[ Calculating Progress…

[ Individual Extraction: 12% ]

[ Individual Progress Saved ]

[ Waves Cleared: 6 ]

[ Plants Unlocked: 7 ]

[ Game Clear Rewards: Random Plant Fragment ×6, 100 Experience points ×6, 100 Coins ×6.
Shards have been placed in Inventory.

[ Level Up! You are now Level 4.
You have 1 unused attribute points.

[ Player Level: Level 4 (250/600) ]

[ Game Time Remaining: 1 : 25 : 57 ]

[ Coins: 900 ]

As soon as he returned to the real world, Bai Zhi was greeted by several rows of statistics on a virtual screen before him.

He had started with 750 Coins after the Newbie Run.
He mentally totaled up his expenses: 200 Coins to purchase Bane, 50 Coins lost to the swindler in the Black Market, 120 Coins for an hour of PODS during the Game, and the 10 Coins spent on each spin to unlock the plants…
Including the reward of 600 Coins for clearing the Game, he confirmed that the final balance of 900 Coins was correct.

I had to spend more as the risk of danger increased, so it ’s only a modest profit…

Bai Zhi shook his head at the sum of his winnings after a hard-fought hour.

In his hands was the portable amplifier that Late Night Kitty had returned to him, albeit reluctantly, which he now placed into his Inventory.
Then, he retrieved the Plant Fragments he had just received.

[ Potato Mine Fragment ] ×3, [ Wall-nut Fragment ] ×3

Usually, the items obtained by clearing a Game were the most valuable rewards it offered, and fortune had smiled on Bai Zhi—the six Plant Fragments he had received were only of two types, which mean three fragments of each, and three Fragments of the same type could be combined to make one Plant Card.

[ Item Name: Potato Mine ]

[ Type: Gadget ]

[ Class: Normal ]

[ To Use: Plant one in the ground, and a Potato Mine will be ready in ten seconds.
Damages any enemy who walks over it.

[ Effect: Effective against Zombies, minor damage to Spirits.

[ Cost: 25 Sun ]

[ Current Sun: 0 ]

[ Required: Soil ]

[ Note: Plants are mankind ’s best friend, Potato Mine does no damage to humans.


[ Item Name: Wall-nut ]

[ Type: Gadget ]

[ Class: Normal ]

[ To Use: Place one on a flat surface.
Wall-nut taunts all enemies in front of it, forcing them to direct attacks toward it for three seconds.
Taunting effect remains active until Wall-nut is destroyed.

[ Effect: Effective against Zombies, does not attack ]

[ Cost: 50 Sun ]

[ Current Sun: 0 ]

[ Required: Flat Surface ]

[ Note: You must attack the minion that taunts! ]


Feels like these two could turn the tide in certain situations…

As he came up with ideas about how to use the Plant Cards, Bai Zhi quirked an eyebrow and placed the two cards in direct sunlight.

After patiently waiting for a minute, he got a notification, as he had hoped.

[ Acquired Sun, current Sun: 1/1000 ]

One point of Sun every minute, and each card can hold up to 1000 Sun, huh…

Bai Zhi hummed to himself as he returned the cards to the Inventory and exited the washroom.

He had meant what he said in the Game about being hungry.
He had been busy with the move all morning and skipped breakfast, then rushed straight to the mall to play the Game, and then spent a grueling hour having his physical and mental abilities stretched to their limits.
Now, he was dying for a bowl of soft bean curd.

Except it had to be a savory dish.
Not sweet.

Most soft bean curds were sweet, but Bai Zhi detested sweet foods—he began to doubt if he would get what he wanted.

However, he needn ’t have worried.
Prosperity Mall was Marina City ’s largest shopping center, so there were an abundance of shops selling snacks, breakfast items and hot meals of all kinds to be found.
Bai Zhi soon found a little stall where he was able to order a bowl of savory soft bean curd, youtiao*, and some tea eggs**, which he happily sat down to enjoy.

After all, he was a millionaire now, and could afford as many youtiao as he liked, what were a few tea eggs to boot?

As he ate, he also noticed a few shoppers who, upon seeing his bowl of bean curd which he had specially seasoned with chili oil, turned green and gagged, hurrying away as quickly as they could.
Those were clearly Players who had just come from trying the Game.
With such low mental fortitude, who knew if they had earned any rewards from it?

As he dined, Bai Zhi ’s mind wandered to thoughts about the Game.

Since the Game was derived from Plants versus Zombies, it was not all that difficult a game, but he was sure that the number of Players who could successfully reap the rewards for clearing the game was a small one, because at its core, the Game tempted Players into a gambler ’s mentality.
Every wave survived increased the potential rewards to be collected, but if the Player failed to survive the next wave, they would get none of it, instead suffering the loss of two random attribute points.

With four Players in a team defending three locations, there was no choice but for them to constantly be trading places to handle various emergencies and plug any holes in their defenses.
Success in the later levels depended heavily on the team ’s ability to coordinate each member ’s movements smoothly and effectively.
Bai Zhi mused that if his team members hadn ’t consisted of two Players he had worked with before and a new Player who was eager to take orders, they might not have made it past Wave 3.

…Huh, is it time to try recruiting a team before the next attempt? Feels like if I don ’t put together a decent team soon, it ’s going to be tough to navigate the world as it gets deadlier…
but where would I even start with such a thing?

As his hands worked slowly and methodically to peel the tea eggs, so did Bai Zhi ’s mind go over what he had learned over the last few quests, and he began to work on a plan.


”That miserly, rude scumbag! ”

As she clutched her new phone, Mu QianSe felt an intense resentment burning inside her but had nowhere to vent it.

Earlier, in the Game, that guy had not only demanded that she return the portable amplifier but even asked for the glasses back…

Can ’t that guy treat a woman with an ounce of chivalry?

She had been prepared to consider that their paths must have crossed for a reason and forgive the horrors he had forced her to endure during the Newbie Run, but now…

”Now I see, I must be cursed to run afoul of people with Bai in their names^… ”

Mu QianSe sighed in resignation as she looked again at her new phone.

”Forget it, I should be getting back to school.
I have some classes in the afternoon, if I recall…
Huh? ”

As her eyes fell by accident upon a familiar figure, Mu QianSe stopped in shock.

* A long golden-brown deep-fried strip of wheat flour dough, also known as Chinese cruller.

** A typical Chinese savory food commonly sold as a snack, in which a boiled egg is cracked slightly and then boiled again in tea and sauce or spices.

^She knows Bai Zhi as Black&White, but ”white ” in Chinese is ”Bai ”.

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