Chapter 29: Eerie Cinephile City (XIII)
The monsters surrounding them crowded together tightly, and although they could see the outer edge of the enclosing horde, breaking through was clearly impossible. Five Level 30 players could consider charging out through an enclosure of several hundreds of monsters, but they didn’t even bother to think about it, with their 6.6 on average Leveled group.
“Feng Xiong… they’re still closing in on us…” Long Aomin reminded the pensive Feng Bujue.
“It’s fine, just let me think,” Feng Bujue said. “Considering the circûmstances, retreating into the Gate is a final resort the game has given us, so there will definitely be a pretty difficult BOSS inside. Defeating it just counts as an ordinary ending, like an ‘Although the players have succeeded in escaping from this space, Samodeer will forever have seized control over that space’ sort of ending.”
“Fine, but I’d rather not die right before the ending. If they really blitz over here, we should still retreat into the Gate.” Long Aomin insisted.
Feng Bujue nodded, he then just sat cross-legged where he stood and carefully analyzed the two keys in his hand; the slowly encroaching demon army wasn’t pressuring him at all. He propped his elbows on his legs, lowered his head, and lightly tapped his forehead with two fingers. Several seconds later he slowly raised his head and traced his fingertips slowly down his nose. During this entire time, his eyes had constantly been wandering until they finally landed on the hazy moon in the sky. His eyes suddenly brightened as something flashed through his mind.
“Do you remember what the premise of the plot was when we first entered the Scenario?” Feng Bujue asked aloud.
Wang Tanzhi goggled at the swarm of demons that had already approached until there wasn’t even a hundred meters worth of distance between them. His breathing grew more and more panicked, “Didn’t it only explain that our location is in a city, it’s currently night, and our characters are the last remaining survivors?”
Feng Bujue recalled while he spoke, “The second spoken segment was… ‘until one night, the sun setted and never rose again. A hazy moonlight, appearing and disappearing behind drifting black clouds, shone on this deathly still and lonely city.’” He spoke the lines verbatim.
“So?” Long Aomin asked.
“This sentence isn’t to point out that things are happening at night.” Feng Bujue continued, “Rather it is to point out the ‘cycle’ phenomenon.” He suddenly asked, “Up until now, have you guys seen any clocks or other things that can keep time?”
Right now, the other four’s minds were in a state of chaos. The incredibly visible threat was unceasingly encroaching, and those monsters steadily moved closer, becoming increasingly vivid and terrifying. How could they even calm down their hearts enough to remember such trifling details? Lonesome pretty much spoke without thinking, “Who can still remember! What does that even have to do with our current situation?”
Feng Bujue spoke, “The rules behind this Scenario… the so-called cycle and that darkness… I understand them now.” He said, “If we take time in this Scenario and view it as a straight line, with the ends of the line undefined, then this ‘line’ has neither a beginning nor an end.
“In that case, in this city that Samodeer removed, time here is also like a line, but from its beginning to its end it’s always about thirty minutes.” He stood up and gestured with his hand, “He bent the line, linked the beginning and the end and formed a circle. This city’s time is forever running in a circle…” He pointed at the demons, “These punks and us don’t belong to this city; we’re all within this circle, not on the line, so Samodeer can never destroy us with his power. He can only directly raise his hands against things that move on the line.”
At this moment, Lonely’s face was full of panic, and he stared at Feng Bujue, “Big Bro, my dearest Big Bro! I truly haven’t learned any science! Toward this thing called Mathematics, for me, it had been 3% talent, 7% effort, and the remaining 90% up to fate!”
“I’m not talking about Geometry, I was just using shapes to demonstrate this concept.” Feng Bujue still nonchalantly explained.
“Feng Xiong… no, Jue bro! You don’t have to explain to us, really, it’s fine if only you understand these things by yourself. Just tell us if there’s another way besides retreating into the Gate!” Just like this, Long Aomin, became a person who called Feng Bujue his older bro… even though he was four years older than Feng Bujue.
“Actually, restoring the seal doesn’t require any sort of special action,” Feng Bujue spoke as he raised the two keys he still held in his hand, in the same way as he had before.
“Hey! Aren’t we just waiting in vain then!” shouted Wang Tanzhi. The monsters kept coming closer and closer and there were only twenty meters left separating them from the team.
“This is a kind of challenge that tests our courage: to see if we dare to stay standing until the last second.” Feng Bujue could actually still laugh in this situation, “Heh heh… the System really is committed to creating this escape-mortal-danger-at-the-final-moment scene.”
“What escape! You’re just holding up Keys, that’s all!” Lonely Lil’ Bro shouted as well.
“Back at the police station, I said this Key of Fire puzzle was too simple. I retract this statement.” Feng Bujue’s train of thought jumped back to that again, “This 69185, it simultaneously held another hint as well. Combining ‘time’ as the key element to the hint, we can find the solution to using the Keys to fix the seal.”
“I’m saying Jue Bro… right now…” Long Aomin was about to say something.
