Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
There was no winner in that duel.
Jiang Yu’s body dissipated into the air, and the moment he was about to leave the place to find Shen Si, he hit a wall, and he was smashed to the ground, and his disintegrated body reassembled itself.
Getting up from the ground, Jiang Yu realized that he was being held upside down by a large bell-like object, with a golden light emanating from the side of the bowl, looking very much like the bell in a temple.
“It really does work on you, you really don’t seem to be much of a human.” The man with the burn on his face stretched out his hand, his eyes with a faint coldness, “My ability can only block evil spirits, although I don’t know which type you belong to, but since it works, then you stay inside.”
Jiang Yu reached up and slammed his fist hard, his face looking even more fierce.
On the last day, he and Cha Li set the time for the duel, where they would decide who was the winner in that battle, and decide which of the two jokers could leave the playfield alive. Jiang Yu wanted to live, he didn’t want to die, he was afraid of death! So, he used the little trust Cha Li had in him for so long to replace his joker card with a normal card.
Half an hour before the battle, he burned Cha Li’s big trump card to ashes.
But even so he still didn’t win against Cha Li. At the last moment, Cha Li shouted his daughter’s name and knocked him out so hard that at the moment of turning into light, Jiang Yu communicated with the joker and he broke free from the rainbow wall and killed Cha Li.
In other words, they both died.
Who was the winner?
At first Jiang Yu thought the winner was him, so he looked forward to leaving with hope, but after a minute or two, until after a few hours he was still in the same place, he didn’t leave, and the playfield didn’t change, only then did Jiang Yu understood, he didn’t win.
Then Jiang Yu thought the person who won was Cha Li, because it was Cha Li who killed him first, and until just now he still thought so, so he turned himself into Cha Li, and he thought he couldn’t leave because he didn’t have a body after death. It was okay, he could snatch it.
The playfield opened again, and by taking the body and senses from those people, as long as he did it bit by bit, he believed there would be a day when the body was complete, then he could leave here as the victor, Cha Li.
Cha Li’s spirit was confined in the wall, but Jiang Yu was not at ease, what if it was because Cha Li’s spirit didn’t recognize him as Cha Li? So he began to deceive Survivor, under the infestation of time, he began to communicate with the playfield, and for this reason manipulate the playfield to set down a series of rules in his favor.
For example, how the Survivor stole the important things of the undead, or how the victor’s senses would go to him, or how… he pretended to be a kind-hearted person step by step to guide the Survivors to death.
Later, Jiang Yu found that the people who came in after a certain playfield opened were five staff members in overalls, and he pretended to be an ordinary Survivor to talk to them, which made him realize that the world of unlimited flow had collapsed, and now the outside was the real world, and he could go home if he left here.
This desire to be close at hand made him keep pushing the playfield to open, and that ushered in the second and current game.
The winner was Cha Li, and he would leave here as Cha Li, which was what he had always thought and what drove him to try. But just now, at the moment the red joker card appeared, Jiang Yu suddenly understood why he couldn’t leave.
There was no winner in that duel.
Because he was still alive, Cha Li was also still alive, and the joker card linked their lives, so as long as the card wasn’t destroyed, the host wouldn’t die either.
At the same time, he finally remembered where the small ace card he had been unable to find had gone. At the moment of his death, the black joker card had assimilated with him, the card had been integrated into his body and existed as the root of his life, which was the reason why he had been able to move freely and even communicate with the playfield.
Neither of them died, neither of them won.
Jiang Yu got up from the ground and laughed. A card seeped out from his chest, his hand holding the corner of the card. Jiang Yu pulled hard, the brand new card was yanked out, Jiang Yu instantly turned into a colored light, swept the whole card into the wall, and the next instant he disappeared.
“Disappeared?” The female rushed over, she looked at the figure in the wall, “Gone, not only him, even the memory body inside that was just like him also disappeared.”
“…Hmm.” The male slowly put on his hood and put the mask back over his mouth before speaking, “Did you just see the card that came out of his body?”
“Joker, it was the black joker.” The male glanced at the wall, “We all know that the black joker card belongs to his companion in Cha Li’s memory, but now this card has emerged from his body, what do you think this means?”
The female leaned against the wall voice indifferent, “He snatched that card or Cha Li is the owner of that card?”
“Or, he’s not actually Cha Li, but that companion of Cha Li’s.”
