Bai Liu stood in the corridor outside the classroom and looked around. He examined the layout and confirmed that this was really the welfare home he had been to previously.
There were also three buildings in this place but the buildings were brand new and beautiful. They weren’t old at all. The paint of the various children’s paintings on the walls hadn’t flaked off. The children’s playground in the center of the three buildings also had a slide, which was a relatively large piece of equipment. A separate cafeteria was also seen. They were all things that Bai Liu had seen in the failed children’s welfare home.
Bai Liu looked at the date of the various children’s awards hanging on the walls of the classroom. He determined that this should be the welfare home 10 years ago. It seemed that it was like he had guessed previously. The main plot of this instance was really taking place 10 years ago when the welfare home was just completed.
Bai Liu (6) saw Bai Liu looking around like he was searching for something and gently reminded, “Today is Sunday. It is a routine check day and the children and teachers aren’t here.”
“Sunday is a check day?” Bai Liu turned to look at Bai Liu (6). “Is this welfare home checked every week? Check what?”
Bai Liu (6) shook his head. “I don’t know. I’ve just entered and haven’t been inspected yet. It’s just that my admission book says that every Sunday, all children should leave the welfare home for a full body check. Those who fail to pass the examination should stay there for treatment.”
“Many children who go there every week are treated there and their positions in the welfare home are empty.” Bai Liu (6) looked up at Bai Liu. “However, the empty spots in the welfare home are wasted so they will absorb new children every week. I entered this week.”
Sunday was the check-up day and there were many people who were checked and simply stayed there to be treated, not coming back…
Bai Liu blinked. He suddenly remembered that nursery rhyme where Sunday was ‘buried’. It seemed that most of the children who remained here would be ‘buried’.
Bai Liu was still thinking when the system suddenly issued a reminder.
[System item delivery: Each investor and his child will have a one-on-one walkie talkie that allows a one-way communication.]
[Walkie-talkie usage: Only one-way communication between the child and investor is allowed with this walkie-talkie. It is prohibited for the player to purchase other communication tools to communicate with the child. It is forbidden for the investor to call the child.]
[Walkie-talkie calling time: 21:00~24:00, 6:00~9:00. Children will be busy during the non-calling time and investors can’t get through. Every child can call during these two periods every day. Please communicate moderately with the child and give the child independent growth space.]
The moment the system’s announcement came to an end, Bai Liu saw a huge phone with an antenna appear in his hand. Little Bai Liu (6) had a children’s sized mobile phone. It was only half the size of his palm and had a pink Hello Kitty strap hanging from it like a toy.
Bai Liu smiled. “It suits you very well.” Bai Liu shook the big phone in his hand. “Every night from 9-12 and every morning from 6-9, you can call me if there is anything. I’m always here.”
“I won’t call you,” Bai Liu (6) said in an expressionless manner. “It is a waste of my time.”
Bai Liu had expected this to happen. His forehead twitched and he sighed. Then he gave a solution without hesitation. “I will give you money. If you call me then I’ll pay by the minute.”
Little Bai Liu (6)’s emotionless face appeared visibly shaken as he turned to look at Bai Liu in a hesitant manner. “How much will you give?”
“Billing by minute, how about 100 yuan per minute?” Bai Liu answered without skipping a beat.
Little Bai Liu (6) quickly agreed. “Deal.”
The moment Bai Liu spoke, the bell outside the door rang and the closed iron gate of the welfare home opened. Many children followed behind the teachers and rushed into the welfare home. The teachers were in a hurry to return these bird-like children to their nest.
The two Bai Lius, one big and one small, stood in the corridor of the building and looked down at the innocent, carefree, running and jumping children downstairs with the same indifference in their eyes.
Little Bai Liu (6) suddenly turned toward Bai Liu. “You don’t seem to like children. Why did you fund me to enter this private welfare home?”
“What type of investor am I in your eyes?” Bai Liu asked his young self with interest. “Why do you think I don’t like children?”
—Although he really didn’t like them.
“You are like the slender man. You are wearing an expensive suit with a tie and have a pale face. It is said that the slender man hates children. He will kill children and dig out their organs to eat them.”
Little Bai Liu (6) calmly described Bai Liu in his eyes. Little Bai Liu (6)’s description reminded Bai Liu of something. He looked down at himself and found that he had changed from the appearance of a high school female student to being dressed in a regular suit with a top hat.
Bai Liu found a mirror in the bathroom of the classroom and found that his appearance in the mirror was changed. His current appearance was indeed as Bai Liu (6) said. His face was thin and pale and the two huge bags under his eyes were drooping. His fingers were long and so thin that it was like there was only one layer of skin covering the bones. At first sight, he would die soon. Bai Liu also found that he had grown a bit taller and his hands and feet were uncoordinated. He did look a lot like the rumored children-killer, the slender man.
“All the investors here look exactly like you.” Little Bai Liu (6) added lightly. “They all wear suits and have short-lived looks. They don’t look like the type who will do good deeds before dying.”
