Wang Shun moved his chair back a bit. He placed a certain distance between his heart and the staff before speaking carefully, “…I saw a pieced together, fragmented poem.”
“Fragmented poem?” Charles raised an eyebrow. “This isn’t like the concise prophetic style of this Judge Against God. So what type of poem is it?”
Wang Shun took a deep breath and cleared his throat.
“The evil god boasted that someone would wander in his shadow,
The man in the shadow is 14 years old,
The evil god gave this man a spine, a heart and the badge of God,
Boasting that this man will be his only believer,
The man in the shadow is 24 years old,
The evil god fell on the snowy plains and the undead believers floated in the deep sea,
The spine, the heart and the badge of God were broken,
The evil god changed,
The man in the shadow is 30 years old,
He wandered and wandered, the clown crouched down in front of him, laughing and asking the shadow man where he was going,
The man in the shadow said that when the sun disappears three-quarters of the way, there will be a person who is cold and stiff who will come to find me,
The clown said ‘If you are dead, I will crush your soul and let you fall into the snow with your god’,
The man in the shadow is 41 years old,
God died and he exists, living eternally because of evil.”
After speaking, Wang Shun gulped and looked at Charles nervously. “You can use the scale to test me. I’m not speaking nonsense. There might be some places I don’t remember clearly but this is indeed what I saw from the Judge Against God.”
“I don’t doubt this.” Charles withdrew the cane and looked at Wang Shun. “I just doubt that the prophecy you’re talking about is referring to Bai Liu. This type of vague poem can be interpreted from various angles. I can also say that this poem is talking about someone else.”
“You said that this prophecy is about Bai Liu. Do you have any evidence for this?”
Wang Shun was quiet for a long time before helplessly letting out a long breath. “…No.”
“So in fact, you also don’t know if this prophecy is talking about Bai Liu, right?” Charles sat down on his desk and casually crossed his legs. “In other words, you were lying to me just now in order to persuade me to invest in Bai Liu?”
Wang Shun opened his mouth and admitted it. “Yes.”
“It isn’t a very wise thing to lie to a gambler who is ten times better than you at lying, Mr Know-It-All.” Charles touched Wang Shun’s head with the cane and revealed a satisfied smile. “Still, I like the lie you just told. It sounds like you can fool many ignorant and impulsive gamblers to bet on Bai Liu. This is a gambler-worthy lie.”
Wang Shun looked at Charles with astonishment.
“I will invest in Bai Liu.” Charles took back his cane, pulled it down and turned it into a bouquet of lush roses. He gave it to the still stunned Wang Shun.
Wang Shun took it in a confused manner. “Then President Charles, what are we going to do now?”
Charles jumped off the table. “Now?”
He straightened his clothes and smiled brightly. “Of course, it is to welcome Mr Dark Horse who is running to the finish line at the rose flower field.”
Charles turned to look at Wang Shun, who was sitting in the chair, and shook his head with dissatisfaction. He pulled out the cane that had just turned into roses and swiped it down. The cane, which was one meter long, instantly turned into a wooden stick that was only 30 centimeters long. It looked a bit like a wand.
“As the propaganda spokesperson and oracle spreader of the future Bai Liu team, you look a bit too simple, Mr Know-It-All.” Charles tapped Wang Shun’s plaid shirt and jeans with his wand in disgust. It was a typical programmer’s attire.
“It is hard to convince people you are from a championship team when dressed like this.”
Wang Shun couldn’t react. “What propaganda spokesperson and oracle spreader?”
“Simply put, you are a tool to trick others into betting and voting for Bai Liu’s team.” Charles politely explained. Then the moment he waved his wand, Wang Shun’s clothes disappeared.
Charles looked over Wang Shun, who was covering his lower body, from top to bottom. He raised an eyebrow and whistled. “Good figure.”
“Why can you change my appearance settings at will?” Wang Shun was dumbfounded and didn’t dare remove his hand that was covering his key part.