The two looked at each other, they both saw suspicion in each other’s eyes, and they tacitly ran out, one left and one right, looking for Shen Si. Although they didn’t know why, Shen Si also had a joker card in his hand, but it was a red joker card. Since Shen Si left with that card, it meant that the card was useful and might really break the rules of the place to let everyone leave together alive.
They didn’t want to compete with Jian Nian for the chance to stay alive, and would die without even having a corpse remain.
Somewhere else, Shen Si was leaning against the wall and was thinking in silence about the playfield, about the rules of the game, and about the dispute between Cha Li and Jiang Yu.
The one thing that could be determined so far was that the game hadn’t decided the winner, if according to the playfield only one person could be left alive, and both people weren’t dead, even if they were now both in an undead state, because of the special nature of the joker card, they were still considered alive.
52 ordinary cards, 2 joker cards, and in order to make these two jokers can fight against 52 people, the playfield bestowed the jokers with a peculiar ability. But let the two joker’s battle therefore continue to the present day.
“Finally found you.”
Shen Si raised his head, he looked to the side, Jiang Yu indifferently stretched out his hand towards him, “Give me that card.”
“No.” Shen Si refused outright, “The playfield mission is to find the black small ace card, what I am holding is the red big ace card, you aren’t qualified to make me give you this card.”
Jiang Yu’s hands were trembling, so he clenched his hands tightly, nails sunk into his palms, but he couldn’t feel pain, because he had died without pain. He could only feel the dullness, there was the feeling of nails touching flesh, other than that nothing… nothing could be felt.
“Cha Li wants to leave alive for his daughter, do I want to die? Everyone is selfish, everyone wants to live.” Jiang Yu sneered, “Is it wrong for me to want to live?”
“Losing consciousness and being confined in the walls for three years, or being conscious and knowing clearly that you are locked in here for three years, Shen Si, you should understand the difference.”
Shen Si looked at him, “So?”
“So, I’ve stuck around until now, why can’t I be allowed to live?” Jiang Yu took a step forward, “Give me the card, just destroy that card and Cha Li will really lose, he will die and I can walk away from this game, isn’t that good? You don’t need to make a choice or have a mental burden because you don’t know anything.”
“I remember your name is Jiang Yu.” Shen Si’s voice was calm, “There is nothing wrong with wanting to live, and even, I don’t think there is anything to blame for everything you do, for a Survivor who is caught in the world, doing anything to stay alive is fine.”
“But, I also agree with you about that.” Shen Si smiled a little, “You said people are selfish. Yes, people are selfish, of course, including me.”
Jiang Yu looked at him a little stunned, after a moment he looked at Shen Si’s hand, as he put his hand in his pocket. At the edge of the pocket, a red card corner was exposed, Jiang Yu took advantage of Shen Si’s reaction and rushed out, grabbing the card from Shen Si’s pocket. He laughed and flung himself to the ground as if he had been completely victorious.
…Even the fact that Shen Si had a time power had been forgotten.
Win, just rip the card! As long as the card went up in smoke Cha Li was dead! Then the one who would live would be him, and the one who won was him! He was the only winner, the only king!
He hurriedly took the card out of his hand, but just as Jiang Yu saw the characters on the card, the smile froze on his face, because the card he was holding was not the joker, but the 5 of hearts… 5 of hearts?
“What 5 of hearts? Where’s the big ace?!” Jiang Yu hissed and stood up, his eyes red as he stared at Shen Si, “Where did you put the joker card?
Shen Si looked at him calmly, “You traded away Cha Li’s red joker with a normal card, and today you mistook the normal card for the red joker you wanted. Don’t you think that’s a very interesting circular event?”
“I asked you where the joker card is?!”
“Of course it was returned to its rightful owner.” Shen Si’s voice had no extra ups and downs until now, “It doesn’t matter to me who won that game between you and Cha Li because it was your duel, not mine, but everyone is selfish and so am I. Selfishness made me choose to help Cha Li.”
“What did you say?”
Shen Si turned his head to look to his side, in the rainbow colored wall, a man stepped out of it, clutching the red joker in his hand, and in his pocket was a piece of drawing paper that was too worn to see, stained with red blood that appeared black when it dried.
“Do you know the rules of the playfield?” Shen Si’s voice didn’t stop.
Shen Si turned his head to look at Jiang Yu with a smile in his eyes, “The rule is that the playfield will not open again until the last game is over.”
