Bai Liu didn’t stay at the welfare home for long. He was going to play the game with Mu Ke soon. He simply went for a brief sweep around the welfare home before being ready to leave. Yet before Bai Liu left, he needed to have a brief discussion with Lu Yizhan.
Therefore, Bai Liu asked Mu Ke to go home first to wait for him. The young master looked back reluctantly when he left and asked when Bai Liu would be back. Bai Liu simply had Mu Ke take a key to his house and go back first to wait. This made Mu Ke’s father look at Bai Liu in a slightly strange manner.
The moment Bai Liu came out, he saw Lu Yizhan leaning against the entrance of the welfare home and waiting for him. Lu Yizhan saw Bai Liu and couldn’t help teasing him. “What about the young master? He drove a 10 million yuan luxury car to follow you around and kept glaring at me. Since when did you have this type of charm?”
Bai Liu’s expression didn’t change at the teasing. “What is the use of being charming? I turned him down for you and had him go back first.”
Lu Yizhan couldn’t help laughing. Then he soon calmed down and spoke seriously. “You took a look inside. How is it?”
Bai Liu wasn’t in a rush as he answered. “In addition to the poisoned children, there are also children missing from this welfare home. I know about all the poisoned children. As for the missing children, my guess is that this isn’t the first incident at this welfare home, right?”
“How did you know?” Lu Yizhan was surprised.
“The attitude wasn’t right.” Bai Liu calmly analyzed it. “The teacher gave me a wrong feeling. Normal people would avoid places where disappearances have occurred. Meanwhile, the teacher was afraid but still walked through the location, the children’s playground.”
“This shows it isn’t the first time that a disappearance has occurred. It has probably happened a few times for this type of attitude that is ‘afraid but used to it’ to form.”
“Yes.” Lu Yizhan took out the cigarette he had put away again with a bit of annoyance. “We learned from the dean that it has happened every year for 10 years.”
Bai Liu wondered, “So many disappearances annually should have a record. Why haven’t you heard about this before?”
“It is because they aren’t missing. The children ran away by themselves. Even if it was reported in the past, it was treated as a runaway case.” Lu Yizhan’s teeth rubbed against the cigarette, his eyes dull. “It was probably just a passing mention in the records. It would be inconspicuous unless one paid attention.”
The children went missing from a private welfare home and it was thankless to waste time looking for them. There were no parents or relatives to scold and urge them. Missing cases reported intermittently like this would be shelved and only a few lines left behind in the records. The disappeared children all vanished into a sea of people.
“Previously, I found out that the entrepreneurs who invested in this children’s welfare home all recovered from their illnesses and I checked out the welfare home.” Lu Yizhan let out a puff of smoke. “However, a private welfare home isn’t as strict as the public ones. It is more private and self-administered. It isn’t easy to say if the records I have obtained are the true records and how many children there are.”
“For example, if a child is missing and the dean doesn’t report it for a few years then we probably won’t know.”
Lu Yizhan was silent for a moment. “I suspect that these entrepreneurs have problems but now their reputation is too high. It has also been many years and we have no evidence. There is no way to investigate further.”
Bai Liu told him indifferently, “Suppose even if the entrepreneurs did something to some of the children every year. They used such a disappearing trick to make these children disappear silently from the orphanage. You have no idea on how to investigate it.”
“Yes.” Lu Yizhan took a deep puff of the cigarette and coughed a bit. “However, these are human lives Bai Liu.”
Lu Yizhan stared at Bai Liu with red eyes. “I’m not reconciled. The deaths of these children have been classified as accidents. Even if they truly are accidents, all possibilities that this isn’t the case must be ruled out. I am willing to do so but—”
“You have no proof.” Bai Liu watched Lu Yizhan very calmly. “You can’t rule it out and this isn’t in the scope of your work. You coming to the scene to investigate is just nosiness.”
Lu Yizhan was quiet. However, he would soon talk about the disappearances with Bai Liu as if nothing had happened.
Lu Yizhan had a peculiar resilience about him. Bai Liu wouldn’t touch a thing when he knew it couldn’t be done but Lu Yizhan would try to do it as long as he could help others. He would spend his time in vain. He would also pull Bai Liu to do it with him.
Lu Yizhan and Bai Liu talked about the specifics of the missing cases that he had learned and showed Bai Liu the photos of the children who went missing every year. The photos were taken on June 1st every year. Lu Yizhan had taken photos of them with his phone and showed Bai Liu the missing children.
When the first one came out, Lu Yizhan was strangely silent for a while. It was because there was Bai Liu among the missing children in the photo.
“You think he looks like the 14 year old me, right?” Bai Liu directly touched the face of Bai Liu (6) on the phone and commented plainly. “I also feel he is very similar.”
