Chapter 3 ~ First Game Pt.3 ~
Public opinion seemed to change instantly at the little boy’s appearance.
Among the passersby, who were onlookers, many of them were residents in the neighborhood and they recognized the boy.
“Isn’t this kid, Hu Zi, from the house in front?” ¹
These people looked at the old grandma on the ground again.
They also remembered what this old woman did back then.
“I remember now. This is Mrs. Zhao and she fell on the ground back then, was saved by Hu Zi’s mother, and then extorted them for money. She blamed the boy’s mother for crashing into her.”
“I remember this too. She extorted them for over 1 million dollars, right?”
“Probably around that much. Hu Zi’s parents committed suicide because of this.”
As soon as public opinion turned, the crowd’s attitude towards the old woman lying on the ground and scolding everyone also changed.
“Mrs. Zhao, you’re taking advantage of your age again! You’re embittering good samaritans!”
“I saw that Mrs. Zhao fell on her own. This lady here came over on her own to help.”
“Didn’t you hear that this lady wanted to wait for a doctor? And yet you still scold her for not having a good heart. In my eyes, old lady, you’re the one without a good heart.”
However, there were also different voices among them.
There was a passerby who wasn’t clear on the truth, heard these criticisms, and said, “Why are you all treating an elderly person like this? Do you know this is public opinion abuse? An elderly person fell on the ground and no one’s hurrying to help them up.”
“Then you help her up.”
The passerby who just spoke didn’t dare to speak anymore.
In this day and age there were too many incidents where a good samaritan helped someone only to be extorted for money after, so how would he dare to help.
Gu Yian was already approaching the little boy when everyone else was discussing the boy’s family affairs and diverted his attention.
“So your name is Hu Zi? Can I call you Hu Zi?”
The little boy was glaring with resentment at the old woman, who ignored the surrounding voices and was still cursing loudly instead.
After the boy noticed that Gu Yian came beside him, his first words were, “Big sister, don’t help her. She’s a bad person.”
Gu Yian crouched down, meeting the little boy’s line of sight, and said, “Okay. Big sister knows she’s a bad person.”
The boy looked at the old woman on the ground again, his eyes becoming full of anger and rage as if he was itching to kill her.
Gu Yian called his name, “Hu Zi.”
The little boy turned his head to look at her.
Gu Yian told him seriously, “Don’t let bad people affect you. It’s not worth it.”
The boy heard her words and was stunned.
His gaze seemed to see someone else through Gu Yian.
He suddenly turned around, diving into the crowd, and ran.
Gu Yian immediately shifted her eyes to where Brother Zhang stood.
The space where Brother Zhang and the four new players stood was empty. They realized that the little boy was a key character and chased after him right away.
At this time, the sound of the ambulance came from a distance.
After the old woman who was cursing everyone on the ground heard the ambulance, her cursing weakened slightly, and she started clawing around herself.
The onlookers were afraid of getting involved and were some ways away from her. When the old woman grabbed at air, her cursing became even nastier to hear.
Someone suddenly said, “The ambulance is here.”
When the old woman lying on the ground heard this, she stopped cursing people, placed one hand on the ground, turned to the side, and stood up quickly.
The nimbleness of her hands and feet made the onlookers stare dumbfounded.
The old woman squinted her eyes, sweeping over everyone around her in a circle, but when she didn’t see the pretty girl from earlier she angrily swore a few dirty phrases.
There were some onlookers who berated her for staging an accident to extort money, but there wasn’t any shame on the old woman’s face and she swaggered away in full view of everyone.
When the figure of the old woman disappeared around the alley corner Gu Yian, who had been hiding behind a middle-aged couple, showed her gratitude and sincerely thanked them.
The husband of the middle-aged couple, seeing such a pretty girl thank him, scratched his face sheepishly. His wife noticed this and pinched his waist as hard as she could.
Gu Yian didn’t want to be the cause of a quarrel between this married couple and she quickly walked away in the opposite direction of the old woman just now.