“That’s what you were after?”
“Isn’t it enough?” Shen Si spoke with a smile, “There was no winner between you because Red Joker’s card was lost, but now that the red joker card has reappeared and Cha Li has returned, your duel can continue, which means… The rules change back.”
“The rules you influenced through the joker card are invalidated, and all games opened by playfield in these three years will be defaulted to outside the rules and will not be recognized.”
Jiang Yu kept backing up as he looked at Shen Si in shock, “Invalidated?”
As soon as the words fell, Jiang Yu watched in horror as his body was instantly stripped of its contents, the imprisoned spirits in the walls were released, countless stars of iridescent light floated throughout the playfield like a grand and gorgeous show. Shen Si looked up at those lights, his black eyes filled with a slight smile.
The playfield began to clear out everyone who had entered in violation of the rules for three years, including the dead who were inside as well as those who entered here this time, and all bets were returned directly because they didn’t comply with the rules.
“No, no!!!” Jiang Yu let out a miserable scream, and tried to lunge over, but was grabbed by the corner of his coat by the one beside him.
“Between us, there should be an end.” Cha Li looked at him with cold eyes, “Only one of us can leave alive between the two of us.”
Jiang Yu’s eyes were red as he looked at Cha Li, and he let out a roar, starting their final battle three years apart.
In the dark night, there were street lights shining on the square in front of the store, which had long been cleared. The Special Unit was surrounding the area, scanning to and fro, but they didn’t find a clue. The weather was too cold, and they shivered while continuing to detect, not daring to stop at all.
“Is there really a playfield open here? This doesn’t have any data fluctuations at all ah.” Sun Zhi came to help wearing three layers of cotton jackets, still frozen, shivering, “Xiao Qiu, you found anything?”
“Not yet, not yet.” Wu Qiu shook his head, “But, Team Leader He and Team Leader Ning think there must be something here, so… so we have to check carefully a few more times.”
Sun Zhi nodded, closed her eyes to feel the movement around her, and just then, she felt a sudden tremble under her feet. Hastily opening her eyes, she and Wu Qiu looked at each other, and in the night, she saw the same surprise in Wu Qiu’s eyes.
Before Sun Zhi could say anything, the next instant, the ear-piercing machine beep sounded, everyone’s machines in the room sounded a loud alarm, the shrill sounds overlapped to form a magic sound through the ears. Ning Yangze covered his ears and hurriedly turned down the sound of the machines, almost feeling deaf.
“The numbers are getting higher, something might be coming out, Team Leader He!” Shouted Wu Qiu at He Xin behind her.
“Okay, everyone evacuate the area immediately!” He Xin commanded everyone to leave, they formed a circle wearing enough protection to watch the place, they were too nervous to even blink their eyes.
After a night of measuring nothing, suddenly making such a big noise, in the end what happened?
“Team Leader, look over there!” Wu Qiu pointed to the ground in the center.
Under the illumination of the street light, first a colored mist came out from the ground, followed by countless filaments that couldn’t be said to be fog or light, floating in the air, carrying a dream-like feeling under the light. Just when the crowd was staring nervously at those lights, the first one that appeared suddenly turned into a person.
“Ah?!” Sun Zhi couldn’t help but let out a shriek.
Before Sun Zhi finished screaming, those colored lights turned into human form one by one. The people piled up in this square with a blank look in their eyes. They were silent for about ten seconds, before the whole scene exploded, half of the people began to cry, laugh, and the scene was like an asylum.
Ning Yangze’s head was bursting, and he hurriedly called the Special Unit members to check one by one to pacify the group, although it was inexplicable, they had to sort out these people first!
At the entrance of the mall, Jian Nian looked around slightly strangely, but he instantly reacted to the fact that he was out. He turned around to look for Shen Si’s figure, and as soon as he turned his head there was a gust of cold wind with ice fragments, and the ice fragments pounced directly on Jian Nian’s face.
“It’s cold!” Jian Nian hurriedly wrapped his clothes around him, but even this couldn’t eradicate the penetrating cold wind. From head to toe, it was ice, and he could even feel his hands and feet frozen to the point of pain.
“Shen… Shen Si?” Jian Nian shouted Shen Si’s name, and just a few steps out, he was pulled by a person whose hands were warm, or at least much warmer than his.
Shen Si looked at him, “What’s wrong with you?”
