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Kneel to Me

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Chapter 55: Second Arc [18]

The gunpowder was finally ready, and everyone breathed a sigh of relief and felt excited.

"Can we finally kill that bear now?"

The bear had been prowling outside their villa for longer and longer periods of time. Seeing it through the floor-to-ceiling windows filled them with fear and dread, causing them unable to sleep well at night. Previously people had taken turns keeping watch, and would try to chase the bear away with combustible flasks made from wine bottles if it appeared, which worked for the first few days. However, they clearly felt that the bear was becoming increasingly aggressive and less afraid of the combustibles. It seemed to have realized that those things couldn't really hurt it.

Luckily, before the bear could formally launch an attack on the villa, their explosives were ready!

Everyone looked expectantly at Song Juyao, waiting for her to announce the plan. Both the virtual and real-world audiences were eagerly anticipating this day - finally, the chance to kill the bear had arrived! How exciting! But how would they do it? Dig a trap? Lure the bear in it and then blow it up?

"How will we kill it? Should we set up a trap first to lure the bear in and blow it up?" The others were thinking the same thing.

"A trap?" Song Juyao shook her head. "If anyone goes out now, they'll be eaten by the bear. It's hungry and lying in wait for prey. Once someone goes out, it won't let go. But don't worry, we have a natural trap we can use."

"Where?"

"Here."

Everyone was stunned. What?

Song Juyao pointed at the table. "Right here, this villa. My plan is to lure the bear inside and blow up the place, crushing it under the collapsed building."

This was a luxury four-story villa that could certainly crush the bear to death under it. Using just gunpowder might not instantly kill the bear, as it could dodge or run away. As long as the bear survived, driven by its survival instincts, it would track them, posing a constant threat.

But with the villa, things were different. Even if it didn't die by the explosion, the bear would be crushed to death, or trapped and unable to move, eventually suffocating or starving to death. They could even take the opportunity to deliver the killing blow.

In short, there was no better place to kill the bear than here.

[Wow! It's a big scene!]

[I've realized that my guesses are always smaller in scale than what Song Juyao plans. Previously I thought she would dig a trap to kill the bear, but then she made gunpowder. Then I thought the explosives would be used to blow up the bear, but it turned out she's planning to blow up the house...]

[Exciting! Exciting!]

[She's considering everything so thoroughly, so reliable, amazing!]

"Blow up this villa? Then what will we do after? Will we have to sleep in the wilderness?" Someone asked sadly.

"This villa was never meant to be stayed long-term anyway," said Wen Yingting. "We've run out of food already, everyone hasn't had enough to eat in the past few days. Having porridge everyday makes me want to throw up. Water and electricity usage has also been at the minimum level, there will be no water and electricity starting this afternoon. Staying here has no purpose except for having a roof over our heads to shelter us from the wind and rain. Fanxing Group never intended for us to spend a few comfortable days here."

"That's right," Li Wenling and her husband nodded. Song Juyao had previously told them that the water meter and electricity meter in this house were fixed types, meaning the amount of water and electricity that could be used here was limited from the start, and would run out once used up.

So in this situation, while everyone still deeply disliked the idea of surviving in the wilderness, what else could they do? They could only hope to successfully find their next base. Fortunately, they had Song Juyao leading them, greatly increasing their chances of survival.

Watching everyone follow Song Juyao's plan without much discussion, Wen Zhulian gritted her teeth and exchanged a glance with Wei Yan, feeling a bit annoyed.

What a useless piece of trash! He deserves to not be able to catch fire, and will be 18th-tier for the rest of his life!

Wei Yan and Wen Zhulian were from the same company. Wen Zhulian was the senior to Wei Yan and was more well-known. In addition, emotions such as jealousy are more likely to be aroused between people of the same sex so the company sent Wen Zhulian to take the lead, with Wei Yan in the supporting role. Wen Zhulian thought she had worked very hard, and Wei Yan hadn't even lifted a finger to help at all.

