Original novel in Chinese by: 御我 (Yu Wo)
Part Twenty-eight—translated by Minna (proofread by Trespasserby & Arcedemius; C/E edited by lucathia)
Lin Jian Yin was watching Meng as she was being discovered, his heart tightening with anxiety. He could only reassure himself that this was just a game. Nothing will happen to Meng. However, when he heard Bai Xue Chen’s words, he immediately had a bad premonition. He eyed Bai Xue Chen suspiciously and asked, “What’s that supposed to mean?”
Bai Xue Chen cautiously said, “We’ve been here the whole time but didn’t see you. We even thought you’d gone out. But after calling your cell phone, we noticed that you’d left it inside your room and hadn’t taken it with you…“
Lin Jian Yin interrupted him impatiently, “What are you talking about? I’ve been here the whole time, playing the game. I didn’t go out at all.”
After hearing Lin Jian Yin’s statement, Bai Xue Chen and Yue Lan looked at each other and then said, “Jian Yin, you weren’t here just now. At least, we couldn’t see you at all, but we saw that the Nintendo was still on. Furthermore, the game’s visuals were constantly changing. Originally, we thought that the Nintendo had been on for too long, so the game screen was moving by itself. That wouldn’t have been too weird either.
“But as we watched the game screen, we grew more and more nervous the more we watched. The girl and that sword inside could be none other than your and Meng Ling’s clones. The way they spoke was exactly the same.”
“That’s just me operating the character!” Lin Jian Yin interjected, not understanding why they would say that they couldn’t see him.
Bai Xue Chen frowned while reminding him, “Jian Yin, that’s not possible. The controls for a Nintendo are only up, down, left, right, jump, and similar buttons. How would it be possible for you to have a conversation inside of it?”
Lin Jian Yin abruptly froze. While he looked down at the controller in his hand, he thought back to how he had talked with Meng. Every detailed expression and motion, the interactions with each character in the game… How could this simple controller be able to do that? No! It would be impossible even in the newest games, right? The thought sent cold shivers down Lin Jian Yin’s spine.
“Jian Yin…” Bai Xue Chen started very carefully, “Just now, we also watched with growing fear. As soon as we saw the sword, which looked so very like you, being thrown into the furnace, with your life hanging by a thread, we saw no other option but to pull out the cartridge.”
After hearing that, Lin Jian Yin looked toward the cartridge by reflex. The cartridge had indeed been pulled out already and was even placed next to the Nintendo… Then, where is the game image on the television screen coming from?
“The moment we pulled it out, y-you…” Bai Xue Chen was having trouble explaining, “Jian Yin, you ‘fell’ out of the television screen.”
When the message reached Lin Jian Yin’s brain, his eyes were blankly trained on the screen. At the moment, some guards were holding swords toward the small of Meng’s back, forcing her forward step-by-step. Sure enough, she hadn’t been able to find Edward.
She’s so timid. She must be very scared, right? It was as if the swords being held against the small of Meng’s back were being ruthlessly pierced into his own heart. He was so afraid that he started to tremble, unable to imagine what the peacock girl would do to Meng.
Meng: Sword Spirit, Sword Spirit…
A few lines suddenly appeared on the screen.
“Meng!” Lin Jian Yin didn’t care about his fear anymore. He snatched the cartridge, intending to insert it back in the Nintendo so that he could return to search for Meng.
“Jian Yin, wait.” But Bai Xue Chen grabbed his hand to prevent him from inserting the cartridge.
By this time, the Meng on the screen had already been thrown in jail by the guards, and she had curled up into a ball in the corner. Lin Jian Yin’s heart tightened up too. As he fought Bai Xue Chen for the cartridge, he shouted, “Let go! I have to go back to find Meng.”
“Don’t do it! What if you appear in the furnace?” Bai Xue Chen yelled loudly.
Lin Jian Yin yelled back, “Even if I’ll be burned to ashes, I still have to go back for Meng. I can’t leave her alone in that place. She’ll be so scared.”
“Don’t be stupid! We just have to search for Meng Ling’s house and pull out the cartridge, right?” Bai Xue Chen snatched the cartridge out of Lin Jian Yin’s hand and immediately threw it into the far corner, deeply afraid that Lin Jian Yin would go back into that game again. He didn’t want to see his best friend melted into scrap iron.
Only then did Lin Jian Yin clearly see that returning to the game wouldn’t be of much help. Bai Xue Chen’s suggestion was indeed a good one. He reached for his car keys straightaway and rushed out the door because he didn’t want Meng to have to stay in that jail a moment longer.
Bai Xue Chen hurriedly told Yue Lan, “Stay here and watch the game image. If anything happens to Meng, call my cell right away.”
Yue Lan nodded her head in understanding. “Okay.”
Bai Xue Chen worriedly followed Lin Jian Yin out. They practically sprinted to the car. Lin Jian Yin opened the door, sat inside, and started the car. If Bai Xue Chen hadn’t been quick enough, the car would have shot out like an arrow before his other foot was even inside.
“Do you know Meng Ling’s address?” Bai Xue Chen asked with trepidation.
Lin Jian Yin didn’t answer him. He just drove with one hand and operated his phone with the other. After tapping some keys, the personal information of his manager appeared very clearly. Lin Jian Yin read it once, both to answer Bai Xue Chen and so he could memorize it.
“Er… Drive more slowly, please.”
Bai Xue Chen reminded him while shuddering, but it was obviously no use. The red Ferrari was still speeding, overtaking other cars, weaving through them and everything else. When the car stopped, Bai Xue Chen’s eyes were already full of hot tears. It’s great to still be alive!