But Feng Bujue interrupted, “Starting from 6, turn the minute hand clockwise until it reaches 9, this indicates 15 minutes; then, from 9 to 1, indicating 20 minutes; once more, from 1 to 8, 35 minutes; finally from 8 to 5, 45 minutes.” He was still holding the Keys up, “Under the assumption that the minute hand does not turn back and time doesn’t go in reverse ‘69185’ takes a total of 115 minutes. And the time we’ve spent from when we’ve entered the Scenario until now is…” He saw those claw-revealing, mouth-gaping monsters had already arrived in front of him, but still calmly continued, “If I’ve calculated correctly, right now, is exactly…”
A flash from the Keys interrupted him. A bright ray of light burst toward the skies. Even the heavily restrained night air seemed to have lightened quite a bit. The two Keys circled each other as they flew into the air and inserted themselves into the missing parts of the main array on the Gate. Divine rays shone; the Fire and Wood arrays were restored and the Pentagram once again emerged as the Gate slowly began to close.
The monsters became unusually alarmed and let out heart-wrenching, lung-shredding roars as they scattered in confusion. They dispersed and rushed away as far as possible from the plaza with a speed much greater than they had when they had arrived…
“What… what happened?” Long Aomin had already lifted his shield, ready to meet the attack. He never expected this kind of reversal to happen in such a short period of time.
Lil’ Tan, Lonely and Lonesome completely mentally short-circuited. In their moments of despair earlier, the surrounding pressure combined with Feng Bujue’s calm aggravated them somewhat, but they were completely speechless right now. This silence was something to be expected as the sort of exaltation which comes from wresting back their life would need some time before it could manifest itself.
“In 115 minutes, bring the Keys to the front of the Gate and the seal will restore itself. That’s all,” said Feng BuJue. “As for the monsters, it’s very simple. The system had arranged for the enclosure to happen at the last moment to test whether we’d be pushed into retreating into the Gate. The monster slowly surrounded us on purpose only to make the desperate moment seem direr and the seal’s activation more dramatic.
“If collecting the Keys and coming to the Demon Gate was the FLAG to trigger the demon horde to surround us,” asked Wang Tanzhi, “then what would’ve happened if we arrived earlier or later?”
“I’m afraid that trying to collect the two Keys and return to the Gate any earlier would have been very difficult. The Scenario’s difficulty was based off of the team’s strength. It’s already quite good for us considering that we’ve completed it with only a few minutes left before the time limit. Don’t forget, we entered the police station first before we discovering the mission and so we saved ourselves the amount of time it would’ve taken for a return trip. The few minutes we had before the time limit would have been accounted for in that round trip.”
“Afterward, we did waste time in the shopping center. But if we had descended right after we found a flashlight and didn’t search for equipment instead, we might have had snatched a few more minutes.”
“However, the amount of time we spent dealing with that illusion monster didn’t even take one minute, which helped make up for the loss.” answered Feng Bujue, “In short, even if you lost or added to the total amount of time spent, the System’s dividing line was set. Arriving earlier than the 115 minutes with the two Keys could only result in the kind of plot we experienced.”
“Under the circûmstances we arrived late… we’d naturally miss the timing for the seal and ultimately be forced into the entering the Gate.”
“Then what about now? We’ve already passed?” Long Aomin asked, “Why hasn’t the System Notification…”
【Current mission has been completed, Main Mission has…】
At this moment, the System Notification sound really did go off, but the unexpected thing was it wasn’t finished with its dialogue.
【Puny insects from another world, do you know what you have done?】
These words directly appeared in all five persons’ minds. Startlingly, the voice that interrupted the System’s dialog and was currently speaking was that distinctive whisper which had come from the third darkness.
Feng Bujue astutely opened and checked the menu. Although the System didn’t finish its dialog, the “Restore the Seal” mission in the mission log displayed a check and was already completed. Underneath, another new mission had been added: 【Survive Samodeer’s attack】.
“Seen the new mission yet?” Feng Bujue’s tone was as if nothing big was going on.
“Don’t tell me that punk is corporeal?” said Wang Tanzhi.
“According to my speculation, Samodeer doesn’t have a body. Or maybe it’s better said, based on the setting (of the Scenario), his body exists in a higher dimension. If he wants to appear before us, he needs to embody some form that our dimension can comprehend.” replied Feng Bujue, “Just like how ‘Galactus’ appears as a wretched purple-wearing middle-aged man, if Samodeer wants to personally deal with us, he’ll first have to create a corporeal form. Only then will he be able to injure us in the physical plane (of existence).
“Speak in Human…” Wang Tanzahi retorted.
“See, just like that…” said Feng Bujue as he raised one hand to point at some place.
The black clouds had already dispersed, and the moonlight covered the pavement with a layer of silvery frost. Everyone turned their gaze in the direction he pointed, only to see on the ground a dense, circular shadow amidst the moon bathed stone. Just like a black abyss, that five-meter shadow drew in even light.
Means brother but usually reserved for polite respect.
 Like it said earlier Xiong was more polite, but Long Aomin is now calling Feng Bujue by his name, not his surname, and even calling him older brother. This is to show how desperate he is and even willing to defer senority to him just to escape this situation.