The Trial Game of Life

The Trial Game of Life – Chapter 22

Table of Content | Character Guide

Chapter 22: The Deceased

Tang Cuo had a long dream. When he woke up from the dream, he was confused, and there was no light in the room, so he couldn’t tell whether it was day or night. After two seconds, he remembered that there was no day in Yong Ye City.

Blurred light slipped in through the broken window, casting a fuzzy shadow on the ground. Tang Cuo lay motionless and stared at the shadow for a long time, only to realise that it looked like a person.

He looked at the broken window to see Jin Cheng sitting on the edge with one leg nonchalantly put up. The luminous sphere at the top of the tower in the distance was like the moon hanging over his head, shining on the side of his face that carried no scar.

He was peeling an apple. The long apple skin fell from between his fingers all the way to the ground, just like Rapunzel’s hair.

Tang Cuo remembered that he had locked the door before sleeping. Now that there were no signs of the door being pried open, Jin Cheng must have climbed the window again.

“You were talking in your dream just now.” Jin Cheng teased as he saw Tang Cuo wake up.

Tang Cuo sat up from the bed. He didn’t feel too irritated as he woke up today, but as usual, he didn’t pay attention to Jin Cheng’s boring joke. He grabbed something to eat, then sat there quietly for a while, letting himself relax and welcoming a new day.

Jin Cheng told him: “You always look so bad early in the morning, surely you don’t eat enough fruits. I told you to eat at least one apple a day, and you threw my words in the trash again?”

I look so bad early in the morning because you’re in my room annoying me.

Tang Cuo didn’t believe in the nonsense of ‘An apple a day keeps the doctor away’, because it was the man in front of him who preached those healthy tips everyday, but he never stuck with them himself.

For example, now, he was peeling an apple but he wouldn’t eat it. He wanted to force Tang Cuo to eat it.

But Tang Cuo didn’t like eating apples.

“I haven’t even f**king brushed my teeth yet.” He even started to swear.

“Then go brush.” Jin Cheng acted all matter-of-factly and put the apple in the glass bowl, then stared at Tang Cuo as he walked into the bathroom. By the time Tang Cuo really started brushing his teeth, Jin Cheng had already started soaking the oatmeal.

He had an electric kettle and a toaster, both hidden under Tang Cuo’s bed together with the red wine ― these were all must-haves for lazy singles. The toasters sold in Yong Ye City’s supermarket were not the same as the ones in the human world. Back there, the toasters imprinted a smiley face on the sandwich, while here, it would be a skull.

After the two had breakfast, Tang Cuo looked at the alarm clock that he had just bought yesterday. The time indicated that it was past 9 in the morning.

Jin Cheng said: “That kid who came to Yong Ye City at the same time as you is really talented. If he doesn’t die, he could definitely become either a skilful trickster or a great man.”

Tang Cuo said coldly: “What did he do again?”

“Oh.” Jin Cheng smiled: “He could really add fire to the gatherings and make very enthusiastic speeches before they go into fighting. Now newcomers in East Cross Street don’t rush to do their missions within the first week, rather, they will spend some time joining the gatherings.”

Tang Cuo walked to the window and looked down. East Cross Street was actually not just a street, it was a collective name for two long cobblestone streets that crossed each other, with a population of about 5,000. As a well-known garbage dump of Zone F, the people gathered here were either the newest of new players, or the weakest players at the low end of the food chain. Now these people were all gathered in a group, and no one knew what reaction they could provoke.

Chi Yan.

Tang Cuo chewed the name in his heart. He could see that Chi Yan really wanted to help, just like when he pulled off his hat to put it on the little girl’s bald head in the arena.

In that kind of situation, no one could fake such kindness.

But does he really understand how much danger it will bring him?

Thinking of this, he turned around and asked: “When you first came, how did this place look like?”

Boss Jin Cheng leaned his legs to one side: “You’re asking the wrong person. I was assigned to Zone A from the beginning. When I was punished back to Zone F, I was already No.1 on the Blacklist. Zone F has always been the same for me all this while.”

You seem to be very proud?

Tang Cuo couldn’t bother to engage him any further. Jin Cheng asked: “So I’m very curious about how you died. Your rating can’t be bad, it must be either A or B. Why did you show up in East Cross Street?”