On the way, there was a gossipy aunt who wanted to make conversation with Gu Yian, but Gu Yian smiled slightly and declined politely.
After a short while, the ambulance arrived but didn’t see anyone who needed help.
There was a good samaritan who told the paramedic in the ambulance the whole story.
The ambulance didn’t stay for long and drove away again.
Gu Yian walked for a while and discovered that she seemed to be close to the moss-covered alley that they all walked out of at the beginning.
At the alley entrance, a male player poked his head out and greeted Gu Yian.
Gu Yian raised an eyebrow.
Shouldn’t they be with Brother Zhang and chasing the little boy called Hu Zi who ran? Why was he here?
Did this mean they caught up or that they didn’t catch up?
Gu Yian turned into this small alley with doubts.
What appeared in Gu Yian’s sight was the little boy, who had displeasure written all over his face, and the players beside him who were at their wits end.
Brother Zhang stood up. Before Gu Yian appeared, he seemed to have been crouched down trying to coax the boy.
Unfortunately, seeing Brother Zhang’s furrowed brows, it was clear he hadn’t made any progress at all.
When the little boy saw Gu Yian appear, his eyes lit up and he ran over to her side, one hand holding her arm and the other empty one pointing at Brother Zhang and the other players, complaining about them to her.
“Big sister, these people insist they’re your friends and they’re forcing me to answer questions.”
Gu Yian looked at the players across from her and their expressions were ashamed, even Brother Zhang had an awkward appearance.
Gu Yian’s eyes swept over the wall of one side of the alley. The height of the wall was about two meters and maybe because it was old but there were some places that were concaved.
She had some thoughts in her head.
Gu Yian stretched out a hand to rub the little boy’s head. “Hu Zi, they really are my friends. Big sister will apologize on their behalf, they weren’t doing it deliberately. They were just worried about what sort of person the old grandma I met is and so they looked for you to ask questions.”
She guessed that what Brother Zhang and the others asked was how the boy’s parents were forced to death by the swindling old grandma.
The boy heard this and wasn’t as shut off from Brother Zhang and the others. He withdrew his hand that was pointing at them.
Upon seeing this, Brother Zhang walked up to Gu Yian and followed her words just now. “Hu Zi, we were also worried about Little Gu encountering trouble, so that’s why we chased after you to ask questions. Look at how she’s just a single woman and how dangerous that is and how easy it is to be scammed by someone.”
Gu Yian was impressed with his thick skin.
The little boy hesitated for a moment and then said to Gu Yian, “Big sister, that person won’t give up until you’re framed. I’m sure they’re asking all around right now about where you’re staying. Big sister, you should hurry and leave.”
Brother Zhang interrupted, “How could we do that? We can’t let that sort of person continue breaking the law. If she extorted our friend today, then she could extort another good samaritan tomorrow. People like her are stuck in their ways and should go to jail.”
The boy looked at Brother Zhang suspiciously.
Brother Zhang put on a righteous expression and looked at the other four new players before saying to the little boy, “Those four friends think the same. Hu Zi, help us. We’ll look for evidence together and we’ll send that old woman to jail.”
One of those four new players still had a brain that could keep up and, realizing that the boy only trusted good people, he immediately added to Brother Zhang’s words, “That’s right, we can’t stand that old woman’s behavior either. Let’s find evidence together and send that old woman to jail.”
Someone gave a demonstration and so the other three, no matter how stupid they were, also knew what to do at this time. They echoed each other, one after another, as if they were incarnations of justice.
The little boy looked at Gu Yian.
Brother Zhang and the other players looked at her expectantly.
Gu Yian considered for a while and then said, “I’m still a bit afraid, even now, thinking about what would have happened if I had really been framed by that old woman. We’re just a couple of friends traveling with no money but lots of time, so it’d be nice if we’re able to use this free time to do something truly meaningful. Hu Zi, we have to let those people who do bad things get the punishment they deserve.”
The little boy bit his lip.
