Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
“I’m still a little curious to know, what exactly did you use to replace that painting?” Cha Li asked, forcing himself to smile.
Shen Si looked at him, “Why are you obsessing about this?”
Why was he obsessing about it? It was a precautionary measure, of course! Using a Survivor’s ability to find items had failed to take him out, so he had to know what was causing it and get rid of it! But he couldn’t tell Shen Si that, so he had to keep making up lies.
“I’m just curious, I’ve been assimilated with this playfield for a long time, but never seen another item recognized by the playfield. Could it be that you cheated the playfield? If that’s the case, maybe this game can really be broken by you.” Cha Li sighed, “It’s the first time I’ve seen a survivor like you, it’s a miracle.”
Looking at Cha Li’s fake admiration, Shen Si took out the badge from his pocket and threw it to him, then turned around and left, not staying here at all.
Cha Li hurriedly looked at the object in his hand, the badge with signs of age, could see a little maroon rust on it, but the picture on the badge was indeed the same painting, the rainbow-colored star was engraved on it, exactly like a smaller version of… the drawing.
His hand was trembling slightly, Cha Li pressed the badge hard, the expression on his face gradually turning grim. So that’s how…
He not only had that drawing, but actually had this badge, what about the last drawing his daughter showed him? What about the fact that it was the equivalent of her being there for him?… False! It was all fake! He had been deceived for so long, that guy was so worthy of death!
Cha Li slammed the badge to the ground, then he sneered, “Forget it, there are a lot of people left behind this time, let them help me find what I want.”
He glanced at the rainbow-colored wall next to him with an icy look in his eyes, “I’m not going to be confined here like you, I’ll leave and return to the real world with a full body, and I’ll be the final winner!”
Shen Si, who didn’t go far and deliberately stayed close to see Cha Li’s reaction, leaned against the wall as he listened to Cha Li’s words and heard that he had just thrown away the badge. Regardless of why his other self had suddenly given him this and the joker, Cha Li’s reaction perfectly told Shen Si one thing.
The person in the iridescent wall wasn’t his memory, nor was it his body, and he hated what was inside and went out of his way to try to get that thing killed by Shen Si’s hand.
Shen Si closed his eyes. In that case, if the one in the wall was Cha Li, then this person outside was not Cha Li? Then who was this?
The card in his pocket gave off heat and Shen Si opened his eyes. He touched the card in his pocket and looked at it, the third game began, this time the content on it was not quite the same as usual, it even seemed a bit out of place and confusing.
【Find the joker, the person who finds the black small ace card is the final winner of this playfield.】
Black joker, small ace card.
Shen Si raised his eyebrows slightly, thinking of the male who had blocked him tightly earlier. Didn’t he say something? He saw in his fragmented memory that Cha Li’s teammate during the fight took out a card, a black joker, the small ace card required for this game.
If that person was not Cha Li, then he…
Shen Si came out from behind the wall, Cha Li had long since disappeared, and only the badge remained in place.
“Is it the other person from the end battle?” Shen Si looked at the badge in his hand.
The winner of that game wasn’t Cha Li, but Cha Li’s opponent, that’s why Cha Li blended into the game field, but he didn’t know what happened, because that person also didn’t leave the game field, and even presided over the game after transforming into Cha Li. He was ten thousand times more hostile to the undead Cha Li in the wall.
It should be related to the black joker card.
Shen Si turned around and walked to the previous place, guessing that the rest of the people had seen the message posted on the cards. If not for the previous time, this time they had very clearly gotten a message that the black joker card had been seen at the very edge of the playfield.
They presumably had gathered there.
When Shen Si arrived at the place he saw a dozen people gathered together, and they looked a little hesitant, although not hostile, not at all defensive.
“Hey.” Shen Si called out to them, “What are you doing?”
“Seems like we’re all here.” The male who had wrapped himself up until only his eyes were left had a calm voice with his head down, “You got the message about our mission this time too, right? The little black card, which also happens to be the joker we were looking for earlier.”
Shen Si nodded, “The card is inside?”
“Not sure if it can be taken out of it like before.” The male swept a faint glance at the iridescent wall, “That memory is very fuzzy, the card appeared for a very short time. If we rashly go in to get it I’m afraid it will be very difficult, so I propose we cooperate for the time being.”
