Chapter 56.2 Game Game Game
Lin Yan was taken aback.
“At that time, we, representing the people on this side, were negotiating with humans,” Mr. Li explained. “If the negotiations were successful, we could all coexist harmoniously. But while we were in the midst of the negotiations, that incident involving you happened.” He continued, “I’ll never forget your face… How did you get those wounds on your face? Who beat you up?”
Lin Yan’s cheeks flushed. His hand holding the wine glass trembled slightly.
“It wasn’t him,” Lin Zhaohe said. “There’s another Lin Yan…”
Mr. Li: “What do you mean?”
Lin Zhaohe barked, explaining that there was another person who looked exactly like him.
Mr. Li was taken aback. “Then why? Doesn’t the higher-ups know about it?”
“Does it make a difference?” Zhuang Lao held the wine glass, his tone indifferent. “Whether it was done by Lin Yan or not, it doesn’t matter. It proved that the second dimension is uncontrollable. Since it’s uncontrollable, there’s no need for cooperation.” No one dared to collaborate with a group of teammates who could suddenly go crazy at any moment.
“I see!” Mr. Li shook his head. “Forget it, let’s continue drinking.”
Only fine wine could alleviate countless worries.
The group no longer mentioned those unpleasant matters and instead shared interesting anecdotes.
Mr. Li confessed that he had left this place after committing wrongdoing. He had stolen others’ eggs to eat every day, nearly wiping out an entire species. Overwhelmed with guilt, he left and traveled to a distant land. Lin Zhaohe asked how he could bear to come back now, to which Mr. Li replied that many years had passed, and his victims’ family should have multiplied and recovered by now.
Lin Zhaohe: “……” You’ve been on a fishing break all this time.
Lin Yan comforted Mr. Li, admitting that he himself was not a good person either.
Lin Zhaohe was taken aback and asked what bad things he had done.
Lin Yan took a deep breath and, as if seeking redemption, confessed that last week he hadn’t had time to sort the garbage, so he simply threw it all in without separating. Lin Zhaohe’s pupils dilated, jokingly saying that he thought Lin Yan was stuffing corpses into the trash can every day. However, Lin Yan didn’t understand his words, and both Zhuang Lao and Mr. Li had expressions suggesting they thought the person was talking nonsense while intoxicated.
Lin Zhaohe looked at Zhuang Lao and used his eyes to inquire if Zhuang Lao had done any bad deeds.
Zhuang Lao absentmindedly touched Lin Zhaohe’s soft floppy ears and said, “I don’t remember.”
Lin Zhaohe howled, “I don’t believe the boss hasn’t done anything!”
Zhuang Lao paused and said, “Maybe I don’t remember what happened in the past, but what about doing something bad to you now?”
Lin Zhaohe was stunned, but suddenly Zhuang Lao lifted him up and then felt Zhuang Lao’s lips press against his nose before descending and lightly brushing against his own lips.
Lin Zhaohe, suspended in Zhuang Lao’s hands, stared with wide eyes. Had his boss just kissed him?
Before he could react, Zhuang Lao leaned in close to his ear and whispered, “You won’t be receiving your salary this month.”
Lin Zhaohe’s pupils dilated, unable to believe that such a malicious capitalist existed in the world. Not only had he taken his first kiss, but now he was also taking away his salary. In the face of his angry resistance, Zhuang Lao simply lifted him up, playing with him as if he were a pitiful stuffed toy.
Lin Zhaohe burst into tears on the spot, leaving a string of bite marks on Zhuang Lao’s arm with his baby teeth, one of which was missing.
Although the beer tasted good, it seemed to have a high alcohol content. As they drank, all three of them began to feel a bit dizzy. Mr. Li slammed the table, declaring that he had returned this time to make up for the losses and wouldn’t leave until he had nearly wiped them out again. Lin Yan, holding a lamb bone and staring blankly, asked Zhuang Lao whether it was dry or wet garbage. Zhuang Lao responded, saying that if Lin Zhaohe felt sleepy, they would go to bed, but if not, his salary would be deducted.
As the only one who remained sober, Lin Zhaohe endured being tossed around and, too weak to struggle, was lifted up by Zhuang Lao and carried straight to the bedroom.
It seemed that Zhuang Lao was a bit of a neat freak. Even when drunk, he didn’t forget to take a shower.
After showering, he collapsed onto the bed and scooped Lin Zhaohe into his arms, rubbing his cheek against him and muttering, “Xiao He, how did you become so big?”
Lin Zhaohe was on the verge of being crushed to death by Zhuang Lao. Rolling his eyes and enduring, he called out desperately. Only then did Zhuang Lao turn over, pressing his cheek against Lin Zhaohe’s soft belly, and drifted into a deep sleep.
Lin Zhaohe was also feeling a bit sleepy. However, just as he was about to sleep, he looked through the window and saw two heavily intoxicated madmen sitting on the rooftop of the opposite building, leaning against each other, and talking incoherently.
Mr. Li: “The clouds today look quite delicious. They must be fresh when tossed in a cold salad.”
Lin Yan: “We shouldn’t just eat clouds casually. We should love small animals.”
Mr. Li: “Why are there six of you?”
Lin Yan laughed and said, “You’re drunk. There are only four of me. The rest are my reflections.”
Lin Zhaohe couldn’t help but laugh and cry at their conversation. But what could he do? He was just a pitiful little dog.
On the third day, the hungover group appeared in the dining hall.