Jin Cheng’s eyes were serious. His intuition told him that there was something not quite right about  Tang Cuo’s death. But Tang Cuo didn’t want to answer this question. He turned his head and continued to look out the window: “I’m all dead. Does it matter how I died?”

Of course it matters.

There was nothing actually important in life except for life and death themselves. If death wasn’t important, then what was more important? Jin Cheng actually had a lot to ask him, such as whether he passed the final army assessment or what he had been doing in the past few years. As he hesitated for a moment, there was a knock on the door.

The two turned their heads together and heard Chi Yan shouting from outside the door: “Ge, Cheng ge!”

Jin Cheng went to open the door and Chi Yan ran inside, rushing to speak before even he could catch his breath: “There is news about that little girl.” Just now a player came over to tell me that he had seen her on San He Street in the north two days ago. She is easy to recognise because of her bald head. I think it can’t be wrong, it’s her!”

After Chi Yan joined the Kitchen Knife gang, he asked other players to look out for the little girl. To get this after just a few days, it could be said that his effort wasn’t fruitless.

Jin Cheng asked: “Are you going to find her?”

Chi Yan naturally nodded: “Yes, she isn’t easy to find. Now that I’ve caught some news, of course I have to go.”

Jin Cheng asked again: “You and she aren’t related. After you’ve found her, what will you do then?”

Chi Yan was lost for words.

I find her, then what?

Chi Yan really didn’t think about this carefully. He just happened to meet her in the arena after his death and thought that this little girl was very pitiful, so he instinctively wanted to help her.

Jin Cheng suddenly smiled and winked at Tang Cuo. Tang Cuo just thought he was being boring and ignored him, then put his hands in his trench coat’s pockets and walked out the door coolly.

“Ah, where are you going, ge?” Chi Yan asked hurriedly.

“Aren’t you looking for someone?” Jin Cheng patted him on the shoulder and followed Tang Cuo out. Only then did Chi Yan react with a big smile on his face and quickly ran after them.

San He Street was three streets away from East Cross Street, so it wasn’t very far from here and took them about 15 minutes on foot. The players here were slightly stronger than those of East Cross Street, and the living conditions were better but still limited to the restriction of Zone F.

Chi Yan walked very fast, and the player who tipped him was standing at the intersection waiting for them.

When they met, the player said: “I saw her about three days ago. I forgot the specific timing, but if I guess it right, she should live in that building. I saw her on the fourth floor, but I don’t know exactly which room she lives in. I, I can’t guarantee that she’s still there, so I can only take you over to see the place, really.”

With Tang Cuo and Jin Cheng here, the player seemed very cautious and even a little scared. He saw the scuffle last night with his own eyes. If it weren’t because of that, he wouldn’t have wanted to reveal this information for fear of getting into trouble.

Chi Yan quickly comforted him with a few words, and the four entered the residential building the player was talking about. As usual, the rooms here faced the street and there were a total of five floors. All the players that encountered them on the stairs avoided talking.

Being indifferent, distant and alert ― this was the normal state of Zone F.

“This is it.” The player stood roughly in the middle of the corridor on the fourth floor and said: “She seemed to be standing here that day, and there was no one else in the corridor. I live on the fifth floor and happened to see her when I went downstairs. It isn’t common to see a bald girl, so I took a rather long look at her. She seemed to be frightened by me and didn’t even move. She was still standing here when I left.”

Chi Yan asked: “Did you talk to her?”

The player shook his head: “I only paused for a few seconds and left. I really just took a look at her at the time.”

Seeing that there was nothing else to inquire about, Chi Yan decided to directly go to look for her. The method was also very simple: inquiring each room one by one.

But this task finally fell on Chi Yan, because Jin Cheng and Tang Cuo were two bosses who abode by the principle that if they didn’t have to lift a finger, they wouldn’t.

The result wasn’t ideal.

Chi Yan knocked on all the doors of the room. Out of the eight rooms, three opened their doors. Two didn’t open but they spoke through the door and concluded it wasn’t her.

Three rooms never responded.

Chi Yan went to the three closed doors again and used his talent at communication to successfully eliminate two more doors. None of these people seemed to know the little girl, but they would have a bit of impression of who lived on the same floor when they walked in and out.