Wei Yan was supposed to seduce Song Juyao and make her fall in love with him, but what happened? He was just like Tang Kai last season, completely useless.

Wei Yan felt a bit wronged, caught between embarrassment and innocence. Anyone with half a brain would understand - what were the chances of someone like Song Juyao looking at him that way? Would it not be shameless of him to try seducing her?

Besides, no matter how shameless he was, Evans was always following Song Juyao. Song Juyao didn't assign that useless thigh pendant any tasks and no one dared say anything about it so he would just idly hang around her, maybe helping start a fire at most. If Wei Yan approached, Evans' gaze would pierce through like a dagger, accompanied by a soul-stirring question: "Isn't your fiancée that pig? Why are you getting close to my sister? Trying to seduce her?"

Wei Yan had no way to answer this question without being cornered - no matter how he answered, he would be seized upon. All he could do was awkwardly laugh and leave under the gossiping stares.

Suddenly he understood Tang Kai's feelings from the last episode. But sadly, Tang Kai at least had medical books to read, gaining widespread audience sympathy and affection. As soon as he left, big directors and producers were contacting him about medical movie and drama roles as the lead. But what about himself?

Forget it, better not to bring it up. He'd continue being an invisible man, content to just keep a familiar face in front of the audience.

Wei Yan didn't know that it was precisely because he caused less trouble that the real world audience' impression of him was much better than Wen Zhulian.

The location for killing the bear had been decided. Next was to consider how to carry it out smoothly.

"The bear will come into the house because there will be food it wants inside, so shouldn't we use bait?" asked Wen Yingting. Everyone tensed up instantly. Bait?!

"That's right," Song Juyao said.

[Is it time for drawing lots?]

[It's the moment of conflict again. Who will stay back as bait?]

[No one wants to be bait. Facing both the bear and the explosives is too much.]

Everyone's mind turned to the scene of deciding who would be bait, and all sorts of selfish thoughts arose. Unexpectedly, Song Juyao said: "Everyone should be bait together. I hope you all understand the unpredictability of the bear - if we only leave one person at the villa, the bear may not come in, and it may chase after whoever runs out. Then no one can predict who might die. Also, all our efforts these past few days may all be in vain. I don't think any of us want to take that risk."

Her calm, clear gaze seemed to see through everyone's hidden thoughts, casting an involuntary wave of shame on whomever her gaze swept through.

Moreover, her words struck at the heart of everyone - no one wanted to become an "accident" chased by the bear. If everyone acted as bait together, then no one could complain. It was a solution that everyone could accept.

"How should we do it?"

Song Juyao drew a rough sketch of the villa's layout on paper: "I will place explosives in these locations to ensure the house collapses completely after the explosion. At that time, the bear must be inside the villa, and it should get stuck on the stairs of the second floor. So when the bear charges at the villa, the people on the first floor immediately go up to the second floor and then out of the villa through the ropes hanging out of each room's windows. Then the person responsible for igniting the fuse will immediately light it and trigger the explosion after making sure that everyone is out of the villa."

There was no better plan than the one proposed by Song Juyao. People who had intended to say something dared not quibble. After the explanation of the plan, everyone began to work.

A rope was arranged hanging out of each room on the second floor to ensure that anyone rushing upstairs in panic could smoothly slide down the ropes safely. Song Juyao, accompanied by Evans, went to arrange the explosives, and Wen Yingting also came over to help.

"Brother, pass me that hemp rope," Song Juyao called to Evans.

Evans lowered his head to find what Song Juyao asked for.

Wen Yingting looked up.

"Brother..."

Wen Yingting couldn't help looking up again.

"Brother..."

"Brother..."

Listening to these calls Wen Yingting felt very uncomfortable in his heart - she wasn't calling him…..it should have been him.

"Brother..."

Wen Yingting suddenly snapped back to his senses, looking towards Wen Zhulian, who had appeared at some point. Wen Zhulian pouted unhappily, "Brother, what's wrong with you? I called you several times and you didn't respond."