“My house has space. Everyone can live at my place first, so that they don’t find you.”
A place to stay was successfully sorted out.
The boy walked over to a certain part of the wall in front of everyone. He jumped and practiced hands grabbed the protrusions on the wall and, just like a gecko, he reached the top of the wall in a blink.
The boy waved his hand at the top, mouthing, “Quick.”
Seeing this scene, Gu Yian’s eyes involuntarily shook.
Perhaps, after the six of them appeared in the small alley of this world, they had always been under the boy’s eyes.
She had noticed the little boy’s oddness early on, but in this second Gu Yian felt that he was a bit scary.
Brother Zhang and Gu Yian weren’t far apart and, seeing Gu Yian’s uncertain gaze, he said lowly, “Be glad you didn’t stay here at the very beginning.”
What did that mean?
Was this a roundabout way of telling her that the little boy truly was frightening?
Gu Yian also replied quietly, “Be glad you were able to pretend to be a good person in time.”
It was clear that the little boy they met was no ordinary person. If Brother Zhang and the other players didn’t show their goodness in time, then they would have been disliked by the boy.
As for what would happen if someone was disliked by the boy, Gu Yian had no way of knowing this.
When Gu Yian and the others climbed over the wall, they ended up in the small courtyard of the boy’s house.
The structure of this house was three rooms that surrounded a small courtyard.
The boy had them sit on a stone bench in the courtyard before going off to get tea.
Gu Yian intended to help but was declined by the little boy.
The six of them sat on a stone bench around a stone table.
At first, none of them said anything.
The most talkative male player took the initiative to break the silence, asking, “Brother Zhang, what’s going on? Why do we have to follow this kid?”
Brother Zhang sat quietly with looking to the side and didn’t speak.
Gu Yian smiled. “You still don’t understand? Because this is what our mission is.”
Brother Zhang glanced at Gu Yian and still didn’t speak.
The female player, who had wanted to talk to Gu Yian but hesitated earlier, now opened her mouth to ask, “Um, Little Gu, what exactly is our mission? Is it really what you said about pleasing God?”
She avoided looking in Brother Zhang’s direction and the other three players did the same.
Gu Yian looked at the four players waiting for an explanation and said, “After experiencing what happened just earlier, you can think for yourself a little. Don’t be influenced by Brother Zhang or my words.”
The four new players looked at each other with difficult expressions.
Right now, their minds were a complete mess. How would they know where to start analyzing?
Gu Yian read their thoughts from their faces.
She thought for a moment and then said, “This is a game, understand? You’re all players.”
She was greeted with four blank faces.
Gu Yian made an analogy. “You could say that, right now, we’re playing a six-person team game. The plot for this game is already prepared and it’s just waiting for us to trigger it. Got it?”
Only one female player was still a bit confused, but the other three new players understood Gu Yian’s words.
The talkative male player asked, full of excitement, “So, the event we triggered was the old woman staging an accident and, following that staged accident, we found this clue of the little boy. After this, we can follow the boy, trigger other events, and slowly reach the end of this game.”
Gu Yian nodded and concluded, “God is merciful and has already shown us the way out.”
But at this point the male player looked puzzled and asked, “Little Gu, since you guessed the way to trigger events, why did you split up with us back there?”
“I didn’t guess it at the beginning and just thought of it now. The reason I separated from everyone is simple.”
Gu Yian smiled. “It was to add more drama to myself and to please God.”
This was God’s Game.
She hoped that God, after seeing her efforts in fawning over them, would let her smoothly clear the game.
The girl’s voice crossed a long distance and, by the time it reached the house, it was almost inaudible.
The little boy stood in a shadow that the sun couldn’t find and smiled, eyes curving.
He truly was pleased.
¹ I decided to keep Hu Zi in pinyin but it’s written as 虎子 and doubles as a meaning for a mischievous kid, so like a rascal who does harmless pranks. For all intents and purposes, everyone treats this like his name but it’s more like a nickname and it’s not his real name.