Chapter 26: Eerie Cinephile City (X)
“Jue Bro… that’s way too disgusting.” said Wang Tanzhi
“How’s it disgusting?” Feng Bujue retorted while rushing towards the corpse.
“No matter if it’s just the thought or the action, they’re both disgusting!” shouted Wang Tanzhi, “Can you stop acting so recklessly just because you feel like there’s not enough reward…”
“Recklessly?” Feng Bujue spoke, “If there’s feces or some weird sh*t inside, then I would be acting recklessly.” He had already arrived and crouched in front of the second corpse, “If there is nothing inside, then that would only prove my deduction was wrong and not that I am being reckless. And if something else is inside…” Feng Bujue said this all while he reached his hand into the corpse’s stomach, through the hideous wound, and nonchalantly groped around inside the bulging stomach.
“Wang bro… can you tell me, in confidence, what does Feng Bro do for a living…” Long Aomin was so stunned and scared by the duo his Terror Value began to undulate.
“Novelist…” Wang Tanzhi replied with a dull expression.
“Novelists are this terrifying?” Lonesome girl overheard from the side and couldn’t help butting in.
“Obviously… he’s not the norm.” added Wang Tanzhi.
“Ha!” Feng Bujue let out a laugh, startling the other four and making them flinch.
“LOOK!” Feng Bujue said proudly, raising something in his hand. Inside the corpse overflowing with blood and feces, he’d actually managed to find equipment, furthermore, Superior equipment…
【Name: Eyes of Hatred】
【Effect: Can instantly discover the monster’s hated target】
【Equipment Prerequisites: Characters less than or equal to level 20; untradeable once picked up】
【Can it leave the Scenario: Yes】
【Remark: Since you’ve found this item, it clearly should belong to you. These goggles were created by a Necromancer who had a lot of enemies. He wanted to use this in a crowd to see other people’s killing intent clearly. Unfortunately, these can only observe one target at a time… When he was alive, he carved a small line of words on the goggles at the top—When you look at me, I also look at you.】
The equipment looked very similar to the goggles aviators always wore during World War II, the only problem was that they were removed from a corpse’s stomach. Naturally, they were really disgusting….
“It’s just like what I said, the hints in the police station were too obvious. There’s not even half a person’s shadow to be seen in the whole city, but contrarily, there are corpses here. The other two corpses have compulsory items on them but only this one seemed nonessential. If there really was only a police baton to be found on its body, then the System didn’t need to set up such a deeply impressionable corpse here. It would’ve been fine to just stick the baton in some corner.”
“Okay, okay… you win…” Wang Tanzhi said, “Time is ticking, we can leave now, right. We’ve rested enough and searched around; you’ve even frightened the whole team already.”
After they left the police station, the five continued down the street. Scouting the police station allowed them to finish one of the missions they might have needed to complete later. After obtaining so many useful things, everyone’s morale should’ve improved, yet… they gradually started to notice Feng Bujue’s strange nature. The amount of fear he instilled in them was perhaps even more pervasive than the terror the game inflicts.
Even if the System used even more terrifying scare tactics and scared people till they disconnected from the game, everyone would still know that it’s all just simulations. But if Feng Bujue’s behavior developed further, escalated… that would be difficult to imagine. Just remembering he’s a real existing player was too terrifying….
“Look, up front!” After walking for about ten minutes, Long Aomin stopped and exclaimed as he pointed ahead.
Everyone looked forward and saw a plaza: a completely open ground, stone covered plaza. In its center, a ten meter high, four meter wide gate shrouded in dense, pitch-black, eerie fog on one side and wide open on the other side.
When the five of them approached the gate, the System’s prompt sounded again:【Current mission has been completed; Main Mission has been updated.】
The menu opened and showed the previous mission【Search the city; find the Demonic Gate.】with a check mark beside it. Underneath were two new missions:【Find the Key of Fire in East Ninth Street’s police station】and【Find the Key of Wood in South Fifteenth Street’s shopping center】. When the first mission appeared, its right side was already marked by a check.
After Feng Bujue looked over the mission log, he jogged to the front of the gate, faced the opening of the gate, stared for a few seconds, and said, “So that’s how it is… seems like it’s not too deceitful. In the five magic arrays, three are lit; which means we don’t have to find the three Metal, Water, Earth keys. They’ve been maintaining the seal all along.”
