Chapter 6: Killing Fish

Bai Yi died in the bathroom of the infirmary.


When she was found, she was draped face down over the sink bowl, arms dangling limp at her sides.
The aorta in her neck was cut open, and the blood had gushed out into the sink.


After the sink had filled, blood had flowed out, eventually covering all of the white floor tiles.


Bai Yi had worn an off-white skirt, but now it was dyed red, and blood dripped off the hem onto the ground.


The whole bathroom was filled with the lingering fishy smell unique to fresh blood.


The weapon that had slit Bai Yi’s neck was placed on the counter, next to her head.
It was a small black dagger.


Shen Qingcheng might not have known, but the other players who had seen the dagger, and the audience in the live broadcast room, all knew the origin of the dagger.


It was the cheapest item in the game mall.
Usually, only players who had just passed their test copies would buy it.


Bai Yi had died under such a rookie dagger.


Shen Qingcheng: ??? Wasn’t this “Mama Rong’s Silver Needle?”


According to Zhou An’an, they had gone to the cafeteria to have breakfast in the morning, then dispersed.
Bai Yi had received her identity as a kindergarten doctor, so she was best suited for exploring the kindergarten infirmary.


However, the infirmary wasn’t in the same building as the classrooms, and Bai Yi had always looked weak and in need of protection.
There had been a murder the previous night, so Bai Yi had cried and said that she didn’t dare go alone.


Xue Tong felt that, as a man, he should protect her, and naturally offered to accompany her.


“She said she was going to the bathroom.
I waited for her while I was looking around the infirmary, but she didn’t come out even after I waited for a long time.
She didn’t respond when I called her name at the door,” Xue Tong recounted slowly.
“Because it was a woman’s restroom, I hesitated for a while before going in.”


He swallowed hard and didn’t say that he should’ve gone in sooner.
He knew he couldn’t save anyone from ghosts.


It was already good enough that he could protect himself.


Everyone gathered in the hall again, and this time even the man who chose to wait out the deadline came.


Two players had already died in less than a day.
Bai Yi’s death already seemed terribly tragic just from a description.
He couldn’t guarantee that nothing would happen to himself, so it was safer to stay with other players right now.


Nobody cared about him.


Zhou An’an was more concerned over what Shen Meiren had said when he had first walked in.


“Shen Meiren, when I said Bai Yi was dead, you asked ‘so soon?’ What was the meaning of that? Did you know that Bai Yi was going to die?”


Only Zhou An’an and Lu Qi had heard his words earlier.
Now, the rest of the players turned their attention to Shen Qingcheng.


Chen Ge also looked at him in surprise.
Strangely, he didn’t doubt him for a second, but instead only wondered what rude thing Shen-ge was going to do next.


Shen Qingcheng didn’t deny it, asking with a smile, “Do you think I did it?”


“I have an alibi this time.
I was with Lu Qi from beginning to end, from morning to night, from dawn to dusk.
He would know if I left his side to kill someone, right, Lu Qi?”


Lu Qi’s brows furrowed, embarrassed by Shen Meiren’s words.


“I believe it wasn’t you,” Xue Tong said suddenly.
Although his expression wasn’t as ugly as Zhou An’an’s, it wasn’t much better either.
“It wasn’t Shen Meiren, it was–it was some other thing.”


“I saw it.
When I went in, the thing was standing behind Bai Yi, and it saw me.” He took a sip of water to ease his fear, clenching the water glass tightly.
“I just don’t know why it didn’t kill me.
It just said three¹ words with a gloomy smile.”


He took a deep breath, slowly spitting out those three words.


“As you wish.”


As you wish.
Whose wish? What kind of wish was it?


Bai Yi’s death had suddenly become much more confusing.


Shen Qingcheng was not surprised at all to hear this.
He had long known that he had to be careful with his words, especially in this shitty game where ghosts outnumbered people.
That girl had tried to borrow the excuse of “yin” happenings the other night.


When Bai Yi had suddenly said that “it could’ve been a ghost,” he knew something was going to happen to her, but he hadn’t expected it to happen so quickly.


Zhou An’an and the others had already had a similar discussion, so they weren’t too surprised, but instead just dubious.


Just as in Shi Juan’s death, all of the information they knew was one-sided, and they didn’t know whether or not to believe it.


If they believed Bai Yi, then Shen Meiren had killed Shi Juan; if they believed Xue Tong, then Bai Yi had been killed by a ghost, and if they didn’t believe him, Xue Tong must be the culprit.


