SPO – Chapter 79

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Chapter 79: Disappear If You Lose, Start If You Win

“Yue Qiang.” the one who spoke was Yin, and her tone was gentle, “There are words on the bamboo scroll. Why don’t you keep reading, okay?”

Yue Qiang calmed down slightly, but his desire to return home only grew stronger. The girl beside him did not offer him any consoling words. She had simply reminded him softly about the words on the bamboo scroll. This was actually the best comfort she could offer.

He knew, that the bamboo scroll would definitely tell him the way back home.

Lines of ink marks appeared on the bamboo scroll:

“If you wish to go home, then you must first end the game.”

“Once the game has ended, everything will be shattered, and the player of the game can return to the real world.”

“However, you are not yet the player of this game. This is because the game hasn’t truly begun yet.”

“The game will truly begin when the blue progress bar hits 100%.”

“The game begin logo was a cutscene.”

“You probably still remember that during the first cutscene at 50% progress, you escaped Zhao Yan’s killing blow by luck and did not die. Ten days later during the second cutscene – also the point where the progress bar hits 100% – you will be killed by Zhao Yan in a cutscene! The way you will die is… by having your head crushed. Once you die, your identity as a quasi-player will be deprived, and everything related to you will disappear. It’s a complete disappearance, and not just a simple death.”

“I know these, because the cutscenes were drawn by my own hands.”

“I am not… but I am at least an A.D. There are some tricks that I can rig. During the first cutscene, I secretly changed some things and saved you. As a result, I have turned into a corpse not long ago. Therefore, during the second cutscene, that is the cutscene where the progress bar reaches 100%, you must rely on yourself completely to live.”

“The cutscene… is definite. But it can also be changed! If you can kill Zhao Yan in the 100% progress bar cutscene, you will be able to live and become a true player!”

“This game will also officially begin when the progress bar reaches 100%!”

“Before I die, I drew a portrait of myself on an animal skin. I love this portrait a lot. By coincidence, this animal skin portrait had gotten outside. By coincidence, it fell into the trader Ai Qian’s hands. Again by coincidence, it was seen by you. I feel like this was mysterious good luck protecting all of us. You have come here and obtained the gift we left for you. I believe that you can definitely alter the cutscene, obtain the qualifications to become a player in this game, and kill Zhao Yan!”

Yue Qiang clicked the little triangle repeatedly. Carefully, he read through the ink marks on the scroll word by word.

So he wasn’t the player of the game yet. He hadn’t acquired the qualifications to become a player. He would be killed by Zhao Yan in a cutscene during the latter cutscene. Therefore, if he wanted to live, if he wanted to go home, he would have to alter the cutscene and kill Zhao Yan.

The road home… was very far.

The bamboo scroll then talked about another method to go home.

“When the game ends, everything will be shattered, and the player can return to reality. This is confirmed to be one way to return to reality. Besides that, there may also be a better way: There is a book in the game that is ranked second of the top ten classic literatures of the world, ‘…’. This book has no name. If you used this nameless book, then you will be able to return directly. However, there is a prerequisite to this, and that is you must survive until the game begins!”

Survive until the game begins… become a player…

“The cutscene shall begin ten days later. You must ready all of your preparations. I hope that the things I leave to you will be useful.”

“For this time, I have locked the blue progress at 95%. In reality, calculating by the many information I have left behind, the blue progress bar should have exceeded 100%. However, I have found a loophole and used it to suppress the blue progress bar’s advance. Therefore, you can relax with the knowledge of these information and know that the progress will not reach 100% right away.

The last 5% of progress can be maintained for at most ten days. Ten days later, when the progress has reached 100%, the cutscene will unavoidably arrive. You make full preparations before that happens!”

“I cannot tell you any more information. There are many things that I still haven’t told you, but I believe that you can learn them slowly after you enter the game, and resolve them.”

“Every one of us, wishes you good luck.”

“Finally, please treat my body well. This is my final gift to you.”

Lines and lines of ink appeared, and lines and lines of ink disappeared. When the final word ‘gift’ gradually faded, the small triangle that signified that there were still content at the back finally disappeared as well.

The bamboo scroll had answered too many questions, but it also left behind too many questions.

Why did the world he was in turn out this way? Was Luqiu Ning and Luqiu Duanyi the same person? Also, what was the objective of this game?

There were plenty of ellipses inside the bamboo scroll, and there were the words ‘I am not’ before every ellipse. Had she purposely omitted the text, or was it wiped away by some kind of existence? Who was us? And why did you help me like this?

Countless questions appeared in Yue Qiang’s mind, and vanished.

But no matter what, he could feel that Luqiu Ning meant him well between the words of the bamboo scroll. This was enough.

Moreover, for the first time he had a clear sense of an objective ever since he entered the game!

Alter the cutscene! Kill Zhao Yan!

For all this time, he had been on the passive and receiving end, and there were multiple times where he just barely escaped death. The most oppressive thing was the ever present scent of conspiracy, the kind that enveloped the sky, no, the outside of this box. The oppressive feeling that wrapped all around him was so terrible that he was unable to breathe!

It was only now, until the moment when the progress bar had reached 95%, until after he learned so much information that he found an objective. Alter the cutscene, kill Zhao Yan.

These were things that he could grasp within his own hands! These were things he could do his utmost and realise through hard work!

This was very good.

Yue Qiang slowly exhaled, but clenched his fists tightly.

At this moment, he rediscovered that feeling he used to have when he was playing games a long time ago. It was the feeling where he failed an obstacle, found the reason, failed again, tried some more, practiced his controls, and practiced his reactions. It was the feeling where he surpassed an obstacle again and again, gripping the fate of his character firmly within his own hands.

He did not have any strong point. He just loved to play video games. He did not have anything that was worthy to be boasted of, but he was very serious when he played games. No matter how hard the game was, he would dare to attempt.

He would win.

He would win through his own efforts.

This time, it was the same.

The only difference was that it was just a teeny bit harder, and that he had only one chance.

So losing meant disappearing, and winning meant game start, was it?

Then let’s give it a try.

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