Ch83 - Little White Mice
(If you meet something you cannot solve, eat first)
The Short-haired Woman looked at Shen Dongqing strangely, as if she had never met such a crazy and coarse person.
However, in view of the fact that he was someone Zhou Wenyan was bringing along, she did not say anything in the end, only raising her feet to enter the classroom building first.
It was clear to them that the classroom building was very lively just now, but once they stepped into the classroom building, there was not a single student in sight.
Despite that, motion-sensitive lights along the corridor were still bright.
As Wu Jia followed behind her, he said: “Teacher Chen’s office is on the fourth floor.”
There was an elevator in the classroom building, but for the sake of safety, they did not take the elevator and chose to climb the stairs instead.
Ta ta ta—
In the silence, only the sound of their footsteps echoed in the stairwell.
The motion sensitive lights in the stairwell were ineffective with its sporadic flickering; and even when it was functioning, their surroundings were grey and obscured.
As the five of them climbed up the stairs, the shadows behind them elongated.
Wu Jia felt that the atmosphere was slightly strange so he could not resist commenting: “This game copy is way too strange, why haven’t we encountered a single ghost”
The Short-haired Woman released a cold snort.
Wu Jia reacted.
His crow mouth was at work again.
He shut his mouth hastily.
Shen Dongqing, who was walking at the front, uttered: “We did encounter some.
We encountered three of them.”
It was just that they were not resistant to beatings.
The Short-haired Woman asked: “Are there any warning signs”
The others have yet to encounter a ghost, and they must have triggered something to attract their murderous intentions.
Nothing came to Shen Dongqing’s mind so he shook his head.
“I don’t know.”
Then, from the very front of the group, Zhou Wenyan asked: “If your experimental little white mice broke out of prison, what would all of you do”
Wu Jia was the first to answer: “Catch them back.”
The Short-haired Woman’s footsteps faltered as she contemplated for a moment.
The “little white mice” that Zhou Wenyan was referring to were not actual little white mice, but the players themselves.
Since that was the case…
“For the game copy, players come at a very low-cost, to the extent where we’re not even equal to the little white mice in value.
I would…” The Short-haired Woman paused, “Get rid of the unstable factors.”
Zhou Wenyan said in an indifferent tone: “We’ll be encountering a ghost very soon.”
The most timid Bespectacled Lady shuddered and she tugged on the Short-haired Woman.
“Older sister, I’m scared.
The Short-haired Woman was quite annoyed but she restrained herself as she comforted her: “It’ll be fine.”
Since they were talking just now, everyone had come to a stop, but now that the conversation was over, they continued to climb upwards.
The fourth floor was not high; logically speaking, they should have reached the floor without needing much time, but they could not see a shadow of the fourth floor as they continued to wind up the staircase.
Wu Jia took out his phone.
“It’s 9 o’ clock.”
The motion-sensitive lights short circuited in a timely fashion, plunging the entire stairwell into darkness, so dark that they struggled to see their five fingers even when it was in front of them.
Bespectacled Lady issued a surprised noise.
The Short-haired Woman berated her: “Shut your mouth.”
The technological developments in this game copy was better than most, and it was almost on par with their real world.
All of the players possessed smartphones and they came with a flashlight function.
Wu Jia said: “Use mine first.”
This game copy was not that simple, which meant that it was highly plausible that they would need to use their phones later.
They could never go wrong by economising their battery power.
Holding the phone that was in flashlight mode, Wu Jia shone out a ray of bright light.
With the light, the Bespectacled Lady’s emotions also became steadier.
We’re sorry for MTLers or people who like using reading mode, but our translations keep getting stolen by aggregators so we’re going to bring back the copy protection.
If you need to MTL please retype the gibberish parts.
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The Bespectacled Lady walking at the very back was completely oblivious to this.
Because of her fears, she kept her head lowered the entire time and she did not even dare to look back, deathly afraid that she would see a frightening scene.
The pitch-black figure stepped on the Bespectacled Lady’s shadow on tiptoes, shrinking the distance between them bit by bit, until the pitch-black figure was completely plastered on the Bespectacled Lady’s back.
The Bespectacled Lady only felt her body becoming heavier and heavier as a chill ran down her spine.
Raising her leg forcibly, she stepped on the last step on the flight of stairs.
Just as she was about to round around a corner, a hand patted her shoulder gently.
Subconsciously, the Bespectacled Lady turned her head back, essentially pasting her face together with that featureless visage.
The Bespectacled Lady was scared to the point where she wanted to shriek, but before her voice could slip out from her throat, her expression suddenly dimmed down and she took a step back, exchanging places with the pitch-black figure.
She became the last person, while the pitch-black figure occupied the Bespectacled Lady’s place.