"...What's wrong?" Wen Yingting quickly collected his thoughts while looking at her.

"I'm saying, should we wrap our rope with fabric? It might scratch our hands – mom's hands are even more delicate than mine."

Wen Yingting's heart softened upon hearing this. Zhulian was still very thoughtful - before, she might have just scared out of her wits and panicked, thinking he had also run away.

After helping Song Juyao set up the explosives, Wen Yingting went to wrap cloth around the ropes. Li Xin, hearing this, lovingly embraced Wen Zhulian and said she was indeed her little cotton jacket.

Wen Yingting, seeing the warm and loving family, couldn't help but smile. However, for some reason, thoughts of Song Juyao came back, and he felt a strange emotion.

The situation was a bit funny - the real daughter was downstairs calling the unrelated person "brother", while upstairs they were calling the other unrelated girl "daughter" and "sister".

After everything was prepared, they could only wait for the bear to come.

They didn't need to deliberately lure it - they were natural bait. As long as they gathered here, the bear would definitely come. The only uncertainty was when.

The forest darkened very quickly, and the surrounding area was soon pitch black. This time, unlike the previous days, they didn't light a fire outside the villa.

The older people like Chang's mother and Li Xin had already gone upstairs in advance, so as to avoid congestion on the stairs later. Only some of the younger and more agile people were left downstairs.

Night fell,  casting a shroud over the forest, and the forest was silent except for the rustling of trees swaying in the wind.

No one spoke in the villa; their nerves were taut, eyes anxiously scanning every direction, afraid that the bear might suddenly charge out from somewhere they hadn't noticed. Those on the second floor couldn't help but hold their breath, peering down from the balcony.

"Aunt, we can avenge Zhenzhen and the senior now." Wen Zhulian grabbed Chang's mother's hand. Song Juyao, finding her a burden and worried she might cause trouble, had asked her to go upstairs as well.

Ever since Chang Youqing died, Chang Mu had changed completely. She often sat in a daze, as if she had lost her soul. Others had comforted her before realizing it was no use, and stopped paying attention to her.

At Wen Zhulian's words, Chang's mother slowly looked at her, who gazed back at her with compassion.

"Yes, it's time to avenge my daughter and son," Chang's mother murmured.

A gust of wild wind suddenly blew past, causing the trees to shake violently. The people in the villa were startled and some jumped up in fright. They looked around and realized it was just a false alarm.

They waited and waited. Midnight passed and they entered the darkest period before dawn, but the bear still hadn't appeared.

Their tightly-wound nerves had started to feel tired, though not to the point of drowsiness but their vision seemed to be flickering with golden light.

"Quick, upstairs!" Song Juyao suddenly shouted.

Without any warning, the bear suddenly charged out of the pitch black forest, as if it had been lying in ambush for a long time. Ravenous and bloodthirsty, it seemed determined to catch its prey for a hearty meal.

Everyone's nerves instantly tightened up. They leaped up from their seats all at once, panicking and rushing upstairs like frightened birds and animals.

The bear ran very fast, charging over like a gust of wind. It slammed headlong into the floor-to-ceiling glass window. The powerful impact caused the glass to suddenly shatter. The collision slowed it down slightly, but it shook its head and rushed over again.

By this time, Song Juyao and the others had already rushed upstairs. Contrary to Song Juyao's expectations, the bear didn't get stuck on the staircase. Because after it found that it was stuck, perhaps because of hunger, it actually stood up and successfully made its way upstairs.

The corridor on the second floor was more spacious than the stairs. After coming up, it immediately regained freedom of movement and started searching for prey in each room.

Fortunately, at this moment, driven by the survival instinct, the people's movements were swift. They quickly slid down the ropes like dumplings falling into a pot, quickly distancing themselves from the villa.

"Ah!"

After Evans went down, Song Juyao was about to go down when she suddenly heard Li Xin's scream from the next room.

The next room was the Wen family's room. Wen Guohua was the first to go down, planning to pick his wife and daughters. Wen Yingting was also one of the bait downstairs, so he just entered a random room and went down. Who would have thought that such a change would occur.

