Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
The iridescent walls were made up of Survivors who had failed and died, and their thoughts and obsessions were all inside the lights. It may be the most crucial signal in a memory, or it may be a husband’s most precious treasure, or it may even be something that the deceased clutched in his hand just before he died.
They not only had to find this thing before their competitors, but also from the undead to take them away. These undead weren’t the kind of good people who could lend things out with a hello. They had long been one with the playfield, had lost their own consciousness, filled with only resentment and hatred.
“Why am I the one who failed?! Why should I have to die?!”
“Let me out, they are still waiting for me!”
“Why take them away? So that we can die?”
“You… will accompany us to hell!”
Shen Si moved backwards two steps. At this moment, the rainbow light made teeth and claws of the people constantly emitting resentment, lying on the walls viciously staring at everyone, full of indignation and pain. Shen Si knew this was quite a few people who were dragged into the walls.
Those who fell in weren’t really dead, but it was expected that they wouldn’t escape so easily.
“Do you need me to help you get to something?”
Shen Si turned around and behind him stood the familiar person. The woman’s hair was cascading over her shoulders, her injured eyelids looking even more swollen, she couldn’t open her eyes so she could only see with her other eye, and for that reason she tilted her face slightly, the side of her face looking a little harsh.
The woman’s clothes were still stained with blood, but she didn’t care in the slightest. She spoke again, “What is it that you need to find?”
“Because you don’t want to kill anyone.”
Shen Si looked at her, “I mean, why would finding something turn into killing someone?”
“Them.” The woman pointed to the distorted figures in the wall, “They are people who used to fight in this playfield and blend in after death, but, the last obsession keeps them with their last shred of sanity. Those items are props to support them, once they are taken away, they will truly disappear. If one has a strong sense of morality, it is normal to think that this is killing.”
“That is to say, if we take away from them what supports them to stay in their current form, they will die completely and melt into the playfield entirely as energy?”
The woman nodded expressionlessly, her hoarse voice filled with bemusement, “So you’re looking for something?”
“You’ve already found it?”
The woman opened her hand and a string of star and moon keychains dangled from her fingers, there were also bells hanging from the keychains, the bells made a crisp sound that was very pleasant to the ear. Then the woman fished out playing cards from her waist, she held them up to show Shen Si the reverse side, on which a string of stars and moons were drawn.
“Thank you for talking to me about this, I don’t need you to do this for me, I can find it myself.”
The woman didn’t pester, but silently put away the things in her hand and turned to leave. Without delay, when a man with an iron bar roared and lunged, the woman side-stepped the iron bar and kicked the man over. The man tumbled and rolled on the ground crying, but the woman didn’t even look at him.
It was estimated that the woman and the man were looking for the same item and the woman was the first to get it, so the man could only grab it from the woman’s hand. Unfortunately, it was no use.
Shen Si searched for his item in the iridescent wall until he reached the very edge, when Shen Si’s footsteps suddenly stopped, because he saw a familiar figure inside.
It looked like Cha Li.
But why was Cha Li inside?
Not far away, Cha Li was standing at the highest point looking over the place, and he frowned slightly when he saw where Shen Si was standing, and then he let out a bitter smile as if he was relieved.
“So that’s it, is it me he sees? I also don’t want to be like this all the time now to reject the past, I should face it properly, living is something that everyone wants to do, and so do I. It’s also too humiliating to keep feeling guilty about it. Shen Si, I hope you will be the one to end it all.”
Cha Li took off his hat, he bowed gracefully towards Shen Si, like a thank you to people after a performance, his smile was full of bitterness, like he was saying goodbye to something, “Goodbye, me.”
As before, the vortex appeared in the iridescent wall, highlighting an image in which Shen Si was able to see Cha Li sitting with another man. The two of them were sitting on the empty steps, surrounded by blood, which seemed to be the remnants of some playfield opening.
“There’s only the two of us left.” Cha Li said so.
The man across from him smiled a little, Shen Si could see a little helplessness in his eyes, that smile was more like self-deprecation, “After that it’s just the two of us fighting… right?”
Cha Li covered his mouth as he coughed, then fished out a worn piece of paper from his arms, “I didn’t show it to you, did I?”
“My daughter’s drawing.” Cha Li handed the paper to the man across the table, and Shen Si happened to see what was on the drawing.