The Short-haired Woman’s voice travelled over from the front.
“What are you dawdling for”
A ray of light shone over.
The pitch-black figure raised its head, “Coming.” It had taken on the Bespectacled Lady’s appearance.
The Short-haired Woman did not notice anything strange.
“Catch up, will you”
The pitch-black figure smiled as it caught up with her.
The classroom building had a total of sixth floors, and despite going round and round, they could not reach the highest floor.
Wu Jia: “Did we meet a ghost wall”
He retrieved a talisman and threw it front.
The talisman burnt up instantaneously but it did not show any reaction.
Shen Dongqing: “It seems like it but it doesn’t seem like it…”
All of a sudden, the “Bespectacled Lady” at the very back spoke up: “I heard of a ghost story concerning this classroom building once.”
The Bespectacled Lady was considered as the person with the least sense of existence within the group.
Hence, upon hearing her speak, everyone looked over.
With its head lowered, “Bespectacled Lady” said: “Owing to the fact that the electrical circuitry in this classroom building was very old, it would frequently experience short circuiting and power outages.
In order to ensure that they wouldn’t be trapped inside the lift, many students would usually choose to take the stairs.
But on a certain night, five students decided to run to this classroom building after their classes to look for stimulation and they walked up these stairs, but for some unknown reason, they could never reach the top.
“Just when they finally realised that something was amiss, the student walking at the very back felt someone patting his shoulder.
Initially, he thought it was a prank.
Turning around, he was on the verge of hurling out expletives when he felt a burst of absent-mindedness and he proceeded to lose his consciousness.
“When the student woke up on the second day, he realised that no one could see him, and his identity had been supplanted by a ghost.
He, who had lost his identity, could only pace around the stairwell, waiting to supplant another person’s identity.
“Say, who do you think that student will choose”
“Bespectacled Lady” raised its head, revealing an eerie smile.
The story did not sound terrifying, but when it was combined with their current environment, it gave the impression that it was extremely terrifying upon closer thought.
After the “Bespectacled Lady” narrated the story, it raised its hand to pat on the person in front.
Shen Dongqing turned his head back with some visible confusion as he mumbled, “What are you patting me for”
In the instant where he turned around, the “Bespectacled Lady” started changing its form, turning back its pitch-black figure.
As the humanoid figure continued to squirm, its facial features gradually became an image of Shen Dongqing.
Just as it was about to replace Shen Dongqing, its body started to spasm violently and it revealed pain on its visage.
The pitch-black figure’s screams were filled with misery as its body tore open abruptly, like it was being ripped apart from a pair of formless hands.
In the end, it transformed into green smoke, disappearing right then and there.
A sign drifted down from mid-air, landing on the place where the pitch-black figure originally stood.
Shen Dongqing was perplexed.
This ghost was worse than the previous three; he originally thought that he was going to unleash its ultimate but it suddenly died before it could even exhibit any of its powers
Wu Jia stopped over and picked up the sign that had “A-4” written on it.
Honestly speaking, given that the pitch-black figure’s serial number was A-4, it was definitely stronger than the first three.
However, it was far unluckier because it had a direct encounter with Shen Dongqing.
Of all the people it could have swapped identities with, why did it have to choose a person who was originally a millennia-old ferocious ghost Wouldn’t it be equivalent to committing suicide if any one tried to replace him
Shen Dongqing: “This is way too senseless.”
* * *
Once the Bespectacled Lady, who had fallen behind, woke up from that incident, she refused to walk at the very back no matter what.
Hence, Wu Jia could only cover the rear but it was alright for him because the ghost wall had disappeared after the pitch-black figure committed suicide.
Very quickly, they reached the fourth floor.
All the students in the classroom building were already gone.
The building was utterly silent.
The corridor was narrow, the doors on both sides of the walls were shut tightly.
It was slightly hard to breathe in this stifling space.
Wu Jia pointed at the centre most door.
“That should be Teacher Chen’s office.”
The door was locked.
It was time for Shen Dongqing’s favourite segment of violently opening the door again.
With a long “peng”, the door trembled open.
Owing to the fact that they were experiencing a power outage, the office was completely pitch-black.
Wu Jia raised his handphone to sweep across the room.
A human figure flickered past, frightening the Bespectacled Lady into making a surprise noise.
“It’s a specimen.” Wu Jia irradiated the human skeleton model that was standing in the corner, lips splitting into a grin because of his great joy.
Since there might be clues inside the office, the players took out their phones and started inspecting the room seriously.
The surface area of the office was not large.
There was a pot of devil’s ivy decorating the door entrance, two office desks inside the room with a desktop computer and a stack of books placed on top.