It turned out that Chang's mother suddenly went crazy. She dragged Wen Zhulian back just as she was about to go down, and even dragged her away from the rope, pulling her outside. Li Xin saw this and immediately rushed over to stop her.

"What are you doing? Let go of my daughter!"

"Aunt, what are you doing aahhh..."

Changmu had done a lot of farm work from a young age. Her strength was simply incomparable to the pampered mothers. Moreover, she was now in a state of madness so her strength seemed limitless.

"It's all because of you that my son died! You, murderers! My son and daughter are dead, what right do you have to still be alive? Pay for my children's lives! Die, die!" Dragging the two women away from the balcony, Chang's mother raved, returning to the bedroom. At this moment, the door of the room was suddenly smashed open, and a huge bear's head poked inside.

[Damn, this is intense!]

[Quick, feed the bear, look how hungry it is!]

[Chang's mother is really... a pitiable person always has something hateful about them. Honestly, can Wen Zhulian be blamed for the deaths of Chang Zhenzhen and Chang Youqing?]

[Wen Zhulian is a real menace. How many people has she harmed? If it weren't for Song Juyao, Wen Yingting would be dead. Yet, he still supports her.]

Confronted suddenly by such a big bear head, the three entangled women were stunned. The bear's head was larger than their heads combined, and a pair of meat-craving eyes coldly stared at them.

"Aaahhhhh mom! Mom, save me Aaahhhhh!" Wen Zhulian was so scared that she almost went crazy and screamed.

In her desperate attempt to save her daughter, Li Xin grabbed a nearby vase and smashed it on Chang's mother's head. Sensing the release of the grip that had restrained her, Wen Zhulian quickly broke free, crawling away just in time to avoid the snapping jaws. The bear's mouth clamped directly onto Chang's mother's neck.

When a bear bites a large prey, it habitually shakes it violently, completely destroying the prey's spine. Li Xin was struck by Chang's mother's flailing leg and fell to the ground.

Wen Zhulian had just crawled up from the ground when she turned her head and saw that the bear had dropped its already captured prey and was looking at the two remaining targets in the room. And Li Xin was close to the bear.

Intense fear surged through Wen Zhulian, causing her to retreat. Terrified, Li Xin looked up and saw Wen Zhulian turning without hesitation and rushing towards the balcony.

It's okay, it's okay, no one saw, it was all the bear and Chang's mother's fault. Wen Zhulian didn't feel completely indifferent in her heart after all. She had lived with them in the virtual world for so many years. However, who allowed her to have the thoughts of an adult? She had her real parents in the real world, so she couldn't really treat NPCs as family.

This world is not real, and she is a person from the real world. If she died here, she would return to the real world. The opportunity to become a celebrity judge was hard-won. Maybe after this episode, she could leap into the first tier and enjoy the glory of being recognized as the "genius girl of the singing world" of this virtual world in her real world as well!

She was a celebrity judge. Her job was to force Song Juyao to expose her ugliness. That was her job, not to play some sentimental games of kinship with NPCs. And to complete this task, she could do anything, claiming it was the script of the show, calling it acting—who could distinguish? Hadn't previous celebrity judges done similar things? However, people only focused on the one being judged, not the celebrity judge.

She exonerated herself for her fear of death, selfishness, and unwillingness to let go of everything in the virtual world with vanity. Only in the virtual world was she the "genius girl of the singing world" adored and admired by the entire world. Once she left here, she would be nothing!

Wen Zhulian climbed over the railing without hesitation, grabbing the rope and jumped down, caught by Wen Guohua and Wen Yingting.

"Where's mom?!" Wen Yingting asked anxiously.

Wen Zhulian cried, "Aunt Chang went crazy. Mom tried to save me, the bear... wuuu..."

What? Wen Yingting's eyes immediately turned red, and wanted to rush into the villa to save people, but someone held him back.

"What can you do by going up? Feed the bear?"

