last edited on ZLT: 08.12.22
This translation is hosted at ZHANLANN.COM
Ai Bei’s reply shattered #2’s last hopes.
So everything that happened in this world, and every act of kindness towards him was just an act? His gut feelings were right, the virtual world had never once confused her, she had always managed to differentiate this from reality.
Unlike him, he had been thoroughly deluded.
#2’s eyes became bloodshot. He wanted to walk over to the glass hallway, to rush over to where she was and chain her down.
He wasn’t going to let her win, he wasn’t going to let her go so easily!
His phobia of heights however made it seem as though his legs were filled with lead, and his foot had been nailed to the ground; no matter how much he wanted to, he couldn’t take a further step forward.
This phobia that he had been born with was not something he could overcome in a matter of minutes.
Even if he could no longer see how high they were up in the air, nor the restaurant — the surroundings had thoroughly dissipated into nothing but a meaningless backdrop. The only thing that he could see now was her. Even so, he couldn’t bring himself to move forward.
And he was unresigned about it, he was terribly disgruntled by what had played out—
Suddenly, he seemed to have noticed that the person that had abandoned him was a little closer to him than she was a moment before. He seemed to hear her sigh, and her silhouette slowly closed in…
#2 was dazed, his eyes widened as he watched her walk her way back.
She was as though the missing colour that had once again entered his paleing, delicate, and trembling world.
The moment she crossed back to solid ground, he caught her with his quivering hands, and brought her into the tightest of embrace, so forcefully and tightly he might just break her ribcage, as though a drowning person latching on to a floating piece of wood. He buried his head in her neck, his fingers wrapped around her wrist trembling.
“You, you fucking…” Profanities jammed in his throat; warm tears oozed from his eyes before he even realised it himself.
They still had time actually, he’d already grasped her in his hands, all that’s left was to say the three words, and he’d have won.
But it’s also exactly because of this, that’s why he didn’t understand. His emotions were in a turmoil. He clenched his teeth: “How dare you—”
Suddenly, he felt her hand, it was lighting caressing his spiky hair. ♢ CHART TOPPER QUEEN, CHAPTER 13 is hosted at ZHANLANN.COM ♢
Just this simple action was enough for him to let his guard crumble once again, dissipating together with it was his hatred and the vengeful thoughts that had been racing through his head just a moment ago.
He heard her reply: “Forget it.”
The progression of the plot played out in the most surprising and unexpected manner. By the time the two of them returned to the training room, the entire room was silent.
The rest of the participants looked at Ai Bei different now.
Frankly speaking, the lack of restrictions gave them liberty, but at the same time, they became more relaxed. Everyone had spent considerable effort in their own, single missions in an attempt to win the opponent. No one had even thought about making any groundwork to foreshadow the upcoming rounds.
If they were to scrutinise how things worked out, #5 had already started laying the bricks for what was to come the moment she entered the virtual reality, hadn’t she?
Overturning the malicious mission she received in the beginning was impressive enough, but no one expected that this was only one of the jigsaw pieces of the entire puzzle that she’d fixed.
And this was only just the elims…
#3 joined with the thought of giving it a shot. Though she’d started to take things pretty seriously and even got a little competitive, she was a far throw from Ai Bei’s ability to manipulate the plot and people — the latter was truly scary.
#2’s mission failed in the end, and was elimiated. The 5 points deducted from him was given to Ai Bei.
She looked at #2, “the way she treated you in the mission, and you’re not…”
#2 glanced at her coldly, “I’d rather spend the time trying again in another planet than waste my breathe talking to you.”
“You can go through the elims at another planet again?”
“Yes. TITR does not limited the number of tries. The time zones are also different across the planets. You can try again, as long as you can afford the inter-planet flights.” #1 suddenly replied. He had finally returned to earth after witnessing Ai Bei’s performance. He looked at #4 and opened her mouth, but didn’t end up saying anything.
Expectedly, #4 didn’t manage to proceed to the next round.
It was only now did he realise that #5 had intended to finish everyone off and walk away to all the points. #4 was the fish that she kept well-fed. She’d left #4 to earn points. Perhaps that was because #4 was the weakest among everyone in her opinion. The points on #4 was equivalent to storing the points away safely in the bank. Once the rest are out of the game, #5 can retrieve #4’s points any time.
#1 hadn’t lied when he spoke to Ai Bei in the beginning — he did have insider information. While it seemed like the elimination round was wholly controlled by the system, there were still invigilators present. Any outstanding players would definitely catch the attention of these invigilators, and these outstanding playyers may even obtain an “elevator pass” where they could skip the following two rounds of elims and head straight into the next stage.
Even though he knew such information, there were too many uncertain variables. Having such insider information was as good as not having any.
So, where exactly did this monster of a #5 pop out from?
TITR backend, the invigilators had indeed caught notice of this impressive turn of events.
The manager had his eyes peeled from the prison break all the way to the dilemma of the rose-decorated glass hallway. It was only until the end did his frown loosen. Even he himself didn’t notice that he was now sweaty from the tense turn of events.
“How was it!” The editor was very excited, “once we roll this out, I promise we’ll overload the server once the first episode of the competition is aired.”
“Enh, it’s good, except the last part, delete the scene where they hug, and end it at ‘this is a competition’”.
The editor paused, “then…”
Won’t #5 be cancelled by the audience?
“This is a trailer.”
Negative emotions were more likely to get the audience to take notice of this competition, that’s just how it worked.
Persuaded by the emotionless manager, the editor proceeded to make further edits to the clip.
On the other side, the manager pulled over a higher-ranked invigilator, “this player, keep a watch on her. If needed, we can give her some relevant assistance in the following rounds. Don’t let her get eliminated too easily.”
Invigilator: “You mean?”
“She has potential, she might just end up going to the Capitol Planet.”
TRANSLATOR & EDITOR: WYNNE.
This translation is hosted at ZHANLANN.COM
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oh my my my Ai Bei really played #5 hard… (covers face) the idiom that comes to mind is 打个巴掌再给个甜枣吃 (a slap in the face followed by a sweet date) but it’s not as simple as that… #2 is really just a 工具人 (tool) here, solely for the viewers’ effect;
if it had been a much more complicated mission that he couldn’t complete, or if she’d just let him complete the hand-holding-confession mission without the glass hallway drama, she wouldn’t have left such an impression (both in #2 and in the audience), and she had to come up with all this ahead of time, and figure out how to channel his soft-heartedness (so that he wouldn’t take revenge in the end)…
damn, i love this arc TTwTT, also thoughts fellow readers on what #5 said, will he appear again in the later rounds…??? 👀👀