Charles waved again and Wang Shun spun around in place. He changed from top to bottom into a delicate polka dot bow tie, a three piece suit with a vest, hair that was smeared back with mousse and brown leather shoes that had five centimeters of white cotton socks exposed.
“This set is for your reference. My taste is more retro. I hope you like it.” Charles put away the wand and motioned for the dizzy Wang Shun to follow up. “Now go and create momentum for our new team.”
Wang Shun hurriedly followed. He didn’t know how Charles chose the clothes for him but the size of the suit was a bit inconvenient for Wang Shun, who was accustomed to loose clothes. He asked while following, “How do I create momentum? Bai Liu seems to be stuck in the dimensional space by the Kings Guild’s Shield. He will fall into the No Man’s Land and won’t be able to get out!”
“If he falls into the No Man’s Land, it will be very difficult for Bai Liu to compete. He can’t get the votes of the general audience and won’t be able to register.”
“Your guild’s Shield?” Charles pondered on it for a few seconds. “Then Bai Liu is probably doomed to fall into the No Man’s Land.”
Wang Shun instantly looked lost. “President Charles, even you can’t do anything?”
“I don’t think falling into the No Man’s Land is a bad thing.” A meaningful smile appeared on Charles’ face. “I remember that Bai Liu seemed to have won a small guild with no more than 500 members.”
“It is a champion team but the guild only has this many members.” Charles casually stroked the ruby at the top of his cane with his index finger. “Mr Know-It-All, I might know better than you about the establishment of the top 10 guilds here. Falling into the No Man’s Land might be an opportunity to set up a big guild. Do you remember the Paradise Freemasons?”
“Is it the association of beggars founded by players who escaped from No Man’s Land?” Wang Shun said.
Wang Shun was reminded by Charles. He seemed to think of something and then looked at Charles with horror. “President, do you plan to—it will cost too much money! It is at least tens of millions of points!”
“I’m not short of money. I am the richest player in the game.” Charles looked up at Wang Shun and the smile on his face grew deeper. “I enjoy the pleasure of gambling. What gamble is more interesting than the annual league?”
“Moreover, I won’t allow the dark horse guild I bet on to be as poor as the Paradise Freemasons. It is only tens of millions of points. It isn’t a lot of investment as an early bet on a horse,” Charles stated lightly.
Tens of millions of points… Wang Shun was dizzy as he followed Charles.
Inside the game.
The vagrants followed Bai Liu and walked toward the interior of the Rose Factory.
They were stuck at the door that looked like Room 0001. It was also the passage into the internal processing point of the Rose Factory.
In fact, it wasn’t impossible to directly break through violently with Tawil’s strength. It was just that a violent breakthrough was likely to tear Tawil’s heart, considering that Tawil’s heart was hanging from the pipes connected to the wall. Therefore, Tawil stopped at the door and didn’t continue to move forward.
However, the key to this door was on the body of the factory worker hiding inside. There was no way to open it without forcibly breaking through.
Tang Erda looked at Bai Liu. “How to get in?”
“It is simple. Remember that test?” Bai Liu held up a bottle of perfume essence. He smiled as he dripped it onto the crack in the door. “I will let the heart open the door for me.”
In the test, Tawil had reacted very violently to the perfume essence poured by Bai Liu. One drop had shook open the suspended glass cabinet. Now Bai Liu poured the entire bottle.
The whole room started to roar and shake in less than a second.
This was accompanied by the cracking of the mechanical pipes and the panicked shouts of the factory workers running inside that was heard through the crack in the door.
“The heart is beating too fast!”
“Open the gate and release the water!”
“It is too late—the glass cabinet has exploded!”
There was the clear sound of glass cracking. In the chaos and noise, Bai Liu closed his eyes and held his breath against the cold iron door.
He could hear a heart beating violently.
Thump thump—thump thump thump—thump thump thump thump!
