“Oh…” Shen Xin exclaimed softly, looking at Shen Mu with adoration as well as confusion, “It turned out that I could also retaliate… Brother is so amazing now, I also want to become a more powerful person!”
“Okay,” Shen Mu said with a smile, “I’ll teach you one more thing today——once something has already occurred, don’t regret it. Kexin, in the following games, brother may not be able to be next to you to protect you. You have to remember, no matter what happens, don’t lose yourself to panic. If the other party’s logic is hard to deal with, you can use emotions to move other people. If the other party swears to God, you can calmly counterattack. This game, what card you get has nothing to do with your level. Extremely powerful people may become civilians, and weak people may also become police.”
“En… “Shen Xin seemed to understand, and blinked as she began thinking.
Shen Mu continued to say, “This game, although it looks similar to ordinary board games, but the hidden rules are completely different. The ordinary Killing Game is either for promoting emotions for the purpose of pure entertainment, no matter who wins, or for the purpose of victory, paying attention to the logical explanations. Players who speak well will naturally be accepted by everyone, especially by civilians without additional information. When it’s time to vote and they are still confused, of course, they’d give priority to the players who spoke well. Even if they chose wrong, it’s also respectful to the game. It ‘s obviously inappropriate to choose a player who didn’t provide any useful information or spoke badly. But the Suspended Life Game is different.”
Kexin seemed to finally understand: “Because the Suspended Life Game is no longer a game… the levels of the players selected are also uneven and they don’t know each other, so when voting and guessing identity, it’s necessary to consider that the level of the real police may be very poor, and the speaking level of the killer is very good. In any case, we must also consider whether the player who didn’t provide any important information really doesn’t know how to play at all. So it cannot be like an ordinary game.”
“Yes, so Kexin, you don’t need to worry.” Shen Mu blinked at his little sister and laughed, “Some people will take these points into consideration. The rules of each round of the Suspended Life Game should be different. Instead of racking one’s brains to try and guess the rules, it’s better to keep changing.” Seeing that Ke Xin wanted to say something, Shen Mu added, “Though taking a look at similar games is certainly beneficial, it only works provided that you don’t put too much pressure on yourself and make your thinking too rigid.”
Looking at Shen Xin’s sparkling eyes and eager appearance, Shen Mu couldn’t keep his smile from deepening. After straightening out his little sister, Shen Mu thought of another thing: “Oh, that’s right! Ke Xin, was little 8 alright after I left? Was there any violation of the rules?” Shen Mu kept secretly worrying that with no one looking after No. 8, he may have inadvertently violated the rules of the game and been obliterated by the system. As long as the rules weren’t violated, there was no need to worry about being voted out. As long as the killer team achieved the final victory, being voted out was no longer important.
“En…” When asked about this, Shen Xin’s eyes somewhat evaded Shen Mu’s. “No violations, and also wasn’t eliminated…”
Shen Mu’s gaze froze, but his voice was very gentle: “What happened?”
Shen Xin told Shen Mu about No.8’s various reactions after Shen Mu was eliminated.
“Brother? Are you okay?” Seeing Shen Mu remain silent for a while, his gaze somewhat disorganized, Shen Xin couldn’t help but ask with worry.
Shen Mu shook his head, and signaled that he was alright. A perilous feeling surged up in his heart. Perhaps because he’d been lying down for a long time and his physical fitness hadn’t been fully restored, he was momentarily somewhat dazed. He stabilized his fluctuating emotions, but his voice was a little hoarse : “I… did he never wake up?”
Shen Xin looked anxiously at Shen Mu, seeming to want to say something to comfort him, but finally still shook her head: “Brother…”
However, Shen Mu calmed down and smiled at Shen Xin, comforting her: “It’s okay, he should’ve also returned to reality, maybe we’ll meet again in the next game.”
Although he’d comforted his younger sister, Shen Mu’s worry wasn’t alleviated. He should’ve returned to reality but was he the same as in the game, unable to take care of himself? Contraily, if he’d always been this way then it was still alright. If he’d been able to safely grow up, then he must’ve had someone taking care of him in reality. But if it was a problem caused by the system BUG and if he used to be a normal person in reality but couldn’t return to normal after going back, then what should little 8 do? How desperate would his relatives be…
Shen Mu couldn’t help but think of the worst outcome. If little 8 was still in a coma after returning to reality. Then, what could he do if he’d been alone outside before being sucked into the game. Maybe he was lying on the cold road right now…
I can’t panic. Shen Mu suddenly became clear-headed, and after opening his eyes again, his eyes were already clear and sober.
Right at that moment, a loud noise came from the doorway. The door of the ward was quickly pushed open. A middle-aged man about 50 years old appeared anxiously at the doorway, and, seeing Shen Mu and Shen Xin sitting on the bed, his pupils widened slightly. For a moment, he was shocked in place, unable to move forward.
“Dad…” Shen Xin blurted out.
Shen Mu’s thoughts completely returned to the present moment. The instant the middle-aged man had pushed open the door, Shen Mu could already guess his identity. Now that his sister’s words had confirmed it, Shen Mu and Shen Xin orderedly stood up from the bed. Not knowing why, his eyes were a little hot for a while.
“Xin Xin* is also here?” Shen Yida broke the silence first, very naturally walking into the room, and lovingly asked Shen Xin, “Xin Xin, weren’t you supposed to be at school? How come you’re here?”
*T/N: Affectionate nickname for Shen Xin
“Ah… I,” Shen Xin momentarily felt as though she was still speaking and voting while pretending to be innocent, silently mouthing in her heart “stabilize yourself and we can win”. “My stomach suddenly hurt a lot at school just now so I came by taxi, but along the way it suddenly didn’t hurt anymore, so I thought that since I was already halfway here, I should come and see my brother.”