The worn to yellow paper had a star drawn on it, the star was the color of the rainbow, and it could be seen that the owner cherished the drawing, but there was really nothing he could do to prevent it from tearing. It looked as if it had been rubbed and unfolded again, and it had completely lost its previous brilliance.
Shen Si looked down and lifted the card, turned it over to see that the star on the back of the card was exactly the same as the star on this drawing.
This was the one, right?
“I came in just in time to pick up my daughter from school, and after she gave me the drawing she said she left something in kindergarten and ran to shout at the teacher. I arrived at this weird world in that gap.” Cha Li folded the drawing and tucked it into his arms like a treasure, “Looking at it, it’s like my daughter is with me too.”
The man looked at Cha Li, “What do you mean?”
“Nothing, just telling you one thing.” Cha Li’s eyes were red, “I would defeat even you in order to see my daughter again, I’m sorry.”
“I understand.” The man stood up, he clenched his hands tightly, “I’ll beat you too! I’m the one who will get out alive!”
After that was the fragmented memory, only the last bit of the picture was complete, that was Cha Li defeated the man, but at the cost of losing his own bet.
“So, Cha Li really was once a Survivor?” Shen Si looked at the man in the iridescent wall, “Did his personality change drastically because he didn’t leave the playfield even after defeating his friend?”
But more than that, the main thing was the drawing in Cha Li’s hand.
How in the world could he bring that thing outside?
Shen Si put his hand on the wall, his fingertips slowly plunged in. Just then, Shen Si saw the man in the wall who was still mechanically reciting his lines suddenly raised his head, his eyes were thick with hostility, the rainbow light instantly entangled Shen Si’s fingers, trying to pull him in.
Ripping off the band of light, Shen Si shrugged it off, and the moment he disengaged, the iridescent wall returned to its original state, as if nothing had happened. Shen Si tried several times afterwards, and finally found that the Cha Li inside would be hostile to him when he tried to get the drawing, but as soon as he moved away, the person would ignore him.
It was as if the miser was guarding his only treasure, and only the drawing could provoke him to rebellion.
“The only way to get what you want out is to go inside.” A familiar voice sounded behind him, Cha Li clutched his hat to his chest with a wistful look in his eyes, “I really didn’t expect the item you were looking for to be me. Surprised, aren’t you? Obviously I’m here and there’s another me inside.”
Shen Si looked at him, “So do you have any explanation for that?”
“Sure.” Cha Li closed his eyes and the corners of his mouth curled up in a bitter arc, “For any person, losing a body is equivalent to death, let alone in a playfield, and the one inside is my body, the one that has taken the liberty of remembering my most precious things. It is the memory I least want to touch, my daughter, and… the companion I killed.”
Cha Li put his hat back on, “This guilt has been weighing me down, and has even kept me from coming over to take a look, so it’s good, if you succeed in taking away that drawing, this memory will disappear here, and perhaps it will be a good thing for me and for you. Please.”
With that Cha Li disappeared, as unconventionally as he arrived.
Shen Si didn’t really care about this person either, so he turned his head to look at Cha Li in the rainbow colored wall. That Cha Li was still repeating the memory of earlier, he kept unfolding and closing the paper in his hand, seeing the star in the drawing with love in his eyes that he couldn’t hide.
The next moment, he put away the paper and his eyes became fierce and frightening.
With only obsession and partial memory it pressed on not knowing what was happening, it could only sense danger and was constantly protecting what was important to it.
“There is something wrong with…” Shen Si put his hand down, he frowned slightly, “If you want to liberate him, Cha Li why not do it yourself? Since when can a knot in the heart need to be opened by someone else? Cha Li is not right, there must be something wrong with him.”
On the other side, Cha Li sat on the high wall, waving his magic wand, which made a whooshing sound that cut through the air, like a child waving his arm in boredom.
After a while of swinging like this, Cha Li lowered his hand, his head down, his eyes not quite visible because of the movement and the high hat, as if he was a small child in self-imposed isolation. After a moment, he raised his head to reveal a smile, a smile with a faint mockery in it.
But he still couldn’t hide the joy in the smile.
It was as if he had solved a long unsolvable puzzle, he was almost too excited to press down the corners of his mouth, and all that mockery and helplessness couldn’t compare to the excitement.
“He can do it, right? Clear that guy out of there.” Cha Li muttered, his smile couldn’t be suppressed, “Great, this is obviously my life, and that impostor wants to take the most important thing of mine for himself, it’s so selfish! From today, I’m finally going to be the only me! I’m Cha Li… I’m Cha Li!”