“Little friend, your mouth is really stinky.” Bai Liu turned to Bai Liu (6) and raised his eyebrow. “Why don’t I look like someone who will do good deeds before I die? Isn’t investing in you something good that I did?”
Little Bai Liu (6) was unmoved as he retorted, “Are you sure it is a good deed sending me to this welfare home where children keep going missing?”
[System tip: The check-up day is about to end. The children and teachers have returned. Please bring your sponsored child to the first floor of the Boai Building to register.]
“Come on, I’ll take you to the first floor to register.“ Bai Liu’s location was on the second floor of the Boai Building. He just had to head down.
On the second floor of the opposite building, there was a slender-man like person staring at him in the classroom. The man’s other hand was holding a little boy with bangs and he was staring at Bai Liu in the other building. The little boy he was holding was quite cute but the way he was looking down gave him a gloomy appearance. It was very similar to the grown-up Mu Ke. This man was Mu Ke.
On the floor above Mu Ke, an investor with double knives was also staring at the child in his hand. This person dragged a long pair of knives as he paced back and forth through the corridor like the murderer dragging a chainsaw all over the place in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
Bai Liu stood in front of Bai Liu (6) and looked at the opposite investor with a smile. The opposite slender man found that Bai Liu was blocking his child from being seen and he crossed his arms and sharpened his knives like he was deterring Bai Liu. Then he walked downstairs. It wasn’t known if he was registering or looking for Bai Liu.
The weapon was twin knives. If Bai Liu wasn’t mistaken, this should be the famous Miao Feichi. This person was obviously looking for Bai Liu. After all, the players who logged in had the same identity and their appearance was like the slender man. In order to find him and kill him, Miao Feichi first had to determine who Bai Liu was among the slender man-like investors.
How would he determine who was Bai Liu among the investors? Currently, the most standard method was to look at the child being brought by the other person. Bai Liu’s eyes narrowed as he looked at little Bai Liu (6) behind him.
Miao Gaojiang led his teenage self downstairs and saw that an investor was waiting at the exit of his building. This made Miao Gaojiang instinctively want to draw out his weapon. Then the person’s next sentence made Miao Gaojiang relax his vigilance as the opposite investor cursed. “Father, I saw the teenage me! What the hell is going on?”
“Feichi?” Miao Gaojiang glanced at the other person, still a bit wary and suspicious. “Are you really Feichi?”
In a game where everyone’s identity was the same, it was too easy to pretend to be another person. The only way to be sure was to look at the other person’s child. However, Miao Feichi was a person who didn’t like children. He only liked to eat children. He was abnormal enough to eat himself.
Meanwhile, the teenager Miao Feichi was just awakening his desire to eat people. He wanted to eat but he didn’t have to eat. He wanted to nibble on everyone he saw so after Miao Feichi logged in, his first reaction when seeing the child was—
“The moment I opened the door, I saw my teenage self guarding the door and it shocked me.” Miao Feichi complained. “The pervert’s eyes following me weren’t right. I felt like he wanted to eat human flesh so I had him directly get lost.”
Miao Gaojiang wouldn’t believe in the person who came to the door so easily but this person’s words indeed sounded like something Miao Feichi would do. Miao Feichi’s personality was frivolous and impetuous. His extremely high strength meant he acted quite arbitrarily in games.
Seeing his teenage self, Miao Feichi’s first reaction definitely wouldn’t be to trigger a task with good words but to drive away the other person in a vicious manner. The two parties failed to achieve the friendly conversation between ‘investor’ and ‘sponsored child’ so he naturally didn’t successfully trigger the secondary identity plot line task set by the strange game.
Miao Feichi’s personality gave Miao Gaojiang a headache. However, he had to consider that there was Bai Liu with relatively high intelligence in the game. He might play the game of pretending to be someone else by taking advantage of the setting where they all looked the same. Miao Gaojiang hesitated for a moment and didn’t relax his vigilance. He simply introduced the rules of the game to the other party and explored some information that only they knew.
After testing with a few words, Miao Gaojiang was mostly decided but he still didn’t relent. “I want to make sure that you are Miao Feichi. Tell me some important things about yourself.”
Miao Feichi was impatient. “For example?”
“For example, how did we enter the game…” Miao Gaojiang’s eyes in his seemingly honest face became dull and his voice paused slightly. “For example, who was the first person you ate after discovering you like human flesh?”
Miao Feichi licked his teeth like he was recalling the taste. He narrowed his eyes and answered, “The first person I ate was the woman who gave birth to me.”
Just a note that this arc is pretty long, probably the longest arc so far in the novel. It is made even longer by the fact that multiple chapters are extra long, some three or four times the size of normal chapters. This means that I will be splitting a lot of the chapters into multiple parts for my own sanity and the arc might seem even more drawn out. For some people, it might be better to read this arc once it is completely released or it might feel extremely slow.