“Yes, they have agreed.” The male looked at Shen Si, “We choose a person to go in to get the card, and I hope Shen Si can help. For the person who enters, once it gets dangerous then you can rewind time, just a few seconds should not be a problem for you. After the time rewind, please stop this person from going inside, then we will change people until we are sure that the card inside can be taken out.”
Shen Si looked at him and after a moment he frowned slightly, “Is that necessary?”
“It is.” The male looked calmly at the iridescent wall, “If only one person can leave this playfield, I will never be able to compete with the others, whether it’s you or Jian Nian, so I’ve been considering the possibility of other escape methods from the beginning. I will try even the slightest possibility.”
Shen Si didn’t refuse and didn’t continue to discourage. People around began to try to touch the card inside, but the picture of the card appearing was too short. They often didn’t wait to grab that card before the person was dragged in. The clock floated behind Shen Si, when every person was dragged in, Shen Si would rewind the time.
So everyone tried one round, and none of them could get the card out of the wall.
“No?” The male with only his eyes showing murmured, “What the hell is going on? Why not, this playfield is so empty, it’s the only place where you can see the joker.”
Shen Si whispered to reassure him, “Calm down, don’t be impatient.”
“So, is it true that time has gone backwards?” One of the men looked at Shen Si skeptically, “A time ability? Is that true? Or is this a trap you guys set up to keep us from getting the cards?”
“What about the time rewind, we didn’t even notice it, we just heard this guy say ‘no, change people’, and then a different person was sent in.” Another person whispered in agreement, “I don’t believe in such things, it seems like you’re cheating us, your Survivor group is bullying us.”
“Wasting our time trusting you and listening to your command.” The man coldly snorted after he finished speaking, he took a big step and zipped straight in towards the iridescent wall, the others didn’t even have a chance to stop him.
One second, two seconds, after about five seconds, a miserable scream rang out from inside. The people outside watched as the man was grabbed by countless arms, his body melted into a point of light, fused with the whole wall. The people present subconsciously took a step back, their faces took on panic.
“Believe now?” The male closed his eyes and sighed, “Don’t try it so easily, it’s easy to lose your life. But I don’t recommend that you continue to try.”
The crowd turned back to the wall, Cha Li smiled and waved his hat, “Hello everyone, here I am again. It really hurts me to see you all trying in the wrong direction, so I came over to tell you something anyway, I hope you can get a new ideas after listening.”
The male looked at Cha Li suspiciously and after a moment he spoke, “What are you going to say?”
“This wall is made up of the losers who died within the playfield. They are imprisoned undead, without freedom or thought, acting on obsession.” Cha Li looked at the wall with nostalgia, “Their obsession has a dependency, which is what you went to find last time, in other words, the dependency is their root. Let’s be clear. Only the attachment that makes the host stay in this wall can be touched, this memory joker card, even if you touch it is useless.” Cha Li sighed, “Because he is only a memory in the incidental, rather than an important dependency, so you can’t take out.”
The scene was dead silent as the crowd looked at each other, their faces overflowing with doubt.
“You’re saying we’re doing all this for nothing?”
“Yes, I came here to make you guys stop putting in unnecessary effort.” Cha Li’s voice was lilting, like he was truly looking out for them, “To find the joker don’t limit yourself to this wall, because the joker won’t leave.”
The male frowned slightly, the lack of target made his whole person present a low pressure.
Shen Si looked at Cha Li, and after a moment he turned his head to look at the man next to him, “Can you give me a card?”
“A card? What card?” The male froze for a moment.
“You’ve collected a lot of them, right? I want a flame card.” Shen Si looked at him, “I’m going to verify something.”
The male frowned at Shen Si, after a moment he nodded and fished a card out of his pocket. He put the card into Shen Si’s hand, Shen Si looked at it; the name on the card was: Flame.
Time paused, Shen Si flipped the card, the next instant, the card ignited with flames. In the paused time, Shen Si put the card into the palm of the stalled Cha Li’s hand, he took three steps backwards to make sure the flames wouldn’t reach him and snapped his fingers. Time returned and the fierce flames rose in Cha Li’s hand.
“Ah! It’s hot!” Cha Li flung his hand violently, the card fell from his hand to the ground, and amidst the flames, Shen Si looked at Cha Li calmly. His hand was unharmed and the flames couldn’t harm him, but… he could feel the heat.