“Is this really this one?” Chi Yan looked suspiciously at the room at the end of the corridor, knocked on the door again, and still no one answered. He didn’t know the girl’s name, so he couldn’t call it out.

At this time, Jin Cheng finally stepped forward, took out a card and swiped it on the door, and “Click”, the door opened.

Chi Yan’s jaw dropped: “Is this door electronic? Is it a universal room card?”

Jin Cheng smiled and didn’t reply, but Tang Cuo saw the logo on the card — Powered by 10086.

This 10086 was really everywhere.

Tang didn’t blink and took the lead. He boldly walked into the room like he owned it, and Jin Cheng followed closely behind, equally confidently. Chi Yan and the other player came in last. They went in to take a look, only to find that the two bosses were fixated on one spot, facing each other — a pool of dark red blood on the ground.

“Blood?!” Chi Yan exclaimed. “Where is she?”

There was no one in the room, and also no bodies.

Jin Cheng knelt down and touched the blood stain: it was half dry and a little sticky. Turning his head around and scanning all corners of the room, he sharply spotted something under the bed. When he took it out, it was the torn-off dinosaur head from Chi Yan’s pyjamas.

“How could this be?” Chi Yan took his hat and found that there was blood on the hat too. He couldn’t help taking a deep breath, not daring to imagine what happened to the little girl.

He subconsciously wanted to turn back and ask the player if he had any clues, but he saw the player’s face even more grimaced than his own. As soon as Chi Yan’s eyes met his, the player immediately defended himself: “It’s not me, I really just brought you here!”

He just wanted to leave a good impression with the bosses, but he never expected to get into such trouble. What horrible luck. Chi Yan didn’t doubt him either. Seeing him like this, he had to let go.

In the room, Jin Cheng has already made his first deduction: “There’s no blood in other places, and there are no traces of any struggle. It’s likely that she died on the spot and was directly teleported to the prison.”

Chi Yan suddenly realised: “Perhaps she met with the same situation as ge? She wasn’t willing to exchange points, so she was killed?”

Tang Cuo didn’t think so.

Zhang Xing ultimately used the Skill card against him because Tang Cuo attacked him first. That little girl was young and very weak, would it be that she went heads-on against those old players?    

That was illogical.

“Ge, what should I do now?” Chi Yan couldn’t make any decision at this moment. He could only feel that the dinosaur hat in his hand was a thousand times heavier.

“There’s only one way to get out of the prison: either to think of a way to reduce the sentence, or wait until the sentence is over. It’s very difficult to bail someone out, so don’t think about it first.” Jin Cheng slowly turned on the faucet to wash away the blood on his hands and wiped it with his handkerchief before continuing: “If you’re very angry, you can also kill the murderer and send him after her.”

Chi Yan inexplicably felt a chill as he heard Jin Cheng speak so lightly. “But we don’t even know who the murderer is.”

Jin Cheng spread his hands.

Tang Cuo suddenly said: “The deceased knows.”

“Huh?” Chi Yan was stunned, then he understood immediately: “Yes, she’s in prison, she didn’t really die. Doesn’t it mean that we just need to see her to ask who the murderer is?!”

But as soon as he finished the sentence, Chi Yan remembered what Jin Cheng had said yesterday — the warden of Zone G was a man so twisted that even he didn’t dare to provoke.

“If I just go to the prison to pay her a visit, shouldn’t there be no problem? He is a chief warden, and there are so many people in the prison, perhaps he won’t notice me?” He tried to test his luck with this question, his big eyes filled with hope.

“You have too many hopes.” Jin Cheng dropped his dirtied handkerchief on the ground. “The prison in Yong Ye City has no officers, only one chief warden. If you want to go in, you must pass in front of him, which will trigger a game.”

Chi Yan looked as though he’d just eaten a bitter gourd, and his features twisted into an ugly expression.

Tang Cuo frowned slightly, asking: “Is this warden a player or an authority of Yong Ye City?” 

Jin Cheng raised his eyebrows. His disciple was always so smart.

“A player.” He replied affirmatively. “Except for Mr. Crow, everyone else in Yong Ye City is essentially a player.”

Chi Yan and the other player blinked, not understanding what this meant. Jin Cheng and Tang Cuo were not kind enough to explain to them. They just exchanged a glance, then immediately walked out.