“However, I didn’t expect that my brother would wake up, but not recognize me…” Shen Xin lowered her head sadly.
Shen Mu quickly said in a soft voice: “I already became familiar with Xin Xin again, and even though I don’t remember, we also have the same blood flowing through us. You will always be my family, and my beloved sister.”
Hearing Shen Mu say this, Shen Yida’s lips moved, confirming that he’d already learnt about Shen Mu’s situation from Dr. Zhao. Shen Mu turned and took the initiative to speak to his father: “You too, father.”
“Dad* was wrong… son. It’s dad who let you down.” Shen Yida seemed to become older in a moment, and finally said an apology in his first sentence, “Dad shouldn’t have sent you to Professor Niu indiscriminately, nor should I… have had such traditional thinking. In the past few days when you were in the hospital, dad and the doctor talked a lot. You are already an adult. In the future, you can decide on your own matters. Go after someone as long as you like them. Dad will support you.”
*T/N: In Chinese, it isn’t abnormal for a parent to refer to themselves in the third person such as calling themselves ‘Dad’, although it sounds strange in English
“Dad… thank you.” From Shen Xin, Shen Mu had learnt that his father was a very stubborn person. He didn’t expect that his father’s first sentence would actually be an apology. Shen Yida was almost 50 years old. He had few wrinkles and thick black hair, but his complexion was haggard. His mental state didn’t seem to be in line with his appearance, exhibiting some of the fatigue and aging that was common for his age. Shen Mu only felt uncomfortable in his heart. After all, his father’s change of opinion had only come about after such a drastic occurrence…
Then the father and son pair engaged in casual conversation for a while regarding matters of family life. Shen Mu had known that his mother Qiu Siying had died of a type of stomach illness during his little sister’s childhood, but only now did he know that it was a late stage of gastric cancer. Due to being discovered too late, the situation couldn’t be reversed. Shen Yida also mentioned Shen Mu’s education. Because Shen Mu had failed too many subjects previously, Shen Yida had sent him to Professor Niu for long-term “treatment”, thus applying for a suspension of studies through the sick leave procedure. Now he had Secretary Wang to once again handle the formalities, but due to Shen Mu failing his courses too seriously, he couldn’t be promoted into the senior year as part of his original class. Instead, he must repeat his junior year again.
Shen Yida lamented: “Dr. Zhao said that you won’t forget anything related to knowledge, but with amnesia, it’s difficult to say when you’ll recover. It may be a week, or a year. Therefore, she suggested that we should do what we can to get on the right track. The school procedures have been completed. Son, you just woke up and should rest for a few days. Wait for your health to become better before you go back to school! People like us, since we have grades like that, it isn’t like we can actually expect you to find a good job soon. But Dr. Zhao is right, we must always move forward in life.”
Shen Mu showed his agreement: “I know, today is Friday, I’ll go back this weekend.”
“You don’t have to be in such a hurry. You just woke up. It’s better to remain under observation in the hospital for two more days. If you don’t want to be in the hospital, going home is also fine.” Seeing that his son had lost his memory, yet seemed to have not suffered any psychological blow, Shen Yida suddenly felt a little uncomfortable in his heart. He’d spent three whole months with Professor Niu, experiencing a living hell. So, for Shen Mu, he was afraid that this segment of his memory was a very painful existence. Perhaps having amnesia made it less tense for his son.
Shen Yida felt distressed in his heart, yet he said with a smile: “Of course, Mu Mu* being so motivated, of course dad won’t stop you. Son, dad will cheer for you!”
*T/N: It seems to be Shen Mu’s nickname this time…
“Thank you Dad,” Shen Mu also smiled; seventy percent filled with warmth and thirty percent bitterness, “I have been through during the examinations so my body should be fine. And… I don’t even remember what kind of major I am in. I feel as though BaiYan’s academic assessment must be very strict. I think I’m going to fail the course if I stay here so I’d better go back as soon as possible.”
Shen Yida stayed with Shen Mu for another night, but seeing that his son’s body had no obvious issues and that his mental state appeared even better, he finally let go of the large stone in his heart. He also repeatedly nagged Shen Mu, rushing back to HuiTi City for a meeting the next day. Shen Mu went through the discharge formalities and returned home with his sister. Soon after, Shen Yida’s secretary, Wang Dayi, paid a visit and explained the school matters to Shen Mu——the procedures for repeating a year had been completed, so when Shen Mu went back, he could directly enter the junior year. A new mobile phone was also prepared for Shen Mu, containing the phone numbers of Shen Yida, Shen Xin, and Shen Mu’s new lecturers along with some others. Shen Mu’s original mobile phone was confiscated when he entered Professor Niu’s network center and was currently still at the police station alongside the other students’ mobiles.
Secretary Wang also handed over some other essential items to Shen Mu including his student ID card, his ID card, his transport card, and his bank card. Recently, Shen Yida had been discussing important business matters, hence Secretary Wang was also busy and couldn’t stay for long. After clearly explaining all the necessary matters, he took his leave. Just as he was leaving, he handed Shen Mu a silver dormitory key, and on the key was a fairly new white label displaying the handwritten words in the style of a ball-point pen: MeiYuan 5-417.
Secretary Wang laughed: “There just happened to be an extra bed in a dormitory on the 17th floor. In order to allow Master Mu to integrate better into the new class, you were transferred to a new dormitory. The teacher gave me a call just now and everything has already been moved from your previous dormitory. You can just directly unpack and move in.”
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