It was the same as Bai Liu’s heartbeat now.
The light pink rose essence solution seeped out from the crack in the door. The door seemed to have an excess amount of liquid and gas poured toward it and started to bulge and deform outward. The lock was shaken and deformed. Finally, it couldn’t stand it and fell down.
The original liquid swept out like a tsunami.
Bai Liu was standing nearest to the door so he was drenched with the liquid. He raised his wet eyelashes and looked into the room.
The original liquid from the leaking and broken cooling pipes splashed everywhere. The glass fragments on the ground were soaked in the pink and translucent liquid. The purple-blue current was crawling along the pipe and crackling.
In the midst of the chaos, the heart hung in the middle of the room like a ripe, bright red fruit waiting for a long time. It made the ‘thump thump thump thump’ sound, reminding the person who said he was going to hold it, ‘If you don’t hold me, I will jump and explode.’
Bai Liu took a step forward and held the heart. The wet heart beat in the palm as his hand, as if it was going to escape at any moment. Bai Liu lowered his eyes to observe the heart and a drop of the essence dripped down his eyelashes onto the heart.
The heart abruptly beat twice at this drop.
Bai Liu tightened his grip on the heart and smiled.
It turned out that this was the feeling of holding Xie Ta’s heart in his hand.
It was very—very wonderful.
What was it like to put a heart back in a person’s chest cavity?
No matter whether it was in reality or in the game, Tang Erda had never seen such a bizarre and unimaginable scene.
In addition, as the protagonist of this matter, Bai Liu’s face always had a strange smile that made Tang Erda want to immediately pull out his gun and arrest him.
It was as if Bai Liu was the one who dug out the heart with his own hands.
The ribs retracted and the viscera was protectively covered by the lobes of the lung. The pectoralis major grew and closed along the attachment point and was finally perfectly covered by skin. A boy that was smooth, white and healthy lay in front of Bai Liu, chest cavity rising and falling slightly.
His eyelashes trembled slightly.
“Let’s go out.” The moment Bai Liu assembled Tawil, Liu Jiayi took several steps back preventively. “He is going to wake up and the impact on us will be even greater.”
The group of people exited the room in a well-trained manner and closed the door, leaving room for Bai Liu and Tawil, who was about to awaken.
Bai Liu leaned against the only remaining frame after the glass cabinet shattered. He opened the system panel and spent money to mute his small TV. Then he turned to look directly at Tawil, opening his mouth like he was talking to himself.
“I know you’re awake, Xie Ta.”
Tawil’s eyelashes trembled twice but his eyes still didn’t open.
Bai Liu put his hands on both sides of Tawil’s body and simply lowered his body to approach Tawil. His eyes fell on Tawil’s face and the two of them got closer and closer, finally reaching the point where the tip of their noses were about to touch.
“Can you even pretend like this?” Bai Liu put his hand behind Tawil’s neck and lifted it up slightly while looking down at Tawil’s dull, light-colored lips—it was a gesture to kiss.
“I will do something even more excessive to you if you keep pretending,” Bai Liu whispered.
A second before the kiss, Tawil finally raised a hand to cover Bai Liu’s lips. He raised his eyes slightly and the familiar silver-blue eyes appeared in front of Bai Liu again. He asked Bai Liu with a very indifferent look, “Didn’t you ask me to do this to you when we first reunited?”
“Is it excessive?” Tawil sat up straight and approached Bai Liu.
Bai Liu instantly distanced himself from Tawil. He turned his face and took a few deep breaths. Then he turned back to Tawil and asked in a pretend calm manner, “You really remember me. So why did you pretend when you first saw me?”
He remembered how he asked Xie Ta to kiss him as soon as they met—Bai Liu calmly pinched the palm of his hand and maintained his shameless appearance that was unmoved.
Was there anything more embarrassing in the world than not remembering his best friend and then pressing the other person to kiss him the moment they met like he was drunk?