Tang Cuo’s gaze swept across the closed doors, but he didn’t have the time to ask around. The player who brought them here also left quickly. Chi Yan looked at him running away then looked at the dinosaur hat in his hand, and suddenly felt like a failure.

On the way back to East Cross Street, a lot of thoughts still rambled in his head: “She’s so small and definitely poses no threat. Why would anyone kill her? It doesn’t make sense, and it’s not necessary either…”

Jin Cheng said: “There are plenty of ways to die, and there are plenty of ways to be evil. Who says there must be a reason for killing?”

Chi Yan’s mouth was shut. He didn’t want to agree, but couldn’t say anything to refute. He had only seen unbelievable things on social media before, and even when he encountered the Wheel of Fortune, he was too scared to understand the gravity of it.

Tang Cuo looked at him without speaking.

After a short while, the three of them returned to East Cross Street. From a distance, they saw a crowd gathering on the street, with more and more people coming over. Someone looked up and saw them, then immediately rushed forward: “Little brother Chi!”

Chi Yan’s eyelids twitched: “What’s wrong?”

“Someone was killed!” The man was horrified yet also a little angry: “We just found out about it. There are two new players who know each other and live not far away from here. Just now one of them went to find the other but only found a pool of blood in the room. And the person in it has disappeared!”

The others also rushed forward. They didn’t dare to behave recklessly in front of Tang Cuo and Jin Cheng, so they all surrounded Chi Yan.

“Yes, yes, we’ve searched around but couldn’t find him at all!”

“It must be those old players who did it. They’re taking revenge on us!”

“It must be them!”

“What should we do now?”

Everyone babbled noisily, and the angriest of them even shouted that they should confront the old players. As soon as these words came out, although the people in the crowd seemed nervous, they didn’t refute, because no one knew if they would be the next to be killed. They were after all the same bunch; one dead man might quickly lead to another.

But Chi Yan shouted out firmly: “No!” 

The young man’s face was unwavering: “Blackmailing for points and killing are completely different things. Everything has its rights and wrongs. We don’t even know who did it yet and you already want to confront them?! If things turn ugly, who’s going to take responsibility for it?!”

Chi Yan being like this had everyone dumbstruck. The group of grown men and women were shocked by this little boy. Even Tang Cuo and Jin Cheng looked at him in a different light.

But after Chi Yan managed to calm the crowd for a moment, he turned to look at Tang Cuo and Jin Cheng, his little determined face immediately collapsing: “Ge, what should your little brother do now?”

Jin Cheng: “Don’t you look like you already know what to do, my little brother Chi?”

“Someone else is dead! Don’t you think this is a bit like that little girl’s situation? How could there be such a coincidence? It’s not like there are murderers lurking around the city, right? I won’t be able to handle it!”

“Let’s see.” Tang Cuo said concisely. “How many people actually died.”

The Trial Game of Life - Chapter 21
The Trial Game of Life - Chapter 23
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8 months ago

I don’t get why Chi Yan is so fixated on saving someone he clearly JUST met ONCE? He gatheted a group and became a cum-leader but he gave the heavy resonisbility to Tang Cuo, and the man’s fine with it?? Excuse me? Always asking fo help and the man just goes woot, gotta help – he didn’t even have that much compassion with Qu Li back then. What are they even gonna do after they find the girl? Carry her around everywhere, dungeons and all? Leave her in a place with the possibility that everything’ll just happen again? I mean it’s good to be kind and all, to still have hope inside, but argh.

5 months ago
Reply to  Lavendidi

I completely agree

3 days ago
Reply to  Lavendidi

No I think ur completely right but Chi Yan is clearly a morally better person than we are. He just wants to save the girl whether she’s “worthy” or not to be saved I guess. Tan Cuo is secretly a softie and he usually just does whatever he feels like.

1 year ago

Haha that 180 Chi Yan did at the end was funny xD
Thank you~ have a nice day owo

1 year ago
Reply to  Michelle N.

Gooooood this is so good I literally can’t even with this pair they are just SO refreshing and funny to readXD love your work! Keep it up!

1 year ago
Reply to  Loni

All caught up! This is soo good! I love power couples~ Thanks for the chapter!

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