Frowning slightly, Jian Nian rested his chin on his shoulder, his voice still had a trembling tone, sounding breathless, like a pout, “Shen Si.”
“Mn, it’s me.”
“It’s cold.” Jian Nian closed his eyes, and the breath exhaled from his mouth quickly melted into the air, “Let’s go home.”
Shen Si reached out to hug him, because they were leaning too close, Shen Si could even hear Jian Nian because of mutual contact and felt the temperature rise from his subconscious exhale. Jian Nian’s clothes were really too thin, and even though he had been forced to wear a thick jacket, it was really useless in this weather.
But… his temperature perception came back.
“Okay, let’s go home.”
But Jian Nian was very reluctant to part, whether it was being held by Shen Si or the warmth of his body, it was dizzyingly warm. Jian Nian hadn’t been this close to Shen Si for many years, and it seemed like only when they were dating was Shen Si willing to hug him this gently.
Was this a special situation hence the special treatment?
“You win.” Jian Nian spoke.
“You wanted to live, you wanted everyone to leave, you wanted me to live too, and you wanted what I lost. You won.” Jian Nian’s voice was low, “You got everything you wanted, and you’ll always be the one who does what you say you’ll do. You are a miracle.”
Shen Si looked up at the sky, and only after a moment did he speak, “A miracle? Maybe, I’m just trying as hard as I can.”
All the people who left the playfield last night were the dead of the playfield, yes, except Shen Si, the last of the group to go in, all the others were Survivors, and all of them were also the spirits.
Everyone’s words were that they had died, but somehow they lived again and left the playfield, and everyone’s face was smiling.
Although they didn’t know why, they were still alive, and this was enough to make them happy.
“What’s going on?” Ning Yangze frowned and flipped through the report, as he elbowed He Xin, “Team Leader He, can you explain it to me? I just can’t understand why all these Survivors, who were already dead, came out of the playfield. And resurrected en masse?”
“Not all of them came back to life, I found that some of them died in the statistics, according to their verbal explanation, I think the reason those people didn’t come back to life was because their obsessions were taken away.”
“Obsessions are equivalent to life, this is really interesting.”
Ning Yangze sighed, “Forget about that for now, the main thing is why exactly did these people come back to life?”
“I asked Shen Si about this,” He Xin looked up as he took his eyes off the information, “That playfield actually started out with a set of rules in place, based on cards, divided into joker groups and normal card groups for a game similar to werewolf. But three years ago, the playfield went wrong and the red joker disappeared when the host faked his death, and the game couldn’t end. The black joker card and the host fused together and had the power to influence a playfield through the card, so he opened the playfield to start a new game, presumably with an accompanying amnesia reaction to ensure that no one would notice the existence of the old rules.”
Ning Yangze blinked, “And then what? What did Shen Si do?”
“He found the missing red joker and gave it to the fake dead host, allowing the rules of the game to restart again after a three-year gap.”
“So those people came back to life? Why?”
“Because the playfield is a very special existence, no new playfield will be opened until the last game is over. But the playfield was opened for three years under the influence of the black joker.” He Xin tsked, “The old rules came back of course to clean up these things, so it cleared all the new rules of existence, similar to the GM, the game became invalid, and it needs to start from scratch.”
Ning Yangze nodded, “So that’s it, so those who died because of the new rules all came back to life, only those whose obsessions were gone couldn’t be resurrected because they had no trace in the playfield anymore.”
“Then how did Shen Si find that red joker? Hasn’t it been missing for three years?”
He Xin’s voice paused, and after a moment he shook his head, “Shen Si didn’t specify.”
“He seems to have some kind of concern.” He Xin thought about Shen Si’s attitude before, his voice was gentle and calm, and there was nothing wrong with him, but he just wouldn’t tell them how he found the red joker card. He Xin wasn’t going to make things difficult for him, after all, for them, the process was secondary, and the result was most important.
But just as Shen Si was about to leave, he said something that made He Xin somewhat concerned.
At that time, He Xin was already organizing the files on his desk, and he wanted to continue to investigate how those who came back from the dead really existed, and that’s when Shen Si opened his mouth.
“Time is an extended straight line that can only keep moving forward and not backward, for everyone, except me.”
He Xin froze for a moment, and he looked up at Shen Si.
“Whether it’s the past or the future, even now, time has no effect on me, and I’m the only one who can walk through all time. Don’t worry, everything will be fine.”