Soon after ‘Bai Liu’ got off the train, Bai Liu’s body changed from a state of translucent data to becoming real. He squeezed his hands thoughtfully and found he could touch the passengers around him.
Perhaps it was because there were two ‘Bai Liu’ in the same space and time that his existence was virtualized or the fact that he would die if ‘Bai Liu’ didn’t get off the train caused his body to be virtualized. Nevertheless, these things weren’t important any longer.
The next station was Antique City. He was still on the train and it was going to explode in three minutes at most.
“Bai Liu—!!” Mu Sicheng’s voice came from another crowded carriage. He squeezed to Bai Liu’s side with difficulty, his expression ugly to the extreme. “There are so many people here. How can we find the broken lenses? We are arriving at the station soon! The last train will explode before arriving at the station!”
“I just tried something. I originally wanted to get off the train just now.” Mu Sicheng spoke solemnly. “However, I couldn’t get off. It was like I was stopped by something in the carriage.”
Bai Liu just turned a deaf ear to Mu Sicheng’s anxiety. Rather than closing Mu Sicheng’s topic, Bai Liu told him, “This is reality. Since the real ‘you’ is not on this train, you can’t achieve the action of getting off the train. The real ‘me’ has just got off the train so I can’t get off the train again. If causality is disordered then it will lead to the disorder of the game logic.”
“What reality?!” Mu Sicheng was alert. “Bai Liu, this isn’t reality. This is the game! Has your mental value fallen? Are you hallucinating? What nonsense about getting off the train but not getting off the train?”
“I didn’t mean that.” Bai Liu pointed beyond Mu Sicheng’s shoulder to the subway map in the carriage. “Look at this map. The stop before Antique City is Lujiazui, not Reservoir. You can see that this subway line isn’t a circular one but a linear one. This is the subway map in reality.”
Mu Sicheng followed Bai Liu’s hand to look over and saw it as well. This caused him to frown. “However, we can’t return to reality. This is indeed the game.”
Bai Liu continued, “I don’t mean we are back in reality when I say this is reality. The ‘reality’ here is relative to the train full of burnt corpses where we were before. That place wasn’t the real game world. It was a mirror world in a constant loop.”
“The train we are standing in now—” Bai Liu pointed to the ground with his feet, his eyes flat. “This is the relative reality of the real game. It can also be called a possibility derived from the reality that has already happened. The prototype of this game is the Mirror City Bombing case. Generally, the reference prototype is to restore the event in the game. This has been done very well and this game has a greater ability than to just restore the event.”
“It reproduced the scene of the event.” Bai Liu looked at Mu Sicheng. “It brought us back to the time of the explosion. Then at this node controlled by players, it calculates the possible scenarios based on our actions and this will lead to different consequences.”
For example, Bai Liu’s first reaction when he boarded the train just now was to find himself and Lu Yizhan. Originally, ‘Bai Liu’ didn’t sleep on the train because it was cold. However, Bai Liu entered the train and brought something on his body that made the carriage become warm—the 380 broken lenses. Once Bai Liu entered the world in the mirror, these 380 broken lenses automatically entered the system backpack.
Bai Liu was virtual but the mirror was warm. His approach warmed the tired ‘Bai Liu’ with the residual heat of the mirror and led him to be sleepy. This made him differ from Bai Liu’s memories and ‘Bai Liu’ didn’t get off with Lu Yizhan.
Mu Sicheng didn’t pay attention to this at all. He only needed to know that Bai Liu knew this was still in the game. The train was going to explode in three minutes so Mu Sicheng was very anxious. He was determined to get the key information from Bai Liu’s words to pass the game.
“The world in the mirror that is in an endless loop?” Mu Sicheng asked eagerly. “What do you mean by endless loop?”
“Don’t you think there is a big loophole in our previous task of collecting the broken lenses?” Bai Liu spoke languidly. “We were supposed to collect broken lenses on the last train that is about to explode, right?”
Mu Sicheng nodded. “Yes.”
“But—” Bai Liu raised his eyes and smiled at Mu Sicheng. “If the last train hasn’t exploded, where did the broken lenses come from?”
“Unless it has exploded and we have been collecting the broken lenses after the explosion.”
Mu Sicheng completely froze for a second or two before coming back to his senses. Then he muttered in a trance. “This is a continuous loop. The last train exploded time and time again… it is useless for us to collect the broken lenses. After the collection is completed, it is likely that we will completely trap ourselves on the last train that continues to explode. This is why the passengers tried to stop us. F*k, they are saving us stupid players.”
