The boss took Mu Ke away and Mu Sicheng woke up.
He leaned lazily back against Bai Liu’s chair and picked up the coat that Bai Liu gave him. Originally, Mu Sicheng wanted to strongly prevent Bai Liu from participating in the game but he soon found that Bai Liu was determined. Considering Bai Liu’s style, Mu Sicheng thought that Bai Liu’s heart wasn’t easily shaken.
Mu Sicheng had watched with cold eyes as Bai Liu brought Mu Ke onto his ship. Then he fell asleep after realizing he couldn’t easily shake Bai Liu’s thoughts. All Mu Sicheng could do was seriously tell Bai Liu that he wouldn’t be foolish and participate with Bai Liu in this dangerous league.
However, the coat that Bai Liu gave him softened Mu Sicheng’s tone. “How did you manage to fool that little beauty onto your damn boat?”
“You called Mu Ke by ‘little beauty’. Are you gay?” Bai Liu glanced at Mu Sicheng. “Is Mu Ke’s type sexually attractive to you?”
Mu Sicheng instantly choked up. “I am a straight man! Don’t you understand a joke?!”
Bai Liu nodded casually. “I understand. Then looking at your appearance right now, you should have something to tell me?”
Before Mu Sicheng could open his mouth, he found a seat and sat opposite Mu Sicheng. Bai Liu sat very comfortably but he brought a sense of oppression to Mu Sicheng. Mu Sicheng had been slouching lazily in Bai Liu’s chair but now he couldn’t help sitting up straight.
Bai Liu stared directly at Mu Sicheng. “I guess you want to tell me that you will never participate in this gaming competition.”
“Can you give me a reason to convince me?” Bai Liu leaned back against the desk and tapped on it with his fingers. “Why aren’t you willing to participate in this type of competition?”
“The mortality rate is high, the risk is high, the number of people isn’t enough and the number of instances isn’t enough.” Bai Liu stated them one after another before looking at Mu Sicheng. “You can let me worry about all of this as long as you participate. Do you have any other concerns?”
Mu Sicheng almost wanted to laugh at Bai Liu’s calm and idle look.
If it was before the instance, he might’ve been fooled by Bai Liu but now Mu Sicheng wasn’t the original Mu Sicheng. After one instance, Mu Sicheng had a clear idea about Bai Liu’s character—his gambling nature wasn’t very good.
Even if the success rate was low, this person Bai Liu would dare to try it as long as the profit was high enough.
“Those are all the main issues I am worried about.” Mu Sicheng had a rare serious tone. “Bai Liu, the league really isn’t a joke. The player death rate is very high. There is no need to give up your real life for this game. This game might bring a lot of things but you can earn points slowly with your strength. This is more secure. In addition to the game, you always have to leave some retreat for your real life…”
“Real life?” Bai Liu repeated this sentence with a soft voice. He waited for Mu Sicheng to finish his persuasion before asking a seemingly irrelevant question. “What do you think about the single player game that Mu Ke just played?”
Mu Sicheng was startled. He didn’t expect Bai Liu to mention this suddenly but Bai Liu had discussed it with Mu Ke just now. Mu Sicheng had been sleepy at the time but he had listened.
The last game Mu Ke played was called ‘Day of Leaving School’ and it was a game with a bit of a Japanese style campus background. The content of the game wasn’t the place that attracted Mu Sicheng’s attention the most. The point that Mu Sicheng was most attracted to was—
Mu Ke said that the school in the game had a prototype. It was the private high school where he studied in Japan. It was haunted because a girl committed suicide by jumping from a building and many students died intermittently.
Apart from Mu Ke, everyone in his dormitory died in all sorts of bizarre ways. This was the important reason why Mu Ke confused the game with reality and brought out injuries. The high school in the game was exactly the same as the high school he went to. It was similar to what Bai Liu had experienced. The prototype of Exploding Last Train was the last train that Bai Liu had once got on and exploded.
Mu Sicheng was silent for a few seconds. “I don’t think it is a coincidence. This is two games in a row that have prototypes based in reality.”
“Yes, that is what I also think.”
Bai Liu pulled out a piece of paper from his desk. “So I personally feel that there are three possible explanations for this.”
