Lying on the ground, Zhong Yuan said to me, “Blockhead, you’re quite the passionate one.”
I quickly got up, my face burning red. But this historical moment had already been captured on various phone cameras by the watching crowd. The photography committee member even got a high-definition close-up shot. And then these onlookers mercilessly posted those photos onto the school forum under the title ‘Gallant School Junior Takes Liberties With Zhong Yuan’…
The sky soon grew dark, and everyone gathered again to play Mafia.
I was an ordinary citizen in the first round, but I was unfortunately killed off on the first night. I highly suspected that Zhong Yuan had been the perpetrator, but then he dropped the line, “The two of us are kind of close. If I killed you, wouldn’t I be giving myself away?” easily winning favor with the rest of the group. Then, in the end, this guy was the last surviving mafia member, and he had a great laugh.
In the second round, I was, again, an ordinary citizen. However, it was Zhong Yuan who was killed in the first round, which gave me great delight. But when he was giving his last words, he looked around at us and claimed that I’d been the one to kill him. He even gave a clear and logical list of justifications. He said, “First, I killed you in the previous round, so now you’re getting your revenge. From what I know of you, this is a very plausible move. Second, you’re obviously having a hard time controlling your expression this round. That’s a problem many players who are mafia suffer from. Third, because in the last round, I said that we were close, so I wouldn’t kill you, it’s very possible that you would try to use the same reasoning this round. Too bad you can’t pull that trick every round… So, what do you have to say for yourself?”
I looked at him in disbelief. I wanted to say something, but in the end, I could only helplessly muster, “But I’m not a mafia member…”
When the result of the vote was revealed, I wasn’t sure if I should laugh or cry. Of the 20 persons present, everyone but the judge, Zhong Yuan, and me voted to kill me off… Damn. Even when I played as the mafia, I never got this many votes…
Feeling wronged, I sat off to the side and watched everyone else continue playing. Upset, I whispered to Zhong Yuan, “See? I wasn’t the mafia.”
Zhong Yuan replied, “I know.”
Angry, I asked, “Then why did you insist that I was?”
Zhong Yuan turned to look at me. With a smile, he answered, “Since I died, shouldn’t I bring along a companion?”
I was speechless.
I suppressed the anger inside myself and explained, “But then people will think that your deduction skills are bad. They won’t trust you in the future.”
Zhong Yuan asked, “Wouldn’t that make people want to play with me more?”
When it came to narcissists like Zhong Yuan, I decided to just stay quiet.
In the third round, I was, yet again, an ordinary citizen. I tried to sneak a glance at Zhong Yuan’s playing card, but it was too dark, so I couldn’t see. But then, Zhong Yuan generously waved his card in front of me, and I saw that he was also an ordinary citizen. Now relaxed, I showed him my card and warned him not to slander me.
Zhong Yuan looked around the circle of players and then indifferently replied, “You won’t have to worry about any slandering. You’re going to die in the first round.”
Zhong Yuan narrowed his eyes and looked at Senior Ling Ling sitting across from me. In an ethereal voice, like that of a fortune teller, he said, “See Senior Ling Ling’s death glare? Blockhead, you’re so dead.”
I looked over, and under the pale white glow of the lights, I saw Senior Ling Ling glaring at me with wide eyes. Then I felt a shroud of cold air surround me.
And just as Zhong Yuan predicted, I was killed in the first round. My claim that Senior Ling Ling was a mafia member went unheard. During the next discussions, Zhong Yuan played his swindling act, saying he was the detective or something. He said that he’d already determined that Senior Ling Ling was the mafia, etc…
And so, when the next vote came, Senior Ling Ling ended up forced out with the most votes.
Zhong Yuan’s performance must have gone too well, because in the second round, he was killed off by the remaining mafia member.
I tugged his shirt and asked with confusion, “Wasn’t that basically suicide?”
Zhong Yuan smiled and replied, “What I did was get revenge for you. Aren’t you going to thank me?”
I wiped my sweat. Where was this talk of avenging me when you killed me off as the mafia?
We played a few more rounds after that. Zhong Yuan’s most despicable move was cosplaying as a detective when he was the mafia. Then, the actual detective was killed off. When the round ended, everyone sighed incredulously: Zhong Yuan was too fucking treacherous…