“Yes, I noticed before entering the subway platform. The escalators in the subway station run in the opposite direction. Later, the order of getting on and off the train is also reversed. Even our mission is ‘reversed’ to a certain extent.” Bai Liu explained clearly. “Our task is to collect the broken lenses but in fact, they have already been collected by the passengers. Instead, what we did is to scatter these collected broken lenses and grab them again. It seems we are doing the work of the villain while these passengers are correct. My guess is that this is one of the characteristics of the mirror—reversing the nature of the object itself.”
“So I think the main task in the mirror and the main task in reality should be reversed.” Bai Liu’s eyes were calm and lazy while the hand played with the coin against his chest. “In the reality where we currently are, the train hasn’t exploded. In other words, the mirror hasn’t been broken at all. The task in the mirror is to collect and piece together the broken lenses. Reversing it is—”
Mu Sicheng suddenly realized. “We have to break the mirror!”
Bai Liu’s lips curved up and he snapped his fingers. “Bingo.”
[System prompt: Congratulations to player Bai Liu and player Mu Sicheng for triggering the ultimate main task: break the evil ghost mirror and end the continuous loop of Exploding Last Train.]
[System prompt: The 380 broken lenses on player Bai Liu’s body have returned to their original place. Please quickly find the real mirror and break it to clear the level.]
Mu Sicheng let out a long breath that contained some fear. He looked at Bai Liu and clicked his tongue. “This guy, in this situation, your brain isn’t a mess at all?”
Three minutes to an explosion and only a bit of health left yet this guy was still in the mood to think about the real task in reality. Wasn’t he anxious at all?!
“Then where is the mirror?” Bai Liu might not be anxious but Mu Sicheng was. “This train has six carriages and there are only two minutes left. It is impossible to search every section.”
“There is no need to search.” Bai Liu leaned against the door of the carriage and pointed. “I have taken this train before. Before getting off the train, I remembered the thieves were in this section. This is why I came here directly. It turned out they are in this section, no, in the center.”
Mu Sicheng’s gaze shifted and he saw two passengers, one big and one small, standing there with a huge suitcase in their hands. It was just big enough to fit a mirror. The mirror should be in there. Next to them were several people in suits and leather shoes. They should be museum personnel. Mu Sicheng realized that these were the thief brothers. He glanced at Bai Liu in a slightly speechless manner. “You must’ve seen them long ago? Why didn’t you go over there? What are you doing here?”
Bai Liu smiled. “Aren’t I waiting for you to steal the mirror, big thief? How can I snatch something from a pair of thieves? I naturally need you to come.”
Mu Sicheng was slightly taken aback. Then he curled up his lips in a sneer. “You are good at saving your efforts.”
After speaking, Mu Sicheng’s eyes changed. They became cold as he adjusted the position of his headphones. He put on a hood to cover his face and flicked his right hand behind him, turning it into a monkey paw. Then he moved in a ghostly manner through the surrounding passengers.
Bai Liu didn’t see what Mu Sicheng did but he heard the thief brothers screaming. “The mirror is gone!! There is a thief!!!”
There was a commotion among the people in the carriage. The moment Bai Liu turned his head, he felt the back of his collar being lifted. Mu Sicheng wore a hood as he held the suitcase in one hand and Bai Liu in the other. He smiled wildly as he stepped on the walls of the carriage and ran quickly. Behind him was the roar of the thief brothers. “Catch the thieves!”
Mu Sicheng’s face was expressionless as he flashed a knife and told people in the way to get lost. The group immediately gave way, screaming and panicking as they rushed to other carriages. Mu Sicheng ran smoothly all the way to the last carriage. Then he scared away the other passengers in the carriage, leaving it entirely empty for them.
“Cool. Mu Sicheng, you are really good at doing bad things.” Bai Liu sincerely praised as he saw the instantaneously empty carriage.
Mu Sicheng raised his eyebrow. “It is the same for you.”
Bai Liu crouched down to open the suitcase. The mirror was inside and it was intact. The moment Bai Liu stood the mirror up, he heard the system’s harsh warning sound.
[System warning: Once the mirror is broken, the god-level NPC will break out of the mirror. All players in front of the mirror will be attacked indiscriminately. Please be careful when breaking the mirror!]
No matter if it was Bai Liu or Mu Sicheng, they were destined to die with their current health if they were attacked by the god-level NPC. The smile on Mu Sicheng’s face quickly dissipated. Only the sound of the wind and the small sobs of the passengers who were scared by Mu Sicheng to other carriages were heard.
Then the sweet female broadcaster’s voice was heard at the right time.
“We are about to reach the terminal—”