Bai Liu put down his pen after talking about his guess. The pen rolled on the table twice before reaching Mu Sicheng who had no expression on his face.
Bai Liu’s attitude was still plain and he didn’t seem to feel that he said anything terrible. Finally, Bai Liu looked at Mu Sicheng who was numb all over and sincerely added, “Of course, this is just my personal opinion. It might not actually be the case.”
The narrow rental house fell into a long silence. Only the wind occasionally brushed by Bai Liu’s fingers, blowing the piece of paper on which he wrote the truth of the world.
It was midsummer and the sun shone in brilliantly from the window behind Bai Liu. It was already noon and they could hear the noisy cries of the cicadas and the noisy honking of cars outside the window.
It was just that these visual and auditory sensations that gave the world a real feeling instantly became black and white to Mu Sicheng. It was just like Bai Liu sitting at the desk and watching him quietly and intensely against the light. He receded in the wavy data-driven multidimensional lines, disappearing into the slit of his closed eyes.
The moment Bai Liu put down his pen, Mu Sicheng felt his ears were ringing. He seemed to be breathing falsely for a moment. Reality was a game? He did everything he could to keep this promised land away from where his despicable desires existed but it turned out it was just a game.
Mu Sicheng slumped down in the chair, the back of one hand against his eyes while the other hand hung down. He remained silent for a long time.
Bai Liu didn’t bother him.
Some time passed before Mu Sicheng sneered and asked in a hard tone, “Bai Liu, I wonder if you are making up such a terrible thing to convince me to participate in the league with you. Is this fake? It isn’t true, right?”
“Most of the real things in this world are terrible or else where would we get the material for playing games?” Bai Liu got up, folded the paper where he had written these words and put it into a book. Then he turned back to Mu Sicheng.
Mu Sicheng stared at Bai Liu.
Bai Liu shrugged. “It seems you are reluctant to accept it, so emotionally, I think I should give you some buffer space to escape and accept it. This might not be the case. There are still the first and second possibilities.”
Mu Sicheng, “……”
What was the difference with him saying directly that it was the third situation? Mu Sicheng sat paralyzed in the chair for a long time before he stared at Bai Liu blankly. “Bai Liu, if the reality where we live is just a game then where is the real reality? Is there a real reality? What is real to us? Why aren’t you scared by this game-like reality?”
Bai Liu wasn’t stunned by Mu Sicheng’s bombardment of questions and pondered on them.
“I’ve been asking myself what reality is since I was a teenager and what matters most to me.” Bai Liu answered. “Apart from my best friend, most of my peers can’t understand me. Later, I found that they might not think about these questions all their lives and can live well in such a false reality.”
“It doesn’t matter if reality is a game or real. Believe me, for others, it has no effect on them. If I have to interpret it from an objective idealistic perspective, a human’s objective perception of the being and the world constitutes the logic chain of human values. As long as ‘I’ am real and what ‘I’ pursue is real, that world is real to ‘me’.”
Bai Liu calmly declared, “It doesn’t matter to me if this world is a game or anything else.”
“As long as human currency exists, my desire for money won’t be extinguished. This is my truth.”
“If you can’t find your meaning for the time being, would you like to try using mine?” Bai Liu picked up the key hung behind the door and stared at the dazed Mu Sicheng with sincerity. “You can try to pursue visible currency. For example, the 500 million points total for the championship team.”
“Then you might be able to use money to buy the truth you want.” Bai Liu opened the door. “With 500 million points, I think you can buy a planet to create the type of real world you want.”
Mu Sicheng’s expression distorted as he remained silent for a moment. “Bai Liu, have you really never participated in an MLM scheme?”
He was once again persuaded by this madman’s strange logic!
“So what is your answer?” Bai Liu raised his eyebrow. “Will you participate in the league?”
Mu Sicheng gritted his teeth. “I will participate!” Then he asked quickly, “Still, we need five players right? How are we going to participate?”
“You don’t need to worry about that. I will solve it and just wait for my notice.” Bai Liu turned his head and asked Mu Sicheng, “I’m going out to eat hotpot with my friend. Do you want to come with me?”
Mu Sicheng, “……”
‘Why are you still in the mood to eat hotpot?’
Perhaps Mu Sicheng’s overly fierce expression revealed the question. Bai Liu took out two discount coupons from his pocket, shook them and briefly explained, “I got two discount coupons for a hotpot restaurant. If I don’t use them today, they will expire.”
Mu Sicheng, “……”
Mu Sicheng couldn’t compare with Bai Liu, a person whose psychological quality was so perverted. This university student who was still shocked by Bai Liu’s world outlook couldn’t recover. He rejected Bai Liu’s invitation to go eat hotpot together and exchanged contact information and addresses. Then Mu Sicheng planned to return to the dormitory to think about life alone.
Meanwhile, Bai Liu went out with his two hotpot discount coupons, looking happy. It didn’t seem like he had just come out of a game of life or death, nor that he had revealed the magical truth about this world to Mu Sicheng.
Mu Sicheng sighed speechlessly. “You seem to be in a good mood?”