“You know what that sentence means.” Lu Qi met Shen Qingcheng’s eyes, certain.


Ah, he was being stared at by a dozen pairs of eyes again.


Shen Qingcheng said quietly, “It’s okay to expose my bottom², but can’t you wait until we’re in private to do it? You can expose it as much as you want, you can do whatever you want to it, I won’t resist.”


Lu Qi felt a headache come on.


“Cough, cough.” Meng Tianhai coughed twice.
They were just talking about being exposed, how come it sounded so much like he was going to take off his clothes?

He said, “Shen Meiren, if you really know something, please explain it to everyone.”


“Well, it’s not hard for me to say,” Shen Qingcheng said in a generous manner, “But if you want to ask a favor from me, you should act more like it.
I’m not a philanthropist.”


Zhou An’an, who was subtly mocked, didn’t have a very good expression on her face.


Shen Qingcheng: “Anyway, where should I start?”


Chen Ge reminded, “As you wish.”


“Oh yeah, that.
Might as well explain it first.” He nodded, then casually said some explosive words.
“Bai Yi killed Shi Juan.”


Everyone was shocked.
Xue Tong frowned.
“How can you tell it wasn’t that thing that did it?”


Shen Qingcheng: “You probably won’t believe me when I say this, but I could just tell that the aura at the scene of her murder was different from that of a ghost.”


“Why is this getting more and more incomprehensible?” Someone muttered in the background.


Shen Qingcheng: “In the morning, when everyone on the fourth floor was discussing whether or not they heard anything, Bai Yi said she heard a knock, but none of you did, right?”


Xue Tong scratched the back of his head and said, “I slept quite deeply, and I didn’t hear anything.”


Lu Qi: “Yes.”


“Actually, I also heard a knock at the door, and a voice calling my name,” Shen Qingcheng said, turning his head.
“It was your voice, Lu Qi.”


“Why didn’t you say that in the morning?!” Xue Tong asked angrily.
He’d even tried to cast suspicion on Bai Yi when he’d denied it.


The others frowned.


Shen Qingcheng looked at Lu Qi’s expressionless face and mentally sighed regretfully.
What a handsome face… too bad he seemed to have facial paralysis.


Shen Qingcheng: “What would be the point in saying it? Should I just invite questions about why I didn’t open the door?


“Actually, Bai Yi was supposed to die last night,” he said in a more serious tone, “but she somehow escaped.”


“Wait, wait, I’m just getting more and more confused.” Chen Ge gave up.


Shen Qingcheng gave him a look that seemed to say “you’re so stupid”.
The others unnaturally avoided eye contact, not wanting to admit that they didn’t understand either.


Shen Qingcheng opened his mouth and said, “Let’s put it this way.
Unless a ghost has a specific target for revenge, there’ll be footsteps when they kill.


“First, they cast a wide net.
That’s what those footsteps were.
When you hear those footsteps, congratulations, you’ve been added to the ghost’s kill list.


“Second, they slowly tighten the net and catch the fish–this corresponds to the knock at the door.
If you hear the knock, that means the ghost has selected you and you might as well wash your neck³ and wait.


“Finally,” he shrugged, “they kill the fish.”


Ah, talking about it has made him crave fish head with chopped peppers⁴ now.


“In other words, that thing–er, that ghost–actually wanted to kill Bai Yi last night?” Chen Ge nodded in understanding.
“Wait, Shen-ge, you also heard the knock.”


His voice softened as he said that last part.


Shen Qingcheng: “Well, Bai Yi survived fine, so of course I have my own ways to save my life as well.”


As for how exactly he planned to say he had done it–well, he hadn’t thought of that yet.


No one else had any doubts; only Chen Ge couldn’t figure it out.
Didn’t Shen-ge only pass a single test copy? Where did he get enough survival points to buy a life-saving prop?


Maybe it was just because he was such a big thigh.


Now, Meng Tianhai asked, “Then what’s up with the dagger?”


Ghosts wouldn’t cause items to drop when killing players, only players themselves would.
Of course, it was because of this that they suspected that it wasn’t a ghost who killed Bai Yi, but Xue Tong.


“It’s Shi Juan’s,” Lu Qi said quietly.
“Props that didn’t originally belong to you can only be stored in the game space after the copy is over.
Therefore, she must have taken it off Shi Juan.”


Lu Qi’s words made everyone look at him, and even Shen Qingcheng blinked curiously.


He moved to his side.
“Lu-dage, please explain in detail.” He pushed gently at his leg.