Wang Tanzhi and the others also walked over and looked towards Feng Bujue’s line of sight. The open gate was full of darkness so dense it made people feel like even if they used a flood lamp to light it up, it would be impenetrable. Nearby the gate frame were five different colored magic arrays, arranged to form the points of a pentagram. Drawn inside the five arrays were cryptic, obscure divine markings, three of which were lit up at the moment.
Feng Bujue took out the Key of Fire, placed it on his palm, stuck out his arm, and approached the gate, but after a while nothing had happened. He put away the key again and said, “Hm… I reckon after both keys are collected and the mission is updated, only then will it let us know how to restore the seal.”He paused for a moment, “There’s no time to lose, the time interval between the first and second descents of darkness was about thirty minutes. Right now eighteen minutes have already passed since the second darkness. If each interval is about the same, then we better rush to that shopping center within twelve minutes and kill the monsters there, otherwise…”
Long Aomin listened up to this point then took the lead to charge out. “Quick! Keep up!” Though he lacked foresight he could still deduce what would happen next in the impending situation. If they ran into stronger monsters, the one who’d end up fighting to the death would undoubtedly be himself. He’d already been cowed by that blood corpse earlier and he really didn’t want to become lunch when they’d progress to this stage already.
Following Long Bro’s lead, the five of them headed south jogging the whole way. There was a city map in the plaza where the Demon Gate was located; every road in each direction had signs and names, so Feng Bujue didn’t need to direct the way. Long Aomin located South Fifteenth Street pretty quickly soon after.
In five minutes they had run a kilometer and arrived at the entryway to the shopping center. The distance wasn’t that long; basically, even normal people could accomplish this in Reality. Only after they finished, they’d be gasping for at least two minutes before they returned to normal.
“There’s actually electricity…” Long Aomin was clearly the type who was able to run a marathon in Reality; one kilometer was child’s play.
But let’s introduce a new concept——”Hidden Attribute.”
This one is omnipresent and even in virtual reality, it’s an attribute that can’t be fully quantified. Using the present Long Aomin as an example: since he’s a player whose individual personal strength is stronger than the average, there’s a difference in the amount of stamina he and another player would consume after finishing a mission. Let’s compare for a moment using the physically weakest Lonesome, the female player. Long Aomin consumed less stamina to finish running this distance, and even though it was only about a ten percent gap, this subtle difference lingers even later on in the game.
In other words, if their stamina cap was the same and they ran at the same speed until exhaustion, then Long Aomin would be able to outdistance Lonesome. This is the so-called difference with Hidden Attributes.
Let’s use another specific example, suppose we compare a person who knows how to use a firearm in Reality and someone who’s never touched a gun before. Suppose both raised their Shooting Proficiency to A rank (Proficiency Rank A: Excellent, obtained a chance to comprehend a Skill. When this rank is achieved, the Skill has a 100% activation rate). If they activated the same skill and fired at the same target, then the shots from the person who’s handled a gun in Reality might have slightly higher damage and accuracy. Of course, this slight increase is incredibly difficult for the player to sense himself; only the System is capable of determining the exact difference.
The player’s comprehensive abilities increasingly strengthen the further they play. After level 30, they’ll get closer to being able to jump on roofs and vault over walls like in the Matrix or reach the level of creating gusts of wind with just a punch. At that time, it’ll become increasingly more difficult to sense the differences caused by Hidden Attributes. If it had to be defined, then talent would also have to be changed into a kind of resource to give players a certain benefit.
“It’s the like the police station from earlier; apparently places related to the Main Missions will have things other places won’t: like lights and corpses.” commented Feng Bujue.
“What should we do next? Wait for the monsters to charge out and attack us?” asked Wang Tanzhi.
“There’s no way the System could be so boring as to use the same trick every time.” replied Feng Bujue, “Just go in. Don’t count on another blood corpse to breakout through a wall again. There’s definitely different kind of monster inside…”
He led the way to the entrance which was two side-by-side, large glass doors. They still opened and Feng Bujue breezed his way inside in stride.
The shopping center occupied a large area though based on just sight it was hard to estimate. Ultimately, it took up several acres of land. The lights inside were very bright and the elevator, the escalator, the vending machines, etc… basically all the facilities that required electricity were all working normally. However, many of the shelves were damaged to a certain degree.