There was. It was when he made his best friend naked.
Bai Liu tried to keep his eyes on Tawil’s face as much as possible.
Tawil looked up at him and didn’t seem to think he had done anything wrong. “You didn’t remember me so I politely introduced myself. Then we got to know each other again.”
“Then why did you just pretend not to wake up?” Bai Liu pretended to inadvertently take off his protective suit and covered Tawil’s lower body. Then his tone returned to normal as he asked calmly, “What are you guilty about?”
Tawil was silent for a moment before seriously answering, “I don’t know the reason but I somehow felt that you are angry.”
Bai Liu crossed his arms over his chest without smiling and squinted at Tawil. “Is there? Why don’t I feel it?”
“I’m sorry,” Tawil quickly apologized.
Bai Liu wanted to say, ‘I’m really not angry. You don’t need to apologize.’ Then Tawil leaned forward, hugged him and whispered softly in his ear, “Maybe you are really angry now. It might be a little out of place but I’m really happy.”
“You finally remember me,” Tawil said. “I thought you had deliberately forgotten me due to fear.”
Bai Liu couldn’t help his shoulders loosening. He lazily whispered, “What do I have to fear?”
“Everything—I can’t die, my rotten right hand, my blood-sucking prayer symbol tied up in the church, my dismembered body and the heart that keeps beating even after being separated from the body.” Tawil’s voice had a clear, icy tone but it melted and became as soft as water when it entered Bai Liu’s ear. “I’m glad you didn’t fear me even when you didn’t remember me.”
“I missed you so much.”
Tawil buried his head deep in Bai Liu’s shoulder. He hugged Bai Liu very hard and his tone was pious. “Every time I woke up, the first thing I saw was you and falling asleep was no longer so terrible.”
Bai Liu’s pupils contracted slightly when Tawil said, ‘I missed you so much.’
His palm opened and slowly rested on Tawil’s shoulder as he gently hugged Tawil.
Bai Liu wasn’t used to such intimate actions but Xie Ta was an exception. They had slept together for a long time and were familiar enough to distinguish each other. They were two monsters that didn’t fit the definition of a human. They relied on the small emotional connection between them to disguise themselves as humans in this world to survive.
However, it had been too long since the last time they clearly recognized the other person. It was a decade for Bai Liu, who lost his memories, and an unknown number of rebirths for Tawil, who couldn’t stop being tortured.
After leaving each other, they were alienated by these ‘long distances’ and could no longer find the familiarity they had at that time.
These long distances were too deadly. It was even more terrifying than distance, time, life or death. It was so that every time they were reunited, they were even more of a stranger than when they first met.
One person didn’t remember and the other person condoned him not remembering and let them be strangers. If the memories of Xie Ta’s ‘deaths’ were terrible to Bai Liu then Tawil was willing to always remember only by himself.
He didn’t feel anything even if he had to start again every time they met.
Yet the moment that Bai Liu saw Xie Ta’s silver-blue eyes, the bird that returned to its cage fell on Tawil’s shoulder and whispered. The old friend that Bai Liu pieced together leaned against Bai Liu with that cold, familiar body temperature that Bai Liu knew so well.
The monster Bai Liu had been missing for so long, the god who curled up in a lonely manner in that baptism tank filled with blood and water—the next moment, Bai Liu appeared in front of him. Xie Ta stared silently at Bai Liu who suddenly appeared and his silver-blue eyes shone with a dazzling moonlight.
The look in his eyes was extremely light, beautiful and unbelievable, as if a god had seen another god descend.
Tawil was looking at him now with that type of look.
Bai Liu’s lips opened and his voice was so soft that it was almost airy.
“I… missed you too.”
Bai Liu closed his eyes and allowed himself to be immersed in the scent of roses that was about to make him dizzy. He held the other person’s hand and there was a distinct smile in his voice.
“I’ve missed you since the moment I thought of you.”