Lu Qi was quiet for a second, then said, “”Don’t move.”


Shen Qingcheng immediately moved back to his seat.


The audience in the live broadcast room was shocked.
They had been chasing God 7 for several years, but they definitely didn’t get this kind of preferential storytelling treatment!


They felt like pickled fish, sour and unlikable, the type of fish that should just wait to be killed by a ghost.


“Bai Yi used her own props to hide from the ghost, then killed Shi Juan and took her dagger,” Lu Qi said.


He had also had doubts in the beginning, until Shen Meiren had revealed that a ghost had been eyeing Bai Yi last night and he had connected everything together.


Shen Qingcheng waited for a while but didn’t hear anything else.
He couldn’t believe it.


“That’s it?”


Lu Qi: “En.”


That’s right, of course.


The other players suddenly realized what had happened.


The chances of a player dropping a prop after dying to another player was only 50%, and Bai Yi actually chose to kill for this 50% chance.


As she had hoped, a prop dropped.
Unfortunately, it was the useless newbie dagger.


Liu Zimei said uneasily, “So Shi Juan was actually the rookie.” Bai Yi’s flustered and bewildered performance had successfully fooled everyone from beginning to end.
But there was no way a rookie could’ve acquired the survival points necessary to exchange for a special item.


Zhou An’an snorted coldly.
“Shi Juan was also fooled.
That’s why she befriended Bai Yi in the first place.”


Shi Juan thought she and Bai Yi were in the same predicament.
How was she to know that Bai Yi was the one who would end up killing her?


It didn’t matter why Bai Yi had pretended to be a newcomer, or if she was actually a radical in disguise.
The fact was that she had chosen to stage the fake ghost attack and kill Shi Juan.


She had used up her life-saving tools and felt insecure, so she decided to kill Shi Juan in order to increase her own odds at surviving.


She had calculated very well.
Shi Juan had chosen a conservative way to pass the copy, so she must be the type of person to cherish her life.
She would’ve bought defensive props.


Even if Shi Juan’s death didn’t get her the right props, Bai Yi could just cast the blame on others.


Nobody knew what to say for a while.


The most uncomfortable person in the hall was Chen Ge.
He had seen a rookie killed by a veteran player in his last copy.


Unconsciously, he had trusted her more than the others.


Who would’ve thought that the real rookie was Shi Juan, who chose to wait the time out from the very beginning.


Even if Shi Juan wasn’t a rookie like Shen-ge, who had only passed the test dungeon, he could tell that she had only been through a few dungeons because she had brought the dagger with her.


Thinking of this, he turned his attention to the man who had also chosen the ‘live’ objective.
He hesitated.
Could this man be a rookie too?


The man was scooping ice cream for himself, and when stared at inexplicably, he hugged his ice cream to himself and turned his back to Chen Ge.
What, never seen a big man east strawberry ice cream before?


“What about the blood and the ‘as you wish’ thing?” As everyone else remained silent, Xue Tong pointed out the key point.


“Does this still need explaining? Can’t you see the similarities between Shi Juan’s death and Bai Yi’s? The person they were about to kill escaped, and the next day a murder you didn’t commit was attributed to you.
In their place, would you want to do as Bai Yi wanted?”


Once he had finished firing off questions, Shen Qingcheng clarified, “But not all ghosts like such bloody deaths, just most of them.”


Xue Tong was stunned by how Shen Qingcheng had suddenly opened fire⁵.


Lu Qi: “Did any of you see the ghosts clearly?”


Xue Tong was at a loss for words, but as soon as he heard an easy question to answer, he quickly replied, “I saw it.
It’s a woman, about one meter tall⁶, with big eyes and a melon seed⁷ face, as well as long, straight legs.
She also has a beauty mole between her eyebrows.”


A beauty mole.


It must be the woman who had appeared on the monitoring screen, a woman who was most likely named Qi Mei.




¹ In the original, it was four words instead (如你所愿).

² Expose my bottom (揭我老底) basically just means “expose me” or “expose what I’m hiding”.
It does sound a little dirty the way he says it…

³ Wash your neck (洗干净脖子) basically means “prepare to be beheaded”.

⁴ Fish head with chopped pepper (剁椒鱼头) is a spicy Hunan fish dish.




⁵ Words like bullets and all that.

⁶ Raws say around 1 meter (一米左右), but that’s a bit over 3 feet, so maybe it’s a typo.

⁷ A melon seed face (瓜子脸) is exactly what it sounds like–a face shaped like a melon seed.

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