Mr. Li’s eyes inexplicably had dark circles as if he had been punched. With a gloomy expression, he quickly finished the coffee on the table. Lin Yan also seemed listless.
Lin Zhaohe asked them what happened. Did they get into a drunken brawl outside?
“I don’t know,” Mr. Li said, with some memory loss. “It seems like I fell asleep on the rooftop and then rolled off.” He sighed, “Getting older, my tolerance for alcohol isn’t what it used to be…”
“What about you, Lin Yan? Are you okay?” Lin Zhaohe nuzzled against Lin Yan with his nose.
Lin Yan shook his head, saying he was fine but had a slight headache. He hadn’t expected the alcohol to hit him so hard. He hadn’t fully recovered from the night before.
Lin Zhaohe sat on the couch, sulking with Zhuang Lao. He was mad at Zhuang Lao for playfully taking his first kiss and threatening to deduct his salary.
Zhuang Lao looked at his fluffy little dog, who turned away without even looking at him, and couldn’t resist melting. He smiled and said, “I was just joking with you yesterday.”
Lin Zhaohe: “What kind of joke is this?!”
Zhuang Lao: “The salary deduction was just a joke, you know.”
Lin Zhaohe whimpered twice and said, “Don’t think you can buy me off with a raise. Am I the kind of person who would stoop for a salary?” Unfortunately, whether it was the whining tone or the uncontrollably perked-up ears and wagging tail, they all mercilessly betrayed him.
Unable to resist, Zhuang Lao pulled Lin Zhaohe into his arms and vigorously rubbed him, ruffling Lin Zhaohe’s fur before stopping. Lin Zhaohe couldn’t resist, allowing Zhuang Lao to handle him as he pleased. He thought to himself, these despicable humans, he would eventually show them true cruelty with his sharp teeth.
The three of them, still hungover, almost missed an important event. They rushed to sign up just in time for the competition’s final deadline.
The competition was scheduled for this afternoon at the southwest beach.
The one who registered them was an old lady, who kindly advised them not to go and sacrifice themselves. She wondered why they, looking so young and delicate, were so bent on risking their lives. She suggested finding different jobs instead…
“Am I delicate?” Mr. Li grinned, making a fierce expression.
Alas, the old lady didn’t recognize his worth. “First, get rid of those dark circles under your eyes. Look at the poor child, all beaten up. Such a pretty face turned into a panda.”
Lin Yan: “Madam, I’m quite formidable.”
The old lady stood up, towering over Lin Yan. “Child, go when you’re as tall as your Grandma.”
Zhuang Lao was about to speak, but the old lady interrupted, “You’re not planning to take this delicious-looking little dog and venture into the lower realm, are you?”
The three of them were left speechless, almost failing to register.
Finally, through their persistent pleading, the wretched old lady wrote down their names, suggesting that they leave the adorable little dog behind. It would be such a pity if something happened to such a cute dog.
Was it really that terrifying? Lin Zhaohe couldn’t understand. Wasn’t it just a culinary competition? It felt more like a special forces selection process.
Mr. Li explained that the competition wasn’t dangerous. It was the lower realm that posed risks. Those who could return from there would come back prosperous.
“What do you mean?” Lin Yan was also puzzled. “I remember a colleague of mine went there once, and everything was fine, right?”
Mr. Li explained that there have been significant changes in the lower realm in recent years.
As they spoke, the group boarded the unique centipede-like vehicle and flew to the southwest beach.
On the beach, many people had already gathered, all seemingly native to the 2D world.
After verifying their registration and receiving their nameplates, they successfully entered the competition venue.
“Bang, bang!” Two sounds echoed as someone struck the large drum at the center of the competition area. Soon after, two flags were raised in the air—one had the inscription “Juyou” while the other depicted an image of a weird red fish with nine beautiful red tails, its round head resembling an orange. It looked incredibly adorable.
After the flags were raised, a countdown device appeared, displaying an hour-long countdown.
Before Lin Zhaohe and his companions could react, people around them had already leaped into the sea.
“Are we supposed to catch this fish?” Lin Yan asked.
“That’s right,” Mr. Li confirmed.
“Where can we find the fish?” Lin Yan was already starting to undress.
Mr. Li briefly described the habits of the Juyou fish, explaining that they were usually found near coral reefs, leaving traces in the sand and mud. With Lin Yan and Zhuang Lao’s abilities, it should take no more than twenty minutes to find them, assuming no unexpected circumstances. However, the Juyou fish was highly venomous, and even for 2D individuals, its poison was deadly. Mr. Li was uncertain if it would affect Lin Yan and Zhuang Lao, so it would be best to avoid being stung by its tail. The Juyou fish preyed on highly poisonous creatures, so there may be other dangers in the vicinity. They must be extremely cautious…
“Of course, the most important thing,” Mr. Li said. “Be mindful of the people around you, or you might end up uncontrollably slaughtering them all.” He seemed experienced in such matters. “Killing opponents in the competition will result in disqualification, and their meat isn’t even tasty enough to justify the risk.”
Lin Zhaohe couldn’t help but think, “You really seem like someone who has done such things before.”
“The participants have already started diving!” the competition’s host began to hype up the atmosphere. “Only a few hesitated on the shore. Are they afraid? They’re going in!! Oh, and there’s a small white dog left behind. Such an adorable little pup. Hoohoo, if its owners unfortunately meet their demise in the competition, I believe there will be many people willing to take care of him and provide a warm home!!”
Lin Zhaohe: “?” How did he inexplicably sense a hint of being a widow?
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