Cha Li could feel the heat, but not the pain, and his body wouldn’t be hurt.
Everyone would choose a bet when they enter the playfield, and most of the third item in the bet was senses, such as taste, smell or even pain, so was it that he would get a sense after every bet was taken away? No, if so, he could collect all the senses in one playfield, that would be too easy.
Shen Si stopped in his tracks and he clenched his hand tightly, his black eyes taking on a hint of anger.
Not everyone who chose a bet would be available to him after a defeat, but only the winner.
The bets of those playfield winners would be taken away by him and become his own body senses, Cha Li in this way took their senses from the hands of the winners and installed them in his own body. He would feel hot because he got Jian Nian’s temperature perception.
Just then, a large bird swooped by, Shen Si looked towards the bird’s location and the familiar flying bird landed on his shoulder.
“Shen Si, can you hear me?” Jian Nian’s voice suddenly came out of the bird’s beak.
Shen Si blinked, “I can hear it, but why is it a bird?”
“I used other prop cards as a phone, but none of these cards work.” Jian Nian complained very nonchalantly about his luck before speaking to Shen Si about business, “Before you asked me to find joker, no joker exists in the underground playfield, but I have some news here.”
“When you said joker I suddenly felt a little familiar, and finally after finding some of the objects I did find something in this playfield.” Jian Nian said, “I was looking for something when I found that a person’s memory wasn’t quite right, he’s been probably undead since a very long time ago, the items in his hands were very worn out, and his memory was very fragmented. But in the broken words, one sentence was very clear, he said: The joker is Jiang Yu.”
Shen Si paused for a moment, “The joker is Jiang Yu? What do you mean?”
“I’m not sure who Jiang Yu is, but this sentence reminds me of a game we saw on TV before.” Jian Nian recalled the details, “I remember that game was in a dark place for a group of people to play roles in which there were two bad guys inside and the bad guys would kill the others and the others were responsible for catching the two bad guys.”
“Very similar.” Jian Nian made a summary, “Once you think in this direction, the memory I saw seemed to instantly connect, and that sentence becomes logical. The joker is the bad guy who is going to kill everyone in this game field, they are mixed among the survivors, and the survivors will be killed if they can’t find the joker.”
Shen Si frowned slightly, “Then this joker is a Survivor or that the game field randomly placed in the role?”
“It’s not clear, after leaving this playfield my memory was erased, so it’s difficult to determine whether this is the nature of this playfield or to make me forget about it.” Jian Nian voiced his suspicion, “Especially since this time the game lets us find jokers. I feel something’s not right. Shen Si, be careful.”
“You mean there’s a joker in our midst that will kill at some point?”
“Don’t be afraid of the eventuality.” Jian Nian sighed, “In fact, after entering this playfield I thought a lot, such as what I should do if it’s true that only one person can leave. I actually thought that when the time comes I will definitely let you leave, but then I think that this will definitely be beaten by you.”
Shen Si looked over his shoulder at the bird of prey and brought a little smile to his eyes, “And why do you think so?”
“…Because last time I took out all the people to get out of here.” Jian Nian’s voice was a little lower, “I was the final winner and the only person in that game who survived to the end.”
“Don’t worry.” Shen Si’s voice had a bit of gentleness in it, “Believe me, we’ll all get out of here safely with what you lost.”
Jian Nian sat on the floor, “Really? Shen Si you want a lot.”
“You do.” Jian Nian muttered in a small voice, “You want to live, you want everyone to leave, you want me, and you want what I’ve lost… You’re really greedy.”
Even his greed was so appealing.
The flying bird fluttered its wings and left. Shen Si turned to leave the place, as he intended to go back and go over Cha Li’s memories a few more times. He was now very convinced that there must be something wrong with Cha Li, whether it was inside or outside the walls.
When Shen Si arrived at the place he realized that all the people who were here before had left, leaving only a flame card lying alone in place. Shen Si reached out and picked up the flame card, then he looked inside the wall. In the middle of the light, Cha Li’s story continued to play out.
On a hillside with his teammate showing his daughter’s drawing paper and telling him that he would never go soft and would definitely be the final winner, the whole scene was very short and the focus was all on his daughter’s drawing.