“You aren’t similar at all.” Lu Yizhan’s voice was low. His eyes were focused on Bai Liu as in a rare manner, he stubbornly refuted his friend. “It is because he is dead while you are still alive.”
“Have you ever encountered such a situation, Mu Sicheng?” Bai Liu called Mu Sicheng as he walked home. “In the future, as a player, I will definitely die in the game 10 years ago. However, 10 years later, I am still alive.”
“This sounds like the grandfather paradox?” Mu Sicheng’s voice came from Bai Liu’s phone, his tone startled and suspicious. “Bai Liu, your luck is really against the sky. Don’t mention encountering it, I’ve never even heard of such a situation in the game.”
The grandfather paradox was a time paradox proposed by a science fiction writer. It meant that if a person went back in time and killed his grandfather, he would obviously no longer exist in the future. Then how did he go back to the past?
This was the same situation Bai Liu was facing now. If he entered the game in the future and died in the instance that had a timeline of 10 years ago, how was he still alive to enter the game?
“Is it the parallel universe theory?” Mu Sicheng tried to explain. “This is the most common explanation for the grandfather paradox. Assuming that the parallel space-time that you are in is A, the game instance you see loaded in A Space-time is likely the Bai Liu from the B Space-time who failed to pass the instance.”
“Then you better not enter this welfare home game.” Mu Sicheng’s voice became serious and he advised Bai Liu, “As long as you don’t enter this game, you won’t die in the game and form another space-time parallel.”
“I don’t think it is the parallel universe theory.” Bai Liu was very sober as he calmly reminded Mu Sicheng. “Our ‘reality’ is the official version of the game. The results presented are from the ‘open beta’ in the game world. The results presented are the final result of all existing game algorithms from the beta version of the game world. Theoretically, there is no parallel universe derived from various events going differently.”
“The reality we are in is already the result of all possibilities. It is impossible for it to be a parallel world.”
“That’s true.” Mu Sicheng confirmed it before quickly responding, “No wait, if the result presented is unique then doesn’t it mean you will die in the game instance 10 years ago?!”
“However, I’m still alive now. It proves I didn’t die in that instance.” Bai Liu’s thinking was clear. “Otherwise, the two propositions of ‘I’m alive’ and ‘I’m dead’ will form a paradox in the only space-time that can’t be a parallel world.”
“Then…” Mu Sicheng was puzzled. “What is going on?”
Bai Liu didn’t care about Mu Sicheng’s question. He had already walked to the door of the house and was taking out his key to open the door. Bai Liu held the phone between his shoulder and his head and asked, “When are you going to enter the game?”
“Why?” Mu Sicheng felt like he was going bald when talking about this. “F*k, I’ve had insomnia since agreeing to participate in the competition with you. What are you doing? I can work hard to play 26 games in two months but shouldn’t you at least arrange people to play with me?”
“That’s what I wanted to talk to you about. I want you to help me bring a pair of newcomers.” Bai Liu spoke quickly. “Xiang Chunhua and Liu Fu tied for first in the last batch of newcomers. They both have personal skills and the panel quality is C+. Take them through a level one instance to practice their skills and teach them some basic knowledge of the game. Don’t protect them too much.”
After Bai Liu came back from eating hotpot yesterday, he talked to Xiang Chunhua and Liu Fu. He asked the two middle-aged people if they wanted to participate in the league and honestly informed them of the danger.
However, Xiang Chunhua and Liu Fu didn’t even hesitate. The two of them held hands and agreed tearfully. They only asked Bai Liu two questions from beginning to end.
The first question was, “We can resurrect Guoguo as long as we win, right?”
“Theoretically, yes.” Bai Liu answered. “Still, you can slowly realize your wish by accumulating points in the normal game. The league is risky but your speed at gaining points is faster. You can consider it clearly and reply to me tomorrow.”
Xiang Chunhua glanced at Liu Fu awkwardly, hands holding her apron tightly. The news about Li Gou’s death sentence was being broadcasted on the TV behind her. The news was being replayed and the sound was loud. The entire room was filled with the male announcer stating that ‘the suspect in the dismembered corpse of a senior high school girl has been sentenced to death.’
Xiang Chunhua looked at Bai Liu earnestly.
“What type of competition is it? Can we help you?” This was the second question they asked.
Bai Liu paused for a moment. “Yes, but the death rate in this competition is very high. You might want to think more about it….”
“We will go.” Xiang Chunhua smiled, wiping the tears in her eyes with the back of her hand. “Don’t think about it anymore. We believe in you, Bai Liu. In addition, where else can we accumulate points? Isn’t it just playing games? I belonged to my school’s female volleyball team, right Liu Fu?”