Not too long later, the noon bell echoed in the halls.
The maid, Su Xiaoqian, followed the madam downstairs and saw Zhu Fugui setting the dishes. After speaking with the madam, she quickly walked towards the kitchen and helped Zhu Fugui serve the food.
With two people cooperating, it didn’t take long for the dishes to be arranged neatly on the table. However, in the end, Su Xiaoqian’s complexion became green as she realized that the dishes she was serving were coincidentally the ‘Three Squeakers’ dish.
Seeing the dying pile of rats together nearly made her stumble, so she propped her hand on the table for support. All her life, she loathed rats. She almost couldn’t help but throw the plate away.
When all the dishes were already neatly arranged, it was officially time to serve the meal, and so, the madam of the house picked up a plate and took a small portion of each dish, leaving no free space on the plate.
Afterward, she picked up the newborn mouse with her chopsticks, dipped it in the fermented sauce, and piled the sauce-colored pups on her plate. Then, the madam handed the plate over to Su Xiaoqian and whispered to her, “Deliver this to my eldest son. He is situated in the cellar. I’ve already told you where the cellar is before. My eldest son has been in a bad mood recently and doesn’t like to eat his meals. You must take care of him and coax him into eating these things.”
Seeing the helpless little mice constantly struggling and wriggling on top of the plate, Su Xiaoqian wanted to scream on top of her lungs. But she knew the consequences of acting irrationally in the game, so instead, she stiffly nodded her head and agreed with a certain difficulty, “Yes, madam. I understand.”
As she carried the plate with both hands, the weak cries of the newborn mice could be heard. Su Xiaoqian couldn’t bear the torture of holding this plate and swiftly departed the hall, wanting to quickly hand over the contents of this plate.
After Su Xiaoqian left, the master and the second son descended to the dining hall for the meal and sat on their respective seats.
“Who made lunch?” The master of the house suddenly asked after sitting down.
“It… it was me.”
Under the master’s sudden question, Zhu Fugui couldn’t help but feel somewhat restless. Despite sparing no effort in preparing the dishes, he still couldn’t make the rotten cat and dog meat into an appetizing dish.
He even followed Bai Yan’s suggestion, but besides the condiments in the kitchen, there wasn’t anything that could magically transform the rotten meat into something good. So, he added a mountain of star anise but was still unable to conceal the foul odor that could easily make anyone feel sick.
Fortunately, the master was just asking on a whim. He didn’t say anything else after asking the question, rather, he picked up his knife and fork, and started eating right away with great pleasure.
Regardless if it were the Tiger Fighting Dragon dish or something else, including the frightening cat and dog heads, he and the madam ate the dishes with relish and before long, swept all the plates clean.
Contrary to their appetites, the meal wasn’t to their child’s liking. He only consumed two spoon-fulls of soup, ate a bit of the vegetable, and didn’t touch the tableware after.
This led to all the leftovers, except for the ones in the boy’s plate, to be eaten by the couple.
The boy’s abnormal action drew the attention of everyone present.
Since the game had tasked surviving in this villa and taking care of the family of four, there was no way that this family’s members were ordinary people.
With mental preparation, everyone accepted the madam and the master’s horrifying diets. On the other hand, the boy was so normal that it felt out of pace.
Including Bai Yan, everyone else came up with their theories. But now wasn’t the time to discuss this predicament, so everyone quietly waited for the three to finish their meals.
“Not bad. Today’s meal was pretty good.” The full master seemed to be completely satisfied, “Especially the mice with sauce. The flavor was particularly good. It showed that the chef was diligent.”
“Thank you. Thank you, master… It wasn’t me who thought of this dish. It was the butler who taught me how to make this.” Zhu Fugui couldn’t dare to take the credit for himself and stammered as he told them about Bai Yan’s contribution, “Without the butler’s help, I wouldn’t be able to cook this.”
“It seems that our butler has some good ideas. Not bad, keep it up.” The owner was genuinely pleased, “Butler, I just received a call. I am going to host a banquet here 3 days from now. Please invite my old friends. You can prepare the banquet ahead of time. But of course, don’t forget that there needs to be this mouse dish.”
“I’ll remember it, sir.”
Bai Yan wrote these matters in his notebook and proceeded to observe the family’s second son.
Like earlier’s display up until the evening meal had concluded, the boy still hadn’t eaten a bite, allowing Zhu Fugui to pick up the tableware off the table.
After finishing their meals, the couple had gone upstairs. Seeing the boy slowly stand up and leave, Bai Yan quickly walked towards him, bowed his head, and respectfully asked, “Young master, was today’s meals not to your liking? I saw that you didn’t eat much.”
Faced with Bai Yan’s question, the boy merely raised his head and shot a glance, not saying anything.
Seeing the boy’s uncooperative attitude, Bai Yan knew not to ask anything else.
The game gave him the position of the butler, but in the end, he was nothing more than just a lowly servant. And no matter how young the boy was, he was still a part of this family. No matter the reason, a servant questioning his master was inexcusable, so he quickly let go of this opportunity, following the boy leave with his eyes.
After the villa’s three owners left the room, Lu Tianyi, the bodyguard, Zhu Fugui, the chef, and Bai Yan finally had the opportunity to get together and exchange information with one another.
