Bai Liu was spinning dizzily at the bottom of the sea area. He now felt like he was forced to drink half a bottle of cheap wine at the company’s annual meeting by the general manager of his company. He started to feel numb and his movements were uncoordinated. This directly led to Bai Liu’s desire to stare at both legs while he was moving. However, due to the numbness of his limbs and his dizziness, he was actually only staring at one leg. The effect was very much like a rabbit with a lame leg hopping around to avoid predators.
Wang Shun opened his mouth. “…His mental value is only 41. He will have a lot of hallucinations soon and the Siren King will wake up in 21 minutes.”
Mu Sicheng’s expression was complicated and confused. His tone and mood were becoming increasingly more anxious. “Yes but he can clear the instance directly…”
The rest of the audience were even more angry and anxious. Some were directly stomping their feet in place.
It was as Wang Shun said. Bai Liu started to have hallucinations and the monsters in front of him became ‘mountain ranges’. A merfolk could shake three heads in front of Bai Liu. Most people would be scared and collapse but Bai Liu just shook his head and started to persistently avoid these things.
Even so, he didn’t go to the bottom of the sea where he could clear the instance. Instead, he swam around the sea like a fish that couldn’t find the direction. Therefore, Bai Liu was attacked two more times. One foot and his palm were bitten by the merfolk. The pain caused Bai Liu to instinctively curl up to try and cover up his wound.
Such a fragile move undoubtedly exposed more weaknesses. It exposed Bai Liu’s back completely to the monster behind him. The merman behind Bai Liu showed a cracked grin and a fishtail aimed directly at the side of Bai Liu’s face.
The immense strength created waves in the sea. There might be the buffer of the sea water but judging from the waves, the strong attack power wasn’t hidden. If this tail came down then Bai Liu’s spine would 100% be broken.
Almost all the audience members instinctively closed their eyes, not wanting to see the moment when Bai Liu died. Suddenly, a huge plastic bubble appeared between Bai Liu and the merman. It bounced the merman away and Bai Liu shrank inside the bubble, breathing slowly with fish gills.
Wang Shun screamed loudly, “The water bubble! By the way, Bai Liu bought a water bubble previously!”
Bai Liu was fine but the viewers watching his small TV looked like something was going to happen to them. They looked like they had gained a new lease on life and spoke in an exhausted tone.
“Bai Liu, give yourself and us a way to survive! Stop playing around and clear the instance quickly!”
“Damn Bai Liu, I killed pigs in a past life. Watching your video in this life is too evil. I almost got a heart attack because of you.”
Mu Sicheng sighed with relief when he saw Bai Liu was alive and asked, “When did Bai Liu buy it? He was willing to spend his points on it?”
He noticed something was wrong the moment he asked. The water bubble was very expensive in the middle and late stages. He hadn’t seen Bai Liu buy it. However, if he bought it in the early stages then he still hadn’t used it until now. Spending 70 points to hoard items was a bit wasteful and risky for newcomers like Bai Liu.
Mu Sicheng frowned. “Did Bai Liu squeeze out 70 points to stock up on items?”
“No.” Wang Shun’s expression became very complicated. “It was only 40 points when he bought this water bubble.”
“40 points?” Mu Sicheng was a bit surprised. “The normal price of the water bubble is 70 points. How did he buy it for 40 points?”
Wang Shun explained the cause and effect to Mu Sicheng while sighing. He had guessed that Bai Liu fought a time difference price war to save money but he hadn’t expected it to actually be the case.
Bai Liu had predicted so early that these items would increase in price and stored the water bubble when it was the cheapest.
It should be known that Mu Ke’s water bubble had risen to nearly 400 points while Bai Liu bought one at one-tenth of the points. While Mu Ke was being killed by the system, Bai Liu had already taken advantage of the system to win the price difference…
The audience member who said that Bai Liu was hoarding items to save his life and knew nothing about the system store was still here. Now he looked stupid as he watched Bai Liu’s series of operations. Obviously, Bai Liu not only knew how the entire store system worked, he also used the loophole in it for his own profit.
Mu Sicheng stared thoughtfully at Bai Liu who was gasping behind the water bubble filled with air on the screen. What type of monster was this newcomer? The last time he saw someone who dared to play with the system was the number one player in the standings, Spades.
“I’m very curious.” Mu Sicheng moved his index finger to his chin and he intently watched Bai Liu on the small TV. “How did he know the water bubble he bought would definitely be useful?”
“Siren Town has two endings. The first normal ending only needs you to run out of Siren Town to pass the level. All subsequent battles are land chases and the water bubble isn’t used. This is the way most people will choose to pass the level.”
Mu Sicheng continued. “Only the true ending requires you to go to sea but the true ending is essentially just an extra side mission to return the Siren King. The reward points aren’t that much more than the normal ending and the risks are surprisingly high. Normal people won’t choose this clearance route.”