Bai Liu was used to writing things down when he had ideas, especially when Bai Liu confirmed that their memories could be tampered with at will. Since the text of specific ‘banned’ information would disappear, Bai Liu just wrote down some simple keywords. Once he wrote it down, he turned the paper around with his fingers to show Mu Sicheng. Bai Liu’s tone when explaining was very steady.
“I tend to think that many instances in the game are based on reality. It is just that some people know it is a prototype while others don’t know. For example, you and I both knew that this was a prototype of the Mirror City bombing case because we are from Mirror City. However, Puppet Zhang obviously didn’t know it. Another example is the haunted Japanese school mentioned by Mu Ke. He knows it but both of us don’t know it.”
“The question is how the game chooses the reality prototype of these games?”
Bai Liu wrote ‘scene selection’ on the paper.
“The first possibility is that the game randomly selects real-life events as prototypes from which to design the horror games. Yet judging from the Mirror City bombing and the haunted Japanese high school, the selection of the events is obviously biased. It will choose originally horrible tragedies to design into games. So this possibility isn’t high and it is a pass.”
Bai Liu wrote ‘source of inspiration’ on the paper and continued talking.
“The second possibility is that the game will select the tragedies and supernatural locations that players have experienced as the prototype to design games from. You and I both know that the game can delete people’s memories. Is it possible that the game can also read people’s memories, draw inspiration from their memories and use them as a reference to construct the game?”
“This allows players to be easily immersed in the horror game to a certain extent and the scenes are more realistic. For example, the train scene setting at the end of the second instance is exactly the same as my memories. It makes it very difficult to distinguish between reality and the illusion.”
Mu Sicheng crossed his arms and his fingers tapped the other arm. “I think the second possibility is more reasonable and I prefer this one. What is the third possibility?”
“No, there is a very big loophole in the second possibility. It is that the logic of the timeline is wrong.” Bai Liu raised his eyes to look directly at Mu Sicheng. “Do you remember when the Exploding Last Train we played appeared?”
Mu Sicheng was startled and thought about it. “It seems to have been a long time? It was there when I first entered the game.”
Bai Liu calmly reminded Mu Sicheng. “However, the Mirror City bombing incident happened this year. This shows that the game Exploding Last Train was created earlier than the Mirror City Bombing. Before this bombing incident happened, the instance based on it already existed. Mu Sicheng, do you know what this means?”
Mu Sicheng’s expression changed and he seemed to realize something. He slowly looked at Bai Liu who continued to speak indifferently.
“This means we have made a mistake with the reference prototype. It isn’t that Exploding Last Train is based on the Mirror City Bombing.” Bai Liu continued smoothly. “It is that the Mirror City Bombing is based on Exploding Last Train.”
After this sentence, Bai Liu wrote the words ‘testing phase’ on the paper.
Mu Sicheng stared into Bai Liu’s unshaken eyes and felt like a basin of ice water had been poured over him. He stared stiffly at the words that Bai Liu had written on the paper and a chill shot down his spine. Mu Sicheng’s hands started shaking like he was shocked to the extreme. He understood what Bai Liu meant but looking at the words on the paper, he couldn’t believe it. “How is this possible?”
To use an in-game method to describe Mu Sicheng’s current state, it was like his mental value had fallen below the safety line.
Bai Liu was calm. “Before a game is completely developed, there will be a version called the beta version. Simply put, it will face a local public test before being released to all players.”
“If the developers are satisfied with the reaction of players to a certain instance then they will include this instance in the official game and open this instance to everyone. In other words, it is the final official version of the game.”
Bai Liu raised his eyes. “The third possibility I came up with is that the game and the reality we live in are the public beta version and official game version respectively.”
“The game is testing the reaction of selected local players to a certain instance. If the system is satisfied with our performance in this game instance, the corresponding game will be launched in the reality where we live. It will be open to everyone and become the official version.”
“For example, Exploding Last Train was put into reality and became the Mirror City Bombing. Day of Leaving School was put into reality and became the Japanese high school that Mu Ke studied at. In general, they are just two different manifestations of the same horror game.”
“In other words—” Bai Liu stared at Mu Sicheng with no emotions in his eyes. “Our world isn’t safe. The official version of these horror games can be released into our world by the system at any time.”
“If this is the case, the real life you are pursuing is no different from living in the game. So Mu Sicheng, I don’t think you need to refuse the competition for your so-called real life.”
“It is because the reality we are in is nothing more than a game competition you can’t see.”