“Yes,” Bai Liu admitted it. His eyes curved as he smiled. “Now it is my time off work. I am naturally in a good mood.”
Mu Sicheng, “……”
He remembered Bai Liu’s horror game theory about going to work again. F*k!! This guy really felt like he was off work! This tough psychological quality—what environment had raised such a monster?
Bai Liu bid farewell to the dazed Mu Sicheng and went to find Lu Yizhan. Bai Liu had woken up to find that Lu Yizhan had called him twice. He just hadn’t answered because he was in the game. Bai Liu sent a text message to Lu Yizhan asking what was wrong and Lu Yizhan said they needed to talk face to face.
Speaking of a face to face chat, Bai Liu thought about how he would probably be out of contact for the next two months. If he just disappeared quietly then Lu Yizhan would definitely report it once he couldn’t find Bai Liu. Bai Liu thought it was necessary to tell Lu Yizhan in person so he made an appointment with Lu Yizhan at the hotpot store by text message, ready to have a chat with Lu Yizhan.
Bai Liu arrived at the hotpot restaurant relatively early and there was no one there. He ordered the broth and some dishes. After confirming with the boss that the coupons could still be used, he obediently waited.
Before the boss went down, he turned on the TV in the store for Bai Liu. The TV was showing a noon news program. Bai Liu watched it and saw a photo of Li Gou with his eyes mosaiced over on the TV screen.
On the TV, the male announcer in a suit and leather shoes crossed his hands on the table and reported in a very orthodox manner.
“Welcome to ‘Noon News’. The key evidence for the criminal suspect Li’s crime was finally found… if Li’s crime is true then the highest sentence will be the death penalty. However, before the trial occurred, Li was in prison and was chopped into pieces by a fellow prisoner surnamed Wang who also committed murder…”
The announcer lowered his head, turned over the manuscript on the table and looked up to continue broadcasting.
“Recently, a small-scale food poisoning incident occurred in a private welfare home for children in our city. A number of children were urgently admitted to hospital. After the police intervened in the investigation, they found that the welfare home was on the verge of closing down due to poor management. Thus, they bought many cheap ingredients. Many of these food ingredients had rotted, leading to the children having diarrhea and vomiting after eating. In severe cases, there was dehydration and shock… in this regard, we call on people from all walks of life to donate to the welfare home…”
Bai Liu was watching with relish when Lu Yizhan came in, tired and dusty. Bai Liu saw this standard face of a social animal and knew this person had stayed up late a lot recently. Lu Yizhan sat down and poured tea for himself, taking a few sips. Then he looked at Bai Liu and started to complain bitterly. “I’m losing it! You don’t know how busy I’ve been recently! I’m so busy! I don’t even have time to drink a cup of tea in the morning!”
“Hasn’t it only been a few days since I last ate with you?” Bai Liu raised an eyebrow. “Is preparing to get married so terrible?”
Lu Yizhan wearily waved his hand. Then he saw the news on the TV and his expression changed. He lowered his voice and called over the waiter. “It isn’t just about marriage. Waiter, can you change to a private room for us?”
There weren’t many people present and the waiter was happy to change Bai Liu and Lu Yizhan’s location to a private room. Lu Yizhan’s expression became solemn the moment he entered the private room and he took out a cigarette to smoke.
Bai Liu hadn’t seen Lu Yizhan smoking for a long time. After getting a girlfriend, he became a filial boyfriend. He gave up bad habits like smoking, playing games and playing cards. If he came out then he would furtively drink a bottle of Coke because of his girlfriend, no, now Bai Liu should say fiancée.
Lu Yizhan’s fiancée was convinced that Coke killed sperm and hurt the body so Lu Yizhan was strictly forbidden to drink any carbonated drinks. In this regard, Bai Liu said it was fortunate that Lu Yizhan’s fiancée didn’t know that beer was a type of carbonated drink or else Lu Yizhan would be deprived of his only pleasure of drinking while eating barbecue.
Bai Liu smiled calmly and asked Lu Yizhan who was smoking with a bitter expression, “Should I now ask anxiously what is wrong? Lu Yizhan, why are you smoking? Didn’t you swear you would never touch a soft poison like cigarettes again unless the world collapsed? Why? Surely your world didn’t collapse in the few days when you didn’t see me, right?”
“Cough cough cough!” Lu Yizhan was teased by Bai Liu and choked on his cigarette. He couldn’t hold back a small laugh. Lu Yizhan had a standard handsome and upright appearance that was popular with the elderly. He was a bit simple and handsome when he smiled. “Bai Liu, just ask the questions! Why do you have to mention my black history!”
“Say it.” Bai Liu poured a cup of tea for Lu Yizhan and pushed it over. “I’m off work now so I can waste a bit of my precious time listening to the life troubles that made your world collapse.”
“Preparing to get married is indeed annoying.” Lu Yizhan took the teacup that Bai Liu handed him and fell silent for a few seconds. “However, the most annoying thing isn’t getting married. Did you see the news about the welfare home on the TV just now?”