Wang Shun also fell into thought. “However, Bai Liu is a newcomer. He might not know this?”
“I think he can guess.” Mu Sicheng shook his head. “Bai Liu should’ve discovered that this game is a task mode process. In other words, complete a task to get the designated points. Essentially, if we simply talk about the risks compared to the points received, the normal ending is much better than the true ending.”
Wang Shun couldn’t help glancing at Mu Sicheng. “Then God Mu, why did you do the true ending?”
Mu Sicheng was silent for a few seconds. “High risk does come with high rewards. There aren’t many points given for the true ending but the ‘benefit’ of the true ending isn’t a simple thing like points. There is something that can be obtained by following the true ending plot and the value of this thing is completely worthy of the high risk.”
“What is it?” Wang Shun wondered.
Mu Sicheng glanced at him. “The reward after the monster book is collected. It is only by walking the true ending plotline that you can collect the full monster book and get this reward. However, it is impossible for Bai Liu to collect the monster book.”
“Why is it impossible…?” Wang Shun instinctively retorted only to quickly react. He stared at Bai Liu on the small TV in amazement. “F*k! That’s right! The Siren King in Bai Liu’s monster book is the god-level wandering NPC!”
“I’m thinking about the worst case scenario…” Mu Sicheng thought deeply. “Bai Liu probably doesn’t know how dangerous the god-level NPC is. He should be able to guess that the biggest reward is obtained after gathering the complete monster book. I feel that Bai Liu is preparing to collect the monster book. In other words, he is delaying the time until the Siren King wakes up. This is why he isn’t in a hurry to clear the instance…”
Wang Shun was shocked and his mind was in a daze. He stared at the screen blankly with a wide open mouth. “…No way…”
On the small TV, Bai Liu was hiding behind the water bubble but he didn’t enter the water bubble. He was playing hide and seek with the merfolk and fish.
The audience started to become anxious again. Bai Liu always had the ability to play the game in a manner where everyone was anxious for him.
“The defense of the water bubble is very low. If he keeps letting the merfolk attack then it will be broken soon and this item will be wasted!”
Bai Liu turned to look at a certain place on the water bubble behind him. That place was constantly being attacked by the fish and merfolk and cracks had appeared. Water hadn’t entered but a merman’s hand was penetrating the water bubble. Bai Liu showed a comfortable smile but the spectators were howling and screaming. They all anxiously wanted to cross the screen to play the game for Bai Liu.
Mu Ke was also hiding in the water bubble, fleeing in the sea to drag out time.
Those pretentious audience members who previously walked away from Bai Liu to Mu Ke’s side were bored. They found that Bai Liu was on the verge of life or death and came back happily. However, they avoided Mu Sicheng in the center. They only dared to gather in the corner to discuss it contemptuously.
“These people have charged Bai Liu and Mu Ke so many points. I’m annoyed to see it. They have no vision at all. Why don’t they give it to me? At least if I play Siren Town, I won’t fail.”
“I’m so mad. I’ve been fancying that outskirts promotion for a long time. I was planning to enter the game but the two newcomers came and snatched it from me. I’m annoyed to death. Hurry up and die so I can be promoted.”
Bai Liu knew nothing about the outside world who were anxious for him or hoped for his death. His mental value had dropped to 40 and he was faltering at the second danger mental value level. Once he crossed this level, he would have many hallucinations. Bai Liu was somewhat distracted and he had to concentrate all his attention on the water bubble behind him.
A merman had already entered through the crack in the bubble. Bai Liu let go of the bubble, turned and hugged the bubble in front of him. He stared at the merman with a rotten face in the water bubble that was slowly sinking in the sea.
There were many merfolk and fish entering the water bubble. The bubble was filling up with fish while Bai Liu was the bait, attached to the bubble to seduce these merfolk into casting themselves in the net. The audience in front of the small TV discovered that Bai Liu was going to do something. They couldn’t help feeling curious.
“What can he do? The bubble is broken. Without the outer barrier, only the inner barrier is left. It is equivalent to only a bunch of air that hasn’t leaked out. He has no items to use, right?”
The air-only bubble was like an embryo that enveloped the merfolk monsters, twisting their limbs and stuffing them in. Bai Liu closed his eyes, leaned back and let out a long sigh. A string of bubbles came out from his gills. He released his hands where membranes had grown from the bubble and the bubble floated in front of him.
Bai Liu spoke to the system. “Dump alcohol into the water bubble.”
Transparent alcohol slowly filled up the bubble from the bottom. Bai Liu reached into the bubble, lit the light and tossed it in. As a monster reached out to touch his hand, a burning fireball lit up the deep sea floor.
