Someone was forcing Bai Liu to do to Tawil what the investors or factory manager did to him, forcing Bai Liu to be the person he was supposed to be.
Bai Liu didn’t want to do it, but he wasn’t helpless. He just needed to take a gamble.
It was just that this method wouldn’t be allowed by Tawil.
Bai Liu lowered his head the moment he thought of this method.
Tawil knew him so well that it was difficult for Bai Liu to hide his thoughts in front of this person. He could only furrow his brow and pretend to be thinking. Then he gave an answer. “…I choose the antidote. I have no choice. I made a deal with someone.”
“Then it needs my blood.” Tawil held out his hand. A tiny, ganoderma vine pierced the blue blood vessels of his white wrist and bright red blood flowed down the side of his wrist instantly.
The vines greedily circled the path of the blood and started to grow wildly, spreading over Tawil’s arms. The sharp black spikes pierced the porcelain white skin and more blood poured out of the hole-like wound.
Tawil’s face quickly turned pale as the vines wrapped around him. The rhythm of his breathing started to slow down from the excessive blood loss and blood kept dripping from his fingers that were holding Bai Liu.
“I… need a vessel to contain the blood.” Tawil said after a pause, eyes half-closed. “It is like the baptismal pool.”
Bai Liu’s gaze moved around the room and fixed on the glass display cabinet that had an upward opening.
Tawil consciously lay down in the replacement glass cabinet that the factory workers had prepared for his heart. The cabinet had just been pulled out when they broke in. It was still intact and undamaged. It was around the same height as Tawil and was just enough for him to lie down in.
The blood that leaked out soon soaked the back of Tawil’s hands that rested on the glass.
This scene was exactly the same as when Xie Ta was lying in the baptismal pool of the church.
Bai Liu instinctively turned his face away from this scene.
His breathing involuntarily quickened and his hands kept tightening and releasing. He was close to Tawil and the aroma caused his mental value to slowly drop. At this moment, it was at the critical point where he started getting hallucinations.
Many mixed voices started to appear in his head.
[—He is in pain! Can’t you see that he is in pain? Are you a monster? Don’t you have feelings? Stop it!]
[Do you know how much pain he is in? Why are you torturing him? Do people like you have an important person?]
[Are you unable to empathize with people?]
[He is a monster, right?]
[Bai Liu, your mental state isn’t quite right. Go to a psychologist to see…]
[…Severe traumatic stress syndrome. If encountering a scarring scene, you will subconsciously repeat the stereotypical actions of the time…]
[Bai Liu (6), why are you afraid of water? You aren’t afraid of water at all. You are afraid of seeing his body in the water. Do you remember who he is?!]
[Xie Ta died for you!]
[…Some people with PTSD who don’t experience the hurt by themselves but have a strong empathy will continue to imagine the original scene, stimulating themselves to take the injury in place of that person in order to alleviate the guilt…]
[If only it was me who was tormented, who was in pain and who died… if only I could replace Su Yang…]
Everything started to become confused in Bai Liu’s mind.
Looking through the narrow gap between the curtains, Xie Ta, who was constantly submerged in the baptismal pool, had blood hanging from the strands of hair on the sides of his face.
From beginning to end, Bai Liu’s original childhood fantasies had always been about Xie Ta. The one who was called a monster by the children, who was ostracized and punished badly by the teachers, who was imprisoned and baptized in the church, being submerged again and again in the pool and who couldn’t escape from the welfare home was all Xie Ta.
It wasn’t Bai Liu (6) or Bai Liu, it was Xie Ta.
In Bai Liu’s lost memory, why was the person who experienced this replaced by himself?
Bai Liu’s breathing quickened and a tingling sensation appeared on his skin as if vines had drilled into it.
He covered his neck and the sharp pain of a vine piercing the veins of his neck made him frown—but there was nothing there.
Tawil’s neck was pierced by a thick vine. His breathing gradually weakened and his long hair suspended in the blood was entangled with the vines.