As Zhou Wenyan casually flipped through books, a name card dropped out.
【 Life Science Research Company Marketing Director Mr.
【 Telephone: 0000-83427800 】
Zhou Wenyan picked up the name card.
“Looks exactly the same.”
The eye on the name card was vivid and life-like, appearing as though it was observing everyone present.
The Short-haired Woman asked: “Have you ever called this number”
Shen Dongqing answered: “We called it before we entered.”
Short-haired Woman: “Did you call the number after you entered” After receiving their affirmative responses, she retrieved her phone and dialled the string of numbers.
After a moment of hesitation, she still called the number.
After that sound passed, an elegant female voice sounded from the phone receiver.
“The number you dialled is not valid, please verify before…”
Wu Jia issued a short “huh” before he said: “We clearly managed to get through when we dialled the number prior to this, and it was a man who picked up the call.”
Why were they failing to get through when they were inside in the game copy instead
Zhou Wenyan concentrated his gaze on the name card as if he was thinking.
The Short-haired Woman proceeded to ask: “What did he say after the call went through”
Wu Jia: “I don’t remember.
It feels like we immediately entered the game copy once the call went through.”
Shen Dongqing mulled over it, “I can’t recall it either.”
Zhou Wenyan flipped the card in his hands.
After inspecting both faces of the card, he determined that it was exactly the same as the previous game token.
“It seems like…”
Before he could finish his words, the Bespectacled Lady who was shrinking in the corner screamed: “AH—”
That skeletal specimen started moving.
Even ghosts knew the principle of picking the softest persimmon; it latched onto the Bespectacled Lady’s arms, its belly made out of rib bones opening like a gaping maw that was threatening to devour the Bespectacled Lady whole.
Panicked, the Bespectacled Lady yelled out: “Save me, save me!”
Half of her body had already entered the skeletal stomach.
Being the closest to her, Shen Dongqing raised his foot and kicked the skeletal specimen into pieces, thus toppleing to the ground.
The skeletal specimen was extremely fragile to begin with; with a single collision, it broke into countless pieces and only its empty skull rolled around on the ground.
The Short-haired Lady said: “It seems like the ghosts in this game copy can’t even withstand a single blow.”
Judging from the two ghosts that were easily dealt with, the difficulty of this game copy did not seem like it belonged to the S-level at all.
The skeletal head rolled one round, stopping at Zhou Wenyan’s feet.
Zhou Wenyan bent over to pick up the sign that dropped from the skull.
He uttered, “It’s the exact opposite.”
Unable to comprehend his words, the Short-haired Woman looked over doubtfully.
Shen Dongqing sat on the table and swung his legs.
In an unexpected feat, he commented: “I get it.
Up until now, that foolish game voice hasn’t appeared once.”
After saying that, he peered at Zhou Wenyan as if he was asking for praise.
In response, Zhou Wenyan leaned over to kiss Shen Dongqing’s cheek to reward him, as if there was no one in their vicinity.
Wu Jia had become accustomed to their endless and sporadic displays of affection a long time ago, and his expression conveyed that he was blind and he did not see anything.
On the other hand, the Short-haired Woman shifted her gaze away with some awkwardness.
Zhou Wenyan: “There is no clearance criteria.”
In most of the copies, the game would always spout a passage of nonsense in the beginning.
The game employed a ridiculous number of styles to convey said nonsense, but the content was virtually the same; it was nothing more than the fixed duration that the players had to survive through in the game, or the riddle they had to solve.
But in this copy, there was nothing.
This was the biggest riddle.
Wu Jia came to a sudden realisation: “We didn’t even encounter a task-issuing NPC!”
The students, teachers, vendors, and passers-by could not even count as NPC.
They lived their lives in this word peacefully like ordinary people and they were not in touch with the world’s core at all.
Wu Jia started fretting, “What should we do right now then”
The Short-haired Woman also sank into deep contemplation.
Not having a criteria was the most troublesome thing to encounter because they did not even know where they should begin tackling the problem.
Zhou Wenyan fiddled with the newly obtained sign, clipping the ice-cold sign that had the letters “A-5” engraved between his slender and long fingers.
Underneath the illumination of his phone’s flashlight, the sign had a moving gloss.
Would ghosts starting with the letter “B” appear later The reason why there were no ghosts in the city, was it because they were being reared in an enclosure by the Life Science Research Company
Shen Dongqing opened his mouth to say, “Maybe…”
In the silence, his voice attracted all the players’ eyes.
He pursed his lips into a smile as he uttered: “Since we can’t think of anything right now, maybe we should go and eat supper first!”
Shen Dongqing’s masterstroke— If you meet something you cannot resolve, eat first.