The roar of the merfolk and the flickering flames reflected the boundary of light and shadow onto Bai Liu’s face.
At this time, the audience realized that Bai Liu was actually smiling.
His shallow smile in the light of the fire, the bright green fish scales on the bridge of his nose and the reflection of the light under his eyes blended together, making him look evil and ghostly. He was more like a monster in the deep sea than the merfolk burning in the bubble.
The merfolk who were caught by the flames desperately slapped the transparent bubble and blue-green blood stains and dirty handprints covered the wall of the bubble. Smoke rose in the spherical body and soon obliterated the ugly and ferocious faces of the merfolk struggling in pain.
Meanwhile, Bai Liu floated quietly in the water, watching the merfolk who attacked him being easily wiped out by the flames. He had an indifferent and nonchalant smile on his face. This smile showed a cruelty and power that was creepier than the monsters.
After Bai Liu used this burning bubble to clear the wave of monsters, he dragged it and used it as a fire torch in the water. It wasn’t only used for defense. Since there was a gap in the water bubble, it could be used to swallow the merfolk to destroy them. It was both offensive and defensive.
The merfolk were used by Bai Liu as fuel. The rich oil that spilled after the merfolk burned was even better than the fire from the alcohol. The ‘fireball’ increased and kept devouring the merfolk on the seabed.
The fire was becoming stronger and the scent of cooked flesh overflowed after the merfolk burned. The monsters driven by instincts couldn’t help burrowing into the bubble one after another, wanting to eat. This formed a strange scene.
Bai Liu stayed to the side, calmly watching as the merfolk monsters lined up to commit suicide in the water bubble in front of him. This gave him time to rest.
The audience in front of the screen were completely stunned. Many of them had wide open mouths. They didn’t know how to evaluate this type of bug-like method of clearing the game.
Mu Sicheng had seen many strong storms but even he couldn’t hold back from letting out a long breath. He pulled his hat down to cover his face in a depressed manner. “Bai Liu is too much. It seems I was extremely stupid when clearing the instance. I was being attacked and running around all over the place.”
“I’m convinced, I’m completely convinced.” Wang Shun exclaimed again and again.
“Fire type items are powerful against merfolk but they can’t be used at the bottom of the sea because there is no burning condition, just like how Mu Ke’s fire torch couldn’t be used at the bottom of the sea. However, these items can be used in the water bubble.”
“However, this is only the case if you don’t stay in the water bubble and allow a hole to break in it. The bubble will lose its ‘barrier’ function to the outside monsters.”
“This is equivalent to wasting an item. Only the internal barrier function is retained and the merfolk can’t easily come out when it enters. This will turn a defensive item into an offensive item to trap and burn the monster. It is a courageous item modification.”
Mu Sicheng nodded. “Bai Liu’s previous actions should be to lure the merfolk to attack his bubble. He needs a gap to let these merfolk enter.”
“How did he think about it?” Wang Shun felt admiration. “Compared with Bai Liu, I feel like I haven’t used my brain to play the game.”
“I don’t think it needs a smart brain. This method is actually easy to think of.” Mu Sicheng shook his head. “Bai Liu’s strong point lies in his psychological quality.”
“The water bubble in Bai Liu’s hand is a brand new item. He can hide in it and pass the level. Although the water bubble might indeed be broken by the merfolk, the risk is lower and it gives people a sense of psychological security.”
“This method requires completely abandoning a safe environment, breaking the bubble barrier that is protecting yourself and calmly using yourself as bait to trap the merfolk, using this broken barrier to kill all the fish to death. This method of killing all the monsters without caring if he can survive or not is really…”
“Extreme and crazy.” Mu Sicheng gave a deep appraisal.
The ordinary audience members who had been excitedly telling Bai Liu to quickly enter the water bubble were even more embarrassed.
“When I think about myself five minutes ago telling Bai Liu to enter the bubble quickly, I feel very emm… stupid…”
“God, Bai Liu bought alcohol so early to prepare for the follow-up clearance method… before, there were people who mocked Bai Liu for being stupid enough to buy too much alcohol. Now I think they are stupid. Yes yes, I’m talking about myself.”
“I counted. It is around nine barrels and Bai Liu bought the alcohol when it was the cheapest. It didn’t cost many points at all. I’m convinced. What type of brain is this to make all the plans work so well?”
“Then Bai Liu has cleared all the monsters in the Siren Town map? This is the first time I’ve seen someone clear all the monsters on a map…”
The group of players who ridiculed Bai Liu in the corner had dark expressions. Many of them had previously laughed at Bai Liu’s useless purchase of alcohol. Now Bai Liu’s usage of the ‘buy more’ alcohol was so brilliant that it reflected the shallowness of the people who laughed at him previously. This group of people were obedient now. They all shrank back in a corner and didn’t dare say a word of nonsense.