"Everyone's come down, should we light the fuse now?"

"Who dares to light it?" Evans suddenly growled viciously.

"Song Juyao went to save Aunt Li!" someone shouted. Everyone looked up and saw Song Juyao climbing over from the balcony of the neighboring room. Fortunately, the distance between the balconies of the rooms in this villa was not too wide.

Wen Zhulian was so angry and hated her so much that she almost bit her silver teeth. Wen Guohua and Wen Yingting were both nervous yet expectant.

Li Xin clearly felt the bear's teeth sinking into her neck. She didn't know why, tears welled up in her eyes. She had given up, when suddenly she heard footsteps.

The outside was already light, dawn had arrived. She opened her teary and blurry eyes and saw a girl coming towards her against the light, with a burning bottle emitting flames in her hand. She forcefully threw the bottle towards the bear's head. Li Xin felt the bottle explode, the hot waves burning through her hair, emitting the smell of burning protein.

She felt the teeth around her neck loosen, and a beastly roar came out of the bear's throat.

Several burning bottles were thrown over in succession, forcing the bear to retreat. The tears in her eyes increased. She wanted to make a sound, but was unable to, as the artery in her neck had already been bitten through, and blood gurgled out.

Taking advantage of the bear's retreat, Song Juyao wanted to go help her, but it was already too late - the bear that had withdrawn suddenly charged in again, trampling over Li Xin's body it charged towards Song Juyao.

It seemed to know that the reason it was hungry and kept being attacked by the burning bottles was because of Song Juyao, so it was raging with the killing intent.

Song Juyao reacted quickly. The sudden attack by the bear was entirely within her considerations. Immediately, she retreated and, turning around, rushed towards the balcony.

Holding onto the balcony railing with one hand, she swiftly somersaulted and leaped out, brushing past the wide-open jaws of the bear, grabbing the rope and sliding down to the ground.

This was a narrow escape that made the viewers in both the virtual and real-world live streams feel goosebumps, unable to help standing up from their chairs.

"Crack"

"Hiss!"

Song Juyao's eyebrows furrowed as she shouted loudly: "Quick, light the fuse!"

As soon as Song Juyao spoke, without time for further thought, the person in charge of lighting the fuse ran over and ignited it with a lighter. Everyone outside the villa quickly ran away.

The bear, ready to unleash a massacre, saw so many people downstairs from the balcony and immediately charged downstairs.

The fire traveled along the fuse towards the explosives, but before it reached the explosives, the bear's figure as it charged downstairs caught everyone's attention.

[Ahhhhhhh! Explode quickly!!!]

[Ahhhh I'm so nervous!!! Help!!!]

If the bear ran out of the villa before the explosion, they would be finished. This was their only chance, and the bear was already in a frenzy. They had no rivers or other strongholds to save themselves.

Heartbeats raced; some people were so frightened that tears unconsciously streamed down their eyes. The bear's charging figure reflected in their pupils.

Just as the bear was about to run out of the villa...

"Boom!"

"Boom!"

"Boom!"

"Boom..."

"......"

A series of explosions continuously rang out one after another. Flames and smoke instantly filled everyone's vision. The huge villa shook and swayed violently before collapsing with a loud crash.

Air currents surged in all directions towards the surrounding forest. Everyone quickly raised their arms to shield their faces, feeling the impact of small stones hitting their skin.

The explosions lasted for a good while before finally coming to an end. The viewers stared wide-eyed, leaning closer to the screen, wishing they could blow a breath to disperse the smoke and see what happened to the bear.

However, everyone could only patiently wait as the smoke slowly dissipated, revealing the massive pile of rubble underneath. Half a bear paw was exposed from the rubble.

"...... It worked......"

"We did it!!! Ah!!"

"We finally killed the bear! Ahhh!!"

The long-held fear finally dissipated, leaving only elation and satisfaction of killing their hated enemy. The barrage was filled with celebratory messages and emojis. They had finally taken down that terrifying man-eating bear!!!

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