Looking back, the owners of the villa seem to take pleasure in peculiar things, completely different from the blood-sucking capitalists. Having been benevolently given an hour to rest, they took advantage of this and gathered all in one place with difficulty, easily leaving An Qing’s room and exchanging information.
“Liu Kui and I didn’t find anything useful in the garden. The Chinese rose in the garden wasn’t anything special either, it was just an ordinary flower.” Gardener Li Hao said, “Did you guys find anything?”
“Nothing. The master was locked in his study all morning and I stood behind him all the time but I didn’t find anything wrong.” Lu Tianyi’s head ached, “When the master was reading books, I tried to get permission from him to go out of the villa or if I could possibly take patrol inside the villa to better protect him, but he did not allow it. He said that this place was very secure and that I shouldn’t pay too much attention.”
“If there’s no danger, then what’s the use of a bodyguard. Rich people sure are a pain in the ass.” The chauffeur, Liu Kui, sourly added, “I feel that he only hired a bodyguard because he’s a pretentious prick. To have someone standing behind him helps to showcase his nobility.”
“Brother Liu, why do you care about him? We aren’t even sure if he’s a ghost or a man.” The whole morning, Li Hao and Liu Kui had a good relationship as he continued to joke, “And if he is an NPC, he won’t even live longer than seven days. Maybe he’ll hang himself before we leave to find a path and bravely sacrifice his own life.”
“Oh, did what you say have any significant meaning? I think there’s something real to it.” Yang Qi abruptly interrupted, “I did what you asked me to do earlier, but I didn’t find anything. The madam and the brat were both in their respective rooms. Since they were watching me attentively, I couldn’t dare mess things around. In the other rooms, there was nothing useful, even if it were a scrap of paper. I swept the room clean this morning and wasted my energy rummaging over every nook and cranny. My lower back is about to break but still, no one came to help me.”
“…” Everyone was utterly speechless after Yang Qi’s complaint. Everyone had their tasks in the villa, which was ordered by the master, so where could they find the time to help her.
Moreover, when she first entered those large doors, the madam made it clear that only people who can clean the rooms are the cleaning lady and the maid. The maid was by the madam’s side all morning and by noon, she was delivering a meal for the eldest son, so she couldn’t help her.
Amid Yang Qi’s grumbling, Bai Yan had an idea.
He originally thought that the player matching in the morning was better than the cowardly ones that waited until midnight to play the game. If he looked at the current situation, the quality of players was a bit better, at least there wasn’t someone who would weep endlessly.
However, the improved quality didn’t equal brainpower. With just one look, anyone could see that this friendly group wasn’t that bright.
But, dull minds had their benefits as well. Imbeciles were easier to manipulate and deceive to their deaths. Wasn’t it fun to push a cannon fodder…
As his thoughts led him to that point, Bai Yan quickly dispersed this idea in his mind.
He repeated these words in his heart, “If you don’t want people to know, the best way is not to do it.(1)”, “What man is doing, the heavens are watching.(2)”, “How can there be no wet shoes when walking by the river.(3)” Feeling his head turn feverish, he still wanted to do something to his teammates, so he repeated these sayings a few more times until he finally calmed down and dismissed the notion of framing his teammates as traitors.
- It means that after doing bad things, they will be exposed.
- It discourages harmful behavior for there will be retribution. On one hand, it is a warning for bad people to not run amok; on the other hand, it encourages good people to do good.
- It means that if you are in constant contact with something, you will get into trouble with it sooner or later.
During the last game, he exposed his inner self to Chu Fu. As a result, his behavior was posted on the forum’s home page for six days and he felt that it was still hanging on to this day.
Unless he was capable of massacring all his teammates in one go, his identity will come into light sooner or later in the forum. He couldn’t consider his teammates as fools any longer.
Furthermore, it was optimal for him to team up with reliable players in the later levels of the game. The mortality rates of the later games were high, making random player matching dangerous. In cases where he matched with a group who would be easily wiped out, he would’ve already stepped on a dead-end at the beginning of the game, and all of the players of the group with him would also die without knowing the cause.
At the very least, there was a big prize waiting after finishing the game, so he couldn’t indulge himself for now. For his ultimate happiness, he must have self-control and give up these insignificant bouts of pleasure.
Perhaps after he revived and killed Wang Ze, he could find the app and play another round.
By then, he could play as he wanted to.
After the first four people explained what they gathered, Zhu Fugui couldn’t speak, so on behalf of him, Bai Yan told them what had happened earlier, “When I was in the kitchen and gave Old Zhu some help, we found that the house kitchen contained rotten cat, dog, and snake meat. There was also rat meat and a few varieties of vegetables, which will probably be consumed by dinner. During lunch time, the master and madam ate a mountain of meat. They especially liked the Three Squeakers dish.”
Oddly enough, the family’s second son only ate some vegetables and drank some soup for lunch as though he wasn’t interested in the rotten meat at all.”
An Qing bit her finger out of habit thinking of what Bai Yan had said.
It wasn’t long before she snapped out of her reverie when she heard Yang Qi screaming, “If there is only rotten meat in the kitchen, what are we going to eat? I will never eat dead cats and mice!”