Bai Liu started to stand unsteadily. He felt as if every bone in his body was constantly poking outward and every breath made him feel severe pain from the muscle contraction cutting him open. It made him stand unsteadily between movements and he almost kneeled from dizziness.
In fact, there was nothing in Bai Liu’s body. It was just an illusion, an illusion that was too real.
The hallucinations caused by Bai Liu’s subconscious were causing him and Tawil to experience the same thing.
Tawil’s voice came from behind him. “Are you leaving?”
“What are you going to do?”
Tawil’s peaceful voice calmed Bai Liu.
Bai Liu held onto a shaky cooling pipe and took two deep breaths so he could maintain basic thoughts in his mixed-up brain. Then he replied to Tawil, “I will go tell the people outside that I found the antidote.”
“You are lying,” Tawil said. “Bai Liu, you never dare look me in the face when you are lying.”
His voice was as soft as the first time he had seen Bai Liu in church. “Are you willing to tell me what you are going to do when you leave?”
[Would you like to read a book with me?]
Bai Liu’s body seemed to be manipulated by some type of consciousness he didn’t know about. He was like a malfunctioning robot as he turned around and saw Tawil sitting up in the pool of blood.
He was covered with thorns but was still focused as he looked at Bai Liu with good eyes. There were pinprick holes all over his body and a very shallow smile on his face.
Bai Liu’s pupils contracted slightly before expanding.
…Xie Ta’s corpse that was covered with pinpricks in the pool and Bai Liu (6) kneeling beside him, doing CPR for an unknown amount of time.
Bai Liu (6)’s eyes lowered and he leaned close to the corpse, clenching his hand into a fist against Xie Ta’s chest that wasn’t beating. He gently opened and closed it, whispering softly as he imitated the sound of a heartbeat.
Thump thump—thump thump—thump thump—
“Isn’t your heart rate faster? Why isn’t it beating now…?”
“Beat for me…”
The words of the terrible psychiatrist that Bai Liu went to see several times before he was free rang intermittently in Bai Liu’s ears.
[…Judging from your friend’s words, you have severe PTSD. You witnessed something that scarred you and you need self-regulation…]
[However, your personality is too extreme. If you encounter a similar scene again, your reaction will be very extreme. You will do your best to prevent similar things from happening and even replace the other party with yourself…]
“What are you going to do, Bai Liu?” Tawil raised silver-blue eyes to look at him.
Bai Liu’s fingers hanging by his side moved and he summoned a card—the A of Hearts.
He opened his mouth and finally said, “I’m going to find a mirror.”
[Liu Jiayi, can this A of Hearts completely transform one person into another? Including blood or something?]
[Why are you asking about this? If you can find the existence of another person completely in your heart and get close to that person, the basic transformation of the blood components can be done with this skill card.]
[What about the features? For example, blood recovery rate and tolerance to death?]
[= = What the hell is this? Who are you going to transform into? Who would have a most important person in their heart who looks like this? Blood recovery, death tolerance, it sounds like—]
[—Just like a monster.]
“What are you going to do with a mirror?” Tawil wondered.
“Let me see myself,” Bai Liu said.
[Yes, who would have a monster as the most important person in their heart~]
[Wow Bai Liu, the expression on your face is so disgusting. You smiled so strangely just now!]
“Why should you look at yourself?”
Bai Liu lowered his head and looked calmly at himself in the reflection of the puddles on the ground. The ripples in this rose liquid were dazzlingly reflected in his pupils like the surface of a lake in summer and there was no emotion on his face.
It was quiet for a very long time. At the same time, the heart in the center of the A of Hearts playing card started spinning rapidly.
The person in the heart soon changed from Su Yang to another person.
Bai Liu’s hair grew longer and his limbs became as powerful and perfect as a carving. His body was covered with pinpricks and his neck was pierced by thorns. His body was bathed in blood. His long silver-blue eyelashes hung down and the light pink rose essence mixture combined with blood dripped from his chin, his eyelashes and his curly hair that went down to his waist.
“Because this time… I want to be that tortured monster,” Bai Liu declared.