Then Shen Si went to see the screen where the black joker appeared, though only for a fragmented moment. Cha Li’s companion fished out the card from his pocket, which showed a black joker with the word joker blurred. But it was indeed the joker, because the style was exactly the same as the red joker Shen Si got.
“You’re still looking at this memory, I actually think you should go look around and maybe you’ll find it.” A familiar voice sounded behind him, Shen Si didn’t turn around as he continued to stare inside, taking in all the details.
“How nostalgic.” Cha Li walked to Shen Si’s side, looked inside, his eyes taking on some nostalgia, “I was so innocent at that time, I thought that if I worked hard I could get everything, if I worked hard I could get out of here alive.”
Shen Si gave him a look, “Do you still want to go home to see your daughter now?”
“It’s been more than three years, I guess my daughter probably doesn’t remember me anymore.” Cha Li laughed bitterly, “It’s so upsetting.”
Daughter… he didn’t call her name…
“You think too much.”
“It’s my failure as a father that I couldn’t grow up with her.” Cha Li looked at the drawing with a little gentleness in his eyes, “I’ve actually been thinking about when I could leave here and see them, my wife and child.”
Shen Si’s face was expressionless as he turned his eyes back, then he pointed to another person sitting with Cha Li, “Is this your companion?”
“Yes, he was a very nice person.” Cha Li looked at the figure, “He helped me a lot since I entered the playfield. I was able to survive until the end thanks to his help, but, I actually killed him to stay alive, I am stuck here probably because of that. Maybe when my guilt disappears, I can really let go of it.”
But companion was a very strange word, Cha Li said at the beginning, this game field was a one-on-one battle. With two people, inevitably one would lose the bet, the subsequent games would also be the same, the players would be reduced to more than half of the people almost every time. In this extreme situation there was no trust to speak of.
Why did this companion appear? Two strangers who suddenly have a heart to heart? With the clarity that only one would make it out alive, this was simply not going to happen.
“What’s his name?”
“Name?” Cha Li thought for a moment, “His name is Jiang Yu.”
“Who?” Shen Si turned his head to look at him.
Cha Li was taken aback, he took a step back, clutching his magic hat in some confusion, “…Jiang Yu ah, why are you reacting so much?”
“My cousin is also named Jiang Yu.” Shen Si turned his head and continued to look at the memory, “But think about it should be a coincidence, since my cousin didn’t enter the infinite flow world, and this name is really common. I just didn’t expect to see the same name here.”
“Is that so?” Cha Li smiled a little, “Good luck then, I’ll leave now.”
Shen Si didn’t reply, and Cha Li was used to Shen Si’s ignorance by now, so he didn’t care.
He came in contact with Shen Si frequently only because Shen Si had enough strength that he might be able to become the winner of this game and might even help him find the joker card. That’s why he showed up. Of course, it wasn’t just him. The person who entered the playfield for the second time in the underground playfield also possessed enough potential.
The person who contributed temperature perception to him, this time helped him find the joker card again. Everything was for him to be able to safely return to the real world!
The surroundings were quiet, without so much as a breeze, Shen Si quietly stood there, eyes brought a little bit of understanding.
“Jiang Yu is the joker.”
That would make sense.
If what Jian Nian said was right, in the past the game mode, this playfield wasn’t like this, but similar to the type of werewolf killing game. Each person had a card, among which there would be two people whose cards were jokers, the big king and the small king representing that they would be the antagonists of all Survivors.
Either the other common cards killed the joker or the joker extinguished all the common cards.
Cha Li and Jiang Yu were partners because they each had a joker, Jiang Yu was the small king and Cha Li was the big king, and they combined their efforts to take out everyone and decide on the one who would ultimately win because the rules required it.
The winner being Cha Li or Jiang Yu was no longer important, the important thing was that Cha Li was dead. He melted into the iridescent wall filled with obsession. Jiang Yu couldn’t leave, he lost his body, but also formed into Cha Li’s appearance. He was full of hostility to the Cha Li in the wall, he was through the playfield to assemble a body for himself, thinking he would definitely leave one day.
Then… Shen Si felt the red joker card from his pocket and then looked at Cha Li in the wall who kept looking at the drawing from his daughter. This red joker card was his.