by hard blood vessels. It was suspended in the center of the display cabinet and beat regularly and peacefully.
This was the old friend that Bai Liu reunited with after a long absence and who was called the evil god—the heart of the monster called Tawil.
Bai Liu’s vague memories became clear for a moment in front of this bright red heart.
He remembered when he was still Bai Liu (6) and first met Xie Ta. He had a mischievous smile as he lay on the table in the church. He nodded at Xie Ta’s heart and asked Xie Ta viciously, ‘You say that you are a monster who won’t die. If someone, such as me, deliberately digs out your heart, will you die?’
Xie Ta replied to him without hesitation, ‘No, my heart will beat in your hands.’
He had never deceived Bai Liu. It was true that Tawil wouldn’t die, but the place where his heart beat was no longer in Bai Liu’s palm. It was in a game full of roses and destruction.
Tawil’s heart, like the thorns of the withered dry leaf rose, suddenly appeared at the moment when Bai Liu couldn’t find it, piercing the heart of the person who once claimed that he was going to pull it out with his own hands.
The factory worker took the unresponsive Bai Liu forward and led him to the wooden staircase behind the heart display cabinet.
Bai Liu stood on the first floor of the staircase and reached for the openings where the pipes entered the display case.
The factory worker explained the next steps to him. “You have to respect the instrument and use it carefully. Don’t touch the pipes above which extract and distill the perfume stock solution that is still hot. It can become a raw material that perfumers use through the cardiac circulation but this raw material isn’t strong. It is still far from the low-grade perfumes. It will become stronger after the configuration of talented perfumers.”
“Next, we will give you an uncirculated perfume stock that you will drop in this glass cabinet. If the solution has some degree of discoloration, it means you have the talent to use the instrument. The darker the color, the stronger your perfumer’s talent.” The factory worker looked at Bai Liu. “If we are sure that you have talent, you can be promoted to factory worker.”
The factory worker put a small bottle of perfume in Bai Liu’s hand and carefully opened the surrounding pipes. He revealed a small opening and gently pushed Bai Liu forward. “Now go and try it.”
Bai Liu held the perfume essence in his hand and looked at the heart motionlessly, with no emotion in his eyes.
The heart was pounding in front of his eyes like it was still in Xie Ta’s chest.
The factory worker looked at the motionless Bai Liu in confusion. “Processing worker number 70365, why aren’t you doing it?”
He didn’t know if it was his illusion but he always felt that this very calm processing worker became… angry the moment she saw the instrument.
There was no change in her expression but her aura suddenly became terrifying.
This was obviously a little girl but as an adult, he didn’t dare urge her too much. He only gave a polite reminder. If someone else had acted like this during the testing, he would’ve already scolded them.
The instrument was precious and shouldn’t be exposed for extended periods of time. This would contaminate the instrument.
Bai Liu stepped forward at the urging of this factory worker. He raised his hand in an expressionless manner and turned to drip the liquid through the opening.
A drop of rose-red liquid fell into the glass cabinet. Layers of ripples appeared on the surface of the viscous liquid and the rose-red color deepened and expanded.
The factory worker’s eyes widened in amazement. He stared blankly and in disbelief at Bai Liu.
However, this was just a prelude to the change.
A gust of wind came out of nowhere and swept through the confined space. The drop of essence that dripped into the display cabinet was like a very deeply concentrated pigment that started to spread and thicken with a strange curvature of pigment. It gradually became deeper layer by layer.
The liquid spread from a rose red that was close to pink to a light red and a deep rose red. Finally, once the essence spread to the heart, it became the true red of a mature rose.
The moment the color in the glass cabinet darkened, the heart started beating faster, accelerating the speed at which the liquid was pumped.
The pipes fixed on the wall were unable to stand the pressure pumped by the heart and the joints of the pipes started to seep ‘blood’ and shake. It seemed that they would soon fall off. The thick glass turned red with color and cracks appeared.
The factory worker panicked and shouted at the employee guarding the instrument. It was also the first time the employee was encountering this situation so he was a bit confused.
This was all thickened metal pipes and bulletproof glass!
“Release the water and change the tank!” The employee roared and slammed down on the floodgate at hand.
The cover under the glass cabinet opened along with a water outlet in the ground. The reddish liquid was poured out cleanly. At almost the same time, the box outside was lifted away and a newer and stronger box rose from below, injecting liquid and suspending the heart again.
Bai Liu was brought by the factory worker to the next room as the liquid was changed. They couldn’t allow too many people to be present when the liquid was changed in order to avoid pollution.
The factory worker was feeling terrified about what just happened when he inadvertently saw Bai Liu smiling.
It was like getting a response from the living dead-like heart apparatus made her smile with creepy, demonic satisfaction.
This smile on the innocent face of a blind little girl with gray eyes was particularly chilling.
He didn’t dare ask what the little girl was smiling at. Then he remembered what he had just seen and vaguely judged that the factory had ushered in the most talented perfumer ever.
This color was already a color that could only be found in special perfumes.
The factory worker gulped nervously. He trembled in the small room next to the instrument and wrote an application with hands that were still covered with the essence.
[Dear superiors, one of the three processing workers selected today to test the talent of a perfumer has caused a very serious incident. During the test, she accidentally cracked the glass cabinet containing the instrument. This sounds like an unforgivable thing that must be punished by death…]
[…But allow me to argue for this processing worker. It is indeed an excusable thing. I hereby write an application requesting that you don’t put her to death but specifically promote her to a perfumer…]
[…For this test, the red given by the instrument is a ruby-like, bloody, deep and beautiful red that I have never seen before. If my guess isn’t wrong, this processing worker who accidentally made a mistake will be the most talented perfumer in our Rose Factory since the establishment of the factory to the present.]
[We know how unfortunate it is to be a perfumer in this world and how close to death it is as a profession. They are chosen by the organ of the dead, produce perfumes that cause death and finally go to hell in the aroma of death.]
[This processing worker is the most deathly person I have ever met. She is born for death and is a genius of the profession. Obviously, both I and the instrument think so. At this point, please consider my proposal.]
[The May Rose Festival is approaching. We have never needed a perfumer who can produce special perfumes as much as we do now.]
After writing this application, the factory worker hurriedly took Bai Liu to the office on the third floor and started to handle the procedures related to the transformation of a processing worker into a factory worker.
At the same time, another factory worker brought Tang Erda, who had already changed into the disinfectant protective suit, and entered the reorganized instrument storage room.
Tang Erda frowned and stared at the room. Like Bai Liu, he recognized the strangeness of the room’s structure.
The room in this game looked exactly the same as Room 0001 in the artificially constructed organization called the Dangerous Heretics Bureau.
His eyes swept over the dark red, instrumental chamber covered with cooling pipes before finally settling on the middle of the room at the gigantic glass display case with the strange heart that linked these cooling pipes—a heart that was still beating.
Tang Erda had many years of experience in dealing with dangerous heretics as well as the memory of countless games. Yet whether in reality or in the game, he had never seen such a strange heretic or monster.
It seemed that as long as this heart was allowed to beat for one more second, his heartbeat rate would be deceived and it would gradually beat in line with this evil heart.
Years of experience in dealing with the evil heretics had made Tang Erda develop a very keen intuition. He looked at the beating heart and he frowned deeper and deeper. He reached out his hands behind him and tiny points of light condensed into a silver pistol in Tang Erda’s palm.
The muzzle of the gun was aimed at the heart at an imperceptible angle.