Only the main building had five floors. There were two completely transparent, cylindrical elevators for traveling up and down, each floor had escalators, and the fire escapes didn’t seem blocked which should also have normal staircases inside.
From the main entrance was an unseen section of a large supermarket with as many as thirty cash registers lined up like soldiers in formation to form a wall. Every floor upstairs had numerous other shops: clothing, dining, KTV, billiard bars, etc. If the players had more time, they would have searched the whole place. Otherwise, they’d only be doing themselves a disservice.
Feng Bujue stood silently in front of the Directory at the entryway. In a flash, his eyes swept through the contents of each floor’s main trade. But this was a shopping center with anything and everything anyone could think of and created more confusion instead.
“Where could the Key of Wood be… the home furniture section? The toys section?” Lonely anxiously put forth ideas.
If this group was made up of five Feng Bujue, they’d mostly likely each take over a floor and would have divided and conquered already. The problem was, this group only had one Feng Bujue; this world also only had one Feng Bujue. Splitting up the group was meaningless as well; not only would they lose out on the most profit, but it could also be dangerous.
Just as Feng Bujue was thinking over a plan, suddenly, everyone felt a tremor beneath their feet: another unexpected change
Sound after sound came from underground. In an area tens of meters from them, a chunk of ground swelled and formed into a crater-like shape. The tiles on the ground fractured and flew apart, scattering the surrounding shelves. After the tiles were struck seven or eight times, a monster finally broke through the ground, emerging right in of their eyes.
“I bet fifty cents that we’ll find the key once we kill it.” Feng Bujue said while looking at “that big tree”.
Half of the monster’s “body” was still buried in the ground; the exposed half was a more than two meter in diameter charred trunk. The tips of its branches were like withered claws with not a single leaf, and there was something that resembled facial features on its trunk, which of course was also wooden.
Long Aomin was not in the mood to joke around. He said, “Looks like this punk can’t move. Even if it can use its branches like limbs, its range is limited. As long as we stick to the sides and avoid that mouth, we can circle around its back and attack its blind spot.”
Feng Bujue listened while unhurriedly reaching into his inventory and wearing on 【Eyes of Hatred】. An item retrieved after being placed in inventory will be clean. Even weapons covered in blood and meat chunks will be restored to its original state, so long as it has gone in and out of the trans-dimensional pocket inventory. That’s why there wasn’t any strange smell or chunks when Feng Bujue wore the goggles. It’s just that the people next to him still immediately associated them with…
“Yeah… I’m taking a look now… just what is his current target…” before he finished speaking, Feng Bujue’s expression changed. He slowly raised his head then turned to face the edge of a handrail on the fifth floor of the shopping center.
It just happened to be a blind spot from the light. Next to the handrail, squatted a human-like shadow. When Feng Bujue and team raised their head and turned around, it realized it had been found. Without missing a beat, it spread open a pair of bat wings and suddenly descended along the wall, towards the ground at a high-speed dive.
“What’s going on? Batman?” Wang Tanzhi muttered.
“Personally, I’d like to think it’s a demon… Get down!” Feng Bujue abruptly shouted; he was the first to hit the ground.
At that moment Feng Bujue clearly saw that monster’s intend target wasn’t anyone of them, but the blackened tree monster that had dug its way out of the ground.
Sure enough, the demon changed directions right as it was about to hit the ground. It accelerated as it arched and flew straight towards the tree. The tree monster opened its mouth and let out a bugle-like deep roar.
The wave was tangible and started a strong wind, the five people lying flat on the ground reflexively covered their ears. But for that aerial assaulting demon, this sound wave was nothing. The demon also opened a mouth full of fangs and let out a roar while still speeding forwards.
This was a loud wailing roar with a sharp and penetrating force, like nails scratching across glass, which could cause a person to as if feel pins and needles pierced through their insides. These two monsters: one was like a bass and the other was like a soprano, howling at each other. Yet, they brought no pleasure to anyone listening, instead, there was only painful torment.
 Just in case you forgot, Feng Bujue’s username uses a “Feng” that means insane.
Author used “bento” here. The word used here really meant that he didn’t want to become the character of a story that just dies in the middle just for the sake of plot. Ex: Becoming a monster’s lunch
KTV is essentially a karaoke salon, with individual rooms you can book to sing your heart out in privacy