On the small TV, Bai Liu dragged the burning ‘merfolk ball’ with his left hand. Apart from a few merfolk who didn’t approach, he was indeed about to clear all the monsters at the bottom of the sea. However, Bai Liu was holding the Siren King with his right hand. Suddenly, the Siren King’s eyes trembled and his tail slightly stirred. Bai Liu, who was holding onto the Siren King, shook and blood spilled from the corner of his mouth.
[System warning: Player Bai Liu has been affected by the awakening of the Siren King. The current mental value is 21. It has fallen below the second mental value safety defense line of 40. The player is about to see many hallucinations.]
Bai Liu felt his mind was buzzing. If a mental value of 41 made him feel drunk, the current value of 21 made Bai Liu feel like he had eaten the poisonous mushrooms mentioned on the Internet. There were colorful, kaleidoscope fragments of glass in front of him.
In his ears, all types of strange noises overlapped in a chaotic manner. They stuffed Bai Liu’s ears and he felt like he was in an underground 80s club or 80s era disco. He had a splitting headache and he seemed to lose control of his limbs.
The ever-changing color halo diffracted on his retina and people’s faces appeared in the halo. There were the merfolk monsters as well as various people and things Bai Liu encountered in the real world. Bai Liu even saw the boss of his company. There were also the faces of Jeff and Andre on the merfolk corpses.
They smiled strangely and pounced at Bai Liu.
In an instant, the merfolk monsters disappeared again. Bai Liu saw the Siren King he was holding in his hand open his eyes and look at him. The next second, the Siren King turned into Lucy’s pale, smiling face. Lucy took Bai Liu’s hand, nestled in his arms and smiled softly at Bai Liu. “I love you.” However, Lucy’s hand was inserted into Bai Liu’s chest.
Blood dripped slowly from Bai Liu’s chest and into the water. Lucy dug out Bai Liu’s heart and swallowed his guts. Blood and flesh fell from the corner of her happy mouth as she leaned forward to kiss Bai Liu’s cheek.
Just as she was going to kiss him, she turned into a merfolk monster with a rotten face. It opened its mouth and bit Bai Liu’s shoulder. The sharp tingling from his shoulders made Bai Liu’s excessively dizzy mind sober.
‘This seems to be real,’ Bai Liu thought casually.
Wang Shun saw the way Bai Liu’s eyes lost focus and how his limbs floated in the sea. Wang Shun had a bad feeling and his expression sank. “No! Bai Liu has entered the stage of many hallucinations!”
Soon, something bit Bai Liu on the shoulder. Bai Liu didn’t respond. Only the slight twitching of the shoulder verified Wang Shun’s words.
Wang Shun was anxious. He didn’t care that Bai Liu couldn’t hear him and shouted at the small TV. “Buy items to cleanse your mental value! Bai Liu! Restore your mental value!”
“No.” Mu Sicheng shook his head and interrupted Wang Shun. “You can’t cleanse it. The moment the mental value rises to 60, Bai Liu will be directly removed from the alienation state.”
“He is still in the deep sea. The moment the alienation state is removed, Bai Liu will become a ‘normal person’ and drown directly. In this deep sea, Bai Liu is likely to explode into pieces of meat due to the pressure difference.”
Wang Shun watched Bai Liu floating motionless in the sea in a really anxious manner. “Then what to do? If he doesn’t cleanse his mental value and he keeps getting attacked then his mental value will continue to drop. If it drops to 0 then he will completely become a monster!”
Mu Sicheng took a deep breath. “He can only rely on… Bai Liu himself. He needs to stay awake in the face of this type of high-intensity hallucination.”
Bai Liu couldn’t distinguish between hallucinations and reality but he wasn’t motionless and unresponsive due to the hallucinations like Wang Shun thought. Bai Liu just couldn’t tell the direction. Still, he knew the place he was going was the bottom of the sea. Therefore, he took the stupidest and easiest way. He relaxed his body and let himself sink.
He was now a fish and not a human. He let go of the water bubble and sank holding the Siren King in his other hand. It stood to reason that he could sink smoothly as long as he didn’t move. As for being attacked by the merfolk during the sinking process—
Bai Liu closed his eyes and stretched out his body completely. The coin in his white shirt floated strangely from his collarbone, showing it wasn’t a real coin. The merfolk swimming back and forth around Bai Liu bit him.
Although the aroma of the cooked merfolk meat attracted most of the merfolk and fish, there were a few who were more interested in Bai Liu’s raw meat. They bit Bai Liu’s arms and ankles enthusiastically, leaving ring-shaped teeth marks with a hideous shape.
[System warning: Bai Liu’s mental value is 17. It is lower than 20 and the player has entered the ‘rage’ state. The panel attributes are about to rise.]